Environmentalist Mythology, Part 2: Slicker Than Oil

by | Aug 29, 2002

“On a calm day, you can’t take a boat ride [in the Gulf of Mexico] without seeing gigantic oil slicks,” according to Harry Roberts, Louisiana State University marine geologist (“Oil Fields’ Free Refill,” Newsday, 4/2002). Naturally, we all know—thanks to environmentalists—that the sources of those slicks are the greedy, malevolent oil companies. Not. The gigantic […]

“On a calm day, you can’t take a boat ride [in the Gulf of Mexico] without seeing gigantic oil slicks,” according to Harry Roberts, Louisiana State University marine geologist (“Oil Fields’ Free Refill,” Newsday, 4/2002). Naturally, we all know—thanks to environmentalists—that the sources of those slicks are the greedy, malevolent oil companies.

Not.

The gigantic oil slicks in the Gulf to which Roberts refers are the result of what’s known as “seeps”—areas on the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico where large amounts of oil and gas escape through natural fissures. Scientists, including Texas A&M University chemical oceanographer, Chuck Kennicutt, have recently discovered that the oil and gas are surging up from deeper strata far beneath the Gulf.

Moreover, the oil slicks that naturally occur in the Gulf of Mexico, said Roberts, “far exceeds anything that gets spilled” by the petrochemical industry[1].

Naturally, we all know, too—again, thanks to environmentalists—that those areas must be barren of marine plant and animal life.

Not.

Trawling during a 1984 research voyage “brought up over two tons of stuff,” according to Texas A&M scientists. They found clams the size of one’s hand and tubeworms up to five feet long. So abundant were the life forms—part of what scientists call chemosynthetic communities—that scientists now know the seeps to be “long-duration phenomenon.”

Indeed, the A&M researchers estimated the clams alone to be 100 years old. Geologists, oil workers, ships’ captains—everyone, apparently, save environmentalists—have long known the Gulf seeps exist. According to Roberts, “the Gulf of Mexico leaks like a sieve. You can’t take a submarine dive without running into an oil or gas seep.”

Since the first Earth Day, environmentalists have set about constructing a cunningly slick mythology calculated to replace genuine Earth science fact with a cross between rural folklore and urban legend.

We’ve been told, for instance, that if we engage in offshore oil drilling, we risk the catastrophe of oil spills. Given the research data already mentioned, that would appear to be less than true. What about the other side of that myth—that the world is running out of oil?

Funny you should ask.

Yet another interesting fact about seeps is that the deep strata oil causing them is also beginning to fill some of the known oil reservoirs, replenishing them, in geologic time, at a very rapid rate, sometimes within three to ten years. If that proves the rule rather than the exception, then the world’s supply of oil would be much, much greater than previously thought. It would mean—someone please alert the media—that we’re not running out of oil.

What we do appear to be running out of, though, is sufficient domestically produced petroleum to run our economy. In these post-911 times, that’s pretty critical to national security, right? Solving that problem would surely make for a safer nation, wouldn’t it?

Then how should we treat those environmentalists and politicians who, by seeking to ban oil exploration in the U.S. (and even the construction of new oil refineries, along with that of electrical and nuclear power plants), keep America dependent for oil upon Mideast tyrants—tyrants who also happen to be bankrolling, with their oil profits, the leaders and comrades of the 911 terrorists?

Why, invite the environmentalists to lead Earth Day sing-a-longs at our schools and re-elect the politicians—again and again and again.

Naturally.

After the Fact

Geochemist Says Oil Fields May Be Refilled Naturally,” New York Times, 2005

Oil Fields Are Refilling…Naturally-Sometimes Rapidly: There Are More Oil Seeps Than All The Tankers On Earth,” Robert Cooke, Staff Writer – Newsday, 2005

Steven Brockerman, who has a Masters degree in English education, is the owner of WrittenWord Consulting, an education consulting company that contracts with businesses and colleges, develops 1-8 grade curriculum for the home education market and does contracted research. In addition, Mr. Brockerman has been an assistant editor of Capitalism Magazine and is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in the New York Post, Florida Today, Salt Lake City Tribune, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bangkok Daily News, Tallahassee Democrat, Charlotte Capitalist, Mideast Newswire, Free Republic and Jerusalem Post, among others.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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