Science & Technology
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Officials in Pennsylvania have confirmed that an earthquake that took place northwest of Pittsburgh last year is a direct result of fracking. Of course, it’s not the first. Another study found that 77 quakes in Oklahoma were caused by natural gas drilling.

“At least within Pennsylvania, this is the first time that we have seen that sort of spatial and temporal correlation with [oil and gas] operator activity,” says chief of well-plugging and subsurface activities for DEP’s oil and gas management program Seth Pelepko.

“There were no faults identified along portions of the well bore where these seismic events were detected,” he continued.

Once DEP alerted the well’s owner, Hilcorp, they shut down the well immediately.

This well is one of 10,000 “unconventional wells” that have been drilled into Pennsylvania. DEP has ordered Hilcorp to stop “zipper fracturing,” a shale gas extraction method, entirely due to the quakes.

Earthquakes are without a doubt one of the more alarming proven side effects of fracking, aside from exacerbating climate change and ruining the land. More and more, communities are moving to ban fracking. How long will it be before we end the practice entirely?


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When I make posts on this site, I normally just try to make a succinct point about something happening in our world and move on. But since Trump has started calling every article critical of him “fake news,” so have all his little Facebook and Twitter minions. So let’s set the record straight:

If you support Trump, you’re free to do so. But when he does awful shit, you have to own it. When he breaks his campaign promises, you can’t call it “fake news.” You supported a legitimately terrible human being. There’s a reason he’s the most unpopular modern president. You need to see it and own it.

Trump has rolled back a rule that prevents coal companies from dumping coal mining waste in rivers that people fucking drink out of. It happened. It’s not fake news. Own it. By supporting him, you support poisoning working class families in states like West Virginia and Kentucky.

Under Trump, the USDA has removed information from its website regarding animal abuse. If a horse breeder or a zoo or a circus has a record of abusing animals, the public no longer has access to that information. Trump moved to protect animal abusers. If you support him, you support animal abusers. You can’t hide from it. It’s what’s happening.

Ignoring for a moment that Trump’s border wall idea won’t even stop illegal immigration, it exacerbates the extinction risks for a variety of endangered species in the American southwest. If you support Trump, you support pushing animals to the brink all for an idea that won’t even work.

And what about draining the swamp? Members of Trump’s team have financial ties to pipelines and other infrastructure projects that the president has moved to expedite. You railed against Clinton for fictional “pay to play” schemes, what the hell do you think that is? Hint: google the word “kleptocracy.”

You can tell me to stop whining or stop crying or call me a beta cuck all you want. It doesn’t take away from the fact that when you support Trump, you support all of the horrible, stupid, racist, and often unconstitutional things he does.

You can’t hide from it. We’re not going to let you.

And if you’re as mortified as I am about what Trump and his little internet trolls are doing, join me in confronting it everywhere you see it. Arm yourself with facts. Don’t back down. Don’t let them gaslight and manipulate you. A lot of Trump supporters just don’t know. So educate them. Show them what they’re supporting. And don’t stop until his presidency is over. There is too much on the line to be complacent now.


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On Thursday, the media was hard at work reporting on Donald Trump’s ridiculous 77-minute press conference. What was almost completely overlooked was Trump’s repeal of the Stream Protection Rule.

The rule was put in place during Obama’s presidency and was aimed at reducing environmental damage from mountaintop removal mining of coal.

Coal companies would blow the tops of mountains off to reach the coal inside and then dispose of the waste in local waterways. This didn’t just harm the environment, but many people rely on those streams for drinking water and irrigation.

Present at the signing of the bill was Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray, who called the Stream Protection Rule the coal industry’s “biggest threat” and donated $100,000 to a Trump-supporting super PAC during the election.

Way to drain the swamp, Trump.


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One worker is missing and another remains in the hospital after an explosion at a Phillips 66 pipeline station.

The missing employee is an employee of Phillips 66, the hospitalized employee is a contract worker. One worker was hospitalized and released while three others had no injuries.

About 60 homes had to be evacuated in Paradis, Louisiana.

The pipeline has been shut off and the fire is burning off the remaining fuel present. It could burn for another day at least.

The pipeline carries y-grade, which is a mixture of natural gas and butane.

Stories like this make it understandable why indigenous people, like the Standing Rock Sioux, don’t want pipelines running across their sacred sites and drinking water.

How many more pipeline explosions are needed before our leaders push for a fossil fuel-free future?


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It’s been more than a century since there’s been a major breakthrough in male birth control. Currently, condoms and vasectomies are the best available option. For birth control medications, women have been the primary focus, even though the side effects for women can be extreme.

