Category Archives: Man and Nature

Same as it ever was

In June of 2014 President Obama announced the goal of reducing coal pollution from power plants by 30%; a definitive gesture to the world in efforts to combat climate change.   On September 16th  Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, held a “CALL FOR CREDENTIALED NEWS MEDIA ONLY.

The gist of her presentation was that President Obama has back-pedaled on the most critical component of his climate-change plan: that of slowing the process of setting new rules cutting carbon pollution from power plants.   Even in a world of shifting baselines June’s announced rule would have cut carbon pollution from the country’s power plants by an average of 30% over 2005 levels.

Yesterday’s forty-five day extension of a public comment period by the current presidential administration follows 106 days after the stated change in what most would consider business as usual.   This delay is a symbolic gesture to all concerned with anthropogenic effects on our biosphere and our climate – including the United Nations.

Seven days after President Obama’s administration announced this “extension” the United Nations will host the largest summit on climate change in history.  Over one hundred and twenty heads of state will convene to address an issue which will impact the future of humanity.

Instead of leading by example, President Obama will again demonstrate actions dictated by fossil fuel interests as he continues to endorse the exporting of our country’s resources at the expense of current and future generations of Americans while multi-national corporations continue to profit.  Instead of embracing renewable technologies to power our economy into the future the message is clear: we are to remain enmired in nineteenth century technology.

Same as it ever was is hardly change anyone can believe in.



Hanford Site: Radioactive Levels Ten Times Lethal Limit

The more research I do, the more depressing the results.  The article below (linked to its source) was published in 2010.  In terms of radioactive half-life four years does not make a difference.

Googling “radiation leak Hanford” will return enough entries to make anyone’s head spin.   Hanford is not the only nuclear waste site in the United States.  The EPA references over a thousand  nuclear waste sites in the United States alone.   Projecting this on a global scale boggles the mind.

I can’t help but wonder if the general plan from the 1940s until today(?) has been, “let’s take the money now and let those guys in the future figure things out.”

Bummer for us is that we are those guys.


 Hanford, Washington Site: Radioactive Levels Ten Times Lethal Limit At Cold War Nuclear Reservation  SHANNON DININNY   11/17/10 05:36 PM ET   AP   YAKIMA, Wash. — Workers cleaning up the nation's most contaminated nuclear site have discovered an area of soil so radioactive it exceeds lethal limits tenfold, the U.S. Department of Energy announced Wednesday with its cleanup contractor.  The finding represents some of the worst contamination at south-central Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation and highlights the difficulty and danger in cleaning up a site where records about Cold War-era weapons production either weren't kept or were incomplete.  Even though it's highly radioactive, the contaminated soil does not pose an immediate risk to health or safety of workers or the environment, said Todd Nelson, spokesman for Washington Closure, the contractor hired to clean up this area of Hanford for the DOE.  The federal government created Hanford in the 1940s as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb. The site produced plutonium for nuclear weapons through the Cold War, but the work left hundreds of radioactive buildings, including nuclear reactors, debris and waste.  Workers found this soil contamination under a building that was used from 1966 to 1996 to explore methods to treat radioactive waste. The workers discovered a cracked steel liner under a drain in a radioactive hot cell, where the research years ago could be conducted safely, then used remote equipment to conduct soil samples under the building to determine if there may have been a leak.  The samples showed radiation levels thousands of times greater than allowable levels for exposure over one hour, and 10 times the lethal limit.  Nelson said the three biggest concerns when such a high level of radioactivity is located are direct exposure to workers, the contamination becoming airborne, and the contamination migrating to groundwater. Because the soil sits under a building and workers are shielded from the radiation, he said, the first two are not an immediate risk.  There also is no evidence the contamination has affected groundwater, said Mark French, project coordinator for the DOE's Columbia River corridor cleanup.  The building in question sits about a quarter-mile from the Columbia River, which is the largest waterway in the Pacific Northwest and creates the northern and eastern boundaries of the Hanford site.
Hanford, Washington Site: Radioactive Levels Ten Times Lethal Limit At Cold War Nuclear Reservation

Garth Lenz:
The true cost of oil

This is one of the most powerful presentations I have experienced in a long time.  It is also a living example of the cancer which defines the fossil fuel industry.

