Chuck it in, See What Happens

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As the manic addition of millions of gallons of dispersant into the core of the Gulf Gusher has apparently become the new normal, I suppose silly questions of lethality and toxicity have become the new quaint.

At the most extreme, stripped-of-consequence nub is a confusion of science with engineering, of knowledge with hacking. We assume that we can not only detect the perturbations but also measure their effects. Perhaps this might be possible if we even knew all the moving parts in the Gulf biology. But we don’t. Nor will we ever, it seems.

Medical researchers work within a very strict regulatory framework.A research proposal where you suggest measuring lethal toxicity by simply bathing your subjects in various concentrations of known toxins and waiting for them to twitch might be easily approved for bacteria, but not so much for animals and certainly not humans.

Yet we are doing that in the Gulf RIGHT NOW!

The oil is being mixed with the “dispersing” agent and sunken out of the line of sight of the TV cameras patrolling the sugar-sand beachfronts. This subsurface emulsion is destined to bioaccumulate up whatever hierarchy of marine life that is not poisoned outright. What this means here at the human end of the food chain is anyone’s guess. It probably won’t be yummy.

We’re now at the end of June. Given some serious drilling-fu and a double handful of pixie dust the blowout might stopped by August. So, depending on your pessimism level this Gulf Coast season might be either “The Lost Summer” or the previous season “The Last Summer”.
Either way, a comfortable normality has been traded away for the potential possession of a few days consumption of oil. And, maybe, a few reams of data on how much toxic crap an ocean biome can suck up before it dies, or morphs into something untasty. Which is something, I guess.

A cup half-full, of poison.


Written by nullsequence

June 21, 2010 at 7:39 am

Posted in travesty

Tagged with ,

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