What’s the only thing worse than an oil spill? A non-spill. “Millions Of Barrels Of Oil Safely Reach Port In Major Environmental Catastrophe,” The Onion reports:
According to witnesses, the catastrophe began shortly after the tanker, which sailed unimpeded across the Gulf of Mexico, stopped safely at the harbor and made contact with oil company workers on the shore. Soon after, vast amounts of the black, toxic petroleum in the ship’s hold were unloaded at an alarming rate into special storage containers on the mainland.
From there, experts confirmed, the oil will likely spread across the entire country’s infrastructure and commit unforetold damage to its lakes, streams, and air.
“We’re looking at a crisis of cataclysmic proportions,” said Charles Hartsell, an environmental scientist at Tufts University. “In a matter of days, this oil may be refined into a lighter substance that, when burned as fuel in vehicles, homes, and businesses, will poison the earth’s atmosphere on a terrifying scale.”
The money quote:
Experts are saying the oil tanker safely reaching port could lead to dire ecological consequences on multiple levels, including rising temperatures, disappearing shorelines, the eradication of countless species, extreme weather events, complete economic collapse, droughts that surpass the Dust Bowl, disease, wildfires, widespread human starvation, and endless, bloody wars fought over increasingly scarce resources.
It seems the Onion staffers have been reading their Bill McKibben, as they oughta be. He wrote back in April:
Dirty as the water is off the Mississippi Delta, that’s barely the tip of the damage from fossil fuel. If that oil had traveled down a pipeline to a refinery and then into the fuel tank of a car, it would have wrecked the planet just as powerfully. We now realize, as we didn’t on the first Earth Day, that the slick of carbon dioxide spreading invisibly across the atmosphere is driving change on a massive scale: by raising the planet’s temperature, it’s melting everything frozen, raising the level of the ocean, powering ever stronger storms. In the Gulf, and in every other ocean on the planet, that extra carbon is turning seawater acid. You can’t see it, but it’s wrecking marine life far more effectively and insidiously even than the spreading oil.
And there’s no way to prevent global warming with better valves. The only way is by ending our addiction to fossil fuel with great speed.