TAG: Environment

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

Fiscal Cliff & Climate Cliff

The fiscal cliff

In what can only be described as asinine and embarrassing for how long it took, the United States Congress has finally produced a plan to avert the Congress-created “fiscal cliff.” If doing the bare minimum of their job, i.e. paying the country’s bills, is too difficult and too much of a burden for the elected representatives of the American citizenry, then what can be expected of them when an issue which requires more than the minimum effort comes up? The cynical answer is “nothing,” or “no expectations,” but that is letting the Congress, the people that were chosen by their… read more

Green Jobs for Veterans

Green jobs for veterans

Despite the gratitude we have towards veterans and the courageous acts they perform, there is not enough being done to honor their services when they return. It is refreshing, then, to learn of organizations like Veterans Green Jobs, who connect veterans of all eras with employment opportunities in the green sector. Veterans Green Jobs was founded in 2008, in Denver, Colorado and seems to be the perfect union of veteran job placement and environmental protection.  They strive to equipped veterans with skills that can transfer to meaningful green jobs. Helping veterans gain stability with careers that serve an important role in creating a better environment… read more

Young Activists

Young activists

There have been many waves of environmental activism, each gaining a broader demographic as climate change becomes more apparent. Because the Internet and other forms of electronic communication are accessible at a younger age, children not only have the means to express their views about the environment – their ideas are finally being heard and applied. As a result we are seeing more teen and kid activists, as well as young entrepreneurs of green ‘enterprise’. The following examples may illustrate why our youth make the best activists, as they are the inherit-ants of the current ecological mess. We will begin with Alex Lin, who was only eleven… read more

Green Collar

Green jobs

The creation of new ‘green jobs’ has been a frequent policy topic, yet it is not always made clear where to find these  jobs, or even what they entail. For anyone who is curious about green jobs or thinks they may want to employ their skills in the green sector, the following may be of help. What Constitutes a Green Job? Essentially, a green job can be any conventional job, from marketing and sales to engineering. The difference is green sector employees work for companies that make efforts to improve the environment. This is further illustrated by the U.S. Department of Labor, who define green jobs as: “jobs in businesses that produce… read more

Silence Finally Broken

Climate change issues

Despite climate change getting little attention during last year’s Presidential campaign, President Obama finally addressed the issue in a press conference a week after the election. According to MediaMatters, from August 1st to November 6th, television news coverage outside of MSNBC of climate change totaled 51 minutes. To give further perspective on the miniscule amount of time given to climate change, after the vice presidential debate, 91 minutes of television news coverage, again outside of MSNBC, were allotted to Joe Biden’s smiles and other aspects of body language toward Paul Ryan. A piece of “news” which had the lifespan of… read more

A Pilgrim’s Way

Montserrat monastry

I had been hiking for hours and I knew I was lost. The ascent of Montserrat near the Spanish village of El Bruc was arduous but to this point there had only been one path. Now I stood some eight hundred meters above the plains below and had to choose between three paths. “Stay on the trail”, I had been told by my host. But which trail? Left? Right? Straight ahead? The finger-like rock formations of Montserrat were known to be treacherous. Alone, and with diminishing water, I needed help to find my way across the mountaintop. My goal was… read more

Next Oil Victim: Alaska

Oil drilling

In what comes as a surprise to no one with any semblance of common sense or critical thinking skills, Shell’s Arctic drilling rig ran aground off of the Alaskan coast, just as experts predicted, on the evening of December 31st—a fitting way to end 2012, and begin 2013. Fortunately, the Coast Guard did not report any visible sheen on the water, signaling that no oil has leaked into the ocean. The Alaskan coast dodged an ecological and environmental disaster, and Shell dodged losing about 139,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of lubrication oil and hydraulic fluid. No harm,… read more

Surprise from the EPA

Surprise from the EPA

In recent memory, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been more disappointing than gratifying in the eyes of environmental advocates. Oil and gas extraction has been a thorn in the side of the EPA. The organization has had to balance environmental concerns with economic woes. The Obama administration has not made it easier on the EPA since it has been equally unwilling to take a real stand supporting or opposing the dangerous methods of extraction. Yes, the Obama administration has maintained and prolonged the status quo of oil and gas extraction, development, and use; and yes, the EPA is subject… read more

Short Term Thinking?Part 1

shutterstock_114337345

The availability of jobs in states where oil is booming is luring many high school graduates into the industry instead of pursuing a 4-year degree at a college or university, or even a 2-year degree at a technical school. It is understandable why high school graduates are taking the jobs while they can: nationwide unemployment among young adults is at more than 12 percent, college tuition is soaring (due to a multitude of reasons), and jobs in the oil and gas drilling industry can start at $50,000 a year. Instead of spending an extraordinary amount pursuing higher education and a… read more