In 1980, Lake Peigneu, Louisiana disappeared into an underground vortex of doom.Actually, the accident was due to a math error, which resulted in one of the strangest oil drilling and salt mining accidents in U.S. history.
The Diamond Salt company had a huge salt mining operation under the lake. Meanwhile, Texaco Oil was drilling for oil from shallow platforms, which were built on the lake. Texaco roughnecks set a new drill a few hundred feet down, through the lake, through the lake bed, and into the earth. The drill bit hit one of the salt mine shafts, and the above disaster happened.
Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, it does. The entire lake was sucked into the mine. The drill hole was originally 14 inches, but the force of the water expanded it to hundreds of feet across. At one point, a reverse water fall of 150 feet was formed because the Gulf of Mexico drained backwards (north!) into the lake. Watch the event unfold disaster on top of disaster. It is incredible. Via BoingBoing.
Inspectors discovered 326 deficient levees across the US, whose likely failures could leave millions of people dead.
A breach could demolish homes and cost local governments millions of dollars. By failing to repair the defective structures, the US is choosing to risk the lives of its citizens who are walking on eggshells with their proximity to the flood zones. In its first ever inventory of the nation’s flood control systems, inspectors raised the overdue alarm that hundreds of levees may be unable to regulate water levels and prove useless in face of heavy rains. Such populated cities as Washington DC, Sacramento, Dallas, Cleveland and many others might be flooded at any moment.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has only issued ratings for 58 percent of the 2,487 flood control systems, which means inspectors could still discover hundreds more deficient levees. Many of the earthen levees are crumbling under the effect of trees, shrubs and animal holes. Decaying pipes and pumping stations could also cause the flood control systems downfall, while some of the levees are dangerously close to houses or even have houses built on top of them.
BOAT-LOAD OF COFFINS HEADS FOR PHILIPPINES DISASTER ZONE
European Pressphoto Agency: Philippine Navy personnel load coffins on to the BRP Laguna, which is set to transport relief supplies to typhoon-affected areas, from a navy base in Cavite City, south of Manila, on Tuesday.The United Nations has appealed for $65 million in emergency aid for millions of victims of Typhoon Bopha in the southern Philippines, where at least 714 people were killed as muddy floodwaters washed out entire villages.
Let me be clear,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “We are not going to abandon the waterfront. We are not going to leave the Rockaways or Coney Island or Staten Island’s South Shore.” But he added that the city “cannot just rebuild what was there and hope for the best.” “We have to build smarter and stronger and more sustainable,” he added, while conceding that the city had yet “to determine exactly what that means.
NYC Mayor Bloomberg vows to put more people in harm’s way.
I spoke to the president three times yesterday… I said, if you can expedite designating New Jersey as a major disaster area that that would help us to get federal money and resources in here as quickly as possible to help clean up the damage here. The president was great last night. He said he would get it done. At 2 a.m. I got a call from FEMA to answer a couple of final questions and then he signed the declaration this morning. So I have to give the president great credit. He’s been on the phone with me three times in the last 24 hours. He’s been very attentive, and anything that I’ve asked for, he’s gotten to me. So, I thank the president publicly for that. He’s done — as far as I’m concerned — a great job for New Jersey.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie • Lauding President Obama’s attentiveness in the face of Hurricane Sandy, in an interview on Fox and Friends this morning. Christie’s rhetoric on the President’s leadership abilities hasn’t always been so glowing — back in May, he excoriated Obama as “walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch of leadership.” But now, faced with a climactic disaster in his state, Christie and Obama have made nice, to the vast betterment of the citizens of his state. Obviously, holding off on political rivalries during such a chaotic and traumatic event is the right thing to do, but Christie deserves a major measure of credit for recognizing Obama’s efforts for his state. When asked whether Mitt Romney would tour some storm sites, he went much further than he needed to, showing a sincerity unbound by partisan priority: “…I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could care less about any of that stuff.” source (via shortformblog)
Disaster porn dribbling in, these from an excellent slideshow by NBC. Interesting highlights: Snow storm in West Virginia; Obama was real savvy not to have an umbrella; idiots taking pictures rather than cuddling.
That blue band to the west is why this storm is so gnarly. The band is a combination of cold storms that will collide with a hot-weather Hurricane Sandy, thus the name “Frankenstorm.” Not to mention the very high-tides due to tomorrow’s full moon. These elements are why everyone is freaking out.
The band was a normal storm creeping across the U.S. from the Pacific Coast. But along the way it picked up a blast of wintery arctic air that swooped down from Canada. Sandy is pushing a lot of water towards the coastline, causing mega-damage to many properties. The tide is already high, making it worse.
Once it mashes into Hurricane Sandy over the coast, there will be mega-damage to many many properties. Frankenstorm indeed!
Unlike New Orleans, New York City is above sea level. Yet the city is second only to New Orleans in the number of people living less than four feet above high tide — nearly 200,000 New Yorkers, according to the research group Climate Central.
The waters on the city’s doorstep have been rising roughly an inch a decade over the last century as oceans have warmed and expanded. But according to scientists advising the city, that rate is accelerating, because of environmental factors, and levels could rise two feet higher than today’s by midcentury. More frequent flooding is expected to become an uncomfortable reality.
With higher seas, a common storm could prove as damaging as the rare big storm or hurricane is today, scientists say. Were sea levels to rise four feet by the 2080s, for example, 34 percent of the city’s streets could lie in the flood-risk zone, compared with just 11 percent now, a 2011 study commissioned by the state said.
A man stares at a storage tank still on fire in the Venezuelan Amuay oil refinery on August 26, 2012. Venezuela was in mourning after a massive explosion killed at least 39 people, injured more than 80 others and left about 200 houses and 13 shops damaged due to the shock wave.
The Russian oil industry spills more than 30 million barrels on land each year — seven times the amount that escaped during the Deepwater Horizon disaster — often under a veil of secrecy and corruption. And every 18 months, more than four million barrels spews into the Arctic Ocean, where it becomes everyone’s problem.
So, I came across an article this morning about an odd oil-rig protest as part of my morning read. A handful of activists are protesting the first ever oil rig in the Arctic sea. They’ve literally tied themselves to the side of big tanker ship in the Arctic.
Yeah, bizarre but it’s true. Greenpeace is live blogging it now. The Russian Coast Guard has been called in and the protesters will be in big trouble, I’m sure of it.
The oil rig is run by the largest natural gas company in the world, called Gazprom. It’s also Russia’s largest company. They’re also one of the most pollutive, hazardous companies on planet Earth. I didn’t know any of this until this morning. What do you think can be done?
This should read: “Foreign oil companies operating freely and nearly tax free on U.S. public lands evacuate oil rigs”. But, what the hell do I know about copy…
“Energy companies pull staff from Isaac’s path
BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell said Friday they’re starting to evacuate staff from the Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Isaac’s projected path shifted west into a prime area for U.S. oil and gas production.
While Isaac remains a tropical storm for now as it skirts Haiti and heads for Cuba, it could strengthen into a hurricane as it moves back into the Gulf of Mexico.
Shell RDS.A+0.13%UK:RDSA+0.43% said it’s preparing for evacuations of nonessential personnel in the eastern and central Gulf of Mexico. Drilling operations there have been suspended.
BP PLC BP-0.14%UK:BP-0.20% said it’s evacuating all workers from its Thunder Horse platform in the Mississippi Canyon of the eastern Gulf and will temporarily suspend oil and gas production there. The platform has a production capacity of 250,000 barrels a day.
BP is also evacuating nonessential personnel from offshore facilities in its Na Kika, Horn Mountain and Marlin platforms.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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