If you have read, heard, or seen the news lately you probably are aware of the growing environmental catastrophe that is occurring in the Gulf of Mexico as I type and as you read this. If you happen to have been living under a rock for the past week an oil platform in the gulf exploded and sank and has been leaking approximately 5000 barrels of oil a day into the gulf waters. The oil slick from the spill is already larger then the state of Rhode Island and is about one third the size of the Exon Valdez spill and still growing.
The well belonged to British Petroleum (BP) who has stated that they will take responsibility and pay for the clean up, which is actually US law. Unfortunately the oil spill is threatening many different wildlife species. Bottlenose dolphins which swim in the gulf waters and sperm whales which rear their young in the area are probably already feeling the effect. As the oil makes it to shore it will probably effect the wetland along the coast where many birds are already nesting. Crustestaceans, both saltwater and freshwater like the crayfish pictured above, will also be hit hard. This is a nightmare and one that we will probably have to live with for decades or even generations.
BP is going to pay for the clean up but how can they ever possibly pay for the damage that they have done to the planet and all of us. What price can we put on a dead dolphin, how much if they wipe out sperm whales or a species of sea turtles. There is no amount of money that can make up for their negligence. To increase their profits they chose not to include safety equipment which may have avoided what will probably end up being the worst ecological disaster in US history.
I am a realist. I know that we still need oil. I won't give up my car. I need it to get to work and to get to more natural places which are outside the cities. I have tried to do my part to help by trading in my 15 MPG truck for my 45MPH + hybrid but even hybrids still require gas. However my hybrid will no longer ever get gas from BP.