The much lesser known Amazon oil spill

The French daily Le Figaro publishes a translation of the best New York Times articles each Friday. This enabled me to come accross another huge oil spill, this time located in Ecuador, South America.

During three decades Texaco operated more than 300 oil wells without taking any notice of environmental issues. As a result the company polluted the air, the soil and the water in a massive way. As the NYT puts it :

The quest for oil is, by its nature, colossally destructive. And the giant oil companies, when left to their own devices, will treat even the most magnificent of nature’s wonders like a sewer.”

Still to the newspaper :

(Texaco) deliberately dumped many billions of gallons of waste byproduct from oil drilling directly into the rivers and streams of the rainforest covering an area the size of Rhode Island.

It gouged more than 900 unlined waste pits out of the jungle floor — pits which to this day leach toxic waste into soils and groundwater.

It burned hundreds of millions of cubic feet of gas and waste oil into the atmosphere, poisoning the air and creating ‘black rain’ which inundated the area during tropical thunderstorms.

 I believe we can draw two conclusions :

1. We can’t let companies do what they want : we need to enforce globally strict rules and regulations for our environment and our long term safety. Otherwise, more catastrophes like Chernobyl or the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will occur.

2. We also need to get out of oil ASAP : The faster we will quit using so much of it, the easier it will be to reduce the environmental costs. President Obama is getting aware of this as the situation keeps deteriorating in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s not as if we had no alternatives (energy efficiency, renewables, safe nuclear…)

It is high time. The more we wait the more we will suffer…

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