Running the numbers on the spill

This appears to be an analysis you ain’t gonna get from your average newscast – another in a long list of why I don’t watch ’em or listen to ’em. Believe it or not, I’m fairly well-informed just from keeping up with the news on the half-hour on talk and sports-talk radio, and the blogs & news/commentary sites I read regularly. Thanks to all of you who keep me informed without keeping me depressed!

I haven’t read the source material yet, so if Rush is completely wrong, please let me know and I’ll think about retracting the post.

From the transcript at
Now, I want you to clearly understand what I’m doing here. This is not to minimize it. This is once again to provide you evidence that the media reporting this and this administration dealing with it is hyping this to a crisis way beyond its proportion. If we lose rationality on this, we are not going to properly deal with this. Panic never leads to an effective result. “It is a horrible accident … but you don’t really have to clean up the entire Gulf of Mexico. ‘The Gulf of Mexico is huge, covering 615,000 square miles and containing 660 quadrillion gallons of water.'” There’s no way of conceiving that amount of anything: 660 quadrillion gallons of water.

“Let’s compare this to the amount of oil Deepwater Horizon has been leaking. Most estimates are in the 12,000-20,000 barrels per day range, so let’s take the high end and also assume that this continues until mid-August, meaning four months since the accident. Let’s also assume that the cap captures no oil (the latest reports are that it may be capturing most of the oil, but let’s be conservative). 20,000 barrels/day x 120 days x 42 gallons/barrel = 100.8 million gallons of oil released,” by August. Are you with me on this? “100.8 million divided by 660 quadrillion is one gallon of oil for every 6.6 billion gallons of water in the Gulf. That’s the equivalent of roughly one-millionth of an ounce of oil in a typical bathtub full of water.” I’m going to run through it again. We’re going to assume here that no oil is collected and the spill is 20,000 barrels a day, and it may be more than that, but use the numbers that we’ve been given, 20,000 barrels a day, none of it collected through August.

There are 660 quadrillion gallons of water in the Gulf of Mexico. So 20,000 barrels of oil a day times 120 days — that’s four months since the spill — times 42 gallons — that’s how many gallons are in a barrel — that equals 100.8 million gallons of oil released. And that’s not good, don’t misunderstand. Wherever it ends up, on the Gulf, onshore, it ain’t good, it’s not good, don’t misunderstand me. 108 million gallons of oil divided by 660 quadrillion gallons of water is one gallon of oil for every 6.6 billion gallons of water in the Gulf. One gallon of oil, not barrel, one gallon of oil for every 6.6 billion gallons of water in the Gulf. To bring this down to a size that everybody can understand, that is the equivalent of roughly one millionth of an ounce of oil in a typical bathtub full of water. The perspective here is people are saying it’s going to take forever to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. It will not. Most of the Gulf of Mexico, the water volume, will not be affected. In fact, a lot of the oil, these plumes that they’re talking about beneath the surface, a hundred miles away and 24 miles long, at some point is going to be dissipated, it’s going to be eaten alive. And they’re going to cap this by August anyway with these relief wells.

Now, I only mention this because we see the Gulf of Mexico on a flat map and we see in relation to the country a relatively small body of water. We don’t see the depth. We have no concept of the amount of water in the Gulf. But we see the video of all the oil spewing out of that rig, out of that blown hole. We see that all the time. And in that TV frame 90% of what we see is oil and 10% is water. And all of this creates a mental image that the total destruction of the Gulf of Mexico and every life form in it is either imminent or has already happened. It is the equivalent — through August, not today — through August at 20,000 barrels a day of having one millionth of an ounce of oil in your full bathtub. I would say you get in the bathtub with a millionth of an ounce of oil in there, by the time you soap yourself up and do all you do in the water the oil is going to be taken care of, along with the oils on your body that will wash off as well.

Now, do not misunderstand, this is not to minimize all the damage that’s being done to people who make their living offshore. That’s real, and it’s destructive, and this leak needs to get fixed as quickly as possible. But I always strive to have everybody try to keep rational, be rational in these circumstances. This is what’s been missing in the global warming argument. If you take a look at the proportions I just gave you and transfer it to the whole global warming argument, the earth’s climate, the atmosphere, including the oceans and landmass is so complex and so massive, we can’t conceive of it, and yet they have people believing that driving around a General Motors Yukon SUV was gonna destroy it, or lighting a charcoal barbecue pit. They had people believing — just as they have people believing that drilling for oil offshore is going to destroy the Gulf of Mexico. It will not. And we have a president who has put a moratorium on all drilling, which is obscene, it is insane, it is absurd. We have 33 rigs out there and he’s going to effectively end up putting them all out of business, just as if an airplane crashed and we shut down the airline industry, all because of an imagined volume of destruction which will not happen. And this spill to this date smaller than the Mexican spill in 1979.

By all means, read the whole thing, and the article at USAToday, too.

This is information I have been wondering about for weeks now. Why does it take Rush Limbaugh to do the job any self-respecting “journalist” – known as reporters, when I wanted to join their ranks – should be doing? It’s USAToday! Shouldn’t it be plastered all over the news, to keep my hysterical friends from slitting their wrists, panicked at the END OF THE WORLD this oil spill represents?

Well, no…because that wouldn’t play well into the political agenda, would it now.

By the way, what in hell is “an inflection point?”


One comment

  1. swampie · · Reply

    The hype to kill our energy program is on. Obama is trying to do the moratorium so that the oil rigs currently in use in the gulf can go to Brazil for even deeper water well drilling where Soros is heavily invested in oil there, and the US is financing 200 billion worth. Presumably Obama is going to get a little sumpin’ sumpin’ for his killing of the gulf coast economy.

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