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What Will it Take to Avert Collapse?

A lot of people are asking the question these days—including serious folks who work full-time on climate and energy policy. How can the world’s nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to forestall climate catastrophe, without undermining either the global economy (which is still 85 percent dependent on fossil fuels) or the hopes of billions of people in poorer countries to raise their economic prospects through “development”—which historically has depended on increasing per capita energy usage?

The United Nations has passed this vexing question along to the global climate science community as a formal request to write a Special Report providing “feasible” pathways to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius while supporting economic growth and meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The science community has responded by publishing papers featuring scenarios to fit those specifications. Until recently, most scenarios have relied on negative emissions technologies, including CCS (capturing carbon from fossil-fueled power plants, then sequestering it), or BECCS (growing biomass crops, burning them for power, then recapturing the carbon and storing it). Critics have savaged these plans as being too expensive and too environmentally risky.

A major new 13-page paper in Nature Energy, with 122 pages of supplementary materials, takes an entirely different approach. The goal of the authors, led by Arnolf Grubler, was to model a scenario that limits global warming to 1.5 °C while meeting economic goals withoutinvoking negative emission technologies—relying instead on energy demand reduction. We and our colleagues at Post Carbon Institute have for years promoted demand reduction as the primary viable pathway to averting catastrophic climate change.

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

MANGKHUT: Dramatic footage of the strongest storm on earth

MANGKHUT: Dramatic footage of the strongest storm on earth

September 17, 2018, 1:11 PM –Hong Kong’s financial district began cleaning up Monday, after Typhoon Mangkhut roared through the region sporting winds over 200 kilometres per hour and forcing the relocation of 2.45 million people in Guandong, China alone.

There have been widespread reports of enormous damage in parts of China and the Philippines, were at least 50 people were killed.

(READ MORE: Updates on Typhoon Mangkhut HERE)

Video after video has emerged of construction equipment, homes and cars being tossed around by the strong winds and torrential rain.

Here’s a look at one of the strongest typhoons in recent memory.

VIDEO: MANILA STREET FLOODED AS TYPHOON MANGKHUT POUNDS THE PHILIPPINES | 09.15.18

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

 

The Fracking Industry’s Water Nightmare

The Fracking Industry’s Water Nightmare

Sign reading "hot water"

The U.S. is setting new oil production records as horizontal drilling and fracking open up shale deposits in places like North Dakota and Texas.

Fracking is based on the “hydraulic” process of using pressurized liquid to shatter shale rock to let the oil and gas inside escape. And while that liquid is a mixture of many hazardous chemicals, it is mostly water. And acquiring that water and then properly disposing of the toxic wastewater produced by fracking is becoming a big and expensive problem for the industry.

Gabriel Collins is a fellow in energy and the environment at Rice University, and in August he gave a presentation at the Produced Water Society Permian Basin 2018 event in Midland, Texas. There, Collins presented a business case for starting a large water processing company to service the fracking industry.

One sign that the fracking industry is becoming concerned about water is that there are now societies and conferences dedicated to the topic of “produced water.” Produced water is the term for the toxic water that is “produced” over the life of a fracked oil or gas well.

In a story by Bloomberg News, Collins said he didn’t believe investors were aware of the risks that water poses to the fracking industry in the Permian Basin.

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

The flood washes over us

The flood washes over us

A year ago I wrote an article discussing Hurricane Harvey.  Here we are again watching another 1 in a 1,000 year hurricane disaster unfold.  I won’t try to summarize all the other weather disasters that have been unfolding around the world this year.  This year is going to be the fourth warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015, and 2017 respectively.    Our global climate is obviously in chaos and weather disasters becoming more frequent and severe.

In the days leading up to Hurricane Florence’s landfall meteorologists struggled to find words to describe this storm’s unbelievable potential for destruction.  The storm was “biblical”, “unprecedented”, “historical”, “a monster”…yet none of the words really conveyed the reality of risk that few have yet faced.   Governor’s of both Carolina’s took the warnings seriously and called for evacuation.  Many heeded their warnings but the fact that some people chose to stay and ride out the storm showed a dangerous lack of understanding for the danger they faced.  The media’s obsession for making storm disasters into morbid entertainment was in full form when one reporter struggled to stand against wind that seemingly had little affect on nearby pedestrians strolling by.  Like passing a highway accident we can’t seem to turn our eyes away.

The fact that Florence didn’t inflict greater wind damage when it made landfall was a fortunate break that had to do with the storm weakening after its final eyewall replacement cycle.  By Thursday evening September 13th hurricane reconnaissance indicated that a new eyewall was not likely to be completed; the eastern section of the wall not likely to reform.  This prevented Florence from rebuilding the strength of its winds and the storm continued to weaken as it lumbered towards landfall.  Instead of a Category 4 hurricane, Florence came ashore a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 90 mph versus 140 or higher.

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

Plastic Pollution: The Age of Unsolvable Problems

Plastic Pollution: The Age of Unsolvable Problems

Suddenly, we discovered that plastic pollution is a problem, a big one. What to do about it? As usual, it is a question of governance: the problem in itself is not so terribly bad that it couldn’t be controlled. But, over the years, we develop such effective technologies of anti-governance that we have entered the age of unsolvable problem. 

How bad is the situation with plastic pollution? Rather bad, by all means. Citing from a recent paper by Geyer et al., more than 8 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s. Of this plastic, 9% percent was recycled, 12% was incinerated, the rest is in part still in use, in part dispersed in the ecosystem. It is this mass of plastics, billions of tons, which form the pollution we see today. It is almost one ton of plastic waste for every human being living today. Imagine if it were magically to appear in your living room: one ton for every member of your family. 

Still following Geyer et al., in 2015 the world produced 380 million tons of plastics from fossil hydrocarbons. To get some idea of how polluting this mass is, we can compare it to the total carbon emissions produced by hydrocarbon combustion, which today can be estimated to be around 9 billion tons of carbon per year. Plastic is mainly carbon, but we should take into account that the process of creating it cannot be 100% efficient. Anyway, we are interested here only in an order of magnitude comparison so we can say that about 4% of the fossil hydrocarbons we extract become plastics.  

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

Florence Death Toll Climbs To 17 As 3-Month-Old Dies; Wilmington “Virtually Cut Off”

The storm that is now known as Tropical Depression Florence has seen its winds slacken since it first reached the Carolina coast on Friday (though it has battered parts of the state with wind and rains since Thursday), but the unceasing rains have continued, breaking floodwater records in North Carolina and pushing the death toll from the disaster past 17 individuals, as exhausted first responders have been overwhelmed by the number of calls. Meanwhile, more than 1 million people remain without power in the region, according to the Department of Energy (though the DoE said it had some success in restoring access to customers).

However, some of the hardest-hit areas may be without power for weeks.

“We still continue to see heavy rainfalls in both states,” Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said of North and South Carolina. “We want citizens to follow state and local warnings. There is a tremendous amount of flooding.”

With the damage and mayhem wrought by the storm exceeding expectations, the federal government was scrambling on Monday to mobilize thousands of National Guard soldiers and scores of aircraft. The Army Corps of Engineers continued to monitor federal dams and help with rescues as pumps and portable barriers were deployed while specialized search-and-rescue teams arrived from as far away as New York and Nevada. 

According to the Washington Post, the city of Wilmington – which has been the hardest hit city – has been “virtually cut off” from the rest of the state by the rising floodwaters. At least 450 people have been rescued.

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

Next Phase Of Florence Disaster Arrives: “Catastrophic” River Floods, Massive Mudslides

As meteorologists expected, the storm formerly known as Hurricane Florence (it was downgraded to a tropical depression on Sunday after previously being cut to a tropical storm) is stubbornly lingering over the Carolinas and dumping an unceasing assault of warm ocean water on the state.

Radar showed that parts of the storm were impacting six states, but North and South Carolina remained in the bulls eye. The worst hit parts of North and South Carolina have already been inundated with more than two feet of rain, and forecasters are saying there could be an additional 1.5 feet before the end of day Sunday, according to the Associated Press. For this reason, disaster analysts have said the storm is expected to be the costliest in US history, with damages exceeding $170 billion.


