Frighteningly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, responsible for lots of environmentally-critical functions of government, was apparently in bed with BP in trying to conceal the terrible damage done, not by their disastrous oil leak, but by the dispersants used to hide the oil!
We now know the outlines of the incredible problem that has been caused by 'sinking' the oil to the depths, where it can never be recovered. Now it will linger in the oceans, drift with the currents, and contaminate the food chains for months before it breaks down, releasing newer forms of toxixs which will accumulate in the tissues of ocean animals, and concentrate up the food chain.
We can thank the reporting excellence of the St. Petersburg Times for this story:
TAMPA | A month after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, scientists from the University of South Florida made a startling announcement. They had found signs that the oil spewing from the well had formed a 6-mile-wide plume snaking along in the deepest recesses of the gulf.
The reaction that USF announcement received from the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agencies that sponsored their research:
"I got lambasted by the Coast Guard and NOAA when we said there was undersea oil," USF marine sciences dean William Hogarth said. Some officials even told him to retract USF's public announcement, he said, comparing it to being "beat up" by federal officials.
The USF scientists weren't alone. Vernon Asper, an oceanographer at the University of Southern Mississippi, was part of a similar effort that met with a similar reaction.
"We expected that NOAA would be pleased because we found something very, very interesting," Asper said. "NOAA instead responded by trying to discredit us. It was just a shock to us."
The destruction of the Gulf ecosystem is just one more brick on the wrong end of the scale of environmental protection. Can we stop ourselves before we destroy the planetary habitat?
You can read the entire story by visiting the St. Pete Times website.