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Shell’s Alaska Oil Rig In Trouble 3 January 2013

Threat to Environment Over Shell Oil Drilling  Sitkalidak Island.

Another oil accident?  150,000 gallons of oil and oil products are supposed to be on the  troubled Shell oil rig, one of two oil rigs operated by Shell in the area, which has been adrift the past few days in North Alaska.  BBC News,  4th January 2013  gave us this story at 1.15AM New Zealand time.

Rena Oil Spillage NZ:  The crisis reminds me of the New Zealand ‘Rena’ oil disaster last year, when the ‘Rena’ ship became shipwrecked, carrying thousands of gallons of oil.  The problem was – how to get the stuff off?  Much of the oil did actually spill into the sea on the east coast of the North Island, near Tauranga, which caused a major environmental disaster.  Rough seas made the task of getting the oil off very difficult, and oil continued to spill into the ocean for several weeks.

The Rena disaster in New Zealand was terrible for people living along the coast where the accident happened.  But the Gulf of Mexico accident a couple of years ago was even worse.  Oil kept spilling into the ocean for months.  Now we know that the officials in charge lied about the amount of oil which was gushing into the ocean.

These same problems which made retrieving the oil off the shipwrecked ‘Rena’ extremely difficult, now accompany the Rig ‘Kulluk’.  Although it is reported the rig is now ‘grounded’, rough seas with 35 feet high waves, and high winds of 160 miles per hour are prohibiting the safe removal of the oil.

The  report said that the US Coastguard affirms the rig is now upright and ‘shows no sign of apparent leakage’, but this assurance could be taken with a grain of salt, since authorities usually down-play the environmental risks involved over trouble caused by the big oil companies of the world.

Even if there is no oil leaking at this stage, the situation poses a grave danger to the environment, and is yet another lesson in the hazards of oil drilling.   The area where this accident has happened is home to many endangered species, and environmentalists are apparently very concerned.

Species are becoming extinct because of deforestation and destructive practices such as oil drilling, which has an added potential for poisoning the earth when spillage occurs.

Oil drilling will shortly become a thing of the past.  It will have to become a thing of the past if we are to survive on this planet.

Governments of the world need to ban all oil drilling in the ocean, and the sooner the better.  Oil companies should be turning their sights onto producing clean energy which does not harm the earth in any way, instead of continuing with their old, risky, archaic methods, pursuing profit regardless of the consequences.

A change in mindset is demanded of us all.  The primary concern of very individual, and every company, should now be the preservation of the environment, and not profit.  We all have to be happier with less of the trappings of the modern life-style.

A Prayer:  That all oil companies, nuclear power companies , forestry companies, fisheries – all people involved in taking from the Earth,  will genuinely change their mindset from ‘Profit’ to ‘Preservation’.

Of course, we cannot live on Earth without making some impact on its soil and its life.  But practices such as oil drilling, which are obviously extremely hazardous and destructive to the environment, should be banned in favour of better ones.

“Almighty God, seeing that it is high-time to awake out of sleep, since the night is far spent and the day is at hand:

Help us to put off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.”

Quote from the ‘Temple Book of  Prayer’,  by W.D. Orchard, published by ‘Temple Press’, Letchworth, Great Britain, probably around 1900.

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