Ich hatte das Thema bereits vor einigen Tagen im im Beitrag „Golf von Mexiko: Unmengen von Öl, aber wo ist es ?“ aufgegriffen.

Hier noch zwei Links zu Artikeln, die sich mit der Frage beschäftigen, wie groß die Katastrophe im Golf von Mexiko wirklich ist:

Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we’ve heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals. Yes, the spill prompted harsh restrictions on fishing and shrimping, but so far, the region’s fish and shrimp have tested clean, and the restrictions are gradually being lifted. And yes, scientists have warned that the oil could accelerate the destruction of Louisiana’s disintegrating coastal marshes — a real slow-motion ecological calamity — but so far, assessment teams have found only about 350 acres of oiled marshes, when Louisiana was already losing about 15,000 acres of wetlands every year.

The disappearance of more than 2,000 sq. mi. of coastal Louisiana over the past century has been a true national tragedy, ravaging a unique wilderness, threatening the bayou way of life and leaving communities like New Orleans extremely vulnerable to hurricanes from the Gulf. And while much of the erosion has been caused by the re-engineering of the Mississippi River — which no longer deposits much sediment at the bottom of its Delta — quite a bit has been caused by the oil and gas industry, which gouged 8,000 miles of canals and pipelines through coastal wetlands. But the spill isn’t making that problem much worse. Coastal scientist Paul Kemp, a former Louisiana State University professor who is now a National Audubon Society vice president, compares the impact of the spill on the vanishing marshes to „a sunburn on a cancer patient.“

Marine scientist Ivor van Heerden, another former LSU prof, who’s working for a spill-response contractor, says, „There’s just no data to suggest this is an environmental disaster. I have no interest in making BP look good — I think they lied about the size of the spill — but we’re not seeing catastrophic impacts.“ Van Heerden, like just about everyone else working in the Gulf these days, is being paid from BP’s spill-response funds. „There’s a lot of hype, but no evidence to justify it.

Van Heerden is controversial in Louisiana, so I should mention that this isn’t the first time he and Kemp have helped convince me that the conventional wisdom about a big story was wrong. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, when the Army Corps of Engineers was still insisting that a gigantic surge had overwhelmed its levees, they gave me a tour that debunked the prevailing narrative, demonstrating that most of the breached flood walls in New Orleans showed no signs of overtopping. Eventually, the Corps admitted that van Heerden and Kemp were right, that the surge in New Orleans was not so gigantic and that engineering failures had indeed drowned the city. But there was still a lot of resentment down here of van Heerden and his big mouth, especially after he wrote an I-told-you-so book about Katrina. He made powerful enemies at LSU, lost his faculty job, and is now suing the university. Meanwhile, he’s been trashed locally as a BP shill ever since he downplayed the spill in a video on BP’s website.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2007202,00.html#ixzz0vMKBFnyB

Quelle und vollständiger Artikel:
The BP Spill: Has the Damage Been Exaggerated?“ in time am 29.07.10

So … Has Anyone Seen the Oil That Spilled into the Gulf?“ in vanityfair am 29.07.10

Kommentar: Man kann jetzt zu drei sehr unterschiedlichen Interpretationen kommen.
a) Es war sehr viel Panikmache und Übertreibung in der öffentlichen Berichterstattung. Bilder von ölverschmierten Tieren und Stränden wecken immer Emotionen und verkaufen sich gut.
b)Die Wissenschaft ist momentan ohne präzises Bild , was mit den Unmengen von ausgetretenem Öl geschehen ist bzw. geschieht.
c) Die Ölindustrie macht gute Lobbyarbeit und versucht die Botschaft in die Medeien zu bringen, dass es doch alles nicht so schlimm war.

Ich denke, dass es eine Kombination ist.