Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"They Opened a Gate to Hell"

When I first heard those words, I thought they were hyperbole. After all, the source was a writer so hard-core liberal that even I consider her fringe. But, I'll eat my crow. She was right (Play the NOAA estimate).

According to British Petroleum (BP) the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was only about 5,000 barrels per day. Now, scientists using BP's own video feed estimate it at 25,000-70,000 barrels per day.

I don't think that our government was lying, I think they trusted the oil company, and didn't have any other information to go on. So, they just accepted BP's claims. Now we know the true extent of this spill, and how the oil is building up underneath the surface of the ocean. What we can not know is what the "chemical dispersants" (i.e. detergents) will do to the environment.

I suspect the Florida Keys are in for a soaking, and this spill will likely fill the Gulf of Mexico, damaging all the reefs and waters off the Caribbean islands. Then it will make its way up the east coast and perhaps as far as Europe. It will be a decade before we understand the full extent of the damage.

This is an "I TOLD YOU SO" moment for the environmentalists, and the economic damage to BP and the Gulf States may be catastrophic. We can only hope that nature survives better than these economies.

And yet, astonishingly, members of Congress are still talking as if the way to respond to the climate crisis is to drill MORE oil wells off shore, and in the Gulf in particular. Driven by their self-serving corporate contributors they want to burn MORE coal to further accelerate global climate-change, and preferentially subsidize absurdly expensive and dangerous nuclear power plants instead of true renewables like concentrated solar technologies, where the same investment would make our country energy self-sufficient, safely.

As bad as the situation in the Gulf is right now, it will unfortunately get so much worse when the hurricane season hits again, and all that oil gets dumped on land by the storm surges, as hurricanes themselves driven by rising global temperatures.

"This is not just a wake up call, this is a kick in the head. Either we get serious about the climate crisis, and STOP burning fossil fuels, requiring literally a Manhattan project to develop alternative renewable resources, or the day will come all too soon when the scientists tell us there no longer anything we can do to save ourselves." - The Pen

1 comment:

  1. If this oil goes to the bottom and never surfaces, then how can we ever know the true extent of the problem?

    Is the real reason BP is injecting ‘dispersant’ detergents into the oil spill at depth just to hide the spill in the gulf, and keep the damage out of court?

    I’m thinking that deep water oil is as big a problem as surface oil, and that unknown oil is worse than known oil.

    Listen to the Report http://www.theworld.org/2010/05/13/impact-of-oil-spill-on-marine-life/comment-page-1/#comment-9624