There’s a picture in the ACE classroom presentation that I like showing Texas students that I’ve titled, “This is where it hits home.” It’s a picture of the old Astrodome here in Houston housing thousands upon thousands of NOLA climate refugees from Hurricane Katrina.
As I looked at the news today and saw that the recent oil spill in the gulf is spreading to Texas shores, all I can say and think, is: “this is where it hits home.”
People close to me have been affected in different ways by this disaster already. One of my closest friends has family who works on offshore rigs; the idea of her family coming into harms way while out on a rig is terrifying to me. While it can lure many people in, the reality of working on a rig is quite lonely, depressing, and in this instance, dangerous.
I have to wonder, if it were a “wind spill” or “solar spill,” would so many lives be at risk?
In the true Texan neighborly spirit, a lot of my family and friends are worried about the state of Louisiana too. Their state and coasts have suffered so much already, and the recovery efforts will put an added strain on their local economy, as well as their fishing sources, water quality, and coastal ecosystems like their valuable mangrove forests. While this disaster will have more marine-life refugees, the spirit of empathy remains the same as it did with Katrina.
Behind it all is the question, what if this had happened to us?
What about you? What if this happened near your home, your city, affected your family? This program shows how far the oil spill would have spread if it happened in your town. Seeing the sheer size of the spill might bring it home for you too, wherever you may live.
Stay tuned for another blog post on what you can do about the oil disaster... it may be as easy as going to get your hair cut!