Thursday, April 21, 2011

Workitout. Workitout. Work.It.Out.

This week is almost over. I'm exhausted and distracted and disoriented and something else that I can't quiet put my finger on. The humidity is setting in and the mindset is starting to change in this city. Jazz fest starts next week. The Blessing of the Fleet is on May 8. I'm not sure I can mentally handle another meeting where sick Gulf coast residents scream at public officials about needing health care and public officials get up and walk out the door without committing to anything. And I keep running into this woman that I fired a couple years ago and haven't spoken to since. It all makes me a little nervous.

Two days ago at a meeting room in the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans, LA the Yes Men pranked BP. They announced that BP and HHS is setting up 35 health clinics on the Gulf coast to address the growing health crisis due to the toxic cocktail of crude oil and dispersants. A BP employee who was somehow at the Gulf Coast Leadership Summit though refused to take part in this multi-stakeholder conference to find solutions to the problems we are still facing, showed up at the fake press conference to say that in fact BP would not be setting up these clinics and this press conference was a fraud. This morning BP did announce that they would release $1 Billion in up front eco-system restoration in the NRDA process.

(NRDA = boring, long term federal legal process to restore the environment to pre-disaster conditions = Natural Resources Damage Assessment)

After Senatora Mary Landrieu made this announcement at the Gulf coast Leadership Summit, where I have been for three days, and after audience heckling after audience heckling, she also committed to agressively search for solutions to our growing health crisis. She promised to bring a group of those that are ill and working with those that are ill together to figure out next steps. This is a great gesture and I hope that it bears fruit that truly addresses our concerns. But given the government's and LA in particular's past actions, it is unlikely that the people of the Gulf will see any redress before hundreds more become ill.

I love this city and I love this state, but those put in charge don't care much about people.

On Tuesday I met Kevin Costner. The same Kevin Costner that sat in front of Congress last summer begging for the industry and government to make technology,he has, available to help clean up the oil. I met the scientists that created this technology and I stood on the barge that wasn't utilized very well last summer. One of the scientists is from Berkeley. I shared my woes of not seeing Scraper bikes in town and having no access to quality kale. The kale is fucking grey here. Not intense I can smell the sunshine radiating off it green, grey. Very sad.

Alright, off to get some real work done.


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