Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bid for Green


The United Arab Emirates, is hosting the new International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Although the UAE is a country that is the eighth largest oil producer it has turned to a more environmental friendly attitude towards renewable energy.

For further reading: 

Temecula quarry


Environmental risk brought on by the quarry could affect the possible job creation opportunity. It lies near an ecological reserve that has stemming through it the Sana Margarita River, and no there is no free drinks there. Research in this area is immense and is done by biologist from San Diego State University.

For further reading: 

Bio-diverse Bird Break


The United Arab Emirate has been in the global spotlight for its increasingly growing tourism industry. Catering for tourist from all over the world isnt limited to people this also includes migrating Birds stopping before continuing their trip to the southern hemisphere from the Northern winters. The emirate of Abu Dhabi has had its Biodiversity Management Sector of its Environment Agency preserve the 110 square kilometers of mangroves. Mangroves are plants that grow on the coastline of the Arabian peninsula, they protect the coastline from erosion and provide shelter for small fish and shellfish from the waves of the Arabian Gulf. In recent years there was a risk of losing these plants from increased construction across the coastline, the UAE has issued laws to ensure protection. They have also raised awareness of the plant to help preserve it to help this bio-diverse wetlands that are important for habits of fish and birds alike.


for further reading
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2011/August/theuae_August86.xml&section=theuae&col=

Burmese Activist on Dam restriction



Restriction on the largest river in Burman is affecting the rice production of the country which produces grain as the food staple. The appeal by the activist have appealed the dam construction that is part of a hydro-electic project. The dam has caused environment and ecological problems



More info : http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2011/08/11/burmese-activist-issues-irrawaddy-appeal/

The Air of Injustice



At first glance, air pollution generally and power plant pollution specifically, would not seem to rank among the highest priorities for African Americans. However, African Americans are disproportionately affected by power plant emissions because we are concentrated in large urban centers, suffer higher rates of asthma and share a historical bond with the developing world where climate change threatens already weak and overburdened economies. From this perspective, power plant cleanup is elevated on the long list of social justice imperatives.

African Americans are disproportionately affected by the air pollution emitted by our nation’s biggest polluters, coal-fired power plants, in terms of environmental and a long list of health problems including pediatric asthma, infant death rates, emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Additionally, 71% of African Americans live in counties that violate federal air pollution standards, compared to 58% of the white population.

It is no coincidence that the term environmental justice was coined in the South, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. Environmental racism emerged as a critical concern in Warren County, North Carolina in 1983 when protesters fought toxic dumping in this predominantly black and poor county. Dr. Joseph Lowery, then president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was among those present to protest the dumping of PCBs in a local landfill.

A landmark environmental justice study conducted by the United Church of Christ titled “Toxic Waste and Race” established that race was the most reliable predictor of proximity to hazardous waste sites in the United States — more reliable than poverty, land values and home ownership. Dr. Robert Bullard, director of Clark Atlanta University’s Environmental Justice Resource Center, chronicles Environmental Justice in the 21st Century in his 2000 Directory of People of Color Groups. Bullard reminds us of the 1990 study “Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality,” which chronicled the convergence of the social justice and environmental movements.

Simply put by the groups that collaborated on this article, all coal-fired power plants, both new and old, must be made to comply with modern emission control standards. The Clean Air Act’s 30-year loophole for old, dirty power plants must be finally closed. 



source:
http://www.energyjustice.net/files/coal/Air_of_Injustice.pdf

China Sets Deadly Example

Although we may feel that we are too reliant on coal here in the US, China is even more dependent, deriving approximately 70% of its electricity from coal. (2 trillion kilowatt-hours per year). A total of 2,657,230 people worked in state owned coal mines at the end of 2006 - a shocking figure.

China's coal mining industry is the largest and also deadliest in the world in terms of human safety where thousands of people die every year in the coal pits, compared to 30 per year for coal power in the United States. Coal production rose 8.1% in 2006 over the previous year, reaching 2.38 billion tons, and the nation's largest coal enterprises saw their profits exceed 67 billion yuan, or $8.75 billion.

These extreme profits and the current abundance of coal available for mining makes it an extremely attractive industry to be in, leaving China few incentives to get out of this industry. 

In 2001 the carbon emissions from coal use in China made up about 10% of the world total CO2 emissions at the time. By 2004 this fraction rose to 14%. It is believed that a continued increase in coal power in China may undermine international initiatives to decrease carbon emissions such as the Kyoto Protocol, which called for a decrease of 483 million tons by 2012. In the same time frame, it is expected that coal plants in China will have increased CO2 emissions by 1,926 million tons — over 4 times the proposed reduction. 

