Archive | Environment

Our Complicity

Story by Dahr Jamail
Photography by Erika Blumenfeld

We rather be ruined than changed.
We rather die in our dread,
than climb the cross of the moment,
and let our illusions
die.

-W.H. Auden, excerpted from “The Age of Anxiety”

Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

Not long ago we strolled along a beautiful white-sand beach in Orange Beach, Alabama, taking photos of freshly washed ashore black and brown tar balls. We watched little boys playing in the shallow surf, trying to catch minnows, as red oil boom bobbed in the waves just offshore behind them. This is the world we have all created.

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What Happens Next?

Story by Dahr Jamail
Photography by Erika Blumenfeld

Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

Recently we met with Captain Louis Skrmetta who runs Ship Island Excursions out of Gulfport, Mississippi. His grandfather came to the US from Croatia in 1904, and began working as an oyster fisherman, now an endangered endeavor. From that background arose the family business of ferrying people out to West Ship Island, which is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, about an hours boat ride south of Gulfport.

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Hell Has Come to South Louisiana

Story by Dahr Jamail
Photography by Erika Blumenfeld

Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

Photo by Erika Blumenfeld © 2010

Clint Guidry is a shrimper from Lafitte, Louisiana. As we sit together, he shows me a picture of his house with 18 inches of water in it as a result of Hurricane Ike in 2008.

In his deep voice, he looks me in the eye and says, “My fear is repeating this situation, but with this water with oil on top of it.”

Guidry represents all the shrimpers in Louisiana, given that he is the Shrimp Harvester Representative on the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force that was created by the state’s governor.

Prior to this fishing season, he, like the rest of Louisiana’s fishermen, was excited for good season, with the price of shrimp per pound finally weighing more in their favor.

“We were primed for a great season,” Guidry says, “And it all got taken away.”

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