The UK chapter of Greenpeace recently had a contest to redesign BP's iconic green-sunflower logo to something a bit more ... appropriate for the times. There are dozens of entries (you can view 'em all here), but here are a few we particularly liked. Turning anger into sardonic art: how New Orleans can you get?
Want to know what this stuff can do? When a Cousteau gets involved, its serious business. Jacques grandson Philippe Cousteau Jr. was on Good Morning America (yikes Good morning! Toxic sludge with your coffee?):
ABC Good Morning America reporter Sam Champion, who was along for the ride, was shocked and appalled at what he found.
"The entire water column is thick with this oil and chemical dispersant mix and it's absolutely disgusting," said Champion, "I think that this has got to be one of the most horrible things I've ever seen underwater."
Heres the video:
You can clearly see oil forming chemical clouds of oil globules in the water column floating beneath the surface to eventually join the sea floor. (Read this to find out what happens next.) But Nalco, the chemicals manufacturer, says its product (which contains ingredients that are kept a trade secret) is just "a simple blend of six well-established, safe ingredients that biodegrade, do not bioaccumulate and are commonly found in popular household products" and "do not contain carcinogens or reproductive toxins. All the ingredients have been extensively studied for many years and have been determined safe and effective by the EPA."
Sure, at the recommended doses. I mean, your doctor says pain relivers are safe at the prescribed amount, but I'm not sure what he'd think if you started mainlining at hundreds of times that prescription which is exactly what BP did: inject thousands of gallons of chemical dispersants not only on the waters surface but also directly into the leak source, a method that has no previous testing to be proven effective or safe. Per the EPAs recommendations: "most effectively applied by aircraft, however, application with boat spray booms, boat fire monitors, and by hand held sprayers and back packs has been successfully done on a number of spills and trials" and at a "treatment rate of about 2 to 10 U.S. gallons per acre, or a dispersant to oil ratio of 1:50 to 1:10."
The EPA has demanded BP to scale back its use of the chemicals, but the damage is done.
After his emotional testimony yesterday before a House subcommittee, Rep. Charlie Melancon was on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show to explain how dire the situation is on the Gulf Coast. The transcript is here, and this is the video:
(Any cable TV talking head willing to come down to Louisiana, plant a desk and a couple of chairs in front of an oil-covered marsh, and do his or her show from there? Maddow? Cooper? O'Reilly?)
Captain Meredith Austin, Coast Guard deputy incident commander, says the seven Vessels of Opportunity (VO) crewmembers (who were rushed to West Jefferson Memorial Hospital yesterday after experiencing nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains while performing offshore oil cleanup operations) were not given any respiratory protection.
Was it really only a month ago that few of us knew the name 'Tony Hayward'? The chief executive of BP has become a household name (and face) here on the Gulf Coast, and a quote-worthy one at that. He may not be quite as quotable as Michael "Brownie" Brown yet, but the BP gusher's still gushing...
"What the hell did we do to deserve this?"
"This is not our accident, but it's our responsibility."
"The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume."
"I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest. It is impossible to say and we will mount, as part of the aftermath, a very detailed environmental assessment but everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact will be very, very modest."
"I do feel that we have, for the first time, turned the corner in this challenge."
"I think this is clearly a major reputational issue for BP."
"The operation is proceeding as we planned it."
BONUS QUOTE! From U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, May 23:
"I trust Tony Hayward. When I talk to him, I get an answer."
Feeling frustrated and helpless about the growing gulf in the Gulf? Since you cant fly over it or even get to it without the permission of the all-powerful BP Oz, then take to the streets to show your support for lessening our dependence on crude and perhaps work off some of the anxiety over what the muck from the oil rig disaster is doing to the Gulf and our coastline.
Critical Mass New Orleans, bicyclists promoting alternatives to cars, will meet at Jackson Square at 6 p.m. Friday and ride into Jefferson Parish, ending on the Mississippi River levee. DJ Dontplaydat will provide tunes.
The ride will show cycling as a viable alternative for commuters, but all modes of non-polluting transportation are welcome. (Stinky feet are not considered pollution, so running, skateboarding, etc. are allowed.)
And now, let's take a moment away from BP coverage and focus on the latest B.T. (bow tie) developments. Since we won't know whether the "top kill" procedure worked until this afternoon, now is the optimum time to put our collective mind elsewhere, perhaps on some meticulous yet satisfying task like mastering the origami-esque maneuvers of knotting a bow tie.
Recapping: In the last 24 hours, a BP official/witness has refused to testify in a hearing about the explosion that killed 11 men who will never have that same right again; the oil gusher is now officially deemed twice as bad as the Exxon Valdez, and once again estimates of the flow have been found to be lowballed; "Top Kill" may be working, but they're not sure; "commercial fishing vessels recalled from oil recovery operations as a precaution" after
7 9 workers fall ill, and "BP safety officers" (stop laughing) are investigating. And then there's this, from Newsweek:
More than a month into the disaster, a host of anecdotal evidence is emerging from reporters, photographers, and TV crews in which BP and Coast Guard officials explicitly target members of the media, restricting and denying them access to oil-covered beaches, staging areas for clean-up efforts, and even flyovers....
Since the flight restrictions were expanded on May 11, private aircraft must get permission from BPs command center to fly over a huge portion of the Gulf of Mexico encompassing not just the growing slick in the Gulf, but the entire Louisiana coastline, where oil is washing ashore. If a request is denied, aircraft must stay 3,000 feet above the restricted area, where visibility is minimal.
Read that again: a British corporation is now controlling American airspace. Where's the Tea Party when you need 'em?
Oh, and BP shares are up 5% this morning. We're bullish on BP!
It looks like Matter of Trust, the organization spearheading the effort to collect hair, fur, nylons and mesh to create oil containment booms, is still soliciting donations. And they're in New Orleans, according to their Facebook page.
Do you think Matter of Trust should continue collecting materials and making hair booms without knowing if BP will ever use them?
One month after the DEEPWATER HORIZON burned and capsized off the coast of Louisiana, the oil continues to gush into the sea. Several attempts to divert and capture the oil have failed. Presently BP has promised to attempt a TOPKILL which would force cement and other materials into the riser pipe and plug it up. This was supposed to have happened over this past weekend, but has been delayed.
Meanwhile, 100 miles to the Northwest the fudgelike mix of oil and dispersant has begun coming into the fragile marshes and estuaries of Grand Isle, Louisiana, devastating the wildlife and wiping out miles and miles of oyster leases.
Chris Hernandez takes us to his families oyster lease, where the oil is coming in with every high tide, leaving behind the poisonous sludge and killing everything it comes in contact with.
This is just the beginning. When the well is capped and the oil stops gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the spill will continue impacting the coastal shores for up to 45 days.
On our 2 hour ride around the oyster leases, we saw absolutely no attempts being made to boom the oil. This as dozens of containers filled with thousands of feet of boom sit unused on the dock, a 10 minute boat ride away. And its been sitting there for 2 weeks.
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