30 OF OUR RECENT ARTICLES
SEA ICE EXTENT (million sq.km)
A HURRY-UP CALL
|SA to buy 2,500MW hydro|
From: The Guardian Posted: May 21st 2013
"The dream of harnessing the mighty Congo with the world's largest set of dams has moved closer, with ..... South Africa agreeing to buy half of the power generated."
"A new $20bn (R190bn) development to generate 4,800MW was announced over the weekend in Paris, with work planned to start in October 2015."
"According to the DRC government, working with European and other consultants, five further stages at Inga Falls could eventually have a capacity of 40,000MW – equivalent to more than 20 large nuclear power stations."
|The Deepwater Horizon Disaster (Part 2)|
From: Ian Perrin and Didier Bardin Posted: May 20th 2013
"Several of the negative pressure tests performed on the Macondo well had inconclusive and confusing results."
"Nevertheless, even though the negative pressure tests did not demonstrate the integrity of the cement job, rig personnel interpreted the results as indicating that the barriers were effective and proceeded with the temporary abandonment process by continuing to displace the drilling mud with seawater."
"The report committee concluded, 'This was but one of a series of questionable decisions in the days preceding the blowout that had the effect of reducing the margins of safety and that evidenced a lack of safety-driven decision making'"
|USA: Wells Dry, Fertile Plains Turn to Dust|
From: The NY Times Posted: May 19th 2013
"The villain in this story is in fact the farmers’ savior: the center-pivot irrigator, a quarter- or half-mile of pipe that traces a watery circle around a point in the middle of a field. The center pivots helped start a revolution that raised farming from hardscrabble work to a profitable business."
"Since the pivots’ debut some six decades ago, the amount of irrigated cropland in Kansas has grown to nearly three million acres, from a mere 250,000 in 1950. But the pivot irrigators’ thirst for water — hundreds and sometimes thousands of gallons a minute — has sent much of the aquifer on a relentless decline."
"A shift to growing corn, a much thirstier crop than most, has only worsened matters. Driven by demand, speculation and a government mandate to produce biofuels, the price of corn has tripled since 2002, and Kansas farmers have responded by increasing the acreage of irrigated cornfields by nearly a fifth. "
|What Comes after Hope?|
From: TomDispatch Posted: May 19th 2013
"Ten years ago, exactly to the day, I published Rebecca's miraculous piece 'Acts of Hope,' which she would later expand into her book Hope in the Dark. It was written to welcome that 'darkness' which seemed already to be enveloping us. Tom Engelhardt"
"With few people can you ever say, she (or he) changed my life, changed the very way I understand our world. For me, she’s one of the few -- and she's still doing it with her miraculous new book (out in June), The Faraway Nearby. "
"We are wrecking our world, for everyone for all time, or at least the next several thousand years." But........
Current Crude Oil(dark blue), Natural Gas Liquids (purple), Unconventional Oil (yellow), Processing Gains (bright blue), Light Tight Oil (red), Crude yet to be Developed (pale blue) and Crude yet to be Found (mid blue).
|Avoiding the 'Energy Abyss'|
From: EV WORLD Posted: May 17th 2013
"We have a choice to condemn ourselves to an energy abyss in the name of the status quo and lack of enlightened leadership, or we can choose to develop alternatives. John Hofmeister former president of Shell Oil"
"I think in this regard, we are missing in the whole construct, a meaningful voice of government as an intermediary and an enabler to a better future when it comes to fuel choice."
"The US has been crippled for 7 years by high-priced fuel; the government has done nothing to speak of to address the issue."
|Getting back on an aeroplane|
From: Rob Hopkins Posted: May 16th 2013
"In November 2006, I sat at the back of the Barn Cinema, Dartington, and watched ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘. It had such an impact on me that by the time it ended, I had decided that I couldn’t just leave the cinema without marking the event by making some kind of change in my life. I decided that evening not to fly again, and I haven’t flown since."
"I have played an active part in supporting the growth of an international movement in 40 countries since then, participating in countless workshops, and discussing Transition internationally through Skype and pre-recorded talks, most of which I begin with how much carbon I have saved by not travelling in person."
"However, I recently watched the film ‘Chasing Ice’, and it had, if anything, a more visceral impact than ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. My resolution at the end of watching it, re-enforced by the recent passing, for the first time, of 400 ppm of C02 in the atmosphere, was that it was time to get back on a plane"
|Debate Done. Action must Follow|
From: Skeptical Science Posted: May 16th 2013
"Powell examined nearly 14,000 abstracts, searching for explicit rejections of human-caused global warming, finding only 24. We took this approach further, also looking at implicit rejections, no opinions, and implicit/explicit endorsements."
"Each paper was rated independently at least twice, with the identity of the other co-rater not known. A dozen team members completed most of the 24,000+ ratings. There was no funding provided for this project; all the work was performed on a purely voluntary basis."
"A 2012 poll from US Pew Research Center found less than half of Americans thought that scientists agreed that humans were causing global warming. One contributor to this misperception is false balance in the media, particularly in the US, where most climate stories are 'balanced' with a 'skeptic' perspective. However, this results in making the 3% seem much larger, like 50%."
|The Renewables Global Status Report|
From: REN21 Posted: May 16th 2013
"The Renewables Global Status Report is REN21’s annual flagship publication and industry standard, providing an integrated perspective on the global renewable energy situation and the rapid changes in renewable energy markets, investments, industries, policies, and rural energy supply. The report is produced by an international team of over 150 researchers, contributors, and reviewers from both industrialised and developing countries."
"Since the first Global Status Report was produced six years ago, it has become the most frequently referenced report on renewable energy policy and markets. Its findings are used by a wide range of audiences, from investors and government decision-makers to students, project developers, researchers, and industrial manufacturers."
"The report shows that the capacity of renewable energy resources to provide electricity, heat, and fuel production is steadily increasing, be it solar PV, wind power, solar hot water/heating, biofuels, hydropower, geothermal, or other energy sources."
|Fish go Polewards|
From: Washington Post Posted: May 15th 2013
"Fish and other sea life have been moving toward Earth’s poles in search of cooler waters, part of a worldwide, decades-long migration documented for the first time by a study released Wednesday."
"While larger boats can reach those fish populations in cooler, deeper water farther offshore, smaller boats cannot"
"We’re seeing significant declines in the number of boats that can fish. The crews that go along with that, they’re out of work"
|US public paid $96 billion for Climate Costs in 2012|
From: NRDC Posted: May 14th 2013
"Private insurers paid only 25% of the $139 billion damages"
"Federal spending related to climate disruption falls into two major categories: Storms and droughts."
"The true scorekeepers of climate risk—the insurance industry—realizes it can’t win when the dice are increasingly loaded with carbon pollution, so it’s walking away from the table, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. Last year that cost amounted to over $1100 per taxpayer, and we can expect to see even higher costs in future as CO2 concentrations continue to soar past 400 parts per million."
From: Ian Perrin Posted: May 13th 2013
"When Lord Stern warned us last week that climate change will make hundreds of millions homeless, I was reminded of Lynas' horrifying scenario and the Thomas paper."
"The Kalahari Desert ..... becomes a true hyper-arid desert once again, complete with raging sandstorms and rapidly diminishing vegetation."
"Botswana may be the worst hit, but Namibia, Angola, part of Zambia and a small area of Zimbabwe are all badly affected."
From: Huffington Post Posted: May 13th 2013
"Genieve Long recalled the fear of waking to her 5-year-old son 'wheezing and struggling to breathe' a few days after an oil spill hit her town of Mayflower, Arkansas."
"Tests in the days after the spill identified some 30 toxic chemicals in Mayflower. The chemicals detected in the samples match the health impacts experienced both in the immediate neighborhood of the spill, and in the surrounding community."
"Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is now expressing his concerns for the health of Mayflower residents, as well as his frustrations with ExxonMobil for not taking extra steps to safeguard the public or to adequately compensate residents whose property or health has already been harmed."
|NOT ONE WELL.|
From: Ian Perrin Posted: May 12th 2013
"Students from the State University of New York (SUNY) School of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY held their 2013 graduation ceremony yesterday. Dr. Sandra Steingraber was given an honorary doctoral degree for her life's work on environmental health and science, including her work to fight fracking in New York. She was given a standing ovation for her inspirational speech and called on our future environmental scientists to take action."
