The reported suicide of a Gulf charter skipper begs comparison. There is no exact number, but many suspect at least 30 people in Alaska or who worked on or were ruined by the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) killed themselves over the succeeding 20 years, one as recently as last year. I knew three of the victims, one very well.
Alaska had about 500,000 residents at the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
At least 11,000,000 gallons were spilled
Approximately 30 people killed themselves.
The gulf spill will likely effect areas with at least 40 million residents.
Unabated over the summer it may end up being 20 times larger than the EVOS.
Should that happen, following the Alaska model, there may be 48,000 suicides over the economic and emotional hardships brought on by the spill over the next 20 years.
I don't claim to be a statistician, so maybe somebody here can help me out, because the number seems high. I suspect the number of suicides over this during the next generation will be more in the 4,000 to 6,000 range, but it is all just guessing.
I've been thinking about this for days, but my own EVOS PTSD has held me back. I figure there have been other suicides over this already, that haven't been reported in context.
Updated - 3:00 a.m: Shannyn Moore has written eloquently on this same subject in the past few hours. Please go read her post, Dying Over Oil. It made me cry.