Latest news that BP has finally managed to cap the well that has spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico comes as the latest Gallup poll says the spill is fading as an issue for the American public, as reported by the Washington PostÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s The Fix blog.
Just 7 percent of respondents in the July Gallup poll mentioned Ã¢â‚¬Å“natural disaster response/reliefÃ¢â‚¬ as the most important problem facing the country, a significant drop from 18 percent in June (in May just 1 percent said natural disaster relief was the top problem).
Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll observes:
AmericansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ reduced likelihood to see the spill as the top problem could reflect the reality that the spill is no longer Ã¢â‚¬Å“newÃ¢â‚¬ news or perhaps that Americans are becoming more confident that the spill will be fixed.Ã¢â‚¬
Ã‚ The Fix blog puts its money on the former, observing that Ã¢â‚¬Å“the wall-to-wall coverage of the spill (as symbolized by the ever-present Ã¢â‚¬Å“spill camÃ¢â‚¬ ) has effectively dulled the publicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s outrage about the spill.Ã¢â‚¬
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an interesting point. Is our attention span in the wake of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history this short?
Not surprisingly, Louisiana residents are still searching for Ã¢â‚¬Å“oil spillÃ¢â‚¬ on Google, as are the residents of many other Gulf Coast areas. New Orleans-area Google users are by far the largest geographical group still looking for information.
We’d hazard a guess that a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico could reawaken interest in the oil spill.
For insurersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ part, I.I.I. has a number of resources available on the Gulf oil spill. Check out our presentation on the Deepwater Horizon event and primer on offshore energy facilities and insurance considerations.