Oilgebra

So, I have a little time today and was hoping to update you on some numbers. The only problem is they’ve quit giving them.

Monday, they closed 27% of the Gulf.

Tuesday they closed 31%.

Wednesday they closed 37%.

Then they increased the flow by at least 20% by cutting off the bent tube to add a “hat.” And I haven’t been able to find any closure numbers since. Thursday or Friday must have seen more closures. At the rate at which it was growing, it should have gone 44% and 52%, or something to that effect. I did find something that said that more than half of the Gulf is open. I’m guessing that could mean 49%.

The point is, at the rate it was going, the Gulf would have been 100% closed within the next week. But that was before they increased the flow by 20%.

Perhaps you’re excited that they got a cap on the well. Okay, but it’s picking up 1000 barrels a day (over 40,000 gallons), and 18,000-19,000 barrels a day are escaping (approximately 740,000 – 780,000 gallons, but, I’m guessing those are old numbers from before the capping). What I’m saying is that they increased the flow by 20% and are now sucking up 40,000 gallons of it, about 1/20 of the flow. I know they’ve made it impossible to have authority with your math since they keep everything vague and every number has an expert disputing it, but you don’t have to be a mathematician to see that they increased the flow by 1/5 of some argued-over number and are only sucking up around 1/20 of that flow. They made it worse right in front of us and they want us to be impressed that they’re doing it. And why in the world are we allowing them to get away with these things for 46 days when not one task has been successful or completed on time and the next plan is for August?

Meantime, BP spent millions on advertising using Tony Hayward’s face, a face that will turn my stomach forever. It’s like a Pavlov’s dog response ever since he said he wanted his life back – I see his face and I feel nauseous and filled with rage. After the dead and dying animals and the 11 rig workers get their lives back, maybe I’ll care what that insensitive (insert angry epithet here) wants. He’s stepping aside now. No one cares. New face, old lies.

As to the 11 dead, this morning, a reporter on CNN mentioned them (which is, sadly, worth mentioning since it almost never happens). She was holding a magazine published by Transocean that had a different victim on each page. As she held the magazine a few feet from the camera and turned the pages while saying the names, all I could think is – what kind of Mickey Mouse joint is CNN running? It’s day 46 and they don’t have photos and graphics of the victims??? It’s shameful and embarrassing. I guess they should have gotten trapped in a mine if they wanted respect. And Obama has invited the families to the White House – 6 weeks later. He delivered the damn eulogy at the miners funeral. I’m not complaining about his attention for the miners, dying in a mine is dying in the service to our country’s need for energy, you know, like if you died on a oil rig.

Not so long ago, people all over the country were chanting Who Dats and saying, “We’re all New Orleanians now.” Where are they all now? Where are the opinion makers? Where’s local resident Ellen? Where’s Oprah? Where are the celebrities from here? Carville and his wife came, but where are the anti-drill,baby,drill people? Where’s Leonardo Dicaprio and his whole go-green gang? Where’s green builder and local resident, Brad Pitt? Where is EVERYONE? Where’s Robert Redford? Where are the noise-makers and attention getters? Heck, where’s Louisiana born, Britney Spears? And where oh where is the leadership?

Obama is here today. Everyone agrees that more things get done when he’s here. This makes the 3rd day he’s spent here in the last 46. Okay, he has a country to run and I want him doing that, but leave someone here in charge. Why wasn’t that done on day 1 of a foreign company making a “mistake” of this magnitude on our soil?

I finished my first acting job since moving here. I found the local-hire people to be not just friendly and kind, but well-informed about a variety of local, national and international topics. I know what some of you see when you see our people on the news. Many have thick accents that sound “stupid” to others. Many don’t have high school diplomas. Some are missing teeth or have no vanity about their humidity-styled hair. But, make no mistake, these people are paying attention and have well-formulated opinions.

Yeah, I’m defensive, but it’s because I feel these people are under attack. Again. And I can’t help wondering about what they all already know, that if this were happening in the Hamptons or at Martha’s Vinyard, the response wouldn’t be playing out this way. The people who stood on rooftops waiting for water while the government worked out their contract with Halliburton (and rejected free water from Walmart), already know they aren’t part of the equation, already know the government can stomach watching them die on national TV, already know that there were no repercussions for any of the people who botched the response to Katrina so badly.

The “good” news is that the oil is heading for a whiter, wealthier state, Florida. And they can no longer hide the dead and dying animals. People love animals. Maybe now things will change. But, by my calculations, the Gulf will be completely closed within a week and that’s what’s real. After 20 years, Alaska is pretty again, but stick a finger in the affected ground and it comes up oily.

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