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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Battling nuclear means fighting for more climate change and ocean acidification

Battling nuclear means fighting for more climate change and ocean acidification

Climate Change in Pennsylvania: Impacts and Solutions for the Keystone State

Climate Change in Pennsylvania: Impacts and Solutions for the Keystone State (PDF): An in-depth analysis of the risks and opportunities in Pennsylvania.

Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast: Science, Impacts, and Solutions

Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast: Science, Impacts, and Solutions (PDF): A report of the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA), July 2007


State summaries: UCS-produced fact sheets based on Confronting Climate Change in the U.S Northeast: Science, Impacts, and Solutions
Connecticut
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont
New! A special Northeast U.S. issue of the journal Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change was released in June, marking the publication of NECIA technical papers.
Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast (PDF): A report of the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA), October 2006

The Changing Northeast Climate: Our Choices, Our Legacy (PDF): UCS-produced eight-page summary of the October 2006 NECIA report Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast

Reducing Heat-Trapping Emissions in the Northeast (PDF): UCS-produced fact sheet, October 2006

Friday, July 22, 2011

Climate Change = Security Threat

Climate Change = Security Threat

Climate will damage reefs at "different rates"

Climate will damage reefs at "different rates"

Climate will damage reefs at “different rates”

Climate will damage reefs at “different rates”

Morning greens: Carbon spike caused previous mass extinction on Earth, new study rates toxic states for air pollution

Morning greens: Carbon spike caused previous mass extinction on Earth, new study rates toxic states for air pollution

UN says climate change threatens world security

UN says climate change threatens world security
United Nations (AFP) July 21, 2011 - Climate change is generating an "unholy brew" of extreme weather events that threaten global security, the UN chief said Wednesday as the Security Council recognized the issue's potential effect on world peace. But the 15-member council apparently failed to agree on whether climate change itself was a direct threat to international peace and security, even after a rebuke by the United States ... more

New Lucius development shows gaining strength of the US Gulf

New Lucius development shows gaining strength of the US Gulf

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Koch And Exxon Pay To Write State Legislation Repealing Climate Change Laws

Koch And Exxon Pay To Write State Legislation Repealing Climate Change Laws

US panel votes to bar climate funding

US panel votes to bar climate funding

The Energy at the Earth’s Core

The Energy at the Earth’s Core

What spreads the sea floors and moves the continents? What melts iron in the outer core and enables the Earth’s magnetic field? Heat. Geologists have used temperature measurements from more than 20,000 boreholes around the world to estimate that some 44 terawatts (44 trillion watts) of heat continually flow from Earth’s interior into space. Where does it come from? Initially the earth heated up using energy released buy gravitational collapse, and while this energy completely melted the planet, this heat would have all been lost by now as the Earth is 4.6 billion years old. However, the earth is still
Read more...
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The Climate Impacts Of Different Foods

The Climate Impacts Of Different Foods

Earlier this week, the Environmental Working Group, a research and lobby group in DC, released a report on the “environment” and "health" impact of different foods. It found that lamb is the worst offender, followed by grain-fed beef, pork, cheese and farmed salmon.

Attack of the Urban Mosquitoes

Attack of the Urban Mosquitoes

Aggressive and Hard to Kill: Two Asian Cityslickers Swarm the East Coast

Republicans Approve Regulation-Blocking Coal Bill on ALEC's Wish List

Republicans Approve Regulation-Blocking Coal Bill on ALEC's Wish List
Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "House Republicans who have received hefty campaign contributions from coal and electric power companies approved coal legislation supported by the industry and super-lobby group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to approve legislation on July 13 that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating toxic coal ash wastes from electric power plants and delay the implementation of air quality rules. The Republican-controlled House is expected to pass the bills."
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Deep below the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Deep below the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Lausanne, France (SPX) Jul 21, 2011 - For the first time, scientists gathered oil and gas directly as it escaped from a deep ocean wellhead - that of the damaged Deepwater Horizon oil rig. What they found allows a better understanding of how pollution is partitioned and transported in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico and permits superior estimation of the environmental impact of escaping oil, allowing for a more precise evaluation o ... more

Ocean Acidification | Sea•thos Foundation


Ocean Acidification | Sea•thos Foundation
Ocean acidification, caused by excess amounts of carbon dioxide as result of unsustainable industrial activity, is threatening important sea life such as ...
www.seathos.org/tag/ocean-acidification/

Exploring Ocean Acidification | Speak Up For The Blue

Exploring Ocean Acidification | Speak Up For The Blue
Introducing a video by the Plymouth Marine Research Laboratory on Ocean Acidification.
www.speakupforblue.com/ocean.../exploring-ocean-acidificati...

Impact of ocean warming and ocean acidification on marine invertebrate life history stages: Vulnerabilities and potential for persistence in a changing ocean

Impact of ocean warming and ocean acidification on marine invertebrate life history stages: Vulnerabilities and potential for persistence in a changing ocean

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

80 percent of world climate data are not computerized

80 percent of world climate data are not computerized
In order to gain a better knowledge of climate variations, such as those caused by global warming, and be able to tackle them, we need to understand what happened in the recent past. This is the conclusion of a research study led by the Rovira i Virgili University (URV), which shows that the scientific community today is only able to access and analyse 20% of the recorded climate information held. The remaining data are not accessible in digital format.
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Safety testing on Gulf seafood

Safety testing on Gulf seafood
Government assurances that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are the result of a monitoring and testing program that continues more than a year after the April 20, 2010 disaster. The little-known story of the effort by Federal agencies to assure safety of Gulf seafood is the topic of the cover article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS's weekly news magazine.
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Interview with Gus Speth: Communicating environmental risks in an age of disinformation

Interview with Gus Speth: Communicating environmental risks in an age of disinformation

For more than four decades, Gus Speth has been a major figure in the modern environmental movement -- a movement that he now says is failing. He has worked within nonprofit activist organizations, government bureaucracies, and academia, and moves easily between these realms. In 1970, as a newly minted environmental attorney, he cofounded the Natural Resources Defense Council, which today has a staff of more than 300 lawyers, scientists, and policy experts. In 1982, he founded the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank.

The inadequate US response to a major security threat: Climate change

The inadequate US response to a major security threat: Climate change

Over recent decades, the United States has dedicated enormous resources -- in terms of money, manpower and national credibility -- to reducing the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and the global economic crisis. These commitments have been made not necessarily because the potential dangers are expected to materialize often -- many of them are low-probability risks -- but because the consequences if they do are so large as to be considered unacceptable.

Size of Gulf of Mexico ‘dead-zone’ to triple in size

Size of Gulf of Mexico ‘dead-zone’ to triple in size

July 19, 2011LOUISIANA — Researchers measuring the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico say it is currently about 3,300 square miles but some scientists say it could become much larger. The so-called “dead zone,” caused by nitrogen levels in the gulf related to human activities such as agricultural runoff, occurs when oxygen levels in seawater drop to dangerously low levels, causing severe hypoxia that can potentially result in fish kills and harm marine life. Researchers from Texas A&M University say the size of the dead zone off coastal Louisiana has been routinely monitored for about 25 years while nitrogen levels in the gulf resulting from human activities have tripled over the past 50 years. Some researchers predict the dead zone could exceed 9,400 square miles this year, which would make it one of the largest ever recorded. “This was the first-ever research cruise conducted to specifically target the size of hypoxia in the month of June,” oceanography professor Steve DiMarco said. “The largest areas of hypoxia are still around the Louisiana coast, where you would expect them because of the huge amounts of fresh water still coming down from the Mississippi River.” -DNN
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What keeps the Earth cooking?

July 20, 2011JAPAN – Radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium in Earth’s crust and mantle is a principal source, and in 2005 scientists in the KamLAND collaboration, based in Japan, first showed that there was a way to measure the contribution directly. The trick was to catch what Kamioka Liquid-scintillator Antineutrino Detector (KamLAND) dubbed geoneutrinos – more precisely, geo-antineutrinos – emitted when radioactive isotopes decay. KamLAND scientists have now published new figures for heat energy from radioactive decay in the journal Nature Geoscience. Based on the improved sensitivity of the KamLAND detector, plus several years’ worth of additional data, the new estimate is not merely “consistent” with the predictions of accepted geophysical models but is precise enough to aid in refining those models. One thing that’s at least 97-percent certain is that radioactive decay supplies only about half the Earth’s heat. Other sources – primordial heat left over from the planet’s formation, and possibly others as well – must account for the rest. The first signal comes when the antineutrino converts the proton to a neutron plus a positron (an anti-electron), which quickly annihilates when it hits an ordinary electron – a process called inverse beta decay. The faint flash of light from the ionizing positron and the annihilation process is picked up by the more than 1,800 photomultiplier tubes within the KamLAND vessel. A couple of hundred millionths of a second later the neutron from the decay is captured by a proton in the hydrogen-rich fluid and emits a gamma ray, the second signal. This “delayed coincidence” allows antineutrino interactions to be distinguished from background events such as hits from cosmic rays penetrating the kilometer of rock that overlies the detector. This is more heat energy than the most popular BSE model suggests, but still far less than Earth’s total. Says Freedman, “One thing we can say with near certainty is that radioactive decay alone is not enough to account for Earth’s heat energy. Whether the rest is primordial heat or comes from some other source is an unanswered question.” Better models are likely to result when many more geoneutrino detectors are located in different places around the globe, including midocean islands where the crust is thin and local concentrations of radioactivity (not to mention nuclear reactors) are at a minimum.  –Physics.org
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Creating Clean Water with Clean Energy in California

Creating Clean Water with Clean Energy in California

In an excellent article, Barbara Lydick examines California’s challenges of water scarcity, purity and recovery with insightful commentary and vision.

Flood and Drought from The Nuclear Green Revolution by Charles Barton

The Nuclear Green Revolution Nuclear power, public health air conditioning, and the "Torch of 2011"

Nuclear power, public health air conditioning, and the "Torch of 2011"

NorthAmerica

US heartland suffers under killer heat, humidity

US heartland suffers under killer heat, humidity
Chicago (AFP) July 19, 2011 - A searing heatwave brought summer misery to the American heartland and caused more than a dozen deaths as it blanketed up to 17 US states in soaring temperatures and oppressive humidity. The weather is responsible for at least 13 deaths in the central United States, which has seen a string of days with temperatures topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 Celsius), according to officials. Th ... more
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Act now on climate, no need to wait: top UN scientist

Act now on climate, no need to wait: top UN scientist
Paris (AFP) July 19, 2011 - The key facts on global warming are already known and leaders should not wait for the next edition of the UN climate panel's report to step up action, the body's top scientist told AFP. The 4th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released in 2007, "is very clear," Rajendra Pachauri said Monday in Paris, ahead of a five-day meeting of the body in Brest, France. The ... more
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EU divided over fishing reform plan

EU divided over fishing reform plan
Brussels (AFP) July 19, 2011 - Major European fishing states voiced deep reservations Tuesday over a controversial European Commission proposal to reform the sector in a bid to replenish fish stocks within four years. EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki presented to fisheries ministers meeting in Brussels a sweeping proposal that includes a system to allow fishermen to trade their catch quotas at the national level. ... more
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Fast-Shrinking Greenland Glacier Experienced Rapid Growth During Cooler Times

Fast-Shrinking Greenland Glacier Experienced Rapid Growth During Cooler Times
Buffalo NY (SPX) Jul 20, 2011 - Large, marine-calving glaciers have the ability not only to shrink rapidly in response to global warming, but to grow at a remarkable pace during periods of global cooling, according to University at Buffalo geologists working in Greenland. The conclusion stems from new research on Jakobshavn Isbrae, a tongue of ice extending out to sea from Greenland's west coast. Through an analysis of a ... more
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NRDC to Name "Toxic 20" States with Most Toxic Air Pollution from Power Plants

NRDC to Name "Toxic 20" States with Most Toxic Air Pollution from Power Plants

PR Newswire
Worst States: AL, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MD, MI, MO, NH, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV and WI
WASHINGTON, D.C.As Congress debates and adopts proposals to weaken federal Clear Air safeguards, a new review of the latest federal Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data identifies the 20 states with the most toxic air pollution from electric power plants.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Effect of ocean acidification on early life stages of Atlantic ...

