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Ear to the Ground

Record ‘Dead Zone’ Expected in Gulf of Mexico

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Posted on Jun 17, 2011
Flickr / Robert S. Donovan

Scientists fear that farm chemicals carried from fields into the Mississippi River by this spring’s record floods will create the largest “dead zone” the Gulf of Mexico has seen since measurements were first taken in 1985.

Among other chemicals, agricultural fertilizers contain phosphorous and nitrogen, elements that encourage plant growth in terrestrial as well as marine ecosystems. The phytoplankton that bloom in the presence of these chemicals feed an explosive population of sea floor-dwelling bacteria that use up all of the oxygen otherwise available for fish, shrimp, crabs and other organisms in the deep. The situation does not bode well for those who depend on the Gulf’s almost $2 billion a year fishing industry. —ARK

Reuters via Scientific American:

This year’s record Mississippi River floods are forecast to create the biggest Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” since systematic mapping began in 1985, U.S. scientists reported on Tuesday.

Often created by farm chemical run-off carried to the Gulf by the Mississippi, the 2011 low-oxygen “dead zone” could measure 8,500 to 9,421 square miles ... an area roughly the size of New Hampshire, the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.

... Seen year-round but most pronounced in summer, the “dead zone” threatens resources including humans who depend on fish, shrimp and crabs, which need oxygen to survive. The zone typically is located on the bottom of the continental shelf off Louisiana and Texas.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, June 27, 2011 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

“Scientists fear that farm chemicals carried from fields into the Mississippi River by this spring’s record floods will create the largest “dead zone” the Gulf of Mexico has seen since measurements were first taken in 1985.”  @ article

Depends on which “scientists” one chooses to believe.  The marine biologists who have declared the Gulf of Mexico to be a dead zone that will require 40 – 100 years to recover, disagree with the “scientists” of Monsanto and the USGOV.  While, several physicians with world-wide reputation have advised their following to eat NOTHING that comes out of the Gulf of Mexico, and less of what comes out of the Pacific..

Early 2010, agriculturists in the “mid-western” states reported that the stream and river systems had been polluted by drain-off from fields that had planted the nature-destructive seeds of Monsanto.  Which river system feeds into the Mississippi.  The nature-destructive products of Monsanto add-to the destruction caused by the planned, BP disasters in the Gulf of Mexico by “the queen´s men.”

Since the Gulf of Mexico is one entity, and destruction created by a planned, well-executed oil-spill disaster, pre-exists, any additional destruction only adds-to that which already exists.  It can be isolated from the total destruction only via fraudulent disinformation, provided by shills of Monsanto or the USGOV.  Which fraudulent isolation is intended to distract from the oil spill debacle. 

I find it interesting that the historical tactic of the Israeli tribe is applied, scapegoating the indigenous farmers of the “mid-west,” distracting from accurate information.  Scapegoating indigenous folk, who were forced to buy the destructive products of Monsanto.  Which products are ruining nature all around the world, as the USGOV murders off the citizenry of the Mid-East, and the Zionist banking system bankrupts the western world.

Disinformation provided by Monsanto, its sponsor the USGOV, and shills of either,  may be successful with Americans who are very naïve or very stupid.  However, the numbers of both of these groupings are increasingly dwindling.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

ardee:

What exactly did I say that led you to believe I thought BP was off the hook for the oil spill disaster? Please tell me.

ALL I SAID WAS that this article had nothing to do with BP and the spill. It was about fertilzer runoff from farmers upstream. They are two entirely separate issues.

Pay attention man!

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, June 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

@ rico
I think it is time for rico to take off the fake senior airline pilot
shirt, and put on a shirt that reflects his current activity for the
Hussein bin Obama administration.
Also, I view his constant disinformation regarding the 40-100 yr
ruination of the Gulf of Mexico by the “Queen´s men,” to be a simple
distraction of Truthdig bloggers from newer topics that require
intelligent blogs.

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By ardee, June 21, 2011 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

Here I thought there could be nothing worse than a rico , post, nothing less relevant, nothing containing more lies, more distortions and more proof of his lower level on the evolutionary scale.

Then he attempts poetry….how wrong I was!

I wonder if there is anyone here at TD who shares the unbelievable thought that BP has no responsibility for the condition of the Gulf of Mexico? Or that farm runoff, harmful as it may be, especially in light of the unusual mount of rainfall and snow melt, is the only culprit to the dead zones that rico the rectum swears do not exist, and further states unequivocally that the Gulf shrugs off and heals itself miraculously.

Keep it up rectum breath, you are further destroying an already tattered reputation here as a liar, a fraud and a sick and sad little fanatic.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

lonely,
desperately lonely
truthdig posters
flailing.
tilting at the BP windmill.

no thought to
the fact,
the fact,
that this article has
nothing to do with BP
or oil or spills.

phosphates from farms
a thousand miles north.
and all the desperate,
fevered, left-out
truthdiggers can
find in the entrails
is
BP.

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By ardee, June 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

In his rather sordid history here Rico the misplaced comma has put forth some doozies. But he has surpassed even his execrable comment that the war on terror can only be won with bullets, and more bullets.

If there are any brain dead folks here who believe for one second the canard this unprincipled scoundrel puts forth that the Gulf of Mexico has healed or even is healing itself I suggest you take a second to type this into google:

Gulf of Mexico dead zones

If so inclined you can read a few of the articles, especially those that note that this years dead zones are expected to be the largest in recorded history.

Oh rico unless you are practicing some esoteric stand up comedy routine you need to find a conscience, and rather quickly….

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By grokker, June 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

@ rico,suave—“Most non-truthdig-calibre sources report that the Gulf has all but healed itself from the effects of the spill and clean-up chemicals”

When you can find evidence that the sea “heals itself” of oil and/or pesticides let us know where we can get that information. Meanwhile, we’re eating,drinking,breathing and swimming in oil and oil based chemicals and golly, as a society it sure doesn’t seem like we get any healthier, mentally or physically. Oil company executives should be forced to live on the Gulf Coast and eat nothing but Gulf Coast seafood.

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By purplewolf, June 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

So Rico,“the Gulf had all but healed itself from the effects of the spill and the clean-up chemicals.” I see you bought that line of crap that big oil put out claiming that all the spilled oil has been taken care of and that everything has returned to “normal.” Really? Bet you are in favor of fracking also, especially since some recent TV ads claim it is safe, which it is not.

The truth is out there and it is not what they are telling you.But if you want to believe what BP and other have said, go ahead. Some people, you included, would not believe the truth even if they saw it.

As for the chemical runoff from the farms, BP is no doubt trying to find a convenient ‘bogey man” to blame, as we are seeing more dead animals and deformed animals showing up since the spill. The chemicals used to clean up the oil spill are known carcinogens and other toxic chemicals which will take decades before we will see the results from that mess. This would not be the first time that some mega industry tried to place the blame onto someone else for their lack of proper regulations.

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By grokker, June 19, 2011 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

@samson Your post may take the prize for the most inane statement ever made on the internet. Obama is to blame for mountain top removal, BP oil disaster, fracking, and now floods that are causing dead zones in the Gulf? Were you born in 2008 or do you have the memory of an amoeba? These technologies have been around for many years, if not decades, and Obama is just another tool of the corporations that make this mess possible. Looking at the stellar group of Republicans at the recent debate, I’ll bet you can’t wait to get one of those gems in office to make it all better.

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By grokker, June 19, 2011 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

@ardee   Although his approach may be a bit too direct for some on this forum, I tend to agree with the essence of what Nozferatu is trying to put across. We do get the government we deserve, and seeing as how we live in a military/industrial/finance empire, we as citizens have done a poor job of making sure that fascism did not attain the power that it has today. In that we deserve as much of the blame as the corporations that are running amok, thanks to state privilege. It’s comparable to the sub prime housing mess. Are borrowers that were offered the American dream of home ownership and deals too good to be true to blame for getting in over their heads, or was there a concerted effort by Wall Street to trap people into foreclosure in order to win on both sides of their bet? It was both. As citizens we need to stop being victims, and take the reigns back as grownups.

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By Ben Donahower, June 19, 2011 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The environmental issues facing the world are
enormous and they demand individual and social
sacrifices. 

This is just one of the many physical representations
of what is happening to our world.  Industrial
agriculture, inefficient and nonrenewable energy, and
a host of other problems need dealt with now.

Unfortunately, doing so takes a heap of political
courage and serious financial investments. 
Fortunately, those financial investments and
political sacrifices pay off in the long haul but
they are difficult to make happen in the near term.

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Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, June 19, 2011 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Dear Samson,
  Are you being serious?  Obama is not Nader but there are NO Republican candidates even in the wings that haven’t promised to ditch the EPA.
  Obama spent most of the last two years just trying to re-establish environmental protections that W wiped out during his 8 years.  Just ask Bruce Babbitt.

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, June 19, 2011 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

How much more of Obama can this world take?

Obama on the environment.  The world’s largest oil
spill off our coast.  Tops of mountains being blown
off to make it easy for some coal company to make a
few bucks.  Fracking out west, along with an
expansion of dangerous uranium mining and milling.
And now giant dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico.

Are people who care about the environment really
going to go to the polls next year and vote for four
more years of this?

