Tag Archives | Ecology

Toxins Found in Whales Bode Ill for Humans

WhalingArthur Max writes on the AP:

AGADIR, Morocco — Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth’s oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.

A report released Thursday noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. From polar areas to equatorial waters, the whales ingested pollutants that may have been produced by humans thousands of miles away, the researchers said.

“These contaminants, I think, are threatening the human food supply. They certainly are threatening the whales and the other animals that live in the ocean,” said biologist Roger Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance, the research and conservation group that produced the report.

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The Crusextraction of the Earth

Robert Singer writes:

During the various stages of the energy extraction process, the globe of the earth suffers limitless pain at the area where the drilling occurs. It is gradually being depressurized and cooled internally, causing cycles of constriction, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation and searing pain as they use large drills to puncture pericardium and into the heart, sometimes as deep as 10,000 feet.

As the serum gets sucked from the sediment pores, the surrounding rocks shift positions to fill the newly vacated spaces, causing unbearable agony as the earth automatically contracts in size and goes badly out of shape resulting in a deep crushing pain.

"I Thirst." "My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death."(Psalm 22:15)

Then another agony begins when millions of barrels of vital bodily fluids are produced. This causes deep, crushing pain as the sac surrounding the bowels of the earth slowly fills with hydrocarbon soil and begins to compress the tectonic plates causing (shock) mini-seismic earthquakes.

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Should the U.S. Nuke the Gulf Coast Oil Spill?

Daniel Foster writes in National Review:
It was September of 1966, and gas was gushing uncontrollably from the wells in the Bukhara province of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. But the Reds, at the height of their industrial might, had a novel solution. They drilled nearly four miles into the sand and rock of the Kyzyl Kum Desert, and lowered a 30-kiloton nuclear warhead — more than half-again as large as “Little Boy,” the crude uranium bomb dropped over Hiroshima — to the depths beneath the wellhead. With the pull of a lever, a fistful of plutonium was introduced to itself under enormous pressure, setting off the chain reaction that starts with E = MC2 and ends in Kaboom! The ensuing blast collapsed the drill channel in on itself, sealing off the well.
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What Spill? Rig Owner Transocean Approves $1 Billion Payday to Shareholders

Great timing, folks. Does Transocean have a PR department? Excellent report from John Byrne on RAW Story:
TransoceanMoney

Five days after appearing before Congress to testify about its responsibility in one of the worst oil spills in US history, the Swiss company that owned and operated the oil rig that sunk into the Gulf of Mexico announced that it would shell out $1 billion in dividends to shareholders.

The revelation that Transocean is distributing a $1 billion profit to shareholders as one of its drill sites leaks millions of gallons of oil into the sea is sure to inflame an already smarting debate over offshore drilling and the company’s role.

Transocean has passionately argued that they don’t share financial responsibility for the disaster. A clause in a contract they had with BP says that the oil company is obligated to pay for any environmental damage, even though Transocean actually owned the rig.

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Kevin Costner Has a Machine that Turns Oil Into Water (Video)

WaterworldIs BP listening? Reports WGNO ABC26 News:
Kevin Costner is in town hoping star power and his oil spill clean-up machine will help in the gulf. It promises to help clean up the oil spill. And it's got some big backing. "Years before I got involved oil spills would come and, I would wonder why we couldn't clean this up," says Actor Kevin Costner. He's invested in a company that invented a processing machine that turns oil into water. "It's robust. Works at the speed that someone talked about, 200,000 gallons a minute. But it takes 99% of the oil." Using a small prototype of the machine, Costner demonstrated how it works for a group of stressed parish officials today. "We'll take this any day over the black oil that's covering south Plaquemines right now," says Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. The larger centrifuge model can collect up to 3,000 gallons of oil a day and right now, 31 are available. The response: There are no better options. "I think it's a no-brainer to try it," says Jefferson Parish Councilman John Young. Nungesser says, "I think we need to put it to work." And St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro says, "Let's get this out there. See what it can do."
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Bayou Fisherman: Oil Execs “Should Be Treated Like Terrorists”

BP Sucks

Photo: Jason Reed

Jon Bowermaster writes on TakePart:

BARATARIA, Louisiana— It is the perfect blue sky, humidity-free spring day in bayou country that makes you feel like everything should be all right in the world.

The intercoastal waterway leading to the Gulf of Mexico is calm, the canals that host fishing boats behind each neat suburban home reflect the midday sun, and a cool breeze washes away extraneous sounds and smells.

But despite the bucolic day, fisherman Mike Roberts is angry. “Osama bin Laden couldn’t have done a better job of destroying a part of the American economy. This oil spill? It’s like the ultimate act of terrorism. And these guys should be treated like terrorists.”

The guys he’s referring to: BP and Transocean executives, and the Mineral Management Service, the federal agency that was supposed to police the oil companies but appears to have been very cozy with the industry instead.

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Gulf Coast Oil Spill Nets $270 Million for Transocean

PressTV reports:
Gulf Oil Spill SourceThe firm that owns the leaking oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has made a $270 million profit from insurance payouts, despite having caused a massive ecological disaster.

Transocean, the company contracted by BP to drill the well, brought the story to light in a conference call on Monday.

Transocean took out a $560 million insurance policy on its Deepwater Horizon rig, which was greater than the value of the rig itself.

The company has already received a cash payment of $481 million, with the rest due over the next few weeks.

The “accounting gain” arises because the compensation it will be receiving more than covers the $200 million that it has to pay to survivors and their families and for higher insurance costs.

Lamar McKay, the chairman of BP’s US arm, Steve Newman, Transocean’s chief executive, and managers of several other companies involved in the drilling are scheduled to testify in hearings in the US Congress later this week.

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Chemical Dispersants Being Used in Gulf Clean-Up Are Potentially Toxic

Tom Philpott writes for Grist:
BlowUp

We finally know the main two dispersants that BP and the U.S. government are using to treat the ongoing Gulf spill.

Both, by their maker’s own admission, have the “potential to bioconcentrate,” and both have “moderate toxicity to early life stages of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks,” according to a study by Exxon, the company that originally developed them.

Their use may be the least-bad course, given the importance of minimizing oil’s effect on coastal wetlands. But a little digging into the chemical makeup of these two substances, which are being dumped in vast quantities into the Gulf, reveals that they could potentially do far more harm than good, both to the Gulf and to humans who later eat from it.

As ProPublica reported Monday, information about dispersants is “kept secret under competitive trade laws.” I’ve spent the last several days trying to confirm what many in the ocean-ecology and public health worlds seemed to know, but no one would say officially: that two different dispersants sold under the banner of Corexit were being used in vast quantities.

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