Tag: Petroleum

The Preamble; Fix it or Nix It?

Transportation Without Petroleum or Biofuels

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

At present, oil saturates the Gulf Stream.  An official six-month cessation of permits for new drilling did not actually affect the industry or government decisions.  Despite Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead.  To explain such an authorization and waiver, the Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Services Division which regulates drilling, pointed to public statements by Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar.  He did not intend to forbid all first cuts in the Earth’s crust.  Absolutely not.  The Federal Government approved wells off the coast of Louisiana in June. Regardless of the day, or realities that are anathema to our citizenry, little has truly changed.  Today, just as in yesteryear, we, the people of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect Union, polish policies to appear as though our civilization would wish to protect and defend all beings, equally.  

Mother Earth to Millions, We Have a Problem

Oil Booms & Bird Habitat – NWF visits important bird rookery

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Americans acknowledge there is a problem.  Petroleum pours out from a broken pipe.  Thousands of barrels of fuel flow freely through the Gulf of Mexico, just as they have for more than a month.  Plants, animals, and people are affected.  People express distress.  Millions are dismayed. What can BP do. Indeed what can any company or citizens do? Most call upon the President. Mister Obama, the electorate pleads, please, protect us.  These same citizens ignore that the protection we need is from ourselves.  Our present circumstances are a reflection of our past.  Many Americans have forgotten an earlier time, when another of this country’s Chief Executives attempted to avoid the nightmare we experience today.

Pique the Geek 20091108. Distillation, not Just for Beverages

Distillation is a technique of “squeezing” out the essence of a given material (or series of thoughts to one or a few abstractions) into a concentrated product.  The term is from the Latin, distillo, from the combining term de, meaning “down” and the noun stilla, a drop.  Thus, distilled water is literally a drop of water coming down something.  Taken to the extreme, distilled water literally means “a coming down drop of water that is water”.  That does not fit with the modern usage, but is illustrative.

Aristotle, with all of his faults, noted that seawater, boilt under cool sponges, would yield fresh water when the sponges were pressed.  Distillation was known in the ancient world, but not much used except for preparing “medical” remedies, most of them toxic, in a manner that I will describe to you later, in a more modern form.

Actually, the earth is a huge still, with the water cycle reproducing exactly, but on a massive scale, what goes on in an industrial or laboratory still.  Heating, evaporation, segregation of components, and condensation are all essential parts of distillation, and our planet does it well.  Without that process, the planet would not be recognizable.