pollution

Nuclear Industry Executive/Consultant Update on Developments at Fukushima

  • Posted on: 2 April 2011
  • By: deltadoc

The astounding pace with which astonishing events are rolling out of this end of the timeline around the world and here at home have preoccupied my days and nights the last few months, it seems. I've been hoping to catch up on things but the phase 'humanly possible' rudely interrupts my everyday agenda.

The tripled-disaster of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant destruction in Japan are not the least important of events and with a science/technology background, I'd feel compelled to commentary, if possible.

Can you dig it?

  • Posted on: 22 September 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Now what could this mean? TV crew stopped from taking samples from polluted Florida beach. Pat Gonzales, US Fish and Wildlife (to WEAR ABC 3 reporter taking a sample from polluted beach): "You can not come out here and do your own investigation if you're looking for oil product." WEAR ABC 3

Is the government protecting the sovereign state of BP? Is a pattern emerging?

It seems so. In addition to chasing off WEAR-ABC off the beach, federal officials discouraged scientists from taking samples in the Gulf, other federal officials confiscated samples gathered by scientists at LSU, and state officials refused to test fish for pollution claiming they'd seen no oil in the area in question. Who benefits?

Record Keeping: Signs of Civilization and Its Subsequent Demise

  • Posted on: 26 June 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

The Largest Oil Spills in History, 1901-Present

 ChartsBin.com has a great flash animation on a page titled The Largest Oil Spills in History, 1901-Present.

 Check it out if ever you need to get an idea of the amount and placement of some of the largest oil-related disasters (aside from war) that the global ecology has had to endure.

These spills have an impact not only on any local environment affected but also on any systems that the pollutants pass through as they are dispersed far and wide through the ocean.

The current huge gusher in the Gulf will leave an ecological wound that will impact not only the local communities, but also other ocean-based life -- even if the oil remains relatively close in proximity. [more on affected species] And we already have plenty of indicators that "close proximity" is highly unlikely, with some predictions stating that the oil (including all the accompanying toxins and chemical dispersants) may ride the Gulf Stream for a trans-Atlantic boost to start impacting far-off places like Norway.  The more conservative estimates range from only affecting shores along the inner gulf to tainting shores along the eastern US seaboard.

It's not just oil itself that we have to worry about with regard to polluting our environment.  We have, as a species and particularly as a culture, often regard ourselves as masters of our environment, not subject to or impacted by it, the occasional wild storm tornado, earthquake, fire or flood notwithstanding.  Our habits and self-importance have led to an arrogance and disregard that is getting more difficult to ignore as our everyday overconsumption begins to stress, strain and compromise a variety of systems.  The impact of our negligence is becoming more difficult to ignore, too.  [pacific gyre, domestic drilling, mountaintop removal]

As a parting thought, here's a little something to think about: how much of an impact on our environment do we have simply in pursuit of pleasure? Here's a question and answer that may bear some further investigation, as well as some somber thinking:

 How much pollution do cruise ships dump into our oceans?

Now, I'm off to go wobble der wooblekint ("walk the dogs" in warped English-Germanesque).

Peace.

Sections: 

Big Oil - First Nigeria then the World

  • Posted on: 18 June 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Big oil in Nigeria - executions, pollution and suffering (Image)

Michael Collins

The big oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is not the first to threaten a people's way of life.

Just ask the Ogoni people from Nigeria's oil rich central Niger Delta. Their experience over decades offers a model of things to come without serious changes in consumption and regulation.

The Sovereign State of BP - Down for the Count?

  • Posted on: 16 June 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins

British Petroleum has operated as though it were a sovereign state since its inception.  When they blew the well at their Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, it never occurred to them that they would have to take orders from anybody.  But that may change largely due to their inability to stop the flow of oil after nearly sixty days of gushing.

President Obama was clear in his speech last night.  If any entity is going down as a result of the catastrophe, it will be BP.  Today, Obama meets with BP's Chairman of the Board, Carl-Henric Svanberg, and the man he told the chairman to fire, Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward.

Two sovereign states will collide.  The outcome is a foregone conclusion.

Close the Halliburton Loophole

  • Posted on: 20 May 2009
  • By: TXsharon

Congress Should Close the Halliburton Loophole

Hydraulic fracturing should be regulated under the
Safe Drinking Water Act

Only one industry in the U. S. can legally inject known toxins directly into sources of drinking water without federal regulation, but as early as this week,  legislation may be introduced in Congress to overturn the exemption granted to Big Oil by the 2005 Congress at the urging of Dick Cheney, former Halliburton CEO

Hydraulic fracturing (FRACKing) is a technique that was developed by Halliburton.  Millions of gallons of fresh water, mixed with sand, and often containing a witch’s brew of cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are injected under high pressure miles down the drilling hole to fracture the underground formation and release the oil and gas trapped within. Ninety percent of all U.S. oil and gas wells undergo hydraulic fracturing to stimulate the production of oil and gas.

These chemicals can be lethal! Last month 16 cattle died a gruesome death when a spill of hydraulic fracturing fluid landed in their pasture.

Yesterday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told Hinchey that she believed her agency should review the risk that fracturing poses to drinking water in light of various cases across the country that raise questions about the safety. Some of those cases are detailed in a 2 page hydraulic fracturing FACT SHEET   developed by Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil and Gas Accountability Project and Western Organization of Resource Councils   to help counter Big Oil’s 14 page "Response to Allegations" document sent to our Congress Members.

The following key points from the fact sheet prove there is no legitimate reason to keep this exemption:

Are we too stupid to save ourselves?

  • Posted on: 21 December 2008
  • By: the national gadfly

(Image courtesy of indiesocial.com)

I walked onto the train platform in downtown Chicago today.  A woman had just finished shopping at Macy's and had several red shopping bags.  She was trying to put everything into one bag.  The wind picked up and blew some of the empty bags down the platform.  I took off running and stopped them from blowing out onto the street. 

'60 Minutes on 'E-Waste'ing Toxics

  • Posted on: 7 November 2008
  • By: rba

CBS Interactive/CNET: '60 Minutes': Following the trail of toxic e-waste:

Jumped by a gang of men overseeing the e-waste operations who tried to take the CBS team's cameras, Pelley's crew managed to escape and bring back footage of the hazardous activities. .. The Chinese attackers were trying to protect a lucrative business of mining the e-waste . .

Fascinating read, with the full report coming this Sunday.

Trash and The Garbage Patch

  • Posted on: 10 February 2008
  • By: GreyHawk

On Monday, January 28th 2008, the History Channel premiered a show called Life After People.

It was very interesting.

The first segment of the show, titled Trash, provided some excellent food for thought regarding what we'll leave behind. One of the items mentioned is an abomination called "the Pacific Gyre" or "Garbage Patch" -- an area of plastic and man-made trash floating in the north Pacific, currently twice the size of Texas.

Below are two videos: the first is a YouTube segment of the first part of the History Channel special that addresses "Trash" after all the humans have gone. The second video is specifically about the Garbage Patch.

Watch them both, then think about what alternatives we have to address the following issues:

  1. Re-use, recycling and minimization of non-biodegradable resources, including possibilities of re-engineering some items and re-purposing others in ways that could mitigate the negative impact.
  2. Cleaning up our current mess: how?
  3. Living and working smarter: how can we better utilize our technology and our understanding of science and nature to live, grow and mature as a species?

There are options. Some involve rethinking, some involve changing habits and some involve altering expectations. One resource I've mentioned before is this one -- what have you got in mind?

I will kill you for water.

  • Posted on: 16 December 2007
  • By: TXsharon

When the well is dry we learn the worth of water. ~~Benjamin Franklin

[Learning the worth of water]
The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fourth international assessment released earlier this year predicted that "drought-affected areas will likely increase"