I guess you have heard about the oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the accident with oil rig Deepwater Horizon, but did you know that since 1940 over 1.7 billion gallons have been spilled on land and in the sea [www.wwf.org]. So this is not the first accident and absolutely not the last one since oil companies will continue to drill for oil in remote and hard to access places increasing the risk of even more accidents.
How many remember the Exxon Valdez accident outside Alaska about 20 years ago? This was one of that times greatest catastrophes where over 40,000 tonnes of crude oil filled the Alaskan coast line. The BP Gulf of Mexico Catastrophe is even worse than the Exxon Valdez accident , so the more we drill for oil the worse accidents we should expect 🙁
At the moment the US government is claiming BP will have to pay for the oil damages, but just look what happened after Exxon Valdez. Exxon had to pay 5 billion dollars at first in fines, but thanks to their lawyers they managed to fight the legal system and get it lowered to only 500 million dollars. Call me pessimistic, but I think the same thing will happen in this case too. At first BP will have to pay a huge amount of money and it will be all over the news, but many years later they get it lowered to a tenth of the original amount and by then everyone will have forgotten about the catastrophe so nobody cares if they don’t have to pay.
This is why it’s so important that we all help supporting the organizations working to make our planet a better place (like WWF and Greenpeace).
 This is how we calculated that the BP oil spill is worse than Exxon Valdez:
We know that the Exxon Valdez spilled 40,000 tonnes of oil and according to calculations from BP and environmental organizations the latest oil spill is somewhere between 5,000 and 50,000 barrels per day. We calculated on 25,000 barrels per day for 45 days. One barrel is about 0,1369 tonnes (“1 barrel per day (b/d) = 50 tonnes per year (approx.)” from eppo.go.th) of oil so we get:
25,000 barrels * 45 days * 0,1369 tonnes per barrel = 154 012.5 tonnes of oil