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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 23, 2018, 02:33:25 pm »

 
Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

April 23, 2018



Pruitt is Wasting Your Money but the Real Scandal is How He’s Letting Polluters Sicken You  >:(

When embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appears in front of Congress next week, he’ll likely face tough questions about his illegal phone booth, his why his lobbyist/landlord resigned, his luxury travel, exorbitant pay raises and other scandals that have even the GOP expressing concern. That said, Pruitt’s made it a point to meet with tons of Koch and Mercer-funded climate denial organizations, and hardly any environmental groups, so he’s done a commendable job of shoring up support among those who value the “free market” over public well-being.

But while all the scandals over wasting taxpayer money are of course bad, wasting taxpayers’ lives is worse. And that’s what Pruitt’s “factory of bad ideas” is trying to do. Because not only is Pruitt actively rolling back public health protections, but what few new rules he is proposing are designed make things worse.

For example, one new policy is described by The Hill as “aimed specifically at helping polluters in the oil and gas industry” by letting them regulate themselves, in essence.

Another great new Pruitt idea, the Red Team attack on climate science, is also potentially back on the table, according to E&E. That’s because one of the main White House voices opposed to the effort was energy advisor Mike Catanzaro, who is being replaced by Francis Brooke,  a 28-year-old known as “the kid.” We know the Red Team exercise is just a trick meant to confuse Americans about climate science. In this case, let’s hope tricks aren’t for “the kid,” but we won’t know until Brooke takes over.

On the rollbacks, EPA air chief Bill Wehrum told an environmental law conference that the Trump administration is still pondering what to do with regulations to limit mercury emissions from coal plants. Apparently the costs are too high to keep the rule in place, because as we all know, mercury is a totally benign and not at all worrisome pollutant. After all, it’s not mercury poisoning makes you mad as a hatter, or anything.. Oh and also, mercury makes the skin of children who are exposed turn pink and peel off. But who cares about pink kids, we’ve got coal to burn!

Yet somehow, it gets worse. Because Pruitt’s pro-smoking, Lamar Smith-pushed and front-group-backed policy to disqualify broad swaths of public health studies is moving forward, the EPA sent the proposed guidance to the White House Office of Management and Budget last week for interagency review.

But it’s such a bad idea, even one of Pruitt’s own aides, former chemical lobbyist Nancy Beck, expressed concerns in emails FOIA’d by the Union of Concerned Scientists. But she 😈 wasn’t worried that it would eliminate peer-reviewed, independent science. No, her concern was quite the opposite: that it would bar the use of industry studies.

And we all know how much industry loves its studies to find its products to be a public health hazard…


Pruitt's Troubles Mount With Lobbyist Revelations & Shell Company Investigations

EPA chief Scott Pruitt held meetings with the lobbyist married to his DC landlord despite previous statements from the agency and the lobbying firm to the contrary. On Friday, The Hill reported that filings from lobbying firm Williams & Jensen revealed that the firm's principal, Kevin Hart, reached out to the EPA this year on behalf of client Smithfield Foods. Multiple outlets reported Saturday that Pruitt had taken meetings with Smithfield executives and Hart, whose wife rented Pruitt a condo on Capitol Hill on a $50-night basis, in July of 2017. Hart announced Saturday that he would step down as the chairman of Williams & Jensen, while the New York Times this weekend ran an extensive investigation into Pruitt's hidden potential conflicts of interest linking the EPA to Oklahoma, including Pruitt's use of a shell company to purchase a home from a lobbyist.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/epa-chief-scott-pruitt-lobbyist-condo-lease
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 20, 2018, 02:05:18 pm »



Shipping Industry Switch to LNG Bunker Fuel Not Enough to Meet Strict Carbon Regulations – Analyst

April 17, 2018 by Reuters


http://gcaptain.com/shipping-industry-switch-to-lng-bunker-fuel-not-enough-to-meet-strict-carbon-regulations-analyst/



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 14, 2018, 05:05:37 pm »



Reactions to the IMO’s Initial Strategy to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships


April 13, 2018 by gCaptai

SNIPPET:
Quote

“In truth, there is widespread understanding that in the long-term the industry needs to be powered by carbon-free fuel, and that will almost certainly mean a mix of battery, hydrogen and other zero-carbon fuels.

Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/reactions-to-the-imos-initial-strategy-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions-from-ships/

Aglbert NOTE It's a start but this action was sine qua non three decades ago!   What is needed now is a crash program to completely eliminate fossil fuel powered shipping. These incremental, glacially slow, measures to reduce polluting emissions will not stop, or even slow, the dangers to shipping, never mind the rest of the increasingly trashed biosphere, from Catastrophic Climate Change. Apparently they think they have the rest of this CENTURY to stop using fossil fuels to power ships.   That is magical thinking. Shipping will be severly affected within less than a decade. By the end of the century it will be almost impossible to navigate the routinely stormy oceans full of giant waves (read the linked article below for details). So it goes.





Here is the IMO’s Full Briefing on Its Strategy to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

April 13, 2018 by gCaptain

The IMO today adopted what some are calling a historic agreement on a climate change strategy by significantly reducing CO2 emissions from ships. You can some of the reactions to the agreement here. Below is the IMO’s full Press Briefing on the agreement.

(International Maritime Organizations) – Nations meeting at the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London have adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, setting out a vision to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and phase them out, as soon as possible in this century.

The vision confirms IMO’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and, as a matter of urgency, to phasing them out as soon as possible.



More specifically, under the identified “levels of ambition”, the initial strategy envisages for the first time a reduction in total GHG emissions from international shipping which, it says, should peak as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while, at the same time, pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely.

The strategy includes a specific reference to “a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals”.

The initial strategy was adopted by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), during its 72nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom. The meeting was attended by more than 100 IMO Member States.

The initial strategy represents a framework for Member States, setting out the future vision for international shipping, the levels of ambition to reduce GHG emissions and guiding principles; and includes candidate short-, mid- and long-term further measures with possible timelines and their impacts on States. The strategy also identifies barriers and supportive measures including capacity building, technical cooperation and research and development (R&D).

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the adoption of the strategy was another successful illustration of the renowned IMO spirit of cooperation and would allow future IMO work on climate change to be rooted in a solid basis.

He told delegates, “I encourage you to continue your work through the newly adopted Initial GHG Strategy which is designed as a platform for future actions. I am confident in relying on your ability to relentlessly continue your efforts and develop further actions that will soon contribute to reducing GHG emissions from ships.”

According to the “Roadmap” approved by IMO Member States in 2016, the initial strategy is due to be revised by 2023.  ::)

Continuing the momentum of work on this issue, the Committee agreed to hold the fourth Intersessional meeting of the Working Group on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships later in the year. This working group will be tasked with developing a programme of follow-up actions to the Initial Strategy; further considering how to progress reduction of GHG emissions from ships in order to advise the committee; and reporting to the next session of the MEPC (MEPC 73), which meets 22-26 October 2018.

IMO has already adopted global mandatory measures to address the reduction in GHG emissions from ships. IMO is also executing global technical cooperation projects to support the capacity of States, particularly developing States to implement and support energy efficiency in the shipping sector.

****

Initial IMO strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships

The initial strategy includes the following:

Vision:   


IMO remains committed to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and, as a matter of urgency, aims to phase them out as soon as possible in this century.

Levels of ambition

The Initial Strategy identifies levels of ambition for the international shipping sector noting that technological innovation and the global introduction of alternative fuels and/or energy sources for international shipping will be integral to achieve the overall ambition. Reviews should take into account updated emission estimates, emissions reduction options for international shipping, and the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC ). Levels of ambition directing the Initial Strategy are as follows:

.1 carbon intensity of the ship to decline through implementation of further phases of the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) for new ships to review with the aim to strengthen the energy efficiency design requirements for ships with the percentage improvement for each phase to be determined for each ship type, as appropriate;

.2 carbon intensity of international shipping to decline to reduce CO2 emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008; and

.3 GHG emissions from international shipping to peak and decline to peak GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 whilst pursuing efforts towards phasing them out as called for in the Vision as a point on a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

****
Note: The Paris Agreement on climate change was agreed in 2015 by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and entered into force in 2016. The Paris Agreement central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement does not include international shipping, but IMO, as the regulatory body for the industry, is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.

______
Background on IMO’s contribution to the global efforts to address climate change

IMO’s contribution to the global efforts to address climate change features prominently in IMO’s Strategic Plan. 

In 2011, IMO became the first international body to adopt mandatory energy-efficiency measures for an entire industry sector with a suite of technical and operational requirements for new and existing vessels that entered into force in 2013. By 2025 new ships built will be 30% more energy efficient than those built in 2014.

The mandatory data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships, which entered into force in March 2018, will provide robust data and information on which future decisions on additional measures, over and above those already adopted, can be made.

The mandatory data collection system is intended to be the first in a three-step approach in which analysis of the data collected will provide the basis for an objective, transparent and inclusive policy debate in the MEPC, under a roadmap (through to 2023) for developing a “Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships”. The roadmap was agreed in 2016.

