Time for a gloomy news roundup! It's time for some crude talk about oil spills.( scary yet visually striking photo (no animals in distress) )
The estimate of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico is now up to 60,000 barrels a day. That's 2,500,000 (2.5 million) gallons. Every. Single. Day. For those of you who prefer metric units, that's about 9.5 million liters/day. Pretty devastating, right?
In Nigeria there are around 11 million gallons of oil spilling a year (over 30,000/day), which is slightly more than spilled from the Exxon Valdez...and this has been going on for the past 50 years
. (Figures based on this NY Times article
. This Guardian article
describes the situation with even more frightening detail with slightly different figures. Since it's few weeks old the Guardian's Gulf estimates are out of date; enormous uncertainty surrounds the Nigerian estimates.) I'd known that Nigeria's oil drilling resulted in really nasty environmental impacts, but I hadn't realized it was quite this
horrendous. Of course, since all this is going on a long way from where Americans vacation or buy lots of seafood, very little is done in the way of environmental cleanup or compensation for those whose health and livelihoods are damaged. On top of all that, armed conflict and governmental corruption gush up like crude around the Nigerian oil industry.
. For anyone who's boycotting BP, you might consider that Shell is the biggest culprit in Nigeria. ExxonMobil also does some nasty business there, not to mention being perhaps the worst of the bad lot in terms of fighting against climate change regulation. Chevron is responsible for some horrendous oil pollution in the rainforest in Ecuador. If boycotting BP makes you feel better, go for it, but don't be under any illusions that you're supporting a more ethical way of doing business unless you are buying less total gas
. Letting our money do the talking is a fine idea, but when it comes to purchasing gas and oil there is not really any company that will let those dollars say anything other than "screw you, Earth!"
Speaking of angry messages, on Tuesday the ship that's collecting a portion of the Gulf spewage was struck by lightning.
Also, as you may have heard, a six-story "touchdown Jesus" statue in Ohio was also recently struck by lightning and burnt to the ground (one of many articles
). Meanwhile, the more bloodthirsty nerds can apparently buy a lightsaber replica with a real laser powerful enough to blind instantly or set skin on fire
. Ponder that the next time you go to a con.
So, all this is really bad, but it's not like the universe is coming to an end, right? Think again: actual space pictures show what appears to be The Crack in the universe
!!! In the name of crispy touchdown Jesus, we're gonna die!
*deep breath* In other news, kittens are adorable! Really, ridiculously adorable! Like this:
I have watched that video about ten times today and laughed every single time.
And now, time for today's ( installment of the 30 days of tv meme )