Media coverage of BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill, implications, etc.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kind of an awkward title for the post but there is an assortment of things worth mentioning about the spill now that it has gone on for over two months.

First of all, since there has been so much coverage of the oil spill there have been articles here and there asking why the horrid conditions in Nigeria haven't been reported on as well. The answer to that is quite obvious of course - people notice events in their own country and virtually ignore others, unless they happen to be cherished issues for one political side or another. This is one reason why Israel receives a bazillion times more media coverage than any other country its size, since it's a cherished issue for both the so-called left and right.

Since this is the case, where would be the best (okay, least bad) place for an oil spill if one wanted to raise awareness of the fact that the world's energy strategy needs to be changed? Nowhere in Africa, nobody pays attention to news there. South America, also not so much. Europe - Europe is already doing a pretty good job on renewable energy so they don't need a reminder. The US - that's where.

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a tweet here comparing the amount of oil so far from the spill to overall oil consumption, and so far it's the equivalent of 3 hours of consumption for the US, 45 minutes of worldwide oil consumption.

I also found a post from here from last year where BP announced the discovery of a lot of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. With the 20/20 hindsight we have now it's creepy to see, but then again there are almost 2000 oil rigs in North America alone that haven't exploded, and there's no way to tell from the safety of our homes and blogs whether any others are at risk of doing so too.

Finally, Huffington Post has an article here on the changes other countries are making to their drilling rigs as a result of this. If one or more explosions that were to have happened won't happen now as a result of new regulations then overall Deepwater Horizon would actually have a positive effect worldwide, but since explosions that don't happen can't be counted it's impossible to tell. What can be measured, however, is overall oil consumption, and we'll be keeping an eye on whether Deepwater Horizon has an effect on energy policies regarding that in which countries over the next few years.

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