Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Chicken Little of the Week (Year?)" Award

BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling operation may have triggered an irreversible, cascading geological Apocalypse that will culminate with the first mass extinction of life on Earth in many millions of years. The oil giant drilled down miles into a geologically unstable region and may have set the stage for the eventual premature release of a methane mega-bubble. (...) "The consequences of a methane-driven oceanic eruption for marine and terrestrial life are likely to be catastrophic. Figuratively speaking, the erupting region "boils over," ejecting a large amount of methane and other gases (e.g., CO2, H2S) into the atmosphere, and flooding large areas of land. Whereas pure methane is lighter than air, methane loaded with water droplets is much heavier, and thus spreads over the land, mixing with air in the process (and losing water as rain). The air-methane mixture is explosive at methane concentrations between 5% and 15%; as such mixtures form in different locations near the ground and are ignited by lightning, explosions and conflagrations destroy most of the terrestrial life, and also produce great amounts of smoke and of carbon dioxide..." The warning signs of an impending planetary catastrophe—of such great magnitude that the human mind has difficulty grasping it-would be the appearance of large fissures or rifts splitting open the ocean floor, a rise in the elevation of the seabed, and the massive venting of methane and other gases into the surrounding water.(...) The people and property located on the greater expanse of the Gulf Coast are sitting at Ground Zero. They will be the first exposed to poisonous, cancer causing chemical gases. They will be the ones that initially experience the full fury of a methane bubble exploding from the ruptured seabed. The media has been kept away from the emergency salvage measures being taken to forestall the biggest catastrophe in human history. The federal government has warned them away from the epicenter of operations with the threat of a $40,000 fine for each infraction and the possibility of felony arrests. Why is the press being kept away? Word is that the disaster is escalating. Methane is now streaming through the porous, rocky seabed at an accelerated rate and gushing from the borehole of the first relief well. The EPA is on record that Rig #1 is releasing methane, benzene, hydrogen sulfide and other toxic gases. Workers there now wear advanced protection including state-of-the-art, military-issued gas masks. Reports, filtering through from oceanologists and salvage workers in the region, state that the upper level strata of the ocean floor is succumbing to greater and greater pressure. That pressure is causing a huge expanse of the seabed-estimated by some as spreading over thousands of square miles surrounding the BP wellhead-to bulge. Some claim the seabed in the region has risen an astounding 30 feet. The fractured BP wellhead, site of the former Deepwater Horizon, has become the epicenter of frenetic attempts to quell the monstrous flow of methane.(...) A huge gash on the ocean floor—like a ragged wound hundreds of feet long—has been reported by the NOAA research ship, Thomas Jefferson. Before the curtain of the government enforced news blackout again descended abruptly, scientists aboard the ship voiced their concerns that the widening rift may go down miles into the earth. That gash too is hemorrhaging oil and methane. It’s 10 miles away from the BP epicenter. Other, new fissures, have been spotted as far as 30 miles distant. (...) Methane levels in the water are now calculated as being almost one million times higher than normal. If the methane bubble—a bubble that could be as big as 20 miles wide—erupts with titanic force from the seabed into the Gulf, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will immediately sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists participating in the salvage operation will die instantly. Next, the ocean bottom will collapse, instantaneously displacing up to a trillion cubic feet of water or more and creating a towering supersonic tsunami annihilating everything along the coast and well inland. Like a thermonuclear blast, a high pressure atmospheric wave could precede the tidal wave flattening everything in its path before the water arrives. When the roaring tsunami does arrive it will scrub away all that is left.  Helium.com

"Cor, 'at's better out than in, innit?" (British expression celebrating flatulence)
David Seaton's News Links
All I can say is that the world better end soon or I am going to become a total skeptic.

I mean, I believed in the great Swine Flu epidemic and spent most of last winter frantically washing my hands and sneezing into my elbow while I waited for the economy to collapse and the euro to disappear, but the idea of the world ending in a huge, cosmic fart off New Orleans really takes the cake.

Where does this appetite for immanent catastrophe come from?

I live among some of the world's most skeptical people, the Spanish, and they have a saying when somebody comes up with a story like the one above, "ya será menos", which translates more or less as, "by now it's probably less". Most Spanish people believed that the whole swine flu thing was a conspiracy of Donald Rumsfeld's to sell Tamiflu, while I was washing my hand twenty times a day... "ya será menos" they said and it turns out they were probably right.

Being American, I naturally love this catastrophe stuff and lap it up, but this methane-end of civilization story is really jumping the shark and if the Gulf of Mexico doesn't crack a rat, and soon, my reactions to such future chickenlittleishness will be... Ya será menos. DS


Anonymous said...

I would put my bet with the Spaniards on this one. A google search of Mr. Aym, the author, turns up many connections to the right wing and the teabag "movement." He also seems to think that the North Koreans sent a submarine to sabotage the oil rig. He also admires Sarah Palin, Michele Malkin and Fred Freakin' Thompson!

But, leave it to all those fear-based folks to rely on the drunken (?) rantings of some bloke a thousand or so years ago that the world will end in 2016 to just drive them nuts and seeing "signs" everywhere.

There are some stories in the media here about, perhaps, cracks in the floor of the Gulf. But then, the M$M seems to be getting most of its news lately from fox and Drudge. Witness the recent false flags of the so-called "new black panthers" (which turned our to be three guys acting up two years ago) and the broohaha about Sherrod's firing from USDA over (once again) a heavily edited video clip of her speech.

So, I think you can leave on your vacation without worries about the end of the world.

oldfatherwilliam said...

Thanks for "ya sera' menos." A more useful slogan is hard to imagine. Also, enjoy your vacation. I'll miss your stuff, but ya sera'.

Ralph said...

I've got the same general take on the GOM situation. Unfortunately, today's revelations that BP has been photoshopping some of the shots of the well head does little to reenforce the idea that the inmates have not, as of yet, taken over the asylum. Vamos a ver.