20 July 2010

Earth & Industry's Gang of Four - The Deepwater Horizon Debacle

It's been a crazy few weeks but I did manage to get 12 minutes with my pals at Earth & Industry - Tim Hurst, Maria Surma Manka, and Jeff McIntire-Strasburg - for another podcast about the debacle in the gulf.

Here's where I think we are.  BP continues to stonewall and mislead people. They have zero credibility. In fact, they have negative credibility - they say something and I tend to believe the opposite - thanks to the fact that they apparently photoshoped a fake picture of a "command center" and put it on their website

The federal government continues to look at BP and say "fix it," without knowing what else to do.   Scientists continue to be marginalized, despite a few decent stories.  Politicians on the gulf coast are grandstanding and offering some pretty stupid ideas.  People are fighting over money that's been committed but not dispersed yet.

And I have this sinking feeling that we don't know the worst of it.

Then I see this:

I have a couple of problems with it - first, there's no real context. There's no explanation of "parts per million" and just how many parts per million pose a threat. The pictures are creepy, and having a "chemist" say there should be zero oil in the water is somewhat credible, but I think you need to go the extra mile when putting something this sensationalist on the air and give people the background they need to understand what's harmful and what's not.

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