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as noted, the Ixtoc leak was similarly big and dissipated.
The Erika spill in France (like the Amoco Cadiz a couple decades earlier) also damaged hundreds of kilometers of delicate, touristy coastline with tens of thousands of tons of nasty goo (the Erika stuff was especially nasty).

Like 9/11 (when terrorism was suddenly invented), this looks like the US is suddenly discovering oil pollution and panicking/overreacting.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 18th, 2010 at 05:27:37 AM EST
Ixtoc leaked ten times less on average (10 thousand barrels vs, 100 thousand barrels) as well as being in shallow water. The current spill is already the fourth largest in history and will overtake Ixtoc I pretty soon (given that we're only halfway through the drilling of the relief wells).

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 18th, 2010 at 06:57:57 AM EST
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But that doesn't mean that we're not getting into doom erotica territory here.

We know that this is a catastrophe, but we don't know whether the long terms consequences will be limited to loss of non-human species, contamination of the Gulf beyond acceptable levels for human consumption of its maritime life, or contamination beyond acceptable levels for human habitation along its coast. The latter seems unlikely, but I wouldn't be willing to lay odds against either of the two former outcomes.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 18th, 2010 at 03:12:12 PM EST
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I agree with Jerome.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Jun 18th, 2010 at 07:00:47 AM EST
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