Above: Aerial view of our wildlife pond in Liberty Park with oil encroaching from the upper left of the photograph. Photo: AP/ Matt Gillis, Deseret News
Above: Hazmat crews attempting water cleanup of t he pond.
Photo: Lean Hogsten SLC TribuneAbove: Aerial view of natural water flow carrying spilled oil downhill towards the Great Salt Lake.
Photo: Leah Hogsten SLC Tribune
Sunday mornings we typically walk the few blocks from our house to Liberty Park and make the two-mile circle around the park. The park is an oasis of trees and the pond is refuge to hundreds of waterfowl. The park houses one of two stand-alone aviaries in the U.S.. Today is a different Sunday. Early yesterday morning a pipeline broke and spewed nearly 500 barrels of oil into the city's creeks and ponds and waterways. The underground pipeline flows to Salt Lake City from Colorado and feeds the city's oil and gas refineries. Our Liberty Park is closed. There will be no walk around the park for us today. Some 150 water birds who were unfortunate enough to be where they normally spend their time, in the pond, were taken to the local Hogle Zoo for "clean up". Crews have worked around the clock to try and clean the pond. They are attempting to clean the naturally flowing waterways which lead through the Jordan River and then to the Great Salt Lake. It is a huge task. As we walked by our beloved park yesterday afternoon, which is closed and inhabited only by the massive equipment and human hazmat crews---the pond and surrounds were eerily vacant of ducks, geese, ducklings, goslings and any normally visible wildlife. It brought to my mind the couple of days around the country following "9/11" when all airspace was off limits to traffic and there was a creepy silence. A flash of thoughts went through my mind of Rachael Carson's Silent Spring. How many times do we need to magnify this "little spill" to equal that of the one we are currently attempting to clean up in the gulf? Can't happen in "your" backyard? The earth is everybody's backyard. (IMO, Earth is the innocent victim of human terrorism.)
The following photos are by Jim Urquhart The Salt Lake Tribune
A priceless source of wonder and beauty is the variety, richness and vitality of life on this planet. Do we have a prayer (I hope) of continuing its existence long enough to find clean, safe, non-toxic, less expensive (and I'm not just talking about $) sources of energy for "fueling" our lives? Hoping for better days and ways.