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In Gulf disaster, slick washing on shore threatens wildlife, BP’s image

May 28, 2010

For over a month now, oil has been streaming out of BP’s destroyed well in the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s efforts to stop the leak or plug the well have been unsuccessful, and while its executives have to face grumpy congressmen, the oil is starting to wash on shore. Consider this the start of an envrionmental catastrophe.

Associated Press photographer Gerald Herbert has been there from the start. In the video below, he talks about some of his shocking images to PBS News Hour.

(More from PBS’s coverage here.)

President Barack Obama held a news conference exclusively to express his anger at BP while the head of the government agency overseeing overshore drilling has just quit her job (or been made to quit). Still, Obama said he’s confident in BP’s efforts to stop the oil leak, which I can only hope means the administration is lighting a fire under BP’s ass to plug its well.

Considering the company is about the kill an unkown number of maritime life in the gulf and on shore and is widely perceived as having no clue of how to do stop this disaster, the only job worse than a BP engineer’s these days must be that of a BP public relations manager.

Screenshot of one of the BP logo redesigns offered in Greenpeace's competition.

Greenpeace has been running a redesign competition for BP’s logo. My favorites so far are the image on the right and this one (on Greenpeace’s flickr account).

On Twitter, @BPGlobalPR offers a comic take on the giant company’s PR strategy (example: “If Top Kill doesn’t work, we’re just gonna toss a giant “Get Well Soon” card into the gulf and hope for the best.”). They explain their tactics in this piece for The Guardian, which offers more sarcastic gems. If you wanna join the cynics while donating to rescue efforts, you can buy one of their “BP cares” shirts.

CNN has a number of groups who need volunteers, and the News and World Report collected 10 ways to help, including donations to various organizations working to rescue and protect wildlife (note that one of the ways described, using hair to soak up the oil, has since been reported as ineffective, so don’t cut off your locks just yet.)

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