Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Petroleum Industry [is] Grossly Incontinent
While Governments Play Silly Buggers

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Pat Bagley: The Magic that is Petroleum.
When I first saw Pat Bagley's cartoon I had not yet heard about the Yellowstone River pipeline break nor the Torrance California refinery explosion. I find that cartoons often give better clues to what's important in the news than, say, Canada's National Newspaper The Globe and Mail which is not much more these days than a status quo Rah-Rah machine.

Very tempting to put it into straightfoward Anglo Saxon, but they say overuse of the eff-word with exclamation points and so on shows a failure of imagination. How about Impact font then, large, and bold caps? Is that OK?

Eight previous North American train-bomb incidents (seven explosions and one dud) starting with Lac Mégantic are described here. They are:

            1. Lac Mégantic, Québec - Saturday July 6 2013:
            2. Gainford, Alberta - Saturday October 19 2013:
            3. Aliceville, Alabama - Friday November 8 2013:
            4. Casselton, North Dakota - Monday December 30 2013:
            5. Wapske/Plaster Rock, New Brunswick - Tuesday January 7 2014:
            6. Lynchburg, Virginia - Wednesday April 30 2014:
            7. LaSalle, Colorado - Friday May 9 2014 (dud):
            8. Clair, Saskatchewan - Tuesday October 7 2014:

Now, within 9 weeks, we have seven major events back-to-back. Proof of the unconcerned incontinence of the petroleum industry and the wilful incompetence of governments, of their spin-off corporations like CN Rail, of their so called 'regulators' like the NEB, and of the labour union fellow travellers.

It is incredible and incomprehensible that any of them are allowed to carry on.

Harum-Scarum   Nolens Volens   Willy-Nilly

Yellowstone River, Montana - Saturday January 17 2015:
January 17 2015: Yellowstone River.January 17 2015: Yellowstone River.The spilled oil has now reached the Missouri, ~100 miles miles downstream. You can see from the photographs how effective the clean-up effort is likely to be.

Gogama, Ontario - Saturday February 14 2015:
Saturday February 14 2015: Gogama Ontario.
Twenty-nine (of ~100) tank cars (the new and improved kind) jumped the tracks and burned. Oh yes - the train had been inspected only 20 miles before AND the tracks had been inspected the previous week.

Boomer, West Virginia - Monday February 16 2015:
Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.Monday February 16 2015: Boomer, West Virginia.
26 of 109 cars (also the new and improved kind) left the tracks and exploded and burned.

Torrance, California - Wednesday February 18 2015:
February 18 2015: Torrance, California.
February 18 2015: Torrance, California.February 18 2015: Torrance, California.
February 18 2015: Torrance, California.

The flares in the photographs are incidental to the explosion. They are burning off products which would otherwise be processed by machinery which was destroyed in the explosion. For the record, this is what 'mitigation' looks like - keep the rest of the refinery running at all costs.

A-and it's not going to be easy (to put a stop to it) since the community you see there nestling around the refinery in Torrance California depends upon the ExxonMobil refinery and others like it to prosper and flourish (in the way that that community has learned to imagine prosperity and flourishing).

Ditto Stephen Harper & his cronies.

Hornepayne, Ontario - Thursday March 5 2015:
Thursday March 5 2015: Hornepayne, Ontario.
Sixteen out of ~100(?) cars derail but it's a dud - must be a union job.

Galena, Illinois - Thursday March 5 2015:
Thursday March 5 2015: Galena, Illinois.
Eight out of 105 cars derail and blow. Looks like unions aren't as strong in the US.

Gogama, Ontario - Saturday March 7 2015 - still burning Monday:
Saturday March 7 2015 - still burning Monday: Gogama Ontario.Saturday March 7 2015 - still burning Monday: Gogama Ontario.
Second time in two weeks. This time 38 of the 94 cars derail and two go into the river. The fire is still burning days later.

Tom Toles: Dogs resemble their owners.
Bruce MacKinnon: Protected Species.
Joep Bertrams (edited with apologies): De grote mars / The long march.Dogs do indeed come to resemble their masters. Is Stephen Harper the master or the dog? Or is the caress he bestows upon his beloved oil industry related somehow to his father?

There is an election coming in k-k-k-Canada sometime this year. The shame of it is that there is no political party with a platform to fix the environmental armageddon. None.

The Green Party of Canada? Elizabeth May? I was in a room a few years ago when Adriana Mugnatto, then the Green Environment Minister shadow, asked the chair if it was not time to tell Canadians the truth about what is coming in the way of environmental catastrophe. The answer was "No." I was in another room sometime later and listened to Elizabeth May giddily introduce an ex-banker and 'renowned' economist who then told the assembled multitudes that "Growth is inevitable." And yes, I have read the platform. Here, look for yourself: in brief or in 100 pages of detail.

Good from far but far from good, as they say up in the Pontiac.

Unless something besides an election happens this year ... WE'RE FUCKED!

(Sorry to descend in the end to rude Anglo Saxon but really ... How else can one say it?)
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