May 18, 2010 archive

A perfect storm for unemployment in June

   While there is plenty of talk about the economic recovery, there is barely a whisper about what is just a few weeks ahead. It’s not any one thing. It’s a combination of three (and possibly four) different events that will deliver devastating body-blows to the economy.

  They are all being talked about, but no one that I’ve seen has put them all together.

That’s where I come in, the doom-and-gloomer, with the news that no one wants to think about, but you are better off knowing now rather than later.

Ban BP from the Gulf

Thanks to 60  Minutes for opening the public’s eyes to the Safety violations committed by BP.

BP racked up millions in fines before disaster

LEE COUNTY: A new report shows BP has the worst track record among US refineries for workplace safety violations. Why did the US government allow it to continue operating before the oil spill?

Before the oil refinery exploded, 11 workers were killed and millions of gallons of oil contaminated the Gulf of Mexico, the US government knew of BP’s history of unsafe working conditions.

According to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity, “Two refineries owned by oil giant BP account for 97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the refining industry by government safety inspectors over the past three years.”…

But the Deep Horizon, is not the only drilling rig, BP is operating in the Gulf Of Mexico.

BP current has at least 5 other rigs in operation, including the Discoverer Enterprise currently siphoning the spill left by the Deep Water Horizon.

Holstein, Mad Dog, Development Driller III, Discoverer Enterprise, and GSF Development Driller II…

Shep Smith lays smartest smackdown ever on BP’s CEO “At least act like you care”

Now here is a rant that would make Keith Olbermann jump up and shout “Hallelujah”

   After BP’s CEO Tony Hayward told a British reporter “It’s a relatively small leak compared to the volume of water in the gulf” and “Come on, this is America, there will be frivolous lawsuits.”.

   Yeah, cause what’s a few hundred million gallons of oil in the gulf? It’s like saying, “So there is some urine in your tea, it’s still tea! Drink up!”

   And thus begins Shep Smith in the smartest smackdown you may ever witness.

More, and transcript, below the fold

Obama’s Stupid Earth Day Celebration, and “New Physics”


“Well, if there’s any doubt about the leadership that our military is showing, you just need to look at this F-18 fighter and the light-armored vehicle behind me.  The Army and Marine Corps have been testing this vehicle on a mixture of biofuels.  And this Navy fighter jet — appropriately called the Green Hornet — will be flown for the first time in just a few days, on Earth Day.”

Can anyone imagine a stupider way to celebrate Earth Day than rolling out yet another version of one of the most lethal fighter-bombers ever invented?


How We Wrecked The Oceans, with Jeremy Jackson

Over the past few weeks since the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe has put the oceans and the environment at the center of our consciousness again, we’ve been hearing a lot about what the oil leak is doing to the Gulf of Mexico.

Juan Cole put it rather eloquently earlier this month in I want My Country back from Big Oil:

We need to end the hidden government subsidies for fossil fuels and make sure their true cost, including climate change, is built into them.

Moreover, we should be generating electricity from alternative sources or natural gas (of which we have a lot) and then moving to electric and hybrid automobiles. (Natural gas burns cleaner than petroleum or coal and is probably a necessary bridge fuel to the alternatives). Going to electric vehicles powered by natural gas, wind and solar plants would be cheaper than rebuilding all the gas stations in the country. Coal should be banned altogether and its use made a hanging crime.

And, we should be matching every penny of the cost of the Gulf clean-up with a huge government Manhattan project on solar energy.

The environmental and economic costs of the oil spill are enormous, but they are tiny compared to the costs of actually burning the oil and spilling more masses of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If you’re not alarmed about your future, it is because you have bought the cover-up of climate change, just as Obama bought a cover-up when he believed what he was told about the unlikelihood of oil spills from ocean platforms.

But something else which should probably be concerning us all is the condition our oceans are in, and have been in for many years, even prior to the oil gusher. We live in a much smaller and more fragile world than we tend to think we do, and our decades long mistreatment of our environment, our rivers, lakes and oceans, the dwindling fish and large ocean mammal populations are all very serious concerns.

Jeremy Jackson is the Ritter Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Painting pictures of changing marine environments, particularly coral reefs and the Isthmus of Panama, Jackson’s research captures the extreme environmental decline of the oceans that has accelerated in the past 200 years.

Jackson’s current work focuses on the future of the world’s oceans, given overfishing, habitat destruction and ocean warming, which have fundamentally changed marine ecosystems and led to “the rise of slime.” Although Jackson’s work describes grim circumstances, even garnering him the nickname Dr. Doom, he believes that successful management and conservation strategies can renew the ocean’s health.

In this 18 minute talk from, Professor Jackson lays out the shocking state of our ocean today: overfished, overheated, polluted, with indicators that things will get much worse.

Jeremy Jackson: How We Wrecked The Oceans May 2010

Full transcript below

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 BP says tube is containing one fifth of oil spill

by Clement Sabourin, AFP

2 hrs 44 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – BP said Monday that about 20 percent of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico is being swallowed up by its insertion tube system, no longer feeding a giant slick off Louisiana.

But the British energy giant’s first concrete success in almost a month of efforts to tackle the spill risked being overshadowed by fears that huge underwater plumes of crude could be starving the waters of oxygen.

“BP is burying its head in the sand on these underwater threats,” said Democratic congressman Ed Markey.

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