Saturday, 12 March 2011

Oil Spill, Tea Party Unites With Green Party For Carbon Free Future

By Laura Hedlund  

What have we done? While I do not live in the area affected by the Gulf Spill, I am depressed, full of rage and deeply frightened. What future are we leaving our children?



How Long Will it Take For Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill to Stop?

By Kevin Huffman
Platinum Quality Author
Frankly, it's hard to reflect on when oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would stop. Just look at the amount of oil spilling out.
When the spill began on the fateful day of April 20th 2010, it was mere 5,000 barrels a day. However, nobody knows the truth, a little later; statements started flowing out, that probably, more than 40,000 barrels a day is being lost on the high seas.
Still further, scientists claim, the oil spill at the Gulf of Mexico might touch somewhere around 70,000 barrels a day.
The truth is that oil spill is touching huge figures, and if concrete measures are not taken immediately, things could go out of hand.
BP claims that oil spill could be stopped by the end of August, but nothing could be said as of now. Earlier efforts of plugging oil leak had failed miserably.
From sending a Robot down to the seabed to lift the 450 tonne valve, and put the blocks on the leak, to plugging the valve with mud, debris and chemicals. They have all failed and repeated attempts of plugging the oil well at the gulf have done no good, yet.
Now, BP is on the run to construct two relief wells on the sea bed, which would perhaps, be the ideal method to stop the oil spill. One of the wells is likely to be at 12,000 feet deep below, while the other well would take some time to get completed.
This could be the moment, BP and the whole of United States had been waiting for.

Oil Pollution and Home Damage

By David S Caldwell
The Gulf Coast oil spill is responsible for leaking millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Beaches and marshes from Louisiana to Florida have been negatively affected by the spill, both environmentally and economically. There is a high probability that many home owners will experience some form of home damage as a result of the spill, which can be costly to repair or clean up.
Types of Damage
Since the explosion on April 20th, 2010, oil has leaked from the spill site and drifted throughout the Gulf of Mexico and towards shore. Residents along the Gulf Coast have reported spotting oil sheen and tar balls along the beaches. Property owners have found their land blemished by unsightly oil, and some have had property such as boats, docks, and even parts of homes damaged by pollution from the spill.
Pollution along the coast has made it more difficult for some individuals to rent out their property. With the usually idyllic beach landscape marred by oil, many visitors have decided against renting beachfront property. Another possible threat to home owners is the risk of having property drop in value. Even if a home is not directly affected by the oil spill, pollution in the area may cause a home's property value to drop.
Taking Action
If you are a home owner and have been negatively affected by the oil spill, you may have legal grounds to initiate a lawsuit for compensation. Home owners should not have to bear the cost of pollution caused by someone else's negligence. Consider consulting with an experienced oil spill attorney to determine how you can take action to recover financial compensation for your home damage and economic losses.
For More Information
To learn more about oil spill damages and taking legal action, visit the website of the oil spill damage attorneys of Williams Kherkher today.

What's Next in Dealing With the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf

By George Chan
Platinum Quality Author
With the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil well on April 20, 2010, the BP oil spill became the worst ecological disaster in the history of the United States. Oil started gushing out in unprecedented amounts and continued doing so, unchecked, for weeks. An estimated 40,000 barrels a day were leaking into the sea, from an uncontrollable well lying nearly 5,000 feet below the water's surface.
Finally, by June 4, a temporary cap was fitted which slowed down the gushing oil and also made it possible to funnel off some of the leaking petroleum into awaiting ships. BP was still trying to figure out a permanent fix and went to bid on a cap that could be fitted to stop the flow completely. The plan was to drill a new, relief well and then 'kill' the first well by filling it with mud and concrete.
With the first cap in place BP announced it was collecting nearly 16,000 barrels of oil per day. The BP oil spill was still spewing most of its product into the sea, but at a somewhat slower rate. It's not until July 15 that a new cap is placed and seems to be successful in stemming the flow. Now, with the oil temporarily shut off, BP says it will take the opportunity to test the well's integrity. In the meantime, the relief well is drilled about five feet away from the original.
President Obama tapped Admiral Thad Allen, who is the top man in the U.S. Coast Guard and was only weeks away from retirement when the BP oil spill occurred, to head up the relief efforts. Allen had been instrumental in handling the problems caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was credited with turning around the Bush administrations woeful response to that disaster.
Seemingly apolitical and displaying what has been called 'non-corporate competence', Allen is known for telling it like it is in unvarnished fashion. While BP news conferences tended toward optimism without justification, Allen's almost daily news briefs have been much more factual and accurate. When the second cap was placed Allen voiced his concern for a "detected seep" coming from the sea floor near the well. If methane gas was still escaping, there was a good chance oil was still being released also.
Now that Tropical Storm Bonnie has come and gone, they're back to work trying to permanently plug the well and clean up the BP oil spill. The damage has been done and it's not over yet.
What are your feelings on how BP is handling the situation? Share your opinion here and take the survey. Your input counts. Click Here to voice your opinion on the BP oil spill. Vote and enter for the chance to win a FREE $500 VISA gift card.

The Reason For the Oil Spill

By M. R. Anderson
We are entering the Age of Aquarius. What is the Age of Aquarius? I believe it is a new beginning. The 6000 year rule of evil, selfishness, hatred, fear, sorrow and especially greed is coming to an end. The elite rulers know this and they will do any and everything possible to prolong their grip on the masses.
These evil people have secret knowledge that most are unaware of. They know how to use the law of attraction to get what they want and they also know the consciousness of water. The oil spill disaster was not an accident.
This world is governed by universal law and divine order. Water has a conscious just like everything else in the universe. The earth is 75% water, so when the collective consciousness of the people slowly shift to vibrations on love, peace and harmony, the water of the earth carries out this consciousness to all living things faster.
Have you ever heard of the Japanese word Hado? Hado is the intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level in all matter, the smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness.
Dr. Emoto found out that water has a conscious when he took pure clean water and spoke to the water and showed gratitude to the water. Dr. Emoto observed that when the water was frozen, beautiful crystal patterns appeared. When words and symbols of gratitude were placed on containers holding the water, the beautiful crystal patterns appeared again. Distance did not affect the water also. The opposite was also true. When negative words were spoken or negative symbols were shown to the water, distorted and deformed crystal patterns appeared. Water that was prayed over also formed beautiful patterns. According to Dr. Emoto's work, words and symbols of gratitude formed the most beautiful crystal patterns.
I believe that the earth and the universe is entering an era that will be filled with peace and love. You can see this happening now. People are noticing the negativity on the television and are not interested in watching it any longer. Children do not want to hear the negative music or see negative movies any longer. There are more and more public speakers out there who are getting the word out about how lovely life is. People are walking in the park, having cookouts, and speaking to their neighbors and complete strangers more than ever. People are more concerned about their health. People are also getting away from the warlike and fear based mentality. Physical life is much too short and people are realizing this fact.
The disaster in the gulf with the oil spill is a desperate attempt to change the consciousness of the water and to change the consciousness of the masses. Whatever "they" try to do will not work. "Their" time is coming to an end. The kingdom of heaven is within and the devil is a collection of evil men, deeds and thought currents that are not in harmony with The Great Creator or God. There is no man in the center of the earth with horns on his head. Think good thoughts and thank your water and be thankful for everything that you have. Pray for a solution to the oil spill in the gulf.
M. R. Anderson - EzineArticles Expert Author
Platinum Quality Author

Bait, Slick & Switch - An Oil Spill Symposium

By Sara Aye
The Gulf Oil Spill Community Forum in St. Petersburg met to discuss solutions to the impending doom of the spill on the Tampa Bay Area. We discovered the spill is 200 miles away and not expected to come here. Our beaches are beautiful and empty. We have no oil here. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful vacation in the Tampa Bay area this summer at really reduces rates.

