Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Archive for the ‘pollution’ Category

Who needs Chesapeake crabs?

Posted by feww on March 5, 2009

Our Oceans, where life started Are Now Dying!

What is killing them? Among major causes Pollution from

  • Tourism
  • Coastal Developments
  • Industrial agriculture
  • Intensive farming
  • Coal-burning power plants
  • Shipping
  • Dumping


  • Eutrophication and Hypoxia
  • Desertification
  • Acidification
  • Dead Zones

Our Dead Zone Largest Ever This Year!

Ocean “deserts” are expanding much faster than predicted, it is believed that the ocean “desertification” may result in the population decline of many fish species.

Black areas in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are the least productive. (Credit NOAA)

Development takes toll on Chesapeake crabs

Wed Mar 4, 2009
By Andy Sullivan

REEDVILLE, Virginia (Reuters) – It doesn’t look like a disaster area.

Crab boats dart back and forth on this inlet of the Chesapeake Bay as they have for generations. On the shore, million-dollar vacation homes catch the morning sun.

But watermen aren’t pulling blue crabs out of the Bay this winter. After years of decline, the U.S. Commerce Department declared the fishery a federal disaster last September and Maryland and Virginia shut it down until spring.

It was a symbolic as well as an economic blow for the men who harvest the region’s defining culinary treat.

Watermen faced a stark choice: Stay ashore until March, or take a state job pulling abandoned crab traps and other junk from the bottom of the Bay.

So on this frigid winter morning, Spencer Headley is on cleanup duty, a floating janitor on one of the country’s most intractably polluted bodies of water.

It’s decent money — $300 a day plus expenses — and you can’t beat those government hours. But Headley, 32, wonders why he must now rely on the state rather than the water for his livelihood.

“We’re not trying to tear the Bay up. We’re just trying to make a living off a fishery that’s been going for more than 100 years,” he says, one eye on his sonar display.

“Why all of a sudden is it a disaster?”

The Susquehanna River, which enters the Chesapeake Bay at its northern end, carries 40 percent of the nitrogen that flows into the Bay—the largest single source. There is so much nitrogen in the northern Bay that algae have all the “fertilizer” they need, and changes in streamflow do little or nothing to affect the growth of algal blooms. This satellite image shows brown water flowing from the Susquehanna. (NASA image by Robert Simmon, based on Landsat-7 data provided by the UMD Global Land Cover Facility. Caption: Earth Observatory).


That disaster has been steadily building since Europeans first mapped the Bay’s shores 400 years ago.

Stretching roughly 200 miles from northern Maryland to southern Virginia, the Chesapeake is the largest estuary in the United States and for hundreds of years was one of its most productive fisheries, yielding shad, sturgeon, oysters and baitfish. As recently as 1993, the Bay accounted for about half of the country’s blue crab harvest.

But the fishery has declined as the region has boomed. Roughly 16.6 million people live in its watershed, which stretches as far as upstate New York, and an average of 439 more move to the region each day. That means more houses and more traffic as urban sprawl eats up forests and farmland.

The impact of this growth can be seen along Sligo Creek, which draws herons and foxes to its banks as it winds through the densely packed suburbs northeast of Washington, D.C.

Along the way, the creek picks up a steady stream of pollutants: lawn fertilizer, pet feces, motor oil and silt, washing off the parking lots and other hard surfaces that cover 35 percent of its 12-square-mile watershed.

Local activist Bruce Sidwell points out a sewer line that runs across the creek, exposed by years of erosion. It could be leaking raw sewage before long.

Sidwell’s grass-roots group reports polluters and organizes litter pickups, and he’s eager to showcase the filtering pools that help clean the creek’s upper reaches.

But water quality remains poor and is not likely to improve without substantial changes in the landscape, Sidwell says.

“It would take quite an effort to get it up to ‘fair’ water quality,” he says.

On its journey to the Chesapeake, water from Sligo Creek mingles with runoff from farms and sewage treatment plans.

