Restoring the seeds

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Let’s talk about companies or organizations who promote healthy environments or stewardship programs related to our forestry services. The parks system is one that is near and dear to my heart.  Some organizations actually do try to help, while others fall short of the goal of restoring the environment, and emphasize instead outward verbiage or lip service to the practice, maintenance, and/ or restoration of our environment. The goal should be education, i.e., raising awareness or appreciation for the outdoors, park systems, and the various environmental issues we all face.

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In previous blog posts, I have mentioned the pollution that is affecting our fragile eco-system, including our marine and wildlife; we could also consider the impact of said pollution on climate change, erosion, illegal tree cutting, and / or such topics as oil, gas, chemical, and toxic contamination not just to our waterways, but on land.  Toxic spills ranging from trains derailing, super tankers leaking or just plain old sinking, and or radiation disasters, all affect the human population. These all contribute to the destruction of an already-fragile eco-system. Our planet is in trouble, blog readers, which affects every aspect of Mother Nature – including my beloved parks systems.  The following are only a few examples that have impacted our eco-system, purely from oil spills: Exxon Valdez, Tricolor, Torrey Canyon, Sea Star, Odyssey, M/T Haven Tanker, ABT Summer, Amoco Cadiz, Castillo de Bellver, Nowruz Oil Field, Kolva River, Atlantic Empress Oil, Ixtoc 1, Gulf Oil, and the current Arabian Gulf/Kuwait Oil crises.  Each of the above (and countless others not mentioned) spews hazardous waste, i.e., any liquid or solid excess that is considered contaminated. Even more important, this waste is damaging to the health of a human, mammal, or any form of wildlife exposed to it – either through inhalation, ingestion or touch.  When I see companies or organizations making millions of dollars and providing lip service to environmental protection when in reality the opposite occurs, well, that bothers me.  This is a topic I will more than likely revisit in an upcoming post, specifically in reference to how some companies have created policies and procedures which appear, on paper, to be effective, when in reality, those policies are only a façade (i.e., companies which claim to advocate for the environment, when, in fact, they are destroying the environment through new construction).

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After all, we all live on the same planet, so once this planet is depleted of all its resources, then I suppose we should just hope that something will materialize in a positive manner (and avoid creating a world similar to that of Fahrenheit 451, for example).  After all, unless I am mistaken, I do not think our planet has the capability of spontaneous regeneration.  For those of you who have read my previous blog posts, you will know by now that I am a fan of the power of the ordinary person; perhaps if more than one “ordinary” person gets involved, organizations will be motivated to do their part. After all, one cannot help the ozone or the air quality and or eat the fruits or apples from the trees if one does not actually plant the seeds.

Here are just a few events that have contributed to the environmental issues we face today:

  • Top one’s for me: Illegal Tree Deforestation & Water Pollution
  • Bhopal: the Union Carbide gas leak
  • Acerinox accident
  • Seveso: Italian dioxin crisis
  • Ajka alumina plant accident
  • Goiânia accident
  • Gold mine at Kingston, Queensland
  • Lake Karachay
  • Love Canal
  • Mapua contaminated site
  • Mayapuri
  • Radioactive waste dumping by the ‘Ndrangheta
  • Seveso disaster
  • Sydney Tar Ponds
  • Techa River
  • Times Beach, Missouri
  • Tonoshō, Kagawa
  • Valley of the Drums
  • Wittenoom, Western Australia
  • Kantubek, Uzbekistan
  • Picher, Oklahoma
  • Milligan, Florida: Train derailment
  • Brio Toxic Neighborhood, Texas
  • Baia Mare Aurul gold mine
  • Apache Zama Pipeline Spill
  • New Idria, California
  • Centralia, Pennsylvania (also the topic of a horror movie)
  • Pripyat, Ukraine (Also the topic of several films; we would know this as Chernobyl.
  • Last but not least and without a doubt scary: Fukushima

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Hey why stop there let’s continue for fun shall we: I do enjoy learning about our history.

