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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Louisiana Is Drowning In Toxic Pollution – Propublica chronicles it all

This is kinda funny because my blog is an accumulator blog and these guys are the maximum accumulators. Having lived in New Orleans for 12 years you can smell it, you can taste and there are days when you just should stay inside. Then there is the urban detritus, it rained 110 inches one year and the flooding was horrid. Walking through the water everyday I faced motor oil, gasoline and even used syringes.

https://www.propublica.org/series/polluters-paradise

Polluter’s Paradise

Environmental Impact in Louisiana

The petrochemical industry has grown in Louisiana, with more plants on the way, but the state’s environmental regulations haven’t kept up.

the first Article:

https://www.propublica.org/article/how-oil-companies-avoided-environmental-accountability-after-10.8-million-gallons-spilled

How Oil Companies Avoided Environmental Accountability After 10.8 Million Gallons Spilled

Louisiana still hasn’t finished investigating 540 oil spills after Hurricane Katrina. The state is likely leaving millions of dollars in remediation fines on the table — money that environmental groups say they need as storms get stronger.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, while stranded New Orleanians flagged down helicopters from rooftops and hospitals desperately triaged patients, crude oil silently gushed from damaged drilling rigs and storage tanks.

Given the human misery set into motion by Katrina, the harm these spills caused to the environment drew little attention. But it was substantial.

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Go there and read at least 15 articles. More next week.

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The Darkside Of The Green Revolution – Lithium extraction really messes things up

I should very quickly say – the way things are done now. The mining industry, as it functions in the past and now, destroys things no matter what it is extracting – gold, lead or lithium. So if we are going to have a real revolution we are going to have to change the entire extraction industry. This point is larger for me than this article implies because capitalism is the problem. We as a society can achieve a carbon negative atmosphere and humans will still threaten the planet because that it what capitalism does – destroys thing. Still you have to start somewhere.

https://logicmag.io/nature/what-green-costs/?utm_source=digg

Issue 9 / Nature

December 07, 2019

What Green Costs

Thea Riofrancos

Deep in the salt flats of Chile lies the extractive frontier of the renewable energy transition.

Clean energy advocates envision an electrified home running on 100 percent renewable energy with a Tesla parked in its garage, solar shingles gleaming on its rooftop, and a smart meter dutifully collecting usage data and uploading it to the cloud. But swim upstream and eventually you arrive at the extractive frontiers of the renewable energy transition.

It was 8:45 am on the first day of the 11th Lithium Supply & Markets Conference in the basement level of the W Hotel in Santiago, Chile. There was no way for me to blend in. “Providence College” on my name tag rendered me a curiosity. Still, I was glad I remembered to wear lipstick and that my backpack had straps that converted it into a tote.

I found an empty seat in the sea of suits, almost all men but of different ages. They hailed variously from China, Australia, Chile, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Argentina. They were market analysts and prospectors; equipment salesmen and regulators; executives, consultants, and peddlers of information in the notoriously opaque world of lithium, a “space,” in Silicon Valley talk, not quite meriting the word “market.”

As I slid into my seat, the chairman of one of the largest lithium companies in the world, with a sordid past in a corrupt privatization process under Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship, took to the stage. “Mining is the spine of Chile; mining runs through our veins.” I might have been the only person in the room who immediately thought of Eduardo Galeano’s anti-colonial page-turner, Open Veins of Latin America?—?incidentally penned the same year Pinochet came to power, brutally crushing the dream of democratic socialism in Chile. But I don’t think the chairman meant to call to mind the vampiric iconography of global capital. The dead sapping the living; the blood and sweat and tortured landscapes of extraction, especially in its colonial variant.

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Go there and read. More next week, if there is a next week.

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Pollute Till People Die _ Why does every developing Nation have to go through this

Pollute till rivers catch fire.(like America) Pollute till people die and slums burn down. (like England) Blow up a Nuclear Power Plant. (like the Soviet Union or Japan) Pollute until thousands die. (like India). But does India Come around after Bhopal. Hell no!

There is this:

https://www.dw.com/en/new-delhi-schools-closed-as-air-pollution-worsens/a-51235841

Then there is this:

DW recommends

 

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

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Murray Coal Goes Bankrupt – Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy

Mr. Coal goes down and the media want us to cry over his breathing difficulties. What do you want to bet it ain’t black lung. This is the guy who pioneered Mountain Top Removal. This is the guy that was responsible for the biggest mine disaster in recent history that killed men and women. This is the guy who got Trump to be “Pro Coal” and roll back environmental regulations that have poison our air. Now people’s pensions are threatened. It doesn’t get nastier than this.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/01/business/murray-energy-coal-bankruptcy-pension/index.html

‘Nervous and scared.’ Coal workers fear for pensions after Murray Energy bankruptcy

New York (CNN Business)Tom Kacsmar worked underground at a coal mine for nearly four decades. The promise of a decent pension and healthcare for life kept him at this dangerous job.