Nitrogen and phosphorus in that runoff feed massive algae blooms that suck oxygen out of the water each summer, killing clams and worms that provide the blue crab with food and aquatic grasses that give it shelter.

Last year, the “dead zone” covered 40 percent of the Bay.

Not surprisingly, crabs have suffered. The 2007 catch was the worst in recorded history, and last year the catch was even worse in Virginia and only slightly better in Maryland.

With fewer crabs in the Bay, watermen now routinely catch far more than the 46 percent that scientists say is the upper limit to maintain a healthy population.

Observers say time is running out to reverse the damage.

“The Bay is now degraded to the point that its basic ability to withstand even low levels of pollution is in jeopardy,” said Naval Academy professor Howard Ernst, an expert on the restoration effort.

A 25-year, $6 billion cleanup effort by state governments and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has come under widespread criticism as it has repeatedly fallen short of its stated goals. Officials also overstated their success to keep funding in place.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an environmental group, sued the EPA last month to force it to set a firm cap on pollutants. The group is heartened that new EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has promised to make the Bay cleanup a priority.

“We certainly are hearing the right words,” said foundation president Will Baker. “But to be honest, we have heard those words for 30, 35 years and what we need to see is action.”


Headley has seen the changes up close. He’s pulled up traps filled with dead crabs, suffocated in oxygen-depleted water. He’s seen the state reduce the number of traps he’s allowed to drop in the water from 500 to 350.

And he’s seen mansions sprout along the shoreline, their lawns fertilized with the very chemicals that are choking the Bay. “Grass as green as you’ve ever seen in your life, looks like it’s painted on,” he says.

Easing his 46-foot (14 meter) Chesapeake Bay Deadrise back to the dock, Headley passes rusted shacks and crumbling chimneys, the ruins of once-thriving oyster and baitfish industries.

The crab fishery, too, is a shadow of its former self, employing 40 percent fewer jobs than it did a decade ago.

There are only a handful of crabbers working out of Reedville now, Headley says, but plenty of people are moving to town to enjoy the scenery.

Headley knows everybody on the water, but sometimes when he comes ashore he doesn’t recognize a soul. A way of life is dying. (Editing by Alan Elsner). Copyright the author or news agency. URL:

Related Links:

    Posted in Coastal Developments, Continental Shelf, dead zones, pollution, Susquehanna | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Quotes of the Week: On EF, Food, Water, Pollution

    Posted by feww on October 30, 2008

    The Earth’s natural resources are being depleted at terminal speed!

    The United States, Australia, UAE, Kuwait and Denmark have the largest ecological footprints per person

    “If our demands on the planet continue to increase at the same rate, by the mid-2030s we would need the equivalent of two planets to maintain our lifestyles. … If humanity has the will, it has the ways to live within the means of the planet, but we must recognize that the ecological credit crunch will require even bolder action than that now being mustered for the financial crisis” ~ James Leape, Director-General of WWF International (Living Planet Report), speaking on the reckless consumption of natural capital which is endangering the world.

    Related Links:

    Some 37 percent (31.5 million tons) of all fish removed from our oceans each year is used mostly (90%) as feed for livestock and ranched fish.

    “If you’re creating protein for humans to consume, does it make sense to take three to five pounds [up to 20 pounds for ranched tuna] of perfectly good food and convert it into only one pound of food?” ~ Ellen Pikitch, executive director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science and a professor at Stony Brook University in New York, One-third of world fish catch used for animal feed

    Related Links:

    Drinking water for Lima, Peru, imperiled by mining legacy

    “With the rains, there could be filtration on the hillside and cause a disaster that would affect the central highway, a mining facility [with toxic ponds,] a hydroelectric plant, and the tailings would reach the Rimac River, causing a big disaster of contamination.” ~ Antonio Brack, Environment Minister of Peru, speaking on the possibility of the Rimac River, which provides drinking water to the capital, Lima, being contaminated by tailing ponds nearby that contain up to a million metric tons of tailings.

    Posted in ecological footprints, Living Planet Report, pollution, Rimac River, water | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Another Major Fishery Bites the Dust

    Posted by feww on September 10, 2008

    World’s biggest wild abalone fishery attacked by killer virus

    The world’s biggest wild abalone fishery, off Australian coast of Tasmania, which accounts for a quarter of the global annual harvest, may be under threat from the destructive ganglioneuritis virus, Australian officials said.

    White Abalones (Haliotus sorenseni). The White Abalone are highly endangered species. In California, prohibitions on commercial and recreational harvest of this species have been in place since 1996. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Credit: Geographer

    Australia has already experience its abalone industry in nearby Victoria state devastated by the same virus.

    “Our current activities are aimed at trying to determine the location and extent of any disease in the wild so we can develop appropriate control measures,” Tasmania’s chief veterinary officer said.

    A rare and expensive shellfish, abalone is regarded as a delicacy in many Southeast Asian countries. Tasmania’s abalone export industry is reportedly worth about US$420 million a year. More …

    Posted in Climate Change, environment, food, health, pollution | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Image of the Day: Lucky Escape!

    Posted by feww on July 27, 2008

    Spirit of Australia!

    Australian pilot Captain John Francis Barters (R) looks at the damage to a Qantas Airways plane after it made an emergency landing at the Manila International airport July 25, 2008. REUTERS/Handout.

    Posted in air traffic, airlines, De Havilland Comet, environment, fatigue life, pollution, Tourism, Travel, Versailles train crash | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    EPA Sued Over GHG Pollution

    Posted by feww on April 3, 2008

    The states of Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday for failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks. The lawsuit came one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the power to do so.

    Main Entry: 18 States Sue EPA Over GHG Pollution
    Original Report: 18 states sue EPA over greenhouse gas pollution

    Posted in air pollution, air travel, Al Gore, cars, EPA, GHG, government, health, lawsuit, pollution, trucks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Duke Energy Protesters Arrested

    Posted by feww on April 3, 2008


    Eight protesters were arrested Tuesday morning after critics of Duke Energy chained themselves to construction equipment at the Cliffside [coal-fired] Steam Station.

    Duke is adding an 800-megawatt boiler to the Rutherford County plant, which has drawn intense opposition from environmental advocates.

    Main Entry:


    Posted in CO2, coal, energy, environment, health, lifestyle, pollution, power plant | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    2008 Beijing Olympics

    Posted by feww on March 2, 2008

    Will the 2008 Olympics trigger the last phase of Beijing Collapse?

    Fu Ying, China’s Ambassador to the UK [Toast at CBBC Cocktail Reception, Marsh’s Office – 2008-1-8 )

    It will probably be one of the largest in the world. The figures I hear are daunting: Beijing is expecting over 5 million visitors . . .

    Other Participants

    Athletes and officials: 17,000
    Journalists: 30,000
    Volunteers: 100,000

    Other Information

    “Local” Impact
    Duration of games: 16 days (8-24 August 2008 )
    Visitors water consumption: 8-10Gl (gigaliters)
    Drinking water: 0.5Gl
    Food: 120million kg
    Waste produced (municipal and industrial) : 10billion kg
    Additional stress exerted on the sinking ground: 478Pa (nominal stress on an area of 225km²)

    Beijing: Heavy air pollution has resulted in widespread smog. Source: Wikimedia Commons

    Global Impact

    Number of visitors: 5,000,000 (see the above statement by Fu Ying, China’s Ambassador to the UK)
    Total amount of fuel consumed (Traveling to and from Beijing): 687 million liters
    CO2 produced: 1.5mmt (million metric tons of CO2)

    Can the world afford the Olympics? Isn’t it time the Olympics were relegated to the dustbin of History?

    Related Links:

    Posted in Beijing, collapse, Collapsing Cities, environment, Olympics, pollution, sinking cities | 3 Comments »

    Emergency Warning to Tourists Visiting New Zealand, Health Bulletin # 4

    Posted by edro on February 19, 2008

    [New Zealand Poisoning Syndrome (NZPS), Health Bulletin # 4. Sewage contaminated beaches, Feb. 16, 2008]

    NZ Sewage Contaminated Beach Is Finally Closed!

    Owhiro Bay beach was finally closed by Wellington City Council. Visitors are warned to stay clear of the sewage polluted water. Sewage and other microbiological pollution levels are so high they would cause a serious health hazard.

    The presence of enterococci in the water makes it extremely dangerous for swimming or recreational contact, as cuts and skin lesions could become infected.

    Visitors are warned against consuming fish and other marine animals caught in New Zealand’s contaminated waters.  Original report 

    Posted in beach, health, new zealand, pollution, Sewage, swimming, Tourism, Travel | 3 Comments »

    TITO: Toxin In, Toxin Out!

    Posted by feww on February 11, 2008

    Outbreaks of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

    Poison the oceans and the fish will poison you! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Does it?

    Outbreaks of ciguatera fish poisoning have been confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration. Fish such as amberjack, barracuda, grouper and snapper represent the most significant threat to consumers because they feed on fish that have eaten toxic marine algae. Symptoms of ciguatera poisoning include nausea, vomiting, vertigo and joint pain. In the most serious cases, neurological problems can last for months or even years.

    Full report

    Posted in Ciguatera, food poisoning, ocean, pollution, Pregnant Women, TITO | Leave a Comment »

    Death by Lethal Pollution

    Posted by edro on October 16, 2007

    Accumulation of toxic pollution in the environment is one of the dynamics that is driving the ecosystems to the verge of collapse. In the worst case scenario, which could unfold by as early as 2012¹, about 20% the world’s cities become unsustainable and begin to collapse. Massive waves of human migration from the affected areas create domino effect that causes the collapse of most of the remaining population centers. It may be too late to make a significant difference to the final outcome; however, we still have the option to change the worst case scenario! See Collapsing Cities

    1. The date “2012” is based on the dynamic model simulations analyzing the impact of excessive energy consumption on the environment. The CASF Committee and its Members do NOT endorse the Mayan Calendar or any New Age, ancient, or bible prophecies whatever.

    Legal Limits on Pollution

    The idea of having ‘legal limits’ on how much damage you can inflict on nature must surely be a Freudian design. It’s like imposing the death penalty on the victim; and nature isn’t even ‘legally’ represented!

    Freud said: “Against the dreaded external world one can only defend oneself by some kind of turning away from it, if one intends to solve the task by oneself. There is, indeed, another and a better path: that of becoming a member of human community, and, with the help of a technique guided by science, going over to attack against nature and subjecting her to human will. [And if the technique guided by science fail to reverse the ‘marsification’ of Earth that it started in the first place, you can always hide behind more abstractions!]” Excerpt from The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1)

    Defendant: Planet Earth (AKA, Blue Marble)
    Age: 4.5 billion years
    Color: Blue
    Verdict: The Defendant stands convicted of the serious felonies of aiding and abetting humanoids by way of providing them with life and material support including air, water, food, land, atmosphere, ecosystems, energy… and majestic splendor.
    Sentence: Death by Lethal Pollution [the sentence shall be carried out in the early morning of the Third Millennium, CE.]

    water-pollution.JPG“Troubled Waters” by U.S. PRIG

    Pollution pouring into nation’s waters far beyond legal limit

    San Francisco Chronicle
    Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau
    Friday, October 12, 2007

    More than half of all industrial and municipal facilities across the country dumped more sewage and other pollutants into the nation’s waterways than allowed under the Clean Water Act, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental group. Read more…

    Download the full report, Troubled Waters, by U.S. PRIG Education Fund. (1.12 MB, PDF)

    Related Links:

    Posted in death penalty, environmnet, governmnet, politics, pollution | Tagged: , | 23 Comments »