BP Disaster: Oil reaches Louisiana marshlands

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55 Responses to “BP Disaster: Oil reaches Louisiana marshlands”

  1. cjp says:

    Okay, starting to getting a little worried now. At what point do we stop calling this a catastrophe and start calling it a maritime apocolypse? Are our grandkids going to know what a shrimp is?

    • Anonymous says:

      They’ll going to know what a shrimp is, but they may not know it as food any longer. I think the same applies to most other seafood.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Obama’s assumption’s cripple State. Assuming BP had controls and safeguards, is tantamount to gross negligence. Obama fails to take ownership of crisis. He assumes BP will handle it, lol.

    If this weren’t such a tragedy it would be laughable.

  3. CarHelp says:

    This might be incredibly selfish and narrow-minded, but I hope gas prices don’t skyrocket because of this. I already spend $130 a month on fuel …

    MAYBE if they implement one of these amazing solutions, my fears will be unfulfilled??? http://bit.ly/9hI65C

  4. Zykov says:

    More emotional reactions eh? How about instead of pushing drilling operations out into the the great unknown, and drilling a mile down, we let them drill in places where the conditions are less treacherous.

    • lewis stoole says:

      is that all it takes? phew.

      • dequeued says:

        Yes, that is all it takes.

        It’s people like you who prevent nuclear power from going forward, and as a direct result, encourage the use of coal and petro power.

        Thanks a lot, guys.

        And yes, electric cars + nuclear power is an awesome idea.
        We need to move power creation to a higher layer of our infrastructure.
        That will make it much cleaner and more efficient.

        • lewis stoole says:

          the original poster inferred drilling closer to shore, and/or to open up the national land to drilling, nothing about nuclear. but nuclear would tie in nicely with what we see in relation to the BP Gulf Gusher, and what others here have said, and that is that there will always be some safety measure cut, problem decidedly hidden, policy changed, or an allowed gamble, all to create a better gross margin. a $500k acoustic trigger that might have prevented the deep sea gulf gusher, a coal company that purposefully avoided proper ventilation causing a deep earth mine explosion, an aging nuclear plant that kept an inappropriate piping system hidden from regulators as we saw with vermont’s radioactive river water–the gains are privatized, and the consequences outsourced.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow if anybody really studied there shit they would know jesus already predicted this. It’s in the revelations of jesus christ in the very last pages of the bible. It says in short terms. The key to the bottomless pit will be opened and the ocean will turn bright red and then it will turn into the burning lake of fire just before the battle of armegeddon. Read it people it will make you have a revelation of your own. Our days our numbered time to go back to god.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We are part of earth and earth is part of us. As earth is dying we are dying!

  7. ryanrafferty says:

    In that beautiful palm is what would have been manufactured in to Kraft Dinner… how sad.

  8. zankou333 says:

    Full video collection of the BP Oil Spill at: http://www.frequency.com/topic/bp-oil-spill/18217

  9. bob d says:

    It’s amazing how short memories are. California is now discussing permanently banning drilling off the coast because of this spill, when the 1969 California coastal spill should have been enough to get that job done decades ago. The 1969 spill was, ecologically, absolutely devastating, and that only released, in total, a small fraction of what this current gusher is spitting out. In fact, the current spill produces an equivalent of the 1969 spill every few hours. It seems inevitable that the whole southern coast of the US will be devastated for generations to come. It’s absolutely appalling that the same mistakes not only keep being made, but at larger scales.

  10. spocko says:

    All pundits who miminize this Should get this spread on their pool.

  11. dainel says:

    Needs some good news. How about this?

    At least it’s not going to be that much bigger than Ixtoc. And that was only 30 years ago.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I really wouldn’t want that stuff on my hands. BP has been spraying highly toxic chemicals to try and submerge the oil… Out of sight out of mind I guess.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Aren’t you supposed to use your LEFT hand for that?

  14. Cowicide says:

    ► Meanwhile, a former top EPA investigator say BP can do whatever it wants and get away with it.

    Hooray for corporatists…..

    http://digg.com/environment/EPA_Investigator_BP_Can_Do_Whatever_It_Wants

  15. Anonymous says:

    Nuclear was set back for damned good reasons. Nuclear power should scare the shit out of you.

    I understand you can now get treatment for superstitious and unreasoning fear of what are (essentially) large kettles.

    RE: the spill. Surely there’s money to be made sopping up all this free oil that’s floating about? I’s imagine there’s some kind of windfall/finders keepers law that applies.

  16. bkad says:

    I overheard someone saying they hoped this wouldn’t be like a Chornobyl or a three mile island and set oil exploration back 30 years. I wanted to say, you [expletive], the problem isn’t that oil might be set back, but that nuclear was.

    There, now that I got my pro-nuclear ranting out of the way:

    How much oil would humans need to successfully well for the risk of a spill like this to be worth it? I ask that in a deliberately provocative way, but I think that is exactly the kind of risk analysis we’ll need to do as we figure out how to regulate future wells and exploration.

    So far I haven’t seen any news that BP did anything wrong, or at least anything that would have been recognized as wrong without hindsight (though I’m sure the investigations will go on for decades). If that holds to be the case, it means some smart people made a risk assessment, took a gamble, and lost. (It doesn’t even mean the risk assessment was necessarily wrong).

    Using fossil fuels has a cost. One of the costs is the risk of bad spills. That cost is not infinity. So what is it? How do we determine?

    • Anonymous says:

      “So far I haven’t seen any news that BP did anything wrong, or at least anything that would have been recognized as wrong without hindsight”

      You should really watch last week’s 60-minutes episode – it’s watchable free online. There were several serious things that BP screwed up on that we know of already.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem with that is, people look at costs differently– some are really averse to steady costs (i.e, paying more for energy overall), some are averse to disasters that have high random costs.

      Chances are, the disastrists make up most of the population…certainly the loudest part. (Consider how worked up people get from death due to terrorism versus death due to traffic accidents for an example)

    • Rindan says:

      I overheard someone saying they hoped this wouldn’t be like a Chornobyl or a three mile island and set oil exploration back 30 years. I wanted to say, you [expletive], the problem isn’t that oil might be set back, but that nuclear was.

      Nuclear was set back for damned good reasons. Nuclear power should scare the shit out of you. Every industry in the US runs to have zero disasters, has safeties, backups, redundancy, and all the rest. These all fail at some point somewhere. The more of something you have, the more likely you are to have a freak accident that no one could have predicted.

      Seeing as how you can’t predict the chances of a freak accident, you need to ask yourself what do you do if there IS an accident. While I am not thrilled to watch the gulf get a nice slick coating of oil, it is the sort of catastrophe that, while bad, isn’t going to devastate the nation. Try blowing up a nuclear power plant down wind from New York City. That would tank the WORLD economy and put us into a deep depression even if not a single life was lost. Thanks. I’ll pass.

      Further, the entire nuclear foolishness misses the point. Even if nuclear was cost effective once you factor in all of the negative externalities in dealing with the waste, and as a society we decide that we want to live with the possibility of having a swath of the nation made uninhabitable if our safety systems fail, it still won’t solve a god damn thing. You don’t power cars on nuclear power. You power them on fucking oil. Electric cars are not there yet, and even if they were there, nuclear power doesn’t dramatically decrease the cost to run them, it just makes running “cleaner” if you blindly ignore the radioactive waste and the fact that a failure at one of these plants results in creating a wasteland.

      • Zykov says:

        Rindan, Chernobyl is a man made disaster without peer, but to say that it is indicative of the nuclear power industry is the height of ignorance. Chernobyl was a poorly designed plant that was run even worse. Three Mile Island was a bad situation but led to no deaths, and no body in the public received a dose of radiation that is significant (a worker at the plant received the highest dose of 16 mrem after entering the contaminated space, you receive about 5 mrem from an x-ray, so if the 16 a radiation worker received worries you enjoy the new airport scanners).

        Chernobyl was a disaster because the Soviets didn’t care about what they were doing, and TMI had its issues because it was a young industry that was having growing pains. TMI and Chernobyl (and SL-1) have made the nuclear industry safer because they are studied and lessons are learned and implemented to make safer nuclear plants.

        Nuclear waste is handled quite efficiently by the French, and they have a lot less geography to work with then the US does, also reprocessing waste would significantly reduce that as a concern.

        • Rindan says:

          Rindan, Chernobyl is a man made disaster without peer, but to say that it is indicative of the nuclear power industry is the height of ignorance.

