Remember last year, when everyone made a big stink about that BP Gulf spill thing? Oily pelicans? Chemical dispersents? Anybody? Sure, nobody talks about it anymore (unless you live in the Gulf), and sure, Congress and the White House act as though nothing happened, but I swear it was real! And it wrought some major, not-yet-fully-understood devastation on ecosystems in the region.
One of the big points that arose during that muck was that despite the erstwhile media circus, such spills were actually rather common. Nigeria has a BP Spill-sized accident almost every year. And even right here in the US, there are far more spills than ever make it to the national news stage. Most are relatively small. But there are a lot of them. Won't take my word for it?
Then head over to Stop the Drill. Right now. The online tool, created by Oceana and Skytruth, uses publicly available oil spill data to reveal where and when those spills are happening around the nation. The accidents are compiled onto a Google Map, where, upon viewing them, you will inevitably become rather depressed.
Oil pipelines leak, offshore rigs suffer accidents, and unidentified masses of oil wash up across the country way more often then you'd think. And since our press has more or less forgotten about a truly massive spill like the BP Gulf debacle, what are the chances you think these more minor -- but still dangerous -- oil accidents will get picked up by the media? Slim indeed. At least innovative tools like Stop the Oil can help folks stay digitally informed about the daily accidents yielded by our continued reliance on fossil fuels.