A little oil-clean-up-socialism is just what I’d like to see instead of more transnational-mega-industry too-big-to-fail bailout-socialism. In the long run I think we need a full-time public-sector environmental disaster response capability just as we have public fire and police departments. Letting the crooks be the police and the emergency management “deciders” is crazy.
In the near term we need a Civilian Conservation Corps type of cleanup/stimulus project that employs Gulf Coast residents and other unemployed people working independently of BP, but with BP footing the bill.
But that isn’t enough.
We need to indict and arrest several busloads of industry people (incompetence defense not allowed) and regulatory people (incompetence defense considered case by case) on felony charges including manslaughter, negligent homicide, fraud, perjury, obstruction of justice, and willful destruction of private and public property; and hold them on about $200 billion in total bail. The bail will only be refunded once a few million people on the Gulf Coast sign releases, and even then it would only be refunded net of all public costs incurred. In the end, at least a few of those arrested may be found guilty and imprisoned for appropriate terms.
This is the only way the taxpayer doesn’t wind up footing most of the bill (massive corporate welfare/socialism) and it doesn’t happen again soon at a beach or estuary near you.
The reason I think we have immediate probable cause to arrest lots of people for willful destruction of public and private property as well as various other economic damages without waiting for further investigations is the dispersant. There is only one benefit of the dispersant: the intentional cover-up of the visual magnitude of the spill. The highly toxic and cleanup-hindering dispersant actually makes the environmental impact an order of magnitude WORSE, all for the sake of “hiding the body” somewhat from the TV cameras long enough for BP to engineer a legal escape plan.
But only a small part of the damage done by the dispersant results from the partial concealment of the oil’s true extent and from its direct toxicity. The very fact that it breaks the oil into much smaller droplets that no longer float to and remain on the surface means that:
1) instead of remaining concentrated largely in ribbons and mats on the surface with clear areas of surface in between, the oil spreads outward horizontally and downward vertically through the whole “water column” and will affect a vastly increased number of organisms which will contact it and ingest it unknowingly and unavoidably, and
2) it cannot be collected from the easily accessible water surface anymore and in fact once dispersed it is totally and forevermore uncollectable –no longer seen but not the least bit gone.
I can’t imagine a more cynical, evil, and deadly fraud. This might mean extinction of nearly all life in the Gulf for years or even decades to come simply to shore up BP’s short term PR image while they make their backroom deals for civil and criminal immunity with politicians, regulators, and judges.
Obama, Holder, Napoletano, Salizar et al have to know this by now. If they don’t make arrests now, they should be considered accomplices. BP execs and Department of Interior corporate lackeys should be considered the “Rat Bastards of All Time.”
UPDATE: More regulatory cover-up complicity
Public scientists have been tasked with estimating the flow rate from the Deep Horizon undersea oil gusher. These scientists must have told the Obama administration by now that they need:
1. Instrumentation at the point of escape of the oil. BP is able to inject a constant flow of dispersant at the point of release, but somehow they are unable to place instruments in the same location.
2. Horizontal and vertical graduated scales at the sides of the video images, or a grid across the entire image, to aid in measuring the flow rate. If brightly colored biodegradable balls were occasionally injected into the base of the flow, this would also help measure the flow velocity and other flow characteristics.
Inescapable conclusion: It is simply not possible for the scientists and engineers asked to make flow estimates to overlook the above issues. This means that there is an active cover-up effort within the government itself.
The dispersant is the smoking gun.
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
3. HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION
Keep away from heat. Keep away from sources of ignition – No smoking. Keep container tightly closed. Do not get
in eyes, on skin, on clothing. Do not take internally. Avoid breathing vapor. Use with adequate ventilation. In case
of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. After contact with skin, wash
immediately with plenty of soap and water.
Wear suitable protective clothing.
May evolve oxides of sulfur (SOx) under fire conditions.
PRIMARY ROUTES OF EXPOSURE :
HUMAN HEALTH HAZARDS – ACUTE
Component substances have a potential to bioconcentrate.