Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Gulf Coast and seafood

In less than 10 years, I have learned loads of info about shrimping and fishing around here-and I know next to nothing still. And the reason why is that I work for a non-profit that sees its job as convening discrete groups at a public market to revive the local food culture, not as spokespeople for those groups.
When a quote is needed, I give a phone number. Maybe some background, but that consists of those group's own words that they told me. Some pointers as to how to approach farmers or fishers or seniors or whoever--but then on your own. So if you want to know what fishers will do, or if the shrimp will remain safe or if the loss of roosting habitats will undue the refuges created, dunno. But I'll give you some numbers for those who might know.

If you want MY opinion, well...

The issue with the spill is the same one we saw with Katrina and Rita-people have abused our ecosystem and now should fix it, but probably won't. Those who dug canals and rights of way through delicate marshes, leaving huge swaths of country folks at risk for hurricanes and those that decided to drill for oil without a safety plan for platforms are the same-the oil companies.

If we want to punish them, I say this:

1. Fine them big time, then fine the owner of the platform. Take that fine and create a fund for restoring the area. Have a special tax on drilling in Gulf that goes to coastal cities and organization to monitor the ecosystem. These fuckers aren't going anywhere, they'll pay it.

2. Tax them annually for each gallon they pump out and any vehicle that gets under 35 mpg and use money for alternative energy systems. Let's stop talking about how silly they are and just try to create them in our lifetime. Each state gets a cut.

3. Let's build a light rail system for any city over 300,000 people at last census. WPA style projects now.

4. Ride a fucking bike at least every week, maybe twice a week, maybe more. Just pedal to the store, to the gym to JazzFest next year. Each ride saves. Every one. And maybe someday your rides will mean that one more shrimper is still on the water or his son or daughter.

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