Global environmental challenges
Does BP’s now-familiar yellow-and-green sunflower logo need an update? Joe Daley thinks so. As the founder of a website that acts as a clearinghouse for logo designers around the world, Daley reckons the British oil giant’s corporate icon should reflect the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. So Daley’s launched an online contest to find an appropriate replacement logo.
These kinds of logo competitions are nothing new; that’s how the website works to match designers with businesses, with the businesses paying the prize to the winning design. Daley himself put up the $200 in prize money for the BP logo redesign contest — BP has nothing to do with it — to raise awareness of the spill.
The idea evolved after he was chatting online with several designers about the BP oil spill, and a couple of them asked, “What spill?” “That’s when I decided to get it out in a more creative way,” Daley said by telephone from Columbus, Ohio.
BP’s conduct before and after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon blowout prompted the move, Daley said. “I’ve been in business for 12 years, and I know mistakes happen … but with the violations they’ve had and not having a backup plan … I’m not very forgiving.”
Louisiana walruses? Seals swimming along the Gulf Coast?
These creatures normally live in the Arctic Ocean, not the Gulf of Mexico, but they’re listed as “sensitive biological resources” that could be affected by an oil spill in the area in a document filed by BP last June with the U.S. Minerals Management Service. More than a month after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig blew out and sank on April 20, the British oil giant’s regional spill response plan drew some severe criticism from the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
One problem with BP’s nearly 600-page spill response plan? “It was utterly useless in the event of a spill,” Jeff Ruch, PEER’s executive director, said by telephone. His group, which acts as a kind of safe haven for government whistle-blowers, detailed what it called “outright inanities” in BP’s filing and the government’s approval of it.
A handful of oily sand grabbed from a Louisiana wetland brought back some strong memories for Earl Kingik. As a traditional hunter and whaler in Alaska’s Arctic, it reminded him of the Exxon Valdez spill. As he and other tribal leaders toured the U.S. Gulf Coast for signs of the BP oil spill, they worried that what’s happening now in Louisiana could happen if offshore drilling proceeds off the Alaskan coast.
“There’s no way to clean up an oil spill in the Arctic,” said Kingik, an Inupiat tribal member from Point Hope, Alaska. Compared to Louisiana, where the waters are relatively calm and cleanup equipment and experts are nearby, the Arctic Ocean is a hostile place for oil and gas exploration. The Arctic leaders made their pilgrimage to the Gulf Coast as part of a campaign to block planned exploratory drilling by Shell Oil in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.
–Jean-Michel Cousteau is an environmentalist, documentary producer, president of Ocean Futures Society and the son of ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. He has produced over 70 films, including the documentary series Ocean Adventures in 2006. Any views expressed here are his own. –
In the midst of desperate attempts to stem the flow of oil and the agony of waiting to understand its effects, we are left with simple questions like what exactly is happening to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico? And how quickly can we move from dependence on oil to a sustainable, renewable energy policy?
from The Great Debate UK:
-Kees Willemse is professor of offshore engineering at Delft University. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Last month’s explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig continues to result in the leakage of an estimated 200,000 gallons (910,000 litres) of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day.
With the spotlight shining on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and on the executives sizzling in the hot seat on Capitol Hill, environmental advocates are looking north.
They’re worried that Shell Oil will start drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska before the U.S. government reports on BP’s Deepwater Horizon drill rig disaster. And the environmental groups are not comforted by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s reassurances that no new drilling will take place until the government report is completed by May 28.
Appearing for a second day, the presidents of BP America and Transocean are scheduled to recount for a Senate subcommittee what caused the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers. Watch live video here starting at 10 a.m.
With BP’s spilled oil shimmering off the U.S. Gulf Coast, and a re-tooled bill to curb climate change expected to be unveiled this week in the U.S. Senate, what could be more appropriate than a bouquet of new environmental polls? Conducted on behalf of groups that want less fossil fuel use, the polls show hefty majorities favoring legislation to limit emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide.
In the kind of harmonic convergence that sometimes happens inside the Capital Beltway, a new poll released on Monday by the Clean Energy Works campaign showed “overwhelming public support for comprehensive clean energy legislation,” with 61 percent of 2010 voters saying they want to limit pollution, invest in clean energy and make energy companies pay for emitting the carbon that contributes to climate change. A healthy majority — 54 percent — of respondents said they’d be more likely to re-elect a senator who votes for the bill.
Jean-Michel Cousteau, environmentalist, documentary producer and the son of ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, urges a moratorium on offshore oil drilling as a result of the catastrophic oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
In this video blog on the Ocean Futures Society website, he points to the spill and ongoing leak as fuel for the argument to embrace renewable energy and end dependence on fossil fuels as our primary energy source.