More next week.
Well now it is here. Permafrost covers 24% of the Earth’s surface. It is melting at a quickening pace. Buried in this permafrost are many Dead Bodies. Dead Human’s that carry ancient diseases that we have no defense against. Not just Human bodies but animal bodies and maybe Dinosaur bodies. Who knows what diseases they might contain? What if we had not just one virus to deal with (like now) but several and we had no time for a vaccine? That does not take into account the bacterium and other microbes that may have been harmless in their day, but cause Humans to turn deaf, or blind, or mute?
Deep Frozen Arctic Microbes Are Waking Up
Thawing permafrost is releasing microorganisms, with consequences that are still largely unknown
In August 2019, Iceland held a funeral for the Okjökull Glacier, the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change. The community commemorated the event with a plaque in recognition of this irreversible change and the grave impacts it represents. Globally, glacier melt rates have nearly doubled in the last five years, with an average loss of 832 mmw.e. (millimeters water equivalent) in 2015, increasing to 1,243 mmw.e. in 2020 (WGMS). This high rate of loss decreases glacial stores of freshwater and changes the structure of the surrounding ecosystem.
In the last 10 years, warming in the Arctic has outpaced projections so rapidly that scientists are now suggesting that the poles are warming four times faster than the rest of the globe. This has led to glacier melt and permafrost thaw levels that weren’t forecast to happen until 2050 or later. In Siberia and northern Canada, this abrupt thaw has created sunken landforms, known as thermokarst, where the oldest and deepest permafrost is exposed to the warm air for the first time in hundreds or even thousands of years.
As the global climate continues to warm, many questions remain about the periglacial environment. Among them: as water infiltration increases, will permafrost thaw more rapidly? And, if so, what long-frozen organisms might “wake up”?
Permafrost covers 24 percent of the Earth’s land surface, and the soil constituents vary with local geology. Arctic lands offer unexplored microbial biodiversity and microbial feedbacks, including the release of carbon to the atmosphere. In some locations, hundreds of millions of years’ worth of carbon is buried. The layers may still contain ancient frozen microbes, Pleistocene megafauna and even buried smallpox victims. As the permafrost thaws with increasing rapidity, scientists’ emerging challenge is to discover and identify the microbes, bacteria and viruses that may be stirring.
Go there and get grossed out. More next week.
And yet, Here is an article about how Joe Biden could do it once he becomes President. As Earther says, this list is neither exhaustive nor does it include solutions that can be applied to all agencies. It is a great START.
How Biden Can Ensure Every Federal Agency Is Fighting Climate Change
President-elect Joe Biden has an unprecedented opportunity to walk the U.S.—and perhaps the world—back from the brink on climate change. After four years of harmful deregulation, his work is cut out for him.
But to truly address climate change will require more than simply repealing President Donald Trump’s rollbacks and maybe strengthening a few rules on power plant emissions before calling it a day. Because climate change is an everything problem, the entire and considerable weight of the federal government will need to be thrown into addressing it. Like rowing competition, the race to address climate change can only be won if everyone is pulling in the same direction.
This “all of government” response to the crisis at hand is the only way to ensure a shot at keeping the globe from heating up more than the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) goal outlined in the Paris Agreement, to say nothing of the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) target outlined in a landmark United Nations report. Over the next four years, Biden will have to center climate change at every agency, from the obvious ones like the Environmental Protection Agency to others like the Department of Education and Treasury.
Earther has pulled together ideas and actions federal agencies can take to address climate change, based on conversations with dozens of experts who know the federal government’s levers of power and how to pull them so that they’re all geared to lower emissions. The ideas below are not exhaustive nor do they include solutions that can be applied at all agencies such as installing climate advocates at all levels, using procurement to electrify the government vehicle fleet, and diversifying the workforce so that new problem solvers are welcomed into the fold. But they do represent some of the best ones out there for how to get the ship turned quickly.
Go there and rejoice. More next week.
The fact that we are still subsidizing old dirty forms of Energy says a lot about us and how the Energy Giants have corrupted our culture.
End the Taxpayer Giveaway to Big Oil and Gas
Congress should raise the royalty rates on federal lands.
By Tom Udall and
Senator Udall is a Democrat from New Mexico. Senator Grassley is a Republican from Iowa.
One hundred years ago, Congress passed the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, setting up a system in which companies lease public lands to wrest valuable oil and gas from the ground. In the century since, the royalties and rent that those corporations pay to the American people for access have remained essentially unchanged even as the scale of development and profits has grown hugely.
As senators from different parties, we have our share of policy differences. But we both believe in sticking up for the public interest and the taxpayer. In this case, we agree that oil and gas companies should pay fair market value for the public resources they extract and sell. They aren’t doing that now — not even close — and the American public is the big loser.
That’s why we introduced the Fair Returns for Public Lands Act this year to reform the antiquated law that governs royalties and the leasing of public land.
The country’s economy and the oil and gas industries have changed significantly since 1920. Automobiles had just started to replace the horse and buggy, and the oil industry was a relatively new enterprise dominated by the successors of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. Yet, since then, the federal royalty rate for oil and gas on public lands has remained steady, at a bargain-basement 12.5 percent of the value of what’s extracted.
Go there and read more. More next week.
People are always asking why Nuclear Power Plants cost so much. They want to blame regulation, or safety measures. Maybe even because of unnecessary cost over runs. Mainly they do this because “They want to build more NUCLEAR Power Plants”. But the fact of the matter is you can’t build them cheaper and in fact given the costs of the 2 Major Nuclear catastrophes, maybe you need to build them more expensive. The simple fact, is that a new Coal Fired Plant can cost 2 billion dollars and kill the atmosphere while a Uranium Fired Plant could cost 4 billion dollars and kill us.
Anyway here is some discussion of that:
Should any discussion of nuclear power go on for long enough, it becomes inevitable that someone will rant that the only reason it has become unaffordable is a proliferation of safety regulations. The argument is rarely (if ever) fleshed out—no specific regulation is ever identified as problematic, and there seems to be no consideration given to the fact that we might have learned something at, say, Fukushima that might merit addressing through regulations.
But there’s now a paper out that provides some empirical evidence that safety changes have contributed to the cost of building new nuclear reactors. But the study also makes clear that they’re only one of a number of factors, accounting for only a third of the soaring costs. The study also finds that, contrary to what those in the industry seem to expect, focusing on standardized designs doesn’t really help matters, as costs continued to grow as more of a given reactor design was built.
More of the same
The analysis, done by a team of researchers at MIT, is remarkably comprehensive. For many nuclear plants, they have detailed construction records, broken out by which building different materials and labor went to, and how much each of them cost. There’s also a detailed record of safety regulations and when they were instituted relative to construction. Finally, they’ve also brought in the patent applications filed by the companies who designed the reactors. The documents describe the motivations for design changes and the problems those changes were intended to solve.
Go there and read. Sorry I was late. More next week.
(please note that i use tsongas and tongass interchangeably)
Destroy, Destroy, Destroy. That is what this President does because he has bought the general idea of “Disruption and Replacement” coming from Silicon Valley as a good thing for society. He doesn’t not understand that Disruption with out planning is BAD for society in general and only makes a few men (and women) rich. Or maybe, he actually does understand and just doesn’t care. One makes him evil by nature and the other makes him evil by nurture. I’ll leave it up to you to decide. One thing for sure is that his whole Presidency has been a disaster for the environment and the Earth, and that will be his lasting legacy.
Feds end road, logging restrictions in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests
JUNEAU, Alaska — The federal government announced plans Wednesday to lift restrictions on logging and building roads in the country’s largest national forest, a pristine rainforest in Alaska that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has decided to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the so-called roadless rule, which bans road construction and timber harvests with limited exceptions. It applies to nearly one-quarter of all U.S. Forest Service lands.
Conservation groups vowed to fight the decision, describing it as short-sighted and driven by politics.
“The decision to roll back the roadless rule on the Tongass was made in spite of, not in support of, southeast Alaskans and our communities,” said Meredith Trainor, executive director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. “In making this decision, the Trump administration and the sham rulemaking process they undertook in our region ignored economic realities, environmental imperatives, and worst of all, the will of the people who actually live here.”
