Sunday, November 14, 2010

Underwater Robot Pulls Up Giant Isopod

Recently, when a deep-sea surveying company hoisted up their underwater robot-cam, they were surprised to see this enormous and rare specimen of Bathynomus giganteus had attached itself to it.

Bathynomus giganteus is a Isopod, one of the most diverse orders of crustaceans on the planet. Though this example is unusually large - two and a half feet long - some have been found even larger, and on the other end of the scale, some isopods are so tiny they're microscopic. They are direct cousins of the common Woodlouse which is, for many of us as children, our first experience with crustaceans. Isopods virtually identical to the ones we have today first appear in the fossil record about 300 million years ago.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A New Indonesian Island Arises


"The increase in volcanic activity all over the world is frightening.

East of the Indonesian island Java, in the sea between Java and Bali, a new island has risen from nothing within a few days. It is probably of volcanic origin. The location is not so very far from Tambora.

West of Java the Anak Krakatoa is active, in the middle of Java the Merapi is very active and east of Java a new island has appeared in the sea, which wasn't there a few days ago. The fear of a coming mega-eruption is real."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smell/Sight Test Doesn't Reveal Toxicity in Seafood

From Non-Profit Times:

The organization [Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN)] has been increasingly concerned about the toxic combination of crude oil and dispersant, and Orr said LEAN has been sampling in the Mississippi River Delta, Oyster Bay in Louisiana, and the Lower Atchafalaya Bay Area.

Blue crab samples in the Atchafalaya Bay contained a dangerously high 8.815 mg/kg of hydrocarbons, for example, according to LEAN's reports.

"When we took samples, there was no visible smell or sight of oil," Orr said. "We were astonished there were levels like that. You can't eat a crab like that, with those levels of hydrocarbons."

The organization has been discussing seafood safety with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAHH), and continuing to sample biota including mussels, crab, shrimp and fish. LEAN is in the process of creating a sampling plan for up to the next five years focusing on Louisiana, Orr said.
"I am really disturbed and I think the country is divided in its thought process," she said. "If you live away from the Gulf, you think everything is alright. If you live here, you know it's not alright."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Harmful Bacteria Found in Rainwater

The results of a year-long rainwater study are in at the University of Bangalore, and it isn't good news.

The scientists found E coli, evidence of Streptococcus spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus spp, Actinomyces spp, Bacillus subtilis, Neisseria spp, and Mycobacterium sp in samples of local rain and hail. They also found fungal species like Fusarium spp and Alternaria spp.

The presence of the fungi and bacteria known for causing, among other things, meningitis and necrotizing fascitis, in common rainwater directly challenges the skeptics who claim it's impossible for Corexit or BP's genetically-created oil-eating bacteria to be raining back down on the public as precipitation.

This is, no doubt, the reason our pals over at Florida Spill Law are on this story.... more to come.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Martian Ocean Coming Into Focus

We now know that the planet Mars once had an enormous ocean that covered over a third of its surface, about 3.5 to 3.7 billion years ago, and now we also may be able to examine some remnants of it. The Mars Exploration Rover "Spirit", which is currently stuck and unable to move on the Martian surface, has nonetheless been able to glean much valuable data about its current location. It's found evidence of subsurface water beneath it, which may be snow melt or permafrost, but could possibly also be traces of the great body of water which once ruled the red planet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BP's Synthetic Life Forms

We're still on the fence about the veracity of the "BP Blue Flu" scare story making the rounds online, but Michael Edward, on this World Vision Portal post, seems rather well-researched in his arguments and frightening conclusions.

We urge you to click through and read the entire article. Some excerpts:

In a paper published in the journal Science, Terry Hazen and his colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discovered in late May through early June 2010 that a previously unknown species of cold-water hydrocarbon-eating bacteria have been feasting on the underwater oil plumes degrading them at accelerated rates.

We can now understand why, on May 15, BP/Synthetic Genome’s CEO Craig Venter hinted of a new hydrocarbon-eating synthetic genome. Prior to that date, JCVI had already applied for numerous additional patents (we were able to find seven) regarding synthetic bio-remediation, such as bacteria synthetic genomes which provide unique DNA information required for “replication of a free-living organism”. In layman’s terms, this means the BP and Synthetic Genome scientists had already created self-replicating bacteria “wherein the assembled DNA molecule is a [synthetic] genome” back in 2007...

Nothing is known about how this new synthetic bio-remediation bacterium in the Gulf reacts with mankind. This is virgin and uncharted territory. We already know how sea mammals such as whales and porpoises have reacted. Those who haven’t escaped the affected areas of the Gulf have died… along with all other marine life and coastal vegetation. While human health effects from crude oil exposure are well known, the effects of dispersants containing oil-eating artificial bacteria are not known. It’s never been done before, let alone at the immense scale of operations now taking place.

There’s a reason the so-called “dispersants” are guarded by weapon-yielding soldiers and local armed law enforcement in warehouses and deployment yards along the Gulf coast. If a sample were to be analyzed by knowledgeable people, the biological and chemical anomalies it contains would be made public, right down to the unique DNA signature. BP keeps allowing their sorcerer’s brew to be called Corexit in order to hide the fact that it’s not just the name brand product any longer.

The physical symptoms of the BP Flu, BP Crud, Blue Flu, or whatever name you choose to call it, are as unique as the synthetic bacteria being used in the Gulf. Since mankind is carbon based, how do these synthetically created hydrogen and carbon hungry bacteria react to human flesh? Internal bleeding as well as ulcerating skin lesions are the physical signs of their computer created DNA signature...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Only 3 Shrimp Tests in 3000 Square Miles!

From Huffington Post by way of Florida Oil Spill Law comes this datum that, at this late date, shouldn't come as too much of a surprise:

The Federal government has now reopened 2,927 square miles of the Gulf - specifically, an area just South of the Mississippi Delta - to fishing and shrimping boats. But in order to check whether it was safe to do, all they did was perform chemical tests on three samples of shrimp taken from that huge area! (They also did the ridiculous "sniff test" for petroleum odors on five shrimp samples.)

Neither the sniff test nor the chemical test are intended to detect the deadly dispersant Corexit that BP dumped into the ocean in staggering quantities, and the miniscule sampling the government has used to give the okay to such a vast portion of the Gulf is statistically meaningless.

The government's falsely cheerful assessment of the situation coincides with the revelation that University of Georgia scientists took 78 core samples of the Gulf seafloor, and only 5 contained live worms. Traditionally, live worms should have been found in every one of those samples.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Super-Typhoon Megi Approaches Phillipines

From Channel NewsAsia:

BEIJING: Super typhoon Megi is expected to be the strongest typhoon of the year in China, as it intensified while approaching the northern Philippines on Sunday, forecasters said.

Super typhoon Megi, which means "catfish" in Korean, is expected to enter the South China Sea on Monday, China's National Meteorological Centre said in a statement.

Megi could cause wild winds and huge waves in the South China Sea over the next three days, the statement said.

The centre issued an orange alert, its second-highest level warning, telling ships to shelter in ports and urging local authorities to prepare for emergencies.

Megi will likely exceed winds of 260 MPH and be capable of destroying homes and uprooting large trees. Evacuation plans are being put into place for areas to be hardest hit.

Friday, October 15, 2010

BP Considers Ending Confidential Whistleblower Program

The Miami Herald is reporting that BP is considering a plan to shut down an ombudman's office instituted to allow whistleblowers to air grievances while protecting their anonymity.

Says the Herald, "The ombudsman, retired federal judge Stanley Sporkin, provides confidential access to a person outside BP who can launch third-party investigations. BP says it may bring the program in-house, perhaps as early as June."

Yeah, that makes sense. Taking something that, by its very nature, is supposed to be independent and bringing it "in-house" will instill plenty of confidence in BP's already near-mutinous ranks, I'm sure.

This latest outrage comes as BP's Mike Utsler is being ridiculed worldwide for his blatantly untrue statement that "not a single sample has failed" in Gulf seafood allegedly being tested for petroleum and Corexit contamination.

It's no wonder gas stations are abandoning the BP franchise in droves.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blue Lobster

From NBC:

Some very colorful lobsters have turned up at Norwalk's Maritime Aquarium.

These aren't any old lobsters; one is sky blue, one pumpkin orange, and the other is calico with yellow spots. Lobster shells are normally blackish-green while they are alive, but genetic abnormalities can cause them to turn different colors.

Just how rare is it? The Lobster Conservancy in Maine says the chance of seeing a blue lobster is 1 in a million. For the orange and calico lobster, it's 1 in 30 million.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Deep-water Drilling Ban Lifted

From Yahoo! News:

The Obama administration, under heavy pressure from the oil industry and Gulf states and with elections nearing, on Tuesday lifted the moratorium that it imposed in April. The ban had been scheduled to expire Nov. 30, but Interior Secretary Ken Salazar moved up the deadline, saying new rules have strengthened safety and reduced the risk of another catastrophic blowout that caused more than 200 million gallons of crude to spew from BP's well a mile beneath the Gulf.

Of course, the full details are still largely not fully known regarding what went wrong with the Deepwater Horizon, and much of what we do know about it indicates that people weren't following the guidelines already in place. So to suggest that things are safer now than before is assuming that individuals in the oil industry are less greedier now than before - and if you believe that, I have some swampland on the planet Pulcova to sell you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sea Shepherd Drama Deepens

Recently the Captain of the Ady Gil, Pete Bethune, turned on his former Whale Wars comrades and lashed out with a mean-spirited and cowardly attack (on Facebook, of course) on Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd crew. Bethune claims that most of the important scenes on Whale Wars, including the sinking of the Ady Gil and the assassination attempt on Watson by Yakuza, were completely fake and staged for TV.

Needless to say, Watson and his crew aren't taking this libel lying down - they've responded to Bethune's crazy Facebook rants with a series of meticulously prepared refutations - read here, here, and here.

This sort of thing happens all the time and seems unfortunately to be part and parcel of dealing with humans in group situations. From corporations to religions to even community theatre troupes, you'll find there's always disgruntled ex-members of an organization who turn to the internet as a means of slandering that organization. We continue to support Paul Watson fully and wish Mr. Bethune would find a new rock to crawl under.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Further BP Atrocities Alleged

This report and video from the Examiner is quite disturbing, if true. Most grisly of all: allegations of a coverup regarding human body parts washing ashore after the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

Click here for the report.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Global Shellfish Decline

From Science Daily:

The acidification of the Earth's oceans due to rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) may be contributing to a global decline of clams, scallops and other shellfish by interfering with the development of shellfish larvae, according to two Stony Brook University scientists, whose findings are published online and in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Click through to read the full frightening article.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Another Oil Platform Explosion in the Gulf

Here we go again.

An oil rig belonging to the Houston-based company Mariner Energy has exploded and burst into flames.

An oil sheen about 100 feet wide has been spotted emanating from the platform, which is located 100 miles south of Louisiana's Vermilion Bay and about 200 miles west of the Deepwater Horizon BP disaster site.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

James Lee's Confused Manifesto

It's happening more and more in our society, and now here it is again: another disgruntled protestor, despairing at the ineffectiveness of their protest, has decided to turn to senseless violence.

At this time, a hostage situation is underway at the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland. WJLA is reporting the suspects name is James Jay Lee, a nutcase well known for picketing outside the Discovery building.

Lee's website, "Save the Planet Protest", had a bizarre list of demands. That list has been taken down from the web, but we have it here:

"The Discovery Channel MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet and to do the following IMMEDIATELY:

1. The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily
television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My
Ishmael" pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be
done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people
building on each other's inventive ideas. Focus must be given on how
people can live WITHOUT giving birth to more filthy human children
since those new additions continue pollution and are pollution. A game
show format contest would be in order. Perhaps also forums of leading
scientists who understand and agree with the Malthus-Darwin science
and the problem of human overpopulation. Do both. Do all until
something WORKS and the natural world starts improving and human
civilization building STOPS and is reversed! MAKE IT INTERESTING SO PEOPLE WATCH AND APPLY SOLUTIONS!!!!

2. All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.

3. All programs promoting War and the technology behind those must cease. There is no sense in advertising weapons of mass-destruction anymore. Instead, talk about ways to disassemble civilization and concentrate the message in finding SOLUTIONS to solving global military mechanized conflict. Again, solutions solutions instead of
just repeating the same old wars with newer weapons. Also, keep out the fraudulent peace movements. They are liars and fakes and had no real intention of ending the wars. ALL OF THEM ARE FAKE! On one hand, they claim they want the wars to end, on the other, they are demanding the human population increase. World War II had 2 Billion humans and after that war, the people decided that tripling the population would assure peace. WTF??? STUPIDITY! MORE HUMANS EQUALS MORE WAR!

4. Civilization must be exposed for the filth it is. That, and all its disgusting religious-cultural roots and greed. Broadcast this message until the pollution in the planet is reversed and the human population goes down! This is your obligation. If you think it isn't, then get hell off the planet! Breathe Oil! It is the moral obligation of everyone living otherwise what good are they??

5. Immigration: Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and the anchor baby filth that follows that. Find solutions to stopping it. Call for people in the world to develop solutions to stop it completely and permanently. Find solutions FOR these countries so they stop sending their breeding populations to the US and the world to seek jobs and therefore breed more unwanted pollution babies. FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH! (The first world is feeding the population growth of the Third World and those human families are going to where the food is! They must stop procreating new humans looking for nonexistant jobs!)

6. Find solutions for Global Warming, Automotive pollution, International Trade, factory pollution, and the whole blasted human economy. Find ways so that people don't build more housing pollution which destroys the environment to make way for more human filth! Find solutions so that people stop breeding as well as stopping using Oil in order to REVERSE Global warming and the destruction of the planet!

7. Develop shows that mention the Malthusian sciences about how food production leads to the overpopulation of the Human race. Talk about Evolution. Talk about Malthus and Darwin until it sinks into the stupid people's brains until they get it!!

8. Saving the Planet means saving what's left of the non-human Wildlife by decreasing the Human population. That means stopping the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies! You're the media, you can reach enough people. It's your resposibility because you reach so many minds!!!

9. Develop shows that will correct and dismantle the dangerous US world economy. Find solutions for their disasterous Ponzi-Casino economy before they take the world to another nuclear war.

10. Stop all shows glorifying human birthing on all your channels and on TLC. Stop Future Weapons shows or replace the dialogue condemning the people behind these developments so that the shows become exposes rather than advertisements of Arms sales and development!

11. You're also going to find solutions for unemployment and housing. All these unemployed people makes me think the US is headed toward more war.

Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what's left of the planet with their false morals and breeding culture.

For every human born, ACRES of wildlife forests must be turned into farmland in order to feed that new addition over the course of 60 to 100 YEARS of that new human's lifespan! THIS IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE FOREST CREATURES!!!! All human procreation and farming must cease!

It is the responsiblity of everyone to preserve the planet they live on by not breeding any more children who will continue their filthy practices. Children represent FUTURE catastrophic pollution whereas their parents are current pollution. NO MORE BABIES! Population growth is a real crisis. Even one child born in the US will use 30 to a thousand times more resources than a Third World child. It's like a couple are having 30 babies even though it's just one! If the US goes in this direction maybe other countries will too!

Also, war must be halted. Not because it's morally wrong, but because of the catastrophic environmental damage modern weapons cause to other creatures. FIND SOLUTIONS JUST LIKE THE BOOK SAYS! Humans are supposed to be inventive. INVENT, DAMN YOU!!

The world needs TV shows that DEVELOP solutions to the problems that humans are causing, not stupify the people into destroying the world. Not encouraging them to breed more environmentally harmful humans.

Saving the environment and the remaning species diversity of the planet is now your mindset. Nothing is more important than saving them. The Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Elephants, Froggies, Turtles, Apes, Raccoons, Beetles, Ants, Sharks, Bears, and, of course, the Squirrels.

The humans? The planet does not need humans.

You MUST KNOW the human population is behind all the pollution and problems in the world, and YET you encourage the exact opposite instead of discouraging human growth and procreation. Surely you MUST ALREADY KNOW this!

I want Discovery Communications to broadcast on their channels to the world their new program lineup and I want proof they are doing so. I want the new shows started by asking the public for inventive solution ideas to save the planet and the remaining wildlife on it."

If this anti-human manifesto is for real, we're not sure how to take it. As a thinker and a writer, Lee is certainly no Ted Kaczynski, and some of the passages in this screed make it hard to take seriously as really coming from a legitimate eco-activist. ("and, of course, the Squirrels"?)

More relevant details as we learn them. Developing...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mystery Yacht Update

According to, the name of the yacht that washed up in Florida yesterday, lights on and engines running, is "Makin Waves".

Its owner is one Arturo Millet Reyes, who reported the boat stolen from Cancun a few days ago. He also owns the Yucatan soccer team Merida F.C.

According to the article, "Makin' Waves" had an expired Florida registration but a current Delaware registration. The CNN story claiming the yacht was registered to the U.S. Government is evidently incorrect.

Mystery Yacht Washes Up In Florida

An empty yacht, with the engine was still running and its lights still on, washed up ashore in the Madeira Beach area yesterday around 1pm EST.

From CNN:

The Coast Guard sent out two rescue vessels and a helicopter but was not able to locate anybody.

Adding to the mystery is the fact that the vessel is registered to the federal government, CNN-affiliate WFTS reported.

Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff's office are investigating the incident and trying to track down the owner of the boat.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

22-Mile-Long Plume Discovered

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute have discovered a plume of oil under the surface of the Ocean spanning 22 miles long. The oil, apparently driven below the surface by BP's heavy application of Corexit dispersant in the Gulf, is not breaking down.

This completely contradicts what BP and the U.S. Government have been telling us about the amount of oil still in the Ocean; it wasn't long ago that both parties were telling us that the oil had somehow magically disappeared and that citizens should go back to business as usual, go swimming, and eat seafood again.

This all comes at the same time as three reports that further debunk the official myth that the Gulf is all cleaned up:

  • Scientists from the University of Georgia have now gone on record as estimating that about 3/4 of the oil from the BP disaster is still there, it's just hidden below the surface.

  • Meanwhile, the University of South Florida has announced they've found oil coalescing in the underwater Desoto canyon - at levels toxic to marine life. David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer at USF, told CNN that "small larval fish see these droplets as food so they’re ingesting pure oil".

  • And finally, the Guardian is reporting that "Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University, said the White House accounting for the oil is misleading and that only 10% of the oil that spewed into the Gulf has been removed from the ocean."
  • Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    The BP "Blue Flu" - Exaggeration or Epidemic?

    A lot of mysterious and severe health problems have been reported among the BP disaster cleanup workers, and among others who have come too close to the oil, the Corexit, or both. What is happening here? Is it something more than just ordinary exposure to crude oil?

    Many believe that what we're seeing here are cases of "TILT" (Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance). Two weeks ago, reported:

    Regardless of whether the illness being reported in Gulf cleanup workers and residents ends up being confirmed as TILT, the fact remains that the chemicals people are being exposed to in the oil and dispersants are known to have health impacts including eye, skin and respiratory irritation, as well as headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and confusion. An analysis of EPA air testing data has found levels of these chemicals in coastal communities exceeding safety standards.

    As of this week, the Louisiana Department of Health has documented 109 reports of illnesses among residents exposed to the spill, with 74 of those complaints coming from cleanup workers, according to ProPublica. In Alabama, another 19 cases of illness have been reported among people exposed to chemicals in the spill.

    Now, another set of symptoms are being reported online, and a new name is being circulated: the "Blue Flu", or the "BP Flu". Apparently this story broke on a website called World Vision Portal, with someone called "Gnosty" giving a firsthand account of something potentially even more frightening than TILT.

    "Gnosty" reports that locals in Florida are complaining of "migraine headaches, eye aches, joint aches, ear aches, severe coughing bouts, fevers, vomiting, and swollen glands (especially in the neck)", as well as "severe symptomatic cyanosis. These rapidly increasing symptoms range from bluish lip color to numbness in fingers and toes." He adds:

    I have been interviewing family and friends who live along the Gulf of Mexico coast in Louisiana and Mississippi. Many of them had been working on shrimp boats before May 1, 2010 and a cousin is a shrimp boat owner. I have also spoken at length with two RN's working at a Gulf coast Emergency Room and an Emergency Clinic who are close family friends. I am basing what follows on their observations and knowledge along with my own personal research...

    The oil and gas from the Biloxi Dome area has not stopped flowing. It's an oil exploration well which blew out on or about February 13, 2010 so severely that it deposited the Blow Out Preventer (BOP) and the steel well casing hundreds of yards away on the ocean floor. There is nothing there to cap or abate the oil flow with. It's an open hole that is nothing less than an oil, gas and tar volcano. While a certain leaking BP well may have been capped seven miles northeast of the Biloxi Dome area, an already large underwater lake of oil at an approximate 3,000 foot depth is rapidly growing each hour. It's estimated 9 mile length in May 2010 is surely dwarfed in size now.

    Don't be fooled by the lack of surface oil being reported by the mainstream media shills and BP. Corexit hides what is beneath and Corexit is more toxic than crude oil itself. The only people denying the existence of the underwater plumes are the people at BP. And they offer no evidence to contradict the extremely solid evidence provided by four universities, including LSU, of the existence of these huge underwater plumes of oil.

    In rather alarmist terms, the article warns that the entire nation will be affected by the "BP Flu", because the oil and methane continuing to flood the Gulf of Mexico from the Biloxi Dome area will in turn result in more toxins released into the water and the air. Gradually currents will bring these substances inland. Presumably Corexit will continue to be applied to the gulf in order to keep up the appearance that everything is fine; and the Corexit disperant will also aid in the propagation of microparticles. "While the Blue Flu symptoms are increasing for more and more people, those who have had 30+ days of direct exposure to the toxic and oxygen depleted Gulf air and water are in immediate danger of permanent and irreversible biological damage... if not death."

    We caution the reader that everything in the World Vision Portal post is hearsay so far, but it echoes and dovetails with verifiable similar cases. It's also extremely well-written and motivates us to keep an eye on the story and research the matter further ourselves.


    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Matt Simmons Found Dead

    Breaking news: Matt Simmons, famous for his controversial criticisms of BP and calls for full disclosure regarding the true nature of the oil disaster in the Gulf, is dead.

    From WLBZ:

    The Knox County Sheriff's Department says Matthew Simmons, the founder of the Ocean Energy Institute, drowned at his house on North Haven late Sunday night.

    Simmons was a leading investment banker for the energy industry and had recently retired to work full time on the new Ocean Energy Institute.

    He was a leading proponent of offshore wind power and had started raising money to develop and build offshore turbines.

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Oil Spill Epidemic

    Why are oil spills suddenly occurring constantly, all over the world? Just this year, the environment has taken an unprecedented beating, from the oil industry alone.

    There's now a leak of an oil pipeline in the Kalamazoo River, Michigan. So far, an estimated 840,000 gallons of oil has gushed into a creek that directly flows into the river.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese oil spill has been contained before it reached international waters, the Chinese government assures us. (Then again, this is the same Chinese government that kills political dissidents, censors the internet, and initially lied about culpability in scandals over poisonous pet food, poisonous milk, contaminated pharamaceuticals, and toxic drywall.)

    The Egyptian government similarly tried to keep the truth quiet about the Geisum oil leak in the Red Sea, and we're still in the dark about what's really been going on over there.

    And in the North Sea last month, an oil leak occurred at the Maersk Resolute drilling platform near Denmark.

    An American oil rig owned by Taylor Energy was discovered to be leaking when a research accidentally noticed it on satellite imagery while seeking images of the nearby BP leak.

    And of course, the BP leak still continues unfixed to this day, with growing concerns about potentially catastrophic damage beneath the sea floor.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Chinese Oil Spill Grows

    While much of the world's attention remains fixed on the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, another oil spill is destroying sea life on the other side of the globe.

    A Chinese oil pipeline has been spewing crude oil into China's Yellow Sea for five days now, as the Associated Press reports:

    China's largest reported oil spill had more than doubled by Wednesday, closing beaches on the Yellow Sea and prompting an environmental official to warn the sticky black crude posed a "severe threat" to sea life and water quality.

    Some workers trying to clean up the inky beaches wore little more than rubber gloves, complicating efforts, one official said. But 40 oil-control boats and hundreds of fishing boats were also deployed in the area.

    "I've been to a few bays today and discovered they were almost entirely covered with dark oil," said Zhong Yu, a worker with the environmental group Greenpeace China, who spent Wednesday on a boat inspecting the spill.

    "The oil is half-solid and half liquid and is as sticky as asphalt," she told The Associated Press.

    The oil was spread over 165 square miles (430 square kilometers) of water five days since a pipeline at a busy northeastern port exploded.

    The Chinese government-controlled media has stated that no more oil is leaking into the Yellow Sea, yet outside observers maintain that the oil slick is continuing to grow.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    The Truth is Seeping Out

    The mainstream media is finally starting to overtly acknowledge what we have been warning about for some time now - that the undersea oil seeps could be a dangerous indicator of massive damage to the ocean floor and its underground infrastructure. Says the Associated Press:

    The federal government Monday allowed BP to keep the cap shut tight on its busted Gulf of Mexico oil well for another day despite a seep in the sea floor after the company promised to watch closely for signs of new leaks underground, settling for the moment a rift between BP and the government.

    Late Sunday, [Thad] Allen said a seep had been detected a distance from the busted oil well and demanded in a sharply worded letter that BP step up monitoring of the ocean floor.

    White House energy adviser Carol Browner told the CBS "Early Show" the seep was found less than two miles from the well site.

    When asked about the seep and the monitoring, BP spokesman Mark Salt would only say that "we continue to work very closely with all government scientists on this."

    "Clearly we want this to end. But we don't want to enter into a situation where we have uncontrolled leaks all over the Gulf floor," Browner told ABC.

    Scientists still aren't sure whether the pressure readings mean a leak elsewhere in the well bore, possibly deep down in bedrock, which could make the seabed unstable. Oil would have to be released into the water to relieve pressure and allow crews to hook up the ships, BP and Allen have said.

    On July 15, MSNBC aired a very candid interview with Matt Simmons (founder of the Ocean Energy Institute) in which he blew the whistle about a "massive hole" spewing oil and methane, miles from the original BP disaster site. "It's a big lie", declared Simmons regarding the official position that there is only one leak and that the cap is working. (Also referenced on MSNBC here.)

    If there is substantial damage beneath the sea floor - and there is every indication of it - the implications for the environment are serious. When capping one leak, the extreme pressure of the oil and methane beneath the sea bed will obviously seek another path at whatever weakest point it can find. It's like when your roof leaks and you patch up the affected part of your ceiling with plaster - next time it rains, the water will simply go around it and pop up somewhere else nearby, wherever it can. BP's historically unprecedented deep drilling may have created an ecological problem that cannot easily be fixed.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Oil Found Inside Crab Larvae

    McClatchy is reporting on a sickening discovery that BP oil has likely entered our food chain:

    Scientists with the University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University in New Orleans have found droplets of oil in the larvae of blue crabs and fiddler crabs sampled from Louisiana to Pensacola, Fla.

    "I think we will see this enter the food chain in a lot of ways — for plankton feeders, like menhaden, they are going to just actively take it in," said Harriet Perry, director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. "Fish are going to feed on (crab larvae). We have also just started seeing it on the fins of small, larval fish — their fins were encased in oil. That limits their mobility, so that makes them easy prey for other species. The oil's going to get into the food chain in a lot of ways."

    Perry said researchers have not yet linked the hydrocarbons found in the crab larvae to the BP disaster, but she has little doubt it's the source. She said she has never seen such contamination in her 42 years of studying blue crab.

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Obama Administration Bans All Media From BP Disaster Area

    Admiral Thad Allen, who is appointed to oversee the BP disaster site for the Coast Guard and the Obama administration, has issued a bizarre directive of Orwellian proportions: it is now a felony to approach within 65 feet of the cleanup efforts, including booms. And scarier still, we're told that they originally wanted the keep-away zone to be 300 feet. This effectively destroys the media's ability to cover the scene and to talk to cleanup workers.

    Allen's rationale for this? He claims: "I actually had some personal complaints from some county commissioners in Florida and some other local mayors that thought that there was a chance that somebody would get hurt." And yet, no one investigating this story has been able to locate these alleged commissioners and mayors who supposedly complained. As far as we know, such officials want more coverage and information about what's really going on, not less.

    The cognitive dissonance of issuing this absurd and un-American violation of the First Amendment here on the Fourth of July weekend is just too ironic. Already, we're hearing talk from lifelong Democrats about opposing Obama in the next election, specifically over this issue. (We here at Meta-Oceanic are as apolitical as they come, but if Obama doesn't step forward and countermand this Government-imposed media blackout order fairly immediately, he's lost our confidence as well. The "transparency" that Obama and Allen have spoken of so often has turned out to be precisely the same sort of bullying tactics and coverup activity we've seen in previous administrations.)

    Several prominent citizens and members of the media, including Louisiana politician Billy Nungesser, have already publicly stated their intent to flout this new law.

    Click here to view CNN's Anderson Cooper expressing outrage about being prevented from properly covering this story. Another copy of the video is here.

    BP Disaster Fund: We Can't Afford to Pay All Claims

    From The Age:

    The man appointed by US President Barack Obama to manage BP's oil spill disaster fund has warned that ''there's not enough money in the world'' to pay all claims, and suggested home owners with plunging property values could lose out.

    The warning from prominent US lawyer Kenneth Feinberg came as hurricane Alex disrupted clean-up operations in the Gulf of Mexico and pushed oil deeper into fragile coastal wetlands and once-pristine beaches.

    Mr Feinberg, asked by Mr Obama to administer the $US20 billion ($A23.5 billion) claims fund, insisted BP would ''pay every eligible claim'', but cautioned that many perceived damages may not qualify.

    ''I use that famous example of a restaurant in Boston that says, 'I can't get shrimp from Louisiana, and my menu suffers and my business is off,' '' Mr Feinberg told the House of Representatives committee on small business.

    ''Well, no law is going to recognise that claim.''

    He said he was still sorting out how to deal with indirect claims such as hotels that lose bookings because tourists think beaches are covered in oil, or people whose property values decline but who live several blocks from an oil-affected beach.

    ''There's no question that the property value has diminished as a result of the spill. That doesn't mean that every property is entitled to compensation,'' he said. ''There's not enough money in the world to pay everybody who'd like to have money.''

    Genetically Modified Salmon Coming Soon

    A genetically altered salmon that will grow at twice the natural rate - 18 months rather than the usual three years - is on its way to your dinner table.

    The FDA is close to approving the product, called AquAdvantage salmon, having already acknowledged that it meets at least five of their seven criteria. If this growth-hormone-laden "Frankenfish" passes, it will be the first GMO animal ever approved for eating.

    The FDA are already arguing amongst themselves about whether or not to require that the fish be labeled as GMO. GMO plants currently have no such requirement - and if they did, almost everything would be labeled, because soy and corn are ubiquitious in American food products, and 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the United States is genetically altered.

    According to the New York Times:

    The salmon’s approval would help open a path for companies and academic scientists developing other genetically engineered animals, like cattle resistant to mad cow disease or pigs that could supply healthier bacon. Next in line behind the salmon for possible approval would probably be the “enviropig,” developed at a Canadian university, which has less phosphorus pollution in its manure.

    Critics say the drug evaluation process does not allow full assessment of the possible environmental impacts of genetically altered animals and also blocks public input. “There is no opportunity for anyone from the outside to see the data or criticize it,” said Margaret Mellon, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. When consumer groups were invited to discuss biotechnology policy with top F.D.A. officials last month, Ms. Mellon said she warned the officials that approval of the salmon would generate “a firestorm of negative response.”

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Fossils of Complex Life Forms From Over Two Billion Years Ago Discovered

    From Science Daily:

    The discovery in Gabon of more than 250 fossils in an excellent state of conservation has provided proof, for the first time, of the existence of multicellular organisms 2.1 billion years ago. This finding represents a major breakthrough: until now, the first complex life forms (made up of several cells) dated from around 600 million years ago.

    Until now, it has been assumed that organized multicellular life appeared around 0.6 billion years ago and that before then the Earth was mainly populated by microbes (viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc.). This new discovery moves the cursor of the origin of multicellular life back by 1.5 billion years and reveals that cells had begun to cooperate with each other to form more complex and larger structures than single-celled organisms.

    Monday, June 28, 2010

    BP Oil Disaster Reaches Mississippi

    Reports started coming in last night about BP's oil reaching the shores of Mississippi, with "large patches of thick oil" according to ABC (Australia):

    Hundreds of globs of brown oil began washing ashore Mississippi tourist beaches at Ocean Springs and fishing hot spots on Sunday.

    "This might be the last time we are able to come to the beach," Ocean Springs residents James Vogeney said. "What makes us so mad about all of this is that it could have been avoided. All of it."

    Another resident, Mike Hollings, says he cried when he saw the oil start to wash ashore at the beach. "Life as I know it is over. What are we going to do if nobody cares to act fast enough," he said. Wildlife officials have picked up one pelican covered in oil and one dead turtle.

    This adds Mississippi to the list of affected states, which includes Florida, Louisiana and Alabama. Tar balls reported in Texas have not been conclusively proved to be from BP.

    Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who has previously defended BP and made such foolish statements as declaring crude oil safe as toothpaste, has now done an about-face on his previous "move along, nothing to see here" position. Now that the oil has fouled his own state's beaches, he's calling on BP and the Federal government to increase resources for Mississippi to help combat the ecological catastrophe.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    BP Still Burning Sea Turtles to Death

    According to the Center for Biological Diversity, BP is still burning endangered sea turtles alive. NOAA estimates that 425 sea turtles so far have died as a result of the BP catastrophe, and that death toll is rising.

    BP has routinely been ignoring the presence of sea turtles in the areas in which it conducts massive oil burn-offs. Even more appalling, they're trying to stop turtle-rescue groups from interfering. From AllGov:

    BP has conducted numerous controlled burns on the ocean surface to eliminate some of the oil collecting in the Gulf of Mexico. But in the process, the company is also burning alive endangered sea turtles caught in the areas set aflame, according to federal officials.

    Environmentalists have been outraged by the killings and BP’s callous actions, which include scaring away boats trying to rescue sea turtles caught in the burns. The company could face fines of up to $50,000 for each sea turtle killed or harmed by the spill or cleanup.

