Breaking America’s Oil Addiction

February 13, 2011 at 1:21 am | Posted in enviroment, Greenwashing, Life, nature | Leave a comment
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Brown Pelicans covered with oil after BP oil spill

The saddest picture from the oil spill that I have seen.

In the wake of the BP Oil spill I have decided to cut as much oil out of my life as I can. I did some research and learned that it is in well, everything. Which I find even more disturbing. While oil really is in everything we consume from contact lenses to linoleum I am bound and determined to stop my house holds consumption of it as much as possible. There are many natural brands of cleaning products out on the market and even 100% biodegradable un-plastic bags for trash available now. Last night I bought non-chlorine all natural color safe bleach by Ecover and some all natural fabric softener by Seventh Generation. It was a good thing to do, but it disturbs me that the cost of the environmentally friendly products is so much more expensive than the chemical stuff. What I paid for a tiny bottle of fabric softener would have bought me a large bottle of the chemically laden (and don’t forget the animal tallow!) stuff. Why is it that all the products that are bad for humans and the environment are the ones that are government subsidized? The earth gets the rottenest end of the oil spill/environmental rape and pillage of the earth and our children will have to pay the ultimate price. They will be the ones stuck with an earth that has an ocean full of dispersed oil and weird storms due to global warming and whatever environmental disasters big business can think up in the meantime. I was born in 1977, here is a list of ALL the recorded oil spills in my lifetime.

1977
April, North Sea: blowout of well in Ekofisk oil field leaked 81 million gallons.

1978
March 16, off Portsall, France: wrecked supertanker Amoco Cadiz spilled 68 million gallons, causing widespread environmental damage over 100 mi of Brittany coast.

1979
June 3, Gulf of Mexico: exploratory oil well Ixtoc 1 blew out, spilling an estimated 140 million gallons of crude oil into the open sea. Although it is one of the largest known oil spills, it had a low environmental impact.

July 19, Tobago: the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain collided, spilling 46 million gallons of crude. While being towed, the Atlantic Empress spilled an additional 41 million gallons off Barbados on Aug. 2.

1980
March 30, Stavanger, Norway: floating hotel in North Sea collapsed, killing 123 oil workers.

1983
Feb. 4, Persian Gulf, Iran: Nowruz Field platform spilled 80 million gallons of oil.

Aug. 6, Cape Town, South Africa: the Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver caught fire, spilling 78 million gallons of oil off the coast.

1988
July 6, North Sea off Scotland: 166 workers killed in explosion and fire on Occidental Petroleum’s Piper Alpha rig in North Sea; 64 survivors. It is the world’s worst offshore oil disaster.

Nov. 10, Saint John’s, Newfoundland: Odyssey spilled 43 million gallons of oil.

1989
March 24, Prince William Sound, Alaska: tanker Exxon Valdez hit an undersea reef and spilled 10 million–plus gallons of oil into the water, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Dec. 19, off Las Palmas, the Canary Islands: explosion in Iranian supertanker, the Kharg-5, caused 19 million gallons of crude oil to spill into Atlantic Ocean about 400 mi north of Las Palmas, forming a 100-square-mile oil slick.

1990
June 8, off Galveston, Tex.: Mega Borg released 5.1 million gallons of oil some 60 nautical miles south-southeast of Galveston as a result of an explosion and subsequent fire in the pump room.

1991
Jan. 23–27, southern Kuwait: during the Persian Gulf War, Iraq deliberately released 240–460 million gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf from tankers 10 mi off Kuwait. Spill had little military significance. On Jan. 27, U.S. warplanes bombed pipe systems to stop the flow of oil.

April 11, Genoa, Italy: Haven spilled 42 million gallons of oil in Genoa port.

May 28, Angola: ABT Summer exploded and leaked 15–78 million gallons of oil off the coast of Angola. It’s not clear how much sank or burned.

1992
March 2, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan: 88 million gallons of oil spilled from an oil well.

1993
Aug. 10, Tampa Bay, Fla.: three ships collided, the barge Bouchard B155, the freighter Balsa 37, and the barge Ocean 255. The Bouchard spilled an estimated 336,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into Tampa Bay.

1994
Sept. 8, Russia: dam built to contain oil burst and spilled oil into Kolva River tributary. U.S. Energy Department estimated spill at 2 million barrels. Russian state-owned oil company claimed spill was only 102,000 barrels.

1996
Feb. 15, off Welsh coast: supertanker Sea Empress ran aground at port of Milford Haven, Wales, spewed out 70,000 tons of crude oil, and created a 25-mile slick.

1999
Dec. 12, French Atlantic coast: Maltese-registered tanker Erika broke apart and sank off Britanny, spilling 3 million gallons of heavy oil into the sea.

2000
Jan. 18, off Rio de Janeiro: ruptured pipeline owned by government oil company, Petrobras, spewed 343,200 gallons of heavy oil into Guanabara Bay.

Nov. 28, Mississippi River south of New Orleans: oil tanker Westchester lost power and ran aground near Port Sulphur, La., dumping 567,000 gallons of crude oil into lower Mississippi. Spill was largest in U.S. waters since Exxon Valdez disaster in March 1989.

2002
Nov. 13, Spain: Prestige suffered a damaged hull and was towed to sea and sank. Much of the 20 million gallons of oil remains underwater.

2003
July 28, Pakistan: The Tasman Spirit, a tanker, ran aground near the Karachi port, and eventually cracked into two pieces. One of its four oil tanks burst open, leaking 28,000 tons of crude oil into the sea.

2004
Dec. 7, Unalaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska: A major storm pushed the M/V Selendang Ayu up onto a rocky shore, breaking it in two. 337,000 gallons of oil were released, most of which was driven onto the shoreline of Makushin and Skan Bays.

2005
Aug.-Sept., New Orleans, Louisiana: The Coast Guard estimated that more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled during Hurricane Katrina from various sources, including pipelines, storage tanks and industrial plants.

2006
June 19, Calcasieu River, Louisiana: An estimated 71,000 barrels of waste oil were released from a tank at the CITGO Refinery on the Calcasieu River during a violent rain storm.

July 15, Beirut, Lebanon: The Israeli navy bombs the Jieh coast power station, and between three million and ten million gallons of oil leaks into the sea, affecting nearly 100 miles of coastline. A coastal blockade, a result of the war, greatly hampers outside clean-up efforts.

August 11th, Guimaras island, The Philippines: A tanker carrying 530,000 gallons of oil sinks off the coast of the Philippines, putting the country’s fishing and tourism industries at great risk. The ship sinks in deep water, making it virtually unrecoverable, and it continues to emit oil into the ocean as other nations are called in to assist in the massive clean-up effort.

2007
December 7, South Korea: Oil spill causes environmental disaster, destroying beaches, coating birds and oysters with oil, and driving away tourists with its stench. The Hebei Spirit collides with a steel wire connecting a tug boat and barge five miles off South Korea’s west coast, spilling 2.8 million gallons of crude oil. Seven thousand people are trying to clean up 12 miles of oil-coated coast.

2008
July 25, New Orleans, Louisiana: A 61-foot barge, carrying 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel, collides with a 600-foot tanker ship in the Mississippi River near New Orleans. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel leak from the barge, causing a halt to all river traffic while cleanup efforts commence to limit the environmental fallout on local wildlife.

2009
March 11, Queensland, Australia: During Cyclone Hamish, unsecured cargo aboard the container ship MV Pacific Adventurer came loose on deck and caused the release of 52,000 gallons of heavy fuel and 620 tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, into the Coral Sea. About 60 km of the Sunshine Coast was covered in oil, prompting the closure of half the area’s beaches.

2010
Jan. 23, Port Arthur, Texas: The oil tanker Eagle Otome and a barge collide in the Sabine-Neches Waterway, causing the release of about 462,000 gallons of crude oil. Environmental damage was minimal as about 46,000 gallons were recovered and 175,000 gallons were dispersed or evaporated, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
April 24, Gulf of Mexico: The Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible drilling rig, sank on April 22, after an April 20th explosion on the vessel. Eleven people died in the blast. When the rig sank, the riser—the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig—became detached and began leaking oil. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard investigators discovered a leak in the wellhead itself. As much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the water, threatening wildlife along the Louisiana Coast. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared it a “spill of national significance.” BP (British Petroleum), which leased the Deepwater Horizon, is responsible for the cleanup, but the U.S. Navy supplied the company with resources to help contain the slick. Oil reached the Louisiana shore on April 30, affected about 125 miles of coast. By early June, oil had also reached Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Read more: Oil Spills and Disasters — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001451.html#ixzz1DlgH21eY

Disturbed yet? I hope that you are. I am pretty disturbed by the fact that there has been at least one major oil spill happening almost every other year that I have been alive for my entire life! This is just one of those situations where if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.  Being disturbed and uncomfortable is a good thing when the sour taste in our mouth is used for a better good. The vote that has the most impact is the money vote. Where our hard earned dollars are spent and on what has a great impact. Do you really want your hard earned money to go to some evil corporation who doesn’t give a fig about you or the environment? If we all lay off the oil as much as we can it will make a difference. Did you know that only 50% of a barrel of oil goes into our gas tanks? The other half is to satisfy our consumer lust for oil. Here is a short list of products you will find it in.

Nearly everything in our lives is made from oil, made by machinery and systems dependent on oil, and transported by oil as either gas or diesel fuel.

