Climate Progress makes a point that I've been thinking a lot about lately...
...history has taught that no amount of clean up effort will ever be able to fully reverse the spill of many millions of gallons of oil into the ocean. The legacy of Exxon Valdez still lingers today; Dr. Jeffrey Short of Oceana testified in a 2009 hearing that:
"Despite heroic efforts involving more than 11,000 people, 2 billion dollars, and aggressive application of the most advanced technology available, only about 8 percent of the oil was ever recovered. This recovery rate is fairly typical rate for a large oil spill. About 20 percent evaporated, 50 percent contaminated beaches, and the rest floated out to the North Pacific Ocean where it formed tarballs that eventually stranded elsewhere or sank to the seafloor."
This is yet more evidence that 20-year Coast Guard veteran Dr. Robert Brulle is right: "With a spill of this magnitude and complexity, there is no such thing as an effective response."
Even best-case scenario, only a small percentage of the oil could be cleaned up—and we're long past best case. I'm on to wondering about what happens if we can't cap the well at all. National Geographic offers a partial answer: The well could pump out oil for years, and the Gulf of Mexico would be left with the kind of devastation still seen in the Persian Gulf where the Iraqi army intentionally dumped some 336 million gallons during the 1991 Gulf War.
Up to 89 percent of the Saudi marshes and 71 percent of the mud flats had not bounced back after 12 years, the team discovered. "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.
There is no easy fix. The problem isn't that BP should have run their business without any accidents, the problem is that they seem to have had no backup plan for how to stop an accident that went beyond "normal". There is no technology that's proven to cap or even mostly clean up spills of this magnitude. That's the reality we're facing, and it isn't pretty.
At Blue Hill, Maine’s George Stevens Academy, there lies a Twinkie that was the subject of teacher Roger Bennatti’s 1976 science lesson on chemical preservatives and shelf life. Now the immortal snack cake sits in a glass case on the desk of the school’s Dean of Students Libby Rosemeier who was a student in the […]
In the early 1970s, Princeton University physicist Gerard O’Neill became a space activist touting plans to build human colonies in outer space. He argued that humans could escape (while helping alleviate) the environmental damage we are causing on Earth by migrating to space habitats housed in cylinders that would be suspended 250,000 miles from Earth […]
In a new scientific study, McGill University researcher Jay Olson combined stage magic with psychology to make people think that an fMRI machine (actually a fake) could read their minds and implant thoughts in their heads. Essentially, Olson and his colleagues used “mentalist” gimmicks to do the ESP and “thought insertion” but convinced the subjects […]
If you’ve got a coding career on your mind, few programming disciplines will take you farther than a commanding knowledge of the Python language, which is not to be mistaken for parseltongue. Its versatility and ease of use make it a go-to for any coding project…so master Python now with this all-inclusive all-level python programming course […]
The realm of web development is constantly evolving. New platforms, languages, and processes materialize all the time, so staying on top of all that innovation is a tall order.Whether you’re brushing up on new tricks, starting from scratch, or just looking to make your own website a little jazzier, Rob Percival’s new Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 (now […]
Folks used to rely on alarms to protect their home – and before that, the family dog. Now, anyone looking to guard their homes can choose from some high-tech options, including the Amaryllo iCamPRO FHD Home Security Camera (now just $219 in the Boing Boing Store).In fact, this 2015 CES “Best of Innovation” award-winner boasts so many features, it’s […]