June 4, 2010

No relief on the Deepwater Horizon

As Calen asked me earlier this week, is it too soon to laugh about the oil spill?

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The Spilling Fields
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No, it's not too soon to laugh about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill - still ongoing and already maybe the third largest oil spill ever - especially when it's Jon Stewart or BPGlobalPR or even the oil industry's forty-year old PR films throwing down the funny.

photo from the Big Picture

photo from the Big Picture, too

But it's also not too soon to continue to be angry and to look at the environmental disaster that continues to worsen every minute of every day - forty-two and counting of those since the initial leak and fire onboard the Deepwater Horizon.

 photo from National Geographic

We have no clue whatsoever how much oil is pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, and the fear of a well leaking for months and months and months continues to look more like a real possibility as the attempts to staunch the flow of oil each fall by the wayside.  Thankfully, the folks in charge - and that phrase should be used with much caution here - have chosen not to go with the nuclear option to seal up the well once and for all.

The thing that amazes me so entirely about this is that every step along the way is a step into uncharted waters here.  We have no idea how to seal up an oil leak a mile under the ocean.  We have no idea how the dispersed/emulsified oil is going to affect the ocean.  We have no clue what a hurricane is going to churn the waters.  We - and by we here I mean the smartest petroleum and geologic engineers on the planet - don't have a frickin' clue what the hell is happening or how to stop it.

We're pretty well and totally screwed.

cartoon from the awesome webcomic that I can't recommend on my school-linked blog

And all I can think is that this is yet another example of where every single thing that we do is bad for the environment.  Every step we take, every move we make sells our future.

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