Ammonia, Anesthetics, Antihistamines, Artificial limbs, Artificial Turf, Antiseptics, Aspirin, Auto Parts, Awnings, Balloons, Ballpoint pens, Bandages, Beach Umbrellas, Boats, Cameras, Candles, Car Battery Cases, Carpets, Caulking, Combs, Cortisones, Cosmetics, Crayons, Credit Cards, Curtains, Deodorants, Detergents, Dice, Disposable Diapers, Dolls, Dyes, Eye Glasses, Electrical Wiring Insulation, Faucet Washers, Fishing Rods, Fishing Line, Fishing Lures, Food Preservatives, Food Packaging, Garden Hose, Glue, Hair Coloring, Hair Curlers, Hand Lotion, Hearing Aids, Heart Valves, Ink, Insect Repellant, Insecticides, Linoleum, Lip Stick, Milk Jugs, Nail Polish, Oil Filters, Panty Hose, Perfume, Petroleum Jelly, Rubber Cement, Rubbing Alcohol,  Shampoo, Shaving Cream, Shoes, Toothpaste, Trash Bags, Upholstery, Vitamin Capsules, Water Pipes, Yarn

http://www.3k88.com/products.htm

In light of all this information I hope you decided to start cutting down on the amount of oil you consume. In addition to switching over to all natural and sustainable cleaning and beauty products I also do 99% of my laundry in cold water (only bedding and pet bedding get a hot water wash) and use my clothes line in the summer. If we all do something it will have a positive impact on the environment.

I leave you with this short five minute film about the state of our beaches in Alabama.

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Supreme Court to Hear First GE Crop Case (repost from e-mail)

January 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Posted in enviroment, Food Safety | Leave a comment
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Breaking News: Monsanto Takes Center for Food Safety Legal Victory to Highest Court

(January 15, 2010) Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a first-time case about the risks of genetically engineered crops.  Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

The modified alfalfa seed at the heart of the dispute has been engineered to be immune to Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup. Monsanto intervened in a 2007 federal district court ruling that the Department of Agriculture’s approval of GE alfalfa was illegal.  The Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a 2006 lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of non-profits and farmers who wished to retain the choice to plant non-GE alfalfa. CFS was victorious in this case – in addition CFS has won two appeals by Monsanto in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: in 2008 and again in 2009. Now, upon Monsanto’s insistence, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

“This is truly a ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle, between public interest non-profits and a corporation bent on nothing less than domination of our food system,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “That Monsanto has pushed this case all the way to the Supreme Court, even though USDA’s court-ordered analysis is now complete, and the U.S. government actively opposed further litigation in this matter, underscores the great lengths that Monsanto will go to further its mission of patent control of our food system and selling more pesticides.”

The federal district court required the Department of Agriculture to undertake an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) assessing the impacts of the crop on the environment and on farmers; the first time the U.S. government had ever undertaken such analysis for any GE crop.  The court permitted farmers that had already planted to continue, but halted any further planting pending the agency’s re-assessment.  That the EIS was required is not in dispute; the legal issue is only the scope of relief while USDA analyzed the impacts of the crop for the first time.

In October 2009 Monsanto asked the Supreme Court to hear further arguments. In response, the Center and the U.S. government separately opposed that request the following December.  USDA completed the first draft of the EIS in December 2009.

“Although we believe a further hearing is unnecessary, we are confident we will again prevail, as the lower courts have already three times determined,” continued Kimbrell. “We hope that this grand stage will further inform the public, policymakers and the media about the significant risks of genetically engineered crops and the vital need to protect farmers and the environment.”

Alfalfa is the fourth most widely grown crop in the U.S. and a key source of dairy forage. It is the first perennial crop to be genetically engineered.  It is open-pollinated by bees, which can cross-pollinate at distances of several miles, spreading the patented, foreign DNA to conventional and organic crops.  Such biological contamination threatens the livelihood of organic farmers and dairies, since the U.S. Organic standard prohibits genetic engineering, and alfalfa exporters, since most overseas governments also reject GE-contaminated crops.

“We trust the Supreme Court will uphold farmers right to choose their crop of choice and protect us from the constant fear of contamination from GE crops,” said Phil Geertson, an alfalfa farmer based in Idaho.

Related:

A 2009 study showed that the use of genetically modified crops, the vast majority Monsanto’s “roundup ready” crops, has caused over the last 13 years a dramatic increase in herbicide use, by 383 million pounds, and concomitant harms to the environment and human health.

The U.S. Department of Justice has undertaken an investigation of Monsanto regarding violations of anti-trust and monopoly laws and is set to hold public hearings in spring 2010.

Another 2009 study showed that, despite decades of promises and hype, GE crops do not increase yields.

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Some short cartoons about the enviroment

December 10, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Posted in enviroment | Leave a comment
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Here are some short cartoons from the Organic Consumer Association about the Cap and Trade problem, and other enviromental issues that affect each and every one of us today.

I can’t seem to get the embedded link to work correctly for this last cartoon, so here is the link. It is really a great cartoon so please watch it and stay informed!!!

http://www.foe.org/school-senate-video

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