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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Thursday's Connector: Philippe Cousteau Jr

May 26th, 2010
06:40 PM ET

As the Gulf of Mexico continues to be battered by the effects of the largest oil spill in US history, one conservationist with a famous family name is warning that the permanent effects could last a lifetime.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/26/cousteau.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Philippe Cousteau is your Connector of the Day."]

Philippe Cousteau Jr, the grandson of famous explorer, Jacques Cousteau, recently scuba dived into an area of the Gulf that was affected by the spill and said it was an "absolute nightmare".

Cousteau also said that a chemical dispersant being used to absorb the oil wasn't effective.

"We were about 15 to 20 feet down and it was dispersed into smaller and smaller particles throughout the water column in these billowing clouds that were just circling us, encompassing us in this toxic soup," Cousteau told CNN.

"It was very, very alarming."

Cousteau also wrote on his blog that his grandfather, Jacques would have been "horrified" by the spill.

"I know that my father and grandfather would have been doing this if they were alive and that they would have been just as horrified by what they saw as I was."

soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. jefff

    he would be saying the same thing if you spilled a cup of coffee in the water if it had coffeeemate in it

    May 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  2. Sam

    Jeff, You have got to be joking. It is a total disaster. Tourism, Fishing, Home Values, Jobs, Nature are all suffering from this horrible horrible disaster.
    If you can't realize that this is killing the gulf and hurting america then maybe you should move to another country.

    May 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  3. LM

    Jeff, you appear to have a deep hatred of conservation. Would you say the same thing if you were a fisherman or a shrimper in the Gulf? Or a restaurant owner or a hotel manager in LA, MS, AL, FLA? Obviously you don't care about wildlife and the environment, but this will ruin people, cost jobs and cause untold monetary damage which SOMEONE will have to pay for.

    May 26, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  4. Laurent

    Why is there no video shootage available on the web for this the cousteau dive ? I am searching for such underwater videos on the various news channels but I fail to fine some of decent quality Same question for dying pelican stuck in oil: While hundred of these are probably dying daily, nothing visible on the web. Are these images too "chocking" for US viewers, or are they just "censured" ?.

    May 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  5. Anthony

    the only reason why there Deciding to finally "kill" it is because The Oil Giants didnt want to loose the possibility of extracting more oil from that well. They dont give a damn about the Enviroment or who is actually responsible these "exectutives and Billionaires" only care about the $$$ and the proof behind that is the fact there playing the Blame game like this is some elementry school yard issue.

    These people are Pathetic and it's only more reason for me to strive to get the planet of Oil and other commodities that these coniving diceaving, arragant,shrouds that are making the Income of a small country.

    The Idea to clog the well was one of the first concepts.
    the reason they tried to use Caps was so they could control the well so they could remain extracting oil. and you'd think a Billion dollar industry would be more contempt to satisfying its customers with there concerns but no and you know why? because We need them for the time being and they know they can abuse the power.

    What do you have to say to that?

    May 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  6. Walt

    What do you expect after so many years of big oil running the country

    May 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  7. Andrea Silverthorne

    Just before I left Miami to attend college in the north, The Miami Herald printed a letter from a Key West gentleman that said he thought the dead zone dirtectly of the Louisiana cost should be blamed on the oil drilling in the area, not nitrate run off.

    He is right. Research shows that the use of nitrates has decreased dramatically since 1979, and that during the time it was decreasing, the dead zone originated and grew. In addition, the Mississippi River is a fixer of nitrate; most of the reduced nitrate gets used up by the river, and the rest gets eaten by methane eating bacteria that proliferaqted in the leaky sea bed of the Gulf.

    I researched this myself, and I am not an expert; therefore,My first question is: Why have the experts not pointed this out before? Had they, and had a cry gone out to get everybody oput of the Gulf pool, this never would have happened.

    My second question series is: Do you know what the properties and behavior of methane hydrate are? Do you know that the oil and gas industry has created a geohazard all over the world, with their use of fresh water in the deep earth which can be used for the fuel methane needs to form its preferred hydrate state?

    Finally: Given hydrate when uit dissociates is a huge explosion: Do you think BP hit a bed of hydrates made by earlier drilling?

    May 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  8. michelle sue

    Philippe mentioned if his grandfather and father were alive, they would have been "doing this." Why didn't he mention that his Uncle, Jean-Michel was also diving, filming and reporting on the tragedy as well (at the same time)?

    May 26, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  9. Keira


    My question is: Why is there drilling going on at such depths if the proper safeguards (to prevent disasters of this magnitude) aren't in place? Also, how long will it take to clean the gulf coast up of all the oil?



    May 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  10. Barbara Borkowski

    I would like to know how much of BP's oil is sold to the U.S.A? How much is exported to other nations? How important is the BP oil to the U.S.A. ? Thank you.

    May 26, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  11. Carlos Moreira

    The world's oceans are dying and we all must save them.

