Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kindra Arneson Is My Hero

I have very few heros I can really look up to in the world today.

This is My Wild Louisiana! This is our state, our lives, our families, and our environment, and we need to accept and step up as it is our problem to solve.

If we would just pay attention to what is going on around us and stop listening to all the bullshit being fed to us on television we could collectively change the world we live in.

We are aware that we cannot trust BP or our government to protect us.

Please take the time to load the You Tube video linked below and hear the truth about what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico and along our coast here in Louisiana, from someone who is on the front line and has everything to lose.

Always remember to exercise your freedom of speech.

I do not need to elaborate here. Kindra's passion and heartbreak speaks for herself.


I am a TV producer and so I am not against TV, but we need to be careful of some of the things being fed to us in the name of news.

This one below is good, but the headline should be:

British company uses the Coast Guard to tell Ameican reporters
that they can't film in their own country.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Way Forward

For me to reconcile the present situation in the Gulf Of Mexico, I must get back to nature, not just personally, but as a leader, and set an example, for others to follow.

The writing below the dotted line was copied and pasted here from an excellent website about the future of our planet, and the survival of our species.

I cannot help but make two posts and put this in here today, following the post earlier today about the enormous consequences we are facing as a result of the BP oil spill.

The future is gloomy from the prospect of the present problem in the Gulf of Mexico, yet I am an optimist and I know the solution is possible, because I grew up on an organic farm in south Louisiana.

I already own two Tennesse Walker riding horses, and two riding/pulling mules.

Also, I am an inventor and a manufacturer in wood and metals.

We need to get back to nature and live like the people who lived on this continent, before the white people "discovered" it.

If you would like to read the article in it's entirity,
here is a link to the source of the writing below the dotted line:


I share the writers vision, and hope someday,
I may be such an eloquent writer as he.

The writer of the work below is: R. Daniel Allen Ph. D. Dr. Allen teaches at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey.


So where are we? We have admitted to some serious fundamental problems with our Industrial Civilization, we have recognized our earthly material and energetic limits, and we have renounced the quest for perpetual material growth as both dangerous and ludicrous. If your head is spinning, I understand. Change is never easy, and this one’s a doozy.

But now what? I suppose if we are proposing to do away with some of the major ideological foundations of Industrial Civilization, we should also outline an alternate path. I think we can do this.

So here are our main questions: If material growth beyond a certain level is neither desirable nor possible, what is the level we should aim for? Is that level even possible? How do we get there? And how do we stay there without tragically replaying our recent past on a smaller scale? We need to begin this conversation now. In truth, we needed to begin this conversation forty years ago.

This conversation should perhaps start with the principles of Ecology. This branch of the natural sciences investigates the web of relationships between organisms and the material world. The idea of material and energetic limits is pervasive in this discipline, which is why it may suit our newly-limit-conscious-selves just fine as a starting point.

The Laws of Thermodynamics, with their inviolable limits and penalties associated with matter and energy changes will also be appropriate as a starting point. The application of both Ecology and the Laws of Thermodynamics to human affairs has already been investigated in the fields of Steady-State Economics and Permaculture. I suggest we review that literature for some guidance.

We will perhaps need also to look to the world’s religions and moral thinkers to afford us some guidance along the treacherous road down from our civilization’s peak. Authors Wendell Berry, Aldo Leopold, and E.F. Schumacher come to mind, among others. Our physical needs during this contraction will have to be balanced by moral guidelines if we are to avoid the unspeakable atrocities that have characterized declines of past civilizations.

In short, we will need to find a path that sustainably nourishes both our bodies and our spirits in the trying times ahead.

Some First Steps
So how do we start down this necessary path? First, let’s start with a few things we cannot do -- some doors that are now closed to us due to our decades of profligate resource destruction.

Firstly, anything requiring significant amounts of energy is out of the question. The era of cheap, abundant fossil energy is behind us -- forever. Despite repeated warnings from our best scientists, we failed to make the transition to renewables in time. Now it’s too late. Every year from now on will afford us less and less energy -- possibly significantly less in the coming years.

