Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill an Environmental disaster

Professor of Biology, Peter Ward, talked about the impact of BP's oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The estimates of how much is being leaked has varied depending on the source. "It cannot
have hit in a worse place," as we're dealing with a body of water that doesn't have a great deal of circulation on the bottom, he noted. The Gulf has already experienced 'Dead Zones,' where
oxygen is removed from the water, and bottom life has been killed off. Thus, the oil can't be broken up and destroyed by bacteria that would otherwise be growing there, he explained.

Further, the Gulf area contains thousands of streams-- the oil will go up into those streams and sink into the mud, and there's no easy way to clean it, he warned, adding that with the
increased rise of sea levels, the oil will be pushed inward.

Ecological biologist David Blume joined the program in the third hour, also discussing the oil catastrophe. There could be as much as 1 million gallons a day being spilled from BP's broken
oil pipes, he detailed. Yet, current drilling practices aren't going to change, until, perhaps "there's oil on the shores of the Potomac in Washington," and that is actually a possibility as
the oil slick could be carried along the East Coast by the Gulf Stream, he said.

Blume talked about alcohol gas as a cleaner and more plentiful alternative to oil, and how a wide network of small-scale alcohol fuel plants could be set up. Several states have requested
to have higher percentages of alcohol added to their fuel but the EPA has been balking for political reasons, he suggested.