SolaRover's solar panels powering Hurricane Sandy relief effort.
It’s cold in Rockaway Beach tonight. Very cold.
Today has seen a lot of work done. While the Rolling Sunlight spent the day getting a solar re-charge with the blue skies over New York, a new friend appeared from SolaRover with a mobile solar array. Continue reading →
People look at the burned out ruins of the Breezy Point neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This photo, one of an incredible set of images showing the devastation of one of the most populous areas of the United States by Tim Aubry, is the October 2012 Greenpeace USA Photo of the Month.
The ruins of homes in Breezy Point after Hurricane Sandy
I chose this image for the way it illustrates the human impact of the disaster. Shot across the grid of streets, groups of people, perhaps families, inspect the ruins of a modest neighborhood obliterated by the powerful storm. Whole buildings were knocked off their foundations releasing gas which ignited leaving blackened trees and poles where wood frame houses stood.
Dow Chemical's Texas Operations facility in Freeport is the global group's largest integrated site. The site contains more than 3,200 acres of waterways and pipeline corridors and houses more than 1,900 buildings across the site.
Even in good weather a major threat looms over many of our largest cities. The threat is in the form of poison gases stored at thousands of U.S. based chemical plants. In the event of an accident, terrorist attack or another climate disaster such as Hurricane Sandy, millions of lives could be put in jeopardy. Although a worse case chemical disaster didn’t happen this time, it easily could have. For example, it was widely reported that Sandy knocked over a 22 car freight train adjacent to the New Jersey Turnpike in one of the most densely populated areas of the U.S. If just one of those rail cars was carrying a poison gas such as chlorine and it had ruptured, over a million people would be at risk of immediate injury or death. Trains routinely service major chemical plants. There are 38 high risk chemical plants in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania that each put 100,000 or more workers and residents at risk of a poison gas catastrophe. When these plants suddenly lose power they can become even more dangerous. Last year a sudden power failure triggered a “shelter-in-place” warning to Texas City communities surrounding BP, Valero and Marathon refineries.
Hurricanes and human error aren’t the only threats to chemical facilities. On October 11th Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued a chilling warning saying that these same chemical plants and other sectors are vulnerable to cyber attacks, “The collective result of these kinds of attacks could be a cyber Pearl Harbor.” Continue reading →
Yesterday was a long day. It’s an emotional time and place to be in.
If you’ve been following our online communications, you know that we’ve been working with Sandy Relief to assist in the volunteer effort. A big part of that has been powering a community free store in Rockaway Beach with our solar display vehicle the Rolling Sunlight. Also, Greenpeace volunteers have been working hard in the neighborhood to make sure food and water is getting to folks that can’t come out to the store. Continue reading →