Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Price of Myopia

In less than 4 days, what seemed under control and of little concern has become one of the worst environmental disasters in history. In effect, more oil has leaked from the exploded underwater rig than is supposedly to be gained by the growing support for offshore drilling in the future. Nearly two years ago, Speaker of the House Pelosi expressed being in favor of offshore drilling. The president has voiced (limited) support. Both should reconsider... NOW. Clearly, there is no safe way to drill for oil. It is always just a matter of time. Another disaster--always man-made--is always right around the corner. And isn't that why we are in Iraq and want to go to war with Iran? To paraphrase George W. Bush, we have not yet learned to control our addiction to oil. And we pay the price everyday. At the pump. In the air, and on and under our seas. Every day we destroy our world a little more.

Oh, and as for the morons who chant "Drill, Baby, Drill?" Stay tuned

4.23.2010 (the day after Earth Day)
Coast Guard: No Oil Leak From Sunken Rig Off Louisiana
Associated Press
No oil appeared to be leaking from a drilling rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said Friday, though officials were trying to contain what spilled after the blast and prevent any threat to the coast's fragile ecosystem.

Crews Work to Stop Oil Leak in Gulf

Robot Submarines Being Used in Attempt to Shut Valves at Well Head Nearly One Mile Under Water
Associate Press
What appeared to a manageable spill a couple of days ago after an oil rig exploded and sank off the Louisiana coast Tuesday, has now turned into a more serious environmental problem. The new leak was discovered Saturday, and as much as 1,000 barrels - or 42,000 gallons - of oil is leaking each day, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said.

The new leak is troubling for the fragile ecosystem of shrimp, fish, birds and coral. Officials said it's still too soon to say whether the sensitive habitat will be affected.

Oil Leak Continues In Gulf Of Mexico
MarketWatch Pulse

NEW YORK -- The oil well at the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig continues to leak 1,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, according to Mike Abendoff, a spokesman for the joint information center staff handling the accident. BP is attempting to shut off and contain the leak, which began last week after an explosion and fire caused the Transocean rig to sink. BP was leasing the rig from Transocean for oil exploration in the Gulf.

Oil Spill Size of Rhode Island Spreading to Gulf Coasts by the Weekend
AccuWeather.com reports oil is still leaking from the sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico, extending the spill as upcoming winds threaten to possibly bring oil to the beaches along four states by this weekend.

Burn oil slick? That's latest option
Capping rig leak could take up to three months
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - With officials saying it could be weeks, if not months, before the leak from the sunken oil rig is finally capped, the Coast Guard on Tuesday said it was adding the possibility of a temporary fix: burning the slick that's just 20 or so miles from the coast.

The oil is coming from a pipe rising from the seabed nearly a mile underwater. So far crews using robotic subs have been unable to activate a shutoff device at the head of the well. A kink in the pipe is keeping oil from flowing even more heavily.

If the well cannot be closed, almost 100,000 barrels of oil could spill into the Gulf before the relief well is operating. That's 4.2 million gallons. The worst oil spill in U.S. history was when the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.

48 miles by 80 miles
As of Tuesday morning, oil that leaked from the rig site was spread over an area about 48 miles long and 80 miles wide at its widest. The borders of the spill were uneven, making it difficult to calculate how many square miles are covered.

Though oil was not expected to reach the coast until late in the week, if at all, concern was growing about what will happen if it does.


Davaudian said...

We should just do without oil, gasoline, and electricity, for a few years and make everyone pull out their favorite Martin, Gibson, Guild, or Taylor acoustic guitars and forget about the amps and effects that go with it.

Get back in touch with real horsepower like the Amish. They don't pay SS taxes and they don't have to be part of the health mandate because they are way smarter than the average Joe six pack.

Back to whale oil lamps and cooking with a wood cook stove....healthier and more rootsy all the way around. My grandparents did it and we were just fine. Hunting, growing good vegetables, fresh eggs, and sulphur water. Back to the farm life for everyone.

barryshap said...

... or we could go forward.

While the neanderthals are chanting "drill baby drill," the Chinese are moving to dominate turbine technology and wind power. The very term "alternative energy" rankles some. Get over it. I don't consider myself a "tree-hugger," but it's kind of pathetic what our collective ignorance and selfishness is doing to the planet everyday-- bad air, toxic landfills, befouled oceans. Some even try to politicize recycling. No one can tell me they cheer at the pictures of the spreading oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, they're going to set it on fire. Hmmm.

Pass that sulfur water and that HD-28.

Davaudian said...

Wind and solar sound like really cozy free power sources, but the wind is unpredictable. In Palm Springs the wind turbines seem to barely move most of the time. Solar is dc and doesn't do well at night for some reason. Hydro worked up until there were no more canyons to dam up.

To get real power to supply the demands of 7 billion people with cell phones, iPads, and gadgets, we need big current and that means steam turbines. Natural Gas does a great job for that and it burns clean however volatile.

Nuclear is the best but given a bad rap by the Jackson Brownes of the world in the '70's....Jackson has all of the answers too. He's just not showing his cards yet.

Plus, there's all of the polymer byproducts of oil that we would lose....cosmetics, plastics, poly fiber.

Some time back there was a gov mandate that anyone given land for farming must plant a sizable field of hemp.... great for oil, rope, fiber, and it's an annual crop, so it's very cost effective to plant and yield. Oh wait a minute, you wanted to go forward.