Sunday, May 30, 2010

Terror in the Gulf

As soon as news of the gulf oil spill became public, the Russians suggested the only way to stop it was by nuclear detonation on the ocean floor. A suggestion met with skepticism, at best.

First, it seemed odd, to me anyway, that the Russians had any opinion at all, let alone such a quick and controversial response to a problem few understood, perhaps no one. Or, perhaps someone. As the more ominous nature of this spill takes shape, let us wonder openly about a few things:

How many accidents happen where there can be no reasonable establishment of causality? 1 in 100? 1,000? Is there even a way to estimate the un-likelyhood? Even an asteroid strike can be assigned certain cause, a well understood risk lurking in the heavens.

How many oil rigs spontaneously combust?

How many of those gush at the ocean floor, a mile down?

How many of those create a pool of oil in the middle of the most famous hurricane landing point in the world, which also happens to be upwind of the most envied country in the world?

How many of those can amass a giant pool of oil from leak to beach, without leaving enough time to clean it up, just before the beginning of hurricane season?

Not many.

Let's assume the only way to relieve such a deep gusher is by re-drilling next to the site, an act that cannot be physically completed in less than several months. Let's assume such timing is well understood. Let's ponder the potential wreckage of several times the current spill, being repeatedly blanketed atop the southern and eastern United States.

Freak accident? I think the odds against it. Let's pause before taking that all to timely Russian advice.


  1. Sorry FDR but you have lost me at this point. What exactly are you trying to say here?

    It looks to me like a simple case of BP being in a hurry to get a rented rig ($500k/day if I understood correctly) out of the way so they could start sucking oil.

    Instead, through their impatience, greed and folly, they have unleashed a disaster which is costing them (if I understand correctly) about $25 MILLION per day.

    Sorry, I don't see a conspiracy here. I see totally inept corporate folly. Evidently BP has gotten used to fudging their risk assessments, as have probably ALL the driller/producers. Time for a rethink.

  2. yep, that's what the webbots latest report ( ( are predicting. plus methinks it was a delibrate act

  3. I would have to agree with the first post. This is not the first time this has happened in the Gulf and I doubt it will be the last. It happened in 1979 in texas, and also mexico had a big spill like the current one. (Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me)

    Incompetence is abound today. (Iraq war, New Orleans, California, Financial System....)

    The US is collapsing onto itself and this is just another consequence of the fools that are running the show.

    Desires sans skills equals epic fail.

    America is unsinkable....

  4. Also, when you have the policy of "never let an opportunity go to waste", it is sometimes hard to distinguish between a conspiracy and seizing the opportunity.

    For instance, perhaps the spill was an accident, but now the current admin sees the opportunity to create new energy laws / taxes. No hurry to fix the leak, every day that passes will make the populace mad at the energy industry and something must done.

  5. Trust no one by their words.

    Only by their actions will the truth be revealed.

  6. Two things are for certain:
    1. There will be a general reticence to quickly go down the deep water drilling route (recall the CA moratorium and how long that has been in effect).

    Since energy requirements will remain flat to growing, the unit cost of oil products will start increasing (inflation: lower supply vs. same or increased demand).

    2. The stage is now set for alternative (to oil) energy. Who is going to argue with the Administration that deep sea drilling is an unmitigated success?

    The Republicans have proven themselves incompetent with respect to energy policy (again), by hammering the drillers they spent years cultivating. The Democrats are secretly pleased because their agenda and interests have been furthered by the oil industry itself.

  7. "The Republicans have proven themselves incompetent with respect to energy policy (again), by hammering the drillers they spent years cultivating. The Democrats are secretly pleased because their agenda and interests have been furthered by the oil industry itself."

    While generally true, I think the gravity of this situation has yet to be revealed. As usual, both parties lack the intelligence and imagination required to act decisively. We simply cannot avoid our collective fate. The risk of hurricanes repeatedly coating the southeastern US in toxic tar is grave.

    Thank God the world is now entering a sharp cooling cycle, but hurricane activity could revive, perhaps in a requisite 62% bounce.

    And the dark human parallels to the 1930s just keep on coming. They experienced the Dust Bowl, which manifest years of horrific damage from unchecked, poorly thought-out cultivation of natural resources. It was an unmitigated catastrophe with eerie analogs to our coming oil storms.

    I find it interesting that the dust bowl resulted from unrecognized agricultural risk--from Wave 1 of 5. This catastrophe will manifest unrecognized industrial risk--from Wave 3 of 5. Perhaps the next nation-wide economic disaster will manifest unrecognized informational risk--from Wave 5 of 5.

  8. Well, well.

    CNN - June 2
    President Obama used the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico to advance his alternative energy agenda Wednesday, calling it a warning that America needs to transition away from dependence on fossil fuels.

    That didn't take long.


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