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Showing posts from October, 2014

Cdn Energy Board stops Enbridge push to the east

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B. McPherson
Enbridge Group that moves petroleum products has faced stiff opposition from environmentalists in its push to move Tar Sands bitumen to Canada’s coastlines. Increasing opposition from British Columbians to their scheme to build a pipeline to the Pacific Coast has them looking at pipelines to the east that they already control.
Those pipelines have been configured to carry refined, imported oil from the Atlantic Coast, west to Ontario and Quebec.
Enbridge has applied to reconfigure them to carry the sandy petroleum product to the coastal refineries on the Atlantic coast or for export to foreign countries. The plan was to start moving the diluted bitumen(dilbit) in Line 9B in November.
While one of the things that Enbridge likes to emphasize in attempting to convince people that their pipelines would be an asset, is the safety of moving petroleum products by pipeline. Today the Canadian Energy Board put paid to that premise when they ruled that Enbridge’s proposal to rever…

Sand consumption worldwide reaches crisis stage

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B. McPherson
Sand mafia are stealing people's homes Who would have thought that sand and gravel was in short supply around the globe? Aggregates are as common as dirt, right? Apparently not so and the UN Environmental Programme is sounding the alarm, saying that the extraction of aggregates at this pace is not sustainable. The extraction is also causing widespread environmental damage.
Our modern world relies on the use of sand and gravel in many ways. As much as 59 billion tonnes of the material is mined every year. Sand is the result of millions of years of erosion and wearing away of bedrock. Gravel is just part way in that process. The trade in sand and gravel is a multibillion dollar business, estimated to be in excess of $18 billion each year.
Sand mining is usually done as open pit. Sources for sand may be dunes, beaches, dredged from rivers and glacial deposits. The sand may contain valuable minerals that can be sifted out to use in the chemical industry.
 The US has a mas…

Walruses the latest climate refugees

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B. McPherson
The world is witnessing the impact that climate warming is having on the walrus population off Alaska’s north west coast. NOAA conducting marine mammal surveys in the area noted a massive haul out of walruses. The beach near Point Lay Alaska is estimated to hold about 35 000 walruses. Mixed together are mature males, much smaller females and babies.
Normally the walruses would rarely come ashore, preferring to whelp and rest on ice floes in the Chukchi Sea. Resting on floating ice gives the animals a safe place to leave their pups while the adult dives up to 200 feet below the surface in search of shellfish and marine worms.
Since 2007 scientists have observed more walruses hauling out on remote beaches, a behavior that has coincided with the retreat of summer ice in the Arctic.
This change in behavior is hard on the walruses. It takes them far away from the prime hunting grounds. The pups risk being crushed from overcrowding or a stampede. They are vulnerable to attack…

Japan nuclear power stations located near volcanoes

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B.. McPherson How many nuclear power stations are near Japan's volcanoes? Japan currently has 48 nuclear reactors that were designed to produce electricity. Since the destruction of the Fukushima Daiichi complex more than three years ago due to earthquake and tsunami damage, all the other plants have been shut pending thorough safety checks.
On September 27 a volcanic peak, Mount Ontake, unexpectedly erupted killing at least 31 people who were hiking on the slopes. More people may have been killed and buried in the ash. You may well ask what these people were doing on an active volcano. They were assured that Mt. Ontake was safe because the seismic sensors placed on the mountain showed no activity.
There are 110 active volcanoes in Japan.
The Nuclear Regulatory Authority(NRA) has recently given a nuclear facility at Sendai a safety pass – July 16, 2014. Objections raised by those opposed to the reopening of the nuclear stations based partly on its proximity to an active volcano we…