The ruins of the ancient Roman Forum, an apt metaphor for the relevance of the 11/16 Sierra Club forum.
By Anita Stewart
November 18, 2010
This event was held on November 16, 2010 at the Fish and Wildlife Center in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida from 6 until 830PM.
"What do scientists say about how the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster affected the fish, wildlife and people in the Gulf of Mexico?"
People? The Human Impact in relation to the Catastrophe and Crime Scene in the Gulf was never mentioned in this forum. Not ONCE!
With the erasing of the Human Impact and the Public Health calamity happening in the Gulf Region this has become a Human Rights Issue that the whole world is now watching.
This is how the "public forum" was described on the invitation and widely disseminated via email:
"Public Forum on the Gulf Oil Disaster. There will be time to ask the scientists questions, and learn from environmental organizations, including Sierra Club, how you can get involved to restore the Gulf and reform drilling to protect the Gulf from further harm." REFORM DRILLING? Are they SERIOUS? Drilling? As in MORE of it? Drilling is the LAST thing we need!
The first panel were the three scientists. They were:
- Bob Weisberg, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor of Physical Oceanography and leading expert on the role of the Gulf's loop currents affecting the path of oil towards or away from coastlines.
- Ernst Peebles, Ph.D., Associate Professor Biological Oceanography, specializes in research on coastal fisheries, was part of the crew of the research vessel that in May 1st identified subsurface oil in the Gulf.
- David Hollander, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Chemical Oceanography, whose work in isotopic biogeochemistry led to his discovery of oil on the floor of the Gulf.
The second panel consisted of representatives from different environmental groups. Discussions included wildlife casualties, relocation of turtle eggs, beach clean up, NRDA, responses and what the different groups were doing, legislation, etc. And we cannot forget the dollars from tourism. This panel also reported from the 1st meeting of the White House's Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, held Monday, November 15th in Pensacola, as well as an assessment of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process and how citizens can engage in the process of restoration.
Those attending were instructed to write their questions on 3 by 5 cards and the questions were cherry picked from that stack, grouped together per similar topics and read aloud to the first panel. Some of the questions that were handed in were divided up from the questions presented to the scientists and given to this second panel to address if these questions were something those panelists could cover. It was quite apparent from the cherry picking of the questions, that some would be presented and some would not be. IS THIS FREE SPEECH? This system of inquiry was designed to disregard, manipulate and/or suppress the real message about what is actually happening in the Gulf Region in real time.
This was not a FORUM, as that indicates interaction with PEOPLE, this program was designed to "program" what the facilitators wanted us to hear. It was a series of presentations.
The first question asked of the scientists was if they were funded by BP. They said they were not. Their studies are, so they lied. See:
"Right now, the Florida Institute of Oceanography has 27 projects funded by BP to delve deeper into Gulf research and recovery. USF is working on six of those."
"...a recent letter confirming a $10 million grant to the Florida Institute of Oceanography, based at USF in St. Petersburg."
http://www2.tbo.com/conten t/2010/jul/09/090812/na-sc ience-politics-collide/