Contains the keyword experts
A dissection of the Soviet Union's legacy of health and environmental disaster, this book examines a former country of 103 cities - home to 70 million people - where the air is unfit to breathe and pollution fouls 75 percent of the water.
Feshbach, Murray, and Alfred Friendly. 1992. Ecocide in the USSR: health and nature under siege. New York, NY: BasicBooks. Includes section (p.256) "The Prices of Cleanup".
Thomas Gold (1920-2004), Cornell astronomer and brilliant scientific gadfly.
The Abiogenic Theory of Petroleum Formation
Editor's Note: If we bust the myths about global warming and fossil fuels - the growing scarcity of our oil supply, and can replant lots of trees, by Freeman Dyson's estimates, a trillion, to remove all the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere now, with a lot more needed by 2050, as India, China, Brazil, etc. industrialize; then we only have to worry about methane from gas flares, and the melting of the tundra permafrost to prevent humanity from reaching the "tipping-point" of our destruction.
Deep within the earth's crust there exists a second biosphere, composed of very primitive heat-loving bacteria and containing perhaps more living matter than is present on the earth's surface...
...Gold joins the deep hot biosphere argument to another, perhaps even more controversial theory for which he has marshalled evidence: that so-called fossil fuels originate not from compressed biological matter at all but from deep within the earth, present there since the planet's formation, long before our oxygen-rich surface biosphere came into existence.
The pattern of petroleum deposits and the mix of elements associated with them around the world, the dramatic results of a Swedish drilling project (1990) in non-sedimentary rock, and indications that some petroleum reserves are refilling - this is some of the evidence that supports Gold's thesis and cannot be adequately accounted for by conventional theories.
The implications of Gold's views are no less far-reaching than the theories behind them. The deep hot biosphere and deep-earth gas theories shed light on the nature of earthquakes, they suggest that reservoirs of petroleum and certain metal ores are much vaster (though not necessarily more accessible) than generally claimed, and they help to answer two of the most profound mysteries of the biological sciences: the origins of life on earth and the prospects of extraterrestrial life.
Did life develop from the deep hot biosphere? Are Mars and other planets as lifeless as they seem, or might they too be found to contain deep hot biospheres, if only scientists would look below the surface. --from the book jacket, 1999 edition.
Chapter 4. Evidence for Deep-Earth Gas
Chapter 5. Resolving the Petroleum Paradox
Chapter 6. The Siljan Experiment
Schematic image showing how the deep-earth gas theory would account for the helium association with methane (p. 76). Perhaps drilling deeper would make hydraulic fracturing and mountain-top removal unnecessary.
Gold's book has a Foreword by Freeman Dyson who is among the signatories of a letter to the UN criticizing the IPCC. He has argued against the ostracization of scientists whose views depart from the acknowledged mainstream of scientific opinion on climate change, stating that "heretics" have historically been an important force in driving scientific progress."
Heretics who question the dogmas are needed... I am proud to be a heretic. The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies."
See: Nicholas Davidoff. NYT. 2009. "The Civil Heretic".
See: Kellesidis, V.C. (2009). Challenges for very deep oil and gas drilling-will there ever be a depth limit? Athens, Greece: 3rd AMIREG International Conference (2009): Assessing the Footprint of Resource Utilization and Hazardous Waste Management.
Of course, we find oil ‘where it is’, where it has remained for ages, but how was it formed? Current belief is that oil is of biotic origin, through accumulation of organic matter (plankton, single cell organisms that floated on ocean surface) and sedimentation followed by burial. For large periods organic material has been under very high pressures and temperatures, in the range of 130-150 degrees C, in a ‘cooking pot’ and gradually transformed to petroleum.
Because of its lower density, it has migrated upwards and some surfaced and was lost, while some has hit non-permeable layers (the seal) and accumulated in the porous sedimentary rocks creating the world’s oil and gas fields.
There is, however, another school of thought, not very well known until recent years, which is gaining, though, momentum. It is the theory of abiotic (or abiogenic) origin of petroleum, that hydrocarbons have been formed in the depths of earth by reduction of CO2 and H2 gases in the presence of metal catalysts (Gold and Soter, 1980; Kenney, 1994; Krayushkin et al., 1994; Glasby, 2006; Wikipedia, 2009).
The consequences of course of such a theory, if true, could be extraordinary, as earth’s mantle becomes the inexhaustible provider of the cheapest energy source on earth...
Alexandrovich Kudryavtsev (Kudryavtsev, 1951) was the first to start the theory of abiotic generation of hydrocarbons, in what has become the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of abyssal, abiotic petroleum (Kropotkin, 1986; Kenney et al., 2002). However, Abbas (1996) starts the history as early as 1877 by Mendeleev and provides a good overview as well as pros and cons about the two points of view.
Ontario Lacus, the largest lake in the southern hemisphere of Saturn’s moon Titan, turns out to be a perfect exotic vacation spot, provided you can handle the frosty, subzero temperatures and enjoy soaking in liquid hydrocarbon.
See these articles:
Bluemle, J., and L. Manz. 2004. The Origin of Oil. North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources: North Dakota Feological Survey. NDGS Newsletter. 31: 1. Summer 2004.
Glasby, G. P. 2006. Abiogenic origin of hydrocarbons: An historical overview. Resource Geology 56, no. 1: 83–96.
Gold, Thomas. 1982. Abiogenic methane and the origin of petroleum. Energy Exploration & Exploitation 1, no. 2: 89–104.
———. 1992. The deep, hot biosphere. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 89, no. 13: 6045.
———. 1993. The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth. USGS Professional Paper 1570.
U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). 1998. OFR 98-468 World Conventional Crude Oil and Natural Gas. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Pedro Ramirez, Jr. "Wildlife Mortality Risk in Oil Field Waste Pits." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Environmental Contaminants Specialist.
The risk that oil pits pose to wildlife has been documented by several studies. Hydrofracking involves the storage of "frack water" in open pits.
See: TxSharon (2009). Video. "Cattle Drink Drilling Waste."
See: Robert Myers (2010). Environmental Dangers of Hydro-Fracturing.
See: Laura Legere (2010). Hazards posed by natural gas drilling are not limited to below ground.
See: Pit Pollution.
During last year's presidential campaign, Richard B. Cheney acknowledged that the oil-field supply corporation he headed, Halliburton Co., did business with Libya and Iran through foreign subsidiaries. But he insisted that he had imposed a "firm policy" against trading with Iraq.
"Iraq's different," he said...
Cheney has offered contradictory accounts of how much he knew about Halliburton's dealings with Iraq. In a July 30, 2000, interview on ABC-TV's "This Week," he denied that Halliburton or its subsidiaries traded with Baghdad.
"I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal," he said. "We've not done any business in Iraq since U.N. sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn't do that."
Cheney modified his response in an interview on the same program three weeks later, after he was informed that a Halliburton spokesman had acknowledged that Dresser Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump traded with Iraq. He said he was unaware that the subsidiaries were doing business with the Iraqi regime when Halliburton purchased Dresser Industries in September 1998.
Global Policy Forum is an independent policy watchdog that monitors the work of the United Nations and scrutinizes global policymaking. GPF works particularly on the UN Security Council, the food and hunger crisis, and the global economy. We promote accountability and citizen participation in decisions on peace and security, social justice and international law.
GPF gathers information and circulates it through a comprehensive and heavily-visited website, as well as through frequent media interviews. We play an active role in NGO networks and other advocacy arenas. We organize meetings and conferences and we publish original research and policy papers.
GPF analyzes deep and persistent structures of power and dissects rapidly-emerging issues and crises. GPF's work challenges mainstream thinking and questions conventional wisdom. We seek egalitarian, cooperative, peaceful and sustainable solutions to the world's great problems.
There is a need to explore the problem of predicting the impact that fracking will have on ground water. See chapter: "Philosophical Issues in Model Assessment" (N. Oreskes & K. Belitz).
The authors explore how hydrologists judge the relative strengths of different models and test models to use in predicting long-term ecological disaster.
From the Back Cover
Model Validation is a fundamental issue in modern hydrological science where increased demands for prediction and process understanding has been driven by advances in numerical modelling and environmental legislation.
Model Validation: Perspectives in Hydrological Science is the first book to deal with this subject in hydrology and environmental science, as well as in other fields.
Model Validation brings together philosophers, modellers and legal experts to comment on model validation issues and gives an evaluation of how we interpret scientific evidence drived from numerical models.
It shows how much issues underpin research across the discipline of hydrological science, and also in legal and philosophical frameworks, by addressing major questions concerning acceptable levels of proof in the area.
"...Environmental issues surrounding the development of CBM resources in the Powder River Basin and elsewhere have provoked conflict among mineral leaseholders, owners of the surface estates, and the public at large.
Citizen suits under the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, and private tort actions, complicate the development of CBM resources. Despite geographic and geologic differences among areas in which CBM resources have been developed, the core environmental issues are consistent:
(1) Groundwater table drawdown due to pumping large quantities of groundwater.
(2) Disposal of large volumes of produced water.
(3) Methane contamination of shallow groundwater.
(4) Noise pollution from compressors and other sources.
(5) Air pollution from compressor exhaust gases, methane leakage, and dust.
(6) Surface disturbance from construction of roads, pipelines, and other facilities.
In CBM production, water is produced in large volumes and must be disposed of.
