Somewhere Over the Gulf: Environmental Defense Fund releases heart-wrenching music video of oil disaster
From a comfortable distance the BP oil disaster is depressing and horrific. But up close, it’s worse.
Two days in the Gulf of Mexico left Environmental Defense Fund’s Executive Director David Yarnold saddened and enraged.
“Both the widespread damage and the inadequacy of the response effort exceeded my worst fears,” said Yarnold. “I’d spent a full day on the Gulf and we ended up soaked in oily water and seared by the journey.”
Back at home, Yarnold showed his pictures of the gooey peanut-butter colored oil ad blackened wetlands to his wife and 13-year-old daughter, Nicole.
“Pictures of dolphins diving into our oily wake and brown pelicans futilely trying to pick oil off their backs popped on the screen,” said Yarnold. “And, out of nowhere, Nicole put on the music from the season finale of Glee.
“With all these horrific images on the screen, she had turned on the show’s final song of the year, ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow,’” he continued. “The song–a slow, sweet, ukulele and guitar-driven version — couldn’t have added a deeper sense of tragic irony.
“I choked up,” he said. “And then that resolve kicked in: I wanted everyone to see what our addiction to oil had done to the Gulf and to contrast that with the sense of hope and possibility that ‘Somewhere’ exudes.”
Yarnold worked with two EDF staffers, Yuki Kokubo and Patrick Brown, who had been shooting footage of the oil disaster and received permission from Peter Rice, Chairman of Fox Networks Entertainment, to use the song. The result is a heart-wrenching video which you can view here.
When EDF sent the video to its members Wednesday with an appeal to write their Senators in support of clean energy and climate legislation, the video generated an outpouring of 7,000 letters in the last 24 hours.