In the ‘Toilet’

October 2, 2011

Environmental disasters are nothing new, neither are financial disasters, and both are man made for the way-most part.

The on-going ‘Occupy Wall Street’ demonstration, which is gaining a shitload of traction the last few days, netted 700-plus arrests yesterday when protestors tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge — the spark from New York has jumped to Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington.

(Illustration found here).

And what are all these people mad about?
Could it be these assholes on Wall Street are dragging the US and the world into a financial toilet.
Economic shit interpreted by experts at The Bonddad Blog yesterday:

One consumer confidence measure showed slight improvement, but the other continued to decline, as did the forward looking expectations gauge.
Personal income also declined, and spending was up no more than inflation.
Many of these measures owe their recent cliff-diving to the Washington debt debacle.
Not coincidentally the ECRI forecasting service made an official call that a new recession was about to begin.
So congratulations are in order for those Beltway participants who wanted to induce a new recession for their own partisan gain.
May they go to a deeper ring of hell.

And Wall Street can take a kick in the ass for those rising food prices, too.
When you suck one hole dry, move to the next one, in this case it’s the commodities market.
From the UK’s The Guardian:

Financial speculators now account for more than 60 percent of some agricultural futures and options markets, compared to just 12 percent 15 years ago, the development group (the World Development Movement) says.
Those with direct commercial interests in food production used to be the main participants, but now hold less than 40 percent of the market compared with 88 percent in 1996.
The result is that agricultural markets no longer respond to underlying fundamentals of supply and demand and fail to provide producers with an effective way to hedge their risks.

In other words, a financial disaster with far-reaching consequences — no wonder a lot of people are way-pissed.

When one speaks of the financial markets going into the toilet, it’s not in a literal sense, but another way of saying we’re in the shits, heading for big, big trouble.
And how about a real-time toilet, one that is physical and where civilized people go #1, and at least once a day for good health, go #2?
This physical shitter is the ass-end of a big river near the middle of the US.
Via Raw Story:

Jeremy Jackson, Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, described the mouth of the Mississippi as “the bowl of the toilet of North America” during a speech at the California Academy of Sciences in September.
He explained that the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was only one of many environmental disasters already occurring.
“You can’t really understand this oil spill or put it in perspective unless you know the history of the northern Gulf of Mexico, which is one of the most depressing stories in American environmental history,” he said.
So much fertilizer has seeped into the Mississippi river that it has created a dead zone — a large area in the Gulf of Mexico with no oxygen.
“All of this phosphorus and nitrogen, in incredible, mind-boggling qualities, comes down the river and gets dumped into the Gulf of Mexico,” Jackson said.

And this another news story that hasn’t gained much media attention — that ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf, which by virtue of its existence has become a toilet.
This thing is huge and growing.
Oceanography professor Steve DiMarco and a crew toured the area last summer and in a report via ScienceDaily revealed an ongoing catastrophic disaster:

DiMarco says the size of the dead zone off coastal Louisiana has been routinely monitored for about 25 years.
Previous research has also shown that nitrogen levels in the Gulf related to human activities have tripled over the past 50 years.
During the past five years, the dead zone has averaged about 5,800 square miles and has been predicted to exceed 9,400 square miles this year, which would make it one of the largest ever recorded, according to the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

This zone, also called a hypoxic zone, erupts in the springtime — a little natural, and lot man made — and reaches its peak in August then recedes in the fall, when nitrogen levels in water diminish.
It’s caused by the growth of massive quantities of algae known as algal blooms, which are fed by by fertilizer, sewage and other pollutants entering the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, both of which are fed by bodies of water from around the country.
Especially phosphorus and nitrogen, which come from those fertilizers.

Meanwhile, that other big Gulf story — BP’s oil spill last year — continues to behave badly.
From the New York Times Green blog: A minnowlike fish that is a major source of food in wetland marshes along the Gulf of Mexico is showing early signs of biological damage from the BP oil spill, a peer-reviewed study published on Monday found.

The Gulf of Mexico might be renamed the Dead Gulf in a few years.
If you want, read my post on growing up on the Gulf during the 1960s.

And watch those nasty toilet seats, they carry bad shit.

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