Friday, May 20, 2011

Fracking – the ominous new word in the English language.

Anybody who has watched the ABC’s recent Four Corners Program about the coal seam gas industry in southern Queensland should be horrified. Farmers are becoming increasingly concerned about the rapid expansion of this industry in our state. The Queensland government has given the miners unfettered rights to enter private properties and start drilling for gas wherever they like. This is not only poisoning underground water, but destroying the livelihood of the farmers. It is absolutely frightening what is happening in Australia. Click on picture to enlarge!

The Queensland Labor Party has taken “civil rights” away from their citizens. Asset sales, forced water fluoridation, the Brigalow Corporation and now “Fracking,” (Coal Seam Gas industry) are part of the terrible legacy of the Queensland Labor party. GAS FRACKING is an IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING AUSTRALIANS RIGHT NOW. This will affect every Australian. Australia has been sold out to China for GAS (FRACKING); what is left behind, is poisoned land/water.
Growing concern over coal seam gas plans. click on the link below.

A short film by Ross Pepper
depicting the issues around Coal Seam Gas industry, particularly in the Tweed Valley. MUST WATCH! Click here.
See also the heartbreak gas mining has caused in the USA. “Firewater” from the kitchen taps. For those who haven’t seen “Gasland” on SBS, Watch the trailer please:
It is happening all across America - rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the ‘Saudi Arabia of natural gas’.

This film is about what comes out of the ground with that natural gas; how it affects our air and drinking water. GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor. When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money. - Werner
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Four Corners looks at the daily realities behind Queensland's burgeoning new coal seam gas industry, and meets farmers on the ground whose lives have unwittingly become caught up in the gas boom.

The company behind a $15 billion coal seam gas development
in Queensland is being investigated for damaging an underground water source within the Great Artesian Basin system, the recent Four Corners program reveals. Click here.

(Click on "play" on left side under: "We have shut the gate.")

The incident was uncovered by a
sleuthing Queensland farmer, Anne Bridle, as she investigated rumours of a fracking mishap near her beef and grain property in Dalby.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves blasting a mixture of water, sand and diluted chemicals into a well to help open coal seams, increasing gas production.

The problems arose when Queensland
Gas Company (QGC) fracked its Myrtle 3 well, connecting the Springbok aquifer to the coal seam below, the Walloon Coal Measures, in 2009.

Ms Bridle has raised several concerns: that chemicals used in the process - which included 130 litres of THPS - may have migrated into the water supply; that water from the different aquifers could intermingle, affecting the water quality; and also that water levels in the aquifer could fall.

The company did not alert authorities or nearby water users about the problem until 13 months after the incident.
"Ultimately there's no-one checking to see what happens under the ground. The accountability is not there," Mrs Bridle said.

Worried about her own cattle, she probed further but found the safety data sheet QGC had submitted for the fracking chemical THPS was American, incomplete and 10 years out of date.

Chemical management expert Mariann Lloyd-Smith also examined the documents and believes the company may be in breach of the national safety code governing toxic chemicals. Federal and state government regulators put a total of 1,500 conditions on QGC's Curtis LNG Project when they approved it late last year.
But Dr Lloyd-Smith believes the company's safety sheets - used in its recent Environment Authority application - are not up to scratch. Under a national code, safety data sheets on chemicals used must contain information on Australian emergency contacts and regulations and be written within the past five years.

QGC says it does not believe it has breached the regulations. After extensive testing, Mrs Brindle's cattle were cleared of any contamination - their water had come from a different aquifer.
In a statement, QGC said interconnectivity between the two bodies existed naturally before drilling. However, during drilling the company "unintentionally provided a route for water in the aquifer" to enter the well, adding the water flow had been "relatively minor".Monitoring had indicated there had been no impact on the water source's quality or levels and steps were being taken to fix the problem, it said.

"QGC believes the risk to human health or to water supply, or to both, have been negligible," the statement said. "Notwithstanding, QGC understands the Bridles' fears and is doing all it reasonably can to alleviate them." The Queensland Government - which on Friday announced the establishment of its new LNG enforcement unit - is still investigating the 2009 fracking incident.
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Here is part of a Press Release by Peter Pyke: 20 May 2011
Queensland must follow France’s lead and ban fracking says Pyke. “Vive la France!” says Queensland Party candidate for Toowoomba North Peter Pyke, who wants Queensland to immediately follow the lead set by France in banning fracking and imposing a moratorium on all coal seam gas (CSG) mining.
The Queensland Party is the only parliamentary party in Queensland to promise to implement a CSG moratorium. Pyke says both the ALP Bligh Government and the LNP have lost the plot in supporting a bastard industry which endangers the long-term interests of Australia-wide precious underground arterial water resources and prime agricultural lands in Queensland and elsewhere.

Last week France’s lower house voted to ban the CSG fracking process in that country. Earlier this year the French Government took the decision to impose a moratorium on all coal seam gas mining.
A moratorium on fracking has also been enforced in South Africa’s Karoo region due to that country’s environmental and health concerns. Pyke says this is overwhelming support for all opponents of fracking and those who are troubled about the detrimental aspects of CSG.
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My thought for today. - Werner
The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. ~John Powell

Sunday, May 8, 2011

All about a “nut!”

I was reading an interesting article about the health benefits of walnuts, which I’ll publish below. However, this evoked memories of my youth. We had several large Walnut trees. When the walnuts started to drop in early autumn it was a sign that the nuts were ready for harvest. There were two ways to get the nuts 1. To wait till they had all dropped, but that was not considered as it would have dragged out for weeks. 2. Somebody climbed up into the very sprawly tree from branch to branch with a long wooden rod and knocked the nuts down. On our farm I was assigned this task and grandfather worked on the bottom branches with the rod.

Most people would not know
that the walnut with its hard shell is actually surrounded by a husk. The fruit actually consists
of three layers: 1.The round, green, fleshy husk borne singly or in clusters and about 7cm in diameter. 2. The hard, thick corrugated shell of the nut and 3. The kernel inside it.

After the nuts were all picked up the husk had to be removed
- some may ha
ve already split. This was a messy job as the husk contains a brown dye that browns your hands and took a couple of weeks to disappear, and if you got it onto your clothes it would never come out. Rubber gloves as we know them today were not available. Click on picture to enlarge. 

After the nuts were husked we spread them out in the attic for a couple of months for the kernel to harden as in freshly picked walnuts the kernel was very soft. Our sole purpose for growing walnuts, besides putting some aside for eating and cakes, was to get our yearly supply of cooking and salad oil. The latter was the reason the nuts had to be allowed to harden.

In our
long winter nights after the grape harvest our family got together around a table to crack the nuts. (Perhaps Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker'' Suite evolved from such procedures.) We had a few bricks with a small indentation where we put the nut and cracked it with a hammer. The men did the cracking and the women separated the kernel from the broken shell. Often neighbours dropped in to help, and on those nights many a yarn was told.

The final phase of our walnuts was to take them to the oil miller or “oiler” as we called him. I enjoyed the day when I went with my grandfather or father to the oiler and we stayed there through the whole process, which was very interesting for me.

The nuts were first placed in a round trough,
which had a revolving axle in the middle from which another axle protruded that had a big stone wheel on its outer end. When the motor was switched on the wheel kept going around till the nuts were crushed to a pulp. They were then taken out and put into the oil press, and another lot of nuts were placed into the round crusher. I can still vividly see how the yellow good smelling and tasty walnut oil was flowing from the oil press.

Interesting Walnut facts. The deciduous tree can grow to 25 metres. It has male and female flowers that are pollinated by the wind. The male flowers pollinate the female flowers. As the female flowers fade away, a small green walnut fruit starts to grow in a greenish husk. The male flowers are catkins that hang on the twigs from the previous year. The female flowers grow in twos or threes at the ends of new twigs.Male flowers on the left and female flowers on the right. Click on pictures to enlarge.
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And now to the story “Walnuts rank as top nut, providing highest level of quality antioxidants,” with the compliments of Natural News. click here.
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Article References:
For Heart-Healthy Antioxidants, Walnuts Are Number One.

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My quote for today: - Werner
The greatest wealth is health. ~Virgil