Oh joy,what a cheery thread...am so glad I looked in here...this thing may well make me deceide more definitely about working abroad. ,just leave the f'n country all together,it's too depressing to even think about....and I am so sick of everyone up here in NY asking (well meaning mind you...)questions about. What is there really to say?
Every asshole who ever chanted 'Drill baby drill' should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty- Bill Maher
Once again, Bill Maher expresses my thoughts. My reactions to the recent fiasco, in order...shock, anger, sadness...and then, most important in the end, what can we do about this? Whether or not BP will pay for the damage is relatively insignificent. Terrible, terrible damage has been done to our eco-system for the sake of money and oil. The gulf area, especially Louisiana, was first devastated by Katrina and is still struggling to get its' head above water...now this. It may take a century for this area to become strong again.
As of today, I'm not sure if this spill can be contained. The whole situation is catatonically depressing, but, there must be something that we can do. While it is like 'closing the barn door after the horse has bolted', it is time to cut back on oil dependence. On the whole, these words have been expressed in a rather empty fashion in the last two decades. Sounds good in political platforms, but seldom realized. Sounds good in 'personal liberal/ intellectual conversations', but how often is it acted upon on an individual basis? This lazy greed has led to war, death and depletion of valuable resources all over the world.
We have the intelligence and creativity to shift into other means of creating energy. It will mean fighting 'big' oil and established power bases within each country. We must do this. Huge shifts have happened before in history...the horse gave way to the automobile...it can happen again. Too much is at stake to luxuriate in 'depression' while supporting an oil based economy in all ways, as well as with the obvious automobile and home heating. There has been huge progress with solar energy and geo-thermal sources, but they are not yet that affordable. We need to make them more affordable than oil.
In the developed world, we live in a 'market driven economy'. This is the key. The power of the dollar can force a shift, the 'bottom line' is the only thing that those in power pay attention to. Recent smaller (?) examples:
1. The growth and use of good healthy food as opposed to processed food in the last 5-10 years. 2. The decrease of smoking and nicotine products. (who would have believed this 20 years ago?)
The 'developed world' is a mentor to the 'undeveloped world, or third world'. They will do what we are doing, despite our belated protests. 'Do as I say, not what I do or did'...is not good enough.
The tar balls in the Keys were NOT from the oil spill. But the next ones probably will be. What a mess! We missed most of the news while we were on Sanibel Island, which may eventually get its pretty white shelling beaches covered with oil, too. (We watched almost no TV and didn't have cable, anyway.) Does anyone know of a site with a good map of the slick that is updated frequently? (Of course it's impossible to map the underwater spread, since they are spraying dispersants right into the leak 5 miles below the surface...)
True ~~ it's the diamond jubiliee, as a matter of fact.
If you think about it, this festival couldn't happen at a better time, simply because it points up how much of the economy of Louisiana depends on the seafood and oil industries.
I have been reading the various comments below online videos, blogs, and news stories. It's most understandable, in the light of the enormous screw-up, for people to howl for an immediate end to offshore drilling. However, many of those people would howl even louder if the current level of oil production were to suddenly drop.
I lived through one oil bust in Louisiana, and the sudden cessation of the petroleum industry right now could be the death knell of the state. It wouldn't just throw those directly related out of work, it would affect all the support industries, plus every job, every business that's grown up because of those petro-dollars flowing into the economy.
By the same token, we saw what the twin blows of Katrina and Rita did to the seafood industry. This looks as though it may be horribly worse.
So yes, by all means let the festival go forth and display a culture and an economy that may be ruined for generations by what's happened. You couldn't pick a better venue than Morgan City to display how completely shrimping and oil are an integral part of people's lives and livelihoods in that part of the state. It's as important to show this as it is to show the present devastation of wildlife -- anything to bring home the necessities of tighter regulation on drilling, stricter environmental protection and of the need for diversity in filling our energy needs.
Bravo Bixa!!! Yes,the name of this particular festival has always sounded so bizarre and well,unappetizing... but,in light of current events couldn't be more appropriate. Locally,there are many different restaurants and hotels that are rallying to support the fishermen with fund raisers,benefits etc. I hope the Small Business Administration rallies to help out,and have high hopes that they will under the current administration.
I was looking at the map of the Gulf of Mexico current showing how the oil could be swept down to the Florida Keys, around the tip of Florida and then be picked up by the Gulf Stream, which would merrily carry it to Europe.
Since this seems just as outrageous as the plots of movies like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Deep Impact and god knows what all, considering the quantity of oil involved (which appears to be far more than the Exxon Valdez), if I were a Hollywood script writer, I would be working my ass off on a movie about a massive oil spill poisoning all of the oceans of the world, killing off all sealife and slowly causing the end of the world.
I am getting more and more angry with the federal government's stalling on their response to this. There's too much tap dancing and finger pointing,politics as usual, going on. And,of course our governor(R) is using this to fit into his own personal political agenda...WTF,does partisan politics always have to come into play?
Then again, what can the federal government do? They don't have a magic wand to fix the problem so they can only do some posturing in the meantime. As long as so much oil is still escaping, they can't even really double the cleanup efforts, because it would just be pissing in the wind, wouldn't it?
When I'm not quite so stirred up about this I will respond to your question Kerouac. There's a whole lot that's not being done..or perhaps, I really am just too emotional about this. Maybe you're right...I am so dismayed,I can't even think straight.
This remains pretty much at the top of the French news since the French coasts have been soiled so many times and people are very passionate about oil spills. And what horrifies everybody is the unlimited oil. When an oil tanker sinks, you know "okay, there's 75,000 gallons of oil on the loose" or whatever -- and you track it and you deal with it for the next 15 years.
You will note that in my Reply #12 in this thread, I pointed out that "spill" is the wrong word to use in this case. I have a sneaking suspicion that many entities involved in this, including the government, prefer the word "spill" because it's psychologically reassuring, in a way that "terminally broken endlessly gushing well one mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico" is not.
Just as the US Forestry Service, has been instrumental in enriching timber companies by leasing public land for clear-cutting, the Mineral Management Service has cheerfully whored itself out to the big oil companies. That agency continues to waive environmental analysis reviews before drilling even in the face of this recent disaster.
The federal government is apparently too busy using both hands to cover its ass. It doesn't have an extra hand to extend to doing more to at least protect the wetlands from the oil coming ashore. The 1200 national guardsmen sent to the US/Mexican border as political assuagement could have been better deployed to the besieged Gulf Coast.
Funny how many Americans (particularly Republican politicians) clamor to privatize all sorts of things, but then when the obscenely wealthy corporations f*ck up, they want the government to step in and fix it. But without raising taxes, of course.
It's been pointed out by administration spokesmen that there is no one in government with the expertise to deal with this problem, so they can't just take over the intervention.
Of course, BP doesn't have the expertise to fix it, either, since they devoted all their efforts developing expertise to extract the oil, but little time researching what to do if the sh*t hit the fan.
Someone today said a hurricane might be a good thing, since it would widely disperse the oil and a little bit of oil widely spread out might be a lot easier to deal with than concentrated oil in a few severely impacted areas.
So, the oil cap worked, according to the announcement just made...?
Can we believe them?
Also,just announced that "spill" is 5 times worse than originally stated.
Also,just announced that hurricane predictions for this season (beginning 6/1) are horrible,what that means for the "spill",I guess we'll find out,won't we?
President Obama due here tomorrow...
There's some really pissed off people...
My husband has been down to Venice twice this week,he says it's horrific,the oil f'n everywhere,and also Grand Isle,which he said made him just burst into tears..(we used to spend alot of time there camping and fishing many years ago...)
Probably most of you have access to breaking news reports, but here is this story, from just over a half hour ago.
Does anyone know anything about there apparently being strictures in place at present that limit the amount the federal government can "interfere" in this kind of oil company related screw-up? I read an allusion to that, and would like more information.
At least the article calls the disaster a "gushing leak" rather than a spill.
Obama: Gov't in charge of oil disaster response AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent 32 mins ago
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama moved aggressively to show his government is in charge of the Gulf oil spill on Thursday, calling the gushing leak an "unprecedented disaster" and blasting a "scandalously close relationship" between oil companies and regulators.
"The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort," Obama told a news conference. He was responding to criticism that his administration had been slow to act and had left BP in charge of plugging the leak.
Obama said many critics failed to realize "this has been our highest priority."
He conceded that "people are going to be frustrated until it stops."
Obama announced a series of new steps to deal with the aftermath of the spill, including continuing a moratorium on drilling permits for six months.
He also said he was suspending planned exploration drilling off the coasts of Alaska and Virginia and on 33 wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.
The president, speaking to reporters in the East Room of the White House, spoke as oil giant BP pumped mudlike heavy drilling oil into the well in hopes of stopping the flow.
He said while the "top kill" procedure was an example of his administration's willingness to try "any reasonable strategy" to stop the gusher, the process "offers no guarantee of success."
Obama's insistence that his administration was in charge of dealing with the disaster were a marked change in language. Previously, administration officials had emphasized that while they were overseeing BP's actions, the oil company had the expertise and equipment to do the job.
As recently as Monday, the top federal official in charge of responding to the oil catastrophe, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, declined to broadly say the federal government was "in charge." Instead, when asked about that, Allen told reporters that BP was responsible for the cleanup and the government was accountable to make sure the company did it. "I would say it's less a case of 'in charge,'" Allen said when asked about that phrase.
Yet with each passing day, public frustration with Obama's government has grown, and his poll numbers on the matter are dropping.
