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posted by mrpg on Saturday November 25 2017, @12:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-could-go-wrong? dept.

A major oil-by-rail terminal proposed on the Columbia River in Washington state poses a potential risk of oil spills, train accidents and longer emergency response times due to road traffic, an environmental study has found.

Many of the risks could be decreased with certain mitigation measures, but the study released Tuesday outlined four areas where it said the impacts are significant and cannot be avoided.

The study said that while "the likelihood of occurrence of the potential for oil spills may be low, the consequences of the events could be severe."

[...] The study identified the four risks that could not be avoided as train accidents, the emergency response delays, negative impacts of the project on low-income communities and the possibility that an earthquake would damage the facility's dock and cause an oil spill.

Washington state panel outlines risk of oil-by-rail terminal


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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @01:23PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @01:23PM (#601368)

    See https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/us/race-to-build-on-river-could-block-pacific-oil-route.html [nytimes.com] from 2014 to get a bigger picture of developments proposed for Vancouver, Washington. The NY Times article points out that Vancouver WA acts (in part) as a low rent (and low tax) bedroom community for Portland OR, on the other side of the Columbia River. As well as this rail-oil terminal, the same site has also been proposed for a commercial development. There are also numerous other types of energy transport in the general area including coal by train and pipelines for natural gas/oil.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Nuke on Saturday November 25 2017, @02:03PM (13 children)

    by Nuke (3162) on Saturday November 25 2017, @02:03PM (#601375)

    Sounds like those objections coulds be applied (and mostly more so) to any method of transporting and delivering oil. Perhaps it is different in USA, but rail transport in Europe, and the UK in particular, is orders of magnitude safer than any other form.

    potential risk of oil spills, train accidents and longer emergency response times due to road traffic

    Longer response times than what? Are they comparing with another location? Sorry, I have not read the study.

    • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Saturday November 25 2017, @02:51PM (8 children)

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Saturday November 25 2017, @02:51PM (#601394)

      I was under the impression that while rail is far safer than road, it is less safe than pipelines. I admit that beliefs may have come from pro-pipeline propaganda, I don't know.

      Maybe it is because rail has less "slow leak" potential since the individual cars can be inspected; wheras a huge pipeline is harder and more expensive to inspect.
       

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:03PM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:03PM (#601413)

        Depends what you mean by safer. Trains have fewer accidents than trucks do, but when they do have accidents they tend to be on a much larger scale. Pipelines are OK, but they tend to leak oil and they require destroying large amounts of wildlife habitat to build.

        Pipelines are also problematic because we're supposed to be getting to the point where we no longer need gas and making it more convenient to ship around, especially out of the country runs counter the goal of moving onto something less environmentally damaging and more efficient.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by khallow on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:23PM (3 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:23PM (#601420) Journal

          Pipelines are OK, but they tend to leak oil and they require destroying large amounts of wildlife habitat to build.

          I disagree on the second part. "Large amounts" are relative, but it's not worse than a highway and the right of way for the pipeline may actually protect more habitat area than it destroys. The real problem for a pipeline is that it provides an obstacle to wildlife migration. That can be mitigated, but any tools such as fences for keeping people out, say to prevent theft or sabotage, will also keep some wildlife out as well.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:36PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:36PM (#601470)

            This isn't interesting, it's a complete load of bullshit. Even if you ignore the land destroyed by the oil being used, it's still not true.

            You lose 264 000 square feet per mile of pipeline at a minimum if you've got the minimal easement of 25' on each side and that doesn't even include the actual pipeline itself or the roads to and from various access points. That's a little over 6 acres of land that have to be kept suitable for crews to work on rather than whatever the native landscape should be like.

            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Saturday November 25 2017, @09:25PM (1 child)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 25 2017, @09:25PM (#601505) Journal

              You lose 264 000 square feet per mile of pipeline at a minimum if you've got the minimal easement of 25' on each side and that doesn't even include the actual pipeline itself or the roads to and from various access points.

              Which, let us note, isn't very much nor does it describe the entire right-of-way. For example, the Dakota Access [wikipedia.org] pipeline has an easement of 50 feet from the pipeline and a construction right-of-way of 150 feet. So twice as much land is set aside as is in the easement.

              • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday November 25 2017, @10:28PM

                by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 25 2017, @10:28PM (#601525) Journal

                Now, to be totally fair, your assignment is to figure out the land lost to a railroad right of way.

                Most pipelines are buried for most of their route, unless there are permafrost issues. Which leaves all that open-space for wild life.

                One of the funniest pictures I saw was of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (rip) laughing his ass off at a bunch environmentalists (including the US Secretary of the Interior) standing there with their mouths agape as a heard of Caribou migrated under a raises section of the Alaska Pipeline. (Something that every environmentalist on earth insisted would never happen.).

                --
                No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:25PM (2 children)

          by jmorris (4844) <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:25PM (#601465)

          Unless you are building a honking big pipeline or dealing with permafrost, a pipeline is generally invisible to wildlife a year after the construction has moved on. And even big ones like the Alaska Pipeline didn't impact wildlife in the long run. And when they leak we (in the first world) insist the operator clean up their mess. Solved problem.

          You identified the problem, Greens who insist we already beyond needing fossil fuels. Sorry, the unicorn farts still aren't online and if you want a modern technological civilization it requires energy. Wind and solar both shut down the second the subsidies stop so they are net losses the economy is dragging along in the hope they become productive someday. Pipelines are the safest way to transport large amounts of the stuff that makes the wheels turn, throwing off the excess wealth to play with green tech as they spin.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:39PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:39PM (#601471)

            You're begging the question here. You assume that we need to burn that oil, which we don't. We could have moved from fossil fuels to other fuels at a much faster pace than we have if not for apologists like you.

            We know for a fact that we ca't keep burning oil, but yet, we seem hell bent on burning as much of it as possible even though we could be throwing that money into alternate fuel sources that wouldn't require this sort of bullshit to move around the country.

            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by jmorris on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:13PM

              by jmorris (4844) <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:13PM (#601485)

              Should just a defective AC but sometimes it is hilarious to smack one of you goofballs.

              Move to what? As I already wrote, -every- Green tech is a net economic loss, that if pretty much the definition of green tech since any that breaks through will get hated on. If it costs more wealth per unit of energy produced, just how do you propose to deploy more of it without ALSO deploying sufficient excess fossil fuels to throw off more excess wealth to piss away on your science projects? All of your energy is generated at a loss that has to be made up elsewhere, but the bigger the percentage of the total that comes from Green the harder and harder it gets to hide it, generating declining standards of living and political instability. Because you are a lie.

              FUCK YOUR FEELINGS. Rebirth begins when a critical mass decides it has had enough and says that. Math says you and your ideas are a waste of finite resources.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:00PM (#601412)

      We've already had a train derailment in Washington recently that would have done serious damage to a small town if it had happened in the city limits. Just look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-M%C3%A9gantic_rail_disaster [wikipedia.org] and https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/oil-train-derails-in-columbia-river-gorge/ [seattletimes.com] .

      With trucks you have a larger chance of smaller mishaps, with trains, you have a smaller chance of significantly larger mishaps. One truck catching on fire can cause something like this: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/12/tanker-truck-explosion-damaging-overpass.html [latimes.com] in a more or less worst case scenario, but trains can easily do that if they derail while carrying flammable liquids.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:23PM (2 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:23PM (#601488) Journal

      rail transport in Europe, and the UK in particular, is orders of magnitude safer than any other form.

      You don't actually have real freight trains in the uk. Great passenger service. Tiny freights and sufficient pipelines so virtually no oil by rail.

      The US is the opposite, lots and lots of long freights and not much for passenger service.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO1VvuqDkBI [youtube.com] 16,000 foot train with distributed power units.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMw54zzBVvA [youtube.com] Similar length but double stacked.

      UK clocked 64,507 Million Passenger-KM in 2015.
      US hauled only 39,287 Million Passenger-Miles in same year.
      Few people want to ride a train for 4 days to cross the US. But you can do Wick to Portsmouth in 15 hours using rail and bus.

