Dig deep. Think about it.

Burgled this astonishing graphic from sledpress, who found it here.

It’s remarkable in the amount of information and perspective conveyed.  A picture in this case is worth a few thousand words – but i can’t help cough up a few anyway.

Please take the time to scroll down and really look at this. You won’t regret it.

– Deepwater Horizon starts at sea level. 

– As you continue to scroll, try to comprehend the difficulty of operating at depth.  Having just barely tested the waters of recreational diving, there’s an assload of prep required just to dive to 100 feet.  Working with complex mechanical systems at 5,000 feet deep?  Incomprehensible.

– The folks who were screaming “Drill, Baby, Drill” are now howling that the President must do something, perhaps get “more personally involved” – like dive down there himself in a submersible crafted in record time from re-programmed arts funding and plug the leak with his own children? Suspect they still wouldn’t be happy.

– Heartbreaking devastation to the environment, and economy of the gulf coast. Lives disrupted, ecological damage with unknown ramifications. That’s obvious.

– Simple solutions? We’ve all got ’em. Saw an article on CNN today about a kid who came up with a great flange-replacement solution. Cool video, taken by his dad. Appreciate the thought, but try it a mile deep, in the dark, with about a gazillion times more pressure than the garden hose you used to demonstrate your solution…

Bottom line:  You can’t have it both ways.  You want oil?  You want gas that costs $2.95 at the pump? It’s hard to get, and there are risks.  What are you willing to give up to prevent the need for such high risk oil exploration?

There is no simple answer to our dependence on fossil fuel.  We’re pretty much screwed either way

28 thoughts on “Dig deep. Think about it.

  1. we are an unbelievable species – so much information is available, so much intelligence and so much untapped human potential, but what do we focus on? did sarah palin have a boob job and are you going to watch the new big brother? xoxoxo

  2. holy. crap. this is very enlightening. a picture IS worth thousands of words.

    it is a shame we do it to ourselves…without even a courtesy spit…but we do, then have the gall to bitch about it. [heavy sigh]

  3. Renal Failure – Statoil are pretty good. My wife used to contract for them and their standards are very high.

    But it takes only one slip.

    If the stories about BP cutting corners to save money are true then they deserve evrything they get. However, it does not exempt the rest of us with our desire for cheap, unsustainable, energy from a taint of responsibility.

  4. Wow, this was amazing to see. Too many thought processes to cram into one comment! But so much is going on in our little world that is massive and mindblowing….
    What the hell were they doing drilling down there?! Oh, thats right, satiating our fuel appetites….

  5. Its not just fuel though oil is used in absolutely everything, plastics, rubbers, its one of the eleven secret herbs and spices… Whole world it built on it.

    No info on how long it takes to boil a egg in the mariana trench?

  6. We are fucked cuz the majority of us like to keep our head rooted firmly in our own asses, we were fucked when the robber barons broke up the railroads for their own special interests so that we’d all need cars as the suburbs ate up more trees, America is the land of entitlements and i’m not talking about the ones the guvment hands out, we think we should have everything our little hearts desire, John Kennedy Toole said it best, we are a Confederacy of Dunces.

  7. My thoughts get so broad and jumbled when I think of how we are shitting in our own house, and we only go around looking for a new place to shit. For what we take out of this earth, I won’t be surprised when it implodes completely. We are truly held captive by our greed and want.

  8. savannah – i’m just as guilty as the next guy of being distracted by shiny objects, but it makes me sad that our world is too complex for most of us to really comprehend… yet it doesn’t stop a lot of folks from blaring their opinions!

    gnukid – wish i had some answers. off the grid? sure, but how can we completely avoid plastic? investment in alternative energy is a no-brainer. but will it be enough?

    renalfailure – might be safer, but i bet it costs a shitload. Joe Sixpack in his Canyonero ain’t gonna wanna pay Norwegian gas prices…

    jon – corporate misfires, and moments of failed oversight, are also part of the risk equation. no one is perfect, stockholder-driven corporate environments may force decisions that aren’t the safest… but we want oil. we can’t get by without it. damn the wildlife, pave the planet.

    ruby – i can’t get the graphic out of my head. i took up scuba because 70% of the earth’s surface is covered in water, and i wanted to be able to get there. but clearly, i’ll never get there… boggles this little brain, it does.

    alex – true. the fossil fuel addiction runs deep. as for the egg? in the Mariana Trench you don’t boil an egg. The egg boils you.

    unbearable banishment – that infographic conveyed more to me about the technological challenge of deep sea drilling, as well as the challenges of repairing a leak at depth, than any talking head in the media could have possibly done…

    kono – i try hard to be an optimist, but this one has me pretty down. like peeling a damn onion, the more i drill in on this, the sadder i get…

    carlae – the hard part for me is that i share responsibility. i drive. i use plastic. i burn electricity. wear polyesther. it’s a trap that we are hard pressed to get out of…

    jeanpant – Welcome to The Park. if you jean pockets were so deep, you’d probably walk really funny…

  9. The graphic does lend some perspective, doesn’t it?

    Your words are true and accurate. I grew tired of the media coverage of the BP situation fairly quickly (as I do of pretty much all “media” events).

