May 18, 2010
Imagine you personally knew (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that a huge earthquake was going to hit a major city and cause massive damage, loss of life, starvation, loss of employment , destruction of property as well as countless hardships. Imagine that the majority (say 95%) of this could be avoided, if only the easily available resources and technology were deployed to prevent this before it happened. Would you deploy the technology? Would you deploy the resources to prevent 95% of the problem?
Naturally, any sane, ethical person would. However, what if you stood to earn $100’s of millions from this disaster? Your choice . . . do the right thing or go for the money? I understand that this is a hypothetical situation and predicting an earthquake is pretty much impossible; however, knowing an oil spill is going to happen is not. It has happened in the past, it just happened in the Gulf of Mexico and it will happen in the future. Sadly, there are people who have actually made the choice to take the money at everyone’s and every living things’ expense and this article is about showing you the proof
Having said that, you need to know how oil spills are currently being cleaned up, why they cost so much and how they should be cleaned up to minimize the damage using the technology that would have minimized the harm and cost? Let me break this down into simple common sense steps for you starting with plugging the hole(s). What they are doing is trying to make a super duper capping device that allows them to control the spill and keep pumping oil. So far it’s not working and there are some pretty impressive reasons/excuses why this is not working. Let’s apply some common sense to this problem. Find a barge, fill it with cement, tow it over the hole, sink it and problem solved. Is that too simple? A couple of days work and a little expense to minimize a major disaster. Please tell me that this is just incompetence.
Now that the spill is moving and spreading, containing the spill is of major importance. This is done with booms and you basically corral the spill. Then you use skimmers that grab the oil and you pump it into a ship. The problem that occurs is if the water is moving faster then 3 to 4 knots it’s impossible to corral the spill and it starts mixing with the water and forming mousse. This is like multi-size balloons that stick to everything when they pop and make all those scary pictures of bird and otters covered in oil and dying a horrible death. In other words, it’s the worst case situation.
Typically the idea is to beach the spill so it can be dealt with and not spread any further. Unfortunately, with a spill of this magnitude that means the clean up is huge and it will end up just like the Exxon Valdez spill where you can still turn over rocks today and find the oil. What they are doing is spraying a toxic chemical called a dispersant that is designed to break the oil down into smaller particles and make the oil non sticky. The problem is the chemical itself has limited effectiveness and is toxic. Remember that the problem is the oil is sticky so it sticks to living things and everything else. As it happens, no one takes into consideration that the oil is still there, it just mixes better with the water. Sadly, with this procedure the beaches will be coated with oil for years killing all the life and destroying the local economies. Did I mention the chemical has huge profit margins and they use tonnes of it? I wonder who supplies the chemical?
It gets better; when the spill is on the beach they get out these really cool looking rags made from a substance called poly propylene and various other things including human hair and chicken feathers and dump them into the spill. Looks great for the cameras and to be fair, it does have a limited effectiveness. The problem with these materials is that the oil is on the outside of the material and is still sticky. With that done, they then proceed to pick up each oily rock and wipe it with the rags and then put it back into the water. I’m not kidding you, they actually do this. They put the oily rocks back in the water. The reasoning is they want to minimize the change to the natural geology of the beach, etc. It’s kind of like saying “Doctor, Doctor don’t cut out all that skin cancer from my chin, you might ruin my beautiful profile”. Now you don’t want to know were the actual recovered oil goes? Or maybe you do but have fun trying to find out. Native land is usually a great choice to get around those pesky water protection laws and expensive hazardous waste disposal costs. Did I mention those costs are usually included in the clean-up estimates?
I could go on and on for pages and pages with the complete utter nonsense surrounding spill cleanup yet the bottom line is always the same. The environment is destroyed along with the local economy, lots of oil is left behind and then the lawyers get to jump in and make lots of money to add injury to insult. Don’t believe me? Just take a trip up to Alaska and ask Dr Riki Ott her opinion on the subject. She wrote the book on that Exxon spill fiasco. Now that you know how not to clean up an oil spill, let’s look at applying some science and common sense that all the top people in the game are fully aware of and make sure does not get used.
Step 1. Cap the hole. Step 2. Contain the spill with booms. Step 3. Quickly and effectively stop the oil from being sticky. This is the first part that they don’t want you to know about. For decades, hundreds of millions of dollars have been lost by companies that set up to make oil recovery materials made from polymers that grab the oil and turn it into non-sticky rubber. Remember sticky is bad, non sticky is good. The shoes you are wearing, the bubble gum you’re chewing, the computer plastic and the paint on your wall are all made from these polymers. It’s a well known fact that specific polymers turn oil into rubber and stop it from sticking to surfaces and there are many of these polymers and dozens of formulations. In other words its not some big secret, it’s a well known fact in the industry, I’ve got thirty or forty in my lab alone. These polymers are made into booms or snakes and simply put into the spill and then removed and recycled.
If the current spill had been capped and contained, we could have used helicopter, planes and boats to turn the spill into rubber and have cleaned it up long before it hit the beach. Even if the spill had gotten out of control, it could have been made non sticky and massively reduced the damage. To add insult to injury, the argument used to stop the use of these materials so they can keep making ridiculous profits is that a fish or bird may eat some polymer. This ignores the fact that these polymers smell and taste funny which seriously negates this possibility. If you had the choice of being suddenly coated in black goo that made you drown and put you into shock with a high probability of dying horribly or taking your chances on eating a piece of rubber but you would survive, which would you choose?
So, let’s get back to the spill response. Imagine the spill occurred and a bunch of helicopters were alerted and started dropping booms filled with polymer and a GPS or transducer attached into the spill. You’ve seen this in movies when they are chasing enemy subs. By the time the boats turned up the entire spill could be rendered non sticky and they would simply haul in the booms. Is that too simple? I’ve got to stop giving away these completely obvious ideas that could make me billions of dollars. Now that that has not happened lets move to the beach and step 4 . Again polymers can be simply put into sand blasters that you can rent at your local hardware store and fired into the oil to turn it non sticky. Also, there are several types of completely non-toxic bacteria that can be simply mixed into the sand and all the oil can either be recycled or eaten leaving a clean beach. Yes, really it’s that simple. Here’s a neat idea, how about sending some of that bacteria up to the folks in Alaska?
So, getting to the bottom line, I’m not being sarcastic just for the fun of it. I’m trying to get you to understand that the whole thing is a big media event to make you believe that it’s really a lot harder to deal with the problem then it really is. The problem is that this is being done at your expense. All spills can be quickly rendered non sticky and recovered at less then 10% of the cost of the current fraudulent and amateur methods being used. It’s time that a serious congressional investigation is done into the flow of money, the people controlling this shell game and we start taking care of our environment and the economic health of our communities. Not to mention put some people behind bars.Please send this article to everyone you know especially your politicians and demand that this be corrected. If they don’t respond and take action start sending them all your used motor oil and this article so they have instructions on how to clean it up.Kevin Daum is the Founder of Save the Oceans Inc. He developed and patented a process for removing oil from surfaces so it could be recycled as well as several other inventions. He has formulated multiple eco-certified cleaners for cleaning everything from airplanes to ships, graffiti and your laundry. He has also authored numerous insightful articles and booklets such as “How to Kill your Cleaning Staff” a really green guide to cleaning. His web site is www.OilLift.net
March 03, 2004- Entrepreneur develops method to help solve global oil pollution problem
Jon Eakes, from Home and Garden TV on the Do It Yourself Network and Professor Ken Hall from the University of British Columbia along with a number of major retailers have teamed up to help Kevin Daum, a young entrepreneur, launch his program to help solve the worldwide oil pollution problem. Thus Save the Oceans Inc. was founded to provide the education, products and equipment needed to achieve this goal. His first foray is with his new federal government ecologically certified industrial cleaning product, Oil Lift™.
Most people believe that the pollution killing our oceans, lakes and rivers is from major spills such as the one created by the Exxon Valdez. The truth is that major oil spills represent less then 4% of the oil pollution problem. The research done by professor Ken Hall at the University of British Columbia has shown that the largest form of this pollution is from the accumulation of small spills that occur when you start and stop your car. The oil sticks to sediment, washes down the drain and settles to the bottom of waterways. This poisons the base of the food chain, kills off living organisms and effectively creates what are referred to as “lost” streams.
Based on statistics from the petroleum associations, we know that over half a billion gallons of oil escapes annually into the North American environment alone. That’s over a hundred Valdez spills per year and these are very conservative estimates. When asked to speak on this subject in 1996, David Anderson, who was then the Government of Canada Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, stated “We have a major crisis in the oceans. If we don’t start undertaking effective measures internationally, we are dead.”
Typically, environmental problems are dealt with by protests or through attempts at legislating new laws to protect the environment and public safety. Living in a democratic society, it is obvious that these approaches to pollution control are valid methods of creating change. However, in the case of hydrocarbon pollution, especially from urban runoff, virtually every person is a contributor to the pollution. To solve the problem, Kevin Daum proposed ten years ago that one way to create change would be to commercialize an environmental solution by offering consumers an economical choice that would work better than present toxic cleaning products. He then developed the initial Oil Lift™ process and cleaners to remove oil from surfaces. A US patent was issued in February 2002 for this process.
Oil Lift™ poured onto a stain begins the oil biodegradation process. The oil is then either recycled or is mopped up with an absorbent pad into a bucket of water. This wastewater is finally poured onto gravel or grass where micro organisms in the soil complete the breakdown, thus preventing the oil from entering the aquatic system. A 30 second commercial can be viewed at www.oillift.net that shows the process.
Fred & Gerry the guys at the workshop have discovered a number of additional valuable applications. They diluted Oil Lift™, placed a plastic sheet down for floor protection and sprayed the solution on old wallpaper. Oil Lift™ broke down the adhesive, allowing the wallpaper to slide the floor. They also experimented with Oil Lift™ to remove layers of dirt and smoke residue from walls and floors. In one efficient application they were able to have these surfaces ready to apply paint or sealant without having to deal with toxic chemicals and fumes.
With the product and process developed, a number of major retailers have chosen to back the program. Having Oil Lift™ on retail shelves provides a broad outreach for education on oil problems and their solutions. When their customers realize they can get better cleaning results easily by replacing a wide variety of toxic cleaners with one government certified Ecologo product, the decision to switch to Oil Lift™ makes perfect sense for ecological, economical and health and safety reasons. It can be used for cleaning concrete, asphalt, wood, tiles, grout, engines, boats, bilges, windows etc. It can even be used in your washing machine to clean and remove oil from clothing. Consumers will know that they are helping to save our watersheds and oceans with no additional cost or effort to themselves.
Starting in April 2004 a TV commercial will air featuring Jon Eakes demonstrating the effectiveness of Oil Lift™. This commercial, along with additional valuable information is available for viewing by visiting the Save the Oceans Inc at www.oillift.net . Oil Lift™ and “Now you have a choice!” are trademarks of STO Inc. For additional information: Save the Ocean . 604-279-9994 Fax 888-274-1148 E-mail address: email@example.com Visit our website: www.oillift.net