Unfortunately for the world as a whole, BP could err in its calculations or be misleading us. BP also is in the best position and has the motives to lie to us about the truth of the quantity of oil spilled.

The consequences for all, specially for the communities bordering the Gulf, —and even along the Atlantic coast and Cuba and the Bahamas there— is uncertainty on the resources and the level of the response that will be necessary to effectively mitigate a damage already inevitable, and that will still be growing exponentially long after the gusher is stopped.

Like Leifer says in the article linked: "it would be much nicer if they [BP] would let in some scientists to make measurements".