General Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Is there currently any greater problem in the world than figuring out how to plug the BP oil leak?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30859points) June 14th, 2010

Apparently the leak is actually growing with fissures of new pressure leaks recorded up to twenty miles away. The oil is also releasing toxins in the air that are far beyond safe. I’ve heard the press is limited in their ability to get the story out too.

Outrageous theories abound with suggestions of a new ice age created by the lessened reflectivity of the water, to that entire regions mantel collapsing due to the pressure recorded by the newly found fissures, leading of course the the death of the gulf and a change in the ocean currents at the very least.

Remember the last time you were on a jet looking out the window at 20,000 feet? That’s how far down they drilled.

What greater concern could any human on the planet have other than plugging that leak?

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47 Answers

syz's avatar

Oh, over harvesting of all major fish stocks, causing a crash. Global warming causing polar ice melt and rising water levels. The destruction of fresh water reservoirs. A crash in food production from the use of monoculture. The list goes on and on and on and on….

SebastianUllmark's avatar

There are currently another oil spill just outside Nigera that has been going on for a couple of months..

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If you mean short-term and one created by humans, I might agree with you, but then, I live in the US.

I’m also concerned about the super volcano in Yosemite National Park. And long-term, I have numerous concerns about the global climate condition.

Cruiser's avatar

Just to clarify, the Deepwater Horizon was stationed in 5,000 deep waters with a total drilling depth of just over 35,000 feet which is about as high as passenger jets will fly. A much bigger problem than an oil spill is our staggering and still growing National debt and the unemployment numbers in this country. The only new jobs these days are government jobs that we will have to pay for in higher taxes.

tadpole's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer yes i agree short term this is arguably the main thing to solve, but longer term other problems exist as well, ie the environment elsewhere, third world issues, terrorism and the resolution of conflicts in certain places…

regarding the oil spill i hope that BP pay every single penny for absolutely everything that has happened because of this…i am a brit, but BP is as much an American company as it is british and in a way it doesn’t matter now, it’s still appalling….

marinelife's avatar

It is a major concern. I do not think that any end-of-the-world type scenarios will come to pass, but it is a very scary thing that they allowed this to happen with no back-up plans in place.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Whenever I see that picture on tv of all the oil gushing out all I can think of is why don’t they put a cap on it or something. I know it isn’t as easy as all that but it doesn’t seem like BP is doing much except apologizing. I saw a commercial where the CEO is looking kinda sad and apologizing for the mess. With all of the intellegence that the human race has, why can’t we ever come up a solution in less than a few months?

In terms of things being worse than trying to plug it up, is the economic and egological impact on the surrounding area. Businesses losing money, animals covered in gunk. That should be more than enough incentive for BP to get their heads outta their butts.

SmashTheState's avatar

Nature produces much more devastating effects with regularity. There has been at least one verified ‘natural’ nuclear explosion, for example, due to concentration of naturally-occuring plutonium and uranium deposits, and it’s suspected there have been many more. One, in fact, may have been so large that it created the Moon. Then there’s Mount Pinatubo, the eruption of which in 1991 caused a number of world-wide effects, some of which continue today. Whatever we do to the Earth, it has endured worse in the past. The ecosphere is an extremely robust, self-balancing, chaotic system which tends to spread energy across vast areas, reducing and minimizing its long-term effects.

Of course, that’s not to say the short-term effects won’t exterminate all human life, but if the ecosphere could survive the original cyanobacteria converting the atmosphere into toxic oxygen, then some leaking hydrocarbons (which leaked into oceans, rivers, and lakes aeons before the first big-headed monkeys climbed down from the trees, and will continue to spring leaks long after we’re gone) won’t bring about the Gotterdammerung.

mirifique's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Isn’t the supervolcano under Yellowstone?

WestRiverrat's avatar

Getting BP and the government to listen to the ideas of the people on the ground.

tadpole's avatar

@SmashTheState yes mother nature knows how to look after herself and right her wrongs…but she won’t rescue us, we have to do that…

bolwerk's avatar

An obvious problem facing the human race is stopping our addiction to oil so this kind of garbage stops happening. Furthermore, oil funds terrorism.

