New Orleans native Deborah Dupré reports censored human rights news stories. With Science and Ed. Specialist Grad Degrees from U.S. and Australian universities, Dupré’s been a human and Earth rights advocate over 30 years in those countries and Vanuatu. Her unique humanitarian-based research and development work, including in some of the world’s least developed and most remote areas, led her to write articles appearing in dozens of popular print and Internet media internationally.
Her latest book is the nonfiction, Vampire of Macondo.
Visit her column at Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/user-gdeborahdupre
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Deborah. Can you tell us where you are from?
Thank you for this opportunity. I’m from south Louisiana, a native of New Orleans, reared in Baton Rouge, and spent my most cherished childhood days on Grand Bayou swamplands where relations lived.
The Vampire part of the title is derived from the thousands of children and adults who have been bleeding from BP’s 2010 crude oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and from the U.S. military supported carpet-bombing of Corexit to cover up this oil. The horrific bleeding involved in this catastrophe has been covered up, as though a vampire in the dark of night has been literally sucking life-blood from innocent prey, people along the Gulf Coast.
The Macondo part of the title is from the name of the Gulf well where BP was drilling in 2010 at unprecedented depths before its leased Deepwater Horizon rig exploded with methane gas, initially killing eleven men. Oil from Macondo that is still filling the Gulf, that BP tried to sweep under the sand, has only this past week, become all too obvious in the news.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
After describing highlights of Vampire of Macondo to my best friend, Vickie Beveridge, she told me she “could see the cover.” She described the young Cajun woman bleeding, as featured in Chapter One of the book, standing on the Gulf beach with a bleeding-to-death Gulf dolphin. Thousands of dolphins have died. Thousands have been collected and disposed before reaching shore. Many keep washing ashore. Many have been bleeding internally, as Corexit is designed to do according to an EPA whistleblower highlighted in Vampire of Macondo. BP crude oil combined with Corexit is 52 times more lethal than crude oil alone, according to a new research paper that I reported the first week of December.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
This story impacts all of us, from most of us who eat poisoned Gulf seafood, to most of us who fill the tanks of gas-guzzlers with blood-tainted gasoline instead of driving sustainable vehicles, to all of us whose taxes support fossil fuel subsidies five times as much as sustainable energy. Most people don’t understand this vicious arithmetic because the powers that be don’t want us to know. Now, after reading Vampire of Macondo, the public has a chance to learn, and to act.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
Everyone likes talking about self. I’m no different, so I enjoyed the first chapter where I related my personal life, my experiences in south Louisiana as a child, my love of the bayous and kinfolks there, and my heritage’s impact on my perception of the Gulf oil violence.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
As a human rights defender and native of south Louisiana, I knew in my heart that abuses committed in this ongoing blood for oil crime needed revealing, but nobody had documented it in a user-friendly way so the world would know the truth. I believe in pushing the world forward, away from military-petrochemical-industrial-complex imperialistic violence and toward peaceful coexistence.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
I’ve been reluctant to reveal the targeting as a human rights advocate that I’ve experienced. I do not want to give energy to the reality of that dark force when I can use that time for positive energy and endeavors.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I always want to travel to where my children are. There’s nothing in the world as important or rewarding as quality time with family. Aside from that, I’m an island lady, so an island get-away is always appealing. Bhutan, where gross national happiness officially trumps gross national profit, is one of the only other places I hope to visit.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Definitely morning. I do my most creative writing in the still and quiet of the early hours, often before sun-up.
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
My father and closest aunt were gifted writers. My sister is also an excellent writer. My husband has written three books and edited one. One of my sons has made three documentaries on alternative fuels and the crimes of the petrochemical-military-industrial complex.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Yes. I had academic trouble in early years at school for that reason. I remember carrying caterpillars into class and putting them on my desk. Because of my “dreaming,” I was also the student most often winning creativity awards throughout my school days. One year at camp, I won the Mad-hatters contest with my hat, a little cage I made of lashed sticks, a little door and a thatched roof, complete with tiny tree frogs singing in it.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
I wish that before I die, I can enjoy living close to my immediate family and seeing humanity’s non-violence and empowerment by replacing dirty, dangerous, unhealthy energy sources such as fossil fuels and nuclear with clean, safe, healthy renewable energy such as solar, wind, bio-fuels from marginal land unsuitable for food, and tidal energy.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
Thank you for this opportunity to contribute to a world based on human rights rather than militarized corporate greed.