Headlines: Oil Spills, Oil Spills, Oil Spills – They’re Everywhere it Seems

We humans are addicted to oil and we keep messing up the environment when we move it around to satisfy our energy cravings. Let’s look at the number of spills in the last few weeks.


  1. July 6, 2013 – 378,000 liters of oil spill into Chaudiere River, 150,000 liters of oil water in Lac Megantic, Quebec derailment and explosion;
  2. July 27, 2013 – 50,000 liters of diesel and gasoline spilled off the island of Koh Samet in Thailand;
  3. July 31, 2013 – 7 million liters near a marine reserve off the coast of Ternate, an Indonesian island;
  4. August 9, 2013 – 500,000 liters of diesel spilled into Manila Bay in the Philippines;
  5. August 16, 2013 – unknown quantity of lube oil and diesel leaking into the seas off Cebu Province, Philippines from ferry and freighter collision, the latter carrying 120,000 liters of bunker oil, 20,000 liters of lube oil, and 20,000 liters of diesel;
  6. August 23, 2013 – corroded pipeline spilling oil into the Niger Delta, Nigeria, adding to the millions of barrels siphoned off or spilled in the region since 2008.


In a period of less than two months that’s 6 recorded incidents large enough to make headlines. Now think of all the small marinas and ports where, as you walk by you notice a sheen on the water surface, and you begin to understand just how serious the problem of oil pollution is. How much more can our oceans, lakes and rivers absorb from destructive human behavior? Who can you admonish when the self-destructive behavior is endemic to our entire species? Just something to consider here in the second decade of the 21st century.


Oil spill cleanup

Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...