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BP Oil Spill - Don't forget

On April, 20 2010 the oil platform "Deepwater Horizon", run by order of BP, exploded. 11 people were killed and the effects on the sensitive Gulf ecosystem could hardly have been any more devastating. Thousands of animals died, mangroves which serve as hatchery and home for a number of animal species died off, fishermen lost their livelihood.

But perhaps the most important thing this catastrophe has revealed is the fact that we simply don't seem to learn. In 2009, half a year before the BP tragedy happened, there was a similar accident on an oil platform in the Timor Sea (north of Australia). Although the extent of the leak in the Timor Sea was incomparable to that in the Gulf of Mexico (33.500 barrels of oil streamed out in Timor Sea, 5.000.000 barrels in the Gulf), the governments could have reacted and taken appropriate measures such as banning offshore drilling in sensitive ecosystems like the Arctic, an issue that is controversially discussed at the moment (see below). Instead, offshore drilling was reallowed in the Gulf of Mexico in 2011, just one year after the tragedy.

Of course, people from all over the world were appalled by BP's reluctance to implement security measures that would have been able to prevent the disaster. In fact, many people had informed the company beforehand about insufficient security but those responsible didn't listen. So even if years have passed since the catastrophe, please don't stop boycotting BP. Don't reward the company for their decision to place profits over people!

Shell and the Arctic

Again, if the disaster could have had one positive effect, it would have been the reminder how helpless we and our planet can be if something unforeseen happens. Unfortunately, the decision-makers seem not to have learned this time either as offshore drilling in sensitive ecosystems is still allowed. Shell, for example, announced that it would not drill in the Arctic in 2013 following a series of mishaps but the company still adheres to its plans to to produce oil north of Alaska, the company just wants to give itself more time.