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Hulk2008's avatar

By Hulk2008, June 19, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

There are no limits to how far industry (which includes huge agri-business) will go in ravaging every last smidgeon of nature in search of maximum profits. Corporate foresight is even shorter than their noses (and Yes they now have noses like all other “people” - the Supreme Court says they are).  Whether it’s mega-farmers in the US or mega-fishers from Japan, nature is only protected by its ever-shrinking immensity.

Sci-fi fans might hope that the Dead Zone will merge with the petroleum spills and form a giant Swamp Thing which will strike back and save the planet.  Maybe Keanu Reeves will get the movie part.

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By SoTexGuy, June 19, 2011 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

One comment that standsout..

“The only victims here are the natural environment and the beautiful array of sea-
life that had no say or responsibility in any of this pathetic man-made bullshit.”

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, June 18, 2011 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

Certainly, rico.
Certainly, BP and Hussein bin Obama shills spread the opposite of
“truth.”

Shills of the administration have to carefully toe the line with their
disinformation.  If they ever print the truth, it is an accident.

Genuine marine biologists, who are bribed by no one, report precisely the
opposite of your disinformation.

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By ardee, June 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

Serves the Gulf right….the people who live there have whored themselves out to the corporations and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

@ ARDEE…

You need to shut the hell up and accept that people create their own beds….the ruling class rule because of our own inept-ness and lack of action…blaming the ruling class alone is a lame excuse at best.

Dear Nozferatu,  might I suggest two things. One, find a mind and then try hard to use it. Two, who the f@#k are you to tell anyone to shut up.

I will be so glad when school is back in session and this poster is too busy with schoolwork to haunt these threads.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, June 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Nozferatu: This isn’t about Gulf residents, it’s about chemicals coming from farmland upstream.

ardee and Dr B: The article has nothing to do with BP, it’s about chemicals coming from farmland upstream.

If anyone is to blame, it’s those greedy agribusinesses trying to keep up with the ethanol demand. You know, ethanol, mandated additive to gasoline in the name of cleaner air, yada yada yada.

Most non-truthdig-calibre sources report that the Gulf has all but healed itself from the effects of the spill and clean-up chemicals, and at a rate quite a bit faster than had been predicted. But that’s another one of those inconvenient truths that I’m sure you all will happily ignore.

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drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, June 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

” - - infamous oil rig explosion and the chemicals BP dumped into the
water under deceptive excuse and with perhaps devastating result.”
ardee

Agree with your observations, with the addition of one word.

Per biologists, the oil and chemicals together devastated the Gulf of
Mexico, and both its land and sea inhabitants, for the next forty to
one hundred years. 

The additional drilling permitted BP by the pride of the Ford
Foundation & the C.I.A., Hussein bin Obama, is his little bit to
assist the queen´s men to finish the job off.

Please add the word, “toxic” to your summary sentence.

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By Nozferatu, June 18, 2011 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

@ ARDEE…

You need to shut the hell up and accept that people create their own beds….the ruling class rule because of our own inept-ness and lack of action…blaming the ruling class alone is a lame excuse at best.

We saw first hand how the folks in the Gulf have, for decades, simply laid down and accepted the oil company presence there.  We always think we don’t have the power nor have a chance.  True…we don’t…particularly when we have a sell-out of Gulf residents who, as witnessed, completely went for money instead of pre-emptive methods in the way the Gulf runs.

No one was complaining were they when BP was paying the fishermen $5-10K a per day for helping the clean-up right?

Short term greed trumps all after all.

The only victims here are the natural environment and the beautiful array of sea-life that had no say or responsibility in any of this pathetic man-made bullshit.

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By purplewolf, June 18, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

They are certain it is from farm chemicals and not all that poisonous oil dispersant they BP continued to spray over the Gulf area during the nights after they were ordered to stop spraying it. I have this information from friends who live in the area and have witnessed the continued spraying only under the cover of darkness, yet in the morning there is evidence of red staining on the shoreline from the nights activities. Maybe BP should have tried to make this poison colorless. 

The farm chemicals don’t help, but I believe the majority of damage causing these dead zones is directly related to the BP oil spill.

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By ardee, June 18, 2011 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

I wont comment upon the rather intellectually limited comment preceding mine, blaming the proletariat for the actions of the ruling class seems more than a bit like an apologist for BP et al.

Speaking of BP, I do not quibble with the article or the respected journal in which it appears, yet the Gulf seems already staggering under the load of that infamous oil rig explosion and the chemicals BP dumped into the water under deceptive excuse and with perhaps devastating result.

Of course, our ‘wise and perceptive’ President sell-out has already allowed deep water drilling to continue with no mention of more stringent regulation of those rigs. Why then should we consider the practices of the factory farms that are causing so much havoc with our environment. After all, cheap and tasteless produce is our right.

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By Nozferatu, June 18, 2011 at 12:04 am Link to this comment

Serves the Gulf right….the people who live there have whored themselves out to the corporations and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

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