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The Government is Dealing with the Oil Spill Like the Soviets Dealt with Chernobyl

George Washington's picture




 

Washington’s
Blog

The Soviet Union was famous for covering up its environmental disasters.

As award-winning journalist Dahr Jamail points out in a must-read article about the oil spill:

 

“It
is well known that after the Chernobyl accident, the Soviet government
immediately did everything possible to conceal the fact of the accident
and its consequences for the population and the environment: it issued
“top secret” instructions to classify all data on the accident,
especially as regards the health of the affected population,”
journalist Alla Yaroshinskaya has written.


In
1990 Yaroshinskaya came across documents about the Chernobyl nuclear
catastrophe that revealed a massive state cover-up operation, coupled
with a calculated policy of disinformation where the then Soviet
Union’s state and party leadership knowingly played down the extent of
the contamination and offered a sanitized version to the public, both
in and out of Russia. To date, studies continue to show ongoing human
and environmental damage from that disaster.


When
the disaster at Chernobyl occurred, it was only after radiation levels
triggered alarms at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden that the
Soviet Union admitted an accident had even occurred. Even then,
government authorities immediately began to attempt to conceal the
scale of the disaster.

 

But it's not just the communist Soviets ...

The U.S. also has a long history of covering up environmental and health disasters, as shown by the following examples.

The Bush administration covered up the health risks to New Orleans residents associated with polluted water from hurricane Katrina, and FEMA covered up the cancer risk from the toxic trailers which it provided to refugees of the hurricane.

The Centers for Disease Control - the lead agency tasked with addressing disease in America - covered up lead poisoning in children in the Washington, D.C. area.

The government's response to the outbreak of mad cow disease was simple: it stopped testing for mad cow, and prevented cattle ranchers and meat processors from voluntarily testing their own cows (and see this).

The government also underplayed the huge Tennessee coal ash spill. As the New York Times noted in 2008:

A
coal ash spill in eastern Tennessee that experts were already calling
the largest environmental disaster of its kind in the United States is more than three times as large as initially estimated, according to an updated survey by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

 

***

 

The
amount now said to have been spilled is larger than the amount the
authority initially said was in the pond, 2.6 million cubic yards.

(The former head of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy says that the government whitewashed the whole coal ash investigation.)

And
the government allegedly ordered Manhattan Project scientists to
whitewash the toxicity of flouride (flouride is a byproduct in the
production of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium). As Project Censored noted in 1999:

Recently
declassified government documents have shed new light on the
decades-old debate over the fluoridation of drinking water, and have
added to a growing body of scientific evidence concerning the health
effects of fluoride. Much of the original evidence about fluoride,
which suggested it was safe for human consumption in low doses, was
actually generated by “Manhattan Project” scientists in the 1940s. As
it turns out, these officials were ordered by government powers to
provide information that would be “useful in litigation” and that would
obfuscate its improper handling and disposal. The once top-secret
documents, say the authors, reveal that vast quantities of fluoride,
one of the most toxic substances known, were required for the
production of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium. As a result,
fluoride soon became the leading health hazard to bomb program workers
and surrounding communities.

 

Studies commissioned after chemical
mishaps by the medical division of the “Manhattan Project” document
highly controversial findings. For instance, toxic accidents in the
vicinity of fluoride-producing facilities like the one near Lower Penns
Neck, New Jersey, left crops poisoned or blighted, and humans and
livestock sick. Symptoms noted in the findings included extreme joint
stiffness, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea, severe headaches, and
death. These and other facts from the secret documents directly
contradict the findings concurrently published in scientific journals
which praised the positive effects of fluoride.

 

Regional
environmental fluoride releases in the northeast United States also
resulted in several legal suits against the government by farmers after
the end of World War II, according to Griffiths and Bryson. Military
and public health officials feared legal victories would snowball,
opening the door to further suits which might have kept the bomb
program from continuing to use fluoride. With the Cold War underway,
the New Jersey lawsuits proved to be a roadblock to America’s already
full-scale production of atomic weapons. Officials were subsequently
ordered to protect the interests of the government.

 

After the war, ... the dissemination of misinformation continued.

These
are just a few of many examples showing that the U.S. has long acted
just like the Soviets in covering up the magnitude of environmental
disasters.

