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News Pictures of the damage from the BP oil spill

  1. Jul 19, 2010 #1
    I think I read a post on this forum about the lack of pictures of damage from the BP oil spill. I found this site today and wanted to share it.

    Edit by Evo: Sorry, that's not an approriate link. It contains misinformation worded to create fear mongering.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2010 #2
    Go to google images and type in oil spill...
    Its no like they are being suppressed.
     
  4. Jul 19, 2010 #3
    I didn't say they were! Just sharing the site based on a post I read in the event that anyone else has the same sentiments or lack of exposure to the media...like myself.
     
  5. Jul 19, 2010 #4

    Hepth

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    I love animals as much as the next person, but is it wrong that rather than feel "moved" by a picture of a dead sea bird/fish, I become upset that the argument to get me to "rally" with the cause is emotionally based rather than logically.

    Perhaps the general public can be convinced that deepwater oil rigs are a bad idea from about 17 pictures of some dead animals, but I feel MUCH more convinced when I see percentages and reference numbers for devastation/deaths/etc.

    I despise numbers with no reference. "576 miles of coastline have been affected". I see that and ask, how many miles of coastline are there in the gulf? Rough estimate from google maps looks like about 1500 US miles of coast. So 30% of the US gulf coast has been affected. To me that is alot and MUCH more important and moving than just some number (576).

    I guess if you start giving references perhaps it lessens the emotional response. Exxon-V spill covered 1300 miles of coastline. Thats almost 3 times as much as this one so far.

    From:http://www.boingboing.net/2010/06/11/bp-oil-spill-daily-d.html

    The number of dead mammals(dolphins/otters/etc) so far that have been found is at 36. Now, once I see that number I think, "isn't that pretty low? I don't think "facing extinction" is a proper description".

    Dead birds = about 700. The majority of which I believe are Brown Pelicans and Northern Gannets. Brown Pelicans have a world population of just under 700,000. Northern Gannets I can't find a number, but theres a single canadian colony of them with over 60,000 breeding pairs. Can't really say they're "facing extinction".

    I think the ExxonV spill killed about 250,000 birds (surface oil spills are different).

    I'm more worried about the rarer sea turtles than anything else.

    While it is entirely possible that I am just a compassionless, heartless person when it comes to animals, I feel that emotional dead-animal pictures are actually a disservice to the population as it sways them toward a cause through misleading, or rather falsely-insinuating/exaggerating the negative impact to the reader. All that being said, I personally feel that all deep-water rig development should be halted until a new set of regulations and precautions can be implemented that actually work.
     
  6. Jul 19, 2010 #5

    Char. Limit

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    After reading Hepth's post, I find that I thoroughly agree with everything that is said there. Giving reference points and percentages are more likely to sway me towards an argument than simple raw numbers, which in turn is much more likely to sway me than an emotional argument. While I understand that, yes, animals are dying, I'm much more interested in logical arguments.
     
  7. Jul 19, 2010 #6
    Thank you guys for your posts....I think I made a huge error in the wording of my initial post. My verbiage gives indication that this site as a whole has value to me and I want to share it, actually I appreciated the pictures on this site and wanted to share them. I am not interested in any form of sensationalism nor is my posting of this site an attempt to make people feel as if they have to do something for the environment or these animals.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2010
  8. Jul 19, 2010 #7
    I think pictures are interpreted differently by different people. When I saw these pictures I did not feel swayed toward a cause. I also did not feel emotional when I saw these pictures. I do not think an emotional response to a picture is an indicator of whether I or anyone else is compassionate or not.
     
  9. Jul 19, 2010 #8

    Hepth

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    Oh I didn't think you were either. I just noticed the trend in the way the images are usually reported and felt compelled to comment on it.
     
  10. Jul 19, 2010 #9
    Oh ok...I understand you more clearly now! Thank you for posting this.
     
  11. Jul 19, 2010 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    It will take years to fully assess the damage to the ecosystem of the Gulf. Beyond that, the numbers don't mean much right now - the number of birds found in no way indicates the number of birds killed. The same goes for all dead animal and dead fish finds. But more important than that is the potential for fundamental damage to the ecosystem - damage to breeding grounds, damage to the base of the food chain, contamination that will persist causing long-term harm to various species, mass kills of muscles and oysters that are critical to water quality in highly senstive areas, and so on. So far we have gotten lucky with very little wind pushing the oil into the hypercritical La. wetlands. But hurricane season is just now in full bloom, so by no means are we out of the woods on that one yet. Most of the oil is still out there. For the last two months, the winds have basically driven the oil in circles, helping it stay out at sea; thus helping to minimize the impact on shorelines. We have no way to know what is happening 30, and 60 miles out.

