Climate Adaptation

CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Huge explosion caught on video of the Casselton, North Dakota oil train derailment. h/t Mental Transparency.

Local paper Valley News reports:

A train is derailed west of Casselton, North Dakota. It happened at 35th Street and 154th Avenue Southeast just before 2:20 p.m. Monday.

No injuries have been reported so far. Several area emergency teams are on scene and are setting up an incident command center. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office says a train went off the tracks and a second train hit it.

Several train cars are on fire and huge plumes of toxic, black smoke can be seen for miles. Several explosions have also been reported. Emergency crews are urging people to stay inside and a code red alert has been sent out to residents in a two mile radius of the accident.

Super gross video of an exploding Sperm whale. You’ve been warned!

Ex-Halliburton Manager Pleads Guilty to Destroying Evidence

From the Atlantic:

Texas’s Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Last week, while media attention was focused on Boston, a massive explosion took place at the West Fertilizer Company, in the small town of West, Texas. The blast damaged 150 buildings, including three of West’s four schools, killed 14 people and injured more than 160 others.
It was so powerful that it set off seismographs, registering as a 2.1-magnitude tremor. The cause remains unknown, and investigators are still sifting through the rubble. Today, about 1,500 West students returned to school, set up in makeshift classrooms or in nearby districts. [More: 40 photos]

Video of a meteorite exploding over the southern Ural Mountains, Russia.

Bangkok Post reports property damage, no casualties.

"A meteorite exploded above the Chelyabinsk region (of the Urals). The shock wave blew out windows in several places," but no meteor fragments hit the ground, an emergencies ministry spokesman told the Interfax news agency.

"According to the preliminary information, four people were injured by flying glass," the ministry added.

An agency report spoke of several injuries.

Witnesses cited by news agencies spoke of hearing loud explosions which led to panic among residents.

fyeaheasterneurope:

Natural gas pipeline explosion Dec. 11 2012 Sissonville, West Virginia. Fire is out. Pipeline capped. Area evacuated. No casualties. Via

Update: Local WSAZ reports:

Four homes have been destroyed and at least five others have been damaged, according to county leaders.

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said 2-5 people have been taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Emergency crews say that there are no reported fatalities and that everyone has been accounted for, according to Tomblin.

Tomblin says the area has been evacuated within 1000 feet of the explosion site.

"After looking at the damage, I’m grateful for the quick action of our local and state emergency responders who immediately called for a shelter in place," Gov. Tomblin said.

According to a news release from NiSource, there was an incident in the vicinity of the Columbia Gas Transmission Lanham Compressor Station.

"Our first priority is the safety of the community and our employees," Mike Banas, Communications Manager stateed. "The site where the incident occurred has been secured and the fire - on a 20-inch transmission line - has been contained."

A fiber optic line has also been damaged affecting phone lines in several states, according to Commissioner Carper.

Right now, 16-hundred people are without power, but AEP is bringing in a transformer to help restore power. A shelter has been set up at Aldersgate United Methodist Church is Sissonville to provide food and shelter to families who can’t get home.

The flames shot across Interstate 77, severely damaging the road. Tomblin says an 800-foot section of the interstate was damaged during the blast.

I-77 from Charleston split to Pocatalico/Sissonville exit will remain closed through the night, but is expected to reopen Wednesday afternoon.

WVDOT reports 325 feet of each side of I-77 was damaged.

According to WVDOT, crews will mill down to the concrete and repave the road. President Carper reports emergency crews have been brought in to help fix the road.

Dramatic video of today’s natural gas pipeline explosion in West Virginia by local news, WOWK. No injuries reported but four homes were destroyed and over 77(?) 5 were damaged.

Oil refinery explodes this morning in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Oil company’s private fire department says fire is under control. Company states, “There is no risk to the community.”

Private fire department?

BP accused of attack on academic freedoms after scientists subpoenaed

"A pair of scientists have accused BP of an attack on academic freedom after the oil company successfully subpoenaed thousands of confidential emails related to research on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

The accusation from oceanographers Richard Camilli and Christopher Reddy offered a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes legal manoeuvring by BP in the billion-dollar legal proceedings arising from the April 2010 blow-out of its well.

It also heightened fears among scientists of an assault on academic freedoms, following the legal campaign against a number of prominent climate scientists.

In an opinion piece in the Boston Globe, the scientists, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said they volunteered in the early days of the spill to deploy robotic technology to help BP and the Coast Guard assess how much oil was gushing from the well.

The two researchers turned over some 50,000 pages of research notes and data to BP. But BP demanded more, and obtained a court subpoena for the handover of more than 3,000 confidential emails. The scientists handed over the emails last week – but with severe misgivings, they wrote.

"Our concern is not simply invasion of privacy, but the erosion of the scientific deliberative process," they wrote. They feared the email exchanges, in which the scientists discuss hitting dead ends or challenging each other on their conclusions, were open to deliberate misinterpretation.

"Incomplete thoughts and half-finished documents attached to emails can be taken out of context and impugned by people who have a motive for discrediting the findings. In addition to obscuring true scientific findings, this situation casts a chill over the scientific process. In future crises, scientists may censor or avoid deliberations, and more importantly, be reluctant to volunteer valuable expertise and technology that emergency responders don’t possess."

The struggle over the emails indicates the looming legal significance of any data related to the flow of oil from the stricken well.”

The Guardian

BP Agrees to Pay $1 Billion for Start of Gulf Restoration

Good read. Note that BP is volunteering the money in addition to recent settlement and the $20 billion Obama coerced after the explosion.

"The agreement, the largest of its kind in an oil pollution case, does not absolve BP of legal liability for the explosion and spill that occurred April 20, 2010, or from the costs of any additional economic and environmental damages. The company faces fines and penalties of as much as $21 billion as a result of the disaster, the worst offshore drilling accident in United States history. The company could face additional penalties under a Justice Department criminal and civil investigation.

The advance payment, to be divided among the states and the two lead federal agencies overseeing restoration efforts, will be used to rebuild coastal marshes, replenish damaged beaches, conserve ocean habitat and restore barrier islands.

The $1 billion does not represent the governments’ estimate of the ultimate environmental cost of the explosion and spill, which poured nearly five million barrels of oil into the gulf over 87 days last year. Federal and state officials are conducting a review known as a natural resource damage assessment to measure the injury to the gulf habitat and devise a plan for restoring it, a process that generally takes years. Any restoration efforts financed by the $1 billion will count toward the company’s final liability, officials said.

As the leaseholder on the well and the party responsible for the spill, BP is responsible for the entire cost, although this week it filed suit against its drilling partners, Transocean, Halliburton and Cameron International, blaming them for the accident and seeking to recover tens of billions of dollars in compensation.

The agreement announced Thursday allows the complex work of environmental restoration to proceed more quickly and ends some of the squabbling over financing among states and the federal government.”

NYTimes

Breaking: Fiery Truck Explosion Causes Oil Spill in Illinois. Closes Critical Canada/US Enbridge Oil Pipeline.
  • Enbridge carries 318,000 barrels of oil per day
  • Critical pipeline carries oil to U.S. markets, could cause price spike
  • Two people killed, including a firefighter. Three reported injured.
  • Estimates up to 20,000 barrels spilled
  • Could be largest oil spill in US midwest after Kalamazoo last year by the same pipeline
  • Company expects line to be back running late this week
  • Here is a map of the Enbridge pipeline (in red)

Much more from Reuters

UPDATE: Caused by a car accident between a Mustang and an SUV in a remote area. Enbridge calls the incident “an unusual occurrence.”