Bastards, Pernicious

« June 2010 »


So, Top Kill failed. I know we're all surprised. I mean, first they told us it had a 70% chance of working, then they told us it was working, then they told us it worked, then they told us that they weren't sure if it worked, and finally they told us that it didn't work after all. That killed a week. And a million fish.

Given how they've undersold failure and oversold success, I'll tell you this - I am not encouraged at all that they're TELLING us the next thing they're going to try (cutting off the damaged pipe) may make things 20% worse. If BP says it'll be 20% worse, I'd lay even odds that it could actually cause the entire global oil supply to spontaneously combust, cracking the Earth's crust like the shell of a hard-boiled egg. And then won't those suckers who sued the Large Hadron Collider feel ridiculous.

Anyway, it looks like we're in for at least two more months of this, while we wait for the relief well to be drilled, the Deepwater Horizons reservoir to run out of oil, or the human race to die off. And if I'm going to catalog even a mere fraction of the bullshit and mendacity surrounding this whole sorry mess, I'm going to have to make it a semi-regular feature. So let's begin with the plumes.

The oil plumes are some seriously scary shit, environmentally speaking. Scientists say they're dozens of miles long, thousands of feet deep, and up to six miles wide, lurking beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Beneath surface of the Gulf of Mexico is, in case you were wondering, where ALL THE FUCKING FISH LIVE. Oil plumes are bad PR for BP, and whenever BP might look bad, in jumps CEO Tony Hayward to drop some fake-ass science on us. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The oil is on the surface. There aren't any plumes." - Hayward, during a Louisiana cleanup photo op. Thanks, Tony! Good to know. Apparently, according to Hayward, the oil plumes that half a dozen universities have identified don't exist because oil's natural tendency is to rise to the surface. So all the oil is rising to the surface.

There are a couple of things about that spin that bother me, of course. The first is how incredibly bald-faced his lie is. "There aren't any plumes." No hedging, no doublespeak. That means he doesn't care about everyone finding out he's lying. Which means the truth is going to be so fucking awful that we won't even remember his lie. And he'll just slip off to his private island. Which I guaran-fucking-tee you is in the Pacific Ocean.

And the second thing is that the whole point of the hundreds of thousands of gallons of the gloriously-named Corexit that they've been dumping into the Gulf is to... break up the oil so that it doesn't rise to the surface. Instead, it's supposed to sink to the bottom and "biodegrade", which is a technical term oil companies use that means "stay off of television".

So either they've been poisoning the Gulf with a hydrocarbon stew they can't even tell us the contents of for no good reason, or their actual PR plan is to hide all the oil under the ocean and then deny there's any oil under the ocean. Just another reason we should all be shitting ourselves over the future of the biosphere, really.

And while we're on the the subject of Corexit, here's how Hayward explained the first reports of cleanup workers, who hadn't been given any proper protective gear by BP, coming down with various illnesses.

"I’m sure they were genuinely ill, but whether it was anything to do with dispersants and oil, whether it was food poisoning or some other reason for them being ill. You know, food poisoning is clearly a  big issue when you have a concentration of this number of people in temporary camps, temporary accommodation, it’s something we have to be very, very mindful of. It’s one of the big issues of keeping the army operating. You know, armies march on their stomachs."

It is, of course, not food poisoning. Although if you yourself are feeling nauseous and weak as a result of your exposure to the toxic fecal matter spewing from Hayward's lie-hole, it'd be perfectly understandable. If this fuck face isn't wearing an orange jumpsuit within the next year, I will be disappointed. Not surprised, mind you. But disappointed.