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It's the End of the World
Author: BobR    Date: 07/28/2010 11:53:56

Six O'Clock - TV hour,
Don't get caught in foreign towers,
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn...

-- It's the End of the World As We Know It, REM

Some days, writing this blog is easy, fun, and empowering. The passion and inspiration flow out my fingertips so quickly I can hardly type it all. Then there are days there is so much messed up shit going on I don't know where to begin, and fall into a malaise. This might be one of those days. I see news headlines and think: "It's the end of the world as we know it...". But I don't feel fine.

There's finally some light at the end of the pipeline - er, tunnel - down in the Gulf. The cap is holding and they've restarted drilling the relief well. Now they can really focus on cleaning up the mess... except: they can't. Why? Because a barge hit an abandoned oil well and started a new leak. No, I am not kidding. They should be able to cap it fairly easily, and the amount spilled is not huge... and they will be able to contain it with boom. So what's the problem? The problem is that all that boom is in the middle of the lanes the boats traverse when going to and from the slick from the BP well. Imagine a bunch of orange construction barrels blocking the road to the ER.

In case the land and water wasn't polluted enough, we have yet another spill, this time in Battle Creek Michigan:
The cause of spill is under investigation. The oil spilled into Talmadge Creek, which flows northwest into the Kalamazoo River. The site is in Calhoun County's Marshall Township, about 60 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.

"According to EPA officials, this is the largest oil spill ever in the Midwest," said Schauer. "The EPA is estimating 1 million gallons (spilled). ...

The cause is ostensibly a broken pipeline (which happened recently in China too). Ready for more drilling? How about Alaska's North Slope? No problem with leaking or breaking pipes. No problem with burning carbon fuels. No problem with climate change.

You may disagree with that last one if you lived in the northeast last week. We had temps over 100 and in the high 90s for several days (plus high humidity). The weather is crazy everywhere. Heavy rains in the midwest cause a dam to burst flooding a town and draining a lake. Waterfront property? How about mudflat front property?

While we're on a pollution kick, how about BPAs? Remember those? There's discussion in Congress about banning them from plastic water bottles. And yet - we still get exposed to them nearly every day via bank and cash register receipts:
The Environmental Working Group found BPA on 40 percent of the receipts it collected from supermarkets, automated teller machines, gas stations and chain stores. In some cases, the total amount of BPA on the receipt was 1,000 times the amount found in the epoxy lining of a can of food, another controversial use of the chemical.

Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the environmental group, says BPA's prevalence on receipts could help explain why the chemical can be detected in the urine of an estimated 93 percent of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You'd think that would push Congress a little... but they aren't easy to push. Even with oil spilling faster than top-secret military documents, they still can't pass an energy bill without stripping it down to essentially "please replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescents". It's infuriating. Don't expect much luck with a "vote the bums out" approach either - they killed campaign finance reform so all the well-connected still have all the power necessary to get re-elected.

I guess it really isn't the end of the world. It just feels that way...

34 comments (Latest Comment: 07/28/2010 20:42:20 by Scoopster)
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