A new option for male birth control is on the horizon. Vasalgel has been tested to prevent pregnancy in male monkeys for up to two years after injection.

The injection puts a polymer gel in the vas deferens through which sperm would normally flow. This gel blocks the sperm from joining with other fluids that comprise a man’s ejaculate.

There were no negative side effects reported.

There are still more steps necessary before Vasalgel becomes available for men, like FDA approval. It could be available as early as 2018.


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The final go-ahead for the Dakota Access pipeline has been given by the U.S. Army after Donald Trump requested a quick approval.

The Army Corps of Engineers is set to grant Energy Transfer Partners LP the necessary easement to finish construction on the pipeline.

The pipeline will carry about 500,000 barrels of crude oil each day from North Dakota’s shale fields.

Heated protests raged throughout 2016 with Native Americans and various allied groups arguing it was an environmental hazard and was destroying sacred sites for the Standing Rock Sioux.

The pipeline has existed in a state of limbo since September when former president Barack Obama halted its construction.

But among the first things President Trump did in office was sign an executive order expediting the construction of the DAPL.

The Standing Rock Sioux are gearing up for yet another fight.

“The Obama administration correctly found that the Tribe’s treaty rights needed to be respected, and that the easement should not be granted without further review and consideration of alternative crossing locations,” Standing Rock Sioux lawyer Jan Hasselman said in an e-mailed statement.

“Trump’s reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian Tribes and violation of Treaty rights. They will be held accountable in court.”


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An annual report filed by the nonprofit organization Solar Foundation indicates that 51,000 solar jobs were created during 2016, which is an almost 25% increase over 2015. 260,000 Americans now work in the booming solar power industry.

About 50% of those jobs are in solar panel installation, particularly for residential arrays. Some jobs of course include larger arrays.

The writing is on the wall: solar power is taking America by storm. In California, where huge investments have been made in the industry, they’ve created 100,000 jobs alone.

But the Trump administration seems to want to stifle this economic growth and put resources into bringing back coal, an old, dying form of electricity generation.

Renewable energy, like solar, wind, and geothermal power, get no mention in Trump’s official “America First” energy plan. The new administration will most certainly not be as favorable toward solar as the last.

But even so, the solar revolution is in motion and it isn’t going to stop.


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President Trump has said repeatedly that he intends to help rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, which is badly needed, but his top project has nothing to do with fixing bridges and interstates.

It’s a pipeline. Because of course it is.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is at the top of the president’s list of infrastructure projects to fund and complete.

The ACP has received serious opposition from both residents and environmental activists who worry that it could harm sensitive habitats along its 550-mile track.

Some incredible research conducted by DeSmog Blog has found that several of Trump’s associates, including current White House staff, stand to financially benefit from the completion of the pipeline.

Most notably is Dan DiMicco, a senior economic adviser to Trump’s campaign. He currently sits on the board of Duke Energy, a co-owner of the pipeline.

Another campaign adviser, Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina, as well as his former chief of staff Pepper Natonski, stand to benefit. Natonski has been lobbying on behalf of Duke Energy and currently serves as Director of Federal Affairs for Duke.

When Trump promised to drain the swamp, did he think his supporters would be too dim to see his blatantly kleptocratic tendencies? It certainly doesn’t look that way.


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There are moments where it seems poetic to read about pipeline spills during periods of protesting pipelines, but the truth is, it isn’t coincidental. Oil pipeline spills are remarkably common, and a recent spill in Canada demonstrates that point well.

By the time the pipeline was shut off, 200,000 liters of oil had leaked from the pipe into the surrounding land.

The spill occurred on a Native reservation and will require years to fully clean up.

Pipeline incidents are on the rise in Canada. In 2014, there were 88 reported spills, compared to 118 in 2015 and 123 in 2016.

“When you look at the pipeline approval process, we’re told that there’s all this wonderful technology, and if there is a spill, we’ll know within 10 minutes and shut the pipeline down,” says Keith Stewart, head of Greenpeace Canada’s Climate Change and Energy Campaign.

“But in case after case, it’s often days before someone notices there’s been a spill, sometimes weeks. That isn’t good enough.”


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China is no stranger to the impacts of pollution. We’ve spent years watching headline after headline about water and air pollution relating to their booming economy.

But now, China is getting their act together, creatively thinking of ways to decrease their pollution. One of those ideas is the vertical forest.

Picture a skyscraper but covered in trees – that’s the idea of the vertical forest. When complete, they will contain 1,100 trees, 23 different types of trees, and produce about 132 pounds of oxygen per day.

The towers were originally designed by architect Stefano Boeri, and the likely completion date is sometime in 2018.

With any luck, this will be a positive step forward in cutting down on air pollution in China’s cities.


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