Carbon Taxes, Will They Work – Will they work in time

Can making the world pay the true cost of dirty energy really be implemented!? What would the world do in the face of energy “riots” like what happens in congress when legislators try to pass climate legislation of any kind? One can only imagine what would happen if those protests moved to the street. That is the question this article raises.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/09/magazine/climate-change-politics-economics.html?fbclid=IwAR1g3oNMa_0ha-kjJdx1MHcjifTV2sfTW1Sj_yVGoq_4GsYuJsuDwDbnZgg

The Problem With Putting a
Price on the End of the World

Economists have workable policy ideas
for addressing climate change. But
what if they’re politically impossible?

In a Saturday afternoon in early December, inside a soaring auditorium on the campus of Stockholm University, William Nordhaus gave the crowning lecture of his half-century career as an economist. The occasion was his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in economics, which Nordhaus, a trim, soft-spoken Yale professor, had been jointly awarded. The title of the lecture was “Climate Change: The Ultimate Challenge for Economics.”

As a young professor on a sabbatical in Vienna in the mid-1970s, Nordhaus happened to share an office with an environmental researcher, who helped spark his interest in the emerging issue. While there, Nordhaus came up with the target, now famous, of holding global warming to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. He chose the target, as he recently explained to me, because he believed that the earth has experienced similar fluctuations before and that humans had tolerated them.

The Nobel was a tribute to the originality and influence of his work developing economic models that help people think about how to slow climate change. It also seemed to be a cri de coeur from the Swedish academics who choose the economics laureates: Climate change is a threat like no other. Fatal heat waves, droughts, wildfires and severe hurricanes are all becoming more common, and they are almost certain to accelerate. Avoiding horrific damage, as a United Nations panel of scientists recently concluded, will require changes in human behavior that have “no documented historic precedent.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Oil Sands Suck – This story gets more ghastly by the day

First a word to New York Times Magazine, I was going to run your article on Pricing Catastrophe On Apocalypse or what ever you were calling it. You however informed me that my “free articles were over” and wanted a subscription from me. Well intentioned I am sure but NO ARTICLE here for you today.

 

Anyone who has read here for long knows that I think the tar sands operations in Canada are crime against humanity. Everyone involved should be charged, tried convicted and put in jail. I personally believe it is worse than open air Nuclear Bomb Testing. Really!

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/alberta-canadas-tar-sands-is-growing-but-indigenous-people-fight-back/

This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing

Indigenous people and environmentalists want to prevent the expansion of Canada’s oil sands development, and the water and air pollution that come with it.

As the world’s largest industrial project, the scale of Alberta’s tar sands operations is hard to grasp. Imagine driving on a highway and to either side behind a thin screen of trees is a vast industrial landscape as far as the eye can see. Now imagine 500 miles of that highway.

If Alberta, with its population of four million people, was a country it would be the fifth largest oil producing nation. While it produces conventional oil, most comes from the Alberta oil sands, the world’s third largest proven oil reserve at 170 billion barrels.

The local and national Canadian governments are pushing to expand oil extraction operations in the vast tar sands region, which already has a footprint roughly the size of England, even as they promote action on climate change on the world stage. And although the relationships between local people and the extraction operations are complex, involving jobs and services, a growing chorus of environmentalists and indigenous people are speaking out against pollution and degradation in the oil sands. Many are digging in for a fight against proposed expansions, including a major pipeline project.

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Go there and read. Warning – Pictures are gross. More next week.

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Lets Start A Wall of SHAME : I think it should be in Love Canal

Seriously, if Love Canal wouldn’t take it then there are Super Fund sites like Rocky Flats Weapons Factory that would. We could put up honorary members like the originators and manufacturers of Agent Orange, Whose ever idea leaded gasoline was, maybe the inventor and manufacturers of Mustard Gas. But the people who proposed and actually carried out atomic fracking must go near the top of the list.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/02/nuclear_bomb_pennsylvania_proj.html

How about setting off a nuclear bomb to mine Pa.’s natural gas? It was considered

Fifty years ago Pennsylvania officials were presented a plan to detonate a nuclear device below north-central Pennsylvania. While the project never got past the planning stages it was part of a larger plan to use nuclear bombs in natural gas extraction. (Pennsylvania State Archives)

Editor’s note: This story has been update to fix broken art on this article.