Support for implementation of IMO’s energy-efficiency measures is provided, in particular, through two major global projects executed by IMO:

• The Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project (GloMEEP Project) is aimed at supporting the uptake and implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. The GloMEEP project was launched in 2015 in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme. A “Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping” (or GIA), launched in 2017 under the auspices of the GloMEEP Project, is identifying and developing solutions that can support overcoming barriers to the uptake of energy efficiency technologies and operational measures in the shipping sector. Website: http://glomeep.imo.org/

• The global maritime technology network (GMN) project, funded by the European Union, has established a network of five Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. Through collaboration and outreach activities at regional level, the MTCCs will focus their efforts during 2018 and beyond to help countries develop national maritime energy-efficiency policies and measures, promote the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport and establish voluntary pilot data-collection and reporting systems. Website: http://gmn.imo.org/

___________

 
IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

Web site: www.imo.org

http://gcaptain.com/here-is-the-imos-full-briefing-on-its-strategy-to-reduce-greenhouse-gas-emissions-from-ships/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 13, 2018, 05:58:16 pm »


Agelbert NOTE: The destruction of the arctic biome continues. The article describes the melting of the ice as an "opportunity for the shipping industry to expand", as if there isn't a brutal extinction cost 🚩 thousands of species will be forced to pay because of this profit over planet expansion. The effect of increased shipping in the arctic will be 💣 the accelerated degradation of the global biosphere. 😨🔫 So it goes.



Researchers Map Seven Years of Arctic Shipping

April 12, 2018 by gCaptain

By knyazev vasily / Shutterstock

The Arctic’s declining sea ice has meant more opportunities for the shipping industry to expand its use of the region that in decades past was unnavigable for the vast majority of the year.

The Northwest Passage through Canada and the Northern Sea Route, or Northeast Passage, north of Russia and Siberia, are both valued because they could significantly shorten ship transit times between Asia, Europe, and North America.

In August 2017, a newly designed LNG carrier with an ice-hardened hull became the first merchant ship to sail across the Arctic Ocean without the aid of an icebreaker. The vessel, the Christophe de Margerie, made the voyage in just 19 days, nearly a week faster than the traditional route through the Suez Canal.

In February, a similar tanker, the Eduard Atoll, completed its own unescorted trip through the region in the dead of winter, marking another historic first. During that voyage, the vessel sailed South Korea to Sabetta terminal in northern Russia, where it loaded LNG produced at a new $27 billion plant and transported it to France.

To illustrate this increase in ship activity in the Arctic, a team of scientists has banded together to analyze and map more than 120 million data points in order to track where ships are most using the region.

To make the map, the team, led by Paul Arthur Berkman, director of the science diplomacy center at Tufts University, and Greg Fiske, a geospatial analyst at the Woods Hole Research Center, used data compiled by SpaceQuest, a company designs microsatellites that can monitor the track Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals from ships.

Once the data was plotted, there were some interesting observations to be made.

This map shows unique ship visits to Arctic waters between September 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Looking at the data, Berkman, Fiske, and their colleagues found that the mean center of shipping activity moved 300 kilometers north and eastcloser to the North Pole—over the 7-year span.

Notably, they were particularly surprised to find more small ships, such as fishing boats, wading farther into Arctic waters. The team also plotted the AIS ship tracks against sea ice data from NSIDC and found that ships are encountering ice more often and doing so farther north each year.

Despite the seemingly growing opportunities for shipping, the increasing number of ships in the region has given rise to serious concerns about pollution, oil spills, and disturbances to marine life, among other possible impacts.

Berkman is the coordinator and lead investigator of Pan-Arctic Options, which provides objective information that can guide the placement of infrastructure and the management of activities such as search and rescue and pollution response.

Now whether or not open Arctic waters will be long-term boon for shipping remains to be seen, but scientists agree that the melting trend does not bode well for the Arctic environment as we have known it.

“Arctic sea ice cover continues to be in a decreasing trend, and this is connected to the ongoing warming of the Arctic,” said Claire Parkinson, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “It’s a two-way street: the warming means less ice is going to form, and more ice is going to melt. But also, because there is less ice, less of the Sun’s radiation is reflected off of Earth, and this contributes to the warming.”

http://gcaptain.com/researchers-map-seven-years-of-arctic-shipping/


Profit over planet greed guarantees that humans will follow shortly after the polar bears into extinction.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 13, 2018, 05:18:41 pm »



Nasty Oil Spill Closes Mississippi River Near New Orleans After Cargo Ship Hits Pier 🤬

April 12, 2018 by Mike Schuler

MV Pac Antares. File Photo: MarineTraffic.com / Patrick Lawson

The U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies are responding to reports of an oil spill after a cargo ship struck a pier near mile marker 100 on the lower Mississippi River near New Orleans on Thursday.

The Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 10:30 a.m. that the Singapore-flagged ship Pac Antares had collided with a pier and was reportedly leaking diesel fuel into the river.

The spill was later estimated to be about 4,200 gallons of fuel oil.

The vessel is currently moored at Nashville Avenue Wharf and the leak has been plugged, the Coast Guard reported.

The Mississippi River is closed to vessel movement from mile marker 91 to mile marker 101.

Photos and video posted online showed globs of thick, black oil in the river in New Orleans’ downtown French District.  🏴‍

Photos:

Photo: Rex_da_Cajun via Twitter

Photo: Rex_da_Cajun via Twitter

No injuries have been reported and the cause of the incident is still under investigation.

The 27,659 dwt Pac Antares was built in 2003 and has a length of 178 meters.

AIS ship tracking data showed the vessel arrived in New Orleans on Thursday after sailing from Houston.

“First responders continue to work to minimize the environmental impacts and protect the public so the river can be opened to commercial traffic as soon as possible,” said Capt. Wayne Arguin, commander, Sector New Orleans.

http://gcaptain.com/nasty-oil-spill-closes-mississippi-river-near-new-orleans-after-cargo-ship-hits-pier/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 11, 2018, 08:47:00 pm »



April 11, 2018

Amid Scandals, Pruitt 😈 Puts the Brakes on Auto Regulation

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's spending habits and association with energy lobbyists are under scrutiny, but the bigger scandal is the rollback of more than 20 environmental protections, including Obama-era clean-car regulations. We speak to retired autoworker Frank Hammer, UC Berkeley's Climate Program Director Ethan Elkind, and Greenpeace USA's Natalie Nava



http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=21547

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2018, 01:39:34 pm »

EcoWatch

By Olivia Rosane

Apr. 05, 2018 12:22PM EST

Proposed Rule Change Would Be 'Death Sentence' for Nearly 300 Species 🤬, Activists Warn

In all the media attention gobbled by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt 🦖, it's important to remember that Trump's appointed Department of Interior (DOI) leader Ryan Zinke is also extremely dangerous for the environment.


Before being chosen to head the DOI, Zinke 🦀 was a Montana representative with a three percent environmental voting record who was especially hostile to the Endangered Species Act: He spearheaded efforts to remove protections for wolves, sage grouse and lynx, among other actions, according to Center for Biological Diversity executive director Kierán Suckling. 

Under his leadership, the DOI is continuing that hostile legacy. On Monday, the department sent a proposal to the White House that would remove essential protections for almost 300 threatened species, The Center for Biological Diversity reported Wednesday.

The proposal would reverse a rule made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in 1975 which grants threatened species the same protections under the Endangered Species Act as listed endangered species, unless the FWS determines those protections are unnecessary on a case-by-case basis.

"The Trump administration just issued a death sentence to nearly 300 threatened species," Center for Biological Diversity Endangered Species director Noah Greenwald said in a release.

The species left vulnerable by the rule change would include southern sea otters, northern spotted owls, piping plovers, red knots, Yosemite toads, delta smelt, Santa Catalina Island foxes, gopher tortoises and manatees, according to the Center for Biological Diversity and CNN.

FWS spokesman Gavin Shire told CNN that the Center for Biological Diversity's characterization of the proposal was not accurate and that it would not overturn blanket protections, but he also refused to explain exactly what the rule change would do or to provide CNN with a copy. He said it was a "draft" and that discussing it in detail would be "premature."

Greenwald told CNN that an overhaul of protections would benefit agribusiness interests and oil companies that would no longer have to worry about protecting the threatened species' habitats.

"If these critical protections for threatened species are eliminated, Trump will go down in history as the extinction president," said Greenwald in the Center for Biological Diversity release.

The proposal was filed within days of a American-Statesman report that Susan Combs, who resisted federal Endangered Species Act restrictions as Texas comptroller, would be named acting assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, which oversees FWS. In Texas, Combs protested the listing of the dune sagebrush lizard, whose habitat coincides with Texas oil fields, and the federal government eventually heeded her request.

Combs' appointment is temporary while she awaits Senate confirmation for another DOI role as assistant secretary for policy, management and budget.

https://www.ecowatch.com/endangered-species-ryan-zinke-2556479220.html

Agelbert NOTE: One thing is for sure, the Trump 🦀 wrecking crew is destructively consistent (see below).  >:(

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 07, 2018, 07:16:46 pm »

EcoWatch

By Mongabay

Apr. 06, 2018 09:47AM EST

Oil Spill Now Larger Than Paris Ravages Indonesian Island, 5 Dead

By Basten Gokkon

SNIPPET:

An oil spill in Borneo that began over the past weekend has now spread across an area greater than the city of Paris and is heading out to the open ocean, the Indonesian government said.

The spill, first reported on March 31, stems from a pipeline operated by state-owned oil firm Pertamina in the city of Balikpapan, in East Kalimantan province. A report released April 4 by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said the slick was spreading out from Balikpapan Bay and into the Strait of Makassar, covering some 130 square kilometers (50 square miles).

Pertamina 🦖, which for days had denied responsibility for the disaster, finally admitted on April 4 that one of its pipes used for transporting crude oil was the source of the slick.

Read more:

https://www.ecowatch.com/oil-pipeline-spill-indonesia-death-2556835512.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 06, 2018, 05:23:13 pm »



Photo: By Mr Nai / Shutterstock

Global Shipping Is Part of the Climate Problem, Too: Editorial

April 5, 2018 by Bloomberg

By James Gibney and Clive Crook (Bloomberg View)

SNIPPET 1:

Already, international shipping accounts for about as much carbon dioxide each year as Germany’s whole economy. On current trends, its share of the total will rise quickly. It could account for roughly 15 percent of the global carbon budget set by the Paris accord for 2050.

SNIPPET 2:

The main thing next week is to acknowledge that confronting climate change is too urgent a goal for any sector of the global economy to be given a pass.


Full article:
http://gcaptain.com/global-shipping-part-climate-problem-editorial/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 05, 2018, 06:08:54 pm »

Power Sector Carbon Index Highlights Falling Levels Of Carbon Pollution

April 5th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

SNIPPET:

In 2005, each megawatt hour of electricity was responsible for 1,321 pounds of carbon dioxide. Today, the number is down to 967 pounds per megawatt hour, a reduction of more than 25%. The Power Sector Carbon Index is a joint creation of Carnegie Mellon University and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS). Begun a year ago, it has recently been updated to permit regional analysis of the US market allowing for greater insight into the impact of regional trends on fuel types, usage, and emissions.

According to a recent press release, “[T]he index will begin to incorporate emissions data from other countries across North and South America. As the Index continues to expand, it will serve as a source of objective insight regarding emissions trends across the Americas for policy makers, regulators, utilities, industry analysts and the public.”

Full article:

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/05/power-sector-carbon-index-highlights-falling-levels-of-carbon-pollution/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 26, 2018, 06:42:56 pm »

EcoWatch

Biodiversity hot spots of 80% of biosphere's species endangered by Global Warming Pollution


Biggest Biodiversity Study in a Decade Finds Current Biodiversity Loss Dangerous for Human Well-Being

By Olivia Rosane

March 26, 2018

According to a new report, more than 50 percent of African mammal and bird species could be extinct due to climate change by 2100.
Full article:


https://www.ecowatch.com/biodiversity-human-well-being-2553170130.html

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 26, 2018, 05:17:59 pm »

Global Ocean Phytoplankton in Severe Decline 😓
4,595 views


Paul Beckwith

Published on Feb 9, 2016

Phytoplankton are about half the global biomass, and they are the base of the ocean food chain, and produce the oxygen in every other breath you take.

In 2010 a landmark paper reported that from 1950 to 2010 the global oceans suffered a severe drop in phytoplankton of almost 1% per year (40% drop). What has happened since then; find out in this video. My only support for my work is you, so please consider a donation at paulbeckwith.net



Agreed.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 25, 2018, 10:43:47 pm »

Here’s where you’re most likely to die ☠️ from air pollution



SNIPPET:

In good news, areas painted in blue show where humanity has managed to lower its output of choking smog since the 1850s. These safer havens include spots in the middle of South America and the Southeastern United States, where the amount of agricultural burning has decreased since the mid-19th century.

This representation of our befouled atmosphere is based on the work of Jason West, an earth scientist at the University of North Carolina who’s investigating the health effects of bad air. According to computer models that West and his team constructed, an incredible 2.1 million deaths a year can be attributed to one type of pollution alone — fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, which are teensy specks that fly out of car-exhaust pipes, industrial smokestacks, and other things. (They’re also what the NASA map is referencing.)

Full article:

http://grist.org/climate-energy/heres-where-youre-most-likely-to-die-from-air-pollution[/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 25, 2018, 08:34:12 pm »

Global Ocean Phytoplankton in Severe Decline 😓
4,595 views


Paul Beckwith

Published on Feb 9, 2016

Phytoplankton are about half the global biomass, and they are the base of the ocean food chain, and produce the oxygen in every other breath you take.

In 2010 a landmark paper reported that from 1950 to 2010 the global oceans suffered a severe drop in phytoplankton of almost 1% per year (40% drop). What has happened since then; find out in this video. My only support for my work is you, so please consider a donation at paulbeckwith.net
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 25, 2018, 06:53:07 pm »

EcoWatch

🚩 Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Now Twice the Size of Texas :(

By Lorraine Chow

Mar. 22, 2018 01:46PM EST

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) floating off the coast of California now measures 1.6 million square kilometers (about 1 million square miles), according to a startling new study. To put that into perspective, the clump of trash is about the size of three Frances, or twice the size of Texas.

Not only that, the analysis, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, also revealed that the massive Pacific trash vortex contains up to 16 times more plastic than previous estimates—and could rapidly get worse.

The researchers estimated there are about 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 80,000 metric tons, the equivalent of 500 Jumbo Jets, are currently afloat in the area. That's largest accumulation zone for ocean plastics on Earth.


The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains up to 16 times more plastic than previously estimated.

The Ocean Cleanup

The study is the result of a three-year mapping effort conducted by an international team of scientists affiliated with Dutch non-profit The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, six universities and an aerial sensor company.

According to a press release provided to EcoWatch, to analyze the full extent of the GPGP, the team conducted a comprehensive sampling effort by crossing the debris field with 30 vessels simultaneously, supplemented by two aircraft surveys. The fleet collected a total of 1.2 million plastic samples, while the aerial sensors scanned more than 300 square kilometers of ocean surface.


About 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 80,000 metric tons are currently afloat in the area.

The Ocean Cleanup

The results showed that 92 percent of the mass was represented by larger objects—such as discarded fishing nets several meters in size—and 8 percent consisted of microplastics smaller than 5 millimeters in size.

"We were surprised by the amount of large plastic objects we encountered," said Dr. Julia Reisser, chief scientist of the expeditions in a statement. "We used to think most of the debris consists of small fragments, but this new analysis shines a new light on the scope of the debris."

The team found that plastic pollution levels within the garbage patch have grown exponentially since measurements began in the 1970s.

"This plastic accumulation rate inside the GPGP, which was greater than in the surrounding waters, indicates that the inflow of plastic into the patch continues to exceed the outflow," said Laurent Lebreton, lead author of the study.

The Ocean Cleanup team is preparing to launch its highly anticipated cleanup system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this summer with the goal of collecting 50 percent of the trash in five years.

"To be able to solve a problem, we believe it is essential to first understand it," said Boyan Slat, founder of The Ocean Cleanup and co-author of the study. "These results provide us with key data to develop and test our cleanup technology, but it also underlines the urgency of dealing with the plastic pollution problem. Since the results indicate that the amount of hazardous microplastics is set to increase more than tenfold if left to fragment, the time to start is now."

Slat, who shot to fame five years ago with claims that his invention could clean up the seas, explains the methodology and results of the new study in the video below:


https://www.ecowatch.com/great-pacific-garbage-patch-texas-2551330463.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 23, 2018, 09:20:00 pm »


Oil Explorers 🦖 Push U.S. Drilling to Pace Last Seen in 2015 

By Baily Shutz

March 23, 2018, 1:03 PM EDT Updated on March 23, 2018, 1:37 PM EDT

SNIPPET:

Rig count in U.S. fields rises for eighth time in nine weeks

U.S. oil benchmark approaching 2018 high above $66 a barrel

Crude explorers boosted drilling activity in U.S. oil fields to levels not seen in three years amid rising confidence that worldwide demand will keep energy prices elevated.

Full article: 
https://www.bloomberg.com//news/articles/2018-03-23/oil-explorers-expand-u-s-work-for-eighth-time-in-nine-weeks

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2018, 03:04:26 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: The following is still more evidence that the world economy is in a BOOST phase, with no evidence of a "collapse" from "peak oil".

We are in deep environmental trouble. But, it is Catastrophic Climate Change trouble, not "peak oil causing a collapse" trouble. The continued world increase in energy demand makes a mockery of all the IPCC RCP scenarios, including the alleged "Business as Usual" RCP-8.5. "BUSINESS" as the NEW HIGHER WORLD ENERGY DEMAND "USUAL" 😨🔫 is now WORSE than the IPCC's overly conservative "Business as Usual" (see video after article).

Also, when you read the article, please keep in mind that the International Energy Agency (IEA) is infamous for happy talk about fossil fuel "resources" 😇. They are the last place you will find anything but overly conservative figures about biosphere harming/species killing emissions spewed 24/7 by the increased use of fossil fuels for energy. IOW, the IEA figure of 32.5 gigatonnes of Carbon Emissions is probably LESS (MUCH less!  >:() than what is actually being dumped on our biosphere, thereby accelerating us towards Catastrophic Climate Change Doom. 🤬


Global Energy Demand & Carbon Emissions Increase In 2017  >:(

March 22nd, 2018 by Joshua S Hill

Global energy demand increased by 2.1% in 2017 at more than twice the previous year’s rate at the same time that carbon emissions increased for the first time since 2014, jumping by 1.4%.

These are the two key messages from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) newest resource, the Global Energy and CO2 Status Report, 2017, which was published on Thursday, providing what the IEA describes as “an up-to-date snapshot of recent trends and developments across all fuels.”

Cape Town South Africa Electricity“The robust global economy pushed up energy demand last year, which was mostly met by fossil fuels, while renewables made impressive strides,” explained Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “The significant growth in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 tells us that current efforts to combat climate change are far from sufficient. For example, there has been a dramatic slowdown in the rate of improvement in global energy efficiency as policymakers have put less focus in this area.”

According to the IEA, energy demand rose by 2.1% in 2017 thanks in large part to strong global economic growth. As Birol suggested, fossil fuels met most of the increase in demand for energy — accounting for 81% of total energy demand in 2017 — but the IEA did note that renewables were “seeing impressive gains.” Oil demand increased by 1.6% in 2017, more than twice the average annual rate seen over the past decade, and driven primarily by the transport sector and rising petrochemical demand. Natural gas consumption increased by 3%, the most of all the fossil fuels, with China accounting for nearly a third of this growth, and the buildings and industry sectors contributing 80% to the increase in global demand. Coal demand only increased by 1%, but this still nevertheless reversed the declines seen over the last two years.

Renewable electricity generation increased by 6.3%, the most of any fuel , and met a quarter of world energy demand growth, thanks to massive expansions to wind, solar, and hydropower. 


Average annual growth in energy demand by fuel

Emissions for 2017 increased for the first time since 2014, growing by 1.4% and an increase of 460 million tonnes (Mt), reaching an unfortunately historic high level of 32.5 gigatonnes. This followed three years of flat emissions and is a worrying sign in a world where emissions are needed to decline if we are to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

According to the IEA, 2017’s increase in emissions was the equivalent of adding 170 million cars to the roads and was the result of “robust global economic growth of 3.7%, lower fossil-fuel prices, and weaker energy efficiency efforts” all of which also led to the aforementioned increase in energy demand.

Global energy-related CO2 emissions, 2000-2017

Thankfully, though there was an overall emissions increase, that does not mean there were not more regional emissions declines. While many major economies saw their emissions increase, there were declines in the United States, the UK, Mexico, and Japan. Surprisingly — if we consider the state of the world and the country — the United States actually posted the largest emissions decrease of 0.5%, or 25 Mt, down to 4,810 Mt.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/22/global-energy-demand-carbon-emissions-increase-2017/

Screenshot of RCP scenarios from Video below:

IPCC RCP 8.5 business as usual scenario is too conservative. ALL the climate models low ball global warming

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 21, 2018, 07:30:01 pm »

Are GBRMPA and David Attenborough and Palloy paid by FF industry?  Before you call them liars, you should PROVE the payments happen.  Why would they pay me, who has spent a lifetime attacking them?

It is pretty ludicrous to make the case you are a paid shill for the energy industry, just as it would be quite ludicrous to make the case I am a paid shill for Vlad the Impaler.   The only likely paid shill to grace these pages was MKing.  Everybody else simply has their own ideological POV.  These ideologies often come into conflict of course, which is why we have such lively arguments on the Diner!   
RE

RE, Palloy is using a fallacious debating technque called an apppeal to authority. He is trying to equate his position with that of respected individuals. That is simply more obfuscation. I answered him in my comment.

The bottom line here is NOT who gets paid to do what.

The bottom line here, which is the subject of this thread, is that: NO CLIMATE CHANGE, NO COTS (Crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci)  PROBLEM!

I am 100% CERTAIN that David Attenborough would agree.

Fallacious debating techniques are spurious and distracting bullshit.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 21, 2018, 07:29:11 pm »

The article clearly states that both climate change and CoT outbreaks are significant factors, and I agree, but you decide that CoT outbreaks are LIES and Climate Change is TRUTH because that fits your PoV.

Are GBRMPA and David Attenborough and Palloy paid by FF industry?  Before you call them liars, you should PROVE the payments happen.  Why would they pay me, who has spent a lifetime attacking them?

YOU are the one who has NEVER presented ANY "proof" that "you have spent a lifetime atttacking them". And you know what, that isn't the issue here.

The issue here is your CONSTANT attempts to resist the IRREFUTABLE causal link between Climate Change and the vast majority of biosophere degradation going on today.

The issue is NOT whether you have a solar panel on your roof and live frugally. If you do, then good for you and the planet. The issue is as stated above.

NOBODY is paying me to advocate for Renewable Energy. Nevertheless, there is no way I could prove I'm a not a "shill" for Renewable Energy.

All I have is facts and logic. YOU cherry pick and distort facts so much it is breathtaking.

The greatest threat to mankind is Climate Change, PERIOD. YOU REFUSE to say that! YOU have ZERO VALID REASON for denying that Climate Change is the greatest threat to our species.

Competing threats like asteroids and solar coronal discharges and nuclear war are ALL statistically less important. YOU KNOW THAT!

When you get of your God Damned High Horse and admit the REALITY of Climate Change being the GREATEST THREAT to mankind, then we can talk.

But until then, the FACT that you REFUSE TO ADMIT THAT means that YOU are defending the Fossil Fuel Profit over people and planet polluting status quo, whether ANYBODY IS PAYNG YOU TO DO THAT OR NOT!

NO CLIMATE CHANGE EQUALS NO COTS PROBLEM! WE MUST RETURN TO 350 PPM of CO2 or we are ALL DEAD! YOU REFUSE TO ADMIT THAT!

NINETY SEVEN PERCENT OF THE CLIMATE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY DISAGREES WITH YOU!

Have a nice day. 


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 21, 2018, 06:29:37 pm »

The Link Between Crown-of-thorns Starfish Reef Damage and Climate Change

Agelbert NOTE: The following well referenced article contains a statement that defenders of the polluting fossil fuel burning status quohave deliberately cherry picked a portion of in order to distort the intent of said statement. Why do these clever fossil fueler propagantists  play these mendacious word games? I'm glad you asked ;D. They engage in this type of MISLEADING baloney so that the MAIN cause of worldwide reef degradation in general, and the Great Barrier Reef off Australia in particular, appears conveniently 😇😈 to be the Crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS). Totally left out of the discussion, of course, is the contribution of fossil fuel based fertilizer land runoff to phytoplankton blooms which, in turn, favor a COTS population increase.

This positions fossil fuel pollution DIRECTLY causing massive coral bleaching death from increased water temperatures, AND other direct climate change stressors like increased acidity, conveniently in the "less of a problem" category. This is bullshit, of course. However, the fossil fuel propagandists never tire of spewing misleading information. They must continue to obfuscate the overwhelming importance of climate change in the degradation of our biosphere in order to defend the Fossil Fuel Crooks and Liars🦖 they work for. The truth would bankrupt the polluters. So, they 😈 LIE 24/7 on behalf of profit over people and planet. 😠

This is the statement:

Quote
However, anthropogenic and other stresses combined with more frequent COTS outbreaks can result in significant damage to reefs, and COTS are now considered a main source of coral mortality on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

This is the part a certain bullshitter that curses this forum cherry picked out of the above scientifically accurate statement:


Quote
... more frequent COTS outbreaks can result in significant damage to reefs, and COTS are now considered a main source of coral mortality on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

Do you see how this works? I certainly do. 🕵️

Enjoy the following article and please pass it on to your friends.  The next time some Fossil Fuel defending LIAR tries to tell you, "COTS feeding habits is a bigger problem than Climate Change" , kindly remind them that COTS wouldn't be able get out of hand, so to speak, if they weren't being fed all those fossil fuel based fertilizers from land runoff (that cause phytoplankton blooms the COTS pig out on) AND the reefs COTS also feed on were not stressed by CLIMATE CHANGE. Or, just tell them to push their lies somewhere else. 

MONEY QUOTES from the article:

Quote
Crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) (Acanthaster planci) naturally occur on coral reefs.  They are corallivores (i.e., they eat coral polyps).

Quote
Healthy reefs can recover from COTS outbreaks within 10 to 20 years, but degraded reefs facing a variety of stressors and climate change are less resilient and may not recover between outbreaks.


Crown-of-thorns starfish. Photo © Stacy Jupiter/Marine Photobank

Reefs and Resilience
Crown of Thorns Starfish


Crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) (Acanthaster planci) naturally occur on coral reefs. They are corallivores (i.e., they eat coral polyps). Covered in long poisonous spines, they range in color from purplish blue to reddish-gray to green. They are generally 25-35 cm in diameter, although they can be as large as 80 cm.

Crown-of-thorns starfish are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region, occurring from the Red Sea and coast of East Africa, across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, to the west coast of Central America. Predators of COTS include the giant triton snail, the stars and stripes pufferfish (Arothron hispidus), the titan triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens), and the humphead maori wrasse (Cheilinus undulates).

Crown-of-thorns starfish prey on nearly all corals, and their feeding preferences and behavior patterns vary with population density, water motion, and species composition. ref COTS typically prefer to feed on branching and table corals (e.g., Acropora), which are the same genera that are most vulnerable to bleaching. However, when branching coral cover is low due to overabundance of COTS or environmental conditions, COTS may eat other corals such as Porites or foliose corals (e.g. Montipora). In addition to hard corals, COTS may also eat sponges, soft corals, algae, and encrusting organisms.