    May 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  12. phoenix2010

    America your love affair with gasoline can be said to be sowing the wind, Thanks to B P NOW YOU REAP THE WHIRLWIND. America you have got to take the lead in Green energy and your legislators have got to push the Green agenda , Big oil means Big trouble in Americas Gulf region. you can no longer ignore the damage your dependence on oil is doing, you will lay waste to the ecosystems that provide you with so much marine wealth ,

    May 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Reply
  13. m.sabur

    I have a gauranteed way of stopping the leak; Where can I send it to

    May 26, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  14. Lou

    All the oil that is skimmed,.. can it be reused or reprocessed into something useful? This precious resource must be used for something other than just switching it from a water to a land pollutant.
    Would super tankers be needed to filter the water in the gulf and separate the oil from the water someday? I feel it can be done with enough time and effort once this leak is capped!!

    May 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  15. Smith in Oregon

    For decades Republican lawmakers in Louisiana have placed Big Oil's special interests above those of commercial fishery's and the environment. Public schools receiving a small portion of the Big Oil payoff to the State of Louisiana proudly display Oil Derricks shooting Oil out of the top with the words, 'OILERS' on them.

    Sadly when Republican's special interests are placed far and away above the needs and common sense of those they have given their 'oath and promise' to serve, those under the Republican lawmakers thumbs suffer and Louisiana is greatly suffering now as a result.

    The Hero and Darling of the Republican Party, former President George W. Bush speaking before an audience of entranced ardent Republican boosters and Tea potty neo-cons at the Dallas Convention Center today who had gathered at the American Wind Energy Association meeting stated, 'It's in our economic interests that we diversify AWAY from oil' and 'It's in our environmental interest'. The former Texas Oilman and member of a longtime Oil family finished his speech stating 'It's in our national security interest'.

    The Republican party now has their marching orders. Perhaps they'll stop bashing former Vice President Al Gore over his insistence for America to move away from Oil for the past 20 years.

    The MAJORITY in America expects the Republican party lawmakers, leaders and members to now follow your Hero's advice and help move America AWAY from Oil.

    May 26, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  16. Phil

    Assuming that BP can cap the well, what can, if anyhing, be done to clean up the deep water of the oil? Close in-shore is one thing, but if the oil collects at depths of up to almost one mile down, instead of dispersing with the currents, how effective would it be to, lets say, vacuum it up?

    May 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  17. Phil

    Seattle, Wa

    May 26, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  18. Simone

    Mr. Cousteau mentions that the dispersants seemed to be ineffective from his perspective as an expert. I'm far from being a scientist myself. But when I see the photos and read the stats ( this spill being 10 times worse than Exxon..that was a week ago) I'm naturally wondering if these dispersants are the PR equivalent of Tinkerbells magical pixie dust, meant to placate us.

    An article out on channel4.com today regarding 'cleanup' echos this sentiment:
    re: cleanup
    "pretentious façade, that has never worked effectively, and it seems to serve more of a palliative and public relations role"

    The oil looks so dense and ferocious....it's difficult to imagine it 'dispersing' and difficult to imagine wanting to 'disperse' (millions of barrels of) it into our waters.

    I think what we'd all like to do is skim it or strain it...basically LIFT it OUT of the waters.

    How many millions of kilos of dispersant do we need to throw on millions of barrels of oil to make the boo-boo better again? Are these dispersants compounding the ecological damage?Is this throwing baking soda on the cat pee only to still smell cat pee in your carpets 10 years later?

    Mr. Cousteau, what is the true picture of what mankind can do to reverse or 'fix' any of this? It seems so dire.

    Thank you

    Simone, UK

    May 26, 2010 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  19. Katie Malone (United States)

    What lessons can we take from this horrible tragedy?

    May 26, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  20. George

    Hey Mate, Their is not much hope for mankind if we kill all that lives in the sea, we are lucky down in Oz, not too many humans.

    May 26, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  21. geneNYC

    This could be the end of the oceans as we know them. My family and I pray each night that this can be cleaned up properly without regards to profits or cost. This is just another example of big industry ruining lives. Such a shame! I volunteer to to anything in my power to help.

    May 26, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  22. Jen from Philly PA

    How many gallons of oil have been "gushed" out so far?
    What are the chances that in the months to follow the oil will spread up the east coast and wash ashore?
    If the oil moves inland and seeps, is this going to affect the drinking water supply for those local to where it is washing ashore?
    How many different kinds of species of animals/fish are going to be affected by this spill?
    For those of us who are not local is there anything we can do to help?

    May 26, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  23. Richard

    When will people realize that we a problem because we have to drill so deep,10,000 feet or more because we are running out of most resources including oil, water,metals, other essential products of nature required for our modern consuming society. 2020 is the time world governments are getting ready for the mass movements caused by lack of water, therefore, lack of food.

    May 26, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  24. Lloyd Cata

    I have suggested to the industry and the White House to "freeze" the entire Blow Out Assembly using "Liquid Nitrogen".

    If we use the large 'top hat' assembly and place it over the BOP and then flood that chamber with Liquid Nitrogen, why would this not stop the oil flow?

    This is a trick my dad, who was a plumber, taught me using 'dry ice' to stop water flow through a broken valve.

    One last thing;
    BP is a corporation of 'oil executives'. They are not scientists, they are not engineers, and they are not in the business of environmental clean up. To expect their corporation to excel in these areas is unrealistic. Remember, they 'hire' others like TransOcean and Halliburton to take care of the operational aspects of the business.

    May 26, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  25. Heath

    Hi, I would like to say that it is a huge honour to ask a question to the grandson of the great "Jacques Cousteau"

    When I was a small child back in the mid 90s, we were doing a task where we had to choose three people who we wanted to be like when we were older, and I said I would like to be like Bruce Willis, because I love acting, Mel Gibson because I love acting, or like Jacques Cousteau, because I absolutely love sharks. I was aware that there was a famous man called Jacques Cousteau because one of my teachers mentioned him when I had this huge obsession with wanting to become a marine biologist. I was so young that I didn't know a lot about the world and barely knew what a marine biologist was and just thought it was something to do with swimming with sharks, and his cool name stuck with me and ever since then he has really inspired me to want to protect the seas and oceans.

    I would firstly like to ask, what gives you the most satisfaction and joy about doing your amazing job?

    Also, what is your favourite creature of the sea and oceans?

    Thankyou very much for your time and good luck in continuing the amazing work of your wonderful family.


    May 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  26. Caroline (UK)

    Accepting the fact that this tragedy has now happened, what do you think would be the best possible outcome, eg increased awareness?

    May 27, 2010 at 12:23 am | Reply
  27. rebeccacurrence


    I've been watching the work of your grandfather and I was privileged enough to be able to meet your uncle Jean-Michel and discuss oceanography and his favourite dive sites. I have a few questions....1. What can we do (in the best of your understanding) to fix the spill and keep as much the damages minimal? The dispersants don't seem to be a solution...just a temporary something to do in order to say that you're doing something. 2. What permanent measures would it take to clear the oil out? Is filtering at all an option? 3. What, in your opinion, is the best way to get the world to move beyond a dependence on oil (which as we can see causes such great risk to the environment) and onto renewable, sustainable energy sources?

    May 27, 2010 at 12:30 am | Reply
  28. Onn

    Hello Philippe,
    First of all, thank you for your expert insight and ability to keep the community fully informed at all times.

    Now, with the unmeasurable affects this spill has caused, in your expert opinion, do you think this historical tragedy will finally be enough for our govt to cease the US economy's obsession to oil?

    Onn ("on")
    Moreno Valley, Riverside Co., CA

    May 27, 2010 at 12:30 am | Reply
  29. Carlitos

    I totally agree with Mr. Cousteau. Only time will forgive those who let this thing to happen. Because the disaster is outstanding.

    May 27, 2010 at 12:33 am | Reply
  30. Shirlsmor

    Have you investigated the Kevin Costner machines for separation of oil and water and possible aid to clean up?

    May 27, 2010 at 12:35 am | Reply
  31. Josh Tuttle

    You came and spoke at my school not too many weeks ago and gave my environmental science teacher (Mr. Mike Town) an award. I large portion of your speech was about the importance of understanding marine ecology and making the quality of the oceans a much higher priority.
    What in your opinion should students, schools, and most importantly teachers be doing these in the classroom and the youth community these last few weeks and the first few months of the next school year?
    (especially high Schools)

    My second question.

    It is my understanding that other oil rigs were built the same way,
    (2 i believe are also located in the gulf) and many more that are unsafe and risk similar tragedies in the near future. Again what should /can each community do? What can people do prevention wise that is easy for many that wont require a lot of work yet will still be effective enough to cause change?

    The biggest thing that I notice that stops any movement is not its cause, or its scale, but the issue at hand not being personal enough the silent to take action.

    May 27, 2010 at 1:08 am | Reply
  32. Joanie

    In your opinion, how many species of birds, mammals & fish do you think this could threaten the existence of? I don't see how it can not possibly wipe out huge populations of animals. What, if anything, can we do to try & save these animals?

    May 27, 2010 at 1:11 am | Reply
  33. Becca Bailey

    I just wondered what you think of this machine Kevin Costner has built and why won't they try it?

    May 27, 2010 at 1:26 am | Reply
  34. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Philippe Pierre Jacques-Yves Arnault Cousteau Junior
    and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from
    Philippe Pierre Jacques-Yves Arnault Cousteau Junior
    to the following questions:
    – What can we, all the people around the world, do to Eat Healthy Seafood from the Gulf of Mexico?
    – What is your opinion on the way Barack Hussein Obama, the President of the United States, is handling the situation in the Gulf of Mexico?
    – What should the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) do to save the Environment at the Gulf of Mexico?
    – What needs to be done to make the water in the Gulf of Mexico oil and pollution free?
    – What needs to be done to make the world go GREEN(use green energy)?
    – What can we expect from you in 2010?
    – How are you inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting Philippe Pierre Jacques-Yves Arnault Cousteau’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    May 27, 2010 at 1:33 am | Reply
  35. Kary

    Hello Mr. Cousteau! What kind of damage can we expect on regards to the marine life and if is possible a recovery to it, how much time will be need it? and most importantly what will happen with the life in the ocean right now?

    PS: I grew up watching your grandfather's and dad show and I know he loved to come to our Coco's Island and we love him too, he was great!

    Thanx you,
    Kary, Costa Rica

    May 27, 2010 at 1:44 am | Reply
  36. Mike Austin

    Hello, Phillipe – two questions I'd love to hear answered adequately by anyone, especially you if you find then appropriate:

    1.) Since President Obama already has the legal authority under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to direct the oil spill's disaster recovery, including BP's thus far inadequate actions, why isn't he? BP, Transocean and Halliburton are the companies directly responsible for this; to leave them in charge of the recovery without direct oversight is inviting companies with inadequate safety controls to hide their own efforts.

    2.) Why would BP continue to use Corexit, an oil dispersant, an emulsifier, which has been banned in the U.K., their home domain because it was deemed too dangerous? Thanks very much for you time.

    May 27, 2010 at 2:10 am | Reply
  37. Karen Snyder

    Firstly, thank you Phillipe for your hard work and dedication. I follow you on twitter and have to say that you are a very hard worker!
    My question; I recently read in the Wa Post newspaper that BP's oversight committee, which is said to be responsible for monitoring that BP is adhering to regulations is also on the receiving end of BP profits. It's so obvious that this is a conflict of interest. Where is the outrage, that this was ever allowed? Why aren't the journalist all over this?

    Karen in McLean, fellow scuba diver.

    May 27, 2010 at 2:17 am | Reply
  38. chuck

    This is just another example of fact that George Bush's damage to this country will live on for many more years than he will.

    May 27, 2010 at 2:20 am | Reply
  39. Karen Snyder

    Firstly, thank you Phillipe for your hard work and dedication. I follow you on twitter and have to say that you are a very hard worker!
    My question; I recently read in the Wa Post newspaper that BP's oversight committee, which is said to be responsible for monitoring that BP is adhering to regulations is also on the receiving end of BP profits. It's so obvious that this is a conflict of interest. Where is the outrage, that this was ever allowed? Why aren't the journalist all over this?
    Thank you.

    Karen Snyder in McLean,Va and fellow scuba diver.

    May 27, 2010 at 2:21 am | Reply
  40. Ann

    My question/concern it this...

    I have been watching as yourself and others have gone out to the oil slick. Many persons have put their hands in the slick to show how sticky the oil is. If it sticks to hands and gloves, does it not stick to the bottoms of the boats, propellers, props, etc. taking these people out to the slick? If so, what is being done to ensure the boats are not bringing in the oil to the untouched harbors and docks?
    Thank you.
    Cleveland, OH

    May 27, 2010 at 2:24 am | Reply
  41. Janda from Southern California

    I was researching the Ixtoc oil spill of 1979 in the Gulf of Mexico for perspective and to see if it could give us any clues as to what to expect in the coming days, months, and years. That spill was estimated to be the second largest in history and the gushing well was not capped for 10 months; however the US government had 2 months to prepare booms before the spill threatened the Texas coastline.

    While we do not yet know the rate of oil flow from the Deepwater Horizon well or when it will be capped, given the quicker landfall of this spill and the ineffectualness of booms in rough waves such as have already occurred, do you expect the environmental impact to be greater than that spill? If so, why?

    May 27, 2010 at 2:38 am | Reply
  42. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Philippe, Thank you for this opportunity. I really appreciate the work you and your organization are doing and I love EarthEcho!

    What new restrictions should the United States put on the oil companies as a result of this tragedy?

    The oil companies don't seem to be affected by fines no matter how large. What do you think should be done to punish companies like BP that would really mean something? What can consumers do?

    Why are there so many questions about the effectiveness of dispersants?

    Keep up the great work!

    May 27, 2010 at 4:13 am | Reply
  43. Flavia, United States

    Mr. Cousteau,

    I guess I have a few questions regarding the oil spill effects rolled into one topic: Mariculture.

    The Gulf Coast mariculture is obviously in jeopardy, which I'm sure it's already suffering the consequences of the oil spill tragedy. The fish farming, oysters, mollusks, crustaceans along the coast must be too poisoned right now for human consumption, as they stand in those toxic waters. But since these marine organisms may help "filter" the water (not sure to what extent), I was wondering if they could actually be an alternative to clean up the ocean water or speed up the cleaning process?
    If that's doable, I mean, to increase dramatically the aquaculture on open water along the Gulf Coast for environmental purposes – not commercial – how long it would take for them to do the "filtering", up to the point where it would be safe to resume farming?

