Do Not Mix: Chemical Plants and Natural Disasters

The consequences of Hurricane Harvey go on and on. Even under the “best” of circumstances the flooding caused by the days of torrential rain would be hazardous as the toxic fluids from automobiles, gas stations, businesses, and household chemicals mix with flooded sewers and sewage treatment facilities. In other words, flooding around any modern town or city is going to result in a toxic stew. However, this region of Texas is far more than a modern city (or collection of cities). It is the petrochemical capital of the United States, as well as having significant numbers of chemical production facilities.

[Read more…]

Welcome to COBS Web

pontificating goherHi and welcome to this new Free Thought Blog blog. I am Rowan Wolf, and that rather multi-gendered name is a woman’s moniker this instance. I am a lifelong activist starting as a wee tyke of 17 working in the women’s liberation, farm workers, and then young environmental movements. I did not realize at that point that I was signing up for a lifetime of struggle. I thought that at some point we would ‘win.’ Well, there have been ‘wins’ and also ‘losses’, and now? I’d say we are in a BIG backslide.

I admit that after almost 50 years of wrestling for social justice and a better world, I saw the success of Trump’s campaign (way before the election) with sadness. His success was legitimating the blatant bigotry that I knew would cause lasting harm – even if he had lost his run for President.

He did not lose, and now that bigotry has been institutionalized at the highest formal levels of out society. We have a lot of work to do. Which brings us back to FtB and COBS Web,

When I was made aware of the opportunity to join the collective of writers here at FtB, I put in my application. It is a time when I think that working collectively is critical. Working together more than amplifies our individual efforts. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

As I noted, and if you do the math, I’ve been at this social change business for awhile. I am also a sociologist, and I have learned that there are changes that happen very fast, and changes that happen very slow. Changing hearts and minds on a societal basis is slow – for a whole array of reasons. Changing the way we live (driven by technology) can move us in a direction, reshaping many aspects of out lives and interactions, at virtual light speed. Weird, huh?

I’ll stop here for now, before you decide that this is just too long to read. I’ll return to this and other topics shortly.

I am leaving the commenting feature open (unless we get a bunch of trolls and I am forced to close them).

So once again, welcome! Glad to be here.