gulf Sinkhole+Debacle

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”

-George Orwell

The  conditions in the Gulf Coast region are so bad, that some are actually talking about a mass evacuation of the coastal regions in Louisiana. Others think the potential devastation is so dangerous that the entire Gulf Coast region should be evacuated. Others think that all is well in the Gulf. What exactly is the truth?

I have been investigating the events surrounding the Gulf Coast oil explosion for over four years. As I sit here mulling over the evidence which is derived from the full spectrum of research protocols ranging from anecdotal evidence to scientific evidence to government acknowledgment of a series of crises which appears to be imperiling Louisiana, I do not pretend that I have all the answers. However, after systematically reviewing the available evidence, I am extremely fearful for the potential consequences which could be catastrophic for many of the 40 million residents in the Gulf.

This topic has largely been swept under the covers by the Obama administration and the mainstream media, with a few exceptions. In this article, it is my intention to bring forth legitimate concerns for public discussion with regard to the safety and welfare of Gulf Coast residents, especially for those people living in Louisiana’s coastal areas.

All Is Well, Go Back To Sleep

The government would have us believe that all is well in the Gulf. In fact, a few years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) through its air monitoring system, on June 10, 2010, presumably found air quality levels which were “normal” on the Gulf coastlineOf course this is the same EPA whose former director, [Christy Todd-Whitman], boldly stated that the post 911 air was fit to breathe. Also, in June 2010, Obama’s personal point man on the spill, Thad Allen, stated “the well no longer posed any threat to the Gulf” and subsequent cleanup crews ceased all remaining operations with regard to cleaning up the destroyed oil well. Thad Allen’s statement followed Obama’s declaration in which the President boldly proclaimed that the Gulf is safe and “open for business”. Officials from both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the EPA echoed Obama’s safety claims. And what I have discovered from the data, is that everyone of these government individuals, who are entrusted with ensuring the safety of the general public, was lying through their teeth.

There were strong and early indications that the use of Corexit, combined with the leaking oil, were producing, both long term and short term, catastrophic environmental and individual health effects. Oil and Corexit, used to “disperse” the oil spill have impacted untold numbers of Gulf residents’ health. Additionally, both the food supply and the food chain are being adversely impacted. The air and the subsequent evapotranspiration cycle has been irreversibly altered which, in turn, impacts the water table and the safety of water supplies as well as the safety of crops. The most devastating finding relates the events of the oil spill to the phenomena of the ever-widening Louisiana sinkholes and the related underground explosions as well as the very high concentration of toxic and highly flammable methane in the air and in the water.

One of the major threats to the Gulf Coast comes from an imperiled food supply which is the result from the explosion on the Deep Water Horizon oil rig.

The Tainted Food Supply

It was known very early on that the Gulf Coast food supply was severely compromised and the health of the residents was in jeopardy, despite government denials and mainstream media cover-ups. A case in point, while dining with his family at Vinnie’s Raw Bar Restaurant in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, Matthew Robertson found oil in his seafood. While covering the story,  WBTV reporter, Susan Baustista, also acknowledged there was a black substance stuck to the inside of Robertson’s sea food. Additionally, Channel 8, Fox News, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was told by Vinnie’s Raw Bar restaurant’s manager that he did, indeed, confirm the customer’s story and says he’s had problems getting oyster shipments because of contamination resulting from the oil spill, unfortunately, this station saw fit to scrub the report from its website. However, similar warnings regarding the region’s food safety are appearing up and down the local Gulf Coast media on such stations as WLOX TV in Gulfport, MS. Yet, Fox, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, etc., have not run one credible story on the dangers of food toxicity in the Gulf’s food chain. Granted, the above mentioned cases represent just a few anecdotal cases which are representative of tens of thousands of accounts. However, anecdotal evidence is not science and these cases could be discounted as the exception and not the rule. Yet, the largely ignored voices of scientists echo these anecdotal claims and they do so with hard, verifiable data.

