Tar Sands Worse than Thought

EDMONTON – An independent study suggests pollution from Alberta’s oilsands is nearly five times greater and twice as widespread as industry figures say.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/735399–oilsands-pollution-exceeds-official-estimates-study?bn=1

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Trafigura Finally Forced to Admit Guilt

Thousands of west Africans besieged local hospitals in 2006, and a number died, after the dumping of hundreds of tonnes of highly toxic oil waste around the country’s capital, Abidjan. Official local autopsy reports on 12 alleged victims appeared to show fatal levels of the poisonous gas hydrogen sulphide, one of the waste’s lethal byproducts.

Trafigura has been publicly insisting for three years that its waste was routine and harmless. It claims it was “absolutely not dangerous”.

It has until now denied compensation claims, and its lawyers repeatedly threatened anyone worldwide who sought to contradict its version. It launched a libel case against BBC Newsnight, forced an alleged correction from the Times, demanded the Guardian delete articles, and yesterday tried to gag journalists in the Netherlands and Norway with legal threats.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/16/trafigura-african-pollution-disaster?

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Dirty Shipping

What little reliable information can be gleaned from the mass of estimates, best guesses and informed speculation paints a troubling picture. According to a pioneering 2007 study by James J. Corbett and others published in Environmental Science & Technology, shipping-related emissions of particulate matter contribute to approximately 60,000 premature cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths each year, mostly in coastal regions along major trade routes. In a 2007 rulemaking announcement, the EPA published estimates that worldwide shipping in 2001 emitted more than 54,000 tons of PM2.5, as much as 117 power plants, and approximately 745,000 tons of NOx, equivalent to about 800 million modern automobiles. That number is not a typo ─ the global fleet of approximately 90,000 ships really is that dirty.

http://www.dcbureau.org/20090831252/NRNS-Stories/no-safe-harbor-the-shipping-industrys-pollution-problem-part-i-low-hanging-fruit.html

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Sustainable Seafood Pocket Guides

Print one off and keep it in your wallet. Very handy!

Carry the pocket guide that’s right for your region to help you choose ocean-friendly seafood wherever you live or travel. Click on your state on the map below to determine the pocket guide that’s right for you. If you live near a boundary between two regions, we suggest that you look at both pocket guides and pick the one that lists the seafood items commonly found where you live.

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx

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Bluefin Tuna Extinction and Mitsubishi

Japan’s sprawling Mitsubishi conglomerate has cornered a 40 per cent share of the world market in bluefin tuna, one of the world’s most endangered fish.

A corporation within the £170bn Mitsubishi empire is importing thousands of tonnes of the fish from Europe into Tokyo’s premium fish markets, despite stocks plummeting towards extinction in the Mediterranean.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/revealed-the-bid-to-corner-worlds-bluefin-tuna-market-1695479.html

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Valley of the Drums

The Valley of the Drums is a 23-acre toxic waste site in northern Bullitt County, Kentucky, near Louisville, named after the waste-containing drums strewn across the area. It is known as one of the primary motivations for the passage of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or Superfund Act of 1980. While the widely publicized Love Canal disaster is often credited as reason the Superfund law was passed, Love Canal activist Lois Gibbs has said that Love Canal looked like a suburban community, while “Valley of the Drums became the visualization of the problem.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_of_the_Drums

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Awful Pictures of Pollution

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Antwerp to Ghana – The E-Waste Cycle

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Oyster Reef Destruction

The first-ever comprehensive review of the state of the world’s shellfish has just been released by The Nature Conservancy and the prognosis (as you may expect) really isn’t good. In fact, when oysters are concerned it’s downright awful.Globally, about 85% of the world’s oyster reefs have vanished and in many areas oyster reefs are functionally extinct:

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/05/85-percent-worlds-oyster-reefs-already-gone-many-functionally-extinct.php

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The Rainforest Chernobyl

In a rainforest area roughly three times the size of Manhattan, Texaco carved out 350 oil wells, and upon leaving the country in 1992, left behind some 1,000 open toxic waste pits. Many of these pits leak into the water table or overflow in heavy rains, polluting rivers and streams that 30,000 people depend on for drinking, cooking, bathing and fishing. Texaco also dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic and highly saline “formation waters,” a byproduct of the drilling process, into the rivers of the Oriente. At the height of Texaco’s operations, the company was dumping an estimated 4 million gallons of formation waters per day, a practice outlawed in major US oil producing states like Louisiana, Texas, and California decades before the company began operations in Ecuador in 1967. By handling its toxic waste in Ecuador in ways that were illegal in its home country, Texaco saved an estimated $3 per barrel of oil produced.

http://chevrontoxico.com/about/rainforest-chernobyl/

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