On Jun 23, 2:34 pm, nmstevens <***@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Jun 23, 3:27 pm, "Steven J. Weller" <***@lafn.org> wrote:
> > On Jun 23, 11:44 am, Alan Brooks <***@panix.com> wrote:
> > > "Steven J. Weller" <***@lafn.org> wrote:
> > > > On Jun 23, 7:36 am, Alan Brooks <***@panix.com> wrote:
> > > >> My
> > > >> personal belief is that they are declaring they have no solution because
> > > >> they know the only possible solution lies with the US Navy, and some sort of
> > > >> massive, targeted explosion. By surrendering they're essentially handing
> > > >> the problem to the US government and asking them to send them a bill when
> > > >> it's all over.
> > > > What scares me is that you might be right. A massive, targeted
> > > > explosion is far more likely to make things worse than it is to make
> > > > them better, but if nothing else is working it might end up being
> > > > tried. Right now - just this moment, as I'm typing this - comes the
> > > > news that one of the subs bumped into the warm water hose, and they've
> > > > had to take the cap off the well. The one that was allowing them to
> > > > siphon off a fraction of the oil spewing into the water. So, we're
> > > > back to where we started, and the second well being drilled will be
> > > > finished sometime toward the end of August at the earliest.
> > > We're fucked.
> > No kidding.
> > > I hate to speak out against Obama here, but we need to see some leadership
> > > on this issue. We need the Coast Guard in charge of clean-up, the Navy in
> > > charge of fixing the problem and BP in charge of paying for all of it.
> > Just like BP doesn't have a fix for this - at any price - neither does
> > the Navy or the Coast Guard. There's only two things that can be
> > done, here - stop the well that's spewing, and clean the oil out of
> > the water. It's not a failing of leadership, it's a failing of
> > technology. We don't have a way to get down there and seal off the
> > pipe, and we don't have a way to get the oil out of the water. Booms,
> > dispersants, the Kevin Costner Magic Centrifuge, nylon stockings full
> > of hair clippings, all of it - it's all on a much smaller scale.
> > Great if you're cleaning up a tanker's worth of spilled oil, but we're
> > talking millions of gallons a DAY, day after day and week after week
> > and eventually month after month. And so far nothing's out there
> > that's really going to do anything about the sub-surface plumes, and
> > once the chemically dispersed oil sinks to the ocean floor, it's there
> > for generations. Forever, basically. The Gulf of Mexico is pretty
> > much a write-off, at this point, and there's nothing that Obama or BP
> > really ever could have done about that, after the fact at least.
> > This is, in essence, the China Syndrome that all of the crazy tree-
> > huggers were screaming about back in the 70s, when the whole idea of
> > off-shore drilling and deep-water platforms were being protested. One
> > well, one catastrophic failure, and we are, indeed, fucked. And now
> > the Governor of Louisiana is campaigning to lift Obama's 6-month ban
> > on new drilling in the area, because his state needs the money.
> > THAT'S how much we're learning from this mistake.
> > Okay, I suppose there's an argument to be made that the damage is
> > already done so why not just keep making money, but this is the nature
> > of pretty much any and all human endeavors. If there's a way for
> > something to go wrong, it will - eventually. Wells will explode,
> > cores will melt down, buried toxic waste will make its way to the
> > surface, or into the water supply, and so on. We don't have the
> > attention span for decades of absolute vigilance, and there's always
> > going to be someone who's willing to bet that nothing's actually going
> > to go wrong if you just cut a couple of corners and skim the extra
> > money off the top.
> > > And I kid you not: if it means nationalizing BP's wells to pay for this,
> > > then we take away their wells the same way we'd take away the guns of anyone
> > > who didn't use them responsibly.
> > We're already doing that, to a certain extent. Twenty billion dollars
> > in an escrow account of some sort, against the eventual cost of the
> > clean-up. A lot of people are quietly getting their money out of BP
> > before the company has to declare bankruptcy (which is why the stock
> > is plunging) and when it does finally go ashcan, the remainder of the
> > expense will be shouldered by the US Gov't. It's going to cost a lot
> > more than $20B before it's all said and done but it's better than
> > having nothing to work with. Fox News made a bit of noise about how
> > the US has no right to "extort" this money from BP, of course.
> > --
> > Life Continues, Despite
> > Evidence to the Contrary
> > Steven
> The fact is, the technology for dealing with oil spills hasn't made
> any significant progress in generations.
> All of the vacuums and dispersal agents and all the rest will
> ultimately gather up a very small percentage of the spill -- just as
> they always have.
> As for the rest of the oil? Well, the volatile stuff in the oil will
> mostly evaporate. Some will combine chemically with sea water in one
> way or another. And then when all of the volatiles evaporate out, all
> of the stuff that is not very volatile -- that is, all of the tars --
> what hasn't been washed ashore (which is the vast majority) will
> ultimately sink down to the bottom.
> And there it will stay -- thousands and thousands of tons of the
> stuff, essentially out of reach of any possibility of cleaning it up
> -- until it gets buried by sediment.
> And there's never been any means even dreamed of for dealing with that
> stuff. People who are charged with cleaning it up know that this is
> essentially the "natural history" of spilled oil -- they clean up a
> token amount so as to look as if they're doing something, inevitably,
> depending on winds and currents, a certain percentage washes ashore,
> causing greater or lesser amounts of environmental havoc, most of it
> ultimately evaporates, the rest sinks.
> And basically, the only way to stop them is to drill relief wells.
> That's it. It's not like this is the first time this has happened.
> It's happened a number of times. Sometimes these fail-safe cut-off
> valves don't cut off. A number of times you get blow-outs *around* the
> pipes, so even if the cut-off valves are working perfectly, there's
> nothing you can do about it.
> And they do all the stuff with injecting and capping and cementing.
> But in the end, with these underwater wells, the only way to stop the
> oil from blasting uncontrollably out of one hole is to drill one or
> two other holes and take the oil out in a controlled way in another
> And until they do -- the oil just keeps on blasting uncontrollably out
> of the hole.
> So why it is that every time it happens -- and it keeps on happening
> -- everybody seems shocked -- just shocked that there's uncontrolled
> oil gushing going on in here.
This might seem silly, but... maybe a reasonable precuation would be
to drill the relief wells first, before there's a problem? You've got
whatever your "A" well, is, on paper at least, and you figure out
where the relief well(s) would go, should there be a need. Then you
drill that well/those wells and more-or-less cap them off and leave
them. Should the need arise, you just open up the relief well and
you're a) back in business pumping oil, and b) there's comparitively
little spillage into the open ocean. Seems like it'd be a lot cheaper
than what BP(et al)'s going through just now.
Life Continues, Despite
Evidence to the Contrary