Tag Archives: contamination

Thoughts on Ecological-Crisis, #Egypt, #Jan25, #Tahrir, and Revolutionary Struggle

25 Jan

“Shut down the arms dealers. Do not let them make it, ship it.” -From Tahrir Square, November 22, 2011

A black block participant, Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. January 25, 2012. Source: Al-Jazeera

A black block participant, Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt. January 25, 2012. Source: Al-Jazeera

by SabiTaj Mahal,
Earth First! Journal

January 25, 2013, is the two year anniversary of a massive gathering that took place in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, that kicked off a series of events that eventually lead to the end of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, and the Egyptian Revolution (See: Timeline: Egypt’s Revolution)

My father spent four years in Egypt during the 1970’s. As a young spry Muslim college student from Pakistan, he chose to go to Egypt because he wanted to learn more about the historic region and learn a new language while completing his university education. As soon as I was able to talk, he told me stories of his adventures in Egypt, describing in detail his awe of the environment, and how they were special moments stuck in time. Because of this ever increasing industrial world, the Egypt my father experienced no longer exists. One of his favorite stories to share with me was when he first tasted the freshwater from the Nile:

“I drank the water from the Nile. We were on a trip going down the Nile… I forgot to bring water and I was thirsty… so I layed stomach down on the raft, cupped my hands, scooped up what I could… it was the sweetest water I ever tasted! The man who was pushing our boat told me, ‘You will now talk about Egypt for the rest of your life’. I feel lucky, because now, you can’t drink from the Nile anymore, its too polluted.”

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Federal Warrants Issued Against Protect The Peaks Activists

11 Dec
photo-by-theo

Flagstaff, AZ community members “quarantine” Coconino National Forest Service lobby

National Forest Service Announces New Sacred Sites Policy at the Same Time That Flagstaff Peaks Activists Are Targeted with Federal Charges and Arrest Warrants

Peaks Activists Vow to Fight Charges and Plan to Turn themselves Over to U.S. Marshalls

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — On the same day that secretary Tom Vilsack of the US Department of Agriculture issued a final report on Sacred Sites and an inter-agency memorandum to work towards Sacred Sites protection, the Coconino Forest Service filed federal charges against four Sacred Sites advocates who were part of a protest at the Forest Service offices three months earlier.
 
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First Step Towards Fracking in Michigan, DNR Auctions Rights to 109,000 Acres

4 May

Hydraulic Fracturing Comes to Michigan – Auction May 8, 2012

On May 8, 2012, the Michigan DNR will auction mineral and oil rights to 109,000 acres of Michigan public land. This opens public lands to
oil and gas drilling and the highly toxic, water-intensive practice of hydraulic fracturing, and other extractive industries.

The May 8 State of Michigan Oil and Gas Lease Auction includes state land from 23 counties with Oakland, Barry, Gladwin, counties and the UP among the biggest losers of public land and health.


Here is the Maps of all auction Parcels:
http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/1,1607,7-153-10371_14793-30912–,00.html

Here is the Auction Notice: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/PropPubNotice_379340_7.pdf

Get Involved:

Please call the Oil and Gas Lease Management Unit of the DNR at 517-373-7663 to express your concerns.

May 8 Lansing Protest

The May 8 auction will open for bidder registration at 8:00am with the auction beginning at 9:00am at Constitution Hall, 525 West Allegan, Lansing. At 7:30am many concerned Michigan residents are meeting in front of Constitutional Hall, to protest this auction.

If you are interested in this outdoor protest please call Maryann at 269-267-3278

If you are interested in making your voice heard directly in classic EF! style please call Elizabeth at 248-462-0906

If you are interested in purchasing the mineral rights in order to keep your community unpolluted please call Kathy at 248-790-6278

If you want to get involved and live in Northern and Eastern Michigan please call LuAnn at 231-547-2828

More Information

In Barry County alone, the DNR is offering 211 numbered parcels totaling over 23,400 acres, with an average size of 111 acres per offering. With a typical oil and/or gas well requiring 40 acres, the Yankee Springs Recreation area could potentially become home to hundreds of wells, and with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, this means deep, multi-directional drilling and the injection of toxic chemicals under area wetlands, streams, lakes, and recreational land.

The DNR is offering large parcels of land in Thornapple and Irving Townships directly north and west of Middleville, as well as most of Yankee Springs and some portions of Orangeville and Rutledge Townships. Bodies of water contained in these parcels include the eastern shores of Barlow and Gun Lakes as well as all surrounding land and waters of Shaw Lake, Bassett Lake, Baker Lake, Chief Noonday Lake, Payne Lake, Williams and McDonald Lakes, Long Lake, Hall Lake, Turner Lake, Deep Lake, Otis Lake, and all connecting waterways, recreational trails, and land.

