Category Archives: Environment

Dr. Hansen, we need you at Fukushima and Diablo Canyon

The horrifying news from Fukushima worsens daily. It is an unparalleled global catastrophe that cries out for anyone and everyone with nuclear expertise to pitch in. Continue reading

International alarms go up as Fukushima alert level raised

Regulators acknowledge that crisis is worsening amid constant flow of bad news at crippled nuclear plant

In the most serious action since the nuclear plant was first damaged in 2011, Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority is on the verge of raising the international alarm—and the official threat level—over the spiraling crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Fukushima

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck just off the eastern coast of Japan. The temblor did what quakes always do. It leveled buildings, caused $235 billion in damage and spawned a tsunami that killed more than 15,000 people. In addition to this expected chaos and carnage, the earthquake damaged nuclear reactors located near the city of Fukushima. The Fukushima reactors have been in varying degrees of crisis ever since. The world was assured that the crisis was averted back in 2011, but plant operator Tepco has been lying for the last two years. Continue reading

Royal Dutch Shell: They’ve really got a friend in Pennsylvania

Royal Dutch Shell, which owns or leases about 900,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale, had a great idea. Continue reading

The Fukushima nightmare gets even worse

Just when it seemed things might be under control at Fukushima, we find they are worse than ever. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Tar sands hell in Detroit

If one picture is worth 1,000 words, then the pile of petroleum coke, petcoke, which sits along the Detroit River tells quite a story. Beginning in November 2012, the Koch Carbon company began dumping the petcoke, which is a byproduct of tar sands oil production and also a cheap fuel. Koch Carbon is owned by those Kochs, Charles and David, the incredibly wealthy right wing industrialists who play a very public role in bringing union busting Right to Work laws, Stand Your Ground, and other horrors to state legislatures across the country. Continue reading

Alberta oil leak into week 10—can it be stopped?

Nine weeks ago, oil near a tar sands extraction site in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, began to leak and ooze from the ground. It is currently wending its way through a nearby swampy forest, blackening vegetation and killing wildlife. It shows no signs of stopping. Even worse, scientists have no idea where it’s coming from or what to do about it. Continue reading

Fukushima continues to spew its darkness

Radiation leaks, steam releases, disease and death continue to spew from Fukushima and a disaster which is far from over. Its most profound threat to the global ecology—a spent fuel fire—is still very much with us. Continue reading

Los Angeles to San Onofre: ‘Not so fast!’

A unanimous Los Angeles City Council has demanded the Nuclear Regulatory Commission conduct extended investigations before any restart at the San Onofre atomic power plant. Continue reading

Pennsylvania: You are fracked

The history of energy exploration, mining, and delivery is best understood in a range from benevolent exploitation to worker and public oppression. A company comes into an area, leases or buys land in rural and agricultural areas for mineral rights, increases employment, usually during a depressed economy, strips the land of its resources, creates health problems for its workers and those in the immediate area, and then leaves. Continue reading

You can’t wash away fracking’s effects

José Lara just wanted a job. Continue reading

Nature’s capital is the limiting resource

Only in science fiction can humans escape the consequences of destroying their own habitat. In Robert A. Heinlein’s Time Enough For Love, the “Great Diaspora of the Human Race” began “more than two millennia ago” and has spread to more than “two thousand colonized planets.” The once “lovely green planet” Earth is a slum planet barely able to support life where only the poorest live, Earth’s natural capital having been consumed over two thousand years ago. Humans have found the ability to rejuvenate themselves and to live almost endless lives, but they are unable to rejuvenate the planets whose natural capital they devour. Humans have not encountered “one race as mean, as nasty, as deadly as our own.” As homo sapiens use up the environments of colonized planets, “human intergalactic colony ships are already headed out into the Endless Deeps,” leaving their ruins behind them. Continue reading

An international impact assessment for sustainable flows in transboundary rivers in Central Asia is needed

In Central Asia, the problem of the rational use of transboundary water resources is the key to the welfare of the population and to the possibility for sustainable development of the national economy in the region. Continue reading

Pennsylvania politics continues to trump health and the environmen

Politics continues to threaten the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians. Continue reading

Silent spring for us?

With her 1962 book, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson got DDT and other synthetic pesticides banned and saved bird life. Today it is humans who are directly threatened by technologies designed to extract the maximum profit at the lowest private cost and the maximum social cost from natural resources. Continue reading

Disposable planet: Plumes of death in the cradle of life

Recently, I spent three weeks in a Georgia beach community. Each morning, I’d run to the pier and, sometimes, on the beach. At dusk, I’d walk a street that dead-ended with a view of the majesty and immensity of all that water, thinking, in awe, “cradle of life.” Continue reading

The lowly groundhog: Long may they live

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last Thursday. Continue reading

Who would kill blackbirds intentionally?

Who intentionally set off fireworks under a blackbird roost in Beebe, Arkansas, on New Year’s Eve killing at least 200 birds in some warped homage to last New Year’s, when at least 5,000 blackbirds perished? Continue reading

How now, brown cloud: What smog hath wrought

Have you heard about the great brown cloud? No, it’s not a new nickname for Donald Trump (his cloud is more an intergalactic nimbus of Aqua Velva and Tang), or the ominous menace in a new Stephen King novel. It’s almost as nasty, though. Continue reading

GMOs coming to parks and lawns near you?

On the Friday before the 4th of July weekend, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) discreetly dropped a bombshell. They announced that their Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) would not regulate Scotts Miracle-Gro’s genetically engineered Kentucky bluegrass which is resistant to Roundup herbicide (Scotts is Monsanto’s exclusive agent for marketing and distribution of Roundup). Continue reading

‘Global cataclysms’ not conspiracy theory any longer

In a June 13 article in The Guardian of the UK, reporter John Vidal writes that the weather extremes our planet is now experiencing constitute a “new normal.” WMR has been citing planetary anomalies for a few years and now the so-called “main stream” media is beginning to take notice. Vidal calls the phenomenon “global weirding.” While Vidal does not add the increase in quakes and volcanic eruptions plaguing the Earth, the suggestion that something is radically wrong is being noticed. Continue reading

Oil, water, and America’s price priorities

As of April 11, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. was $3.79. And I hear people complaining about it all the time. Continue reading

Profit pathology and disposable planet

Some years ago in New England, a group of environmentalists asked a corporate executive how his company (a paper mill) could justify dumping its raw industrial effluent into a nearby river. The river—which had taken Mother Nature centuries to create—was used for drinking water, fishing, boating, and swimming. In just a few years, the paper mill had turned it into a highly toxic open sewer. Continue reading

Profit pathology and disposable planet

Some years ago in New England, a group of environmentalists asked a corporate executive how his company (a paper mill) could justify dumping its raw industrial effluent into a nearby river. The river—which had taken Mother Nature centuries to create—was used for drinking water, fishing, boating, and swimming. In just a few years, the paper mill had turned it into a highly toxic open sewer. Continue reading

House Republicans’ bill would gut decades of environmental protections

Spending legislation would mean more pollution, worse climate change, fewer protections for endangered species

WASHINGTON—Formal debate began today on House Republicans’ spending bill that would cripple many of our nation’s cornerstone laws protecting air, water, wildlife, public lands and public health. The continuing resolution would, among other things, halt the reduction of dangerous carbon dioxide pollution and remove Endangered Species Act protections for the iconic gray wolf and other imperiled species. It would loosen restrictions on toxic mercury pollution and mountaintop mining; open up public lands to harmful activities; and slow progress to curb climate change and protect U.S. citizens from dirty air and water. Continue reading