How America looked like before the EPA cleaned it up

This is what America looked like before the EPA cleaned it up…It wasn’t pretty


Outflow Pipe from the Oxford Paper Company into Androscoggin River

❝ In 1970, Republican President Richard Nixon signed an executive order creating the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It was a time when pollution made many of our nation’s rivers and streams unsafe for fishing or swimming. Back then, New York City’s air pollution was so thick that you often couldn’t see the city’s iconic bridges. Forty-seven years later, there is serious talk of dismantling the agency, or at least slashing its size by two-thirds.

A present from populist America. Racism and bigotry wasn’t enough.

❝ But what does America look like without the EPA?

❝ From 1971 to 1977 the nascent agency, in an act of prescience, enlisted the services of freelance photographers to help us remember. These photographers captured images of America’s environmental problems before we’d cleaned them up. In 2011, the US National Archives digitized more than 15,000 pictures from the series “Documerica”. Here are some of the most compelling.

…Please read our series on the EPA past and present. It begins here.

Or you could work at putting Trump and his chumps in charge for several years. They will bring all this poison back into our lives.

Sailing Through a Garbage Ocean

The Pacific is full of plastic, home to one of the most famous pollution hotspots in the world, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. There, plastic trash swirls around in a circular ocean current, or gyre, all around the Pacific between California and Hawaii.

❝ I was invited aboard the Christianshavn by Plastic Change, a Danish nonprofit fighting plastic pollution, to see the group’s plastic monitoring work in action. (Plastic Change also invited American artist Chris Jordan, who’s famous for his photographs of plastic-filled albatrosses, to come aboard and document their work.)

Henrik Beha Pedersen, an environmental biologist and co-owner of Christianshavn, founded Plastic Change just three years ago and has set out to collect the latest scientific data on ocean plastics. His biggest focus isn’t on the large pieces of trash that we see floating by the ship every 15 minutes or so—an abandoned plastic fishing buoy, a jagged piece of an orange laundry basket, a tangled mass of colorful nylon ropes and fishing nets. Plastic Change’s biggest focus is on the tiny white specs that cloud the ocean’s surface in large blobs, plastic particles five millimeter or less in size called microplastic.

❝ Microplastic is tiny, with some pieces too small to be seen with the naked eye. Because it’s so small, microplastic is accidentally consumed by small ocean creatures from zooplankton to larval fish, where it then moves up the food chain. Larger pieces of plastic also pose a risk to marine wildlife, such as sea turtles, which often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, and seabirds like Laysan albatross, which are regularly found with lighters and children’s toys in their stomachs.

Besides posing a choking hazard, plastic poisons the animals that consume it. Scientists says this poisoning effect is currently a growing concern with plastic pollution.

Click the link and carry on reading from there. The human species in all its classes and conveniences is killing the seas.

French historian nearly deported from U.S. – we are governed more and more, every day, by fearmongers


Henry RousoMémorial de la Shoah

❝ A French historian on his way to a conference in Texas was detained for 10 hours by US border officials and threatened with deportation.

Officials at Texas A&M University said Henry Rousso was going to be returned to Paris as an illegal alien “due to a visa misunderstanding”…The university stopped the deportation with help from a law professor, local news website The Eagle reported.

❝ “I have been detained 10 hours at Houston International Airport about to be deported,” Mr Rousso, 62, confirmed in a tweet on Saturday…

The Egyptian-born Jewish scholar, a senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, is a specialist on French World War Two history.

❝ Texas A&M University had announced to the conference on Friday that Mr Rousso had been detained upon arriving at Houston airport on Wednesday.

Senior official Richard Golsan said there had been a misunderstanding regarding the parameters of his visa, The Eagle reported.

“When he called me with this news two nights ago, he was waiting for customs officials to send him back to Paris as an illegal alien on the first flight out,” Mr Golsan told the meeting.