    I don’t know why so many sheeple have bought into the artificial angst. All that hand wringing and commentary does …….absolutely nothing to contribute to redress of the situation.

    Eventually, BP will sort this out. It is going to, however, take some time. Sadly, our “instant gratification” society has totally lost the concept of “patience”. I guess between that and unrealistic expectations we’ll be subject to continuing banal commentary from know-nothings any time we turn on a radio or look at the news. (Thankfully, I don’t watch television.)

    I have, for the most part, thus far resisted commenting on the BP story. Suffice to say that BP is not a guiding light in the oil and refining industries. Their track record indicates that they willingly cut costs – and increase risks – to make profit. This corporate behaviour has resulted in significant loss of human life, not to mention the environmental insults.

    I’m still looking for an old gag powerpoint from the days when Sir John Browne ran BP. It pretty much summed up their corporate goals.

  10. We f**k up ….. we compromise …… we f**k up ……… we change things a tad …… we f**k up …….. ?????? ……. we’re all responsible to a greater or lesser extent …… it’s the way the human world wags. Personally I’m looking forward to when humans get obliterated and something else takes over ……… I don’t like arrogance ……..

  11. The Earth will heal itself.
    It has for millions of years.
    We may not particularly LIKE what has to happen in order for the Earth to heal and renew, but it WILL happen.
    The devastation is really quite incomprehensible.
    The “big heads” can only guesstimate at how much financially, environmentally, ethically and morally this will cost.

  12. We’re screwed in the short term, because we didn’t make the hard choices early enough when we had the chance. But that doesn’t mean we need to be screwed in the long term if we start shifting away from fossil fuels now. That means coal as well. If it’s not renewable, then don’t use it for energy. Oil should be for plastics only – not fuel. Energy should come from wind, solar, hydroelectric, hydrothermal and maybe even clean nuclear (if we can ever get fusion power worked out). It’s time to quit being primitive assholes and burning shit for energy.

  13. We (as consumers) have brought this about. Everybody has to stop blaming BP, Obama, etc. We want gas & oil, we want cheap prices, how do you suppose this happens. We don’t seem concerned about the rest of the world where this type of “accident” is a common occurrence. It’s because it’s happened here in the good ole USA.

  14. rob – appreciate your comment very much. we have such a limited fundamental understanding of what it takes to produce so many of the things we take for granted. part of the price of living in a ‘technologically advanced’ society – we simply do not have the capacity to know it all…

    stephanie – an excellent choice of word.

    DP – exactly. makes me feel a bit guilty for breeding. but they’ll f things up in their own way as well, earning their right to feel guilty for bringing children into the world they wrought….

    kyknoord – do other whales make fun of sperm whales for being named thusly? perhaps that’s why they have to dive so deep.

    blazngscarlet – we’ll move on to the next natural disaster shortly. manmade or otherwise… breaks my heart for the people of the gulf coast, though.

    writerdood – as scary as nuclear energy is? it’s clean. ok, so long as nothing goes wrong. risk vs benefit. what are we willing to do? what can we give up? how much risk should we be willing to take? those are the questions.

    chris – i would love that as a huge wall hanging. not sure i have a wall tall enough for it….

    middlesister – yep. we share responsibility. i like driving. i like the convenience of plastic bottles. i want cheap gas, too… you’re also right about the ‘front page’ aspect – had this happened in indonesia? whatever….

  15. I just spent countless minutes staring up and down at this graphic and trying to make sense of why we would be screwing around at 5,000 feet with something we have so little control over.

    This whole thing is the definition of insanity.

  16. It’s refreshing to hear real people voice the need to take responsibility. I’ve been watching the news and listening to the blame get slung around and have thought, “Can’t blame anyone but ourselves. It’s high risk behaviour that we encourage through demand.” So very glad that there are normal people (not the TV people) who are sane, objective, and logical.

  17. FJ – and because i’m such a backwoods computer/blog geek? it took me forever to figure out how to get that damn thing embedded. but it was important…

    fragrant liar – powerful image. it is insanity. and the blame is pointless. just get it fixed, make some adjustments, clean up the mess as best we can, and get on with it…

    ellie – nicely explained. we ARE normal (well, i assume most of YOU are!), and if we’re more functional than the people who claim to report the news/policies and opinions? that’s a bit scary, isn’t it?

  18. Pingback: Aquatic Irony « The Wilds of Ohio

  19. squirrelqueen – it’s pretty informative. i love a good graphic – can’t figure out why it seems jacked up sometimes when i look at it, but if you can’t see the whole thing, go to the links provided at the beginning…

  20. What gets me about this whole ordeal is that we haven’t improved well safety in the last 30 years. We are repeating all the steps taken in the 1979 Ixtoc disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and with the same results. I lay most of this at the feet of Reagan and corporate greed. Can you imagine where this country might be today if we’d followed Jimmy Carter’s iniatitive with regard to fuel economy and alternative energy. The White House was at least partially energized by solar panels that Carter had installed, and which Reagan had torn off. I’m very pissed off about the whole thing, and had to quit watching the news.

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