A reader writes:
Your reader referencing the Gulf's "Dead Zone" oversimplifies the reasons behind the lack of oil-covered wildlife. My wife works at the Environmental Defense Fund and told me the workers in the Gulf are using chemicals that dissolve the oil, making it heavier than water, so it sinks down and is absorbed into the sediment, rather than resting on the surface for birds or other larger animals to get coated. So the less sexy issues are plant, plankton, algae, and larvae life being threatened - in addition to unseen implications for fish and coral.
The focus on dead animals would be misguided anyway. This is not your run-of-the-mill oil spill. The real threat is not the loss of animal lives; it is the risk to human lives. The potential for the destruction of acres of wetlands accelerates the loss of New Orleans' natural protection from hurricanes by 50-100 years. That's the biggest problem here. That's what journalists should be reporting on and columnists should be pitching proposals to rebuild our natural defense barriers, not whining and wondering about the lack of dead dolphins.
(Marshland is seen as efforts continue to contain BP's massive oil spill on May 11, 2010 in Venice, Louisiana. Oil is still leaking out of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead at a estimated rate of 1,000-5,000 barrels a day. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.)
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