Dinosaur National Monument Site of a New Drilling Dispute
Energy Groups protest plans for oil and gas leasing outside Dinosaur National Monument.
Despite past controversy surrounding oil and gas leasing near national parks, the Bureau of Land Management proposes auctioning parcels for future drilling just outside Dinosaur National Monument.
In two different sales, the Bureau of Land Management’s Colorado office seeks to open land for drilling near monument access roads. This appears to run afoul of a prohibition against commercial traffic on National Park Service system roads, according to a protest filed Monday by the National Park Conservation Association (NPCA) challenging one sale set for February.
This sale includes land beside the Deerlodge Road serving the east entrance to the 211,000-acre monument straddling the Utah-Colorado state line and covering the confluence of the Colorado and Yampa rivers.
“It’s not appropriate to [drill] adjacent to parks which have high value to the public. We don’t want visitors driving in with the pristine Yampa River on one side of the road and drill rigs on the other,” said Erika Pollard, a Southwest region program manager with NPCA.
The BLM noted that the proposed lease area was adjusted southward to exclude land between the Deerlodge Road and the river to the north.
An agency spokeswoman also said BLM deferred leasing on 19 of the 39 parcels, involving 52,000 acres, originally proposed for leasing on the Little Snake Resource Area. This decision was made primarily to protect sage grouse habitat.
Meanwhile, all 20 remaining parcels, which are to be leased Feb. 14, carry standard stipulations to protect big-game winter range and sagebrush ecosystems and keep rigs out of riparian zones and off steep slopes. Then site-specific restrictions, which could include setbacks from roads, will be considered once energy developers seek permission to drill.
“There will be plenty of opportunities to have those conversations. Once it’s leased there is still a long process” before drilling can begin, said Vanessa Lacayo of the BLM’s Colorado office.
Joined by a retired Dinosaur supervisor, conservationists say restrictions — specifically geared toward protecting the park’s natural values — should be in place before leases are sold.
Nearby drilling “impacts about every value the monument holds: night skies, quiet, access, dust, wildlife,” said Denny Huffman, who supervised the monument from 1987 to 1997. “They need to be more open to sister agencies [such as the National Park Service] and potential lessees. It should be clear about the need to protect the park. They tend to leave that to buyer beware. It creates conflict.”
The NPCA, in the protest filed Dec. 17 with The Wilderness Society, argues BLM failed to adequately consult with the Park Service and ignored the recommendations of the so-called Stiles report. This December 2009 investigation led to the withdrawal of numerous leases near Dinosaur and other Utah parks after the panel concluded such areas require extra scrutiny before being leased.
Meanwhile, the Colorado BLM is conducting an environmental assessment of proposed leasing of several parcels totaling nearly 3,000 acres scattered to the south of the monument in the White River Resource Area. These parcels, to be leased in May, are near the Harpers Corner Road just east of the Utah state line.
Much of the available land south and east of the monument is blanketed with existing leases.
“Development of those lands, in conjunction with the protested parcels, would not only transform the landscape surrounding the national monument but would also cause a wide range of cumulative impacts on the park,” the protest states.
AMERICANS SAVE YOUR PARK!
Excuse me government, WHY?!
First, a definition: Environmental Economics are the study of how people use their limited resources to satisfy their unlimited wants.
Now take a look at this:
An example would be power plant pollution. Say a power plant in Ohio emits a terrible chemical gas which could endanger the people in the town its located in. The owners, thinking its a quick fix, makes the exhaust pipe on the plant higher. Now the chemical gases are in the atmosphere and get caught by the wind. There, up in the heavens, the chemicals are absorbed in the clouds which become laden. These clouds travel until they are ready to precipitate on a lovely tree covered ridge in Vermont. The trees look to these clouds and think, oh I’m about to have a lovely long drink. To their unfortunate surprise, the rain is acidic and instead burns holes through their otherwise marvelous leaves. Suddenly that part of the mountain ridge becomes ugly and with fall coming on, this is a bad sign for the Vermont sight-seeing trade. Oh and the lumber mills are going to have to struggle a bit too as most deciduous trees dislike living in acidic soil, better cut em down before the fall themselves and rot. Meanwhile those dirty birds in Ohio don’t have to pay a flippin penny for any of the damage they caused.
And they ask why green economists want to put a price on pollution.
Now you may be thinking at this point, as I know I do CONSTANTLY, that the economy is off its rocker and I don’t really want to deal with it any way so why should I even continue on. BUT YOU SHOULD because here’s something even more ridiculous.
Economists argue that there is an Optimum quantity of pollution and its not zero.
<—This, on the left, is the Marginal Cost of Pollution. It makes sense, right? As pollution goes up, the more business suffers for it whether it be the destruction of usable lumber or the slow loss of water. It costs money to pollute.
On the right side here is the Marginal Cost of Pollution Abatement, or how much money it takes to break down and neutralize the pollution. Obviously when there is so much pollution that any little thing will help, pollution abatement is much cheaper. Unfortunately, after a point, it becomes rather expensive to be clean.
Now check out what happens when we put them together.
That red dot there is the optimum pollution where the costs equal it out. In other words, at this point, it would take just as much money to deal with pollution as it would be to clean it up so the logically thing would just be to clean it up.
Yep, I guess its not that ridiculous given that it makes sense, but the thing is that for this reason, some economists say that after a point its too expensive to try any harder against pollution. It would just be cheaper to leave it at good enough. Environmentally though, that is completely unacceptable because generally speaking good enough economically is bad by environmental standards.
Currently there are three major economic methods to control pollution
And thats it. YAY, no more economics :D
The History of Conservation
well more or less
The probability of risk to reacting badly to a chemical is between 0 and 1 where 0 means absolutely no risk and 1 means you’re screwed.
Here’s a “duh” fact: there is usually a relationship between exposure and risk.
This relationship is generally monotonically increasing, or graphically it makes an s-curve. In toxicology they call this curve the dose-response curve.
Now graphically chemicals look pretty good, but most people don’t really get it and want a nice quantified measurement. They want one number which is why we have LD50 and its cousins.
LD50 - the Lethal Dose for 50% of the test organisms receiving that dose
ED50 - Effective Dose for 50% - used if death is not the risk. Like instead the risk is you grow an extra flipper or you might be radiated enough to develop cancer
LC50 - the Lethal Concentration for 50% of the test subjects exposed to that environmental level. This is a useful number when you don’t know the exact amount of chemical that gets absorbed but you do know the concentration that was originally added
EC50 - Effective Concentration for 50% when you don’t know how much was absorbed and death isn’t the risk
Finally, here are the really basic steps to Risk Assessment for Human Health
So there is one more part to Chemical Exposure and that would be in the measuring and dealing of multiple chemicals at once. Here’s a reasonable explanation…
And thats it. This isn’t a huge deal and is really the basics of the basics, but remains rather helpful as a whole.
The first step of the scientific method is defining all the variables within the “system” or within the experiment you are thinking of processing. Variables can be categorical (ex. female, male or pink yellow green) or they can be continuous (ex. height or weight). After all the variables are defined, you find your independent and dependent variables which act in the system after external manipulation. Like this:
Now after the whole variable hullabaloo is figured out you can begin to create some hypotheses. These must be falsifiable and testable otherwise they aren’t real hypotheses. Also, generally speaking, you want to have at least two: your Alternative hypothesis and your Null hypothesis.
The Alternative hypothesis is basically the one you want to have happened. Its your prediction of the differences between the control and experimental treatment in your system
The Null hypothesis is the you want to disprove, where the difference between your control and experimental treatment statistically has no correlation. In other words, your independent variable didn’t actually do anything to your dependent variable.
Now that the pre-action part of the method is set up, you perform your experiment and analyze the results. Oh, but wait.
There’s a catch in science. Even if you have all your data and perform your tests perfectly, You can never prove you’re alternative hypothesis correct or your null hypothesis wrong. Not all the way at least. A null hypothesis can be statistically ruled out if the probability is < 0.05. That basically means that you’re results aren’t merely by chance alone.
As for your alternative. If you have tried all the ways to prove it wrong and it still stands, then you publish your work. Then everyone else who looks at it can try to prove it wrong too. If if withstands them long enough, it eventually becomes a theory, then principle, and maybe someday long past your death it could become a law.
Now, if for some reason that null hypothesis turns out to be correct, by method rules you have to retrace your steps and find out what you missed, because if it didn’t work you definitely missed something. Maybe you didn’t define all the variables or you didn’t quite understand how the system worked. Maybe you were completely off base and have to rethink the whole situation. Once you figured the out the mistake, you go through the whole process again.
That’s the method in a nutshell.
A major issue in environmental science and more specifically sustainability is food resource and distribution. This invariably includes malnutrition and famine.
There are two types of malnutrition:
In high-income countries the problem is over-nutrition while in third world countries the major issue is under-nutrition.
As I understand it, in general there are two reasons that in combination cause famine: natural disaster and government policy.
Finally, in some cases famine isn’t the issue and major consequences can occur when unwanted food aid is given, especially in the competitive economic market that smaller countries struggle to compete in. Recently, or relatively so, an international famine scale was created so that a famine could be more strictly defined. The result of the scale and reactions of other organizations on its creation can be read more about in the following article written by Carl Bialik in the Wall Street Journal
For more on the international famine scale and alerts on current famine crisis in the world check out the Famine Early Warning System Website which has up to the minute data on declared famines.
Welp thats all for now, folks.