Without knowing the flow’s true magnitude, how can anyone judge the success of any approach? Without determining how much oil is beneath the ocean’s surface and how much is floating toward land, how can we best direct response efforts?An op-ed in today's NYT makes a number of points I've been trying to emphasize, but more clearly and completely than I have managed.
On Thursday, BP was finally forced to acknowledge that far more oil is escaping from its damaged well into the Gulf of Mexico than the oft-repeated estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. Nonetheless, the company still insists that an accurate measurement of the spill rate is neither necessary, as it would do nothing to alter their response efforts, nor is it possible with existing science.Go and read. BP must not be allowed to attempt to sweep this under the rug any further; they've been getting away with just that for a month now. As I've said before, what we can see, even with the slick now washing ashore, and having heart-breaking impacts on people and wildlife, is merely the tip of this still mostly hidden disaster.
It is our view that accurate, continuously updated measurements are not only possible, but absolutely essential if we are to respond effectively to this and future disasters. That is why we are conducting satellite image analysis and image-based fluid-flow analysis to provide an independent assessment of the oil spill.