October 2015


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.

http://daily.jstor.org/chernobyl-can-wildlife-return-blast/

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

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Go there and read. More next week.

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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.

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/poetry-in-motion-power-plant-will-use-ocean-tides-to-power-155k-homes/

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.

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Go there and read. More next week barely.

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This is a really hopeful story.

http://news.yahoo.com/african-region-beats-back-desert-thanks-trees-220830579.html

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.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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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.

http://www.sj-r.com/article/20151005/OPINION/151009761

 

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.

     

     

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    Go there and read more. More next week.

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