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Category Archive: Environment

Jan 31 2014

Add “flaming death” to “environmental degradation”

gaslineexplosion

I’m just curious — did anyone else hear about the big pipeline explosion near Winnipeg? I’m sure that if you lived in southern Manitoba, where thousands were without heat for their homes in January, knew all about it. But I didn’t see much in the news about this terrifying event. There may be a reason …

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Jan 19 2014

“You never want to be in the position of performing a toxicity experiment like this on your own drinking water supply.”

Deborah Blum has a terrific story about the toxicity of MCHM, the chemical that Freedom Industries dumped into West Virginia’s water supply (a plume of poison which is now on its way to Cincinnati, and eventually Indiana). The answer on the degree of toxicity is…we don’t know. It’s had minimal testing. She summarizes the toxicity …

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Jan 17 2014

Deadbeat corporation

You had to know just from the name that Freedom Industries had to be an exploiter — that’s how right-wing capitalist thugs always name their enterprises. No surprise: they’re filing for bankruptcy. Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the chemical spill that left 300,000 West Virginians without tap water for the better part of a …

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Jan 17 2014

Weather extremes harm all sides

While we’re freezing out here in the midwest, and expecting lots of snow, ChasCPeterson is concerned about what’s going on out west. It’s going to be a grim year out here in the Mojave Desert. The perennials are already crispy and can only get crispier. We’re already past the winter-rain window that would bring annuals. …

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Jan 11 2014

Oh, well then, no problem

elkriver

A chemical plant in West Virginia, for a company called Freedom Industries (there’s a name that screams last refuge of scoundrels for you), spilled about 5,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the local water table. It turned the water in the rivers blue-green and reeking of licorice. The safety sheet for this chemical has a …

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Nov 01 2013

If you can’t get rid of garbage, worship it

Every time you use a plastic bag at the grocery store or buy another bottle of water you are contributing to the deluge of one-use, throw-away plastic products that pile up in our landfills or float out to sea. One group in Baton Rouge is trying to raise consciousness with Sacred Waste, a performance art …

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Oct 25 2013

A good cause

Chris Clarke has put out a Kickstarter to fund a resource for information about California’s wildlife. It looks like an excellent idea. I wish I could imagine something similar for my neighborhood in Minnesota, but the majestic soybean, the mighty corn stalk, and the lithe, bounding dairy cow just aren’t that exciting. The prairie was …

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Oct 21 2013

The most depressing thing I’ve read today

Ten years ago, Ivan Macfadyen sailed across the Pacific Ocean. He repeated the voyage recently, and was shocked at the changes: the sea was empty of fish, and thick with garbage. He describes the painful experience, and also sees the trawlers stripping the reefs naked. The speedboat came alongside and the Melanesian men aboard offered …

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Oct 21 2013

How about a new rule: no idiots allowed in our parks?

This is appalling: a couple of Boy Scout leaders knocked over a rock formation in Goblin Valley. And they were so stupid that they recorded the act and put it on youtube. Here it is; skip it if you don’t think you could bear watching a couple of man-children whooping and hollering while they vandalize …

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Oct 15 2013

That looks like an OK way to dispose of a body

I wouldn’t mind someday having my corpse disposed of by freezing, shattering, and dessicating it prior to composting, but I don’t know that it’s the best way. The process is simple. Within a week and a half after death, the corpse is frozen to minus 18 degrees Celsius and then submerged in liquid nitrogen. This …

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