[About the Project]
[About the ApocaDocs]
[About Equal Share]
[TwitterFollow: apocadocs]


SEARCH

More than 6,000 stories!

OUR BOOK
IS NOW
IN PRINT!

The ApocaDocs have a Book!
Humoring the Horror
of the
Converging Emergencies
94 color pages
$24.99
Read FREE online!

Explore:

Play:

It's weekly, funny, and free!
Play:

Click for paper-free fun!

Ads for potentially
microfunding this site:


Apocadocument
Weekly Archives:
Sep 26 - Dec 31, 1969
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2011
Sep 12 - Sep 19, 2011
Sep 5 - Sep 12, 2011
Aug 29 - Sep 5, 2011
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2011
Aug 15 - Aug 22, 2011
Aug 8 - Aug 15, 2011
Aug 1 - Aug 8, 2011
Jul 25 - Aug 1, 2011
Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2011
Jul 11 - Jul 18, 2011
Jul 4 - Jul 11, 2011
Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2011
Jun 20 - Jun 27, 2011
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2011
Jun 6 - Jun 13, 2011
May 30 - Jun 6, 2011
May 23 - May 30, 2011
May 16 - May 23, 2011
May 9 - May 16, 2011
May 2 - May 9, 2011
Apr 25 - May 2, 2011
Apr 18 - Apr 25, 2011
Apr 11 - Apr 18, 2011
Apr 4 - Apr 11, 2011
Mar 28 - Apr 4, 2011
Mar 21 - Mar 28, 2011
Mar 14 - Mar 21, 2011
Mar 6 - Mar 14, 2011
Feb 27 - Mar 6, 2011
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2011
Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2011
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2011
Jan 30 - Feb 6, 2011
Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2011
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2011
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2011
Jan 2 - Jan 9, 2011
Dec 26 - Jan 2, 2011
Dec 19 - Dec 26, 2010
Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2010
Dec 5 - Dec 12, 2010
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2010
Nov 21 - Nov 28, 2010
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2010
Nov 7 - Nov 14, 2010
Nov 1 - Nov 7, 2010
Oct 25 - Nov 1, 2010
Oct 18 - Oct 25, 2010
Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2010
Oct 4 - Oct 11, 2010
Sep 27 - Oct 4, 2010
Sep 20 - Sep 27, 2010
Sep 13 - Sep 20, 2010
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2010
Aug 30 - Sep 6, 2010
Aug 23 - Aug 30, 2010
Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2010
Aug 9 - Aug 16, 2010
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2010
Jul 26 - Aug 2, 2010
Jul 19 - Jul 26, 2010
Jul 12 - Jul 19, 2010
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2010
Jun 28 - Jul 5, 2010
Jun 21 - Jun 28, 2010
Jun 14 - Jun 21, 2010
Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2010
May 31 - Jun 7, 2010
May 24 - May 31, 2010
May 17 - May 24, 2010
May 10 - May 17, 2010
May 3 - May 10, 2010
Apr 26 - May 3, 2010
Apr 19 - Apr 26, 2010
Apr 12 - Apr 19, 2010
Apr 5 - Apr 12, 2010
Mar 29 - Apr 5, 2010
Mar 22 - Mar 29, 2010
Mar 15 - Mar 22, 2010
Mar 7 - Mar 15, 2010
Feb 28 - Mar 7, 2010
Feb 21 - Feb 28, 2010
Feb 14 - Feb 21, 2010
Feb 7 - Feb 14, 2010
Jan 31 - Feb 7, 2010
Jan 24 - Jan 31, 2010
Jan 17 - Jan 24, 2010
Jan 10 - Jan 17, 2010
Jan 3 - Jan 10, 2010
Dec 27 - Jan 3, 2010
Dec 20 - Dec 27, 2009
Dec 13 - Dec 20, 2009
Dec 6 - Dec 13, 2009
Nov 29 - Dec 6, 2009
Nov 22 - Nov 29, 2009
Nov 15 - Nov 22, 2009
Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2009
Nov 1 - Nov 8, 2009
Oct 26 - Nov 1, 2009
Oct 19 - Oct 26, 2009
Oct 12 - Oct 19, 2009
Oct 5 - Oct 12, 2009
Sep 28 - Oct 5, 2009
Sep 21 - Sep 28, 2009
Sep 14 - Sep 21, 2009
Sep 7 - Sep 14, 2009
Aug 31 - Sep 7, 2009
Aug 24 - Aug 31, 2009
Aug 17 - Aug 24, 2009
Aug 10 - Aug 17, 2009
Aug 3 - Aug 10, 2009
Jul 27 - Aug 3, 2009
Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2009
Jul 13 - Jul 20, 2009
Jul 6 - Jul 13, 2009
Jun 29 - Jul 6, 2009
Jun 22 - Jun 29, 2009
Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2009
Jun 8 - Jun 15, 2009
Jun 1 - Jun 8, 2009
May 25 - Jun 1, 2009
May 18 - May 25, 2009
May 11 - May 18, 2009
May 4 - May 11, 2009
Apr 27 - May 4, 2009
Apr 20 - Apr 27, 2009
Apr 13 - Apr 20, 2009
Apr 6 - Apr 13, 2009
Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2009
Mar 23 - Mar 30, 2009
Mar 16 - Mar 23, 2009
Mar 9 - Mar 16, 2009
Mar 1 - Mar 9, 2009
Feb 22 - Mar 1, 2009
Feb 15 - Feb 22, 2009
Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2009
Feb 1 - Feb 8, 2009
Jan 25 - Feb 1, 2009
Jan 18 - Jan 25, 2009
Jan 11 - Jan 18, 2009
Jan 4 - Jan 11, 2009
Dec 28 - Jan 4, 2009
Dec 21 - Dec 28, 2008
Dec 14 - Dec 21, 2008
Dec 7 - Dec 14, 2008
Nov 30 - Dec 7, 2008
Nov 23 - Nov 30, 2008
Nov 16 - Nov 23, 2008
Nov 9 - Nov 16, 2008
Nov 2 - Nov 9, 2008
Oct 27 - Nov 2, 2008
Oct 20 - Oct 27, 2008
Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2008
Oct 6 - Oct 13, 2008
Sep 29 - Oct 6, 2008
Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2008
Sep 15 - Sep 22, 2008
Sep 8 - Sep 15, 2008
Sep 1 - Sep 8, 2008
Aug 25 - Sep 1, 2008
Aug 18 - Aug 25, 2008
Aug 11 - Aug 18, 2008
Aug 4 - Aug 11, 2008
Jul 28 - Aug 4, 2008
Jul 21 - Jul 28, 2008
Jul 14 - Jul 21, 2008
Jul 7 - Jul 14, 2008
Jun 30 - Jul 7, 2008
Jun 23 - Jun 30, 2008
Jun 16 - Jun 23, 2008
Jun 9 - Jun 16, 2008
Jun 2 - Jun 9, 2008
May 26 - Jun 2, 2008
May 19 - May 26, 2008
May 12 - May 19, 2008
May 5 - May 12, 2008
Apr 28 - May 5, 2008
Apr 21 - Apr 28, 2008
Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2008
Apr 7 - Apr 14, 2008
Mar 31 - Apr 7, 2008
Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2008
Mar 17 - Mar 24, 2008
Mar 10 - Mar 17, 2008
Mar 2 - Mar 10, 2008
Feb 24 - Mar 2, 2008
Feb 17 - Feb 24, 2008
Feb 10 - Feb 17, 2008
Feb 3 - Feb 10, 2008
Jan 27 - Feb 3, 2008
Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2008
Jan 13 - Jan 20, 2008
Jan 6 - Jan 13, 2008
Dec 30 - Jan 6, 2008
Dec 23 - Dec 30, 2007
Dec 16 - Dec 23, 2007
Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2007
Dec 2 - Dec 9, 2007
DocWatch
corporate malfeasance
Twitterit?
News stories about "corporate malfeasance," with punchlines: http://apocadocs.com/d.pl?corporate+malfeasance
Related Scary Tags:
contamination  ~ oil issues  ~ economic myopia  ~ capitalist greed  ~ governmental corruption  ~ health impacts  ~ toxic leak  ~ climate impacts  ~ governmental idiocy  ~ stupid humans  ~ coal issues  



Fri, Aug 21, 2015
from NASA-funded report, via the National Post:
March, 2014: The utter collapse of human civilization will be 'difficult to avoid,' NASA funded study says
After running the numbers on a set of four equations representing human society, a team of NASA-funded mathematicians has come to the grim conclusion that the utter collapse of human civilization will be "difficult to avoid." The exact scenario may vary, but in the coming decades humanity is essentially doomed to some variant of "Elites" consuming too much, "resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society." That is, unless civilization is ready for one of two "major policy changes": inequality must be "greatly reduced" or population growth must be "strictly controlled."... The study starts by reducing human civilization into four easy-to-toggle factors: Elites, Commoners, nature and wealth. The paper explains that this was done because "ecological strain" and "economic stratification" are the only two things that consistently plague collapsing societies.... "We could posit that this buffer of wealth ... allows Elites to continue 'business as usual' despite the impending catastrophe," it continues, suggesting that these kind of "oblivious elites" destroyed the Mayans and the Romans. The only two scenarios that do not kill everyone, in fact, are the ones in which birth rates are either strictly controlled or "resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion." ...


What part of "reasonably" didn't we understand, in 2014?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 10, 2015
from Esquire:
Climatologists' Psyches: When the End of Human Civilization Is Your Day Job
... I wanted to meet Box to find out how this outspoken American is holding up. He has left his country and moved his family to witness and study the melting of Greenland up close. How does being the one to look at the grim facts of climate change most intimately, day in and day out, affect a person? Is Box representative of all of the scientists most directly involved in this defining issue of the new century? How are they being affected by the burden of their chosen work in the face of changes to the earth that could render it a different planet?... Among climate activists, gloom is building. Jim Driscoll of the National Institute for Peer Support just finished a study of a group of longtime activists whose most frequently reported feeling was sadness, followed by fear and anger.... And many scientists now think we're on track to 4 or 5 degrees--even Shell oil said that it anticipates a world 4 degrees hotter because it doesn't see "governments taking the steps now that are consistent with the 2 degrees C scenario." That would mean a world racked by economic and social and environmental collapse. "Oh yeah," Schmidt says, almost casually. "The business-as-usual world that we project is really a totally different planet. There's going to be huge dislocations if that comes about." But things can change much quicker than people think, he says. Look at attitudes on gay marriage. And the glaciers? "The glaciers are going to melt, they're all going to melt," he says.... And the rising oceans? Bangladesh is almost underwater now. Do a hundred million people have to move? "Well, yeah. Under business as usual. But I don't think we're fucked." Resource wars, starvation, mass migrations . . . "Bad things are going to happen. What can you do as a person? You write stories. I do science. You don't run around saying, 'We're fucked! We're fucked! We're fucked!' It doesn't--it doesn't incentivize anybody to do anything." ...


"We're fucked" just isn't scientific.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jun 7, 2015
from Bill McKibben, CommonDreams:
How Humankind Blew the Fight Against Climate Change
... As Exxon Mobil's Rex Tillerson -- the highest-paid chief executive of the richest fossil fuel firm on the planet -- gave his talk, the death toll from India's heat wave mounted and pictures circulated on the Internet of Delhi's pavement literally melting. Meanwhile, satellite images showed Antarctica's Larsen B ice shelf on the edge of disintegration. And how did Tillerson react? By downplaying climate change and mocking renewable energy. To be specific, he said that "inclement weather" and sea level rise "may or may not be induced by climate change," but in any event technology could be developed to cope with any trouble. "Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity and those solutions will present themselves as those challenges become clear,", he said. But apparently those solutions don't include, say, the wind and sun. Exxon Mobil wouldn't invest in renewable energy, Tillerson said, because clean technologies don't make enough money and rely on government mandates that were (remarkable choice of words) "not sustainable." He neglected to mention the report a week earlier from the not-very-radical International Monetary Fund detailing $5.3 trillion a year in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.... ...


I'm just glad the status quo has such a well-funded support network!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 19, 2015
from Cedar Rapids Gazette:
Man making pipeline prostitution allegation plays secret recording for reporters
IOWA CITY -- A southeast Iowa landowner claiming a land agent offered him a prostitute in exchange for letting a pipeline cross his property allowed reporters to listen Wednesday to an audio recording he said he secretly made of the conversation.... A voice matching Tweedy's starts by reminding another man, purportedly the agent, of previous talks in which the agent hinted at hiring him a prostitute. The man suggests they go to St. Louis, where he can hire two or three 19-year-old prostitutes for $1,200. The man also mentions an escort service. ...


Puts a whole new twist on "crude" oil pipelines.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 24, 2015
from ThinkProgress:
Smithsonian Stands By Wildly Misleading Climate Change Exhibit Paid For By Kochs
But what may be most shocking of all is that the Smithsonian hasn't fixed the misleading evolution exhibit at its National Museum of Natural History, which thoroughly whitewashes the dangers of modern-day climate change. This "Hall of Human Origins" was made possible by a $15 million grant from billionaire polluter David Koch. It has now been five years since Climate Progress exposed the myriad flaws in the exhibit, a story the New Yorker and others picked up. Last week I spent some time going through the exhibit again with Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a psychiatrist and climate expert who has been featured by The Smithsonian. We were both stunned by the "Don't worry, be happy" picture it paints of current climate change.... In particular, the most embarrassing and scientifically misleading display the Smithsonian designed -- which directly suggests that humans can simply evolve to deal with global warming -- is still in the exhibit. The final section about the present and future has a nonsensical interactive video that lets visitors create a "future human" who evolves over a long period of time to a variety of changing conditions. ...


Those Koch brothers are such a pair of kidders!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 11, 2014
from Kunstler, via Zero Hedge:
Crossing the Frontier of Criticality
... All of these systems have something in common: they've exceeded their fragility threshold and crossed into the frontier of criticality. They have nowhere to go except failure. It would be nice if we could construct leaner and more local systems to replace these monsters, but there is too much vested interest in them. For instance, the voters slapped down virtually every major ballot proposition to invest in light rail and public transit around the country. The likely explanation is that they've bought the story that shale oil will allow them to drive to WalMart forever. That story is false, by the way. The politicos put it over because they believe the Wall Street fraudsters who are pimping a junk finance racket in shale oil for short-term, high-yield returns. The politicos want desperately to believe the story because the background reality is too difficult to contemplate: an American living arrangement with no future. The public, of course, is eager to believe the same story for the same reasons, but at some point they'll flip and blame the story-tellers, and their wrath could truly wreck what remains of this polity. When it is really too late to fix any of these things, they'll beg someone to tell them what to do, and the job-description for that position is dictator.... ...


As long as the Internets run on time, the rest will take care of itself.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 4, 2014
from David Suzuki:
The New 'F' Word
While dithering over neonicotinoids -- bee-killing pesticides banned in Europe -- Canadian regulators are poised to approve a closely-related poison called flupyradifurone. We call it the new "F"-word. Like neonics, flupyradifurone attacks the nervous system of insect pests. Both are systemic pesticides that are taken up by plants and move through their tissues into pollen, fruits and seeds. Both are also persistent, sticking around in the environment and, with repeated applications, building up over time. Health Canada says flupyradifurone may pose a risk to bees, birds, worms, spiders, small mammals and aquatic bugs -- familiar words to anyone following Canada's slow-motion review of neonics. Dust from corn seed treated with neonics is implicated in large-scale bee die-offs during planting season in Ontario and Quebec. Not only is this is alarming in its own right; the dead bees are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, signalling broader ecological consequences. ...


Flupyradifurone -- let's just call it "Fatal Flu."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Aug 24, 2014
from The Independent (UK):
Government facing four challenges in bid to tackle climate change, think-tank claims
The IPPR says the Government needs to address four challenges to tackle climate change: the consumer challenge, in overcoming soaring fuel bills and tackling fuel poverty; the capacity challenge, in investing in more decentralised energy generation; the regional challenge, where the economy is recovering at a national level but less so in the regions; and the international challenge, where the EU has "lost its leadership position on climate change" while the US and China have taken steps to clean up their economies. It states: "To date, there has been a large degree of political consensus on the necessity of tackling climate change. Both the Climate Change Act (2008), which set binding targets to cut emissions by 80 per cent against a 1990 baseline by 2050, and the Energy Act (2013), which put in place government policies to encourage investment in low-carbon technologies, received royal assent with cross-party support. "However, these Acts have also had the effect of allowing politicians to avoid confronting the public with some of the trade-offs associated with taking stronger action now to avoid greater costs in the future. ...


Thank Mammon they managed to avoid mentioning "the steady-state economy" challenge, or the "corporate pressure to maintain profitable status quo" challenge.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 20, 2014
from CNET:
Microsoft aims to be greener and drops ALEC membership
Microsoft announced Tuesday that it's cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative public-policy lobbying group. It appears this decision was made due to ALEC's lobbing efforts to block the development of renewable energy. Microsoft had previously been a member of ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force. In a statement, the company said it has halted all participation in this group.... Microsoft's decision comes on the heels of other major corporations dropping membership with ALEC, including Coca-Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Proctor & Gamble. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates stopped financially supporting ALEC in 2012. ...


Poor little ALEC, soon he'll be all alone.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 19, 2014
from Rodale News, via TruthOut:
New GMO Poised for Approval Despite Public Outcry
Despite its own admission that it will cause an up to sevenfold increase in chemical pesticide use, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is poised to approve a new type of genetically engineered seed built to resist one of the most toxic weedkillers on the market. Now, total approval hinges on the Environmental Protection Agency. If that federal body approves the new GMO, farmers will be free to plant corn and soy seeds genetically manipulated to live through sprayings of Dow's "Enlist Duo" herbicide, a chemical cocktail containing both glyphosate and the antiquated, toxic chemical 2,4-D. Ironically, in the 1990s, chemical companies said the development of GMOs would eliminate the need to use older, more dangerous chemicals like 2,4-D. But as GMO use ramped up over the last few decades, chemical use increased, and many weeds are no longer responding to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup and the current chemical of choice for GMO farmers. This has created a "superweed" crisis, resulting in millions of acres of U.S. fields' being infested with hard-to-kill weeds. ...


2,4-D and RoundUp? Nature doesn't stand a chance!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 30, 2014
from Climate Progress:
Legislators, Corporations Gather For Secret Meeting Against Clean Energy And You're Not Invited
...Going into their annual meeting in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, ALEC -- the secretive organization that brings together conservative politicians and major corporate interests -- is looking to recalibrate their approach to repealing or obstructing a range of clean energy initiatives after a year of state-level defeats. The 40-year-old group, which has been pushing a corporate-backed, free market-driven agenda for decades, is beholden to a number of utilities and fossil fuel companies that bankroll them and they are expected to show results. At the same time, with renewable energy gaining momentum across the country and homeowners increasingly eager to get in on the rapid growth and falling prices, ALEC risks alienating itself from the public yet again. ...


You dirty rats.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 13, 2014
from Mother Jones:
Don't Call Them "Climate Deniers." Call them "Climate Optimists."
Las Vegas is parched. A 14-year drought has left Lake Mead, the local water source, dangerously low. It has dropped 100 feet in the past decade. If it drops 12 more feet, federal water rationing rules will kick in. Some climate scientists predict that will happen in the next year. And most believe the situation will only worsen over time. The view from inside Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, however, is considerably rosier. That's where scientists, activists, and bloggers have assembled this week for the Heartland Institute's 9th International Conference on Climate Change, which I've been following via live stream. It's the world's largest gathering of "climate skeptics"--people who believe, for one reason or another, that the climate change crisis is overblown.... ...


or call them "Wishfully Thinking Mass Murderers."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 8, 2014
from Reuters, via HuffingtonPost:
Pope Francis Calls Exploitation Of Nature The Sin Of Our Time
"This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation," he told students, struggling farmers, and laid-off workers in a university hall. "When I look at America, also my own homeland (South America), so many forests, all cut, that have become land ... that can longer give life. This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to her give us what she has within her," the Argentine pope said in unprepared remarks. Francis, who took his name from Francis of Assisi, the 13th century saint seen as the patron of animals and the environment, is writing an encyclical on man's relationship with nature. ...


You mean God didn't place us on the earth to use it up as fast as possible?

ApocaDoc
permalink


Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Fri, Jun 6, 2014
from The Tyee:
Canada's 500,000 Leaky Energy Wells: 'Threat to Public' -- Fracking Makes It Worse
Alberta, for example, has failed to collect baseline data on the state of its groundwater resources prior to and after intense oil and gas activity for decades despite repeated warnings by scientists to do so. In recent years the increasing use of hydraulic fracturing has had the effect of drawing a red circle around the hidden liability of wellbore leakage. Fracking has not only added more wellbores (and methane pathways) to the landscape in the rush to develop difficult hydrocarbons trapped in shale rock and coal but added more pressure and stress to wellbores causing more leaks. The Waterloo report, quietly released last month, notes that the fluid injection of steam, water, sand or chemicals to force out more hydrocarbons "elevates the mechanical and thermal loading on wellbores, and significantly increases the probability of leakage problem development during the operational lifetime of the wellbore, before final abandonment." ...


This looks surprisingly like cause, followed inevitably by effect. How crazy is that?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 9, 2014
from Harvard, via The Guardian:
Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds
The mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insectcide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world's most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear. "We demonstrated that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering 'colony collapse disorder' in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter," said Chensheng Lu, an expert on environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health and who led the work. ...


Five out of ten scientists recommend Chesterfield neonicotinoids.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 17, 2014
from Bloomberg News:
Koch Brothers Net Worth Tops $100 Billion as TV Warfare Escalates
Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries Inc., added $1.3 billion to their collective fortune yesterday on reports that U.S. industrial production gained more than forecast. The surge elevated their net worth to more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Koch's ascent comes as Freedom Partners, one of their fundraising networks, last week aired its first batch of television ads targeted at this year's U.S. Senate races... ...


Some rich folks use their money to help people; others use it to destroy the planet.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 1, 2014
from Associated Press:
Exxon: Highly unlikely world limits fossil fuels
On the same day the world's scientists issued their latest report on climate change and the risks it poses to society, the nation's biggest oil and gas company said the world's climate policies are "highly unlikely" to stop it from selling fossil fuels far into the future.... it concludes that because oil and gas are so critical to global development and economic growth, governments are "highly unlikely" to adopt policies that cut emissions so sharply that fossil fuel consumption would be severely restricted. ...


We can only conclude that "governments" and oil and gas companies are the same entity.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 10, 2014
from Indianapolis Star:
Environmental groups seek probe of Duke plant
...In a motion filed Thursday with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, the groups say the plant has been beset by failures and outages that have cut deeply into its ability to generate electricity, even as customers continue to pay for construction and repairs on their monthly electric bills. The plant, in southwestern Indiana, generated only 4 percent of its maximum capacity in January. From June to December, it generated an average of 37 percent of maximum capacity. A typical household using about 1,000 kilowatt hours a month is now being charged $12.67 per month by Duke for costs related to the plant. ...


On the bright side, they got new vending machines at the plant.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 10, 2014
from McClatchy:
Duke Energy would charge customers for moving coal ash in N.C.
As public pressure builds to dig up coal ash from waste lagoons in North Carolina, Duke Energy is facing a big cleanup bill that the electric utility has been trying to dodge... Duke chief executive Lynn Good said Friday that Duke would seek to recover the cost through customer rates. Billing Duke's customers for such an extensive cleanup operation would require approval from the N.C. Utilities Commission. Critics of Duke's coal-ash storage practices say that customers should be spared and that instead the cost should be borne by Duke and its investors. ...


Where's the Tea Party when you need 'em?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 27, 2014
from E&E Publishing:
GAO set to probe State's environmental review -- lawmaker
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) requested an independent audit today of the State Department's environmental review system for projects such as Keystone XL, his latest step to protest the Obama administration's handling of the controversial oil sands crude pipeline... At issue for Grijalva and many green groups fighting KXL is the selection of Environmental Resources Management, the private contractor hired to craft the final EIS for the pipeline that State released last month. ERM is a member of the American Petroleum Institute and used a senior employee on the KXL review who had previously worked for project sponsor TransCanada Corp., among other industry ties that led environmentalists to deem invalid the firm's claim to no financial conflicts that it made before winning the pipeline job. ...


That pipeline is filled with money... for just a few lucky, well-connected dudes.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Nov 9, 2013
from Globe and Mail:
Oil industry successfully lobbied Ottawa to delay climate regulations, e-mails show
In e-mails the Alberta government released under Access to Information, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers warns against the province's proposal that oil-sands companies be forced to gradually cut emissions per barrel by 40 per cent, and pay a $40 levy for every tonne in excess their target. That would add $1 to the cost of producing every barrel.... Greenpeace Canada researcher Keith Stewart questioned CAPP's insistence that a $1-per-barrel carbon tax would seriously undermine the oil sands' competitiveness. He noted that, in the debate over the Keystone XL project, the industry has said approval of the pipeline would not affect investment or production levels in the oil sands because companies would turn to rail to move crude, which would cost $5 more per barrel. "The industry in these documents is clearly saying delay, delay, delay and then do as little as possible," Mr. Stewart said on Friday. "And the federal government seems to be taking that as marching orders." ...


Delaying the inevitable regulatory response to climate catastrophe is an investment in the present.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 5, 2013
from USA Today:
Could fracking boom peter out sooner than DOE expects?
Surging oil and gas production is nudging the nation closer to energy independence. But new research suggests the boom could peter out long before the United States reaches this decades-old goal. Many wells behind the energy gush are quickly losing productivity, and some areas could hit peak levels sooner than the U.S. government expects, according to analyses presented last week at a Geological Society of America meeting in Denver. ...


E'en the sun herself / will someday extinguish her / beatific rays

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 4, 2013
from Al Jazeera:
Toxicologists 'predicted with certainty' that Gulf of Mexico residents and clean-up workers would become severely ill post-BP.
"After sea kayaking after BP's spill happened, I was sitting at my desk and started coughing up loads of blood," Frizzell, an avid outdoorsman, told Al Jazeera. "My doctor ran a scope down to the top of my lungs and said my bronchi were full of blood." Frizzell's medical records bear out that he was exposed to toxic chemicals, and he is far from alone. Since the spill began in April 2010, Al Jazeera has interviewed hundreds of coastal residents, fishermen, and oil cleanup workers whose medical records, like Frizzell's, document toxic chemical exposure that they blame on BP's oil and the toxic chemical dispersants the oil giant used on the spill.... "BP told the public that Corexit was 'as harmless as Dawn dishwashing liquid'," Dr Susan Shaw, of the State University of New York, told Al Jazeera. "But BP and the EPA clearly knew about the toxicity of the Corexit dispersants long before this spill."... "The combination of crude oil and Corexit is exponentially more toxic than either alone, since they contain many ingredients that target the same organs in the body."... "People across four states expressed concern that these headache-dizziness-nausea-respiratory problems-blood disorders-skin lesions were different than anything they'd experienced before, and far more intense." Ott said that people she is seeing along the roughly 900km impact zone are all consistently describing these same symptoms of exposure to chemicals in the oil and dispersants. ...


We had no choice: Lie, or create public panic. We chose stability.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 31, 2013
from Center for Public Integrity:
Coal industry's go-to law firm withheld evidence of black lung, at expense of sick miners
...Jackson Kelly, with offices throughout Appalachia, as well as in Denver and Washington, D.C., defends companies accused of polluting the environment, marketing dangerous drugs or discriminating against workers. It helps corporations avoid regulations, drafts bills and lobbies legislators. Its bailiwick, though, is mining. U.S. News & World Report recently named it the nation's top firm in mining law. Jackson Kelly's name is on the lips of clinic workers, miners and lawyers throughout Appalachia and is emblazoned atop an office overlooking the Monongahela River in Morgantown, W.Va. Now, with government scientists documenting a resurgence of black lung disease, the firm's legal strategy -- including, the Center for Public Integrity found, a record of withholding evidence -- could have significant consequences for sick miners and their families. ...


