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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 11, 2017, 08:47:07 pm »

Biological Extinction | Paul R. Ehrlich


ublished on Mar 2, 2017
How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend


PAS-PASS Workshop
Casina Pio IV, 27 February-1 March 2017

On our 4.54 billion year old planet, life is perhaps as much as 3.7 billion years old, photosynthesis and multi-cellularity dozens of times independently around 3.0 billion years old, and the emergence of plants, animals, and fungi onto land, by at least the Ordovician period, perhaps 480 million years ago, forests appearing around 370 million years ago, and the origin of modern groups such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and land plants subsequently.

The geological record shows that there have been five major extinction-events in the past, the first of them about 542 million years ago, and suggests that 99% of the species that ever lived (5 billion of them?) have become extinct. The last major extinction event occurred about 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period, and, in general, the number of species on earth and the complexity of their communities has increased steadily until near the present.


Agelbert NOTE:
Biodiversity hot spots of 80% of biosphere's species endangered by Global Warming Pollution 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 04, 2017, 04:29:13 pm »



WATCH NOW: We're Taking Trump to Court

President Trump is waging an all-out war against our climate, our clean air and water and our health. But NRDC is striking back against every attack from his administration — and one of our best shots at winning is by taking them to court.

Please, take a moment to watch this powerful new video from NRDC Chief Counsel Mitch Bernard about our legal strategy to face off against Trump in the pivotal months and years ahead — then please consider making a tax-deductible gift to NRDC's Stop Trump Legal Fund to help support our critical litigation work for as long as it takes to win.


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 02, 2017, 10:33:41 pm »

The 6th Mass Extinction Event is here * Geologic History shows why CO2 caused Global Warming before
Marc Haneburght


Published on Jun 1, 2017

Runaway Climate Change is causing exponential major flooding (happening now) due to more heavy rainfall on Earth, and are taking too much nutrients by rivers into the oceans, creating anoxia events. A deadly purple sulfur bacteria. Too much is never a good thing. It's what made oil deposits happen in the past.

In the past the dinosaurs roamed the planet during the start of an extinction event, now it will be us. The next clever beings might learn in time what we did wrong, maybe not.

The planet might turn into Mars because of nobody being at the controls of nuclear power plants that will destroy the ozone with massive amounts of radiation.

Oceanic anoxic events or anoxic events (anoxia conditions) refer to intervals in the Earth's past where portions of oceans become depleted in oxygen (O2) at depths over a large geographic area. During some of these events, euxinia, waters that contained H2S hydrogen sulfide, developed. Although anoxic events have not happened for millions of years, the geological record shows that they happened many times in the past.

Anoxic events coincided with several mass extinctions and may have contributed to them. These mass extinctions include some that geobiologists use as time markers in biostratigraphic dating. Many geologists believe oceanic anoxic events are strongly linked to slowing of ocean circulation, climatic warming, and elevated levels of greenhouse gases.

Global warming. The biggest story ever. Too big for the general public.  >:(

Agelbert NOTE: MUST SEE video! To skip ancient history, begin at the 32 minute mark.

This video is tremendously educational and instructive because it demonstrates exactly how our scientists accurately determined CO2 levels in the distant past, as long ago as 200 million years, when today's oil deposits are believed to have been formed.

How did they do it? ??? They found 200 million year old fossils of a plant called a Ginko, that did NOT "evolve" AT ALL  ;D, all the way to the present (leaf structure is identical to modern Ginko leaves).

Permian Ginko leaf fossil on left  - Modern Ginko Leaf on right

The Ginko has pores in the underside of the leaves. The number of pores it forms is a function, as has been determined by empirical evidence, of the available atmospheric CO2. IOW, the more  CO2, the more pores.

The fossilized Ginkos leaf pore totals, exactly as the leaf pore totals of modern Ginko test plants grown in increasingly higher CO2 containing atmospheres, evidence 4 times the CO2 level of pre-industrial human civilization. THAT was an ice free world.

HOWEVER, that was NOT a "tropical paradise", as the fossil fuel fascist propagandist crooks and liars want you to believe.

Once the ice is GONE, some death dealing chemical processes begin until just about every macroscopic oxygen breathing life form is dead. It begins with the death of most of the species populating the Marine Trophic Pyramid. HOW? ???

When the ice is gone, the ocean currents that circulate oxygen throughout the oceanic depths in a 500 year cycle come to a HALT. This makes more and more parts of the ocean anoxic, so all the oxygen breathers die or flee closer to the still oxygenated shallows.

Meanwhile, the high CO2 levels acidify the oceans, killing off the Oxygen producing phytoplankton (can't make their Calcium Carbonate structure - like mollusks also can't - despite having more CO2 "food" available) that had become widespread with the early initial increase of CO2 levels (see massive algae blooms going on as we speak).

The dead Phytoplankton begin to sink through the shallows, triggering bacterial feeding frenzy activity of a type of purple bacteria that decomposes phytoplankton, hates oxygen, but needs sunlight (it uses the sun but excretes H2S - Hydrogen sulfide poisonous gas, not  oxygen).

So THEN the shallows become anoxic too. Then what is left of the oxygen breathers die. This not "just evolution", as the idiots who compare our fossil fuel based civilization's stupid and suicidal greedy activity to massive volcanic eruptions, as if  humans have as little free will as a volcano, ridiculously claim. But the imbeciles who wish to perpetuate the fossil fuel burning status quo frequently resort to this craven attempt to avoid responsibility for the harm being done.

Allowing the CO2 to get so high that it triggers the death of most marine life is Genocidal Criminal Negligence.


What just happened in the death of the Great Barrier reef is just the beginning of the heating process resulting from too much CO2. There is still a lot of ice. There is still oceanic circulation and oxygenation.

But ALREADY, JUST THE HEAT is killing the most important marine life nurseries in the oceans.


SO WHAT, you might ask. The dinosaurs were around for millions of years. Don't we have lots of time too?   

WHY? ???

Because the RATE we are putting CO2 in the atmosphere is THOUSANDS of TIMES FASTER than when the massive volcanic eruptions caused CO2 triggered extinctions!

When the  ice is gone and that rotten egg  smell from ubiquitous  Hydrogen sulfide poisonous gas reaches your nostrils, expect a VERY brief growth industry in canned oxygen.  But don't expect the Fossil Fuel Fascist "industry"   to admit they destroyed the biosphere for short term profit.

Coming soon to your home: DOOM WEEK ON PLANET EARTH


The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 30, 2017, 01:34:48 pm »

Gas Cars Much Dirtier Than Expected

May 29th, 2017 by Steve Hanley

Originally published on Gas2.

For years, the conventional wisdom has been that pollution from diesel engines was far worse than from gasoline engines for two reasons: First, diesel exhaust fumes are known to contain nitrous oxide emissions. Second, they also contain particulates, small molecules that are too small to see. Both are believed to cause serious damage to human lungs.

Particulate Emissions From Gasoline Engines

Now it turns out that conventional wisdom is wrong. ;D A study by researchers at the Materials, Science, and Technology Laboratory in Switzerland claims that particulate emissions from gasoline engines can be far greater than those from diesel engines.

The laboratory studied the emissions of 7 gas engine vehicles equipped with direct-fuel-injection systems. The research found that they emit from 10 to 100 times more particulates than modern diesel engines. In fact, they have higher particulate emissions than older diesel without particulate filters.

Wait, did you read that right? Gasoline engines spew out up to one hundred times more particulates that a modern diesel engine equipped with a particulate filter? Yes, you read that right. Yikes. And people wonder why the incidence of asthma and other lung related diseases is on the rise!

Researchers Find Carcinogens In Gas Engine Exhaust

The researchers, led by Norbert Heeb, who has 25 years of experience analyzing emissions from diesel engines and designing filter systems, showed that the particles are the same size as those from older diesel engines. They measure between 10 and 20 nanometers and clump together into particles between 80 and 100 nanometers before they leave the exhaust system.

The gas engines were also found to discharge unburned hydrocarbons in the form of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), along with other liquid and solid toxins which accumulate on the surface of the emitted particles.

