Monday, June 21, 2010

HMS Stupidity

Tony Hayward, disgraced British Petroleum executive, was in attendance at a yacht race in the Isle of Wight over the weekend. No doubt this is part of his efforts to get his life back. Yes, one would need to engage in a little relaxation after stonewalling Congress concerning one's knowledge of the negligent safety procedures employed by one's company.

No time to attend to the greatest oil spill disaster in history, there's a yacht race. Less than a week after BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg referred to the victims of the spill as the "small people" Hayward demonstrates utter contempt for those who lost their lives and those who have lost their livelihoods.

Such cavalier attitudes displayed by Hayward and Svanberg stand as testimony as to why corporations, especially BP, cannot be allowed to police themselves. These men should be in custody not enjoying a yacht race.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

GOP: Gobs of Petroleum

It is nearly impossible to believe, but there are actually politicians in this country who are working to protect BP from their responsibilities to the people of the U.S. Joe Barton, Republican House member, actually apologized to BP executive Tony Hayward and called efforts to make them pay for what they have done a "shakedown." Michelle Bachman (R-Minnesota) and Sarah Palin (R-Insanity) have made similar comments.

The truth is coming out. Republicans are shills for the oil companies and transnational corporations in general. Big business is their real constituency. Their outrage towards big government is really about removing any roadblocks to the looting of the resources of the nation by big corporations.

Don't buy the rhetoric, the tea is poison, flavored with oil.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BP: Beach Petroleum

British Petroleum continues its bumbling efforts to stop the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The latest effort, involving cutting through a riser pipe so it could be capped, has failed as the diamond bladed saw became stuck. Now they are planning to use giant shears (think scissors) to cut through the pipe. Thad Allen just announced that the pipe has been cut and phase two of this process begins.

In what little permit process there was and in what little review occurred for this project prior to drilling BP assured regulators that it could handle a spill ten times as large as what is currently transpiring. Given their clearly inept efforts and even more glaring lack of any preparation or plans for what to do in the event of an accident, BP lied during the permit process. The Justice Department is looking for criminal behavior, fraud in the application process seems the first place to start. The deaths of the eleven workers should be investigated as negligent homicide at the least.

I'm tired of hearing the BP management team bemoan the fact that their task is difficult because they are working a mile underwater. That is exactly why they should have had multiple contingency plans. Instead of trusting that nothing could go wrong, they should have planned for the worst case scenario.

But they didn't plan. Now oil is in the wetlands and rolling onto the beaches. Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi have already had oil on their beaches and Florida is expecting it before the day is out. An area of 750,000 square miles has been closed to fishing. Plumes of oil fill the water column and the oil spill is clearly visible on satellite images. The oil and the dispersants are entering the food chain.

Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, stated over the weekend that he wanted his "life back." The people of the Gulf would like their ecosystem and fishing industry back.

British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill Costs

  • 11 workers killed in initial blast
  • Damage to Ocean Ecosystem
  • 35,000 to 60.000 Barrels of Oil Per Day. That's somewhere between 1,500,000 to 2,500,000 gallons a day or 150 to 300 million gallons already spilled into the ocean as of July 27th by that estimate.
  • Gulf Fisheries Industry
  • Gulf Tourism (ongoing costs)
  • Long Term Health Effects to Humans and Wildlife (to be determined)

Worst Oil Spills

  • Kuwait 1991 - 520 million gallons: Gulf War I
  • Gulf of Mexico 2010 - 206 million gallons: BP Oil
  • Mexico, Bay of Campiche 1979 - 140 million gallons: Pemex Oil
  • Trinidad & Tobago 1979 - 90 million gallons: Greek Oil Tanker Atlantic Empress
  • Russia 1983 - 84 million gallons: Leaky Pipeline collapsed into Kolva River
  • Iran 1983 - 80 million gallons: Tanker collided with Oil Platform
  • South Africa 1983 -79 million gallons:Tanker Castillo de Bellver sank
  • France 1978 - 69 million Gallons: Amoco Cadiz ran aground and broke in half.
  • Angola Coastal Waters (700 miles at sea) 1991 - 51-81 million gallons: ABT Summer exploded at sea.
  • Italy 1991 - 45 million gallons: M/T Haven Oil Tanker exploded.
  • Source: Mother Nature Network. The 13 largest oil spills in history. by Laura Moss. Friday July 16, 2010.

Nuclear Accidents (Under Construction)

  • 1957 Windscale, UK
  • 1961 Idaho Falls, Idaho, US
  • 1979 Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, US
  • 1984 Athens, Alabama, US
  • 1985 Athens, Alabama, US
  • 1986 Plymouth, Masachusetts, US
  • 1986 Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR
  • 1996 Waterford, Connecticut, US
  • 1989 Griefwald, Germany
  • 1999 Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
  • 2002 Oak Harbor, Ohio, US
  • 2004 Fukui Prefecture, Japan
  • Source: Benjamin Sovacool

Mining Disasters (Under Construction)

  • China 1942 - 1549 deaths
  • France 1906 - 1100 deaths
  • Japan 1963 - 447 deaths
  • Wales 1913 - 438 deaths
  • South Africa 1960 - 437 deaths
  • Source: Epic Disasters Website
  • Note: Do not look at the dates herein and conclue that mining disasters are a things of the past. Every year thousands of miners die worldwide in largely unreported accidents.

OIL IS OVER! - Resources

  • Hibbert's Peak - "The" source that explains why Oil is Over.
  • Tragedy of the Commons -Garrett Hardin
  • The Land Ethic - Aldo Leopold
  • Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight - Thom Hartmann
  • Eco-Defense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching


  • The Dirt People - Ray Bawarchi (yes, that's me)
  • The Razor's Edge - Somerset Maugham
  • Demian - Herman Hesse
  • Black Elk Speaks - Black Elk (as told to R. Neimur)
  • The Quiet Don - Mikhail Sholokov
  • Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
  • Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • Delicious Laughter - Jallahudin Rumi
  • The Sybil - Par Lagerksvitz
  • The Fixer - Bernard Malamud
  • Spirits Rebellious - Khalil Gibran
  • The Quiet American - Graham Greene
  • Midaq Alley - Nagib Mafouz
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Farenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
  • We - Yevgeny Zamyatin


  • John Coltrane - St. John the Divine
  • Patti Smith
  • The Clash - the only band that matters
  • Billy Bragg
  • Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band
  • Art Blakey
  • Death - pre-punk visionaries from Detroit
  • PJ Harvey - Polly Jean, Polly Jean
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Michael Franti (Spearhead)
  • Public Enemy
  • Ray Charles - the Genius
  • Bob Dylan
  • Velvet Underground
  • Flaming Lips
  • John Doe & X
  • The Beatles

opiate of the masses

  • God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. - Voltaire
  • I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and inellect has intended us to forgo their use. - Galileo Galilei
  • The ink of a scholar is worth far more than the blood of a martyr.- Mohammad
  • If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. - Sheldon Kopp
  • No one will be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Louisa Mae Alcott
  • When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.- Voltaire
  • If God were alive today, he'd be an athiest. - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The god I worship is not short of cash, Mister. - Bono
  • Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine. My sins they only belong to me. - Patti Smith
  • God sure baked a lot of fruitcake baby, when Adam met the Eden lady. - Joe Strummer