Disasters come and go and we tend to forget them; especially since we seem to face more of them each year. Each seems to eclipse the last, unless we’re directly affected. But like the old saying in relation to a butterfly flapping its wings, regardless of where these disasters occur, they affect us all in the long run. It’s like a death of a thousand small cuts.
Last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may not be in the headlines so much in the last few months, but its certainly still having an impact on the region.
A recent series of expeditions found layers of crude oil, inches thick at times, covering a large area near the Deepwater Horizon oil well. Bottom dwelling creatures usually common to the area were found dead or where nowhere to be seen. Dr. Samantha B. Joye from the University of Georgia department of Marine Sciences believes the recovery could take a decade.
Tar balls are reportedly still washing up on some coastlines.
And now this very concerning development.
A leading marine mammal expert has expressed concern about the uptick in deaths of baby dolphins. According to an article on the Sun Herald web site, in the first birthing season for dolphins since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, 17 dead stillborn or newborn dolphins have been found in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana in February to date. The average is usually 1 or 2 a month. It’s the most recorded in decades.
Researchers haven’t been able to point the finger squarely at the deaths being caused by last year’s oil spill as tests are still being conducted.
Regardless of whether the dolphins met their fate courtesy of Big Oil or not, other recent news from the Gulf reminds us the true price we pay for fossil fuels is far more than what is reflected in our electricity bills or at the pump – it goes way beyond the subsidies. We have racked up a huge environmental debt and we’re already feeling the cost of the repayments – and we can’t just blame Big Oil, we need to look at ourselves.
Yet, among all this destruction, sadness and economic impact, some still say clean, renewable energy is “too expensive”.
Related: The effects of oil spills