I know it seems off-topic, but I cannot sit quietly by. The news reports and images of the BP underwater oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico are horrifying and heartbreaking.
If you dare - there are more shocking images here.
This is one heck of a cautionary tale for Brazil, where deep sea oil deposits have been recently identified off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state. The oil rush is on with coastal communities experiencing economic booms in anticipation of future extraction activities.
Two of my students are oil industry engineers. I have asked them about their thoughts regarding the BP disaster. Unfortunately they are true engineers: “That will not happen in our case,” they say. I wish I could believe them.