The Deserts Will Re-Bloom Someday Despite Us. For Now Head North, It's The New West.

The white “bathtub ring” of mineral deposits marks the decline of Lake Mead

My daughter and i often drove over Hoover Dam and Lake Mead on our winter road trips to escape the rain. Each time we commented that it seemed even lower than the last. Lake Mead which is able to store two years of the Colorado River’s historic annual flow currently holds only 9 months worth of that flow. Lake Mead hasn't been this low since it was being filled.

Satellites show groundwater supply at greater risk than previously thought. The bigger problem is that the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin has experienced rapid and significant groundwater depletion since late 2004 according to a new study by NASA and University of California, Irvine. Many experts agree that about 70 percent of the Colorado River Basin water supply goes toward irrigated agriculture. YIKES

Bigger yet is the reality that the Western states and surrounding deserts are all in the worst drought in 2,000 years and they are far from alone. There are wide swaths of moderate to severe drought stretching from Oregon to Texas, with problems impacting numerous states west of the Mississippi River. Even more frightening is that much of the rest of the world is dealing with water scarcity issues too.  In fact, North America is actually in better shape than much of Africa and Asia.

Decades after reading 'Cadillac Desert', and years after watching 'Last Call at the Oasis', after driving the desert southwest's blue roads as often as possible, after loving every mile, every cactus, every critter and realizing both what a lucky shit i am to have been born when and where i was and how all of it is into all kinds of catastrophic trouble because of the rogue primate's obscene abuse of everything it sees.

i may never drive the 'dark desert highways, cool wind in my hair' again but i know that, try as we might to destroy them, we can't. About one day after we're finally history a seed will sprout through the cracked asphalt somewhere, it'll grow nourished by the good soil we idiots paved over once upon a time and it's seed and it's seed will walk on the winds generation after generation. Others will too, the desert will re-bloom someday despite us.

If you live in the desert, it ain't gonna get better soon, my advice is to head north [it's the new west].

i loved our road trips though i'm sorry now a bit for the extravagance i see in them that i didn't then. i've learned and keep learning that all i can do is my best, as defined by the parameters of what i know and believe that day everyday. As i was lucky to be born when i was, i'm lucky to now live on a small piece of the Great Mother's bosom with abundant clean water, air and poor hard working neighbors. It perfectly fits with my beater to beamer real estate metric.


It Takes 5000 Years to Replenish Groundwater, Yet the Frackers Keep Pumping Waste Into Californian Aquifers

An email yesterday from a friend/comrade schooled me about a recent report that almost 3 billion gallons of oil industry waste water have been illegally dumped into central California aquifers that supply drinking water and farming irrigation, according to state documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity. The waste-water entered the aquifers through at least nine injection disposal wells used by the oil industry to dispose of waste contaminated with fracking fluids and other pollutants. This despite the fact that California's State Legislature recently came to its senses, if only partly and momentarily, and halted the re-injection of fracking waste water, warning it may be contaminating California's aquifers.

California’s oil and gas fields produce billions of gallons of contaminated waste-water each year, and much of this contaminated fluid is injected underground. California has an estimated 2,583 waste water injections wells, of which 1,552 are currently active in different ares throughout the state. For sure i'm gonna get emails say, "lay off Califiornia, eh, it's no worse than most places". Ain't that the truth, but California grows so much of the US and Canadian food supply, it's in a mega-drought, its pumping its aquifers dry, the snows ain't there to re-fill the dam damns, the urban sprawl gallops everywhere in the desert southwest laying more of water pipe for more houses...etc.

Ironically, Tulare County, in the San Joaquin Valley of California and home of Tulare Lake, ran out of tap water a couple of weeks ago and is now trucking in everything due to that state’s never-ending mega-drought. Another report says chances are increasingly high that California and other states could be facing a water crisis worse than anything seen in 2,000 years. "Nobody knows how disastrous it's going to be" say most California water experts in their private moments over a beer.

Much of Tulare Lake is now disguised as interstate highway but this too shall pass someday.

Tulare Lake was the largest of several similar lakes in its lower basin. Most of the Kern River's flow first went into Kern Lake and Buena Vista Lake via the Kern River and Kern River Slough southwest and south of the site of Bakersfield. If they overflowed, it was through the Kern River channel northwest through tule marshland and Goose Lake, into Tulare Lake. Musta been magnificent until shortly after the Europeans arrived. For lots more interesting stuff check out 'Tulare Lake Today' .

On average, groundwater resources are 5000-years old. That is, it takes, on average, 5000 years for a drop of rain that makes its way into a freshwater aquifer to make its journey to a spring or the sea. By contrast, river waters globally average a residence time of 17 days between rain and entry to a sea (if they aren't sucked out first). On average a water molecule spends around 8 days in the atmosphere once evaporated from a surface water body or transpired from vegetation before returning as precipitation.

This 5000-year (fresh) groundwater residence time is important because 1) it demonstrates that groundwater mining (extracting at a net rate that exceeds replenishment) is a serious problem and 2) that pollution of such resources will take heroic measures to mitigate, if even possible. Groundwater is special. Mistakes regarding it are more or less permanent.

But, as we all know, corporations have only one master - shareholder profits. It's far more effective to use a few bucks to buy off the politicians than conform to the regulations they might impose on the flow of shareholder cash. So it sure appears meaningful government regulations are impossible without a 9.0 earthquake event.

That very earthquake is coming, one way or another, with or without regulations. The best option IMO is already well unfolded - demand reduction fueled degrowth and modest deflation. The DOW has dropped 1500 points in 3 weeks, Asia's oil demand is off 60% in the last year, the petrodollar is dodging BRICS but wobbly. In reponse - panic is currently gripping global central-planning headquarters as pictured below courtesy of Victor Leonardi:


Cottonwoods Will Break Through the Desert's Dams and Snow Will Cover the Sierras Again Someday

There is only so much fresh water and it is under attack, a pincer attack, one of the pincers is fracking because of its ability "break caprock, shoot out of zone, link to natural fractures and penetrate into groundwater" says an independent technical review panel appointed by Canadian Natural Resources. Pressures created by the fracking of shale rock can create a zig-zag of traveling fractures that resemble the cracking of ice on a frozen lake.

Further, the geology and terrain interact to make no two 'plays' the same making the whole science of hydraulic fracture models fail to predict fracture behaviour precisely, and in many cases, models fail completely, largely because of incorrect information and assumptions used in the models." So whatever the industry or any expert says, they just don't know what they don't know.

California's State Legislature recently came to its senses, if only partly and momentarily, and halted the re-injection of fracking waste water, warning it may be contaminating California's aquifers. [Technicians were probably lucky to recovered their data at the rate California's aquifers are dropping]. There's an estimated 25,000 fracking wells in Calif [millions more globally]. They take between 2-8 million gallons of water each, some much more, and a well may be fracked multiple times, with each frack increasing the chances of chemical leakage into the soil and local water sources.

The western states, especially California, are in a drought that's going from bad to catastrophic. The U.S. Drought Monitor reported that more than half of the state is now in experiencing 'exceptional' drought, the most severe category available. And most of the state – 81% – currently has one of the two most intense levels of drought. While California’s problems are particularly severe, that state is not alone in experiencing significant drought right now. There are wide swaths of moderate to severe drought stretching from Oregon to Texas, with problems impacting numerous states west of the Mississippi River. Even more frightening is that much of the rest of the world is dealing with water scarcity issues too.  In fact, North America is actually in better shape than much of Africa and Asia.

So, California isn't unique, neither is drought. Loooooong droughts come and go from the desert as they did when they drove out the Chaco 1100 years ago. Of course the snows and rain will return but maybe not until the humans have been eliminated long enough for the climate to return to it's mid-glaciation period. Fortunately one day though the cottonwoods will break through the dams, the snows will return to the high sierra and California's big valley will have its lake back and filled with migratory birds and countless other life forms.

One of the greatest lessons in my life comes from geology's accounting of the scale of time. We are a speck, we can, have and will continue to take down countless innocents in our hubris, but in the looooooong run we'll be a thin shiny line in the sediment. Life will continue on it's merry way without us. That realization gives me the power/energy to care, to try to help civilization break it's fall, to help some fellow travelers have some seed in the feeder, some crunchies in the bowl each day.

Water is under attack from our callous abuse in the immoral pursuit of possessions, We could all change...but in any case, cottonwoods will break through the desert's dams and snow will cover the Sierras again someday.


Frack is Wack, It's Insane, It's dumb, It's Capitalism and Only Terrorists are Opposed

Yesterday, October 11th, was "Global Frackdown Day", a day when anti-fracking activists all over the world demanded an end to the destructive practice of hydraulic-fracture drilling that the oil and gas industries are aggressively trying to expand in regions across the planet.  On Friday the group sent a joint letter (pdf) to United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, in part it reads:

"Mounting scientific evidence shows that fracking is not only inherently unsafe for both public health and ecosystems, but that fracking may actually drive global warming more than conventional fossil fuels due to methane leakage from oil and gas drilling operations and their attendant infrastructure. According to the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Synthesis report, methane from oil and gas is 87 times as powerful at trapping heat as carbon dioxide, pound for pound, over a 20-year period and 36 times more so over 100 years. So, while natural gas may burn relatively cleaner than oil or coal, the cumulative effect of extracting gas and building the necessary transport infrastructure is a greater threat to the planet. net."

Everywhere the frackers go, extensive groundwater contamination, air pollution, land fragmentation, property devaluation, road destruction, earthquakes, public health issues, soon follow. This includes contamination of drinking water by fracking fluid, massive water consumption (an average frack well requires 2 to 8 million US gallons of water over its lifetime), air pollution, fugitive methane emissions and lost habitat from thousands of roads, wells and pipelines.

The details of fracking's complex impact on geology and groundwater are the focus of a new independent technical review looking into the 2013 bitumen leak in northern Alberta which found hydraulic fracturing to be the main culprit. The panel, also documented that industry frack jobs, contrary to industry claims, can break caprock, shoot out of zone, link to natural fractures and penetrate into groundwater. The same paper added, "All hydraulic fracture models fail to predict fracture behaviour precisely, and in many cases, models fail completely, largely because of incorrect information and assumptions used in the models."

"In simple terms", as Andrew Nikiforuk says, "pressures created by the industrial injection of fluids in bitumen or shale rock can create a zig-zag of traveling fractures that resemble the cracking of ice on a frozen lake." As a consequence California recently halted the injection of fracking waste warning of contaminated aquifers.

Fracking is the dumbest idea yet in a long-term series of dumb moves, 'Frack Is Wack', but it makes rich people richer, so their govt. and media stooges line up to praise it. Tons of good vibes from The Mud Report to everyone who put out their energy to bring awareness to the stupidity of making things worse. Of course, each of those good vibeees will now be under surveillance as a probable terrorist, in fact a recent report says that just being opposed to fracking makes one a probable terrorist.

IMO it's not a change of energy sources we need, it's a change of lifestyles. The rich can only get richer when we buy the needless bangles their advertising stooges dangle. Frack is Wack, but it thrives in the cultural field of consumption as palliative. Conservation, as in simplicity, and efficiency can slow our demand for fossil fuels, creating energy [unused] with no footprint. None of this, or my other schemes, will make the rich richer, so they don't get much press but lottsa followers from .gov websites.

Fracking will lose its allure when the next even Free-er Lunch delusion comes along or, when the people stop consuming needless crap or when the bubble bursts. But in the meanwhile, everyday the fucking frackers blast unknown chemicals, and who knows what else, into the earth, fracturing it for short term profit at the expense of the non-renewable, clean fresh water our children will need. It's insane, it's dumb, it's capitalism and only terrorists are opposed.


Organic Agriculture and Perennial Grasses, Not Green-Washed Corporate-Ag, are the Solution

Dr. Kristine Nichols and Mark 'Coach' Smallwood, of the Rodale Institute, are walking with a message and carrying a solution.

The solution to many of the biospheric blights our current consumption creates is, as Dr. Kristine Nichols and Mark 'Coach' Smallwood of the Rodale Institute are trying to draw broader attention to, beneath our feet. It's the soil, it's organic agriculture's ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Combined with 'the Perennial Solution - perennials are thrifty, their long, massive root systems hold on to soil, water, and fertilizer, which means less pollution as well as sequestered carbon.

Many studies like the 40 year multinational, multidisciplinary, peer reviewed study 'Organic Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the Context of Food Security' have proven that "If farmers could stop planting GMOs, and make the transition to organic farming, farm and ranch land can become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong."

The data that Rodale has collected since 1981, and others have corroborated, from Rodale's Farming Systems Trial has revealed that soil under organic agriculture management can accumulate about 1,000 pounds of carbon per acre foot of soil each year. This accumulation is equal to about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre taken from the air and sequestered into soil organic matter.

Billions of tons of carbon - excess waste generated extractive capitalism, can be returned to the soil, our water resources can suffer one less huge contamination source, our pollinators would throw no-pesticide party, our weather as well as our climate would gradually 'relax', especially after the heating already built in by the 30 year timelag ends.

In addition to capturing more carbon as soil organic matter, organic agricultural production methods also emit less greenhouse gases through more efficient use of fuels. Energy analysis by Dr. David Pimentel from Cornell University show that organic systems use only 63% of the energy input used by the same sized 'conventional' agri-business operations.

Family farmers produce nearly 80 percent of the world’s food, things can change, there are solutions. So why don't our 'dear leaders' hear them? Money honey, as always. Capitalism ate government for lunch long ago, it had the MSM for dessert. Small scale, locally produced, hands on organic framing doesn't make the rich richer [the opposite in fact] so it can't possibly get access to the microphone. Organic farming and the reestablishment of perennial grasslands IS a real challenge to the status quo.

One of the articles published in the first muddy month here was 'Organic Gardening and Carbon Sequestration'. Re-reading it just now and then going over my most recent offering on the topic i'm happy to report that not much has changed in five years between my ears, but sad to report not much has changed beyond that space either. Please read Soil not Oil by Vandana Shiva and please visit, follow and support La Via Campesina in their bottom-up fight against the forces of evil globally.

Kristine and Mark are due to arrive on Oct. 16th from eastern Pennsylvania after completing their 160-mile journey to Washington, DC with a walking sticks, a brimmed hats, and a simple but profound message: Organic agriculture can reduce the output of carbon dioxide by 37-50%, reduce costs for the farmer, and increase our planet’s ability to positively absorb and utilize greenhouse gases.

Of course, the giddy miracles aren't even dreamable without reduced demand for needless crap, without conservation, without reducing our demands on this one blue dot we share.  But if somehow ...be it recession, deflation, degrowth or outright economic collapse, disease, or enlightenment...we do figure out how to be happy with less, we can re-establish the natural balance thrown off kilter right now by our over-indulgence and through long practiced methods of organic agricultural methods re-establish a little bit on the 'garden'.


Naomi Klein - Heroine and Heroin - Offers No Real Challenge to Capitalism in Her New Book

i've loved, read, re-read and learned tons from Naomi Klein's two previous books, i'm pretty sure i will again this time [once i find a copy to borrow]. In the meantime there's been countless interviews in the media in which our heroine has done very well, she's quick, smart, well spoken, sure glad she's there. Her presence in the spotlight brings capitalism's role into the conversation, into new eyes and ears. The Tyee recently said, "We Must Heed Naomi Klein's Call" and that, Her new book 'This Changes Everything' makes clear what we're up against and what has to happen. But...but ...but

But Naomi's book is being criticized from both sides. From the right-wing, her celebrity lefty status means Naomi is a big bulls-eye, the left...the defiant delusional left, like me, see Naomi's solutions as unreal and based on faulty assumptions. In addition, her injunctions about conservation and change are roundly seen as 'do as i say, not as i do', especially as they come from a rich globe trotting celebrity.

