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Gingersnap
07-29-2010, 11:55 AM
The BP Spill: Has the Damage Been Exaggerated?

By Michael Grunwald / Port Fourchon, La. Thursday, Jul. 29, 2010

President Obama has called the BP oil spill "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced," and so has just about everyone else. Green groups are sounding alarms about the "Catastrophe Along the Gulf Coast," while CBS, Fox and MSNBC slap "Disaster in the Gulf" chryons on all their spill-related news. Even BP fall guy Tony Hayward, after some early happy talk, admitted the spill was an "environmental catastrophe." 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.

Well, Rush has a point. The Deepwater 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. It's also inflicting serious economic and psychological damage on coastal communities that depend on tourism, fishing and drilling. But so far while it's important to acknowledge that the long-term potential danger is simply unknowable for an underwater event that took place just three months ago it does not seem to be inflicting severe environmental damage. "The impacts have been much, much less than everyone feared," says geochemist Jacqueline Michel, a federal contractor who is coordinating shoreline assessments in Louisiana.


Yes, the spill killed birds but so far, less than 1% of the birds killed by the Exxon Valdez. Yes, we've heard horror stories about oiled dolphins but, so far, wildlife response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of any mammals. Yes, the spill prompted harsh restrictions on fishing and shrimping, but so far, the region's fish and shrimp have tested clean, and the restrictions are gradually being lifted. And, yes, scientists have warned that the oil could accelerate the destruction of Louisiana's disintegrating coastal marshes a real slow-motion ecological calamity but, so far, shorelines assessment teams have only found about 350 acres of oiled marshes, when Louisiana was already losing about 15,000 acres of wetlands every year.

The disappearance of more than 2,000 square miles of coastal Louisiana over the last century has been a true national tragedy, ravaging a unique wilderness, threatening the bayou way of life and leaving communities like New Orleans extremely vulnerable to hurricanes from the Gulf. And while much of the erosion has been caused by the re-engineering of the Mississippi River which no longer deposits much sediment at the bottom of its Delta quite a bit has been caused by the oil and gas industry, which gouged 8,000 miles of canals and pipelines through coastal wetlands. But the spill isn't making that problem much worse. Coastal scientist Paul Kemp, a former Louisiana State University professor who is now a National Audubon Society vice president, compares the impact of the spill on the vanishing marshes to "a sunburn on a cancer patient."

Much more at the link.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2007202,00.html#ixzz0v5TTW775

Speedy
07-29-2010, 12:18 PM
The greenies and thier panty wasted ilk were all overjoyed at what they thought was an impending disaster and now they look like "sky is falling idiots!" They wanted the pictures of the oil soaked dolphins and birds.

Last night I was watching Billy, The Exterminator on A&E. He had a job call close to the Gulf and where some of the oil was washing ashore and he went out to help. Even though this guy is an exterminator, he would rather relocate alot of the critters (possums, racoons, bobcats, alligators) that he traps. He has a real soft spot for animals so he went out into the marshes to take a look for himself. He found a racoon out there and wanted to relocate it. He was told that NO ONE was allowed to even touch any wildlife found out there. In other words, the OFFICIAL cameras had to be out there, you know, the ones with an agenda. Billy told them to screw themselves and relocated that coon using one of the camera chase boats.

lacarnut
07-30-2010, 07:34 AM
I don't think the spill has been exaggerated. We just do not know the damage to the environment on land and at sea this has caused. What we do know is that thousands of oil field workers have or will loose their good paying jobs , the fishing industry has taken a huge hit, many fisherman will go out of business. the cost to the state of LA will total in the hundreds of millions in lost revenues and property values have taken a big hit. This spill has destroyed thousands of peoples lives which the author overlooks.

BP will take a $10 billion write off on their Corporate Income Taxes. You wanna know who pays for that? BTW, Rush should stick to politics cause he sounds like a dunce when talking about the oil industry.

warpig
07-30-2010, 10:45 AM
Well it seems that mother nature has developed her own set of oil eating microbes that have been around for who knows how long. Oil also leaks from the ocean floors apart from just oil spills, all taken care of.

Satanicus
08-01-2010, 02:56 PM
all taken care of.

Jeeesh, BP says they will be cleaning up for years, what do you think they are cleaning ? ..their underwear ?

hampshirebrit
08-01-2010, 03:00 PM
Jeeesh, BP says they will be cleaning up for years, what do you think they are cleaning ? ..their underwear ?

Yeah, because BP have been right in all aspects of this whole affair. ;)

Gingersnap
08-02-2010, 10:58 AM
Jeeesh, BP says they will be cleaning up for years, what do you think they are cleaning ? ..their underwear ?

Probably, once the civil suits get started. Neither BP nor anyone else actually knows what the area will look like in terms of "norms" a year from now. After Katrina the media and EPA spent a lot of time braying about the destruction in the coastal waters due to the "toxic soup" that spewed into the Gulf.

Guess what? A year later, water quality testing showed that the gulf waters were back to normal. The plants, birds, and bugs all went on about their business. The fish were abundant and edible. You sure don't hear about that aspect of Katerina today, do you? Because the impact was wildly exaggerated to make the political elements of the event seem much, much worse than they were.

This is the same old thing.

Lager
08-02-2010, 11:50 AM
We have come to a point where many sides wish to engage in hyberbole and exaggeration to their advantage. The media has to have every disaster be the worst in history so they can feed the 24 hour, all day, everyday news cycle. Interest groups use situations like these to garner support for their causes. Climate change desciples use fear and paranoia in overblown predictions of what a warmer temperature means for the planet. The powers that hated George Bush exaggerated his failures during the Katrina hurricane to make him look as bad as possible. Obama even made the financial crisis look like it was going to lead to the end of the world, and that played a big part in his election. And yes... I'm going to say this and make all our liib posters happy; The right is definitely not above using this tactic as well. Especially in the build up to the wars, and in talk radio.

The only thing we, the public can do is to learn to look deeper than headlines and sound bytes. We have to remember that there are vested interests who want to shape the "truth" and we are going to have to do our own sifting of all the "facts" we are bombarded with.

hampshirebrit
08-02-2010, 05:09 PM
We have come to a point where many sides wish to engage in hyberbole and exaggeration to their advantage. The media has to have every disaster be the worst in history so they can feed the 24 hour, all day, everyday news cycle. Interest groups use situations like these to garner support for their causes. Climate change desciples use fear and paranoia in overblown predictions of what a warmer temperature means for the planet. The powers that hated George Bush exaggerated his failures during the Katrina hurricane to make him look as bad as possible. Obama even made the financial crisis look like it was going to lead to the end of the world, and that played a big part in his election. And yes... I'm going to say this and make all our liib posters happy; The right is definitely not above using this tactic as well. Especially in the build up to the wars, and in talk radio.

The only thing we, the public can do is to learn to look deeper than headlines and sound bytes. We have to remember that there are vested interests who want to shape the "truth" and we are going to have to do our own sifting of all the "facts" we are bombarded with.

Excellent post.

Subtext: exaggeration is everything in the 24h news cycle. Bigging up the facts sells. Going large sways votes.