Search This Blog

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/magazine/how-silent-spring-ignited-the-environmental-movement.html?hpw 

How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement

GMO Wheat in the Pipeline, Killing you for Money



GMO Wheat in the Pipeline, Killing you for Money
http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/gmo-wheat-in-the-pipeline-killing-you-for-money/

More GMO Insanity

If these GMO producing companies produce and sell patent-able GMO seed to
farmers that you in turn eat and then in turn die, well, it seems that would be
just fine with them as long as their making a buck and don't get imprisoned,
because you see, they don't care, they don't care about you, [...]

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fossil Fuels Bolstered by Japan’s Nuclear Cuts

Fossil Fuels Bolstered by Japan’s Nuclear Cuts

Reports that Japan plans to shut down its nuclear power industry within 20 years are set to give a jolt to energy markets. Currently the biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Japan will be required to import more gas and coal, further worsening trade deficits, while the uranium market may suffer the fallout.
After planning in 2010 to make nuclear power the centerpiece of the resource-poor nation’s energy strategy, the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant caused anti-nuclear sentiment to spike and the government shelved its plans.
Just two of Japan’s 50 reactors are currently in operation. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has apparently accepted demands from the powerful business lobby, Keidanren, that nuclear energy continue in a limited form to alleviate potential energy shortages.
However, according to reports by Japanese media, a new draft energy policy would commit policymakers to “achieving zero nuclear power generation in the 2030s.”.http://thediplomat.com/pacific-money/2012/09/17/fossil-fuels-bolstered-by-japans-nuclear-cuts/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+the-diplomat+%28The+Diplomat+RSS%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

China, U.S. Butt Heads Over Green Energy

China, U.S. Butt Heads Over Green Energy

Despite the characterization of China as one of the most polluted countries on earth, the Chinese government has focused heavily on developing green technology. The 5 year plan unveiled last year spent a significant amount of time discussing how best to develop China’s domestic green energy and included recommendations for various industries including: how to decrease carbon emissions, increase electric vehicle use, and develop solar and wind power production.http://thediplomat.com/china-power/china-u-s-butt-heads-over-green-energy/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+the-diplomat+%28The+Diplomat+RSS%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

In Search of an Environmentally Balanced Diet

American Food Is Highly Politicized

James McWilliams, Conservation Mag
Not too long ago, Americans were waging cultural wars over topics as explosive as reproductive rights and capital punishment. Today, in a development few could have predicted even a decade ago, we now rage over the politics of food production. In a nation that engineered the Twinkie, it seems any emphasis on agricultural reform would be a welcome development. Unfortunately, our national food fight is so dichotomized and polarized that what often emerges is sound and fury rather than realizable solutions.http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2012/09/in-search-of-an-environmentally-balanced-diet/

When Will Arctic Ice Totally Disappear?

When Will Arctic Ice Totally Disappear?

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience
The Arctic sea ice just hit its lowest extent since measurements began in the 1970s, raising the question of when Arctic summer sea ice will disappear for good.The answer is not yet clear, thanks to the complex variability of the sea ice from year to year. But scientists say that Arctic ice is one area where their computer models seem to underestimate the rate of melt.http://www.livescience.com/23362-arctic-summer-ice-disappearance.html

Arctic Ice: You Used to See It, Now You Don't

Arctic Ice: You Used to See It, Now You Don't

The Economist
IN 2007 climate scientists were shocked when the regular summer retreat of the Arctic’s sea ice went far farther than they had ever seen before. In the spring of that year ice covered just under 15m km2 (5.8m square miles) of ocean—an area 90% as big as Russia. By mid-September, when it reached its minimum, there were just 4.17m km2 left.http://www.economist.com/node/21563278

A Record Amount Of Livestock Was Slaughtered Last Month

A Record Amount Of Livestock Was Slaughtered Last Month

Beef
Record amounts of red meat and pork were produced in August, according to new USDA data.
Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.39 billion pounds in August, up 2 percent from the 4.30 billion pounds produced in August 2011.
That is a record, the USDA says.http://www.businessinsider.com/record-red-meat-and-pork-production-2012-9?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+%28Business+Insider%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
Enhanced by Zemanta

Is the 2 degree target likely to save most coral reefs?

Is the 2 degree target likely to save most coral reefs?

