Sitting in a hotel room in Ottawa tonight, wondering if I will make that connection in Detroit tomorrow. Right now the airport there is at a standstill due to the snow.
As I mentioned in the previous essay, I have been keeping up with the energy headlines, flagging several stories for comment when I found some time. One of the stories I had flagged to comment on was one I spotted a few days ago:
Nature inadvertently produces its own oil spills
Probably when we think of oil spills, the Exxon Valdez comes to mind very quickly. It’s one of the big reasons many of us associate oil usage with pollution. Those images of oil covered birds tend to stick with us.
When I was reading Oil on the Brain, (a book I reviewed here) one of the surprising claims the author made was that drivers and boaters spill more oil every year than was spilled in the Exxon Valdez incident. Every year.
The story above breaks some of the relative numbers down. It says that the source of oil spilled in U.S. waters each year has been estimated as follows:
- Petroleum exploration and extraction – 1% of the total
- Spillage from ships – 3%
- Land runoff (e.g., from vehicles, boats, and lawnmowers) – 31%
- Natural seepage (e.g., the La Brea Tar Pits) – 61%
Personally, I think those numbers amount to a huge disconnect relative to the view most of us have on oil that ends up in our waterways. Of course that is not to downplay the impact of oil spills. The biggest issue with oil spills is that there is a large volume all at once. If you spill a few drops at the pump, you aren’t going to produce birds covered with oil.
But if those numbers are correct, the cumulative drops we all spill each year add up to about 10 times the oil that is spilled from ships. Amazing.
35 thoughts on “An Exxon Valdez Every Year”
Wouldn't spillage from loading unloading rail and highway tankers, accidents and spillage from refineries and leaky commercial storage be the substantial portion of land run-off? How about rusty steel tanks at every older gas station?
Naw… it's lawnmowers 🙂
Interestingly enough, Bob, I was just thinking about you today. I happen to be in Canada, and I was thinking that you hadn't commented in a while.
I don't know how they went about trying to estimate those relative amounts. I tried to get the original paper, but I haven't found it yet.
Going from memory, I recall reading a claim years ago that the number of birds killed by the Exxon Valdez spill was less than the number killed every day in the US by flying into plate glass windows. No idea of the provenance of that stat. But I note that it was before all Kinu's "bird whackers" were built, casting the Exxon Valdez in an even better light.
All oil floats on water. Even extra virgin olive oil which we consume via several of our food products from french fries to fried chicken to salad dressing.
Uncombusted hydrocarbon oils are coming out of our auto & truck tailpipes and industrial smokestacks. These oils immediately phase-separate into the sky as a daily oil spill.
These atmospheric oil spills are really no different than a big oceanic oil spill such as that which occurred in the Prince William Sound of Alaska tarring Exxon that time.
We see and breathe and get sick from this daily oil spill in the sky as brown urban smog. Smog now blows between continents.
RR, I think that greatest amount of oil spilled into water bodies each year is what is coming out the tailpipes and smokestacks as simply uncombusted hydrocarbon elements because of a lack of true combustion efficiencies…
I also believe this these oilspills into the blue planet's skies are the precursor to climate change phenomenah.
Maybe the planetary quick fix here is no more difficult than to integrate an OH into the liquid fuel supply on a per molecule basis — thus converting float-on-water oils into water soluble, biodegradable fuel alcohols.
Just my 2¢ worth. Thanks for bringing up this topic…
Ironically one of the largest natural seeps in the world is on the Santa Barbara coast, where the 1969 spill gave birth to the environmental movement.
The Valdez was pretty chicken feed as tanker spills go, too. List of oil spills.
think the right reference is probably the 2003 NAS rpt – Oil in the Sea III . Free summary at http://books.nap.edu/html/oil_in_the_sea/reportbrief.pdf
Folks can tend to get a little too excited about the 'Valdez every year'. Always remember 'the dose makes the poison'. It's silly to compare a point source 'catastrophic' release of 10 million gallons with a highly diffuse daily cumulative 'spill' over the entire urbanized area of the US. Yes, we should try to minimize the overall amount of these small releases, but also recall that hydrocarbons like gasoline are very biodegradable, and that's what happens to most of that diffuse 'spillage'. I would argue that there is very little actual environmental degradation from these diffuse 'spills'. Bigger problem is the runoff of PNAs etc from the sealcoat of parking lots. If we use about 200 bil gal of transportation fuel each year, and 'spill' 11 million gallons (~0.005% or 1 out of every 20,000 gallons) is the glass half full or half empty?
but also recall that hydrocarbons like gasoline are very biodegradable, and that's what happens to most of that diffuse 'spillage'.
