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Political Mathematics: Oil Spill Equals Hurricane

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In the political world, apparently, we have a name for the huge oil spill occurring in the Gulf of Mexico. While one would think a name like "The Big BP Oil Spill" would be the most apropos, the news outlets seem to think "Obama's Katrina" is best.

No matter what channel or news outlet you watch – Fox News, CNN, CNBC, CBS – political analysts and TV talk show hosts are calling the environmental disaster "Obama's Katrina" in an effort to compare the current government's supposedly slow reaction to the oil spill to President Bush's sluggish response to help those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In a show dedicated to "drawing similarities" between Bush's handling of the flooding in New Orleans to Obama's response to the current toxic spew, CNBC host Larry Kudlow basically said they both sat idly by. "He hasn't done a thing. The White House, the administration, hasn't done a thing to defend the shoreline from the spill," he shouted on his morning CNBC show. "They've basically let five weeks go by, have they not? Isn't that the breakdown in the Obama argument?"  It is human nature to always compare and contrast political leadership, especially when it comes to the White House, but these two situations are anything but equal. Like Kudlow, one can certainly argue that both presidents did drag their feet when it came to their respective southern catastrophes, but it's like comparing apples to oranges.

First of all, let's not forget this huge environmental disaster is due to what we all thought was a simple and easy-to-remedy plumbing problem. This oil spill has now surpassed the Exxon Valdez spill by millions of gallons and has become the biggest in US history (and still growing at a rate of 25,000 per day), but, again, it's because of a simple broken pipe, which basically means of course, that the government's reaction was lackadaisical and apathetic. If any one of us were sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office and our advisors came in to tell us that there was an explosion on a rig in the Gulf of Mexico and a broken pipe was causing oil to spew into the water, we'd all react the exact same way.  It wouldn't be immediately to mobilize all our resources, troops, environmental scientists, Coast Guard, money, and send it all to the region to help stop the discharge and protect the shores, especially not in this economy. It would be to call the company that owns the oil rig, the same company that tragically lost 11 workers in the explosion that started the toxic flow in the first place, to offer condolences and make sure the leak was being contained.

That's exactly what happened. Nobody, not the government, not the public, not even BP, ever thought it would be so hard to stop the noxious contaminant from gushing out. After all, in this day and age of technology, with new advancements in chemicals, substances, glues, adhesives, etc., one would think a broken pipe could be fixed relatively quickly. Because of that, it was common sense simply to let BP remedy the dilemma, which, again, is what the government did. Then, as it dawned on everybody that there were no easy solutions, efforts and forces were mobilized. Unfortunately, for all parties, especially the environment,  the simple plumbing problem is 5,000-plus feet below water and proving to be nearly impossible to rectify.

Hurricane Katrina, on the other hand, was caused by Mother Nature. Not by an individual or company, who had primary responsibility to handle any and all relief and cleanup efforts. Once the flooding occurred throughout New Orleans, it was the state and federal government's responsibility to get in there and deal with the disaster.  There was no other private entity to work with or wrangle with to ensure all was promptly being taken care of. Thus, politcally or otherwise, you cannot compare a response to a natural disaster to a human-caused accident.

If it weren't such an environmental tragedy, it would almost be laughable how hard it's been for the greatest minds of humanity to find a solution to such a simple plumbing problem. Of course, we'll look back at this and say we should have done this, we could have done that, but when it comes to hindsight, we're all Einsteins.

Bottom line is "The Big BP Oil Spill" is no "Obama's Katrina," it's an unfortunate environmental catastrophe. One that needs to come to an end now.

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  • http://diaryfromthedome.net Paul Harris

    THANK YOU!!!!! H1N1 was Obama’s Katrina. The Kentucky Ice Storm was Obama’s Katrina. The Ft. Hood shootings were Obama’s Katrina. The Goldman Sachs debacle was Obama’s Katrina. Do we see a pattern by the right wing?

    Funny but I can’t tell you how many times during and after Katrina that the right wing kept yelling, this is NOT a Federal responsibility. It should be handled on the local level. Now suddenly a disaster caused by a PRIVATE corporation is the Fed’s responsibility. The hypocrisy is almost as disgusting as the oil.

  • Doug Hunter

    #1

    But Paul, aren’t you doing the exact same thing you accuse the right wing of only in reverse… i.e holding Bush accountable but making excuses for Obama?

    Same loudmouth hypocritical partisan [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor], different political spin.

  • Arch Conservative

    No one can fairly blame the spill on Obama because it is not his fault.

    However, in the words of our illustrious vice president, this spill is, “a big fucking” deal. Even I, a conservative who thinks Al Gore is full of shit, can recognize the danger to the global ecosystem posed by this spill and am concerned that something must be done and done yesterday. It seems like Obama didn’t realize this until very late in the game.

    The simple fact is that many Americans view Obama’s response to the spill as woefully inept and inadequate. No one expects him to come up with the engineering solution himself but he’s done a piss poor job of showing the American people just how seriously he’s taking this problem.

    It’s BP’s fault but the world’s problem. He’s let us know the former but not the latter in any meaningful way. He should be reminding us all every day that he’s committed to using every resource at his disposal, everything within his power as president to resolve this issue ASAP. He’s not done this though.

    Obama is incredibly sensitive and thin skinned. He wanted the job but he often proves that he wants all the adulation and none of the responsibility. How anyone can laud his non-existent leadership skills is beyond me.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Indeed, Arch. I do believe the response was painstakingly slow and inept.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re making excuses, BG. You’re suggesting taking the word of a company responsible for the problem, just like taking the word of the mining company in Virginia. Until but a week ago, no one questioned BP’s figures regarding the extent of the spill – not until they were double-checked by independent sources. Now we know BP’s figures were ridiculously low compared to more realistic estimates. A coincidence? I hardly think so. Cover-up and lies is a standard MO when people are caught in a major fuck-up. BP’s handling of the situation, their reports, etc. should be viewed with suspicion from the get-go. I would expect that from any astute administration. Well, this one just sat on its ass until it became evident making a move was a political necessity and public opinion against their inaction and failure of leadership was mounting. So either they were naive or just turned a blind eye, your pick.

    Similarly with their handling of the Minerals Management Service agency. They have known of the abuses and kickbacks and the fraternal atmosphere between our “civil servants” and oil company executives; they vowed to clean it up. Yes, they’re cleaning it up after the fact, BG; the agency head just resigned under pressure.

    But hey, you’ve got confidence in that guy. Somebody’s got to.

  • http://www.heloise8@wordpress.com Heloise

    Top Kill not working…Obama…not working!

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    BP not working… lobbyists, working OVERTIME.

    Let’s not be too quick to pin this on Obama. This is a national problem brought about by politicians from both sides of the aisle beholden to highly financed special interests who care more about obscene profits than the environment.

    This disaster will not be remedied by Nature, folks. God will not fly in at the last moment to save the day. You see, this whole planet was a gift from God, given to us out of unconditional love; for our use to use with our free will. We squandered that gift. We have cursed our children and grandchildren to a horrible fate. I hope every politician, lobbyist and Right wing-nut bag is proud of themselves. Don’t blame Barack Obama, look in the damn mirror.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re going on a hyperbole, Silas. No one is pinning this on Obama, but cleaning the house and all the respective agencies, though inherited from Bush, is something he ought to have done.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What I mean, Les, “legal” is an already discredited term – which is why you should be able to do without. By resorting to it, you’re only replacing one notion of “legal” for another.

    Foucault’s discussion with the Maoists in the Power/Knowledge essays put forth this kind of argument.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    with another . . .

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In fact, the argument is a stronger one yet, critiquing the very idea of justice (in this case, bourgeois justice) as being a historically-conditioned term, and therefore tainted and less-than-adequate to reflect and represent new social relations.

    The same point is made in the famous Foucault-Chomsky debate.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I agree, Roger. There should have been a thorough house cleaning with surgical precision. On that issue, the President has failed. There should have been a serious reconstruction of the financial sector with comprehensive financial regulatory reform which took any former Goldman-Sachs employee out of the equation. On that, the President has failed. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has not been repealed. It’s all a smokescreen. The President has failed. Millions of Americans on January 20, 2009 said things wouldn’t change. The President has been a rousing success.

