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MIKEMUN
29 Jul 10,, 18:25
President Obama has called the BP oil spill "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced," and so has just about everyone else. Green groups are sounding alarms about the "Catastrophe Along the Gulf Coast," while CBS, Fox and MSNBC slap "Disaster in the Gulf" chryons on all their spill-related news. Even BP fall guy Tony Hayward, after some early happy talk, admitted the spill was an "environmental catastrophe." The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill he calls it "the leak" is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.

Well, Rush has a point. The Deepwater explosion was an awful tragedy for the 11 workers who died on the rig, and it's no leak; it's the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. It's also inflicting serious economic and psychological damage on coastal communities that depend on tourism, fishing and drilling. But so far while it's important to acknowledge that the long-term potential danger is simply unknowable for an underwater event that took place just three months ago it does not seem to be inflicting severe environmental damage. "The impacts have been much, much less than everyone feared," says geochemist Jacqueline Michel, a federal contractor who is coordinating shoreline assessments in Louisiana. (See pictures of the Gulf oil spill.)

Yes, the spill killed birds but so far, less than 1% of the birds killed by the Exxon Valdez. Yes, we've heard horror stories about oiled dolphins but, so far, wildlife response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of any mammals. Yes, the spill prompted harsh restrictions on fishing and shrimping, but so far, the region's fish and shrimp have tested clean, and the restrictions are gradually being lifted. And, yes, scientists have warned that the oil could accelerate the destruction of Louisiana's disintegrating coastal marshes a real slow-motion ecological calamity but, so far, shorelines assessment teams have only found about 350 acres of oiled marshes, when Louisiana was already losing about 15,000 acres of wetlands every year. (Comment on this story.)

The disappearance of more than 2,000 square miles of coastal Louisiana over the last century has been a true national tragedy, ravaging a unique wilderness, threatening the bayou way of life and leaving communities like New Orleans extremely vulnerable to hurricanes from the Gulf. And while much of the erosion has been caused by the re-engineering of the Mississippi River which no longer deposits much sediment at the bottom of its Delta quite a bit has been caused by the oil and gas industry, which gouged 8,000 miles of canals and pipelines through coastal wetlands. But the spill isn't making that problem much worse. Coastal scientist Paul Kemp, a former Louisiana State University professor who is now a National Audubon Society vice president, compares the impact of the spill on the vanishing marshes to "a sunburn on a cancer patient." (See TIME's graphic "100 Days of the BP Spill.")

Marine scientist Ivor Van Heerden, another former LSU prof who's working for a spill response contractor, says "there's just no data to suggest this is an environmental disaster. I have no interest in making BP look good I think they lied about the size of the spill but we're not seeing catastrophic impacts," says Van Heerden, who, like just about everyone else working in the Gulf these days, is being paid out of BP's spill response funds. "There's a lot of hype, but no evidence to justify it."

The scientists I spoke with cite four basic reasons the initial eco-fears seem overblown. First, the Deepwater Horizon oil, unlike the black glop from the Valdez, is comparatively light and degradable, which is why the slick in the Gulf is dissolving surprisingly rapidly now that the gusher has been capped. Second, the Gulf of Mexico, unlike Prince William Sound, is balmy at more than 85 degrees, which also helps bacteria break down oil. Third, heavy flows of Mississippi River water helped keep the oil away from the coast, where it can do much more damage. Finally, Mother Nature can be incredibly resilient. Van Heerden's assessment team showed me around Casse-tete Island in Timbalier Bay, where new shoots of spartina grasses were sprouting in oiled marshes, and new leaves were growing on the first black mangroves I had ever seen that were actually black. "It comes back fast, doesn't it?" Van Heerden said. (See 12 people to blame for the Gulf oil spill.)

Van Heerden is controversial in Louisiana, so I should mention that this isn't the first time he and Kemp helped persuade me the conventional wisdom about a big story was wrong. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, when the Army Corps of Engineers was still insisting that a gigantic surge had overwhelmed its levees, they gave me a tour that debunked the prevailing narrative, demonstrating that most of the breached floodwalls showed no signs of overtopping. Eventually, the Corps admitted that they were right, that the surge in New Orleans was not so gigantic, that engineering failures had drowned the city. But there was still a lot of resentment down here of Van Heerden and his big mouth, especially after he wrote an I-told-you-so book about Katrina. He made powerful enemies at LSU, lost his faculty job, and is now suing the university. Meanwhile, he's been trashed locally as a BP shill ever since he downplayed the spill in a video on BP's website.



The BP Spill: Has the Damage Been Exaggerated? - TIME (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2007202,00.html)

MIKEMUN
29 Jul 10,, 18:26
It is the times,not me.:biggrin::biggrin:

bigross86
29 Jul 10,, 18:48
It makes perfect sense, if you ask me. Everyone aside from BP wins by making this an incredible disaster, and BP is the villain anyway, there's nothing they can do about it.

The Gulf States win and get more money for cleanups. Obama wins because it detracts from his abysmal administration. The Environmentalists win because whenever someone wants to drill anywhere in the world, they'll just say "Remember the Gulf?" The media wins because everyone loves a disaster to jump aboard.

gunnut
29 Jul 10,, 19:28
I don't understand all the hoopla about some oil spill. Oil is organic. Organic is good, right? It's all natural. Nothing synthetic. We haven't even touch it yet. It came straight from mother earth. Mother earth couldn't possibly tried to hurt us, or other creatures big and small, right?

bonehead
30 Jul 10,, 01:42
Time will tell when it comes to ranking the gulf oil spill. There is still a lot of oil out there to be dealt with and we have no real estimate how much really spilled.

bigross86
30 Jul 10,, 01:49
Where Has All the Gulf Spill Oil Gone? (http://www.kidglue.com/2010/07/29/where-has-all-the-gulf-spill-oil-gone/)


By Bridget Tyler on July 29th, 2010

Just two short weeks after BP finally managed to cap it’s leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico much of the oil slick that had spread for 1,000’s of miles across the Gulf has disappeared. The army of skimming crews working in the Gulf isn’t responsible for much of the removal either – they have skimmed only a very small amount from the surface.

“It’s very unusual to get more than 1 or 2 percent,” says Cornell University ecologist Richard Howarth, who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill.

So where has the oil gone?

A lot of it has probably evaporated, according to scientists. Apparently as much as 40% may have evaporated when it reached the surface. Some of the oil has undoubtedly settled into the sediments on the ocean floor as well. In fact, most researchers say the ocean floor is where the spill can do the most damage. But according to a report in Wednesday’s New York Times, “federal scientists [have determined] the oil [is] primarily sitting in the water column and not on the sea floor.”

And in that water there are microbes, tiny, oil ingesting bacteria and fungus that are doing most of the work of cleaning up the Gulf waters. Every ocean in the world has been shown to contain these tiny, oil spill fighting heroes, and the Gulf of Mexico has more than most. With it’s warm temperature and wealth of natural oil leaks, it’s a great habitat for the hearty petroleum eaters. Even more encouraging, the microbes seem to be feasting on the controversial dispersant chemicals that BP has flooded the Gulf with in it’s attempts to control the spill.

astralis
30 Jul 10,, 03:17
gunnut,


I don't understand all the hoopla about some oil spill. Oil is organic. Organic is good, right? It's all natural. Nothing synthetic. We haven't even touch it yet. It came straight from mother earth. Mother earth couldn't possibly tried to hurt us, or other creatures big and small, right?

i don't understand the hoopla about uranium-238-- uranium-238 is all natural, right? nothing synthetic. it came straight from mother earth..:biggrin:

antimony
30 Jul 10,, 04:37
The Gulf States win and get more money for cleanups.

You are right, it makes perfect sense

Sort of like the parent who has lost a child but gets compensation money.
Yep, so much better

bigross86
30 Jul 10,, 04:48
No, more like a guy who's car gets stolen, so he tells the insurance folks that he happened to have a Rolex that he was gonna give his son, a diamond necklace for his wife, diamond bracelet and earring for his daughter, and that he also had a pristine mint collectors edition of the Beatles White Album in the trunk.

Go prove him wrong. Prove that he's lying. Insurance has to pay up.

