Over the last four decades, Florida has suffered many catastrophes – category 5 hurricanes, such as Andrew in 1992; F5 tornadoes, spawned from hurricanes as well as ordinary thunderstorms; the destruction of the waters and land caused by the Army Corps of Engineers when they created the Cross-Florida Barge Canal; the explosion of the Space Shuffle Challenger in 1986; and the draining of Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades.
Absolutely, each event is a horrible disaster. But nothing compared to what is happening today, right now, this very minute.
Everyone in the world may very well view BP as the company that destroyed the world. Yes, the world. This is a real problem for Florida and the other Gulf Coast states; but it is also a global problem.
Many officials speculate the oil from this spill will reach the Atlantic Ocean in a few short months; in 18 months, this oil spill may very well pollute every oceanic body of water in the world. So much for seafood; fresh water fish have long been tainted by heavy metals and now, salt water species will be carrying oil in their systems which can be passed on to other species and humans that consume the fish.
For the state, the numbers are devastating. At the University of Central Florida, an economist predicts the loss of jobs anywhere from 39,000 on the low end to as many as 195,000 on the high side. This amounts to monetary losses of some $2.2 billion to more than $10 billion.
Many who depend on the tourist trade for their paycheck will be out of a job. Other nautically-themed industries will also suffer. Boat sales will decline and the sport-fishing industry will trail off and die.
A good number of Floridians believe Florida will never again resemble the Florida before this horrific event.