Fred931's avatar

Global warming takes a while longer than a month or two to wipe out entire coastal ecosystems. Fix this first, then go back to finding clean ener… oh wait, that still isn’t a governmental priority, either…

lilikoi's avatar

Terrorism shmerrorism.

tadpole's avatar

it is a bit shocking that BP doesn’t seem to have catered in any way for something like this…it all goes on the dividends….

YARNLADY's avatar

Ummmm, maybe the vast treasure of minerals in Afghanistan – or the 20,000 people who starve to death every single day and night.

Fred931's avatar

@YARNLADY Isn’t plenty of the “vast treasure of minerals” oil? The thing that we want to use less of and are trying to get out of the many bays which I also live very close to?

But starving people are a big problem. If only we could eat oil…

tadpole's avatar

@YARNLADY….and drink seawater (though not the seawater in the area under question here)...

someone needs to invent the means for that….

LuckyGuy's avatar

Nukes in the hands of nuts.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@mirifique Oops. My mistake, and thank you for the correction. It is indeed Yellowstone Park.

tadpole's avatar

oops me too….my previous answer should have been aimed at @Fred931…apologies…

buster's avatar

Unprotected sex is the biggest problem facing the world. 90% of the worst problems in the world are directly related to several billion people tromping around the earth making huge messes like oil spills, chopping down all the natural vegetation, putting concrete everywhere, billions of cars, planes, boats, stinking, crashing, killing. More people cause more friction and wars and diseases.

LocoLuke's avatar

@buster Ah yes, I see where you’re going. If nobody had any children, then we wouldn’t have to worry about resource allocation and environmental problems anymore! Humans are the problem!

laureth's avatar

@tadpole – People have discovered how to drink seawater. ;) While many more marginal countries seem to be able to afford it, though, people in the U.S. often say it’s too expensive.

tadpole's avatar

unprotected sex is a problem in that it causes the spread of AIDS and other diseases, and also unwanted pregnancy….it has contributed to the population levels, but i can’t help think that to attribute this as the main reason is stretching it a little…i don’t know for sure about the exact figures but i think most births are planned?

regarding your other point, it makes sense the more of us there are the more things can and will go wrong….but i do think that if we handled the situation better we would be able to cope with the increase in pop levels in terms of food, shelter….what i mean is i think there is enough in that sense…..what man does to the planet in terms of technology, the environment, warring etc, well that’s another story…

tadpole's avatar

@laureth i thought that i had heard it had been…but to not make such an invention instantly or imminently globally accessible seemed strange so i wasn’t sure….

YARNLADY's avatar

@Fred931 No, the vast treasure of minerals in Afghanistan is in the form of gold, copper, and such. The subject is currently being discussed, cussed, debunked, and generally causing a ruckus all over the news.

AmWiser's avatar

On the grand scheme of things that leak is minor. Oh yes, its going to have long term effects on humans and nature but nothing compared to poverty, destitution, and hunger which still stalk humanity.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss

Coloma's avatar

Even the sun will die, eventually.

It’s sad, too bad, but….no point in wasting precious moments worrying about something completely out of your control.

Turn off the fucking news….a slow fear drip that desires a captive audience.

So the fuck what, you’re “informed” and…..? Now what?

Make love to your partner, kiss your kids, play with your dog, plant a tomato….it’s outta our control.

SmashTheState's avatar

@Coloma The whole point is it’s your apathy which is turning the world to shit. Don’t make love to your partner, there are too many babies already. Don’t kiss your kids, you shouldn’t have any. Don’t play with your dog, they’re meat eaters and the resources necessary to feed them are much better spent elsewhere. Don’t plant just any old tomato, plant non-GMO, heritage tomatoes which still have all of their nutrition and don’t require Round-Up to keep them healthy.

Coloma's avatar


Uh no, it would be called wisdom and maturity.

Useless mental gyrations over out of control situations serve no one.

Do what you can, and what each chooses to do is their own business.

Get over your egoic know it all prophet of idealism status….it’s already been done a million times before my friend.

I had one child, I believe everything exists for a reason, including dogs, and, I just planted an heirloom tomato.

When you get your foot outta your mouth you may take heed of.lesson number one…don’t fuck with your elders who have been there, done that, and gladly pass the torch.

