BBC makes salad as Gulf rig burns

BBC environment correspondent Richard Black has chosen to open his latest piece about the burning oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico with a joke about salad. He compares the potential disaster to a “vinaigrette”, or salad dressing. So in case you didn’t know that oil floated on water, listen carefully. The BBC will explain.

“As anyone who’s ever dressed a salad in vinaigrette will testify, oil and water just don’t mix,” Black begins. Oh how very droll. Thanks, Richard, for making light of  this potential disaster. Are you trying to be smart?

It’s just a big oil slick out in the middle of nowhere, after all. It’s only “fishermen, the bird-lovers and the oilmen” who might “have an interest”…

I was looking to the BBC to tell this story with a little more conviction. Given the recent  near-catastrophe of the Chinese ship ploughing into the Great Barrier Reef, and the “disaster movie” on the Thai rig off the northwestern coast of Australia (the consequences of which are yet to be determined), I think the BBC environment editor has let himself and his organisation down with his flippant approach to this story.

UPDATE: For a much better piece about what’s happening in the Gulf of Mexico, try this by Tom Philpott in Grist.

(Photo courtesy of Stig Nygaard via flickr)

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