Green, Green (Environment)

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Wise One
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Tom Friedman on Innovation

Postby Wise One » 2008 Nov 12 10:58

Tom Friedman is terrific, providing yet another incisive contribution on the relationships between innovation, finance, and environment.

The auto industry is another case of bad managers sucking the life out companies they were entrusted with, lining their own pockets even as they steered their stockholders, employees, and customers over a cliff.

:tongue3: Guess who they want to fork over additional $ Billions to play with? :tongue3:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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A Great, Green Seasonal Idea

Postby Wise One » 2008 Dec 18 08:17

David Pogue wrote:FRUSTRATION-FREE PACKAGING You know how so many products come in clear hard plastic packages, impossible to open without a flamethrower and the Jaws of Life? Everybody complains about them, but nobody does anything about it.

Until now. Amazon.com figured: “Hold on a sec — those are antishoplifting packages. But we don’t have a shoplifting problem — we’re mail order!”

So certain Amazon products now come in special Amazon-only recyclable packaging, free of hard plastic clamshells or twist ties. So far, there are only 19 of them — memory cards, computer mice and toys — but more are on the way. Amazon and the environment win because these packages can go straight into the mail without a second (outer) shipping box. You save time, hassle and the cost of a flame-thrower rental.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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More Friedman, Gas Tax

Postby Wise One » 2008 Dec 28 10:33

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, on December 27, 2008 wrote:Win, Win, Win, Win, Win ...
Image
How many times do we have to see this play before we admit that it always ends the same way?

Which play? The one where gasoline prices go up, pressure rises for more fuel-efficient cars, then gasoline prices fall and the pressure for low-mileage vehicles vanishes, consumers stop buying those cars, the oil producers celebrate, we remain addicted to oil and prices gradually go up again, petro-dictators get rich, we lose. I’ve already seen this play three times in my life. Trust me: It always ends the same way — badly.

So I could only cringe when reading this article from CNNMoney.com on Dec. 22: “After nearly a year of flagging sales, low gas prices and fat incentives are reigniting America’s taste for big vehicles. Trucks and S.U.V.’s will outsell cars in December ... something that hasn’t happened since February. Meanwhile, the forecast finds that sales of hybrid vehicles are expected to be way down.”

Have a nice day. It’s morning again — in Saudi Arabia.

Of course, it’s a blessing that people who have been hammered by the economy are getting a break at the pump. But for our long-term health, getting re-addicted to oil and gas guzzlers is one of the dumbest things we could do.

That is why I believe the second biggest decision Barack Obama has to make — the first is deciding the size of the stimulus — is whether to increase the federal gasoline tax or impose an economy-wide carbon tax. Best I can tell, the Obama team has no intention of doing either at this time. I understand why. Raising taxes in a recession is a no-no. But I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of ways to retool America around clean-power technologies without a price signal — i.e., a tax — and there are no effective ones. (Toughening energy-effiency regulations alone won’t do it.) Without a higher gas tax or carbon tax, Obama will lack the leverage to drive critical pieces of his foreign and domestic agendas.

How so? According to AAA, U.S. gasoline prices now average about $1.67 a gallon. Funny, that’s almost exactly what gas cost on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. In the wake of 9/11, President Bush had the political space to impose a gasoline tax, a “Patriot Tax,” to weaken the very people who had funded 9/11 and to stimulate a U.S. renewable-energy industry. But Bush wimped out and would not impose a tax when prices were low or a floor price when they got high.

Today’s financial crisis is Obama’s 9/11. The public is ready to be mobilized. Obama is coming in with enormous popularity. This is his best window of opportunity to impose a gas tax. And he could make it painless: offset the gas tax by lowering payroll taxes, or phase it in over two years at 10 cents a month. But if Obama, like Bush, wills the ends and not the means — wills a green economy without the price signals needed to change consumer behavior and drive innovation — he will fail.

The two most important rules about energy innovation are: 1) Price matters — when prices go up people change their habits. 2) You need a systemic approach. It makes no sense for Congress to pump $13.4 billion into bailing out Detroit — and demand that the auto companies use this cash to make more fuel-efficient cars — and then do nothing to shape consumer behavior with a gas tax so more Americans will want to buy those cars. As long as gas is cheap, people will go out and buy used S.U.V.’s and Hummers.
There has to be a system that permanently changes consumer demand, which would permanently change what Detroit makes, which would attract more investment in battery technology to make electric cars, which would hugely help the expansion of the wind and solar industries — where the biggest drawback is the lack of batteries to store electrons when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. A higher gas tax would drive all these systemic benefits.

