Enviroweb is the blog by a aquatic and environmental scientist Eugene Macri on all aspects of the environment,science, ecology, health, educational science and the politics involved. ©2006 All Rights Reserved E. Macri. Permission to reprint or use electronically as long as credit is given and we are notified.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

George Will: Global Warming

Well the Right Wing Nut Bag Pundits are on the loose again and it’s no other than George Will. Will’s latest rant in the Washington Post misuses and misinterprets data about Global Warming. This isn’t Will’s first foray into this area however, because he’s been preaching this bullshit for years. Like the late Michael Crichton Will and friends are determined to prove to the public they know something about science.

There have been other idiots to spill their guts about such scientific misgivings in recent days such as Camille Pagela.  Now let’s see Pagela has a PhD in what?  I think it’s something to do with literature ( English)?  And George Will?  I believe his is in Politics!  Well that should really cover it.  I guess you would go to a guy with PhD in Politics if you wanted to know something scientific about Environmental Climate Change!

It always amazes me that these political pundits think that they are a scientists.  Yet most of these people who have degrees have them in fields that are as far from science as possible. I might as well bend a few more people out of shape with this little essay, so here it goes!  The two easiest degrees to get in college as far as I am concerned are Law and Political Science (Politics, Government whatever they are calling it these days with English not far behind).

If these people wanted to be scientists why didn’t they go through the rigors of getting such degrees?  Well, could it be that they aren’t smart enough?  Or could it be they didn’t want to put in the time?  Well let’s give Will and all these other pretenders to the scientific throne a break and take door number two….they didn’t want to put in the time!

Close to 98% of all the true environmental climate experts believe in Global Warming and believe that humans are having a major impact on it.  Yet what I find most interesting is that I don’t see scientists writing on literature and politics (except for me because I like to jerk everyone’s chain) and proposing that 98% of the experts are wrong in these disciplines!

The George Will’s and the Rush Limbaugh’s of the world are dangerous.  Not because they know anything but because they do not!  It’s the fact that they have a stage to infect gullible unsuspecting people with their disinformation that makes them dangerous.  As I said the USA is a semiliterate nation and it’s also scientifically illiterate.  People think in sound bites because they lack serious analytical and critical thinking skills,  and  people like Will, Limbaugh’s and others cater to this mentality.

The sad part is that the Washington Post and other newspapers publish this nonsense and you wonder why the American Print Media is in trouble and going bankrupt!!!!!!!!!



 

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Clean Coal: The Myth of Morons and Preached by Idiots: Politicians

There is no such thing as CLEAN COAL!  There never was and there never will be!  It was a scam from the start and the myth of morons enhanced and preached by idiot politicians to a media that has the scientific intelligence of an earthworm! Even the new President,-- Obama……thinks there is such a thing!  And the idiot that he appointed to head the Interior Department Salazar is in the pocket of the mining industry.  In fact, Salazar thought that Gale Norton, the former criminal head of the Interior appointed by Bush was a good pick!

The mountain top removal in West Virginia is the first step in the process of “clean coal.”  It is environmental destruction at its worst.  The toxic waste of this wonderful idea is then dumped into the rivers, valleys, and over the hill sides to produces a poisonous mess that is beyond description.  It literally wipes everything out in most streams (that is if there is a stream left; in some areas the streams are just covered up) including the aquatic life of streams.  It produces everything from acid mine drainage to mercury and arsenic poisoning and massive amounts of heavy metals.  

The people living down stream of this mess are subject to a massive amount of health issues from all the perturbations and not to mention their land and water being destroyed. One of the things I find most amusing as an aquatic scientist is the fact that somehow you can dump a mountain top of poison into a stream and not violate the Clean Water Act!  On December 22, 2008 in the wonderful environmental state of Tennessee, a coal plant let loose with over 500 million into the Tennessee River.  The pollution headed downstream to the residents of Alabama and Kentucky.  But for the most part the geniuses in the media missed most of the consequences of this even though long term effects of this mess could be a nightmare of health problems for the residents of those states.

It’s just lie after lie from the media spin of the coal and mining industry in America and it never changes.  I won’t even waste your time with the other nonsense and the amount of money spent trying to burn or liquefy clean coal except to tell you that coal produces twice the CO2 admissions that a gallon of oil does.  

I recently saw some idiot from one of these coal companies on a news program trying to convince people that after they throw the spoils in a pile and rebuild some mountains they seed it and it’s just basically the same as before!  Well Holy Shit….let’s see now you destroy an Eastern Temperate Forest which has a biodiversity just below that of the Amazon and you mix up all these toxic chemical heaps and try to grow a few shrubs like a tree farm and it’s just as good as before!

