Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Selective outrage over the Gulf oil spill

Nobody cheers the environment being out of balance, and some people would like to believe that man is perfectible and the ills of human nature can be tamed. Even capitalists are the strongest of conservationists as they constantly strive to conserve scarce resources by moving them to their most efficient use.

With that said, the hysterics regarding the Gulf oil spill are not aligned with reality and facts.

Lets get and keep some perspective on the size and environmental impact with the current oil spill.

From1940- 2009: 4,848,769 – 5,763,337 tonnes of crude oil have spilled worldwide. The environmental impacts, although tragic, have not ended the planet as we know it.

1 tonne = 308 U.S. gallons 0r 7.33 barrels.

8000 tonnes have spilled so far in the current Gulf spill.

In comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill, 1989 = 37,000 tonnes.

A short list of some major spills since 1990 that were larger than the current Gulf spill. Where was the outrage? How did the planet survive?

Lebanon, Jiyeh power station oil spill in 2006, 20,000-30000 tonnes
Pakistan, Tasman Spirit , in 2006, 20,000-30,000 tonnes
Spain, Prestige spill, 2002 = 63,000 tonnes
France, Erica spill, 1999 = 15,000-25,000 tonnes
U.K., Sea Empress spill, 1996 = 40,000 - 72,000 tonnes
Puerto Rico, Morris J.Berman spill, 1994 = 109,000 tonnes
Scotland, Braer spill, 1993 = 85,000 tonnes
Uzbekistan, Fergana Valley spill, 1992 = 285,000 tonnes
Spain, Agean Sea spill, 1992 = 74,000 tonnes
Mozambique, Katina P spill, 1992, 72,000 tonnes
Angola, ABT Summer spill, 1991 = 260,00 tonnes
Italy, MT Haven spill, 1991 = 144,000 tonnes
Persian Gulf, Gulf War spill, 1991 = 780,000- 1,500,000 tonnes

As John Adams said:"Facts are stubborn things"

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