posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:47 PM
Suffice to say that are people who have tried to work this all out (and they are experts in this sort of thing) and even they have trouble coming up
with an accurate estimate. Most now seem to be giving a figure up around the 100,000 BPD sort of mark. Some say it's more. (BP of course is not
giving figures for flow, just what they "capture".)
So, whatever... While it's kind of comforting to know that even with a uncontrolled outflow of 1 million gal/day it would take (x) thousand years to
cover the world's ocean with 1" of oily gunk, the point is that things do not need to get anywhere near that bad before we are in deep ...errm...
As you all know, the world's oceans are incredibly important to our existence because they supply a good 70% of the oxygen we breathe, they help to
moderate and regulate temperatures, they're vital for the water cycle, and they are fundamental food sources.
But many of these systems are in pretty fine balance and just a small tip one way or the other can have huge knock-on effects. The earth itself will
manage fine, but if these systems go out of whack (relative to what's good for us and most other life on this planet), then it could take a long time
to get back into some type of balance again -- and that new balance could be quite different from what we know now.
Ditto the concerns over the methane gas that's being released. Again, it would take (x) thousand years to replace CO2's "role" and become
greenhouse gas #1. But again, it doesn't have to. Just by adding to the mess of harmful stuff that's already floating around it might be enough to
tip the balance one way or another.
The trouble is, we really don't know how many more straws it might take to break the environmental camel's already straining back. We only know
things are pretty dire and BP's "efforts" are not helping in any way.