Mickey Glantz has a new post on the Fragileecologies Blog comparing our societal response to the gulf oil spill and the near total lack of response to a much more serious, long-term threat to the gulf, the ever-growing “dead zone” that spills out from the mouth of the Mississippi.  This despite the fact the dead zone has been a known issue for some time:

“Back in 1974, Dr. R. Eugene Turner, Director of Coastal Ecology Institute at Louisiana State University, discovered a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. The dead zone is the result of runoff from cities, farmlands, feedlots and factories into the mighty Mississippi River. This River basin drains about 40% of the continental United States. Herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers among other chemicals are released on a routine basis throughout the basin. In the springtime they accumulate of the Gulf Coast forming an 8000+ square mile region, which adversely affects all living marine resources.”

Mickey has an interesting comparison chart for the two problems that begins to point toward why we responded so quickly to an oil spill, while largely ignoring a much larger ecological disaster that compromises the Gulf economy and the health of the population that lives along the lower reaches of the Mississippi and along the Gulf coast.

What do you think of Mickey’s list?  Is there anything he’s missed?