HARRISBURG — In May 1966, Columbia Gas and the federal Atomic Energy Commission presented an audacious plan to a representative of the Governor’s Science Advisory Committee: A proposal to detonate a nuclear bomb more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima 3,500 feet below north-central Pennsylvania.

“At the present stage, this proposal involves a detonation of a ‘shot’ of perhaps 20,000 tons TNT equivalent at a location on the boundary between Centre and Clinton counties,” wrote Louis Roddis Jr., the governor’s representative in his report.

The goal was to use the nuclear blast to create a chamber that could then be filled with pressurized natural gas. Named Project Ketch, the proposal was an offshoot of another nuclear explosive-powered idea, Project Gasbuggy, which called on increasing natural gas production by detonating nuclear bombs underground to fracture rock deposits — nuclear fracking.

From the get-go, however, Roddis noted there would be challenges to the proposal. Safety considerations, he wrote, fell under three categories: seismic problems, immediate radioactivity problems, and long-term radioactivity problems.

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More Americans Fear Climate Change – But they won’t pay anything to stop it

I have mixed feelings about this article. On one level the Corporations and the international concerns that are most responsible for Global Warming should be MADE to pay the price. Very little should be paid by Common People. Still Common People drive cars, heat their homes and work in places that pollute so they should pay a little. It’s the willingness to pay that bothers me. We should all be pulling in this together.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/do-most-americans-believe-climate-change-polls-say-yes/580957/

A surging number of Americans understand that climate change is happening and believe that it could harm their family and the country, according to a new poll from Yale and George Mason University.

But at the same time, Americans are not any more willing to pay money to fight climate change than they were three years ago, says another new poll, conducted by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago.

The polls suggest that public opinion about climate change is in a state of upheaval. Even as President Donald Trump has cast doubt on climate change, most Americans have rejected his position. Record numbers of Americans describe climate change as a real and present danger. Nearly a quarter of the country says they already see its tidings in their day-to-day life, saying “personal observations of weather” helped convince them of climate change’s reality.

Despite this increasing acceptance, there is no clear political path forward. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” were needed to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius. Such a transformation would be, in other words, expensive. But almost 70 percent of Americans say they wouldn’t pay $10 every month to help cool the warming planet.

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COAL – The gift that keeps on giving .. death

I have a severe head cold this week and last so I will be brief. The negative effects of burning coal will be with us for at least 100 years. Maybe more if humans make it that far.

https://www.sj-r.com/news/20181128/report-groundwater-contamination-at-coal-fired-power-plants-across-illinois

Report: Groundwater contamination at coal-fired power plants across Illinois

Coal ash disposal sites throughout Illinois, including at City Water, Light and Power’s Dallman Power Station in Springfield, have contaminated surrounding groundwater supplies, according to a report released Wednesday by a consortium of environmental groups.

CWLP officials responded that the city’s ash ponds do not pose a risk to Springfield’s water supply.

The report’s results are based on data sets made public for the first time earlier this year as part of new federal regulations of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of coal-fired power generation that is commonly stored in unlined ponds or landfills near the plants. The report by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network and the Sierra Club found toxic pollutants emanating from 22 of 24 coal ash dump sites for which the data became available in March.

The coalition called for new legislative standards that would protect groundwater and regulate the closure of coal ash ponds to be drafted next year.

