What if Absolutely Nothing Can Be Done?

There was in the oil world a degree of concern about the geology of the gulf of Mexico some decades ago. The last significant warning seems to have been in 2009. It may be that the consequences of drilling there were apparent before the initial public debut of the present spill. I can't help noting that something--a presentiment in the industry?-- seems to have triggered greater anxiety in the eighteen months leading up to the calamity.

A pattern seems to have emerged, for some, of share sell-offs and clean-up purchases before the spill, on the part of Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, the BP CEO and others. There is of course no suggestion that a coordinated or fraudulent conspiracy was taking place on my part.

That pattern needs investigating, and I hope that the Department of Justice, the SEC, and the relevant European authorities are doing so. If nothing else, the inevitable conspiracy theories will become accepted and debilitating fact unless someone really shows what happened. One of my many problems with Arlen Specter, my one demented reader will recall, was that he undermined a basically strong case against Lee Oswald by covering up or conjuring evidence to make it.

That's all froth. Our society--this weird, medieval web that subsists in the media and corporate worlds across the Atlantic, served by an essentially self-seeking class of political clerics--is now facing the possibility that nothing can be done about the disastrous spill in the gulf of Mexico.

Simple physics suggests that, if a deposit of oil the size of Mount Everest has been breached, and if the mechanism of the breach itself is now cracked and the salt and fissures on the sea bed are providing no resistance to it--then we face a huge disaster.

One of my correspondents on the blog asked a while ago why the United States could not simply 'nuke' the spill. I went looking for answers. Michio Kaku, the celebrity physicist, points out that the 'glassified sphere' created in the rock would simply collapse in on itself, seriously disturbing the geology of the seabed. Others have pointed out the dangers of a methane release. A few have hinted at the likely consequence, which would be a Tsunami, and a few worried souls have gone further and written of an undersea landslip that could generate a mega-wave.

The United States government and BP also seem to be organising a black-out of media in the spill area, and a damage limitation operation. See, though, the danger is that this is just a prelude. If the worst that can happen has happened, we will soon be talking about evacuations. States, after all, are already required to have evacuation plans in place, and not just for hurricanes. Refugees. In the Southern and Eastern States--for the second time in five years, but on a larger scale than Katrina.

It puts things in perspective, doesn't it? I just wonder if a society that cannot sacrifice or think anymore, at least publicly, can cope.


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