COTS Outbreaks

Top: COTS on table Acropora. Old dead coral to right (gray), moving into algal covered (greenish-brown), to white newly dead coral. Bottom: COTS with white feeding scar on coral. Photos © The Nature Conservancy

Although COTS occur naturally in low numbers on coral reefs, they sometimes appear in high densities called “outbreaks”. The natural density of COTS is 6-20 km2 which is less than 1 per hectare. ref An outbreak is usually defined as 30 or more adult starfish per hectare on reefs, ref or when they reach densities such that the starfish are consuming coral tissue faster than the corals can grow. ref  COTS can consume live coral at a rate of 5-13 m2 per year. ref

Through occasional outbreaks, COTS can play a valuable role in reef ecosystems by helping to maintain coral species diversity. In some cases, the frequency of outbreaks and associated coral mortality is about the same as coral growth and recovery rates. ref COTS may help create space for slow-growing massive corals because COTS prefer to eat the faster-growing corals. However, anthropogenic and other stresses combined with more frequent COTS outbreaks can result in significant damage to reefs, and COTS are now considered a main source of coral mortality on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. ref Healthy reefs can recover from COTS outbreaks within 10 to 20 years, but degraded reefs facing a variety of stressors and climate change are less resilient and may not recover between outbreaks. ref

COTS outbreaks appear to be increasing in frequency over the last several decades, and they have caused widespread damage to coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific.ref  Dense aggregations of COTS can strip a reef of 90% of living coral tissue. ref In the 1970s on the northern Great Barrier Reef, a COTS outbreak occurred that lasted eight years. This outbreak peaked with about 1000 starfish per hectare, leaving 150 reefs devoid of coral, and 500 reefs damaged. ref  In the Togian Islands in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, over 80% of coral on a reef was destroyed by a COTS outbreak. ref Damage from COTS can indirectly affect fish populations that depend on coral reefs for habitat. On the Great Barrier Reef, two species of butterfly fish that eat coral and two species of plankton feeding fish dramatically declined following outbreaks of COTS. ref

What Causes COTS Outbreaks?

Scientists are not sure what causes outbreaks of COTS, but one of the most widely accepted hypothesis is that COTS outbreaks are predominantly controlled by phytoplankton availability.ref Nutrient enrichment from agricultural land runoff may lead to COTS outbreaks because elevated nutrient levels cause phytoplankton blooms which provide a necessary food source for COTS larvae. ref For example, in the Great Barrier Reef, doubled concentrations of large phytoplankton were linked to nearly a 10-fold increase in larval development, growth and survival of COTS. Other scientists believe that COTS outbreaks are linked to the timing of El Niño events ref or are driven by removal of COTS predators. ref

Control of COTS

A diver collects crown-of-thorns starfish as part of a Project AWARE underwater cleanup event held at Tenggol Island, Malaysia. Photo © 2010 Mohd Halimi Abdullah/Marine Photobank

Programs have been developed to control COTS. Methods for COTS control include taking starfish ashore and burying them, injecting them with compressed air, baking them in the sun, injecting them with toxic chemicals (e.g., formalin, ammonia, copper sulphate), and building underwater fences to control COTS movement. The recommended method on the Great Barrier Reef is to inject bile salts into the starfish which kills the starfish but does not harm the surrounding reef ecosystem. ref Mechanical methods for controlling COTS are expensive and labor intensive, thus may only be justified in small reefs that have high socioeconomic or biological significance, such as important spawning sites, tourist attractions, or areas with extremely high biodiversity. ref

Resources

Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS): Crown-of-Thorns Research

The AIMS Long Term Monitoring Program Surveys

Crown-of-Thorns Starfish on the Great Barrier Reef (pdf, 356k)

Case Study on Community-Based COTS Management in the Philippines (pdf, 2.8 )


http://www.reefresilience.org/coral-reefs/stressors/predator-outbreaks/crown-of-thorns-starfish/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 20, 2018, 08:27:04 pm »

Quote
“Half of all coral colonies on the Great Barrier Reef died over the past two years due to coral bleaching,’’ Dr Veron said.

The Good News

I expect he did say that, but it is not quite true - typical of Xraymike to pick that quote out of all the others.  Only half of the most northern third of the GBR was damaged, and has already been recolonised by the tougher corals. Only reef specialists who have done an exhausting analysis would notice any difference.  The only video people have seen on TV is of the very worst damage that could be found.

The reef will migrate southwards towards colder habitat using offshore currents, and more offshore to avoid sediments washed from rivers and pollution.  The biggest damage to reefs is done by Crown Of Thorns starfish.

The Bad News

Sadly the last male Northern White Rhino has died.  He leaves a daughter and granddaughter, without mating with them.  But most people don't know that there are Southern White Rhinos, and Black Rhinos and Indian, Javan and Sumatran versions.

I'm glad the Aussie reef is more resilient than Mike is suggesting. I've been watching for bleaching in the Caribbean for several years. I know there have been a couple of bad bleaching events, but generally the coral has still been living at least. Not like Florida, where most of it died years ago now. I do think it's been degraded, but it's hard to know how much of that is from boats and tourists who break the coral and poison it with their sunblock.

I expect the hurricanes did a lot of damage. I'm going back next week, although I doubt I'll get to visit St. John since the planned trip is to Virgin Gorda, and the ferry schedules are still messed up. It'll be hard to get there and back in the time I'll have. I don't really know Virgin Gorda that well. Only been to the Baths on day trips. So I won't have any idea of what it was really like before the storms.

I heard about the rhino. Another victim of the vanity of old men who can't get it up. The radio show I heard was so discreet, talked about rhino horn being poached for markets in  "Asia". I suppose it isn't PC to say the Chinese are responsible.


The Aussie reef is in as much trouble as Mike said. The biggest damage to reefs is from bleaching caused by high water temperatures. The Crown of thorns starfish is a minor opportunistic player here in comparison. You are being fed fossil fuel industry Happy Talk misleading information.

Scientists are learning how to stop said starfish. They CANNOT stop the increasing water temperatures which are the main cause of coral death. It's the BURNING of Fossil fuels that is the overwhelmingly greatest cause of coral death!

Palloy's post should be deleted for pushing misleading information.

Crown-of-thorns starfish DNA reveals coral killer's weakness
ABC Science
By Dani Cooper
Updated 5 April 2017 at 5:41 pm
http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-04-06/crown-of-thorns-starfish-dna-reveals-coral-killers-weakness/8415058
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 20, 2018, 07:34:10 pm »



“It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.” ~ Elizabeth Kolbert

Have things improved since I wrote my last essay a year ago for this blog? Have we miraculously transformed our entire energy system into one that does not poison and degrade the natural world? Have we slowed the onslaught of plastic pollution choking the planet’s rivers, lakes, and oceans? Have we done anything meaningful to halt the deterioration of the planet’s biodiversity toward mass extinction? Has this global, hi-tech civilization done anything significant to avert its own demise? Despite a constant flow of warnings from the scientific community and even a letter signed by more than 20,000 scientists, the simple answer is no. We have failed to address the complexity of our rising population and a degrading environment. Yes, we are self-conscious and thus able to recognize the fact that we are destroying the only home we have, but will the end result differ much from a population overshoot of bacteria in a Petri dish? Dependent on a continuous stream of finite resources imported from across the globe, modern megacities contain the seeds of their own destruction and that of all other life forms upon which humanity depends for its survival. The exponential growth of modern civilization ensures that one of the next doubling times will produce an absolute increase in overshoot that tips the world into unavoidable collapse. Enough damage may well have already been done; we’re just waiting for inertia to catch up to the impacts.

2017 set a global record for the most skyscrapers built in a single year and 2018 is predicted to eclipse it. The fossil fuel energy spent to construct those concrete and steel buildings translates into a melting cryosphere. Not to mention the fact that the carbon footprint of some of the world’s biggest cities is 60% bigger than previously estimated. “Renewable energy” still only comprises a tiny fraction of global energy consumption and plans for a total transition will take decades, if it’s even possible. Any growth in ‘renewable energy’ has been offset by increased consumption of fossil fuels in the developing world. 2017 marked a new record high in CO2 emissions with 2018 set to break that record. Global CO2 emissions have yet to peak, and the UN has warned that we are on course for a 3C world. It doesn’t help that the current U.S. administration plans to cut funding for alternative energy R&D, with the Energy Department expecting no drop in the U.S. carbon footprint through 2050. Having embedded itself in the U.S. government over a century ago, the fossil fuel industry has consistently worked to block climate change action and undermine environmental laws. A UK shipping executive recently admitted his industry is guilty of doing the same to protect their bottom line. The utilities companies knew the dangers as well. Like most corporations, the viability of their business model depends on perpetuating an unsustainable way of life. With warnings ignored since the late 1800s starting with the work of Svante Arrhenius, it should be obvious by now that intelligence without sapience has produced deadly results. A new study finds “the most accurate climate change models predict the most alarming consequences.” The recently released U.S. National Climate Assessment has similar findings:

While climate models incorporate important climate processes that can be well quantified, they do not include all of the processes that can contribute to feedbacks (Ch. 2), compound extreme events, and abrupt and/or irreversible changes. For this reason, future changes outside the range projected by climate models cannot be ruled out (very high confidence). Moreover, the systematic tendency of climate models to underestimate temperature change during warm paleoclimates suggests that climate models are more likely to underestimate than to overestimate the amount of long-term future change (medium confidence). (Ch. 15)

In a new ominous research finding, the evil twin of climate change(ocean acidification) is threatening the base of the marine food chain by disrupting the production of phytoplankton. This is yet another positive feedback loop increasing the rate of global warming. Climate feedback loops and ice sheet modeling are two weak areas of climate science, which means many unpleasant surprises. This is why researchers are constantly astonished. Adaptation is not a luxury most organisms have at the present rates of change. Techno-fixes are but a pipe dream.


A diet reliant on animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, biodiversity loss, and oceanic dead zones, yet global per capita meat consumption is increasing rapidly in both developing and industrialized countries. Investments have been made to increase global plastic production by 40% over the next decade, even as all the world’s natural bodies of water become inundated with microplastics. Coca Cola alone produces 110 billion throwaway plastic bottles every year – an astounding 3,400 a second. Plastic waste from the military is another massive contributor that cannot be overstated. Half of all plastics have been made in just the last thirteen years. Over 90% of the so-called purified bottled water sold to the public has been shown to be contaminated with hundreds and even thousands of microplastic pieces. A byproduct of petroleum and the epitome of our throw-away society, plastics have truly become ubiquitous in the environment, entering the food chain at every level.

A study published last year pulls no punches by describing the mass extermination of billions of animals in recent decades as a “biological annihilation.” Extinction risks for many species are vastly underestimated. Insects, the base of the terrestrial food chain, are faring no better. With the steep loss of invertebrates, multiple studies indicate the world is “on course for an ecological Armageddon”. Trees are dying at an unprecedented rate from extreme weather events, portending profound effects to Earth’s carbon cycle. Coral bleaching events are now happening four times more frequently than a few decades ago. Dr Charlie Veron, a renowned scientist specializing in corals and reefs, said this last year:

“Half of all coral colonies on the Great Barrier Reef died over the past two years due to coral bleaching,’’ Dr Veron said.

“It’s going to be a horrible world. Young people now are going to curse the present generation for what we’ve done. We’ll have left them a planet in dire straits.’’

“Between a quarter and a third of all marine species have part of their life cycle in a coral reef. Taking away the reefs precipitates ecological collapse of the oceans. It’s happened twice in the past due to volcanoes releasing carbon dioxide and lava flows, but that was nothing like the amount of carbon dioxide being released now.’’

No one thought that ecosystems such as The Great Barrier Reef would be circling the drain this soon. How these changes are affecting flora and fauna as well as human societies is critical, but it’s like trying to predict the outcome of a high speed car crash as it’s happening. Hindsight is 20/20, but it only serves a purpose if you are still around to learn from it. Abrupt climate change is happening now and we’re not prepared for it. Fighting to protect the very life support system we all share, environmentalists are under attack worldwide and being murdered in record numbers. The problem of poaching is so bad that scientists are advising people to scrub all GPS data from their nature photos before publication to help protect endangered species from being ransacked. The voracious consumption and defilement of the planet continues unabated, despite clear signs the once-stable biosphere that enabled the establishment of human civilizations is quickly unraveling(Puerto Rico, Houston, never-ending wildfire seasons, melting Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, widespread glacial retreat, shrinking lakes, and many other signs of a destabilized climate). The following picture taken in Oregon last summer illustrates my point; seemingly oblivious to the massive wildfires raging in the background, a group of golfers continues playing a round…“We’re trading a habitable climate for a few generations of easy living.”


Climate change is just one of many factors in mankind’s planetary overshoot. We even have a day designated in recognition of our oversized ecological footprint which comes earlier every year, with nary a mention of it in official economic reports. As Herman Daly has explained, the global economic system treats the earth as a business in liquidation. The destruction of the natural world is enshrined in our positive economic indicators, i.e. rising GDP. And if need be, those numbers will be massaged to meet expectations. On a subconscious level, the growth imperative applies to all species including humans:

Humans share two behavioral traits with all other species that are critically important to (un)sustainability. Numerous experiments show that unless or until constrained by negative feedback (e.g., disease, starvation, self-pollution) the populations of all species:

• Expand to occupy all accessible habitats.

• Use all available resources.

Like mindless bacteria bent on their own success, humans are victims of their own DNA and ingenuity. Any civilization that develops energy harvesting technologies allowing for rapid population growth will generate entropy which will in turn almost certainly have strong feedback effects on the planet’s habitability. Our exponentially growing economy is on a collision course with an immovable ecosphere.

The end of the world is coming for the naked ape, not by a cabal of bankers or any sort of cockamamie conspiracy tale like chemtrails, but by us –the entire human race– and the economic system we have developed. We’ve become hostages to the complex structures and ever more intricate specialization of an economic system designed to exploit diminishing resources. Pollution and waste are of little concern for capitalism until they become a significant drain on overall profitability and new frontiers to exploit are exhausted. When profitability on a global scale is finally threatened by climate change, it will be far too late. The response will be militarized and authoritarian.

On a more insidious note, capitalism is driven by a deep instinctive drive to accumulate which was a very survival-positive compulsion during our several million years of evolving into Homo sapiens to overcome dry periods and other threats. Capitalism hits on this genetic proclivity, and when we get a clear opportunity to grab a big time accumulation, get rich and all, social good be damned. Our big and powerful cerebral cortex is hard-pressed to find a cure.

“I am rather pessimistic. The maladaptive assumptions of prevailing cultures are deeply ingrained. The notion that economic growth must take precedence over all other considerations and general ignorance of biological and ecological realities do not augur well for the future.” ~ Professor Stephen Boyden, human ecologist

In Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond found that a common factor was the myopic and self-serving decision-making of elites who believed they could insulate themselves from the consequences of societal disasters. As the elites reaped the rewards, the resulting damage to everyone else built up over time until calamity struck. The grim reality is that history has proven such cycles of extreme wealth inequality have only been broken by catastrophes –plagues, revolutions, massive wars, and collapsed states. The U.S. has now reached a degree of wealth disparity unequaled in history:

Overall, the highest-ever historical Gini the researchers found was that of the ancient Old World (think Patrician Rome), which got a score of .59. While the degrees of inequality experienced by historical societies are quite high, the researchers note, they’re nowhere near as high as the Gini scores we’re seeing now…”it is safe to say that the degree of wealth inequality experienced by many households today is considerably higher than has been the norm over the last ten millennia,” the researchers write in their paper.

The crisis of civilization is planet-wide this time. We’ve turned a utopian world of plenty into a dystopian world of fascist-leaning governments, industrial disasters, collapsing ecosystems, and technological addiction. We have a Commander in Chief who tweets bizarre debunked conspiracies at 3 am, gets his intel briefings from right-wing TV shows, dismantles any remaining hindrances to unbridled capitalism, and doesn’t know the difference between weather and climate. Public discourse has been dumbed down to the level of Fox news talking points and tribal groupthink. Those who can discern actual ‘fake news’ from scientific fact are left to watch in horror as mainstream scientific projections continue to prove overly optimistic. Not only are regulations being cut left and right, they are not being enforced. Government science advisors are being purged and replaced with mouthpieces for industrial polluters. In fact, this administration is actively working to delegitimize and destroy government institutions. A sizable population of low information voters supports such actions, but it’s only to their own detriment. Of course, both major parties are under the sway of corporate power, but Trump and company represent an exceptionally predatory class of people. The Union of Concerned Scientists is monitoring the current administration’s war on science and public health; their latest report is here:

The administration’s one-year record shows an unprecedented level of stalled and disbanded scientific advisory committees, cancelled meetings, and dismissed experts. The consequences for the health and safety of millions of Americans could be profound.

We live in an age of unparalleled technological advancement, while at the same time we turn a blind eye to the disintegrating natural world that gave birth to us, having forgotten that our destiny lies in our relationship with the earth. Like Icarus who, in his exuberance, ignored his father’s warnings and flew too close to the sun, modern man with his technology has ascended to great heights without heeding sound advice.

“We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster.” ~ Carl Sagan





Quote
“Half of all coral colonies on the Great Barrier Reef died over the past two years due to coral bleaching,’’ Dr Veron said.

The Good News   

I expect he did say that, but it is not quite true - typical of Xraymike to pick that quote out of all the others.  Only half of the most northern third of the GBR was damaged, and has already been recolonised by the tougher corals. Only reef specialists who have done an exhausting analysis would notice any difference.  The only video people have seen on TV is of the very worst damage that could be found.

The reef will migrate southwards towards colder habitat using offshore currents, and more offshore to avoid sediments washed from rivers and pollution.  The biggest damage to reefs is done by Crown Of Thorns starfish.


The Bad News

Sadly the last male Northern White Rhino has died.  He leaves a daughter and granddaughter, without mating with them.  But most people don't know that there are Southern White Rhinos, and Black Rhinos and Indian, Javan and Sumatran versions.

So fu ck, it's all good, right? Barrief Reef picking up and moving, plenty of White Rhinos to breed.

