Map of plume from Japan

UPDATED POST: A Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization model of radioactive material from the disaster in Japan carried in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times has been removed from this post. Comments relating to the map have been removed. Anyone wishing to comment should go to those papers. This website, whose core mission is conservation, was being overwhelmed (see graphic above). For information about trace radiation in California from the Japan disaster, by all means check your air quality management district. Or check daily radiation levels from this RadNet Service from the US Environmental Protection Agency. No further comments to do with this remaining stub post will be published and earlier comments have been stricken.

March 25: National Public Radio has this excellent story about the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization monitoring, Built for bombs, Sensors now track Japan radiation.

‘Erin Brockovich’ writ large

Josh Fox standing in a stream that passes by his home in Pennsylvania. Source: HBO. After fracking began in Dimock, Pa., local livestock that drank water near gas mines began losing their hair. Fox took up the subject in the documentary 'Gasland' after his family was offered nearly $100,000 by a company for drilling rights on their land. From the Philadelphia Inquirer. Click here to read its review of 'Gasland.'

For Westerners, the connection between gas and water usually centers on Chromium VI, the chemical once used as a coolant by PG&E gas compressor plants and subsequently the Mojave Desert groundwater pollutant made famous by “Erin Brockovich.”

Yet a far greater, clear and present threat exists to a shared watershed extending from New York to West Virginia and throughout gas fields of the midwest and Texas. That is “hydrofracking,” the process in which chemically laced water  is used to fracture

We are all Gulf residents now

Gulf oil spill transposed to the English Channel. Source: Ifitwasmyhome.com. Click on the map to see how the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico measures up over your local landscape.

British politicians and the British press have woken up offended by the depth of American anger at British Petroleum. There is a failure of imagination here. The fury would be white-hot if the spill were off British shores and an American company were responsible. No, that’s insufficient. There are no words for how the British would react if the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill were gushing into the English Channel every week for nine weeks and counting.

Yet leaving aside the dander of London’s twit of a Tory mayor and his relic friends from the Thatcher era, as the horror at the carnage mounts, and the British have no choice but to get off their

Oil and water

Click on the image to be taken to NASA’s Earth Observatory for the history of this May 23 image of the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Or go to the Huffington Post for the most unflinching coverage of pelicans coated in crude as the oil reaches Louisiana wetlands.

Beyond the pale

Oil slick from the British Petroleum spill in the Gulf of Mexico spreads toward the Mississippi Delta. Source: NASA. Click on the image to be taken to its Earth Observatory for the history of this May 1 image and other images of the disaster.

From the New York Times Greenwire: “BP used to stand for ‘British Petroleum.’ Now the company wants people to think ‘Beyond Petroleum.’ But in the eyes of the Obama administration it’s starting to mean ‘blame petroleum.’ They cannot cite a specific complaint beyond a desire that the company work faster to find a solution to the river of crude pouring out of its well. But Obama’s Cabinet secretaries have started poking some verbal kidney punches at the oil giant.” To keep reading, click here.

In fact, BP still stands for British Petroleum. To read its account of the clean up efforts, click here