BP disaster update: BP spills coffee, birds "cooking" to death in Gulf oil, June 12 protest

BP Spills Coffee.

Those gulf birds are effectively cooked alive in the oil.

As you know, a bird has a natural repellent in its feathers that keeps the water out. That's a little area -- a little cushion -- that keeps it cool. Well, this oil here gets on those feathers, and they lose that little insulation. And then, when you have this oil at 100+ degrees, the bird experts say, it begins to literally cook the birds.
• Don't know much about this, but here it is: Worldwide BP Protest Day - 12 June 2010

Should you eat shrimp from the gulf? (Good Magazine, and I don't care what they say, I won't be.)

• NOAA: Freqently asked questions about Hurricanes and the Oil Spill. (PDF Link)

• Image: from a second heartbreaking Boston Globe "Big Picture" series on the spreading devastation, "A sea turtle is mired in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Grand Terre Island, Louisiana June 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Lee Celano)." Full series here.

(via Constant Siege)



  1. I have no problem eating gulf seafood as long as I have reasonable trust in the restaurant. If for no other reason that the oil spill, environmental damage, and thousands of animals killed is a horrible enough disaster without putting restaurants, suppliers, and fishermen (fisherpeople?) out of business. Assuming, of course, that they themselves behave responsibly in obtaining the seafood safely.

    For me it is a local issue, since I live within several hours of the Gulf of Mexico, so it is “local” seafood for me. I’ll even eat at local restaurants that specialize in gulf seafood if I have to pay higher prices and they have to use imported seafood (which several are doing, substituting Virgina oysters for Gulf oysters, for example). I don’t want my local restaurants to become another casualty of BP.

    Now I have a craving for some raw oysters and boiled shrimp…

  2. Anybody else noticed that BP is an emoticon for a person wearing thick glasses (oilfield engineer perhaps) sticking their tongue out at us?

    Just like Walmart’s logo is a puckering anus, the truth leaks out.

  3. this is just crazy! i mean, 11 people died and they made a viral video about it? anyone who can find a cheap laugh in the face of such tragedy is obviously some kind of heartless monster. Maybe the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. on a par with that flotilla
    “We are the world” parody, isn’t it?

  4. You know all those birds who get sick, what about the humans who are cleaning up the oil?

    Right now it looks like we have another 9/11 Ground Zero situation where the EPA monitoring isn’t going to give us the toxic data in a timely fashion to require respirators.

    I guess we should just work, get sick and file lawsuits. It’s the American way.

    I’ve started a Facebook group, BP We Demand Respirators for ALL Workers. You could join, it wouldn’t be the worse thing you do all day.


    1. I do not want to come off sounding trollish, but:

      1. if BP and the U.S. government failed to adhere to their own rules and regulations on drilling;

      2. and are refusing to listen to v/a reputable experts recommending how the end the spill because their suggestions result in lost revenue;

      3. and have demonstrated contempt for the public and their own support staff;

      … then what on earth is a Facebook protest page going to do other than make people feel good about themselves, (falsely) believing they did something of value?

  5. Of course the cleanup workers should be wearing respirators. But that would “look” bad.
    BP, like most conservatives, thinks they can create their own reality and they’ll keep trying to do that even if it means serious long-term health consequences for the peons who do the work.
    We should remember what Richard Feynman said about the Challenger disaster:
    ” For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

    1. Ohh, great Feynman quote! Thanks.

      As I’ve been trying to understand WHY the respirators aren’t being worn I’ve discovered there is a combination of regulations being used against workers and optics. You are exactly right about how it looks. Imagine if Obama was out on a clean up boat wearing a respirator vs. not.

      It would send a powerful message, but the right would mock him for being a big baby.

      The question is, “Who is looking out for the health of the workers?”

  6. Anon, the oil is well into the Louisiana wetlands now, and there’s turtles in those swamps that aren’t sea turtles, yo.

    As for the dude upset about the BP coffee spill joke (wherein BP executives totally fail to clean up a coffee spill, instead making the situation worse), I fail to see how the joke is in worse taste than what BP itself did in reality.

  7. The solution to this oil well tragedy is to drill two more wells. I understand why this is the case, but I can’t get around the ridiculous injustice.

    Govt: “Your reckless rig management has caused an environmental catastrophe. We need you to drill two more wells as fast as possible!”

    BP: “We’ll get right on that!”

  8. why don’t they have a DIFFERENT company (or multiple companies) drill more wells in the area. I agree it’s the only way this will be solved… BP should have to forfeit their claim on that lot because of this…

  9. So sad for the shrimp.
    An Elvis song, of and for the shrimp:

    Now I feel marginally better.
    (but not much)

  10. I would like Maggie’s opinion on the subject, since she probably will have an informed POV on the whole boiling birds thing. Yeah, I’m really interested in that for some reason; can meat cook at human body temperature?

    Leaving that aside… any news on how this thing is developing in, like, courts and real-punishment-land?

  11. This sure seems like a lot of fuss over a mass of oil equivalent to all of the warships in *only* ~2.5 carrier strike groups. Heck, we’ve (USA) got 11 running around the world ocean. If you gathered all that oil up into a sphere, it would only be about 100m in diameter. How fast can you sprint 100m?

    After a few beers, Wolfram Alpha sure is entertaining.

    If this whole marine science gig doesn’t pan out for me, maybe I can get a job in the petroleum industry. I hear they may have some openings soon.

  12. It looks like there’s going to be another 12 weeks of gathering anger before the guys running the show could possibly do anything to make themselves look better.

    So I need to pace myself. I want to know how angry I should be at this one particular company, as opposed to the general petroleum trust that’s taken over.

    Specifically, how inevitable was this accident? Have there been blowouts at these depths before? Surely there’ve been such pressure surges before… how difficult are they to accommodate?

    What was it about this rig that made a fire so unsurprising to that (“Happy now, it’s on fire!”)guy?

    What’s to keep them from putting some RadioIsotopic heaters on that big oil collector dome? Could enough heat be (safely) generated to prevent that methane ice from clogging the pipes?

    It’s clear that the guys in charge still don’t understand how deeply screwed they are. I’ll know that they’ve woken up when they stop putting that dispersing agent into the flow. Once an oiled beach has killed all the wildlife, there is no more wildlife to kill no matter how much more oil there is. But the oil that remains underwater can keep doing damage in proportion to its volume.

    If the automaker bailout wasn’t enough to question car culture, maybe this is.

    I’m reminded of that scene in _Eric the Viking_ where the leaders of Atlantis slip beneath the waves without admitting that anything is amiss.

    After 9/11, there was such a well channeled outflow of anger that the only thing to do was wage war. This time, no one in charge wants to tell us what to do with out outrage. I think it’s time to get creative!

    1. Your last statement about giving the American people “a well-channeled outflow of anger” carries much truth. That outflow should generate from the top. But it doesn’t. Our President is an intelligent, thoughtful man who appears saddled by those two qualities. He dithers. Never was a Presidential campaign slogan more ironic or prescient: Hope.

  13. You know, since this is shaping up to be one of the worst environmental disasters ever, I’m really past the point of finding anything funny about it. Putting a comedy piece next to pictures of suffocating wildlife and facts about how gruesomely animals are dying out there jes’ don’t seem right.

    1. It would have been a good editorial idea to separate the two images into separate articles. A suffering animal alongside some pointed comedy was a mistake.

  14. To those who find the video in bad taste, consider that not everyone who sees this video considers the oil spill to be a devastating ecologic (and economic) failure of historic proportions. These sort of over-the-top simplifications can be powerful propaganda to those who haven’t decided on who to blame. I’ve seen videos in this vein used countless times to fuel rage against immigration, abortion, and welfare. Sometimes dramatization gets through to people better than evidence or logic.

  15. I have been deliberately avoiding news on this topic for a reason. The cooking birds and the photo of the sea turtle combined…

    I am now literally crying.

  16. In the end it doesn’t matter what the birds die from, but this “when you have this oil at 100+ degrees, the bird experts say, it begins to literally cook the birds” really cooks my goose.

    The birds may die from hyperthermia if starvation or dehydration don’t kill them first. They never come near being cooked. If a human dies of hyperthermia we don’t say they died from being cooked. And what is so special about the vauge 100+ degrees. I once had a fever of 101 and didn’t get cooked (that I know of).

    Birds must be cooked to 160 degrees F for safe consumption. When someone misuses the word”literally” my head literally explod

  17. Would just like to make Boing Boing-readers pay attention to the much larger and much, much worse oil leaks in Nigeria (Otuegwe). These have been going on since the 70’s and could be stopped by simply turning of a couple of oil pipes.

    The guilty parties is Exxon Mobile and Shell.

  18. Funny video, but the BP spill has all the earmarks of a “wrecking”.

    What’s a “wrecking”? What maritime privateers (pirates) did and do to lure a foreign vessel into its waters sometime by moving the light houses in order to wreck it for the salvage value.

    Who “lured” BP into the Gulf’s deep waters? Standard Oil of Ohio geologist Jack E. Golden who left SOHIO went to BP and now works for Cobalt Energy. He is on the board of the Carlyle Group. Cobalt’s CEO resigned mid-June, 2010, just after the spill but he, Herbert L Gray was with Zurix an Enron sub before coming to Cobalt. Zurix was sued for stock manipulation of its IPO….and you know what happened to Enron….another type of corporate “wrecker”….nearly wrecking the economy of California who Enron-sympathetic Texans said deserved what they got because they would NOT drill in deep water offshore of California.

    In the video the arrival of Halliburton who is accused of delivering faulty cups, may not be far from the truth…having purchased Boots & Coots the oil clean up and service company in the weeks prior to the spill. The oil companies make the disperants, they provide the clean up…heck, they might as well be in water purification.

    What? Azurix was? Just like Bechtel in Bolivia where in 2000 it conducted a “water war”.

    Who would stand to gain from such a spill?

    A: The oil industry itself would have a potential moratorium on future blame for similar or lesser spills in the region.

    A: America’s oil dependence is seen mitigated by the promise of CNG, but CNG…compressed natural gas….is compressed to 600x’s it natural state and under about 5000 psi of pressure and has been dismissed as too risky for inland transport in large tankers. Will New Orleans become a new CNG Mecca in the wake of Katrina and the BP spill….with its straight shot up the Mississippi to the nation’s heartland? What else are all those Cajuns going to do? Fish? Oyster? Maybe with the help of Kevin Kostner’s pumps in a backyard pond.

    A: A weakened BP which was the leading lease holder of Gulf deep water leases thanks in part to Mr. Golden’s “leadership” may be much more willing to sell off these leases….if for no other reason than to withdraw from the current atmosphere and anger and litigation.

    The effects are to have provided a “wrecking”…like that done by Americans in Key West, Florida and Nags Head where lanterns were tied around horses heads as they were led around buildings to throw off the ships at sea for quick salvaging.

    But BP had 760 safety violations in the same time period that Exxon had only one, as evidenced by the reports of the Materials Management Services!

    A: Really? By the MMS? And you believe that? I believe that I could cite Exxon for more than that if I were drunk, stoned and blindfolded.

    WH Carr
    Corpus Christi, TX

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