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Putting Oil Spills Into Perspective

Oil spills are happening. Not just in the Gulf, but in Singapore. In Houston. Most oil spills don't make the news, but they are happening as ships collide, as mistakes happen, as industrial accidents happen.

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The Gulf is the oil spill... THE oil spill... right? People in Pensacola, New Orleans, Tampa, Houston, and Miami are very concerned and are watching this one oil spill closely.

But there are MORE oil spills happening.

Getting and transporting oil is not a safe business.

Here is a list of the "OIL SPILL" listings on a Google news report for just one year... and you know that most of the oil spills don't get reported in these brief "top-headline" lists.

Federal court orders Exxon to pay $500 million in interest on settlement for 1989 oil spill --- - Jun 15 2009

Oil spill shutters part of Houston Ship Channel --- - Sep 28 2009

Oil spill in Texas waterway contained --- - Jan 24 2010

Gulf Coast oil spill comes ashore --- - Apr 30 2010

Gulf oil spill swells to 4m gallons --- - May 11 2010

Singapore oil spill spreads --- - May 27 2010

The consequences affect everyone ... especially the children living near the beaches that are polluted with emissions releasing crude oil heavy with VOCs - volatile organic compounds. And wildlife. Wildlife in our oceans that are already dealing with up to 90% declines in populations. And habitats for wildlife.

Exxon is still paying off the reclamation debt for an oil spill in 1989! -- That's TWENTY YEARS! That hints that BP will be paying off their debt for at least 40 years! Can the Gulf... and US taxpayers ... wait that long for companies with record profits to pay for the cost of doing business?

Oil spills are an unacceptable way of doing business. Companies work hard to minimize damage to their equipment and their livelihood -- that's assumed. But most people do not understand the far reaching consequences of a "little spill" ... much less a catastrophic event.

Even scientists are puzzling apart how nature works. How interconnected it is. How habitats are absolutely critical for the biodiverse web of life upon which we depend for not only FOOD, but filtration of water, fertilization of soil, oxygen production and weather patterns.

Oil spills are not acceptible. At any scale. Not in the Gulf. Not in our rivers and ports. Not in Singapore.

It will take much stiffer oversight and regulation to reduce the profitability of hazardous drilling for oil to make it responsible for the damage oil production is contributing to the decline of our environmental sustainability. It will take a level playing field for renewable energy sources to gain market share and replace these dangerous, "easy profit" oil production methods.

People want jobs. Even oil rig operators have families they are concerned about -- and sometimes today's meals are put ahead of next year's meals. That's pragmatic and that's how we all think. But we've passed the point of reckless endangerment of our massive ecosystems. And that's not acceptible.

High risk sports are costly. High risk business is self-destructive for us as a nation and us as a species.

Carolyn Allen
Senior Editor

Edited by Carolyn Allen
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