Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to clean oil spill pollution? How about doing nothing?

The enormous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is still very hot topic, mostly because the recent cleaning efforts proved to be inadequate to cleanup the huge environmental mess. Some scientists suggest different approach and are saying that doing nothing to clean this oil spill would be much better option compared to current aggressive "gung ho" cleaning tactics.

British scientists from the Liverpool University said that it would be much better for environment to have done nothing about the enormous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico except to keep the oil out at sea.

This is because the aggressive cleanup tactics uses different oil-dispersing chemicals that have been dumped into the sea, and which in the end might become even more damaging to the marine life than the oil itself.

Some previous experiences showed that containing the oil out at sea but otherwise leaving it alone to disperse and evaporate naturally is better in the long run but this option is regarded as politically unacceptable because public and media pressure requires quick action. Politicians need to do something quick or they might end up losing votes during the next selections, and this is really the main reason for frequent use of "gung ho" approach in cleaning oil spills.

The latest estimates are horrifying: The U.S. government estimates close to 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons/9.5 million litres) of oil a day are spewing from the damaged BP Plc oil well on the seabed about a mile (1.6 km) below the surface.

Among the areas that are worst hit with this latest oil spill are no doubt Louisiana's fragile wetlands, and this is sure to cause huge damage to many nearby ecosystems. You have probably already seen dreadful images of birds and other wildlife covered in oil.

Simon Boxall, an expert at Britain's National Oceanography Centre, said how there were three golden rules regarding oil spills:"The first is don't spill it in the first place: the second is, if you do spill it, try and pick it up as quickly and easily as possible, and the third is that once oil leaks in the open ocean, the best thing to do is leave well alone.

But doing nothing certainly doesn't look good from political point of view.

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