Government Says Oil Has Disappeared

The
government is now saying that almost all of the oil has already
disappeared, and that the small amounts of remaining oil are not toxic.

Many have pointed out that it is still easy to find oil even on the surface. As National Geographic points out:

In fact, scientists are still finding plenty of spilled Gulf oil—whether it's bubbling up from under Louisiana's islands, trapped underneath Florida's sugar-white beaches, or in the ocean's unseen reaches. (See pictures of spilled Gulf oil found just under Florida beaches.)

 

This week, biological oceanographer Markus Huettel and colleague Joel Kostka dug trenches on a cleaned Pensacola beach and discovered large swaths of oil up to two feet (nearly a meter) deep.

 

Oil gets trapped underground when tiny oil droplets penetrate porous sand or when waves deposit tarballs and then cover them with sand, said Huettel, of Florida State University in Tallahassee.

 

(Read more about oil found under "clean" Florida beaches earlier this month.)

And see photographer Julie Dermansky's report.

As the Washington Post points out, scientists aren't buying the government's spin either:

 

But,
in interviews, [government] scientists who worked on the report said
the figures were based in large part on assumptions and estimates with
a significant margin of error.

 

Some outside scientists went
further: In a situation in which many facts remain murky, they said,
the government seemed to have used interpretations that made the gulf
-- and the federal efforts to save it -- look as good as possible.

 

"There's
a lot of . . . smoke and mirrors in this report," said Ian MacDonald, a
professor of biological oceanography at Florida State University. "It
seems very reassuring, but the data aren't there to actually bear out
the assurances that were made."

 

***

 

But scientists who
worked on the report said many of the numbers on the White

House's pie
chart had significant margins of error. The estimate of how much oil
evaporated was calculated using a formula designed for spills near the surface, not 5,000 feet underwater.
The calculation of how much oil would be "dispersed" as it flowed from
the well was a new one, extrapolated from data about the way oil is
broken by waves.

 

***

 

The situation is "being portrayed
as 'the oil is out of the environment; it's gone,' " said Michael J.
Blum, a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. But, he said,
all that's certain is that "the form of the oil has shifted. Dispersed
oil is still oil. It's just in a different form."

Indeed,
because - according to the US Minerals Management Service and a
consortium of oil companies, including BP, themselves - as little as 2% of the oil which spilled from BP's oil well ever made it to the surface, any formula based on surface spills is worthless.
In other words, as much as 98% of the spilled oil may not yet have even
made it to the surface, but may have been suspended under the surface
the whole time.

And since the government and BP have been using
Corexit to sink the small proportion of oil visible from the surface,
that means that more than 98% of the oil might be lurking beneath the surface.

National Geographic makes a similar point:

To University of South Florida chemical oceanographer David Hollander, the NOAA estimates are "ludicrous."

 

"It's almost comical."

 

According
to Hollander, the government can account for only about 25 percent of
the spilled Gulf oil—the portion that's been skimmed, burned off,
directly collected, and so on.

 

The remaining 75 percent is still unaccounted for, he said.

 

For
instance, the report considers all submerged oil to be dispersed and
therefore not harmful, Hollander said. But, given the unknown effects
of oil and dispersants at great depths, that's not necessarily the
case, he added.

 

"There are enormous blanket assumptions."

 

***

 

Oil
cleanup is mostly getting rid of what's on the surface, [Robert Carney,
a biological oceanographer at Louisiana State University in Baton
Rouge] said. There's a common perception that "as long as you keep it
off the beach, everything's hunky dory," he added.

 

***

 

Whether
microbes munch the oil—the most common way oil breaks down—depends on
how much oxygen is available for the tiny organisms to do their work....

 

"So
far, we haven't seen any rapid degradation in these deep layers,"
[biological oceanographer Markus Huettel] said, though he noted oil at
the top of the sand has been disappearing within days.

 

With little oxygen, the buried oil may stay for years, until a storm or hurricane wipes away the upper sand layers.

 

Previous
oil spills suggest that the buried beach oil may continuously migrate
not only out to sea but also into groundwater, where it can harm
wildlife, Huettel said.

 

Oil-laden groundwater in Alaska following the Exxon Valdez spill, for instance, led to "significantly elevated" death in pink salmon embryos between 1989 and 1993, he said....

 

Another "open question" remains, FSU's Huettel noted: What is happening to the oil deep in the Gulf?

 

For
the first time during an oil-spill response, officials used chemical
dispersants to break up oil at ocean depths between 4,000 and 5,000
feet (1,200 and 1,500 meters). The dispersant-treated oil bits may have
sunk to the seafloor, Huettel said.

 

In the cold, dark
ocean, this mixture of oil and chemical dispersants may be suspended
and preserved, causing long-term problems for deep-sea animals, Texas
Tech University ecotoxicologist Ron Kendell said during August 4
testimony before the U.S. Congress.

 

"We have very limited
information on the environmental fate and transport of the mixture of
dispersant and oil, particularly in the deep ocean," Kendall said.

 

Some
oil fragments are so tiny they can't be seen with the human eye, said
the University of South Florida's Hollander. Others are big enough to
be gobbled up by baby fish that mistake the oil for food....

 

Predicting
what will happen to the deep-sea ecosystem is "uncharted territory,"
said Hollander, who's studying what the oil is doing to deep-sea
creatures during a series of research cruises this summer and fall.

 

***

 

"We're
getting into something different than the 2-D petroleum spill" on the
Gulf's surface, he added. "All of the sudden you've taken this 2-D
disaster and turned it into a 3-D catastrophe."

And the Guardian notes:

"Recent
reports seem to say that about 75% of the oil is taken care of and that
is just not true," said John Kessler, of Texas A&M University, who
led a National Science Foundation on-site study of the spill. "The fact
is that 50% to 75% of the material that came out of the well is still
in the water. It's just in a dissolved or dispersed form."

Would I Lie To You, Comrade?

Florida
State University oceanographer Ian McDonald points out that the
government scientists claiming almost all of the oil is gone are the
same folks who said that only 5,000 barrels of oil were leaking a day,
and who denied that there were underwater plumes:

Anderson Cooper made a similar point:

The
bottom line is that the government's entire response to the oil spill
is to try to cover it up, just as the Soviets tried to do with
Chernobyl, and just as the U.S. government has done with the financial crisis, torture, 9/11, the anthrax attack, and every other crisis.

 

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Tue, 08/10/2010 - 18:45 | 513842 Fishhawk
Fishhawk's picture

Please note that we will not be 'dealing with' the other 80% of the oil.  It is dispersed enough that we have no way of recovering it.  Nature will deal with it, through normal boidegradation processes, but not until ocean currents bring it nearer the surface.  There is little danger to Gulf shore residents from the remaining oil.  The concentrations of crude components and Corexit components are now too low for immediate toxic effects; the long term impact will express in bioaccumulation, toxicity to eggs and larvae stages of the reproductive cycle.  The  longer the plume of dispersed oil stays far offshore and deep, the less biological effect it will have.  But wherever it goes next, the only effective treatment left for it is biodegradation, which will occur quite quickly in warm, shallow, re-aerated water.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 21:00 | 514189 VWbug
VWbug's picture

does anyone see the damage the doomsters caused to the real story here, like how much dispersant was used, and what effect it will have?

By promoting and focusing on outrageous theories such as lakes of oil etc etc, they have discredited all of the legitmate complaints.

If they even noticed, I bet the BP execs were thrilled to see the story sidetracked to all the nonsensical possible disaster scenarios and away from the realistic ones.

makes me wonder if the real BP shills aren't GW and his cohorts...hey now there's a theory    : )

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 21:36 | 514240 George Washington
George Washington's picture

I wrote these two essays to try to re-focus away from wild theories and onto facts:

I have also have written a tremendous amount about dispersants, so your dichotomy is false.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 21:33 | 514236 George Washington
George Washington's picture

[Deleted, duplicate.]

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 16:41 | 513532 tahoebumsmith
tahoebumsmith's picture

Amazing how the shill roaches come running back out of their cracks everytime GW turns the light back on? Hey ROACHES..you're supposed to hate the light so beat it!!! Time will prove GW is correct once again because the amount of oil we have dealt with thus far is probably only around 20%!! YUP 20% ...Great Job GW!

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 22:18 | 514342 Augustus
Augustus's picture

Who is paying you now that Matt Simmons is deceased?  I suppose the estate is still interested in profits from the shorts.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 16:12 | 513461 AR15AU
AR15AU's picture

George Washington beating a dead horse like a 9/11 truther...

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 16:22 | 513492 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

So you just walk away, questions unanswered, lessons not learned?

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 22:16 | 514337 Augustus
Augustus's picture

So far YOU are the only one who has suggested just walking away.  Which government agency did you find that is advocating that?

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 23:20 | 514438 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Actually "walking away" is implied with "[...] beating a dead horse like a 9/11 truther...". Nor is there any mention of a gov't agency, but I guess that could be inferred since there is, after all, an "official" government approved explanation of 9/11.

Maybe it is just short-attention-span theater. Nothing to see here, move along.

 

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:41 | 513375 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

1 each - Floyd, Pink - "Wish You Were Here"

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell?
Blue skies from pain?
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cold breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
What have we found?
The same old fears
Wish you were here

--------------------------------------------------------------

Ain't reality a bitch?

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick

"The Kurtz character construct was way ahead of the reality curve - we're just waiting for the options to run out." UR

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:37 | 513366 Fishhawk
Fishhawk's picture

In the 60's Rudy Woerner patented a 'Complete Mixed Extended Aeration' process for treating toxic organics by biodegradation.  The plant he built biodegraded 20,000 pounds per day of formaldehyde, which is quite toxic (the poison found in all the temporary housing provided by FEMA after the katrina disaster; used in preserving biological specimens, etc).  The key was to immediately dilute the poison to final treatment levels, and provide enough oxygen for the aerobic bacteria.  The process required some 2000 horsepower of mechanical aerators, but it works very well.  

The problem with the 'dispersed' crude oil is that it is not dispersed for biodegradation purposes, and there is no mechanical process for re-aeration, so biodegradation is not occurring at a significant rate for the deep-dispersed oil: it is still out there, wandering around in a huge cloud/current, and will drift/settle for years, as the biological processes are very slow in the cold deep. 

As to the 'it evaporated' story, all crude oil has a boiling point curve, but for even the lightest crudes, less than 25% is subject to evaporation at environmental conditions.  The heavier components, paraffins, asphaltines, and larger polycyclenes, must be broken down to lighter components before they can be evaporated (or metabolized).  So the crude did not evaporate.

The government propaganda is exactly what you would expect: 'you don't see it, therefore it is gone, move along sheeple, there is nothing to see here.'  There is no question that had all this oil washed up on the Gulf shores, BP would have suffered immensely more for the public outrage and obvious damage, expressed in huge fines and vast physical cleanup costs.  Whether the Gulf suffers more from dispersed oil is a question that will not be answered for several years, during which time the sheeple can be distracted by more pressing social issues.  So using dispersant was a clear win for the government (and BP), but was a toss-up in terms of damage to the Gulf ecosystem.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 22:14 | 514332 Augustus
Augustus's picture

You started out on the right track.

Then you leap to a claim of poison.  There is some oil component that occurs naturally in the waters of the GoM.  After dilution, the oil from the BP leak will not make much difference in the normal background level.  If it does triple it will still not be at a dangerous level for humans.  To the extent that the asphalt components disperse and settle on the bottom of the deep GoM they will have very little effect on anything as they will soon become a part of the silt and be buried.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 16:34 | 513511 VWbug
VWbug's picture

during which time the sheeple can be distracted by more pressing social issues

yes, when what we should all be doing is evacuating the gulf!

'I recommend you panic'- (love that line!)

 

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:55 | 513413 Bring the Gold
Bring the Gold's picture

Excellent post Fishhawk. Thanks for the friendly sciencing. ;)

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:30 | 513343 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Is anyone really surprised at this?

Anyone?

Bueller?

[crickets chirping]

 

Uh-huH.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:26 | 513330 pizzgums
pizzgums's picture

yes there are lies.  GW tells most of them.

Anyone want to take a crack at the amount of annual natural seepage in the GoM?

Nah, didn't think so.

 

How about the annual dead zone in the GoM from farm runoff, every year and larger than the spill? Right now it's the size of Connecticut, this very second. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? George?

 

Nah, didn't think so.

 

Being a little selective in hyping our choices of disasters are we, GW ?

 

GW = Great Whiner

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 16:21 | 513483 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

amount of annual natural seepage in the GoM?

annual dead zone in the GoM from farm runoff, every year and larger than the spill?

There's this technology called 'hyperlinks' that you should investigate. 

If you can sort that out without assistance, please continue your research further into the matter of 'redundant hard carriage returns.'

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:34 | 513355 George Washington
George Washington's picture

A 20-year petroleum geologist - with 13 years spent in offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico - "gasmiinder" noted:

Mapping of natural methane seeps is required as part of the process of obtaining a drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico. This is required because the "methane seep communities" are considered environmental "havens" as it were - you have to demonstrate you're not disturbing the critters. [My comment: There are ecosystems which can thrive around small natural seeps. But huge gushers like the BP blow out can kill everything in sight, especially given the large amounts of methane which have spewed from BP's well]. The process does not measure the rate of seepage but you would have some guess based on the areal extent of the communities. This report is filed with the MMS and should be available. I'm surprised and enterprising reporter hasn't requested a copy from the MMS. (Of course enterprising reporter might be an oxymoron in the modern era)

 

I attended a scientific talk about 20 years ago where the study results estimated about 1 million barrels of oil a year seep into the Gulf from natural seeps. Of course that is spread over a huge area on an entire year.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 17:44 | 513705 pizzgums
pizzgums's picture

There's more than methane seeping, lots of good old petroleum comes up in copious quantities quite naturally.  That normal seepage, reported by a fisherman whose nets were being fouled (that's a lot of oil naturally seeping) is how Pemex figured out the Bay of Campeche was an elephant field.

 

So natural seepage of hydrocarbons in all forms is a steady and normal occurance in the GoM.  What isn't natural and is far larger and far more destructive is the farm runoff that comes down the Mississippi and into the GoM.

 

Every summer, a dead zone LARGER than the BP spill forms up.

 

Every Summer, a real dead zone. This is known by the gummint and anyone who knows about the GoM.

 

Do I hear anyone issuing dire consequences for fish and game from a completely un-natural occurence killing thousands of square miles -every year- ? Nah, it's not evil oil companies and pictures of birdies. It's agriculture hundreds of miles removed from the Gulf using it as their sewer. There's nothing to take pictures of, nothing visibile on a beach.

Just a huge area of oxygen deprived water that supports no life at all.

Every year.  This year it's the size of Connecticut.

 

Do we hear anything about this real ongoing disaster? Nope.

It doesn't have spectacular visuals so it's not important.

 

GW, where are you on this disaster that is orders of magnitudes larger than the BP spill?

Macondo is nothing compared to this. Nothing. Try letting Macondo run for 20 years and you might start to get close.

And what do we hear from our self-appointed guardians of all things right and good?

{crickets and light breeze ruffling the leaves, that's all}

 

Play to your adoring crowd, you're just part of the distracting bread and circuses too, GW.

With your end of the world scenarios that don't play out in reality, you've been suckered too.  Too bad...

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:41 | 513372 VWbug
VWbug's picture

george, listen to me buddy!  I'm tellin ya, if you want a dream disaster scenario to 'discuss', look into the volcano under yellowstone.

seriously, it's there and it's massive.

I just read about it in Bill Bryson's brief History of Nearly Everything (great book BTW).

makes oil spills look like picnics.

get on it man.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 22:07 | 514325 Augustus
Augustus's picture

VWbug,

should I be more concerned about Yellowstone,

or the gamma ray flare from the sun?

I cannot aford to prepare for both of them.  Which one will occur first?  Will Geo Wash do a good job on making the tests necessary to tell me which one will come first?  Anything about it on God Like Productions?

Wed, 08/11/2010 - 01:00 | 514585 VWbug
VWbug's picture

I dunno Augie so my plan is to live it up in the meantime.

(do I need to use the sarcasm on and off stuff since I am new here, i thought i was being pretty obvious?)

I've heard about godlike productions on TOD, i have no desire to check it out, i can only imagine ...life's too short.