Please extrapolate some more regarding your words above from the last post. I (and others) would like to better understand any specifics regarding what you are talking about here.
Just how is hydrocarbon gasoline is actually bieodegradable?
I thought that it floated on rivers and sometimes caught fire…
And is it "urban smog" which you are classifying as "diffuse spillage?"
I'm a bit confused with your published remarks. Many thanks.
RE biodegradation of gasoline – Just Google 'gasoline biodegradation' and you can come up with hundreds of literature citations. Microorganisms love it as an energy source (in small doses). As I noted, the dose makes the poison. If you spill 1000 gallons of gasoline on a river it will indeed float downstream (and simultaneously it will volatilize and some will biodegrade). Conversely, the kind of gasoline 'diffuse spillage' referred to in the original article (land runoff) refers to the drips of water coming out of your tailpipe with dissolved gasoline hydrocarbons, to the drips of lubricating oil that you can see on the highway and parking lots, the drips from careless consumers filling their cars at gasoline stations. Indeed, these are 'spills', but they are very very small spills of gasoline, and most of it volatilizes into the atmosphere. Very little of that gets 'washed out' of the atmosphere by rainfall. Whatever does is dissolved in the rainfall and will not float. Most of the gasoline that is volatilized gets transformed by photochemical reactions. And of course some of that contributes to 'smog' but it is a pretty small contribution relative to other sources.
Think I just found my new car. And it reminded me of one of those European innovations that someone here was gripin' didn't exist: Common Rail Diesel. R&D'd in its modern form in Switzerland and Italy (by Fiat), implemented by Bosch in Germany. It's revolutionised European diesel cars in the last ten years. My new one does 65 mpg combined urban/extra-urban.
Most of the oil spilled comes from the leaky engines of the hundreds of millions of cars and trucks traveling on our roads.
The next time you travel on any highway or Interstate, look closely at the road surface. In front of every dip or bump in the road you will see a dark spot. Those are from drips of oil that get jarred off the engine and crankcase when a car hits the bump or dip.
Multiply the 254 million cars and 110 million trucks and the hundreds of millions drips of oil they drop by the 5.7 million miles of paved roadway in the U.S. and you get a lot of spilled oil, although as Robert said, it's not all in one place.
Oxy: Thank you for your more detailed explanations of how gasoline biodegrades into the natural environment. I've googled the terms you suggested and now can read how certain species of biobugs can handle a bit of gasoline spilled in soils. I'll read further…
On the personal experience-side of this spectrum, I've never lived along one of those rivers that has caught fire when too many hydrocarbons were dumped into it. Yet I've witnessed video news reports and still pictures of the carnage.
About 30 years ago I was once plagued in an urban setting with Canadian Thistle which wouldn't go away. Every time this sticker-bush was chopped down at ground level and exposing a 1-inch thick white tap root, it would always regenerate and come back up as an even nastier sticker bush once again.
After some experimentation, the herbicide of choice was to pour about one ounce of gasoline on this exposed white tap root. Then it quickly shriveled and didn't regenerate. Nothing else except gasoline seemed to kill this weedy tap root rather decisively.
My own experience with refined hydrocarbons (which are devoid of oxygen) can be summed up as "not-easily" biodegradable substances. In fact, they seem to persist.
Again, I appreciate your more detailed clarification.
Cliff/Oxy, The technical term is called "bioremediation", and it is a well established science now ( I used to do this for a living). When the oil is in the soil, as long as there is some oxygen available, soil bacteria will eat the stuff.
Oxygen transfer is limited under concrete/ pavement, but where the water can infiltrate, so can air, though slowly, You can speed up the process by adding oxygen through either aerated water, or sparging air directly into the ground.
When there is has been a concentrated spill, you often have free phase oil/gasoline, called "free product", and the remediation only occurs at the fringes. But you can recover, and sometimes re-use this product.
Biggest project I ever worked on was cleaning up a spill of one million litres of heating oil at an aluminium smelter. Created an underground "lake" of oil floating on the water table of five acres, under half the buildings. Recovered 60% of the product and then started the remediation. This was 15 yrs ago, and it was all gone five years ago/
Unaided, the process takes decades, but it can be speeded up many orders of magnitude. Excavated, mulched and aerated, the cleanup is like composting, and can be completed in weeks.
Believe it or not, a cleaned up soil can be better than it was to start with, as it will contain more residual organic matter.
Except, of course, if it is an old spill/leak of leaded fuel – then the soil,and possibly groundwater, is poisoned forever.
For the same reason, soil at the edges of highways is often lead contaminated from leaked engine oil and exhaust residues.
“I tried to get the original paper, but I haven't found it yet.”
It is an annual EPA report. If you read it skip the executive summary because you will only get the agenda of EPA folks who sound like Cliff. For example,
“drivers and boaters spill”
There are some folks at the EPA who hate boaters. The numbers for boaters is very small and it is just an estimated calculation anyway. If there is a group of people who like clean water, it is boaters. We are very careful with fuel and oil.
Read the EPA report as if you are looking job opportunities in "bioremediation" and cleanup. One interesting case study was at an Air Force base. The dug up the legacy spills and piled the dirt into 'compost' piles. After sampling the soil, they set about developing a "bioremediation" plan for EPA approval. Some time later they sampled the soil and natural occurring bacteria had already completed the "bioremediation".
For the record, the Gulf War 'spill' was not a spill at all but an intentional act. I was taking a environmental class at UC Davis at the time. We were not sure the professor would show up. He was a Navy captain and had been called up to active duty. He arrived from the airport in dress whites. Two days earlier he had been helo'd out to observe the spill. The models were wrong.
Cliff you will be happy to know that the Cuyahoga no longer catches fire and now is a new National Park.
This where my father went swimming on his grandparents farm in the 20s and 30s. We are not doing things the way they did 60 years ago.
Last summer we took our youngest to see the small town where I was born and then drove along the western end of Lake Erie where I worked when the older kids were his age in the 80s. At that time conditions has improved to allow fishing and swimming. Now it it a lot better.
Lots of improvements have been made over the years. Industry has learned that not spilling oil is a lot cheaper than "bioremediation". The left coast power plants I worked at zero release permits for oil. I have been on my hands an knees with a sponge dabbing up oil off the retention ponds. Me and a hundred other people for about 6 hours. That was a very expensive bit of oil
It used to cost $1200 per drum to send contaminated soil to be burned and if it gets into ground or surface water even more. How much soil and water can a gallon of diesel fuel contaminate?
“We see and breathe and get sick from this daily oil spill in the sky as brown urban smog.”
Who is we? I do not see any smog. Where do you live Cliff?
Cliff is living in the past. Except for a few places like the LA basin, US air quality is good almost all the time. Even there pollution does not make you sick but may make an existing condition worse.
Thanks to nature air and our health will never be perfect. A magic wand is not one of the tools engineers can use.
So Cliff before you go describing how terrible things were, look around a enjoy how things are.
I'd like to see how this rate of input compares to the ability of ecosystems to absorb the input.
Does the does the rough doubling of the natural rate from sources attributable to man push far past that limit? Or not even approach it?
I'm sure the answer would depend on how widely you define the borders of the system to be studied. Nevertheless, like alcohol into the human body, toxicity is defined by dose for oil spills and the environment. There'd be a lower limit below which it would be inefficient for us to try to reduce our contribution.
@KitP – Maybe you are the only person that thinks the atmosphere around the world is cleaner than ever?
The only person in the US that thinks there is no air pollution or that it is less than ever?
BTW – İ have worked with natural gas – larger volumes daily than you imagine İ suppose and for many years – without burning my eyebrows off or blowing anything up either.
İ sacked people once in a while for doing things in an unsafe manner with gas – same as for unsafe acts with electricity.
Nothing is perfectly safe if you want to look at it that way – but natural gas is as safe as any other fuel and safer than most. How more people are injured by electricity each year?
İ am impressed with the apparently high security work you did after 9/11 – Wow!
Always remember 'the dose makes the poison'. It's silly to compare a point source 'catastrophic' release of 10 million gallons with a highly diffuse daily cumulative 'spill' over the entire urbanized area of the US.
Thanks for that contribution, especially the truism on poison.
While I have not personally seen a river on fire I have lived adjacent to one that stunk to high heaven and reportedly killed fish.
That river was the Hudson River of the early '60's. Sometimes I don't think people have a rational perspective, but a irrational one.
“There'd be a lower limit below which it would be inefficient for us to try to reduce our contribution.”
