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Hayward Bay Fault Line MORE DANGEROUS Than San Andreas: It’s A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

Hayward Bay Fault Line MORE DANGEROUS Than San Andreas: It’s A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

Scientists are now saying that the “Big One” in California may not be caused by the San Andreas fault line, but by the Hayward Bay fault line. It is now thought to be the “ticking time bomb” fault line and more dangerous than the San Andres.

The scariest scenario for the next major earthquake may not be from the San Andreas Fault (though that one still threatens), but from the Hayward Fault that runs along the east side of the San Francisco Bay. In fact, many say that the next earthquake on the Hayward Bay fault line would be “disastrous.” According toKTUV, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake along the Hayward Fault could kill as many as 800 people and injure 18,000, according to results of a new research released Wednesday.

The U.S. Geological Survey, citing findings from a simulated tremor with an epicenter in Oakland, said the disaster would cause 400 fires that could destroy 50,000 homes. Nearly half a million people would be displaced, authorities said.

The simulated quake in the video above, known as the “HayWired scenario,” was modeled to occur at 4:18 p.m. on April 18 (yesterday). It replicates a rupture along the fault’s entire 52-mile length, from San Pablo Bay in the north to just east of San Jose in the south. According to this model, the violent shaking from the earthquake could cause the two sides of the fault to split six feet apart in some places. Some of the aftershocks would continue for several months as well. Cities in the East Bay would be hit hard, including Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro, and Hayward.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Beyond Sustainability? — We are living in the Century of Regeneration.

Re-greening the Forest Planet (Image Source)

Beyond Sustainability? — We are living in the Century of Regeneration.

Valuing Ecosystem Function higher than material things is the paradigm shift that determines whether we understand the meaning of our lives and survive or whether we remain ignorant and selfish and destroy our own habitat trying to gain more wealth or more power. If we reach this level of understanding, not only can everyone live on the Earth but the natural systems on Earth can reach their optimal ability to sustain life.

— John D. Liu (2016)

There are some practitioners who work on sustainability with a regenerative development mindset. The reason why I would say it is time to move beyond sustainability is twofold. On the one hand the term itself has been coopted and some people now call their company sustainable because it has sustained growth and profits for a number o years in a row. The term sustainability begs us to explain what it is we are trying to sustain.

The term regenerative development, on the other hand, carries within it a clear aim of regenerating the health and vitality of the nested, scale-linking systems we participate in. At a basic level regeneration also communicates not to use resources that cannot be regenerated, nor to use any resources faster than they can be regenerated. Development in this context is “co-evolving mutuality” (Regenesis Group) — so biological and cultural evolutionary development, not in the sense of economic development (only).

The second reason is that I believe we need a reframe that honours the importance of getting to ‘sustainable’ while opening the possibility to deepen our practice and go beyond merely being sustainable to actually regenerating the damage humanity has wrecked on the planet since the dawn of agriculture, city states and empires.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Atlantic Current if Slowing Down = Global Cooling

 

The Atlantic current is slowing down dramatically

A team of scientists says it is the weakest in 1600 years. Naturally, they attribute it to humans who are driving their cars and heating their homes which is melting the ice in Greenland and that is fresh water which is lighter than seawater. They are predicting, of course, it could stop altogether in a few decades. The only problem is the classic one. They ignore cycles and assume whatever trend is in motion will stay in motion to the point it will stop completely. If that were the case, then we would probably go into a White Earth Effect and we should be all dead anyhow so perhaps the planet will heal itself when we are all gone. So they are predicting something that has no historical foundation since it has never happened before.

There is a cycle to this as well and, BTW, they are in fact saying that since this is the worst in 1600 years, are they not implicitly stating that there must be a cycle, to begin with?  Our models indicate that there should be an 1800 year cycle (+-3%) and this is indeed also linked to the energy output of the sun, which all these people amazingly ignore and prefer to blame humans for everything.

We are headed into a new Mini Ice Age and it will continue to get colder and colder, Europe, Japan, China, Canada, and the United States. Our models confirm it is GLOBAL COOLING we must be concerned about for that brings disease and famine. So while governments are just exploiting the global warming nonsense to impose carbon taxes, the real risk to our survival lies in the opposite direction.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Denial by a Different Name

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Environmental activists protest outside of the Harvard Club where Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt was scheduled to speak, June 20, 2017 in New York City. Pruitt abruptly cancelled his appearance, where he was supposed to discuss the United States' environmental role in the world following the decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

DENIAL BY A DIFFERENT NAME

It’s Time to Admit That Half Measures Can’t Stop Climate Change

IT CAN FEEL GOOD to make fun of climate deniers. So let’s take a little romp with one: Wolfgang Müller.

