Archive for June, 2010

Oil and Gas in the Water

June 19, 2010

the third of three parts

A congressman insisted “This is not an environmental disaster…”  Then ExxonMobil’s Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response Plan promises to protect the walruses, walruses in the Gulf waters!  There’s no shortage of bumbling and stupidity.  Mistakes were made.  There’s not much to smile about here.

Noted: April 22 was the day that the Deepwater Horizon rig sunk and the oil spill started.  It was also Earth Day (the 40th anniversary of Earth day)!

I’ve initiated a series of studies trying to place this disaster into historical and global perspective.  Eventually I’ll try to write something else based on what I learn.  Some websites and topics of interest are included here.

Next time, I’ll provide a sort of “postscript” on various plans and hopes to help stop this underwater “gusher” and what to do about it once the flow stops.

A very interesting list of oil spills with going back to 1910:

A New York Times timeline of oil spills:

“This isn’t a case of bad luck. The only surprising conclusion — based on reports of other near misses — is that BP hasn’t had more accidents.” :

This is a Louisiana lawyer’s blog.  They have an interesting perspective on it all here.  This pointed me toward some interesting stories:

the problems facing the Atakapa-Ishak Indians:

Some say that the oil companies have treated Louisiana far worse than they do Alaska.  They take the money and run and give little back to the people.  Some even say that it compares with how oil companies treat people in “Third World” countries.  No, nothing could be that bad, could it?.

Another example (from the world of “big oil”), Chevron in Ecuador:

The recent documentary film Crude is based on this story.  Then this:

“With new estimates that as many as 2,5 million gallons of oil could be spilling into the Gulf of Mexico each day, the Niger Delta has suddenly become a cautionary tale for the United States.” New York Times June 17

Yes, there’s been fifty years of continuous oil spills in Nigeria!  The BP-Gulf of Mexico disaster is shocking and thoroughly awful.  Yet I’m only beginning to wrap my head around the wider context of oil pollution worldwide.  Oil and gas get into the water.

Then some of it gets into vehicles and is used as fuel.  This then gets into the air and contributes to global warming.  It’s a vicious cycle but what can we do? Well we better think of something.  It’s later than you think!


Big Trouble in the Gulf of Mexico

June 5, 2010


The second of three parts 

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to be a disaster of the first magnitude.  I look at it as connected to all the oil spills all over the world.  Yet it is in and of itself. 

The questions and possibilities around this are mind-boggling.  It’s all a bit over-whelming to be sure.   I rarely watch TV News, so I try to get a sense of this through NPR, newspapers, the internet and so on. 

Last month I dedicated my 2-page monthly publication The Poetic Express to this disaster.  The SURREAL THEATRE comic strip (above) is excerpted from that.  Then, last night I performed a sort of improvised poetic song-rant BP Blues with the Space Band (one of my musical projects).  I try to “get it out” through my art but it doesn’t seem to help much. 

I rarely (never?) put internet petitions in my blogs. This is an exception,  partly because it originated with my friends the U.S. Surrealists and partly because I agree with its sentiments: Charge BP Oil Executives with Eco-Terroism

I wrote this for my statement in the petition: 

“This negligent and careless attack upon the United States of America could have easily been prevented.  Then, once it happened, the severity of its effects could have been greatly reduced.  The reality of the effect that this will have upon our country is truly shocking.  If this isn’t a terrorist act, then what is?  They (and their partners) should face their just penalties to the full extent of the law.” 

To conclude this part, here’s a mixed bags of websites of interest.  I think these give some idea of the wide scope and complexity of the challenges which face us.  

The Response Team (what are they trying to do): 

Wikipedia (interesting overview and links to other websites): 

NASA! Sometimes this seems too much like “pretty pictures” of something horrible.  A few captions I saw with pictures enhanced this feeling.  Yet, they have an interesting take on the whole disaster, if you’re really trying to keep up with it and understand it.  I often look at Earth as if I’m seeing it from space.  It helps keep it real. : 

Hurricanes and “oil spills” could lead to trouble: 

Biodiversity in Peril: 

British Petrolium: 

BP tied to another spill in Alaska: 

will they weasel out of it?: 

Gov. Jindal scoops thick oil as he tours the marsh of Pass a Loutre, La. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert