This week I took a few days off work to commune with our good friends in that dripping hot swampland known as New Orleans. The four of us came together to celebrate the birth of their beautiful baby girl Maya, whom we very much enjoyed meeting. But even among new parents, the topic of the week was as much BP as it was Baby.

As Creeps the Oil, So Creeps the Disdain

As the oil began sloshing ashore in nearby parishes, New Orleans residents began gathering around large HD flat screens for news-watching parties. The more indignant the coverage, the better. On CNN, Anderson Cooper and James Carville barked away for hours demanding solutions and action. Carville harped on potential criminal charges while Cooper issued on-air pleas to BP to please appear on his show. But as all this wore on, the phrase “Louisiana’s disaster” would pop up again and again –Louisiana’s problem, not the nation’s, or the world’s. I guess the temptation to riff on Katrina, even though the two stories bear little resemblance, is just too seductive. Meanwhile, BP officials continue to offer hand waving comments such as these:

“We’re doing things that are very difficult to do,” he said. “Many of the things we have done have never been done before.”

Things that have never been done before — yet, they punched a hole in the surface of the earth, a mile underwater, over a seemingly infinite reservoir of oil designed to explode upwards with a pressure of 60,000 psi. The crushing weight of the water alone at the site of the hole is 2100+ psi. Put it together and you have a nearly impossible repair situation. Shouldn’t they have designed a real fail-safe before screwing around with the earth’s delicate and mind-blowingly powerful ecology? Where’s the relief well?

We have a massive problem that is getting worse and worse. This needs to be the sole issue discussed in Washington, on the news, and around the water coolers of the internet. Hopefully the arrogance of the East and West coasts (both former homes of mine) will wake up to the problems of the third coast. If the Gulf fails, the US will fail. It’s that simple.

But beyond that, it was a nice trip?

FAIL: Trolley Hits Truck, NOLA May 2010