Same thing here. It pays for the Gulf states to say the damage is worse than it is for the same reason anybody lies. There's something in it for them, some sort of incentive. In this case, BP is already shelling out beaucoup bucks on cleanup. There's bound to be a couple of millions to fall through the cracks, and the Gulf states figure they deserve it just as much as the next one. So they also tell a lie that's hard to prove. Trying to prove them wrong immediately turns you into a villain

Same thing you're doing at this very moment, for example. Someone claims the Gulf states are lying about the extent of the damage, you immediately jump to their defense, even though what I'm saying does make perfect sense and is a very distinct possibility.

bonehead
30 Jul 10,, 05:30
There are issues here. First, always ask for more when negotiating for money so you can "settle" for the amount you actually wanted in the first place. Then there is perspective. I live in Oregon so a spill in the gulf is not the end of the world. If I made my lively hood from the gulf and had a beach house in one of the gulf states that now has tar balls all over, I can guarantee my take on the spill would be far different.

Versus
30 Jul 10,, 07:03
Where Has All the Gulf Spill Oil Gone? (http://www.kidglue.com/2010/07/29/where-has-all-the-gulf-spill-oil-gone/)

And while the microbes are munching oil they consume oxygen from the water, and by doing that they are killing everything else.

bigross86
30 Jul 10,, 08:38
I highly doubt that. The ocean is too big and oxygen way too abundant for that to actually happen.

That's like saying that if I use C02 fire extinguisher to put out a fire in my room, people 2 doors down and 4 floors above me are going to suffocate

Blue
30 Jul 10,, 16:01
And who has exaggerated it? Like Rahm says, never let a good crisis go to waste!

What caused the most damage, the oil itself, or the ridiculous moratorium imposed by the administration?


Semantic rant on;

And Rush is correct btw. It was a leak, not a spill. Ships "spill" oil in a known, finite amount. This "leaked" who knows how much and came directly from the source.

semantics off.:cool:

Roosveltrepub
30 Jul 10,, 16:34
And who has exaggerated it? Like Rahm says, never let a good crisis go to waste!

What caused the most damage, the oil itself, or the ridiculous moratorium imposed by the administration?


Semantic rant on;

And Rush is correct btw. It was a leak, not a spill. Ships "spill" oil in a known, finite amount. This "leaked" who knows how much and came directly from the source.

semantics off.:cool:

seriously? that's a no brainer. Also we dont know how bad this is yet.

ZekeJones
30 Jul 10,, 16:35
I highly doubt that. The ocean is too big and oxygen way too abundant for that to actually happen.

That's like saying that if I use C02 fire extinguisher to put out a fire in my room, people 2 doors down and 4 floors above me are going to suffocate

Not so -

WHOI : Oceanus : Red Tides and Dead Zones (http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=2487)

Dead zone (ecology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_%28ecology%29)

Blue
30 Jul 10,, 18:13
seriously? that's a no brainer. Also we dont know how bad this is yet.

Please explain, because I'm not sure which way your brain flies on things like this?:biggrin:;)

Roosveltrepub
30 Jul 10,, 18:27
Please explain, because I'm not sure which way your brain flies on things like this?:biggrin:;)

Well, are you only interested in short term $$$$$ then clearly the moritorium is worse. We don't know how bad this is because the destruction will continue long after the well is capped.

gunnut
30 Jul 10,, 19:06
Semantic rant on;

And Rush is correct btw. It was a leak, not a spill. Ships "spill" oil in a known, finite amount. This "leaked" who knows how much and came directly from the source.

semantics off.:cool:

Wouldn't this be more like a "spew" rather than a "leak?" I figure "spew" is under more pressure than a "leak."

gunnut
30 Jul 10,, 19:07
gunnut,



i don't understand the hoopla about uranium-238-- uranium-238 is all natural, right? nothing synthetic. it came straight from mother earth..:biggrin:

But U238 is not organic. Oil is. :cool:

highsea
30 Jul 10,, 19:10
But U238 is not organic. Oil is. :cool:And U238 didn't originate on earth either, it comes from supernovas.

The earth cares about you gunnut. :))

Versus
30 Jul 10,, 19:13
I highly doubt that. The ocean is too big and oxygen way too abundant for that to actually happen.

That's like saying that if I use C02 fire extinguisher to put out a fire in my room, people 2 doors down and 4 floors above me are going to suffocate

If you create zone without oxygen, fish and other sea creatures don't know about it. They follow their migration routes that can and will bring them into the dead zones. Once they reach the dead zones, they will be...well,dead. Than the decaying corpses will draw in even more bacteria and the dead zone will spread and so on and so on.

astralis
30 Jul 10,, 19:19
gunnut,


But U238 is not organic. Oil is.

i knew i should have used methane or some other carbon compound for you :biggrin:

speaking of U238, you're playing sc2 now, aren't you :biggrin:

gunnut
30 Jul 10,, 19:26
gunnut,

i knew i should have used methane or some other carbon compound for you :biggrin:

Methane is good stuff. We should burn more of it. :)



speaking of U238, you're playing sc2 now, aren't you :biggrin:

Actually I'm not. I didn't jump on the sale last week for $45 so it's back to $60 now. I am hesitant to buy for a few reasons:

1. $60
2. It only contains the terran campaign
3. No LAN support
4. Need to connect to battle.net even for single player game

Blizzard wants to milk the franchise so the zerg campaign and the protoss campaign will come in "expansions." I think I can wait for that.

I'm playing a game called "Alien Swarm" now. It's completely free from Steam. Download and play. It's like the movie Aliens, except the aliens don't like like the aliens in Aliens. It's a top-down 2D shooter that supports up to 4 players in a single game. The publisher released the game and a single campaign, and the SDK for free. Hopefully the mod community will take over and release new campaigns and mods.

highsea
30 Jul 10,, 19:35
If you create zone without oxygen, fish and other sea creatures don't know about it. They follow their migration routes that can and will bring them into the dead zones. Once they reach the dead zones, they will be...well,dead. Than the decaying corpses will draw in even more bacteria and the dead zone will spread and so on and so on.They're seeing reduced oxygen levels in the gulf, which indicate the bacteria are doing their job. Oxygen poor zones on the surface tend to be short lived due to the mixing with the atmosphere. Deeper down they last longer, but the degradation is more dependent on anaerobic bacteria, since oxygen levels are a lot lower anyway.

We get dead zones in the Pacific Northwest every year, they move around. They are mostly caused by runoff of waste and fertilizers which create algae blooms. We don't see much fish kill, but it affects the crab and other bottom dwellers in the shallow waters near shore.

bolo121
30 Jul 10,, 20:06
Pic for Gunnut.

http://i.imgur.com/3xoKw.png

bonehead
30 Jul 10,, 23:49
I highly doubt that. The ocean is too big and oxygen way too abundant for that to actually happen.

That's like saying that if I use C02 fire extinguisher to put out a fire in my room, people 2 doors down and 4 floors above me are going to suffocate

It can and has happened in the ocean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology)

One of the first things welders learn is that if you are not careful you can displace enough oxygen from the work place and die. One guy died while welding something the size and shape of a bath tub. I worked in a newspaper building for a bit. The rule was that when the alarm sounded you had 90 seconds to leave the building before a gas was released to displace the oxygen.

Blue
31 Jul 10,, 00:46
Well, are you only interested in short term $$$$$ then clearly the moritorium is worse. We don't know how bad this is because the destruction will continue long after the well is capped.

Are you talking ecological destruction? Because thats already on the rebound. The msm seems disappointed they can't find any more tarred up beaches or slicks. :frown:

The moratorium drove quite a few rigs out of the gulf, thats a lot of jobs lost with a ripple effect that is still propagating.

I would call the men who died on that rig the first tragedy, the second was the moratorium. The ecological impact is going to way down the list tragedies when this is all over.

bonehead
31 Jul 10,, 03:05
They're seeing reduced oxygen levels in the gulf, which indicate the bacteria are doing their job. Oxygen poor zones on the surface tend to be short lived due to the mixing with the atmosphere. Deeper down they last longer, but the degradation is more dependent on anaerobic bacteria, since oxygen levels are a lot lower anyway.

We get dead zones in the Pacific Northwest every year, they move around. They are mostly caused by runoff of waste and fertilizers which create algae blooms. We don't see much fish kill, but it affects the crab and other bottom dwellers in the shallow waters near shore.

The dead zones off the PNW is due to changes in upwelling, not run off.

Jane Lubchenco has documented mysterious Pacific dead zones | Water | EarthSky (http://earthsky.org/water/mysterious-dead-zones-appear-in-the-pacific-northwest)

Gun Grape
31 Jul 10,, 06:47
Are you talking ecological destruction? Because thats already on the rebound. The msm seems disappointed they can't find any more tarred up beaches or slicks. :frown:





Hate to say it but. Bull Shat.

We won't know the total damage for at least 3 years in the oyster beds.

Same with the Yellowfin tuna, shrimp, and crabs. The marshlands and shallows in the area hit hardest were responsible for 70& of seafood produced in the United States.

