OUTDOOR CORNER: A realistic view on the Gulf oil spill

Staff reports
Lyle Johnson

Well I guess it’s time to weigh in on the big problem with the crude oil out in the Gulf that has turned things a little topsy-turvy for a lot of Louisiana residents. It’s also had a very detrimental effect on other gulf states and will possibly affect the east coast as well.

First of all and most of all the biggest tragedy was that 11 people lost their lives. On the bright side, due to lots of training and divine intervention, 115 others survived. Unfortunately it’s sort of human nature but unless one was directly affected by the deaths, we’ve moved on to the effect on the environmental issues.

Certainly this is an event unlike any other we’ve ever experienced in our memory or recorded history. It’s overwhelming to my mind as I attempt to grasp just how big it is and what the people that are responsible for the occurrence as well as the aftermath of stopping the flow of oil and then cleaning it up.

At best it’s gonna be bad; at worst I hate to even think about it. The wildlife will certainly suffer; our delicate estuaries will be affected to some degree and certainly those whose livelihood depends on seafood in some way or another will change for a while at minimum.

It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when we’re in the midst of the dark but there are a couple of things that I’m pretty sure of.

People are resilient. We will get through this and one of the signs that it’s already beginning is the number of individuals that have responded before the calls for help even started up.

Regular, everyday folks have stepped up to the plate and want to know how to help. “Oh woe is me” is not in their personal philosophy and even those whose livelihood has come to a grinding halt have answered the call to do everything they can to stop the invasion of oil to our coastline.

Life has dealt humans a bad hand or two for all of recorded history and those that face the challenge head first come out of the tunnel better off as it’s been a character building experience at the least. Will there be some hard times and some suffering? You bet, but we’ll pull together, help one another and look back in a few years and marvel about how we made it through. We’ve done it before and we’ll probably get to do it again in some form or fashion.

Nature will make it through this as well. The water, the marsh, animals, birds, fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters and other marine life will suffer to some degree or other; you get the picture.

But contrary to the general train of thought, nature is way more resilient than humans. We’ll do our best to help nature through this traumatic event but if we’ll be realistic, the earth has been through much worse events at its own hand than humans have ever put it through.

God created this wonderful planet and it has the ability to take care of itself in ways we probably can’t get a real grip on. So whether one might believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, a few thousand years old or anywhere in between, the planet has weathered (pun intended) quite a few storms.

This is a quote from a George Carlin comedy bit that is one of the most accurate descriptions of how tough the earth actually is…  “Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages...”

If you need a really good laugh, go to and click on audio on the top-right of the page and select the date 4/22 and listen to the whole bit. It’s very funny but a very realistic view of the man/planet relationship. All the profanity has been bleeped out as not to be offensive.

One thing he left out that is unfortunately common here are hurricanes. It’s not fun but we’ve made it through too many of them to count. We have some tough times ahead of us in this situation but I have all the confidence we’ll survive it and nature will pull through as well.

I’d like to give a big shout out to the moms as we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend. They have a special place in the “Kids learning how to hunt & fish Hall of Fame”. They allow us to drag mud in the house, clean and cook our catch and appear to be proud of the game we’ve paraded before them.

A present is a great idea but your time is much more valuable. If it’s at all possible, spend a little of it with them as soon as you can; it’s worth more than gold. Remember to keep the slack out and set the hook hard. So until next time have fun in the outdoors, be safe and may God bless you.