Even if the well that is spewing crude recklessly into the Gulf of Mexico were capped tomorrow, the damage is already done. Hundreds of thousands of animals are going to die. The fishing industry will be devastated for a generation.
However, this underwater funnel of oil is not going to stop tomorrow. NBC news reports that BP suspects it may go on for months. At the current rate of 200,000 gallons a day, this catastrophe is immeasurable. No one has ever seen anything like it.Much of what we have come to depend on the Gulf of Mexico for is not likely to recover in our lifetime.
It has been a generation since the Exxon Valdez accident poisoned the pristine shores of Prince William Sound in 1989. “A team of scientists at the University of North Carolina found that the effects are lasting far longer than expected.The team estimates some shoreline Arctic habitats may take up to 30 years to recover.”
As the oil slick moves closer to shore, we will begin to see pictures of what the Deepwater Horizon explosion has done to our world. Sludge covered birds will die before our eyes as they gasp for breath under layers of black goo. The corpses of fish, dolphins, whales and other wildlife will line our shores and beaches.
These images will travel throughout the world and become part of our global history. This is what our quest for crude will show us in the days ahead.
For all the power the United States has, she is weak against this foe.
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