June 1st, 2010 08:30 EST
Oil Spill Problem Solved: If
I am no politician. Neither am I an oil executive. And because of those two facts, I am not in charge of cleaning up BP`s oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. However, because I am an investigative journalist with the ultimate powers of Google, maybe I should be.
All the tactics the oil giant are using to clean up the horrendous spill, to be blunt, are wrong. They are slobbering fools. Of course, we all know that. But this time their idiocy might just cost us our Earth, so it is time to stop laughing at them and start offering solutions.
Which is why I am writing this.
We are going to attack this oil spill on all fronts: land, air, and sea. Our goal here is not to harm the environment. We also aren`t trying to spend too much money, therefor I won`t be demanding a consultation fee. I know, it`s selfless, and normally I wouldn`t do anything for free, but this time the pristine beaches of Mexico are at stake, and that`s where the cheap booze lives. Protect the cheap booze at all costs!
First things first: we have to get the oil out of the water. How do we do that? I mean, without screwing up anything else in the process. The answer, boys and girls, is microbes.
Oil eating microbes to be exact. The kind Spanish scientists discovered in 2005 while studying the effects of the Prestige oil spill in Spain. With a simple little Google search I found out all about these nasty little buggers. What they do is all rather scientific, but the jist is they break down the parts of crude oil that aren`t biodegradable. Yes, they eat oil. And they don`t sh*t it out.
Their effect on the fragile ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico cannot be totally predicted, however the Spanish beach they were found on isn`t yet infested by oil munching mutant monsters, so it seems to be safe. Of course whenever you introduce a new organism into a previously unexplored enviroment something unexpected will happen: maybe good maybe bad. Better than wading through oil though, that`s for sure.
Some may rail against this idea as `scientific gobbledygook`. In our current situation however, it offers the only best case scenario; getting rid of all the oil polluting the beaches. Worst case we destroy the environment, which the oil is already doing a good job of.
Now we have to get the crude stuff out of the soil. This time we look to the Chinese. In a study published in 2009 in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution, a couple of scientists decided that chicken manure... yes, chicken manure... breaks down 50% more crude oil than dirt lacking it.
At the risk of sounding as crude as the oil itself, folks down south have plenty of chicken manure. It is one resource they could do with getting rid of, at a low cost too. Maybe all the shrimpers that
have been put out of business can `recoup` some of their losses by going into the farming business (and charging BP the same for a quart of chicken manure that they do for the oil)
The downside is we have stinky beaches. The upside is we will still have beaches.
The final problem is the air that the oil pollutes. Yes, crude oil pollutes air. It is something the oil giant doesn`t want you to think about because it means they have to shell out more money to clean something that isn`t as obvious a problem to most of the population, but it is a problem none the less. Well, since they saved so much money on cleaning the oil out of the water and off of the beach, thanks to yours truly, they can afford to give up some more to finish the job.
A study in Iran, of all places, contends that a fungus can remove sulfur from crude oil. Yes, the same stuff you tripped on in college might just be the key to finishing off our clean-up in the Gulf. Well, not exactly the same stuff, but close. Stachybotrys is the kind we are talking about here and it can help remove up to 75% of the sulfur in crude oil. Pair that with the previously mentioned microbes and you have the equivalent of a magic oil spill cleaner upper.
Maybe I will accept a fee for all of this. BP, you can send me a check. After you finish paying off all the people you screwed over, if indeed you still have a company afterwards.
Now all we need to do is plug the hole. Large rocks placed into the hole would slow the flow of oil. Concrete poured in-between the large rocks would plug the pipes. Why have they not thought of this before?
If I`m wrong, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why.