Toxic plume of pollution from military base poisoning groundwater, dairy farm…and more


Click to enlargeDon J. Usner/Searchlight New Mexico

Art Schaap and some of 4,000 dairy cows on his farm in Clovis, New Mexico. He has to kill all of them.

❝ For months, Clovis, New Mexico, dairy farmer Art Schaap has been watching his life go down the drain. Instead of selling milk, he is dumping 15,000 gallons a day – enough to provide a carton at lunch to 240,000 children. Instead of working 24/7 to keep his animals healthy, he’s planning to exterminate all 4,000 of his cows, one of the best herds in his county’s booming dairy industry.

The 54-year-old second-generation dairy farmer learned last August that his water, his land, his crops – even the blood in his body – were contaminated with chemicals that migrated to his property from nearby Cannon air force base…

❝ “This has poisoned everything I’ve worked for and everything I care about,” Schaap said. “I can’t sell the milk. I can’t sell beef. I can’t sell the cows. I can’t sell crops or my property. The air force knew they had contamination. What I really wonder is, why didn’t they say something?”

❝ There is plenty the air force could have said. It has for decades been aware that PFAS chemicals are toxic to humans, animals and the environment. By 2000, industry scientists and the Environmental Protection Agency had meticulously documented that they persist in the environment for millennia. They are linked to cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, lowered immunity and high cholesterol, among other serious health problems.

They have poisoned the groundwater at 121 military bases across the US…

Read the stinking details. Please. The Pentagon, Federal Government, State Governments – have all known about the danger and like all tidy criminals didn’t do a damned thing about it. Civilians, urban and rural alike, have had to sue the military every time this crap comes up to get any compensation.

The ideology of a permanent warfare state demands that civilians matter least, the military and whatever they say they need is the highest priority in these United States.

World’s #1 wind-power producer budgeting almost $15 billion for US construction the next 4 years

❝ …The world’s largest wind-power producer, Iberdrola SA, has brushed off Big Oil’s embrace of renewable energy as “more noise” than action.

Major oil and gas firms have been venturing into renewable power under pressure from climate-change policy, collectively spending around 1 percent of their 2018 budgets on clean energy…

❝ However, Iberdrola Chief Executive Ignacio Galan, who has led the Spanish utility for 17 years, shrugged when asked in a Reuters interview if Big Oil represented a competitive threat.

“It’s good that they have moved in this direction but they make more noise than the reality,” he said on Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland…

❝ He said U.S. states were more influential than Washington in terms of energy investment, and that several were looking to develop America’s first offshore wind farms, from Massachusetts down to North Carolina and New York across to California.

“The states are more and more committed to moving to renewables and the same is true of the cities and towns,” he said, adding that falling generation costs of renewable energy was a big driver of the U.S. adoption of wind and solar power.

Woo-hoo. I knew they were taking on the first big US wind-power project off Martha’s Vineyard. Hadn’t realized the size of their immediate follow-on commitment. [Davos has been really interesting this year and the coverage from Bloomberg TV has been stellar.]

Corporate Pledge to End Plastic Waste Just a Drop in Polluted Oceans


Shutterstock/Mohamed Abdulraheem

❝…Chemical companies are beginning to get alarmed…Their solution: A public pledge by the new Alliance to End Plastic Waste to spend $1 billion over five years to clean up marine debris, improve recycling and develop new technologies to reduce pollution. That may sound like a lot of green, but the Alliance is made up of 28 companies that make plastics, packaging and consumer products, which averages out to each company spending just over $7 million on the effort each year.

❝ So is $1.5 billion over five years likely to fulfill Bob Patel’s goal to “end plastic waste”? Not even close, according to an Ocean Conservancy report that estimated it would cost $5 billion a year for a package of initiatives to reduce the global leakage of plastics into the ocean by 45 percent in the next six years. Even that plan wouldn’t see the trash flow ending until 2035.

❝ Oceana, another U.S.-based conservancy group, said the alliance is trying to justify ever-increasing plastics production rather than committing to cut output.

“Plastic-filled bellies of marine birds, sea turtles and fish tell us that this has gone way too far,” Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana’s chief policy officer, said in a statement. “It’s time for those responsible for the problem to stop dreaming and start reducing.”

