What Will the World Look Like in 100 Years?

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bacterial cell.jpgYesterday evening, I was at the annual board members/fellows retreat of the New America Foundation and got into an interesting discussion with one of the institution’s supporters. He said he was at a meeting not too long ago in which people were discussing “what the world would look like in a hundred years.”
He said that while they talked about nuclear weapons, and bio threats, and massive continental super nations, no one talked about human evolution.
Human evolution? Isn’t that supposed to take thousands of years?
Not any more.
Probably the most important news in decades about mankind’s ability to sculpt his own evolutionary track was released today — and was about page A17 in most papers.
J. Craig Venter and his team have succeeded in creating the first self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell.
The implications of this are enormous — and mean that eventually, humans will begin to shape themselves and their biophysical development in much the way that humans sculpt and fashion their external environment.
From a Bloomberg BusinessWeek report:

The first life form created entirely with man-made DNA opens the door to manufacturing new drugs and fuels, while raising the possibility that mail-order germs may one-day be available for bioterrorists.
Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, reported today in the journal Science that for the first time, they made a copy of a bacterium’s entire genome and then transplanted it into a related organism, where it functioned normally.
The culmination of 15 years of effort, the work provides a blueprint for making organisms that could be used to make better fuels, drugs, vaccines and sources of food, the institute’s researchers said in a statement. It also suggests that companies that can manufacture DNA should stay on guard, said James Collins, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-supported bioengineer at Boston University, in a telephone interview.

Read the rest here.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

48 comments on “What Will the World Look Like in 100 Years?

  1. W.E.B. Du Bois says:

    “WEB, did you miss today’s news?
    “Payroll company ADP said private employers added just 13,000 jobs in June. That’s well short of the 60,000 economists polled by Thomson Reuters forecast.
    The weaker-than-expected jobs report is the latest in a long string of disappointing economic data that has contributed to the market’s turbulent second-quarter performance. Heading into the final day of June, the Dow is down 9.1 percent for the three-month period. Broader indexes are down 11 percent.
    The ADP report is often seen as a precursor to the Labor Department’s big monthly jobs report due out Friday. ADP’s data only includes jobs created by private companies so it can vary widely from the Labor Department data, which also includes government jobs.
    Friday’s government report is expected to show employers cut a total of 110,000 jobs in June. However, economists predict the net loss of jobs is tied primarily to the government laying off temporary workers that were hired to work on the 2010 census.”
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jmT59dgLTTziX4p9X9MRBRpWZGdQD9GLL82O0
    —————
    You once again change the standard to judge a President depending on whether it’s a Republican or Democrat. Going back to your own comment: “Reagan addressed the economy (he inherited 20% interest rates), which turned around after 1982”
    So for Reagan, the standard was jobs gained after the end of his second year, but for Obama it’s jobs gained during the middle of his second year. You again employ a double standard.
    Secondly, had Republicans done nothing (which is their second favorite option after launching wars and giving tax cuts to the rich) and let GM and Chrysler just crash and burn, then the economy would have gone even worse and some have speculated that it would have cost the entire economy 1% of GDP growth.
    Third, your saying that the stimulus did not address unemployment is delusional and once again is Republicans sabotaging the economy.

    Reply

  2. pattimart says:

    Who says we’ve got another 100 years left?
    “There is 4 times as much oil unseen,
    as we see on the surface –and it is
    serious heavy-duty poison”
    by Paul Noel with Sterling D. Allan
    for Pure Energy Systems News
    New video showing largest hole from pipe 5 feet in diameter spewing oil and natural gas at ~4 barrels per second, along with analysis of the amount of oil on the surface, supports the estimates closer to 1 million barrels per day erupting from this hole BP popped in the ocean floor that contains trillions of barrels of oil and natural gas.
    Mainstream reports are starting to discuss the fact that the oil slick rising from the oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico simply has to be a whole lot larger than first reported.
    My first report on this stated that the total could easily be 5,000 barrels per day. I said this when the report was that only 1,000 barrels per day was the stated total. I was being cautious because I knew the total was much higher and I knew the public would not believe the real totals. Most people simply could not imagine a well of the size involved.
    Now I will discuss the real facts that are known and what the educated guesses on the topic indicate. Prepare to get your jaw off of the floor. The facts are stunning.
    Pre-Drilling Estimates and Assurances
    BP estimated a spill of 165,000 barrels per day would not even reach land! That is what they told the US Government before they drilled the well. They had excellent science on their side, which you can begin to comprehend when you understand how oil reacts in salt water, as we will briefly discuss belowl.
    The fact that the spill has reached land clearly states that the size of the spill is probably well above 200,000 barrels per day. Yes, that’s BARRELS, not gallons. There are 42 gallons per barrel.
    To get a full estimate we have to look at the process of sinking an oil slick and count money. A newly released video of the larger of the two leaks also contributes to our understanding of a minimum estimate of the flow erupting from this man-induced volcano of oil.
    When An Oil Spill Originates on the Surface
    Here is what happens when oil hits the salt water. If it is poured on top of the sea, oil begins to do several things. First some of it dissolves in the salt water. This dissolving is a bit limited but amounts to several percent per day of the spill exposure to the ocean. Some of the oil evaporates. This is several percent per day. This slows over time. As the oil dissolves and evaporates the parts that do this are primarily volatile fractions. These are things like Gasoline and other light components that go away pretty quickly. Once these are gone the remaining oil is heavy fraction crude. This begins to sink into the water very slowly, eventually falling to the ocean bottom over about 6 weeks. Typically this floats into an area where the shoreline is and embeds about 18 inches deep in the sand. This buried oil is not harmless. Just because the beach might appear on the surface to be clear, the sub-surface oil continues its toxic work. It locates precisely where the little sea creatures live, and it goes on killing them for about 10 years.
    The reason a slick would carry farther than predicted is that the salt water is saturated with oil and the air around it is saturated, so the slick cannot dissipate. In the case of the BP Gulf leak, the size of the slick and the location of on shore oil say this slick represents at least 2 times the amount of oil BP estimated would never reach land — or 330,000 barrels per day, minimum. This is an educated guess, borne out by aerial photos and the like.
    When Oil Shoots Up Through 5000 Feet of Salt Water — Fractioning Column
    In the case of the BP underwater hole, the slick is not being poured on top of the water. It is coming up from the ocean bottom that is 1 mile deep at that point. That fact raises stunning questions on how big the well releases are.
    Rising through 5000 feet of water, the oil is going through a process that the oil men call Fractioning. Literally the tremendous pressure and temperature issue are the equivalent of taking the oil and boiling it in a cracking tower 5000 feet high. The oil and Natural Gas change on their way up. The very light, easy-to-evaporate parts are all that is rising to the surface.
    The heavy oil isn

    Reply

  3. David says:

    Revision of perspective: CEO of BP really did not believe this could happen, did not believe the oil would hit the coast, and is utterly bewildered. I haven’t changed my mind at all about BP as a corporate entity, which is just another member of an industry which is systemically seriously problematic for the future of the planet and its ecosystems.
    Greed is not good.

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  4. Mr.Murder says:

    In one hundred years, the coast lines of the gulf will look somewhat less oily than they do today?

    Reply

  5. Paul Norheim says:

    Off topic – but entertaining:
    Slate provides a method to show you how biased you are, based
    on your internet activities. Here is a excerpt, including the
    results I got, based on some recent English sites I have visited:
    “”Slate wants to help you discover your own isolation index. So
    we’ve created a little program that allows you to see for yourself
    how open-minded you are

    Reply

  6. cwolf says:

    What Will the World Look Like in 100 Years?
    Huh? What a bunch of naval gazers.
    I got one for them…
    Tell me what the Gulf will look like in
    100 Days ??

    Reply

  7. David says:

    Now that it is a full-blown catastrophe that cannot be brushed aside, BP is preparing to force heavy liquids down into the well to try to stop the oil flow. They would have done that in the first place if saving the Gulf had been their top priority. They knowingly downplayed the extent of the leak at the beginning so there would not be pressure to go the Herculean efforts to plug the well immediately. They wanted that oil. They invested in it, and by god they had a right to it, consequences be damned. That was the bottom line.

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  8. David says:

    Since I live in Central Florida, I got to read the Sentinel article in the paper. Lays out a blatant case of criminal negligence/intentional unconscionable risk taking. Get government off the backs of the private sector, indeed.
    It is my view that BP never seriously considered ways to stop the oil. All they wanted to do was capture as much of it as possible for sale/refining as a return on their investment in this rig, never mind the ecocidal consequences of not immediately doing whatever would stop the oil. But such is their “moral” obligation to their quarterly bottom line and their stockholders, especially since they know Exxon never paid much of anything, and they have reasonable expectation of the same. Wondering if there is any chance Louisianans will finally begin to get the connection between oil and ecocide. Actually, I’m wondering the same about Americans in general. Haven’t seen or heard any real push to shut down the other deepwater rigs that pose as great, or in the case cited by POA, a greater risk than the crude colossus that just failed catastrophically. Willing to bet the only thing BP execs are really crying over is how much crude they are losing. As individuals, they might be decent individuals. As a corporate team, they are ruthless. Thoreau pegged them. So did DeLorean.
    Really thinking funeral wakes are in order based on the growing devastation.

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  9. JohnH says:

    When are the feds finally going to frog march some of these oil executives, Wall Street crooks, or defense contractor con artists into Guantanamo and let them rot in a tropical paradise, wearing nothng but orange suits?
    When will Obama finally indict SOMEBODY of consequence?

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  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    In fact, when one begins to dig past the surface, one finds that ALL of BP’s gulf operations have been plagued with failures, calamities, cost over-runs, leaks, breakages, corroded piping, and a myriad of other set-backs. An a vien that runs throughout BP’s gulkf operations is a complete dearth of responsible oversight by MMS, and the impunity in which BP has IGNORED safety procedures, regulations, and concern for the environment. Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Deepwater Horizon, all ticking time bombs, armed by the failure of Salazar and his criminal minions at MMS. It is not a matter of IF another accident will occur at one of BP’s rigs, but WHEN one will occur. You cannot cut so many corners and costs, ignore regulations, and be criminally enabled by the corrupt oversight of the MMS and avoid the inevitable. The faiulure of Deepwater Horizon, if Obama does not act responsibly, will NOT be an isolated event.

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  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Apparently, fears about a catastrophic failure of the rig Atlantis’ operations are based in strong foundation. When one considers the extremely lax controls Atlantis was subjected to, and the numbers of alarms that have been raised about the danger Atlantis poses to the Gulf environment PRIOR TO THE CURRENT DISASTER, it underscores the criminal malfeasance of MMS and the Obama Administration in failing to closely monitor operations on Deepwater Horizon.
    Salazar should be fired immediately.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/17201147/BPs-Atlantis-Will-It-Cause-a-Catastrophic-Accident-in-the-Gulf-of-Mexico

    Reply

  12. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Isn’t this unfolding disaster a glaring example of why the recent Supreme Court decision is a HUGE HUGE mistake, that undermines the people’s ability to curtail the global exploitation of the resources of the United States, as well as the people’s ability to have faith in our expectation of true representation?
    What assurance do we have that BP will not simply buy the subservience of these pieces of shit in DC? Isn’t this big oil whore, Murkowski, already a glaring example of such a dynamic? How many more of our so called “Representatives” can be bought into dropping down on all fours for BP?

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  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Amazing. Watching the Salazar press conference, one cannot have much faith in the Obama Damninistration, or the media. Not one single “journalist” thought to ask Salazar why the other deepwater rigs, such as Atlantis, are allowed to continue operations. If one thing is painfully clear, that one thing is the obvious inability of BP, and the United States government, to stop a disaster they have NO IDEA how to deal with at the depth of this gusher. Is Atlantis such another environmental bomb ready to explode at any time?
    And I saw a number of LIES put forth by Salazar, not the least being his statement that ALL resources are being tapped, worldwide, to mitigate this disaster. Iran, twice now, has offered their substantial knowledge, and assistance. Why aren’t we taking advantage of their offer? Do these fuckers in DC have to politicize a disaster of this scale? Shouldn’t we be accepting ALL offers of help, no matter the source? Couldn’t this serve as a bridge to improved Iranian/US relations, AS WELL AS serve to increase our chances of terminating this gusher?
    On its face, this press conference was a fuckin’ joke. Salazar admits a distrust for BP, but says if BP fails to work to contain the disaster, we will elbow them out of the way. Does he think we are all idiots? How is this distrust compatable with his willingness to continue to let BP field the ball? And while stating that this event NEVER should have happened, he puts ALL the blame on BP, and completely avoids mention of MMS’s role in creating this epic disaster.
    And to add conjecture, isn’t the Supreme Court decision to allow corporate bribery into the electoral process timely for BP??? The litigation from this disaster will take years. Plenty of time for these bloodsucking ghouls at BP to bribe into office a contingent of sympathetic and treasonous “representatives” willing to give BP a pass in exchange for a few sheckels and a stint in office. It wouldn’t suprise me in the least to see HUGE expenditures from BP come the midterms and the 2012 electoral process.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama sheltered BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig from regulatory requirement
    By Tom Eley
    Last year the Obama administration granted oil giant BP a special exemption from a legal requirement that it produce a detailed environmental impact study on the possible effects of its Deepwater Horizon drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico, an article Wednesday in the Washington Post reveals.
    Federal documents show that the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) gave BP a “categorical exclusion” on April 6, 2009 to commence drilling with Deepwater Horizon even though it had not produced the impact study required by a law known as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The report would have included probable ecological consequences in the event of a spill.
    The exemption came less than one month after BP had requested it in a March 10 “exploration plan” submitted to the MMS. The plan said that because a spill was “unlikely,” no additional “mitigation measures other than those required by regulation and BP policy will be employed to avoid, diminish or eliminate potential impacts on environmental resources.” BP also assured the MMS that any spill would not seriously hurt marine wildlife and that “due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected.”
    Kier

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  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As is usual, one needs to search the foreign media for a complete picture….
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/BP-letter-shows-knowledge-of-rig-safety-changes-report/Article1-547558.aspx

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is one of the better pieces I’ve seen on the process and difficulties experienced by Deepwater Horizon.
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/os-florida-oil-spill-unspoken-risks-20100522,0,5918994.story?page=5
    This article describes a process used by BP that was the least sure in preventing the catastrophe currently unfolding in the gulf. There were safer methods to encase the well, that BP, for whatever reason, decided not to employ.
    So, basically, its all a big crap shoot, with ecological disaster the cost of rolling the dice wrong. And, apparently, our government, and the agencies tasked to protect the people’s assets, just sit back and cross their fingers that the dice will produce a winner. Or, not.

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  17. Leo says:

    bks – “What Venter did was incremental, he did not create a new life form, because he used a working cell to bootstrap the operation.”
    This is a small point, Ventner’s designed chromosome creates/controls the cell now.
    Components derived from the host cell would be lost after a few cell divisions.
    Venter attracts a lot of criticism from scientists. because he’s unconventional IMO.

    Reply

  18. Bart says:

    POA asks where are the arrests and firings?
    Sounds familiar, as with the Great Recession perps. Now we have a weak program from the Senate that fails to break up big banks, put derivatives in Grover’s bathtub, or get some kind of claw-back and punishment for those responsible.

    Reply

  19. David says:

    It was on Yahoo news yesterday as a feature. Don’t see anything in it he would want to hide, and there is no such thing as hiding a speech given at West Point, so I don’t understand your comment.

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  20. David says:

    Already did a couple of actions regarding the oily intere$t$ minion from Alaska, POA.
    You are like wrong about Bob Graham. I have followed him since his days as governor of Florida. He does not sell out. He is an environmentalist. Jimmy Buffett can attest to that, as can I. He opposed the authorization for Bush’s invasion of Iraq when he was the chair of the Senate intelligence committee. He also wrote a book on all the reasons the attack on the World Trade Center could have been detected and prevented, omitting only the things he knew only because of intelligence briefings. He did not want to spend time in Leavenworth. But it means that that knowledge underscored the validity of his claim.
    When he was governor, his judicial appointments were the finest in the history of the State of Florida. A fellow instructor at Lake-Sumter Community College is married to his college roommate.
    His predecessor as governor, Reuben Askew, who was instrumental in reversing segregation in Florida, was cut from the same cloth. His environmental director was a classmate of mine grades 1-12. I spoke briefly to him at our 50th reunion about Reuben Askew’s integrity and political leadership. His insider view was exactly what I had seen from the outside, in part because when I read he had chosen Jay Landers as his environmental director, I knew he was serious about the environment.
    Bob Graham is no different either in political integrity or the leadership he provided as governor, and attempted to provide for his fellow senators when he was chair of the intelligence committee.
    I think you pulled the trigger too soon on Bob Graham.
    If you are correct and I am incorrect in this instance, I will be beyond stunned. Your assumptions about Bob Graham do not fit either his history or his character.

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    No Bailout for BP
    What BP Will Pay Under the
    Murkowski plan:
    $75,000,000
    Actual Cost of Cleanup:
    $578,879,360 THUS FAR
    As the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig continues to spill over 1 million gallons of oil into the Gulf every day, Republicans are demanding less regulation for companies like BP and Transocean while also looking for a taxpayer-funded bailout of BP.
    After a month of oil spewing into the Gulf, the cost of cleaning up BP’s mess is $542 million and counting. But a group of Republican senators led by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska want the company to only pay for about the first five days of the cleanup and put taxpayers on the hook for everything else.
    It’s a straight-up bailout for BP, and it’s outrageous.
    But we can stop it. Use this page to tell Murkowski and her Senate colleagues that it’s time to end offshore drilling and focus on clean energy instead.
    http://act.truemajorityaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=71

    Reply

  22. ... says:

    i guess the idea is to kill the fishermen so no one will be making claims against bp…

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  23. ... says:

    chemicals bp is using are making the fishermen helping out in the gulf sick…
    http://www.wdsu.com/health/23615203/detail.html

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  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Interior Dept. scandal: Sex, drugs, energy deals probed at Denver office
    Denver Post staff and wire reports
    Posted: 09/10/2008 12:45:36 PM MDT
    Updated: 12/03/2008 07:20:59 PM MST
    Government workers in Denver engaged in secret sex and drug abuse with oil company employees and accepted thousand of dollars in gifts while handling billions of dollars worth of energy contracts, federal investigators said today.
    Employees at the Minerals Management Service including the former head of the Denver division repeatedly and “without remorse” violated ethics rules over a four-year period, the Interior Department’s Inspector General said.
    The three reports released today describe a widespread pattern of abuse as well as a pervasive belief that the rules didn’t apply.
    In the Royalty in Kind division of Minerals Management Service, the report said, “between 2002 and 2006, nearly one-third of the
    Interior Scandal
    Read the cover letter from the Office of the Inspector General to the Chairman of the Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne and the redacted Report on Minerals Management Services. (36 pages, PDF)
    Read the redacted Federal Business Solutions Contracts report (30 pages, PDF)
    Read the redacted Investigative Report of Gregory W. Smith (24 pages, PDF)
    Read the cover letter from the Office of Inspector General to the Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. (1 page, PDF)
    staff socialized with, and received a wide array of gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies with whom RIK was conducting official business…these employees accepted gifts with prodigious frequency.”
    Gifts included ski and golf trips and dinners.
    The Inspector General found ethics breeches by 19 employees, but focused on 13 workers.
    In addition to the sex, drugs, and gifts, the employees are accused of rigging contracts, improperly helping oil company workers fix problems with their contracts, and working part-time as private oil consultants g to three reports released today by the Interior Department’s Inspector General.
    The employees argued that they needed to socialize with oil company executives in order to gain information, and “when confronted by our investigators,” the IG report said, “none of the employees involved displayed remorse.”
    One report from the Inspector General focuses on Gregory W. Smith, the former head of the Denver Minerals Management Service. In charge of 65 employees, Smith “served as the public face of RIK as its senior-most representative to the oil and gas industry.”
    The report alleges that Smith had sex and took illegal drugs with subordinates.
    Democrats immediately seized on the allegations. From House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, they issued statements arguing that a too-cozy relationship between oil companies hurts taxpayers.
    “The investigation also must closely examine how much this type of corruption has cost American – and Colorado – taxpayers,” Ritter said. “The oil-and-gas industry already benefits from taxpayer-funded subsidies, so the question is: how much has this scandal cost us in lost revenue?”
    Pelosi, who Wednesday unveiled new energy legislation, tied in President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney.
    “Little did we know how cozy the relationship between Big Oil and the Administration’s regulators have been,” Pelosi said.
    continues…….
    Well, considering that these three reports were compiled in 2008, the Obama Damnistration can hardly make the same claim, can it? Interesting how these criminal sacks of shit prefer certain semantics, isn’t it? The term “cozy relationship” is being bandied about as if we only just now learned about it. Its telling that such semantics, despite the feigned amazement these pieces of shit like Pelosi or Obama use when acting shocked at such “relationships”, do not actually result in anyone DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT. A few minion heads roll, scapegoated, and then the problem once again becomes ignored.
    So if these posturing frauds such as Pelosi publically decried the existence of such “cozy relationships” in 2008, how are we to interpret the more recent “discovery” of these still ongoing “cozy relationships” beteen MMS and big oil? So, this time around they are actually going to do something about it? Horseshit.
    And the fact that Pelosi used the 2008 “discovery” of a “cozy relationship”, to grandstand politically, DESPITE THE FACT THE “COZY RELATIONSHIP” WAS NOT THEN AND THERE TERMINATED BY GOVERNMENTAL APPLICATION OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND CLOSE OVERSIGHT OF MMS???? Shouldn’t that place a fair amount of culpability in her lap, along with the rest of these fuckin’ criminals in DC that were aware of such a “relationship”, yet did NOTHING to monitor MMS to insure that the problem had been rectified?

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  25. Dan Kervick says:

    “We

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  26. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.truthout.org/how-bushs-doj-killed-a-criminal-probe-into-bp-that-threatened-net-top-officials59648
    How Bush’s DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials
    Wednesday 19 May 2010
    by: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report
    Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution.
    West was the special agent-in-charge at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company’s senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company’s Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil across two acres of frozen tundra – the second largest spill in Alaska’s history – which went undetected for nearly a week.
    West was confident that the thousands of hours he invested into the criminal investigation would result in felony charges against BP and the company’s senior executives who received advanced warnings from dozens of employees who worked at its Prudhoe Bay facility that unless immediate steps were taken to repair the severely corroded pipeline, a disaster on par with that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill was only a matter of time.
    Click here to listen to Scott West discuss this report on Democracy Now…….
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/20/fmr_epa_investigator_scott_west_us
    In fact, West, who spent nearly two decades at the EPA’s criminal division, was also told the pipeline was going to rupture – about six months before it happened.
    In a wide-ranging interview with Truthout, West described how the Justice Department (DOJ) abruptly shut down his investigation into BP in August 2007 and gave the company a “slap on the wrist” for what he says were serious environmental crimes that should have sent some BP executives to jail.
    He first aired his frustrations after he retired from the agency in 2008. But he said his story is ripe for retelling because the same questions about BP’s record are being raised again after a catastrophic explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers and ruptured an oil well 5,000 feet below the surface spewing 200,000 gallons of oil per day into the Gulf waters for a month.
    continues…
    So why not put West in charge of any “commission” tasked with finding the “truth”?
    Well, because these commissions are rarely, if ever, designed to find truth. Instead, they are invariably designed to PROTECT CRIMINALS in both the PRIVATE and the GOVERNMENTAL sectors, and to compose a historical record that actually spits on the reality behind events.
    If this Administration was serious about seeking the truth behind this disaster, subpoenas, warrants, arrests, and firings would already be occurring.
    And if this Administration REALLY held our best interests sacred, then the rig Atlantis, and many others, would by court order, cease operations immediately. If BP and our government cannot plug this leak at the operating depth of Deepwater Horizon, how would they deal with a leak resulting from catastrophic failure at a DEEPER depth, that which Atlantis operates? And if Deepwater Horizon’s BOP was KNOWN to be defective and damaged BEFORE the explosion, what is known about Atlantis’ BOP, and what are the chances of an equally catastrophic failure on the rig known as Atlantis?
    And the one cohesive factor to this whole unfolding catastrophy is the criminal oversight of MMS. MMS was, is, responsible for enforcing regulations on ALL the offshore rigs, not just BP’s. If the criminals at MMS gave BP a free pass for egregious violations and criminal activities, what crimes have the other members of the oil community gotten away with? What other impending disasters are lurking offshore, or on our onshore drilling and pumping operations? This event calls into question the safety of the ENTIRE oil drilling and pumping infrastructure, as they are ALL regulated by the same corrupt and criminal governmental agency.

