Tuesday, August 11, 2015
EPA meddling Causes Massive Spill of Mining Waste Water in Colorado, Turns Animas River Bright Orange
The EPA says it was using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine on Wednesday morning when it accidentally released an estimated 1 million gallons of mining waste into a creek. The waste spewed from the creek into the Animas River north of Silverton, Colorado, turning the water an opaque orange color reminiscent of boxed mac and cheese.
The wastewater released contains heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum, Ostrander said. The EPA is preparing a plan to sample private water wells along the Animas River valley to test for contamination, including mercury contamination, he said.
But the EPA has not released information about what concentration of metals are present in the water, or how much a threat to human and ecosystem health the wastewater might pose. EPA officials did confirm that the sheriff’s office of La Plata County, Colorado, was correct in closing the river to the public, however. “What we received back from the first five samples show that the elevated levels of dissolved metals confirm that the sheriff here took the right measure in putting out the advisory and asking that people not have contact with the river,” Sean McGrath, the EPA administrator for the region that includes Colorado, said at the meeting Friday. “I can assure you we are moving the lab analysis as quickly as I can. The sheriff’s actions were absolutely appropriate.”
On Wednesday morning, an EPA crew was working on a Superfund-related project to stop historic leakage of wastewater from the mine when they “hit a spot” that destabilized a retaining dam and caused the release.
“We were up in this area doing what’s called site investigation. This is work that we do in Superfund to understand the extent of the contamination...to understand how to work to stop that flow,” McGrath said. “In doing our work up there, we hit a spot where water started coming out that we hadn’t expected. We come to find out there was quite a bit more mine waste water up there than we had expected, for sure. In fact the dam that had been holding that water back was just soils and loose materials instead of solid rocks. That started to flow out, and [the wastewater] quickly broke through and drained out.”
By Friday morning, the plume of orange had made its way downstream and was eight miles from the northern border of New Mexico, the EPA said in an emailed statement. The Animas River flows for 126 miles and is a tributary of the larger San Juan River, part of the Colorado River system. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez says she wasn’t notified of the spill for a full day after the event.
"The governor is disturbed by the lack of information provided by the EPA to our environmental agencies in New Mexico and strongly believes that people in our communities downstream deserve to have all the information about this situation,” Chris Sanchez, the governor’s spokesman, said in an emailed statement Thursday. “For example, we were not notified about this release until 9:30 a.m. this morning even though the release is reported to have occurred at approximately 10:40 a.m. yesterday. And the first notification received by the State of New Mexico came from an official with the Southern Ute Tribe, not EPA.”
“Governor Martinez hopes the EPA will be more cooperative and forthcoming moving forward as we work to address this situation and that the EPA will demand the same of itself as it would of a private business responsible for such a spill.”
DO YOU BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE?
Written by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser
That’s what a colleague from former times asked recently. You had to choose between YES or NO. Only some 20 of the 150+ former colleagues he so canvassed bothered to answer. He might have just as well asked “Do you have a mother?”—Silly questions deserve no answer.
Planet Earth’s history of “climate change” (CC) is about 4,500,000,000 years in the making. Why would anyone think that it stopped yesterday, last year, last decade, last century, or even a millennium ago? Do you think the rate or direction of natural CC has changed because the dinosaurs died out many million years ago? Or do you believe it was because humans arrived en masse on the scene a few thousand years ago? Let’s look at some real drivers of climate change.
Continental Drift, Earthquakes and Volcanoes
Have the mid-oceanic ridges stopped spreading or has the North American Plate stopped pushing over the Pacific Plate (also known as Juan de Fuca Plate)? None of that.
Have earthquakes and tsunamis become a thing of the past? Not at all (remember Fukushima)!
Every year there are approximately ten thousand earthquakes of Richter scale magnitude 2 or greater being recorded and once in a while there is a major movement in the earth’s crust, often with dramatic consequences for mankind. Quakes with magnitudes 8 or 9 release an amount of energy equal to many nuclear bombs, all within a few seconds.
Some 20 to 50 volcanoes are erupting all the time, some spewing plumes of ash and gas miles high into the atmosphere, others creating new mountains or islands out of red-hot lava. A few days ago, the Manam volcano (Papua New Guinea) erupted with sending volcanic ash as high as 65,000 feet (~20,000 m) into the sky. Guess what drove the plume that high? Carbon dioxide, coming out in vast quantities from the bowels of the earth! That’s the same atmospheric trace gas that you generate by burning coal, oil, wood, or gas to heat your home in winter!
