A Few Things Ill Considered

This weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H. E. Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup


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Information is not Knowledge…Knowledge is not Wisdom

December 8, 2013


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Here’s a wee chuckle for ye:

After satire, comes extreme sarcasm. then maybe vicious sarcasm. and then…

  • 2013/12/03: Onion: Deformed Freak Born Without Penis

    And for those who enjoy challenging Poe’s Law:

  • 2013/12/04: NewAnthropocene: The coming together of bad ideas

    Still some post-COP19 talk:

    There was a Seoul meeting about the Green Climate Fund:

    While not directly climate, this WTO deal struck at Bali will affect both international trade and diplomacy:

    The Hansen et al. paper on Dangerous Climate Change shivered a few timbers:

    The AGU annual meeting is coming up next week:

    The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission have been meeting in Cairns:

    A couple developments in the ongoing Potash saga:

    • 2013/12/03: CBC: 5 things to know about PotashCorp in Saskatchewan
    • 2013/12/03: CBC: PotashCorp to cut hundreds of jobs
      Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan is cutting its workforce by about 18 per cent, affecting about 1,045 people — with the biggest hits in its home province of Saskatchewan as well as Florida and New Brunswick.
    • 2013/11/28: IndRus: Russia-Belarus potash tussles far from over
      The first round of the big game being waged between Russia and Belarus over potash assets is over. Experts believe that there will more twists in this saga. Uralkali together with Belaruskali can control 40 percent of the world market. Source: Pavel Lisitsyn / RIA Novosti Last week Belarus finally extradited Vladislav Baumgertner to Moscow. The general director of Uralkali, who had become a hostage in the fight for potash assets between Moscow and Minsk, had been under arrest in Belarus since August 26. Baumgertner was detained in Minsk after being invited for talks after Uralkali quit a cartel with Balruskali, its state-owned partner in Belarus. The resulting price fall in potash prices angered Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

    How is the German Energy Transition [Energiewende] doing?

    And on the Bottom Line:

    What are the big banks up to? Besides duplicity:

    So, if we put a price on nature, will it deal with externalities and lead to greater conservation
    or will it lead to greater exploitation or what?

    Delving into thermodynamics this week:

    Here is something for your Crap Detector:

    John Cook and friends continue their point-counterpoint articles:

    TV Meteorologists typically follow the corporate media line…

    A note on theFukushima disaster:

      It is evident that the Fukushima disaster is going to persist for some time. TEPCO says 6 to 9 months. The previous Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, said decades. Now the Japanese government is talking about 30 years. [Whoops, that has now been updated to 40 years.]
      And the IAEA is now saying 40 years too.
      [Now some people are talking about a century or more. Sealing it in concrete for 500 years.]
      We’ll see.
      At any rate this situation is not going to be resolved any time soon and deserves its own section.
      Meanwhile…
      It is very difficult to know for sure what is really going on at Fukushima. Between the company [TEPCO], the Japanese government, the Japanese regulator [NISA], the international monitor [IAEA], as well as independent analysts and commentators, there is a confusing mish-mash of information. One has to evaluate both the content and the source of propagated information.
      How knowledgeable are they [about nuclear power and about Japan]?
      Do they have an agenda?
      Are they pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear?
      Do they want to write a good news story?
      Do they want to write a bad news story?
      Where do they rate on a scale of sensationalism?
      Where do they rate on a scale of play-it-down-ness?
      One fundamental question I would like to see answered:
      If the reactors are in meltdown, how can they be in cold shutdown?

    Not much good news coming out of Fukushima:

    Post Fukushima, nuclear policies are in flux around the world:

    The Arctic melt continues to garner attention:

    That Damoclean sword still hangs overhead:

    As for the geopolitics of Arctic resources:

    While in Antarctica:

    The food crisis is ongoing:

    The state of the world’s fisheries is a concern. See also:

    Regarding the genetic modification of food:

    Regarding labelling GM food:

    • 2013/12/06: EurActiv: Soyfood chief calls for harmonised GM food labels
      The president of the European Natural Soyfood Manufacturers Association (ENSA), Bernard Deryckere, has called on the EU to better direct consumers towards foods that are not genetically-modified, perhaps by introducing GM-free labels across the food industry.
    • 2013/12/03: BBerg: Grocers’ Group Spends Record Lobbying Amid Food-Labeling Fights
      A proposal to require labeling of genetically engineered foods and seeds in Washington state enjoyed broad public support in polls this summer. That was before some of the largest food companies swooped in to spend more so consumers would know less about what they are eating. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, a Washington-based trade group that represents companies such as ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) and Kraft Foods Group Inc. (KRFT), was responsible for $11 million of the $22 million campaign against the initiative, compared with about $9 million by pro-labeling advocates. The GMA’s campaign made the difference. The initiative, which had 66 percent support in a September survey, was defeated by 51 percent to 49 percent.
    • 2013/12/02: RT: Absolute majority of Americans want GMO food to be labeled

    And how are we going to feed 9 billion, 10 billion, 15 billion?

    A relatively quiet week in the hurricane wars, however there are still many Haiyan reports:

    There is a tropical storm heading north in the Bay of Bengal:

  • 2013/12/05: NASA: NASA Eyes Another Developing Depression in Northern Indian Ocean

    A couple of storms have blown up and faded in the Western Pacific:

  • 2013/12/03: NASA: NASA Sees Thirty-third Tropical Depression Form in Northwestern Pacific [33W]

    While elsewhere in the hurricane wars:

  • 2013/12/07: IOTD: A Tale of Two Cyclone Seasons
  • 2013/12/06: NASA: New NASA Animations Show Massive Rainfall Totals from 2013 Philippine Tropical Cyclones
  • 2013/12/05: NASA: NASA Watching a Post-Atlantic Hurricane Season Low
  • 2013/12/04: ERW: Insight: what controls East Pacific hurricane variability year on year?
  • 2013/12/03: MODIS: Tropical Cyclone Lehar (05B) over India [on Nov.28]
  • 2013/12/02: NASA: NASA’s HS3 Hurricane Mission Called it a Wrap for 2013
  • 2013/12/02: CCurrents: When Calamity Strikes, Think Local
    More than a month after Cyclone Phailin battered Orissa, tribes in the eastern Indian coastal state are still feeling its wrath. Besides the damage to their homes and hearths, it has also meant a loss of their traditional food.
  • This week in notable weather:

    Abrupt Climate Change put in an appearance:

    Got any forecasts?

    This week in the New Normal — extreme weather:

    As for GHGs:

    What’s up with volcanoes this week?

    What’s new in the Weather Machine?

    And on the ENSO front:

    As for the temperature record:

    While in the paleoclimate:

    And in historical times:

    How to deal with Risk:

    What’s the State of the Oceans?:

    What’s the State of the Biosphere?

    And on the extinction watch:

    More GW impacts are being seen:

    And then there are the world’s forests:

    Emerging diseases accompany ecological change:

    On the tornado front:

    As for heatwaves and wild fires:

    Corals are dying:

    Acidification is changing the oceans:

    Glaciers are melting:

    Sea levels are rising:

    As for hydrological cycle disruptions [floods & droughts]:

    On the mitigation front, consider transportation & GHG production:

    While in the endless quest for zero energy, sustainable buildings and practical codes:

    Large scale geo-engineering keeps popping up:

    What’s new in conservation?

    While on the adaptation front:

    Meanwhile in the journals:

    And other significant documents:

    As for miscellaneous science:

    In the science organizations:

    What developments in the ongoing struggle for Open Science?

    Meanwhile at the UN:

    And on the carbon trading front:

    The idea of a carbon tax is still bouncing around:

    The Robin Hood tax, aka the Tobin tax, aka the Bank tax, aka the Financial Transaction tax, keeps coming up:

    On the international political front, tensions continue as the empire leans on Iran:

    South [& East] China Sea tension persists:

    Now that the EU-ETS for airlines is in limbo, will it ever be resurrected?

    In the “global competition for natural resources”:

    In the solar squabbles between China and Europe:

    • 2013/12/06: Xinhuanet: Xinhua Insight: End to China’s solar edge in EU as tariff kicks in
    • 2013/12/02: Xinhuanet: EU imposes definitive measures on Chinese solar panels
      The European Union (EU) decided on Monday to impose definitive measures on Chinese solar panels. According to a press release, the Council of the EU backed the European Commission’ s proposals to impose 42.1-percent anti-dumping duty and anti-subsidy measures on imports of solar panels from China. The duties will apply for two years as of Dec. 6. In parallel, the Commission confirmed its decision to accept the undertaking with Chinese solar panel exporters, which means that those Chinese exporters that participate in the undertaking continue to be exempt from paying any anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties. The Commission said such decisions came after a 15-month investigation for the anti-dumping case and 13-month probe for the anti-subsidy case, launched in September 2012 and November 2012 respectively.

    After the Ukrainian kafuffle, the EU suddenly decided the South Stream was verboten:

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership looks like a stealth corporate takeover:

    And in miscellaneous international political jousting:

    Climate Change is a threat multiplier exacerbating existing conflicts in food, energy, water, race, resources, religion, ideology … etc.:

    The issue of the law and activism is playing out around the world:

    What are the activists up to?

    The move to divest from fossil fuel investments is growing slowly:

    Polls! We have polls!

    Regarding Water Politics and Business; See also:

    And on the groundwater front:

    While in the UK:

    And in Europe:

    Meanwhile in Australia:

    Now we get to watch the suppository of wisdom destroy what little Australia has done to fight climate change:

    The Future Grid Forum poses 4 energy scenarios:

    After years of wrangling, the Murray Darling Basin Plan is in place, but the water management fights are far from finished:

    While in China:

    And in Japan:

    In the Middle East:

    While in Africa:

    And South America:

    In Canada, neocon PM Harper, aka The Blight, pushes petroleum while ignoring the climate and ecology:

    In the shadow of the Lac Mégantic tragedy, a fight over rail regulations looms:

    The NB fracking protests at Elsipogtog aren’t ending:

    I’m not sure what to make of this. This week is the deadline and he orders a new report???
    I’m inclined to think it is PR BS. At any rate, the Canadian submission to the UN will be public next week:

    • 2013/12/06: G&M: Ottawa seeking new evidence to bolster North Pole seabed claim
      The Canadian government plans to announce next week that it will be launching evidence-gathering efforts to determine whether it can lay claim to the geographic North Pole.
    • 2013/12/06: CBC: Arctic resources claim deadline today for Canada
      Dec. 6 marks 10 years since Ottawa signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
      Today is the deadline for Canada to file scientific evidence to justify its claim to Arctic resources beyond its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. The federal government is being cagey about the submission that it is supposed to file within 10 years of signing the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, an international treaty setting out maritime rules. “It’s being a really closely held secret. The big thing that everyone is wondering about is how far up the Lomonosov Ridge we’re [Canada] actually going to go,” says University of Calgary professor and Arctic expert Rob Huebert. The Lomonosov Ridge is an undersea mountain range that runs between Ellesmere Island, Canada’s most northern land mass, and the east Siberian coast in Russia.
    • 2013/12/05: G&M: Turf war with Russia looms over Ottawa’s claim to Arctic seabed
      The stage is set for a territorial dispute with Russia after the Harper government ordered a rewrite of Canada’s international claim for Arctic seabed rights to include the North Pole – a region that Moscow has already marked as its own. The Globe and Mail reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked government bureaucrats to craft a more expansive international claim for ocean-floor riches in the Arctic after the proposed submission they showed him failed to include the geographic North Pole. This means Canada and Russia will have overlapping claims, a situation that will likely require negotiations between Ottawa and Moscow. The Canadian government also expects Denmark to claim the Pole.
    • 2013/12/04: G&M: Harper orders new draft of Arctic seabed claim to include North Pole
      Stephen Harper has ordered government bureaucrats back to the drawing board to craft a more expansive international claim for seabed riches in the Arctic after the proposed submission they showed him failed to include the geographic North Pole, The Globe and Mail has learned. The Arctic is believed to contain as much as one-quarter of the world’s undiscovered energy resources, and countries are tabling scientific evidence with a United Nations commission to win rights to polar sea-floor assets. Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, a country can secure control of ocean floor beyond the internationally recognized 200 nautical mile limit if it can demonstrate the seabed is an extension of its continental shelf.
    • 2013/12/01: CBC: Canada to file Arctic seafloor claim this week
      Some time this week, Canada is expected to make its case to the world to dramatically expand its boundaries by an area equivalent to the size of all three Prairie provinces. Canada’s deadline is Friday to apply to a United Nations commission for exclusive rights to what is likely to be another 1.7 million square kilometres of Arctic seafloor. The application under the Convention on the Law of the Sea will be the culmination of a decade of work and more than $200 million in public money.

    The West-East pipeline is suddenly a focus of much dispute:

    • 2013/12/02: PostMedia: Coderre supports Enbridge, but not at any cost
      Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre told a Quebec National Committee evaluating the proposed Enbridge 9B pipeline reversal to bring heavy Western crude oil to the city that his administration and the Communauté métropolitiane de Montréal, grouping 82 municipalities in the greater Montreal region, favour the reversal. “But we don’t want to sign a blank cheque,” Coderre said. The city and the region have concerns about the safety of people, protection of the environment and want to ensure the project offers benefits for all Quebecers, he said.

    The battle over the Northern Gateway pipeline rages on:

    Mulcair and May came out with energy policy proposals this week:

    The State of Canada’s Forests. Annual Report 2013 came out this week:

    The ISA/PRV/IHN/Alpha virus in Canadian waters is potentially disastrous:

    Meanwhile in BC:

    And in that Mechanical Mordor known as the tar sands:

    Also in Alberta:

    Meanwhile in Saskatchewan:

    In Ontario, Wynne is struggling to establish herself. Energy still looms large:

    As for miscellaneous Canadiana:

    And on the American political front:

    The BP disaster continues to twist US politics. See also:

    The Keystone XL wheel grinds slowly. And it grinds woe:

    The GOP War on Women continues. See also:

    A final step in the Monnett saga?

    Oh Look! Another front group:

    At what point do you stop listening to the pretty lies and realize you’ve been had?

    The actions of the Obama administration are being watched closely:

    As for what is going on in Congress:

    What are the lobbyists pushing?

    The movement toward a long term ecologically viable economics is glacial:

    What do we tell the children?

    • 2013/12/06: CNN: What we owe our kids on climate by James Hansen
      James Hansen: We know what to do to prevent climate catastrophe – Ending emissions from coal and stopping development of tar sands are key, he says – It’s time to establish a fee for companies that emit carbon, Hansen says – Hansen: It would be unjust to bequeath to our descendants a desolate planet

    IPAT [Impact = Population * Affluence * Technology] raised its head once again:

    Apocalypso anyone?

    Okay hot shot, how are we gonna fix this?

    How do the corporate media measure up?

    While activists search for effective communication techniques:

  • 2013/12/02: Eureka: To boost concern for the environment, emphasize a long future, not impending doom

    Here is something for your library:

    And for your film & video enjoyment:

    Meanwhile among the ‘Sue the Bastards!’ contingent:

    It looks like this BP trial over the Gulf oil spill is going to take a long while:

    • 2013/12/04: BBerg: BP, Anadarko Ask Appeals Court to Reverse Spill Decision
      Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and BP Plc asked an appeals court to toss out a judge’s finding they were both liable under the U.S. Clean Water Act for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier found BP and Anadarko, partners in the doomed Macondo project, are automatically responsible under the law for polluting the water because they owned the well. The 2012 ruling allowed the federal government to seek fines of as much as $1,100 per barrel of oil spilled — multiplied by as much as 4.2 million — without having to prove the issue of liability at trial. Both companies contend in filings with the U.S. Appeals Court in New Orleans that Barbier improperly decided the matter before trial. Anadarko also says the government is trying to shift the burden to the owners of the spilled oil rather than who’s responsible for the discharge.
    • 2013/12/03 BBC: BP gets UK government support over US contracts ban
      The UK government has intervened in support of BP over a US ban on the oil major seeking federal contracts. In a court filing lodged as part of BP’s appeal against the ban, the document says the move could be “excessive” and “destabilising”. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) barred BP from new contracts last year, after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster in which 11 workers died.
    • 2013/12/03: BBC: BP wins reprieve over Gulf of Mexico oil spill payouts
      Oil giant BP’s attempts to limit claims over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill have been given a boost after a US appeals court ruled in its favour. The court voted for an injunction to suspend any further payments to firms that had not suffered losses as a result of the disaster.

    Developing a new energy infrastructure is a fundamental challenge of the current generation:

    What do you have in energy comparisons and transitions?

    Hey! Let’s contaminate the aquifers for thousands of years! It’ll be a fracking gas!

    On the coal front:

    On the gas and oil front:

    And in pipeline news:

    Ships and boats and trains — How to tranport the stuff?

    A rush of American triumphalism pervades the energy independence PR campaign. Think it will last?

    Yes we have a peak oil sighting:

    Biofuel bickering abounds:

    The answer my friend…

    Meanwhile among the solar aficionados:

    The nuclear energy controversy continues:

    Nuclear waste storage requires _very_ long term thinking:

    • 2013/12/04: UCSUSA:B: Reducing Public Risks from Nuclear Reactor Waste
    • 2013/11/29: LA Times: Doubts grow about plan to dispose of Hanford’s radioactive waste
      Experts raise concerns about the complex technology intended to turn 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge at the former Hanford nuclear facility into glass and prepare it for safe burial. On a wind-swept plateau, underground steel tanks that hold the nation’s most deadly radioactive waste are slowly rotting. The soil deep under the desert brush is being fouled with plutonium, cesium and other material so toxic that it could deliver a lethal dose of radiation to a nearby person in minutes. The aging tanks at the former Hanford nuclear weapons complex contain 56 million gallons of sludge, the byproduct of several decades of nuclear weapons production, and they represent one of the nation’s most treacherous environmental threats.

    Feed-In-Tariffs (Net Metering & Time-of-Use Tariffs) are being variously implemented around the world:

    And then there is the matter of efficiency & conservation:

    Automakers & lawyers, engineers & activists argue over the future of the car:

    As for Energy Storage:

    The reaction of business to climate change will be critical:

    Insurance and re-insurance companies are feeling the heat:

    Who’s fielding theFAQs?

    What do we have in (weekly) lists?

    The carbon lobby are up to the usual:

    This week in intimidation:

  • 2013/12/05: SMandia: Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: Protecting the Scientific Endeavor
  • 2013/12/05: TFTJO: Climate: another harassed scientist fights back

    Meanwhile in the ‘clean coal’ saga:

  • 2013/12/04: TP:JR: Coal Ash Is Killing 900,000 Fish Each Year In A North Carolina Lake, Study Finds
  • 2013/12/03: DeSmogBlog: Toxic Coal Ash Disposal Proves Costly and Hazardous, Duke Energy’s Sutton Lake Contamination Questioned

    As for climate miscellanea:

    And here are a couple of sites you may find interesting and/or useful:


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