Through a Different Lens

Through  a  Different  Lens . . . Might these types of reoccurring weather patterns stir acknowledgment there just may be something honest and holistically integrated into the tapestry woven by “mother nature”…? 


It strikes me “mother nature” continues to provide to us an almost unrelenting variety of signs, signals, symbols, ciphers attempting to get and to hold our awareness to the long term implications of our individual and collective action. 


The speed in which our contemporary society functions makes it abhorrently inconvenient for us to be required to reflect that our open pit mining activities, and our extensive dependency on the “get-rich-quick” miracle chemicals from the petro-chemicals producers copiously used to drive our “big-is-better-agriculture” while stripping soil to dust, together with our never ending road building associated with our ever expanding urban housing sprawl negatively impact the very water source upon which all these activities ultimately depend. 


Americans, for most of the last half century, have been educated to see, analyze and articulate nearly all of man’s actions on our single biosphere as sole, separate, discrete thereby easing, if not completely eliminating, any degree of acknowledgment of our individual and collective accountability and responsibility and the cumulative and/or overlapping impact of these actions.  From a marginal posture of safety provided by our self-created cocoon we render decisions about our environment which eliminate any causality between actions we perform, the result of imaginative definition of creative “buzz” words.   


This is one of those moments in time, when I wonder aloud … “will we ever get it” … realizing fully the nebulous nature use of the word – “it” – creates.   Is there a single or possible combination of factors or circumstances which need to be in place before “we” – like a caterpillar – awake from our self-created primordial ooze and begin, what detractors erroneously claim, is an arduous path to self-awareness which can only be attained when one is committed to achieving full, open, honest, timely transparent disclosure and honesty prevails.  The nature of this honesty incorporates accepting all accountability and responsibility for all or our individual choices and decisions regardless of outcome. 


does it truly make sense to use copious amounts of water

…the “West” including Utah has been significantly negatively impacted by an extended “drought” … does it truly make sense to use copious amounts of water to mine tar sands…?

Nation’s First Tar Sands Mine Stirs Water, Environmental Fears Out West

clip_image001A Canadian company opens a test pit in Utah and could be running a sizeable mine by early 2014. But is there enough water to support the industry?


By David Hasemyer, InsideClimate News  … Aug 16, 2012 …


U.S. Oil Sands, a Canadian company, has leased about 32,000 acres in Utah for tar sands mining. Credit: David Hasemyer, InsideClimate News

MOAB, UTAH—To the ancient Indians who roamed the Colorado Plateau in what is now eastern Utah, the black globs of sticky, smelly bitumen they picked up from the sandy soil mystified them so much they called the strange substance "rocks that burn."

Today, the bitumen that fascinated the Indians for its mysterious quality of combustion is the focal point of a battle over whetherbitumen—a thick, tarry substance also known as tar sands oil—should be mined in Utah, which harbors the nation’s largest oil sands deposits.

According to the Utah Geological Survey, about 25 billion barrels of bitumen are buried on state and federal land. If every drop of that oil was extracted, it would supply all the nation’s current oil needs for a little more than three years.

Utah regulators already have issued permits to an up-start Canadian energy development company that hopes to mine nearly 6,000 acres. The Calgary-based company, U.S. Oil Sands Inc., has scooped open a two-acre test pit in its first step toward full-scale production. If it keeps to its timetable, the nation’s first sizeable oil sands mine will be operating in this largely unspoiled wilderness by early 2014.

But even as U.S. Oil Sands is finalizing its plans and calling its operation "shovel ready," two environmental organizations have stepped up their efforts to keep oil sands mining out of Utah. They say that ripping open the land for bitumen is an imprudent and desperate attempt to slake the national thirst for oil—and that it threatens what little water there is in a vast yet delicate ecosystem. According to a letter written by the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, "It is expected that the mine will use 116 gallons of water per minute on a 24-hour basis."



Suit presses state

Suit presses state on CHROMIUM-6 …. And there remains no closure on PERCHLORATE either … !


clip_image001Erin Brockovich‘s fight isn’t over.


