Apparently all “official” authorities (BP and now FRTG) believe we can’t handle the truth.
There is still a factor of five-ten range in the estimates of discharge, with the FRTG range of estimates at the low end. (Some news accounts claim the FRTG estimate is meant to be a lower bound, but I simply can’t find that in the Department of Interior press release which begins by calling the work of the group an “independent, preliminary estimate of the amount of oil flowing from BP’s leaking oil well.”)
The news tonight is that, with the failure of “Top Kill”, instead of a few more days discharge from the well will continue perhaps a couple more months, putting estimates of duration at three times than earlier in the week.
The time is past to get serious about discharge and duration. This is the reason we have the National Academies, instead of the continuing ad hoc approaches intertwining high quality science with wishful thinking and management of public opinion.
Has this event become 20-fold worse than it was a week ago? No, only our perception. We can handle the truth.