Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oil found. Science lost.

In January 2009 during his inaugural speech, newly elected President Barack Obama stated,

"We will restore science to its rightful place..."

It is unfortunate that this promise has been forgotten in response worst environmental disaster in US history.

The Obama adminstration has repeatedly tried to down play the impacts of the gulf oil spill, including faking a swim in the Gulf, only to be repudiated by independent scientists.

Today's Congressional hearing revealed yet another insult to science.

After Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told a White House briefing on Aug. 4 that "at least 50 percent of the oil that was released is now completely gone from the system. And most of the remainder is degrading rapidly or is being removed from the beaches.", scientists from several universities, including Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, University of Georgia and University of South Florida, amongst others, countered that the statement was unsubstantiated and not true.

Today , a senior U.S. scientist rescinds previous claim that 3/4 of oil from spill is gone, says most is still there. Lubchenco appears to still be in spin mode. I hope that fact that most of the oil remains in the Gulf and continues to threaten the ecosystem also makes the front page of the NY Times.

So much for restoring science to it's rightful place. Very disappointing.


Anonymous said...

The real question is what are you doing to replace oil as an energy source - or are you just as happy to continue to send our dollars overseas to Arab countries who fund terrorist organizations who want to kill us.

It's fine to condemn the use of oil, coal and gas and I agree, but until you have something to replace it, you have to continue to use them.

I personally live off the grid, do you and those in your organization? If not, why not?


Anonymous said...

Of course the oil is still there... it's mixed into ten zillion gallons of sea water while the microbes turn it into its hydrogen, carbon and oxygen elements. How in God's name do you propose to make today's fancy board shorts and surf boards without oil...?

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't be surprised by Obamas behavior. If you've been following his promises, claims and responses you will notice that everything he says is purely politically driven. during the campaign his promises were, at best, impossible to fulfill. Others were impossible to substantiate and the rest were just out and out lies.
It took him a while, but he has finally broken every promise he made as a candidate. And he continues to make knee-jerk statements, " The police acted stupidly " and reactions like the moritorium on off-shore drilling which cost 100,000 jobs INSTANTLY!
You say off-shore drilling is not the answer. However, suddenly forcing thousands of people to conform to the new way isn't either. I don't disagree that we need to get off oil, but we need to do it responsibly. We are like the parent who has to clean up the milk that our child has spilled. Closing the door to the room will not solve the problem.
It took us one hundred years (give or take) to be completely addicted to the point where it's imbedded in our society so deeply that it will take decades for our rehabilitation.
I think globally and act locally and encourage everyone around to do so also.

Brad DeWagner said...

I think one of the points to be made here is not who lives off the grid, or how we'll make boardshorts and surfboards. We all are stuck on the grid. The questions need to be pushed as to why these companies are allowed to drill just far enough off shore so that they are not accountable to any state regulations. When states like Louisiana have oil and gas rights given to them to control what lies just off their shores then safeguards can be put in place to protect those same shores. Until you have some form of control over what threatens you all efforts become reactionary not precautionary.

Anonymous said...

The scientific facts are that oil is a product of nature; it is produced by nature and is absorbed in the ocean by natural processes.

The accumulations of oil that are being produced today are the result of millions of years of plankton absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and oceans and converting it to energy to support their life. When these plankton die, they are deposited on the ocean floor and are buried, eventually producing oil and gas after millions of years of deposition and burial.

The simple fact is that the world economy can simply not survive in any form we recognize today without hydrocarbons. Every item we consume in our lives depends on hydrocarbons to one degree or another. If you want to drive an electric car, good for you, your electricity is still going to be supplied by gas, coal or nuclear. Renewable resources are simply not economic with these sources of power. Until they can compete, without subsidies, they will continue to be a marginal benefit at very high cost.

Nobody likes oil spills, but the public is being misled on the BP spill. The damage to the environment is much, much less than the Valdez spill and has been (at least in the early days of the spill) used by the Obama administration to foster increased costs and regulation on the oil industry, the single most taxed industry in the nation.

Of course, most people wont agree with this and will gladly increase taxes on the oil industry because they are viewed as the villain. Mark my words however, when gasoline is priced at $4.00/gallon again, there will be calls for congressional investigations, charges of price manipulation and gouging, and congress will act quickly to reduce taxes on the oil industry and promote "independence" from foreign oil. This is a joke, we simply don’t have the domestic reserves to ever be independent of foreign oil, but this rhetoric is used to attract votes from both sides of the aisle.