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11 Comments

  1. A very seldom if ever seen video in NYC, trust me. In fact, call it very “fringe”. Ironically, the green-supported anti-Spectra forces aren’t making much headway here because the imagined Fukushima in waiting peril of Indian Point up the river is just so ominously huge and metro media supported. In fact they do their own cause a disfavor by bringing up radon which is a far more mysterious frightful hazard — like Indian Point radiation — to New Yorkers than far more familiar natural gas which most assume they could always live with. I mean, a whole apartment complex might burn down from gas here and I still wouldn’t worry much about my LNG stocks. Some of the anti-Spectrta folks include notoriously anti-nuclear Hudson River alliance green groups (some affiliated with anti-VY groups), so there’s no latent nuke support or sympathy there. Some regard the anti-Spectra campaign is just a confederation of green groups exercising their oats to go beyond banishing I.P. and are very high on off-shore and interstate medium lane windmills and throwing solar cells on every rooftop here as Mayor Nanny Bloomberg often espouses. Don’t forget, this is the land where there haven’t been any junior/senior high school nuclear plant science fair exhibits — not winners, just plain exhibits! — for over twenty years! After witnessing the insane maligning the media gave Shoreham out here on Long Island — a sparkling new nuclear plant so complete that you just had to turn the key, I just doubt we’ll see any fresh nuke projects outside of I.P. and Millstone expanding. I will say one thing tho’; the motley crew of greens are hauling way more PR ass against Spectra than all the regional nuclear groups and industry ever had for Indian Point!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

  2. Striking similarity in the talking heads here and in the Bruce Power ad!

    Striking difference in message!

  3. I guess “Occupy the Radon-Bearing Granite Underneath Your Basement” isn’t as catchy.

    1. Besides, they’re more likely to settle for “Occupy Your Basement.” I hear it’s a good place to smoke pot.

  4. Rod – thanks for the post, and James Greenidge – thanks for the perspective.

    About all these communication issues – I’ve come across a site (and videos) by Dr. Peter Sandman on risk communication and risk communication strategies. His thesis is that Risk = Hazard + Outrage where ‘Risk’ is ‘perceived risk’ and ‘Hazard’ is what the safety industry means by ‘Risk’, the multiplication of the magnitude and the probability of the event.

    He has posted 12 videos from a two day risk communication course, focusing on outrage management, given to Rio Tinto, on a Vimeo channel: Peter Sandman on Risk Communication.

    I haven’t found a summary video for his ideas – one needs to be made. But to get the flavor of his work, I suggest watching the first seven minutes of the fourth video, Three Risk Communication Strategies to get a feel for Sandman and what he is doing.

    For a second sample I suggest watching First Outrage Management Strategy: Stake out the Middle from the 10 minute mark to about the 14 minute mark. Sandman discusses of exaggeration in risk communication.

    Exaggeration in the service of warning people is a public service. Exaggeration in the service of reassuring people is a public disservice. So warnings can be exaggerated and reassurances can’t. (Rio Tinto) gets to stake out the middle. They get to rebut your crap. … What you’re doing is arguing their case as well as yours. … Your goal is to leave your critics nothing to say except things you have already admitted, and things that are flat out lies. That’s very hard to do.

    Tepco and BP would definitely agree that ‘That’s very hard to do’. ‘Pandora’s Promise’ is using one of his strategies – taking people on the journey from one view to the opposite.

    He also goes into how to increase outrage, vital to getting things done when there are high hazards with low current levels of outrage. Global warming doesn’t have the outrage levels it needs. Steve Alpin at Canadian Energy Energy Issues is certainly doing his best to generate outrage about well intended policies. We need to generate outrage, maintain it, and focus it to start getting things done.

  5. Hmmm…I have mixed feelings. Is it true that fracked NE gas has more radon than that form the south and traditional gas drilling methods? How true is this and, is it statistically significant? Just asking…

    One can argue too that what exists now in Manhattan…the most densely populated area in North America is already run with thousands (yes thousands) of miles of very old, San-Bruno aged pipelines already. It seems the newer one would be safer. Just thinking outloud here folks.

    My only criticism of the video, which is excellent as Rod notes, is that no native NYers were used to make this. At least it didn’t seem that way by their accents, which is unfortunate. I would of used some old working class types from The Bronx or Hells Kitchen (west side) to add some linguistic color to the video.

      1. The gas would have to spend very little time in transit for radon to be a problem; every 4 days cuts the amount by more than half.

  6. Having a b it of a geology background, which includes the sources of radon gas, and how the areas of Manhattan, on granite formations, are in them selves inherently radioactive, learned some years ago the central Ohio regions were a radon sink. Even Connecticut has a few nasty spots, like where the old prison had been, another area for the form of pegmatite that contains radium the parent of radon. Since fracking is usually conducted in sandstone and shale deposits, the amount of radon would be at a lower level, especially when mixed in the other sources of natural gas.

    Texas has a large supply of uranium in beds in the area around Mustang Island, and is extracted by a leaching process, much like native sulfur, so has ahd little pres in those areas. Worth looking into, btw.

    If you have active faults in the region of city water supplies, you get natural gas seeps, and hot spring effects, including enough sulphuric compounds that will rot out copper pipes.

    A pipeline was never meant to be forever, just the dreams of the designer/builder involved with their construction.

    AS to storing gas in wells; Hoskins Mound on Highway 146, just North of I-10 and East of Houston, near Bay Town, Texas was a wonderful lesson as why not to do so. At least without some serious soil mechanics being done to prove out the structure. Why? Natural faults breed leaks, which lead to all those cute littole flares along the road, but handy on a foggy night.

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