Monday, May 24, 2010

Ne Plus Ultra

This recent photo of an oil slick, formerly a sandy beach, on the coast of one of Louisiana's barrier islands is not an occasion for outrage -- that island had a good run as a functioning ecological entity, right?

Meanwhile, over on MSNBC, only moments ago as I write this, Rachel Maddow set up her interview with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu by talking up his long list of bona fides. And it's true -- the man claims a daunting pile of credentials and honors, including but not limited to a Nobel Prize in physics.

By the end of the interview, Nobel Laureate Energy Secretary Chu let fly that he is aware of continued green-lighting of offshore drilling projects by reading about them in the New York Times today (presumably this story) -- those approvals granted in the teeth of a moratorium announced by Nobel Laureate President Barack Obama a month ago:
At least six of the drilling projects that have been given waivers in the past four weeks are for waters that are deeper — and therefore more difficult and dangerous — than where Deepwater Horizon was operating. While that rig, which was drilling at a depth just shy of 5,000 feet, was classified as a deep-water operation, many of the wells in the six projects are classified as “ultra” deep water, including four new wells at over 9,100 feet.
No less than nature itself, America loves a challenge. Change we can believe in is sure to come from the ongoing experiment off the Lousiana coast, where the substantial can-do, rarely-say-die energies of free enterprise work assiduously to bring innovative answers to pressing technical problems. You have to break eggs to make an omelette, or, for that matter, to make a sea bird that grows up to die coated in sludge.

By the time those newly-approved "ultra" wells break open, if they do, our best minds will have read about what should be done in the newspaper.

Don't say Nobel Laureates aren't what they used to be. Clean beaches are for closers.

No comments: