BP vs. Mario

Posted on October 10, 2010


The BP oil spill is a terrible disaster.  The leak was finally plugged on July 15th, but not before 4.9 million barrels of crude oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico.  This was even worse than the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.  We could have really used Mario and FLUDD.

If you played Super Mario Sunshine for the GameCube, you may remember that FLUDD (Flash Liquidizing Ultra Dousing Device) was Mario’s trusty water cannon that he used to clean up the polluted Isle Delfino.  Wearing FLUDD as a backpack, all Mario had to do was spray water at the graffiti or the toxic goop that covered the island.  If FLUDD ran out of water, Mario could simply jump into the nearest fountain or clean beach water to refill.  Wouldn’t it have been handy if we had FLUDDs that could change any type of water into this magical liquid that disintegrated pollutants?  We could have even hovered over the oil jet-pack style!


Mario using the Hover Nozzle adaptation


Super Mario Sunshine is another video game that has been influenced by nature.  In fact, it is easy to argue that the majority of Mario games have a few aspects of nature here and there; water levels (fish and dolphins), Yoshi, koopas, etc.  But mostly, this title for the GameCube presents the easiest ecofriendly task anyone could partake in: cleaning up a beautiful, but polluted, environment.

On a more serious note, 4,768 dead animals had been collected as of August 13th: 4,080 of these were birds and 525 sea turtles.  There are over 8,332 species living within the vicinity of the oil spill. This includes the endangered Kemp’s Ridley turtle, as well as more than 1,200 fish, 200 birds, 1,400 molluscs, 1,500 crustaceans, and 29 marine mammals and three other sea turtle specimens.  11 workers were killed in the explosion on the Deepwater Horizons drilling rig, and 17 others were injured.  There were also 143 health issues relating to the exposure of the oil spill recorded by the Louisiana Department of Health between April and June. The oil spill also affected (and still affects) the local fishing industry and tourist business. The initial estimated cost of the oil spill to the US fishing industry is $2.5 billion and $23 billion to the Gulf Coast tourist industry (Numbers from BP oil spill: Disaster by numbers).

The White House oil spill commission will be working on a BP disaster report that is due out in January. (http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/10/white_house_oil_spill_commissi_1.html)