Really. This hurts.

I have about a half dozen Katrina-shorthand letters to post, but I had to get this off my chest.

This is America’s Chernobyl, a major industrial f__k-up with concomitant “fallout” on our environment, health, food supply, and economy. The difference is instead of ruining a major world breadbasket, as in the Ukraine, BP has screwed up a major world fishery and wildlife habitat.

We’ll all be experiencing the consequences. For a long time. The damage is more than is possible to fix.

Forget restoration in the short term. We amuse ourselves even by saying things such as “it’ll take generations.” Generations from now, sea levels will have risen, leaving the country’s murdered marshes and wasted wetlands even less amenable to the paltry efforts government or BP are even able to mount, no matter what kind of resources they pour into it. I’d be surprised if more than a week’s worth of gushing oil has been picked up since BP blew a hole in the bottom of the sea. That’s all for show. Sure, the beaches will be cleaned up within a few years (maybe), but it’s not just about the beaches by a longshot.

Here’s just one aspect of what’s not going to be fixed: some species will die out. Louisiana’s marshes are breeding grounds for such a variety of wildlife that it’s inevitable. What’s BP’s plan for reviving a species? Migratory birds (those that escape extinction) will move to another route. Even if the marshes are completely restored (not possible, imo), what can the government do to get birds to shift back to a previous migratory path?

As for the now-ubiquitous promise that BP and/or government will “make it right,” that’s what they say because it’d be impolitic to honestly own up to the fact that it’s not going to happen, which I’m convinced they’re aware of. This will be “made right” about as much as the Ukraine has been (or will ever be) “made right.”

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