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WATCH: Anderson Cooper 360: Riki Ott on the BP Spill

Posted May 04 2010 8:36am

Here’s what you’re not hearing from BP: it will take decades to get rid of the oil in the Gulf spill. The health consequences for residents of the coast will be severe and long-lastingand even more acute for cleanup workers directly exposed to the oil. And the marine wildlife may never fully recover.

In this clip from Anderson Cooper 360 (via Crooks and Liars ), marine toxicologist Riki Ott ( Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill ) and presidential historian Douglas Brinkley explain some of the ecological and economic consequences of this latest man-made environmental disaster.

COOPER: Joining me now is Riki Ott, who is a marine toxicologist with the Earth Island Institute, also presidential historian Douglas Brinkley Brinkley.

Riki, Rush Limbaugh and Gene Taylor say this is just going to break up naturally. A, is that true? And, B, does it mean we should just let nature take its course?

RIKI OTT, MARINE TOXICOLOGIST, EARTH ISLAND INSTITUTE: It’s going to break up naturally. We’re same as in Alaska.

We’re going to probably wait 40 years or 50 years before it all breaks up naturally. So, it’s a matter of rate. And what we’re going to see here probably in Louisiana, with a little bit warmer temperature, maybe a little bit more rapid degradation, maybe a little less than 50 years, but who knows how much less.

COOPER: All right. So, leaving it to nature take its course clearly doesn’t make any sense.

Riki Ott and Douglas Brinkley on Anderson Cooper 360

 
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