Secondly, anything requiring significant amounts of money in the form of credit is out of the question. In a future of a continually-declining resource base, there is simply no such thing as economic growth, and thus no credit. Basically, we play with what material resources we have at this point -- which is a lot less than we used to.

But enough with the negatives -- let’s start with some concrete positive steps that we can accomplish. I can think of three that deserve our immediate attention:

1. I see no more crucial place to start than with food and our country’s food-security. We will change both the way we grow food and the food we eat. We will create more small local farms, more small farmers, more ecologically-sane fertilization methods, more seed saving and exchanging, more farmers markets and CSAs. We will grow food on our city’s rooftops, windowsills, and front stoops. We will grow food in our suburban lawns, parking lots, and golf courses. We will become self-sufficient in food-production with a smarter kind of agriculture that does not waste soil, pollute water, and poison our children. This, my fellow Americans, is true “homeland security.”

2. Next up is transportation. We will need to move ourselves and our products around largely without the aid of fossil fuels, as these will become only more expensive and unavailable in the years ahead. Is transportation with minimal fossil fuels even possible? Of course it is! We did it for centuries before the Industrial Age, and we need only to reclaim those technologies. Bicycles with trailers, hand-carts, and electric scooters will be made available as much as possible. Mules, oxen, and draft horses will be bred as rapidly as possible for distribution to our farms, towns, and cities. These will not allow us the mobility of former years, but that is the price we pay for thoughtlessly squandering our fossil fuels.

3. If we are to be a less-mobile, more-localized people, we will need to start producing most of the necessities of everyday life in the places where we live. Globalized trade was a brief artifact of the now-ended age of cheap fossil energy. We will need to re-learn lost manufacturing skills and regain the proud craftsmanship of our forebearers. This great re-skilling of America will be a high priority in the coming years. The list of self-manufactured goods we’ll need is long. It includes tools, clothes, blankets, furniture, housing materials, bikes, wood-burning stoves, solar cookers, and rainwater collection systems -- among many other items. Trade of these goods will again take place locally -- within and between our regions, rather than across oceans and hemispheres.

Now I know what many of you are thinking: Must we really throw out our 20th century technological gains? Is the reclaiming of 19th century technology really necessary? Aren’t we giving up? I respond by saying this: What choice do we have? Where is the fossil energy to run our computers, cars, and tractors? I’ll tell you -- it’s gone; sqandered by seven generations of tragic excess. Gone forever.

Can We Do This?
So can we do this? Can we make this monumental transition towards some sort of lower-energy, lower consumption, humane living arrangement that can persist within the limits now pressing down upon us from all sides? Can we humans carve out our necessarily-limited niche on this planet without overstepping our boundaries? Can we do it without the violent convulsions to which humans are historically prone?

I, of course, am confident that we can, and I am willing to make great personal sacrifices to achieve this success. I hope many of you share my confidence and my resolve.

Make no mistake – our journey forward will not be easy. Change of this magnitude will be a monumental task with no guarantee of success. There will be pain and suffering -- our past excesses have guaranteed this. Our only hope is to minimize this suffering as much as possible while resolutely pursuing some sort of livable future for our children.

So it’s time to get down to work. May we manage the decline phase of our civilization with every bit of intelligence, kindness, and dignity our species can summon.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go outside and dig a garden.

A Reality Check

While I certainly am not one to jump onto the bandwagon of doom, we have to be realistic. This Gulf of Mexico oil spill is temporarily being manged as best we can with all we have got to work with presently, but it looks like this thing could get a lot worse real soon.