The same is true in geopolitics. A gas tax reduces gasoline demand and keeps dollars in America, dries up funding for terrorists and reduces the clout of Iran and Russia at a time when Obama will be looking for greater leverage against petro-dictatorships. It reduces our current account deficit, which strengthens the dollar. It reduces U.S. carbon emissions driving climate change, which means more global respect for America. And it increases the incentives for U.S. innovation on clean cars and clean-tech.
Which one of these things wouldn’t we want? A gasoline tax “is not just win-win; it’s win, win, win, win, win,” says the Johns Hopkins author and foreign policy specialist Michael Mandelbaum. “A gasoline tax would do more for American prosperity and strength than any other measure Obama could propose.”

I know it’s hard, but we have got to stop “taking off the table” the tool that would add leverage to everything we want to do at home and abroad. We’ve done that for three decades, and we know with absolute certainty how the play ends — with an America that is less innovative, less wealthy, less respected and less powerful.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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ShenValleyFire
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Recycling Thread

Postby ShenValleyFire » 2009 Mar 09 01:42

I was just wondering who here in Buena Vista Recycle? Reason I ask is because I am 1 of a 3 man crew at Auto Recyclers that deals with all the recycling that we get from Buena Vista and Lexington. We separate into Plastic, Paper, Cardboard, Glass, Aluminum Cans (Soda) and Steel Cans (Can Goods). I am working on pictures that show what we go though on a daily basis. I'll start with Buena Vista. Has you all know there is a truck that picks up the blue totes everyday. When the truck gets to Auto Recyclers it dumps the "Goods" into different piles. After its dumped we have to pick though it to remove what don't belong. A lot of people think that plastic bags are recyclable, and they are, we just don't recycle them they get thrown away after we pick though them. Anything that has a film coating (Cups, anything made of Styrofoam, and Dog Food Wrappers) all gets thrown in the trash. The Plastic, Cans, Steel and glass all gets picked up and stored in a room until we bale it. Except for Cardboard which we bale on a daily basis.

Now for Lexington. We get big Containers from the landfill filled with bags and bags of stuff mixed together. Its dumped into a big pile and takes a good 2 days to separate, depending on the weather and how much we have going on. Everything is mixed into Lexington's Stuff, I mean at least Buena Vista separates the stuff when its picked up. And the same here, it gets separated, stored and sits.

Now my pet peeve. The blue Recycling container and Yellow cardboard container at Auto Recyclers. When this is full, its dumped and we pick it up, but last couple of times it was dumped, there was things mixed in it (Cardboard in the paper, Plastic in the Paper and so on). The Container is labeled, the 2 paper slots near the Yellow Cardboard Container, then 2 plastic slots then the aluminum cans slot.

I'll work on pictures in the mean time, please don't take offense of what I wrote, Just a FYI. Thanks.
Kristopher L. Bageant, Sr
SVFire1 - Shenandoah Valley Fire - Owner / Lead Photographer
VA13 - 1st Responder Wireless News - Virginia Sr. Incident Dispatcher

Anonymoose

Re: Recycling Thread

Postby Anonymoose » 2009 Mar 10 21:42

Wow. Good points from the front lines of the recycling business.

As for the poor recycling practices, there seems to be at least a couple of factors. One is the innate laziness of humans (self included), especially when it regards learning something new. Two, it requires a dedicated effort on the part of local officials to advertise the new recycling program and educate people on the process. This requires an outlay of cash for advertising, something which the local governments claim to be short on. So, it appears they have initiated the programs, but haven't made the full investment of resources to ensure the success of the programs. I lived in another locality during the time that they started their recycling program, and they used all forms of media, over an extended period of time, to alert people to the process and what was required to make the program work. And, they provided recycling bins separated into glass, plastic, and paper sections to make it easy for people to separate their recycling. I have no idea how successful the program is now, but they are still recycling, so something must be working.

It's a process that takes time for people to accustom to. People need to be reminded, regularly at first, about what is recyclable and what is not. If no one is reinforcing it, we're not going to learn. Thanks for taking that first step.

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lexingtonrick
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Litter

Postby lexingtonrick » 2009 Jul 19 16:19

Sitting on my porch the other day I observed a driver casually toss an empty beer can out of the window of his pickup truck where it landed across from my home. It was a very ugly gesture that got me thinking about the nature of people who litter.

At the Wal-mart I have seen all manner of trash left in empty parking spaces including soiled diapers and six packs within ten or twenty feet of a garbage can, Wal-Mart cleans it up, we get to help defray the cost. In down town Lexington I observed a car full of attractive young ladies open their doors and casually deposit their empty lunch bags and drink containers on the pavement before driving off no doubt confident that someone will clean up their mess. Enter public works and the tax payer.

Littering is just not a Rockbridge County problem it’s a universal problem. Litter is a by product of cheap disposable goods that have no further value and people who have little or no value.

One of my passions is to fish for trout. People who are serious about that sport are as much about being in the beauty and serenity of the trout stream as they are in catching fish. So it is particularly disheartening to see trash lining the banks and often in the stream itself.

The South River is a beautiful body of water. On one small stretch there is a pull off that overlooks incredible rock formations, clear sparkling water, even a small sandy beach ideal for children. At the pull off itself there are copious amounts of trash including Styrofoam containers, bottles and soda cans that have simply been thrown out of the car window by way of disposal and are now hidden in the weeds ready to become visable in the fall. The concept of viewing the great out doors as your personal trash can staggers me. But its worse by the stream itself. Rusting cans, broken bottles and all manor of trash litter the side of the stream. The beer of choice ........ Bud Light hands down. The identifiable cardboard containers so merry looking in the supermarket float and sink in the stream or are half buried in the sand. The plastic rings that hold six pacts together are indestructable and work like plastic handcuffs for water fowl. And because this particular area is often frequented by families and small children I have to wonder about the callous disregard some have for their neighbors.

When I first started to fish these waters I attempted to ignore the trash, I'd cast with my back to the shore and pretend that the beautiful waters I fished were respected by everyone who wanted to be in and at the side of that river. But the trash was the 800 pound gorilla. It's presence and potential danger, especially for children, made it impossible to enjoy the fishing experience. So I started bringing large garbage bags with me to fill up and haul away. Little by little the area (about 100 yards long) cleaned up. I hoped that others would notice and refrain from leaving their trash. However after A three week trip away and a quick look yesterday the only change I noted was a new layer of trash.

So I have come to this growing realization, based on a thorough study of the material evidence, a hands on study if you will, that those who chronically litter are demonstrating their utter contempt for their community, neighbors and friends. They are self absorbed, dedicated to instant gratification and prone to chemical addictions be it fast food, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or a combination there of. Only stiff fines and community service cleaning up the countryside will help them with their littering addiction.

Virginia Law states: "Littering is illegal. Most people are unaware of littering fines. Section 33.3-346 of the Code of Virginia makes littering or dumping trash a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.

People who litter are showing their careless disregard for the property and well being of others and the environment. Keep America Beautiful studies have shown that one of the reasons litterbugs feel it is okay to litter is because they believe someone else is paid to clean it up. That’s true. The Virginia Department of Transportation spends about $6.5 million a year on litter control on nearly 57,000 miles of interstate, primary and secondary roads. That’s $6.5 million of taxpayer money that otherwise could have been spent on highway repair projects".

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Juggler
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A Graphic Eco-Ad

Postby Juggler » 2009 Nov 24 09:25

[youtube]fxis7Y1ikIQ[/youtube]

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Sam
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Getting colder or getting warmer

Postby Sam » 2009 Nov 29 07:21

Ok Folks, not sure where to put this, but what is going on with this stuff on climate change. I have been hearing and reading about climategate emails and wondered if anyone had a response. I know those in the know don't use the word global warming now, but call it climate change. What is a person to think or do on all this confusion. If the big boys in the know (I use that term lightly) can't make up their minds then what is the real answer. Maybe no one knows.