"What an amazing moment. Thank you. And what makes this a special honor for me is not just that SUNY-ESF is the nation’s oldest and most venerable college of environmental science, which is my field of study, too, but also that its official motto consists of the three words that I happen to live by.Those words—for the guests here who may not know them—are not a Latin phrase about the nature of truth and wisdom. They are a set of simple directions in English. Improve your world."
|Climate change 'will make hundreds of millions homeless'|
From: The Guardian Posted: May 12th 2013
"The trouble will come when they try to migrate into new lands, however. That will bring them into armed conflict with people already living there. Nor will it be an occasional occurrence."
"Scientists have warned for decades of the danger of allowing industrial outputs of carbon dioxide to rise unchecked."
"The last time the Earth's atmosphere had 400ppm carbon dioxide, the Arctic was ice-free and sea levels were 40 metres higher."
The changes will take decades or (for sea-level) even centuries. But they are like a super-tanker - once started they are almost impossible to reverse ....[Ian]
|Obama: ‘If Congress Won’t Act Soon To Protect Future Generations, I Will’|
From: Joe Romm Posted: February 13th 2013
"For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods – all are now more frequent and more intense."
"We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late."
"I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy."
TEDX study reveals more detail about the dangers of gas drilling
From Ian Perrin Posted: 14th November 2012
"The study shows that air sampling near natural gas operations reveals numerous chemicals in the air, many associated with natural gas operations. Some of the highest concentrations in the study were from methane, ethane, propane, and other alkanes that occur as a result of natural gas operations"
"Although concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in this study appear low, they may have clinical significance."
We thank them sincerely on behalf of all South Africans for the effort they are making to understand the effects of drilling and fracking for natural gas that will result in better protection for our workers and communities alike. [Ian]
|Greenhouse Gas Theory explained|
From Ian Perrin Posted: 24th October 2012
You might have gained the impression climate change caused by rising amounts of CO2 in our atmosphere is a contentious theory added only recently to our scientific understanding.
Not so – we can trace the basis for it all the way back to Isaac Newton's work in the early 1670's and the first, generally accepted theory around 1859, more than 150 years ago."
Here's our plain English version of the history of its development and some detail on the scientists involved.
Shale Gas And The Overhyping Of Its CO2 Reductions
From Think Progress Posted: 7th August 2012
"Many have justified the low price of natural gas as good for our climate because it saves CO2 by displacing coal. But the portion of those emissions that displaced coal and oil emissions was limited."
"If gas were not excessively cheap, it is quite likely that some of this (48 million MWh) would have come from renewables."
"Once we add in methane leakages to its CO2 emissions, natural gas could surpass coal in terms of its overall impact on our climate (Wigley 2011 and The New York Times 2011). And, just like coal, natural gas from shale rock also has a variety of local environmental impacts. When you combine these impacts —global and local, natural gas looks more and more like coal."
IEA warns time is running out to prevent catastrophic climate change
from businessGreen Posted: 25th May 2012
The IEA published a report showing CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel combustion hit 31.6 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2011, just 1Gt below the threshold that scientists say could give the world a 50% chance of preventing a 2°C global temperature rise.
Large numbers of climate scientists are concerned that temperature increases of above 2°C could trigger runaway climate change whereby natural carbon sinks such as permafrost and the Amazon Rainforest start to release greenhouse gas emission.
Those scientists are also concerned that the 2°C limit, suggested in the 2007 IPCC AR4 report, is now out of date and should be set at 1.5°C. The surprising speeds of Arctic ice reduction and methane increase underpin that conclusion. The most recent science about the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is concerning. [Ian]
We Must Heed James Hansen
from Joe Romm & Michael Mann Posted: 9th August 2012
"During the hot, dry summer of 1988, Hansen announced that 'it is time to stop waffling…. The evidence is pretty strong that the [human-amplified] greenhouse effect is here.'" Much criticism followed.
"Hansen, it turns out, was right, and the critics were wrong. Rather than being reckless, as some of his critics charged, his announcement to the world proved to be prescient – and his critics were proven overly cautious."
"Given the prescience of Hansen’s science, we would be unwise to ignore his latest, more dire warning."
"The time for debate about the reality of human-caused climate change has now passed. We can have a good faith debate about how to deal with the problem – how to reduce future climate change and adapt to what is already upon us to reduce the risks that climate change poses to society. But we can no longer simply bury our heads in the sand."
|Copyright © 2010/13 www.fractual All rights reserved.||Last updated: Wednesday May 22nd 2013 10:05|