May 17th, 2010
07:52 AM ET

On the Radar: Oil spill, Thai protests, pesticides and ADHD

Gulf oil spill - Almost a month after an oil well ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico, BP says its latest attempt at capping the gushing crude is working, while the Obama administration vows it won't rest until the company cleans up the spill and addresses its impact. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and BP America Chairman Lamar McKay will appear before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at 2:30 p.m. Monday to assess the response to what some lawmakers are calling a "catastrophe."

Thai protesters - Thousands of anti-government protesters remain on the streets of downtown Bangkok, Thailand, as a deadline issued by Thai authorities to evacuate the area passes. On the scene in Bangkok, CNN's Sara Sidner reports tensions have reached a boiling point between both sides battling over the current political crisis. In the wake of the violence embassies have been closed and tourists have been advised to stay away from Bangkok. And to make matters worse, the Thai finance minister reported the protests have begun impacting the economy and have had an "incalculable impact on investor confidence."

Pesticides and ADHD - Diet can be a major source of pesticide exposure for children. Trace amounts of a  type of pesticides called organophosphates are found on commercially grown fruits and vegetables. A nationwide study now suggests children exposed to higher levels of organophosphates are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than children with less exposure.

Oil threatens ‘Bama’s ‘jolly good time’ - Every summer, thousands of fish and crab rise to the surface of Alabama's Mobile Bay. It’s a rare sea phenomenon, and news of a “jubilee” sets off bedlam along the coast. Now, jubilee-watchers are worried the oil slick could kill this tradition. One area resident has a unique idea on how to plug the leak: Stick BP execs down there.

Rum business back in Haiti - The heady smell wafts through the air at  the distillery just north of the Haitian capital. Inside, almost four months of unwelcome silence ended recently when conveyor belts began rolling again, churning out thousands of bottles of pure sugar-cane rum. It was an especially sweet moment for Thierry Gardere, the general director and the fourth generation in his family to run Rhum Barbancourt. In the 35 seconds that the earth jolted on January 12, Barbancourt lost $4 million, about a third of its annual profit. Now it’s up and running, but it will takes years to catch up. CNN's Moni Basu reports.

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Filed under: Animals • BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill • Haiti • Health • Thailand
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. michael nyc

    POSSIBLE STOP LEAKS :

    – drill deep (about 1000ft) new adjacent shaft a few feet away from old shaft – place explosive charge at bottom and fill/cover/seal with cement – explode charge to collapse wall and fill with rock, earth etc.

    OR

    insert a pipe/hose containing a shut off valve into the existing hole that would have a flange that expands inside and does not have back pressure to oil escaping – then shut off valve ...

    OR

    discharge "liquid nitrogen" into leaking pipe thru a small hose from surface inserted as far in as possible

    OR

    Remove BOP and install new BOP – whilst exchange in process pump oil to surface with proximity hoses and into tanker/barges Skim oil continually from surface

    thank you

    Michael Gruters – former faculty physics Princeton late 60'

    p.s. the use of dispersing chemicals make surface removal impossible and poisons the sea – really stupid....

    p.p.s. dome is not necessary and wasting time – oil floats to surface and can be pumped into tankers/barges -employ a flotilla of existing tankers/barges starting at epicenter of shaft leak to recover (pump skim off surface oil)

    it is not proposed to use "hair" skimmers, but hoses that submerge and as water/oil mix is pumped into tanker/barge it is replaced by same – there are many tankers/barges currently in service to other gulf rigs. – as the tanker hold fills separated water from the bottom is pumped back.

    p.p.p.s. current plan to bring oil to surface by inserting a smaller pipe does not seal the leak and is only temporary fix – what about methane gas ?

    Michael Gruters – cell 917 885 4471

    May 17, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. Toebin

    Although I'm glad the little siphon hose is working to remove part of the oil spewing out of the well I am VERY concerned with the reported underwater plumes that were found this weekend. One is over 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and several hundred feet deep... and is sitting about 4,000 feet below the surface of the water. Can't they get some kind of equipment out there to start sucking up these things now that they have been found?

    That oil sitting just below the surface is bound to kill off any life above and below it.. they simply MUST capture it, before we are forced to rename the Gulf of Mexico to the Dead Sea II.

    While this doesn't even begin to address all the safety and backup safety equipment and policies that were neither tested or utilized in this disaster it might at least mitigate some of the destruction caused by the greedy corporations involved in this disaster.

