Tag Archives: cancer

Crude: The Story of Chevron’s $27 Billion Exploitation of the Amazon

“We saw an oil spill where we used to live, in a stream that crosses the Aguarico River.  It was about three centimeters deep.  Water is the life blood of the Cofán people, because we always use water from the river.  This has affected me terribly, because I lost two of my children.  My first son stopped developing six months after being born.  My second son, one day we were walking to the beach…and the river had oil in it and my child bathed and drank the water…we came back home in the afternoon and he started vomiting blood.  He didn’t last 24 hours.  One day he got sick at 10 am and the next day at 2 in the afternoon he was dead.  They came and spilled oil, contaminated the river, and my children died.”

-Emergildo Criollo, an Amazonian Native of the Cofán Tribe.  Crude (2009)

 

An Oil Waste Pit in Ecuador. Photo by Time Magazine.

It is called the Chernobyl of the Amazon.

It is the largest environmental disaster in world history, propelled by corporate irresponsibility and greed.  Cleanup is estimated at $27 billion dollars.  Amazonian Continue reading

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Defining Environmental and Public Health Hazards for the Masses: Coal Sludge

On December 22nd, 2008, a horrendous catastrophe occurred near Kingston, Tennessee.  A catastrophe that requires $1 billion dollars and many years of clean up.  It was the biggest environmental disaster since the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  Sadly, it was the also the first time that the dangers of unregulated coal sludge dumping ponds were exposed to our forefront.  Another tragedy that could have been prevented with only a little oversight.

We burn coal to produce energy to power our lives.  Fair enough.  But what happens when we burn coal?  Most people know that gases are released into the atmosphere; gases that aren’t exactly curbing climate change.  Most people however also fail to realize that another byproduct of coal burning is ash.  Toxic ash containing high concentrations of arsenic and mercury, and lots of it.  140 million tons of ash every year in the United States, to be exact.

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