The environmental catastrophe in the Gulf has been an incredibly sobering experience for all of us, and it’s really opened a lot of eyes, my own included, to just how damaging our consumption of oil is.
Right now, over 200,000 gallons of oil are spilling into the Gulf every single day. I can’t even wrap my mind around that much oil, and the devastating effects that it’s going to have on the coast’s wetlands and wildlife. It’s simply heartbreaking.
Some Good News…
You regular readers probably have seen my good friend Renaissance Ronin lurking around here. He loves leaving snappy comments to get a laugh. In spite of his sarcastic, gruff exterior, though, he’s got a heart of gold. And, he’s an expert building with shipping containers.
Well, he lives in Biloxi (about 1,000 feet from the local beach). And, he’s putting together a relief center, out of ISBU shipping containers, to help feed the thousands of volunteers that are descending on the Gulf to help out. Here’s an update on his progress:
Man, has it been a long day…
I spent all day long trying to coordinate the creation of a foodbank system that will actually be able to feed over 500 housed workers, camping in the Mississippi Coliseum.
I have fresh/frozen chickens coming from Florida, meat from Tennessee, and vegs from Ga, plus a ton of water and drinks from the CocaCola bottlers locally.
The powers that be are planning to feed the workers MRE’s. Yeah, that’s what I’d want after 12 hours of mucking oil and sand… a big plastic bag with lousy tasting “kinda food” in it…
So, we’re taking 4 20′ ISBUs and turning them into galleys. We put them on car hauler flatbeds, and all we’ll need is a hose, and a water source. We have generators to power the electrical, and the ranges are gas, and will work off LPG.
Another ISBU is being turned into a walk-in cooler storage unit, by fiddling with a Window AC unit, and sticking a foot of foam on the outside of the box for insulation.
(Okay… we’re using three units that we prepped for the build in Alabama, because the concrete floor was already in them, and they were already basically gutted and ready to rework. We’re going to just polish the floors with a surface grinder, and then paint them. We’ll prep replacement boxes for the Alabama build, after these are set.)
A church across the street from the church next door to me… has offered up their community center building, to be used as a dining hall, if we want it.
We’re waiting on a ruling from City Hall, now.
No oil yet, but I’m told that it’s getting closer, and it should start fouling the beaches by midday tomorrow.
We’re also told that they’ll start bringing people in to train the locals in oil clean-up, on Wednesday.
Local vets are already planning to start establishing a training center, so volunteers can learn how to clean wildlife. It’s going to be horrific.
The damage to wildlife is going to be catastrophic. The damage to the economy is going to be horrendous.
Sure, a lot of people will get jobs, but there is NO housing, and little in the way of a real food source, to support that many warm bodies all piled together.
We’ll have our work cut out for us.
Ronin is going to be sending pictures when he can, so I’ll keep all of you updated on his progress.
How You Can Help…
For a full list of volunteer and donation resources, check out this list put together by MSN.
The Hidden Oil In Our Lives…
This catastrophe has made me feel like I’m partly responsible. Why? Because I use oil all the time. I’m paying companies, BP included, to drill and provide me with that oil.
It makes me feel really, really bad.
I don’t drive that much, but I DO consume a lot of oil. Oil is in tons of products we use every day, and I wanted to share a list (courtesy ANWR.org) with all of you to illustrate just how much oil we’re using. Some of these products will probably surprise you…I know it did me.
Oil is used in the creation of:
Car sound insulation
Soft contact lenses
Sports car bodies
Ice cube trays
Car battery cases
That list is mind-boggling to me.
All of us can make a big difference in the amount of oil we use simply by driving less, and avoiding the products on this list whenever we can. Buying used, and reusing what we’ve got, can also make a difference.
Again, as pictures come in with Ronin’s efforts to get his ISBU containers set up in Biloxi I’ll keep all of you updated.