An Effective Oil Spill Clean Up Procedure

By Travis Zdrazil

Oil spills are dangerous to the health of people and to the environment. The hazards include fumes, ignitions, asphyxiation, burns, water contamination, soil contamination and fire. In case of an oil spill make sure you know what to do.


What Can We Learn From the BP Oil Spill?

By Walter Jacobson
Platinum Quality Author
Although it's not clear to me what the cause or causes are of the catastrophic BP oil spill, there have been several explanations for it which would suggest that it wasn't simply an accident, but rather an event that might have been avoided.
One article I read suggested that some sort of oil leak cut-off system could have been put into place but wasn't because it would have required time and money, two commodities the oil executives were not interested in expending.
Another article suggested that more research was necessary in regard to oil drilling at the depths involved, but this, too, would have cost more time and money, with decreased profits in the process.
Neither of these scenarios may be true. Nonetheless, the overall impression I've gotten from the articles I've read is that BP was more interested in profits than safety, and that this "accident" was more a function of corporate convenience, corporate greed, corporate irresponsibility, and corporate shortsightedness more than anything else.
If this is true, then there is a clear take-home message for all of us: Whether we are developing a career or a product, it behooves us, before putting the career and product out there, to pay close attention and make wise choices.
We don't cut corners. We do our homework. We do the research. We explore all options. We do our due diligence to make sure that what we are doing will benefit and not harm. We spend the time and money necessary to do it safely and to do it right, so that we've put our best foot forward and we don't end up with a catastrophe or crisis that is damaging to ourselves or to others.
It is wise to do these things even if it pushes back our launch dates and reduces our profit margin, because we may discover flaws and inconsistencies which we may be able to correct and adjust for, saving ourselves a lot of money and aggravation in the future which could cripple our goals and profits in the long run.
The same advice applies: We need to take our time. We need to pay attention. We need to do the research. We need to look before we leap.
The divorce rate is so high and many relationships are so unsatisfying because we don't do these things. When we meet someone "special" for the first time, there is an infatuation, there is chemistry, there is exhilaration, there are hormones jumping every which way. We feel energized and vitalized, overwhelmed with joy, excitement and sexuality.
When we look into the eyes and face of someone who is as excited about us as we are about them, it makes us feel excited about ourselves. We see our idealized self in the smiling face looking back at us, and all of this contributes to our jumping into bed and jumping into relationships prematurely.
So caught up in the immediate gratification of the moment, we don't consider the long-term consequences. We don't take the time to do our due diligence. We don't take the time to discover the real fabric of the person we have become intimately involved with.
Oftentimes, we see the red flags and warning signs that suggest to us that maybe we shouldn't go down that road, but because we are so enamored, so exhilarated, so charged up with infatuation, chemistry and lust, and having, perhaps, been lonely for a very long time prior to meeting this person, we look the other way, our common sense and intuition go out the window and we sweep the red flags under the rug.
Eventually, sooner or later, the chickens come home to roost. When the chemistry settles down and the infatuation goes away, we are left with a lot of unanswered questions.
Who are these people? What do they really stand for? Do they really care about us? Do they care more about themselves? Are they loyal and trustworthy companions?
All the questions that should have been asked at the beginning are asked after we have committed a great deal of time, money and energy to the relationship.
Taking the time to see what's actually going on before making a commitment is the critical component. We tend not to do this because we are afraid to confront those red flags, to challenge our newly-found partners to explain themselves, to define their ideologies, to detail their backgrounds and previous relationships, for fear that they may get defensive or angry, that they may go away, or that they may tell us something that will be so obvious we will not be able to ignore it and it will force us to go away.
Bottom line: it's best we have the courage to ask these questions before getting involved in a relationship, even if it means our loneliness will linger longer, because it will serve us well in the long run and provide us with the opportunity of finding someone who is worthy of our love and capable of providing us with a stable relationship based on mutual respect and consideration which will sustain us until our end of days.
Walter E Jacobson, MD
Psychiatrist, Speaker & Author
Spiritual Solutions & Cognitive Tools for Well-Being & Material Success
Check out my blog at the above website for practical ways to achieve happiness and success.
Walter Jacobson - EzineArticles Expert Author

How to File a BP Oil Spill Claim?

By Solomon Tomy

The Deepwater horizon oil spill (also referred as BP oil spill) in the Gulf of Mexico is a massive continuing oil spill. It is regarded as the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. Many businesses in that area were affected by this disaster.

When Oil and Water Don't Mix - Why Oil Absorbents Should Be Part of Your Spill Response Plan

By Robert MacLaren
Platinum Quality Author
Oil spills can be very dangerous, especially if they happen on water where they have the potential to spread more quickly and cause irreversible damage to the environment. If you are working with oils on a daily basis it is important to have the correct spill kits and absorbents to be able to deal with any potential spillages. Your spill response plan should incorporate different types of oil absorbents to contain and absorb dangerous oils spills whether on land or water.
Oil Spills on land & water.
Oil spillage kits and absorbents soak up and retain oils and oil-based liquids without absorbing a drop of water. If you have a spill on water, the oil will not mix with the water, it will simply float on the surface. Whilst damage to the environment is unavoidable, using oil only absorbents on the water surface means that the oil spill can be contained and removed much quicker and easier to minimise the overall environmental impact. The spill can be effectively contained and removed with oil-only absorbents such as socks, booms, mats and pillows which will absorb the oil but not any water and prevent the spill from becoming a disaster.
If you are working with oils in an outdoor oil storage area, you should also use oil-only absorbents if any spills occur due to the potential for wet and rainy weather conditions whilst working outdoors.
Containing spills that come from oil
To prevent an oil spill from causing damage to the environment and becoming a slip and fall hazard to employees the first step is containment. Socks and Booms that only absorb oil can be used to do this effectively as they are flexible and mouldable enough to surround any type of spill and absorb as well as contain oil spills. Multiple socks and booms can be overlapped or linked together to encircle larger oil spills using sturdy clips and connecting rings which feature on some socks and booms on the market. Oil-only socks and booms are easily identifiable in a spill response situation as they are typically white in colour to make absorbed oil easier to see, although some booms are also available in dark grey to hide the absorbed oil and blend in with the surroundings. Containing and absorbing oil spills becomes quick and easy when absorbent socks and booms are part of your spill response plan.
Cleaning up
Once an oil spill has been contained it then needs to be cleaned up. This stage in your spill response plan should also include oil-only absorbents because although absorbent socks and booms absorb as well as contain other absorbents may be needed to clean up any excess oil. Absorbent mats and pillows that are water repellent are designed for this type of outdoor spill application. Both mats and pillows float on water so they are easy to retrieve when the oil has been completely absorbed and are white in colour which makes it easier for you to monitor saturation. Mats and pillows that repel water should be used in conjunction with each other to achieve complete clean up of oil spills so that damage to the environment, stock and employees is prevented.
More information on oil spill kits can be found at New Pig's website or by calling their UK operation on 0800 919 900.
In 1985, New Pig invented the Original PIG® Absorbent Sock, the first contained absorbent product on the market. Today, New Pig offers more than 2,600 leak and spill equipment solutions into industrial, institutional and government facilities in more than 70 countries. Visit their website at

