Gulf of Mexico Oil Apocalypse Creates Underwater Nightmare

On Good Morning America, correspondent Sam Champion and Philippe Cousteau Jr. explore the toxic plumes of dispersed oil floating beneath the waves in the Gulf of Mexico.


Added: 25. May 2010

More:

Gulf of Mexico clean-up boats recalled after crews suffer health problems

Deepwater Horizon survivors were kept in seclusion after rig explosion, coerced into signing legal waivers

SPECIAL REPORT: Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 a barrel

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Health Hazards

Fishermen get severly ill from clean-up work in Gulf

NASA Images Show Oil Entering Loop Current

New NASA Image of Gulf Oil Moving Towards Atlantic Ocean

Worry That Gulf Oil Spreading Into Major Ocean Current

AP IMPACT: Fed’l Inspections on Rig Not as Claimed:

The federal agency responsible for ensuring that an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that inspections be done at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Since January 2005, the federal Minerals Management Service conducted at least 16 fewer inspections aboard the Deepwater Horizon than it should have under the policy, a dramatic fall from the frequency of prior years, according to the agency’s records.

Gulf of Mexico: Scientists Find Giant Plumes of Oil as Large as 10 Miles Long, 3 Miles Wide And 300 Feet Thick in Deep Waters:

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day.

Beyond Stupid: BP CEO Tony Hayward:

“The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.”

US Oil Spill: Scientists and Fishermen Alarmed Over Chemical Dispersants:

Approximately 325,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed so far in BP’s effort to break up the spreading oil slick before it hits the fragile Gulf coast, and over 500,000 gallons more are available.

Rig firm makes $270m profit from Gulf of Mexico oil spill

US not accepting foreign help on oil spill

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: New NOAA Projection Map; BP’s High-Stakes Mission; And More News

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: The Halliburton Connection:

The company acknowledged Friday that it had completed the final cementing of the oil well and pipe just 20 hours before the blowout last week.

US Oil Spill Disaster Is Now ‘Out Of Control’

Major Earthquake to Hit Greece? Flood of Frogs Shuts Down Major Highway

frogs-china-sichuan-earthquake
May 9th, 2008 thousands of toads cross road near area where earthquake struck on May 12th in Sichuan China



Added: 26. May 2010


Thessaloniki, May 26 (THAINDIAN NEWS) There was a flood of frogs on a highway in Greece, which has managed to close down the highway for hours. Greek officials confirmed that one of the critical northern highways was closed for a couple of hours, due to the unexpected swarm of frogs.

Thessaloniki traffic police chief of the town of – Giorgos Thanoglou said that, there were millions of frogs that had thoroughly carpeted the highway. This happened on Wednesday, near the city of Langadas, which is located around 12 miles east of Thessaloniki. Giorgos Thanoglou said that, “There was a carpet of frogs.”

Read moreMajor Earthquake to Hit Greece? Flood of Frogs Shuts Down Major Highway

Gulf of Mexico clean-up boats recalled after crews suffer health problems

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Health Hazards

Fishermen get severly ill from clean-up work in Gulf


All 125 commercial fishing boats helping oil recovery efforts off Louisiana’s Breton Sound area have been recalled after four workers reported health problems, officials said

The crew members aboard three separate vessels “reported experiencing nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains” midafternoon Wednesday, the US Coast Guard said in a statement.

“No other personnel are reporting symptoms, but we are taking this (recall) action as an extreme safeguard,” said Robinson Cox, the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer.

The move raises questions over the safety of the clean-up operation in and around the Gulf in Mexico, in particular the protection workers have been given as they mitigate the oil, and the toxicity of the controversial chemical dispersants being used by BP in an attempt to break up the slick.

One of the workers had to be evacuated by air ambulance to a nearby hospital for treatment, another followed by boat and the other two were transported by ground, the statement added.

Safety officers for BP along with US officials with the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency are investigating the incident.

Read moreGulf of Mexico clean-up boats recalled after crews suffer health problems

Deepwater Horizon survivors were kept in seclusion after rig explosion, coerced into signing legal waivers

According to two surviving crew members of the Deepwater Horizon, oil workers from the rig were held in seclusion on the open water for up to two days after the April 20 explosion, while attorneys attempted to convince them to sign legal documents stating that they were unharmed by the incident.

The men claim that they were forbidden from having any contact with concerned loved ones during that time, and were told they would not be able to go home until they signed the documents they were presented with.Stephen Davis, a seven-year veteran of drilling-rig work from San Antonio, told The Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg today that he was held on a boat for 36 to 40 hours after diving into the Gulf from the burning rig and swimming to safety.

Once on a crew boat, Davis said, he and the others were denied access to satellite phones or radio to get in touch with their families, many of whom were frantic to find out whether or not they were OK.

Davis’ attorney told Goldenberg that while on the boat, his client and the others were told to sign the statements presented to them by attorneys for Transocean – the firm that owned the Deepwater Horizon – or they wouldn’t be allowed to go home. After being awake for 50 harrowing hours, Davis caved and signed the papers. He said most of the others did as well.

Davis’ story seems to be backed up by a similar account given to NPR by another Deepwater Horizon crewmember earlier in the month. Christopher Choy, a roustabout on the rig, said that the lawyers gathered the survivors in the galley of a boat and said, “‘You need to sign these. Nobody’s getting off here until we get one from everybody.’ … At the bottom, it said something about, like, you know, this can be used as evidence in court and all that. I told them, ‘I’m not signing it.’ “

Choy said that once he was finally allowed to get off the boat, he was shuttled to a hotel, where he met up with his wife. At the hotel, representatives from Transocean confronted him again and badgered him to sign the statement. Exhausted, traumatized and desperate to go home, Choy said that he finally relented and signed.

Read moreDeepwater Horizon survivors were kept in seclusion after rig explosion, coerced into signing legal waivers

SPECIAL REPORT: Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 a barrel

Don’t hold your breath!


louisiana-barataria-bay
Scientist Douglas Inkley of the National Wildlife Federation pulls a broken oil boom on an island impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Barataria Bay, Louisiana May 25, 2010. (REUTERS)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Just how many barrels of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon spill is a billion dollar question with implications that go beyond the environment. It could also help determine how much BP and others end up paying for the disaster.

A clause buried deep in the U.S. Clean Water Act may expose BP and others to civil fines that aren’t limited to any finite cap — unlike a $75 million limit on compensation for economic damages. The Act allows the government to seek civil penalties in court for every drop of oil that spills into U.S. navigable waters, including the area of BP’s leaking well.

As a result, the U.S. government could seek to fine BP or others up to $4,300 for every barrel leaked into the U.S. Gulf, according to legal experts and official documents.

Read moreSPECIAL REPORT: Civil fine in Gulf spill could be $4,300 a barrel

CDC has to admit it mislead public about lead in D.C. water

Virginia Tech professor uncovered truth about lead in D.C. water

prof-marc-edwards
Marc Edwards


Sometimes Don Quixote beats the windmill.

It happened for Marc Edwards, a lean, intense Virginia Tech environmental engineering professor. Drawing on what he called his own “world-class stubbornness,” he mounted a six-year campaign that succeeded last week in forcing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to admit that it had misled the public about the risk of lead in the District’s drinking water.

The CDC, which is the nation’s principal public health agency, made the confession in a “Notice to Readers” published in an official weekly bulletin Friday. It came a day after a scathing House subcommittee report said the agency knowingly used flawed and incomplete data when it assured D.C. residents in 2004 that their health hadn’t been hurt by spikes in lead in the drinking water.

The events represented a full vindication for Edwards. He had embarked on the painstaking, solo investigation primarily because he was outraged that the CDC’s original report was being used across the country as a reason to relax concern about lead in the water. Now he has the House report to back up his research.

“Until yesterday, I didn’t really feel I had what I needed to prevent future harm,” Edwards, 46, said in an interview at a downtown D.C. coffee shop Friday. “I feel a sense of relief, and I’m appalled at how difficult it was.”

It’s not a final victory yet. Edwards thinks the CDC is still trying to “rewrite history” by refusing to admit that it consciously understated the lead risk in water. He thinks it did so because it was worried about distracting the public from another health risk, leaded paint, which has long been a CDC priority.

Read moreCDC has to admit it mislead public about lead in D.C. water

Haitian Farmers to Burn Donated Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

haitian-farmers-to-burn-donated-monsanto-hybrid-seeds
Jonas Deronzil from Verrettes has been farming since 1974. Like small producers throughout Haiti, his meager income from corn, rice, and beans is threatened by new competition from Monsanto.

