Over 900 Million People Without Power – 3 times the number of people in the US

I think somewhere the God’s are laughing at me. Really, I keep trying to post stories about large solar facilites and the news gets in the road. I mean this is actually a huge story. I can not remember a time that this many people who had electricity lost it.

http://www.startribune.com/business/164247506.html?refer=y

Power grids across northern and eastern India fail in massive, cascading blackout

Article by: RAVI NESSMAN , Associated Press

NEW DELHI – India’s energy crisis cascaded over half the country Tuesday when three of its regional grids collapsed, leaving more than 600 million people without government-supplied electricity in one of the world’s biggest-ever blackouts.

Hundreds of trains stalled across the country and traffic lights went out, causing widespread traffic jams in New Delhi. Electric crematoria stopped operating, some with bodies half burnt, power officials said.

The massive failure — a day after a similar, but smaller power failure — has raised serious concerns about India’s outdated infrastructure and the government’s inability to meet its huge appetite for energy as the country aspires to become a regional economic superpower.

Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde blamed the new collapse on states taking more than their allotted share of electricity.

“Everyone overdraws from the grid. Just this morning I held a meeting with power officials from the states and I gave directions that states that overdraw should be punished. We have given instructions that their power supply could be cut,” he told reporters.

The new power failure affected people across more than a dozen states — more than the entire population of the European Union. The blackout was unusual in its reach, although its impact was softened by Indians’ familiarity with frequent blackouts and the widespread of backup generators for major businesses.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Koch Brothers Mouthpiece Changes His Tune – So Global Warming is actually real

That is the bitch about science. Over time it is always right. The Catholic Church was very slow to get this. RJ Reynolds eventually got it but it cost it billions. All of the asbestos people eventually got it too. But the Koch Brothers were just gona prove them wrong. I do not know whether it is endemic  to capitalism but this “prove them wrong” phase is what the space exploration crowd is experiencing right now. Call it the Buck Rogers phenomena but private companies will fail to develop space much like Climate Change needed to stop 30 years ago.  30 years from now the space people are going to be wondering what happened to their dreams…if any of us are still left alive.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/29/koch-funded-climate-scientist-i-was-wrong-humans-are-to-blame/

Koch-funded climate scientist: I was wrong, humans are to blame

By Jonathan Terbush
Sunday, July 29, 2012 14:16 EDT

The founder and director of a climate change study project funded heavily by the Koch brothers, who last year reversed course and said he believed global warming was real, has gone one step further, writing in a weekend op-ed in the New York Times that he is now convinced the phenomenon is caused by humans.

In a piece titled, “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic,” Richard A. Muller, a University of California, Berkley physicist who founded the Berkley Earth Surface Temperature study (BEST) wrote that his, “total turnaround, in such a short time,” was driven by a new report from the group that concluded for the first time that global warming is a man-made problem. That revelation brings Muller essentially full circle from his stance a few years ago, when he criticized other global warming studies as flawed and questioned whether the Earth was even warming abnormally, dangerously fast at all.

“Science is that narrow realm of knowledge that, in principle, is universally accepted,” Muller wrote. “I embarked on this analysis to answer questions that, to my mind, had not been answered. I hope that the Berkeley Earth analysis will help settle the scientific debate regarding global warming and its human causes.”

The BEST study, he wrote, found that the Earth had warmed by about two and a half degrees over the past 250 years, with the bulk of that spike occurring in the past 50 years. Moreover, he found that, “essentially all of this increase” was likely due to greenhouse gas emissions, a point climate change believers have accepted as fact for years.

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Go there and crow. More tomorrow.

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This Guy Had A Lot Of Guts – But the year is turning out the way he thought

I love guys that think clearly about the future. So we will end the week with The Energy Collective and Gil Friend. I do not like the fact that they are backed by Siemens but I am something of a purist.

http://theenergycollective.com/node/75727

 

Posted by: Gil Friend

Predicting the Top Sustainability Stories of 2012

Last month I offered my picks for the Top Sustainability Stories of 2011. Here are my predictions for the Top Sustainability Stories of 2012. (It’s a rugged mix of bad news and good.)

