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Don’t Tell People Their Job

Gulf Gusher symbolIf you are feeling really masochistic, go tell academics from a totally different field that you know more about their subject matter than they do.

Apparently BP’s science type is a geologist, as makes perfect sense, and he has been ignoring the advice of oceanographers and marine biologists who specialize in the Gulf of Mexico. As there was obviously no intention on the part of BP to listen, the only reason for contacting these people was to check off a box on a form to prepare for a trial.

Ben Raines of the Mobile Press-Register writes that Mobile scientists’ warnings about oil dispersants ignored by BP, Coast Guard

Mobile-area scientists warned BP PLC officials and Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen a week ago that the use of dispersants both on the surface and underwater at the Deepwater Horizon well could have grave consequences for the Gulf ecosystem.

The scientists, Bob Shipp of the University of South Alabama and George Crozier of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, said they felt their concerns were ignored at the time.

BP did not respond to the Press-Register’s questions.

BP assumed that everyone would complain about toxicity, but there is a totally separate issue – hypoxia or oxygen depletion in the Gulf. Even if you could drink the dispersant without ill effect, the clouds of oil droplets they create are toxic in their own right, and the most toxic, like benzene, can’t evaporate as they would if the oil went to the surface. The droplets will collect in gills and on the underwater plants. They will coat reefs. They will cause a bloom of oil-eating microbes that will suck the oxygen out of the water.