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Friday, September 24, 2021

International

Gulf of Mexico fire sparks climate crisis conversation


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

During the early hours of July 5, a fire started on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, sparking conversations on the worsening climate crisis.

The flames resembling an “eye of fire,” caused worldwide panic and concern. Some UH students think action is long overdue.

“How long are we going to sit back and watch our planet diminish before our eyes?” said computer information systems freshman Dillon Bahama. “If we do not stand up and save our planet then we do not deserve to have it.”

The underwater gas pipeline is managed by Mexico’s state-run oil company Pemex, which has a long-standing history of such occurrences of major industrial accidents.

Over the past decade, Pemex has accumulated a death toll of over 200 people from accidents due to explosions and fires.

The company claims to be investigating the matter and says no lives have been lost in the event. Within a couple of hours, the fire extinguished and Pemex announced the pipeline was in use again by morning. 

This garnered attention with observers expressing the apprehension of another potential hazard from the usage of the pipeline immediately after a rupture.

It was unclear how much environmental damage the gas leak and Gulf of Mexico fire had caused. 

Several environmentalists put forward their concerns over the fire, pushing individuals to re-evaluate the fossil fuel extraction process and mentioned future consequences of the current state of the fossil fuel industry.

Mechanical engineering senior Soubhadra Sarkar implored the UH community to be more aware of the climate crisis at hand. Sarkar encourages everyone to do a bit to raise awareness and take appropriate measures.

“The time for change is now, we cannot let our world burn like this. It wasn’t too long ago we witnessed the Amazon wildfires, and now this,” Sarkar said. “If not now, then when? We need to advocate for our environment.” 

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