Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BP = Big Problem

I’m no scientist, but even a cursory glance at the above video suggests that Bermuda may be in serious risk of becoming engulfed in BP’s oil this summer. According to the computer modeling study released by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) last week, oil from the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico might soon extend along thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast as early as this summer. Says NCAR scientist Synte Peacock, "Our best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood." Which quite possibly means Bermuda if the above animation is indeed accurate. Don’t believe me? Click play. Do you see that light green dot in the middle of the dark blue Atlantic on the map? That’s Bermuda. Now watch as the slick makes its way around the tip of Florida, up the Atlantic coast and engulfs the entire island (about the 16 second mark; then again at 26 seconds). Scary stuff. Even scarier? Some island politicians don’t seem to agree with scientists. This just in from Environment Minister Glenn Blakeney who spoke on the disaster at last week’s House of Assembly: “There is presently not too much concern about a submerged plume of emulsified oil reaching the Atlantic because the levels or concentration of this material in the water column seems to quickly fall to a few parts per billion or per trillion parts of sea water that is barely measurable within 50 miles of the source of the oil. There is also little to no risk of fresh oil reaching Bermuda.” Well sir, I certainly hope you’re right, but when tar balls start washing up on our beaches please be sure to let me know where to dispose of them. In the meantime I openly welcome suggestions from scientists, politicians and yes, all you regular folks out there who regularly make a difference in this world, to suggest ways how we as an island can protect ourselves from the slick. The Bermuda Shorts forum is officially open.

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