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The Truth Behind the BP Oil Spill Exposed in 'The Big Fix'

The Big Fix Opens in NYC Dec. 2 - 8 at AMC Lowes Village 7

A Wide Coalition of Environmental Advocates will Gather for 7 Nights of Awareness and Talk with the Filmmakers and Audience after each 6 p.m. Screening

The Big Fix

by Paul E. McGinniss

The BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010. Most of us thought the spill was cleaned up and the problem went away. Unfortunately, to a large extent, the event has been supplanted in the media and mass consciousness by other news stories and events from around the world.

After watching the documentary The Big Fix, it is hard to conclude that things are so rosy down in the Gulf. In fact, the bottom line message from this well-documented film, produced and directed by Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell-Tickell, is that the BP oil spill in the Gulf never went away and the oil is still spilling. And to top it off, the chemical dispersant, Corexit, which is still being used to clean up the oil, is an extremely toxic substance. The film reports that Corexit is wreaking havoc on the health of the people and marine life in the Gulf.

When you watch how the the Gulf residents captured in The Big Fix have been affected by Corexit and the spill, beware, it is both heart wrenching and frightening. When you see Gulf residents driven to tears by this environmental tragedy, you want to cry with them. Rebecca, herself, was seriously sickened by Corexit during their filming in the Gulf.

When you listen to eco-activist, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of champion of the seas Jacques-Yves Cousteau, state so emotionally in the film, "We're being lied to," you realize the truth about the Gulf oil spill is being covered up.

When Josh and Rebecca emailed me to say they were opening The Big Fix in NYC at the AMC Loews Village 7, 66 3rd Ave., on Dec. 2 - 8 and wanted to create 7 Nights of Awareness in the theater, I immediately jumped on board. The purpose for the 7 Nights of Awareness is to divulge the truth about what's going on in the Gulf, in addition to stimulating a dialog that will foster positive action and create solutions which will help our planet become less dependent on fossil fuels and sustainable.

Despite the negative events depicted in the film, the filmmakers make a point to highlight an endearing bayou local. He wears a yellow t-shirt and dons a Mardi Gras-like necklace across his tanned neck while installing solar panels on the metal roof of his modest home. Tickell narrates at the end and urges the audience to "unite and take a stand" and deal with the truth, and get on with implementing clean energy solutions that are at hand. Tickell concludes the film by asking, "In a struggle for true justice and a better world, where do you stand?"

To date, the inspiring and passionate people and groups that have come on board for the 7 Nights of Awareness which happens each night after the 6 p.m. screening, include, NYC-based Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques and son of Jean-Michel Cousteau, and founder of Plant A Fish; Rocky Kistner, Natural Resources Defense Council; Stefanie Penn Spear, founder and executive director of EcoWatch.org; Justin Bloom, Marc Yaggi and colleagues from Waterkeeper Alliance; Dan Miner, founder of Beyond Oil NYC; New Orleans native and NYC-based architect, Drew Lang; Paul Mankiewicz, The Gaia Institute; Margaret Lydecker, Green Drinks NYC; Denise Katzman, EcoEdifier and Anti-Fracking activist; Stephen Del Percio, GreenBuildings NYC; Lyna Hinkel, 350.org NYC; Peter Fleischer, Empire State Future; David Braun, co-founder of United for Action and the National Grassroots Coalition, and a key member of the Gasland team; Clare Donohue, Sane Energy Project; Hilary Baum, Director of Baum Forum and founding Coordinating Director of Food Systems Network NYC; Leah Barber, Interdependence Movement, and Pamela Lippe, Earth Day NY.

For more information about the 7 Nights of Awareness, email me at paul@7nightsofawareness.com. Visit TheNewYorkGreenAdvocate.com where this review was originally posted.

For more information about the film, click here.

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A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.