If the Oil Spill were in Hollywood

The current statutory liability for a company which has an oil spill is $75 million dollars, which, as Rob points out, is the cost of a modest Hollywood film.

Here is a simulation of what might happen if the typical current patterns hold and the spill continues to go unchecked.

To me, this is scarier than any Hollywood film, and the cost is much higher.

If this were Hollywood, then some scientist would invent a bacteria that would eat the oil spill without subsequently consuming all the petroleum on the planet. There would be a kiss between the scientist and the romantic interest as the sun sets over a spotless ocean. A dolphin would leap triumphantly out of the water.

That’s not going to happen.

Cherie Priest wrote a very moving post called, Oil, about what is happening in the Gulf right now, which I encourage you to read. She also came up with a list of things you can do about the oil spill.

Just to kind of bring home exactly how big the spill is right now visit If It Was My Home which puts the oil spill over the place where you live.

Here it is over Iceland.

And finally, if you haven’t seen it yet, swing by the Big Picture which has pictures of animals caught in the oil spill.  It is heartbreaking and makes the viscosity and consuming nature of the oil very palpable. The pictures are difficult to look at.

Normally, I mock Hollywood endings but I would take one right now.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

7 thoughts on “If the Oil Spill were in Hollywood”

  1. Well, um. There IS actually a microorganism that chomps up oil. But a)BP are being nitwits and b)releasing said microorganisms on the scale that, say, they’re releasing dispersants gives the EPA even more hives about wildlife consequences than they already have.

    There are QUITE a few effective, nice strategies that BP could use. The states know about them. It’s just that since BP is reimbursing the states for the money they spend doing things like booming, testing tarballs, and giving disasters-r-us monkeys like me overtime, we haaaaave to do it their way. If the federal government took over and we got some FEMA funding, we could tell BP to sit down and shut up. Certainly we could have WEEKS ago, when Louisiana was flailing…Florida has the best trained emergency management team in the country and we could have helped, we could have brought experience and speed and maybe helped save some of those wetlands and prevented the animals from becoming oiled. But since BP was assuming responsibility, and it wasn’t in our waters, we have been sitting on our hands and booming the heck out of the coast.

    Of course, that’s ending now as sheens start menacing Pensacola Beach. I really wish we could just tell BP where to stick it and that we’ll send them the bill.

      1. To be honest, there’s a lot of things regarding the spill that people don’t know or don’t care to know about, because it does not make good headlines right now. It’s much more effective to, say, loop that pelican footage than it is to draw huge big attention to the guy in South America who manufactures this amazing substance that will suck oil right out of water…the companies who drill in S.A. use it for smaller spills. He says he can make enough for Deepwater Horizon if BP will give him the money. A couple of places have covered him, but not enough. Then there is that microorganism I was telling you about. There are others. It’s just that CNN Syndrome would rather focus on how BP is lying (which they are, make no mistake about that) and oiled animals rather than trumpet possible solutions and make them so visible that BP can no longer ignore them. The hair booms were almost victorious…someone from BP called them, but then another one called and said they weren’t interested. That’s almost ASSUREDLY because of the news coverage a few weeks ago. And the hair boom people continue to make them just in case, or if the states ask for them. My bunny’s been getting brushed for the cause, she IS her own hair boom.

        It’s frustrating. Really, really frustrating.

      2. Ah. And I looked at that video you posted. “If the loop current is in a typical configuration.” Yes. Right now, thank all the holies, it’s not. This is what we have been preparing for. That the oil will get caught in the loop current and shoot up Florida’s coastline.

        Thing is, the way it’s dispersing, it won’t get out into the Atlantic like that. And also, right now the loop current is presently pinched off by an eddy. It’s doing a ring. This is really good. However, it’s not going to last. We ARE expecting that the loop current ring will push the eddy back and rejoin the full current within the next week. Which is why, harmful as those dispersants are, BP HAS to keep using them. >< Better that we have some tarballs (which, contrary to popular belief, are Florida normality because of tankers and shipping lanes…I've been stepping on them accidentally since I was a wee tot) rather than what you see in that visualization.

    1. Huh. That is a fascinating idea. I wonder how bad the radiation damage would be if it were contained underground and underwater like that. I mean, the area is pretty likely dead already.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top