Remember the good ol' days when we thought that only 200,000 gallons of oil per day were gushing into the Gulf of Mexico? Turns out BP lied to us. That figure has now been revised to as high as 1.7 million gallons of oil per day. That's a whole lot of oil.
I compared the previous amount of 200,000 gallons of oil per day spilling into the Gulf of Mexico to the volume of the New England Aquarium's big tank. So how big is 1.7 million gallons? And how much is 1.7 million x 55 days?
My math puts the total volume of oil dumped into the Gulf of Mexico since the start of the BP disaster at 88,000,000 gallons, which may be too low. Some estimates have the volume of oil spilled well about 100 million gallons.
So how big is 100 million gallons?
100 million gallons would fill the Rose Bowl. Actually, 100 million gallons would overfill the Rose Bowl. That's a lot of oil.
Or is it?
The CIA says that the United States uses 19.5 million barrels of oil per day. 19.5 million barrels x 42 gallons/barrel equals 819,000,00 barrels per day. That means that every single day the American people pump as much oil into the world's atmosphere as BP has dumped into the Gulf of Mexico over the last two months. That means that in 2010 the American people will pump nearly 365 times more carbon into the atmosphere than BP has currently dumped into the Gulf of Mexico.
(This is the part where John Gourley would call me an enviro-extremist)
So if BP is to be held criminally liable for the oil they are dumping into the Gulf, aren't the American people 365 times more guilty for the carbon they pump into the atmosphere? Every year?
The thought is too depressing to even contemplate.