The fact that the Gulf is likely to be a dead zone for years to come makes me feel physically ill. I feel guilt and sorrow for the millions of ocean- and marsh-dwelling creatures who can't be protected from the pollution of their home. I feel regret and worry for the thousands of people whose livelihoods are ruined for who knows how long. I feel that the people of the Gulf Coast region have suffered enough already and this is really unfair. I feel selfish regret that this is one more place I haven't yet been that is now trashed.
I wonder if BP, faced with a ruinously high judgment for cleanup, will simply declare bankruptcy and disappear, leaving American citizens holding the bag once again. I know this will be litigated until we're all dead, and I wonder how President Obama intends to make BP "pay for every cent of the cleanup." I think about how much can't be fixed with money. I wonder if the allegations of shortcuts and negligence will ever be proved and if BP and its partners can be convicted and sent to jail for aggravated assault on the world. I want more than an apology from BP and its shareholders; I'd like to see someone commit hara-kiri on TV.
The things I can think of to do in response seem so pathetic: Venting my grief and anger in a message to my elected representatives will get me form letters in return. They'll posture and demagogue about this in predictable ways.
I want to drive my car even less, clamp down on our household energy use even more, and try really hard to use much less disposable plastic (because it all seems to ultimately end up in the ocean and it's made from virgin petroleum, for fuck's sake). I'll be making a donation to the International Bird Rescue Resource Center. I wish I could go to Louisiana and spend two weeks scrubbing rocks. It doesn't seem like much.