[Coral-List] Help Ban Oil Exploration on the Belize Barrier Reef.

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Mon May 2 15:05:50 EDT 2011

Although it may be hyperbolic to state categorically that offshore
drilling in Belize will lead to environmental disaster, this does not
justify refutation by applying similarly embellished distortions.

The economic impact of drilling operations as it would affect the local
community is hardly predictable and would have to be carefully weighed 
against at least the potential for environmental degradation of Belize’s
valuable coral reef system. Somehow I doubt the assumption that an obvious
benefit would be reduced local fuel costs as world markets exert a more 
pronounced effect. And, according to the Oil in the Sea study by the National
Academy of Sciences, oil tankers are not the largest source of oil pollution 
in the world’s oceans. The study listed the following sources in order:
1. Natural seeps. 2. Consumption (runoff from cars is a major source.)
3. Transportation, which includes spills from tankers and pipelines as well as
intentional discharge from ships at sea.  4. Extraction, which includes spills
from offshore platforms and blowouts during efforts to explore for and produce 
oil and gas. Not to mention that oil spills have an immediate effect on marine
life, which is often for the longer-term. 

But then again, we can continue to ridicule those concerned with environmental
impact and simply continue to drill baby drill. No worries, everyone knows that 
corals and other marine ecosystems have always been able to adapt. 



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