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BP leak costs soar

Robert Peston | 08:39 UK time, Thursday, 13 May 2010

There's been a dramatic increase in the costs for BP of its efforts to contain the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from a damaged deep-sea well.

BP clean-upBP this morning estimated the cost to date as $450m, up from a $350m estimate published on Monday.

That implies that the daily costs are $33m, compared with daily costs of $18m just three days ago and an initial daily cost rate of $6m calculated by BP on April 30 - which was some eight days after the explosion that killed 11 rig workers and caused what is turning into a significant environmental disaster.

To put that into context, that's considerably more, on a per-day basis, than the British government spends in aggregate on the energy, environment and culture departments plus the Foreign Office - and it's only a bit less than the entire Home Office budget.

The scale of the relief effort is therefore equivalent in financial and resource terms to running quite a big chunk of the British public sector.

How on earth can that be?

Well the relief effort has involved the deployment of 13,000 personnel from BP, other businesses and US government agencies and the use of 530 boats, to skim and direct the oil.

There has also been 120 dispersant-spraying flight and 1.2m feet of boom has been floated to prevent the oil reaching the coast.

And then, of course, there's the considerable expense of the efforts 5,000 feet below sea level and using robotic devices to plumb and stop the leak - which has so far proved unsuccessful and which BP is pursuing without being able to provide any kind of guidance about when or even whether there will be a reduction in the 5,000 barrels per day gushing into the water.

Huge as these costs are, BP can afford them - they represent about 13% less on a per-day basis than BP generated in profit last year.

But they don't take account of future compensation claims and possible future fines.

So it's not completely inconceivable that the final financial bill for BP would wipe out an entire year's profit - which if you live and work on the imperilled Gulf coast you probably regard as a comparatively lenient form of financial natural justice.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    So how much corporation tax will the UK lose if BP has to spend, say, $5bn fixing the damage ?

  • Comment number 2.

    Trying and to get too much of the black stuff out of terra firma, too quickly inevitably leads to problems.

    I think it is called being ... greedy! It's like over-lending and over-spending really... Simples!

  • Comment number 3.

    Robert, a large proportion of people living on the Gulf coast depend on the offshore oil industry for their incomes and have no great desire to see offshore drilling abandoned or companies wiped out financially. They are not all shrimp farmers or game fishermen. This is likely to temper claims, despite the whipping up of sentiment by Obama and washington generally.

  • Comment number 4.

    Glad I don't hold BP shares at this point! Seriously though, that's gotta hurt!

  • Comment number 5.

    BP and partners are responsible for what will probably be the largest ecological disaster in history. How do you equate the destruction of the natural environment for decades into monetary terms? Should we weep for BP and its shareholders and the cost? I think not. If there is provable negligence, those responsible at BP, right to the top, should be brought criminally to book, for the environmental damage and loss of life. Goodbye BP? The world will at least be moving in the right direction and take Haliburton with you.

  • Comment number 6.

    Robert, I find it highly irresponsible that you would take the side of a company which KILLS the environment. I did not see you calculating the cost to the enviroment and the local human population.

    Forget the environment, we're chasing profits here!

  • Comment number 7.

    Todays main business stories are; stock markets up, sainsbury's sales are strong and profits grow, BT results beat expectations.

    Good old RP remembering the oil leak to find something to be down about. A better way of putting the implied cost of $33m per day in perspective (imo )is that BP's profits are £37 million per day.

    subsequent to DavidJ's question i would ask how much does the UK lose by not placing windfall taxes on such obscene profits and secondly how much less tax are BP going to pay when the govt reduces corporation tax for large companies.

  • Comment number 8.

    It seems to me that BP is doing a pretty good job of cleaning up at the moment - after all little oil seems to be reaching the beaches. The leak wasn't done on purpose, so it's annoying to see that there is any suggestion that BP deserves to be hit with profit loss. The fact is that the world needs the oil.

  • Comment number 9.

    The loss of one year's profit will definitely hurt BP and its shareholders, but that is fair enough for the damage caused.
    But for those that think this is someone else's problem, remember that BP is one of the largest constituents of the FTSE and ANYONE with a UK pension will be affected.
    Robert, can you do an exercise of how much of BP is owned by the British public/ British pension funds etc and therefore how much this might be costing the British public?
    Plus, as post #1 says, how much would George Osbourne stand to lose (fail to collect) if BP' profit is wiped out for a year?

  • Comment number 10.

    I should imagine that BP have some sort of insurance to cover this sort of disaster, Maybe having shares in the insurance company will be the main financial disaster. Can anyone name names ?

  • Comment number 11.

    I wonder if anybody has considered that the long term consequence of this would be to discourage development offshore US and elsewhere. It is just as well this happened to BP other smaller companies could not bear the cost and would have folded. Companies planning to drill offshore US must now factor in the risk of an incident and will pay for it. It will be much more difficult to finance field developments in the US and elsewhere especially now companies and their bankers know they run the risk of retrospective legislation resulting in unlimited liability. It is equally likely that other countries will follow the US example and insist that US/western oil companies are subject to similar unlimited liabilities. This would make life very difficult for Independant Oil cos like BP and open the way to national oil co's supported by sovereign states such as CNOOC, Gazprom, Petrobras as being the only people that can go offshore.

    This will mean that the US will be increasingly dependant on foreign powers for its energy supplies. Goodbye BP hello Sinopec, CNOOC is that what we want? Hmmmm

    It is too simplistic to put this down to BP being greedy no company would want what is happening to BP to happen to them. It is often overlooked that for all the fancy technology, the oil industry relies on people - highly skilled, very experianced well trained people. I would expect that when this is investigated we will find like Piper Alpha this was a failure of systems, people and planning. In the Browne era this focus on people was lost and core skills were shed to focus on "core business" reduces costs and keep the city happy. BP need proper engineers and what they have now is Powerpoint Jockeys.

  • Comment number 12.

    Yes Robert, governments around the world and the entire oil industry must be in the process of re-thinking just how to do "deep-water drilling".
    An enormous amount of stand-by resources may need to be on-site before anyone lowers a drill, and companies may demand limits to their responsibilities, or they may simply not bother.
    Countries need the oil, companies need the oil, but it has all got to be thought out again from scratch, and whatever the outcome, it will be far more expensive than the current exploration and drilling system.
    Hurricane Katrina did billions in damage to that coast, but you can't sue a hurricane.....

  • Comment number 13.

    Sadly a major outcome of this may be to further export pollution. The US will ban offshore drilling, but still want the oil. So the risk will move to other countries.

  • Comment number 14.

    Surely the cost of the clean-up will be borne by BP's insurers? Does anyone have any information on this?

  • Comment number 15.

    "There has also been 120 dispersant-spraying flight and 1.2m feet of boom has been floated to prevent the oil reaching the coast."

    Is the boom 1.2m or 1.2 feet? What is 120 dispersant-spraying flight? I would love to comment on the semantic content of this article but it makes no sense.

  • Comment number 16.

    A large proprtion of BP shares are held by UK pension funds. So the impact on profits affects many more individuals than just direct shareholders.

  • Comment number 17.

    About what palmski say's numbered 6 we need an enviroment to live in BEFORE we can be greedy/sensible/buried in so lets concentrate on the enviroment

  • Comment number 18.

    What we all have to remember when considering this disaster is that a large proportion of the worlds population is culpable because of our desire for the products and fuel arising from the oil business. If our economies were to suffer because of a lack of these products we would be complaining about that too.
    Don't get me wrong I think this disaster is a real problem and needs to be solved and quickly. But oil companies are only drilling and searching for oil because it is one of the main drivers of most economies in the world and they can make a profit from it. We all benefit from it and the pressure to supply oil to maintain our lifestyle is huge. It is inevitable that there are going to be accidents at some point, nothing is perfect, but we should have plans and equipment in place to deal with this sort of problem.
    Perhaps there should be an internationally funded group that has the equipment and resources to deal with this sort of event quickly, to minimise the impact on the environment. At the moment we haven't planned for anything on this scale and just seem to be pointing the finger because that's the easiest thing to do rather than taking joint responsibility.
    The big lesson to be learnt from this is, plan for the worst but do everything possible to try and prevent it happening again.
    Or find an alternative fuel source and fast.

  • Comment number 19.

    re comments 10 & 14

    I believe BP self insure.

  • Comment number 20.

    I don't think anyone can feel anything but disturbed by the potential enviromental damage and hopefully BP and the others out there will minimise the impact. Financially however, if BP are spending such an enormoua amount on the control/cleanup, surely some of this is actually being spent locally ? That must be some help.

  • Comment number 21.

    @plamski - Robert is the BBC's business editor (not the environment editor) hence the talk of profits

  • Comment number 22.

    Leaving aside the obvious ethical issues, is now (or some point in the near future) an ideal time to buy BP shares. I dont think that the costs will seriously hurt a company like BP and a year down the line, one could be sitting on a nice profit.

  • Comment number 23.

    # 2. At 09:27am on 13 May 2010, nautonier wrote:

    > I think it is called being ... greedy! It's like over-lending and
    > over-spending really... Simples!

    There is nothing simple about deep sea oil exploration. It is
    hugely hard to do.

  • Comment number 24.

    What percentage of BP is owned by pension funds? If BP has to pay the full cost of the clean up in the Gulf of Mexico, won't this affect the performance of pension funds, and if so, to what extent?

  • Comment number 25.

    5. At 09:34am on 13 May 2010, KarlCambs wrote:

    "BP and partners are responsible for what will probably be the largest ecological disaster in history."

    That is simply not true. This is not even in the top 50 largest oil spills.

    15. At 10:30am on 13 May 2010, richante wrote:

    "Is the boom 1.2m or 1.2 feet?"

    I suspect the 1.2m feet was supposed to indicate 1.2 million feet. In future PR, this would be are easier if you used the metric system of measurement. 1.2 million feet would be approximately 400km.

  • Comment number 26.

    # 15. At 10:30am on 13 May 2010, richante wrote:

    >> "There has also been 120 dispersant-spraying flight and 1.2m feet of boom
    >> has been floated to prevent the oil reaching the coast."

    > Is the boom 1.2m or 1.2 feet?

    It is 1.2 _million_ feet.

    > What is 120 dispersant-spraying flight[s]?

    It is 120 tanker planes full of dispersant. This operation makes
    Goldfinger look like a shoplifter!

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    Share value has already lost $30bn so this is a drop of oil in the ocean for those currently holding. The market has factored in the worst case scenario. If you buy in you can only win.

  • Comment number 29.

    Regarding insurance;

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601104&sid=a9YmPx3cwpCo

    It is unlikely that BP will be able to recover all (or even much) of their losses, particularly where it is so difficult to prove liability (a mile down, numerous sub-contractors and much destroyed).

    Saying that, Haliburton, Transocean and Cameron International Corp (BOP contractor) will all have had better weeks, months and even years...the fall out won't simply fall on BP's doorstep as we're starting to see.

    One of the major problems however is that the Obama administration are gunning for BP, a British company who had the audacity to purchase an American petrochemical company, Amoco, which royally wound them up. They've never really forgiven us over it.

    Plus BP's tax payments to the GB gov must be a significant wedge of the entire tax income per year for Blighty- so there's a political element to screwing us at the same time, if only to maintain 'the special relationship'.

    Terrible terrible environmental catastrophe and I genuinely hope it is resolved asap without hitting land but anyone driving or flying anywhere shouldn't be too hypocritical- they only sell what you buy, and you don't want it to be too expensive or you'll complain! Perhaps the best outcome will be if this makes the US consumer general public (even global consumers) more aware of green energy alternatives...which lobbying of the US gov might be trying to acutely avoid, i.e. lets deflect criticism of oil per se to criticism of a giant (and foreign!) oil company instead...

    or perhaps I'm too cynical.

  • Comment number 30.

    Robert, you do realize that this oil spill will potentially wipe out a $6 BILLION/ yr fishing industry in the Gulf coast. So I have little sympathy for a company which operates recklessly at the expense of others who rely on the region for their livelihood.

    BP has other places it operates, these fisherman do NOT have other places to fish!

    Quite honestly, if this puts BP out of business it would be the very least that could happen.

  • Comment number 31.

    22. At 11:09am on 13 May 2010, ravski77 wrote:

    "Leaving aside the obvious ethical issues, is now (or some point in the near future) an ideal time to buy BP shares. I dont think that the costs will seriously hurt a company like BP and a year down the line, one could be sitting on a nice profit."

    Yeah - why bother with 'ethics' when there's 'profit to be made'.

