Special to CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/28/safina.oil.lessons/tzleft.safina.carl.courtesy.jpg caption="Carl Safina says precise size of oil disaster and impact on wildlife is not known" width=300 height=169]
The blowout is stopped. The oil disaster that began with an explosion 100 days ago has not ended by any means. But we seem to be seeing a murky ending to the beginning of the crisis.
We have an enormous amount of floating oil, and Gulf waters polluted by oil and dispersant.
Most estimates range from 2 million to 4 million barrels (84 million to 168 million gallons). The higher end would make it the largest unintended release of oil ever. (In 1991, Saddam Hussein's army intentionally released about 400 to 500 million gallons into the Persian Gulf to slow American troops.) Added to the Gulf of Mexico's troubles: about 2 million gallons of dispersant, a major intentional pollution event in itself.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with