Situation Normal

Shell Loses Control Of Arctic Drilling Rig In Alaskan Harbor

The same as it ever was – Shell attempts to scuttle into the Arctic on the cheap, ignorant of conditions to waiting for them in unforgiving northern ice.

Notice in this article that the Coast Guard has refused to certify Shell’s oil-spill response barge, still hunkered down in Washington state, due to inadequacies in fire control equipment, electrical wiring and piping, and overall unsuitability for operation in stormy Arctic seas.

There is no oil spill response technology in the Arctic, where oil on the ice can never be recovered. And yet, we blithely allow an oil spill, uh… er…, drilling industry carte blanche in the most dynamic maritime environment on Earth.

Exxon with all its billions of oily dollars could not clean up Prince William Sound after a spill that happened in the most advantageous weather conditions. They finally slunk away with their tail between their legs, hauling the critically damaged Exxon Valdez behind them to hide in ignominy, ultimately to limp off to anonymous dismantlement on a far away, heavily polluted beach, outside the glaring eye of public scrutiny.

How insane is it to destroy fragile Arctic environments to keep Highway 1 clogged with oil consumers, to keep the commuting public addicted to work far from home, to keep the unending stream of consumption flowing from open pit mines to landfills, to maintain an impossibly growing economy in a world of finite resources.



“Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure.” Agent Smith, The Matrix

Pulling hairs over oil

Many stories about People giving hair off their heads for oil cleanup these days.

It was much the same during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. There were a dozen new schemes every day to clean up the oil, none of which worked very well. We received semi-loads of terry cloth towels for cleaning otters and birds. After the spill, there were no towels purchased in Alaska for over ten years.

Once the oil is out of the bottle, there’s no cleaning it up. No amount of hair, human or canid, will ever clean up all the oil. All we’ll have is tons of oily hair that will have to be disposed of.

What we found in Valdez is that people who see this from a distance feel a need to do something about it, anything, even if it doesn’t make any difference. It’s the doing of it that’s important.

Now if we could just get them to understand that everyone has a hand in causing these oil spills. Every time we start our cars, eat our fertilized foods transported thousands of miles, fly in our airplanes, heat our homes, we drive the energy industry that destroys habitat, pollutes the shoreline, the air and the water. The fires of the gulf drilling platform were lit in the cylinders of millions of cars, in the furnaces of millions of homes everywhere.

In order to stop the spills we must stop drilling, transporting and consuming oil. This will come, in its own time, but not until much more damage has been done.

Let’s strive for energy independence. We can grow all the horses we need right here.

The Spill of Lies Continues


Persistence of Exxon Valdez oil may be explained by study

“Scientists who have studied spills for years know that after crude oil spills you can and will find buried oil many years later, but that it does no harm and does not need to be (removed),” said Boehm, a chemist and vice president for Exponent, an international consulting firm that works for Exxon on spill-related issues.