Coal is cheap and so, apparently, is human life.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 28, 2013
from Associated Press:
ND spills went unreported; state testing website
North Dakota, the nation's No. 2 oil producer behind Texas, recorded nearly 300 oil pipeline spills in less than two years, state documents show. None was reported to the public, officials said. According to records obtained by The Associated Press, the pipeline spills -- many of them small -- are among some 750 "oil field incidents" that have occurred since January 2012 without public notification.... Dennis Fewless, director of water quality for the state Health Department, said regulators are reviewing the state's policies for when to publicly report such incidents after a massive spill was discovered last month in northwestern North Dakota by a wheat farmer. State and company officials kept it quiet for 11 days -- and only said something after the AP asked about it. ...


God hath given Man the Earth to Shitteth Upon.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 23, 2013
from Al Jazeera:
Gulf ecosystem in crisis after BP spill
Hundreds of kilograms of oily debris on beaches, declining seafood catches, and other troubling signs point towards an ecosystem in crisis in the wake of BP's 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. "It's disturbing what we're seeing," Louisiana Oyster Task Force member Brad Robin told Al Jazeera. "We don't have any more baby crabs, which is a bad sign. We're seeing things we've never seen before." Robin, a commercial oyster fisherman who is also a member of the Louisiana Government Advisory Board, said that of the sea ground where he has harvested oysters in the past, only 30 percent of it is productive now.... Louisiana's Republican Governor Bobby Jindal ... recently said, "Three and a half years later, BP is spending more money - I want you to hear this - they are spending more money on television commercials than they have on actually restoring the natural resources they impacted." ...


That may explain why, when I see oily beach debris, I think of puppies.

ApocaDoc
permalink


You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Wed, Oct 23, 2013
from Huffington Post:
BP Oil Refinery Waste Stored At Koch Brothers-Owned Site Polluting Nearby Chicago Neighborhoods
Residents in several lower-income Chicago neighborhoods say a dirty oil byproduct from a nearby BP refinery is creating environmental and health hazards -- and no one is doing enough to stop it. "Us little people, we're not millionaires, we're working stiffs," East Side resident Frank Caporale, a Chicago garbage truck driver, told the Sun-Times. "We are being overcome by a super company that we don't have a say in, whether we want it here or not. It's like it came and we're stuck with it." Dust from petroleum coke or "petrocoke" is produced at the nearby BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. but the oil byproduct is stored in Chicago shipping yards on the city's South Side. ...


Beware the PetroKoch.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 7, 2013
from Los Angeles Times:
Company fires scientist who warned of Hanford waste site problems
When senior scientist Walter Tamosaitis warned in 2011 about fundamental design flaws at the nation's largest facility to treat radioactive waste in Hanford, Wash., he was assigned to work in a basement room without office furniture or a telephone. On Wednesday, Tamosaitis, an employee of San Francisco-based URS Corp., was laid off from his job after 44 years with the company... The Hanford site is the nation's most contaminated property, holding 56 million gallons of highly radioactive sludge in underground tanks, some of which are leaking. The complex sits on a plateau above the Columbia River, which could be threatened if the cleanup fails to contain the tank waste. ...


Thank goodness he didn't complain about the toilet seat being left up!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 18, 2013
from Agence France-Press:
Ecuador's Correa calls for Chevron boycott
Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa called Tuesday for a global boycott of Chevron, as part of a campaign to highlight Amazon pollution that Quito has attributed to the US oil giant. Chevron has never worked directly in Ecuador but inherited a pollution lawsuit when it acquired Texaco in 2001, and has yet to pay an associated $19 billion fine. "This is one of the biggest environmental disasters in the world," Correa said as he launched the campaign in the town of Aguarico, in the north Amazonian province of Sucumbios, where Texaco operated between 1964 and 1990. "The tools that we will use to fight Chevron are the truth and a call for solidarity of citizens of the world to not buy Chevron products," he said. ...


We citizens of the world have to get started somewhere.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 16, 2013
from InsideClimate News:
Americans Finding Themselves Powerless to Stop Pipeline Companies From Taking Their Land
...Michigan, like almost every other state that is crisscrossed by oil pipelines, does not stipulate how much space should separate pipelines from houses. The state's Public Service Commission asks only that pipelines be "designed and routed in a reasonable manner."... A section of the new line already has been installed about 7 feet from Marty Burke's house in Howell, Mich. -- so close that Enbridge used a special process to make sure his foundation didn't collapse. "At every level of government I contacted, they all said they had no regulations or no authority to do anything," Burke said. ...


Maybe he could hang his laundry on it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 9, 2013
from Huffington Post:
EPA Quietly Withdraws Two Proposed Chemical Safety Rules
The Environmental Protection Agency this week quietly withdrew two draft rules dealing with the regulation of chemicals. The potential rules were in limbo at the Office of Management for several years. One of the rules was a proposal to add Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical included in many water bottles and other plastic products that has been linked to a number of potential health concerns, to the list of "chemicals of concern" that would be subject to more scrutiny. The EPA also proposed listing eight different types of phthalates, another group of chemicals often used in plastic products, and several types of flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).... A second rule that EPA withdrew would have forced companies to disclose to the public the chemicals used in products and the health and safety studies the companies have conducted on those chemicals -- much of which companies have been allowed to protect as "confidential business information." ...


So much for the "protection" promised by the EPA.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 4, 2013
from Huffington Post:
'War On Coal' Campaign Against Obama Has Failed, Coal Lobby Concedes
The leading lobbying group for coal companies has acknowledged that the industry's relentless "War on Coal" mantra used to attack the Obama administration has been a failure politically. In a screed against alleged regulatory overreach by federal judges in Washington, Luke Popovich, spokesman for the National Mining Association, writes that the "War on Coal" refrain used to criticize environmental regulation simply failed to resonate with voters during 2012. ...


Perhaps it failed because it's coal we should be at war against!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 4, 2013
from PR Watch:
More Corporations Drop Off ALEC's Conference Brochure
An examination of the promotional brochure for the Chicago meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) reveals that the meeting -- where corporate lobbyists secretly vote as equals with legislators on model bills at ALEC task force meetings -- has fewer corporate sponsors willing to tell the public they bankroll ALEC's operations. This news comes in the aftermath of 48 corporations and six non-profits leaving ALEC after the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) connected the dots between "Stand Your Ground" legislation and ALEC, and coalition of organizations pressed for corporations to stop funding ALEC.... Only Reynolds American, the global purveyor of cancer-causing cigarettes, was willing to be listed as ALEC's top sponsor. ...


Big tobacco has nothing to be embarrassed about.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Sep 3, 2013
from AP, via HuffingtonPost:
Fukushima Disaster: Japan To Build Costly Subterranean Ice Wall To Stop Nuclear Reactor Leaks
The Japanese government announced Tuesday that it will spend $470 million on a subterranean ice wall and other steps in a desperate bid to stop leaks of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear station after repeated failures by the plant's operator. The decision is widely seen as an attempt to show that the nuclear accident won't be a safety concern just days before the International Olympic Committee chooses between Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid as the host of the 2020 Olympics.... The ice wall would freeze the ground to a depth of up to 30 meters (100 feet) through an electrical system of thin pipes carrying a coolant as cold as minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit). That would block contaminated water from escaping the facility's immediate surroundings, as well as keep underground water from entering the reactor and turbine buildings, where much of the radioactive water has collected.... With anti-government demonstrations plaguing Istanbul, Turkey's bid and a recession and high Spanish unemployment hanging over Madrid's candidacy, Tokyo is pushing its bid as the safe choice in uncertain times. ...


It's sad when "a safe choice in uncertain times" means "160 miles from our Acme Sure-Fire Death Ray Protection System."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Aug 22, 2013
from The Vancouver Sun:
Nestle's extraction of groundwater near Hope riles First Nations
First Nations chiefs are calling on the province to start protecting their interests, claiming Nestle Waters Canada extracted millions of litres of groundwater, for free, from their traditional territory without consultation or compensation....The Chawathil First Nation is laying claim to 265 million litres of water Nestle takes every year from a well in their traditional territory in Hope. They're backed by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, which is broadening the claim to get the province to consult with First Nations about water in B.C. ...


First Nations = thirst nations.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 13, 2013
from Midwest Energy News:
Q&A: ALEC's new tactics to weaken renewable laws
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) continued its assault on state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) during its 40th annual conference in Chicago earlier this month, with members voting on model legislation that could limit the power of the laws to spark new clean energy construction. Though bills meant to revoke or undercut renewable standards in numerous states failed last session, clean energy advocates say the model Market Power Renewables Act and the Renewable Energy Credit Act proposed by ALEC's energy task force during the conference pose a fresh threat. The Market Power Renewables Act argues for a "voluntary market" that would allow people to invest in renewable energy if they choose without instituting mandates... ...


The only thing "voluntary" the fossil fuel industry does is voluntarily ruin the earth.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jul 27, 2013
from New York Times:
Power companies wake to 'existential threat'
For years, power companies have watched warily as solar panels have sprouted across the nation's rooftops. Now, in almost panicked tones, they are fighting hard to slow the spread. Alarmed by what they say has become an existential threat to their business, utility companies are moving to roll back government incentives aimed at promoting solar energy and other renewable sources of power. At stake, the companies say, is nothing less than the future of the American electricity industry. ...


Beware any entity fighting for its very life.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 15, 2013
from OccupyMonsanto:
Monsanto Patent Rejected by Indian Government and Rejection Upheld, Saving Small Farmers
On 5th July, Hon Justice Prabha Sridevi, Chair of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board of India, and Hon Shri DPS Parmar, technical member, dismissed Monsanto's appeal against the rejection of their patent application to the Patent office for "Methods of Enhancing Stress Tolerance in plants and methods thereof." The title of the patent was later amended to "A method of producing a transgenic plant, with increasing heat tolerance, salt tolerance or drought tolerance".... 270,000 farmers in India have committed suicide in India in the last decade and a half. Most of these suicides are in the cotton belt. Monsanto now controls 95 percent of the cotton seed supply through its GMO Bt cotton, and the associated Intellectual property claims. Costs of cotton seed jumped 8000 percent with the introduction of Bt cotton. In defining seed as their creation and invention, corporations like Monsanto shaped the Global Intellectual Property and Patent Laws so that they could prevent farmers from seed saving and sharing and force them into dependence on their patented GMO seeds. This is how the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement of the World Trade Organization was born. ...


8,000 percent seems pretty reasonable to me.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 14, 2013
from Guardian:
Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks
But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis - or all three. Just last month, unilateral changes to US military laws formally granted the Pentagon extraordinary powers to intervene in a domestic "emergency" or "civil disturbance": "Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances." ...


Aren't we already Occupying the world?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 3, 2013
from Bloomberg:
TransCanada CEO says Keystone aids jobs and environment
TransCanada Corp. (TRP)'s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline would benefit U.S. employment and support efforts to tackle climate change, according to the company's Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling. ...


And smoking is good for you, too!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 29, 2013
from State Impact:
Gas Industry Building Database Of Water Test Results, But Won't Make It Public
More than two years ago the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a gas industry trade group, began building an electronic database to house information about the water quality in thousands of private wells across Pennsylvania. It's made up of "pre-drill" or baseline data critical information that helps establish whether drilling operations may have caused water contamination issues. The project is already up and running, but there are no plans to make it public. ...


Don't you worry your pretty little head!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 29, 2013
from Kansas City Star:
Wal-Mart pleads guilty in case involving pesticides sent to Missouri contractor
Retailer Wal-Mart resolved years of hazardous-waste complaints Tuesday with criminal guilty pleas in Missouri and California and the settlement of a civil lawsuit filed by federal environmental authorities. The day's admissions cost the company about $81.6 million in fines and penalties, an amount that the company said would "not be material to its financial position." ...


Chump change

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 25, 2013
from Tom Englehardt:
Terracide: The Biggest Criminal Enterprise in History
We have a word for the conscious slaughter of a racial or ethnic group: genocide. And one for the conscious destruction of aspects of the environment: ecocide. But we don't have a word for the conscious act of destroying the planet we live on, the world as humanity had known it until, historically speaking, late last night. A possibility might be "terracide" from the Latin word for earth. It has the right ring, given its similarity to the commonplace danger word of our era: terrorist.... And yes, when it comes to terror attacks, the Boston Marathon bombings weren't pretty either. But in both cases, those who committed the acts paid for or will pay for their crimes. In the case of the terrarists -- and here I'm referring in particular to the men who run what may be the most profitable corporations on the planet, giant energy companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Shell -- you're the one who's going to pay, especially your children and grandchildren. You can take one thing for granted: not a single terrarist will ever go to jail, and yet they certainly knew what they were doing. ...


Terrarism in the name of the Profit is still a crime.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 22, 2013
from Columbus Dispatch:
Consumers could pay to clean up old natural-gas plants
Natural-gas utilities want to change the law to make clear that consumers rather than shareholders can be charged cleanup costs for about 90 abandoned natural-gas plants in the state, according to an amendment that might get tucked into the state budget. Some of the gas plants date to the 1800s, when communities used coal and other fuels to manufacture natural gas for use in lighting. The plants have all shut down, leaving polluted sites that have largely been absorbed by the state's major utilities. ...


The customer is always screwed.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 9, 2013
from Maclean's:
When Science Goes Silent
... It's just one of many such stories of muzzled federal scientists and suppressed research that are being brought to the union's attention, he says. All against the backdrop of sweeping cuts to water, air and wildlife monitoring programs, a total restructuring of federal environmental reviews, and the downloading of responsibility for lakes and rivers to the provinces. "It's almost like this government doesn't want any of this stuff to be open to public discussion," says the union leader. "What we're seeing is a total lockdown." Since taking power in 2006, Stephen Harper's government has rarely been caught on the wrong foot. Disciplined on the hustings, in the House, and above all with the media, Tory ministers and MPs have largely avoided the gaffes and unvarnished opinions that used to plague the conservative movement. But to many of its critics, Ottawa's obsession with controlling the message has become so all-encompassing that it now threatens both the health of Canada's democracy and the country's reputation abroad.... Current policy doesn't just seek to dampen the odd controversial story, it passes every bit of information through a political filter from which almost nothing emerges. "All the government scientists I know tell me that it's never been worse," says Hutchings. "It's like an Iron Curtain has been drawn across the communication of science in this country. And I think there's reason for all of us to be worried about that." ...


Can we create glasnost fast enough for a kinder, gentler perestroika?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 8, 2013
from CBCNews:
Enbridge breaks safety rules at pipeline pump stations across Canada
The biggest oil and gas pipeline company in Canada is breaking National Energy Board safety rules at 117 of its 125 pump stations across the country, but Enbridge says it's not to blame. Enbridge was ordered by the Canadian energy regulator to disclose whether or not it had backup power to operate emergency shut-down systems in the facilities that keep oil flowing through its pipes. The company told the NEB only eight of its pump stations complied with the board's backup power system regulation. On top of that, Enbridge disclosed that 83 of its pump stations were missing emergency shut-down buttons. ...


I'm not to blame for anything!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 28, 2013
from CNN:
Empty nets in Louisiana three years after the spill
There used to be two or three people working with him; now he's alone. The catch that's coming in is light, particularly for crabs. "Guys running five or six hundred traps are coming in with two to three boxes, if that," said Stander, 26.... "My fellow fishermen who fish crab and who fish fish, they're feeling the same thing," Barisich said. "You get a spike in production every now and then, but overall, it's off. Everybody's down. Everywhere there was dispersed oil and heavily oiled, the production is down."... "Things's changing, and we don't know what's happening yet," said oysterman Byron Encalade. ...


I didn't know Bob Dylan was an oysterman!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 16, 2013
from Public Citizen:
New Report Finds: Keystone XL Would Increase Gas Prices and Reduce National Security
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is likely to increase gas prices contradicting claims by pipeline proponents, a new Public Citizen report finds. Public Citizen also concluded that because the Keystone pipeline is designed to promote exports from Canadian tar sands, it will reduce national energy security -- not bolster it, as pipeline backers claim. The report, America Can't Afford the Keystone Pipeline, documents rapidly increasing Chinese national government interests in Canadian tar sands, further confounding security claims. ...


Helloooo. Keystone is supposed to benefit the rich and politicians they support.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 10, 2013
from Toronto Star:
Comment on changes to Enbridge's Toronto pipeline now requires NEB permission
oronto area residents -- or any others -- who want to comment on plans by Enbridge to revamp its oil pipeline through Greater Toronto must ask permission to write a letter to Canada's pipeline regulator. Permission won't necessarily be granted. And the 10-page application for would-be letter writers has some cryptic hurdles to jump... ...


To Whom It May Concern...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 9, 2013
from Planet Ark:
Greens ask U.S. to delay Keystone decision after Arkansas leak
Environmental groups on Monday asked the Obama administration to extend the approval process of the Keystone XL pipeline, using last month's spill of heavy Canadian crude oil in Arkansas as their latest reason to delay the project. The Obama administration is deciding whether to approve the Canada-to-Nebraska leg of TransCanada Corp's proposed pipeline, which would link Canada's oil sands, the world's third richest crude oil deposit, to refineries in Texas. The State Department, which issued a draft environmental assessment of the $5.3 billion project on March 1, indicated then that a final decision could come by July or August. ...


Remember the Mayflower!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 5, 2013
from Treehugger:
Exxon won't pay into cleanup fund because oil spilled in Arkansas isn't "oil"
Despite spilling tens, if not hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil and chemicals into an Arkansas neighborhood, thanks to a loophole in a law from 1980, ExxonMobil will not be paying into a federal oil spill cleanup fund because the oil they spilled is not the right type of oil. It is a twisted example of the legal technicalities and lax regulations that all too often favor oil companies, but a coalition of environmental groups are working to close the loophole. ...


Nor do I pay for my methane releases charmingly referred to as "farts."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 3, 2013
from InsideClimate News:
At Oil Spill Cleanup in Arkansas, Exxon Running the Show, Not Federal Agencies
...The town of 2,000 people is now suddenly the focus of national attention in the divisive debate over whether President Obama should approve the Keystone XL, a $5 billion pipeline to ship Alberta's heavy crude to U.S. refineries along the Texas coast. The stakes are high and Exxon is running the show here, with federal agencies so far publicly invisible. ...


They'd just get in the way.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 29, 2013
from USA Today:
Report: Most insurers not prepared for climate change
Most insurance companies do not have comprehensive strategies to cope with climate change despite mounting weather-related claims, says a report to be released Thursday. Of 184 companies surveyed, only 23 had such strategies, and 13 of those that did were foreign-owned, according to report by Ceres, a Boston-based non-profit that promotes eco-minded business practices. The report says the most prepared tend to be the largest companies with scientists on staff and those that insure property rather than life or health. Many companies "won't talk about climate change" and if they do, they use "hedged" language to avoid the controversial issue of whether it's man-made, says author Sharlene Leurig, senior manager of Ceres' insurance program. She says the issue is less politically divisive in Europe, where insurers are often better prepared. ...


Could be our weird weather these days might or might not have not a little something to do with stuff we might or might not be doing.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 25, 2013
from Associated Press:
Chevron fuel spill in Utah much worse than thought
A Chevron fuel spill near a northern Utah bird refuge is much worse than originally thought as up to 27,000 gallons might have leaked, authorities said. A split in a pipeline that runs from Salt Lake City to Spokane, Wash., is suspected of releasing diesel fuel into soil and marshes at Willard Bay State Park ... Initial reports pegged the spill at up to 6,000 gallons, and Chevron later revised that to some 8,100 gallons. ...


Just once could we read a story with the headline: Spill much better than thought?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Feb 26, 2013
from Associated Press:
High-stakes trial begins over 2010 Gulf oil spill
BP put profits ahead of safety and bears most of the blame for the disastrous 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a U.S. Justice Department attorney charged Monday at the opening of a trial that could result in the oil company and its partners being forced to pay tens of billions of dollars more in damages... Justice Department attorney Mike Underhill said the catastrophe resulted from BP's "culture of corporate recklessness." "The evidence will show that BP put profits before people, profits before safety and profits before the environment," Underhill said in opening statements. He added: "Despite BP's attempts to shift the blame to other parties, by far the primary fault for this disaster belongs to BP." ...


Buggered by its quest for Profits.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 25, 2013
from Grist:
Not-so-smart ALEC: How the lobbying group uses bad data to fight clean energy
Renewable energy is clean, sustainable, non-polluting, reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, improves the health of communities surrounding power plants, and protects the natural environment. Who could be against it? Answer: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a lobbying group that is active in drafting and advocating controversial state legislation.... ALEC wants to speed up the permitting process for mines, oil and gas wells, and power plants -- and to eliminate all state requirements for the use of renewable energy. The latter goal is packaged as the "Electricity Freedom Act.” ...


I hear ALEC is changing their name to Enhanced Volition for Independent Legislation (EVIL).

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 29, 2013
from Nature:
Minor oil spills are often bigger than reported
By analysing satellite images, oceanographers have found that small oil spills in the heavily drilled northern Gulf of Mexico are often much larger than reported. The researchers presented their results last week at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. ...


Another report from the Department of Duh.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jan 7, 2013
from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Green-power, low-energy users get brunt of utility rate increase
The sting of the We Energies rate increase that just went into effect will hurt most for those who use less energy and those who buy green power ... a We Energies customer who uses about half as much power as a typical customer will see bills jump by nearly 7 percent, whereas residential bills overall will rise by 5.6 percent, to about $90 a month. Meanwhile, the premium paid by We Energies' green-power customers went up 74 percent, according to the PSC. That means an average customer who's paying extra for green power will pay more than $104 a month for electricity, an increase of more than 11 percent from last year. ...


No good deed goes unpunished.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 20, 2012
from Mother Jones:
Major News Outlets Give Fossil-Fuel-Funded Think Tanks a Free Platform
The fossil fuel industry has long been a source of talking points and "studies" aimed at spreading doubt about climate change, and over the past few years, it has broadened its scope to undermine support for clean energy, as well. Often, this criticism is published in the form of articles in major media outlets -- penned by employees of think tanks who don't disclose their groups' industry funding, a new study finds. The Checks and Balances Project, a pro-clean-energy watchdog group, surveyed stories published over the past five years in 60 news outlets, including national and regional newspapers, the Associated Press, and Politico. Researchers found that only 6 percent of the stories disclosed the funding when they cited "experts" from those think tanks. Typically, the stories referred to the groups as "free-market" or "libertarian," without mentioning the dirty-energy support. ...


Just so you know, The ApocaDocs are funded by their own ApocaSweat.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 10, 2012
from NPR:
Conflicts, Errors Revealed In Positive Fracking Study
A report that shed favorable light on fracking is at the center of a controversy at the University of Texas ... The author of the study, Dr. Charles Groat, retired in the wake of the scathing review ... The original fracking study concluded that hydraulic fracturing was safe, the danger of water contamination low and suggestions to the contrary mostly media bias. But then it was reported this summer that Professor Groat sat on the board of a natural gas drilling company and received more than a million and a half dollars in compensation. That information was not disclosed in Groat's report. ...


We appear to have been fracked over by Prof. Groat.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 1, 2012
from Los Angeles Times:
Environmentalists oppose PG&E plans for undersea air blasts
Over objections of Central Coast residents and environmental groups, Pacific Gas & Electric plans to map earthquake fault zones near its Diablo Canyon nuclear plant by blasting high-decibel air cannons under the surface of the ocean. PG&E's plan calls for towing a quarter-mile-wide array of underwater "air cannons" that emit 250-decibel blasts into the ocean every 15 seconds for 12 straight days... What we're after with this survey is the geophysical equivalent of a CT scan -- a combination of imagery and information that we could slice and dice and scrutinize in great detail," said Jearl Strickland, director of nuclear projects for PG&E. "These kinds of surveys are being performed right now around the world with no problems." ...


Under the water... no one can hear you scream!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Sep 25, 2012
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Criminal investigation at Chevron refinery for Detoured Pollutants
Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of Chevron after discovering that the company detoured pollutants around monitoring equipment at its Richmond refinery for four years and burned them off into the atmosphere, in possible violation of a federal court order, The Chronicle has learned. Air quality officials say Chevron fashioned a pipe inside its refinery that routed hydrocarbon gases around monitoring equipment and allowed them to be burned off without officials knowing about it. Some of the gases escaped into the air, but because the company didn't record them, investigators have no way of being certain of the level of pollution exposure to thousands of people who live downwind from the plant.... "They were routing gas through that pipe to the flare that they were not monitoring," said Jack Broadbent.... ...


That's the beauty of self-policing!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 17, 2012
from Chemical & Engineering News:
Pesticides Firm Hit With Record Fine
Scotts Miracle-Gro will pay the largest criminal fine --$4 million--and the largest civil penalty--$6 million--ever assessed for violations of the federal pesticides law. A major producer of pesticides for lawn and garden use that also sells wild bird food, Scotts agreed to the fines as part of a criminal plea agreement in a federal court case and a civil settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. Both deals were finalized on Sept. 7. In the criminal case, court papers show that the company pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including creating phony pesticide registration documents... Scotts has admitted to having treated stored wild bird food with two insecticides not authorized for this use, including one labeled as toxic to birds, the court documents say. ...


An actual fine? It's a miracle!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Aug 19, 2012
from LA Times, via InsideClimateNews:
Keystone XL Construction Met with Protests in Texas, Oklahoma
The Canadian pipeline company TransCanada has quietly begun construction of the southern leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, installing segments near Livingston, Texas, company officials confirmed Thursday. "Construction started on Aug. 9. So we've now started construction in Texas," TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard told the Los Angeles Times. The southern section of the pipeline received government approval in July. The first in a series of protests also was launched Thursday as opponents of the pipeline, designed to eventually carry diluted bitumen from the tar sands of northern Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, unfurled protest banners at two equipment staging yards in Texas and Oklahoma. "We just wanted to demonstrate that although they might be ready to begin, we would be ready to meet them," Ron Seifert, spokesman for Tar Sands Blockade, said in an interview. ...


Surely there's no cause for protest, when the pipeline connects to nothing, right?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 29, 2012
from HuffingtonPost:
Koch-funded scientist Richard Muller: 'Humans Are Almost Entirely The Cause' Of Climate Change
"Humans are almost entirely the cause" of climate change, according to a scientist who once doubted that global warming even existed.... Muller wrote in an NYT op-ed that after exhaustive research, he believes that an increase of greenhouse gases can be closely linked to the rise in the earth's temperature.... Muller, a UCBerkeley professor, founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which receives substantial funding from GOP powerhouse donor Charles Koch. According to Greenpeace, the Koch brothers have given over $61 million to groups that deny the existence of climate change. ...


You'd think that $61,000,000 would buy a little more loyalty.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 4, 2012
from Center for Public Integrity:
OSHA rules on workplace toxics stalled
...The federal standard in place to protect workers like Revers from beryllium is based on an Atomic Energy Commission calculation crafted by an industrial hygienist and a physician in the back of a taxi in 1949. For the last 12 years, an effort to update that standard has been mired in delay. A plan to address another toxic hazard -- silica, a mineral that also damages the lungs -- has been tied up even longer: 15 years. ...


Stalled? More like paralyzed!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 1, 2012
from Edmonton Journal:
Don't consider native spirituality in mine review, Ottawa urged
A new federal environmental review panel "does not have any right to attribute significance to the spirituality of a place per se," Taseko Mines Ltd. president Russell Hallbauer wrote in a letter obtained under the Access to Information Act and provided to the Vancouver Sun by B.C. independent MLA Bob Simpson. Vancouver-based Taseko, which failed in its 2010 bid to get federal approval after a "scathing" federal review, also asked Ottawa to not permit aboriginal prayer ceremonies at pending hearings on the revised proposal. Children's plays should also be banned, Hallbauer said in his November letter. ...


This guy is the very definition of killjoy.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 24, 2012
from AP, via HuffingtonPost:
Ohio 'Pooling' Laws Allow Drilling Even Where Owners Object
Retired police officer Ed Hashbarger is watching in anger as drillers converge on his part of eastern Ohio, at times gaining access to coveted oil and gas deposits through a state law that can trump objections of individual property owners. The U.S. Army veteran contends the practice called mandatory pooling violates his constitutional rights, his Catholic faith -- which calls for safeguarding the environment -- and what his country stands for. "We do not defend the United States of America so the government can strip me of my rights to my land," said Hashbarger, who expects his land in Bloomingdale will soon be pooled as such deals engulf neighboring properties. "I'm furious over the whole thing." Mandatory pooling gives drillers the ability to overcome a landowner's objections to drilling on his property if enough neighbors have agreed to the well drilling. The resisting landowner is paid for the oil or gas taken.... He said the well has marred the air in his neighborhood, the view and quiet enjoyment of his property. He's now saddled with a ruling that he said appears to make him legally responsible for spills and other damage. Chodkiewicz said he felt he didn't have a chance before the state board that considers mandatory pooling requests, the Technical Advisory Council, because it is dominated by energy industry executives. ...


