Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Top Kill" Reportedly Successful

"Top Kill" is reported to have been successful in stopping the BP oil leak in the Gulf. Here is how it works. View a live feed here. Unfortunately, scientists are now saying this spill is larger than the Exxon Valdez spill.


Billy Oblivion said...

The refrain that the spill is now "larger than the Valdez" is both accurate, and misleading as hell.

The Valdez spill was from a single oil tanker, at or near the surface, and basically on the beach.

This leak is way out at sea, in an area that gets a LOT of seepage from underground deposits anyway.

I'm not claiming that this event is ok, but that in terms of ecological damage it will probably turn out to be FAR less.

thinking said...

I hope this new method does work...but time will tell.

This illustrates a few points:
1) when we will really get serious about taking care of the environment?
2) why the lax regulation of the oil industry over the last several years? An eerie parallel to Wall Street where again lax regulation led to disaster. We are still paying a heavy price for Bush era neglect.
3) as someone noted, people don't like big government until a really big disaster strikes, and then they want big government to work miracles and solve the problem overnight.
4) as Bill Maher noted, all those who shouted "Drill Baby Drill" should have to go to the Gulf Coast and help in the cleanup to this disaster.

Clint D said...

Well I think that, as in real life, we should have to clean up our own messes. I'm not sure how this a) should stop other drilling, or b) why the US government should bear the burden of cleanup, except to ensure that it is done promptly. I'm not even sure I'd want the US gov't involved - what specifically do they (corporately, or in terms of departments, experience or programs) bring to the table in terms of knowledge or ability n cleaning up an oil spill? I'm also not sure how this c) speaks to our care of the environment except to point out that we (BP) weren't prepared to handle the worst case scenario.

Simplifying this as was stated in the above comment sounds a bit overreaching, but if blaming the former administration (and heavens knows there's plenty of blame to go around) brings people some peace, so be it.

What would be nice would be to simply learn from our mistakes, fix them as quickly as possible, and move on. I don't however, tend to look towards the presidency for a solution, or the US gov't, when tragedies like this occur. I'm not sure they are equipped, prepared, or well-suited to handle it.

thinking said...

The problem is that without government oversight and pressure, there is no confidence that BP would clean up the mess adequately.

BP has not shown itself to be very responsible or ethical in this situation on its own.

Corporations, unfortunately, do not always act ethically or in the best interests of society. At times corporations act in a very irresponsible manner. Corporations can do great things, but can also be ruthlessly efficient chasing short term profits at the expense of society.

When an individual misbehaves in certain ways, then the law and government becomes necessary. It's the same way with corporations.

In the broader sense, this also underscores one more reason to end our dependency on oil, as well as the need to more carefully tend to our environment.