Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weaponized Stupidity in history

The Amoco Cadiz was a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) oil tanker which ran aground, broke up and sank off the coast of Brittany, France in March 1978. The entire cargo of 1,604,500 barrels (219,797 tons) of light crude oil from Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia and Kharg Island, Iran, as well as 4,000 tons of fuel oil were spilled. It formed an oil slick 19 km long, which polluted approximately 320 km of the French coastline. Oil penetrated up to 500 mm deep on some beaches. In sheltered areas of the coastline, it left an asphalt crust for several years. It was the worst disaster of its kind and resulted in the highest loss of marine life ever recorded until that time. 20,000 marine birds died, as did millions of mollusks, sea urchins and fish. The populations of echinoderm and small crustaceans almost entirely disappeared, although many populations recovered within a few years. Evidence of oiled beach sediments from the Amoco Cadiz can still be found in sheltered areas of the French coast today.

The French Government presented bills totaling US$2 billion in damages to the US courts.