US Witnesses Major Oil Leak in the Gulf of Mexico

By Robert Eckard

Unless you have made a conscious effort to cut yourself off from any and all media outlets, you are no doubt familiar with a major oil leak from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico off the southern coast of the United States. An oil well located in the gulf has blown out and oil is spewing from it to the tune of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day. Skimmers have been sent to the site of the Gulf oil spill and are capturing around 10,000 barrels per day. Even those who have chosen professions outside the world of mathematics can do the simple math and see that the cleanup is currently a losing battle.
Possibly the most infuriating aspect of the Gulf oil spill is that it is almost identical in nature to the spill caused by an oil rig explosion back in 1979, and the exact same efforts that didn't work over 30 years ago to stop the flow of oil are being employed now! Every method from dropping chemicals on the spill from the air to attempting a rather low-tech plug with a large metal cap are even being performed in the same exact order with the same exact failed results. How does it make any sense that no strides have been made in preemptive or corrective technology in the past 30 years? An even bigger question is why have we as a planet continued to cling to petroleum-based fuel sources instead of developing renewable energy sources that would prevent such disasters as the Gulf oil spill from happening?
When proposing the Deepwater Horizon well, BP stated confidently that even if an unlikely spill occurred, the microbes found in the water would quickly degrade the oil and currents would disperse the remaining oil constituents to ineffective levels. The mechanisms behind these claims are true. But what happens when microbes begin to break down the oil, or any type of material they use for food? They use up oxygen. The enormous amount of oxygen consumed by the microbes while processing the large amount of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico would adversely affect the fish and sea life living in its waters. If these animals die off as a result, the food chain would suffer a major blow. Additionally, the natural gas released alongside the oil reduces oxygen levels and carries toxic materials such as Benzene, creating a double hit to the waters and animals found in the Gulf of Mexico.
The engineers at BP were indeed correct in their assessment that currents in the Gulf of Mexico would carry the oil after a spill. Unfortunately, the prevailing current in these waters is the Gulf Stream. As the Gulf Stream flows out of the gulf, it travels up the Unites States' eastern seaboard. Even if the oil spill does not reach shore, unforeseen amounts of sea plants and animals would be affected. Once the Gulf Stream has continued past the US's east coast, it then issues out into the Atlantic Ocean toward Europe. I'm not ready to call this disaster a planet killer yet, but it is not hard to imagine the global effects both economically and environmentally if the Gulf oil spill reaches beyond its already sizeable boundaries.
Fishing industries have already felt the heavy blow brought on by the Gulf oil spill. 86, 985 square miles of available waters have been closed off, which is approximately 36% of federal waters. Although around 60 to 70 percent of oyster and crab harvesting areas as well as 70 to 80 percent of fin-fisheries have continued operation, early estimates have predicted cost estimates of $2.5 billion dollars to the fish industry. Tourism, a large portion of the area's economy has slowed greatly, potentially costing the industry $3 billion.
Lest we forget, BP themselves are losing money hand over fist because of the Gulf oil spill. As of a few days before this writing, BP had already incurred expenditures of $2.35 billion. When all is said and done, costs caused by everything from re-drilling to containment to cleanup to claims may reach over $30 billion dollars. Since April, BP has already lost $105 billion. Who inevitably foots the bill whenever large corporations lose stock value and profits? Why, the customer of course. Customers worldwide are already cringing at the thought of gallons of gasoline that are triple or quadruple the current price.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Health concerns and litigious matters have yet to play out, so the impact felt in these areas is yet to be seen. Renewable energies rely on sources that are readily available, not those that need to be mined from 5,000 feet below the ocean's surface. The research, development, and installation costs of all renewable energies combined have not exceeded the costs inflicted by the Gulf oil spill. And neither the quiet hum of a fuel cell nor the softly spinning blades of a wind turbine have ever roared louder than the effects currently being heard in the Gulf of Mexico.
At you can find the latest news and information about renewable energy sources covering solar, water, wind, geothermal, bio energy sources [] and more.

A Railroad Spill Containment Guide

By Travis Zdrazil
Platinum Quality Author
Oil spills are a major environmental and health hazard and therefore have to be managed and controlled very carefully. Oil spills have instant adverse effects on the surfaces they impact, and these effects can last for long spells of time unless immediate measures are taken to handle the spill. The awareness of these hazards has led to dire legal consequences for those who fail to take prompt and effective action in the event of an oil spill.
For railroad companies special railroad spill containment products are available. Being prepared with proper products and courses of action in case of oil spills will not only help you avoid legal hassles, but also show your dedication to nurturing the environment and preventing pollution as much as possible.
Today's market offers several types of equipment to handle oil spills. The most popular product is the railroad track mat which is designed to fit inside and outside of the rails. This barrier track mat is a unique, 3-layered mat construction with a polypropylene core, a UV resistant cover stock and a impermeable bottom barrier which prevents the absorbed fluids from leaching out into the soil. It will absorb nearly three gallons of oil or petroleum products per yard.
It is available in 59" widths for placement between rail, while the 19" width is ideal for placement on outside rails for capturing spills.
Other railroad spill containment products that should be on hand when loading and unloading rail cars or performing maintenance are spill kits, absorbent booms, absorbent pads and containment berms. If dealing with 55 gallon drums in maintenance areas it is required that secondary spill containment products be used such as drum spill pallets, IBC spill pallets or hard top spill pallets.
The railroad track mat was originally designed for use only between or alongside railway tracks. Its use has however expanded because of its effectiveness and is now being employed extensively by utilities, refineries, transportation companies, steel mills, and various other organizations which require high-absorbency mats. It is an excellent product to use under leaky machines and vehicles.
A great selection of products are available online. Answers to questions or advise can be obtained through email or toll free numbers.
By using the oil spill containment products which are easily obtainable today, managing oil spills is not at all impossible. Prevention is the best cure. One should regularly inspect all areas to insure railroad spill containment products are being used properly and are available on site.
Travis Zdrazil is a successful businessman who has been part of a successful partnership since 1985. With over 10 years of business experience Travis uses his business expertise to select and supply businesses with products to aid in meeting EPA and OSHA requirements. Sign up for his free newsletter at or feel free to contact him if you have any questions on railroad spill containment through the site.
You may publish this article, but must keep the resource box ©2009 PCI Products Company. All rights reserved.

President Obama Not Cause of Oil Spill - Obama's Weak Response is Cause of Environmental Catastrophe

By Brian H Campbell

President Obama did not cause the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. However, Obama's delayed and weak response is the cause of the worse environmental catastrophe in U.S. history. My plan which would have saved the Gulf States untold misery compared to President Obama's response is listed here.

The Effects of Oil Spills

By Harvey Dumada-Ug

Effects of spills in the Ocean
In addition to the scenic degradation of oil-fouled coastlines and the economic losses borne by fishing, tourist and other industries dependent on the health of coastal waters, a major effect of oil spills is the mass killing of wildlife. Petroleum dissolves the protective waxes and oils the feathers of the waterfowl, and oil-coated birds die, primarily from freezing. Fur-bearing ocean mammals such as otter suffer the same fate. Clams, oysters, and crustaceans ingest oil-impregnated shellfish beds must therefore be closed for a number of years following an oil spill. Where a spill occurs in a confined area, in regions where fish spawn, or on fish-migration routes, major fish kills will occur and, in some instances fisheries will be wiped out.
The long terms effect of oil spill is equally devastating. The soluble fraction of the spilled oil may spread over vast areas, and toxic components may create chronic ecological damage, either by inhibiting reproduction or by causing genetic changes. A study of oil spills effects in Caribbean found that coral organism were severely hurt and coastal environments such as mangrove thickets were wipe out with the creatures that inhabited them. A study of the Brittany coastlines in the years following the Amoco Cadiz spill found massive death rates for such bottom-dwelling species as sea urchins, the practical elimination of other species, and the overall reduction of animal populations. Although oil tainted environments probably recover eventually, not all species may return to their pre spill status.

