Walruses in Alaska are coming off the ice floes and onto the shore, in the tens of thousands. The sea ice they normally rest on has melted. On the shores of Alaska, the walruses are now packed shoulder to shoulder, […]
THE OIL SPILL MAY SOON BE CAPPED
For more than three months, more than 80 million litres of oil have gushed from a broken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
The company responsible, BP (British Petroleum), has tried many different things to stop the flow of oil, which is spewing into the gulf and threatening wildlife.
They tried capping the well, but the flow was too strong and the rig was too deep under the water. They even tried stuffing the well with golf balls, mud, fabric and human hair! That didn’t work.
Recently they tried using underwater “robot submarines” to cut into the broken pipe and cap it with a funnel. That may actually be working.
It’s a positive development, but it’s almost too late. First, 11 people died in the explosion on April 20 that originally damaged the oil well. And the massive amount of oil that leaked into the Gulf has already done immense damage to our ecosystem. The chemicals that BP used to help clean up the oil are themselves toxic – not only to the workers who have to do the cleaning up, but to the environment as the mixture of chemicals and oil washes up onto the shore.
U.S. President Barack Obama is furious. After all, even though the company that owns the oil well, BP, is British, the oil is washing up onto American soil. Now, beaches in Florida are starting to become covered in the oily, chemically gunk. Recently, President Obama sent a bill for $69-million to BP to cover the initial costs of responding to the spill.
Last week there were reports that BP may have known that the oil well had the potential to break. And BP’s reputation is forever tarnished; it’s likely that no one will ever forget that BP was the company that caused such a massive world-wide disaster.
Canada is sending aid to help in the clean-up efforts.