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  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Go screw yourself, “infidel”.
    BP Says

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  28. Insolent Infidel says:

    POA, I looked up that note I wrote and in it was a
    link to that thread (I was posting as just
    ‘INFIDEL’):
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2010/04/be
    yond_hubris_u/index.php
    Come to think of it, how you managed to get ‘war
    against islam’ from that post is a mystery. I
    remember reading in one reply that you’re a
    carpenter, or something like that? Explains a lot.

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  29. Insolent Infidel says:

    For what it’s worth, I’m not saying things will only be good in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if terrorists kill millions thanks to advancements in biotechnoogy, but if there are things to be done to stop that they would also include solutiosn made possible with biotech/nanotech/etc… It’s not just terrorists that will have more capablities. Maybe they’ll even be less powerful than now, as technolgoes make the world much more secure and thing do turn out pretty well. Who knows where the balancw will be, I persoanally can’t wait for the future though.
    And it’s good to see talk about these kind of things on blogs like here, technology in the next several decades is going to change civlization drastically.

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  30. Insolent Infidel says:

    POA knows history, it’s why he’s so pessimistic. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind living in the 1500s, then? If you were to explain to anybody from the past how life is now, nobody would believe your utopian hallucinations. Reminds of me a recent BBC world service program I heard, with one leftist nut talking of greed and spiritual change. And he was doing it while broadcasting his opinion to everyone on the planet, with technology that would have been described as ‘magic’ in the past. He was also healthy, living with a roof over him and enjoying like to an extent that not only kings of the past could have. And this quality of life is reaching more and more people thanks to the spread of capitalism and exponential advancement of technology. Things will only become better, cheaper more widespread.
    As far as humans evolving past their nature, that’s of course not going to happen, it’s possible however, though it is hilarious watching a person such as yourself complain of the evil and rotten nature of humans. You’re one of the best examples of that, POA.
    Since I’m here, I’ll ask something I wanted to ask you before but I forgot about it and just left a note to remind me of it. In previous thread you asked if the wars obama fighting is really a war on islam then, that my post revealed that as the real reason behind what you perceived as my support for the afghan war I think (I don’t remember exactly what thread that was about).
    Anyway, what I wanted to ask you then, is what is a war against islam?
    I can’t figure that out, seems the US is fighting FOR islam, I mean if the taliban and al-qaida aren’t really muslims and the vast majority are moderate (don’t laugh) who oppose them. A war against islam sounds to me something like this: nuke all muslims, cut off whatever is left from the rest of the world and isolate them into oblivion, expel or kill or muslims living in the west, Now that’s a war against islam. I’m missing something here.
    Going back to biotechnology, the single greatest advancement in the future will be intelligence enhancement. running faster and breathing for longer underwater are just sideshows. Intelligence enhancment would also be a war against islam, btw. And christianity, and judaism. And pretty much all dogma and idiocy. imagine a world with neither glen beck or POA? So wonderful. In reality though, they’ll only be limited and outnumbered, but not eliminated.

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  31. DonsBlog says:

    I’m not painting a picture of a utopian society, just giving examples of what the technology could do. Who would have imagined in the 1980s that we’d be conversing over a blog or tweeting, though we knew about early networks.
    What people will do with that technology would be impossible to predict. Wisdom, unlike knowledge, isn’t cumulative.

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  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Aren’t you two just rays of sunshine”
    No. Malkie is just an asshole. No sunshine there.
    As for me, I limit my light rays to my immediate existence, because there is where they are most useful, enjoyable, and realistic. But projecting such optimistic bubbles of naivete, such as yours, on mankind’s ability to turn science into an altruistic exercise hardly encourages oversight that would facilitate such a constructive scenario. Just color me jaded by history and the facts. Oh yeah, we’ve made advances that have benefited mankind. Penicillin comes to mind, and others. But with the advent of such antibiotics, how much of our science has contributed to an escalating myriad of heretofor unheard of forms of cancer? And what is the REAL power of the advances in nuclear technology?? Has the use of nuclear energy influenced and benefited mankind in a positive manner that neutralizes the negative effect that the spectre of nuclear holocaust has wrought on mankind? And the positive aspects of nuclear technology, comnbined with the negative aspects oif nuclear technology??? Are either aspects of the technology TRULY beneficial or positive when one considers the costs of a major “accident”, or the impossibility of safely storing or disposing of the waste? And need I mention the inaccessability to most of earth’s inhabitants to the most advanced medical technologies, procedures, and pharmacological advances that have been priced far beyond the reach of most human beings??
    Don, I can find plenty in my immediate surroundings and personal sphere to be grateful for, and find sunshine in. But a faith in mankind’s ability to “evolve” past greed, war, bigotry, and self-enrichment through the suffering of his fellows is not a fantasy I find worth entertaining. I will leave that feckless enterprise to those such as yourself, who choose to ignore man’s entire historical record.
    I don’t think technology will give man the eventual utopia he may well find himself residing in. I tend to think that nature, (God?), will provide it, if in fact it ever comes to pass. And we will fight Him every inch of the way.

    Reply

  33. Dan Kervick says:

    Hey Steve,
    We have a new troll here whose uncouth flaming is interfering with the usual uncouth flaming.