Check www.BanMichiganFracking.org for updates

Environmental, Public Health, and Water Hazards Involved with Oil / Gas Drilling and Hydro-Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing:

  • Drinking Water Contamination (Methane migrating into water supplies)
  • Site Contamination (Toxic drilling muds buried in on-site pits)
  • Excessive Water Withdrawals (Wells use hundreds of thousands to millions of gallons of water per day, harvested from on-site water wells drilled alongside oil/gas wells.)
  • Poisonous Gases (Sour Gas wells emit and sometimes leak poisonous Hydrogen Sulfide.)
  • Earthquakes (Such as those caused in Ohio, due to deep injection wells where toxic fracking fluids are injected because these toxic chemicals cannot be disposed of above ground.)
  • The potential for toxic fracking fluids (known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and chemicals that cause neurological damage) to leak during on-site mixing and operations, and/or from deep injection wells used to bury these toxins.

Enbridge Oil Spill Whistle-Blower Trial Updates

25 Apr

 July 2010, more than a million gallons of tar sands crude spilled into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. This is the largest inland spill in US History. A fired cleanup worker with a dark past claims he was ordered to cover up oil to meet federal deadlines. His case went to trial last week.

Even today two years later, one can still scoop up handfuls of Tar Sands Oil from the marshlands surrounding the river. The communities living around the river are still sick with nerve damage and other illnesses related to the chemicals diluting the Tar Sand Oil. Enbridge still claims the river is clean.

On Earth covers the story of the Enbridge spill, and its attempted cover up in a four part series. Click here for the full series.

Fracking: ACT 13, The Worst Is Coming

12 Mar

Article by Steven Rosenfeld, from Alternet.org

Pennsylvania, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed and where the U.S. coal, oil and nuclear industries began, has adopted what may be the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the country, giving gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning laws, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts from drilling fluids on patients.

The draconian new law, known as Act 13, revises the state’s oil and gas statutes, to allow oil companies to drill for natural gas using the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking, where large volumes of water and toxic chemicals are pumped into vertical wells with lateral bores to shatter the rock and release the hydrocarbons. The law strips rights from communities and individuals while imposing new statewide drilling rules. Continue reading

Butler County residents protest after state tests of their wells absolve driller

2 Mar

Sue Morrow of Butler joins protesters gathered Thursday in downtown Butler to oppose Rex Energy Marcellus Shale drilling and demand that clean water be restored in their Connoquenessing Township community.

By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Janet McIntyre of The Woodlands, a rural community in southern Butler County, said her well water foams and turns purple when it comes out of her faucet.

“When I bathe in it, I get rashes, so I’m thinking I shouldn’t be drinking it, either,” she said Thursday afternoon at a rally and march by more than 75 people to the downtown Butler office of Rex Energy Inc. to protest the company’s decision to stop providing replacement water to the McIntyres and 10 other families in the Connoquenessing Township community, 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.

The chanting and sign-waving demonstrators, who brought enough jugs of water for the Woodlands residents to fill a pickup truck to overflowing, blamed Rex Energy’s Marcellus Shale gas drilling operations near that community for contaminating the water wells.

The company has provided the families with 800-gallon plastic tanks, commonly called “water buffalos,” and filled them regularly for a year but drained and removed the last of them Thursday, citing a series of test results that fail to establish a link between the drilling and the water contamination.

For full article go to source as posted from here

Reportback on the first ever Radical Mycology Convergence

17 Sep

(re-posted from Radical Mycology)


Over 200 people gathered in northern Washington state this past Labor Day weekend to learn about the many uses of the fungal kingdom at the world’s first Radical Mycology Convergence. For four days, people gathered from several countries and various cultural backgrounds to teach and learn together about mycoremediation, the use of fungi as a tool to help combat mass pollution and ecological degradation. In an age when so many human caused disasters are occurring throughout the world, the fungi are beginning to be seen as a strong option for tackling some of these great problems long thought impossible to solve.

WHY RADICAL MYCOLOGY?

Access to mycological information is not easy. With a cultural view that fears fungi, a schooling system that undervalues them, and only a small number of courses on advanced mycology worldwide, it is easy to see why the fifth kingdom is so disregarded and misunderstood. As one of the youngest natural sciences, mycology (the study of fungi) has largely been kept in the hands of professionals since its development with much of the official work focusing simply on taxonomy and species edibility/toxicity. However, in the last few decades (and really just the last few years) the greater fungi have started to gain more acceptance and familiarity to those outside of academia as their uses beyond the dinner plate are starting to be realized.

It is surprising to note that most people do not realize that fungi are not only on, in and a part of all living (and once-living) things but that they play an extremely important role in the life cycle of plants as well. Acting like stewards of the forest, certain fungi create complex networks of “mycelium” (that white stuff you see when you pull back a decaying log) underground that serve to channel nutrients and water between plants and to help maintain the health of entire ecosystems. The fungi are also responsible for the decomposition of all woody material, turning dead plant matter in to fresh soil for new plants to thrive in. Without the fungi the world would be piled high in dead trees with no new ones growing.

In the last decade or so, mycologists have discovered that the same enzymes that fungi naturally produce to digest their food can also be used to break down toxic pollutants and petroleum products. Species have been discovered that can digest plastics, disposable diapers, motor oil, DDT, and Agent Orange as well as sequester and concentrate heavy metals out of polluted soil for later disposal. This emerging field of “mycoremediation” has only barely gained a foundation from which to grow on as in-depth research and experimentation in the last few years has been scant at best and suppressed at worst. As such a powerful ally in the fight to save the planet before ecological collapse, the fungi are now more worthy of investigation than ever before*. Thus, the RMC was formed to foster a community of people interested in developing and implementing mycoremediative techniques to provide a resource for peer learning and encouragement.

* This is not to say this information addresses the problem of eliminating the manufacturing of these products. Rather it provides a way to actually deal with existing problems alongside efforts to stop their proliferation.

WHY A CONVERGENCE?

The intent of the organizers of the RMC in forming the event was three fold: 1) To share mycological information in an accessible manner using the simplest techniques and a minimal amount of equipment 2) To promote the use of mycoremediation techniques & 3) To build an all-inclusive & non-hierarchical network of amateur & professional mycologists. We feel we were quite successful in our efforts to a degree beyond any expectations.

Despite a full schedule all weekend, the RMC went off without a hitch. Workshops included sterile and non-sterile cultivation methods, mycopermaculture/mushrooms in the garden, mycomedicinals, mushroom paper and dye making, and fungi and lichen identification. There were also presentations on ethnomycology in Mexico by professional mycologists from Baja California. Folks from the Amazon Mycorenewal Project spoke on their work to clean up oil spills in Ecuador using oyster mushrooms. And a representative from the Mushroom Development Foundation spoke to their work teaching Indian farmers to grow mushrooms from agricultural waste. All this took place on a communal farm with nightly group fires, a raging talent show and raffle, and great swimming holes. Add in a general sense of commonality and you get an inspiring weekend of learning and building a community where one had not existed before.

Many presenters demonstrated techniques they had developed on their own to reduce the use of fossil fuels and expensive equipment from cultivating mushrooms. James from Amateur Mycology in Colorado stated that he hadn’t thrown away a piece of paper for 2 years as he was turning it all into mushrooms. James also spoke of successes in using mushroom beds as living mulch in a greenhouse to increase plant yields. Another workshop demonstrated tissue culturing in open air using only hydrogen peroxide and alcohol to sterilize your equipment. A big take away message from the weekend was that there is so much yet to be discovered about mycology–and so few people doing it–that it will take the work of amateurs to increase understanding.

As a culmination to the weekend, we implemented 2 small remediation projects at the host farm to put theory to practice. We set up 2 beds of King Stropharia mushrooms to help decompose the humanure produced at the farm. We also installed various burlap sacks inoculated with Blue Oyster mushrooms around the farm’s spring to help filter the water of possible runoff from a nearby road as well as prevent erosion to the surrounding hill side.

Through the RMC we created an environment that encouraged skill and knowledge sharing by embracing diversity and working toward the greater goal of a healthier planet and way of life. With the advances being made over the last few years, working with the fungi has never been easier than now, at a time when their capabilities are of greatest import. This information deserves to be in the hands of those who want it and the Radical Mycology Convergence was one step among several toward reaching that goal.

CONCLUSIONS

On the final day of the convergence an open discussion was held to reflect on the RMC and to discuss ideas for future gatherings as well as how folks plan to implement this information in their local communities. The consensus showed that those present were excited to begin the process of developing a web-based forum or wiki to enable cultivators and experimenters to share techniques and experiences in relation to low-tech cultivation and remediation work. Similarly, free publications will be produced that teach these techniques and demonstrate case studies of the work people are doing with fungi. Also, a decentralized formal network will be created of groups of people doing this work so as to stay connected, organize future/regional RMCs, and to collaborate as desired.

A truly unique event, the first Radical Mycology Convergence was a huge success drawing in all types of people to live and learn together. The RMC demonstrated the power of a shared concern for the future of the planet to overcome personal differences in political or worldviews and the need to embrace novel ideas for tackling some of the world’s problems. We found that out of their backyards and garages, people are developing novel ways to work with the fungi to reduce their waste streams, filter their water, produce food and potent medicines easily, as well as work to clean up their local landbases thru remediation work.

The meme of radical mycology is only just developing. Time will tell how common this information and these techniques will become in the future. For now we invite those interested in learning more to follow the links and articles at www.radicalmycology.com.

In sporidarity,

The Radical Mycology Convergence organizers

radmycology@gmail.com

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