Climate heats up and hides out The sheer pressure of the hard-to-escape evidence — more record-breaking temperatures, more disastrous weather events, big supply chain disruptions, ever-rising insurance payments — will drive more businesses to take global warming seriously as a business risk, even as The Economist and others blast the journalistic malpractice that leaves “climate” out of the weather disaster stories, and President Obama takes cover in an “all of the above” energy strategy.

US falls behind in solar China, Germany, Brazil — and California — continue to invest policy and capital in the new economy, while Washington remains lost in ideological shock and awe (as House republicans tell the Pentagon “you have to waste taxpayers money and make the troops less safe so we can continue to ignore both the science and the economics of climate change”). But there are surprises too: “red state” Iowa has decided that exporting $6b/year to buy fossil fuel from unfriendly nations might not be the most “conservative” plan, and is investing government money to reduce that balance of payments deficit!

EPA battle royal The right’s war on the EPA (and on regulation in general) will continue, and in fact heat up as campaign fodder. Little noticed: 191 house votes attacking the EPA in 2011. Expect this battle to continue into 2013 (depending on how the elections turn out). But there’s good news too.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Earth Day’s History is Fascinating – and 1970 was so long ago

I celebrated the first Earth Day but I think it was Gaylord Nelson’s day, the April date. I do not know. I was a freshman in high school. I think I did it by myself because I don’t think anyone was interested. I think I drew a picture of the Earth and hung in my locker. Something like that. It was pretty lame, but you have to start somewhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day

Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth‘s natural environment. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network,[1] and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year.[2] In 2009, the United Nations designated April 22 International Mother Earth Day.[3] Earth Day is planned for April 22 in all years at least through 2015.[4]

The name and concept of Earth Day was allegedly pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. He proposed March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. About the same time a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.[5][6] Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Off The Grid – We move into survivalist land

Like I said in the beginning there are many types of people that want to be off the grid. The rich do it because they can. Many people do it to save money. Some people, like Thoreau, like the solitude or are paranoid. Then there are the survivalists. I do not agree with their theories or their ideology, but they are a part of the mix and this site is pretty explicit.

http://offgridsurvival.com/preppingfriendsandfamil/

Talking to Friends and Family about Prepping

A number of readers have emailed me lately asking how they can convince their friends and family to start prepping.

To be honest this is a touchy subject, one that can often make even hardcore preppers feel a bit uncomfortable.

For some, the thought of talking to anyone about prepping fills them with feelings of anxiety. Just the thought of others knowing what preps you have is enough to fill anyone with a sense of paranoia . And who can blame them, lately it seems like every time we turn on the news another government agency is warning people about those dangerous preppers.

For those that do try to talk about the subject, trying to get their family and friends on board can be a headache to say the least.

From friends and family members that truly believe the government will save them in a time of crisis, to those that have been brainwashed by the media to believe that preppers are all  tinfoil hat wearing nutjobs, prepping can often be a touchy or even taboo subject to talk about. While we have touched on the subject in the past, I thought it was important to take another look at how we can help those we care about prepare for an uncertain future.

Dealing with those who believe the Government will help them in a time of crisis.

As a reader who recently wrote to me pointed out, 50 years of being programmed to believe that the government can help is hard to undo. We live in a society that is becoming increasingly reliant on the government to help them in every aspect of their lives. In fact over 67 million Americans now rely on government aid to pay for either housing, food, health care or education. That’s 1 in 5 Americans!

Most people simply don’t realize or believe that they are in any kind of danger. Most Americans live under the belief that the government will be there to help them in a time of crisis. So what can you do to change this mindset and protect those that you care about?

Use the Governments own advice.

Even the government advises people to be prepared. They will be the first to admit that during a time of crisis it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be able to respond in under 72 hours.

At the very least your friends and family should be prepared to survive at home without power, water and utilities for a minimum of 72 hours. While most of the governments advice is rather simplistic,  it may help you introduce the subject to those who depend on the government for everything.

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It is a huge site. Go there and read. More Tomorrow.

