Shaving the environment
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo employs a unique tactic to soak up an oil spill off the coast of the Philippines.
By Abrahm Lustgarten, Fortune reporter

(Fortune Magazine) -- Muntinlupa, Philippines--Faced with the worst oil spill in Philippine history after a tanker sank off the coast of Guimaras Aug. 11, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made an unusual plea for human hair. Salons across the archipelago pitched in. As did these prisoners at a maximum-security ward south of Manila, who may not have had much choice in the matter. The hair was bagged and strung from bamboo poles to help soak up some of the 50,000 barrels of oil that had leaked from the Solar 1 and washed ashore in an area that depends on fishing and ecotourism. A layer of sludge, a meter thick in some places, coated 150 miles of beaches, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs. "It will be years before this is cleaned up," says a spokesperson at the Philippine embassy in Washington, D.C. "It's our Exxon Valdez." The ship, which went down in a storm, was carrying 500,000 gallons of fuel oil belonging to Petron, the Philippine oil company that is 40% owned by the government and 40% owned by a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco. Fuel oil continued to leak for weeks from the ship, which sank in 2,000 feet of water and couldn't be easily reached. A Japanese salvage ship equipped with a remote-control mini-submarine was dispatched to the area -- a technological leap beyond bags of hair.  Top of page

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage alerts | What is this?
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.