Posts Tagged ‘environment’

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by @anarchyroll
7/30/2014

“Insurmountable water crisis” jumps off the page, don’t you agree?

Massive droughts won’t just be for California anymore by 2040 unless societies move away from water intensive power production. Does that mean hydroelectric power is a no go? No, it means the opposite. It turns out that the largest usage of water in the industrialized world is the water used to cool  (coal and nuclear) power plants.

Yes we need electricity, but you know what we need more than electricity? You guessed it, we need to be able to live, and we can’t do that without fresh, drinkable water.

Reducing pollution seems like less and less of a hippy issue when we’re talking about an “insurmountable” water shortage in less than three decades. If three decades seems like a long time, worry not, because there are seven states running out of water in the continental United States right now.

A global shortage from which there is no going back in three decades, a national shortage going on currently, sounds like commercial/industrial conservation should be on the menu. Instead, businesses in the US and the UK are doubling down on fracking which in addition to poisoning fresh water reserves, also uses massive amounts of freshwater as part of its process.

Fracking has been viewed as the light at the end of the tunnel in regards to energy concerns. But in the face of a national and global water scarcity both now and in the future, fracking is nothing more than a freight train. Cheap energy creating economic booms are useless if we are all dying of thirst.

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by @anarchyroll
7/15/2014

Did you know you could poison the drinking water for 300,000 people and the only penalty you’ll face will be an $11,000 fine?

Freedom Industries is the company responsible for the West Virgina Chemical Spill that took place in January. 10,000 gallons of the chemical MCHM (used in coal production) spilled into a river that was the main source of fresh drinking water for 300,000 civilians in West Virgina across nine counties in the western part of the state. They have been fined $11,000 by the Labor Department of the federal government.

Freedom Industries has since filed for bankruptcy, and a bill regulating chemical tanks has been passed in the wake of the spill. But $11,000 as a penalty for leaving 300,000 people without drinkable water for ten days?

My attention is pulled towards stories that involve mass poisoning of fresh water. A vast minority of the amount of water on planet Earth is drinkable. We can’t survive as a species without fresh water. Yet we seem content with having the essence of life poisoned at a rate that could be classified as habitual and doing virtually nothing about it. What does that say about us?

Poisoning the essence of life should at least carry a penalty similar to a DUI. I know people who have gotten DUI’s who have had to pay more than $11,000 when it was all said and done. Is drinking and driving a vehicle on an empty road in the middle of the night worse than poisoning water for 300,000 people?

40 people were sent to the hospital from drinking or simply being exposed to the contaminated water. If I did something that sent 40 people to the hospital, would I not face a penalty more severe than an $11,000 fine?

There is no law without order and no order without law. If people can get away with stealing, murder, and rape then it has been shown throughout history that people will murder, steal, and rape vastly more than if there are immediate and severe consequences for those evil actions.

I certainly classify poisoning water as an evil action, do you?

If we continue to let companies and corporations break the law without having to worry about the consequences everyday people have to worry about, why do we think they’ll do the right thing and follow the laws/rules? Do we think that for profit corporations will engage in a thought and decision-making process in a way that is evolved beyond human nature?

The Supreme Court has said that corporations are people. If companies and corporations are people, then shouldn’t we  punish them for hurting people the way we punish individuals for hurting people?

 

 

frackishimalogo1ajclogo2

by @anarchyroll
7/10/2014

I suppose my generation will be the generation that grows up to say, back in my day, you could actually swim in the water at the beach.

Thanks to massive amounts of pollution and bacteria, beaches are now strictly for selfies, volleyball, tanning, sand castle building, and of course drinking.

Poisoning of water is something that always gets my attention. Mainly because we can’t survive without water, we being human beings.

I wonder if the people who are big on the #BeachLife social media trend will care as much about the environment as they do their own self image and egos.

