Long Term Consequences Of the Gulf Oil Spill
The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is so huge that it may slow and stall the gulf stream which in turn could result in an ice age. The following scenario addresses this potential problem and ways the world could change, perhaps forever!
American Refugee Camp, Mexican Border
Christmas Eve 2014
We got word today US troops were clearing out Mexico City and within a few more months we will be able to move in and take over the available housing. I wonder what happened to the people who once lived there? Where did they go? What happened to them? No one is saying anything about that. And no one is asking anymore either. This is the price we will have to pay for survival.
Looking back, the year 2010 was the beginning of the end for me. People were talking about something big happening in 2012, and of course it did, but even if you talk to the people on the street today, they will tell you 2010 was the year it all started to unravel.
First, a huge earthquake hit Haiti followed by another powerful earthquake in Chile. That quake actually altered the rotation of the earth. Scary stuff, but of course, life went on, and people never dwell on stuff like that, they just want to get back to normal again.
And, life was getting back to normal, the world was fairly quiet when CNN told us that a huge oil leak was turning the Gulf of Mexico into the largest oil spill in history. Americans took notice, but not for long. People went on with their lives, the oil leak was a problem, but certainly our vast array of technological resources would take care of it.
Two months passed, then three more and the oil leak was still belching forth oil at an alarming rate. Nothing helped, everything was tried, because of the great depth, it became just about impossible to get the leak under control. And then, one day in early winter, the oil simply stopped! The well ran dry for some unknown reason. It was quickly capped and most Americans thought nothing more about the oil leak which would impact their lives for years to come in ways they could not even begin to imagine.
The Gulf of Mexico was simply filled with oil, it was everywhere. It was at every depth. Scientist warned that if the gulf streamed slowed, we could end up with a very cold and nasty winter. Within a week after that statement our worst fears came true.
Scientist confirmed that not only had the gulf stream slowed, the gobs of thick ugly oil had virtually shut it down. The gulf stream stopped, completely stopped! The world held its breath at the news, and when President Clinton appeared on TV, she was also in a state of shock, defeat in her eyes.
In spite of all the frantic efforts to clean up the oil, it was all for nothing. That giant conveyor belt in the ocean was now stalled and not only were we in for the worse winter of our lives, we were in for an ice age that might last for thousands of years into the future.
That first winter was brutal. All across north America and Europe people froze to death in their homes…looking back, they were the lucky ones.With the average temp at –10 below, there was no way to get in out of the cold. If people wanted to live they would have to flock to the south, and so it began. Millions of people were migrating to the southern climes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and no idea what they would do once they finally got there. Of course there were plenty of others who just stayed put. People like my family who had resources that the others did not. We had acres and acres of wood for our wood burning stoves, we had enough money to fill our LP tanks every other month if we had to.
And so we made it through that first winter and waited for spring to come, praying that it would. Scientists warned us that perhaps it would not, not with that stalled gulf stream. People prayed for a miracle. None came.
The summer of 2011 was the year without a summer. I remember it snowed on the 4th of July! We built a green house that summer and raised food that way. If worse came to worse, we could probably eke out a living somehow. It would be tough, but we felt we could do it.
Lots of other people felt the same way, and for a while, there was wild hope that our lives were going to get back to a normal state again. Somehow the US government would get the gulf stream moving again and all would be well.
The winter of 2011-2012 was even more brutal that the winter before. However, there was a huge difference, and that was the massive amounts of snowfall. Amounts never heard of until now. Storms dumping 6 feet of snow at a time were common place. Snows fell as far south as southern Mexico and there was not one warm place left in the northern hemisphere.
The great ice age had begun, and that first winter millions upon millions of people died when the heavy snows entombed their homes. They probably died peacefully lying in their own beds, beside those they loved the best. The cold seeped into their homes and they simply fell asleep never to awaken again.
At least people did not starve to death, and that was something. Starving to death is a bad way to go. Most had food, the government made sure of that. Even if it was only rice and beans, no one complained. For the first time in a very long time, Americans did not worry about losing weight. All those concerns seemed to be from a life lived in another place and another time, perhaps, it never even was. It was easy to think that all that went before was simply a wonderful dream. A dream world where there was the warmth of the sun and plenty of fattening food!
