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

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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.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Monday Commentary: Earth Day 2013 vs. The Propaganda Machine

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The nation’s knowledge and awareness in the area of science should be increasing – not decreasing or treading water.
But I fear the constant train of propaganda from corporations and from some corners of the media has sucked in enough people to hold back progress in environmental protections.

And unfortunately, too many elected officials are working against the general welfare of the American people and against our environment and against science – and for increased profits for Big Oil and other big players. Mr. Potter from “It’s a Wonderful Life” would be proud of these politicians, but we shouldn’t be.

And when these politicians and their bosses or puppet masters read about cancer risks from polluted water and the air we’re breathing or the impact of climate change or the impacts of deforestation or the suffering or loss of wildlife species – their response seems to be – “If they are going to die, then they better do it and decrease the surplus population.”

The anti-science and anti-environmental propaganda has reached new levels. All we need to do is watch the disgusting BP ads on TV and the other ads promoting how safe fracking and the nation’s pipelines are. Big Oil used to produce ads about how much better its gas was for your car. Now, the ads are nothing more than pure propaganda.

We’ve taken a big step backward. Who would have thought decades ago that Big Coal would be allowed to completely destroy beautiful mountain ranges?

It is Earth Day 2013 and sadly it seems environmental awareness has declined since the era of the first Earth Day, decades ago. Can we effectively battle against the propaganda train? I am holding out hope. I just hope it won’t be too late.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Aerial video of Exxon oil spill in Arkansas

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Once again, we have another environmental disaster. But Big Oil will mark it down as no big deal.

And at some point in the not too distant future, someone will appear on a cable news show to ask – “What spill? We never have spills.”

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

The environmental and animal welfare news out of China only gets worse

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What is going on in China is extremely troubling. The air is bad. The water is polluted. Animals are suffering. And people are suffering. And reports indicate the government is looking the other way.

We’re seeing greed rule the day in China. The only things standing in the way of the US becoming the environmental equivalent of China are the somewhat thin environmental and animal welfare standards that have managed to make their way through the greed in our system.

Yet, we still have a segment of elected officials and pundits who want to gut the regulations we do have. I don’t want to see the US bow completely to the greedy and I don’t want to see the US become the cesspool that China’s environment has become.

We had the news that 16,000 dead pigs have been found in the Haungpu River. And now we have the news that 1,000 dead ducks have been found in the Nanhe River. Officials are swimming around this muck to come up with excuses and to minimize the health implications.

I wanted to look into any recent news about China’s environmental regulations. Maybe things have gotten a little better – and if so, I wanted to know about. It took only one quick search to uncover the troubling status.

The Wall Street Journal reports the regulatory system is a mess there. One sentence in the article tells the tale:

The problems in Nantong are a tale of environmental protection gone seriously wrong in a country where money clearly talks.

The article uses phrases such as “racket” and “scandal” in its reporting. And then we have this description:

… the China Business News argued that rapid economic development had created fertile ground for official corruption and pollution.

This is the door that some politicians want to open – even wider than it is already open – here in the US.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Animal welfare and the environment – two steps forward, two steps back

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Just where are we as a society in 2013, where animal welfare and environmental issues are concerned? I’m seeing some progress in some areas and a troubling trend of decline in other areas.

I like classic TV shows and movies. My viewing tends to drift to films from the 1930s to the 1970s – or so – and TV from the 60s to 70s and at times more recent stuff. I find it interesting when a reference to protecting air and water appears in a movie or TV episode from say, 1972. Or maybe a primary character is speaking about protections for animals. I was watching a show recently from the early 70s, where a character was distressed about pollution.

Fast forward to 2013 and elected officials in my home state are actually debating about opening the land up to natural gas fracking. And a push is underway to allow for the injection of polluted fracking fluid waste into deep wells in the coastal regions. We have a decades-old ban on injecting pollutants such as this into wells in the state. But now, with powerful entities pushing for it, the state legislature might open the door to full-scale pollution.

We’ve seen the very recent destruction of the Appalachian Mountain Range, by the coal industry. Mountaintops are completely blown up and the material has been dumped into mountain streams below. We would never have even seen that happen in the 1970s.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Wacky Mentality Quote of the Day

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A member of the Washington State House of Representatives reportedly has stated bicyclists create more pollution than motorists. Yes, this appears to be a true story. But I hope it is not.

A RawStory.com article reports State Rep. Ed Orcutt tried to tie a bicyclist’s increased rate of respiration with increased pollution. When contacted by a blogger about the comment, Orcutt took his wacky take a step further, as reported by The Raw Story:

Reached for comment, Orcutt told Seattle Bike Blog that “you would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” although he admitted to having no evidence to back the claim.

Why do people like this make such tin-foil-hat claims? Don’t they know about the news media and the Internet and really important stuff like say … science and facts?

The article moved on to cite comparisons with auto emissions. Okay that’s fine. But why not ask Orcutt if he realizes what he is really suggesting. If our collective act of breathing – and even exercising – adds to pollution, then the more people, the more pollution. If Orcutt thinks he’s right, then he should be pushing for strategies to reduce human population growth.

But what comes out of the tailpipe of a car is far more than what we discharge naturally with breathing – at least for most of us.

But I compare this with some local news stories in my home state a few years back that blamed wildlife for pollution in local waterways. So we drain off millions of acres of wetlands and mow down wildlife habitat and pave paradise and some people want to blame the wildlife for going to the bathroom.

What are they supposed to do, find portable toilets to use?

 

Game On – Beer drinkers vs. the Fracking Industry

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I don’t drink any sort of alcoholic beverages at all, but a lot of people do – a lot of people. And certainly there are tons of beer drinkers in the United States.

An article on Grist.org hit the Pack News Wire this morning, concerning the concern that beer makers in New York State have over the pollution of groundwater by the practice of natural gas fracking. I’m hoping that when beer drinkers are pitted against BIG GAS, we’ll finally see some action. And the one thing that might negatively impact a massive group of politicians is taking away their drunk sessions at fancy parties.

As it stands now, very little is standing in the way of BIG GAS or BIG COAL, in their mission of destroy mountains and suck the life out of the environment. BIG GAS does not even want to wait for the development of any, possibly-safer drilling methods or for studies to be completed on the full and long-term impacts of fracking.

There are people in this country who don’t care how much big industry pollutes the land, air and water. These people believe corporate profits should always be held in higher standing than the health and welfare of our children and their future. And these same people certainly don’t give a hoot about the impacts on wildlife and their habitat.

But now – maybe – it’s game on … Fracking vs. Beer.

 

New study: Trees are good for us

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There is a link between human health and trees, a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine suggests. One of the primary results found people experienced greater rates of death from heart and respiratory diseases where there was a loss of trees.

The data came from 1,296 counties in over 15 states. From the study – “This finding adds to the growing evidence that the natural environment provides major public health benefits.”

And back in 2010, researchers at the University of Rochester found spending time with nature makes people feel more alive.

I believe strongly in the results from both studies. They offer two more reasons, among many, for why we need to protect the environment – strongly protect the environment.

 

Top climate scientists urge President Obama to reject Keystone XL Pipeline

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A letter from 18 of the top climate scientists in the country is urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. From extracting the tar sands to piping the dirty product down from Canada to the Gulf Coast, it’s a bad thing for the environment and wildlife.

350.org reports an environmental impact statement is due to be released soon by the State Department, but it remains to be seen if the department heads will have the backbone to report the full impacts of the project.

The scientists are very concerned with the level of climate change the planet is experiencing and with the further impacts this pipeline could help bring. They wrote in part to the President: “We hope, as scientists, that you will demonstrate the seriousness of your climate convictions by refusing to permit Keystone XL; to do otherwise would be to undermine your legacy.”