Oil Spills

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Oil Spills: It will happen again Imagine that you are a just a small, ordinary seabird. It is March 24, 1987 and far away from you is an enormous tanker called the Exxon Valdez, coming at an astonishing speed. You do not worry, for these huge ships come along very occasionally in the Alaskan waters. The next thing you know when you turn around is that something wrong. The tanker is heading towards Bligh Reef, which is a mass of granite pinnacles. It crashes into the reef and something black, thick and disturbing leaks out of the ship into the beautiful waters of Prince William Sound. Your attention suddenly turns to a fish shimmering in the waters. Without hesitation, you snatch it up and gulp it down. As you're busily eating, you notice that you're covered completely with this mysterious black substance. 11 million gallons of this black substance is everywhere and it is continuing to spread and spread.

You see thousands of other birds with the same problem. You try to fly, but your wings are too heavy. You flap and flap but it is hopeless. Sinking to the bottom of the beautiful waters, you wonder what that sticky black killer was. It's simple. It's crude. It's oil.

This scenario is nothing but a harsh reality that most people were unconcerned about until the disaster of the Exxon Valdez. The Valdez spill, tragically unnecessary though it was, has served as a laboratory for scientists, in which they can study the effects of oil pollution and experiment with new cleanup methods. It has also served as a costly lesson in the pitfalls of petroleum shipping and the shortcomings of emergency plans. It is time for us to learn from such an expensive lesson, and learn the horrid truths behind oil-spills;...