    Reply

  34. DonsBlog says:

    Aren’t you two just rays of sunshine. All the above is based on actual research. Of course, some kitchen table gene splicing experiment could wipe out a large chunk of the world.
    Prophets of doom have declaring the end of the world for millennium, yet here we are still plugging away. More than likely I won’t be around to see it. So why cry that the sky is falling all of the time?

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  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Don, your utopian outlook on the use of future science is unbelievably naive. When have we EVER exhibited such responsible or constructive usage of science and technology? More likely, we will apply new science in our usual inept and incompetent manner, unconcerned with the “effect” end of the laws of cause and effect.
    Its comical seeing you paint such a rosy picture while this unfolding catastrophe in the gulf is occurring.
    I suppose optimism is a somewhat laudable mindset, if only in its utility at shielding you from reality. But such optimism certainly doesn’t beget the kind of humanitarian and responsible oversight that scientific advancement would require to fulfill your fantastic expectations of the altruistic usages of advanced science that you predict. Such advances require huge expenditures of money, and such huge monetary resources are seldom in the hands of those that apply the sciences in humanitarian endeavors, choosing instead to utilize science to enrich themselves, and to carry out technological vendettas and pogroms against those members of the human race that are percieved as “enemies”.

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I found this lengthy PDF on a government website, outlining failures, fixes, testing, and recommendations regarding Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer dating back nine years. Read it, and weep…….
    http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20100512/TRO-Deepwater.Horizon.BOP.Assurance.Analysis.March.2001.pdf
    ….read it fast, as I am confident it will disappear. But not before I email it to Kenneth Abbott’s attorneys.

    Reply

  37. DonsBlog says:

    I think bio-tech is on the verge of creating a new boom in the way we live, much like the Internet did in the 90s. We’ll be able to shape our genes and adapt to our environments, whether for work or play. Perhaps taking a pill and growing gills so we can work at ocean depths without bringing breathing equipment with us.
    Modifying our sight into the infrared or ultraviolet. Hearing as well. We could be leaner and faster or slower and stronger. Astronauts could change their bodies so they survive freezing during long space flights to the outer planets.
    Maybe earlier than that with nano-technology, we could have nano surgeons and organ repair, drugs keyed by our dna so no one else can take them, or find that elusive secret to push life spans beyond the theoretical 50 years.

    Reply

  38. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://current.com/news/92438847_60-minutes-interview-with-bp-whistleblower-i-survived-to-tell-this-story.htm
    Further, another whistleblower who has been IGNORED by these pieces of shit that are supposed to protect the interests of the PEOPLE above the interests of the bloodsuckers. If Abbott woulda been listened to by these fuckers, the current gulf CATASTROPHE would never have occurred. And how soon before his predictions about the rig “Atlantis” become true? WHY IS THIS RIG STILL OPERATING??? WHOSE INTERESTS DOES OBAMA REPRESENT???
    http://www.newsomelaw.com/blog/2010/05/19/bp-lawsuit-filed-whistleblower-former-employee
    BP Lawsuit Filed By Whistleblower, Former EmployeeWednesday, May 19, 2010
    Whistleblower Kenneth Abbott recently filed a lawsuit intended to force BP to halt operation of another oil platform located in the Gulf of Mexico. Abbott is a former employee of BP, having formerly worked as a project control supervisor.
    Abbott has been interviewed by both 60 Minutes and ProPublica, and in both interviews stated that BP never evaluated their engineering designs for their oil pumping operation. Abbott feels that this second oil pumping operation could fail, just as Deepwater Horizon did, and a second catastrophic spill could occur. Abbott stated that BP did not review any of the thousands of design documents for their pumping systems. Abbott also alleges that BP never confirmed that the equipment was installed as originally ordered.
    Additionally, according to Abbott, BP never filed the paperwork that would serve as an emergency manual to the rig workers if anything ever went wrong. Abbott claims that he approached his superiors about these issues when he was still employed by BP, but that his concerns were rebuffed. According to Abbott, BP

    Reply

  39. MarkL says:

    Thanks for the links and excerpts.

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Oil Spill: BP

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Mark, go on over to Truthout, and also the 60 Minutes site. You can find plenty there. Whats amazing is that the guy on 60 Minutes claims that pieces of the main seal in the blowout preventer were coming up in the pipe in the days prior to the explosion. He claims that he witnessed a BP guy and a Transocean guy arguing about whether or not to proceed just a few hours before the explosion. The BP guy won the argument, and operations were resumed.

    Reply

  42. MarkL says:

    Hey POA,
    Can you give me a link or name for the BP whistleblower?
    Thanks.
    I think we can all agree that this disaster is not Obama’s Katrina: it’s his Chernobyl.