The Quiet Voices of Science Assess Gulf Food Safety

Scientists at The University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University have found oil in the post-larvae of blue crabs entering coastal marshes along the Gulf Coast signaling that oil may be entering estuarine food chains. Dr. Perry observed that “I have never seen anything like this.” Larvae is at the bottom of the food chain. Lesser life forms, are consumed by life forms which are higher on the food chain and the toxic effects of the Corexit will bioaccumulate throughout the food chain. This conclusion echoed the findings of lab samples taken by scientists at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab shows oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster has made its way into the Gulf food chain as well. These particular scientists have found signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae in the Gulf of Mexico which is a clear indication that the unprecedented use of dispersants in the BP oil spill has broken up the oil into toxic droplets so tiny that they have easily entered the food chain. These studies and other similar studies remain unchallenged by the authorities with regard to methodology and results. In short, the Obama administration is choosing to ignore these credible scientists by simply repeating the mantra that “all is well” in the Gulf of Mexico.

Potential Effects on Life Span in the Gulf

Kim Anderson’s Oregon State University (OSU) researchers, from the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences, began a test-retest comparative analysis for the carcinogenic contaminant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and its biodegradable partner, OPAHs, which appears after the application of Corexit and subsequent exposure to ultraviolet rays. Stunningly, the OSU researchers found a 40 fold increase in these carcinogenic compoundsin the comparative test-retest period. The OSU findings replicate the conclusions of Mace Barron et al regarding the toxicity of Corexit and its use in the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The Exxon Valdez oil spill and subsequent clean-up activities provides the only case study in the history of the United States involving significant exposure to the types of toxins discussed in this article as the result of an oil spill. Interestingly, Anderson’s Oregon State University’s original data went missing forcing the research team to begin again. It is clear that somebody did not want this data to reach the public.

Findings, related to the longevity of the Exxon Valdez clean-up workers, are very disturbing as the collective lifespan statistics, for the Corexit exposed cleanup crews, revealed that the average life expectancy is a mere 51 years of age and nearly all of the Exxon Valdez clean-up workers are dead. These findings can leave little doubt that BP’s use of Corexit has seriously compromised the collective life span of Gulf Coast residents. I can draw no other conclusion than to state that the events in the Gulf, to date, constitute a slow-burn genocidal event in which, depending on the age at first  exposure to the Corexit, the oil and the resulting methane concentrations, will see life spans in the impacted areas decline by as much as 25-50% with regard to longevity based upon the life-span figures from the Exxon Valdez clean-up workers. I believe that based upon the data, it is reasonable to assume that within one short generation, the life expectancy of the Gulf will rival the worst of the third world.

An Environmental Armageddon in the Making

In addition to imperiling the food supply, the Gulf disaster is overwhelming the environment and threatens to bring disaster to the southeastern portion of the United States on an unprecedented scale. The holocaust in the Gulf has grown to such proportions that the European Union Times reports that an extremely grave report was prepared for President Medvedev by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources in which the report warns that the BP spill will become the worst environmental catastrophe in all of human history and will bring total destruction to the Eastern half of the North American continent. The environmental damage has spread as far north as Memphis as local residents report toxic rainfall, containing Corexit, is falling on and damaging local farmers crops. This report aired over two years ago and was among the first indicators that the evapotranspiration will cycle was being impacted by the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the subsequent use of Corexit to “disperse” the spilled oil.

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The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40% methane, compared with about 5% found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill. Kessler et al, in June of 2010, warned the public that methane was not going to dissipate on its own and that it would continue to increase and come ashore with unpredictable results. Merchant Marine expert, Captain Kelly Sweeney, while appearing on The Common Sense Show, on July 10, 2010, made similar predictions in which he stated that he and many of his sources feared catastrophic methane explosions near several coastal cities which could be triggered by the right atmospheric conditions combined with the high levels of highly flammable methane (click here to listen to Hour 1).

Unfortunately, nobody predicted the scenario which is unfolding across several Louisiana communities in which high concentrations of methane laden oil has made its way into the salt domes and into the water table constituting a significant threat millions of Gulf Coast residents.

John Boudreaux, director of the Assumption (LA.) Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has said there are concerns that the gas can build pressure under the clay layer that lies above their local aquifer. According to Boudreaux and geologists, once the aquifer reaches a pressure greater than 75 to 85 pounds per square inch, the clay layer might not hold back the accumulated gas and a set of major explosions could occur. Recently, something unexpectedly triggered an emergency flare 40 feet high at that Crosstex well last week. An explosion of this magnitude would be within the range of one and a half B83 thermonuclear (hydrogen) bombs, according to scientists. Louisiana officials have suddenly and without comment banned outdoor fires. Ray Charles could see these dots connecting on the wall.

In July 2010, BP found a mega pocket of highly pressurized methane gas in the Gulf of Mexico. The EPA and the President chose to ignore the publicized findings. Nobody in the mainstream media bothered to speculate as to the potential dangers. Publicly, the federal government did not answer the obvious questions, namely, where are the concentrations of the mega pocket of highly pressurized methane gas likely to migrate to and what would be the ultimate effect? It has been 27 months since this discovery, and the public is expected to believe that BP and the government had no idea of the ramifications of the discovery of this magnitude. This flies in the face of believability!

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As Gulf Coast investigator, Dr. Wilma Subra stated, that the oil/Corexit is in “…the air, the water table, the sea floor sediment,  the shallow surface of the beach, it is in the estuaries,… it is in the water column at 3,000-4,000 foot depth, the prevailing winds bring in the oil/Corexit to the shores and the substances are deposited inland. ..The environmental impact will last for generations.” The people of Bayou Corne, as well as at least 28 other Louisiana communities near the coast, are finding out how accurate Dr. Suber’s observations, offered in February of 2011, truly were.

The massive sinkhole and enormous amount of escaping methane gas from the Bayou Corne disaster area is particularly concerning. Local officials have made repeated references to, “powerful underground forces”, which are causing the monster sinkhole in the swampland, which subsequently bent a gas pipeline  which then formed a shocking right angle in a 400-foot section next to the bubbling hole. Ultimately, this led to the evacuation of 150 homes, temporarily shutting down a four-mile stretch of nearby Highway 70, and led to a heated discussion regarding the likelihood of a methane-bubble tsunami from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico BP explosion. Government officials warned the Parish President that the Bayou Corne sinkhole has extremely high levels of methane in the nearby water wells. Subsequently, officials have warned the local leadership that these high levels of methane pose serious risks to health, fire and could even lead to large explosions. Officials have further warned that local residents needed to obey coming mandatory evacuation orders. However, the mass evacuation expected to occur last week, has unexplainably not been acted upon.

After looking at the government’s own data and examining the totality of government’s actions, I have concluded that the government is acting with extreme depraved indifference with regard to the citizen’s health near the 28 sinkholes. Let me be crystal clear about one point, methane kills and it can kill silently if exposure occurs in sufficient quantities. Even if the people in Louisiana, near the 28 reported sinkholes, were to, by the grace of God, able to somehow escape lethal exposure, methane in smaller doses can still mimic other health conditions and can fool a general medical practitioner but the conditions could still lead to a person’s demise. The latter fact related to methane exposure mimicking other health conditions works to the government’s and BP’s benefit because it temporarily provides them with plausible deniability. We have witnessed this same strategy as the BP health mobile health clinics, designed to treat local victims of the spill and exposure to Corexit, were purposely misdiagnosing clear cases of Corexit toxicity to escape the liability consequences.

There is no defense against leaking methane. No residential building is secure enough to keep the methane from penetrating homes and offices. Methane has been proven to enter structures through foundational cracks or through sewer traps if the house or office is built on or near landfills, and in the case of Louisiana, it can come through salt domes where the oil and the Corexit has been accumulating for nearly two and a half years.

Methane gas can also be ingested. Originally thought to be a remote possibility, methane gas can migrate into the natural water reservoirs. Yet, this is exactly what has happened. And these precise conditions are serving to impact the drinking water supplies as well as the safety of area crops because of the evapotranspirational cycle. This is not a predicted event in Louisiana, it is exactly what is happening right now.

