Connecting the BP Oil Spill and Japan’s Nuclear Crisis
On April 20th 2010, 41 miles of the Louisiana coast an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, subsequently spilling over 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
On March 12th, an earthquake 100 miles offshore triggered a tsunami that hit the northeast coast of Japan, severely damaging the cooling systems of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. As of today workers are trying to prevent a full meltdown from occurring, and stop storage ponds loaded with spent uranium fuel from bursting into flames.
These two disasters may not seem to have much in common. The BP spill is attributed to negligence by the companies who operated the rig, while the Fukushima Daiichi disaster was caused by unpredictable weather-related events.
Yet, both “accidents” should be a wakeup call to the environmental and health dangers present in the extraction and generation of our energy sources. Our continued search for more energy leads us to dig deeper and increase the use of highly radioactive elements, which goes hand-in-hand with higher risks.
The only way to fully protect against these types of disasters in the future is through a switch to green energy. Yes, better regulation, safety measures, and contingency plans can reduce the likelihood of accidents, but at the same time we are taking more and more risks to meet energy demand.
Green energy is a sustainable, healthy, and safer way to meet our energy needs.