But not everything is hot on earth; there are some “cold spots” too.
Ice Shields Extent
The last (of several) ice ages had a firm grip on North America, Europe, and Asia. At its height, nearly all the northern parts of the continents (roughly the entire area north of latitude 45 N) were covered with a thick layer of ice. How thick you ask? It was anywhere between one and three miles thick.
That massive ice shield though was not a stationary thing at all. It kept moving south, day and night and any obstacle would simply be ground down by the sheer mass and the associated grinding material, like house-size boulders of hard rock from way up north. You don’t need to go far into Ontario’s “cottage country” to see the traces first hand. Granite rocks with feldspar and quartz veins have been ground flat and polished to reflect the sun into your eyes. Also, in many places you can still quite clearly see the groves left behind by larger rocks scraping along the bottom of the moving ice, like in the below.
Melting the Ice Shields
These continental ice shields had reached their maximum extent approximately 20,000 years ago but had completely melted away some 5,000 years ago. Now that’s real climate change in action! Yes the CO2 levels increased too, but only with a time lag of 800 years. As clearly established from deep ice cores on Greenland, that CO2 increase was not the cause but the consequence of the melting.
You’d need many times the energy of all fossil fuels ever burnt and those still in the ground to melt that giant “ice cube.” Still, Mother Nature did it without much fanfare and – here comes the kicker – without any change in the atmospheric CO2 (carbon dioxide) level up front. That alone should tell you how mistaken the CO2-doomsayers are. Carbon dioxide in air is not a factor for climate.
The doomsayers’ credo is to blame nearly every natural event on CC. If it’s hot it must be because of CC. Even if it’s colder than usual, they want you to believe that it’s just another sign of “CC-induced” weather extremes. The polar ice caps were predicted to have melted away by now. What, they increased instead? Obviously more proof of CC extremes; blah, blah.
Other CO2-based claims, like rapidly rising ocean levels supposedly wiping out the Micronesian atolls and drowning the Maldives have not materialized either. Both the landmasses of the atolls and their populations are steadily increasing. If you really want to see what’s happening in the Tuvalu or Maldives go to Google Earth and take a close look, or visit the holiday resort industry web pages that extol the virtues of the fancy resorts there.
The PIK, Germany
The list of wrong predictions, misunderstandings of cause and consequence and false proclamations is a long one. Why else would the luminaries from the PIK, i.e. the Potsdam Institut for Klimafolgenforschung (Germany) and elsewhere have advised Pope Francis to make claims about CO2 that have been proven false decades ago? Of course, that institute’s head honcho has not answered the questions in my Open Letter of June 30, 2015 (it was sent to him by email too). If he would have answered he would either have to admit that he is wrong or subsequently be proven so by the scientific evidence available.
If I remember correctly, in 2008 one of PIK’s finest climate-warmists, Prof. S. Rahmstorf, claimed that by 2015 the last bit of sea-ice in the Arctic summer would disappear. Actually, the exact opposite happened. In the and in the Arctic it has returned to the mid-to-upper level seasonal average and in the Antarctic the ice extent has risen to a new all-time record size. In fact, even in late July 2015, the Canadian icebreaker CCGS Pierre Radisson had difficulties in Frobisher Bay on the east side of Labrador when trying to plough a path through the ice for the supply ships for the settlement there. I wonder if Rahmstorf has ever been to the Arctic—in winter of course.
There are also scientific falsehoods being spread by the PIK. For example about the carbon dioxide residence time in the atmosphere and the supposed ocean acidification. They also like to forget to mention the close to 1,000-year time lag for CO2 increase that FOLLOWS RATHER THAN LEADS global warming. It’s inconceivable that they don’t know better. I’ll go into details about these in the future. Suffice to say now that the PIK people either don’t understand the processes in nature or simply don’t care about stating the truth.
According to PIK’s founder and president, Prof. H.J. Schellnhuber, the world can only sustain a population of one billion people or so. The other 6 or 7 billion, presumably, need to be “decarbonized” forthwith. In contrast, the Pontiff’s recent encyclical Laudato Si says “To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues.” As Schellnhuber has recently been nominated to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, I wonder if the Pope was aware of that; it looks to me like a massive conflict of opinions.
With that in mind, let’s revise the original question about “do you believe in climate change” and put it into the right context:
Has there been climate change in the past? Yes, of course.
Will there be climate change in the future? Yes, of course.
Is CO2 (or fossil energy resource use) the cause of climate change? Certainly not!—Any sane person’s answer must be a resounding NO!
