Casaubon's Book

In the previous thread commenters DC Sessions and Prometheus have been discussing the pure aesthetic appreciation of the BP disaster and other man made problems with splendor that is grim. And what they say is true -and I think interesting and worth looking at. After all, all of us are just a teensie weensy wee bit bloodthirsty, right?

For me, however, what came of the discussion was the irresistable urge to play “Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, which seems on target. So I leave you with it (the Tit Willow bit at the beginning is also delightful, although less relevant to burst oil wells, perhaps, except for its evocation of bird life ;-)).

The above is the most properly Monty Pythonesque of the available bits of Gilbert and Sullivan. And it does remind us – throughout this wide dominion, it is the general opinion that we’ll all last a good deal longer if we’re tough.


  1. #1 Aurora B
    July 13, 2010

    Earthquakes only terrify the dolts…

  2. #2 Joseph
    July 13, 2010

    There has been talk about the geological formation around the well having been fractured, resulting in leaks far from the well head.

    Also talk about the possibility of a huge methane bubble. Has all of that now been absolutely disproved?

    Here is a link:

    It was exactly ideas like this, those of James Lovelock and climate tipping points in general that Johnny Greer, for example, would not allow on his blog a few years back because they point to the possibility of rapid, non-linear change, and would thus challenge the idea that there will be a long, slow descent, and Greer would not allow any challenge to his pet theory.

    I wonder, can we now all agree that the collapse of global industrial civilization is NOT the same as the decline of the Roman Empire and the Mayans? I remember Greer going into total attack mode when anyone mentioned that our present situation is “unprecedented.” Such behavior often forced me to wonder whether or not some Peak Oil writers are aware of the fact that they themselves might just be examples of the very intransigent human ego that is the problem to begin with….

    I hope that the human race can make some bigtime changes and try to mitigate the Collapse but I am not optimistic. And if we do not make those changes, it aint gonna be no 200 year slow decline. Can you see the beauty in a climate tipping point that wipes out 75 percent of the human race by 2100? Let’s hope that is just a rhetorical question.

  3. #3 Don
    July 13, 2010

    Joseph, your question about whether this methane bubble theory has been disproved seems to me to be an argument from ignorance (e.g., “nobody has proved that it won’t occur”). Further, I question the assertion of the article you posted that there has been a news “blackout.” Yes, some reporters have been blocked from some sites, but that doesn’t necessarily constitute a blackout. We are, after all, getting reports, and videos, of the recent capping of the well, and we’re hearing reports about the progress of the relief well drilling. If there were a true blackout, we wouldn’t be hearing anything about these things.

    Maybe some scientists think the P-T extinction event was caused by a methane bubble (I hadn’t heard that hypothesis), but by a huge asteroid impact. I think I remember reading that they may have found evidence for such an impact, at the right geological age, in the Antarctic region.

    And wasn’t the last mass extinction event 65 million years ago, not 55?

    I’m not saying this information is incorrect, but I think it deserves some healthy skepticism.

  4. #4 Joseph
    July 13, 2010

    Here is a link from the EB that I remember was talked about quite often a couple of years ago.

    As for news blackouts, I have read numerous stories of people being threatened by law enforcement and BP personnel. Are you telling me that BP isnt doing EVERYTHING possible to cover-up the extent of the damage so as to limit its liability? And that the bought-and-paid-for US government isnt helping with that?

    In other words, in many ways, we are ALWAYS living in a partial news blackout about everything of importance. The Niger delta in Nigeria suffers extreme pollution due to oil extraction, pollution that is, right now, worse than the condition of the Gulf so far.

    Tell me, how many media outlets in the US have you seen cover this story?

    Do you actually think you are getting the truth from the US mainstream media? I think healthy scepticism should be an integral part of any information derived from the media, and that goes double for transnational corporations. We already know that BP continually lied about the amount of oil being released, so I hardly trust them to be honest about anything.

    And keep in mind, this is just the beginning. There will be more oil extraction related disasters in the years to come. And that includes the possibility of resource wars.

  5. #5 Joseph
    July 13, 2010

    Post script:

    I think I asked a pretty straightforward question. I asked if it has been disproven that there is massive fracturing of the geological formation around the blown well and if multiple oil/methane leaks from these fractures has also been disproven.

    In other words, I was asking if anyone here had any concrete information that these reports have been proven false.

  6. #6 Joseph
    July 13, 2010

    As for media “blackouts”, here is Anderson Cooper

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