In Gulf oil disaster, cameras can’t capture the human toll

interns Contributor
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Along the Gulf of Mexico (CNN) — The family business has closed, and the couple can’t work — for themselves or for BP, it seems. Their neighbors and community leaders, she says, are showing a kind of greed she’s never seen before. They aren’t the people she thought they were.

“Everyone’s out for themselves,” says the woman, who like many in her small Alabama town has a lot to say but won’t say it except anonymously. “I was telling my husband the other night that I’ll be glad when the Lord calls me home. I’ll be glad to leave this place.”

For a moment, forget about saving wildlife. Think not about the oil, the well, the sullied waters. Put aside any blame of corporations or government and dismiss projections about what will happen to the economy or the environment. Plenty of experts, officials with impressive titles and everyday people in the Gulf Coast and around the country are losing sleep over these matters.

Think instead of another tragedy-in-the-making, fallout from the oil disaster that can’t be seen by cameras and is not easily measured by scientists with fancy equipment.

It’s the sort of effect that may not be felt or discussed openly until long after the boom and skimmers disappear and the media trucks pull away. It is the emotional and social toll on individuals, the price families may pay and how communities are bound to suffer if residents don’t take care of each other.

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