We(the Cajuns) invented offshore drilling technology, and although we benefitted financially in the short term, the loss and expence of our environment to produce oil and natural gas has not been realized by most people here, who were not active commercial or recreational fisherman and hunters. Although we have the technology to drill in our fragile wetlands ecology with well blowout protection and have done it relatively safe untill we started this deep water stuff recently, the present scenario, causes one to realize that we should have never let this go this far. I don't want to get into a finger pointing as to who is to blame for the current scenario, but I will say this: We on the recieving end of the damage being done, will never be able to share with our visiting guests(tourists) or pass on to our children, the life we knew growing up in south Louisiana in the last half of the twentieth century, unless we can stop this spill and the odds are not in our favor.

If you are not from here, and have ever wanted to visit south Louisiana and indulge in the shrimp, crab, oyster, and crawfish we are famous for, do it now. Because I have every reason to believe that life as we have known it, will never be the same.

The truth about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is certainly not going to come from BP, and we know our government is lying like a rug too.

Because the reality about how bad this thing is going to get, will not be known for some time, we need to prepare for the worst now. I have feared it will get worse before it gets better and frankly, I am an optimist, but also a realist!

I will hope for the best, and I will not ignore the truth about how messed up this thing is and how much worse it can get.

I have witnessed a slow destruction of the coastal wetlands ecology all of my life.

I had great plans to change the course of history about the destruction and restoration of our coastal wetlands through my television programs by educating the public through an entertainment medium.

Those plans now seem futile in the face of what is happening in the Gulf Of Mexico.

I am not giving up, but likewise, I shall not bury my head in the oil soaked sand and pretend this oil spill and the resultant cultural and social collapse that follows such a disaster, is not happening.

Despite a great deal of concern and effort to protect, preserve and restore coastal Louisiana, we need to accept now that what we are about to witness is a very rapid destruction of our coastal ecology and a loss of our unique culture and lifestyle with it, and there is not much we can do about it unless we have the great luck of actually capping this well. And based upon the best engineering guesses, we have a very slim chance of pulling that off.

What many people fail to understand is our culture and lifestyle here in south Louisiana is based on and supported by the fragile wetlands environment presently being destroyed right before our eyes.

We presently have every reason to believe that this oils spill cannot be stopped and it will destroy the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico as well as the coastal wetlands from Mexico to Florida, and affect the quality of life here and many thousands of miles away. Not only human, but wildlife, will never be the same.

I have a link below which is the best engineering explaination of what is going on and what will most likely happen very soon.

It ain't pretty folks.

You can read the entire report by clicking on the link below or skip that and just read a summation I have copied and pasted below the dotted line.



All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit...after that, it goes into the realm of "the worst things you can think of" The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out...as I said...all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more. There isn't any "cap dome" or any other suck fixer device on earth that exists or could be built that will stop it from gushing out and doing more and more damage to the gulf. While at the same time also doing more damage to the well, making the chance of halting it with a kill from the bottom up less and less likely to work, which as it stands now?....is the only real chance we have left to stop it all.

It's a race now...a race to drill the relief wells and take our last chance at killing this monster before the whole weakened, wore out, blown out, leaking and failing system gives up it's last gasp in a horrific crescendo.

We are not even 2 months into it, barely half way by even optimistic estimates. The damage done by the leaked oil now is virtually immeasurable already and it will not get better, it can only get worse. No matter how much they can collect, there will still be thousands and thousands of gallons leaking out every minute, every hour of every day. We have 2 months left before the relief wells are even near in position and set up to take a kill shot and that is being optimistic as I said.

Over the next 2 months the mechanical situation also cannot improve, it can only get worse, getting better is an impossibility. While they may make some gains on collecting the leaked oil, the structural situation cannot heal itself. It will continue to erode and flow out more oil and eventually the inevitable collapse which cannot be stopped will happen. It is only a simple matter of who can "get there first"...us or the well.

We can only hope the race against that eventuality is one we can win, but my assessment I am sad to say is that we will not.

The system will collapse or fail substantially before we reach the finish line ahead of the well and the worst is yet to come.

Sorry to bring you that news, I know it is grim, but that is the way I see it....I sincerely hope I am wrong.

