Where Gulf Spill Might Place on the Roll of Disasters

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico - ...

“From the Oval Office the other night, President Obama called the leak in the Gulf of Mexico “the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced.”

…The motive seems clear. The words signal sympathy for the people of the Gulf Coast, an acknowledgment of the magnitude of their struggle. And if this is really the worst environmental disaster, the wording seems to suggest, maybe people need to cut the government some slack for failing to get it under control right away.

But is the description accurate?

Scholars of environmental history, while expressing sympathy for the people of the gulf, say the assertion is debatable…” (New York Times )

One thought on “Where Gulf Spill Might Place on the Roll of Disasters

  1. I would suggest calling it an industrial disaster is more apt, more akin to Chernobyl than hurricane Katrina.

    An environmental disaster seems like more of a secondary effect, like the Dust Bowl happening decades later, or an unintended side effect of a good intention.

    But this is like Chernobyl, the direct effect of a series of stupid decisions and bad practices that should never have happened at all and which anyone on site at the time could have told you were wrong.

    So it’s an industrial disaster.


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