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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 18, 2018, 01:44:52 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: This is a great article packed with cartoons revealing the battle going in in Germany between Renewable Energy advocates and hydrocarbon addicts refusing to recognize the dangers in Greenhouse Gas fueled Catastrophic Climate Change:



July 18, 2018


Germany's coal mines seen from space, the talk on electric cars and Chinese-German battery production cooperation - CLEW's visiting cartoonist Mwelwa Musonko presents his view of the Energiewende and its many big and small peculiarities.




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 13, 2018, 12:33:06 pm »



Why Florida's Largest Lake Is Filled With Toxic Algae, Again

By Maddie Stone

July 12, 2018 Filed to: FLORIDA



https://earther.com/why-floridas-largest-lake-is-filled-with-toxic-algae-a-1827524577
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 12, 2018, 11:53:10 am »

CleanTechnica
Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

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5 Ways China’s Now A Global Climate Leader

July 11th, 2018 by Guest Contributor

Originally published on Climate Reality Project.

The world’s biggest emitter decided to take some serious climate action – and in the process renewed our hope that we will beat the climate crisis.


Ten years ago, the idea that China – the planet’s single biggest carbon polluter – would be a global leader on climate in 2018 would have sounded, well, a stretch.

But with terrifying levels of air pollution threatening to spark social unrests in earlier years and the US stepping back from the global stage under President Trump, that’s exactly what’s happened.

The story begins with a massive public health crisis, but how China responded – and five steps in particular – lays out a practical path to a low-carbon future for countries around the world.

Airpocalypse Now ☠️

How did the world’s biggest polluter become the world’s leader on climate?

It all goes back to the “Airpocalypse.”

Not too long ago, many in some of the Chinese cities were going about their business engulfed in a cloud of pollution. The gray haze could be so dense, that buildings and trees would quite literally disappear in front of your eyes. And stepping outside, even for just a minute, required wearing a facial mask to avoid directly breathing the toxic air.

How to Keep Climate Action on Track After the Paris Agreement

The source of much of that pollution wasn’t hard to find either: coal-fired power plants and vehicles on the road. Since the early 2000s, China’s economy had been growing rapidly, powered largely by coal.

The unchecked use of coal on such a huge scale didn’t take long to generate real problems. In 2005, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s biggest CO2 emitter (a title that the country has held since the 20th century). And in 2008, 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the entire world were in China, according to the World Bank.

Enough Is Enough

In 2013, the Chinese government finally decided that enough was enough, introducing a national action plan to curb air pollution, including a set of coal consumption limits for key regions including Beijing and the Pearl River Delta.

In 2016, China released its national plan for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and committed to lowering the country’s carbon intensity of GDP by 60–65 percent (below 2005 levels) by 2030 in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to Paris Agreement. As the world’s second-largest economy – and home to nearly 1.4 billion people – that’s a big deal to the world.

Growing Pains and Growing Progress

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Emissions are still rising as the country continues to grow. And although China has halt many coal projects over the past years, environmentalists have called it out for investing coal energy in other countries such as Turkey and Pakistan to satisfy its immense need for energy.

On the other hand, China has made real progress. Between 2013 and 2017, Chinese cities cut the amount of fine pollution particulates(PM2.5) in the air by an average of 32 percent. And the capital Beijing has seen a lot more sunny days as PM 2.5 concentration dropped 54 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, in comparison to the same period of 2016.

On a global level, there’s also good news. China has been instrumental in keeping the Paris Agreement process going, continuing to curb emissions and expand renewables even as the US (another huge polluter) has dramatically backed down at the federal level.

So how’s China done it? There’ve been many steps, but five have been especially key.
1. Bye-Bye, Coal

China has been slowly (but surely) moving away from coal energy. Last year, the government announced plans to cancel 103 new plants and closed the very last coal plant located in the capital, Beijing.

From 2014 to 2015, coal consumption reduced after a decade of steady increase.

2. Putting a Price on Carbon


One of China’s most impressive moves was to launch the world’s largest national carbon trading market in 2017. The goal is to encourage companies to become greener by allowing them sell or buy excessive carbon emissions. The first phase of the project only covers the power generation sector, but the initiative is expected to expand across many other areas of the economy.

3. Clean Bus Rides

China is showing the world how to move many people around quickly and cleanly.   Around 17 percent of the country’s municipal buses are electric, and the city Shenzhen holds the record for the globe’s largest electric bus fleet, with all of its 16,359 buses had gone electric last year. The achievement was only possible due to government subsidies. But in the long run, operation and maintenance costs of electric buses are significantly lower than those fueled by diesel.

4. Making the Investment in Renewables

Moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy is not just an effective way to clean up the planet. It’s also a good investment.

In 2017, China invested a staggering US$ 126.6 billion in renewable energy – 45 percent of the total worldwide investment. The country has been using a whole lot of green technology internally  – nearly doubled its solar generation from 2016 to 2017. But it also has its eyes on a much larger international market.

5. New Forests

China is so keen on green that it’s deploying soldiers to plant trees across the country. The goal is to replant many of the forests that were cut down for industrialization and farmland, all with an eye to removing carbon from the atmosphere on a massive scale and doing it naturally.

Sowing seeds is actually one of the country’s Paris Agreement goals – China wants to increase forest stock volume by 4.5 billion cubic meters by 2030, from its 2005 level. China is also planting a different kind of forest on its buildings to help sequester carbon.


The Takeaway


The catalyst was the sight of millions choking on industrial and power sector pollution, but the result has been one of the most influential for emissions reduction and energy transformation the world’s ever seen.

Five steps in the process have been critical:

Cutting coal

Putting a price on carbon

Cleaning up public transit

Investing in renewables

Conserve and rebuild the forest


The good news is that it doesn’t take a public health crisis for countries to embrace these and other practical solutions. The world’s second-largest economy has already shown they work, and now it’s time for other nations to follow its lead.

Want to stay updated on climate action across the globe? Join our email activist list. We’ll deliver the latest on climate science and innovative ways you can get involved in the climate movement right to your inbox.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/11/5-ways-chinas-now-a-global-climate-leader/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 09, 2018, 11:52:01 am »

Agelbert NOTE: This old article is more applicable than ever today.

TAE (The Automatic Earth web site is the home of fracked gas cheerleader "energy expert" Nicole Foss 🦖)
 
Waste Based Society: Solutions and Alternatives

Published June 12, 2012

Quote
Are there viable solutions and alternatives to the Energy intensive Waste Based Society we currently live in, which do not entail a return to Paleolithic levels of technology?  Diner and TAE Commentariat member A. G. Gelbert outlines a myriad of technologies which might be employed to maintain a higher technological base for society.

RE

Solutions and Alternatives to the Waste Based Society

by A. G. Gelbert

We are cursed with a rather effective propaganda machine that defends the status quo and works mightily to provide allegedly iron clad arguments exposing our desperate dependence on fossil fuels and the enormous debt we owe to them for our ‘wonderful civilization’. The media has cleverly weaved fact and fiction to present plausible arguments against the practicality of going cold turkey on fossil fuels and 100% on renewables.

Not one word about the fact that fossil fuels are easy to meter and conveniently provide a constant revenue stream for the rich along with governmental control of a populace that simply cannot move or function without daily use of fossil fuels ever seems to be mentioned. Not one word about how renewables cannot be metered or taxed easily and how that feature gives everyone a large degree of independence aand flexibility in disaster situations to help themselves or a less fortunate neighbor is mentioned.

On the other hand, the continuous and vociferous denial of the link between fossil fuels and environmental problems, regardless of scientific concensus on this very real link, never seems to go away either. The actual history of the industrial revolution involving some very brutal measures to coerce humans to abandon horses, as only one of many coercive measures, for tranportation and farming are always ignored and replaced with a stream of pejorative comments about horse dung in big cities. People did not want to get rid of their horses!

I am not simply talking about city ordinances and fines targeting horses. Right around 1865 a big push began to sell farm machinery. Amazingly, a huge horse plague hit the U.S. that year that killed a massive amount of horses. No explanation beyond “Civil War stress” blarney was ever given. These horses were not just city horses in population centers but out in the country as well.

The move to horseless carriages began on the farm with steam power and hydrocarbon lubricants. The automobile came later along with the bone cancer. Bone cancer from the original automoblie fuel, benzene, is seldom mentioned by the media and apparently is considered no big deal in comparison to horseshit odor. Moving on to the early 20th century, Rockefeller has a waste product in his refinery cracking towers (after separating all those great heavy and light lubricants) called gasolene and he talks Henry Ford into modifying the carburators to run on it.


Of course the ‘minor’ problem with benzene fuel may have helped make the switch. There were electric cars on the road at the time. Cleveland had wind generators creating electricity at that time! You’ll never guess what happened to them and the electric trolleys all over many towns in the USA. So, enough of that. Everyone here knows how predatory capitalism attempts to game the system to achieve price control and a monopoly. Once much more efficient and sustainable technologies are shoved aside by hook or by crook, the distorted and mendacious meme that our current technology is the result of friendly capitalist competition in the ‘free market’ is pushed.

Predation occurs followed by propaganda versions of history. That is the real history of the industrial revolution in regard to our choices of energy production. Renewables got squeezed out, not because they couldn’t compete favorably, but because the pollution and health costs of fossil fuels got ‘externalized’. Along the way, the independence of the mostly agrarian American in energy production and use was crushed.

A love afffair with the car was fostered to the point that in the late 1920’s more Americans had cars than flush toilets. Of course they were better off, ecologically speaking, without flush toilets, but the point is the job of selling Americans on fossil fuels was a done deal by that time.

So please remember that nobody was doing us any favors, like the media wants to claim; they were selling us something in order to concentrate wealth and power in a few hands. They were using us as a cash cow to the point of introducing planned obsolecence, rampant consumerism to keep the factories going and simultaneously thwarting moves to sustainability like Henry Ford’s plan to make cars out of hemp plastic in the early1940s.

We like new stuff and are always looking for the latest model year of the car or whatever because we have been manipulated by experts to do so. It has absolutely nothing to do with our health, well being or happiness. Bernays really messed us up. Fast forward to the present where the witches brew of ecological harm brought about by industrialization has caught up with us. And NOW, all of a sudden, we just can’t live without all this ‘wonderful’ energy packed fossil fuel economy.

Methinks somebody wants to slap a guilt trip on the chumps so they agree to clean up the mess even though the media keeps claiming there isn’t really that much of a mess. We, the masses, are accused of being wasteful pigs that bred like rats thanks to fossil fuels.

Where to begin? How about the fact that family size has been decreasing, not increasing, througout the industrial revolution? That’s right. The numbers were baked in by 1800 and the wars slowed them down a bit. Louis Pasteur and Lister did a hell of a lot more to create our present population ‘problem’ than fossil fuels. Most of the key scientific advancements in medicine were not exactly high tech and fossil fuel dependent. A human makes it past 5 years of age and he has a huge chance of living out his 3 score and ten. It was the enormous reduction in infant mortality brought about by antiseptic procedures that caused the population explosion, not fossil fuels. It’s a stretch to say that fossil fuels alowed people to obtain clean water to wash their hands before delivering a baby, but I’m sure the media verbal contortionists would toss it out there to further muddy the waters of historical truth.