Oh, that's right: the corporate economy always evolves into corporate fascism.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 20, 2012
from UCS:
How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public's Expense
Corrupting the Science. Corporations suppress research, intimidate scientists, manipulate study designs, ghostwrite scientific articles, and selectively publish results that suit their interests. Shaping Public Perception. Private interests downplay evidence, exaggerate uncertainty, vilify scientists, hide behind front groups, and feed the media slanted news stories. Restricting Agency Effectiveness. Companies attack the science behind agency policy, hinder the regulatory process, corrupt advisory panels, exploit the "revolving door" between corporate and government employment, censor scientists, and withhold information from the public. Influencing Congress. By spending billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions, corporate interests gain undue access to members of Congress, encouraging them to challenge scientific consensus, delay action on critical problems, and shape the use of science in policy making. Exploiting Judicial Pathways. Corporate interests have expanded their influence on the judicial system, used the courts to undermine science, and exploited judicial processes to bully and silence scientists. ...


They missed "leaving a horse's head on someone's bed."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 19, 2012
from EcoWatch:
BP Covered Up Blow-out Two Years Prior to Deadly Deepwater Horizon Spill
Two years before the Deepwater Horizon blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP off-shore rig suffered a nearly identical blow-out, but BP concealed the first one from the U.S. regulators and Congress.... The witness, whose story is backed up by rig workers who were evacuated from BP's Caspian platform, said that had BP revealed the full story as required by industry practice, the eleven Gulf of Mexico workers "could have had a chance" of survival. But BP's insistence on using methods proven faulty sealed their fate. One cause of the blow-outs was the same in both cases: the use of a money-saving technique--plugging holes with "quick-dry" cement. By hiding the disastrous failure of its penny-pinching cement process in 2008, BP was able to continue to use the dangerous methods in the Gulf of Mexico--causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. April 20 marks the second anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster.... [This is an astonishing story. I was in Baku several times in the mid-90s, and it was a police state then, as it is now. The only industry bringing money into Azerbaijan is oil, and drastic measures like "disappearing" threats of any kind has become normalized, and the citizenry cowed.] ...


Our job is to enhance shareholder value by pinching everything else's pennies. Ain't that capitalism?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 18, 2012
from Al Jazeera:
Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists
"The fishermen have never seen anything like this," Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. "And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I've never seen anything like this either."... Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP's 2010 oil disaster. Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp - and interviewees' fingers point towards BP's oil pollution disaster as being the cause.... The dispersants are known to be mutagenic, a disturbing fact that could be evidenced in the seafood deformities. Shrimp, for example, have a life-cycle short enough that two to three generations have existed since BP's disaster began, giving the chemicals time to enter the genome. ...


Mutagenics just speed up natural evolution.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 18, 2012
from Charleston Gazette:
Special panel links C8 to kidney, testicular cancer
A team of experts revealed Monday that it has found a "probable link" between C8 and human cancers, rebuffing DuPont Co.'s longstanding contention that exposure to the chemical is harmless. The three-person C8 Science Panel said it is "more probable than not" that exposure to C8 put residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley at a greater risk of kidney and testicular cancers....In West Virginia, DuPont has used C8 since the 1950s as a processing agent to make Teflon and other nonstick products, oil-resistant paper packaging and stain-resistant textiles. ...


Let's hope this sticks!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 11, 2012
from Associated Press:
AZ House OKs secrecy for environmental reports
Mining companies and other businesses will be allowed to keep environmental studies secret, even if they detail possible pollution problems, under industry-backed legislation that gained final House approval Monday. Under the measure headed to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, environmental audits generally could not be used as evidence in civil cases. ...


A pox upon this House.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 10, 2012
from HazMat Management Magazine:
Important ruling on "fracking": HazMat Management
Just eight weeks before ExxonMobil's annual shareholder meeting, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sided with the company's investors in their battle to address concerns about the energy giant's hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") operations.... In response to the shareholder proposal, ExxonMobil argued to the SEC that it had substantially implemented the requests shareholders laid out in their resolution. However, deeper research revealed a large gap between information shareholders requested and what ExxonMobil disclosed. "ExxonMobil has provided fragmentary and incomplete information on some of the community concerns, does not disclose government enforcement actions as requested by the proposal, and has disclosed far too little analysis useful to investors on the short- and long- term risks posed by these developments," says As You Sow's attorney Sanford J. Lewis.... ExxonMobil asserted to the SEC that it had no hydraulic fracturing-related environmental violations. It made this claim by limiting reportable violations to activities detectable deep underground, ignoring impacts occurring near the surface. In fact, in Pennsylvania alone, 156 notices of violations related to natural gas extraction operations where fracking is underway were issued to ExxonMobil or its recently acquired subsidiary, XTO, between 2010 and 2011. ...


We tell all the truth that fits our business model. Something wrong with that?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 3, 2012
from Mother Jones:
America's Top 10 Most-Polluted Waterways
If you are a fly-fisher, a rafter, or heck, just a person who drinks water, here is some troubling news: Our waterways are in rough shape. An eye-opening new report (PDF) from Environment America Research and Policy Center finds that industry discharged 226 million pounds of toxic chemicals into America's rivers and streams in 2010. The pollution included dead-zone-producing nitrates from food processors, mercury and other heavy metals from steel plants, and toxic chemicals from various kinds of refineries. Within the overall waste, the researchers identified 1.5 million pounds of carcinogens, 626,000 pounds of chemicals linked to developmental disorders and 354,000 pounds of those associated with reproductive problems. ...


A (shitty) river runs through it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 30, 2012
from The Independent:
Up in smoke: ecological catastrophe in the Sumatran swamps
Fires raging unchecked in an Indonesian peat swamp forest could wipe out the remaining Sumatran orang-utans which live there, conservationists are warning. The forest is one of the last refuges of the great apes. The illegal fires, started by palm-oil companies clearing land to plant the lucrative crop, are believed to have killed at least 100 orang-utans -- one-third of those living in the Tripa swamp, on the west coast of Sumatra's Aceh province. The rest could die within weeks, according to Dr Ian Singleton, conservation director of the Sumatran Orang-utan Conservation Programme. "The speed of destruction has gone up dramatically in the last few weeks... This is obviously a deliberate drive by these companies to clear all the remaining forests," Dr Singleton said. "If this is not stopped right now, all those orang-utans... will be gone before the end of 2012." Only 6,600 Sumatran orang-utans are estimated to be left in the wild, and the Tripa swamp -- where they are most densely concentrated -- is considered crucial to the species' survival. But less than one-quarter of the peat forest remains; the rest has been converted to palm-oil plantations.... Satellite imagery showing 92 fires over the past week has horrified conservationists, who are awaiting a court ruling with far-reaching implications for the protection of wildlife habitats in Indonesia. ...


It'll grow back.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Feb 28, 2012
from The Denver Post:
Hickenlooper's spiel in oil, gas ad irks environmentalists
Environmental groups on Monday urged Gov. John Hickenlooper to yank ads paid for by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association in which he claims there has been no contamination of groundwater associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Hickenlooper's office declined to address that request, but COGA issued a statement saying it stands by "our Public Service Announcements." ...


This cozy relationship between government and business is fascistnating.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 27, 2012
from FOX News:
Al Gore's role in Apple's global warming policy questioned at shareholder event
Former Vice President Al Gore's positions on climate change came under fire at Apple's annual shareholders meeting on Thursday when a non-profit group accused Gore, an Apple board member, of using his position to influence Apple's public stand on global warming. Representatives of the conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research -- which holds shares in Apple -- said the consumer electronics giant's board should investigate whether Gore had influenced the company's decision in 2009 to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "We are concerned that Apple's policy on greenhouse gas regulations was developed to personally benefit a board member in violation of the Company's Business Conduct Policy," read the group's claim, emailed to shareholders prior to the meeting and labeled "Proposal No. 4." The group alleged that Gore's personal portfolio of energy and green-industry stocks stood to gain if the global warming policies he advocates become law. The proposal failed, having garnered a tiny fraction of stockholder votes. But Tom Borelli, director of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project, told FoxNews.com he stands by the proposal. ...


Think different.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 16, 2012
from 100 Reporters:
EPA Oversight: Weighing the Parts, Ignoring the Whole
Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives the green light for a score of agricultural chemicals to come to market. But the chemicals the EPA registers for use have little connection with the frequently more toxic substances sold by the millions of pounds to unsuspecting American consumers. Dr. Warren Porter, a professor of zoology and environmental toxicology at the University of Wisconsin, likens the EPA's process for registering chemicals to "bait and switch -- sales tactics. Pesticide makers win approval for specific active ingredients, and then mix those chemicals with a number of other ingredients. The result is a far different formulation that has bypassed government safety reviews and is then sold to the public. "It's like releasing molecular bulls in a china shop," Porter said. "Virtually no pesticide is registered by the EPA. The EPA only registers the active ingredient." ...


More like bullshit in a china shop!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 15, 2012
from Desmogblog:
DenialGate: Heartland Institute strategy, budget documents leaked
An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self "Heartland Insider" has released the Heartland Institute's budget, fundraising plan, its Climate Strategy for 2012 and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization. It is clear from the documents that Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and "other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies." Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation. Heartland also continues to collect money from Philip Morris parent company Altria as well as from the tobacco giant Reynolds American, while maintaining ongoing advocacy against policies related to smoking and health. ...


Maybe they'll see the light, and rename themselves Heaarthland Institute.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Feb 14, 2012
from Tom Philpott, Mother Jones:
Dow and Monsanto Team Up on the Mother of All Herbicide Marketing Plans
Last summer, Roundup-resistant superweeds flourished in huge swathes of US farmland, forcing farmers to apply gushers of toxic herbicide cocktails and even resort to hand-weeding--not a fun thing to do on a huge farm. A recent article in the industrial-ag trade journal Delta Farm Press summed up the situation: "Days of Easy Weed Control Are Over."... Dow's new herbicide-resistant product promises to bring those days back. In its petition to the USDA to approve 2,4-D-resistant corn, the company explicitly pitched it as the answer to farmers' Roundup trouble. The 2,4-D trait will be "stacked" with Monsanto's Roundup trait to "generate commercial hybrids with multiple herbicide tolerances," the petition states. Note that the new product marks a point of collusion, not competition, between industry titans Dow and Monsanto--they plan to license the 2,4-D and Roundup traits to each other to form "stacked" hybrids.... The authors note that even by Dow and Monsanto's reckoning, a new stacked 2,4-D/Roundup-resistant product would immediately lead to an increase in herbicide use, because the companies have been advocating an herbicide program that combines current rates of Roundup use with a roughly equal amounts of 2,4-D. That's good for sales, but not so good for the environment.... [T]he advocacy group Beyond Pesticides points to both epidemiological and lab-based evidence linking it non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other cancers. It's also an endocrine disruptor, Beyond Pesticides reports, meaning it can "interfere with the body's hormone messaging system and can alter many essential processes."... ...


Corpetition between frenemies can't end well for the rest of us.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Feb 12, 2012
from Globe and Mail:
Ottawa's new anti-terrorism strategy lists eco-extremists as threats
After vowing to take on radical environmentalists determined to stop the Northern Gateway pipeline, the Harper government has released a new anti-terrorism strategy that targets eco-extremists as threats. With his announcement this week, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has increased the concern among environmentalists that Ottawa regards them as implacable adversaries to be monitored and battled, rather than well-meaning advocates to be consulted.... The minister said that, in addition to foreign threats, the government would be vigilant against domestic extremism that is "based on grievances - real or perceived - revolving around the promotion of various causes such as animal rights, white supremacy, environmentalism and anti-capitalism." ...


Exactly what animal abusers, fascists, ecokillers, and corporatists want to hear!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Feb 7, 2012
from Washington Post:
Dead fish, health problems emerge as Chevron rig off Nigeria continues to burn after accident
The burning inferno of what used to be a Chevron Corp. natural gas rig still stains the night's sky orange more than two weeks after the rig caught fire, and no one can say when it will end as swarms of dead fish surface. The environmental damage is hitting a region whose poor still rely on the delta's muddy waters for survival. A nearby clinic remains overrun with patients who are showing up with skin irritations and gastrointestinal problems. "The community here has no other source of water apart from the river water, which on its own isn't even safe enough to drink, but the pollution has made the water even worse," said Dr. Oladipo Folorunso, the only doctor in the town of Ikebiri. Folorunso attributes the illnesses to the burning rig, as rising temperatures in water can cause bacteria to thrive. A satellite image showed that the fire at a point was at least 1,340 degrees Fahrenheit (nearly 730 degrees Celsius), "hot enough to soften steel," an independent watchdog group called SkyTruth said.... Chevron said last week that it was moving "food and supplies to the communities in the area to recognize the help and support that they have given us." A report by local watchdog Environmental Rights Action said the area -- home to tens of thousands of people -- received 50 bags of rice, 50 bags of cassava flour, one cow, vegetable oil, palm and groundnut oil, cartons of tomatoes and canned drinks.... ...


One cow is the start of a herd!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 6, 2012
from Center for Public Integrity:
Landmark diesel exhaust study stalled amid industry and congressional objections
Publication of a landmark government study probing whether diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in miners -- already 20 years in the making -- has been delayed by industry and congressional insistence on seeing study data and documents before the public does. A federal judge has affirmed the right of an industry group and a House committee to review the materials and has held the Department of Health and Human Services in contempt for not producing all of them. ...


This study is stalled... hopefully with the engine turned off!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 10, 2012
from Center for Public Integrity:
EPA's Toxics Release Inventory doesn't offer full picture of pollution
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled its analysis of the 2010 Toxics Release Inventory, a database containing information on the disposal or release of 650 potentially dangerous chemicals used by almost 21,000 facilities....But, as the EPA acknowledged, the database provides only a snapshot of the pollution produced by American industry. "Users of TRI data should be aware that 'it does not cover all toxic chemicals or all sectors of the U.S. economy,' the analysis warned. "Furthermore, the quantities of chemicals reported to TRI are self-reported by facilities and are often estimates." ...


That's Really Idiotic!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 29, 2011
from Slate:
What the Frack?
The recent press about the potential of shale gas would have you believe that America is now sitting on a 100-year supply of natural gas. It's a "game-changer." A "golden age of gas" awaits, one in which the United States will be energy independent, even exporting gas to the rest of the world, upending our current energy-importing situation. The data, however, tell a very different story. Between the demonstrable gas reserves, and the potential resources blared in the headlines, lies an enormous gulf of uncertainty.... Assuming that the United States continues to use about 24 tcf per annum, then, only an 11-year supply of natural gas is certain. The other 89 years' worth has not yet been shown to exist or to be recoverable. ...


Damn you, data!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 8, 2011
from Truthout:
Annie Leonard's The Story of Broke
...Wait a minute. Broke? I'm sending in my share of hard-earned cash every month and so are you! Now, what we've got to work with shrinks a lot thanks to corporate tax loopholes and unprecedented tax breaks for the richest 1 percent. But even after those, we've still got over a trillion dollars. So if we're broke, what's happening to all that money? I decided to look into it and it turns out this whole "broke" story hides a much bigger story -- a story of some really dumb choices being made for us -- but that actually work against us. The good news is that these are choices, and we can make different ones. ...


The revolution will be animated.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 7, 2011
from Pittsburg Post-Gazette:
Corporate funding of Marcellus Shale studies at universities raises alarms
As development of the Marcellus Shale spreads across Pennsylvania, Penn State University has taken a central role in doing research about the industry, from its economic impact to its geological properties. Some of the research is paid for by companies extracting the gas, according to petroleum geologists who do the work. But the state-related university, which took in $214 million in taxpayer funding last year, declined to say how much individual companies spend or what the money pays for. Universities welcome the money and say there's no impact on their research, but critics are concerned that the lack of transparency is dangerous to independence. ...


So that's what they mean by the trickle-down effect.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 7, 2011
from Center for Public Integrity:
Many Americans left behind in the quest for cleaner air
...Americans might expect the government to protect them from unsafe air. That hasn't happened. Insidious forms of toxic air pollution -- deemed so harmful to human health that a Democratic Congress and a Republican president sought to bring emissions under control more than two decades ago -- persist in hundreds of communities across the United States, an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News and NPR shows. Congress targeted nearly 200 chemicals in 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, which the first Bush administration promised would lead to sharp reductions in cancer, birth defects and other serious ailments. But the agencies that were supposed to protect the public instead have left millions of people from California to Maine exposed to known risks -- sometimes for years. ...


News flash... the government doesn't give a shit.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 11, 2011
from St. Petersburg Times:
Gov. Scott's wildlife appointee has history of environmental infractions
Gov. Rick Scott faced a choice. He had to fill a seat on the state's wildlife commission, and 20 people had applied. Two had previously served on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A third was president of an influential sportsman's group. Among the rest were a vice president of the Florida Wildlife Federation, the operator of an animal-rescue group and a former Humane Society investigator. Scott passed over those applicants to pick Charles W. "Chuck" Roberts III, a Panhandle paving contractor whose company has on several occasions run afoul of state environmental regulations. ...


Every henhouse should be watched by a fox.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 5, 2011
from InsideClimate News:
Koch Subsidiary Told Regulators It Has 'Direct and Substantial Interest' in Keystone XL
A document filed with Canada's Energy Board appears to cast doubt on claims by Koch Industries that it has no interest in the controversial pipeline. In recent months Koch Industries Inc., the business conglomerate run by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has repeatedly told a U.S. Congressional committee and the news media that the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline has "nothing to do with any of our businesses." But the company has told Canadian energy regulators a different story. In 2009, Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, an Alberta-based subsidiary of Koch Industries, applied for -- and won -- "intervenor status" in the National Energy Board hearings that led to Canada's 2010 approval of its 327-mile portion of the pipeline. The controversial project would carry heavy crude 1,700 miles from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. ...


It seems the Koch brothers are giving apoca-lip service on this issue.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 4, 2011
from London Guardian:
Shell oil paid Nigerian military to put down protests, court documents show
Shell has never denied that its oil operations have polluted large areas of the Niger Delta -- land and air. But it had resisted charges of complicity in human rights abuses. Court documents now reveal that in the 1990s Shell routinely worked with Nigeria's military and mobile police to suppress resistance to its oil activities, often from activists in Ogoniland, in the delta region. Confidential memos, faxes, witness statements and other documents, released in 2009, show the company regularly paid the military to stop the peaceful protest movement against the pollution, even helping to plan raids on villages suspected of opposing the company. According to Ogoni activists, several thousand people were killed in the 1990s and many more fled that wave of terror that took place in the 1990s. ...


I love my car toooooo much to believe this is possible.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 28, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Dan Rather: Bee Aware
And it's not just here in the United States. With losses being reported from all over Europe, the Middle East and some parts of Asia, the worldwide economic value of pollinators to agriculture, estimated to be over $200 billion dollars, is in the balance. So what's going on? One of the suspects, according to beekeepers and scientists, is relatively new on the market. Remember these words: systemic pesticides. Systemics work differently than any other pesticide.... Systemic pesticides have changed the game of insect control since they were introduced in the mid-90s. They have since become the fastest growing class of any insecticide in history, and among the most widely used in the world, now approved for use on three quarters of all U.S. farmland. Systemic pesticides have become popular because they're so effective. Since they are absorbed by the plant, either through seed treatment or spray, the whole plant becomes toxic to insects. That means they don't need to be reapplied like traditional pesticides, saving time, money and exposure to humans. But it also means that the chemicals get into the pollen and nectar. ...


Maybe that explains why my old compost piles look like my new ones.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 14, 2011
from Chemical & Engineering News:
Chemicals Of Concern
The White House is under pressure from two democratic senators to release a list of chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency says could endanger human health or the environment. This so-called chemicals of concern list would include eight phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and bisphenol A. The chemical industry has attempted to block release of EPA's proposed list over the past year. Congress granted EPA the authority to create such a list in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which was signed into law in 1976. But EPA hasn't attempted to use this authority until now. ...


If it endangers human health it endangers the environment -- and vice versa!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 5, 2011
from New York Times:
A Debate Arises on Job Creation and Environment
Do environmental regulations kill jobs? Republicans and business groups say yes, arguing that environmental protection is simply too expensive for a battered economy. They were quick to claim victory Friday after the Obama administration abandoned stricter ozone pollution standards. Many economists agree that regulation comes with undeniable costs that can affect workers. Factories may close because of the high cost of cleanup, or owners may relocate to countries with weaker regulations. ...


My job is to die prematurely due to toxic pollution.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Aug 21, 2011
from Huffington Post:
You're Appointing Who? Please Obama, Say It's Not So!
When FDA scientists were asked to weigh in on what was to become the most radical and potentially dangerous change in our food supply -- the introduction of genetically modified (GM) foods -- secret documents now reveal that the experts were very concerned. Memo after memo described toxins, new diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and hard-to-detect allergens. They were adamant that the technology carried "serious health hazards," and required careful, long-term research, including human studies, before any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could be safely released into the food supply. But the biotech industry had rigged the game so that neither science nor scientists would stand in their way. They had placed their own man in charge of FDA policy and he wasn't going to be swayed by feeble arguments related to food safety. No, he was going to do what corporations had done for decades to get past these types of pesky concerns. He was going to lie.... The determination of whether GM foods were safe to eat was placed entirely in the hands of the companies that made them -- companies like Monsanto, which told us that the PCBs, DDT, and Agent Orange were safe. GMOs were rushed onto our plates in 1996. Over the next nine years, multiple chronic illnesses in the US nearly doubled -- from 7 percent to 13 percent. Allergy-related emergency room visits doubled between 1997 and 2002 while food allergies, especially among children, skyrocketed. We also witnessed a dramatic rise in asthma, autism, obesity, diabetes, digestive disorders, and certain cancers.... That person is Michael Taylor. He had been Monsanto's attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto's vice president and chief lobbyist. This month Michael Taylor became the senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA. He is now America's food safety czar. What have we done? ...


Self-regulation by industry is so much cheaper than the alternative!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 16, 2011
from Agence France-Press:
Shell silent on North Sea oil pipeline leak
Royal Dutch Shell Plc was silent yesterday on the status of an oil leak of unspecified size in the North Sea and authorities said they had no information on whether the leak had been stemmed, provoking anger from environmentalists. The Anglo Dutch oil major said on Friday that it had discovered the leak from a flow line at its Gannet Alpha Platform and said then it was working to stem the flow. The company declined to comment yesterday. ...


Playing a little shell game, eh?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 9, 2011
from Politico:
New York Times vs. natural gas industry
The fight between The New York Times and the natural gas industry is going nuclear. A series of critical articles in the paper of record has the natural gas industry fuming as it struggles to persuade the public that hydraulic fracturing is a safe, clean, inexpensive and reliable way of securing the nation's energy supply for decades to come. The stories from reporter Ian Urbina have spurred federal investigators and caused falling stock prices. They've questioned the environmental impacts of gas drilling on drinking water as well as the economic health of the industry, casting doubt on rosy federal projections of gas's future and using anonymous quotes to compare the shale gas boom to Enron and the dot-com stock bubble. ...


Fracking sounds like a WMD to me.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 8, 2011
from AlterNet:
Do We Need a Militant Movement to Save the Planet (and Ourselves)?
A new book called Deep Green Resistance, by Aric McBay, Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen, says that we likely won't have enough people interested in saving the planet before we run out of time. So, they're calling for a change in strategy. You may know Jensen from his many books, including Endgame. McBay is the author of Peak Oil Survival: Preparing for Life After Gridcrash, and Keith is the author of The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. The three longtime activists have teamed up to offer a more radical approach to our environmental crisis.... Each day 200 species go extinct, Jensen writes in the preface. And if you can't wrap your head around that number, how about "90 percent of the large fish in the ocean are gone, there is ten times as much plastic as phytoplankton in the oceans, 97 percent of native forests are destroyed, 98 percent of native grasslands are destroyed..." and Jensen continues with the bad news from there.... And so how do we save the world (and along with it ourselves)? Well, naturally we take down industrial civilization, they say.... "Every cell in my body wants there to be a voluntary transition to a sustainable way of living, but I'm not going to base the future of the planet on that anymore than I am going to base it on unicorns jumping over the moon and farting pixie dust. It is just not going to happen. Those in power are insatiable. They are insane. They care more for increasing power and making money than life on the planet. I can't bear to live in a world being murdered, and I can't understand how anyone who even remotely considers themselves a living being can not oppose this with every bit of energy that they have, through whatever means are necessary to save life on the planet. I don't understand why it is even controversial to talk about dismantling industrial civilization when it has shown itself for 6,000 years to be destroying the planet and to be systemically committing genocide. I mean this is not even a new idea." ...


A strong eco-militancy may be the best defense.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Aug 7, 2011
from Grist:
The new normal: billion-dollar disasters
The National Climatic Data Center's (NCDC) latest "Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters" report finds the U.S. has racked up more mega-expensive natural disasters in 2011 than ever before. So far we've suffered more than five times the huge disasters typical at this time of year. Already damage costs have reached nearly $32 billion. Compare that to the first half of the average year -- prior to the onset of "big" hurricane season -- between 1980 and 2010, where disaster costs typically run $6 billion.... All told, the U.S. has suffered 99 weather-related disasters over the past 31 years, where overall damages and economic costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. The normalized losses (that is, the numbers adjusted for the GNP inflation index) add up to more than $725 billion for those 99 disasters. ...


Ain't much compared to the shareholder value the coal and oil companies have provided to the economy.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 1, 2011
from Vanity Fair:
Monsanto's Harvest of Fear
Gary Rinehart clearly remembers the summer day in 2002 when the stranger walked in and issued his threat. Rinehart was behind the counter of the Square Deal, his "old-time country store," as he calls it, on the fading town square of Eagleville, Missouri, a tiny farm community 100 miles north of Kansas City.... As Rinehart would recall, the man began verbally attacking him, saying he had proof that Rinehart had planted Monsanto's genetically modified (G.M.) soybeans in violation of the company's patent. Better come clean and settle with Monsanto, Rinehart says the man told him--or face the consequences. Rinehart was incredulous, listening to the words as puzzled customers and employees looked on. Like many others in rural America, Rinehart knew of Monsanto's fierce reputation for enforcing its patents and suing anyone who allegedly violated them. But Rinehart wasn't a farmer. He wasn't a seed dealer. He hadn't planted any seeds or sold any seeds. He owned a small--a really small--country store in a town of 350 people.... Rinehart says he can't remember the exact words, but they were to the effect of: "Monsanto is big. You can't win. We will get you. You will pay." Scenes like this are playing out in many parts of rural America these days as Monsanto goes after farmers, farmers' co-ops, seed dealers--anyone it suspects may have infringed its patents of genetically modified seeds. As interviews and reams of court documents reveal, Monsanto relies on a shadowy army of private investigators and agents in the American heartland to strike fear into farm country.... Farmers call them the "seed police" and use words such as "Gestapo" and "Mafia" to describe their tactics. ...


Other descriptors include "drug dealer" and "slave trader." Or maybe just "economic fascist."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 27, 2011
from London Guardian:
Sea Shepherd could be forced to sell Steve Irwin in bluefin dispute
The Sea Shepherd director has been convicted in absentia in Norway, spent 80 days in a Dutch prison, and has had the Japanese, Icelandic and Danish navies trying to arrest him for trying to defend whales, seals and fish. But now the animal rights and environmental activist Paul Watson faces the ignominy of having the flagship of his fleet, the Steve Irwin, sold by Scotland unless he raises nearly ÂŁ1m in the next two weeks. Watson, a co-founder of Greenpeace and the director of the Sea Shepherd conservation society based in California, was about to leave Lerwick in the Shetland isles en route for the Faroes last week when Maltese company Fish and Fish lodged a complaint against him in the Scottish courts over alleged damage sustained when Sea Shepherd freed hundreds of bluefin tuna from the company's nets in a a clash off the coast of Libya last year. The Steve Irwin was impounded by the court on 15 July and now the man described by the Japanese as a pirate has just days left to post a bond for ÂŁ860,000. ...