    You see folks - this is the problem. And unfortunately for ravski77 he (or his descendants) will suffer from the law of unintended consequences.

    You see if people support BP through their thrist for profit they are in fact showing that the action of damaging the environment is acceptable. However when the Gulf of Mexico is no longer producing any fish and the people begin to starve (along with other examples of man destroying nature) then the human race will die out - or destroy itself fighting over the remaining food supply.

    Clearly ravski77 isn't smart enough to work this one out - and there a millions of people like this out there. His 'profit' passed to his descendants will be worthless as no amount of wealth will ensure the food supply required in the end.

  • Comment number 32.

    17. At 10:34am on 13 May 2010, bulekingfisher wrote:
    we need an enviroment to live in BEFORE we can be greedy/sensible/buried in so lets concentrate on the enviroment
    ---------------

    ONLY AFTER THE LAST TREE HAS BEEN CUT DOWN,
    ONLY AFTER THE LAST RIVER HAS BEEN POISONED,
    ONLY AFTER THE LAST FISH HAS BEEN CAUGHT,
    ONLY THEN WILL THE MAN FIND THAT MONEY CANNOT BE EATEN.

  • Comment number 33.

    I seem to be the only one with sympathy for BP? They commissioned a world leading US contractor, with US people and US kit to drill an exploratory well for them. A basic piece of safety hardware failed absolutely causing a disaster which killed people as well as threatening the environment. But, ASSUMING that BP carried out an audit of Transocean's safety procedures and that they required regular safety tests (and I believe this is the case), then how can it be BP's fault - yet they pick up the bill. I am a public company director and it is concerning how much liability one can pick up from one's contractors despite limitations to how much one can ultimately control them.

  • Comment number 34.

    I have just watched David Strahan, author of "The Last Oil Shock" interviewed on the BBC News channel and asked for his comments on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. For anyone concerned about this disaster and the economic / ecological impact, I strongly urge you to read David's book. It will answer many of your questions and explain our relentless quest for oil and gas. This latest fatal "accident" will NOT - regardless of the human or financial cost - deter the Major oil companies from continuing with "business as usual" in searching for and extracting this precious and hugely profitable natural resource.
    I predict that this high risk type of exploration drilling will continue in the Gulf of Mexico - as long as Americans wish to continue driving their cars...............


  • Comment number 35.

    This accident is all about politics no one has mentioned about the fact that Exxon have still not paid all of their bills for the Exxon Valdez disaster.

  • Comment number 36.

    Doubtless it will only be a matter of days or even hours before prices at the pumps are raised because of "the BP leak". Consumers are always hit, never these companies. Caledonian Comment

  • Comment number 37.

    31. At 11:58am on 13 May 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    You see if people support BP through their thrist for profit they are in fact showing that the action of damaging the environment is acceptable. However when the Gulf of Mexico is no longer producing any fish and the people begin to starve (along with other examples of man destroying nature) then the human race will die out - or destroy itself fighting over the remaining food supply.

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with you here...........as I strongly believe that the human race will destroy itself before food runs out - fighting over the remaining OIL supply !!
    Whoever is right, it does appear that mankind is on a path leading to self destruction!

  • Comment number 38.

    I've reduced my dependence on oil by:

    (i) Not buying anything that's been transported anywhere
    (ii) Not buying food that has been farmed using machinery or fertilizers
    (iii) Not buying anything made from plastic
    (iv) Avoiding pain relieving drugs
    (v) Not using electricity
    (vi) Not using cosmetics or toothpaste
    (vii) Not using gas
    (viii) Stopped repairing my house and business premises

    etc, etc, etc

  • Comment number 39.

    Hmmmm - so long as BP don't come cap in hand for a taxpayer based bail out as some holiday and air companies are over the volcano fall out.

    'If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen' the saying goes.

    Anyway - bad news all round, for BP, for investors but most of all for the environment. Well done.

  • Comment number 40.

    Whilst remebering the loss of lives and hoping for a complete clean up at whatever cost, the attitude of America to this disaster will make interesting comparison with the Bhopal chemical plant disaster. The destruction of Nigeria (and other countries) in the quest for oil similarly seems to be overlooked.....

  • Comment number 41.

    Apart from possible insurance cover, Robert, how much will BP be able to reclaim from the actual operators of the Deepwater Horizon field?

    I understand Transocean run the rig itself and Halliburton are involved with the subsea equipment. A report I have encountered indicates that the safety procedures may ahve left something to be desired. Is it BP or the sub-contractors who will ultimately carry the can?

  • Comment number 42.

    Difficult to just blame the oil companies completely (assuming they have done their utmost on safety issues). As our demand for oil and all its products continues to grow, and cheap accessible oil disappears, they have to go and find it in deeper and more inaccessible places in order to quench our thirst. There are obvious inherent risks with this - as we can see.
    So, what to do? oh yes, more nuclear power - let's hope there aren't any valves that break on one of those...

    Why don't we talk more about consuming less? Inevitably it will be the only answer at some point (if not already) - even uranium is a finite resource...

  • Comment number 43.

    23. At 11:12am on 13 May 2010, Jacques Cartier wrote:

    # 2. At 09:27am on 13 May 2010, nautonier wrote:

    > I think it is called being ... greedy! It's like over-lending and
    > over-spending really... Simples!

    There is nothing simple about deep sea oil exploration. It is
    hugely hard to do.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    http://www.hemscott.com/news/comment-archive/item.do?id=90189

    'Well conditions were unprecedented, with pressures ranging from 13,000 to 18,000 psi, and temperatures from 88 to 132 degrees Celsius.'

    'Look before you leap' and have a pre-planned emergency assessment - Simples!

  • Comment number 44.

    BBC moderators - you have commented both my previous comments where I have indicated the people and companies involved in the oil spill.

    I presume this is because you fear slander and legal action - but it's another news source saying it and not me.

    This is disgraceful - you are covering up for the guilty. Is this what I pay my license fee for? So you can get into bed with oil giants?

    How about this - is this acceptable?

    People - look up 'Halliburton' and 'oil spill' on you tube and you will find what the Americans themselves have discovered about the guilty parties - and decide for yourself.

  • Comment number 45.

    ....in fatc - I see my comments have in fact been 'referred to the moderators' - so it's official that this blog is infested with oil company stooges who are going to use the BBC's moderation policy to cover up the truth.

    Please make sure you all return and see what was written once the moderators realise nothing I said was slanderous.

  • Comment number 46.

    #11 Longandtall wrote
    BP need proper engineers and what they have now is Powerpoint Jockeys.

    I suspect they do still have proper engineers, it's just that (like most businesses) they get overruled by the managers and accountants. After all, nowadays it's not what you know, it's what jargon you know...

  • Comment number 47.

    30. At 11:46am on 13 May 2010, meljomur wrote:

    "Quite honestly, if this puts BP out of business it would be the very least that could happen."

    I think that RP's point is that despite the huge cost, it is highly unlikely to put BP out of business. The demand for oil is so high, that the cost of the clean up will eventually just filter through to the pumps and we'll all pay for it. In fact, the demand for oil is so high that more deep sea exploration is likely, and as has been pointed out before, deep sea oil exploration is very unpredictable. That means this is unlikely to be the last large oil spill we will see.

    "BP has other places it operates, these fisherman do NOT have other places to fish!"

    This is true, but if the clean up is managed properly the damage may well be relatively short term. Where any wrong has been done by BP I am sure that the courts will allow the fisherman compensation.

  • Comment number 48.

    25. At 11:16am on 13 May 2010, toni49 wrote:

    "That is simply not true. This is not even in the top 50 largest oil spills. "

    MISINFORMATION - MISINFORMATION

    NYT has it at 5000 barrels a day

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/us/29spill.html

    22 days (and I'm not even counting the day it started).

    Makes 110,000 barrels already - putting it about 11th in the list of all time oil spillages (and don't forget it's showing no signs of stopping)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_spill#Estimating_the_volume_of_a_spill

    I am always surprised by how quickly the 'world destroyers' come on here and start to spread misinformation to protect their profits and reputation.

  • Comment number 49.

    28. At 11:45am on 13 May 2010, Rob wrote:

    "Share value has already lost $30bn so this is a drop of oil in the ocean for those currently holding. The market has factored in the worst case scenario. If you buy in you can only win."

    22. At 11:09am on 13 May 2010, ravski77 wrote:

    "Leaving aside the obvious ethical issues, is now (or some point in the near future) an ideal time to buy BP shares. I dont think that the costs will seriously hurt a company like BP and a year down the line, one could be sitting on a nice profit."

    Do you feel no shame in profiting from ecological disaster?

    Lets try not to let this one get moderated out shall we BBC?

    If I was uncertain about bias in the media before - you're certainly confirming it now.

  • Comment number 50.

    32. At 12:06pm on 13 May 2010, plamski

    I don't wish to spread paranoia - but there are rumours this 'spill' was deliberate.

    It fits in nicely with the manipulation of scarcity as shown in the resource economy video - true?

  • Comment number 51.

    OIL STOOGES GET OFF ROBERTS BLOG!

  • Comment number 52.

    42. At 12:53pm on 13 May 2010, meerkatt wrote:

    "Difficult to just blame the oil companies completely (assuming they have done their utmost on safety issues)"

    ..unfortunately it's looking like safety requirements were brushed aside by the previous US administration.

    Am I allowed to say that moderators?

    If the Oil stooges want to silence me properly - then why not hack my details and I'll see you round my house - make sure you come prepared, because I know I will be.

  • Comment number 53.

    As many of you have pointed out - the solution to this problem is to dump gallons of 'dispersant' into the ocean.

    So you solve one environmental disaster by creating a new one.

    I believe BP have bought up a third of the worlds supply of this dispersant - so somebody is still profiting from the clean up.

    Nice world - soon to be over.

  • Comment number 54.

    #38. At 12:41pm on 13 May 2010, MrTweedy wrote:

    "I've reduced my dependence on oil by:

    (i) Not buying anything that's been transported anywhere
    (ii) Not buying food that has been farmed using machinery or fertilizers
    (iii) Not buying anything made from plastic
    (iv) Avoiding pain relieving drugs
    (v) Not using electricity
    (vi) Not using cosmetics or toothpaste
    (vii) Not using gas
    (viii) Stopped repairing my house and business premises..."

    I don't believe you. It is simply not possible.

  • Comment number 55.

    The US Government has hitherto advocated deep see oil exploration in an effort to reduce its non-domestic energy dependency. The limits of exploitation technology are being pushed and the US knew the risks. Negligence aside (that is unproven) a disaster of this magnitude was always a distinct possibility. The hypocrisy of US politics continues to amaze me.

    And a note to all of the BP-bashers out there, many of who will no doubt (a) drive home in their cars this evening to their (b) nice warm house and (c) watch TV, play on a computer, or cook dinner. Don't placate your oil-consumerist guilt by bashing oil companies which you rely on by choice.

  • Comment number 56.

    24. At 11:16am on 13 May 2010, Adrian wrote:

    "What percentage of BP is owned by pension funds? If BP has to pay the full cost of the clean up in the Gulf of Mexico, won't this affect the performance of pension funds, and if so, to what extent?"

    yeah, never mind the world and other people who suffer from this - all that matters is 'me' and 'my pension'.

    If you have bought into the private pension gamble - then that's tough - you should have read the small print before you got suckered in.

  • Comment number 57.

    Surely BP will be able to claim a considerable amount from insurance and other companies such as Transocean. I can't imagine a company this size would be prepared to operate such risky ventures without 'laying off' a percentage of the risk. Has the market overreacted?.

  • Comment number 58.

    Is it me, or is BP being vilified by the US administration fully intent on wholesale protectionism of its own Energy industry? This strikes me like a very convenient scapegoat for the Obama Govt. I wonder if a US Oil company would be held accountable so early on in proceedings, as it's much easier to blame this unpleasant accident on another foreign company than a domestic one?

  • Comment number 59.

    The BBC are pathetic - now we're seeing who pays your wages.

    Nothing I have said in my previous comments could give rise to any legal action, nor are they breaking the house rules.

    YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM.

    REVEAL THE TRUTH BBC - WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

    HALLIBURTON, HALLIBURTON, HALLILBURTON

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm astonished to say that I am in complete agreement with WOTW on this one.

    All those responsible for this environmental disaster should - must! - be prosecuted and fined to the full extent of the law, made to pay the entire cost of cleaning up (if a clean-up is even possible) and made to feel so much pain that no company will ever dare do this ever again.

