Cuba Offshore Oil Drilling: Why We’re Not Ready

The 53,000-ton the Italian-owned, Chinese-built Scarabeo 9 is a state-of-the-art, semi-submersible ultra-deepwater drilling platform capable of working in up to 12,000 feet of water depth with a 50,000 foot (9.5 miles) drilling depth capacity. The platform has accommodations for full-time support of up to 200 workers. (Source: ?Background on Scarabeo 9? in CubaStandard.com by Jorge Pi?on,)

The 53,000-ton the Italian-owned, Chinese-built Scarabeo 9 is a state-of-the-art, semi-submersible ultra-deepwater drilling platform capable of working in up to 12,000 feet of water depth with a 50,000 foot (9.5 miles) drilling depth capacity. The platform has accommodations for full-time support of up to 200 workers. (Source: “Background on Scarabeo 9″ in CubaStandard.com by Jorge Pinon,)

As I write this, a massive offshore oil platform makes its way around the southern tip of the African continent on its journey from Singapore to its final destination within 50 miles of some of our nation’s most environmentally sensitive waters. By year’s end, it will be in operation to drill the first exploratory well more than a mile deep in Cuban waters.

Shortly after Cuba’s discovery of offshore oil more than six years ago, I met with my colleagues at the University of Havana who had just been briefed by the state-run oil company, Cupet (Cubapetroleo). Models predicted that 90 percent of oil from a blowout would be transported northward to the Keys and up along Florida’s East Coast, impacting Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and beyond. The question is, of course, are we ready to deal with such a catastrophe? [Read more…]

The state of the world’s oceans with David Guggenheim | Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane | WHYY/NPR Philadelphia

WHYY's Marty Moss-Coane prepares to interview Dr. David E. Guggenheim

WHYY's Marty Moss-Coane prepares to interview Dr. David E. Guggenheim

October 4, 2011: During a visit to his home town of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as part of the Ocean Doctor’s 50 Years – 50 States – 50 Speeches Expedition, Dr. David E. Guggenheim is interviewed on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, WHYY/NPR about the state of the world’s oceans.

The state of the world’s oceans with David Guggenheim | Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane | WHYY/NPR Philadelphia

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WHYY Radio - Philadelphia

VIDEO: Ocean Doctor’s Birthday Message 2011

Ecology Radio Debuts! The Ocean Doctor Interviews Dr. Sylvia A. Earle

Ecology Global NetworkIt’s new and it’s now LIVE! Ecology Radio is a new, hour-long Internet radio magazine featuring the latest, cutting-edge environmental topics. Each month, Dr. David E. Guggenheim, host of The Ocean Doctor Radio Show show, brings an ocean-related segment to Ecology Radio, debuting with a very special guest: “Her Deepness,” Dr. Sylvia A. Earle.

Dr. Sylvia A. Earle at the helm of the Deep Rover submersible (Photo: David E. Guggenheim)

Dr. Sylvia A. Earle at the helm of the Deep Rover submersible (Photo: David E. Guggenheim)

Ecology Radio is a service of the ECOLOGY Global Network, a service of ecology.com, the nexus of the Worldwide Web, international television, international radio and personal data delivery systems regarding all facets of ecology and the environment, all delivered on ecology.com with plans to expand to other media delivery platforms.

The ECOLOGY Global Network’s mission is to use the modern tools of information and communication to inform, educate and inspire the global community to respect, restore and protect our natural and human world, and to encourage all people to become stewards of the environment in which we live.

Ecology Radio

 

Ecology Global Network

VIDEO: Viet Village Urban Farm Sustainable Aquaculture Park

This video was produced especially for and shown at the Blue Vision Summit 2011 in Washington, DC for the panel, “Voices from the Gulf,” May 21, 2011.

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The Gulf’s Green Future: One Community’s Hopeful Example After the BP Oil Spill & Katrina

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Your tax-deductible contribution will result in hands-on work that will directly benefit the Gulf of Mexico and the New Orleans East community.

VIDEO: A Whale’s Unforgettable “Thank You”

As featured in The Ocean Doctor Radio Show, we’re pleased to present an amazing, inspirational video documenting the “rescue of a nearly-dead humpback whale, hopelessly entangled in fishing gear in the Sea of Cortez.” Michael Fishbach, co-founder of Earth Island Institute’s, Great Whale Conservancy, and his family and friends came to the whale’s rescue and were awestruck by what the whale had to give them in return. A hearty Ocean Doctor salute to Michael and the Great Whale Conservancy!

