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Oil Guru: The Real Nightmare Will Be When A Hurricane Picks Up The Oil And Paints The Gulf Coast Black

Don't watch this video of oil guru Matthew Simmons on Dylan Ratigan if you're in the US and you're about to go to sleep.

The Houston energy banker and author of Twilight in the Desert says we basically have two options: Let the well run dry (taking 30 years, and probably ruining the Atlantic ocean) or nuking the well. Barring those things, the best move would be to use supertankers to suck up as much oil as possible ahead of hurricane season, when the oil will be picked up, and will paint the Gulf Coast black. (via TheOilDrum)


US: Heavy rains cause flooding in Marysville, Washington

© Elizabeth Armstrong / The Herald

A powerful storm of rain and hail that struck parts of Snohomish County late Wednesday afternoon flooded buildings, clogged storm drains and slowed traffic.

In Marysville, water rose up to two feet in some areas, seriously damaging the Marysville Public Works Building on Columbia Avenue, city spokesman Doug Buell said.

Maintenance crews worked to clear water from major city intersections, as flooding disrupted traffic.

Dale Ticer, who lives above the Cedarcrest Golf Course, had to find another route home after crews closed 84th Street NE. He said he could see a stream of water rushing down the hill.

"It was just a flood of water pouring down," Ticer said.

Bizarro Earth

BP calls for Russian mini-subs to tackle oil spill - paper

© © RIA Novosti
Russian Mini Sub
The British oil giant BP wants Russian mini-subs to help in eliminating the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Izvestia daily said on Monday.

Anatoly Sagalevich of Russia's Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, which owns the Mir submersibles, was quoted as saying that talks with BP officials had started soon after the accident.


Flooding in Spain as torrential rain hits multiple areas

Spain map
Roads have been closed and homes flooded in some areas of Spain today, Thursday, as a new front brings a return to wet conditions for much of the country. Worst affected regions are Galicia, Asturias, Aragón and Cataluña where many rivers have burst their banks. Several people have had to be rescued, a camping site in Vall de Boí had to be evacuated, and some schools have been closed. The coast of Lugo has been particularly affected and reservoirs in the region have been forced to open their sluice gates.

Update (10.06.2010 at 14:22 GMT+2)

The heavy rain that has fallen over the past few hours has caused extensive flooding, with roads closed and some towns in Lugo (pictured) and Asturias rendered inaccessible.

Reservoirs in the Pyrenees in Lleida and Aragón have also had to be emptied. Along the Lugo coastline, roads have been closed, schools shut and people evacuated from buildings where the ground floors have been flooded since yesterday, when the downpours began.

The mayor of Burela described the town's situation as "terrible", saying that the deluge of water has been on "such magnitude" that "there's no telling what could happen if it doesn't stop raining soon".


Matthew Simmons: BP Won't Last the Summer and There's Another Big Hole 7 Miles Away

Matthew Simmons is sticking by his story that there's another giant leak in the Gulf of Mexico blowing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

On CNBC's Fast Money, he says he'd be surprised if BP lasted this summer, saying this disaster is entirely BP's fault.

Bizarro Earth

Oil Spill? Just Nuke It

© The Associated Press
The winning sand sculpture in the Fiesta of Five Flags sand sculpture contest at Pensacola Beach, Fla., on Sunday, displays a can of BP oil being poured over a pelican. Several oil spill-themed sculptures were built by angry residents.
I figured there were probably all sorts of technical reasons why this was a fanciful notion, but it turns out not so much. Apparently the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) used nuclear weapons on five separate occasions between 1966 and 1981 to successfully cap blown-out gas and oil surface wells (there was also one attempt that failed), which have been documented in a U.S. Department of Energy report on the U.S.S.R.'s peaceful uses of nuclear explosions.

Russia is now urging the United States to consider doing the same. Komsomoloskaya Pravda, the best-selling Russian daily newspaper, asserts that although based on Soviet experience there's a one-in-five chance a nuke might not seal the well, it's "a gamble the Americans could certainly risk."

Reportedly, the U.S.S.R. developed special nuclear devices explicitly for closing blown-out gas wells, theorizing that the blast from a nuclear detonation would plug any hole within 25 to 50 meters, depending on the device's power. Much as I had idly imagined, massive explosions can be employed to collapse a runaway well on itself, thus plugging, or at least substantially stanching, the flow of oil.

Cloud Lightning

Malaysia: Lightning Struck Two Teenagers in Klang

Two members of a funeral band cheated death when they were struck by lightning while standing under a tree.

M. Gunaseelan, 18, and V. Jeevanesan, 16, were waiting for a funeral procession to start at about 2.30pm yesterday when the incident occurred.

According to witnesses, there was a thunderclap, followed by a bolt of light and the youths screamed.

Gunaseelan and Jeevanesan were thrown several metres away by the impact of the lightning.

The lightning bolt caused the base of the tree to be charred.

Several cars in the area were also covered in soil flung up from the ground where the bolt of lightning had hit.

At the time of the incident, it was cloudy but not raining.

Bizarro Earth

Russian Volcano Releases Plume of Smoke

Klyuchevskaya Volcano
© All Voices
Klyuchevskaya Volcano

Piercing a layer of clouds, the summit of Klyuchevskaya Volcano on the Russian Federation's Kamchatka Peninsula released a faint plume in early June 2010. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this natural-color image on June 7. A faint brown-gray plume blows toward the north (image right), contrasting with the bright clouds below. Debris flows - evidence of earlier volcanic activity - darken the volcano's slopes.

Klyuchevskaya(or Kliuchevskoi) is a stratovolcano that reaches a height of 4,835 meters (15,863 feet). It is both the highest and most active volcano on Kamchatka. Klyuchevskaya's 700-meter- (2,300-foot-) wide summit crater has been modified by numerous geologically recent eruptions, including eruptions recorded since the late seventeenth century.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.0 - Vanuatu

Vanuatu Quake_100610
Earthquake Location
Wednesday, June 09, 2010 at 23:23:19 UTC

Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 10:23:19 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in Other Time Zones

18.586°S, 169.471°E

17.8 km (11.1 miles)


110 km (70 miles) NNE of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu

155 km (95 miles) SE of PORT-VILA, Efate, Vanuatu

365 km (230 miles) NNE of Tadine, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia

1950 km (1210 miles) ENE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia


12,000 endangered saiga antelope found dead in Kazakhstan

© Wiki Commons/GNU
SAIGA: These unique animals, which have distinct bulbous noses, once roamed over a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone.
Mysterious deaths are a devastating blow to the unique-looking animal, which has seen its population decline by 95% since 1995.

Nearly 12,000 critically endangered saiga antelope have been found dead within a 17 square-mile area of the Ural region of western Kazakhstan, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The cause of the mysterious mass loss is still unclear, though initial investigators believed the animals may have been poisoned.

"This is a tragic and shocking event. It's particularly unfortunate that the population was just emerging from an unusually harsh winter, and that those struck down are mostly females and this year's calves," said professor E.J. Milner-Gulland, chair of the Saiga Conservation Alliance.