Saturday, August 7, 2010

The BP oil disaster "that never materialised"

Posted By on Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 8:59 PM

Remember all those faux-credulous national media reports last week claiming the oil in the Gulf of Mexico had somehow vanished or couldn't be found? While it's certainly true that many scientists say the ecological damage hasn't been as bad as expected so far, and that the surface of the Gulf is indeed cleaner in many places (due to evaporation and more than 1.8 million gallons of Corexit dispersant carpet-bombed across the slicks), it does not mean all the oil itself has vanished. So let's knock off the headlines and the TV captions like this one, OK?

click to enlarge Diane

Today's New York Times quotes both The Times-Picayune and the Blog of New Orleans on the subject, saying "Recent reports that much of the oil seemed to have disappeared from the surface of the gulf prompted fierce reactions in the region."

We may be fierce because of reports like this one from the Aug. 5 National Geographic online: "Much Gulf Oil Remains, Deeply Hidden and Under Beaches: New U.S. Gulf oil spill report called 'ludicrous.'"

We may also be fierce because of this photo from Alaska's Prince William Sound taken in February, where they have no trouble finding the oil, 20 years after the Valdez spill.

And we may be fierce because of photo sets like this one from photographer Julie Dermansky, who had no problem finding the oil that seems to elude so much of the national media (as well as Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen).

And we may be really fierce because the broad-brush reporting of the U.S. media leads, inevitably, to stories like this in the UK's The First Post:

click to enlarge uk paper

A "disaster that never materialised." An "over-hyped catastrophe."

Whatever, fellows; I'll bet you the oil is still here in a few months when you've packed up and moved on, and instead of asking "Where is the oii?," we'll be asking "Where are the media?"

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