On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

And The Band Played On

funny pictures of cats with captions
[If you don’t get the allusion this video makes it clear.]

The BBC reports that US to set fire to oil rig leak. They are going to attempt to burn off as much of the oil as they can, converting it into air pollution and green house gases. This is heavy crude and rather tar-like, so it won’t be easy to light.

I located NOAA’s National Ocean Service official site on the DEEPWATER HORIZON Incident and NASA’s Earth Observatory is continuing to provide satellite images of the spill.

Florida’s governor, Charlie Crist, [who is apparently only a Republican until the end of the week] took a Coast Guard flight over the oil spill and disavowed any responsibility: Oil spill ‘is in God’s hands’. Crist switched from being an opponent of drilling in Florida’s waters, to a supporter two years ago, and is now reconsidering it.

The Pensacola Beach Blog has a round-up of spill news in : Wednesday Gulf Oil Leak Update.

The title of this post is a reference to the story that the string quartet in the first class lounge on the Titanic continued to play as the ship sank. Randy Shiltz used it as the title of his nonfiction book on the AIDS epidemic. I used it because many people assumed that the Deepwater Horizon was unsinkable, as people thought about the Titanic after it was built. In addition, there has been the same type of bureaucratic inertia and ineptitude regarding safety in the extraction industry, that Shiltz details in the politics surrounding AIDS.

Florida Sea Turtle plate

We are sort of partial to sea turtles on the Gulf Coast. They nest in our sand and then the little ones make the dash for life in the water after hatching. Predators take a huge toll on them, but humans will get the snot kicked out them by Birkenstocks [I know, I’m stereotyping, but the turtle people I know best wear them.] if they interfere with the wee strivers.

There are a host of volunteers who spend a lot of cold, wet hours in darkness giving the tiny swimmers a chance to become adult turtles. We have special exterior lighting regulations for buildings on the beach to keep from confusing them, as they find the water by moving towards the moon. If they hatch on cloudy nights, people will head out to the Gulf to provide them with an artificial moon to navigate by. A lot of people would be very unhappy if this black muck interferes with the turtle hatchery. These aren’t simply people who vote, many are people who have the money to contribute to campaigns.

While Charley tries to blame G-d, I don’t think people are going to buy it. Off-shore drilling was promoted as safe, and it rather obviously isn’t. The energy independence claim is not going very far once people realize that BP is British Petroleum, and Shell is Royal Dutch Shell. The last I knew the British and Dutch lived on the other side of the “pond” in a place called “Europe”, not in the US.

It looks like we’ll have a ready supply of tar and feathers for the legislature, although the feathers will come from dead sea birds.