Category Archives: Energy

Centrifuge of Infinite Rage – Part 1 – Fracking Secrets > Health

I’m going to spin up the Centrifuge of Infinite Rage(TM) and leave it running for a while because there is some Grade-A bullshit I need to vent about.  Item the first.  The proprietary nature of the chemicals used in Fracking are so, “fracking” (HA!), important that Pennsylvania now has a law which prevents doctors from sharing information about those chemicals with their patients.  Because, why the hell would the patient need to know about it?

Here’s the actual wording of the piece in question:

(10)  A vendor, service company or operator shall
identify the specific identity and amount of any chemicals
claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary
information to any health professional who requests the
information in writing if the health professional executes a
confidentiality agreement and provides a written statement of
need for the information indicating all of the following:

(i)  The information is needed for the purpose of
diagnosis or treatment of an individual.
(ii)  The individual being diagnosed or treated may
have been exposed to a hazardous chemical.
(iii)  Knowledge of information will assist in the
diagnosis or treatment of an individual.

(11)  If a health professional determines that a medical
emergency exists and the specific identity and amount of any
chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential
proprietary information are necessary for emergency
treatment, the vendor, service provider or operator shall
immediately disclose the information to the health
professional upon a verbal acknowledgment by the health
professional that the information may not be used for
purposes other than the health needs asserted and that the
health professional shall maintain the information as
confidential. The vendor, service provider or operator may
request, and the health professional shall provide upon
request, a written statement of need and a confidentiality
agreement from the health professional as soon as
circumstances permit, in conformance with regulations
promulgated under this chapter.

Full text of the bill (for those of you into masochism)

…so…according to that, an oil company could legally withhold vital information regarding exposure to hazardous chemicals needed to treat a patient if the doctor doesn’t first promise to keep whatever they’re told secret.  I presume the presence of nurses and/or other hospital staff could complicate those matters somewhat?  Do they all need to pinky swear that they won’t tell?

The equation is all fucked up, it is not:

Corporate Secrets > Health

It is:

Health > All-the-other-things!

The health and well being of the populace must come first, how is this even a story?  How backwards do we have it if we can’t get this most basic of ideas correct?

The mind reels.  Someone actually wrote that bill.  Worse, a bunch of other people said “Okey Dokey!!  It’s now a fucking LAW!!??!!” – there is no rage face sufficient to express how completely fucked up and evil that is.  No amount of “F”s or “U”s in any combination can properly describe how vile this is.

Dear Pennsylvania,

May I, politely, suggest that you round up your elected representatives and remind them whose interests they’re supposed to be protecting (without pitchforks, torches and firearms…ya know, if possible).

Actually, fuck that.  Drag them out into the street and demand answers.

You’re entitled to them.

Original Story/Rage Source: For Pennsylvania’s Doctors, a Gag Order on Fracking Chemicals – The Atlantic


Nuclear Power’s Achilles Heel

I’ve been reading Climate Denial Crock of the Week for at least a year or more now and it’s truly an excellent resource. There’s great information there on renewable energy and how we can and are (albeit slowly) moving away from fossil fuels mixed in with some all around solid journalism – something of a rare commodity these days and is well worth your time.

As the name of Peter Sinclair’s blog indicates, he also deals with climate denial head on.  He has a series of videos on YouTube which quite simply rip to shreds just about every climate change denial myth you’ve heard of.

If you’re looking for ammo to combat the climate change denial nonsense that a friend, co-worker or loved one is spouting, like they had their own show on Fox “News” – this should be one of your first stops along the way.  Heck, just check it out to learn more about the whole issue, you have nothing to lose but ignorance.

The fun doesn’t end there either, a chap who goes by the handle of potholer54 on YouTube has a number of fantastic videos on science, evolution, climate change and other subjects.  These are just two of many fine examples of the internet fulfilling the hope that it would be used to distribute knowledge, reason and enlightenment…sadly what can be used for good can also be used for evil…like Conservapedia for example.  *shudder*

The reason I mention all this is because of a recent article that was posted about how a warmer world impacts our ability to generate power the conventional way.  Freshwater is used in massive amounts to cool traditional power plants (coal, gas & nuclear) – turns out warm river water isn’t that great for cooling things down and you can’t just start flooding a river with boiling water whenever it’s convenient for you.  Behold!  The liberal bias of physics, chemistry and biology being leveraged by the fragility of life and it’s demonic agenda!

I’m expecting that piece of environmental legislation to come under fire from Republican/Tea-Party-Wingnuts in the U.S. sooner rather than later.  The last number of years really has been quite the fall from grace for the states – it’s being gutted by those who claim to love it the most – it’s really fucking twisted.  Kinda like a rapist who claims to love you while violating you at the same time, this is effectively what they’re doing to their country.  As a Canadian, I tend to look at the U.S. as a sibling, we (more or less) have the same “parents”, though our relationships with them are very different.  We’re similar in many ways, but like siblings we also have our stark differences.  At the moment, I’d equate it to watching your older brother or sister self-destruct – it’s a painful thing to watch.  They’d do well to remember what John Adams said about facts and how they are, indeed, stubborn things…but I digress.

Back on topic, power plants have difficulty producing power at full capacity during prolonged periods of warm weather…like heat waves.  This is due to the fact that the rivers they get the water to cool the reactors from are warmer than normal as a consequence of said heat wave.  Which makes for a bit of a double whammy considering how much power air conditioning uses and how heavily it’s used during summer in general and, you know, heat waves.

Details:  Heat Waves Spotlight Nuclear Achilles Heel « Climate Denial Crock of the Week.

The hits for nuclear power keep on coming.  Meanwhile, wind turbines, solar power arrays, geothermal, hydroelectric keep on churning out power as if nothing is wrong.  The same was true in Japan during the earthquakes and tsunami that took out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant – while Fukushima exploded, burned and melted down (causing all manner of catastrophe and binding the Japanese to decades of commitment to clean up said mess), the nearby turbine blades kept on spinning, and still are by the way.