Here he is in a Dusseldorf hotel conference room, 100 people gathered to take a group photo before him. He’s distributing stemware and pouring champagne, at the 11th annual International Conference on Climate and Energy, a convening this past November of some of Europe’s pre-eminent denialist minds.

Given that this is Europe, it’s not a huge crowd. Müller and company fit the stereotype: cranks poking holes in scientific consensus, railing against the pointy-headed academics — often, though not in his case, with generous industry funding. This particular gathering is co-hosted by the European Institute for Climate and Energy, known as its German abbreviation EIKE; the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an American outfit; and a handful of smaller groups of self-identified climate skeptics.

It’s not hard to see why EIKE sits on the margins. In one presentation, a historical building preservationist argued that medieval building practices — castles with 2-foot-thick stone walls — were better suited to insulate heat than Germany’s apparently tyrannical energy efficiency standards, in a talk that included an extended, only half-joking anecdote involving sex and boar skins. A session on renewables pleads sympathy for wildlife; literature handed out by the presenter features a picture of a dead bird at the foot of a wind turbine. The sole caption, in German, asks: “Bird shredder?”

Billed as a “Contra-COP23,” it takes place about an hour’s train ride from COP23, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 23rd annual Conference of Parties talks in Bonn, where the world is vowing to redouble its efforts to combat climate change in spite of the spurning of U.S. President Donald Trump.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown 

Nuclear Keeps on Polluting, Long After Shutdown 

Photo by Nuclear Regulatory Commission | CC BY 2.0

Last month, the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor, on the banks of the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, was found to be leaking radioactive tritium (the radioactive form of hydrogen) into the groundwater.

Again, clean, safe, cheap nuclear power comes to the aid of a hungry nation.

The La Crosse Tribune reported on March 14 that the company LaCrosseSolutions (a subsidiary of Utah-based EnergySolutions) reported a reading of 24,200 “picocurie”-per-liter in water taken from a monitoring well on Feb. 1. The US Environmental Protection Agency allows up to 20,000 picocuries-per-liter tritium in drinking water.

The EPA estimates that seven of 200,000 people who drink such water would develop cancer. So the nuclear industry has somehow earned a government license to kill, if you will. But, hey, 24,200 picocuries per-liter isn’t that much over the allowable cancer rate.

LaCrosseSolutions is working an $85 million contract to “decommission” the La Crosse reactor. The small water boiler was shut down in 1987, 31 years ago, but damn if it isn’t still trashing the environment. You gotta hand it to the long reach of the nuclear industry: It keeps on poisoning even three decades after going of business.

The Dairyland Power Co-op isn’t alone in its despoiling of the Earth. (The Co-op ran the reactor from 1967 to ’87, transferring its license to LaCrosseSolutions in 2016.) In June 2011, Jeff Donn’s four-part, year-long investigation for the Associated Press reported that tritium leaks were found at 48 of 65 US reactor sites, three-quarters of the country’s commercial reactor operations, “often from corroded, buried piping.”

La Crosse’s reactor-borne tritium in the groundwater is a danger to everyone drinking it, but the Tribune news report noted, “[T]he monitoring well was just 25 feet below the surface and not used for human consumption.” This should come as a great relief to anyone in the area using well water that’s not been tested.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The unacceptable collateral damage of overconsumption

The unacceptable collateral damage of overconsumption

The Great Acceleration, un-burnable carbon, and global impacts

We are living in extraordinary times and transformation is already happening and accelerating all around us. Many technological, social, and environmental changes are racing up the steep end of the exponential curve. In almost every area of our lives old structures are breaking down as we are witnessing the unfolding impacts of unprecedented technological innovation and its rapid deployment in a globally expanding consumer culture.

Exponential growth on a finite planet

‘The Great Acceleration’ is happening within the context of an expanding human population, profound societal and economic transformation on all continents, and — most urgent of all — a dangerous destabilization of global and local climate patterns. There is a scientific consensus that we need to take immediate action if we are to avoid catastrophic climate effects on the future of humankind, the diversity of life and the entire planet.

Unsustainable exponential growth in many aspects of human and ecological systems (Source)

Already hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to climate change related extreme weather events and millions lose their homes, go hungry or are forced to migrate. Ecosystems everywhere, and the biosphere as a whole, are reaching dangerous tipping points. The prolonged impact of an industrial growth society addicted to fossil fuels and the rapid extraction of non-renewable resources is pushing against planetary boundaries.

Our current economic system is structurally committed to ever-increasing economic growth and intertwined with a financial system that generates money out of nowhere based on debt, and currencies that are not backed up by real material value (see module two). Attempts to resuscitate this structurally dysfunctional system are getting more and more expensive, as the cycles of economic crisis and costly (temporary) recovery are getting shorter and shorter.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Will We Do With All Those Solar Panels When Their Useful Life is Over?

As solar power booms, businesses are exploring ways to ensure valuable components don’t end up in landfills.
Intro image
Photo courtesy of sinovoltaics.com

But the solar panels generating that power don’t last forever. The industry standard life span is about 25 to 30 years, and that means that some of the panels installed at the early end of the current boom aren’t long from being retired. And each passing year, more and more will be pulled from service — glass and metal photovoltaic modules that will soon start adding up to millions, and then tens of millions of metric tons of material.

“It’s not too far off that those are going to be coming off line, and we’re going to have a waste management issue,” says Garvin Heath, a senior scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a solar power expert. “It’s fair to say that it’s starting to become more widely recognized as an issue that we’re going to need to start working on pretty soon.”

As photovoltaic panel installations grow, so does the need for final disposition down the road.

As photovoltaic panel installations grow, so does the need for final disposition down the road. © OECD/IEA, Design: Becquerel Institute Editing: Mary Brunisholz, IEA PVPS Analysis: Gaëtan Masson, IEA PVPS Task 1, 2016, A Snapshot of Global PV (1992-2016), IEA Publishing. License: www.iea.org/t&c. Click to expand.

The solution many are looking to is recycling. But the ability to handle the coming flow of PV modules is not yet sufficient. “There’s some infrastructure,” Heath says. “I wouldn’t say it’s especially well established at this point.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

An Oceanic Problem: the Atlantic Overturning Current is Slowing

An Oceanic Problem: the Atlantic Overturning Current is Slowing

Photo by Michael Mayer | CC BY 2.0

The Atlantic Overturning Current is part of a worldwide twisted loop of ocean water, called the thermohaline cycle (thermo = heat, haline = salt), which emerges very salty and warm out of the Gulf of Mexico, travels north as a surface current along the east coast of North America, veers east in the North Atlantic toward Europe, then loops back west to a region just south of Greenland where it cools and sinks to the ocean floor – because it has become denser than the surrounding and less salty North Atlantic waters (colder water is denser than warmer water, and saltier water is denser than fresher water of equal temperature). The dense highly salted descending water then runs as a cold deep ocean current south along the east coast of South America, and continues in a complicated path along the ocean floor into the Pacific Ocean, where it warms and eventually rises to become a surface current of more buoyant less salty water. This current distributes solar heat collected by ocean waters in tropical latitudes to higher latitudes (closer to the poles).

In 2004, Peter Schwartz and Douglas Randall described the thermohaline cycle this way: “In this thousand-year cycle, water from the surface in tropical areas becomes more saline through evaporation. When it circulates to the poles and becomes cold (“thermo”), the greater density still present from higher salt (“haline”) concentration causes the water to sink to great depths. As with most large-scale geological processes, the thermohaline cycle is not thoroughly understood. Wallace Broecker has been studying the cycle for decades and, according to the December 1996 issue of Discover magazine, he has shown that the thermohaline cycle has not always been in operation, and that it has a strong effect on global climate.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hanford’s Toxic Avengers: Department of Energy Suppresses Deadly Nuclear-Cleanup Flaws

Hanford’s Toxic Avengers: Department of Energy Suppresses Deadly Nuclear-Cleanup Flaws

Your tax dollars are on the line. The DOE is set to extend a contract to Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) for another year at the Hanford Nuclear Site, despite numerous allegations of misconduct since the company won the initial contract for $7.1 billion in 2008. Below is an investigative report that appeared in Seattle Weekly in 2012 on the suppression of whistleblowers by the DOE, Bechtel, URS and WRPS at North America’s most toxic site. – JF

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Once home to the nation’s largest plutonium-making facility, Hanford, Washington, is now one of the most toxic nuclear-waste sites in the world. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently spending $2 billion a year to clean up the 586-square-mile reservation. However, not all is well on Washington’s dusty southeastern edge: Whistle-blowers are stepping forward, claiming that taxpayer money is being spent recklessly on a project riddled with potentially deadly design defects.

Donna Busche, who has been employed by contractor URS (originally known as United Research Services) as acting Manager of Environmental and Nuclear Safety at Hanford’s Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) since 2009, is among the latest of these senior managers to speak out about what she sees as the silencing of those who raise concerns about possibly lethal safety issues. Last November, Busche filed a complaint of discrimination under the federal whistle-blower protection statutes with the U.S. Department of Labor, alleging retaliation against her for reporting problems at the WTP, which one day will turn Hanford’s 56 million gallons of highly hazardous radioactive waste into storable glass rods through a process known as vitrification.

Climbing the corporate ladder in the male-dominated engineering world was no easy feat. But Busche, as numerous co-workers say, is tough, politically savvy, and scientifically skilled.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Understanding What the ‘New Normal’ Means for Water in the West

Understanding What the ‘New Normal’ Means for Water in the West

After 20 years of drought conditions, some scientists are calling for better terminology to describe the impact of rising temperatures in the region.

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Humphrey’s Peak in Arizona is experiencing one of its lowest runoff years in history.Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

APRIL IS OFTEN a time of abundance in the mountains of the American West, when snowpack is at or near its peak, and forecasters work to determine how much runoff will course through our rivers and fill reservoirs later in the season.

This year, across much of the West, particularly the Southwest, there’s little in the way of abundance. At Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir in the West, runoff is predicted to be only 43 percent of average. Arizona is looking at one of its lowest runoff years in history. And in New Mexico, stretches of the Rio Grande have already run dry, months ahead of normal.

The only consolation is that last year was a wet year and reservoirs received a boost. While it’s typical in the West to have big swings in precipitation from year to year, what has concerned scientists lately is that even good years are no longer producing the kind of runoff seen historically.

It’s even prompted a group of scientists with the Colorado River Research Group to call for a new language to describe the conditions they’re seeing.

“There’s lots of talk of drought but there’s not enough talk that this is likely the new normal,” said Brad Udall, a member of the group and a senior water and climate research scientist at Colorado State University. “We really need to think in the long term that we are actually going to see less water in the [Colorado River] basin and we’re never going back to the 20th century.”

And in the Southwest, this “new normal” may look more like “aridification” than drought.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Dangerous climate tipping point is ‘about a century ahead of schedule’ warns scientist

Dangerous climate tipping point is ‘about a century ahead of schedule’ warns scientist

A slowing Gulf Stream system means catastrophic East Coast flooding will get much worse.

Taxis sit in a flooded lot after Hurricane Sandy October 30, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. CREDIT: Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images
TAXIS SIT IN A FLOODED LOT AFTER HURRICANE SANDY OCTOBER 30, 2012 IN HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY. CREDIT: MICHAEL BOCCHIERI/GETTY IMAGES
New research provides strong evidence that one of the long-predicted worst-case impacts of climate change — a severe slow-down of the Gulf Stream system — has already started.
The system, also known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), brings warmer water northward while pumping cooler water southward.

“I think we’re close to a tipping point,” climatologist Michael Mann told ThinkProgress in an email. The AMOC slow down “is without precedent” in more than a millennium he said, adding, “It’s happening about a century ahead of schedule relative to what the models predict.”

The impacts of such a slowdown include much faster sea level rise — and much warmer sea surface temperatures — for much of the U.S. East Coast. Both of those effects are already being observed and together they make devastating storm surges of the kind we saw with Superstorm Sandy far more likely.

The findings come in two new studies published this week. One study published in the journal Nature, titled “Observed fingerprint of a weakening Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation,” was led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. It finds that the AMOC has weakened “around 15 per cent” since the mid-twentieth century, bringing it to “a new record low.” 

Another new study in the same issue of Nature “supports this finding and places it in a longer climate history context,” as Potsdam’s Stefan Rahmstorf notes at RealClimate

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Massive Geomagnetic Storm Set To Hit Earth This Week

Over the weekend, a middle latitude coronal hole (88) started to face earth. This is the same coronal hole that was responsible for a moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm last month. Now it seems like the same coronal hole is at it again, spewing high-speed solar wind – headed towards Earth this week.

According to Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), a minor (G1) geomagnetic storm watch is now in effect for Tuesday and Wednesday. The storm watch was issued “due to the arrival of a negative polarity coronal hole high-speed stream,” SWPC detailed on its website.

C. Alex Young, associate director for science in the heliophysics science division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, published in a report Monday that “three substantial coronal holes” arrived on his radar last week. Young describes coronal holes as an “open magnetic field from which high-speed solar wind rushes out into space.” If the high-speed solar wind is earth facing, then “it interacts with Earth’s magnetosphere” and lead to all sorts of problems.

“For much of this week the sun featured three substantial coronal holes (Apr. 3-6, 2018). Coronal holes appear as large dark areas which are identified with arrows in the still image. These are areas of open magnetic field from which high speed solar wind rushes out into space. This wind, if it interacts with Earth’s magnetosphere, can cause aurora to appear near the poles. They are not at all uncommon. Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Shell report predicted how devastating climate change would be — it’s from 1988

A Shell report predicted how devastating climate change would be — it’s from 1988

Royal Dutch Shell gas station.

Royal Dutch Shell gas station.   Jonathan Nicholson/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A 1988 Royal Dutch Shell report recently published online shows that the company knew decades ago what the impact of climate change would be.

The document was found by Dutch journalist Jelmer Mommers and published online by the Climate Files, a website sponsored by environmental advocacy group Climate Investigations Center.

The report, titled “The Greenhouse Effect,” said the effects of climate change would be notable by the late 20th Century and early 21st Century.

It cautioned that by then it may be too late to reverse its effects.

“By the time the global warming becomes detectable, it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilize the situation,” the report states.

WATCH: Elizabeth May says Canada ‘behind’ on climate change targets

Written by Shell’s Greenhouse Effect Working Group, the report was based off a study conducted in 1986, and contains specific predictions on carbon emissions, political responses to climate change, and how society will be affected.

Some of its predictions include rising sea levels, changing temperatures and human migration.

More notably, the report reveals that Shell knew decades ago that fossil fuels, and the oil and gas industry in particular, would play a major role in greenhouse gas emissions.

It estimated that in 1981, 44 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions came from oil.

“With fossil fuel combustion being a major source of CO2 in the atmosphere, a forward looking approach by the energy industry is clearly desirable,” the report urged.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Insects are disappearing. Why should we care? What can be done?

Insects are disappearing. Remember how in the ’90s when you went for a drive down a country lane on a summer evening, you’d end up with hundreds of splatters on the windscreen? No more does that happen. Your car is no longer like a 1 ton moth collecting sheet. That’s not to draw a parallel between vehicles and insect roadkill, although hold that thought.

We are seeing fewer insects in everyday life, whether you realise it or not. Studies suggest insect numbers have declined by around 50%.

Electrotettix attenboroughi Heads & ThomasA pygmy locust preserved in amber, named after Sir David Attenborough Photo: Electrotettix attenboroughi Heads & Thomas. Sam W. Heads. CC BY 4.0.A world ever more incompatible with life for those on six legs

When we talk of modern wildlife science some may think of wonderful discoveries, à la Sir David Attenborough and a community of scientists and researchers around the world. These advances should not be discredited. Since the 1970s we have also got better at monitoring our wildlife, and subsequently observed the scale of the problem we’re facing.

The modern world has become ever more incompatible with life for those on six legs.

Insects are by far the largest group of hexapod invertebrates. Insects include ants, bees, and flies. Of the planet’s creatures, it’s reckoned 90% of species belong to the class Insecta.

“The current state of our wildflide in this country, and globally, is approximately catastrophic. We are losing biodiversity at a rate that is of geological proportions.” David MacDonald, of the University of Oxford, refers to the fact that we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event – the Anthropocene epoch.

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GREEN Foundation is Reversing Negative Effects of the Green Revolution

GREEN Foundation is Reversing Negative Effects of the Green Revolution

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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