Sunday, January 23, 2011

Did Superbugs Eat Most Of The BP Oil Spill?

Oceanospirillales are the most common type of bacteria found eating oil in the Gulf.

Homeland Security recently released the Operational Science Advisory Team (OSAT) Final Report which concludes that the vast majority of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is already gone.

The Gulf oil spill was abated by bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons. That's how the Washington Post summarized the OSAT Report. How did these bacteria work so quickly? The article explains that as follows:

"The gulf has more natural seeps than any other body of water in or around North America. Because of this constant supply of hydrocarbons, there is always a healthy population of bacteria floating around the gulf looking for more food. When BP's well blew out, these tiny creatures went into a feeding frenzy."

So, basically, because the Gulf has an unusually high amount of natural oil seepage the bacteria were already thriving and the BP oil spill just kicked them into high gear.

As the BP oil spill continued for several months, some scientists were concerned that methane, as much as half the flow from the wellhead, would spread in large clouds that would eventually leave sizable areas of the Gulf hypoxic, starving marine life of oxygen. The Houston Chronicle reported on a paper published Jan 7 in the journal Science. Texas A&M University oceanographer John Kessler co-authored the paper and he said that "The methane was gone" when they collected samples.

"When we went back out we were just seeing the last breath of a once great methane plume. It went away much faster than we expected, and it's kind of the inspirational story of the oil spill", Kessler said. The paper concludes that large amounts of bacteria bloomed rapidly as the methane levels rose and metabolized the natural gas as food.

Kessler said, "When you look at how fast it must have decomposed from when we left the water in June to September, those rates, while they are in the realm of possibilities, are higher than anything that's ever been measured. ... What we found is that the ocean, in this capacity at least, had a remarkable ability to take care of itself."

If you think this story about superbugs gobbling up all of the oil sounds too good to be true, you aren't alone. Many conspiracy theories claim that synthetically engineered viruses called bacteriophages, or ‘phages’, must have been used to infect and alter the genetics of indigenous Gulf bacteria or a new species of bacteria was synthetically created to eat up the oil and/or gas.

And of course the conspiracy theorists claim that BP introduced the synthetically engineered bacteria into the gulf, or at least the knew about them. The most damning evidence is this 17 second clip from a BBC interview:

This 17 second clip came from a September 2010 video interview with Mike Utsler, the Chief Operating Officer of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration. Utsler publicly admitted on camera:

There is a new form of microbiology that is attacking this (oil) plume and using it as a food source”.

In May 2010, National Geographic quoted Dr. Terry Hazen from the U.S. government’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who said,

“…we could introduce a genetic material into indigenous bugs via a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria – to give local microbes DNA that would allow them to break down oil. Either that, he said, or a lab could create a completely new organism that thrives in the ocean, eats oil, and needs a certain stimulant to live…”

You can read much more supporting "evidence" for the synthetic engineering conspiracy theory from Michael Edward of the World Vision Portal. Edward also explains how he believes that microorganisms and bacteriophages in the Gulf are mutating as well.

Gerald Celente Predictions for 2011 and Beyond

Gerald Celente is the founder of the Trends Research Institute, and he has made a number of highly accurate predictions in the past. He predicted the rise of gold as an alternative store of monetary value, the popularization of hyper-local, organic food commodities, and the economic collapse.

In this interview with Russia Today (RT) Celente predicted that in 2011, every citizen is going to realize that the Great Recession the world has been living through is actually a Great Depression. He also predicted that we will see an increase in cyber war and cyber crime and the rise of the "progressive libertarian" movement.

The Great Depression
Celente predicts that in 2011 every citizen is going to realize that the current recession is actually a Great Depression. He explained how the Federal Reserve made $20 trillion worth of no-interest or extremely low-interest loans to banks around the world. "There is no recovery, it's a cover-up. They're covering it up with stimulus packages, with buy outs, with bailouts -it's not going to fix the problem. ... We cannot imagine them coming up with another scheme where they are going to be able to continue, whether it is in the US or the EU, to print this digital money not worth the paper it’s not printed on.” He went on to explain that governments continue these schemes with funds they “extract them from the little people” with austerity measures. “This is where the revolution is going to happen,” said the trend forecaster. “The youth of the world, and particularly in the United States, has mountains of debts to climb and no way to get to the top.”

Cyber War and Cyber Crime:
Celente predicted an increased use of the Internet for WikiLeaks-style “Journalism 2.0” to "exposing the corruptness, the ineptitude and the double dealing going on that [governments and corporations] don't want the public to know about." He described how government is trying to fight back by "using cyber war and the war on terror to take that Internet freedom away from America. ... But in 2011, the game's gonna run out. ... The Internet has become the great connector. They all know what's going on. They're all Facebook. They're all together. They have a system where they're interacting and relating. It's a different kind of social network than the other one, but the same."

"The worse conditions get, the more you're going to see cyber crime. The worse economic conditions go globally, the more you're going to see cyber wars. It's going to be a new element of warfare. It's an Internet nuclear bomb waiting to go off. You can bring down entire financial systems, stop bank transfers. You can blow apart, without ever having to light a fuse, a whole stock exchange... Every major computer-connected industry or service is a potential target for cyber war."

Progressive Libertarians
Celente is predicting the emergence of a new third party which he's calling "Progressive Libertarian" in 2012.
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Welfare Drug Testing Bills Introduced in Four States


Critics of welfare drug testing cite unconstitutionality of warrantless drug testing, the cost of drug testing tens or hundreds of thousands of people, counterproductive results and mean-spiritedness in opposing legislation that would require it. But that hasn't stopped legislators from coming back again and again.

With this year's state legislative season barely under way, bills have been introduced in four states --Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oregon --to require drug testing for people receiving public assistance. And in a novel twist, a bill in Indiana would require unemployment recipients to declare they are not using illegal drugs and threatens them with up to three years in prison for perjury if they are found to be using them.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which successfully litigated against Michigan's welfare drug testing law, has also come down strongly against welfare drug testing. Such laws are "scientifically, fiscally, and constitutionally unsound," in the ACLU's opinion. The group cites studies showing welfare recipients are no more likely to use drugs than the rest of the population and that 70% of illicit drug users are employed. It also cites research showing that drug testing is an expensive, but ineffective way to uncover drug abuse.

But the kicker for the ACLU is the unconstitutionality of warrantless drug testing by the state, as determined by the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Michigan case. Michigan was the only state to actually implement a welfare drug testing program, but the appeals court found that the program violated the Fourth Amendment's provision barring unreasonable searches.

This is a Suspicious News Brief.
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