Friday, April 15, 2011

Invitation to attend Earth Day 2011 at World Peace Wetland Prairie and share your information on environmental and natural-resource conservation

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Donna Stjerna and Kelly Mullholan's poster for Earth Day 2011 at World Peace Wetland Prairie.

World Peace Wetland Prairie EARTH DAY 2010 VIDEO
 Flickr collection of sets of photos from World Peace Wetland Prairie
World Peace Wetland Prairie blog
World Peace Wetland
Aubrey's photos at

2000-2005 archive of stories and photos related to creation of WPWP:
Please use link below the map to see larger view of the WPWP area, which also allows a person to travel the world by 'Google AIR' by simply using the cursor to move in any direction or search for other addresses.

View World Peace Wetland Prairie in a larger map

Friday, April 8, 2011

TEXas getting fracked in its TexASSS

How Texas Got Fracked Over By Gas Drillers

Categories: Schutze
Thumbnail image for gasdrilling.jpg
We added insult to injury a long time ago in this whole business of fracking in Dallas -- you know, the kind of natural gas drilling where they blow up underground rocks in a geological formation called the Barnett Shale, releasing trapped gas. Now, if you don't mind, I need to add injury to insult to injury: The state is letting the frackers skate out of paying their taxes.

The original injury here is the air and groundwater pollution associated with so-called injection wells in this part of Texas. Since they started doing it in Fort Worth, air pollution there has doubled. The original insult was when the Texas Railroad Commission, the weirdo 19th-century government body in charge of regulating this stuff, decided not to regulate it.

But here's the new injury: An analysis purportedly carried out by the by the Texas Legislative Budget Board but buried by somebody, according to the Texas Observer, shows that the fracking industry has been dodging its fair share of state taxes by a cool $8 billion just for wells drilled in 2009.

Does that number ring a bell? Maybe that's because it's very close to the shortfall in state education funding -- a deficit that is about to decimate public schools across Texas.

(Update at 4:12 p.m.: I've posted an update in the comments. But long story short: The LBB called me back, said it is their report, and told me they didn't publish it because they were told not to.)

The report connects some important dots: The money the drillers are failing to pay in Texas comes straight out of that Rainy Day Fund -- you know, the cash reserve everybody was hoping could be used to stave off this crisis. Sounds like the fund would be twice its current size if the frackers had paid their decent due.

The report is clear. That damned Railroad Commission came up with a wing-ding definition of "high cost drilling" -- forget it, it's part of a technical formula -- effectively allowing much of the industry to skate on its taxes.


They're supposed to pay 7.5 percent on revenues. The report says many of them pay zero percent -- nothing. The average rate is less than 2 percent.

And here's the other part: While the Rick Perry Republicans have been down there talking about gutting public education in Texas, this report apparently has been buried. Somebody must have leaked it to some reporters yesterday, and now it's out and about.

I have a call in to the Legislative Budget Board -- as does every other reporter in Texas covering this issue, I must assume, and since yesterday they ain't been talkin'. I do have to issue a caution. I guess the report could be a fake.

I also have a call in to Dallas' own Republican Rep. Dan Branch from District 108, who is a member of the Legislative Budget Board's board of directors.

It doesn't look like a fake, and in the discussion of it in Austin nobody has suggested it's a fake. But in the absence of a call-back from the LBB, I can't assert its absolute authenticity here.

Why talk about it now, before it has been authenticated? Listen: In the current political atmosphere in Texas, the only way to get the truth out of those bastards is with a technique I call journalistic fracking. It's very technical, but I will try to simplify.

We know there are large deposits of truth trapped in an intellectual formation we call the "Rick Perry Shale." By injecting information into the Rick Perry Shale under extremely high pressure, we are sometimes able to blast some of that trapped truth free. So turn away and put your finger in your ears.

How do we react to this? Pollute us. Fool us. Pick our pockets. Abuse our children. But what? Don't do it twice? Is Texas just totally populated by people who allowed other kids to steal their lunch money when they were in elementary school?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The difference between a nuclear plant IN YOUR STATE and a coal plant IN YOU STATE: The speed at which they kill and how long they keep killing

Up to 1,000 bodies left untouched near troubled nuke plant
TOKYO, March 31, Kyodo
Radiation fears have prevented authorities from collecting as many as 1,000 bodies of victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami from within the 20-kilometer-radius evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, police sources said Thursday.
One of the sources said bodies had been ''exposed to high levels of radiation after death.'' The view was supported by the detection Sunday of elevated levels of radiation on a body found in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, about 5 km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
The authorities are now considering how to collect the bodies, given fears that police officers, doctors and bereaved families may be exposed to radiation in retrieving the radiation-exposed bodies or at morgues, according to the sources.
They initially planned to inspect the bodies after transporting them outside the evacuation zone, but the plan is being reconsidered due to the concerns over exposure.
Local residents have been forced to leave the zone since the current nuclear crisis began unfolding at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant, which is leaking radioactive materials as its cooling systems for its reactors and nuclear spent-fuel pools have been knocked out by the disaster.
Even after the bodies are handed over to the victims' families, cremating them could spread plumes containing radioactive materials, while burying the victims could contaminate the soil around them, according to the sources.
The authorities are considering decontaminating and inspecting the bodies where they are found. But the sources said that cleansing decomposing bodies could damage them further.
Victims can be identified through DNA analysis of nail samples, but even then considerable time and effort must be taken to decontaminate the samples, according to experts.
Elevated levels of radiation detected on the victim in the town of Okuma last Sunday forced local police to give up on retrieving the body.
''Measures that can be taken vary depending on the level of radiation, so there need to be professionals who can control radiation,'' said an expert on treating people exposed to radiation. ''One option is to take decontamination vehicles there and decontaminate the bodies one by one.''