Halliburton Cut Costs and Corners with Well Cement they Provided to BP

There is further evidence that corporate greed is at the root of the Gulf oil disaster.  In particular, the president’s oil spill Commission recently charged the infamous corporation Halliburton with cutting corners and costs on the cement it provided for BP’s Deepwater Horizon well.  This is the same company that has paid millions to former vice-president Dick Cheney – even during his time in office.  Halliburton’s corporate culture of corruption and cronyism can clearly be implicated in causing the worst environmental disaster that America ever experienced.  It is important that the Oil Spill Commission receive subpoena power to get to the bottom of who knew and did what and when.   This article collects the latest press coverage of this new information.  At the end is an early (May 1) article that also implicated Halliburton for it’s faulty cement.  Click below to learn more.

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Real Gulf Coast Recovery Requires Resilient People, Communities and Ecology

Now that the BP oil hole has finally stopped gushing, people and communities in the Gulf region will need ongoing assistance as they recover and rebuild.  Research shows that certain people tend to come through disasters such as this and Katrina in better shape than others.  The ability to withstand and even thrive under adversity is known as resilience.  This article starts with tips for building resilience within people and communities; followed by summaries of key articles about disaster from the journal Science.  Finally, there are quotes from philosophers, athletes, politicians and others about  resilience and how it can be achieved.
Click below to learn important lessons about resilience:

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BP’s Self-serving Report Shifts Blame and Shirks Responsibility

New information is coming to light about the causes and consequences of the oily gulf disaster.  Despite the positive ads full of promises, BP’s own report about the causes of the Gulf oil disaster tells a tale of impatience and incompetence.   The company is positioning itself for a legal defense of it being only partly to blame – shifting the responsibility to other companies and the U.S. government.  These other parties clearly did play a role.   But this really is a symptom of a larger social and institutional pattern that make disasters like this one more likely in the future.    To help understand and anticipate disasters that will occur in the future, this BLOG post also reviews a very important book – The Next Catastrophe” by distinguished sociology professor, Charles Perrow.
Click Below for more on BP report and book.

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Surveys Reveal the Broad Scope of Negative Socio-Economic Impacts from the BP Oil Spill

The impacts of the BP Oil Spill on individuals, businesses, and communities will take a long time to become fully realized.  Recent survey research helps to document the broad  scope and scale of these impacts.  Understanding what people are going through will be vital for targeting assistance efforts to mitigate the negative economic and social impacts.  This information should also be helpful as lawsuits are launched against BP and other companies.  The stories collected here point to the kinds of questions that need to be answered through careful social science research.
Click below to read results from a variety of surveys.

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Spike Lee’s Latest Katrina Epic Contains Great Insights into BP Oil Spill

This week marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which ravaged New Orleans and much of the same gulf coast that has been damaged by the BP oil gusher.    With all the media coverage, no show will have the long-term impact as Spike Lee’s HBO documentary: ‘If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise.’ I am glad to have HBO but realize many others do not.  I also want to focus this article on what the film covered about the BP Oil Disaster.  This article highlights key lessons from the film about with how corporate greed and governmental ineptitude led to the BP Oil disaster that continues to seriously threaten our communities and ecosystems.  This film will be important for urging us to action now; as well as a historical record for the future of bad luck and trouble in the Gulf. 
Click for the film’s lessons, cool pix and interviews.

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Feinberg’s Policies Won’t Make Many Gulf Residents and Businesses Whole Again!!

The process of compensating victims of the BP oil spill is about to be turned over to the Oil Spill Czar, Ken Feinberg.  He has extensive experience, but comes off as arrogant and threatening – particularly for scared gulf residents who have had their lives torn apart.  It is of great concern that he seems unlikely to show much (if any) sympathy for the psychological and mental health damages that people have experienced and will continue to experience for many years to come.  He has stated that such claims would not be considered legitimate.  He is also likely to be quite stingy when it comes to paying any claims for lost tourism and other indirect costs of the BP oil spill.  All in all it does not appear that this claims process will be able to make the people of the gulf region whole again – as they have been promised.  Potential claimants clearly need to get legal advice before accepting what Feinberg has to offer.
Click below to learn about the flawed process.

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Religion and Spirituality Play Essential Roles in Serving People and Restoring Gulf

As is the case with any disaster, many people in the Gulf region are turning to religion to find comfort, compassion and assistance. At the same time, religious groups of all persuasions are actively trying to embrace environmentalism as a social movement to build their congregations and preach the gospel.  Here I have collected some of the most interesting and inspiring stories about how religion plays an important role in addressing the social and spiritual crisis faced by people in the Gulf. This post summarizes key articles about how religious institutions are helping address the material and spiritual needs of their congregations.  The gulf presents challenges to churches’ budgets, while also driving a new type of spiritual ecology.
Click to connect to nature on a spiritual level.

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