Saturday, May 29, 2010

What is New with the Oil Spill? Lots! Part I

This post is going to be a tough one because there is so much information so I am going to do it in several parts.

First I am going to break your heart.
Then I am going to share enough that will piss you off.

The Gulf Oil Spill & What are the current results?

This is a dead dolphin found floating in the Gulf of Mexico covered in oil.

Next we have a view of the Gulf from the air so you get a good look at what you are not being shown:

Yes, that is oil, covering the Gulf of Mexico that is all water you are looking at, not land, but water literally covered in the oil that BP is responsible for pouring into the water of the gulf.

Here is a young Heron, dying in the oil covered marshes that should be protecting him but instead are causing his death.

These are turtles found covered in oil. The first is a Kemp Ridley the second is a Loggerhead.

Brown Pelican's are landing in the oil coated marshes because these are their migratory nesting grounds.

There are plenty more pictures out there for you to see.  Here a some links to some really good sites with some seriously heartwrenching photo's of this disaster:

So there are plenty of pictures to see the damage that is being done, and of course we've all seen the photos of the oil sitting on top of the water.

And in the marshes.......

And coming on shore on the beaches........

Not to mention the oil that is covering the islands......

But what about all the oil that we don't see.  What oil is that you ask?  The oil that is being hidden by the dispersant's being used to hide the totality of the situation from you, and I, and the rest of the nation. It is worse than we can even imagine.


Phiippe Cousteau, Jr, grandson of Jacques Cousteau, put on a hazmat scuba diving suit to view the mass of oil and dispersant floating beneath the surface.
Phillipe Cousteau Jr: "This is a Nightmare....a Nightmare"

This is another short video from the Ocean Futures Society aka The Cousteau Family:
Our mission is to explore our global ocean, inspiring and educating people
throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting
the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the
ocean's vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet.

Have you seen enough?  Has it made you sick to your stomach yet thinking about what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico?  This is only a portion of the damage being wrought.   How much of our sea life and our wildlife will be devastated beyond anything we can comprehend?   We may never know.  Fish, birds, eels, sea snakes, dolphins, turtles, whales, shrimp, oysters, clams, etc....will not all wash ashore, and if they don't we have no idea what the totality of the damage will be,  just that it will be devastating.

For those that are washing ashore, what is being done and how are the numbers being counted?
Birds:     63 (oiled) Alive     444 Dead
Turtles:   16 (oiled) Alive     222 Dead
Mammals (includes dolphins):  0 alive    24 dead

Now there have been many questions raised about the labs handling testing of the tissue and water samples that are being taken because BP is insisting on having these samples taken to specific labs that as it turns out have close connections with the company.

In coastal communities along the Gulf of Mexico, environmental officials are feverishly collecting water, sediment and marine animal tissue samples that will be used in coming months to help track pollution levels resulting from the oil spill.

But the laboratory that officials have chosen to process virtually all of the samples is part of TDI-Brooks International, a College Station-based oil and gas services company that counts BP and other oil firms among its biggest clients.Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, since those readings will be used by the federal government and courts to establish liability claims against BP.
Some people are questioning the independence of the lab. Taylor Kirschenfeld, an environmental official for Escambia County, Fla., rebuffed instructions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to send water samples to the lab. He opted instead to get a waiver so he could send his county's samples to a local laboratory that is licensed to do the same tests.
Kirschenfeld said he was troubled by another rule. Local animal rescue workers have volunteered to help treat birds affected by the slick and to collect data that would also be used to help calculate penalties. But federal officials have told the volunteers that the work must be done by a company hired by BP.
"Everywhere you look, if you look, you start seeing these conflicts of interest in how this disaster is getting handled," Kirschenfeld said. "I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but there is just too much overlap between these people."
Texas lab with BP ties handling samples from Gulf oil spill

There are questions being asked but only by a few and the answer that are given are unsatisfactory at best.

Douglas Zimmer, a spokesman for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, said the agency simply did not have the staff to handle all the animals affected by the oil spill. BP has more resources to hire workers quickly, he said, and letting local organizations handle the birds would have been impractical and costly.
“I also just don’t believe that BP or their contractor would have any incentive to skew the data,” he said. “Even if they did, there are too many federal, state and local eyes keeping watch on them.”
But Stuart Smith, a lawyer representing fishermen hurt by the spill, remained skeptical, saying that federal and state authorities had not fulfilled their watchdog role.
Last month, for example, various state and federal Web sites included links that directed out-of-work fishermen to a BP Web site, which offered contracts that limited their right to file future claims against the company.
This month, a federal judge in New Orleans, Helen G. Berrigan, struck down that binding language in the contracts.

Of course BP has incentives to skew the data.  They are going to be charged with fines associated with how much oil was spilled and how much damage was done.  It is in their interest to ensure by any means necessary to make sure that the lowest amounts of damage is what is reported because the less damage the less they pay.  That is just bloody obvious.

So why is this being allowed to happen?  Good Question.
Why is the news not flooded with this information?  Another good question.

Part II coming next.....stay tuned as it just gets worse.

1 comment:

  1. crystalwolf aka caligrlMay 29, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    OMG! I've wondered about using the dispersant, but they are probably doing that so it doesn't go to the top? Horrible. That dolphin...omfg :(
    Horrible. Devastating.