Out of Sight, Out of Mind!
The oil’s still out there.
Maybe BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill has receded from the public consciousness.
Maybe its 200 million gallons of crude no longer coat the feathers of seabirds, igniting calls for action.
Maybe the beaches of five states are no longer blackened.
But rest assured, the oil remains, in unnatural places, such as the bile of some fish species. What that means is open to conjecture for now.
If oil spills set off irreversible chain reactions that decimate species and threaten commercial and recreational fishing, for instance, then perhaps the risk is not worth the reward. Or, perhaps more safety measures need to be adopted and enforced.
Good science can also suggest better ways of dealing with a disaster once it has happened. For instance, a 2011 Mote study found that a dispersant used for the spill cleanup is deadly to the larvae of two coral species found in the Florida Keys.