No global warming?
Two top head lines - Scientists are measuring the polar ice melt. Ice sheets melting at poles faster than before.
(Gee BP might not have lied when it said it had a plan to protect the walruses in the Gulf of Mexico) ( And the good ole boys down in Georgia might be surprised when they can apply for a white bear hunting license.)
Pacific nations alarmed by tuna overfishing
Let me see, you have Cambodian anglers spending the better part of their lives (24/7) on a boat hauling in tuna. The Australians corralling so much blue fin that the season now runs in minutes rather than days. Add to that the Japanese who'll pay a couple hundred thousand for one fish. Is it any wonder? Forget chicken of the sea soon it'll be more like caviar of the sea. Same things have happened off our northeast coast with cod and lobster. Ten bucks says that Maine lobster on your restaurant dinner plate came from somewhere else.
A Norman Rockwell painting from WWII was sold at auction which got me to thinking what sacrifices were made then and now. Back then there were metal drives and tire drives and all manner of rationing to pay for the war efforts. War bonds and even stamps were sold up into the late 1950s to cover the costs. Today we have yellow ribbons made by chinese peasant workers slapped on the backs of gas guzzling SUVs. But lest I forget the fine folks who tanked the economy, and made off with our home equity and the better part of our retirements. Today when Johnny came marching home looking for a job he found Jose already had the job and Jody made off with his wife or girlfriend. That is if the bank hadn't already foreclosed on his house too. And they tell us all this debt will be slapped on our kids and grand kids. Yeah right pal. Not when the kids moved back home along with the parents because they can't find a job either. And what of our Johnnys coming home. What do they have to look forward to? Point man for an insurgent patrol or IED disposal tech does really translate well for a job application for nurses aid or hospital orderly. Forget flipping burgers Johnny, Jose's wife got that job.
A private rail bridge collapsed this week in NJ causing the release of vinyl chloride gas.
I'll be the first to admit that that's very nasty stuff. I was once required to take a sample from a drum of wastewater suspected of containing that chemical. I was fortunate enough to have an industrial hygienist with me to monitor the situation. Had there been any of the chemical present we could not proceed with the sample gathering. Even at low levels requires full encapsulating suit with air tanks. Yes it's that bad.
But the real issue here is the state of our infrastructure. This bridge was a private bridge know to have problems. It had collapsed once before just 3 years earlier. It is an iron structure built in 1867! But the problem is the inspections. There are no set requirements for inspections unless a problem has been detected and reported. And you know companies won't report anything wrong if it involves a lot of money. A hands on inspection can cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Yet here we sit with the average age of our bridges at 43 years. The latest report is that 18,000 bridges in the U.S. are near the dangerous stage, old and need of maintenance or replacement. And once again our politicians turned their backs on the problem by underfunding the highway bill.