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G M
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« Reply #250 on: February 09, 2011, 09:54:52 PM »

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6211261.ece

'Green' lightbulbs poison workers
Hundreds of factory staff are being made ill by mercury used in bulbs destined for the West
Michael Sheridan, Foshan

WHEN British consumers are compelled to buy energy-efficient lightbulbs from 2012, they will save up to 5m tons of carbon dioxide a year from being pumped into the atmosphere. In China, however, a heavy environmental price is being paid for the production of “green” lightbulbs in cost-cutting factories.

Large numbers of Chinese workers have been poisoned by mercury, which forms part of the compact fluorescent lightbulbs. A surge in foreign demand, set off by a European Union directive making these bulbs compulsory within three years, has also led to the reopening of mercury mines that have ruined the environment.

Doctors, regulators, lawyers and courts in China - which supplies two thirds of the compact fluorescent bulbs sold in Britain - are increasingly alert to the potential impacts on public health of an industry that promotes itself as a friend of the earth but depends on highly toxic mercury.

Making the bulbs requires workers to handle mercury in either solid or liquid form because a small amount of the metal is put into each bulb to start the chemical reaction that creates light.
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    * Two dead after ‘chemical incident’ at hotel

Mercury is recognised as a health hazard by authorities worldwide because its accumulation in the body can damage the nervous system, lungs and kidneys, posing a particular threat to babies in the womb and young children.

The risks are illustrated by guidance from the British government, which says that if a compact fluorescent lightbulb is broken in the home, the room should be cleared for 15 minutes because of the danger of inhaling mercury vapour.

Documents issued by the Chinese health ministry, instructions to doctors and occu-pational health propaganda all describe mercury poisoning in lighting factories as a growing public health concern.

“Pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding must not be allowed to work in a unit where mercury is present,” states one official rulebook.

In southern China, compact fluorescent lightbulbs destined for western consumers are being made in factories that range from high-tech multina-tional operations to sweat-shops, with widely varying standards of health and safety.

Tests on hundreds of employees have found dangerously high levels of mercury in their bodies and many have required hospital treatment, according to interviews with workers, doctors and local health officials in the cities of Foshan and Guangzhou.

Dozens of workers who were interviewed on condition of anonymity described living with the fear of mercury poisoning. They gave detailed accounts of medical tests that found numerous workers had dangerous levels of the toxin in their urine.

“In tests, the mercury content in my blood and urine exceeded the standard but I was not sent to hospital because the managers said I was strong and the mercury would be decontaminated by my immune system,” said one young female employee, who provided her identity card.

“Two of my friends were sent to hospital for one month,” she added, giving their names also.


“If they asked me to work inside the mercury workshop I wouldn’t do it, no matter how much they paid,” said another young male worker.
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tim nelson
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« Reply #251 on: February 12, 2011, 01:58:24 PM »

Hi Tim:

My point was not that CFL light bulbs are a game changer either way, merely an example of good intentions with bad results.

I hear ya Crafty. It was the bad results I was going off on, where there are dark sides to most "green" solutions.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #252 on: March 31, 2011, 01:20:56 PM »

Killing Owls to Save Owls
The contorted consequences of ill-thought-out environmentalism.

First they came for the loggers, destroying 30,000 jobs and countless lives. Now they’re coming for the Barred Owl.

Anyone remember the Great Spotted Owl Controversy? Back in the late 80s and early 90s, it was the first major instance of the environmental movement (with the cooperation of Al Gore and the Clinton administration) using the Endangered Species Act to accomplish their stealth goal — in this case driving productive mankind out of millions of acres of federally owned old-growth forest.

When a judge ruled that cutting down trees endangered the picky owl’s habitat and had to end, it sparked widespread protests and marches by soon-to-be out-of-work loggers.

The economies of small towns in the Pacific Northwest collapsed, as the rural chainsaw-wielding Kulaks were defenestrated by judicial edict. Federally subsidized housing for the spotted owl grew from 690,000 acres in 1986 to 11.6 million acres in 1991. Oregon’s timber harvest on federal land plunged from 4.9 billion board feet in 1988 to 240 million board feet in 2009. The usual phony advocacy science promised this was all in a good cause and that the species would rapidly recover.

Oops. Fast forward 20 years. According to the Oregonian, the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) wasn’t served a copy of the court ruling, and has continued to die off. Turns out the major culprit in its demise was evolution — in the form of the barred owl, a closely related species that is bigger, more omnivorous, and generally all around superior to the spotted owl. Barred owls (Strix varia), also native to North America, seize spotted owl habitat and out-compete the endangered species. Admitted a draft report containing a new management plan that’s expected to be finalized this month: “The threat posed by barred owls to spotted owl recovery is better understood now than when the spotted owl was listed.” No kidding. Tell that to the loggers.

