Their disappearance has caused alarm throughout Europe and North America where campaigners have blamed agricultural pesticides, climate change and the advent of genetically modified crops for what is now known as 'colony collapse disorder.' Britain has seen a 15 per cent decline in its bee population in the last two years and shrinking numbers has led to a rise in thefts of hives.
"This spill will be lasting for years if not decades," said Doug Inkley, senior scientist at the National Wildlife Federation. Some of the immediate effects of a spill are obvious -- witness the gut-wrenching images of soaked and suffocating seabirds in the gulf.
But some types of ecological damage are hard to measure and can take years to document. Many of the creatures that die will sink to the bottom, making mortality estimates difficult. Damage to the reproduction rate in sea turtles may take years to play out.
You want a solution BP- Hire me. Put me in charge and I'll get it done. Even better- hire me to consult the guy in charge- put every resource available to stop this leak now. I am a risk, reliability, and safety consultant for NASA with over 10 years experience. I think a bunch of monkeys on LSD could come up with better solutions than I've heard coming from BP. I have heard for 10 years that off-shore drilling is safe and the oil companies have better technologies than NASA. I have also heard that this couldn't happen. Please hire me and I will sign a non-disclosure agreement and I will eat my hat if after a month with my help this leak has not stopped.
New videos show more clearly than ever how BP, with little resistance from the Coast Guard or other federal agencies, kept the public in the dark about just how bad things were beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
Newly disclosed Coast Guard documents warned that 336,000 gallons per day of oil could spew into the Gulf of Mexico if an underwater well had a complete blowout. Coast Guard logs show the prediction came a day after a rig exploded on April 20, triggering the worst oil spill in the nation's history from that well.
The well didn't have such a failure. But the volume turned out to be much closer to that figure than the 42,000 gallons per day that BP first estimated. Weeks later that was revised to 210,000 gallons.
The Obama administration is blocking all new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, a day after regulators approved a new permit for drilling in shallow water.
The Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore drilling, says in an e-mail from its Gulf Coast office that "until further notice" no new drilling is being allowed in the Gulf, "no matter the water depth." A copy of the e-mail was obtained by The Associated Press.
Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, claimed recently that his company’s testing has shown “no evidence” that any of the oil in the Gulf of Mexico is lurking beneath the ocean surface.
Oil is lighter than water, Mr. Hayward explained, and will rise to the top.
Apparently, Mr. Hayward is not familiar with the results of a test conducted in Norway, in which his company took part, that suggested exactly the opposite would happen when oil was released in very deep water. A demand has come from Congress that Mr. Hayward explain himself.
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