9874RE: [hreg] Lurking Beneath the Surface, CSM
- Jun 4, 2010
Of course, I wasn’t suggesting that Ahmad was minimizing the spill itself, but rather, that he was minimizing in the sense of downplaying. I think you were pulling my leg since you used the word yourself in that way in your second paragraph. ;-)
As for human error, what else would it be? It was either a human error or an ‘act of God’ (i.e., natural event, random bad luck). Seems pretty obvious to everyone that it was a human-caused event. The gas and oil didn’t spontaneously erupt from the ocean floor; it was a result of human drilling activity. Since it wasn’t intentional (conspiracy theories aside), it was an error. I don’t think that minimizes the responsibility or culpability at all, and I can’t imagine that was Ahmad’s intent. And yes, I’m aware of BP’s record at Texas City etc. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an error. Incompetence, bad judgment or even negligence, but not intentional. Why would they knowingly and intentionally ruin all their hard drilling work, knowing they would destroy the company’s market value in the process? So, it was an error.
All of life is a series of risk vs. reward judgments. We can always armchair quarterback and state the obvious after the fact. But it isn’t so obvious up-front (or else we’d have avoided it). And we willingly take risks because the perceived risk is lower than the actual risk. I see people everyday driving zoned out while they talk on their cellphones, and sometimes they do crazy stuff like change into my lane without looking at me at all—I have to brake to avoid being run into. I’m sure they all think THEY can do it safely even if others can’t. So their perceived risk is less than the actual risk. I take a risk everyday I drive to work. But my perception of the risk is that it is low and that the rewards of working are worth it. If you ask me again after I have a bad accident and am quadriplegic I’ll tell you the actual risk was higher than I realized and that if I’d known I’d end up in that state, I’d have never gone to work; nothing I was doing there was worth being paralyzed the rest of my (shortened) life.
I’m not saying BP made a good judgment of risk vs. reward. I think they made a bad one. But everybody makes these kinds of judgments, and we often decide wrong like BP did. And even if some people at BP made bad decisions, there are thousand of BP employees and most of them are like you and me—going to work each day to work hard for their families and trying to make the world a better place, providing products that people need. I can’t go along with the demonizing for that reason. Neither can I go along with the hypocrisy of demonizing while living a livestyle that utilizes the fruits of the labor of the demonized.
I don’t think he’s minimizing the spill – that would be a blessing to us all if he could!!!
He’s minimizing BP’s culpability for the spill by characterizing it as “human error.” In that he is seeking to excuse inexcusable behavior! He re-references his 40 years in the industry nostalgically, as basis for his claim of “human error.” I don’t have to go over the specifics; others such as Lynden Foley in his June 3 post (attached) have done an excellent job of that, far better than I could. There has been a deluge of posts on this site and news articles that clearly delineate the multi-system failure that BP architected, the lack of redundancy and back up for a highly critical, cutting edge, fragile and dangerous technology operation.
One cannot know of these things without understanding that BP has a culture of arrogant disregard for safety and the environment. This is not “human error.”
The posts, if you have read them on this site, the Freedom of Information Act requests for BP’s subsea engineering documents for Atlantis, which BP refused, producing instead engineering documents for the hull and topsides only. The requestor claimed that something over 80% of the engineering documents for Atlantis subsea are incomplete. The subsea portion contains Atlantis’ BOP and safety systems.
If you haven’t read the posts to this site – read them!
If you didn’t watch the May 16, 60 Minutes video – watch it!
If you haven’t lived in Houston these last many years and heard the stories of the Texas City explosion or the corrosion in the Alaska pipeline, then go to the archives and read them.
These articles were posted on HREG’s site.
Discussion of incomplete P&ID documents on Atlantis covered more indepth: Truthout Wistleblower
BP responsible for bad Valdez spill response
Christian Scientist Monitor, 3.4 Million gallons a day, not 210,000
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 9:39 PM
Subject: RE: [hreg] Lurking Beneath the Surface, CSM
Tyra, I don’t read Ahmed’s posts as defending or minimizing the damage from the oil spill. I think he was making the case that BP is working hard via a multipronged approach and applying the best resources they can muster (and they have considerable resources, not to mention motivation!) to address the problem. If you disagree with the facts he presented, address them, but don’t accuse Ahmed (directly or indirectly) of “seeking to excuse inexcusable behavior and thinking” unless you believe that is what he really is doing. His experience in the oil patch brings helpful perspective; its isn’t glorying in the past.
As posted earlier, BP is a leading solar company. So why demonize them? Why not demonize all the consumers who use their products? They (we) are the true force behind oil companies’ search for energy supplies “to the ends of the earth”. It is easy to attack visible targets like big corporations, but they are responding to market and societal needs. HREG can help by changing individual behaviors through education. As consumer habits change, corporations will respond.
This Christian Science Monitor article was originally posted on HREG. It discusses the degradation to open oceans caused by BP’s spill. It describes massive dead zones spreading throughout the water column. Since the well was below 5000 feet of water, the water column is enormous as is the potential for migration. Destruction of the open ocean means BP’s disaster is not limited to US borders or US water – it affects global/international waters. Damage to the open ocean affects all of humanity. Our oceans are the sustaining life source of this planet and they are already fragile and in jeopardy from our failure to manage our resources, including energy with care. The BP spill is a crime against humanity. It need not have happened. It happened because of choices made, very, very bad choices and bad decisions. We have to review the decisions that led up to the disaster and evaluate the risks to humanity from deep water drilling. I believe the level of risk is no longer acceptable. Rather than seeking to excuse inexcusable behavior and thinking, we need to push for a faster, more robust and more dedicated move to alternatives such as solar. Technologies and thinking is accelerating at an unbelievable pace. Revolutionary breakthroughs are here now. Have you heard of companies like Better Place, rolling out electric vehicles in Denmark and Israel, or Soltera, whose ink jet solar generates electricity at night? BP needs to become a tomb to a way of thinking and conducting business. New energy industry like solar has been held back for decades by the same kind of thinking employed by BP. The arguments are always about costs, just as BP’s arguments on Deepwater Horizon were about costs and saving money. Walmart economics is costing us dearly in ways that money cannot even begin to measure.
How much more will it take until we acknowledge that we are on the wrong path? If we can’t learn our lesson from this hideous monster and move to something different now, we never will. Nostalgia for past years that you or I worked in the oil industry or our family members made their living there is not a good enough reason to keep going down this road.
Gulf oil spill: real disaster might be lurking beneath the surface
“The oil that can be seen from the surface is apparently just a fraction of the oil that has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20, according to an assessment the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology. Significant amounts of oil are spreading at various levels throughout the water column, says the report, which was posted online a week ago but first published by The New York Times Saturday.
The research, combined with other emerging data, could fundamentally alter researchers’ understanding of the oil spill. It suggests that vastly more oil than previously reported could be spilling from the wellhead and the attached riser pipe that now lies crumpled on the seafloor like a kinked and leaking garden hose.
Moreover, it suggests that serious environmental degradation could take place in the open ocean, creating massive “dead zones” where no creature can live because of the lack of oxygen in the water. The spread of oil at all levels of the Gulf also could become a concern for shore communities in hurricanes, which stir up the water column as they come ashore.
Scientists looking at video of the leak, suggest that as many as 3.4 million gallons of oil could be leaking into the Gulf every day – 16 times more than the current 210,000-gallon-a-day estimate, according to the Times.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Solar Energy
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 10:59 AM
Subject: Re: [hreg] I like solar and wind energy
John, you're welcome
Regarding the use of offshore production platforms in the future to build sustainable eco colonies the chances are remote. First of all steel is hard to maintain when it is directly exposed to sea water. You see ships at all times become scrap metal. Typical offshore platforms lasts 40 to 60 years and longer if maintained properly. Others have had shorter life spans. The ones that are built today are probably designed and maintained better than the ones let's say built in the '50s, '60s and '70s. Many of the offshore platforms that are built today will be still producing oil even 70 years from now as long as it is economical to maintain them. I suspect most will be dismantled in 50 years - if the hurricanes don't get to them first.
Could some of them be used for ecosystems? Sure we could but, it would be like building a futuristic life sustaining system on top of the Titanic ship. One tsunami or hurricane and it would go down like Atlantis.
To build eco colonies we should follow the plans by Japan as you see here
Japanese Engineers to Build Floating City with 1km-High Building
In brief, you could use one of the offshore platforms for an ecosystem one day but if it did sink you would be accused of crimes against humanity just as the BP is today.
--- On Wed, 6/2/10, John P. Matznick <jpmatznick@...> wrote:
From: John P. Matznick <jpmatznick@...>
Subject: Re: [hreg] I like solar and wind energy
Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 9:46 PM
On another note, I had been talking with some colleagues this last weekend about the reuse of oil platforms off many US coasts. Once they get shut down or when the oil runs dry, whichever comes first, would they make good locations for sustainable eco colonies, ports? Would the colony be able to be its own county if in international waters? What is the realistic lifespan of these platforms if they are still maintained and what needs to be maintained if anything?
Power would be supplied by multiple sources, med to large scale wind about a mile from the platform, solar electric and thermal, wave systems, drinkable water from desalinization and Atmospheric water generator, multiple levels of gardens with Hydroponics and Aeroponics, Etc...
I remember seeing a show in the UK about a couple that bought one off the coast of Scotland but have not found any info on them.
On Jun 2, 2010, at 8:44 PM, Solar Energy wrote:
Why did I choose solar as my Identification?
I chose solar energy as my ID because I believe in it & I believe it is the cleanest and the most abundant energy source. Installing mega size solar power stations across North Africa could supply much needed energy source to Europe. This project is about 5 years away. Today, Spain & Germany are two of the biggest producers of solar/thermal energy in the world. The US is way behind because the Americans love their SUVs and they don't give a damn about what the rest of the country and the world think. America is the only country where people have more SUVs than cars.
Nearly all Americans are drug addicts whereby oil is the drug and the Americans are junkies. They need to wage wars on other countries to get a supply of their drug habits.
Question: howmuch impact HREG member have made on the general public to switch to renewable energy? I am sure you have but not very significant.
On the other hand I have been proposing large size solar projects to other countries. I am now in discussions with a group in one country to install big solar power stations in the order of 10 MW and larger. In fact, I am proposing to the country to make solar energy as a required course in high schools and to encourage younger children to build solar panels for toys. It does not have to work but it will generate their interest at early age. I am telling you this in case any one on this board doubts my seriousness in renewable energy.
I defended BP not because I want to defend oil companies, even though I spent 41 years in the oil industry. I just like the truth be told & I believe the mainstream media are some of the biggest crooks in America. They are controlled by a few priviliged group of people and they have an agenda to push. They caused the Wall Street disaster and it was not by oil companies. Once more, the Gulf of Mexico spill was an accident.
I have had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest minds in America. I believe that I could apply some of the technology that I have learned in the oilfields to improving the world we live in. And that's why I intend to do.
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