Search This Blog

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The green problem: how do we fight without losing what we're fighting for?

The green problem: how do we fight without losing what we're fighting for?

Environmentalism is stuck – factional and uncertain even of the goals we seek. But we must face facts and engage with reality

The Natural Gas-Renewable Energy Industrial Complex

 

The Natural Gas-Renewable Energy Industrial Complex

Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century?

Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century?

This is Richard Heinberg's Foreward to the new report 'Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century?' by Post Carbon Fellow David Hughes. Download the report here (13MB).
Post Carbon Institute undertook this report in order to examine three widespread assumptions about the role that natural gas can and should play in our energy future:
  • Assumption #1: That, thanks to new techniques for hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling of shale, we have sufficient natural gas resources to supply the needs of our country for the next 100 years.
  • Assumption #2: That the price of natural gas, which has historically been volatile, will remain consistently low for decades to come.
  • Assumption #3: That natural gas is much cleaner and safer than other fossil fuels, from the standpoint of greenhouse gas emissions and public health.
Based on these assumptions, national energy officials at the Energy Information Administration (EIA) foresee a major expansion of natural gas in the coming decades.

NASA Watches From 438 Miles as the Mississippi Floods

NASA Watches From 438 Miles as the Mississippi Floods

La. Floodgate Opens, Diverting Mississippi River

La. Floodgate Opens, Diverting Mississippi River

Water from the swollen Mississippi River has gushed through a floodgate for the first time in decades and headed toward thousands of homes and farmland in the Cajun countryside, threatening to submerge the land under deep water.

Science and the Reasonable Development of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Resources in Pennsylvania and New York

Science and the Reasonable Development of Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Resources in Pennsylvania and New York

This article by Lynn Kerr McKay, Ralph H. Johnson, and Laurie Alberts Salita appeared in Energy Law Journal (35 Energy Law Journal 125) and concludes "The success of efforts to explore and develop Marcellus Shale natural gas resources progress depends on continued critical and scientific evaluation of information concerning all aspects of this enterprise. Claims regarding water well contamination and NORM arising from Marcellus Shale operations will likely continue. Reasoned and technically-informed assessment of available data is vital to determining the appropriate level of regulation, industry best practices, and allocation of resources to address environmental impacts and potential health effects."

U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

Arctic Melt: Reopening a Naval Frontier

Arctic Melt: Reopening a Naval Frontier

Beautiful Satellite Images Of Giant Hard Rock Mines

Beautiful Satellite Images Of Giant Hard Rock Mines

from Clusterstock

Obama Eases Restrictions On Oil And Gas Drilling In Alaska, Atlantic And Gulf Of Mexico

Obama Eases Restrictions On Oil And Gas Drilling In Alaska, Atlantic And Gulf Of Mexico

from Clusterstock

A Former BP Exec Explains Why Peak Oil Is Real [PRESENTATION]

A Former BP Exec Explains Why Peak Oil Is Real [PRESENTATION]

from Clusterstock

An Incredible Hand-Drawn Guide To The Peak Oil Crisis

An Incredible Hand-Drawn Guide To The Peak Oil Crisis

Food Fears Return

Food Fears Return
Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Project Syndicate: "Lack of food is rarely the reason that people go hungry. The world today produces enough food to feed everyone. The problem is that more and more people simply cannot afford to buy the food they need. Even before the recent food-price increases, a billion people were suffering from chronic hunger, while another two billion were experiencing malnutrition, bringing the total number of food-insecure people to around three billion, or almost half the world's population... The rapid rise in world prices for all basic food crops – corn. wheat, soybeans, and rice – along with other foods like cooking oils, has been devastating for poor households all over the world."
Read the Article

Fukushima - One Step Forward and Four Steps Back as Each Unit Challenged by New Problems

Fukushima - One Step Forward and Four Steps Back as Each Unit Challenged by New Problems
Gundersen says Fukushima's gaseous and liquid releases continue unabated. With a meltdown at Unit 1, Unit 4 leaning and facing possible collapse, several units contaminating ground water, and area school children outside the exclusion zone receiving adult occupational radiation doses, the situation continues to worsen. TEPCO needs a cohesive plan and international support to protect against world-wide contamination.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Running a rescue: Thad Allen on the BP oil spill, Haiti earthquake, the next big disaster — and how MIT Sloan helped him lead

Running a rescue: Thad Allen on the BP oil spill, Haiti earthquake, the next big disaster — and how MIT Sloan helped him lead

Oil groups get one-year extension on leases

 

Oil groups get one-year extension on leases
Barack Obama is granting the oil and gas industry a one-year extension on leases companies hold in parts of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, fulfilling a small but significant request on the industry’s Washington wish list. The administration also announced it would begin conducting annual lease sales in Alaska’s petroleum reserve, with at least one lease to be sold by the end of 2011.
The news, which comes as the US president faces increasing political pressure because of high petrol prices, will be especially welcomed by Shell, which has faced significant drilling delays on its existing lease in Alaska because of litigation with environmental groups


http://link.ft.com/r/6NPSBB/PR9HL8/NS9NWA/JI5X2Z/26TACJ/SN/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=14
Enhanced by Zemanta

Study predicts L.A. will be a top market for electric vehicles

Study predicts L.A. will be a top market for electric vehicles
Los Angeles will be a U.S. leader in the market for electric vehicles, with such vehicles accounting for nearly one out of every 10 automobiles purchased in the city in 2015, according to a new study published by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. The study is part of yearlong collaboration with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's Office for Environment and Sustainability, with the support of the City Council and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Flooding Miss. River threatens catfish industry

Flooding Miss. River threatens catfish industry
(AP) -- Catfish farming in Mississippi faces grave danger from flooding.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fossil fuels sometimes 'greener' than biofuels - MIT Study

Fossil fuels sometimes 'greener' than biofuels - MIT Study

OGX discovers 'significant' natural gas column at Salvador in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil

OGX discovers 'significant' natural gas column at Salvador in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil
Private Brazilian firm OGX has discovered natural gas at its Salvador prospect in the shallow waters of the Santos Basin offshore Brazil.
Full Article

Oil prices begin to dent demand

Oil prices begin to dent demand The warnings may finally be coming true. Four months after the OECD warned that the soaring oil price could damage the economic recovery in developed nations (since when Brent has advanced another 19 per cent), the IEA has noticed that global oil demand has begun to flatline.

http://link.ft.com/r/DHGUVV/4085QF/FXWIVG/5CH8VF/GKMQ79/W1/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=13

The battle over Greenland’s oil

The battle over Greenland’s oil Wikileaks has an impeccable sense of timing. As Hilary Clinton meets counterparts from Arctic nations in Greenland to talk about oil, the whistle blowing website publishes a raft of cables showing just how much international tension the country's natural resources have provoked.

http://link.ft.com/r/DHGUVV/4085QF/FXWIVG/5CH8VF/WLN8FO/W1/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=13

Deepwater Horizon Spill Threatens More Species Than Legally Protected

Deepwater Horizon Spill Threatens More Species Than Legally Protected
Durham NH (SPX) May 13, 2011 - Marine species facing threats from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico far exceed those under legal protection in the United States, a new paper in the journal BioScience finds. University of New Hampshire professor Fred Short and others found 39 additional marine species beyond the 14 protected by federal law that are at an elevated risk of extinction. These spec ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Global resource consumption to triple by 2050: UN

Global resource consumption to triple by 2050: UN
United Nations (AFP) May 12, 2011 - Global consumption of natural resources could almost triple to 140 billion tons a year by 2050 unless nations take drastic steps, the United Nations warned Thursday. A UN environment panel said the world cannot sustain the tearaway rate of use of minerals, ores and fossil and plant fuels. It called on governments to "decouple" economic growth from natural resource consumption. With the w ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

MIT Study: conventional fossil fuels sometimes 'greener' than biofuels

MIT Study: conventional fossil fuels sometimes 'greener' than biofuels
Cambridge MA (SPX) May 13, 2011 - In an effort to combat soaring fuel prices and cut greenhouse gas emissions, the aviation industry is racing toward the use of biofuels. In 2008, Virgin Atlantic became the first commercial airline to fly a plane on a blend of biofuel and petroleum. Since then, Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways and Continental Airlines, among others, have flown biofuel test flights, and Lufthansa is racing to ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tower Companies Installs Electric Charging Stations as Part of Maryland's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program

Tower Companies Installs Electric Charging Stations as Part of Maryland's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program

Britain 'in drought conditions' amid European heatwave

Britain 'in drought conditions' amid European heatwave
London (AFP) May 12, 2011 - Parts of southern Britain are suffering from drought conditions following the warmest April on record amid a heatwave sweeping across northern Europe, researchers said on Thursday. England and Wales received the lowest March and April rainfall since 1938 with some regions getting the lowest rain in records dating back more than 100 years, according to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CE ... more

ECOS reviews proposed 'Carbon Farming Initiative'

ECOS reviews proposed 'Carbon Farming Initiative'
Canberra, Australia (SPX) May 13, 2011 - A review of the potential benefits and risks associated with the Australian Government's proposed Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) features in the April-May edition (160) of CSIRO's ECOS magazine. The CFI aims to enable Australian farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate tradeable carbon credits. The agricultural sector accounts for over a quarter of the nation's total ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Fierce debate in Brazil over forestry protection

Fierce debate in Brazil over forestry protection
Brasilia (AFP) May 12, 2011 - A bill being debated in Brazil's Congress has sparked fierce clashes between environmentalists and supporters of farmers and ranchers over how to regulate the country's vast but vulnerable wilderness. After 20 hours of debate, a vote on the controversial measure in the Chamber of Deputies was postponed Thursday until next week. The bill would then move on to the Senate. "We are running t ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Reforesting rural lands in China pays big dividends

Reforesting rural lands in China pays big dividends
Stanford CA (SPX) May 13, 2011 - An innovative program to encourage sustainable farming in rural China has helped restore eroded forestland while producing economic gains for many farmers, according to a new study by Stanford University researchers. Their findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). "The Sloping Land Conversion Program, which began in 2000 after massive flood ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Antarctic Ice Divers

Antarctic Ice Divers
by Kristina Grifantini
Two robots have gathered a treasure-trove of data from beneath the ice shelf.
Read More »

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Beekeepers Battle 'Perfect Storm'

Beekeepers Battle 'Perfect Storm'

Seventy percent of the crop species that feed 90 percent of all people in the world require bees for pollination.

Climate Record Suggesting Severe Tropical Droughts as Northern Temperatures Rise

Climate Record Suggesting Severe Tropical Droughts as Northern Temperatures Rise
Pittsburgh PA (SPX) May 12, 2011 - A 2,300-year climate record University of Pittsburgh researchers recovered from an Andes Mountains lake reveals that as temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rise, the planet's densely populated tropical regions will most likely experience severe water shortages as the crucial summer monsoons become drier. The Pitt team found that equatorial regions of South America already are receiving less ... more

NOAA, USACE, and USGS Partner to Support Water Resources Management

NOAA, USACE, and USGS Partner to Support Water Resources Management

The Principal Rare Earth Elements Deposits of the United States—A Summary of Domestic Deposits and a Global Perspective

The Principal Rare Earth Elements Deposits of the
United States—A Summary of Domestic Deposits
and a Global Perspective

AEP Polluter Bill: Tens of Thousands of American Deaths is "Cost-Effective"?

AEP Polluter Bill: Tens of Thousands of American Deaths is "Cost-Effective"?

BOEMRE approves Shell's deepwater exploration plan in the Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana

BOEMRE approves Shell's deepwater exploration plan in the Gulf of Mexico offshore Louisiana

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

BP gulf disaster taught lessons we knew By Hal Shepherd

BP gulf disaster taught lessons we knew

By Hal Shepherd

Clock Is Ticking for U.S. to Process Drill Permits

Clock Is Ticking for U.S. to Process Drill Permits

Overfished bluefin tuna's status should be endangered: experts

Overfished bluefin tuna's status should be endangered: experts
Vancouver Sun
By Margaret Munro, Postmedia News May 10, 2011 Canada's top wildlife advisers say the Atlantic bluefin tuna, which has been known to fetch $1000 per kilogram on sushi markets, is so overfished it should be listed as an endangered species. ...

TRMM Maps a Wet Spring, 2011 for the Central U.S.

TRMM Maps a Wet Spring, 2011 for the Central U.S.
Greenbelt MD (SPX) May 10, 2011 - NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite has been keeping track of the drenching rainfall that has been occurring in the central U.S. this springtime, and a newly created rain map from that data from April to May 4, 2011 shows those soaked areas. A combination of heavy rains and a large snow melt has put parts of the central U.S. at risk for record flooding this spring with sev ... more

BP gets final approval to buy Brazilian oilfields

BP gets final approval to buy Brazilian oilfields http://link.ft.com/r/4RNQTT/TPF3GD/GKXE28/OJDXUX/5CBB0E/CM/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=11

Search for rare-earth self-sufficiency

Search for rare-earth self-sufficiency http://link.ft.com/r/4RNQTT/TPF3GD/GKXE28/OJDXUX/6VGGVW/CM/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=11

Is IT Our Best Defense Against Climate Change? by Christopher Mims

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fire and rain: Fed scientists point to wild April

Fire and rain: Fed scientists point to wild April
(AP) -- April was a historic month for wild weather in the United States, and it wasn't just the killer tornado outbreak that set records, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Physicist Group’s Study Raises Doubts on Capturing Carbon Dioxide From Air

Physicist Group’s Study Raises Doubts on Capturing Carbon Dioxide From Air

Scientific Study Links Flammable Drinking Water to Fracking

Scientific Study Links Flammable Drinking Water to Fracking
Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica: "For the first time, a scientific study has linked natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing with a pattern of drinking water contamination so severe that some faucets can be lit on fire. The peer-reviewed study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stands to shape the contentious debate over whether drilling is safe and begins to fill an information gap that has made it difficult for lawmakers and the public to understand the risks."
Read the Article
Enhanced by Zemanta

Energy headlines: World faces $15,000bn renewable energy bill

Energy headlines: World faces $15,000bn renewable energy bill

- World faces $15,000bn renewable energy bill – FT
- Crude tumbles as CME margin hike spooks investors – WSJ
- Methane contamination of water rises close to shale gas sites – The Guardian
- Gulf domestic oil usage to vie with exports – FT
- Arctic nations eye future of world’s last frontier – Reuters
- Explorer OGX in London listing – FT
- Exxon in talks on Angola sale – WSJ
- Fukushima boosts green case for nuclear – Breakthrough Institute, FT
- Toshiba to bid for Swiss smart-meter maker Landis+Gyr – Reuters
- Japan’s Chubu agrees to shut nuclear firm – WSJ
- Japan’s nuclear future in the balance – NY Times
- ‘Investment hiatus’ for green enterprise – The Times
- Huhne pressed to drop climate targets – FT
- Friends of the Earth boss demands climate target becomes policy – The Guardian
- Co-Op launches new energy company – The Telegraph
- Lack of clarity turns off energy investors – The Telegraph
- Centrica feels the heat over tax rise – FT
- Rescue deal revives clean coal plans – FT
- Former BP boss to advise New York’s super-rich – The Times
- Petroleum professionals enjoy pay surge as oil prices rise – WSJ

Rising petrol prices: good for the oil industry, but bad for its PR

Rising petrol prices: good for the oil industry, but bad for its PR The rise in US crude oil prices has been pushing petrol up toward $4 a gallon - a level analysts note has historically led to a drop in consumer demand. The current national average price of petrol is just under there, according to the Daily Fuel Gauge Report by AAA, America's largest motoring and leisure travel membership organization.

http://link.ft.com/r/IOCBMM/V1N3U2/0GB0NQ/72GTZZ/3OT1GY/T3/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=10
Enhanced by Zemanta

Mexican states seek equal standing in BP oil spill litigation

Mexican states seek equal standing in BP oil spill litigation
Three Mexican states claim equal standing with American states in suing BP over the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Full Article

Enhanced by Zemanta

University of Texas researchers to study shale gas hydraulic fracturing

University of Texas researchers to study shale gas hydraulic fracturing
The UT project will for the first time combine an independent assessment of alleged groundwater contamination and seismic events ascribed to ‘fracing’ of shale formations with a detailed analysis of the scope and effectiveness of laws and regulations related to hydraulic fracturing.
Full Article

Enhanced by Zemanta

Petrobras contracts Deepsea Metro II drillship to drill in the ultra-deepwaters offshore Brazil for $531MM

Petrobras contracts Deepsea Metro II drillship to drill in the ultra-deepwaters offshore Brazil for $531MM
Brazilian major Petrobras has contracted Deep Sea Metro Ltd. for its second drillship, the Deepsea Metro II, for a three-year drilling campaign in the ultra-deepwaters offshore Brazil.
Full Article

Consumption, carbon emissions and international trade

Consumption, carbon emissions and international trade
Palo Alto, CA (SPX) May 10, 2011 - Accurately calculating the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the process of producing and bringing products to our doorsteps is nearly impossible, but still a worthwhile effort, two Carnegie researchers claim in a commentary published online this week by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Global Ecology department's Ken Caldeira and Steven Davis commend the work of indu ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals

Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals
Washington DC (SPX) May 10, 2011 - The American Physical Society has released a new assessment - Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals - to better inform the scientific community on the technical aspects of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In systems achieving direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide (CO2), ambient air flows over a chemical sorbent, either liquid or solid, that selectively removes the CO2. ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Methane levels 17 times higher in water wells near hydrofracking sites

Methane levels 17 times higher in water wells near hydrofracking sites
Durham, NC (SPX) May 10, 2011 - A study by Duke University researchers has found high levels of leaked methane in well water collected near shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking sites. The scientists collected and analyzed water samples from 68 private groundwater wells across five counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York. "At least some of the homeowners who claim that their wells were contaminated by shale-gas ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Direct removal of carbon dioxide from air likely not viable

Direct removal of carbon dioxide from air likely not viable
Princeton NJ (SPX) May 10, 2011 - Technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are unlikely to offer an economically feasible way to slow human-driven climate change for several decades, according to a report issued by the American Physical Society and led by Princeton engineer Robert Socolow. "We humans should not kid ourselves that we can pour all the carbon dioxide we wish into the atmosphere right now a ... more

Soils of U.K., Europe drying out

Soils of U.K., Europe drying out
Paris (UPI) May 9, 2011 - Satellite measurements show that soils of Britain and Europe are drying out from record low rainfall in the region this spring, researchers say. The European Space Agency Smos satellite has been gathering information being analyzed by meteorologists, hydrologists and other scientists, the BBC reported Monday. Last month was the warmest April on record in Britain, with less than h ... more

Tree rings tell a 1,100-year history of El Nino

Tree rings tell a 1,100-year history of El Nino
Manoa HI (SPX) May 10, 2011 - El Nino and its partner La Nina, the warm and cold phases in the eastern half of the tropical Pacific, play havoc with climate worldwide. Predicting El Nino events more than several months ahead is now routine, but predicting how it will change in a warming world has been hampered by the short instrumental record. An international team of climate scientists has now shown that annually reso ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Does the central Andean backarc have the potential for a great earthquake?

Does the central Andean backarc have the potential for a great earthquake?
Manoa HI (SPX) May 10, 2011 -
The region east of the central Andes Mountains has the potential for larger scale earthquakes than previously expected, according to a new study posted online in Nature Geoscience. Previous research had set the maximum expected earthquake size to be magnitude 7.5, based on the relatively quiet history of seismicity in that area. This new study by researchers from the University of Hawaii a ... more
Enhanced by Zemanta

Floods along mighty Mississippi swamp farms, homes

Floods along mighty Mississippi swamp farms, homes
Memphis, Tennessee (AFP) May 9, 2011 -
The worst floods to hit the central United States in more than 80 years swallowed up homes, farms and roadways Monday, as the mighty Mississippi River swelled to six times its normal width. Officials patrolled stressed levees in waterlogged Memphis, Tennessee where the Mississippi - normally about half a mile across - is currently about three miles (4.8 kilometers) wide. Daryl Hissong ... more

Monday, May 9, 2011

Report: Direct removal of carbon dioxide from air likely not viable

Report: Direct removal of carbon dioxide from air likely not viable
Technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are unlikely to offer an economically feasible way to slow human-driven climate change for several decades, according to a report issued by the American Physical Society and led by Princeton engineer Robert Socolow.
Enhanced by Zemanta

China to uproot 240,000 from disaster-prone areas

China to uproot 240,000 from disaster-prone areas
Beijing (AFP) May 7, 2011 - Authorities plan to move nearly a quarter of a million people this year from disaster-prone areas in northern China into newly-built homes, state media reported Saturday. About 240,000 will be moved in the first stage of a ten-year project to shift 2.4 million people away from less-developed mountainous areas in Shaanxi province, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The total number ... more