Dennis Loo

Sometimes asking for the impossible is the only realistic path

Dennis Loo

Dennis Loo
Location
Los Angeles, California,
Birthday
December 31
Title
Professor of Sociology
Company
Cal Poly Pomona
Bio
Author of Globalization and the Demolition of Society; Co-Editor/Author of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, World Can't Wait Steering Committee Member, co-author of "Crimes Are Crimes, No Matter Who Does Them" statement, dog and fruit tree lover. Published poet. Winner of the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award, Project Censored Award and the Nation Magazine's Most Valuable Campaign Award. Punahou and Harvard Honor Graduate. Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz. An archive of close to 500 postings of mine can be found at my blogspot blog, Dennis Loo, link below. I publish regularly at dennisloo.com, worldcantwait.net (link below) and also at OpEd News and sometimes at Counterpunch.

MAY 14, 2010 11:03PM

BP Blows an Apocalyptic Gusher

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Note: NPR reported yesterday that it showed a video of the oil disaster to two scientists and both of them concluded that the government's estimate of 5,000 barrels of oil (200,000 gallons) gushing into the ocean daily is low by a factor of 14 or more.  - DL
 
As you read this, the life of our bodies, nation, and planet is being blown out a corporate hole in the Gulf of Mexico and into a BP Dead Zone of no return.

The apocalyptic gusher of oily poison pouring into the waters that give us life can only be viewed -- FELT -- by each and every one of us as an on-going death by a thousand cuts with no end in sight. 
 
Yet our government -- allegedly the embodiment of our collective will to survive -- has done NOTHING of significance to fight this mass murder.
 
Not one meaningful thing.

As it did while New Orleans drowned downstream from a willfully neglected levee system, our most potentially effective counterforce dithers on the other side of the world, in the wrong Gulf.

We squander our treasure on the largest conglomeration of people and weapons the world has ever seen. It's bloated with hardware designed specifically to destroy and kill. Hundreds of thousands of Americans sit on our dime in more than a hundred countries, rotting in the outposts of a bygone empire.

Why aren't they in the Gulf of Mexico, fighting for our truest "national security"?

The depth and scope of this catastrophe is impossible to grasp because it is just beginning. The entire Gulf, the west coast of Florida, the Everglades, the east coast of Florida and all the way up, wherever the currents go... they are all at risk.

This is the most lethal single attack on the life of this nation since December 7, 1941. It is a time that will live only in infamy.

The moment it happened, a sane president, a functional government, a society worthy of survival, would have marshaled every mobile resource available and moved it down to the Gulf.

Except by hitting a nuclear power plant and rendering this all radioactive, no terrorist could dream of igniting the kind of havoc now destroying our most vital, precious and irreplaceable resources.

Our mass media should be filled with stirring images of a focused, determined President mobilizing all available assets to curb the damage. Instead, Barack Obama defends offshore drilling and endorses the resumption of whaling -- if this underwater gusher actually leaves any alive. It is a suicidal tribute to the power of corporate ownership.

Instead of a seeing a Gulf population deputized and mobilized to fight for survival, we are subjected to a loathsome trio of corporate stooges -- apparently named Larry, Curly and Moe -- blaming each other for the catastrophe. They should all be clamped into orange jumpsuits and locked onto a clean-up vessel.

Thus far the only armies officially mobilized are of the corporate PR departments and ubiquitous lawyers savoring the gusher of billable hours sure to stretch through the decades.

Our collective non-response to this cataclysmic reality now includes the introduction of a pathetic "climate bill," concocted by another woeful trio, in service to the very corporations that have brought us this lethal gusher.

This bill will do nothing to solve this particular problem. Nor will it address the root cause of our addiction to obsolete and suicidal fossil and nuclear fuels at a time when the clean, cheap renewable alternatives are readily available. It is, in short, Beyond Tragic.

Make no mistake: in our lifetime, the Gulf will not recover. Nor will our species.

There are no corners of the Earth that we can pollute without poisoning it all... and our own bodies. We cannot squander our resources on killing people on the other side of the Earth while leaving ourselves to be destroyed by the mayhem at home.

Either our species learns this lesson, and acts on it -- NOW! -- or we do not survive.

[Harvey Wasserman's Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, is atwww.harveywasserman.com . He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and senior editor of 
www.freepress.org, where this was also published.]
oil-rig-explosion-Deepwater-Horizon 

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I am, very selfishly, mourning the loss of St. George Island, a place where I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life. Knowing that it is most likely going to be forever altered has me reeling right now.

