The November issue of National Geographic magazine is totally devoted to Climate Change. Please read the whole thing, but here is as small taste.

How Do We Fix It?

Germany Could Be a Model for How We’ll Get Power in the Future

The European nation’s energy revolution has made it a leader in replacing nukes and fossil fuels with wind and solar technology.

By Robert Kunzig
Photographs by Luca Locatelli
Published October 15, 2015

Hamburg knew the bombs were coming, and so the prisoners of war and forced laborers had just half a year to build the giant flak bunker. By July 1943 it was finished. A windowless cube of reinforced concrete, with seven-foot-thick walls and an even thicker roof, it towered like a medieval castle above a park near the Elbe River. The guns protruding from its four turrets would sweep Allied bombers from the sky, the Nazis promised, while tens of thousands of citizens sheltered safely behind its impenetrable walls.

Coming in at night from the North Sea just weeks after the bunker was finished, British bombers steered for the spire of St. Nikolai in the center of the city. They dropped clouds of metallic foil strips to throw off German radar and flak gunners. Targeting crowded residential neighborhoods, the bombers ignited an unquenchable firestorm that destroyed half of Hamburg and killed more than 34,000 people. Towering walls of fire created winds so strong that people were blown into the flames. Church bells clanged furiously.

The spire of St. Nikolai, which somehow survived, stands today as a mahnmal—a memorial reminding Germany of the hell brought by the Nazis. The flak bunker is another mahnmal. But now it has a new meaning: An urban development agency (IBA Hamburg) and the municipal utility (Hamburg Energie) have transformed it from a powerful reminder of Germany’s shameful past into a hopeful vision for the future.


Go there and read 1000 pages. More next week.


Of course everyone knows i am a headline whore. Yes I am said about the attack on Paris that killed 129 peole and alot of other things happen in Paris. But still humor is something terrorists don’t get so i feel like I am doing my part. And Yes this conference is really important. This is a very pessimistic piece and I do not share its sentiment.

Paris: The End of the Beginning

Will Paris be a success or a failure? It will be both. The real question is whether it opens the way to a new future of justice and ambition.

This essay was first published in the Earth Island Journal

As I write this, the United Nations climate conference is only weeks away. And now, of course, it will take place in an atmosphere of mourning, and crisis, and war. Beyond this change of tone, what difference will the November 13 attacks make on the outcome of the negotiations? It is impossible to say, though it’s not too much to hope for heightened clarity, and seriousness, and resolve. This is a time to attend to the future – on this, at least, we should be able to agree.

The essay below was finished before the attacks. I’ve changed only these opening words, which already said that the stakes were high. This has not changed. Nor has my overall claim, that while the negotiations are not going well, they’re not going badly either, and that in any case they must be judged in realist terms.


There’s a way forward for the negotiations, though you wouldn’t know it from some of the commentary, which can be amazingly glib. My favorite example, a perfect snapshot of post-Copenhagen, pre-Paris despair, is food guru turned climate expert Mark Bittman, writing in The New York Times last year: “The U.N. Summit will be a clubby gathering of world leaders and their representatives who will try to figure out ways to reward polluters for pretending to fix a problem for which they’re responsible in the first place; a fiasco. That’s not hyperbole, either. The summit is a little like a professional wrestling match: There appears to be action but it’s fake, and the winner is predetermined. The loser will be anyone who expects serious government movement dictating industry reductions in emissions.”

In fairness, Bittman was writing about COP 20 in Lima, which took place a long year ago. But it was clear even before Lima that this sort of cynicism was counterproductive. The old stories of developed vs. developing, polluters vs. people, duplicitous vs. heroic — true though they were, were simply not true enough. By Lima, the US and China were working together to strike a deal that would hold on both sides of the North-South divide. By Lima, the “climate equity” debate within the halls was making as much progress as the “climate justice” debate in the streets; which is to say, quite a lot, but not nearly enough. In any case, Lima was anything but a futile exercise. It was a breakthrough meeting in several ways, not least because the 134 country G-77+China bloc of developing countries finally begin to negotiate well, and in so doing set up a possible breakthrough at COP21, the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris.


Go there and read and read and read. More next week.


Cooking food. In the US that would not be considered either energy efficiency or even news. Yet for humans, cooking is totally necessary. In poor countries, it is a huge issue. This is good news.

India sees clean cooking as climate action that saves lives

Associated Press

GANORA SHEIKH VILLAGE, India (AP) — Kamlesh feeds the flames of a crude clay cookstove with kindling, kerosene and sunbaked discs of cow dung. She breathes in the billowing smoke, as she does for hours every day. Her eyes water and sting. Her throat feels scratchy and sore.

Kamlesh is one of hundreds of millions of Indian housewives who, with the simple act of cooking family meals, fill their homes every day with deadly airborne pollutants. The constant exposure to indoor air pollution kills some 4.3 million people every year across the world — 30 percent of them in India.

The menace of cookstove pollution, which contains high concentrations of tiny particles known as black carbon, does not stop in the home. It compounds many environmental problems as well, from glacial melt to falling crop yields.

India, the world’s third-largest climate polluting nation, has spent decades encouraging cleaner cooking technologies, with limited success. Such a shift would have little impact on India’s emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases, and many of the alternatives pollute as well.


Go there and read. It’s fascinating. More next week.


Well, the disaster is still around but Tepco is jumping back into the bond market. Oh, and thanks to the Japanese Government for selling off assets.

Tepco Mulls First Public Bond Sale in Japan Since Fukushima

October 18, 2015 — 10:08 PM CDT
Updated on October 18, 2015 — 11:14 PM CDT

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is considering returning to Japan’s bond market next September in the first public offering since the disaster at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power facility in 2011.

Tepco, as the utility is known, plans to raise a total of 330 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in the fiscal year starting April 2016, the Nikkei newspaper reported Monday. The company has hired five sales managers including SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., according to the report. Tepco spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said the utility is considering bond sales from September but couldn’t confirm other details when reached by phone.

A public debt offering would be Tepco’s first in six years after it halted bond sales following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima site. The disaster put Tepco on the verge of default, with the head of Japan’s biggest stock market saying in 2011 that the company should file for bankruptcy protection. Tepco was saved by a 1 trillion yen infusion from the government the following year, the nation’s largest bailout since the 1990s.


Go there and read a little teeny bit. More next week.



To answer my own question, because radiation works better then man made fences, at keeping people out. Thus keeping the animals safe. Though I have seen articles about people who do go into the exclusion zone, none of them seem to be hunters.

Chernobyl: Can Wildlife Return After the Blast?

Thirty years after the Chernobyl disaster, the area is surprisingly full of life. Wild boar, moose, wolves, and other wildlife are thriving in the 30km Exclusion Zone surrounding the destroyed reactor. A thick forest has swallowed the site and, with the exception of monitored visits, it is entirely off-limits to humans. It seems incredible that any life can persist in such a heavily-damaged area, but ecological recovery of this kind has occurred before.

From the 1970s until the mid 1990s, the French military conducted a series of underground nuclear explosions at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific. The blasts created massive pressure waves that instantly wiped out every fish in the surrounding area. Incredibly, fish populations rebounded to previous levels within five years. Even though the explosions destroyed the fish population, their habitats remained largely intact and ready for recolonization. The Mururoa experience suggests that under such circumstances, populations can rebound rapidly.

The situation in Chernobyl was similar in that the habitat remained roughly intact and the area had previously supported wildlife. But a big difference between the two is radiation: unlike at Muruoa, the radioactive fallout at Chernobyl was extreme. The latter’s forests are saturated with radiation and if they ever burn, this poison will spread throughout Central Europe. The water and soil are hopelessly contaminated and will remain so for thousands of years.

For years, it was believed that radiation would deter wildlife recolonization, or kill any wildlife that did return to the area. But by the early 1990s, researchers were astounded by the abundance and diversity of wildlife in the exclusion zone, including endangered species like the black stork. It was determined that though explosions and heavy fallout immediately following the accident wiped out resident wildlife, these species soon returned


Go there and read. More next week.


I am not kidding. Can you imagine the impact that a couple of thousand of these power plants could have. Not only that but the highest tidal differences are in the places where the impact of global warming will be the greatest.

Poetry in Motion: Power Plant Will Use Ocean Tides to Power 155K Homes

by Terry Turner

This planned power plant in Wales may look like the Guggenheim Museum but its benefits far outweigh the beauty: it will use the rise and fall of ocean tides to generate enough renewable electricity to power 155,000 homes for 120 years.

When completed, the structure will produce electricity enough to displace more than a quarter million barrels of oil each year— while leaving virtually no carbon footprint.

Power plants have been generating electricity using the tides since 1966, but the Swansea project is the first to employ a radically new method of harnessing the natural forces. The secret lies in its nearly six-mile-long barrier wall that will enclose a huge amount of water in an artificial “tidal lagoon”.

The lagoon captures and holds seawater at high tide. As the tide goes out, water in the 4.5 square mile lagoon will be as much as 27 feet higher than the water outside its walls. This tremendous pressure will be routed through 26 turbines, rushing out to sea until the water level equalizes on both sides of the lagoon. At high tide, the flow is reversed, keeping the sea out of the lagoon until it reaches maximum height, then letting the water rush through the turbines again until it fills up the lagoon.


Go there and read. More next week barely.


This is a really hopeful story.

An African Region Beats Back the Desert, Thanks to Trees

The Sahel region in Northern Africa is sandwiched between the Sahara desert in the north and the savanna in the south, stretching across nearly a dozen countries. It is a hot, dry region where it’s hard to grow most crops, so locals depend on subsistence livestock herds, mostly cattle, sheep, and goats.

Overgrazing has long been blamed for creeping desertification of the Sahel, especially in the wake of devastating droughts in the 1970s and ’80s.

Now, research from South Dakota State University blows both claims out of the water, showing that 84 percent of the watersheds in the Sahel have recovered.

“In the past people have had a negative perception of the Sahel, that the pastoralists are misusing and overgrazing the land, but these findings prove that’s not true,” said Niall Hanan, a savanna ecologist with SDSU who has focused on Africa for the past 25 years.


Go there and read. More next week.


CWLP had been on the path towards renewable energy and maybe erecting a wind turbine or a solar panel field. This is sad, because many of us for years have tried to get Springfield off its addiction to coal. But as Clark Bullard says this seems to be ending.


Clark Bullard: Unclear if CWLP’s proposed rate changes are fair


  • City Water, Light and Power's Dallman power station is pictured in this 2012 photograph.Clark Bullard

    • Posted Oct. 5, 2015 at 10:03 PM

      When a monopolist offers you a price adjustment, it is wise to ask who wins and who loses.

      Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power is asking aldermen to restructure electric rates by increasing the meter charge while reducing the energy charge. The stated goal is to stabilize annual revenue.

      It is not labeled a rate hike, but CWLP admits small users will get bigger bills, while large users will get smaller bills. The proposal would penalize customers who counted on fast payback of the premium they paid for energy-efficient appliances, light bulbs, air conditioners or solar panels. It would reward large users who waste energy.

      To ease the pain and spread the joy, the utility proposes a four-year phase-in process.

      Extreme weather events are causing larger year-to-year revenue fluctuations for utilities everywhere. It is not surprising to see them trying to control their revenue stream by reducing customers’ ability to control their monthly bills.




    Go there and read more. More next week.


    In the new spirit of this BLOG I am only going to post articles that get my heart pumping and my blood flowing. Without further adieu I present SciencePlus.

    What’s New for Renewable Energy

    Energy drives social and economic development. In the past, the discovery of oil triggered an unprecedented industrial revolution that had significant impacts on our quality of life. A single litre of oil provides as many calories as two to twenty weeks of human labour, enough energy to fuel our growing industries, heat our homes, and get us from point A to point B quickly.

    However, with an alarming scarcity of fossil fuels and growing energy demands on the horizon, especially for emerging economies, the search for sustainable means of production is not only imperative for the preservation of the environment—it is also becoming highly lucrative. That is why renewable energy is receiving more and more attention from governments and businesses. There is talk of a new industrial revolution, one that is all about green energy.

    Since the Kyoto Protocol, most countries have increased the proportion of their budget invested in energy with the potential for long-term sustainability. We can already see results; even in 2006, 18.6% of the world’s electricity came from renewable resources. Of that percentage, hydraulic energy (hydroelectric dams, underwater turbines, tidal power plants, etc.) constituted 89%, biomass constituted 5.7%, and wind power, geothermal energy, and solar power constituted 3.5%, 1.7%, and 0.2%, respectively.


    This is a huge site. Go there and read. More next week.


    A self revelation here. I started this because I was bored. Well, I am ending it because I am bored. From here on I am going to blog about what is topical and interesting TO ME. I have done this blog for 8 years and I deserve this freedom. But first, Wisconsin.


    The Wisconsin Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources provides services to Wisconsin qualified residential households with energy assistance and weatherization needs.  For more information call 1- 866-HEATWIS (432-8947).

    The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) administers the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Public Benefits Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP and its related services help approximately 230,000 Wisconsin households annually. In addition to regular heating and electric assistance, specialized services include:

    • Emergency fuel assistance,
    • Counseling for energy conservation and energy budgets,
    • Pro-active co payment plans,
    • Targeted outreach services,
    • Emergency furnace repair and replacement.

    Services are provided locally through:

    • County social services offices,
    • Tribal governments,
    • Private non-profit or other government agencies.

    For more information on WHEAP, call 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947).

    To log in to the WHEAP System click here

    To log in to the Home Energy Plus System click here


    The Wisconsin Weatherization Assistance Program (WisWAP) uses
    energy conservation techniques to reduce the cost of home energy.
    Correcting health and safety hazards and potentially life-
    threatening conditions is the first consideration in WAP activities.


    To log in to the WisWAP System click here



    Go there and read. More next week.


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