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Oil Arrives In Louisiana; Defense Booms Inadequate 359

Posted by timothy
from the looking-sticky dept.
eldavojohn writes "People in mainland Louisiana are seeing the beginnings of the oil's full effects on wildlife in the area. Sticky, rust-colored oil covers the reeds like a latex paint, indicating that the efforts to lay miles of floating booms to keep it away from the fragile marshes are useless. They are experiencing what the Plaquemines (mouth of Mississippi River) saw last week, and it now appears that their defenses were inadequate. Only time will tell how much worse it can get as BP still scrambles for a solution. NPR also ran a story critical of Obama's 'scientific approach' that he promised to use in office and how well it's being applied and holding up during this crisis."
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Oil Arrives In Louisiana; Defense Booms Inadequate

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:20PM (#32308190)

    NPR also ran a story critical of Obama's 'scientific approach' [npr.org] that he promised to use in office and how well it's being applied and holding up during this crisis."

    The story isn't actually very critical. At least the editors/journalists involved in the creation of the article don't seem to be critical at all to me. If you feel the need to comment on this sentence, please please read the article first. It's mostly about how a couple of scientists are critical of the fact that stopping the flow has been prioritized over providing an accurate measurement of how much oil is leaking per time unit. Obama said he would release a directive detailing what his science policy (FTA: "he promised a science-based, data-driven approach to solving problems") means, but hasn't done so, even though the deadline he'd promised was already almost a year ago, and at least one scientist says it could have provided guidance that could have made a difference in this situation. It appears that the aforementioned prioritization might be in conflict with solving problems in a "data-driven" way.

    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:43PM (#32308426) Journal

      BP has lied about the flow rate and did not release data that would allow scientists to judge it. All they would have to do is release their data, which would not stop the effort to stop the flow. In fact, knowing the size of the flow is kind of crucial to stopping it.

      From what I've read, the containment is inadequate. Double booms aren't being used in most places, they are aren't being anchored right, no catch basins are being used to collect the oil being trapped, with no pumps at the nonexistent catch basins to remove it. Meaning, the oil will build up and overtop or run under the booms instead of being collected and removed. In order to work, booms need to direct oil to catchbasins for removal. Meaning, they might as well not be booming at all. Best practices are not being followed. A science based, data driven approach would mean, at the very least, doing what has worked in the past, and not doing what hasn't worked.

      The use of a more dangerous, less effective dispersant in an untried, untested underwater application is also far from science based. But that was the dispersant BPs sister company had on hand to sell them, and with multiple board members sitting on both companies, I think we can say profits trumped science once again. As a liberal, I am very, very upset with the man I voted for right now. At least Bush was just an idiot with Katrina. Obama seems to be deliberately pandering to Big Oil.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pharmboy (216950)

        Best reply so far. The biggest point you make should be the most obvious: We aren't doing what we have already have proven to work, boom and capture. This only reduces environmental damage, but it has to be captured one way or another, either before it hits land, or after. It is as if the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, and there is NO meaningful leadership going on.

        • by epine (68316)

          In fact, knowing the size of the flow is kind of crucial to stopping it.

          The biggest point you make should be the most obvious: We aren't doing what we have already have proven to work, boom and capture.

          I thought the premise is that first you have to know the size of the problem, before you can determine if the previously successful solutions are applicable or not.

          If "what worked before" is irreproachably scale invariant, then BP is right in their conjecture that there's no scope for data to drive a more effective response. Wasn't part of the problem with Katrina more water than pumps?

          What's completely stupid about the BP position on this is that there's no contention between assessing the scale of the pr

          • by Pharmboy (216950)

            But what they are doing, they are doing incorrectly, and they know this. Running a circle of booms doesn't make the oil go away, it just builds up and goes over and under the boom. You have to pump it. The booms are just corrals, yet they are just making circles out of the too few booms they have, which look great for the news, but they don't actually do anything except insure the coast gets coated with oil one week later.

