It is just a matter of time until politicians run out of lipstick for dressing up the pig that is rapidly becoming the reality we confront in the Gulf of Mexico. As this article is being written, the first photos of oil soaked pelicans have been displayed on CNN, British Petroleum can only control the media so long before the public realizes the severity of damage their activities have inflicted. No question we face an environmental calamity of global proportions possibly with generational consequences, and any effort to deny reality only exacerbates this disaster.
Life as we know it in the Gulf of Mexico is going to cease to exist. As disaster capitalists posture to bleed an economy just starting to recover from the hemorrhaging caused by Hurricane Katrina, the fishing industry, recreational fisheries, tourism, restaurants, hotels, and anyone lucky enough to make a living post Hurricane, will think of Katrina as a carnival ride in comparison to the economic tsunami we'll experience without preparation.
One can only hope that President Obama can go back to his community organizing roots and implement a recovery plan, a plan geared towards a wholesale socioeconomic restoration of injury plagued States (and/or countries) affected by the Gulf of Mexico event. In order to get control of this rapidly deteriorating situation it is vital that emergency measures be taken immediately, because only by confronting reality, can we hope to control destiny.
With so much destruction, where but in America can't lemons be made into lemonade? The scale of destruction warrants a major effort on several fronts. First, create a Gulf of Mexico Strategic Center (GMSC) dedicated to oil spill cleanup. The GMSC can coordinate logistics and set up a regional strategic command center, manufacture and supply cleanup materials, develop new cleanup methodologies, etc. On the second front, we can create a Gulf of Mexico Restoration Institute (GMRI) dedicated to the advancement of restoration science. The GMRI can be a regional center dedicated to recovery of affected sensitive and complex ecosystems, and specialize in alternative energy solutions. Finally, a Gulf of Mexico Training Center (GMTC) can be created to retool and train citizenry to adjust to the new economic environment.
Unless we make wholesale changes in how these regional economies are driven, we are dooming the region to major economic devastation. Believe it or not there IS a silver lining behind this cloud, but it will require reparation from British Petroleum to fund such a venture (even if it takes that boot on the throat of BP!). It is only fitting that the seeds of salvation are sown in the midst of all this devastation.