We need to prepare for the possibility of this blow out sending more oil into the gulf per week then what we already have now, because that is what a collapse of the system will cause. All the collection efforts that have captured oil will be erased in short order. The magnitude of this disaster will increase exponentially by the time we can do anything to halt it and our odds of actually even being able to halt it will go down.

The magnitude and impact of this disaster will eclipse anything we have known in our life times if the worst or even near worst happens...

We are seeing the puny forces of man vs the awesome forces of nature.
We are going to need some luck and a lot of effort to win...
and if nature decides we ought to lose, we will....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Personal Responsibility

My friend Bill Fontenot has a blog at http://thenaturedude.blogspot.com

I have copied and pasted below his post about BP versus personal responsibility.

I have been saying it happened because we let them.

Basicly Bill is saying we demanded of them: Oil!

And here is his take on Personal Responsibility:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Oiled Again

so here we stand, splattered in gooey oil -- and here also, the innocent ones lay; those plants and animals who lack the cleverness and resources to make it out of harm's way. sick, angry, and frustrated beyond measure, we point our fingers in outrage at the oil corporation responsible for the spill.....

just playing devil's advocate for a bit here. are we certain that our fingers of blame are pointed in the right direction?

should we suppose that any bp and transocean employee desired to work in an unsafe environment? any of us who've worked out there know that that cannot be true.

if i've got my information correct, seven years ago bp and transocean co-presented a paper at a society for petroleum engineers conference in which they expressed concern that the failure rate of sub-sea blowout preventers in deepwater drilling operations was far too common of an occurence. bottom line: pressure to drill drill drill prevented them from allowing enough down time necessary to properly investigate and research the causes of these blowout preventer failures. instead, the rig hands were directed to simply replace the failed unit with a fresh one.

put yourself on that tansocean rig for a minute. and again i ask, should we suppose that anyone on the operations end of these companies desired to work in an unsafe environment?

so who gives the orders to drill drill drill? the company executives, who are in turn directed to do so by the corporate board of that company. Some refer to this little arrangement as corporate greed: the drive for short-term gain, fired not so much by any individual, but instead by a group of individuals whose sole goal is to maximize profits for....shareholders.

aha. now it gets personal. shareholders. folks like, uh, you and me.

by now, are any of you hollering, "not me! no sir! I don't own no shares in no stinkin' corporations? well, take a seat and hear me out.

i'm gonna use myself and my household for an example here. like most u.s. families, lydia & i own two vehicles (a four cylinder and a 6 cylinder). we fill them up once a week. that's about 32 gallons of gasoline per week, or about 1,280 gallons per year. throw in a few more gallons of motor oil, transmission/brake fluid, etc. Now then, i'm sure some of you out there already know how many annual barrels of crude oil it takes to provide us with those products. and what about the 15,000 kilowatt hours of grid-supplied electricity that lydia and i use each year? in a 1,200 square-foot house? how much fossil fuel does that equate to?

inside and outside our home, at least half of everything we own is petroleum-derived and/or petroleum fueled. our weedeater, riding mower, and push mower alone probably suck down a barrel of gasoline (55 gallons) each year.

uh...seems like lydia and i have a bit of a petroleum habit, eh?

here's another bottom line: it is our outrageous, unmitigated, way-over-the-top appetite -- DEMAND -- for petroleum products which drives the corporate boards to holler 'drill drill drill -- at any cost, damn it!'

and gosh, i've even heard some national-level polititians taking up the same bannner. "DRILL DRILL DRILL!" they jubilantly declare.

we wonder what's wrong with our government. it's broken and no one has any idea how to fix it.


are you tellin' me that you cannot see any way to fix a government whose lawmakers base a substantial portion of their decision-making on bribery? legal bribery? does anyone suppose that the billions of dollars being poured into our, uh, governmental leaders' pockets (they would refer to them as "campaign chests") by the lobby industry would have no effect upon their judgement and decision-making whatsoever? and -- for cryin' out loud -- who allows this blatant, unjust, liason between business and government?