    May 17, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. p lumbob

    Is it possible that these plume get into the Gulf Stream and get carried North? If they reach Iceland could the Volcano just blow everthing up? That would be terrible.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May, 2010

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Here’s a contingency plan that has patented technology and a process that really works.

    1. We found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that would have extracted up to 95% of the oil spill contaminants from seeded surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico, before it hit land fall.
    2. Our product is a, “Modified Oil Spill Environmental Sponge” dubbed M.O.S.E.S., it is a ¼” to ½” product that can be used to absorb oil contaminants from both “fresh water and salt water” surface oil spills. Our tests have concluded that one ton of product will absorb 125 gallons of oil in less than one hour. Simply put it will absorb approximately one half of its weight in oil. M.O.S.E.S. collects/absorbs oil not water. After saturation M.O.S.E.S. will only contain about 1.4% water. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to other kinds of wildlife including humans. A fifteen minute test will prove this process works.
    3. Our plan is full circle and includes staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    4. Due to the urgencies to reduce the impact on the environment and the magnitude of this spill, our plan required partnering with the Coast Guard and other organizations that were already being used to provide staging, seeding and reclaim operations.
    5. Seeding operations were to be handled in essentially the same way they were being done, with minor and/or no modifications to airborne or aquatic equipment that would handle spreading ¼” to ½” particulates.
    6. Re-claim operations required the same booms, scoops, pumps and barge operations, that were being used.
    7. Re-processing operations proposed a permanent emissions free plant for processing oil, sand and other like materials into re-usable fuels and commodities. The plant would take approximately ninety to one hundred and fifty days to construct and would become a permanent part of a states fast action response to future oil spills.
    8. Our plan would have first, assisted with the on-going damage control operations in the gulf; second, it could have been put into operation within seven days; third, it would have become a $30,000,000.00 per year financial benefit to the communities that embraced staging and plant processing operations.
    9. This plan will greatly reduced the time and costs associated with this kind of oil spill in the future. We are confident that this type of pro-active plan would become a template for other high risk (oceanic) areas.
    So, why was this plan given no consideration at all? It is not a question of if another spill will happen, but when! The only excuses we have been able to come up with that, we are sure you are going to here are, as follows:
    a. BP, News Networks and Government Agencies didn’t have the time to consider a pro-active long term plan?
    b. We were crack pots when, this technology is patented and the product could be tested in fifteen minutes?
    c. BP has it under control as, they have done this before? Yes and, crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results! We need to get past these smoke screens and prepare for future spills.
    Thank you for your time and consideration. We’d love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is listening.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail: GE1RE22@aol.com
    CC: BP., CNN, FOX NEWS, NOAA, Governors of: AL., FL., LA., MS., And TX.

    May 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Craig N. Barthelmas

    ATTENTION!! The PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN listed above will not plug oil leaks but, it will address five major problems; two of witch, are concerns that have not been addressed in the media or in the government.
    1. It truly is a LONG TERM-CONTINGENCY PLAN. It will help the community rebuild revenues while providing a fast action operational plan for future oil spills. Yes! Future oil spills will surely occur, despite future prevention efforts!
    2. This plan is full circle and would included staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s, oil filled sands and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    3. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to humans and/or other forms of wildlife. Oil, feed stock and sand processing are near emissions free processes.
    4. It will generate $30,000,000.00 worth of new revenues for the communities that embrace staging and plant processing operations. The plant would remain in full operation after the clean-up is done.
    5. It will also add about forty new jobs to the community. This is not only a plan to help with short term clean up’s, it will also have a positive long term and lasting effect on the community as well.
    We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to mobilize volunteers to help minimize their cost. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies this plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on spills they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. The OMRS-100 technology is patented and, M.O.S.E.S. (The oil absorbent) can be tested in less than fifteen minutes!
    As always our government is seeking a short term quickie (political talk) so we can get a long term scr**ing! Has anyone mentioned where they (BP) plan to put and/or dispose of all of that contaminated; oil, sand and material? We are pretty sure that without intervention it will be in somebody’s back yard, neatly hidden from sight, killing something else. Don’t you think that any oil spill plan should at least consider: Prevention, Mobilization, Extraction and Disposal Operations?
    Thank you for your time. We would love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is as concerned as we are.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail: GE1RE22@aol.com

    May 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |