Monday, 17 May 2010

Oops ... Someone Clean Up That Mess

Unless you’ve just awoken from a coma (most people live in one without knowing it) you will have heard of the unfolding disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. What’s all the fuss about? Surely there’s more interesting things on the BoobTube like Christina Aguilera’s new video to talk about. Wrong.

I am an avid reader of George Ure’s site This past weekend and again today he does a fine example of double-checking the quoted figures on the MSM. The simple use of a basic calculator and 2 functioning brain cells is all it takes to peel away the managed spin and see this unfolding horror in all its true magnitude.

George quotes the figures from this article to report a sub-surface slick that is 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. See here for another source article for the same figures.

He did a calculation based on an average width being 1.5 miles and average depth being 150 feet.
1 mile is 5280 feet. 1 cubic foot = 7.48 US gallons.

Plume length 10 miles (52,800 feet) times plume width 1.5 Miles (7,920 feet) equals
418,176,000 square feet.
Times a thickness of 150 feet equals:
62,726,400,000 Cubic Feet
And we now multiply that times 7.48 to get the number of US gallons:
469,193,472,000 (US) Gallons of oil
The plume was reported on Saturday, so we’ll be generous and use 26 days.

That yields 18 Billion gallons per day!

Dublin Mick and I had an interesting chat over at Noor’s place on this topic - at least until Steve’s meds wore off.

When you take that figure and reduce it to the rate per minute it highlights a startling figure. i.e. we simply divide by 24 hours and then by 60 minutes = (24 x 60) = 1440.

18 billion gallons per day = 12.5 million gallons per minute = 208,300 gallons per second.

I am aware that the common household water supply is about 15 gallons per minute - turn on hose and let it run for a day {20,000 ÷ 1440 = 13.9}. We are looking at a rate of 10 swimming pools per second! All of this from a pipe that is 21 inches in diameter.

This is not a leak, it is a volcano.

Some Einstein is now suggesting using a “small nuclear device” to seal the leaking well head. This, in a floor bed saturated with gas hydrates (this was seeming the source of the initial rig explosion). A catastrophic release of that much methane would vastly exacerbate a massive crisis into what is potentially an Extinction Level Event.

We need to pay attention and hope that there are grown ups in the decision making process.