    The Sea Turtle Restoration Project has a shrimp boat captain's eyewitness testimony about the turtle atrocities on video. The local captain was enlisted by BP to help out with the cleanup effort, but they stopped him from attempting to rescue young sea turtles when the chance arose:

    He was captured on video saying that the turtles are being collected in the clean-up efforts and burned up like so much ocean debris with other marine life gathering along tide lines where oil also congregates.

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    Sea Shepherd Laughs at Interpol Inquiry

    FOX News is reporting that Paul Watson, the Canadian founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is now on Interpol's "Blue" Wanted List. Watson is wanted in connection with several incidents where Sea Shepherd crewmembers interfered with Japan's whaling and fishing expeditions in the Antarctic. One member, Peter Bethune, has already been charged with trespassing, vandalism, possession of a knife, obstructing business and assault.

    The article states:

    Prosecutors say Bethune threw glass bottles containing rotten butter at the harpoon boat, including one that broke and left three Japanese crew members with chemical burns.

    Watson, however, remains defiant and refuses to take the charges seriously. Excerpted from an editorial on his website:

    It seems my reputation as an international eco-desperado has been notched up this week with my name posted by Japan on the Interpol “Blue List.” It’s surprisingly exciting. I feel so Jason Bourne!

    The strange discriminatory insanity of humanity is such that I actually find it both amusing and complimentary to have Sea Shepherd’s work recognized in such an official manner, for the truth is that we have pissed off a great many people who profit from the rape and destruction of our planet.

    Watson may not have much to worry about. Despite all the mystique about Interpol as some sort of spooky gestapo-like agency, they apparently don't even seem to be capable of keeping their own website updated - we just checked and found no mention of Watson on the Blue List, not even in their search function.

    Geisum Oil Contradictions Continue in Jebel al-Zayt

    HEPCA, a watchdog organization protecting the ecology of the Red Sea, says at last report that the Jebel al-Zayt oil leak at an Egyptian state-owned Petrogulf Misr/Geisum Oil rig has finally been contained.

    However, HEPCA seems oddly tentative to name Geisum as the culprit even though this information has been verified elsewhere in the world media. Perhaps they fear reprisal from the Egyptian government, or legal retribution; an early report had local activists reluctant to divulge Petrogulf Misr/Geisum's name "for legal reasons." And though they speak of the leak having been stopped, they use the present tense for the situation later in the same press release:

    We are still fervently awaiting the Nature Conservation Sector’s assessment of the damages at as well as a statement declaring the identity of the rig that is visibly spewing out the oil!

    The damage to Egypt's natural resources is a crime that must not go unpunished; and the complicity of any party with such a crime must be revealed and condemned.

    The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum now claims that the oil that polluted beaches was actually not from any of its rigs. They speculate that the oil perhaps leaked by a passing tanker, or may have seeped from the ground spontaneously; in other words, they're grasping at straws to point the finger anywhere that doesn't lead back to themselves. According to the state-run Middle East News Agency, the state-run Ministry issued a report declaring that the state-run oil rig was "sound". (Well, I guess that settles that, doesn't it?)

    Even more contradictory is the ministry's statement that because of this incident, they're looking at the possibility of limiting oil drilling activity in the area. But why on Earth would they say this now if their position is that oil drilling had nothing to do with it?

    Finally, we have to ask, is the leak really fixed? We've already heard Egyptian govt. assurances that it has been, followed by eyewitness reports that it most certainly had not. HEPCA seems to be agreeing with the state position now, but we also have to wonder if they're not just fearing for their own safety - severe lashings, beatings and inordinately lengthy imprisonment are still standard punishment procedure in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, both of which have legal jurisdiction over the Red Sea.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Ponies And Balloons: BP Staging Fake Cleanups

    Making waves on the net recently: an eye-opening video of a speech by Kindra Arnesen at the Gulf Emergency Summit, telling her eyewitness testimony about the media blackout of what's really happening with the BP disaster.

    One of her more shocking revelations is that the BP cleanup team routinely stage fake cleanup operations when politicians come to inspect, and that when the politician leaves, 85% of the workers and resources rolled out for his/her benefit are then pulled back. The BP officials jokingly refer to this hoax with the code phrase "Ponies and Balloons".

    View the video here.

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    BP Removes Cap, Two Men Dead

    The Coast Guard is reporting two deaths today related to the oil spill effort, according to ABC.

    Conflicting reports about whether the deaths are work-related or not. Both are under investigation. According to ABC: "One was an accident regarding a swimming pool, a swimming event, and the other one was a vessel of opportunity operator in Gulf Shores, Miss.," he said."

    The term "Vessel of opportunity" refers to a ship or boat that has been involuntarily pressed into service for BP's cleanup effort.

    From the Alabama Press-Register:

    William Allen Kruse, born 1955, was the captain of The Rookie, a charter fishing boat normally based in Orange Beach, said Deputy Baldwin County Coroner Rod Steade.

    Steade said the deckhands were on the docks and heard a gunshot and went back on and found him dead on the "flying bridge."

    As yet, no further specifics about the other death have been released, but we're watching this story very closely and trying to get more information. Kruse's death certainly sounds like a potential suicide, but we're not ruling out foul play.

    Meanwhile, BP has removed their cap from oil leak in the Gulf, and the flow now appears to be even more methane-laden than ever. From the Associated Press:

    NEW ORLEANS — Hundreds of thousands of gallons more oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday after an undersea robot bumped a venting system and forced BP to remove a cap that had been containing some of the crude.

    When the robot bumped the system, gas rose through the vent that carries warm water down to prevent ice-like crystals from forming in the cap, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.

    The cap was removed and crews were checking to see if crystals had formed before putting it back on. Allen did not say how long that might take.

    "There's more coming up than there had been, but it's not a totally unconstrained discharge," Allen said.

    In the meantime, a different system was still burning oil on the surface.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Mixed Signals About Oil's Spread to Keys

    There's a story on CBS 4 today about how the Florida Keys are "in the clear from oil spill for now", which certainly sounds like good news.

    But then, you read a little deeper into the article and you notice that what they're really saying is, "So far, there have been no reports of 'recoverable' oil in the Loop Current or eddy." Whether the oil is of the "recoverable" sort or not is not really our concern.

    The article closes with this less than reassuring data:

    NOAA's James Jeansonne, who for weeks has been searching for oil from a Coast Guard's C-130, said the Gulf has many oil sheens and tar balls from natural oil seeps and bunker fuels coming off ships. About 200 tar balls have been found on shorelines throughout the Keys, but none have been connected to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

    It's true that none have been connected to the BP spill yet, but neither have they been conclusively ruled out; the tar balls are being tested as we speak.

    However, a blog called Picasso Dreams claims that the oil slick in all its foul glory, not just the preliminary tar balls, is already in the waters of the Florida Keys. Some pretty convincing photos are also provided.

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Geisum Oil Spill Continues in Red Sea

    From the Associated Press:

    CAIRO — Environmental activists said Monday that an oil spill off the coast of Egypt's Red Sea is continuing even after the government said it had been contained, leaving turtles and sea birds covered in oil.

    Government spokesman Magdy Rady told the state news agency Monday that the spill, which began last week, was "limited" and has now largely been contained. It was one of the first government acknowledgments that the spill was even taking place.

    An environmental group based in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada told the Associated Press that the government was trying to cover up the extent of the damage and the leak had restarted.

    Although Egypt's Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy has publicly claimed that the source of the oil is unknown, independent laboratory tests have already confirmed that the oil washed up on the beaches is from the same source as the oil leaking from Geisum's oil rig.

    This latest environmental mess has been complicated not only by the Egyptian government's attempts to cover up the incident, but also by the increased military presence heating up in the Red Sea. Israeli and U.S. warships have been deployed to the Red Sea in what has widely been described as a stage-setting for a possible attack on Iran.

    BP Oil Leak Reaches Cuba

    The oil from BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster has now reached Cuban waters. WTSP-TV in Tampa reported four days ago:

    There are now reports of an oil sheen just offshore of Cuba. This implies the oil has reached the southeastern extent of the loop current and could continue east through the Florida straights.

    That prediction seems imminent. Click the image to enlarge a graphic of projected ocean currents that will lead the oil sludge around Florida, scraping past Cuba, through the Keys, then up the East Coast.

    According to The Guardian, the Cuban government in Havana has called in oil-spill experts from Venezuela to help stave off the ruin of Cuba's beaches amid reports of coastal tarballs.

    One might think that the Cuban Communist Party would be eager to use the situation to decry the misdeeds of its capitalist neighbors, but the BP disaster has surprisingly received very little coverage in Cuba's official publications like Granma and the Havana Times. But Cuba themselves have also been drilling for oil - their Cubapetroleo company has been eagerly tapping the area's vast oil reserves with the assistance and encouragement of their Chinese partners, the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (SINOPEC).

    Where will it all end? The Belfast Telegraph notes that if the oil follows natural ocean currents, it will eventually reach Ireland, and beyond.

    BP Dumping Disaster Debris into Florida Landfills

    According to an article in the Pensacola News Journal, the oil-soaked absorbent booms, pads, rags and protective gear used in oil cleanup efforts are ending up dumped in Florida:

    Some 15 truck loads of oil-related waste per day are being dumped at Springhill Landfill near Campbellton in Jackson County. Waste Management company owns the landfill and has the contract with BP to dispose of oil spill-related solid waste, said Waste Management spokeswoman Amy Boyson.

    BP's oil spill-related solid waste from Alabama and Mississippi is taken to either Pecan Grove Landfill in Harrison County, Miss., or Chastang Landfill in Mobile County, Ala. — both owned by Waste Management, Boyson said.

    The oily material is double-bagged before being put inside the plastic-lined metal waste container then covered with a plastic, waterproof tarp, said Pat Johnson, operations manager for Escambia Solid Waste Management.

    Sunday, June 20, 2010

    New Oil Spill in Red Sea, Unreported for 4 Days

    There are news reports that another oil spill has occured, this time in the Red Sea off Egypt. From Islam Tribune:

    Large quantities of oil have appeared in recent days around the resorts of Hurghada which draw millions of tourists who come to dive or snorkle, according to the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Agency.

    “It started four or five days ago and the companies responsible didn’t notify anyone. It is catastrophic,” HEPCA Managing Director Amr Ali told AFP.

    The spill was caused by leakage from an offshore oil platform north of Hurghada and has polluted protected areas and showed up on tourist beach resorts.

    “The companies have said they will pay damages, but it is the environmental damage that we are concerned about,” Ali said, declining to name the companies for legal reasons.

    There have been unconfirmed rumors circulating on internet chatter on sites like allvoices that Geisum is one of the companies involved, and that BP may also be involved. Nothing is known for certain at this time.

    The Meta-Oceanic Research Group telephoned Geisum for a statement but received no answer. (However, it is 10:04pm in Egypt as of this writing).


    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    Warnings of Health Hazards from Oil Burnoff

    From UPI:

    Burning off oil from the ruined Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico creates toxic byproducts that could be a health hazard, one expert says.

    Dr. Phil Harber, head of Occupational and Environmental Medicine division at UCLA, says people living on nearby shorelines could be affected, CNN reported Friday.

    Depending on the scope and duration of the burn, Harber said, "People with asthma, or who are very young, or who have cardiac disease, are much more likely to be sensitive the released pollutants."

    And from

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection authorized the Coast Guard to burn oil offshore, and the county is warning people of potential health issues.

    Particulate matter, an airborne mix of very small particles and liquid droplets, may reach the shore, according to an Okaloosa County Health Department news release.

    People on the coast may smell the oil spill odor of volatile organic compounds, similar to the smell at a gas station.

    "You can smell these VOCs at levels well below those that would make you sick," the release reads.

    Exposure to low levels may cause eye, nose, skin and throat irritation.

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Stranded Fin Whale Bounces Back to Health

    The Vancouver Sun is reporting that a Fin whale stranded
    for three days along a Danish fjord has suddenly started swimming again today, surprising naysayers who had given it zero chance for survival.

    According to the story, volunteers who had attempted to rescue the whale decided to allow the whale to die naturally and in peace, while firefighters hosed it down it with water in what everyone had assumed to be the creature's final hours.

    The Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), whose life span is around 85 to 90 years, is recognizable by the prominent ridge along its back. It is estimated there are still 46,000 of them in the North Atlantic.

    The Mystery of Eugene Island

    The Gulf of Mexico's Eugene Island Block 330 Field (just off the coast of Louisiana) is often cited by proponents of the abiotic oil theory because of something very strange: its depleted oil wells found themselves, as if by magic, suddenly replenished with new oil - and no one could say exactly why.

    From the Wall Street Journal, April 16, 1999:

    Something mysterious is going on at Eugene Island 330. Production at the oil field, deep in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, was supposed to have declined years ago. And for a while, it behaved like any normal field: Following its 1973 discovery, Eugene Island 330's output peaked at about 15,000 barrels per day (2,400 m3/d). By 1989, production had slowed to about 4,000 barrels per day (640 m3/d). Then suddenly -- some say almost inexplicably -- Eugene Island's fortunes reversed. The field, operated by PennzEnergy Co., is now producing 13,000 barrels per day (2,100 m3/d), and probable reserves have rocketed to more than 400 million barrels from 60 million.

    According to a 2002 article by Robert Cooke in Newsday, the source of Eugene 330's new oil from nowhere was analyzed and suspected to be migrating through faults from much deeper and older subterranean faults. These "deep earth" faults have been surmised to be from the Jurassic and Cretaceous age. This new mystery oil contains biomarkers closely related to other extremely ancient oil deposits, trapped in very deep formations.

