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Old 03-15-2011, 09:11 PM  
mohel
 
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Monsantoland

Quote:
Halliburton, Monsanto Land On List Of 12 Least Ethical Companies In The World
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Quote:
Corporate giant Monsanto dumped toxic waste into West Anniston Creek for nearly 40 years along with millions of pounds of now-banned industrial PCB's into open-pit landfills. Fish were killed instantly. Monsanto tried to cover it up for decades and denied that PCB's were even dangerous. The corporation remains unapologetic to this day.
Quote:
Monsanto, the Missouri-based agriculture giant, ranked dead last in the Covalence ethical index. The company, which leads the world in the production of genetically-engineered seed, has been subject to myriad criticisms. Among them: the company is accused of frequently and unfairly suing small farmers for patent infringement.
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Quote:
For nearly 40 years, corporate giant Monsanto routinely dumped toxic waste into West Anniston Creek while producing now-banned industrial coolants called PCBs. They also dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into open-pit landfills ? and proceeded to spend decades covering it up even after confirming that fish submerged in the creek turned belly-up within seconds.

Monsanto knew exactly how dangerous PCBs were, but decided not to warn the community ? instead, ordering the conclusion of a study done on rats to be changed from ?slightly tumorigenic? to ?does not appear to be carcinogenic.? The company had enjoyed a four-decade-long monopoly over the PCB market and, as an internal memo revealed, decided that ?We can?t afford to lose one dollar of business?. In fact, to this day Monsanto hasn?t apologized or taken responsibility despite the fact that they were forced to pay $700 billion in fines in 2003.
HTML Code:
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:42 PM  
mohel
 
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Guiyu China

China's Electronic Waste Village

Quote:
Mountain of Waste
The city of Guiyu is home to 5,500 businesses devoted to processing discarded electronics, known as e-waste. According to local websites, the region dismantles 1.5 million pounds of junked computers, cell phones and other devices a year.
Quote:
In Guiyu, China, the electronics recycling industry has destroyed the ground water and lead poisoning is effecting young children due to the overall mess created by this lucrative sweatshop industry. Money is money, however, and we should start talking with our wallets to the fools and damn fools who churn out piece after piece of quickly obsolete electronics. I don?t know the answer to this problem, friends, but fully recyclable electronics is definitely a start.
Guiyu, e-waste capital of China
by John Biggs on April 4, 2008
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:58 PM  
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Picher Oklahoma - Ghost Town

n Picher, Oklahoma, gigantic piles of lead-laced mine waste covered 25,000 acres and poisoned local residents eventually causing evacuation of the town.

Quote:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Picher, Oklahoma
? Ghost town ?

Location of Picher in Oklahoma
Coordinates: 36?58′58″N 94?49′58″WCoordinates: 36?58′58″N 94?49′58″W
Country United States
State Oklahoma
County Ottawa
Area
- Total 2.2 sq mi (5.8 km2)
- Land 2.2 sq mi (5.8 km2)
- Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 820 ft (250 m)
Population (2000)
Only 148 residents remain in 2008
- Total 1,640
- Estimate (2007) 1,609
- Density 734.0/sq mi (283.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
- Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 74360
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-58550[1]
GNIS feature ID 1096611[2]
Picher is a ghost town and former city in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, United States. It was formerly a center of lead and zinc mining. The population was 1,640 at the 2000 United States Census. Discoveries of ground contamination and the possibility of a cave-in of mines under the city have prompted its population to evacuate, and the nearby town of Cardin is following suit. The city is within the boundaries of the Tar Creek Superfund site.
The Picher area became the most productive lead-zinc mining field in the Tri-State district producing over $20 billion worth of ore between 1917 and 1947. More than fifty percent of the lead and zinc metal used during World War I were produced by the Picher district. At its peak over 14,000 miners worked the mines and another 4,000 worked in mining services. Many of these workers commuted by an extensive trolley system from as far away as Joplin and Carthage, Missouri.[3] Mining ceased in 1967 and water pumping from the mines ceased. The contaminated water from some 14,000 abandoned mine shafts, 70 million tons of mine tailings, and 36 million tons of mill sand and sludge remained as a huge environmental cleanup problem.[3] The area became part of the Tar Creek Superfund site.
On April 24, 2006, Reuters reported that Picher had been scheduled to be closed and all residents removed. Due in large part to the removal of large amounts of subsurface material during mining operations, many of the city's structures have been deemed in imminent danger of caving in.[4]
The city's pharmacist, Gary Linderman was featured in the May 28, 2007, issue of People magazine in the Heroes Among Us article "Prescription for Kindness". He vowed to stay as long as there was anyone left who needed him and to be the last one out of the city.[5]
On May 10, 2008, Picher was struck by a F4 tornado. There were eight confirmed deaths, possibly including one child, and many other injuries.[6] The tornado first touched down near the Kansas-Oklahoma border in Oklahoma southwest of Chetopa, Kansas, and tracked eastward. It then slammed into Picher with devastating results. Twenty blocks of the city suffered extensive damage with houses and businesses destroyed or flattened. The damage in Picher was rated at "EF4". At least 150 others were injured in Picher alone. The tornado continued eastward, passing just north of Quapaw and Peoria before crossing Interstate 44 into Missouri. This was the deadliest tornado in Oklahoma since the South Oklahoma City F5 tornado on May 3, 1999, which killed 36. The federal government also decided that there would be no aid given to rebuild homes, but the buyouts would continue as previously scheduled and people will be assisted in relocation.[7]
Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry sent National Guard troops as well as emergency personnel to assist the hardest hit area in Picher; twenty blocks which suffered major damage including several destroyed structures. Damage was reported in Peoria and Quapaw.[8]
Loss of power from the tornado forced the city to go on a boiled water notice. Staff from the Oklahoma Rural Water Association arrived to assist, since the utility's testing equipment was destroyed by the storm. With an emergency generator to supply power, rural water staff had the system running normally only two days after the tornado struck.[9]
Closure
In April 2009, residents voted 55?6 to dissolve the Picher-Cardin school district; it graduated its final class of 11 in May.[10] By 2009 the district's enrollment had dropped to a total of 49 students from approximately 340 three years prior. Remaining students will attend Commerce and Quapaw school districts.[11]
The city's post office was scheduled to close in July 2009 and the city ceased operations as a municipality on September 1, 2009.[12]
By June 29, 2009, all of the residents had been given federal checks to enable them to relocate from Picher permanently. The city is considered to be too toxic to be habitable. On the last day, all the final residents met at the school auditorium to say goodbye.[13] As of November 2010, it was reported that Picher still had "one business and six occupied houses."[14]
The people of the adjacent city of Treece, Kansas, would like to see the government carry out a similar relocation program in their city, too. On October 29, 2009, Congress voted to allow the EPA to fund the relocation of the remaining citizens of Treece.[15]
Starting in January 2011, almost all remaining commercial structures will be demolished, with the single exception of the Old Miner's Pharmacy, whose owner, Gary Linderman, refuses to abandon it.[16]
HTML Code:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picher,_Oklahoma
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:34 PM  
mohel
 
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The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

This is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean, including plastics, chemical sludge and debris, that is roughly the size of Texas and contains 3.5 million tons of trash. Fish are ingesting plastics and other toxins at a fast rate and they will soon be unsafe to eat.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:52 PM  
mohel
 
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Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

Quote:
Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noting them in the 1970s. These occur near inhabited coastlines, where aquatic life is most concentrated. (The vast middle portions of the oceans which naturally have little life are not considered "dead zones".) The term can also be applied to the identical phenomenon in large lakes.
In March 2004, when the recently established UN Environment Programme published its first Global Environment Outlook Year Book (GEO Year Book 2003) it reported 146 dead zones in the world's oceans where marine life could not be supported due to depleted oxygen levels. Some of these were as small as a square kilometre (0.4 mi?), but the largest dead zone covered 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 mi?). A 2008 study counted 405 dead zones worldwide.[2][3]

Low oxygen levels recorded along the Gulf Coast of North America have led to reproductive problems in fish involving decreased size of reproductive organs, low egg counts and lack of spawning.
In a study of the Gulf killifish by the Southeastern Louisiana University done in three bays along the Gulf Coast, fish living in bays where the oxygen levels in the water dropped to 1 to 2 parts per million (ppm) for 3 or more hours per day were found to have smaller reproductive organs. The male gonads were 34% to 50% as large as males of similar size in bays where the oxygen levels were normal (6 to 8 ppm). Females were found to have ovaries that were half as large as those in normal oxygen levels. The number of eggs in females living in hypoxic waters were only one-seventh the number of eggs in fish living in normal oxygen levels. (Landry, et al., 2004)
Fish raised in laboratory-created hypoxic conditions showed extremely low sex-hormone concentrations and increased elevation of activity in two genes triggered by the hypoxia-inductile factor (HIF) protein. Under hypoxic conditions, HIF pairs with another protein, ARNT. The two then bind to DNA in cells, activating genes in those cells.
Under normal oxygen conditions, ARNT combines with estrogen to activate genes. Hypoxic cells in a test tube didn't react to estrogen placed in the tube. HIF appears to render ARNT unavailable to interact with estrogen, providing a mechanism by which hypoxic conditions alter reproduction in fish. (Johanning, et al., 2004)
It might be expected that fish would flee this potential suffocation, but they are often quickly rendered unconscious and doomed. Slow moving bottom-dwelling creatures like clams, lobsters and oysters are unable to escape. All colonial animals are extinguished. The normal re-mineralization and recycling that occurs among benthic life-forms is stifled.
HTML Code:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_(ecology)
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:33 PM  
mohel
 