we do.

we demand petroleum products at a level that stupiefies the rest of the world. we support an overwhelmingly corporate climate -- personally, collectively, media-wise, etc etc -- which has succeeded in sinking its teeth into our very government. in some nations, it's the military that controls the government. we privately snicker at that, thinking, "how crude." meanwhile, we in the u.s. allow the corporations of business and industry to toss our legislators into the bed, and holler "spread 'em, baby!" as a matter of routine, even convenience. you know? i mean, what a convenient way to stay in office. forget the nickles & dimes of your constituents at home. hell no, gimme the Big Money to float my campain armada.

my beef is with neither corporations nor our democratic form of government. my beef is with the incidiously evil processes by which they are run.

me & lydia gotta change. we've got to do better. i don't mean, change the world or anything. we've got to change our own ways. i'm going to look into solar power this year. we've already been talking about ressurecting our vegetable garden. we've got to stop or at least substantially mitigate the madness of "modern life," much of which we've been duped into perceiving as more convenient, more time-saving, more civilized, more sophisticated.

we are not kings and queens. we don't possess an innate right to demand a superfluous life style. we are humans, living on this planet of riches, in the company of gorgeous, inspiring, and life-giving, fellow-creatures. we don't spout out the poetry of the self-entitled. we spout out thanksgiving for these riches, and a pledge to value them, consider their best interests, and to avoid deprioritizing their needs and safety in the blinding glint of short-term personal gain.

thank-you God for this brand new day; and for another chance at doing it right.


And thank you Bill, for looking a little deeper into the oil spill issue than most of us protestors would prefer to go. You are my inspiration and hero, even if you don't know there is a shift key on the keyboard!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Don't Mess With My Wild Louisiana!

A Louisiana Brown Pelican is on its nest as oil washes ashore
on a barrier island in Barataria Bay, near Grand Isle.

Looks like a lot of people, and wildlife, who like us, were making plans to be on the beach this summer, need to consider plan B.

We haven't been to Grand Isle since the summer before Katrina, and with the new camp in venice I thought we might have an opportunity to visit both places this summer.

But BP has ruined that one for us.

When you get lemons you make lemonade!

Looks like the oil is reaching Pensacola Beach, Florida today


The Brown Pelican rookery at Bess Island is going to hell, and Anderson Cooper will be on CNN tonite with a report of oil covered birds on Grand Isle.

So who knows how long this will go on.

In the meantime we have a great camp in Venice Louisiana, with overnight accomodations and home-cooked meals available for long-term lease by clean-up crews or news media.

Available because all the fishing charters for this summer have been cancelled, along with accomodations, and the duck hunting season aint looking good either, and we are not bringing our family down to Venice for fishing or Grand Isle either because of the oil spill.

After Hurricane Katrina some of the tour companies in New Orleans began doing disaster tours, looks like Venice may be another disaster tour destination, if that is your cup of tea!

If you need accomodations in Venice, or a licensed boat captain to show you the disaster, give us a call.

Venice Charters and Lodging, LLC

504 908 6635

Queen Bess Island Pelican Rookery Affected by Oil

HOUMA, La. -- Today, driven by strong winds and weather, oil impacted the Queen Bess Island Pelican Rookery which resulted in 60 birds, including 41 pelicans being coated with oil. These birds are being rescued and transported to the Fort Jackson Rehabilitation Center by well-trained and knowledgeable wildlife responders, veterinarians, biologists and wildlife rehabilitators. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and a team of other wildlife responders will assess the situation as it evolves and will continue to work around the clock to restore the rookery and its natural habitat.

Here is a link to the BP Horizon Response


Key contact numbers

•Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866) 448-5816
•Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511
•Submit your vessel for the Vessel of Opportunity Program: (281) 366-5511
•Submit a claim for damages: (800) 440-0858
•Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401
•Medical support hotline: (888) 623-0287

Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center

Phone: (985) 902-5231 or (985) 902-5240

For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.