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Friday, April 1, 2011
April Fool's? We wish ...

It's April Fool's Day, so you can be certain that clever bloggers all over the globe are going to be posting little white lies today. I wouldn't put it past some notable pro surfers to Tweet silly little stories about themselves either.

Gulf Coasters are wondering if we've learned nothing from last summer's dissaster.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that any East Coasters who thought that spring had arrived back in the middle of March really got bamboozled. Coastal Maine got six inches of snow last night and New York won't be hitting 50 all week. With the wind chill this morning, the Outer Banks still felt pretty wintery as well.

So here are three stories that we wish were April Fool's Jokes, but unfortunately are not. Thanks to the Surfrider Foundation's weekly Soup email for bringing some of these to our attention.

1) Mo Oil in the Gulf

Yep. It appears that the horrid BP spill a year ago wasn't the last murk to terrorize the Gulf of Mexico. Just as the community of Grand Isle, Louisiana was all ready to welcome beachgoers back, a familiar slick washed up, closing beaches and killing animals. If you are a surfer in Louisiana, I would think your life was tough enough without this.

It seems that an abandoned well owned by Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners had sprung a leak some 30 miles offshore. The company took responsibility for the leak, but seemed to have miscalculated the amount of oil. Local officials are scrambling to clean up this mess, as a debate rages in the region about whether or not the post-Deepwater Horizon catastrophe regulations have changed anything at all.

2) No dollars for sense

Governments are broke. Time to cut budgets. A new budget bill passed by the US House of Representatives is about to appear before the Senate that would slash non-security discretionary funding by a 14.3 percent average. Included would be a $2 billion cut in the combined EPA Clean Water and State Drinking Water Revolving funds.

It would just be little things really -- sewerage/wastewater treatment and watershed management. We don't really need those programs, do we? Does anyone make Hep-B repellent surf wax?

3) Radio Radiation

At least the US isn't the only country where industry lies about its potentially deadly shortcomings. The Tokyo Electric Power Company is telling the world there's no reason to be alarmed, as the tsunami-crushed nuclear plant northeast of Toyko leaks radiation into the air and Pacific Ocean.

Japanese surfers used to ride the point in front of the Fukushima power plant before the tsunami. You have to imagine they're avoiding it these days.

But according to this article at Discovery News, ocean water north of the plant was found to have 1,150 times the legal limit of iodine. Attempts to stem the leaks (anyone else feeling de ja vu right about now?) have been hampered by the fact that the basements adjacent to the reactors have been flooded with nuke-contaminated water.

Maybe the CEO's of that company should hold their breath, swim in there, plug it up, and then hope for the best -- like they're asking us to do.

This is the part where I'd love to say "April Fool's!" and dance around all smugly, but unfortunately, that's not the case. We are our own worst enemy.