43 2 mins 12 yrs

Congratulations to BP (sorry, British Petroleum) for apparently plugging the Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico.

So what’s the damage?

In the 85 days of the leak, the worst oil disaster in history, nearly 184m gallons of crude oil is estimated to have gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, the ninth largest body of water in the world […]

The oil that gushed also added to natural oil and gas leaks into Gulf waters. These occur all the time from the sea bed, and the US Department of Energy estimates that there may be 5,000 active “seeps” in the northern Gulf alone. One researcher calculated in 2000 that 500,000 barrels of oil – 84m gallons – naturally gets into the Gulf each year, but is never cleaned up.

So the Deepwater rig leaked around twice as much oil into the gulf as leaks anyway into the Gulf from natural seeps each year. Just twice as much.

Those who reacted to the spill as if their hair’s on fire, predicting ecological doom from the worst spill evah(!) may have had a point if (say) 20 or 50 times the amount of oil which leaks naturally into the Gulf each year had, instead, whooshed out of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead. Since just twice that amount has leaked it’ll mainly go the same way. That is, it’ll be diluted away, some chemicals will evaporate away, some will fall to the seabed, that which is washed ashore will be broken down by bacteria but, in the end, it’ll go.

Sure, some livelihoods and animal life are affected and BP British Petroleum should and is paying the cost. But as for the damage, well, as some did point out, Mother Nature will soon take back her organic juice and leave no trace.

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43 thoughts on “KEEP CALM, LET NATURE TAKE ITS COURSE

  1. Such arguments many not go over so well in coastal Louisiana.

    Yes, nature will probably be the best cure, as the currents disperse the oil out into the vast Atlantic.

    But I’ll be surprised if we don’t see permanent damage to an already degraded area. Nature and its systems don’t always bounce back.

  2. I am still against the pollution.

    It is really pretty poor that the fat cats turn their backs on this.

    The seepage, although, ‘accepted’ and mother nature will clean it up attitude just , (forgive me), just won’t wash.

    Surely in this day of technology there must be some safeguards, and more importantly, resuce and retrieval methods available?

  3. yes nature does always bounce back, we are just fleas on the earths back.

    The leak showed us several things,

    A) Deepwater Drill has higher price to pay when it fails. If this was a shallow water or land well it would not have been a problem. So we can thank the eco-wackos for the length of time it took to plug.

    B) As a manager Obama is totaly clueless.

    C) It also shows that there is so much oil left underground that if you just poke a hole in the wrong spot we could drown in it.

  4. Nature does not always bounce back – its most uninformed to say that.

    Blowing off any and all environmental concerns and blaming everything in the history of the world on the oul devil Obama is useless and expected.

  5. really? funny I thought when the planet got hit with an asteroid and all the dinasours died it bounced back with us.

    When we die off nature will eventually move on with another species. Man may not survive man, but nature will.

    It is only mans arrogance that he considers himself to be stronger than nature or the planet.

    Mr. Informed

  6. I dont know enough to comment about this in any forthwright sense, but I hate to see the wildlife harmed.

  7. no one wants to see wild life or the land harmed by a mistake made by mankind, but shit happens. You learn from it, and move on.

  8. Grizzly,

    Yeah, but do we learn from it, or do we ignore it, because ‘we’re alright’? attitude?

    It must be hurting the earth some way, I mean would nature naturally drill down into the core of her body to bleed her juice to fuel our quality of life?

  9. As with anything in life these days, it is a matter of risk assessment. What is the risk of doing as opposed to not doing. Of course, the not doing usually wins.

    It went wrong. Lessons will and are being learned. Obama is a twit.

  10. no we learn. never ignore, but we have to have the right people in power to make the right decisions, right now we don’t on either side of the pond

  11. Talking of nature bouncing back, there was a great article in May’s National Geographic about Mount St. Helens 30 years later. Well worth the read.

    Here’s another great and more relevant article from Nat Geo about the Exxon Valdez disaster 20 years later. Interesting comparison between this spill and the BP Gulf leak. It says while oil degrades through natural processes, spilled oil remains in Prince William Sound because it is described as a closed system. Would the Gulf states have the same problem?

  12. Matt, grizzly, what would Bush have done differently?

    Isnt his family financed by oil?

  13. LU

    Don’t expect a straight answer on that one.

    Troll

    How has the Aral Sea bounced back from what happened to it?

    How come the North Sea cod stocks have not come back? Is this due to some Obama plot?

    How is the environment in China bouncing back from the widespread pollution?

    Have any animal species – or small ecosystems – been made extinct due to man’s activities, and if the answer is in any way yes, how can we possibly say that nature always bounces back?

  14. funny I thought when the planet got hit with an asteroid and all the dinasours died it bounced back with us.

    Yeah, 60 million years later.

  15. "Matt, grizzly, what would Bush have done differently?"

    What ever was/is politically expedient. Clearly Bush would be more inclined to support the Oil Industry but thats the way things are. Obama is still a twit.

  16. From the original post:

    Sure, some livelihoods and animal life are affected…

    Like you care?

    It’s good to see that the "drill baby, drill!" mindset has survived this catastrophe in Rightworld. I always thought it would.

  17. So, "omaba is still a twit".

    So, tell me, what would Bush have done differently?

  18. Bush would have waived the Jones Act immediately, and he would not have ordered BP to pay $20 billion up right away.

    The first would have been a good thing, the second is debatable.

    Neither Bush nor Obama care at all about the environment – they see this through the eyes of what’s in it for their campaign contributors, as have most previous presidents

  19. "Neither Bush nor Obama care at all about the environment – they see this through the eyes of what’s in it for their campaign contributors, as have most previous presidents"

    Agreed.

  20. Peter –

    Like you care?

    Yes, in fact I do. BP affected private property belonging to others and private property is sacrosanct. As for the wildlife and affected environments, like all conservatives I am a keen conservationist and lover of Mother Nature’s beauty. We just prefer to protect it in our way and not use the environment for dreadful, collectivist politics.

  21. Phantom –

    Bush would have waived the Jones Act immediately, and he would not have ordered BP to pay $20 billion up right away.

    He might ordered BP to pony up $20billion if BP had bribed him to the level BP bribed Obama and if the firm had lobbied him to do so.

    Explanation: that $20billion which Obama "ordered" BP to pay? It’s tax deductible. BP might even come out of it having made a few quid.

    There’s a reason why big firms buy politicians.

  22. As for the wildlife and affected environments, like all conservatives I am a keen conservationist and lover of Mother Nature’s beauty.

    Pete Moore

    Please cut the bullshit.

    If you gave a **** for nature, you would not be a cheer-leader in the "Drill baby, drill!" camp in the aftermath of this disaster.

  23. G.-M. & T.,

    ‘…really? funny I thought when the planet got hit with an asteroid and all the dinasours died it bounced back with us.’

    Do you, in your heart of hearts, blame us entirely if we – some of us anyway – find that a cause for worry?

    Pistol-packing giant mutant scarabs wouldn’t be in it!

  24. Peter –

    Sorry, I have never adopted the "drill baby drill" slogan nor advanced its argument.

    I am, however, a cheerleader (with enormous pom-poms) for private property, free markets and severely limited government. Within that framework "drill baby drill" can take its chances.

  25. Pete Moore

    Are you in favour of restrictions on deep sea drilling in the aftermath of this disaster?

    Is any regulation justified?

  26. The fact that the $20 billion is tax deductible does not change the fact that this ( and the other costs that BP will incur ) are a huge net hit to earnings. As it should be.

    – – –

    On matters concerning conservation and the environment, the " no regulation " argument comes completely undone.

  27. Peter –

    No restrictions are justified.

    Phantom –

    You’ll find that conservation efforts strongest and environments best protected where private property is most respected, and that it’s governments who have most severely damaged the natural world and ecologies.

    You mention the Aral Sea above. It certainly wasn’t private property owners nor free markets which did for it. Wherever you see environmental degradation, government won’t be far.

  28. Pete

    You recently spent a holiday in the north Pennines wilderness which I believe to be one of the prettiest areas in England. And one of the reasons it remains so lovely is that it is protected by some comprehensive environmental laws, including those which would prohibit normal development there. Surely, you agree that such laws and regulations are good?

    Patty recently spoke of the fact that despite the fact that she would generally be for less regulation, that she agrees that the anti smog laws have been of great benefit to the air ( and people! ) of Los Angeles.

    Over regulation is bad. Sensible regulation in the environmental area is one of the most responsible things that governments can do.

    You’ll find that conservation efforts strongest and environments best protected where private property is most respected, and that it’s governments who have most severely damaged the natural world and ecology

    True only in the most limited sense – the government industries of the Soviet bloc were horrible polluters, as the environment in today’s Communist / Capitalist China is being ripped apart.

    But Communism is not the standard by which we judge anything good. America is a very capitalist country ( despite the baby talk to be found on ATW ) but we have benefited enormously by environmental laws and regulations – which took the lead out of gasoline, mandated emissions controls on cars, which banned much pollution into rivers and lakes, which mandated scrubbers on coal burning plants ( etc etc ) Europe, Japan and the other advanced capitalist states all did the same. And left to their own devices, private companies may never have stopped producing gas with lead in it, etc etc

  29. Phantom –

    Little development would take place in the North Pennines because most development would be a waste of capital. Outside of hill farms, virtually no private development is in evidence.