UK: Fast track for fracking bids: Ministers set to be given powers to speed up applications if they are being delayed by councils
Fracking sites could be fast-tracked through the planning system under new rules to be announced this week. Ministers will be given new powers to push through shale gas applications if they are being held up by councils.
It is a response to concerns from ministers that Britain will have to rely on unstable imports and expensive solar and wind power.
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd warned the current system allowed applications to be ‘dragged out for months or even years on end’. The delays could spell the ‘death’ of a ‘vital national industry’, she said.
Miss Rudd warned that Britain could be forced to import three-quarters of all its oil and gas by 2030 if it doesn’t exploit shale.
Applications for shale sites have been held up amid ferocious opposition from green campaigners and and some local residents’ groups.
Ministers are frustrated at Britain’s failure to join the fracking revolution which has transformed energy supplies in the US – and slashed energy bills.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Miss Rudd said: ‘We need more secure, home-grown energy supplies and shale gas must play a part. ‘We can’t continue with a system that sees applications dragged out for months, or even years on end which doesn’t give certainty to industry and which could spell the end of a potentially vital national industry.’
She added: ‘Planning authorities generally fail to meet a target to process environmentally sensitive applications in 16 weeks or less.’
Official estimates suggest shale could create more than 60,000 new jobs in the UK, and bring billions of pounds in revenue for the taxpayer.
It could also see communities benefit, as a slice of revenue is set aside for local councils.
One application by the firm Cuadrilla for wells on the Fylde coast was rejected by Lancashire county council in June, more than a year after it was first submitted. An appeal decision is not expected for many months.
The guidance will be issued by Communities Secretary Greg Clark, who is to write to councils this week. He will say: ‘There is an urgent need to explore and develop our shale gas and oil resources in order to unlock their potential benefits and to help meet our objectives for secure energy supplies, economic growth and lower carbon emissions.’
Updated rules will make it easier for him to take charge of appeals for shale to go ahead if they have been rejected by councils.
New licences for gas exploration are expected to be handed out within weeks. That could clear the way for new exploration once councils approve drilling sites.
Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said safe fracking was a ‘key priority’. ‘We are exploring ways to really kickstart the industry as we know it could support over 60,000 jobs and lead to tens of billions of pounds of investment in the UK, helping to create lasting economic security for hardworking people and families across the country,’ she said.
‘We will be using gas to heat our homes and cook our meals for decades to come, and it makes total sense that we make the most of this home grown energy source we have right here in Britain instead of relying more and more on volatile foreign gas imports.’
Opponents of fracking claim the process of pumping water and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to release gas is dangerous and could pollute water supplies.
Fracking was put on hold four years ago after a minor earthquakes near Blackpool which was linked to test wells.
UK: Build Wind Farms in National Parks? Now we've REALLY lost the plot
Did you ever read a madder headline in your life?
Sure, Natural England isn’t nearly as nature-loving as it sounds. It’s just another of those pointless Quangos which David Cameron may yet attempt to justify his existence by banning. Even so, building 300 foot high turbines in what’s left of Britain’s unspoilt landscape does rather go against Natural England’s supposed mission objective, viz (or so it says on its website):
“Natural England is here to conserve and enhance the natural environment, for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people and the economic prosperity that it brings.”
So the best way of conserving natural England, a body calling itself Natural England has decided, is to destroy it. Can anyone come up with a more ludicrous example of the warped, supposedly “progressive” but in fact utterly poisonous, wrong and self-defeating thinking so prevalent in these dark times?
Governor moonbeam conflates California fires with “climate change”
Governor Jerry Brown blames the California drought and dangerous wildfires on “climate change.” The Daily Journal quotes Brown saying:
“This is a wakeup call,” Brown said standing in front of a scorched hillside at the FireCowboy Camp Trailhead a few miles outside of Lake County. “California is burning,” boldly asking politicians, “What the hell are you going to do about it?”
‘He attributed the now four-year drought California faces to the extreme weather conditions brought by climate change, an issue he’s recently had on his agenda.
On Wednesday, the governor penned an open letter to GOP presidential candidates, asking them to address climate change during their first debate.
He told reporters Thursday, however, that “This is not a game of politics. We need to limit our carbon pollution. These are real lives and real people,” adding, “We need to make major changes in the way we operate.”
US wet and dry history graphYet historical records show that extreme weather is running from normal to low, including drought and fire.
Should California deal with its very real drought by ramping up emergency response and securing new sources of fresh water, or by demonizing American industry and CO2?