As an example of the government's hands-on approach, Obama said that BP had wanted to drill a single "relief" well in an effort to eventually stop the leak in several months if all else failed. Instead, the administration insisted on two relief wells being drilled, Obama said.
Over and over, the president sought to counter criticism that the administration was giving too much leeway to BP PLC.
"Make no mistake, BP is operating at our direction," he said.
"We will demand they pay every dime they owe for the damage they've done and the painful losses they've caused," Obama said.
He denounced what he called "the oil industry's cozy and sometimes corrupt" ties with government regulators.
He spoke shortly after the head of the troubled agency that oversees offshore drilling resigned under pressure. The departure of Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum was announced just before Obama's news conference began.
Asked about inevitable comparisons between his administration's handling of the disaster with his predecessor's handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Obama said: "I'll leave it to you guys to make those comparisons. ... What I'm thinking about is how do you solve the problem?"
"I'm confident people are going to look back and say this administration was on top of what was an unprecedented crisis," he added.
Still, he acknowledged, "We've got to get it right."
Sen. Frank Lautenberg , D-N.J., a critic of offshore drilling, said Obama took an important step to halt the most imminent environmental threat to the Atlantic coast, but he said the danger will remain until there is a permanent ban on drilling in the Atlantic.
"BP's oil catastrophe in the Gulf is a wake-up call for our nation. Giving Big Oil more access to our nation's waters will only lead to more pollution, more lost jobs and more damage to our economy," Lautenberg said.
Obama said the federal government "has acted consistently with a sense of urgency" about the spill. But, he acknowledged a "sense of complacency on the government's part in planning how to deal with the worst-case scenario" before it happened.
He said a cozy relationship between industry and government didn't change when he came into office.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar "came in and started cleaning house. But the culture had not fully changed at MMS. And surely I take responsibility for that."
But, he added, "there is no evidence some of the corrupt practices that took place earlier took place under the present administration's watch."
There are so many conflicting stories about whether or not this "top kill" thing is working,going to work etc. At my husband's work,last night,he had to run a mud sample from Venice,LA to the BP headquarters,"nerve center",in Robert,LA. He told me that the scuttlebut down there, in Venice,was,that the top kill thing was not working... And,one would think that they would have helicopters moving those samples...not my husband,although,it is work...and $$.
Looks like it might not be working, to me (or only very partially).
My latest outrage has been reading about how Haley Barbour (governor of Mississippi) has been acting like there is no problem at all and that in any case oil is a blessing for the region. Bobby Jindal (governor of Lousiana) has been looking like a saint in comparison.
Confession: Although I sat through moment to moment reports of Iraq war#1, the terrifying 9/11, and the ongoing Iraq and Afghanistani wars…I have held back from this recent disaster of the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico, but am now entering into it. Overwhelming. It is a tragedy for the gulf states which were so recently brought to their knees by Katrina. It is also a tragedy for Mexico and the Carribean islands. At this time, I don’t think that many other North Americans realize how it will effect us in the short and long term. Short: Next winter when you rush to Costco for cheap seafood, it won’t be cheap. Or, it will be from Thailand. Longterm: Don’t know and am not looking forward to finding out. The photos of the pelicans were ominous.
There is much discussion of ‘who to blame’. Of what committees shoud be set up to enquire. Should there be a lawsuit against BP? I don’t know. BP ran an 8 year operation with no accidents, now this. Is Obama being weak? Subjective, but can you think of single person in the world with more problems to deal with at one moment in history than Obama?
I have watched many interviews with good, decent people in the area who are frustrated, frightened and angry. It’s been 40 days now, and what is going on to effectively deal with the situation? It seems that it will be a few months to stop the immediate toxic flow, then a long, long time to deal with the future implications.
I think that there needs to be a select group of the most brilliant and pragmatic people in the related fields from all over the world…oil, environment, immediate social effects…. to be assembled and be given power and accountability, ASAP.
I am sad and disturbed for all those most immediately affected…the Gulf of Mexico states, Mexico, the Caribbean islands and northern South America. A rich and precious way of life has been dealt an almost devastating blow and may take generations to recover. To imagine how these people feel as their history and way of life is threatened and perhaps wiped out, is beyond my grasp. Katrina almost destroyed the area, and, within their lifetimes, now they have to deal with this. Those of us who live in safety need to help in some way.
This past Friday night,a bicycle group known as Critical Mass took to the streets of NOLA (as they do on every Friday night,this one much more organized). Over 300 cyclists,carrying protest signs etc. rode 30 miles or better. I did not see unfortunately,or participate in, because I didn't hear about it until real late Friday but,T. saw and my friend Luke rode in. I will try to find some links to.
In the meantime, BP (aka Broken Pipe) is trying something else new,which involves cutting the pipe, which could actually make it worse....