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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Billions in Fines Don't Matter -- Here's How BP Should Be Punished for the Gulf Disaster

Billions in Fines Don't Matter -- Here's How BP Should Be Punished for the Gulf Disaster

What is missing is a criminal prosecution that holds responsible the individuals who gambled with the lives of BP's contractors and the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico.

“What Is Missing Is the Accountability that Comes From Real Consequences: A Criminal Prosecution that Holds Responsible the Individuals Who Gambled with the Lives of BP’s Contractors and the Ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico”

“What Is Missing Is the Accountability that Comes From Real Consequences: A Criminal Prosecution that Holds Responsible the Individuals Who Gambled with the Lives of BP’s Contractors and the Ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico”

On the second anniversary of BP’s Gulf oil spill, nothing has changed, and BP’s criminal negligence has not been prosecuted.
The New York Times has an Op-Ed today from Pro Publica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten which hits on all cylinders:
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Marine scientists urge government to reassess oil spill response

Marine scientists urge government to reassess oil spill response

On the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout, a national panel of researchers is urging the US federal government to reassess how it would respond to similar oil spills that might occur in the future.

Can sound science guide dispersant use during subsea oil spills?

Can sound science guide dispersant use during subsea oil spills?

On the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, a pair of researchers are testing whether sound waves can be used to determine the size of oil droplets in the subsea—knowledge that could help guide the use of chemical dispersants during the cleanup of future spills.

New study links air pollution and early death in the UK

New study links air pollution and early death in the UK

Emissions from cars, trucks, planes and power plants cause 13,000 premature deaths in the United Kingdom each year, new research suggests.

New Bakken Shale Pipeline to Cushing, OK in the Works Steve Horn, Firedoglake

New Bakken Shale Pipeline to Cushing, OK in the Works Steve Horn, Firedoglake

BP Covered Up Blow-out Prior to Deepwater Horizon Part 1, PART 2: Greg Palast

BP Covered Up Blow-out Prior to Deepwater Horizon Part 1, PART 2: Greg Palast

The Tragic Mistake That Now Threatens 1 Out of Every 3 Bites You Eat

The Tragic Mistake That Now Threatens 1 Out of Every 3 Bites You Eat http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/21/vanishing-bees-film.aspx?e_cid=20120421_DNL_art_1

Friday, April 20, 2012

Two Years after the BP Drilling Disaster, Gulf Residents Fear for the Future

Two Years after the BP Drilling Disaster, Gulf Residents Fear for the Future

On April 20, 2010, a reckless attitude towards the safety of the Gulf Coast by BP, as well as Transocean and Halliburton, caused a well to blow out 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. As the world watched in horror, underwater cameras showed a seemingly endless flow of oil – hundreds of millions of gallons – and a series of failed efforts to stop it, over a period of nearly three months. Two years later, that horror has not ended for many on the Gulf.
“People should be aware that the oil is still there,” says Wilma Subra, a chemist who travels widely across the Gulf meeting with fishers and testing seafood and sediment samples for contamination.
Subra says that the reality she is seeing on the ground contrasts sharply with the image painted by BP. “I’m extremely concerned on the impact it’s having on all these sick individuals,” she says. Subra believes we may be just at the beginning of this disaster. In every community she visits, fishers show her shrimp born without eyes, fish with lesions, and crabs with holes in their shells. She says tarballs are still washing up on beaches across the region.
While it's too early to assess the long-term environmental impact, a host of recent studies published by the National Academy of Sciences and other respected institutions have shown troubling results. They describe mass deaths of deepwater coral, dolphins, and killifish, a small animal at the base of the Gulf food chain. "If you add them all up, it’s clear the oil is still in the ecosystem, it’s still having an effect,” says Aaron Viles, deputy director of Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental organization active in the region.
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Eyeless Shrimp and Fish With Tumors: The Horrific Consequences of BP's Spill

Eyeless Shrimp and Fish With Tumors: The Horrific Consequences of BP's Spill

Despite mounting environmental and health consequences, not to mention the death of 11 workers, no executives have received jail time.

Is Vermont's Governor Surrendering to Monsanto?

Is Vermont's Governor Surrendering to Monsanto?

Vermont's governor has 2 weeks to stand with 90 percent of his constituents who favor labeling genetically engineered foods, or cave to Monsanto.

EPA's First Fracking Rules Seen as Limited and Delayed

EPA's First Fracking Rules Seen as Limited and Delayed

"It sets a floor for what the industry needs to do," said attorney Erik Schlenker-Goodrich of the Western Environmental Law Center. "The reality is we can do far better."

The Global Pressures of Population and Access to Clean Water

The Global Pressures of Population and Access to Clean Water

As the world climbs toward a population of 9 billion, how can we support all those people?

Shocking Conflict of Interest: Private Water Companies Partner With Fracking Lobby

Shocking Conflict of Interest: Private Water Companies Partner With Fracking Lobby

Selling water to drillers, two of the nation's biggest private water utilities may soon profit from treating the wastewater.

The Answer Really Isn't Blowing in the Wind

The Answer Really Isn't Blowing in the Wind

In no other floundering green energy sub-sector is that failure so strikingly apparent as in wind energy.

The Politics of the BP Settlement Terms

The Politics of the BP Settlement Terms

The President's Oil Spill Committee co-chairmen and House Democrats are trying to preemptively spin events in the executive branch's favor in the Gulf oil spill settlelement process.

The Deepwater Horizon Two Years Later

The Deepwater Horizon Two Years Later

Things have settled down since the BP oil spill in 2010, but now the Obama administration has some potentially embarrassing work to do.

Florida raises questions about BP settlement

Florida raises questions about BP settlement

The details of a proposed $7.8 billion settlement with BP PLC in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation have appeased numerous critics, but Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi continues to raise concerns about whether the deal benefits all the affected residents in her state.

New research puts focus on earthquake, tsunami hazard for southern California

New research puts focus on earthquake, tsunami hazard for southern California

San Francisco CA (SPX) Apr 20, 2012
Scientists will convene in San Diego to present the latest seismological research at the annual conference of the Seismological Society of America (SSA), April 17-19. This year's meeting is expected to draw a record number of registrants, with more than 630 scientists in attendance, and will feature 292 oral presentations and 239 poster presentations. "For over 100 years the Annual Meeting

The Second Anniversary of BP’s Gulf Oil Spill: Nothing Has Changed

The Second Anniversary of BP’s Gulf Oil Spill: Nothing Has Changed

Criminal Negligence Caused the Gulf Oil Spill

BP was criminally negligent in allowing the Gulf oil spill to happen.
BP lied to Congress about the safety of its deepwater drilling operations:
Popout
BP apparently lost control of the Gulf Macondo well, but kept on drilling for months afterwards.
Despite knowing it had a damaged blowout preventer, BP still cut corners by removing the single most important safety measure.
And BP, Halliburton and Transocean were criminally negligent in numerous other ways as well.  See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

China Installs the World’s Largest Battery

China Installs the World’s Largest Battery

China now has the world’s largest battery with a storage capacity of 36MWh to combat any intermittence produced by wind and solar power at an adjoining farm.Brain the size of a planet, battery the size of a building – both sound like figures of speech, but the second at least is solid reality. It's up and running at a combined solar power and wind farm near you.Near you, that is, if you live in Zhangbei, in China's Hebei province. It's currently, by a distance, the biggest battery in the world. Or, strictly speaking, thousands of batteries…Read more...

A New Renewable Energy Source that Could Support Half a Billion People

A New Renewable Energy Source that Could Support Half a Billion People

With ever increasing energy prices, and the knowledge that oil and natural gas will one day run out, scientists and engineers are constantly trying to discover new, renewable sources of energy. A recent article released in the Environmental Science and Technology journal describes a promising study by Ngai Yin Yip and Menachem Elimelech of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University.Via a process known as pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) they believe that enough electricity could be cleanly produced to support the…Read more...

Gazprom-Vietnam: All Hands on Deck in South China Sea

Gazprom-Vietnam: All Hands on Deck in South China Sea

A deal struck earlier this month between Russia’s state gas giant, Gazprom, and Vietnam’s state oil and gas group, PetroVietnam, has geopolitical underpinnings aimed at China’s prowess in the South China Sea. The 6 April Gazprom-PetroVietnam deal grants the Russian gas giant two licenses to explore the Moc Tinh and Hai Thach fields in the South China Sea off the Vietnamese continental shelf and gives Gazprom a 49% stake in the fields, which translates into some 55.6 billion of cubic meters of natural gas for Russia.While the fields…Read more...

Peak Oil Is Dead. The Great Game Lives On. . .

