Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dead Dry by Sarah Andrews - A Review

This is a review of a book written by writer; Sarah Andrews; "Dead Dry"; a mystery featuring forensic geologist, Em Hansen.

As I stated in my previous review of "Killer Dust" by Sarah Andrews, our protagonist Em Hansen is a Forensic Geologist, detective, pilot, and woman after my own heart. 

I love the Earth, Sky, Sea, Space, and Ocean, so having found mystery writer Sarah Andrews, is a gift.

Although "Dead Dry" has a genre listing of mystery and fiction, the story is well written. It is obvious that this is a work of love, and contains the caliber of work, citations, and credits found within a scientific research paper.

Many of you know the saying, "truth is stranger than fiction". If you live to an age where you can observe, and comprehend, the fact that fiction is easier to take and swallow will be proven to a curious mind, many times. "Dead Dry" is a work that tells a real story about the condition of depleted water supplies on our Earth.

Sadly, such occurrences such as the degradation of our only habitat are facts that most people do not want to know. Climate Change, Global Warming, Ocean Acidification, the death of coral reefs, and the loss of water are now a part of our 'modern history'.

The rapid loss of jungles, rain, icebergs, snow, species, cool air, and water are bringing mankind to the brink of a new Geologic Age. 2012 is here, and we have less than a month to go.

During my half century journey through this life, I have witnessed a beautiful, and 'perfect' eco-system turned nearly to dust, salt and ash. 50 years geologically is less than a wink of time. This is not good for any earth inhabitant, it is not good for our solar system, it is terrible for our universe as a whole.

Can we afford to turn our minds off, while turning the lighted box on that destroys our ability to think and see the truth?

Personally, I think we have gone too far, we have passed the tipping point. I think that in order to  save us, we must bring mankind back to sanity when it comes to the way we treat Earth. Our loss of species, and lessening resources are frightening to those who study Earth and Weather Science. It would seem there is no use in caring, no motivation to turn it around, but ever hopeful, I think that it does not hurt to try.

Em Hansen, has matured in the years since "A Fall in Denver", and her evolution is doing a world of good.

"Dead Dry" is another one of Sarah Andrews' books that serve the truth of environmental alarm into bite size pieces, making it possible for even a young reader to digest the story and meaning. Well water corruption in a mystery format is good work, and Ms. Andrews is an amazing writer.

The book, "Dead Dry" begins in Utah, where Em Hansen is working for the Utah Geological Survey. She is called by the Salt Lake City Police to assist law enforcement at a crime scene. The crime scene is at a rock quarry, and since her previous work relating to crime and geology has made her an expert, she is asked to assist.

One of the men who work at the quarry notice a rock fall that has a body part sticking out of it. Em is needed to consult on why the rock fall happened, if the quarry pit is stable enough for body retrieval, and her ideas on how a body ended behind the locked fences of the rock quarry pit.

Once the body is recovered, Em Hansen discovers (via a tattoo on the body's buttocks) at the coroners retrieval that she knows the victim, and the victim is a well known geologist; an Afton McWain.

Em Hansen knew Afton McWain from when she worked in the oilfields in Colorado ("A Fall In Denver" by Sarah Andrews). As the story proceeds, Em travels to Colorado to do the family notification, as she was friends with Afton's wife Julia.

In Colorado, events occur, and clues uncover the reason Afton McWain was killed. It comes down to the battle between greed, and environmental sustainability. Mainly well water depletion.

Due to the over crowding of the larger cities, more people are craving wide open spaces. Many people have more money, and are desiring to have a ranch setting, with all of the bells and whistles of city life. Swimming pools, toilets, washing machines, Jacuzzis, hot tubs, sprinkler systems and so on. The general population is unaware of what a drain on the Earth's water supplies this over use of water is.

Even cities who have waste water systems, and municipal water do not create that water. It is not a commodity that is created. There is a recycling of evaporated water, and water that was frozen eons ago, that are in aquifers. When the water cycle is polluted, the earth is over heated, and the water supply is finite.

