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Thousands Will Kill Themselves Over the Gulf Oil Spill

8:20 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

The reported suicide of a Gulf charter skipper begs comparison. There is no exact number, but many suspect at least 30 people in Alaska or who worked on or were ruined by the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) killed themselves over the succeeding 20 years, one as recently as last year. I knew three of the victims, one very well.

Alaska had about 500,000 residents at the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

At least 11,000,000 gallons were spilled

Approximately 30 people killed themselves.

The gulf spill will likely effect areas with at least 40 million residents.

Unabated over the summer it may end up being 20 times larger than the EVOS.

Should that happen, following the Alaska model, there may be 48,000 suicides over the economic and emotional hardships brought on by the spill over the next 20 years.

I don’t claim to be a statistician, so maybe somebody here can help me out, because the number seems high. I suspect the number of suicides over this during the next generation will be more in the 4,000 to 6,000 range, but it is all just guessing.

I’ve been thinking about this for days, but my own EVOS PTSD has held me back. I figure there have been other suicides over this already, that haven’t been reported in context.

Saturday Art – Shadows

8:16 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

In late 1992, as bronze sculptor Peter Bevis finished his forensic impressions of animal victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, he asked me to compose a sonic background to his upcoming Anchorage and Seattle showings. I told him I thought the background should have the words of people involved in the spill, and in the gathering of the dead animals he had cast. He agreed. I commissioned Alaska poet Ann Chandonnet to write four verses that were inter-related. Peter’s show opened at the Alaska Gallery of Contemporary Art in March, 1993. I dedicated the work then to Rick Steiner, who wrote his first post for firedoglake Friday.

If you click on the title of each of the verses, you are taken to my garage band page. Click on the green forward arrow. A new window opens. You can then go to the old window, and click back and read the words, as the music plays:

Shadows

by Ann Chandonnet

1. Mechanism/Organism

Waves of memory.
Welding things together.
A wake for a wake.
Waves breaking on black rocks
around Bligh Reef.
Breaking.
A thrum of engines.
Breaker, breaker.
It’s Valdez back.
It’s Valdez back.
No matter where you went it was black.
Slick waves breaking.
A thrum of engines.
We’re leaking some.
Going to be here awhile.
Waves breaking black and thick.
We’re going to be here awhile.
And if you want to say you’re notified.
Over.
Russian roulette.
It’s not a matter of “if.”
It’s a matter of “when.”
Slick waves breaking.
Dark rocks.
Dead on the beaches, all curled up.
Some of those still alive are blind.
Over.
Russian roulette.
Over.
It’s not a matter of “if.”
We’ve fetched up,
And we’re going to be here awhile.
Sad is too mild a word.
The high costs of being here.
But we’re going to be here awhile.
Slick rocks,
Waves crashing.
Dark foam, dark rocks, slick.
No matter where you went it was black.
Dead on the beaches, all curled up.
Organism against mechanism.
Sad is too mild a word.
Hundreds of variables.
A thrum of engines.
Awake.
Over.
Awake. Hundreds of variables!
Over.
A wake, a spreading pool.
Over.
Russian roulette.
Over.
Thousands of possible scenarios:
night, engines, ice;
single hull, dark waves, a reef beneath.
The cry of gulls.
Rock against metal,
hands against a flood,
organism against mechanism.
Should be on your radar there.

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