Cleaning Oil Spills Made Easy With Oil Absorbent Pads

By John F Smith
Platinum Quality Author
Are you tired of spending so many hours in just cleaning oil spills and other similar types of liquids? Most cleaning tools are not made for cleaning and absorbing such liquids. This is why you will need a special type of cleaning tool when dealing with this kind of messes. Another thing that you can do with oil spills is that you can prevent them from spreading in the first place. But doing this would also require special oil absorbent pads as normal rags would not get the job done.
One product that you could use in preventing oil spills is the Spilfyter oil-only sorbent pads or rolls. These are specially made to absorb oil and other hydrocarbons with great efficiency, while also repelling other types of liquids. It has an enhanced absorbing capacity which allows it to continue absorbing oil leaks even for long periods of time. The best way to use these is to place them under heavy machines or to line shelves to prevent oil from spreading. By doing this, oil is contained and absorbed at once so there is no chance for it to spread to farther areas where it could cause accidents. It can also be used on floors to provide a non-slip surface for people who are walking though. The oil-only pads are dimple bonded to increase its strength and resist tearing. This way, it won't tear even under the weight of heavy machines or by friction caused by constant walking. Aside from preventing oil leaks from spreading, these can also be used as a rag for quick clean ups when needed.
Another excellent ability of these pads is that it can repel water while absorbing oil. This is very helpful when oil spills occur on water. By using these pads, oil can easily separated as water is not absorbed. Try it out yourself and see how easy it is to clean oil spills with the Spilfyter oil-only pads and rolls.
For more information on using Oil Absorbent Pad, go to TheJanitorialSupply is the one-stop shop for industrial and home-use cleaning and janitorial supplies.

Oil Spill Economic Impact - Seafood Prices Rise, Jobs Lost, Tourism Down

By Jennifer M Todd

The Gulf oil spill is already widely regarded as being one of the worst and most damaging environmental accidents in American history. While those around the world may watch with awe, Gulf coast citizens are feeling it especially hard with job loss and a massive drop in tourism. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is witnessing an increase in seafood prices.
The Gulf coast has historically been one of the largest seafood-providing parts of America, and the oil spill has caused detrimental damage to the industry. As much of the area is not currently able to be fished, the country's seafood supply has had to be rerouted through other areas such as Maine and California. Since the market has shrunk significantly but demand has not changed, prices have seen a large increase, especially for those who live far from a local body of seafood-producing water.
Meanwhile, fishermen and seafood plants on the Gulf coast are in limbo, and many are jobless. Most people don't know when they'll be able to go back to work, and are anxiously looking for work in other areas. Many worry that the spill will not be cleaned up in time for them to get back to work and save their homes from being foreclosed on.
Tourism on the Gulf coast has also been hit extremely hard. Going into one of the busiest seasons of the year with an oil spill as a precursor has acted like the perfect storm, causing tourists to reroute their vacations and restaurants, hotels and other hospitality sectors in the Gulf to lower their prices to dirt-cheap rates just to attract a stray traveler.
Businesses such as these rely on the summer in order to make enough money to stay open throughout the rest of the year, and many worry that 2010 could be one of the worst years they've ever seen. Some have even taken to selling their businesses and switching professions, as the industry expects the drop in tourism to last for some time.
But there has been some good news for local hotels - the large number of oil spill lawyers in the area have been a boon to New Orleans hotels. And BP recently asked for bids on 200 hotel rooms for between 6 months to 2 years to house their army of lawyers that are handling compensation claims.

100% Debt Vs GDP Vs Oil Spill Vs Does Any One Care?

By Richard J. Burns
The oil spill has taken all the press as of late. It's a crime that with all our technology and trillion-dollar navy, this country can't deal with an oil leak a mile below the water. That part of the world is a place of historical importance and true American beauty. How can it be worse to drill for oil above ground in an isolated area in Alaska?
All of these issues are important, but what's going to really hurt the economy isn't an oil leak. 100% debt vs GDP in 2015 may sound like an up important issue. Imagine for a moment you made $50,000 each year. Each year you borrowed $50,000 dollars. Your justification is that you need the money to increase you salary in the coming years.
In the past couple of weeks, I've been finding articles, mostly from Europe, on America looming debt/deficit crisis. Our oversees friends seem more involved in our financial well being than we do. Our media really is just a reflection of what America is interesting in watching and reading at a particular part of time.
Thus, the fiscal crisis doesn't have a live camera showing plumes of oil leaking into the gulf or dead birds washing up in thick crude oil. If you following the debt crisis as i have for the past year, the money begin spent and borrowed would amount to 50 oil leaks in every ocean and sea around the world.
Imagine for a moment a Satellite photo of earth. In one small area of the Gulf of Mexico, there's a black area of oil about the size of Connecticut - a horrible image for a beautiful part of the world. Then imagine that a country's debt could be visualized with red ink flowing across the land based on that country's debt. A country with 100% debt vs GDP would result in red ink flowing across 100% of that country's land.
The satellite image would show that almost all the land in the entire world would be covered in 100% red. Not only would most countries be red, they'd be dark red because their debt is beyond 100% GDP vs. Debt. The photo would show a world with blue water, except in one tiny blackened area of Gulf, with red inked land almost everywhere.
Does it matter?
Richard Burns is founder of and He's a filmmaker with a passion for smart culture and a father with a passion for leaving the world a better place for his children.

Basic Procedures for Chemical Spill Cleanup

By Irene Test
Spills occur on small and large levels. While oil spills tend to require a large-scale cleanup, chemical contamination in a laboratory or similar facility is one of the more regular instances in which spill cleanup procedures are needed. For this type of spill cleanup, action must be taken quickly, as the substance can quickly cause injuries, a fire, an environmental hazard, or illness. Not all spill cleanup procedures are the same, however, and before starting decontamination or using absorbents, refer to the MSDS.
Those conducting a spill cleanup must wear personal protection in order to avoid contamination and need to be trained in all handling procedures beforehand. OSHA and EPA regulations CFR 1910.40, CFR 112, 261, and, 264 outline procedures for cleanup.
Absorbents are part of most cleanup procedures, and generally, universal absorbents are acceptable. Some spills, however, may need oil-only or hazmat absorbents. Before you apply any absorbents, test the chemical and consult the MSDS. If the spilled liquid is flammable, control sources of fire and ventilate the area at the start of cleanup.
When cleanup procedures start, those in the area must leave as soon as possible. If any individuals were contaminated by the spilled chemical, they must be decontaminated, and all exposed must flush their skin with water for several minutes.
The spill must not reach the environment, and as cleanup procedures are beginning, protect drains with socks and other flexible absorbents for secondary containment. In order to address the spill itself, a loose absorbent needs to be applied from the outside of the liquid inward. If the liquid is an acid, neutralize it first. The liquid will change color once the neutralization is complete, and the absorbent will give it a gel-like quality. At this point, the solidified spill can be scooped up and placed in a container.
Depending upon the size of the spill, the container used can be a polyethylene bag, a five gallon pail, or a 20-gallon drum with a polyethylene liner. As the final part of spill cleanup, labeling the container with the chemical name is necessary, and the container needs to be stored in a hood or other ventilated area for disposal.

Marine Pollution Control

By Travis Zdrazil
Oil spills are harmful to aquatic plants and wildlife, including
fish, birds and humans. Oil enters waterway and affect the drinking
water. Gasoline and oil contain carcinogens, which are known to cause
cancer. Marine oil spills are man made hazards that threaten the
integrity of our lakes and streams. These spills can range from small
spills from recreational boats to larger, more serious oil spills from
commercial vessels. Controlling these potentially dangerous spills
is critical to the integrity of our waterways.
Marine pollution prevention includes petroleum control, bilge/water cleanup,
fuel and oil spill cleanup The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972
and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 prohibit the discharge of oil of any kind
onto or upon the navigable waters of the United States. This includes any
discharge that causes a film, sheen, discoloration, sludge or emulsion on or
beneath the surface of the water. A discharge of these types may result in a
stiff civil penalties.
One quart of oil creates an oil slick that is over 2 acres in diameter.
A single gallon of fuel will contaminate a million gallons of water.
Gasoline and other petroleum product effect the marine environment
negatively and must be contained.
To prevent marine pollution, absorbent bilge pads absorb petroleum products
but not water. When the bilge is soaked with oil they must be disposed of properly.
If not disposed of in a proper manner, they may be a major source of marine pollution
because they collect engine oil,antifreeze and transmission fluids.
When the bilge pump is activated the fluids are pumped overboard.
Solution: Bilge Booms
  • Lower a bilge boom into your bilge, sump or tank to catch oil.
  • Place an oil absorbent pad under the engine
  • Replace oil absorbent materials when heavily soiled or saturated
  • Keep the engine tuned: Check for leaking seals, gaskets or hoses.
  • Change oil filters often
  • Never discharge or pump any bilge water that appears oily into or near the water

