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Hickenlooper shows Animas River mine waste is as drinkable as fracking fluid.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper put on his usual demonstration of drinking a bottle of contaminated water to show that the Animas River is just as potable as FRACKING FLUID. What he has really shown is that the mine waste which the EPA un-dammed from the Gold King Mine into the Animas River was toxic enough to kill GIARDIA. Who drinks river water in Colorado?! The EPA may have unleashed the waste seeping from a mine closed in 1928, but the extraction industry that created it is still hard at work making more.

Where does the Drake coal emissions plume go when you’re not watching?

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- We've seen the mapping of areas most vulnerable to the toxic emissions of Drake, our downtown coal plant. In particular we've learned that freezing temperatures mean that emissions aren't dispersed according to best laid plans but instead linger in the neighborhoods to the southwest. What does that look like? Recent cold temps have afforded a glimpse. That mist in the morning in Ivywild and the Broadmoor hills is setting a mood which affects your mental health more than you know.

Oil and Gas Lies

From Lotus: The oil & gas industry is similar to the tobacco industry – almost everything it tells us is a lie. It has even hired the same PR firm as the tobacco industry used. The biggest lie, and one that the Colorado Springs City Council has accepted, is that local governments cannot legally stop oil and gas drilling. Pittsburg Pennsylvania and eight other local governments across the US have successfully stopped oil and gas drilling by the use of a rights ordinance. Rather than challenging a state statute, a rights based ordinance is based on our basic rights to things like health, clean water, air and soil. Our basic rights are higher law than the laws passed by the State of Colorado. It is easy to prove that this rights based ordinance approach works. Just go to CELDF, then to Resources, then ordinances. Or contact the mayor of Pittsburgh, or watch the movie The Sky Is Pink. Because our City Council was given bad legal advice, the City Oil & Gas Committee it created did not focus much attention on the dangerous practice of fracking, nor evaluate its effect on our health, ground water, air and soil. Based on comments made by Councilors Val Snider and Scott Hente it seems unlikely that when the Committee’s recommendations are considered by the City Council on July 10 that discussion about fracking will be allowed. Comments about fracking will be allowed during Citizen Discussion. Many within our City only see dollar signs, but the facts are that France, Germany, Bulgaria and Vermont have banned fracking; South African professor Tonder says contamination from fracking well casings will be one of the biggest water pollution disasters in the world, Cornell professor Ingraffea says 60% of well casings leak after 20 years, eventually 100% will leak; Dr. Tom Myers says fluid migration into aquifers will occur even without casing failures, and faster than almost anyone thought; a health study of Garfield County says people living within less than half a mile of fracked wells have a 66 percent greater chance of developing cancer, and the dangers to people are moderate to high.

This Is Nuts: Colorado Springs Public Input Gagged On Gas and Oil Fracking

Just in from Lotus: This is nuts. Not only is it nuts to allow a mostly unregulated, major polluting industry inside a city of half a million people, but also citizens are being largely gagged on this issue. Oil and gas drilling is dangerous! 60% of well casings in Pennsylvania leaked over a 20 year time span. A new study indicates that fluid migration into aquifers will occur, and faster than almost anyone thought. An increasing number of scientists are now coming forward with similar warnings. The Health Impact Assessment for Battlement Mesa, Garfield County Colorado concluded that people living within half a mile of fracked wells have a 66 percent greater chance of developing cancer. A presentation by the Sierra Club called Fracking in Colorado What are the impacts? says that the dangerous chemicals used pose a long term health risk to workers and local communities. The oil and gas industry has been exempted from most of the Safe Drinking Water Act and is not typically covered under the Clean Air Act. See Affirming Gasland. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission is understaffed and very weak on regulation. Public officials are often afraid to pass strong regulations for fear of a law suit. However, whatever has been used to regulate the oil and gas companies previously is legal now, and at least two important Colorado court cases were won by local governments. An example of a local Colorado government with very strong regulations is Saguache County; and Saguache has NO oil and gas drilling! Another local government with strong regulations located in Texas is Flower Mound. City Council’s Oil and Gas Committee during its 13 meetings allowed no public input. The May 24 “town hall meeting” was very controlled except toward the end of the meeting. There will be NO hearing on what may be the most important decision this community will ever face. Council President Scott Hente said in an email recently in reference to the June 26 Council Meeting, “I plan to limit comments to 3 minutes.” It also appears that comments will only be allowed on what the Committee has recommended. At the May 24 meeting when a member of the audience said he was tired of hearing people say we cannot regulate this or that or we might be sued, and that he thought our health, water, air, and soil are worth suing over, there was a very loud ovation far louder than any other. At least 7 communities across the US, including Pittsburgh, have avoided a court battle and yet prevented oil and gas drilling by the use of an ordinance based on civil and community rights to health, clean water, air, soil etc. See CELDF, Ben Price. A C S Gazzette poll on 5-25-12 asked: Will windmills, solar gadgets and other non-traditional energy sources wean us off fossil fuels in the next 30

Creepy Congressman Doug Lamborn knows his pornography when he sees it

The image was one frame of a photo essay by photojournalist Katie Falkenberg illustrating the human toll of mountaintop removal mining, but Colorado's own Congressman Doug "Tar-Baby" Lamborn called it child pornography and disallowed the evidence from being seen by his energy subcommittee. The creepy unapologetic Lamborn has so far weathered local fallout from his ceaseless racist outrages, but will this porn slip prove terminally Freudian? Obscenity is in the eye of the beholder: where everyone else see a pitiable child of indeterminate sex suffering polluted bathwater that passes for indoor plumbing in locales around mountaintop removal, US Representative Lamborn gets an erection. Is this picture obscene? It depicts a humanitarian obscenity, but Doug Lamborn doesn't see it that way.

Are Colorado Springs Citizens Being Gagged On Fracking Issue?

Our colleague Lotus has initiated some fruitful correspondence on the subject of the still-impending fracking of the Pikes Peak region. In light of the City's abrupt cancellation of the May 17 public hearing, we'll present excerpts of his emails and telephone notes here. Are Colorado Springs Citizens Being Gagged On Fracking Issue? The fracking hearing was cancelled. The more I learn about how the fracking issue is being dealt with in Colorado Springs, the more it looks like citizens have very little room for input. This even seems to be true of the way the City Council Advisory Committee on fracking was run – very little room for public input. The letter from Councilman Val Snider below seems to be saying that the public will only be allowed to respond to the recommendations of the advisory committee, will not be allowed general input concerning the issue of fracking. It appears that 4-5 people from Huerfano/Las Animas Counties, who have been harmed by fracking, may be willing to speak to the city council and the public here in Colorado Springs. But the process seems to be so closed that it does not appear likely that these people who were harmed will be allowed to speak, allowed to warn people here in Colorado Springs what may be in store for them if they allow fracking in Colorado Springs. The informal Council meetings do not allow for public input. The formal meeting only allow for 3 minutes of input on subjects not on the agenda. And what will be on the agenda may not allow for general input, will be limited to discussion of the recommendations of the committee. I read articles about how the El Paso County Commission dealt with fracking, and they ignored the recommendations of their own planning commission when they watered down their regulations. Where is the protection of our water, land and air when it comes to fracking? There does not seem to be much of any. Lotus From Colorado Springs City Councilman Val Snyder: Hi Lotus, The city will not be having any public meetings on fracking. The city will have public meetings on the recommendations of the Oil and Gas Committee on areas of potential regulation for oil and gas activities. The first public meeting on this is May 24, 6-8pm, at the City Administration Building. There will be opportunities for public comment before City Council, as the potential oil and gas regulations work their way through the process. The first is tentatively scheduled for June 12, a formal Council meeting. ... Thank you for your writing. Val From a telephone conversation with May Jensen: Anti-Fracking Info From Mary Jensen & Other Info (From my notes, so hope is accurate.) I have been wondering why people from other communities who have been harmed by fracking (their land, water, personally, etc) have not been asked to speak to the local Colorado Springs City Council, El Paso County Commissioners, etc. So I finally located the author of a

What percentage of a partially eaten donut would YOU bet…

That the chemical spill which has currently gotten Monument evacuated... is going to be neatly and safely taken care of and that you're not going to be in any danger from it? Because the Chemical Industry, especially those divisions most closely tied to the Military, are betting a hundred percent of Your Ass that if they have a Chernobyl or Fukushima or Bhopal or Texas City happen say, in Downtown Colorado Springs, they'll be able to cover it up as neatly as they have their other little boo-boos. What's that? Texas City? Oh, yeah. Not only were they experiencing a chemical spill, and arresting people for taking pictures, draining the equivalent of the weeks worth of water used in Texas City, Galveston Co Texas in sheer liquid volume of volatile petrochemicals. Volatile means they react with other chemicals very quickly, sometimes explosively. The volatility of some, like Raid and Black Flag insectides, is such that they even kill (most of) the roaches in any given area. Oh, that volatile. This was done by BP at the same time their little boo-boo Earth Day present from last year was going full blast. Still is, but reporting on the damage is being covered up like cat droppings in the litter box. On the scene police brutality to keep nosy citizens from seeing first hand what's killing them, to a neat little YouTube channel where soothing music and deep mellow voices assure us that all is well, no need to worry, the Smart People are working on it, nothing to see here, citizen, all is Hell... But that's not the boo-boo I'm talking about. Some people still think about that and are still trying to get answers and get those answers to US. No, children, The Boo-Boo in question was a long time ago. End of World War 2 long time. A cargo ship being loaded at Texas City (Oh, did I mention also that that volatile chemical leak went directly to the Gulf too? No? Bad Me, very Naughty) But there was a huge stack of fertilizer on the pier. The fertilizer is Ammonia Nitrate. One of the most nitrogen rich naturally occuring chemicals. Nitrogen increases volatility as well. Plants need nitrogen in the soil to metabolize other chemicals like Oxygen, Water, carbon dioxide, sugars, starches, fiber and proteins. One way to increase nitrogen is to use legume crops on a rotation basis, beans, peas, peanuts, clover... Another is to add Anhydrous Ammonia. Much like Ammonia Nitrate it has a higher percentage of its mass in Nitrogen. Difference being Ammonia Nitrate has one extra nitrogen atom in the molecule and Anhydrous has one less hydrogen atom than the ammonia you're accustomed to using to clean your glass. And then there's Nitric Acid. Used in, among other things, production of fertilizer, refining metals, making Explosives ooooo... Bet some of the smarter readers were wondering when I was going to bring it back to all that Ammonia Nitrate, just a' sittin' on the dock of the bay, in the very Hot Texas Sunshine, high

Dit Fromage!

