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.

Kevin Costner may hold key to oil spill cleanup

“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.

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18 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. LJZumpano says:

    I am waiting to see what the actual cause of the break is, and have not ruled out the possibility it was a N Korean strike, but regardless of what happened, the possibility of it happening again have grown. If anyone is watching the oil spill more than Americans, I would bet it is our enemies. Somewhere in the caves, terrorist wannabes, many of whom received their civil and computer engineering degrees at American collages, are probably mapping out the oil rigs currently in the water. Figuring out how relatively easy it would be to cause a disaster.

  2. timpeck says:

    So, why did BP have to drill so far offshore in dangerous 5,000 ft. deep waters? Why could they not drill closer to shore or perhaps on land? Anyone?

  3. timpeck says:

    How does BRITISH Petroleum contribute money to the campaign of an AMERICAN candidate for elective office?

    Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

  4. LynnFYI says:

    I have to respectfully disagree with the arguments made here.

    First, check out Santa Barbara. They banned oil drilling to protect the beaches after a disastrous spill in 1969 yet found out that even after they did, oil was STILL washing up on beaches naturally.

    Second, oil seeps into the oceans naturally all the time. From what I’ve heard and if I remember correctly, the Gulf alone naturally spews the same amount seeping from the spill every day. It’s just not concentrated in one area like the spill is so the ocean takes care of it.

    Third, the center of the earth is hot molten lava. The earth is actively brewing oil all the time whether we tap into it or not. Even when we don’t tap into it, as pressure builds, it has nowhere to go except to eventually bubble up into the oceans or on land.

    “What if oil came spewing out of the Gulf’s ocean floor from 100’s of broken rigs and not by accident?”

    This is a silly, extremist, fear mongering argument based upon the “what if” scenario the left typically uses to scare people into submission to their arguments, such as globull warming and other environmental extremism.

    If this scenario were to happen then the economies of quite a few countries, not just America, that are hugely, with some being solely, dependent upon oil production and usage would be destroyed. It would also mean that the American Coast Guard and Navy have failed to protect us from such an attack.

    If “100’s of broken rigs and not by accident” actually happened then America is most likely under a full-scale invasion on the magnitude of a World War. If we end up in another World War then oil spilling into the Gulf causing environmental mayhem would be the least of our concerns.

  5. ffigtree says:

    Hmmmm…some of the best ideas come from private capitalistic individuals! Who knew? (And I’m not talking about the google people! LOL)

    Pat, I agree many of the anti-petroleum folks simply believe petroleum is evil and only used in evil gas guzzling vehicles. Because of petroleum we have the life style we enjoy today and so much more! Changing to an alternative energy source is improtant and I think eventually we will have it ; to vilify petroleum is wrong for all the benifits we have received from this precious resource.

  6. makeshifty says:

    Well it shows how ignorant some people are about things of importance. Woodward did not know that oil companies pick spots on the Earth’s surface where oil comes out of the ground out of its own pressure. It makes me wonder what else he doesn’t know, like where oil comes from or how continental drift works. Yet because he and Bernstein broke the Watergate story he’s considered worth listening to on such matters. What a pity.

    What surprises me is that BP has taken so long to solve this problem. I would’ve thought they had plans in place for such things, but apparently not. Last I heard they had set up a measure that was reducing the leakage, but hasn’t stopped it.

    We used to think that oil rigs were safe, because of the measures and procedures that had been put in place for anticipated disasters. For example, when a hurricane is expected to come in the direction of rigs, they evacuate and detach them from their moorings, close off the well head, and release them. They float in the ocean until the storm passes. I’m sure there have been fires on rigs before, but probably none of this magnitude. As best I can tell the disaster was so big it literally caused the rig to collapse on itself.

    Somehow I think we’ll get through this alright. We thought the Exxon Valdez spill was really bad at the time. The Earth and our ecosystem have dealt with worse in its history. Of course the oil industry should learn from this and guard against such occurrences in the future. The one thing that probably will be hurt permanently by this is the fishing industry in the region.

    • LynnFYI says:

      “The Earth and our ecosystem have dealt with worse in its history.”

      BINGO! This is NOT the end of the world. Even if we were to completely free ourselves of our oil dependency, oil spills would STILL happen but naturally.

      Oil is “manufactured” by the earth herself. What has man ever manufactured that hasn’t eventually been deemed environmentally unsafe by some environmental extremist group?

      Environmentalists have deemed oil a pollutant to the earth even though it’s that very same earth that is creating it! Go figure!

      • naga5 says:

        great posts!
        i read about natural oil seepage vs the initial spill rate early on and have to agree that the ecosystem does quite the job in maintaining a homeostasis. we should be responsible stewards and not act recklessly, but failures do occur. sometimes out biggest successes come from failures. we did land on the moon after (i think) we accidentally immolated three astronauts by exposing them to excessive cabin oxygen percentages.
        anyway, algore doesn’t have to like it, but oil remains the lifeblood of the world’s economy. green economies are proven money losers. shipping goods that we manufacture are not going to teleport themselves. maybe we can drill in, oh i don’t know, alaska or something. how’s that for win-win?

