Oil Spill Here; Oil Spill There; Oil Spill, Oil Spill Everywhere!

Governor Grandholm just tweeted about the Michigan Oil Spill. I know, you were all expecting something about the Gulf Oil Spill. So was I. Last weekend I was one of the people asked to present about oil spill issues as part of an ongoing Oil-Spill Teach-In in Second Life. I had no idea there was an oil spill just an hour’s drive away from here.

Wall Street Journal: Efforts Doubled to Clean Up Michigan Oil Spill, JULY 28, 2010, 1:47 P.M. ET
“An oil spill from an underground pipeline connecting the U.S. to Canada has spread across roughly 20 miles of the Kalamazoo River in south-central Michigan, prompting the pipe’s Canadian owner and U.S. officials on Wednesday to double their resources to contain and clean up more than 800,000 gallons of seeped-out crude.”


In Second Life, there have been a lot of people upset about the Gulf Oil Spill. People all over are doing things to try to make a difference, and the Teach-In is part of this. Fire Centaur sort of led the pack by building a replica of the Gulf Oil Spill drilling platform and breach, and making it interactive with a game to have you cap the gap yourself.

SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/English%20Village/37/209/246
SL: Oil Spill Simulation

Not long after that, Operation Squeegee planned a series of events to raise funds for ecological charities, especially the National Wildlife Federation. Delia Lake built another masterful environment immersive space over at Virtually Speaking that replicates the coastal water environment.

SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Virtually%20Speaking/67/80/23
SL10: Oil Spill - Netroots Nation & Virtually Speaking

I was asked by Delia and Widget to pull together some information on health issues associated with the oil spill. That was presented last Sunday afternoon, and was on the Slideshare homepage this Monday. Kiko Hunniton did an article for iReport/CNN. The slides are also posted near Delia’s coastal space.

I was talking with a colleague who was surprised at some of the rules that are made to tell people not to do things that seem obvious. Do we really have to tell people not to swim in the oil spill waters? Yes. Do we really have to tell people if they are in the oil spill area and find a dead fish with oil on it, don’t eat it? Evidently so.

While I was surprised to find out about a local oil spill up here in Michigan, perhaps I shouldn’t have been. The more I look into oil spill issues, the more I find out how common they are.

250,000 Oil Spills in U.S. Waters, 1971-2000

Did we really not know? Or we did know, and just didn’t want to believe it. The real data from our government.

U.S. Department of the Interior. Minerals Management Service: Oil Spill Facts. [PDF] http://www.mms.gov/stats/PDFs/2002OilSpillFacts.pdf


4 responses to “Oil Spill Here; Oil Spill There; Oil Spill, Oil Spill Everywhere!

  1. I put together a little video that highlights the oil’s impacts in the Virtually Speaking sim…


  2. The Destructionist

    On Monday night (July 26) an oil pipeline – owned by Enbridge Energy Inc. – burst and spilled over 1,000,000+ gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek, Michigan. Michiganders are scrambling to stop the flow from getting into Lake Michigan, but I fear their efforts are in vain.

    According to the latest local news reports, it seems that Enbridge was slow to react to the emergency, while under reporting the actual amount of oil that was leaked into the river. Since Monday, the situation has grown even worse. Birds and other animal wildlife, coated with oil, have been found. People living along the river have been warned to evacuate the area along the river way and not to drink their well water for fear of contamination.

    1,000,000+ gallons of oil may not sound like much to some, considering the amount of oil now floating just underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, but in such a confined area – like the Kalamazoo River – that amount is devastating. As the oil continues to flow west, it will soon reach Lake Michigan, affecting the drinking water of millions of people, killing all wildlife, and despoiling the true beauty of the great lake.

    I’m really starting to believe that corporations don’t give a damn about anything other than their profits. As I stated in one of my previous blog posts (Who Put Corporations in Charge?), “…what good is money, after all, if you don’t have air to breathe, water to drink, or food to eat without fear of contamination?”


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