Might it fizzle?

Posted August 3rd, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

For over three months we’ve heard nothing but doom-and-gloom from the Gulf of Mexico. Accounts, even predictions, of environmental disaster have peppered every news outlet for weeks. Might we have taken it a bit too far?

(I wrote a previous post on this here).

Among the many, this story has been on the wire now for quite some time. It describes a USDA program where the US government (AKA your tax dollars) is spending $20 million to pay farmers to keep fields flooded along the Gulf states. This will allegedly attract birds which would otherwise head to Gulf waters and befoul themselves in oil.

There’s one tiny, nagging problem with all of this: The oil is rapidly disappearing. Skimmers can’t even find enough to skim anymore. Commercial fishing is opening up in Louisiana. Beaches are clean. Nature (and dispersants), it seems, has quickly taken steps to heal itself. Just like it has since the dawn of time.

Is this the way we report news in the 21st century? Breathless accounts of doomsday scenarios and dark predictions of future calamity?

I’m hesitant to say it’s over but it sure looks good right now. I have a cartoon in my head I can’t dislodge. It’s a police officer standing on the beach with a caption bubble over his head which reads, “go back to your lives folks, nothing to see here.” Hope it’s true.

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