The only solution, which has riled even some environmentalists, is no evolution: The Fish and Wildlife service plans to start taxing the successful barred owl to bail out the big-government lobby’s spotted owl. Terminally tax. With firearms. They will be killing owls in order to save them. I mean, what’s the deal with liberals — they believe in evolution in theory, but not in practice? And they say we’re anti-science? Should environmental justice grow out of the barrel of a gun?

The method of control is gruesome. They plan to use the barred owl’s fierce devotion to its property rights against it. barred owls attack other owls that invade its territory. So steely eyed, shotgun-toting environmentalists plan to play owl calls over loudspeakers, and when the evil barred owl comes to investigate — pow. A final decision on the mass executions needs to pass environmental review, and won’t be made until the summer. We’re waiting for a reporter in DC to ask the administration its position on shooting the successful, even if we think we know what it is.

The jokes may write themselves, but there are serious issues here as well. The proposed management plan by the Fish and Wildlife service has spurred lawsuits by property owners (Homo sapiens), because for the first time it will regulate forests in private hands, doubling down on a policy that hasn’t worked. Property owners also contend that the government used “experts and advisers who are not federal employees,” and that it developed much of the plan in secret, with no notes to back up many of the aspects of the plan. Sound familiar?

Reading through the draft report, it’s pretty clear that the spotted-owl lobby and the judiciary had no idea what they were doing when they put 30,000 loggers out of work. Not only did they miss the barred owl, they forgot that fire — whose ecological role was poorly understood before the 1988 Yellowstone blaze — was particularly threatening in the old-growth forest they sought to preserve. “The loss of Northern spotted owl habitat to high-severity wildfire in the Klamath and Cascade Provinces has been relatively high over the last decade and if this trend continued [sic], could significantly impact the owl in these drier forests.”  Besides spending money on annually killing one species of owl to save another, Fish and Wildlife appears to envision a long-term grooming program for spotted-owl habitats, price unknown. Parts of the “natural” old-growth habitat may require pruning and cleaning ad infinitum to minimize fire. Other recently discovered factors in the spotted owl’s demise include “Sudden Oak Death” (first discovered in 1995) which threatens to wipe out the owl’s preferred tree, the tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus) and the West Nile virus, which first appeared in the United States in 1999.

There are alternatives. Backing Darwin and the barred owl, an unfeeling Bush administration proposed in 2007 to shrink the spotted owl’s government handout and expand the area available to logging by about 1.6 million acres. Environmental groups stopped the plan cold in court, which brings us back to the real stealth policy. This is no more about the spotted owl than the Iraq war was about Cindy Sheehan. The purpose is to tie up as much acreage as possible and prevent logging.

The spotted owl lobby can’t just admit it was wrong and let nature takes its course. Assuming the barred owl pushes the spotted owl into extinction, there’s no reason to keep 11 million federal acres free of logging. Unlike its federally subsidized cousin, the barred owl is neither endangered nor picky about where it lives — old growth, new growth, wherever.

Looking back, it’s amazing what environmentalists and their fellow-traveling journalists got away with before the Internet. About all that breached the reality filter was that evil loggers were killing owls. Now, in arguing against terminating the barred owl with extreme prejudice, some biologists say that the two species are closely related, since they can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. Some suspect they diverged from a common ancestor during the last Ice Age, when populations were split into East Coast and West Coast versions, with the West Coast branch (typically) becoming more laid back. Rather than the extinction of a species, it may be that all we’re seeing is a post-glacial restoration of the natural order of things.

The cuteness factor here drives me nuts. The spotted owl scam wasn’t just the first overreaching use of the Endangered Species Act, it also was the first environmental crusade under the act with a lovable cuddly star, much the same as the polar bear has become poster child for the cap-and-trade crowd. I remember following the story at the time and was shocked to learn from recent reports from dissenting scientists that spotted owls prefer to feast on adorable little flying squirrels, which compose around 40 percent of their diet.

I bow to no one in my love for raptors and maintain a lavish bird-feeding program to support my neighborhood sharp shinned hawk, Harriet, with a steady diet of finches, house sparrows, and mourning doves. But even I draw the line at squirrels and chase them away from the feeder when she shows up. The little rodents are too darn cute.