    This is no time to be worrying about the impact on profits, tax revenue and shareholder returns.

  • Comment number 61.

    54. At 2:22pm on 13 May 2010, rbs_temp wrote:

    "I don't believe you. It is simply not possible."

    I think believing he truth has always been a problem for you. Allow me to explain how it's done.

    (i) Not buying anything that's been transported anywhere
    Growing your own - running a smallholding for meat eggs and milk.
    (ii) Not buying food that has been farmed using machinery or fertilizers
    Growing your own
    (iii) Not buying anything made from plastic
    Most plastics coming into the home are to wrap food in - no food being bought = no plastics. Only new plastic goods utilise existing oil - recycled plastics are already 'non oil dependent'
    (iv) Avoiding pain relieving drugs
    I haven't personally had any pharmecuticals in the last 15 years - not even an asprin, and I'm not even trying to cut down! Headaches are caused by dehydration and simply popping pills isn't solving the root cause - water does.
    (v) Not using electricity
    Solar and wind power
    (vi) Not using cosmetics or toothpaste
    Smelly - but free from oil
    (vii) Not using gas
    Solar and wind power
    (viii) Stopped repairing my house and business premises...
    Repairs can be made, just not with items transported. Most of Iceland's houses are built with recycled corrugated iron as there are very few trees - so no wood.

    Now I'm not saying MrTweedy isn't lying - but living without oil is completely possible

  • Comment number 62.

    48. At 1:39pm on 13 May 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "Makes 110,000 barrels already - putting it about 11th in the list of all time oil spillages (and don't forget it's showing no signs of stopping)"

    You are confusing barrels with tonnes. 110 000 tonnes of oil would make it 11th, not 110 000 barrels. See below for how to convert barrels into tonnes.

    "I am always surprised by how quickly the 'world destroyers' come on here and start to spread misinformation to protect their profits and reputation."

    Actually, I don't work for an oil company, or any other "world destroyer". Nor do I even know anyone that does.

    If you base all your science on Wikipedia its no wonder you are so misinformed.

    The calculations are based on a spill of 5000 barrels per day, and comes from the BBC. However, the calculations are reasonable simple to do, so I can give you a quick run down.

    5000 barrels per day is roughly 950 000 litres, or 950 cubic metres

    Density of crude oil is around 850kg/m3 (this is an approximation because it does vary)

    So the mass of oil leaking is around 807 500 kg per day, or 808 tonnes per day.

    The 10th biggest oil spill in history was Sea Star in 1972 at 115 000 tonnes. It will take a total of 142 days to get that big. If the leak hasn't been stopped by that time we can start talking about it being one of the biggest disasters ever.

  • Comment number 63.

    toni49 wrote:

    KarlCambs wrote:
    "BP and partners are responsible for what will probably be the largest ecological disaster in history."

    "That is simply not true. This is not even in the top 50 largest oil spills"

    Note I wrote 'probably will'.

    Will BP cap this blowout today? tomorrow? Very unlikely. The operation is at the limits of current technology. In the meantime 5,000 (some suggest up to 25,000) barrels a day are pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. Any day now the spill of Exonn Valdeze will be equalled. 25 years on Price William Sound has not recovered.

    We are drilling at these depths and pressures for one simple reason. The days of easy oil are gone. From here on we have two choices. Adapt to a lower energy existence or trash the planet in search of the last reserves to keep our growth based consumer societies going as long as possible. Billions of fiat currency are as nothing when comapred to this damage. Know why? You can get the banksters to create more billions instantly. You can't get back the environment and biosystems once they are gone.

  • Comment number 64.

    42. At 12:53pm on 13 May 2010, meerkatt wrote:

    "Difficult to just blame the oil companies completely (assuming they have done their utmost on safety issues). As our demand for oil and all its products continues to grow, and cheap accessible oil disappears, they have to go and find it in deeper and more inaccessible places in order to quench our thirst. There are obvious inherent risks with this - as we can see.
    So, what to do? oh yes, more nuclear power - let's hope there aren't any valves that break on one of those..."

    Whatever the alternative sources of energy supply we look to use there will inevitably be accidents resulting in loss of life ( human and animal ) and damage to the environment. As for nuclear energy - if you think that the current situation caused by the Deepwater Horizon drilling incident is bad, heaven forbid that we go one stage worse than Three Mile Island or Chernobyl ( i.e. complete reactor meltdown ) ?! As long as there are humans there will be "human error" and that, coupled with "equipment failure" will result in ( man made )ecological disasters

    This time it is BP in the frame. Exxon and Occidental have been there previously ( to name but two )and we can only guess who will be next..............but one thing is certain - there WILL be a "next" !

  • Comment number 65.

    54. At 2:22pm on 13 May 2010, rbs_temp wrote:
    #38. At 12:41pm on 13 May 2010, MrTweedy wrote:

    "I've reduced my dependence on oil by:

    (i) Not buying anything that's been transported anywhere
    (ii) Not buying food that has been farmed using machinery or fertilizers
    (iii) Not buying anything made from plastic
    (iv) Avoiding pain relieving drugs
    (v) Not using electricity
    (vi) Not using cosmetics or toothpaste
    (vii) Not using gas
    (viii) Stopped repairing my house and business premises..."

    I don't believe you. It is simply not possible

    .........................................................................

    I do believe.......rbs_temp........that this is the point Mr Tweedy was attempting to make i.e the World - as it is today - cannot operate without oil ??!!

  • Comment number 66.

    I've been doing a little research into the track record of the companies involved in the 'drill baby drill' industry.

    It is high time the companies were brought to heel. Laws are there to protect us and the environment. They are there to be obeyed. Ignoring them or becoming involved in other unsavoury, undemocratic lobbying practices seems to have come back with a huge bite in the spreadsheet.

    Way over due that bite back. Let's not forget. 11 worker deaths in this single incident. Massive environmental damage will follow for how long? I wouldn't just make them pay for every penny, I'd throw out of court all protective documents they've had the locals pay and make them cough up for the lost business, the life-long ill-health, the works, the lost income.

    Riki Ott has a lot of experience of such disasters.

  • Comment number 67.

    BBC Breaking News!!!!!!!!

    Bankruptcies to keep on rising, figures suggest

    Other top stories this Thursday afternoon!!!!!!!

    Football unaffected by slump!
    Alan Sugar getting richer!
    Another young soldier killed in Helmand.
    He has been named.
    His family have been informed.
    That's the end of his short life.
    Depression on the increase!
    The rich getting richer says Forbes!
    US penalties won't hurt us say BP Directors!
    Sheffield mum has twins

    Repossessions, insolvencies, marital break-ups, liquidations all going up and nobody came.

    GC

  • Comment number 68.

    In respect of BP, I hope:

    They fix the leak as soon as is possible.
    The environmental damage is as small as possible.
    They don’t get hammered financially.
    And they keep on drilling for oil and converting it into petrol and diesel.

    So I wish BP good luck in getting it sorted.

    And just to prove I’m going to make an early dart and fill my motorcycle up at a BP station, assuming it doesn’t start raining and global warming doesn’t carry on keeping temperatures at February levels in May.

  • Comment number 69.

    50. At 2:09pm on 13 May 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:
    I don't wish to spread paranoia - but there are rumours this 'spill' was deliberate.

    It fits in nicely with the manipulation of scarcity as shown in the resource economy video - true?
    ------------------

    I won't be surprised. This system thrives on inefficiency and disasters which create scarcity.

    The next one, they are hard working on, is water. Very soon fresh water supplies will be made so scarce that we'll have to pay a price higher than oil.

  • Comment number 70.

    64. At 3:18pm on 13 May 2010, Macbeth789 wrote:

    "As for nuclear energy - if you think that the current situation caused by the Deepwater Horizon drilling incident is bad, heaven forbid that we go one stage worse than Three Mile Island or Chernobyl ( i.e. complete reactor meltdown ) ?!"

    Comparing modern nuclear reactors with Three Mile Island or Chernobyl is about as logical as comparing mobile phones with the paper cup and string telephones. They are so completely different that nothing can be gained by the comparison. The use of solar, wind and wave power is (IMO) far more preferable than nuclear, but base your reasoning on facts, not scaremongering.

  • Comment number 71.

    42. At 12:53pm on 13 May 2010, meerkatt wrote:
    So, what to do? oh yes, more nuclear power - let's hope there aren't any valves that break on one of those...

    Why don't we talk more about consuming less? Inevitably it will be the only answer at some point (if not already) - even uranium is a finite resource...
    ------------------

    Meerkatt, did you know that the UK can fulfill 40% of its electricity need from Tidal/Wave Power Stations?

    Ask yourself, why don't we? ;)

  • Comment number 72.

    55. At 2:23pm on 13 May 2010, Matt wrote:

    "And a note to all of the BP-bashers out there, many of who will no doubt (a) drive home in their cars this evening to their (b) nice warm house and (c) watch TV, play on a computer, or cook dinner. Don't placate your oil-consumerist guilt by bashing oil companies which you rely on by choice."

    When I (a)ride my bike home to my house where the (b)central heating has been off since March then I will consider what you said and happily ignore it.
    (c) the source of electricity is not usually oil - so I can happily feel free that I do not 'placate my oil-consumerist guilt' - because I have none.
    Energy supply in the UK
    * gas – 39.93% (0.05% in 1990)
    * coal – 33.08% (67.22% in 1990)
    * nuclear – 19.26% (18.97% in 1990)
    * renewables – 3.55% (0% in 1990)
    * hydroelectric – 1.10% (2.55% in 1990)
    * imports – 1.96% (3.85% in 1990)
    * oil – 1.12% (6.82% in 1990)


    The MISINFORMATION MOGULS ARE OUT IN FORCE TODAY - WE MUST BE CLOSE TO THE TRUTH

  • Comment number 73.

    63. At 3:11pm on 13 May 2010, KarlCambs wrote:

    "toni49 wrote:

    KarlCambs wrote:
    "BP and partners are responsible for what will probably be the largest ecological disaster in history."

    "That is simply not true. This is not even in the top 50 largest oil spills"

    Note I wrote 'probably will'."


    The largest oil spill in history was Ixtoc 6 at 476 000 tonnes. As per my calculation detailed at 62, it would take 589 days to beat that. So if the spill isn't stopped by the end of next year, it will become the biggest. However, saying that it "probably" will last that long seems to be stretching the truth to me.

  • Comment number 74.

    60. At 3:00pm on 13 May 2010, rbs_temp wrote:

    "I'm astonished to say that I am in complete agreement with WOTW on this one."

    That's it folks - the end of the world is nigh.

    Four horsemen of the apocalypse and rbs_temp and writingsonthewall in agreement.
    Look out for fire and brimstone when you go out there..

  • Comment number 75.

    62. At 3:11pm on 13 May 2010, toni49

    I stand corrected - however to defend a huge oil spill by stating "well it's not the biggest ever" is a little desperate.

    Maybe the true reflection on damage is where the spill occurs - obviously off the coast of America is more damaging than previous spills.

    It's also noticeable that most of the largest oil spills were before 1990 - which implies that technology is improving safety - which shows how much worse this spill is as it's occurred in times when oil spills should be very limited.

    I'll come back to you when the spill has been running for another 120 days.

  • Comment number 76.

    Correction, to my comment at 73. That refers to the biggest accidental oil spill. The biggest actual spill ever was at the end of the Iraq war in 1991, when an estimated 1.4 million tonnes was released into the Persian Gulf. It would take approximately 1733 days to reach that size. Thats over four and a half years.

  • Comment number 77.

    64. At 3:18pm on 13 May 2010, Macbeth789 wrote:

    "Whatever the alternative sources of energy supply we look to use there will inevitably be accidents resulting in loss of life "

    Solar power?
    Wind power?
    Tidal power?

    Are these likely to cause loss of life and environmental catastrophe?

    mmmmmmmm

    The question is why is the world still running on oil when it's completely unnecessary?
    The answer is "who is in charge of the world"

  • Comment number 78.

    #61. At 3:07pm on 13 May 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "Now I'm not saying MrTweedy isn't lying - but living without oil is completely possible"

    Living without oil would be possible if you were really, absolutely determined to do so - but it would mean living in a cave and picking your own fruit and berries.

    Living without oil while maintaining any sort of a normal 21st century life is, to all intents and purposes, impossible.

    And I'm certain that Mr Tweedy is lying (because he's obviously using a computer, which contains plastic and uses electricity).

  • Comment number 79.

