Originally published in Fast Company and created by G&S Digital, this infographic visualizes the effects and possible solutions surrounding the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It visually explains the events that have occurred thus far, how the spill could be cleaned up and the related costs involved.
Most interesting and alarming is that this spill could easily overtake that of the Exxon Valdez, which holds the record as the worst oil spill in U.S History. This means that the potential environmental effects and concerns could easily derail recent decisions for oil drilling in the Gulf. Texas Governor Rick Perry has already spoken out urging congress not to reverse decisions to mine the Gulf for oil as a result of the spill, as many United States Congressmen have relentlessly opposed offshore drilling in the spills wake. Undoubtedly the recent oil spill makes the alternative energy problem even more complicated.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post on oil drilling and the film Fracking, where the economic and environmental wellbeing of communities were being put at odds against one another. This is a similar situation, where the Federal Government needs to carefully balance the greater energy needs of the country against the long-term environmental damage that could be incurred as a result of drilling in the gulf. Are we developing holistic solutions or quick fixes? How can we design solutions that consider the entire value of the ocean? Not just in terms of money from oil, but the value of ecosystems and their inhabitants, potential financial burdens for future generations that may result from our use of the gulf as an oil well, and of course the cost to a city like New Orleans, which has experienced one natural disaster too many. I would love to see Congress and President Obama take slow considerate steps in the handling of this issue, as its repercussions could be massive. Though still a catastrophe, the spill may have just saved us from committing to one of the biggest energy sourcing follies in our history. We’ll have to wait and see.