Particulates Penetrate The Lungs

Heeb says the particles are so small they penetrate lung tissue and pass into the bloodstream, bringing those toxins with them. Is this beginning to sound like the days when researchers first told the world about all the nasty stuff contained in cigarette smoke? It should, because it turns out there is a connection to smoking. The researchers also found that the exhaust gasses coming out ot the tailpipes of the cars with gas engines also contain benzo-α-pyrene, a carcinogenic produced when tobacco is burned.

A Call For Particulate Filters

He urgently suggests that carmakers begin equipping their gas-powered cars with particulate filters. “New exhaust emission technologies launched on the market typically need about 13 years to become fully effective. Only after that period of time will 9 out of 10 cars in the vehicle fleet be replaced,” he says. “So, the faster particle filters are mandatory in gasoline cars, the better it will be for everyone’s health.”

Direct Injection Is The Cause

The culprit in all of this appears to be direct-injection systems themselves. Gasoline engines do not inherently form particulates in the exhaust. In older electronic fuel injection systems with an injector located in the intake tract, fuel is added at the end of the exhaust stroke as the piston is travelling away from the combustion chamber.

In direct injection engines, the fuel is added as the piston is headed back toward the combustion chamber after the end of the intake stroke. This gives the fuel less time to evaporate, claims Heeb, which results in more more unburned hydrocarbons, which means more soot.

Direct injection allows more precisely controlling the fuel delivery process, leading to better fuel economy and lower carbon dioxide emissions. Apparently, few people have tested gas-powered cars equipped with direct-injection systems for anything other than CO2 until now.

Another Reason To Go Electric   


What’s the bottom line? Just this: Thanks to the Swiss researchers, now we know that our cars are slowly killing us and the planet we live on. It is time to end the reign of the internal combustion engine and push forward with the transition from fossil fuel cars to zero-emissions electrics. Our health depends on it.


https://cleantechnica.com/2017/05/29/gas-cars-much-dirtier-expected/

Agelbert NOTE: Take THAT, Charles Hall, Gail Tverberg  and all you other bought and paid for "energy expert" prevaricating propagandists cheerleading fossil fuels to the detriment of people and planet! LIARS! CROOKS!

And you too, you propagandized intelliburros defending the "real world" of fossil fueldom "high energy density" BALONEY!   

 

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 29, 2017, 08:14:04 pm »

Churches, Schools and Water Tanks: Made of Bottles!    ;D


Plastic Bottles To Build With
This is just beautiful to behold: buildings of all kinds in South America, made using earth and plastic bottles.

You will see not just residential structures, but water tanks, aqueducts, churches and schools made of water bottles!

Enjoy this video in full screen mode, because only then can you see that these are indeed made with the soda and water bottles we throw away every day.

According to this video, 80% of the 160 billion bottles we throw away every day are not recycled. This type of architecture can be a durable, inexpensive solution all over the world.

--Bibi Farber

This video was produced by Eco Tec.




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 28, 2017, 03:40:04 pm »


May 27, 2017, 03:49:13 AM

Agelbert Note: Quote from the above article:

Quote
Innovation does not solve problems, it creates them.


The above is an excellent example of a half-truth. The author is focusing, without mentioning it, on Dilworth's  idea that humans are too smart for their own good, as discussed in his the peer reviewed book Dilworth wrote showing how we-the-people had to pay about $468 a barrel  :o  :P (effective price to police the middle east for oil) in the FIRST Gulf war instead of using that money to become independent of Middle East oil. He showed how TPTB "justified"  that stupidity in the quote below:

Quote
Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

"As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists.
 
Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.


Yes, making we-the-people pay for war and other polluter fun and games IS a form of INNOVATION that CREATES problems and certainly DOES NOT solve problems; it exacerbated TWO problems: 1) the pollution problem AND 2) the concentration of wealth in fewer hands democracy destroying problem.

But it continues to be a half truth. From Dilworth's point of view, the innovation in human medicine of washing our hands and other other methods of antisepsis CREATES a bigger problem than it solves, simply because that boosts the human population beyond the available resources. (see: bacteria consuming agar n a petri dish quicker as the population increases, thereby hastening their demise - despite the instinctive ring circling delay attempt).

To take that argument to its logical end, the "innovation" of a large brain that gave us tool making created more problems than it solved for our ancestors, who proceeded to kill and eat anything or anybody that was either in their way, was edible, or both.


However, despite the above logic, which boils down to "Humans, like T-Rex, just DO WHAT THEY DO",  the argument is flawed.

HOW SO ? ???
 


The argument ignores the FACT that at each and every innovation event in human history, a bifurcation of he future viability level of the species, projected just before that innovation, occurred. The ASS-U-MEption that a more stable biosphere would have been obtained had our population been kept in check by disease, dumbness or whatever cannot be proven because we didn't go that route. It's just an assumption, like the deep ecologists have that humans are a disease on earth and the biosphere will be better off without us.

True, innovations SEEM to increase the rate we use up available resources in a fixed biosphere area, which temporarily increases the species footprint on the biosphere while decreasing the long term viability of that species as its increasingly bigger footprint crowds out the other species it needs to survive.

They way things look NOW, the trajectory is extinction for humans, of course. That cannot be denied by any person with critical thinking skills (unless they work for the fossil fuel industry - they don't hire people with those skills  ;D).

BUT, at each and every bifurcation brought by innovation, an ETHICS BASED QUESTION WAS ASKED AND ANSWERED BY TPTB. Consistently, corrupt leaders with short term horizons ignored the Precautionary Principle of Science. And as specialization in human fields of endeavor increased, less and less people in decision making authority at the top had the skills or the inclination to look at the total biosphere cause and effect picture to determine if the human innovation was deleterious to it, to our eventual detriment. And EVEN when an obvious detriment to life was evidenced, profit over people and planet prevailed.

So, the PROBLEM is NOT the INNOVATION itself, but LACK OF ETHICAL BEHAVIOR by TPTB.

So, are we doomed if we CONTINUE to allow TPTB to refuse to make ETHICAL BEHAVIOR sine qua non in our society?

Absolutely. But we are not doomed because we are self aware, can innovate and do stupid things. WE are doomed because we made a conscious CHOICE to do so. It's called SIN (missing the mark). We DO have free will, despite what many, like the deep ecologists, claim to the contrary. But all these modern Darwin worshiping "highly evolved" intelliburros out there want to eschew, demean, disdain, ridicule and reject forget all concepts of ethics, right and wrong, morality, the concept of SIN or absolutely anything that gets in the way of them doing their selfish thing.

So much do the intelliburros fastidiously cling to to their relativist and rebellious mindset, that rather than ADMIT humanity made mistakes, and needs to correct them through ethical behavior, they claim that we rigidly just DO WHAT WE DO and throw up their hands, as the author of the article is doing.

I wrote some time ago, when discussing Dilworth's information about the Fossil Fuel Industry Capitalists:

The Fracking, pollution and GW we are being assaulted with are SYMPTOMS of the DISEASE killing our biosphere, not the disease itself.

If we don't seriously address this DISEASE of Sh it Canned Ethics for Short Term Profits of the fossil fuel FOOLS that are despoiling our biosphere and accelerating planetary pollution, the big die offs (including large segments of the human population) begin at 2030.

This totally unjustified profit, never mind the needless lose of lives, then increases the power of the fossil fuel corporations to perpetuate a biosphere harming dirty fuel status quo. How? By "funding" politicians with rather large "donations" to keep renewable energy from competing with dirty energy.

If all this was just about power politics, I might not be that concerned. Humans, particularly the overly ambitious and aggressive ones, have always fought and schemed to control and fleece the population at large.
 
But now we know the future of our biosphere is at stake. Now we know the entire edifice of dirty energy is a knife in the back of the biosphere that will destroy our species and many others.

 

The system, as defined by the fossil fuel fascist dystopia that currently runs most of the human affairs among the 1 billion population in the developed world that is saddling the other 6 billion, who are totally free of guilt for causing it, with this climate horror we are beginning to experience, IS quite stubborn and does not wish to change the status quo.

