04 June 2010

Oil Spill Apocalypse: The Slick that Ate the Atlantic Seaboard

Supercomputer models from Los Alamos now show that the Deepwater Horizon oil slick will grow into monstrous proportions, swinging around the tip of Florida to devour the entire US Eastern seaboard in a massive slime of oily chocolate goo. Supercomputer models cannot lie, they lack the devious impulse of deception which compels humans.

And yet, historically, the Deepwater Horizon spill does not look so bad next to other oil spills.
This chart comes from scientist Roy Spencer via Author Jerry Pournelle via Rush Limbaugh's website. A circuitous route for a simple chart of historical spill data? Yes indeed. Why in the world would anyone have to go as far as Rush Limbaugh's website to find simple historical data that might provide perspective to an ongoing disaster? What happened to the all-encompassing information media? Is the media not supposed to be providing us with such information?

A simple historical chart is not nearly as impressive as a supercomputer model from Los Alamos! But history is real -- in the sense that it happened. A supercomputer model is high tech beyond the comprehension of most people, but a model is not real -- it is not even data. It is only a sophisticated hypothesis.

In the course of all the larger volume oil spills in history, have we ever seen an oil slick -- even one that was left alone to wander about the oceans as it will -- that enveloped an entire continent, or set of continents?

What we are seeing in the Deepwater Horizon disaster is a bona fide catastrophe that is being used opportunistically by the news media and a motley crew of politicians, lawyers, activists, academics, and other cravers-of-fame to jump into the limelight and attempt to gain some advantage. Perhaps monetary gain, or a greater budget, more influence, academic clout -- what have you.

The public is already stirred into a daily frenzy by predictions of climate apocalypse from carbon dioxide. Peak oil doom is also enjoying a resurgence, thanks to the shutdown of oil drilling by Obama Pelosi, and all the infamy surrounding the DWH oil spill. What are the possible motivations for driving the public herd to stampede in panic?

For the lawyers, environmental activists, academics, and the media, the disaster is the main event. They seek to explode and exploit the catastrophe for maximum personal gain. The politicians have that motive, but they have an additional -- even larger motive. As much as Obama is tainted by Deepwater Horizon, the oil spill serves as a vital distraction from far worse problems hovering overhead. If you can see clearly the things that the Obama Pelosi gang are working so hard to obscure, you may have a chance to avoid the worst of what is coming.

PS: For those who are concerned that the Deep Horizon oil spill will circle around the world's oceans until it smothers all life on Earth, consider all the bacteria that have been evolving for billions of years to consume hydrocarbons of all kinds. And consider the natural processes perpetually at work in the oceans, to break solid and liquid hydrocarbons into their constituent atoms:

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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