Archive for environment – Page 2

Oil spills send fish hearts into cardiac arrest

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Who knew fish could have heart troubles? Then again, they're living beings with beating hearts. It's just that it never occurred to me to think about the little (and big) scaly guys in quite those terms. I should have, it's not like I never write about BP, Big Oil, and pollution, right? P.S. At this point, those words are all synonymous.

And they're also lethal.

In my morning Los Angeles Times, I came across a story about fish going into cardiac arrest because of the effects of the BP disaster... a story hidden on page A12. Of course, poisoning our waters is not only a health issue, it's also an economic one, and the two issues merge into one big fat mess.

Take it away, L.A. Times:

In studying the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on bluefin tuna spawning in the Gulf of Mexico, the research team discovered that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, block “signaling pathways” that allow potassium and calcium ions to flow in and out of cardiac cell membranes and sustain normal heart rates. [...]

Their study also suggests that PAH cardiotoxicity was potentially a common form of injury among a broad range of species in the vicinity of the oil spilled into one of the most productive ocean ecosystems in the world.

Previously, cancer was the concern when it came to the toxicity of PAH. Now this. By the way, PAHs are found in coal tar (see how "clean" coal is?), air pollution, urban runoff, and creosote:

Creosote is the portion of chemical products obtained by the distillation of a tar that remains heavier than water, notably useful for its anti-septic and preservative properties.[1] It is produced in some quantities from the burning of wood and coal in blast furnaces and fireplaces; commonly found inside chimney flues when the wood or coal burns incompletely, producing soot and tarry smoke, and is the compound responsible for the preservation and the flavor of meat in the process of smoking. ... The two main types in industrial production are wood-tar creosote and coal-tar creosote. The coal-tar variety, having stronger and more toxic properties..

Study leader Barbara Block is a professor of marine sciences at Stanford. Here's what she had to say:

This raises the possibility that exposure to environmental PAHs in many animals -- including humans -- could lead to cardiac arrhythmias and bradycardia, or slowing of the heart."

Now about that dirty, filthy, disaster-in-waiting, Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline that affects more people than it does fish...

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Overnight: Pete Seeger at 90, Clearwater Sloop at 40

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For some reason, in the accounts of Pete Seeger's life I've read so far (and it may just be me), I have seen very little of his work for environmental causes. Here is footage of him at 90 abord his sloop, the Clearwater, which was then 40, on the Hudson River.

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Pres. Obama, just say no to addiction to (tar sands) oil. Please.

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tar sands keystone xl oil pipeline emissions

Excuse me, Official Environmental Review, but the dirtiest oil on earth ("a mixture of clay, sand, rock, and tarry fossil fuel called bitumen, which can be hard as a hockey puck") is brought to you by the Keystone XL "tar sands" pipeline. Then again, tar sands “isn’t oil. This is a pipe-eating, planet-cooking, water-fouling goo. You can’t clean up tar.” Did I mention that, per said report, only 50 permanent jobs would be created?

Get real, State Department. The Arkansas pipeline rupture foreshadows devastating environmental impact. Nevertheless, it looks like the State is leaning toward approving Keystone, even though it would bring the dirtiest oil on earth through America.

Here is some of what the Los Angeles Times had to say:

Environmentalists said the study neglected research that shows the pipeline would play a central role in the planned expansion of oil sands extraction, including a report by the Canadian Assn. of Petroleum Producers. [...] About one-fifth of Alberta's bitumen deposits can be strip-mined. The rest is deeper and would be tapped by injecting superheated steam. Both methods require burning fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide. [...]

[T]he current analysis conceded that mining Alberta's bitumen would generate an average of 17% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil refined in the U.S. It also said that, under certain scenarios, the pipeline could add as much as 27.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere annually, or the equivalent of putting 5.7 million additional cars on the road. [...]

By [2020], nearly all of Canada's emissions increase will be due to oil sands extraction, the report says.

Environmentalists also point out that the State Department's inspector general is conducting an inquiry into whether the contractor that produced the final impact statement, Environmental Resources Management, failed to disclose recent work it did for TransCanada, resulting in a conflict of interest.

