But dampening that recovery was the announcement by the US Justice Department last Wednesday that it was suing the oil giant and eight others for negligence in relation to the incident, signalling the start of a lengthy legal saga.
Despite water covering 70% of the world’s surface, over 800 million people have inadequate access to safe drinking water. Millions more live in regions where water supplies are scarce.
The problem is that 97% of global water is saline, which means that the salt content is too high for human consumption.
That’s why desalination – the process of converting saline water (usually seawater) into freshwater – is becoming increasingly viable.
Last Friday, delegates to the climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico signed an agreement that has breathed new life back into the climate change process.
Apart from the sole objector Bolivia, the agreement drew a lengthy applause and standing ovation from those in attendance after two sleepless nights of negotiations concluded.
And for frustrated investors waiting to pour money into crucial emission-reducing technology, a deal which will create the demand they need may finally be starting to look likely.
The new agreement
Today, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP16, begins in Cancun, Mexico.
It’s the first major meeting since the failed conference in Copenhagen, Denmark one year ago.
But political conditions have deteriorated since then, and nobody is holding out much hope that a crucial agreement will be reached.
Before the 18th century Industrial Revolution, humans only had a moderate need to produce and use energy.
Since then, the demand for energy has increased rapidly, as has the need for new energy supplies.
One of the alternative energy sources being developed is Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS).
This method actually manufactures the steam used in geothermal electricity production rather than relying on Mother Earth to provide it. And its potential is endless.
Having been around for more than a century, electric cars are perhaps the greatest never-been of the automobile industry.
With the potential to have us driving cheaper, cleaner and greener, we should all be using them.
However, there are a range of issues that have prevented them from taking over the mainstream.
Most cars use a four stroke internal combustion cycle to convert petrol into energy. By mixing fuel with heat and water in an enclosed space, energy is released in the form of a gas that then propels the car forward.
The difficulty of trying to get a global agreement for climate change comes down to one core problem – unemployment in America.
As demonstrated on 27 July, US politicians have given up trying to pass an emissions trading scheme (EMS) for fear of causing jobs losses and not getting re-elected.
And with America not pulling its weight, many other countries are refusing to do so as well.
On the surface it seems unfair to blame one country for the lack of progress.
David Bradshaw, an American beekeeper, has spent all his life caring for bees. But in February one year, Bradshaw opened his boxes to find half of his hundred million bees had simply disappeared.
Bradshaw’s experience, reported in the New York Times, sounds like a low rent horror movie. But the mysterious phenomenon dubbed ‘colony collapse disorder’ (CCD) is occurring all over the United States.
And if it continues, CCD may mean the extinction of the crops and food sources we rely on, and eventually, widespread human starvation.
If you’re heart goes out to the people of the American Gulf Coast during this current oil crisis, spare a thought for the people of the Niger Delta.
This oil-rich region along the coast of Nigeria has experienced oil spills the size of America’s Exxon Valdez every year for the last 40 years.
The Niger Delta is where the great Niger River breaks up before it meets the ocean on the southern coast of Nigeria.