Sunday, May 02, 2010


It would appear that British Petroleum and the government have been underestimating the volume of petroleum leaking into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon well.  See this from the SkyTruth blog.  They estimate an average of 26,000 barrels a day (the news media said 1000 barrels a day, and then revised it upwards to 5000 barrels a day). This spill will soon surpass the Exxon Valdex disaster and there is no end in sight.

The looming catastrophe is enormous. Devilstower outlines the worst case scenario on
What we are facing is something far beyond what most people would think possible for the loss of a single well. Something nearly incomprehensible. Should it continue, this will be a oily-Chernobyl for the Gulf of Mexico. Oyster beds that have been sustainably harvested for over 130 years are already being lost. Shrimpers, fishermen, businesses that depend on tourism -- all are looking toward a not a decline, but an end to these industries that could last for years. The loss of fisheries alone could lead to shortages of sea food worldwide and economic collapse of coastal towns.

The economic damage is only part of it. Wetlands that shelter not just endangered species, but the coasts beyond, could become dead marshes of oil-soaked stumps and the oil-soaked bodies of dead wildlife. Animals that live in the Gulf -- from the smallest fish to Sperm Whales -- are threatened. Both total population and diversity in and around the Gulf may be impacted for a generation.

Let's hope it doesn't happen (I know what's at the top of my prayer list this Sunday). Let's hope that the worst case turns out to be the "laughably overblown case," that even now the flow of oil is easing, and that within a week some unexpected solution is in place. Let's pray for all of that.