    Eugene 330's effectiveness as a "smoking gun" for abiotic oil is limited, however. Skeptics point out that Eugene 330 is special precisely because what happened there has never happened before, and this begs the logical question, why isn't this phenomena more common if the deep strata of the Earth's crust is filled with endlessly self-replenishing reserves of abiotic oil?

    What is a demonstrable fact, however, is that this "deep earth oil" carries further potential for natural radioactivity the deeper you go. NORM (Naturally Occuring Radioactive Materials) has been studied in locations such as New York and Texas. Uranium and Thorium are known by geologists to be plentiful deep in the Earth, so much so that modern oil companies use electronic detectors to sniff out helium and methane. Why? Because helium and methane are natural decay signifiers of Uranium and Thorium.

    Therefore, the more methane you find from a "deep earth oil" reserve such as what BP and the Deepwater Horizon were drilling into, the greater possibility that you are releasing considerable amounts of radioactive material into the environment. That this radioactivity is "natural" is irrelevant, and doesn't make it any less deadly (in before Rush Limbaugh and Haley Barbour proclaim it to be all-natural and perfectly safe).

    Considering that the flow from the BP leak is believed by experts to be 40% methane, this raises the question: how much natural radioactive material is correspondingly being spewed out with it?

    No amount is a good amount.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Halliburton Crony Testifies, Calls Obama Plan a "Shakedown"

    Watching the congressional testimony on CNN just now, we saw Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) say that Obama's escrow plan for BP "amounts to a shakedown" and that he's "ashamed" of the White House. Barton's attempt to spin blame from BP to Obama is no shocker, since Barton has recently received campaign money from Halliburton.

    According to Politico, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) and Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) have also allowed their pockets to be lined by Halliburton, and in May - after the Deepwater Horizon disaster was well underway. Even one Democrat, Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, received money from Halliburton. Why? Perhaps it's because Boren is on the House Natural Resources Committee. Coincidence?

    Federal election law currently permits any company's PACs to give campaign money to whomever they wish - even to lawmakers investigating their own industry.

    (Barton is previously infamous for his claim that CO2 emissions couldn't possibly be causing global warming because CO2 is also in Coca-Cola, and that proof of its harmlessness could also be found in the fact that it's odorless, colorless, and tasteless.)

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    The "Natural Oil Seep" Controversy

    There's been some natter on the net lately about natural oil seeps, which conservative media outlets have been pouncing on as a means to diminish the public perception of the environmental damage BP has inflicted. FOX News' Trace Gallagher recently repeated the debunked myth that "more oil seeps through the ground off the coast of California than is ever spilled out there."

    As Jamie Friedland eloquently notes:

    The water in one location can only degrade so much oil at one time; an oil spill goes far beyond overwhelming the ocean's natural oil-coping mechanisms. And remember, the oil from all those natural seeps escapes year-round. Yes, the Gulf can degrade small amounts of oil within 5 days, continuously. But that oil-disposal capacity is always already in use, year-round. So any additional oil spilled does not follow that time line. It lasts much longer and has a much greater impact.

    So, in conclusion, the Gulf has a limited ability to deal with oil that seeps out slowly and is widely dispersed. But those capabilities are constantly in use. This spill is gushing massive amounts of oil into one place. Marine ecosystems cannot cope with that assault. And don't forget the toxic dispersants that are accompanying the toxic oil, and the fact that most of the oil is still underwater, where it remains "fresh" (which, like "natural," does not mean good here) longer because it weathers more slowly there.

    It's true, there are natural spots in the ocean floor that release tiny trickles of oil, but that doesn't somehow make the Deepwater Horizon incident any less of a big deal, nor does it serve to nullify the importance of the video of oil oozing from undersea cracks. Why? Because the presence of the cracks themselves in an area where we already know a great disturbance has occurred, heightens the potential for further disaster, as Admiral Thad Allen explained to the Washington Post:

    "I would be cautious about putting any kind of kinetic energy on that well head, because what you may do is create open communication between the reservoir and the sea floor."

    Admiral Allen made a similar warning during a C-span interview on May 26, adding that putting undue pressure on the well could result in oil seeping through cracks and through the seafloor, "and then be uncontrolled until the reservoir pressure equalized with the hydrostatic pressure; I think that's a risk that's too great to take a chance on, myself."

    Even if these cracks in the seafloor existed before the BP explosions - and we don't know that they did - and even if they were already seeping oil, the underground disruption that BP has caused make what Admiral Allen fears possible. The distance between a vast undersea oil reserve and the ocean is already tenuous in a natural oil seep, thus the presence of one at the BP explosion site is not good news. Furthermore, these seeps caught by the ROV camera seem more active and more constant than most natural ones.

    The presence of these oil-seeping cracks in the vicinity of the BP explosion site makes for greater potential disaster regardless of whether they were created by said explosion or were a pre-existing feature.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Video: Oil Leaking From Sea Floor

    This video finally confirms what BP has been denying all along: cracks are forming on the ocean floor and oil is seeping from them, suggesting that deep pressure is building underneath on a scale greater than anyone, including BP, could have foreseen. It is the best evidence so far that this is not merely an ecological tragedy, but an absolute global catastrophe that we may not even be able to stop via relief wells.

    See it here.

    Unseen Damage Beneath Ocean Floor

    Reports have been rampant of oil seeping up from cracks in the sea floor, and last week Senator Bill Nelson told MSNBC that he's heading an investigation into it:

    Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL): Andrea, we’re looking into something new right now, that there’s reports of oil that’s seeping up from the seabed... which would indicate, if that’s true, that the well casing itself is actually pierced... underneath the seabed. So, you know, the problems could be just enormous with what we’re facing.

    Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC: Now let me understand better what you’re saying. If that is true that it is coming up form that seabed, even the relief well won’t be the final solution to cap this thing. That means that we’ve got oil gushing up at disparate places along the ocean floor.

    Sen. Nelson: That is possible, unless you get the plug down low enough, below where the pipe would be breached.

    Some scary talk from an interview with former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister in the Washington Post, Friday, June 11:

    Q: What are the chances that the well casing below the sea floor has been compromised, and that gas and oil are coming up the outside of the well casing, eroding the surrounding soft rock. Could this lead to a catastrophic geological failure, unstoppable even by the relief wells?

    Hofmeister: This is what some people fear has occurred. It is also why the "top kill" process was halted. If the casing is compromised the well is that much more difficult to shut down, including the risk that the relief wells may not be enough. If the relief wells do not result in stopping the flow, the next and drastic step is to implode the well on top of itself, which carries other risks as well.

    And oil industry expert Bob Cavnar, speaking on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show, goes further still, actually using the term "doomsday scenario" on a mainstream media program:

    The real doomsday scenario here... is if that casing gives up, and it does come through the other strings of pipe. Remember, it is concentric pipe that holds this well together. If it comes into the formation, basically, you‘ve got uncontrolled [oil] flow to the sea floor. And that is the doomsday scenario.

    If it is true that the oil well casing and piping are damaged underground - and with the reports of cracks in the seafloor oozing oil, there is now every indication that they are - then this already sad story has just taken a most chilling turn.