If you have not already heard what is going on currently in the Gulf Of Mexico then listen up because it is an ongoing event with entirely serious consequences. In lay terms, a large undersea oil pipe burst and the resulting cracks are extremely large and leaking oil at an alarming rate: hundreds of thousands of barrels worth every day. Due to the high pressure of the oil leaking it makes it very difficult to contain, but engineering experts are doing their best so we hear. BP have detailed on their website http://www.bp.com/ situation updates and what is being done to stop the leak. Rumours are that this is the world’s worst environmental disaster, the second being the Exxon Valdez disaster (1989); this current one emits the equivalent oil of Exxon Valdez every 4 days.
I heard another rumour among my green friends that BP was not letting anyone else sort it out as they would like to start rebuilding their reputation now, by cleaning up the mess themselves. My immediate thought was that this is a global issue and is not about one company saving face- we should enlist the help of all the experts and engineers around the world. I have seen online that there are forums and some newspapers are taking suggestions for solutions from engineers, academics and retired oilrig workers. Whether these ideas are actually considered by BP I am not sure.
Oil continues to leak and the environmental effects of this pipe blow-out are likely to be very long term and widespread as the oil is carried on ocean currents, majorly impacting upon marine and other wildlife. It is very hard to see that there may be a silver lining to this, but perhaps this will prompt energy companies to move towards greener options.