The US government has announced that three quarters of the oil that has leaked out of BP’s Deepwater Horizon well into the Gulf of Mexico has been cleaned up or broken down by natural forces.
The US Government has announced that 75% of the Oil from the BP spill has been cleared, demonstrating that this ‘disaster’ hasn’t been half as bad and the environ-mentalists had been making out.
For the global warming, anti-globalisation lobby and associated misfits and the great unwashed, this spill must have seemed heaven sent. It demonstrated the wilful neglect of the oil industry, the dangers of fossil fuels and the threats of international commerce, all in one go.
But it is important to keep things in perspective, the oil itself has not caused the massive catastrophe that was predicted, and once again one has to ask, are these ‘expert’ predictions from the professional environmentalists, worth the paper they are printed on?
In the 106 days since the explosion took the lives of 11 workers on the rig, 4.9 million barrels of oil have leaked into the Gulf, about half the amount of the largest every oil spill in the US (and the world), the Lake View Gusher well spewed out 9 million barrels of oil in 18 months, way back in 1910-11.
There was been much mention of the wildlife, the effect on marine life, fishing and livelihoods, but precious little mention of the fact that 11 men died when the rig blew, as yet, no one else has died due to the leak. And now it seems clear that the impact to wildlife has at best been overstated, at worst, grossly exaggerated.
Indeed it seems that Tony Hayward’s (BP CEO) playing down of the spill, that saw him ripped apart in the US press, may have actually been more accurate than the ‘expert’ predictions, although I doubt there’ll be any apologies heading his way.
This whole thing has been a disaster for the families of the eleven men killed, for BP, for British Pensioners, for Oil Drilling in the gulf and for the oil industry as a whole. It has also served as something of a clarion call for those who either want to bring down BP, or the oil industry as a whole.
I wonder where these people were in 1984?
BhopalIn 1984 there was a methyl isocyanate gas leak from the plant of an Indian subsidiary of the Union Carbide Corporation, it killed 15,000 people in the nearby town of Bhopal and exposed about half a million people to serious health problems. Union Carbide denied all responsibility, and the US has refused to extradite the man that the Indians hold responsible, former Union Carbide CEO, Warren Anderson.
Amazingly the plant is still there, untouched and still leaking harmful substances into the environment, 26 years after the leak. Union Carbide did pay compensation in 1989, $470 million, about $700 million in today’s money, which works out at about $1400 for each person affected, including those killed. Small change really for killing 15,000 people in the world’s worst ever industrial accident.
This, along with the serious environmental problems that have been going on for decades in the Niger delta, raise the question of whether anyone would really have cared had this spill not happened on the doorstep of the US?
Whilst BP’s actions have been admirable, one has to wonder whether they’d even have bothered attempting a clean-up at all had it happened in the Niger delta, or on some South America coast.