    While this Administration may have been on deck from the spring of this leak, they have failed miserably in communicating their message to the public. Barack Obama has a serious problem and it is of his own creation. It’s time to reshuffle the Administration. He should not put this off until after the election because in doing so he is symbolically admitting he’s been lacking. Cool as a cucumber Obama needs to throw some of the weight of his office on the table and not through a surrogate. It’s time for him to act like an executive who has rolled up his sleeves. He has the intelligence. He has the common sense. The question which remains is whether is has the political courage.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Eloquently said, Silas.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski
  • Kiera

    Obama didn’t it, no, but he is doin a piss-poor job as likewise, same with Bush and Katrina. When are you, right-wingers, left-wingers, etc, or whatever u call yourselves going to realize your party is not the Right party eitherway anymore. Both parties are all FUCKED UP! In fact, 90% of all the politicians are FUCKED UP! Sorry, or I suppose I’ll tell it as is, they are all simply evil, a word I used to never use to describe people. Don’t believe, than just look around to see what’s going on with the country the past several years. Also, the world’s money is within the hands of the most stickin, low-life’s that walk the planet and until we get that money out of their hands, there will not be too much hope for us

  • Arch Conservative

    Who exactly were you addressing when you said don’t blame Obama Silas?

    Nobody on this thread was blaming him for the spill, just his pathetic response to it.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Let’s blame the Black guy. That’s how I see this entire argument heading, Arch. I wasn’t addressing anyone specific inasmuch as I am trying to lay the case that the worst environmental disaster in history is not Barack Obama’s direct fault. Pundits and politically inspired individuals keep steering the debate toward Obama’s failure to take charge. While a valid point which deserves debate, we cannot let it detract from what’s happening every second oil comes out that hole. Every day that this continues, the attention seems to sway from the Gulf and to the Oval Office. Before we know it all the attention will be on B.O. and not BP.

    Ultimately, Arch, we are all to blame for that disaster. Our obscene dependence on all things petroleum from fuel for cars, home heating oil, plastics and even Vaseline have led us to this point. The political leaders who we elected recognized our dependence and rather than lead they have made millions advancing the petro-industry cause. The military complex which President Eisenhower warned us about is second runner-up.

    It all comes down to money, Arch. It doesn’t matter which side of the political spectrum one is on, it still comes down to money. Wall Street, K Street and Pennsylvania Avenue switch political allegiances like most of us change our underwear. Special interests have become so powerful that they can steer national elections to their benefit — George W. Bush is the classic example.

    This mess is not Obama’s Katrina. It is our nation’s Waterloo. It’s time to be realists, here. Our founders created a system which no longer works without major modification. If there is a desire to fix the system and make it work for the benefit of us all, let’s do it. If not, let’s negotiate a peaceful resolution. Let’s have a civilized debate which leaves this land in better condition for our future. In the meantime, let’s figure out a way to clean up this mess without bankrupting the poorest among us because BP and Halliburton won’t lose a dime.

  • John Wilson

    Blame can more properly be placed on Reagan and his rightist supporters consistent attacks, over the last 30 years, on government oversight and regulation functions. It is they who have neutered government agencies that could have prevented this blowout in the first place.

    Sometimes, government IS the solution to the problem.

    So, would rightists please purge from their cant “government isn’t the solution to the problem, government IS the problem”, which is as childish as the man who said it.

    We now have before us, after 30 years of rightist republican hegemony, proof of that in the recent financial ruins and now the oil crises.

    The right had their chance and they failed.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    You’re absolutely right, the right has failed, John. And, as I said in an earlier post, this is the Rise of the Third Right. Unfortunately, the Left has been an equal failure. What we have here is not a failure of ideologies, but a failure of common sense governance.

    This afternoon I started to wonder why pundits are calling this Obama’s Katrina. I mean, we’re comparing apples to kumquats here. Katrina was a natural disaster which could not have been avoided but could have been managed much more efficiently. The disaster in the Gulf is not an act of nature. It was created by human error driven more by greed than consumer demand. In the end, the common bond of Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill brought to you by BP, TransOcean and Halliburton is mismanagement and lack of response. Towing party lines is no longer effective. It’s time for compromise steeped in determination of the public will.

  • Clavos

    Blame can more properly be placed on Reagan and his rightist supporters consistent attacks, over the last 30 years, on government oversight and regulation functions.

    Of course. Everything that’s fucked up about amerika (and pretty much everything is) is the fault of the fuckin’ right.

  • Arch Conservative

    Silas….money makes the world go round and is the motivating factor for for at least 805 of the things the human species does on this planet. When push comes to shove it’s not about rep vs. dem, black vs. white….it’s all about green. You’ll get no argument from me there.

