Costa Concordia threat of oil spill

After the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia, while the hopes of finding missing persons are fading, the alarm now becomes pollution, and the risk of a massive environmental disaster. On the cruise ship there are 2,400 tons of oil that could spill if the hull were to break.

The area affected by the possible oil slick depends on the currents: the Island of Giglio, probably the whole archipelago, perhaps the coast.

The alarm comes from the Italian Minister of Environment Corrado Clini who said on Monday that the risk of an environmental disaster is becoming really high.

“If the weather and climate change we may find ourselves in a different situation and there is serious risk connected to the tightness of the hull. We’re trying to solve the situation as quickly as possible, considering that it is likely that there are still survivors to be saved.”

The ship has tanks full of fuel that is dense, heavy, and may sediment on the seabed. This could contaminate the coast and affect marine animals and birds.

The weather conditions are getting worst at the Giglio Island and the cruise ship has started moving. In this condition it is impossible for the scuba divers to search for the missing people and until there is hope to find someone alive the operation to remove the oil cannot start.

In fact to take out the fuel would be a difficult and could even move the ship that is already in an unsafe position.

Minister Clini has assured that all the equipment and the team responsible for emptying the ship are ready to start their work as soon as possible.

The extraction of fuel will be assigned to Smit, a company specialising in sea rescue. It will be using a technique called “hot tapping”, which provides a safe hole in the fuel tank from which to draw the oil in a range of time that could go from three to fifteen days.

After this operation the main problem will be to place the ship vertically, so it will be able to float again and can be taken to port, where the owner will decide whether to restore or demolish it.

Otherwise, if the operation fails, the ship will be dismantled piece by piece.

Italian environmental associations have asked the Minister to save the Natural Park of Argenatario where the ship is stranded and also for more restrictions for the cruise circulation.

This is the article I wrote for the news website of my university.

The site has really nice articles check it out at Westminster News Online.


The shoes cemetery

These images come from an area a few kilometers from Zagreb: huge dump of shoes,  in good condition and all branded Fafa. A sort of “cemetery” in which prevailing models with high heels, pink, white and blue.

Who just left all this shoes did not even think for a moment how this hills will cost in terms of environment.

All the energy to produce them, all the works of several men or women wasted for nothing. And now who is going to clean the area?

Shoes cannot be recycled but the materials and the money thrown away  could be used more wisely.

Now we are not in the position of waste anything.

Bp wants a refound

Bp will start a trial against Halliburton to cover the cost of cleaning

Gulf oil spill

the oil from the Gulf of Mexico.

The British Petroleum Company, considered by all responsible for the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico,  in 2010, does not want to take all the blame for the enviromental disaster and is now demanding compensation from Halliburton American of $ 20 billion.The news of the request was issued by the agency Bloomberg, citing a legal document signed by BP lawer, Don Haycraft.

BP thus seeks to recover “the costs and expenses that were charged for cleaning the oil spill,” the document says.BP in early December accused Halliburton of destroying evidence related to the tests conducted on the Halliburton cement used to build the platform that was at the origin of the disaster.

Halliburton is the world’s second largestoilfield services corporation with operations in more than 70 countries. It has hundreds of subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, brands and divisions worldwide and employs over 50,000 people.
The oil spill has destroyed the ecosystem of the Gulf.
Everyone has seen the images of birds covered by oil or the giant leak, but the oil is responsable for the death of of over 150 dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf seafood including oysters, crabs, shrimp and mussels continued to contained traces of the dispersant and petroleum hydrocarbons.

One of the death dolphin found in the Gulf last spring

Frozen Planet

Our ice is melting really fast because of the damages that we cause to the environment everyday. If the ice will gone we will not survive.

Glacier is melting and the water forms a river on the its surfaice

OK, I admit I am in a ‘Frozen Planet’ mood. Those documentaries are amazing because they give us images of nature and animals never saw before.

Especially if we have to considerate where and when those video was shouted. The efforts behind this results are incredible and I am so happy to see that there still are people so passionate of their job. Not everybody will spend four months with penguins in the Arctic Pole!

But after the last episode I am in a bad mood. I knew it. After amazing images and breathtaking landscapes the bad new were just around the corner.

I am honest when I say that I was tempted to turn off the television because I was too  in anguish.

For who that have not seen the programs ‘Frozen Planet’ documentaries explained how the Poles change between the seasons.

The last episode shown how the ice is melting because of the global warming.

The temperature in the Poles raise twice fast that in the rest of the world because  the ice reflects the sun rays while the sea water absorbs them.

The consequences of the ice melting could, and already are, devastating for the animals and the human being that live in those regions but would soon be felt also in the rest of the world.

If the ice will melt the oceans level will rise all around the world by 60 meters!! That will mean that most of the lands will be overflown.

In the last 30 years some of the thousand-year glaciers have started to melt. The see level is grown by 0.5 meters.

When we are thinking to do something. We really want to destroy our planet. This is not anymore something that only freaks environmentalists should care about it. This is something that effect everybody.

