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!

Posts Tagged ‘Mountaintop Removal’

To Prove ‘Fertility,’ NASA Had to Rape Moon

Posted by feww on November 14, 2009

submitted by a reader

NASA ‘Lacrosse’ Team Confirms Moon Water

When the Scientists Take the Taxpayers to the Cleaners Series

The argument that the moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water. —NASA

Well, whoever argued that in the first place, and which one of you thought of that smug opening line?

“Secrets the moon has been holding, for perhaps billions of years, are now being revealed to the delight of scientists and space enthusiasts alike.” [Watch out folks, you’re being included, and that always comes at a price.]

It’s a painful day for science, when NASA Lunar scientists, behaving like lunatic coal-mining engineers with a mountaintop removal company, blow up a mountaintop to find coal. [And how does finding water on the moon help a dying species back here on earth? FEWW]

If finding water on the moon is so important to the evolution of mankind and advancement of his science, and it isn’t by any stretch of imagination, why not sending a probe to look for water.

There’s something inherently violent about NASA ‘Lacrosse’ team and their methods: To prove moon was ‘fertile’ they had to rape her.

“We’re unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and by extension the solar system. It turns out the moon harbors many secrets, and LCROSS has added a new layer to our understanding,” said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

As any high school student could probably tell you, most of celestial objects known to us contain some ice. The comets are half ice. [And that ought to reveal some of the “secrets” of universe… Also try Jupiter, Saturn… It’s believed that water vapor is contained in a jet ejected from a supermassive black hole at the center of MG J0414+0534 galaxy. FEWW]

“We are ecstatic,” said Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “Multiple lines of evidence show water was present in both the high angle vapor plume and the ejecta curtain created by the LCROSS Centaur impact. The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water.”

Don’t forget to take your bathing towel, buster.

To successfully venture into the galaxy, humankind needs a highly refined philosophical approach to the reason, strategy and outcome, the basis of which would determine the right method and appropriate technology. Mountaintop removal ‘science’ is not a valid option.

Further, any attempt that does not satisfy the philosophical criteria would be doomed to failure in the long term.

If this is  the best they’ve got and that’s the route they are taking, don’t hold your breath for NASA lunar missions.

Related Links:

Posted in Cabeus, Centaur impact, LCROSS, LRO, lunar surface, Moon rape | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Circuit Judge OKs Mountain Rape

Posted by feww on February 15, 2009

Virginia Court of Appeals Judge overturns a lower court ruling banning mountaintop removal

In view of reader interest in the issue, the following Reuters article is mirrored here.

U.S. court overturns ban on West Virginia surface mining

Fri Feb 13, 2009
By Steve James

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. Court of Appeals on Friday overturned a lower court ruling that had banned surface, or mountaintop, mining in West Virginia, according to court documents.

The ruling was hailed by the coal mining companies who have turned to mountaintop mining as an economical alternative to traditional underground mines in Appalachia where production is declining.

The environmentalists who brought the original case said they would assess their next legal move, but vowed to fight on against the mining method which basically slices the top off hills and mountains.

Stock in Massey Energy Co which brought the appeal with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, was up 7 percent in late trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The 4th Circuit judges in Richmond, Virginia, reversed a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chambers, who had found that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had not fully evaluated the potential environmental damage before approving permits for mountaintop mining for four mines operated by subsidiaries of Massey.

“We reverse and vacate the district court’s opinion and order of March 23, 2007, and vacate the district court’s injunction,” Friday’s opinion said.

It said that under existing regulations, the state of West Virginia has “exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations.”

The appeal had been brought by Massey and the West Virginia Coal Association. Surface mines account for about one-third of coal from West Virginia and half of that from Kentucky.

“We’re pleased with the court’s decision,” said Roger Hendriksen, director of investor relations for Massey.

Judge Chambers had originally ruled in favor of a petition filed by a number of groups led by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. (OVEC)

Basically, OVEC contended that the Corps of Engineers had violated the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Since then, the Corps has effectively frozen so-called 404 permits for surface mining.

Janet Keating, executive director of OVEC said: “We are deeply disappointed with the court’s decision. We will assess our next step, but obviously we will continue to organize against surface mining.”

In their ruling the appeals judges said basically that the Corps of Engineers had acted within regulations in place. “We cannot say that the Corps’ assessments of stream functions in the challenged permits were arbitrary and capricious.

“It is not our place to dictate how the Corps should go about assessing stream functions and losses,” they said.

Analysts had said if the ruling was upheld, Appalachian coal prices could spike and producers with a significant amount of surface exposure in Appalachia could get hurt.

Several mining companies — Massey, International Coal Group, Alpha Natural Resources and Patriot Coal Corp — would lose production if the ruling went against the miners, the analysts said.

[Note: The interest of mining companies are falsely represented as the interest of miners, despite the environmental and health hazards that plague the mining communities. FEWW]

One analyst Mark Morey, director of power systems strategy for Allstom Co Ltd said investors might hold off until the issue had been definitively resolved.

“Decisions like this are long term, so if you have any uncertainty, that’s still gonna guide what your investment is.

“Does this ‘overturn’ mean they can have a whole new round of capacity? People have been thinking this decision might be held up anyway so they’ve been making decisions for the past two years with this hanging over their heads.”

(Reporting by Steve James; editing by Carol Bishopric)
© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Related Links:

Posted in Appalachia, Clean Water Act, coal mining, National Environmental Policy Act, surface mining | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dreaming of a Flat Earth

Posted by feww on December 5, 2008

Blast off my mountaintops, bury my streams!

More black coal for less green earth!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, has encouraged more mountaintop-removal mining by removing the last legal hurdle, a 25-year-old law that prohibited surface coal mining activities within 100 feet of flowing streams.

mountaintop removal fly-over-19
Once green mountains teeming with wildlife, Appalachian mountaintops are ruthlessly blasted off for coal.  Photo courtesy:  Stop Mountaintop Removal. See source for copyright information.

The U.S. surface coal mining is done by blasting off mountaintops and dumping the debris in the adjoining valleys in Appalachia, across Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia.

About 10 percent of U.S. coal production, nearly 127  million tons of coal, came from U.S. mountaintop mining in 2007, according to the National Mining Association.

“The EPA’s decision is a slap in the face of Appalachian communities, which have already endured enough injustice from mountaintop removal … My home and thousands of others are now in greater jeopardy.” Said Vernon Haltom of Coal River Mountain Watch.

Mining debris from about 411 mountaintops that were blasted off have buried about 1,200 miles of mountain streams have been buried under mining debris.

Alpha Natural Resources, International Coal Group, Massey Energy Co., and Patriot Coal Corp are among Appalachian surface mine owners.

Related Links:

Other Related Links:

Posted in Appalachian communities, coal industry, marsification, Office of Surface Mining, Wildlife | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Remove mountaintops; fill valleys; kill streams!

Posted by feww on October 19, 2008

Press release

Bush Admin Seeks to Lock Down Destructive Mountaintop Removal Mining Rule

Coalfield residents face continued destruction of their communities and natural resources

October 17, 2008

Washington, DC — The Bush administration is announcing today plans to finalize a major environmental rule change before the end of its term. This afternoon, the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) will release its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that recommends effectively repealing one of the key programs at issue in the ongoing battle over the controversial coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal.

The specific regulation the OSM is proposing to overturn is the Stream Buffer Zone rule, a Reagan-era restriction on surface coal mining activities that protects a 100-foot corridor around flowing streams in order to preserve water quality. The new rule, which is expected to be finalized in 30 days, will allow coal companies to dump massive waste piles called “valley fills” directly into streams, permanently burying them. Already, more than 2000 miles of Appalachian streams have been buried or degraded by waste from mountaintop removal mining.

Mountaintop removal/valley fill mining operations in southern West Virginia have already flattened more than 300,800 acres of what used to be one of the most productive and biologically-diverse temperate hardwood forests on Earth. The coal industry prefers to call it “mountaintop mining” to try and soften the brutal reality. Some conservation groups have taken to calling the practice “mountain range removal” because that in effect is what it really is – more than 460 square miles [800 sq miles as of 2008] of West Virginia are now low rolling semi-grassy mounds, planted largely with non-native species and incapable of supporting much more life than a shopping mall parking lot (without the shoppers).  Caption: Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. Photo by Vivian Stockman, Oct. 19, 2003. Image may be subject to copyright.

Mountaintop removal coal mining — the most environmentally damaging form of coal strip mining — has received increased national attention in recent weeks as both Presidential candidates have expressed opposition to the practice.

Statement by Joan Mulhern, Earthjustice senior legislative counsel:

“The final EIS is a sham. The agency did not even study, among available alternatives, the option of enforcing the stream buffer rule that has been on the books since 1983. Instead, they pretend that the existing stream buffer law does not apply to valley fills and sludge impoundments, so any minutely incremental effort to ‘minimize’ those waste dumps is, in their version of this, a net benefit to the environment. Of course this is completely backwards.

“They claim their rule is better for the environment when the exact opposite is true. What they are calling a treat is nothing other than a trick.

“This latest move is the capstone to the devastating legacy the Bush administration has left to the communities in Appalachia and to all Americans who care about our nation’s mountains and streams. In just 8 years this administration has allowed coal companies to obliterate mountain ranges that have existed for millennia. Today they are announcing plans to accelerate that destruction into the future and spread it nationwide.” Copyright Earthjustice


Joan Mulhern, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500

Related Links:

Posted in Appalachian streams, sludge impoundments, Stream Buffer Zone, valley fills, waste dumps | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »