Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oily American Chernobyl

There is really nothing I can say at this point that would accurately describe my rage at the mindless corporate greed, my frustration at an uncoordinated government response, and utter sadness seeing a vital ecosystem and way of life being killed in slow motion. However, I can talk about the ignorance amongst the flotsam and jetsom of the uneducated masses who in many cases still scream out "Drill Baby Drill" or think the ocean will take care of this on its own.

One of the Marching Morons I am around on a regular basis said just a few days ago he did not see what the fuss was about since it was just a "swamp" and back before all those tree huggers they just use to fill such places in. Given his position I had to hold my tongue, I need to keep my job. Another fine example of intelligent citizenry commented on a local radio talk show that I tune in every now and then that he believes this is all some grand conspiracy to further push the country into socialism.

Such intellectual giants give me real warm fuzzies over the future of the country but there are other things I'd like to mention.

If I had a couple of more beers in me and really felt like pissing my time away I guess I could look up articles about how BP is said to own massive oil tankers equipped with pumps that can suck in contaminated sea water and separate the oil from the water which is pumped back into the ocean. These tankers were supposedly used to help clean up a spill in the Persian Gulf or Arabian Sea several years ago but people I feel reliable on one of the cable news networks say BP has them already filled waiting for the price of oil to go up before off loading them.

Also while I am no fan of Governor Bobby Jindal it has been reported that he has been begging the federal government for permits to dredge up sand to create barrier islands between the open ocean and the marshes to at least prevent some of the oil from getting in. Why the federal government is dragging their feet on this I have no idea. Give the current situation while creating these islands will not solve the problem they sure as Hell can't make things any worse.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that while the Gulf area is blasted with another epic disaster President Obama has been making the political rounds fund raising for the Democratic party. Hey I'm cool with that on a certain level but unfortunately perception governs reality, even more these days, and the cool detached Spock persona is being replaced with one more akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

Greenpeace marine biologist Paul Horsman inspects oil washed ashore on a Mississippi River beach this week.
History suggests marshes don't easily bounce back from oil. For instance, the 1991 Gulf War spill—which occurred when the Iraqi military intentionally spilled up to 336 million gallons (about 1.3 billion liters) into the Persian Gulf—was most toxic to Saudi Arabian marshes and mud flats.
Up to 89 percent of the Saudi marshes and 71 percent of the mud flats had not bounced back after 12 years, according to Miles Hayes, co-founder of the science-and-technology consulting firm Research Planning, Inc., based in South Carolina. (See pictures of freshwater plants and animals.)
"It was amazing to stand there and look across what used to be a salt marsh and it was all dead—not even a live crab," Hayes said last week.

It gets even worse:
If the Gulf of Mexico oil spill kills just three sperm whales, it could seriously endanger the long-term survival of the Gulf's native whale population, scientists say.
Even now, that killer whale population has yet to recover and will likely go extinct in a few decades, Matkin said.

Real questions are also being asked about the toxic chemical dispersants being used to break up the oil. They may end up causing bigger problems in the coming decades effecting every lifeform up the food chain.

Unprecedented, untestedIn the Deepwater Horizon accident, the response team has used more than 670,000 gallons of chemical dispersants as of Fridayfar surpassing any previous use in the United States. Most of it has been sprayed from airplanes, but the Deepwater Horizon response team also has applied at least 55,000 gallons in a completely untested way — injecting it at the well’s leaking riser, some 5,000 feet below the surface.


Suzan said...

Damn, I was bummed out about the whole fuck-up before I read your take, but you put things even more clearly in focus.

What the fuck is Obama doing?

Trying for that one-term even harder? At least he'll have a retirement plan I guess.

Love ya,


Beach Bum said...

Suzan: For the first couple of weeks it was pure Republican hatred to say this was Obama's Katrina but now he appears to be not so slowly earning the label.

You are right Obama seems determined to earn the Jimmy Carter Presidential Malaise Award for appearing overwhelmed. That statement is not at all fair to the good and honest man Jimmy Carter is but like I wrote in the post perception governs reality.

My criticism may be unfair but it has been my experience that leaders always have to be seen out in front, even if they can't do anything. I know the president has lots of crises right now but if he can't get out send VP Biden.

Long story short this is one huge cluster fuck and the only people I know will get away mostly untouched is BP.

Pixel Peeper said...

This whole thing just makes me shake my head. I wish I knew something, anything, that would sound encouraging and would point to an end of this mess...but I don't.

Boy, do I know what you mean by holding your tongue. Did a LOT of that when I lived in SC.

Teresa said...

We are waiting to see when it's going to follow the Gulf Stream up to us ! I cross the Ashley River every day to work and back home. I love looking over the water and seeing the sunrise. I feel so bad for all the people and creatures affected by this "Man-made MESS"!

Beach Bum said...