The much touted plumbing advancements that require machinery and factories powered by fossil fuels, while they did reduce disease in population centers and prolonged life, were setting us up for more fossil fuel use through improper humanure handling. I maintain that the main cause of our population explosion is knowledge of disease microbes, their propagation methods and our changes in hygiene as a result.

Edward Bernays

What about all this waste we now produce that we have been folded, spindled and mentally mutilated through Freud’s nephew Wall Street amygdala reptilian brain control propaganda? They set us up and now WE are the bad guys? They want us to shop till we drop and WE are the problem? And how much ‘waste’ do WE actually produce on a carbon footprint basis compared to the global 1%?

Well, Senator Bernie Sanders stated recently that less than 1% of the U.S. owns about 40% of the assets (I’m not talking about income increases although they have gotten the lion’s share over the last ten years as well). Yes, I know he talks about banks too but he mentions those 400 or so elite families every now and then. Now figure the carbon footprint of those people and compare it with the rest of us. All those endless films about diapers, milk gallons and so on used in our middle class lifetimes with the obligatory landfill mountains thrown in are nothing compared with the horrendous and gigantic amount of crap these families generate. Isn’t it amazing that when it comes to pollution and wasteful habits, we are ‘all in this together’? No attempt is made to segregate out the worst offenders. On the contrary, the poor and middle class are constantly demonized as being irresponsible useless eaters. It’s all quite Orwellian on the part of the media.

But yeah, we do waste, and we have a waste problem that is real, so let’s talk about it.

Waste can certainly destroy a society, species or most of the ecosphere if, as many point out, we continue with the ridiculous paradigm that we can industrially do multi-generational damage to the life support systems humans depend on and not define this as suicide. It’s almost like our nuclear nuts and oil fetish fucks have morphed us into a mass version of the heaven’s gate cult. Those people thought they could hitch a ride on a comet by commiting suicide. Every single step in industrializaton has, for anyone willing to do the TOTAL math, NOT been ecospherically cost effective. The fact that a small group of humans has temporarily benefited at the expense of the overwhelming majority of humans and all other earthlings right now, not to mention the obvious acceleration in environmental degradation promising a super bleak future, seems to go right over the heads of way to many otherwise intelligent people.

Heaven's Gate Cult Leader that convinced many to commit suicide

Just like the heaven’s gate cult, people are addicted to a dream that never was, PERIOD. All talk about this and that from our youth and how much fun we all had and how nostalgic we are for those nicer times is the exact same phenomenum of a drug addict longing for his first high. LISTEN UP! We are a function of the ecosphere. We DO NOT, despite all the best propaganda efforts of our scientific community, understand the mechanism of the ecosphere sufficently to tinker with it, let alone wantonly pollute it with “externalisms”. EXTERNALISMS!? That’s just some economist bullshit! There are NO externalisms inside the life bubble called the ecosphere; it just takes a while to catch up with you when you mine, bomb and toxify with chemicals NIMBY areas for a few centuries. We are there and yet our scientific community and our financial community and our political wheeler and dealer con-artists with their new techno death toys and ‘miracle’ GMO crops and drug after drug to replace patent expirations, new ripoff scams, more war profiteering and emotional button pushing divide and conquer racist crap just DO NOT GET IT (or maybe they do get it and are insanely trying to make hay out of it).

The people in charge of our dysfunctional clusterfuck are akin to that psycho Whiteapple that led the heaven’s gate cult. They will not change to a sustainable paradigm because THAT requires subordination to the reality that we are a product of the ecosphere and the humble acceptance that we do not understand it yet so, until we do, we must henceforth emulate natural processes of cradle to grave recycling in all industrial technology and outlaw destructive activities like war or perish. No, they prefer to insanely reduce the world population by environmental collapse in the ridiculous la-la land elite hope that then the ecosphere will cure itself and they can continue their merry resource extraction paradigm as if nothing happened. It won’t work because these reductionist morons in power with their scientific priesthood of techno nut balls are so full of pride from all their tremendous ‘contributions’ over the last two centuries that they cannot see the monstrous downside of the technology explosion and that, yes, technology can be developed and used in an environmentally friendly manner. They don’t want to do the work. They are supremely irresponsible and supremely greedy and incredibly stupid.

Instead of doing a rethink, they are just flooring the accelerator and increasing their propaganda blitz.

I am not against technology. Since about 1970 we have had the knowledge to use technology to produce an environmentally friendly and sustainable society free of poisons in food and industry in the scientific literature. It has been deliberately supressed time and time again. Imagine what it cost to cover the country with roads and power lines. Well, decentralized power, food and transportation would cost a hell of a lot less. It’s total bullshit that we can’t do this or that we are ‘hooked’ on oil or nuclear or natural gas. We could have switched away decades ago. In the 70s NASA used solar panels to bring electricity to a Navajo community which was not served by the local electric utilities in a southwestern state. It worked great and the utilities went ballistic. They wrote to NASA requesting the solar panel project be stopped because, even though those areas targeted by NASA were not adequately served by the utilities, the fossil fuel free energy would ‘force’ the utilities to lower their rates. NASA stopped the project.

The planet earth DOES NOT have an energy crisis. For you engineering types out there, just do the math on the energy required daily to lift trillions of tons of water vapor out of the rivers, lakes and oceans and deposit this at higher elevations in the form of rain and then try to tell me about how much it COSTS (ZERO!) and how we are running out of energy. What the planet earth has, is a HUMAN GREED AND STUPIDITY crisis among the 1%. But suppose we could dispense with all the agenda laced perjorative propaganda about renewables, agree to clean up the planet and eliminate fossil fuel, nuclear and any other kind of poisonous technology because we have no other choice?

Can it be done? Yes. Will it be done? Probably not. I just heard today (June 11, 2012) on the Thom Hartmann show that phytoplankton replacement in a bay in Maine has dropped 500% over a period of a decade or so. The phenomenum has now been confirmed as occurring globally. Phytoplankton produce approximately 50% of the oxygen on this planet through photosynthesis. They are not regenerating adequately because increased ppm of CO2 (now 400 ppm) is acidifying the oceans and killing them. Can the elite be so insane that they plan to meter our oxygen? I hope not. At any rate, we must accept that the fossil fuel economy is not an exercise in fun conveniences or a requirement to maintain ‘civilization’; it’s killing our oxygen supply now as well. We must switch to renewables.

In regard to available energy to maintain some level of ‘civilization’ with renewables, when I mentioned the world evaporation energy example,  I wasn’t alluding to energy collection through hydroelectric power (although dams certainly help as long as salmon runs aren’t thwarted), but using this vast amount of energy available free to shed light on the scientifically bankrupt view of quantifying energy by using bomb calorimeters like we did in college and energy mass per mole in rapid oxidation. Nature has never done it that way. Everything in our culture always wants to scale up a process or else judge it as wanting. That is assbackwards from a sustainable biological process point of view. In our bodies, the reason we have enzymes lowering the energy of activation in myriad chemical reactions occurring per second is to keep us from overheating and/or rapid ph changes that would kill us but the fact is that the enzymes accomplish a task with less energy than a straight forward math computation of the chemical reaction energy requires.

Capillary processes in us are unconcerned with “stream head'” like scientists or engineers are when they want to build a dam yet they work just fine manipulating Bernoulli forces to use the absolute minimum energy needed to move that blood so the heart pump doesn’t have to work as hard against vessel friction and pressure changes. In our techno-love affair, everything we do is geared to centralized and maximum power. For example we really do not need a lot of stream head to power a house because we can gradually pump water up to a reservoir in our house to give us electricity on demand. But the techno math says you need X amount of head for Y amount of kilowatts. That’s only true if you need all of that all the time. Sure, not everyone lives by a river or a stream but that is simply a small example. A giant Sequoia pumps over one hundred gallons of water hundreds of feet up every day through transpiration. The tracheal elements can stretch water molecules 27 atmospheres as long as the vacuum holds. The technology to make artificial tree water pumps has been around for decades but our society is STUCK on the energy density per mole fixation like a teenager that wants a hot car to ride to school instead of a small electric rechargable scooter.

Have you heard about the roaring forties?


That’s an area of latitude in the oceans of the southern hemisphere that is always turbulent. They alone could power the world’s energy demands after a ten year installation of wave and undersea current power collection systems that are already being deployed off of England and Scotland. In regard to corrosion issues with sea water and maintenance of deep water (massive pressures to deal with), I only ask that you consider technology equivalence hurdles that have long since been surmounted in nuclear power plants (the ultimate in corrosion challenges including hydrogen embrittlement that is not present with sea water) and oil undersea pipelines (pump sea water to a land reservoir and start the power cables from there as a cost effective low maintenance option).

At present, ocean oil rigs (which are mostly metal) have sacrificial anodes placed on them so electrolysis in most areas is thwarted. The anodes are replaced as they are used up.  And remember all we have learned through space exploration about metallurgy, high temperature insulation during re-entry and don’t forget microwave power transmission technology. We can do all this stuff. It’s really not as hard as putting a robot vehicle on Mars or building a space station in orbit.

It’s telling that Einstein described the photoelectric effect at the very beginning of the 20th century but the US government has had to be dragged kicking and screaming to develop solar panels (we only did it when we needed them in space) but it spent a fortune on the development of the bomb in the 30s while a large part of our populace was going hungry.

Have you ever wondered why the oil lobby never attacks nuclear power but spares no expense to demonize renewables with disingenuous propaganda and mendacity? Think about that a while. If you come to the conclusion that the nuclear power plants were put out there to make bomb material and get you to pay for it and were never, ever considered a viable alternative to fossil fuels for the production of electricity or a serious source of oil lobby competition, you win the prize.

There is also no excuse whatsoever for not using solar and electric power to run every single ship in the ocean. It would be child’s play to switch all automobiles and trucks to full electric as long we had geothermal, wind, tide and ocean current derived power 24/7, not to mention solar panels.

Do you know what oil tankers do after they offload the oil? They fill huge portions of the holds with sea water (for ballast) and then dump it when they get back to reload with oil. This massive pollution goes on day in and day out. We have a guaranteed continuous oil spill as long as we have a fossil fuel ocean tanker economy.

As for fertilizers and food production machinery requiring a massive amount of fossil fuels to feed 7 billlion humans, the fact is that using decentralized permaculture with humanure (after appropriate and low tech local processing to avoid disease pathogens) along with greenhouse technology for nordic climates can replace the fossil fuel required to run tractors, make fertilizer and insecticides and herbicides.


I mention farm machinery because there is increasing evidence that plowing needs to be replaced by non-plowing with perennial crops in order to stop the massive top soil loss and lowered nutrition of crop yield (they look the same but don’t have the same nutritional content). Other posters here are up on humanure and they are right. I recommend anyone repulsed by this to think again. Feces are an inseparable part of being human and it’s high time we stopped with this Victorian idiocy of seeing it as bad stuff; it’s part of our salvation as a species. An added plus with humanure through the avoidance of chemical fertilizers is no more ocean dead zones and massive top soil degradation. Also the energy and water savings in not pumping human waste to be treated with chemicals (made with fossil fuels) in a sewage treatment plant would save billons of dollars.

Examples of how renewables can switch us off of fossil fuels  quickly: www.euronews.com/2012/05/27/germany-breaks-solar-energy-record
www.euronews.com/2012/06/06/solar-plane-completes-maiden-intercontinental-flight www.euronews.com/2012/03/05/sea-solution-to-future-energy-needs www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/renewableenergy/3535012/Ocean-currents-can-power-the-world-say-scientists.html

Pelamis wave power device that looks like a giant snake: www.weirdlyodd.com/10-renewable-energy-sources/

Zero energy balance hotel: www.euronews.com/2012/05/16/go-green-get-growing

I think this can be done in TEN years, not forty: www.euronews.com/2012/05/18/in-40-years-every-home-every-building-will-be-a-power-plant-says-jeremy-rifki

Growing food and the fossil fuel ‘requirement’ is a dependency created by the fossil fuel industry but we CAN shake that dependency without mass starvation and depopulation: www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/85/1/Fuel-and-food.html

“The strategic goal of biofuel is to supplement or even replace fossil fuels, the amount of which is constantly and rapidly diminishing.” haitireconstruction.ning.com/page/biofuel-1

I’ve already mentioned my views on the population explosion and its causes but I wish to point out how the oil lobby has tried to make fossil fuel brownie points out of it.

Remember the green revolution of the 60s, 70s and 80s that supposedly caused the population explosion? The numbers are in. The yields are not statistically different with all the fossil fuel fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides than without them. The green revolution is a lie fostered by, you guessed it, the fossil fuel lobby.

Their only valid claim is the fuel for machinery which now turns out to lower crop nutrition from top soil plowing degradation. This degradation is caused by a combination of chemical fertilizers and plowing (bare soil tends to blow away when dry or erode when wet) which leaches the soil of trace minerals needed to produce nutritious and tasty as opposed to bland crops. The way things stand right now, agricultural guidelines in the U.S. state that it’s okay to lose 4 tons of top soil per acre per year from ‘modern’ farming techniques. The government claims it is the price we pay for high ‘yields’. Are you comfortable with that? I’m not. Considering top soil regeneration takes over 100 years, I cannot believe we are doing anything but losing massive amounts every year.

And last but not least, the militaries of the world are the most voracious users of fossil fuel. We sure as hell do not need them to keep 7 billion fed and clothed. The U.S. Navy, in particular, has the top spot as fossil fuel user AND polluter.


We need gradual, decentralized trickle charge or slow pumping energy storage systems for sustainable humanity. Anything else is not viable for the planet. If we want to zip around at high speed and be able to have instant this and that, yes we have an energy crisis. If we want to emulate biological processes and eschew the love affair with higher energy density per mole of fossil and or nuclear poisons killing the planet, we don’t have an energy crisis.

Nature paces everything; so should we.

All that said, there is the 1% with their hubris and arrogance and there is the rest of humanity. The agenda of the 1% is a tad different from the rest of us. I agree the knockdown is coming. The people controlling the levers of innovation and adaptation in our governments and the elite parasites that own them want this knockdown so it will come. I maintain that the false notion of a causal relationship between a large population and a polluted, unsustainable, fossil fuel dependent human society is the driving force behind this elite desire for a knockdown. The elites are the only truly unsustainable population on this earth because of their mega-carbon footprints.

So, in true Wall Street Orwellian fashion, they blame the bulk of the 7 billion humans for THEIR piggery and slavish dependency on fossil fuels. The 1% that owns our governments loves the predatory resource extraction paradigm despite the fact that some of them probably suspect that it will cause a population knockdown, not from lack of fossil fuels, but from environmental collapse. Billions of humans dying is considered a good thing by the 1%. They think it will solve the world’s environmental problems and provide a more manageable population of slaves. The 1% probably grumble about minimum gene pool diversity species population required in order to perpetuate homo sapiens. The 1% think robots will take care of all the ‘important’ work while medical technology available to the 1% will provide them with 150 year plus lifetimes. They are wrong and they are the cancer that is destroying humanity.

There’s a way to clean up this world and live sustainably. Killing off several billion is a straw man. It’s typical elite bullshit adding two an two and getting whatever answer keeps them in the catbird seat. The media will continue to block the truth from the people 24/7.

I apologize if I tried to cover too much ground here but this situation we are in has matured for well over a century and we need to see how we got here to understand, if we survive, how to prevent a new set of snakes from selling us snake oil in the future.

Feel free to pass all or any part of this rant with or without attribution.

Everything I wrote can be researched free on the internet if you want to post links about horse plagues, NASA correspondence with utilities, Henry Ford and hemp plastic, Rockefeller chicanery, U.S. solar panel development reasons, Americans starving while the bomb was being developed, Bernays propaganda tools, etc.

A.G. Gelbert

Posted in Energy, Home | Tagged Automobiles, Energy, Fetilizer, Horses, Oil, Permaculture, Propaganda, Sustainability, Waste


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 03, 2018, 06:53:06 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Isn't it just AMAZING how now it is "mankind" in general, and not the Fossil Fuel 🦕🦖 Crooks and Liars IN PARTICULAR, that created one of the biggest environmental disasters in history?  Sure, Yeah, we are "all guilty".


Read about the horrendous habitat destroying effects that continue to degrade the ocean environment in the Gulf of Mexico PLUS harm the flora and fauna in the USA and Mexican land areas. That oil dispersant Corexit ☠️ POISON that Halliburton was paid for, which FURTHER polluted the Gulf on the U.S. taxpayer dime, added MORE grievous harm to numerous species.

The Hydrocarbon Hustlers are destroying this planet's biosphere for short term profit. We stop burning hydrocarbons or we are all dead, PERIOD.



The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was 8 years ago. The ocean is still struggling to recover

LAST UPDATED ON JULY 3RD, 2018 AT 3:36 PM BY MIHAI ANDREI 

Eight years ago, mankind created one of the biggest environmental disasters in history. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill led to the discharge of 4.9 million barrels (210 million US gal; 780,000 m3) of oil, and nature still hasn’t recovered, a new study has found.

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill approaching the coast of Mobile, Alabama, on May 6, 2010. (at article link)

The spill area hosts 8,332 species, all of which are threatened by the hydrocarbon leaks. A 2014 study of the effects of the oil spill on bluefin tuna found that toxins from oil spills can cause irregular heartbeats leading to cardiac arrest. A further study also found that the toxins could severely damage the internal organs of predators and even humans in the area — directly contradicting BP, the oil company responsible for the spill.

To make matters even worse, the oil dispersant Corexit, previously only used as a surface application, was released underwater in unprecedented amounts. The goal was to make oil more easily biodegradable, but the plan backfired as the oil and dispersant mixture permeated the food chain through zooplankton — from which it proceeded to spread across the entire ecosystem. Chemicals from the spill were found in migratory birds as far away as Minnesota, with a devastating effect on marine wildlife. A 2016 study reported that 88% of 360 baby or stillborn dolphins within the spill area “had abnormal or underdeveloped lungs”, compared to 15% in other areas.

Birds were also severely affected, both directly and indirectly. Here, an oiled brown pelican near Grand Isle, Louisiana. Image credits: Governor Bobby Jindal. (at article link)

No matter where and how you look, the scale of the disaster is shocking. Alas, it gets even worse: new study found that the basic building blocks of life in the ocean have been altered, indicating that the ocean still hasn’t recovered from the oil spill.

“At the sites closest to the spill, biodiversity was flattened,” study lead author and University of Southern Mississippi microbial ecologist Leila Hamdan told The Guardian. “There were fewer types of microbes. This is a cold, dark environment and anything you put down there will be longer lasting than oil on a beach in Florida. It’s premature to imagine that all the effects of the spill are over and remediated,” she said.

Researchers took sediment samples from shipwrecks scattered up to 150 km (93 miles) from the spill site to study how and if micro-biodiversity has recovered. Shipwrecks are biodiversity hotspots, so it’s a good place to see how life recovered. Researchers wrote:

“More than 2,000 historic shipwrecks spanning 500 years of history, rest on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor. Shipwrecks serve as artificial reefs and hotspots of biodiversity by providing hard substrate, something rare in deep ocean regions. The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill discharged crude oil into the deep Gulf. Because of physical, biological, and chemical interactions, DWH oil was deposited on the seafloor, where historic shipwrecks are present. This study examined sediment microbiomes at seven historic shipwrecks.”

Results weren’t encouraging. Microbes are still struggling to recover, and since they are affected, the entire food chain that’s built upon them is also affected. There’s a good chance we have still yet to see all the far-reaching consequences of this event.

“We rely heavily on the ocean and we could be looking at potential effects to the food supply down the road,” she said. “Deep sea microbes regulate carbon in the atmosphere and recycle nutrients. I’m concerned there will be larger consequences from this sort of event.”

The timing of the study is also very fitting — it comes just as a new measure by the Trump 🦀 administration opens up 90% of U.S. coasts to offshore oil drilling, dismantling ocean conservation measures put in place by former president Barack Obama in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon calamity. This means that this type of disaster will become much more likely in the future, much to the chagrin of scientists and conservationists.

Journal Reference: Leila J. Hamdan, Jennifer L. Salerno, Allen Reed, Samantha B. Joye & Melanie Damour. “The impact of the Deepwater Horizon blowout on historic shipwreck-associated sediment microbiomes in the northern Gulf of Mexico,” Scientific Reports.

https://www.zmescience.com/science/news-science/deepwater-oil-spill-disaster-01072018/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 02, 2018, 02:31:51 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Ground-Level Ozone is another Hydrocarbon Hell "gift", compliments of the profit over planet fossil fuel fascist WELFARE QUEENS, who champion the suicidally stupid continued use of hydrocarbons to power human civilization. 🤬

Quote
What Causes

Ground-level ozone
is caused when the sun reacts with pollutants from cars and industrial plants to form ozone at or near the surface of the earth.

The sunny weather you enjoy in many parts of the world may, unfortunately, be increasing the chances of the formation of ground-level ozone.

Summertime is especially dangerous in many traditionally sunny areas, especially those areas with large populations. The EPA issues warnings and advisories for five major air pollutants.

🚩 ground-level ozone

🚩 particle pollution

🚩 carbon monoxide

🚩sulfur dioxide

🚩nitrogen dioxide


https://www.thoughtco.com/ozone-not-all-ozone-is-good-for-earth-3443718

Vermont is NOT a traditionally sunny area. However, thanks to the Hydrocarbon Hustlers🐉🦕🦖, who are DIRECTLY responsible for each and every one of the red flagged items listed above, we are getting MORE OZONE hazard alerts.

Quote
🚩 Air Quality Alert

1131 AM EDT Mon Jul 2 2018

🚩...Air quality alert in effect from 2 PM to 10 PM Monday...

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has issued an air quality action day for all of Vermont today.

This afternoon and evening hours, levels of ozone may register in the `unhealthy for sensitive groups` (USG), range across Vermont. Note that elevated ozone concentrations will only occur later in the day or evening in Northern Vermont. Ozone will be transported from the Atlantic Coast urban corridor region to New England as a southerly wind develops in the region, and very hot conditions continue.

Note that ozone concentrations are predicted with the Air Quality Index (AQI), scale. The Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups AQI is 101 to 150. Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone.


https://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=VTZ005&warncounty=VTC007&firewxzone=VTZ005&local_place1=5+Miles+WNW+Colchester+VT&product1=Air+Quality+Alert

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 29, 2018, 12:45:42 pm »

I have mentioned here many times and still remained puzzled at this Christmas tree game. What a horrible waste of beautiful greenery for so little in my view. At least if you were building something viable with it one could make sense of it but to stick it in a room for a few weeks and throw it away seems so absurd to me. The transportation and fuel waste of hauling these beautiful trees from Canada and Maine or whatever is another terrible wast IMO.   


Agreed. It might have been one thing when you went up the hill and brought back a likely sapling.  When you consider that entire business is exist to cultivate these trees, cut them and ship them, and then  waste them within a period of weeks incredibly wasteful. Especially at scale.

If the problem was limited to the unjustified harvest of blue spruce and other conifers for Christmas Trees 🎄, that waste, though inexcusable, would still not constitute much of a threat to our environment.

The problem is orders of magnitude bigger than that. You can check how many acres of trees any state lost at the links below.

Quote
“Urban forests are an important resource,” says co-author Dave Nowak from the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station. “Urban foresters, planners and decision-makers need to understand trends in urban forests so they can develop and maintain sufficient levels of tree cover – and the accompanying forest benefits – for current and future generations of citizens.”

A table showing tree cover 🌳 and impervious cover change by state is available here. And you can download the whole study here.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 28, 2018, 08:54:52 pm »

The US is losing 36 million urban trees a year
Melissa Breyer

May 29, 2018

Urban trees CC BY 2.0 USDA/Flickr

The USDA Forest Service reveals that cities and communities are losing 175,000 acres of tree cover annually, while pavement, roads, and buildings are increasing.

Trees that grace cities and other residential areas are truly a treasure. Not only do they provide habitat for non-human city creatures, but they offer all kinds of health benefits to us human animals as well. And aside from the boosts of wellness they so generously proffer, the annual benefits of U.S. urban forests in considering air pollution removal, carbon sequestration, and decreased building energy use and the subsequent altered power plant emissions are estimated at $18 billion.

So you'd think that city planners and local governments would be all gung-ho about trees, right? But alas, the trees appear to be losing. Research from scientists with the USDA Forest Service estimate that between 2009 and 2014, tree cover in the country's urban and community areas declined each year by 36 million trees, or around 175,000 acres of tree cover.

Meanwhile, pavement and other impervious cover (like roads and buildings) increased at a rate of about 167,000 acres a year during the same period. Cue the Joni Mitchell.

"Nationally, urban/community tree cover declined from 42.9 percent to 42.2 percent. Twenty-three states had a statistically significant decrease in tree cover, with a total of 45 states showing a net decline," notes a statement for the research. "Trees improve air and water quality, reduce summer energy costs by cooling homes, reduce noise, mitigate runoff and flooding, and enhance human health and well-being, making them important to human health and urban and community infrastructure."

States or districts that have lost the greatest net percentage in urban/community tree cover were Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Alabama and Nebraska. Meanwhile, states with the greatest annual net loss in tree cover acreage were Georgia with 18,830 acres lost year, Florida with 18,060 acres and Alabama with 12,890 acres.

Mississippi, Montana and New Mexico fared slightly better with (albeit non-significant) increases in urban/community tree cover. Of all the states, Maine has the highest percentage in urban/community areas with 68 percent tree cover. At the other end, North Dakota ranked as having the lowest amount of urban/community tree cover with a mere 10 percent. (Note that grassland states like North Dakota historically only have trees along rivers – as was pointed out to me by a biologist on Twitter – which could account for lower percentages among those states' urban areas as well.)

“Urban forests are an important resource,” says co-author Dave Nowak from the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station. “Urban foresters, planners and decision-makers need to understand trends in urban forests so they can develop and maintain sufficient levels of tree cover – and the accompanying forest benefits – for current and future generations of citizens.”

A table showing tree cover 🌳 and impervious cover change by state is available here. And you can download the whole study here.


https://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/us-losing-36-million-urban-trees-year.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 28, 2018, 08:29:33 pm »

 

June 28, 2018

Bye, Trees 🌳 😟

Tropical forests lost an area the size of Bangladesh worldwide in 2017--the second-worst year of tree loss on record after 2016, according to new data from the World Resources Institute.

The WRI analysis, which uses satellite data to survey forest cover worldwide, finds that the rate of deforestation amounts to 40 football fields worth of trees disappearing each minute. "We simply won’t meet the climate targets that we agreed to in Paris without a drastic reduction in tropical deforestation and restoration of forests around the world," Andreas Dahl-Jorgensen, deputy director of the Norwegian government’s International Climate and Forest Initiative, told the New York Times.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/06/tropical-deforestation-forest-loss-2017/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 27, 2018, 04:17:07 pm »

Quote
Area of Global Dead Zones Doubling Every 10 Years 😟

Every 10 years?  How many 10 year periods has that trend been measured over? 3. Hardly enough to establish a trend exists.
 
These dead zones are caused by the fertiliser run-off from farms and by sewerage outlets (that is, by YOU).  Time for YOU to DO SOMETHING.

Fortunately the oceans are VERY BIG and the impact of dead zones is TINY %agewise.


The Hydrocarbon Cummulative Pollution Dot Connecting Challenged "Professor" Palloy strikes again.


Agelbert NOTE: Watch Palloy try the "it's a big world and this is just a tiny, tiny pollution drop in the bucket" TRICK that all Climate Change Deniers/Hydrocarbon Loving BS Artists reach for, like Palloy just did with the Ocean Dead Zone increase article, to try to claim this crude oil pollution in the river is "not significant".
 

Deniers alway try to isolate each and every article about pollution in a deliberately disingenuos attempt to undermine the massive pollution downside of using hydrocarbons to run our civilization. Palloy is a bit more nuanced in that he makes a show of being pro-environment. For a person that is so "peo-environment" he is alwys trying to make light of hydrocarbon pollution spills or GHG polltuion global warming trends. This gives the lie to his claim to be "pro-environment". Palloy is a specialist in the morally bankrupt, but extremely effective, use of GASLIGHTING.         

[EcoWatch

Olivia Rosane

Jun. 25, 2018 06:27AM EST

Derailed Train Spills 230,000 Gallons of Crude Into Flooded Iowa River



A train derailment spilled 230,000 gallons of crude oil into an already-flooded Iowa river Friday, endangering downstream drinking water, the Des Moines Register reported Sunday.

Thirty-two cars of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train derailed, 14 of which leaked crude oil into the Rock River in Doon, Iowa. The cause of the derailment is unknown, but officials including Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds attributed it to heavy rain Wednesday and Thursday which led to flooding.

To aid recovery from extreme weather and its consequences, including the derailment, Reynolds issued a proclamation of disaster emergency Saturday for Lyon County, where the train derailed, as well as Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury counties.

Workers so far have contained nearly half the spill—around 100,000 gallons—using booms, BNSF told Reuters.

The oil spill hit the town of Rock Valley, Iowa, which was coping with its second flood in four years, especially hard.

"Our city administrator said to me, 'The only thing we need now is a plane crash,'" Rock Valley mayor Van Otterloo told the Des Moines Register. "Everything came at once."

Rock Valley acted quickly to shut off water wells following the spill and plans to drain the wells and use rural water until the well water tests safe.

There are also concerns that oil could contaminate drinking water in Omaha, Nebraska, 150 miles downstream, since the Rock River merges with the Big Sioux River, which then feeds into the Missouri. Omaha's Metropolitan Utilities District said they were monitoring water pulled from the Missouri, the Des Moines Register reported. The Metropolitan Utilities District said they could source water from unconnected rivers if needed, according to Reuters.

Reynolds told the Des Moines Register it was still unknown how many communities were affected by the oil spill and how it would impact the surrounding environment.


While none of the initial responses mentioned it, last week's flooding and the resulting derailment could be related to climate change. A pre-Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment of climate change impacts in the Midwest found that precipitation and storms were projected to increase this century, and precipitation in some areas had already increased by 20 percent.

Cristi Moore, who lives in a trailer park near Rock Valley on land that was flooded both in 2014 and 2018, didn't mention climate change but had noticed a difference in the severity of recent floods. She told the Des Moines Register that before 2014, her levees would have been high enough to combat the highest flood levels.

"This is really weird. That's why I'm saying, 'I'm not smart. I don't know. This is an engineer thing,'" Moore told the Des Moines Register. "What's going on that now we're getting flooded again?"

https://www.ecowatch.com/train-derailment-iowa-river-2581127525.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 27, 2018, 02:59:17 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: These hunter gatherer tribes who, unlike most of us, live in harmony with God's Creation, are being victimized by "civilized" human criminals because of greed. Some tribes are acting as Guardians for the uncontacted tribes.

Survival International is celebrating the good work of these Guardians. I applaud this work.

Unfortunately, this is an ultimately quixotic endeavour.  WHY? Because, Catastrophic Climate Change will kill humans in the tropics before it begins to kill them in large numbers in most other places. These hunter gatherer tribes, the most innocent of all human groups responsible for this profit over planet predatory stupidity by the hydrocarbon producing conscience free crooks, are doomed by that hydrocarbon ERoEI COST, left out of most calculations, Catastrophic Climate Change.

At present, that is not the case. At present, millions of humans annually die from breathing the particulates, and from other toxic effects visited on the land and sea, produced by the burning of hydrocarbons ☠️. One of the leading causes of death among humans in poverty stricken areas, where they cannot boil water due to the lack of hydrocarbons, dysentery, is a drop in the death toll bucket ☠️ in comparison.

This is one of the reasons I get so exercised about people so concerned with a collapse from a LACK of hydrocarbons, when many millions MORE are NOW perishing each year from the burning of them.

This inexcusable profit over people and planet death dealing PRESENT irrefutable reality, as sad as it is, does not even address Greenhouse Gas(es) caused Catastrophic Climate Change, which is 100% unavoidable at this point (I will post on the inevitability and centuries long duration of the multi-species harm by GHG caused Anthropogenic Global Over-Heating at another time).   

I have common ground with Professor Palloy in the respect and admiration I hold for these hunter gatherer tribes. However, for the reasons I just stated above, I do not share his belief that they will survive when most other humans begin to perish from profit over planet stupidity.

There will be no collapse for at least 50 years, if ever, from lack of hydrocarbons to burn. The hydrocarbons will, of course, being a finite resource of energy, eventually run out, but the corollary that the lack of hydrocarbons to burn will trigger a collapse of civilization is not, at least for a half century or so, a valid assertion.

Quote
Definition of corollary

1 : a proposition inferred immediately from a proved proposition with little or no additional proof

2 : something that naturally follows

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corollary

There will continue to be a larger and larger death toll from the PRESENT AVAILABILITY of hydrocarbons that are burned annually. I share with Professor Palloy the duty of all humans to be as frugal as possible and to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint, not just to zero, but negative.

Our main point of contention   ;D is that he believes the greatest threat to human civilization is Peak Hydrocarbons, while claiming that GHG pollution mitigation is of secondary importance. I believe he has that exactly backwards. Prima Facie evidence that I am right and he is wrong is the FACT that many millions more humans annually die from hydrocarbon burning pollution than from the lack of hydrocarbons (e.g. death for dysentery due to not being able to boil water to make it potable). Added evidence supporting my claim is that ZERO plants and animals, from microscopic to macroscopic, perish from the LACK of hydrocrabons we stupid humans burn. Sure, life and death is part of nature. They die from lots of causes in the natural course of events. BUT, hydrocarbon pollution PLUS Global Warming IS killing them off even more wantonly than the particulates pollution from hydrocarbon burning is killing humans! As Catastrophic climate Change gathers velocity, more and more biosphere fauna and flora will be destroyed by "natural" disasters that would NOT have taken place if we had not overheated the atmosphere.