The loggers had a lousy PR team. Instead of delivering funeral wreaths to the White House and making jokes about deep-fried owl, this whole thing might have turned out differently if they had dressed up as Rocky the Flying Squirrel for their protests.

— Lou Dolinar is a retired reporter for Newsday who was born on the Right side of the tracks in a Pennsylvania coal-mining town.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/260150/killing-owls-save-owls-lou-dolinar
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G M
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« Reply #253 on: April 04, 2011, 09:24:33 AM »

http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_17760136


Mercury in new light bulbs not being recycled, escaping to environment
By Suzanne Bohan
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 04/03/2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Updated: 04/04/2011 06:27:02 AM PDT

The nation's accelerating shift from incandescent bulbs to a new generation of energy-efficient lighting is raising an environmental concern -- the release of tons of mercury every year.

The most popular new light -- the curly cue, compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs -- account for a quarter of new bulb sales and each contains up to 5 milligrams of mercury, a potent neurotoxin that's on the worst-offending list of environmental contaminants.

Demand for the bulbs is growing as federal and state mandates for energy-efficient lighting take effect, yet only about 2 percent of residential consumers and one-third of businesses recycle them, according to the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers.

"If the recycling rate remains as abysmally low as it is, then there will certainly be more mercury released into the environment," said Paul Abernathy, executive director of the Napa-based recycling association. "Until the public really has some kind of convenient way to take them back, it's going to be an issue."

As a result of discarded fluorescent lights, including CFLs, U.S. landfills release into the atmosphere and in stormwater runoff upward of 4 tons of mercury annually, according to a study in the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association.

A San Francisco hardware store owner sees the recycling dilemma firsthand.

"They're promoting them and giving them away, but there's nowhere to drop them off," said Tom



 
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Boyo
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« Reply #254 on: April 22, 2011, 03:15:30 PM »

Happy Earth(Lenin's birth)day
#Invalid YouTube Link#

Boyo
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #255 on: May 01, 2011, 07:03:28 PM »

The Hudson River Destruction Project
How the EPA is harming nature and ruining communities
Spring 2011

Visit Fort Edward, 200 miles up the Hudson River from New York City, and you’ll find the waste hard to miss. That isn’t because General Electric once used polychlorinated biphenyls, the chemicals known as PCBs, to manufacture electrical equipment at two local plants. Rather, the waste on display in Fort Edward—now boasting a 110-acre “dewatering” facility built on once-fertile farmland and dozens of ugly barges bobbing on the river—is the wastefulness of the Environmental Protection Agency, which is imposing a costly river cleanup that is both unnecessary and environmentally destructive.

By ordering a dredging operation along 40 miles of the Hudson, the EPA has created a disaster of governmental proportions in this quiet upstate community. For six months in 2009, floating clamshell diggers shoveled day and night, pulling sludge from the river bottom around Fort Edward and depositing it onto barges. Six days a week, 24 hours a day, these barges, containing a total of 286,000 cubic yards of sediment mixed with old PCBs, were offloaded into that massive dewatering facility. There the soggy material was treated and squeezed in giant presses. The cakes of compacted sludge were then moved by truck onto 81-car trains, parked on a new spur of the Canadian Pacific Railway extending into the site. Five of these trains were in constant rotation, circulating the 4,400-mile round trip between the facility and the final dump site in Texas.

It was a Herculean attempt at remediation but one that actually increased PCB levels in the Hudson for a time; it also wreaked havoc on locals’ lives and imposed huge costs on General Electric. And all this work was only “Phase I” of the EPA’s plans. The government is now compelling GE to spend billions of dollars on Phase II, an even larger and longer operation. Dredging will recommence this spring.

The mighty Hudson once secured New York City’s commercial dominance, linking it to Canada, the Great Lakes, and the American heartland via the Erie Canal. For centuries, the river also served as the drainpipe for companies in the Empire State—more often than not, with the government’s blessing. From 1947 until 1977, General Electric’s plants at Fort Edward and nearby Hudson Falls discharged up to 1.3 million pounds of PCBs—the overflow waste of production—into the Hudson, and they did so with the full approval of state and federal agencies, which issued GE all the necessary permits.

This complacency wasn’t surprising, because PCBs had long been regarded as miracle compounds. Developed as a by-product of gasoline refinement and licensed by the Monsanto Company in 1929, PCBs were oily substances that conducted heat but were also fire-retardant. They were mixed into everything from road pavement and carbonless copy paper to household caulking and insulation. Because of their fireproof properties, the power industry found PCBs especially useful as safe coolants for electrical generation and distribution. The chemicals therefore replaced organic, more volatile oils as insulators for electrical components—for example, in the cooling liquids found in those metal cylinders that you see atop telephone poles. The rapid, safe expansion of electrical transmission, which brought prosperity and lifesaving energy to all corners of the United States, took place in a bath of PCBs—sometimes, in fact, through components manufactured at the two GE plants on the upper Hudson.