Some generation will eventually have to care in mass about water pollution. The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y polluted the Earth exponentially more each time around as if there was a prize at the end. Well I guess there is, the prize is the privilege of being able to go to the beach and not being able to swim or even touch the water due to the public health hazard the bacteria causes. But I’m sure breathing the air coming off that water is still perfectly healthy. Certainly no worse than the air breathed in citing in bumper to bumper highway traffic.

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by @anarchyroll
6/30/2014

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by @anarchyroll
6/29/2014

Which is of more importance; billions of dollars or nuclear contaminated water?

Do we have a right to electricity and water? Or do utility companies own the resources they sell?

The common link between fracking and Fukushima is that both involve high levels of poisoned/contaminated water. That is why I feel both subjects deserve vastly more attention that either or both get from the media or the common person.

The economic impact of Fukushima on the country of Japan gets more play than the environmental damage. Environmental damage that is of the biggest ever in the history of Earth variety. Why is that? What do we value?

The story to tell of Fukushima is so horrible, it is only natural to not want to think about it at all. To ignore, pretend it didn’t happen or doesn’t continue to exist. Focus on other things besides the fact that we are continuously poisoning the essence of life on increasingly larger scales.

The environmental impacts of Fukushima will not be ignored. All that contaminated water in the ocean will have an effect at some point. All that poisoned freshwater from fracking will not be ignored. There is only so much fresh water on this planet.

Facing these terrors and moving towards solution is the answer, not distracting ourselves and trying to escape from them.

C’est la vie

frackishimalogo1ajclogo2

by @anarchyroll
6/13/2014

There have been a number of articles published on this website about fracking. The other half of the Frackishima label is the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Very few news events that I have no control over have kept me up at night, given me nightmares, and made me fearful for my existence on planet Earth the way Fukushima has. Let’s take a look at some of the facts as to what worried me so much:

The vast majority of people simply don’t want to think about Fukushima. Who can blame them? But not wanting to think about something doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist and that the problems won’t be affecting us as a human race for…ever.

Do we really think that all that nuclear waste and radioactive material that is still in the ocean isn’t going to have negative ramifications?

How much radiation in the water and land are we as a species willing to tolerate before enough is enough?

I sometimes wonder if all this radiation, oil, and chemicals that have leaked and/or spilled into so much of our water supply has something to do with the global rise in cancer rates. How about  you?

Earth is a very big planet. What happens on one side of the planet doesn’t necessarily effect what is happening on the other side of the planet. I find it hard to believe that the repeated nuclear bomb tests, bomb drops, and reactor meltdowns aren’t having/won’t have a negative effect on the planet and the people who inhabit it.

I may not be a scientist but I can do addition. I am smart enough to know that all of these toxic materials poisoning our air, water, and land have to be adding up to something. It’s not 1950, it’s 2014 there have been a lot of oil spills, chemical spills, and nuclear materials around the globe. Just because they were mistakes (mostly) doesn’t make what happens after the incidents any different from if they were on purpose.

Are we poisoning the planet?

That is not a sarcastic question. That is not a rhetorical question. That is however what has kept me up, made me worry, and given me nightmares.

Because when I wake up, splash some cold water on my face, and turn the lights on; Chernobyl still happend, Exxon Valdez still happened, Deepwater Horizon still happened, Fukushima still happened, and thousands of nuclear bombs have been tested and continue to be tested (North Korea). What effects that we know about are happening to the planet and all species who inhabit it? What effects that we don’t yet know about?

These are things that are way outside of my sphere of influence, knowledge base, and pay grade. But I think about them nonetheless and I hope other people do too, because not thinking about it doesn’t mean these events haven’t happened, aren’t happening, and won’t have consequences we as humans must deal with for generations to come.

Are we poisoning the planet?

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(This is an article I wrote as a guest blog piece for a couple of different websites on the subject of fracking hence why the sources are footnotes instead of hyperlinks as I prefer.)
 

by Anthony Roll
(@anarchyroll on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr)
6/5/2014

Fracking is a term that has made its way from the underground to the mainstream in recent years. Do you know what fracking is? Fracking is a short hand term for hydraulic fracturing. What is hydraulic fracturing? In short it is a method used to extract gas from large rocks that are deep underground[1].

The most common type of rock that is fractured in the United States is shale[2]. The process of fracking involves sending highly pressurized water underground mixed with sand and chemicals to break open the shale and release the gas[3]. The process has been around since the 1940s but has become popular in the last decade as a way to reduce America’s dependency on energy producing imports. Fracking has lead to a domestic energy boom that is expected to continue for years to come[4]. The boomerang to accompany that energy boom revolves around the negative environment consequences of the fracking process.

The term fracking has become mainstream in recent years because of the controversy surrounding it. What is the controversy? The controversy revolves around negative environmental consequences that occur before, during, and after the fracking process[5]. From the pollution caused by the transportation of the water and chemicals to the blast sites. To potential as well as documented leaks of the chemicals into local water supplies[6], to tremors and earthquakes caused by wastewater disposal[7], the debate of fracking is another chapter in the battle between commerce and environmental health.

Both sides of the fracking debate have strong evidence to support their stance. Those against fracking frequently point to the documentary film Gasland which showed repeated groundwater contamination caused by fracking that famously included residents near blast sights being able to light their water on fire[8]. Proponents of fracking point the economic benefits to the country at large as well as state and local communities. The natural gas America gets from fracking accounts for 25 percent of our gas supply, meaning we don’t have to import it from overseas. In addition, Pennsylvania alone has seen around 72,000 jobs created from the fracking industry[9].

Economic benefits are great, especially in a country still recovering from The Great Recession[10]. However we as a society can’t cut off our nose despite our face in the name of economic growth. The negative effect of fracking is poisoned fresh water supplies. Although the Earth is 3/4 water, only 2.5% of the water on the planet is drinkable freshwater[11]. Humans cannot survive without freshwater. Fracking poisons freshwater. Fracking is therefore a threat to the human condition. If fracking was not a threat, then why is it banned in five countries in Europe[12]?

Fracking need not be banned forever. A moratorium until the technologies evolve to a point where water contamination has no chance of happening is all that is required. Or how about until the processes no longer cause earthquakes? Is it too much to ask for technology to evolve more in the age of the iPhone and Oculus Rift? Do we really believe oil and gas companies don’t have the money for research and development to evolve the fracking process? Ask those questions to a family dependent on the income earned from working at fracking wells, and the answers might be different. That is the double edged sword of the debate.

Fracking is helping and hurting people at the same time. Families and communities have had their freshwater supplies forever poisoned while at the same time the workers who did the accidental poisoning have jobs for the first time in half a decade. Whose lives are worth more? Fracking forces the issue of asking the tough questions. What happens if freshwater continues to be poisoned as a result of fracking? What if earthquakes continue to be caused as a result of fracking? What if both of those things happen while lots of people and communities continue making lots of money? These are all tough questions that must be asked. When the future of freshwater and energy is at stake, one thing that is not debatable, is that fracking is certainly a preeminent issue of our time.

 

[1] http://www.propublica.org/special/hydraulic-fracturing-national

[2] http://energy.usgs.gov/OilGas/UnconventionalOilGas/HydraulicFracturing.aspx

[3] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/interactive/2011/apr/26/shale-gas-hydraulic-fracking-graphic

[4] http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/16/doe-forecast-natural-gas-boom/4034723/

[5] http://www.dangersoffracking.com/

[6] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/opinion/global/the-facts-on-fracking.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

[7] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/05/140502-scientists-warn-of-quake-risk-from-fracking-operations/

[8] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/05/140502-scientists-warn-of-quake-risk-from-fracking-operations/

[9] http://billmoyers.com/content/the-facts-on-fracking/

[10] http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/great-recession.asp

[11] http://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html

[12] http://www.energytribune.com/73234/uk-shale-gas-numbers-could-be-stratospheric#sthash.u9Gx9CjJ.dpbs

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by @anarchyroll
5/19/2014

300 earthquakes and no drinkable water for 300,000 people.

