In this post, I would like to compare the oil spills that happened in the recent times and the oil wastage that is happening in our day to day life.
The date was April 20. It was just another day for BP situated in the Gulf of Mexico near Mississippi river delta. All of a sudden, there was a leakage of Methane gas during drilling, leading to the ignition and explosion of the site. The worse followed by, as it took nearly 3months (on 15th July) to control the Oil spill. Enough of destruction has been done in the meantime, as the oil spill covered atleast 2500 square miles, threatening the environmental life in the coast of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
The directly affected includes those who were dependent on fishing, hotels and beach resorts. It has indirectly affected the sea food lovers, reducing the supply of the sea food, which eventually lead to the increase in the price of sea food. Not only were the humans affected, but it includes the marine animals, birds (mainly pelican), flora and fauna too. This incident is popularly known as the BP Oil Spill or Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. BP was made responsible for the event and the US government has levied fine for causing such an environmental disaster. Also, BP replaced Tony Hayward with Robert Dudley as the CEO.
Now let us look into the second incident which happened nearly four months after BP oil spill. On August7, MSC Chitra collided with MV Khalijia III. Technical and navigational error that occurred in one of these ships was cited as the reason. This incident occurred at a distance of five nautical miles from the port. It is believed that 500 tonnes of oil has been spilled into the sea till now.
The affected party includes birds, marine animals and the people dependent on sea. As the incident occurred near the Mumbai harbour, movement of ships were also affected. This incident is popularly called as Mumbai Oil Spill. Work is in full flow to clear the mess created by this collision. Case has been registered against the Captains and the crew members of both the ships under the sections of Environment Act and IPC.
Even though the damage caused takes months to repair or sometimes irreparable, the above two incidents proves the fact that penalty would be paid, in case of damage to environment. These incidents happened unknowingly due to human errors. But, there are environmental destruction being caused by us, which remains unnoticed and unanswered.
Whom we are talking about and what we are talking about?
It’s none other than us and the usage of vehicles (Two wheeler, auto, four wheelers, heavy vehicles, and so on) in our day to day life. ‘US’ can be anyone-it can be the person writing this post or the person reading the post or any common man who uses vehicles. We use oil (petrol and diesel in this case) to run the vehicles.
How many of us have thought about the petrol or diesel consumption due to rash driving?
How many of us have cared to switch off the vehicles in the Traffic signals or have thought about changing the gear to neutral in traffic signal?
How many of us have thought about car pooling, which leads to saving petrol or diesel thereby reducing the pollution caused?
Has the government ever realised to provide a proper infrastructure for roads, which will reduce the consumption of petrol and diesel?
What does a common man say, when he/she is being pointed out for the above? They just point fingers at others to justify his/her mistakes and this blame game continues. Even though it is said that this oil wastage happens on a small scale, isn’t the summation of such small scale leads to mass wastage of petrol and diesel? When are we going to realise these mistakes and correct them?
Just because the BP oil spill and Mumbai oil spill happened on a large scale, it came into criticism. Why aren’t the common men not criticized for the mistake being done? Why aren’t the common men fined for wasting a non-renewable resource?
It is time for us to react and to save nature from falling as a prey to the environmental hazards. Better late than never. Let us follow the rules and understand the ways of petrol and diesel consumption, and do our part as a human being.
I would like to conclude this post with a quote by Walter Lippmann: “We all should make the World a better place to live in, because we all live in it”
Disclaimer: By common man, I referred to the people who fall into the category of persons mentioned above.