BP oil spill: ‘mass hysteria on a par with the Dutch tulip bubble’ | James Delingpole

 November 16th, 2010

Some of the more hysterical members of the ecotard commentariat are still banging on about the BP Oil Spill as if it were the worst environmental disaster in the history of mankind. Right up there with Chernobyl, they’re saying. And in that comparison at least they’re absolutely right. Like Chernobyl, the BP Oil Spill was an accident far more terrifying in the press handouts of environmental lobbyists than it proved to be in real life.

Just consider, for example, the latest reports from the Gulf of Mexico which show that fish stocks have rebounded with the kind of teeming piscine vigour that will give George Monbiot nightmares for months.
Here’s Lou Dolinar on the case in National Review Online:
The catastrophists were wrong (again) about the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. There have been no major fish die-offs. On the contrary, a comprehensive new study says that in some of the most heavily fished areas of the Gulf of Mexico, various forms of sea life, from shrimp to sharks, have seen their populations triple since before the spill. Some species, including shrimp and croaker, did even better.
And meanwhile, the media has greatly exaggerated damage found in studies about coral, which is in some ways more vulnerable to oil and dispersant. Most of it is doing fine.
The growth of the fish population is not occurring because oil is good for fish. Rather, it is occurring because fishing is bad for fish. When fishing was banned for months during the spill, the Gulf of Mexico experienced an unprecedented marine renaissance that overwhelmed any negative environmental consequences the oil may have had, researchers say.
Even the researchers themselves, however, were surprised by the results. “We expected there to be virtually no fish out there based on all the reports we were getting about the toxicity of the dispersant and the toxicity of the hydrocarbons, and reports that hypoxia [low oxygen] had been created as a result of the oil and dispersant,” says John Valentine, who directed the study. “In every way you can imagine, it should have been a hostile environment for fish and crabs; our collection showed that was not the case.”
Also surprising was how quickly the populations grew. “In the cosmic scheme of things, a matter of four or five months led to this huge difference in everything, sharks, fish of all forms, even the juvenile fish found in sea-grass beds. That’s a pretty interesting and unanticipated outcome, I would say,” says Valentine. The surge is so robust, he says, that it may be impossible to determine whether the oil spill has had any effect on sea life at all.
You’ll see further down the piece that Dolinar is not trying to argue that the BP Oil spill was a good thing. The Louisiana tourist industry has been hit hard; Gulf fishermen have suffered enormously, first from being unable to fish, and now from the reluctance of consumers to buy their produce in the mistaken belief that it is tainted. But you can bet your bottom dollar this won’t stop unscrupulous eco-fascists from dismissing Dolinar – and me of course – as the kind of Gaia-raping scumbag who thinks it’s just fine and dandy if Big Oil companies spew their toxic slicks of evil, carboniferous death sludge into the watery playgrounds of smiling dolphins and cute gulpy pelicans.
Er, no – I think I can speak for Dolinar too here – that’s not what we think at all. What we do think, though, is that the way environmental disasters are reported ought to reflect the truth rather than the masochistic fantasies of the environmental lobby.
Chernobyl was much the same in this respect. According to Cherie Blair’s favourite Lefty historian Tony Judt, for example, “30,000 people died as the result of the Chernobyl explosion of 1996”. This is quite simply not true, yet it is the kind of made-up factoid continually brandished by libtard commentators – and “I reckon” sub-blog commenters – as gospel evidence as to why Nuclear Power is a Bad Thing.
In truth, according to the Chernobyl Forum (H/T Catweazle) – an authoritative survey conducted over two years by representatives of 8 UN organisations including the World Health Organisation (not a body known for its Right-wing sceptical views) – fewer than 50 deaths can be directly attributed to Chernobyl’s radiation, most of them highly exposed rescue workers in the early stages of the disaster.
Nor did the predicted epidemic of cancer and genetic mutations materialise. In fact the incidence of cancer has actually turned out to be lower in the regions most exposed to Chernobyl fallout than elsewhere. Not, of course, that you’ll hear this much from the Ukrainians who have as much interest in promoting their Chernobyl victim status as the Maldives does the existence of “Man-made global warming”.
But lies, hysteria and misinformation were ever the stock-in-trade of the green movement for – as befits the Leninist method to which so many ecotards adhere – the truth is a malleable commodity which can cheerfully be suborned to the noble end of destroying the capitalist system and creating a noble new world order run along lines advocated by such freedom-loving guys as George Soros and Maurice Strong.
As I said at the time, there’s nothing greenies like more than a nice, juicy oil spill disaster. For your amusement and edification, let me reprint the words of one of the commenters who got weally cwoss about that particular column, accusing me of callousness and insensitivity to a tragedy which – natch – was going to destroy the Gulf coast till the end of time.
“But the idea that there is any bigger ecological moral to be drawn from this is as poisonous as it is stupid.”
With comments like this it is no wonder the world is in it’s current form. I wonder if it is the fact that the British press has barely reported on the oil gushing in the Gulf of Mexico that such ignorance about the state of affairs spews forth from British bloggers and comment sections or something else… some need to prove yourself superior to the Americans.
The British press has been sorely lacking reporting on the tragic accident from day one, so perhaps some of you have an excuse? But, do you only read the British press? Do you not read the international press? Are you as small-minded as you claim the Americans to be?
Maybe the spill should come over and affect the British coastline. Maybe tankers with an equivalent amount of oil should come dump them on British shores. What will it take for you to understand the magnitude of this tragedy? When will you see what has been done? Only when you are personally impacted, will we hear a peep from you, I am afraid. Cannot get outside of yourself for one moment to understand someone else’s situation. Must always think of yourself first.
Well, that’s back to my original point and how we all got here. From the prattle in this blog, I am sure you will not consider that. Why change, when you can go on living your self-destructive life. Who cares about others or future generations? No. Just think about yourselves, all these problems will just magically fix themselves. Right?
Her name was Ellie Star. What are my chances, do you reckon, of getting a fulsome, grovelling apology.


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