      Pipe lines all over the US reliably deliver oil day in and day out with seldom an incident like the one (suspiciously timed) last week.
      Rail shipment of oil is risky business. Usually you lose 40,000 gallons at a time (one tank car) if you lose a drop, and after any accident it often catches fire (big moving metal things).

      Whereas pipelines usually can detect leaks within a few hundred gallons and shutdown the entire line, stop pumps, close valves in a couple minutes.

      But some people don't want to see pipelines built, so oil gets shipped by rail. Environmental lobby forces the worst case yet again.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1) by redneckmother on Sunday November 26 2017, @02:36AM

        by redneckmother (3597) on Sunday November 26 2017, @02:36AM (#601573)

        Whereas pipelines usually can detect leaks within a few hundred gallons and shutdown the entire line, stop pumps, close valves in a couple minutes.

        Hmm... then, WHY are there thousands of gallons reported for spills from pipelines, and why does it take longer than "minutes" for a response and cleanup?

        Just askin'.

        --
        Pitchforks? Check. Torches? Check. Lampposts? Check. Rope? Oh crap, Colorado smoked all the Hemp!
      • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Monday November 27 2017, @12:08AM

        by Nuke (3162) on Monday November 27 2017, @12:08AM (#601888)

        You don't actually have real freight trains in the uk.

        A smaller proportion of freight goes by rail in the UK because some weird accounting makes it more expensive for most loads than by road; the road tax on my car for example is getting on for two orders of magitude higher per mile than for a heavy goods road vehicle - so I for one am subsidising them. Nevertheless, it is misleading to say that there are "no real freight trains". There is considerable container rail freight to ports such as Southampton and Felixstow, and I live close to the line from South Wales into England and you don't need to be by it for long (it passes by my local supermarket car park) to see a long oil train originating from the oil terminal port of Milford Haven.

        Rail shipment of oil is risky business. Usually you lose 40,000 gallons at a time

        I understand that much rail track in the USA is badily maintained. In the UK OTOH, rail derailments in service are almost unheard of - the word "usually" would have no meaning here. It helps that freight mostly shares with passenger lines, whereas in the USA there are a lot of freight-only lines where they don't seem to be as fussy.

        Incidentally, I was once the guy at London Underground Railway's HQ who investigated derailments, or any tendency to derail. I did the maths. The only actual derailments I had to investigate were inside depots, and it was always the case that there was visibly very crappy track on a very sharp curve, both far more extreme than on a service line.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by leftover on Saturday November 25 2017, @03:38PM (19 children)

    by leftover (2448) on Saturday November 25 2017, @03:38PM (#601407)

    If you are evaluating an approach, not even an implementation, and you see significant impacts that cannot be avoided, it is time to go back to the drawing board. My presumption is that the study used "standard practice", aka "how we have always done it" for the various terminals and facilities. The way we have always done it is to choose the cheapest approach and then start cutting corners. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to stop doing planning and construction that way. Use multilayered containment anywhere those "unavoidable" incidents are possible: pull ships into contained docks with gates behind them for all transfers, use partitionable tunnels to get rail cars the last mile to the coast, design security into the plan and fund serious security operations.

          Oil companies spin off enough cash to make multiple individuals billions of dollars. In part, this is because they rarely have to pay more than a token amount for the damage their accidents cause. IMHO they can afford to design and build vastly better facilities and equipment and they should be required to do so. Required how? That is the trillion dollar question. Our lame-assed government won't do it because politicians sell out for what amounts to oil baron pocket change. We need effective leverage.

    --
    Bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:24PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:24PM (#601421) Journal

      If you are evaluating an approach, not even an implementation, and you see significant impacts that cannot be avoided, it is time to go back to the drawing board.

      Or accept the significant impacts. Trade offs always exist for nontrivial decisions.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:01PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:01PM (#601479)

        What significant impacts? The oil isn't being drilled for in Washington and it's being moved to the port in order to export. Why on Earth should the people of Washington be stuck with the risk associated with that stuff moving through our state, risking our bodies of water, just so that it can be burned overseas?

        In what universe does that make any sense at all?

        • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:16PM

          by jmorris (4844) <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:16PM (#601486)

          So what else does Washington State plan to trade the Chinese for their trinkets? You want that iPhone or don't ya?

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday November 25 2017, @09:41PM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 25 2017, @09:41PM (#601510) Journal

          Why on Earth should the people of Washington be stuck with the risk associated with that stuff moving through our state, risking our bodies of water, just so that it can be burned overseas?

          Because the transportation infrastructure of Washington state takes a bit off the top as middlemen in this trade.

    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:37PM (13 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @04:37PM (#601424)

      Oil companies spin off enough cash to make multiple individuals billions of dollars. In part, this is because they rarely have to pay more than a token amount for the damage their accidents cause.

      What damage?
      Even the hugest oil spills, the ones with loud predictions of "planet-ending impact any minute now", have not left any lasting damage to the environment. Not even a token one, for propagandists to weep some fake tears about.
      This planet had surface oil seeps since the day oil existed and till just a half-century ago. The biosphere is equipped to deal with the stuff.

      A newly man-made asphalt lake is generally not useful (except for palaeontologists a million years hence) and so is better not be left to stay. Outside that, nothing there worth making a scene about.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @05:58PM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @05:58PM (#601438)

        > Even the hugest oil spills, the ones with loud predictions of "planet-ending impact any minute now",

        Who predicted that? I'm thinking nobody did, at least not seriously.

        > have not left any lasting damage to the environment.

        Wrong. The Ixtoc I spill was in 1979:

        Some larger species with longer life spans took years to recover from the Ixtoc spill. It wasn't until the late-1980s that the population of Kemp's Ridley turtles, which lay a couple of hundred eggs a year, as opposed to the millions produced by shrimp, started recovering. The immediate losses from an oil spill continue to affect larger species for generations.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ixtoc_I_oil_spill#Long-term_effects [wikipedia.org]

        The Exxon Valdez spill was in 1989:

        In 2003, fourteen years after the spill, a team from the University of North Carolina found that the remaining oil was lasting far longer than anticipated, which in turn had resulted in more long-term loss of many species than had been expected. The researchers found that at only a few parts per billion, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons caused a long-term increase in mortality rates. They reported that "species as diverse as sea otters, harlequin ducks and killer whales suffered large, long-term losses and that oiled mussel beds and other tidal shoreline habitats will take an estimated 30 years to recover."

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill#Clean-up_and_environmental_impact [wikipedia.org]

        The Deepwater Horizon spill was in 2010:

        On April 12, 2016, a research team reported that 88 percent of about 360 baby or stillborn dolphins within the spill area "had abnormal or under-developed lungs", compared to 15 percent in other areas. [...]

        Although some researchers thought that the damage from the spill would rapidly resolve, three years into the recovery dolphins continue to die, fish are showing strange lesions, corals in the gulf have died and oil still remains in some marsh areas. [...] Researchers described a phenomenon called "dirty blizzard": oil caused deep ocean sediments to clumped together, falling to the ocean floor at ten times the normal rate in an "underwater rain of oily particles. The result could have long-term effects on both humans and marine life. Commercially fished species feed on sediment creatures, meaning oil could remain in the food chain for generations. Concern was expressed for commercially fished species such as tilefish which burrow in the sediment and feed on sediment dwelling creatures. In 2013 researchers found that a tiny amoeba-like creatures, foraminifera, that live in sediment and form the bottom of the gulf food chain, have died off in the areas that were affected by the underwater plumes that stretched out miles beyond the spill site. The foraminifera have returned in some areas but in other areas they have burrowed into the sediments, stirring them up all over again. Noting that it took several years for the herring population to crash following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the researchers expressed concerns that it may also take years for long-terms effects to become apparent in the gulf.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_the_Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill#Remaining_oil_in_the_water [wikipedia.org]

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by fritsd on Saturday November 25 2017, @06:05PM

          by fritsd (4586) on Saturday November 25 2017, @06:05PM (#601439) Journal

          According to the infographic on this page [noaa.gov], after the Exxon Valdez spill, the Common Loon population recovered already after 17 years.

          In 2006.