ExxonMobil Increases Stake in Bakken Field to 600,000 Acres

ExxonMobil Increases Stake in Bakken Field to 600,000 Acres

ExxonMobil have agreed to buy Denbury Resources Inc’s stakes in the Bakken shale formation for $1.6 billion, in a deal that will see their holdings in the area increase to nearly 600,000 acres.Exxon will acquire roughly 196,000 acres which are predicted to provide around 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the second half of this year. The $1.6 billion price tag may not seem much, but that is because assets in the Bakken are cheaper than normal, due to the lack of infrastructure in the area which makes transporting the crude to…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/ExxonMobil-Increases-Stake-in-Bakken-Field-to-600000-Acres.html

Oil Companies Race Back to the Gulf of Mexico

Oil Companies Race Back to the Gulf of Mexico

Following the infamous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010, all deepwater drilling in the area was shut down, and the whole sector was sent into chaos. However now, according to GlobalData, drilling in the US Gulf of Mexico is starting to grow again, and may soon reach the levels that it was at before the spill.The study performed by GlobalData suggests that despite the increased restrictions placed upon oil companies working in the Gulf of Mexico, and the high risks and costs involved in deep-water drilling, companies are increasing…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Oil-Companies-Race-Back-to-the-Gulf-of-Mexico.html

Shell to Build the World's First Ever Floating LNG Plant

Shell to Build the World's First Ever Floating LNG Plant

For more than a decade the natural gas industry has been looking for a way to move LNG onto barges at sea in order to avoid the escalating costs of onshore plants. Royal Dutch Shell has just taken the first step to realising that goal by placing an order for the first ever floating LNG plant.The vessel, called Prelude, will be the largest in the world, weighing six times more than the largest aircraft carrier, and measuring more in length than the Empire State building is in height. The huge ship will be built in Korea and then moved to the north-west…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/Shell-to-Build-the-Worlds-First-Ever-Floating-LNG-Plant.html

Pipeline Companies Leak Detection System Only Detects 1 out of 20 Oil Spills

Pipeline Companies Leak Detection System Only Detects 1 out of 20 Oil Spills

An investigation of pipeline accident reports from the last ten years has revealed that the much touted leak detection systems employed by pipeline companies only catch one out of twenty spills.The article, by Lisa Song of Inside Climate News, illustrates an alarming disconnect between industry rhetoric and reality when it comes to detecting leaks on pipelines. Not only do pipeline leak detection systems miss nineteen out of twenty spills, they miss four out of five spills larger than 42,000 gallons. Understanding the limits of current leak detection…Read more...http://oilprice.com/The-Environment/Oil-Spills/Pipeline-Companies-Leak-Detection-System-Only-Detects-1-out-of-20-Spills.html

EPA stifles U.S. coal but subsidizes it in China

Why Is the EPA Funding Chinese Coal Projects?

Rep. Whitfield, Examiner
Two weeks ago, the United States national debt surpassed $16 trillion. To put that into perspective, that is more than $50,000 per person in the U.S. To finance this overwhelming debt, the U.S. is borrowing roughly 40 cents of every dollar we spend, a good portion of it from foreign countries like China. . .http://washingtonexaminer.com/epa-stifles-u.s.-coal-but-subsidizes-it-in-china/article/2508576#.UF0EPBgVcVl

Taxpayer Funding California Solar Plants

Taxpayer Funding California Solar Plants

Halper/Vartabedian/Cart, LAT
Driven by the Obama administration's vision of clean power and energy independence, the rush to build large-scale solar plants across the Southwest has created an investors' dream in the desert. . .http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bigsolar-20120921,0,7995250.story

Canada's Energy Future Is Not Assured

Canada's Energy Future Is Not Assured

Alex Carrick, Financial Times
Most Canadians know that, thanks to the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, we have the third largest reserves of crude in the world after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. We’re self-sufficient in both oil and natural gas and exports of the latter to the U.S. have historically driven the Alberta economy even more than exports of the former.http://business.financialpost.com/2012/09/20/canadas-energy-future-is-assured-right-think-again/

