Today I intended to delve into the question of "why" the left and the media was hyperventilating over the Gulf oil spill. That's been delayed for a day or two. The adjectives used to describe the spill were over the top, and in some cases just plain dishonest. To give context--and more importantly a sense of proportion--to the story, I made the simple case that the daily flow (5000 barrels or 200K gallons) was equal to 1/3 of an Olympic competition swimming pool. A poster on the US News and World Report website has done me one better, and shed some light into the hysteria surrounding the oil spill. Enjoy.--
How About A Little Perspective? A Sticky Mess - Not A Cataclysmic Disaster
"Natural seepage of crude oil from the sea floor into the marine environment of North America exceed 47 million gallons, and 180 million gallons globally."
“Activities associated with extraction and production introduce an average of 880 thousand gallons in North American waters and 11 million gallons worldwide.”
*Source, “Oil in the Sea III” Committee on Oil in the Sea - National Research Council.
“Natural seeps from the earth’s undersea strata introduce about 1700 barrels of oil a day in U.S. marine waters, which is approximately 150 times the amount from offshore oil and gas activities.”
*Source, “National Academy of Sciences 2003-2004.
“Natural seepage introduces 160 kilotons into North American Waters annually. Total from exploration, extraction, transportation and refining is approximately 12 kilotons.”
*Source, “U.S. Dept. of the Interior - Minerals Management Service 2004.
“Activities associated with exploration and production account for 3 - 5% of all releases due to anthropogenic activity.”
*Source, “Committee on Oil in the Sea: Inputs and Effects - National Research Council - National Academy of Science 2003”
Here are some more fun factoids.
1. More oil was spilled into the sea from shipping losses every 6 weeks of W.W.II than in the entire 65 years since the war’s end. The oceans survived.
2. The “hopane marker” of petro-chemical pollution in the sea reached it’s maximum in 1946 and has been in decline ever since.
3. In 1792-6, George Vancouver, Captain Cooke’s famous navigator made notes in his log regarding numerous, vast oil slicks off the Pacific Coast of North America. Juan Cabrillo recorded similar experiences in the mid 16th century off the coast of California.
4. Over the past 20,000 years sea levels have risen more than 300 feet (YOU THINK ALGORE KNOWS THAT?) and the erosion caused by rising levels has increased “natural seepage.”
5. University of Ca. Santa Barbara researchers (Hardly a neo-con group) find that off shore drilling reduces natural seepage of crude oil by more than 50%.
6. 20-30 tons of oil leak from southern California under fissures every day! Remember, this number would double if we eliminate off shore drilling.
7. Truk Lagoon was the site of the most intense fuel/oil spill on record. 77 Japanese ships were sunk by American dive and torpedo bombers, dropping thousands of tons of high explosives into the enclosed lagoon, in a single day. The lagoon did not become a "Super Fund" site, but rather a thriving dive resort with a wonderful and diverse underwater ecosystem. Oil still leaks from the sunken vessels 66 years later.
R.L. Schaefer of CA