“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day.

In an open letter sent of May 14, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, the Executive Director of MPP and the spokesperson for the National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papay (MPNKP), called the entry of Monsanto seeds into Haiti “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds…, and on what is left our environment in Haiti.”[1] Haitian social movements have been vocal in their opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food, which undermines local production with local seed stocks. They have expressed special concern about the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

For now, without a law regulating the use of GMOs in Haiti, the Ministry of Agriculture rejected Monsanto’s offer of Roundup Ready GMO seeds. In an email exchange, a Monsanto representative assured the Ministry of Agriculture that the seeds being donated are not GMO.

Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto’s Director of Development Initiatives, called the news that the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture approved the donation “a fabulous Easter gift” in an April email.[2]  Monsanto is known for aggressively pushing seeds, especially GMO seeds, in both the global North and South, including through highly restrictive technology agreements with farmers who are not always made fully aware of what they are signing. According to interviews by this writer with representatives of Mexican small farmer organizations, they then find themselves forced to buy Monsanto seeds each year, under conditions they find onerous and at costs they sometimes cannot afford.

Read moreHaitian Farmers to Burn Donated Monsanto Hybrid Seeds

The BP-Owned Trans-Alaska Pipeline Shut After Oil Spill

Trans Alaska Pipeline
Trans-Alaska Pipeline

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, partly owned by BP, shut down on Tuesday after spilling several thousand barrels of crude oil into backup containers, drastically cutting supply down the main artery between refineries and Alaska’s oilfields.

The accident comes at a difficult time for BP — the largest single owner of the pipeline operator, holding 47 percent — as it struggles to plug a gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well.

The shutdown followed a series of mishaps that resulted from a scheduled fire-command system test at Pump Station 9, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks, said Alyeska Pipeline Service Co, the operator of the 800-mile oil line.

Read moreThe BP-Owned Trans-Alaska Pipeline Shut After Oil Spill

Renaissance 2.0: Lesson 4 – The Culture of Empire

Renaissance 2.0: Lesson 1 – Revisiting American History – Financial Empire

Renaissance 2.0: Lesson 2 – Revisiting Economics 101 – Debt

Renaissance 2.0: Lesson 3 – Revisiting Civics 101 – Ownership

Renaissance 2.0: Lesson 5 – The Emerging Global Empire – The New World Order


1 of 4:

Added: 26. March 2010

Lesson 4 (part 1) – The Culture of Empire moves into a deeper dialogue about the empire system we’re caught in. Part 1 addresses our wealth illusion, freedom illusion, exponential growth, inflation/deflation, and bankruptcies.

2 of 4:

Added: 26. March 2010

Lesson 4 (part 2) – Part 2 focuses exclusively on the issue of scale. As the debt-based empire grows, the scale of our system grows causing all sorts of problems related to the loss of meaning, community, freedom, and agency.

3 of 4:

Added: 27. March 2010

Lesson 4 (part 3) – Part 3 focuses on the issue of velocity. The velocity of money is a standard economic concept, but economists ignore the issue of human velocity caused by the system, which results in the loss of rest, joy, delight, and deeper issues.

4 of 4:

Added: 27. March 2010

Lesson 4 (part 4) – Part 4 focuses on the rise of narcissism, increasing pathology and oppression, and how the financial empire eventually replaces government

Cap and Trade Is a Gigantic Scam

As I pointed out in December:

James Hansen – the world’s leading climate scientist fighting against global warming – told Amy Goodman this morning that cap and trade not only won’t reduce emissions, it may actually increase them:

The problem is that the emissions just go someplace else. That’s what happened after Kyoto, and that’s what would happen again, if-as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, they will be burned someplace. You know, the Europeans thought they actually reduced their emissions after Kyoto, but what happened was the products that had been made in their countries began to be made in other countries, which were burning the cheapest form of fossil fuel, so the total emissions actually increased…

See also this and this.

Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are also against cap and trade (and see this and this), as is the head of California’s cap and trade program for the EPA.

Hansen also told Goodman that (notwithstanding Paul Krugman’s assertions) most economists say that cap and trade won’t work:

I’ve talked with many economists, and the majority of them agree that the cap and trade with offsets is not the way to address the problem.

As I have previously pointed out:

Read moreCap and Trade Is a Gigantic Scam