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You have reached the end of the road.

Welcome to Fort McMoney, an interactive documentary game. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 26, 2013 - 19 comments

"We don't understand what happened. Nobody really understands..."

For several months, bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands has been leaching out of the ground near Cold Lake, Alberta, so far amounting to roughly half of the oil leaked in the Enbridge-caused disaster in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Nearby sites of high-pressure steam injection used to extract the bitumen (and which is already associated with violent seismic activity in natural gas fracking operations) are suspected to have caused fractures that push bitumen "sideways" and out to the surface. As Vice reporter Sarah Berman notes, "The oozing leaks will continue until the underground pressure subsides. How long that will take is anybody’s guess." While tons of contaminated vegetation and dead animals have been removed from the sites, access to the region and to government data by First Nation representatives has been repeatedly denied.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 20, 2013 - 23 comments

We're going to put the trees back too... no, really, we are...

The Canadian oil sand mines refused us access, so we rented this plane to see what they were up to: A slideshow of oil extraction from above Alberta's tar sands fields. (Warning: surreally-coloured pools of water inside) [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on May 20, 2012 - 129 comments

Corexit Blues

Corexit [Bing cache] is mostly what BP has used on the spill. There are a few things to know about Corexit. One is that is was banned in U.K. over ten years ago because it is so toxic, as in poisonous to humans and sea life. ... Corexit was also used on the Exxon Valdez spill. Now read carefully: Almost all the clean up workers who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill are dead. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 7, 2010 - 45 comments

The Gulf Between Us

The Gulf Between Us. Stories of terror and beauty from the world's largest accidental offshore oil disaster. Six months on, Terry Tempest Williams gives us a trenchant report on the BP spill, for Orion magazine.
posted by HumanComplex on Oct 19, 2010 - 4 comments

Massive La. Fishkill Prompts Oil Spill Questions

Low levels of oxygen lead to a river of dead fish stretching to the horizon, from shore to shore near Plaquemines, Louisiana
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 16, 2010 - 37 comments

Oil Spill in Celery City

Sometime Sunday evening, an oil pipeline burst over Talmadge Creek near Marshall, Michigan, spilling an estimated 840,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River. [more inside]
posted by Baby_Balrog on Jul 27, 2010 - 31 comments

The Age of Xtreme Energy

Michael T Klare (previously here and here) has been writing for some time about the coming age of America's oil wars. Recently with the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Storms Mexico, he's been writing about the coming about of what he calls "The Era of Xtreme Energy" and the extreme length we're going to have to go to secure it. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jun 24, 2010 - 50 comments

"This will go down in the history books as the Earth Day blowout"

The fire is out on the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. But since the rig sank last Thursday, Coast Guard officials believe about 13,000 gallons (7,400 bbl) of crude oil per day is coming out of the exploratory hole drilled by the rig, about 41 miles offshore from Plaquemines Parish, LA. "An early suggestion that damage would be minimal because the fire was consuming most of the fuel 'does have the potential to change,' BP official David Rainey told the New York Times." [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Apr 26, 2010 - 99 comments

Picturing Climate Change

Ahead of the global climate talks, nine photographers from the photo agency NOOR photographed climate stories from around the world. Their goal: to document some of the causes and consequences, from deforestation to changing sea levels, as well as the people whose lives and jobs are part of that carbon culture. Warming threatens lifestyle of Russian herders | Refugees flee drought, war in East Africa | Greenland’s shrinking ice hurts natives [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 10, 2009 - 3 comments

Definancialisation, Deglobalisation, Relocalisation

In a talk titled Definancialisation, Deglobalisation, Relocalisation given at The New Emergency Conference, Peak Oil activist and writer Dmitry Orlov (previously 1 2 3) shows how he has come to the conclusion that the oil price spike of summer 2008 was the trigger for the financial collapse that occurred later on in the fall. He goes on to summarize (from his point of view) pretty much everything that has been happening in the past year or so, and what he thinks is coming up next. [more inside]
posted by symbollocks on Jun 19, 2009 - 41 comments

Wiwa vs. Shell

Wiwa vs. Shell. 14 years ago, Ken Saro-Wiwa (prev) was hung with his counterparts for speaking out against Shell and the atrocities they were committing upon the Ogoni people of the Nigerian River Delta. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on May 30, 2009 - 23 comments

The Canadian Oil Boom

Scraping Bottom: The Canadian Oil Boom. "Once considered too expensive, as well as too damaging to the land, exploitation of Alberta's oil sands is now a gamble worth billions."
posted by homunculus on Feb 26, 2009 - 41 comments

I drink it up. Everyday. I drink the blood of lamb from Bandy's tract.

Oil sands will pollute Great Lakes The environmental impacts of Alberta's oil sands will not be restricted to Western Canada, researchers say, but will extend thousands of kilometres away to the Great Lakes, threatening water and air quality around the world's largest body of fresh water. *****Report: How the Oil Sands Got to the Great Lakes Basin***** (pdf) Policy makers around the lakes, in both Canada and the U.S., are largely unaware that the tar sands will lead to massive industrial development in their region, and consequently have no strategy to minimize the environmental impacts. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 8, 2008 - 33 comments

There Could Be Blood

Andy Grove on Our Electric Future - "Energy independence [viz.] is the wrong goal. Here is a plan Americans can stick to." Perhaps some infrastructure spending1,2 is in order? [etc., &c., cf.] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 15, 2008 - 14 comments

Smoke and mirrors

Meet Joules the climate change-sceptic robot. Joules is employed to teach 8-14 year-old school children in the UK about energy use. Joules says: "oil and gas could be in short supply in about 50 years time. The earth is believed to be getting warmer and sea levels apper to be rising. Energy Chest is funded in part by the world's biggest oil company: ExxonMobil. [more inside]
posted by MrMerlot on May 27, 2008 - 45 comments

Ducks in Alberta died a crude death

Ducks die a crude death. Alberta's oilsands (previously) (map) have a new emblem -- hundreds of ducks coated and killed in oily toxic sludge. About 500 birds landed and died in an oil sands pond. The pond full of toxic sludge sits along a major flight path for migrating waterfowl. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on May 1, 2008 - 50 comments

Biocrude

Pond scum saves the planet? In the beginning, there were algae, but there was no oil. Then, from algae came oil. Now, the algae are still there, but oil is fast depleting. In future, there will be no oil, but there will still be algae. ^ Power your ride with pond scum. In some iterations you don't even need light. (we have talked about this before and the fact that CO2 powers the algae production is not insignificant) More details here.
posted by caddis on Apr 17, 2008 - 28 comments

Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands. A great series from the Globe and Mail on the Alberta Tar Sands: An Empire Made of Goo, Black gold, Texas tea, The hollowing out of small Atlantic towns, Where rich and poor Albertas collide, Norway the gold standard for managing oil wealth, The climatic costs of rapid growth.
posted by chunking express on Feb 1, 2008 - 32 comments

2007 the year against the plastic bag

Each year the world makes about 5 trillion plastic bags(art exhibit) using about 20 billion barrels of oil, each bag able to last thousands of years. In 2007 cities began legislating against plastic bags from outright bans to mandatory surcharges, starting in San Francisco, then Hong Kong, Melbourne and now some countries in Africa, Israel and even the entire country of China are taking similar strides to cut down on the worlds bag obsession. Who's next in 2008?
posted by stbalbach on Jan 16, 2008 - 78 comments

Mushrooms vs. the Oil Spill

DIY activists have been using human hair mats to soak up the carcinogenic bunker oil that's been washing onto Bay Area beaches since the spill. Now they're inoculating the oil-soaked mats with mushrooms that will break down the oil into harmless compost. See also: fungi breaking down plastics, synthetic dyes and organopollutants generally. A bit more from mushroom guru Paul Stamets. (If you're so inclined, here's a link to donate to the non-profit that coordinated the hair mats.) [more inside]
posted by serazin on Nov 30, 2007 - 46 comments

Maybe they're talking about the paint job

A two-ton 21-mpg 8-passenger V8 Chevy Tahoe? America, meet your 2008 Green Car of the Year!
posted by dead_ on Nov 27, 2007 - 95 comments

green design

Ecoble, an environment design and living site includes some interesting stories and info: Man (Re)Builds Mexican Island Paradise on 250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles l Who Has the Oil? Geography of the World’s Most Contentious Resource l BituBlock - The Sustainable Building Block Built from Trash and Sewage [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 20, 2007 - 12 comments

Mud, Sweat and Tears

"The vast tar sands of Alberta in Canada hold oil reserves six times the size of Saudi Arabia's. But this 'black gold' is proving a mixed blessing for the frontier town of Fort McMurray, fuelling both prosperity and misery. As the social and environmental toll mounts, Aida Edemariam reports on the dark side of a boom town" - Mud, Sweat and Tears.
posted by chunking express on Oct 31, 2007 - 45 comments

Got oil?

Need oil? Try microwaving your plastics.
posted by sunshinesky on Jul 8, 2007 - 23 comments

The Largest Oil Spill In US History

First discovered by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1978, the Greenpoint spill has been estimated at anywhere between 17 million and 30 million gallons—three times more oil than the Exxon Valdez spill. [NY mag permalink, with ads]
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jun 10, 2007 - 40 comments

Last chance for Southeast Louisiana

Last Chance. "It took the Mississippi River 6,000 years to build the Louisiana coast. It took man (and natural disasters) 75 years to destroy it. Experts agree we have 10 years to act before the problem is too big to solve." [Via First Draft.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 5, 2007 - 19 comments

NYT OpEd by Thomas Homer-Dixon "The End of Ingenuity"

The End of Ingenuity (NYT OpEd by Thomas Homer-Dixon)"..cheap energy is tightening, and humankind’s enormous output of greenhouse gases is disrupting the earth’s climate. Together, these two constraints could eventually hobble global economic growth and cap the size of the global economy." See also The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization. (2006).
posted by stbalbach on Nov 30, 2006 - 61 comments

Hummers for all, thanks to Apartheid and the Nazis.

Green Nazis.
posted by Meatbomb on Oct 24, 2006 - 17 comments

urban jungle

the new urban jungle. . . is a growing movement led by cities like San Francisco, New York, and Leiden to restore active and vibrant natural systems in urban areas. Far from the eden-like depictions of nature of yesteryear, i.e. the garden of earthly delights (nonetheless, still attracting some dynamic new christian converts), the movement has morphed into today's backyard and grassroots environmental movement which is more and more a picture of hybridity, compromise, mixed-use, and ultimately, taking nature out of the walled islands of zoos, aquaria, national parks and other thick-walled institutions and offering a different kind of everyday "unmediated" community experience with the new urban wilderness. VIDEO LINK
posted by huckhound on Jul 6, 2006 - 1 comment

Dumping the SUV guilt!

The jolly green Hummer? The growing band of environmental offset companies which give you the chance to offload your SUV driving, energy squandering guilt onto an annual subscription and a fancy bumper sticker looks like one way that we'll be able to live with ourselves in the power hungry 21st century. Is this the placebo we've all been waiting for?
posted by Duug on Jan 13, 2006 - 20 comments

April 22: Earth Day or Peak Oil Day?

Today the Saudi Oil Minister announced that they are setting aside OPEC production quotas. Is the end for OPEC? More importantly, when the Texas Railroad Commission did the same thing in 1971, it signaled the peaking of US oil production. Oil prices keep rising, and the Main Stream Media blames it on tight refinery capacity. But simple economics tells us that this should actually cause crude prices to drop. So what is happening? Is this the peak of global oil production? President Bush is concerned, and he is hosting Crown Prince Abdullah at the Crawford Ranch this week. Leading Oil & Gas investment banker Matt Simmons thinks that the peak is upon us, and even the Saudi Oil Minister admits that they probably won’t find any more light, sweet crude…
posted by DAJ on Apr 22, 2005 - 81 comments

Energy is an eternal delight

Big Oil fosters skepticism about climate change, years after the vast majority of scientists agree that it's happening. From 2000 to 2003, ExxonMobil spent more than eight million dollars funding some forty think tanks and organizations, whose pundits dutifully propagate the idea that today's man-made C02-emissions aren't really a threat to the future.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket on Apr 19, 2005 - 37 comments

Profit at any cost

  • The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's 19 million acres comprise one of the last places on earth where an intact expanse of arctic and sub arctic lands remains protected.
  • Drilling in the Arctic Refuge can't make even a small dent in meeting America's energy needs. U.S. Geological Survey scientists estimate that there is very likely only enough oil to supply America's needs for six months. And oil companies admit that, even that, won't be available for at least 10 years.
  • An irreplaceable natural treasure, the Arctic Refuge is home to caribou, polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, golden eagles, snow geese and more. Millions of other birds use the Arctic Refuge to nest and as a critical staging area on their migratory journeys.
  • The Arctic Refuge supports more than wildlife. For a thousand generations, the Gwich'in people of Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada have depended on it and lived in harmony with it. To them, the Arctic Coastal Plain is sacred ground.

  • Yet where God sees life, Republicans see black profit by adding Alaskan drilling to upcoming legislation.
    posted by Mean Mr. Bucket on Mar 15, 2005 - 91 comments

    Oily lollipops, carbonized brains

    Pederasts of the mind: Of kids, lies and Oil. The American Petroleum Institute partners (in 2004) with The National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) and Scholastic (see: Scholastic's creedo) to provide K-12 lesson plans, on energy and oil, which resemble the API's own "Teacher Lesson Plans" and snappy flash presentations such as Progress Through Petroleum! which are bundled with fun stuff and cool facts. The NSTA/API lessons teach all about energy and oil except the global environmental impacts. Didactic bonus from NSTA's oil-friendly curriculum : a surrealistic gallery of oil industry imagery for kids to download.

    Recent glacial melt speedup in Greenland and Antarctica shocks researchers, while the Pentagon games scenarios of Abrupt Climate Change : Don't worry, says the DOE's Energy Ant - oil's good, like cows, m'kay ? . Extra credit : Play the Oil and natural Gas Crossword Puzzle, or the "Industry Lesson Plan Game" (that, and more, inside)
    posted by troutfishing on Oct 5, 2004 - 21 comments

    Instant Environmental Satisfaction

    Greenfleet is an Australian environmental organisation who aim to help citizens offset their own greenhouse gas emmissions. Their Tree Totaller (Australian-based, but I'm sure conversions are easy) works out how many trees you need to offset your annual emmissions, based on private car, home energy use and flights. It's a very neat little flash-app, and at the end it lets you chose to "subscribe" to Greenfleet so they'll plant the necessary number of trees for you. I owe 44 trees, for only AU$103 a year.
    posted by Jimbob on Jun 4, 2004 - 7 comments

    mother earth fights back

    mother earth fights back "Global warming, which most climate experts blame mainly on large-scale burning of oil and other fossil fuels, is interfering with efforts in Alaska to discover yet more oil." via dangerousmeta and " It’s so hot windshields are shattering or falling out, dogs are burning their paws on the pavement, and candles are melting indoors." - are the naysayers ready to get on board? and start acting like good global citizens?
    posted by specialk420 on Jul 30, 2003 - 24 comments

    bp's environmental makeover

    Beyond petroleum? British Petroleum’s recent $200-million makeover into sunny-logoed bp seems to respond to mounting concerns over pollution, global warming, and wars for oil. By advocating alternatives to the very product that has made it the world’s seventh-largest company, it also seems like economic suicide. In accordance with their environmental goals, they've helped release bald eagles in Manhattan and bring solar power to rural Tibet, but many remain unconvinced. Each bp ad ended with the same tagline: “It’s a start.” Is it?
    posted by gottabefunky on Dec 19, 2002 - 31 comments

