BP has to be LOVING the media it’s been getting recently.
We said it about a week ago, that it was starting to look as though the spill was overblown.
Then yesterday there were the reports about the early-disappearance of the oil sheen, and the lack of effect on Florida beaches.
And now this from Time.com, asking: The BP Oil Spil: Has The Damage Been Exaggerated?
Marine scientist Ivor Van Heerden, another former LSU prof who’s working for a spill response contractor, says “there’s just no data to suggest this is an environmental disaster. I have no interest in making BP look good — I think they lied about the size of the spill — but we’re not seeing catastrophic impacts,” says Van Heerden, who, like just about everyone else working in the Gulf these days, is being paid out of BP’s spill response funds. “There’s a lot of hype, but no evidence to justify it.”
The scientists I spoke with cite four basic reasons the initial eco-fears seem overblown. First, the Deepwater Horizon oil, unlike the black glop from the Valdez, is comparatively light and degradable, which is why the slick in the Gulf is dissolving surprisingly rapidly now that the gusher has been capped. Second, the Gulf of Mexico, unlike Prince William Sound, is balmy at more than 85 degrees, which also helps bacteria break down oil. Third, heavy flows of Mississippi River water helped keep the oil away from the coast, where it can do much more damage. Finally, Mother Nature can be incredibly resilient. Van Heerden’s assessment team showed me around Casse-tete Island in Timbalier Bay, where new shoots of spartina grasses were sprouting in oiled marshes, and new leaves were growing on the first black mangroves I had ever seen that were actually black. “It comes back fast, doesn’t it?” Van Heerden said.
Supposing this is true, we have to wonder the extent to witch the BP livecam had some effect on causing everyone to exaggerate the disaster. After all, when you saw that gusher, it was impossible not to presume you were looking at a total catastrophe.
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