“Illinois needs to act now to strengthen rules that protect the public from coal ash,” said Andrew Rehn, a water resources engineer from Prairie Rivers Network. “We’re reaching a turning point as Energy companies are proposing to leave coal ash in floodplains of rivers and exposed to groundwater. We need stronger rules that provide permanent protection with a financial guarantee and give the public a voice in these decisions.”

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Go there and read. More next week if I live.

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Illinois Promotes Oil Train Crashes – Wham bam thank you ma’am

Following Dotards move to deregulate oil trains, Illinois bit hook ,line and sinker. Let me be clear, this deregulation will cause accidents and it will take lives. Let’s just hope a crash does not happen in Chicago or East St. Louis.

Putting On The Brakes: Transportation Department Rolls Back Oil Train Regulation

October 24, 2018
Madelyn Beck

The U.S. Department of Transportation has removed a regulation meant to force trains carrying crude oil or other flammable liquids to adopt electronic braking technology by 2020. Electronically Controlled Pneumatic brakes — or ECP brakes — are meant to stop train cars and keep them from slamming into each other when a train derails.

Illinois is both a train hub and an oil train hub, and the regulatory change will have several effects in the state.

One is cost savings to the railroad industry. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “the expected costs of requiring ECP brakes would be significantly higher than the expected benefits of the requirement.”

It would cost the industry between $375 and $554 million to install the braking systems in the next four to five years, hundreds of millions more than it would save in damages, according to the department. That’s an update from when this was first calculated under the Obama administration, which found that the benefits may outweigh costs. The change can partially be explained by reduced oil train traffic in general due to pipelines and lower oil prices between 2015 and 2017. Fewer trains means fewer potential accidents and damages.

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Go there and read so much more. More next week.

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Sparkling Bottled Water Company Cleans Ocean – It is only fair to give industry credit

In all fairness the headline should read TRYS to clean ocean. Why do I even cover this story? Well plastic is a really really energy intensive industry. Second we made a big point of the Dutch Boy’s attempt to clean up the north Pacific Gyre. So it is only far to point out when industry is trying too. Though to be fair Sparkling Water tackled a much smaller  (some would say manageable) problem.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sodastream-builds-massive-marine-device-to-collect-plastic-waste-from-the-ocean-off-the-coast-of-honduras-300726688.html

SodaStream Builds Massive Marine Device to Collect Plastic Waste from the Ocean off the Coast of Honduras


News provided by

SodaStream International Ltd.

Oct 15, 2018, 09:00 ET

CEO Daniel Birnbaum Leads 300 SodaStream Executives from Around the World, Local Youth and Environmental NGOs to Clean Caribbean Sea and Roatán Shores

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced the launch of the “Holy Turtle” – a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. The innovative device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of a bold ocean clean-up lead by CEO Daniel Birnbaum. This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters. SodaStream’s clean-up delegation includes 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, international environmental specialists, NGO Plastic Soup Foundation and hundreds of children from 7 different local schools with local Honduran government officials.

The “Holy Turtle” is a 1,000 ft. long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometers of open waters. The contraption is uniquely engineered to capture floating waste while its large vent holes act to protect wildlife. The device design was inspired by oil spill containment systems and was developed by ABBCO in Florida, USA, who are leading experts in oil spill containment.

SodaStream’s Roatán initiative was inspired by a video filmed by Caroline Powers in October 2017 featured on BBC highlighting underwater photography of a floating trash patch off the Caribbean coast of Roatán. Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, lead a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste. Birnbaum noted, “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can. The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”

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Go there and read. Have some hope. More next week.

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They Used Our Skies Like An Open Sewer – So they should have to pay for that

They poisoned our skies. ExxonMobile should pay for that. They poisoned our water. BP should pay for that. They poisoned our soil. Chevron should pay for that. They poisoned our our wildlife. Royal Dutch Shell should pay for that. They poisoned US! ConocoPhillips should pay for that.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/04042018/climate-change-fossil-fuel-company-lawsuits-timeline-exxon-children-california-cities-attorney-general

Fossil Fuels on Trial: Where the Major Climate Change Lawsuits Stand Today

Some of the biggest oil and gas companies are embroiled in legal disputes with cities, states and children over the industry’s role in global warming.

