Even being stationed in the remote Rockies without much access to TV as I have been the last few weeks, one cannot help but be sickened by news of the oil debacle in the Gulf Coast. It is so huge, and the numbers used to describe it are so big, that it almost defies the imagination. I have come across a couple of sites, however, that have put it into terrible perspective for me, via the site informationisbeautiful.net, which helps the visually-oriented such as myself digest baffling information.
The site above, ifitwasmyhome.com, drove home the magnitude of the spill for me. I looked at this map and thought about how many hours it would take to drive from London to Kingston, and then imagined driving for that long across an endless expanse of lethal, stinky, mucky oil. Wow. Then, because I am from the East Coast, I put in Halifax NS and realized the spill is about the size of the province of Nova Scotia.
Informationisbeautiful.net also links to the New York Times, which has another heart-sinking lime-lapse account of the spill. It is also worth a visit.
If all these images leave you feeling the need to get off the computer and help, here is a link to a great list of organizations recruiting volunteers: http://www.takepart.com/news/2010/04/30/the-gulf-coast-oil-leak-how-to-help. Or if you are too far to help in person, like myself, there are many organizations accepting donations, including the United Way, the National Wildlife Federation (US), and the Nature Conservancy (US); although BP and the US government are supposedly covering any clean-up costs.
(I found informationisbeautiful.net on Oh Happy Day, and now I am hooked.)