Waterworld Meets BP Spill

Still from Waterworld.

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Kevin Costner, best known for his role in Bull Durham (or Dances with Wolves, or Waterworld, depending on whom you ask), will appear before a House panel today to discuss the need for research and development of technologies to clean up oil spills, in light of the ongoing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

At first blush, it might seem rather strange to invite Costner to this hearing, rather than, I don’t know, one of the 92,000 members of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. But Costner has invested $24 million in oil-spill technology over the last 15 years. And yes, 15 years ago was when the post-apocalypse epic Waterworld was released. The research he funded for Ocean Therapy Solutions has created a centrifuge that can separate oil from water (see a demonstration here). In fact, his solution seems a lot more credible than some of the bizarre ideas we’ve heard from BP in the past seven weeks, a company that clearly was not prepared to deal with this catastrophe. Costner, meanwhile, has been preparing for this for years. BP approved the device last month for use in the Gulf.

I’ll be live-Tweeting from this morning’s hearing, which you can follow here:

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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