This concept is called ALARA or as low as reasonably achievable.
Unfortunately there are many examples of exceeding 'the ability of ecosystems to absorb the input' for things like mercury and lead. Standards were established reducing the input. We are now seeing a decrease in the environmental concentration of those below a hazard threshold (no adverse effects detected) but it takes a long time. If nature removes a pollutant quickly it may never have become a problem.
Mercury is an interesting example. By regulating the largest sources such as smelting and waste incinerators, the environmental concentration of those below a hazard threshold. So technically the problem is solved. Now the largest source of mercury is burning certain certain types of coal.
Technology for removing mercury from coal plants has improved so now it is reasonably achievable to lower the amount of mercury from making electricity.
Could I get your to read more carefully?
Did you sack any teenagers in the 60s? My point is that you advocate the use of natural gas for the general public.
“How more people are injured by electricity each year?”
My house only has electricity. Are you saying that your house only has NG or do you have both hazards?
“but natural gas is as safe as any other fuel and safer than most”
I have worked at facilitates that use NG. No problems using it safely or meeting safety standards. The problem with ubiquitous energy sources is that a false sense if security is established. I think uranium and coal are safer fuels. Zero is the number of fatalities in the US from handling uranium. Coal dust represent a explosive hazard too but I do not know the statistics.
Keep in mind that the recent accident that killed 5 workers was construction accident. No excuse but a different set of hazards.
“The only person in the US that thinks there is no air pollution or that it is less than ever?”
Russ has said this before. I do not know what everyone in the US thinks and it is not what I think. The US air quality almost every place and almost all the time is good. I remember air quality being much worse in the 60s. Good is a descriptive term used by the US EPA.
Russ your you saying this is not a true statement. Is there something misleading about it?
Here is a link Russ: http://www.airnow.gov/
I would seem that Russ thinks an explosive gas that instantly kills people is 'perfectly safe' and good air quality means 'no pollution'.
So Russ I can show you how to improve on dead workers but I will have a hard time improving good air quality. I am interested in making the part of the world where I live a better place. Russ is happy with an explosive gas in house. I suspect Russ lives some place where the air quality is poor and life is cheap. Russ is complacent about lower standards.
That smell was mostly like coming from an over taxed sewage treatment plant. Sewage lagoons were commonly used because they are cheap to build and operate but they take up large amounts of space. This is fine for a small town until it becomes a small city. It was also common to let a sewage treatment plant overflow after a heavy rain. The bacteria use up all the oxygen and it is the anaerobic digestion that you smell. Without oxygen, the fish die.
Raw sewage is very dangerous. Cholera epidemics come to mind.
This is a different issue from industrial pollution. Both problems require expensive capital improvements that everyone resists until the problem becomes intolerable.
The images of an oil tanker spill has become of those intolerable problem. Oil runoff from a million cars not a intolerable problem for the public but lots of expensive fixes are occurring in the public sector. Ask someone designing a new parking lot.
PeteS wrote: "it reminded me of one of those European innovations that someone here was gripin' didn't exist"
Yes Pete, it surely did. You may be proud of a European innovation which delivers 65 miles per gallon (in a shopping cart). Some of us are still trying to reconcile the fuel-sipping nature of your new car with the knowledge that, if a US resident wants to buy a vehicle which gets 10 miles per gallon or less, he is forced to buy European – the world's only surviving manufacturers of gas guzzlers.
The main focus of my continuing gripe is not that Europeans are hypocritical tossers, it is the US residents who imagine that high taxes on (other people's) fuels are the route to nirvanah.
Those poor EUrophiliacs never address the general lack of innovation from high-tax Europe — yes, you gave the world common rail diesel, but you have not given the world mass produced Compressed Natural Gas vehicles, or electric vehicles, or anything else. Hell, even the humble hybrid was not raised in Europe.
Interestingly, EUtopian society is so messed up that it cannot even match the Former Soviet Union. While EUros get excited about small improvements in mpg, the former Soviets found a way to double and triple vehicle efficiency — informal cheap ride-sharing. Now that is a real step change in fuel efficiency!
The main point is that Europe does not have much to teach the world about energy — except for the counter-intuitive (but undeniable) point that high energy taxes do not automatically stimulate significant innovations.
So how are we to stimulate real innovation?
The biggest problem I can see in the Euros' Diesel scheme is: you can get almost twice as much gasoline from a barrel of oil as diesel.
