Karmic Reverberations

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Archive for the ‘pollution’ Category

Plant Releases Dangerous Chemicals, Doesn’t Tell

Posted by karmalily on April 21, 2009

In a move reminiscent of the cover-up surrounding the accident at Chernobyl, managers of a chemical plant of in West Virginia waited hours to inform emergency officials about a dangerous chemical it accidentally released. Two employees at Bayer CropScience were killed, with six firefightered made sick.

From the New York Times:

Devices meant to detect releases of the chemical, methyl isocyanate, known as MIC, had been disabled, and video cameras had been disconnected, steps that “raise concerns about an orchestrated effort by Bayer to shroud the explosion in secrecy,” said the subcommittee chairman, Representative Bart Stupak, Democrat of Michigan.

Apparently the plant thought that they could “refuse to provide information” to the board that was created to lead the investigation. They claimed that some of the documents requested contained sensitive information, and their release could jeopardize the plant’s safety. However, the law the company used to get out of releasing those documents was actually created to protect port security, and Bayer CropScience had to say they were under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard.

This is worrisome because more people could have been hurt, and when you live near a chemical plant or any other such location, you want to know that you are secure and that the managers of the plant are doing everything they can to keep the chemicals safely contained. This is one example of how dangerous the inept leadership of companies can be. Officials should have been notified of the release of dangerous chemicals as soon as it happened, not hours later.

Posted in environment, politics, pollution | Leave a Comment »

440,000 Jobs Could Be Created by Solar Energy

Posted by karmalily on September 16, 2008

A new report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association finds that as many as 440,000 permanent jobs, and 1.2 million jobs altogether, could be created if the solar investment tax credit is extended by Congress.

“By extending the solar investment tax credits, Congress can provide an immediate boost to the floundering U.S. economy by creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and injecting billions of dollars of new investment capital into the economy, while at the same time driving down energy costs for consumers,” said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), based in Washington, D.C. “The solar energy industry creates jobs that are the foundation of our economy – jobs for manufacturers, construction workers, engineers, roofers, electricians, and plumbers. These jobs are needed now and Congress is in a position to extend the ITC and ensure that these jobs are created here in the U.S.”

The coal industry loves to put forth the idea that by creating clean energy, thousands of people will lose their jobs. Thus, one of the more striking finds from SEIA is this:

This figure [440,000 jobs created] reveals the strength of the solar job creation engine when compared to the current 79,000 direct employees of the coal mining industry and the 136,000 direct employees in oil and gas extraction.

Using job losses as an excuse to continue to use coal and other dirty energy sources is mostly a tactic used by the coal industry reps to convince people that coal is still the best thing we have to power our houses. If America and other nations were to quickly switch to clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind, the only people to suffer would be the coal czars.

Full Report: Solar Energy Industries Association

Posted in clean energy, economics, energy, environment, pollution, solar power | 1 Comment »

Smell the Roses While You Still Can

Posted by karmalily on April 12, 2008

A new study has determined that flowers are losing their scent due to pollution from power plants and cars. To make matters worse, not only are we facing a future lacking in the gorgeous scents of blooms, but insects won’t be able to find pollen. According to National Geographic News:

Flowers produce volatile scent molecules that bond with pollutants such as ground-level ozone, in the process breaking down the plants’ sweet smell.

With more pollution in the air, the aromatic molecules don’t remain potent as long and travel shorter distances on the wind.

What you can do
Since the pollution is coming from cars and power plants, the obvious solution would be to drive hybrids or plug-ins (or, even better, walking or biking!) and to either limit energy use or rely on pollutant-free energy such as wind or solar power.

Posted in environment, pollution | 1 Comment »