By Larry Buhl
Last Wednesday evening, at a meeting of the Porter Ranch Community Council, a psychologist from Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Dr. Pietro D’ingillo, was invited to tell residents how to navigate the emotional impacts they experience when moving back home after being displaced by the nearly four-month gas leak resulting from an October blowout at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility.
When D’ingillo mentioned that deep-breathing techniques could help with stress and fear, one resident asked how they were supposed to take deep breaths when what they feared was the air itself.
“Well, that’s what can make the issue murky here,” D’ingillo replied.
By Larry Buhl
When we published a paper in 2013 finding 97% scientific consensus on human-caused global warming, what surprised me was how surprised everyone was.
Nevertheless, no-one I spoke to was aware of the existing research into such a consensus. Rather, the public thought there was a 50:50 debate among scientists on the basic question of whether human activity was causing global warming.
This week, thousands of activists converged in Washington, D.C. for Democracy Spring, a series of rallies, marches and sit-ins to protest big money in politics, voter suppression, and the Senate’s obstruction of President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination.
The activists are demanding that Congress pass four bills already introduced that would stem the tide of big money by overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and match small political contributions with public funds, and expand voting rights by restoring protections against voter discrimination and expanding voting accessibility.
Central to these forces are environmental activists from all over the country. The Energy Action Coalition, a network of youth-led environmental and social justice organizations that trains and mobilizes youth climate activists, is on the Democracy Spring steering committee and is working with allies such as Oil Change International and SustainUS to coordinate “climate justice day” on Saturday.
Earthquakes caused by injection of shale oil and gas production wastes — and methane leakage from shale gas pipelines — have proliferated in recent years, with both issues well-studied in the scientific literature and grabbing headlines in newspapers nationwide.
Lesser-mentioned, though perhaps at the root of both problems, is a key exemption won by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact (IOGCC) via a concerted lobbying effort in the 1980's. That is, classifying oil and gas wastes as something other than “hazardous” or “solid wastes” under Subtitles C and D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), thus exempting the industry from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement.