The Deepwater Horizon disaster: the perception of new Science Committee Chair Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) vs. the crew (and everyone else)
Here’s an “interesting” way to look at the Deepwater Horizon disaster, I guess, courtesy of new the Science Committee Chair, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX).
Rep. Ralph Hall plans to pursue an aggressive pro-oil agenda as the incoming chair of the House Science and Technology Committee…[Hall] explained why the BP disaster “didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for offshore drilling.” Hall described the BP explosion that killed eleven men, injured dozens, and led to the despoilment of the Gulf of Mexico as a “tremendous,” “blossoming” flower of energy:
As we saw that thing bubbling out, blossoming out – all that energy, every minute of every hour of every day of every week – that was tremendous to me. That we could deliver that kind of energy out there – even on an explosion.
Crew members were cut down by shrapnel, hurled across rooms and buried under smoking wreckage. Some were swallowed by fireballs that raced through the oil rig’s shattered interior. Dazed and battered survivors, half-naked and dripping in highly combustible gas, crawled inch by inch in pitch darkness, willing themselves to the lifeboat deck.
It was no better there.
That same explosion had ignited a firestorm that enveloped the rig’s derrick. Searing heat baked the lifeboat deck. Crew members, certain they were about to be cooked alive, scrambled into enclosed lifeboats for shelter, only to find them like smoke-filled ovens.
Japan’s crisis has now affected 923 workers in Shreveport, Louisiana – who’s next? If a small change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, imagine everything that has been put into motion with the enormity of last Friday’s disaster.
Released emails reveal that the British government launched a PR campaign specifically to play down the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The business and energy departments approached British energy companies like EDF, Areva and Westinghouse to come up with a plan to prevent the nuclear situation at Fukushima Daichi from doing damage to plans for new nuclear stations. The emails, which the Guardian got a hold of, show a fear of the “anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses,” as one official put it. They were particularly concerned about what comparisons to Chernobyl might do to the public image of the nuclear energy industry. View the emails here. (AP Photograph.)
First, while it may seem obvious, it is important to eat the food from your fridge first, the freezer next, and after that move on to foods you may have stocked in your pantry. Do not discard frozen and refrigerated foods right when the power goes out. I was surprised to learn that foods from a well-stocked freezer will last up to 48 hours!
Second, make sure you have a manual can opener. Although it seems obvious, it is easy to forget that your electric can opener will not work.
Finally, stock up on some tasty condiments and seasonings. Certain condiments like mustard, ketchup and relish are good for days with no refrigeration. And these will help you spice up the usually bland pre-packaged foods.
Oh and one last note – grab some powdered milk. Even if you’ve forgotten the hand cranked can opener, you can always just add water and have the breakfast of champions anytime of day.
The Waldo Canyon Fire was first reported on June 23, 2012, burning in Pike National Forest, three miles (5 kilometers) west of Colorado Springs. Fueled by extremely dry conditions and strong winds, it had burned 18,247 acres (74 square kilometers) by July 5. The blaze severely damaged or destroyed 346 homes, making it the most destructive fire in Colorado history. Mountain Shadows, a neighborhood northwest of the Colorado Springs city center, experienced some of the most severe damage. According to an analysis conducted by the Denver Post, the combined value of the homes that burned to the ground in the neighborhood was at least $110 million.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra satellite acquired this view of the burn scar on July 4, 2012, when the fire was still burning but was 90 percent contained. Vegetation-covered land is red in the false-color image, which includes both visible and infrared light. Patches of unburned forest are bright red, in contrast with areas where flecks of light brown indicate some burning. The darkest brown areas are the most severely burned. Buildings, roads, and other developed areas appear light gray and white. The bright red patches of vegetation near Colorado Springs are golf courses, parks, or other irrigated land.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon using data from the NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Adam Voiland.