Mother nature will force it to do so.

Whether it is done within the next two decades or not (i.e. a switch to 100% PLUS bioremediation Renewable Energy steady state economy) will dictate the size of the consequent die off, not only of humans but thousands of other species as well.

We are now in a climate cake that has been baked for about 1,000 years according to atmospheric, objective, proven with experimental data, science.

If the crash program to switch to renewable energy is to begin soon, I expect the trigger for the crash program will be the first ice free arctic summer (according to my estimates) in 2017. But millions of people demanding a transition to 100% renewable Energy will give us a fighting chance to win the Climate Victory.

You can help us leave dirty energy sources that are killing us behind.


All we have to do is use Common Sense, admit we were WRONG, and make ETHICAL BEHAVIOR sine qua non in human affairs.

We HAVE A CHOICE. But how can we make that choice if people no longer believe there is a difference between good and evil behavior? The short answer is that we can't. The apparently "easy" choice will always be taken. THAT IS WHAT GOT US HERE. THAT IS WHAT UNTHINKING, NON-TOOLMAKING, NON-SINNING BACTERIA DO in a petri dish with agar running out (after their instinctive ring 'circling' attempts collapse).

WE ARE NOT BACTERIA. WE HAVE A CHOICE TO DO THE right THING.

All we have to do is stop pretending otherwise. WE understand nature pretty well. It's time we obeyed her and put everybody who doesn't in jail. THAT is the INNOVATION in human affairs that would NOT create a bigger problem than the one it solved. You don't have to believe in God to admit you were wrong and that biosphere math MUST be our guide, but it helps;D



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 27, 2017, 07:32:57 pm »

World's Largest Beach Clean-Up: Trash-Ridden to Pristine in 2 Years

By Joe McCarthy

A lot of people take part in community clean-up efforts—spending a Saturday morning picking up litter in a park, mowing an overgrown field or painting a fence.

But not everyone has the drive to do what a young lawyer and environmentalist in Mumbai recently accomplished.

In 2015, Afroz Shah moved to an apartment near Versova beach, an ignored strip of ocean near slums. He was shocked by the pollution that he saw—the beach was covered in rotting garbage. Nobody could walk along the beach, let alone swim in the water, without being assaulted by the smell.

"[The plastic] was 5.5 feet high. A man could drown in the plastic," Shah told CNN. "I said I'm going to come on the field and do something. I have to protect my environment and it requires ground action."

At first, Shah and his neighbor, an 84-year old man, would go out and pick up as much trash as they could.


After a while, Shah realized that he had to expand his team if he was going to make a dent in what was essentially an environmental crisis. He began knocking on doors and talking with local residents, explaining the harm caused by marine pollution. His determination inspired a lot of people and soon dozens, hundreds and eventually more than a thousand volunteers from all walks of life pitched in.

https://www.ecowatch.com/beach-clean-up-mumbai-2421608193.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 24, 2017, 02:27:53 pm »

So Goes Nature So Goes Us

May 22, 2017

Leading conservationist, Jamie Rappaport Clark speaks about the dangerous levels of species extinction and deforestation



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 24, 2017, 02:15:38 pm »

April 28, 2017

Environmental InJustice: The Poisoning of East Chicago


 Lead in the water. Arsenic in the soil. East Chicago residents sound off on representatives from EPA and HUD, about how their community resources were contaminated for decades by industry.


http://therealnews.com/t2/story:18943:Environmental-InJustice%3A-The-Poisoning-of-East-Chicago
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 21, 2017, 05:20:15 pm »



7 Potted Plants that Will Remove Indoor Air Pollution from Your Home, Proven by Science

Last updated on October 31st, 2016  at 5:03 pm by Tibi Puiu

Credit: Flickr // ProFlowers

The advent of agriculture some 12,000 changed human culture forever. Free from the stress of having to constantly scour the land in search for game and fruits, humans could now divide labour and massively expand their communities. Despite the domestication of plants and animals had a very practical purpose, it didn’t take humans too long for them to find out they could breed plants for aesthetic purposes.

A brief history of indoor plants

Credit: Public Domain

We don’t know who were the first to extensively use houseplants, but one of the first records suggests the Chinese used penjing trees and plants of different varieties in interior spaces as ornamental features as early as 4,000 years ago. These indoor plants were considered a sign of wealth and prosperity and gave many the chance to practice their gardening skills because the plants would grow and flourish all year round.

Perhaps the most famous example of both outdoor and indoor gardening dates from the time of Emperor Nebuchadnezzar who in 610 B.C.E. completed The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The widespread use of houseplants that we see today, however, can be traced back to Victorian England in the late 1800s. While the sumptuous outdoor British gardens kept their gates closed until springtime, many Brits began growing a wide variety of cheery and colourful plants. The included English ivy, dracaenas, and Chinese evergreens to name a few.

Things have moved on, thankfully, and the range of indoor plants available now has arguably never been greater.

But plants aren’t just for show

There’s a growing body of evidence that house plants help improve indoor quality not only by producing oxygen but also by absorbing various pollutants like allergy-irritating dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). In today’s modern household, the latter quality is the most desirable out of your potted plants because VOCs have never been more abundant. These are produced or released by the household’s walls, paints, wood preservatives, cleansers, and disinfectants, glues and adhesives, and other chemical products.

“We all know, but most of the time we completely forget, that air is the most consumed material by humans,” said Vadoud Niri, a chemist at the State University of New York at Oswego, who is one of the authors of an important study that assessed the performance of various potted plants as VOC absorbers.

“Each of us breathes over 3,000 gallons of air each day, and even though you could go days without food and hours without water, you would last only a few minutes without air.”

“That’s why air quality is extremely important and air pollution is an important environmental threat to human health.”

Since the 1980s, NASA has been researching houseplants for the purpose of purifying space stations. Since then, various studies have come up with a list of particularly able plants which have a higher than average VOC filtering ability. Here are just a few.


Aloe vera

Credit: Pixabay

Aloe vera
, a common household plant, does more than provide a home decor boost. Research suggests its a great absorber of  formaldehyde and benzene, which are compounds commonly released by cleaning products and paints. The plant also has various therapeutic properties and has been used as a medicinal plant for at least 6,000 years. It’s used to treat skin conditions, accelerate healing of wounds, and even as a laxative.


Spider plant

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) likes to chow on benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, the latter being an air pollutant that clogs the atmosphere in leather, rubber, and printing shops.

Spider plants are very easy to grow, prefer dry soil and thrive in cooler homes.


Gerbera daisy

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Also known as Transvaal daisy, Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), is a daisy-like bloomer that comes in a variety of jewel tones. Besides splashing your home with colour, this daisy is very effective against trichloroethylene, which you might find on your dry cleaned clothes. This makes the houseplant great for bedrooms or laundries.


Snake plant

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata), also hilariously known as the Mother-in-Law’s tongue, is one of the best formaldehyde filters, commonly found in cleaning and personal care products. It thrives in low light conditions so this makes it an ideal bathroom potted plant. If you’re particularly bad with plants, like I am, this may be your soul plant. It can go on for weeks without having to be watered.



Red-edged dracaena

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Dracaena (Dracaena spp.) is grown for its dramatic foliage and carefree nature. Besides freshing up your home, dracaena is an effective filter against xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. But if you’re after air quality, look for the red-edged variety because there are many kinds of dracaena. Look for purple-red edges on ribbon-like leaves.


Bamboo palm

Credit: Flickr

Native to Mexico and Central America, this dwarf plant doesn’t grow taller than five feet. It loves bright light and humidity, but also benzene and trichloroethylene.


Peace lily 

Credit: Flickr

Perhaps the most beautiful VOC filter you’ll find on this list, the peace lily (spathiphyllum) topped NASA’s list for air quality  proving effective at absorbing all three main VOC compounds — formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.

http://www.zmescience.com/science/potted-plants-air-quality-home-0423/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 19, 2017, 03:46:04 pm »

 

Diesel cars sold in 2015 emit 50% more NOx emissions than anyone thought

Last updated on May 16th, 2017  at 3:56 pm by Tibi Puiu

SNIPPET:
Quote
Key findings from the SEI report include:

•Heavy-duty vehicles, such as commercial trucks and buses, were by far the largest contributor worldwide, accounting for 76% of the total excess gas emissions.

