This morning I received an email from a Worldchanging reader who was amazed at the lack of coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico here at Worldchanging. I agree with the reader that this spill is one of the biggest environmental catastrophes in decades and that a great focus of effort and ingenuity is needed to address the gigantic problems the oil spill has created (and is continuing to create). As to why there's been a lack of coverage here, well, there are two reasons:
Other outlets are covering the spill well and in great detail
Worldchanging's primary journalistic mission is to cover solutions to problems, especially those solutions that address systemic change. It seems to me that the ultimate solution to this spill lies in reducing global dependence on oil that makes such risky drilling appealing to businesses and governments. Examples of the kind of systemic changed needed have been reported on many times at Worldchanging -- Alex Steffen's article "My Other Car is a Bright Green City" is a particularly good primer on how we need to move towards green compact communities, smaller well-built homes, walkable streets and smart infrastructure. These are the kinds of solutions I think we ultimately need to focus on long term.
That said, I'm certainly following the spill and on the lookout for more immediate solutions to the problem at hand (especially 'green' ones). I have found the following list of media outlets, environmental organizations, and blogs to have useful coverage for learning about the spill itself and the various responses being taken to contain and clean it up:
NOAA's National Ocean Service Office of Response and Restoration | Deepwater Horizon Incident, Gulf of Mexico: The United States's leading scientific resource for oil spills. NOAA is providing coordinated scientific weather and biological response services to federal, state and local organizations and advising on cleanup options as well as on sensitive marine resources at risk. Additionally, NOAA is predicting the oil spill's trajectory -- they're publishing trajectory maps online, the most recent of which shows that the oil slick has reached the Loop Current. Their website is being updated daily with new reports.
Bill Nelson, US Senator: Senator Nelson is hosting hosting a live online feed of the Gulf oil spill from 5,000 feet below sea level. Heavy demand has been slowing access, but there are also some embedded videos on his site of the oil leak.
Flickr: You can view and share photos and videos of the spill by tagging them SPILL_NW10.
Volunteer for the Cleanup Efforts - The National Wildlife Federation is helping coordinate the on-the-ground volunteer effort, including NWF's Gulf Coast Surveillance Teams, which are being set up to monitor the coastline for wildlife in distress.
Text "WILDLIFE" to 20222 to Donate $10 - You can help wildlife threatened by the oil spill by donating via your mobile phone. Your donation will help support National Wildlife Federation's on-the-ground volunteer and restoration efforts.
Speak Up for Cleaner Energy Choices - Tell your senators that now more than ever we need to pass comprehensive legislation that provides America with cleaner and safer energy choices.
I have never seen a country respond so slowley to disasters. The problem has been spilling oil for 4 weeks and none of our over payed engineeres and politicians cna resolve the problem. All this waiting is going to create a larger problem once the slick enteres the Florida Keyes. when the oil passes thru the keyes it will pick up speed when it enteres the gulf stream. If nothing else happens all of these smart people need to be working on using the brigges and the keys to try to stop and coral this mess as it makes it down around the keys and into the atlantic ocean which will polute the rest of the oceans in the world.
Posted by: neil vota on 20 May 10
It is unforgivably appalling to see absolutely NO coverage of what could easily be the worst environmental disaster in history. Worldchanging, you've lost at least one formerly-loyal reader.
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