September 17, 2014 archive
Sep 17 2014
Sep 17 2014
I have one really good article on an idea that Utah put into effect a few years ago that is working. Now if we can only get more places to jump on this bandwagon…
In 2005, Utah set out to fix a problem that’s often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness. The state had almost two thousand chronically homeless people. Most of them had mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or both. At the time, the standard approach was to try to make homeless people “housing ready”: first, you got people into shelters or halfway houses and put them into treatment; only when they made progress could they get a chance at permanent housing. Utah, though, embraced a different strategy, called Housing First: it started by just giving the homeless homes.
Sep 17 2014
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
September is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 105 days remaining until the end of the year.
On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was signed. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states. Beginning on December 7, five states–Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut–ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.
On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution–the Bill of Rights–and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified in 1791. In November 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Rhode Island, which opposed federal control of currency and was critical of compromise on the issue of slavery, resisted ratifying the Constitution until the U.S. government threatened to sever commercial relations with the state. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original 13 colonies joined the United States. Today, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.
Sep 17 2014
Scientists Find ‘Direct Link’ Between Earthquakes And Process Used For Oil And Gas Drilling
by Emily Atkin, Think Progress
September 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm
A team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have found evidence “directly linking” the uptick in Colorado and New Mexico earthquakes since 2001 to wastewater injection, a process widely used in the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and conventional drilling.
In a study (.PDF) to be published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America on Tuesday, the scientists presented “several lines of evidence (that) suggest the earthquakes in the area are directly related to the disposal of wastewater” deep underground, according to a BSSA press release. Fracking and conventional natural gas companies routinely dispose of large amounts of wastewater underground after drilling. During fracking, the water is mixed with chemicals and sand, to “fracture” underground shale rock formations and make gas easier to extract.
For their research, the four California-based USGS scientists monitored the 2,200 square mile Raton Basin, which goes from southern Colorado into New Mexico. They pointed out that the Basin had been “seismically quiet” until 1999, when companies began “major fluid injection” deep into the ground. Earthquakes began in 2001 when Colorado wastewater injection rates were under 600,000 barrels per month, and and since then there have been 16 earthquakes that could be considered large (above a magnitude of 3.8, including two over a 5.0 magnitude), compared with only one – a 4.0 magnitude quake – in the 30 years prior.
“These earthquakes are limited to the area of fluid injection, they occur shortly after major fluid injection activities began, and the earthquake rates track the fluid injection rates in the Raton Basin,” the paper said, noting the scientists’ comparisons of the timing and location of earthquakes with the timing and location of injected wastewater. By the mid-2000s, Colorado’s wastewater injection rates were up to 1.9 million barrels per month.
Taking that and the unexpected frequency of the earthquakes into consideration, the paper noted that it was “highly unlikely” that the quakes could have been due to any random fluctuations underground.
“Detailed investigations of two seismic sequences places them in proximity to high-volume, high-injection-rate wells, and both sequences occurred after a nearby increase in the rate of injection,” the study’s accompanying press release said. “A comparison between seismicity and wastewater injection in Colorado and New Mexico reveals similar patterns, suggesting seismicity is initiated shortly after an increase in injection rates.”