Monday, November 04, 2013

Monday Post

Quickly now...

There's a reason why it is emotionally gratifying to see hacks lose influence and their positions:

According to the Financial Post, Halliburton Canada vice-president John Gorman served up the stuff in champagne bottles at the Quebec Oil and Gas Association's annual luncheon to demonstrate that the international petroleum-services giant's trademarked CleanStim fracking fluid is not environmentally dangerous.

“We were trying to show that whenever the oil and gas industry is shown a challenge, we view it as an opportunity to find solutions," he said. "And in this case, we only had to replace very few chemicals with some food additives.”

Gorman conceded no company in Canada and just a few in the United States have used this drinkable fracking fluid so far, partly because it's new and costs more, the Post reported. Yes, he and other fracking proponents hope it demonstrates that the industry is serious about allaying fears about the environmental impact of fracking. ...

Hydraulic fracturing  is a method for getting gas kilometers under the ground. As ground water reserves are closer to the ground than the gas reserves, the clearest way for contamination is poor quality of the pipes used. Otherwise:

New research led by UK-based Durham University suggests that a minimum distance of 0.6km from sensitive rock strata is required to undertake safe fracking operations.

The probability of rogue fractures from shale gas fracking operations extending beyond 0.6km from the injection source is very low, while the probability of fractures extending beyond 350m is 1%, according to the study.

Richard Davies, Durham University director of Durham Energy Institute, said: "Based on our observations, we believe that it may be prudent to adopt a minimum vertical separation distance for stimulated fracturing in shale reservoirs."

"Such a distance should be set by regulators; our study shows that for new exploration areas where there is no existing data, it should be significantly in excess of 0.6km," added Davies.

"Minimum vertical separation distances for fracturing operations would help prevent unintentional penetration of shallow rock strata."

The research also concluded that the likelihood of ground water contamination is "negligible" while fracking at shallower depths in aquifers, when there is a separation of more than 1km.


Energy researchers defended fracking - a controversial method of natural gas extraction from underground rocks - at an international meeting Thursday, even though opponents maintain the process pollutes groundwater and causes earthquakes.

Investigators blamed underground water pollution and other environmental problems associated with fracking on improper techniques instead of the hydraulic fracturing extraction process itself.

The bottom line conclusion of our study is that in the states we investigated, we found no evidence that hydraulic fracturing itself had contaminated shallow groundwater, Charles Groat, associate director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas and lead researcher of the study said at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference on Thursday.

The researchers examined four states with major fracking operations: Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and New York. The investigators said they found no evidence that fracking necessarily caused groundwater contamination.

What happens when heavy metals used to make wind turbines get into the water?

On the outskirts of one of China’s most polluted cities, an old farmer stares despairingly out across an immense lake of bubbling toxic waste covered in black dust. He remembers it as fields of wheat and corn.

Yan Man Jia Hong is a dedicated Communist. At 74, he still believes in his revolutionary heroes, but he despises the young local officials and entrepreneurs who have let this happen. 

‘Chairman Mao was a hero and saved us,’ he says. ‘But these people only care about money. They have destroyed our lives.’

Vast fortunes are being amassed here in Inner Mongolia; the region has more than 90 per cent of the world’s legal reserves of rare earth metals, and specifically neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in the most striking of green energy producers, wind turbines. 

Live has uncovered the distinctly dirty truth about the process used to extract neodymium: it has an appalling environmental impact that raises serious questions over the credibility of so-called green technology. 

The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the ‘green’ companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.

Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-mile wide ‘tailing’ lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China’s key waterways in jeopardy.
(Sidebar: please feel free to comment on how both the communist and green philosophies eat people alive.)


But opposition has grown with stories of contaminated groundwater and now familiar YouTube videos of people turning their kitchen faucets into Bunsen burners.

Yeah, about that:

Like the Colorado area where Josh Fox took his infamous video and falsely blamed it on hydraulic fracturing, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, for example, has long been known for such shallow methane with as many as 78% of water wells exhibiting methane.  A study entitled “The Impact of Marcellus Gas Drilling on Rural Drinking Water Supplies” was conducted by researchers from the Pennsylvania State University and was funded by the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. The research showed there were no major influences from natural gas production, or hydraulic fracturing, on nearby water wells.
And more:

Protests have cropped up in New Brunswick, where First Nations people clashed with police trying to break up a blockade targeting a shale-gas exploration program, and in Nova Scotia, where CTV News reports people are trying to prevent renewal of a fracking operation that ended six years ago.

Tell the story properly, Mr. Mertl, that aboriginal thugs have threatened people, forced them out of their cars, destroyed property and are planning more violence.

Moving on...

Oh no! No one loves the Teflon Don-in-Chief. This might be why:

President Barack Obama, defiant against mounting criticism of his troubled healthcare plan, vowed on Monday to press ahead with the rollout and asked supporters to help as the White House struggled to gain control of the debate over his signature achievement.

Yes, ask the little people not to make you look bad.

Does anybody remember this guy?

The mother of jailed U.S. missionary Kenneth Bae, who is serving a 15-year sentence for state subversion in North Korea, said that her son remained isolated and was desperate for contact to the outside world a year after he was first detained.

Myunghee Bae, in an op-ed published in the Seattle Times, provided details about her October visit to the Pyongyang hospital where her son, who is diabetic, was recovering from health ailments that saw him lose 50 pounds in three months.
"It pained me to see how starved he was for a connection to home and the outside world, alone and ailing in a foreign prison," Bae wrote in the piece, published on Sunday. "I tried to reassure him that he was not forgotten."
"He has been isolated for one year without anybody to talk to other than his guards and doctors. I could not imagine how hard that must have been for Kenneth, who has always been so outgoing and talkative," she wrote.
Not a fashionable enough cause?

And now, thirty delicious things to make in November.


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