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Old 14-07-2010, 09:59   #16
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I apologize for the above post and will try to stick to sailing related issues.
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Old 14-07-2010, 10:05   #17
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No apology necessary TexSail . . . you stated your opinion in a calm, clear way and didn't offend any other member. Being a friendly sailor / cruiser chatting with casual acquaintances in the yacht club bar is the right approach. Civility is always appropriate, and always appreciated.
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Old 14-07-2010, 10:07   #18
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I apologize for the above post and will try to stick to sailing related issues.
Why? I thought that, despite Sarafina's concerns, the thread has been interesting and polite so far. It's great when people have different views, and listen to each other, and respectfully critique each other's views, and hopefully their own too. I think the oil spill is a topic pretty near to the hearts of sailors, and so not outside of the mission of the Forums.

My most extremely humble opinion, of course.
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Old 14-07-2010, 10:10   #19
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Notwithstanding, I note Item 6 in the linked paper:
"The recent introduction of safer chemical dispersants means that the toxicity of dispersed oil now typically results primarily from compounds within the oil itself."
Indeed. The papers also give a lot of information about the tradeoffs involved in using dispersants. Dispersants do plenty of harm as well as good, so of course this is an important subject, worth discussing.

And Gord, a good inflammatory statement can be a great way to start a conversation, if one is in the company of mature people! Thanks for it!

If I may take the opportunity to complement you -- your posts jam-packed full of factual information are one of the highlights of the Forums for me!
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Old 14-07-2010, 10:19   #20
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I cannot see any way out of it, unless we start using LESS energy and from safer sources. I try, but like 99.9% of the society just wants to have more, use more, without ANY concern for the environment.

Sailing is the way to go, motoring is not.

Very, very sad to see all those animals suffering because of what we think we are.

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Old 14-07-2010, 10:21   #21
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They may have been in other threads, but I have seen posts about the effect of crude oil on gel coat and small marine engine cooling systems. I have not seen any posts about the effects of the spill, environmental or economic, on marinas in the region, nor have I seen anything about the effects on specific diving or snorkeling attractions which would be of interest to cruisers.

Just about all of the experts I have seen or read in the media readily admit that predicting consequences is difficult because the volume of oil, the depth of its discharge, and the relatively massive use of dispersants is unprecedented. Of course, that creates fertile ground for healthy debate, and the condition of the Gulf is certainly of interest to cruisers.

In just the past few days tar balls traced to the spill have started to appear on Texas beaches.
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Old 14-07-2010, 10:36   #22
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Just about all of the experts I have seen or read in the media readily admit that predicting consequences is difficult because the volume of oil, the depth of its discharge, and the relatively massive use of dispersants is unprecedented.
The volume of spilled oil is not, indeed, unprecedented. It's (so far!) similar to the volume of oil spilled in the Ixtoc-I oil spill (Ixtoc I oil spill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and far less than the amount spilled in the Lakeview Gusher or the Gulf War Spill.

See: BP Gulf Oil Spill Size - BP Gulf Oil Spill Among Biggest in World History - The Daily Green
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Old 14-07-2010, 10:43   #23
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Like any disaster, there is never one simple fault or reason to blame. Short cuts, mis managment, faulty equipment, greed, nature, circumstance all combine to result in trouble.
Sure, the western and developing world need to move away from dependence on dino fuels, but there simply isnt enough political will to do that yet. Those with a vested interest in keeping the status quo have a powerful lobby, so change will be more likely to arise from future energy crisis than from concern for the environment.

We in the oil ports of UK have a long history of oil spills but its pleasing to see how well nature initially adapts and copes with disaster. Of course there is no knowing the long term effects of hydrocarbon contamination on the food chain.

I used to have a stash of Nat geographic mags from the 1950s and I recall a feature on Great Lakes pollution. In those days it was from large chemical firms dumping straight into the water. Cat fish had enlarged organs and tumour fat lips.

What became of those poor critters?
More lately its been the Chesapeake. So many millions of acres of land drain into the system. All those agrichemicals and fertilisers, all that storm water from highways cntaining gasoline, rubber oil, antifreeze screen wash etc, the list goes on.

So, its not just about the BP spill, its everything everywhere.

I cant see it changing in my lifetime.
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Old 14-07-2010, 10:49   #24
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The volume of spilled oil is not, indeed, unprecedented. It's (so far!) similar to the volume of oil spilled in the Ixtoc-I oil spill (Ixtoc I oil spill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and far less than the amount spilled in the Lakeview Gusher or the Gulf War Spill.

