The Cover-up: BP's Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster -- By Wayne Madsen

**** Geoengineering Experiments Contested at UN meeting in Nairobi - By ETC Group


May 10, 2010

The Cover-up: BP's Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster -- By Wayne Madsen

The Cover-up: BP's Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster
Written by Wayne Madsen   

WMR has been informed by sources in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Florida Department of Environmental Protection that the Obama White House and British Petroleum (BP), which pumped $71,000 into Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign -- more than John McCain or Hillary Clinton, are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP's liability for damage caused by what can be called a "mega-disaster."

Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, are working with BP's chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. However, WMR's federal and Gulf state sources are reporting the disaster has the real potential cost of at least $1 trillion. Critics of the deal being worked out between Obama and Hayward point out that $10 billion is a mere drop in the bucket for a trillion dollar disaster but also note that BP, if its assets were nationalized, could fetch almost a trillion dollars for compensation purposes. There is talk in some government circles, including FEMA, of the need to nationalize BP in order to compensate those who will ultimately be affected by the worst oil disaster in the history of the world.

Plans by BP to sink a 4-story containment dome over the oil gushing from a gaping chasm one kilometer below the surface of the Gulf, where the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and killed 11 workers on April 20, and reports that one of the leaks has been contained is pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration, according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources. Sources within these agencies say the White House has been resisting releasing any "damaging information" about the oil disaster. They add that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf.

Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a "national security issue." Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano's actual reasoning for invoking national security was to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.

>From the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, and Gulf state environmental protection agencies, the message is the same: "we've never dealt with anything like this before."

The Obama administration also conspired with BP to fudge the extent of the oil leak, according to our federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day was gushing from the seabed chasm.  Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day.

However, WMR has been informed that submersibles that are  monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what is a "volcanic-like" eruption of oil. Moreover, when the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick -- which is larger than that being reported by the media -- it was turned down. However, National Geographic managed to obtain the satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site.

There is other satellite imagery being withheld by the Obama administration that shows what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be around the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to our sources.

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The Corps and Engineers and FEMA are quietly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only recently, has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. WMR has also learned that inspections of off-shore rigs' shut-off valves by the Minerals Management Service during the Bush administration were merely rubber-stamp operations, resulting from criminal collusion between Halliburton and the Interior Department's service, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves.

The impact of the disaster became known to the Corps of Engineers and FEMA even before the White House began to take the magnitude of the impending catastrophe seriously. The first casualty of the disaster is the seafood industy, with not just fishermen, oystermen, crabbers, and shrimpers losing their jobs, but all those involved in the restaurant industry, from truckers to waitresses, facing lay-offs.

The invasion of crude oil into estuaries like the oyster-rich Apalachicola Bay in Florida spell disaster for the seafood industry. However, the biggest threat is to Florida's Everglades, which federal and state experts fear will be turned into a "dead zone" if the oil continues to gush forth from the Gulf chasm. There are also expectations that the oil slick will be caught up in the Gulf stream off the eastern seaboard of the United States, fouling beaches and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay, and ultimately target the rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

WMR has also learned that 36 urban areas on the Gulf of Mexico are expecting to be confronted with a major disaster from the oil volcano in the next few days. Although protective water surface boons are being laid to protect such sensitive areas as Alabama's Dauphin Island, the mouth of the Mississippi River, and Florida's Apalachicola Bay, Florida, there is only 16 miles of boons available for the protection of 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline in the state of Florida.

Emergency preparations in dealing with the expanding oil menace are now being made for cities and towns from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Houston, New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton, Naples, and Key West. Some 36 FEMA-funded contracts between cities, towns, and counties and emergency workers are due to be invoked within days, if not hours, according to WMR's FEMA sources.

There are plans to evacuate people with respiratory problems, especially those among the retired senior population along the west coast of Florida, before officials begin burning surface oil as it begins to near the coastline.

There is another major threat looming for inland towns and cities. With hurricane season in effect, there is a potential for ocean oil to be picked up by hurricane-driven rains and dropped into fresh water lakes and rivers, far from the ocean, thus adding to the pollution of water supplies and eco-systems.

This story contributed by the Wayne Madsen Report for 

**** Geoengineering Experiments Contested at UN meeting in Nairobi - By ETC Group

Geoengineering Experiments Contested at UN meeting in Nairobi

ETC Group
News Release
10 May 2010

As huge cloud-whitening experiment goes public, global coalition urges an immediate halt to geoengineering