    I really feel for the people along the coast, so dependent upon the ocean, who have been reaping bountifuls of marine harvest up until this unthinkable economical and environmental disaster.

    Thank you,
    Flavia from Florida

    May 27, 2010 at 4:20 am | Reply
  44. mazzy

    What do you think of the "hay" idea? Isnt that a good idea?

    May 27, 2010 at 4:29 am | Reply
  45. Brigi Welcker

    Mankind is destroying nature and finally itself. Profit comes first place, those, who will make it never consider, that even their children and grandchildren will have no place to live. If nature is dying, mankind will die, too. My daughter is going to be a marine biologist in a few years – will she ever have the possibility for whatever research at all?
    Brigi from Hungary

    May 27, 2010 at 4:59 am | Reply
  46. Emily

    Mr Cousteau, I live in San Francisco California and we had a spill in the Bay a few years ago. Many fingers were pointed and a foreign company was at fault causing the spill, they were fined and happily the spill was cleaned and wildlife was minimally affected. The Gulf will probably never recover from this spill.
    My question is would pressure on lawmakers and legislators assist in the changing of how we as a nation deal with foreign oil companies, and what s the best way to go about that.
    Also do you feel that BP will be held accountable fully for their actions?
    Thank you.

    May 27, 2010 at 5:02 am | Reply
  47. Jutta Cook

    Every aspect of our lives evolves around fossil fuels: we need them to heat, to cook, to take a hot shower, and of course to get around. But it also is oil that makes up the synthetics in our clothes, the packaging for our food, the bottles for our pristine spring water from France. Try to count the plastic items you use in one day, you'll find that nearly everything around us is plastic – made from oil. While advancing alternative sources of energy certainly is crucial for a variety of reasons (from carbon in the atmosphere to waging wars over supply), we need to also look beyond oil as a fuel.

    So the question is: if you want to limit the damage oil and its products do to this planet, what are you willing to give in return?

    It's the small stuff that counts: Next time you're at the dollar store think if your kids really need another plastic toy. Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Buy local. Skip the bottled water. Ride your bike or walk if you can, or think if you really need to make that trip if you can't. Recycle anything your community collects. In a nutshell: Be aware that everything you consume has an impact on the world.

    Please consume responsibly.

    Jutta, Germany

    May 27, 2010 at 5:17 am | Reply
  48. Paula

    I live on the gulf coast of Florida and this whole entire situation saddens me. I fear that the wonderful marine life and coastal birds and wildlife will be lost to this disaster. I fear that whole communities will feel the wrath of eonomic distress from fishing and tourism. I fear that the ocean will slowly die...and that marine life will die...and that a little bit of life within each of us will die...we just may not realize it. From what we know right now, is there anyway to stop this tragedy from getting worse? I worry that once hurricane season begins and the weather currents change, does this not have much further reaching potential – such as the east coast, ,the caribbean islands, europe...how far could this reach?

    Also, what about the balance of the ecosystem? Everything is so inter-dependent on each other. The impact scares me about the issues and problems in the world that this one disaster can cause. Am I right to feel this worry?

    Finally...how can we help? or Can we?

    May 27, 2010 at 6:05 am | Reply
  49. Julie

    Mr. Cousteau,

    I was about ten years old at the time of the Exxon Valsez oil spill, and twenty years later we are still dealing with the mess. What will the tragedy in the Gulf look like in twenty years?

    I was one of the teachers who was fortunate to meet you when you came to our school in Austin, Texas. The kids are still talking about your visit, and more importantly, your message. They are concerned and wonder what they, as children, can do to help with this mess in the Gulf. Is their anything us little people can do?

    Keep tweeting and blogging articles and news from the spill. I share it with the kids, and they love the updates.

    Thanks again, for all that you do.

    Austin, Texas

    May 27, 2010 at 6:22 am | Reply
  50. Heath

    Firstly, What kind of effects will the spill have on the marine life and on what scale?

    Are there any marine animals who will be able to cope with the spill or will it damage all forms of life that come into contact with the oil?

    Finally, What effects will a hurricane or severe tropical storm have on the spill?

    Thankyou very much and good luck in continuing the amazing work of your wonderful family.


    Manchester, United Kingdom

    May 27, 2010 at 6:29 am | Reply
  51. J.Jerry

    It may be a culture of plain arroganse within BP that is the ultimate cause, accidents don't happend – they are usually caused by a series of events. Disasters are the top of a pyramid made up with several errors and misstakes. With a little knowledge of drilling due my work I'm confused of this monumental disaster. The loss of fluid some time before the explosion may indicate a fractured formation, and the events starting 51 minutes before the explosion with a flooding well indicated an ongoing 'kick' (inflow of gas/oil with high pressure). Last is a 'classical' warningsignal (according to my instructors 20 years ago). Maybe the Blow out preventer was malfunctioning as well? Normally a 'kick' (uncontrolled inflow) is controlled with 'killmud' within a short time, but if the formation been severely fractured it could be extremely difficult.
    All this is pure speculation of my behalf and maybe I've missed out on lots of things, but I do not believe I'm wrong when claiming that the oilcompany, in this case BP, have grossly failed with their responsibilites. Perhaps due a culture of arroganse and perhaps something worser ...

    May 27, 2010 at 6:46 am | Reply
  52. Kassim

    In Singapore we market a multipurpose oil dispersant / oil cleaner which is totally safe, non toxic, environmentally friendly and biodegradable. It is water based, made mainly of natural products, economic to use and is the only Port Authority (PSA) approved oil dispersant which carries the official Singapore Green Label for Environmentally Friendly Content. This is an ideal product to help disperse and clean up oil spills and also clean up oiled birds and animals safely. The only problem we have is reaching decision makers.

    May 27, 2010 at 6:56 am | Reply
  53. Jason

    Aren't some fertilizers made from oil? Could this present-day disaster eventually lead to increased fertilization of the coastal area and local waters wherein the oil has spilled? I recognize currently that it would over-saturate and kill local life in the short-term, but over the long-term, say 50 years....?

    May 27, 2010 at 7:06 am | Reply
  54. Scott

    Dear Mr. Cousteau,

    Based on your experience with other oil spills, is this ecological disaster something that will eventually heal itself, or is the damage permanent?

    Also, will oil in the Gulf waters have any impact on the strength of hurricanes, and could toxic oil be blown ashore?

    Thank you in advance.


    May 27, 2010 at 7:11 am | Reply
  55. akka69

    How many drilling plateforms are there in this region?
    What are the drilling companies names?
    Did they check again there safety procedures after BP failure to stop the leak?
    Did someone audit them thoroughly since BP catastrophe?
    What do you think about safety measures taken to keep oil from touching the shores?
    Where they sufficient? Do we have efficient technologies for that purpose? Are we making enough researches?Did we learn something from past spills?

    I think that these companies must be forced to provide permanently, and in good quantities, safety devices on the shores BEFORE any oil spill so there is no delay to deploy them.

    May 27, 2010 at 8:02 am | Reply
  56. Lene, Denmark

    Why don't the American deep-sea oilrigs have the same safety procedures and measures as the rigs drilling in the North Sea?

    Experts here say, that such an accident could never happen on a European oil rig....

    May 27, 2010 at 8:46 am | Reply
  57. tim

    Hello Mr. Cousteau:

    I grew up watching your grandfather on TV everytime he had a special in the usa. My mom used to tell us a week ahead of time, and we would miss our usual TV show. It was probably the most painless and interesting "specials" mom used to make us watch. By now, the things your grandfather said are fulfilled prophecy. He was a great scientist who didn't let politics interfere with his expolrations. Now, as we see the propaganda from BP and the government in the usa of course we live in a different age.

    How do you feel about the quality of the oceanographic science being published to the masses? I think there is widespread mistrust, and the people feel deceived. How can scientists retain their objectivity in this age of the extict independent science crews?

    Thank you – Tim

    May 27, 2010 at 9:05 am | Reply
  58. Adam (Germany)

    The Cousteau family is composed of show people not scientists. Diving around and looking at some oil particles is not marine science. Nevertheless, they provide the valuable service of pointing out that we have an ecological problem in the Gulf. Unfortunately none of this is new.

    May 27, 2010 at 9:15 am | Reply
  59. Psp Sup

    Mr. Cousteau, and anyone else reading this comment.

    It is a well known fact that fish and sea water have no country or territorial boundaries. This oil spill (as with any others) is not an American issue, it is a global issue.
    The time for pointing blame is not now. That will come later.

    It is time now for every resource we have as a planet, to be deployed to stop this pollution of our collective asset. please urge countries to send resources to assist in the repair and clean up.

    Please insist that all dispersants are stopped. the oil is better managed as large flotillas and will effect less of the ocean. If dispersed marine life will have a harder time avoiding the spill. Although this maybe the most difficult task for you since once dispersed it can never be clean up. Please consider why BP and others are happy to deploy dispersant, and urge them to stop.

    What you can do for us is spread the word, remind others that its there ocean too. Remind them of what your farther showed us, how the whole cycle is connected, how we cannot live without a healthy ocean.

    You can also remind us (the people) of legacy this generation will leave behind, since its our beloved children that will inherit this mess. Remind us of why we dote over our babies, send them to school, feed them, yet we allow the world that will grow up in to be poisoned around them while we argue about blame.

    While you have the ears of congress ask them to deploy their war machine and declare a real war on a real enemy, the oil spill.

    I wish us all the best in this tragic affair, by working together we can ensure better progress with this nasty issue your help and any others who read this is greatly appreciated


    May 27, 2010 at 9:23 am | Reply
  60. Stephanie

    Hello Philippe, I follow you on twitter and its amazing the things you get up to. I just want to say that what you are doing is great.

    Q. Do you think that people will change their view on using oil and that this might motivate people to want to know more about other sources that are less harmful to the environment.

    Hopefully people will start to pay attention when people are talking about how harmful fossil fuels are. I just wrote a 6000 word essay on ocean acidification and then this happens. There seems to be something new going wrong everyday.

    I live in Scotland and if im honest I havent seen that much about the spill in the news so its helpful reading your twitter.

    The BP need to improve there ways!

    Q. Do you think that everything that can be done is being done?

    May 27, 2010 at 9:26 am | Reply
  61. davidinhz

    Nature frees the mind. Take a walk through a pristine forest, or take a dive into a coral reef, and what happens? One feels a little less like a consumer. One feels the preciousness and fragility of the biosphere, and one's inter-connectedness with it. Life, and the universe, take on a whole new meaning, and seem so grand compared to mankind's chintzy clockwork. One feels less inclined to wastefully consume petroleum, or buy package-in-a-package-in-a-package-in-a-package goods.
    Do manufacturers and providers of consumer-based commodities stand to gain long-term benefit form the destruction of natural beauty? It seems that way to me sometimes.

    May 27, 2010 at 10:05 am | Reply
  62. Renato Andre

    Sorry but mine isn't a question...it is more of a statement.
    I have lived both in the US and in Mexico, and looking at the lives in both countries, its dependencies and struggles...the gulf spill will be creating for years to come a major economical issue...not so much for big corporations, but for the little people that depends on the day to day that the gulf represents.
    It has been almost 10 years since PETROL has become a part of our everyday news stories, being it related to WARs...which it has killed THOUSANDS of people just in the past 10 years, being from its price, which again...put us all on a brink of WAR and on a tight situation...to spills that are totally irresponsible.
    Isnt it time to forget the war on Terror...and perhaps start concentrating on a War on PETROL?
    We have the technology for eletric cars, for green energy, and so on...why should so many lives be sacrificed?
    Do you want to end the war on Terror....end the way they are financed...or have we all forgotten where most of the world's oil comes from?
    It is amazing that on the 21st century we live in, prouding ourselves on the amazing technological advances done day by day, we are all still dependant on dinos to get from one place to another.

    May 27, 2010 at 10:37 am | Reply
  63. Jorn Fricke

    Dear Philippe Pierre Jacques-Yves Arnault Cousteau Junior,

    Apart from the current Gulf Oil Spill, in which other parts (e.g. Alberta, Nigeria) of the world do you know of serious environmental damage because of the extraction of oil? What is being done in these places to deal with the problem? Why do you think they are not getting the same media coverage as this spill?

    kind regards

    Joern Fricke

    May 27, 2010 at 10:56 am | Reply
  64. MamaBoats

    I am so sad. I grew up on the Gulf in Florida. When I went back a few years ago, the big companies had taken over the beaches and you could no longer see them from the road. Now, the big oil companies have destroyed the water and the livelihood of the fishermen and other small groups. My brothers and I used to play on the beach every day, watch the sharks follow the fishing boats in, see the pelicans, the porpoises. The Gulf had lovely warm water to swim in. Once again, something that was beautiful and free has been ruined by greed.

    May 27, 2010 at 10:59 am | Reply
  65. Alain Charrier

    I'm a french guy. Few weeks ago, I am afraid by oil spill in the gulf of mexico.
    As a serial blog writer, i wrote a post called "Et si la France pouvait vraiment aider les USA dans la lutte contre la marée noire", what you can translate as "Can France realy help USA against Oil Spill" ?
    What about ?
    For more than 30 years, France has knowned oil spill. It was Amoco Cadiz in 1978. Then terrific Erika in 1999. And finally Prestige in 2002.
    Here, in France, have a good knowlegde of Oil Spin.
    A sailor man, Thierry Thomazeau, decide, during the first days of the Erika tragedy, in 1999 dec. to fight against tragedy. He found old "fishing net", transformed them and... catch a good amount of petrol.
    His idea was good. During 3 years, he improved the process and, during the Prestige tragedy, he prouved that his system was able to collect more and more petrol.
    Thierry Thomazeau has found his enterprise. Thomsea http://www.thomsea.fr). Frenglish term because global issue.
    Today, Thomsea net can catch petrol on/under the sea. Collect them and send them to tankers..
    Ok, Thierry Thomazeau is perhaps a poor littler french guy on the west coast of Europe. But he has perhaps soft solution to protect USA caost from Oil bullets...
    Just go to http://www.thomsea.fr to know more about this guy.
    Have a nice day.

    May 27, 2010 at 11:00 am | Reply
  66. Charles Keller

    Hello Mr. Cousteau,

    This might be a naive question but I will ask it anyway.
    If there are plums of oil floating under the surface, is there a way to submerge a hose or some other device and pump the oil out of the water into a tanker?

    Charles Keller

    May 27, 2010 at 11:16 am | Reply
  67. Melody

    Hi, IT seems that we do alot of talking and the news agencies get richer having such terrible problems in the world but WE really need to stop the negative comments and each of us need to get off our duff and do something to stop it all

    Being a marine biologist I see first hand what we are doing to our planet. All the people who are bla bla blaing don't have a clue...You have a disaster like this and then when asked about off-shore drilling and if you still support it the majority of Americans still do...I really don't get it...The when you suck the air and gas and rock and all the materials that build the Earth and complain about volcanos, eatherquakes...what do you expect....

    I have not been to the Gulf site yet but from other corners of the globe I can see that we are a creature that is consuming more than we have...open your eyes and realize it will not be here forever...why can't you all just be more bloody careful...

    Mr. Cousteau...you come from an amazing family...only a few can be honoured enough to know you and what your family stand for...unfortunatly not enough care what you stand for...maybe you need to SPEAK louder so EVERYONE can hear you.....do your own video and publish it from another country if they won't let Americans see. The problem with Americans is if its not in there backyard ...oh, well....

    Do you think the damage is done and cannot be reversed?...The chemicals they are using to break up the oil what damage will that do to humans and animals on land who are breathing them?

    Melody ......from the world

    May 27, 2010 at 11:21 am | Reply
  68. Critic in My Own Mind

    Our world doesn't just have a slight fever anymore. It has a life threatening hemorrhage and our quality of life will be affected for generations.

    The amazing incompetents are now three: politicians, financial wizards, and now oil corporations.

    May 27, 2010 at 11:43 am | Reply
  69. Bermuda

    How come they dont use DAWN Dishwashing Liquid on this spill. As it is advertised to remove oil from animals caught in oil spills. It only make sence to me if it can break up the oil on animals and dishes than it should be able to assist with the break up of the oil in the ocean.
    Yes it may be soapy but if it worked, everyone would be happy.

    May 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  70. Frances Vallance

    I live in the Netherlands and watch CNN about the oil spill continually. It is indeed a terrible disaster for the those who live around the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico (and where ever else the oil may end up in the Gulf stream), the people who make a living out of fishing etc, and the entire environment. However I wonder if all those people, and many more all around the world, realise that a disaster to the Sea happens on a daily basis as the world sea's are being emptied at a drastic rate by fishing, and within 30 years, if another oil spill occurred it would not be so drastic as there would not be any sealife to destroy.......!
    How come nobody is concerned about this in the same manner as they are about an oil spill......!! Please SEA the TRUTH....! Time is running out....

    May 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  71. Marta

    hello! unfortunately this event could happen in any country of the world. My questions are:

    – why do you think that this event could have effects for ever?
    – how many species have been affected? (not only of the sea, the poultry also and the other animals that live next to the Gulf)

    thanks for your time!

    May 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  72. Heather Morrison

    What efforts are in place to care for the marine mammals and other sea creatures effected by the spill?

    May 27, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  73. Anna Schwinger

    Is there some way that a lot of divers could come together and clean this up? Is there something natural that attracts oil that we could float in the middle of it all??? I feel like there should be some way we can help stop this...anyone know how??? Lets all think OUT of the BOX!

    May 28, 2010 at 5:42 am | Reply
  74. Patty

    I think it is silly to say – we don't know what affect this will have on wildlife when your dry suits had to be washed down so you didn't get burned by the chemicals in the water. The first time I went scuba diving I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I would hate to have gone through life and never seen it. I don't think enough people understand how beautiful the sea is or how much we rely on it so food and other products. We've just got to do better every day at helping preserve our environment and running for office if necessary to help make the laws. How many boats/cars/yard equipment/planes are powered other than by gas? We have to rely on gas for a long time so we need to ensure it is drilled more responsibly.

    May 30, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  75. kari cummings

    Everyone is right to worry and be in utter fear for our future. Of the many elements that sustain our planets lifeforce, the oceans may play the most critical part. It is the placenta of our world. Many, too many people now are aware of the impending doom. Even if uneducated, on a primal level we can sense this...do the math. We now must become alive and active to bring a pulse back to our living planet. This is no joke, it may even be too late, but we must not give up without a fight. Ask youself what you can do to replenish what has been depleted. For one, eat no fish. The ocean needs us to leave it alone. Ask what groups, seek out the wealthy and successful companies to become involved in removing the plastic dead zone and help in reseeding marine life. If you would compare our planet to a person in ICU on life support...you need to do more that sit in the waiting room crying passively. Get into action! We need a plan, a "to do list". We all have to be on the same page. Who's with me?

    June 5, 2010 at 12:44 am | Reply
  76. CocoPictures

    Coco is perfect girl, i love her


    February 2, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  77. Upoznavanjezena

    nice 🙂

    February 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  78. connecttheworld.blogs.cnn.com

    Thursdays connector philippe cousteau jr.. Reposted it 🙂

    April 19, 2011 at 8:23 am | Reply
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