          I am pretty sure I never once mentioned Chernobyl. I don’t think it is at all indicative of the nuclear industry. What I am saying is that systems, all systems, fail. When you look at most industrial disasters in the developed world, you find a few negligent companies, but you also find many disasters where the damn stars just lined up and something unpredictable happened. It is the absolute height of ignorance to assume that we can anticipate all possible combinations of all possible failures and plan for them.

          So, even if we had a perfect regulatory environment, with perfect unfailing equipment, with perfect unfailing humans, you still have the possibility for disaster simply due to a couple of coincidences lining up that defeat your safety systems. It could be three backup systems failing at once, a 747 crashing into the roof, or a computer glitch that activates a series of valves in the wrong order. There IS something that can cause the nuke to go critical, and there is a non-zero possibility that such events will occur.

          Further, we don’t know the “odds” of any of these events. We know that they are very rare, but we have no idea how rare. Unfortunately, they only need to happen once to have absolute disaster.

          The only thing you can do to fully prepare for the extremely rare and unpredictable event is to make sure that your failure mode is graceful. If my coal plant fails, it sucks, and it might kill some workers, but it isn’t the end of the world. If my LNG facility blows, it might wipe out everything in the vicinity, but it again is hardly the end of the world. If my nuclear power plant fails due to some unpredictable event of which we can not put odds on, you lose a swath of the nation. If in that swath you happen to have a major city (NYC, Chicago, Boston, LA… nah, who cares about LA) you are talking about total world wide economic ruin.

          Maybe if nuclear power produced magical free energy, you might be able to stomach the unknowable risk a swath of the nation being ruined and the danger of nation wide and world wide complete and total economic ruin. Nuclear power doesn’t do that though. France, with its ~80% or so nuclear power doesn’t have a magical free energy economy.

          Expensive or at least comparable energy prices with a black swan failure model that results in a swath of the nation being rendered inhabitable for decades? Ka thanks, I’ll pass.

      • bkad says:

        Even if nuclear was cost effective once you factor in all of the negative externalities in dealing with the waste, and as a society we decide that we want to live with the possibility of having a swath of the nation made uninhabitable if our safety systems fail, it still won’t solve a god damn thing. You don’t power cars on nuclear power. You power them on fucking oil. Electric cars are not there yet, and even if they were there.

        I strongly disagree with your assessment of the safety risks of (modern) nuclear power, and obviously I disagree too about whether I’d rather live with the nuclear waste vs. oil spills and air pollution, but on this I agree: it doesn’t magically fix the car problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you should read up on the state of Chernobyl – that is nature has remained largely unaffected by the disaster. In fact, the nature in the area is flourishing because humans have moved out of the area. In addition to that, Chernobyl was mismanaged and poorly designed even for the time.

        I would also like to mention new nuclear power option reuse nuclear waste to dramatically reduce the amount of waste produced (I’ve heard up to 95% in a small scale).

        There’s a lot that has happened in the world of nuclear science, and you clearly need to drop your previous assumptions and read up on the subject.

    • Anonymous says:

      You write, “So far I haven’t seen any news that BP did anything wrong, or at least anything that would have been recognized as wrong without hindsight”

      How’s this?

      “This hasn’t seemed to have gotten much circulation yet, and I think it really needs to. Seems that a crew from Schlumberger, on contract to BP, hightailed it off the platform at their own expense 6 hours before the blowout becuase BP refused their recommendation to shut down the well. This lends more credence to Thom’s suggestion that corners were cut because the bigwigs were coming for a vist.

      “BP contracted Schlumberger (SLB) to run the Cement Bond Log (CBL) test that was the final test on the plug that was skipped. ……

      “SLB gets out to the Deepwater Horizon to run the CBL, and they find the well still
      kicking heavily, which it should not be that late in the operation. SLB orders the
      ‘company man’ (BP’s man on the scene that runs the operation) to dump kill fluid down the well and shut-in the well. The company man refuses. SLB in the very next sentence asks for a helo to take all SLB personel back to shore. The company man says there are no more helo’s scheduled for the rest of the week (translation: you’re here to do a job, now do it). SLB gets on the horn to shore, calls SLB’s corporate HQ, and gets a helo flown out there at SLB’s expense and takes all SLB personel to shore.

      6 hours later, the platform explodes.”

  17. Anonymous says:

    ZYKOV

    If you think nuclear is safe today check on the new problems media never release by media to the public
    safety concerns westinghouse reactor
    california moss landing reactor shut no reason
    susquehanna plant flooding
    vermont wants plant closed
    ect and ect

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is the next Chernobyl. And the next Prypiat? The already crippled New Orleans, which will no longer have a seafood industry.

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is a dreadful disaster. It did not have to happen.

    But let’s be clear. When Chernobyl happened, within a week birds fell dead out of the trees in California from the effects.

    Let us not conflate an ongoing disaster caused by nuclear use of all kind, and the effects last 5 billion years.

    We are none of us unaffected. Male fertility is crashing world wide. Nuclear holocaust. That’s real, even if it is invisible.

    Oil can be cleaned up – though this is a tragedy. Solar and wind are the answer, and natural gas for now. But not nuclear. Don’t forget.

  20. Rob Beschizza says:

    “Damn! No dock leaves out here!” said Jim, realizing that chicken vindaloo was a poor choice of breakfast for a day out in the bayou.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Christ, all we need now is a big hurricane to spray this shit all over the place.

  22. ADavies says:

    I’m with bkad, in a less bold kind of way.

    The nuclear industry’s trying to sell us a false choice between them or fossil fuels.

    They ignore the fact that there is a third way – smarter use of energy (efficiency) coupled with rapid deployment of renewable energy.

    • Zykov says:

      Energy efficiency is all well and good, but it does not change the fact that the world’s energy needs are rapidly growing, energy efficiency will at best slow the rate of that energy consumption increases.

      Personally, I think solar power is an avenue worth pursuing but on a micro deployed level, solar panels on roofs, etc, large scale deployment of solar power plants are not feasible (and wind definitely is not) at least not currently. Spain has just proved that.

      Fission is good for now, but fusion is the power of the future.

      Green is a essentially another facet of energy efficiency, minimizing our consumption of the mainstream power source.

    • Floryhawk says:

      I completely agree. However, I have no faith that the “rapid deployment of renewable energy” will follow any time soon on the national level.

      This leaves me ‘puzzling’ over how to do this on my own. Ideas?

  23. Anonymous says:

    If people are stupid enough to not recognize that this oil spill is dangerous, will continue to be dangerous and is past dangerous, then whatever happens, well, what do you think? Wake up America!!!!! Come on. I do not live in LA and I am worried sick for this country. The government and BP are not being truthful with the American people. This is going to hurt us for years to come. BP should be ordered to provide free gasoline to America for not following proper protocols for drilling and for not keeping up with checking to make sure they had all t’s and i’s crossed. Plus, they should be made to clean up this mess for as long as it takes forever and ever.

  24. BethNOLA says:

    Our state officials (governor Jindal and plaquemines parish president Billy Nungesser, mainly) are waiting on Corps of Engineers permission to dredge barrier islands between the oil and our wetlands. They asked for this last week and the Corps are still studying their plan. The CoE are twiddling their thumbs while this disaster unfolds. Yes, there will be ecological repurcussions to dredging. No, they cannot possibly be as bad as this oil in the marshes and estuaries.

    I wish Jindal would just dredge and leave the Corps to their diddling.

  25. Cochituate says:

    I love Rand Paul’s comment that the President’s comments about BP [while standing up for the rights of America, made reference to standing on the neck of BP, to make sure they do the right thing] were somehow unamerican.

    Rand, you are one crazy fucker, if you think that poisoning the Gulf coast for the next 50 years will go unnoticed while you spread you corporatist BS. There is no a single American who does not either go to the gulf coast or know someone who goes to the gulf coast(Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, plus Cozumel, Cancun, Cuba, & Jamaica). The smell will haunt us for generations, the cost of the cleanup, the shutting down of gulf seafood.

    This is horrendous, and yet all Rand Paul can thing of is the President is not being nice to Paul’s Corporate Masters.

    • Zykov says:

      Rand Paul is hardly a corporatist, he is an ideologue, our current government are corporatists, you think Obama is going to actually do anything to hurt his contributor BP? He will put on a show, slap them on the wrist, and pretend like it never happened, probably even give them prizes. The whole system is pretty well screwed up, keeps the rich rich, and makes the price of entry so steep that they never have to worry about competing.

  26. Marcel says:

    I really think this latest satellite picture from NASA says it all:

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/oilspill/oil-20100519b.html

  27. alexsanmiguel says:

    YES It is a big disaster …at last you say !!!!and every day i read your Boing Boing blog from years ago…but i have a little deception from you because you did not post many post about this tremendous and horrible catastrophe ….
    and i did not want to think that you are ( Boing Boing) in the same control line protection that all the US press …..nobody o very little newspapers speak about (http://www.rayogram.com/news/)this terrible B::P ecological catastrophe.
    Please keep…. boing boing COOL and GOOD with veracity of facts and please make more informative with this oil problem.
    I know all the world is based in car(oil)easy life ,our big cars and trucks….and for BP …money first !!!

  28. yer_maw says:

    Strange how the us seems to fuck things like this up when other countries have had these rigs for 40 years with no leak problems.

    • Gutierrez says:

      No leak problems? Ever?

      Timor Sea – Australia
      North Sea – Norway
      Siberia/Pacific Ocean – Russia

      “Russian oil pipelines spring 30,000 to 40,000 leaks every year, most of which go unknown to the public and media, he said.

      The Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, run by state pipeline operator Transneft, has sprung at least three oil leaks since January, according to Greenpeace Russia. One of the leaks, near the city of Lensk in the Sakha republic, spilled oil over 20,000 square meters.

      Komi, near the Finnish border, suffered the most serious environmental disaster in recent years when more than 100,000 tons of oil leaked through a rusty pipeline operated by the Komineft oil company in 1994, covering 70 hectares of land. Another large oil spill occurred in the same region in 2006, this time from a leaky pipeline operated by LUKoil.”

      It takes a disaster to bring these issues to the forefront. Get knowledge on the fact this industry is prone to accident, no matter where you are on the globe. What’s scary is people claim this is the first time there’s ever been a problem. People forget that leaks, spills, explosions, and fires are part of the offshore oil industry. Learn, form your opinion from facts, then make your opinion known.

  29. agnot says:

    I think the shrimp, and other Gulf sea life, deserve this even less then the people of New Orleans and the Gulf coast.

    It is pretty interesting that BP actually got a rig pumping off 5,000 barrels per day–a figure equaling the largest of their previous “leak” estimates. Horrifically, that capture amount now appears a small fraction of what is actually happening.

    I still think it will require the pressure-relief well they are drilling. Even then the technology is less than tried and true at 5,000 feet.

    But the whatever happened to the “junk shot?” Wasn’t that slated for this week? We need ever chance at good fortune we can get!

    Also interesting, PB and the platform company have safety compliance problems reminiscent of Macey mining.

    http://www.grist.org/article/2010-05-10-oil-spill-junk-shot-bp-safety-record-right-wingers-discredited/

  30. Anonymous says:

    How come some sort of bunker buster technology hasn’t been tried? I understand they have been successful with it in Russia in the past!
    Concerned Canadian.
    DF

  31. Lucifer says:

    I remember as a small child, the Amocco Cadiz, a petroleum tanker ran aground and spilled oil into the waters of Brittany France. Many years later, I went to visit the area and while the beaches looked normal, every brick-sized rock you turned over showed a small amount of used-engine-oil-like slick with a rainbow iridescence on the surface of the water.

    There is never a full recovery from an oil spill. The Amocco Cadiz was a big spill at the time but tiny compared to the BP spill still spewing petroleum into the environment.

    Not to be overly dramatic but children for generations henceforth may never know a seaside in the South of the USA and potentially on the Eastern seaboard that is not completely ravaged by petroleum.

    Oil spills, despite best efforts, are functionally forever.

    • proletariat says:

      Many years later, I went to visit the area and while the beaches looked normal, every brick-sized rock you turned over showed a small amount of used-engine-oil-like slick with a rainbow iridescence on the surface of the water.

      I grew up in Houston, Texas and have similar memories. As kids, we had to have two sets of swimming suits: one for the pool and one for the beach. You couldn’t swim in the ocean off Galveston Island without getting the inevitable oil stain on your trunks. Sand castles were impossible to build due to the oil just a few inches under the sand. Perhaps most sadly, I had no idea at the time that this wasn’t normal.

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