Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Self-Replicating Refinery Ships

Macro-Replication to Consume the Spill
  [vote for,

If you could place a plastic refinery and factory on a plastic ship then it could take the spilled oil from the sea, refine it and use this to fabricate another such ship.

Then this ship could then be set about the same task and the process could repeat itself with the new ship, speeding up the affair. Soon you would have a fleet.

It would require an increasing number of people to staff the ships and a team to market and sell the ships (and their component parts) once the crisis is over. This would bring employment to these benighted areas.

I'm hoping that this rather surreal approach will guarantee some kind of orginality. I could be horribly wrong ...

Aristotle, Jun 16 2010


       You might make new plastic shells of ships, or even big containment units for more oil. But you wouldn't be able to use the oil to make new oil refinery equipment, or the other mechanical parts of a ship. You would need to make the rest out of mollusk shells and dredged up treasure from sunken pirate ships.
swimswim, Jun 17 2010

       I forget who it was, but there was an idea for dealing with the big floating gyre's of pollution using a self-replication strategy.
zen_tom, Jun 17 2010

       I'm pretty sure that refining oil involves metal parts somewhere.
RayfordSteele, Jun 17 2010

       As [swimswim] pointed out you might be able to salvage materials stuck in the mess or just below it to make the non-plastic parts. Maybe the tracking tags of entangled sea birds could be melted down into a boiler.   

       Alternatively you could take a tank city approach where people make the non-plastic parts (on shore) as they learn to operate the otherwise plastic vessels just as the Russians in WWII trained people to use the tanks as they made them.
Aristotle, Jun 17 2010

       I also like what [swimswim] says. Very biological thing, the mitigation of multiple resources to stay alive.
daseva, Jun 17 2010

       //the mitigation of multiple resources//   

       I have tried to understand this phrase.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 17 2010

       I think I used the word wrong, Max. I meant //delegation of multiple resources//.. Maybe.
daseva, Jun 17 2010

       perhaps it was the multiplication of mitigated resources? Or, in light of recent news, the re-resourcing of the multiplication of mitigated profits.
4whom, Jun 17 2010

       Basically the only thing that will clean this mess up is the multiplication of *micro* self-replicating organisms. My bet would be a good fungus. No doubt being put off by the current injection of lethal surfactants into the system. Let the earth deal with this one, she has done it before.
4whom, Jun 17 2010

       Tar pits, shale oil, bitumenous sands, all vestiges of old oil disasters. Every bit as devastating as the few drops spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. Just not everyone had a fucking mpeg-4 compression algorithm on their 2 megapixel mobile to document the enveloping mess that coated everything back then...
4whom, Jun 17 2010

       please to change all the petroleum spillage into rubber duckies.
FlyingToaster, Jun 18 2010

       For this idea I did consider yellow rubber ducks, the brave sailors of the seal that are sometimes used Oceanographers to understand the currents, and the more simplistic idea of creating bags from crude oil that you fill with (ahem) more crude oil.   

       However a plastic ship making itself was much more recursive and rode the fine line between plausible and implausible, with enough flaws to provoke thought.
Aristotle, Jun 19 2010

       I recall reading a book then watching the (old) movie where they had these microorganisms from outer space that consume plastic and organic materials, killing out a village, with a guard that has epilepsy seizures if she sees red lights blink, and finally the place is almost nuked or something like that... OK, looked it up and remembered: "Andromeda Strain."
pashute, Jun 30 2010


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