Oil barons insist on wreaking havoc on the planet, but the people have won a couple of victories.
ESQUIRE, by Charles P. Pierce OCT 16, 2015
There's been a lot of news as regards to how we are blowing up, cracking, poisoning, and otherwise committing various felonies against the only planet we have. OK.Really bad, terrible, awful news first.
In the study, the researchers pointed out to the lands at risk, where about 20 million people live. They projected carbon emissions of businesses as usual, adding to the picture the complex and irreversible melting of the ice sheet in the West Antarctic. The authors also investigated the events that may transpire if the world would achieve peak carbon emissions by the year 2020 - an occurrence that would have to happen significantly earlier than the present goal of 2050 peak by some world powers. Strauss said that an online tool enables people to view the effects of the natural changes in different cities in the U.S.
According to the study, the tool, which will have a global version in November 2015, shows "lock-in dates" that are far above which the diffused effects of carbon emission may have put them in a prolonged sea level rise that could drown more than 50 percent of the population. For example, Norfolk, Virginia, has a lock-in date of 2045 if carbon emissions are continuous. At present, Miami and New Orleans have already moved past its limits.
Uh, Marco? Jeb? That's you guys. And that's you, too, "Bobby." Start planning for that underwater Mardi Gras parade. And Donald J.? Mar-a-Lago's going to be pretty useless, unless you trade in that helicopter for a submarine.
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, the waving wheat still smells sweet, but it isn't the wind coming right behind the rain that's making the wheat wave any more.
Saturday's earthquake is tied as the fourth-strongest earthquake across Oklahoma in the last 10 years…Earthquake activity is known to be cumulative. For example, for every 10 3.0 magnitude earthquakes, you should have at least 4.0 magnitude earthquake. For every 10 4.0 magnitude earthquakes, there should be at least one 5.0 magnitude earthquake. Based on this logic, and the fact that there have been over 20 4.0 earthquakes this year alone and no 5.0 earthquakes yet, Oklahoma is due for 5.0 magnitude earthquake soon.
People in Oklahoma are beginning to notice that the land is awfully shaky these days, but not as shaky as the alibis they're getting from various extraction companies.
The magnitude 4.5 quake struck Saturday afternoon about three miles northwest of Cushing, roughly midway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The town of about 8,000 people is home to the so-called Cushing Hub, a sprawling tank farm that is among the largest oil storage facilities in the world. Scientists reported in a paper published online last month that a large earthquake near the storage hub "could seriously damage storage tanks and pipelines." Saturday's quake continues a worrisome pattern of moderate quakes, suggesting that a large earthquake is more than a passing concern, the lead author of that study, Daniel McNamara, said in an interview. "When we see these fault systems producing multiple magnitude 4s, we start to get concerned that it could knock into higher magnitudes," he said. "Given the number of magnitude 4s here, it's a high concern."
Against all possible odds, the Oklahoma state government actually decided to do something about this situation. The state enacted limits on the amount of drillwater, a by-product of fracking, that can be injected into the earth. Naturally, this shiny black jackboot of government regulation is being resisted bypatriotic oil barons because jobs.
Oklahoma has seen nearly 700 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher so far this year, an increase of about 300-fold over 2008, when the oil and gas drilling boom began. In an administrative filing, Marjo said the 38 percent reduction mandated for one of the injection wells it uses in Payne County would significantly harm its drilling operations. "We're just asking them to take a look at our circumstances on an individual level, rather than the blanket action they took," Bill Huffman, an attorney for the company, told the Oklahoman. Marjo is challenging the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's authority to limit activity at injection wells that it has already approved and which have active permits.
They're just like the Minutemen, they are.
And, in conclusion, the good people of West Virginia won a big one in federal court last week. The DuPont Company had a plant that was manufacturing Teflon. Critical to that process is a chemical known in shorthand as C-8. For years, DuPont knew that C-8 was toxic, and that it was leaching into the local drinking water. A woman named Carla Marie Bartlett developed kidney cancer and, last Wednesday, a jury in federal court agreed, awarding Bartlett $1.6 million. Of course, there's a joker in the deck.
Jurors declined to award punitive damages, finding DuPont had not acted maliciously. While DuPont is the named defendant, a recent spin-off of its performance chemicals segment, Chemours Co, will cover DuPont's liability.
I'll bet that was a very recent spinoff indeed.
In short, they poisoned a woman. A court said so. There should be other consequences for that, I'm thinking.