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Worse Than You Think

May 3, 2010

Obama: “I continue to believe that domestic oil production [drill baby drill!] is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security.”

Gore: Says Maggie Fox, president of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection: “This tragic event is a deafening wakeup call that America’s dependence on fossil fuels cannot continue. We know this dependence is a direct threat to our national security. This massive spill is a stark reminder of the environmental and economic dangers we face as well.”

Ian R. MacDonald, an oceanography professor at Florida State University, said his examination of Coast Guard charts and satellite images indicated that 8 million to 9 million gallons had already spilled by April 28. …

Alabama’s governor said his state was preparing for a worst-case scenario of 150,000 barrels, or more than 6 million gallons per day. At that rate the spill would amount to a Valdez-sized spill every two days, and the situation could last for months.

From Grist:

If he [Obama] was looking for an opportunity to drive home the clean energy message, this was it — the Katrina of fossil fuels. Yet all Obama has done is blandly reaffirm his support for offshore drilling. I haven’t heard a word about clean energy alternatives or, God forbid, efficiency

Lifted off of the comments at DailyKos, this one originated on Grist:

It’s even worse than Devilstower thinks From a commenter at Grist, and this sounds correct. A reader who is an engineer of considerable experience says watch this one evolve carefully because it is destined to continue to grow and he shares this long (but worthy) explanation why: “Heard your mention of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, and you (and most everyone else except maybe George Noory) are totally missing the boat on how big and bad of a disaster this is.

First fact, the original estimate was about 5,000 gallons of oil a day spilling into the ocean. Now they’re saying 200,000 gallons a day. That’s over a million gallons of crude oil a week! First, the BP platform was drilling for what they call deep oil. They go out where the ocean is about 5,000 feet deep and drill another  30,000 feet into the crust of the earth.

This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it.

BP = beyond petroleum LOL

pictures here

When the rig sank it flipped over and landed on top of the drill hole some 5,000 feet under the ocean. Now they’ve got a hole in the ocean floor, 5,000 feet down with a wrecked oil drilling rig sitting on top of is spewing 200,000 barrels of oil a day into the ocean. Take a moment and consider that, will you!

First they have to get the oil rig off the hole to get at it in order to try to cap it. Do you know the level of effort it will take to move that wrecked oil rig, sitting under 5,000 feet of water? That operation alone would take years and hundreds of millions toaccomplish. Then, how do you cap that hole in the muddy ocean floor?

There just is no way. No way. The only piece of human technology that might address this is anuclear bomb. I’m not kidding. If they put a nuke down there in the right spot it might seal up the hole. Nothing short of that will work. If we can’t cap that hole that oil is going to destroy the oceans of the world. It only takes one quart of motor oil to make 250,000gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife.

Are you starting to get the magnitude of this?


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Greening Hollywood

 

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