Trailer: Drill, Spill, Repeat? – It can happen again in the Gulf of Mexico

No Gravatar

Oceana has released a trailer for its new documentary concerning the BP Oil Gusher – and the ongoing threats four years later.

For more information, go to Oceana.org.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Former TransCanada employee has harsh words for company’s practices

No Gravatar

A former TransCanada Corp. employee testified last week about the company before a Canadian Senate committee and used phrases such as a “culture of noncompliance” and “coercion” and “deeply entrenched business practices that ignored legally required regulations and codes” and “significant public safety risks” – according to an articled posted Tuesday on the Huffington Post website.

And of course, all of this related to the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Canada, through the US and on to the Gulf Coast. After the hearing, Evan Vokes told the Huffington Post – “It’s organized crime, in my opinion.”

Big Oil’s safety record across the board and over many, many years is poor at best – from the Exxon Valdez to the Gulf Oil Gusher to another recent pipeline spill to many other spills and disasters in the United States and worldwide.

Who could honestly say they’d want work done around their homes by companies with sort of track record? But because it’s Big Oil, some people and some politicians will give them a pass every time. Remember in the few years leading up to the Gulf Oil Gusher how many politicians praised Big Oil as having a great safety record. That turned out to be huge strike out.

I tend to not trust people who get it all wrong to this extent. We should all be concerned with what could happen with the Keystone XL Pipeline. And because it might not be running through your state, it doesn’t mean you should not be concerned.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Studies showing dispersants used during BP Gulf Oil Gusher are destroying marine animals

No Gravatar

The fear was there during the BP Gulf Gulf Oil Gusher, that not only was the oil killing marine wildlife – but also the chemicals being used to “clean up” the mess.

Now, it seems studies are showing the dispersants were toxic too.

An article on TakePart.com suggests – “everything from microscopic organisms to bottlenose dolphins are now paying the highest price.” But at the time, BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley downplayed the use of the product. Should we be surprised? – No.

But as of last year certainly, scientists were finding horrible deformities in animals. We are not seeing enough in the media about this. And while the suffering goes on under the surface of the water, BP continues to play those ads, patting itself on the back as a hero to the Gulf Region.

The national media should be covering this story. I realize there are a lot of really important stories at the forefront right now and I fully understand this. But I’m also seeing reality show news and other crap. While the media reports what a music or TV celebrity is up, a tragedy continues to unfold.

Take Part also published a gallery to show the impact on sea life.

Continue reading

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Once again, Big Oil shows it just doesn’t care

No Gravatar

The AP reports the delay in Exxon’s response to the 2011 oil spill along the Yellowstone River in Montana made the disaster much worse.

Fish and other wildlife were killed along 70 miles of riverbank and the cleanup lasted for months. Approximately 63,000 gallons of crude poured into the river.

BP covered up the amount of oil gushing into the water during the Gulf Oil Gusher and now we’re finding out what was happening the immediate response to this spill. I’m waiting for the typical anti-environment and pro-greed crowd to try to claim we never have oil spills.

 

On the Environment: BP suspended and Amazon deforestation rate is down

No Gravatar

On the environmental front, there are two areas of good news this week:

The Environmental Protection Agency as announced BP has received a suspension from being issued new contracts with the US government. The Associated Press reports the EPA suspension has arrised due to BP’s “lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response.”

AND – the AP also reports the rate of deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has dropped to the lowest level in the past 24 years. This is really great news, but we should not be pleased until we see the deforestation stop altogether and see that trend continue into into the future.

 

BP agrees to pay record $4.5 billion penalty and plead guilty in Gulf Oil Gusher case

No Gravatar

Now that BP has agreed to pay this huge, record fine of $4.5 billion and will be plead guilty to manslaughter charges, will the company pull its propaganda TV ads?

In the ads, BP makes itself out to be the hero of the Gulf Oil Gusher. How could a hero agree to pay billions and plead guilty to serious crimes, in the very case where they claim to be a hero?

CNN Money reports family members of those who lost their live on the oil rig are saying the agreement does not make up for their loss of loved ones.

In another CNN article from September 5, the U.S. Department of Justice was referenced as accusing BP of “gross negligence” and a “culture of corporate recklessness” and this came from the filing – “… its gross negligence and willful misconduct are inextricably joined with the acts and omissions of Transocean.”

I don’t think anyone could, based on the facts, suggest BP did not act with gross negligence and corporate recklessness. Yet, the propaganda-filled TV ads will probably go on.

Finally – someone else calls out BP’s propaganda campaign

No Gravatar

Watching BP’s constant stream of TV ads, touting its hand in a great tourist season along the Gulf Coast, is like fingernails on a chalkboard for people who understand the facts.

So I was very please to see David Yarnold’s editorial posted Friday on the Huffington Post website. Yarnold is president of the National Audubon Society. He calls BP’s ads a “slick propaganda campaign” that uses likable employees as spokespeople.

And the following needs to go out to everyone exposed to these ads:

Yarnold notes the “BP oil and the dispersants applied in unprecedented quantities have done mortal damage. The spill has killed areas of deep-sea coral, led to the deaths of bottlenose dolphins, harmed plankton (a vital link in the ocean food chain), decimated bird nesting habitat, poisoned endangered sea turtles and accelerated marsh erosion in a place where every inch of wetland is a precious barrier to sea level rise. Commercial seafood species are still in trouble. In some areas, oyster beds have yet to recover, and shrimpers are reporting shrimp without eyeballs and fish covered in red lesions.”

Somehow, I missed these facts in the BP propaganda ads. The Gulf Coast and its marine wildlife and ecosystem are still feeling the adverse impacts of the BP Gulf Oil Gusher. The propaganda – the “hey, everything’s great here” – is nothing short of disgusting.

The very company that bares the most responsibility for the disaster is trying to bill itself as a hero. And they can do it only because they are swimming in huge profits and can buy as much in the way of TV air time as the CEO wants.

The dead and injured and suffering wildlife don’t have a dime to buy a millisecond of ad time.

 

Science news for animals and ecosystems

No Gravatar

The BP Gulf Oil Gusher continues to impact the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem.

MSNBC reports the 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersant used to break up the giant oil slicks is causing some real problems. A study released Tuesday suggests the dispersant hurt microorganism populations, which impacts the animals up the food chain.

The story also notes dolphins are dying and those still living and were in contact with the oil are being found to have “pulmonary issues, chronic low weight, anemia and low levels of hormones.”

AND – Care2.com posted a headline last week reading – ” ‘Organ Chips’ Could Replace Animal Experiments.”

The amazing goal, one that could help to end suffering for many lab animals, is contained in one important paragraph from the article

“” A $70 million research project that will develop transparent silicon microchips with hollow channels that contain actual living human tissue and pumps to replicate organ function is underway and is predicted to provide faster, cost-effective and more accurate results for testing diseases, toxins and pharmaceuticals – all on something about the size of a flash drive. “”

Pack Topics: Coyote trapping; animal cruelty; BP Oil Gusher

No Gravatar

BP Oil Gusher continues to impact marine wildlife: Researchers are still finding severe illnesses and deaths among dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Care2.com site also reports 754 marine mammals have washed ashore (95 percent dead) since February of 2010. Since all dead wildlife don’t wash up on shore, the number deaths is believed to be higher.

Troubling rise in animal cruelty cases: Forsyth County Animal Control reports its investigators have written 1,300 animal neglect and animal cruelty citations over the past year. This is a rise of 40 percent.

But according to a My Fox 8 article from Wednesday, the increase might be more a factor of more people reporting these crimes, as opposed to a specific rise in cruelty.

Animal-welfare activists decry coyote-trapping plan in California: The Carson City Council has a plan in place to trap coyotes that are showing up a mobile home park. A 10,000-signature petition was presenting Wednesday to the council in opposition to the trapping, according to CBS Los Angeles.

 

Romney and Obama? – We need an animal-welfare candidate

No Gravatar

On one side, Mitt and Ann Romney continue to defend the act of riding their dog on top of their car – and with their statements of late are only making the news worse. And on the other side, we have President Obama opening up the Atlantic seaboard to oil and gas exploration.

While I feel the country is slowly but surely becoming more compassionate to animals and I hope – more environmentally aware, there is still a long way to go. And much of the lag seems to be with elected officials at the federal and state levels.

Let’s start with President Obama, who has proposed opening up a huge zone along the east coast to oil and gas exploration.

He is quoted in an NPR article as saying –

There will be those who strongly disagree with this decision. But what I want to emphasize is that this announcement is part of a broader strategy that will move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy.”

Huuh? What? So move us away from fossil fuels by opening up more of the ocean floor to get more fossil fuels. Sorry Mr. President; you have always seemed to be on the logical side, but you jumped off the oil rig on this one. Maybe some people will come forward to spin this around in some way. But really, it doesn’t make sense.

And what really doesn’t make sense is opening up more areas to deep-water drilling, fresh off the worst man-made environmental disaster in US history – the BP Gulf Oil Gusher. Have Obama and the Republicans forgotten how bad the equipment proved to be and how bad the oversight was and how long it took to cap the gushing well?

This is important stuff. People died on that oil rig. Untold number of animals suffered to an extreme degree and untold numbers died. The Gulf of Mexico is still being negatively impacted, from the wetlands to the Gulf floor. So in response, we’re going to drill more in deep water?

Clearly, the technology and the level of oversight is far from being where it should be. I am a native of the North Carolina coast and until the age of 5 lived across the street from the Atlantic Ocean. I don’t want to see this area spoiled by a spill.

It’s like a county determining that an intersection is the most dangerous, most heavily traveled in the area. So in response, officials decide to divert more traffic to the intersection, without even determining a better road design.

NPR also reports the conservation group Oceana is calling the President’s decision a “wholesale assault” on the oceans.

And then we have the Romneys, who keep trying to defend riding Shamus on the roof of their car on a 12-hour drive to Canada. A Petside post notes Ann Romney is now comparing Shamus’ ride on the roof to riding a roller coaster.

Really? Maybe more like throwing up and being in severe distress from riding on a roller coaster. Oh, that’s what she means. Or no?

The couple still doesn’t seem to understand the severity of this act. They don’t understand why it is illegal to do this. And instead of stepping to the microphone to admit what they did was wrong, they to continue to make light of the story.

We need more candidates and elected officials who are supporters of animal welfare – at every level.