After Chernobyl who would trust the Russians to build a Nuclear Power Plant? Nobody that’s who. Except the blind, the feeble, the retarded, the old and Belarus. I need to say no more. This is a very bad idea.
MOSCOW (AP) — Belarus’ first nuclear power plant began operating Tuesday, a project that has spooked its neighbor Lithuania, which immediately cut off importing electricity from Belarus at the news.
The Russian-built Astravyets nuclear power plant, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, has been connected to Belarus’ power grid and has started producing electricity, according to Belarusian electricity operator Belenergo.
Lithuanian authorities long have opposed the plant’s construction, arguing that the project has been plagued by accidents, stolen materials and the mistreatment of workers. In line with the country’s law banning electricity imports from Belarus once the plant starts, Lithuania’s Litgrid power operator cut the inflow of electricity from Belarus upon receiving data that the Astravyets nuclear reactor had started producing energy.
Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, which built the plant, has rejected the Lithuanian complaints, saying the plant’s design conforms to the highest international standards as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a U.N. watchdog.
Go there and read. More next week.
But it is a very real question. I think it is Airplanes myself for 2 reasons. 1. Because they pollute at a high altitude (roughly 3 – 30 thousand feet) and, 2. because of an amazingly random accidental experiment after 9/11 that showed with all planes grounded our atmospheric temperature dropped a full degree. With Boats (ok large Ships) they burn something like warm asphalt, and that over water where the output can fall directly into what ever body on which they float. So essentially which is worse? High altitude kerosene or low altitude vaporized warm asphalt? I know – it makes me want to puke.
As a side note – i wish somebody would measure the net effects on global warming between Boats and Plane as opposed to co2 emissions which is awfully easy but not particularly insightful.
Go there and read. More next week.
This is an article from 8 years ago. Imagine how much worse it has gotten since then. They have no shame. Who will stop this? Not the Central Government. Not the Provencial Government and not the local for surel. This is what we call in the United States call, a National Sacrifice zone. Remove the people and keep on going. Its disgusting and it’s despicable. Big YUCK for everyone to see.
Rare-earth mining in China comes at a heavy cost for local villages
Health hazard … pipes coming from a rare-earth smelting plant spew into a tailings dam on the outskirts of Baotou in China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters
From the air it looks like a huge lake, fed by many tributaries, but on the ground it turns out to be a murky expanse of water, in which no fish or algae can survive. The shore is coated with a black crust, so thick you can walk on it. Into this huge, 10 sq km tailings pond nearby factories discharge water loaded with chemicals used to process the 17 most sought after minerals in the world, collectively known as rare earths.
The town of Baotou, in Inner Mongolia, is the largest Chinese source of these strategic elements, essential to advanced technology, from smartphones to GPS receivers, but also to wind farms and, above all, electric cars. The minerals are mined at Bayan Obo, 120km farther north, then brought to Baotou for processing.
The concentration of rare earths in the ore is very low, so they must be separated and purified, using hydro-metallurgical techniques and acid baths. China accounts for 97% of global output of these precious substances, with two-thirds produced in Baotou.
The foul waters of the tailings pond contain all sorts of toxic chemicals, but also radioactive elements such as thorium which, if ingested, cause cancers of the pancreas and lungs, and leukaemia. “Before the factories were built, there were just fields here as far as the eye can see. In the place of this radioactive sludge, there were watermelons, aubergines and tomatoes,” says Li Guirong with a sigh.
Go there and vomit. More next week.
Airbus reveals plans for zero-emission aircraft fueled by hydrogen
Aviation firm announces three different concepts with aim of taking to the skies by 2035
Airbus has announced plans for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft models that run on hydrogen and could take to the skies by 2035.
The European aersospace company revealed three different aircraft concepts that would be put through their paces to find the most efficient way to travel long distances by plane without producing the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global heating.
UK holidaymakers and business travellers could fly from London to the Canary Islands, Athens or eastern Europe without producing carbon emissions, should the plans become a commercial reality.
Guillaume Faury, the Airbus chief executive, said the “historic moment for the commercial aviation sector” marks the “most important transition this industry has ever seen”.
Go there and read. More next week.