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The Aral Sea

Quote:
Millions of years ago, the northwestern part of Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan were covered by a massive inland sea. When the waters receded, they left a broad plain of highly saline soil. One of the remnants of the ancient sea was the Aral Sea, the fourth largest inland body of water in the world.
The Aral is an inland salt-water sea with no outlet. It is fed by two rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. The fresh water from these two rivers held the Aral's water and salt levels in perfect balance.

In the early 1960's, the Soviet central government decided to make the Soviet Union self-sufficient in cotton and increase rice production. Government officials ordered the additional amount of needed water to be taken from the two rivers that feed the Aral Sea.

Large dams were built across both rivers, and an 850-mile central canal with a far-reaching system of "feeder" canals was created. When the irrigation system was completed, millions of acres along both sides of the main canal were flooded.


Over the next 30 years, the Aral Sea experienced a severe drop in water level, its shoreline receded, and its salt content increased.
The marine environment became hostile to the sea life in it, killing the plants and animals. As the marine life died, the fishing industry suffered.

The Soviet scheme was based on the construction of a series of dams on the two rivers to create reservoirs from which 40.000 km of canals would eventually be dug to divert water to the fields. The fields flourished but with such vast areas of monoculture, farmers had to use massive amounts of chemical pesticides. And with irrigation, salt was drawn to the surface of the soil and accumulated. When the Tahaitash Dam was built on the Amu Darya near the city of Nukus, there was no water left in the riverbed to flow to the Aral Sea, hundreds of kilometers away. To the surprise of the inhabitants of Muynak, the Aral Sea began to shrink.

At first, they assumed it was a temporary condition and dredged a canal to the receding shore so boats could continue to ply the sea and still dock at the wharves. But the effluents that did reach the sea were laced with a deadly mix of salt and pesticides from the cotton fields. Fish populations plummeted and eventually, when the canal was 30 km long and the sea continued to move away, the boats were abandoned to lie like great leviathans on sands that were once sea bottom.

The Aral Sea was a rich source of fish. Some 20 species were identified by biologists, including sturgeon and catfish. The town of Muynak, located on the edge of the sea, was a fishing town that also attracted travelers to its seaside vistas. In the 1950's, the Soviet Union decided the great plains were ideal for growing cotton. The critical factor to make it happen was water. Two great rivers feed the Aral Sea, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya.

Today, Muynak is a desert town more than a hundred kilometers from the sea. The only reminders of the once thriving fishing activity are the rusting hulks of ships and an ancient fish plant. The sea has shrunk to two-fifths of its original size and now ranks about 10th in the world. The water level has dropped by 16 metres and the volume has been reduced by 75 percent, a loss equivalent to the water in both Lakes Erie and Huron. The ecological effect has been disastrous and the economic, social and medical problems for people in the region catastrophic. All 20 known fish species in the Aral Sea are now extinct, unable to survive the toxic, salty sludge.

Changes to one part of a region often lead to other changes. Here are some of the results of the shrinking of the Aral Sea:

As water has been drained from the rivers for cotton farming, the sea's water has become much saltier.
As more water has been taken from the rivers, the sea's water level has decreased by over 60%.
Drinking water supplies have dwindled, and the water is contaminated with pesticides and other agricultural chemicals as well as bacteria and viruses.
The farms in the area use some highly toxic pesticides and other harmful chemicals. For decades, these chemicals have been deposited into the Aral Sea. When the wind blows across the dried-up sea, it carries dust containing these toxic chemicals.
Lakes and seas tend to have a moderating effect on the climate. In other words, the land right next to a body of water tends to be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than land that's not near the water. As the Aral Sea has lost water, the climate has become more extreme.
So a centuries old way of life has disappeared in decades. The vast area of exposed seabed is laced with pesticides, so when the wind blows, dust storms spread salt and toxic substances over hundreds, if not thousands of kilometres. It's estimated that 75 million tons of toxic dust and salts are spread across Central Asia each year. If the Aral Sea dries up completely, 15 billion tons of salt will be left behind.
HTML Code:
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:56 PM  
mohel
 
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Three Mile Island

On March 28, 1979, A partial core meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania was followed by the release of radioactive gases into the atmosphere. Speculation over whether enough radiation was released to cause significant harm has been up in the air since. Parents of children born with birth defects and other residents accused PA of hiding the health impacts of the accident. Class-action lawsuits have been filed, but no hearings have been allowed.