Ah, photography and cheese, together again. In French. New concept, Calendar Girls posing with ... CHEESE! It doesn't translate very well, culturally, or didn't. "Say Cheese" becomes "Dit Fromage! Dit Fromage!" Warning, the webpage is in French. So for those right wing types who are still pissed off at the French for not just allowing McDonalds to take over their country... Too bad. You lost, EU won, get over it. So the French have taken up the American bastardization of what was French technology in the first place, photography. Maybe now the Americans will take up something more than a mere shadow of French raw milk cheese. Instead of cheese made from Pasteurized milk. Which doesn't make too much sense, since cheese is rotten milk in its beginning, why Pasteurize out the bacteria and fungi which make it if you're just going to put them back later? You know, that was the "beef" McDonalds AND the Texas Cattle Raisers and Breeders Association had with them? Not so much a really well-deserved bit of Anti-American cultural snobbery. But the French and everybody else in the EU demanded (How DARE those Foreign Sovereign Nations make demands of American CorporaFascist Rulers about doing business in their pipsqueak country which has been a nation for a thousand years longer than America?) that the milk and meat served come from EU inspected sources. That would include having EU approved inspections in "our" Meat Factory mass-produced Concentrated Animal Feeding Enterprises. Which are themselves a spectacularly bad idea and once (hopefully) American politicians grow enough balls to shut them the Hell down, it'll be a toxic waste disposal operation. In fact it already is. In a grim bit of Karma, the boson (very large aquifer) under the Permian Basin (where the Bush family has some really deep oil and gas wells that go BELOW the water level of the boson and where Bush has his ranch, now for sale, directly in the middle of the Permian Basin at Crawford) now has traces of the antibiotics from the CAFE raised animals in it. This boson is called "fossil" water because it's been developing ever since the Permian Basin was under a shallow sea, which hasn't been for the past 63 million years or so. Now the boson (until they fractured the rock above and to the side of it drilling for oil) HAD been feeding from water which took 10,000 years to percolate down through the limestone. Carbon filtering done Right, man. So people from the east slope of the Rockies, as far north as southern Kansas and as far westEAST (damn that was sloppy) as at least the Dallas area are paying extra for filtration and purification of what used to be the purest source of fresh water in America. So we don't have to drink the Bush family bullshit. Literally. The French and most of the rest of the EU didn't want any part of that kind of destruction visited on their people for the sake of

Oil Company and Military “job creation” in the Springs..

Are going to go to... people who already work for the oil companies and the Military Industrial Complex. The (God this is a stupid term) Surge in employment is of the trickle down variety. Like the ghost of Reagan pissing on us in death the way he did in life. Let's dissect the Oil Jobs, yes? They've got a bunch of unemployed oil people. Fewer and fewer wells, more and more people who have experience and tenure, no need for Halliburton or BP to train people locally. We'll get jobs like More McDonalds, or Workin' at the Car Wash Blues, oh, and the oil and Military Industrial folks will bring their families so a portion of the New Jobs will be eaten up by them. Then there's what they'll be DOING. In the early 70s they tried this same shit, there were about a third as many people in the area, and still a water crisis. Since the Springs area feeds the watersheds that provide water to every where west of the Mississippi, that's a huge responsibility. Every drop of rain that falls here is already claimed a year or more in advance. The Shale Oil extraction process takes up a lot of fresh water. huge amounts. More than is actually available even without the water demands of the local population. Which is a lot more people now. So they're going to bring in more people, add fewer jobs than they take up, and less water. The ones pushing this political boondoggle, this government giveaway, yet another one... Halliburton and BP. Oh, I know, their political faces are the likes of Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo, and a slew of others who are going to defeat the "Liberal Hippie Anti-Oil Giant U.N. Sponsored Conspiracy". But it's the giant oil corporations running the show. The ones who slough off paying taxes, and collect unspeakable abominations of Government Giveaways like the Continual War, a giant funnel leading from the U.S. Treasury directly into their greedy pockets. Their predatory mouths stuffed with the blood of Mine and Oil workers whose lives they casually dismiss. And the unspeakable devastation they do to the economy and ecology both, that's just icing on their bloodstained cake. I bet their CEOs and CFOs look at the videos of their disasters, "Oh, look, that one, falling off the rig and burning... he's still alive! Damn, that's HAWT! I'm gonna have to change pants it's so good!" "Awwwww, lookit at the widows and orphans of the miners, crying because daddy ain't coming home... isn't that just the greatest thing you ever saw? A real Kodak moment! I haven't laughed this hard since we actually convinced the stupid bastards that Trickle Down was going to work for THEM instead of just us!" They get money, on the Halliburton side, not only from the fat contracts with no taxation in Iraq and Afghanistan, taking Public Welfare to the tune of Trillions and never putting any back. but also contracting the people who watch the reservoirs to keep al Qa'eda operatives

