Via Fabius Maximus:
Sometimes a simple chart can enlighten one to the vast unenlightened creature we call media.
For instance, the Valdez spill was 10.8 million gallons while the largest spill was 284 million gallons (Highest and Lowest estimates averaged). That is 26.25 times more than the Valdez spill!
There are 34 oil spills larger than Valdez.
How's that for not fitting the narrative?
Why is it not common knowledge that the largest spill recorded occurred in the Gulf, the very same place that is so much in the news today? And occurred as a deep water spill rather than the often referenced Veldez surface spill?
The press is counter productive in its reporting of the current spill and the fact that the national narrative in oil spills repeatedly starts with Valdez is more a testament to the press feeding frenzy that was the Valdez incident than reality based reporting.
It would seem that looking into the ecological effects of the largest spill in history (IXTOC 1) rather than the most publicised spill (Valdez) would be far more productive considering that it also occurred in the Gulf and was also a deep water spill rather than a surface spill.
There is much more info on the ecological effects of the Ixtoc spill at the link. The report is surprising to the extreme in the lack of impact on the environment found.
From IXTOC I Oil Spill Economic Impact Study
(Excerpts below lifted from fabiusmaximus)
From the Executive Summary
Summary and Conclusions
- “None of the indirect economic effects exceed $1 million . These estimates, based upon the available data, support a statement of no significant indirect economic impact in the study region that can be attributed to the oil spills .”
- “Although the study has its limitations, such as inherent variability in the biological and environmental factors and the lack of previous examinations of the relationships between the various environmental and economic variables, the main conclusion of the oil impact assessment is that the oil spills had a limited effect on the biological activity on the important commercial species as measured by the ex-vessel value .”
… In terms of potential economic impacts, the most important consideration for Texas is the shrimp fishery, which represents over 95 percent of the value of landings . Evidence does not exist that indicates the oil spills affected the biological activity of shrimp or other important commercial species . Analysis is still underway that may reveal some evidence of potential long-term significance, but to date there is no biological basis for projecting a significant negative impact on commercial landings . Information gathered from industry participants and knowledgeable observers indicates that no measurable impacts occurred on landings or value of landings . While some small impact on fishing patterns was suggested, it was not significant in terms of measurable industry-level effects .
Analysis of secondary data relating to commercial landings supports the direct observations obtained . Data for the study period, where available, indicate that commercial landings have been well within the range of natural variation . Brown shrimp landings, off considerably in 1979, are most plausibly explained by the predictable effects of unusual environmental conditions earlier that year . After considering natural variability, there is no evidence in the secondary data to indicate a decline in landings of any commercial species due to the effects of the oil spills .
There is no significant direct economic effect of the oil spills on the commercial fishing industry of Texas measurable at the regional or major subregional levels . Additionally, there are no measurable indirect economic effects. that stem from the impact on the commercial fishery sector.
This study clearly indicates that the effects in this case were of such a minor nature (at least in the shortrun) that no assessment using any reasonable amount of resources would have improved the ultimate estimate significantly . It further suggests that the decision not to conduct a large-scale primary data collection, relating to commercial fishing impacts, was appropriate .