    #59. At 2:58pm on 13 May 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:

    "The BBC are pathetic - now we're seeing who pays your wages.

    Nothing I have said in my previous comments could give rise to any legal action, nor are they breaking the house rules.

    YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM.

    REVEAL THE TRUTH BBC - WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?"

    Calm down, dear - it's only a blog.

    At a guess, I'd say you were probably off-topic, posting an unsuitable link or rude to someone.

  • Comment number 80.

    67 Guy Croft

    Welcome back!

  • Comment number 81.

    And in Venezuela we have an off shore rig going down. Seems they managed to get everyone off and close down the valves first.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8679981.stm

  • Comment number 82.

    As they say: pay me now (up front investment in safety) or pay be later (cleaning up). Like the bankers they all gamble with other people's money and lives and none of this impacts their salaries or bonuses. Government will let them write off the costs so BP will be rewarded. This will be in courts for years so those who have lost income and or employment will be in dire straights or dead before any payment will be put on the table but as usual they will offer some substainally lesser amount to settle, say to avoid stravation or eviction.

  • Comment number 83.

    Unless we intend to go back to the stone age we ALL NEED OIL, its in plastics, paints, fuels for cars, planes, ships etc. So please bear this in mind the next time you use any of these products.
    There has to be less risky sites to drill though, anybody with half a brain could see that this was going to happen at some point. The shear number of rigs in the gulf of Mexico makes it a certainty.
    Why not focus on the land based sites first?
    The ecological disaster in terms of effects on marine life, fishing etc, tourism must be huge.Who do you blame?, well BP had a myriad of sub contractors working for them. But its a bit like you hiring a builder who then subcontracts all of the tasks to somebody else.
    Your contract is with the builder but in this instance you are still responsible for the "duty of care or safety". You cannot delegate or subcontract that its your operation.

  • Comment number 84.

    76. toni49 :
    'Correction, to my comment at 73. That refers to the biggest accidental oil spill. The biggest actual spill ever was at the end of the Iraq war in 1991, when an estimated 1.4 million tonnes was released into the Persian Gulf. It would take approximately 1733 days to reach that size. Thats over four and a half years.'


    Well you can go playing Oil Spill Top trumps all night if you want. But unless you're willing to go for a paddle in it I guess we're going to have to agree that oil slicks just aren't the done thing anymore and should probably be punished.

  • Comment number 85.

    BP has acknowledged it was “absolutely responsible” for the clean up operation, but…It has no responsibility for the accident which it blamed on the failed equipment, which belongs to Transocean. Meanwhile, approximately 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of oil a day us flowing into the gulf.
    BP is working on a relief well (a more permanent solution to the leak). Drilling will take an is estimated “weeks” (number unkown).
    Who should pay? Estimates for environmental recovery are soaring.
    The Obama administration has made it clear it expects Britain’s BP, which controls the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, to pick up the tab.
    Robert Gibbs, Whitehouse Spokesperson said that BP is “fully liable for cleanup and recovery costs, per the Oil Pollution Act of 1990”.
    BP’s chief executive officer Tony Hayward has insisted others should be held accountable as well, including the rig operator, Transocean Ltd. of Switzerland. Transocean is waiting for the facts before drawing conclusions.
    BP’s partner in the project, Houston-based Anadarko said it expects its insurance company to cover most of its immediate liability.
    Since becoming BP CEO in 2007, Mr. Hayward has taken pains to restructure the business and clean up its image. At the time he took over the top job, BP was still staggering from a blast at its Texas City refinery which killed 15 people and injured more than 170. The company was also facing allegations of manipulating propane prices and dealing with the fallout from leaks in its Alaska pipeline. Mr. Hayward, who has been with BP since 1982, managed a remarkable turnaround. BP boosted production, cut costs, lowered its accident rate...
    In a presentation two months ago, Mr. Hayward said: “Safety remains our first priority and we can see clear progress.”
    Transocean was also expecting a big year in 2010. It’s one of the largest offshore drilling companies in the world with 133 rigs, including 15 in the Gulf of Mexico. The company’s revenue and profit fell last year because of the recession, but with the economy improving there were signs of growth. Transocean also pushed its safety record, announcing last month that no executive bonuses were paid in 2009 because “we incurred 4 fatalities with varying causes in varying regions around the world.” The company said its board of directors “took this extraordinary action to underscore the company's commitment to safety...”
    BP executives told lawmakers that the damaged well could "hypothetically" spew 60,000 barrels per day, 12 times the current official estimate of 5,000 barrels, or about 210,000 gallons. But BP's Hayward said the higher figure was “deeply theoretical” and represented an “absolute worst-case scenario”.
    So it's not completely inconceivable that ultimately the financial bill for BP could wipe out a full year's profit. That seems to me so very lenient as I see the pictures of dead dolphins, turles and other marine life, as I watch the fisherman nervously speak about their ruined livihood, and as I think of the men who have already died.

  • Comment number 86.

    83. At 4:41pm on 13 May 2010, KeithRodgers wrote:

    Unless we intend to go back to the stone age we ALL NEED OIL, its in plastics, paints, fuels for cars, planes, ships etc.
    ------------------

    There ARE plant-based alternative to fossil oil for the production of platics. Plus they are recyclable plastics.
    http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/10/ibm-creates-plant-based-energy-saving-plastics/

    Repeating something a thousand times won't make it more true, you know that?

  • Comment number 87.

    Simple. It is a big boys game. Some people get away with lax attitudes and cutting corners. I doubt very much whether the big boys do but others will do so if they can. That is why there are very strict regulations. To stop the big boys from being undercut by fly by night outfits. And also to make sure the proverbial does not happen.
    But of course this is where the profit motive comes in. Everybody wants to improve their margins. One easy way is to pay lip service to the regulations.
    As long as there is a profit motive then there will be temptation to cut costs inapropriately.
    And of course folk that do it right get pilloried by the press etc.
    Progress haters no less.
    Ignorant people should be licensed, with a health warning. Or ignored, preferably both.
    In all walks of life.
    The problem arises when incumbents think they know best. They are soon surrounded by like thinking more profitable chancers. They end up running the show. They get away with it for a while too. Ends up distorting whole industries.
    It doesn't help when the pay structures encourage no hopers to become regulators - who are circumvented anyway.
    I could be spouting off about any industry here.
    They all suffer the same problem.
    Fairly basic too. They have to make a profit.

