Vince Herman: The Gulf Oil Spill

The Deep Water Horizons leak of what likely will be millions of gallons of oil from the oceans floor will effect our lives for generations. As I write; the television news is speaking to the owner of a seafood warehouse who is just about out of inventory, due to a rush of folks stocking up on locally harvested seafood. This may become a thing of the past.

For Gulf coast fisherman the ten day closure currently in effect, may be the beginning of closed fisheries for the rest of their lives. That is the immensity of what playing risky with energy exploration has brought to our southern border.
Haliburton published a paper describing the danger of curing cement heating the seabed and releasing gases making explosions a possibility. BP and their contractors on this project knew of this risk. Our government didn't require the safety valves used in European BP operations because here they were deemed too expensive by a regulatory agency a bit too cozy with those who profit from extracting our countries natural resources.

So here I am. Another musician spouting off some liberal diatribe my profession gives me no right to talk about. I guess if thats how you see it, I've been guilty of this since being a union rally musician in the 80's. I've shared my opinion on Mountain Top Removal, the abandonment of New Orleans before and after Katrina, development, immigration, brutal grooming, my local town board and many topics over the years. Yes i have talked about politics.

This ain't politics.

This is a different planet for my kids. This is the end of Atlantic Bluefin tuna, shrimp boats, oyster beds and the beginning of a much bleaker Gulf coast. This spill joins the gulfstream and the east coast joins this dance with an energy policy long on profit and short on protections. The oceans are one big circulatory system for this planet. The idea that this will have only a small local effect ignores the web of life we balance on. The oceans provide a lot of protein for the exploding population of our planet. This is nothing to take lightly folks.

They may begin burning the oil on the surface tomorrow. Research I've done says this will leave a toffee like goo behind that will sink and contaminate the seabed for years. Nobody knows what to do right now. The folks who decided to take the risk of this uncertain technology were not ready to fix their big mistake. This is as inexcusable as the the culture of profit that I hold responsible for the death of the miners at the Upper Big Branch mine. It may have happened because we don't demand our interests be protected by our elected officials and those appointed by them to insure these disasters don't happen. I for one may just engage a bit more in these issues.

Once again though, this aint politics. This is an undeniable change in the lives of many in our great country and possibly around the world. These are days we will speak of for generations. Don't follow the impulse to hide your head in the sand folks. Continue to love all the time we have here and celebrate the ride we have on this fair planet. Feel the love, then call your senator...

-Vince Herman


  1. I really appreciate musicians stepping up to talk about whats really important; the environment, global policy, local issues, etc.

    There is a time and a place, and the time is now. Vince, Thank you for shedding some light on this extremely serious situation.


  2. "The folks who decided to take the risk of this uncertain technology were not ready to fix their big mistake."

    -Hit the nail on the head

  3. I have cried and cried over this... I'm crying for the ocean I love... and I am crying hard for the creatures that are so amazing and magical living there... they don't understand... what have we done? Please please please... Congress needs to hear you now.... let me say it again... Call every representative you have... Capital switchboard is (202)224-3121... You don't know who your Congresspeople are... no problem... they do.

  4. Thank you, Janet.

    It has taken an emotional toll on a lot of us. There will be a huge ripple effect from this event...


  5. Well said Vince. This is about a HUGE human error- in perspective and logic. It reflects a lack of consciousness. Your "profession" gives you every right to comment on a collosal human-made disaster like this. Right or wrong will never really matter- it's an illusion. It's where we get to in the end, how we treat each other and this home that sustains us. What are our intentions, our priorities... We all have responsibility. Thanks for your voice, your will, and intention.

  6. "The folks who decided to take the risk of this uncertain technology were not ready to fix their big mistake." There it is. I just hope that people's eyes are opened a lot wider and remain that way...

  7. Right on, Vince!! This world is suffering under greedy bastards who clearly do not care about our planet...and our people!! - JJW

  8. Thank you, Vince!


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