“Clean” Coal on defensive, downplaying REAL Clean power

So they're spending a few hundred million nationwide promoting their bid for MORE unsupervised unregulated Mountaintop Removal Coal (and other minerals) Extraction, with the accompanying subsidies they'll get if WHEN the Tame Departments of Interior, Defense and Energy and the even Tamer Congress grant them the Official Clean Energy Okey-Dokey. They downplay wind and solar as not being viable ("the sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow") AND claim that even when they're used they'll "need" to Strip Mine and destroy the environment for the metals. Which is bullshit on several levels, there's far more recyclable metals ready for harvest than can be gotten from any level of mining in the conceivable future. One Industry LIE down the tubes. With Solar and Wind producing their PEAK output at the same times of day that the PEAK demand is, there isn't actually any need to build MORE coal power plants or start new strip mines. AND the production of Wind and Solar is going up even with a tiny fraction of a percentage of the Public Subsidies that the Coal, Oil and Gas industries have enjoyed for more than a century. Almost a century and a half. The Railroad Act, the Public Utilities Act, to name a couple. Military and civil grants to develop technologies specifically to use the products they're first stealing and then selling. To their own Publicly Subsidized utility companies. And having the Military simply TAKE any coal, oil and gas that's not offered at a price the Oil and Gas and Coal companies demand. The Police State apparatus they use to keep the Workers doing what Workers do and Corporate Leeches DON'T (which is, say it with me class: Actual WORK) by suppressing Unions and other private organizations, and also suppressing any Public Regulation of their own Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection. The Mountaintop Removal mining which they also claim is safe and doesn't affect anybody downstream has been proven wrong so many times it's hardly worth mentioning, but the "Clean" Coal companies keep consistently LYING about it that it has to be mentioned. The Male small-mouth bass turning into Female small-mouth bass downstream from their "safe and clean" mountaintop removal operations is just one example. The Mining Company TOXIC "gold hill mesa" Waste Dump here in Colorado Springs and is being sold as a "Traditional Colorado Springs Community" yeah, right, if you count the many times the mining industry has poisoned this area of Colorado and everyplace downstream from it... sure, that's a "Tradition" that the Mining Corporations and their Real Estate Accomplices have long practiced. Another prime example of how "safe" their industry is to the people who, unlike the Corporate Executives, don't make money off them poisoning us. BUT... the fact that they're running these ads and the very nature of these ads means they've got a chance of LOSING their fat Government Subsidies and they Know It. That's another project for the TeaBags, too, Stop Sucking up to the Energy Corporations and start

Can’t Trust Goobers, part 2: Lettuce Spray

Another outbreak of e-coli in lettuce traced so far back to farms in Arizona. This is very nearly the scenario from summer before last, with tomatoes and Jalapeño peppers. That was blamed on Illegal Aliens pooping in the fields. Had to be "illegals" you know, because American Citizens, not only doesn't our shit stink, it's impossible for it to be toxic as well. Which segues neatly into the Other, More Likely, scenario: in the dry southwest most of the arable land and with irrigation, is near the cities, for one reason only. Several in fact, but WATER is king in the desert. Since every available supply of water has more human habitations around it than it can adequately support, the cause of e-coli and other Intestinal Nasties probably would be the Deregulated, Privatized, "free" Market Sewage Treatment measures in the neighboring townships. Naaahhhh... couldn't be thousands or hundreds of thousands of people pooping through a really shoddy sewage treatment system, it has to be maybe a hundred seasonal farm workers pooping in the fields. Even though the "treated and sanitized" water would be sold to the highest bidder. As to do the farms treat "their" workers like a big stinky pile of poo, and don't provide facilities or adequate drinking water, well, some do and some don't. I mean, how DARE those Washing Tundy Sea liberals tell us how to run our farms and treat OUR wetbacks?

Military Intelligence Inaction

The Coast Guard is going to set fire to the oil slick from the Deepwater corporate boo-boo. Deliberately. You know, the Coast Guard DO get first pick of the finest confiscated Recreational Psychopharmaceuticals. While their official Irrationale is that they've screwed up the ecosystem so badly that this little bonfire will be just another Fart In The Breeze, so to speak, the Unofficial Reason probably works out to be something like "Wow, man, far out, the colors, man, the colors!" Speaking of colors, about the only thing "green" about the military is their uniforms. Maybe Glenn Beck and the other Morons at Fox will have a new conspiracy theory to work with,as soon as they get their monthly quota of that Coast Guard dope, that is. See, Liberal Agents Provocateurs have infiltrated not only the top levels of the Political spectrum but also the Banking, Mining and Petroleum industry and are deliberately sabotaging them from the top down, and that somehow Greenpeace and MoveOn and PETA and just for giggles the American Cancer Society have deliberately gotten Goldman Sachs and Massey and Deepwater to make really stupid forking decisions, just to embarrass the "conservatives". Let's go forward with that, let's say that Al Gore deliberately set up George Bush by throwing the election in 2000. The possible combinations are endless. Pointless, too, but then, we're watching Capital eat itself so any inane statement about it would stick if thrown hard enough.

Happy Earth day, to us!

Four decades in the making, and at the FIRST Earth Day suggestions were made to stop destroying Earth. Which, since any habitable Other Planet is decades in the future, and Earth happens to be our ONLY life support mechanism until then, and the destruction could kill Earth long before then... At the First Earth Day, Public Transportation was touted. Since then, the SUV has taken over the roads, the roads have been expanded, still not enogh to satiate the Single Passenger Car Monster. The Oil and Coal industry fight very hard against public transportation, call it "socialism". There's a growing industry in Solar Power, which the Oil and Coal industries, and the automakers, sick their TeaBag attack dogs on any possibility of Government assistance in the advancement of the technology. While and at the time lining up every budget cycle, or as they call it "Feeding Time", sticking their fat corporate snouts in the Welfare Trough. Disposable packaging was a newer technology, only a few decades old. Now that has mushroomed, (mushroom is a good image, it's the fruiting carpophore of Mold, if you will: the Flower of Decay) as have Disposable Everything. Earth might have given herself a gift in the form of increased vulcanism. Since "our" political leaders can't pull themselves away from the Corporate Welfare Trough or grow any kind of Spinal Fortitude to stop the Oil and Automobile and Disposable Toxins industries from killing our planet, at least it will slow down Global Warming. Maybe long enough for them to get their fat porky Collective Arse in gear. Mama Nature is doing for us what we should have been not-too-damn-greedy to do for ourselves.Not being a killjoy, I hope, We do need to inject a LOT of righteous anger into the discussions today. Not Aggressive Violent Whiny Tantrums like the Tea-Bags throw, but a similar level of energy. Remind the "conservatives" that the root of their name is "conserve". Not, you know, wasting everything in a hedonistic orgy of greed. The ecology is the very root of our economy.

The Toilet Paper Bears – A Fitting Analogy for once.

So, leave aside the notion that male bears tend to eat their offspring. It's a little too graphic for the anthropomorphists But one of their new themes is Poppa Bear and Little Bear in a rowboat fishing. Little Bear gets impatient. Then has the bright idea to drop a piece of the Overpriced-and-not-any-better-than-any-other-brand of toilet paper into the water.Which is so absorbent that it dries up the whole lake. All the fish are gasping for water to breathe, flopping around in their death throes. Somehow, in the insane popularity contest that passes for "awww, wook at the cute animals" the fish aren't given fake smiles, humanized eye placement and faces, and the other pond dwellers who are sometimes anthropomorphized, like the frogs, aren't represented. BUT... That's not the truly relevant part. It's part of the relevance though, that's why I included it. The fact is, though, in our Throw-Away Society, where everything including Human Beings is disposable, paper products are among the worst offenders. First they take out the native, healthy, sustained ecosystem forests and put in "better managed" forests where all the trees are planted at the same time, no underbrush to get in the way of the Organized, Efficient Harvesting of them when the Corporate Owners decide it's their turn to die, and the Corporatists who will no doubt object to this analogy are going to say "Why, oh why, can't we get all "our" workers organized like that, where they'll perform their jobs efficiently for our profit and then die off in an orderly manner, instead of being, you know, Human?" Of course the planting of tree-farms where forests used to be not only allows for the Dehumanized Workers and their more-valuable-to-the-company machines to access the "product" for maintenance and harvest, it also hastens erosion and provides no nutrition for the animals, either the Cute and Fuzzy winners of the Insane Popularity Contest, like the deer and the bears and the rabbits (Did you know there's actually been a recent extinction event, a species of RABBIT? It's true... you might think to yourself "Self, how does a species that breeds like, well, Rabbits, go extinct?") and the squirrels and chipmunks which are "good" animals, and the slugs, beetles, very large species of cockroach, vultures, rattlesnakes, worms, you know, the ones that are much harder to paint as Furry People, aren't normally eaten directly by people and it takes more than a couple of very quick and short sentences using only one-and-two-syllable words, to describe how they fit into the "food chain" far less the enormously complex and beautifully orchestrated Ecosystem. Then at the other end of the process (middle actually, the "profitable" output of it still has to be shipped, marketed and then "disposed of properly" whatever the hell THAT means) the process of shredding the once-living trees into pulp, instead of long fibers (remember, they're not aiming for quality, they're aiming for the Corporate Trifecta: Fast, Cheap and Disposable) then glued back together, pressed into paper and rolled

