General Question

auhsojsa's avatar

What are the updates on the gigantic oil spill of the Gulf?

Asked by auhsojsa (2511 points ) February 1st, 2012

What is the next step if any?

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10 Answers

chyna's avatar

The next step is being taken. On the east coast I have noticed a huge influx of commercials about how beautiful the beaches in Floriada are, come spend your vacation in Florida, etc. At the end of the commercial, you find that Phillips, Exxon, etc. is actually the people behind the commercial, not Florida tourism. They have swept any residual oil affects under the rug or actually, under the ocean.

sinscriven's avatar

Those tourism commercials with BP’s branding at the end couldn’t be more disingenuous.

“We’re only doing this shit cause we have to, but we might as well try to look like good guys while we’re at it”

Qingu's avatar

It affected a lot of areas. Many different shores, then the ocean environment itself. There probably isn’t a simple answer to this question, other than to broadly point out that the most important stuff has been done already.

At the time of the leak, the most pressing concern by far was, you know, stopping the leak. They succeeded in capping the well in July 2010 and permanently sealing the well in September. Not much else to do there.

Then there’s stopping the oil from getting onshore. Many of the local government ideas, like constructing sand barriers, were pointless wastes of money. Dispersants and booms had some effect. All of that is over and done with, though.

The oil on shores breaks up naturally over time. In some cases doing cleanup causes more environmental damage (this was a problem in some areas with Exxon Valdez).

Underwater, luckily, microbes have consumed oil at a faster than expected rate. The oil still probably devastated swaths of bottom-dwelling niches. Scientists are discovering animals in the Gulf, like the pancake batfish, that will hopefully survive the oil spill but who knows.

As far as tourism, you guys realize that BP can actually be held financially liable for any loss of tourism in those states? That’s almost certainly why they’re paying for the commercials. You can dismiss it as cynical, and BP should be criticized for their pathetic safety standards that led to the spill. But I’m not sure what the point is of criticizing them for paying for the disaster they caused. Do you not want BP to pay for the damage they caused to the tourism industry?

sinscriven's avatar

@Qingu : Their paid advertisements did not need to have their branding on them at all. BP made it an advertisement for themselves as much as it is for the affected industries so they didn’t really “lose” anything in terms of punishment and reconciliation.

If anything, it may have sabotaged those states. One moment they’re talking about louisiana and all the awesome food, and then the giant BP logo centered on the screen for 3 seconds and then you remember that all that seafood lives in that giant oil clustermuck.

Qingu's avatar

Actually the seafood was not really affected by the spill.

I’m also not sure if it would actually be better if BP failed to disclose they were funding/producing those ads.

What exactly would you like BP to do at this point? Just give money to the tourism industry directly and let them spend it however they want?

incendiary_dan's avatar

Actually the seafood was not really affected by the spill.

And now I have no doubts that @Qingu is a planted shill.

chyna's avatar

And the nearly 5,000 birds and sea turtles that died because of the spill didn’t mind giving their life to a worthy cause @Qingu. ~

Qingu's avatar

@incendiary_dan, you’re right. I work for BP.

That’s also why I argue so strenuously for green energy and petroleum industry regulation on other questions, and why I explicitly said BP deserves plenty of blame in this question. It’s so that I can hide the fact that I work for BP. All part of the conspiracy.

I’ll admit that I understated that a bit. The seafood industry obviously was affected. A lot of areas were closed to fishing for months. I’ve also seen reports that the FDA erred in allowing as much seafood to be sold as it did, after the spill. But the industry has largely recovered since that time.

And look at the context. I was responding to this statement:

“all that seafood lives in that giant oil clustermuck”

Seafood today is not affected much by residual oil from the spill, which was my point.

sinscriven's avatar

@Qingu : What the actual damage is isn’t going to change public perception of it. Kinda like even though toilet water is clean, people do not get in line to drink from it.

Qingu's avatar

You’re right that the bigger problem for the industry is demand side, not supply.

Your analogy is pretty, um, not helpful. If the seafood is in fact clean, then no, it’s not like toilet water, even clean toilet water.

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