Biden’s Got A Shitload Of Work To Do – Saving the environment from the cheeto burrito will be hard

From the XL Pipeline, to “saving” coal, to selling off Public Lands Trump did everything he could to gut environmental regulations and destroy the Environment. Here is some of what it is going to take to undue it, including probably 30 or 40 Executive Orders.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/on-climate-biden-must-do-more-than-undo-trumps-damage/

Climate

On Climate, Biden Must Do More Than Undo Trump’s Damage

The new administration cannot just go back to the future on carbon emissions

On Climate, Biden Must Do More Than Undo Trump's Damage
Credit: Egle Plytnikaite

One word sums up what the Biden administration must do to address climate change: restart.

In 2015 nearly 200 nations committed to the Paris Agreement, which aims to prevent the worst impacts of climate change by limiting global warming by 2100 to less than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The U.S. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Then Donald Trump was elected president. He soon announced that the U.S. would pull out of the accord, and his administration spent four years relentlessly rolling back regulations intended to curb emissions and protect the environment. Dozens of coal-burning power plants, the worst carbon polluters, shut down anyway as market forces expanded the role of cheaper, cleaner natural gas, wind and solar power. And various states, cities and industries cut emissions. Yet even with that progress, Trump’s rollbacks could add the equivalent of 1.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2035, according to the Rhodium Group, an independent research organization.

Joe Biden must now make up for lost time, and last November he said the U.S. would rejoin the Paris Agreement immediately after he became president. This commitment is important because the U.S. is still the world’s second-largest emitter, behind China, and it can return as a world climate leader. But Biden will also have to ratchet up the original U.S. pledge because warming—and its effects—has only sped up since the Paris Agreement was established. Biden promised to issue an executive order calling for net-zero emissions by 2050, but he will need to set specific interim targets. The World Resources Institute says reducing emissions to 45 to 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 could put the country on track.

Congressional legislation is the most effective way to create the concrete policies needed to achieve those goals because it gives federal agencies clear priorities, is much harder to override with presidential actions, and can better withstand legal challenges that might be brought by industry or special-interest groups. But the divided U.S. Senate will make sweeping laws hard to pass. Biden will have to work through executive orders and will have to charge federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency with issuing new regulations under existing laws such as the Clean Air Act. He will need to “turn every stone possible,” says Narayan Subramanian, an environmental lawyer working with the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at Berkeley Law. The most immediate focuses are transportation, power plants, methane emissions and pesky hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

With coal plants retiring, transportation has surpassed power generation as the country’s largest carbon emitter. The quickest action Biden can take to tackle those emissions is to reinstate California’s waiver to the Clean Air Act, allowing the state to enforce its Advanced Clean Cars regulations. The regulations set fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light-duty trucks that are tougher than federal rules, which means fewer emissions. In the past, automakers have built their nationwide fleets to meet the state’s standards to avoid making two versions of their vehicles, and some states, such as New York, typically follow California’s lead. The Rhodium Group estimates that reinstating the waiver would save about 573 million metric tons of emissions by 2035.

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Go there and sob. (at least he is gone) More next week.

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Why Do Nuclear Power Plants Cost So Much – Because they are freakin BIG

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:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/11/why-are-nuclear-plants-so-expensive-safetys-only-part-of-the-story/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

The price is not right —

Why are nuclear plants so expensive? Safety’s only part of the story

A look at the history of nuclear power in the US, and why plant costs have soared.

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.

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Go there and read. Sorry I was late. More next week.

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The Cheeto Burrito Seeks To Destroy Tsongass National Forest – Destruction is his legacy

(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.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/10/28/tongass-national-forest-alaska-exempt-roadless-rule-usda/6065610002/

USA Today

Feds end road, logging restrictions in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, one of the world’s largest temperate rainforests

Becky Bohrer
The Associated Press
Published 11:00 pm Oct 28, 2020

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.”

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What Could Go Wrong With A Russian Nuke – That’s what Lithuanian thought

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.

https://news.yahoo.com/belarus-cranks-1st-nuclear-plant-122609420.html

Belarus cranks up 1st nuclear plant; Lithuania is fearful

Associated Press

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.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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In The Race To Despoil The Environment, China Wins – They are First, Second and Third

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.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/aug/07/china-rare-earth-village-pollution

 

Rare-earth mining in China comes at a heavy cost for local villages

Pollution is poisoning the farms and villages of the region that processes the precious minerals

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.

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Go there and vomit. More next week.

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Want To See What Climate Change Does To America – You really don’t but you will go look anyway

As you scroll through this article it shows how climate change effects America. I must say it is pretty cool in a technological way, but it is depressing for an environmentalist like me. Illinois fares OK until about 2070. Just in case you are interested.

https://projects.propublica.org/climate-migration/?utm_source=digg

New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

According to new data from the Rhodium Group analyzed by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, warming temperatures and changing rainfall will drive agriculture and temperate climates northward, while sea level rise will consume coastlines and dangerous levels of humidity will swamp the Mississippi River valley.

Taken with other recent research showing that the most habitable climate in North America will shift northward and the incidence of large fires will increase across the country, this suggests that the climate crisis will profoundly interrupt the way we live and farm in the United States. See how the North American places where humans have lived for thousands of years will shift and what changes are in store for your county.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers modeled the human climate “niche”: the regions where temperature and precipitation have been most suitable for humans to live in over the past 6,000 years.

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Go there and read. Go there and play. More next week.

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Recycling Plastic Was Always A Lie – There is only so much plastic furniture and astroturf the world needs

So the shell game for the oil companies was always – who can we get to take this stuff? Meaning solid supposedly recyclable plastics. For awhile anybody would take the “stuff” to burn it and Americans are like – out of sight out of mind. When they got caught at that, then they started exporting for “conversion” to other substances and China bought that one big time. Don’t get me wrong, plastic can be recycled but it is MORE expensive to do so than to throw it away. PLUS you can only recycle it once or twice and then it has to be thrown away anyway. YUP recycling was always a lie. But ain’t capitalism grand.

https://www.npr.org/2020/09/11/897692090/how-big-oil-misled-the-public-into-believing-plastic-would-be-recycled?utm_source=digg

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled

 

Laura Leebrick, a manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in southern Oregon, is standing on the end of its landfill watching an avalanche of plastic trash pour out of a semitrailer: containers, bags, packaging, strawberry containers, yogurt cups.

None of this plastic will be turned into new plastic things. All of it is buried.

“To me that felt like it was a betrayal of the public trust,” she said. “I had been lying to people … unwittingly.”

Rogue, like most recycling companies, had been sending plastic trash to China, but when China shut its doors two years ago, Leebrick scoured the U.S. for buyers. She could find only someone who wanted white milk jugs. She sends the soda bottles to the state.

But when Leebrick tried to tell people the truth about burying all the other plastic, she says people didn’t want to hear it.

“I remember the first meeting where I actually told a city council that it was costing more to recycle than it was to dispose of the same material as garbage,” she says, “and it was like heresy had been spoken in the room: You’re lying. This is gold. We take the time to clean it, take the labels off, separate it and put it here. It’s gold. This is valuable.”

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Go there and read. Next time you see an empty gallon milk jug. Light it on fire in protest. More next week.

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P.S. Today is recycling day in Riverton and they just took my plastic away. hahahahaa

 

Attached To An Ice Floe In The Arctic – What a brave way to study Global Warming

So who are you going to believe? A research vessel attached to Arctic ice or a weasel attached to the Presidency with Leech like suckers.  ie. Trump – it’s a hoax or Science – it’s COMING! Me I trust science. Not Russian science either.

https://earther.gizmodo.com/scientists-made-an-alarmingly-easy-trip-to-the-north-po-1844858358?utm_source=digg

Scientists Made an Alarmingly Easy Trip to the North Pole

 

dharnanoor

Filed to:ice ice maybe

 

At Earther, we’ve been following the historic extent of ice melt in the Arctic this summer pretty closely. But not as closely as Gunnar Spreen and his research team, who are literally following the ice.

“We’re attached to an ice floe now,” he said on the phone from a research vessel called the Polarstern, which is currently at the latitude 88 degrees north, just under 150 miles (230 kilometers) from the North Pole. “We’re drifting with the ice. Wherever it goes, we go.”

Spreen, a sea ice and remote sensing scientist at the University of Bremen, is taking part in a research expedition known as the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate, or MOSAiC. It’s the largest Arctic research campaign in history, with some 500 scientists and staffers rotating on and off of the research vessel for months at a time.

The current cohort boarded the Polarstern on August 12, and in just a week’s time, they made it to the North Pole. To get there, they took an unexpected route, north of Greenland.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Since Humanity Is Doomed – Let’s talk about a symptom of that, Chernobyl

Chernobyl symbolized the beginning of the end for me. Man had shown his weakness against forces that he unleashed on the Earth. If that was true then it was only a matter of time before the jinny or jin coalesced and demanded his due. The sum of which men could not produce. So the sword would fall on all our necks. But every once in awhile there is cause for hope.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/8-facts-about-the-animals-of-chernobyl?utm_source=pocket-newtab

8 Facts About the Animals of Chernobyl

Researchers thought the site of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster was unable to support life. But a bunch of wolves, deer, wild boars, bears, and foxes disagree.

Mental Floss

  • Claudia Dimuro

Three decades after the Chernobyl disaster—the world’s worst nuclear accident—signs of life are returning to the exclusion zone. Wild animals in Chernobyl are flourishing within the contaminated region; puppies roaming the area are capturing the hearts of thousands. Tourists who have watched the critically acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl are taking selfies with the ruins. Once thought to be forever uninhabitable, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has become a haven for flora and fauna that prove that life, as they say in Jurassic Park, finds a way.

1. The Animals of Chernobyl Survived Against All Odds

The effects of the radioactive explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 devastated the environment. Around the plant and in the nearby city of Pripyat in Ukraine, the Chernobyl disaster’s radiation caused the leaves of thousands of trees to turn a rust color, giving a new name to the surrounding woods—the Red Forest. Workers eventually bulldozed and buried the radioactive trees. Squads of Soviet conscripts also were ordered to shoot any stray animals within the 1000-square-mile Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Though experts today believe parts of the zone will remain unsafe for humans for another 20,000 years, numerous animal and plant species not only survived, but thrived.

2. Bears and Wolves Outnumber Humans Around the Chernobyl Disaster Site

While humans are strictly prohibited from living in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, many other species have settled there. Brown bears, wolves, lynx, bison, deer, moose, beavers, foxes, badgers, wild boar, raccoon dogs, and more than 200 species of birds have formed their own ecosystem within the Chernobyl disaster area. Along with the larger animals, a variety of amphibians, fish, worms, and bacteria makes the unpopulated environment their home.

THE PEOPLE have moved back too.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/moving_to_Chernobyl?utm_source=digg

The people who moved to Chernobyl

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 left a ring of ghost villages as residents fled, fearing radiation poisoning.

But now people are choosing to live in the crumbling houses on the edge of the exclusion zone.

On a warm summer’s evening, Maryna Kovalenko is playing football with her two teenage daughters in their backyard.

Iryna and Olena laugh as the family dog attempts to wrestle away the ball, scattering the startled chickens.

But out beyond the family’s back fence, all is silent and still.

Numerous houses, a shop and a library stand vacant in the village of Steshchyna, northern Ukraine. Only the forest is gaining ground as creeping plants explore the cracks in this abandoned village.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Do Not Have To Be A Weatherman To Know Which The Wind Blows

It ain’t good news. So I will just put them up.

https://www.erienewsnow.com/story/42470351/canadian-ice-shelf-larger-than-manhattan-collapses-into-the-sea

Canadian ice shelf larger than Manhattan collapses into the sea

Saturday, August 8th 2020, 4:16 PM EDT
Updated:

The size of Canada’s last fully intact ice shelf was reduced by 43% over July 30 and 31 when the Milne Ice Shelf on Ellesmere Island in the northern territory of Nunavut collapsed into the ocean.

This large sheet of ice then drifted into the Arctic Sea, further breaking into two large chunks. This entire calving event — the scientific term for the breaking of ice chunks off glaciers — was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel satellite.

The piece that broke off was around 80 square kilometers — larger than the 60-square-kilometer Manhattan.

“Above-normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up,” according to the Canadian Ice Service.

AND THIS

https://news.yahoo.com/heat-wave-bakes-california-more-123049167.html

From ‘firenadoes’ to record heat, California extreme weather a glimpse of future

Tony Barboza, Louis Sahagun, Joseph Serna
LA Times

In the last few days, a moisture-laden heat wave has unleashed extreme weather in almost every corner of California.

In a single day, Northern California was hit with triple-digit temperatures, as well as hundreds of lightning strikes that ignited brush fires. The mercury hit 107 degrees Sunday in Santa Cruz, known for its moderate climate, and Death Valley reached 130 degrees — one of the hottest temperatures ever recorded there.

Meanwhile, unusually muggy air made Los Angeles feel like Houston, and warm nights failed to offer much relief. The Central Valley sweltered with temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. A fire-caused tornado touched down near the Sierra Nevada community of Loyalton. And a pyrocumulus cloud towered over Southern California, where heat and wildfires pushed smog levels higher than they’ve been in years.

Did we mention the power went out too?

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Go there and read. More Next week if I survive.

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