Plastic as far as you can see and can’t

Here's an interesting exception among the photos accompanying a recent NYT article about the mass of plastic detritus, twice the size of Texas, floating in the Pacific Ocean. This barely buoyant plastic barrel, demonstrates why plastic does not qualify as flotsam. As sea creatures inhabit this barrel, it becomes encrusted and weighted down causing it to slowly sink. After enough time at great depths the ballast of barnacles is eventually sloughed off, prompting the barrel to rise again to the surface. The scientists call it a "yo-yo effect" which describes only the motion. The living organisms cycle and decay, but the plastic goes nowhere but up and down, all the while leaching its toxins into multiple depths of the food chain. The submerged plastic meanwhile hinders our measure of the inaptly named flotsam. The point being that the collection of garbage which we observe on the surface, whirling in this giant Pacific gyre, is only the proverbial tip of a plastic burg. It's worth noting that the article which the NYT picked up, came from a reporter funded by SPOT.US, an innovative journalism collective whose investigation projects are financed by the readers. If novice reporter Lindsay Hoshaw hadn't made the pitch, and spot.us readers hadn't advanced the budget, the NYT might never have gotten the story. The great Pacific gyre, located between Hawaii and the continental US, is estimated to be only one of five such garbage patches in the world. It was encountered only 12 years ago by someone returning from a round-the-world race. We all know plastic can evade airport security metal detectors, who knows, it probably flies under the radar. Plastic surpasses its creators' hyperbole. Besides having a durability to rival radioactivity, plastic has the power of attraction to morph into masses the size of two lone star states, in 3-D, and cloak itself as successfully as Osama bin Laden.

Colorado Springs power plants not among world’s 200 dirtiest by much

Good news, Colorado Spring's main power plant is not among the world's 200 biggest carbon offender power plants. But our neighbors are. One quarter of the world's dirtiest power plants (53) are in the US. All in red states, because the uneducted are the new black. Actually in the West many of these coal plants are foisted on the Indians, the enduring black. Colorado Springs is surrounded by: LARAMIE RIVER, Wheatland, Wyoming at 15 million tons of carbon INTERMOUNTAIN, Delta, Utah at 16 million CRAIG, Colorado at 12 million NAVAJO, Page, Arizon at 20 million SAN JUAN, New Mexico at 12 million MONTICELLO, Mount Pleasant, Texas at 18 million WELSH, Pittsburg, Texas at 12 million LA CYGNE, Kansas at 11 million (For the record, the worst offender is the TAICHUNG plant in Taiwan, which emits 40 million tons of carbon every year. Clean plants emit 0.) Falling short of ranking in the 200 worst, surrounding Colorado Springs, are: CHEROKEE, Denver, Colorado at 5 million COMANCHE, Pueblo, Colorado at 5 million HAYDEN, Colorado at 4 million PAWNE, Brush, Colorado at 4 million Carbon emissions ratings are based on a plant's efficiency relative to its intensity. On an interactive map offered by Carbon Monitoring For Action (CARMA), the dirty plants are in red, the clean in green. The mainstream media is working off of maps offered by Forbes magazine, not CARMA's. Notice the Forbes article sponsor is Shell Oil, who's leading the effort to extract oil shale, an ugly alternative to coal. But don't be fooled by Forbes' interesting omissions. Colorado Springs is red. The three plants operated by Colorado Springs Utility fall into the dirty category: DRAKE, Colorado Springs, 80903 at 2.3 million RD NIXON, Fountain, at 1.8 BIRDSALL Colorado Springs, 80907 at 0.1 That's right, the "cloud maker" located at Colorado Springs' center, is squarely in the red, pollution wise. A model of Clean Coal. Considered relatively cleaner are: FRONT RANGE POWER, Fountain, Colorado at 1.2 million FOUNTAIN VALLEY, at 0.2 million WN CLARK, Canon City, Colorado at 0.4 million LIMON, at 0.1 million Clean: COLORADO SPRINGS WICKS at 0 TESLA, Manitou Springs, Colorado at 0 NORAD, at 0.03 million

Colorado Springs own cloud maker

Last week's POWER SHIFT 09, where 12,000 student environmentalists converged on Washington, culminated with a protest of a DC power plant which still produced 40% of its electricity from coal. A threatened largest act of mass civil disobedience pushed Washington legislators to order the plant converted completely to natural gas. What a contrast to the awareness level in our own Colorado Springs, where the city wraps around a single coal power plant which consumes two coal train loads a day, its billowing stacks, local moms describe to their kids, give it the name "cloud maker." From a Capitol Climate Action PDF: Ten Problems with Coal 1. Coal Fuels Global Warming Coal is the largest single source of global warming pollution in the United States. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that global warming threatens human populations and the world’s ecosystems with intensifying heat waves, floods, drought, extreme weather, and by spreading infectious diseases. Furthermore, it is conservatively estimated that the climate crisis will place a $271 billion annual drag on the U.S. economy alone by 2025. According to the IPCC, the United States and other industrialized countries need to reduce global warming pollution by 25–40 percent by 2025 to avoid the most severe impacts of the climate crisis. 2. Coal Kills People and Causes Disease According to the American Lung Association, pollution from coal-fired power plants causes 23,600 premature deaths, 21,850 hospital admissions, 554,000 asthma attacks, and 38,200 heart attacks every year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 12,000 coal miners died from black lung disease between 1992 and 2002. 3. Coal Kills Jobs The coal industry is one of the least job-intensive industries in America. Every dollar we invest in coal is a dollar we can’t spend creating jobs in the clean energy economy. In fact, the country’s wind sector now employs more workers than the coal industry. Investing in wind and solar power would create 2.8 times as many jobs as the same investment in coal; mass transit and conservation would create 3.8 times as many jobs as coal. 4. Coal Costs Billions in Taxpayer Subsidies The U.S. government continues to subsidize coal-related projects despite its impact on health, climate and the economy. 5. Coal Destroys Mountains Many coal companies now use mountaintop removal to extract coal. The process involves clear-cutting forests, using dynamite to blast away as much as 800–1000 feet of mountaintop and dumping the waste into nearby valleys and streams. Mountain-top removal has leveled more than 450 mountains across Appalachia. Mountain-top removal destroys ecosystems, stripping away topsoil, trees, and understory habitats, filling streams and valleys with rubble, poisoning water supplies, and generating massive impoundments that can cause catastrophic floods. 6. Burning Coal Emits Mercury Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of man-made mercury pollution. Mercury can interfere with the development of babies’ brains and neurological systems. Elevated levels of mercury in Americans’ blood puts one in six babies born in the United States at elevated risk of learning disabilities, developmental delays, and problems with fine motor coordination. Already 49 U.S. states have

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