Here is a new mesoscale precipitation discussion from @NWSWPC on ongoing life-threatening flash flooding from in southern NC and northern SC https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/metwatch/metwatch_mpd_multi.php?md=0849&yr=2018 


While wind speeds have slackened to 35 mph from an initial windspeed of more than 90 mph when Florence first came ashore, the storm has continued its crawl west at 8 mph. At 5 am, the storm was centered about 20 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

Flooding

Meteorologists forecast “catastrophic” flooding in both North and South Carolina, as some areas will be coated with more than 40 inches of rain, according to USA Today. Meanwhile, the death toll has risen to 15 people, and is expected to rise.

“These rainfall amounts will produce catastrophic flash flooding, prolonged significant river flooding and an elevated risk for landslides in western North Carolina and far southwest Virginia,” the hurricane center warned.

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

“KING OF STORMS” Devastates Hong Kong, Makes Landfall in China Sunday

On Friday, two massive storms — Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut — made devastating landfall on opposite ends the world, but are leaving behind destruction in different ways. For Florence, it was mainly a rain event in the Carolinas. For Mangkhut, it was the wind that devastated the Philippines on Friday/Saturday, and now wreaking havoc in Hong Kong and southern China on Sunday (scroll down for videos).

“Storms forming in the western Pacific tend to hit with much higher winds and the people who live in their path are often poorer and more vulnerable,” said Gabriel Vecchi, a Princeton University hurricane and climate scientist.

Mangkhut made landfall Friday on the northeastern part of Luzon island in the Philippines with sustained winds of 165 mph. Florence had been degraded to a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds as it approached North Carolina’s coast.

One day after landfall, Mangkhut was over the open water — weakened but headed across the South China Sea toward China. Florence, meanwhile, unleashed record-setting rain on parts of the North Carolina coastline. Many regions in southeastern North Carolina have seen 15 to 30 inches of rain.

Weather experts say Mangkhut may end up being the deadlier storm.

Hong Kong and southern China braced for impact on early Sunday as damaging winds and heavy rain from Mangkhut collided with the densely populated coast, a day after officials confirmed 49 people dead on Luzon island.

Al Jazeera said approximately half a million people had been evacuated from seven major cities in Guangdong province of China, and the Hong Kong Observatory, a local newspaper, warned people to stay away from the coastline as massive waves and storm surges wiped out structures.

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

2016-18 Big Chill – NASA Confirms Global Cooling?

What I find really distasteful is how the media is so corrupt that all they want to do these days is to manipulate us into mindless drones. All we hear is Global Warming and they seem to be paid to push this just as they have done in Canada to tax each house $1,000+ to solve Global Warming? It should come as no surprise that the very same news source they have used for their Global Warming pitch has reported the greatest global two-year cooling event of the last century just occurred. Their data from February 2016 to February 2018 showed that the global average temperatures declined 0.56°C. The last two-year decline was 1982-1984 with a drop of 0.47°C, which took place during their favorite stint to justify global warming era. (see NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (dataset accessed 2018-04-11 at https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/).

Then we have the Global Warming crowd trying to dismiss the Big Chill claiming it is really Global Warming causing an increase in volatility of temperatures. Here we go again with FAKE NEWS data. The global temperatures are by no means becoming more volatile and if you run the data through a standard measurement we use in markets to gauge volatility, you are immediately confronted with the monthly global average temperatures since 2000 is only about 65% of what it was from 1880 to 1999. They simply refuse to just accept that there are cycles to EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, in South Australia has seen temperatures plunge 10 degrees making this the coldest September morning in 23 years and coldest morning this late in the year in more than 50 years of records. This corresponds to the snow in Africa confusing the animals completely. It would be nice if the news just reported the news for perhaps we just might prepare like Joseph warned the Pharaoh. With all this FAKE NEWS, they may with hindsight be responsible for the deaths of millions if we have a famine without preparation.

Why Can’t Japan Kick Coal And Nuclear?

Why Can’t Japan Kick Coal And Nuclear?

Coal

Earlier this year we reported on a startling anomaly in the global energy market that even the experts couldn’t have predicted. Just one nation, alone against the greening tides, was turning back to coal–Japan. Now, half a year later, a newly released report shows that Japanese financial institutions have funneled US$92 billion into coal and nuclear development—a sum bigger than the gross domestic product of Sri Lanka – in the months between January 2013 and July 2018 alone.