    But why did you feel it necessary to throw in “blame the black guy.” That black guy chose to suit up and get in the game called American politics and it’s rather cheap and disengenuous to suggest all criticism of him is rooted in racism.

    At a very basic level Katrina and this oil spill are exactly alike. An event totally out of the president’s control happens and the president drops the ball big time in responding to the event.

    I guess I’m a rightist as John Lake would call it. However I don’t trust big business and I fail to see where John’s faith in big government comes from in light of the fact that we have more than ample evidence to support the notion that both big business and big government will screw ya every chance they get. The only differencesare that big business doesn’t get to wake up one morning and decide they’re going to take more of your money without your say so, and big businesses doesn’t get to make the laws and then throw you in prison for not conforming to them.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Everything that’s fucked up about amerika (and pretty much everything is) is the fault of the fuckin’ right.”

    you fuckin’ right.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    But why did you feel it necessary to throw in “blame the black guy.

    Because I’m trying to make a point, Arch. And, ironically, I’m not blaming the right for this one. The liberal, “Progressive” MSM has made the President’s race an issue by injecting it into every news story that comes out of the Oval Office. By their behavior and “reporting” they intimate that the Right’s opposition to the President is racially based. That’s a crock of shit. Sure, there are plenty of racists out there who hate the President by virtue of his race. But they are not in the majority within the opposition. The MSM would like us to think so. The MSM has done more to widen the racial divide than the citizenry itself. That’s how I see it. If I am wrong, show me why.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Silas, we should just boycott MSM. We no longer adhere to the journalistic standards as set my Murrow or Cronkite. It’s controlled by the likes of Rupert Murdoch. And in this internet age, they’re scared shitless.

    I should think just the opposite would the natural effect – radicalizing the issues and politics. But no, they’re taking the path of low resistance.

    I suppose the prevailing opinion among the pundits is that the people are dumb. That’s the only reason I can think of why they keep on giving us a rash of shit.

    There goes the despicable elitism on the part of “the Left.” They’re all whores.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Not boycott inasmuch as choose the outlets to follow. Al Jazeera, BBC and Reuters are a good place to start as alternatives to NBC (GE), FOX (Murdoch) and CBS (Viacom).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And don’t forget NPR. I don’t think they’re tainted as yet.

    Besides, I haven’t turned to TV for news, not in a long time. Only morons do that.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Indeed, Roger. And you are correct, NPR remains a good source so long as one filters out the leftist rhetoric. I do continue to watch MSNBC programming from 5:30 AM – 9 AM. I find that 3.5 hours very worthwhile as a source for reasoned debate of real issues. That being said, I do recommend the sites previously mentioned especially Al Jazeera. They have a series of stories about the Gulf oil spill that are true must see television.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ll check it out then, especially your link.

  • John Wilson

    NPR is not leftist, indeed one could more likely accuse them of being rightist. I don’t know what leftist rhetoric Silas has had to filter out. They bend over backwards to be polite to rightists, even when they say outrageous things. David Frum is one of their favorite commentors. They allowed Bill O’Reilly to verbally beatup Terry Gross, a harmless soul.

    NPR went right when Ken Tomlinson (is he out of prison?) was chosen when Bush was filling positions with political cronies, like “Brownie”.

    Two prominent NPR reporters, Juan Williams and Mora Liasin, are Rupert Murdoch employees appearing on Fox news.

    The most left thing on NPR is Prairie Home Companion, which is a variety show.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Well, I stand corrected. I’ve been out of the NPR loop for quite a while but do get email bulletins from them on a regular basis. Anyone associated with FOX News is of no import to me — they are all employees of the Anti-Christ. I wonder how Mike Wallace must feel knowing he fathered the likes of his spawn. Hume is another one. No respect for him by virtue of how he treated his son.

  • Clavos

    Whether left or right is immaterial. The overall tone of most NPR programming is supercilious and condescending. They never waste an opportunity to demonstrate how smart they are and how stupid the great unwashed masses are.

    Pompous windbags, they are.

    Not unlike the denizens of the academic world.

