Oliekatastrofen i Golfen

Diverse — Drokles on September 7, 2010 at 7:46 am

Aviserne gav den hele armen af bekymring da boreplatformen Deepwater Horizon eksploderede og sank i den Mexikanske Golf. Under overskriften “Er Deepwater Horizon Vor Tids Titanic” skrev Politiken (tilfældigt valg af avis) f.eks.

Olieselskabet skriver i planen, at et olieudslip fra Deepwater Horizon »kan få konsekvenser« for dyreliv og naturreservater ved kysterne omkring boreplatformen. Men selskabet argumenterer samtidig med, at »på grund af afstanden til kysten(77 kilometer, red.) og den assistance, der ville blive implementeret, hvis et udslip skulle forekomme, forventer man ingen betydelige, skadelige virkninger«.

Det viser sig nu, at den påstand ikke holder stik, mens miljøeksperter lige nu kæmper for at beskytte de 34.000 fugle, der holder til i marskområdet.

Samtidig er fiskeindustrien i Louisiana indstillet mange steder, hvor nettene ellers plejer at være fyldte med især østers, krabber og rejer.

LÆS ARTIKEL Oliepøl truer hvaler og skildpadder

LÆS ARTIKEL Lokale fiskere: Olien kan blive værre end Katrina

netolieneworleansj1_437654c

Hmm. Sience & Enviromental Policy Project noterer tørt i deres The Week That Was

Number of the Week: 1826. As of August 13, 115 days into the spill, this is the total number of visibly oiled dead birds collected by US Fish and Wildlife. The statistic does not mean the oil killed the birds. The total number of visibly oiled birds collected, alive or dead, is 3727. The total number of visibly oiled sea turtles collected stands at 461, 17 of which were dead. The total number of visibly oiled mammals collected stands at 5, 4 of which were dead. (http://www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/pdfs/collection_08132010.pdf)

SEPP henviser til National Review, der opstiller et lidt mere nøgternt billede af oliekatastrofen, der ganske tragisk kostede 11 mennesker livet end sommerens avisoverskrifter

Four months after the Deepwater Horizon spill — which President Obama called the “worst environmental disaster America has ever faced” — the oil is disappearing, and fisheries are returning to normal. It turns out that this incident exposed some things that are seriously wrong in the world of oil — and I don’t mean exploding wells. There was a broad-based failure on the part of the media, the science establishment, and the federal bureaucracy. With the nation and its leaders looking for facts, we got instead a massive plume of apocalyptic mythology and threats of Armageddon. In the Gulf, this misinformation has cost jobs, lowered property values, and devastated tourism, and its effects on national policy could be deep and far-reaching.

(…)

…late in May, NOAA did a study that was far less alarming. It found weak concentrations of oil in the area surrounding the Deepwater Horizon site: 0.5 parts per million, maximum. The median was a little over 0.2 parts per million. As with the “giant” spill that threatened the East Coast, that’s barely above the threshold of detection. And by late July and early August, BP, the federal government, and some independent researchers were saying they couldn’t find any plumes at all. “We’re finding hydrocarbons around the well, but as we move away from the well, they move to almost background traces in the water column,” said Adm. Thad Allen, the administration’s point man on the spill. Some 75 percent of the oil released is gone — and that’s based on new estimates that put the spill rate at the high end of earlier projections.

As with the bogus doomsday model, industry experts say the giant-plume threat was greatly overstated by scientists and further blown out of proportion by the media. According to Arthur Berman, a respected petroleum expert at Labyrinth Consulting Services in Sugar Land, Texas, the theory flunks basic physics. “Oil is lighter than water and rises above it in all known situations on this planet. The idea of underwater plumes defies everything that we know about physical laws and has distressed me from the outset about these unscientific reports.”

It also ignores the Gulf’s well-known ability to break down oil. Berman points out that the Gulf has for millennia been a warm, rich ecological gumbo of natural oil seeps, oil-eating bacteria, and marine life that subsists on the bacteria. His research, he says, suggests that the spill represents at most four times as much oil as seeps into the Gulf naturally in a year — in other words, it is eminently digestible by the native ecosystem.

Man har vel lov at være heldig.

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