Disasters & Extreme Weather Oil Spill projections

Published on June 17th, 2010 | by David Anderson

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Are Current Oil Spill Doomsday Scenarios Still Missing The Real Danger?


As the BP Oil Spill Disaster continues to drag on, most people who are paying close attention to the details are sure that the ordeal will end up as the worst environmental catastrophe in modern industrial history.

But signs are surfacing that the eventual impact may be worse than even Keith Olbermann has yet reported (someone correct me if I’m wrong). Let’s review the latest developments:

1. The toxic sludge of oil plus dispersants that is coming ashore may make actual cleanup impossible over vast swaths of affected land, and engineering efforts such as sand berms are likely to fail.

2. Experts agree that the oil is already heading around the tip of Florida and up the east coast.

3.  The blogosphere (plus Keith Olbermann and a couple of others on tv) is buzzing with what appears to be conclusive proof that oil is in fact leaking from multiple places on the sea-floor, and that this development could place in jeopardy even the relief wells which have been held up as the “final” answer to the leak, meaning those projections will likely get worse.

4. This revelation has set off a wave of indignation over the media blackout and a surge in accusations that the full scale of BP’s coverup of the truly massive impact of this disaster has been entirely hidden from American television sets, as depicted in the CBS report below, in which the Coast Guard enforces “BP’s rules.”

Over a month ago, most of the “this is way worse than everyone thinks” argument was laid out in great detail by Wayne Madsen at OilPrice.com. But was only looking at the impacts of oil. Jennifer Lance points out a major wrinkle that is barely being discussed even in the doomsday “oil-spitting hurricane” scenario: the toxic dispersants used by BP may be worse than the oil itself, creating the possibility for acid rain across all of south and up the east coast. And now, reports consistent with what would be expected of this phenomenon are starting to surface in Tennessee:

The really scary scenario is the combination of all of these factors, which no one on TV is discussing. In all honesty, the southern and eastern US could be facing a long-term challenge to basic assumptions of life as a result of this tragedy. Evacuation plans for millions of Floridians are being readied, and the emergency could realistically force a massive mobilization of federal military resources to respond. Conspiracy and crowdsourced news sites are going rabid over the implications, to the point of calling the disaster a false flag operation and calling for readers in affected areas to evacuate themselves. Time will tell how much worse it gets, how quickly.

But it will get worse. If you think people should know about this, help: [social_buttons]

My next post about this topic, over at Red, Green and Blue will follow up on Jeremy’s analysis to discuss why the disaster may finally unify the most vocal ends of the left-right spectrum if this saga continues to unfold as we fear most.

What irritates you the most about how this disaster has unfolded? For me, it’s the fundamental fragility of our way of life. How can we ignore that?




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About the Author

David Anderson is the Founder and Publisher of Important Media. He started his first blog on the nexus of energy and environmental issues in 2006, and has focused exclusively on renewable energy, sustainability, green business and environmental politics ever since. David graduated with honors from the University of California, San Diego with degrees in Political Science/International Relations and Sociology, and minors in Biology and Law. David lives in San Francisco, and tries to stop thinking about work long enough each week to eat, sleep, and play some ultimate frisbee.



  • http://www.facebook.com/kittysafe Jonathan Berman

    The last time a massive release of methane gases escaped into the atmosphere is raised temperatures to extinction levels until 95% of all life on earth was gone, so perhaps oil is the least of our concerns here.

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  • John FitzGerald

    1. The volume of these "natural" leaks can ONLY be estimated, based upon sketchy information, AT BEST,
    2. There is no large "natural leak" anywhere a major diverse population like Louisina/Gulf Coast,
    3. Natural leaks are like steady rain; the BP oil spill is a more like a flash-flood,
    4. Time heals all wounds==Sure, enough time passes and the Egyptian Empire is gone; The Spanish Empire is gone; Dinosaurs are gone. How long will YOU live? Will it be long enough to see the "natural" remediation of the BP Oil Spill……? I think NOT.
    5. Without getting panicky or loony, all you have to do is OPEN your eyes and SEE the magnitude of damage that IS being done and that INCREASES daily based upon the spread of the oil and dispersants (a totally STUPID idea!), to say nothing of the FUTURE volume of the un-stopped leaks, flows, plumes, spills issuing from this ONE "attempted" well.
    All the hair-pulling and screaming of the End of the World by the neo-Luddites about the Large Hadron Collider, results in a very subdued "it's natural, don't worry" regarding this truly massive FU!

  • John FitzGerald

    The simplistic notion, that since oil naturally leaks from the ocean floor (according to geologists and NOAA/USGS, this is TRUE}, the "BP Spill" is tantamount to a "natural leak" and therefore is OK. The problem with this simplistic, knee-jerk response, promulgated by oil companies then echoed by such technological voids as Limbaugh and Breitbart, is that:

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1430496267 Joe Befumo

    With all the attention on the disaster du jour, little is being said about the next one to inevitably occur – maybe it will be off shore, maybe it will be the noxious shale fracture drilling that destroying northeastern PA and the Catskill region. If we fail to heed this as a warning, we will have nobody to blame but ourselves next time. It's time for America to declare a war on oil dependency (to use the parlance we seem best able to understand), and bit the bullet once and for all. If we could put a man on the moon in 10 years, we can become energy independent. The technology is available, and will only get better. The only impediment is the greed of those most invested in oil, whose only interest is enriching their own little dynasties.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/davidryal davidryal

    you're right that oil will eventually break down on its own. adding unprecedented amounts of toxic chemicals to the oil to make it less visible to the public introduces the danger.

    also, I would love for you to prove that those newly-videoed leaks are all entirely natural and have nothing to do with the spill.

  • gil

    oil is a product of nature and as such will simply be recycled into the environment. the leaks in the sea floor are natural. please, no more alarmist hand wringing.

  • http://www.bottlesandmore.com Glass Bottles

    Great post. It is sad what may be on the horizon concerning this spill. What really is hard for me to comprehend is how everyone involved is pointing the finger. Whether it is BP or the government, this episode is again showing that everyone would rather turn the blind eye.

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