Quote:
The Three Mile Island accident was a partial core meltdown in Unit 2 (a pressurized water reactor manufactured by Babcock & Wilcox) of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania near Harrisburg, United States in 1979. The plant was owned and operated by General Public Utilities and the Metropolitan Edison Co. It is the most significant accident in the history of the American commercial nuclear power generating industry, resulting in the release of up to 481 PBq (13 million curies) of radioactive gases, but less than 740 GBq (20 curies) of the particularly dangerous iodine-131.[1]
The accident began at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28, 1979, with failures in the non-nuclear secondary system, followed by a stuck-open pilot-operated relief valve (PORV) in the primary system, which allowed large amounts of nuclear reactor coolant to escape. The mechanical failures were compounded by the initial failure of plant operators to recognize the situation as a loss-of-coolant accident due to inadequate training and human factors, such as human-computer interaction design oversights relating to ambiguous control room indicators in the power plant's user interface. The scope and complexity of the accident became clear over the course of five days, as employees of Metropolitan Edison (Met Ed, the utility operating the plant), Pennsylvania state officials, and members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) tried to understand the problem, communicate the situation to the press and local community, decide whether the accident required an emergency evacuation, and ultimately end the crisis.
In the end, the reactor was brought under control, although full details of the accident were not discovered until much later, following extensive investigations by both a presidential commission and the NRC. The Kemeny Commission Report concluded that "there will either be no case of cancer or the number of cases will be so small that it will never be possible to detect them. The same conclusion applies to the other possible health effects."[2] Several epidemiological studies in the years since the accident have supported the conclusion that radiation releases from the accident had no perceptible effect on cancer incidence in residents near the plant, though these findings have been contested by one team of researchers.[3]
Public reaction to the event was probably influenced by The China Syndrome, a movie which had recently been released and which depicts an accident at a nuclear reactor.[4] Communications from officials during the initial phases of the accident were felt to be confusing.[5] The accident crystallized anti-nuclear safety concerns among activists and the general public, resulted in new regulations for the nuclear industry, and has been cited as a contributor to the decline of new reactor construction that was already underway in the 1970s.

Stuck valve


Simplified Schematic Diagram of the TMI-2 plant.[6]
In the nighttime hours preceding the incident, the TMI-2 reactor was running at 97% of full power, while the companion TMI-1 reactor was shut down for refueling.[7] The chain of events leading to the partial core meltdown began at 4 a.m. EST on March 28, 1979, in TMI-2's secondary loop, one of the three main water/steam loops in a pressurized water reactor. As a result of mechanical or electrical failure, the pumps in the condensate polishing system stopped running, followed immediately by the main feedwater pumps. This automatically triggered the turbine to shut down and the reactor to scram: control rods were inserted into the core to control the rate of fission. But the reactor continued to generate decay heat, and because steam was no longer being used by the turbine due to the turbine trip, the steam generators no longer removed that heat from the reactor.[8]
Once the primary feedwater pump system failed, three auxiliary pumps activated automatically. However, because the valves had been closed for routine maintenance, the system was unable to pump any water. The closure of these valves was a violation of a key NRC rule, according to which the reactor must be shut down if all auxiliary feed pumps are closed for maintenance. This failure was later singled out by NRC officials as a key one, without which the course of events would have been very different.[9] The pumps were activated manually eight minutes later, and manually deactivated between 1 and 2 hours later,[9] as per procedure, due to excessive vibration in the pumps.[10]
Due to the loss of heat removal from the primary loop and the failure of the auxiliary system to activate, the primary side pressure began to increase, triggering the pilot-operated relief valve (PORV) at the top of the pressurizer to open automatically. The PORV should have closed again when the excess pressure had been released and electric power to the solenoid of the pilot was automatically cut, but instead the main relief valve stuck open due to a mechanical fault. The open valve permitted coolant water to escape from the primary system, and was the principal mechanical cause of the crisis that followed.[11]
HTML Code:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident
[I was 50 miles downwind when TMI happened. They fed us lies]
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