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Friday, August 19, 2011

Oil Spill - Daily Record Letter

  This is the lead letter in the Daily Record today. It is essentially a rehash of the article I did here yesterday.. It went out to a range of Scottish newspapers yesterday but, so far, has appeared only here, unfortunately not yet available online. The bits in italics were edited out. I had already edited the yesterdays scatological comparison and the listing of Journalists alongside politicians and environmentalists as liking scaremongering,   
Shell are getting a lot of political stick because they didn't immediately alert the politicians, RSPB and anti-technology propagandists about the oil leak. Instead they closed it.
How many of those critics have failed to conceal how insignificant it is. How no measurable damage whatsoever has been found.

So lets see exactly how large this leak was. 1300 barrels with a barrel being 0.158987294928m3 exactly. is 207 cubic metres or a cube 6 metres on a side. II2 miles from Aberdeen (ie 177,000 metres away. So 30,000 times more water (ignoring the fact that the ocean is 3 dimensional rather than 1 dimensional. Doesn't look that catastrophic when the figures are actually given does it?

Perhaps some of the "environmentalists", politicians and journalists complaining that Shell "concealed"' the problem rather than than shouting "Don't panic, don't panic" and giving them ammunition should consider their position.
Perhaps another comparison they should have made is with the fact that oil naturally seeps from oil fields into the world's oceans. 500,000 tons of it every year according to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. 
That equates to at least 1,000 tons in the North Sea. Puts Man's pollution record in perspective doesn't it?
But then perspective is precisely what the anti-technology "environmentalists", and politicians don't want
. Quite extensive editing but the Record have a relatively small letters page so that is reasonable and the editing, which largely involves taking out the detail of how I calculated the figure is sensible for the market. They also moved the 2nd paragraph from its previous position near the end. All in all a good professional piece of editing.

I have since found that the letter was also published by the Morning Star. Edited slightly differently. All credit to the Star for this since the letter is distinctly supportive of the bloated plutocrats of "big oil" and critical of the ecofascist movement so widely acepted as part of the "left". Reminds me that on a previous occasion the Morning Star, alone of all British newspapers, was willing to publish a letter calling for X-Prizes to promote a British space effort - a far more capitalist solution than anybody else has.

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A version of your letter is in the Edinburgh Evening News today, Saturday, 20th.
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