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Friday, April 30, 2010

Oil Spill Worse than Thought; Obama Halts New Drilling

So, the oil explosion and subsequent spill has turned out to be a bigger environmental disaster than originally thought. Wow, about as surprising as seeing smoke where there is a fire. President Obama has at least temporarily halted any new oil drilling, which he had recently approved. The ironies just keep coming, after the rig sank on Earth Day. Meanwhile the Cape Cod offshore wind farm plan was finally approved by the Obama administration, but the fat cats there are still fighting it. Their precious view of the coast and skyline may be altered by the appearance of some wind turbines a few inches above the horizon. How bout we just blast away until we find some oil off the coast of Cape Cod and start drilling? We do it in the Gulf. These Cape Codians (are whatever they are called) were fueled by Ted Kennedy's vocal resistance to the project. Talk about an extreme version of environmental injustice and NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome.
The severity of the spill is summed by this quote from the AP by David Kennedy of NOAA: "I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind boggling."
To hell with climate change, what do all the supporters of big oil have to say about the potential to devastate thousands of species but also families who rely on The Gulf fishing industry for a living. What about the human race who like to have the protein from sea species. To hell with anyone defending big oil, and to hell with the Cape Codians!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oil Rig Explosion Should Affect Climate Bill

The explosion and resulting oil leakage that was likely to cause little disruption or environmental harm according to some oil company officials is seen from satellite in this image. There is no doubt of significant environmental impacts, and there could be disruption in Gulf drilling, and tourism if the slick is not dissipated in some way.

While crews scramble to use robotic arms to plug leaks and think of schemes like burning off the oil, the U.S. legislature still sits, having done nothing in regards to a climate bill. How is a climate bill best done, without making the rich richer and hurting the little guys the most? As Annie Leonard's "Story of Cap and Trade" puts so well, it sure will not be with a market scheme.

For more info on the rig that sank on Earth Day 2010, you will find this helpful.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Recycling, Reducing, and Designing for the Environment

Packaging waste handling in the European Union is drastically different than in the U.S. What is amusing politically is that while many U.S. politicians who also vote against most environmental initiatives pride themselves on "less" government. I argue that in most EU nations their waste handling system is less government because it takes the financial burden of collection off of the municipalities and onto the producers. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a concept and policy tool which began a the German 1991 ordinance. It is being experimented, in a mostly watered down form, with by some U.S. states for products such as cathod ray tubes. EPR has taken hold in the EU not only concerning packaging waste, but also with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. Read more about this important policy tool for recycling, and reducting waste.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sewage in the River...oh well Just Build a New Stadium

My recent AC piece is an overview of combined sewer overflows and how certain muncipalities are trying to deal with them. This is an example of mis-management and politics at its' finest. Than again, it's not mismanagement for those profiting off of gross misuse of tax dollars and priorities which are so far gone Keith Richards couldn't reach them. And they don't live anywhere near the overflow pipes dumping raw sewage in the river.

Beginning to think Americans will never see real change. We are to busy letting the media tell us to argue over "left" and "right" politics to deal with real issues of sustainability and justice. Hmm...time will tell, and I hope our children will do a better job than we have. For more on CSO's and the only way to really deal with them check out the entire article.