Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Gulf appears to be bleeding


The Daily Kos

 The Gulf appears to be bleeding - Worse Than BP Admits

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Tue May 11, 2010 at 11:10:40 PM PDT

Video from May 7th (4 days ago) flyover of Gulf of Mexico and location of sunken Deepwater Horizon courtesy, Current TV.
Amateur Video Of Gulf Oil Slick - Worse Than BP Admits
Flyover video by John Wathen and volunteer pilot Tom Hutchings, Facing South and the Institute for Southern Studies
Transcript follows :
On May 7 2010, John Wathen and Pilot Tom Hutchings flew out over the Gulf of Mexico.
Along the way we saw small boats dragging buoys out to the islands to protect them from the oil sheen that was certainly coming our way.
At nine miles out we began to smell the oil.
Warning this is a highly confronting video

At 11 miles out we saw a visible sheen on top of the water, heavy streaking was evident at about mile 15.
Mile 26 we began to see solid oil on top of the water.
With a heavy sheen and numerous streaks at mile 34.
Mile 87, Ground zero. My first view of the sight was one of tremendous impact. I'll never forget the scene.
These are not small boats, while standing at a dock looking at them they look like large ships. They're dwarfed in comparison to what I see on the horizon : Nothing but a red mass of floating goo. That could have been prevented and should have been prevented.
I was horrified when I looked and saw how many boats there were on the horizon that didn't seem to be doing anything at all that was effective.
Going around in circles, small boats, with Booms on the back of 'em, sent out to gather up oil in what looked like teacups compared to the horizon.
We counted 30 boats in the pictures. All floating around while this stuff was headed for shore. No-body seemed to be able to do anything about it.
For the first time in my Environmental career I found myself using the word hopeless.
We can't stop this.
There's no way to prevent this from hitting our shorelines.
The best I think we can do is minimize the impact. Learn from our mistakes.
We have to have fuel, we have to have gasoline. The price we're paying now is far too expensive.
Safety measures that could have prevented this were not in place.
It's time for our government to step up to the plate.
And take responsibility for what's happening on the shores of our country.
Several Waterkeeper programs along the coast have already been impacted and many more are expecting landfall.
Along with other environmental groups up and down the coast it should be mentioned that this is not only an environmental disaster, but a social disaster as well.
Fisherman out of work, Oyster shuckers, no work. People working the docks. All up and down the coast people are cancelling reservations. Fishing boats are not going out.
The economic impact to this event will be incredible and be felt for decades to come.
No one knows if the fishing will ever recover.
No one knows if the Gulf will ever heal from this.
One thing for certain. We must learn from the mistakes that have been made here.
This cannot happen again.
The Gulf appears to be bleeding.
will we ever be able to stem the tide?
Will we ever be able to put a stop to this?
Will the Gulf ever heal?
As far as you can see on the horizon now, there's these mats of this reddish pink sheen.
It was easy to find our way back to shore.
All we had to do was follow the red. There was a perfect line of it leading from the rig towards the shore line.
Here right off Ship Island and Horn Island, we found sheen behind the islands and in the sound.
Preparation had been made, but will it be enough?
Dolphin Island in Alabama, we saw sheen coming ashore at the far end of the island. That was on May the 7th. On May the 8th, they found Tar Balls.
10 days ago I wrote a diary on this spill, calling on BP to release any video or photos of the leak at the bottom of the ocean of the leaking pipe and well.
Gulf Gusher - Where are the photos?
My reasoning behind this was that the initial estimates which BP had released, 1,000 barrels per day were off by a factor of 5 and they had not revised them upwards. In fact they had argued against this.
But they would know how much oil is coming from the gusher, they have plenty of robots scouting around down there and experts who calculate flow rates. It's a difficult job, but people are paid good money to do it.
Since that original estimate the media has not received an official update from BP. It has stayed at 210,000 gallons per day, 5,000 barrels. And piping which has uncontrolled fluid, sand and rock flowing through it erodes away.
And they have video :
CNN reports about lack of video
The other two excuses from BP the report mentions is that the video hasn't been released because it's a matter of priorities, and that the people fixing the leak are busy and they don't want to bother them with releasing a video.
Plus there are sites such as SkyTruth who have estimated the flows are five times worse than this at 26,500 barrels.
We estimate this well is leaking at a rate of 1.1 million gallons (26,500 barrels) per day.
We have also found out that
the rig workers who were told they couldn't call their families until they'd signed forms stating I was not injured as a result of the incident or evacuation, to the fishermen whose contracts for the "Vessels of Opportunity" jobs included a waiver of their right to sue, all touched by the spill meet the lawyers first.
BP tries to get Louisiana fishermen to sign indemnification waivers
Fishermen in Louisiana, whose livelihoods are on the line after the catastrophic BP oil spill, are desperate for cash. According to this report, hundreds appear to have been tricked into signing documents swearing that they will "hold harmless and indemnify ... release, waive and forever discharge the BP Exploration and Production, Inc., its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, regular employees, and independent contractors ... from all claims and damages" arising from helping to clean up the mess BP made.
Transocean: Received $401 Million Insurance Recoveries So Far
And that the booming being deployed is good for a photo op, but probably not much else :
Fishgrease: DKos Booming School
An important diary which shows that the booming operation appears to be just for show.
There is a control and containment operation going on here, but appears it has little to do with protecting the people, the fishing grounds, the marine life, the tourist industry, the oyster shuckers and truck drivers, the respiratory systems of Gulf Coast kids as the oil evaporates. The containment and control operation is mostly a legal, media, political and financial liability one.
The reason I asked for those photos, is not because I wanted BP to feel uncomfortable but so that everyone could see for themselves what they were up against.... and prepare.
For from the outset my fear was not that this would be something akin to the response during Katrina, but something different than that.
My fear was that the response required here was one which needed to match that seen on 9/11.
Through these CYA (cover your ass) activities, the false impressions created including the spraying of the exiting oil with dispersants to sink it just below the surface :
Dispersants suspend oil in the top 3 feet of the water column. That's where 80% of marine life lives as babies.
But you can't see it there from a satellite or a helicopter.
That what we are seeing on the surface of the slick is like what we'd see of an iceberg. With most of the slick, maybe 80% + below the surface and the dispersants used to sink the rest.
Except this time it is an oilberg.
Had these organizations told the truth from the outset, been completely honest in their dealings with the public, my bet is Americans would have seen through the ordinary media spin and recognized this for the dire threat which has been created. That at the very least they would have had the opportunity to respond accordingly.
The very worst thing they have done by containing and controlling the media fall out by not being completely transparent, will be that they took away that choice from Americans. These companies made the decision on how Americans would react for them, by controlling the perception of how bad this actually was.
And for that, I would think they probably will not forgive.
SkyTruth have a site where people can upload information and keep track of the impact this gusher is having on the American shore line.
Please tell people you know in the area about this site as from where I stand, trusting what you are seeing coming from the normal spin machine, the MSM, has to be taken with a grain of salt.

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