Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Emotional Impact

BP’s massive and ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not Louisiana’s problem or a Gulf coast problem or America’s problem, says Frank Brigtsen. It’s a world problem, he states firmly. And, the ripple impact is beginning to be felt in every corner of the country. We have to figure out a better way of doing things and how to help each other during times of crisis, he says.

Even though a successful restaurant owner and chef, Brigtsen is unusually candid about the grief he’s feeling these days about the magnitude of destruction inflicted across his beloved southern Louisiana and the Gulf coast region by BP’s pollution of the Gulf, and the widespread unemployment it has caused.

“Once again, we in New Orleans are on a strange adventure we don’t want to be on,” he says. “The BP oil spill has taken parts of our lives away.”

To understand the scale of the human suffering that is today being caused by the BP oil spill, Brigtsen says you’ve got to actually see it.

Brigtsen says that ever since he and his wife drove to Grand Isle, La., to stand on a pier and actually see the oil floating on the water, he’s been having sleepless night, depression and periods of just crying.

The real tragedy, he says, is the human side … a lot of people who cannot go to work and are in need … lives pulled out from under their feet … and a feeling of helplessness.

On a more positive side, Brigtsen talks about the leaders of his industry – the famed New Orleans restaurants – pulling together to during this crisis, as they did during Katrina and other times, to help others by providing food.

Frank Brigtsen and his family own Brigsten’s, a landmark eating place on Dante Street in New Orleans.

From Louisiana Seafood Board News

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