Pixel: As of right now I'll guess we will see in a few hours. Saw a video feed of the well site and mud was flowing out, hopefully it will stop the leak.

Holding ones tongue is a real talent here in South Carolina.

Teresa: Even if they stop the leak that slick is really huge and still could come our way. Saw a headline last night about how it could wash ashore in the Bahamas.

Randal Graves said...

Oh great, now all you slick oil dudes and chicks will be coming up here and trying to steal our clean Lake Erie water. Time to buy weapons, cans of soup, duct tape and the Left Behind series on CD! Every man for himself!

TomCat said...

Beach, never have I seen such an impressive collection of links.

At Obama's press conference he admitted his mistakes and took responsibility for them. Some key points:

The Federal response to an oil spill is set by law passed in 1960 under oil man, GHW Bush. That law puts shoreline protection in the hands of companies with whom BP had preexixting contracts. Now that the BP response has proven inneffective, Obama will move with some ot the solutions, including Jindal's.

The Obama administration did not realize the extent of the flow, because BP lied.

Beach Bum said...

Randal: Seriously, I'm pricing a M-4 carbine because I daily hear militia shit coming from the Marching Morons and figure I may need to defend myself. As for duct tape every good Southerner has about ten to fifteen rolls stashed in various locations. We are good on soup since it is often the only thing my children will eat.

As for the Left Behind series it is a shining example that any untalented fool can get a book published and make millions if the target the right audience. Have you read any of those abominations? I have no illusions about my writing talent but I am freaking Tolstoy compared to that crap.

Tomcat: My biggest issue with Obama was basically twofold. One, as far back as the health care debate many said, and I agreed, he was too disengaged with the crafting of the bill and I honestly believe that this is the case as well.

I am not the only one who has described him with a Spock-like, cool and detached persona. He takes too much for granted and needs to realize that leadership is often having good acting skills. Which largely explains Reagan.

Yes, he may have been on top of everything from the beginning but it was a Bush-like mistake to be in San Fran doing fund raising when Governor Jindal was on a boat surveying oil damage to the marsh rightfully bitching about the EPA dragging their feet with the dredging permits.

My second issue was him was that from the minute this went out of control he should have given Jindal everything the man needed and wanted to try and prevent the oil from getting into the marsh. Along those same lines Louisiana officials have been screaming for BP to stop dropping the chemical dispersant which BP will not tell anyone what the stuff is made from but will end up damaging the food chain as much as the oil. Apparently the EPA has either directly allowed BP to continue to drop the stuff or turned a blind eye to its continued use.

Yes, there is a "law" governing the handling of oil spills but part of the fun of being president is putting the foot up people's asses when it is called for. Also, James Carvell did a far better job of laying the situation out yesterday.

lime said...

the whole thing is just an epic disaster that defies words. the greed, the incompetence, the intentional obfuscation and pathetic attempts at spin, the magnitude of impact. it just boggles the mind.

Beach Bum said...

Lime: I have almost become numb to the situation. I just pray they stop the flow so some sort of cleanup can begin. I do figure the guilty parties will get away though.

Suzan said...

What'dya mean, buddy?

You are a freaking Tolstoi!

Or maybe a Pushkin is more exact.

Love ya,


I am freaking Tolstoy compared to that crap.

Middle Ditch said...

It is a very sorry tale indeed.

TomCat said...

Beach, those are some good points, but had he given Jindal everything he wanted, he would have had to strip protection from other areas equally at risk. Part of the problem is that the need for resourses exceeds the capacity.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Fair and balanced, as always, double b. You're right, Jindal, for once, IS looking good. And the President's frigging fund-raising junket, yeah! I'm telling you, if I were advising him (the President), I'd have him listen over and over again to that plea from the Ragin' Cajun', James Carville (yeah, the one where he says, "We're about to die down here"). That, and pray to God that he can somehow channel Harry S. Truman.

Rhiannon said...

I feel we are "still" not learning the lessons to be learned from our stupidity when it comes to "environmental man man made disaters"...each certain political people make famous quotes like "drill baby drill" they reap what they sew"...and I can't count how many times have we seen and witnessed the warnings, that "we human being" are destroying Mother earth and Father sky?

I want BP to just pay for everything and then go down lose it all...use all of their financial resources to pay for all the clean up and close their company completely down! They did it...and for the government to help out and charge BP for all their work also. I watched "Democracy now" last night and the fishers that are losing everything and the people hired to clean this mess up are getting sick and this will get much worse down the road. BP told them they didn't need to wear mask or protection..they lied..and some workers hired that were told this said BP told them this because they didn't want the media to show people out there cleaning it up with masks on and such..."bad for busines"...this so sucks! Money money money...lies lies lies..that's what it's all about!

