David Anthony Kearns with video contributions by Stanley S. Morton, III

BP Oil spill in Gallons

Monday, May 3, 2010

Idiocy alert: Some idiotic statements regarding the spill

Underestimation of the problem:

"Gee, many activities include risk. Offshore drilling is one of them."

Missippippi Governor Haley Barbour, a republican tells Wolf Blitzer of CNN, "we haven't come to the conclusion that this is a half to be catastrophe..."
He further said that the sheen or film of the slick was harmless, and non-toxic, obviously a victim of the fumes.

Florida State Senator Mike Haridopolos joins a list of the psychically challenged when he opined soon after the spill that there was "inherent risk" in many things, and, like others, pointed to the coal mine disaster in West Virginia in this article in Florida Today. Eager to move on to other issues, Haridopolos said "next year" we could look into the root causes of the spill, which he mentally confined to Louisiana belying a lack of understanding of the spill, and the Gulf of Mexico. May these statements come back to haunt him, for their shameful irrelevance and underestimation of the seriousness of this issue.

Comparing it to the weather:

"This is a Category 5 Hurricane."
We continue to hear this. No, it is not. This will take a decade to clean up if it is plugged today. Which is not the case in that it continues to flow. It will impact the entire country. It will disrupt oil supply, creating worldwide fluctuations in prices. It will likely destroy the fisheries in the eastern Gulf, and perhaps wipe out our coral reefs remaining in the Florida keys.

Lack of understanding of the science from the media.

"Loop current... gosh what does that mean?"

All ocean basins rotate. In the northern hemisphere, they rotate clockwise. Take your hand, rotate fingers to the right. Because of the edges of the bowl, aka, the coastlines, these currents are fastest along that boundary coasts. e.g. Water rotating in a bucket does not slosh from the middle but from the edges. The extended hands of a spinning figure skater, are moving faster than his belt buckle. Get it?

Like other media outlets, Florida Today attempts to explain the Gulf's rotation as a "loop current" clouding and confusing the issue. A loop current seems to hint that there's a way to head the oil slick off at the pass. There is not. The entire basin of water, from Mexico to Florida will rotate, as it has for 65 million years. This is an unstoppable force which will propel the oil to the Florida Coast any day. As a result FLORIDA will likely get the worst of this spill from Appalachiacola Bay to the Florida Keys, which will be inundated with sludge.

The fun part about this is, when this oil current goes south it will meet up with another one, forming the Atlantic Gulf Stream, which means, a massive volume of the oil is headed towards the entire east coast of the United States, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, specifically. All of this WILL happen, needless talk of Loop Currents, serving to set the masses, coached to think at an eighth grade level, to sleep. Which is maybe what such talk is designed to do.

"The Exxon Valdez was bad and it's been cleaned up."

Okay on this one, I just have to say, STFU. Do it. Do it now. The media, FOX in particular, loves this all-will-be-well approach, for obvious reasons and continues to compare our current situation to the Exxon Valdez. This is a false, inept, willfully-ignorant comparison, in that the Exxon Valdez spill had a finite amount of oil.

More simply a ship, carrying a set amount of oil, crashed on a rock, then all the oil flowed out of it. Get it? Some 11 million gallons.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist rightly chastises the media by urging them to call this spill what it is: "a flow" of unknown, and yet growing proportions.

The Exxon Valdez spill also occurred in relatively shallow water within a confined area, Prince William Sound. Bringing you up to the present-day, our flow is covering an area the size of Puerto Rico as of this writing. Left to mere dispersion, not bound by wind, currents, the oil would spread itself out across the entire Gulf of Mexico.

The Exxon Valdez comparison or mention is cynically designed to get you to recall the images of a few people cleaning a few sea birds with towels and dish-washing soap; end of story.

Photosynthesis is the production of food-energy from sunlight, which, "energy from sunlight", we don't stop to wonder why champions of the oil lobby and FOX News, despise and try to ignore this process...that permits life to exist on our planet.

If you cut off primary production, you destroy the food chain. Imagine hundreds of thousands of square miles in the gulf of Mexico, dead, extinct, devoid of life. All of these words, dead, extinct, and devoid, are difficult for members of the GOP and FOX News to understand, since they are scientific-sounding. But, as politically correct, and thus as dismissable as they are, the underlying scientific process which leads to the ultimate finality, is all too real.

To belabor the point, showing some birds covered in oil is an enragingly simplistic picture of the problem.

"Residents on the coast might begin to feel some "discomfort" in breathing."

This blyth low-balling of the situation is set to begin anytime soon. Remember photosynthesis, that word not yet erased from textbooks along with evolution? Well, it produces oxygen. That is to say, your ocean, as it has been doing for the past 4 billion years or so - not 6,000 - has been providing you with air to breathe. When you take a large swath of it, and give it cancer and kill it, it has the potential to kill you back, NOT having oxygen in it. No one appreciates this more than the Floridian in that we get a great deal of our air from the Gulf of Mexico.

When you kill all the life in a large area of the ocean - imagine a thousand Prince William Sounds, including Mobile, Appalachicola, Tampa and Florida bays - and kill the life therein, the problem gets even worse in the form of hydrogen sulfide fumes, rotten eggs, burning eyes.

We're forgetting the wonderful components of oil, the vapors and benzene rings, etc. We are reminded of the inconvenient truth that oil is not one of our food groups, and yet it will soon wind up in the flesh of one of our top items on the menu; marine life. It is not something we are encouraged to breathe or rub into our eyes, and yet, we will all be breathing it in in hundreds of times the recommended dosages very soon.

We ask that the media and our public officials cease and desist of their downplaying of this most serious tragedy, and their mindlessly idiotic statements belying outright dishonesty or inexcusable ignorance.


GentillyGirl said...

Excellent post.

David Kearns said...

Thanks GentillyGirl

lexis2praxis said...

In addition, Prince William Sound has not recovered and fishing is nowhere where it used to be. This excellent article has it all in great detail...

"The survey indicates a total area of approximately 20 acres of shoreline in Prince William Sound are still contaminated with oil. Oil was found at 58 percent of the 91 sites assessed and is estimated to have the linear equivalent of 5.8 km of contaminated shoreline."

David Kearns said...

Thanks for leaving this link. I think that really says it. A long rough road.