dying planet


Anytime the indigenous people perform ceremonies on the water I talk about it. Because if anything needs healing our major waterways do. But as I was typing the headline I thought, “what should I really call them”. After some research it appears Indian and American Indian are not as bad as I thought. I personally like First Americans. Best line from the research was, “I don’t like to be called Indian because India is half a world away”.

Indigenous People To Walk 240 Miles Along Minnesota River

Indigenous People To Walk 240 Miles Along Minnesota River

ORTONVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A small group of indigenous people and their supporters are walking about 240 miles along the Minnesota River to raise awareness about the need to protect water.

The weeklong journey began last Friday from Big Stone Lake in Ortonville and will end this Friday at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers near Minneapolis. About 20 people were expected to participate, some of whom planned to walk for just one day. Members will carry water in a copper vessel along the river byway.

Such walks foster a spiritual connection with water, Ojibwe elder Sharon Day, who lives in St. Paul and serves as the executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force, told The Free Press of Mankato.

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Go there and pray. More next week.

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This article is field researched by the author. It is well written. And I might add frightening and sad.

https://harpers.org/archive/2015/06/thirty-million-gallons-under-the-sea/

From the June 2015 issue

Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea

Following the trail of BP’s oil in the Gulf of Mexico

One morning in March of last year, I set out from Gulfport, Mississippi, on a three-week mission aboard the U.S. Navy research vessel Atlantis. The 274-foot ship, painted a crisp white and blue, stood tall in the bright sunlight. On its decks were winches, cranes, seafloor-mapping sonar, a machine shop, and five laboratories. Stowed in an alcove astern was Alvin, the federal government’s only manned research submarine. “Research vessel Atlantis outbound,” A. D. Colburn, the ship’s captain, reported into the ship radio.

The water was calm and the bridge crew quiet as they steered us into open water. For the next fourteen hours, we would sail toward the site of BP’s Macondo well, where, in April 2010, a blowout caused the largest offshore-drilling oil spill in history. Once there, Atlantis’s crew would launch Alvin and guide it to the bottom of the ocean, reaching depths as great as 7,200 feet below the surface. Over the next twenty-two days they would send the submersible down seventeen times, to gather animal, plant, water, and sediment samples. Their goal was to determine how BP’s spill had affected the ocean’s ecosystem from the seabed up. I would get the chance to join them in the submarine as they went closer to the Macondo wellhead than anyone had gone since the blowout.

Data gathered by the Atlantis would likely be used in the federal legal proceedings against BP, which began in December 2010. A few months after our mission, U.S. district judge Carl Barbier found the company guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct. In January 2015, he ruled that the amount of oil the company was responsible for releasing into the Gulf totaled some 134 million gallons, a decision both sides have appealed. By the time this article went to press, Barbier had yet to make his third and final ruling, which will determine how much BP owes in penalties under the Clean Water Act. (If his judgment about the size of the spill is not overturned, the company will face a $13.7 billion fine.) Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Interior are concluding an ecological-damages assessment to determine how much BP must pay to restore the Gulf Coast. The trial and the assessment are likely to result in the largest penalty ever leveled against an oil company.1

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Go there and read. It’s a long one but worth it. More next week.

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Taylor Energy is not the most despicable oil company in the US but it is working on it. Thank God this happened after I left New Orleans or I would be burning their buildings down.

http://ecowatch.com/2016/02/23/biggest-oil-leak-mc20/

The Biggest Oil Leak You’ve Never Heard Of, Still Leaking After 12 Years

Tim Donaghy, Greenpeace | February 23, 2016 3:57 pm |

Far away from TV cameras and under the radar of the nightly news, oil has been continuously leaking from a damaged production platform located just 12 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico—causing an oily sheens on the surface that stretch for miles and are visible from space.

These underwater oil wells have been leaking since 2004 and continue to leak as you read this. Unless it is plugged, the government estimates the leak might continue for 100 years until the oil in the underground reservoir is finally depleted.

The platform’s owner, Taylor Energy, has no plans to stop the leak and is lobbying behind the scenes for permission to walk away from its mess.

