Jan 16, 2007

Involunteering

Friday night, a freighter ran aground off the coast to the northwest of Bergen, breaking in two and releasing 300 metric tons of bunker oil. The sparsely populated municipality of Fedje, a beautiful archipelago, is doing its best to contain the oil and clean the shores. Extreme weather (i.e. this ain't your grandmother's storm) is both helping, by breaking up the oil, and hindering, by blowing the oil ashore and tossing oil booms around on waves higher than the booms are meant for. About 3000 seabirds are now assumed to be affected by the poisonous sludge.

When I first heard of this disaster, my impulse was to go to Fedje and help clean rocks and shore and birds. I was thinking that maybe someone would organize something that I could join. Hands is what is needed when something like this happens. But the next day, such volunteering was discouraged, because no one can help without proper training or protective gear, nor was it safe as long as the storm was raging. I have no such training or gear and the storm is still raging.

Today the news reported that even protected species of birds must be killed if it is clear they are suffering from the oil spill. I was wondering how I could help do that, what would be the best way to kill a bird (strangle? break neck? How do you do that?), when it was mentioned using a shotgun. I don't own a shotgun nor know how to use one.

So I seem to not be able to do anything in this situation. I can only hope that what can be done is being done, even though it won't be done by me.

(news in English)

2 comments:

Norma said...

You've already done a lot, Keera, because I don't think I saw this storm on our national news. Our weather is sort of parochial. . .

Keera Ann Fox said...

We tend to report on US weather events but we tend to report on many things US, anyway.

Now they're testing the fish to see if they're absorbing the carcinogens from the oil. I hope they aren't.