Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Worst Spill in US History?

A US Coast Guard official says if leaks from an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico are not stemmed soon, they could cause one of the worst spills in US history. About 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) of oil a day are gushing into the sea. The resulting oil slick now has a circumference of about 600 miles (970km) and covers about 28,600 sq miles (74,100 sq km).
Oil spills and their environmental damage are another consequence of our addiction to fossil fuels.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Toxic 100 Air Polluters

The Toxic 100 Air Polluters index identifies the top U.S. air polluters among the world's largest corporations. The index relies on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI), which assesses the chronic human health risk from industrial toxic releases. The underlying data for RSEI is the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), in which facilities across the U.S. report their releases of toxic chemicals. In addition to the amount of toxic chemicals released, RSEI also includes the degree of toxicity and population exposure. The Toxic 100 Air Polluters ranks corporations based on the chronic human health risk from all of their U.S. polluting facilities. The top ten polluters are listed below.

Bayer Group



E.I. du Pont de Nemours

Arcelor Mittal

Steel Dynamics Inc.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM)

Ford Motor Co.

Eastman Kodak Co.

Koch Industries

Full list of Toxic 100 Air Polluters

from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), U. Mass.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Scamming the Public on Climate Change

On April 14, 1994, top executives from Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, and other major cigarette companies testified before a federal court that nicotine was not addictive.

A few weeks ago, 12 states joined in an ongoing lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to block regulation of carbon dioxide, citing faulty scientific data. Legislators in state government are not immune to corporate influence. A story in Truthout, an independent, on-line investigative journalism organization, points out the long history of corporations using deceptive tactics and outright lies to prevent or delay government regulations against their harmful products. This blog contains a similar story.

Friday, April 2, 2010

British House of Commons Investigation of Climate Research Unit

Mosquito Laying Its Eggs

It turns out that the CRU email hack so ballyhooed by FOX News and their ilk proved nothing more than that scientists are human and can get pretty damned fed up with all the global warming denier harassment, including endless FOIA requests done for no good reason. The science is sound.

"The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change.

On the much cited phrases in the leaked e-mails—“trick” and “hiding the decline”—the Committee considers that they were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a systematic attempt to mislead. Insofar as the Committee was able to consider accusations of dishonesty against CRU, the Committee considers that there is no case to answer.

Even if the data that CRU used were not publicly available—which they mostly are—or the methods not published—which they have been—its published results would still be credible: the results from CRU agree with those drawn from other international data sets; in other words, the analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified."

"The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia." A Report of the British House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, March 31, 2010.

Global warming is back on the front burner. Not all species are worried, however. Have you noticed an increase in the mosquito hatch this spring? There will be. And with mosquitoes comes West Nile virus. I hate the little buggers! They love me.