  • zingzing

    oh god, smart people. so damn smart all the time. knowing what they’re talking about and shit. i’ma sit on ma boat.

    npr is only condescending if you think you’re being condescended to. if you take it as intelligent people speaking intelligently on interesting subjects, which describes plenty of their content, it’s point is certainly not to make you look stupid.

    go watch some fucking fox news if you want to watch people making fun of how stupid people are.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    NPR is quiet, thoughtful, and gives its listeners credit for being intelligent. [The snottiness Clavos detects is perhaps in the ear of the beholder.]

    They provide a very welcome contrast to the bombast of right wing talk radio and Fox Noise.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    zing, as usual, you said it far better and more pungently than i

  • zingzing

    seriously, what next? national geographic makes your fucking photos look like shit? physicists are always talking over your damn head? that heart surgeon pissing you off with all his heart surgeoning?

    look, academics ARE better-informed about their various subjects than the “great unwashed masses” are. it’s just fucking fact.

    pompous windbaggery blows both ways.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    in reading #31, what’s the difference in NPR and Clavos’ comments?

  • zingzing

    on one side you have a bunch of uneducated conservatives who think that all that learnin’ is just designed to make them look foolish.

    it’s stupid shit like that that makes me stop wondering why the right thinks all the intellectuals, academics, media and creative people are all left wing. maybe it’s because getting an education and actually talking about interesting subjects makes you wonder about the larger world.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Well, there are pompous smartasses, left and right. But it’s not an attitude I associate with earnest, mild-mannered NPR.

  • zingzing

    i know it’s been going on for a while, but if the right keeps up with its war on academia, it’ll only end up making academia more left-wing and the right will continue to be the realm of the hick.

    if the right wants to right the lefts of academia, it would be better served by becoming teachers and professors and taking over from within. unfortunately, a little education goes a long way towards liberalizing the mind. and a little conservatism leads one to sit on one’s ass so as to keep from changing the view.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    There are decent news sources on TV. One should always ingest any news with one’s brain fully engaged, of course.

    BBC America, PBS’s The News Hour, and Jon Stewart are all pretty valuable.

    And CNN really is trying. The new John King hour on politics is quite good, Anderson Cooper has his moments, and there is a valiant attempt in every hour except Larry King to provide a, um, fair and balanced spectrum of information.

    Too many damn commercials though.

  • zingzing

    never try to educate a conservative, handy. they don’t like new ideas.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Which is one reason why the rather mellow NPR is so despised for being so condescending.

    Nite, guys. It’s been a rough day.

    Got to apologize to Ruvy tomorrow for going over the top. But he should’ve had a better sense than trying to defend the Israeli action. It didn’t have to come to that.

  • Clavos

    Heh. Got all you lefty pompous windbags’ goats, didn’t I?

    Fuck yer NPR. This hick moron will stick with Fox, thank you.

    And laugh at all of youse.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Please don’t strain your arm patting yourself on the back, Mr. C.

    I think you’re probably too smart to actually believe Fox News is any good journalistically. But then you once wrote an encomium to Sarah Palin comparing her to a comet or something.

  • zingzing

    clavos, the right wing is taking its anti-academia and anti-intelligencia shit to anti-intelligence levels. the right wing will only sustain itself on greed and ignorance, which might be what it’s doing right now, come to think of it. it’s sad to see the right self-destructing in such a slow, obvious manner.

    if you think npr is condescending to you, you’re not smart enough to get it. or, and i think this might be the case with you, you don’t listen to it and have no idea what you’re talking about. (maybe because you’re too busy watching the glenn beck soap opera and whacking off to sarah palin.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think Clavos is just joshing with you. After all, he’s bound to keep up the appearances. Truth be told, he just loves NPR and BBC for their indepth analysis, but there’s no way is going to admit it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “an enconium,” Handy.

    You’re being condescending. It’s not a four-letter word.

  • Clavos

    [Drops chains and strolls off into the sunset]

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Lately Clavos seems to be making the most sense.

  • John Wilson

    Huh? How? Clavos looks as shallow and doctrinaire as usual.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Silas, did you even doubt that he could?

    John – you’re underestimating Clavos. You only see his public, BC persona.

  • John Wilson

    NPR is mostly pretty bland, politically. But they have the best program I’ve witnessed that explains the recent Economic Crises, namely, Ira Glass’s “This American Life”. Several episodes, featuring direct conversations with people working in finance at the working level, have explained the problems in understandable and compelling terms, far better than anything I’ve seen on TV, and even better than a lot of very learned and experienced reports in trade magazines.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Nope. No doubt. Clavos is a practical man. And I would rely on his reporting of events from his proximity before I would rely on FoxNews, MSNBC or CNN. At least Clavos is fair and balanced.

