Archive | Disastrous

Don’t people get tired of this?

Deepwater Horizon memorial on Elysian Fields, New Orleans

Being lied to about these disasters? I realize the people who live there are dependent on the fishing industry, but Gulf seafood is most likely unsafe to eat:

Scientists have already reported finding what they called a 1,235-square-mile “bathtub ring” of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico left over from the huge 2010 BP oil spill.

Now it appears this ring is part of a washroom set: A different team of scientists has found that up 10 million gallons of oil have created what can be called only a “bath mat” beneath the sediment of the gulf’s floor.

First the ring. David Valentine and colleagues from the University of California at Santa Barbara wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in October that about 10 million gallons of the spilled oil settled on the gulf’s floor. Its size: about the size of the state of Rhode Island.

But what about the rest? As much as 200 million gallons of oil were spilled after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, owned by BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., exploded off the coast of New Orleans, killing 11 workers on the rig, injuring 17 more, and allowing oil to gush into the gulf for nearly three months.

All that oil has been hard to find. But a team of scientists led by Jeff Chanton found between 6 million and 10 million gallons buried in the sediment at the bottom of the gulf about 60 miles southeast of the Mississippi Delta. Chanton is a professor of oceanography at Florida State University.


In planned EPA cuts, US to lose vital connection to at-risk communities


By Nicole Smith Dahmen, Assistant Professor of Visual Communication, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon and Deborah Morrison, Professor of Advertising, University of Oregon. Activists, federal workers and union representatives rallied for environmental protection policies at the EPA. American Federation of Government Employees, CC BY Recent headlines point to a relentless undoing of policy… Continue Reading →

None of that pussy stuff

Grand Canyon National Park

Like hiking and camping! Real men drill!

A leaked document says that extracting coal, oil, and natural gas from public lands will be the top priorities for the Bureau of Land Management under President Donald Trump, a sharp reversal from the previous administration.

The five-page list of “BLM priority work,” reported by E&E News, begins with a page on “Making America safe through energy independence” — which the administration says means opening up more land for energy development.

“It is extremely disappointing that in their first 100 days, the Trump administration has made it clear that they are going to rig the system in favor of Big Oil companies at the expense of Western stakeholders and local leaders who wish to craft smart and balanced forms of energy development on our public lands,” Chris Saeger, executive director of the Western Values Project, a western conservation group, said in a statement emailed to ThinkProgress.

The priorities document and its accompanying communication guidancecalls on the agency to streamline oil, gas, and coal leasing and permitting and to streamline pipeline, transmission, and solar and wind projects. The document also has priorities for conservation, military and law enforcement activities, bureaucratic efficiencies, and “serving the American family.”

BLM was in the news last week, as well, after it replaced a picture of a child and an adult at a park with a picture of coal as the lead image on its website.

Saeger called the memo a “not-so-subtle wink” at Big Oil and “confirmation that we have indeed returned to the days of “Drill Baby Drill,” when lawsuits and conflict ruled the day on Western public lands.”

Tribes: Hundreds march to White House in pipeline protest

Hundreds marched from the Washington office of the U.S. Army Corps to the White House in protest of the Dakota Access pipeline this morning. Photo by Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder.

Hundreds of protesters this morning marched from the Army Corps of Engineers office in Washington to the White House, where they held a rally against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Throughout the week, Native American protesters and their supporters have been holding water blessings, cultural workshops and presentations at a ceremonial teepee camp set up by the Washington Monument.

This week, tribes and other groups were outraged by a federal court’s decision to reject arguments from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe that the project violates their religious freedom rights.

During the march that was organized by Native Nations Rise, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dave Archambault II and Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy read a proclamation that questioned the separation of church and state when dealing with tribal matters.

“The Dakota Access Pipeline crisis is a direct result of the United States government using the religious underpinnings of U.S. federal law against our Nations,” Goudy said in a statement.

Cheyenne River and Standing Rock still have pending legal cases against the pipeline, although the pipeline could start moving oil as soon as next week.

“In order for us to take the steps necessary to assure our own future, we have to understand historically what has happened to us and understand what is currently happening to us,” Archambault said.

Earthquake on the beach: Scientists think a 7.4 temblor could reach from L.A. to San Diego


LOS ANGELES — The discovery of missing links between earthquake faults shows how a magnitude 7.4 earthquake could rupture in the same temblor underneath Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, a new study finds. Such an earthquake would be 30 times more powerful than the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that caused the 1933 Long Beach earthquake,… Continue Reading →

Gov. Brownback’s tax cut ‘experiments’ have failed: $893M needed to fix schools

Slide 17 - Sam Brownback

Last week, second-term Kansas governor Sam Brownback lost a legal battle over underfunding schools. The state’s Supreme Court has ordered him to rethink his method of funding schools, further highlighting the Republican governor’s fiscal failures. Taking conservative policies to the extreme, the governor cut taxes on the wealthiest citizens in his state by a whopping 29… Continue Reading →

Preserving reality


Digby on the efforts to preserve government data before the Trump administration blows it all up:

Many of the programmers who showed up at UCLA for the event had day jobs as IT consultants or data managers at startups; others were undergrad computer science majors. The scientists in attendance, including ecologists, lab managers, and oceanographers, came from universities all over Southern California. A motley crew of data enthusiasts who assemble for projects like this is becoming something of a trend at universities across the country: Volunteer “data rescue” events in Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Michigan over the last few weeks have managed to scrape hundreds of thousands of pages off of,,, and, uploading them to the Internet Archive. Another is planned for early February at New York University.

Hackers, librarians, scientists, and archivists had been working around the clock, at these events and in the days between, to download as much federal climate and environment data off government websites as possible before Trump took office. But suddenly, at exactly noon on Friday as Trump was sworn in, and just as the UCLA event kicked off, some of their fears began to come true: The climate change-related pages on disappeared. It’s typical of incoming administrations to take down some of their predecessor’s pages, but scrubbing all mentions of climate change is a clear indication of the Trump administration’s position on climate science.

“We’re having a heart attack,” said Laurie Allen on Friday afternoon. Allen is the assistant director for digital scholarship in the University of Pennsylvania libraries and the technical lead on a recent data-rescuing event there. “In the last four days I think we’ve been working 22 hours a day, because we were hearing that these precise changes were going to happen.”

As Digby points out, these are not paranoid people. Go read the whole thing.

Witch hunt: Trump demands list of civil servants who worked on climate policy

Dead Vlei

Donald Trump’s transition team is instructing the Department of Energy (DOE) to hand over the names of all of the agency’s contractors and employers who have worked on key climate policies under President Barack Obama, raising concerns that a witch hunt is being orchestrated by the incoming administration. The request was included in a 74-question internal… Continue Reading →

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