Monday, August 28, 2006

News Flash: Oil spills damage environment

The kiddies over at the area right wing sandbox are at it again. This time some new guy who seems to be a bit wet behind the ears is pontificating about how in his little world an oil spill won't do any damage to the environment. I am aware that he oh-so-humorously jabs at the Exxon Valdez spill as a 'waste of oil' and seems to think that in this era of corporate greed and profit-taking, that BP would have been proactive in maintaining their pipeline through the Alaskan wilderness and tundra.

This guy has alot to learn. In a perfect world, yes, an owner of something as profitable as the Alaskan Pipeline would perform regular maintenance to avoid a quarter-of-a-million gallon oil spill in some of the last untouched land in America. This douche fails to see how something as miniscule as 267,000 GALLONS of oil would ever cause any negative longterm environmental impact. Huh?

He even went on to state that due to a thorough cleanup with the Exxon Valdez tanker spill of 10.8 million gallons there was cleaned up so beautifully by nature. That fact seemed a bit off to me. Turns out it is. My memory (I was not yet a teenager at the time) recalls teams of volunteers scrubbing rocks and wildlife. It seemed bizarre to me at the time but these people are what aided in the visual recovery of the affected areas. Nature has very little, if any, way of cleaning up such a vast oil spill.

As for the environmental impacts of the Exxon Valdez spill being a page in the history books, wrong again. While the new sprout at the right wing sandbox seems to think that his wee little theories float (much like oil on water), is dead wrong. The effects on the wildlife in the area are in the numbers.

Thousands of animals died immediately; the best estimates include 250,000 sea birds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 orcas, and billions of salmon and herring eggs. Due to a thorough cleanup, little visual evidence of the event remained just one year later (in areas frequented by humans) but the effects of the spill continue to be felt today. In the long term, reductions in population have been seen in various ocean animals, including stunted growth in pink salmon populations. Sea otters and ducks also showed higher death rates in following years, partly because they ingested contaminated creatures. The animals also were exposed to oil when they dug up their prey in dirty soil. Researchers said some shoreline habitats, such as contaminated mussel beds, could take up to 30 years to recover.

While the new kid in the sandbox spouts off with his uninformed and one-sided rant, some of us get the facts straight.

We can't avoid this area just because some seals might get dirty.

And with a statement like this, it makes me wonder if this is the sort of person who would laugh heartily at even the thought of driving anything but a gas-guzzling automobile like most of the population. jb needs to open his 44 year-old eyes and see that oil may not exactly be the future and there are two sides to every story.

1 comment:

betmo said...

nice post- says it all