Monday, May 03, 2010

Oil dispersion



Isn't that just darling?

Now for a few observations:

-The truest statement you will hear today regarding large-scale accidents involving oil and gas: They are rare, but they DO happen.

-There are some 30,000 oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Just one of them blows up and look at what a stink it causes. Sheesh.

-If you own a car, you own part of that spill. Yes, that's what I believe. No, you don't have to agree.

Your humble hostess has a long history with the oil industry. I've written plenty about it, so in the interest of full disclosure, here's a list of links:

A complex feature I wrote on drilling in residential areas and a companion blog post.

Edward Burtynsky on Oil.

Reminiscing on my years at BP.

Gas station redux with Jesus Christ.

All politics and opinions aside, Godspeed to the families of those killed in the explosion, and prayers for the Coast.

* * *

22 comments:

swine said...

make no mistake, i own two cars and i take my share of responsibility for this shit. yes, they're small cars. yes they get over 30 mpg but i still realized i have a hand in this. conversely, i'm the first in line for a fucking hydrogen car, if they ever send one down the pipeline. or a bike. just make all roads bike-accessible; i'm 8.5 miles from my job (each way); i fucking RUN that distance every day after work. but make all ways bike-accessible; i don't wanna get run down by some blue haired old lady driving a LeSabre who can't see me on the side of the road pedaling. i fucking hate cars. i can do without them any day. but cars are just one problem. everything and anything is made from oil, yes?

like you said, godspeed to the families of the victims.

Tony Rugare said...

The real crime or embarassement is that our technology has failed us. An accident of this type must have been anticipated. Why wasn't there an effective plan for capping the well. Maybe we should call in the Chinese. I don't feel guilty for driving a car. I feel guilty that I was not more environmentally conscious years ago.

Bill said...

Yep! Just what we all need. A healthy dose of guilt. I'm quite sure that this accident is Bush's fault. We'll be using lots of oil for at least 50 years. None of the "alternative" energies will take off until they can survive without government subsidy. And, what's the problem with blue haired old ladies and Buicks? Accidents happen. Always have. Always will. Working an oil rig is very dangerous. Those guys know it's dangerous and are proud of their work. The same applies to coal mining and coal miners. Feeling guilty about driving a car that uses the fruits of their labor is ridiculous.

Erin O'Brien said...

Um ... who said guilty? Wasn't me.

I was talking about a sense of responsibility.

Bill said...

Tony is feeling a little guilty. I feel zero responsibilty for the oil spill or for heating my house, driving my cars, or any of the other necessary or fun activities of life. PLEASE check out George Carlin on this subject.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOOc5yiIWkg

Erin O'Brien said...

Oh dear. Bill's not going to like this one bit.

I have a name for conservatives who don't conserve anything. I call them the wastetives.

Bill said...

I have thick skin E. I don't have a name for anyone who feels guilt or responsibility for something that they had nothing to do with or can't, in a million years, do anything about. Talk is cheap. If you, or anyone else, wants to drive a golf cart (althoug it does take lots of energy to produce that electricity), you're free to do it. If you want to walk or ride your bike to work. Go for it. If you want to buy a $9M house overlooking the ocean and slam others for driving a big SUV, go ahead. I know libs think that only their ideas are valid but that doesn't mean the rest of us aren't solid citizens. If people choose to modify their lives to go along with the latest fad; that's great. Have I told you that I love this forum and your blog? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I take my share of the responsibility. I regularly blister the gravy sucking pigs yet I too oink. As an aside the U.S, is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas and there are tanks of liquified natural gas sitting right next to Mobile Bay as oil fouls the water.

It also saddens me. Lived on the Alabama Gulf Coast for 10 years and regularly worked and traveled between there and New Orleans. Just as the recovery from Katrina has taken hold they get kicked in the nuts.

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

You. George Carlin. You neighbor. Hell if I care who it is, Bill. I don't know how you live your life, but I respect every single resource I have, be it fuel, air, water, space, or time--including that of others.

I detest indiscriminate waste of any kind; can't stand it when people take more than they need. I'm sick of overfed, overprotected Americans driving massive vehicles in order to "feel safe."

(The War on Terror is just another example of that, but that's another day's topic--and a damn measure more complex, I might add.)

Maybe that Gulf oil spill that's oh-so-far away from you in a literal and moral sense drive up gas prices. Then I'm guessing we won't be able to shut you up about how awful it is.

Bill said...

E: Exactly how does this "respect for fuel, air, water, and,space, manifest itself? And, what is "more than they need"? Who decides that? Indiscriminate waste is what? I have lot's of confidence in the human race but don't really like other people deciding what's best for me or telling me what I should think. When gas gets too expensive for me, like when it was $5 a gallon, I definitely adjust my lifestyle. When my net worth gets slammed, I do something to conserve. Why you want to buy into the whole "humans are ruining the earth" guilt trip is a mystery to me but you have plenty of company. I recently read, and posted somewhere, some of the dire predictions, by "experts" from earthday 30 years ago. You can guess how they turned out. As far as time goes, I definitely respect that and wish I could conserve it. Didn't you think the George Carlin thing was funny?

swine said...

Not saying that Bill might think like this, because I don't know Bill. But a lot of people use Bill's philosophy: "...I have lot's (sic) of confidence in the human race but don't really like other people deciding what's best for me or telling me what I should think." and then go to church and follow their pastor's advice to the letter. That's always made me laugh. Again, not saying Bill is like that, but there are plenty of others who think like Bill, then turn around and do what The Church says. Disconnect much?

Erin O'Brien said...

What sort of things decide quesions on consumption?

Well, Bill, when the Gov tells the auto industry they must meet certain MPG ratings, that's one example. When you "adjust" your lifestyle to accommodate higher gas prices, that's another. When I choose a Mini Cooper over a Hummer, that's another.

"Why you want to buy into the whole 'humans are ruining the earth' guilt trip is a mystery to me"

I never said that. It is inaccurate. Do not put words in my mouth.

Haven't watched the Carlin yet.

Bill said...

E: Sorry about making that assumption. I'll try to be more careful. Here's some waste for you: http://www.billshrink.com/blog/5626/government-wastes/

Swine: Thanks for the disclaimer. I don't belong to a church and I'm always amazed how so many people (including a couple of relatives) check their brains at the door when entering a church. I have heard some pretty good sermons though.

Bill said...

I should add that; if I were seeking advice on how to live, it would probably be someone more like a theology expert rather than, let's say, Al Gore.

swine said...

Bill, beware "theology experts" as much as "environmental experts." And definitely beware politicians turned environmental experts.

i'm a lefty as far lefty as you can go, but have always been leery of Gore. i also understand that, basically, there ain't much to fret over on either side, as the boys and girls we elect go to Washington and play a totally different game than what they say on the campaign trail. so i'm not expending too much static either way...Obama let me down, though it's understandable. The Beltway Game is nothing like most people can ever imagine. I know, I've worked within the system for almost 10 yrs.

conversely, the Reps can hem and haw and elect whomever the fuck they wish, they ain't gonna get their promises fulfilled once their men and women come up against the Congressional Wall.

and on a different angle...let's say we, humans, aren't really causing any environmental change (insert hearty laugh here, followed by the assertion that the world is flat). what would be wrong with chillin' out on using natural resources? or finding alternative resources? why would that be such a bad thing? new technology, invention, alternative methods to extraction....all of these create jobs.

the thing that baffles me is how Conservatives beeyotch about lack of job creation, are totally pro-Corporation, but for some fucked up reason cannot see that Corporations outsource jobs.

#fuckyeawhere'sthedisconnect!

Bill said...

Swine: Was sort of kidding about the theology thing. I agree it's good to "chill out" with respect to consumption (if you want to). I'm sure that you allow yourself to be informed about the other side of the climate change argument so won't try to make a point. I've posted, often, that I'm in favor of alternatives and I'm confident that bright capitalist minds will develop them (no subsidies please). Outsorcing is a complicated subject. Having owned a couple of companies, I can make a case for it.

Mrs. C said...

Don't you love how Swine's fingers will type "fuck" but not "bitch. I do, and I love you, too, Swine, for representing my relative political position so well.

philbilly said...

No subsidies? What is the cost of a US naval fleet guarding the Straits of Hormuz since 1953 if not a subsidy for petroleum? Cut the bullshit, hydrocarbons would not control the energy market if we did not subsidize them off the balance sheet. Just like kids don't know where chicken nuggets come from, Merkuns don't know where and how we get fuel. From the pump, right?

Here's another news flash, it takes more energy to produce a gallon of petroleum or diesel or jet fuel than is embedded in the final product. I've met college professors and industry titans who can't grasp that.


No subsidies my ass.

Bill said...

It's actually possible to fill up and get an order of nuggets at the same time! What a country!

We can now get solar panels with almost 1/2 the cost covered by the gov. (still takes about 12 years to pay for itself) I think there's some petroleum product in the hardware though.

philbilly said...

Just saw a news flash about a big air spill at a wind turbine farm out West. Billions of cubic feet of air were released, although some residents reported enjoying the breeze.

Bill said...

Clever philbilly! Bird families, on the left, celebrated the disaster. lol.

Bill said...

On topic. http://reason.com/blog/2010/05/06/mr-president-please-think-of-s