The spilling of oil into our water supplies is one of the most shocking, call-to-action environmental issues of our time. I still remember the outrage and horror when On March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez, ripped open by coral reef poured 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William sound. I remember the dead birds, fish, otters, rocks, water and shoreline covered in a blanket of black death. The visions for those who love nature were indescribably horrific.
I also remember visions of hundreds of clean-up workers, floating temporary hotels, mobile Burger Kings and water remediation equipment, all flooding the area and bringing vitally needed income to many. It is no understatement to say that there is a lot of money in oil; even when it is spilled.
Upon visiting Prince William Sound today the average observer would not ever know that such a severe oil spill ever took place. Through the clean up and more so, the natural processes of Mother Earth, the land and water look pristine and beautiful. Residents of course, who live there might point to tings like the loss of the Herring population as an example of how full recovery has not taken place.
Finally, through the eyes of Mother Earth, given the long life cycle of the planet, the Valdez oil spill was nothing more than a flea that needed flicked away. Indeed, the graphic I have provided demonstrates how oil spills are dealt with by the Earth’s natural process. Over the coming centuries, we can be sure the planet will consume all the damage and evidence that an oil spill ever took place.
At the end of the day, oil doesn’t threaten our water supplies other than temporary, local events. Technology exists to separate oil and water, and over time the planet will remove the threat. This is not to say however that we shouldn’t learn from our mistakes and put technology to use to make future spills less likely.