That is what the energy and chemical industries are doing to our planet and doing to us. I guess we should say thank you sirs may we have another, since we know more is coming. There will be more poisoned water, more earthquakes, more destruction of wildlife, more spills, all for…what exactly? And for whom?

Even the democratic party has embraced fracking for the sake of being elected.

At this rate all of America will become Frackishima. I sure hope I get to turn into the Toxic Avenger rather than just die from tumors and cancers thanks to all the contaminated fresh water. Fingers crossed…

 

 

frackishimalogo1ajclogo2by @anarchyroll
5/12/2014

Are there people who don’t know that humans can’t survive without drinkable water? No matter how much money a person may have, they will die without drinkable water just as quickly as a person living in poverty. Fracking poisons our drinkable water and it was recently revealed fracking is poisoning even more water than originally thought or reported.

In addition to that horrendous fact, it has come to light that the federal government has failed to even inspect fracking sites and equipment in high risk contamination sites.

Neither economic booms to local economies or job creation are worth the poisoning of the essence of life. No one person’s ability to provide for their family is as important or more important to the greater population of their race if their job threatens the ability for the species to survive. Fracking companies at large and fracking workers individually should be ashamed of themselves and should be publicly shamed for what they are doing. We are talking about possibilites or probabilites of what may or may not, can or can not happen. Fracking IS poisoning our drinking water, the real world, in real-time, in the present.

Did oil and gas companies get tired of poisoning water with oil spills for 25 years?

The negatives of fracking are different from other environment movement. It’s not like clean energy or climate change debates. The negative effects of fracking are happening now! If we poison the fresh water supplies, we’ll all be dead before the sea levels can rise 10 feet due to polar ice cap melting. The ramifications of fracking won’t be felt in 20 years or in a century. They are being felt now. Fracking must be banned now. Otherwise clean water becomes the new oil. The main difference being a person won’t die in three or four days without gas to put in their car.

frackishimalogo1ajclogo2by @anarchyroll
5/7/2014

I guess I’ll be old enough to say that I remember when the effects of climate change and global warming were futuristic threats.

But that was so 1990s and early 2000s. Climate change is here. Climate change is now. Climate change is an immediate and direct threat to the human race.

Global warming has become the paradigm with which we view the majority of the large-scale problems of the world. Why is that? Because the effects of global warming can no longer be ignored. It is touching every corner of the world in one way or another. Droughts here, hurricanes there, typhoons on this side of the planet, wildfires on the other. These natural disasters have existed for a long time, but because of climate change, all of the above are stronger and more devastating.

We are entering no turning back territory and things like fracking and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan certainly aren’t helping anything. Nuclear power and fracking are putting climate change on fast forward.

Although that seems to be what the climate change deniers want. They seem to think the planet is going to hell anyway so why bother trying to save it? I have also noticed a very strong correlation between climate change deniers and those who are religious. After all, if there is an all being, all-knowing creator living above the clouds, it will save the planet before we run out of drinkable water right? Before the seas rise up and wipe away all life, we’ll all be saved right? Maybe just the ones who build an arc. Human beings are tribal people. The human mind is quite the labyrinth. But it is time to realize that we are all in this together whether we want to be or not. That whether one believes in science or in religion, that we are tasked with saving ourselves, not waiting for a hand to swat away rising CO2 emissions.

What we need is more than just compost heaps, organic farming, and hybrid vehicles. We need those in power, those with money, those in charge to set forth very large-scale changes. We need the leaders to lead. We can bicker at each other all we want about using reusable shopping bags and air conditioning, but when those who we have elected set a green agenda for the masses to follow, then and only then will we as a race be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t from a 10,000 mile wide wildfire.