The oil disaster is no longer an abstraction floating out at sea. It’s coming ashore spreading terror and agony to angry and desperate local populations; smearing tourist beaches, washing onto the shorelines of sleepy coastal communities and oozing into marshy bays that fishermen have worked for generations, destroying fisheries, devastating birds, creating an incredible mess and costing a bloody fortune. And blood pressures are going up as far away as Washington DC where government officials are being driven to impotent rage.
Even investors are feeling rattled with oil coming ashore across a 150-mile swath of the Gulf Coast with fear growing that the situation is getting worse and there’s no real fix. Investors are not just talking about the oil industry being affected but also hotel and leisure industries.
More than a month has passed since the oil rig blew up, spewing immeasurable quantities of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, though as we see below, American Submarines are stalking the underwater frozen oil. Even if they are successful in capping the well at this point we already have the greatest environmental disaster of the industrial age.
Imagine how difficult it is going to be in the post modern world to fix these things after we suffer a frightening economic and financial collapse. Where is the money going to come from? From collapsed governments or bankrupted super-giant companies like BP whose liability is incalculable for this incident? There are thousands of undersea wells and so many toxic dump sites and nuclear plants that their high cost maintenance and cleanup could make for many more environmental apocalypses as if this one were not enough. In the end we have been stupid as a civilization; like children who will not be able to take care of our own messes. It is incredibly sad but we don’t have the capacity as humans to be responsible for what we have created here on our precious planet earth.
And worse we have monster men unleashing toxic clouds above our heads. Life in the early part of the 21st Century is warming up to be a multidimensional nightmare with this oil spill qualifying as a major event that will change many lives forever.
The reports coming in on the oil volcano are devastating. Fish are banging into boats, gasping for oxygen. Pelicans are literally dripping with oil after diving for their fish. One fisherman lowered a bucket into the water and when he pulled it up it was filled with oil sludge. Nothing in human experience can compare to what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico and it could not have come at a worse time when so many other things are simultaneously threatening us.
The gooey oil washing into the maze of marshes along the Gulf Coast could prove impossible to remove, leaving a toxic stew lethal to fish and wildlife, government officials and independent scientists are saying. So bad is the situation that nobody can really conceive of the long term damage that has been done and continues to be done because the oil is still escaping in huge quantities.
The massive oil spill that seems to have no end in sight and now British Petroleum, which is still in charge of the disaster, is saying that its efforts to slow the leak wasn’t working as effectively as before. BP’s chief executive said Monday that he had underestimated the possible environmental impact of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Tony Hayward walked along oil-soaked Fourchon Beach and talked with cleanup workers in white overalls and yellow boots, some shoveling oily sand into garbage cans. “I’m as devastated as you are by what I’ve seen here today,” he told reporters. “We are going to do everything in our power to prevent any more oil from coming ashore and we will clean every last drop up and we will remediate all of the environmental damage.”
Everyone will be watching this last week of May if the can cap the oil flow. If not there is no way we can be assured of anyone’s power to remediate the environmental catastrophe of the first order.
The Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) has learned from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sources that U.S. Navy submarines deployed to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast have detected what amounts to a frozen oil blob from the oil geyser at the destroyed Deep Horizon off-shore oil rig south of Louisiana. The Navy submarines have trained video cameras on the moving blob, which remains frozen at depths of between 3,000 to 4,000 feet. Because the oil blob is heavier than water, it remains frozen at current depths.
FEMA and Corps of Engineers employees are upset that the White House and the Pentagon remain tight-lipped and in cover-up mode about the images of the massive and fast-moving frozen coagulated oil blob that is being imaged by Navy submarines that are tracking its movement.
Shadowing Oil Slicks
WMR’s sources claim the White House is getting real-time reports from Navy submarines as to the blob’s location. We have learned that the blob is transiting the Florida Straits between Florida and Cuba, propelled by the Gulf’s Loop Current, and that parts of it that is encountering warmer waters are breaking off into smaller tar balls that are now washing ashore in the environmentally-sensitive Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas.
The giant oil blob lies quivering in deep waters off the Gulf coast, like some awful amorphous Moby Dick full of malice waiting to sink at least the economies of five states and that says nothing about the huge gulf coast of Mexico. Sources report that the oil mass has resulted in dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico that have cut off oxygen and killed massive numbers of marine creatures and plant life. Seafood wholesalers from the Gulf Coast to New Jersey and New York have been told that the supply of shrimp, oysters, and other seafood from the Gulf is severely in short supply and that they can expect a possible total cut-off as the situation worsens. The shortage will also affect the supply of seafood, especially shrimp, to national seafood restaurant chains like Red Lobster and Long John Silver’s.
The oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst environmental catastrophe in all of human history. The dimension of the toxic threat is not being completely appreciated or understood from the combination of escaping oil and millions of gallons of a chemical dispersal agent known as Corexit 9500, which is being pumped directly into the leak of this wellhead over a mile under the Gulf of Mexico waters. The dispersal agent Corexit 9500 is a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by the Nalco Holding Company of Naperville, Illinois that is four times more toxic than oil (oil is toxic at 11 ppm (parts per million), Corexit 9500 at only 2.61ppm).
The oil is making its way ominously and relentlessly, like an invading army, toward the shores of humanity and is already releasing its harm against the delicate and heartbreakingly vulnerable wetlands of Louisiana. There’s a whole way of life at risk for oyster-men and fishermen and you can forget about recreation in affected areas. Many people’s lives are threatened with destruction and the oil spills forth with no end in sight of a disaster that still is not getting enough attention.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) told reporters on the 18th of May that the so-called loop current, a fast-moving underwater current from the Caribbean has the potential to pick up oil from the south end of the slick and rotate it into the direction of the western coast of Florida, where it will be picked up by the Gulf Stream and taken in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean.
If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate, perhaps up to 150,000 barrels — or more than 6 million gallons per day — based on government data showing daily production at another deepwater Gulf well. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill was 11 million gallons total. The Gulf spill could end up dumping the equivalent of 4 Exxon Valdez spills per week.
It’s all the fault of our first oil volcano spilling black lava into the sea. I feel sad for the younger generations for mine and the one that came before have done so much to damage our environment. Sociologist Steven Picou at the University of South Alabama calls the Gulf oil leak a “monster catastrophe that boggles the mind.” Some believe that the pocket of oil that’s been hit is so powerful and under so much pressure that it may be virtually impossible to contain it. Many things are being proposed but no promises have been made.
J. Speer-Williams writes, “Spill? The corporate media continues to call the volcano of continuous gushing oil, in the Gulf, a spill. How insulting. A volcano that shoots out a million gallons of crude oil a week is hardly a spill. The common definition of a spill is the liquid that fell out of a container, a one time occurrence, not a massive flow that has no known end. An oil tanker can spill oil; but not Mother Earth, who has been and still is continuously gushing oil from 35,000 feet from within her bowels. The definition of “gush” is to flow forth suddenly and violently. What we are faced with in the Gulf of Mexico is a continuous and monster gusher of crude oil that has no known termination point.
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration video, shot as officials coordinated response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, shows that federal officials almost immediately worried that the oil well could leak up to 110,000 barrels per day, or 4.6 million gallons. In one scene, officials say that the estimate for the leak in a worst-case scenario is between 65,000 and 100,000 barrels per day. A dry erase board on the wall reads “Estim: 64,000 to 110,000 bbls/day. CNN reported 300,000 gal/day.”
At that spill rate, 32 million gallons of oil would enter the Gulf every week. We were originally told that a thousand barrels of oil was leaking per day but now almost 20 days later we are told an estimated 3.5 million gallons has risen from the depths since the April 20 explosion that killed 11. Now two days later their estimates put out in the press are 4 million gallons.
There is no doubt that this is a catastrophic event with catastrophic consequences. If the river of oil cannot be stopped the United States of America will be in real trouble as the oil makes its way around the gulf and then up the East Coast, which is where the Gulf Stream will eventually carry the oil. It sounds like already it’s going to be a total wipeout to the fishing industry in the Gulf and that really matters with world food stocks being so low.
Mike Adams said, “This is disastrous for both the seafood industry and the people whose livelihoods depend on it. It’s also devastating to the local wildlife which could begin to die off from petroleum toxicity. There’s no telling where this continuous stream of oil will end up and what damage it might cause. We cannot live without life in the oceans. Man is arrogant to drill so deeply into the belly of Mother Earth.” Adams is already talking about this as a life extinction event, and though it’s a little early to call or even utter such words this is a really serious event that will keep expanding if they don’t cap that well.
(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard) This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Saturday April 24, 2010, shows oil leaking from the drill pipe of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig after it sank. A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster makes clear the Coast Guard feared the well could be on the verge of becoming an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/US Navy/Reuters
Special Note: This is a living document that is constantly being updated and shaped by events as they unfold at the oil volcano in the Gulf of Mexico. The full version will be displayed permanently on our Into the Ashes and on our Agriculture sites.