Archive for lethal

Oil spills send fish hearts into cardiac arrest

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SickFishw398h239

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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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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VIDEO- What they don't want you to know about the oil disaster: "People were basically treated as collateral damage by BP."

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BP lies newsweek
corexit dispersant 2
About a week ago, I posted BP still hasn’t paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups. As you well know, BP destroyed lives, businesses, the environment, plant life, sea life, and wildlife. They accepted criminal liability in the 2010 oil disaster and were supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.

Additionally, tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP’s negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.

For years I've covered their atrocities (BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes), including their use of Corexit, a chemical dispersant that breaks up the oily mess and makes it appear as if it has diminished or even disappeared. Actually, the tiny globs are still around, lingering and endangering lives and the health of anyone who comes in contact with it.

Dispersants accelerate the absorption by the skin of toxic chemicals, and they continue to damage the gulf because they are also easily absorbed into the food chain. Blood tests have shown that oil and dispersant chemicals are “causing big health problems.”

I’ve ranted endlessly about the toxic and lasting effects that chemical dispersant has had on Gulf residents, sea life and wildlife, and complained about how little press coverage the topic has gotten.

Thankfully, a film called "The Big Fix" exposed this, the biggest environmental coverup ever... and Rachel Maddow is right there with them:

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

Rachel Maddow:

BP admitted in court that while they were saying publicly and saying to Congress even, that their gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico was only leaking 5,000 barrels a day, that was it, merely a flesh wound. while they said that publicly, not only was that wrong, but they knew it was wrong.

BP as a company internally was having all sort of discussions about how it wasn't 5,000 barrels a day. It was more like 60,000 barrels or maybe even 140,000 barrels a day. But publicly, they kept assuring everybody that it was no big deal, only five.

The important part was not just that BP was wrong or that they didn't know the answer and they were guessing. The important part in their culpability, of course-- the reason they ended up paying the largest corporate fine in history of corporate fines was not because they got it wrong-- it is because they did know the truth and they lied about it. They lied about it publicly, they lied about it to Congress.

"Newsweek" published some remarkable new reporting on the question that ... was expressed to me the most by people who live on the gulf coast and make their living on the water there, three years ago in the middle of that spill, this is what folks worry about more than anything. And now, 3 years later, we are starting to get some answers  about it.

Mark Hertsgaard, Newsweek:

These people were basically treated as collateral damage by BP. As part of BP's coverup, they were willing to sacrifice the health of these workers, hundreds and possibly thousands of them, and also coastal residents, a little 3-year-old boy we write about in this story who was fine until he started breathing this stuff in. And now he got terribly sick.

And let's not forget the gulf eco system where 33%, one-third of the seafood we Americans eat comes out of that gulf. That too was terribly damaged by this use of Corexit. Which is an Orwellian term if I've ever heard one, Corexit as a name for a dispersant. Once you put that with oil it is 52 times more  toxic.

dispersant 2Here's what Nalco has on its Corexit web page:

Prompt deployment of Nalco COREXIT® oil spill dispersants is one very effective and proven method of minimizing the impact of a spill on the environment. When the COREXIT dispersants are deployed on the spilled oil, the oil is broken up into tiny bio-degradable droplets that immediately sink below the surface where they continue to disperse and bio-degrade.  This quickly removes the spilled oil from surface drift…reducing direct exposure to birds, fish and sea animals in the spill environment.  By keeping the oil from adhering to wildlife COREXIT dispersants effectively protect the environment.

BP we care

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BP still hasn't paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups

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suck it bp

If you have an ounce of logic in you, then you know that the longer we wait to repair what BP destroyed, the more difficult it will be to fix their mess. BP accepted criminal liability in the 2010 gulf oil disaster and was supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.

And tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP's negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.

BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes, because:

BP we care

USA Today:

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the spill in 2010, but only a small fraction of the billions in fines and other money owed by BP has trickled in for use on restoration projects, environmental groups say.

Local, state and environmental groups are banking on money from several sources

However, BP is proud to use their money to pay people to go on the Tee Vee Machine and say reassuring things like this:

bp adbp ad smaller

And they lavish us with ads like this repeatedly force ads like this down our throats:

Here's what's really going on:

Gulf Coast groups say the region is still struggling.

Environmental groups say an unusually high number of sick dolphins are washing up on shore. They're also finding tar balls on beaches, particularly after big storms.

USA Today has all the gory details.

If you really want to get your blood boiling, read this via the Government Accountability Project:

On April 19, 2013, GAP released Deadly Dispersants in the Gulf: Are Public Health and Environmental Tragedies the New Norm for Oil Spill Cleanups? The report details the devastating long-term effects on human health and the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem stemming from BP and the federal government's widespread use of the dispersant Corexit, in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [...]

Conclusions from the report strongly suggest that the dispersant Corexit was widely applied in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion because it caused the false impression that the oil disappeared. In reality, the oil/Corexit mixture became less visible, yet much more toxic than the oil alone. Nonetheless, indications are that both BP and the government were pleased with what Corexit accomplished. The report is available here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

"We will clean this up. We will make this right."

We won't hold our breath.

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Finally! A sweet way to convince climate change deniers to change their minds: Chocolate.

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chocolate easter egg

For years we here at The Political Carnival have been all over climate change deniers, the Drill-Baby-Drillers, and their focus on what goes into their wallets and from whom. We've pounded the disaster-in-waiting tar sands pipeline, and we've blasted BP.

None of that matters, though, because the oil-addicted remain unconvinced. However, there may finally be a way to change their minds: Via their collective sweet tooth.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Chocolate is a huge business, pulling in $90 billion in global sales annually, $19 billion of it in the U.S., according to market research company Mintel Group Ltd. Price increases and product innovation helped the industry grow 16% from 2007 through 2012, the firm found.

But scientists predict a looming cocoa bean shortage, intensified by climate change and botanical disease.

The International Cocoa Organization said that global production in the last growing year fell 6.1%, and it forecasts a 1.8% slide this year. That would probably cause a cocoa shortfall of 45,000 metric tons in the current marketing year ending Sept. 30, the group said.

Tighter supplies as well as rising sugar and manufacturing costs are adding to the price of truffles and bonbons.

Will the fossil fuel supporters finally see that they must alter their polluting ways once they realize that our yummy, scrumptious, to-die-for, decadent chocolate treats are in danger because of climate change?

Let's hope these stubborn doubters are not just coo-coo, but also coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs.

bonbon appetit

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Huge jump in atmospheric CO2 due to fossil fuels. So how's that Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline coming along?

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gore climate change hot in here

Recently I posted about the new State Dep’t. draft report that looks promising for backers of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. It was disheartening, to say the least, and worrisome to anyone who is concerned about bringing the dirtiest oil on earth through America. Or climate change.

This potentially catastrophic project will only add to our environmental problems, and Bill McKibben and NASA’s Jim Hansen both warn that it would be “essentially game over for the climate” if it gets the go ahead.

Why we would continue to push our luck after this Associated Press/HuffPo report is beyond me:

The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in 2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new federal figures show.

Scientists say the rise in CO2 reflects the world's economy revving up and burning more fossil fuels, especially in China.

Carbon dioxide levels jumped...  says Pieter Tans, who leads the greenhouse gas measurement team for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That's the second highest rise in carbon emissions since record-keeping began in 1959. [...]

More coal-burning power plants, especially in the developing world, are the main reason emissions keep going up – even as they have declined in the U.S. and other places, in part through conservation and cleaner energy.

Did I mention there is no such thing as "clean coal"?

Think Progress:

[W]e face destructively high sea level rise, water supplies for hundreds of millions of people threatened by climate shifts, global crop declines, bleached coral reefs around the world, a rise in ocean acidification threatening marine ecosystems, and a host of other crises.

Crisis schmisis. All the Drill-Baby-Drillers care about is what goes into their wallets. And President Obama, you and your State Department might want to think long and hard about okaying the tar sands pipeline.

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VIDEO-- Van Jones: Keystone XL tar sands pipeline "takes oil THROUGH America, not TO America, then sends it to China."

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tar sands dirtiest oil on earth

Yesterday I posted about the new State Dep’t. draft report that looks promising for backers of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. It was disheartening, to say the least, and worrisome to anyone who is concerned about bringing the dirtiest oil on earth through America.

Again, one argument for this potentially catastrophic project is profit. However, all the money in the world is meaningless if 1) nobody is around to enjoy it, and 2) it’s spent on health care that will become increasingly necessary to treat symptoms and diseases resulting from a toxic environment.

The “Earth may be near tipping point.” However, we know why the GOP insists that there’s no climate change. Nevertheless, the GOP insists on pushing a dangerous project like Keystone despite the fact that it would create very few long term jobs, gas prices would increase, dependence on foreign oil would not lessen, and Bill McKibben and NASA’s Jim Hansen both warn that it would be “essentially game over for the climate” if this crackpot project gets the go ahead.

CNN:

A required State Department report on Friday said the "construction and normal operation" of the latest proposed route would have no significant environmental effect. [...]

Environmental advocates, however, see it differently, as does Jones, who was a special adviser to Obama on the topics of green jobs, enterprise, and innovation at the Council on Environmental Quality. [...]

The reason is that tar sands, a particularly raw form of oil, would be traveling through the pipeline, and Jones described it as "the most corrosive nasty fuel on the Earth."

L.A. Times:

The study also says that a barrel of oil sands crude would release about 17% more greenhouse gases than one of conventional crude oil refined in the United States in 2005.

Still, the study states that approving or denying the permit for Keystone XL would not have any effect on the development of the oil sands because companies would use rail, trucks and other pipelines to bring the Alberta crude to the U.S.

Opponents of the pipeline strongly disputed the conclusion, asserting that Canada and the oil industry have said that Keystone XL would be critical to the expansion of oil sands development. The opponents have also said that with the pipeline would come greater greenhouse gas emissions.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer did his level best to defend the pipeline, but thankfully, Van Jones would have none of it:

"This report now says 3,900 temporary jobs." [Not hundreds of thousands, as has been claimed.]

"The pipeline takes it THROUGH America, not TO America, and then sends it to China."

"This is a foreign corporation... Canadian foreign company that's gonna actually take land from American farmers and then send the dirtiest form of energy through America overseas."

"It's going through the United States to China. We won't get a drop of it. So we risk our water, risk our farmland and get no oil - bad deal for America."

"What happens if you've got the 'Obama Pipeline'? Now it's the 'Obama Pipeline,' and it leaks. His legacy could be the worst oil disaster in American farmland history. He's got to make a tough choice."

As the L.A. Times reported, the State Department will officially determine whether to issue a permit, but "Obama indicated in 2011 that he would make the final decision."

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