We Are Living in a Climate Emergency – According to the f%$!ing Scientific American

This according to 13,000 scientists who think it is now or never for things to change. This is a stunning development. One I never thought would happen until the END. And I will be honest here, we are nowhere near the end. I think we have at least 20 years before things are completely out of control. I never thought I hear these kinds of statement until it was too late. Like hearing “the Titanic is sinking” when it is already half way down and there is no going back. But then again – maybe i better rethink. Anway:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/we-are-living-in-a-climate-emergency-and-were-going-to-say-so/

Climate | Opinion

We Are Living in a Climate Emergency, and We’re Going to Say So

It’s time to use a term that more than 13,000 scientists agree is needed

We Are Living in a Climate Emergency, and We're Going to Say So
Increasingly dangerous wildfires are just one consequence of climate change. Here, a man watches in 2013 as the Springs fire in California approaches. Credit: David McNew Getty Images

An emergency is a serious situation that requires immediate action. When someone calls 911 because they can’t breathe, that’s an emergency. When someone stumbles on the sidewalk because their chest is pounding and their lips are turning blue, that’s an emergency. Both people require help right away. Multiply those individuals by millions of people who have similar symptoms, and it constitutes the biggest global health emergency in a century: the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now consider the following scenarios: A hurricane blasts Florida. A California dam bursts because floods have piled water high up behind it. A sudden, record-setting cold snap cuts power to the entire state of Texas. These are also emergencies that require immediate action. Multiply these situations worldwide, and you have the biggest environmental emergency to beset the earth in millennia: climate change.

Given the circumstances, Scientific American has agreed with major news outlets worldwide to start using the term “climate emergency” in its coverage of climate change. An official statement about this decision, and the impact we hope it can have throughout the media landscape, is below.

The planet is heating up way too fast. It’s time for journalism to recognize that the climate emergency is here

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Go there and read. We will see if it catches on. More next week.

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How We Drained The Largest Lake West Of The Mississippi – OH My

This is the story of a man named Boswell and Boswell had a very lovely wife (Sorry Brady Bunch) who turned the San Joaquin Valley from a lush river and lake wildlife area into the nation’s bread basket. Also how it destroyed a massive habitat This was and is a despicable enterprise. Sort of on the order of a Nuclear Testing site in the desert. Or a Copper Mine for that matter. If you want to hear a video about it. There is This:

https://digg.com/video/heres-why-the-united-states-drained-its-ninth-largest-lake

If you want to read about it. You can go here:

http://www.tularebasinwildlifepartners.org/history.html

Hydrologic History of the Tulare Basin

The Tulare Basin historically supported an amazing complex of wetland habitats, unique in the world. This largely flat and arid region served as the floodplain for water flowing west from the southern Sierra Nevada, north from the Transverse Ranges, as well as from small intermittent arroyos flowing east from the Coast Ranges. Oak woodlands and riparian forests formed green corridors across the broad prairie on the eastern edge of the Tulare Basin. Freshwater tule marshes and alkaline wetlands adorned the slow-moving sloughs and shallow margins of Kern, Buena Vista, Goose, Tulare, and Summit lakes. Emergent marsh vegetation, such as tules and cattails, grew in permanent standing water at the shallow edges of freshwater wetlands. Upslope from the marshes, water intermittently flooded iodine bush scrub and alkali grassland habitats.

This highly-productive, shallow water system supported abundant populations of endemic lake-adapted fishes such that American white pelicans (Pelacanus erythrorhynchos) nested by the thousands on islands in Tulare Lake and Buena Vista Lake. The Tulare Basin’s extensive wetland habitats historically attracted significant numbers of resident and migratory waterbirds, including grebes, pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, ibises, geese, swans, ducks, rails, sandhill cranes, plovers, stilts, avocets, sandpipers, phalaropes, gulls, and terns.

The conversion of this water system to a lake-and-slough wetland to agriculture began in the mid-1800s when European settlers began to build canals and diversion structures to irrigate their crops.  This early irrigation infrastructure upstream from Tulare Lake slowly cut off the lake from its source waters, shrinking the lake’s footprint.  By 1899 – less than 50 years after irrigation was initiated – Tulare Lake went dry for the first time in history.

FOR STARTERS
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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Oil Companies Have Poisoned The World – I am not talking about their refined fuels

I am talking Plastics. A friend of mine once remarked to me that he thought he probably would be carrying around a pound of DDT by the time he died. That may be true but think about a pound of plastic by-products circulating around your body. 60 years again the stuff didn’t even exist. Bakelite did exist and other form forms as well. But not the “soft” stuff. The stuff that universally breaks down. Now plastic and it’s by-products are everywhere AND there is more coming. Yum!

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-world-is-stuck-with-decades-of-new-plastic-it-can-t-recycle?utm_source=pocket-newtab

The World Is Stuck With Decades of New Plastic It Can’t Recycle

We’ve been hoodwinked into thinking recycling is a solution.

Quartz

  • Zoë Schlanger

Ants are useful creatures. As the most numerous insects on Earth, they have colonized nearly every habitat on land. So when a researcher wants to understand how far a contaminant has spread, they turn to ants.

In 2012, a group of French researchers found phthalates in the body of every ant they sampled. Ants from France, Hungary, Spain, Morocco, the Greek island Egine, and Burkina Faso all had at least some of the common plastic additive embedded in their skin. In the conclusion to the paper announcing their findings, they added a restless-sounding note: “In an attempt to find ants bearing no phthalate on their cuticle,” they wrote, they would next look farther afield. There had to be ants out there not yet full of plastic.

But there were not. Five years later, the team published their follow-up. They had sampled ants from the most remote forests of Guyana, and the areas in the Amazon rainforest farthest from any urban center. Again, phthalates were embedded in their skin. “These findings suggest that there is no such thing as a ‘pristine’ zone,” they wrote in a 2017 paper.

Or, as Pete Myers, an environmental health expert and adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University put it, “there is no untouched centimeter.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Glacier Breaks Dam – In India, what more can I say

Yes right now the United States has some serious examples of Global Warming. California’s a mess. Let’s see: Massive fires, Massive floods, Massive mud slides and smog. Hotter weather, Melting ice. Then there are the hurricanes.

But this a falling Glacier that destroys a Dam. It killed 100s. That is a serious difference in orders of magnitude.

https://news.sky.com/story/northern-india-150-feared-dead-as-glacier-breaks-and-hits-dam-in-12211408

Northern India: At least 26 dead and 165 missing as glacier breaks and hits dam

A portion of a Himalayan glacier broke off causing a wall of water and debris to hit two hydroelectric projects in Uttarakhand.

At least 26 people have died and 165 others are missing in northern India after part of a Himalayan glacier broke off, sending a wall of water and debris into two hydroelectric dams.

More than 2,000 members of the military, paramilitary groups and police are carrying out search-and-rescue missions after Sunday’s incident in the state of Uttarakhand.

The deluge destroyed one dam, damaged another and washed homes away downstream.

The focus of teams’ efforts was on saving 37 workers trapped inside a tunnel at the Dhauliganga project, one of the affected hydropower plants, officials said.

A portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in the Tapovan area of Uttarakhand state on Sunday, with the subsequent flooding damaging the Rishiganga and Dhauliganga hydropower projects, officials said.

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Go there and shriek. More next week.

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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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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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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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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

 

Solar Waste, What Shall We Do – I never dodge a bullet

I say the same thing I have said about recycling all along. Store what you can’t recycle right now and recycle what you can now. The best examples is the large Wind Generator Blades (it used to be common batteries). Throwing stuff in the land fill that has no business there messes everything else up. So storing the Blades from the Wind Generators (turbines whatever) in one place…even if you bury them is critical, so that when you find a way to recycle them (and you will) you can go get them. Throwing common batteries in a land fill ( AAs, AAAs, etc) is essentially admitting you will never get them back. Better to store them in abandoned warehouses or something. Even burying them in a battery land fill so you can get them back is better than just throwing them away.

https://www.wired.com/story/solar-panels-are-starting-to-die-leaving-behind-toxic-trash/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash

Photovoltaic panels are a boon for clean energy but are tricky to recycle. As the oldest ones expire, get ready for a solar e-waste glut.

This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change. They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives—and right now, most of the world doesn’t have a plan for dealing with that.

But we’ll need to develop one soon, because the solar e-waste glut is coming. By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually. While the latter number is a small fraction of the total e-waste humanity produces each year, standard electronics recycling methods don’t cut it for solar panels. Recovering the most valuable materials from one, including silver and silicon, requires bespoke recycling solutions. And if we fail to develop those solutions along with policies that support their widespread adoption, we already know what will happen.

“If we don’t mandate recycling, many of the modules will go to landfill,” said Arizona State University solar researcher Meng Tao, who recently authored a review paper on recycling silicon solar panels, which comprise 95 percent of the solar market.

Solar panels are composed of photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight to electricity. When these panels enter landfills, valuable resources go to waste. And because solar panels contain toxic materials like lead that can leach out as they break down, landfilling also creates new environmental hazards.

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Go there and read. Demand that your municipality pass a law that solar panels do not go in the land fill. More next week.

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Habitat Destruction Squeezes Diseases Out Of Mammals – Then they invade humans and kill us

Seriously, how long can it be before HUMANs realize that by killing the world in general they are killing themselves. Squeezing animals out of their habitats squeezes their viruses out into us. We have no immune defenses against them and we die. I mean it is Earth’s ultimate defense system. I have a hunch we are not gonna be around for long. Wonder which one will get us first, Global Warming or Rejection by the Earth.

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/22/875961137/the-worrisome-link-between-deforestation-and-disease?utm_source=digg

‘Like Poking a Beehive’: The Worrisome Link Between Deforestation And Disease

 

In 2013, an 18-month-old boy got sick after playing near a hollow tree in his backyard in a remote West African village. He developed a fever and started vomiting. His stool turned black. Two days later, he died.

Two years and more than 11,000 deaths later, the World Health Organization put out a report saying the Ebola outbreak that likely emanated from that hollow tree may have been caused in part by deforestation led by “foreign mining and timber operations.”

The tree the boy played near was infested with insectivorous bats — bats that may have been pushed into the boy’s village because upward of 80% of their natural habitat had been destroyed.

“When you disturb a forest, it actually upsets, if you want, the balance of nature, the balance between pathogens and people,” says John E. Fa, a professor of biodiversity and human development at Manchester Metropolitan University, who was part of a team of researchers that linked recent forest loss to 25 Ebola outbreaks that have occurred since 1976.

A finding, he says, that showed a strong correlation between recent deforestation and disease outbreaks.

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Go there and Pray.  More next week.

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