Oil Spill: Disaster

Overview


Sometimes, a split second can change everything.

On April 20, 2010, disaster struck in the Gulf of Mexico. The offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, causing one of the worst environmental catastrophes in American history. Every day for months on end, more than a million gallons of oil leaked into the water. As the oil company BP frantically tried to stop the spill, scientists and emergency response crews searched for ways to repair the damage. Experts predict that the ...

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Overview


Sometimes, a split second can change everything.

On April 20, 2010, disaster struck in the Gulf of Mexico. The offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, causing one of the worst environmental catastrophes in American history. Every day for months on end, more than a million gallons of oil leaked into the water. As the oil company BP frantically tried to stop the spill, scientists and emergency response crews searched for ways to repair the damage. Experts predict that the Gulf of Mexico's environment, wildlife, and industries will take decades to recover.

But what exactly is oil? Where does it come from and why do we need so much of it? What caused this disaster to happen and how can we stop it from happening again? Learn the answers to these questions and more as you find out about the oil spill, relief efforts, and the future of energy use in the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On the heels of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April, this exposé explores the consequences of the disaster and the ramifications of worldwide oil dependence. Profiles of individuals involved with the recovery process address pertinent questions: a sea turtle expert discusses how turtle eggs may not hatch if exposed to oil, and an oil spill expert explains that the difficulty in stopping the spill had to do with the cold temperatures and high pressure deep in the ocean. While text and color photographs convey the extent of the devastation to the Gulf, the book also highlights some innovative attempts to clean up oil spills and profiles two middle school students, who researched cleaning up oil in their own neighborhood. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
This book summarizes the events of the Deepwater Horizon Platform spill in the Gulf of Mexico: the causes, the aftermath, the possible long term consequences and the possible energy alternatives that could lead us away from oil dependence. The book is formatted in episodic cuts which results in a lack of cohesiveness. The Deepwater Horizon spill is just one of several oil-related ecological disasters such as the Exxon Valdez accident and the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline spill. Interestingly, the first and greatest spill happened in 1910, when a California businessman struck crude and didn't know how to stop the resulting gusher. The book is mostly blame-neutral and British Petroleum is mentioned only in passing. The neutrality of the text extends to not stating that BP's failure to monitor safety at the station was a primary cause of the spill. Illustrations are small, but some make interesting points. A photo of a family surrounded by their oil-based products (everything from sneakers to swimming pools) points out that to limit oil dependency doesn't just mean driving a hybrid car. It would mean a major reevaluation of what conveniences we are willing to sacrifice for environmental protection. Of course, children will mostly be drawn to the pictures of distressed animals and will want to know how animal rescue was achieved. Back matter includes a glossary of terms, but no further readings or internet links are offered to further students' study of the subject. Overall, this is a choppy, cut-and-paste survey that might be useful for report writing, but won't excite students about environmental causes or actually explain the long-term ramifications of the Gulf Coast disaster. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—The Deepwater Horizon Spill that occurred on April 20, 2010, is the largest offshore oil spill in U. S. history and is still impacting the environment and marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. This book examines the global oil situation, the disaster, and the responses to it. On each page, paragraphs of text are superimposed on full-page art, diagrams, or colored backgrounds. Interviews with those involved, such as animal-rescue experts, cleanup experts, and oil-spill experts, are presented in a question-and-answer format. The book ends with a "Think About It" section with information about alternative, renewable energy resources. The shortcomings are the lack of discussion about the impact on people's livelihoods and about BP's corporate responsibilities. Despite these omissions, the book addresses an important manmade catastrophe.—Caroline Geck, Newark Public Schools, NJ
Kirkus Reviews

In an obvious case of "rush-to-publish," a general account of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill's first month or so is filled out with information about how oil is refined and used in manufacturing, alternative sources of energy, a profile of two Indiana middle schoolers who studied the role of grasses in removing contaminants from industrially polluted soil and four truncated interviews with energy and wildlife scientists working for various research organizations. Blocks of text float on the generously margined pages near or over color graphics and photos—some of the latter uncaptioned—and there's nary a sign of a resource list. Considering that this takes the tale to early June 2010 and the well wasn't even capped until mid-July, the picture presented here is far from complete, and there are, more than likely, plenty of more substantial reports on the disaster in the pipeline. Consider this one only for a short-term stopgap. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545317764
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 534,213
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.10 (d)

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