Its not on the rebound in any way. Lack of tarballs on the beach is not a good thing. It means that it is still out in the gulf.

As I write this, I can tell you that there is oil less than 5 miles off the beach here in Panama City. You don't see it on the DEP maps because it isn't on the surface. Thats all they track. This stuff is suspended from 30- 200 feet.

Gun Grape
31 Jul 10,, 06:50
The moratorium drove quite a few rigs out of the gulf, thats a lot of jobs lost with a ripple effect that is still propagating.


No production rigs left the gulf. They are still pumping. All the Moratorium did was stop drilling that was scheduled.

Its one of those stories, like the one about no foreign boats/help from foreign countries because of the Jones act, that isn't true but just won't die.

Versus
31 Jul 10,, 07:33
But, Highsea, Pacific is not the Gulf of Mexico, the water there is warmer than the Pacific and the eco system is different.

I don't know I am not the marine biologist,but I know that all this is not good.

antimony
31 Jul 10,, 18:28
Same thing you're doing at this very moment, for example. Someone claims the Gulf states are lying about the extent of the damage, you immediately jump to their defense, even though what I'm saying does make perfect sense and is a very distinct possibility.

Stop trying to put stuff into my mouth, I am not kumping to the defense of any Gulf State. Your post seemed to imply that the Gulf States and residents thereof were actually happy about the spill (or leak or whatever) since now they can just pump money out of BP, and I am saying that is ridiculous.

bigross86
31 Jul 10,, 19:10
I didn't say they were happy about the spill, I said that it makes sense for them to exaggerate the extent of the spill, because they get more out of exaggerating than sticking to the facts.

MIKEMUN
04 Aug 10,, 13:49
The US government says the well leaked 4.9 million barrels of oil before being capped last month, with only 800,000 barrels being captured.

But it is expected to announce on Wednesday that only 26% of the oil released was still in the water or onshore in a form that possibly could cause new problems.

Most of that oil is either a light sheen at the surface or in a dispersed form below the surface, and federal scientists believe both forms are breaking down rapidly, the New York Times reports.

Fears that a huge underwater accumulation of oil might eventually surface and pollute beaches are therefore unfounded, the report suggests.


About three-quarters of the escaped oil has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated, according to a new analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), reported in the New York Times.


BBC News - BP says 'static kill' to stop oil leak was successful (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10862893)

dalem
04 Aug 10,, 19:47
Told ya so.

-dale

highsea
06 Aug 10,, 00:29
But, Highsea, Pacific is not the Gulf of Mexico, the water there is warmer than the Pacific and the eco system is different.

I don't know I am not the marine biologist,but I know that all this is not good.Sure. The warmer temps increase the rate of biodegrading.

I think the biggest dead zone in the world is already in the Gulf where the Missippi meets the sea. All that runoff.

Remember the old saying: "The Solution to Pollution is Dilution". It's a big gulf. 1 million gallons of oil is only 0.000000908 cubic miles.

Not saying I trust the government's measurements, but they are saying the concentrations are extremely low even within a couple miles of the wellhead.

Gun Grape
08 Aug 10,, 18:56
Thursday, I was at St George Island, Near Apalachicola, FL. According to 2 Fl NG soldiers, DEP found a fairly large oil slick less than a mle from shore. Shrimp boats ran through it with their net while fishing. I verified the story with the DEp officer that was inspecting one of my possible future projects.

Oil was found in the marsh grass in St Joe Bay and there was a large fish kill in the bay. As I was driving down 98 the dead fish were almost a solid line along the shore for at least the 2 miles that is along the road. Bad enough for DEP to close the bay. The day before St Joe's annual scallop festival.

Oil was found 5 miles off Mexico beach. And If you put your boat in the water and travel offshore the hull will turn a brownish/orange color from the oil.

If you look on the NOAA surface oil forcast pdf. The area I'm talking about is not even on the map. Its about 50-75 miles east of the right hand edge of the map

http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/book_shelf/2398_TMF72-2010-08-05-2000.pdf

So I'm saying the "Experts" that claim the oil is gone are full of crap. I will agree with them that satellite photos don't show it on the surface. But it is there. At about 30 feet.

Blue
09 Aug 10,, 16:10
I don't think they are saying it is gone by any means Gunny, but the disaster is just not as bad as what the administration wanted it....er, uhm...made it out to be.