Growing up near the Chesapeake Bay, I was bombarded with guest speakers since elementary school about protecting the environment. I knew what an ecosystem was by fifth grade, and in seventh grade our class went on a class trip to Smith Island and Port Isabel in the Chesapeake Bay for more intensive education about how humans are connected to ecosystems. Water and ecosystems are important to public health all over the globe, as water touches all of our lives. And when this water is contaminated by oil, many global health issues are caused, but these problems to health may be worth the profits gained from oil.
This is especially obvious within the context of the lower Mississippi Delta, where for many Louisianans; oilrigs provide them with jobs. Humans are dependent on oil as one of Earth’s limited resources, and it is central to our way of life: transportation, heating fuel, electric generation, common materials, and even plays a role in making our food (Catherine Gautier). The economic profits of oil are many; new technologies and innovations with oil as a key contributor are making for a prosperous future.
Each time we use oil, even if we recycle, there will be a part lost for good. As such, hoping that the free market has the ability to allocate a nonrenewable resource over time efficiently (Stephen F. Williams) does not solve our oil problems now or in the future. A lack of oil, or energy, in a region commonly leads to poverty and fear (Gautier). This dependency on petroleum, or crude oil, could be damaging if the Earth runs out of this resource.
Besides the accidental spillage affecting severe damage to the environment and then causing harm to humans, there are direct impacts on human health from oil. Problems such as crude oil spills or leaks can have a devastating effect on ecosystems, for instance the still leaking deep-water horizon oil spill, also known as the BP oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico. Immediately, this oil spill affected multiple livelihoods in the Mississippi Delta. According a study of the Mississippi River Delta, the BP oil disaster, hurricanes and wetlands loss threaten a net value of $330 billion to 1.3 trillion dollars in natural system goods and services (Paul Harrison). In Louisiana, the oil spill affects two of the main sources of income: the tourist industry and fishing. Restaurants are the largest private-sector employers, and many in Louisiana need fresh fish to operate.
Depletion of species of seafood that provide food, revenue, entire lifestyles crippled certain sectors of the economy. “I'm 35. I ain't never drove a nail in my life. This is what I know, right here,” said Kenny LeFebvre, who was involved in blue crab fishing before the oil spill, “We starved all winter, and we was just getting to where we was making money and getting back on our feet.” Louisiana's commercial fishing industry catches about 25 percent of all seafood landed in America; Louisiana is also the third largest producer...