There is just no excuse for continuing this charade of placing biosphere degrading hydrocarbon use in a privileged, civilization "protecting", position.

The world needs hydrocarbons like a dog needs ticks. I'm sure the tribes in the following articles agree wholeheartedly.



June 25, 2018

Exclusive! Catch a glimpse of an uncontacted tribe.


These photos, also taken by the Guardians of the Amazon🕊, show an old camp site that was once the home of the uncontacted people in the video. They’re hunter-gatherers, often on the move, and these small huts are their homes. The shelters, called tapiris, are constructed quickly and skilfully from branches and palm leaves. The bundle is a homemade lunchbox for carrying their food around with them. Societies such as this are the most eco-friendly and sustainable on Earth.






This astonishing footage was passed to us by the Guardians of the Amazon🕊. It was captured by chance, and shows a close encounter with uncontacted Awá Indians. The forests around are swarming with loggers 👹and any encounter is likely to be fatal for the Awá. That is why it's so important for us to show this footage; it proves there are uncontacted people living in this forest and so the loggers must be kept out at all costs.

Quote
We’re excited to share some good news stories with you!

The Guardians of the Amazon 🕊 are a brave group of men from the Guajarara tribe who are working tirelessly to defend the territory they share with uncontacted neighbors from illegal loggers.

The Guardians are struggling alone against violent logging mafias with very little support from the Brazilian government. We used your donations and your emails to put pressure on Brazil to act. It worked! A few weeks ago, environmental police finally showed up to help the Guardians kick loggers out of their territory. Though the police didn't stay long, and the Guardians are still in grave need of more support from the authorities, this goes to show that together we can make a real difference.

The Guardians are re-energized and inspired by this intervention: “Thank you for helping us with our fight, and with the situation we are facing here now…It was thanks to you and your pressure that the back-up appeared here at our village. So, thank you once more. We are fighting for what is ours. We're in this together."

But that’s not all. A few years ago, Survival supporters fought hard to persuade the government to remove loggers from the uncontacted Awá tribe’s territory. We succeeded, and now we’re pleased to announce that one of the loggers’ ring-leaders is being brought to justice.  It’s extremely rare for cases like this ever to reach trial, so this is real cause for celebration – and proof that persistent campaigning pays off.

These are two rays of hope in an increasingly anti-indigenous climate in Brazil which is allowing illegal logging of tribal peoples’ forests to flourish. Although we’re encouraged and spurred on by these successes, our work in this area is very far from over. Driven by ruthless greed, the loggers just keep coming – and they won’t give up easily…

With your help, neither will we. We have to keep piling on the pressure and pushing harder and harder to ensure the loggers stay out forever. And any help you can give us to do this will be hugely appreciated. Don't forget, one of the most useful things you can do is help spread the word about our vital work. Please share our posts on social media and take every opportunity to talk about the global movement for tribal peoples.

Thank you once again for being a part of these successes. We look forward to sharing many more with you in the future.

With thanks,

Survival International

Survival International USA, PO Box 26345, San Francisco, CA 94126 | A 501(c)(3) organization
Survival International, 6 Charterhouse Buildings, London EC1M 7ET, UK | Charity no. 267444

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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 25, 2018, 11:20:06 pm »

Truthout

June 25, 2018

Area of Global Dead Zones Doubling Every 10 Years

Dahr Jamail, Truthout: Oceanic dead zones -- areas of low oxygen that are caused by warming waters, human pollution and runoff from fertilizers used in industrial agriculture -- number more than 400, and are growing rapidly. These dead zones not only impact marine life but also fishing industries.

SNIPPET:

Impacts on Marine Life

Scavia described how organisms unable to swim away from the dead zones — like worms and other animals that many fish feed on — will die.

“Fish that can swim will avoid the dead zone, but that often forces them into habitats that are less suitable for them, resulting in slower growth,” Scavia said. “Sometimes the fish (especially shrimp) are forced into more confined areas, making them more vulnerable to predators, including human fishing nets.”

Rabalais added that the ocean’s ability to recover from dead zones can take time. “Improvement of oxygen conditions following excess nutrient flux may take years to decades,” she said.

Rota pointed out how the commercial fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico is impacted negatively by the dead zone. “This has impacts on some of the key prey species in the gulf, such as shrimp, crabs and Atlantic croaker,” he said, while adding that the only dead zone larger than that in the Gulf of Mexico is one in the Baltic Sea.

Scavia said we should be concerned that thousands of square miles of water on Earth have low oxygen levels. “These regions are basically ‘taken out of production,’ and if this amount of land was taken out of production, there would be significant concern,” he explained. “These dead zones also put some of our most important fisheries at risk.

Full article:

https://truthout.org/articles/area-of-global-dead-zones-doubling-every-10-years/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 22, 2018, 10:47:55 pm »



Paris MoU Releases 2017 “White, Grey and Black” List: United States Falls to Grey as Korea, Poland Move to White

June 19, 2018 by gCaptain

bulk ship in egypt By Igor Grochev / Shutterstock

The Paris MoU has approved its 2017 port state control inspection results for 2017 and adopted its new “White, Grey, and Black” performance lists for flag states and Recognized Organizations (ROs).

The Paris MoU’s annual “White, Grey and Black (WGB) List” ranks flag states from best to worst, from flags with a high performance (White) to flags with poor performance that are considered high or very high risk (Black). The List is based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a 3-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.

The new “White, Grey and Black List” for 2017 is to take effect from 1 July 2018, at which point it is used to calculate an individual Ship Risk Profile. Typically, flags on the “Grey List” and “Black List” are subject to more stringent banning measures.

The Paris MoU consists of 27 participating maritime Administrations and covers the waters of the European coastal States and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe. Its mission is to eliminate the operation of sub-standard ships through a “harmonized system” of port State control.

Each year, more than Annually more than 18,000 individual inspections take place on board foreign ships in the Paris MoU ports, ensuring that these ships meet international safety, security and environmental standards, and that crew members have adequate living and working conditions.

In its newly adopted 2017 “White, Grey and Black List”, the Paris MoU included a total of 73 flags – the same number as last year.

This year’s list had a total of 40 on the “White List”, 20 on the “Grey List” and 13 on the “Black List”. This compares with 42 on the “White List”, 19 on the “Grey List”, and 12 on the “Black List” last year.

New to the “White List” this year, i.e. flags with a consistently-high performance record, are the Republic of Korea and Poland. The top performer this year is France, followed by the Cayman Islands, Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Korea’s move to “White List” comes after one year on the “Grey List”.

Flags with an average performance are shown on the “Grey List”. On this year’s “Grey List” a total number of 20 flags are recorded, an increase of one compared to last year’s list.

New to the “Grey List” this year is the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and the United States, which were all on the “White List” last year.

The United States moved back to the “Grey List”, ranking as the 43rd best performer behind Algeria and Kazakhstan on the “Grey List”.

From being a non-listed flag last year, Tuvalu is now on the “Grey List”.

The only change to the “Black List” this year is the addition of the Ukraine. The Republic of Congo came in last as the worst performer.

For several years, the Committee has also closely monitored the performance of ROs acting on behalf of flags.

To calculate the performance of the ROs, the same formula to calculate the excess factor of the flags is used. A minimum number of 60 inspections per RO are needed before the performance is taken into account for the list. In the RO performance table to be used for the calculation of the Ship Risk Profile from 1 July 2018, 34 ROs are listed.

In 2017, there was a only a small shift in RO performance compared to last year.

This year, three ROs are in the very low performing position against none last year. Three ROs are in the low performing positions compared to four last year and 17 ROs are in the medium position of the list compared to 19 last year.

Details of the responsibility of the ROs for detainable deficiencies have been published since 1999. When one or more detainable deficiencies are attributed to an RO in accordance with the Paris MoU criteria, this is recorded as “RO responsible” and the RO is informed. Out of 685 detentions recorded in 2017, 99 or 14.5% were considered RO related compared to 13.9% in 2016.

Port State Control regimes carry out inspections on ships to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations. Since the first regional PSC agreement was signed in 1982 (the Paris MoU), the IMO has since supported the establishment of a global network of eight additional regional PSC regimes.

The nine regimes now cover Europe and the North Atlantic (Paris MoU); Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MoU); Latin America (Acuerdo de Viña del Mar); Caribbean (Caribbean MoU); West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU); Black Sea (Black Sea MoU); Mediterranean Sea (Mediterranean MoU); Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MoU); and Persian Gulf (Riyadh MoU). The United States Coast Guard maintains the tenth PSC regime.

During an IMO workshop in October 2017, the world’s Port State Control regimes agreed to consider moving away from black/grey/white lists and towards expanding an individual ship risk profile approach.

You can view the Paris MoU’s complete 2017 “White, Grey and Black” list here (opens as pdf)

http://gcaptain.com/paris-mous-2017-white-grey-and-black-list-united-states-falls-to-grey-as-korea-poland-move-to-white/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 22, 2018, 07:38:36 pm »



June 22, 2018

#Cars #Cities #Transport

Environmental Action Germany

Diesel plaintiff DUH wants driving bans in Germany’s most populous state

Environmental Action Germany (DUH) is pushing for driving bans in polluted cities of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state, for all diesel cars that do not meet the Euro 6 emissions standard, the environmental NGO says in a press release. “State premier Armin Laschet continues to ignore the Federal Administrative Court’s ruling that air quality standards for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) have to be respected,” DUH says.

The NGO, which set the ball rolling on diesel driving bans in Germany, therefore made an application for compulsory execution of the ruling, i.e. the introduction of driving bans in heavily polluted cities like the state’s capital of Düsseldorf by 2019.

The DUH says that, contrary to Germany’s first diesel bans, which took effect in early June in Hamburg, all roads affected by heavy air pollution should be subject to a driving ban, and that these zones should be extended if diesel drivers simply choose alternate routes.

Otherwise, diesel cars should be banned from entire inner cities. “This is the best way forward,” the DUH says.

https://www.duh.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/pressemitteilung/diesel-fahrverbote-ab-2019-in-duesseldorf-deutsche-umwelthilfe-leitet-zwangsvollstreckungsverfahren/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 22, 2018, 06:22:27 pm »



How long before the world runs out of fossil fuels? ???

LAST UPDATED ON JUNE 8TH, 2018 AT 3:57 PM BY TIBI PUIU 

Fossil fuels are the main source of energy in the world, powering much of modern civilization as we know it, from transportation to industrial applications. But this paradigm can’t last forever.

Millions of years to make, only hundreds of years to spend

Fossil fuels have formed over an extensive period of time from the remains of plants and animal that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Humans have been using them in ample amounts since the 19th century and with our current rate of consumption, fossil fuel resources are depleting much faster than their formation. Naturally, the question arises: how long before we run out?

In the 1950s, geologist M. King Hubbert predicted that the world will experience an economically damaging scarcity of fossil fuels. This idea has remained in the collective consciousness as the Peak Oil theory, according to which the production of oil, as a finite resource, will peak at some point and ultimately decline and deplete. According to some researchers, Hubbert included, Peak Oil is already behind us, and we are now living in a decline.

So, how long before we run out of fossil fuels? In order to project how much time we have left before the world runs out of oil, gas, and coal, one method is measuring the R/P ratios — that is the ratio of reserves to current rates of production. At the current rates of production, oil will run out in 53 years, natural gas in 54, and coal in 110. This is bearing in mind a 2015 World Energy Outlook study by the International Energy Agency, which predicted fossil fuels will constitute 59% of the total primary energy demand in 2040, even despite aggressive climate action policies.

Other researchers, organizations, and governments have different deadlines for fossil fuel exhaustion, depending on the data and assumptions that they make, as well as political affiliation and interests. The American Petroleum Institute estimated in 1999 the world’s oil supply would be depleted between 2062 and 2094, assuming total world oil reserves at between 1.4 and 2 trillion barrels. In 2006, however, the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) predicted that 3.74 trillion barrels of oil remained in the Earth — three times the number estimated by peak oil proponents. 👀


Is Peak Oil behind us? Not clear

While we know for sure that the exploitation of fossil fuels is limited, estimates can vary wildly because new deposits are sometimes found and new technology enables access to previously untapped oil or gas fields or allows more efficient extraction. So, the challenge in estimating a timescale for fossil fuel depletion lies in the fact that new resources are added fairly regularly. Therefore, we have to keep in mind that all of these estimates are based on R/P ratios and thereby only consider proven reserves, not probable or possible reserves of resources. For instance, in 1980, the R/P ratio suggested only 32 years of oil production from existing reserves. 

A 1977 report issued by the Energy Information Administration concluded that the United States could only access 32 billion barrels of oil reserves and 207 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. But from then to 2010, the country extracted 84 billion barrels of oil (2.6 times more than the initial estimate) and 610 trillion cubic feet of gas (2.9 times the initial reserve estimate). What’s more, reserves are growing. Today, the U.S. has increased the size of its reserves by a third since 2011 thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking which enable access to oil and gas trapped in underground rock formation. Previously, it wasn’t economically feasible to extract these resources.

As technology continues to improve, both governments and oil & gas companies will be able to access new reserves — some that can’t currently be exploited and others that are still unidentified.

Japan, for instance, is planning to one day extract methane from undersea hydrate deposits — these types of deposits may contain more than twice the amount of carbon as Earth’s fossil fuels.  


Elsewhere, climate change is opening corridors in the Arctic — ironically facilitated by the burning of fossil fuels — that enable extraction of oil that was previously logistically impossible to undertake. It was Russian company Gazprom that brought home the first barrels of oil from the Arctic in 2014, and more have followed since.

Again Russia, this time in partnership with France’s Total and China’s CNPC, wants to start drilling the Arctic in 2019 for natural gas. The $27 billion plant is expected to extract 16.5 million tonnes of natural gas per year.


Keep the oil in the soil

Some might fear that we’ll run out of oil and coal before we get the chance to replace them with renewable energy, thereby triggering a planetary-wide collapse of human civilization.

But that’s an unlikely scenario. First of all, if we burn even 50% of the world’s reserves, we’re screwed ☠️. Forget about the prospect of not being able to turn the lights for a second, and think greater perils: runaway climate change.

Despite having used only a small fraction of fossil fuels, the planet’s atmosphere is already around one degree Celsius warmer on average than it was prior to the Industrial Revolution. A 2016 study published in Nature Climate Change assessed what would happen if we burned all the fossil fuels known to exist on Earth. Assuming a scenario where there are no efforts to curb global warming, by 2300 CO2 would stabilize at roughly 2,000 parts per million (ppm), five times higher than today’s level (~408ppm) — resulting in a total of 5tn tons of carbon dioxide finding its way into the atmosphere.

In this nightmare scenario, global average temperatures would be pushed by 8 degrees Celsius past Industrial levels, with the Arctic bearing the grunt of warming, experiencing temperatures rising by as much as 17 degrees Celsius.

As such, the limiting factor on humans’ fossil fuel use is not the depletion of recoverable fossil fuels, but the crossing of a dangerous threshold past which the planet is no longer able to withstand the byproducts of burning fossil fuels.

Knowing oil and gas won’t ever run out in your lifetime shouldn’t be an excuse to keep using them. Rather, knowing this, we should all take action to ensure that our children and grandchildren actually have a future.  

https://www.zmescience.com/other/feature-post/how-long-fossil-fuels-last-43432/

Agelbert NOTE: The part not mentioned in this well referenced article is that our species has NEVER lived in a world where an average 3º Celsius past Industrial levels exists, never mind 8º Celsius past Industrial levels. Anyone who thinks we can delay transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy until the end of this century is dreaming. With PRESENT CO2 levels, 4º Celsius past Industrial levels is guaranteed BEFORE 2100. That means massive sea level rise and severe ocean acification, along with all the other biosphere degrading Catastrophic Climate Change effects. Add to that the FACT that Fossil Fuel Inndustry methane leaks have been seriously underestimated, and you have to move up every negative effect (i.e. positive feedbacks that accelerate heating) closer to us in time, making the situation even more urgent than it already is.   

The problem is GHG caused Catastrophic Climate Change, not lack of hydrocarbons to burn.


Unburnable fossil fuels to stay below 2º C limit

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 18, 2018, 02:08:51 pm »




Montana Court Agrees Yellowstone Gateway More Valuable Than Gold

Thanks to Earthjustice litigation, a district court judge has ruled that state regulators illegally ignored impacts to water quality and wildlife when approving the exploratory drilling project.

By Jessica A. Knoblauch | May 30, 2018

Jessica is a former award-winning journalist. She enjoys wild places and dispensing justice, so she considers her job here to be a pretty amazing fit.

An access road for drilling rigs and heavy equipment would run through this landscape if two proposed mines are constructed near Yellowstone’s northern entrance. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL

Sleeping bag, check. Bug spray, check. Backpack, check.

As people across the country eagerly prepare for their summer vacations, residents and businesses of Park County, Montana, are gearing up to greet them. As the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park, the aptly named Paradise Valley is itself a destination.

Enjoyed by locals throughout the year, tourists flock to this area to enjoy the full array of the Yellowstone region’s iconic wildlife and magnificent landscapes and to catch a native cutthroat trout in the Yellowstone River’s blue-ribbon fishery. With a lot riding on the tourist season, one thing Park County locals shouldn’t have to worry about is a massive new gold mine driving away tourists. The likelihood of that happening is much less now that a district court has ordered Montana’s regulators to reconsider allowing intensive mineral exploration in the area.

Double Your Impact — Fund Critical Courtroom Fights!

Proposed in 2015 by Canada-based Lucky Minerals, mineral exploration is just the first step in the company’s plans to develop a large-scale gold mine in Paradise Valley that would cause irreversible environmental harm to the park and fray the economic fabric of the region. Travelers gazing at the majestic Emigrant Peak jutting up from the Absaroka Mountains—a refuge for bighorn sheep, elk, grizzly bears, wolverines, and other creatures—would be confronted with the destruction of an industrial mining operation.

But a blemished view of the cinematic Yellowstone landscape is just one of the problems anticipated with this proposal. At full scale, the Emigrant mine would threaten to send acid runoff flowing into tributaries of the Yellowstone River, while nearly 100,000 tons of waste rock containing elevated levels of arsenic would be dumped near tributary headwaters. Even mineral exploration alone threatens to pollute these waters with heavy metals and acid runoff.

Emigrant Gulch aerial view looking east from Emigrant Peak. Lucky Minerials has mine claims on both sides of the gulch on both private and public land. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL

Mining and mineral exploration would also carve up precious habitat for endangered grizzly bears, which are already in peril after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife delisted the species in June 2017. (Earthjustice is challenging the agency’s decision.) Wolverines, lynx, elk and other species would also be harmed, as would the local community, which relies on large swaths of connected wildland to support sustainable recreation and a healthy tourist economy. Barreling ahead with gold mining and exploration for short-term financial gain could come at the expense of the primary driver of economic growth in the Yellowstone area: an intact landscape that attracts millions of visitors from around the globe and supports a diverse business community and highly skilled workforce.

Earthjustice, together with local and regional groups, challenged the gold exploration proposal in September 2017 under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), arguing that state regulators 😈 downplayed and dismissed some very serious environmental risks posed by the project. Those include potentially long-term harm to the iconic wildlife of the Yellowstone region, particularly grizzly bears and wolverines, and threats to clean water 💧 in Yellowstone River tributaries. We also argued that the state didn’t seriously consider the potential that this exploration could lead to much larger-scale development. The court agreed with us on all of our claims.

Subscribe to Earthjustice emails, to learn more ways we’re working to defend public lands.

Quote
“The court’s ruling recognized that exploratory drilling is the leading edge of a much larger threat to these sensitive lands in Yellowstone’s gateway,” says Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine, who represented the groups. “We will continue our fight to stop Lucky’s plans to profit by placing our water, wildlife, and magnificent natural landscapes at risk.”  

Though this latest decision is a substantial victory, the fight is far from over. Lucky Minerals could insist on proceeding with gold exploration this summer while regulators conduct a new environmental analysis. If that happens, Earthjustice will go back to court to defend the park and all of its beauty from this short-sighted proposal.

An earlier version of this blog post was published in November 2016.

https://earthjustice.org/blog/2018-may/montana-court-agrees-yellowstone-gateway-more-valuable-than-gold

Driving south into Yellowstone along the river is one of the more picturesque routes I've ever hd the pleasure of experiencing. And....it's on the Hot Spring Tour. I'm only sorry the pine beetles got there before I got to see it. The Yellowstone River flows due north. If you're from Texas, something doesn't seem right about that.


I've only seen Yellowstone in pictures. I am saddened by what is happening there now. The best times are behind us. :(

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 17, 2018, 08:04:49 pm »




Montana Court Agrees Yellowstone Gateway More Valuable Than Gold

Thanks to Earthjustice litigation, a district court judge has ruled that state regulators illegally ignored impacts to water quality and wildlife when approving the exploratory drilling project.

By Jessica A. Knoblauch | May 30, 2018

Jessica is a former award-winning journalist. She enjoys wild places and dispensing justice, so she considers her job here to be a pretty amazing fit.

An access road for drilling rigs and heavy equipment would run through this landscape if two proposed mines are constructed near Yellowstone’s northern entrance. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL

Sleeping bag, check. Bug spray, check. Backpack, check.

As people across the country eagerly prepare for their summer vacations, residents and businesses of Park County, Montana, are gearing up to greet them. As the northern gateway to Yellowstone National Park, the aptly named Paradise Valley is itself a destination.

Enjoyed by locals throughout the year, tourists flock to this area to enjoy the full array of the Yellowstone region’s iconic wildlife and magnificent landscapes and to catch a native cutthroat trout in the Yellowstone River’s blue-ribbon fishery. With a lot riding on the tourist season, one thing Park County locals shouldn’t have to worry about is a massive new gold mine driving away tourists. The likelihood of that happening is much less now that a district court has ordered Montana’s regulators to reconsider allowing intensive mineral exploration in the area.

Double Your Impact — Fund Critical Courtroom Fights!

Proposed in 2015 by Canada-based Lucky Minerals, mineral exploration is just the first step in the company’s plans to develop a large-scale gold mine in Paradise Valley that would cause irreversible environmental harm to the park and fray the economic fabric of the region. Travelers gazing at the majestic Emigrant Peak jutting up from the Absaroka Mountains—a refuge for bighorn sheep, elk, grizzly bears, wolverines, and other creatures—would be confronted with the destruction of an industrial mining operation.