Peak Oil Is Dead. The Great Game Lives On. . .

Matthew Hulbert, Forbes
Peak oilers have had a pretty hard time lately. Not only have global unconventional finds flattened Hubbard’s ‘peak’, more and more conventional plays are cropping up. ‘Running out’? We have more than enough of the black stuff to incinerate ourselves. . .

Big Oil's Regulatory Coup

Big Oil's Regulatory Coup

Wallace Turbeville, Demos
 What irony! This is the week when President Obama captured headlines and prime television coverage by assembling his team in the Rose Garden and finally employing the bully pulpit against speculation in the oil markets. . .

A Punishment BP Can't Pay Off

A Punishment BP Can't Pay Off

Abrahm Lustgarten, New York Times
TWO years after a series of gambles and ill-advised decisions on a BP drilling project led to the largest accidental oil spill in United States history and the death of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, no one has been held accountable. . .

Will the Gulf Oil Spill Haunt Us Forever?

Will the Gulf Oil Spill Haunt Us Forever?

Ted Danson, USA Today
This second anniversary of the worst accidental oil spill in world history is a time to reflect on how far we've come in breaking our oil addiction and improving offshore drilling safety. Sadly, we've not come far enough. . .

NASA Satellite Movie Shows Great Plains Tornado Outbreak from Space

NASA Satellite Movie Shows Great Plains Tornado Outbreak from Space

Greenbelt, MD (SPX) Apr 19, 2012
Satellite data gives forecasters a leg up on severe weather. NASA has just released an animation of visible and infrared satellite data showing the development and movement of the Great Plains tornado outbreak, using data from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. There were more than 135 reports of tornadoes and 124 different warnings over April 14-15, 2012
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Southeast Asia's billion dollar cassava industry at high risk due to climate change

Southeast Asia's billion dollar cassava industry at high risk due to climate change

Bangkok, Thailand (SPX) Apr 20, 2012
Severe outbreaks of new, invasive pests triggered by rising temperatures could threaten Southeast Asia's multi-billion dollar cassava industry, as well as the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of small farmers that rely on the crop for income, according to research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

How Long until the Arctic Sea Ice Completely Melts?

How Long until the Arctic Sea Ice Completely Melts?

Each year in March we experience the annual maximum in Arctic sea ice extent; within a month we will reach the annual maximum in Arctic sea ice volume; after that, the sea ice will begin to melt until it reaches its annual minimum of both extent and volume in September.  Around about now scientists start their annual sea ice watch that includes predictions of the extent and rank of the year’s sea ice minimum, as well predictions as to when the Arctic could disappear entirely. One of the inputs into that discussion is the “PIOMAS”…Read more...

All Fracked Up - Sorting Out the Debate

All Fracked Up - Sorting Out the Debate

Adam Aston, GreenBiz
Last week, Joe Nocera reminded me of how disconnected and angry the debate over fracking -- the process of injecting fluids into deep, dense rock formations to fracture them and release natural gas -- has grown. At The New York Times Energy for Tomorrow conference, Nocera moderated a series of panels that were focused on a broad variety of energy issues, but repeatedly returned to the hot button issue of fracking.

Obama v. Romney on Energy, Environment

Obama v. Romney on Energy, Environment

AP, US News & World Report
WASHINGTON (AP) "” A look at where President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stand on energy and environmental issues:OBAMA: Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas drilling overall. Approved drilling plan in Arctic Ocean opposed by environmentalists. Now proposes that Congress give oil market regulators more power to control price manipulation by speculators and stiffer fines for doing so.

Higher concentrations of heavy metals found in post-oil spill oysters from Gulf of Mexico, experts say

Higher concentrations of heavy metals found in post-oil spill oysters from Gulf of Mexico, experts say

Scientists have detected evidence that pollutants from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have entered the ecosystem's food chain. Preliminary results demonstrate that oysters collected post-spill contain higher concentrations of heavy metals in their shells, gills, and muscle tissue than those collected before the spill.
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Spill panel slams Congress for inactions, poor responses

Spill panel slams Congress for inactions, poor responses
A presidential commission that investigated the Gulf oil spill blasted Congress for inaction Tuesday as it issued a report card on industry and government response to the massive BP oil spill.
Full Article

Fracking rules let drillers flare till 2015 Reuters


Fracking rules let drillers flare till 2015 Reuters

EPA Will Delay Start of Some U.S. Fracking Rules, API Says Bloomberg


EPA Will Delay Start of Some U.S. Fracking Rules, API Says Bloomberg

BP settles $7.8bn of Gulf oil spill claims Telegraph


BP settles $7.8bn of Gulf oil spill claims Telegraph

Forward to Friend BP reaches Deepwater Horizon settlement with PSC
The two groups are seeking preliminary court approval.
Full Article

George Washington: 2 Years After the BP Oil Spill, Is the Gulf Ecosystem Collapsing?