But the chemicals’ renowned stability also rendered them an environmental hazard. PCBs break down slowly in nature. Soluble in oil but not in water, they can “bio-accumulate” in animals and be passed up the food chain, probably posing health risks to people who ingest them in high enough quantities. But the exact nature of those risks has never been identified. A recent New York Times description pushes the perils of PCBs as far as the fact-checkers allow: “In high doses, they have been shown to cause cancer in animals and are listed by federal agencies as a probable human carcinogen.” So the direct human-cancer link of PCBs is unproven, and the description “probable human carcinogen” comes from the federal agencies that, as we will see, have a vested interest in maligning the chemicals.

Congress banned the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of PCBs in 1976. A year earlier, New York State’s commissioner of environmental conservation had sued General Electric, arguing that state law prohibited the company’s discharge of PCBs into the river regardless of the permits that the state had issued. In the landmark settlement adjudicated by Abraham Sofaer, at the time a professor at Columbia University and now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, GE and New York divided responsibility on how they would clean up the remaining PCBs: GE undertook the remediation of its plants, and New York—because it had, after all, approved the original discharges into the Hudson—would deal with the PCB sludge in the river. The settlement specifically stated that GE would not be liable for any future river cleanup.

The company met its mandate well, scrubbing its plants clean and even digging out an ingenious network of tunnels beneath the bedrock of one of its plants to capture every last ounce of PCBs that had seeped into the ground. Meanwhile, the Clean Water Act of 1972 had already begun regulating the discharge of pollutants into American waterways. As the waste pipes were shut off along the Hudson’s banks and sediment began to cover the deposits of PCBs and other chemicals spread out along its bottom, the river began to clean itself, and the recovery of its water became an environmental success story. The federal standard for PCBs in drinking water is capped at 500 parts per trillion; the river now regularly flows with 30 to 50 parts per trillion in the upper Hudson and a tenth of that downriver. The river became cleaner of other pollutants as well. Fort Edward locals remember a time when the Hudson was tinted the color of whatever pigment a nearby paint plant was processing and discharging; today, the water is safe enough to swim in. Some towns along the river even began relying again on the Hudson for their municipal tap.

New York didn’t hold up its end of the 1976 decision as well as GE did. When the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation first tried to clean up the Hudson PCBs in the 1970s and 1980s, it went looking for a convenient dump site for dredged-up pollutants. It eventually settled on a 100-acre dairy farm located near the Champlain Canal, which would allow for easy transportation of the sludge. Sharon Ruggi still lives on the farm, where her husband was born in 1935. One “supper time in October” of 1985, she recalls, state regulators showed up and sat down at the kitchen table. They laid out their papers—agreements to sell—and told the Ruggis to sign. If the Ruggis resisted, the agents warned her, the state would seize the property by eminent domain—but just the farmland. The Ruggis would be left with their house, rendered worthless by its sudden proximity to a toxic dump site.

Despite the threats, Ruggi showed the regulators the door. She then became a full-time activist, joining a farmer-led anti-dredging group called Citizen Environmentalists Against Sludge Encapsulation (Cease). She notified her town about the regulators’ heavy-handed tactics. She wrote to her representatives and testified before Congress about the negative impact of a large-scale PCB cleanup. And she won the day. Without its dump site, New York State had to back off from its cleanup commitment.

But New York had a brilliant idea: passing the buck right back to GE, despite the terms of the settlement, through the new federal law known as Superfund. Officially called the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, the Superfund legislation empowers the Environmental Protection Agency to pursue whatever chemicals it deems unsafe and to force the “responsible party” to foot the bill for a cleanup, regardless of whether that party was a willful polluter or a good citizen discharging waste with the government’s approval. (Usually, the “responsible party” winds up paying after years of wasteful litigation: one-fourth of Superfund expenses go to “transaction costs,” fees to lawyers and consultants whom even the New York Times once described as “federal officials who spun through Washington’s revolving door to trade their Superfund expertise for private gain.”)

And so in 1984, New York got the EPA to declare the entire 200 miles of Hudson from Fort Edward to New York City a Superfund site. But the EPA also at first decided against dredging the river bottom, deeming it a risky, invasive approach that might stir up more PCBs. In 1989, however, New York appealed the decision, and 13 years later—the wait time alone testifies to federal inefficiency—the EPA finally agreed, calling on GE to conduct extensive dredging.

Its reasons were novel. The concentration of PCBs in the river water had dropped to safe levels, after all. So the EPA, searching for another justification for pursuing massive remediation, settled on PCB accumulation in the river’s fish. PCBs in river water, plants, and sediment could pass in incremental amounts to the fish around them (through ingestion and respiration) and then pass to the people who eat the fish, the EPA reasoned. But here, too, the river was showing stark improvements. In 1975, before the chemicals were banned, the concentration of PCBs in Hudson fish averaged 17.39 parts per million and could go as high as 50.7 parts per million, according to John Cronin, an environmentalist who worries about the dimensions and impact of the dredging project. By 2007, the mean concentration was 0.89 parts per million—well below the two parts per million that the Food and Drug Administration has set for commercially sold fish—and the maximum was 3.56.

Through the calculus of bio-accumulation, however, the EPA has learned to claim that even infinitesimal amounts of PCBs in the environment are major health concerns. A potential exists, says the agency, for PCBs to build up through gradual ingestion, even if that would require a superhuman consumption of a single food source for years on end. This was the argument that finally allowed the EPA to compel the multibillion-dollar cleanup of the Hudson by GE. As Hudson fish were already approaching acceptably safe levels for moderate consumption, the EPA set a new target of 0.05 parts per million in the river’s fish. Such numbers, argued the EPA, would allow for “unrestricted consumption” of Hudson fish by what the agency called “subsistence fishers.” It would be an undeniable achievement to restore the river to its antediluvian glory, with fish safe to pluck and eat at every meal. And the way to achieve that goal, said the EPA, was a massive dredging of the river bottom.

At what cost would such a pristine state be achieved? The dredging in Phase I alone cost General Electric about $500 million. If GE had contested its obligations to dredge, Superfund would have allowed the EPA to conduct the cleanup itself and then collect four times the cost from the company. “If it costs the state $1 billion, we could collect $4 billion, so that’s a pretty heavy stick,” says David King, director of the EPA’s Hudson River field office.

In addition to the $500 million, GE says that it has paid the EPA another $90 million so far to cover the agency’s oversight of the cleanup. In other words, the Superfund program produces windfalls for the government agencies that enforce it at both the federal and state levels. By mandating that GE dredge the Hudson, regulators who oversee the project can submit their own expenses to the company for reimbursement. Indeed, “what propelled the PCB case to the forefront is not just the toxicity of PCBs but also the significant financial resources of General Electric,” Cronin wrote in the New York Times. Superfund only works, needless to say, when there is a viable company to pay for it. (The Hudson site is one of 50 or so Superfund obligations that GE currently faces throughout the country.)

The cost of the EPA’s quest wasn’t just financial. Strolling through Julie Wilson’s daylily garden in Fort Edward last fall, I almost forgot the enormous dewatering facility that the federal government had located next door. This area of farmland, with Vermont’s Green Mountains rising in the distance, can be particularly radiant. Nearby, a steady stream of sailboats with lowered masts floated south from Canada through the last locks of the Champlain Canal into the Hudson. Thanks to regular watering, a mountain of chemical-laden dirt, dredged from the Hudson and still awaiting pickup just over the rise behind Wilson’s flowerpots, was releasing acceptably low levels of dusty contaminants in my direction.

When the facility was in full operation during Phase I, life for Wilson was quite a bit worse. Dredging is a dirty business. Because the river bottom was being disrupted, PCB levels in water, air, and fish all rose dramatically and exceeded federal limits. By every measure, the health of the river and the surrounding community deteriorated, at least temporarily, through the EPA’s intervention. The messiness of the operation was a necessary evil, the agency maintained, the collateral damage of doing good.

Such assurances mean little to Wilson, now 72, as she contemplates the start of Phase II. Even before the processing facility went into high gear, when the neighboring farm was stripped of its topsoil to make way for the construction of the dewatering facility, she had to confront clouds of dust. Her asthmatic daughter still can’t visit on bad days. As he was dying of cancer, Wilson’s husband, James, had to leave the homestead, overcome by the commotion. “There were so many noises, clanging and banging and shouting, motors and unloaders and dump trucks dropping rocks,” Wilson tells me. “You have no idea what it is like. Twenty-four hours a day. It can drive you crazy. The stress level can affect almost every function—cardiac, gastrointestinal, and elimination.” The beeping of the vehicle backup alarms, she says, was the worst.

