Matt Simmons scares me. Not that he's a frightening man, he's not, in fact, he's a perfectly benign looking retired oil man. For the life of me I couldn't tell you exactly what he, or his firm Simmons & Company International does, save to say it involves oil and lots of money. In any event, his knowledge of the industry through more than four decades of being in it is unquestionable.
And that's what scares me. I've spoken to Matt a few times now. Most recently was last week, the week of May 24th. I was playing an excerpt from the "Dylan Ratigan" show on MSNBC on my daily syndicated radio show and the assertions were so shocking about the oil spill in the Gulf that I had to do something never before done on my show: call a former guest unannounced, without going through channels, just rang him up at home and asked him to go on in the next break. He graciously did.
It was then he told me that Top Kill would not work. It was then he told me that he believed we were all watching the wrong leak, that the major leak had to be seven miles away. He was led to that belief not by a trail of bread crumbs but the "orangish sludge" that "leads a path" directly to the oil platform and plumes of oil.
He told me BP was criminally underestimating the amount of oil they were spewing from their volcano undersea and that in reality, if the relief wells did not work, this could spew for up to 9000 days. He likened hurricane season to taking "a damp mop and swabbing the entire Gulf Region, not just coastal but inland, with it soaked in oil."
He told me the worst was yet to come.
A few days later, I believe him and it scares me.
So much is wrong with what is going on in the Gulf. But the biggest problem is our lack of outrage coupled with our lack of action, real action. We, the People are sitting by and watching something unfold that will kill animals and livelihoods, wetlands and coastal islands forever and for years to come and we refuse to sacrifice.
Because we need to shut down all offshore drilling period, end of story, today. Turn off the spigots, shut them down, cap them off and be thankful they never had a tragedy. We now see that BP has lied about so much, which means every oil company has. It simply does. The industry and the government are not ready for worse case scenarios, and just one can kill so much, so many, for so long, it's simply not worth it. We get 1/3 our oil from our own drilling, we must stop right away.
If that makes gas $6 a gallon, so be it, that's the price of being unprepared. If that means towns or industries have blackouts or regulations on use of power, so be it, that's the price for killing countless echo systems out of nothing more than greed and a need for the energy drug of choice, crude.
We have done this by turning our backs on our drug dealers. It's as if our meth was poisoned and now we're blaming the dealer for it. BP is just a drug dealer. We're the addicts.
Shut down BP America immediately. In this country corporations are people, ask the Supreme Court. People get arrested for doing these things and then lying about them. Take their assets and clean up and change things up. Solar everything everywhere now; Every building's owner must put solar on the building immediately, every city, state and county building, every building that can, must. Now, not in 10 years, now.
100 MPG cars in the next three years. Affordable one. Period, end of story, no more playing around. On my iPad for the longest time when I launched the CNN News App and went to the Live Video of the BP Oil spill stream, a Lexus ad appeared right before the video. No lie. Before you watch the oil leak, look at this gas guzzling abomination that gets a wholloping 30 mpg. Woo friggin' hooo. 100 MPG now.
In India, Mr. Tata decided Indians needed cars for under $2000. He created the Tata and it's a sensation. In America we need 100 MPG cars under $10,000 and that's that. Do whatever you must, private industry and government, but make it happen.
Because we need to shut off every well, every where, in every sea that we can. It's just that simply. Even the better prepared European countries that have even more "safeguards" than we do cannot protect us from what they cannot foresee and no one is all knowing. Accidents happen and when these accidents happen the planet, THE PLANET dies in small pieces. This time, not so small.
Why are you not completely over oil now? Why do you not see your low mileage cars as instruments of our own destruction? They are. They simply are. Why is everyone not talking about Solar, wind, geothermal, fuel cell and every other thing we have right now as an alternative right now because we're shutting off the wells right now?
Notice I didn't say nuclear. Because as the BP Gulf fills the news, the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant is showing why nuclear is OLD technology that we should have already had and be moving away from, not gravitating towards. There are radioactive fish that have pulled from the Connecticut River. The same plant scrambled due to a problem last week. And they also found a leak, yes, a leak, one they say was fine, they fixed it. Tell that to the fish.
The people that run nuclear plants are the same people that do, have or will run oil companies. And we've seen how trustworthy they are. We must not pursue another form of energy where a mistake ends up in, well, Chernobyl. There is no such thing as a sun spill, a wind spill, a tidal spill...get the point. Greed breeds these kinds of things and they'll always be greed in energy so long as we don't socialize it. So, we must take the danger out of it.
The fact that the USA is not prepared for a worst case disaster on a military or governmental level shows that we are not prepared for attacks on all fronts, including environmental. The crimes and oversights that have happened will be discussed, committeed and prosecuted to the nth degree. But the real responsibility is ours. And we need to own it.
We need to demand right now all the spigots get shut off. We need to send the message that the future is now and we have to replace that energy, immediately. Not in 10 years. Now. Get the various industries tooled up and going now to make America work, and hum to a new power source. Our power source, power we make and own and power that won't kill us if it escapes.
We need to build this future now, because as of this moment, we have proven oil can, and will, be the death of us.
(And for the record, I wrote this on my iMac plugged in to my wall. My wall which gets it's power from the 8k Solar System on my roof, which, thanks to nice weather, has provided all the energy I've needed to write this and listen to Ed Shultz on the Sonos WiFi).
Follow Charles Karel Bouley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/therealkarel