and the evidence is in his op-ed guest shot in the NYT where he advocates explosives to implode the well leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
With this new structure in place, the Navy could focus on stopping the leak with a conventional demolition. This means more than simply “blowing it up”: it means drilling a hole parallel to the leaking well and lowering charges to form an explosive column.
Upon detonating several tons of explosives, a pressure wave of hundreds of thousands of pounds per square inch would spread outward in the same way that light spreads from a tubular fluorescent bulb, evenly and far. Such a sidelong explosion would implode the oil well upstream of the leak by crushing it under a layer of impermeable rock, much as stepping on a garden hose stops the stream of water.
It’s true that the primary blast of a conventional explosion is less effective underwater than on land because of the intense back-pressure that muffles the shock wave. But as a submariner who studied the detonation of torpedoes, I learned that an underwater explosion also creates rapid follow-on shockwaves. In this case, the expansion and collapse of explosive gases inside the hole would act like a hydraulic jackhammer, further pulverizing the rock.
Like every other idiot yelling “blow it up!” he’s missing many points — where will that displaced water go, for one? What about the damage to nearby oil platforms and pipelines, which crisscross the Gulf like pick-up-sticks, yes, even out where they were drilling Macondo No.1? What, this nice even shock wave won’t jar them and make more leaks? Plus, there’s the actual composition of the seabed where all this is taking place. It’s not so much the rock he confidently expounds will collapse evenly as it is a lasagna-like structure that’s actually quite fragile. Not to mention, the methane concentrations in the water and air around the leak will probably not react tamely to the introduction of, you know, EXPLOSIVES. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! As Rachel Maddow said last night, this is a typically American “solution” — lots of force, not much thought involved.
All these people screaming for a nuke, or a bomb, or a parallell-drilling installation of a bomb: this ain’t the A-Team, this is real life. Much better to use the killbore to kill the well than to blow a bigger hole in the floor of the Gulf. Stop being morans.