•Five of the 11 markets that were analyzed, Brazil, China, the EU, India, and the US, produced 90% of that.

•For light-duty vehicles, such as passenger cars, trucks, and vans, the European Union produced nearly 70% of the excess diesel nitrogen oxide emissions.

•On-road diesel vehicles contribute 55% of global surface transportation NOx emissions, consistent with other estimates.

•The excess diesel vehicle NOx emissions in 2015 were linked to 38,000 premature deaths worldwide. Most of these deaths were linked to the European Union, China, and India.

Full article:


http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/climate/diesel-emissions-nox/

Agelbert NOTE: I am not surprised.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 19, 2017, 03:33:17 pm »

 

New method can remove small, but dangerous, amounts of chemicals from freshwater

Last updated on May 12th, 2017  at 6:30 pm by Elena Motivans

SNIPPET:

So many chemicals enter our water, often in tiny amounts. For example, pesticides from fields can run off into rivers, medicine is peed out into toilets, not to mention the chemicals produced by factories that enter rivers. With fresh water being increasingly scarce, it is important to have sources of safe, clean drinking water. One stumbling block is that it’s hard to remove small amounts of pollutants from water. Current methods use a lot of energy or chemicals. Now, researchers at MIT have created a very efficient method for removing even a tiny amount of pollutants from water. They use an electrochemical process that binds dangerous chemicals and lets clean water go through.

Taking out chemicals

MIT postdoc Xiao Su and a team of researchers at MIT and at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany developed this new method to remove contaminants from water. Even small amounts of these chemicals can be harmful if consumed through drinking water. The researchers were able to remove even very small amounts of pesticides, chemical waste, and pharmaceuticals with 96% success.

Pesticides and other pollutants can enter drinking water in small quantities, and be hard to remove. Image credits: PROFrits Ahlefeldt Hiking.org.

So here’s how it works:



http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/pollution-ecology/new-method-can-remove-small-dangerous-amounts-chemicals-freshwater/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2017, 06:52:45 pm »


12 Farmworkers Poisoned by Toxic Pesticide Only One Month After EPA Denies Ban  >:(

By Lorraine Chow

15 May 2017

More than 50 agricultural workers southwest of Bakersfield, California in Kern County were inadvertently exposed to pesticide drift from a nearby field earlier this month. According to local reports, 12 farmworkers reported symptoms of vomiting, nausea and one person fainted due to exposure to Vulcan, an organophosphate-based chemical.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notably, the active ingredient in the insecticide is chlorpyrifos, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump administration decided not to ban in March.

"Anybody that was exposed, that was here today, we encourage them to seek medical attention immediately. Don't wait. Particularly if you're suffering from any symptoms. Whether it's nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seek medical attention immediately," Michelle Corson, public relations officer for Kern County Public Health, said.

As the Environmental Working Group detailed, research shows that even small amounts of chlorpyrifos can damage parts of the brain that control language, memory, behavior and emotion. Multiple independent studies have documented that exposure to chlorpyrifos impairs children's IQs and EPA scientists' assessments of those studies concluded that levels of the pesticide found on food and in drinking water are unsafe.

But on March 29, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt sided with the pesticide lobby over scientists in his decision to nix an Obama-era proposal to ban chlorpyrifos from use on food crops.

http://www.ecowatch.com/farmworkers-poisoned-chlorpyrifos-2408574673.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 11, 2017, 06:48:42 pm »

 

Endangered Earth: Victory Protects 1 Million Acres From Drilling, Fracking

For Immediate Release, May 4, 2017

Contact:  Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364, psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org
 Jeff Kuyper, Los Padres ForestWatch, (805) 617-4610 x 1, jeff@LPFW.org
 Greg Loarie, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2000


Legal Settlement Halts Effort to Open 1 Million Acres in California to Oil Drilling, Fracking

Agreement Preserves Moratorium on Leasing Public Lands to Oil Industry


LOS ANGELES— Conservationists have forced the Trump administration to halt plans to open more than 1 million acres of public land and mineral estate in California to oil drilling and fracking. The victory preserves a four-year-old moratorium on leasing federally owned land in the state for oil and gas development. 

The legal settlement, approved Wednesday, resolves a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and Los Padres ForestWatch, represented by Earthjustice. The agreement requires the Bureau of Land Management to rework a resource-management plan that would have auctioned off drilling rights on vast stretches of public land in California’s Central Valley, the southern Sierra Nevada, and Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. 

“This is a big victory for California and a major blow to Trump’s plan to turn our public lands over to oil companies,” said Brendan Cummings, the Center’s conservation director. “Despite the petroleum industry’s stranglehold on the White House, these beautiful wild places are still off limits to drilling and fracking. That protects our water, wildlife and climate from fracking pollution.”

The BLM has not held a single lease sale in California since 2013, when a federal judge first ruled that the agency had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by issuing oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental dangers of fracking. The new settlement will continue that de facto leasing moratorium.

“This agreement ensures that public lands along California’s central coast — and the communities that depend on them — are protected from the harmful effects of oil drilling and fracking,” said ForestWatch Executive Director Jeff Kuyper. “Our region’s wildlife, clean water and scenic landscapes are too valuable to sacrifice to development.”

 “Our hope is that this settlement puts the final nail in the coffin for BLM’s illegal practice of rubberstamping fracking in California without environmental review,” said Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie, who represented the groups. “Fracking has no place in California’s clean, renewable energy future.”

The settlement means that the BLM must now complete a new analysis of the pollution risks of fracking, which blasts toxic chemicals mixed with water underground to crack rocks.

The public lands at stake in today’s settlement encompass “numerous groundwater systems that contribute to the annual water supply used by neighboring areas for agricultural and urban purposes,” a federal judge noted last year.

A 2015 report from the California Council on Science and Technology concluded that fracking in California happens at unusually shallow depths, dangerously close to underground drinking water supplies, with unusually high concentrations of chemicals, including substances dangerous to human health and the environment.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Los Padres ForestWatch is a local nonprofit conservation organization working to protect wildlife, wilderness landscapes, and the great outdoors in the Los Padres National Forest and other public lands along California’s Central Coast.
 
 
Agelbert NOTE: Thank you, conservationists. Anything that gives fossil fuel TOOL TRUMP some grief is welcome news! 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 09, 2017, 10:58:47 pm »

Breakthrough In Plastics Recycling
Above Ground Mining
   
The UN estimates the amount of electronic waste alone is 85 billion pounds per year and growing.

 Over 90% of metals that end up at a recycling facility are in fact recycled because the process is much easier than plastics. By contrast, only 10% of plastics are recycled because they must be sorted into many different categories of density, color and type.

 So most plastic is in fact, not at all recycled.

 Mike Biddle, a plastics engineer, set out to find a solution. He set up a lab in his garage in Pittsburg, California, and began experimenting with complex-plastics recycling, borrowing ideas from such industries as mining and grain processing.

 Since then, Biddle has developed a patented 30-step plastics recycling system that includes magnetically extracting metals, shredding the plastics, sorting them by polymer type and producing graded pellets to be reused in industry. This process takes less than one tenth of the energy required to make virgin plastic from crude oil.

 His company's recycling process is a breakthrough solution for closing the loop on plastics. He has new plants opening all over the world, and companies are eager to buy the recycled pellets.

 -Bibi Farber

 This video was produced by Ted Talks
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 07, 2017, 06:40:44 pm »


Judge to Exxon: Pay $20 Million for Violating Clean Air Act More Than 16,000 Times

ExxonMobil must pay $20 million for violating the Clean Air Act more than 16,000 times at a Texas plant, a district judge ruled this week.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The ruling against Exxon in a suit brought by Environment Texas and the Sierra Club found that the oil giant failed to update emissions-reductions technology at its Baytown, Texas refining and chemical plant.

