Rush Limbaugh Claims BP Oil Spill Didn't Harm Environment
BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that claimed the lives of 11 men, killed numerous dolphins and other marine life, and released millions of barrels of oil and natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico was an environmental disaster. The catastrophe has left far-reaching impacts on the region's economy and ecosystems that continue to this day. This is fact.
But leave it to Rush Limbaugh to alternative fact the BP oil spill, claiming on his radio show this week that it "didn't do any damage" to the environment.
For context, the right-wing radio host—who has apparently said many ridiculous things about the event before—was citing the conservative publication Daily Caller, which recently posted a story titled, "Bacteria Are Eating Most Of The 2010 BP Oil Spill."
The Daily Caller story was based on a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California simulated the conditions of the oil spill in their lab and found a new bacterium that helped break down the oil, suggesting that the same bacteria has gobbled up the oil in the Gulf.
Limbaugh, ignoring the seven years of havoc wrecked by the explosion, said this on his June 28 show:
Do you remember what I said about this? I said that there is oil seeping into the ocean from the ocean floor daily all over the planet. That the ocean has little things in it that eat the oil. That the ocean has a natural cleaning process that actually is part of the food chain, that oil is food for certain creatures that live there. And do you remember how I was pooh-poohed over that? Oh. I mean, the environmentalist wackos and the leftists came after me, "You're not a scientist. You don't know what you're talking about." But they were searching in vain for the oil. They couldn't find it.
I have a story here from The Daily Caller: "Bacteria Are Eating Most Of The 2010 BP Oil Spill." It's another example of being on the cutting edge of societal evolution. "Oil-eating microbes ate most of the oil BP spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, according to new research by scientists with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The study discovered and sequenced the DNA of a new type of natural oil-eating bacteria."
It's exactly what I told you was happening: that there are microbes and creatures in there that literally eat the oil. They feed off of it. "Knowing how oil-eating bacteria behave will help prevent future oil spills from doing as much damage to the environment as the BP spill." The BP spill didn't do any environmental [damage]—that's the whole point! They couldn't find the oil! I know what some of you are—"What about the Exxon Valdez, Rush? What about up there in Alaska where the captain, what—." Well, that was a different body of water than the Gulf of Mexico.
To clean up the spill, BP cleanup crews released about 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico, which not only had detrimental consequences on the region's species, but a 2015 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study suggested that the approach backfired.
"The dispersants did a great job in that they got the oil off the surface," University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye, a co-author of the study, told the Associated Press then. "What you see is the dispersants didn't ramp up biodegradation."
Joye also told The Atlantic that 24 to 55 percent of the oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon rig off the Louisiana coast is unaccounted for and suspects much of it is on the seafloor.
By Tim Radford
Scientists have calculated yet another item on the human shopping list that makes up the modern world: plastics. They have estimated the mass of all the plastic bottles, bags, cups, toys, instruments and fabrics ever produced and tracked its whereabouts, as yet another index of the phenomenal change to the face of the planet made by recent human advance.
Altogether, since about 1950, with the birth of a new industry, more than 8.3 billion tonnes (or 9.1 tons) of synthetic organic polymers have been generated, distributed and discarded. Of that total, 6.3 billion tonnes are classified as waste.
By Jessica Corbett
As Senate Democrats stay silent on an energy bill that environmental groups call "a pro-fracking giveaway to oil and gas interests that would commit America to decades more of dangerous fossil fuel dependence," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is receiving applause for speaking out against it.
"As a nation, our job is to move away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy and energy efficiency. This bill does the opposite," Sanders said in a statement.
ExxonMobil filed suit against the federal government last week, claiming that a $2 million fine levied against the company by the Treasury Department is "unlawful" and "capricious."
The Treasury Department fined Exxon Thursday morning, alleging that the oil giant displayed "reckless disregard" of U.S.-Russian sanctions in its dealings with Russian company Rosneft in 2014 under CEO Rex Tillerson.
By Andy Rowell
For years, environmentalists have warned that due to climate change, there will be billions of barrels of oil that we will never be able to burn. These reserves will become what has increasingly been called "stranded assets."
To give you one example: In a new report, Friends of the Earth argued that "The coal, oil and gas in reserves already in production and development globally is more than we can afford to burn. There is no room for any new coal, oil or gas exploration and production.
Late last year, the tiny house community celebrated a watershed moment—an official appendix in the 2018 version of the International Residential Code, the model building code used by most jurisdictions in the U.S.
"There are many things that are monumental in the adoption of tiny house construction codes by the IRC," cheered Thom Stanton, the CEO of small space developer, Timber Trails. "Among them, that architects, designers, builders, community developers and (maybe most importantly) zoning officials have a means of recognizing tiny houses as an official form of permissible dwelling."
The colossal mass of throwaway plastic—from straws to bags to bottles—has grown much faster than recycling and disposal efforts can contain it. You might even say this is obvious, no matter where you look.
Check out this video from National Geographic to watch underwater photographer Huai Su film a diver collecting an endless amount of plastic bottles that litter the seafloor off Xiaoliuqiu Island, Taiwan.
A reef off the coast of Cancún will become the first in the world with its own insurance policy, testing a new strategy meant to encourage local investment in the wellbeing of the reef.
Under the policy, created by insurance company Swiss Re and the Nature Conservancy, local hotels and other organizations dependent on tourism will pay into the policy, receiving reimbursements to repair the reef and local beaches after natural disasters.
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) denounced the USDA's permit for the world's first open-air trials of the Genetically Engineered (GE) Diamondback moth to be released in Geneva, New York.
This announcement came concurrently with the availability of a final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for the field release of the GE Diamondback moths. NOFA-NY considers the Environmental Assessment lacking comprehensive health and environmental details.