Top blog highlights and comments on the oil spill

E2 covers the oil spill and quotes Obama saying that the disaster is

“massive, potentially unprecedented.”

Gernot Wagner, EDF economist notes:

What’s amazing here is to think about the scale. No one knows for sure, but the best estimates talk about 5,000 barrels a day gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. That’s potentially catastrophic and unprecedented on so many levels and could have devastating effects on the fragile ecosystems along the Gulf Coast.

Yet 5,000 is tiny compared to the 1,700,000 barrels produced in the Gulf each day from nearly 3,500 production platforms. That’s a lot more potential disasters waiting to happen. And many are indeed happening. A 2002 Harvard study estimates that around 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil are unintentionally released into the environment every day.

That compares to 20,000,000 barrels we consume every single day in the United States alone (a full quarter of what the world consumes overall). We simply cannot drill ourselves out of our oil dependency. It takes a much broader, comprehensive energy strategy that includes both real measures to address environmental disasters like the one unfolding in the Gulf and the one unfolding all around us—global warming pollution caused by burning oil the way it’s supposed to happen, which by itself is far from clean.

Ezra Klein interviews Lisa Margonelli on her New York Times op-ed “Oil On the Brain: Petroleum’s Long Strange Trip to Your Tank.” Ezra points out that

“the possible damage from climate change is far greater than from this spill, but people can’t seem to feel it. And so we might overreact to this spill, but underreact to the problem of oil dependency more generally.”

Treehugger teaches us how RV parks and campgrounds are going green. For example, the

Carlsbad KOA in Carlsbad, New Mexico, [has] a 2.4-kilowatt wind turbine and solar water heating system for its swimming pool.”

Green Inc. highlights the recently released State of the Air report that measures air pollution by city.

“In the United States, an estimated 175 million people, about 58 percent of the population, live in cities with air pollution levels considered unhealthy under the E.P.A.’s air quality standards.”

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