When spring broke again we decided that we would have to move south. We had all we could do, just to dig out of the snow that was piled on our house. With the roof caved in from the massive weight of the snow and ice, we were lucky to even be alive at all.
We waited and waited for spring to break, but it never really did. Finally on June 1st, we got in the Suburban and headed south. We left our farm behind, buried in a snow pack now close to 30 feet deep. The great glacier of the ice age was born! With each snowstorm adding more weight to it, it would grind to dust everything in its path, including the farm we had loved so much. The farm my great, great grandfather had started all those long years ago. I know the house and barns are no longer standing. Yet, they exist in my heart, and always will.
We traveled from one refugee camp to the next, all set up by the US government, but even the government would not be able to feed us forever. At first things were orderly and organized, but once people figured out things could only get worse, that they were never going home again, it became every man for themselves. Just about everyone on the road was armed to the teeth.
This crisis brought out the worst in people and the best, and very little in between. Our day to day life on the road was not all that bad. We were not hungry, and we were warm, we still had plenty of things to barter for gasoline. The suburban became our home on wheels. The thing I missed most was a shower. Americans are used to being clean, but now I saw people who looked worse than the homeless that once dotted the streets of big cities. The refugee camps had hot showers and a place to do laundry, but there were thousands of people, all waiting for the same facilities.
One day, I could not take the greasy feel of my hair anymore. We heated water over a campfire and washed ourselves and our clothes. We ended up shivering in the cold air, but we felt so much better. We pressed on, even though it was the middle of June, there were huge snowdrifts in the road, and below temps at night. I would sometimes dream of flowers and butterflies, and I wondered if I would ever see something like that again.
Like so many other people, we did not have a plan, we were simply trying to find a warmer place where we could live again. We never thought about going to Mexico until we heard the news that the US was sending troops into Mexico and that Mexico would soon be open to American citizens.
So, just like that, we were at war with Mexico with the intent of taking it over! Incredible! A day later we watched President Clinton on the television. She stated that Mexico was now annexed to the USA and that it would be open to American citizens within a few months.
People just sat there in stunned silence!
We looked at one another with the question in our eyes and hearts, where are the people of Mexico to go if we are taking over their country, their homes, their businesses, and their farms? The government assured us that the citizens of Mexico would move south, closer to the equator, closer to warmth. We were told they could not take the cold weather that enveloped their country and they were leaving in droves, just as we were leaving our homes and businesses.
That seemed to make sense to some people, and someone started cheering. We could have a normal life again! We could work hard and reinvent America! Soon the entire refugee camp was thundering with the desperate voices of the displaced. Don’t ask, don’t tell, just do it!
And so we got into line and waited for the great land grab of Mexico. With the putrid smell of oil blowing in off the Gulf of Mexico, we waited. With hope and dread in our hearts, we waited. With the knowledge that this could go down in history as a very negative thing, we waited. More than anything, for our lives, we waited.
And so here, we are March 15th, 2014 the Ides of March. When I was home on the farm I would cut branches from the willow tree and bring them inside and put them in a vase to watch them burst into green. Those days feel like a different lifetime now.
Even this far south on the Mexican border, the cold breath of the glacier, now a half mile high and growing higher by the month, can be felt. The crisp air makes sound travel farther, and I hear a baby cry, people singing and lovers quarreling. Tomorrow, we go into Mexico. There US troops will escort us to our new homes, and we will try to start our lives over again.
How will it all turn out? I don’t know, and I don’t want to know. Life goes on, it simply goes on, and we are here for just a little while anyway. We take one day at a time, and hope we will live to see the next morning. After all, isn’t that all anyone has? Who would have ever thought that an oil spill could create something as mind boggling as another ice age? Who would have ever thought that we would take over Mexico because that was the only place we had left that was suitable to life?
Indeed, truth is stranger than fiction by far!