Last weekend, a leak began to pour crude oil out of a pipeline connected to the offshore drilling platform known as Elly. Since Friday, about 144,000 gallons of oil have polluted a growing stretch of Orange County, California, coastline. Beachgoers first caught wind of the oil spill in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, but oil has since been found along the Laguna Beach coastline, and the oil is moving so far south that San Diego County has begun to make preparations just in case.
We’ve previously discussed the dangers of climate change, and about the need to take stronger climate action, but this serves as a horrifying reminder of the additional environmental and economic hazards of our ongoing fossil fuel addiction. As much as some politicians and pundits love to argue over the cost of climate action, this serves as a terrifying warning of the costs of inaction.
We should not be surprised by what happened in Huntington Beach – it's part of a larger pattern. If we want to stop the pattern we need to get off oil! https://t.co/LlSyGWicMa
— Dr. Chad Nelsen 🌊 (@chadenelsen) October 6, 2021
If you’d like to help with relief efforts, organizations like the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center of Orange County, the California Coastkeeper Alliance, and the Surfrider Foundation can definitely use your support. And if you’d like to ensure that we don’t continue to suffer these catastrophes indefinitely, we need to get our (climate change) act together already.
Finally, below are scenes from happier times along the Orange County coast. Since this is where I grew up, this feels very personal.