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Vulnerability

We're Nowhere Near Prepared for the Ecological Disaster That Harvey Is Becoming

An oil refinery.

Image: An oil refinery.

esquire.com - Charles P. Pierce - August 30th 2017

It is the Christian thing to do in the middle of tragedies like the one currently unfolding along the Texas-Louisiana Gulf coast not to politicize human suffering and, certainly, the stories of people rescuing their fellow citizens from this calamity deserve to be told and they deserve to be spread as widely as possible. But there is nothing I can find in the Gospels that would forbid us from politicizing politics. So let us summon the ghost of Walter Winchell and review some of the events of the past few days.

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Nation's largest oil refinery forced to shut down as Harvey floods Port Arthur

money.cnn.com - Julia Horowitz and Jill Disis - August 30th 2017

The largest oil refinery in the country is shutting down as Hurricane Harvey causes more catastrophic flooding, and more have followed suit.

Early Wednesday, Motiva said it started closing its Port Arthur refinery "in response to increasing local flood conditions." The plant won't open until flood waters recede.

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Global fuel prices jump as Harvey's impact ripples beyond U.S. Gulf

reuters.com - Erwin Seba and Devika Krishna Kumar - August 31st 2017

Tropical Storm Harvey’s impact on the energy industry spread worldwide as flooded U.S. refiners and closed fuel pipelines threatened to squeeze national supply, roiling global fuel markets and rerouting millions of barrels of fuel to the Americas to avert shortages.

The storm, which lashed Louisiana with rain on Thursday, has pummeled the U.S. Gulf Coast, immersing Houston, Texas, and the surrounding area in several feet of water and forcing the closure of about a quarter of U.S. refining capacity.

Benchmark U.S. gasoline prices RBc1 and margins RBc1-Clc1 surged anew on Thursday.

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Harvey’s Toll on Energy Industry Shows a Texas Vulnerability

A vessel, the Signet Enterprise, sinking on Saturday near Port Aransas, Tex.; its crew was rescued. The narrow shipping channel near Port Aransas may be the most threatened choke point on the Gulf Coast. Credit U.S. Coast Guard, via Getty Images

Image: A vessel, the Signet Enterprise, sinking on Saturday near Port Aransas, Tex.; its crew was rescued. The narrow shipping channel near Port Aransas may be the most threatened choke point on the Gulf Coast. Credit U.S. Coast Guard, via Getty Images

nytimes.com - Clifford Krauss and Hiroko Tabuchi - August 29th 2017

For years, much of the nation’s refinery capacity and chemical production have been concentrated along the swamps and narrow inlets of the Gulf of Mexico, risking devastation in a monster storm.

The pounding being endured by coastal Texas will probably be the biggest test of that risk so far, and energy experts say it raises questions about the area’s role as a hub for such crucial and environmentally sensitive industries.

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Beaumont water system knocked out by rising floodwaters

Keith Delahoussaye puts single bottles of water into a box after grabbing them from the cooler at a Beaumont convenience store early Thursday morning.    Photo/Scott Eslinger-KBMT

Image: Keith Delahoussaye puts single bottles of water into a box after grabbing them from the cooler at a Beaumont convenience store early Thursday morning.    Photo/Scott Eslinger-KBMT

12newsnow.com - August 31st 2017

The City of Beaumont has lost it's water supply after rising waters due to Tropical Storm Harvey knocked out the systems main input pump.

The city of Beaumont is anticipated to lose water pressure in the system in the next three to four hours according to a release from the City of Beaumont.

As news of the water system spread people began buying up water wherever they could find it.

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Failed Levee Near Taylor Bayou Could Compromise Portion of Jefferson County - Texas

A hole in the basin near Taylor Bayou created a shift in the dirt and the wall where the levee exists, County Judge Jeff Branick tells KFDM/KBTV. It is not clear what caused the hole. There is no timetable for repairs but workers are attempting a temporary fix. They were building a pad at the levee late Monday morning. There is also no official cost estimate of the fix. The levee is close to the Valero docks. (KFDM/KBTV photo)

kfdm.com - by Angel San Juan and Brandon Scott - August 7, 2017

A failed levee near Taylor Bayou could compromise a portion of Jefferson County south of Beaumont - mainly Port Arthur and its surrounding refineries - if a tropical storm or hurricane hit the area, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In a news release dated Aug. 4, the Corps states it was notified by Jefferson County Drainage District-7 of a failure of a section of floodwall near Taylor Bayou last Tuesday morning.

A hole in the basin created a shift in the dirt and the wall where the levee exists, County Judge Jeff Branick tells KFDM/KBTV.

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Climate Change Refugees - Houma Sugar Farms are Finalists for Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement

           

A sugar cane farm known as the Evergreen property is one of two resettlement sites under consideration for the residents of Isle de Jean Charles, a rapidly-disappearing island on Louisiana's coast. (Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Office of Community Development)

nola.com - by Tristan Baurick - July 18, 2017

The people of Isle de Jean Charles will likely trade their sinking island for a sugar farm 40 miles inland. An experimental program aimed at transplanting the small community in coastal Louisiana to safer ground has narrowed its search from 16 properties to two large farms north of Houma in rural Terrebonne Parish.

Last year, Isle de Jean Charles became the first community in the U.S. to receive federal assistance for a large-scale retreat from the impacts of climate change.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLES WITHIN THE LINKS BELOW . . .

CLICK HERE - $7.7 million will pay for flood, climate resilience studies in Louisiana

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Haitians Found at Sea Show Dire Conditions Could Worsen on Island Nation

reuters.com - by Sebastien Malo - July 13, 2017

U.S. authorities sent home some 100 Haitian immigrants discovered on a rickety boat this week, the most found at sea in more than a year and a sign of more people likely to flee the impoverished island, advocates said on Thursday.

Haitians are struggling to survive a homeland devastated by natural disasters and disease, and the situation could worsen if U.S. officials return home more than 50,000 Haitians in the United States on temporary visas, they said.

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has cast uncertainty over whether to extend a special immigration status that has been granted to Haitians since a 2010 earthquake.

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Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction Event Under Way, Scientists Warn

Researchers talk of ‘biological annihilation’ as study reveals billions of populations of animals have been lost in recent decades

           

Earth already in midst of sixth mass extinction, scientists say

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - PNAS - Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington - July 10, 2017

A “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research.

Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost . . . 

 . . . “All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life” . . . 

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Here’s the public evidence that supports the idea that Russia interfered in the 2016 election

washingtonpost.com - by Philip Bump - July 6, 2017

. . . “I think it was Russia,” Trump said, “but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.”

There’s a lot packed into that statement: a cursory acceptance of the consensus view that Russia was involved, a shadow of doubt overlaid with the idea that Russia didn’t act alone, and a blanket shrug at the idea that the truth was really knowable . . .

. . . we’ve cobbled together the publicly available information to demonstrate why a layperson might have reasonable confidence that Russia was behind the election hacks — even if Trump, with access to a fuller set of information, does not concur.

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