When it comes to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it seems that doing nothing is even farther outside the parameters of politically acceptable suggestions.

But since I don’t have a re-election to worry about, I’m happy to go out on a ledge and be the one to say it, terrible as it sounds: Let’s leave the oil right where it is.

Before you send Al Gore’s minions out to arrest me, you should know that this seemingly cavalier suggestion isn’t borne out of apathy or indifference, but out of pragmatism and, yes, compassion. And though I’m no oil or environmental expert, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that attempting to clean up the Deepwater Horizon spill that dumped around 95,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf will be costly and ineffective, and might even be more harmful to the natural habitat than the oil itself.

So I did a little probing – or drilling, as it were – into the consequences of doing nothing. Here’s what I found…