On top of the floods here that have caused so much misery, the probable loss of this place that I love so much sickens me beyond words.
Your mourning isn't selfish at all. This is a collective loss and an awful, awful, catastrophe which BP et al will never be able to make right, even if they were so inclined, which they are not. Their crimes and that of the government are towering...
Well said, of all the things we've done this is the ultimate evil. This planet belongs to all of us and all life on earth. We are indeed going to wipe ourselves out from stupidity and selfishness. I keep finding myself in tears. It's irreparable.
is the end near?
it sure is scary
Thanks, Dennis. The first thing these corporations did was send lawyers. Men who were fished out of the Gulf and helicoptered to land were asked to sign releases that they were "not" eyewitnesses and would "never sue" and the fishermen asked to lay booms on the water were also asked to sign releases saying that BP was limited to a $5000 liability for the weeks that they would work on boats laying booms. BP and the others are "working" this but not admitting any fault. One of the companies is filing to have its total liability limited to 27 million while it will receive 560 million in insurance claims--the company that is not Halliburton and not BP--but owned the oil rig itself. Using an 1851 law about the value of shipwrecks. Goes off to curse all lawyers--some of my best friends are lawyers.
The BP disaster, and the response by both the companies directly responsible for this and the woefully inadequate response by government (including, even worse, their approving of waivers for EIS since the disaster to dozens of oil companies' drilling operations) dramatically highlight the bankruptcy of the system of capitalism specifically, and not the bankruptcy of humanity in general. These people at BP et al, the White House and Congress, and this system in general are not fit to be superintendents of the seas and the pilots of the planet. This is the most important lesson and one that must be learned and acted upon forthwith before it is truly, irrevocably, too late...
Thanks l'heure bleu and Kathy.

Nolalibrarian: That would be Transocean. As for the dispatching of the lawyers, oh, so typical and so revealing that BP would be so on top of that to limit their financial liability and that their max liability, courtesy of the Congress, is $75 million but they'll collect more in insurance than they pay out. This gives yet another lie to the oil company shill who was commenting on a prior post of mine claiming that Big Oil wouldn't scrimp on safety because it wouldn't make economic sense for them to do so.
Did you see that a BP exec said yesterday that the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf is "tiny" when compared to all the liquid there? One could only make this comment if one dreamed of an "ocean of oil" that one could own and sell at ridiculous markup.
Someone should ask him to injest a "tiny" amount of mercury, say a drop or two and then see how he feels.
On another note, I have heard (though not confirmed) that BP was to pay NO ROYALTIES on this oil. Astounding that the commons could be given away to murders and thieves and we only ever so slightly complain when they begin to destroy our planned beach vacations.
Tim:

In the NY Times article from May 13, "US Said to Allow Drilling Without Needed Permits," is this gem:

"Much as BP’s drilling plan asserted that there was no chance of an oil spill, the company also claimed in federal documents that its drilling would not have any adverse effect on endangered species."

And this:

"Managers at the agency have routinely overruled staff scientists whose findings highlight the environmental risks of drilling, according to a half-dozen current or former agency scientists.

"The scientists, none of whom wanted to be quoted by name for fear of reprisals by the agency or by those in the industry, said they had repeatedly had their scientific findings changed to indicate no environmental impact or had their calculations of spill risks downgraded.

“'You simply are not allowed to conclude that the drilling will have an impact,' said one scientist who has worked for the minerals agency for more than a decade. 'If you find the risks of a spill are high or you conclude that a certain species will be affected, your report gets disappeared in a desk drawer and they find another scientist to redo it or they rewrite it for you.'

Another biologist who left the agency in 2005 after more than five years said that agency officials went out of their way to accommodate the oil and gas industry.

"He said, for example, that seismic activity from drilling can have a devastating effect on mammals and fish, but that agency officials rarely enforced the regulations meant to limit those effects.

"He also said the agency routinely ceded to the drilling companies the responsibility for monitoring species that live or spawn near the drilling projects."

...

"Ms. [Kendra] Barkoff added, 'Under the previous [Bush] administration, there was a pattern of suppressing science in decisions, and we are working very hard to change the culture and empower scientists in the Department of the Interior.'”

When shown evidence that the Obama administration had approved permits for drilling since the Deepwater Horizon explosion, she denied it.

So, the difference between Bush and Obama is that Obama says he's not doing what Bush did, even as he reproduces what Bush did in deed.
its too early to tell what the environmental impact is, but its massive, devastating, near catastrophic, and will likely take years at the minimum to recover. but, humans are stupid. the operative/technical word is.....
K -- A -- R -- M -- A
as john lennon said.. INSTANT KARMAS GONNA GET YA
Money versus Earth.
There should be no debate.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg being the methane hydrates that are escaping along with the oil. There is a much greater danger lurking under the surface of the gulf!