    Canadian Prime Minister surprises with pledge to put Kyoto accord to Parliament.

    Canadian Prime Minister surprises with pledge to put Kyoto accord to Parliament. Until now, with resistance from the oil-rich western provinces, Canada has been luke-warm on Kyoto. PM Jean Chretien surprised all of us (a pleasant surprise, for many) by making the announcement today at the Summit in South Africa. The PM recently announced that he'll be leaving office in 18 months - leaving him with a lot of power and little accountability - possibly working on his own legacy rather than for the good of his country. So far so good.
    posted by stevengarrity on Sep 2, 2002 - 15 comments

    "The myth of oil prosperity runs wide and deep".

    "The myth of oil prosperity runs wide and deep". "Petroleum-led development strategies have delivered nation after nation into a spiral of debt and dependency. And yet, governments, corporations, and international financial institutions continue to reinvest in the growing, global oil economy". Consider Nigeria, the point of focus of attention of environmentalists, human rights activists and fair trade advocates around the world. With its annual debt service obligation at over $4 bn, more than a third of its export income, Nigeria has in recent years pegged its annual budget allocation for actual debt servicing at $2 bn. Lower export earnings forced it to cut this to $1.5 bn in the 1999 budget. Who's to blame? Theftocracies, the IMF, World Bank, oil companies, foreign governments? Since it is clear that debt restructuring harms more than helps, will there be more debt relief, and finally, who ends up paying the banks when loans are written off?
    posted by Mack Twain on Aug 13, 2002 - 6 comments

    Supplies of oil may be inexhaustible.

    Supplies of oil may be inexhaustible. (via Plastic)
    posted by BlueTrain on Jun 4, 2002 - 23 comments

    House of Representatives approves drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    House of Representatives approves drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
    posted by solistrato on Aug 1, 2001 - 85 comments

    He gives a whole new meaning to the word

    He gives a whole new meaning to the word "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." NY Times
    posted by crunchland on May 1, 2001 - 138 comments

    A new bugaboo will have to be found: The Bush Administration has decided not to attempt to drill for oil in the ANWR.
    posted by aaron on Apr 22, 2001 - 26 comments

    "You don't have to burn books now," says Thomas. "You just press the delete key."

    "You don't have to burn books now," says Thomas. "You just press the delete key." Two unabashedly partisan reports of the Bush administration's clandestine campaign to "tighten up" anything from online government sources dealing with the development of Alaskan mineral resources. We've done the debate on Alaska, but what about the ability to amend online records? The old administration's sites are meant to be preserved by law, but plenty appears to have been deleted in the name of "polishing": "We changed value-laden words like 'destroy' to 'impact.'" Newspeak in action? Should government-run sites be required to carry a Changelog?
    posted by holgate on Apr 14, 2001 - 7 comments

    "The vice president says he would rather protect this refuge than gain the energy, but this is a false choice ..."

    "The vice president says he would rather protect this refuge than gain the energy, but this is a false choice ..."
    ~G.W. Bush (on Gore's plan to keep the protected status of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while Bush plans to open up parts of the protected land to oil prospecters.)
    posted by tamim on Sep 30, 2000 - 25 comments

    Teenager runs his VW Jetta with used canola oil.

    Teenager runs his VW Jetta with used canola oil.
    posted by Mr. skullhead on Jul 20, 2000 - 5 comments

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