Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Gulf Coast Disaster

If you're a friend of mine on facebook, then you probably already know that this means a lot to me. But I decided I needed more than 420 characters to express it.

It begins with the status update that should have been (and is now) a blog:

Janin Wise

wonders if she's reached the point where she's an old fuddy duddy-- yes, bp screwed up. Yes, Tony Hayward should pay more attention when speaking to the public. But the point isn't joining groups to stuff bp executives in the hole (hell, if anyone -meant- it, there'd be trouble.) And it isn't calling him to tell him he's an ass. And it isn't closing down the local bp gas stations in tough economic times. Or closing all the drilling in the gulf as a knee jerk reaction. What's wrong with just saying, "I'm sad and angry about what's going on in the Gulf. I want it fixed, but I don't know how, I don't know who does. It makes me feel helpless and not only is not getting better, it's getting a whole hell of a lot worse. I'm worried. I'm afraid. I'm angry. Please, someone, anyone, if you have an idea, a suggestion, a way to help-- speak the hell up!" Today, the oil reached the shores of MY home. It's -been- on the shores of my friends. It's been killing wild life and stopping all sorts of business from fishing to tourism. Right now, it shouldn't be about blame. Right now, it should be about getting it -stopped-. And then getting it fixed. After that, if you must, blame whoever picked the short straw.

I was feeling overwhelmed and hopeless in the face of this disaster. And lets be perfectly clear and honest-- this is a -disaster-.

Today, BP announced that their siphon is working. And 'working' means it's taking care of 1/3 of the oil that is still gushing into the Gulf. They don't anticipate that they're going to get that gush under control until AUGUST at the earliest... and the Deepwater explosion is already over a month into the past.

We keep hearing about the endangered species that are being affected-- this is a pdf look at them:

Protected Species in the Golf of Mexico

Instead of just sitting like a hopeless lump at my computer, I decided to use it to see if there ARE people with ideas, and ways to help out there. And thankfully, very, very thankfully, there are.

Here are some links to websites with ways to get involved, make donations, and help make a difference.

How to help gulf oil disaster, even if you can't make it there

bp oil spill aftermath help

learn more about sea turtle and dolphin rescue/rehab efforts in Mississippi and Alabama!

In May, I got one of my local hair salons involved in the hair boom donations mentioned in the first article-- and had 4 inches of my hair added to the cause.

This weekend, restaurants across the United States will be participating in "Dine Out for the Gulf Coast"

Check the participating restaurants to see if there is one near you!

And as an artist myself, this one speaks to me about raising awareness using creative energy. It's called "The Spirit of the Gulf Challenge."

The challenge:

I challenge every artist who receives this invitation to make one drawing, painting, collage — or to use whatever medium you work in — to create a piece of beauty with love and gratitude to honor some scene or living being in the Gulf. This is a consciousness raising opportunity.

  • Find a photo or other resource depicting some living aspect of the Gulf of Mexico before the oil disaster or
  • Tap into your spirit and use your imagination
  • Make a drawing, painting or other piece of creative work with love and gratitude for the beautiful life of whatever you're depicting.
  • Post what you make on your website, include a link to this post: Spirit of the Gulf Challenge (or the facebook group — ( and put the icon below in your sidebar with a link to this post (or the facebook group). Send me a link to your post and I'll add the link to bottom of this post.
  • Invite 5 of your friends or favorite artists to accept this challenge, include a link to this post, the facebook page, copy this description of the challenge and the icon below for their sidebar.

--Suzanne McDermott

My next piece is for the Spirit of the Gulf. Will -you- accept the challenge? Or one of the other opportunities to get involved?

Donate your time. Or your hair. Or your money. Your creativity. Your talent. Your voice. GET involved! Help to make a difference in the ways that YOU can.

Because BP isn't looking to stop the spill.!/photo.php?pid=30698415&id=1449151576&ref=mf

And that's more than just ironic.

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