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Stopping Oil Spills with Blogs

I spent three weeks this past summer in Galicia in northern Spain. It’s where the oil tanker Prestige sank in November 2002 and befouled the entire northern coastline.

Frontline/World had a short investigative documentary on PBS recently about the ship and the massive oil spill.

Documentary reporter Mark Schapiro writes in part:

Mayor Mouzo is furious that not enough has been done to protect the Galician coast: “One hundred and fifty-two ships pass by [here] every day. Ten percent of them are bad ships, pirates. At any moment there could be another accident.”… the unregulated oil tankers keep passing.

Schapiro adds in an interview:
Here was a ship that went down, causing massive ecological devastation to the coast and the people of Galicia, and it looked like it was going to cost hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars. And yet the question of who actually controlled the vessel, who was responsible for it, was very obscure.

What if environmentally oriented bloggers worldwide decided to find ways to end the obscurity. Documents could be posted ala The Smoking Gun. Each new ship registered around the world is posted. Each spill is noted. Each responsible owner’s name and affairs put on the site. Room is made for interviews with crew and captains. International companies that profit from using shabby ships get exposed.

Everyone involved in the nefarious parts of this business gets written about. Collectively, it could be a powerful force. Think how something like this could help amplify the Frontline message.

So I am going to try to contact Schapiro and see what he thinks. I also will contact a friend in Spain and see if anyone thinks this has merit. One nice quote from one Spanish official says we know about titling at windmills, we do not give up.

I think all the idea needs is someone who will champion it.

One Response to “Stopping Oil Spills with Blogs”

  1. Mariano Grueiro Says:

    I’m ashamed because the documental.
    First of all, I’ll introduce myself, I’m Mariano Grueiro, galician photographer, filmaker and writer, and I need to admit that at first times, I was happy with the idea that anybody still remembered us at the United States.
    Nor only that, it’s great that same guys came across the Atlantic to try put a little of true, But I’m shocked with the final work, simply….. dont tell the half of the true! They don’t began to tell what happened with the spanish government, or what it will be about galicians now!

    I gave my opinion to the public forum,(of course, with a great respect) but censorship, or… i don’t know what happened, but they don’t published it.
    I still now, remember what happened with the Exxon Valdez, but…. how many northamericans remember what happend at Galicia one year ago?

    Leonard Witt, a big thank you! for not forgive us!! (if you think that i can help you, please feel free to contact with me)