    However, the state is in evidence at the Warcop Training Area, where the army’s infantry and artillery pound the crap out of almost 30,000 acres. That you can be isolated is because the area is so large and remote. But that’s atill 30,000 acres of state-protected "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" on which the state deploys a vast amount of ordnance. You cannot build a shed there because of its state-protected status, yet the state can pound the crap out it with tanks:

    http://www.visitcumbria.com/pen/warcop-range.htm

    So no, I do not believe such laws and regulations are good, because no private owner would do more than maintain a hill farm or rent out a cottage, yet those who write such laws and regulations ensure a part of this astonishing area is pounded to crap by tanks and artillery.

    Whether it’s Bikini Atoll, the White Sands Proving Ground, Semipalatinsk, the Aral Sea or the Warcop Training Area, the idea of "environmental protection" by the state is laughable.

  30. Pete

    No its not.

    There are good governments and bad governments. Governments evolve, in accordance with the wishes of the people – the US and other governments are much more responsible on these issues than they were years ago.

    And even a century ago, the "evil " US govt was establishing the great national parks that we all enjoy today.

    There are things that governments did in time of war ( Bikini ) that they never would have done otherwise. i can make a powerful case that the Bikini bombings were justified, while knowing of their costs.

    You have a completely indefensible position when you state that private land owners won’t do bad things, when they have been doing bad things for centuries, out of stupidity or greed or short sightedness. The reason why no one spills factory waste into the Hudson or Thames Rivers today has zero to do with enlightened factory owners and everything to do with the EPA / NY State / British regulations on those waterways.

    The reason why you don’t have a neon sign announcing some bullshit establishment in the Pennines, the cliffs of Dover, or on the vast wildlands of NY’s Adirondack Mountains is that there are anti development laws that prohibit such things.

    These laws are immensely popular here – and there. I think you’d have very few British allies in opposing environmental laws.

    JM

    Indeed. Humans have caused many animals to go extinct locally, or entirely over thousands of years.

    There would be hundreds and thousands of counterarguments to the ludicrous proposition that nature is indestructible and that we cannot do harm to it.

  31. what a bunch of hogwash, you guys act like you believe the earth is really only 100,000 yrs old. It’s a billion if not 100 million man has only walked this eart for seconds of the planets life time.

    It has suffered meteor strikes, solar flare storms, polar shifts, several ages where the entire surface was covered in ice.

    Yet man will destroy it. Man can only destroy man and the other species that occupy mans minniscule time period on this rock. We could wipe out all life that is currently on the planet and in another 60 million years the place would be crawling with life from just being seeded by the ammino acids in meteor strikes.

    Man needs to worry about man, yes Phantom China is polluting like crazy so are the indians, and the russians. We aren’t. Rivers don’t burn here anymore.

    Man needs the earths blood, it’s oil. we use it and coal or we don’t survive another 1000yrs which is about 1 second on the earths clock.

    As for what Bush would have done different. That’s easy the administration new on day 2 how bad the oil was leaking they had the films. Bush would have used the law from the 90s and seized control. He would have accepted the spill ships from the other nations. He would have let Jindal build the burms and he would have contained the leak while the well head was fixed. He also would have been crucified by the press and the democrats for every action he took.

    Bush was a crises president Obam is just a walking talking marxist professor, he should have followed the old addage and we all would have been better off.

    Those who can DO, Those who can’t TEACH

  32. Can we destroy species of animals? Is that a problem?

    If there are no more large runs of cod in the Atlantic or if the last wild tiger in India dies off due to lack of habitat, will that bother you in any way?

    We almost killed off all the wild buffalo and wolves in America before we got smart.

    Would you want anything be done to stop the decline of species do to overfishing , loss of habitat, etc.?

  33. Let them die and serve them up with potatoes,

    All that matters is we survive

  34. What a thread!, – 95% cliches, and very little even worth debating. On the one hand those who would make some asinine political point, and on the other hand, those that just shrug their shoulders, and say ‘so what’! – and what fools they are! – after any disaster from a major hurricane to a world war, and anything in between, nothing is ever the same in the aftermath, and certainly never returns to a pre-disaster condition.

    No mention that BP wilfully and regulaly ignored ‘good practice’, no mention that BP has been guilty of similar malpractice on several previous occasions, and no mention of a previous Gulf leak that even after twenty or so years is still polluting the area. Of course, no mention of any personal accountability, or responsibility, for those individuals who were well aware of the risk, but decided to go ahead anyway.

    Yes we do need sources of oil, but while individuals are prepared to take what are known to be unacceptable risks to get at it, knowing full well, (no pun intended), that whatever the outcome they will not be held to account, we will have such disasters. There must be personal accounatbility.

    Oil will be needed for quite a few years more, and sources will become evermore risky to drill, that does not excuse taking short cuts to reduce the cost of production. So oil from those sources will cost more, – so charge more for it! – if governments have to reduce fuel tax to keep it affordable – so be it!

    All those hypocriical cries of ‘What about the pensioners!’ – so what? any investment involves risk, and if all those ‘financial advisors’ who saw fit to recommend a company that was known to indulge in dodgy practices were honest, they woud admit that they were at fault in ignoring that fact.

    Today’s latest news from the Gulf-

    "BP plugged the smallest of three leaks spewing oil from its well in the Gulf of Mexico but admitted it would have no impact on the giant slick threatening the coasts of five US states."

    So we still get spin and fairy tales from that icon of ‘big business’, BP!

    DT Link 18/7/2010

  35. Let them die and serve them up with potatoes,

    A tacit admission that every word you’ve said on environmental matters is a complete nonsense.

    But we knew that.

  36. Ernest your right it would be nice to see some personal accountability, but for that to happen you would have to have people with high moral character and standards in office to hold them to it. and it’s not a left or right thing our political classes on both sides of the pond have long ago abbandoned such things for the special interests.

    Phantom Oh cry me a river. you say your not a democrat, but all to often you use democrat tactics and support liberal positions. Which only proves that a republican in NY is a extreme Left winger anywhere else, with the exception of California.

    I hunt, I fish, I support conservation, and I am of course against pollution and for the prosicution of violators.

    You are on the side of the wackos on this issue. The only reason we do deep drilling is because the more accessable areas have been cut off by the wacko contingent. There is NO replacement for Oil all of our lives would be shortened to an average life span of about 35yrs if we took away every product that came from Oil.

    as for other species its a shame boo hoo, but it’s like your leftist friends like to say it’s Darwinian survival of the fitist. Hell Obama is pushing to take the bans off of whaleing.

    You don’t want oil buy a bike but it can’t have tires because modern rubber is an oil biproduct, also go through your house and throw away everything that is made out of plastic right down to the coatings on the electricle wires in your walls, let alone the computer your typing on.

    There is no replacement for oil, get over it.

  37. I’m not a Republican. You’d have to be half a moron to be a registered Republican these days, and even worse to be a registered Democrat. Both major parties are criminal enterprises that I choose not to associate with.

    You are on the side of the wackos on this issue

    What issue? You seem confused

    You say you’re in favor of conservation but you mock the extinction of species in the same comment. You’re very confused, my son.

    When did I say I was opposed to the use of oil or the drilling for it? I’ve said for years on this site that I favor rapid development of alternate energy resources, while drilling and using the existing old technology, while encouraging conservation and wise use.

    Where’s the inconsistency in any of that?

    Think.

  38. "I’m not a Republican. You’d have to be half a moron to be a registered Republican these days, and even worse to be a registered Democrat. Both major parties are criminal enterprises that I choose not to associate with."

    Top comment.

  39. well Phantom I’ll agree and give you this statement:

    "I’ve said for years on this site that I favor rapid development of alternate energy resources, while drilling and using the existing old technology, while encouraging conservation and wise use."

    but this statement:

    "I’m not a Republican. You’d have to be half a moron to be a registered Republican these days, and even worse to be a registered Democrat. Both major parties are criminal enterprises that I choose not to associate with."

    Is NY an open primary state? I didn’t think it was. If it’s not and your not registered as one or the other than in reality your vote doesn’t count. You don’t get to influense either party in any direction, you only get to vote in major elections when the candidates have already been wittled down.

    So except for picking the lesser of two evils you have no voice. You would think with someone as opinionated as yourself would desire a higher rate of participation and influence. Cause push comes to shove your vote is your only real voice and you cut yourself out of voicing it.

    Shame on you.

  40. Troll

    NY is not an open primary state. And it shouldn’t be. ( " Open primaries " are those in which all voters can vote in a Democratic or Republican primary election to determine the Democratic or Republican candidate ) Open primaries are completely undemocratic – Republicans should have zero input into who the Democratic candidate is, and vice versa )

    I will choose to remain a registered independent for the next few years.

    NY is a brain dead liberal state for the most part, with an unprincipled and corrupt Democratic Party dominating a Republican Party that is a leaderless mess and which has nominated the weakest candidates one could imagine.

    Your point is not without merit, in that I can’t influence primary elections now as I am not a party member ( and further since I refuse on grounds of principle to give any cash donations to any candidate ) . I may change my position some day. But that day will not be today.

    I wish a plague of locusts on every one of them. I want the current system cleansed, root and branch, and I don’t know how to do it. I know one thing – voting in the NY Republican primary for the likes of Rick Lazio won’t reform anything.

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