Game Changer | This American Life
One of my very favorite episodes of This American Life:
A professor in Pennsylvania makes a calculation, to discover that his state is sitting atop a massive reserve of natural gas—enough to revolutionize how America gets its energy. But another professor in Pennsylvania does a different calculation and reaches a troubling conclusion: that getting natural gas out of the ground poses a risk to public health. Two men, two calculations, and two very different consequences
Yes, this is real.
Yes, this is exactly why we don’t trust pipelines in the ground that, if an accident were to occur, would infect our water (and in fact already has in some communities).
"The sky was red, yellow. It was like, it was like the end of the world," Resident Anne-Julie Hallee, who witnessed the explosion, said to abc.
Watching Scotty Grow, Continued...
One of the most intriguing things about Scott Walker is the way that he has turned the state’s vast natural resources into the biggest fish in the smallest barrel with which various industries ever have been gifted.
For example, there are the plans for Gogebic Taconite to blow off the tops of mountains along a 22-mile stretch not far from Lake Superior in order to build a massive iron mine.
What does Jurassic Park have to do with public lands? Quite a bit, actually…
Jurassic Park is based on paleontologist’s research analyzing fossils. Our extensive knowledge of dinosaurs wouldn’t be possible without this research, which is conducted by permitted paleontologists and their students. Many of the greatest dinosaur discoveries occur on your public lands in Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and New Mexico! For example, just outside Cañon City, Colorado discoveries include the first complete skeleton of Allosaurus, the three most complete Stegosaurus skeletons ever found, as well as the first known remains of dinosaurs like Camarasaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Diplodocus.
Of course, the proper preservation and protection of paleontological resources is a vital component of BLM’s Paleontology program and is the reason that the BLM and Universal Studios created these Public Service Announcements back in 1993. Students and scientists with BLM permits are making new discoveries every year, many of whom became excited about paleontology because of movies such as Jurassic Park. Join the adventure, click here to learn more about fossils on public lands!
—Kyle Sullivan, BLM Colorado
Watch the original PSAs here:
Note: license for footage used in these PSAs granted by Universal Studios in June 1993.
Oh man. Whoever is running the Bureau of Land Management Tumblr is doing it right.
There is nothing about the United States that I love more than the Great Lakes. I spent my college years on the shore of one of them, and I’ve spent time roaming around one part or another of the rest of them. They are a miracle of nature. They are an astonishing example of the immense natural gifts bestowed by Whoever on this continent. They were unquestionably vital to the growth of almost everything about this country, from its population, to its economy, to its work, and to its play.
And, yes, we’re screwing them up, too.
--Charles Pierce, The Great Lakes Are Screwed
Mining Firm Gogebic Taconite Played A Role In Drafting Wisconsin Mining Bill
Gogebic Taconite, a mining corporation, is behind the Republican-sponsored bill that it claims will expand mining opportunities by reducing environmental protections and altering state laws affecting wetlands, navigable water, and groundwater.
Glenn Grothman (R-Obviously) said "If something that the environmental groups think is such an environmental disaster, you would think that they would have come in to talk to me. I’ve been waiting to hear from them." Mr. Grothman can be reached at 608-266-7513.
Special Interests Seek to Influence Wisconsin Mining Bill
A proposed iron ore mine would be located near wetlands in Northern Wisconsin.
The push to streamline Wisconsin mining laws started two years ago, when an interested Florida-based company complained the state’s permitting rules were too strict. Gov. Walker and Republican legislators tried to pass a bill to ease the process, but could not round up enough votes in the Senate last year. Now, with a larger majority, Republicans are making a second attempt. They held a single public hearing on their proposal last week at the Capitol.
“The members of those committees that were sitting there taking that public testimony had themselves received over $800,000 in campaign contributions since 2010 from these mining interests.”
That’s Mike McCabe, executive director of the government watchdog group, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. It looked at a few dozen groups that registered to lobby in favor of mining changes, and tracked their campaign contributions, as well as those from their member companies and the companies’ employees. From 2010 to last summer, the donors gave $15.6 million to Gov. Walker and lawmakers. Republicans received the bulk of the money.
Photo: Dave McNew
From the New York Times:
When a hurricane forced the Nautilus to dive in Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” Captain Nemo took the submarine down to a depth of 25 fathoms, or 150 feet. There, to the amazement of the novel’s protagonist, Prof. Pierre Aronnax, no whisper of the howling turmoil could be heard. “What quiet, what silence, what peace!” he exclaimed.
That was 1870.
Today — to the dismay of whale lovers and friends of marine mammals, if not divers and submarine captains — the ocean depths have become a noisy place. The causes are human: the sonar blasts of military exercises, the booms from air guns used in oil and gas exploration, and the whine from fleets of commercial ships that relentlessly crisscross the global seas.
KHOU-TV says that two people are dead and two people are missing after an explosion at a platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition, four people have been airlifted to West Jefferson Hospital, two of them who are said to be in critical condition.
The platform is believed to belong to Black Elk Energy out of Houston. It produces both oil and natural gas.
“We cannot confirm or deny anything at this time, but we are assembling an incident command team right now,” said Black Elk Energy asset manager Kirk Trascher
He said several boats are responding to the fire, both Coast Guard and Good Samritans.
Report: Two dead, two missing, four airlifted after platform explosion in Gulf of Mexico | (via wwltv.com New Orleans)