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Bill Nye explains the oil spill 3

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Government scientists say this is the worst oil spill in US history. Somewhere between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels of oil are spewing into the Gulf each day. It could already be 4 times larger than the Exxon Valdez spill. Joining us now scientist Bill Nye, we all know, Mr. Science Guy. Good morning to you Bill. Good Morning. Let’s get the impact here. How do you see it playing out to the fish, the wildlife, the water. And the ability to clean the marshes. How are we gonna go about doing that? Well I'll tell you ... In Cordova, Alaska, near the mouth of Copper River they're still working against the oil that spilled there 20 years ago. So I imagine we will have the same problems in Louisiana. And I think there are a lot more people living there. The fishing industry is a lot bigger. And it being a warmer climate, I think it's gonna be more sensitive to this gooey oil. The water isn't gonna cool it off and help it sink. So it's been a very, very serious problem. I'll tell you, as an observer, I think that BP is stopping 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, 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 oxide and ash which is toxic in other ways. But 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 water column, as we like 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 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 we're gonna be cleaning things up here? I should think at least a decade, I mean at least ten years. You know, this thing ... My concern is that this junk shot, which I gotta say, I thought was a kind of a cool idea. I thought it would work Just watching the faces of the BP executives, I don`t think they are feeling good about it. Well, this thing could leak. Yeah ... they're saying 60 to 70 percent chance at this point. And we're certainly keeping a close eye on it to see. And we are hoping it's 70 and above in terms of its efficacy rate. Bill Nye thanks so much for joining me. The science guy. Our coverage of the Gulf oil disaster continues throughout the day on MSNBC. At noon Eastern, famed chef restaurateur John Besh is gonna talk about how the Gulf oil spill affected the seafood that he puts out on his tables at his 6 New Orleans restaurants.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 17 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: MSNBC
Director: MSNBC
Views: 161
Posted by: csilva on Jul 6, 2010

Bill Nye explains the oil spill 3

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