Rush Limbaugh today had some fun putting down Southern California beaches after a listener complained that he had ruined his Disneyland beach towel after placing on tar-covered sand, the listener’s implication that oil-drilling off the California coast was responsible for the gooky state of its beaches.
As a native of Santa Barbara I naturally know better. Its beaches (some more than others) have always been covered filled with sundry lumps of tar, all of it washed ashore after seeping up from cracks in the ocean bottom. Ever try surfing when thanks to the tar your thighs get stuck to the side of your board? That always seemed to happen to me at El Capitan Beach or a place called the Sands up the coast from the city during my high school years. After getting home the first thing one did before going inside did was scrape and clean off the tar from one’s soles.
Mind you, all this was part of the everyday years before some oil drilling was permitted in the Santa Barbara Channel. I’d guess the beaches of my youth will never be tar-free until all the oil is sucked out of the offshore’s geological reserves — which of course is never going to happen thanks to our national preference for imported oil and selfish refusal to provide for ourselves by “raising” the oil we so eagerly consume.