Guest Blog by Dr. Enid Sisskin
It’s a gray blustery day on the gulf coast, very much like the days in summers past when there was a hurricane in the gulf and you were waiting to see where it was going to go. There’s that same anticipatory sense of dread, that same sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. There are also the constant reminders from the news – every newscast both locally and nationally starts with the story – you can’t get away from it. And maybe you shouldn’t be able to get away from it.
People everywhere need to be reminded that those of us who have been working for years to try to keep the rigs away from our shores, only to be called “chicken littles,” were right – it only took one accident, one disastrous spill to impact our environment and potentially destroy our economy for years to come. How badly we will be affected remains to be seen. But today I needed to go to the gulf and I was not alone there, in spite of the wind and the rain. Like me, other people were there, just standing in the sand looking at the water, perhaps wondering like I was what the future held.
Unfortunately, now we just wait and hope. Hope for a miracle, hope that they can stop the gushing oil, hope that the wellhead holds, hope that the oil can be prevented from fouling the beaches and the wetlands and the marshes and hope that everyone will finally realize that drilling in the gulf is not what we should be doing.
Dr. Sisskin is an Adjunct Professor at the University of West Florida and is a board member of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. She has lived on the Gulf Coast, in Gulf Breeze for 17 years and has been an environmental activist working against offshore drilling all that time.