Oil Spill: No Laughing Matter

I would leave this National Geographic Kids print ad out of my collection if it weren’t for the recent oil spill catastrophe, one that is being slated as the “worst environmental disaster in U.S. history”.
All of a sudden the image of extra-terrestrial beings laughing at our callous treatment of the environment gained heightened relevance. Considering the context of the oil spill, FoxP2 of South Africa does hit the mark – Aliens in their spaceship evidently making jokes about humans’ decimation of earth’s environment. The copy reads:

“Let’s not be the joke of the universe.
National Geographic Kids
Make earth proud”

It has been two months since British Petroleum’s offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, and spewed enormous amounts of oil into the ocean. As oil continues to gush into the Gulf, reports in the media have estimated that the flow rate might be as high as 60,000 barrels a day. After repeated efforts to contain the leak, there has been some success in diverting oil by use of underwater robots. Meanwhile, work continues to build relief wells that will eventually and hopefully kill the spill.

It is anyone’s guess the havoc this accident will create in deep seas. Marine scientists have observed unusual crowding of fish, sea turtles, mullets, crabs and rays along coasts of affected areas; dolphins and sharks have been seen in shallow waters – not really surprising, is it? They’ve been thrown out of their home and driven to the edge – quite literally! One of the most heart-wrenching images has been of oil-drenched Brown Pelicans, soaked to their skin in toxic oil. The birds who recently came off the endangered species list have, in a way, come to be symbolic of this collective tragedy of ours.

Take a look at the before and after pictures here. What a contrast these present!


As the story of this utter devastation of marine ecosystem continues to unfold – an interesting racquet ball game is being played out between federal officials, politicians and BP management. The headlines have transitioned into cover stories and editorials but my fear is that these will quickly give way to fresher, more interesting news that promise to capture eyeballs.

The National Geographic magazine ad sort of did its bit (perhaps unintentionally!) to help this cover story run for just a bit longer…

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