What did I tell you:  Clean Coal: The Myth of Morons and Preached by Idiots: Politicians!  What a wonderful world it is!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Solving the Evolution Problem in Texas

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.

Hippocrates

It’s starting all over again in the Idiot State of Texas.  Creationism with the support of the scientifically illiterate Governor Rick Perry is once again rearing its ugly head. Of course, in case you haven’t guessed Perry is a Republican.  Dr. Don McCleroy, dentist, and chairman of the state board does not believe in evolution and thinks the earth is not billions of year old but only a few thousand years old.

 

The board wants certain lines and phrases in textbooks on evolution changed to meet the insane demands of the creationists on the school board who are demanding that evolution be described as a “weak theory” that doesn’t hold water.  The same techniques that creationists and the masquerading of creationism in “intelligent design” have argued for years.  These so called weaknesses have of course been destroyed in the science community but the scientific illiterates will never give up. The problem is that text book publishers are not going to make different versions of the same biology text books for different states and Texas is one of the largest text books purchasers in the country.

 

The thing I find most amusing is that scientists should demand that they are allowed to speak in the fundamentalist churches and talk about the weaknesses in their God Theory of the Universe!

 

The fight to include religious beliefs and to destroy science will never end in Texas and some other southern states.  These lunatics with the aid of Republican Party want a theocracy.  However there is a method to stop it on at least one front.  It’s rather simple if a Texas student wants to go to college and they have not had a proper biology class with evolution being taught as the driving force, or they have had one of these “Mickey Mouse” biology courses watered down with creationism….guess what…. NO HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT!!!!!

 

That’s right if you want to go to college you must then go and take an approved biology course taught under the guidelines of evolution not creationism!!!!!!!!  If colleges and universities would take this stand it would put a partial end to this theocratic insanity in Texas and other southern states.  Then the religious fanatics could go to court and fight this case too, but they would lose just like they have lost in other federal cases over evolution. A college or university has a right to require certain courses to their satisfaction for entrance to their higher education programs whether they are math or BIOLOGY!!!!

 

Considering the idiots in Texas is it any wonder it produced one of the greatest morons, criminals and losers in history….George Bush! 

 

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Florida: Evolution and The Dark Ages!

The Dark Ages continue to make a comeback in America. Today in Florida the State Board of education proved that stupidity, mythology, and religion trump science when they voted 4-3 to only teach Evolution as a “Theory.” The Religious Fanatics continue to attack science on all fronts in this country as we fall into another hole of religious mysticism. These attacks have been widespread with major events taking place in Pennsylvania and Kansas.

These religious fanatics continue to make it onto school boards where they have an agenda to turn public schools in this country into religious indoctrination centers of mythological and mystical misinformation. These religious fanatics are bankrolled by extremists who want a Theocracy in America. Of course, the media are afraid of these religious idiots and seldom go after these people. Witness the recent theocratic statements of Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee who wanted to replace the Constitution with the Ten Commandments.

What did the media do with this idea? They were basically afraid to touch it. The same thing happened when the late Jerry Falwell of the Religious Right said similar stupid statements. And he said such things over and over again along with his cohort in religious insanity Pat Robertson. Remember when he said that the 911 attacks were God paying us back for our liberal behavior!

The founding fathers of this country Jefferson, Washington, and Franklin must be rolling over in their graves for these attacks on the democracy that they fought for. They wanted a separation of church and state. The rest of the world must sit and wonder what is happening to this place called America.

Every university or college outside and including the state of Florida should not give credit for this water downed biology class. In fact, no student should be allowed to enter college from a Florida high school unless they make up the biology class with evolution taught as it is supposed to be: the driving force of biology.

It is literally unbelievable what is occurring from the religious lunatics and the hold they now have on America from education to the war, to privacy rights. These people and the politicians like Bush are destroying every single aspect of freedom of thought and democracy as we move towards a complete Police State run by Religious Mystics waiting for the Rapture and Armageddon.

I leave you with this quote which says it better than I can:


Those who seek consolation in existing churches often pay for their peace of mind with a tacit agreement to ignore a great deal of what is known about the way the world works.


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,

I

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River is Dying!

At one time it may have been the greatest smallmouth bass river in America. But those days may be over forever. Contrary to the myth engendered by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission this is much more than a bump in the road. The Susquehanna is a dying ecosystem. The neglect of one of the great rivers in the country by the state of Pennsylvania is no mystery. Pennsylvania is number one in water pollution and number one in pollution overall, and this rating is based on analysis from their own state's data! Pennsylvania issues more NPDES permits each year than any other state (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System).