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Why Conserve Energy – Save money and save the planet

Every once in awhile it does not hurt to remind people why we do this.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2011-temps.html

NASA Finds 2011 Ninth-Warmest Year on Record
01.19.12

The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011 compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.

We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting,” said GISS Director James E. Hansen. “So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record.”

The difference between 2011 and the warmest year in the GISS record (2010) is 0.22 degrees F (0.12 C). This underscores the emphasis scientists put on the long-term trend of global temperature rise. Because of the large natural variability of climate, scientists do not expect temperatures to rise consistently year after year. However, they do expect a continuing temperature rise over decades.

The first 11 years of the 21st century experienced notably higher temperatures compared to the middle and late 20th century, Hansen said. The only year from the 20th century in the top 10 warmest years on record is 1998.

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Go there and watch the video. More next week.

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The Climate And Mankind Go Down The Drain – If Copenhagen was a bust Durban was a big boooooom

The world is just now getting over the disinformation campaign led by the rich, the coal companies and the oil companies that argued that global climate change wasn’t happening. The world had a perfect opportunity to clean it all up. China’s chunk of the atmosphere is a pig stye and they have to clean it up. They have people dying. Everyone has gone toxic over the last decade like it doesn’t matter. One of the reasons the world’s economy has stalled out is that it was in the process of moving to more sustainable models but the super rich and the elites dug in their heels and are holding it back. No new jobs. Why cause we don’t wanna. Sounding like three year olds threatening to take their toys and go home. But where is home anyway. They never got around to setting up a paradise on Mars. This article takes a much more tactful approach than mine but:

http://io9.com/5868551/did-the-durban-climate-change-talks-actually-accomplish-anything

Did the Durban climate change talks actually accomplish anything?

The UN’s latest Climate Change Conference recently concluded after two weeks of intense negotiations in Durban, South Africa. There’s going to be a new agreement to address climate change, but does that really mean anything? Let’s break down what happened.

Top image: Chukchi Sea Polar Bears by AP/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There’s no point in denying it — the Durban talks, otherwise known as COP17, didn’t directly accomplish much at all, if anything. In fact, you could argue the talks represented a net loss for the world’s commitment to fighting climate change, as Canada announced it was withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol, the current UN agreement aimed at cutting climate change, placing it in the unusual position of being lectured by China about its environmental policy.

And if you were hoping for an agreement that would lay down concrete steps to cut carbon emissions or lower global temperatures, then these talks were a dismal failure. Instead, they simply got all the countries there to agree to be part of a future, legally binding agreement that will be defined by 2015 and go into effect in 2020. That might just sound like passing the buck — and yeah, it kind of is — but this does represent some small progress from the Kyoto Protocol.

For one thing, this new agreement has the United States on board, which infamously refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Second, this future treaty will be legally binding for all countries, not just those classified as developed. While major developing powers like China and India ratified the Kyoto Protocol, they were under no real requirement to comply with it.

That should change with this new agreement, although a major contention of the final marathon 60-hour negotiating session was India’s objection that their compliance not be “legally binding.” They eventually settled on an agreement that would have “legal force.” What’s the difference? Your guess is as good as mine, though hopefully that will become clearer by 2015. It was also agreed to set up a fund to help developing countries pay for climate compliance, though there are no actual specifics on where the money would come from or how it would be managed.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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A Positive Review Of The Durbin Climate Conference – I guess I will rant tomorrow

I like Eugene Robinson a lot. I think he is wrong here because of the time frame. I do not believe we have 9 years to address these things because the sun is heating up. By next year we should be seeing a marked increase in sun spots and the weather is going to go from creepy to scary. But it is a well thought out position nonetheless.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reason-to-smile-about-the-durban-climate-conference/2011/12/12/gIQA80nZqO_story.html

Eugene Robinson
Eugene Robinson
Opinion Writer

Reason to smile about the Durban climate conference

By , Published: December 12

I’m inclined to believe that the apparent result of the climate change summit in Durban, South Africa, might turn out to be a very big deal. Someday. Maybe.

