0748: "Worst-Case Scenario"

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Pippin
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Pippin » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:27 pm UTC

I would lol harder if the oil spill weren't actually such a big problem :(
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Pen_Bird » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:38 pm UTC


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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby rpgamer » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:44 pm UTC

Fire-cane, coming this summer.
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Lunar Savage » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:23 pm UTC

Worst-Case Scenario?

Hmm...

Oh yes.

The universe imploding upon itself.
*Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Devilot » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:23 pm UTC

Surprised no-one's pointed out the Old River Control Structure part, which is the only plausible part of the entire scenario. It couldn't really be taken out in the manner described, but if it were... the results would be more or less what the comic describes, as the Mississippi's current route past that point suddenly slowed to a trickle, while the Atchafalaya River received a torrential inflow of the water it would be drawing off of the Mississippi if not for the structure.

Granted, the Mississippi turning into a raging flood several miles west of its current location pales in comparison to the disastrous effects of the current oil catastrophe, but...

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby jozwa » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:42 pm UTC

James Carville riding a burning alligator. :D Hilarious.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby bmonk » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:35 pm UTC

Reading this strip reminded me of the Calvin & Hobbes Sunday where the mile-long freight train hits a penny on the track and derails, the 747 loses and engine and plummets to earth, possibly another disaster I'm forgetting, all focusing on Farmer Brown's shack, where he is about to light his gas stove...

It's very hard to plan for the worst case scenario, since nature always seems to be able to come up with a unique, unexpected concatenation of flaws that make any disaster so much worse.

But, I agree: worst possible case is the meteor hitting the earth, wiping out all life.
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby westrim » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:43 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:Reading this strip reminded me of the Calvin & Hobbes Sunday where the mile-long freight train hits a penny on the track and derails, the 747 loses and engine and plummets to earth, possibly another disaster I'm forgetting, all focusing on Farmer Brown's shack, where he is about to light his gas stove...

It's very hard to plan for the worst case scenario, since nature always seems to be able to come up with a unique, unexpected concatenation of flaws that make any disaster so much worse.

But, I agree: worst possible case is the meteor hitting the earth, wiping out all life.


There was an earthquake crack too.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Seo » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:24 pm UTC

Ummmmmm,
"Feds meet with film director Cameron on oil spill"
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art ... QD9G2RS686

Is this story being referenced? I didn't see anyone mention it here.

Also, "go outside" in the alt-text made me laugh, but I worry that I only laughed because I was reaching the end of the alt-text.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Robstickle » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:46 pm UTC

The last bit of the mouse-over text made my day :D

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Slight-of-mind » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

I want to go outside but there could be flaming alligators. This comic produced a good belly laugh. I blol'd
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Opus4210 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:28 pm UTC

Does this all go down before or after December, 2012. I just want to get it onto my apocalyptic calendar.

Brilliant cartoon!

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby VapidFrobie » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:16 pm UTC

Someone mentioned this strip.

Spoiler:
Image


:D

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby sab39 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:10 pm UTC

Lunar Savage wrote:Worst-Case Scenario?

Hmm...

Oh yes.

The universe imploding upon itself.


That's not a worst-case scenario, that's an opportunity for a lucrative restaurant business.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby zombiedinosaur » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:11 pm UTC

Ummmmmm,
"Feds meet with film director Cameron on oil spill"
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art ... QD9G2RS686

Is this story being referenced? I didn't see anyone mention it here.

Also, "go outside" in the alt-text made me laugh, but I worry that I only laughed because I was reaching the end of the alt-text.


beat me to it! lol once again real life mirrors xkcd....

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:15 pm UTC

That man has quite an imagination.

Worst-case scenario? Who the hell cares? How about "what do we do about this?"
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby BoKu » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:02 pm UTC

The John McPhee book Control of Nature has a chapter on the Old River Control structure that maintains the balance of flow between the Mississippi and the Achafalaya and prevents the latter from capturing the former. When (not if) that happens, it will likely turn New Orleans into a ghost town.

I've been wondering how long it would be before somebody linked the current and eventual disasters...

Bob "BoKu" K.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby jspenguin » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

Surprised nobody posted this yet:
Image

Code: Select all

from __future__ import skynet

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BioTube
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby BioTube » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:04 am UTC

Tenth Speed Writer wrote:You'd almost think that quite a few people are failing to realize just how horrible this whole fiasco is. Some of the most valuable wetlands in the western hemisphere are being utterly wasted; The iconic shrimp industry and various fisheries of the southeastern coast have been devastated; and, with another couple of months of leakage in store, the sheer volume of petroleum in the water will have ecological impacts that scientists have only just begun to comprehend.



We're pretty fucked up, y'all.


(Also: Deregulation + "Drill, baby, drill!" = profit, amirite?)
Are you aware that by banning shallow water drilling the government forced the massive development of deep water drilling? And that, had this been a shallow water hole, it would've been plugged pretty damn quickly? Of course, nobody in the government will ever admit to it(or the fact that drug prohibition is a major reason there's so much drug-related violence), since that would mean giving up control of something.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby tastelikecoke » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:42 am UTC

that's soundly awesome. I prefer it than heat-death.

I wonder how a movie will go?

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Shale » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:58 am UTC

jspenguin wrote:Surprised nobody posted this yet:


What a guy!

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby The Free Man » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:47 am UTC

Murphy2112 wrote:It'd be nice to be able to get some Vitamin D, except I live on Vancouver Island.

Haha. Pretty much. It was actually sunny this afternoon where I live but everywhere else seemed to be surrounded by clouds.

It's also supposed to rain for the next 10 days. What fun it is to drive a car which leaks when living here.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Tulse » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:14 am UTC

Holy crap -- this comic got a mention on Andrew Sullivan's blog at The Atlantic! That's pretty big time MSM coverage!

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby compro01 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:07 am UTC

westrim wrote:
bmonk wrote:Reading this strip reminded me of the Calvin & Hobbes Sunday where the mile-long freight train hits a penny on the track and derails, the 747 loses and engine and plummets to earth, possibly another disaster I'm forgetting, all focusing on Farmer Brown's shack, where he is about to light his gas stove...

It's very hard to plan for the worst case scenario, since nature always seems to be able to come up with a unique, unexpected concatenation of flaws that make any disaster so much worse.

But, I agree: worst possible case is the meteor hitting the earth, wiping out all life.


There was an earthquake crack too.


And don't forget there was a gas leak.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Omegaton » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:48 am UTC

Hurricanes + Oil spill commented on in the news: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/31/scien ... icane.html

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Murphly » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:31 am UTC

Get out of my head Randall! Lol I've been telling people about a hurricane/lightning induced fire storm of death scenario for a couple weeks now. Hilarious!

This is another example of my favorite thing about your comic, it's the random stuff we all come up with to some extent at some random time during our lives but don't realize everyone else already thought of it too =P

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Karilyn » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:29 am UTC

BioTube wrote:
Tenth Speed Writer wrote:(Also: Deregulation + "Drill, baby, drill!" = profit, amirite?)
Are you aware that by banning shallow water drilling the government forced the massive development of deep water drilling? And that, had this been a shallow water hole, it would've been plugged pretty damn quickly?

Seriously. I never thought I'd be siding with an oil company. But this is totally the fault of the US government. It's pretty fucking stupid to legislate that the only place that the oil companies are allowed to drill is in dangerous, high-risk, high-stress, high-pressure environments.

You'll never get politicians to admit that this oil spill is their fault though. Every time I hear someone up in Washington trying to push off onto BP, I want to fucking punch them in the face. Politicians refuse to acknowledge or learn from their mistakes, and that's why we keep having to clean up their stupid messes.

