Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Burn Off the Oil? Are we INSANE?

Well, the thought that no matter what, all that gulf oil was going to pollute the environment anyway by ending up in the atmosphere seems even more true today. BP has been given the go ahead by the U.S. government to burn off the oil it's capturing so it can create more room in its storage tankers to capture even more oil.

Clearly, the biggest goal here is to have less oil in the gulf, not to stop polluting the planet in general. Why not send more tankers to the gulf? Or have the BP prez drink some of it (or better, every Washington politician and oil lobbyist)? Three cheers for the continued near-sightedness and complete failure of our government! Hip hip....

And if my recent rantings annoy you, just look away--it's the action du jour.


Diana Studer said...

Have they been smoking the wrong weed? Apparently an actor has made a machine to separate oil and water, which BP is going to use?! Rant on, someone has to stand up and be counted. And that silent majority probably agrees with you.

Em said...

I found you via Steve Edwards, whom I found via Orion Magazine. I was tickled to read "misanthropic daydreams" among your interests. Very good stuff. I haven't poked around to answer this question myself, but do you know if the oil in the Gulf is thick and removed enough from the water that a lightning strike could set the whole thing ablaze? I'm wondering if that's what it would take for "us" to do anything about it?

Benjamin Vogt said...

EE--Was that Kevin Costner?
Emily--nice to meet you. I just read this: "While the new containment cap placed of the well has been collecting more than 630,000 gallons of oil daily, the system has its own limits. A single bolt of lightning Tuesday struck the drilling ship collecting oil from the cap, started a fire and forced oil collection to stop for hours."

Pam said...

Yes, it was Costner with the centrifuge that separates oil from water. I have heard good and bad things about it.

It's an obscene situation. I worked for three years along the Florida panhandle (with the EPA) and yesterday I got a call from a former colleague, in tears because the oil has breached the booms around the small island she/we worked on. I can't imagine it. Perhaps it's good I can't imagine it. What I'm struggling with is what to do - I'm working on a grant to study the spill, with a colleague - and the truth is that at the end of the day I don't think there is much we can do but describe or monitor the horror of it all. We can do studies that address the hypothesis 'does it suck' and we'll discover that 'yes, it does suck'.

Unfortunatley the crazy underwater plume of oil is gonna cause huge problems - why the EPA so quickly approved the use of dispersants, that I will never understand.

Oh, don't get me started.

Anonymous said...

They've BEEN burning off the oil - I smell it in NOLA when they do. The first time was in April. My beau and I were visiting friends a block away, and we all made the mistake of going outside. The stench had us coughing and hacking. With quick goodbyes, our friends rushed inside and we rushed home. Now, the ridiculous berm which will destroy the oyster beds and could make a hurricane worse; but hey, they look busy, don't they? Thank you for keeping this up in other parts of the country. It's hard here; we're good at jokes, at laughing at ourselves, but when we get home we need to cry sometimes. Other times, I weed. You still got that purty word stuff goin' on; thanks - naomi