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Member since: Fri Dec 19, 2003, 02:20 AM
Number of posts: 29,798

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‘Out-Of-Control’ Rig In The Gulf Gushing Methane Freely Into The Atmosphere

‘Out-Of-Control’ Rig In The Gulf Gushing Methane Freely Into The Atmosphere

shutterstock_89969950 CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

An “out-of-control” well that began blowing gas into the air on Thursday is still not under control as of Friday morning, according to a report from the Associated Press.

42-non essential workers from Rowan Companies PLC’s offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico, named “Louisiana,” were evacuated, while 37 stayed on the rig to try and stop the flow of gas. Rig operator EnVen Energy Ventures said that while workers attempt to kill the well, gas was being “vented” off of the rig. Although gas, water and sand are still flowing from the well, EnVen said no pollution has occurred in the Gulf.

“All personnel currently aboard the rig are safe and non-essential personnel have been evacuated, all well control equipment is functioning as designed (and) there has been no environmental impact,” Rowan Companies spokesperson Deanna Castillo told the AP.

Unlike a spill, an out-of-control well blowing gas does not pollute in a traditional, visible sense. Instead, it releases methane — the potent, second-most prevalent greenhouse gas — into the air, contributing to climate change. Pure natural gas is mostly methane, a fuel that burns cleaner than coal or oil. However, when methane is released directly into the air, it traps heat in the atmosphere.

From an air quality perspective, it is better to burn flowing gas through a flare system, rather than venting it directly into the atmosphere, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

It was not clear early Friday ...


Japan Prime Minister Abe’s dangerous path

Abe’s dangerous path
JAN 27, 2014

As the Diet kicked off an ordinary session on Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his policy speech that he will tackle the issue of the exercise of the right to collective self-defense on the basis of a report to be issued by a panel of experts, which is a private advisory body for him. For the first time in his current tenure, he mentioned the issue in a Diet speech. Although he did not use a direct expression, his intention is clear: to change the government’s long-standing constitutional interpretation that under the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, Japan cannot exercise the right to collective self-defense.

If the Abe government achieves its goal, it will pave the way for Japan to engage in military operations abroad with other countries, especially the United States. Such a change would completely alter postwar Japan’s basic posture of “defense-only defense,” which is designed to ensure it will not repeat the mistake of walking the path to war as it did in the last century — with tragic results for both the region and Japan. The “defense-only defense” posture helped Japan regain the international community’s trust in the postwar period.

Japan’s embracing of the right to collective self-defense would cause friction with neighboring countries and destabilize the regional security environment. It is deplorable that Abe is trying to discard this stance, which has allowed the nation to prosper, on the strength of a report of a private advisory body. The Diet should stop Abe’s effort, which is tantamount to revising the Constitution without following the standard procedure for doing so.

Abe said in his Diet speech that freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law are the basis of global prosperity and that the Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of the foundation. But he does not seem to be aware that his own actions, including his Dec. 26 visit to Yasukuni Shrine, are raising suspicions in the U.S. regarding his beliefs about the postwar international order and the current security environment, and as a result are weakening the Japan-U.S. alliance. He needs to realize the toll his actions are taking on Japan-U.S. relations and make strenuous efforts to regain Washington’s trust

In his speech Abe said that the door for dialogue with China ...


Man washes up in Marshall Islands ‘after 16 months adrift’

Source: AFP-Jiji

An emaciated man whose boat washed up on a remote Pacific atoll this week claims he survived 16 months adrift on the Pacific, floating more than 12,500 km from Mexico, a researcher said Friday.

The man, with long hair and beard, was discovered Thursday when his 24-foot fiberglass boat with propellerless engines floated onto the reef at Ebon Atoll and he was spotted by two locals.

“His condition isn’t good, but he’s getting better,” Ola Fjeldstad, a Norwegian anthropology student doing research on Ebon, the southern most outpost of the Marshalls, said by telephone.

Fjeldstad said the man, dressed only in a pair of ragged underpants, claims he left Mexico for El Salvador in September 2012 with a companion who died at sea several months ago.

Details ...

Read more: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/01/31/asia-pacific/man-washes-up-in-marshall-islands-after-16-months-adrift/

At least Thor Heyerdahl had supplies...
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