Sunday, May 2, 2010

All Creatures Great and Small

Two Brown Pelicans (the Louisiana state bird, recently removed
from the endangered species list) stand on
the beach beyond
one of the protective booms laid just off
the Gulf Coast shore this
Photo by William Colgin of the Sun Herald,
via A.P. and National Geographic.

The booms are part of an attempt to prevent the massive oil slick in the Gulf Coast from reaching the salt marshes at the mouth of the Mississippi River, as well as the rest of the Gulf Coast's fragile ecosystem (not to mention its tourism and fishing industries). The leaking sea floor oil well that is the source of the growing slick is currently spewing an estimated 5,000 barrels of crude oil per day (that's about 210,000 gallons) into Gulf Coast waters. As reported yesterday morning by the New York Times, some NOAA officials now fear that this amount may soon grow to "an order of magnitude higher than than that." The solution currently on the table to shut off the well will take an estimated "months."

Bird covered in oil from a 2006 Black Sea spill.
Via Marinephotobank on flickr.

I was going to rant further but I'm sure you know all about it by now so I'll spare everyone. While we're at it: on Tuesday British Petroleum reported that its profit more than doubled in the first quarter of 2010 thanks to rising oil prices. Congratulations. I guess that means you can afford to pay for the "clean up."

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