Exploiting genuine hardship and suffering to advance the global warming narrative is shameful.
Question for Governor Brown: Had Henry Ford never mass-produced the automobile or Edison invented the light bulb, had we never had the industrial revolution and lived in squalor, would California have had one more of drop of rain?
The evils of Government-induced Climaphobia
Imagine pro-tobacco groups wanted to participate in fund raising marches for cancer research. ‘We want to help defeat cancer too,’ the tobacco advocates announce.
Anti-cancer campaigners would never march in solidarity with tobacco promoters. They know that if smoking increased, cancer rates would undoubtedly rise as well. Marching arm in arm with those working against one’s interests is irrational.
This logic does not seem to have occurred to the groups concerned with social justice and wildlife protection who participated in the July 5 “March for Jobs, Justice, and the Climate” in Toronto.
They were, in effect, marching with the enemy, groups such as 350.org and Citizens’ Climate Lobby which unwittingly encourage outcomes that are harming the poor and disadvantaged, biodiversity, and endangered species.
For example, by promoting the idea that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must be reduced to prevent dangerous climate change, climate mitigation activists support the expanded use of biofuels. This is resulting in 6.5% of the world’s grain being diverted to fuel instead of food, causing food price spikes that are a disaster for the world’s most vulnerable people.
The growing demand for biofuels is also creating serious problems for indigenous land owners in developing countries. In a February 2015 open letter to the European Parliament endorsed by 197 civil society organisations from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, it was asserted:
“The destruction of forests and fertile agricultural land to make way for oil palm plantations is jeopardising the food sovereignty and cultural integrity of entire communities who depend on the land as their source of food and livelihoods.”
Replacing virgin forests with monoculture plantations to provide palm oil for biodiesel greatly reduces biodiversity over vast regions.
In another attempt to reduce CO2 emissions, hundreds of thousands of industrial wind turbines (IWT) are being constructed worldwide. For example, the Ontario government is erecting 6,736 IWTs across the province, the most recent as tall as a 61 story building.
Only 4% of the province’s power came from wind energy in 2013 and 1% from solar, yet together they accounted for 20% of the commodity cost paid by Ontarians. Despite massive government subsidies for wind power, electricity rates in Ontario have soared, mostly affecting the poor and seniors on fixed incomes.
IWTs kill millions of birds and bats across the world. Ontario’s situation has drawn the attention of the Spain-based group, Save the Eagles International, which, on May 23, issued the news release “Migrating golden eagles to be slaughtered in Ontario.”
They showed that some of the turbines planned for Ontario are being placed directly in the path of migrating golden eagles, which are already an endangered species.
The consequences for people living near IWTs can be severe as well. Besides a significant loss in property value, health concerns abound.
A particularly tragic example is occurring in the West Lincoln and surrounding regions of Southern Ontario. There, despite the objections of local residents, wind developers have received approval to install at least seventy-seven 3 Megawatt IWTs, each up to 609 ft. tall, the largest such machines in North America.
One resident, Shellie Correia of Wellandport has a particular reason to be concerned.
Her 12 year old son Joey has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and it is crucial that he live in an environment free from excessive noise. But as a result of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, the primary focus of which is climate change mitigation, an IWT will be sited only 550 metres from their home.
Correia explained in her January 2015 presentation before the government’s Environmental Review Tribunal, “On top of the incessant, cyclical noise, there is light flicker, and infrasound. This is not something that my son will be able to tolerate.”
But the approvals go ahead anyways. As Correia told the Tribunal, “No one was able to help, because of the Green Energy Act.”
The drive to reduce CO2 emissions makes it difficult for developing countries to finance the construction of vitally-needed hydrocarbon-fueled power plants. For example, in 2010 South Africa secured a $3.9 billion loan to build the Medupi coal-fired power station only because developing country representatives on the World Bank board voted for approval.
The U.S. and four European nation members abstained from approval because of their concerns about climate change. They apparently wanted South Africans to use wind and solar power instead, sources too expensive for widespread use even in wealthy nations.
Finally, because of the belief that humans control climate, only 6% of the one billion dollars spent every day across the world on climate finance goes to helping vulnerable people cope with climate change today. The rest is spent trying to stop phenomena that might someday happen. This is immoral, effectively valuing the lives of people yet to be born more than those in need today.
In all of these cases, climate mitigation takes precedence over the needs of the present. Groups such as Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Oxfam Canada, and Great Lakes Commons, all of which participated in Sunday’s event, must distance themselves from climate activists, not march with them.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 12:36 AM