Friday, 18 June 2010

Oil Slicks and Slick Oil

Oil spills of the magnitude of the one in the Gulf don't just happen. A combination or series of errors and misjudgements leads to them. One could say that 100 years ago when we had electric cars before petrol cars that we should have stayed with electric cars, but we didn't. And recently BP tried to save money and at the same time drilled into pressures that have never been dealt with before and the latest oil spill is the result.

Here's a short video that shows what might be going on. It concerns a coffee spill and 5.4 million people have watched it already.

The latest BP oil slick isn't the only one in the Gulf and there are probably loads more elsewhere.

Here is one that was toppled by Hurricane Ivan 6 years ago. It still leaks today to make a plume 10 miles long. If BP and the USA government and current technology can't control this, then what about the latest debacle?

A huge undersea slick and with sea currents running at one to two knots, then I believe that we can expect oil from the latest gusher off South African coast in less than 10 months. There is already talk of the gulf stream taking the slick to Europe.

This is not just a USA catastrophe, but a world wide one. Here is a more up to date video of the latest Horizon oil slick.

Take a look at some photos.

BP could have prevented the disaster, but greed overrode safety. Take a look at this business analyst's analysis of what happened. See http://www.haroldrobinson.co.za/News/2010/06_2010_June.html

So what of an alternative. We are constantly told that Sun and Wind cannot give us Base Load power, ie power our factories that run 24 hours a day. But think about Ocean Current Energy. There are alternatives.

I understand that about 40% of our energy is used to get more energy; eg look at this huge coal digger, the Bagger 288. It requires 16.56 MW of energy to run it as it gets more coal. How wasteful is that? And then consider that most of the energy from our power stations is lost on its way to the consumer. How much better to have localised electricity with 90% efficiency?

Please make your voice heard. It's getting late and we have much to do. According to The Global Education Project 69% of electricity produced is lost in transmission and distribution, ie getting it to us. So the Bagger 288 requires 24 MW of energy to run, ie energy produced at the power station to give 16.56MW of energy at the digger.

So you're reeling and you don't know what to do and you want to make a difference right now? ok, step 1: eat less meat. Simple and easy. Find nutritious alternatives. Try healthy sprouts. Step 2: recycle everything you can, eg leaves in the garden; your clothes; old toys. step 3: try to find ways to use less. These three things will all reduce the amount of energy needed to run your life and you will start making a difference today.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the soccer.

1 comment:

David Lipschitz said...

Cape Town had an oil spill in June 2000. I wrote about it here: http://www.orbital.co.za/text/psoilspill.htm