Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Energy › Oil & water don’t mix…
- May 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm #59995near horseParticipant
None of those animals that you mention live where the oil leaking is ending up – on the surface and shorelines. There are bacteria that live in the geothermal vent areas of regions that have volcanic activity – scalding hot temps and high sulfur dioxide etc. Naturally occurring but not a good environment for most other life forms.
Also, it doesn’t matter how much oil/gas seeps out naturally. Pumping it to the surface and leaking it all over the place isn’t a natural event.
If you think that supply and demand drive oil prices and not speculators/market manipulation, then why wouldn’t fuel prices be going through the roof right now? There have been plenty of other “bogus” excuses for run ups in fuel pricing that weren’t as significant as this mess. “We were switching over from heating oil production.” “The war in Iraq/Afghanistan.” “Shut down refinery to do maintenance” to name a few. It’s just not good PR for the industry at this point – they’ll recoup it after the spotlight quits shining on them.
Here’s a few more articles from the same internet source (rense.com) http://www.rense.com/general90/less.htm Lessons from the Gulf of Mexico
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/05/11/national/a104820D60.DTL&tsp=1 Lawyers: Rig workers asked to sign statementsMay 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm #60003Andy CarsonModerator
Geoff, did you look at the article I posted??? I am refering to tube worms and clams that were trawled from a cold water area of heavy seepage. I do believe natural seeps are relavant to this discussion because even though the oil is released deep, it does float. This is the same mechanism that brings the oil from the deep in the current spill.May 12, 2010 at 11:44 pm #59990Scott GParticipant
In my mind, which is strictly natural resource management driven, I am not opposed to extraction of petroleum and other minerals within reason if the environmental risks can be alleviated or well mitigated.
That said, IMO there is no way to completely remove the risk from offshore drilling no matter what technology has been developed. My play on words “oil & water don’t mix” is more than that; because they don’t.
I don’t care how many wells have been sucessfully functioning or not, it only takes one mishap to destroy or severely alter an ecosystem. The Gulf takes enough of a beating with all of the Nitrogen we pour into the Mississippi and other industrial uses. In the case of an oil spill it is not relative it is just wrong. There is no fail safe mechanism to prevent substantial oil contamination and the consequences to great to extract the resource in that fashion. Will it raise oil prices, you bet and bring it on. This perspective comes from someone who use to run 150 g of diesel fuel a day in forestry equipment and still uses a substantial amount of petroleum products. When petroleum prices rise people change habits and tend to conserve as well as regenerating interests in renewable/benign energy technologies.
One of the main reasons we have import/export issues and the loss of locally manufactured or grown goods is cheap transportation. It all comes down to quarterly corporate profits and if it is cheaper to ship something from halfway across the world regardless of social or environmental costs, so be it. That is the reality of the world we live in today and personally I think it sucks.
If/when this stuff makes its way to the few saltwater marshes we have left in the Gulf region it is going to be almost impossible to clean up. Cleaning a sand beach or scrubbing rocks is a helluva lot easier than try to sanitize a marsh, something I have my doubts can even be accomplished.
I use petroleum products and I don’t shun them. I do believe, however, that they should be used to their highest value which isn’t necessarily running the transportation needs of the world. I am a believer in Peak Oil. It is not “when we run out of oil” as most folks believe, it is when demand outstrips supply. That point in time was damn close when the economy collapsed. In my mind, bring it on. The world may temporarily fall apart but at least it might be the knock upside of the head that it is going to take to get certain populations/demographics to think outside of the box. We will never run out of oil, but the stuff we get is not nearly as productive as the wells of the past nor easy to get to. If it was we wouldn’t be going through one mile of water before we even hit a solid surface or mining huge amounts of sand in Canada just to extract a small amount of oil.
People often don’t change their ways/thinking unless it is cost effective or a major crisis affects them. It is just extremely sad that we have to trash an ecosystem to get folks to acknowledge the issues.May 13, 2010 at 12:31 am #59996near horseParticipant
Hey Andy –
First – That’s what I said – referring to the tube worms and clams
None of those animals that you mention live where the oil leaking is ending up – on the surface and shorelines
I did read the article (written 8 years ago) and most of it dealt with the news that areas that we are pumping oil out of seem to be “refilling” or “filling” with oil/natural gas from deeper layers of the earth’s crust. The chemosynthetic worms/clams (that have also been found back in the early 1980’s – although they used H2S rather than methane or hydrocarbons for their energy source) live in that very unique/specific environment where nothing else can. Put surface-based life in those conditions and they die.
My point is that natural seepage happens – apparently always has and the ecosystems have evolved to handle it over long periods of time – so it’s more of a chronic event. Millions of ADDITIONAL gallons of oil in one particular region of the Gulf over a short period of time, leaves no time/opportunity for acclimation/adaptation etc – an acute event. I know that there are acute natural events that are devastating to ecosystems – like volcanic eruptions, hurricanes etc but that’s the point, we can’t do anything to stop these things – this oil mess is the result of man’s handiwork.May 13, 2010 at 2:57 am #60004Andy CarsonModerator
The worms actually do eat the oil as described in the article. I was suprized too. The following article calls them “wildcat worms.”
You are right that the worms are not on the surface or in wetlands, and I am concerned about these areas too. Still though, the existence of natural seepage and worms that feed on seeping oil demonstates that nature has been exposed to oil for a long time and evolved ways to tolerate and even benefit from “some” oil. To give an idea of the scale, the following article estimates the world total of oil seepage in a year to be 706 million gallons, which dwarfs even the highest estimates of the spilage from the deepwater spill.
I think your point about the amounts and locations of the oil due to seepage versus spillage is a good one. I do think that this spill has the potential to cause more damage than natural seepage, especially if it hits land, but do not know how much more damage it will do… I do not doubt that oil is more toxic in some locations and to certain species, but it is at least partially an issue of scale, and I think the whole question deserves careful and detailed study. I really do not think the question of “just how toxic is this?” has an obvious answer and I think it is a good question to ask.May 13, 2010 at 7:05 am #59998CharlyBonifazMember
springing up of ideas trying to solve part of the problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5SxX2EntEoMay 13, 2010 at 10:02 am #60009jacParticipant
Interesting video Charlie and a great idea that clearly works.. however… How many tons of hay would it take ? We use a valuable food source to clean up an industrial problem.!! Is that not the same as growing wheat for industrial use instead of food ?? Another thing troubling me is this.., If these natural seepages have been going on for millions of years and far excede anything that spills from the oil wells, how come natures spills never reach shore or destroy anything ?? I can grasp the fact that there are life forms that actually thrive in the stuff but I cant bare to watch the gulls and other diving birds being pulled off the beach and find it hard to grasp that these birds get coated in oil out at sea by mother nature.!!??
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