From yesterday’s New York Times, which confirmed that the BP spill is by far the world’s largest accidental release of oil into the ocean:
“We’ve never had a spill of this magnitude in the deep ocean,” said Ian R. MacDonald, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University.
“These things reverberate through the ecosystem,” he said. “It is an ecological echo chamber, and I think we’ll be hearing the echoes of this, ecologically, for the rest of my life.”
Here is an explanation of BP’s “static kill” tactic being used to close the well from today’s Washington Post:
The "static kill" is part of a double whammy of mud and cement that would hit the runaway Macondo well high and low in quick succession. The static kill starts at the top, firing the mud and possibly cement into the blowout preventer that sits on the wellhead.
That effort, which would take a day or two, would be followed in another five to seven days by the start of the more laborious "bottom kill," in which mud and cement will be injected into Macondo through a relief well that engineers began drilling at the beginning of May.
From today's Washington Post:
"That stuff's somewhere," said James H. Cowan Jr., a professor at Louisiana State University. His research has shown concentrations of oil still floating miles from the wellhead. "It's going to be with us for a while. I'm worried about some habitats being exposed chronically to low concentrations of toxins. . . . If the water's contaminated, the animals are going to be contaminated."
From CNN on Friday:
"I was happy about it," said [New Orleans resident Michael] Jackson, 50, about the capped well. "But who's to say that cap's going to hold?"
"It still doesn't do anything for our oysters," he said. "What about the marshes? There's no telling how long our oyster beds will be closed up."
From today's Miami Herald:
"We have been slow to develop new technologies to prevent, mitigate and clean up oil spills,'' Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., who drafted the legislation [currently in the House about the federal response to oil spills], said in a statement. "The fact that we are responding to the BP oil spill with basically the same technology that we used with the Exxon Valdez spill 20 years ago pretty much says it all.''
From yesterday's Washington Post:
"This economy survives off of seafood and the oil rigs," said Dusty Goforth, 57, of Slidell, La. …"Right now, they've got all of that shut down. It's destroyed the economy down here."
"We go through hurricanes every year. At least a hurricane might wipe out a few things, but at least you can rebuild it. This is gonna be there forever, for years to come." said Louisiana resident Aaron Terrebonne.
From today’s Washington Post:
"People's outrage is focused on BP," [Anthony] Leiserowitz said. The spill "hasn't been automatically connected to some sense that there's something more fundamental wrong with our relationship with the natural world," he said.
[Leiserowitz tracks public opinion on environmental issues at Yale University.]
From CNN today:
Oysterman Vlaho Mjehovich said the damage to the local waters has long-term repercussions.
"I've seen areas go for 10 years without oysters coming back. This is not going to be done and fixed overnight. People have to understand, this will take years to come back," he said. "What do you do? I had a business. Now, I don't have a business. My business was taken from me overnight. I have to go look for a job now."
From yesterday's New York Times:
"It’s not just fishermen,” said Captain Pete [Lacombe, dive master in the Florida Keys], who is 45. “It’s dive boat operators, instructors, mates, the guys who fill up our tanks. This [oil spill] could be potentially devastating for all of us.”
From yesterday’s New York Times:
“This is a much bigger problem than people are making out,” said Barbara Block, a Stanford researcher who is among the world’s leading experts on the bluefin tuna. “The concern for wildlife is not just along the coast; it is also at sea. We’re putting oil right into the bluewater environment.”