Massive toxic spill in British Columbia pollutes streams and lakes. The Mount Polley Mine mines copper and gold. These mines require massive amounts of toxic acids to “eat” the rocks that contain the copper and gold. The waste is “contained” in a big retention pond (in this case a huge lake). The ponds just sit there with no plans for clean up. Humans are banned from the ponds. Governments say they are safe (despite that ponds fail on average of 30%).
Millions of tons of harmful metals, soils, and wastewater spilled into pristine habitat. Canada’s response? Whooppsy! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Above images: NASA and CBC.
An earthen dam at Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia breached on August 4, 2014, sending contaminated water surging into nearby lakes. Wastewater and metal-laden sand spilled from a retention basin and triggered a water-use ban in Likely, British Columbia, and other nearby towns. Local authorities had lifted the ban as of August 12.On August 5, nearly all of the wastewater in the retention basin had drained, exposing the silty bottom. Hazeltine Creek, normally about 1 meter (3 feet) wide, swelled to a width of 150 meters (490 feet) as a result of the spill. In the aftermath of the flood, a layer of brown sediment coated forests and stream valleys affected by the spill. Notice how much forest immediately north of the retention basin was leveled. Debris, mainly downed trees, are visible floating on Quesnel Lake.
Several excellent Canadian, environmental, and political tumblrs are covering the spill: https://www.tumblr.com/search/mount+polley+mine.
Each year, the pollsters at Gallup ask Americans how much they personally worry about various environmental problems. In each survey, people express less concern for global warming, the term Gallup uses, than for each of the other problems. Indeed Americans are much more troubled by traditional environmental problems, with upward of 80 percent of the public worrying “a great deal” or “a fair amount” about air pollution, water pollution, and toxic waste. In most years the number stands closer to 55 percent for global warming, about ten points lower than seemingly less pressing issues of tropical rainforest loss and species extinction.
Explorer Sylvia Earle shares her personal journey in new documentary film ‘Mission Blue’ and explains why the ocean is essential to life on Earth.
About 2,500 manatees have perished in Florida over the last four years, heightening tension between conservationists and property owners as federal officials prepare to decide whether to down-list the creature to threatened status.Conservationists say the deaths are evidence of the vulnerability of the walrus-like mammals, which were included on the endangered species list in 1967 because of boat collisions and destruction of sea grasses in the shallow coastal inlets they inhabit.But owners of waterfront property and businesses filed a lawsuit in April in federal court accusing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of failing to adhere to its own 2007 recommendation that down-listing is warranted because there are now more manatees than ever.“Environmentalists want to turn the entire Crystal River into a sanctuary, which would hurt our clientele,” said Christina Martin, a Pacific Legal Foundation lawyer representing property owners in the case.
This is one of the two toughest arguments any active environmentalist will face in their career: “Environmental protection violates my property rights." The other tough argument is: "Environmental protection will cost hundreds of jobs."
There are a ton of techniques to overcome these objections (going to law school doesn’t hurt, though it’s damned expensive). The best way is to work together. I know, I know, cats and dogs, democrats and republicans, heaven and hell. But you’d be surprised at how easy it is to work together so long as each side agrees to listen to one another.
There are two books I recommend that can help you functionally overcome these objections. Both of these books start by insisting you build a strong foundation of negotiation skills. The first is Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, the other is Overcoming Obstacles in Environmental Policymaking.They’ll also serve you well in other contexts.
Eight of the top 10 U.S. cities that have seen an increase in so-called “nuisance flooding”—which causes such public inconveniences as frequent road closures, overwhelmed storm drains and compromised infrastructure—are on the East Coast, according to a new NOAA technical report.
This nuisance flooding, caused by rising sea levels, has increased on all three U.S. coasts, between 300 and 925 percent since the 1960s.
The report, Sea Level Rise and Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes around the United States, also finds Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland, lead the list with an increase in number of flood days of more than 920 percent since 1960. Port Isabel, Texas, along the Gulf coast, showed an increase of 547 percent, and nuisance flood days in San Francisco, California increased 364 percent."Achieving resilience requires understanding environmental threats and vulnerabilities to combat issues like sea level rise," says Holly Bamford, Ph.D., NOAA assistant administrator of the National Ocean Service. "The nuisance flood study provides the kind of actionable environmental intelligence that can guide coastal resilience efforts."
The flood frequency table is eye opening:
Baltimore, Md. 922% increase in floods over average
Atlantic City, N.J. 682%
Philadelphia, Pa. 650%
Sandy Hook, N.J. 626%
Ecologists may be underestimating the impact of logging in old-growth tropical forests by failing to account for subtleties in how different animal groups respond to the intensity of timber extraction, argues a paper published today in the journal Current Biology.
The study, led by Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich, is based on a meta-analysis of 48 studies that evaluated the impact of selective logging on mammals, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates in tropical forests. Burivalova, together with co-authors Cagan Sekercioglu and Lian Pin Koh, found that biodiversity is inversely proportional to logging intensity.
"We should think about logging as a land use gradient rather than a single form of land use," Burivalova said during a talk last week at the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) in Cairns, Australia.
While the findings may seem intuitive, the study is the first to take a comprehensive look at the impacts of selective logging across animal groups and identify logging intensity as the most important factor in driving biodiversity loss. The researchers reached that conclusion after testing nearly three dozen other explantations, including proximity to roads, size of the area logged, distance to primary forest, and time since logging, among others.
"Selective logging has a smaller impact on tropical forest biodiversity than if we cut the forest down completely. This is part of the reason why many ecologists emphasize that selective logging is, at least on average, relatively benign," Burivalova told Mongabay.com. "However, as we have shown in this study, depending on how heavily the forest is logged, the impacts of logging are anything from benign to catastrophic. This is something that became apparent only as enough individual studies on logging have accumulated."
Top 10 U.S. Cities Running Out of Water
Even as we watch the stunning footage of an overwhelmed Detroit drowning under massive rainfall, U.S. Drought Monitor shows other regions of the country parched and longing for more water.