See: BP Gulf Oil Spill Size - BP Gulf Oil Spill Among Biggest in World History - The Daily Green
True. What I meant was the combination of the 3 factors - or so the experts say - is unprecedented. For example, Deepwater Horizon is more than 30 times deeper than Ixtoc.
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Old 14-07-2010, 10:54   #25
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As I type this I am sitting in a condo in Gulf Shores Alabama, looking out over the beach and gulf from the 6th floor My wife ,son and his family are down on the beach enjoying the water and sand. We have been here for 3 days now, the beach sand is sugar white as usual here, kids are digging in the sand for sand castles no hidden layers of oil, here anyway. The water is cloudy from windy conditions we haven't seen any oil slicks.
Off the shore there is a flotilla of all sorts and sizes of charter sportfishermen milling around looking for oil and tar balls, they are carrying bales of those white absorbent pads use under engines, some have long handled dip nets I guess to soak up any oil or pick up tar balls if they see any. They don't seem particularly busy and I havent seen any oil on the hulls of the boats when they come in.
The dolphins were cruising the sand bars off the beach this morning, the pelicans and seagulls are busy diving on schools of bait, all seems pretty much like it has been every time we have been here for a week every summer for the last 25 years. We were worried of comming this year since Gulf Shores has been shown on TV as being affected by the spill but all is well for now. Things may be very different elswheres along the Gulf I am only relaying what I am seeing here.
I will say the lodging occupancy rates along the beach seem (I'm guessing here) about 60% of the normal for this time of year.
I am not a condo owner, I live in South Louisiana the oil has affected the marshes badly there.
Hopefully this will be over soon so things can get back to normal.
For the families of those killed in the explosion I guess it will never be normal again.
Steve
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Old 14-07-2010, 11:17   #26
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Like any disaster, there is never one simple fault or reason to blame. Short cuts, mis managment, faulty equipment, greed, nature, circumstance all combine to result in trouble.
Sure, the western and developing world need to move away from dependence on dino fuels, but there simply isnt enough political will to do that yet. Those with a vested interest in keeping the status quo have a powerful lobby, so change will be more likely to arise from future energy crisis than from concern for the environment.
I'm not even sure it's technicaly possible to shift totaly away from fossil based fuels, and sustain our current population.

Every so often we have a discussion about "alternative" sources of power for our crusing vessels. Just attempting to replace the aux. engine that most of us have on our sail boats often results in sticker shock. And then if we really wanted to walk away from fossil fuels we would have to do the same for the propane stoves as well. Just how difficult it is to make such conversions work is visible in how few of them there are. That doesn't even count the problems that would come from attempting to build our boats without the use of the fuels, or doubly important, make all of the replacement parts that we so dearly need without such fuels.

If we were forced to totaly turn our back on fossil fuels, it's likely that only a small percentage of those lucky enough to cruise would be able to continue to do so.

I don't think it's people don't care about the enviroment. They clearly do. I think it is that they are trying to extablish a ballance. How much do they care about the enviroment, vs how much they care about all of the other things in life. A ocean with loughts of fish is important, but it's also important that kids have clothing, suffient food to be eaten every day, and a roof over their head.

I guess everyone has to find their own ballance.
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Old 14-07-2010, 11:18   #27
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... Things may be very different elswheres along the Gulf I am only relaying what I am seeing here ...
Thanks for the first-hand report, and good news for Gulf Shores, Stephen.

A couple of important facts from
Gulf Shores | The Beach Facts

Regardless of the color flag being flown, the Alabama Department of Public Health has issued a swimming advisory in gulf waters off Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, and in bay waters immediately adjacent to Fort Morgan, in Bayou St. John, Terry Cove, Cotton Bayou and Old River. A swimming advisory means that individuals are discouraged from swimming in affected waters.
Risk Communication - Gulf Oil Spill

According to NOAA, tarballs DO NOT pose a health risk to the average person. However, beachgoers are advised not to pick them up or bury them and asked to report any sightings.
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Old 14-07-2010, 11:23   #28
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Drill baby drill. lol
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Old 14-07-2010, 11:49   #29
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Drill baby drill. lol
LOL indeed.

For 40 years the Florida legislature (both parties), the congressional delegation, and governors staunchly opposed drilling off the Florida coast. But, all they had to hear in 2008 was "Drill, baby, drill." And sure enough, in 2009 there was previously unthinkable proposed legislation with wide spread support to allow drilling between 3 and 10 miles of the coast. It failed to come to a vote only because the legislature was too busy trying to stave off bankruptcy. There were high hopes for this year. But then along came Deepwater Horizon. So, of course, next week there will be a special session to consider a constitutional amendment to ban off shore drilling.

This is not an invitation to political debate. It is a condemnation of it.
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Old 14-07-2010, 11:53   #30
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In just the past few days tar balls traced to the spill have started to appear on Texas beaches.

The report I heard said that the tar balls were coming from another source than the BP spill. Who knows? Actually I find that if that report is true then it seems more troubling than coming from the BP spill itself. About 25 years ago I walked along beaches in Stuart, Fl and remember the tar balls. At the time I assumed that it came from ships in the Atlantic, but now I think there is seapage from the ocean floor which has been going on for decades if not more.
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