So, clearly, education and international regulations are needed in order to stop this out of control coal production and the rampant pollution and environmental damage. Get involved. Learn. Change your behavior. Simply learning about and being cognizant of your actions and your carbon footprint can help you make small but meaningful changes - it's in your hands. 



Oregon Sets Example with Coal Plant Closure

Portland General Electric and environmental groups have agreed to settle a lawsuit over emissions at Oregon's only coal-fired power plant, a deal that helps ensure the plant's early closure by the end of 2020, per the Oregonian's report on July 19, 2011.



Boardman (the plant in question) is Oregon's largest stationary source of greenhouse gases and a big contributor to haze and acid rain the Columbia River Gorge.  "For the first time, we will no longer have to rely on PGE's gentleman's promise" to close the plant early, said Lauren Goldberg, a staff attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper.

This court action is a milestone for those in favor of shifting away from our reliance on coal and forcing big government and the energy industry to listen to our demands.

Some facts about the Boardman plant:

  • In 2003, PGE Boardman released 5 million tons of CO2.
  • PGE Boardman is the single largest source of SO2 emissions in Oregon.  In 2001, PGE Boardman released 17,821 tons of SO2.
  • SO2 destabilizes heart rhythms.
  • SO2 is linked to low birth weight and increased risk of infant death.
  • According to EPA, PGE Boardman is responsible for 35% of the NOx emissions statewide and emits over 5 times as much NOx as the next highest emitting source.
  • PGE Boardman released 164 tons of PM2.5 and 239 tons of PM10 in 1999.
  • PM crosses from the lungs into the bloodstream resulting in inflammation of the cardiac system, a root cause of cardiac disease including heart attack and stroke.
  • 90% of the deaths attributable to NOx, SO2, and PM pollution from power plants could be avoided with the installation of today’s best available emissions controls. 
  • EPA estimates that attainment of the more protective health standards for fine particles alone could save 15,000 lives per year.


Original Article:
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/07/pge_settles_lawsuit_over_emiss.html

Source for Boardman Facts:
http://legacy.lclark.edu/org/nedc/pge.html

Still Feeling the Effects of the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution brought us many advances in technologies including advances in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology that were the cornerstones of many modern systems. The Industrial Revolution also, however, taught us many lessons that we are unfortunately not learning from.

Coal mining is one of the things that came out of the Industrial Revolution where we learned to harness some of the natural resources the earth has to offer. As with meat packing, where problems were exposed in Upton Sinclair's expose "The Jungle," coal mining has problems as well.

Today, we are completely at the mercy of coal, and depend on it for many things: plywood (binding resin), plastic bottles (acetic acid), and most commonly, electricity.

As health and sanitation issues were the focus of "The Jungle," today the focus with coal mining is on black lung disease, the effects on the miners and area residents, as well as the effects on the population as a whole.

Mining presents very real safety and environmental issues for the world to address, and the populous needs to be educated on its effects and ways to curb use and find alternatives.




Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal

In 2007, Google embarked on yet another mission to change our lives for the better.

This initiative is called RE<C, or, Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal, which aims to curb global warming, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and find renewable sources of energy that are sustainable for those across the globe. 

The primary goal of the project is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. "Our over-arching vision is to one day transform the global economy from one running on fossil fuels to one largely based on clean energy."

If Google can do it, so can we. We can all make strides to use renewable energy where possible and seek out companies that invest heavily in simlar programs to help make the world a better, more livable place for our children. 




"Black Lung Disease" - A Real Problem



I remember when I was a child, someone was coughing and another person in the room said " you sound like you've got the black lung." I didn't know at the time that this was a real disease: "Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), colloquially referred to as black lung disease."

Black Lung disease is caused by long term exposure to coal dust, which is present in large quantities near where coal is mined, and inside coal mines. Despite the advances in mining technology as well as advances in healthcare technologies, black lung is again on the rise in the US.

In a January, 2010 article, Samuel Davidson points out that this trend "is especially troubling, since they have spent their entire careers supposedly protected by safety standards developed in the 1970s to prevent the disease." He continues that, "more than 10,000 miners have died from black lung in the past 10 years, compared to 400 miners who have died from accidents over the same period. The number of fatalities is expected to rise as more miners become incapacitated by this debilitating disease."

Are we so reliant on coal as a source of energy that we can't protect the men who give their lives to mine it for us? These statistics should make us all take a huge step back and contemplate our energy use, the future of our country's energy use, and what kinds of companies and products we support and patronize, to see where we can make an impact.

Sources:
Alan Derickson, Black Lung: Anatomy of a Public Health Disaster (1998)

http://wsws.org/articles/2010/jan2010/blac-j11.shtml

http://hillbillysavants.blogspot.com/2006/10/black-lung-on-rise-in-swva.html

Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste

Yes, this headline is shocking. And yes, this headline is true.

We've all seen the images of trains from over a century ago, billowing down the tracks with large black clouds forming overhead. We know, but choose not to think about the effect this is having on our environment and the world we live in.

Many of us know, somewhere in the backs of our minds, that we need to stop using so much coal and that we need to move towards greener, more sustainable forms of energy.

Although the actual increased risk from living next to a coal plant may not be sensational, why should we put our children at risk and live near these kinds of hazards at all? Do we trust that EPA and USDA testing will always be sufficient to keep our food supplies safe? I don't.


To read the entire original article:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste

The Dangers of Reliance on Coal

This video shows a Greenpeace rally in Los Angeles aimed at increasing awareness of the harmful effects of coal use and at gaining support for the movement to end our reliance on coal. A great brief overview of some of the startling "secret" facts about coal:


Friday, August 12, 2011

Video on Biodiversity

I found this video about biodiversity from the Temple University. The video was made by Temple University student with videos from the BBC. The video offers very useful information regarding biodiversity. Please take a look at the video.



Shafi AlHajeri

natural gas vehicles..an alternative energy solution


I found this website on natural gas vehicles.
http://www.naturalgasvehicles.com/
 It gives very detailed and accurate information that covers wide range of aspects related to natural gas vehicles. It offers the latest news, technology, and information on the next generation of natural gas vehicles .  It also provides the readers with a list of natural gas vehicles dealership in their area. The website also covers the safety aspect of natural gas vehicles. It shows how these vehicles are safer and more reliable than gasoline powered cars. The website talks about the   growing popularity of natural gas vehicles: “Natural gas is now widely used in transit buses, school buses, refuse trucks, package delivery trucks, and vehicles used in ports. One thing these all have in common is that they can be refueled at a central location. Check out this website if you are interested to learn more about natural gas vehicles .
Shafi AlHajeri

Alternative Energy: America being Left Behind

I stumbled on an interesting website called ProCon.Org. It's a five minute introduction on the debate of alternative energy from expertise in the field. We already know this, but it's still disappointing how the corporations in the United States still control a lot of what we, the consumer has available in turn of alternative fuels for vehicles in this country. Its just another day another dollar for these folks. If you haven't seen the documentary movie, "Who Killed the Electric Car?", you should. Its just a taste of how big corporations work to squeeze more money out of the consumer while damaging the environment.
A preview of the list top ten list:

4. Subsidies for Alternative Energy


 PRO: "The subsidies in place allow the [alternative energy] industry to grow and technologies to be developed and mature and drive costs down...
Alternative energy is most developed in countries where government subsidies have been in place for some time. Germany put in place strong incentives in the early part of this decade to encourage demand for solar modules, to encourage installations of wind farms and to support the biofuels industry. Companies in countries with a more progressive alternative energy policy framework therefore developed technology and intellectual property at an earlier state. Other European countries such as Denmark, Spain and Portugal also embraced alternative energy therefore companies tend to be more mature in Europe. However the potential for growth in the U.S. is greater, and once a longer term framework has been put in place, we would expect the U.S. to catch up fast."


CON: "Several recent bills would either subsidize or mandate alternative fuels and/or vehicles. However, the 30-plus-year history of federal attempts to encourage such alternatives includes numerous failures and few, if any, successes...
After all these years, Washington has failed to grasp the serious economic and technological shortcomings of these energy alternatives, which is why they needed special treatment in the first place. Federal efforts to pick winners and losers among energy sources-and to lavish mandates and subsidies on the perceived winners-have a dismal track record relative to allowing market forces to decide the direction of energy innovation."

