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Friday, June 1, 2012

Green Mandate Will Cost NYers Billions

Green Mandate Will Cost NYers Billions

Lisa Linowes, MasterResource
Tens of thousands of acres across New York State have been transformed into sprawling electric generating facilities. Specifically, some 18 industrial wind complexes house nearly 1,000 towering wind turbines that consume the landscape. . .

Can Enviros Learn To Love a Texas Coal Plant?

Can Enviros Learn To Love a Texas Coal Plant?

Marc Gunther, Yale 360
A planned carbon capture and storage plant in West Texas is being billed as the "cleanest coal plant in the world." But can the $3 billion project help move the global power industry toward the elusive goal of low-carbon electricity. . .

Replacing Coal w/ Nat Gas Still Bad For Climate Crises

Replacing Coal w/ Nat Gas Still Bad For Climate Crises

Mijin Cha, Demos
As natural gas becomes more affordable, power plants are switching over from coal to save money. Since last March, power plants increased their natural gas use by 40 percent. Over the same time period, coal use fell to 57.6 million tons. . .

North Carolina Bill Would Require Coastal Communities To Ignore Global Warming Science

Posted: 01 Jun 2012 09:08 AM PDT
Some North Carolina GOP legislators want to stop the use of science to plan for the future. They are circulating a bill that would force coastal counties to ignore actual observations and the best science-based projections in planning for future sea level
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Carbon Dioxide Now at Troubling New Milestone of 400 PPM

Posted: 01 Jun 2012 05:31 AM PDT
Rebecca Leber reports that “the world’s air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant.”
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Geoengineering: Whiter Skies?

Geoengineering: Whiter Skies?

Fracking: Boom or Bust?

Fracking: Boom or Bust?
Triple Pundit
Natural gas prices have fallen due to increased supply driven by hydraulic well fracturing (“fracking”). The US stands to capitalize significantly from the sale of fracturing additives and predictive geo-mechanical modeling systems.

The Future of Food



The Future of Food
http://documentary.darkgovernment.com/the-future-of-food/

The Future of Food Looks at the issues surrounding our food supply and the
health consequences of ignoring those issues.
The main concerns are GMO's, Pesticides, antibiotics and other substances and
processes that have turned our food supply into a virtual cauldron of poison
that has the potential to continue the nations health into a downward [...]

Thursday, May 31, 2012

FDA rejects bid to redefine corn syrup as 'sugar'

FDA rejects bid to redefine corn syrup as 'sugar'

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has rejected a petition by the Corn Refiners Association Inc. to change the name of high-fructose corn syrup to "corn sugar."

NASA confirms Milky Way Galaxy on collision course with Andromeda Galaxy

NASA confirms Milky Way Galaxy on collision course with Andromeda Galaxy

May 31. 2012SPACENASA astronomers announced Thursday they can now predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our galaxy, sun, and solar system: the titanic collision of our Milky Way galaxy with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The Milky Way is destined to get a major makeover during the encounter, which is predicted to happen four billion years from now. It is likely the sun will be flung into a new region of our galaxy, but our Earth and solar system are in no danger of being destroyed. “Our findings are statistically consistent with a head-on collision between the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy,” said Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore. The solution came through painstaking NASA Hubble Space Telescope measurements of the motion of Andromeda, which also is known as M31. The galaxy is now 2.5 million light-years away, but it is inexorably falling toward the Milky Way under the mutual pull of gravity between the two galaxies and the invisible dark matter that surrounds them both. “After nearly a century of speculation about the future destiny of Andromeda and our Milky Way, we at last have a clear picture of how events will unfold over the coming billions of years,” said Sangmo Tony Sohn of STScI. -Physics

Nuclear Roads Not Taken (Yet) in Germany, Japan and the US

Nuclear Roads Not Taken (Yet) in Germany, Japan and the US

Guest Post by Tom Blees. Tom Blees is the author of Prescription for the Planet – The Painless Remedy for Our Energy & Environmental Crises.

Short-Term Politics Stifles Pentagon's Green Energy Ambitions

Short-Term Politics Stifles Pentagon's Green Energy Ambitions

The US Defense Department consumes more energy than any other department or sector in the country, spending around $20 billion annually by some estimates; but ambitious plans to make it the nation’s green leader have been swept under the rug over budgetary concerns that smack of campaign politics. It is an inauspicious development for US energy independence, and indeed a contradictory one. The Defense Department is reeling under higher fuel costs already, which have left it short some $3 billion. A stronger focus on alternative fuels will…Read more...

The Huge Renewable Energy Potential of Alaska

The Huge Renewable Energy Potential of Alaska

Alaska is a vast state that would stretch from California to Florida if superimposed over the lower 48 states; it has twice the shoreline of all the lower 48 states combined, and boasts a varying geography that includes rivers, volcanoes, and windswept tundras.Most of the lower states just think of Alaska as an oil state, but it actually has the potential to produce massive amounts of energy from hydro, wind, geothermal, and other renewable sources. John Podesta a former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton chaired a meeting at the Centre…Read more...

Green Investors Avoid the UK Over Fears it will Push for Natural Gas

Green Investors Avoid the UK Over Fears it will Push for Natural Gas

Ernst & Young have just released their quarterly report which ranks the attractiveness of countries to renewable energy investors. Due to fears that the UK will turn to natural gas rather than renewable energy sources to deal with its looming energy crisis they have been demoted to sixth place.China remained in the top spot, despite the fact that the US, at number two, received more investment in renewable energy last year for the first time since 2008. Germany and India kept hold of their third and fourth positions. Italy moved up to fifth…Read more...

The Future of Natural Gas - An Interview with Raymond Learsy

The Future of Natural Gas - An Interview with Raymond Learsy

Massive natural gas discoveries along with new extraction techniques have led many to claim nat gas as the fuel of the future – which could ensure U.S. energy independence, reduce geopolitical risks, and help meet U.S. electricity demands for the next 575 years.Yet why have we seen so many negative publications and reports? Does natural gas really have a place in our future and is it the golden chalice we have been led to believe?To help us investigate these issues and others we were fortunate enough to have a chat with the well known author…Read more...

Energy & Risk: Why We Are Experiencing an Energy Boom

Energy & Risk: Why We Are Experiencing an Energy Boom

The convergence of forces creating profound changes in domestic energy production is being driven by technology, globalization, demographic changes and by economies turning things upside down. But only recently and only in selected places across the energy value chain has it hit critical mass.  One of them is reflected in the graphic above from the US EIA showing the growth in US domestic oil production.Opportunity is born today out of the risk-induced realization that insight can be extracted from the visual data predictive analysis of the…Read more...

China Pledge to Invest $27 Billion in Renewable Energy in 2012

China Pledge to Invest $27 Billion in Renewable Energy in 2012

In 2011 global carbon dioxide emissions rose to the highest level ever recorded. The increase was mainly driven by the world’s largest emitter of CO2, China, who experienced their own record increase of emissions due to the high use of coal. According to the IEA, the 9.3 percent that Chinese emissions increased by, offset the decreased emission levels achieved in the United States and Europe.In an attempt to reduce their carbon emissions and promote energy conservation, China has pledged to invest $27 billion in renewable energy projects…Read more...

Easy Energy is Delaying Further Technological Innovation

Easy Energy is Delaying Further Technological Innovation

Over the weekend I read a blog post by author Nicholas Carr describing what he calls the hierarchy of innovation.Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about innovation, especially about how it might spread through the global energy system. I’m especially interested in how entrepreneurs and new technologies may create disruptive innovation within the system and what that’s likely to look like.Carr’s blog is a little off that topic, but it did get me thinking about the underlying drivers of innovation. The article is essentially…Read more...

The U.S. and Ukraine Reaffirm Support for a Nuclear Free Planet

The U.S. and Ukraine Reaffirm Support for a Nuclear Free Planet

Olexander Motsyk is Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S. Being a career diplomat, Mr. Motsyk has worked for more than 30 years in the field of foreign relations. Prior to his assignment in the U.S. he served as Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey and Poland. His diplomatic career also includes such positions as First Deputy Foreign Minister as well as Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Ukraine. His work was marked by the Commander Cross and Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (2010), The Order of Merit, II Degree (2006) and The…Read more...

Water Treatment Offers Good Investment Opportunities thanks to Oil & Gas

Water Treatment Offers Good Investment Opportunities thanks to Oil & Gas

Investors are increasingly looking at the water treatment sector to tap expected growing demand for new water technologies, especially from the extractive industries.These industries use huge amounts of water for their operations and need technologies related to, for example, the cleaning up of contaminated water and the disposal of hazardous waste.“Water is not their product, it’s their problem,” said Wayne Evans, UK-based vice-president of industrial technology at Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies. He added that a “lion’s…Read more...

Repsol Stop Looking for Oil in Cuba after Hitting a Dry Well

Repsol Stop Looking for Oil in Cuba after Hitting a Dry Well

Cuba’s energy plans have been hit a blow by Repsol’s announcement that they will stop looking for oil in the area after spending more than $100 million on an exploratory drill that hit a dry well.Cuba has been hoping that oil will be discovered which will help them to secure energy sources, and reinvigorate the struggling economy by attracting foreign investment secured against the discovery.Antonio Brufau, chairman of Repsol said that “the well we drilled turned out dry and it’s almost certain that we won’t do any…Read more...

Canada - More of the Great White North Up for Energy Development?

Canada - More of the Great White North Up for Energy Development?

Quick – which is the U.S.’s biggest supply of non-OPEC oil? Canada - according to the U.S. Energy Administration, the United States total crude oil imports now average 9.033 million barrels per day (mbpd), with Canada sending 2.666 mbpd southwards to the U.S., making it America’s top source of oil imports. But relations between Ottawa and Washington have been strained recently, not least because of the stymied Keystone XL, with the conservative Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, stung by the environmentalists’…Read more...

S Korea to develop geostationary satellite for environmental monitoring

S Korea to develop geostationary satellite for environmental monitoring

Seoul, Korea (Xinhua) May 30, 2012
South Korea has fully embarked on the development of a geostationary environmental satellite with the goal of launching it in 2018, the government said Monday. The Ministry of Environment said that it is pushing ahead with efforts to promote the development of the satellite, which will monitor air pollution and climate change in Northeast Asia and the Korean peninsula.

Forest Recovering from Mt.St.Helens Explosion

Forest Recovering from Mt. St. Helens Explosion

Greenbelt MD (SPX) May 31, 2012
Mt. St. Helens exploded 32 years ago on May 18. It began with a small series of earthquakes and culminated with the volcano erupting, a cataclysmic collapse of the flank of the mountain and the largest landslide in recorded history. This time series of data shows the explosion and subsequent recovery of life on the volcano. Landsat, a satellite program operated by NASA and the U.S. Geologi

Why "Being Green" Won't Cure Energy Woes

Why "Being Green" Won't Cure Energy Woes

Tim Heffernan, NY Daily News
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor of BoingBoing. Her latest book, Before the Lights Go Out, came out earlier this year, and has been hailed as a masterful exploration of the U.S. energy system and the ways it needs to change to support a growing, urbanizing population.  Page Views sat down with the author for a short chat.

A Conservative Approach to Climate Change

A Conservative Approach to Climate Change

Jonathan Adler, The Atlantic
No environmental issue is more polarizing than global climate change.  Many on the left fear increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases threaten an environmental apocalypse while many on the right believe anthropogenic global warming is much ado about nothing and, at worst, a hoax.  Both sides pretend as if the climate policy debate is, first and foremost, about science, rather than policy. This is not so. There is substantial uncertainty about the scope, scale, and consequences of anthropogenic warming, and will be for some time, but this is not sufficient...

Drilling the Artic, Obama Style

Drilling the Arctic, Obama Style

Manuel Garcia, Jr., CounterPunch
Because humanity has taken so avidly to the burning of fossil hydrocarbon deposits for the heat and energy to drive its industrialized way of life, an excessive amount of carbon dioxide gas has been exhausted into the atmosphere, especially during the 20th century. The atmospheric buildup of heat-trapping gases, particularly carbon dioxide and methane, has caused a steady rise in the average temperature of the Earth's biosphere, that layer of our planet that includes its terrestrial, aquatic and aerial life. This anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide has been in addition to...

Corporate Doubletalk on Climate Change

Corporate Doubletalk on Climate Change

Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones
Many large corporations are saying one thing and doing another on climate change, the Union of Concerned Scientists found in a study released Wednesday.

Washington's Roadblocks to Clean Energy

Washington's Roadblocks to Clean Energy

Mark Muro, Boston Globe
New England's diverse array of clean energy industries has been one of the region's few sectors to add jobs and expand since the recession. Now, though, the industry is struggling, and Washington is part of the problem. Needed soon is national policy reform and a new federal-state collaboration to make clean energy solutions cheap.

IEA sees growth for natural gas under new standards

IEA sees growth for natural gas under new standards

IEA sees growth for natural gas under new standards
The International Energy Agency has released a new report suggesting that natural gas production and consumption could skyrocket within the next two decades given the proper industry controls.
Full Article


API commends IEA gas report
The report calls API a leader in the oil and gas industry.
Full Article

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Leading Companies Contradict Own Actions on Climate Science, Policy

Leading Companies Contradict Own Actions on Climate Science, Policy

Many of the country’s leading companies have taken contradictory actions when it comes to climate change science while pumping a tremendous amount of resources into influencing the discussion, according to an analysis released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

One in seven suffer malnourishment: UN food agency

One in seven suffer malnourishment: UN food agency

Rome (AFP) May 30, 2012
One in seven people suffer from malnourishment, the head of the UN's food agency said Wednesday in a report released ahead of a summit on sustainable development to be held in Rio de Janeiro June 20-22. "We cannot call development sustainable while this situation persists, while nearly one out of every seven men, women and children are left behind, victims of undernourishment," said FAO dire

The Shale Gas Manufacturing Renaissance

The Shale Gas Manufacturing Renaissance

Skip Horvath, Wash Times
As Washington debates energy-related is- sues such as fracking, offshore drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline, we’re missing a much bigger story unfolding across the country. Because natural gas is now abundant at affordable prices, we are experiencing a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. unlike any we’ve seen in decades.

Global CO2 Emissions Hit New Record in 2011, Keeping World on Track for 'Devastating' 11°F Warming

Global CO2 Emissions Hit New Record in 2011, Keeping World on Track for 'Devastating' 11°F Warming

The scientific literature now makes clear that even 7°F warming would destroy the livable climate 7 billion people have come to depend upon.

Peeking at peak oil: Will consumers face oil rationing within a decade?

Peeking at peak oil: Will consumers face oil rationing within a decade?
What happens when a handful of the world's largest oil fields— accounting for two-thirds of the world's oil—run dry? What are the implications of such a prospect for food production, economic growth and ultimately, global security? In his new book, Peeking at Peak Oil ( Springer, 2012) physicist Kjell Aleklett explores the science and consequences behind the sobering reality that the world's oil production is entering terminal decline with no satisfactory alternatives.

Seattle Fault Zone -- 900-930 AD earthquake larger than previously thought

Seattle Fault Zone -- 900-930 AD earthquake larger than previously thought
A fresh look at sedimentary evidence suggests the 900-930 AD rupture of the Seattle fault possibly produced a larger earthquake than previously recognized. The Seattle fault zone, a series of active-east-west trending thrust faults, poses seismic threat to the Puget Sound region.

San Andreas Fault in Santa Cruz Mountains -- large quakes more frequent than previously thought

San Andreas Fault in Santa Cruz Mountains -- large quakes more frequent than previously thought
Recent paleoseismic work has documented four surface-rupturing earthquakes that occurred across the Santa Cruz Mountains section of the San Andreas Fault (SAF) in the past 500 years. The research, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, with assistance from the California Geological Survey, suggests an average recurrence rate of 125 years, indicating the seismic hazard for the area may be significantly higher than currently recognized. The observations help fill a gap in data on the seismic activity of the SAF in northern California, particularly south of San Francisco.

Developing Countries’ Climate Change Adaptation Costs May Double $100 Billion per Year by 2050

Developing Countries’ Climate Change Adaptation Costs May Double $100 Billion per Year by 2050

How to Save a Planet - On a Budget

How to Save a Planet - On a Budget

The Energy Collective

A free, original eBook from The Energy Collective, sponsored by
Click to download.

How can we drive progress to a clean energy economy when governments are broke and investment is scarce?


For those concerned about the planet's well-being, it's one of the crucial questions of our time, one that may have implications for our environment for generations. In a time of financial scarcity, our goal is to figure out how companies and governments can shift to greener, cleaner consumption of energy, and, most importantly, how they will pay for the infrastructure projects that are essential to limiting our output of climate change-causing greenhouse gases.

To that end, we conversed with a diverse group of experts and examined case studies that describe viable solutions to our climate crisis in the midst of an economic crisis, covering:
  • Paying the true cost of energy through carbon pricing
  • Can carbon markets drive green innovation and infrastructure?
  • Public-private cooperation for a greener economy
  • The economic case for green infrastructure
  • Cleantech startups and the venture capital funding climate
  • Federal policy and cleantech
Download the eBook

Featuring input from:
  • Janet Peace, C2ES
  • Will Coleman, Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures
  • Thiemo Gropp, co-founder, DESERTEC Foundation
  • Andrew Carman, Head of Americas for Project & Structured Finance Infrastructure, Cities and Industry team at Siemens Financial Services
  • Jo Danko, Global Director for Sustainable Solutions, CH2M HILL
  • Lucas Merrill Brown, Rhodes Scholar, Oxford
  • Kirk Edelman, President and CEO, Siemens Financial Services U.S
  • Lane Burt, Technical Policy Director, USGBC
  • Lee Thiessen, Executive Director for Climate Change Policy and British Columbia's Climate Action Secretariat
  • Dan Shugar, CEO, Solaria
  • Scott Anderson, VerdeStrategy

Will Nuclear Plants Withstand Quakes and Floods?

Will Nuclear Plants Withstand Quakes and Floods?
New York Times (blog)
A string of natural disasters has recently drawn attention to nuclear safety and natural disasters, including the Fukushima Daiichi quake and tsunami in March 2011, tornado damage near the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry complex in April 2011 ...

Computer model pinpoints prime materials for efficient carbon capture

Computer model pinpoints prime materials for efficient carbon capture

The electric power industry expects eventually to implement carbon capture of emissions in order to reduce greenhouse gases, yet today's best technology eats up 30 percent of a plant's power. Scientists have now created a computer model that analyzes the millions of possible porous capture structures, from zeolites to MOFs, to pinpoint ones that can improve energy efficiency, so that chemists can synthesize and test them for future use.

Solar desalination system for arid land agriculture

Solar desalination system for arid land agriculture

A solar-powered system uses nanofiltration membranes to treat the local brackish water, resulting in high-quality desalinated irrigation water. The results indicate that irrigation with desalinated water yields higher productivity from water and inorganic fertilizers compared with current practices. Crops grown with desalinated water required 25 percent less irrigation and fertilizer than brackish water irrigation.

More summer heatwaves likely in Europe: Predictability of European summer heat from spring and winter rainfall

More summer heatwaves likely in Europe: Predictability of European summer heat from spring and winter rainfall

The prediction, one season ahead, of summer heat waves in Europe remains a challenge. A new study shows that summer heat in Europe rarely develops after rainy winter and spring seasons over Southern Europe. Conversely dry seasons are either followed by hot or cold summers. The predictability of summer heat is therefore asymmetric. Climate projections indicate a drying of Southern Europe. The study suggests that this asymmetry should create a favorable situation for the development of more summer heat waves with however a modified seasonal predictability from winter and spring rainfall.

Public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy

Public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy

Are members of the public divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it? If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus? A new study suggests that the answer to both questions is no.

Greenland's loss of ice mass during the last 10 years is unusually high compared to last 50 years

Greenland's loss of ice mass during the last 10 years is unusually high compared to last 50 years

Loss through melting and iceberg calving during the last 10 years is unusually high compared to the last 50 years. The Greenland ice sheet continues to lose mass and thus contributes at about 0.7 millimeters per year to the currently observed sea level change of about 3 mm per year. This trend increases each year by a further 0.07 millimeters per year. The pattern and temporal nature of loss is complex. The mass loss is largest in southwest and northwest Greenland; the respective contributions of melting, iceberg calving and fluctuations in snow accumulation differing considerably.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SHALE OIL, FRACKING, AND....INDUCED EARTHQUAKES

SHALE OIL, FRACKING, AND....INDUCED EARTHQUAKES
Most of you have probably heard about the exciting “discovery” of the vast shale oil fields in Canada, western North Dakota, north western South Dakota, and ...
gizadeathstar.com/.../shale-oil-fracking-and-induced-earthqua...

We're heading for 6 degrees rise says IEA. Here's a way to stop it.

We're heading for 6 degrees rise says IEA. Here's a way to stop it.

Groundwater depletion threatens food security in California and Texas

Groundwater depletion threatens food security in California and Texas

May 29, 2012CALIFORNIA – The nation’s food supply may be vulnerable to rapid groundwater depletion from irrigated agriculture, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere. The study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, paints the highest resolution picture yet of how groundwater depletion varies across space and time in California’s Central Valley and the High Plains of the central U.S. Researchers hope this information will enable more sustainable use of water in these areas, although they think irrigated agriculture may be unsustainable in some parts. “We’re already seeing changes in both areas,” said Bridget Scanlon, senior research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology and lead author of the study. “We’re seeing decreases in rural populations in the High Plains. Increasing urbanization is replacing farms in the Central Valley. And during droughts some farmers are forced to fallow their land. These trends will only accelerate as water scarcity issues become more severe.” Three results of the new study are particularly striking: First, during the most recent drought in California’s Central Valley, from 2006 to 2009, farmers in the south depleted enough groundwater to fill the nation’s largest human-made reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas — a level of groundwater depletion that is unsustainable at current recharge rates. Second, a third of the groundwater depletion in the High Plains occurs in just 4% of the land area. And third, the researchers project that if current trends continue some parts of the southern High Plains that currently support irrigated agriculture, mostly in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, will be unable to do so within a few decades. California’s Central Valley is sometimes called the nation’s “fruit and vegetable basket.” The High Plains, which run from northwest Texas to southern Wyoming and South Dakota, are sometimes called the country’s “grain basket.” Combined, these two regions produced agricultural products worth $56 billion in 2007, accounting for much of the nation’s food production. They also account for half of all groundwater depletion in the U.S., mainly as a result of irrigating crops. –Science Daily

Green groups and scientists in battle amid sun, cheese and folk music

Green groups and scientists in battle amid sun, cheese and folk music

Say what you will about the scientific literacy of protesters against genetically modified (GM) crops, they certainly put on a good picnic.
Anti-GM protesters at the Rothamsted agricultural research station.

“Absolutely Every One” – 15 Out of 15 – Bluefin Tuna Tested In California Waters Contaminated with Fukushima Radiation

“Absolutely Every One” – 15 Out of 15 – Bluefin Tuna Tested In California Waters Contaminated with Fukushima Radiation

California Fish Contaminated with Fukushima Radiation

We noted more than a year ago:
The ocean currents head from Japan to the West Coast of the U.S.
***
Of course, fish don’t necessarily stay still, either. For example, the Telegraph notes that scientists tagged a bluefin tuna and found that it crossed between Japan and the West Coast three times in 600 days:

Japanese radiation found in bluefin tuna off the coast of California

May 29, 2012CALIFORNIA - For the first time, scientists have detected radioactivity in fish that have migrated into California waters from the ocean off Japan, where radiation contaminated the sea after explosions tore through the Fukushima nuclear reactors last year. Radioactive cesium was detected in samples of highly prized Pacific bluefin tuna, but it is well below levels considered unsafe for humans, the scientists say. The evidence is “unequivocal” that the tuna – caught off San Diego a year ago – were contaminated with radiation from Japan’s nuclear disaster, the researchers said. Virtually all bluefin tuna on the market in the United States is either farmed or caught far from the Fukushima area, so American consumers should not be affected by radiation contamination in their fish, seafood distributors say. The migratory bluefin studied by the researchers were all caught by sport fishermen and were not headed for the market. Daniel J. Madigan, a marine ecologist at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove (Monterey County), Nicholas Fisher, a marine scientist internationally known as a specialist in radiation hazards at Stony Brook University on Long Island, and Zophia Baumann, a staff scientist in Fisher’s laboratory, reported their discovery Monday in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The finding was wholly unexpected, Madigan said. It came about when he was researching the migratory patterns of bluefin tuna as part of a broader study of Pacific fish migration. The young tuna, averaging about 13 pounds apiece, were found to be contaminated with two radioactive forms of the element cesium. Isotopes called cesium-134 and cesium-137 do not exist in nature but are produced only in nuclear explosions such as the weapons tests of the Cold War era. Before the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, low levels of the radioactive cesium-137 , which decays to harmlessness only over thousands of years, had been measured in Japanese waters, while the shorter-lived cesium-134 was undetectable, the scientists said. That difference, they said, was crucial in concluding that the radioactive contamination was linked to the Fukushima disaster. Increased concentrations of radioactivity contaminated nearly 60,000 square miles of the ocean off Japan after workers at Fukushima pumped thousands of tons of seawater over reactors last year to prevent a complete meltdown of the reactor cores. –SF Gate

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The War on Coal: A Lie Invented by the Coal Industry

The War on Coal: A Lie Invented by the Coal Industry

Big polluters and their Congressional allies have created a new straw man to knock down with the invention of the so-called “War on Coal.” It is a multi-million dollar disinformation campaign funded by Big Coal polluters to protect their profits and distract Americans from the deadly effects of air pollution on public health.However, with the number of coal jobs in key coal states actually on the rise since 2009, it’s more like peacetime prosperity than war in coal country. The War on Coal is nothing more than a new shiny object,…Read more...

Goldman Sachs Promises to Invest $40 Billion in Renewable Energy

Goldman Sachs Promises to Invest $40 Billion in Renewable Energy

Goldman Sachs (GS) have just announced that they plan to invest $40 billion in renewable energy projects over the next ten years. According to Reuters, renewable energy is “an area the investment bank called one of the biggest profit opportunities since its economists got excited about emerging markets in 2001.”They invested more than $4.8 billion in clean technology companies around the globe in 2011, so an average of $4 billion a year is actually a decrease, but GS see the potential for great profits as growing economies such as China,…Read more...

Short-Term Politics Stifles Pentagon's Green Energy Ambitions

Short-Term Politics Stifles Pentagon's Green Energy Ambitions

The US Defense Department consumes more energy than any other department or sector in the country, spending around $20 billion annually by some estimates; but ambitious plans to make it the nation’s green leader have been swept under the rug over budgetary concerns that smack of campaign politics. It is an inauspicious development for US energy independence, and indeed a contradictory one. The Defense Department is reeling under higher fuel costs already, which have left it short some $3 billion. A stronger focus on alternative fuels will…Read more...

Making a Big Stink: Is That a Landfill or a Gold Mine?

Making a Big Stink: Is That a Landfill or a Gold Mine?

Who here likes landfills? Hands up! What... no one? Don't worry, you're not alone. Almost no one like landfills, and it's not hard to imagine why. Mountains of garbage, sometimes piled several stories high. All manner of pests including vermin and insects. How about the stench of methane and carbon dioxide? Not only repulsive, but contributing to the greenhouse effect to boot.Oh yeah, and also potentially a source of energy. That's right, that trash-heap isn't just a blight on whatever land it's dumped on -- it's a readily available methane deposit.…Read more...

Humanity is Reaching its Limits - Oil, Debt, Population, etc.

Humanity is Reaching its Limits - Oil, Debt, Population, etc.

The world is clearly reaching many limits. This graphic below shows how I see man interacting with natural systems, back before man discovered fire and back before man became intelligent enough to kill off whole species.Figure 1. My view of man’s relationship to natural systems, in the beginning.In these earliest days, human systems were a part of the natural system. Humans behaved like other animals, and fit easily into the natural order. There weren’t many humans–probably under 100,000 total in the whole world.This is the way…Read more...

Federal Rules Threaten to Suffocate the Fracking Industry

Federal Rules Threaten to Suffocate the Fracking Industry

In Medieval times one form of dispatching miscreants was called “pressing”.  The punishment involved piling stones on top of the offender one at a time slowly suffocating him from the weight on his chest.  Not only did this rid the kingdom of troublemakers but it had a ”crucify him” like effect on the gathered witnesses lest they forget who is in charge.Fast forward and today we are seeing Federal agency after agency pressing forward with new rules on hydraulic fracturing:DOI BLM Fracking Rule. The Interior Department…Read more...

Genetically Altering Plants to Produce more Food and Fuel

Genetically Altering Plants to Produce more Food and Fuel

Scientists from Wageningen University in the Netherlands have concluded that it is possible to develop plants that produce even more food and fuel by reducing the level of pigments.It’s been known for well over half a century that the energy conversion efficiency of incident photons to chemical energy by leaves is wavelength dependent.  This is due to several processes that can be divided into two classes. First, the absorption of incident irradiance by a leaf is wavelength dependent due to the different absorption spectra of the different…Read more...

Monday, May 28, 2012

There's More to the Story on Obama's Pick for America's Top Nuclear Regulator

There's More to the Story on Obama's Pick for America's Top Nuclear Regulator

Heritage.org (blog) -
Last week, President Barack Obama announced that he would nominate Dr. Allison Macfarlane, a nuclear waste expert from George Mason University, as the United States' top nuclear regulator. Conventional wisdom is that Dr. Macfarlane satisfies all the ...

Warming could exceed 3.5 C, say climate scientists

Warming could exceed 3.5 C, say climate scientists
Climate researchers said Thursday the planet could warm by more than 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit), boosting the risk of drought, flood and rising seas.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Faults discovered near Lake Tahoe could generate earthquakes ranging from 6.3 to 6.9

Faults discovered near Lake Tahoe could generate earthquakes ranging from 6.3 to 6.9

May 25, 2012 NEVADA  – Results of a new U.S. Geological Survey study conclude that faults west of Lake Tahoe, Calif., referred to as the Tahoe-Sierra frontal fault zone, pose a substantial increase in the seismic hazard assessment for the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada, and could potentially generate earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.3 to 6.9. A close association of landslide deposits and active faults also suggests that there is an earthquake-induced landslide hazard along the steep fault-formed range front west of Lake Tahoe. “Although the Tahoe-Sierra frontal fault zone has long been recognized as forming the tectonic boundary between the Sierra Nevada to the west, and the Basin and Range Province to the east, its level of activity and hence seismic hazard was not fully recognized because dense vegetation obscured the surface expressions of the faults,” said USGS scientist and lead author, James Howle. “Using the new LiDAR technology has improved and clarified previous field mapping, has provided visualization of the surface expressions of the faults, and has allowed for accurate measurement of the amount of motion that has occurred on the faults. The results of the study demonstrate that the Tahoe-Sierra frontal fault zone is an important seismic source for the region.” –Science Daily

Now Let's Look At The Outrageous Pork A Democrat Wants To Pass In Congress by Bruce Krasting

Now Let's Look At The Outrageous Pork A Democrat Wants To Pass In Congress