The Risks of Offshore Oil Production

In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan slammed into the Gulf and unleashed an underwater mudslide which toppled the Mississippi Canyon 20 (MC20) oil platform. The offshore platform was located in 450 feet of water near the outlet of the Mississippi River. After the mudslide, the platform ended up on the seafloor, 900 feet from its original location and plumes of oil began seeping from the broken well casings of more than 20 wells that had been connected to the platform

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Go there and cry…I mean read. More next week.

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This is an old piece but there is a petition being circulated on line:

http://www.stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.com/

Please go there and sign it. I could not find a newer piece but this should shock your socks off. If it were to ever leak we would have another Fukushima on our hands.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/20/stopping-the-great-lakes-radioactive-dump/

Stopping the Great Lakes Radioactive Dump

Hundreds of environmental and public interest groups, dozens of governmental bodies and thousands of concerned residents across the Great Lakes Basin have joined in rejecting a proposal by the giant utility company Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to bury 200,000 cubic meters of its radioactive waste on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, near its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, in Kincardine, Ontario. The proposed dump is for so-called low- and intermediate-level radioactive wastes from the company’s 20 nuclear reactors. The site is 1.2 kilometers from Lake Huron on Bruce Peninsula.

On May 6, Canada’s Joint Review Panel submitted to Canada’s Ministry of Environment — the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq — its formal recommendation to approve the plan. Intervening parties have 120 days to submit comments on the JRP’s “environmental assessment” once its “conditions” have been made public. Aglukkaq will then make a recommendation to Ontario’s Premier, Kathleen Wynne, who will make the final decision about whether the dump should be constructed.

Most of the groups, legislators and cities opposing the so-called Deep Geologic Repository (regular folks call it a hole in the ground) have decided to ignore or to just parody the forthcoming “conditions” regulating the plan. A nit-picking analysis of them, they say, only gives the impression that permanent contamination of the Great Lakes somehow an acceptable risk under certain theoretical, computer-model-derived conditions. As Dr. Gordon Edwards, founder of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, said May 19 over the phone, “We reject any permanent abandonment of radioactive waste deep underground near the Great Lakes. And this project, at this time, under any conditions is absurd.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This natural gas “eruption” has been going on in Southern California for a month. The gas company, SoCalGas, claims that it may be several more months before they get the leak plugged. Some people have compared it to the BPH spill in the Gulf Of Mexico. BUT and this is a big but, its in the air. This means it will spread around the world. The effects will be felt everywhere.

Plus this is the largest title I have ever posted!

http://enenews.com/tv-unprecendented-catastrophe-underway-los-angeles-largest-gas-leak-recorded-report-thousands-suffer-nose-bleeds-vomiting-potentially-devastating-planetary-scale-videos

TV: Unprecendented catastrophe underway near Los Angeles; Largest gas leak ever recorded — “Equivalent to strength of a volcanic eruption” — “Thousands suffer nose bleeds, vomiting” — “Potentially devastating on planetary scale” — Expert: “It’s so far above and beyond what I’ve ever seen” (VIDEOS)

CBC News, Dec 31, 2015 (emphasis added): Methane leak in California a ‘major catastrophe‘; Leak ‘largest ever recorded‘ could take 4 months to stop… “The amount of methane and natural gas that’s coming out of the Aliso Canyon Facility really is probably one of the largest volumes of gas ever recorded from a single leak,” says Tim O’Connor, an oil and gas specialist… “We have tried that seven times and have been unsuccessful in trying to stop the leak,” said SoCalGas spokesman Michael Mizrahi. “I have to say more than likely it’s [because] the pressures that are coming up from the leaking well are so intense.” The company says it doesn’t know exactly how much gas is escaping…

The Federal Aviation Administration has imposed a no-fly zone because of the small risk that a plane could ignite a pocket of methane… Laurie Rosenberg is among the many Porter Ranch residents who say the chemicals are causing them health problems. “I’ve had migraine headaches … itchy eyes, and runny nose 24/7… I think there’s more up there than they’re really willing to admit.”

