Friday, May 07, 2010

SOBERING



[UPDATE - May 13, 2010: Expert views are pushing toward the higher leakage estimates.]

The above counter, put together by PBS NEWSHOUR offers a sliding estimate because
"nobody knows for certain how much oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since last month's oil rig explosion. What we do have are estimates -- from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from outside experts, from British Petroleum -- of how fast crude is flowing out of two remaining leaks."

But, in my view, that's not the most sobering report. Writing in his NY Times Dot Earth blog, Andrew Revkin says:


"To my mind, an end to exploration and development of oil resources in the seas, including United States waters, is untenable politically. There is no way President Obama will be able to close a deal on an energy (and climate) bill without such a provision, even with the Gulf mess.


But there are several teachable moments at hand that, so far, President Obama hasn’t sought to embrace. One is that it is a patriotic duty to use oil more sparingly, that the price at the pump does not come close to reflecting the real costs, that extractive industries have been insufficiently policed.


Another is that the Gulf disaster offers the country the opportunity to embrace its oil habit (for the time being) and thus fully accept the responsibilities that come with it. Kind of like the first steps in a 12-step program. “I am an alcoholic.” Big hug."

I don't know whether to celebrate the honesty of these words or despair of their truth.

There's more discussion at Oil Now and in the Long Haul.

[May 10, 2010: More debate on prospects for an energy bill here.]

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