Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spill Baby Spill!

I was at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) website, getting updated on what is happening with Hurricane Ike, and came across this information....

Month-long Response Continues for New Orleans Oil Spill
New Orleans, LA 2008-Jul-23 Broken Barge Removal
On July 23, 2008, a tanker and barge collided near downtown New Orleans, LA, resulting in a spill of over 9000 barrels (380,000) gallons of #6 fuel oil. The incident occurred at approximately 0130 local time. The barge was reported "ripped in half," discharging its entire contents. Coast Guard, Louisiana State and NOAA responders are on-scene.

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 20:31:46 EDT
On 23 July, 2008, a collision resulted in more than 420,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil being spilled into the Mississippi River when a barge struck a tanker and sank. More than 2,000 responders from many organizations, including NOAA, have been working on cleanup efforts for the last month. The barge has been salvaged, and most of the affected river (100 miles) has been cleaned up. However, more than 10 miles of stranded oil remains, and cleanup efforts have been complicated by a 6-foot drop in the river level. Conventional flushing is not effective (even with hot water and relatively high pressure), because the stranded oil is “high and dry.” The current challenge is to find the right cleanup technique.

In any case, many hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil were dumped into the waters of the Mississippi River. A month later, they were still trying to clean up, when along came Hurricane Gustav. There are no clean up updates posted after the hurricaine, as the crude oil spill was probably spread throughout the region & waterway in storm surge waters.

This is a photo of an oil stained levee.
The point of mentioning this spill, is while the RNC had crowds chanting Drill Baby Drill, there are serious issues that need to be addressed with drilling.

Off shore drilling is full of peril, and especially the drilling they want to do- on the West Coast (Alaska, Washington State , Oregon & California) is in the "Ring-of-Fire", The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions encircling the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 40,000 km horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. Ninety percent of the world's earthquakes and 80% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

Oil drilling is dangerous, sloppy, and if the drilling itself goes well, the movement of oil in tankers has been a series of huge spills with grave consequences to the Oceanic habitat & health, as well as the wildlife it supports.
It is a part of our overall Planetary health too. It is our job to take care of this planet we call home.
Drilling in earthquake zones makes no sense. Continuing on the path of oil dependence makes no sense, give we now know the greenhouse effect, and the SCIENCE that documents the changes.
VP candidate Sarah Palin says a federal government decision to protect the polar bear will cripple energy (oil) development offshore. As a result, she is suing (May 2008) the Bush administration, which ruled the polar bear is endangered and needs protection.

Governor Palin would also like to bring open-cast coal mining to Alaska's Brooks Range Mountains, an act of environmental vandalism in the eyes of many.

The Palin administration has allowed Chevron to triple the amount of toxic waste it pours into the waters of Cook Inlet. This, even though the number of Beluga whales in the bay has collapsed from 1,300 to 350 – the point of extinction – because of pollution and increased ship traffic.

While Palin smiles and introduces herself as a benign "Hockey Mom", she is really a foe of the environment.

She is OK with letting the Polar Bear go Extinct, by fighting the Endangered Species protection that would guard the habitat essential for the bear's survival.

If you want to read more about how Scientists & Environmentalist groups fought to list the Polar bear as endangered, how the listing was stalled, allowing the government to proceed with an auction for oil and gas leases in the Alaska's Chukchi Sea, an area of key habitat for polar bears. (Scroll down to U.S. endangered species legislation).

Oil wells don't necessarily end well.


Border Explorer said...

Fran: wonderful content, great research. And, perhaps best of all, this post certainly ended well!

DivaJood said...

You know, Gov. Palin says she eats all the animals she kills...

Fran said...

BE: I have a hard time reconciling the logic of any person who would KNOWINGLY allow a species to go into further endanged status, or extinction. Polar Bears are such wonderful creatures, How could she have launched a lawsuit to stop the Endangered Species Act protection? How does she sleep at night?

Could you imagine having a grandchild ask:

Grandma, how come you killed the polar bears? and the Beluga Whales, and the Arctic Ntl Wildlife refuge?

Where does this Hockey Mom get off telling scientists they are wrong about global warming?

It's one thing for her to have that opinion, but we can't in good conscience knowingly let that happen on our watch.

Feed Palin to the Bears!

Fran said...

Well Diva-- Turn about is fair play.

If McCain & Palin want to let this species go extinct.... let them go face to face with hungry & pissed off 1500 pound bear.

Survival of the fittest & all that.

Dusty said...

Wonderful Post!!! It made me sad, as all things screwed up environmentally do...but I have held out hope that OUR species will get its collective shit together...before its too late.