September 23, 2010

Oil Spill Takes Flase Blame for Dead Zones

I've been doing a fair amount of reading and I noticed an article on Technorati, and felt that I had to respond to it. For that reason I put up my response on Technorati so, this article first published as Oil Spill Takes Flase Blame for Dead Zones on Technorati. Now on to what troubled me. 

I've written about dead zones (1, 2) and have been learning about them through reviewing different web articles. Recently, I read two articles and felt I had to respond to a false implication they both promoted.

In the blog post, 'Not a Road: is BP to Blame for This Massive Fish Kill?' and on Technorati the article, 'Is This BP's Mess, or Not?' an implication is not so subtlety made that BP is responsible for dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico that are killing fish. This is utter nonsense.

Oil spills don't cause dead zones; they are caused by agricultural run-off creating an algae bloom.  While the oil spill has been speculated to have made the dead zones worse then they have historically been, there is yet be be any real evidence to show that speculation is true.

So writing an article claiming that BP can take 100% of the blame for a dead zone, while making no effort to talk about the root cause, agricultural run off, is not only lazy, it's irresponsible.

The worst part of the two articles is their conclusion where they both say, "For the record: there is no proof (yet) that the BP oil spill is to blame for this particular fish kill, but no matter what the cause, it’s Grade-A nightmare fuel – and I, for one, can’t think of a more ringing endorsement for alternative fuels than photos like these [Pictured Below]."
This picture has been featured to prompt surprise when it is noted this isn't a road, but a group of dead crabs.
Well, for the record, even if the oil spill made the dead zones worse, the dead zones still are the major problem that killed the fish. In no way are the pictures a ringing endorsement for alternative fuels. In fact, those pictures would be a ringing endorsement against some alternative fuels, due to the increased farming that would be needed to provide bio-fuels would cause more dead zones like the ones pictured above.

What those pictures really are, is a ringing endorsement for more environmental awareness and better farming methods. I believe that both of those writers had their hearts in the right place, but just simply overstated the implications they heard from a news story that they both used for a source (it even corrects its stance) without doing any background research.

The BP oil spill has be a horrible event, with many horror stories attached to it; it doesn't need to be exaggerated. It fact, its exaggeration in taking the blame for dead zones will only allow the root cause to continue without being considered.

Thanks for reading,

-the moral skeptic


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