Mudcat Café message #62393 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9555   Message #62393
Posted By:
11-Mar-99 - 07:25 AM
Thread Name: Songs about the Exxon Valdez disaster (1989)
Subject: RE: Words? Wreck of the Exxon Valdez?
This won't help either but the thread reminded me of Hamish Imlach and Iain MacKintosh coming up with an apt new verse for 'The Drunken Sailor' at a gig around the time of the disaster:
'What shall we do with the drunken sailor?'
'Put him in charge of an Exxon tanker ...'

Incidentally, I found the following in last Sunday's Observer:
[1999:] Scientists studying the world's worst environmental catastrophes have discovered that oil spills cause a hundred times more damage than was previously thought. Studies of the Exxon Valdez disaster - which happened 10 years ago this month - have shown that oil pollution of less than one part per billion is sufficient to kill marine life. Salmon and herring with half- formed tails, twisted spines and grossly distended stomachs are still being caught in Alaska's Prince William Sound, scene of the Valdez spillage, say researchers. [...]
The discovery has serious implications for coastal regions affected by other major oil spills - such as the Shetland Isles, hit by the Braer disaster, and the beaches around Milford Haven polluted by the Sea Empress. However, the findings of the Alaska study suggest that the problems are more wide- ranging. 'It is not the local impact that is the real problem,' says [Dr Bruce Wright of the US National Maritime Fisheries Service in Alaska]. 'Our work indicates that even microscopic amounts of oil that get into any stream or bay are going to kill fish. This is a problem for the whole world.' [...] When the Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef and spilled more than 11 million gallons of crude oil over the pristine coastline of Prince William Sound at exactly five minutes after midnight on 24 March 1989, a precious eco- system that was home to otters, whales, seals, spawning fish and shore birds was coated in a choking black mass, triggering a massive clean- up operation - and an extensive environmental monitoring programme. It is this programme that has delivered its startling verdict on the danger that crude oil poses to our environment. (Robin McKie, Observer, 7 Mar)

This is only half of the article. I left out the scientific detail, not knowing my way round things like toluene or polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons anyway. It seems scary enough as it is, and as a car owner I must count myself among the offenders. - Yours depressedly, Susanne