Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change
In a bid to combat climate change, US President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on Monday, marking the first time power plants have been targeted by mandatory regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in the US.
Google: Earthday 2013

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Methane on Tap: Study Links Pollution to Gas Drilling

National Geographic, Rachel Kaufman, For National Geographic News, May 9, 2011

Jessica Ernst, whose village in Alberta, Canada, is surrounded
by natural gas wells, told a Calgary publication in 2008 that due
to methane contamination, she could set her tap water on fire.
Below, an apparatus the Duke University researchers used to test
methane levels. (Photograph by Wil Andruschak.)

This story is part of a special series that explores energy issues. For more, visit The Great Energy Challenge.

Photograph courtesy
Robert Jackson
A team of researchers has produced the first systematic evidence that methane has escaped into drinking water in areas where shale gas drilling is under way, finding explosive concentrations at distances far greater than were previously thought possible.

The Duke University scientists sampled 60 private water wells from homes across northeastern Pennsylvania, where rich underground deposits of natural gas are being extracted from shale rock through a process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

(Interactive: "Breaking Fuel From Rock")

In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the team reported that in active gas drilling areas, the concentration of methane increased with proximity to wells.

And as far away as 3,200 feet (1 kilometer) of an active drilling site, they found water that contained enough methane that it could, in some cases, be lit on fire.

The methane concentrations found in well water near active drilling sites were, on average, 17 times higher than the levels found in wells farther away.

The study's findings indicate cause for concern within a much larger radius than previously imagined around drill sites. Pennsylvania state regulations, for example, presume the driller is at fault if contaminated water is found within 1,000 feet (305 meters) of a well within six months after that well's completion. But the new research uncovered methane in wells at three times that distance.

"Greater stewardship, knowledge, and—possibly—regulation are needed to ensure the sustainable future of shale-gas extraction," the authors concluded.

Controversial Energy Boom

The study adds to the controversy that has swirled around "fracking," a process where water is pumped into rock deep underground until the pressure causes the rocks to crack, releasing the natural gas.

The technology's success over the past six years has opened up vast new stores of natural gas in the United States and Canada. Shale gas is on track to reach 45 percent of U.S. gas production by 2035, and a U.S. government assessment showed similar shale resources are available in 32 countries around the world.

But the boom has been sullied by environmental controversy, including complaints by residents that methane, the major constituent of natural gas, had polluted their drinking water. In some instances, homeowners literally were able to set the water from the tap on fire—as memorably captured in the Oscar-nominated documentary film Gasland.

In some of these cases gas companies have argued, and state investigators have agreed, that the gas was naturally occurring and had been in the water all along. In other cases, such as Dimock, Pennsylvania and Pavilon, Wyoming, investigators have indeed traced the gas contamination to the drilling activity. The differing findings have caused confusion and acrimony in communities where drilling is under way.

In the Duke study, the researchers found methane in the majority of water wells they sampled, regardless of proximity to drilling operations. But concentrations were substantially higher close to the wells.

Some in the natural gas industry have agreed that greater attention should be paid to the issue. "Gas migration has been an issue that the industry has had to deal with for quite some time," says Mark Boling, executive vice president of Houston-based Southwestern Energy. He attributes the problem to poorly constructed wells.

Rob Jackson, an environmental scientist at Duke University, says he and his fellow researchers agree that this is one likely pathway. A hole can develop in a well's casing or "cement channeling" can occur when gas creates pathways through still-hardening cement that methane can later tunnel through. These well casing flaws can allow gas to travel from deep underground and escape into shallow aquifers that are tapped for drinking water.

"If it is in fact coming from casings, then either stronger procedures or more careful applications of procedures the gas companies already have may be all it takes to fix this problem," Jackson said.

Another Gas Pathway

A second possibility, that the fracking process itself enlarges or generates cracks above the gas reservoir, which then allows the methane to escape upward through the rock layers, was called "less likely but possible" by the researchers.

Boling, the energy executive, said that was unlikely. "The cracks are so small you have to prop them up with grains of sand," he said. "The amount of energy released when a fracture is created is the same as if you took a gallon of milk from chest height and dropped it on the floor. So to propagate a fracture from that deep" is unlikely, he said.

However, no state requires gas companies to perform a stratigraphic analysis: a study of the quality of the rock between the gas deposits and groundwater. Boling says that's essential, because a network of pre-existing faults and abandoned wells could, in theory, allow gas to leak upward. The state regulators, according to Boling, should in effect tell the gas drillers: "Ok, we know where the water is and we know you're going to fracture at 4,000 feet. I want you to tell me what's between those."

Southwest Energy and the Environmental Defense Fund have been working with 14 other energy companies and a number of environmental groups to create draft regulations that would require stronger well construction standards and stratigraphic analysis.

The model rules could come under consideration as states where shale drilling is under way have been reviewing their oversight of the industry. Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to study the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water and ground water, with an eye to whether federal regulation is needed.

One bit of good news for the natural gas industry in the Duke study: The researchers found no evidence of contamination from hydraulic fracturing fluids or the salty brine produced after drilling in any of the wells.

As for the methane, it is not a contaminant that is regulated in drinking water because it does not alter color, taste, or odor of water and is not known to affect water's potability. It does pose an asphyxiation and explosion hazard in confined spaces. In Pennsylvania between 1992 and 2008, there were at least nine documented cases involving gas migrations at operating wells, seven involving explosions, according to a compilation of incidents by the environmental group, Riverkeeper. But there are no studies showing the effects of long-term, low-level methane exposure to humans, something that surprised Jackson, he said. "We don't know what, if any, health consequences there are," he said.

What didn't surprise him was that the methane was there at all. "I don't think it's a total shock," Jackson said.

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