Effect of ocean acidification on early life stages of Atlantic ...
By Anne-Marin Nisumaa
An information outlet on ocean acidification provided by EPOCA, the European Project on Ocean Acidification. Blog · About this blog. « Study: Changes to ocean expected to damage shellfish around world · Effect of ocean acidification on ...
Ocean acidification

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Latest BP Oil Spill Took Place at Facility Employee Warned Was "Operating in Unsafe Condition"

Latest BP Oil Spill Took Place at Facility Employee Warned Was "Operating in Unsafe Condition"
Jason Leopold, Truthout: "A BP pipeline that ruptured over the weekend and spilled as much as 4,200 gallons of methanol and oily water into the Alaskan tundra took place at a facility that one of the company's employees said in an internal email 'was operating in [an] unsafe condition.' The email, obtained exclusively by Truthout and highlighted in an investigative report published a year ago, was written in January 2010 by an employee who works at the Lisburne Production Center, site of the Saturday's pipeline rupture."
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Are We Nearing the End of the Line for Edible Ocean Fish?

Are We Nearing the End of the Line for Edible Ocean Fish?
Mark Karlin, Truthout: "On July 16, The New York Times editorialized that the world's oceans are potentially on the verge of irreversible catastrophic collapse. Due to global warming and other factors, the marine ecosystems are being severely compromised. One of the factors contributing to the degradation of our oceans is massive, industrial, commercial overfishing. The Times cites a report that many species of fish are 'either vulnerable to extinction, endangered or critically endangered.' Journalist Charles Clover wrote the definitive book on overfishing, 'The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat.' Truthout recently interviewed him."
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Cleaner Coal Faces an Uncertain Future

Cleaner Coal Faces an Uncertain Future
by Peter Fairley
The end of an ambitious carbon-capture project shows that it's hard to economically justify the technology in the absence of a carbon policy.
Read More »

More than Meets the Eye: The Social Cost of Carbon in U.S. Climate Policy, in Plain English

More than Meets the Eye: The Social Cost of Carbon in U.S. Climate Policy, in Plain English

Cities Can Be Carbon Sinks Too

Cities Can Be Carbon Sinks Too

Trees and parks can make a significant impact in reducing carbon pollution - even in cities.

Antarctica Was Tropical Paradise Years Ago - Robin McKie, Guardian

Antarctica Was Tropical Paradise Years Ago - Robin McKie, Guardian

Endeavour buys Marcellus Shale assets from SM Energy for $110MM

Endeavour buys Marcellus Shale assets from SM Energy for $110MM

Eliminating all safety exemptions could backfire, states warn

Eliminating all safety exemptions could backfire, states warn


Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor
WASHINGTON, DC, July 18 -- Eliminating all government agency exemptions as a condition for states to remain eligible for federal one-call and damage prevention grants would do more harm than good, a state pipeline regulator warned a US House Energy and Power Committee subcommittee on July 15.

Anadarko to develop Lucius via truss spar in deepwater US Gulf of Mexico

Anadarko to develop Lucius via truss spar in deepwater US Gulf of Mexico

Monday, July 18, 2011

Climate threatens coastal ecosystem Disaster News Network California mussels are threatened by ocean acidification brought on by climate change with serious implications for coastal ecosystems, researchers say. California mussels (Mytilus californianus) live in beds along the western coast of the United ...


Climate threatens coastal ecosystem
Disaster News Network
California mussels are threatened by ocean acidification brought on by climate change with serious implications for coastal ecosystems, researchers say. California mussels (Mytilus californianus) live in beds along the western coast of the United ...
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A Blueprint for our Blue Home

A Blueprint for our Blue Home
OnEarth Magazine
Our oceans are facing innumerable threats -- from overfishing and pollution to ocean acidification and invasive species -- yet we haven't had a blueprint for its use and development, incredible as that seems.

Study: Changes to ocean expected to damage shellfish around world

Study: Changes to ocean expected to damage shellfish around world

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Scientists analyze and explain the chemical makeup of Gulf plume

The oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon oil s...Image via Wikipedia Scientists analyze and explain the chemical makeup of Gulf plume
Taking another major step in sleuthing the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has determined what chemicals were contained in a deep, hydrocarbon-containing plume at least 22 miles long that WHOI scientists mapped and sampled last summer in the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Moreover, they have taken a big step in explaining why some chemicals, but not others, made their way into the plume.
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World's forests' role in carbon storage immense, profound

World's forests' role in carbon storage immense, profound
Until now, scientists were uncertain about how much and where in the world terrestrial carbon is being stored. In the July 14 issue of Science Express, scientists report that, between 1990 and 2007, the world's forests stored about 2.4 gigatons of carbon per year.
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Increased protection urgently needed for tunas

Increased protection urgently needed for tunas
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 18, 2011 - For the first time, all species of scombrids (tunas, bonitos, mackerels and Spanish mackerels) and billfishes (swordfish and marlins) have been assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Of the 61 known species, seven are classified in a threatened category, being at serious risk of extinction. Four species are listed as Near Threatened and nearly two-thirds have been placed in the Le ... more
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Our Love Affair With Fish Is Unsustainable

Our Love Affair With Fish Is Unsustainable
Charles Clover, Ebury Press: "Because what fishermen do is obscured by distance and the veil of water that covers the Earth, and because fish are cold-blooded rather than cuddly, most people still view what happens at sea differently from what happens on land. We have an outdated image of fishermen as bearded adventurers in the mould of friendly Captain Birds Eye, not as overseers in a slaughterhouse.... Unfortunately, our love affair with fish is unsustainable. The evidence for this is before our eyes."
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Natural Gas Industry to 2016 - Abundance of Unconventional Gas Changing the Industry Landscape

Natural Gas Industry to 2016 - Abundance of Unconventional Gas Changing the Industry Landscape


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Summary

Provides an in-depth analysis of the natural gas market across the world and highlights the various concerns, shifting trends and major players in the region. The report provides forecasts for the exploration and production industry, natural gas pipeline industry, natural gas storage industry, unconventional resources and production and consumption analysis till 2016. The report also provides consumption forecasts in different geographic regions. The report provides in-depth analysis of the key trends and challenges in the natural gas market across the world. An analysis of the competitive scenario of the different segments is provided. The report is built using the data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by GBI Research�s team of industry experts.

Scope

  • Overview and analysis of the global natural gas industry
  • Analysis of the historical trends and forecasts to 2016
  • Analysis and forecasts of different sectors under natural gas including exploration and production, pipelines, storage
  • Analysis of different geographic regions including North America, South and Central America, Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific
  • Analysis of the global natural gas consumption and the effect of the rise of the unconventional natural gas industry
  • Analyzes the competitive scenario in the global natural gas industry under different countries covering companies such as PetroChina, Chevron, Gazprom, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation,
  • Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, TransCanada, Pemex, PetroBras, etc.

BHP TARGETS MORE SHALE GAS IN U.S WITH PETROHAWK BUYOUT

BHP TARGETS MORE SHALE GAS IN U.S WITH PETROHAWK BUYOUT

Tesoro to move Bakken crude oil by rail to Washington refinery

Tesoro to move Bakken crude oil by rail to Washington refinery

Texas passes hydrualic fracturing law as oil and gas industry cheers

Texas passes hydrualic fracturing law as oil and gas industry cheers

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Strong El Nino could bring increased sea levels, storm surges to US East Coast

Strong El Nino could bring increased sea levels, storm surges to US East Coast
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 18, 2011 - Coastal communities along the U.S. East Coast may be at risk to higher sea levels accompanied by more destructive storm surges in future El Nino years, according to a new study by NOAA. The study was prompted by an unusual number of destructive storm surges along the East Coast during the 2009-2010 El Nino winter. The study, led by Bill Sweet, Ph.D. from NOAA's Center for Operational Ocean ... more
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China's auto industry caught in dilemma


China's auto industry caught in dilemma
Xinhua
CHANGCHUN, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The stunning growth of the world's largest auto market over the past two years has created some serious problems: grid-lock, pollution and energy shortages.

Radioactive decay fuels Earth's inner fires

Radioactive decay fuels Earth's inner fires

Extraordinary amount of heat remains from primordial days, scientists say

Obama Proposal for Collaborative Ocean Policy Draws Skepticism, Support

Obama Proposal for Collaborative Ocean Policy Draws Skepticism, Support
Alissa Bohling, Truthout: "Surfers, fishers and environmentalists don't tend to spend their summers crowded into dark conference rooms. But this year, they wanted a say in creating the United States' first national ocean policy... The task force found that... ocean policy is frequently hemmed in by a "sector-by-sector, statute by statute" approach to management that doesn't account for now-well-established scientific knowledge about the interdependence of land, sea and air environments."
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Indonesia’s Mount Lokon volcanic eruptions become more violent from The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond by The Extinction Protocol

Indonesia’s Mount Lokon volcanic eruptions become more violent

from The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond

Taking Back Our Food - Dealing With Hunger And The Land

Taking Back Our Food - Dealing With Hunger And The Land

The housing crisis -- foreclosures, homelessness, renters cutting rents, disappearance of credit, slowdown in construction and home-buying -- has gotten much more attention than the food crisis. The growth economy and Wall Street's "financial instruments" have been more important to corporate media and politicians beholden to their more affluent constituents. And rising hunger can be silent, for a time. But food is coming on strong as more serious: people can double up in a bed to stretch housing, but a plate of food split two ways means two still-hungry people.

Defending Planet Earth [from space asteroids

BNC For climate’s sake, nuclear power is not an ‘option’, it is a ‘necessity’

 

For climate’s sake, nuclear power is not an ‘option’, it is a ‘necessity’
 

Barry Brook
 
| 17 July 2011 at 6:38 PM | Categories: Emissions
 
, Nuclear
 
, Policy
 
| URL: http://wp.me/piCIJ-1fU
 

 
[This is an abridged amalgam of writings by me on nuclear power and climate change that I've published on BNC and elsewhere over the last two years. It has been updated with some commentary on recent events - the Fukushima Daiichi crisis, Germany's announced withdrawal from nuclear energy, and so on. I hope you find it useful].
Let’s start by establishing some common ground between my views and those ‘traditional’ environmentalists who oppose nuclear energy. As the Director of Climate Science and active researcher on the impacts of global warming on the biosphere at the University of Adelaide (Australia), I understand the seriousness of the climate crisis and the imperative for a rapid transformation of our energy system to technologies that emit no carbon when generating power. I also agree that atomic weapons pose substantial risks to the security of global society and need strict regulation, and that issues of nuclear safety must be held to high standards. I also suspect that most environmentalists recognise the dangers that many countries face – including Australia, Germany, Japan and so on – in being dependent of foreign oil for transportation infrastructure and agriculture, two of the arteries of the economy. Indeed, it is in the interest of all nations needs to move to energy independence that is based on clean, sustainable sources.

 
However, where I part way with many environmentalists in on our view as to what the solutions to these problems are. Many well-intentioned people hope to see a world without nuclear weapons or nuclear power, and unfortunately consider (wrongly) that the two are irrevocably intertwined. In the typical environmentalist worldview (I am, of course, deeply environmentally conscious), nuclear power is not only dangerous, but also unnecessary. Renewable energy, from sunlight, wind, waves and plant life, are clearly the answer, they believe. This is a widespread view – almost ‘common wisdom’ – and would be perfectly acceptable to me if the numbers could be made to work. Unfortunately, they can’t, and there is no prospect of this changing
 
. To keep things in proper context, let’s quickly review the challenge. In the developed world (US, Europe, and other members of the OECD), we’ve enjoyed a high standard of living, linked to cheap fossil energy. This has encouraged energy profligacy, and we clearly and should cut back on wastage where feasible (and in situations where it is not being done due to market failures) – but this doesn’t remove the fact that we must also replace oil and gas, and that means a future surge in electrical substitution. In the bigger, global picture, however, there is no realistic prospect of even reducing traditional stationary power demand. A third of the world’s people have little or no access to electricity yet strongly aspire to get it. Even if a country like India
 
, with more than 1 billion people, reached just a quarter of Australia’s per capita use, that country’s national energy demand would more than triple! It’s a huge challenge. Read more of this post