❝ He said the university enlisted the help of law school professor and immigrant rights expert Fatma Marouf…

Ms Marouf described the behaviour of customs officials as an “extreme response”…”It seems like there’s much more rigidity and rigour in enforcing these immigration requirements and the technicalities of every visa,” she said…

❝ Mr Rousso went on to attend the conference and thanked his supporters in a post on Twitter.

“Thank you so much for your reactions. My situation was nothing compared to some of the people I saw who couldn’t be defended as I was,” he said.

The pettiness of government flunkies can be distressing under the best of circumstances. Civil service at the base level in the United States is often akin to traditional jobs for “Cousin Ernie” who can’t find employment anywhere – so, you pay to stick him into the state highway department. Add the stress of our so-called president and his demented band of bigots to the equation and this sort of crap will become more and more common.

Legality, common courtesy, sense and sensibility have little or nothing to do with a job chartered in the mind of populist mobs as pest control. The horde will be served. Their Fearless Leader demands obedience.

NASA Receives First Audio From New Planets

BREAKING NEWS, WORLD NEWS

❝ RADIO signals emerging from the newly-discovered ‘TRAPPIST-1’ planetary system have been decoded by linguistic experts at NASA, confirming the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms who want ‘no part of Earth’s bullshit’.

❝ There was great excitement from astronomy enthusiasts earlier this week following the discovery of seven planets in the ‘habitable’ zone of a nearby solar system; planets which seemingly had all the criteria for supporting life.

However, this was eroded somewhat today when NASA announced that lifeforms on the third of these planets seemed to be ‘standing very still as if not to be noticed’, much like how someone would hide behind the sofa in their house if a TV licence inspector or debt collector came to the door.

❝ …A signal from the planet was received and later translated, and appears to show that the alien lifeforms were well aware of the existence of Earth.

“The transmission begins ‘Oh fucking bollocky bollocks’” said a spokesperson for NASA…

❝ “‘They’ve found us, well that’s just tickety-fucking-boo’. The conversation then breaks down into a series of back-and-forth arguments where the aliens appear to blame each other for being found, with one very vocal creature appearing to be furious that Earthlings may now attempt to travel to the new planet. ‘Why did you have to have the telly on so fucking loud?’, they say”.

Click through to the article. Sounds like they really don’t care to have anything to do with Earth cultures. Hmmm.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Wind Overtakes Coal Power in Europe — Turbines Increase Offshore


Dong Energy

❝ Wind farm developers installed more power than any other form of energy last year in Europe, helping turbines to overtake coal in terms of capacity…

European wind power grew 8 percent, to 153.7 gigawatts, comprising 16.7 percent of installed capacity and overtaking coal as the continent’s second-biggest potential source of energy, according to figures published Thursday by the WindEurope trade group. Gas-fired generation retained the largest share of installed capacity.

❝ With countries seeking to curb greenhouse gas emissions that causes climate change by replacing fossil fuel plants with new forms of renewable energy, investment in wind grew to a record $29.3 billion in 2016, WindEurope’s annual European Statistics report showed.

Wind and coal are on two ends of the spectrum,” said Oliver Joy, a spokesman for WindEurope, in an e-mail. “Wind is steadily adding new capacity while coal is decommissioning far more than any technology in Europe.”

❝ The group underscored that wind, which only produces power intermittently, hasn’t yet overtaken coal share in total power generation.

And, so, good sense marches hand-in-hand with a positive commitment to better living.

Bernie Sanders Just Blind-Sided Trump With Reality — in four words

❝ If President Donald Trump is in need of an ego boost on Saturday, Twitter may not be the place to find it.

The president was slapped with a scalding reality check, compliments of Sen. Bernie Sanders, after suggesting his supporters have their own rally.

“It would be the biggest of them all!” Trump proclaimed on Twitter Saturday.

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-6-50-25-pm

❝ Exciting idea, except that Trump had a rally just last month, for Inauguration Day, as Sanders reminded him.

“They did. It wasn’t,” Sanders smartly snapped.

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-6-51-55-pm

Har!

Apple, Intel and many more oppose Trump’s Congress ending the conflict-mineral regulation

❝ Apple doesn’t want to see it scrapped. Neither does Intel or Tiffany & Co.

But the U.S. conflict-minerals law — which requires American public companies to avoid using minerals that fund war and human rights abuses in the Congo region — is widely seen today as facing its most serious threat since its passage in 2010.

❝ The White House is considering a suspension of the law, part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to cut government regulations and a long-held goal of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If that does not happen, congressional Republicans are expected to try defunding it, which they attempted last year. At the same time, federal regulators recently announced that they plan to “reconsider” the law’s scope. The acting head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency that oversees the regulation, called it “a misguided rule.”

❝ …Several major companies say they will not abandon the standard even if the law is gutted.

While corporations normally cheer in unison when regulations are cut, this controversial rule has prompted a different reaction.

That is because something interesting has happened since the law took effect: Companies say the conflict-minerals law has created an expectation both inside their corporate headquarters and among consumers that their products will be “conflict-free.”

They do not want to back away from that now. But they worry their efforts will be undermined without the law to support them.

❝ “We do this because it’s the right thing to do,” Apple said in a statement about its conflict-minerals compliance. The tech giant said it plans to keep those protections “regardless of whether or not the law requires it.” Apple said it is pleading its case behind the scenes to White House and SEC officials.

Intel said it, too, was committed to “responsible sourcing of minerals” regardless of regulatory changes…

Richline, a major jewelry company, said it would remain committed to the standard “because the cause is worthy of these efforts.” Richline added that it was against “weakening or repealing a process that has already been set in motion and is just beginning to affect meaningful change.”

Not that Trump, his neo-con Republican bubbas, ever cared about how much blood is spilled to promote their profit margins. The useful part of all this is that a number of taste-making American companies have realized they benefit from aligning themselves with humane goals.

Now, let’s see if we can drag the pimps of profiteering back into reasonable behavior.

The West’s coal giant is going away


Click to enlargeAlex/Creative Commons

❝ The smokestacks of the Navajo Generation Station rise 775 feet from the sere landscape of the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona, just three miles away from the serpentine, stagnant blue wound in sandstone known as Lake Powell. Red rock cliffs and the dark and heavy hump of Navajo Mountain loom in the background. Since construction began in 1969, the coal plant and its associated mine on Black Mesa have provided millions of dollars to the Navajo and Hopi tribes and hundreds of jobs to local communities, as well as electricity to keep the lights on and air conditioners humming in the metastasizing cities of Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Yet they’ve also stood as symbols of the exploitation of Native Americans, of the destruction of the land, and of the sullying of the air, all to provide cheap power to the Southwest.

But coal power is no longer the best energy bargain. And…the plant’s four private utility owners, led by the Salt River Project, voted to shut down the plant at the end of 2019, some 25 years ahead of schedule. When the giant turbines come to a halt and the towers topple in the coming years, the plant will become a new symbol, this one of a transforming energy economy and an evolving electrical grid that is slowly rendering these soot-stained, mechanical megaliths obsolete.

❝ Salt River Project officials have been very clear…They note that it’s now cheaper for them to buy power for their 1 million customers from other sources than it is to generate power at Navajo, thanks mostly to low natural gas prices. A November 2016 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that the Central Arizona Project pays about 15 percent more for electricity from the power plant — of which it is part owner — than it would if it bought power wholesale from the Mead trading hub located near Las Vegas.

❝ None of this will change even if President Donald Trump rolls back the Clean Power Plan or other regulations put in place by the Obama administration. In fact, if a drill-heavy energy policy is put into place, it will increase natural gas supplies, thus increasing the spread between natural gas and coal.

It’s a sign of the times. We will continues to see pimps like Trump – owned body and soul by the US Chamber of Commerce – run their collective mouths, beat the drums of war and obedience, demand resurrection of backwards methods that will only serve to further slow our national economy.

Science and technology will continue to forge ahead.