  • Comment number 88.

    70. At 3:39pm on 13 May 2010, toni49 wrote:

    Comparing modern nuclear reactors with Three Mile Island or Chernobyl is about as logical as comparing mobile phones with the paper cup and string telephones. They are so completely different that nothing can be gained by the comparison. The use of solar, wind and wave power is (IMO) far more preferable than nuclear, but base your reasoning on facts, not scaremongering.

    .......................................................................
    Comparing the latest generation, leading technology, deep water, high pressure, high temperature drilling rig Deepwater Horizon with the first offshore drilling rigs of the early 1900's would also be illogical, but this "modern" rig has just suffered a catastrophic blow out ?! I am presuming that you consider modern nuclear reactors completely safe - and I am certain that back in 1979 many people thought that the "modern" reactors at Three Mile Island were safe also ? Ditto for the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 ? New / modern does not make it safe - just more safe than than previous models.The very latest aircraft still continue to fall from the sky do they not ? Also, and I apologise in advance for this.............the Titanic was "unsinkable" ?!

    Not "scaremongering" but a believer in man made and operated by man leads to human error and failure / accident to some degree or another

    I also would much prefer to see the use of solar, wind and wave power but fear we will all be dependent on oil and gas for our energy needs for some time to come yet - even though we ( the World )consume the equivalent of 3 barrels for every 1 barrel the oil companies continue to find.

  • Comment number 89.

    #86 plamski
    Whether we like it or not we live in the oil age.
    It wont last for ever. But it will probably see us out.

    As for oil free living. Possible obviously. But hard. Real real hard.
    Also look for the hidden oil use. Some things only exist because of oil.
    Most things only exist because of the enabling effect of oil somewhere down the supply chain. They become so much easier to make.

  • Comment number 90.

    89. At 6:34pm on 13 May 2010, prudeboy wrote:
    #86 plamski
    Whether we like it or not we live in the oil age.
    It wont last for ever. But it will probably see us out.
    ----------------

    We do not have to use fossil oil for making plastics, etc. I showed in the link that IBM has develop a way to make plastics from plant-based alternatives.
    http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/10/ibm-creates-plant-based-energy-saving-plastics/

    This development is well overdue but as we know with the monetary system the notion of scarcity is crucial for the possibility of making a profit, so the companies are not researching for alternatives.

    The oil companies have vested interests to keep us hooked on oil.You seem to be buying into this lie. Research Resource Based Economy.

  • Comment number 91.

    #90 plamski

    Most, if not all the people I have spoken to only care about cost.
    I on the other hand consider energy and its sources to be the only thing worth considering. To do otherwise results in oil depletion for no good reason.

    Oil is a real good supply of energy.
    It would be real good to develop an alternative source of energy.
    But at present day costs of oil, gas and coal then it just plain wont happen.

    Oil, gas and coal are everywhere. Fertilisers. Plastics etc etc.
    Note fertilisers. You don't get much yield without them. Horse muck is good but there isn't enough to fertilise human food crops. Let alone alternative energy crops.

    Oil, gas and coal is it for the moment I am afraid.
    When they are used up we, human population, will downsize.

  • Comment number 92.

    #1 DavidJ is correct to raise the issue of the impact of the BP problem on the companies Corporation Tax liabilities.
    Perhaps the Treasury will make up the shortfall with the proceeds of the sale of our Bank shares?
    So far, there's been silence on those sales. Perhaps they'll let us know at the time of the Emergency Budget?

  • Comment number 93.

  • Comment number 94.

    WOTW calm down, you cant fix it , it can't be fixed, and also know that gas and oil are the same business, so careful with those percentage figures

  • Comment number 95.

    73. At 3:53pm on 13 May 2010, toni49 wrote:

    "The largest oil spill in history was Ixtoc 6 at 476 000 tonnes. As per my calculation detailed at 62, it would take 589 days to beat that. So if the spill isn't stopped by the end of next year, it will become the biggest. However, saying that it "probably" will last that long seems to be stretching the truth to me. "

    Didn't someone say this spill wasn't even in the top 50?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

    Even the smallest estimate is in the top 50.

  • Comment number 96.

    94. At 10:04pm on 13 May 2010, lookslikereindeer wrote:

    "WOTW calm down, you cant fix it , it can't be fixed, and also know that gas and oil are the same business, so careful with those percentage figures"

    Doesn't most of our gas come from land sites in Siberia?

    I know it can't be fixed now - but just like ou economy we're not learning from our mistakes. The large companies are putting our environment at risk in order to maximise their profit for shareholders and their CEO's alike.

    If there is one thing that I cannot stand it's the rape and pillage of our earth so the greedy can pay themselves a fortune to buy flash cars to make up for their obvious 'inadequacies'

  • Comment number 97.

    Reply to KUDOSPETER

    The profits that BP generate are not obsene when you stack them up against their investment costs per year, I think you will find that they spend over GBP20 Billion per year on finding new oil reserves and modernising existing infrastructure.
    Those of you who think that 'green' energy will take care of everything are living in Never Never Land, wind power is only available 30% of the time, even in good old windy UK. Bio fuel is driving up food prices in order to fuel cars and not feed people and only delivers 7000 litres of ethanol per hectare from Brazilian sugar cane.
    The real resource issue is water, due to the fact that the world is over populated, the planets inhabitants have more than tripled in the past 80 years or so.
    Do the math and wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Comment number 98.

    91. At 9:07pm on 13 May 2010, prudeboy

    prudeboy, the format of this blog does not allow for an extented discussion between posters as it's not designed for that, so I'm afraid I can not expand my post on alternative energy sources but you can do your own research. You do not have to believe what they try to sell you.

    And as for artificial fertilizers, there's another way - biodynamic agriculture.

  • Comment number 99.

    This could be the first time that anything like the true cost of damage to the environment, and hence to resources, livelihoods and health, is paid by the polluter. Financial blogs were talking about 20bn USD at an early stage, and that is looking increasingly likely as it drags on.

    Let us hope that the principle extends to other forms of pollution: not just spectacular accidents but everyday, low level pollution as well.

  • Comment number 100.

    #96 WOTW
    land sites in siberia are still oilfeild! that aside, it cant be fixed now, or ever, mankind set it's course and is about to reach it's destination, so tread lightly on what's left of the planet and pity those who cannot see the end

 

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