Tremors in Hawaii

Tremors on Hawaii

Over 30 small earthquakes shook the island of Hawaii in late December 2012. These tremors are signs of magma moving underground, feeding two ongoing eruptions at Kilauea volcano. A sticky, slow-moving stream of lava called pahoehoe is crossing the coastal plain east of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, dripping into the ocean and creating a delta. The lava flow is 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) wide, according to a statement from the U.S Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory. Lava entering the ocean builds lava deltas. The lava delta and adjacent areas are some of the most hazardous areas on the flow field…. read more

Insanity or Apathy?

Oil disaster on Alaskan coast

Since the first week of January, more details have come out pertaining to the reckless behavior exhibited by Shell Oil and its oil rig, Kulluk, off of the Alaskan Coast. First the company said the decision to move the rig was based on forecasts which suggested the weather would be good, but then it was made public that the forecasts made were for too short of a time period to be useful for the longer time duration to transport the rig. Then the company decided the best way to diffuse the situation would be to blame luck, and simply say… read more

The War On Whaling

War on Whaling

Often in international news it is reported that not-for-profit organisations such as Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd were in an altercation with Japanese whalers at sea. Organisations such as these make it their business to protect whales from being killed by human beings. Talking to my sister and her friends the other day, I realised that not many people understand the importance of eradicating whaling. In actual fact, many are much more prepared to brand these activist organisations as whale cultists. Whales form a very important part of marine life, such that senseless killing of these sea mammals must be prevented…. read more

Going Back for More

Oil drilling problems

Amidst the outrage from environmental advocacy groups after Shell Oil grounded its oil rig off of the Alaskan Coast, the company still has full intentions of returning to the waters to drill for oil in 2013. Shell is going back for more, even after proving to themselves and the country that the company simply cannot compete with the natural weather and climate of the region. The company was unable to protect its equipment during a winter storm, which is understandable, but certainly says something about the area they are in and the dangers of operating there. Further, the area in… read more

Shell Oil Keeps Digging

An oil rig

At a certain point, any decision which backfires stops being excusable. Stops being inexcusable and eventually becomes embarrassing. Shell Oil has managed to transcend even the embarrassing stage and is now existing in a pure lunacy stage where embarrassing cannot reach it. Further, embarrassment requires that one knows better from worse, right from wrong, and ultimately, it is difficult to discern if the executives of Shell Oil do know basic tenants of morality. On the last day of 2012, December 31st, the Shell oil rig “Kulluk” ran aground off the coast of Alaska off of Kodiak Island, prompting a 500-plus… read more

Starbucks Reusable Cup

Photo Credit: Starbucks

Starbucks is selling reusable plastic cups in its stores in the U.S. and Canada. Starbucks is charging $1 for the cup, which will hold tall or grande drinks, and entitle the user to a 10 percent discount. Nearly 2 percent of its beverages are served in their customers’ own cups, a number it hopes to raise to 5 percent by 2015. An important component of our overall waste reduction strategy is the use of reusable cups. When Starbucks outlined this strategy in 2008, they set a goal to serve 25 percent of all beverages in reusable cups by 2015. Whether… read more

Waterways Pollution

An artist's concept of eco-friendly boating

Springtime will be upon us in a few short months, which means boating, fishing, and other aquatic activities aren’t far behind. Setting sail on the water, be it the open sea, the river, or the pond out back, is a fun experience for everyone, but can become quite dangerous for the environment if one is careless. Illegal dumping, accidental poisoning of rivers, and oil leakage contribute to wildlife damage each year, and much of this can be avoided if boaters were to be a little more conscious of their actions. Simple tips such as properly disposing of waste, litter, and… read more

2012 Hottest on Record

Temperature rising in USA

Preliminary data suggested 2012 would be the hottest year on record, given the extreme weather which plagued the U.S. for large periods at a time, and now that the final sets of data have been reviewed, it is official: 2012 was the hottest year on record for the contiguous states. The extreme weather certainly had an effect: the surreal March heat wave, a severe drought in the Corn Belt, and Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the Middle Atlantic States. Simply stated, it was the perfect situation to become the hottest year on record. How hot was it? The average was 55.3… read more

Sustainable Liquor

Rum distillery

The Serralles Rum Distillery in Ponce, Puerto Rico, which has been owned by the family for 147 years, produces DonQ, Palo Viejo, and Caliche rums. They knew their challenges of disposing of millions of gallons of wastewater. While its competitor in Puerto Rico, Bacardi, dumps in the sea, the Serralles distillery has long routed its by-product to nearby fields. This was fine, until the rainy season swept in. During that May-to-November stretch, the fields would often get saturated, causing the waste to run off. Run off can cause dead zones in the ocean. Fearful of rousing the EPA, the distillery… read more

Toxic Clean Up

Toxic Clean Up

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig experienced a devastating oil spill in 2010. The Gulf of Mexico residents thought the damage done was just going to be from the 4.9 million barrels of oil which were floating around in the water. The Gulf ecosystem was nearly destroyed, tourism shot down in the area, and marine sources of food were scarce, resulting in one of the worst man-made disasters in recent memory. However, BP promised to be the knight in shining armor, and to come save the residents and ecosystem of the Gulf. Through poking and prodding from the Gulf residents and… read more