Gizmodo, Dec 28, 2015: The largest natural gas leak ever recorded is jeopardizing health and causing evacuations for thousands of Southern California residents… Methane is estimated to be leaking out of the Aliso Canyon site at a rate of about 62 million standard cubic feet, per day… it’s potentially devastating on a planetary scale…

Erin Brockovich, Dec 21, 2015: “The enormity of the Aliso Canyon gas leak cannot be overstated… and it shows no sign of stopping… According to tests conducted in November by the California Air Resources Board, the leak is spewing 50,000 kilograms of gas per hour — the equivalent to the strength of a volcanic eruption.”
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Go there and read. More next week.
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To answer my own question, because radiation works better then man made fences, at keeping people out. Thus keeping the animals safe. Though I have seen articles about people who do go into the exclusion zone, none of them seem to be hunters.

http://daily.jstor.org/chernobyl-can-wildlife-return-blast/

Chernobyl: Can Wildlife Return After the Blast?

Thirty years after the Chernobyl disaster, the area is surprisingly full of life. Wild boar, moose, wolves, and other wildlife are thriving in the 30km Exclusion Zone surrounding the destroyed reactor. A thick forest has swallowed the site and, with the exception of monitored visits, it is entirely off-limits to humans. It seems incredible that any life can persist in such a heavily-damaged area, but ecological recovery of this kind has occurred before.

From the 1970s until the mid 1990s, the French military conducted a series of underground nuclear explosions at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific. The blasts created massive pressure waves that instantly wiped out every fish in the surrounding area. Incredibly, fish populations rebounded to previous levels within five years. Even though the explosions destroyed the fish population, their habitats remained largely intact and ready for recolonization. The Mururoa experience suggests that under such circumstances, populations can rebound rapidly.

The situation in Chernobyl was similar in that the habitat remained roughly intact and the area had previously supported wildlife. But a big difference between the two is radiation: unlike at Muruoa, the radioactive fallout at Chernobyl was extreme. The latter’s forests are saturated with radiation and if they ever burn, this poison will spread throughout Central Europe. The water and soil are hopelessly contaminated and will remain so for thousands of years.

For years, it was believed that radiation would deter wildlife recolonization, or kill any wildlife that did return to the area. But by the early 1990s, researchers were astounded by the abundance and diversity of wildlife in the exclusion zone, including endangered species like the black stork. It was determined that though explosions and heavy fallout immediately following the accident wiped out resident wildlife, these species soon returned

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Go there and read. More next week.

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No. Actually the Earth is not a battery. But are we sucking the life out of the Earth? Yes we are.

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/08/10/Earth-Battery-Running-Low/

The Earth’s Battery Is Running Low

We’ve drained our planet’s stored energy, scientists say, with no rechargeable plug in sight.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, 10 Aug 2015, TheTyee.ca

In the quiet of summer, a couple of U.S. scientists argued in the pages of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that modern civilization has drained the Earth — an ancient battery of stored chemical energy — to a dangerous low.

Although the battery metaphor made headlines in leading newspapers in China, India and Russia, the paper didn’t garner “much immediate attention in North America,” admits lead author John Schramski, a mechanical engineer and an ecologist.

And that’s a shame, because the paper gives ordinary people an elegant metaphor to understand the globe’s stagnating economic and political systems and their close relatives: collapsing ecosystems. It also offers a blunt course of action: “drastic” energy conservation.

It, too, comes with a provocative title: “Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the Earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind.”

The battery metaphor speaks volumes and then some.

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Go there and read. Be very scared. More next week.

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When homosapiens invented fire did we doom ourselves? Because it seems fire will always come into contact with fire and global warming is the result. I think this implies that there is a limit on large animals ability to survive on Earth. I think it means that the Earth is locked into cycles of mass die offs. Finally, I think it means humans better get out of here soon. Yet, I wonder why that is just dawning on me at 60?

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/fire-in-the-hole-77895126/?no-ist

Fire in the Hole

Raging in mines from Pennsylvania to China, coal fires threaten towns, poison air and water, and add to global warming

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

From the back kitchen window of his little house on a ridge in east-central Pennsylvania, John Lokitis looks out on a most unusual prospect. Just uphill, at the edge of St.IgnatiusCemetery, the earth is ablaze. Vegetation has been obliterated along a quarter-mile strip; sulfurous steam billows out of hundreds of fissures and holes in the mud. There are pits extending perhaps 20 feet down: in their depths, discarded plastic bottles and tires have melted. Dead trees, their trunks bleached white, lie in tangled heaps, stumps venting smoke through hollow centers. Sometimes fumes seep across the cemetery fence to the grave of Lokitis’ grandfather, George Lokitis.