The only way to determine that someone has been exposed to methane, is through extensive laboratory analysis conducted by trained medical personnel. In the event of methane exposure, the only way for the victim to escape with only minimal medical consequences, is to be rushed to a nearby hospital without delay. The victim would have to be put on an immediate supply of oxygen along with a life support mask and this would be accompanied by an intravenous drip to avoid further dehydration.

Please allow me to connect some dots with regard to the previous paragraphs. On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. For over two years, large concentrations of carcinogenic material and highly flammable methane gas has been bio-accumulating in the estuaries, the beaches, the water table, the salt domes and this event is now part of the evapotranspirational cycle. In other words, these toxic conditions are now ingrained in the eco-weather system in the Gulf and federal officials sit idly and are doing nothing to ensure public safety.

From the work of people like Dr. Subra, researchers at Oregon State University, Tulane University and the University of South Florida, we now know that millions of people have been exposed to abnormally high rates of benzene, xylene and other cancer-causing chemicals. The public has been warned by the alternative media, and a few outspoken members of the mainstream media as well as a plethora of geologists, chemists and oil experts that large amounts of methane was making its way ashore in the Gulf Coast region. The resulting sinkholes, which are still greatly expanding as of this writing, and the large amounts of methane gas escaping into the air as well as infiltrating the water table, are placing untold numbers of Gulf Coast residents in a very dire set of circumstances.

When I first spoke out on my show and in my writings, in 2010 and in 2011, about the dangers of methane and what it could possibly mean for the Gulf, I was referred to as an alarmist in some mainstream media circles. To those critics who still hold to these allegations that I am fear mongering for whatever personal or professional benefit, please explain the meaning of following warning to me: The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources  (DRN) has issued a Declaration of Emergency and Directive Advisory which states that the gas in the sinkhole area should be considered to be life-threatening. Does the mainstream media have a new definition of the term “life-threatening” which would cause them to all but ignore this ominous warning? I would ask the critics, the federal government, and BP to explain away the connections between the scientific facts, the warning that the conditions in Louisiana are life-threatening and the subsequent ban on fires by government officials. Then, when they are done trying to explain away the DRN warning, perhaps they would like to address the passage of mass fatality planning legislation contained in H.R. 6566 which amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 by requiring the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency…”to provide guidance and counseling for mass fatality planning, and for other purposes. And while the federal government is at it, perhaps they would like to explain the coincidental timing of the FEMA earthquake preparedness drills taking place along the New Madrid fault line which is precisely where some of the methane laden oil and Corexit is migrating to. Just a coincidence you say? Then maybe those people who are hell bent on staying in a state of denial, can explain why FEMA thinks that Louisiana needs massive amounts of generators to be sent to the region at taxpayers’ expense? How many coincidences can one accept until an unmistakable pattern of cover-up and criminal neglect, on the part of the government, becomes painfully obvious to even the most ardent of the Kool-Aid drinkers?

Should the coastal regions of Louisiana be evacuated? We have certainly seen the proof that government officials have actually announced plans to evacuate many areas around the sinkholes, only to change their minds without explanation. This leads one to wonder if the government is trying avoid a mass panic and they are hoping for the best without preparing for the worst. After all, the election is only a couple of weeks away and the crisis in the Gulf did happen on Obama’s watch.

Personally, I think that the canary in the mine approach to this phenomena would be best served if the President were to spend two or three days campaigning in the Bayou country in and around coastal regions, near the 28 sinkholes which are still expanding by the day. Come on Mr. President, put your money where your mouth is, and prove to the American people that the Gulf is indeed open for business.  And while you are at it Mr. President, order up some crab and shrimp. And please make certain that you order and eat exactly what the locals eat with no specially prepared dishes made just for you. Mr. President, while you are in the Gulf, you should also take a deep breath and show the people of the region, that despite your lack of a legitimate birth certificate, that you are indeed one of them and you are willing to risk your life in the same manner as you are asking them to do.

Dave Hodges is the Editor and Host of The Common Sense Show.

Editor’s Note: It has come to my attention that one of the CNN links is dead. I found a YouTube copy of the interview they did where the claims were made that most of the Exxon-Valdez workers were dead. -Dean Garrison