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(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favorite Living Canadian)
No matter what’s flowing through them, the first rule of pipelines is that they leak. last August, HuffPost, working in conjunction with the Climate Investigations Center, told the story of a pipeline that leaked in a small place in Mississippi called Satartia. A pipeline carrying carbon dioxide ruptured, endangering the town and the residents therein.
Some two dozen individuals were overcome within a few minutes, collapsing in their homes; at a fishing camp on the nearby Yazoo River; in their vehicles. Cars just shut off, since they need oxygen to burn fuel. Drivers scrambled out of their paralyzed vehicles, but were so disoriented that they just wandered around in the dark…
While ambient CO2 is odorless, colorless and heavier than air, the industrial CO2 in Denbury’s pipeline has been compressed into a liquid, which is pumped through pipelines under high pressure. A rupture in this kind of pipeline sends CO2 gushing out in a dense, powdery white cloud that sinks to the ground and is cold enough to make steel so brittle it can be smashed with a sledgehammer.
CO2 is no joke. They formerly used it to euthanize animals until the animal-rights people got on the case. And its effect on humans runs the gamut from severe nuisance to asphyxia.
Carbon dioxide is an asphyxiant that displaces ambient oxygen, making it more difficult to breathe. Smaller exposures cause coughing, dizziness and a panicky feeling called “air hunger.” As CO2 concentrations get higher and exposure times longer, the gas causes a range of effects from unconsciousness to coma to death. Even at lower levels, CO2 can act as an intoxicant, impairing cognitive performance and inducing a confused, drunken-like state.
And the CO2 in Satartia was laced with hydrogen sulfide, an even more seriously poisonous substance.
The Biden administration is all on board with increased emphasis on capture and sequestration (CCS) technology, which requires CO2 and will require a massive new network of pipelines. Which, unless regulations and oversight improve in one quick hurry, will mean there may well be more Satartias and more green fog over the landscape.
At the same time, a group of friends were cooking crayfish and sipping beer at a fishing camp along the Yazoo River. It was getting dark when Hugh Martin noticed the rotten egg smell. Soon they were all wheezing and breathing hard. Martin’s friend, Casey Sanders, collapsed onto the ground, then quickly came to. Coughing and choking, everyone somehow made it to their vehicles. Martin jumped into his white pickup truck and drove up onto the levee that separates the town from the river. The glare of his headlights illuminated a green, misty fog. The suffocating feeling was nearly intolerable. “Only thing I been through worse than this was the gas chamber when I was in the Army training for Desert Storm,” he said. “And that was CS gas.” CS gas is a type of tear gas.
He called his cuddle mother, Marguerite Vinson, who told him she was feeling dizzy. “Got your shoes on, mama?” he asked, trying to keep the anxiety out of his voice. He told her to meet him in the carport of their home, not far from the fishing camp. After stopping once to throw up out of the truck window, he made it home. “I saw mama standing there, holding her phone, and she was weak at the knees. And I just grabbed her and threw her in the truck,” said Martin. “Then I just took off and headed for the highway.”
At the stop sign at Route 3 was a checkpoint, but he blew by it, heading north to the hospital in Yazoo City. His mother her lay motionless on the passenger’s seat: Her eyes were open, but she stared blankly ahead of her when he spoke to her.
There were no fatalities in Satartia, largely through the grace of the Whatever. Local law enforcement credits part of that to the fact that the leak occurred before many of the residents had fallen asleep. This is probably not something regulators should count on as a general safety precaution going forward.
A much-touted December 2020 Princeton University study ― funded in part by the oil industry ― calls for a 65,000-mile system by 2050, which means adding 60,000 miles to the current 5,000 miles of CO2 pipeline. The new system would be organized into a spider web of continent-spanning trunk lines as large as 4′ in diameter — twice the size of the Satartia pipeline — fed by a system of spur smaller lines.
I’m not reassured.
Texas continues to be a suppurating boil on the body politic. Governor Greg Abbott has gotten some runway with a couple of judges, and now they’re trying to continue his dark winning streak by taking on the social media giants. For bogus reasons? Need you ask? From Vox:
The decision in NetChoice v. Paxton reinstates an unconstitutional Texas law that seizes control of the major social media platforms’ content moderation process, requiring them to either carry content that those platforms do not wish to publish or be so restrictive it would render the platforms unusable. This law is unconstitutional because the First Amendment prohibits the government from ordering private companies or individuals to publish speech that they do not wish to be associated with …
The Texas law prohibits a social media platform “that functionally has more than 50 million active users in the United States in a calendar month” from banning a user — or even from regulating or restricting a user’s content or altering the algorithms that surface content to other users — because of that user’s “viewpoint.”
So now we’re making laws based on the paranoid fantasies of modern conservatism. And we have judges willing to rule on those laws on the same basis. We’re now only a Queen of Hearts short of a classically mad tea party.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “Crescent City Snow” (Susan Cowsill & the Carrollton Station Foundation): Yeah, I still pretty much love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here, from 1943, are Polish refugees arriving in what was then called Persia, where they were placed in refugee camps. “Broken victims of a maniac ambition,” they had to go through Russia and over the Caucasus to get to the camps. According to the United States Holocaust Museum, the Iranians were very good hosts, but eventually, the relief infrastructure became overwhelmed by the number of refugees.
Because Iran could not permanently care for the large influx of refugees, other British-colonized countries began receiving Poles from Iran in the summer of 1942. The refugees who did not stay in Iran until the end of the war were transported to India, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa, among other countries. The Mexican government also agreed to take several thousand refugees. A number of Polish refugees stayed in Iran permanently, some eventually marrying Iranian citizens and having children…A Polish cemetery in Tehran is the main and largest refugee burial site in Iran, with 1,937 graves. There is a separate area in the cemetery belonging to the Jewish community of Tehran. Each of these 56 grave exhibits a Star of David and the name of the deceased in Polish.
I find that oddly hopeful. History is so cool.
Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, used to be a moderate. Many, many Smart People told me this back in the Before Time. Now, though, after six years of mainlining the Flavor-Aid served up by the previous administration*, she’s appearing on an electric Twitter machine near you in the role of Glenda, The Noisy Drunk at the Bar.
The White House, House Dems, & usual pedo grifters are so out of touch with the American people that rather than present ANY PLAN or urgency to address the nationwide baby formula crisis, they double down on sending pallets of formula to the southern border. Joe Biden has NO PLAN.
“I ask for grifters.”
She’s obviously buried herself in the part.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, CTV? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
Well, the find is good news. The event definitely wasn’t.
A tiny fragment of the asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago may have been found encased in amber — a discovery NASA has described as “mind-blowing.” It’s one of several astounding finds at a unique fossil site in the Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota that has preserved remnants of the cataclysmic moment that ended the dinosaur was — a turning point in the history of the planet. The fossils unearthed include fish that sucked in debris blasted out during the strike, a turtle impaled with a stick and a leg that might belonged to a dinosaur that had seen the asteroid strike. The story of the discoveries is in a new documentary called “Apocalypse,” which features naturalist Sir David Attenborough and paleontologist Robert DePalma and airs Wednesday on the PBS show “ New.”
The site is home to thousands of well-preserved fish fossils that DePalma believed were buried alive by sediment displaced as a massive body of water unleashed by the asteroid strike moved up the interior seaway. Unlike tsunamis, which can take hours to reach land after an earthquake at sea, these moving water bodies, known as a seiche, surged out instantaneously after the massive asteroid crashed into the sea.
Lords of the earth one minute, dead in North Dakota the next. That’s a bad break right there. They lived then to make us happy now, and then, one day, they weren’t living anymore.
I’ll be back on Monday to see how high the evidence has piled up around the January 6 conspirators. (By then, they might have to put a red beacon on top to warn passing aircraft.) Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line and wear the damn mask, get the damn shots, especially the damn boosters and, if you have time, spare a thought for the people of Ukraine.
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