Arsenic in rice stirs US action

Arsenic in rice stirs US action

US Rice Federation
On the heels of two reports that have reignited worries about arsenic poisoning from rice, US lawmakers are taking steps to restrict the toxic substance.
On 21 September, US House Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut introduced a bill that would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to set limits on allowable arsenic levels in rice and rice products. The proposal specifies that the heavy metal — which has been linked to increased risk of certain cancers — should be restricted to levels that would minimize such risks.
Arsenic occurs naturally in soil, and can be taken up by plants such as rice. However, as Nature reported in 2005,  in the United States, and particularly in some Southern states, arsenic may be concentrated in rice fields once used for cotton farming and treated with arsenic-based pesticides against boll weevils.
For the past year, the US Food and Drug Administration has been studying arsenic in commercially available rice and rice products. The agency released its preliminary findings 19 September.http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/09/arsenic-in-rice-stirs-us-action-2.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+news%2Frss%2Fnewsblog+%28News+Blog+-+Blog+Posts%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Deforestation rebounds in the Amazon

Deforestation rebounds in the Amazon

Clearcutting ramped up again in the Amazon in August.
Courtesy of Sam Beebe, Ecotrust via Flickr under Creative Commons
Posted on behalf of Claudio Angelo.
Deforestation is on the rise again in the Brazilian Amazon. The amount of clear-cut land hit 522 km2 in August 2012, up from 163.3 km2 in the same month last year, a spike of 220%.http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/09/deforestation-rebounds-in-the-amazon.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+news%2Frss%2Fnewsblog+%28News+Blog+-+Blog+Posts%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Science Group Calls on News Corp. to Improve Climate Science Content

Analysis Shows Fox News, Wall Street Journal’ Opinion Pages Heavily Misrepresent Climate Science

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is calling on News Corporation to improve the representation of climate science on two of its prominent media holdings, Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section, after an analysis showed both heavily distort the facts on the issue. http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/media-climate-science-event-0340.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ucsusa%2Frss+%28Union+of+Concerned+Scientists%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants Into the Earth

The Trillion-Gallon Loophole: Lax Rules for Drillers that Inject Pollutants Into the Earth

by Abrahm Lustgarten
On a cold, overcast afternoon in January 2003, two tanker trucks backed up to an injection well site in a pasture outside Rosharon, Texas. There, under a steel shed, they began to unload thousands of gallons of wastewater for burial deep beneath the earth.
The waste – the byproduct of oil and gas drilling – was described in regulatory documents as a benign mixture of salt and water. But as the liquid rushed from the trucks, it released a billowing vapor of far more volatile materials, including benzene and other flammable hydrocarbons.
The truck engines, left to idle by their drivers, sucked the fumes from the air, revving into a high-pitched whine. Before anyone could react, one of the trucks backfired, releasing a spark that ignited the invisible cloud.
Fifteen-foot-high flames enveloped the steel shed and tankers. Two workers died, and four were rushed to the hospital with burns over much of their bodies. A third worker died six weeks later.
What happened that day at Rosharon was the result of a significant breakdown in the nation’s efforts to regulate the handling of toxic waste, a ProPublica investigation shows.http://www.propublica.org/article/trillion-gallon-loophole-lax-rules-for-drillers-that-inject-pollutants

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Buying climate stability

Buying climate stability

In the August issue of Rolling Stone ("Global Warming's Terrifying New Math"), Bill McKibben provides clarity about the amount of carbon dioxide in the coal, oil, and gas reserves currently owned by companies and countries worldwide. The key number is the 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide that will be emitted by burning these existing reserves over the next decades.http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/columnists/kennette-benedict/buying-climate-stability

Rare earth metals: Will we have enough?

Rare earth metals: Will we have enough?
Life in the 21st century wouldn't be the same without rare earth metals. Cell phones, iPads, laptops, televisions, hybrid cars, wind turbines, solar cells and many more products depend on rare earth metals to function. Will there be enough for us to continue our high-tech lifestyle and transition to a renewable energy economy? Do we need to turn to deep seabed or asteroid mining to meet future demand? http://phys.org/news/2012-09-rare-earth-metals.html#nwlt

Sea level controls carbon accumulation in the Everglades

Sea level controls carbon accumulation in the Everglades
How much carbon is stored in the organic soils of tropical wetlands is becoming an important question as erosion, agriculture, and global climate change slowly set into motion a series of processes that could potentially release carbon locked up in these wetlands. In a recent study, Glaser et al. reconstructed a complete, carbon-14 dated 4,000-year history of both organic and inorganic matter accumulation in the Everglades of south Florida. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-sea-carbon-accumulation-everglades.html#nwlt

Climate change threatens permafrost in soil

Climate change threatens permafrost in soil
In the coming century, permafrost in polar regions and alpine forests in the Northern Hemisphere may thaw rapidly, potentially releasing carbon and nitrogen that could cause additional regional warming. Permafrost occurs in soils where ground temperatures remain below freezing for at least two consecutive years. These special types of soil, called Gelisols, are large reservoirs of organic carbon and nitrogen. Thawing is likely to release the carbon and nitrogen in these soils to rivers and lakes, ecosystems, and the atmosphere; different soil types are vulnerable to different thawing processes. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-climate-threatens-permafrost-soil.html#nwlt

New Chinese 'commitments' to tackle spiralling emissions: EU

New Chinese 'commitments' to tackle spiralling emissions: EU
China has made a "commitment" to tackle spiralling greenhouse gas emissions in return for EU financial aid and expertise, the European Union announced Thursday. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-chinese-commitments-tackle-spiralling-emissions.html#nwlt

'Planetary emergency' due to Arctic melt, experts warn

'Planetary emergency' due to Arctic melt, experts warn
Experts warned of a "planetary emergency" due to the unforeseen global consequences of Arctic ice melt, including methane gas released from permafrost regions currently under ice. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-planetary-emergency-due-arctic-experts.html#nwlt

Discovering 'hot towers'

Discovering 'hot towers'
Two hours before Hurricane Isaac made landfall, a satellite orbiting hundreds of miles above the storm used a radar instrument to map the storm's inner structure. The instrument on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) observed two extremely tall complexes of rain clouds called hot towers in the eyewall, a sign that Isaac was trying to strengthen. The towering clouds were so high that they punched through the troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere where most weather occurs) and sent air loaded with ice crystals rushing into the stratosphere, a higher layer that normally contains very little moisture. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-hot-towers.html#nwlt

Record Arctic ice low drives urgent global action

Record Arctic ice low drives urgent global action
Today's announcement of a record low for Arctic sea ice extent shows the need for urgent local and global actions, say WWF experts. According to satellite monitoring, the low of 3.41 million square kilometers was reached on September 16. This is a loss of ice nearly twice the size of Alaska, compared to the average minimum from 1979 to 2000. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-arctic-ice-urgent-global-action.html#nwlt

Emergency planning: Green thinking with a sense of urgency

Emergency planning: Green thinking with a sense of urgency
Six of Harvard's deepest thinkers on the environment warned about a worsening climate crisis, even as they shared promising new technology, new ideas about city design, and examples of how markets can be used to meet the challenges of sustainability. http://phys.org/news/2012-09-emergency-green-urgency.html#nwlt

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Editor's Note

Dear Readers
I will be on business travel related matters on Thursday, September 20th, but will
resume posting Thursday evening.
Best regards
Michele Kearney

The US Continues to Suffer for its Lack of a Water Policy

The US Continues to Suffer for its Lack of a Water Policy

The US is experiencing its worst drought in over 50 years. It highlights the glaring problems that plague the US water supply and will only get worse as the years draw on, and yet it has almost been completely ignored by politicians.Gerald Galloway, a civil engineer, hydrology expert, and former president of the American Water Resources Association, said that for many years the nation has employed an ad hoc system for dealing with water issues. “The nation lacks a coherent approach to dealing with water. Everyone is just hoping it will get…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/The-US-Continues-to-Suffer-for-its-Lack-of-a-Water-Policy.html

Monsanto's Roundup And Roundup-Resistant Corn Found To Be Toxic In Rats

Monsanto's Roundup And Roundup-Resistant Corn Found To Be Toxic In Rats

mice
The first animal feeding trial studying the lifetime effects of exposure to Monsanto Roundup weedkiller and Monsanto's NK603 Roundup-resistant genetically modified corn found that exposure levels currently considered safe can cause tumors, multiple organ damage and lead to premature death in rats.
A new study published Sept 19 in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicity, raises serious concerns not just about the pesticide Roundup, but about the Roundup-ready corn, which comprises 70 percent of the corn grown in the U.S.
“The rat has long been used as a surrogate for human toxicity. All new pharmaceutical, agricultural and household substances are, prior to their approval, tested on rats. This is as good an indicator as we can expect that the consumption of [NK603] GM maize and the herbicide Roundup, impacts seriously on human health,” Dr. Antoniou, molecular biologist at King’s College in London, said in a press release.
Monsanto maintains that its Roundup-resistant corn "is as safe as conventional (non-GM-derived) food."http://www.businessinsider.com/monsantos-roundup-and-resistant-corn-found-to-be-toxic-2012-9?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+%28Business+Insider%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America

Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America

Fukushima Japan Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America
Painting by Jonathan Raddatz
Radiation from Japan’s nuclear accident has turned up in seaweed on the coasts of California, Washington and other parts of the West Coast of North America.
The ocean is so big … how could this be happening? Why didn’t the gigantic Pacific Ocean better dilute Fukushima radiation?
A 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents.
MIT says that seawater which is itself radioactive may begin hitting the West Coast within 5 years.

Carbon dioxide from water pollution, as well as air pollution, may adversely impact oceans

Carbon dioxide from water pollution, as well as air pollution, may adversely impact oceans

Carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the oceans as a result of water pollution by nutrients -- a major source of this greenhouse gas that gets little public attention -- is enhancing the unwanted changes in ocean acidity due to atmospheric increases in CO2. The changes may already be impacting commercial fish and shellfish populations, according to new data and model predictions.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919125604.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
Enhanced by Zemanta

The Future Of Cereal Does Not Look Good

The Future Of Cereal Does Not Look Good

cereal
Food is one of society's key sensitivities to climate. A year of not enough or too much rainfall, a hot spell or cold snap at the wrong time, or extremes, like flooding and storms, can have a significant effect on local crop yields and livestock production. While modern farming technologies and techniques have helped to reduce this vulnerability and boost production, the impact of recent droughts in the USA, China and Russia on global cereal production highlight a glaring potential future vulnerability.
There is some evidence that climate change is already having a measurable affect on the quality and quantity of food produced globally. But this is small when compared with the significant increase in global food production that has been achieved over the past few decades. Isolating the influence of climatic change from all the other trends is difficult, but one recent Stanford University study found that increases in global production of maize and wheat since 1980 would have been about 5% higher were it not for climate change.

Antarctic Sea Ice Sets Another Record

Antarctic Sea Ice Sets Another Record

Antarctic Iceberg
Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year). Please, nobody tell the mainstream media or they might have to retract some stories and admit they are misrepresenting scientific data.http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/09/19/antarctic-sea-ice-sets-another-record/
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wind Whack: Siemens Cutting 615 U.S. Workers

Wind Whack: Siemens Cutting 615 U.S. Workers

After several months of tiny taps and minor blows, the big hammer is coming down on U.S. wind power jobs.Citing a dearth of new orders — caused in no small part by the pending expiration of the production tax credit for wind — Siemens said yesterday it would lay off 615 wind workers in three states.http://theenergycollective.com/namarchetti/114516/wind-whack-siemens-cutting-615-us-workers?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Is the UN Clean Development Mechanism now increasing emissions?

Is the UN Clean Development Mechanism now increasing emissions?

Recently the Executive Board of the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism has (re)agreed to allow energy efficient coal fired power plants to be included under the mechanism. While it is always good to use a resource more efficiently, this move has potentially negative consequences for the very issue it is setting out to address, a reduction in the total emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere.http://theenergycollective.com/davidhone/114336/cdm-now-increasing-emissions?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Webcast Replay: Carbon Capture and the Climate Crisis

Webcast Replay: Carbon Capture and the Climate Crisis

On September 12, The Energy Collective explored with a panel of experts the potential of carbon capture, both in the form of the nascent direct air capture industry and the more traditional carbon capture taking place at fossil fuel power generation plants, to combat the rise of greenhouse gases and accelerating climate change. We hope you'll enjoy this crucial discussion in either podcast or video form below.http://theenergycollective.com/114436/webcast-replay-carbon-capture-and-climate-crisis?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

MILLOY: GOP needs to start talking about EPA reform now

MILLOY: GOP needs to start talking about EPA reform now

Regulations are stifling U.S. economy

Romney Cites Energy Report That Advocates Carbon

Romney Cites Energy Report That Advocates Carbon Pricehttp://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/09/18/romney-cites-energy-report-that-advocates-carbon-price/

A new American energy plan must begin and end in Alaska



A new American energy plan must begin and end in Alaskahttp://www.humanevents.com/2012/09/18/a-new-american-energy-plan-must-begin-and-end-in-alaska/

Freaked-out climate scientists urge other freaked-out climate scientists to speak up, fight Man By David Roberts

Freaked-out climate scientists urge other freaked-out climate scientists to speak up, fight Man

Excessive Red Tape Causes Energy Costs to Soar on Public Land

Excessive Red Tape Causes Energy Costs to Soar on Public Land

More than 96% of the domestic energy production growth from shales has taken place on private lands safely out of the reach of the Federal government bureaucrats and regulators.  That energy production growth is transforming America’s energy future by increasing supply reliability and driving down the price of natural gas from more than $13 per MMBTU to less than $3 per MMBTU in a period of less than five years.Federal LandsMeanwhile, on public lands production has actually slowed as the Department of Interior and its Bureau of Land…Read more...http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Excessive-Red-Tape-Causes-Energy-Costs-to-Soar-on-Public-Land.html

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Himalayan glaciers retreating at accelerated rate in some regions but not others

Himalayan glaciers retreating at accelerated rate in some regions but not others

Washington DC (SPX) Sep 18, 2012
Glaciers in the eastern and central regions of the Himalayas appear to be retreating at accelerating rates, similar to those in other areas of the world, while glaciers in the western Himalayas are more stable and could be growing, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report examines how changes to glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, which covers eight countrihttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/Himalayan_glaciers_retreating_at_accelerated_rate_in_some_regions_but_not_others_999.html

How fast can ice sheets respond to climate change?

How fast can ice sheets respond to climate change?

Buffalo NY (SPX) Sep 18, 2012
A new Arctic study in the journal Science is helping to unravel an important mystery surrounding climate change: How quickly glaciers can melt and grow in response to shifts in temperature. According to the new research, glaciers on Canada's Baffin Island expanded rapidly during a brief cold snap about 8,200 years ago. The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence showing that ice sheethttp://www.terradaily.com/reports/How_fast_can_ice_sheets_respond_to_climate_change_999.html

U.S. underestimates costs of carbon pollution and climate change

U.S. underestimates costs of carbon pollution and climate change

Heidelberg, Germany (SPX) Sep 18, 2012
The U.S. federal government is significantly underestimating the costs of carbon pollution because it is using a faulty analytical model, according to a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. A more appropriate accounting of costs would pave the way to cleaner, more economically efficient sources of power generation, the study found.http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/us-should-allow-south-korea-uranium-enrichment-right-govt-think-tank/

June Through August Was Warmest Period For Global Land Temperature Ever Recorded

June Through August Was Warmest Period For Global Land Temperature Ever Recorded

The average global land surface temperature between June and August of 2012 was the warmest ever recorded, according to data from the National Climatic Data Center. The three month period saw an average land temperature that was 1.03°C (1.85°F) above the 20th century average.When factored with ocean surface temperature, the average global temperature between June and August was the third warmest in recorded history, coming in at 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average.http://theenergycollective.com/josephromm/114021/june-through-august-was-warmest-period-global-land-temperature-ever-recorded?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=The+Energy+Collective+%28all+posts%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Harvard Losing Out to South Dakota in Graduate Pay: Commodities


Environmentalists Try to Shut Down SF

Environmentalists Try to Shut Down SF

William Tucker, Nuclear TH
You can't make this stuff up.  For years I've been pointing to the Sierra Club's low-profile campaign to tear down the Hetch-Hetchy Dam in California as an example of sheer environmental hypocrisy.  While opposing everything else in sight in favor of "renewable energy," the Club has also been quietly trying to undo one of the successful renewable energy projects ever built.To date the campaign had been carried out on the Sierra Club's website, where the press can ignore it and could go on showering the Club with praise every time they oppose an...http://www.nucleartownhall.com/blog/william-tucker-environmentalists-try-to-close-down-san-francisco/

Shell's Arctic Drilling Campaign Starts to Falter

Shell's Arctic Drilling Campaign Starts to Falterhttp://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Shells-Arctic-Drilling-Campaign-Starts-to-Falter.html

Sea surface temperatures reach record highs on Northeast continental shelf

Sea surface temperatures reach record highs on Northeast continental shelf

During the first six months of 2012, sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem were the highest ever recorded. The annual 2012 spring plankton bloom was intense, started earlier and lasted longer than average. This has implications for marine life from the smallest creatures to the largest marine mammals like whales. Atlantic cod continued to shift northeastward from its historic distribution center.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918121551.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_environment+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+News+--+Top+Environment%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Russia Dumped 19 Radioactive Ships Plus 14 Nuclear Reactors Into the Ocean by WashingtonsBlog

Russia Dumped 19 Radioactive Ships Plus 14 Nuclear Reactors Into the Ocean

Government Dumping of Nuclear Waste Still Poses a Threat … Decades Laterhttp://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/russia-dumped-19-radioactive-ships-plus-14-nuclear-reactors-into-the-ocean.html

Scientific Paper: “The Fukushima Radioactive Plume Contaminated the Entire Northern Hemisphere During a Relatively Short Period of Time”

Scientific Paper: “The Fukushima Radioactive Plume Contaminated the Entire Northern Hemisphere During a Relatively Short Period of Time”

“Little Dissipation Occurred … Due to the Nature of the Rapid Global Air Circulation System”

We warned mere days after the Japanese earthquake that the West Coast of North America could be hit with radiation.
Our concerns – unfortunately – have been validated.  See this and this.
The peer-reviewed scientific journal Science of the Total Environment reports:
Massive amounts of anthropogenic radionuclides were released from the nuclear reactors located in Fukushima (northeastern Japan) between 12 and 16 March 2011 following the earthquake and tsunami. Ground level air radioactivity was monitored around the globe immediately after the Fukushima accident. This global effort provided a unique opportunity to trace the surface air mass movement at different sites in the Northern Hemisphere.
***
The analysis of the air mass forward movements during 12th -16th March showed that the air mass was displaced eastward from the Fukushima area and bifurcated into a northern and a southern branch outside of Japan (Fig. 3). This eastward bifurcation of air masses is in agreement with the simulation of the potential dispersion of the radioactive cloud after the nuclear accident of Fukushima (Weather OnlineWebsite of United Kingdom, UK, 2012).
***
This work clearly demonstrates how little dissipation occurred during this time due to the nature of the rapid global air circulation system, and the Fukushima radioactive plume contaminated the entire Northern Hemisphere during a relatively short period of time.
More at:
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/scientific-paper-the-fukushima-radioactive-plume-contaminated-the-entire-northern-hemisphere-during-a-relatively-short-period-of-time.htmlNote:  The West Coast of North America is also at risk from ocean radiation.

GAO Report Released: Spent Nuclear Fuel, Accumulating Quantities at Commercial Reactors Present Storage and Other Challenges

GAO Report Released: Spent Nuclear Fuel, Accumulating Quantities at Commercial Reactors Present Storage and Other Challenges

Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report, titled Spent Nuclear Fuel Accumulating Quantities at Commercial Reactors Present Storage and Other Challenges GAO-12-797 (Aug. 15, 2012). This 66 page report, available here, was conducted by the GAO because,

[s]pent nuclear fuel, the used fuel removed from nuclear reactors, is one of the most hazardous substances created by humans. Commercial spent fuel is stored at reactor sites; about 74 percent of it is stored in pools of water, and 26 percent has been transferred to dry storage casks. The United States has no permanent disposal site for the nearly 70,000 metric tons of spent fuel currently stored in 33 states. GAO was asked to examine (1) the amount of spent fuel expected to accumulate before it can be moved from commercial nuclear reactor sites, (2) the key risks posed by stored spent fuel and actions to help mitigate these risks, and (3) key benefits and challenges of moving spent nuclear fuel out of wet storage and ultimately away from commercial nuclear reactors. GAO reviewed NRC documents and studies on spent fuel’s safety and security risks and industry data, interviewed federal and state government officials and representatives from industry and other groups, and visited reactor sites.

Spotlight: U.S. Geological Survey Publications Warehouse

Spotlight: U.S. Geological Survey Publications Warehouse

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Publications Warehouse "provides access to over 100,000 publications written by USGS scientists over the century-plus history of the bureau" and is an excellent place for researchers to visit when looking for both current and historic environmental and natural resource related information.  With both a Basic and Advanced (click the Advanced button) database search option, the USGS's collection has select full text pdf versions of reports available online for free dating back to the 1880s.  Searchable by Publication Type, Title, Author, Year, Journal,  Contributing Office, and Report, researchers should be aware that reports usually correspond to a particular series.   In addition a complete breakdown of the contents of the database is available here.  Of interest, the USGS also has a dedicated search of their Energy Resources available here which also has select full text access to publications dating back to 1931.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

EPA Adds 12 Hazardous Waste Sites to Superfund’s National Priorities List


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2012


EPA Adds 12 Hazardous Waste Sites to Superfund’s National Priorities List

Eight Other Sites Proposed To Be Added

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is adding 12 new hazardous waste sites that pose public health and environmental risks to the National Priorities List (NPL) for cleanup under the Superfund program. EPA is also proposing to add another eight sites to the list.

Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. For each of the 20 sites announced today, EPA has received letters of concurrence from state officials supporting the NPL listing.

“Cleaning up contamination is vitally important to the health of America’s communities," said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Putting clean land back into productive use leads to increases in property values, generates new jobs and creates a stronger local economy that will strengthen these communities for years to come.”  

Since 1983, 1,676 sites have been listed on the NPL. Of these sites, 360 sites have been cleaned up resulting in 1,316 sites currently on the NPL (including the 12 sites added today). There are 54 proposed sites (including the eight announced today) awaiting final agency action.

Contaminants found at the sites include acetone, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, chromium, copper, dichloroethene (DCE), hexavalent chromium, lead, mercury, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), pentachlorophenol (PCP), trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethylene (TCE), xylene and zinc.

With all NPL sites, EPA works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and requires them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site. Therefore, it may be several years before significant EPA clean up funding is required for these sites.

The following 12 sites have been added to the National Priorities List:

•    Alabama Plating Company, Inc. (former electroplater) in Vincent, Ala.
•    Cedar Chemical Corporation (former chemical manufacturer) in West Helena, Ark.
•    Fairfax St. Wood Treaters (former wood treating operation) in Jacksonville, Fla.
•    Bautsch-Gray Mine (former lead and zinc mine) in Galena, Ill.
•    EVR-Wood Treating/Evangeline Refining Company (former wood treating operation) in Jennings, La.
•    Leeds Metal (abandoned scrap metal facility) in Leeds, Maine
•    Holcomb Creosote Co (former wood treating operation) in Yadkinville, N.C.
•    Orange Valley Regional Ground Water Contamination (contaminated ground water plume) in Orange/West Orange, N.J.
•    Peters Cartridge Factory (former ammunition manufacturer) in Kings Mills, Ohio
•    West Troy Contaminated Aquifer (contaminated ground water plume) in Troy, Ohio
•    Circle Court Ground Water Plume (contaminated ground water plume) in Willow Park, Texas
•    U.S. Oil Recovery (former used oil recovery operation) in Pasadena, Texas

The following eight sites have been proposed for addition to the National Priorities List:

•    Pike and Mulberry Streets PCE Plume (former dry cleaner) in Martinsville, Ind.
•    Former United Zinc & Associated Smelters (former zinc smelter) in Iola, Kan.
•    Creese & Cook Tannery (former tannery and finishing facility) in Danvers, Mass.
•    Walton & Lonsbury Inc. (former chrome plating operation) in Attelboro, Mass.
•    Matlack, Inc. (former chemical transportation business) in Woolwich Township, N.J.
•    Riverside Industrial Park (former paint manufacturer) in Newark, N.J.
•    Clinch River Corporation (former pulp and paper mill) in Harriman, Tenn.
•    700 South 1600 East PCE Plume (ground water plume) in Salt Lake City, Utah

EPA is also withdrawing its earlier proposal to add the Evergreen Manor Ground Water Contamination site in Winnebago County, Illinois to the NPL because remedial action has been completed. Affected residences have been connected to the public water supply, a county ordinance is in place which restricts the installation of private wells in the affected area, and contaminants of concern have remained below cleanup standards since 2006.

Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm

Information about how a site is listed on the NPL: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/npl_hrs.htm

Superfund sites in local communities: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/index.htm