Other than a few comments on the radio I have kept my mouth shut on the subject of the environmental and economic disaster that is currently unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. I live in Mississippi, and we are some 80 miles from the havoc being wrought on the Louisiana coastline. However my wife has friends and family that are in the area, and they are being impacted.

Closer to home is Lake Pontchartrain, a mere 30 minute drive from where we live, or 15 minutes of loud rap music if Jan’s son is behind the wheel! The oil is beginning to threaten the lake. This would be yet another economic disaster.

I have a good friend in Gainsville, Florida, TJ Hart is the programming and news director for a large news and talk radio station, WSKY 97.3. He is watching this situation deteriorate with every passing day. The tides, the ocean currents, the prevailing winds, they are all playing a major part in where this oil will go.

NOAA and other organizations are predicting a very active hurricane season for this year. It has been unseasonably hot so far, and that is the breading ground.

Booms and Berms will do nothing to stop the march of the oil, not if, but when the first hurricane of the season hits the Gulf. It does not matter if it veers toward Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Texas, the damage from this spill will make Katrina look like an opening act at a rock concert!

I have seen some computer models of how this spill will react in the next few months. Chilling does not even describe the scene. Hollywood could not come up with this plot line!

BP are assuring us that they have the situation under control, yet nothing they have done to date has worked worth a damn. The ultimate solution, so they claim is the drilling of two ‘relief wells’. That will not occur until some time in late August. Lets talk about this great solution. In laymans terms the are trying to hit a target that is the size of a dinner plate from a distance of over a mile. Sure, a good marksman with a great gun might be able to do it, but can a series of interconnected pipes have that accuracy?

You also have to factor in that the distance is not just one mile, that merely takes you to the sea floor, now the hard part starts!

I worked in the Oil and Gas world for several years, oh, I was not on the rigs, I was a computer guy, but I know that things can and do go wrong.

The BP face that everyone has grown to know and hate is Tony Hayward, I actually have some sympathy for the guy. I doubt that Toyota’s top guy was involved in the design of the break pedal that resulted in the recent debacle. Tony Hayward does has a PhD in genealogy, but generally I view that credential with scepticism. PhD in my mind (and experience) means that some one knows a lot about some obscure thing that no one else in the world could care about, even worse, they are intrinsically stupid about any thing other than the mating habits of the Mayfly, or whatever there speciality is.

I have not looked up Tony Haywards PhD, but I am sure that it will be along the lines of that famous Monty Python sketch about the Brontosaurus:

Cough, Cough, yes I have a theory, they are thin at one end, much much bigger in the middle, and thin again at the other end.

What did Tony Hayward discover? Geology is about rocks, my guess is that it was something earth shattering, Granite make better counter tops than Lime Stone.

It was clear last week that when Tony Hayward appeared on Capitol Hill the Republicans wanted to use it for political gain. Oops, that deal sank faster than the Titanic!

I do believe that BP actually got some free PR from the Republican party. Joe Barton made a complete jackass out of himself. The idiocy did not last long, in what is a first for this writer, within an hour I was listening to someone who wants to apologize for his apology!

Due to this inane comment Tony Hayward actually looked smart, as opposed to Joe Barton who definitely came across as being a shrimp short of a PoBoy! Oh, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the recess. I’ll just bet that the adults spanked Joe Barton’s bottom so hard that he had trouble sitting down when the hearing resumed.

This was an entertaining aside, but, there is a much more serious issue. Who, How, and When will the carnage stop?

Simon Barrett

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