Friday, June 18, 2010

You journalism guys are just figuring this out now?

Thank god for scientists and oceanographers:
NEW ORLEANS – It is an overlooked danger in the oil spill crisis: The crude gushing from the well contains vast amounts of natural gas that could pose a serious threat to the Gulf of Mexico's fragile ecosystem.
The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.
That means huge quantities of methane have entered the Gulf, scientists say, potentially suffocating marine life and creating "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives.
"This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Kessler said.
When anybody with a brain figured out LONG AGO that the whole gusher was filled with toxins and pollutants and poisonous byproducts. That's not even counting the dispersants poured in by plane and pump. As if they could disguise the horror by preventing anyone from photographing it or talking about it or figuring out this isn't just a minor spill. Jesus. What the hell do you guys think we have been shrieking about for a month and a fucking half?

Get this. Even if the water does not have tar balls and mats of crude floating in it, the Gulf of Mexico has been fatally poisoned. This is not a little thing. This is a massively horribly cruelly big thing. Marine life has died, will die, will not survive. People will die, will starve, will move. This is a big thing.

And we figured it out long before the journalists and the federal government and the states ever did. BP knew it the minute the rig went over.

Update: For those confused by the barrels/ gallons/ metric tonnage being thrown about.

Bryan of Why Now? has the running oil meter.


Steve Bates said...

The first time I saw the ocean... I must have been 3 or 4 years old... it was the Gulf of Mexico, specifically, off the Galveston seawall. Now I'm a sexagenerian and am learning that it's really true: you can never go home again.

Our part of the Gulf has not been despoiled... yet... but tourists are staying away in droves, and shrimpers are legitimately concerned about whether the chemical dispersants will ruin their industry altogether... forever.

The Gulf I knew as a child is GONE. How am I supposed to forgive that? Simply put... I cannot.

ellroon said...

The entire nation cannot forget. This is self-inflicted and if it doesn't force us to go to alternate energies and electric cars, nothing will.

This is one of those life changing events. Let it have some good come out of the horror.

Bryan said...

Methane is worse than oil in many ways. Methane will remain in the water as a dissolved gas, which is bad because the water becomes saturated and can't absorb the oxygen that marine life need to breathe. OTOH, if the methane leaves the water, it is a greenhouse gas 20 times worse than carbon dioxide.

If they hadn't used the dispersants, the oil would have risen up the water column where it could be collected with skimmers, and would have boiled off the most noxious volatiles, like benzene. Now they have it trapped below the surface where it can't be collected.

Regarding the switching between units, a small amount is the use of units most familiar to the person speaking, but it general it is PR directed to confuse people about the size of the spill.

ellroon said...

Thanks Bryan. Now I'm going to have nightmares about the methane being released by the melting permafrost combining with the methane in the Gulf to create this huge explosion....

Steve Bates said...

My CAPTCHA text... I kid you not... is "demons".

ellroon said...

Omg the demons are no longer even attempting to hide! ... The Mayans were right!11/!! Just off by two years.