null_sequence

Posts Tagged ‘pollution

Ah, the Nurturing Goodness of Mercury Water

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Drink up, Bay Area!

…the study showed that the fish in the San Mateo County lake – which collects rainwater as well as water piped in from Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy reservoir – had some of the highest mercury levels in the state.

( SF Chronicle )

I have the feeling that there would be a lot of unwelcome surprises in store, were we to perform a comprehensive toxin assay survey across our “pristine” water sources here in the US. Anyone think that’s likely to happen?

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Written by nullsequence

July 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm

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It’s Always the Cover-up

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According to a variety of videos made by Gulf Coast locals, someone is using heavy equipment to plow over oil deposits on beaches. The clips show that you can easily dig down a few inches and strike gunk.

As each day sees more and more oil emulsion fouling beaches it probably won’t take too many days of mixing before the beach is less “sugar-sand” than tar-oil-sand aggregate, flavored with dispersant chemicals.
The beaches in the videos are apparently still open.

There are arguments that suggest it’s better to let the oil build up on the beaches, and to scrape them less frequently. Replacement sand would presumably need to be dredged up offshore and may be even more oil-laden than the beach it is to replenish, so scraping may need to be kept to a minimum.

Of course tourist beaches need to be open for business, so frequent scraping may be driven by the hard economics of summer.

But for sure, mixing the Gulf coast beaches into one big toxic, nasty batch of petrochemical-laced cookie dough is a killing blow to the beach tourism industry.

Written by nullsequence

June 30, 2010 at 4:18 am

Posted in travesty

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Anyway, Water Makes you Fat

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Like a lot of people I watched the premier of the stunning documentary Gasland the other night. While the ugliness of hydraulic fracturing was not entirely unknown to me, the scale of the current practice, as well as the manic increasing rate HF-based NG drilling was shocking.

According to the excellent investigative journalism organization ProPublica, 2008 saw 52,616 new HF-NG wells drilled in the US. Yes, 52616 new wells. The previous year saw 49220 new wells drilled, 47984 in 2006 and, well you get the picture.

Tens of thousands of fresh wells drilled every year. Tens of thousands.

For 2008 (ProPublica’s most recent data) that means about 144 new wells drilled each day in the US, or about 2.8 per day for each of the 50 states.

And for those water consumers out there (you know who you are), consider these tasty little data nuggets:

…as much as 85 percent of the fluids used during hydraulic fracturing is being left underground after wells are drilled…

That means that for each modern gas well drilled in the Marcellus and places like it, more than 3 million gallons of chemically tainted wastewater could be left in the ground forever.

(link)

That’s up to 3 million gal/well, 8.4 million gal/state-per-day or 420 million gal of toxin-laced drilling fluids and waste-water left underground each day in the USA.

And of course “forever” would assume no possible fluid communication between the traumatically fractured rock formations and aquifers. Right.

Sometimes even a chronic optimist such as myself is throttled by the notion that perhaps it really is a Doomer world, and we’re just dying in it.

Written by nullsequence

June 25, 2010 at 6:53 am

Posted in travesty

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Heavy Metal Thunder

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Chemistry happens, biology is a structure and ecology is… Everything.

The entire ocean life is just loaded with a series of contaminants, most of which have been released by human beings…

(link)

If whale populations really are terminally poisoned by heavy metals and other toxins, I guess we’ve finally shown those blubbery sentience upstarts just who’s boss. More likely, as we dose ourselves into oblivion, we are mere disposable meat puppets for those damn scheming jellyfish. Enjoy the planet guys and try to keep the tentacle pr0n down to a minimum. Cthulhu’s watching.

Written by nullsequence

June 25, 2010 at 6:04 am

Posted in news

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