The Gulf of Mexico has 2,430,000 cubic kilometers of water and the leak was 5,500,000 barrels
So, for dispersion and dilution, you do the math. I think the leak, enormous as it has been (Santa Barbara’s spill that launched our anti-energy program in the US in 1969 was 3,000,000 barrels–but it was just off shore) is probably analogous to a can of beer in the Great Lakes.
No matter. The media is on the situation like glue on false eyelashes, and reports that the Gulf oil has been siphoned off, dispersed, diluted, or just missed will be evaluated and analzyed until the appropriate environmental catastrophe can be declared. Heaven forefend that nature took care of itself and moved on.
The left is a cauldron of predicted chaos and disaster, of which their economic policies would qualify as a major contributior: these have brought down a dozen nations from the USSR to all the Eastern European commie bloc to the faliures that are Cuba and Venezuela and the social and political prison that is China, even if its economy is going wild.
All environmentalism is a Romantic concept based on emotion and fear (horror–EA Poe was a Romantic writer), so it is fitting that Thomas Malthus predicted in 1798 (the same year as Romanticism officially started in England with the publishing of Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge) that agriculture would never keep up with the world’s population. He wrote in An Essay on the Principle of Population that human reproduction spurs agricultural production and stays ahead of the population curve or the result is famine, disease, and de-population.
The echoes of Malthusian economics are periodically sounded by radicals touting immediate global disaster, as in the 1970s when Paul R. Ehrlich (and he STILL gets published) warned of mass starvation by the turn of the millennium from famine and lack of fresh water. The 70s were a hotbed of lefty hysterical predictions like the world would run out of oil by 2000, a new ice age would force world-wide war over arable land and resources by 2000, and the earth would suffer de-population and deflation on scales never before imagined.
None of that happened.
When the Iraqis of Saddam Hussein retreated from Kuwait in 1991, they set the oil field on fire. Even a physicist with the standing of Carl Sagan predicted that those fires would burn for a century, their heavens-blackening clouds would obscure the sun and cool the earth into a nuclear winter, and, natch, we would have another ice age (just when the left was beginning to tout global warming, no less–I’m not sure how inconvenient that was).
Didn’t happen. The fires were out in 6 months.
The latest horror has been global warming, which has been debunked, but like lefty vampires of all kinds, refuses to recognize its own demise and keeps returning to feed. Al Gore just yesterday was moaning and groaning that not enough legislation has addressed global warming. Any legislation that has, like the Kyoto Treaty, applied somewhat in Europe, has proved worthless in preventing let alone lessening so-called green house pollutants–because people need jobs. want warm and cooled house, and like food on the dinner table. Although, the Weather Channel has orgasms about 2010 being the hottest summer ever on record, the fires in Russia and all, they’ve already forgotten that last winter was the coldest ever recorded in Central Park, and in the 1890s, there was a summer week of NYC temps in the 120′s of degrees, where horses keeled over in the streets.
Climate change is going to happen, but whether it is happening now or not is completely disputable, and we have not enough records or expertise to judge. It might have helped if the savants at the U. of East Anglia, who were keeping the raw date, hadn’t lost most of it somehow–because, as Dr. Phil Jones said in a UTube’d interview, he wasn’t very good at housekeeping.
For all the horror of the failure of the BP rig (none were lost during Katrina, although Deep Horizon was not in place then, but it makes you wonder if you like conspiracies) and the 11 lives lost, oil tankers carry 2,000,000,000 barrels (3.2X1011) annually and lose at sea 16% of the oil, or over 700 metric tons (again, I don’t know the math equivalents here of cubic kilometers, barrels, and metric tons), but it’s a whole lot more than the 5 million barrels leaked in the Gulf.
Actually, oil leaks NATURALLY occur everywhere under earth’s own pressure. Tar called bitumen (or mumia) seeped out of the desert for thousands of years in the Middle East. When Alexander the Great paraded into Babylon, the conquered citizens lined the streets with bitumen and lit them in parallels of fire throughout the city. In an era when night lights consisted of the torch, such a display must have been dazzling.
These inexplicable eruptions so fascinated peoples of the ancient world that later Egyptian mummification used mumia in the process of preservation, and the mummies turned black as a result. Ergo, this petroleum stuff has been around forever, and we have survived as a species, although in the Middle Ages, physicians ordered mummy wrappings from Egypt and mixed them in elixirs for treatment of God knows what. How those disagnoses turned out is questionable.
But I digress.
1,000,000 barrels are estimated to seep into the Gulf of Mexico whether we ever drill there or not. The well(s) off Santa Barbara that have been moratorium’ed since 1969 sit on a dome that is slowly lifting the coastline and the city as it leaks 11 tons (another numerical accounting) of oil and gas bubblets DAILY, which could be pumped (rigs could be retrofitted within a year) by California to provide jobs, energy, and taxes for a state that is $19 billion in debt. To its credit, Santa Barbara itself has voted to restart its off-shore wells, but the Congressional prohibition from 1982 is still in place. (Also, Schwartzenegger has said he would not ever restart those drilling sites or explore for else–the more fool he.)
Unfortunately, for our resident evil in chief in DC, the coal mining disaster of last year and the BP failure of this spring/summer were not terror enough to drive a comprehensive krap and trade bill through both houses and cripple US industry and energy for a generation.
But if you watch the Weather Channel, it is still on the case of the Gulf oil problem and prospective global warming, although I notice it has not shut down and saved all those carbon emissions a cable channel must produce in televising its reports of nature’s misery and defeat on a 24/7 basis.