Bilge Booms Won't sink, even when saturated. Bilge booms Will float indefinitely.
Bilge booms can be wring able, dustless and are impervious to both rot and mildew.
They come with loops for a rope for easy deployment or fastening. Bilge booms are
available in three sizes.Problem: Oil Spill from Boat Engine
Fuel may be spilled while putting gas in the engine. Sometimes there is a
backsplash out of the fuel intake or as overflow out of the vent fitting.
Spills of this sort are harmful to aquatic life. If you have a spill do not
hose it into the water. It is better to use a oil absorbent sweep to wipe up the spill
Solution: Oil Absorbent Sweep
If fuel is spilled into the water use an Oil Absorbent Sweep. The Oil
Absorbent Sweep is designed with built in straps. The absorbent sweep
can be drawn over the water surface to absorb broad sheens or surface
spills. This is a great way to clean up oil spills on water.
You should never use soap or dish detergent to disperse oil.
The detergents will disperse in the waterways and are not biodegradable.
Detergents are a major source of pollution.
Solution-2: Oil Absorbent Booms
Oil absorbent booms are perfect for marine and industrial spill containment
Oil booms are constructed with a strong mesh outer skin encasing a
highly sorbent polypropylene filler. A nylon rope and steel hardware
ensure long-lasting durability and easy retrieval. Oil Absorbent Booms
repels water and won't sink even when saturated. Oil Absorbent booms are
available in 5" and 8" diameters with lengths of 10 Ft. or 20 Ft.
Cleanup of oil can be achieved with the use of sorbents, gels, and foams. Sorbents
are compounds that immobilize the oil by surface absorption and are considered
the safest and most effective method for controlling marine pollution.
Absorbents saturated with oil can be wrung out over oil recycling bins and
reused. Remember that materials soaked with oil are flammable. Keep them away
from heat.
================================================================== Travis Zdrazil is a successful businessman who has been part of a successful partnership since 1985. With over 10 years of business experience Travis uses his business expertise to select and supply businesses with products and devices to aid in EPA and OSHA Regulation and requirement in the areas of Storm water pollution
  • Pollution Prevention Other industrial, commercial environmental issues Sign up for his free newsletter at or feel free to contact him if you have any questions on marine pollution control products through the site. You may publish this article, but must keep the resource box ©2007 PCI Products Company. All rights reserved.

  • Platinum Quality Author

    Effective Spill Cleanup Procedure

    By Travis Zdrazil
    Industrial accidents can happen anytime and the types of spillages can vary depending on the materials used in manufacturing or industrial plants. As the risks are varied, so are the immediacy of spill cleanup. There are several levels of clean up in as far as chemical spills and oil spills are concerned. It is often the first few minutes of the spill that is most critical. The exact materials in the spillage are supposed to be identified immediately after the spillage happens. In most factories and industrial plants, spill kits are strategically placed in areas where spillages are likely to happen. This is part of their instituted safety measures along with the specially trained response teams ready to take charge in case of an accident.
    The first step in any spill cleanup is to contain the spillage. For oil spills on open waters, spill response team use oil absorbent booms or floating barriers to surround the area where there is a spillage to control it from spreading. These booms absorb all hydrocarbons including oil, gasoline, fuel, diesel, and lubricants. On land, the most common containment booms used are chemical hazmat booms. These booms are often used for chemicals. Hazmats absorb nearly all types of liquids, both water and oil-based.
    Spill cleanup after containment would differ depending on the kind of liquids involved in the spillage. The spill kits for chemical spills and for oil spills would contain different sets of cleanup implements. There are typically three types of kinds kits: the Universal or General Purpose Spill Kit, the Oil Only Spill Kit, and the Hazmat Spill Kit. The Universal or General Purpose Spill Kit is the one of the most widely used as it covers most kinds of spillages. It contains gray absorbent pads that can absorb both water-based fluids and hydrocarbons or oil-based fluids. These are used in most industrial and manufacturing facilities including maintenance repair shops and factories.
    The Oil Only Spill Kit is often used in the marine and the petroleum industry. These kits contain oil only white absorbent pads that repels water and absorbs oil. They might include other oil spill cleanup materials like:
    1. The Oil Absorbent Sweep that is used along with the sorbent booms to "sweep" the film of oil that gets left behind after most of the oil spill has been absorbed.
    2. The Oil Absorbent Pompoms that are made of polypropylene in thin strands that are joined together for oil absorption in high-surface areas.
    3. The Oil Absorbent Net Bags that are filled with polypropylene strips to absorb hydrocarbons in large amounts.
    On land, the Hazmat Spill Kit is the most often used in spill cleanup. Hazmat Yellow chemical absorbent pads are contained in these kits for use in the absorption of aggressive fluids as well as those of unknown chemical makeup. These pads are colored yellow for safety and cautionary measures to alert people of the possible hazards these chemicals may pose. Among the other spill cleanup implements included in the kit are:
    1. The Chemical Hazmat Boom to contain potentially hazardous chemical spills.
    2. The Chemical Hazmat Absorbent Rolls to quickly mop up and soak up chemical spills.
    Any spill kit used in spill cleanup contain the basic safety equipment needed by individuals that form the spill response team to protect themselves from the potential harmful effects of the spillage. These equipment include gloves, goggles, masks, lab coats, and footwear.
    Need more information about spill cleanup?  We have the most competitive prices, up-to-date articles, information, and tips available at
    Platinum Quality Author

    Oil Sorbents - Step By Step Easy To Follow Directions For Using Them

    By Travis Zdrazil
    Cleaning up oil spills is a responsibility that all users whether in land or in water need to take seriously. The harmful effects of oil spills on the environment stretches not only to the marine life but to the fishing industry and to the resorts and recreation areas. Even our drinking water supply could be affected by oil spills. Luckily, cleaning up these spills are now easier with various efficient implements now available. Sorbents or absorbent sponges made from substances much like those used in diapers. There are those oil sorbents though that are made of natural materials such as straw, grasses, coconut husks, or wood chips. In most spill cleanup materials, the most common oil sorbents used is polypropylene.
    When you buy oil sorbents, they usually come with easy step-by-step directions for use. Depending on what and where the oil spill is as well as the size of the spill, there are oil sorbents that can perform the clean up task effectively. Oil sorbents are among the widest product lines in the spill cleanup implements industry. There are booms to contain spills from boats in open waters, and mats and pads to wipe up small machinery oil spills. Here is a rundown of some of the most popular oil sorbents:
    1. Universal Absorbent Pads - these pads are multi-purpose spill pads. These can either be used for water-based or oil-based spills. Its dimpled pattern makes the pad more efficient in soaking up liquids while at the same time keeping its shape and integrity. These pads can be used in regular everyday oil spillages in small machine shops.
    2. Economy Oil Pads - these pads are oil-only pads capable of absorbing hydrocarbons and oil-based fluids. Made of one layer of hydrophobic oil-only polypropylene, these pads are water repellent and floats on water. They come in white colored pads that are considered to be cost-effective and economical.
    3. Anti-Static Absorbent Pads - are especially useful in cleaning up flammable substances in low humidity areas where sparking can occur at any time. These pads absorb all hydrocarbons and repels water.
    4. Oil Absorbent-Oil Containment Boom - these sausage-shaped poly sock skin is filled with highly absorbent polypropylene and covered with a mesh outer sleeve. These booms are best used in oil spills in open waters. They float on the water's surface along with the oil and keeps the oil within its perimeter preventing its spread.
    5. Oil Absorbent Sweep - this is used to skim off whatever oil film is left behind after a cleanup. Sweeps are made of multilaminates that are durable and sturdy to withstand the rigors of cleanup. These sweeps float on water and will not sweep even when saturated with oil.
    Even with the variety of oil sorbents, these sorbents are generally used in the same way. There are those that are used for containment, those that are used for wiping off, those that are used for soaking, and those that are used for prevention. Knowing the right oil sorbent to use for particular spills is something that the spill response team should be trained on. When spills happen, the spill response team should follow the following easy steps:
    1. Contain the spill.
    2. Soak up and mop up the spill.
    3. Dispose of the collected spill material properly.
    4. Recommend and install preventive measures for future spills.
    Need more information about oil sorbents?  We have the most competitive prices, up-to-date articles, information, and tips available at
    Travis Zdrazil - EzineArticles Expert Author
    Platinum Quality Author

