Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Unlikely to Directly Impact the Bay of Fundy ...BUT ...

If it wasn't so sad, it would be laughable. New Brunswick's Minister of Fisheries, Rick Doucet is rushing off to The Gulf of Mexico to add his inestimable talent to that disaster and is, according to the local papers, taking the lead on a "summit" that the Gulf of Maine Council has had underway for a long time now anyway ... sounds like a pre-election move and photo-op to me.

Unfortunately, the forces that are currently at work are huge and way beyond the talents of our farcical politicians and their driven by "profit" friends and, perhaps, beyond the scope of common sense and our collective ability to stop the insane destruction of our tiny blue planet..

So let's take it one point at a time.

The Gulf Oil Spill

NASA satellite photo.

Ocean oil drilling is going on around the world and is being opened up more and more in the offshore, Arctic and other sensitive areas. Driven by our greed, we are destabilizing our world at an alarming rate and setting in play forces that we do not totally understand ... all in the name of "profit" and under the excuse of feeding our "essential" energy needs. The Gulf oil spill is only one example of our continuing rape of our precious finite Eden as we rapidly turn it into a potential Hell.

Did you know that there have been over 50, 000 bore holes and wells poked into the ocean bottom in the Gulf of Mexico? And there has been ongoing leakage through the years?

But the current accident is truly enormous and spectacular with experts estimating losses of 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day ... at the upper limit, that’s 2.5 million gallons of oil per day (

So, it's well established that massive quantities of oil are entering the marine system. But is this oil likely to flow north to the Bay of Fundy?

Gulf Oil and the Bay of Fundy

Circulation in the North Atlantic is dominated by the Gulf Stream, a surface current that brings warm waters of the Caribbean northeastward to bathe the coast of Europe. Because of this, Western Europe is much warmer than other parts of the world at the same latitude.

 University of Maryland

Atlantic circulation is driven by cold saline arctic waters. These spill off the floor of the shallow Arctic Ocean into the basin of the deep Atlantic, sinking rapidly and creating "suction" at the surface.

When they do this, warm surface waters from farther south rush northward to fill the space left by the cold arctic waters. By this means, the warm tropical Gulf Stream is pulled north (University of Maryland).

Although the Gulf Stream moves back and forth somewhat as it flows to Europe and it does influence the climate at the southern tip of Nova Scotia, it does not flow into the Bay of Fundy and, as DFO scientists have recently indicated, there should be little concern about the spill itself flowing to the Bay or onto coastal Nova Scotia in the immediate future. But as the components disperse within the ocean itself, we may well see local evidence of this disaster.

However, in the immediate future, our natural wealth here in the Bay of Fundy depends on the marine life that migrates back and forth each spring and fall. And that wealth will soon be moving south directly into the path of the the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The consequences of this may be catastrophic for those organisms and our future.

In a very few weeks, fish, birds and whales will start their southward migration with their young, some directly into the path of the Gulf oil streaming north, while others will fly directly into the waters of the Gulf and the waters and marshes of the coastal states and Caribbean islands.

 Migratory bird routes US FWS

Can We Save our Marine Assets

In response to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, President Obama, the most powerful individual in the world, placed a moratorium on offshore drilling ... a sensible move by any responsible standards. At the very least, it would provide some time to attempt to ensure that safeguards are in place and that these regulations and laws are being adhered to. But, industry does not agree because when the oil stops flowing, their insane profits stop as well.

So along comes federal judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans who blocked Obama’s six-month moratorium on new deep-water offshore oil drilling and mocked the decision to impose it as sloppy and illogical. But now it is revealed that Judge Feldman held stock in Transocean LTD, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig.(

So can Minister Rick Doucet do anything worthwhile? I've spent a lifetime trying to point out how we have been destroying our important "eco-economy" here in the Bay of Fundy, an economy that is historically and currently still based on an abundance of natural assets. During this 50 odd years, not one, I repeat, not one Minister of Fisheries for the Province of New Brunswick has ever attacked any of the root problems that have been degrading our environment in the Bay of Fundy since the 1960's.

Perhaps Minister Doucet should consider staying at home to work on the problems we have here now. Smarter men than he are on the scene in the Gulf of Mexico.

Actually, now that I've written this, I think prayer is now in order.

My opinion this morning. Art

1 comment:

  1. Oil seeps up from the bottom of the gulf all the time. The salt water breaks it down. What most are not taught is that oil is a very natural product that is produced by the earth. It's great that we find so many uses for such a product, like making computers and TV's and roads and just about everything we see around us. So nature will absorb the oil, as it always does. Most of it is already gone and they haven't even tapped it off completely. Nothing to be scared about. Don't listen to the hysterical biased media. They want you scared and upset. We should be very angry at the environmentalists who force them to drill in such deep water when it would be much easier and safer to get all the oil closer to shore, or even on shore where it seeps up from the ground.