In July, BP reported that the total bill of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster would be $61.6 billion, which includes numerous messy legal expenses and meticulous clean-up costs. 11 workers died and almost five million barrels of oil have been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
To put that into perspective, it’s enough to pay for the London 2012 Olympics four times over.
Some see the Deepwater Horizon disaster as a waste of resource, as investors sigh a collective groan as share prices dip and fluctuate. Much of the news coverage has been billed as a financial disaster rather than as an environmental one. Last year, chief executive Bob Dudley described the rig fire and its aftermath as “a near death experience” for the firm.
And when evaluating its impact; we also need to revert our attention back to the damage fossil fuels create when they’re not leaked in the first place – when they’re burned. Which of these factors is most important when calculating the damage, and preventing further problems?
Fossil fuel divestment would make sure it never happened in the first place, and be the only guarantee that it won’t happen again.
Maybe when we talk about the cost, this should be a firm reminder that continued investment in fossil fuels carry a flashing blood-red warning flag – and that’s before we even begin to count the financially precarious nature of investing in fossil fuels.
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