Friday, July 30, 2010

Something Smells

I ventured east of Kalamazoo the other night to see the effects of the recent 1 million gallon spill of crude oil into Tallmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. 

My first encounter with significant signs of oil on the river was in Battle Creek, and the first thing you notice is the powerful odor. Your body, instincts and experience tell you it's not a good smell. Fifteen minutes into it I became nauseous. 

It reminded me of the foul stench you release when you kick up muck in a marsh. 

Now imagine (there's some truth to this) that smell, comprised of aging, decaying matter, then compressed, distilled, and intensified by a thousand times, and you have the smell of crude. And here we are, as humans, drilling up this stuff that was sequestered in the earth for millions of years, safely removed from living systems, then trying to move it around in mass quantities so we can use it for so many facets of our lives. At some point it's bound to spring a leak.

Things have run amok.

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