In their suit, the groups alleged the plant illegally released more than 10 million pounds of pollutants between 2005 and 2013, while Exxon gained more than $14 million in economic benefits.

"Today's decision sends a resounding message that it will not pay to pollute Texas," Neil Carman, clean air program director for the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter, said in a statement. "We will not stand idly by when polluters put our health and safety at risk."

http://www.ecowatch.com/exxon-clean-air-act-baytown-2383090378.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 07, 2017, 03:21:19 pm »



WWF wins Survival’s “Greenwashing of the Year” award

2 May, 2017

Widespread logging has been an acute problem for rainforest tribes for many years. © Margaret Wilson/Survival

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has won Survival International’s “Greenwashing of the Year” award for partnering with seven companies logging nearly 4 million hectares of forests belonging to the Baka and Bayaka “Pygmies” in central Africa.

The award is given to companies or organizations who dress up the destruction of tribal peoples’ forests as conservation.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), based at the Bronx Zoo in New York, has been named as runner-up, also for its activities in the Congo Basin. It has partnered with two logging companies, neither of which have obtained the consent of the tribal peoples in the areas in which they work.

WWF describes logging companies as “forest operators.” According to WWF, its partnerships with these companies are intended to “advance sustainable forest management."

In reality, however, all of WWF’s partners have been accused of illegal logging and none have received the consent of the Baka and Bayaka “Pygmies.” A recent study found that approaches like WWF’s have failed to slow the break-up of the Congo Basin rainforest.

This picture was taken by Baka “Pygmies” in late 2016 when they reported finding Rougier employees logging illegally on their land. © Survival

In a 2011 report, the environmental NGO Global Witness said that the partnerships “allow some… member companies to reap the benefits of association with WWF and its iconic Panda brand while continuing unsustainable logging, conversion of forests to plantations, or trading in illegally sourced timber.”

The partnerships also violate WWF’s own policy on indigenous peoples, which requires all projects to be undertaken with the full consent of tribal communities.


Baka and other tribes have been forcibly removed from much of their ancestral land, and forced to live on roadsides. © Survival International

A Baka man said: “It’s the Baka’s forest, which we’ve conserved for a long time. It’s the loggers who bring guns and their brothers who hunt all the animals.”

A Baka woman added that “we need to fight against this because our forest is being finished off completely.”

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “WWF’s supporters might be surprised to learn that it’s working so closely with the loggers who are destroying one of Earth’s great rainforests. Congo Basin tribes, the original guardians, are being pushed aside and their societies wrecked. Across Africa and Asia, the big conservation organizations partner with industry and tourism and destroy the environment’s best allies. It’s a con, and it’s harming conservation. Perhaps this “award” might encourage people inside WWF and WCS to put pressure on their organizations for reform. It’s time to listen to tribal conservationists.”

VIDEO of Baka “Pygmy” at link:

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/11677

Baka “Pygmy” speaks out against destructive loggersSome of the world’s largest logging groups are destroying the Baka’s ancestral forests in the Congo Basin.

This Baka man lives near logging concessions run by the French giant Rougier  , one of the World Wildlife Fund’s main partners.
Despite claiming it never partners with logging companies without the Baka’s consent, it has done precisely that for over 15 years.

Note to editors: WWF has partnered with: Bolloré Group, Danzer Group, Decolvenaere Group, Pasquet Group, Rougier Group, SEFAC Group and Vicwood Group. WCS has partnered with Danzer Group and the Olam Group. Full report here. at story link

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/11677

“Pygmy” is an umbrella term commonly used to refer to the hunter-gatherer peoples of the Congo Basin and elsewhere in Central Africa. The word is considered pejorative and avoided by some tribespeople, but used by others as a convenient and easily recognized way of describing themselves.

http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/11677


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 01, 2017, 07:34:49 pm »


Oil and Gas Spills Are Happening So Regularly They're Barely Being Reported On


Thom talks with a caller concerned with various gas leaks and oil spills lately and their lasting effects on the environment around them, while mostly being ignored by the corporate owned media. Meanwhile, renewable energy prices continue to fall. Can we really afford fossil fuels any more?

 


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 01, 2017, 06:51:54 pm »

What is the Social Cost of Carbon Emissions?



THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON 
 
Douglas Hendren

Published on May 7, 2016

Fossil fuels are a lot more expensive than you might think. This music video explains why, and what you can do about it.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 21, 2017, 08:11:28 pm »

Epic Video Captures the Moment Rescuers Dive From a Cargo Ship to Save a Trapped Whale 


Plastic waste, the culprit behind one of the most burning environmental issues we are facing today, is an immense threat to a number of animals, especially marine mammals like whales. Whales, like many other animals, often mistake plastic trash for potential food and ingest it. During necropsies performed on whales after deadly in their consequences strandings, specialists found an increasing amount of plastic debris in the animals’ stomachs. Another danger posed by our waste is that of entanglement. For whales, even despite their size, abandoned fishing nets still pose a very serious risk.

In the video above we see the crew of a cargo ship “Sheikh Mokrani,” rescue a massive whale from a ghost fishing net. After struggling to free the massive animal, the crew managed to liberate the whale and send him back to deep waters!

This amazing rescue illustrates how real the dangers of plastic waste are for the animals in the oceans. Every year, we throw into the oceans around 8.8 million tons of plastic! Because of that unbelievable overflow of debris, 700 marine animals species are now faced with extinction, 50 percent of all sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs, and it is estimated that by 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. The conclusions are obvious – we have to do something about our plastic problem now or else it will be literally too late for an overwhelmingly huge number of animals.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/rescuers-dive-from-a-cargo-ship-to-save-a-trapped-whale/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 21, 2017, 03:09:10 pm »



21 Apr 2017 | Benjamin Wehrmann, Julian Wettengel   

The diesel fairy tale / Making nuclear exit a business

Tags: #Cars #Climate & CO2
 
tageszeitung (taz)

The diesel fairy tale

Diesel cars use more fuel and thus emit more CO₂ than carmakers specify, according to previously unreleased test results by Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), reports Bernhard Pötter for tageszeitung (taz).

In the course of investigations surrounding NOx emissions from diesel cars in 2016, KBA also examined CO₂ emissions and found that they were 10 to 36 percent higher than specified in the 30 inspected models, according to documents seen by taz. Tests were carried out according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), not real-life conditions, writes Pötter.

Until now, the transport ministry has not published the 2016 findings on CO₂ emissions. VW confirmed that they adjusted their models’ specifications in reaction to the KBA’s test results.

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.


Tags: #Cars #Climate & CO2
 
tageszeitung (taz)

Fraud and self-deception

By not publishing CO₂ emissions test results, the federal government is protecting Germany’s auto industry and thus hindering important innovation in efficiency and climate protection, writes Bernhard Pötter in an opinion piece in taz.

Quote
“If in ten years the auto industry collapses like the big power utilities do now, the federal government will also be to blame,” writes Pötter.

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.


 
Tags:  #Elections & Politics #Energiewende
 


BDEW: Energy transition to enter crucial stage only after next legislative period

Germany’s energy transition will face a critical phase after the next legislative period in 2021, according to the national utility association BDEW. “The real challenges lie between 2021 and 2030, when the nuclear exit has been completed and excess power capacities are drastically reduced," the lobby group’s head Stefan Kapferer told journalists in Berlin.

Germany's last nuclear plant will shut down in 2022. 

Quote
“After that, we’ll have to see how fossil power plant capacity, which will still be needed for the foreseeable future, will be structured,” Kapferer said.

Other crucial issues are building high-voltage transmission lines and electrifying the transport and heating sectors, he said. The BDEW expects wholesale power prices to pick up after 2022, he said. According to the BDEW, Germany's next government after September's elections had to prepare the right conditions for the critical 2020s.

This meant hurdles for storage solutions and decentralised supply had to be lowered, taxes and levies on power reduced, and a modernisation of the heating sector made a priority, it explained.

