Thursday, 10 June 2010

That little oil spill in context

It has come to my attention that the dear Septics are getting in something of a kerfuffle about a little spilt oil. So today, in order to appease the dears, I'm going to pour an equivalent volume of engine oil into the tidal Thames at Westminster. How much is that?

The volume of the Gulf of Mexico is 2,424,000 cubic kilometers, or 6.43 * 1017 US gallons. The volume of oil spilt is estimated at 20m gallons to 50m US gallons; let's take the max, 5 * 107 gallons. That's one part of oil to 1.29 * 1010 parts of water.

The volume of the Thames at mid tide between Teddington and Gravesend is about 2.4 * 107 cubic metres (633 * 107 US gallons, or 127 times the total volume of the BP oil leaked). To replicate the 'environmental disaster' the Septics are claiming, I'll therefore have to empty 1.87 litres of engine oil into the river.

I sincerely hope this touchy feely gesture placates Mr Obama, and he'll now stop doing what Gordon Brown started - buggering my pension.

1 comment:

Budgie said...

That is an interesting perspective. Problem is that because the Gulf of Mexico is very very large, the oil spill whilst a very small proportion is still large in aggregate. If it lands in only a short stretch of coast (due to prevailing currents/wind) the impact will still be devastating. Also oil floats so on an area basis the proportion will be that much bigger.

However, I am becoming tired of Obama, and I am not even sure what domestic crowd he is playing to. The fact is that the only substantial British connection is the British money BP invested. Almost everything else is American: rig, operator, regulator, workers, management. Perhaps Obamarama can vent at the manufacturer of the BOP?