Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Today's intersection: frac sand mining or mining the waste stream?

The Baja Waldo/Red Rock Road geezers try to meet for breakfast every other Tuesday or so. It's a pretty diverse group for a handful, sometimes seven or eight, old white guys.

Several are local celebrities. One is a retired Swiss orthopedic surgeon, one a Vietnam vet, one a registered nurse, one a global tour guide; and, yet another is a political blogger with his remaining hair on fire. All live off the grid trying to minimize the amount of waste generated by each household.

One book making the rounds is Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

Food scraps go to chickens or are composted, paper not recycled is stored to start fires, but one material in the waste stream remains a challenge: glass. It takes enormous amounts of energy to melt and millions of yards of earth every year to mine the silica used in its manufacture.

Santa Fe County does a lousy job recycling or repurposing glass.
Officials are working to change the fact that Santa Fe only diverted roughly 8.4 percent of its waste stream to recycling in fiscal year 2013, a number revealed by a draft of an external audit. That number represents a steady worsening of recyling habits, down from 9 percent in 2011. For now, however, there’s a temporary use for some of the excess glass. Officials have been busy blasting away thousands of cubic yards of basalt rock at Caja Del Rio landfill. The construction of the new cell will help lengthen the life of the landfill to keep it up with the 300 million pounds of trash it collects annually—5.5 pounds of waste per resident per day. The agency estimates that it will spend over $5 million to construct the new cell. In a bid that’s due this month, companies are vying to be selected by the entity to use some of that glass as a lining for the landfill to help prevent contamination. [Justin Horwath, Santa Fe Reporter]
Now open pit frac sand mines are competing to tear into yet another thousand acres.
Right now the ceramic alternatives are much more expensive, but companies are experimenting with different ways to bring the cost down. One idea is to manufacture it near where the fracking is taking place, using local clay. For now, sand remains king. It makes up about 90 percent of the proppant market overall, according to Brian Olmen of Kelrik, a Wisconsin-based consulting firm that analyzes the industrial minerals industry. [Minnesota Public Radio]
The US has thousands of mountains of glass cullet from the municipal waste stream just waiting to be repurposed: Japan recycles nearly 100% of her glass.

We sell millions of tons of salvage material to India and Asia to be recycled while tearing up our own ground mining for virgin minerals while steel and plastics that could be petroleum are buried in landfills.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thune, Noem donors resisting Black Hills habitat protection

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering habitat protection for the northern long-eared bat endangered by human encroachment in the Black Hills.

Donors for South Dakota's junior senator and the sitting At-large member of the US House of Representatives are having a cow. Earth hater and longtime lobbyist for land rapers, Larry Mann, works for the Black Hills Forest Resource Association, the GOP-owned cabal mentioned in this piece:
A possible restriction would be no harvesting of trees over three inches in diameter from April through October, when the bats are leaving the caves and mines in which they hibernate for the winter and moving to nests in trees. The Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to make a decision next spring. Officials are concerned about being able to manage the forest, but they also want to do what's best for the bat if it truly is endangered, said Kerry Burns, a U.S. Forest Service forest wildlife biologist in the Black Hills. "We want to incorporate conservation measures that are truly going to make a difference," he said. "The first and foremost threat is white-nose syndrome." [Rapid City Journal]
If history is any guide, locals will just kill the offending bats like they do with elk, cougars and their kittens.

And of course: the fake bark beetle war is just a subsidy for Republican donors.

$20 bucks says black bears, wolves, and moose sighted in the Black Hills coming from the Bighorn Mountains are migrating up the Little Missouri from the Tongue via the Yellowstone River.

How would their presence in the Black Hills not automatically make them candidates for endangered species protection?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bill Janklow's idea of public broadcasting anchor blows etiquette

Last night, during a "debate" between Major Corinna Robinson and South Dakota's sitting At-large US Representative, the teevee personality for Bill Janklow's idea of public broadcasting, Stephanie Rissler, addressed the decorated Army veteran by her first name while calling the bimbo-at-large by her title.

I apologize to news director Cara Hetland for confusing her with Rissler: I was livid and savaged Hetland on twitter by mistake.

This is not the only time an SDPB anchor has pulled such a stunt. An on-air interview with a former UN ambassador and South Dakota senator turned from a laugh out loud moment into a cringeworthy eternity when host Brian Bull asked his esteemed guest how he'd like to be addressed to which Ambassador McGovern replied, "George." To listeners' aghast amazement, that's how cub reporter Bull began every question.

Public broadcasting in the failed red state serves at the pleasure of the Republican Party whose legislature controls the purse strings. Paul Guggenheimer, a five-year host of Dakota Midday, the flagship program at Bill Janklow's idea of public radio, posted his last show in December, 2011 and moved to Pittsburg to host a similar program.

It's easy to speculate that his exit was the result of red state collapse after he performed a virtual blow job on SDGOP's Lucas Lentsch during a broadcast.

Dakota Midday's current host, Karl Gehrke, soft-balled the state's corrupt GOP former governor and US Senate candidate this week during an interview.

twitter coverage of the forum, read @carasdpb

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bison restoration imperative

The GOP is lying: there is no bark beetle epidemic in the Black Hills, there is a ponderosa pine infestation.

Red flag warnings were in place for nearly all of the proposed Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge.
Historically, Montana’s Great Plains teemed with an abundance and diversity of wildlife species not found elsewhere in North America. Arguably, the most definitive and iconic of these wildlife species was the American Plains bison. Yet, through a series of disastrous choices made by the non-indigenous settlers in the 19th century, bison were virtually extirpated from the Great Plains, and a remnant population of wild bison survived only in Yellowstone. We are convinced they will do so again given the chance to engage and discuss the future of wild bison in Montana. [excerpt, Montanans can meet challenge of bison restoration]
It's time to rewild the West.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Spain, Columbus, Church Instituted New World Genocide

The indigenous population at the time of European arrival in what is now the United Snakes was about 52 million: today it is around 2.5 million.

According to historian Clay Jenkinson, Thomas Jefferson would be surprised that there are any American Indians still alive at all in 2014.

Karl Gehrke interviewed the head of the Sioux Falls chapter of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers during the Dakota Midday segment on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio. Topics of discussion included the implications of a pope tied to the military dictators who orchestrated Argentina's Dirty War and church abuses on South Dakota's reservations.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Paul J. Swain as the eighth bishop of Sioux Falls on August 31, 2006 and he was consecrated as Bishop of Sioux Falls on October 26, 2006. Bishop Swain previously served as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People.--bio, Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls.
Protection of children and young people, my sore ass.

Andrea Cook has reported in the Rapid City Journal that two tribal nations are preparing to sue the South Dakota Division of Social Services.

From a piece by Stephen Rex Brown in the New York Daily News:
A 15th century Catholic decree permitting Europeans to seize Indian land in the New World is a load of papal bull. That was the message Tuesday from the Onondaga Nation, which is calling on the new Pope to revoke the so-called Discovery Doctrine, which evolved from a papal decree written by Pope Nicholas V in 1455. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited the doctrine in a 2005 ruling against the Oneida Indian Nation. The ruling affirmed the government’s sovereignty over lands, even if they’re sold to an Indian tribe. If the church were to dissavow the decree, Lyons said it would remove a legal argument against tribal land claims.
Seattle has chucked Columbus Day for a more culturally accurate celebration while many tribal nations are still fighting for equal protection under the law.