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Bill Nye explains the oil spill 4

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Government scientists say this is the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Somewhere between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels of oil are spewing into the Gulf each day. It could already be four times larger than the Exxon-Valdez spill. Joining us now, scientist Bill Nye, we all know him as "The Science Guy." Good morning to you, Bill. Good morning. Let's get the impact here. How you see it playing out to the fish, the wildlife, the water, and the ability to clean the marshes, how are we going to go about doing that? Well, I'll tell you, in Cordova, Alaska, near the mouth of the Copper River they're still working against the oil that spilled there 20 years ago. So, I imagine they will have - we will have the same problems in Louisiana. And I think there's a lot more people living there, the fishing industry is a lot bigger, and it being a warmer climate, I think it’s going to be more sensitive to this gooey oil, the water isn’t going to cool it off and help it sink So, it's going to be a very, very serious problem. I'll tell you, as an observer, I think that BP has stopped being forthcoming with all the information I mean we all know that, but it's just it’s troubling. And Bill, with regard to one suggestion to burn the marshes, to try burning off that oil, is that a viable option, in your mind? Well, is that preferred? Is that the lesser of two evils? See, when you burn the oil, you change it from this long hydrocarbon chain which is toxic in some ways, into carbon dioxide and ash, which is toxic in other ways. Boy, that’s a tough call. Also, I’m not sure, I’m not clear, on how well something like this will burn. When the oil first reaches the surface, it’s closer to gasoline than it is to tar. But after it evaporates for a few days and mixes with plankton and other material in the in the water column, as we like to say, in the vertical part, looking at the ocean vertically, the stuff becomes much thicker and I’m not sure it’s nearly as combustible. As the lighter parts of the crude oil evaporate, the stuff becomes less and less easy to burn. So Bill, last question here, real quick. You say it’s been 20 years since Exxon-Valdez, they’re still cleaning things up there, how long are we going to be cleaning things up here? I should think at least a decade. I mean at least 10 years. You know this thing - my concern is that this junk shot, which I've got to say, I thought it was a kind of cool idea, I thought it would work. Just watching the faces of the BP executives and stuff I don’t think they’re feeling good about it. So, this thing could leak. Yeah, they’re saying 60-70% chance, at this point and we’re certainly keeping a close eye on it to see and we're hoping it's 70% and above in terms of its efficacy rate. Bill Nye, thanks so much for joining me, "The Science Guy." Thank you, good morning. Our coverage of the Gulf oil disaster continues throughout the day on MSNBC. At noon eastern, famed chef and restaurateur John Besh is going to talk about how the Gulf oil spill is affecting the seafood that he puts out on his tables at his six New Orleans restaurants.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 17 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: MSNBC
Director: MSNBC
Views: 127
Posted by: csilva on Jul 6, 2010

Bill Nye explains the oil spill 4

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