The Steve Irwin has been stung by the stingray of capitalism.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 25, 2011
from London Guardian:
WWF accused of failing to regulate sustainable timber scheme
Conservation group WWF let timber companies use its panda brand logo while they were razing some of the world's most biologically rich rainforests or trading in potentially illegally sourced timber, according to the investigative group Global Witness. The WWF's flagship Global forest and trade network (Gftn), which is part-subsidised by the US government and EU, promotes sustainable timber, bringing together more than 70 international logging companies and large numbers of timber sellers. The WWF says the 20-year-old scheme is now responsible for nearly 19 percent of forest products bought or sold internationally, with members' combined annual sales approaching $70bn (ÂŁ43bn). However, Global Witness's report, Pandering to the Loggers, claims Gftn's membership and participation rules are inadequate, allowing companies to systematically abuse the scheme. ...


World Wildlife F**ckers.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 19, 2011
from Reuters:
BP pipeline leaks oily mixture onto Alaskan tundra
BP reported yet another pipeline leak at its Alaskan oilfields, frustrating the oil giant's attempts to rebuild its reputation after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP said on Monday that a pipeline at its 30,000 barrel per day Lisburne field, which is currently closed for maintenance, ruptured during testing and spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water onto the tundra. The London-based company has a long history of oil spills at its Alaskan pipelines - accidents which have hurt its public image in the U.S., where around 40 percent of its assets are based. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said the spill occurred on Saturday and amounted to 2,100 to 4,200 gallons. ...


Aw hell, no worries, we're used to it, now!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 17, 2011
from Huffington Post:
'Talisman Terry' the Friendly Frackosaurus coloring book dropped
A natural gas drilling company says it's no longer distributing a children's coloring book featuring a hard hat-wearing dinosaur that's been criticized by a Massachusetts congressman and lampooned by Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert. Talisman Energy says "Talisman Terry's Energy Adventure" is no longer being distributed following a barrage of criticism. Critics called the coloring book's depiction of land before and after drilling overly rosy. The post-drilling image adds a rainbow and an eagle to the scene where the hydraulic fracturing drilling process took place. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey mocked the depiction of the "friendly Fracosaurus" in remarks last week on drilling safety. Colbert spoofed the book earlier this week. Spokeswoman Natalie Cox says the coloring book distributed in northeastern Pennsylvania has received more attention than it should have. ...


Those Yes-men are a hoot. No? Then, The Onion, surely.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 13, 2011
from LA Times:
WikiLeaks behind-the-scenes politics of oil pipeline from Canada
But a 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa suggests the scale may have already been tipped. The cable, obtained by WikiLeaks, describes the State Department's then-energy envoy, David Goldwyn, as having "alleviated" Canadian officials' concerns about getting their crude into the U.S. It also said he had instructed them in improving "oil sands messaging," including "increasing visibility and accessibility of more positive news stories." Goldwyn now works on Canadian oil sands issues at Sutherland, a Washington lobbying firm, and recently testified before Congress in favor of building the 36-inch underground pipeline, Keystone XL. Environmentalists and industry experts say the cable is among several examples from unguarded moments and public documents that signal the administration's willingness to push ahead with the controversial pipeline, even as its agencies conduct environmental and economic reviews.... Keystone XL would thread through the vast Ogallala aquifer, the main drinking water source for the U.S. Midwest. The Keystone I system has had a dozen leaks in the last year, stoking fears of a spill in the aquifer from the new pipeline. More environmental concerns arose this month after an ExxonMobil pipeline leaked up to 42,000 gallons into the Yellowstone River in Montana, under which Keystone XL would also run. Keystone XL's backers dismiss the environmental claims as overblown and contend that the oil industry is working hard in Alberta on land reclamation and reducing emissions. TransCanada has said that the Keystone I spills were small and easily cleaned up. Environmentalists remain skeptical. ...


Don't worry, partner. We'll put the "eh" in "right of w'eh" for ya.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 8, 2011
from Toronto Sun:
Study downplaying cellphone risks funded by manufacturers
OTTAWA - An international study which debunks research linking cellphones to cancer risks received major funding from wireless manufacturers. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radio frequency emitted by wireless devices as possibly carcinogenic, but a panel of international scientists recently published a study challenging these findings. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection - composed of scientists from Britain, the United States and Sweden - said evidence is mounting against the hypothesis cellphones may cause cancer despite the findings of IARC. But in the study's conflict of interest disclaimer, the panel acknowledged it received support from the wireless industry to conduct the research. ...


Investigative journalism is a luxury we can not afford.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 7, 2011
from Guardian:
Chinese oil spill half the size of London went unreported for a month
Watching the 840 square km oil slick now polluting China's Bohai Sea and listening to the excuses of the companies and officials involved, it is hard to avoid a sense of deja-vu. It has taken a month for news to emerge about the leak from a well in the Penglai 19-3 field operated by the US energy company ConocoPhillips in partnership with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and . The companies detected the problem on 4 June, but it only came to light on 21 June thanks to a microblog leak rather than an official release. After initially downplaying the accident, the authorities finally revealed this week that it covers an area half the size of Greater London.... The deja-vu is global. Industrial accidents and cover-ups happen all over the world. As my colleagues reported this week, there were more than 100 unpublicised oil and gas spills from European and American wells in the North Sea between 2009 and 2010.... China also has a dark history in this regard. I am particularly reminded of the botched cover up of the 2005 benzene spill into the Songhua river by the China National Petroleum Corporation. Company executives and local government officials insisted at the time that water supplies were contaminated. As the toxic slick flowed towards Harbin, millions of residents were initially told their water supplies needed to be cut for several days for "routine pipe maintainance". ...


They just thought outrage was more toxic than oil. At least, to their interests.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 5, 2011
from Guardian:
Oil and gas spills in North Sea every week, papers reveal
Serious spills of oil and gas from North Sea platforms are occurring at the rate of one a week, undermining oil companies' claims to be doing everything possible to improve the safety of rigs. Shell has emerged as one of the top offenders despite promising to clean up its act five years ago after a large accident in which two oil workers died. Documents obtained by the Guardian record leaks voluntarily declared by the oil companies to the safety regulator, the Health and Safety Executive(HSE), in a database set up after the Piper Alpha disaster of 6 July 1988 which killed 167 workers. They reveal for the first time the names of companies that have caused more than 100 potentially lethal and largely unpublicised oil and gas spills in the North Sea in 2009 and 2010. They also deal a significant blow to the government's credibility in supporting the oil industry's fervent desire to drill in the Arctic. Charles Hendry, the energy minister, has said operations to drill in deep Arctic waters by companies such as Cairn Energy off Greenland are "entirely legitimate" as long as they adhere to Britain's "robust" safety regulation. Shell has been at the forefront of plans to drill in the Arctic waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. ...


At least they're consistent.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 28, 2011
from Reuters:
American climate skeptic Soon funded by oil, coal firms
Willie Soon, a U.S. climate change skeptic who has also discounted the health risks of mercury emissions from coal, has received more than $1 million in funding in recent years from large energy companies and an oil industry group, according to Greenpeace. Soon, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has also gotten funding from scientific sources including NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But starting early in the last decade, Soon began receiving more funding from the energy companies, Greenpeace reported. Last year, the foundation of Charles Koch, chairman and CEO of privately held Koch Industries, gave Soon $65,000 to study how variations in the Sun are related to climate change. Koch is co-owned by David Koch, founder of Americans for Prosperity, a group aligned with the Tea Party movement, which opposes new air pollution regulations.... Southern gave Soon $120,000 starting in 2008 to study the Sun's relation to climate change, according to the FOIA documents. Spokeswoman Stephanie Kirijan said Southern has spent about $500 million on environmental research and development and funding and did not fund Soon last year.... Soon also got $131,000 from oil major Exxon Mobil Corp in 2007 and 2008 received grants to study the Sun's role in climate change and global warming in the Arctic, Greenpeace said. ...


There's probably a joke about prostitutes and Koch, but it's eluding me....

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 28, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Mountaintop Removal Mining Birth Defects: New Study Suggests Controversial Coal Operations Linked To Adverse Health Effects
Researchers found "significantly higher" rates of birth defects in babies born near mountaintop removal mining sites than those in non-mining areas, according to a new study released last week. Mountaintop removal mining is a particularly environmentally destructive type of resource extraction that involves using explosives to blow the tops off of mountains to expose coal underneath the soil and rock. The unusable dirt and gravel are then disposed of in adjacent valleys and streams. MTR is used prominently in the Appalachian region of the eastern United States.... It found that rates for six out of seven types of birth defects -- circulatory/respiratory, central nervous system, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, urogenital and "other" -- were increased near MTR sites. The research suggests that contaminants are released into nearby environments from MTR, and that many of the contaminants are known to impair fetal development. "Rates for any anomaly were approximately 235 per 100,000 live births in the mountaintop mining area versus 144 per 100,000 live births in the non-mining area," the study says. Although not as high as near MTR sites, it also found increased incidences of birth defects in communities near underground mines.... "For those who actually pay attention to science, it's irrefutable," Kincaid said. "Would it be more obvious if the coal industry were using machine guns or gas chambers?"... Vice President of the West Virginia Coal Association Jason Bostic ... contends that there is "no connection" between coal mining and birth defects, and brushes off the study as "a fairy tale." "If anything, the involvement of the coal industry helps offset what would otherwise be worse health defects from poverty, isolation and lack of access to preventative medicine," Bostic said. "We're the ones providing health benefits and wellness plans to our employees and their dependents. Take us away and see how well it goes." ...


You can't make an omelet without flattening mountains and causing birth defects!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 22, 2011
from Al Gore, in Rolling Stone:
Climate of Denial: Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison?
Maybe it's just easier, psychologically, to swallow the lie that these scientists who devote their lives to their work are actually greedy deceivers and left-wing extremists -- and that we should instead put our faith in the pseudoscientists financed by large carbon polluters whose business plans depend on their continued use of the atmospheric commons as a place to dump their gaseous, heat-trapping waste without limit or constraint, free of charge. The truth is this: What we are doing is functionally insane. If we do not change this pattern, we will condemn our children and all future generations to struggle with ecological curses for several millennia to come. Twenty percent of the global-warming pollution we spew into the sky each day will still be there 20,000 years from now! ... Continuing on our current course would be suicidal for global civilization. But the key question is: How do we drive home that fact in a democratic society when questions of truth have been converted into questions of power? When the distinction between what is true and what is false is being attacked relentlessly, and when the referee in the contest between truth and falsehood has become an entertainer...? The best available evidence demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt that the reckless spewing of global-warming pollution in obscene quantities into the atmospheric commons is having exactly the consequences long predicted by scientists who have analyzed the known facts according to the laws of physics. ...


That guy is so inconvenient.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 15, 2011
from Associated Press:
Government lists formaldehyde as cancer causer
The strong-smelling chemical formaldehyde causes cancer, while styrene, a second industrial chemical that's used worldwide in the manufacture of fiberglass and food containers, may cause cancer, the National Institutes of Health says. The NIH said Friday that people with higher measures of exposure to formaldehyde are at increased risk for certain types of rare cancers, including those affecting the upper part of the throat behind the nose. The chemical is widely used to make resins for household items, including paper product coatings, plastics and textile finishes. It also is commonly used as a preservative in medical laboratories, mortuaries and consumer products including some hair straightening products. ...


Why on earth would people want to straighten their hair?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 6, 2011
from Center for Public Integrity:
Four years after oil company's criminal conviction for pollution, still no sentencing
Almost four years ago, a federal jury convicted Citgo Petroleum Corp. of two criminal violations of the Clean Air Act, having found that the company's refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, afflicted a nearby community with toxic air pollution. For nearly a decade, the jury found, emissions of benzene and other hazardous chemicals -- from two hulking, uncovered tanks -- regularly swept into a mostly poor, minority neighborhood known as Hillcrest. That was in June 2007. To the dismay of the refinery's neighbors, Citgo still hasn't been sentenced -- a delay legal scholars say is unusual. ...


Ya gotta figure the guilt is eating away at them.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 4, 2011
from Independent:
Green schemes are 'wide open to major corruption'
Corruption is threatening global steps to combat climate change, a new report from Transparency International (TI) warned yesterday. Billions of pounds will be plundered and wasted, it says, unless stronger measures are introduced against embezzlement and misappropriation. The organisation warns that 20 nations most vulnerable to climate change - where millions in grants and aid will be targeted - are judged to be among the most corrupt in the world - and stronger oversight is needed to ensure the funds are properly spent. None of the countries, which include Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Vietnam, scores higher than 3.6 on TI's influential Corruption Perception Index, where 0 is wholly corrupt and 10 "very clean".... Any siphoning off of green grants would undermine efforts to reduce the impact of climate change by developing projects such as wind farms or solar power plants, improving sea wall defences, irrigation systems and housing capable of withstanding natural disasters, says TI. "Corruption holds nothing sacred, not even our planet's future," said Huguette Labelle, chair of TI. "Failure to properly govern climate change measures now will not only lead to misallocated resources and fraudulent projects today, but also hurts future generations," The report, Global Corruption Report: Climate Change, estimates the total investment into combating global climate change will reach almost $700bn by 2020. "Where huge amounts of money flow through new and untested financial markets and mechanisms, there is a risk of corruption," it says. ...


Simply replace "corruption" with "corporate profiteering" in the above. If the glove fits...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 3, 2011
from Reuters:
Major polluters say 2011 climate deal 'not doable'
The world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters do not expect a legally-binding deal to tackle climate change at talks in South Africa in December, two leading climate envoys said on Wednesday. U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern and European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard played down the chance of a breakthrough after a meeting of the Major Economies Forum (MEF), an informal group of 17 countries including the world's top polluters, China and the United States. "From what I've heard in these last two days, the conclusion must be that it is highly unlikely that the world will see a legally binding deal done in Durban," Hedegaard told reporters. "Not that they do not think it's important -- but there is just this feeling that it's simply not doable for Durban." ...


Sorry, guys -- it's just a little too inconvenient.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 2, 2011
from Yale360:
Authors of 'No Noteworthy Risk' BPA Report Have Close Ties to Chemical Industry
Four authors of a new report that finds "no noteworthy risk" in human exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) have ties either to the chemical industry or to companies and groups involved in the manufacture or promotion of BPA, according to a report by the non-profit investigative reporting group, California Watch. While the German Society for Toxicology report aimed to inject "an independent judgment" into the contentious debate over the safety of BPA, a synthetic chemical found in thousands of everyday plastics, the report discloses that one of the authors is employed by Europe's largest producer of BPA, and another has received funding from the industry group BPA Global. Two other authors describe themselves on their professional websites as consultants to the chemical industry. "They are simply protecting their product," said Frederick vom Saal, a biologist at the University of Missouri who has studied the health effects of BPA for a decade.... This week, however, Coca-Cola executives said they will not stop using BPA in the lining of its cans, saying there is insufficient scientific evidence to justify the change. ...


How can industry self-regulate if they don't have a few scientists in their pocket?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 15, 2011
from Guardian:
Emails expose BP's attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill
BP officials tried to take control of a $500m fund pledged by the oil company for independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it has emerged. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists supported by the fund, which was created by the oil company in May last year.... Other documents obtained by Greenpeace suggest that the politics of oil spill science was not confined to BP. The White House clashed with officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last summer when drafting the administration's account of what has happened to the spilled oil.... Another email, written by Karen Ragoonanan-Jalim, a BP environmental officer based in Trinidad, contains minutes of a meeting in Houma, Louisiana, in which officials discussed what kind of studies might best serve the oil company's interests.... Under agenda item two, she writes: "Discussions around GRI and whether or not BP can influence this long-term research programme ($500m) to undertake the studies we believe will be useful in terms of understanding the fate and effects of the oil on the environment, eg can we steer the research in support of restoration ecology?" ...


What'd'you expect? BP pays the piper, BP calls the tune!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 14, 2011
from TreeHugger:
Oil Company Document Instructs Agents to Mislead Landowners About Drilling Dangers
Entitled 'Talking Points for Selling and Gas Lease Rights', the document implores its 'Field Agents' to mislead people about the risks of drilling, to omit important facts, and even, on occasion, to outright lie. Again, it's important to note that TreeHugger has not confirmed the authenticity of the document, nor have we identified which oil company it belongs to.... "Oil and Gas exploration and drilling is meeting increasing resistance from local community groups, so it is essential to contact land holders and acquire signatures before sentiment by environmental and other public organizations limits our ability to obtain access to private land for oil and gas development.... "Tell the landowner that all their neighbors have signed. Even if the neighbors have not, this often will push an undecided landowner in favor of signing.... ENSURE you tell the landowner that we use NO RADIOACTIVE materials. The radioactivity comes from natural sources in the ground and is released by the process, but don't tell them this. Most landowners will not know." ...


What they don't know, won't hurt 'em.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Apr 9, 2011
from Sydney Morning Herald:
Backyards disguise toxic dumps
TONNES of hazardous waste have been secretly buried on private properties, hidden by layers of spray-on grass in Wollondilly, an important Sydney water-catchment area. Residents have revealed that organised illegal dumping has been big business in the area for years, with some property owners filling unwanted gullies and dams with waste and being paid about $100 a truckload to take it. The residents also said the dumps were often quickly disguised with a layer of top soil and spray-on lawn. ...


NIMTBY: Not in MY Toxic Backyard!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 7, 2011
from Chemical & Engineering News:
Trade Secret Anxiety
The chemical industry is on edge over the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to make public some of the information companies claim as proprietary in submissions on commercial chemicals to EPA. That nervousness was a significant theme running through the industry's annual global chemical regulation conference, which was held last month in Baltimore. Companies are anxious about the agency revealing to the public the identity of proprietary chemicals, components of secret formulations, or the name of the business that makes them. This confidential business information is included in submissions required by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). ...


Can't the chemical industry just create a chemical that makes us stop caring? OH... they already did!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 5, 2011
from Guardian:
MBA course: 'blind pursuit of profit is destroying the planet'
"Lies, cheat, deceit, distortion, hype, and a blind pursuit of profit have poisoned the business world. The price of this has been the destruction of the planet, its ecosystems and the alienation of humans from their soul and genuine inner needs. Pollution, contamination, climate change, poverty, rising sea level, unemployment, financial crisis, social unrest, war, and a general lack of trust has taken over as a result."... [T]hese words come from the press release of a new MBA course now being offered at Marbella University in southern Spain. Yes, an MBA course: that rarefied habitat that has long been the butt of jokes due to the air of self-importance and unworldliness nurtured within. (The same is often said of the environmental movement, of course!)... So it comes as something of a shock to see an MBA course being advertised in such a way. ...


As long as it's only an elective.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 16, 2011
from New York Times:
E.P.A. Proposes New Emission Standards for Power Plants
The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first national standard for emissions of mercury and other toxins from coal-burning power plants on Wednesday, a rule that could lead to the early closing of dozens of generating stations and is certain to be challenged by the utility industry and Republicans in Congress. Lisa P. Jackson, the agency's administrator, unveiled the new rule with fanfare at agency headquarters, saying control of dozens of poisonous substances emitted by power plants was two decades overdue and would prevent thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of cases of disease a year. ...


Apparently, the utility industry and Republicans in Congress are impervious to death and disease.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 9, 2011
from ProPublica:
Former Bush EPA Official Says Fracking Exemption Went Too Far; Congress Should Revisit
When Benjamin Grumbles was assistant administrator for water at the Environmental Protection Agency in the George W. Bush administration, he oversaw the release of a 2004 EPA report that determined that hydraulic fracturing was safe for drinking water. Then he watched as Congress used those findings to bolster the case for passing a law that prohibited the EPA from regulating fracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act.... Whether it's hydraulic fracturing or any other type of practice that can have an impact on the environment, one single report shouldn't be the basis for a perpetual, never-ending policy decision. It wasn't meant to be a bill of health saying 'well, this practice is fine. Exempt it in all respects from any regulation.' I'm sure that wasn't the intent of the panel of experts, and EPA never viewed it that way. That's one reason why we were urging Congress to say 'look, if you are going to issue an exemption, ensure that it is not perpetual.' ...


The novelty of selective science to justify lucrative destruction has worn off.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 9, 2011
from ProPublica:
PA Dep't of Environment Protection Gets the Axe - Environmental Permitting To Be Streamlined
A budget proposal [1] released today by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett emphasizes jobs creation and looks to cuts in environmental protection and permitting as one way to save money.... But a quick glance shows that the Department of Environmental Protection will face reduced funding across the board, including in its water safety and water treatment programs. The state has been under pressure recently to reign in environmental damage from its fast-growing natural gas drilling industry, and has faced criticism--including in a 2009 ProPublica investigation [2]---for its inability to handle and safely treat wastewater produced from the drilling process. In response, the DEP has added staff, implemented stricter drilling rules, and begun permitting and building new and improved water treatment plants. That momentum could now change.... "Regulatory Reform:... In addition, the DCED secretary is empowered to expedite any permit or action pending in any agency where the creation of jobs may be impacted." ...


What a great job that would be!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 9, 2011
from The Independent:
US judge halts damages claim over pollution in Amazon
An American judge has extended his temporary ban on the collection of $18bn in damages from Chevron, saying the US oil giant would be irreparably harmed if it had to pay compensation - ordered by a court in Ecuador - for pollution in parts of the Amazon rainforest.... But Karen Hinton, a spokeswoman for the Ecuadoreans, said Judge Kaplan's failure to consider key evidence or schedule a hearing to learn more facts was a "trampling of due process" and "an inappropriate exercise of judicial power".... The US oil firm Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, stands accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste into unlined pits and Amazon rivers between 1972 and 1992. Campaigners allege that crops were damaged, farm animals died and local cancer rates increased. But Chevron claims that Texaco spent $40m cleaning up the area in the 1990s and signed an agreement with Ecuador in 1998 absolving it of any further responsibility. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said there was evidence that lawyers for 30,000 Ecuadorean plaintiffs would move swiftly to pursue multiple enforcement actions and asset seizures around the globe, including in areas where Chevron would not be immediately able to challenge the lawsuits. He said his decision was justified because without it Chevron would be at significant risk of "missing critical deliveries". ...


Ain't justice grand?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Mar 5, 2011
from The Nation:
The Story of 'Citizens United' vs. the FEC
This is the best short history of the growth of corporate power I've ever read, heard or seen. It's also a primer on exactly why the Supreme Court's closely divided Citizens United decision is incompatible with basic notions of democratic governance. Created by the good folks at The Story of Stuff project, founded by Annie Leonard to creatively amplify public discourse on environmental, social and economic concerns, The Story of Citizens United v FEC explores the crisis in American democracy sparked by the Court decision that gave corporations the right to spend unlimited funds to influence elections... The ultimate solution is the Free Speech for People Amendment to the US Constitution. Corporations are not people, they do not vote, and they should not be able to influence election outcomes. ...


The revolution will be animated.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 1, 2011
from Greenwire:
Regulators Face Deep Cuts as Governors Close Budget Gaps
As they battle record deficits, governors nationwide are digging into state environmental regulatory bodies in budget proposals, many in the name of increasing efficiency and creating states that are "open for business." In some states, environmental groups say budget proposals unfairly target those departments over other state agencies and would set back conservation efforts by years. They also argue that cutting environmental spending will end up costing more jobs than are created by bolstering other state programs.... Industry supporters and budget hawks say environmental agencies have to face the ax like everyone else. ...


I know. Let's let the US have this planet to kill, and the rest of us can go find a new one.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 24, 2011
from PhysOrg:
US issues cheaper boiler rules
The US administration overhauled rules Wednesday to cut air pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators but at almost half the price of initial plans criticized by industrial groups. US Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy said the final regulations would provide benefits similar to the previous ones but at a reduced cost. "The Clean Air Act standards we are issuing today are based on the best available science and have benefited from significant public input," said McCarthy, who heads the EPA's air and radiation office.... The initially proposed standard would have cost 20 billion dollars and the loss of 300,000 jobs, according to an industry-financed study. The EPA put its estimate at $3.5 billion. In comparison, the EPA said the new version of the rule would cost $1.8 billion a year and create over 2,000 new jobs.... Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations at the National Association of Manufacturers, criticized what the called an example of the "EPA's aggressive, overreaching agenda." "This is a harsh, inflexible rule that will cost jobs, hurt global competitiveness and may discourage projects that could otherwise lead to environmental improvements," Newhouse added in a statement. ...


How dare you protect the environment with regulations!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 18, 2011
from Huffington Post:
House Votes To Block EPA From Regulating Greenhouse Gases
The Republican-controlled House has voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases that scientists say cause global warming. The 249-177 vote added the regulation ban to a sweeping spending bill that would fund the government through Sept. 30. The restriction is opposed by the Obama administration, which is using its regulatory powers to curb greenhouse gases after global warming legislation collapsed last year. The administration also says the ban would cost thousands of construction jobs. EPA has already taken steps to regulate global warming pollution from vehicles and the largest factories and industrial plants. It is expected to soon roll out rules that target refineries and power plants. Texas Republican Ted Poe pressed the anti-EPA measure. His Texas district is home to many oil refineries. ...


The Republican™ brand just got hotter.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
from FreeSpeechAtRisk, via BoingBoing:
Using lawsuits to squelch free speech about environmental destruction
In spring of 2008, multinationals Barrick Gold and Banro Corporation filed lawsuits against authors Alain Deneault, Delphine Abadie, and William Sacher, as well as against their Montreal-based publishing house Ecosociete over the book Noir Canada. Pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afrique (Black Canada. Pillage, corruption and criminality in Africa). The multinationals allege that the book contains false statements about their activities that amount to libel. Despite the well-sourced nature of the material, including reports from the UN, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, they have accused those involved of publishing defamatory statements and are pursuing them for a combined sum of $11 million ($5 million to Banro in an Ontario-based suit, and $6 million to Barrick, filed in Montreal). Our Academic Petition contains further details on the case, as well as the signatures of academic professors from around the world who are pledging their support for the authors and publishing house. Then in February of 2010 Barrick Gold issued a threat of legal action against Vancouver-based publishing house Talonbooks, author Alain Deneault, and the book's translators over their notice of intent to publish a book entitled Imperial Canada Inc. Legal Haven of Choice for the World's Mining Industries. With access to nothing beyond a short description of the material available on the Talonbooks website-with no mention of Barrick-the multinational has threatened further legal action if the book is published and has demanded access to the material prior to its publication. ...


You think you can get away with the truth?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 14, 2011
from University of Georgia, via EurekAlert:
Study finds massive flux of gas, in addition to liquid oil, at BP well blowout in Gulf
A new University of Georgia study that is the first to examine comprehensively the magnitude of hydrocarbon gases released during the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil discharge has found that up to 500,000 tons of gaseous hydrocarbons were emitted into the deep ocean. The authors conclude that such a large gas discharge--which generated concentrations 75,000 times the norm--could result in small-scale zones of "extensive and persistent depletion of oxygen" as microbial processes degrade the gaseous hydrocarbons.... The researchers explained that the 1,480-meter depth of the blowout (nearly one mile) is highly significant because deep sea processes (high pressure, low temperature) entrapped the released gaseous hydrocarbons in a deep (1,000-1,300m) layer of the water column. In the supplementary online materials, the researchers provide high-definition photographic evidence of the oil and ice-like gas hydrate flakes in the plume waters.... "We're not talking about extensive hypoxic areas offshore in the Gulf of Mexico," Joye explained. "But the microbial oxidation of the methane and other alkanes will remove oxygen from the system for quite a while because the time-scale for the replenishment of oxygen at that depth is many decades." ...


I'd rather just deal with stuff on the surface!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Feb 13, 2011
from Huffington Post:
One U.S. Corporation's Role in Egypt's Brutal Internet Crackdown
The open Internet's role in popular uprising is now undisputed. Look no further than Egypt, where the Mubarak regime today reportedly shut down Internet and cell phone communications -- a troubling predictor of the fierce crackdown that has followed. What's even more troubling is news that one American company is aiding Egypt's harsh response through sales of technology that makes this repression possible.... Narus, now owned by Boeing, was founded in 1997 by Israeli security experts to create and sell mass surveillance systems for governments and large corporate clients. The company is best known for creating NarusInsight, a supercomputer system which is allegedly used by the National Security Agency and other entities to perform mass, real-time surveillance and monitoring of public and corporate Internet communications in real time. Narus provides Egypt Telecom with Deep Packet Inspection equipment (DPI), a content-filtering technology that allows network managers to inspect, track and target content from users of the Internet and mobile phones, as it passes through routers on the information superhighway. ...


Total Information Awareness abhors a vacuum.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Feb 13, 2011
from slashdot:
Science Programs Hit Hard By Proposed Budget
"The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations has released a list of proposed spending cuts for the US Federal Government. The proposed cuts include reductions in spending on many science organizations and funds such as NASA, NOAA, nuclear energy research, fossil fuel energy research, clean coal research, the CDC, the NIH, and numerous EPA programs. There are also quite a few cuts proposed on domestic services, such as Americorps and high speed rail research. The House Appropriations Chairman, Hal Rogers, acknowledges that the cuts go deep, and would hurt every district across the country. But they are still deemed necessary to rein in Congressional spending. Notoriously absent from the proposed budget cuts are two of the largest spending sinks in the federal budget: the Department of Defense and Social Security." ...


I'm not feelin' that cut in "clean coal research."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Feb 8, 2011
from Wall Street Journal:
Business Groups' Target: EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces rules that affect the U.S. economy from factories to farms, is the No. 1 target of complaints from business groups collected by House Republican leaders. EPA rules were cited more than those from any other agency in more than 100 letters sent by trade associations, businesses and some conservative groups to House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) in response to his call for businesses to identify regulations they deemed burdensome, according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The letters are scheduled for release today. ...


I have this sneaking suspicion Issa is gonna pissa me off!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 4, 2011
from London Guardian:
Communities not getting a say in how forests are managed
Governments have been accused by grassroots groups and scientific researchers of reneging on commitments to give communities a say in how forests are managed, and doing little to address the causes of worldwide deforestation. The charges came as the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, declared 2011 to be the international year of forests, and politicians from around the world meet in New York for the high level segment of the UN's ninth forestry forum (UNFF). Non-government groups released a report showing that indigenous peoples and forest communities have done a much better job at conservation than governments. ...


When are going to go ahead and declare an international year of panic!!!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 2, 2011
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Chevron files RICO suit in Ecuador case
Using a law written to prosecute the Mafia, Chevron Corp. on Tuesday filed a racketeering lawsuit against a team of lawyers who have been fighting the company over oil field pollution in Ecuador. Chevron accused the lawyers - as well as their clients and their spokeswoman - of conspiring to extort up to $113 billion from the oil company, based in San Ramon.... As a verdict in the marathon lawsuit nears, Chevron has tried to prove corruption among the lawyers and Ecuadoran officials involved in the case. Last year, Chevron persuaded judges in the United States to grant the company access to many of the lawyers' private documents, arguing that they could provide evidence of fraud. Chevron also won access to outtakes from a documentary film about the lawsuit, despite the objections of the filmmaker and many media companies (including Hearst Corp., which owns The Chronicle). ...


In a case like this it's hard to tell who's Mafia and who's not.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Feb 1, 2011
from Reuters:
U.S. fracking firms may have broken enviromental law: probe
Several energy companies may have violated environmental rules by injecting diesel into the ground without permits as part of a controversial natural gas drilling technique, according to findings from Congressional probe released on Monday. The probe of diesel use in hydraulic fracturing, a practice that has allowed drillers to tap abundant shale gas, found that oil services firms such as Halliburton and BJ Services, which was bought by Baker Hughes Inc, injected millions of gallons of fluids containing the fuel into wells between 2005 and 2009. A total of 12 companies were cited in the probe for using diesel without proper permits.... Halliburton said there are currently no federal requirements that companies obtain permits for the use of diesel in fracking and therefore it does not believe its "activities have resulted in a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act or any other federal environmental law." ...


Just call it "carbon sequestration," guys, and then you'll get a tax break!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jan 26, 2011
from New York Times:
Industry Group's Self-Depiction Raises Eyebrows
At first glance, the Waters Advocacy Coalition could be mistaken for a typical environmental group. The home page of its Web site, protectmywater.org, features a banner reading "Protect the Clean Water Act" across a photo slide show of flowing streams and clear mountain lakes. On Facebook and Twitter, where the group's handle is @ProtectCWA, its bio reads: "Our coalition is made up of diverse organizations that have an interest in and actively protect our nation's waters and wetlands resources." ...As it turns out... the Waters Advocacy Council is not an environmental organization, but a lobbying outfit for some of the nation's largest industrial and agricultural concerns, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the National Industrial Sand Association and the National Mining Association. ...


Protect is the new destroy.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jan 26, 2011
from Rolling Stone:
12 Politicians and Execs Blocking Progress on Global Warming
No one does more to spread dangerous disinformation about global warming than [Rupert] Murdoch. In a year of rec­ord heat waves in Africa, freak snowstorms in America and epic flooding in Pakistan, the Fox network continued to dismiss climate change as nothing but a conspiracy by liberal scientists and Big Government. Glenn Beck told viewers the Earth experienced no warming in the past decade -- the hottest on record. Sean Hannity declared that "global warming doesn't exist" and speculated about "the true agenda of global-warming hysterics." Even Brian Kilmeade, co-host of the chatty Fox & Friends, laughed off the threat of climate change, joking that the real problem was "too many polar bears." ...


This is the dirtiest dozen of all.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jan 19, 2011
from Politico:
More mountaintop mining decisions loom
The Obama administration is facing a string of politically difficult decisions over one of the country's most contentious environmental issues: mountaintop removal coal mining. Few issues can generate equivalent outrage among the administration's environmentalist allies as does mountaintop removal, a mining technique common in West Virginia and other Appalachian states where operators use explosives to open mountaintops and access coal seams, and then dump the resulting waste in adjacent streams. Green groups say the practice is among the worst abuses of the fossil fuel industry, saying it is ruining Appalachia's ecosystems and poisoning its drinking water supplies. But Appalachia's mining industry calls itself the economic lifeline to one of the country's poorest regions. ...


Perhaps we can agree to call it an economic deathline.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 16, 2011
from The Independent:
Beekeepers fume at association's endorsement-for-cash of fatal insecticides
Britain's beekeepers are at war over their association's endorsement for money of four insecticides, all of them fatal to bees, made by major chemical companies. The British Beekeepers' Association has been selling its logo to four European pesticide producers and is believed to have received about 175,000 pounds in return. The active ingredient chemicals in the four pesticides the beekeepers endorsed are synthetic pyrethroids, which are among the most powerful of modern insect-killers. The deal was struck in secret by the beekeepers' association executive without the knowledge of the overwhelming majority of its members. After news of the deal emerged, some members expressed outrage and others resigned. ...


That executive's colony just collapsed.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 16, 2011
from Slate, via DesdemonaDespair:
The Chinese Eco-Disaster
He had traveled 100,000 miles crisscrossing China, from Tibet to the deserts of Inner Mongolia, and everywhere he went, he discovered that the Chinese state had embarked on a massive program of ecological destruction. It has turned whole rivers poisonous to the touch, rendered entire areas cancer-ridden, transformed a fertile area almost twice the size of Britain into desert--and perhaps even triggered the worst earthquake in living memory. In his extraordinary book When a Billion Chinese Jump: How China Will Save Mankind--or Destroy It, Watts warns: "The planet's problems were not made in China, but they are sliding past the point of no return there." The über-capitalist Communists now have the highest emissions of global-warming gases in the world (although the average Chinese person generates one-seventh the emissions the average American does). We are all trapped in a greenhouse together: Environmental destruction in China becomes environmental destruction where you live. This story will become your story. ...


We may be looking at a Cultural Devolution.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jan 14, 2011
from Reuters:
Filmmaker must surrender Chevron footage: court
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld a lower court's order that a filmmaker must hand over to Chevron Corp raw footage from a documentary as part of a legal fight over oil pollution in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. At stake in the 17-year-old case are $27 billion in damages and clean-up costs the Ecuadorian government is claiming from Chevron. Indigenous communities accuse the oil company Texaco -- taken over by Chevron in 2001 -- of damaging their health and environment by polluting rivers. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger had argued that raw footage from his documentary "Crude" was a form of journalism and was therefore protected by press privileges. ...


Chevron is some kind of monster!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 6, 2011
from The Daily Green:
EPA: 19 Potentially Toxic Chemicals Down (Watchdogs: 83,981 to Go)
President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency administrator has made good on something she calls a top priority: Testing chemicals used widely in the U.S. that have never been assessed for the risks they might pose to human health or the environment. It's the same priority, in essence, that Congress set in 1976 when it passed the Toxic Substances Control Act, but 35 years later that act is "widely considered a failure" by watchdogs who note that the law exempted 62,000 chemicals already on the market in 1976, and another 22,000 have since been introduced without first undergoing rigorous testing for health and environmental risks... Which is why those watchdogs are expressing only reserved praise for Jackson's announcement this week that the EPA would require companies to test 19 "high production volume" chemicals... ...


Don't look a toxic fight horse in its poisonous mouth.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 22, 2010
from Guardian:
The day my innocence bit the dust
On the tour, the environmental director pointed out all the buggies spraying water on the track - this was to keep the coal dust under control. Dust rising from the mine and drifting in the wind was blamed by local communities for lung problems and environmental damage.... "See, all this fuss about coal dust. Look, there really isn't any." I looked across the pit and had to admit that he was right - the air seemed fairly clean.... The cab driver asked if he could take a friend along for the long drive. About five minutes into the journey the friend turned around from the front seat and said: "Were you the visitors to the mine today?" "Yes," I said. "I thought so. I work there, with the cutting machinery," said the passenger. "I just wanted to tell you something. Just before you arrived at the viewpoint we received an order to turn off the cutting machines. And after you left, we were instructed to switch them back on again."... What interested me most was the reaction of my local colleague, a lawyer who had been working on these issues for some time. She was utterly unsurprised. In her world, big multinational, and smaller national, companies lie and deceive as a matter of course to get their way in the world and to make a quicker buck. ...


Corporations might lie just to make more money, even if it endangers lives??

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 15, 2010
from MediaMatters:
FOX boss ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science
In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the "veracity of climate change data" and ordering the network's journalists to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question." The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record."... A month after Sammon sent his memo, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies released data confirming that 2009 was the second warmest year on record and marked the end of the warmest decade on record. ...


FOX just wants us all to be happy. As patriotic Americans, we deserve it!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 8, 2010
from Bloomberg:
BP, Contractors at Gulf Well 'Breathtakingly Inept' -- but should self-regulate
BP Plc, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co. were "breathtakingly inept" and made mistakes that were "largely preventable" at the doomed Macondo well, a leader of a panel investigating the disaster said. The U.S. shares blame for the April blowout and spill because it lacks the ability to maintain adequate oversight of the oil industry, William K. Reilly said today in remarks prepared for an industry conference in New Orleans. Oil companies should set up a self-regulating body to work with the U.S. on increasing deep-water drilling safety, he said.... "There is virtual consensus among all the sophisticated observers of this debacle that three of the leading players in the industry made a series of missteps, miscalculations and miscommunications that were breathtakingly inept and largely preventable," Reilly said in his remarks. ...


Please, BP, Halliburton, Exxon, Chevron -- self-regulate yourself. Gosh, we'd appreciate it ever so much.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 6, 2010
from CBC:
Oil industry condemns Greenpeace satire
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says Greenpeace has gone too far in its latest attack on the oilsands industry. In an online contest posted on Facebook, Greenpeace is encouraging people to take aim at a CAPP ad campaign launched earlier this year that shows oilsands workers talking about land reclamation and environmental cleanup in the industry. Greenpeace is encouraging people to create mash-ups or remixes, using videos from CAPP's campaign. One spoof video posted to the group's Facebook page depicts a biologist saying she will probably die of cancer and her family will be paid money to keep quiet. CAPP spokesperson Janet Annesley said the ads go too far. "We're certainly open to have our ideas or the point of the ads challenged," she said. "If the activists don't believe our claims around environmental performance, let's talk about that ... in our view, that just makes it personal, and it distracts from what, in fact, we should be talking about, which is solutions." ...


I didn't know oil corporations had such a keen sense of humor!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 6, 2010
from FutureStreet:
Wikileaks, the blueprint, and openness
With every day, with every passing hour, the power of the state mobilizes against Wikileaks and Julian Assange, its titular leader. The inner processes of statecraft have never been so completely exposed as they have been in the last week. The nation state has been revealed as some sort of long-running and unintentionally comic soap opera. She doesn't like him; he doesn't like them; they don't like any of us!... Has Earth become a sort of amplified Facebook, where an in-crowd of Heathers, horrified, suddenly finds its bitchy secrets posted on a public forum? Is that what we've been reduced to? Or is that what we've been like all along?... A few months ago I wrote about how confused I was by Julian Assange's actions. Why would anyone taking on the state so directly become such a public figure? It made no sense to me. Now I see the plan. And it's awesome.... Assange gets to be the scapegoat, the pinup boy for a new kind of anarchism. But what he's done can not be undone; this tear in the body politic will never truly heal. Everything is different now. Everything feels more authentic. We can choose to embrace this authenticity, and use it to construct a new system of relations, one which does not rely on secrets and lies. A week ago that would have sounded utopian, now it's just facing facts. ...


Are you implying that sunshine is the best disinfectant?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 30, 2010
from The Washington Post:
Greenpeace accuses Dow Chemical, Sasol and P.R. allies of corporate spying
A federal lawsuit filed Monday alleges that Dow Chemical, Sasol North America and their contractors waged a two-year campaign of illegal corporate espionage against the environmental group Greenpeace and its allies. The 56-page suit, filed by Greenpeace in U.S. District Court in the District, said the chemical companies and public relations firms Dezenhall Resources and Ketchum hired former executives at a private security firm to spy on Greenpeace from 1998 to 2000 and to perform a range of "clandestine and unlawful" actions to undermine its anti-pollution efforts against the chemical industry.... the lawsuit alleges, among other things, that agents trolled through Greenpeace's privately secured garbage and recycling dumpsters at least 120 times, including 55 times using an off-duty District police officer. ...


That 56-page suit better be printed on recycled paper.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 2, 2010
from Guardian:
Is climate science disinformation a crime against humanity?
Although there is an important role for scepticism in science, for almost 30 years some corporations have supported a disinformation campaign about climate change science. While it may be reasonable to be somewhat sceptical about climate change models, these untruths are not based upon reasonable scepticism but outright falsification and distortions of climate change science.... According the New York Times article, the fossil fuel industry has "created and lavishly financed institutes to produce anti-global warming studies, paid for rallies and websites to question the science, and generated scores of economic analyses that purport to show that policies to reduce emissions of climate-altering gases will have a devastating effect on jobs and the overall economy." Disinformation about the state of climate change science is extraordinarily - if not criminally - irresponsible, because the consensus scientific view is based upon strong evidence that climate change: * Is already being experienced by tens of thousands in the world; * Will be experienced in the future by millions of people from greenhouse gas emissions that have already been emitted but not yet felt due to lags in the climate system; and, * Will increase dramatically in the future unless greenhouse gas emissions are dramatically reduced from existing global emissions levels.... We may not have a word for this type of crime yet, but the international community should find a way of classifying extraordinarily irresponsible scientific claims that could lead to mass suffering as some type of crime against humanity. ...


The tobacco executives all retired rich.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Oct 31, 2010
from New York Times:
Coal Industry Spending to Sway Next Congress
The coal industry, facing a host of new health and safety regulations, is spending millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign donations this year to influence the makeup of the next Congress in hopes of derailing what one industry official called an Obama administration "regulatory jihad."... Over the last two years, the coal industry, along with its allies in oil and gas, electric utilities, manufacturing and agriculture, effectively killed any prospects for climate change legislation in the near future. But after two major coal industry accidents, a huge spill of toxic ash in 2008 and a West Virginia mine disaster in April that killed 29 workers, the industry is bracing for new federal action that it fears will curtail operations and drive up costs. Industry officials believe they face a hostile administration that could seriously harm their business with a range of new federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, mountaintop removal mining, air pollution, coal ash disposal and mine safety.... "E.P.A.'s actions are firmly grounded in both the best available science and the law -- in fact, in many cases E.P.A. is operating under legal deadlines after rules from the previous administration were thrown out by the courts." ...


Corporate profit motives are clearly in society's best interests.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 28, 2010
from Huffington Post:
Greenhouse Gases Database: Companies Fight To Keep Global Warming Data Secret
Some of the country's largest emitters of heat-trapping gases, including businesses that publicly support efforts to curb global warming, don't want the public knowing exactly how much they pollute. Oil producers and refiners, along with manufacturers of steel, aluminum and even home appliances, are fighting a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency that would make the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that companies release - and the underlying data businesses use to calculate the amounts - available online. While gross estimates exist for such emissions from transportation and electricity production and manufacturing as a whole, the EPA is requiring companies for the first time to submit information for each individual facility. The companies say that disclosing details beyond a facility's total emissions to the public would reveal company secrets by letting competitors know what happens inside their factories. More importantly, they argue, when it comes to understanding global warming, the public doesn't need to know anything more than what goes into the air. "There is no need for the public to have information beyond what is entering the atmosphere," Steven H. Bernhardt, global director for regulatory affairs for Honeywell International Inc., said in comments filed with the agency earlier this year. The Morristown, N.J.-based company is a leading manufacturer of hydrofluorocarbons, a potent greenhouse gas used in a variety of consumer products. Honeywell wants the EPA to reconsider its proposal, which the company said would damage its business.... Aluminum smelters want 11 of the 15 data fields the EPA intends to make public kept confidential, according to comments filed by the Aluminum Association. Koch Nitrogen Co. LLC, a fertilizer producer, questions the EPA's desire to make unit-specific or facility-specific emissions available, calling it "misguided" since a change in pollution from a single factory is unlikely to influence policy on a global problem. ...


Good thing these corporations are now free to buy any election anonymously!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 27, 2010
from CNN:
Everyday chemicals may be harming kids, panel told
Of the 84,000 chemicals on the market today -- many of which are in objects that people come into contact with every day -- only about 1 percent of them have been studied for safety, Sen. Frank Lautenberg said Tuesday. Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, told a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health that such little oversight means that children in the United States are virtual "guinea pigs in an uncontrolled experiment."... Lautenberg has introduced legislation that would require chemical manufacturers to prove the safety of their products before they're released into the market. He said the current law -- the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 -- is too lax, resulting in the banning of five chemicals in the past 34 years. ...


I'm gonna name my next kid, Petri.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 20, 2010
from Mongabay:
Already Critically Endangered, bluefin tuna hit hard by BP oil disaster
Using satellite data from the European Space Agency, researchers estimate that over 20 percent of juvenile Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico were killed by the BP oil spill. Although that percentage may not seem catastrophic, the losses are on top of an 82 percent decline in the overall population over the past three decades due to overfishing. The population plunge has pushed the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to categorize the fish as Critically Endangered, its highest rating before extinction. Given the perilous state of bluefin tuna worldwide, the US National Marine Fisheries Service announced in September, following the BP oil spill, that it would consider listing the species under the Endangered Species Act. ... "The federal government could have predicted the effects of the spill during spawning season prior to the disaster; listing Atlantic bluefin tuna as endangered will prevent such an oversight from ever occurring again." A report by WWF has warned that if fishing continues the bluefin tuna will likely be functionally extinct by 2012. ...


There's always more fish in the sea.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Oct 17, 2010
from The Walrus:
The Last Great Water Fight
Sixteen hundred kilometres downstream from Fort Chip, the Mackenzie River empties a watershed nearly the size of Western Europe into the Arctic Ocean. Draining half of Alberta and most of the Northwest Territories, as well as parts of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon, the Mackenzie is one of the world's great water arteries.... At their deepest level, the [river development] negotiations feature two starkly different views of humanity's prerogatives. One has framed four centuries of North American development under Euro-colonial management. It puts man first, fashioning nature primarily as a resource for the fulfillment of human desires. The other sees our species as one -- but only one -- of nature's creations, as dependent on a healthy habitat as any moose or beaver.... A 2009 effort by the Ottawa-based Canadian Boreal Initiative to put a value on "non-market" services provided by the Mackenzie ecosystem tallied the total at $570.6 billion a year -- ten times the market price of all the gold, diamonds, and oil clawed from its soil annually. ...


This is, sadly, a watershed decade.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Oct 8, 2010
from Louisville Courier-Journal:
Environmentalists claim Kentucky coal mines faked water data
Robert Kennedy Jr. and other environmentalists claim three surface coal mining operations in Eastern Kentucky falsified pollution data, failed to submit reports or exceeded permit limits on more than 20,000 occasions in the last two years. The groups have taken the first step towards filing suit under the Clean Water Act regarding operations of ICG Knott County, ICG Hazard, and Frasure Creek Mining in seven Kentucky counties: Leslie, Perry, Knott, Breathitt, Floyd, Pike and Magoffin. The groups want the companies to be fined as much as $740 million and criminal prosecution of anyone who might have falsified the reports. International Coal Group called the allegations "scurrilous," while officials identified in public records as representing Frasure Creek Mining did not return phone calls. ...


I'll bet all that pollution is hard on the poor scurrils.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 6, 2010
from AP, via HuffingtonPost:
Hungary Flood Of Toxic Sludge An 'Ecological Disaster'
Hungary declared a state of emergency in three counties Tuesday after a flood of toxic red sludge from an alumina plant engulfed several towns and burned people through their clothes. One official called it "an ecological disaster" that may threaten the Danube and other key rivers.... Several hundred tons of plaster were being poured into the Marcal River to bind the toxic sludge and prevent it from flowing on, the National Disaster Management Directorate said. So far, about 35.3 million cubic feet (1 million cubic meters) of sludge has leaked from the reservoir, affecting an estimated 15.4 square miles (40 square kilometers), Environmental Affairs State Secretary Zoltan Illes told the state news wire MTI.... The sludge, a waste product in aluminum production, contains heavy metals and is toxic if ingested. Many of the injured sustained burns as the sludge seeped through their clothes, and two faced life-threatening conditions.... The company also denied that it should have taken more precautions to shore up the reservoir. "According to the current evaluation, company management could not have noticed the signs of the natural catastrophe nor done anything to prevent it even while carefully respecting technological procedures," MAL said in a statement. ...


35 million cubic feet of toxic sludge: natural variation.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 5, 2010
from Associated Press:
Oil industry has yet to adopt lessons of BP spill
Oil industry and government officials could get caught flat-footed again by another deep-water blowout in the coming months because they have yet to incorporate many of the lessons learned during the BP disaster, experts inside and outside the business tell The Associated Press. For one thing, it could be another year before a bigger, better cap-and-siphon containment system is developed to choke off leaks many thousands of feet below the surface. Also, existing skimmers still don't have the capacity to quickly suck up millions of gallons of oil flowing at once.... And despite an overhaul of the federal agency that regulates the industry, there are lingering doubts about whether the government can effectively police Big Oil at the same time it relies on the industry for revenue. ...


Why should they learn their lessons... people are still driving their cars around like there's no tomorrow!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 15, 2010
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Did BP write your child's textbook?
A new environmental curriculum, written over the course of seven years, is about to be launched in California. Guess who helped write it? BP. That's right, the company earned a place on the working group that developed the [optional] program's guiding principles despite a checkered safety record even before this summer's catastrophic spill. BP was the only oil company to participate in writing the curriculum, which will be taught to 6 million K-12 students across several subjects. But other corporate giants, including PG&E, Sempra Energy and the American Plastics Council were also considered "stakeholders." Corporations in the most environmentally destructive industries are considered stakeholders in what our students learn about the environment. Although the California EPA -- which oversaw the state environmental curriculum development -- insists BP played a minor role, the high school materials praise BP for its donation to energy research at the University of California. ...


"A" is for Appalling.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Sep 14, 2010
from PR Watch:
Lauria Quit Cigarettes, But Now He's on the Bottle
...Bottled water means big money for beverage manufacturers, but people are starting to realize that it's also big drain on their wallets and the environment. Bottled water costs a whopping 2,000 times more than tap water, and about 40 percent of mass-produced bottled water brands come from the same sources as tap water. Tap water is also subjected to more regulations than bottled water. Moreover, bottled water also siphons money from taxpayers' pockets. Last March, Corporate Accountability International surveyed the budgets of five states and found that taxpayers in those states were shelling out between $78,000 and $450,000 for bottled water, a resource that essentially flows free from public taps. People are discovering this information to the detriment of the bottled water companies, which made $11 billion on the product in 2008.... When he worked for the tobacco industry, Tom Lauria used to deny smoking was addictive. He denied the connection between secondhand smoke and respiratory disease. He also denied the health affects of parental smoking on children, opposed restrictions on cigarette vending machines and told us that efforts to end smoking in public places would lead to Prohibition. Now Lauria works for the International Bottled Water Association, which occupies the same address as the American Beverage Association, the soft drink companies' lobbying group. Lauria is running a campaign to try to convince people that bottled water is indisposable. ...


When Lauria's free, I'd like to hire him to convince people that the planet is not warming!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Sep 11, 2010
from Guardian:
RyanAir CEO: Global warming is 'horseshit.'
"I believe it's all a load of bullshit. But it's amazing the way the whole fucking eco-warriors and the media have changed. It used to be global warming, but now, when global temperatures haven't risen in the past 12 years, they say 'climate change'. Well, hang on, we've had an ice age. We've also had a couple of very hot spells during the Middle Ages, so nobody can deny climate change. But there's absolutely no link between man-made carbon, which contributes less than 2 percent of total carbon emissions [and climate change].... The scientific community has nearly always been wrong in history anyway. In the Middle Ages, they were going to excommunicate Galileo because the entire scientific community said the Earth was flat... I mean, it is absolutely bizarre that the people who can't tell us what the fucking weather is next Tuesday can predict with absolute precision what the fucking global temperatures will be in 100 years' time. It's horseshit." ...


I trust this man's insight, because he is very rich.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 8, 2010
from Canadian Press:
Birds dying in oilsands at 30 times the rate reported, says study
A new study says birds are likely dying in oilsands tailings ponds at least 30 times the rate suggested by industry and government. The results add weight to arguments that depending on industry to monitor its own environmental impact isn't working, said study author Kevin Timoney, an ecologist whose paper was published Tuesday in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. "We need to have credible scientific monitoring," Timoney said. Bird deaths are currently tracked through industry employees reporting carcasses. The eight-year annual average of such reports, from 2000 to 2007, is 65.... The 14-year median, including raptors, songbirds, shorebirds and gulls, is 1,973 deaths every year. ...


I'll just bet the idea of industry monitoring itself ... came from industry.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Sep 7, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Rising tide of acid mine water threatens Johannesburg
A toxic tide of acid mine water is rising steadily beneath Johannesburg which, if left unchecked, could cause earth tremors, power blackouts and even cancer among residents, experts have warned. The water is currently around 600 metres below the city's surface but is rising at a rate of between 0.4 and 0.9 metres per day, meaning it could overflow onto the streets in just under a year and a half. Because it would take 13 months to build a pumping station to clear the water, a legacy of 120 years of mining around Johannesburg, the state has just four months to find the millions of pounds needed to fund it. It is currently locked in negotiations with multinational mining firms who have profited from the area's rich natural resources over who should pay and how much. ...


I just don't think we'll be decreasing quarterly earnings to pay for your problem.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 2, 2010
from desmogblog:
Wetlands Front Group Funded By Big Oil Wants To Ensure Taxpayers Foot The Bill For BP's Gulf Destruction
A group of oil companies including BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citgo, Chevron and other polluters are using a front group called "America's WETLAND Foundation" and a Louisiana women's group called Women of the Storm to spread the message that U.S. taxpayers should pay for the damage caused by BP to Gulf Coast wetlands, and that the reckless offshore oil industry should continue drilling for the "wholesale sustainability" of the region. Using the age-old PR trick of featuring celebrity messengers to attract public attention, America's Wetland Foundation is spreading a petition accompanied by a video starring Sandra Bullock, Dave Matthews, Lenny Kravitz, Emeril Lagassi, John Goodman, Harry Shearer, Peyton and Eli Manning, Drew Brees and others. ...


This Shell game is the Am-way.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 2, 2010
from Jeffrey Sachs, in Scientific American:
The Deepening Crisis: When Will We Face the Planet's Environmental Problems?
During the four years of this column, the world's inability to face up to the reality of the growing environmental crisis has become even more palpable. Every major goal that international bodies have established for global environmental policy as of 2010 has been postponed, ignored or defeated. Sadly, this year will quite possibly become the warmest on record, yet another testimony to human-induced environmental catastrophes running out of control. This was to be the year of biodiversity. In 2002 nations pledged, under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, to slow significantly the planetary loss of biodiversity by 2010. This goal was not even remotely achieved. Indeed, it was barely even noticed by Americans: the U.S. signed the convention in 1992 but never ratified it. Ratifi­cation fell victim to the uniquely American delusion that virtually all of nature should be subdivided into parcels of private property, within which owners should have their way.... The Senate, true to form, sustained its 18th year of inaction on global warming since ratifying the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992.... Fifth, vested corporate interests have mastered the dark arts of propaganda, and they can use their deep pockets to purchase a sea of deliberate misinformation to deceive the public. ...


The free market of corporate politics is my friend! They told me so!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 2, 2010
from Mongabay, via DesdemonaDespair:
Morgan Stanley to underwrite coal mining on Borneo
Morgan Stanley, CIMB Securities, and Credit Suisse will underwrite the initial public offering of PT Borneo Lumbung Energi (Borneo Energy), a company that owns Asmin Koalindo Tuhup, a mining company that operates in Central Kalimantan in Indonesia Borneo, reports ANTARA. The news comes on the same day that India's state-run National Aluminum Co. Ltd (NALCO) said it plans to "buy stakes in Indonesian coal mines to secure supplies for its aluminum project in East Kalimantan," according to Reuters. Nalco said it is seeking to buy 8-10 million metric tons per year of thermal coal, half of which would go towards its Borneo operation and half of which would be shipped abroad.... The Borneo Energy offering may prove controversial for the underwriters, with environmentalists ramping up campaigns around coal production in Borneo. Green groups fear that increased coal production could increase deforestation and pollution on the rainforest island, while boosting greenhouse gas emissions globally. Today, two UK-based organizations published reports on coal mining: Mines and Communities, an activist network, released Dark Materials, a paper which details increased coal use in Asia, while Down To Earth issued a sister report on coal mining in Indonesia. ...


Thank you for watching over our financial well-being, financial overlords.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 1, 2010
from CBC:
Oilsands water toxins natural, monitor says
Pollutants in Alberta's Athabasca River system are natural, the joint oilsands industry-government group responsible for monitoring the region's water maintains. "We do find elevated levels of things in [our] study area," said Fred Kuzmic on behalf of the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP), a joint industry-government group. "Those are generally associated with naturally occurring compounds." Kuzmic, who heads a research and reclamation team for Shell Albian Sands, was responding to a study [that] linked high levels of toxins to oilsands mining. Concentrations of pollutants like mercury and cadmium were higher downstream from oilsands mining than upstream, the researchers found. They did not find the same difference between water upstream and downstream of undeveloped oilsands deposits. ...


Sure, we found elevated levels of... carnage in the chicken coop. But blood and poultry intestines are associated with naturally occurring compounds.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Aug 26, 2010
from New York Times:
Enviro Groups Cheer as Scientist Bombards Atrazine Manufacturer With Profane E-Mails
It sounds like fodder for a PR flap that might benefit the leading producer of the controversial herbicide atrazine: reams of explicit, taunting e-mails sent to company employees by a professor whose research on the health risks of their product had won nationwide notice.... Hayes' e-mails to Syngenta officials date to 2002, according to a 102-page file the atrazine manufacturer posted to its website to buttress an ethics complaint filed against the tenured biology professor last month. His communiques run the gamut from spoken-word poetry to music lyrics -- Phil Collins, Tupac Shakur and other artists are quoted -- to profane intimations of violence against Syngenta officials. The company's latest complaint furthers its long-simmering feud with Hayes, who has become an outspoken critic of atrazine after years-long research that found the weed killer disrupting the sexual development of frogs, in some cases turning male subjects into females. But the intensely personal clash over Hayes' e-mails, described by a Sygenta lawyer as "aggressive, unprofessional, and insulting," is failing to cut into his support from environmental and farmworker advocates who have helped amplify his warnings about the herbicide's human health risks.... "This is straight out of big tobacco's PR handbook," said Pesticide Action Network North America spokeswoman Heather Pilatic. "The news Syngenta is trying to distract people's attention from, as we're heading into the fall and the tail end of EPA's review, is that atrazine is a serious contaminant."... "I'm not offended by the term 'activist,'" Hayes said. "I am biased because I've seen the data. ... I'm biased in that I don't want [atrazine] in my water. Why shouldn't I make that research available to others?" ...


OMG! Science can be subjective too?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 17, 2010
from CNN:
Scientists: Toxic organisms, oil found on Gulf floor
John Paul says, at first, he couldn't believe his own scientific data showing toxic microscopic marine organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. He repeated the field test. A colleague did his own test. All the results came back the same: toxic. It was the first time Paul and other University of South Florida scientists had made such a finding since they started investigating the environmental damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preliminary results, the scientists believe, show that oil that has settled on the floor is contaminating small sea organisms.... The researchers found micro-droplets of oil scattered across the ocean floor and they also found those droplets moving up through a part of the Gulf called the DeSoto Canyon, a channel which funnels water and nutrients into the popular commercial and recreational waters along the Florida Gulf Coast. The scientists say even though it's getting harder to see the oil the Gulf is still not safe. "This whole concept of submerged oil and the application of dispersants in the subsurface and what are the impacts that it could have, have changed the paradigm of what an oil spill is from a 2-dimensional surface disaster to a 3-dimensional catastrophe," said David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer and one of the lead scientists on the recent USF mission. ...


How can you be making conceptual poetry at a time like this?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 4, 2010
from New Scientist:
Oil spill dispersant could damage coral populations
Coral populations in the Gulf of Mexico could fall because of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster - from contact not with oil but with the dispersant that's supposed to get rid of it. Laboratory tests suggest that Corexit 9500A, the dispersant used by BP to tackle the largest offshore oil spill in US history, stops coral larvae latching onto the surfaces where they usually mature. The larvae, often the size of a pinhead, float in the sea before latching onto surfaces such as rocks on the sea floor, cliff faces or old oil rigs. It takes hundreds of years for a mature colony to develop.... Preliminary and as yet unpublished results show [coral] larvae in the oil-water mix are able to latch onto the discs, whereas those in beakers containing the dispersant remained suspended in the water.... "You should test each [coral species] individually, but of course we can't usually do that," says Steve Ross, a zoologist and deep-sea coral specialist at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. "I think we can assume that if there's a negative impact on one type of coral... there will be a negative impact on another." ...


But thank God there's no oil on the surface!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Aug 1, 2010
from Huffington Post:
Scientists Find Evidence That Oil And Dispersant Mix Is Making Its Way Into The Foodchain
Marine biologists started finding orange blobs under the translucent shells of crab larvae in May, and have continued to find them "in almost all" of the larvae they collect, all the way from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Fla. -- more than 300 miles of coastline -- said Harriet Perry, a biologist with the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. And now, a team of researchers from Tulane University using infrared spectrometry to determine the chemical makeup of the blobs has detected the signature for Corexit, the dispersant BP used so widely in the Deepwater Horizon "It does appear that there is a Corexit sort of fingerprint in the blob samples that we ran," Erin Gray, a Tulane biologist, told the Huffington Post Thursday. Two independent tests are being run to confirm those findings, "so don't say that we're 100 percent sure yet," Gray said.... "There are so many animals that eat those little larvae," said Robert J. Diaz, a marine scientist at the College of William and Mary.... ...


... oh me oh my oh / son of a gun, there ain't no fun / on the bayou.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 30, 2010
from New York Times:
Oil Dispersants Shifting Ecosystem Impacts in Gulf, Scientists Warn
"This is a management decision, to use dispersants," College of William and Mary marine science professor Robert Diaz said yesterday. "It doesn't make the oil go away, it just puts it from one part of the ecosystem to another." That dispersed oil now hovers, diluted in the water column, posing a challenge for scientists to track and measure the subsea plumes. Mapping the long-term effects of the nearly 2 million gallons of dispersant used by BP PLC may well be equally difficult, given the array of unanswered questions that surround the products' rapid breakdown of oil droplets and their chronic toxicity. In other words, while dispersants may have helped spare the Gulf's birds, the chemicals are likely shifting dangers to other species lower in the food chain. The National Research Council described dispersant use in 2005 as "a conscious decision" to direct hydrocarbons to one part of the marine ecosystem, "decreasing the risk to water surface and shoreline habitats while increasing the potential risk to organisms in the water column and on the seafloor."... ...


BP wouldn't want to just make it seem gone. C'mon, they're a member of the planet too!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 28, 2010
from Bloomberg:
China's Environment Accidents Double as Growth Takes Toll
China, the world's largest polluter, said the number of environmental accidents rose 98 percent in the first six months of the year, as demand for energy and minerals lead to poisoned rivers and oil spills. "Fast economic development is leading to increasing conflicts with the capacity of the environment to absorb" demands, the environmental protection ministry said in a faxed statement in response to Bloomberg questions. ...


But... but... growth is good isn't it?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 25, 2010
from Washington Post:
As federal panel probes oil spill, picture emerges of a series of iffy decisions
After months of oil-spill misery and endless recriminations about what happened and why, it is increasingly clear that the complex operation of drilling an exploratory well in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico failed in a complex way. No single decision or misstep in isolation could have caused the blowout, but any number of decisions might have prevented it had they gone the other way. The calamity, the evidence now suggests, was not an accident in the sense of a single unlucky or freak event, but rather an engineered catastrophe -- one that followed naturally from decisions of BP managers and other oil company workers on the now-sunken rig. ...


"...a series of iffy decisions" pretty much describes all of human history.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 12, 2010
from Washington Post:
Historic oil spill fails to produce gains for U.S. environmentalists
For environmentalists, the BP oil spill may be disproving the maxim that great tragedies produce great change. Traditionally, American environmentalism wins its biggest victories after some important piece of American environment is poisoned, exterminated or set on fire. An oil spill and a burning river in 1969 led to new anti-pollution laws in the 1970s. The Exxon Valdez disaster helped create an Earth Day revival in 1990 and sparked a landmark clean-air law. But this year, the worst oil spill in U.S. history -- and, before that, the worst coal-mining disaster in 40 years -- haven't put the same kind of drive into the debate over climate change and fossil-fuel energy. The Senate is still gridlocked. Opinion polls haven't budged much. Gasoline demand is going up, not down. ...


Too bad we can't turn selfishness and apathy into a renewal energy source.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 8, 2010
from Huffington Post Investigative Fund:
Weighing Safety of Weed Killer in Drinking Water, EPA Relies Heavily on Industry-Backed Studies
Companies with a financial interest in a weed-killer sometimes found in drinking water paid for thousands of studies federal regulators are using to assess the herbicide's health risks, records of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show. Many of these industry-funded studies, which largely support atrazine's safety, have never been published or subjected to an independent scientific peer review. Meanwhile, some independent studies documenting potentially harmful effects on animals and humans are not included in the body of research the EPA deems relevant to its safety review, the Huffington Post Investigative Fund has found...at least half of the 6,611 studies the agency is reviewing to help make its decision were conducted by scientists and organizations with a financial stake in atrazine, including Syngenta or its affiliated companies and research contractors. ...


Industry, like father, knows best!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 8, 2010
from Word Resources Institute, via Mongabay:
Goodbye to the Gulf: oil disaster hits region's 'primary production'
According to a new analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI), the many ecosystem services provided by the Gulf of Mexico will be severely impacted by BP's giant oil spill. 'Ecosystem services' are the name given by scientists and experts to free benefits provided by intact ecosystems, for example pollination or clean water. In the Gulf of Mexico, such environmental benefits maintain marine food production, storm buffers, tourism, and carbon sequestration, but one of the most important of marine ecosystem services is known as 'primary production'. The backbone of the marine food chain, primary production refers to the process whereby some marine organisms turn carbon dioxide into organic compounds--in this case corals, sea grass, algae, and the most important of all phytoplankton.... Although considered 'free' by most economists, ecosystem services are worth far more than most people realize. According to Earth Economics one acre of Mississippi Delta produces approximately $13,000 in ecosystem services annually. But oil pollution will greatly diminish such long depended on and cryptic returns.... The WRI argues that from now on ecosystem services must be taken into account when officials grant offshore drilling licenses. They are currently ignored by public officials handling oil drilling. ...


Jeez, Mom, you want me to help pay for groceries? I'm only 51!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 7, 2010
from Associated Press:
AP IMPACT: Gulf awash in 27,000 abandoned wells
More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one -- not industry, not government -- is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows. The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing. The AP investigation uncovered particular concern with 3,500 of the neglected wells -- those characterized in federal government records as "temporarily abandoned." ...


We have perforated the earth with our neglect.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 4, 2010
from New York Times:
As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Billions From Subsidies
an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process. According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry. And for many small and midsize oil companies, the tax on capital investments is so low that it is more than eliminated by various credits. These companies' returns on those investments are often higher after taxes than before. ...


Seems we are both addicts AND enablers.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 24, 2010
from Reuters, via DesdemonaDespair:
Methane in Gulf of Mexico 'astonishingly high' - Nearly a million times above background levels
Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are "astonishingly high." Kessler's crew took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8 kilometer) radius of BP's broken wellhead. "There is an incredible amount of methane in there," Kessler told reporters in a telephone briefing. In some areas, the crew of 12 scientists found concentrations that were 100,000 times higher than normal. "We saw them approach a million times above background concentrations" in some areas, Kessler said. The scientists were looking for signs that the methane gas had depleted levels of oxygen dissolved in the water needed to sustain marine life. "At some locations, we saw depletions of up to 30 percent of oxygen based on its natural concentration in the waters. At other places, we saw no depletion of oxygen in the waters. We need to determine why that is," he told the briefing. ...


If only our astonishment derived from how effectively a corporate entity could react to an unexpected crisis.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 16, 2010
from Christian Science Monitor:
Oil spill could be Gulf's biggest ever, new flow estimate suggests
BP's Deepwater Horizon blowout is spewing between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels a day, with up to 18,000 barrels currently being captured, according to a fresh estimate released this afternoon by the National Incident Command's flow-rate technical group. The new number is a revision -- and a significant increase -- of the estimate released last week, which pegged the flow rate at 20,000 to 40,000 barrels (840,000 to 1.68 million gallons) a day...By these new figures, the Deepwater Horizon blowout might have pumped as much as 2.7 million barrels into the Gulf. ...


There's probably some algorithm for taking these under-estimates and turning them into truth.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 15, 2010
from Politico:
Henry Waxman puts Big Oil on trial
Henry Waxman's war on Big Oil has begun. The California Democrat, along with Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), will force top oil executives to defend or condemn industry practices and profits, according to series of pre-hearing questions obtained by POLITICO, foreshadowing an intense, made-for-TV hearing Tuesday that could create an iconic Washington moment for the petroleum industry... BP may be first in the line of fire, but experts said the whole industry will be on trial Tuesday. Executives from BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron are scheduled to testify. ...


The Waxman Cometh!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 15, 2010
from New York Times:
Efforts to Repel Gulf Oil Spill Are Described as Chaotic
...For much of the last two months, the focus of the response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion has been a mile underwater, 50 miles from shore, where successive efforts involving containment domes, "top kills" and "junk shots" have failed, and a "spillcam" shows tens of thousands of barrels of oil hemorrhaging into the gulf each day. Closer to shore, the efforts to keep the oil away from land have not fared much better, despite a response effort involving thousands of boats, tens of thousands of workers and millions of feet of containment boom. From the beginning, the effort has been bedeviled by a lack of preparation, organization, urgency and clear lines of authority among federal, state and local officials, as well as BP. As a result, officials and experts say, the damage to the coastline and wildlife has been worse than it might have been if the response had been faster and orchestrated more effectively. ...


Somehow I think our response to the Apocalypse will be similarly disorganized.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 9, 2010
from Associated Press:
AP IMPACT: BP spill response plans severely flawed
VENICE, La. -- Professor Peter Lutz is listed in BP's 2009 response plan for a Gulf of Mexico oil spill as a national wildlife expert. He died in 2005. Under the heading "sensitive biological resources," the plan lists marine mammals including walruses, sea otters, sea lions and seals. None lives anywhere near the Gulf. The names and phone numbers of several Texas A&M University marine life specialists are wrong. So are the numbers for marine mammal stranding network offices in Louisiana and Florida, which are no longer in service. BP PLC's 582-page regional spill plan for the Gulf, and its 52-page, site-specific plan for the Deepwater Horizon rig are riddled with omissions and glaring errors, according to an Associated Press analysis that details how BP officials have pretty much been making it up as they go along. ...


You'd think oil companies would be better planners.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 8, 2010
from ABC News:
BP Buys 'Oil' Search Terms to Redirect Users to Official Company Website
Be careful where you click, especially if you're looking for news on the BP oil spill. BP, the very company responsible for the oil spill that is already the worst in U.S. history, has purchased several phrases on search engines such as Google and Yahoo so that the first result that shows up directs information seekers to the company's official website. A simple Google search of "oil spill" turns up several thousand news results, but the first link, highlighted at the very top of the page, is from BP. "Learn more about how BP is helping," the link's tagline reads. ...


Did they buy up "Satan" and "asshole" too?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 25, 2010
from New York Times:
Inspector General's Inquiry Faults Regulators
Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil -- and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general's report to be released this week. The report, which describes inappropriate behavior by the staff at the Minerals Management Service from 2005 to 2007, also found that inspectors had accepted meals, tickets to sporting events and gifts from at least one oil company while they were overseeing the industry. ...


From an efficiency standpoint this is genius!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, May 23, 2010
from Los Angeles Times:
BP refuses EPA order to switch to less-toxic oil dispersant
BP has rebuffed demands from government officials and environmentalists to use a less-toxic dispersant to break up the oil from its massive offshore spill, saying that the chemical product it is now using continues to be "the best option for subsea application." On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the London-based company 72 hours to replace the dispersant Corexit 9500 or to describe in detail why other dispersants fail to meet environmental standards. The agency on Saturday released a 12-page document from BP, representing only a portion of the company's full response. Along with several dispersant manufacturers, BP claimed that releasing its full evaluation of alternatives would violate its legal right to keep confidential business information private.... Dispersants break oil into droplets that decompose more quickly. But scientists worry that extensive use of the chemicals in the BP spill is increasing marine life's exposure to the toxins in oil. But that alternative product, Sea Brat #4, according to BP, contains a chemical that could degrade into an endocrine disruptor, a substance that creates hormonal changes in living creatures, and could persist in the environment for years. ...


In America, we call refusal on those grounds "executive privilege."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 19, 2010
from CBS:
CBS Reporters Forbidden by BP and Coast Guard fromOil-soaked Louisiana Marshes
It may be the most disturbing site yet: the first heavy sludge now oozing into the marshes of Louisiana as the slick continues to grow in size out in the gulf. CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports it's an ominous sight. The oil is thick and black and stretches about a quarter mile down a beach. It goes beyond the booms into the sensitive marsh lands which are home to migratory birds.... When CBS News tried to reach the beach, covered in oil, a boat of BP contractors with two Coast Guard officers on board told us to turn around under threat of arrest. Coast Guard officials said they are looking into the incident. ...


Well done, Coast Guard! A shining example of corporate government.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 18, 2010
from ProPublica:
Whistleblower Sues to Stop Another BP Rig From Operating
A whistleblower filed a lawsuit today to force the federal government to halt operations at another massive BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, alleging that BP never reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation and is therefore risking another catastrophic accident that could "dwarf" the company's Deepwater Horizon spill... The whistleblower is Kenneth Abbott, a former project control supervisor contracted by BP who also gave an interview to "60 Minutes" on Sunday night. In a conversation last week with ProPublica, Abbott alleged that BP failed to review thousands of final design documents for systems and equipment on the Atlantis platform -- meaning BP management never confirmed the systems were built as they were intended - and didn't properly file the documentation that functions as an instruction manual for rig workers to shut down operations in the case of a blowout or other emergency. ...


Butt Plug

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, May 16, 2010
from Associated Press:
Huge oil plumes found under Gulf as BP struggles
Oil from a blown-out well is forming huge underwater plumes as much as 10 miles long below the visible slick in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists said as BP wrestled for a third day Sunday with its latest contraption for slowing the nearly month-old gusher. BP, the largest oil and gas producer in the U.S., has been unable to thread a tube into the leak to siphon the crude to a tanker, its third approach to stopping or reducing the spill on the ocean floor. Engineers remotely steering robot submersibles were trying again Sunday to fit the tube into a breach nearly a mile below the surface, BP said. ...


I no like it when stuff is going on beneath the surface.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 5, 2010
from Politico:
Obama biggest recipient of BP cash
While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they've taken from the oil and gas giant over the years. BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company's political action committees -- $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals. ...


Say it ain't so, O!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 21, 2010
from Great Falls Tribune:
FWP: Monsanto knew paint was harmful
Property owners are teaming with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks to try to force Monsanto Chemical Co. to pay millions to clean up chemicals contaminating a blue-ribbon trout stream here, but the company says the contamination is FWP's fault. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, a long-lasting pollutant, have tainted waters downstream from the Big Spring Trout Hatchery five miles south of here. The PCBs were contained in the paint FWP used since the 1960s to paint raceways at the hatchery. Paint chips eventually made it into the creek, contaminating fish downstream. The hatchery's raceways are concrete, rectangular-shaped pools where fish are reared... Monsanto attorney Thomas Carney disputed Oaas' allegations. He also said Monsanto "didn't have anything to do with putting paint chips in to the creek." ...


We call that The Monsanto Clause.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Apr 10, 2010
from Reuters:
Missing West Virginia miners found dead, blast toll at 29
Four missing West Virginia coal miners were found dead early on Saturday, nearly five days after an explosion killed 25 others in the worst U.S. mining disaster in nearly four decades. The four bodies were found in an area of the Massey Energy mine briefly searched after the blast on Monday but were missed by rescuers amid heavy smoke, Kevin Stricklin of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration told reporters. Rescue teams found the miners on their fourth attempt after earlier efforts were thwarted by thick smoke, fire and an explosive build-up of methane, carbon monoxide and hydrogen... "We did not get the miracle we prayed for," an emotional West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin told a news briefing. ...


prayers unanswered for/miners, canaries who could/not take wing in time

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 8, 2010
from Bloomberg:
Kalamazoo Cleanup Delayed After Lyondell Bankruptcy
Environmentalist Jeff Spoelstra says an 80-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River that runs through toxin-laced land in southwestern Michigan was on its way to becoming safe again. The area, once home to Potawatomi Indians and Dutch celery farmers, was finally on the verge of getting cleaned up. Then, in January 2009, Lyondell Chemical Co. filed for bankruptcy protection. The Houston-based petrochemical giant argued in court that as it reorganized, it could avoid what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said were about $2.5 billion in cleanup costs for the river, which flows into Lake Michigan, and another $2.5 billion in liabilities at 10 other polluted spots across the country.... If a company has to pay the billions the U.S. seeks for cleanups, its debt investors can end up getting pennies on the dollar. If the decision goes the other way, the costs can fall on taxpayers. "It's a no-win situation," says Evan D. Flaschen, a bankruptcy lawyer at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, who isn't involved in cases mentioned in this story. "If the debtor can walk, the toxins keep boiling, often getting worse with time. If the debtor has to pay billions for a cleanup, they might go out of business, losing thousands of jobs. Pick your poison."... Companies in bankruptcy can argue that environmental liabilities are just like other claims -- and that they can ditch them to get a fresh start.... "It's the most-maddening thing," McKinney says. "It's the community that's going to lose." ...


That smell of toxic bullshit? Lyondell says it "smells like money."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 7, 2010
from Greenpeace:
Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine
Billionaire oilman David Koch likes to joke that Koch Industries is "the biggest company you've never heard of." But the nearly $50 million that David Koch and his brother Charles have quietly funneled to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming is no joking matter. Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have a vested interest in delaying climate action: they've made billions from their ownership and control of Koch Industries, an oil corporation that is the second largest privately-held company in America (which also happens to have an especially poor environmental record). It's time more people were aware of Charles and David Koch and just what they're up to. Greenpeace has released the report "Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine" to expose the connections between these climate denial front groups and the secretive billionaires who are funding their efforts. The Koch brothers, their family members, and their employees direct a web of financing that supports conservative special interest groups and think-tanks, with a strong focus on fighting environmental regulation, opposing clean energy legislation, and easing limits on industrial pollution. ...


This is what plutocracy looks like.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 25, 2010
from Reuters:
Higher birth-defect rate seen in Chernobyl aread
Rates of certain birth defects appear higher than normal in one of the Ukraine regions most affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, according to a new study. The findings, reported in the journal Pediatrics, stand in contrast to a 2005 U.N. report stating that there is no evidence of an increased risk of birth defects or other reproductive effects in areas contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl accident....The 2005 position statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency and other U.N. bodies may have had a "chilling effect" on research into congenital defects in Chernobyl-affected areas, Wertelecki notes in his report. The current findings, he said, "suggest that we should re-evaluate that position." ...


Position statements are so much sexier than actual science.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 12, 2010
from Mother Jones:
Americans More Confused About Climate Than Ever
How effective has the resurgence of the climate denial machine been? Look no farther than the latest Gallup poll on American attitudes on global warming, which found significant declines in public concern about the topic. Forty-eight percent of Americans now believe that the "seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated," up from 41 percent last year and 31 percent in 1997. "[T]he percentage of Americans who now say reports of global warming are generally exaggerated is by a significant margin the highest such reading in the 13-year history of asking the question," Gallup notes. The majority of Americans still believe that global warming is happening, and 53 percent say the effects of the problem have already begun or will do so in a few years. But the number of people who think climate change is caused by human activity has dropped - from 61 percent in 2003 to 50 percent today. The percentage of people who believe that global warming is "going to affect them or their way of life in their lifetimes" has dropped to 32 percent, down from 40 percent in 2008. ...


A confused populace is a passive populace. That's just the way I like it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 1, 2010
from Guardian:
British firms face onslaught from tar sands campaigners
British companies spearheading the drive to exploit the Canadian tar sands will come under renewed assault this week from an increasingly vocal group of shareholders and environmentalists who are planning to turn the forthcoming BP, Shell and Royal Bank of Scotland annual meetings into a referendum on these controversial operations.... There are signs the oil companies and the Canadian government are becoming increasingly concerned about the reputational damage that could be inflicted on them: a special "tar sands day of learning" was held at the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto on 1 February to bolster the confidence of fellow bankers and investors. The Co-op's investor briefing, designed to rally further opposition, warns institutional investors with highly diversified portfolios that allowing BP and Shell to pursue their costly tar sands extraction could undermine their holdings in other areas of the economy. ...


So if one of my eggs can corrode all of my baskets....

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 1, 2010
from New York Times:
Rulings Restrict Clean Water Act, Foiling EPA
Thousands of the nation's largest water polluters are outside the Clean Water Act's reach because the Supreme Court has left uncertain which waterways are protected by that law, according to interviews with regulators. As a result, some businesses are declaring that the law no longer applies to them. And pollution rates are rising. Companies that have spilled oil, carcinogens and dangerous bacteria into lakes, rivers and other waters are not being prosecuted, according to Environmental Protection Agency regulators working on those cases, who estimate that more than 1,500 major pollution investigations have been discontinued or shelved in the last four years. ...


Supreme fiddling while Home turns.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Feb 23, 2010
from AAAS, in Mongabay:
'No change whatsoever' in scientists' conviction that climate change is occurring
"There has been no change in the scientific community, no change whatsoever" in the consensus that globally temperatures are rising, said Gerald North, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University. Recent data has shown that the decade from 2000-2009 was the warmest decade on record.... "The reporting on this has been truly abominable," said ocean scientist James McCarthy of Harvard in regards to the snow storms on the east coast. While media outlets, some politicians, and well-known figures -- such as business-mogul and TV personality Donald Trump -- have stated that the record snowfalls have proven climate change wrong, the science behind climate change has in fact predicted larger precipitation events due to a warmer atmosphere, and therefore increased evaporation.... The IPCC report spans thousands of pages, but has been undermined in the media, according to McCarthy, by "two sentences on glaciers". ...


I thought scientists could be convinced by groundless, passionate assertions.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 19, 2010
from Guardian:
World's top firms cause $2.2tn of environmental damage, report estimates
The cost of pollution and other damage to the natural environment caused by the world's biggest companies would wipe out more than one-third of their profits if they were held financially accountable, a major unpublished study for the United Nations has found. The report comes amid growing concern that no one is made to pay for most of the use, loss and damage of the environment, which is reaching crisis proportions in the form of pollution and the rapid loss of freshwater, fisheries and fertile soils.... "What we're talking about is a completely new paradigm," said Richard Mattison, Trucost's chief operating officer and leader of the report team. "Externalities of this scale and nature pose a major risk to the global economy and markets are not fully aware of these risks, nor do they know how to deal with them." ...


One-third of our profits in exchange for a sustainable planet? That's too high a price to pay!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 11, 2010
from Environmental Research Web:
Climate scientists hit out at 'sloppy' melting glaciers error
The experts, who worked on the section of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that considered the physical science of global warming, say the error by "social and biological scientists" has unfairly maligned their work. Some said that Rajendra Pachauri, the panel's chair, should resign, though others supported him.... nother said: "I am annoyed about this and I do think that WG1, the physical basis for climate change, should be distinguished from WG2 and WG3. The latter deal with impacts, mitigation and socioeconomics and it seems to me they might be better placed in another arm of the United Nations, or another organisation altogether."... "This is a transient and manufactured crisis and will likely go away with time," one IPCC author said. "What the science community needs is a few huge donors to throw millions of dollars behind PR campaigns to counter the propaganda out there. We are being attacked through baseless smear campaigns and we are not PR experts." They added: "The sad reality is this whole manufactured climate controversy is like arguing over the dinner menu on the Titanic as it sinks. The fact is, the climate is warming. Do we want to deal with this problem or not? Do we owe anything to future generations who are not here today to be part of the decision-making process. Science and the IPCC cannot answer these questions." ...


At least the physicists called them "scientists."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 10, 2010
from Independent (UK):
'Climate emails hacked by spies'
Interception bore hallmarks of foreign intelligence agency, says expert.... A highly sophisticated hacking operation that led to the leaking of hundreds of emails from the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia was probably carried out by a foreign intelligence agency, according to the Government's former chief scientist. Sir David King, who was Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser for seven years until 2007, said that the hacking and selective leaking of the unit's emails, going back 13 years, bore all the hallmarks of a co-ordinated intelligence operation -- especially given their release just before the Copenhagen climate conference in December.... In an interview with The Independent, Sir David suggested the email leaks were deliberately designed to destabilise Copenhagen and he dismissed the idea that it was a run-of-the-mill hacking. It was carried out by a team of skilled professionals, either on behalf of a foreign government or at the behest of anti-climate change lobbyists in the United States, he said. ...


Now who could possibly benefit from disrupting Copenhagen?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Feb 7, 2010
from London Independent:
Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers
An orchestrated campaign is being waged against climate change science to undermine public acceptance of man-made global warming, environment experts claimed last night. The attack against scientists supportive of the idea of man-made climate change has grown in ferocity since the leak of thousands of documents on the subject from the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit last December. Free-market, anti-climate change think-tanks such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the US and the International Policy Network in the UK have received grants totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds from the multinational energy company ExxonMobil. Both organisations have funded international seminars pulling together climate change deniers from across the globe. ...


It requires a lot to money to lie this big.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 4, 2010
from Climate Wire:
'All Kinds of Yelling' Expected From Obama's Lobbyist Crackdown
The Obama administration's call for a lobbying crackdown created confusion on K Street yesterday even as it spawned cheers among environmental and watchdog groups. The issue came to the forefront this week after Norm Eisen, White House special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, blogged about how the administration plans to revolutionize how lobbyists disclose their activities and contribute money to candidates for federal office... Considering that climate change is an issue producing lobbyists from almost every industry in the United States, the plans, if enacted, could generate a flood of data about the discussions and attendees at pivotal meetings during the drafting of global warming legislation. ...


No matter what, a reduction in lies and bullshit is good for the planet.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Rolling Stone:
As the World Burns
How Big Oil and Big Coal mounted one of the most aggressive lobbying campaigns in history to block progress on global warming... This was supposed to be the transformative moment on global warming, the tipping point when America proved to the world that capitalism has a conscience, that we take the fate of the planet seriously.... Over the past year, the corporations and special interests most responsible for climate change waged an all-out war to prevent Congress from cracking down on carbon pollution in time for Copenhagen...."In the long term, the fossil-fuel industry is going to lose this war," says Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "But in the short term, they are doing everything they can to delay the revolution. For them, what this fight is really about is buying precious time to maximize profits from carbon sources. It's really no more complicated than that." ...


Our guiding light should be all our children but sadly ... these are the last days of our lives.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 21, 2010
from Bloomberg News:
Exxon Hid Radiation Risk to Workers, Witness Says
Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. energy company, "knew or should have known" that drilling pipes it sent to a Louisiana pipe yard were contaminated with dangerous radioactive material, a trial witness testified. Paul Templet, a former secretary of Louisiana's Department of Environmental Quality, told jurors yesterday in a lawsuit trial in state court in Gretna, Louisiana, that internal Exxon memos showed the company had information beginning in the 1930s about cancer-causing radium in the residue, or "scale," that built up inside its pipes. Templet was the first witness for 19 former pipe workers who are suing Exxon, claiming they were exposed to radiation and now fear they may get cancer. He said Exxon failed to report the contamination to his former agency until as late as 1988, endangering workers who cleaned the pipes at a Louisiana site. ...


Those double "x"s in Exxon always seemed suspicious to me.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 10, 2010
from London Independent:
Who will pay for Amazon's 'Chernobyl'?
A film released this week in Britain recounts the 16-year battle by Ecuadorians for damages against Chevron for oil pollution... the people of Lago Agrio and its surrounding area have been fighting back. Sixteen years ago, 30,000 Ecuadorians began legal action against the US oil company -- now owned by Chevron -- they hold responsible. Early this year, from the town's tiny courtroom, a lone judge will deliver a verdict on their class-action case. If the judge rules in favour of the Ecuadorians, Chevron could face damages of $27.3bn (ÂŁ17bn), making it the biggest environmental lawsuit in history. This week, while both sides await the verdict, a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the case goes on release in Britain. Called Crude, it is directed by Joe Berlinger, whose movie Metallica: Some Kind of Monster charted the band's travails. ...


Now you 'mericans don't need worry your pretty little heads 'bout this.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 10, 2010
from Lincoln Journal Star:
Atrazine getting new scrutiny from EPA
Nebraska is corn country. It's also atrazine country. That means thousands of corn producers are keeping a watchful eye on a new round of EPA scrutiny of one of their cheapest and most effective weed-killing chemicals. News of what's described as a comprehensive evaluation emerged a few weeks ago. As soon as February, the federal environmental regulator expects to seek a scientific peer review of its proposed plan for adding new health studies into its atrazine risk assessment. Pulling the product off the market is always an option. Atrazine already is banned in Europe.... [Tyrone Hayes, a biologist at the University of California-Berkeley] has been studying mutating effects of atrazine on amphibians, which he said include male frogs developing female organs. He also cited EPA studies that show atrazine's impact as "an endocrine disrupter" that lowers fertility and inhibits puberty in lab rats. ...


By buying into this system, we essentially are screwing ourselves!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jan 4, 2010
from Washington Post:
Use of potentially harmful chemicals kept secret under law
Of the 84,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States -- from flame retardants in furniture to household cleaners -- nearly 20 percent are secret, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, their names and physical properties guarded from consumers and virtually all public officials under a little-known federal provision. The policy was designed 33 years ago to protect trade secrets in a highly competitive industry. But critics -- including the Obama administration -- say the secrecy has grown out of control, making it impossible for regulators to control potential dangers or for consumers to know which toxic substances they might be exposed to. ...


A little mystery so goes a long way.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 31, 2009
from London Guardian:
Shell must face Friends of the Earth Nigeria claim in Netherlands
A judge in the Netherlands has opened the door to a potential avalanche of legal cases against Shell over environmental degradation said to be caused by its oil operations in the Niger Delta. The oil group expressed "disappointment" tonight that a court in The Hague had agreed to allow Friends of the Earth Netherlands and four local Nigerian farmers to bring a compensation case in its backyard for the first time... Friends of the Earth claims the oil spills are not accidents but represent a pattern of systematic pollution and contempt for the rights of the local population that had been going on for decades, something denied by the oil group. Up until now compensation claims have been brought in Nigeria, but many have become bogged down in a congested court system. ...


Stay tuned... for the next couple of decades to see how this turns out.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 14, 2009
from PhysOrg.com:
Decades-old dioxins pollute river, divide US community
If he catches a fish that swims here year round he tosses it back. But if he hooks a walleye -- only an occasional visitor to the river and has lower dioxin levels than the year-rounders -- then it's time for dinner. "I don't think it's as big a concern as what people are saying it is," said Mitchell, 51, as he sat on a pail on the muddy bank and cast his line out into the water. "I can remember when the rivers never froze in the winters and now they're freezing over, so the pollution in the rivers has got to be a lot less than it was." The Tittabawassee may be clean enough to freeze now, but it remains one of the most contaminated waterways in the United States and a key example of the nation's struggle to deal with its industrial past.... Dioxins are chemicals so toxic they get measured in trillionths of a gram. They linger for years in both the environment and the body and pose a host of health risks from cancer to birth defects. For most of the last century, Dow Chemical Company dumped waste from the sprawling complex near its Midland, Michigan headquarters right into the Tittabawassee and burned it in unfiltered incinerators. ...


Dioxins? I call those human nutrients that strengthen the species.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 17, 2009
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Chevron sues former lawyer in Ecuador case
Chevron Corp. has sued a lawyer who used to represent the plaintiffs in a $27 billion pollution lawsuit against the oil company in Ecuador, hoping to cast doubt on the case. Chevron on Friday filed a complaint for malicious prosecution against Cristobal Bonifaz, who worked on both incarnations of the long-running lawsuit up until 2006. The oil company, the nation's second largest, is seeking more than $4 million. Bonifaz was lead attorney for the original lawsuit, filed in New York in 1993, in which residents of Ecuador's oil-producing region claimed soil and water contamination ruined their environment and made them sick. Bonifaz also worked on the lawsuit's current version - filed in Ecuador - which could see a judgment next year. ...


Four million is well along the way to recouping that 27 billion, Chevron!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 16, 2009
from POLITICO:
Chevron's lobbying campaign backfires
Facing the possibility of a $27 billion pollution judgment against it in an Ecuadorean court, Chevron launched an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign to try to prevent the judgment as well as reverse a deeply damaging story line. Chevron's tactics -- ranging from quietly trying to wield U.S. trade policy to compel Ecuador's government to squelch the case, to producing a pseudo-news report casting the company as the victim of a corrupt Ecuadorean political system -- were designed to win powerful allies in Congress and the Obama administration as well as to shape public opinion and calm shareholders. But many of the company's moves have backfired, drawing fire from environmentalists, media ethicists, state pension funds, New York's attorney general, members of Congress and even Barack Obama when he was a senator. ...


How slick of Chevron.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 9, 2009
from George Monbiot:
Death Denial
There is no point in denying it: we're losing. Climate change denial is spreading like a contagious disease. It exists in a sphere which cannot be reached by evidence or reasoned argument; any attempt to draw attention to scientific findings is greeted with furious invective. This sphere is expanding with astonishing speed.... A survey last month by the Pew Research Centre suggests that the proportion of Americans who believe there's solid evidence that the world has been warming over the past few decades has fallen from 71 percent to 57 percent in just 18 months.... On Amazon.co.uk, books championing climate change denial are currently ranked at 1,2,4,5,7 and 8 in the global warming category(5). Never mind that they've been torn to shreds by scientists and reviewers, they are beating the scientific books by miles. What is going on? ...


Could it be that denial is an evolutionary survival instinct?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 31, 2009
from Melbourne Age:
Horrendous legacy
This is the horrendous legacy Bhopal is facing 25 years on from the world's worst industrial accident. The Bhopal gas disaster, as it became known, has been dubbed the "Hiroshima of the chemical industry." It happened shortly after midnight on December 3, 1984, when a cloud of poisonous gas escaped from a Union Carbide pesticide plant. The release of 42 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (known as MIC) from the factory exposed more than 500,000 people to toxic gas. Up to 10,000 are thought to have died within the first 72 hours after the leak. At least 25,000 people exposed to the gas have since died, and today in Bhopal tens of thousands more Indians suffer from a variety of debilitating gas-related illnesses such as respiratory and psychiatric problems, joint pains, menstrual irregularities, tuberculosis and cancers. Then there is the escalating number of birth defects, including cleft palates, webbed feet and hands, twisted limbs, brain damage and heart problems. ...


My God, what have we done?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 27, 2009
from NPR:
Toxic Chinese Drywall Creates A Housing Disaster
Along the Gulf Coast and across the country, it's being called a "silent hurricane." Between 2004 and 2007, an estimated 100,000 homes in more than 20 states were built with toxic drywall imported from China. Emissions from the drywall corrode plumbing and electrical systems. Homeowners also blame them for headaches and respiratory ailments. Replacing Chinese drywall in the United States could cost $15 billion to $25 billion, according to National Underwriter, an insurance industry publication. The estimate, derived by consultants Rachel Boles and Ronald Kozlowski, factors in the cost of replacing drywall, as well as legal fees, the toll on health and other costs. ...


Maybe we can sell lead-painted toys to raise money.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 14, 2009
from Greenwire:
EPA Releases Bush-Era Endangerment Document
U.S. EPA released a long-sequestered document on global warming today showing the George W. Bush administration had concluded in December 2007 that greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles were endangering public welfare and needed to be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The 29-page EPA analysis (pdf) -- labeled "Deliberative, Do Not Distribute" -- ticked through the climate-changing effects that heat-trapping gases have on air pollution, precipitation patterns, sea-level rise, glacial melting and wildlife patterns.... congressional investigators last year determined that Bush ultimately backed down after hearing counterarguments from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney, the Office of Management and Budget, the Transportation Department, Exxon Mobil Corp. and others in the oil industry (E&E Daily, July 18, 2008). ...


I propose that Cheney, Bush and co. be prevented from emitting carbons for the rest of their pitiful lives!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Oct 11, 2009
from ChemicalWatch:
American Chemical Council reacts to study linking maternal BPA exposure to female infant behaviour
A study published by US researchers has found a link between maternal exposure to the plastics intermediate bisphenol A (BPA) in early pregnancy and the behaviour of female children up to the age of two years. The study measured BPA levels taken from urine samples from 249 women at 16 and 26 weeks' gestation, and then assessed their children's behaviour up to two years.... Reacting to the study, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) warned that there was a risk that it would be misconstrued given [the study's] many limitations. Before its conclusions could be relied upon, the council said there was a need to replicate the small-scale study with a larger more robust version. ...


Sure -- why not another five years of possible harm?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 7, 2009
from Mother Jones:
Inside the 'Chamber of Carbon'
Apple Computer's announcement Monday that it was quitting the US Chamber of Commerce was just the latest high profile defection from the country's most powerful business lobby—and one of the most prominent opponents of climate change legislation. In the preceding two weeks, three major electric utilities and Nike also said they'd be leaving the Chamber's board of directors or dropping out altogether to protest its antiregulation stand....went beyond a simple policy disagreement, describing a lack of transparency and accountability that conflicted with the organization's own supposedly democratic principles and suggested the outsized influence of a few Chamber members in setting its climate stance.... Several Chamber members representing USCAP recently met with president Tom Donohue to request that he alter the group's climate stance, according to the spokesman. "They were totally rebuffed," he says. Donohue "said that they should continue the dialogue, but offered no methods or avenues for changing the Chamber's position." ... At least 49 of 118 board members represent oil and gas companies, chemical companies, utilities, transportation companies, the construction industry, or companies that build machines that burn large amounts of petroleum. ...


The Chamber is beating a dead horse & buggy. Hello? Twenty-first century?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 3, 2009
from The Nation:
The Coalfield Uprising
... More than 3.5 million pounds of explosives rip daily across the ridges and historic mountain communities in West Virginia; a similar amount of explosives are employed in eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia and eastern Tennessee. Mountaintop removal operations have destroyed more than 500 mountains and 1.2 million acres of forest in our nation's oldest and most diverse range, and jammed more than 1,200 miles of streams with mining waste... Coalfield residents are not waiting for the Obama administration to come to their rescue. In fact, in the past year a surging activist and citizen lobbyist campaign has emerged as a fierce counterforce to the Big Coal lobby. The leaders of this growing and increasingly powerful movement are not content with a new era of stricter regulations in the coalfields. Their aim is to abolish mountaintop removal once and for all. ...


Yes WE can!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Oct 2, 2009
from Los Angeles Times:
Chevron's shifty shifting of venue
When Chevron was in a New York courtroom battling a lawsuit by thousands of indigenous Ecuadoreans, it argued that the case rightly belonged in their country. But now that the company is poised to lose in the Andean nation and could be assessed as much as $27 billion in damages, it says Ecuador isn't the right place either. Last week, the oil giant shopped the case to yet another court, filing a claim at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Chevron has long maintained that it would appeal an adverse decision, which is entirely understandable. But this action is different. By going to The Hague before a verdict is issued in Ecuador, the company shuts out the private citizens who brought the suit and who have no standing there. ...


Me, I read that headline as "Chevron's SHITTY shifting..."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Oct 2, 2009
from Associated Press:
EPA: Dow Chemical Co. study little help in planning dioxin cleanup
A scientific analysis of dioxin exposure near a Dow Chemical Co. plant in Midland will be of little use in planning a long-delayed cleanup, government regulators said Thursday. Dow paid for the study done by a University of Michigan team and designed partly to help officials decide how to deal with dioxin pollution in a 50-mile-long watershed including the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers and Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay. For decades, the company's plant released dioxins and related chemical byproducts believed to cause cancer. The study was well done and produced credible information, said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is negotiating details of the cleanup with Dow and state officials. But the absence of crucial data limits its usefulness, an EPA review said. ...


D'oh! Dow D'oh!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 18, 2009
from London Independent:
Call for murder charges to be brought over toxic dumping
Trafigura, the oil-trading company at the centre of the scandal caused by the dumping of tons of toxic waste in one of the world's poorest countries, could be prosecuted for murder after a dossier of evidence was submitted to a court in the Netherlands yesterday, alleging that the sludge caused deaths and serious injuries. A complaint filed by Greenpeace Netherlands calls for a Dutch prosecution arising from Trafigura's actions in July 2006 — when a chartered tanker carrying the contaminated waste arrived in Amsterdam — to be widened to include events in Ivory Coast a month later which caused thousands of people to fall ill after tons of the foul-smelling slurry was dumped in the port of Abidjan.... A United Nations report this week stated that there seemed to be "prima facie evidence" that up to a dozen deaths in Abidjan were linked to the sludge. ...


If this works, I've got a list a mile long...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Sep 6, 2009
from Bloomington Alternative:
Our PCBs: Forgotten but not gone
Six PCB Superfund sites lie within 20 miles of the Courthouse Square. And PCBs cause cancer, neurologic disorders, endocrine system disruption, reproductive problems and birth defects in people and nonhuman animals. Often associated with PCBs are other chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as dioxin and furans. Dioxin is the most powerful chemical carcinogen known. It's second only to radiation as the most potent carcinogen discovered to date. It was used in the Vietnam War as a defoliant called Agent Orange.... The Westinghouse Corp. (now CBS) manufactured PCB-filled electrical capacitors in Bloomington for about 30 years. The PCBs, manufactured by Monsanto under the trade name Innerteen, were used as insulating fluid. In 1975 a Bloomington newspaper reporter discovered that since about 1958, Westinghouse had routinely poured PCBs into the Bloomington sewer system and dumping defective, PCB-filled capacitors at eight locations: Lemon Lane Landfill, Neal's Landfill, Neal's Dump, Bennett's Quarry, the Winston Thomas Sewage Treatment Plant, the Anderson Road Landfill, Fell Iron and Metal (a salvage yard) and the Westinghouse property. The first four are on the National Priorities List, a list of contaminated sites commonly referred to as Superfund sites. ...


You can be sure... if it's Westinghouse.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Aug 20, 2009
from BBC (UK):
'Hundreds ill' near China smelter
Authorities in China have closed a second metal smelter after more than 1,300 children fell sick with lead poisoning, state media have reported. The children were living near a manganese plant near Wugang, in Hunan province, Xinhua news agency said.... An official in Wenping, part of Wugang city in Hunan, said that 1,354 children living in four villages near the Wugang Manganese Smeltering Plant had excessive levels of lead in their blood, Xinhua said. All the children are under 14 years old.... ...


Big deal -- they've got hundreds of millions more children.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 18, 2009
from New York Times:
Lead Poisoning of Children in China Leads to Disturbance
The police clashed with residents of two villages near a smelting plant in northern China that is blamed for the lead poisoning of nearly all the children in the villages, reports said Monday. It was another sign of growing anger over China's rampant industrial pollution. Several hundred villagers tore down fences and blocked traffic outside the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Company in Shaanxi Province after news of the poisoning emerged last week, state news media and villagers said. Fighting between angry parents and scores of police officers broke out Sunday, and trucks delivering coal to the plant were stoned.... At least 615 out of 731 children in the two villages have tested positive for lead poisoning, which can damage the nervous and reproductive systems and cause high blood pressure, anemia and memory loss. Lead levels in the children were more than 10 times the level China considers safe. Air quality tests near the smelting plant found unusually high lead levels, according to the official Xinhua News Agency, although officials say groundwater, surface water, soil and company waste discharge all meet national standards.... Local officials plan to relocate all 581 households living within 1,600 feet of the factory in the next two years, according to Xinhua. It was unclear whether the plant had been closed. ...


Even if we won't stand up for ourselves, we'll fight for our children.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jul 25, 2009
from Times Online (UK):
Murky past of company accused of shipping toxic waste emerges
Doubts about Britain's recycling industry were growing last night as it emerged that a company suspected of shipping hazardous waste to Brazil was supplied with recyclable plastics by a business with previous convictions for pollution.... Worldwide Biorecyclables benefited from a loophole in the Environment Protection Act 1990 which allows waste management companies to avoid Environment Agency scrutiny by registering their businesses as "low-risk" operations. The company was granted a "simple exemption" from seeking an environmental work permit when treating waste for the purpose of recovery and storing waste in a secure place.... Up to 7,000 sites, including supermarkets and department stores, handle low-risk waste, according to the Environment Agency. The watchdog admits it lacks the resources to ensure they are all adhering to the exemptions rules. It acts on tip-offs from the public and other sources. ...


Self-definitions work great in a self-police state.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 23, 2009
from Times Online (UK):
Wind turbine protesters continue sit in as police accused of blocking food
A handful of men -- tired, hungry and soon to be unemployed -- stood cheering on the balcony of a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight, in what has become an unlikely front line of a clash over the future of Britain's green economy. About 25 workers were last night still inside the Vestas plant outside Newport, three days into a sit-in which has grown increasingly bitter. The occupiers of Britain's only significant wind farm factory have accused managers of trying to starve them out and yesterday three people were arrested as protesters outside tried to deliver food supplies. Last week The Times revealed that the factory was closing down its production line within hours of the Government pledging a five-fold increase in the number of wind turbines in Britain. More than 600 people are due to be made redundant on July 30 -- 525 in Newport and 100 at a related facility in Southampton. ...


Workers of the Wind -- UNITE!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 22, 2009
from Socialist Worker Online:
Windpower Manufacturer Vestas workers occupy: 'A fight for jobs and the planet'
Workers at Vestas, the UK's only wind turbine manufacturer, occupied their factory in Newport, Isle of Wight on Monday evening against plans to close it. Dave is one of the ­occupying workers: "We’ve occupied our factory to save our jobs -- and to save the planet. Six hundred people work here. That many jobs going will have a devastating effect. But there's even more to it than that. We need renewable energy if we're going to stop global warming. When the government says it wants green energy and green jobs, it's criminal that it's closing Vestas. I've worked here for a year and a half but some people have worked here for eight or nine years. We had a meeting on Monday where we talked about what to do. We decided we were going to go for it. People thought, "It's now or never". We went in as two teams, from both sides of the factory. All of the doors were locked -- apart from the front door! ... ...


Someone's closing? A wind power plant?
What planet is this?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 22, 2009
from Guardian (UK):
Mountaintop mining legacy: Destroying Appalachian streams
When mountains are demolished with explosives to harvest their coal seams, the millions of tons of crushed shale, sandstone, and coal detritus have to go somewhere, and the most convenient spots are nearby valleys. Mining operations clear-cut the hillsides and literally "fill" mountain hollows to the brim -- and sometimes higher -- with rocky debris. At the mouth of the hollow, the outer edge of the fill is typically engineered into a towering wall resembling a dam.... Of all the environmental problems caused by mountaintop projects -- decapitated peaks, deforestation, the significant carbon footprint -- scientists have found that valley fills do the most damage because they destroy headwater streams and surrounding forests, which are crucial to the workings of mountain ecosystems. "There used to be pine trees, and it was a very pretty shaded area. There was a nice trail that went up the hollow and I used to take my granddaughter up there and we'd go ginsenging [harvesting ginseng roots, an Appalachian custom] on up the hill," says Miller, whose grandfather built the family homestead in 1920. "She really misses not being able to do that. She said, 'Can't we go someplace else? There's no hills to climb there.'" ...


The Appalachian Trail will soon be a jogging track.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 17, 2009
from Mongabay, via DesdemonaDespair:
Credit Suisse, UBS, BNP Paribas to finance razing of rainforests for palm oil
Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS, together with the French BNP Paribas, are helping Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources raise up to 280 million Swiss francs ($258 million) to finance conversion of large areas of rainforest in New Guinea and Borneo for oil palm plantations, reports the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), a group that campaigns on behalf of forest people in Southeast Asia.... "The vast majority of future expansion is likely to involve deforestation, some on peatlands and in the habitats of the critically endangered orangutan", said Greenpeace in the report.... ...


Now that's enhancing shareholder value!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 2, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
ExxonMobil funds climate-change sceptics
Company records for 2008 show that ExxonMobil gave $75,000 to the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) in Dallas, Texas and $50,000 to the Heritage Foundation in Washington. It also gave $245,000 to the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington.... All three groups have raised questions about global warming. The Heritage Foundation published note last year that said: "Growing scientific evidence casts doubt on whether global warming constitutes a threat, including the fact that 2008 is about to go into the books as a cooler year than 2007". ExxonMobil promised in 2006 to stop funding climate change sceptics after it was criticised by the Royal Society for giving money to researchers who were "misinforming the public about the science of climate change". ...


I've got just one thing to say to you, ExxonMobil.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 2, 2009
from BusinessGreen:
Canada and Japan accused of blocking Copenhagen progress
Speaking at the World Conference of Science Journalists, King said that while much of the attention in recent months had focused on the Obama administration's engagement with the so-called Copenhagen negotiations to agree a successor to the Kyoto Treaty, Canada and Japan were quietly undermining the talks. "Copenhagen is faltering at the moment," he said. "The Americans are now fully engaged. But several countries are blocking the process." Both countries are believed to oppose demands for stringent emission reduction targets at the behest of powerful business lobby groups, such as the energy company's push to exploit Canada's oil sands. "These people are very outspoken, aggressive lobbyists," Dr Robert Falkner at the London School of Economics told The Times. "They are gung-ho about rising oil prices and want to exploit that." ...


Hey, Canada and Japan! You can't hide behind our stupid-skirts anymore!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jun 13, 2009
from London Guardian:
'We are fighting for our lives and our dignity'
Across the globe, as mining and oil firms race for dwindling resources, indigenous peoples are battling to defend their lands -- often paying the ultimate price... Peru is just one of many countries now in open conflict with its indigenous people over natural resources. Barely reported in the international press, there have been major protests around mines, oil, logging and mineral exploitation in Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America. Hydro electric dams, biofuel plantations as well as coal, copper, gold and bauxite mines are all at the centre of major land rights disputes.... What until quite recently were isolated incidents of indigenous peoples in conflict with states and corporations are now becoming common as government-backed companies move deeper on to lands long ignored as unproductive or wild. As countries and the World Bank increase spending on major infrastructural projects to counter the economic crisis, the conflicts are expected to grow. ...


But my toaster and my car and my job have to run on something!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 30, 2009
from Living on Earth:
Oil on Trial
...Three of the world's biggest oil companies are currently battling environmental human rights lawsuits. The Exxon Mobil case involves Indonesia. The Chevron/Texaco suit is in Ecuador. And the Shell case involves Nigeria. That case is about to go on trial in a New York federal court....Chevron is being sued for 27 billion dollars for polluting the jungle....in Indonesia Exxon Mobile is being sued by some villagers in Ache for human rights violations allegedly committed by soldiers guarding a natural gas plant. ...


Aw jeez, prices at the pump are gonna go up.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 30, 2009
from Associated Press:
GOP belittles Democrats' climate change proposal
...Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, in the GOP's weekly radio and Internet address, said the House's climate bill was "a classic example of unwise government." The address culminated a week of coordinated Republican attacks on the Democratic proposal, which would require the first nationwide reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming... The proposal to cap greenhouse emissions "will cost us dearly in jobs and income and it stands no chance of achieving its objective of a cooler earth" because other nations such as China and India will not have to follow, Daniels said. "The cost for all American taxpayers will be certain, huge, and immediate. Any benefits are extremely uncertain, minuscule, and decades distant," he contended. ...


Then by all means let's just destroy the habitat, together, ASAP!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 26, 2009
from ABC News:
From Oct 27, 2006: Senators to Exxon: Stop the Denial
ExxonMobil should stop funding groups that have spread the idea that global warming is a myth and that try to influence policymakers to adopt that view, two senators said today in a letter to the oil company. In their letter to ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., appealed to Exxon's sense of corporate responsibility, asking the company to "come clean about its past denial activities." The two senators called on ExxonMobil to "end any further financial assistance" to groups "whose public advocacy has contributed to the small but unfortunately effective climate change denial myth."... Since 1990, the report said, the company has spent more than $19 million funding groups that promote their views through publications and Web sites that are not peer reviewed by the scientific community. ...


"Corporate responsibility"? But what about their responsibilities to the stockholders?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 25, 2009
from London Guardian:
Climate change summit hijacked by biggest polluters, critics claim
A vital meeting in Copenhagen this weekend that will help shape the agenda for the most important climate change talks since the Kyoto protocol has been hijacked by some of the biggest polluters in the world, critics claimed today. Among those attending the World ­Business Summit on Climate Change is Shell, which has just been named by environmentalists on the basis of new research as "the most carbon-intensive oil company in the world". There is concern that the big energy companies will be pushing carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way of keeping the oil-based economy running....Six of the companies involved in the summit have been nominated for Climate Greenwash Awards because of their failure to live up to their PR spin on tackling climate change. ...


You mean the foxes are watching the foxhouse AGAIN?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 16, 2009
from Greenwire:
DOJ nominee's industry experience a worry for some
The corporate background of President Obama's pick for the nation's top environmental litigator has spurred concerns that she is ill-suited to lead the office charged with tackling corporate polluters. Obama announced plans earlier this week to nominate Ignacia Moreno, counsel of corporate environmental programs at General Electric Corp., to serve as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division... [Alex] Matthiessen, whose group focuses on cleaning up pollution in the Hudson River, said he was particularly troubled by Moreno's tenure as counsel to GE, whose plants discharged as much as 1.3 million pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the Hudson River... ...


Isn't this yet another case of getting a fox to watch the FOXhouse?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 11, 2009
from Associated Press:
Former coal lobbyist takes state post
A former coal industry lobbyist has been named to a top post with Indiana's environmental agency, an appointment that environmental activists say raises questions about whether he can be objective in his new job. David Joest, a former registered lobbyist for Peabody Coal Co., became the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's assistant commissioner for the Office of Legal Counsel in April. That post puts him in charge of civil enforcement and criminal investigations of the state's biggest polluters. IDEM spokesman Barry Sneed said the agency "is fortunate to have someone of his caliber and experience." But environmentalists say they're baffled by his appointment, which comes as his former employer, Peabody Energy, seeks to start new mines in Indiana. ...


That's kind of like the fox watching the fox house.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 23, 2009
from Indianapolis Star:
Brazilian toxic-waste lawsuit names Lilly, Dow AgroSciences
Dozens of Brazilian residents are suing five chemical giants, including drug maker Eli Lilly and Co. and pesticide maker Dow AgroSciences of Indianapolis, claiming they dumped, buried or burned tons of toxic waste that had been banned in the U.S. since the 1970s. The toxins contaminated the air and water and caused medical problems for workers and nearby residents, the lawsuit claims. Exposure to the chemicals resulted in cancer, genetic abnormalities, physical deformities and premature deaths, according to the lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. It asks for unspecified damages....The suit also names Shell Oil Co., American Cyanamid Co. and BASF Corp. The plaintiffs claim Lilly used its plant incinerator to burn "untoward substances" for Shell and other companies. ...


We gotta get rid of it somewhere -- why not Brazil?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 22, 2009
from The Charleston Gazette:
Bayer safety lapses 'could have eclipsed Bhopal'
Significant safety lapses by management of Bayer CropScience's Institute plant caused a fatal August 2008 explosion that could have turned into a disaster worse than Bhopal, according to evidence presented Tuesday to a congressional committee. Bayer plant officials continued to use long-deficient equipment, leading employees to bypass safety gear in the plant's Methomyl-Larvin unit where the explosion occurred, U.S. Chemical Safety Board officials told a House subcommittee. The runaway explosion sent a 5,000-pound chemical vessel rocketing into the air and across the plant, where it could have easily smashed into a nearby methyl isocyanate tank, "the consequences of which could have eclipsed the 1984 disaster in India," congressional committee staffers concluded in their report. ...


Given that it's Bayer, though, at least it wouldn't have hurt as bad.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 19, 2009
from Associated Press:
AP IMPACT: Tons of released drugs taint US water
U.S. manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water — contamination the federal government has consistently overlooked, according to an Associated Press investigation. Hundreds of active pharmaceutical ingredients are used in a variety of manufacturing, including drugmaking: For example, lithium is used to make ceramics and treat bipolar disorder; nitroglycerin is a heart drug and also used in explosives; copper shows up in everything from pipes to contraceptives... trace amounts of a wide range of pharmaceuticals -- including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones -- have been found in American drinking water supplies. Including recent findings in Dallas, Cleveland and Maryland's Prince George's and Montgomery counties, pharmaceuticals have been detected in the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans. ...


But I like having manboobs.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 12, 2009
from Sydney Morning Herald:
New sofas to blame for rash of allergies
AN unexplained rash could be a sign that your couch is making you sick. A toxic fungicide in imported furniture is behind an outbreak of chronic dermatitis, skin burns, eye irritation and breathing difficulties across the world. Medical experts here are warning consumers to watch for symptoms. The international journal Allergy has confirmed what thousands of British and mainland European citizens have known for more than a year: new leather sofas imported from China are a hotbed of allergens. ...


What am I gonna sit on to watch my TV!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 8, 2009
from Wall Street Journal:
Pension Funds Fret as Chevron Faces Ecuador Ruling
Big public pension funds are raising concerns about an impending court judgment that could hold Chevron Corp. liable for billions of dollars in alleged environmental damages in the Ecuadorian jungle. The funds, which together hold $1 billion in Chevron shares, are worried that the oil giant could face as much as $27 billion in damages in the 15-year-old class-action case, which was filed by a U.S. law firm on behalf of thousands of indigenous Ecuadorians. The lawsuit, being tried in the Amazonian town of Lago Agrio, alleges that Texaco polluted waterways and wells across a vast area of Ecuador by dumping billions of gallons of oil waste into leaky pits during 20 years of operations there. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001 for about $30 billion. ...


Bought it for 30 billion bucks... settlement could be 27 billion bucks... they still come out ahead!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 3, 2009
from The Nation:
Tennessee's Dirty Data
The Tennessee Valley Authority manipulated science methods to downplay water contamination caused by a massive coal ash disaster, according to independent technical experts and critics of the federally funded electrical company. The TVA is the largest public provider of electricity in the nation, providing power to 670,000 homes and burning through some 14,000 tons of coal per day. On December 22 the authority made headlines when one of its retention ponds collapsed, letting loose an avalanche of coal ash--the toxic residue left over when coal is burned. More than 5 million cubic yards of ashy mud pushed its way through a neighborhood and into Tennessee's Emory River, knocked houses off foundations and blanketed river water with plumes of gray scum that flowed downstream. New evidence indicates that in the wake of the disaster, the TVA may have intentionally collected water samples from clean spots in the Emory River, a major supplier of drinking water for nearby cities and a popular site for recreational activities such as swimming and fishing. Third-party tests have found high levels of toxins in the river water and in private wells, while the TVA has assured residents that tap water, well water and river water are safe. ...


Isn't it just soooo human nature to want to cover up mistakes.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 27, 2009
from The Nation:
The Dirt on Clean Coal
...the American coal industry, which pumps 2 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year and contributes more than one-third of the nation's overall greenhouse gas emissions, is nothing if not resilient. Despite rising public concern about global warming and a growing awareness that coal is an irrevocably dirty business, the industry is spending millions of dollars on a slick messaging campaign stressing its "commitment to clean." Critics argue that "clean coal" means anything the industry wants it to, pointing out that of the country's 616 coal plants, none are carbon-free or close to it. The viability of an environmentally sustainable future for coal is questionable, and so is the industry's commitment to cleaning itself up. The Center for American Progress recently released a report showing that the country's biggest coal companies have spent only a fraction of their multibillion-dollar profits developing technologies to curb carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. "The ads and other public clean coal activities are merely designed to delay global warming solutions without suffering a public relations black eye," the CAP report stated. ...


Public Relations = Public Ruination!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 18, 2009
from Guardian (UK):
James Hansen: 'democratic process isn't working'
Protest and direct action could be the only way to tackle soaring carbon emissions, a leading climate scientist has said. James Hansen, a climate modeller with NASA, told the Guardian today that corporate lobbying has undermined democratic attempts to curb carbon pollution. "The democratic process doesn't quite seem to be working," he said. ... "The first action that people should take is to use the democratic process. What is frustrating people, me included, is that democratic action affects elections but what we get then from political leaders is greenwash. ...


"Greenwash" is such a nicer term than bullgreenshit.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 18, 2009
from BusinessGreen:
Shell halts wind and solar spending in favour of biofuels
Oil giant Shell has announced it is to focus its future renewable energy strategy on biofuels and halt investment in technologies such as wind and solar, which it maintains are failing to offer sufficient economic returns. Executives at its annual strategy presentation said that the company remained committed to building a "material business in alternative energy", but would take a more targeted approach to investment and primarily focus on biofuels.... "If there aren't investment opportunities which compete with other projects we won't put money into it," she said. "We are businessmen and women. If there were renewables [which made money] we would put money into it." ...


Hard to argue with that! Money makes the the world go around!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 11, 2009
from Canada.com:
Homeowners fear hazards inside drywall from China
Thomas Martin, president of America's Watchdog, says that in the past two weeks about a dozen Lower Mainland callers have all reported experiencing the same nose bleeds, breathing problems and allergy-type symptoms that have affected homeowners across the U.S. Continued exposure could result in severe health problems, the group says. "This type of drywall was produced with materials that emit toxic hydrogen sulphide gas and other sulphide gases," says a copy of one home inspection report obtained Canwest News Service on an affected Florida home where Chinese drywall was installed. "These sulphide gases are also alleged to cause serious health conditions and illnesses, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, eye irritations and respiratory difficulties." "It's scary, it's a nightmare. We think we are looking at the worst case of sick houses in U.S. history," Martin said.... The drywall in question was imported from China between 2001 and 2007. ...


I can't smell any problem with my drywall.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Mar 1, 2009
from PressTV (Iran):
Persian Gulf faces possible environmental crisis
The Persian Gulf has been polluted by more than 5,000 cubic meters of toxic industrial waste including heavy metals. The waste material from Mobin Petrochemical Company, located in Assaluyeh in southern Iran, has been discharged into the Persian Gulf without being treated, Iran's Environmental News Agency reported. The news report added that the petrochemical company's waste materials are toxic and replete with hazardous industrial materials.... According to the latest studies, the level of the pollution in The Persian Gulf as a semi-closed sea is 47 times more than the open seas and the water in eastern coast of the area contains more pollutants. ...


Surely the petrochemical companies have inadvertently been releasing those petrochemicals.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 20, 2009
from New Scientist:
Ban on mountaintop mining overturned
Even as public opinion in the US turns against coal, judges have overturned a ban on blasting away mountaintops to get at seams. In the central Appalachians, including West Virginia, mining companies have lopped up to 300 metres off hundreds of mountains, destroying biologically diverse hardwood forest. The debris is often dumped into valleys, sometimes burying streams in the process. A lawsuit filed by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC) based in Huntington, West Virginia, argued that such valley fills violate the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, and a US district court ruled in their favour in March 2007. But on 13 February, a Court of Appeals panel voted 2:1 to reverse the decision. ...


Mountaintop soccer, anyone?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jan 30, 2009
from Guardian (UK):
Carbon trading may be the new sub-prime, says energy boss
"We like certainty about a carbon price," he said. "[But] the carbon price has to become simple and not become a new type of sub-prime tool which will be diverted from what is its initial purpose: to encourage real investment in real low-carbon technology." Green campaigners have long been critical of the way the emissions trading scheme was set up, but it is unusual for a leading industry figure to cast doubt on it, as power companies lobbied hard for a market mechanism to deal with global warming. "We are at the tipping point where we ... should wonder if we have in place the right balance between government policy, regulator responsibility and the market mechanism which will deliver the carbon price," said de Rivaz. ...


When industry lobbies hard for a market mechanism to fix a problem, follow the money.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 8, 2009
from Associated Press:
TVA ratepayers may be stuck with ash cleanup bill
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The tab for a toxin-laden ash flood at a coal-fired power plant in Tennessee could reach hundreds of millions of dollars, and ratepayers for the nation's largest public utility will probably be stuck with the bill. The total cost of cleaning up last month's accident isn't yet clear, but the bill will be staggering. Extra workers, overtime, heavy machinery, housing and supplies for families chased from their homes and lawsuits are among the costs that are piling up. And with few other places for the Tennessee Valley Authority to turn to cover the costs, the utility's 9 million customers in Tennessee and six surrounding states will bear the brunt in higher electricity rate hikes in the future, TVA Chairman Bill Sansom told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "This is going to get into (electric) rates sooner or later," Sansom said. "We haven't even thought about going to Washington for it." When a dike broke Dec. 22 at the Kingston Fossil Plant, some 1.1 billion gallons of sludge was released from a 40-acre settlement pond, blanketing nearly 300 acres in a rural neighborhood up to 9 feet deep in grayish muck and spilling into the Emory River threatening drinking water. ...


So... I see ... we get crapped on twice.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Dec 21, 2008
from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
EPA veils hazardous substances
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency routinely allows companies to keep new information about their chemicals secret, including compounds that have been shown to cause cancer and respiratory problems, the Journal Sentinel has found. The newspaper examined more than 2,000 filings in the EPA's registry of dangerous chemicals for the past three years. In more than half the cases, the EPA agreed to keep the chemical name a secret. In hundreds of other cases, it allowed the company filing the report to keep its name and address confidential. This is despite a federal law calling for public notice of any new information through the EPA's program monitoring chemicals that pose substantial risk. The whole idea of the program is to warn the public of newfound dangers. The EPA's rules are supposed to allow confidentiality only "under very limited circumstances." ...


So remind me ... why isn't this a crime? Why aren't these peope in jail? Why don't people rise up?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Dec 19, 2008
from Boston Phoenix:
20 reasons the Earth will be glad to see Bush go
...We've selected 20 specific environmental transgressions of the Bush administration for scrutiny here, drawn primarily from conversations with and reports issued by the nation's leading environmental-advocacy groups. Were we to have written about all the ecological crimes committed by the Bush team -- the damage already done, the policies that have since been reversed, the individuals who have moved on to do their damage elsewhere -- we'd only be wringing our hands and wasting more paper. Thus, we've limited our Top 20 list to the horrific environmental scenarios still ongoing ďż˝ these are the assaults on the planet that Bush and his cronies are continuing to this day, and surely would go on doing were their time not coming to a merciful end.... ...


Really? Did I do all this? Well, if Mother Nature doesn't love me, at least my own mom does. Doesn't she?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 17, 2008
from Cafe Sendito:
Flawed International Farm Seed Rules Establish Permanent Spread of Patented GM Brands
The Canadian courts ruled that the individual farmer had to shoulder the burden of ferreting out any instance of "contamination" of his crop by pollen from nearby genetically-modified (GM) planting, as Monsanto held a patent on the seeds. The farmer, and those who support his claims, argue that there is no means by which anyone can prevent cross-pollination from GM plants.... The group warned that due to the strict rules regarding harvesting, seed storage and repurchase, the system established by the marketing of patented GM seeds could force poor farmers onto "an expensive treadmill of dependence on the firms' seeds and chemicals".... "Because our rapeseed is contaminated with GMOs the economic effect has been disastrous for farmers, as we can no longer sell rapeseed to many countries in the world. The price of rapeseed has dropped almost in half." ...


They'll be suing farmers for accepting the wind off "their" fields before we know it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Nov 20, 2008
from Financial Times:
Daewoo to cultivate Madagascar land for free
Daewoo Logistics of South Korea said it expected to pay nothing to farm maize and palm oil in an area of Madagascar half the size of Belgium, increasing concerns about the largest farmland investment of this kind. The Indian Ocean island will simply gain employment opportunities from Daewoo's 99-year lease of 1.3m hectares, officials at the company said. They emphasised that the aim of the investment was to boost Seoul's food security.... "It is totally undeveloped land which has been left untouched. And we will provide jobs for them by farming it, which is good for Madagascar," said Mr Hong. The 1.3m hectares of leased land is almost half the African country’s current arable land of 2.5m hectares. ...


Now there's a deal. Something tells me that there will be a few surprises ahead for that ecosystem.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 30, 2008
from Tucson Weekly:
Grim Tally
...On Oct. 22, U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva released a report, compiled by his staff and subtly titled, "The Bush Administration Assaults on Our National Parks, Forests and Public Lands (A Partial List)."...Grijalva said he expects a slew of last-ditch efforts to gut environmental regulations in the administration's final days. ...


Hopefully, the next president can quickly un-gut those regulations.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 11, 2008
from London Guardian:
ABC deems Gore climate change advert too 'controversial' for TV
The ABC network has refused to air an advert produced by Al Gore's environmental group, ruling that its charge of US government favouritism to the oil industry is too "controversial" for television. The TV commercial, part of the WE campaign run by Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, was submitted for airing after this week's presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain - both of whom have vowed to limit greenhouse gas emissions if elected. But ABC concluded that the advert violated its internal policy against "controversial" content during network-sponsored programmes, network spokeswoman Julie Hoover told the Guardian. ...


Clearly, since oil companies can buy all the ads they want, the revolution won't be televised!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Sep 7, 2008
from EcoWorldly:
Biofuels War: The New Scramble for Africa by Western Big Money Profiteers
African civil society is calling for a moratorium on new biofuels investments in Africa amid concern that that the biofuels revolution will bring more food insecurity, higher food prices and hunger to the continent. In Tanzania, thousands of farmers growing cereals like corn and rice are already being evicted from fertile land with good access to water, for biofuel sugar cane and jatropha plantations on newly privatized land. According to the anti-biofuels investment campaigners, whole villages are being cleared or grabbed, but families have been given minimal compensation or opportunities for their loss of land, community and way of life. ...


Here in the West, we call that development.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 4, 2008
from Mother Jones:
Climate of Meddling
From Exxon-lobbyist memos to White House-deleted notes on the health impact of global warming, seven key dates in the Bush administration's eight-year scuffle with a green planet. ...


You mean Nero/Bush wasn't just fiddling while the planet burned?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 3, 2008
from AFP:
Ivory Coast's toxic waste trial to start September 29
The trial of 12 people charged with involvement in the 2006 toxic waste pollution scandal in the Ivory Coast is set to go ahead on September 29, according to court documents released Tuesday. The 12 are charged with "poisoning or complicity to poison" in the illicit dumping of 500 tonnes of caustic soda and petroleum residues across more than a dozen open-air rubbish tips around the commercial capital Abidjan. The toxic sludge, brought into Ivory Coast by Dutch-based multinational trading company Trafigura, killed 16 people and caused an estimated 95,000 people to seek medical attention. ...


Not in my backyard.
In theirs -- they're poorer.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Sep 2, 2008
from Public Campaign Action Fund:
Oil, Coal Industries Already Have Spent $427 Million On Politics, Policy, and Marketing in 2008
Today Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving America’s campaign finance laws, released a new analysis finding that the oil and coal industries spent $427.2 million so far this year of the year to shift public opinion and to capture the eyes, ears, and support of Congress on critical energy issues.... "With spending like this, it’s clear that these polluting industries see much at stake in Congress," continued Nyhart. ...


You mean this isn't the voice of the people?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 13, 2008
from IndiaInteracts:
Powerful Friends of Posco and Sterlite
In today's world, where the real wealthy are the corporate tycoons, it is hardly surprising that they are using their wealth not just to win friends but also to buy loyalty. The brazen manner in which the Posco and the Vedanta (Sterlite) have bought the friendship of Naveen Patnaik administration in Orissa and the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre is a testimony to the bourgeoning influence of the money power.... And what has the plant done to the people? Although the refinery is not yet in full operation, it is already damaging local life. Filmmaker S.Josson spoke to the people of the area in March 2008. Sample one quote: Mukta a woman living in the vicinity of the refinery says: "The water has become bad. When we bathe the skin itches. When we drink we get sores in our mouth. Our hair is falling rapidly. The air quality has also become terrible. It is difficult to breathe. We get sores in our throat. The body itches at night. Our cattle are dying"... And this is how Naveen Patnaik and Manmohan Singh are bringing the experience of modern living for the tribal people of Orissa. ...


That's the itch of modernity! Scratch it!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Aug 9, 2008
from London Daily Telegraph:
Amazonian Chernobyl -- Ecuador's oil environment disaster
"Once it was pristine rainforest. Now it has been described as an Amazonian Chernobyl. Millions of gallons of crude oil and toxic waste -- the legacy of an oil extraction programme -- has blighted 1,700 hectares of land and poisoned the rivers and streams in Sucumbios in the north-east corner of Ecuador... Indigenous Indian people blame the pollution on the US oil giant Chevron -- formerly Texaco -- and say it has caused a catalogue of health problems including severe birth defects, spontaneous miscarriages and cancers." ...


It takes the power of human energy to so completely ruin a planet.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jun 15, 2008
from Dhaka Daily Star in Bangladesh:
Rivers void of life forms
"The level of pollution in the Buriganga and most parts of Turag and Norai flowing around the capital is so high that no living organism can survive in the waters of these rivers, researchers say. A three-year research finds that some invertebrates and small organisms come into being in these rivers when water flow increases during rains. But these life forms completely disappear in the dry season, they add. ...


Sounds like the kind of river you could light with a match.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 6, 2008
from AP News:
Oregon judge sends polluting company owner to prison
The owner of a company that repeatedly mishandled waste oil and other hazardous material in violation of federal environmental laws has been sentenced to six months in prison. Donald Spencer will also pay a $150,000 fine on behalf of his company, Spencer Environmental Inc. A prosecutor says a prison sentence in such an environmental case is rare. Spencer was convicted of two federal felonies for failing to dispose properly of thousands of gallons of used oil and wastewater contaminated with highly corrosive hydrochloric acid. ...


Let's hope it's not an endangered species.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 4, 2008
from Stabroek News (Guyana):
Quartz Hill mining highlights environment threat
Breaches of the mining regulations were evident during a recent visit to Quartz Hill and nearby areas, resulting in pollution and fouling of waterways even as the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) strives to enforce the rules and advocate self-regulation.... Meanwhile, unsafe use of mercury, breached tailings ponds and mining activities close to water courses were some of the infringements.... As a result of the breached tailings ponds, a section of the Omai Creek was heavily discoloured with a yellow sludge, which made its way to the Essequibo River. ...


We've noticed that when the profit motive is involved, self-regulation is appealing only to the profiteers.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 3, 2008
from Time Magazine:
Lowe Eyes the Everglades
"Lowe's, the home improvement chain, wants to move the border [of Miami-Dade County's Urban Development Boundary (UBD] so it can erect a new store on more than 20 acres of the wetlands; further south, developers want to hop the line to build a commercial park and thousands of new homes. Protesters, including Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, gathered to denounce the plans last week -- but on Thursday the Miami-Dade County Commission approved the Lowe's and the office developments." ...


No doubt the wetlands will be nourished by the tears shed over this development.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 2, 2008
from Guardian (UK):
"Dishonest, irresponsible": Shell lambasted for pulling out of world's biggest windfarm
Oil giant drops plan days after it reports Ł4bn profits. Shell was accused last night of being greedy and irresponsible as it came under ferocious attack from politicians and environmentalists for its decision to drop a commitment to the biggest offshore wind farm in the world.... "Mere days after reporting first-quarter profits of Ł4bn, Shell has shown its true colours in what can only be described as a PR disaster for the company, and further proof that its media-friendly "greenspeak" is both dishonest and irresponsible." ...


If we can't trust the oil companies to be honest, who can we trust?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 19, 2008
from Reuters:
Investors warm to water as shortages mount
" LONDON (Reuters) - As liquidity is drained from credit and money markets and pours into oil and gold, another asset class that could offer long-term returns to the discerning investor is water. Water shortages are on the rise -- stemming from soaring demand, growing populations, rising living standards and changing diets. A lack of supply is compounded by pollution and climate change. Investors are mobilizing funds to buy the assets that control water and improve supplies, especially in developing countries such as China where urban populations are booming, further tightening supply." ...


Gives the phrase liquid cash a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Feb 17, 2008
from Friends of the Earth, via Business Week:
Report Raises Alarm Over Superweeds
"As more acres of "Roundup Ready" crops are planted, the use of the pesticide has increased. The increased application has led some weeds to develop a resistance to glyphosate, the generic term for the chemical in Roundup. And, in turn, farmers have had to apply stronger doses of pesticide to kill the superweeds.... According to the report, the amount of weed-killing herbicides used by farmers has exploded, rising fifteenfold since biotech crops were first planted. The report lists eight weeds in the U.S. -- among them horseweed, common waterhemp, and hairy fleabane -- that have developed resistance to glyphosate, the most commonly applied pesticide." ...


Not surprisingly, elsewhere in the article, this headline:
Monsanto Profit Forecast Up.
The makers of Roundup are like heroin dealers, raising the junkies' resistance, so they can sell more, more, more.
Until the overdose.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 31, 2008
from Washington Post (US):
Video Reveals Violations of Laws, Abuse of Cows at Slaughterhouse
"Video footage being released today shows workers at a California slaughterhouse delivering repeated electric shocks to cows too sick or weak to stand on their own; drivers using forklifts to roll the "downer" cows on the ground in efforts to get them to stand up for inspection; and even a veterinary version of waterboarding in which high-intensity water sprays are shot up animals' noses -- all violations of state and federal laws designed to prevent animal cruelty and to keep unhealthy animals, such as those with mad cow disease, out of the food supply." ...


Now we know how cows get mad enough to create mad cow disease.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jan 28, 2008
from The Independent:
Big business says addressing climate change rates very low on the agenda
"Global warming ranks far down the concerns of the world's biggest companies, despite world leaders' hopes that they will pioneer solutions to the impending climate crisis, a startling survey will reveal this week. Nearly nine in 10 of them do not rate it as a priority, says the study, which canvassed more than 500 big businesses in Britain, the US, Germany, Japan, India and China. Nearly twice as many see climate change as imposing costs on their business as those who believe it presents an opportunity to make money. And the report's publishers believe that big business will concentrate even less on climate change as the world economy deteriorates. The survey demolishes George Bush's insistence that global warming is best addressed through voluntary measures undertaken by business ..." ...


So if world leaders can't do it, and big business isn't interested, then we figure it's up to us little people to take care of the planet. Of course, we might have to move the world leaders and big business out of the way...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Copyright 2009 The Apocadocs.com