Window dressing never encourages any social response other than reducing consumer activism. A taste of dedication doesn’t match up against a serious attitude for profits and hogwash.

This is our reality — with Trump in the White House

❝ In just two years, President Trump has unleashed a regulatory rollback, lobbied for and cheered on by industry, with little parallel in the past half-century. Mr. Trump enthusiastically promotes the changes as creating jobs, freeing business from the shackles of government and helping the economy grow…

❝ The trade-offs, while often out of public view, are real — frighteningly so, for some people — imperiling progress in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink, and in some cases upending the very relationship with the environment around us…

❝ …Trump is already on track to leave an indelible mark on the American landscape, even with a decline in some major pollutants from the ever-shrinking coal industry. While Washington has been consumed by scandals surrounding the president’s top officials on environmental policy — both the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior secretary have been driven from his cabinet — Mr. Trump’s vision is taking root in places as diverse as rural California, urban Texas, West Virginian coal country and North Dakota’s energy corridor.

Trump’s indelible mark is one leading to sickness and decline. The first centered on the mass of Americans employed in almost every industry. The second the predictable result of supply-side economics – a failure in every aspect of economic history excepting only the minds of a small number of perpetually greedy economists and politicians.

Visit – just don’t drink the water


Rockcastle Creek, Kentucky – contaminated by coal sludge

❝ Aleigha Sloan can’t remember ever drinking a glass of water from the tap at her home…

You just don’t touch that tap water unless absolutely necessary. I mean, like showers and things — you have to do what you have to do. But other than that, no,” she says. “I don’t know anybody that does…”

“You take it for granted until you don’t have it,” BarbiAnn Maynard says about a clean water supply. “I think that’s the attitude of a lot people right now, but I don’t think they understand how close they are to it happening to them.”

❝ Americans across the country, from Maynard’s home in rural Appalachia to urban areas like Flint, Mich., or Compton, Calif., are facing a lack of clean, reliable drinking water. At the heart of the problem is a water system in crisis: aging, crumbling infrastructure and a lack of funds to pay for upgrading it.

Americans think they “rose up” against a corrupt political system by installing someone for whom corruption, profiteering and greed are his religion. Who is dumb and who is dumber?

Reversal: EPA withdrawing planned giveaway to mining interests in large salmon habitat

❝ In a surprise reversal, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it is withdrawing its plan to suspend environmental protections for an area of Alaska that is home to the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery.

❝ The EPA proposed last year to “reverse clean water safeguards” for the Bristol Bay watershed, paving the way for a massive gold and copper mine to be built in the region.

The controversial proposal would have canceled an EPA protection put in place during the Obama administration. After years of study, the EPA found in 2014 that a mine “would result in complete loss of fish habitat” in some areas of the bay, and that “all of these losses would be irreversible. The Bristol Bay watershed is one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world, supplying about half of the world’s sockeye salmon.

❝ A CNN investigation last fall found that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt ordered his staff to reverse the environmental protection within hours after meeting with the CEO of the mining company, Pebble Limited Partnership.

You really don’t needs reams of study to learn the EPA has become a criminal enterprise – now owned by even sleazier creeps than the last Bush administration.

In China, Slower Growth Is Acceptable to Tackle Debt, Smog


Click to enlargeChinatopix

China can achieve a goal of doubling the size of its economy by 2020 even if annual expansion slows to 6.3 percent, according to a senior Communist Party official, signaling a greater willingness to tackle debt and pollution at the expense of growth…

In its blueprint for 2016 to 2020, China set a minimum annual growth target of 6.5 percent for the five-year period to achieve the goal of doubling gross domestic product from 2010 levels…Over the weekend, Yang Weimin, an official from the Communist Party committee overseeing economic policy, said annualized growth of 6.3 percent in 2018-2020 would do.

Based on current economic performance, the 2020 target won’t be a “huge barrier,”…China is seen growing 6.8 percent this year and 6.5 percent in 2018, according to economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg…

Yang’s remark is “a heads up on how the new thought will be implemented,” said Zhu Ning, deputy director of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

There have been times when the United States was governed and advised by technocrats, economists and, yes, even politicians who understood the value of adjusting the course of government to benefit most of the people. Not just the moneybags who could afford to belong to the Fake President’s country club.