Germany is held up by Klein, throughout the book apparently, as a paragon of renewable energy changeover. The reality is that Germany's renewable energy policy is a failure because when the sun goes down and the wind stops so does the electricity generation. Germany now relies on an expanding coal generation system that burns thermal coal, Donbass coal, [the dirtiest kind] to balance the demand. The results are an overall rise in GHGs not a drop.

Not only do the 'green alternatives' require a parallel non-green capacity to be built and maintained but the new technologies themselves come with their own GHG footprint embedded and usually overlooked in the rosy scenario projections. Another seldom accounted for reality is neither solar or wind arrays ever produce anywhere near the capacity the rosy eyed engineer's project [in the real world birds shit on panels, rats eat through wires, etc]. Then there's the efficiency lost in the transmission of the electricity through the grid. For example, if a power plant produces electricity at 30%, higher than average for wind or solar, efficiency and the grid is 40% efficient, the electricity at the householder level is only 12%.

As energy expert Ozzie Zehner of the University of California-Berkeley says, "There is an impression that we have a choice between fossil fuels and clean energy technologies such as solar cells and wind turbines. That choice is an illusion. Alternative energy technologies rely on fossil fuels through every stage of their life. Alternative energy technologies rely on fossil fuels for mining operations, fabrication plants, installation, ongoing maintenance and decommissioning."

The basic problem is that there is no free lunch. There is no way to consume our way out of over-consumption. There is only one 'green' alternative, the only energy source with no footprint is conservation. Naomi in her new book joins the long list of those who want to change energy sources not lifestyles.

As Pogo famously said, "I've seen the enemy and he is us." The fossil fuel industry is driven by demand, just like all capitalist expansion. Until humans learn to live within their means, learn that hard work isn't a sin - debt is - and get rid of capitalism, capitalist expansionism (endless growth) will continue. And oil, be it tar sands crud or any other will, like water, flow and ooze via the path of least resistance to meet the demands of consumers.

Naomi is allowed access to the media microphone because her ideas offer no real challenge to the status quo. Naomi's message is philosophical heroin. Her focus on top-down government action to regulate the supply side argument sets back the wider environmental movement because even if some magical solution to GHGs is regulated the overall effect is just a license to continue the unlimited growth paradigm [keep shopping] that is the real evil destroying the biosphere. Regulations, technological innovation, pixie dust...any meaningful solution, other than conservation, leads to more consumption, more short term profits, more costs to be paid by future generations, more, more more...

As far as the corporate owned and operated MSM goes 'the way that can be spoken of is not the way'. Divestment in one aspect of the capitalist matrix is meaningless if the money is simply moved to anther aspect of it. If you're really ready to dropout of capitalism ya gotta get your money out. If you need an investment, put it in your home's insulation, in your kids education, in your backyard garden or in some other positive change. Folks need to stop driving to the mall, stop consuming useless plastic crap and just slow down.


Project Fear Rules, Hope Drools in Scottish Referendum and Most of Modern 'Civilization'

Here's a few fun stats from yesterday - one day in a thousand where a delusional old iconoclast could 'believe' again:

The young and the poorer voted Yes. The post-referendum poll from Lord Ashcroft does a good summary of who voted how and why. However, the most telling distinction is the following:
Voters aged 16-17: YES: 71%; NO: 29%
Voters aged 65+: YES: 27%; NO: 73%


The Sydney Morning Herald's post vote polling showed the most important statistic IMO: "More than half of No voters said fear for the future was the most important factor affecting their vote, while 80 per cent of Yes voters said they voted because they were hopeful for the future."

So 'project fear' worked, again. Many fearful and older Scots were afraid of how an independent Scotland might change their lives. The ‘No’ campaign’s slogan ‘Why take the risk?’ played a big part in fostering this view. ‘Yes’ campaigners say ‘project fear’ was a unconcealed effort by the British establishment to win at any cost.

The pollsters got it right in Scotland. Living here in Canada i've seen how wrong the pollsters can be recently. The 'gold standard' for political polling here in Canada has been telephone polls for decades, that's what pollsters are trained to do, what the media is trained to report. But the younger generations, the cell phone loving, social media addicted folks don't have home phones and the poor don't even have homes let alone phones. So, my fantasy was that the 'AYE' campaign would be underrepresented in the Scottish polling, but...

In the end i'm grateful to have had nearly a full day of mystery where the future might have changed, where a crack in the Wall St, wall may have appeared. It felt good. From the look on the faces of so many young Scots it won't be the last vote they have.


Is September 18th Scottish Independence Day? Excitement Mounts Across Scotland.

Spontaneous march to Scottish parliament Wednesday evening 

There's 2 hours to go before the polls close in Scotland and Vancouverite, Jackie DeRoo, a self confessed "Democracy Tourist" has been in the midst of the madness that is Scotland these last few days. Spontaneous marches like the one above to Scottish parliament last night are erupting all around her, Jackie says she's "witnessing the biggest commonwealth event in 100 years."

Checking out the Scottish independence referendum LIVE UPDATES in between chores, there's some neat pictures and other stuff. But from what i can gather from across the timezones is that the AYEs believe they've won [though i'm sure the Unionists are skulking around thinking they've won as well]. Time will tell but emotionally the AYEs have it by far in Scotland today.

Living here in Canada i realize how wrong the pollsters have been recently. The 'gold standard' for political polling has been telephone polls for decades, that's what pollsters are trained to do, what the media is trained to report. But the younger generations, the cell phone loving, social media addicted folks don't have home phones and the poor don't even have homes let alone any kind of phone. The pollsters are looking through old scratched glasses and the old demographic does favor the Unionist side because the older folks are the more they feel they have to protect the stuff they've earned through a lifetime of work. Very valid, for them, but not of those less enfranchised.


AYE Scotland, Will Be the Domino Cascading Toward Liberty That the Banks and Elites Fear

Everyday folks everywhere understand that anything the banks, corporations and politicians are so unanimously against can't be all bad. In a few hours the polls will open in Scotland. The Scottish are on the brink of perhaps changing the course of world history. Watching it unfold from Canada, where twice i saw how the elites made hollow promises in advance of the Quebec referendums, and twice saw those promises evaporate, it's 'like deja-vu all over again'.

Take heart supporters of liberty in Scotland in the last 150+ years 50 independence votes like yours have taken place, the score is 44- YES only 6-NO [including the two i watched here in Canada].

An AYE in Scotland over the next hours won't in itself cave in or cripple the elites, but their momentum toward liberty creates domino effect the minds of other dreamers, other liberty lovers. The Catalans are watching in droves, billions of others are watching silently. There must be a crack in the Wall St. wall somewhere, let's hope it's AYE Scotland today, everywhere soon.

"On 18th. September, 2014, between the hours of 7am and 10pm, absolute sovereign power will lie in the hands of the Scottish people. They have to decide whether to keep it, or give it away to where their minority status makes them permanently powerless and vulnerable." – Jim Sillars


Mining Engineers and Experts All Know The Solution to Tailings Pond Failures is Dry Stacking

Design of the Dry-Stack Rock Buttress at the Rosemont Copper Mine south of Tucson, Arizona.

