The stream of bad news is unrelenting. Expect oil spewing into the gulf through August, the Administration told us today.
And there may be more than one leak from BP's well in the Gulf of Mexico. Recent news accounts, albeit thinly covered by the press, suggest this is the case.
The topic consumes me. I grew up in South Florida. My soul is in those beaches. They are my zen.
Going to the beach is part of my annual rite of getting-right passage, and my family's summer pilgrimage.
My son has been enjoying these beaches since he was three. I remember his first trip, when I forgot to tell him to close his eyes, that the water was salty.
Countless hours I've spent reading into the night, comforted by the sea gulls squawking and the sound of the surf hitting sand just steps away from me.
And it's all about to go away.
Did you know:
* FEMA has plans in place to evacuate Tampa Bay so if a "controlled burn" is conducted, residents will not be injured by the toxic fumes. Holy hell!
* At least seven workers involved in the oil-on-shores clean-up effort have been hospitalized.
* Worse, the live-streaming feed of the leak we're all glued to? May only be a "small" leak -- just a "mouse" in the greater (more awful) scheme of things, as some claim.
The failed "top kill" maneuver was more like a mouse-chasing-elephant endeavor, they say.
But here's the really bad news: there is a second underwater plume of oil, confirmed just this past Thursday, which is nearly twenty-two miles long, six miles wide, and three thousand feet deep. It's enough under the water that you can't see it in any aerial shots.
BP says, "nonsense." There are no plumes. There is no oil under the water.
But according to some experts, there is no way the "small" leak seen on BP's constant-ish "spillcam" feed can account for this much oil.
So don't let the surface photos, horrific as they are, fool you.
Maybe we don't know the half of it.
Especially ominous, the second plume was found some forty-five miles away from the leak.
The MSNBC video below shows two old oil guys discussing their "second leak" theory, and what they'd do to stop it. They seem to know their stuff. (But, to be fair, some posters on "the oil drum" blog claim these guys are whacko.) You be the judge.
Spoiler alert: the old oil guys in this video do NOT agree with what BP has been doing.
And here's the video one of the old oil guys mentioned, of the white fish swimming through the "small" leak, emerging on the other side as white as ever, corroborating his theory that there is another, much larger leak. (UPDATE: Err, never mind. The video stream changed after I inserted this link. Hmmph.)
In any event, BP's"Corexit" dispersant is looking more like a toxic super "Kerfuxit," just pushing the oil down and underneath the surface, so we can't see it. Out of sight, out of mind . . .
Here you can catch a glimpse of what it's like to scuba through underwater oil. Hold your breath.
So where are the gunky mammoth plumes coming from, if not from the "dinky" leak we see on BP's live feed?
Why is BP denying the very existence of these plumes?
Where are the oil-sucking-up supertankers?
Go here if you want to see what the guys in the industry are saying.
Here's the live feed "spillcam" from BP, courtesy of NPR: