Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.What Happened to the Stock Market Crash Experts Were Predicting - Sol_Palha
2.London Housing Market Property Bubble Vulnerable To Crash - GoldCore
3.The Plan to Control ALL Your Money is Now at Advanced Stage
4.Why Gold Is Set For An Epic Rally This Spring - James Burgess
5.MR ROBOT NHS Cyber Attack Hack - Why Israel, NSA, CIA and GCHQ are Culpable - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Emmanuel Macron and Banking Elite Win French Presidential Election 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Trend Lines Met, Technical's are Set - US Dollar is Ready to Rally (Elliott Wave Analysis) - Enda_Glynn
8.The Student Debt Servitude Sham - Gordon_T_Long
9.Czar Trump Fires Comey, Terminates Deep State FBI, CIA Director Next? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.UK Local Elections 2017 - Labour Blood Bath, UKIP Death, Tory June 8th Landslide - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
SPX/NDX/NAZ Hit New All-time Highs - 27th May 17
GBPUSD Top in Place, GOLD Price Ready to Rocket? - 27th May 17
Silver Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 27th May 17
BBC Newsnight Falls for FAKE POLLS, Opinion Pollsters Illusion for Mainstream Media to Sell - 27th May 17
UK Local Election Results Forecast for General Election 2017 - 26th May 17
Stock Market & Crude Oil Forecast! - 26th May 17
Opinion Pollsters UK General Election Seats Forecasts 2017 - 26th May 17
Bitcoin and AltCoins Crypto Price Correction - 26th May 17
Bearish Head and Shoulders in EURUSD? - 26th May 17
SELL US Stocks - Massive Market CRASH WARNING! - 26th May 17
EURGBP: A Picture of Elliott Wave Precision - 26th May 17
Credit Downgrades May Prompt Stock Market Capital Shift - 26th May 17
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team - 25th May 17
Stock Market Top - Are We There Yet? - 25th May 17
Should I Invest My Fortune in Gold? Inaugural Lecture by Dr Brian Lucey - 25th May 17
USD/CAD Continues Decline - 25th May 17
Bitcoin Price Goes Loco! Surges through $2,500 Despite Unclear Fork Issues - 25th May 17
The US-Saudi Arms Deal - Sordid Saudi Signals - 25th May 17
The No.1 Commodity Play In The World Today - 24th May 17
Marks and Spencer Profits Collapse, Latest Retailer Hit by Brexit Inflation Tsunami 2017 - 24th May 17
Why Online Trading Platforms Are Useful for Everyone - 24th May 17
The Stock Market Will Tank Hard - 24th May 17
It’s Better to Buy Gold & Silver When It DOESN’T Feel Good - 24th May 17
Global Warming - Saving Us From Us - 24th May 17
Stock Market Forecast for Next 3 Months - Video - 23rd May 17
Shale Oil & Gas Production Costs Spiral Higher As Monstrous Decline Rates Eat Into Cash Flows - 23rd May 17
The Only Metal Trump Wants More Than Gold - 23rd May 17
America's Southern Heritage is a Threat to the Deep State - 23rd May 17
Manchester Bombing - ISIS Islamic Terrorist Attack Attempt to Influence BrExit Election - 23rd May 17
What an America First Trade Policy Could Mean for the US Dollar - 22nd May 17
Gold and Sillver Markets - Silver Price Sharp Selloff - 22nd May - 22nd May 17
Stock Market Volatile C-Wave - 22nd May 17
Stock Market Trend Forecast and Fear Trading - 22nd May 17
US Dollar Cycle : Deep Dive - 21st May 17
Bitcoin Breaks the $2,000 Mark as Cryptocurrencies Continue to Explode Higher - 21st May 17
Stocks, Commodities and Gold Multi-Market Status - 21st May 17
Stock Market Day Trading Strategies and Brief 20th May 2017 - 21st May 17
DOW Needs to Rally Big or Correction is Next - 20th May 17
EURUSD reaches DO or DIE moment! - 20th May 17
How to Get FREE Walkers Crisps Multi-packs! £5 to £28k Pay Packet Promo - 20th May 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Why 95% of Traders Fail

Scientists Deeply Concerned About BP Disaster's Long-Term Impact

Politics / Environmental Issues Aug 02, 2010 - 10:32 AM GMT

By: Dahr_Jamail

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleGULFPORT, Louisiana, - Contrary to recent media reports of a quick recovery in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists and biologists are "deeply concerned" about impacts that will likely span "several decades".

"My prediction is that we will be dealing with the impacts of this spill for several decades to come and it will outlive me," Dr. Ed Cake, a biological oceanographer, as well as a marine and oyster biologist, told IPS, "I won't be here to see the recovery."


Cake's grim assessment stems partially from a comparison he made to the Exxon Valdez oil disaster and the second largest oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (BP's being the largest), that of the Ixtoc-1 blowout well in the Bay of Campeche in 1979.

"The impacts of the Exxon Valdez are still being felt 21 years later," Cake said, "The impacts of the Ixtoc-1 are still being felt and known, 31 years later. I know folks who study oysters in bays in the Yucatan Peninsula, and oysters there have still not returned, 31 years later. So as an oyster biologist I'm concerned about that. Those things are still affected 31 years later, and that was a smaller spill by comparison."

He is also concerned about deepwater habitats. Given that BP has used at least 1.9 million gallons of chemically toxic dispersants, the vast majority of the oil has remained beneath the surface, and much of that has sunk to the sea floor.

As an example, he cited "a new coral colony ecosystem" within 10 miles of BP's blowout Macondo Well, which was found by a pipeline company whilst it was producing an environmental impact assessment statement of the route of the pipeline.

"They found some amazing coral communities that no one knew about, and now they will be covered in oil," Cake said, "Those will not recover."

Dr. Stephen Cofer-Shabica, an oceanographer in South Carolina, focuses on the biology of barrier islands. He monitored the affects of the Ixtoc-1 oil disaster on Padre Island National Seashore in south Texas.

"You can go back now, 31 years later, and there's still oil in the sand there [Padre Island]," he told IPS. But his main concern is now about what the state of Louisiana is doing in response to BP's oil disaster.

Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal has authorised the dredging and building of sand berms near Louisiana's barrier islands in an effort to keep oil away from the shore. One area where the dredging project is still underway is the Chandeleur Islands.

"The Chandeleur project is totally futile and a waste of resources, and I can't believe they are still doing it," Dr. Cofer-Shabica said, "That's what I find totally unfathomable. There's oil floating around underwater, that has been dispersed and these barrier islands, as constructs, will not have any effect on that oil at all."

According to Dr. Cofer-Shabica, the so-called fix is actually a hugely destructive problem. "From an oceanographic perspective, this was biologically destructive, especially when you start digging up the bottom in shallow water, and building these barrier islands."

He added, "Louisiana is in a precarious position anyway because of the subsiding that is happening in the delta, and on top of that you have worldwide sea-level rise, so it has two physical factors that are working against its marshes. So building barrier islands to presumably keep oil out, amidst rising sea levels, makes no sense."

In addition to this, he said that the biological impacts of building islands "are larger than the physical impacts," and said this of dredging sediment from those areas: "You're in shallow water that is biologically rich with clams, worms, and bacteria, that will all be dug up and destroyed."

Dr. Cake is also worried about oil contaminating the oysters. He has seen much oil in Louisiana's marshes. "One of the experts with us worked for NOAA on the Exxon Valdez spill, and he told me if the oil is on the marsh grass, it's in the oysters."

BP and the Coast Guard are currently under scrutiny for having used so much oil dispersant, an industrial solvent that breaks up the oil so that it will sink below the surface.

For example, a 1979 report, "Effects of Corexit 9527 on the Hatchability of Mallard Eggs" in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, showed that even though dispersants are applied to minimise oil impacts to visible and charismatic species, Corexit actually enhances the lethal effects of crude oil on birds that are exposed.

Corexit 9527 penetrates eggshells and shell membranes as readily as crude oil. When applied to an eggshell near the embryo, the embryo would fuse to the shell membrane and die within 24 hours.

"Corexit breaks the oil up into micro-globules," Dr. Cake said, "That's the harmful part for oysters. Oysters are filter feeders, and they feed on a range of three to 12 millionths of a meter as particles. You can grind up graphite from a pencil in fine enough particles and they'll run it through their system. It's the same with the micro- globules of oil. They'll be taken in, but in going through the system, and in absorbing some of that oil, it'll cause lesions. So it's actually what the Corexit does to the oil that'll affect the oysters in the end."

According to Dr. Cake, his study teams have people watching and monitoring affected areas.

"In the past month, in Bretton and Chandeleur Sounds, oil was there during the day, it was sprayed with Corexit at night, and the next day it was gone. Where did it go? It went to the bottom, and that's adjacent to where these oyster farms are. So at that point, there's a lot less water for that Corexit to disperse into, and there may be an impact from that on the oysters."

Cake said that while scientists have found very large plumes of dispersed oil at depth, "I'm not sure that oil will ever get here as dispersed clouds. It's getting here as sunken clouds, because that's what they [BP] wanted it to do. Sink it, get it out of sight out of mind."

Chasidy Hobbs with Emerald Coastkeeper in Pensacola, Florida, is on the City of Pensacola Environmental Advisory Board and Escambia County Citizens Environmental Committee. Hobbs also directs the environmental litigation research firm, Geography and Environment.

"We're poisoning the entire Gulf of Mexico food web," Hobbs, who is also an instructor and advisor in the Environmental Studies Department at University of West Florida, told IPS. "It's crazy, and it's criminal. I'm deeply concerned with the long-term ecological and human impact."

Dr. Cake is among a large and growing group of scientists who are discussing a grim future for much of the Gulf of Mexico as a result of BP's disaster.

"The oil itself on the bottom is being eaten by bacteria. This has always been the case in naturally occurring seeps across the Gulf. But now we've introduced much more oil, and as the bacteria grow they are consuming the oxygen that is in that area. And that oxygen loss will result in dead/hypoxic zones, like the one off the West side of the Mississippi over towards Galveston where there's one that is 3,000 square mile area of dead bottom. Now we're looking at that along the eastern part because of the presence of so much more bacteria."

Inter Press Service

Dahr Jamail is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Dahr Jamail

© Copyright Dahr Jamail , Global Research, 2010

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife