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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Ban Cars! Ban Cars! Ban Cars! – We will try anyway

It seems really weird that we all started out on bikes after horses and before cars were really affordable. There was a real love affair with bikes in the modern urban environment around the 1900s. Especially women who had never been allowed to get about. Bikes came on strong before mores or laws could be erected (so to speak) and women just went bonkers. Now every envirofreak (no offense intended) wants to go back to them. We shall see. We shall see.

The City Where Cars Are Not Welcome

As automakers promise to get rid of internal combustion engines, Heidelberg is trying to get rid of autos.

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Eckart Würzner, a mayor on a mission to make his city emission free, is not terribly impressed by promises from General Motors, Ford and other big automakers to swear off fossil fuels.

Not that Mr. Würzner, the mayor of Heidelberg, is against electric cars. The postcard-perfect city, in southern Germany, gives residents who buy a battery-powered vehicle a bonus of up to 1,000 euros, or $1,200. They get another €1,000 if they install a charging station.

But electric cars are low on the list of tools that Mr. Würzner is using to try to cut Heidelberg’s impact on the climate, an effort that has given the city, home to Germany’s oldest university and an 800-year-old castle ruin, a reputation as a pioneer in environmentally conscious urban planning.

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Go the read – once you catch your breath. 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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Little House Off The Grid – What could be better than that

I rarely ever do videos. I am a Print man. But this is a great “How To” video. They have a composting toilet and solar panels so they got the TOP and the BOTTOM covered hahahaha. The sleeping loft is amazing. I would prefer a king bed but i sure you could get it in if it was part of the early design. They do live outside alot but there is nothing wrong with that. That would not work in an Illinois winter.

https://digg.com/video/this-ultramodern-off-the-grid-tiny-house-will-blow-your-mind

It is a 150,000 dollar house with 20,000 dollars worth of solar but it is off the grid. So it is worth every penny. Infrastructure for a lifetime is not cheap.

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Go there an watch for 18 minutes. More next week

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Joe Biden Will Save The World – Well maybe not but he has a Climate Czar

My headline here kind of says it ALL. I mean, no one has ever had a Climate Czar before. No one has moved as rapidly to undue the damage done by The Cheeto Burrito. It might now be a horse race, instead of a jump over a cliff. But the race will be tight. Still, if we are trying – we can fail and in the long long run, win.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/climate-change-after-pandemic.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab

life after warming

After Alarmism

The war on climate denial has been won. And that’s not the only good news.

 

This article was featured in One Great Story, New York’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly.

 

In the American Southwest, birds fell dead from the sky by the tens of thousands, succumbing mid-flight to starvation, emaciated by climate change.

Across the horn of Africa swarmed 200 billion locusts, 25 for every human on earth, darkening the sky in clouds as big as whole cities, descending on cropland and chewing through as much food as tens of millions of people eat in a day, eventually dying in such agglomerating mounds they stopped trains in their tracks — all told, 8,000 times as many locusts as could be expected in the absence of warming.

The fires, you know. Or do you? In California in 2020, twice as much land burned as had ever burned before in any year in the modern history of the state — five of the six biggest fires ever recorded. In Siberia, “zombie fires” smoldered anomalously all through the Arctic winter; in Brazil, a quarter of the Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland, was incinerated; in Australia, flames took the lives of 3?billion animals.

All year, a planet transformed by the burning of carbon discharged what would have once been called portents of apocalypse. The people of that planet, as a whole, didn’t take much notice — distracted by the pandemic and trained, both by the accumulating toll of recent disasters and the ever-rising volume of climate alarm, to see what might once have looked like brutal ruptures in lived reality instead as logical developments in a known pattern. Our time has been so stuffed with disasters that it was hard to see the arrival of perhaps the unlikeliest prophecy of all: that the plague year may have marked, for climate change, a turning point, and for the better.

When trying to share good news about climate, it pays to be cautious, since so many have looked foolish playing Pollyanna. A turning point isn’t an endgame, or a victory, or a cessation of the need to struggle — for speedier decarbonization, for a sturdier future, for climate justice. Already, a future without profound climate suffering has been almost certainly foreclosed by decades of inaction, which means the burden of managing those impacts equitably will be handed down, generation to generation, into an indefinite and contested climate future.

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

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Hydrogen May Save The Day – At least this guy is seriously dedicated to it

I hope you all have had a happy and SAFE Holiday season. I am not a big fan of hydrogen as an energy source. It can be difficult to handle and it requires a new infrastructure even though some of it support don’t think so. I favor the brute forces of large wind and solar projects because we have a huge electrical infrastructure already in place. With persistence though i think it could come along. California is a big fan however and sometimes, as goes California so goes the nation.

www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/business/hydrogen-power-cars.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab

(please note you must ad http: to the above address to get to the location. I had to strip it off so the website would not intrude.)

Wheels

The Gospel of Hydrogen Power

Mike Strizki powers his house and cars with hydrogen he home-brews. He is using his retirement to evangelize for the planet-saving advantages of hydrogen batteries.

In December, the California Fuel Cell Partnership tallied 8,890 electric cars and 48 electric buses running on hydrogen batteries, which are refillable in minutes at any of 42 stations there. On the East Coast, the number of people who own and drive a hydrogen electric car is somewhat lower. In fact, there’s just one. His name is Mike Strizki. He is so devoted to hydrogen fuel-cell energy that he drives a Toyota Mirai even though it requires him to refine hydrogen fuel in his yard himself.

“Yeah, I love it,” Mr. Strizki said of his 2017 Mirai. “This car is powerful, there’s no shifting, plus I’m not carrying all of that weight of the batteries,” he said in a not-so-subtle swipe at the world’s most notable hydrogen naysayer, Elon Musk.

Mr. Strizki favors fuel-cell cars for the same reasons as most proponents. You can make fuel using water and solar power, as he does. The byproduct of making hydrogen is oxygen, and the byproduct of burning it is water. Hydrogen is among the most plentiful elements on earth, so you don’t have to go to adversarial countries or engage in environmentally destructive extraction to get it. The car is as quiet to drive as any other electric, it requires little maintenance, and because it doesn’t carry 1,200 pounds of batteries, it has a performance edge.

His infatuation with hydrogen began with cars, but it didn’t end there. In 2006 he made the first house in the United States to be powered entirely by hydrogen produced on site using solar power. Nine years later he made the second. He says he has built hydrogen-power home systems for conservationists and celebrities — one of his systems reportedly powers Johnny Depp’s private island in the Bahamas.

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Go There And Read. More Next Week.

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The United States All IN On Climate Change – I never thought I would say that

And yet, Here is an article about how Joe Biden could do it once he becomes President. As Earther says, this list is neither exhaustive nor does it include solutions that can be applied to all agencies. It is a great START.

https://earther.gizmodo.com/how-biden-can-ensure-every-federal-agency-is-fighting-c-1845701534?utm_source=digg

How Biden Can Ensure Every Federal Agency Is Fighting Climate Change

President-elect Joe Biden has an unprecedented opportunity to walk the U.S.—and perhaps the world—back from the brink on climate change. After four years of harmful deregulation, his work is cut out for him.

But to truly address climate change will require more than simply repealing President Donald Trump’s rollbacks and maybe strengthening a few rules on power plant emissions before calling it a day. Because climate change is an everything problem, the entire and considerable weight of the federal government will need to be thrown into addressing it. Like rowing competition, the race to address climate change can only be won if everyone is pulling in the same direction.

This “all of government” response to the crisis at hand is the only way to ensure a shot at keeping the globe from heating up more than the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) goal outlined in the Paris Agreement, to say nothing of the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) target outlined in a landmark United Nations report. Over the next four years, Biden will have to center climate change at every agency, from the obvious ones like the Environmental Protection Agency to others like the Department of Education and Treasury.

Earther has pulled together ideas and actions federal agencies can take to address climate change, based on conversations with dozens of experts who know the federal government’s levers of power and how to pull them so that they’re all geared to lower emissions. The ideas below are not exhaustive nor do they include solutions that can be applied at all agencies such as installing climate advocates at all levels, using procurement to electrify the government vehicle fleet, and diversifying the workforce so that new problem solvers are welcomed into the fold. But they do represent some of the best ones out there for how to get the ship turned quickly.

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Go there and rejoice. 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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Who Pollutes Most? Planes Or Boats – At best it’s a toss up

But it is a very real question. I think it is Airplanes myself for 2 reasons. 1. Because they pollute at a high altitude (roughly 3 – 30 thousand feet) and, 2. because of an amazingly random accidental experiment after 9/11 that showed with all planes grounded our atmospheric temperature dropped a full degree. With Boats (ok large Ships) they burn something like warm asphalt, and that over water where the output can fall directly into what ever body on which they float. So essentially which is worse? High altitude kerosene or low altitude vaporized warm asphalt? I know – it makes me want to puke.

As a side note – i wish somebody would measure the net effects on global warming between Boats and Plane as opposed to co2 emissions which is awfully easy but not particularly insightful.

Greening Our Shipping: Wind-Powered Cargo Ships Can Change Future of Freight Cutting Emissions By 90%

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Go there and read. More next week.

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