Friday, May 14, 2010

Liar, liar: 70,000 barrels a day, not 5,000, spilling into the gulf

Well, looks as if the Gulf oil spill is much larger than BP and the U.S. government want to admit-- closer to 70,000 barrels a day.  At the new numbers, the amount of oil is currently twice the amount of the Exxon Valdez. The spill is now the size of the state of Connecticut.

BP keeps saying that it's more important to stop the leak than to measure it.  But it's just not an either/or situation.
“If we are systematically underestimating the rate that’s being spilled, and we design a response capability based on that underestimate, then the next time we have an event of this magnitude, we are doomed to fail again,” said John Amos, the president of SkyTruth. “So it’s really important to get this number right.” New York Times
Apparently two scientists who know how to more accurately measure the flow of oil coming from the ocean floor were set to fly out to the site of the disaster at the invitation of BP-- but the invitation was canceled.

Meanwhile, BP has sprayed more than 500,000 gallons of dangerous dispersants on the oil leak.  This can't go on forever, seeing as BP has already purchased one-third of the world's supply of these chemicals.  An article in Scientific American says the chemicals will create their own set of environmental and health problems.  When weather conditions permit, BP is also burning the oil (see photo).  As I write this, BP is trying to sink a pipe which can siphon off the oil and load it into a tanker.  Don't hold your breathe--although if you live in New Orleans, you sure may feel like it. 

The Center for Biological Diversity has become one of environmental organizations that impresses me the most for their commitment and depth of strategy to preserve life on earth.  (That includes us, folks.)  Their page on the Gulf disaster is a great source of real information.  Check it out.


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John said...

The photo is something else...a monster from the deep with flaming red eyes.