Friday, July 30, 2010

The Assassination of The Gulf of Mexico

Those who know about jury trials know that a jury often has to decide which "expert" has it right.

The BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and resultant litigation is no exception to that time-worn reality that takes place in U.S. courts daily.

One group of experts paid by BP will try to minimize the potential effects of Corexit dispersant, while another group of experts fear that grave damage will result because of the overuse of the dispersant Corexit:
We oppose the use of chemical dispersants in the Gulf, and urgently recommend an immediate halt to their application. We believe that Corexit dispersants, in combination with crude oil, pose grave health risks to marine life and human health, and threaten to deplete critical niches in the Gulf food web that may never recover.
(Dr. Shaw et al., emphasis added). Now it has been discovered that the dispersant has made its way into the low end of the food chain of the Gulf:
Scientists have found signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae in the Gulf of Mexico, the first clear indication that the unprecedented use of dispersants in the BP oil spill has broken up the oil into toxic droplets so tiny that they can easily enter the food chain.

Marine biologists started finding orange blobs under the translucent shells of crab larvae in May, and have continued to find them "in almost all" of the larvae they collect, all the way from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Fla. -- more than 300 miles of coastline -- said Harriet Perry, a biologist with the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

And now, a team of researchers from Tulane University using infrared spectrometry to determine the chemical makeup of the blobs has detected the signature for Corexit, the dispersant BP used so widely ...
(Huffington Post). The damage is cumulative, since bigger fish eat contaminated larvae, then even bigger fish eat those fish, and on and on until the disaster is of apocalyptic proportions:
Though all dispersants are potentially dangerous when applied in such volumes, Corexit is particularly toxic. It contains petroleum solvents and a chemical that, when ingested, ruptures red blood cells and causes internal bleeding. It is also bioaccumulative, meaning its concentration intensifies as it moves up the food chain.

The timing for exposure to these chemicals could not be worse. Herring and other small fish hatch in the spring, and the larvae are especially vulnerable. As they die, disaster looms for the larger predator fish, as well as dolphins and whales.

As I swam back to the surface, some big fish came up to the boat — cobia, amberjacks weighing up to 60 pounds — looking for a handout. These are the fish that have made the Gulf a famously productive fishing area. But they rely on the forage fish that are now being devastated by the combined effects of oil and chemical dispersants. In a short time, the predator fish will either starve or sicken and die from eating highly contaminated forage fish.
(NY Times). This outcome was foreseeable as Dredd Blog pointed out a while back.

Here is a look at the reality BP is desperately trying to cover up.

EPA lied about air pollution dangers in the aftermath of the Three Towers during the clean up after 911, and republicans recently stopped the vote to give health coverage to those "first responders" at ground zero.

They are doing the same thing with the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, lying about the effects on the food chain, contrary to notable scientists.

People in that area will die or become ill from the toxins spread in the Gulf of Mexico, like some 900 of the first responders at ground zero did.

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