Nature has few solutions to pollution. But a river can only do so many things. Rivers survive by diluting the pollutants that enter the system through the air, water, and land. When rivers like the Susquehanna go through extended periods of drought this dramatically concentrates the pollutants in the lower, warmer volumes of water and causes a complete disruption of the biogeochemical pathways of the system.

These disruptions can cause a myriad of problems to occur including diseased fish, algal blooms which use up oxygen, and increases in perturbations like endocrine disrupters which play havoc with fishes' hormonal balance. These endocrine disrupters come from a variety of pollutants including pesticides, flame-retardant chemicals, personal-care products, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products. Many products dumped into our streams often mimic or act like estrogen compounds in the water. Examples of Substances Known or Suspected to be Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)

Pesticides: atrazine, 2,4-D, DDE, DDT, diazinon,

diuron, endosulfan, fenthrothion, glyphosate, lindane,

linuron, parathion, permethrin, simazine, TBT,

trifluralin, vinclozolin.

Industrial chemicals or breakdown products:

bisphenol A, dioxins, nonylphenol, PCBs, some phthalates.

Industrial chemicals or breakdown products:

bisphenol A, dioxins, nonylphenol, PCBs, some

phthalates.

Now just consider the chemical soup that the Susquehanna River must endure. This chemical soup has cumulative and synergistic reactions that change normal pathways of the aquatic life. I have put more nets and have done more studies of the waters in Pennsylvania and the Susquehanna River System than anyone in the DEP or PFBC and those tributaries and waters are not getting better. They are getting worst. I should know because I was one of the biologists who closed the hatchery on Big Spring in Newville PA. This stream was destroyed by the pollutants from the state fish hatchery and PFBC tried to cover it up. The DEP in this case failed to properly monitor the stream and the EPA's wavier on NPDES permits for the states resulted in such a fiasco. Now that stream has returned to being one of the great spring creeks in America. But this will not happen with the Susquehanna River because there is no way to turn off the faucet of pollution into the river.

I invite anyone who believes that I am picking on the PFBC and DEP to simply read through the 303 D list of impaired waters and other waters in the state of Pennsylvania (http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/watermgt/Wqp/WQStandards/303d-Report.htm#List). Judge for yourself which streams enter the Susquehanna and what's in them. Then ask yourself what are we protecting? It's not the rivers...it's industry, government and corporations.

There is some form of madness in this country and this state. And it has gotten worst the last 7 years where the EPA has been totally destroyed. So all those pollutants don't matter. That's what we are told by the politicians, government, and corporations. Unfortunately, they do matter and the idea that they are in too small a quantity to amount to anything is just that ....a myth. The cumulative and synergistic effects of the chemical soup we are throwing into our rivers (and our own bodies too) is now coming to fruition.

A system is a system. A river is a flowing ecosystem; you are a walking ecosystem. You both have an immune system. When your immune system is stressed, damaged etc. you get sick or diseased. The same thing happens to a river. The Susquehanna's immune system is overload and damaged. It won't get better easily and considering what's coming out of the air, waters, and land emptying into the river it may never really return to it's former self because it is constantly getting impacted by so many types of pollutants it's biogeochemical pathways are overwhelmed.

Both the PFBC and DEP should share equally in the blame of this destruction because they reflect the unfortunate lack of good scientific benchmarking, baselining, and biomonitoring that is needed to protect our waters. The DEP fails to understand the cumulative and synergistic effects of all the NPDES permits that they issue in this state.

Oh, by the way in case anyone forgot including the geniuses at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation....this water will eventually get to the Bay! Did I mention,....that the Potomac is on its way to the same condition as the Susquehanna!

We have all failed. We have a government that doesn't care and is run by corporations, and we have too many anglers that take everything for granted and don't wish to get involved. The economic interest of all the people who make their money off this river is hardly considered. The loss is staggering from guiding, fishing, tourism, the food industry and even gas stations. But no one seems to get it. This is one of the great environmental fiascos along with the Bay and it just happens to occur in the state with the most pollution. Anymore questions!

However, if a few of you are actually interested (including organizatons) in doing something and have some time and some resources...you know where I can be reached. Perhaps we need a full court press approach like we used on Big Spring rather than the politically correct "no one is to blame game" now going on!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Give Them Texas: Solving America's Problems!

Well I have a solution to many problems facing the United States from immigration to the teaching of science in America.....that’s right! Just GIVE THEM TEXAS! Texas which is basically Southwest of nowhere doesn’t help this nation except in destroying it. There are so many possibilities here I just don’t know where to start.

First we will give Texas back to Mexico (or force them to take it if they refuse). Then all illegal immigrants will be granted complete immunity to live in Texas and get all the benefits that Americans have been working for without doing anything. Furthermore, we will give them a piece of the land in Texas to make their very own including parts of George Bush’s Crawford Texas ranch. They will get sixty days to get there and will receive a free $10,000 bonus in US money (sorry they can’t get it in foreign currency because the foreign currencies are worth so much more than our dollar).

Next, all those born-again psycho Evangelicals who think God is coming soon including the likes of the current lunatics like John Hagee and his merry band of doomsayers. They will also receive $10,000 bonus as incentive. Now all the Neocons many who are closeted homosexuals can live there free of charge but they must leave for Texas now so they can gain access to the best gay bars and hideouts.

Finally all the Creationists and the so called Intelligent Design morphodites who reject science and evolution. Recently The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will hear the petitions of the Creation Research Institute to teach science education in the schools. You remember these genuses don’t you? Well in case you don’t here’s few points from the Dallas Morning News of what they really believe in:

SOME TENETS OF SCIENTIFIC CREATIONISM

•The physical universe "was supernaturally created by a transcendent personal Creator who alone has existed from eternity."

•Life "was specially and supernaturally created by the Creator."

•All plants and animals were "created functionally complete from the beginning and did not evolve from some other kind of organism."

•Evolution since creation is "limited to 'horizontal' changes (variations) within the kinds, or 'downward' changes (e.g., harmful mutations, extinctions).

•Humans "were specially created in fully human form from the start."

SOME TENETS OF BIBLICAL CREATIONISM

•The creator of the universe is a triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

•The universe was created "in the six literal days of the Creation Week" described in Genesis.

•All human beings descended from Adam and Eve.

To put it in a nut shell these people believe that the Flintstones are history rather than a cartoon. That’s right Dinosaurs roamed the earth with man and the earth is less than 6000 years old.

Well just consider what we accomplished with this transfer. Just think of the boom to our economy now that all the externalization of cost is put into Texas which is now owned by Mexico! What about the oil in Texas? Let them have it. It’s a small price to pay for the rest of our country. Considering the list of idiots that have come out of Texas to screw up and destroy America with the likes of the Bush Crime Family and the Tom Delay’s of the world it’s a great investment. Furthermore, once everyone gets there with their completely anti scientific stances they will all pollute themselves to death in one giant clusterfuck! And the world will be a better place for the rest of us! Is there nothing worth saving in Texas? Well on second thought, let’s get those Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders out before we give it back to Mexico because I’m feeling so Christian today!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mining Industry Owns America and Congress

Six miners may have perished in Utah and the blood is on the hands of everyone from the owner of the mine, Bob Murray, Congress and the whores in the Whitehouse- Cheney and Bush. The mining industry basically owns America. They have destroyed and wrecked havoc on the environment for over a hundred years. Their political influence is second to none and what happened in Utah is symbolic of what is done across America. In Pennsylvania the mining industry basically runs portions of the Department of Environmental Protection and they are actually treated like clients by the state while people who object to the permits are treated like enemies.

Pennsylvania has more miles of damaged streams due to mining than any other state in the nation. The state issues permits to mine that third world nations would not allow. The number of world class trout streams that have been destroyed my AMD (acid mine drainage) is beyond anyone’s wildest nightmares

I should know because I work in many of those streams and few live again no matter what treatment is used and these treatments are unbelievably expensive. But the environment is the least of the mining industries worries. They don’t even care about the lives of their workers. The mining industry basically owns the government agencies at both the state and federal level. They are so brazen about it that they threaten the people from the federal government who are supposed to oversee them.

Murray is a prime example of such intimidation. The following is taken from

West Virginia Public Radio Broadcast Notes. The reporter’s names are cited below:

(http://www.wvpubcast.org/radio/newsroom/Murray0808.pdf)

Utah operator’s mines, politics have attracted attention before - 08/08/07

By Greg Collard and Scott Finn

The owner of the Utah coal mine where six men are trapped went on the defensive yesterday.

Bob Murray is upset at media reports that question his company’s safety record, and whether and earthquake is responsible for the miners being trapped. Murray singled out the Associated Press and Fox News for the sources they used, including

Davitt McAtteer of Shepherdstown.

Murray has been the subject of media scrutiny before for how he runs his mines, his political

contributions and his threats to use his political influence to retaliate against mine safety inspectors.

In 2003, WV Public Radio aired a series of reports on mine safety, some of which included

Murray. Greg Collard reports.

Greg Collard: In 2001, a belt foreman named Tom Ciszewski had his arm ripped off by a conveyor belt at

Ohio Valley Coal’s Powhatan No. 6 mine in Belmont County, Ohio. He bled to death.

Later, a belt repairman testified that Robert Murray pressured miners not to shut down the belt,“unless there’s a man it,” and that he would fire them on the spot.

A judge ruled the company was not negligent.

But problems at the mine continued.

Eventually, MSHA ordered the mine to shut down after repeated violations.

Murray had enough.

He was upset at MSHA’s action, and met with Tim Thompson, then the head of MSHA’s District 3 office that covers a portion of Ohio and northern West Virginia.

Back in 2003, Jeff Young of West Virginia Public Broadcasting obtained the notes from the meeting:

Jeff Young 2003 report: Those notes show Murray repeatedly threatening to have MSHA employees fired. ‘I will have your jobs. They are gone. The clock is ticking,” Murray said at various points. And he stressed his political influence with the agency, saying, “I talked to Laresky (former MSHA
director) personally,” and again, quoting, “Mitch McConnell calls me one of the five finest men in America, and last I checked he was sleeping with your boss.’

Sen. McConnell of KY is married to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who oversees MSHA.

Collard: Notes from another meeting show Murray bragged about getting two inspectors in Pennsylvania demoted, and promised to do the same in the agency’s District 3 office.

Jeff Young 2003 report: The notes show Murray warned that an inspector in that district would “be riding a desk somewhere, like that guy in Pennsylvania,” and again quoting, “If Thompson doesn’t get his ass in gear, I’ll put him in my sites, too.”

Collard: Tim Thompson was removed as head of District 3 a few months later. MSHA officials said Thompson’s reassignment had nothing to do with Murray. But Murray’s strong financial ties to republicans in Congress and the Bush Administration raised questions at the time. Those financial ties have continued to grow. Murray, his son and his company’s political action committees have contributed more than $600,000 to Pres. Bush and mostly Republican candidates for Congress in the last decade.

Bob Murray at press conference: “Quite obviously in reporting your stories, your producers and you journalists attempt to seek out individuals…

Collard: On Tuesday, Murray lashed out at reports on the higher death rates associated with retreat mining, the type of mine used at the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah.

Murray: “Specifically, I’m referring to statements that you have sought out from Mr. J. Davitt McAteer, Tony Oppegard, Dennis O’Dell, and President Cecil Roberts – the last two of the United Mine Workers. Collard: McAteer is a former head of MSHA who was Governor Manchin’s special investigator into the Sago and Aracoma mine disasters. Both McAtteer and the UMWA declined to comment on Murray’s

comments, saying the focus needs to be on rescuing the miners.

But Ellen Smith, the publisher of Mine Safety and Health News, says Murray’s comments were unfair to McAteer.

Ellen Smith: “I think Davitt McAteer has been very fair to Mr. Murray in this case. I mean even Mr. McAteer said that that mine in his book wasn’t overly unsafe, or it didn’t raise red flags to him.”

Collard: Smith says she agrees the Crandall Canyon mine appears to have a decent safety record, but some of Murray’s mines do not. Smith: “It’s quite the coincidence in our July 30th issue, we reported on a mine called the Galatia mine in Illinois, and it raised red flags because of the amount of fines that this company has had since the beginning of the year, and it’s accumulated over $1 million in MSHA civil penalties just since April 30th. I don’t quite recall ever seeing something quite so high in my career.”

Collard: Smith also says that Murray’s Powhatan mine in Belmont County, Ohio, continues to have serious safety problems. In the last three years, the mine has racked up more than 900 serious and substantial safety violations, according to the MSHA Web site. This is the same mine where Tom Ciszewski died.

For West Virginia Public Broadcasting, I’m Greg Collard, in Charleston.


What occurred here is typical of how powerful the mining industry is, and the simple fact that they do not fear any recourse for their unsafe mines and destructive environmental damage. They already own whores like Senator Mitch McConnell and his wife the Secretary of Labor. This whoredom goes all the way to the Whitehouse. Tomorrow will be another day and the mining industry will operate just like it always has. The environment will be raped and somewhere more miners are working under unsafe conditions which could kill them but no one will care and no one will stop the mining industry from doing just as they please.