Hypocritical douches. "We're eco-friendly! We're green!" And then they cause the single largest environmental disaster in American history.
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Headshrinker » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:18 am UTC

I believe the worst case scenario is that a hurricane will form picking up the oil. as it heads in the oil will spark creating a circular self renewing fire storm hundreds of miles across.
It will hit a nuclear PowerStation and put it into melt down.
It is now a spinning radioactive fire storm.
The explosion from the reactor hitting the water table pushes the winds out wards.
The storm will then reform as two separate systems.
One will go across the east coast one across the west surrounding and destroying the entire country.
The fire will head inwards pushed on by the summer's prevailing wind.
The hurricane will then hit a Bio-weapon research lab and then be contaminated with extremely dangerous air born spores.
the east cost hurricane will then head south towards South America burning the rain forests. While the west coast one hits Asia and goes through Europe spreading radiation and viruses.
The one in Europe heads up and melt the arctic while the one in South America hits the Antarctic causing mass flooding.
New Zealand is actually a future version of Japan so when they are destroyed New Zealand disappears into a time paradox.
Meanwhile the increase in water weight disturbs the earth’s crust so much that it triggers a huge earth quake in Africa causes the whole continent to capsize.
This causes a tsunami which finishes off all remaining survivors.

This leaves only (for some reason) Sarah Palin and the French embassy.
This is the worst case scenario.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Invertin » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:09 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Hehe, I always enjoy worst-case scenarios too.

My default answer if someone askes "what's the worst thing that could happen" is always "A meteor could strike earth, killing all life".

A meteor made of nuclear bombs, antimatter and fruitcake. And is on fire and electrified.

Fire works in space now because I said so.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby SolkaTruesilver » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:33 pm UTC

Jokes aside, would it be possible for a hurricane to pick up the oil and carry it inland, contaminating hundreds (thousands?) of square km?

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Karilyn » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:04 pm UTC

SolkaTruesilver wrote:Jokes aside, would it be possible for a hurricane to pick up the oil and carry it inland, contaminating hundreds (thousands?) of square km?

I'm pulling this out of my ass, but I'm going to say yes. A hurricane can certainly pick up and fling more weighty materials than crude oil.

However, then the question becomes, how much can a hurricane carry with it, and how far can it fling stuff?

The answer? Not really all that much. Yeah it would throw a lot of the oil around in the ocean, and a fair bit inland off the beaches, but it's not exactly going to carry it very far inland, and is going to drop most of it once it hits shore. If any significant quantity of oil ends up inland more than a mile I'd be surprised.

Now sure the coastal regions are going to have their ecology screwed up, so don't think I'm underplaying it. Rather, just not like you're going to see all of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama coated in a fine layer of oil.
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby lucidity » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:48 pm UTC

I got a real kick out of this one, as I wrote the following on May 29th and emailed it to friends. Wonder who had the idea first?

A few months from now: A major category five hurricane is ripping up the gulf of Mexico after devastating Havana and much of the lower Keys. As it passes over the warm Gulf waters it increases in strength much more than expected due to the oil that has spewed from the Deepwater Horizon leak since April 22nd and has subsequently covered much of the Gulf of Mexico. For the last several months the oil film has worked as an insulator to raise the temperature of the Gulf seawater abnormally high and that excess energy is feeding the hurricane. The storm, which has reached unprecedented extremes, is simultaneously setting new records for both low barometer readings and high winds. NOAA finally issues an emergency alert classifying the hurricane, named Grace, a Cat 6, a level of energy and violence in a storm not seen on this planet since the days of Pangaea. Five hundred miles wide, with wind speeds of 300 miles per hour, Grace rips the wings off the NOAA survey planes, sent into the hurricane in a futile effort to measure the eye wall rotation, like wings from a fly. Grace is a monster unlike anything ever seen by man. Only satellite photos give any clue to the intensity, which builds daily as the hurricane bears down on a doomed New Orleans. As she moves across the Gulf, Grace sucks hundreds of tons of oil from the surface of the sea like a nuclear vacuum cleaner. One hundred and fifty miles offshore the hurricane runs over the top of several deep water oil rigs which have been shut down for days in preparation. No lives are lost as the platforms have been evacuated but one platform explodes as the storm smashes it to pieces. A gusher of burning oil from the wrecked platform injects fire into the hurricane like a hundred foot propane torch. As the hurricane passes over the platform the torch, like a flare set off in a refinery, ignites the inner edge of the hydrocarbon-saturated eye wall. Waves of ignition spread outward at hundreds of miles per hour while the heat generated spins Grace like a top, faster and faster, thus sucking more oil off the top layers of the sea and accelerating her forward motion. Deep inside the hurricane combustion heat and incredibly low barometric pressures rip lightweight hydrocarbon volatiles from the heavier crude oil that rapidly flash into even more combustion, driving the entire process faster and faster in the fashion of a fissioning nuclear pile. Satellite photos show the hurricane lighting up, a Fourth of July spinner the size of Kansas.
At two am central time people along the coast from Mobile Bay to Galveston, just before they all die, see a five hundred mile wide vortex of fire appear over the horizon bearing down on them at 80 miles per hour. A hurricane of fire. Grace hits the shoreline with a violence not experienced since the Chicxulub meteor stuck the Gulf of Mexico millions of years ago. Three hundred mile per hour winds scour the landscape clean just ahead of the firestorm which flashes anything combustible into flame seconds before the tidal surge, itself an unholy combination of fire, water and steam, obliterates whatever is left. Grace wipes out everything from Houston to Mobile, Al. New Orleans is not only gone, the ground on which it once stood is scoured clean as if god himself erased, in anger, a mistake he'd made. The immeasurable energy of the hurricane carries the destructive force of dozens and dozens of nuclear bombs, or, more accurately, it's like a piece of the sun side-swiped the Earth. Her forward momentum carries Grace landward, curving to the east with little diminishing until she reaches Memphis, the last major city to be ignited and then wiped out by Grace. Finally, the last flaming wall clouds die out after setting fires as far North as Cape Giradeau. MO.
A vast swath of dead zone lies in her wake, a black gouge cut across six states that is visible in satellite photos like a black paintbrush mark splashed across the map. The property damage, the dead, are inestimable.
BP officials deny any responsibility.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby jbos » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:49 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:
BioTube wrote:
Tenth Speed Writer wrote:(Also: Deregulation + "Drill, baby, drill!" = profit, amirite?)
Are you aware that by banning shallow water drilling the government forced the massive development of deep water drilling? And that, had this been a shallow water hole, it would've been plugged pretty damn quickly?

Seriously. I never thought I'd be siding with an oil company. But this is totally the fault of the US government. It's pretty fucking stupid to legislate that the only place that the oil companies are allowed to drill is in dangerous, high-risk, high-stress, high-pressure environments.


I'm sorry but all of the above is a load of baloney. Now I'm no apologist for the gubbamint (which does deserve some blame for lax/corrupt oversight pre-spill and general butt-covering and being damn slow to buy a clue post-spill), and no hater of the petro-industry in general (or BP specifically). My youngest brother is a geologist for Exxon, and one of my oldest friend's dad is a retired top-level executive for the same company. As a university-corporate tech liaison, I've had occasion to work with researchers from BP and have only good things to say about that branch of the company.


But to say that BP and other petro-companies are "forced" to drill in deep ocean waters because of anything the government says or does is just profoundly wrong. There are no significant barriers at the federal level to keep oil companies from drilling on their (boggingly extensive) land holdings, nor (until extremely) in shallow ocean waters - quite the opposite. Of course BP et al love to bitch about how much time and money it costs to comply with existing regs, but the truth is that these are a mere fraction of a percent of the actual development and production costs.