But a blemished view of the cinematic Yellowstone landscape is just one of the problems anticipated with this proposal. At full scale, the Emigrant mine would threaten to send acid runoff flowing into tributaries of the Yellowstone River, while nearly 100,000 tons of waste rock containing elevated levels of arsenic would be dumped near tributary headwaters. Even mineral exploration alone threatens to pollute these waters with heavy metals and acid runoff.

Emigrant Gulch aerial view looking east from Emigrant Peak. Lucky Minerials has mine claims on both sides of the gulch on both private and public land. PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL

Mining and mineral exploration would also carve up precious habitat for endangered grizzly bears, which are already in peril after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife delisted the species in June 2017. (Earthjustice is challenging the agency’s decision.) Wolverines, lynx, elk and other species would also be harmed, as would the local community, which relies on large swaths of connected wildland to support sustainable recreation and a healthy tourist economy. Barreling ahead with gold mining and exploration for short-term financial gain could come at the expense of the primary driver of economic growth in the Yellowstone area: an intact landscape that attracts millions of visitors from around the globe and supports a diverse business community and highly skilled workforce.

Earthjustice, together with local and regional groups, challenged the gold exploration proposal in September 2017 under the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), arguing that state regulators 😈 downplayed and dismissed some very serious environmental risks posed by the project. Those include potentially long-term harm to the iconic wildlife of the Yellowstone region, particularly grizzly bears and wolverines, and threats to clean water 💧 in Yellowstone River tributaries. We also argued that the state didn’t seriously consider the potential that this exploration could lead to much larger-scale development. The court agreed with us on all of our claims.

Subscribe to Earthjustice emails, to learn more ways we’re working to defend public lands.

Quote
“The court’s ruling recognized that exploratory drilling is the leading edge of a much larger threat to these sensitive lands in Yellowstone’s gateway,” says Earthjustice attorney Jenny Harbine, who represented the groups. “We will continue our fight to stop Lucky’s plans to profit by placing our water, wildlife, and magnificent natural landscapes at risk.”  

Though this latest decision is a substantial victory, the fight is far from over. Lucky Minerals could insist on proceeding with gold exploration this summer while regulators conduct a new environmental analysis. If that happens, Earthjustice will go back to court to defend the park and all of its beauty from this short-sighted proposal.

An earlier version of this blog post was published in November 2016.

https://earthjustice.org/blog/2018-may/montana-court-agrees-yellowstone-gateway-more-valuable-than-gold
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 14, 2018, 05:55:58 pm »



June 14, 2018

VW fined one billion euros by German prosecutors in diesel emissions scandal

Car giant Volkswagen has been fined one billion euros by German prosecutors over diesel emissions cheating, reports the BBC. The carmaker said it did not plan to appeal the fine, which is one of the highest ever imposed by German authorities on a company, according to the report. But BBC business correspondent Theo Leggett writes in a short analysis that “the fine pales into insignificance compared with the fines and compensation the group has had to pay out in the US - which add up to well over 20 billion euros. If this puts an end to criminal proceedings in Europe, VW may well think it's a relatively small price to pay.”

Find the VW press release in English here.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 09, 2018, 01:47:45 pm »

EcoWatch

Health  Olivia Rosane

Jun. 08, 2018 06:20AM EST

EPA 😈 to Ignore 68 Million Pounds of Chemical Emissions in Limited Risk Assessment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will limit the criteria it uses to determine the health risks of 10 dangerous chemicals including asbestos, The New York Times reported Thursday.

A 2016 amendment to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 required the EPA to evaluate hundreds of hazardous chemicals to decide if they should face more restrictions or be banned entirely. But documents released by the EPA last week suggest the EPA is kowtowing to the chemical lobby in the narrow criteria it is using the asses the safety of the first 10 chemicals, restricting its analysis to the risks posed by direct exposure to a chemical, and not the risks associated with exposure to contaminated air, soil and water.

In the case of asbestos, which kills almost 15,000 U.S. citizens annually, the EPA will only consider risks from new uses of asbestos and not risks from asbestos already present in tiles, adhesives and pipes, Newsweek reported Thursday.

President Donald Trump has dismissed health concerns about asbestos, calling it "100 percent safe, once applied," Newsweek pointed out. In 1997's The Art of the Comeback, he blamed the asbestos scare on the mob. "I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented," he wrote, according to Newsweek.

Quote
EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox told The New York Times that the agency felt chemical contamination of the broader environment was already regulated by the Clean Air and Water Acts.

But Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, who helped pass the 2016 amendment, countered that the limited risk analysis was not in keeping with the spirit of the law.

"Congress worked hard in bipartisan fashion to reform our nation's broken chemical safety laws, but [Administrator Scott] Pruitt's E.P.A. is failing to put the new law to use as intended," Udall said in a statement.

The Environmental Defense Fund calculated that the EPA's limited analysis would ignore 68 million pounds of emissions yearly.

For example, one of the 10 chemicals is perchloroethylene, a likely carcinogen used as a dry-cleaning solvent and metal degreaser. The analysis will consider harm posed by exposure while cleaning clothes or carpets, but not harm posed by its presence in drinking water in 44 states.

read more:

https://www.ecowatch.com/epa-limited-risk-assessment-2576231762.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 08, 2018, 10:07:03 pm »

EcoWatch

By Lorraine Chow

Jun. 07, 2018 01:52PM EST

TransCanada Pipeline Explodes 💥 in West Virginia

SNIPPET:

A newly installed TransCanada natural gas pipeline exploded early Thursday in the remote Nixon Ridge area of Marshall County in West Virginia.

No injuries were reported but flames and smoke from the blast could be seen as far as 20 miles away, residents told local media. Area police told CBS News the fire was "very large—if you can see it from your house, evacuate."

"It sounded like a freight train coming through, or a tornado, and the sky lit up bright orange, and then I got up and looked out the window and flames were shooting I don't know how far into the sky," Tina Heath-Chaplin, of Moundsville, told WPXI.

TransCanada—the same company behind the Keystone pipeline—said the explosion has been contained and an investigation is underway.

"As soon as the issue was identified, emergency response procedures were enacted and the segment of impacted pipeline was isolated. The fire was fully extinguished by approximately 8:30 a.m," the company commented Thursday.

"The cause of this issue is not yet known," TransCanada continued. "The site of the incident has been secured and we are beginning the process of working with applicable regulators to investigate, including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration."

Full article:

https://www.ecowatch.com/transcanada-pipeline-explodes-west-virginia-2576042392.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 06, 2018, 08:30:05 pm »

June 6, 2018

Government Not Paying Attention to Oil & Gas Cleanup

The government is failing to adequately track the cost of cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells on federal and American Indian lands, according to a new government watchdog report. The analysis from the Government Accountability Office shows that the average cost of cleaning up an abandoned well, based on data collected from over a dozen Bureau of Land Management field offices, was $267,600--a far higher figure than the $171,500 BLM reported in 2010 when it last examined the issue.

"Despite what Republicans keep telling us, the fossil fuel industry🐉🦕🦖 isn't being regulated into the ground," Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), one of the lawmakers who requested the review, said in a statement. "Too often, it's freeloading off the American people, and this report tells us we don't even know how much it's costing us."

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/390739-watchdog-government-isnt-sufficiently-tracking-costs-from-orphaned


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 04, 2018, 10:26:25 pm »



Video Shows Insane Tanker Fire 🔥 That Led to Two Houston Pilots Being Awarded the IMO Bravery at Sea Award

June 4, 2018 by Mike Schuler

The MT Aframax River after the allision with the dolphi. Tractor tugboat David B is in the foreground rendering assistance. Image courtesy of ITC City Dock security video / NTSB

On the morning of September 6, 2016, Houston harbor pilots Michael McGee and Michael Phillips found themselves surrounded by towering walls of flames after the tanker they were piloting, the MT Aframax River, lost propulsion and struck two mooring dolphins on the Houston Ship Channel.

The allision punctured the tankers hull plating, causing the release of about 88,000 gallons of low-sulfur marine gas oil which suddenly ignited in a massive fire ball.

Despite the danger, the pilots remained on the bridge and managed to maneuver the vessel away from facilities and other ships in the area while coordinating with first responders. Amazingly, they sustained only minor burns, the only injuries resulting from the fire.

For their efforts, Captain McGee and Phillips were awarded the International Maritime Organization’s Bravery at Sea Award, the IMO’s highest honor for bravery at sea, in recognition of their role in preventing a major disaster on one the nation’s busiest commercial waterways.

While details of the accident have since been chronicled in a NTSB Marine Accident Brief and as well as other recounts of the event, a new video posted online last week gives us the best look yet at what exactly what the pilots, crew members, and responding tugboats were faced with that night.

The video was recorded by a security at the Intercontinental Terminals Company facitility where the tanker was mooring Check it out:


More on the incident as described by the International Maritime Organization:

Captain McGee and Captain Phillips were surrounded by a towering wall of burning fuel as the raging fire quickly spread across the channel, threatening other tank ships and nearby waterfront facilities.

Both pilots remained at their stations on the bridge of the ship during the fire. Captain McGee managed to manoeuvre the stricken and blazing vessel away from surrounding ships and facilities.

Captain Phillips coordinated communications and firefighting efforts with the United States Coast Guard and numerous local fireboats. Captain Phillips rushed to grab a fire extinguisher and put out a fire raging on the port bridge wing.

The inferno was finally extinguished after 90 minutes, leaving both pilots exhausted and suffering minor burns. Captain McGee, using tugs, was then able to bring the damaged tanker safely to a mooring facility.

Read the NTSB Marine Accident Brief: Allision of Tanker Aframax River with Mooring Dolphins

Update: After scouring Youtube for an earlier version of the video above, I came across the following interview with Captain McGee and Captain Phillips in which they describe what happened. It also includes snippets of the same footage:


http://gcaptain.com/video-shows-insane-tanker-fire-that-led-to-in-two-houston-pilots-being-awarded-the-imo-bravery-at-sea-award/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 03, 2018, 06:39:10 pm »

Across U.S., Toxic Blooms Pollute Lakes

By Bill Walker, Editor in Chief and Emily Wathen, Digital Journalist

TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2018

SNIPPET:

TOLEDO, Ohio – In the middle of a muggy summer night, Keith Jordan got an urgent text: Toledo’s tap water wasn’t safe to drink.

“I thought it was a joke," said Jordan, who works with at-risk youth in Toledo’s inner city. He went back to sleep. When he got up a few hours later, he took a shower and had a cup of coffee, then turned on the news.

“They were saying don't drink the water, don’t take a shower – the water is messed up,” Jordan said. “You couldn’t even touch the water. It was something you could not believe was happening here in Toledo.”

That was Aug. 2, 2014. For the next three days, half a million people in and around this industrial city at the western edge of Lake Erie scrambled to find safe water.


Many drove hours across state borders to stand in long lines at stores that hadn’t sold out of bottled water. Some stores were charging $40 for a case of water that usually costs less than $5. Jordan, unaffected by his shower and coffee, helped set up distribution centers for free water, and helped deliver it to seniors and mothers with babies. The National Guard sent tanker trucks full of drinking water to the city.

The panic was set off by a toxin called microcystin, the byproduct of an enormous bloom of blue-green algae that had invaded Lake Erie. The bloom – technically not algae, but photosynthetic single-celled organisms called cyanobacteria – blanketed vast expanses of the lake with what looked like thick, sickly green split-pea soup. It was triggered by chemical pollution from farm fertilizers and industrial sources into the lake, which supplies the region’s tap water.




Toledo was the first large U.S. city where toxic blooms made tap water unsafe for human consumption. But it may not be the last.

No government agency collects nationwide data on toxic blooms. But EWG’s research found news reports of almost 300 blooms in lakes, rivers and bays in 48 states and the Gulf of Mexico since 2010. Based on those reports, the problem appears to have worsened over the past few years.

In 2010, there were just three reports of toxic blooms in the U.S. In 2015, there were 15, including the largest to date in Lake Erie, although the bacteria did not get into Toledo’s drinking water. In 2016, there were 51, including a huge bloom in Florida that prompted the state to declare an emergency in four counties on the Atlantic Coast. Last year, 169 blooms were reported. And in March, Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared the open waters of western Lake Erie “impaired for recreation” – an unprecedented designation that under the federal Clean Water Act will require the development and enforcement of plans to reduce toxic blooms.



EWG’s interactive nationwide map shows locations of reported toxic blooms in green. Orange locations have links to vivid satellite photos of blighted lakes from California to Florida.

Full EWG article with interactive map of affected areas:

https://www.ewg.org/toxicalgalblooms/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 27, 2018, 07:33:49 pm »

Families hit by climate change sue the EU

Date 25.05.2018

Author Anne-Sophie Brändlin

SNIPPET:

A group of families have filed a lawsuit against the European Union for failing to protect citizens against the impacts of climate change. It's the first climate lawsuit at EU level.

A total of ten families from five EU countries, Kenya and Fiji, as well as a Swedish youth organization, are taking the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to court. They say the EU is violating their fundamental rights of life, health, livelihood and property by failing to combat global warming.

The People's Climate Case, as the lawsuit has been dubbed, was filed with the European General Court on May 24. It argues that the EU's 2030 climate target of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent compared to 1990 levels, is inadequate. Instead, they are demanding a reduction of at least 50 to 60 percent by 2030.

The plaintiffs argue that three EU emission regulation legal acts, issued as part of the 2030 climate target, still allow for high levels of greenhouse gases to be emitted. They are asking the EU to raise the target in defense of the fundamental rights of citizens — not just of those living in Europe, but also beyond its borders, who suffer from climate change as a result of EU emissions.

Unprecedented case

"This court case is incredibly important and unique because it's addressing the European Union as a whole and not individual states," Stefan Küper, press spokesperson for the NGO Germanwatch, which is supporting the People's Climate Case, told DW.

"This is vital, because it's the EU that's responsible for setting minimum thresholds for the climate policy of EU member states, not the member states themselves. They can be more ambitious than the set guidelines if they want, but they have to stick to the minimum threshold."

The EU is responsible for 10 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, which makes it the third largest emitter after China and the United States.


"What also makes this court case so unique is that it's about fundamental rights. It's asking the EU to take its own values seriously and base its policies on the values the EU stands for," Küper said.

Full article with video:

http://www.dw.com/en/families-hit-by-climate-change-sue-the-eu/a-43933608
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 25, 2018, 10:23:40 pm »



Sharp Exchanges    Highlight BP Fears of Climate Legal Jeopardy

May 22, 2018 by Bloomberg

SNIPPET:
The Deepwater Enterprise conducts operations to mitigate the effects of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill, May 23, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard Photo


By Kelly Gilblom (Bloomberg) — After paying more than $65 billion in legal costs for the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, BP Plc is wary of the risk of lawsuits related to climate change.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley raised the topic of class-action lawsuits twice during the company’s annual general meeting in Manchester, England on Monday, saying he wouldn’t disclose certain climate targets, or even answer some questions from activist investors, because the risk of legal action in the U.S. was too high.

“You want to get us to make statements here in front of you that you can document that will lead to a class action,” Dudley said in response to one question from the Union of Concerned Scientists about pending U.S. litigation against energy companies. Such legal actions are “a business model in the United States,” he said.

The sharp exchange between BP and two advocacy groups — Amnesty International  and the Union of Concerned Scientists  — shows the growing pressure on major oil companies to acknowledge their responsibility for emissions of greenhouse gases. It also reflects the burgeoning efforts to hold them legally responsible for the potentially disastrous consequences of rising global temperatures.

Lawsuit Fodder

“BP could be on the hook for millions, if not billions of dollars,” Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement. “Why wouldn’t shareholders want to know about the risk of legal liability, a risk that’s growing rapidly as climate costs multiply.”

In response to another questioner who suggested that selling oil and gas should be considered a violation of human rights, Dudley warned shareholders this could be another attempt to mire BP in a class-action suit. An open letter from shareholders including Aviva Plc last week urging more transparency could also end up providing lawsuit fodder, he said.

BP 😈 absolutely believes in being transparent. Transparency is beneficial to all,” Dudley said. “But we don’t want climate disclosures to be a tool for class-action lawyers.”


Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/sharp-exchanges-highlight-bp-fears-of-climate-legal-jeopardy/

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:50:13 pm »



Shipping’s Financiers Turning the Tide On Controversial Shipbreaking Practices

May 15, 2018 by Reuters

Workers carry a rope line to fasten a decommissioned ship at the Alang shipyard in Gujarat, India, in this March 27, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files

By Jonathan Saul and Simon Jessop LONDON, May 15 (Reuters)

SNIPPET:

The shipping industry has long been criticized by campaigners for allowing vessels to be broken up on beaches, endangering workers and polluting the sea and sand.  >:(

Now, it is being called to account from a quarter that may have a bit more clout – its financial backers.

Norway’s $1 trillion Oil Fund, a leader in ethical investing, in February sold its stake in four firms because they scrap on the beach.

Three of the firms excluded by Norway’s fund – Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) of Thailand – say they have been unfairly singled out. The fourth, Korea Line, declined to comment.

Norwegian life insurer KLP soon followed, selling shares in the one of the four it owned and blacklisting the other three.

Further exclusions are likely, said KLP, the fund and its advisory Council on Ethics. The council’s chief adviser, Aslak Skancke, said the divestments had already effected wider change, including encouraging companies to seek cleaner scrapping.

The fund contacted several firms in its portfolio during its investigation, Skancke said, “and when we made them aware of the possibility of exclusion from the fund, they … decided to change their policy.” He declined to name the companies.

hree leading pensions funds – Caisse de Depot, CCP and OMERS – are reviewing their investments in shipping over ethical and green considerations, a finance source familiar with the matter said. OMERS declined to comment. Caisse de Depot and CCP did not respond to requests for comment.

The steps add to momentum on the issue from European Union regulators and courts, in particular pressure to measure up to standards for inclusion on the EU’s list of approved ship-breaking yards, which is due to be updated later this year.

It’s a revolution that has been a long time coming, environmental, labor and human rights activists say. But a transition won’t be easy, for owners or breakers.

More than 80 percent of aging commercial ships are broken up on the beaches of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.

Industry leaders in South Asia say they cannot afford to upgrade their sites and remain competitive.

Full article with important details:

http://gcaptain.com/shippings-financiers-turning-the-tide-on-controversial-shipbreaking-practices/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:34:03 pm »



Judges Rule Against Controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline Because Wildlife Matters

By Yessenia Funes

May 16, 2018 2:00pm Filed to: AND SO DO HUMAN LIVES

SNIPPET:

Three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a decision that canceled a key permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile long project that would travel from West Virginia to North Carolina. The panel found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) didn’t set clear limits on how the Dominion Energy-owned pipeline would impact threatened or endangered species in the Biological Opinion required under the Endangered Species Act.

This opinion includes an Incidental Take Statement, which is the issue here. “Take” means “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect,” per the FWS. As plaintiffs argued—and the court agreed—the federal agency granted Dominion Energy this permit under “indeterminate” limits on the “take” of certain species, including a migratory shorebird called the piping plover, and sea turtles. The federal agency never clarified what percentage of threatened or endangered species are allowed to be killed during construction, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Plaintiffs, which include the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Virginia Wilderness Committee, filed this lawsuit (among others) against the Department of Interior and FWS back in January. The pipeline has met serious opposition from environmentalists throughout its proposed route—and not only for the ways it could harm wildlife.

Local advocates worry about air pollution from compression station sites concentrating near a black community in North Carolina. There’s also the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, which feels it wasn’t properly consulted.

“This fracked gas project has been proven to be perilous to our health, our communities, and wildlife, and now, thanks to tonight’s ruling, must be stopped,” said Sierra Club Attorney Nathan Matthews, in a press release.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is set to be completed by the end of this year. This decision won’t halt all construction, so the project should stay on schedule for now. Earther contacted Dominion Energy for comment and will update upon a response.

read more:

https://earther.com/judges-rule-against-controversial-atlantic-coast-pipeli-1826078504

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:26:13 pm »



Investors Worth $2.5 Trillion Don’t Want Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

By Yessenia Funes

May 15, 2018 Filed to: MONEY TALKS

SNIPPET:

Basically, the investors are saying this type of drilling doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s time to start thinking of more long-term ways to make money (like, uh, renewables).   On top of that, the American public is not down with tearing up ANWR. Investors gotta protect their reps.

Most important of all, however, is the way this drilling sacrifices human rights in the name of profit. The letter acknowledges the Gwich’in’s cultural ties to these lands, and how any drilling that causes the Porcupine caribou herd to suffer would in term harm this indigenous group.

The Gwich’in, for their part, have been actively fighting potential drilling in ANWR since at least the 1980s, when the idea first started gaining steam. They put out their own letter Monday alongside the investors’.

read more:

https://earther.com/investors-worth-2-5-trillion-don-t-want-drilling-in-th-1826046725
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 16, 2018, 05:07:54 pm »

EcoWatch

By Lorraine Chow

May. 16, 2018 07:39AM EST

1,400 Tons of Contaminated Soil Hauled From Montana Reservation Oil Spill Site

SNIPPET:

Quote
The wellhead has crac ked along the length of the pipe. It's believed the crack formed in December when the well was shut in over the winter. EPA

Trucks have removed more than 1,400 tons of contaminated soil following a large oil spill on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana, The Billings Gazette reported.

Cleanup is still ongoing. So far, more than 50 large dump trucks full of soil have been removed with more to come, the publication noted.

An estimated 600 barrels of oil and 90,000 barrels of brine (production water) leaked from an Anadarko Minerals Inc. wellhead that was shut in and last inspected in December. It is believed that the wellhead might have frozen and crac ked over the winter, leading to the spill.

Read more:

https://www.ecowatch.com/oil-spill-montana-reservation-2569319391.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 10, 2018, 07:04:44 pm »

GLOBAL CITIZEN

mAY 10, 2018

Scientists Discovered a Dead Zone the Size of Florida 😨 in the Gulf of Oman

But the damage doesn’t have to be permanent.

SNIPPET:

Scientists recently identified a dead zone as large as Florida in the Gulf of Oman. The 65,755 square mile area is now devoid of marine life due, in large part, to climate change and human pollution.

The increasing size of dead zones in the ocean is threatening the animal populations in our oceans and leading to the destruction of underwater life. But scientists say the damage doesn’t have to be permanent. One study has called for further investigation of the Gulf of Oman to understand how to manage the fisheries and ecosystems of the Western Indian Ocean to prevent dead zones from widening.

Full article:

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/scientists-discovered-a-dead-zone-the-size-of-flor/

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