Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reality Check

This is what reality looks like. The sea isn't blue or green or gray anymore. It looks like this for thousands of miles.


They're now admitting that roughly 2.5 million gallons of oil a day are spewing into the Gulf. Chances are that's still a lowball estimate and it's probably been that big from day one. There is no known fix or you can be sure that they would have used it.

People forget how anti-science the Bush administration was. They didn't just refuse to fund research unfavorable to corporate exploitation, they actively punished scientists whose conclusions conflicted with their agenda. They drove out the honest researchers and installed hacks who didn't have qualms about fudging the statistics.

Nobody can plug the gusher, because there isn't any technology to do so. They're inventing it as they go and it takes time. Expecting Obama to talk tough to BP and make them fix it is a fool's hope. It's like criticizing Bell for not inventing the iPhone a week after his invention made its first call. Like expecting the delivery of iPods even ten years after the invention of the phonograph.

People need to wrap their heads around the reality. This isn't a political ploy, it's a crisis of unimaginable magnitude and almost unspeakable consequences. The Gulf is screwed. The residents are screwed. We're all screwed by extension and it's going to last a very long time. We're all going to have to calm down and find a way to deal with that inescapable fact. [enlarged photo]

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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5 Comments:

Blogger Kathy said...

Libby,

It was the Obama Administration that approved the BP plans (or lack thereof) for this well. Not Bush.

It was the Obama Administration that didn't read the BP contingency plan, given its reference to cold water sea animals. Not Bush.

It was Obama who insisted when running for office that he would not expand offshore oil drilling and that he would clean up MMS. He has reneged on both promises.

I agree that there is nothing that the feds can do, now, to contain this spill. But they could be double-checking BP's other wells. According to Rolling Stone, MMS hasn't talked to BP about its even larger rig further out ... the one where internal BP documents unveiled before a Congressional committee show serious safety issues.

And no, I wasn't a Bush supporter. I don't drink the kool-aid of either party.

2:45:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Is this another attempt at false equivalence? Yes, the kid who steals a candy bar and Bernie Madoff are both dishonest - I get it.

There's a difference between reneging on a promise to undo what your predecessor did and not being able to clean the Augean stables in the time available. The difference involves intent.

Previous administrations intentionally gave the oil industry all the power they wanted and tax breaks too. The MMS has been corrupt for decades, but under Bush we had the oil cartel actually writing policy behind closed doors in total secret.

Until several days after the well exploded we had Republicans chanting "drill baby drill" and Republicans blaming it on environmentalists and we still have some of them insisting it happened because of TOO MUCH oversight. It's the intent that makes the action a crime, not the failure to undo a lifetime of corruption and secret dealings.

We know that the President spends too much time trying to make his opposition listen to reason and we know that's impossible and that they will use and still use and are using any tactic to thwart each and every thing he does without any sense of embarrassment, yet while they accuse him of tyranny, they keep asking for someone with the power only a dictator could have.

Sure, he should have fired everyone in the MMS - of course, but could you have told us it should have been a higher priority than health care? Really? We can say with certainty that if he had, we would have had the GOP howling and screaming and comparing it to Bush's firing of federal prosecutors in another deceitful passion play like the one we're watching now.

Yes, I'm frustrated with the lack of the promised progress, but keep in mind who is working toward it and who is out in the street with guns opposing it -- and for God's sake isn't it time for that idiotic Kool Aid cliche to die? Does anyone actually know what it refers to? If you mean propaganda, say it.

8:55:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Kathy, I've done a lot of research on deep water drilling since this started. The permitting process is long and Obama's MMS only approved one pro-forma permit at the end. The process started during the Bush years. I have a lot about it with links at my DetNews blog.

Yeah, Salazar should have cleaned house more quickly, but he had announced an overhaul that was in process months before the rig blew. The contingency plan that was blindly accepted happened earlier. Further, the whole deep water drilling in general was pushed through by the Bush administration who actively took steps to circumvent all the other environmental protection agencies rules.

And it's not true that Obama's admin is not reviewing existing rigs now. That's what the moratorium is all about, to give them time for the review and to come up with new rules. These things can't happen overnight.

Fogg, as always, perfect answer.

9:06:00 AM  
Blogger TypicalE said...

Just wanted to say the kool-aid cliche is a reference to those crazy cultists who, well drank the kool-aid. Which their leader had spiked with cyanide or something that killed them all.

3:06:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

OIC, well, since we're checking reality here, the Reverend Jones used Flavor-Aid, not Kool Aid.

8:37:00 AM  

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