Another Week in the Ecological Crisis, September 15, 2013

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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.  I am late because I am traveling.  Normality should resume before next Monday's posting...

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Sipping from the Internet Firehose...

September 15, 2013


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

Looking ahead to COP19 and future international climate negotiations:

Whoops my mistake. Apparently there was something climate related done at the St. Petersburg G20. Or is it PR BS?

There's a new XPrize. This time to better measure ocean acidification:

The Carbon Disclosure Project came out with a new report this week:

How is Germany's energy transition doing, really?

This week in the Potash saga:

And on the Bottom Line:

What are the big banks up to?

    • 2013/09/10: Guardian(UK): EBRD lags behind rivals on trading dirty coal for clean energy
      The European development bank's focus on fossil fuels has had a negative impact on communities. It's time to change direction
      Earlier this year, Barack Obama pledged that the US would no longer finance overseas coal plants through the US Export-Import Bank. This created a domino effect: the World Bank announced it would drop virtually all support for coal projects, then the house bank of the EU, the European Investment Bank (EIB), followed-suit.
      In a year when three of the most important international financial institutions -- the World Bank, the EIB, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) -- are reviewing their energy-lending strategies, political pressure to stop financing dirty coal plants is stronger than ever.

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.
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:

  • 2013/09/14: RT: Russian military resumes permanent Arctic presence
    The Russian Navy's long-distance cruise in the Subarctic along the Northern Sea Route has become a flagship mission in the region abandoned by the military after the fall of the USSR. Now the once deactivated infrastructure will resume operation.
    On Saturday, Russia's Defense Ministry officially announced return of Russia's military to the Subarctic region. The statement was made to mark the arrival of a task group of 10 warships and support vessels to the western coast of Kotelny Island in the Novosibirsk (New Siberian Islands) Archipelago.
  • 2013/09/12: IndiaTimes: 1st Chinese ship [Yong Sheng] crosses Arctic Ocean
    Beijing: A Chinese cargo ship crossed the Arctic Ocean for the first time reaching Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Tuesday.
    The voyage is regarded by some shipping experts as an audacious feat and has opened up a new sea route for China. The new route opened up after global warming made it possible to travel over parts of the usually frozen Arctic Ocean.
  • 2013/09/12: GreenPeace: (Ice) breaking news: last week an oil tanker hit an ice floe in the Russian Arctic
  • 2013/09/11: BBerg: Polar Sea Lane Finds Favor as Suez Security Doubts Grow
    Polar shipping lanes that are opening up with the retreat of ice in the Arctic Ocean are attracting more traffic as instability in the Middle East raises concerns about the security of the Suez Canal.
    A China Ocean Shipping Group Co. vessel docked in Rotterdam on Sept. 10 after sailing from Taicang City, near Shanghai, via the Arctic, two weeks after another Cosco craft came under fire in the canal. Taking a polar route cut the journey by nine days.
    China is exploring its options as turmoil in Egypt and Syria combines with pirate attacks off Somalia and in the Malacca Strait, calling into question the security of a Suez route used by 18,000 ships each year. Voyages via Russian or Canadian waters or even across the pole are becoming viable as the seasonal melting of Arctic ice becomes more pronounced.
  • 2013/09/10: TheConversation: The shipping news: the north's new frontier is a complex place
  • 2013/09/09: BarentsObserver: Tanker accident on Northern Sea Route
    A tanker loaded with diesel fuel was holed by an ice floe on the Northern Sea Route and suffered ingress of water. There are no reports on any oil leakage and the tanker is now slowly sailing towards Murmansk.
    The 138 meter long, 6403 dwt tanker "Nordvik" was struck by ice while sailing in the Matisen Strait to the north of the Taimyr Peninsula on September 4. The vessel, which was loaded with diesel fuel, struck an ice floe and started taking in water. "Nordvik" was built in Bulgaria in 1985.
    The vessel is sailing towards Murmansk at 4 knots. There is no information on any oil leaks or other damages to the environment.
  • 2013/09/09: DD: Drilling in wild Arctic seas threatens cultural traditions and marine life

While in Antarctica:

The food crisis is ongoing:

The conflict between biofuel and food persists:

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?

In the Western Pacific, Tropical Storm Man-yi is heading for Japan:

In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Gabrielle stayed off the coast, brushed Nova Scotia and hit Newfoundland:




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Very informative, thanks for sharing

By Faisal Saya (not verified) on 19 Sep 2013 #permalink