How do you stop an ongoing
1000 barrels 5000-barrels-a-day oil spill from reaching sensitive coastal habitats?
Maybe you burn it.
With options dwindling, the Coast Guard started test burns last night, and is likely to do some larger patches today.
It sounds a little crazy. Yes. But, we're past good solutions here and on to the world of slightly-less-shitty. Frankly, that oil was going to get burned (and the CO2 emissions produced) anyway, had it not spilled out of the broken well all over the freaking Gulf of Mexico. And the particulate pollution is less of a threat than the oil itself would be to animal lives and human health/livelihoods if this stuff makes landfall.
Based solely on foggy, childhood memories of the Exxon Valdez spill, one might be tempted to think that an oil spill on land can be cleaned up effectively. But Treehugger points out that job isn't as easy, or successful, as you might think. The stress of cleanup can kill as easily as oil. Plus, there's the massive expense involved. And the oil is only about 20 miles away from Louisiana.
For the record, cleanup crews have already been suctioning up the oil and using chemical treatments to break it down and disperse it. Burning is a last-ditch effort, and probably will only be used in spots where the oil is thickest and difficult to get rid of fast enough any other way. It's also worth noting that this isn't just tossing a match out onto the waves. There's a protocol here, which involves corralling oil inside a fireproof enclosure. The burns are controlled. Each lasts about an hour and gets rid of more than 90 percent of the oil. What's leftover can be easily skimmed off.
Historical photo of burning oil tanker courtesy Flickr user paddling, via CC
More than 800 American energy and Earth science researchers have signed a letter to Donald Trump outlining six steps they’re urging him to take to address human-caused climate change to protect “America’s economy, national security, and public health and safety.” The letter is accompanied by a public change.org petition to “Tell Trump To #ActOnClimate.” Here […]
James Delingpole is an invective-hurling anti-climate science columnist who has candidly admitted that he doesn’t bother to read scientific papers, calling himself a “an interpreter of interpretations.”
Kratom (previously) is a widely used herb that has been very effective in treating opioid withdrawal and other chronic, hard-to-treat conditions — it also became very controversial this year because the DEA decided, without evidence, to class it as a dangerous drug, and then changed its mind (unprecedented!) after a mass-scale petition that included interventions […]
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]