Monday News and Views: Global Ecological Catastrophe Edition

Good morning, I think. Will we see any action from the Obama administration today, or will they continue their laid back, ho-hum attitude toward the planetary nightmare taking place in the Gulf of Mexico?

The video above is just a few minutes worth of the oil gushing out of the ocean floor like a volcano. Here is the live feed of the disaster from Ed Markey’s website.

All of us need to demand that our Congresspeople light a fire under the Obama administration. This has gone on far too long. The U.S. response to this global tragedy is pathetic and nearly useless. We need action and we need it now!

As the Miami Herald points out today,
this spill is not unprecedented. A similar disaster took place in 1979. So why wasn’t BP prepared for this to happen? Why didn’t the Obama administration review every single offshore well approved by the Bush and Obama administrations to make sure emergency plans were in place? In fact, why didn’t Obama stop all off-shore drilling as he promised? From the article:

The year was 1979. The blowout of the Ixtoc I, drilled by the Mexican-run Pemex, retains the dubious record of causing the world’s largest accidental oil spill, dumping an estimated 138 million gallons over nine months. Eventually, Pemex cut off Ixtoc I with two relief wells and a cement seal.

With top BP executives, scientists and Obama administration officials searching for a solution to capping the Deepwater Horizon blowout off the Louisiana coast, perhaps they could find a blueprint in the Ixtoc I experience, observers say. They also may find lessons from the Montara oil spill last August off the northern coast of Australia, where it took five tries and nearly three months to stop the flow of as many as 84,000 gallons a day into the Timor Sea.

If some scientists, who say BP and the U.S. Coast Guard are underestimating how much oil is leaking now, are right, the current gusher could easily eclipse the demise of Ixtoc I in the Bay of Campeche. By their count, instead of the 210,000 gallons leaking per day, it’s more like 4 million.

The UK Guardian reports this morning that BP isn’t even siphoning off the 3,000 barrels a day of oil that it has been claiming. What BP has done and is doing is criminal, and they should be stopped immediately and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The federal government should have taken over this process a month ago, and yet Obama is still dithering and putting on a show of being angry in public while scolding reporters behind the scenes for asking about BP.

BP is now delaying their latest effort to stop the leak. The New York Times reports:

The oil company has been planning to attempt a procedure known as a top kill, in which heavy fluid would be pumped into the well. Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for exploration and production, said in an interview on NBC on Monday morning that the top kill would be attempted Wednesday morning. BP had previously said it hoped to execute the procedure on Tuesday.

The top kill is one of several proposed methods of stanching the flow of at least 210,000 gallons of oil a day that has been threatening marine life and sensitive coastal areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. BP officials have emphasized that none of the methods have been tried before at the depth of this leak, and Mr. Suttles noted the difficulties of working at such depths in explaining why the attempt was being delayed.

The Obama administration and Congress need to wake up and understand that when something has never been done before and could cause a global ecological catastrophe, there needs to be careful planning and there need to be plans and back-up plans for how to deal with emergencies. And if not enough is known for corporations to do those things, then they need to be sent back to the drawing table until they do know how. OR DON’T TAKE THE RISK AT ALL!

As for whether BP is really doing the best they can, via Corrente, Jefferson Parish commandeers 40 boats BP hired, then left idle

Here are a couple of links that Dakinikat posted down below:

Federal agencies must be vigilant on oil spill

Louisiana coast’s battle against drifting oil expected to last months if not years

I’m too f*cking angry to go on. What are you reading this morning? Post away in the comments, and have the best Monday you possibly can!

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66 Responses

  1. At least I can feel a little bit good about my Congressman, Ed Markey.

  2. O.M.G. why are they dragging their feet on this disaster??

    • I suppose it’s because we’re all just backwoods yokels down here and po’ people … ya know?

    • Mother of all gushers could kill Earth’s oceans

      “The only piece of human technology that might address this is a nuclear 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. [See Paul Noel's ideas above.]
      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 250,000 gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife. Are you starting to get the magnitude of this?

      We’re so used to our politicians creating false crises to forward their criminal agendas that we aren’t recognizing that we’re staring straight into possibly the greatest disaster mankind will ever see. Imagine what happens if that oil keeps flowing until it destroys all life in the oceans of this planet. Who knows how big of a reservoir of oil is down there.