Here is what Chris Hayes had to say:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Hayes's astute Special Comment on breaking our, and President Obama's, addiction to fossil fuels included this:

Trillions of dollars of crude oil, of tar sands oil, of coal and natural gas, we have to leave it in the ground. Abandon it there. In other words, we have to stop...

The [Keystone XL] Pipeline is the line in the sand... It is quitting time if we are serious... We have to say no...

No single project is going to be the project that does us in, just like no single drink is what does the drunk in...

If we say we're going to quit today and then push it off to tomorrow, we are not quitting, so let us not fool ourselves. If we spend billions of dollars to tap an entire new keg, a dirty keg at that, we are not quitting. We are sinking further into our dependence and self-destruction...

This fight is far from over. ... The president will have the ultimate say. And he has set the standard very recently in his own State of the Union...

The miracle of those who break addiction is the incredible resolve they somehow manage to find within themselves to counter the inner addict logic... and anyone who breaks free of any addiction digs down and finds some inner strength to say, "No." To stop. To say, "This is the day I start to turn my life around."

And the question is whether we as citizens and Barack Obama as a president, as a human being, can find that strength within himself.

tar sands keystone xl oil pipeline map

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Friday Links

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This wonderful photo is from this page: http://www.acfonline.org.au/about-us/our-success-stories/conserving-great-barrier

This wonderful photo is from this page: http://www.acfonline.org.au/about-us/our-success-stories/conserving-great-barrier - i.e., the Reef before the Abbott Point coal terminal dumps its dredge spoil into it

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority approves plan to dump Abbot Point spoil

Montana Ranks 3rd Nationally in Tea Party Members per Capita
(from the Montana Cowgirl Blog)

A Few Things to Know About Angry Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm

Here's How to Know if Your GMail has Been Hacked (Note: this is very easy to check.

Cat angrily defends home against the mailman through the mail slot.

US-Built Afghan Roads Turn into Death Traps

Indiana Police Believed Woman's Tale of Supernatural Haunting That Ended in Exorcism

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Gulf Justice?

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A bird covered in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill struggles to climb on to a boom in Barataria Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: theguardian.com

A bird covered in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill struggles to climb on to a boom in Barataria Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: theguardian.com

Well, maybe there will be some justice for this poor bird and all the other people damaged by flat-out negligence from BP.  Take a look at this story:

From Daily Kos:

The U.S. Department of Justice claims Robert Kaluza's and Donald Vidrine's negligence caused the 11 rig worker deaths in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which sent nearly 5 million barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. The 23 count indictment accuses them of mishandling a crucial safety test and failing to report abnormally high pressure readings that attorneys say were signs of an impending disaster.

Here's the original story:

Now I'd like to know why it took so long.  I certainly hope these people get locked away for a long, long time but they'll probably just get tax-deductible fines.

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Overnight: Pete Seeger - 'This Land Is Your Land' - Farm Aid 2013

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PeteSeegerFarmAidW398H216I hate to think that we have lost such a wonderful man as Pete Seeger to the next great adventure, but we have. Here he is at Farm Aid: 2013:

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Pete Seeger Dies at 94

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Photo: Econosmith vrom this page: http://www.npr.org/artists/15869924/pete-seeger

Photo: Econosmith from this page: http://www.npr.org/artists/15869924/pete-seeger

Pete Seeger passed on this morning at 94 after 6 days in the hospital. He was a crusader for peace, a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, and a champion of environmental causes.

In tribute, please listen to him sing 'Waist Deep in the Big Muddy'

From NPR:

Photo: Wiqan Ang from this page: http://www.npr.org/2009/08/02/111338784/pete-and-tao-seeger-and-friends-sunday-night-singalong-newport-folk-festival-200

Photo: Wiqan Ang for NPR

Pete and Tao Seeger and Friends'Sunday-Night Singalong: Newport Folk Festival 2009

Pete Seeger Tribute from The Washington Post

Pete Seeger Wiki

Pete Seeger sings 'Union Maid' - from YT

Pete Seeger sings 'Union Maid' - from YT

Pete Seeger: Union Maid

Politicus USA's tribute to Pete Seeger

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