Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sometimes I'm Slow, But I Get Things Eventually

A month ago, I briefly wrote about the BP oil spill. I said, in a nutshell, the spill had been written about to death, and the higher seafood prices really irked me. Basically, I blew it off as something which was being over hyped by the media. Typically, I’m a pretty bright chap, but I was stupidly ignorant at the time. I just didn’t grasp the scope of the disaster.

Part of my problem was that I was used to oil spills being one time events, which can be cleaned up once they end. I honestly thought the worst was over. I was wrong.

To put things in perspective, let's look at the numbers. To date, this spill has been pumping 2.5 million gallons of oil, per day, into the Gulf of Mexico for fifty-eight days. That’s 145 million gallons of oil so far, covering 580 square miles, with no end in site. According to TREEHUGGER.COM;

14 - The approximate number of Exxon Valdez spills it would take to equal the BP spill.

783 - Number of birds killed by the oil spill so far, according to the Fish & Wildlife Dept.

1% - Percentage of birds that survive long-term after being covered in oil, according to some studies.

353 - Endangered sea turtles killed.

41 - Dolphins and other marine mammals killed.

86 - Number of oil cleanup workers who have gotten sick, as reported by BP.

109 - Number of oil cleanup workers who have gotten sick, as reported by state records.

As for the the 86 sick clean up workers, acknowledged by BP so far. In a report by NBC News, a BP spokesman has been quoted as saying, "the company has tested air quality and has deemed that respirators are not needed under government guidelines." This is interesting, considering cleanup workers can only work for 30 minutes at a time before being overcome by fumes. Some believe that even the 109 figure is an incomplete total.

Last night, President Obama addressed the disaster with an 18 minute speech from the Oval Office.

I think making BP clean up the spill is a great idea. I think making BP set aside enough money to compensate every single person effected by the spill is a great idea. I think designating a third party to determine liability on a case by case basis is a great idea. Now let's see if ANY of it actually happens.

Among liberals, such as myself, Obama has a reputation for talking a good game, but being toothless when it comes to execution. The question now is, will the government being actively implementing these ideas a year from now, or will people be left to fend for themselves, once the news trucks pull away, just like the victims of Katrina? It does no good for a quarterback to call great plays if he keeps dropping the ball.

No comments:

Post a Comment