    Oil Only Absorbents and Spill Kits - Your First Line of Defense Against Everyday Spills

    By Robert MacLaren
    Any liquid spill in your facility or surrounding area has the potential to spread very quickly unless it is properly dealt with using the correct spill equipment. If you are working with oils on a daily basis there is the added potential for environmental damage if any spills occur, especially if they happen on nearby waters. It is critical to act fast and respond in the correct way when an oil spill happens on land or water to prevent slip and fall accidents and costly fines from environmental damage. The first step towards being prepared for oil spills is having oil absorbents readily available in or around your facility to contain and clean up oil spills. Find out more about these types of absorbents and spill kits and how they can be the most effective line of defence against spills below:
    What do oil-only absorbents absorb?
    As the name suggests oil-only absorbents absorb and retain oils and oil-based liquids without absorbing a drop of water, making them ideal for cleaning up oil spills on water or in outdoor storage areas where wet weather conditions are unavoidable. Water repellent properties of oil-only absorbents maximise efficiency when you only need to absorb oil.
    Different types of oil-only absorbents
    Effective containment and cleanup of oil spillages on land and water can be achieved by using different types of oil absorbents such as absorbent mats, socks, booms and pillows. Oil-only socks and booms are flexible and mouldable enough to contain oil spills before they have the chance to spread and also absorb the oil. Multiple socks and booms can be overlapped or linked together to surround larger oil spills on land or water. Other oil absorbents like mats and pillows should be used in conjunction with absorbent socks for complete containment and absorption of the oil spill. All types of oil-only absorbents float on water, even when fully saturated, to make it easier for you retrieve them and identify when absorbents have reached their full capacity.
    Oil-only spill kits - a complete solution
    If you require a combination of different types of absorbents for potential oil spills then an oil-only spill kit provides an effective solution. Oil Spill kits contain everything you need to contain and absorb oil spills on both land and water, including socks, pillows and mats as well as accessories to help with safe disposal. The quantity of absorbents inside your oil spill kit will differ depending on the size of kit you choose which should be determined based on your worst case scenario spill. You could choose a large spill kit to deal with the entire spill that is likely to happen or you could combine multiple smaller ones to absorb the same amount whilst gaining the flexibility and mobility you can get from choosing smaller kits.
    Colour coding of oil-only absorbents & spill kits
    As oil absorbents and spill kits can be your first line of defence against oil spills it is important that they are easily identifiable so that spill responders can gain fast, easy access and act quickly to contain and clean up any oil spills. Some companies colour code their absorbents depending on the liquids that they absorb to make this possible. The most common colour of oil absorbents is white which alerts workers, makes absorbed oil easier to see and allows you to determine when the absorbent is completely saturated and needs changed out. Some companies provide alternative colours for some of their oil-only absorbents, such as brown absorbent mats and dark coloured booms which blend in with surroundings to make them less noticeable and help to hide the absorbed oil. Oil-only spill kits typically contain white absorbents and are colour coded green by the label on their container so that they are easily identifiable and improper use is prevented.
    Additional Information
    New Pig Ltd New Pig offers more than 2,600 leak and spill equipment solutions and absorbents. For more information on oil only spill kits visit or call 0800 919 900.
    Platinum Quality Author

    Toxic Oil - Toxic Thinking - The BP Oil Spill and Our Humanity

    By Douglas Boyd-Robinson
    How many times have you pushed yourself to exhaustion toward an elusive goal, tried to speed things up, took one step further than you planned, and thus reached beyond a point the little voice inside said was wise?
    For myself, I can count all too many times! For BP, once would be maybe enough!
    But can we really blame BP?  Isn't it more our human nature to go beyond boundaries to achieve something we consider exceptional?
    What is BP, or any business, if not reflective of our own values? Without our valuing mega-business and petroleum production, BP would not exist.
    IN fact, no petroleum company would exist, and now - most likely - the Middle East would be a classless society - all poor - without some other monopoly resource. What good would that achieve?  Would violence lessen? - Terrorism wane?  Would all be happy if all were hungry?
    We in the US are certainly not happy when fuel is scarce and expensive. Is that why the Gulf is fouled?
    "Be careful what you wish for!" turns neatly into "Be careful what you reach for - - drill for!"
    Try as we might, we cannot act without consequences - and even seeming inaction is, in effect, action and has its consequences. As we have no omelets without first cracking eggs, we have no oil without drilling - or killing whales - or poking or prodding at some other part of our environment.
    We strive to find balance between environmental concern and energy production, but one person's view of balance is excess for another.  The dispute rages on even now, while oil begins to soak gulf marshes.
    Oil is cheap energy people say.  How really cheap is this?
    Which is more toxic - our thinking or the oil?
    Follow this link to match your abilities with great volunteer opportunities:
    Douglas Boyd-Robinson lives in Great Falls Montana where he works as a Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, Life Coach, community activist and writer.
    You can find his blog site at
    Douglas Boyd-Robinson - EzineArticles Expert Author

    Oil Spills: Impact on the Ocean

    Oil wastes that enter the ocean come from many sources, some being accidental spills or leaks, and some being the results of chronic and careless habits in the use of oil and oil products. Most waste oil in the ocean consists of oily stormwater drainage from cities and farms, untreated waste disposal from factories and industrial facilities, and unregulated recreational boating.
    It is estimated that approximately 706 million gallons of waste oil enter the ocean every year, with over half coming from land drainage and waste disposal; for example, from the improper disposal of used motor oil. Offshore drilling and production operations and spills or leaks from ships or tankers typically contribute less than 8 percent of the total. The remainder comes from routine maintenance of ships (nearly 20 percent), hydrocarbon particles from onshore air pollution (about 13 percent), and natural seepage from the seafloor (over 8 percent).

    Prevalence during Drilling versus Transportation

    Offshore oil spills or leaks may occur during various stages of well drilling or workover and repair operations. These stages can occur while oil is being produced from offshore wells, handled, and temporarily stored; or when oil is being transported offshore, either by flowline, underwater pipeline, or tanker. Of the approximately 706 million gallons of waste oil in the ocean each year, offshore drilling operations contribute about 2.1 percent, and transportation accidents (both ships and tankers) account for another 5.2 percent. The amount of oil spilled or leaked during offshore production operations is relatively insignificant.
    Oil waste from offshore drilling operations may come from disposal of oil-based drilling fluid wastes, deck runoff water, flowline and pipeline leaks, or well failures or blowouts. Disposal of offshore production waste can also pollute the ocean, as can deck runoff water, leaking storage tanks, flowline and pipeline leaks, and the wells themselves. Oil spilled from ships and tankers includes the transportation fuel used by the vessels themselves or their cargos, such as crude oil, fuel oil, or heating oil.

    Over half the ocean's waste oil comes from land-based sources and from unregulated recreational boating. The heavy development in this busy California port illustrates one potential source of petroleum contamination in coastal waters. (Note dark plume in left foreground.)
    Over half the ocean's waste oil comes from land-based sources and from unregulated recreational boating. The heavy development in this busy California port illustrates one potential source of petroleum contamination in coastal waters. (Note dark plume in left foreground.)

