In recent years there was all the nonsense about how scientists were going to accidentally make a black hole with the Large Hadron Collider that would runaway out of control…. we would not be able to stop it. We scientists would have tampered with the murky depths of Nature and awoken a monster we could not control. Naughty scientists that we are. The LHC has been colliding away at unprecedented energies, and last time I checked (you can too – click here) we’re ok.
I just realized something. Now we do have a runaway black hole! But it was created by naughty engineers, tampering with the murky depths of Nature and awakening a monster they cannot control. That gushing well 5000 feet below in the gulf of Mexico is a black hole of a kind… It just blows instead of sucks. And what a great advertisement for precision engineering we’re seeing in this awful saga as the world watches, with bizarre operations to stop it failing one after another. When I heard that the next thing they were going to try was to stuff it with old tires and golf balls I was sure it was a joke.
But it is not.
The Obama administration may “push aside” BP (who, have you noticed, are firmly British Petroleum again, and not simply the BP or Beyond Petroleum their rebranding of the last few years tried to make stick?) and deal with it themselves. I imagine they will have physicist and energy secretary Steven Chu consult with the scientific community for solutions.
No doubt, as more plans fail, ultimately they’ll come to us when it is time to do difficult sums, and “think out of the box”. Heh. Probably a bad idea…. I’ll just say that if you wake up next week to the news that they are going to try creating a large black hole next to the gusher to gobble up the oil, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):