Energy Finance in Japan 2018: Funding Climate Change and Nuclear Risk was commissioned by a climate change-focused non-government organization (NGO) called 350.org based in the United States. The study found that the Japanese finance industry gave US$80 billion in loans and underwriting services, the majority (50 percent) of which went straight to coal development, with the other half split between nuclear and other fossil fuel resource companies. The other US$12 billion went to bonds and shares in the same industries.

Among the 151 Japanese financial institutions analyzed in the Energy Finance in Japan 2018study, only 38 of them were not involved with coal or nuclear energy projects. A similar 350.org study from last year shows that Japanese insurance companies represent a large proportion of investors in domestic and international coal industries. Japan’s single biggest investor in coal for the five-year period studied was Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), followed by Nippon Life Insurance (NLI) and Nomura Holdings.

These numbers mark a stunning turnaround for Japan, which at one point was almost entirely dependent on nuclear, a far cleaner, more efficient energy source than coal. So why the about turn? There is actually a very clear source of Japan’s changing energy attitudes: the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

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

Lamentation


An awful lot of sheetrock is going to be permanently ruined over the next few days down along the coast of Dixieland. Following the spectacle of hurricane reportage on TV reveals very little while the event is in progress. The cheapo building materials of the stereotypical strip malls flap around in the gale and the valiant cable news storm-chasers lean into the horizontal deluge in the empty parking lots, but their reportage doesn’t tell much of the real story, which only emerges when the roaring blob of weather moves on and the sun finally comes out.

More than a decade of punishing storms along the US coastline must be wrecking the insurance industry as much as the stuff on the landscape. They’ve been pummeled from another direction for ten years by the supernaturally low interest rates that make it so hard to refurbish their coffers after whole regions like the Houston metro area and the entire island of Puerto Rico get blasted and they have to pay out billions in claims.

This time around, all those vinyl and chip-board McHouses along the Atlantic beaches will not be replaced. But farther inland, far from the roaring surf, along all the overflowing estuaries that drain the coastal plain, the damage will be widespread and epic. It may create a whole new social class of de-housed, displaced Sunbelters who will never again have a decent place of their own to live in. Since many are retirees, the event may even lead to a stealth die-off of people who are just too far along to start over.

The lamentation for the northern part of “flyover” America is an old story now. Nobody is surprised anymore by the desolation of de-industrialized places like Youngstown, Ohio, or Gary, Indiana, where American wealth was once minted the hard way by men toiling around blast furnaces.

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

Reconnecting Agriculture to our Cultural Base: An Interview with Ana Felicien

Reconnecting Agriculture to our Cultural Base: An Interview with Ana Felicien

Campesino holds bean seeds. (Archive)

In the course of Venezuela’s economic crisis, we have seen changes in people’s consumption patterns. People are eating more plantain, cassava and whole-grain corn, among other things, and fewer processed carbohydrates. Do you think this is just a temporary change (a return to the “traditional Venezuela,” which the romantically-minded might delight in because of its picturesque qualities), or is it a real step toward greater food sovereignty? How can we work to assure that these changes in consumption and production patterns become lasting ones and thus steps toward sovereignty and socialism?

The changes in consumption patterns during these difficult times are due, firstly, to the crisis of the whole agroindustrial system, which connects production, processing and highly concentrated, homogeneous and commodified consumption.

In Venezuela’s case, that system is also highly dependent on imports of raw materials and technology, which makes the system highly vulnerable and unable to meet the food needs of the population (as we have seen in recent years).

On the other hand, the new consumption pattern is possible thanks to the availability of food harvested in campesino production systems. With far fewer resources, these systems have proven capable of sustaining production, even in the face of all the problems of infrastructure (for both production and distribution) that peasant agriculture confronts.

These changes occurred as a spontaneous and almost immediate response in the majority of the population.

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

What Solar Minimum Means and 10 Ways You Need To Prepare For It

What Solar Minimum Means and 10 Ways You Need To Prepare For It

 A solar minimum could also cause a cascading power failure if too much drain is placed on the supply. This could cause catastrophic conditions that you don’t want to happen prior to taking the correct measures.
In the article, “Earth’s Big Freeze Looms as Sun Remains Devoid of Sunspots for Most of 2018, the writer addressed an issue that we are perhaps beginning to see the start of right now.

Throughout the United States, you may notice the change in seasons from summer to fall is happening at a much faster rate than normal. The UK Daily Mail published a piece about this and explains how fall is occurring about a month earlier than it normally begins. This is evidenced in the way deciduous tree foliage is changing its leaf colors almost a month ahead of schedule.

In Montana, I have noticed that the flocks of geese have already started their migrations, and this is also about a month earlier than normal. Other things here locally have occurred, such as drops in temperatures, domestic animals (dogs, cats, and horses) have begun to grow in their winter coats, and normal cycles of plants (such as pine pollen) either haven’t happened or are “off”.

Not to steal the thunder from the cited article, but in a nutshell, the decreases in sunspots mean we are approaching a solar minimum: lower heat produced by the sun in a cycle that occurs every 11 years. This is the kind of thing that (when prolonged) heralds a condition called a “mini-ice-age,” such as the one that occurred from 1645 to 1715. This caused changes in the seasons and food shortages.

10 Ways to Prepare for a Solar Minimum

What can you do about it when the sun changes during this cycle? You can do plenty of things. Let’s go over a few of them.

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

Dramatic Footage Of Florence Devastation; 600K Without Power; Fatalities Reported

Shocking footage of devastation has begun rolling in after Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on Friday at approximately 7:30 a.m. as a category 1 storm. Two fatalities have been reported after a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina, killing a mother and an infant, according to Reuters. The child’s father was taken to the hospital.

Another woman died after suffering a small heart attack and paramedics were unable to reach her due to blocked roads, according to authorities.

According to CNN, over 620,000 residents of North and South Carolina are now without power.

  • According to CNN, over 620,000 residents of North and South Carolina are now without power.
    • 557,793 power outages statewide in North Carolina
    • 64,813 power outages statewide in South Carolina
    • 622,606 total customers without power in both states


Rainfall Reports Confirmed by NWS:
18.53 inches Oriental, NC
14.07 inches Surf City, NC
13.81 inches WFO Morehead City, NC
13.07 inches Jacksonville, NC


It’s like a bomb went off” said New Bern resident George Zaytoun. “Everything around us is underwater.

Meanwhile, the Cajun Navy has begun rescuing stranded residents of New Bern, North Carolina. Organizer Clyde Cain told CNN that they have received over 500 calls for assistance.

The weather channel illustrates how bad things could get:


The latest iteration of our IMR group’s work. This is what storm surge looks like. will make landfall in the next 36-48 hours and bring with it, 6-9 feet of potential storm surge. @parkertwc will show you what that looks like. @LocalNow @weatherchannel


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

A Record 7 Named Storms Are Swirling Across The Globe – Has ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ Arrived?

A Record 7 Named Storms Are Swirling Across The Globe – Has ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ Arrived?

Is something extremely unusual happening to our planet?  At this moment, Hurricane Florence is just one of seven named storms that are currently circling the globe.  That matches the all-time record, and it looks like that record will be broken very shortly as a couple more storms continue to develop.  Back in 2004, a Hollywood blockbuster entitled “The Day After Tomorrow” depicted a world in which weather patterns had gone mad.  One of the most impressive scenes showed nearly the entire planet covered by hurricane-type storms all at once.  Of course things are not nearly as bad as in that film, but during this hurricane season we have definitely seen a very unusual number of hurricanes and typhoons develop.  As our planet continues to change, could this become “the new normal”?

As I mentioned above there are currently seven named storms that are active, but an eighth is about to join them, and that would break the all-time record

The Hurricane season is causing devastation from the Pacific to the Atlantic as seven active storms are currently swirling across the globe – with high chances an eighth powerful storm will soon develop to break an all-time record.

And actually there is an additional storm that is also developing in the Pacific which could bring the grand total to nine.

Overall, there have been 9 named storms in the Atlantic and 15 names storms in the Pacific since the official start of the hurricane season.

That is not normal.

In fact, one veteran meteorologist has said that he has “NEVER seen so much activity in the tropics”…

Far from being the biggest threat facing the US coastline this hurricane season, Florence will be followed by several other storms that rapidly strengthening in the Atlantic.

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

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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