For more information, see the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.



Tags: #Nuclear phase-out
 
WirtschaftsWoche

The most expensive construction site of our time  :P

Dismantling Germany’s nuclear power plants is a lucrative business for companies carrying out the task, and final costs are hard to predict, writes Konrad Fischer in WirtschaftsWoche. “Nobody has experience with such a task, so how is one supposed to calculate the costs?” asked Michael Klein, director of the nuclear power plant Stade in northern Germany, in the magazine.

In the future, companies that now gain experience in Germany will face a global market of dismantling nuclear power stations “virtually without competition,” writes Fischer.

For background read the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out and the CLEW factsheet Nuclear clean-up costs.


Tags: #Finances #Fossil fuels #International
 
EurActiv

EU should pave the way for G20 fossil fuel subsidy phase-out  

The EU needs to take a leadership role in addressing fossil fuel subsidies and the G20 platform is “an obvious way for EU leaders and ministers to showcase their efforts and actions to eliminate” them, writes Maeve McLynn, finance and subsidies policy coordinator at Climate Action Network Europe, in a guest commentary for EurActiv.

http://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/eu-should-pave-the-way-for-g20-fossil-fuel-subsidy-phase-out/?nl_ref=36031397


Tags: #Wind
 
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Wind power can be cheaper 

Companies for whom offshore wind parks are a core business, but were not successful in Germany’s first competitive auction for the technology, will “have a problem”, as only one more auction was planned for offshore expansion until 2025, writes Andreas Mihm in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

This explained the low average successful bid. “The result of the tender is a setback for companies like RWE carve-out innogy or Sweden’s Vattenfall,” writes Mihm.

On the topic, read the updated CLEW article Operators to build offshore wind farms without support payments.


Tags: #Efficiency #International
 
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

EU states say no to ambitious energy saving goals   

Several EU countries are rejecting an ambitious and binding energy efficiency goal proposed by the EU Commission in its winter package, reports Hendrik Kafsack in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). The EU Council Presidency, currently held by Malta, aims to make the target non-binding, according to documents seen by FAZ. Germany, France, Luxemburg, Denmark and other member states will now try to prevent this weakening of proposals, the article says.

For background read the CLEW article German reactions to the EU energy package and the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and Efficiency.



Tags: #Efficiency

Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) / The Energy Collective

Efficiency first: A crucial building block for the Energiewende 

Prioritising efficiency measures that cost less or deliver more value than planned investment in supply resources and infrastructure is “a crucial building block” for Germany’s Energiewende, writes Andreas Jahn of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) in an article carried by The Energy Collective.

Since the German government published its green paper on energy efficiency, it is now up to citizens and organizations to “step up to ensure that this topic becomes part of the next election platform and, thus, part of the next coalition agreement,” writes Jahn.

http://www.theenergycollective.com/raponline/2402729/efficiency-first-crucial-building-block-energiewende

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and Efficiency.




Tags: #Fossil fuels #International
 
Climate Home

EU should block Nord Stream 2 on climate grounds   

The EU should block the Russian-German gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 not only for reasons of energy security,  but also on climate grounds, writes Marcin Stoczkiewicz, head of Central & Eastern Europe at ClientEarth in a guest commentary on Climate Home. “If EU member states are serious about their commitments to tackle climate change, they should use every tool in the box to stop Nord Stream 2,” writes Stoczkiewicz. Nord Stream 2 would risk locking in fossil fuel use for decades.

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/04/20/eu-block-nord-stream-2-climate-grounds/

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and its implications for international security.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)”. They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/diesel-fairy-tale-making-nuclear-exit-business
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 15, 2017, 05:14:24 pm »

Seven Gulf Animals Worth Protecting

Posted On April 14, 2017 by Marja Diaz

It goes without saying that all Gulf animals are worth protecting. But we couldn’t share them all. So like a mother’s abundant, yet somewhat hierarchical, love for her batch of offspring, our list of seven Gulf animals exists with a twinge of favoritism.

In recognition of next week’s seven-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, we’ve compiled a list of seven incredible Gulf animals. From ocean Einsteins to bus-sized carnivores, here are seven Gulf animals worth protecting:

1. Whale Shark


Visuals of whale sharks are breathtaking. These gigantic yet gentle globs of mass can live up to 150 years, and are often found gliding with mouths wide open—mouths as wide as five feet. As the largest fish in the world, whale sharks can reach up to 40 feet long and weigh up to 20,000 pounds.

While primarily solitary animals, whale sharks rely on a sixth sense (not the one you’re thinking) to detect the presence of other animals through electromagnetic fields. However, whale sharks are relatively harmless, choosing to feed on plankton instead.

As for the official debate of whale versus shark? Whale sharks are just plain sharks. This means they are fish, and not mammals—the classification of whales. The name “whale” simply comes from a denomination of its enormous size.


2. Bottlenose Dolphin


Fun fact: humans aren’t the only species on a first name basis.

Researchers discovered that, like us, dolphins have unique ways of addressing individual members of a pod. In the way that we use first names to call each other’s attention, dolphins use signature whistles to call specific members of their pod.

As Einsteins of the sea, dolphins are some of the smartest mammals around, known for their craft, cunning and social skills.


3. Sperm Whale


Perhaps best known for the role of “whale” in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, sperm whales didn’t have the best reputation in the past. These carnivores are known for their massive size (longer than the average transit bus) and gigantic heads—holding the largest brain of any living mammal on earth! While brain size does not equal intelligence, they are relatively vocal and communicative animals.

Sperm whales often travel in groups, up to twenty large, and even practice communal childcare! Pods are typically made up of female and their young, while males tent to travel solo, or drift between groups.

Finally, their heads account for one third of their body and are filled with a curious substance called spermaceti. Although scientists still aren’t 100% sure of its use, some believe the spermaceti help these toothed whales regulate their buoyancy, helping them to dive down to 3,000 feet deep.


4. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna


When you think of tuna, whether in the context of small metal cans on store shelves or gripping tales from tanned fisherman, these apex predators play a major role in a balanced Gulf ecosystem. Prized by recreational and commercial fisheries, bluefin tuna are the largest of the tuna species, reaching up to 6.5 feet and swimming at speeds up to 45 mph. Oddly enough, these top predators are warm-blooded, meaning they can regulate their own body temperature.


5. Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle


The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is one of the smallest turtles in the sea, weighing in at about 100 pounds. These stalwart swimmers will travel hundreds of miles to reach their nesting grounds, and often return to the same beach where they hatched.  Sadly, many of their nesting areas on the Gulf Coast are threatened by urban development and sea level rise, and the lives of these reptiles have become increasingly difficult since the BP oil disaster. Today, their female nesting population is estimated at only 1,000 individuals.


6. Brown Pelican


Brown pelicans are both stunning flyers and impressive divers. While relatively clumsy on firm ground, they spend their time between water and air, plunge diving into the ocean to stun small fish upon impact and scooping them up into their extendable throat pouch. They can also hold up to three gallons of water in their pouch.

Although pelicans were once placed on the Endangered Species List due to pesticide pollution such as DDT, they’ve since become a recovery success story.

7. Manatee


Everyone’s favorite sea cow comes in at number seven as a staple of the Gulf ecosystem. These warm water drifters can eat about 120 pounds, or 10% of their body weight, each day. As a distant relative of the elephant, these buoyant animals have thick, wrinkled skin that often hosts growing algae.  Finally, despite their small eyes and tiny ear holes, manatees can see and hear very well!

As we approach the seven-year anniversary of the BP oil disaster, we are seven years closer to fully restoring the Gulf and better understanding the ecosystem and wildlife that speeds, drifts and thrives off its shores. This month, the first payments of the $20.8 billion BP settlement are being issued—something we’re lucky to have seven years after the disaster began. The Exxon Valdez oil spill case dragged on for 20 years in court, resulting in a much lower penalty. This seven-year anniversary is an opportunity, and we are lucky to continue improving our Gulf ecosystem for the incredible wildlife beyond its shores.

Looking for more information on ocean animals? Check out our wildlife fact sheets.

Posted in Ocean Life | Tagged BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, gulf of mexico, manatee, manatee facts, Marja Diaz, ocean animals, whale sharks

About Marja Diaz

Marja G. Diaz is a RAY Marine Conservation Fellow and Digital Coordinator at Ocean Conservancy, based in Washington D.C. She grew up along the beaches of Southern California, and recently graduated from Stanford University, class of 2016. Her passion for travel has led her to every continent but Antarctica (it's on the list), and inspired a love for photography. She ultimately hopes to combine film and photography to spread awareness on the current and future state of the world's ocean and marine life.


http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2017/04/14/seven-gulf-animals-worth-protecting/#more-14151
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 15, 2017, 12:57:42 pm »

April 10, 2017 | Rona Fried | Fossil Fuels

Maryland Bans Fracking   , As Activists Fight 9000 Miles of New Pipelines


Maryland is the third state to ban fracking, after New York and Vermont did a couple of years ago.

In a rare case of bipartisanship, Maryland’s Republican Governor, Larry Hogan, signed a bill passed overwhelmingly by the Democratically controlled legislature. He says, “The possible environmental risks of fracking simply outweigh any potential benefits. Protecting our clean water supply and our natural resources is critically important to Marylanders and we simply cannot allow the door to be open for fracking in our state.”

Activists have been pushing for a ban since 2012. Food & Water Watch talks about how it came to fruition. After lots of rallies and knocking on doors, they say:  “In March of 2013, we helped pass a ban on fracking wastewater in the Baltimore City Council, and in 2014, we worked with Montgomery County to ban fracking there. When the state legislature passed a fracking moratorium in 2015, things really started to pick up steam. Working with partners, we passed fracking bans in Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and Friendsville in Garrett County. We also passed fracking resolutions in Frederick County and about a dozen other jurisdictions across the state. These local actions brought thousands of people into the anti-fracking movement, and set us up to win big at the state level.”

138 communities in the US have banned fracking, including Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Butte counties in California and Cincinnati and Athens in Ohio.  Colorado has been at outlier, suing towns that  have passed bans.

In the past, Hogan called fracking an economic goldmine, so we’re not sure what changed his mine  ;D  :exp-grin: – especially since he vetoed a bill to expand renewable energy in Maryland. Democrats overrode the veto, raising the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25% renewables by 2020, up from 20% by 2022. A bill to expand energy efficiency – utilities must cut electricity demand 2% a year by 2020 – became law without the Governor’s signature.

Pipeline Spills All Too Common

Banning fracking is completely separate from the threat of pipelines, however. Even with 2.7 million miles of oil and gas pipelines across the US, there are plans for 9,000 more miles, according to The Gas Rush: Locking America into Another Fossil Fuel for Decades, by Sierra Club. 19 new pipelines are planned for Appalachia alone, and fights are on-going in 10 states.

Bayou Bridge pipeline, for example, would connect refineries in Louisiana with North Dakota oil fields, putting 700 watersheds at risk. And a bill introduced in the House would allow oil and gas drilling in 40 National Parks!

Last week, New York denied a permit for the Northern Access Pipeline – which would have stretched from Pennsylvania to Canada – after turning down another pipeline last year. Portland, Oregon passed a resolution that bars new fossil infrastructure and new terminals are blocked in Vancouver, Washington. 28 pipelines, oil-by-train, and terminals have been stopped by activism and market conditions.

Center for Biological Diversity

Incredibly, only 528 government employees are in charge of inspecting pipelines – one inspector per 5,000 miles of pipelines. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is severely understaffed with just 188 inspectors (the rest are state employees) and is due for big  budget cuts under Trump. Inspectors are also responsible for 148 liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and 418 gas storage facilities, many of them old and deteriorating.

About 16% of fracked gas wells rupture per year according to a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology.  Over the past 10 years, there have been 6,648 spills in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania alone, where there are 31,481 wells. Half the spills are from pipelines and poor storage and the rest  from failed equipment and loading/unloading trucks.

Since 2009, over 175 million gallons of wastewater spilled from ruptured pipes, overflows from storage tanks and even deliberate dumping,” reports Associated Press, poisoning agricultural land and drinking water, and causing mass die-offs of plant and animals. There have been almost 22,000 spills in 11 states.


Watch this time-lapse video that shows significant spills since 1986 – causing a total $7 billion in damages, over 2,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths.  All told, 3 million gallons have spilled every year.


Agelbert GRAPHIC NOTE: SEE  BELOW
 



How About Offshore?


Fracking is also happening in the Gulf of Mexico. With a court order in hand, the Center for Biological Diversity found that 1200 fracking permits were issued by the Obama administration’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the EPA allowed the wastewater dumped in the Gulf – without environmental review, public input or monitoring. It’s also been occurring in federal waters off California.

“Fracking has largely been in a shroud of secrecy,” says Miyoko Sakashita, the group’s Oceans Director. “Even regulators, until recently, were not really aware it was happening. The EPA doesn’t know which chemicals   are being discharged into the Gulf of Mexico.”

76 billions gallons of wastewater were dumped in the Gulf in 2014 alone. On land, the EPA requires wastewater to be relatively clean before it goes into streams, for example, but there are no rules offshore.  They don’t even keep track of  wastewater dumping offshore, Sakashita told ThinkProgress.


Fracking locations in Gulf of Mexico:

Center for Biological Diversity

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/maryland-bans-fracking-activists-fight-9000-miles-new-pipelines/






The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 10, 2017, 02:47:09 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 10, 2017, 02:30:06 pm »

A Pen Isn't the Only Gift Trump Gave Dow Chemical

Agelbert NOTE: For those of you who doubt that rather long each of Polluters in the USA, this is a great example of how the FACTS about some toxic product they make are twisted to defend MORE profit over people and planet. 

The following legalese disclaimer (posted IN MARCH OF 2017) by Wikipedia placed just above the cleverly MASSAGED description of the effects of Chlorpyrifos (see "moderately toxic to humans" ), a SARIN GAS derivative that has been PROVEN TOXIC to humans in general, and CHILDREN IN PARTICULAR, says it ALL:

Quote
This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page. (March 2017)

Quote
Chlorpyrifos   is a crystalline organophosphate insecticide, acaracide and miticide. It was introduced in 1965 by Dow Chemical Company and is known by many trade names including Dursban, Lorsban, Bolton Insecticide, Nufos, Cobalt, Hatchet, and Warhawk [5]. It acts on the nervous system of insects by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase.

Chlorpyrifos is moderately toxic to humans, and exposure has been linked to neurological effects, persistent developmental disorders and autoimmune disorders. Exposure during pregnancy retards the mental development of children, and most home use was banned in 2001 in the U.S.[6] In agriculture, it is "one of the most widely used organophosphate insecticides" in the United States  :P, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and before being phased out for residential use was one of the most used residential insecticides.[7] On March 29, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt   denied a petition to ban chlorpyrifos.[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpyrifos
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 09, 2017, 11:08:21 pm »





Pruitt's Rejection of Chlorpyrifos  Ban Seems Based on "Alternative Facts"

Sunday, April 09, 2017 

By Paul Koberstein, Earth Island Journal | News Analysis

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40154-pruitt-s-rejection-of-chlorpyrifos-ban-seems-based-on-alternative-facts

Agelbert NOTE: Pruitt behavior is par for the Repuklian course  (The Dumocrats aren't worth a plug nickel either).  >:(


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 03, 2017, 08:52:30 pm »

Fox News  :o  ;D Grills Pruitt  Over Climate Denial in Must-See Interview 

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace confronted new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt on Sunday about his controversial statement last month that carbon dioxide is not "a primary contributor" to climate change.

"Mr. Pruitt, there are all kinds of studies that contradict you," the Fox News Sunday host remarked. "The UN's panel on climate change says it is 95 percent likely more than half of the temperature increase since the mid-20th century is due to human activities."

Wallace also cited the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's findings that there is more carbon dioxide now than in the last 400,000 years and that 2015 and 2016 are the two hottest years on record.