Indian boycott threat to London 2012

A boycott threat could be looming over the London 2012 Olympics amid growing fears of a possible pull-out by Indian athletes.

The International Olympic Committee‘s (IOC) did a sponsorship deal with Dow Chemical Company, which has bought Bhopal years ago, the company responsible for the tragedy of 1984 where more than 25 000 people were killed.

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the organizing committee does not want to back off.

India is threatening to boycott the Olympics next summer, because of one of the sponsors of the Games.

The sensational protest depends on a relatively small sponsorship, “just” £7 million in a total of over £700 million, promised by Dow Chemical, the giant industrial chemical that some years ago acquired the Union Carbide, the company responsible for the disastrous accident at the pesticide center in Bhopal, India, in 1984 in which 25 000 persons died  and more than half a million intoxicated.

The threat of Indian athletes not to go to the 2012 London Olympics, would be a huge embarrassment for British authorities, not so much from a sporting perspective, since India – unlike America and Russia – do not generally excel in Olympic disciplines, but certainly from a political perspective, due to the weight of India, one of the world’s emerging powers. It will be a very awkward situations for two countries that share an important colonial past and a massive number of Indian citizens.

Lord Sebastian Coe, the former Olympic champion who now chairs the London 2012 Organising Committee, has only a week to solve the problem in one way or another. Former British Sports Minister, the Labour MP Tessa Jowell, asked Coe to delete the agreement with Dow Chemical.

The PM of Madhya Pradesh, the Indian state of which Bhopal is the capital, has solicited that New Delhi government formally support the request of the Olympic team to boycott the Games if IOC does not change its mind: “Those £ 7 million would be spent best to alleviate the suffering of our people, “he said.

The Dow Chemical Company says that the $ 470 million paid by Union Carbide in 1991 to compensate victims of the tragedy have already solved any dispute, although there still is a trail going on at the Indian Supreme Court.

Dow precised that they have bought, Union Carbide only in 2001, so many years after the accident. But other criticisms still weigh on sponsorship because the Dow is also the manufacturer of Agent Orange, the defoliant used by U.S. bombing during the war in the Vietnam, with devastating effects for the civilian population.

Climate changes will cause more natural disaster

United Nations had declares that in Europe there will be more floods and storms. Tropical hot and rain will become the norm in our continent.

The alarm comes from the fifth report on climate change, sets up by the United Nations and developed by 2000 scientists.

The study shows a dramatic picture of the climate chaos produced by the use of coal and oil, and deforestation: it is “virtually certain”, say the experts, that the cold and extreme heat, floods, tropical cyclones will increase.

The  Italian head  of  WWF’s climate department said “Since 1990 the price paid for climate change continues to grow. In Durban, where, in a month the responsible of world government you will meet hopefully a new strategy on climate protection will be set”.

Also numbers show how during the 2011 climate disasters have increased: global temperatures have set a new record, heat waves have crippled Russia, floods have killed 2.000 people in Pakistan and India, a dust storm hit Beijing  stifling 250 million people. And if it is not enough, Bangkok was flooded under water, hunger and drought have devastated the Horn of Africa, Hurricane Irene have mostly reached New York.

According to the report the increased energy involved in the atmosphere produced by the growth of Co2 emissions will aggravate these problems. If the use of fossil fuels and deforestation will not stop, the heat waves which in 2003 caused 70.000 deaths in Europe will become more frequent by 2050.

The temperature will be at least 3 degrees higher than the maximum temperature in 2050 and by 2100 more than 5 degrees; arid and semi-arid areas in Africa will expand by at least 5-8 per cent, we will lose up to 80 percent of the Amazon rain forest, the taiga of China, the Siberian tundra and tundra Canada will be seriously affected, the North Pole will soon become navigable in the summer, the world’s population subjected to increasing water stress will pass from one billion to 3 billion today.

“This devastation can still be avoided if we will invest on renewable energy and energy efficiency,” says Vincent Ferrara, climatologist Enea. “It is a passage complex but can be started immediately at no cost: it would be enough to close the incentives, about $ 400 billion a year, that, globally, still finance fossil fuels”.

We can not just count the victims of the climate changes without reacting.

Rena disaster

New Zealand. A container ship has remained stranded on Astrolabe Reef last Wednesday. Even if the ship Rena ahs stopped leaking, there are more than 1300 containers on it and 11 are full with really dangerous goods, like hazardous substance ferro-silicon, which is flammable if it comes into contact with water.

The New Zealand authorities are trying to stabilise it because already 10 to 50 tonnes of oil had leaked in to the ocean and Rena could loose more toxic substances. They don’t have much time left because the weather is getting worse. Oil had already reached the Bay of Plenty, a hotspot for tourism. People were warned to stay away from the beach and avoid the contact with the oil. Nature’s worker had already begun to clean the beach and recovering animals. The owners of the ship, Costamare Inc, have not given an clarification for the grounding, that still don’t have any explanation because as the Prime Minister John Key said “ People know about the reef”.