In Dead Dry, there is the other faction. Those who own, or are commissioned to sell ranchettes, or ranches to those fleeing the cities. Like any salesman, they will tell a hungry buyer what they want to hear. "All you have to do is drill a well, and you will have all of the water you need." This is the reason why in this mystery, Alton McWain ends up smashed in a rock quarry. He was an expert, and important player in a group who joined with new ranchette owners to prosecute the land brokers that committed fraud in selling land that does not have the water capacity to sustain any ranchette.

Geologist MsWain was helping newcomers who found after spending $10,000.00 to drill a well, tthat he water only lasted long enough for the ink to dry on the Title and / or Mortgages. New home owners found themselves in a real pickle: their choices; 
  • the new owners could either try to sell their dry lands with a disclosure of no well water
  • learn how to live a permaculture lifestyle, and use the little rain water they got, sparingly and frugally.
"Dead Dry" is an important message for today. Each time you take a shower, or flush the commode, or wash 5 loads of clothes, consider that new water cannot be manufactured. This eco-system we were given, came with a container of water.

Sadly, the greed and corruption of corporations and businesses try to pave over the facts of resource availability, and what consequences we face as a globe full of people, with only 1% clean water available.

A good resource for "seeding water" is Brad Lancaster's "Rainwater Harvesting: for Drylands and Beyond I II & III", and his organization's Blog "Drops in a Bucket"

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Killer Dust: by Sarah Andrews - A Review

Book Review of "Killer Dust" by Sarah Andrews: A Mystery Featuring Forensic Geologist Em Hansen.

"Killer Dust" is the seventh book I have read by Author/Professional Geologist/Pilot, Sarah Andrews.

The  protagonist of these series of mystery books, is Em Hansen is a character after my own heart. She comes from an abnormal family, whose formative years, were on a working ranch in Wyoming. It is in the wide open spaces, that Em becomes one with the Earth, and is allowed the freedom of thought. She is a natural detective, asking the right questions, for unanswered questions. This is also a skill of a geologist, or perhaps it is these skill sets that are the making of Geo-scientists.

Em and I have come a long way in a few weeks, from "A Fall In Denver" to "Killer Dust". In "A Fall In Denver", she is a geologist working for the gas & oil industry, and her view of the industry is multiple faceted; 1). Modern society needs fuel and energy to operate machines, 2). Geologists need to work, 3). When geologists are too good at finding oil and gas, eventually the geology jobs play out. 4). Mining and drilling are needed for economic necessity. 5). It is good when the energy interests abide with environmental concern. "A Fall in Denver" was written in 1996.

Sarah Andrews finished "Killer Dust" on September 11, 2002. It was published in 2003. "Killer Dust" covers the topic of bio-terrorism, and male vs. female terrorism parallels this story.

A reader who understands geology and the environment can imagine that "Killer Dust" is talking about particulate matter that is airborne, and causes death, or great harm. It is.

What strikes home with the adventures, and heroism of Em Hansen is that she has had to come to grips with the cavernous problem of the destruction of the Earth that she loves. Within the pages of "Killer Dust", she has come to the realization that U.S. Government entities, our Representatives, Senators, and even past Presidents have gone from representing a human population, to working for the corporate entities.

Earlier in the story, Em had located a buried SAM-7; so she and her retired FBI friend Tom, and some ex Navy Seals unearthed it from a beach at the far end of the Florida Keys. It was pointed toward Cape Canaveral by a psycho stalker. Em was treated the excavation as a crime scene. Because she shared samples with Guffey, and the FBI lab at Quantico, Guffey must have gotten enough information from the soil samples taken from the plastic casings of the SAM-7, to lead him in the direction of the Bahamas.

Tom, her friend and ex-FBI agent, knew when Guffey disappeared from the USGS, that he had enough information to get him to the approximate area where the red dust (anthrax) was being manufactured, but Miles Guffey did not realize he was going into a lawless area, where weapons and terrorists would protect their business. Em used her knowledge of maps, and the help of an ex-Seal, to locate the 'Sea Dingo'; Guffey's boat, and hid away while the craft was uninhabited.

On page 267, of "Killer Dust", there is a scene where Em Hansen had stowed away on the boat of Miles Guffey; (a well respected geologist, gone rouge from the Florida USGS [United States Geological Survey]. Guffey, after offering to run some samples of dust, and other fauna, gotten from Em. He and his lab partner Waltrine, went off seeking to find the source of some red dust, that has helped kill coral reefs in the Florida Keys).

They are awaiting passage through the lock systems, created by the U.S. Government, as a train passes ahead. Em notices that Guffey seems to be annoyed by the wait, and passage of the gondola train cars carrying limestone. Miles Guffey then pulls out a newspaper article, from a drawer on deck. The article was from the Washington Post.

The article reported that "...real-estate developers had bought themselves a huge loophole in the law, thwarting the professed federal plan to 'replumb' the Everglades from a ghostly relic back into a thriving ecosystem. Using a mining law dodge, they were excavating vast quantities of the underlying limestone between Miami and Lake Okeechobee, digging down into the ground water, which created both rubble to sell as concrete aggregate...not only were the aquifers within the limestone thus forever crossed and the vitality of the ecosystem further ruined, but the rock was being sold for seven cents on the dollar." (p 267)

The story gets very exciting, and our protagonist Em Hansen finds courage and fortitude to act in the manner of a warrior, protecting her friends, her Country, and the Eco-system; Mother Earth, she loves so much.

Sarah Andrews includes summation in the Author's Note, at the end of this mystery. Her summary is apropos for 2012, as it was on that fateful day of September 11, 2001. Sarah Andrews credits Gene Shinn (genius geologist), with providing information that drove the helm of this story from personal terrorism suffered my thousands of women, usually from the men they know or love, into a parallel story of terrorism world wide.

Gene Shinn as a lover of the coral reefs, and a student at the University of Miami in the 1950's, began studying and photographing the corals. In the 1970's his life journey led him to the discovery, that the coral reefs in south Florida were dying. Ms. Andrews explains the problems he faced getting funding to find out what was causing this, and how to stop it. Gene could get no funding. Finally, he did get some funding from NASA, in a new public health program they launched. (p.306 - Author's Note)

The final message of environmental concern, for the earth, skies, sea, and all living creatures is that during the Cold War, tons of anthrax was manufactured, and cannot be accounted for.

As our Republican Congress acts in corporate interest in 2012, let me add this passage from "Killer Dust" written in 2002: "...What worries me is the growing trend of scientific research being increasingly predicated and directed by vested interests and the politicians who cater to them. When big money directs research, big money influences and even dictates findings. We live in the age of bean counters, people who confuse the bottom line with the moral line. Corporate culture is quickly becoming human culture, to our peril as a species." (p. 307 - Author's Note - "Killer Dust" by Sarah Andrews

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wage Peace - Love, Kindness and Compassion

We are coming up on a holiday that for Euro-Americans has been deemed a time of Thanksgiving and celebration.

The schools and churches continue to teach that Thanksgiving is a time for America when God shined down on a bunch of starving newcomers to the continent of North America, sent "savages" to them who fed them, taught them to hunt, made medicine for them, taught them to use bows, snares and spears. The skills these Natives knew they shared. 

In North America, the original inhabitants, called Indians, are Native Tribes, Indigenous to the land. Native Americans were terribly mistreated for their kindness. The fact that Columbus did not discover the Continent of India seems to continue to allude even the most educated historian. Why continue to call The First People of North America Indians? We all know this is not India. Right?

We were taught in early our history lessons, that the pilgrims were criminals, killers, thieves and other undesirables, who were given a chance to clear out the debtors prisons, and opt out of other punishments in England and Europe by agreeing to board ships to the New Land for their Queen. Their reward was that they would be forgiven their debts, and given a new chance at life.

Perhaps following the initial euphoria of having been saved by the "savages," who showed them charity, kindness, graciousness, and taught beautiful social ethics to them, these Europeans could not resist their criminal ways. Their greed would always win. They new settlers got to planning and conniving, thinking of ways to take everything they could. The Pilgrims lived with a sense that there was divine providence that allowed them to make it to North America, and survive. Their license for taking all that their eye could see is called Manifest Destiny.

If they were truly exhibiting Christian ethics according to the teachings of Christ, they would have looked on their new neighbors and desired to show Christian Charity. They would have given respect to the ways of the First Peoples, and returned kindness, been grateful and sought to be good stewards of the plenty that they found.

Instead of any charity or kindness, they new Euro-Americans shared filth and disease wiping out thousands of Native Indians in a short period of time. This was probably a warning to the Natives, but they were mostly gracious and continued to think the Europeans spoke in truth. Such as was the Indian Way.

What a shock, even today, hundreds of years later. If you have Native American friends, or cannot understand the anger and angst of today's Indians, look at the terrible actions of Euro-Americans toward the original People.

To this day, industries who use Tribal Lands for waste dumps, mine pilings, and radioactive repositories, still do not consider Native American Indians as people. At most, they are Prisoners of War, who still lack sovereignty in most arenas of the "American Experience".

So...when you say Happy Thanksgiving, think about those who cannot think of this holiday as Happy. For The People, Earth People, Indigenous Humans, it is a time of mourning, and sorrow. It is genocidal results of greed and a stack of lies.

Be thankful everyday, show kindness, wage peace, care, be involved, love your enemies, be grateful, and THINK. Please think.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

European Space Station keeping an eye on Dutch Dikes

European Space Agency (E.S.A.) is helping the Netherlands by using their InSAR satellite technology, to monitor the nation's dike systems.

HI-RES JPEG (Size: 1840 kb)

Along the Netherlands’ IJsselmeer dikes, Envisat’s radar detected subsidence of 5 mm per year (in red) during 2003–10.

Credits: GMES/Terrafirma; Envisat ASAR data: ESA

ESA's willingness to use their technology to help monitor dike systems in the Netherlands, may prove to be a life and structure saver.

The dikes are checked physically with routine monitoring, but by being able to observe changes in the water levels, water ways and dikes, by satellite, this will be an effective way, and possible future means of saving or improving such infrastructure.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What is a Watershed? Adopt Your Watershed 2012 EPA Program announced

Today, those of us who are concerned with Mother Earth, and all of her inhabitants, have many causes we can adopt, many organizations who are doing good things to keep Earth, Air, Sky and Waters clean. 

There are a handful of organizations that I support in Social Media that are strictly for the preservation of birds, four-leggeds, fish and all manner of critters. 

For those who are straining at the brain trying to figure out where to put our energy and time, it is difficult choose one thing, and many of us do not. 

What is a Watershed? (Follow link to EPA Watershed Page) We all live in a Watershed. A Watershed is an area where all waters run to a common waterway. This includes the smallest streams, creeks and tributaries, all the way to our globe's Oceans. We all have a vested interest in strengthening, and caring for our Watersheds.

It is a good time in 2012 regarding young people, because they are looking up from their !Pods, Smart Phones, and Blackberries; not liking what they see. They are getting involved, and here is hoping they surpass us old school environmentalists, who fought in the 1970's to see the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The following is one example of caring for a watershed. In this YouTube video, The EPA supports Green Stormwater Management in Lenexa, KS.

It is 40 years since the Clean Water Act was established, and it has helped, but industry and an Industrial brained Congress, have caused many loopholes in the Clean Air, and Clean Water Acts. The Industrial wires say that Environmental Regulations hurt business.

 That is only a lie. It is greedy old dudes wanting to not only win a few games, but they want it all. 

Even mine and yours. Me, my children, grand and great grandchildren have the right to clean Air, and Clean Water. If rules against destroying what keeps us alive are burdensome, then perhaps the Industrial Wires need to rethink their positions.

Having said all that; The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a program that will give groups, communities and Tribes a way to Adopt one of 2600 Water sheds in the U.S. and Tribal Nations. 

The Program is "Adopt Your Watershed" (follow link to EPA Page)

There are nine items listed that community or tribe members can do, to take better control of local water quality, and be involved in a leadership position.

This is exciting, because community members who care enough to give a little time each month, can make a huge difference to their own Watershed.

If you do get involved, please come back and give us a post if you will. 

Thank you!

Monday, September 10, 2012

EPA Partners with Dept of Energy for sustainablility

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partnered with the Department of Energy and come up with a Division that will be administered through the EPA: "Land, Waste and Cleanup I Science & Technology"

The EPA and Department of Energy are running feasibilty studies that will work on producing energy by coming up with ways to transform polluted, National Priorities Listed Properties, Toxic Waste sites, mining sites, and Brownfields.

This is a link to EPA Podcasts that talk about Green Innovations, and are an alternative to having to read through these government announcements, giving the non-scientist a chance to participate and gather information for Environmental equality.

The #photo centered above was taken from the 2nd floor of the Clinton Presidential Library, on the banks of the Arkansas River, in Little Rock, AR. The reason I used this photo is it shows current activity in revitalizing the North Little Rock, Arkanasas side of the Arkansas River.

What does that photo have to do with the EPA Science & Technology of focusing on Waste sites, Brownfields and other toxic lands to move toward a renewable future? The Clinton Presidential Library Foundation, and Heifter International partnered to Revitalize a National Priority Listed Property area of the Arkansas River bank, and it is one of the most successful set of greening and revitalization projects to date.

There is a lot of good information, laid out in a simple manner, and there are links to a lot of information for the citizen who wants to get involved in Public Comments, and attending Public meetings. The Land, Waste & Cleanup site, is an excellent page for resources needed for those seeking information on environmental issues by and near their homes.

The industries are the ones who show up to the public meetings, and are involved in decision making meetings when it comes to permitting facilities and business. Be Involved, show up, and speak up.

Save our only habitat. Please, do not do nothing.

Acitve Volcano on webcam, Kilauea, HI

Get a unique view of an active volcano, just peer over the rim, a little closer...

A big Thank you to the, via Pacific Islands NPS @PacificNPS, for sharing the photo of a live volcano getting busy.

This #photo was taken September 9, 2012, of

KÄ«lauea Volcano, Summit , HI

Thanks to the scientists and other dedicated public servants at the USGS, including many partnerships, we are able to enjoy sites and portions of our Earth that the everyday person would rarely get to enjoy. Thanks again.

This YouTube Video brings you right there. I can almost feel the heat, and smell the sulfer:

This YouTube Video was provided by the Center for the Study of Volcanos

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pipeline Leak in the Gulf of Mexico August 24, 2012

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Incident News, recently published a report of a pipeline leak reported on the Gulf of Mexico, on August 24, 2012.

The area possibly reporting the report and request for a NOAA SSC incident trajectory report regarding 10 to 133 barrels of South Louisiana Crude, from the Energy 21 Pipeline Leak W Delta31 at the Gulf of Mexico, 30 miles south east of Grand Isle, LA.

Included below is a crude oil spill in from April 2012 from YouTube: Oil Spill Threatens Louisiana Fishing Industry by Bloomberg.

We can only assign partial blame to politicians. If we are driving we are drilling. Demand the right to form permaculture, or traditional Native communities where we can use our two-legged power and energy to meet our needs.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A What If...Exxon spilled a bunch of oil in Louisiana?

IncidentNOAA has published an incident report for September 5, 2012.

Exxon Mobile made this report on September 5, 2012 of a possible 5 bbl of dobe crude oil.

According to the article, this was reported as a "what if" incident.

What if we change the way we set up our cities, promote mass transit, and park our autos.

Oddly enough, many environmentalists would never dream of giving up driving. One day, one way or another there will have to be big changes.

The incident is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Region 6 of the EPA. 

This is on the bank of the Mississippi River, and so far seems to have been contained at the origin of the dumping site.

North American Fish extinctions escalating

A dire report issued August 12, 2012, by the United States Geological Society (USGS) is alarming to those who are inhabitants of Earth.

The title of the article is; North American Fish Extinctions may double by 2050. (the complete report is in this link.

From the Office of Communications and Publishing of the USGS out of Gainsville, Florida.

How fast can you kill it?

How fast can you melt it?

How much money does it take to satisfy an Industrialist?

This is a report that should make every earthling stop what they are doing, turn off their television, and look for a way to return to a simple life.

The best way to help understand the ferocity of this situation is to define Exponential Growth **

Main Entry:
exponential growth
Part of Speech: n
Definition: development at an increasingly rapid rate in proportion to the growing total number or size; a constant rate of growth applied to a continuously growing base over a period of time

Another way to think about it is the old double a penny a day. Start out with one penny, then next day two, the next day four, the next day eight and so will not be long until you are in the big money.

This is what is happening rapidly to North American Fish Species.

Documenting scientific evidence in modern times, has given modern people an idea of timelines of our Earth. Ice melts, excavations, man-made and natural disasters can bring ancient information to the surface, where we can see signs of life.

Geological evidence is found where at one time the Earth was under water, where it was a giant landmass, when it was frozen solid, and even where the Earth was struck by a giant asteroid in times past.

Geological time, or Earth Changes Time is counted by millions of years (myo.). Geologically speaking, fish extinctions are on a run-away-train to the end.

Without clean water, without oxygen in our waters, not only can aquatic life no longer exist, this unfortuneatly spells the end of all living things, and that includes Human beings.

Per the report, the loss of fish species we have experienced from 1900 - 2010, is equal to what Nature or Geology had done in 3 million years.

This may not mean much too you, or you may decide to shut the computer down, and turn on the plug-in-drug, thinking that it is someone else's problem. It is our Planet, our only habitat, and if we do not all get together asap, it will be curtains for us all.


Cite This Source **

American Psychological Association (APA):

exponential growth. (n.d.).'s 21st Century Lexicon. Retrieved September 06, 2012, from website: growth

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

exponential growth.'s 21st Century Lexicon., LLC. growth (accessed: September 06, 2012).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"exponential growth."'s 21st Century Lexicon., LLC. 06 Sep. 2012. growth>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, "exponential growth," in's 21st Century Lexicon. Source location:, LLC. growth. Available: Accessed: September 06, 2012.

BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

@article {Dictionary.com2012,
title = {'s 21st Century Lexicon},
month = {Sep},
day = {06},
year = {2012},
url = { growth},

Is Richmond California free from PCB danger?

Chevron TCI Refinery Richmond California

Shelter In Place Warning - August 6, 2012

According to the Register Star Online, residents of the town of Ghent, are concerned that the raging fire at Chevron TCI's Refinery in Richmond California, has caused toxins to be released into their air, water and soil.

In a letter published by Bill and Courtney Powell of Ghent, they exclaimed disbelief that the EPA could have tested water and soil for PCB's and have had an "all clear" designation in only 2 days. The EPA reported no dangerous levels.

Fog City has included a photo of the fire; submitted by Occupy Okland, that shows a devilish, and eerie plume of black smoke.

According to a certified, environmental test, this smoke reading is -0- opacity. This means it is detrimental to human and other life forms.

The smoke is only what can be seen with the human eye; what cannot be detected without months and years of testing is the biological affect the toxins from this fire will have on human and other life forms.

NOAA Requests

Incident News provided by the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) has requested information from the Specialized Services Company, (SSC) regarding a mystery sheen located in the Oil Drilling Lease area known as Vermilion 51, off the coast of Louisiana, North America.

This is located on the globe at Latitude (approximate): 29° 23.02' North, Longitude (approximate): 92° 9.92' West.

This was reported on 2012-Jul-28  @ GOMEX, 13mi south of LA Coast 

There are no updates listed as of September 6, 2012

Incident News from NOAA July 28, 2012

Here is a YouTube Video of NOAA in emergency response 2005: