I’ve been avoiding news about the oil rig failure and subsequent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico for the last few days. The fact that the headlines have been so frequent and so dire has been enough to put me off. Sometimes I just can’t cope. But I did finally give in and start reading about it. It’s absolutely sickening. The scale is so large that it’s almost incomprehensible, and there’s no picture or graph or table that can adequately describe the impact that this disaster could have.
What upsets me about this kind of thing is the fact they are entirely man-made disasters. No doubt the death toll will be far less than the earthquakes we’ve seen in Haiti, China and Chile recently, but this is something that we’ve inflicted on ourselves. Obviously not deliberately, but it’s something that humankind is responsible for. It’s good the BP have put their hand up to accept this responsibility and to fund the clean up, but the damage that is going to occur one way or another is horrific.
Also, we have to appreciate that this isn’t your normal spill. This isn’t a specific amount of oil being carried that has ended up in the ocean. this is oil continuously flowing out of the ground into the ocean at a high rate. It’s still flowing.
Perhaps it’s indicative of the way I think, but this graphical representation of some of the facts and figures helped me to start geting my head around the scope of this thing. Maybe it will help you too.