Saturday, June 18, 2016

Oil Spills? -How About Fracking Spills? One Company Shuts Down Drilling in PA


Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, British Petroleum ("BP") spill in the Gulf of Mexico ... They have been pretty rough. And now these are the poster cases for what is very risky with traditional petroleum fuel.

Now we have an out-of-country chemical spill in Pennsylvania that has prompted the hydrofracking (hyrdraulic fracturing or fracking) company to shut down its fracking operations in Pennsylvania.

Huffington Post tells us (April 21, 2011) that Chesapeake Energy Corporation will suspend its operations in the state because chemical-ridden water is flowing out of a well near Canton in Bradford county:

"Fracking Spill In Pennsylvania Prompts Chesapeake Energy To Suspend Gas Drilling Across State."
A natural gas company has suspended "fracking" at all of its wells throughout Pennsylvania until it figures out the cause of a spill in the northern part of the state.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Thursday that crews have significantly reduced the flow of chemical-laced water from its out-of-control well near Canton in Bradford County.

Spokesman Brian Grove says that the exact cause of Tuesday night's breach is unknown, but that it's located in a wellhead connection.

Thousands of gallons of drilling fluids were spilled. They escaped containment, crossed over farm fields and went into a stream.

Grove says initial testing of area waterways has shown "minimal impact, if any."

Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing and involves injecting chemicals into the ground to release natural gas.

And earlier this month (April 11) the New York Times reported that the very process of extracting any natural gas leaks methane gas into the environment (albeit, this gas dissipates into the air faster than other chemicals or compounds).

In Tom Zeller's "Studies Say Natural Gas Has Its Own Environmental Problems" scientists explain how the much promoted natural gas option is not the clean fuel that its promoters claim. Zeller's article quotes Cornell University ecology and environmental biology professor Robert Howarth on how there are methane losses from 3.6 to 7.9 percent.

The upshot?: "When all is factored together, Mr. Howarth and his colleagues conclude that the greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas can be as much as 20 percent greater than, and perhaps twice as high as, coal per unit of energy."
Read more at page one and at page two of Zeller's article.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Clinton's Reasons for Her Dismissive Laughter - Why Should We Put Up with It?

Nothing exemplifies airy righteous privilege like Hillary Clinton's brushing off questions by the use of her dismissive laugh. The laugh, or derisive cackle, sends the message, “It is preposterous that I am even being challenged or questioned. Therefore, I don't need to answer your questions. I don't need to give your questions the dignity of an answer.”

Take a look at this video, to see Clinton at her dismissive worst.

Aside from dismissing the interviewer's questions, there are other reasons why she could be laughing. She is deflecting questions that she would rather avoid answering. By laughing at the questions she is changing the subject. Whereas her husband could slip into difficult situations, and he would end up giving awkward answers, and George H.W. Bush would deflect insinuations of infidelity by formally refusing to answer the question, Hillary Clinton is more adept at managing uncomfortable questions. She just rejects those questions she does not want to answer. Her laugh evades the awkwardness of a formal refusal or a response that it is none of the questioner's business.

Perhaps Clinton is trying a maneuver similar to neurolinguistic programming. In NLP speakers try to manipulate voters' thinking. Her laughing at questions could succeed in getting journalists or the general public to fall into line with her dismissal. This worked particularly well with the reportage of the Benghazi hearing. She laughed in response to a congresswoman's question. And much of the media response was accompanied by headlines adopting the idea that the congresswoman was inappropriate in asking her questions, not that Clinton was inappropriate for her laugh.

But her laughing response to serious questions is an insult on many levels. It is an insult to members of Congress, to the press and to the electorate. Remember this as you vote today.