 

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 14:32 | 513099 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

I'm still trying to figure out why the name Obama Admin. is not mentioned once in GW's long ass cut/pastee here. 

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 12:42 | 512843 Windemup
Windemup's picture

WHERE HAS ALL THE OIL GONE?

Where has all the Oil gone?
Long time passing
Where has all the Oil gone?
Long time ago
Where has all the Oil gone?
Dump Corexit all a long
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Moved to Memphis every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone to beaches clean up crews every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the sea birds gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the sea birds gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the sea birds gone?
Dead and gone every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to BP's beck and call
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Covered with Oil every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 12:09 | 512771 Grand Supercycle
Grand Supercycle's picture

SP500 important chart update :

http://stockmarket618.wordpress.com

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 12:05 | 512756 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

Cover it up. Deny benefits to the dead, sick & ruined. SOP.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 10:19 | 512483 digalert
digalert's picture

Why do you think Obama's science czar John Holdren, a population control advocate is in the White House? hmmm

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=holdrens_controversial_popul...

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 10:04 | 512447 wang
wang's picture
 
MsCreant on Tue, 08/10/2010 - 17:54
#512291

 

Announcement to oil spill trolls:

 

(what's funny is that you actually got a repsonse)

 

where's auggie, jim rock and gassminder?

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 14:40 | 513138 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

gasmiinder is reading but not posting on a topic where he has nothing of value to offer.  If this is a request for an opinion I'll reiterate my oft stated concern that the REAL concern was ALWAYS what's going on at depth with the application of dispersant in ways we've never done and where that oil is going.  I still believe that and I've seen nothing in the gov't releases that suggests they are trying to determine it before declaring the "all clear".

I will take this opportunity however to point out that at this point everything I DID say with carefully laid out technical reasons would appear to have been correct while GW's and your fear-mongering hysteria was not.  No methane clouds, no volcanoes, no 100,000 psi pressures, no leaks in the wellbore, no tsunamis, no magically disappearing casing and no secret well blow-out miles away.  It was all bullshit - and EVERY post I made was an attempt to share actual TECHNICAL FACTS about why those fears were overblown.  I defy you to find ONE post that could credibly be called a defense of BP - I know I know that is just evidence in your universe that I was defending them, can't argue with that logic.  

Knowledge is power dude - fear is the mind killer.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:25 | 513328 George Washington
George Washington's picture

Hi gasmiinder,

I have never endorsed any theories of methane clouds, volcanoes, 100,000 psi, or tsunamis.

I have always been agnostic about well blow-out miles away (I have always said I have no idea whether this is true; and recently posted that I haven't seen any evidence at all for that theory).

As to leaks in the wellbore, here's recent news:

 

On August 6th, BP's Kent Wells was asked at a briefing how much cement was pumped into the well as part of the static kill process. wells responded:

Kent Wells: We pumped just a little over 500 barrels of cement down the casing. We talked — I think it was roughly about 200 barrels into the formation and the rest remained in the casing.

(audio here.)

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 22:03 | 514315 Augustus
Augustus's picture

There have to be leaks in the well bore.  That is how the oil gets into it.  And the oil and mud and cement went back into those "leaks" that were producing the oil.  I don't understand how they know exactly where the mud or cement went when they just pumped it into the top of the BOP.  But that is the story.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:39 | 513369 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

GW - see above.  You will note that I did not SPECIFICALLY accuse YOU of having endorsed those theories - for the reasons I state above.   That doesn't mean the threads of the last few months were not wrapped up in that crap.  Further your posts were, as I said, echo chamber masterpieces - "here let me just tell you what THE EXPERTS are saying" but I don't have an opinion..........

It's disingenuous at best.  And for the commentors I replied to above to pretend that the threads of the last few months where I spent significant effort explaining the SCIENCE of why the fear-mongering was absurd, only to be attacked for being a shill (for not defending BP), were not pushing that irrational bullshit is absurd.

Also (back to what I prefer THE SCIENCE) - the Kent Wells comment does not mean there was a wellbore leak, you would pump cement in to the formation.  That's what you're trying to plug after all, there is nothing in the comment you quote to suggest otherwise - I don't have time now to listen to the audio but unless something more specific was said I would not interpret that to mean there was an uphole leak.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 17:43 | 513703 wang
wang's picture

Gas says

 "you will note that I did not SPECIFICALLY accuse YOU of having endorsed those theories"

Gas what you're accusing GW of is exactly what you are doing with the above statement when you said  (a few posts above this)

" He is quite astute at the echo-chamber game - put it out there while carefully parsing his statements so he (GW) can claim "I never said that".

How ironic is that?

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 23:18 | 514430 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

How about some examples:

 

 "I am not saying that the well has been gushing oil since February (although oil industry expert Matthew Simmons says that the amount of oil leaking from the riser and blowout preventer since April 20th does not account for the massive oil plumes observed in the Gulf).  What I am saying is that the well may have lost structural integrity and stability as early as February."

"Oil industry expert Matthew Simmons also puts the number above one billion barrels (see this Bloomberg interview, for example, where he says that - unless stopped - 120,000 barrels a day will leak for 25-30 years; that adds up to 1,095,000,000 to 1,314,000,000 barrels)."

"Moreover, higher volumes of oil and gas might change the pressure of materials gushing out of the leaking well."

"Tremendous quantities of methane are being emitted by the Gulf oil spill.

The methane could kill all life in large areas of the Gulf."

"There is speculation on the Web that the methane being released from the oil spill will cause a tsunami or a firestorm.

It is true that one scientist speculates  that methane bubbles released from the seafloor have caused extinction-level events in the past."

"Moreover,  former President Bill Clinton told CNN on Sunday (starting 3:13 into video) that he has looked into the issue, and that a nuke is not needed. He said the Navy can use conventional explosives to seal the well. As the former commander-in-chief, Clinton is probably getting such information from someone high up in the Navy."

"numerous industry experts have warned that there is no upside to temporarily capping the well as part of the well integrity test, and that it might actually cause the well to blow out"

"Score one for Mr. Rockford!  I retract and apologize:

Corexit was used in the response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. 

Note: Kerry Kennedy claimed on CNN that almost all of the cleanup crew working on the Exxon Valdez oil spill are now dead, and that the average life expectancy for an Exxon Valdez oil spill worker is around 51 years, 26.9 fewer years than the average American.

I wrote to Dr. Ricki Ott - marine toxicologist who has repeatedly spoken out for the health of gulf cleanup workers and wildlife - to ask whether Kennedy's statement was correct.

I received the following reply from Dr. Ott's personal assistant:

Ms. Kennedy was mistaken." NOTE THAT after this comment GW took the opportunity to REPOST the same unsubstantiated accusations later with ANOTHER equivocation about their validity.....

 

Now before you (or GW) go to the trouble to research all those quotes I will STIPULATE that most of them are from posts which also contained "weasel" statements up to and including complete disavowals at some point in the post.  But the memes were being pushed and the follow on discussions were pushing them aggressively.  My opinions re: GW's approach were described early on here #450622, my posts have ALL been about TECHNICAL FACTS and example of which is #458425.  Yet long after that post GW & others continued to push the utterly impossible nonsense debunked there.  Not once have you or Cognitive Dissonance or Tree of Liberty or Gecko argued with any of those facts or shown that they were distorted to make a political point or that they were in any way a defense of BP.  In fact GW has been quite happy to use my posts as technical evidence.

No your arguments have been ad hominem attack and accusations about being in the pay of BP.  Let's review your stated rationale for assuming someone is an unethical liar:

1) they post facts

2) they are articulate

3) they do not feel the need to pontificate on items of which they know nothing.

4) they aggressively criticize BP

According to Wang 1-3 are FUNDAMENTALLY AT ODDS WITH THE ZH EXPERIENCE and 4 is somehow evidence that one is employed by BP.

 

 

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 23:02 | 514408 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Yes Wang - you are beginning to get it.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:35 | 513361 VWbug
VWbug's picture

I dunno about you gasminder but I take it as a huge win for the rational thinkers here that wang, ms creant, cog diss and even GW are now as critical of Simmons' wacky theories as we always were.

no sense pointing to posts that clearly show otherwise, they are surely all 'misinformation' planted by, well,  you know who...

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 14:53 | 513203 wang
wang's picture

Gas nice to see you back and in fine form.  Quick question you imply that GW said there were all manner of apocalyptic phenomena, perhaps you could help out VW who made a similar assertion earlier in the thread and provide a specific (in context) quote / link to what and where GW made such claims that there were Methane Clouds etc.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:28 | 513339 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Please Wang.  Are you going to maintain that GW was not pumping the incredible fear-mongering?  That you and others were not screaming that anyone who pointed out that these things were not rational fears were shills and BP defenders?  What GW did was to cut and paste the wildest, most irrational accusations and then basically say "I dunno - just saying, Matt Simmons oil industry expert must be credible"  Then watch while the comment strings ran around in gibbering fear attacking any rational voice as "shills".  That's what occurred.  If you are going to maintain that he was not pushing that crap I don't know what you were reading the last few months.  He is quite astute at the echo-chamber game - put it out there while carefully parsing his statements so he can claim "I never said that".  It's a pathetically low level of integrity to pretend now that his posts weren't pushing those memes.

 

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 17:34 | 513683 wang
wang's picture

Gas, all I asked for was a quote and a link to back up your earlier statements. Instead you angrily attack GWs editorial style and integrity. And as for screaming it would appear that you and a few others communicated with a level of shrillness (pun intended) that would deafen a Mollusc. 

Now you did reference methane clouds in such a way as to imply they were a thing of fantasy that GW subscribed to.  I know you couldn't provide a link to substantiate your "accusations" but I guess my question is what's you hang up with clouds of methane?  I think you'll find that some of the leading marine scientists referenced massive clouds of methane in relation to the Gulf spill.

 

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 22:16 | 514331 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Wang - bs flag buddy.  I did not accuse GW of supporting those accusation.  Reread the post.  What I did was associate you and GW with those accusations in EXACTLY the style you are defending when practiced by GW.  Further there was absolutely nothing angry about the post.  Finally - the GW approach on this topic has been the echo-chamber as I have repeatedly stated - he has posted a huge number of cut-n-pastes that push these concepts aggressively with one or two lines of equivocations so crawfishing is an option.

  Please try to be articulate, I know you feel it is unbecoming in a ZH thread but it will help with the communication.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 16:13 | 513463 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

He is quite astute at the echo-chamber game - put it out there while carefully parsing his statements so he can claim "I never said that".

Your cover is SO BLOWN.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 15:46 | 513374 George Washington
George Washington's picture

Here's the first time I mentioned Simmons' claim:

I have no idea whether or not Simmons is right. The government should immediately either debunk or admit his claim.

That's from this article:

Prominent Oil Industry Insider: "There's Another Leak, Much Bigger, 5 to 6 Miles Away"

Do you consider that "pushing that crap"? The scientific method is to either confirm or deny a hypothesis through experimentation.  But the government never said "we've piloted ROVs all over the area, there's no second leak, here's the video ... look for yourself". 

Instead, it's been cover up, cover up, cover up...

 

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 20:22 | 514100 Augustus
Augustus's picture

Yeah, I consider it "pushing that crap."

There was no leak seven miles away to cover up.

The BOP did not blow off of the well so there was no method of covering that up.

There was no methane bubble so they did not cover that up.

There was no crack in the granite in the GoM so they did not have to cover that up.

There are countless oil seeps in the GoM and they TOLD you that.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 16:28 | 513499 VWbug
VWbug's picture

even the government has better things to do than waste time shooting down straw men set up by morons

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 11:34 | 512687 aheady
aheady's picture

Their work is finished apparently.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 11:48 | 512720 VWbug
VWbug's picture

i'd like to reply but I'm off to cash my shill check from my employer the Corporation for Intelligent Analysis (bolding for the slower types)

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 12:32 | 512819 wang
wang's picture

VW hate to disappoint but I don't think you're counted among the shills.

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 12:45 | 512849 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

LOL

Doesn't even measure up to the low life expectations demanded of a shill. Is that a compliment or a diss? :>)

Tue, 08/10/2010 - 13:42 | 512950 VWbug
VWbug's picture

sorry, i'd really like to post long tracts of meaningless drivel regarding my personal problems and inane theories, hoping to get approval from anonymous internet boards, but there seems to be a lot of that here already

: )

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