Heroes

We can't undo the damage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But we can stop it from happening again.

"The agony of foreknowledge combined with the impotence to do anything about it..." — Dr. Kathryn Railly, "12 Monkeys"

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The Wilderness Society

What would it take to go back in time to before the BP oil spill?

We've seen how the Gulf of Mexico looks today, five years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and more than a year since the "official" end of cleanup efforts.

But do you ever wonder what it would be like if we could actually undo what was done? If there were some kind of magical reset button that allow us to go back to the fateful day right before everything went wrong?


Would it look like this?

Let's try one more time to travel back to April 19, 2010 — The Day Before the BP Oil Spill.

GIF from "Doctor Who."

The winner of the Boston Marathon sets a new world record.

Robert K. Cheruiyot of Kenya runs the 114th Boston Marathon in just two hours, five minutes, and 52 seconds — a whole 82 seconds faster than the previous record-holder, who was ... also a Kenyan named Robert K. Cheruiyot.

GIF from "The Flash."

Gas prices are holding steady around $2.86 (and won't drop that low again until October 2014).

Which is interesting because Toyota is also in a whole lot of trouble thanks to some malfunctioning gas pedals. But hey, at least they weren't intentionally manipulating emissions tests, right?

GIF from "Back to the Future."

And a New Orleans man leaps from a bridge to save a stranger's life.

Not far from the Mississippi Delta where Deepwater Horizon explodes the next day, a man named John Crosby jumps from the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway into the water below to rescue another man. Crosby keeps him afloat and breathing until help arrives.

GIF from "The Terminator."

But most importantly, our beautiful Gulf of Mexico isn't filled with dangerous oil.


Photo by John Tuggle/ Flickr.

In fact, it's utterly gorgeous ( not like now).

Photo by The222/Wikimedia Commons.

And now our time travel journey returns us to the present — where everything is exactly as we left it.

Like every time-travel adventure, the ultimate lesson here is that we can't change the past. We can't bring back the 11 workers who died in the explosion, or any of the 5,000 dead animals that were recovered in the four months following the Deepwater Horizon incident. BP has spent nearly $50 billion so far in cleanup costs and fines — but there's no amount of money that can undo the damage that's been done.

Yup. That's how much they'd have to clean up. GIF via The Wilderness Society.

But even if we can't rewrite the past, we can still make sure that we don't repeat the same mistakes.

We're still reeling from the repercussions of BP's 2010 oil spill, but the company is already moving ahead with plans to drill four more oil wells in the pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight.

The circumstances are frighteningly similar. But this time we have a chance to take action and stop them before it happens again (and we're faced with the fallout from another devastating disaster that our planet can't recover from) with this petition.

What are you waiting for? The future is counting on you.

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.

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Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
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It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

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I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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Roland Pollard and his 4-year-old daughter Jayden have been doing cheer and tumbling stunts together since Jayden could walk. When you see videos of their skills, the level of commitment is apparent—as is the supportive relationship this daddy has with his daughter.

Pollard, a former competitive cheerleader and cheer coach, told In The Know that he didn't expect Jayden to catch on to her flying skills at age 3, but she did. He said he never pressures her to perform stunts and that she enjoys it. And as a viral video of Jayden almost falling during a stunt shows, excelling at a skill requires good teaching—something Pollard appears to have mastered.

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