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Thursday, June 17, 2010

American ingenuity for American problems.

Yes, it’s a British conglomerate causing the spill, but it’s an American need for oil and the risks implicit in satisfying that need. Political agenda slash rant over, I was watching CBS yesterday and how ship captain Gerry Matherne has come up with a way to filter the oil using just PVC and screen door material from a hardware store. Yep. Then today I see where Kevin Costner after weeks of pleading with BP, (and them turning down the likes of James Cameron), has finally gotten the go ahead to provide his own version of a device to clean up the oil. (See clip above.)

The PVC thing stuck out though, because here BP is, with access to probably as good an underwater tech as there is in terms of submersibles and deep sea gear, and it will likely end up coming down to parts from aisle 5.

What I liked about Matherne’s approach was flipping the problem around. Instead of skimming a wide path slowly, he focused on a small area and instead vacuumed it at a faster rate. Look at that clip and how slow it takes a normal skimmer—and that’s in calm seas. American ingenuity: First time, every time.

When they let us use it.

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