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15 Images Showing How Refugio Oil Spill Kills Lives

15 Images Showing How Refugio Oil Spill Kills Lives

The catastrophic oil spill across the Gaviota Coast on Tuesday 19th of May 2015 saw a devastating 21,000 gallons of crude oil leak from a ruptured underground pipe. The oil spill has devastated the flora and fauna for 9 miles, causing insurmountable damage to this incredibly bio-diverse coastline.

Refugio oil spill 2
    A young sea lion lies dead and drenched in oil on the beach (Photo: Santa Barbara Channelkeeper)

    It is difficult to put an exact number on the amount of animals that have and will die as a result of the oil spill, because most of the damage is occurring underwater. The Gaviota coastline is host to a range of creatures, including pelicans, cormorants, grebes, dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals, bass, guitarfish, spiny lobsters, rock crabs, urchins, octopi, shrimp, mussels, sea hares, sponges, anemones, coral, and whole swaths of smaller sea life, the habitats of which are now irreparably damaged for years to come.

    Refugio Oil Spill 3
      Plants and trees, which flourish along the Refugio coastline, suffer as crude oil leaks toxic chemicals into the earth (Picture: Paul Wellman)

      Estimates put the spill at approximately 21,000 gallons, but it is feared that up to 105,000 gallons of crude oil may have leaked into the ocean from the Plains All American Pipeline, covering nine miles of coastline, west of Refugio State Beach, with the viscous, carcinogenic liquid.

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        Crude oil is highly carcinogenic, containing many cancer-causing chemicals, including Benzene, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Formaldehyde, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and Hydrofluoric acid (Photo: Paul Wellman)

        Volunteers have turned out in their droves to assist with the cleanup effort, although health officials are advising the public to avoid affected areas. “Breathing oil fumes can cause headache, nausea, vomiting… and respiratory problems,” said Santa Barbara County Public Health Department spokesperson Susan Klein-Rothschild.

        Pic 4
          Crude oil, carried by the tides, can spread down the coast and deep into the earth, poisoning the atmosphere for years to come. (Photo: Paul Wellman)

          Breathing the fumes from crude oil are known to cause chemical pneumonia, irritation of the nose, throat, and lungs, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of coordination, fatigue, nausea, and labored breathing. Chronic exposure can result in irregular heartbeats, convulsions, and coma.

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            Oil is churned and shifted down the coast with the tide (Picture: Paul Wellman)

            Local fisheries have been closed down for fear that their produce could be contaminated with carcinogenic and toxic chemicals from crude oil.

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              An oil drenched crab crawls a short distance across the beach before dying (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

              The Gaviota coast is one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, boasting a diverse and vibrant range of creatures native to the area.

                Oil floods the beach, soaking the sand and rocks (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

                The previously pristine Gaviota Coast, called “the Galapagos of North America,” is one of only five places on the planet where plants and animals of the North and the South meet.

                  A lobster, soaked in oil, lies dead in the sand (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

                  Crude oil blackens the water, choking sea grass and other marine plants from much needed sunlight, and in turn preventing small marine animals from feeding.

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                    A lobster, soaked in oil, lies dead in the sand (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

                    Crude oil seeps into and under rocks, soaks into the sand, sits on top of the water, and below it. It’s toxic fumes are carried by the wind, meaning there is almost no safe-zone for plants and animals.

                      The body of a Pelican, saturated with oil (Picture: Tamlorn Chase)

                      Even a small amount of oil can kill a bird. The oil globs their feathers together, which can prevent them from flying properly, restricting their ability to hunt. Their diet also consists mainly of fish, which are likely to contain toxins from the oil spill.

                        Oil spills down the beach towards the sea (Picture: Paul Wellman)

                        Oil has been found as far as 11 miles out from the shore.

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                          Oil seeps into the sand and rocks, killing wildlife and making the area inhospitable (Photo: Paul Wellman)

                          Oil is killing plankton in their droves, essential to the ecosystem of the Gaviota coast. This can effect everything from tide-pool fliter feeders, to endangered blue whales, migrating through the Santa Barbara Channel.

                            The waves are thick and black with oil, as a sheen 50-100 yards wide coats the coast in viscous oil (Picture: Paul Wellman)

                            Efforts are being made to transport kelp, eel grass and surf grass away from dangerous areas. Preserving the flora of the area is essential to ensuring the eventual restoration of the animals that live along the Gaviota coast, whose survival is dependent on flourishing greenery.

                              Cormorants, a common site along the Refugio coastline, emigrate north to avoid the oil-soaked beaches. (Picture: Paul Wellman)

                              The long term effects of the Refugio oil spill will have a devastating effect on the wildlife of the area. Restoration projects will have to go on for years in order to try to recover some of the damage.

                                Crude oil spreads across 9 miles of coastline, killing fish and other wildlife and devastating their coastal habitats (Photo: Paul Wellman)

                                Featured photo credit: (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) via media.mnn.com

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                                JC Axe

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                                Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                Listen carefully:

                                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                1. Pray Daily

                                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                3. Smile Often

                                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                8. Go Exercise

                                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                The Bottom Line

                                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                More Resources About Mindfulness

                                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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