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.
Artists Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown explore cymatics, the study of wave phenomena and how they are represented visually. Using black-colored water, a laptop computer, and a modified guitar amp, they captured “portraits” of the 12 notes in the chromatic scale. From my sister-in-law Heather Sparks’s profile of their project in Nautilus: In each (“portrait”), […]
Yesterday’s science-by-press-release announcement that a research team had made a “breakthrough” in treating ALS thanks to funds raised in last year’s viral ice-bucket challenge turns out to be vaporware: the gene identified was already known to be implicated in ALS, but only affects 3% of cases, and the new refinement in the research suggests some […]
New research on trends in adult human height over the last century confirm that, no surprise, humans are getting taller overall due to better nutrition and disease control. However according to the health science group Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), the gain in adult height varies dramatically by country. From their paper, published in […]
Looks like all of your potential employers are hiring candidates with programming skills (which you don’t have). With all of the languages out there today, it’s tough to know where to start.With the Complete Front-End to Back-End Coding Bundle, you can beef your resume up in all the right places, no confusion necessary. This package of […]
Those of us who love music wish we could listen to it 24/7. But it’s impossible when we’re trying to converse with our friends, or when are swimming in the local pool.That is, until now. The KOAR Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset, now 48% off, has changed the audio game.Made with lightweight titanium memory metal, this headset boasts patented bone conduction technology to transport sound […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]