      Not to mention that the oceans are critical to maintaining the proper oxygen level in the atmosphere for human life.
      We’re humped. Unless God steps in and fixes this. No human can. You can be sure of that.”
      http://pesn.com/2010/05/02/9501643_Mother_of_all_gushers_could_kill_Earths_oceans/

      Brought up from prior thread…because I think we all want to breath and live on planet Earth. This spill concerns us all, especially when scientists are talking about the ocean floor dropping!? :shock: Can you imagine that? Shouldn’t other countries be concerned about this catastrophe???

  3. I hear you, bb. Keep the pressure on.

  4. Matthews claims that the reason the Obama admin is dragging their feet is because once they claim it they own it. Well guess what, Chris? They’re eventually going to have to own it, and the longer they wait the bigger the mess they’ll own!

    (Not to mention the fact that if you don’t want to own US crises, you shouldn’t sign up for the presnittin’ job.)

    • They own it already. It’s public perception that counts, and more and more of the public is getting awakened. CNN has been covering the spill quite a bit–at least they did last night.

      • It took me quite awhile to find a story about the spill on CNN’s web site, though.

      • CNN still isn’t frontpaging it though. They haven’t given the Gusher its own theme music yet. That’s how you tell if CNN is serious about covering something. The topic get’s its own urgent graphic and theme music.

  5. Notwithstanding the catastrophe in the Gulf, wanna be scared??

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100524/pl_nm/us_korea_north_obama

    And we have who at the helm of this ship??

    • Oh, great.

    • I believe that Hillary is in China. I hope she is safe.

    • Dear Leader’s second and third sons are jockeying for succession. One of the sons has flexed his muscle and sunk a South Korean warship. The other son will no doubt do something to try and show him up. I’m guessing a missile in the direction of Alaska. They know anything falling in South Korea would be suicide. Something akin to a mafia initiation for leadership.

      We do have real enemies in the world, despite the yammerings from knee jerk bleeding heart progressives who want to hug the poor victims and condemn our evil American troops for everything. The ability to discern and discriminate requires knowledge, not just a political point of view. I’m referring to proggers, not here.

  6. Less OT than it would appear (see new rules), my thoughts on the Lost finale

    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/the-lost-finale/

  7. From Current: Toxic rain from oil spill could destroy North America.

    A greater danger involving Corexit 9500, and as outlined by Russian scientists in this report, is that with its 2.61ppm toxicity level, and when combined with the heating Gulf of Mexico waters, its molecules will be able to “phase transition” from their present liquid to a gaseous state allowing them to be absorbed into clouds and allowing their release as “toxic rain” upon all of Eastern North America.

    Even worse, should a Katrina like tropical hurricane form in the Gulf of Mexico while tens of millions of gallons of Corexit 9500 are sitting on, or near, its surface the resulting “toxic rain” falling upon the North American continent could “theoretically” destroy all microbial life to any depth it reaches resulting in an “unimaginable environmental catastrophe” destroying all life forms from the “bottom of the evolutionary chart to the top”.

  8. I put no cuss words or smileys in my last post, but HAL 9001 sequestered it nonetheless.

    DOES ANYBODY AT THE CONFLUENCE KNOW HOW TO MAKE HAL MORE RATIONAL?

    • I think there are certain words that put you in Spammy/HAL 9001′s scope and then you need help to get out. I personally think it’s some taste for folks, because there was a time where I was just too tasty and got caught all the time.

      • It’s weird, but it seems like once you get thrown into spam, wordpress remembers you and automatically sticks you there for awhile. Then, once we bail you out enough, it forgets about you for awhile. We can’t figure out the algorithm.

    • HAL is a computer IBM…oops I mean IBW. Don’t expect it to know the First Amendment.

    • IBW,

      I have gone through every single IP address in the spam filter and couldn’t find any reason why your comments are getting filtered.

  9. And now -

    “Senior British officials, including new Foreign Secretary William Hague, arrived in Afghanistan Saturday with a warning that Britain wants to withdraw its troops as soon as possible.”

    Message to W.H. – be nice to BP or we take our 10,000 soldiers home.

    • Or that the new government is moving away from Tony (the poodle) Blair’s and Gordon Brown’s butt sniffin’ of U S policies.

  10. I’m reading this at Politico.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37672.html

    The Robert Gates-Hillary Clinton axis

    In an administration dominated by a powerful White House staff, Clinton and Gates have emerged as the giant exception and the only important center of gravity outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Their close relationship has been central to the unusual degree of agreement on critical issues, most notably the Afghan surge but also a range of other initiatives, from increasing the size of the State Department’s foreign aid budget to imposing new sanctions on Iran.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37672.html#ixzz0ora5njEb

    • Fascinating – this relationship and its effect on policy. Hillary may not get her full due, but she will wield her influence. The popularity thing is icing!!

  11. Can some one please find the Shrill One and get rid of this new rationalizing in la la land Paul Krugman? This latest one is downright delusional.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/opinion/24krugman.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  12. here’s one too that will tell you how seriously every one takes POTUSspeak including POTUS and his administration.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/us/24moratorium.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

    In the days since President Obama announced a moratorium on permits for drilling new offshore oil wells and a halt to a controversial type of environmental waiver that was given to the Deepwater Horizon rig, at least seven new permits for various types of drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted, according to records.

  13. “Despite moratorium, drilling projects continue”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/us/24moratorium.html

    I don’t know what they’re thinking carrying on with these projects, especially at this time.

    They’re making it impossible for people to even want to continue their lives there.

  14. Oil spewing from BP’s ruptured undersea well in the Gulf of Mexico has now reached the US coast, choking marshlands and fragile marine life.

  15. This is a link to a slide show at WDSU with pictures concerning the spill. It’ll bring tears to your eyes. It’s headlined “Officials Clean Critters, Crude On Coast”.

    http://www.wdsu.com/slideshow/news/23644948/detail.html

  16. Unanimous even:

    Supreme Court Rules Against NFL In Antitrust Case

    by The Associated Press
    May 24, 2010

    The Supreme Court rejected the National Football League’s request for broad antitrust law protection Monday, saying that it must be considered 32 separate teams — not one big business — when selling branded items like jerseys and caps.

    “Although NFL teams have common interests such as promoting the NFL brand, they are still separate, profit-maximizing entities, and their interests in licensing team trademarks are not necessarily aligned,” said the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for an unanimous court.

    The high court reversed a lower court ruling throwing out an antitrust suit brought against the league by one of its former hat makers, who was upset that it lost its contract for making official NFL hats to Reebok International Ltd.

    American Needle Inc. sued, claiming the league violated antitrust law because all 32 teams worked together to freeze it out of the NFL-licensed hatmaking business and gave Reebok an exclusive 10-year license.

    The company lost and appealed to the Supreme Court but the NFL did as well, hoping to get broader protection from antitrust lawsuits .

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127091814&ft=1&f=1001

    • Why does Chris Hedges pretend he cares about economics. He understands the conflicts in the Middle East from a progressive pro pan-Arabic point of view, and he understands that very well. The rest of what he writes about is the over the top bluster of a leftist grad student who fancies himself as some character out of Doctor Zhivago. If he has an economic prescription for Greece, he should articulate it, beyond the storm the barricades dramatics. He’s fun to read but hard to take seriously. He knows how to write books that will sell in a recession, rabble rousing for an audience. Reminds me of the CNBC turncoat Dylan Ratigan rabble rousing for ratings on MSNBC these days. I’m more than ready to storm the barricades of Wall Street and Washington, and I don’t need Hedges’s pseudo economic ramblings to fire me up. Just me.

  17. You know it’s bad when Sarah Palin is the only one talking about Obama’s ties with the oil companies and calling it “Obama’s Katrina”

    http://commoditysurge.blogspot.com/2010/05/sarah-palin-bp-nysebp-and-obama.html

    • “I don’t know why the question isn’t asked by the mainstream media and by others if there’s any connection with the contributions made to president Obama and his administration and the support by the oil companies to the administration.”

      — Palin.

      No, no, don’t listen to her. She’s dumb, dumb, dumb. Pure coincidence that Obama got the most $$$ from BP than anyone else in the last two decades.

  18. How to help and stay aware (links from SFGate.com http://bit.ly/bm0T51):

    http://gulfcoastspill.com/

    http://www.OilSpillVolunteers.com

    http://www.nwf.org/ — text wildlife to donate $10

    http://www.mobilebaykeeper.org/ Mobile Baykeeper

    http://www.ibrrc.org/ International Bird Rescue

  19. Dakinkat, here’s yet another link I thought you and your readers would appreciate, re Gov. Jindal’s response to the crisis. Sure it’s Michelle Malkin (whom I doubt anyone here likes very much) but when she’s got a point, she’s got a point. I only hope it doesn’t make you as mad as my post last time about conservative feminists… :-)

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/05/24/louisana-gov-jindal-blasts-obama-inaction-moves-on-sand-booms/

  20. Thanks, useful info. and Comments

    Tint

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