Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Summary of Thursday's "Progress" by BP

The liveblog from today is below (with video and photos). The list of live feeds is available here. I recommend this one, this one, and this one to watch tonight (Or at least as of 11pm. I won't be watching.)

In light of mainstream media reporting, and to summon a little bit of that deeper historical conscience or pathos of indignation that would seem to be appropriate now, it might be sensible to note that British Petroleum has "succeeded" today only insofar as they have been able to jerry-rig their way to a somewhat mangled and uncertain completion of only the first step of their two-step "solution" (after 24 hours of no progress whatsoever as their original efforts yesterday, and original plan, failed). A two-step solution, btw, which in reality is no solution at all, even if it proves to be possible (itself the subject of rather contentious debate among the most expert and informed members of the public with industry and engineering experience, despite most of them speculating in a "democratic" environment where literally mountains of crucial data are no doubt being censored as "proprietary knowledge," or just plain not being released, or made transparent). BP's own most optimistic estimates (before the mangling and jerry-rigging) were to capture "half" of what is currently gushing from beneath the ocean floor. They have "succeeded" so far today, only in making the situation significantly worse, to a degree where it is unknown in fact whether one half the current flow would even be much, if indeed any, improvement on before(!) BP isn't sharing their real flow rate and other data, needless to say, because it isn't in their corporate interest to reveal what is every day becoming more and more clearly the true scope of this greed-made disaster. And nobody is forcing them to, despite being entrusted (to the tune of 6 billion dollars pure profit every quarter) with precisely such public responsibility.

In conclusion: BP's own guess for tonight's "step two" may not reduce the flow at all from its rate previously. Worst case scenario: downward pressure causes the BOP to blowout, be further damaged in some way, or even worse a fresh rupture occurs in the casing of the pipe far beneath the seabed. THE CURRENT GEYSER VOLCANO COULD DOUBLE, OR WHO THE FUCK KNOWS WHAT (OR WHERE).

To illustrate the point as bluntly as possible. This is what has been erupting from the BP blowout, since before 11am this morning (that makes 10.5 hours now, not counting the 12+hours during which time the riser was merely half-severed). To get any real sense of the magnitude of this ongoing atrocity in real time, one really must force oneself to watch the clips in their entirety:

Remember this short clip?

BP calls this "progress." I call it being under pressure of the entire world's gaze to fix what now more resembles a volcanic inferno, like never before.

Unsurprisingly, but despairingly, the official government estimates remain corrupt and inaccurate and in dire need of serious updating.

Some inevitable, heartbreaking pictures are today's real news. Surely realizing from historical precedent (and because not a single thing has been put in place to prevent or fix these sorts of problems in 30 years–on the dramatic contrary, thanks largely to the decade lost to Bush), British Petroleum tried to postpone the capture and dissemination of these sorts of front page, public outrage-awakening images as long as possible, by spraying all that illegal, carcinogenic and microbe-killing dispersant that hides from public eyes as much as 59/60ths of the total flow, a PR decision which may well prove far, far more catastrophic for the ocean and for our general health as a nation (and global economy) in the long run:

In light of which, I for one would very much like to see a version of the following that seeks to take account of all the oil and dispersant in the water column...anyone? Even with such a more complex map, we can expect more than one nation on this earth to be surprised to discover the effects of BP dispersant "dead zones," months, years and decades hence, in completely unexpected places (and with zero accountability).

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