This hellish landscape constitutes about all that remains of the once-thriving town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. Forty-three years ago, a vast honeycomb of coal mines at the edge of the town caught fire. An underground inferno has been spreading ever since, burning at depths of up to 300 feet, baking surface layers, venting poisonous gases and opening holes large enough to swallow people or cars. The conflagration may burn for another 250 years, along an eight-mile stretch encompassing 3,700 acres, before it runs out of the coal that fuels it.

Remarkably enough, nobody’s doing a thing about it. The federal and state governments gave up trying to extinguish the fire in the 1980s. “Pennsylvania didn’t have enough money in the bank to do the job,” says Steve Jones, a geologist with the state’s Office of Surface Mining. “If you aren’t going to put it out, what can you do? Move the people.”Nearly all 1,100 residents left after they were offered federally funded compensation for their properties. Their abandoned houses were leveled. Today Centralia exists only as an eerie grid of streets, its driveways disappearing into vacant lots. Remains of a picket fence here, a chair spindle there—plus Lokitis and 11 others who refused to leave, the occupants of a dozen scattered structures. Lokitis, 35, lives alone in the house he inherited from “Pop”—his grandfather, a coal miner, as was Pop’s father before him. For fans of the macabre, lured by a sign warning of DANGER from asphyxiation or being swallowed into the ground, Centralia has become a tourist destination. For Lokitis, it is home.

Across the globe, thousands of coal fires are burning.
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Go there and read. More next week.

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I never thought I would ever see this. Really as a post it has nowhere to fit in. BUT. It is important so I just thought I would cram it in here and live with it. When people surf this blog in future years they can just think of it as a speed bump. Can you believe that there are people who want to flaunt their ignorance?

http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/07/i-rejoice-that-it-is-warm-ars-attends-a-climate-contrarian-conference/

Scientific Method / Science & Exploration

Echo chamber of outrage: Ars attends a climate skeptics’ summit

A political buffet offering everything but science.

“I accept that the planet has warmed,” said conservative columnist Mark Steyn from the podium. “And I rejoice that it is warm.”

Steyn was one of many speakers at the libertarian Heartland Institute’s 10th “International Conference on Climate Change,” a major event for climate science contrarians. The two-day conference, held in mid-June at the classy Washington Court Hotel just a few blocks from the US Capitol, had all the trappings of an academic conference, but you wouldn’t mistake it for a Geological Society of America meeting. Tables set up outside the hotel’s main ballroom hosted conservative advocacy groups and think tanks like CFACT, the Ayn Rand Institute, and the Heritage Foundation (which attracted visitors with a life-size cardboard cut-out of Ronald Reagan). The audience contained some meteorologists but seemed mostly composed of retired couples with an interest in politics, along with a handful of state legislators.

The goal was to gather speakers—who, organizers frequently reminded the audience, were some of the most famous and well-respected experts in the world—who could arm attendees with the information they needed to take the Good Fight back out to the streets. A small number of the talks presented research into climate science, but most were arguments against climate policy based on economic impacts. In other words, imagine the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal plus a podium.

As for the speakers, they viewed themselves as voices of reason speaking truth to power—all of them trying desperately to keep the Western world from slipping over the precipice to certain economic ruin. And to hear them tell it, Heartland and its allies were winning the battle against the “climate alarmists.” The public remains divided on the issue of climate change, with some recent polling placing it low on the priority list of concerns. Attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through legislation have been stymied. International negotiations have been arduous.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Age of Coal is over. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court doesn’t get that. In fact most of the power plants have already installed the required equipment so what does this ruling even mean?

http://www.alternet.org/environment/us-supreme-court-strikes-down-obamas-epa-limits-air-pollution?sc=fb

Environment

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Obama’s EPA Limits on Air Pollution

Landmark 5-4 decision is major setback for Obama’s efforts to set limits on amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into air, lakes and rivers.

June 29, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down new rules for America’s biggest air polluters on Monday, dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to set limits on the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into the air, lakes and rivers.

The 5-4 decision was a major setback to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and could leave the agency more vulnerable to legal challenges from industry and Republican-led states to its new carbon pollution rules.

It was also a blow to years of local efforts to clean up dangerous air pollution.

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Go there and read. Be prepared to be sad. More next week.

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For an additional punch today…

 

 

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