Twelve years after the film bearing her name chronicled her lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for contaminating groundwater in Southern California, the chemical carcinogen she brought to the public’s attention still permeates tap water from Los Angeles to San Jose, studies show.

On Tuesday, two environmental groups sued the state Department of Public Health, putting pressure on the agency to obey a requirement to limit the chemical – hexavalent chromium – in California’s drinking water.

A 2001 state law required the department to set a limit by 2004. It has not.

"We think that this delay of over a decade is unjustified," said Nicholas Morales, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which, with the Environmental Working Group, filed the lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court.

In July 2011, the state Environmental Protection Agency recommended that the state restrict hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, to .02 parts per billion in drinking water. Now it’s up to the Department of Public Health to decide on a limit and enforce it.

The department’s website says the eventual standard, which probably will be released in draft form next year and finalized by July 2015, will be as close to the EPA’s goal as "economically and technically" possible. The agency will be required to consider the reliability of detection methods and the cost of cleanup.

An agency spokesman said department officials could not comment because they had not seen the lawsuit. He also declined to explain the delay in setting the restriction.

Hexavalent chromium often enters drinking water supplies by running off from industrial operations into surface water or seeping from soil into groundwater.

When ingested in large amounts, hexavalent chromium can lead to abdominal pain, vomiting and hemorrhage, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Constantly breathing the heavy metal can result in bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer and other respiratory problems.

In 2010, the Environmental Working Group detected it in tap water in 31 U.S. cities. San Jose, at 1.34 parts per billion, and Riverside, at 1.69 parts per billion, had among the top five most contaminated water sources in the country.

The compound became famous in the 2000 film "Erin Brockovich." Julia Roberts starred in the title role as the real-life law clerk who, without a law degree, investigated a PG&E compressor station that transports natural gas in Hinkley, a small San Bernardino County town. Between 1952 and 1966, the company used chromium-6 in water to prevent rust in large towers used for cooling the machinery. The wastewater was dumped in unlined ponds and seeped into groundwater.

In a 1996 settlement, the utilities giant agreed to pay $333 million to Hinkley residents. It was the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history.

clip_image003The plaintiffs behind Tuesday’s suit said California’s adoption of a standard would be the first of its kind nationwide.

"We don’t wholly know what the reason is for taking so long," Morales said.

Stephanie M. Lee is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: Twitter: @stephaniemlee

Read more:




Joe the Plumber Talked About More Than Shootin’ Him Some Wetbacks at the Lori Klein Rally


we’ll just elect the same $leaze

…so what we’ll just elect the same $leaze …


On the News With Thom Hartmann: Congress Has Its Lowest Approval Rating Ever Recorded, and More


In today’s On the News segment: Congress now has an approval rating of just 10 percent – the lowest ever recorded; the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth District ruled that police can track cell phone GPS data – and, thus, track you – without a warrant; fewer people know that Paul Ryan wants to privatize Social Security than know he wants to privatize Medicare, and more.


Watch the Video and Read the Transcript 

Don’t act surprised

…Don’t act surprised…!


.Ryan Family Fortune Built on Public Works Projects That Romney Campaign Mocks .

Paul Ryan is a living, breathing GOP example of how public infrastructure and private entrepreneurship work hand-in-hand.

 READ MORE»     Sally Kohn / Salon


And of course without question … you believe

And of course without question … you believe

Water district says bubbly water no cause for concern

HERB JAFFE …Posted: Jul. 24, 2012 | 12:17 a.m.  …Updated: Jul. 24, 2012 | 9:31 a.m.

Maybe you think it’s New Year’s Eve in July with all that champagne-like bubbly pouring out of your water faucet. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but one taste and you know it’s not champagne, nor is it any other white sparkling wine. Yes, indeed, it’s just plain tap water.

Still, those are tiny bubbles you’re apt to find in your glass, flowing into most households in Summerlin and many other sectors of Las Vegas. But if it’s any consolation, you can rest assured that it’s pure and harmless water you’re drinking.