  7. Chris says:

    What about a big huge metal and concrete Chernobyl-type dome over it all, to just stop and contain it? Or a big glass one like in the Simpsons Movie?

  8. thierry says:

    there’s nary a thought now about probably the worst man made ecological disaster ever- chernobyl, the gift that keeps on irradiating, on the brink of collapsing in on itself. the sarcophagus was about to fall into the core because it was so poorly built( in honesty no one ever had to make such a thing- and workers can only go near it for 15 minutes at a time. like oil wells, nuclear power plants are too big to fail i guess so no emergency plans are necessary). al gore and his pals at google( he was an advisor) never seem to pay much mind to the destruction of the now uninhabitable bread basket of europe and the continued threat from radiation- the polar bears are way more important and gore won’t make any money saving europe from a nuclear holocaust. the UN and various commissions have spent the past few decades down playing the lives lost because clearly global warming HAS to be killing more furry cute animals than the biggest nuclear disaster in history.

    although the french contracted to build the new arch that’s suppose to cover it all up again, it’s evil americans including darth vader cheney’s old employer bechtel footing most of the bill. evil american corporations using evil evil money to actually help stave off a real continued ecological disaster while our government pisses money away to acorn and bail outs and green propaganda and parties for barry .

    google seems only good for harvesting information from unsuspecting people- of what good is that for cleaning up oil? it is excellent how ever when used by fascist regimes. look up your street address on google earth and see your car etc. i hardly think covertly surveilling the oil leak , seeing what web sites it surfs to or screwing it out of it’s ad money will be helpful in stopping it.

    extra points for mentioning hedy lamarr. me-ow.

  9. mrcannon says:

    My one curiosity about all this: how come the price of gasoline here in the liberal panacea of South Puget Sound has dropped 20 cents a gallon in one week’s time? I’m ecstatic that’s it’s only $2.80, but a fortunate coincidence, nonetheless.

  10. naga5 says:

    nice add, too!

  11. Tinker says:

    The nut job creation worshipping greenies are the reason they have to drill so far out. It’s insane. A mile deep is insane. Just drill where it’s safest. We have the technology now that we didn’t have decades ago. We should be drilling in the AWR.

    Drill closer to shore and the chances of an accident drop and if one did happen, the chances of quick solution increase. Common sense.

  12. radargeek says:

    You’re right! The left is so homogeneous that they can’t educate themselves on how the earth works. They rather be broadcasters of rumors instead of learning facts from researching on their own. What a lazy bunch.

  13. lord-ruler says:

    I heard woodward make that google comment on my ipod while at work. How stupid can you get? Yes the oil comes out by itself at first but gradually loses pressure until finally you have to pump it. Andrea Mitchell said some stupid things too. Tonight Mark Levin read a section of the clean water act that says the federal government has full authority over the oil spill. http://marklevinshow.com/Article.asp?id=1816503&spid=32364

  14. CO2aintpoison says:

    Oil is poison. Petrol is poison. CO2 is poison. Salt is poison. Red meat is poison (no, wait they changed their minds on that). We are poison. The space shuttle is poison. Commodoties are poison. Sugar is poison. Coffee is poison. Clouds are poison. Rain is poison. Lead is poison. Livestock are poison. WE are poison. Raise your hand if you believe if America stops drilling, others who are unencumbered by caring about the planet in any manner whatsoever, will also stop. Let’s see where did I hear a similar euphamism? Oh yeah: “we will extend our hand if you unclench your fist…” or some such BS. Hows that working out? Everything man-made on the planet is falible. Even if the safety tests were done as scheduled, there is no guarantee something wouldn’t be missed or a safety measure of some sort would fail at some point being forced to drill so far down and so far away from shore by the Greenies.

    So….let’s stop drilling and let everyone else do it – and near our shores for that matter (aka CHINA with their sneaky horizontal drilling off of Florida), they’ll hold us hostage over it for cost plus debt recovery, and we can just see what happens. Let’s do the same with dirty coal mining and scary nuclear energy. MMM MMM MMM. Problem solved.

    I wonder when the last time a Chinese or other country’s oil rig has been checked. Oh well….at least it won’t be US who F the planet. It may still get F’d – but at least not by we evil Americans. So much the better, eh? Maybe then finally everyone will love us. Hey, we always have wind-freaking-mills to fall back on, right? Now, where did I park my camel?

  15. girlsgotrhythm says:

    As was suggested by Sarah Palin and others, this should make a case for SAFER onshore and land drilling. Having to go 5000 feet down in water to drill seems like an unnecessary complication. Accidents happen. That’s life. Let’s not start throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We can monitor an astronaut’s heartbeat from outer space. So, I THINK we are capable of coming up with a working contingency plan and have systems in place to deal with these kinds of oil leaks, spills, whatever, without swearing off oil as a valid and sensible energy source. Don’t go greenie on me, Pat!


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