          I suppose that explains all the bad things that happened to the world since 2007 :-(

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:06PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:06PM (#601458)

          > Even the hugest oil spills, the ones with loud predictions of "planet-ending impact any minute now",
          Who predicted that? I'm thinking nobody did, at least not seriously.

          http://thechoiceperspective.com/2014/09/21/loss-of-atlantic-current-dooms-mankind/ [thechoiceperspective.com]
          https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_industryoil15.htm [bibliotecapleyades.net]
          Here are a couple examples, from among too many for a bad joke.

          The Ixtoc I spill was in 1979:
          Some larger species with longer life spans took years to recover from the Ixtoc spill. It wasn't until the late-1980s that the population of Kemp's Ridley turtles, which lay a couple of hundred eggs a year, as opposed to the millions produced by shrimp, started recovering.

          Ten years. If this is your definition of "lasting damage", it is plain laughable.

          The researchers found that at only a few parts per billion, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons caused a long-term increase in mortality rates.

          Did those researchers care to reconcile their findings with the facts such as these? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_seep [wikipedia.org]
          While PAH are definitely unhealthy for higher animals, a number of common bacteria do eat them. Precisely because natural sources emit these since forever.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycyclic_aromatic_hydrocarbon#Environmental_distribution_and_degradation [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:59PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:59PM (#601478)

            > Ten years. If this is your definition of "lasting damage", it is plain laughable.

            Hooray, it's semantics time! What's your definition? How about 30 years? I mentioned a 30-year period in the next paragraph, which you ignored. fritsd linked to an infographic showing effects ~34 years later.

            > Did those researchers care to reconcile their findings with the facts such as these? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_seep [wikipedia.org]

            I don't know. Your Wikipedia article says:

            Cold seeps constitute a biome supporting several endemic species.

            Cold seeps develop unique topography over time [...]

            In places where oil naturally seeps into the ocean, species that are adapted to the oil form an ecosystem. If humans add more oil into that ecosystem, those organisms will probably cope well with the (minor) change. However, if we suddenly introduce oil into a place where it wasn't prevalent, the ecosystem is unlikely to cope well with it.

            >While PAH are definitely unhealthy for higher animals, a number of common bacteria do eat them. Precisely because natural sources emit these since forever.

            Bacteria proliferate at different rates depending on environmental conditions such as temperature; this is why we use refrigerators. There are stories [hanskrause.de] of mammoths (which went extinct thousands of years ago) being found in the Arctic with their flesh in "still-edible" condition. The U.S. Congress is now considering a plan to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:26PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:26PM (#601489)

              How about 30 years? I mentioned a 30-year period in the next paragraph, which you ignored.

              As anyone should ignore rhetorical "estimates" without a shred of evidence.
              BTW, I mentioned millions of years, which you ignored too. ;)
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fossil_species_in_the_La_Brea_Tar_Pits [wikipedia.org]
              Note the biodiversity.

              However, if we suddenly introduce oil into a place where it wasn't prevalent, the ecosystem is unlikely to cope well with it.

              Agreed. Most ecosystems are not prepared to cope well with any sudden change, of whatever nature. However, virtually any is prepared to recover after one. Because shit happens, with mankind or without.

              Bacteria proliferate at different rates depending on environmental conditions such as temperature

              Yeah, but in this case the cop-out ain't working. ;) The everyone's favorite superbug, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can and does grow literally anywhere and on anything.
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16478452 [nih.gov]
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28314727 [nih.gov]

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27 2017, @12:48PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27 2017, @12:48PM (#602041)

                > As anyone should ignore rhetorical "estimates" without a shred of evidence.

                The estimate was about mussel beds and intertidal zones. NOAA has been monitoring [noaa.gov] mussel populations, and found that they oscillate. However, they also say [noaa.gov],

                Deeply penetrated oil continues to visibly leach from a few beaches, as on Smith Island.

                In some areas, intertidal animals, such as mussels, are still contaminated by oil, affecting not only the mussels but any animals (including people) that eat them.

                Some rocky sites that were stripped of heavy plant cover by high-pressure, hot-water cleaning remain mostly bare rock.

                Rich clam beds that suffered high mortalities from oil and extensive beach cleaning have not recolonized to their previous levels.

                That's lasting damage.

                I wrote "fritsd linked to an infographic showing effects ~34 years later" and you ignored that too.

                > BTW, I mentioned millions of years, which you ignored too. ;)

                You wrote:

                A newly man-made asphalt lake is generally not useful (except for palaeontologists a million years hence)

                How is that pertinent to the question of whether an oil spill can cause lasting damage?

                > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fossil_species_in_the_La_Brea_Tar_Pits [wikipedia.org]
                > Note the biodiversity.

                I note that many of those species are now extinct. The "La Brea Tar Pits" article says

                Animals would wander in, become trapped, and eventually die. Predators would enter to eat the trapped animals and also become stuck.

                Creatures of various species were trapped and killed; some of those species went extinct. To say the least, it doesn't support the claim of no lasting damage.

                >Yeah, but in this case the cop-out ain't working. ;) The everyone's favorite superbug, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can and does grow literally anywhere and on anything.

                I didn't deny that bacteria are able to consume hydrocarbons. I acknowledge that. I'm saying that bacteria grow slowly under some conditions, such as cold. I didn't say that cold is lethal to them. I'm saying that in the instance of Prince William Sound, their activity is meagre enough that oil spilled in 1989 is still present.

                Conversely, if an oil spill supported a sudden flourishing of bacteria, the bacteria themselves might be harmful. You gave an example of a pathogenic strain. Also, think of "blooms" of algae or dinoflagellates.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @09:13PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @09:13PM (#601499)

            > http://thechoiceperspective.com/2014/09/21/loss-of-atlantic-current-dooms-mankind/ [thechoiceperspective.com]
            > https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_industryoil15.htm [bibliotecapleyades.net]
            > Here are a couple examples, from among too many for a bad joke.

            They're not independent: the first page cites the second. It also cites a Russian propaganda outlet, english.ruvr.ru, also known as sputniknews.com. It also says:

            After receiving a contact from a naval scientist via a regular guest on a national radio show on Genesis Network, John Moore sent Dr. Deagle the info on Dr Zangari’s work.

            I think "Genesis Network" refers to the Genesis Communications Network.

            The network is known for conspiracy-theory programming; Alex Jones is its most prominent syndicated personality.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_Communications_Network

            The first page looks like a bad joke to me.

            As for "Gianluigi Zangari," I am doubtful that's a real person. I searched for his name on the Web, and found the non-peer-reviewed essay cited by your two pages, and little else. A search engine snippet from LinkedIn says:

            Gianluigi Zangari. fisico teorico. Location Rome Area, Italy Industry Research. Current: Project Head at NOUS Neuroscience: Past: Associate Researcher at LNF-INFN, Principal Researcher at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, External Lecturer at ENEA, External Lecturer at...

            https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/gianluigi/+/cern-company

            I didn't see any mention of him on the INFN, ENEA or CERN sites and didn't see any Web presence of NOUS Neuroscience.

            A commenter [wordpress.com] on a Web forum wrote

            The coldest winter in a 1000 years is a great example of chinese whispers in the modern media.
            A crackpot called Dr. Gianluigi Zangari claimed that the Gulf Stream had slowed because of the BP oil spill. Some Polish blogs reported it, then a radio show interviewed a meteorologist and asked him what would happen if the Gulf Stream did indeed slow down or stop. The meteorologist said it would become colder in Europe. This was picked up as forecast by Polish newspapers, which then became a story in Russia, which then became ‘Forecasters predict the coldest winter in a 1000 years’.

            That agrees with what I saw elsewhere. It looks like someone created a false identity to spread one piece of disinformation.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:42PM (1 child)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday November 25 2017, @08:42PM (#601492) Journal

          Even the hugest oil spills, the ones with loud predictions of "planet-ending impact any minute now",

          Who predicted that? I'm thinking nobody did, at least not seriously.

          You remember when Iraq lit all the oil wells on fire? [wikipedia.org]

          There was a lot of such predictions at that time by deadly serious people that it was the end of life in the entire middle east region, if not everywhere on earth. From learned people [cwsl.edu] and government leaders and environmental groups.

          They somehow overlooked the fact that ALL of that oil was destined to be burned anyway, and became indignant and accusatory when you pointed this out to them.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27 2017, @01:46PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 27 2017, @01:46PM (#602051)

            > You remember when Iraq lit all the oil wells on fire?

            I hadn't; hank you for reminding me.

            > predictions at that time by deadly serious people that it was the end of life in the entire middle east region, if not everywhere on earth.

            Some of the predictions were about as dire as that; others less so. In the document you linked:

            The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) issued the following caution: "What is being destroyed today-and the damage which has been and could be caused could stay with us-all of us-for a very long time. It will affect generations to come [...]

            There wouldn't be any generations to come, if it were the end of life.

            If [300 to 500 wells--in actuality there were more fires than that] were ignited and burned out of control for several months, I believe you would begin to see environmental consequences in . . . Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India

            said one of the authors [baltimoresun.com] of the nuclear winter hypothesis.

            > They somehow overlooked the fact that ALL of that oil was destined to be burned anyway

            If it were burned in a controlled manner, much of the sulfur would be removed instead of going into the air, and there would be much less soot.

            The other commenter asserted

            Even the hugest oil spills, the ones with loud predictions of "planet-ending impact any minute now", have not left any lasting damage to the environment.

            Wikipedia's "Gulf War oil spill" article says the accompanying oil spill was the largest ever, with little attempt at clean-up. It quotes a geographer's report from 2001:

            The salt marshes which occur at almost 50% of the coastline show the heaviest impact compared to the other ecosystem types after 10 years. Completely recovered are the rocky shores and mangroves. [...] Full recovery of the salt marshes will certainly need some centuries.

            There was damage after 10 years, which was predicted to last much longer.

        • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday November 26 2017, @01:59AM

          by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Sunday November 26 2017, @01:59AM (#601561) Homepage Journal

          Ten engineers from Schlumberger arrived via helicopter to the deepwater horizon to perform an acoustic test that was intended to verify that the concrete which filled the gap between the bore hole and the steel pipe inside it was securely attached to the pipe. If there were gaps, echoes would sound different.

          The oil company chose not to have the test done, so all those engineers got back in their helicopter and left.

          They were the last people to leave that platform alive.

          The oil company didn't even APPLY for an ecological drilling permit.

          --
          Remember: Soggy Jobs is your one stop shop for fake jobs that don't exist.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @06:53PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @06:53PM (#601455)

        No impact? No long term consequences? Idiots lime you are a danger to the world https://www.npr.org/2015/04/20/400374744/5-years-after-bp-oil-spill-effects-linger-and-recovery-is-slow [npr.org]

        Lots spent on cleanup helped for sure, but to pretend there are no long term consequences is idiotic and easily verified as false. You're an idiot for being willfully ignorant and spreading your idiocy as truth.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25 2017, @07:09PM (#601460)

          An illiterate, TV-regurgitating zombie menace.

      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday November 25 2017, @11:59PM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday November 25 2017, @11:59PM (#601543)

        Even the hugest oil spills, the ones with loud predictions of "planet-ending impact any minute now", have not left any lasting damage to the environment.

        Yes they have. Just because the media moves on does not mean the effects of the spill have ended. Look up, for instance, what has happened in the area affected by the Exxon Valdez spill. The native organisms, particularly the smaller, more immobile organisms, that make up the base of the food chain, have yet to recover from the spill.

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Sunday November 26 2017, @01:53AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Sunday November 26 2017, @01:53AM (#601559) Homepage Journal

    I live in Vancouver Washington. The debate over the oil terminal has been raging for several years.

    Many of the letters to the editor don't make sense, or are obvious propaganda.

    For example one letter pointed out that then passing through Vancouver, the trains will go no faster than ten miles per hour. But how fast will they go when traveling just a few feet from the north bank of the Columbia River? How fast will they pass through small towns?

    The South bank of the Columbia river is in Oregon, yet the people there have no say in whether the terminal is built.

    --
    Remember: Soggy Jobs is your one stop shop for fake jobs that don't exist.
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