Monday, October 10, 2016

The Runner: Oil Spills, Environmental Disasters

Nicolas Cage finally did a great movie again. It has a great plot and there are several polemic issues to discuss. I recommend it.


 


Inspired by the awesome site 

Work in groups of 3 students. Each student reads about one of the consequences of oil spills in the ocean. 

Student 1 :

1. Environmental Effects: First of these is the environmental effect. The animal life that lives in the water or near the shore are the ones most affected by the spill. In most cases, the oil simply chokes the animals to death. Others that live face a number of other problems. The oil works its way into the fur and plumage of the animals. As a result, both birds and mammals find it harder to float in the water or regulate their body temperatures.
Many baby animals and birds starve to death, since their parents cannot detect their natural body scent. Birds that preen themselves to get rid of the oil accidentally swallow the oil and die due to the toxic effects. In many cases, the animals become blind due to repeated exposure to the oil. Dolphins, sea otters, fish, countless species of birds and many oceanic mammals face these consequences. Countering these effects and cleaning the oil can take anywhere between a few weeks to many years, depending on the damage caused.

Student 2: 

2. Effect on Economy: The second major effect of the oil spill is seen on the economy. When precious crude oil or refined petroleum is lost, it effects the amount of petroleum and gas available for use. This means more barrels have to be imported from other countries. Then comes the process of cleaning the oil spill, which requires a lot of financing. Although the company responsible for the oil spills and their effects has to clean it up, there is a lot of government help required at this point.
The workers that are brought on board to clean up the spill face tremendous health problems later in life as well. Their medical treatment has to be paid for and becomes the responsibility of the government. Putting all the methods of recovery into place and monitoring them takes away resources from other more important work and hits the economy in subtle but powerful ways.

Student  3:

3. Effect on Tourism Industry: The local tourism industry suffers a huge setback as most of the tourists stay away from such places. Dead birds, sticky oil and huge tarballs become common sight. Due to this, various activities such as sailing, swimming, rafting, fishing,  parachute gliding cannot be performed. Industries that rely on sea water to carry on their day to day activities halt their operations till it gets cleaned.
One of the biggest oil spills seen in history happened during Gulf war when approximate 240 to 336 million gallons of crude oil flowed into the Persian Gulf. It was considered one of the worst disasters, beating the Ixtoc 1 Oil spill in Mexico. Recent major oil spill happened when an oil rig, Deepwater Horizon sank in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill released somewhere between 172 to 180 million gallons of crude oil into the environment. In the year 2010 alone, six oil spills were seen in the USA. Outside of the United States, oil spills have happened in Canada, Nigeria, France, United Kingdom and in China.

II. Without looking back at the text, tell your partners what you understood from the text. Then decide which one is the most serious and why.
III. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions below.

video

1. Describe the scene.
2. What are the consequences of this tragedy. Refer to the items you read in exercise I.
3. In your opinion, who is responsible for this act?
4. What is the right punishment? Who should be punished?
5. What can be done for this kind of environmental disaster not to happen again?

MOVIE SEGMENT DOWNLOAD - THE RUNNER

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