methane production


I hope Donald Trump listens to all the people telling him that Climate Change is real. Not some hoax made up by the Chinese.

http://illinoistimes.com/article-17943-perishing-planet.html

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 12:14 am

Perishing Planet

Call to action on climate change

About the article

In 2015 Illinois Times and dozens of alternative weeklies and other newsmedia outlets participated in Letters to the Future, a project published ahead of the Paris climate talks that compiled letters from nationally acclaimed writers, scientists, intellectuals and other concerned citizens. As part of the project, the letters were dispatched to hundreds of targeted delegates and citizens before they convened at the Paris sessions.

Now, with the election over, we pick up where Letters to the Future left off with an article that examines what Donald Trump’s administration could mean for climate change – and a call to action list for what must come next.

If President-elect Donald Trump actually believes all the warnings he issued during the election about the threats of immigration, he should be talking about ways to slow global warming as well. Rising sea level, caused by the melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps, will probably displace tens of millions of people in the decades ahead, and many may come to North America as refugees.

Climate change will cause a suite of other problems for future generations to tackle, and it’s arguably the most pressing issue of our time. A year ago December, world leaders gathered in Paris to discuss strategies for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and scientists at every corner of the globe confirm that humans are facing a crisis. However, climate change is being nearly ignored by American politicians and lawmakers. It was not discussed in depth at all during this past election cycle’s televised presidential debates. And, when climate change does break the surface of public discussion, it polarizes Americans like almost no other political issue. Some conservatives, including Trump, still deny there’s even a problem.

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Go there and read. Call your congressman or woman. Pass this on to your friends. More next week.

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There are times when I do not think words do a story justice. But if this story is true then I just had my “I told you so” moment.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/how-disappearing-arctic-ice-could-lead-global-climate-catastrophe

How Disappearing Arctic Ice Could Lead to Global Climate Catastrophe

The monumental loss of sea ice is triggering a cascade of effects that could destabilize the global climate system.

This article first appeared on Yale Environment 360.

The news last week that summer ice covering the Arctic Ocean was tied for the second-lowest extent on record is a sobering reminder that the planet is swiftly heading toward a largely ice-free Arctic in the warmer months, possibly as early as 2020.

After that, we can expect the ice-free period in the Arctic basin to expand to three to four months a year, and eventually to five months or more.

Since my days measuring the thickness of Arctic Ocean ice from British nuclear submarines in the early 1970s, I have witnessed a stunning decline in the sea ice covering the northern polar regions — a more than 50 percent drop in extent in summer, and an even steeper reduction in ice volume. Just a few decades ago, ice 10 to 12 feet thick covered the North Pole, with sub-surface ice ridges in some parts of the Arctic extending down to 150 feet. Now, that ice is long gone, while the total volume of Arctic sea ice in late summer has declined, according to two estimates, by 75 percent in half a century.

The great white cap that once covered the top of the world is now turning blue — a change that represents humanity’s most dramatic step in reshaping the face of our planet. And with the steady disappearance of the polar ice cover, we are losing a vast air conditioning system that has helped regulate and stabilize earth’s climate system for thousands of years.

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Go there and be horrified. more next week.

 

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Let me make this point right up front. The United States does not need the the pipeline heading for Illinois. More bluntly put Humanity does not need this pipeline. We need to leave the tar sands in Canada and Fracked oil in North Dakota IN THE GROUND. But even worse here, Native Americans are being locked up, while the malicious militia men were released in Oregon.  (ps this article largely consists of photos…the text is paltry but I think people need see the conflict for themselves.)

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2016/10/north-dakota-native-americans-protest-pipeline-161028150518748.html

Standing Rock tribe protests over North Dakota pipeline

Clashes erupt as police break up protest camp in the path of pipeline construction that threatens sacred land.

| | US & Canada, United States

Cannon Ball, United States – Thousands of Native Americans have been camping out in North Dakota since April to protest against a pipeline that is meant to cross sacred burial grounds and the Missouri river – the main water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Last week, some protesters moved their camp directly in the path of the proposed pipeline as construction nears the river, but on Thursday morning, police descended on the camp with a show of force not yet seen in the months of peaceful protests.

Clad in riot gear and backed by armoured vehicles, the police cleared the protest camp, using sound cannons, pepper spray, taser guns, and shotguns said to contain beanbags against the protesters.

More than 100 people were arrested, including elders praying peacefully in the roadway, according to the Morton County Sheriff Department.

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Go there and look at the ugly video and pictures. More next week.

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This article is field researched by the author. It is well written. And I might add frightening and sad.

https://harpers.org/archive/2015/06/thirty-million-gallons-under-the-sea/

From the June 2015 issue

Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea

Following the trail of BP’s oil in the Gulf of Mexico

One morning in March of last year, I set out from Gulfport, Mississippi, on a three-week mission aboard the U.S. Navy research vessel Atlantis. The 274-foot ship, painted a crisp white and blue, stood tall in the bright sunlight. On its decks were winches, cranes, seafloor-mapping sonar, a machine shop, and five laboratories. Stowed in an alcove astern was Alvin, the federal government’s only manned research submarine. “Research vessel Atlantis outbound,” A. D. Colburn, the ship’s captain, reported into the ship radio.

The water was calm and the bridge crew quiet as they steered us into open water. For the next fourteen hours, we would sail toward the site of BP’s Macondo well, where, in April 2010, a blowout caused the largest offshore-drilling oil spill in history. Once there, Atlantis’s crew would launch Alvin and guide it to the bottom of the ocean, reaching depths as great as 7,200 feet below the surface. Over the next twenty-two days they would send the submersible down seventeen times, to gather animal, plant, water, and sediment samples. Their goal was to determine how BP’s spill had affected the ocean’s ecosystem from the seabed up. I would get the chance to join them in the submarine as they went closer to the Macondo wellhead than anyone had gone since the blowout.

Data gathered by the Atlantis would likely be used in the federal legal proceedings against BP, which began in December 2010. A few months after our mission, U.S. district judge Carl Barbier found the company guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct. In January 2015, he ruled that the amount of oil the company was responsible for releasing into the Gulf totaled some 134 million gallons, a decision both sides have appealed. By the time this article went to press, Barbier had yet to make his third and final ruling, which will determine how much BP owes in penalties under the Clean Water Act. (If his judgment about the size of the spill is not overturned, the company will face a $13.7 billion fine.) Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Interior are concluding an ecological-damages assessment to determine how much BP must pay to restore the Gulf Coast. The trial and the assessment are likely to result in the largest penalty ever leveled against an oil company.1

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Go there and read. It’s a long one but worth it. More next week.

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This natural gas “eruption” has been going on in Southern California for a month. The gas company, SoCalGas, claims that it may be several more months before they get the leak plugged. Some people have compared it to the BPH spill in the Gulf Of Mexico. BUT and this is a big but, its in the air. This means it will spread around the world. The effects will be felt everywhere.

Plus this is the largest title I have ever posted!

http://enenews.com/tv-unprecendented-catastrophe-underway-los-angeles-largest-gas-leak-recorded-report-thousands-suffer-nose-bleeds-vomiting-potentially-devastating-planetary-scale-videos

TV: Unprecendented catastrophe underway near Los Angeles; Largest gas leak ever recorded — “Equivalent to strength of a volcanic eruption” — “Thousands suffer nose bleeds, vomiting” — “Potentially devastating on planetary scale” — Expert: “It’s so far above and beyond what I’ve ever seen” (VIDEOS)

CBC News, Dec 31, 2015 (emphasis added): Methane leak in California a ‘major catastrophe‘; Leak ‘largest ever recorded‘ could take 4 months to stop… “The amount of methane and natural gas that’s coming out of the Aliso Canyon Facility really is probably one of the largest volumes of gas ever recorded from a single leak,” says Tim O’Connor, an oil and gas specialist… “We have tried that seven times and have been unsuccessful in trying to stop the leak,” said SoCalGas spokesman Michael Mizrahi. “I have to say more than likely it’s [because] the pressures that are coming up from the leaking well are so intense.” The company says it doesn’t know exactly how much gas is escaping…

The Federal Aviation Administration has imposed a no-fly zone because of the small risk that a plane could ignite a pocket of methane… Laurie Rosenberg is among the many Porter Ranch residents who say the chemicals are causing them health problems. “I’ve had migraine headaches … itchy eyes, and runny nose 24/7… I think there’s more up there than they’re really willing to admit.”

Gizmodo, Dec 28, 2015: The largest natural gas leak ever recorded is jeopardizing health and causing evacuations for thousands of Southern California residents… Methane is estimated to be leaking out of the Aliso Canyon site at a rate of about 62 million standard cubic feet, per day… it’s potentially devastating on a planetary scale…

Erin Brockovich, Dec 21, 2015: “The enormity of the Aliso Canyon gas leak cannot be overstated… and it shows no sign of stopping… According to tests conducted in November by the California Air Resources Board, the leak is spewing 50,000 kilograms of gas per hour — the equivalent to the strength of a volcanic eruption.”
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Go there and read. More next week.
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I never thought I would ever see this. Really as a post it has nowhere to fit in. BUT. It is important so I just thought I would cram it in here and live with it. When people surf this blog in future years they can just think of it as a speed bump. Can you believe that there are people who want to flaunt their ignorance?

http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/07/i-rejoice-that-it-is-warm-ars-attends-a-climate-contrarian-conference/

Scientific Method / Science & Exploration

Echo chamber of outrage: Ars attends a climate skeptics’ summit

A political buffet offering everything but science.

“I accept that the planet has warmed,” said conservative columnist Mark Steyn from the podium. “And I rejoice that it is warm.”

Steyn was one of many speakers at the libertarian Heartland Institute’s 10th “International Conference on Climate Change,” a major event for climate science contrarians. The two-day conference, held in mid-June at the classy Washington Court Hotel just a few blocks from the US Capitol, had all the trappings of an academic conference, but you wouldn’t mistake it for a Geological Society of America meeting. Tables set up outside the hotel’s main ballroom hosted conservative advocacy groups and think tanks like CFACT, the Ayn Rand Institute, and the Heritage Foundation (which attracted visitors with a life-size cardboard cut-out of Ronald Reagan). The audience contained some meteorologists but seemed mostly composed of retired couples with an interest in politics, along with a handful of state legislators.

The goal was to gather speakers—who, organizers frequently reminded the audience, were some of the most famous and well-respected experts in the world—who could arm attendees with the information they needed to take the Good Fight back out to the streets. A small number of the talks presented research into climate science, but most were arguments against climate policy based on economic impacts. In other words, imagine the opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal plus a podium.

As for the speakers, they viewed themselves as voices of reason speaking truth to power—all of them trying desperately to keep the Western world from slipping over the precipice to certain economic ruin. And to hear them tell it, Heartland and its allies were winning the battle against the “climate alarmists.” The public remains divided on the issue of climate change, with some recent polling placing it low on the priority list of concerns. Attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through legislation have been stymied. International negotiations have been arduous.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The last excuse by the industrialists and their mouth pieces just went out the window. They totally bought the cancer and smoking defensive fall back approach. First they said that Climate Change wasn’t happening. Then they said we couldn’t “prove” it and came up with “scientists” that refuted it. Then they said it wasn’t as “bad” as what we were saying. Finally they said, “Well China isn’t doing it so why should we?”. So I am sure now they will say that any carbon tax or carbon emissions limit will be TOO MUCH. You heard it here first.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120242/us-and-china-reach-agreement-climate-change

 

Environment

November 12, 2014

The World Has Waited for the U.S. and China to Take Action on Climate Change. They Just Did.

By

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Wednesday commitments to reduce both countries’ greenhouse gas emissions. The surprise announcement, which came while Obama visits Beijing this week, is the clearest sign yet the two countries are serious on climate change.

After months of negotiations with China, Obama has pledged the U.S. to cut emissions between 26 and 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. This is double the pace of carbon cuts the U.S had already pledged to reach by 2020.

But China’s commitments might be even more unexpected, because it is the first time the growing economy has committed to a year for capping its emissionsseen as a crucial step for avoiding the worst-case scenarios of global warming. Xi pledged this will happen around 2030, though it will try to reach this peak as early as possible. China also agreed to increase the share of energy that doesn’t come from fossil fuels to 20 percent by 2030.

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Go there and read. More next week

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Actually falling oil prices are not good because cheaper oil and gasoline means more of it gets used, thus more global warming. Still if there is a silver lining this would be it.

 

http://www.npr.org/2014/11/04/361204786/falling-oil-prices-make-fracking-less-lucrative

Falling Oil Prices Make Fracking Less Lucrative

Oil prices are down than more than 25 percent since June and are staying low for now. Drivers may appreciate that, but for oil companies, it’s making some of the most controversial methods of producing oil less profitable — and in a few cases, unprofitable.

Most of the world’s oil is selling for about $80 to $85 a barrel now. But not all oil is created equal. In the Middle East, it’s cheaper to produce, at a cost of less than $30 a barrel on average, according to the Norwegian firm Rystad Energy.

But in the Arctic, producing a barrel costs $78 on average. From Canada’s oil sands, it’s an average of $74 a barrel. And because those are averages, some companies have costs that are higher — which means there could be drillers currently producing crude at a loss.

Here in the U.S., the oil drilling boom is due largely to technologies like hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to force oil from shale formations deep underground. Producing this oil, Rystad figures, costs an average of $62 a barrel.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Wisconsin Energy (abbreviated here as WE abbreviated on the SEC as WEC)  is buying Integrys Distribution Network which includes Chicago. So the 2 big questions this raises is 1) Will this have an effect on Chicago’s electric rates and  renewable goals. and 2) will the WE offer Chicago a new and improved natural gas deal? We shall see. Ameren must be wondering the same sort of things. Below are a short article link and then a longer treatment.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wisconsin-energy-to-buy-integrys-energy-in-91-bln-deal-2014-06-23-7911444?siteid=bulletrss

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-wisconsin-energy-to-buy-integrys-in-91-billion-deal-20140623,0,3548279.story

Peoples Gas parent Integrys being bought for $5.7 billion

WEC Energy Group the merged company will be headquartered in Milwaukee, with “operating headquarters” in Chicago, Green Bay and Milwauke.

It was just before Christmas that Gale Klappa, chairman and CEO of Wisconsin Energy Corp., asked Charlie Schrock, his counterpart at Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group Inc., out to dinner.Sitting in a restaurant in Chicago, Klappa didn’t mince words with the head of the parent company for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.

“The first thing on my mind that I opened with in my discussion with Charlie is when you look at what the combined company would become in what is clearly a consolidating industry,” he recalled. “Size, scale and the ability to take advantage of the economies of scale is becoming more important.”

On Monday, six months after that dinner, the two CEOS were together again, announcing a $5.7 billion merger agreement that will create an energy company with more than 4.3 million metered electric and gas customers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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And if you do not believe me, then go to the links below and read what they say.

http://www.dangersoffracking.com/

http://theweek.com/article/index/261337/more-proof-that-fracking-is-dirtier-than-advertised

As for what I think:

Hydraulic Fracturing is a drilling process that drills oil and gas wells into shale formations and produces what is referred to as “ tight petroleum fluids”. Principally oil and methane. This process begins by drilling a typical vertical well.  The drill bit is then turned to drill horizontally and moves as far as 3 miles. Then the well is cased with concrete and a slurry of liquids are prepared. We will come back to that discussion in a bit because the fluids pumped into the bore hole are very special. Once the drill is extracted it is replaced with special pipe that is flexible enough to make the turn and has holes in it which are temporarily plugged with ping pong ball  like ball bearings. Once that is done, the fluids  are piped down the well under extremely high pressure. These fluids blast the bearings out of the way and the fluids escape from the pipe and pulverizes the surrounding rock. Then the danger of fracking begins. Because of the  physics of pressure, the fluids  which are now in front of the flow of the oil and methane burst back to the surface and must be contained. After that the dangers only grow. These risks include: Pollution risks, Health risks, Death risks and Financial risks.

The health risks are many. The groundwater risks arise from the fracking itself and the type fluids used. The fluids are extremely toxic.  While I can”t say what exactly are in the fluids because the drilling companies refuse to release them, everyone admits that toxics like diesel fuel, hydrochloric acid, silica, and antifreeze are involved.  For a list of the thousand of chemical used please see  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_additives_for_hydraulic_fracturing .   Will the fluids remain in the area fracked and will the oil and gas flow towards the well head if other avenues are available? This is something no one can guarantee. If even small amounts of the fracking fluids do not return through the bore hole then ground water contamination is possible and well water contamination is all but guaranteed. Surface contamination comes in the form of produced water contamination on the ground and in the nearby waterways. Many wild catters want to just dump those waters in waste pits or worse yet dump them in larger stream and rivers. Even tank storage is problematic. Transportation to a disposal site risks many types of accidents. I believe that all these fluids should be recycled. They contain radioactive materials, heavy metals and poisons like arsenic. Finally there is air pollution. This come in the form of methane and benzene. Many wild catters want to flare the methane and only deal with the oil. This guarantees that methane will be released and methane is one of the most potent green gases around. Exposure to benzene can be lethal as will be discussed later and will lead to lung damage and many cancers.

Some of the health risks were discussed above but there are a set of studies to be considered. You can find these studies easily online but in their gist they ask the question, “Are children in fracking zones healthy”?  The answer is NO. In general children that live within a ten mile area of fracked wells have many more health problems than children that live farther away. Please see this list for a discussion of benzene on human health – http://www.allenstewart.com/practice-areas/gas-property-damage/chemicals-used-in-fracking/   If that is true then how healthy can the adults be? But fracking is so new that it is hard to tell. I know in my heart that taking that plunge over that cliff is not worth the danger. We need to stop now.

Then there are risks of death to the nearby humans. Is that extreme? Not in the least. The increase in the large truck traffic alone and the attendant violations of trucking laws will destroy roads and lead to a large increase in traffic accidents leading to increases in deaths. And of course there will be deaths directly relating to the increase in drilling activity. Drilling for oil is inherently dangerous and the industry has its own mortality rate. We have already seen large numbers of deaths due to train wrecks involving trains pulling tanker cars holding fracked oil. Because of the trapped gases in fracked oil it is a lot more explosive. Who wants to die a fiery death? While pipeline leaks could have been discussed anywhere, the problems of pipelining unconventional oil are clear. Since the oil must be heated under pressure to physically move through a pipeline, any leak means the oil cools rapidly and latches on to anything in its path. Especially if it falls into water it will not float and it must be dug out of the bottom. Wherever it lands it begins to release its toxic chemicals including the ever present benzene. While no deaths have yet occurred, fracking possess the possibility of causing major calamities. The first are earthquakes. Today there is no doubt that fracking can cause earthquakes. The questions is when will they cause a major one? So far no earthquake caused by fracking has been greater than a 4.5 earthquake, so we continue to pray they stay small. Then there is the question of Bhopal On The Prairie. This was not a concern of mine but many people who live near old coal mines raised it with me at events I attended. They said, “What if they frack near an old coal mine or an old uncapped oil well” both of which Illinois has in abundance? Well the answer is, all the stuff that should go up the nrw well bore hole will spew out into the general environment. If you are anywhere near that the methane will kill you. This is unlikely but just one incident could kill many people.

Ever wonder why oil men refer to their business as a “Boom and Bust” business? It is because of their Financial Risks. These risks are not limited to the investors and the drillers themselves. First and foremost any property owners near these wells will see their property values go to zero and if you hold a mortgage on any such property you will be in debt for a worthless property. There is also a growing push to send the fracked oil and its refined products overseas. This means that oil prices will rise and the cost of gasoline will follow along. But ultimately it is the case that  wildcat fracking is a Ponzi Scheme and that costs investors the most money. Small drillers raise money well by well but when the first one “comes in” they divert some of the profits to the next well which enriches themselves. Because fracked wells have such a short life expectancy (possibly as short as 3 years) eventually the level of those losing money on their investments climb and the driller declares bankruptcy leaving those newest investors holding huge losses. Not only that but it leaves the State of Illinois and individual property owners holding the bag for any damages that remains. This also leads to market manipulation on insider information because the upcoming bankruptcies are an open secret in the oil and gas industry itself.

I must end with a plea for Illinois to stop this. Fracking is nothing but a case of gluttony gone wild. These are not resources we need to exploit now. We could leave these resources for future generations that may need them. But in our general lust for fatter and fatter energy girths we will be looked on by future generations with mortification. Again, shame on everyone in Illinois.

Doug Nicodemus

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Go there and read. More next week in a more timely fashion,

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