Two years since the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, we look at its impact on the Gulf of Mexico's residents and wildlife even as no BP officials have faced criminal prosecution for the disaster. Eleven workers died when the Deepwater Horizon well exploded and almost five million barrels of crude oil leaked into the ocean before the well was plugged after 51 days. BP maintains the Gulf is rapidly recovering thanks to the company's efforts, but Al Jazeera reporter Dahr Jamail describes how scientists say shrimp, fish and crabs in the Gulf of Mexico have been deformed by oil and chemicals released during the spill clean-up effort.
The Oil and Corexit dispersant is bad enough. I only hope that any oil eating bacteria that has been released is not eating everything in the Gulf. Hopefully we won't end up with a destroyed planet like in the movie The Road.
The problem with many really bad "black swan" type disasters is that most people can't imagine them happening. However, for those people in control, this sort of imagining is very necessary - in order to avert a catastrophe.
In regard to certain things, like genetically engineered organisms going out of control or the impacts of subtle environmental toxins (including radiological contamination), it is better to be cautious first, to prevent the chance of a disaster, than to deal with potential consequences later down the track.
[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, April 26th, 2012.]