Research, Stats & Thoughts On The Latest Oil Spill By Shell [Pic+]
Submitted by: lalapancakes⚫ 10 months ago
Our era is a time of heightened awareness toward climate change where oil companies are held suspect of hiding climate related data and media is suspect of manipulation. With the most recent Shell spill in the Gulf, I figured I’d try and look up some arbitrary historical oil spill rates but I had a hell of a time getting any information that isn’t backed by Exxon board members via “not-for-profit” “environmental groups” or government agencies I wouldn’t trust as far as I can throw.
I can’t lie and say I’m not frustrated with the lack of actual non-partisan information on frequency, types, and volumes of spills but I did come across some interesting sets of data for anyone who is generally interested in trends of spills in our lifetimes.
First up, I love how Data.gov offers data that no longer exists like, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration: Historical Oil and Chemical Spill Incidents Database. In fact, pretty much all of the general oil spill data the site offers amounts to a bunch of broken links. At least NASA offers satellite imagery of spills. Not exactly relevant to what I’m looking for but interesting, nonetheless.
I did appreciate this explanation of the different types of oils that can and have spilled, and how they interact with the environment. And as much as I am suspect of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management they’re no where as suspect as The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation and their ridiculous board, both who offer data sets of spill rates that leave me wondering. At least BOEM offers a structured report explaining both quantitative and qualitative research supported by multiple research attributions. Though, I would have to spend a day or two researching who the report’s researchers are and process the quality of the data.
As hard as it seems to be, in the overall history of spill tracking since the '70s, the barrel amount of spills looks like it’s generally reduced. Even in my own layman stats where I totaled all 191 of Wikipedia’s documented oil spills in barrels and frequency and segmented them out by decade it seems there’s been less barrel spillage but overall more spills by location. I suspect that’s because we’re drilling and transporting a lot more. I don’t know what’s worse, though: having less oil spilled in more places on the earth or more oil in specific spots. Neither is ideal.
At any rate I have to remember, of course, the data I am basing this off of is a culmination of maybe an hour’s worth of poking around on the internet and some quick math. And honestly, even if we are reducing our spill rates, any spill in the age of climate change, is not a good spill.