Thursday, April 29, 2010

Huge Oil Slick Threatens US Coastline

The pursuit of oil comes at a steep cost: Risk and environmental damage that can last decades, maybe even hundreds and thousands of years. 

Since that massive explosion and sinking of the offshore oil rig Deep Water Horizon almost 10 days ago, the well head is broken and spewing oil at a rate of 210,000 barrels per day or 795,000 liters of oil.
 The oil penetrates up the structure of the plumage of birds, reducing its insulating ability, and so making the birds more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and much less buoyant in the water. It also impairs birds' flight abilities to forage and escape from predators. 

 As they attempt to preen, birds typically ingest oil that covers their feathers, causing kidney damage, altered liver function, and digestive tractdehydration and metabolic imbalances. Most birds affected by an oil spill die unless there is human intervention irritation.

And the question remains: Can they protect the fragile ecosystem of the south US shoreline? By looking at the news reports and sparse coverage you'd think this isn't a big deal.

But just today the President of the United States of America, Mr. Obama, said he was watching with keen interest. When the President of the USA watches, you know shit is serious. I just hope they act quickly to shut this well down in time and try to prevent more ecosystem damage. As humans we're pretty fucking good at destroying shit.

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