Gulf Oil Spill

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    Environmentalists? Government regulation?

    I’m not sure about the science involved in fixing a leak in 300 feet of water versus 5000 feet, but logic tells me it would be easier. What do you think? What might be the implications of drilling in shallower water, ie I’m assuming closer to shore? NIMBYism?

    Logic also tells me that given the same volume of oil spewing in shallower water closer to shore would reach shore more quickly. In other words, we’d be cleaning up beaches by now instead of scratching our heads trying forigire out what to do with the slick.

    I guess the point of starting this discussion was to get us talking about the pending cultural shifts that need to take place (which seem pretty obvious to me) and how we can accomodate or usher in those changes.

    Trace One

    BP constantly does exploratory drilling – it was an exploratory well, I am sure you know that, and they were in the process of closing it for future reference..This Sarah Palin garbage that ‘environmentalists are forcing riskier behavior” is just garbage – BP has thousands of leases in their pockets, everywhere, ready for drilling..In going after this deposit, they were still pursuing the fat gut of oil which is out there – geology tells them this is a rich site, and they explore..Their goal is long-term corporate survival, end of story..

    Mr. De Turk your perspective is incredibly fatalist.. You don’t think anything has ever been accomplished through regulation? You don’t remember when the river in Chicago was ON FIRE, continuously, in the seventies? Or eighteen hour days in the Triangle Shirtwaiste factory – and locked doors and no fire escapes..the examples of society producing successful legislation that benefitted the world are too numerous to retell..I can’t buy into your cynicism, and can only wonder what you are teaching your children about their place in the world…

    Trace One

    see article in NYT today, “BP sees need to ‘rationalize’ oil production in the face of declining demand” i.e., they are closing wells, to save for the future.. They are drilling shallow, they are drilling deep. Just because ANWR is off limits does not mean drilling sites are limited..The bering Sea, if they can deal with the dangers of drilling (which I am sure the MMS will make them fill out the forms) is potentially another fat gut of oil..We need to get the economic equation right – oil, cars, cost us too much..
    ok, I’ll stop now..sorry to rant!!!


    There was a show on NPR the other day about this – someone asked that question almost exactly. Basically, he said that wasn’t it the fault of the Government for not allowing them to drill closer to shore – as the reason they are drilling so deep. The three experts on the panel all agreed that was not the case – (including two guys in the oil industry) – they said that BP is spending HUGE money to drill in deep water because that is where the big rewards are. No other reason.


    See below. Oil industry experts on a panel discussion on NPR all agreed that there are NOT better resources in shallower waters.

    Trace One

    Ok, Dane..Your world is not my world. There is room for both of us. What religion do you get that perspective from?

    Trace One

    (and no insult intended, Dane, really just curious if your world view is rooted in somethin specific..)


    I am not sure to think of this as acceptance or pessimistic.

    I kind of agree with what you are saying. The world can feel very David vs Goliath meets ignorance is bliss.

    For example: Compact fluorescent light bulbs

    They use energy more efficiently and they last longer, giving the impression that they are good for the environment. which they are, and they give the customer a sense of fulfillment in using less energy.

    But what about the root cause? why isn’t that the focus? theoretically why does everyone have to buy light bulbs to save the whales and snails, when the power plant is the core cause of pollution(lets say its coal…..for this to work).

    I have always felt that you can protest and say all you want, but for the most part you will not get your way but it is important to have your part heard.

    So i can see how ‘it doesn’t matter if there are tighter regulations’ the root cause is the problem not the lack of regulation.

    the most important thing is we all live good lives and reach the fulfillment we all want.

    Jon Quackenbush

    “Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we’re the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.”— Bill Hicks

    Trace One

    that’s nice, jon, how does that help us? I know some thirty somethings that would argue that that sort of sixties crap got us into the state we are today..Do something. Take responsibility..Your actions have global consequences…

    Thomas J. Johnson

    Yo Nick! What up…? I know you like to get my political dander up so here’s my two cents…

    1. We need oil. That’s all there is to it. Without oil the world would come to a screeching halt. In order to sustain our quality of life we need to be smart about how we use the remaining oil reserves. And you can be assured that we will extract every last drop of oil that we can reach, including “protected” areas because without oil the world will fall into chaos. Oil is the foundation of our existence.