An Expedition Dedicated to Alonso, Whom We Lost Tragically Yesterday

Eduardo Alonso Ramos, 1970-2011

Eduardo Alonso Ramos, 1970-2011

His name is Eduardo Alonso Ramos, but everyone calls him “Alonso.” He and Lachi, also a colleague from the University of Havana’s Center for Marine Research (Centro de Investigaciones Marinas, CIM) were supposed to join me for a final meeting at Havana’s Marina Hemingway yesterday in final preparations for our expedition, which they were planning to be part of.

They never arrived. That’s not unusual here in Cuba. Transportation is often a nightmare. Perhaps his motorcycle broke down. Perhaps he couldn’t get gas. Who knows? I wasn’t worried. Though it was a bit unusual that they never called, even last night.

This morning I learned the tragic truth, and it’s still sinking in. Alonso was filling a SCUBA tank at CIM yesterday afternoon when it exploded, killing him instantly. He was only 41. He leaves a wife, 36, who is pregnant. They buried him this morning. [Read more…]

A Fragile Empire: National Geographic Examines Threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

"A Fragile Empire" can be found in the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine on newstands April 26

“A Fragile Empire” can be found in the May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine on newsstands April 26 (Photo: National Geographic)

Earlier this year, World Resources Institute released its “Reefs at Risk Revisited Report” (featured on The Ocean Doctor Radio Show) which spelled out a rather grim future for coral reefs due to both local and global threats, should we fail to take action. One of the bright spots in its report was Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which has fared better than many other reefs around the world and has in place strong protections and management practices. But even this massive and remote reef system isn’t immune from the impacts affecting coral reefs worldwide. In “A Fragile Empire” National Geographic Magazine (May 2011) writer Jennifer S. Holland explores the various factors that are threatening Australia’s monumental reef. From rising water temperatures, to bleaching, massive flooding and high levels of acidity, the reef is in danger of collapsing and the prospect for recovery is uncertain.

A warming climate is pushing corals against the upper limit of their thermal tolerance, evidenced by mass bleachings like the one in 1997-98. A 60-year decline in ocean phytoplankton — microscopic organisms that form the base of the food chain — may also be playing a role. Recent flooding in Australia washed enormous plumes of sediments and toxins far offshore to the reef tract. And now, thanks to increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, the oceans are becoming more and more acidic as more of this atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater. As the oceans become more acid, limiting the ability of organisms, like corals and shellfish, to build their limestone shells and skeletons.

[Read more…]

A Statistically Impossible Plea for Help

 

Vessel "Oliva" breaking apart and spilling oil at Nightingale Island (Photo: D. Guggenheim)

Vessel “Oliva” breaking apart and spilling oil at Nightingale Island (Photo: D. Guggenheim)

EARTH DAY 2011: This isn’t what I had planned to write for Earth Day. But it’s the most important thing I can write today. I write these words with a single, challenging purpose: I need you to care deeply about something. I need you to care about something that wasn’t supposed to be possible. I need you to care so deeply that you choose to help. And to make things even more challenging, what I need you to care about is a place you’ve never heard of and are very unlikely to see in your lifetime, a place that’s such an infinitesimally tiny speck lying quite literally in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, it appears on few maps (and even befuddles Google maps). And unless you’re one of the fewer than 300 people that call Tristan da Cunha home, it will take you at best 5-7 days to get to this airstrip-lacking place even if you dash out the door before finishing this paragraph. Tristan da Cunha is, quite literally, the most remote inhabited island in the world. A sign on the island boasts this factoid, alongside a marker pointing east toward the nearest civilization: 1,511 miles to Cape Town, South Africa. [Read more…]

VIDEO: Dramatic Rescue of Freighter Crew by Prince Albert II Expedition Team, Penguin Rescue (CNN)

Dramatic video shot by Kristine Hannon details the rescue of 12 crew members aboard the bulk carrier, “Oliva,” on March 17, 2011, where it grounded the prior day. Within hours of the successful rescue, the ship broke in two and sunk, unleashing a massive oil spill, threatening millions of seabirds including the endangered Northern Rockhopper penguins. [Read more…]