Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oil in the Gulf

As of this writing, the amount of oil escaping from BP's damaged rig in the Gulf of Mexico has been reduced by their "top kill," and there is hope that it may soon be stopped. And that's good news. But a vast amount of oil has already been pumped into the ocean. We don't know how much, or where it is, or where it is going, or what will happen when it gets there, but the answers to all of these questions are surely going to be bad. I haven't written much about the disaster because I don't really know what to say. Obviously the procedures for operating these rigs need to be reviewed from top to bottom, and we ought to be better prepared for every sort of disaster we can imagine. But the only long-term answer is to move toward a world in which we use much less oil, and that is a long way off no matter what we do.

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