Image: NASA, Public domain.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Barrel of Cure...
Canada has the longest coastline in the world (well, unless you want to be clever and get into the coastline paradox), touching three different oceans, and one of them (the Arctic) is seeing rapid increases in shipping and oil exploration because of the melting ice. But despite these facts, the country is badly prepared to deal with a major oil spill, according to a report by Scott Vaughan, Canada's Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.
Oil spill picture. Photo: NOAA
Shame on the Canadian Government
According to the commissioner, the Canadian Coast Guard's plan is in serious needs of an overhaul:
As well, he said the Coast Guard has not done a national risk assessment of oil spills from ships since 2000, and does not have a reliable system to track spills.
As a result, it cannot accurately determine the number of spills that occur each year, the size of those spills, their environmental impacts as well as how many required onsite responses, Vaughan said.
"I am troubled that the government is not ready to respond to a major spill," he said in a statement. (source)
This is totally unacceptable, especially since the amount of risk is increasing with each passing year. Canada's readiness should at least keep up, if not do even more to actively reduce those risks and move to new methods of doing things that don't require us to put our fragile oceans and coasts at risk of environmental catastrophe.
More on Canada
Crossing Canada in 28 Days with an Electric Jellybean (aka i MiEV)
U.S. and Canada Destroyed More Forest Than Brazil Between 2000-2005
Canada's Largest Supermarket Chain to Install Solar Panels on 100+ Stores in Ontario