The situation in the Gulf remains incomprehensible to me – new and constantly rising estimates for the sheer volume of crude, the comparable flow of photographs depicting the assaulted ecosystem, the presidential addresses demanding 20 billion dollars from the villainous multinational corporation responsible . . . none of it contextualizes the travesty in a way that I can grasp. It’s too big. Almost too big to be tragic in a real way. Undeniably tragic, of course, but not in a gut-twisting, immediate way. At least not for a New York resident with no active link to the Gulf.
But this story drove it home. While the death of this sperm whale may not have been a direct consequence of the spill, the possibility that something so majestic and powerful fell to this negligence hurts. Sperm whales aren’t surface skimmers like their baleen-sporting cousins, they dive along the continental shelf hunting for food. Meaning they’re more likely to stumble into the black plumes of toxic crude oil. Read the rest of this entry »