If we the people want change, it begins with us. It is a buyers and sellers market out there. If the consumer demands alternative fuel running vehicles, that's what the automaker will start producing. We can make a difference for the future and for our planet.
*information taken from:  http://alternativeenergy.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=001792
By Cathlean Ravinski

The 2030 Challenge

What is the 2030 Challenge?
Architecture 2030 is a U.S. based, non-traditional and flexible environmental advocacy group focused on protecting the global environment by using innovation and common sense to develop, and quickly implement, bold solutions to global warming. The organization was founded by Edward Mazria in 2003 in response to rapidly accelerating climate change. Locally, nationally and globally, Edward Mazria and Architecture 2030 have been responsible for reshaping the debate surrounding climate change and global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by identifying the ‘Building Sector’. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration illustrates that buildings are responsible for almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions annually; globally, the percentage is even greater. What I find intriguing is Architecture 2030's mission statement which is to create, and quickly respond to, opportunities that shape the dialogue and address the crisis situation surrounding the ‘Building Sector’ and its contribution to global warming. It's clear that they have a great marketing scheme and campaign. Let's hope the 2030 Challenge is an success!

For more information and to checkout their website, go to http://architecture2030.org/
By Cathlean Ravinski

Alternative Energy Could Lead to Job Creation

In this blog so many different aspects of coal and related topics have been discussed.  Posts have ranged from addressing the negative aspects of coal (health-wise, environmental, social) to looking at the advantages of a variety of alternative energy sources.  I think we have very clearly and successfully shown that there are forms of energy which are better than coal in so many ways.  After following this blog for a while, I'm sure you are understand the social and environmental importance of actively seeking out and using alternative energy sources.  In an ideal world this would be a priority of many concerned citizens.

But it's not an ideal world, is it?  Today's world is pretty chaotic in general, what with environmental crisis, multiple foreign wars, an ever-rising national debt, high unemployment, and an failing economy.  Add on top of all this the most recent events in Europe and our own government, and it's no wonder that we have other things to think about then our energy sources.

But in the end coal (or the absence of) really does come into play with the larger economy.  For one thing, alternative energy sources, instead of creative luxuries they are often depicted as, are actually the future of energy.  As the non-renewable resources of coal, oil, and natural gas dwindle the alternatives will become increasing important to our economy.  America has always been on the cutting-edge of technology and it is vital that we do not stop now.  We need to be researching, inventing and experimenting with alternative energy as never before.

There is another element to all this which should bring hope to us ordinary people who are just trying to survive in this rough economy, and that is job creation.  The three forms of traditional energy (coal, gas, oil) are all regionally connected.  That means that jobs related to those energy forms are usually local to where the resources happen to be, whether that is the Appalachian Mountains or the Middle East.  Alternative energy, on the other hand, has the potential for being much more diverse and widespread, instead of out-sourcing we could provide for all our energy needs on American soil.

I don't want to write out a thesis here, so I'll just close by putting a few links so you can see some further advantages alternative energy can have in creating jobs and improving our economy.  I must saw, reading about this gave me a nice boost of hope in these uncertain times.  I think it will do the same for you.

Elizabeth Pelster

http://www.examiner.com/economic-policy-in-national/can-alternative-energy-really-create-a-lot-of-new-jobs     

 http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/10/renewable-energy-and-energy-efficiency-can-create-4-5-million-jobs-by-2030

http://green.tmcnet.com/news/2011/08/09/5692484.htm

Thursday, August 11, 2011

100% Fossil Free Home gets Amazing Reviews!

Meet the Kennys, the first family to put EcoPlus Home to the test for 12 months in Bathhurst, New Brunswick.
The six-member Kenny family spent 12 months (2009-2010) in the Test House during which time it generated and conserved the energy they needed to live comfortably through the area’s seasonal temperature extremes.
In 2010, Efficiency New Brunswick gave the Bathurst Test House an EnerGuide rating of 96, the highest they had ever given.


They are affordable as well as efficient. A certified EcoPlusHome represents a potential 15-20% increase in construction costs compared to a conventional built-to-code home, the real savings it generates can add up to thousands of dollars each year, based on current energy prices. But the true savings is what you give back to the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
*information gathered from the EcoPlusHome website

By Cathlean Ravinski

Check it out

Hey there blog followers. As you know by now our topic this term is of coal and the viable alternatives out there. The EcoPol Project comes with a companion website (as it does each term). Check it out, the link is in the sidebar under "Summer 2011 - Coal and it's alternatives" but here's a quicker way to get there, click here.

Please visit, and spread the word about the website and this blog too (if you haven't already done so).

Many people are disappointed by the insufficient federal government support of natural gas cars

 Natural gas is growing in popularity, and is becoming a major energy source for consumers. Even in homes, the gas is pumped through an underground network pipeline. Natural gas cars have the advantage of producing substantially lower pollution emissions than gasoline-run cars. Green Vehicle.org reports that natural gas vehicles can actually reduce carbon monoxide emissions by almost 90 percent.  The support for natural gas cars is growing among individuals and companies. Among individuals, for example, there is a big the support and funding from people like oil investor T. Boone Pickens for natural gas cars. Companies such as Honda and AT&T have also turned to natural gas cars.  Some states and local governments have joined the efforts too.  However, the federal government support for natural gas cars seems to be very disappointing. The Department of Energy has just joined the group of supporters with $50 million conditional loan commitment for a startup called The Vehicle Production Group (VPG). This is very disappointing given all the advantages of natural gas cars. The federal government needs to step in and play a major role in the efforts to promote natural gas cars. To read more about this topic, please visit http://gigaom.com/cleantech/the-doe-gives-natural-gas-car-some-love.
By
Shafi AlHajri

I Know It's Daunting!

I know, I know, it's daunting! The problems of the world are tremendous and it is easy to think that one person cannot do anything to make a difference. The corporations run the show. The upper tier of the government where policies are actually made seem untouchable. In some ways they are but do not get discouraged!

It's easy to think about all the bad that is occuring and see no way out of it all. The reality is however, that there are lots of good things happening. Organizations, coalitions, communities, individuals, etc. are all coming together. Or at least starting to. Though money talks a big talk in this lovely world, it is not always crucial. We have a power that can create change if we band together. The power resides in the people. Look at Lybia, Tunisia and Egypt. They all stood together and faught for what they believed in: the people. Take Egypt, this is a country that did not have freedom of speech, they did not have the rights to form individual campaigns and rally's against the government. They were legally not allowed to do anything that they did..but they did it. They were able to stand together and take down the dictatorship that Mubarak had been running since 1981.

So what do we have to say about ourselves America? We have the liberties and freedoms that so many others in the rest of the world dream of. I say we use them! There is really only one thing that I see standing in our way..eachother. I say we must unite. So many movies have shown us this very concept. The underdogs that didn't have a chance. The individuals who alone were bound to fail but with others, they succeeded.

I know it's daunting. But it is possible. It has to be. We have come to a point where our livelihoods depend on it.

By Taylor Hughes

Natural Gas- Not So Natural

Just last week I watched the documentary by Josh Fox entitled, Gasland. Though our project is focusing primarily on the production and consumption of coal as a source of energy, through this documentary it is very clear that natural gas is just as bad if not worst.

Though the burning of natural gas is much cleaner then coal the process in which we retrieve it from the earth is quite the contrary. The specific process is called "Fracking." This is the process where once a well is drilled, millions of gallons of water, sand and proprietary (in most cases extremely toxic) chemicals are injected, under high pressure into this well. The pressure fractures the shale (a type of sedimentary rock) and props open fissures that enable natural gas to flow more freely out of the well.

The process seems harmless enough right? Unfortunately that is not the case...For starters, all the water that was used during the fracking process is now contaminated with chemicals that cannot be filtered out. Let's all ponder that again... Each time this fracking process occurs, billions of gallons of water are contaminated in a way that is not longer suitable for any kind of natural life (humans, plants, animals, etc.) and will never get to that state again.  And to think that there are literally hundreds of thousands of natural gas wells just within the United States. This is not mentioning the additional water that is getting contaminated in the surrounding cities. There are thousands of people that can literally catch their tap water on fire!

This is a gigantic issue!! To get the full story watch the movie Gasland. For a sneak peak, see the trailer below.

For more information on natural gas and the process in which it is extracted check out www.gaslandthemovie.com

By Taylor Hughes


Coal Losing Steam?



Even King Coal isn’t adverse to the effects of the dismal economy. U.S. stock prices for the energy behemoth have been down 30% in just three weeks. Coal isn’t just losing market stability, it may be losing market share to natural gas, which is impeding the demand for coal nationwide.

According to the Energy Information Administration, natural gas and other factors pushed the share of electricity generated by coal to the lowest level in 30 years.  

The Wall Street Journal said that analysts expect a permanent shift toward natural gas, which is not without its problems. Coal fueled 46% of the national electricity in the first quarter of the year, which is down six points since 2008. These numbers may be in decline, but the overall amount of coal mined is still expected to be around 1 billion tons. 

Coal is trying to curb this downfall with the consolidation of three companies and through exports. Though mostly from Australia, China imports reached 17 million tons in July, and consumption in that month was up 19%.

In a win for regulators, rules restricting impacts to streams from mining have also put pressure on the industry. If regulations increase or remain at acceptable standards, and with a push toward renewable energy, coal just may become a thing of the past, or reserved for the naughty during holidays. 

By Peter Browning

Re-Imagining, For Better or Worse


Hey, check it out. Some guy has completely re-imagined the way wind power can be harnessed! Read more about the design here. But first, let me talk about re-imagining.

The problem is re-imagining is that it isn’t restricted to progress. With every bright mind creating new and innovative ideas, there are ten others getting paid to perpetuate the status quo. Teams of lawyers and accountants finding loopholes, political wonks working on rhetoric to cut science funding, PR people putting a new spin on fossil fuels. These jobs pay well, and they attract very smart, very capable people.

Here’s an example. My girlfriend lives in Lake Oswego. (I don’t mean to brag, but I have a girlfriend.) I spent a week working for her terrifying father. At one point he showed me the letters-to-the-editor section in the Lake Oswego community paper. They were all defending Walmart, and their efforts to open two stores in the upscale suburb. This page of letters were in response to an op-ed written the day before, which was filled with offensive arguments about how Lake Oswego was too good for Walmart; that its low prices would bring in an undesirable demographic. The op-ed was in poor taste, and represented the kind of elitist attitude that no one wanted to be caught supporting. Thus the page of letters defending the mega-store.

“I think that op-ed was a ploy,” the terrifying father said. He thought it was PR strategy by Walmart.  Bait the community with an offensive opinion piece, and have the community write back with their support. There wasn’t a lot of proof to this theory, but why wouldn’t it be true? I’m sure there are teams of strategists at Walmart getting paid six figure salaries to sit around and come up with ideas about how to push past the red tape in towns like Lake Oswego. Just like there are teams of people pushing for clean coal, tort reform, sub-prime mortgages, and all the other evils of the world. (Maybe evil is a strong word. More like bummers of the world. They’re somewhere between bummers and pure evil.)

There are billions of dollars being pushed around trying to hold back progress. That’s why we have to keep trying to come up with ways push the envelope when it comes to inciting social change. Hell, forget pushing the envelope. We should burn the envelope and send an email. Okay, now I definitely sound like a madman, but hopefully I’ve inspired you come up with some sneaky and clever way to make the world a better place, because there are plenty of sneaky and clever people trying to keep you down. I don’t have any great ideas right now, but I’ll keep my mind open to them. And if I ever come up with one, I’ll write it down and convince someone else to do it for me. Hopefully you'll be even more proactive and do it yourself. 

The fight for change is long and hard, and every bit helps. Even if it's something as simple as re-blogging someone else's re-imagining of wind power (not to pat my own back here, but...) If we keep spreading the word and inspiring others, we can create a better world for our children, and their children, and then their children, and then that's probably all I really care about, because at that point, they're practically strangers. Thanks for reading!

By Jeff Kelsay

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coal Slurry Kills Wildlife

Coal Slurry Kills Wildlife


What happens when a society is driven by coal fired power plants? What happens to the thousands of individuals who live and breath the air from the coal power plants? What happens to our wildlife, our ecosystem and thousands of harmless animals when coal slurry spills occur?

Sadly, the answer to that question begins and ends with coal. The magically coal, that is so powerful, that it can literally take human lives, destroy ecosystems and endanger thousands of helpless animals. Just in 2010, the State of Ohio had a massive coal slurry spill that took the lives of over 4,300 aquatic animals. Coal slurry spill is caused by the fluid byproduct that is formed once the coal is washed with water and the chemicals that derives from the coal creates the initial stage of the preparation process. When the Coal slurry spill occurs, it becomes nearly impossible for people to stop the spill from going into the rivers and oceans.

According to the American Energy Corp when the coal slurry spill occurred in southern Belmont County, in 2008, thousands of endangered hellbender salamanders, frogs and fish were killed. Not only the water was black and toxic for aquatic animals, but the ecosystems and rocks were stained by the gooey black substance.

Over the last decade coal slurry spills have become an incident that is not as rare as one may believe. Thousands of wildlife and human beings across the nations have be dramatically affected, hurt, injured and even killed due to coal pollutants and especially coal slurry spills. Take for instance, the Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County, Tennessee, in 2008, spilled over 300 million gallons of coal slurry. The spill blackened nearly 100 miles of waterways and killed countless fish and wildlife.

Needless to say, coal slurry spills occur more common than we, the people, realize and it definitely brings realization to the surface - that clean coal is not that clean as we may be led to believe.

For more information, please visit the following URL: http://news.change.org/stories/coal-slurry-kills-thousands-of-animals-in-ohio

By: Rebeca Petean