True, diesel has more energy content; but you can throw 30%, or so, ethanol in with the gasoline, and crank the compression up to the treetops, thus attaining almost diesel-like efficiency.
Also, it looks like the gasoline users will have a bit of an easier time achieving a substantial amount of biofuel extenders. Starchy plants just have a wider range than oil plants, and, generally lend themselves more easily to mechanized production.
Kinuachdrach – you're making me smile again. Regarding the shopping cart, ok it's not the handsomest vehicle ever, but it's not bloody bad for a 65 mpg shopping cart either.
"if a US resident wants to buy a vehicle which gets 10 miles per gallon or less, he is forced to buy European – the world's only surviving manufacturers of gas guzzlers."
Sounds like the magnanimous EUnuchs are still giving Americans what they want then, in spite of gripes like that. 🙂
"you have not given the world mass produced Compressed Natural Gas vehicles, or electric vehicles, or anything else."
I guess we're too busy giving the world what it wants — high mileage cars that you can fill up at any filling station in the land. While you wait (another) twenty years for U(SA)topia to deliver an infrastructure to distribute CNG or rapid recharging points, we'll keep driving the high mpg shopping carts, ta very much.
"the former Soviets found a way to double and triple vehicle efficiency — informal cheap ride-sharing. Now that is a real step change in fuel efficiency!"
That's certainly the way to do it if society is prepared to adapt. Again, we'll keep driving the shopping carts while Americans in HOV lanes drape coats over the broom handles propped up in their passenger seats.
"the counter-intuitive (but undeniable) point that high energy taxes do not automatically stimulate significant innovations."
Sorry for speaking out of order. Shall I ping you again when we hit 90 mpg?
"So how are we to stimulate real innovation?"
Sounds like you'll need to torture the American public into Soviet-style conservation. Over here we'll try to make do with our comfy shopping carts.
If ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it: a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon. Oh yes, and the car is made by Ford Motor (F), known widely for lumbering gas hogs.
Ford's 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic goes on sale in November. But here's the catch: Despite the car's potential to transform Ford's image and help it compete with Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) in its home market, the company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe. "We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.
You neglected to mention what that shopping car costs and how many sheets of plywood it holds. Very high mileage is only important and carpooling are only important when you drive a lot. I thought all you Euro trash liked to live on top of each other and mind each others business.
If you want to live in an unproductive society that works 10 hours a week and taxes most folks out of being able to own a car at all fine. I prefer to allow productive power plant operators and coal miners to drive big PU to work. Adding corn ethanol to the mix now allows farmers to buy new trucks.
It is about production.
Times are changing Kit. When I was 16,I wanted a muscle car. My sons' dream car was a '94 Civic. It cost him $3000. Looked like new and ran like a charm. Naturally,he had to paint it and change everything to his liking. The funny thing is,with the engine he dropped into it,it'll smoke most muscle cars on the road. And get 3X the mileage to boot. Kids nowadays like to modify rice burners. Us old farts still like something roomy with power.
"I thought all you Euro trash liked to live on top of each other and mind each others business. If you want to live in an unproductive society that works 10 hours a week and taxes most folks out of being able to own a car at all fine."
You'd have to ask the mainland Eurotrash about that. On my little piece of North Atlantic flotsam, we have more suburban sprawl than a sprawly US city, commute further on average than Americans, and work similar hours. We are one place behind you on the list of all countries' PPP-adjusted GDP per capita.
@KitP – 'I thought all you Euro trash liked to live on top of each other and mind each others business.'
Very nice Kit P – Your comment to Pete S shows real class!
İn many places around the world the working stiff puts in as many and more hours than in the US any more – typically for less money.
Your knowledge of gas safety is modest at best. Maybe you feel left behind by the world so are getting old and grouchy?
Your view of life and the world is really strange!
“We are one place behind you on the list of all countries' PPP-adjusted GDP per capita.”
Another one of those things that I do not consider a problem but a good thing. Not a good as small town and rural living. I think what is best is when people have the freedom to choose how they live.
“Your knowledge of gas safety is modest at best.”
Just as good as it needs to be. Little weak on hand gun safety, hunting safety, bungee jumping safety, ski diving safety, and nuclear weapon safety.
On the other had I am very strong at what I need to do and what I enjoy doing. Since nuclear safety pays better I do not need to know much about NG. Of course hydrogen is present at all power plants so knowing about that is very important. Then there is N2, H2S, high pressure steam, high voltage, and rotating equipment. Very good at all those things.
Also very good at spotting those who are not Russ. So Russ, go ahead and use natural gas in your house.
I will keep telling people that I think not having NG is better.
The Santa Barbara Channel seeps a Valdez equivalent every 3-4 years or so. Local residents seem to be surviving!
There have been about 7200 wells drilled offshore California. There has only been one significant spill, and that was 41 years ago. But to read the local papers, you'd think a major spill is a natural consequence of drilling. The average guy on the street (or let's say the average local politician) would probably put the odds of a major spill at more than 50/50.
The average politician in Santa Barbara wants to ban dihydrogen oxide because it is so dangerous and is a powerful ghg. The nuke plant has I worked at in California had a zero release permit for oil but that did not cars in the parking lot.
Clearly the logical answer is to bad driving to and in Santa Barbara. Of course Santa Barbara is dependent on tourism, so driving is essential to the economy of Santa Barbara.
California officially promotes the use of NG because it clean and safe while essentially banning coal and new nukes. Well NG is not clean and safe. The words 'clean', 'safe' and 'green' are meaningless if they are not defined in context.
Russ point out that it is when regulations are followed NG is clean and safe when compared to other fuels but the same is true for coal, nukes, and off shore oil drilling.
Again the cleanest and safest energy source for home use is electricity produced by professionals some place else. In general, heating with biomass is the worse followed by coal. Oil replaces coal, then NG replace oil.
My environment is clean and beautiful. By house is state of the art. I am working my dream job to finish my career. I do get grouchy when people live in the past and in a cesspool tell me how terrible life is. Sure it is from their perspective but that can be changed. I also get grouchy when people in beautiful places like Santa Barbara think I want wind farms in by backyard while opposing local energy production.
The average politician in Santa Barbara wants to ban dihydrogen oxide because it is so dangerous and is a powerful ghg.
You're too funny. (Actually there is an entire website dedicated to the dangers of that chemical.)
Frequently Asked Questions About Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)
Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol.
What are some uses of Dihydrogen Monoxide?
Despite the known dangers of DHMO, it continues to be used daily by industry, government, and even in private homes across the U.S. and worldwide. Some of the well-known uses of Dihydrogen Monoxide are:
* as an industrial solvent and coolant,
* in nuclear power plants,
* by the U.S. Navy in the propulsion systems of some older vessels,
* by elite athletes to improve performance,
* in the production of Styrofoam,
* in biological and chemical weapons manufacture,
* in the development of genetically engineering crops and animals,
* as a spray-on fire suppressant and retardant,
* in so-called "family planning" or "reproductive health" clinics,
* as a major ingredient in many home-brewed bombs,
* as a byproduct of hydrocarbon combustion in furnaces and air conditioning compressor operation,
* in cult rituals,
* by the Church of Scientology on their members and their members' families (although surprisingly, many members recently have contacted DHMO.org to vehemently deny such use),
* by both the KKK and the NAACP during rallies and marches,
* by members of Congress who are under investigation for financial corruption and inappropriate IM behavior,
* by the clientele at a number of bath houses in New York City and San Francisco,
* historically, in Hitler's death camps in Nazi Germany, and in prisons in Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Libya, Iraq and Iran,
* in World War II prison camps in Japan, and in prisons in China, for various forms of torture,
* during many recent religious and ethnic wars in the Middle East,
* by many terrorist organizations including al Quaeda,
* in community swimming pools to maintain chemical balance,
* in day care centers, purportedly for sanitary purposes,
* by software engineers, including those producing DICOM programmer APIs and other DICOM software tools,
* by popular computer science professors,
* by the semi-divine King Bhumibol of Thailand and his many devoted young working girls in Bangkok,
* by the British Chiropractic Association and the purveyors of the bogus treatments that the BCA promotes,
* by commodities giant Trafigura in their well-publicized and widely-known toxic-waste dumping activities in Ivory Coast,
* in animal research laboratories, and
* in pesticide production and distribution.
Actually, the problem is larger than you describe. When you consider marine vessels worldwide (such as container ships from Hong Kong to LA) the oil spilled is like fourteen(!) Exxon Valdez disasters every year. Even more alarming, this amount is legal. The International Maritime Organization allows ships to spill 3 quarts of oil per 100 tons of cargo, and up to 15 gallons per mile.
For more information, see my writeup of the problem and the solution on Accelerating Green:
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