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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.

Will Act of God close Drake coal plant?

[FULL TEXT OF LETTER SUBMITTED TO CS INDEPENDENT MAY 14] Two years ago Colorado Springs lost 346 homes to the Waldo Canyon fire which precipitated floods expected to haunt the westside and Manitou for years to come. The next year saw a wildfire in Black Forest that took an unprecedented 500 homes. That's unprecedented for Colorado, although with global warming it's certainly a portent of cataclysms to follow. You'd think two fires in a row might have motivated city leaders to seize the chance to act on climate change, and not just symbolically. By coincidence Colorado Springs Utilities had been equivocating about whether to reinvest in an aging coal-fired power plant located in the center of town. Imagine how we might have redeemed our city's national reputation if Colorado Springs had announced a decision to close the Drake coal plant, prompted by wild fires to reduce the burning of fossil fuels! Instead the utilities board laid out only long term options, most to sustain Drake, and only one which included a token investment in renewable energy. This year saw another coincidence. This is of course conjecture on my part. Seeing his two previous acts unheeded, local favorite God surprised everyone with a third fire where Colorado Springs backward thinkers would be sure to get the point. Last week the Drake coal plant itself caught fire, certainly the least expected and most poetic of global warming victims. We're told it's going to take over a billion dollars to bring Drake back online. I've got an idea and I'm not even religious. LET'S CLOSE IT! Let's spend that billion on a solar array or a wind farm! Naysayers should be ashamed to pretend we don't have a plentitude of both. It's too late to convince the world we're brilliant, let's show we're not idiots. The collective decision to act on climate change begins at home if you have a publicly owned coal-fired power plant. Communities across the world have stopped burning coal, are we with them or against them? The Drake coal plant didn't just spew carbon, its emissions included lots of toxins we were forced to breath. Heart disease and asthma were two measurable harms which any doctor could attribute to Drake, scrubbers or no scrubbers. The coal ash accumulating south of town is another threat altogether, of which the recent ash spill in North Carolina serves as a heartbreaking warning. Even if we reinvest a billion in Drake, we have several months of clean air and cleaner consciences to think more clearly about it. This summer America the Beautiful Park will be the healthiest it's been in fifty years, when the old "cloud-maker" got its start. On the other hand, wouldn't it be a shame not put every next penny into renewable, sustainable, healthy energy, starting with this first billion? I'd like to think people can decide to save the environment for their own health and for their children, but if it takes an Act of God to close Drake, so be it.

Fracking protest message at Denver 350 rally cuts through nebulous “Forward on Climate” theme

DENVER, COLORADO- Score another success for Colorado Fractivists who crashed this weekend's climate rally with their unequivocal anti-fracking message. The February 17 event was intended to urge President Obama "Forward on Climate", to borrow his most recent campaign vagarity, but when official speeches began, and the prefab signs were distributed, it became unclear who might be trying to co-opt whom. Gas The 350.ORG sponsored march, coinciding with a rally and civil disobedience in DC, called specifically for a halt to the Keystone XL Pipeline and Tar Sands extraction which climate scientists have dubbed "game over" for hopes of averting climate disaster, but the dominant signage spoke vaguely of "Climate Action" and "It's Time to Cut Carbon" and "Big Coal Makes Us Sick", all of which are slogans used by proponents of natural gas. 350-ORG has been raising awareness of the imperative to reduce carbon emissions, while recognizing that the groundswell driving environmentalists across the country is opposition to oil & gas hydraulic fracturing. It's all the same fight to reduce burning of fossil fuels, but moderate allies like the Sierra Club haven't been prepared to denounce their new-found bed partners urging consumers to get "Beyond Coal." To her credit, local 350-ORG coordinator Micah Parkin incorporated fractivist groups into the Feb 17 rally, but Democratic Party panderers didn't get the memo. A representative read a letter of support from Senator Michael Bennet and was able to sneak past: "I stand with Obama" and even "in favor of US energy independence" although that's code for oil & gas exports, dependent on construction of the XL pipeline. But when Mark Udall's representative referred to "clean burning natural gas" the crowd booed. Even as he pleaded "we're on your side," the crowd wouldn't relent, making sure his takeaway would be that fracking compounded global warming, among its other horrors. The highlight of the rally occurred immediately afterward when the master of ceremonies, a twelve-year-old rapper and member of the Boulder based Earth Guardians, thanked Udall's rep affably but then assured the audience that "of course there's no such thing as clean natural gas!" Occupy A word about Occupy Denver's part in Sunday's march. Occupiers took the black-tie invitation to heart and turned up in black bloc attire with bandanas and balaclavas. OD then pushed the envelope to the consternation of parade marshals, stepping into the street at one point, blocking cars at another, in the spirit of their banner which read "ONLY DIRECT ACTION WILL STOP THE PIPELINE." To what end, creating friction during an event otherwise running smoothly? Who knows. The demonstration was uneventful and garnered scant media attention. Mixing it up might have helped, or not. The turnout was large but not up for a confrontation. Occupy didn't push it. The irony of 350-ORG supporters being upset by the antics of the Occupiers, was that behind the masks were many activists who'd actually gone to Texas to stop the XL pipeline, who'd gotten arrested, some out on $25,000 bond. How unfortunate that those troublemakers weren't recognized

Colorado Springs Drake Power Plant

CLEAN COAL SPRINGS- Apparently it's not the dirtiest coal-fired power plant in the country, defenders insist DRAKE is only half that dirty. That's an interesting benchmark. Clean enough for horseshoes.

CSU Drake coal plant situated in heart of Colorado Springs, for heart disease

Europe is closing the last of its coal-fired power plants, while America rebrands coal as clean. And Colorado Springs literally embraces its pollution-spewing Martin Drake Coal Plant. You can burn fossil fuels to warm the globe from anywhere, but for a coal plant's particulate contaminants to directly deal death, chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia, it's even more effective to sidle up close. How's this for cozy? Downtown practically wraps its lips around CPU's toxic stacks, you don't even need rolling papers. Makes no difference which way the wind's blowing.

Give the Black Hills back to the Lakota

Close down the strip-mine gold operation in Deadwood, stop maintaining the blasphemous idols carved onto Mount Rushmore, stop maintaining the Custer National Monument, let them rot into the Earth. They poison the very heart of the Earth Mother, Wakan Tonka. That means not "Great Spirit" like it's usually translated, but The Great Buffalo. The Lakota and other "sioux" tribes, and other Northern Plains tribes hold the Black Hills to be exactly that Heart. It's said that from satellite images the Black Hills look like a massive bison heart. That might be a Rorshacht test, an inkblot or a cloud that you can project onto, or a seance where the medium will tell you, or rather, you'll tell him/her exactly what you wanted to hear. Maybe, but it sure does look like a bison heart. Mount Rushmore and the Gold and now, coal mining operations are literally carving the still beating heart of the Earth. The Earth screams at us to stop, but the Big Money men don't listen. They carve images of some of their leading Capitalists onto the walls of that heart, and command all the people of America to pay to maintain their blasphemous idolatry. Deadwood was founded by Lt Colonel George A. Custer while he was still in the Army. An illegal encampment of illegal immigrants onto the ultimate in American Land. Unlike migrant workers with the same title, they came not to try make an honest living, not to keep alive the hope of citizenship, the fabled "land of opportunity" touted in the propaganda. They came to slaughter Wakan Tonka slowly, carve her open and cut holes in her heart while she's still alive. The Supreme Court very recently ruled that the land was, indeed, illegally seized, and offered as repayment ... a settlement that would be less than a hundredth of a penny on every ten dollars taken out by the greed freaks. Close down Sturgis, close down Deadwood. Open the gates of the Concentration/POW camps like Wounded Knee and Pine Ridge "reservations". Give the land back and save your Pious self-righteous "concern" for whether the Lakota and other sioux will make a profit from THEIR land. Don't ask what they will do with it, it's none of your God-damned business. You could use that same logic to lock me into servitude, where all my property (such as it is) could be seized and administered by "those who can manage it better". Who's the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, Hosni Mubarak, Queen Elizabeth the Second? Hmm? Whoever it is, by the logic which denies the Lakota and, by extension, every tribe in America, full title to their lands, anybody who is NOT the richest man in the world could have his property seized and "administered" for him by those who are richer. Give them back their land and don't worry about what they'll do with it. It will be a damn sight better than what the Thieves have done with it. None of that "Noble Savage" crap either, it's protectionist talk,

Autism and Mercury

So they "laid that myth to rest", right? Actually, no. The entire focus of Autism in re Toxic Metals got sidetracked onto vaccines with a mercury preservative. Which, some pointed out, CONTAINED FAR LESS MERCURY THAN THE AMOUNT PRESENTLY IN ENVIRONMENTAL SOURCES and that has to be emphasized because the ENVIRONMENTAL SOURCES somehow dropped out of the equation. Chemical industry, M.I. C., anybody? Like mercury released into the environment from metals refining, or perhaps from the manufacture AND USE of ammunition? Like the mercury fulminate, which is a water-soluble mercury compound, nitrated mercury, explosive, used as a detonator/primer compound. When it burns, combusts explosively, does exactly what the product is designed to do, it kills one way quickly. Tosses a somewhat more massive chunk of metal in the general direction of a "target". Meaning, in the case of Wars and Police actions, the primary intent of firearms, A Human Being Whose Life Is Considered To Be Worth Less Than The Life Of The Person Shooting At Him/Her. When it burns that way, the mercury fulminate isn't destroyed, it's vaporized. If you took a two pound brick, broke it, smashed it, turned it into two pounds of dust, it's still two pounds of the original components of the brick. It didn't go away. If you dissolve it in water, not as completely as mercury fulminate does, it's now polluting a larger mass of water and people, other animals and plants can now ingest it. So, is the prevalence of documented Autism cases around military installations ONLY a result of more accurate reporting, more accurate testing available to Military Dependents? It WAS described that way about the Vaccines connection. It minimizes the high probability of modern firearms, concentrated in Military Bases, firing ranges etc. being a cause. Just like the "higher reporting and diagnosis level" was put forth about military dependents and the use of Vaccines. Also in ammunition are other metals, copper and lead being significant. Would YOU willingly drink water with copper sulfate dissolved into it? Seriously, would you? Before you answer consider this information about the use of Copper Sulfate in pesticides. Military bases use shitloads of Pesticides. "Shitload" is an esoteric eco-science term which, if you don't recognize its validity you're probably not an eco-scientist. Military bases kill native vegetation, insects, mammals, birds... yeah, birds. Birds cause extreme damage to military aircraft and also are the hosts for lice and fleas which are in turn the hosts for some really deadly diseases like Leishmaniasis Donovani, caused by a flagellate paramecium that's freaking huge by germ standards, a half-micron long. So they poison the whole place. That's what Agent Orange is, a weed-killer. The part of Agent Orange that causes human deaths due to absolute devastation of the endocrine system, isn't even the active ingredient, it's a dioxin, a chemical that is produced along with the active ingredient but which they can't remove from the finished product without destroying the finished product. Can't do that, now can we? Human lives are cheaper and worth less

11 more miners killed, 64 still missing

That might not include the 20 in the rescue party with whom contact was lost. A second explosion has now been reported at the Raspadskaya mine near Mezhdurechensk, and contact has been lost with a team of 20 rescuers. Mezhdurechensk, bet you can't say that three times real fast. The governor of Kemerovo, Aman Tuleyev, has taken charge of the rescue operation. "The rescue work will continue when the atmosphere in the mine is restored, but to conduct rescue work now means to send people to their death," he said. Emergency teams are now trying to pump air into the underground shafts. Mines in the region are noted for their poor safety record, not surprising as Capital has reared its ugly head in Russia, kept the KGB and assumed the very Worst parts of Capitalism... oh.. that's right, there aren't any GOOD parts to it. Remembering that it was the underpinning (and eventual downfall) for the Roman Empire. And the Mafia. The system is admirably well represented by the prestigious Wall Street Law Firm of Boyd, Dewey, Cheatham and Howe. Bets on the major shareholders having a lot in common with the major shareholders of BP and Massey Energy? Say, I wonder what the statistics on percentage or raw numbers of employees in the Solar Panel Manufacturing killed or maimed on the job would be? Since Einstein's invention of the basic principle took place when the Internal Combustion Engine and the Turbine Generator were still relatively new inventions. Guess which ones were subsidized in every way possible, from government contracts for the products to outright grants of Free Land that just by a coincidence belong to Other Nations and had to be secured and maintained at Lots of Gunpoint.

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.

Massey orphan, suddenly fatherless, says Coal equals Freedom

AFTER the Massey Company took her daddy's life with their Union-Busting activities, AFTER they got rich off her Daddy's work and her Daddy didn't... (edit: the comment following was sloppy editing on the part of the "news" service, she blurts out that Fascist Anti-Earth Propaganda about working in the coal mine being the key to economic recovery and compared her Daddy dying to "fighting for freedom." The rest of it is Gospel.) The Massey company, their only concern is that the mine is out of production for a while so they don't get Richer off the sweat and blood and toil and deaths of "their" workers. They continuously refused to provide safety upgrades, "Too expensive." Miners are cheaper than safety equipment. The Massey Energy Corporation is already angling to use this tragedy as propaganda for the Open-Pit, or Mountaintop Removal, or Strip-mine method. Saying they're only concerned about worker safety, of course. This one, for instance, is what used to be southern Deciduous forest, sprinkled with a few pines, see anything growing anywhere near there? The parts downstream from the mine, a Massey project, look nearly as bad, from the toxic runoff. The usually rich forest environment locally suddenly ends up looking like the mountains of the Desert Southwest. Worse, actually. Downstream, the fish are changing sex. Male small-mouth bass are being genetically/hormonally changed into female smallmouth bass. Massey also operates strip mines on land coerced from Indian Nations, like the Northern Cheyenne, and the Navajo and Hopi tribes... and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, one of our sacred mountains near Chattanooga Tennessee is scheduled to be eco-murdered by Massey. And after they get done killing the mountain they're going to give the toxic waste-dump to the State of Tennessee as a park and low-income housing sites. Aren't they wondrously generous? The state of Tennessee offices which decided to sell Property Which Is Not Theirs, say they can't find any heirs of the original owners, Excusez-Vous? There are tribal offices of the Eastern Band right down the street from them. If they can't find the Cherokee Nation they just ain't looking. They can't find their collective arse with both hands. So they gave... ooops "Leased" land to Massey. Now, if I leased a room and promised the landlord that I would trash it, and put poison all over it, the landlord would rightly be suspicious of my intentions. If I were to promise faithfully to clean it up afterward, even with a record (like Massey's) of destroying properties and never repairing them, and always with the prior promise to fix the damage, the landlord would have to be an utter fool to rent to me. Let's take another look at the CEO, shall we?

Cable TV’s History Channel sucks coal

Need further proof that The History Channel is Fox News for the archives? From rewriting the Vietnam War to mythologizing Harry Truman, The History Channel is determined to paint the televised record askew. For example, even in light of the current climate crisis, you will not find a more glowing tribute to America's monarch of energy, especially its potential for continuing to supply America's energy needs.

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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