Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rant for Booming-- mitigating the damage from oil blowout

Why O why aren’t we really Booming? Mitigating the oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico

I heard this as an audio and was galvanized.

There are things I know well, like Afghanistan, and disaster response (like refugee camps, post hurricane response) & on those subject I fing that watching people (us) do them poorly is an outrage, a pain, & a catastrophe. Like Katrina or the Afhgan war-- I shout at the television is despair and disbelief. The pain and frustration is unbearable. In fact, on those subjects I sound a lot like Ms. Fishgrease.

What I want to know is if it is too late to do good booming and if not what exactly is being done.

In case the suggestions or questions I have go past too fast in the video I have restated them here. Let me know if you have suggestions. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would be to watch NOTHING happening as the oil rises on the gulf.

Based on what we hear here from this video, it sounds like there is a job we can do:
a. Get the experts to tell us what to do at this stage about booming & any other ways to mitigate the exposure to and effects of oil on the living things in the water and on shore.
b. Get boom made and delivered. If it really matters we can get the women and the equipment. Can we make more of it with sewing machines, a standard pattern, and the right “material”? If it is money-- get money and then watch it like a hawk.
c. Help in whatever way to get it in place, keep it right and use every means possible to monitor the process. Use google earth, airplanes, boats, word of mouth, radios, and real science.
d. Best I’ve found so far is called "skytruth”  Follow the oil catastrophe via Gulf Oil Tracker 
e. Maybe this is nuts and its too late. If so, tell us. But, tell us if there are other ways we can chip and do things that matter.
f. The Coast Guard is meant to guard our coasts. They should do that, we should demand that.

Our hearts go to all lives connected to the gulf of Mexico.  I've made a gallery of photos from there and add it it every day.  Hearts to the gulf

I for one would be willing to be a boom-tender.  Hopefully I would be better at it than making videos but, in both cases I am trying to improve.



Jane d Flink said...

From Jane Flink,

Recently, I comforted a child whose cat was killing the baby bunny rabbits in the woods near her house.  She said she had rescued three from the cat, but felt terrible about the others.  I said, "But we can't save all the bunnies in the woods, can we?"  And she walked away saying quietly to herself, "We can't save all the bunnies . . . " 

I believe Americans are coming to the awful conclusion that we can't fix everything in the world, either -- and that's why it's important to  think about how to stop something before we start it. Yet nobody at BP seems to have given a thought to how to turn off the supply of oil rushing through the 5,000 foot or 10,000 foot pipe they cavalierly lowered into the sea in the Gulf of Mexico.  Why wasn't there an insistence on fail-safe measures?  God knows, every engineer in the world understands the friability of metals and their alloys. Did it never occur to BP's R&D boys that the forces of seawater combined with time would surely erode their beautiful pipe, and what would they do then?

They made no exit plan and the delivery system blew   and here we are. What do we do now?  In fact, nobody knows and this frightens me more than anything. How many identical oil rigs did they say are out there? Everybody wants to blame the president, yet to the best of my knowledge, he has never studied engineering, much less the arcane habits of Big Oil maritime managers. What, exactly, would we have him do?  Speak to the people more often, they say.  And say . . . what?  Show that he cares. By wailing and gnashing his teeth -- or doing . . . what? Rushing to the site to wade into the muck for a photo op?  Send in the National Guard . . . for what purpose? No, honestly, there is nothing he can do about THIS disaster.  Maybe he could write a bill to prevent oil spills in the future -- yet, given the mickey-mouse emotions running rampant in the Congress, is it possible for him to get that bill, or any bill passed, when not passing the bill gives the opposite party a chance to make the president look bad?

I suppose we can be glad we aren't living when time hs run out for the safety of tons of nuclear waste, so unsatisfactorily stored in so many unsatisfactory places.  

What can we expect from BP? We have yet to understand that corporations function on the basis that we never get to buy the best of anything.  We buy the worst vacuum cleaner made by the shoddiest designer (low pay) with the rattiest materials that the marketing department can foist off on us at the highest price.  So the company can make bigger profits. So the stock market will be healthy.  Unfortunately, the formula holds true for Big Oil when they're installing a massive pipe on a fragile raft to draw oil up from the ocean floor.  Not the best pipe, BP has admitted -- the best one they felt they could afford.  

If I were Queen I would make a law that before you peel a banana, you know how you plan to dispose of the peel.  And if I were Queen, I would have no pesky Congress to say me nay.  As for the oil pipe with no fail-safe device, I don't know what to do about it.  Usually, I have an idea or a couple what to do about things.  I find that scary, because it can't then shock me that nobody else has any idea what to do either. From now on, however long it takes, it's going to be trial and error, try this, try that, while the pipe descending from the oil rig keeps on discharging its tarry excressences into the waters that are the life force of an ignorant world.  


Susan Moran said...

I liked (well, liked in a screaming/frustrated sort of way) this one. We are doing our part this week. I just had two solar companies visit our home and we will be installing a residential solar system that should nearly cover all our electric usage. No brainer for Tucson. The spill and associated incompetence in the gulf makes me ill.