Oil spills have a wide range of environmental and economic impacts. Streams, marine life, plants, and animals on land will all be harmed by oil spills. Oil spills can have long-term effects on infrastructure and a region’s economy, lasting for decades. Eliminating an oil leak will cost a lot of money. That money will be divided among several different government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the oil transport corporation itself. Following each oil spill, the general public loses confidence in the oil industry’s ability to handle this potentially fatal but necessary product safely. The paper looks at the recent oil spill on Huntington Beach’s impact on the wider environmental movement and how it can influence the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
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Hiltzik (2021) notes that President Joe Biden is among the global leaders sitting in the environmental movement of the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Biden has urged other world leaders to start on a revolutionary shift to renewable energy, but doubts persist over President Biden’s own ability to achieve this goal at home. This is due to the oil spill off Huntington Beach has made other global leaders question the United States’ efforts to combat environmental pollution. The recent oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach may be the beginning of a decade of ingenuity and ambition to protect our future. Scientists have warned that the world is far off course to avoid catastrophic climate change, and leaders of poorer, more vulnerable countries have used the discussions to warn their audiences that tragedy is nearing. When Huntington Beach’s oil leak gets fixed, environmentalists can message that the United States is not just back at the negotiating table but also hopes to lead by example.
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There is a difficulty for environmentalists in the United States on how to respond to an oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach. Human existence as we know it is in jeopardy, and the cost of inaction is rising with each passing day. Some leading emitters could use the oil spill off Huntington Beach as an opportunity to point the finger at the environmental movement. After a senator with ties to fossil fuels snatched away a bill that would be “the greatest substantial investment to cope with climate calamity that any advanced nation has made ever,” the bill is still stalled in Congress. These are among the risks bedeviling the functionality of the environmental movement.
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Oil spill off Huntington Beach impacts the broader environmental movement because other countries question America’s position and commitment to end pollution on earth. For example, Biden’s failure to significantly restrict U.S. oil and gas production has triggered an uproar to save the world from pollution (Hiltzik 2021). So, the oil spill off Huntington Beach may make other advocates reduce their commitment to combat environmental pollution.
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Environmental disasters like the oil spill off Huntington Beach should impact the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The world leaders on ecological conservation should use this case to create awareness for other leaders to be vigilant about similar oil spills. According to environmentalists, the safety of offshore oil infrastructure is designed to be protected by devices that inform authorities when anomalies that could suggest a spill are detected (Larson 2021). An example of this is devices that can see sudden drops in pipeline pressure.
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Both crude oil and dispersants chemicals used in clean-up attempt to break down oil into smaller droplets can be harmful. The COP26 should use the case of oil spill off Huntington Beach to discuss the dangers that clean-up employees may encounter, including skin rashes and eye, nose, and ear discomfort depending on how long they are exposed to the toxins and in what areas of their body. The COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference should also release the particulate particles and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere during the breakdown of crude oil slicks by the ocean waves and dispersants used in the process. People are at risk of inhaling these toxic particles, which can cause lung damage.
Following a medical study conducted by environmentalist’s clean-up experts, breathing crude oil fumes can induce coughing, irritation of the throat and nose, and dizziness, headache, and nausea. This should change the approach of the COP26 from discussing other global matters and concentrating on the issues associated with oil spills. For example, children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions like asthma or COPD are, particularly at risk. People’s reactions to airborne contaminants are likely to vary depending on their proximity to the source and the time since the spill. The risk of exposure can be reduced by wearing protective clothing and using masks or respirators, which needs the attention of the COP26 conference (Milman and Lakhani 2021).
The COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference should notice that this and similar spills can have a devastating effect on wildlife in the area. As well as damaging these organisms, pollution can travel up the food chain and harm the availability of seafood. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) advises against consuming seafood from areas around the oil leak until it has been tested for contamination (Rosenberg 2021). Oil can contaminate drinking water sources like rivers, streams, and groundwater over time. However, scientists do not yet know how ingesting these chemicals can impair human health. Environment and human health are intricately linked. While we may not observe immediate effects on people who live further away than the employees, we are worried nonetheless.
Conservancy, which manages 127 acres of shoreline wetlands, is appalling to an extent. Bird species vulnerable to extinction, such as the least tern, were severely damaged by the leak. It is a major worry about what will happen to them. The conservancy is still assessing the damage. Animals drenched in oil can cause many illnesses, from hypothermia to poisoning, and scientists are now rushing to uncover and cure them. As of October 4, the Oiled Wildlife Care Network had rescued eight birds, one of which had to be euthanized because of injuries unrelated to the 1990 spill near Huntington Beach (Rosenberg 2021). Oil-coated birds and other creatures receive the most attention following a disaster, but experts argue the most severe consequences can be far more subtle and long-lasting. Phytoplankton, a type of marine algae, can be killed by oil slicks, disrupting entire food chains.
In conclusion, the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference should change its focus to address oil spills in the world to avoid the physical health consequences, knowing that engaging in oil spills can harm an individual’s mental, physical, and financial well-being. When compared to the Exxon Valdez oil disaster in 1989, which resulted in the spill of 11 million gallons of crude oil off the Alaskan coast, and the DWH oil spill in 2010, which resulted in the spill of 134 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference should address the recent oil spill off Huntington Beach with the seriousness it deserves. People’s recreation and natural space options are limited when beaches are closed to the public and the whole world depends on the environmental movements and COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference for protection.