Safina Cuts Through the Crude

“to make homicide seem respectable”: one purpose, Orwell alleges, of foggy language.

Both the Feds and BP speak and write as though they’re trying to make the murder of the Gulf respectable, and/or to turn it into a minor assault. “Murder of the Gulf” is too strong–but by how much?

Here is biologist Carl Safina stalking plainly on Democracy Now (and I’m grateful to the blog, A Letter From Here, for alerting me to this):

“Well, the dispersant is a toxic pollutant that has been applied in the volume of millions of gallons and I think has greatly exacerbated the situation. I think the whole idea of using a dispersant is wrong, and I think it’s part of the whole pattern of BP trying to cover up and hide the body. They don’t want us to see how much oil, so they’ve taken this oil that was concentrated at the surface and dissolved it. But when you dissolve it, it’s still there, and it actually gets more toxic, because instead of being in big blobs, it’s now dissolved and can get across the gills, get into the mouths of animals.”

For more, see Safina’s site:


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