Saturday, May 22, 2010

Deepwater Horizon oil spill

It's 22nd May 2010 today. It happened a month ago, on the 20th April 2010.

The tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico has been ongoing for a month and it seems nothing could stop it from continuing.

The slick expanding in size

I was deeply annoyed when I saw the news, and waited, and waited and waited for something miraculous to happen, at least to contain the spill to a certain area instead of blocking the leaking well. But no, they did what they thought they could, and the oil has now traveled down towards Florida, one of the most biologically-diversed places in America. Marshes and swamps in Florida are homes for countless species of animal and plant, and all these are now at the mercy of the slick. Next on the slicks' itinerary: rivers and inland water sources, and even the vast Atlantic~

So what happened?

"The fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon reportedly started at 9:45 p.m. CST on April 20, 2010. Survivors described the incident as a sudden explosion which gave them less than five minutes to escape as the alarm went off. A captain of a rescue boat described the heat as so intense that it was melting the paint off the boats. After burning for more than a day, Deepwater Horizon sank on April 22, 2010. At an April 30 press conference, BP said that it did not know the cause of the explosion." quoted from Wikipedia

So what happened next was that the leaking well continued to omit crude oil from the sea floor. The leaking was discovered two days after the explosion and at the staggering rate of 8000 barrels of crude per day. It is still leaking today... British Petroleum (BP) has taken action to curb the disaster, using sponges made from animal fur; sheep and alpaca, and also created a containment dome for the catastrope.

But the containment dome failed. Hydrates, mainly crystallized methane frozen from the crushing pressure of the ocean and low temperatures, clogged up the opening at the top of the giant funnel after it landed on the sea floor one mile below the surface.

There are various effort made up NGOs and BP itself to help mitigate the disaster. But as far as I'm concerned, there is no one perfect solution to this problem, and BP's day is made worst by statement from the Obama's Administration wanting them to "clear up, clean up, and compensate". It's always ugly when politicians try to politicize environmental issues.

Containing the slick

Oil spill presents a very hard blow to Mother Nature.

The crude is lighter than water and thus it floats on water, blocking sunlight from reaching the seafloor-thus preventing underwater plants from undergoing photosynthesis. The oil also block oxygen from the water, and hence the oxygen level in the water would decrease, creating a "dead zone". Few animals could survive in a dead zone.

A dead turtle

Sea bird covered in oil

Moreover, the slick would clog up birds' feather and they become flightless. The toxic oil would contaminate nature's water cleaner ie clams, and sea otters in turn eat these contaminated clams. Once dead, scavanging birds feed on the contaminated sea otter carcass, and the cycle goes on, until every living thing in the area affected by the slick is dead and gone.

What's worst is that it takes decades for the environment to restore itself, because the reef which is the breeding ground for fish, is now gone and it is very difficult for reef to start growing again, and please don't forget that it takes time for something to grow to maturity....

Oil on the shore

I hate oil spills. I really do. Experts say that this disaster could eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill as the worst US oil disaster in history.

Sadly, there is nothing I can do. I'm not in the States, and I could not contribute anything at all, and there is NO ONE INDIVIDUAL around me that care (or know) about this thing. WHAT THE FUCK U ALL MORONS. EAT AS YOU WANT AND SLEEP AS LONG AS YOU WISH WHILE NATURE SUFFERS AT THE DEED OF OUR HANDS, AND CONTINUE WATCHING YOUR STUPID DRAMA AND GAMES AND GET FAT AND DIE IN VAIN.

If you cannot do anything, at least you should know/care...

1 comment:

  1. wow, i'm impressed..not many know this coz it's a global but abstract issue..
    operation top kill failed..
    only god can put a plug on the leakage..



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