Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Idiotic or Brilliant?

Watching coverage of the horrendous and continuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico I'm troubled by the idea of spreading dispersing agents over the oil. Yes, it breaks the oil into smaller blobs, but it doesn't remove it. It's going to wind up more widely spread this way, isn't it. Dispersing it just seems like a cosmetic fix to me. Wouldn't it be easier to scoop up the blobs if they were bigger and more solid? Isn't there some way to coagulate or congeal the gunk into scoopable chunks? Someone with knowledge of these things, please set me straight.

3 comments:

Mark said...

I am by no means an expert, but heres what I know. You are right in, there is no real way to retrieve all the oil in any oil sill. Dispersant's are all about getting the oil out of sight.
Back in the day, when we didnt seem to care about the environment as much as we should have, every tug boat would have cases of "Joy" dish liquid on board.
If we had a small spill on deck, say, like a hydraulic hose broke and sprayed oil in the water, you would take your bottle of joy and shoot streams of dish liquid onto the sheen on the water and that baby would just disappear.( from the surface)
Totally illegal now, because the oil just goes to the bottom. Out of sight-out of mind.

dcpeg said...

We humans are so careless! Sometimes I wonder how much longer our planet can survive.

Have you seen the video of two southern gents illustrating how straw and hay can cheeply and effectively soak up oil? Makes me wonder why we're ignoring what seems to be a good solution. . .

Alex said...

The dispersants are all about making the oil spill appear less bad and thus reducing pressure on BP. I can't believe the government is allowing them to do that.