George Washington: 2 Years After the BP Oil Spill, Is the Gulf Ecosystem Collapsing?

State of Himalayan glaciers less alarming than feared

State of Himalayan glaciers less alarming than feared
Ever since the false prognoses of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Himalayan glaciers have been a focus of public and scientific debate. The gaps in our knowledge of glaciers in the Himalayan region have hindered accurate statements and prognoses. An international team of researchers headed by glaciologists from the University of Zurich and with the involvement of scientists from Geneva now outlines the current state of knowledge of glaciers in the Himalayas in a study published in Science. The scientists confirm that the shrinkage scenarios for Himalayan glaciers published in the last IPCC report were exaggerated.

Space environmentalist warns we need to better prepare for solar storms

Space environmentalist warns we need to better prepare for solar storms
(Phys.org) -- In the business of everyday life, it’s easy to overlook things that could cause a serious disruption to how life is lived; floods happen, hurricanes, volcanoes and tsunamis like the one that devastated Japan last year. And now it seems, there is one more potential disaster we should add to the list: geomagnetic storms caused by coronal mass ejections from the sun. Mike Hapgood head of the space environment group with RAL Space, part of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, has written a commentary published in the journal Nature, suggesting that it’s time we quit burying our heads in the sand regarding the devastating impact a serious solar storm could have on modern populations.

EPA to cut air pollution from natural gas 'fracking'

EPA to cut air pollution from natural gas 'fracking'
(HealthDay) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday issued the first national standards to curb air pollution linked with the controversial practice of "fracking."
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Scientists: Fish are sick where BP's oil spill hit

Scientists: Fish are sick where BP's oil spill hit
(AP) -- Two years after the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, scientists say they're finding trouble with sick fish that dwell along offshore reefs and in the deep waters - especially in places where the oil spill hit the hardest.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lost Boy Finds Mother Using Google Earth

Lost Boy Finds Mother Using Google Earth

A Dickensian tale for the information age.
At the end of the day, say what you will about technology. At least, sometimes, it helps an Indian boy find his mother, after years of separation, using satellite imagery of the earth.

Studies Shake Up Fracking Industry with quake findings

Studies shake up fracking industry with quake findings
CTV.ca
A new study looking at whether hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can trigger earthquakes is being conducted just as a pair of independent papers were released internationally this week suggesting they do. (AP / Orlin Wagner) A process that involves ...

CTV.ca
Manmade earthquakes trigger government drill-down into possible fracking link
CanadianBusiness.com
The research into whether hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can trigger earthquakes is being conducted just as a pair of independent papers were released internationally this week suggesting they do. The studies out of mid-continent US and Britain ...
Human-made earthquakes reported in central US
Reuters
The abstract does not explicitly link rising earthquake activity to fracking - known formally as hydraulic fracturing - that involves pumping water and chemicals into underground rock formations to extract natural gas and oil.
Panel issues report on UK fracking use
UPI.com
Near Blackpool, test fracking or "fracturing," involving pumping water and chemicals into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas, was halted in 2011 when two earthquakes were felt at the surface. A government-appointed panel of experts said it ...
What's the truth about fracking?
The Guardian
Cuadrilla emphatically denies a local rumour that frackers hope to trigger quakes because these open up more fractures in the rock. According to the British Geological Survey, fracking does routinely create tiny tremors but these would normally be ...

The Guardian
Will Shale Gas Make Blackpool The New Aberdeen?
Motley Fool UK
But many people want fracking banned. Their complaints aren't just because the chemicals used in fracking could contaminate the groundwater, or that there is an increased risk of air pollution. Fracking also causes earthquakes! Fracking, or 'induced ...

Addressing Military Rights in the Warming Arctic Region

Addressing Military Rights in the Warming Arctic Region

Climate change and global warming deniers deny, but there’s one important group of decision makers that are definitely taking the reality of climate change and global warming seriously: Arctic region military leaders.