After the meeting ended Sunday, initial reaction ranged from “Historic Breakthrough: The Planet Is Saved” to “Tragic Failure: The Planet Is Doomed.”

My conclusion is that for now, at least, the conceptual advance made in Durban is as good as it gets.

This advance is, potentially, huge: For the first time, officials of the nations that are the biggest carbon emitters — China, the United States and India — have agreed to negotiate legally binding restrictions.

Under the old Kyoto Protocol framework, which for now remains largely in effect, rapidly industrializing nations refused to be constricted by limits that would stunt their development. The United States declined to sign on to the Kyoto agreement as long as China, India, Brazil and other rising economic giants got a pass.

This meant that while European nations worked to meet emissions targets — or, in some cases, pretended to do so — the most important sources of carbon were unconstrained. When Kyoto was adopted, China was well behind the United States as an emitter; now it’s far ahead. India recently passed Russia to move into third place.

The Durban talks seemed likely to go nowhere until the Chinese delegate, Xie Zhenhua, announced that Beijing was willing to consider a legally binding framework. With China now responsible for fully 23 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, this was an enormous step forward.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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The Durban Climate Conference Was Forged With Magic – As long as they keep running articles like this

The South Africans keep running these marvelous print pieces. So for now I will put off the rant for another day.

http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/ec5b6c004965c6438ebfae8ee8404785/South-African-magic-rescued-climate-talks—Zuma-20111212

South African magic rescued climate talks – Zuma

Monday 12 December 2011 18:20

A touch of South African magic rescued the faltering climate talks in Durban. This is according to President Jacob Zuma who spoke on a state visit to Benin.

Zuma says the country defused tensions between parties and prevented its collapse. “It was South African magic that actually helped and finally we emerged with the results that surprised everyone that Durban emerged with the process. We, as South Africans, should be very proud.”

An estimated 15 000 delegates attended the conference.

Earlier today, Environmental Affairs Minister has likened COP 17 to the historic Kyoto conference in 1997. The Two-week climate talks were aimed at discussing the future of the planet.

The conference moves to Qatar next year

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Durban Climate Summit A Success – They get a new climate observatory

See this is what happens when you do open ended searches. I am sure that you thought I would be ranting here about what a dismal conference it was. Or maybe how everything that they agreed to was a drop in the atmospheric bucket considering how much and how many different types of toxins we spew. And I may do that tomorrow, but today South Africa is smiling because nobody was killed and they got a new observatory out of the deal. From Monaco no less.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201112131459.html

SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Climate Change Observatory for the Country

13 December 2011

A unique climate change observatory, the first of its kind in the world, focusing on bringing scientific information from around the globe to the public, is to be built in Cape Town by the International Polar Foundation.

The announcement, first reported by the SABC on Friday, was made last week at a function attended by Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco, who were in Durban for the UN climate change summit (COP 17).

Prince Albert is a patron of the Belgium-based International Polar Foundation (IPF), a non-profit organisation established in 2002 with the aim of “providing a novel interface between science and society”. The IPF’s last major project, completed in 2009, was the construction of a new research station – the world’s first zero-emission research station – in Antarctica.

Interface between science and society

Its next major project is the Polaris Climate Change Observatory, which will be built in the heart of Cape Town’s famous V&A Waterfront, on a jetty that will be specially developed, the IPF says on its website, “to offer visitors of all ages a striking experience as a path to sustainability.

“Featuring permanent and temporary exhibitions, outreach and education activities, spectacular ways of presenting climate facts and figures, highlighting new science and innovations, the Polaris Climate Change Observatory will confirm Cape Town and South Africa as world landmarks for climate action.”

According to the IPF, Cape Town is the perfect location for this “new breed of science centre”, and not only because of the city’s geographical location as a gateway to the Southern Pole.

Scheduled to open in 2014, the first Polaris Climate Change Observatory will bring together “the ingenuity of one of Africa’s premier cities with a revolutionary concept which will change the way visitors understand the world, the changing climate and ways in which humanity can take responsibility and make decisions for the future”.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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