Fire Engineering: Drone Causes Problems at California Wildfire.
Center for Public Integrity: How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota.
“All I wanted to do was farm and ranch, from the time I could stand up. And it’s stolen the future for a lot of people who wanted to retire here, who wanted to live out their days here. It’s stolen mine.” Scroll about a third of the way down, perhaps a little farther, to the Google map of drilling sites. Then use the Google widget to zoom out a bit. See if you have the same reaction I did (“Holy sh-t!”).
WaPo: Study - Colorado River Basin drying up faster than previously thought.
“The authors conclude federal officials allocated 30 percent more water from the Colorado River than was actually available. The gaps were made up by groundwater.” Water wars are just startin’, kid. Git yer hogleg ... it’s gonna get nasty.
Pacific Standard: California’s Lax Policing of the Fracking Industry.
“The problem is that at least 100 of the state’s aquifers were presumed to be useless for drinking and farming because the water was either of poor quality, or too deep underground to easily access. Years ago, the state exempted them from environmental protection and allowed the oil and gas industry to intentionally pollute them.” !^$%$^@#^%!%$ [Holding my hand to my throat, practically strangling myself, so I don’t start shouting again.] There is no such thing as a useless resource.
SF Reporter: What happened with nuclear waste leak at New Mexico’s at WIPP?
“About 700 barrels that contain the nitrates and kitty litter are now stored with extra precaution at the lab and at a Texas holding facility where they were already awaiting transportation to Carlsbad at the time of the detected problem ...” Time bombs? Hope they’re being stored in A/C; doubt it.
CR4: Dangerous Rail Tankers - Coming to a City Near You.
Worse than I’d imagined. Read the whole thing.
Slate: Almond milk bad for environment? Tom Philpott and Mother Jones are wrong.
Hmmph. Try looking at growing watermelons ... or chickens, for that matter. My complaint is the cheap fast-food burger. I don’t believe that $1 meat exists! Even when I see it. But that’s fodder for another post.
Guardian.UK: World breaks temperature record for June after hottest May.
“Global temperature records go back to 1880 and June was the 352nd hotter-than-average month in a row.”
BBC: The Cornish beaches where Lego keeps washing up.
“The incident is a perfect example of how even when inside a steel container, sunken items don’t stay sunken. They can be carried around the world, seemingly randomly, but subject to the planet’s currents and tides.” No mention of how many fish are choking on small Lego parts.
FiveThirtyEight: Dying at the Grand Canyon.
Erm, go observe in person. When I visited the park, the number of both American and European tourists prancing [I chose that word carefully and accurately] down the Bright Angel Trail with just a single water bottle stunned me.
ProPublica: CA Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers.
“The state’s Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal ‘poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources.’” Told you so. When there’s a drought, there are no ‘useless’ aquifers. Even if brackish. Fracking should be banned in all drought areas - period.
Guardian.UK: Fracking firm ‘underplayed’ heavy lorries needed for Sussex drilling.
Of course they underplayed. All the fracking companies try make the business of fracking sound like a cakewalk. The traffic is significant, the noise is significant … the wear on public roadways is more than significant. You’re talking transporting millions of gallons of water via truck. Water is what, 8.3x pounds a gallon, sans additives? You can see why frackers inject the excess into the ground after fracking is over. They certainly don’t want to have to transport, store, clean or remediate all the liquid they use. Taxpayers will have to handle the freshly lubricated geologic faults.
Vimeo: It’s a plastic world.
As opposed to other videos on this subject, this one discusses some solutions.
SciAm: Parched Texas Town Turns to Treated Sewage as Emergency Drinking Water Source.
Why not sell treated wastewater to the frackers instead? Spare the good stuff.
Guardian.UK: US drought to deplete Lake Mead to levels not seen since 1930s.
“California, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming wouldn’t see direct cuts in their share of river water, but officials have acknowledged there would be ripple effects.” Water wars are gearing up. Just wait.
Pacific Standard: The ‘Greening’ of Christianity Is Not Actually Happening.
“Over the past two decades, much has been written about the “greening” of Christianity. [snip] Unfortunately, new research suggests this message has not filtered down to the rank and file.”
Slate: Box and burn - The future of U.S. wildfire policy.
“The reality is that fire suppression remains dominant nationally, though it has acquired a lighter hand in the backcountry and a heavier one near exurbs. The other reality is that every wildland fire put out is a fire put off. Fire agencies now face a phalanx of changes that are powering conflagrations — not only the legacy of stockpiled fuels but also climate change, invasive species, a fractal exurban sprawl, and political gridlock. With no single cause, there is no single solution.”
NM Fire Info: Diego Fire Update – Wednesday.
Only grew by 400 acres yesterday. Great news.
InciWeb the Incident Information System: Diego Fire.
Now more than 2000 acres. It would be nice if local news and other fire info sites the public relies upon would get coordinated on up-to-the-minute acreage counts.
Latest, 4PM: 3400 acres.
Guardian.UK: Besieged by the rising tides of climate change, Kiribati buys land in Fiji.
“Within a few decades, small islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans risk being extensively or even completely submerged. In places the sea level is rising by 1.2cm a year, four times faster than the global average.”
Naked Cap: Arctic Seafloor Methane Release is Double Earlier Estimates.
365/2: 180 Outtake. Diego Fire smoke’s spreading towards us.
Opened all the windows a bit early, to get the envelope of the house as cool as I can before the smoke pours in and we have to shut everything down. #hateglobalwarming
NM Fire Info: Diego Fire Has Grown to 200 Acres.
Here we go again. Sizable smoke plume for ‘200 acres.’
Later: quick snap …
Day later: Morning news says ~750 acres.
Guardian.UK: Peru now has a ‘licence to kill’ environmental protestors.
SciAm: Wind Power Production Record Broken in Texas.
“The Lone Star State hit “peak wind” at 8:48 p.m. on March 26, when the state’s wind farms produced 10,296 megawatts of electricity. At that moment, wind turbines provided enough electricity to supply power for 29 percent of the total electricity load of the state’s main power grid.” Can’t get around it; the stereotype of ‘Big Oil Texas’ is only partly true anymore - they’ve hedged their bets quite effectively with wind power.