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The oil spill in the Gulf was the topic of an item posted yesterday, which cited the remarks of a man who grew up in Nigeria and now lives in the United States. I received further interesting comments from him today:
[There was an] oil spill in the Niger Delta in the years after high school when I worked with the Shell-BP Petroleum Development Co. Nigeria Ltd. So I was quite aware of the implications of the accident when it happened in the Gulf as I watched folks’ reaction escalate from day to day. It was interesting for me to observe how totally violated people here feel to a practice that is routine in the Niger Delta. There, the people’s environment have been ruined for generations. Folks cannot farm their lands or fish their waters and they breathe polluted air all their lives. When they complained they were killed or threatened by the government. Only the current government is trying to make good with the Delta communities, too little too late, after violent resistance.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated acres of forest Henry David Thoreau burned down in 1844 trying to cook fish he had caught for dinner:
The bombardier beetle, which can fire liquid at its enemies from its rear end at up to 300 squirts per second, was being scrutinized in the hope of building a better airplane engine.
London Fire Brigade investigators blamed a building fire in South London on a bird that carried a lit cigarette to its rooftop nest. “Smokers,” said neighborhood baker Richard Scroggs. “What can you say?”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”