Foreign corporations (and nations) have been investing in petroleum in the United States and Canada for many years.  China invested 33 billion dollars in Canadian petrochemical interests from 2005 – 2012.  Canadian oil interests would like to see more investment.  China owns at least 40% of the tar sands production at Athabasca Oil Corporation (formerly Athabasca Oil Sands Corporation); a company which sold China all of its holdings of the McKay River tar sands development3.
McKay River In 2013 China purchased 100% of Canada’s tar sands operator Nexen for $15.1 billion1.
Canadian interests favor these purchases – otherwise they would not have been approved2.

Not to be left out of courting Chinese dollars, President Obama is selling the United States as a better place to invest4.   Considering how heavily invested China already is in fracking operations within the United States, the President’s position makes little sense6.

They came, they drilled, they left:
There is the question of just who will be left to clean up the mess left behind – if this is even possible.  Once China develops fracking within its own boundaries5, why would it pay for more expensive energy elsewhere?

The only way out is to develop a new source of power; something other than petroleum that will not poison our biosphere.


Sacred Sky Sacred Earth new website

Summer is a time-proven golden opportunity to run special interest agendas through when you do not want a bunch of people to know what you are up to. Case and point would be Granite Construction Corporation’s euphemistically named “Liberty Quarry” project. Problem is that they have chosen a section of land to develop which would spell the end of the last wild river and the last wild life corridor in Southern California. LAST. Ain’t no more. All bought up, paved, built on and converted to contemporary ideas of civilization.

I recently became aware of this project as it would mean the destruction, actually the erasure of sites which are sacred to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. Having grown up with sacred sites on the islands of both sides of my family (Crete and Samothrace) I have an idea of what their loss would mean – especially to future generations.

Long story short, I will be spending more time updating the new Sacred Sky Sacred Earth website than adding to this one. Please visit by clicking the image below and signing a petition to help save this LAST section of land from destructive development.


Nuclear Spring
Heritage of Nuclear Power

Click image above for full article and/or text below for a related article.

By Dan Eggen, Wednesday, March 16, 2:00 PM

“Nuclear power advocates are waging an intense lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill this week in an attempt to limit the political fallout from the reactor crisis in Japan, which threatens to undermine already shaky plans for expanded nuclear capacity in the United States.” Washington Post;

“Gulf of Mexico…. fully recover by 2012” – Kenneth Feinberg

“Earlier this month, Kenneth Feinberg, the government’s oil compensation fund czar, said based on research he commissioned he figured the Gulf of Mexico would almost fully recover by 2012”

“BP Plc’s $20 billion oil-spill damages fund, run by Kenneth Feinberg, “far exceeds” the company’s legal obligations to compensate victims of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, company lawyers said in a court filing.”

For more on Mr. Feinberg as BP’s fund representative click here.

Strong Evidence Emerges of BP Oil on Seafloor

Strong Evidence Emerges of BP Oil on Seafloor
Strong Evidence Emerges of BP Oil on Seafloor

Scientific teams have reported in recent months finding a strange substance on the Gulf floor, in some cases as far as about 80 miles from BP’s ill-fated Macondo well, which blew out in April and spilled an estimated 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf before it was capped.

They have speculated that the substance—found as deep as 2,300 meters below the surface— was oil from the BP blowout. But, until now, they haven’t had this evidence from chemical tests.

David Hollander, an oceanographer at the University of South Florida, said in an interview that he and colleagues have just completed tests showing that the chemical profile of oil they found in Gulf sediment matches that from the blown-out BP well.