This f-up is BP's fault first and foremost. They cut corners and took chances because they are frantic to find major unexploited sources before their competitors - and that means looking in extreme environments. Of course, their competitors are doing the same, but BP has far and away the worst record when it comes to safety and planning. And BP is risking huge $ up front rather than concentrating more effort on lower-volume-but-safer sources because it is trying to hit jackpots. Why? Because it's hard-wired for continual and extreme positive growth. It's not enough for BP (et al) to make money - it needs to continually make a *lot* of money or be punished by the market (and again, in this respect BP is in the same spot as its major competitors). World markets as currently structured do not reward steady-state or slow-growth energy producers. In pursuit of the rewards of those markets, BP and its agents chose to ignore their ethical responsibilities to employees, neighbors and society.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby westrim » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:30 pm UTC

Wheeee, politics! I must say though, this reminds me of when a company was planning to use an old oil rig about 12 miles off the coast of my town as a liquefied natural gas transfer site... and people went completely bonkers, saying that if there was a leak the gas would spread across the water, into the town, and when it found an ignition source we would all die. DIE, they said. The project was killed, and the company went to Mexico instead.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby RockstarRaccoon » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:35 am UTC

"There are real diszsters happening right now"
But... it is a real disaster. Florida needs its ecology: half our economy depends on it.

jbos wrote:
Karilyn wrote:
BioTube wrote:
Tenth Speed Writer wrote:(Also: Deregulation + "Drill, baby, drill!" = profit, amirite?)
Are you aware that by banning shallow water drilling the government forced the massive development of deep water drilling? And that, had this been a shallow water hole, it would've been plugged pretty damn quickly?

Seriously. I never thought I'd be siding with an oil company. But this is totally the fault of the US government. It's pretty fucking stupid to legislate that the only place that the oil companies are allowed to drill is in dangerous, high-risk, high-stress, high-pressure environments.


I'm sorry but all of the above is a load of baloney. blah blah blah

I agree wit this post, nothing more to say. I should also note that we made offshore drilling illegal in Florida for this very sound reason: our economy can't take unnatural disasters like this. We depend on our ecology, and the amount of pollution this is going to cause could turn southwest Florida into a massive shantytown.

lucidity wrote:I got a real kick out of this one, as I wrote the following on May 29th and emailed it to friends. Wonder who had the idea first?
[long story follows]

That was the best thing I read all day.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby dtilque » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:04 am UTC

jacog wrote:
dtilque wrote:If someone were bitten by a radioactive burning alligator, would they become Flaming Alligator Man? Or just dead?


Have you been reading Axe Cop?

http://axecop.com/

Never heard of it before now.
“This world is a strange madhouse. Currently, every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.”
-- Albert Einstein, 12 September 1920

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby BioTube » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:33 pm UTC

RockstarRaccoon wrote:I agree wit this post, nothing more to say. I should also note that we made offshore drilling illegal in Florida for this very sound reason: our economy can't take unnatural disasters like this. We depend on our ecology, and the amount of pollution this is going to cause could turn southwest Florida into a massive shantytown.
This is what happens when you restrict drilling to the most dangerous areas. And while we're at it, BP can't even be held liable for all the damage: federal law gives liability caps for this sort of thing that aren't very high at all.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

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Ephemeron
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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Ephemeron » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:42 pm UTC

Best case scenarios, anyone? What's the best thing that can happen as the result of this oil spill. Be creative.

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Oracle » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:48 pm UTC

RockoTDF wrote:I'm surprised that Randall left out some reference to the "nuclear option."


Yes. I read some assurance that administration was discouraging the use of a nuclear device to stop the flow. That scared the bejezus out of me. Imagining a worst case solution that is a cross between Volcano, Core and Earthquake but with a Tsunami of oil flooding the streets of New Orleans.
"Get the facts first. You can distort them later."
-Mark Twain

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Re: "Worst-Case Scenario" discussion

Postby Shinyiest » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:24 pm UTC

Just wondering, Since I live in Aust. which means living under a rock sometimes, has the clean up people ever used human hair to soak up the oil? I know a company has patented about 20 years ago but has anyone in America try to use it yet?

Well if hair was used a clean up tool and a hurricane comes in blowing, the whole country side will smell like burnt oil and hair.

Just a thought


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