Wilson’s property value is now down 50 percent. Keeping clients interested in her flower business has also been difficult. “I tried to do garden tours until I could no longer compete with the noise. When you have to raise your voice to shouting, you lose the effect of the tour.” She adds that birds and other wildlife have abandoned her property. “I have such a love of the land here that when I see the site over there, I could just weep.” The sentiment puts her in an unusual position. What do you do when the organization responsible for destroying your environment is none other than the Environmental Protection Agency?

Little stands in the way of Phase II; certainly the EPA itself isn’t likely to cancel the project. Under administrator Lisa Jackson—“the agency’s most progressive chief ever” and “one of the most powerful members of Obama’s Cabinet,” according to an admiring Rolling Stone profile headlined eco-warrior—the EPA has been flexing its regulatory muscle as never before. Because of its own “endangerment finding,” the EPA is attempting to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act, a move that could have a profound effect on American industry. The agency has also been raiding New York City public schools in search of PCBs in fluorescent lighting; it recently called for a remediation plan that could, the city initially said, cost up to $1 billion. The EPA is even attempting to impose regulations on the dairy industry by arguing that the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure program, designed in 1970 to prevent oil discharges in waterways, also applies to milk fat spilled on farms.

The agency’s regional administrator in charge of evaluating the Hudson dredging project, Judith Enck, is another eco-warrior. Before taking on her federal post, Enck was head of a New York environmentalist lobby tasked in part with pursuing PCBs. One wonders if an activist—someone who has spun through that “revolving door” described by the New York Times—can be a judicious regulator of a multibillion-dollar project.

The regulators also have a formidable (and tax-exempt) public-relations wing. In 1966, the folksinger Pete Seeger built an antique-style sloop, the Clearwater, to ply the Hudson’s waters and draw attention to its contamination. Since then, Seeger’s environmental group, also called Clearwater, has been joined by Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, and the National Resources Defense Council, all of which raise funds by preaching the evils of PCBs.

Nor will GE itself be able to resist the EPA’s plans. Jack Welch, the company’s chairman and CEO from 1981 to 2001, occupied a middle ground, cleaning up the plant sites but arguing that extensive dredging would cause more harm than good. When Jeffrey Immelt, these days a top Obama economic advisor, succeeded Welsh, however, he rebranded the company with the term “ecomagination” to highlight GE’s innovations in green technology. A year later, GE signed on to the EPA’s decision to dredge the Hudson, and in 2005, it filed a consent degree in court to undertake the project. The company did quietly contest the rollout of Phase II, on the grounds that PCB resuspension in the river water during Phase I far exceeded the EPA’s own standards. But just as it pushed down its targets for PCB concentration in fish in order to compel the cleanup, the EPA reset its standards for resuspension, allowing PCB levels in river water to spike above federal safety levels during dredging.

After GE gave me a tour of the dredging operation, I found it difficult to doubt the company’s commitment to the project. Out on the Hudson, our pontoon boat passed by the long row of barges tied up and waiting for the start of Phase II. Downriver, we approached a vessel collecting core samples of sediment to be sent off for an analysis of contamination depth—one of 50,000 data points taken along the waterway. GE divers were rebuilding the pulled-up river bottom, an underwater ecosystem destroyed through the EPA’s mandate, by painstakingly restocking it with 70,000 individual plants, mainly wild celery and American pondweed harvested from local sources.

Once ashore, I looped around to the dewatering facility bordering Julie Wilson’s property. The site was empty and resembled an airless lunar base, with a manicured pile of PCB-laden sediment at the center. The facility’s main task at the time I visited was collecting and processing the rainwater that falls on the site. Not a drop here enters the earth. A sheet of plastic runs beneath the entire facility, collecting the water and feeding it through the same colossal filters used during active dredging to “polish” the water squeezed out of the dredged material.

When Phase II begins, General Electric will again employ 500 workers here and on the river. Once more, Wilson will watch as GE excavates tons of river muck, now buried under 30 years of sediment, and stages it for processing and transportation next to her residential neighborhood. “I view it as creating a new environmental disaster,” Ruggi says, and history suggests that she may be right. In one early dredging attempt, New York State created a PCB dump site at the tip of Rogers Island, just downriver of the plant. That area has now become its own toxic hazard requiring remediation.

“Government looks very good taking corporate USA to task,” Ruggi adds. “It makes great headlines. The sad part is the health of the Hudson loses out. We grow up thinking the government works for us. To come to the realization that it can work against us is shocking.”

