NYT, “The Measure of a Disaster“, May 21, 2010 – This oil spill is said to be mostly “sheen,” which means a layer less than one-three-thousandth the thickness of a hair, visible only because it causes mirror-like reflection of light or radar energy.
AP, December 21, 2012 - As BP Oil continues its efforts to stem the flow of oil it triggered in a deep-water drilling accident in April of 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico, drought conditions have now reached a global scale.
Precipitation rates have dwindled to less than 10% of normal for all regions reporting this month, said NOAA meteorologist Kevin Goodweather.
“Cloud formations have become a rarity as atmospheric moisture has virtually disappeared”, said Goodweather.
Across the planet, fresh water reserves in the world largest lakes and reservoirs have been depleted at a rate that was unpredicted just a short year ago. The rapidity of depletion was explained at first in terms of irrigation and poor water management, but later scientists determined that without adequate precipitation, what climatologists are now calling “dry-air super evaporation”, is making short work of global fresh water reserves.
Although run-of-the-mill famines took a serious toll on equatorial populations during 2011, sudden mass die-offs offs of living organisms around the globe, including humans, only started about a month ago, as fresh water has been disappearing at an alarming rate.
Governments around the globe have been collapsing in the face of unprecedented civil unrest, particularly in the more urbanized nations where populations rely on central water distribution systems, but the effects of the global drought are also spreading rapidly in rural areas.
“No one imagined that life on earth would end quite this way”, said BP’s Environmental Safety Specialist, Evan ‘Top Kill’ Black.
BP executive management continues to insist that its subcontractor, TransOcean, is responsible for the runaway gusher, now estimated at more than 100,000 barrels per day, but says that BP will continue to spare no expense in trying to stem the flow. The next planned “top shot” will involve basketballs, Silly Putty and Tampons, explained a BP engineer who insisted on anonymity. Haliburton executives continue to refuse comment.
Only a year ago, it seemed that even the most prescient scientists agreed that the degradation of the environment caused by the depredations of human enterprises such as deforestation and atmospheric CO2 loading, would be a gradual process that could be addressed by convening more international conferences to adopt proper incentives such as “Cap and Trade”.
“We all believed in the power of deregulated free markets to solve our problems and that any truly cataclysmic extinction event would be a random “black swan”, said Tom J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who was recently seen slow-dancing with Alan Greenspan at a D.C. night club.
“The truth is that neither governments, industry, nor academia, ever imagined that the mundane practice of retrieving oil from long buried fossil beds might trigger such an event”, said BP America President, Lamar McKay, “We all got it wrong”, he said.
In people’s minds, including our best scientific minds, the “worst case” amount of oil escaping from BP’s broken wellhead over the past two years could never be more than a drop in bucket when compared with the volume of water in the world’s oceans, explained Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson
That was before it dawned on observers that the uncontrolled flow of oil would be distributed over the world’s oceans as a thin surface “sheen,” which meant a layer of less than one-three-thousandth the thickness of a hair, visible to the naked eye only because it causes mirror-like reflection of light or radar energy.
That incredibly thin layer of oil interrupts the process of evaporation that “uploads” ocean moisture into atmospheric currents, later to be precipitated as rain and snow over the earth’s land masses, said University of Texas researcher Slick Sanders, who uses supercomputers to model climate systems.
“Due to ocean currents and natural mixing, the thin and barely visible oil sheen produced by BP’s gusher covered the earth’s oceans in less than one year”, explained NOAA’s Goodweather.
“BP has provided us scientists with a terrific opportunity for study”, said Nobel Prize winner Dr. I. V. Towers, a University of Texas lecturer and founder of the non-partisan think tank, Center for Development Strategies to Harness Innovation and Truth, commonly referred to as DPSHIT.
It’s as if we have encased the oceans of the world in an oily Saran Wrap that is forming a transpiration barrier between the sea and atmosphere, said Towers. A transpiration barrier is great for freezing foods at home, but once the global moisture engine is blocked, we’ve learned that it doesn’t take long for the earth’s fresh water reserves to become fully depleted”, said Towers, who’s research is funded by Exxon, Chevron, BP, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
When asked about dispersants, Towers explained that in amounts necessary to break up the global sheen, toxicity and “sudsing” effects become unsustainable. During a recent storm, foamy suds not only blocked harbor entrances and disrupted shipping, but were blown high into the jet-stream, disrupting airline traffic as well. In addition, the dispersant suds also inhibit moisture from being “uploaded” into the atmosphere.
Efforts at desalination have been ineffective because osmotic membranes are rendered ineffective by oil, said Towers, but some progress has been made using oil-fired distillation plants. Environmentalists who currently favor clean nuclear power generation over-oil fired plants noted that this technology is greatly increasing atmospheric CO2 loading and at best, appears to be a case of “too little, too late”.
Another round of Congressional hearings is scheduled for late this month to assign responsibility for the global oil sheen.
President Obama reiterated in a speech yesterday, “I promise all American taxpayers that whoever is responsible for this extinction event will be held to account. I can say with absolute confidence that this time it won’t be the taxpayer who foots the clean-up bill”, he said.
Republican leaders meeting at a secret underground bunker in Idaho leaked a memo accusing the Obama administration of a cover-up and once again repeating that the only real solution is to “drill baby drill”.