(Retrieved from Netherlands company Lenntech, 2016)

  • – 1968 Witwater tanker spills 14,000 barrels of oil near Panama coast
  • – 1969 tanker Hamilton trader spills 4,000 barrels of oil in Liverpool Bay, England
  • – 1970 tanker Arrow spills 77,000 barrels of oil near Nova Scotia, Canada
  • – 1971 tanker Wafra spills 20,000 barrels of oil near Cape Agulhas, Africa
  • – 1974 Dutch tanker Metulla spills 53,000 ton crude oil near South-Chilli
  • – 1976 Liberian tanker Argo Merchant spilled 29,000 square meters of oil near the Massachusetts coast
  • – 1976 Spanish tanker Urquillo spills more than 100,000 tons of oil near Spain
  • – 1977 tanker Al Rawdatain spills 7,350 barrels of oil near Genoa, Italy
  • – 1977 tanker Borug spills 213,692 barrels of oil near the coast of Taiwan
  • – 1978 Brazilian Marina spills 73,600 barrels of oil near Sao Sebastiao, Brazil
  • – 1979 Betegeuse spills 14,720 barrels of oil near Bantry Bay, Ireland
  • – 1979 Ixtoc I exploratory well in Mexico blows out and spills 600,000 tons of oil
  • – 1984 Alvenus tanker grounds southeast of Cameron, Louisiana and spills 65,000 barrels of oil
  • – 1985 ARCO Anchorage spills 5,690 barrels of oil near the coast of Washington
  • – 1986 unknown oil spill reaches the coast of Georgia and is later appointed to the Amazon Vulture tanker
  • – 1989 Aragon tanker spills 175,000 barrels of oil near Madeira, Portugal
  • – 1990 tanker American Trader grounds near Huntington Beach, California and spills 9,458 barrels of oil
  • – 1990 Cibro Savannah tanker catches fire and spills 481 square meters of oil
  • – 1990 Jupiter tanker catches fire in Bay City, Mexico and causes oil spill
  • – 1990 Mega Borg tanker catches fire and spills 19,000 square meters of oil near Galveston, Texas
  • – 1991 tanker Bahia Paraiso spills 3,774 barrels of oil near Palmer Station, Antarctica
  • – 1992 Greek tanker Aegean Sea spills 70,000 tons of oil near Galicia
  • – 1993 Bouchard B155 tanker spills 1,270 square meters of fuel oil after collision with 2 ships
  • – 1996 Liberian tanker Sea Empress spills 147,000 tons of oil near Wales
  • – 1999 Maltese tanker Erika spills 30,000 tons of oil near Brittany
  • – 2001 tanker Jessica spills 900 tons of oil near the Galapagos Isles
  • – 2002 Bahamese Prestige spills oil near Galicia)

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And this list goes on!  A future blog post will cover deforestation as this, and environmental protection / awareness in general, is something about which I am passionate.  When it comes to our environment, this is a topic that is applicable to all of us on Planet Earth.

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Sources:

http://www.lenntech.com/environmental-disasters.htm

For fun (even though my wife is not a fan of Wikipedia!): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_waste_disposal_incidents

https://www3.epa.gov/

http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/hazardous.aspx

http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/library/data-stats

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20494244

http://www.nrc.gov/

http://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html

https://www.nrdc.org/

http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation-overview.html

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Author: The Ordinary Compass

Hello and welcome to this collection of anecdotes from my years of ordinary moments and timeless memories. I try to share a positive message, as well as lessons learned which have helped me appreciate life. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple (positive) gesture. I write in the hope that I can make a difference and you as the reader will also see the possibilities that surround you, and as well that the little things do make a big difference. I’m originally from New Jersey, have traveled and lived on both the east and west coasts, and have happily been a Virginia resident for more than ten years. I have been married for over ten years; my wife is my anchor and has kept my compass correct. I have always been an individual who likes the outdoors. I like taking my time to think about the outcomes of situations. I enjoy philosophy and love science. I am no stranger to high adrenaline activities and love everything that revolves around water. Thank you for stopping by and feel free to comment, re-blog (with credit), or just read along! –Robert Konz. The Ordinary Compass: Original photographs and writings are the copyright and property of Robert Konz, and may not be used without permission.

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