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Failure and the Gulf Spill

Is BP blowing the Gulf oil spill challenge? And, is there a cover up? We ask the questions.

A young heron sits dying amidst oil splattering underneath mangrove on an island impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Barataria Bay, just inside the the coast of Lousiana, Sunday, May 23, 2010. (AP)

The gusher of uncontrolled oil goes on and on at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. So does the battle over what we know, and how we understand what’s happened. 

At the very beginning, seven weeks ago, oil giant BP called the spill minor – and kept the sea floor video to itself. 

Now BP’s chief is calling the environmental impact “very, very modest,” while Louisianans watch their shoreline go under. 

Some in Washington cry “cover-up, but Washington is in for criticism now, too. 

This Hour, On Point: the Gulf oil spill challenge, Day 34.

Guests:

Andrew Revkin, writer of the “Dot Earth” blog for the New York Times, where he’s reported on the environment for almost fifteen years. He’s also a senior fellow at Pace University’s Academy for Applied Environmental Studies.

Sylvia Earle, renowned oceanographer, author and lecturer. She’s current Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and the founder of Mission Blue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ocean exploration, research, and conservation. She’s the former chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Steve Werely, fluid dynamics expert and professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University. His analysis of BP’s early video footage of the leak suggested a much higher flow rate than official estimates; BP has since conceded the leak is bigger than it previously stated. Read Werely’s New York Times op-ed, “The Measure of a Disaster.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 23, 2014
Cindy Cook holds a photo of her mother, former Rep. Alice Cook Bassett, at her home in Calais, Vt., Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Cook took care of her mother in December when she decided to stop eating and drinking to put an end to her life. (AP)

A bipartisan report says medical care at the end of life needs a big overhaul. One bioethicist says, “After 75, no major interventions. Let me go.”

Sep 23, 2014
Fabiano Caruana, of Italy, was the winner of the 2014 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, MO. His seven straight wins in the tournament are virtually unprecedented in the history of the game. (Courtesy US Chess Champs)

A young grandmaster just did the impossible at a top chess tournament. No one paid attention. Does chess still matter?

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Sep 22, 2014
Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP/Jason DeCrow)

Big climate protests in New York before a big UN summit. Activist and author Naomi Klein says change the economy or die. She’s with us.

 
Sep 22, 2014
President Barack Obama gestures during a statement in the State Dining Room of the White House, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington. Obama spoke after Congress voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP/Evan Vucci)

A tough, critical examination of US plans to take on ISIS. Strategy in the hot seat.

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