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Dirty Energy: The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

 

Dirty Energy

I love to watch documentaries. I know they bore some people (like my hubby), but I find them fascinating. I also find them a bit scary. Not like horror movie scary – but reality scary. Sometimes when I am done watching a documentary I want to pack up my family and find a deserted island some where and live like they did in Swiss Family Robinson. When I hear about all the horrible stuff that goes on in this world, with our government and in our own “backyards” I find it incredibly unnerving. It’s no wonder that I have a hard time sleeping at night. I usually find myself wide awake stressing over things.

My husband does find most documentaries boring. He also doesn’t want to know what goes on in the world around us. I think he feels that “ignorance is bliss” and what he doesn’t know won’t stress him out. We NEED to know what is going on, not only for our sake, our children’s sake and the sake of our grandchildren some day – but also for the sake of our planet and all who live on it.

I recently had the opportunity to watch a documentary called Dirty Energy: The Deepwater Horizon Disaster. The documentary is about the BP oil spill that happened in the Gulf Coast several years ago. Unless you live under a rock you are probably well aware of it.

I live in New York, not in the affected region. I knew it was a horrible disaster. How could it not be with millions of gallons of oil polluting the waters of the Gulf Coast. I saw the images of the oil trying to soaked up and the birds covered in oil. What they failed to show you on TV are the things that are exposed in the documentary. I guess I was naive to the fact that these things could possibly happen. :-(

Here is the film’s trailer. If you are reading this via e-mail you can find the trailer here, https://vimeo.com/53709166.

 

Here is a little more information about the documentary.

Dirty Energy: The Deepwater Horizon Disaster, an award-winning documentary from Bryan D. Hopkins, shares first hand stories from the fishermen, local environmentalists, scientists and members of the cleanup crew, who were hardest hit by the aftermath of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon. The film will be out on DVD and VOD platforms starting January 22, 2013.

After the initial global outrage at the spill, most of the world has since forgotten about the community that has had to deal with the emotional, financial and physical fallout from the spill and an expedited clean-up process that “whisked away” the visible oil by using highly toxic chemical dispersants, leaving behind a swath of health problems and poisoned sea creatures.

Detroit based filmmaker Hopkins, was compelled to head to Louisiana after watching hours of news coverage in the immediate aftermath of the spill.  With $250 and a camera, he set out for Grand Isle, sleeping in his car and forging friendships with many of the most vocal community members.  Since the clean-up process was complete, the world seems to have forgotten about them.

The film shares the first hand stories of the people of Grand Isle and what they’ve experienced in the aftermath of the spill including: health ramifications from the toxic dispersants and oversights on the use of safety equipment (respirators), the reality of who is testing the seafood, and state of the seafood (which is frightening.) You’ll probably recognize many of the people in the film, who were at one time on our televisions every night including: Gene Blanchard (owner of the largest seafood exporter in LA), Aaron Viles (Gulf Restoration Network), Billy Nungesser (President of the Plaquemines Parish) and marine toxicologist Riki Ott.

This movie reminds us that this spill, and the destruction of an ecosystem, should not only concern us all, but that the entities and individuals at fault should pay real restitution, and not receive bonuses.

 Boats

First of all I have to say what we heard and saw on the TV is not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what went on down there. There was A LOT of “cover up” on BP’s part. They put on a show for the rest of the world to see and make them believe that BP had everyone’s health and well being in their best interest. That is 100% FALSE! BP never cared. They didn’t back then and they show don’t even now.

When President Obama went to the region after the spill all the ships that were seen in the background were staged. Local fishermen were paid by BP to position their boats in certain areas to make it appear like they were all out there helping with the clean up. Once the cameras turned off the fishermen were made to go elsewhere, far from the spill.

Some locals who tried to help the wildlife were threatened if they tried to help the wildlife. Many birds died due to negligence. Instead of letting locals help them the clean up crews (paid for by BP) kept the locals away from the wildlife, then shipped the wildlife off to a location 3 hours away for treatment. Many of the birds never made it past one day in the small, cardboard shipping boxes they were put in.

BP makes BILLIONS of dollars each year in revenue. The president made over $30 million dollars that year. The amount of money BP spent on safety was a mere $10 million. That is less then .01% of their revenue spent on making sure spills never happen, and if they do, what can be done to rectify the situation immediately. That makes me SICK to my stomach!

Because of what happened many local fishermen had to give up what they love to do – fish. Their catches dwindled in numbers and what they did find were sick, deformed or containing oil. In fact there is a bonus feature on the DVD that provides you with an in-depth look at the shrimp found on the Gulf Coast and how they compare to normal, healthy shrimp. Seeing the tumors, blind shrimp, deformed shrimp and even shrimp with oil on them makes me never want to eat shrimp or seafood again!

Deformed Shrimp

Another bonus feature revisits the area three years later only to find out that matters went from bad to worse, and how people have gone out of business, the sea creatures are toxic and inedible and even the oil is still floating to shore, even though BP swore everything was taken care of.

In a way I feel like “we”, as in all of us, are a little bit to blame. If we didn’t put such demand on resources like oil, companies like BP wouldn’t be making BILLIONS of dollars each year and disasters like this and the Valdez oil spill might never had happened.

The entire documentary was eye opening. It make me LIVID to think about the negligence of BP. It make me angry about the shady goings on that happen in government (if you have the $$$ you can greased palms there are in our government. The same government that is SUPPOSE to take care of our well being. Apparently anyone can be bought – including official government agencies. It just totally makes me sick!!!!

I think everyone should take some time to view the documentary. You’ll never look at the fishing industry the same way again, nor will you take for granted your health, well being and livelihood.

One of the ladies interviewed in the documentary (he name escapes me) said that EVERYONE, no matter where you live, should take some time each day and research what is going on in your own “backyard”, whether it’s fracking, oil spills, or serious concerns. If you familiarize yourself with what is going on and educate yourself on what you can do about it, perhaps we can all make this world a better place for future generations. At the rate we’re going now the state of our planet does not look too good for those who will follow in our footprints.

Ignorance may be bliss, but in the long run “sticking your head in the ground” is only going to come back and bite you in the butt in the end.

Look for Dirty Energy: The Deepwater Disaster where ever movies are sold as well as on Video on Demand (VOD).

You can learn more at www.DirtyEnergy.com. You can also join in on the discussion on Facebook.

Clean UP

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced in any way.  

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.