A Walk on the Mississippi Beaches, A Year After BP

How many dead animals do you have to see before you begin to wonder if something’s not right? Julie Dermansky’s striking photos, shot on the Mississippi coast the weekend before the BP oil spill anniversary, address that question. Are the deaths portrayed in the images below connected to the Deepwater Horizon disaster? The verdict’s still not in …

Julie Dermansky is a multimedia reporter and artist based in New Orleans. She is an affiliate scholar at Rutgers University’s Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. Visit her site here; for more photos of the devastation wrought by the BP oil spill, click here


8 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    We never learn. And it’s “business as usual” in the Gulf.  For some. Including BP. In Washington when oil money talks, the interest of the people walks.  Or merely drowns in a sea of oil. Or a gulf. Most of the oil was not “dispersed” but merely settled to the bottom of the gulf.  Unable to counter that our government merely said it would have no effect on anything.

    Not that long ago a photographer with the New Orleans Times-Picayune spotted a massive slick not far from the Macondo well.  I never did see any follow-up to it.  No doubt the Coast Guard passed it off to a leaking shrimp boat. A slick estimated to have been 12 miles wide by 100 miles long. And no doubt the Coast Guard added that it would have no effect on anything.

    Unless you like seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Then, who knows? But hey, a plane can come crashing down on your house, you know?  I’ll still pass on the seafood.

    We talk about the radiation being carried by the jet stream from Japan. We don’t talk about the lovely “southeasterly winds” off the coast of Louisiana and Texas that become the pleasant summer evening breezes. Carrying god knows what.  A lot off people are having “allergies” this year. From “god knows what.”  Just “something in the air” as one of my pulmonary doctors put it the other day.

  2. avatar Lila says:

    You know, there is just no good reason NOT to work continually to transition to clean, renewable energy sources. I have long argued that this would improve our national security by breaking our ties to some of the world’s most unstable regions, not to mention that we are past peak oil and the prices will only go up from here, until it finally runs out completely. And then – you have these poisonous environmental disasters, and they are PERSISTENT. Dig a few inches in the sand of Alaska’s beaches and you can still find tar balls from the Exxon Valdez disaster. That oil in the Gulf – more than 19 Exxon Valdezes’ worth – isn’t going anywhere, either.

    The only reason we are not transitioning to clean energy is – as Snooks says – money. Big Oil wants to milk this cow as long as they can squeeze it. Understandable, but not in our national interests. It would be nice to see the government grow a pair and start providing better incentives for developers of clean energy. As it is – we will soon buy all of our solar panels from China. Just like everything else. Weak!

  3. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    Big oil and the oilgarchy it created intends to get every last dime out of every last drop and big oil doesn’t care about clean energy or conservation. Neither does our government. Including our president. Who was in BP’s pocket from day one.  Surprising how many people read “AMOCO was Obama’s largest campaign contributor” and don’t realize AMOCO is BP.  

    A million years ago in Texas a Democrat named Lloyd Bentsen ran against George HW Bush for the US Senate seat.  It was a race between Bentsen who represented the independent oilmen and Bush who represented big oil which was known back then as the Seven Sisters.  Bentsen won. But the Seven Sisters had other candidates in other states. So in the end they won.

  4. avatar Maggie W says:

    The world uses 89 million barrels of oil per day now.  In 2035 , that usage will climb to 99 millions a day. (International Energy Agency). No surprise since China and India are looming large.  In a post Fukushima world, the US will shy from promoting new nuclear plants , even though those we have are decrepit and there are no evacuation plans for those living within 50 miles.  We still have the “What will be, will be,” attitude .

    There are alternatives to the oil frenzy, but breathing filthy coal residue is no answer.  With turmoil in the oil rich and unstable Middle East,  there is open space for cheap shale gas to go forward.  In time that would help transition to a greener economy.   There is a genuine environmental concern about that little problem known as fracking.  But I think Texan T. Boone Pickens is right.  Initially, if heavy duty transport vehicles were fueled with natural gas, that alone would  help cut oil imports.  Baby steps.   It would also be one less major headache for utilities worried about regulations on carbon and air pollution.

    Barack Obama has often hailed gas as one part of the solution to our oil addiction.  The environmental backlash has been harsh.  Waste water contamination is just one problem.  We hear you, NYC.   The other and more pronounced is the Republican Party, joined at the hip with major oil.   But how silly to allow the Marcellus Shale site to just sit there with all its bounty.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Potentially as dangerous as the New Madrid There is far more than just an environmental concern about fracking now.  The concern is that it has set off faults in Texas, Okalahoma and Arkansa. The latter of major concern since the faults in Arkansas are tied into the New Madrid Fault. The last time that fault produced a major earthquake it set off church  bells in Boston.  The New Madrid system runs northeast all the way into New England. Because of that, it is considered the most dangerous fault system in North America. Be assured when the time comes, when Saudi Arabia cuts off its remaniing fields to export, we will see a switch to natural gas. Which suddenly will rise in price. For the time being, well, coal is a way for some of the “younger oil generatiion,” the sons, and some daughters, of the independent oilmen who sold out to the Seven Sisters along with Congress to learn the business and make a little cash. And most seem to have learned the number one principle of the Seven Sister  “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

      And by the way there’s another fault they’ve recently discovered oered in the Gulf of Mexico. No longer dormant. Activated by the deep water drilling. And potentially as dangerous as the New Madrid. And it is the type of fault that not only creates mountains but in the ocean caen creates tsunhamis. And if we learned one thing from BP it is that the oil interests consider the public interests nothing more than a nuisance.

  5. avatar Pdr de says:

    When I learned that BP took a tax credit for the 11 billion dollars spent on the clean-up, I was incensed. How they make the American taxpayers pay for the clean-up of a disaster they caused by greed and carelessness? What con artists they are – how despicable.

  6. avatar Pdr de says:

    Meant to say, “How dare they make the American taxpayers pay for the clean-up of a disaster they caused by greed and carelessness?

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      How dare Congress and Obama allow them to. Congress and Obama of course don’t have to worry about seafood in Washington. They get theirs fresh from Chesapeake Bay. While they tell everyone else the seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is perfectly safe. I used to love nothing better than a big bowl of boiled shrimp with bowls of various sauces to dip them in.  A nice icy platter of oysters on the half-shell. And forgetting how I was raised and making a mess while devouring crawfish. Things of the past. For me anyway. I do worry about the children whose parents believe the government.  They might as well feed their children rat poison which is what the dispersent BP used is.  Millions of gallons of it.  Can’rt see it or taste it. But it’s there. In the shallow waters. In the bays and inlets.