Now, Kacsmar fears those benefits will get washed away by the bankruptcy of Murray Energy, America’s largest private coal mining company.
“I was a proud, hard-working coal miner my entire life. With the stroke of a pen, they’re going to cut my healthcare,” the 76-year-old retiree told CNN Business.
Kacsmar never worked a day for Murray Energy, the mining giant founded by coal king Robert Murray. But like countless other retirees, the fate of his benefits is inextricably linked to the company, which is seeking to “dramatically” slash its liabilities, including $8 billion of pension and retiree healthcare obligations.

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Go there and read. More next week. Coal is dying. YAA

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Trump Causes Downturn In Air Quality – One single man in three years kills thousands

That’s right. The Dumb Ass In Chief has repealed so many EPA rules, that in three years, America has suffered a noticeable decline in air quality. Enough so that people with lung difficulties are dying, as well as young children. But is the Orange Valdemort done? Not by a long shot.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-battle-california-heats-climate-172050506.html

Trump Battle With California Heats Up With New Climate Suit

Jennifer A. Dlouhy
Bloomberg  

(Bloomberg) — The Trump administration on Wednesday launched a legal assault on another of California’s plans to combat climate change, filing a lawsuit challenging the state’s carbon-cutting pact with Quebec.

The lawsuit, filed in a Sacramento-based U.S. district court, argues the state stepped outside its proper constitutional lane by making a deal with the Canadian province on a cap-and-trade deal for limiting carbon dioxide emissions.

The move is the latest in a series of actions the Trump administration has taken against California as it simultaneously challenges the state’s authority to set aggressive greenhouse gas emissions-cutting mandates on vehicles and complains the state has been too lax in confronting local pollution problems.

The administration argues that the Constitution bars states from making treaties or compacts with foreign powers — like the regional cap-and-trade agreement California entered into with Quebec in 2013.

Such foreign policy matters are the purview of the federal government, the Justice Department asserts.

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Go there and (cough cough cough) read. More next week.

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Fires IN The Arctic – Need I say more

Well. I would say, They’re Here! To paraphrase the famous movies.See when I started to talk about green house gases and then global warming a little later it was always in the future tense. Like 2050 or 2040 but the god awful truth is that, the ruinous effects are here. Now. They are escalating.

https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/unprecedented-wildfires-arctic

Unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic

12

Published

12 July 2019

Unusually hot and dry conditions in parts of the northern hemisphere have been conducive to fires raging from the Mediterranean to – in particular – the Arctic. Climate change, with rising temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns, is amplifying the risk of wildfires and prolonging the season.

WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch Programme has released a short animation which highlights the risks and explains how advances in satellite technology make it possible to detect and monitor fire dangers. Improving forecasting systems is important for predictions and warnings around fire danger and related air pollution hazards.

In addition to the direct threat from burning, wildfires also release harmful pollutants including particulate matter and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and non-methane organic compounds into the atmosphere.

Particles and gases from burning biomass can be carried over long distances, affecting air quality in regions far away.

Heatwaves fuel fires

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Go there and read. More next week – if we are still here.

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Democrats Want Climate Debate – Is it to late

I do not believe this article needs much comment. The Polluters may have WON. But in winning for profits have they lost for humanity, I guess I am just a little bummed today. This article was published on my birthday last year.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07617-1

NEWS

Greenland is losing ice at fastest rate in 350 years

Vast ice sheet’s dramatic transformation revealed by ice cores, satellite data and climate models.

Ice melt across Greenland is accelerating, and the volume of meltwater running into the ocean has reached levels that are probably unprecedented in seven or eight millennia. The findings, drawn from ice cores stretching back almost 350 years, show a sharp spike in melting over the past two decades.

Previous studies have shown record melting on parts of Greenland’s ice, but the latest analysis includes the first estimate of historical runoff across the entire ice sheet. The results, published on 5 December in Nature1, show that the runoff rate over the past two decades was 33% higher than the twentieth-century average, and 50% higher than in the pre-industrial era.

“The melting is not just increasing — it’s accelerating,” says lead author Luke Trusel, a glaciologist at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. “And that’s a key concern for the future.

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Go there and cry. Imean, go there and read. More next week.

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CWLP Is Doomed – Coal will strangle it to death

A “multi-post” that I rarely ever do any more. But this issue is important so first my recommendations, first published on Facebook, and then the facts on the ground.

CWLP IS Doomed

If the members of the City Council of Springfield had any sense at all (and guts/leadership) they would:

1/ Tell IBEW 193 to retrain the workers at Dallman 1 2 and 3 in Solar and Wind
2/ They would close Dallman 1 2 and 3
3/ They would put out a notice for proposals to gasify Dallman
4/ They would take the savings and invest it in renewables
5/ They would ask the County to drop their ridiculous zoning rules for wind farms so we could have a wind farm in Sangamon county

But instead they will live in the 1900s and like Trump demand coal for a fuel source no matter what.

