BP CEO Tony Hayward has come up with a truly awesome explanation of why the Deep Horizon disaster really isn’t so bad after all:
In an interview with the Guardian at BP’s crisis centre in Houston, Hayward also insisted that the leaked oil and the estimated 400,000 gallons of dispersant which BP has pumped into the sea to try to disperse the slick were relatively "tiny" amounts.
"The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume," he said.
Well, that’s all right then. Because all that oil just dissolved harmlessly into the great vastness of the ocean without a trace. It’s not concentrated at all, it’s not befouling beaches (which are, to be fair, just a tiny fraction of the United States’ enormous coastline), it’s not confusing aquatic wildlife or forming giant underwater toxic plumes, nothing like that.
Or, alternatively, the areas (and volumes) of the ocean that it is completely despoiling are so trivially small in comparison to the whole that they’re barely worth worrying about. Surely the plants and animals that are dying are just a tiny fraction of Planet Earth’s total biomass, and the people who are losing their livelihoods are just a tiny fraction of the Earth’s total workforce.
The beauty of this defense is that it can be applied to pretty much every form of pollution known to man. Mountaintop mining? Nuclear waste? Just a tiny fraction of the Earth’s total mass. CO2 emissions? Just a tiny fraction of the Earth’s total atmosphere.
The next logical step will be to use it as a defense for murder: "Your honor, the bullets that my client fired into the deceased were such a tiny fraction of the deceased’s total body weight that they could not possibly have contributed to his death. And even if they did, the deceased was less than one six-billionth of the total world population – why should we make a fuss over anything less than one or two percent?"