"Mr. Pruitt, are we supposed to believe that's all a coincidence?" Wallace asked.

Remarkably, Pruitt's response acknowledged that there is a "warming trend" and that human activity increases global temperatures "in some measure." However, he contended that the EPA should not have the power to regulate greenhouse gasses.

Wallace then shot back, "But sir, you're kind of sugar-coating what you have said."

"You said that you would not agree that carbon CO2 is a primary contributor to global warming," Wallace continued. "And the question I have is, what if you're wrong? What if, in fact, the earth is warming, what if it is causing dramatic climate change and that we as humans through carbon emissions are contributing to it?"

"Don't you think the fact that we have these coal power plants belching carbon emissions into the air, you don't think that plays a role?" Wallace pressed.

Pruitt replied, "I think that we've done it better than anybody in the world at burning coal clean, in clean fashion."

The tense 14-minute interview covered a number of topics including the Trump administration's devastating environmental rollbacks and the proposed 31 percent spending reduction for the EPA, the biggest cut of any federal agency.

Watch the interview here:


http://www.ecowatch.com/wallace-pruitt-climate-change-2342442096.html

Agelbert NOTE: Pruitt, like his boss, is a TRAITOR. not just to this country, but to all of humanity (he is the one in RED below).

Left to right: Tillerson, Pruitt, Sessions, Price

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 02, 2017, 12:54:56 pm »

So Simple A Child Can Understand


Quote
"Things always find a way to happen ... A pen leaking. Your shoelace coming untied. Toxic chemicals in your drinking water. What?!"


 This short animation is a great addition to the more lengthy and serious videos, explaining why the process of hydro-fracking is highly toxic and dangerous.

 Retro hip, sharp and funny - it hits the nail on the head when it come to getting across the basic message.

 "Oil and gas companies drill into the ground. They take good water, mix it up with not so good stuff and shoot it into the wells to force out the gas. By 2010 they'll be drilling 32,000 wells a year."

 So simple a child can understand. Let's spread the message so enough grown-ups do too!

 --Bibi Farber

 This video was produced by Earthjustice.org

http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/anti-fracking/delightful-animated-short-on-fracking-.html

Agelbert NOTE: We all now know that the EPA has IS FINISHED its "study" of Fracking risks to the polluter profits  environment  ;), thanks to BOTH Obama and Trump. But for those masochists who want ALL the details on what FRACKING IS and what FRACKING DOES, watch this delightfully detailed video below.  :P


The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   









Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 31, 2017, 06:51:32 pm »


Ice-Class LNG Tanker Forges Path for Arctic Shipping Super-Highway

March 30, 2017 by Reuters

ReutersBy Olesya Astakhova

SABETTA, Russia, March 30 (Reuters) – An ice-breaking tanker docked for the first time at Russia’s Arctic port of Sabetta to test a new route that could open the ice-bound Arctic Ocean to ships carrying oil and liquefied gas.

The route is eagerly anticipated by energy firms that want to develop resources in the Arctic but face obstacles in getting oil and gas from remote and freezing fields to world markets.

Environmental activists fear commercial shipping in the Arctic — now possible because climate change has thinned the ice for part of the year — will allow exploitation of a region that up to now has been a pristine wilderness.

The 80,000 tonne-capacity Christophe de Margerie, an ice-class tanker fitted out to transport liquefied natural gas, docked in the icy port of Sabetta, with Russian President Vladimir Putin watching via live video-link.

Putin congratulated the crew and energy company officials gathered on the ship’s bridge, saying: “This is a big event in the opening up of the Arctic.”

The South Korean-built vessel was not picking up a cargo on its maiden voyage, but will eventually be used to transport gas from Russia’s Yamal LNG plant, which is near the port.

File photo: The ice-class ARC7 LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie during sea trials.

The project, scheduled to start production in October, is led by Russian firm Novatek and co-owned by France’s Total , and China’s CNPC and the Silk Road Fund.

The ship is named after a former Total chief executive who died at a Moscow airport in 2014 when a snow-clearing tractor crossed the runway as his private jet was taking off.

The Yamal LNG consortium sees Asia as the biggest market for its gas in the long term. Shipments to China from Yamal should take about 18 days using the Northern Sea route.

That journey would take vessels east through the Arctic Ocean, down through the Bering strait that separates Russia from Alaska, and into the Pacific.

By contrast the alternative route involves heading west into the North Atlantic, south into the Mediterranean, and then through the Suez Canal into the Indian Ocean. That would typically take about 32 days.

The tanker arrived at Sabetta earlier this week, after departing South Korea in November and sailing around Africa into the Atlantic, according to Reuters data.

The aim of the voyage was to prove the port can receive a tanker of that class. Other LNG tankers have already sailed via the Northern Sea route from Scandinavia to the Pacific.

ARCTIC PUSH   

The Arctic’s energy resources offer huge promise for Russia, heavily dependent on oil and gas exports. Many of its Siberian fields are growing old, forcing it to look to more remote areas for new reserves.

Its push into the Arctic — accompanied by a military build-up — has alarmed the West. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has described Moscow’s Arctic moves as “aggressive steps.”

Putin said projects such as the Northern Sea route would allow Russia to become the world’s largest LNG producer.


Qatar is currently the world’s top LNG producer, followed by Australia, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago.

After the Yamal plant reaches its full capacity, combined with the existing Sakhalin-2 LNG plant in the Pacific, Russia will produce almost 27 million tonnes of LNG annually, equal to the amount imported by China per year.

Novatek is studying whether to build another LNG plant, Arctic LNG-2, with capacity comparable to Yamal or higher and first production in around 2023.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS   

Putin said Russia’s energy projects in the Arctic were guided by the principle that they should do no harm.

The Christophe de Margerie, built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), belongs to a class of vessel which, ship designers say, can safely operate in icy waters.

Ice-class tankers usually have double hulls, strengthened structures to withstand battering from the ice, and reinforced propellers. The Christophe de Margerie is capable of moving through ice as thick as 2.1 meters.

The ship will only be able to navigate the northern route from July to September each year, because the ice is too thick at other times, according to Sovcomflot, the Russian state shipping firm that owns the vessel.

A total of 15 gas tankers will be built for the Yamal project by Daewoo.

Environmentalists say too little is known about the impact of the new route on the Arctic’s ecology.

Alexei Knizhnikov, Russian oil and gas environmental policy officer for international campaign group WWF, said measures were needed to mitigate the risk of heavy oil from the ship’s engines leaking into the sea.  ::)

He said ships could disturb wildlife such as walruses and whales. (Additional reporting by Oksana Kobzeva and Denis Pinchuk in ARKHANGELSK, Gleb Stolyarov in MOSCOW; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Christian Lowe)

http://gcaptain.com/ice-class-lng-tanker-forges-path-for-arctic-shipping-super-highway/

Agelbert NOTE: 

Polar Bears Are Definitely Screwed - The Arctic Heat Wave Is Literally Off the Charts Right Now

 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 29, 2017, 09:47:23 pm »

A Major Step Forward in the Flint Water Crisis

March 28, 2017 Rhea Suh 

SNIPPET:

The residents of this Michigan city will finally have access to a basic right: safe drinking water. But the fight isn't over.

For once, I am excited to report that there is good news on the Flint water crisis front. The pipes at the heart of the disaster are going to be replaced. For the first time in the three years since this Michigan city’s water was turned to poison, Flint’s citizens have a guarantee that the resources are in place to replace its estimated 18,000 lead pipes. And for the first time, they know when the pipes will be gone.

Let’s be clear, Flint is not fixed. But things are going to get better.

This did not happen because of the city, state, or federal governments that failed them. It happened because brave people in Flint stood up for their neighbors. They went to court. One of the genius parts of American environmental protections are the citizen suit provisions in our major environmental laws. When the government fails to protect its citizens, we are all empowered to go to court and force the government to do its job.

Full article and pictures of polluted pipes at link:

https://www.nrdc.org/experts/rhea-suh/major-step-forward-flint-water-crisis

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