While helping my 9 year old son prepare for his science exam, I received a jolt of reality: our planet is comprised of 70 percent water. The debacle of British Petroleum has the ghastly potential of contaminating more than two-thirds of our beloved planet.

 Louisiana was my home for four years after I completed residency training. I was one of the few National Health Service Corps physicians who DID repay their government obligation in exchange for my medical school education. My husband and I arrived in Southwest Louisiana from New York City on two left feet. The humidity was overwhelming but the people were an absolute delight. They were some of the most honest and appreciative people on this side of the rainbow. They either liked you or they didn’t and didn’t hesitate to let you know it. Theirs was a simple life consisting of church, family and love of country. The people of Lake Charles, Louisiana displayed their American flags long before the patriotism of September 11th emerged.

 Most of my patients’ husbands worked in either chemical plants or on the oil rigs and it was an honor to deliver their babies. Many of these women would not see their husbands for months at a time and were well aware of the dangers they encountered. Perhaps that’s why at most deliveries, the waiting room would literally be filled with three or four generations of families. Great-grandmothers to the youngest children would be waiting for the next generation to be born. This ritual was almost like a funeral in reverse. The extended family would gather to greet their newest relative. I can’t begin to tell you the kind of pressure I felt initially when this would occur. My constant prayer would be: “Oh, God, please let this be an uncomplicated delivery.” And usually, it was.

The Native Americans in their infinite wisdom say that the Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth. Any first or second grader can explain how our eco-system works and how we are all intricately connected. So, what the heck were you thinking about, British Petroleum? And why didn’t our government hold them to task regarding the safety rules? The people of Louisiana did not deserve this type of calamity.  The disease of greed has struck once again.