Updated Aug. 14 with a judge dismissing one of the state-level children’s climate lawsuits, in Washington.

A wave of legal challenges that is washing over the oil and gas industry, demanding accountability for climate change, started as a ripple after revelations that ExxonMobil had long recognized the threat fossil fuels pose to the world.

Over the past few years: Two states have launched fraud investigations into Exxon over climate change. Nine cities and counties, from New York to San Francisco, have sued major fossil fuel companies, seeking compensation for climate change damages. And determined children have filed lawsuits against the federal government and various state governments, claiming the governments have an obligation to safeguard the environment.

The litigation, reinforced by science, has the potential to reshape the way the world thinks about energy production and the consequences of global warming. It advocates a shift from fossil fuels to sustainable energy and draws attention to the vulnerability of coastal communities and infrastructure to extreme weather and sea level rise.

From a trove of internal Exxon documents, a narrative emerged in 2015 that put a spotlight on the conduct of the fossil fuel industry. An investigative series of stories by InsideClimate News, and later the Los Angeles Times, disclosed that the oil company understood the science of global warming, predicted its catastrophic consequences, and then spent millions to promote misinformation.

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Go there and read all night. Really good article. More next week

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Carbon Tax – The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board thinks it is a really good idea

The Carbon Tax is long overdue nationally, though California’s seems to be chugging right along. But think how far we have come – worse yet, think how far down the tubes we must be that the Chicago Tribune, as an entity, is advocating for it. Read it and weep, either for joy or sadness.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-carbon-tax-epa-climate-20180702-story.html

Editorial:

A carbon tax that could put money in your pocket

Editorial Board  Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

The indications of a warming world are numerous and hard to miss. Last year was the third-warmest year on record for both the planet and the United States — exceeded only by 2015 and 2016. In June, scientists reported that Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992 — yielding “enough water to cover Texas to a depth of nearly 13 feet,” the Associated Press reported.

The indications of inaction on the subject are also abundant and visible. Last year, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to ease regulations on power plants and motor vehicles that were integral to the Obama administration’s efforts to slow climate change.

Bipartisan action – once a normal response to environmental harms – is not on the agenda for Congress or the White House. But a growing group of farsighted pragmatists are nonetheless trying to find a middle ground between the entrenched adversaries.

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Go there and read. Google much more. More next week

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Time Is UP – Global Warming is HERE

I dare you to Google: Climate Change and plant life or Climate Change and small mammals. Most people who protest Global Warming, that is  – say it ain’t happening, talk about deserts shifting and extinctions leading to our vary own. They say that since those things aren’t happening, then Global Warming isn’t either. But in the beginning it will be increases in insect born diseases, increases in storm strength, and increases in drought. Here is just one example.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-climate-change-is-helping-invasive-species-take-over-180947630/

How Climate Change is Helping Invasive Species Take Over

Longer seasons and warmer weather have combined to be a game-changer in the plant wars

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the growing season in many areas of the lower 48 states has expanded by about two weeks. Frosts end earlier in the spring and begin later in the fall. To gardeners in Maine, Wisconsin and Montana, that might seem a blessing. What’s not to like about more lettuce or riper tomatoes?

The longer seasons, however, are also helping invasive plants annex American soil; extended springs mean they can more quickly push aside native species and transform ecosystems. “What’s interesting about climate change is that humans are effectively manipulating how species experience time,” says ecologist Elizabeth Wolkovich of the Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia.

Wolkovich and her colleagues have been studying how the first flowering dates of plants have changed over the years in Kansas, North Dakota, Washington, D.C., Concord, Massachusetts—where Henry David Thoreau kept notes about the flowers blooming near Walden Pond in the mid-1800s—as well as Britain.

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