Saturday, May 7, 2011

...walk the plank!

            Watch them go! The oil industry has popped a few Enzyte pills and prices are skyrocketing! Unfortunately the missus at home won’t be so happy when she can’t afford to fill her tank at the pumps. In the summer of 2007 gas prices soared to four dollars a gallon, and everybody was so thankful when they subsided and dropped to once again affordable prices. Well, they’re back! Prices have climbed up again and America is outraged. In the past year, gas has gone up 36% (Trumbull). Forget important social and civil revolts occurring in the middle east, we need our oil, and we can’t wait just because some unjust ruler needs removed from position. So much for the US promoting democracy worldwide, Americans have woken up from the lies and now they just want their oil. So we can’t get our fix from foreign countries, then, let’s cut the middle man and as Sarah Palin tweets, “Drill baby, drill.”
            It is always been clear to us that alternative energy sources are not yet capable of bearing the weight of our massive energy consumption. What we need right now is a quick fix, something that will relieve the pressure of high gas prices threatening the economy and deliver America to its rightful throne of blissful ignorance. Why depend on other countries when there are opportunities at our doorstep. In the non-moratoria area of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), there are an estimated 19 billion barrels of oil untapped. That is just the oil that is in front of us that we know of, unexplored and undiscovered oil resources are estimated at a whopping 41 billion barrels that are within the development and leasing zones. Well what are we waiting for! Drill baby, drill!
People often forget that history repeats itself. How far do we have to look back? Not far at all, just about 3000 miles. 3000 miles away, in Europe, they deal with even higher gas prices than we do, and they’ve coped with them for far longer. A few months of high gas prices and a foreboding future of prices equal to or higher have sent America into a fit of rage the only the death of a iconic terrorist can seem to alleviate.
Let us take another look back, not in miles, because it happened right here, on American soil. Before oil, an infamous source of labor was by means of slaves. As industrialism approached the horizon, people fought to hold onto the outdated and inefficient sources that they knew and could depend on. Some speculate that this caused the great Civil War that wreaked havoc all across the USA. Can we not see that oil is also an inefficient and outdated source of energy that needs to be cast aside while new endeavors are explored and exploited? Apparently not, because at the cost of our environment and our world, we demand the black blood of Mother Nature to be spilled from beneath our seas, it is as if we are cutting off our hands and selling them to afford lavish new gloves.
Here is a link to a video compilation of Obama's reversals on his decisions, and their reversals.
In March 2010, US President Barack Obama began pushing for exploration of new areas to be exposed to offshore drilling. A strikingly different approach was executed after following month’s BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster. The Obama administration enforced a six month moratorium that affected 33 of the exploratory wells. Well, at least Obama was man enough to admit his mistake as he said “Where I was wrong was in my belief that oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios”. The last time I trusted a large corporate money grabbing institution with my precious environment… oh wait, I didn’t.
If we recall, Obama’s original stance on off shore drilling was to maintain what was left of an all out moratorium on offshore drilling. I apologize to the mobs of anti-Obama fanatics, but we can’t blame Obama for messing that one up. The moratorium was set in place by George Bush Senior in the 1980’s and easily cast aside by George Bush Junior in the 2000’s (Baird). However, good news my lovely bunch of  mobsters, it does seem that Obama has flip-flopped more than even John Kerry could have. Seeming to be all over the place, I'm sure all we need now is a Howard Dean B’yahhhh! to cap off these scattered decisions. We’re never gonna drill! Wait, yeah, we’ll do it a little bit. HOLD ON! No way BP. Let’s drill baby, drill! B’YAAAHHHH!!! 
How can we say that drilling for more oil on the OCS would not affect the environment? How can we dismiss the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Oh what was that, a statistical Anomaly? Right… In a critical article from 2008 entitled Offshore Oil Drilling: Buying Energy Independence or Buying Time? Stephen Baird, a public school teacher and author of the article has a lot to say about the safety of offshore drilling operations. He talks about how the US “has pioneered many new safety technologies, ranging from blowout preventers to computer-controlled well data” or how “even if oil platforms snap loose and blow away, industrial seals restrain potentially destructive petroleum leaks from hundreds or even thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface” and he celebrates the fact that “oil lines are now being capped at or beneath the ocean floor” (Baird). I’m glad somebody has faith, oh and tell the countless dead marine life about the safety, I’m sure they’ll believe you, or maybe the folks in Louisiana and other affected coastal states that are going through immense hardships as a direct result of the a little accident in the Gulf where “thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface” a well that had those “blowout preventers” was not “being capped at or beneath the ocean floor” (Baird).
Please don't feed the birds... or kill them.
Well, now that we’ve picked apart his argument let us look at the big picture of his statements, he wrote “since 1975, 101,997 barrels spilled from among 11.855 billion barrels of American oil extracted offshore. This is a 0.001 percent pollution rate. That equates to 99.999 percent clean—compare that with mother nature herself, as 620,500 barrels of oil ooze organically from North America’s ocean floors each year” (Walsh, Baird). Did our critic forget that oil is made into gasoline, plastics, and hordes of other pollutants? Doesn’t that mean that there is a 100% pollution rate when all is said and done? No it doesn’t, it is even higher because when aspects are taken into account, the percentage is well above 100. For this next part, I don’t think that I even need a source to cite, let us compare the effects on the environment of the massive amounts of organic oil ooze to decimals of extracted oil spilled. Do the oceans surround the US seem black to you? Does organic ooze headline the news daily? Not quite. I think it is safe to assume that when something oozes, it is not concentrated, and the volume of the entire water body affected compared to concentration of organic ooze is probably closer to 0.001 percent than the concentration of oil spilled in mass in a small body of water. I doubt that we can dismiss any oil disaster as having a only a small percentage of an effect.
Click here to get on of these!
So is it worth it to threaten our coastal ecosystems, businesses, and livelihoods all to save money on gas? First, let us examine how much we will save on gas by opening the OCS to offshore drilling. Frances Beinecke, president of National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), says “even if we expanded offshore drilling considerably, we wouldn’t see an impact on gas prices until 2030” Well that isn’t so great! It is even less spectacular when you take into account the possible (and probable) pollution caused by the exploration, construction, and operation of so many new rigs and the pollutant results will be seen far before 2030. Well there is still hope, how much are we saving exactly when all the OCS is tapped for oil? According to the US Energy Information Administration we’ll be saving 3¢. Three cents. 0.03 dollars.
            I am not a patriot of this gas guzzling country, I am a patriot of this world, and as that I believe that the era of non-renewable energy sources, especially oil for its destructive tendencies, is over. A lot of people have a lot to say about that stance on energy. Things are claimed such as “as usual, the green position is untenable” apparently they “whine and wail” and push for a “gaggle of wonky alternative energy sources”. Whoever said it was going to be easy? Since when has life been easy for the majority of the world’s population? Comparing American’s to other less “fortunate” populations of the world, the American’s life is incredibly easy. The standard of American living is skyhigh, and it is about time the consequences of such standards are sky high too. “the united states can no longer afford to turn its back on finding all sources of fuel necessary to maintain its economy and standard of living” (Baird). I believe this is an atrocious statement; we need to adjust our energy consumption instead of production. Our standard of living is unsustainable and unnecessarily wasteful.
Compare this pollution to the slow seep of the Ocean.
I’m not demanding that we turn off the lights and throw away our car keys, but measures do need to be made to decrease our negative effect on the environment and the world. For example, instead of looking for more oil to sustain poor gas mileage achieving cars, they need higher standards for energy efficiency. Instead of scarring the OCS in a desperate scrabble for energy, we need to focus on developing alternative sources of energy and more efficient consumption in our machines and leave what is left of our world unscathed by oil men looking to get rich off the mirage of hope harbored by the uninformed American public. Offshore drilling is not the answer to our high gas prices, our foreign oil dependency, nor is it the answer to our energy consumption.

Print Works Cited

Baird, Stephen L. "Offshore Oil Drilling: Buying Energy Independence or Buying Time?" Technology Teacher 68.3 (2008): 13-17. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 May 2011. <>.
Nelson, Bill. "Should Offshore Drilling Be Expanded? NO." U.S. News Digital Weekly 2.22 (2010): 10. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 May 2011. <>.
Trumbull, Mark. "$5 Gas: Is It around the Corner for US Drivers This Summer?" Christian Science Monitor (2011). Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 May 2011. <>.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

...and we run aground!

    HMS (His Madness' Ship) Sauzam has run-aground folks. Lost in the seas of the interweb our nefarious first mate, who is also the insane captain, and mad deck hand, struggles with the ropes (made of hemp, a superior fabric). Motivation runs low, and mutinous thoughts arise in the back of our wayfarer's mind. Insanity? Perhaps? We're approximately 75 miles offshore and we're not aground as originally thought, we're jammed on the remains of an old oil rig that collapsed and destroyed hundreds of miles of shoreline.
    If our champion of insanity could see the surf on the beach, surely surfers wouldn't wear the dark wetsuits in warm water such as this, but still be coloured in chromatic shiny blackness of oil clinging to their skin, suffocating them and all marine life about. The thick oil makes maneuvering difficult, no sign of booty, treasure, and if it's there, it is buried, and out of date. We're will our victim of his own madness find himself next week?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

...and the ship sets sail

Well, by no choice of my own, I have chosen a topic. Who knows if this ship will float, but as a man of sea, I figure I can swim the currents and off into the horizon.

...And the horizon looks bad dude. Real bad. Before beaches are even cleaned up in the Gulf Coast, apparently Obama has opened Off-Shore drilling on our coasts. An injustice to sea life and humanity alike. So, let us load our torpedo bays with information and sink this battleship of bad omens.