Because waters produced from coalbeds are often fresh, and subsurface disposal is expensive, disposal to surface drainages, wherever possible, carries a strong economic incentive.
Such disposal may erode soils and sediments, change microclimate, create unsustainable aquatic habitats, or salinize soils."
The Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) is a consortium of the University of Tulsa, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development, the mission of IPEC is to increase the competitiveness of the domestic petroleum industry through a reduction in the costs of compliance with U.S. environmental regulations.
Coalbed methane has rapidly become an important source of natural gas, particularly in the Inter-mountain West. The rapidity of its development has resulted in significant pressure on communities to deal with its environmental consequences.
Coalbed methane production often results in large quantities of water that are released as byproducts of production; in some cases, the water may inundate sensitive arid ecosystems, worsen surface water quality, and diminish undergroundwater supplies.
Noise, dust, and increased traffic; impairment of visibility and conflicts with recreation and other land use; impacts on wildlife and ecosystems; and other consequences of development have generated opposition in many communities.
Particularly vexing has been development on split estates, where surface owners do not own the mineral rights underneath their property and are required to cooperate with development that may disrupt the use and control of their land. This article examines the problems associated with coalbed methane development and offers a variety of suggestions for how conflicts could be reduced and how development could proceed in ways that are ecologically sustainable.
The Energy Policy Act passed by Congress in 2005 amended the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to exclude hydraulic fracturing fluids (except diesel fuel) related to energy production from regulation under the UIC program. States may choose to regulate hydraulic fracturing, however.
There are over four thousand coalbed methane wells in the Black Warrior River watershed. Tens of thousands of acres are leased to this practice, creating a massive network of roads and well pads. The extraction of coalbed methane involves a process known as hydraulic fracturing.
The Black River Watershed in Alabama provides water to over a million people.
See: Orion Magazine. November/December 2006. Taking On Goliath: Across the West, gas development is devastating land and people. | Now citizens are fighting back.
History of hydraulic fracturing | criticism of the 2004 EPA study.
I am writing on behalf of the Oil and Gas Accountability Project to provide an impartial analysis of the adequacy of the actions proposed in the subject report. I am a practicing hydrogeologist; I spent 32 years at the U.S. Geological Survey in both management and research positions. I left the USGS in 1995 to become a consultant. I have published more than 100 papers in the refereed scientific literature on various groundwater problems. My resume is attached to this comment.
Coal-bed methane is an energy source that in many places in the United States is associated with underground sources of drinking water (USDW). In some places the coal beds are the best aquifers in the area. In these places the development of CBM is incompatible with the continued use of the coal beds as an aquifer.
There is a direct conflict between national/state energy policy and the preservation of USDW. For example, in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana the Bureau of Land Management predicts, in their Final Environmental Impact Statement for CBM, that the development will lower the water levels in the coal measures by 600 to 800 feet over much of the basin.
This will make unusable several thousand private water wells that are completed in the coal beds. The law favors the development of the methane over the continued use of the coal beds as aquifers—in this case the best aquifers in the area.
...EPA discounted problems associated with hydraulic fractures based upon a limited sample of identified problems. They relied upon citizen reports almost exclusively. There were no independent surveys, no independent field investigation or other well sampling. The EPA exercise is incomplete at best.
...EPA seems caught up in the conflict between the National Energy Policy of the Bush Administration and the EPA mandate to protect USDW.
Letter written by Hydrology expert, John D, Bredehoeft, to Joan Harrigan-Farrelly: Chief Underground Injection Control, Prevention Program Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Environmental Protection Agency.
RE: EPA draft study report:Evaluation of Impacts to Underground Sources of Drinking Water by Hydraulic Fracturing of Coalbed Methane Reservoirs: Subject: Federal Register August 28, 2002, Volume 67, Number 10, Pages55249-55251 (water Docket Id no. w-01-09-11).
See also: Bredehoeft, J. (2003). " From Models to Performance Assessment: The Conceptualization Problem." Ground Water, Vol. 41, No.5 pp 571-577.
Increasingly, models are being called on to predict the effects of human actions on natural ecosystems.
Despite the widespread use of models, there exists intense debate within the field over a wide range of practical and philosophical issues pertaining to quantitative modeling.
This book, which grew out of a gathering of leading experts at the Cary Conference IX, explores those issues.
See Chapter: "The Role of Quantitative Models in Science" (Oreskes).
Weston Wilson. Letter written to Senators Allard and Campbell and Representative DeGette. Denver, Colorado. October 8th, 2004. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was criticized by Wilson and others for this Fracking Study which led to the "Halliburton Loophole" of 2005. See New York Times Editorial on Halliburton Loophole. See also the Energy Policy Act of 2005.