Now to my way of thinking throughout this old worlds life, our weather goes through cycles. Personally I believe our world is eventually heading for non existence, prior to old Chris Columbus, The Americas were dominated by pretty good sized cultures that eventually were destroyed or changed. Been watching that History channel again. When you consider the number of volcanoes such as the one out West, Ole Yellowstone, -----Jimmny Cricket that could put us way out of touch with one another.

Are you there...........
Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as
"extremists

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Wise One
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Re: Green, Green

Postby Wise One » 2009 Dec 02 11:27

This story is that it is just more folderal in a series of incidents that are exaggerated and exploited shamelessly by the conservative cabal. Its just another "death panel" that teabaggers have jumped on like flies on shit.

My take on this is that, mining through a huge haystack of hacked e-mail exchanges among researchers, that they found a found a bent piece of straw they are characterizing as the needle that will discredit all climate science.

Ridiculous. What they did is to catch a few people acting, well, like people ... using colorful language, poking fun at the anti's, and guarding information with the kind of wariness that erupts in any competitive field of endeavor.

What the righties always do is to bypass substance, because they are wrong on the substance, and go to ad hominem diversions wherein some trivial fact can be distorted and exaggerated by any means that will cause ignorant and uncritical people to doubt the solid truth that they hate.

:thumdwn:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Sam
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Re: Green, Green

Postby Sam » 2009 Dec 03 08:05

Wise One wrote:This story is that it is just more folderal in a series of incidents that are exaggerated and exploited shamelessly by the conservative cabal. Its just another "death panel" that teabaggers have jumped on like flies on shit.

Well Fellow, I sure don't want that stuff in my back yard. Gotta whip those righties in shape. Now don't take me seriously, but I wonder, just wonder, if the people (I use that term loosely) will ever come together on any one idea, product, etc etc. seems as long as the righties and lefties fight with one another another cow is going to get loose. Or a teapot will get broken.

I'll take Jack Daniels.
Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as
"extremists

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Uji
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Re: Green, Green

Postby Uji » 2009 Dec 04 16:33

Wise One wrote:What they did is to catch a few people acting, well, like people ...

Right on, WiseOne. Scientists are no different from any other group -- same percentage of saints and numskulls and everything in between. Interesting that one scientist caught shaving some data seems to nullify the work of the thousands who didn't; while, at the same time, when the latest "evangelist" gets caught with his pants down it doesn't seem to nullify anyones faith in the impossibly impropable -- or when a "pro-lifer" shoots dead a "pro-choicer" it doesn't seem to nullify the argument of the pro-lifers. :hmm:

I always wonder how these people can keep it all straight. Absolutism is so complicated. It would all be so much simpler if we just opted for the simplest explanation: humans, as a group, act well sometimes and poorly other times. Any group.

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Wise One
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Re: Green, Green

Postby Wise One » 2009 Dec 04 17:00

Uji wrote:I always wonder how these people can keep it all straight. Absolutism is so complicated.

What a good question ... I've puzzled over it myself.

The simple answer, as you suggest, is that they cannot keep it all straight. Their world is replete with unresolvable contradictions.

And it doesn't bother them a bit!

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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Re: Litter

Postby Wise One » 2009 Dec 05 13:25

lexingtonrick wrote:One of my passions is to fish for trout. People who are serious about that sport are as much about being in the beauty and serenity of the trout stream as they are in catching fish. So it is particularly disheartening to see trash lining the banks and often in the stream itself.

Well said. I once had a fantastic trip to British Columbia, fishing along the banks of the Stellako River in that "catch and release" stream that was and populated purely naturally (no stocking from hatcheries.) While there, I had the good fortune to observe a caddis fly hatch (they are synchronized) and saw the entire stream suddenly "boil" with trout as they devoured the hatch in a frenzy!

You should have a serious conversation with our beloved Sweetness 'n Light about throwing trash in streams!! (I'll stand back, out of range of missiles.)
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Trend Setter
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Composting Toilets

Postby Trend Setter » 2009 Dec 06 15:42

Adam Fisher in Time Magazine wrote:"The city will buy you a low-flow toilet, but they'll fight you all the way if you want to build one that uses no water at all."

:potty5:

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Juggler
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BP, Halliburton, Transocean: Oil Spill

Postby Juggler » 2010 May 13 11:28

Image

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Wise One
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Rush Hour in Utrecht

Postby Wise One » 2010 May 13 12:25

Notice how few people get to work American-style, one person per passenger car! They mostly move on bicycles, and the next largest number move by public transport. Only the idiots drive cars daily for commuting.

I lived in Holland for a year and absolutely loved it! By national law, every road built must have a bicycle path that is segregated from car traffic. They are healthier and live longer because of this, and because everybody has health insurance coverage.

[youtube]n-AbPav5E5M[/youtube]
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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fangz1956
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Environmental Villains?

Postby fangz1956 » 2010 Jun 06 06:41

This Week In Crazy

There was no fitting forum for this topic in existence. Didn't know whether to make a new one or not. Green, Green wouldn't work because BP is the polar opposite of green.

Tony Hayward......the poor little rich boy. How sad that he just wants his life back.......poor deprived soul.......NOT!
I think that the shrimpers and fishermen would like to have their lives back, too. Hmmm....think the guys that died when this rig went down would like their lives back, too? I am quite confident that their families would like them to have their lives back. The more I read, the madder I get. This disaster now has the potential of mucking up the Eastern coastline. And Tony just keeps whining and dragging his little feet.......while the oil continues to spew into the Gulf. I read his "apology" in the WSJ (the one put together by BP's PR team) and I am not impressed........not in the least.

So, this once loyal BP customer is now boycotting BP. Is that inconvenient? Yes. But actions speak louder than words ever will......and a boycott is a mighty fine action.

And Tony........when it comes to keeping your work team safe, the key word is PREVENTION!


:hair:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Re: Environmental Villains?

Postby Wise One » 2010 Jun 06 11:28

Way to go, Fangz!

I've been dealing with BP-related things for decades, and have a friend Chuck Hamel who dedicated about half his life to fighting BP's intolerable corporate culture and its consistent pattern of poor environmental and safety performance, lies and, yes, crimes. Here are a few snippets of him Video 1 and Video 2. He also had a fascinating appearance on 60 Minutes years ago and I'll post that if I can find it.

This BP spill event is remarkable in exposing and confirming so many problems:
  • Rotten BP culture in safety and environment
  • Rotten BP performance in safety and environment
  • Bush administration dismantlement of essentially all effective regulatory oversight
  • Obama failure to repair regulatory apparatus (reason, if not an excuse: he has a back-load of a hundred important things broken by the Bush administration ... it's going to take a full generation to repair all the damage those guys left behind)
  • Bush and Obama failure to pre-position adequate federal spill mitigation resources
  • Probable criminal activity by BP and its contractors in failure to implement procedures/processes it represented
  • Multiple failures of equipment and processes as a result of all the above, which cascaded into a catastrophe.
And the righties just pick up their usual refrain:
  • a conservative friend wrote in a note to me, "Our administration is down there threatening BP with lawsuits and jail time. Now is not the time for that kind of posturing." (it wasn't time before the event, and now that failure to act caused disaster, it is not time now either! To those guys, it's never time.)
  • Brit Hume, Fox of course, cries "where's the oil?" before it had floated and dispersed, mockingly pretending there is no problem
  • Sarah Palin, queen of an inverted universe, blamed the spill on "environmentalists"
  • Limbaugh et al. compare globe-wide natural seepage with this event localized in a sensitive region to argue stupidly that it is therefore somehow "small"
  • etc., ad nauseum, which I'll omit because it's, well, nauseating.
Finally, I looked at the spill size, taking the average BP's early low-ball estimate and the current government high estimate, to compare with the disastrous Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. The calculation is that current Deepwater Horizon spill is about one Exxon Valdez spill every 5 days until the well is capped, 47 days and counting so far.
:suicide:
PS. I just noticed that Stonewall broke these out as a separate topic. Thanks, Stonewall ... you da man.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Amy Probenski
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Ironic Photograph

Postby Amy Probenski » 2010 Jun 08 10:53

This ironic photograph was taken at a BP filling station in southern Virginia where the management wants to be sure customers are aware that they are responsible for any spills.

Image

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Coondog
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Re: Environmental Villains?

Postby Coondog » 2010 Jun 08 11:07

"Note to Self: Don't buy condoms at BP stations"

S.Colbert 6/7/2010 Re: Cap seal for oil leak.