I feel a bit late to the party writing about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Had I chosen to focus on this subject a few days ago, I might have been inclined to draft a personal narrative about the summers I spent on Alabama’s Gulf Coast as a boy and young teenager. My post would have certainly have been in good company; it heartens me to recognize just how many people have an emotional and personal connection to the region. I myself didn’t realize how much the warm salt water and white sand meant to me until I began to contemplate what both might look like covered in oil. It is very unfortunate that tragedies like these have to happen before we ever seriously consider the long term consequences. Off-shore drilling was, until very recently, touted as some kind of snake-oil panacea or fix-all curative. One hopes that we now understand the complexities and potentially catastrophic drawbacks in tapping the reserves present in our coastline.