Comments on: Oil from all angles What makes a great picture? Thu, 18 Aug 2016 11:13:37 +0000 hourly 1 By: cowboyup Sun, 06 Jun 2010 07:46:05 +0000 I’ve read the accounts and I commend all of you for the hard work, the risks to your health, and for the honesty of your reporting and photo journalism.

But your job is only just beginning. You must know this, right? This time stay. You must be our eyes, you must force your editors to let you remain, to document and keep us focused on how this must be the beginning of the end of deregulation and the raping of our planet, our workforce, and our children’s future.

What troubles me is that some of you will not protest your dispatch to the next assignment. You have control over this, as a group of journalists, if you leave—we won’t know the true magnitude of this evil. You must promise you will continue to return and demand full access to the ruins.

As a lone journalist, maybe you feel powerless, but as a group, you must also make the story about the accountability of the boardrooms of the nations largest news organizations. They own this disaster as much as BP.

When they’ve made you leave the previous disasters or forbid your return to document the previous devastation cycles of other disasters, they became part of this story.

The “news cycle” is artificial. That these assignments end too quickly is the biggest untold story of the gulf. For many of you the assignment might already be ending. This is not acceptable. And this is the issue that must really be our learning opportunity. Because nothing, absolutely nothing about the gulf crisis is new. This is actually a very stale news story.

The very same crowd who brought us the Silver Valley, Libby, the Exxon Valdez, Hanford, Butte and the contamination spreading throughout the Intermountain West courtesy of energy and mineral extraction industry is the same executive teams and management philosophies dominating the board room of BP.

The stagnation of the press is part of this story.

When the press leaves, often the actual story, the devastation, is only really beginning to gets legs.

The press left Libby Mt long before all the residents that will certainly die from the atrocities of the Grace Corporation even became ill. The mining company, with executives knowing all along the toxic nature of their product, actually supplied their contaminated fill material to the school district for playgrounds and baseball fields.

But your assignment ended. You won’t be around for the sorrow that lies ahead of all the children of the miners who just because they played on those fields while their parents worked in the mines, will also die.

The press won’t be around for the endless funerals and the slow agonizing deaths that extend into the future for decades.

Your assignment ended in Butte, MT. But the tragedy was only getting started. This amazing place, is the beginning of the story of our lives in the Northwest, for this is the headwater for the Black River, which becomes the Clark Fork, which becomes the Pend Oreille, which becomes the Columbia.

Our dear Columbia River is the canary warning of what would befall the Mississippi Delta. The Columbia Watershed in parts, is so endangered and laced with toxins, bearing multiple front page news stories from previous decades, that the true contaminaiton and ruin is beyond our comprehension. In some cases, known science is not advanced enough to mitigate the contamination.

At the headwaters to the Columbia, when Swans land in Butte, MT, in the same waters that serve as the cemetaries for the tailings for the mining industry, they die.

Another tributary of the Columbia, the Spokane is so laced with heavy metals, that signs warn anglers, do not consumer the fish caught here. These signs are the tombstones of the devastation that befell Idaho’s Silver Valley, another EPA superfund clean up site, generatons ago.

And then there is Hanford, the nations biggest scientific unknown. And the radioactive toxins there will impact the nation just as the oil washing up on the beaches of the gulf visibly alarm us. A former engineer for CHM2 Hill told me a decade ago, that radioactive contamination had already reached the Columbia River.

But you’d aleady left. Reassigned.

Just so your still paying attention, the Columbia is a river systems= that provides irrigation water for much of the nation’s crops. Think Cherries, apples, peaches, plums, beans, legumes, and potato’s. Think french fries and hashbrowns and tator tot’s. Think Onions and alfalfa consumed by cattle. The contamination goes from the river to the irrigated hay crops to the cattle that saunter in for milking, and the cylce is such, that water moves through water will eventually wind up in the milk produced by dairies and the hamburger of the Big Macs born from meat packing plants.

But you left these disasters. And like in the gulf, much of the area impacted, is also now off limits.

Which is the biggest story of all: Water is our planets circulatory system, our blood. And yet, we allow and tolerate the corporations and governmental agencies the right to deny access to what will eventually circulate throughout the planet. Endlessly.

This time, you can not leave.

We beg you, stay. Document the story, even when our attention drifts, just as some of you kept coming back to the devastation of Katrina, you must remind us of the poisoning of our planets blood.

As they say in AA, keep coming back—it works. And that if its worth doing, its worth overdoing. And what you document, is among the most worthwhile endeavers of a lifetime.

God Bless you all.

By: LookAtAllAngles Sat, 05 Jun 2010 01:22:40 +0000 1st of all, excellent photos. They are awesome! In regards to your article, this spill is not due to the fact of our energy reliance on oil. The facts on why this spill has happened has yet to be released. Petroleum cannot be blamed like people cannot blame a gun for a gunshot wound. Petroleum has given you the freedom to get your photos with gasoline or diesel for boats, protective equipment (gloves, suits), and has provided a plastic bag to take water samples on your last photo. Reality is we rely on petroleum not only for energy but for countless other things too.