Sunday, July 18, 2010

Oil Spill Perspective

In the scheme of things, the Gulf Oil Spill isn't really very much.  Here is the extent of the oil as of today via Intellicast:

click for larger images

As you can see, tarballs in Key West or on the west coast of Florida are probably just from natural oil seepage -- which occurs all the time, and has been reported for hundreds of years in the Caribbean and the Gulf.

According to NOAA on 16 July 2010, the following sea turtle and marine mammal losses have been recorded so far:

Sea Turtles:  674 have been studied either by seeing them stranded or by capturing them in open water.  468 were found either found dead or died later.  This number is much higher than the average of previous years in the area, but may be due to greatly increased detection and reporting.  Only 162 of the 674 (dead and alive) had evidence of oil on them.  Only 16 of the oiled turtles were dead or have died.

Sperm Whales:  One was found dead and heavily scavenged at sea with no evidence of oil. Analysis is underway.

Dolphins:  65 found stranded, 60 are dead.  4 of the stranded dolphins had oil on them, one of which was alive.  This is a higher rate of stranding than usual, but may be due to greatly increased detection and reporting.  Also, there was an observed spike in strandings last winter, which could be continuing.  Only 3 dolphins died with oil on them.

I really think that our media-government coalition blows these things out of proportion for their own benefit.

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