First the SJ-R

https://www.sj-r.com/news/20190507/report-recommends-cwlp-retire-its-three-oldest-power-units-move-away-from-coal

Report recommends CWLP retire its three oldest power units, move away from coal

In a much-anticipated report, an energy consulting firm is recommending that City Water, Light and Power retire three of its four coal-fired power generators “as soon as feasible” while offering the utility a roadmap to a less coal-dependent future.

The Energy Authority (TEA), which was retained by the city last year to map out a plan for the utility’s power generation for the next 20 years, released the 84-page “integrated resource plan” on Monday and gave a presentation to members of the Springfield City Council.

The firm recommended that CWLP retire Dallman units 1, 2 and 3 by as early as 2020 after finding that “no scenario economically retained these units.”

The results are not much of a surprise given the age of the units and the current state of the energy market, which has been upended by the rise of natural gas and the increasing affordability of renewable energy. For coal-dependent utilities like CWLP, it has not been easy to keep up.

“One of the things that we’ve been saying for quite some time is that coal-fired units basically can’t compete very well in the market, they’re not competitive in the current market,” said CWLP chief utility engineer Doug Brown. “So this report basically confirms all of that.”

Then the Illinois Times.

https://illinoistimes.com/article-21209-consultant-retire-three-of-cwlp%E2%80%99s-coal-fired-plants.html

Thursday, May 9, 2019 12:05 am

Consultant: Retire three of CWLP’s coal-fired plants

How can Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) best provide electrical power to meet the community’s future energy needs? Retiring Dallman Units 1, 2 and 3 coal-fired plants, increasing the use of renewable energy and expanding energy efficiency are some of the recommendations included in a recently released report.

Last year the city hired The Energy Authority (TEA) to develop an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Kevin Glake from TEA presented the results of the comprehensive study to the city council on May 6 at a meeting of the Public Utilities Committee. Anyone who uses electricity generated by CWLP or cares about the future of the city’s public utility should be interested in this plan.

Public comments are being accepted now through June 3, and a public open house is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. May 20 at the Lincoln Public Library. More information and the complete plan are available online at https://cwlp.com/IRP.aspx. Comments can be emailed to IRP@cwlp.com or mailed to CWLP General Office, ATTN: CWLP IRP, 800 E. Monroe St., Springfield, 62701.

https://illinoistimes.com/article-21312-letting-go.html

Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:19 am

Letting go

Springfield ponders cutting back on coal

t’s not a welcome message in council chambers.

“They came back with exactly what everyone on the city council knows,” Ward 1 Ald. Chuck Redpath declared at a May 28 committee-of-the-whole meeting, joining colleagues in criticizing the report issued by The Energy Authority. “The point is, we can’t just…go down without a fight. We’re talking about getting rid of two, maybe three, of our plants, and it’s going to be detrimental to our ratepayers. It’s going to be detrimental because, eventually, you are going to have to go out on the net, and buy off the net – the grid – and then we’re going to be subjected to whatever prices we get stuck with if we’re down to one plant. We’ve got to start thinking outside the box and find a better way.”

And so Redpath and other aldermen cling to coal, even as they talk about new courses. Those opposed to coal have a simple response to complaints about a report that contains no surprises.

“They’re not learning anything new because nothing has changed in six years in terms of the economics of those old units,” says Andy Knott, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club. “They don’t want to look at the facts and the reality and make the best decisions for the ratepayers.”

“They’re too old”

“Integrated resource plan,” a tag invented in the 1980s, is the official title of the study that’s drawing ire from aldermen. The planning process is supposed to help utilities figure out long-term economics. Thirty-three states, but not Illinois, require utilities to prepare IRPs that are subject to review by state regulators.

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Go there and read sadly/ More next week…

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People Who Deny Climate Change Have Always Blamed Cows – It turns out it is the farmers that raise them

So after Frackers and their flares and leaks, Farmers and Fertilizer manufacturers are the greatest danger to the planet. CO2 doesn’t even compare to methane. It is 10 times more powerful. So next time you see a farmer, thank them for THAT.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190606183254.htm

Science News
from research organizations

Fertilizer plants emit 100 times more methane than reported

Date:
June 6, 2019
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Emissions of methane from the industrial sector have been vastly underestimated, researchers have found.

Emissions of methane from the industrial sector have been vastly underestimated, researchers from Cornell University and Environmental Defense Fund have found.

Using a Google Street View car equipped with a high-precision methane sensor, the researchers discovered that methane emissions from ammonia fertilizer plants were 100 times higher than the fertilizer industry’s self-reported estimate. They also were substantially higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate for all industrial processes in the United States.

“We took one small industry that most people have never heard of and found that its methane emissions were three times higher than the EPA assumed was emitted by all industrial production in the United States,” said John Albertson, co-author and professor of civil and environmental engineering. “It shows us that there’s a huge gap between a priori estimates and real-world measurements.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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