LGBTI News and Politics

Archive for the ‘Science/Technology’ Category

California is actually sinking now!


RT America | August 24, 2015

New research from NASA scientists indicates that vast areas of California’s Central Valley are sinking faster than ever, thanks to over-pumping of groundwater. So much groundwater is being pumped thanks to the drought. California has yet another thing to worry about, it appears. The Resident discusses. Follow The Resident at

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Animas River Spill: EPA Knew Mine ‘Blowout’ Was Possible, Say Documents

Animas River in Colorado. (photo: AP)
Animas River in Colorado. (photo: AP)


Associated Press | Reader Supported News | August 23, 2015

nternal documents released late on Friday show managers at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were aware of the potential for a catastrophic “blowout” at an abandoned mine that could release “large volumes” of wastewater laced with toxic heavy metals.

The EPA released the documents following weeks of prodding from media organisations. The agency and contract workers accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater on 5 August, as they inspected the idled Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.

Among the documents is a June 2014 work order for a planned cleanup that noted that the old mine had not been accessible since 1995, when the entrance partially collapsed. The plan appears to have been produced by Environmental Restoration, a private contractor working for EPA.

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Environmentalists Blast Obama’s Decision to Let Shell Drill in Arctic

Kulluk aground on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island on January 1, 2013. (image: U.S. Coast Guard)


Reynard Loki | AlterNet | August 23, 2015

Last Monday, just weeks after he gave Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) final approval to go ahead with its controversial plan to resume oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, President Obama greenlighted a request by the company to drill even deeper for oil than it ever has before. Granted through the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the approval lets Shell start drilling in the Arctic for the first time in since 2012, when it was forced to halt drilling operations amidst a series of accidents, culminating in the washing ashore of its drilling rig Kulluk on Sitkalidak, a pristine uninhabited island off the Alaskan coast.

Mixed messages

“It sends a terrible signal to the rest of the world for the United States to be using public resources to promote [Arctic] development,” said Niel Lawrence of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “We have to make clear to the rest of the world that we are all in on a clean energy future. And we’ve got to stop giving the rest of the world license to go exploring by permitting Shell to do it.”

Could Obama’s decision help fuel an international Arctic oil rush? Under international law, four other countries besides the U.S. — Canada, Norway, Russia and Denmark (via Greenland) — have Arctic exploration and resource rights to areas within 200 nautical miles of their coasts. In Norway, the fear of oil spills in the Arctic have made lawmakers push back on the plans to let oil companies press further northward into the Arctic Circle. But Russia is going full bore, with plans to deploy a floating nuclear reactor to power its Arctic drilling operations by October 2016. Canada has a similar plan to power its remote mining projects.

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Under the Dome: 6 scientists prepare for yearlong Mars simulation in Hawaii


RT America | August 20, 2015

A group of six scientists are preparing for a yearlong mission at the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS), which will simulate the living conditions on Mars and see what it takes for a small crew to survive on the Red Planet. Anya Parampil speaks with Kim Binsted, the program’s principal investigator, about hopes for the project.

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Obama Gives Shell Final Approval to Drill in Arctic Despite Protests and Pledge to Cut Emissions



Amy Goodman | Democracy Now! | Truthout | August 18, 2015

The Obama administration has granted Royal Dutch Shell final approval to resume drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean for the first time since 2012 despite widespread protests from environmental groups. Shell first obtained drilling permits in the Arctic during the George W. Bush administration, but drilling stopped in 2012 after a series of mishaps. The Interior Department’s decision comes just weeks after a protest in Portland, Oregon, temporarily blocked an Arctic-bound rig of Shell’s from leaving the city after a group of activists from Greenpeace dangled off a bridge, blocking the ship’s movement while kayaktivists took to the water below. A coalition of environmental groups have pushed the Obama administration to say no to Arctic drilling, citing the dangers of a possible oil spill in the pristine region and the impact new oil extraction would have on the climate. The Interior Department approved the Arctic drilling ahead of President Obama’s upcoming trip to the Arctic later this month. He mentioned the trip during his recent speech unveiling plan to slash carbon emissions from U.S. power plants.

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RAW: NASA tests super-engine that will take us to Mars


RT America | August 14, 2015

The August 13 test-firing was carried out at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. It was the sixth out of seven tests for the main engine to power the SLS rocket. Four of the engines, together with two boosters, will be used to launch the dream mission to space.


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New Facebook software can scan, snitch on people for criminal activity


Social media giant Facebook has developed software to check in on people who may be engaging in criminal activities and alert company employees to decide whether to contact authorities. Boom Bust’s Erin Ade talks with Manila Chan about the software and security concerns for consumers.

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