Friday, August 13, 2010

List: 'Top Ten List of Worst Oil Spills'

Today’s ‘List Friday’. List Fridays have been a regular item on Farmdoc’s Blog for months. But it’s taken until today for me to mention [1]. As its name suggests, toptenz is a website devoted to ‘top ten lists’. Its homepage header shows the broad categories of its lists. It also has a podcast, quizzes, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an RSS feed. Indeed all the paraphernalia of modern communication. Its lists, it seems, are submitted by anyone who wants to. As some ‘top ten’ lists are subjective, their items can’t be checked. I don’t know if the facts in the factual lists are checked before toptenz publishes them. Anyway I decided today’s list would be a factual one. Last 6 June I wrote of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (aka the BP Oil Spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill) that began last 20 April [2]. toptenz places it number 2 on its ‘Top Ten List of Worst Oil Spills’. (I think it means largest rather than worst.) And it says it was finally stopped on 3 August, and its final size was 172M barrels [3]. In contrast, Wikipedia says it’s the world’s number one oil spill, and when it ended on July 15, its size was 205M gallons [4]. All of which goes to show that when all’s done and dusted, a fact’s not really a fact. Despite this, the Deepwater Horizon spill was bloody big, bloody expensive, and environmentally bloody disastrous. Ho hum.

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