A post by Pat
The petroleum engineers aren’t having much luck in shutting down the oil spurt despite some novel ideas. Bob Woodward thinks we should hand the problem over to Google. They’re smart people.
…it is a potentially giant disaster of the — I mean, most disasters come and go. 9/11 came and went, okay. This continues. …Why don’t they call in Google? Why don’t they call in some of the people who have these great minds?
Not everyone thinks the disaster of 9/11 is gone, but that’s another matter. Woodward goes on to explain why the oil companies make so much money.
..I think the one thing we’ve learned about oil is—it’s kind of answered the question why the oil companies have been making so much money. You don’t have to go down there and pump it. It just comes to you once you pierce the shell of the bottom. All of this is coming, you know, no pumps. It’s spewing out.
If you drill it, it will come. Interesting observation from Woodward given the petroleum engineers are turning to Kevin Costner (“Field of Dreams”) for a possible solution. Costner took interest in oil spill cleanup while filming “Waterworld” (a disaster of another sort). He funded a group of scientists for the last 15 years to develop a technology which could be used for massive oil spills. It’s called an Ocean Therapy machine. This is a real thing.
“It certainly is an odd thing to see a ‘Kevin Costner’ and a ‘centrifugal oil separator’ together in a place like the Gulf of Mexico,” said actor Stephen Baldwin, who is producing a documentary about the oil spill and Costner’s device. “But, hey, some of the best ideas sometimes come from the strangest places.”
Meanwhile, “Avatar” director James Cameron has said that he would make his underwater vessels available, and actor-director Robert Redford appeared in a commercial, sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council, that uses the spill as a clarion call to move forward on clean energy.
It is not the first time Hollywood has come to the rescue with cutting-edge technology. Paul Winchell, a versatile ventriloquist and the voice of Tigger in ” Winnie the Pooh,” was also an inventor who patented an early artificial heart in the 1960s. In 1940, glamorous movie star Hedy Lamarr helped design an un-jammable communications system for use against Nazi Germany.
Maybe we can get Danger Mouse to come out of retirement.
Seriously, this disaster is giving me second thoughts about offshore drilling. A substitute for petroleum looks to be a long way off despite the great minds of Hollywood, Google and the media. Proponents of alternate energy speak as if we use petroleum only for gasoline. That’s only the half of it, literally. Petroleum is used in manufacturing a long list of products.
We should search for alternatives but we are stuck with oil–in every sense—for now. After seeing the environmental and economic destruction caused by this disaster, I’m not sure I’m willing to support offshore drilling despite the fact thousands of rigs are operating safely. What’s more, what about the implications of countries such as China and Venezuela drilling in the Gulf of Mexico? This disaster is a result of an accident on one rig. What if oil came spewing out of the Gulf’s ocean floor from 100’s of broken rigs and not by accident? A nightmare.