jump to navigation

The spill from space May 4, 2010

Posted by Dr. O in Ecology, Environment/Conservation, Policy, Science & Culture.
1 comment so far

You can see the oil slick from space

And that’s not a good thing.  Pictures from NASA’s Earth Observatory website show the every increasing size of the oil spill that has spread across the gulf coast.

The spill from space. It's huge!

Some recent news statements have said that the slick is smaller today, but scientists warn that it means that the oil has only begun to sink to the bottom of the ocean. While it may not coat bird feathers at that point, it will kill oyster beds, kelp forests, and destroy lots of fish and invertebrates.   A major cause of concern for environmentalists and local fishermen.

A failed experiment

Deepwater Horizon exploratory rig in flames

What I think warrants concern here is that this offshore rig was experimental and it was working under guidelines that many in the business thought were unsafe.   Additionally, while there are many supposed fail-safes on all rigs…every single piece of safety redundancy failed on the Deep Horizon rig and BP doesn’t seem to be able to deal with the catastrophic aftermath.  Lastly, you may have heard about special dispersants being sprayed to “break up” the oil, however questions about their role as toxins to the environment remain.  Are we really left with choosing the lesser of two evils here?

What does it all mean?

Regardless of your stance on fossil fuel dependency, big oil’s big business role, and government regulation…this should give us pause to reflect on our current choices and regulations of fossil fuel use.

There was a devoted discussion to the aftermath of this environmental crisis on the Diane Rehm show yesterday.  Click here to listen.

Click here for an earlier post discussing the long-term environmental toll oil spills can have.

Follow the slick on your phone

Here is a list of apps that will allow you to follow the gloomy progression of the slick.