Over one million tonnes of oil were spilled into the world's oceans during the 1990s
On August 14th, the Tasmin Spirit, a 24-year-old Greek oil
tanker, spilled 15,000 tonnes of crude oil across a 14 kilometre
stretch of the Karachi coast. 13 million people live in Karachi,
and the wind is wafting dangerous petroleum fumes over the
A Greenpeace supporter from Karachi writes: "[The] ship has
leaked out thousands of tonnes of crude oil which has spread all
over the major beaches and coast line. If immediate efforts are not
made this disaster will spread on the entire coast line of Pakistan
and in to other neighbouring countries. This has already created a
disaster for the marine life killing thousands of sea animals
already including hundreds of rare species including lobsters, sea
horse, jellyfish. The stinky smell is so strong that the adjacent
areas of the entire coastline have become inaccessible for
People including small children and
senior citizens are having severe respiratory and digestion
problems including vomiting, diarrhoea and other ... diseases."
Another supporter writes: "People living near the beaches
have caught up severe throat infections. Just yesterday some
students in a school became unconscious and the government finally
had to close down all the schools near the beaches. The affects do
not end here - soon you will hear a lot of family-suicides in those
same oil-covered waters by the fishermen that have become jobless
and already have nothing to eat."
An estimated 90,000 fisherman are without work now as the crude
oil has devastated the local fisheries. Turtle hatcheries on the
southern coast and myriad aquatic life in the region are threatened
not only by oil, but by the chemical dispersants being sprayed to
try to contain the disaster.
Clean up operations have begun, but as with the Prestige oil
spill which is now estimated to have spilled 63,000 tonnes of oil
along the Galicia coast in Spain, and the Exxon Valdez disaster in
Alaska, which spilled 38,800 tonnes, the ecosystem will take years
to recover. New
Scientist reports that the Spanish coast may take a decade to
return to normal.
Too many people and too many ecosystems have suffered from
deadly oil spills. The only answer is to move toward a clean energy
future and phase out the world's deadly addiction to oil. We can't
undo the environmental devastation that's been visited on the
Karachi coast, but we can do something to reduce oil consumption
and prevent future spills. That means implementing the Kyoto
agreement on reducing Greenhouse gasses, and taking immediate
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to the board of directors of the world's largest oil company,
ExxonMobil and tell them to invest in renewable energy and stop
sabotaging action on climate change.
the discussion at the cybercentre.