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Satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico oil slick, April 29. Source: NASA Earth Observatory.Two weeks ago (on Earth Day, no less), what is destined to become the biggest ecological disaster in history began as the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded. Situated 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, the well is still gushing oil and the growing slick is now making landfall. While this disaster will continue to unfold for some time, many are already thinking about the long-term consequences. Josh Rosenau of Thoughts from Kansas ponders a “corporate death penalty” for BP, James Hrynyshyn of Class M considers the impacts of a similar disaster in harder-to-reach terrain, and Seed Magazine‘s Lee Billings considers the silver lining of this dark cloud of oil: a deeper understanding of the ecological consequences of burning fossil fuels.

PZ and Ed Brayton have also both commented on this disaster. Their posts deal with one of the aspect of the Deepwater explosion that’s dirtier than the resultant oil spill: the process of making sure none of the blame falls on the people doing the drilling in the first place.

Unfortunately, you can expect more Buzzes on this catastrophe as it continues to unfold. Stay tuned…