    Again, the La wetlands are said to be the breeding grounds for something like 90% of the life in the gulf. If those take a direct hit, the entire ecosystem of the gulf could be at stake. Governer Jindal was right to be panicking [in principle].
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  12. Jul 19, 2010 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    What is the value of the photos? The very thing that gives them value is what angers people about appealing to emotions: One is slapped in the face by the reality of what's happening. It is difficult to see. It is real.

    An appeal to emotions, sure, but that is better than burying one's face in numbers and never facing reality. The picture provide the proper context for the nuimbers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  13. Jul 19, 2010 #12

    Hepth

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    I understand that, as well as your previous post. I'm not sure I agree that the pictures provide the proper context for the numbers., especially when the trend is to report one or the other, but seldom simultaneously. I'm sure that is just the barrier between those doing the research and those who take said research and turn it into a news story rather than anything GENERALLY malicious (inadvertently or not).

    My point stems from my personal experience of a large number of friends and acquaintances desiring to "be involved" and being emotionally compelled to "do something". When I ask them why they feel the need, they bring up things such as "dolphins and sea life are dying" as one friend said. I immediately thought and said "Obviously, but how many?" to which they replied "a lot". When they couldn't produce any specifics or projections/predictions about the impact that brought me to the conclusion that their desire to make a difference came from an emotionally charged report/article, most likely with pictures, lacking in information. (or they just ignored the entire report and looked themselves only at pictures, which is entirely possible).

    As you implied, you can't say "oh only 30 dolphins have died, thats not a lot and so we shouldn't worry too much" when we don't have a reliable method of determining future ecological impact. I myself feel that we SHOULD be doing something based on THAT fact, that we DON'T know what could happen and therefor should do our best to prevent the worst case scenario.

    I guess in the end I should change my point of view and agree that the best method to then prevent the worst possible scenario may include using emotionally charged articles with pictures of poor little bird babies in oil to motivate people to have a stronger opinion on the subject. I think I just feel that that is a dirty way to go about it.
     
  14. Jul 19, 2010 #13

    turbo

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    I heard a very gripping story on NPR today, told by a marine biologist. A vital but often ill-understood player in the Gulf ecosystem is sargassum. Floating patches of brown seaweed that provide breeding grounds, protective cover and food for countless species, including some highly-valued ones like mahi-mahi and bluefin tuna. Oil is killing the sargassum, and as a result, critical habitat is being destroyed to the detriment of many species for an undetermined amount of time into the future. I was driving, but IIR he used the terms "possibly decades" and "perhaps never" to describe the possibility of rebound for the species dependent on sargassum.

    Oiled birds and turtles and dolphins might tug at peoples' heart-strings, but probably nobody is going to be much moved by scenes of oiled seaweed, which may have much more far-reaching consequences.
     
  15. Jul 19, 2010 #14

    Evo

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    sargassum is an invasive species not native to the gulf, thought to have contaminated the gulf from japanese origins. it is considered a nuisance and there are annual Symposiums on how to effectively get rid of it.

    Here is information on it.

    http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=727&fr=1&sts

    Global Invasive Species Database

     
  16. Jul 19, 2010 #15

    turbo

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    According to this article, the sargassum in the gulf originated in the sargasso sea and is carried there by currents in the Atlantic and the Carribean. Apparently, our government considers it a valuable resource, since commercial harvesting of sargassum is banned north of the Florida keys.

    http://www.marlinmag.com/article.jsp?ID=17095 [Broken]

    http://www.safmc.net/Library/Sargassum/tabid/414/Default.aspx [Broken]

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  17. Jul 19, 2010 #16

    Evo

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    Sargassum kills baby sea turtles.

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...9tvVKU&sig=AHIEtbTnrBrZgOi7mw8jpvv4YiSHmdYSLQ

    http://www.psp.wa.gov/downloads/ANS/NewANSGuide.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  18. Jul 19, 2010 #17
    EGAD sorry guys....I'll try to be more careful next time! I just found the pictures useful.
     
  19. Jul 19, 2010 #18

    turbo

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    That could be a wash, though, and until better surveys are undertaken we might not have a good answer for that. The marine biologist in today's NPR piece claimed that the sargassum beds provide valuable cover for young sea-turtles (protection from predators), and that as oil and oil-soaked sargassum are boomed up and burned off, young turtles are dying in the burns.
     
  20. Jul 19, 2010 #19
    This I did not know! I saw a picture of a guy walking by the ocean near the gulf and you could see the oil coming in on the waves. I wanted to go to the gulf a week ago but had to postpone it. I find value in the pictures because it gives an idea of what is going on, but I would like to go and experience it personally. No matter what I do though, I do not think I'll fully comprehend the extent of the impact on the ocean and ecosystem. Like you said it will take years before we know fully.
     
  21. Jul 19, 2010 #20

    turbo

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    In fact, sargassum appears to be native to the gulf, originate in the gulf, and be transported to the north Atlantic by ocean currents. Determined by satellite surveys - paper published in 2008.

    http://precedings.nature.com/documents/1894/version/1
     
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