Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oil, oil everywhere

On the May 5th show (click here for podcast), we talked of the natural disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico - the massive oil spill created when a BP offshore oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded on April 20th. To learn about the sequence of events that have led to this national catastrophe, we heard a report from NPR that outlined how it all went down. What is surprising is how long it has taken BP to stem the flow of oil spewing forth from the well on the bottom of the ocean. At time of this post, the flow was still going - more than 2 weeks after the explosion!

Also at the time of this post, the oil slick had reached the Louisiana Barrier Islands. Animals are beginning to show up not only covered in oil, but also with the toxic substance in their digestive tracts. Pictured above left is a Northern Gannet coated in oil. This is a seabird that normally appears white (pictured above right). The oil disrupts the waterproofing provided by the bird's feathers; and once the bird preens, it will ingest the oil. For more information on how coastal ecosystems will be affected by this disaster, visit this link from Mother Nature Network or watch this video from the Rachel Maddow Show.

If you would like to volunteer with the clean-up of this oil spill, you can register here at the Audubon Action Center. They will put you in touch with organizations who can use your help.

As for the news in nature... 
For the sound quiz, we heard from some of the birds that will likely be affected by the oil spill: Northern Gannet, Royal Tern, Great Egret, Brown Pelican (pictured right), and Piping Plover.

I pulled much of the music for this show off of a great playlist put together for the Y! Music Playlist Blog. All the songs are about oil. Some artists featured include: Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jelly Roll Morton, Recycleman and the Dumpster Divers, King Eider, John Fahey, Iron and Wine, The Shins, and more!

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