Oil Spill: Everything Fine and Dandy?

I recently read this article in Yahoo! News, courtesy of Reuters:

U.S. finds most oil from Gulf spill poses little risk: report

"The U.S. government is expected to announce that three-quarters of the oil from the BP Plc spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already evaporated, dispersed, or been captured or eliminated"


I think the polite thing to say about this report is to treat it with skepticism. As other comments from readers of the same article said, recent reports indicate that both BP and the government acknowledged that they drastically underestimated the size of the oil spill. Now we should trust them that, after the worst spill in history, things are gonna be just fine and dandy? I don’t suppose there’s any chance that the oil industry, awash in near-record profits in the recent past while ordinary Americans continued to get the shaft, had any influence on this report, you think?

I think it’s bad enough the effect this spill has had and will continue to have on marine life. Anyone who thinks that is not worth worrying about should still hopefully bear in mind that human life depends on healthy ecosystems in all kinds of ways. Bad environments spread diseases, famine, form new micro-organisms that can morph into deadly diseases, heat waves. People who like to fall back on the old point that the Earth will do fine long after humans are gone are correct that it’s not really the Earth we are trying to save, it is the environment that sustains human health.

I’m no scientist. Here’s a quote from an actual scientist:

"The oil itself on the bottom is being eaten by bacteria. This has always been the case in naturally occurring seeps across the Gulf. But now we’ve introduced much more oil, and as the bacteria grow they are consuming the oxygen that is in that area. And that oxygen loss will result in dead/hypoxic zones."

"My prediction is that we will be dealing with the impacts of this spill for several decades to come and it will outlive me,"

That is Dr. Ed Cake, biological oceanographer.

The media seems to like to think of itself as "fair and balanced". I’ve been hearing plenty about how the oil has just magically disappeared. The stories seem to implicitly suggest that things are dandy and we can go about our daily lives and stop worrying about this now.

I’d like to hear more from dissenting scientists like Dr. Cake. I can find this quote, I do customer service for a living for a financial corporation. Why can’t fair and balanced media personnel, whose job it is to find "the other side" of the story, seem to care enough to talk to these scientists?

It can be found, but not by reading stories from major media owned by major corporations (that’s pretty much every major media outlet, CNN, NBC, CBS, Fox… Yahoo! is certainly no exception)

The story I found the quote:

I highly recommend Inter Press Service for any open-minded people interested in a different point of view.

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