Today is Kyla Mandel’s final day working for DeSmog UK, and the whole team would like to express our heartfelt thanks for her incredible work over the past three years....
ring of fire
Canada has no commercial geothermal power plants, despite having abundant potential and, ironically, Canadian energy companies running geothermal power plants around the world.
Canada’s west coast forms part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a giant horseshoe of active volcanoes and earthquake zones stretching from New Zealand all the way around Alaska to the bottom of South America. The geology putting coastal cities at risk also makes the area great for developing geothermal resources.
Ring of Fire countries New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, the United States and Mexico all have commercial geothermal plants, but not Canada. A groundbreaking 2010 study of Canada’s geothermal potential found the best locations were in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, but even Ontario could produce geothermal power if someone dug deep enough.
To develop a geothermal power plant, a firm needs to drill a well deep into the ground to extract hot water to generate steam to turn an electrical turbine. The water is then recycled through another well back underground. The most important factors are the temperature of the extracted water and the flow rate – the hotter the water and the more of it, the better.
Oil giant BP is again attempting to convince the public that the oil spill settlement process for their destruction of the Gulf of Mexico resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and leak, is completely riddled with fraud.
The company filed a fraud lawsuit earlier this week to stop payments on the claim process while investigators look into the fraud allegations. According to BP, one of the law firms representing oil spill victims has been submitting and receiving payment for claimants who don’t actually exist.
The specific payments that BP is hoping to stop come from the Seafood Compensation Fund, a fund that was set up to pay fishermen and others who rely on the seafood industry as their source of income. The company says that Louisiana attorney Mikal Watts has filed 648 claims on behalf of seafood industry workers, and that 8 of those have been verified as accurate with 17 more still pending approval.
Watts’ attorney has fired back at BP, saying that Watts did nothing illegal during the spill process, and submitted the appropriate documentation for every spill claim that he has filed. BP insists that at least half of Watts’ clients don’t exist.
Originally published on Ring of Fire
New reports have come out this week showing us that 2012 was officially the hottest year on record. North America alone was plagued with hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, blizzards, and numerous other forms of weather that have almost all been linked back to anthropogenic climate change.
Earlier this week, Ring of Fire Radio’s Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. spoke with 350.org founder Bill McKibben about the threat of climate change and what President Obama needs to do during his second term to address the problem. The transcript of that conversation follows, and the interview will run this weekend on the Ring of Fire radio program:
The companies involved in mountaintop removal mining (MTR) are beginning to get much-needed exposure in the national media. For years, this issue has been relegated to a few mentions here and there, with national media outlets virtually ignoring the devastation taking place in rural America. The media’s silence, and the public’s resulting lack of knowledge on the issue, has allowed a large number of the mountains in communities along the Appalachian range to be blown up and mined for every piece of coal the industry can find. As communities continue to fight MTR coal giants like Massey Energy and others, they are continuously faced with the devastation that these energy companies have left in their backyards.
The video below is from Ring of Fire Radio, and features a discussion between Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and documentary film director Bill Haney. The two are discussing their new film “The Last Mountain.”
The damage inflicted on the Gulf of Mexico from the BP blowout goes far beyond the ecological and economic impacts this catastrophe has wrought on the region. As evidenced painfully well in the video below, residents of the Gulf states are suffering from the horrifying realization that their beaches could be closed indefinitely, their family businesses ruined by BP’s negligence, and their lives forever tainted with the memory of Sarah Palin’s ‘Drill Baby Drill’ chant ringing in their ears while their eyes bare witness to every reason why