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On the last day of April 2010, it is becoming clear that this past month may well have been the worst month in American, if not human, history with regards to disastrous consequences due to humans' unrelenting hunger for fossil fuels.

Jonathan Hiskes at Grist today calls this "The worst week ever, brought to you by the fossil-fuel industry." I may be willing to go a step further.

Now I'm not all that old (for the record I'm younger than Earth Day), and I'm not a history major. But on the surface, the size and number of tragedies we have witnessed this month are unparalleled-


• Over 3 dozen confirmed deaths in Henan, China mine collapse.

• Coal freighter slams into the Great Barrier Reef

• "The worst U.S. coal mining disaster since 1970"

• "Oilpocalypse" a.k.a. what will likely be the worst oil spill in American history.

Let's review in a bit more detail.

April 3

a large Chinese freighter that slammed into the Great Barrier Reef off Australia  over the weekend, trying to prevent the vessel from breaking apart as some of the 1,075 tons of engine fuel in its tanks began oozing from the hull, threatening the world’s largest collection of coral.

All's well that ends well, right?

Coal carrier caused 'massive' damage to Great Barrier Reef that will take 20 years to repair

By Mail Foreign Service
14th April 2010

A coal carrier that ran aground and leaked about 3 tons of oil on Australia's Great Barrier Reef completely pulverized parts of a shoal and caused damage so severe it could take marine life 20 years to recover, the reef's chief scientist said today.

The month's 1st week actually had a glimmer of good news:

• April 5


With Hope Dwindling, 115 Chinese Miners Are Saved

...more than a week after the half-built Wangjialing mine in northern China was flooded with millions of gallons of water, rescuers heard taps on a metal pipe.
(snip)

The accident occurred on March 28 as workers digging tunnels broke through a wall into an old shaft filled with water, flooding their V-shaped shaft. Five of the workers’ nine platforms were submerged. The exit out of the pit was blocked.

But any jubilation about that amazing turn of events in China was quickly tempered by the grim news here at home.

• An explosion at Upper Big Branch in Montcoal, West Virginia kills 29 miners.

Mine rescue effort turns to recovery
By GREG BLUESTEIN, VICKI SMITH
updated 3:30 p.m. PT, Sat., April 10, 2010

COMFORT, W.Va. - Time stopped five days ago for the families of 29 coal miners killed in the devastating explosion at Upper Big Branch mine.

• The Deepwater Horizon Gulf disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has been well-covered in other places. Some of the better writing has been done by Magnifico.

Wed Apr 28:
Oil spill only 20 miles from ecologically fragile coastline now
Mon Apr 26:
Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico grows, leaks still gushing oil

Last night's DK Greenroots by FishOutofWater was also particularly poignant-

Oil Spill Threatening Endangered Birds: DK Greenroots

twicc2

From the Grist link in the intro, there are other items that flew under the radar too-

an oil refinery explosion in Washington state that killed five workers, an 18,000-gallon oil spill from a Chevron pipeline into the Louisiana Delta,

The connection running through every one of these disasters, of course, is dirty energy -- oil and coal. Only a fool would refuse to see the need to end our addiction.

As I wrote in a comment yesterday-

The definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results.

Are these results expected?
Are these results acceptable?

Earlier today there was a diary on the rec list in which the diarist boldly states that we need

a ban on offshore drilling. Excepting the artic circle region, where I believe the bounty is worth the risk.

(my bold)

I beg to differ.

I would imagine the families of the dead in all of these tragedies are incline to agree with me.

If not for the tragic loss of human and animal life, can we not do this for the future citizens of Earth?

There is nothing safe about fossil fuel extraction.

Acceptance is the last of the 5 stages of grief. We seem to be building our modern world entirely upon stage one: Denial.

It is time we recognize the insanity of our ways and move on.

As a better writer than me said:

This is on us.

Can we come together for a reasonable solution to our fossil fuel addiction?

Divided we fall.

=========

Let's review in a bit more detail.

April 3

a large Chinese freighter that slammed into the Great Barrier Reef off Australia  over the weekend, trying to prevent the vessel from breaking apart as some of the 1,075 tons of engine fuel in its tanks began oozing from the hull, threatening the world’s largest collection of coral.

All's well that ends well, right?

Coal carrier caused 'massive' damage to Great Barrier Reef that will take 20 years to repair

By Mail Foreign Service
14th April 2010

A coal carrier that ran aground and leaked about 3 tons of oil on Australia's Great Barrier Reef completely pulverized parts of a shoal and caused damage so severe it could take marine life 20 years to recover, the reef's chief scientist said today.

The month's 1st week actually had a glimmer of good news:

• April 5


With Hope Dwindling, 115 Chinese Miners Are Saved

...more than a week after the half-built Wangjialing mine in northern China was flooded with millions of gallons of water, rescuers heard taps on a metal pipe.
(snip)

The accident occurred on March 28 as workers digging tunnels broke through a wall into an old shaft filled with water, flooding their V-shaped shaft. Five of the workers’ nine platforms were submerged. The exit out of the pit was blocked.

But any jubilation about that amazing turn of events in China was quickly tempered by the grim news here at home.

• An explosion at Upper Big Branch in Montcoal, West Virginia kills 29 miners.

Mine rescue effort turns to recovery
By GREG BLUESTEIN, VICKI SMITH
updated 3:30 p.m. PT, Sat., April 10, 2010

COMFORT, W.Va. - Time stopped five days ago for the families of 29 coal miners killed in the devastating explosion at Upper Big Branch mine.

• The Deepwater Horizon Gulf disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has been well-covered in other places. Some of the better writing has been done by Magnifico.

Wed Apr 28:
Oil spill only 20 miles from ecologically fragile coastline now
Mon Apr 26:
Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico grows, leaks still gushing oil

Last night's DK Greenroots by FishOutofWater was also particularly poignant-

Oil Spill Threatening Endangered Birds: DK Greenroots

twicc2

From the Grist link in the intro, there are other items that flew under the radar too-

an oil refinery explosion in Washington state that killed five workers, an 18,000-gallon oil spill from a Chevron pipeline into the Louisiana Delta,

The connection running through every one of these disasters, of course, is dirty energy -- oil and coal. Only a fool would refuse to see the need to end our addiction.

As I wrote in a comment yesterday-

The definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results.

Are these results expected?
Are these results acceptable?

Earlier today there was a diary on the rec list in which the diarist boldly states that we need

a ban on offshore drilling. Excepting the artic circle region, where I believe the bounty is worth the risk.

(my bold)

I beg to differ.

I would imagine the families of the dead in all of these tragedies are incline to agree with me.

If not for the tragic loss of human and animal life, can we not do this for the future citizens of Earth?

There is nothing safe about fossil fuel extraction.

Acceptance is the last of the 5 stages of grief. We seem to be building our modern world entirely upon stage one: Denial.

It is time we recognize the insanity of our ways and move on.

As a better writer than me said:

This is on us.

Can we come together for a reasonable solution to our fossil fuel addiction?

Divided we fall.

=========

Originally posted to The Laughing Planet on Fri Apr 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM PDT.

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