Before you pass judgement perhaps you should ASK what another’s all about first.

I happen to live on 10 acres of wildlands, rescue wildlife, garden, use no pesticides or herbicides, and am an original Whole Earth 70’s girl….your philosophies, while noble, are nothing new.

It’s all been said and done a million times over, and here we still are babies and dogs and all.

The universe is in charge.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SmashTheState In my opinion, the world does not care how many children we have, or what we put on our tomatoes.

SmashTheState's avatar

@Coloma & @YARNLADY I wrote a long response, then realized we’re in the General section. I’ll turn my response into a question over in the Social section so as not to derail this thread.

mammal's avatar

Hang on, surely the government are responsible for granting the Drilling licence but most importantly they are supposed to regulate the industry with a body that is naturally suspicious and adverse to risk, rather than a biological rubber stamping machine. Therefore they are liable, firstly to cough up the compensation which they can then reclaim off BP, who can then sue whatever crap company they leased the drilling rig from, who can sue someone else, ad infinitum.

The ultimate consequence of this merry go round of grand fuckery, is that the Capitalist ethic will ensure that the Eco-system and the little people go bankrupt before BP.

mattbrowne's avatar

The oil spill is huge. But an ever greater problem is Iran’s access to nuclear bombs and shooting one at Israel.

bolwerk's avatar

@mattbrowne: I’m not sure Israel’s access to nuclear weapons is exactly a non-issue either.

SebastianUllmark's avatar

@bolwerk : I can’t really see the use of WMD from Israel, is rather likely if they’re not attacked first. Sure Israel occupies territory, but they want to sustain status quo. I don’t think the are willing to start a nuclear war with Iran, just because of Gaza. The outer threat against Israel is relatively greater than that of Israel attacking neighboring states.

bolwerk's avatar

@SebastianUllmark: huh? Israel has a long history of antagonistic relations with its neighbors (and vice-versa, of course).

What you describe probably is the situation with Israel, Iran, and most other states in that region. They aren’t especially inspired to start nuclear war either, they just want the penis-wagging security blanket that comes with being in the Nuke-u-ler Club.

Of course, that works really well…until the inevitable day when some future nationalist like Sharon or Islamist nutjob like Ahmadinejad actually provokes the other guy into using them.

SebastianUllmark's avatar

@bolwerk: Yeah, Maybe I wasn’t clear.. That’s what I mean, but futhermore, and call me prejudicial if you must, but I think that Israel has more wits than Iran and other islamic regimes when it comes to keeping their finger off the button. I just feel that Israel having WMD may encourage neighboring nations to develop similar weapons, sure; but something tells me that islamic regimes tend to think more fundamental towards other beliefs than rationality and common sense..

ItsAHabit's avatar

Israel may be seen as occupying someone’s land, but every country on earth is occupying someone else’s land.

SmashTheState's avatar

@ItsAHabit That’s an argument for smashing every State, not excusing Israel.

bolwerk's avatar

@SebastianUllmark: I might have thought that myself a few years ago, but Israel is becoming increasingly rigid and fascistic. It’s not like it didn’t have a nationalist streak before; hell, it was founded on the theory that the Jews need the most repugnant kind of government of all: a nation-state. Israel is drifting towards Iran, not the secularly mellowed liberal west.

Either way, even if I thought states had rights, I don’t see an excuse for any country having nuclear weapons – least of all nationalist ones with far rightist inclinations.

mattbrowne's avatar

All I said was that if the current leader of Iran had access to nuclear weapons using them against Israel this would create a greater problem for the world than the oil spill. I used this comparison to point out how severe the oil spill has to be seen. This spill is huge and we’ve just begun to grasp the enormous consequences.

bolwerk's avatar

@mattbrowne: and it would be equally troubling, and probably similarly likely, if a future ultra-nationalist government in Israel used them against someone else. Or, for that matter, any other scenario for the use of nuclear weapons (Pakistan v. India? North Korea v. South Korea [or anyone]?) is pretty damn, well, bad.

mattbrowne's avatar

@bolwerk – I agree, there are more than one potential problem greater than the oil spill. I just offered one example, because the question was: is there any…

reijinni's avatar

Palestine. They will always find a way to mess things up.

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