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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Sipping from the Internet Firehose…

June 29, 2014


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No matter how dark things may seem, there are always bad jokes:

This week in snark:

  • 2014/06/27: Wonkette: Red Cross Can’t Tell You How They Spend Your Money Because Then They’d Have To Kill You
  • 2014/06/26: Wonkette: Supreme Court Upholds Sacred Right To Scream ‘Baby Murderer!’ In Women’s Faces
  • 2014/06/24: TPride: Osborne to announce possible ‘HS3′ link between his arse and his elbow
  • 2014/06/23: Wonkette: Twitchy Asks The Tough Questions: What Kind Of Idiot Would Want To Save Bees?

    The first United Nations Environment Assembly happened this week:

    A bunch of billionaires came out with the Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States this week:

    An IUCN report confirms neonicotinoids are behind the honeybee decline:

    How is the German Energy Transition [Energiewende] doing?

    And on the Bottom Line:

    Who’s getting the subsidies, tax exemptions, , tax credits, loan guarantees & grants?

    What’s the World Bank up to?

    Delving into the laws of thermodynamics this week:

    John Cook and friends continue their point-counterpoint articles:

    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:

    • 2014/06/26: CBC: Ottawa greenlights Arctic offshore seismic tests over Inuit objections
      Qikiqtani Inuit Association says it may consider legal action. Ottawa has approved energy exploration in offshore Arctic waters over the objections of Inuit communities and organizations. In a letter to the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt says he sees no reason to deny proposed seismic tests off the coast of Baffin Island later this summer.

    While in Antarctica:

    • 2014/06/25: CSM: Satellite images of penguin droppings reveal something pretty interesting
      In the face of rising temperatures, emperor penguins in Antarctica may be forced to find new breeding grounds instead of returning to the same spot to mate year after year, new research finds. Scientists are tracking this climate-driven march by studying the penguins’ poop stains; in satellite images, the birds’ dark droppings against a gleaming white backdrop of ice reveal their every move. Emperor penguins are a philopatric species, meaning they return to the same spot each year to breed. When confronted with rising temperatures and receding ice sheets, however, the penguins may forgo their philopatric nature.

    The food crisis is ongoing:

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

    Food Prices are still problematic:

    So, are these land grabs Colonialism V2.0?

    Regarding the genetic modification of food:

    Regarding labelling GM food:

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

    It has been a blessedly quiet week. Unnamed storms lurk in the Eastern Pacific and in the Atlantic, just off Florida:

    While elsewhere in the hurricane wars:

  • 2014/06/27: RT: Red Cross says how it used Hurricane Sandy funds is ‘trade secret’
    American Red Cross has been reluctant to make public details over how it raised and spent over $300 million in Hurricane Sandy relief funds. The charity’s lawyers say the disclosure would inflict “competitive harm” on the group.
  • 2014/06/25: MODIS: Hurricane Cristina (03E) off Mexico [on June 12]
  • 2014/06/24: MODIS: Tropical Cyclone Nanauk (02B) in the Arabian Sea [on June 12]

    As for the Monsoon:

    This week in notable weather:

    Got any forecasts?

    Polar Vortex? Rossby Waves? Blocking Patterns? Arctic Oscillation?
    What is the Arctic melt doing to our weather?

    As for GHGs:

    And in the carbon cycle:

    Aerosols are making their presence felt:

    And on the ENSO front:

    How is the temperature record?

    Meanwhile in near earth orbit:

    While in the paleoclimate:

    What’s the State of the Oceans?

    What’s the State of the Biosphere?

    And on the extinction watch:

    The bees and Colony Collapse Disorder are a constant concern. And then, there are the Neonicotinoids:

    How are the Insect Orders doing?

    Oh look! The Anthropocene came up again:

    More GW impacts are being seen:

    And then there are the world’s forests:

    Desertification looms as a global threat:

    Aerosols affect the climate, but they also affect people’s health:

    Changes in natural cycles are showing up:

    On the tornado front:

    As for heatwaves and wild fires:

    Corals are a bellwether of the ocean’s health:

    Glaciers are melting:

    These extreme rainfall events are becoming all too frequent:

    As for hydrological cycle disruptions [floods & droughts]:

    First, stop putting GHGs into the atmosphere,
    Second, begin to reduce current levels of GHGs,
    Third, save as many species as possible,
    Fourth, begin to reduce the human population,
    And elsewhere on the mitigation front:

    Can cities take up the slack when nations shirk their responsibilities?

    Consider transportation & GHG production:

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

    As for carbon sequestration:

    Large scale geo-engineering keeps popping up:

    What’s new in conservation?

    • 2014/06/29: ABC(Au): Calls to protect declining eastern quoll populations
      There are fears the eastern quoll could follow the severe population decline of the Tasmanian devil, prompting calls for insurance populations to be established. The carnivorous marsupial was once abundant across Australia but is now only found in parts of Tasmania. In recent years numbers have declined dramatically with no sign of recovery.
    • 2014/06/26: BBC: ‘Immediate protection’ needed for Pitcairn’s marine bounty
      Researchers say that “immediate protection” is required for the waters around the remote Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific, home to one of the world’s rarest and most valuable collections of marine species. The waters have “unique global value that is irreplaceable” says the report, from an international team of scientists.

    While on the adaptation front:

    Meanwhile in the journals:

    And other significant documents:

    As for miscellaneous science:

    More DIY science:

    Regarding Schmidt:

    Meanwhile on the Kyoto front:

    Meanwhile at the UN:

    The idea of a carbon tax is still bouncing around:

    The debate over the optimal carbon reduction strategy resurrected:

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

    South [& East] China Sea tension persists, as the empire leans on China:

    Tensions continue as the empire leans on Syria, Ukraine, Russia…:

    Further in the geopolitical shift:

    These ‘free trade’ treaties should be called the corporate control treaties:

    As for miscellaneous international political happenings:

    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:

    While in the UK:

    And in Europe:

    And in the Indian subcontinent:

    While in China:

    And elsewhere in Asia:

    And South America:

    Meanwhile in Australia:

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

    The fight over coal seam gas continues:

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

    The Federal and now the State Liberals are bent on trashing the hard won Tasmanian forest deal:

    The Warburton review of the Renewable Energy Target is designed to kill it:

    So far all we’ve seen from Palmer is talk. Let’s see what he does:

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

    Resonances of the Lac Mégantic tragedy linger:

    • 2014/06/27: CBC: Lawyer for Thomas Harding, Lac-Mégantic train engineer, outraged
      Defence lawyer is concerned court documents made public may affect Thomas Harding’s right to a fair trial The lawyer representing Thomas Harding, the engineer on the train in the Lac-Mégantic disaster, is outraged after information that could incriminate his client was made public by the courts. Harding faces 47 charges of criminal negligence — one charge for each person that was killed in the derailment explosion last July.

    An unhappy comparison:

    A major ruling from the Supreme Court regarding aboriginal title and the application of provincial laws to those lands:

    What’s happening in the Opposition parties?

    The grain backlog persists:

    Another dribble of ELA news:

    A Natural Resources Canada report quietly released this week puts the government’s inaction in stark relief:

    The battle over the Northern Gateway pipeline rages on:

    What’s the state of the West Coast salmon fishery?

    Meanwhile in BC:

    Meanwhile in that Mechanical Mordor known as the tar sands:

    Also in Alberta:

    While in Saskatchewan:

    In Ontario, Wynne has her mandate. Now what will she do…?

    While in la Belle Province:

    In the Maritimes:

    • 2014/06/26: CBC: Muskrat Falls costs rise to almost $7B
      The expected cost of Nalcor’s share of the Muskrat Falls project has jumped to nearly $7 billion — up from the 2012 estimate of $6.2 billion. Nalcor Energy CEO Ed Martin spoke with reporters Thursday, saying construction on the hydroelectric mega-project is going as expected, with first power still set for late 2017.

    As for miscellaneous Canadiana:

    And on the American political front:

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

    Leaks and spills:

    In North Carolina, Duke Energy spilled coal ash slurry into the Dan River:

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

    Noble Energy Inc. spilled 7,500 gallons of crude oil into the Cache La Poudre in Colorado:

    An Energy Transfer gas pipeline in Kansas spewed oily residue in Olpe:

    • 2014/06/24: CSM: Kansas [Energy Transfer] pipeline eruption leaves worrisome oily residue across Olpe
      Kansas health officials on Monday were at the site of natural gas pipeline eruption in eastern Kansas, where crops and trees have withered since a dark, oily plume burst from the line while crews were trying to perform maintenance. Shrubs, crops, trees, and houses near Olpe were covered in an oily mist that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment told The Associated Press was natural gas condensate, a mix of natural gas and hydrocarbons. Since then, leaves on trees have begun to wither and soybeans have died. An unpleasant smell lingered Monday. The accident happened Thursday along a Panhandle Eastern pipeline.

    The GOP War on Women continues:

    That essay by Paulson drew some notice:

    Looking ahead to the 2016 election:

    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 comes after Capitalism?

    And in the Transition movement:

  • 2014/06/27: Resilience: Our 10 Tips for Reinvigorating Local Democracy – in one place

    Apocalypso anyone?

    Please adjust your rose coloured glasses as necessary:

    How do the corporate media measure up?

    While activists search for effective communication techniques:

  • 2014/06/25: ATTPh: Communicating climate science

    Here is something for your library:

    And for your film & video enjoyment:

    Meanwhile among the ‘Sue the Bastards!’ contingent:

    It looks like these BP trials over the Gulf oil spill are going to take a long while:

    Not quite a bet, but of the same spirit:

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

    Scam alert:

  • 2014/06/24: SlashDot: $500k “Energy-Harvesting” Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

    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 gas and oil front:

    Regarding oil and the economy:

    And in pipeline news:

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

    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:

    Like a mirage, the dream of a Hydrogen Economy shimmers on the horizon:

    More people are talking about the electrical grid:

    How are the utilities adjusting (or not)?

    And then there is the matter of efficiency & conservation:

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

    As for Energy Storage:

    Insurance and re-insurance companies are feeling the heat:

    What do we have in (weekly) lists?

    The carbon lobby are up to the usual:

    Meanwhile in the greenwashing chronicles:

    As for climate miscellanea:

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


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