UPDATE: It looks like--cross your fingers--that the oil leak in the Gulf is presently stopped. Stopped by mud, but stopped, for now. They still have to cap it off with cement, 1 mile down, but there you are. The piece below is still relevant, as it might be useful to look at what was done in 1979 post-disaster.
If you've read this blog before, you know I'm a big Rachel Maddow fan. But did you know there was an oil spill in 1979, very much like the spill going on right now? Neither did I. It was, like today, in the Gulf of Mexico, and spewed for months. Remarkably, the response then was almost identical to what is happening today, down to the "junk shot" and the "top hat" (then called a "sombrero"). None of it worked then. Do we think it will work now? Ultimately, the only thing that worked was to drill relief wells.
Maddow unearthed some old NBC News clips of the 1979 disaster, and the similarity is uncanny. How could we have forgotten about this? And what was the resultant fallout from that event? Might it help us in the current cleanup?