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Upset About The Gulf Spill? Maybe You Should Kick Your Oil Habit

Topics: Clean & Green | Add A CommentBy admin | May 12, 2010

Blaming BP for the oil spill is like a Detroit crackhead blaming the Peruvian coca farmer for his financial problems.


BP will get all the mud slung their way,
but what about YOUR part in all this?

When I see the devastation being caused by the recent gulf oil spill, I can’t help thinking about all the people driving around in their Volvos listening to NPR and shaking their fists in anger at British Petroleum. Which to me is a lot like the Hollywood celebrity strung out on cocaine blaming the Latin American coca farmer for all his problems. I’m certainly no corporate apologist, but when there are an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil being dumped into the ocean every day, who’s really to blame? The oil company that had the accident? Or the oil addicts that demand the insane quantity of oil that is being sucked from the ground daily so that they can drive to the store for a gallon of milk whenever they feel like it? If you own a car or do any of a million things that demand this mind blowing supply of crude oil, you can hardly deny your complicity in the tragedy occurring off the Louisiana coast right now. Do you feel like you can even begin to visualize how much oil we consume in America? It’s around 378 million gallons daily. That means the daily amount flowing into the gulf is about 5% of how much we consumed that day. I can’t decide which is more apalling, the amount flowing into the ocean, or the amount flowing into our gas tanks. To make these numbers real for you, we’ve found a couple of interesting visuals. Google engineer Paul Rademacher has created an easy-to-use tool that superimposes the spill over any city you specify. See the map image below; I entered Ann Arbor, MI, but as you can see, the spill would easily engulf the entire city of Chicago. To get a picture of ongoing global consumption, there’s a handy waterfall analogy. This guy did the math, and figured out that Jog Falls in India (see clip below) flows at nearly the same rate. Just imaging black sludge instead of frothy water and you’ll get a good feel for things. And lastly, this PBS News Hour page has a “Gulf Leak Meter” that displays the spill on real time (also embedded below).

This waterfall is a very close analogy to actual global oil consumption at 41,451 US gallons per second:

This is the gulf spill if it were centered on Ann Arbor, MI. Try your own city here