Apprehension, not celebration, greets this World Environment Day

Aurora, Colo., tornado (Photo: Brittany McKown)It’s World Environment Day, and all I can think about is how the Gulf oil disaster has been book-ended by two environmental commemorations. The BP oil well blew out two days before Earth Day in April, though it was barely covered in the news until a few days later when people realized that oil was leaking into the ocean unabated. (In the back of our minds, we tend to assume that someone has a plan for these contingencies. Surprise! No plan.)

Pelicans and other birds drenched with oil in offshore nesting areas

Oiled pelicans rescued June 3 (Photo: International Bird Rescue Research Center)

The heartbreaking photos and video, many released yesterday when it was discovered that a famous rookery on Grand Isle had been inundated with oil, leave no doubt that this latest human accident will suffocate life wherever it lands and beyond. It will asphyxiate birds with a coating of oil, and orphan offspring left behind in the nests.

Oil spill clean up, a ‘shovel ready’ green job opportunity

Ironically, our latest fossil fuel disaster is providing some needed green jobs.

I just wish I could say it’s great to see America back at work.

So far, about 13,800 people “have responded” to the call to help minimize the effects of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, prepare for the giant oil slick’s landfall and clean up the shoreline afterward, according to BP.

A welder works on a pollution containment chamber at Port Fourchon (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard)

A welder works on a pollution containment chamber at Port Fourchon (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard)