international environmental groups

I do not usually put up two opinions in one post. These are timely articles so I think it is important to hear both sides. One side basically says we are going to die. The other side says we will have to move ourselves or large amounts of water. You decide.

The 11 cities most likely to run out of drinking water – like Cape Town

  • 11 February 2018

Cape Town is in the unenviable situation of being the first major city in the modern era to face the threat of running out of drinking water.

However, the plight of the drought-hit South African city is just one extreme example of a problem that experts have long been warning about – water scarcity.

Despite covering about 70% of the Earth’s surface, water, especially drinking water, is not as plentiful as one might think. Only 3% of it is fresh.

Over one billion people lack access to water and another 2.7 billion find it scarce for at least one month of the year. A 2014 survey of the world’s 500 largest cities estimates that one in four are in a situation of “water stress”

According to UN-endorsed projections, global demand for fresh water will exceed supply by 40% in 2030, thanks to a combination of climate change, human action and population growth.

Severe water shortages around the world: Why the taps run dry


Feb 13, 2018, 7:30 pm SGT

PARIS (AFP) – The world has abundant freshwater but it is unevenly distributed and under increasing pressure, UN agencies say, as highlighted by the severe shortages in Cape Town.


More than 97 per cent of the planet’s water is salty, most of it in the oceans and seas, but there is also a good supply of freshwater.

Every year around 42.8 trillion cubic metres of renewable freshwater circulates as rain, surface water or groundwater, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

This equals 16,216 litres per person per day – four times the amount required in the United States, for example, for personal and domestic consumption, industry and agriculture.

Depending on diet and lifestyle, a person needs between 2,000 and 5,000 litres of water a day to produce their food and meet their drinking and sanitation requirements, the FAO says.

About 60 per cent of the planet’s freshwater reserves is locked in the Antarctic.


They don’t even agree on how much water we have. Go there and read a lot. More next week.


I do not believe in always presenting “bad news” about any given subject. Do I post happy news about coal? Not very often. Do I post good things about oil drilling? Not much. How about great stories about Nukes? No. But when a bad situation gets better, especially of the scope of what has gone on in Japan. Hell goods is hard not to report. Few people realize that removing the spent fuel rods from all three reactors is at least half the job.

Worst-hit reactor at Fukushima may be easiest to clean up

By MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press

OKUMA, Japan (AP) — High atop Fukushima’s most damaged nuclear reactor, the final pieces of a jelly-roll shaped cover are being put in place to seal in highly radioactive dust.

Blown apart by a hydrogen explosion in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reactor Unit 3 is undergoing painstaking construction ahead of a milestone that is the first step toward dismantling the plant.

The operating floor — from where new fuel rods used to be lowered into the core — has been rebuilt and if all goes as planned, huge cranes will begin removing 566 sets of still-radioactive fuel rods from a storage pool just below it later this year.

It has taken seven years just to get this far, but now the real work of cleaning up the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant can begin.

“If you compare it with mountain climbing, we’ve only been preparing to climb. Now, we finally get to actually start climbing,” said Daisuke Hirose, an official at the plant’s decommissioning and decontamination unit.


Go there and read the good news. More next week.


But today I do. This a great organization and a great idea as well. Join today.

Beyond Extreme Energy

Get involved in BXE’s work

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Go there and join, read and protest. More next week.


This is a happy fuzzy story, that i normally wouldn’t post. But here is the thing, as fun as it is, I dare you to say the name of the monument. Can you huh huh huh?

The Power of Parks

Hawaii Is Now Home to an Ocean Reserve Twice the Size of Texas

A 583,000-square-mile “no-take” zone: President Obama just quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off northwestern Hawaii.

Capping a week of 100th anniversary celebrations for the National Park Service, President Barack Obama on Friday turned to the ocean to create the largest protected area anywhere on Earth—a half-million-square-mile arc of remote Pacific waters known for both exceptional marine life and importance to native Hawaiian culture.

The Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument, established in 2006 by President George W. Bush, already covered 140,000 square miles of ocean around the uninhabited northwestern islands of Hawaii, Obama’s home state. (Learn about the name and how to pronounce it.)

Obama more than quadrupled Papah?naumoku?kea’s size, to 582,578 square miles, an area larger than all the national parks combined. Using his executive authority under the U.S. Antiquities Act, he extended most of the monument’s boundary—and its prohibition of commercial fishing—out to the 200-mile limit of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).(Read about a monument established this week in the Maine woods.)


Go there and read in wonderment. More next week.


Especially if you listen to the Bernie Sanders supporters. (I also must quickly add that as a nonprofit organization CES doesn’t endorse any political candidates, just their energy policies) Her opponents say that she is for Fracking. I see no evidence of that. They say she is a Wall Street sellout. Compared to the rest of the field, I do not see that either. But here is what I do see.

Hillary Clinton

See also: Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016/Natural resources
Energy development
  • In a December 17, 2015 radio interview with South Carolina radio station WGCV-AM Hillary Clinton said she is doubtful of the need to drill for oil or gas off the eastern seaboard of the U.S. She said, “I am very skeptical about the need or desire for us to pursue offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina, and frankly off the coast of other southeast states.” Her comments came despite the Obama administration putting forward proposals that would open up vast tracts of the ocean for fossil fuel extraction.[1]
Climate change
  • Hillary Clinton, on January 18, 2016, signed a pledge to power at least half of the nation’s energy needs with renewable sources by 2030. The pledge was devised by NextGen Climate, a San Francisco-based environmental advocacy organization, which was founded by philanthropist, environmental activist and Democratic donor Tom Steyer in 2013. The group is affiliated with NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC[2]
  • In response to the Paris Agreement adopted on December 12, 2015, Clinton released the following statement, in part: “I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our negotiating team for helping deliver a new, ambitious international climate agreement in Paris. This is an historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century—the global crisis of climate change. … We cannot afford to be slowed by the climate skeptics or deterred by the defeatists who doubt America’s ability to meet this challenge.”[3]


Go there and read. More next week.


Coal is now the most expensive energy source in the United States. That means that it will be to expensive to mine. It also means that the worth of the mining companies will fall and their stocks will collapse. It  can’t happen soon enough for me.

A Sunny Future for Utility-Scale Solar
By John Finnigan | Bio | Published: December 28, 2015
Utility-scale solar and distributed solar both have an important role to play in reducing greenhouse emissions, and both have made great strides in the past year.
Utility-scale solar, the focus of this article, is reaching “grid parity” (i.e., cost equivalency) with traditional generation in more areas across the country.  And solar received a major boost when the federal tax incentive was recently extended through 2021. The amount of the incentive decreases over time, but the solar industry may be able to offset the lower tax incentive if costs continue to decline.  New changes in policy and technology may further boost its prospects.
Record year for utility-scale solar
Some of the world’s largest solar plants came on-line in the U.S. during the past year, such as the 550-megawatt (MW) Topaz Solar plant in San Luis Obispo County, California and the 550MW Desert Sunlight plant in Desert Center, California. Last year saw a record increase in the amount of new utility-scale solar photovoltaic generation installed – about four gigawatts (GW), a whopping 38 percent increase over 2013, and enough solar power to supply electricity to 1.2 million homes.  This number is expected to increase in 2015 when the final numbers are in.
Go there and read. More next week.



Unfortunately it will be several years before we know whether it will make a dent in emissions, but as everyone says, it is a start. I am particularly excited by the concept of “ratchet” and whether it can be implemented. What do you think?

Inside the Paris Climate Deal

The text of the climate pact establishes a commitment by 195 countries to take concrete measures to reel in planet-warming carbon emissions. Related Article

Paris Climate Agreement

View the Full Document »

Temperature Increase

“Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”
Justin Gillis, climate science reporter:
This agreement adopts a more ambitious target for limiting global warming than in the past by mentioning 1.5 degrees Celsius as part of the concrete goal to stay well below 2 degrees. If that were to be actually achieved, it would likely ward off some of the most severe effects of climate change. For example, although we don’t know the exact temperature, there is a trigger point at which the whole Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet will melt. There is a chance that staying below 2 degrees Celsius would avoid that trigger point, and an even better chance if we stay below 1.5 degrees.
Page 23

Preservation of Forests

“Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments, the existing framework as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; and alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, while reaffirming the importance of incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches.”


Go there and read all the good news. More next week.


The link below is for the New York Times Climate Change Conference in Paris. I have picked the plight of the Marshall Islands as the text for this blog, but you can go whenever and wherever you want.

Paris Climate Change Conference 2015

The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing

Rising seas are claiming a vulnerable nation.

— Linber Anej waded out in low tide to haul concrete chunks and metal scraps to shore and rebuild the makeshift sea wall in front of his home. The temporary barrier is no match for the rising seas that regularly flood the shacks and muddy streets with saltwater and raw sewage, but every day except Sunday, Mr. Anej joins a group of men and boys to haul the flotsam back into place.

“It’s insane, I know,” said Mr. Anej, 30, who lives with his family of 13, including his parents, siblings and children, in a four-room house. “But it’s the only option we’ve got.”

Standing near his house at the edge of a densely packed slum of tin shacks, he said, “I feel like we’re living underwater.”



Go there and read until your eyes bleed. More next week.


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.


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.


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