Today ABC New published a report that the oil spill in the Gulf has disappeared. Apparently it was the victim of natural conditions and processes that caused most of it to disintegrate back into nature.
Now I think back to the breathless reporting for the past 70+ days about how the Gulf was being ruined by oil pollution. We saw the same two or three pictures of oil covered pelicans flashed over and over again. We saw reporters walking along pristine beaches while casting furtive glances out to sea as they yammered on about the impending disaster.
We read countless stories about the various poisons and toxins in oil. We saw pictures of the same small areas where oil actually made it to shore replayed time and time again while the reporters made it sound like the entire coast line was covered in thick black ooze. We saw report after report about clean up crews becoming ill.
We heard experts speculate about permanent environmental damage, permanently ruined fisheries, and the entire Gulf Coast economy thrown into a deep depression. We were shown interviews with blowhard politicians predicting doom while holding their hands out for money. We saw pictures of dead animals which were not covered in oil while the reporters and experts speculated how the spill might have killed them without actually touching them.
We were treated to reports the the entire east coast might be polluted, and even Europe was not free from danger. When four half dollar size tar balls were found on a Florida beach every news outlet showed pictures of them until it was determined they were not from the BP spill. We saw clean up crews dressed in hazmat suits running around in the hot sun looking for oil.
All oil drilling in the Gulf was stopped. Criminal charges against BP were discussed. The Department of Justice dispatched teams of lawyers to the area. There was much speculation about how much the clean up would cost and whether BP would enter bankruptcy. We were shown dozens of crackpot inventions that were billed as the solutions to efficient cleanup.
I even remember a report of a suicide caused by the spill.
Of course even the ABC story included a caveat or two. Several “experts” speculated that the oil is hiding below the surface of the water. I guess it’s waiting until the skimmers aren’t looking before coming to the surface and rushing ashore.
But now it seems all this was for naught. The oil is taking care of itself with little damage to the area.