Palm oil spill

Dear Editor,

I read your article last week about the palm oil spill along Ria Formosa and wondered why so many volunteers were needed.

Of course, it is lovely to see people turning out in force to help clean-up their communities, but what did this incident tell us?

It suggests authorities themselves are not equipped to deal with what ended up as a 14 km slick of greasy balls of foam.

That in itself is worrying when one considers that the government seems intent on allowing all manner of ‘oil industry’ cowboys to set up concessions up and down the coast, because if authorities cannot cope with a bit of palm oil, how on earth will they cope with an oil spill?

Without meaning to be alarmist, wherever there is oil, there are ‘spills’/leaks, ergo mechanisms have to be in place to clear them up.

People’s goodwill can only run so far.

A palm oil ‘spill’ once in a while may draw hundreds to come and help clean it up, but constant spills of thick black sludge would eventually find people just giving up and leaving the powers that be to get on with it – particularly when it is quite clear that people, in this case, are all flatly against oil (and indeed gas) exploration.

It is only the authorities that seemingly want to dice with disaster, thus how can they show themselves to be incapable of even cleaning up a bit of palm oil?

I would like to ‘throw this out there’ in the hope that somehow we can highlight the risks our beautiful adopted country is facing.

Name and address withheld