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “What will the world look like in 100 years?”
    The La Brea Tar Pits??? Chernobyl???
    Anyone else taking notice of the fact that the BP whistleblower, who was on Deepwater Horizon when it blew, is having his story ignored by the Obama Administration and the Main Stream Media?
    This sack of shit, this empty suit, this huge disappointment, BARACK OBAMA, stood before us this morning as a President EVERY BIT as slimey and fucked up as that hapless Texas hillbilly and murderous oilman redneck George Bush.
    Obama appoints two KNOWN liars and government apologists to head the investigation??? Who the fuck does he think he is kidding? A Bush Administration EPA official?? Now just why the hell do you think this guy was a high standing official with EPA when Bush was President??? Because he’s friend of the people and the environment?
    Meanwhile, BP’s rig “Atlantis”, who the whistleblowers have exposed as having been subjected to the same CRIMINAL oversight by BRIBED coccaine sniffing pseudo-inspecters from the criminally negligent agency misnamed MMS, continues to pump oil from a depth DEEPER than that of Deepwater Horizon’s operating depth. Can you imagine if we get TWO of these damned gushers filling the gulf, and beyond, with its liquid death? WHY HASN’T THIS RIG BEEN SHUT DOWN???? Whose interests does this piece of shit Obama represent?
    We now KNOW that the seal in the blowout preventer was seriously damaged days PRIOR to the explosion, yet knowing this, BP IGNORED safety regulations, failed pressure tests, and existing LAWS to continue operations.
    WHERE ARE THE ARRESTS????
    WHERE ARE THE FIRINGS???
    WHY HAVEN’T BP’S OTHER RIGS BEEN SHUT DOWN UNTIL THE CAN BE INSPECTED AND CERTIFIED SAFE???
    If anyone still held out any hope that the current sack of shit President is any less a sack of shit President than the last sack of shit President, this event, and his handling of this event, should dispel any such reservations.
    As if we needed such an indicater??? Gitmo, still open. Troops still in Iraq. None of the Bush criminals held accountable. Wiretaps still occurring. Further erosion of habeus corpus protections. Renditions continue. Israel still sucking up our tax dollars while waging a brutal campaign of oppression against the Palestinians. DADT still policy. The list goes on and on. This asshole is as fake as a three dollar bill. Same o, same o. The left has been had, and the country suffers for it. WE ALL suffer for it.
    And now, Deepwater Horizon, and the BLATANT attempt by this Administration to mislead the American people, and protect the interests of BP, in direct conflict with the law, our expectations of reasonable standards of accountability, and the responsible protection of the people’s environment and resources.
    Screw this president, I’ve seen all I need to see. He’s no better than the last one. I have no idea what the “world” will look like in 100 years, but if this is what “leadership” looks like right now in the US of A, than I have a pretty good idea what the United States will look like. It will look like pictures and words in a history book, because that’s the only place it will exist.

    Reply

  44. Hiroshi Burnette says:

    There is no compelling force to push human evolution in any direction, so it will most likely stall. We may have mutations, but no selection.
    My money is on disease and starvation being the primary selection factor someday. We plug our fingers in the leaking dam by increasing crop yield and immunizing children, but at some point, the population density will make disease transmission much easier, and the dam will break catastrophically.
    You can only hope that your mutation is the resistant one.

    Reply

  45. DonS says:

    “Human evolution” in the “biophysical” sense may well occur. But it will be of little value if humans don’t evolve in spiritual way; spiritual in the sense of taking one’s rightful place on the scale of the planet, the solar system, ad the cosmos.
    Very few are interested in the work necessary to evolve. Not because the path is hidden in the sense of ‘secret’, but because it requires effort of a sort — ego questioning work — that few individuals are interested in, even if they have the luxury of not having to scratch out a daily existence.
    The major religious traditions in their current form are little help, have lost their own connection with the means of essential evolution, and are as much a part of the problem — the semi hypnotic ‘sleep’ of mankind if you will — as potential solution.
    So ‘evolve’, by all means, but for what aim?

    Reply

  46. sdemetri says:

    If you leave aside the likelihood that global warming will cause
    mass upheaval in societies grappling with the ability to grow
    traditional crops or derive adequate protein from the ocean’s
    remaining fish stocks, epigenetics may play as much a role in
    changing the course of human evolution as “synthetic” life, if not
    a much greater role.
    Mandelian genetics has always relied on identifying traits
    encoded in the genome and selectively breeding for those traits.
    Mutations, when not show stopping, have influenced long-term
    changes in species’ evolution, but epigenetic switches that get
    turned on and off, in one generation’s time, by environmental
    chemicals, by smoking, by disease is a newly discovered
    moderator of human evolution and looks to be a significant one.
    Unexplained cancer rates, obesity, epidemics of chronic
    inflammatory conditions… “synthetic” life escaping the
    laboratory, or being used in ways not conducive to containment
    presents a scary scenario of contamination of the wider gene
    pool, but epigenetics is a little understood natural component of
    our genetic makeup, and looks to be what will drive human
    evolution forward for better or worse.
    Designer kids…? maybe, maybe not. Oil producing microbes?
    More likely, but if you think genetically modified foods caused
    an uproar with some, this advance in biological engineering will
    bring out GMO-like protests on steroids.

    Reply

  47. Dan Kervick says:

    “What will the world look like in 100 years?
    On the whole, very ugly.

    Reply

  48. Johnny Boy says:

    Everyone has different theries on this. I belive (if we are still around) that it won’t look much different then it does now. Let’s face it, we have already come so far with modern technology, could we really go any further? Well yes! However, I don’t think it will change the way we live.

    Reply

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