    2. It’s appalling that off shore oil rigs are not required by international laws to have a means of stopping/plugging the well in a worse case scenario. It’s unfathomable to me that nobody anticipated the very situation we find ourselves in. Nobody said, “hey, what if this thing snaps off where it meets the sea floor?”? I’m sure the issue was raised and the execs said, “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it”. Well, (no pun intended), it’s too late.

    3. Those who failed to anticipate this event should be held entirely accountable for all damages. It is absurd that citizens are paying for, yet another, corporate disaster. This is a perfect example of why our country is $13 Trillion in the whole. It is not the citizens responsibility to fix this. BP should be footing the whole bill, no more public dollars for corporate bail outs. They get enough tax breaks as it is…

    4. The conspiracy theorist in me says that BP isn’t really all that upset about the whole “accident”, just think of the tax write-offs!! 200,000+ gallons a day is a lot of operating loss, not including the cleanup costs are really going to set them back. This will all be written off… no big deal. In fact, it will raise profits for the year. Buy BP stock.

    I’ve been drawing up some ideas about how to stop leaks in the future, mechanisms that could be activated if a well fails. I’d like BP to buy them from me. I’ve also been drawing up ideas about how to capture the oil, as it’s leaking, in it’s current state. Again, BP, if you read this, bring the check book and we can talk…

    OK, Nick, so my two cents turned into 4, plus a plug for my awesome ideas that BP wants to pay me 10’s of millions of dollars for the rights to. What can I say? I’m tired of being a struggling landscape architect (designer), it’s time to cash in. Get rich or die trying…

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Where are the fund raisers and volunteer organizations that were able to spring up over night for Haiti or the tidal wave? I know and agree that BP should foot the bill, but there are huge needs in mobilization to protect wetlands and beaches, let alone the cleanup. This started over a month and a half ago and the government and BP are concentrated on “plugging the hole”, rightly or wrongly. This has left a void on cleanup preperation and protection from oil yet to arrive.

    The private organizations bring diverse approaches and concentrate on little pieces of problems and could do so much good. Why are we not seeing ads on TV and Clinton with H.W. raising funds. I don’t get it.

    Rob Halpern


    1. True, and it is going to run out so we are going to have to found our existence on something else if we wish to exist

    2. They were required. They even had one of a sort. But apparently our government watchdogs and the industry did not think it economically important enough to make certain they could do the job. So we may conclude that government requirements of laws are not a sufficient answer.

    3. We will foot the bill one way or another. BP is not going to eat it and continue to sell oil products at the same price.

    4. A tax write off is never as profitable as selling a product especially one that is so lucrative

    Jon Quackenbush

    I was responding to an earlier comment with a funny tidbit from a comic (and I think one of the great minds to have graced this earth).

    As far as what I do? I have an organic garden which sustains me and my fiance throughout the summer, when i do buy food, i buy from local organic farmers. i barely drive, i walk where i need to, i don’t buy useless shit from china and i never drink bottled water or soda.

    that sixties crap was only crap because as you guys aged, you bought into the shit you were fighting against, the revolution was a great idea until you guys got tired of it. the thirty somethings raised by that generation are only extending the apathy by saying it isn’t their fault too.

    Trace One

    It’s just not thought through, Andrew G., in my opinion, in the same way human disaster assistance has been thought through and structured. The same thing happened in the oil spill in SF bay last year – thousands of volunteers ready to help, and no mechanism to use them…
    Here’s an interesting article in the NYT today regarding some independent efforts – somewhat heartening, although also NOT (heartening)..

    And Rob Halpern, thank you for your response to Mr. Johnsons comments, you beat me to it..I was thinking of framing a response like a design consultation with Mr. Johnson for a garden:

    1. Well, you gotta have front lawn and foundation plantings, everyone does.
    2. It has to be irrigated, that helps private industry grow, and is the only option in our climate.
    3. Turning radius for your car? I have no idea. God someone should regulate that!
    4. Pesticide application not only is part of our society but we will do that until there is no pesticides left!!!

    hee hee..

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