    Oil Spill Behavior

    When oil is spilled in the ocean, it initially spreads in the water (primarily on the surface), depending on its relative density and composition. The oil slick formed may remain cohesive, or may break up in the case of rough seas. Waves, water currents, and wind force the oil slick to drift over large areas, impacting the open ocean, coastal areas, and marine and terrestrial habitats in the path of the drift.
    Oil that contains volatile organic compounds partially evaporates, losing between 20 and 40 percent of its mass and becoming denser and more viscous (i.e., more resistant to flow). A small percentage of oil may dissolve in the water. The oil residue also can disperse almost invisibly in the water or form a thick mousse with the water. Part of the oil waste may sink with suspended particulate matter, and the remainder eventually congeals into sticky tar balls. Over time, oil waste weathers (deteriorates) and disintegrates by means of photolysis (decomposition by sunlight) and biodegradation (decomposition due to microorganisms). The rate of biodegradation depends on the availability of nutrients, oxygen, and microorganisms, as well as temperature.

    Oil Spill Interaction with Shoreline.

    If oil waste reaches the shoreline or coast, it interacts with sediments such as beach sand and gravel, rocks and boulders, vegetation, and terrestrial habitats of both wildlife and humans, causing erosion as well as contamination . Waves, water currents, and wind move the oil onto shore with the surf and tide.

    Crude oil from the Sea Empress tanker spill coats a beach at Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1996. Although marine transportation accidents can result in such oil spills, they account for only about 5 percent of the waste oil that enters the ocean annually.
    Crude oil from the Sea Empress tanker spill coats a beach at Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1996. Although marine transportation accidents can result in such oil spills, they account for only about 5 percent of the waste oil that enters the ocean annually.
    Beach sand and gravel saturated with oil may be unable to protect and nurture normal vegetation and populations of the substrate biomass . Rocks and boulders coated with sticky residue interfere with recreational uses of the shoreline and can be toxic to coastal wildlife.

    Examples of Large Spills.

    The largest accidental oil spill on record (Persian Gulf, 1991) put 240 million gallons of oil into the ocean near Kuwait and Saudi Arabia when several tankers, port facilities, and storage tanks were destroyed during war operations. The blowout of the Ixtoc I exploratory well offshore Mexico in 1979, the second largest accidental oil spill, gushed 140 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. By comparison, the wreck of the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989 spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound offshore Alaska, and ranks fifty-third on the list of oil spills involving more than 10 million gallons.
    The number of large spills (over 206,500 gallons) averaged 24.1 per year from 1970 to 1979, but decreased to 6.9 per year from 1990 through 2000.

    Damage to Fisheries, Wildlife, and Recreation

    Oil spills present the potential for enormous harm to deep ocean and coastal fishing and fisheries. The immediate effects of toxic and smothering oil waste may be mass mortality and contamination of fish and other food species, but long-term ecological effects may be worse. Oil waste poisons the sensitive marine and coastal organic substrate, interrupting the food chain on which fish and sea creatures depend, and on which their reproductive success is based. Commercial fishing enterprises may be affected permanently.
    Wildlife other than fish and sea creatures, including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds that live in or near the ocean, are also poisoned by oil waste. The hazards for wildlife include toxic effects of exposure or ingestion, injuries such as smothering and deterioration of thermal insulation, and damage to their reproductive systems and behaviors. Long-term ecological effects that contaminate or destroy the marine organic substrate and thereby interrupt the food chain are also harmful to the wildlife, so species populations may change or disappear.
    Coastal areas are usually thickly populated and attract many recreational activities and related facilities that have been developed for fishing, boating, snorkeling and scuba diving, swimming, nature parks and preserves, beaches, and other resident and tourist attractions. Oil waste that invades and pollutes these areas and negatively affects human activities can have devastating and long-term effects on the local economy and society. Property values for housing tend to decrease, regional business activity declines, and future investment is risky.

    Long-term Fate of Oil on Shore

    The fate of oil residues on shore depends on the spilled oil's composition and properties, the volume of oil that reaches the shore, the types of beach and coastal sediments and rocks contacted by the oil, the impact of the oil on sensitive habitats and wildlife, weather events, and seasonal and climatic conditions. Some oils evaporate, disperse, emulsify, weather, and decompose more easily than others. The weather and seasonal and climatic conditions may accelerate or delay these processes.

    In 2000, several thousand penguins were affected by a fuel oil spill after the iron-ore carrier Treasure sank off South Africa. Many oil-soaked birds were cleaned and released.
    In 2000, several thousand penguins were affected by a fuel oil spill after the iron-ore carrier Treasure sank off South Africa. Many oil-soaked birds were cleaned and released.
    Oil waste that coalesces into a tar-like substance or that saturates sediments above the surf and tide level is especially persistent. Efforts to remove the oil and clean, decontaminate, and remediate an oil-impacted shoreline may make the area more visibly attractive, but may be more harmful than helpful in terms of actual recovery.

    Cleanup and Recovery

    The techniques used to clean up an oil spill depend on oil characteristics and the type of environment involved; for example, open ocean, coastal, or wetland . Pollution-control measures include containment and removal of the oil (either by skimming, filtering, or in situ combustion), dispersing it into smaller droplets to limit immediate surficial and wildlife damage, biodegradation (either natural or assisted), and normal weathering processes. Individuals of large-sized wildlife species are sometimes rescued and cleaned, but micro-sized species are usually ignored.
    Oil spill countermeasures to clean up and remove the oil are selected and applied on the basis of many interrelated factors, including ecological protection, socioeconomic effects, and health risk. It is important to have contingency plans in place in order to deploy pollution control personnel and equipment efficiently.

    Environmental Recovery Rates.

    The rate of recovery of the environment when an oil spill occurs depends on factors such as oil composition and
    Workers clean up an oil refinery spill that polluted Anacortes Bay, Washington. The floating ring of absorbent pads trailing behind the boat is being used to contain some of the oil that has spilled.
    Workers clean up an oil refinery spill that polluted Anacortes Bay, Washington. The floating ring of absorbent pads trailing behind the boat is being used to contain some of the oil that has spilled.
    properties and the characteristics of the area impacted, as well as the results of intervention and remediation. Physical removal of oil waste and the cleaning and decontaminating of the area assist large-scale recovery of the environment, but may be harmful to the substrate biomass. Bioremediation efforts—adding microorganisms, nutrients, and oxygen to the environment—can usually boost the rate of biodegradation. Because of the type of oil spilled and the Arctic environment in which it spilled, it is estimated that the residue of the Exxon Valdez oil spill will be visible on the Alaskan coast for 30 years.

    Costs and Prevention

    The costs of an oil spill are both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative costs include loss of the oil, repair of physical facilities, payment for cleaning up the spill and remediating the environment, penalties assessed by regulatory agencies, and money paid in insurance and legal claims. Qualitative costs of an oil spill include the loss of pristine habitat and communities, as well as unknown wildlife and human health effects from exposure to water and soil pollution.
    Prevention of oil spills has become a major priority; and of equal importance, efforts to contain and remove oil that has spilled are considered to be prevention of secondary spills. The costs associated with oil spills and regulations governing offshore facilities and operations have encouraged the development of improved technology for spill prevention. The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was enacted by the U.S. Congress to strengthen oil spill prevention, planning, response, and restoration efforts. Under its provisions, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund provides cleanup funds for oil pollution incidents.
    Responsibility for the prevention of oil spills falls upon individuals as well as on governments and industries. Because the sources of oil waste in the ocean are generally careless, rather than accidental, truly effective prevention of oil spills involves everyone.
    Carolyn Embach


    American Petroleum Institute. Fate of Spilled Oil in Marine Waters. Publication Number 4691. Washington, D.C.: American Petroleum Institute, 1999.
    Carls, Mark G. et al. "Persistence of Oiling in Mussel Beds after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill." Marine Environmental Research 51, no. 2 (2001):167–190.
    Raloff, Janet. "Valdez Spill Leaves Lasting Impacts." Science News no. 143 (February 13, 1993):102.
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Understanding Oil Spills and Oil Spill Response. Publication Number 9200.5–105. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1993.


    A large quantity of crude oil was deposited on beaches in Prince William Sound and along the shoreline of the Gulf of Alaska after the Exxon Valdez tanker wrecked in 1989. The oil waste has been closely monitored to determine its status and its effects in the ocean and along the coast.
    Initial efforts to remove the oil from intertidal areas included flushing them with hot water applied with high pressure, which proved fatal for much of the marine life involved. Natural rates of biodegradation and recovery have been slower than anticipated, and visible residue may persist for up to 30 years.

    The Gulf Oil Spill and the Good Life

    By Douglas Boyd-Robinson
    What do you need to survive?  What is essential for a good life?  How does your response affect your environment?  Humans have unconsciously asked this first question from the beginning of time.  The second question is perhaps a more modern variant.  The third question now takes a larger part of our awareness than ever before.
    Survival, after all, is the essential life effort.  As a group, if not individually, we will kill for sustenance.  We primarily think of sustenance as food, initially for the body and more recently for what we call the "soul" or "spirit."  Congruently, we think of sustenance in the form of power, as supremacy over a specific area often meant survival for a group of individuals in primitive times.  This group survival was eventually extended into cultural or even racial survival, until now it is for many of us national survival or preeminence.
    We conveniently forget that carnivorous humans actually kill other beings to eat.  Even vegetarian consumption involves manipulating the life cycle, however.  When it comes to agriculture, we eliminate certain plants to allow room for others, thereby affecting our environment in previously unseen ways.  In both instances, we may be so invested in our desired result that we ignore inevitable consequences.
    How does the second question, "What is essential for a good life?" compound the first?  Here we move from bare survival to life quality according to personal or community viewpoint.  We may have options of vegetarian or carnivore diets, for example, and choose one, or even a mixture of both as preferable in terms of what we consider good for personal and community wellbeing.
    So far, this model presents all individuals as closely involved in food production.  Environmental effects of our choices only compound as some of us find fulfillment in occupations far removed from what we would see as hunting, fishing, agriculture, or, by extension, energy production.  All occupations produce a desired product, however, and that product, no matter how far removed from actual food, may come to be viewed by many or all of us as "essential."
    The point here is that our concept of essential moves from elements of physical survival to psychological desire or even need.  For some people, music is essential for a fulfilling life.  Books are essential to others.  A stimulating sex life is essential to still others.  Some of us may find all three elements as necessary and therefore feel "starved" with a perceived lack in any of these or other elements.
    This observation shows that our wants become ever more complex as our society develops.  Steadily growing complexity of desire produces ever more complicated environmental effects.  These effects may become environmentally devastating if we remain unaware of their possible consequences.
    The present Gulf of Mexico oil spill presents an immediate and full-bodied example of this premise.  Most United States citizens collectively view abundant and inexpensive energy as necessary for personal and community -- extended to national wellbeing.  In turn, our collective sense of personal wellbeing extends from physical comfort to personal and ultimately national security.  Our sense of national security and wellbeing is further enhanced by a communally held concept of national power and supremacy.  We then collectively fear loss of this security should we abandon actions that brought us to this point, in favor of actions that could jeopardize this standing, even though recognized as being more environmentally sound.
    The result is that we engage in ever more risky operations for oil discovery and procurement, considering environmental risks as "minimal" and extremely unlikely.  The problem here is that our definitions of minimal damage may actually include extinction for some species of plant or animal, as well as eradication of some cherished environments.  We acknowledge these risks as "acceptable" to the extent we turn our backs on their possibility.  In her June 2ed interview with Rachel Maddow*, Barbara Boxer provides an example of this effect in her discovered Bush II administration description of what they saw as "minimal" and therefore acceptable damage to the Gulf environment from unlikely accidents.
    Our environment is at risk to the extent we collectively view possible damage as "acceptable."  If we have "zero tolerance" for possible damage, then we will be most likely to protect our environment, as we then make environmental protection our ultimate concern.  By making environmental protection an ultimate concern we establish a preserved natural environment as necessary for our overall wellbeing and we view environmental protection as at least as important as abundant energy.  More importantly, we may then find added incentive to develop energy sources that pose no perceived environmental threat.
    Our developing decisions concerning environmental protection will prove of ultimate importance.  Science-fiction may become science-fact should we damage our planetary environment to the point that Earth becomes inhospitable to us and indeed to all life forms.  We may then find an equitable balance between environmental care and energy procurement and production to be inescapably vital for our ultimate survival.
    Is it too early to collectively reach this conclusion now and begin to nourish and protect our environment before more irrevocable damage is done?   
    (c) Copyright. Douglas Boyd-Robinson.
    Douglas Boyd-Robinson is a writer, life coach and vision rehabilitation therapist presently living in Great Falls, Montana. He serves weekdays as Program Manager for Montana Blind & Low Vision Services - Great Falls region, extending from Glacier Park to the North Dakota border. In his writing, Boyd-Robinson concentrates on linking current events to universal concerns - exploring our life journey through our interactions with the contemporary world.

    Animal Rescue

    Bird Rescue in Office
    By saving a single life, one gets the credit for giving life to all the future generations. And this applies not just to humans...

    Largest Animal Rescue in Tennessee County History Saves 250 Dogs
    A team of more than 100 officials and volunteers in Tennessee worked for over 12 hours to remove more than 250 dogs from a Sumner County "puppy mill," in what has been described as the largest animal rescue operation in the county’s history.

    A Christmas Miracle With a Whale, Dog and An Angel
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    When Pets Become Foods
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    The Founding of a Thailand Dog Rescue
    I wanted to get a peek inside the mind of one of those extraordinary folks who boldly go where even the most foolhardy rescuers have never gone before - establishing a rescue from the ground up. What makes these most intrepid of rescuers tick?

    This Shelter is The Cat's Meow
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    Uproar Over Elephant Rescue Plan
    The Australian government's decision to import eight Thai elephants for a conservation project caused derision and an international rumpus.

    Mallorcan midwife toad saved from extinction
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    Emergency Effort To Rescue Five Displaced Wolves
    The UK Chapter of Canadian Voice For Animals and world-renowned author and animal advocate Jim Willis have joined Kerwood Wolf Education Centre's drive to rescue five displaced wolves from a U.S. facility that is about to shut down.

    Rescued Burros Arrive At California Sanctuary
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    Rescued Tiger Gives Birth To 4 Cubs
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    Christmas Rescue For Last Circus Bear In Britain
    The last circus bear in Britain, a 12-year-old American black bear named Fred, was rescued shortly before Christmas by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). Thanks to a free flight provided by British Airways, Fred has been flown to Canada to begin a new life in comfort and safety.

    Rescued Ex-Circus Elephant Struggles To Recover
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    Trapped Doe Rescued By Policemen
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    HSUS Calls For Immediate Rescue Of Stranded Cows
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    Hippos, Croc, Rescued in Namibia
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    Rescue Fund Launched After Beloved Rhino Dies
    An animal emergency rescue fund has been established by the SanWild Wildlife Trust in conjunction with the Wildlife Action Group in remembrance of Baixinha, a rare and much-loved East African black rhinoceros who died at the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary in Limpopo Province, South Africa on Wednesday, November 13, 2003.

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    Largest Animal Seizure in RSPCA History
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    Five Rescued Whales Swim To Freedom
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    Rescued Big Cats Getting New Homes
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    Pigs Force-Fed, Publicly Slaughtered In ‘Pigs Of God’ Contest
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    Endangered Fish Rescued from Arizona Wildfires
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