There is a viable, safe alternative to depositing mining 'waste' in tailings ponds - Dry Stacking. Every mining expert, every mining engineer, every mining manager, including all of those involved in the recent Mount Polley tailing pond failure, know about dry stacking, it's not new, it was first written up in the mining journals in 1903. In fact, one of the world's foremost experts lives, works and writes out of Vancouver - Jack Caldwell. Jack's article 'Thirty Years of Tailings Seepage History from Tailings & Mine Waste' was the centerpiece of the global conference on mining wastes, Proceedings Tailings and Mine Waste, held in Vancouver, BC, November 6 to 9, 2011. Jack has written extensively on the Mount Polley tailing pond collapse [linked to here].

There is a growing use of the practice of dewatering tailings using vacuum or pressure filters so the tailings can then be stacked. More and more mines are choosing to filter press their tailings and place the tailings in a stack. Dry Stacking is increasing because of the need to reduce water consumption; the need to limit seepage from the tailings; and the imperative to build a stable stack not subject to slope failure, breaching or collapse. The water savings reduces the impacts on the environment and leaves the tailings in a dense and stable arrangement and eliminates the long-term liability that ponds leave after mining is finished.

AMEC, Mt. Polley's British engineering firm, also oversees the Raglan Mine, a large nickel mining complex in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, where, as AMEC reports,  "Approximately 700,000 tonnes/year of tailings are deposited over the estimated remaining life of the mine of about 15 years, with the possibility of increasing the production rate and/or the length of mine life. Tailings solids comprise about 70% silt sizes. Immediately prior to filtering, the tailings stream is thickened, with thickener underflow at 60-65% solids. Filtered tailings are loaded on trucks, hauled to Tailings Repository, dumped, spread and compacted to form a stable stack with 5H:1V side slopes." Obviously AMEC is/was well qualified to design a filter-pressed tailings stack operation for Imperial Metals...but, we'll get to the but in a minute.

The Greens Creek Filter-Pressed Dry-Stack operation.

Another great parallel to the situation at Mount Polley is exemplified by the Greens Creek Mine on Admiralty Island, in the Alaska panhandle. Once again mining expert Jack Caldwell has been involved here for decades. Jack says, "The first I heard of filter pressing of tailings was way back in the early 1980s. We had concluded that a conventional tailings facility would not work at the proposed Greens Creek Mine on Admiralty Island, in the Alaska panhandle. There was too much water from rain and too large an earthquake to use conventional hydraulic deposition. Andy Robertson suggested use of filter presses to make a dried---or at least low moisture content solid. There was much skepticism at his suggestion. As of today the dry stacking operation is 33years old, the filter-presses are pressing away. In the summer of 2010 Greens Creek's dry stack operation opened its seventh expansion."

Dry Stacking is happening all around the globe where ever progressive governments and far-sighted corporations understand the long term economics of mining, where ever they understand what externalized costs are and who always ends up paying them. By definition:"If external costs exist, such as pollution, the producer may choose to produce more of the product than would be produced if the producer were required to pay all associated environmental costs."

Here comes the but, All the experts agree but say, "There are potential merits to dry stacked tailings these systems are often cost prohibitive due to increased capital cost to purchase and install the filter systems and the increase in operating costs (generally associated electricity consumption and consumables such as filter cloth) of such systems."

Like so many other issues where short-term corporate and banking interests are allowed to escape paying the full cost of their operation through limited liability or because regulations are shoddy [often due to corrupt governments being bought off by moneyed interests] the corporate management does their job which is to maximize shareholder's quarterly profits.

So when you hear or read something about the Mount Polley collapse and the cost of remediation [estimated at $400millionCdn] remember that you'll pay that cost as soon as Imperial Metals' $15millionCdn insurance policy runs dry. Remember too that you and your children are paying for every environmental disaster that spewed pollution into the commonly owned biosphere since the corporations and banks figured out how to run this racket.

Commodity prices are soaring, corporate profits are soaring, but the corporations never have any dough for precaution, the governments never have any dough for social justice or schools, or safety inspectors or ...tomorrow the prime mover of buts, the free trade but...or is that butt?