  • zingzing

    well, we’ve learned that clavos doesn’t like npr. and is snarky. but that’s all i see here… so what exactly are you talking about silas?

  • zingzing

    and we could have guessed the former and we know the latter already. so no real surprises.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #54 – he is also a closet intellectual, but that’s for him to know and for you to find out.

  • Clavos

    Roger, dammit, you promised!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You mean disclose your secret?

    I couldn’t seeing how you were unjustly attacked by the philistines.

  • John Wilson

    I object to a couple of really loose statements in this article:

    “…what we all thought was a simple and easy-to-remedy plumbing problem.”

    What do you mean “we all”? Many people, including me, never thought this was a “simple and easy to remedy problem”. Drilling essentially blind in 5000 feet of water means that ALL problems are difficult. How could it be easy?

    “Unfortunately, for all parties, especially the environment, the simple plumbing problem is 5,000-plus feet below water”

    “Unfortunately”? Was it a matter of bad luck?

    One would hope that any intelligent and fairly well informed person would conclude that a proposal to drill for oil at a mile below the surface would be highly risky and lead to EXTREMELY difficult problems. How could it be otherwise?

  • Beach Runner

    I grew up along Fort Lauderdale Beach during the fifties and sixties. Bac then it was common to see clumps of tar all along the beach. It was said to have been from the oil tankers dumping oil for whatever reason when they would come in and out of Port Everglades. No one back then ever questioned it and it was certainly never mentioned in the news. It was such a given thing that Fort Lauderdale actually had mineral spirts or kerosene staions along the public beach so you could clean the sticky oil and tar off of the bottom of your feet after walking along the beach! It always seemed to work out alriht since the same beach is so pretine today. I guess if the news media back then was like it is today it would have been made into a much more horrible thing than it was.

  • Sandy H.

    Wow, I had forgotten about the tar sticking to my feet on Fort Lauderdale beach. I also lived there, (FLHS class of ’65), and you are correct, they did have kerosene at the beach shower stations so we could clean the oil and tar off of your feet. What a mess that little bit of oil was to clean off. I can only imagine how horible this stuff in the gulf is to clean off!!! Back in those days I remember being told the tar balls were from oil leaking out of sunken ships but it could have been from oil sludge being dumped out of those tankers just off shore, (maybe they were BP tanker ships!). Never thought of that before. WHERE WAS CNN WHEN WE NEEDED THEM BACK THEN?!!! This mess in the gulf is of course much worse and I hope BP pays for it.

  • dale dellenbach

    they can put a man on the moon, and build a space station and cant cap an oil leak???

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Why should the last item necessarily be easier than the first two?

  • Clavos

    Why should the last item necessarily be easier than the first two?

    Apparently it isn’t. The other projects were successful.

    Go Flying Ls! [Class of ’61]

  • DaytonaDave

    I think those BP dudes should have been able to shut off that stupid oil leak. They should of had a shut off valve or some kind of big wheel or thing-a-ma-jig at the bottom of that pipe that could close it by a remote control. If they don’t then it was a really stupid design. Everything else works with a remote control why not those stupid oil pipes? What a bunch of idiots.

  • TGP

    What a crap article. What else could we expect from a Berkeley and Boulder graduate?

    1. Barry’s buddies inspected that very valve and claimed it was in perfect working order 10 before it fell apart. I can’t say how culpable BP is until an investigation is done, but 1 thing we do already know is governmnet failed as it usually does.

    2. Barry had BP dump chemicals in the water to disperse (read that as hide) the oil below the ocean’s surface and didn’t bother to mention that to anyone, which is why the original estimates of the spill were understated 90%.

    3. The Dutch, offered to help the VERY NEXT DAY following the spill and Barry ignored them. The UN and 13 other countries like the UAE who have more experience than we do with situations like this also agreed to lend a hand. Barry waited 5 weeks before getting back with them.

    Why did he wait? He didn’t want outsiders anywhere around that spill who might blow the whistle on how bad it was.

    Long story short, government failed, governmnet tried to cover it up and now governmet is moving slowly now that it got caught.

    Unfortunately the government loving, business hatin’ socialists among us can’t see past the usual bias.