« Republicans Haven't Yet Sealed the Deal with Voters in Effort to Retake Congressional Majority | Main | How to solve our race problem »

What does 184 million gallons of oil look like ...

... when compared to a 660 quadrillion gallon body of water? CNBC has the answer:

SS_Oil_Spill_visualized_football.jpg

Okay, let's be careful here. The massive BP oil spill has been a huge environmental disaster. Millions of gallons of oil have washed ashore or are seriously threatening coastal environments. The fishing, shrimping, and oyster harvesting industries on the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have been seriously damaged, and its realistic to assume that they may never return to the way they were before April 20, 2010.

But at the same time, it's simply incorrect to assert that BP has polluted or wrecked the entire Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf will recover, probably within a completely unexpected time frame, and through mechanisms that we either don't understand, or aren't yet even aware of.

Sometimes it's worth remembering just how massive and powerful our planet really is, even when compared to the most impressive efforts of mankind.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/39678.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What does 184 million gallons of oil look like ...:

» Brutally Honest linked with Perspective

Comments (14)

How much oil was spilled by... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

How much oil was spilled by German Uboats during WWII right off shore of the US? mpw

Second thought, why is this... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

Second thought, why is this spill listed in gallons when every other spill up to this one listed in barrels? Do the press have an agenda? Nah couldn't be, just wait till I get journolist on the phone to see what their spin is supposed to be on this one. mpw

Yes. But in the hands of a ... (Below threshold)

Yes. But in the hands of a Keith D'Oh-lbermann, no telling what kind of damage a 24 oz. can of beer could do!

why is this spill listed... (Below threshold)
john:

why is this spill listed in gallons when every other spill up to this one listed in barrels? Do the press have an agenda?

Why are you stretching for something so easily disproved? Do you have an agenda?

There are plenty of references in "gallons" for the Valdez spill:

The tanker Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil,

www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/us/06alaska.html

Just as there are plenty of references in "barrels" for the BP spill:

On May 17, there were at least 130,000 barrels of oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico

www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64Q4F720100527

The Gulf fishing industry h... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The Gulf fishing industry has taken a terrible hit, and it will be a slow recovery. However, I cannot agree that it is "... realistic to assume that they may never return to the way they were before ..." at all.

As the main point of the post demonstrates the relative amount of oil spilled, it should also recall previous spills, most of which (at least since 1970 and the advent of "environmentalism") were trumpeted as eternal disasters which would take half a century to recover from, but always seemed to defy the doomsayers with concerted cleanup efforts.

The Gulf will survive. The planet will survive. The fishing industry will rebound as the cleanup progresses, because there is not enough oil to permanently destroy the fisheries or shellfish beds. The pain of the fishermen and related industries should be ameliorated by BP, either through the Obama slush fund or through the normal process of civil litigation (which BP has every reason to avoid by offering reasonable settlements to those harmed).

Much of the harm which has been done could have been avoided if Obama had either insisted on the prescribed inspections for the installation beforehand instead of waiving them, or had enacted the existing emergency plan within a few days of the accident.

Well, while I appreciate th... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

Well, while I appreciate the attempt to put this in perspective, it's a bad argument for a couple reasons:

1) The fact that something is relatively small compared to its medium doesn't mean it cannot be devastating. An amount of ricin equal to only 0.0000022% your body weight will still kill you, even if it is ridiculously little.

2) Gallons are a measure of volume, not area, and area is what matters when you're dealing with an oil spill. The fact that there are quadrillions of gallons of water underneath that thin layer of oil doesn't enter into it.

So, if you want to see how big a deal the oil spill is, you don't look at cute little pictures. Instead, you look at a map:

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2010/gulf.coast.oil.spill/interactive/map.impact.google/index.html

Yawn.Raw petroleum... (Below threshold)

Yawn.

Raw petroleum has oozed from the Earth since time immemorial and long long long before such quota-hired TelePromTer performing Peter Principle poster persons as the pretender to what presently passes for a "presidency" appeared and began ponderously pontificating about the perils posed by Pommy petrol heads. And without ever thuggishly, fascistically and/or un-Constitutionally standing over and shaking down a single corporate entity, the Earth has absorbed the oozed oil.

Just as it absorbed Prince William Sound's spill -- and will absorb the Gulf of Mexico's.

Yawn.

Next?

What kind of beer is that?<... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

What kind of beer is that?

Can I have it?

-Shawn

Chone wins the thread.... (Below threshold)
epador:

Chone wins the thread.

mpw280 has a handle on the ... (Below threshold)
alanstorm:

mpw280 has a handle on the perspective required. During WWII, a favorite target of both sides were oil tankers, and whole shiploads (to coin a phrase) were sunk. According to the current crop of environmentalists" and their computer models, all sea life was wiped out.

Or could something be wrong with the model?

JSchuler makes two excellen... (Below threshold)

JSchuler makes two excellent points. The graphic is an over simplification and trivializes the size of the gushing well (why do we keep calling it a "spill"?).

Raw petroleum has oozed from the Earth...

There's a massive difference between "oozing" naturally, and gushing from a man-made ruptured well, making this a silly argument.

The Gulf will recover, probably within a completely unexpected time frame, and through mechanisms that we either don't understand, or aren't yet even aware of.

Another very good point! Nature, without much help from us, heals wounds caused by her or by mankind. For evidence of that, I need look no further than Mt. St. Helens down the road from me where life is flourishing inside the blast zone--including Spirit Lake, which is now teeming with fish.

There's also Yellowstone, which has recovered spectacularly since the 1988 wildfires. And even life is coming back to normal at the site of the Exxon Valdez spill.

Think about that. In less than 30 years, nature (with a little help from man in Alaska's case) has recovered. People think, "30 years!? Oh my God, that's a long, long, time!" And it is, to us. But to nature? It's a billion-th of a second (or thereabouts)!

The Deepwater spill is a big, big fucking mess--the biggest ever. But nature--again with help from man (specifically, BP's pockets)--will recover. She always does.

What kind of beer is tha... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

What kind of beer is that?

Can I have it?

Dark bottle. Must be Guinness. Salut, Shawn!

Sorta like the Baby Ruth in... (Below threshold)

Sorta like the Baby Ruth in the swimming pool, then?

I do find it funny though. ... (Below threshold)

I do find it funny though. IF GWB was president the Football stadium would be under a blanket of oil and the world would be coming to an end...Not saying the illustration isn't true, just saying the perception of it would be all together different.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy