ecological

Atlantic Oil Spill Near Nightingale and Inaccessible Island

Via a piece from March 22 on Boston.com,1 another environmental disaster:

LONDON—Thousands of endangered penguins have been coated with oil after a cargo ship ran aground and broke up on a remote British South Atlantic territory, officials and conservationists said Tuesday.

The shipwreck also threatens the lobster fishery that provides a livelihood to one of the world's most isolated communities.

The Malta-registered MS Olivia was grounded on Nightingale Island in the Tristan da Cunha chain last week. The ship had been traveling from Brazil to Singapore and contained 1,500 metric tons (1,650 tons) of crude oil and a cargo of 60,000 metric tons (66,000 tons) of soya beans.

The ship's 22 crew members were rescued before it broke in two.

[...Read more...]

Nightingale Island is part of the Tristan da Cunha chain of islands located about halfway between South America and Africa. The article notes that the British government has expressed concern over the potential environmental/ecological and economic damage, but that it is too early to tell what the impact of the accident will be.

The image included in the Globe piece shows three oil-covered rock-hopper penguins who do not look very pleased at all with recent events.

Footnote references below the fold.

 

Art Reflecting Life: Hydraulic Fracture, a.k.a. "Drill, Baby, Drill" -- Killing Ourselves Not So Softly

From Popular Mechanics Reviews:

When filmmaker Josh Fox got a lucrative offer to release his family land for natural gas drilling, he didn't sign it—instead, he went out to investigate the drilling process, known as hydraulic fracturing, and its effect on the environment. The technique, developed by Halliburton, has opened up new land in 34 U.S. states to drilling. At a time when the U.S. is dependent on foreign countries for most of its energy and the country is in the midst of a recession, the appeal and immediate benefits of the technique are obvious. But on his 24-state journey, Fox discovers that in disparate areas affected by drilling, streams have turned toxic, aquifers are ruined, livestock is dying, residents are ill—and their tap water is flammable.

Here's the clip they provided:

For those interested in more reading, there's a short list of pieces on hydraulic fracture already available on ePluribus Media over the fold.

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Texas Railroad Commission Investigation Results: Hey, Braden Exploration! Are you illegally dumping drilling waste in Wise Count

Yesterday I received the results from Texas Railroad Commission’s investigation of the Hosed by Braden incident

An abbreviated version of the findings:

Braden claims they used the 3” polypipe/hose to pump unused “frac-water” from the Roberts Lease uphill to the lined pit adjacent to the Bailey lease in order to conserve “fresh water.” They claim the hose was cut at the creek to make picking it up easier.

The pit had a “skim of congealed oil” and “2,100 ppm chlorides.”

The creek was flowing and inspection revealed no drilling waste. The water tested at 100 ppm chlorides.

I called the inspector for clarification. He confirmed that the reason Braden gave for pumping water from the Roberts lease to the Bailey lease was to conserve “fresh water” for future use to fracture the Bailey lease.

The hose stretches from drilling waste, downhill to the creek

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2009-01-07 15:51:45 -0500. -- GH

Hey, Braden Exploration! Are you illegally dumping drilling waste in Wise County?


With great interest I’ve watched the drilling going on around me hoping that all would go well and the producer would take care and follow the rules, such as they are. For weeks, I noticed the black hose that meanders along the side of FM 730. It winds through culverts and under bridges to continue along the other side—so it appeared. Sunday, something told me to pull over and look under the bridge. The hose does not continue under the bridge to the other side as it appears. It ends in the creek that is part of the watershed for DFW.

Here is where the hose starts. That’s a sludge pit filled with drilling waste.

"I don't swim in your toilet, so don't pee in my..."

-- originally posted 2008-02-17 05:09:16 - bumped

On January 12, 2008, I posted a piece titled Smarter Parts: Improving Efficient Energy Use and Demand? that touched upon an experimental program sponsored out of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The essence of the program was to create a home energy system that could respond to changing prices and peak demand loads by dialing back energy consumption. The system would be accessible via the internet so homeowners could make changes in absentia. An update to the story included another article indicating that in 2009, California regulators may have direct access to homeowner thermostats via radio-controlled devices in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage electricity shortages -- a plan cooked up by the California Energy Commission (CEC).

I opened a discussion thread for the piece in a few places, including several Delphi forums. In one thread,1 some energy and water efficiency ideas came up. One in particular spawned the short poll that you're about to see. Please read on, and take the poll; results will be published at the end of next week and included in another piece that I will cross-post in all areas where this appears.