I have a pic on the right top side of my blog with poster pic of Sarah Palin with the statement "Drill baby drill"...oh yeah Sarah baby "drill baby drill" come the far right Repubs are so quiet now and or blaming Obama that he is not doing enough. I am not really going to blame Obama right now..I do think he wants BP to take personal responsibility and yet he is also I believe trying to have the government help..but with all this 'heresay" and different quotes and constant media quotes who knows what to think of who to keep blaming? Thank you GOP for getting people to think drilling for our own oil would be the answer at this point! HELLO???? I always say in my blog.."the lessons keep coming at us until we finally hopefully "Eventually" learn the darn lessons? We can't even do the homework let alone pass the quiz!

It's a real "Wake up people" call from Mother earth and Father sky and a higher power of some sort...this earth is not ours...but to at least try to protect it while we are here...we are such selfish human beings so shut down to the "real" needs in this world and our very own country also. we think the world is ours to own to do what we will with mother nature..we are paying for it.

"Don't drill baby drill anymore"! Lets finally look towards the future of alternative energy...It is way way way past time! How many warnings do we have to see before we get it?

Those poor fish, birds and mammals that we punish because of our pure stupidity of not having specific "rules" on Bush's dime...he let those rules just "Go" all those year..where the wind took them..gave corporate oil companies whatever rules they wanted to skim off...once again all about money.

sigh..sigh..cry tears drop one by one for such sadness for this world..but..alas I always have hope and people like you BB speaking out. Good for you.

Blessings to all for a better world,


Rhiannon said...

P.S. I humbly apologize for all my typos above. I have dyslexia and rarely do the spell check that's on my dime I suppose. Sorry about that BB.


Beach Bum said...

Suzan: Pushkin? You know I have never even attempted to read him. Being honest I am all out of ideas so right now I would be happy to channel 0.000001% of Stephen King to get writing fiction again. Maybe after vacation I will be in better shape.

Middle Ditch: Seriously, I'm freaking over how many cetaceans, sea turtles, and all the other aquatic life that are going to die over this.

Tomcat: Excellent point Tom at the resources, at the very least if I was Obama I would be knee deep in the oil sticking my gloved hand into it to show I was there. Plus, I would have the VP camping out down there.

Will: For someone who supposedly connected during the campaign with the common people I am greatly disappointed with his actions.

Rhia: You wrote: I want BP to just pay for everything and then go down lose it all...use all of their financial resources to pay for all the clean up and close their company completely down!

Even after all this I believe those slippery bastards will get away.

Typos? Rhi, I am the typo king. I do typos writing school notes so you do not need to apologize.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

I have no words. And besides, you've supplied the best... more informative linked up ....
I'm mourning. And putting my head into the direction of helping in whatever way I can when this gets here. I suppose you are too. No words.

Marja said...

Indeed chernobyl A disaster that affects the whole world and all people and wildlife Sad that people dig their own grave

Liberality said...

It is still gushing in several places and the mud and junk didn't work :(

MadMike said...

With respect to the president I have to agree that he needs to drop the Spock like demeanor and start showing more leadership. I have no doubt that the WH is doing everything it can and no amount of doomsday reporting will change that. Unfortunately the president is not portraying that very well. As to his trip to California it was critical and necessary. If the Democrats lose California we could be seriously screwed. As terrible as this disaster is the business of government must go on. Very well researched post Beach. I don't write much on it anymore because I am a coward. It hurts my heart too much to face.

Beach Bum said...

Gwen: Beside posting a little oil spill counter on the left side of my blog I'm sort of at a loss to do anything. Honestly, I'm waiting for the shit to really hit the fan when the ocean currents finally take the slick around Florida. I figure when a few ocean front properities have oil washing ashore thats when all the people who are just watching this like some third-world disaster on television will finally get mad.

Marja: The thought that crossed my mind several times is that Chernobyl helped bring down the Soviet Union, I wonder what big event this might trigger?

Liberality: Nope, and I will not be surprised if I find tar balls on the beach in Florida when I'm on vacation next week.

Madmike: Well you are right about some level of normal business has to go on but that is what VP Joe Biden is for, Hell, he connects better with people anyway.

I am exhausted on this as well, as much as BP and the government share the blame it must be mentioned that the American people hold a nice chunk of responbility on this matter. If we were not fat, spoiled, and blissfully ignorant over what it takes to fill up our SUV's we would have continued to work toward other fuels and energy sources way back during President Carter's term.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Well I sure do hear u there BB. We do have a responsibility to change our lifestyles. Gee.

goatman said...

Just reading in KC paper about your politicians not being able to keep out of each others' pants!

If the baser instincts are constantly followed by those who hope to lead, what hope do we have of those folks being able to guide us to higher goals -- such as controlling the greed and ignoring the corporate mouthpiece?

Frankly, I am sick of it . . .

Beach Bum said...

Gwen: Ain't that the truth.

Goatman: Yeah, Freud would love the republicans in my state.

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