NASA & Deep-Sea Oil-Well Capping
John Galt; Jul 21, 2010
Last night on Coast-To-Coast AMÂ http://www.coasttocoastam.com, one of the principal guests, NASA proponent Richard Hoagland http://www.enterprisemission.com/, argued that failure to fund NASA as in the past constitutes â€œthrowing away Americaâ€™s â€˜crown jewelsâ€™.â€ Hoagland also contends that NASA was responsible for Americaâ€™s technological progress during the past half century.
There is nothing in Hoaglandâ€™s arguments to suggest that NASA developed any significant technology that wouldnâ€™t have been discovered through private enterprise R & Dâ€”if private enterprise were not burdened with regulation and a crushing tax load in part to support such federal and state research projects as NASA. Such innovators as Howard Hughes have been proven able to recognize and industrialize new technologies as they come alongâ€”often without government intervention.Â Â
The great technological advances of American inventors and private corporate research of the first half of the 20th Century (radio and aviation, for example) occurred when corporations and individuals were relatively free to profit exclusively from their research and subsequent patents. These were times of relatively low government regulation and taxationâ€”at least compared to the current situation. It was in this time that the United States became the richest nation on earth [despite financially disastrous interventions in European and Asian wars and related banking and currency manipulations by government and government-sanctioned/-sponsored organizations (e.g. the Dawes Gold Loan to Germany of 1924, the pursuant Young Plan of 1929, and concomitant defaults on War-loan repayments by European powers collectively setting the stage for the stock market crash of â€™29 and the Great Depression)].
Hoagland contends that if NASA were adequately funded, a solution (or preventative) would have already been found for the recent catastrophic deep-sea blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. Hoagland looks to NASA to solve any technological problem that comes along. Obviously, Hoagland sees a government super-brain research agency as the answer to all of mankindâ€™s problems. I, personally, would prefer to see no one organization obtain a monopoly on research and inventive capabilityâ€”least of all a government agency.
Despite Hoaglandâ€™s demand that government monopolize all technological research through NASA, and make it a superfund sacred cow, Hoaglandâ€™s more practical assessmentâ€”that capping or â€œkillingâ€ the deep-sea blow-out well is potentially even more catastrophicâ€”actually has substantial merit. The logical way to solve the problem of excessive pressure is to invest enough additional protective and productive technology into the project to make the well a producer, so that the pressure can be released in a productive way to help pay for the clean up that is already under wayâ€”perhaps working with â€œrelief wellsâ€ to diminish the pressure most rapidly at first on a decelerating production schedule.
Pouring a heavy liquid down the well to â€œkillâ€ it does nothing to release the pressure which may be (as Hoagland contends) threatening to blow out the entire surrounding seabed which has now, he contends, become fractured and unconsolidated. Completing the project so as to safely place the well in production (using relief wells) doesnâ€™t replace the lives lost in the initial explosion, nor does it undo the environmental damage already done, but it would gradually reduce substrata pressure and allow BP to pay for the huge costs involved in the mishapâ€”both those already incurred and those to be incurred in the future. Putting the well safely into production, making it pay despite the huge mistakes already made, seems to be the ideal conclusion to this unfortunate episode.Â
[Republished here with the full & complete permission of the author, John Galt.]