Guardian.UK: Denton, Texas, banned fracking last year - then the frackers fought back.
“Oil and gas is allowed in every zone [in Denton, yet] bakeries aren’t allowed in every zone because there’s a bit of morning truck traffic.” I suppose they could hire some biker toughs from Waco. The state isn’t going to lift a finger.
Guardian.UK: ‘Nightmare’ California oil spill damages rare coastal ecosystem.
“Because it has not been urbanized, the Gaviota coast region, which stretches from Goleta to the northern boundary of the Vandenberg air force base, also has been viewed as the healthiest remaining coastal ecosystem in southern California – at least, until now.” *Crying*.
Guardian.UK: Texas governor stops cities and towns banning hydraulic gas mining.
“The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has signed a bill into law that prohibits cities and towns from banning a gas drilling practice known as hydraulic fracking, giving the state sole authority over oil and gas regulation.” Would you expect any less from Texas?
Storms to the west (a good thing) ...
... and ‘insta-fog.’
Lindau-Nobel.org: The Ozone Hole Could Become History.
Archetype for climate change?
Guardian.UK: Letting Shell drill in Arctic could lead to ‘catastrophic’ oil spill, experts warn.
“Unforgiving conditions in the Arctic’s icy waters not only make the chances of a spill likely, the complete lack of infrastructure in place to deal with a potential disaster means the consequences of the move could be calamitous, environmental activists and experts say.” I hear the words of Nick Fury: “We need a response team.” Ain’t no Avengers in the Arctic.
NY Times: Drillers Answer Low Oil Prices With Cost-Saving Innovations.
SciAm: Lonely Republican Voices Buck Party to Urge Action on Climate Change.
New Yorker: The G.O.P.’s War on Science Gets Worse.
“Defunding NASA’s earth-science program takes willed ignorance one giant leap further. It means that not only will climate studies be ignored; some potentially useful data won’t even be collected.” Oy vey.
Vox: Can Bernie Sanders push Clinton left on climate?
It would make her more palatable to me. A nice incentive for wind and solar would go a long way, along with a turn away from fracking. Bill C. was closer to center than any Democrat before him. There needs to be a readjustment toward left, esp. after Obama. As mentioned before, what we consider ‘center’ today is distinctly rightwards of what ‘center’ was pre-Reagan.
NY Times: Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water.
“The nearby gas wells, which were established in 2009, were constructed with a protective intermediate casing of steel and cement from the surface down to almost 1,000 feet. But the wells below that depth lacked the protective casing, and were potentially at greater risk of leaking their contents into the surrounding rock layers, according to Dr. Brantley.” Anyone surprised? And when these wells are played out and capped, the cement plug and casings are as prone to leakage as ... your sidewalk is to cracking over time.
Guardian.UK: New Mexico radiation accident - $73m compensation deal struck over leak.
LANL screws up, and LANL gets the benefit of most of the payouts? Wait a darned second. What would the fine have financed, so we can compare benefits?
Priceonomics: Hiking the 2,650-Mile Pacific Crest Trail.
“The film adaptation of Wild, released in December 2014, has inspired the largest influx of hikers to ever apply for PCT permits. Last week, some 3,500 hikers were reported to have launched from the trail’s southern terminus. Gauged with previous figures — 1,870 in 2013, and 2,655 in 2014 — that’s nearly a 200% increase over two years.” One of the many reasons, when you come across a special place ... you shut the h-e-double-toothpick up. Yet to save some places, one must reveal them. The great modern outdoors-lover’s quandary.
SciAm: Oil Drilling May Slow Drought Recovery.
“Oil and gas drilling in the Rockies and Great Plains may cause long-term harm to ecosystems.” YA THINK?!! How long have I been saying it? To use a water-intensive drilling technique in this area is patently insane and should be banned by law.
Guardian.UK: Big Coal’s big scam - scar the land for profit, then let others pay to clean up.
Britain, but the strategy is oh-so-familiar.
DiscoverMag: Missing Magma Found Beneath Yellowstone Park.
“And now scientists say that volume has been underestimated. New studies of the volcano reveal a deeper magma reservoir that holds more than four times the magma volume previously known.” Here’s a dumb question. Dumb only because if it’s so, it’s dumb. Really dumb. Is anyone putting fracking chemicals into deep wells nearby ... ?
Later: Proposed. Good lord. 80 miles ain’t far enough, in my book.
The Register.UK: Fukushima nuke plant owner told to upgrade from Windows XP.
SciAm: Oil May Have Killed Gulf Dolphins.
“It’s impossible to say if it’s back to normal because we don’t know what normal was.” Oh. My. Freaking. God. This is like fracking - noone establishes a baseline before introducing disruptive technologies. This is how corporations avoid liability.
c|net: Eye-popping ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is almost too spectacular (spoiler-free review).
“But the Vision is a pink android who can fly and wears a cape, marking the point the film makes the leap into out-and-out comic book nuttiness. It might just be a leap too far for the casual viewer.” I’m afraid in the first Avengers, when the [lacking a better description] giant armored fish-grubs come out of the sky-hole and fly/wriggle around downtown Manhattan with no visible means of support other than a couple of fins, I shared Iron Man’s lament: “I’m seeing. Still working on believing.” These films are starting to bow to complete silliness, and that’s a shame. Some things should stay on the pages of the comic books.
Guardian.UK: Landscapes we don’t want to lose - New Mexico’s Jemez mountains.
SciAm: Greener Fracking Tech Reduces Injection Of Lots Of Wasteful Fluid.
Okay, but will it serve as an even better lubricant for geologic strata? Note that simple pectin is roughly equivalent to this compound.
SciAm: The Enduring Mystery of the Missing Oil Spilt in the Gulf of Mexico.
SF New Mexican: New Mexico duck tests positive for bird flu.
Guardian.UK: Robot reveals inside Fukushima nuclear reactor – video.
Doesn’t look particularly auspicious; I have no way to judge.
Bloomberg Business: Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Extend the Age of Oil.
A good overview, worth the time. “How much time Saudi Arabia has to prepare for the eventual decline of the oil era may depend, in part, on how alternatives fare during this period of cheap oil. Will sales of wind turbines and solar panels stay strong? Or will they enter a tailspin like they did during the Great Recession, when project financing dried up? And will sales of electric vehicles continue to climb even as gasoline prices slump?”