Drill drill drill, and burn, baby, burn, right?




My thoughts as well.   :(

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 16, 2018, 05:02:05 pm »


Quote
Ju-Hyun Park - 350.org

March 16, 2018

Friends,

What’s your vision for a Fossil Free world?

The world we’re trying to build can be difficult to imagine at times. What will life be like after the fossil fuel economy ends? How will we correct the social injustices created by fossil fuel billionaires and their profiteering? What will a transition to 100% renewable energy look like in each of our communities?

The transition of our energy system is an opportunity to chart a path towards a world that centers workers and communities. In order to do that, we’ll need to meet everyone’s needs, which is why we need to hear everyone’s voice.

The speakers at our Fossil Free Fast event in January shared their vision of a Fossil Free world with us. Check out the short video here.


Quote
People across the U.S. are holding Community Planning Meetings to learn more about the Fossil Free Resolutions Campaign and begin to explore how it will look in their community. Community Planning Meetings are an opportunity to come together and start to build the foundation for a Fossil Free world at the local level.

https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/fossil-free-us-events


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 13, 2018, 09:54:38 pm »

EcoWatch

March 13, 2018

Court Rules Pruitt 😈 Broke the Law for Smog Rule Delay

SNIPPET:

 federal judge ruled Monday that Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), broke the law for failing to implement his agency's ozone pollution rule.

Judge Haywood Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said Pruitt violated the Clean Air Act for failing to announce by Oct. 1, 2017 which areas in the country have unhealthy levels of smog, a rule set by the 2015 ozone standard.

Full article:



https://www.ecowatch.com/pruitt-ozone-pollution-smog-2546861345.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 12, 2018, 11:26:19 pm »



Marxh 11, 2018


Headlines

Extreme Weather

The second Nor'easter in a week has dumped more than 2ft of snow in some places as it continues to dump wet, heavy snow on New England on Thursday.

The late-winter storm left more than 800,000 customers without power in the Northeast — counting some who have been without electricity since last Friday's destructive nor'easter.

Montville, New Jersey, got more than 26 inches from Wednesday's nor'easter. North Adams, Massachusetts, registered 24 inches, and Sloatsburg, New York, got 26 inches.

Thousands of flights across the region were cancelled according to the Boston Herald.

A foot (30 cm) of snow and fierce wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour (88 km/h) were expected from eastern New York through northern Maine on Thursday after the storm slammed the region on Wednesday, the National Weather Service said in several watches and warnings.

Hurricanes and cyclones

Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Hola to hit New Caledonia on Friday after battering the South Pacific island of Vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone Hola is barreling toward New Caledonia on Friday after battering the South Pacific island of Vanuatu damaging buildings and  knocking out communications

Tropical Cyclone Hola will bring heavy rain and strong winds to parts of New Caledonia from Friday into Saturday before heading towards New Zealand.

Hola is currently a Category 4 tropical cyclone on the Fiji intensity scale, comparable to a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific basin.

Spaceweather

Wonderful Auroras as far south as Maine and Scotland tonight as the Earth is entering a possible G1-class geomagnetic storm

Our sun has been spotless for almost a week now but that doesn't mean it has gone to sleep.
Earth is entering a stream of solar wind today at speeds of over 600km per second from a northern coronal hole in the sun's atmosphere.

The stage is set for a possible G1-class geomagnetic storm.

According to Spaceweather.com, NOAA computer models show more than 60 gigawatts of power currently surging through our planet's auroral oval:

Sky watchers in Canada and Alaska should be alert for auroras as night sweeps across North America on March 9-10.

Volcano Activity

The Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica awakes erupting gases, ashes and incandescent fragments of fresh lava with a strombolian eruption phase

The Turrialba Volcano in Cartago, Costa Rica had for the past weeks presented a diminished seismic activity and also a decreased degassification; however, the volcano raised its voice again this March 7th when it entered a strombolian eruption phase (relatively mild blasts).

The phase which began at 00:00 hours included the emission of gases, ashes and incandescent fragments of fresh lava which lasted through the first hours of the morning of this Wednesday. According to Dr Mauricio Mora from the National Seismology Network, a volcanic tremor (signal generated by the flow of fluids, water, gas of magma through the interior conducts of the volcano) was registered along with the activity.

Earthquakes

Another massive aftershock rocks Papua New Guinea magnitude 6.7 quake is the 4th mag 6 + quake since the initial mag 7.5 struck last weekend

Another massive aftershock rocks Papua New Guinea this afternoon, the powerful magnitude 6.7 quake is the 4th mag 6 + quake since the initial mag 7.5 struck last weekend, in all nearly 150 aftershocks have rocked the area since.
Almost 100 people have died with thousands homeless and without food and clean water.

The recovery effort has been slow as aid workers grapple with blocked roads and power outages to reach cut-off villages after the 7.5-magnitude quake struck on February 26 in the Pacific nation's mountainous interior.

Terrified locals in the Southern Highlands, Western, Enga and Hela provinces have also had to deal with more than 150 strong aftershocks, including four 6.+ magnitude tremors.

Man-made-disasters

Fukushima the disaster that changed our world forever: 27% increase of radiation levels found in salmon and halibut off the coast of Alaska

On the 7th anniversary of the Fukushima’s Nuclear Disaster, I received another mail from our friend in Alaska, Bill Laughing Bear, regarding increasing radiation levels of fish he himself has monitored in the coastal waters off Alaska since 2012.

It is a timely revelation after Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) announced recently their  "BIG HOPE" the 'ice wall' has failed to freeze Fukushima's toxic water buildup resulting in another million tons of toxic waste will be dumped into the Pacific. Full story

With no known technology to fix the problem and TEPCO claiming it will take at least 40 years to repair (how do they arrive at 40 years if there is nothing out there to stop it?) it is the disaster that changed our world forever.

Climate Change

NOAA: January 5th warmest on record for the globe but try telling that to most of the Northern Hemisphere with record cold and snow in strange places

An annotated map of the globe showing notable climate events that occurred in January 2018.
January was 5th warmest on record for the globe

Despite the cooling influence of La Nina this winter, the global temperature ranked among the five warmest on record in January. Earth’s polar regions continued to experience record-low ice conditions.


Disease

Shellfish contaminated with Hepatitis E found in Scottish supermarkets for the first time after a huge spike in laboratory-diagnosed cases

Shellfish contaminated with a bug that can cause vomiting, fever and potentially deadly liver failure in the most serious cases have been found on sale in Scottish supermarkets for the first time.

Blue mussels and an oyster harvested from Scottish waters tested positive for the hepatitis E virus. They had been purchased from four supermarkets in the Glasgow area and a fishmonger on the east coast.

It comes in the wake of a surge in the number of people struck down with the virus, with the number of laboratory-diagnosed cases in Scotland climbing from 13 in 2011 to 206 in 2016.

The latest results follow an analysis of 310 shellfish samples collected by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

They found traces of Hepatitis E in eight blue mussels and one oyster.


Animal Die-offs

Incredible photo of bird frozen alive under the water in Holland as 100's of thousands of dead creatures reported in aftermath of "The Beast Of The East"

An incredible photo has surfaced showing a kingfisher bird frozen solid mid-dive into a Dutch canal.

On inspection of the picture, it is obvious the bird froze solid at the split-second it dived into the water for a fish.

The unfortunate bird froze during the big freeze "The Beast Of The East" which plunged Europe into Arctic conditions.
Christoph van Ingen, who spotted the kingfisher in the town of Oostzaan, just north of Amsterdam, said he believed it might have dived into the canal to catch fish as the water was turning solid and been unable to escape.

Around a 100 people died across Ireland, the UK and Europe during the cold snap.

Environment

Disaster unfolding after mag 7.5 struck Papua New Guinea with 100+ strong aftershocks leaving thousands without food and water: 67 dead

At least 67 people were killed by a major earthquake that devastated Papua New Guinea's remote highlands last week, the Red Cross said Monday, with thousands homeless and without food and clean water.

The recovery effort has been slow as aid workers grapple with blocked roads and power outages to reach cut-off villages after the 7.5-magnitude quake struck on February 26 in the Pacific nation's mountainous interior.

Terrified locals in the Southern Highlands, Western, Enga and Hela provinces have also had to deal with more than 100 strong aftershocks, including three 6.0-magnitude tremors.

Wildfires

Continued "climate instability" 60,000 people affected by Argentina's deadly floods in the north: At least 600,000 hectares destroyed by fire in the east

At least 10,000 residents in northern Argentina forced to evacuate their homes.

More than 60,000 people have been affected by Argentina's ongoing deluge, with at least 10,000 in the north forced to evacuate their homes, the Argentine Red Cross reports.

"So far there are more than 60,000 affected; the most complicated situation is in Santa Victoria Este, where 10,000 people have been evacuated and hundreds of families are isolated and without communication," said Cristian Bolado, director of response to emergencies and disasters of the Argentine Red Cross.

