Threats remain ignored
August 12, 2010
Reports from the Gulf of Mexico tell us that the oil-spouting BP well has finally been sealed, and that the devastating impacts of the massive oil spill on beaches, wildlife habitats and marine ecosystem are gradually abating. However, there is a more clear and present danger lurking in the Gulf, yet there are no immediate plans to abate this much larger, deadlier and continuing spill smothering life in the Gulf.
According to Wikipedia, there is an 8,500-square-mile “dead zone” (roughly three times the size of the BP oil slick) resulting from the Mississippi River dumping into the Gulf of Mexico. Chief contributor is American agriculture, spewing billions of tons of factory-farm animal waste, overloaded with nitrogen and other potentially damaging nutrients from petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, producing vast algal blooms that suck up oxygen from the water, killing all marine life.
We react dramatically to unanticipated threats like the BP oil spill and accidental deaths. Yet we tend to accept and tolerate the much more damaging, but routine, threats from animal waste discharges and deaths from killer diseases linked to meat and dairy-laden diets.