First UN talks on issue in thirty years begin today
Amidst revelations in this weekend’s London Times newspaper{1} that a team of scientists and engineers funded by billionaire Bill Gates are planning to carry out a 10,000 square kilometer field trial of controversial “cloud-whitening” technology, over one hundred civil society groups are urging governments meeting on biological diversity in Nairobi to stop risky geoengineering experiments now. Geoengineering refers to large-scale technological schemes to intentionally alter the planet’s systems as a quick fix for climate change.
The San Francisco based “Silver Lining Project” directed by entrepreneur Kelly Wanser has so far received $300,000 from Bill Gates to develop technologies that will increase the whiteness of marine clouds. Theoretically, executed on a massive scale, whiter clouds could increase the earth’s albedo, reflecting more sunlight back to space and thereby reduce global warming (without changing the composition of greenhouse gases which cause warming). The Silver Lining Project has decided to press ahead with plans to alter cloud-cover over an undisclosed 10,000 square kilometre patch of ocean (as large as the BP oil slick was a few days ago). If not stopped, the Gates ‘cloud-bleaching’ experiment would be the largest known geoengineering field trial to date. Its effects could include changes in rainfall and other altered weather patterns. Among the sites frequently spoken of by scientists engaged in this research are the Pacific coasts of North and South America (specifically California, Ecuador, Peru and Chile).
Most worrisome, the Times revealed: “The British and American scientists involved do not intend to wait for international rules on technology that deliberately alters the climate.” Such rules could be set in motion this week as scientists and diplomats from 193 nations meet under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s scientific body. The meeting in Nairobi of SBSTTA 14 (Subsidiary Body of Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, running from May 10-21 2010) is the first time a UN Body has addressed geoengineering as a whole since the signing of the ENMOD Treaty in Geneva in 1976 that banned environmental modification for “hostile uses”.[2]
A new global coalition will be urging governments in Nairobi to adopt a moratorium on all geoengineering experiments, just as the UN Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a moratorium on ocean fertilization in 2008. Over one hundred organizations and individuals, including leading names in the environmental and global justice movement have joined H.O.M.E. campaign: Hands off Mother Earth--Our Home is not a Laboratory (
“Our Home Planet Earth should not be treated as a laboratory for risky geoengineering experiments,” says Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group in Mexico from the Nairobi SBSTTA meeting. “Human-caused climate change already threatens our lands, seas, food supply and rights. We do not want to embark on another dangerous experiment with our planet. If they think that the people and governments of Ecuador, Peru or Chile – or anywhere else they might try – will stand idly by as they mess with our oceans, clouds and weather, they are in for a surprise. Delegates here are shocked by these plans.”
“We knew Microsoft was developing cloud applications for computers but we didn’t expect this,” explained Jim Thomas of ETC Group, one of the founding organizations of the HOME campaign “Bill Gates and his cloud-wrenching cronies have no right to unilaterally change our seas and skies in this way. A global moratorium on geoengineering experiments just became a whole lot more urgent and the meeting in Nairobi is a fine place to ensure that it gets put into place rapidly.”

Additional background:
What: Geoengineering refers to large-scale technological proposals to fix climate change by deliberately altering the climate, weather, atmosphere and oceans. Examples of geoengineering schemes include dumping nutrients into the sea to grow algal blooms (called Ocean Fertilization), turning extensive monoculture plantations into charcoal to bury in the soil (called biochar) and deliberately polluting the upper atmosphere with sulphur or aluminium particles to reflect sunlight (called stratospheric aerosols) as well as cloud-whitening. All of these experiments have large potential impacts on environment, biodiversity and the livelihoods of people especially in the Global South. Geoengineering advocates argue that there is no time for a global political agreement to address the real causes of climate change, so brave new scientists and wealthy entrepreneurs should save the world for all of us instead, with their own technofixes.
There are now several geoengineering experiments getting underway without any global oversight framework in place and larger experiments are planned. Geoengineers, including those behind the Gates cloud-wrenching test have recently proposed “voluntary guidelines” rather than full independent multilateral oversight of the field. The proposal currently before SBSTTA 14 is for governments to look into the biodiversity implications of geoengineering (as well as to examine the ongoing work on ocean fertilization which began in 2008). Civil society groups are insisting experiments be stopped while governments examine the implications of such research.
Who: A new global campaign and coalition to stop Geoengineering experiments was launched last month at an international climate change meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This Hands Off Mother Earth (H.O.M.E.) Campaign is calling on governments through the UN to put a halt to unilateral open-air geoengineering experiments – arguing they are too risky and unjust. Supporters of the HOME campaign against geoengineering include high profile environmentalists such as Bill McKibben, David Suzuki, Vandana Shiva and Naomi Klein. Organizations supporting the HOME campaign include ETC Group, Friends of the Earth International, Third World Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, la Via Campenina, Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact, Biofuelwatch and many others.
Show of Hands: Additionally members of the public have been uploading their pictures with their hands held up with messages against geoengineering to a growing photo petition at A giant poster displaying the protest is on display at SBSTTA 14 in Nairobi and ETC Group has three people at the meeting, working with campaign partners to inform delegates of the protest and the reasons behind it.
For more information about Hands Off Mother Earth Campaign see

In Nairobi:
*Neth Dano, cell & SMS + 63 917 532 9369 Nairobi cell: +254 712 605 622
Silvia Ribeiro, cell & SMS +52 1 55 2653 3330 Nairobi cell: +254 712 601 660
*Molly Kane, cell & SMS: + 1 613 797 642
In Canada:
Diana Bronson -; cell: +1 514 629 9236
Jim Thomas - cell: +1 514 516 5759
Pat Mooney – cell: +1 613 240 0045
1. See Ben Webster, Bill Gates Pays for artificial clouds to beat greenhouse gases, 8 May 2010, Times Online at
2. Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques. See