          • by nbauman (624611) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @09:05PM (#32310358) Homepage Journal

            What's the downside to enlarging participation?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythical_man_month [wikipedia.org]

            The entire PR effort could be replaced with a simple pro-capitalist capitulation: "We screwed up, big time, and unlike the banks, we're solvent enough to pay restitution."

            Restitution? You mean paying fishermen, restaurants, hotels, etc. all the money they would have made if the oil spill hadn't hit? What are you going to do -- write off New Orleans and put everybody on the dole?

            Unfortunately, if the oil hits the shore, all the money in the world can't clean it up. The best estimates I've seen are that they could clean up 10% of the oil. When the oil coats the plants and mixes with the mud in the wetlands, you can't unscramble the egg. You just destroy a lot of species.

            I remember sitting by a lake in New Orleans, and having these big, beautiful fucking birds fly down right next to me. You can't clean up those birds when they're covered with oil. Expert Recommends Killing Oil-Soaked Birds [spiegel.de]

            Capitalism is not such a bad system when the gears are allowed to mesh.

            Even after decades of reading the Wall Street Journal editorial page, this blind faith in capitalism leaves me speechless.

            As the WSJ reported, both Democrats and Republicans left the oil companies unregulated as they cut out well-established safety management procedures. (BP had higher accident and fatality rate than most.) If you have a well-managed government agency with competent, dedicated safety inspectors riding herd on offshore wells, then you can at least make drilling as safe as possible and maybe safe enough. Without competent government regulation, it's bye-bye birdie.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by amRadioHed (463061)

              Your reference to the Mythical Man Month is irrelevant to the discussion. Measuring the flow of oil and cleaning up the oil are independent tasks that can be run in parallel without slowing each other down. This is not a situation where the mythical man month applies.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by slick7 (1703596)
        First thing that should be done is to nationalize BP in American jurisdiction. Bill BP for the whole messy affair (no pun intended). Put the rest of the oil companies on notice. Seize and/or freeze all accounts of the government official who abruptly retired when this mess started. Identify all persons associated with the oil cartel in America, starting with all pro oil politicians, lobbyists, oil CEO's and their direct underlings. Monitor all oil company financial accounts.
        As Jimmy Durante would say, "You
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by wronskyMan (676763)
          Not going to help. The rig, and many other deepwater ones, are in international waters - if we nationalize/kick out all the American oil companies, there will still be Chinese, Venezuelan, etc who will drill without ANY oversight from the U.S.
          • by RobVB (1566105) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @06:49PM (#32309476)

            The rig, and many other deepwater ones, are in international waters - if we nationalize/kick out all the American oil companies, there will still be Chinese, Venezuelan, etc who will drill without ANY oversight from the U.S.

            Not true. The Deepwater Horizon [wikipedia.org]:

            The rig was last located 50 miles (80 km) off the southeast coast of Louisiana.

            That means it was well within the limits of the USA's Exclusive Economic Zone [wikipedia.org], which goes up to 200 miles from a country's coast. No other countries have the right to exploit marine resources within this area. As you can see in these pictures, the EEZs of USA [wikimedia.org] and Mexico [wikimedia.org] cover most of the Mexican Gulf, which means there's no way China, Venezuela, Russia or even Switzerland will ever drill there.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Hognoxious (631665)

          First thing that should be done is to nationalize BP in American jurisdiction.

          But not Halliburton, who made the part that actually broke. Because they're good ol' boys.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by spun (1352)

          If we nationalized just one company for screwing up, the rest would fall into line tout de suite. And then when the government agency screws up, we auction it all of to private industry again. This process would repeat itself until we found some entity, public or private, that could handle managing it right. But in the mean time, I think I just found a solution to our budget problems.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Don't worry. The apologists for BP are in full swing. Everyone that is working to try to fix this mess only keeps yapping how BP is doing "a good job" and "trying their best", etc, etc. Too bad it was them that fucked it up in the first place.

        There is also very little information about subsurface buildup of this goo. The "dispersants" only prevent most of the oil from reaching the surface. But I guess subsurface fish spawning areas, coral reefs, etc. are all fucked up now, or will be soon.

        It's all PR while

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:55PM (#32308510)

        You must have watched the same video [youtube.com] I did but you spelled "fucking proper fucking booming" wrong.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Qzukk (229616)

          Mod parent up, the video might be too intense for liberal (Tipper Gore) ears, but it's something everyone needs to see in order to understand how BP fucked up and how this failure was inevitable.

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          She admits in the video that there is not enough boom in the world to do "proper fucking booming" for the entire affected area of the Gulf coast. She goes on to say that having that is part of being ready; that BP said they were ready; and they are not. She might be correct about all of that.

          Ah but here were are now there is not enough boom to do "proper fucking booming" so what exactly should they do? Nothing? Use the boom they do have to cover as much area as possible and hopefully do a little bit of g

          • by n dot l (1099033) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:57PM (#32310328)

            Ah but here were are now there is not enough boom to do "proper fucking booming" so what exactly should they do?

            They are legally and ethically obligated to ensure that such a thing can never happen. If there's not enough fucking booming, they can fucking have more made ahead of time. It's not even prohibitively expensive given that the cost can realistically be split across all operations in the region (it's not like each platform, or even each company, needs its own full set of booming).

            Use the boom they do have to cover as much area as possible and hopefully do a little bit of good? Should they do "proper fucking booming" over a small area, and leave the rest to chance?

            As opposed to what? Improper booming does nothing. It is exactly as good as zero booming. Worse, even, since it wastes time and resources that could be put to better use than providing photo-ops for idiots with titles.

            So yes. Yes they should have done as much proper fucking booming as possible and removed some oil from the water. That would be better than wasting time and boom and neither removing nor meaningfully slowing the progression of any oil whatsoever.

            which area?

            Some combination of which area most of the oil is heading for and which area would be the most catastrophic to lose.

            She comes off like she is saying "look they screwed up again" when its more like the screwed up a long time ago and now don't have the means to fix it, not that it is any better but why can't we portray thing accurately?

            They screwed up a long time ago, the screwed up a little while ago, they're screwing up right now, and they show no sign of changing that trend in the near future. Accurate enough for you?

          • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @10:11PM (#32310790)
            Ah but here were are now there is not enough boom to do "proper fucking booming" so what exactly should they do? Nothing?

            Why not? What they are doing is no better than none at all, and it would have saved money and time to not waste resources. Best would have been to prioritize coastline and lay it right in the highest priority areas. But then, they'd cover less than 1/4 the currently covered area, and you'd have to tell all the people you didn't serve that they weren't worth saving. Would you want to run for reelection after telling Alabama that Texas was more important than them? Could you trust the politicians to save Louisiana when Florida has more electoral votes? No, you just lay what you have, claim "we are out, even though we lied when we said we could handle such a problem" and move on, with no one specifically prioritized over anyone else. It's no better than doing nothing, but it looks like you are doing something and doesn't piss off people as much as doing it right.

            why can't we portray thing accurately?

            My understanding is that they lied to congress in order to get some of the leases they have. They overstated their ability to respond, and as such, the company should have all leases in the Gulf canceled (without refund) and anyone that sat in front of Congress should be in jail. You want accuracy? Start with responsibility. Otherwise, there's no reason for accuracy. It doesn't matter whether you hit the middle of the dart board or miss and hit the wall if you are given the same score for trying.
      • Its not a solution to the problem, but they should stuff all the BP executives into the leaking pipe. Seriously. At least this is how I feel about the situation.

        Someone posted on /. yesterday that engineers from other companies such as Shell and Exxon should be consulting or overseeing the operations. I'd at least like to think that having more engineers experienced in the area would help. If they don't work as a "team" perhaps they can separately draft solution plans.

        And, what of the Army/Marine Corps of E

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          It's funny how many people keep suggesting things that are already going on. All the majors have contributed engineers and other assistance [noia.org]. They're just not broadcasting it, preferring instead to get on with the work.
        • by fluffy99 (870997) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:39PM (#32310206)

          A very common misconception here. Simply plugging the leaking riser pipe will accomplish nothing as the riser pipe will burst shortly after you plug it. The main purpose of the BOP valve at the top of the well head is to regulate the pressure going up the relatively thin walled riser pipe. The riser has to be fairly thin otherwise its too heavy to hang from a surface ship. It can not sustain the full well pressure. This MUST be shut off at or below the well head valve.

          You really want the Army.Marine Corp handling this? Guys with absolutely zero experience with oil drilling? The same guys that couldn't figure out how to kill the oil well fires in Iraq and had to contract it out to the industry experts?

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by couchslug (175151)

        "As a liberal, I am very, very upset with the man I voted for right now."

        Bush II never did anything out of character.

        Bush Light, OTOH, knew he could do whatever he wished because his base had no alternative but to vote for Change We Can Believe In.
        No matter how pissed off they get this will not change in 2012, and it's hilarious. Who expected to be Pwn3d by a Chicago political shapeshifter?

      • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:35PM (#32308834) Journal

        As a liberal, I am very, very upset with the man I voted for right now.

        And yet you'll still vote for him next election, when he runs against Romney or Gengrich.

        Or maybe you won't, maybe you'll be one of the few who decides to vote for an independent instead. But most people of your opinion will still vote for Obama.

        • by spun (1352)

          I'll still vote for him as the lesser of two evils, yes. He's done some good things. IMHO, he's another Reagan, his stated favorite US president, did you know that? His law school adviser said that, on election night, on the Daily Show. It didn't sound like a joke. And Dubya made even Reagan look good, so yeah, I'll pick another Reagan/Clinton over another Dubya.

          • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @06:30PM (#32309324) Journal
            Wow, that's totally interesting, I was comparing Obama to Reagan just the other day. My rational was that both of them were easy to like, both of them were inspiring, and both of them had good ideas that were flawed in the implementation. It's like Obama is the Reagan of the left.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by couchslug (175151)

            Reagan was remarkably moderate, likely due to cosmopolitan life in Hollywood. He wasn't of the frothing "God Hate Fags" persuasion typical of recent Republicans, and his communication skill made him appealing.

            The Republican Party has purged most of its moderates, so we'll not see his like for a very long time.

      • by b4upoo (166390)

        Yes, keep in mind that Bush was in office when the plans for this oil rig were put into action. Useless anti spill measures and falsified information by BP such as hooking the wrong hydraulic rams up to shut off the flow seem to be criminal in nature. Due caution was not in play.
        And now we will see which insurance companies BP had hired. Are these policies capable of paying off the damages? Dream on! Will the lo

      • by SBFCOblivion (1041418) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @09:46PM (#32310658)

        At least Bush was just an idiot with Katrina.

        I hate Bush as much as the next guy but I don't understand why so many harass him for Katrina. Why not place blame on the people who were supposed to be running the state? They live below sea level for fuck sake. Did they not anticipate that something bad may happen?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by amRadioHed (463061)

          Why the Hobson's Choice? Can't FEMA be criticized for their slow response while also criticizing the poor planning of the local governments? I think with a disaster on the scale of Katrina there's plenty of criticism to be shared with all involved.

  • by Sooner Boomer (96864) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <rmoob.renoos>> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:22PM (#32308204) Journal

    ...the booms went bust.

    • by fbjon (692006)
      The defense booms went bust. Military-industrial complex requires more war!
      • by spun (1352)

        Rather than war, couldn't we just set the military-industrial complex to the task of breaking windows and then fixing them? [wikipedia.org]

        • by Jeremi (14640)

          Rather than war, couldn't we just set the military-industrial complex to the task of breaking windows and then fixing them?

          Breaking things and then fixing them sounds like a pretty reasonable description of war, actually. (in particular, the war breaks things, and then the defense companies get taxpayer money to fix them (or produce more of them))

  • More worse? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ari_j (90255) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:31PM (#32308330)
    It could easily turn into the most worst environmental disaster in US history. It is already affecting basic grammar skills.
  • Booming school 101 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they just failed booming school 101 and didn't know how to fucking do the fucking booming properly [youtube.com].

    And if you are offended by the f-word, well, watch the video to the end, OK? I promise it makes sense.

  • Booms work (Score:5, Informative)

    by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:43PM (#32308428) Homepage Journal

    Booms work when done properly [dailykos.com].

  • Crisis Situation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by starseeker (141897) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:25PM (#32308738) Homepage

    If that's the NPR story I heard, the simple refutation was given by an administration official, something along the lines of "there isn't a different response to a 1,000 barrels per day vs. a 5,000 barrels per day leak - either way its a disaster that must be contained, and the priority is to contain it."

    Decisions driven by good scientific data are extremely important, but if there is only one possible decision (big oil disaster and major huge oil disaster both require an all-out response) then the details can wait until AFTER the bugger has been capped.

    Sounded like a non-issue to me.

  • by OwP_Fabricated (717195) <fabricated&gmail,com> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:45PM (#32308930) Homepage

    No one will ever be held responsible for this. Ever. Not now, not ever. Ever ever ever.

    BP will pay whatever it ends up costing them to "fix" the spill, or whatever it costs up to the point the government has to take over if that ends up being the case. The government (or at least the people in the senate and house who make any public statements regarding this) won't want to seem like idiots so they'll defend BP's stonewalling and ridiculously low damage estimates. Obama is a completely worthless shill to the right of Richard Nixon and will do nothing.

    Then BP will appeal any and all personal liability related lawsuits to the supreme court where in a 5-4 decision (get used to hearing this for the rest of your life) the punitive damages will be thrown out, or dropped and sent back to the lower courts (like what happened with the Exxon Valdez spill) where it will be appealed until the affected people settle for pennies or drop the case since they won't live long enough or have enough money to see it out to the end.

    Nothing ever changes, rich people never suffer, and again no one will ever be punished for it. There is literally no hope, and that's not even a joke. There seriously isn't.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jeremi (14640)

      No one will ever be held responsible for this. Ever. Not now, not ever. Ever ever ever.

      What exactly do you mean when you say "be held responsible"? Are you hoping for public executions? BP CEO's heak on a pike, maybe?

      BP will pay whatever it ends up costing them to "fix" the spill,

      In other words, BP will be held responsible, in that they will pay for the cleanup.

      Obama is a completely worthless shill to the right of Richard Nixon and will do nothing.

      Obama's an amazing guy -- simultaneously to the left of Ch

      • by Al Dimond (792444) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:26PM (#32310100) Journal

        The key here is the quotes around "fix". This disaster can't be completely fixed, so paying the costs of cleanup is far from being held responsible. Meanwhile plenty of people and groups have incurred costs because of the oil spill: people will see their property depreciate, companies will lose business, and institutions like the government will have spent plenty of money studying the spill and helping with cleanup. And, as GP says, these groups won't be able to recover their costs from BP because the courts will protect them.

        If businesses are not held fully responsible for their damages then these damages aren't correctly valued in the economy, and thus there are incentives to take the sort of risks that cause oil spills.

  • by Alaska Jack (679307) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:47PM (#32308964) Journal

    I'm on the scene monitoring things in Louisiana, working for a government agency. Other than that I have no dog in this fight. I am neither a fan of nor do I hate Obama.

    Now read the article carefully. Like this part:

    "Francesca Grifo of the Union of Concerned Scientists says it could have been useful in the Gulf of Mexico.

    "I'm just very frustrated with how long it has taken for us to have this order," she says, "particularly in light of these events, where this kind of guidance clearly could have made a difference in this situation.""

    So what does the reader naturally expect? Obviously, an explanation of how the guidance would have made a difference -- oops, make that a CLEAR difference -- in this situation. Well, you can expect all you want, but you're not getting it from this article.

    Then there's this:

    "In a teleconference, Jane Lubchenco of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a group of government scientists came together just this week to seek a scientifically defensible measurement.

    "We've always said that it is extremely important to get a reliable flow rate," she said. "But we've known all along that doing so would be extraordinarily difficult.""

    I hope you, as a reader, aren't expecting to find out why it would be important -- let alone EXTREMELY important -- to get a reliable flow rate figure. 'Cause you aren't getting it from this article.

    I don't know why Lubchenco said this. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen addressed this issue early on. He said it's NOT important whether it's 5K barrels or 200K barrels -- we'd be doing the same thing in either case, and so it would be a waste of time and resources trying to figure out a number that, in the end, would be at least 50 percent speculation anyway.

        - AJ

    • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @06:22PM (#32309276)

      He said it's NOT important whether it's 5K barrels or 200K barrels -- we'd be doing the same thing in either case, and so it would be a waste of time and resources trying to figure out a number that, in the end, would be at least 50 percent speculation anyway.

      It's not a waste of time nor resources, if the time spent is that of a PR person who simply has to forward a (bunch of) video to scientists, and the resources spent are those of people who aren't otherwise occupied with this. Like, for instance, scientists who aren't useful for fieldwork.

      As for what you'd get out of it? Well, what's the point in telling people if they're going to be hit by a category 4 or a category 5 hurricane? Their house is going to be blown away either way, and they'll die if they stay. Why bother? Because accurate and reliable information is a good thing. Having hostile claims that vary by a factor of 20 (5k vs 100k) does no one any good. Especially when the ones with the raw data are the ones with the financial stake in it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cheech Wizard (698728)
      As an aside: If they do not try to take / get data, we lose in that future events will have no information to help. Any time someone says that getting data is useless, they're too stupid to be involved in any way. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen was/is wrong to say something as stupid as "...it would be a waste of time and resources trying to figure out a number...". It may not help now, but it may in the future. To think that this will never happen again is silly. Data will also prove useful in modeling in
    • A reliable flow rate is important if you want to try to understand how a leak of as much as 100,000 barrels/day during a time when we are supposedly retrieving "only" 1,734,000 barrels per day [gravmag.com] in total from the Gulf is related to declining oil prices.

      Put another way: "Gee...how come just one leak is equal to 1/18th of the total amount of oil that is supposedly being pumped out of the Gulf of Mexico? When there are "nearly 4,000 active oil and gas platforms" [noaa.gov] in the Gulf of Mexico?"

  • Oil is $70/bll (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Have the gov force BP to pay about $1 per gallon to any boat that pulls up along a designated barge and pumps out what they have captured.

    All those fishermen/boats docked at port suddenly have a new source of revenue. Let free enterprise figure out how to capture that oil.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @06:02PM (#32309102) Journal

    Are we to believe that a company with profits equal to a middle sized nation's GDP cannot afford to plug this hole? Sure, it may take hauling 500.000 tons of rocks from the coast, and would cost a few billions of $, but BP can very easily afford that.

    Believe you me, the only reason why this crisis is lasting this long, is because BP is doing it piece-meal, so as to not affect the profits almost at all. The upper management at BP are nothing but goons of the worst kind, the most die-hard corporate psychopaths you can imagine. So what if the ecosystem is completely compromised, if it will never recover, if livelihoods of millions will be affected? They don't give a shit. They didn't give a shit when they lobbied (and continue to do so) the govt. to decrease safety regulations, when they cut costs and increased workloads for cost cutting and profit, and when they decided to overlook the reports of pieces of the blowout preventer valve breaking off - and in fact, forcing the oil rig workers to continue as if nothing happened.

    Oh yeah, and these executives don't give a shit about the people who died on the platform, either.

    Please someone tell me, why shouldn't these soulless suits be lined up and shot, and the event televised for the education of other similar corporate psychopaths?

    • Please someone tell me, why shouldn't these soulless suits be lined up and shot, and the event televised for the education of other similar corporate psychopaths?

      Because those same psychopaths fund the election campaigns of every important member of Congress as well as the President, and they are important providers of high-paying jobs for former bureaucrats and regulators.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blind biker (1066130)

        Because those same psychopaths fund the election campaigns of every important member of Congress as well as the President, and they are important providers of high-paying jobs for former bureaucrats and regulators.

        Well, what you provided here, was a (or one of the) reason why they won't be lined up and shot, but not why they shouldn't.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alaska Jack (679307)

      To everyone who modded this post up...

      So. The top scientists and engineers in America and around the world are huddling their heads together in Houston, having pulled a month's worth of 20-hour days desperately trying to brainstorm every possible way to make the well stop.

      And... you're modding up a guy who doesn't think they thought of DUMPING ROCKS ON IT????

      Or wait ... they did think of dumping rocks on it but don't want to? Even though they're looking at BILLIONS in cleanup/restoration/litigation costs? N

      • To everyone who modded this post up...

        Just FYI, nobody modded my post up at this time. The parent post is astroturfing.

      • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @06:40PM (#32309412)

        I'm British, BP is British and I think those short-cutting, profiteering fucks should be nailed to the wall over this.

        I'm actually disgusted that the US government has passed legislation making BP only liable for the first $500,000,000 of the cleanup operation - as far as I'm concerned, BP should pay for all of the cleanup AND compensate those who have had their livelihoods affected by this.

        And if the money runs out, hell, sell the BP execs houses, cars, Learjets and everything else they own - the oil companies have been price-fixing for years, its time for the tide to turn (if you'll excuse the pun).

    • While if what you're saying is true I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, I wonder how you came across this information. Blind speculation isn't logical. It's one thing to be skeptical of the competence of those involved, it's another to accuse them of malice. . .

      This is why logic should be taught in elementary schools.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by couchslug (175151)

      "Please someone tell me, why shouldn't these soulless suits be lined up and shot, and the event televised for the education of other similar corporate psychopaths?"

      The Chinese do shoot people who commit corporate crimes such as selling poison milk. It makes great sense compared to executing those who commit crimes of passion. People behave themselves out of fear. Corporations know no fear, but public execution would get their attention. It should be used on those who commit economic as well as ecological sa

  • If the booming they're doing now isn't working, maybe they need a bigger boom? Like a nuclear boom? [slashdot.org]

  • by spikenerd (642677) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @09:38PM (#32310606)
    I know this must be a naive question, but I seriously can't find the answer. Why is it so hard to separate oil and water? Don't they kind of separate themselves? And since the oil is actually worth something, why aren't there companies lining up to skim the free oil?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      google on "kevin costner centrifuge"
      (about 27,000 hits)

      Raw crude acts a little different than
      what you are most likely thinking about
      (ie. motor oil and gasoline, etc.)

      Without actually dissolving in salt water,
      it actually somewhat comes apart.
      The lighter stuff goes to the surface but
      a lot of the heavier compounds like
      asphalt and thick tar will eventually
      settle on the bottom.

      But WHILE this chemistry physically sorts
      itself out, globs of this stuff can be
      somewhat boyancy neutral...drifting neither
      on the surface

  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @03:23AM (#32312242) Homepage Journal

    What's with all the people blaming Obama for the failure of BP to contain or control their oil spill / environmental disaster? He's the President and he has an opinion - but he doesn't have any control over the spill itself or the folks at BP. About the only thing he could do would be to send the Army Corps of Engineers in to take care of the problem and that's not an easy choice to make. If they succeed, it'd be a big win. But if they failed then not only would BP escape blame but the ACofE and Obama would have to explain why their plan failed.

    It's a big clusterfuk because in our wisdom we let British Petroleum (BP) do business in our country but they're a foreign corporation. Do you want to punish them or make them pay for all the damage they've done and continue to do? Sure, now how would you propose to do that? For extra credit, accomplish this goal without interrupting the flow of gasoline to all the BP (Arco and probably other) stations in this country and also avoid a diplomatic incident with our (for now) friends in the British Empire.

    But that's not likely; instead we have some idiots who see this as a chance to promote their political agenda and a bunch of others who feel their sense of entitlement being threatened. Get a clue: if you want your toaster waffle to be piping hot, it requires energy. If you insist that nuclear is too dangerous, coal is too dirty, and oil is too dangerous and expensive then you're going to have to deal with cold frozen waffles while you huddle in the dark. There's no happy energy unicorn that's going to descend from the sky to save all of us. The solutions to these problems aren't clean and pretty and they don't make the forest animals happy. But if we don't solve the problems then life is going to be much less than it is now in a third-world kind of way. There's still some time but you can't wait forever for something that's never going to happen.

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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