What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Oil from the Drift River Terminal near Redoubt to be moved

April 2, 2009, 8:11 PM


Image courtesy of AVO/USGS by James Isaak. Photo taken 3/31/2009.

No, this isn't Battlestar Galactica, but the same can be said for the Drift River Oil Terminal: this has all happened before and will all happen again. Coast Guard officials have (finally) decided to move ~6.3 million gallons of crude oil from the Chevron-owned Drift River Oil Terminal at the base of Redoubt. The oil terminal has been a flashpoint since Redoubt began to make noise earlier this year and even up until yesterday, it was unclear what, if any, action the Coast Guard might take with the facility. It had been shut down and evacuated since Redoubt began to erupt last week, but now the oil will be removed over the next few days (weather/volcano permitting).

It seems that the threat of dome collapse pyroclastic flows and the lahars/flood they might generate could have been the tipping point for the oil terminal. Even after the oil is moved, there will still be over 800,000 gallons of oil left in the tanks at the Terminal. The terminal was improved since the 1989-90 eruption of Redoubt, with the installation of dikes to protect it from potential floods and lahars that would travel down the Drift River valley from Redoubt - and so far, the dikes have withstood the floods of the 2009 eruptions. However, the public scrutiny and the uncertainty involved in, well, locating an oil terminal near an active volcano (see map above), has apparently forced the move. Groups near the Cook Inlet fear any breach of the dikes will spill millions of gallons of crude oil into the inlet, in a state that has already had to survive one major oil spill and is still recovering from that.

Hopefully, this will be the last time we have to deal with this issue at Redoubt. Either Chevron or the U.S. government should get the sense that keeping this terminal in operation is a detriment and a danger to both the ecology of Cook Inlet and the oil production in the region. However, I would also not be surprised if after Redoubt quiets after these eruptions, the oil returns and 10 years down the road we have to go down this road all over again. This problem won't go away unless we make it go away.

 

Oil from the Drift River Te...

Newsletter: Share: