Anorak

Anorak | The BP Disaster Did For A Turtle Called Hayward But Limbaugh Was Right

The BP Disaster Did For A Turtle Called Hayward But Limbaugh Was Right

by | 30th, July 2010

SO. How bad was the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? President Barack Obama has called the BP oil spill “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced”. But is it?

When Obama went down to see the disaster for hsimelf, he failed to get the oily seabird photo op. As the Indy wrote:

Despite their frantic requests, no photogenic dying oil-covered birds could be found to form a backdrop for the Presidential tirade as he weighed into BP.

Now the news is changing:

…while CBS, Fox and MSNBC are all slapping “Disaster in the Gulf” chyrons on their spill-related news… The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill — he calls it “the leak” — is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.

You want hype?

“Crashing Vor” on the Daily Kos asserted on Tuesday morning that a good crisis should never go to waste. The Gulf oil spill must be exploited, and the greens must “use this moment, use the deaths of species and the suffering of people who depend on them, in the most cynical, calculated way, as bad as a Republican after 9/11, to make real, lasting change in how we address the costs of our way of life.”

Well, Limbaugh has a point. The Deepwater Horizon explosion was an awful tragedy for the 11 workers who died on the rig, and it’s no leak; it’s the biggest oil spill in U.S. history…..

Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago…

Yahoo observes:

Where is all the oil? Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared.

Some facts:

Dr Simon Boxall, an expert in marine pollution and dispersion at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, explains that there was panic at the estimated size of the spill, between 140 and 200 million gallons – the equivalent of about four supertankers of oil…

The combination of the fact that it was light, or “sweet”, crude oil and that the disaster happened in warm waters so far out to sea always meant, he says, that it would be dispersed very quickly. The Gulf, which has a lot of natural seepage into its waters, has, he explains, developed microbes that break down the oil.

“…When (BP’s) Tony Hayward said it was a drop in the ocean, it might have been the wrong thing to say at the time, but it was the truth. This spill is the equivalent of less than a drop in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. For all but a tiny bit of the Gulf, it will be back to normal within a year…”

But what about the turtles?

. As for wildlife, the total number of animals found dead and covered in oil for the whole period is 1,296 birds, 17 sea turtles and three dolphins – that is less than one per cent of the birds killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989…

The mock turtle:

Two decades ago, Tony Hayward was a “turtle” – one of a handful of young high fliers at BP earmarked for great things, named after the cartoon warriors, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Maybe the oil went fast because the media lapped it all up?



Posted: 30th, July 2010 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink