Roger Marolt: Roger This
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
So, “Top Kill” didn’t work to plug the gusher in the Gulf. Oh, well. It’s only the latest in a series of failures by British Petroleum (BP) to stop the spew into the deep blue. At least we learned that mud mixed with ground-up tennis balls, and such, force fed into the oil-belching pore near the shore was no match for Mother Nature’s vomit released when we tickled too deeply in her throat. Her tongue is depressed and so are we. The dry heaves are not forthcoming. How much does her belly hold?
You certainly can’t say that the “Top Kill” idea was worse than the other things BP tried to stop the flow. Although the best you can say is that Plans A through C failed miserably, too. That’s not exactly progress, but it may stave off a few more lawsuits, for awhile.
Plan A was to fix the blowout preventer with skin-diving robots. Fat chance. If BP actually possessed the technology to get robots to work effectively 5,000 feet underwater then they probably could have installed the blowout preventer correctly in the first place.
Plan B was to cover the underwater oil geyser with a giant “containment dome.” It was like an upside-down toilet. The problem was when it got clogged up there was no way to get a giant plunger inside to clear the mess out.
Plan C was to use a hose to siphon off the escaping oil. They got some of it, but apparently they can’t get a hose down there that’s big enough to get most of it. It is clear this plan sucks, but apparently not enough. Plan D was “Top Kill,” which was killed by top brass at BP earlier in the week because it just didn’t work. Plan E, a sideways well drilled into the belly of the petroleum pocket, won’t be completed until August.
So, we can move on to Plan F or sell all of our BP stock, buy the tobacco companies, and just let the oil keep spewing with the only consolation being that we might surpass the record for the largest accidental gusher ever (Saddam torching the oil fields of Iraq before his exile caused, by far, the largest spill of all), which is the gargantuan Mexican Ixtoc spill that occurred in the Gulf off the shores of Ciudad de Carmen in 1979 that let loose with a nine-month belch that out-gassed nearly 140 million gallons of crude before she wiped her mouth and the Mexican national oil company, Pemex, said “Excuse me.” For perspective, that’s nearly 50 percent more than the worst-case projected total escape from the current Deepwater Horizon leak. But who knows, initial projections by BP for this deep-sea well were for no leakage at all.
I vote for Plan F. If for no other reason, to me it is far more interesting to work our way through the alphabet until Plan Z fails and then we are faced with the real challenge of naming the next plan.
At any rate, risking the chance to make history, which only happens continually, let me try coming up with a viable plan to shut this thing down. As treating the symptom instead of the disease brings only short-term relief, I want to get to the heart of the matter and end this once and for all, and maybe even reduce the chances of something like it from happening again. My plan is called “over-the-top kill,” and it works like this:
Instead of rubber and sludge (see Plan D above) we need to grind up and send back the crap that really caused the disaster in the first place. What? You thought it was due to BP’s lackadaisical drilling procedures or somebody leaving the safety checklist in a pocket that went through the wash? No. Those things were inevitable. All the junk we pulled out of those wells was not.
Therefore, the excess that has come out over the past decade must now go back in. We need to grind up Hummers, Dodge Vipers, Crocs, camping gear from Wal-Mart or Eddie Bauer, bottled water, any product with the word “Extreme” on its label, all energy drinks, decorative household items from Target that broke before we got them home and which they would have gladly replaced except on second thought we didn’t think the stuff was worth taking back, designer anything, 30-year mortgages for 4-year degrees, Beanie Babies, Crest White Strips, altimeter watches, Barry Bonds souvenirs, all the workout equipment bought to fill up extra rooms in new houses that weren’t needed in the first place, cable boxes, grocery store sushi, George Foreman Grills, closet organizers, humidors and portable wine cellars for the basement, third-garage bays, stuccoed playhouses, Harley Davidson motorcycles owned by anyone who makes their living behind a desk or who has ever had a manicure, vials of Botox, male enhancement products, every new $600 driver that never sent a golf ball more than 225 yards, all Nikes worn less than a half-dozen times, Rolex watches, worthless dot.com stock certificates, eight-burner backyard barbecue grills, removable car carriers that are never removed or carry anything, wireless speakers for the deck, designer jeans for toddlers, ornamental boulders in the front yard, fractional ownership units, breakfast nooks, home cappuccino machines, goatee trimmers, Starbucks double-insulated paper coffee cups, bling, big screen TVs for-the patio, every Ford F-150 that’s never hauled anything except groceries and a new leather sofa, and every other “durable good” that was bought and then stored, donated, given away, or trashed within a year of its purchase.
We take all this mulch of excess and wet it down with organic beer and Wolfgang Puck soup. Then we shoot it back down into the core of the Earth with a machine called the “Incriminator” that uses the compressed hot air that caused us to buy into the decade of the “oughts,” as in “we ought to have known that none of this crap would make us truly happy.” We send the mess off to the core of the Earth with the benediction, “From an oil pit deep in the Earth you came, to an oil pit deep in the Earth you shall return.” Only then will the oil spew no more.
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Aspen City Council’s recent actions are proof that you get what you pay for, argues Elizabeth Milias in her Red Ant column this week.