Monday, May 3, 2010

Drill baby, drill.

It has to be a real pisser to be sitting around your office, doing whatever, when the phone rings and you're told that millions of gallons of oil are spilling into the Gulf of Mexico with no end in sight.
The plan: to lower 74-ton, concrete-and-metal boxes into the gulf to capture the oil and siphon it to a barge waiting at the surface. Whether that will work for a leak 5,000 feet below the surface is anyone's guess; the method has previously worked only in shallower waters.
If it doesn't, and efforts to activate a shutoff mechanism called a blowout preventer continue to prove fruitless, the oil probably will keep gushing for months until a second well can be dug to cut off the first. Oil giant BP PLC's latest plan will take six to eight days because welders have to assemble the boxes.
I realize that the world runs on oil, but I wonder if the risk of drilling for it so close to land is worth what we get out. Even President Obama has given his official "okey-dokey" to more offshore drilling. It just seems to me to be so short-sighted. Especially when you consider the upheaval that occurs when someone wants to put a wind farm offshore. Local residents complain that they will be able to see the wind turbines from their homes. Pity. At least, when a wind turbine stops working, all it does is stop spinning. It doesn't spew toxic waste into the water. That's a plus, as far as I'm concerned.
Meanwhile, the well cannot be capped and the oil keeps spewing. It isn't like your car, where a rattle can be hidden by turning the radio up. There isn't a radio that can go that loud.
When John Kerry ran for president in 2000, the reason I voted for him was that he wanted to initiate an "Apollo Project" to try to get us off the oil standard. Like the moon landing, he figured (correctly, I assumed) that if we threw money at it and assigned our best brainpower to the problem, we could escape the grip of oil and figure out how to run things on stuff like solar, wind and other things that we don't have to dig out of the ground or worry that if they escape they could kill animals.
It wasn't a bad idea, and if I was asked to contribute, I'd rather spend the money on that than on our failed War on Drugs, the War on Poverty or any other war that government tells us we are supposed to be fighting. When the objective is to stop drilling holes in our planet and work at something more progressive, I'm all in.
It's a shame that something like this has to happen to focus our attention on it. It's like those roadside memorials with flowers and a cross where some kid is hit by a drunk driver or some other roadway catastrophe. A few months later a traffic light goes up.
There should have been one there all along. Why does it take a tragedy to make us think?


Anonymous said...

Those welders must be working their backsides off trying to get this thing done double quick so the crew can get it into position. I also wonder about pulling it off at such depths as they are confronted with. It will be no small coup if they do it. They've certainly got my best hopes and wishes for success. I fear the scope of this disaster is only beginning to be felt.

Michael Firstman

Anthony said...

I hope they're working their backsides off, but I fear it may not be quickly enough.
This is going to make the Exxon-Valdez accident look like a coffee spill.

Firestarter5 said...

Well, according to Bill Kristol of FOX, this can be remedied by drilling closer to shore next time.

Kcoz said...

If George W’s oil baron buddies had not helped him to convince/force GM to kill the excellent electric car they created back in 2000 we just might be on our way to suckling less from the oil tit. Can you imagine how much less oil we would use if we all drove electric cars and left the oil burning for heat, trucking, planes and trains??
Actually, a locomotive engine is an electric motor powered by generator that is powered by a diesel engine…the electric motor is a superior motor for toruk, power, and reliability and the railroad industry has know this for years and years.

It is the greedy, psychopathic oil barons who spread the lies about electric power, they care not about the environment…only their own wealth. Not only do they have to be multi-millionaires, but their children do as well…and their grand children, and their grand children’s children. Someone has to pay for all this wealth to these dynasties, not much different than a Monarchy with its princes, dukes and earls…all living off the peasants labor.


Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Let's kill two birds with one stone. Legalize pot and use the seed oil to run our cars!! :) I can dream can't I?

I agree with everything you've said. I realize that we need a transition fuel to get off fossil fuel. So, instead of using heavy crude and ruining our oceans.

Or killing coal miners, why don't we use natural gas, which is the cleanest fossil fuel and we have a lot of it here on land.

I'm all for wind turbines going in everywhere and anywhere. Put them up on golf courses. It would add a new dimension of obstacles. Tiger wins too easily anyway lol. I personally don't think they look unsightly--I think they look cool and futuristic.

We have a wind farm just off the interstate here and it looks very cool. Plus, it's nice to look at it and have pride in a state that is willing to move into the future.

Michael Firstman said...

I think I heard somewhere that the electric car has actually been around since 1995, so that's already 15 years now that could have been spent transitioning away from fossil fuel.