See this new article in Solutions by Robert Costanza, David Batker, John W. Day, Jr., Rusty Feagin, M. Luisa Martinez, and Joe Roman about the magnitude of the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As efforts to plug the leak and clean up the damages continue, it is not too soon to begin to draw lessons from this disaster. We need to learn from this experience to help prevent future oil spills, reevaluate societys current trajectory, and set us on a better course. While the Obama administrations demand for a trust fund to compensate injured parties is appropriate, it arrived only after the fact.
Read about new institutions (like common asset trusts) and financial instruments (like assurance bonds) to shift the burden of proof and prevent disasters like this in the future.