The Red Cross is predicting continued "climate instability" throughout the remainder of the weekend in Chaco, Tucuman and Formosa, with Salta falling under "critical watch."

http://www.thebigwobble.org/p/front-page.html
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 04:33:59 pm »


A British diver has captured shocking images of himself swimming through a sea of plastic rubbish off the coast of the Indonesian tourist resort of Bali. A short video posted by diver Rich Horner on …


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 04:14:10 pm »


https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/particulates/surface/level/overlay=pm10/orthographic=80.98,25.86,473


(ABC News) – Before heading off on a foreign assignment, journalists take a course about working in hostile environments — learning about things like trauma first aid, weapons effects, and how to sur…


Agelbert NOTE: Stop subsidizing profit over people and planet! 
 
TAX THEM 🦍 INSTEAD OF REWARDING THEM 😈 FOR POISONING THE BIOSPHERE!
 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 11, 2018, 03:36:35 pm »


It turns out, most of us prefer our beaches nice and clean. That’s probably why a January proposal from Trump’s Interior Department to open up the Atlantic coast for offshore drilling was met with op…

Agelbert NOTE:
Don't reward the polluters for pollution, TAX THEM!


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 10, 2018, 02:20:17 pm »

The Nature Conservancy 🦋

March 10, 2018

Meet Our Chief Scientist 👨‍🔬

For The Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist, Dr. Hugh Possingham, a gift in his youth helped guide his path in the field of conservation. Learn what inspires him and share in his reflections on the Conservancy’s successes around the globe.

You grew up in South Australia. How did your childhood experiences shape your career?

As a child, my father and I would explore the bush around Adelaide. He was a keen birder, and when I was 12 he gave me the book “Competition and the Structure of Bird Communities,” written by Martin Cody, which showed me that mathematics was useful—even in ecology. This realization led to my pursuit of applied math at university.


You used mathematics to develop Marxan, the world’s most widely used conservation planning tool. Is that how you got involved with the Conservancy?

I developed a lot of relationships with Conservancy colleagues through Marxan’s application to their work, so I was very familiar with our science-based, collaborative approach and clear focus to save as much of our planet’s biodiversity as possible. It is somewhat unusual for someone like myself to leave the academic world, and I don’t think I would have accepted a position with any other conservation organization.


Which types of conservation strategies do you find most encouraging?

Much of our core work is focused on reducing habitat loss and degradation, which is essential for halting climate change and saving biodiversity. For example, with a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions caused by forest loss, there is great potential in sustainable forestry initiatives. Projects like these are especially promising because they are good for the economy, good for nature and good for mitigating climate change.


Can you give some examples of how the Conservancy tackles big conservation challenges?

We look at how to generate renewable power while improving wildlife habitat; how to use habitat restoration in cities to provide cleaner water; how to lessen the impacts of climate change by restoring natural infrastructure, like coral reefs.


Why is the Conservancy so effective?

Our organization is unique because we are global problem solvers, and we are exceptionally inclusive and collaborative in our work. We recognize that people have basic needs—food, energy, clean water, sanitation—hence calling a halt to development isn’t an option. So we align with many stakeholders—from governments and corporations to farmers and indigenous communities—and we work with them to find solutions that meet human needs and improve biodiversity

The Nature Conservancy
Attn: Treasury
4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203 USA

By Phone:
(800) 628-6860

Biodiversity hot spots of 80% of biosphere's species endangered by Global Warming Pollution


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 05, 2018, 01:09:58 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: The story of a 7.5 billion dollar hole in the ground with a lot of liars on top.  >:(

How Lies, Greed, & Mismanagement Blew Up The “Clean Coal” Myth

March 5th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

SNIPPET:

Clean coal. It was supposed to be the alchemist’s dream, the real world equivalent of spinning straw into gold. Or making a silk purse from a sow’s ear, if you are a Linda Ronstadt fan. What clean coal is all about is taking lignite, the lowest grade of coal, often called brown coal, and putting it into a pressurized chamber, then heating it to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit under great pressure. The resulting gas is collected and used to make electricity, sequestering most of the carbon emissions from the lignite at the same time.

Carbon Capture Is The Key
Kemper clean (NOT) coal plant,

Kemper clean coal plant, If it worked, the clean coal and carbon capture process would not only make electricity, it would do so with the lowest carbon footprint of any fossil fuel, including natural gas. It would be a two-fer, a daily double, and a twin killing all rolled into one. The carbon capture piece of the puzzle is what attracted attention from people around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Norway.

According to an article in The Guardian, Jukka Uosukainen, the United Nations director for the Climate Technology Center and Network, toured the site of the proposed plant in Kemper County, Mississippi in 2014 and said, “I’m impressed,” before adding, “Maybe using coal in the future is possible.”

Clean Coal Technology Fails — Big Time

The problem is, the clean coal technology, which was helped along by hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and research, doesn’t work. The problems started when the first of two high pressure, high temperature gasifier units arrived. During testing, moisture trapped in the concrete liner turned to steam and exploded, ruining the unit. No one had any realistic idea how to fix the problem.

Later, the 174-foot tall concrete sphere where the coal would be stored began to crack almost as soon as it was completed. Soon, there was a hole in the dome a large as small house. The entire structure had to be torn down and rebuilt. The original budget of around $2.5 billion arrived at a decade ago ballooned over time to more than $7.5 billion before the Southern Company called a halt to the project last year.

Lies And Deception Abound

But that’s not the real story. Not all new technologies are able to make the leap from the laboratory to the real world. What is really at issue here is the lies, double dealing, deliberate misrepresentations, and obfuscations carried out at the highest levels of the Southern Company with the aid of Mississippi officials. In America today, nuns protesting insane immigration policies get arrested and charged with crimes.  Officials involved in covering up a massive scandal that bilked stockholders and utility customers out of billions are allowed to retire quietly to their oceanside mansions. The United States has a legal system. What it lacks is any semblance of a justice system.

As the first concrete dome was being torn down and before it was rebuilt, Tom Fanning, CEO of Southern Company, was telling a bald faced lie to investors. During an April 24, 2013 earnings call he told them that “tremendous progress” was being made at the construction site and that “the scheduled in-service date” was feasible. He added that most of the key components for the facility — including the dome — were already “in place.” They were not.

Bureaucracy Fails

The Mississippi Public Service Commission was part of the problem as well. On March 15, 2012, the Mississippi supreme court ruled in favor of a petition by The Sierra Club to shut the project down. Shortly thereafter, the PSC renewed the company’s permission to build the plant, effectively bypassing the supreme court ruling. But it insisted on an absolutely final, no wiggle room, hard cap on the cost of the project of $2.8 billion. The company was way beyond that limit at the time. The next few years were taken up as much with cooking the books to keep the PSC in the dark as continuing construction on the Kemper plant.

The Guardian reviewed more than 5,000 pages of documents and e-mails in order to put its story together and we encourage you to read its entire exposé if  you want all the gory details. They also interviewed several current and former engineers who worked on the Kemper program. The story that unfolds details in exquisite detail the pressure put on those people to fudge the numbers to keep the state authorities from pulling the plug.

Lying From The Start

One of the key components to the clean coal plant — which would feature more than 900,000 feet of piping — was the availability rate, the percentage of the time it could be expected to be up and running versus down for maintenance and repairs. The Kemper facility needed to have an availability rate of 80% in order to be financially successful.

An independent audit requested and paid for by Southern Company just as construction was getting underway found the actual availability rate would be more in the range of 30% to 45% during the first 3 to 5 years of operation with the 80% figure not likely until at least 10 years out — if ever. Later, an internal review came to much the same conclusion. None of that information was shared with federal or state officials or investors. Instead, Southern Company employees were pressured to alter key documents to make it appear as thought things were moving along as planned.

Incentivizing Greed

A large part of the Kemper clean coal debacle involved the way utility companies earn their living. In many parts of the country, they are able to attract investors because they are guaranteed a designated rate of return on the investments they make in power generation facilities and infrastructure. Want to make more money? Spend more money. It’s easy. The law guarantees a fixed rate of return whether your investments are wise or not. Great for utility company executives and their generous compensation plans. Not so great for the members of the public who see their rates increase to cover the costs of those expansionist policies.

Mississippi and several of its neighboring states have only themselves to blame. Like giving free money to compulsive gamblers, they passed laws in the early years of this century that allowed utility companies to start earning their financial rewards before projects were even completed. This “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” philosophy ratcheted up the incentives to spend big by Southern Company and other utilities.

Full article:

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/05/lies-greed-mismanagement-blew-clean-coal-myth/

Agelbert COMMENT:  These scam artists never stop doing what they do. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) once noted their mens rea modus operandi in regard to gold mines.
Quote
"A gold mine is a hole in the ground with a liar on top."
The "Carbon Capture" Technology is, and always will be, baloney. When they tell you a nuclear submarine can keep the atmosphere below 350 PPM of carbon dioxide, THEN, and ONLY then, can it be said that mankind has the carbon capture technology to keep us from becoming crispy critters from Catastrophic Climate Change.

At present, nuclear submarine CO2 scrubbing technology can achieve around 8,000 PPM of CO2 levels, and that for about six months, at which time they are forced to surface to keep the CO2 levels from harming the crew.

When the fossil fuelers tell you that carbon capture and sequestration is doable with present technology, please show them the following meter reading:


As if that wasn't enough to warrant a crash program to get back to 350 PPM of CO2, the methane bomb is orders of magnitude worse.

Eminent Russian Scientist Dr. Natalia Shakhova (International Arctic Research Center)

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