Research for this article was supported by the Brunie Fund for New York Journalism.

James Panero is managing editor of The New Criterion. His Twitter handle is jamespanero.

http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_2_hudson-river.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #256 on: June 03, 2011, 10:11:37 AM »



As the surging waters of the Mississippi pass downstream, they leave behind flooded towns and inundated lives and carry forward a brew of farm chemicals and waste that this year — given record flooding — is expected to result in the largest dead zone ever in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dead zones have been occurring in the gulf since the 1970s, and studies show that the main culprits are nitrogen and phosphorus from crop fertilizers and animal manure in river runoff. They settle in at the mouth of the gulf and fertilize algae, which prospers and eventually starves other living things of oxygen.
Government studies have traced a majority of those chemicals in the runoff to nine farming states, and yet today, decades after the dead zones began forming, there is still little political common ground on how to abate this perennial problem. Scientists who study dead zones predict that the affected area will increase significantly this year, breaking records for size and damage.

For years, environmentalists and advocates for a cleaner gulf have been calling for federal action in the form of regulation. Since 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency has been encouraging all states to place hard and fast numerical limits on the amount of those chemicals allowed in local waterways. Yet of the nine key farm states that feed the dead zone, only two, Illinois and Indiana, have acted, and only to cover lakes, not the rivers or streams that merge into the Mississippi.

The lack of formal action upstream has long been maddening to the downstream states most affected by the pollution, and the extreme flooding this year has only increased the tensions.

“Considering the current circumstances, it is extremely frustrating not seeing E.P.A. take more direct action,” said Matt Rota, director of science and water policy for the Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental advocacy group in New Orleans that has renewed its calls for federally enforced targets. “We have tried solely voluntary mechanisms to reduce this pollution for a decade and have only seen the dead zone get bigger.”

Environmental Protection Agency officials said they had no immediate plans to force the issue, but farmers in the Mississippi Basin are worried. That is because only six months ago, the agency stepped in at the Chesapeake Bay, another watershed with similar runoff issues, and set total maximum daily loads for those same pollutants in nearby waterways. If the states do not reduce enough pollution over time, the agency could penalize them in a variety of ways, including increasing federal oversight of state programs or denying new wastewater permitting rights, which could hamper development. The agency says it is too soon to evaluate their progress in reducing pollution.

Don Parish, senior director of regulatory relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation, a trade group, says behind that policy is the faulty assumption that farmers fertilize too much or too casually. Since 1980, he said, farmers have increased corn yields by 80 percent while at the same time reducing their nitrate use by 4 percent through precision farming.

“We are on the razor’s edge,” Mr. Parish said. “When you get to the point where you are taking more from the soil than you are putting in, then you have to worry about productivity.”

Dead zones are areas of the ocean where low oxygen levels can stress or kill bottom-dwelling organisms that cannot escape and cause fish to leave the area. Excess nutrients transported to the gulf each year during spring floods promote algal growth. As the algae die and decompose, oxygen is consumed, creating the dead zone. The largest dead zone was measured in 2002 at about 8,500 square miles, roughly the size of New Jersey. Shrimp fishermen complain of being hurt the most by the dead zones as shrimp are less able to relocate — but the precise impacts on species are still being studied.

The United States Geological Survey has found that nine states along the Mississippi contribute 75 percent of the nitrogen and phosphorus. The survey found that corn and soybean crops were the largest contributors to the nitrogen in the runoff, and manure was a large contributor to the amount of phosphorus.

There are many other factors, of course, that determine what elements make it from crops into river water, for example, whether watersheds are protected by wetlands or buffer strips of land.

John Downing, a biogeochemist and limnologist at Iowa State University, said structural issues were also to blame. Many farms in Iowa, he said, are built on former wetlands and have drains right under the crop roots that whisk water away before soils can absorb and hold on to at least some of the fertilizer.     

Still, overapplication of fertilizers remains a key contributor, he said. “For farmers, the consequences of applying too little is much riskier than putting too much on.”

===============

Page 2 of 2)



Hemmed in by the antiregulatory mood of Congress and high food costs, the Obama administration has looked to combat Mississippi River pollution through an incentive program introduced in 2009 by the Department of Agriculture that encourages a variety of grass-roots solutions, from wetlands creation to educating farmers on just-in-time application.

The Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative provides $320 million in grant money, which has so far been spread among 700 projects in 12 states, projects proposed by farmers, environmental groups and local governments. So far, the department says the results are quite promising. Phosphorus and nitrogen found in surface runoff from 150,000 acres enrolled in the program have decreased by nearly 50 percent.
That amount of land is just a drop in the bucket for the vast Mississippi watershed, but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack thought it was promising enough to invite the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa P. Jackson, to visit one of the farms in the program.

“There is fear, real fear, in Iowa that we’ll take what we’re doing in Chesapeake Bay and transfer it here without regard to what’s already happening on the ground,” she said during her trip in April, adding she appreciated the opportunity “to ensure that isn’t our approach.”

Mr. Vilsack said that farmers had come a long way toward understanding their effect on ecosystems downstream and that what they needed were government incentives and creation of private markets — where, for example, farmers who do a lot of conservation could receive payments from farmers who do not — to help them improve environmental safeguards while they also keep food production high.

“A lot of folks are basing criticism and concerns on the way agriculture was, not the way it is now,” Mr. Vilsack said in a phone interview.  “We as a nation have an expansive appetite for inexpensive food. To produce more, you have to turn to strategies like chemicals and pesticides.”

That stance infuriates Dave Murphy, founder of Food Democracy Now!, an Iowa nonprofit that advocates for smaller organic farms. He argues that voluntary programs are a subterfuge.

“As is standard in Iowa and other states, voluntary regulation by the polluters and the industry themselves is the preferred method of getting around any serious environmental enforcement,” he said.

Even some farmers do not disagree. Chris Petersen, president of the Iowa Farmers Union, which represents small farmers, said the country’s policy were not working. “We’ve been trying to do this for years, and we are just not turning the corner.” 
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« Reply #257 on: June 25, 2011, 10:43:34 AM »

A couple of faulty studies and some bad journalism starting at the NY Times with a bunch of 'could' and 'might' allegations started a war against fracking. (IMHO)

The Duke study had no 'before' measurement benchmark.  The chemicals used in fracking are 99.5% sand and water, the depth is typically a thousand feet below drinking water separated by impenetrable rock, all states involved report no instances of contamination.  We are capable of purifying water and we are in need of abundant, domestic, clean natural gas sources.  The industry is employing thousands and thousands of people.  Natural gas combustion releases 30% less CO2 than oil, 45% less than coal. To an environmentalist, this situation is a nightmare...
-------------
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303936704576398462932810874.html

The Facts About Fracking
The real risks of the shale gas revolution, and how to manage them.

The U.S. is in the midst of an energy revolution, and we don't mean solar panels or wind turbines. A new gusher of natural gas from shale has the potential to transform U.S. energy production—that is, unless politicians, greens and the industry mess it up.

Only a decade ago Texas oil engineers hit upon the idea of combining two established technologies to release natural gas trapped in shale formations. Horizontal drilling—in which wells turn sideways after a certain depth—opens up big new production areas. Producers then use a 60-year-old technique called hydraulic fracturing—in which water, sand and chemicals are injected into the well at high pressure—to loosen the shale and release gas (and increasingly, oil).
***

The resulting boom is transforming America's energy landscape. As recently as 2000, shale gas was 1% of America's gas supplies; today it is 25%. Prior to the shale breakthrough, U.S. natural gas reserves were in decline, prices exceeded $15 per million British thermal units, and investors were building ports to import liquid natural gas. Today, proven reserves are the highest since 1971, prices have fallen close to $4 and ports are being retrofitted for LNG exports.

The shale boom is also reviving economically suffering parts of the country, while offering a new incentive for manufacturers to stay in the U.S. Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry estimates fracking in the Marcellus shale formation, which stretches from upstate New York through West Virginia, has created 72,000 jobs in the Keystone State between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011.

The Bakken formation, along the Montana-North Dakota border, is thought to hold four billion barrels of oil (the biggest proven estimate outside Alaska), and the drilling boom helps explain North Dakota's unemployment rate of 3.2%, the nation's lowest.

All of this growth has inevitably attracted critics, notably environmentalists and their allies. They've launched a media and political assault on hydraulic fracturing, and their claims are raising public anxiety. So it's a useful moment to separate truth from fiction in the main allegations against the shale revolution.

• Fracking contaminates drinking water. One claim is that fracking creates cracks in rock formations that allow chemicals to leach into sources of fresh water. The problem with this argument is that the average shale formation is thousands of feet underground, while the average drinking well or aquifer is a few hundred feet deep. Separating the two is solid rock. This geological reality explains why EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, a determined enemy of fossil fuels, recently told Congress that there have been no "proven cases where the fracking process itself has affected water."

View Full Image
1frack
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A drilling team from Minard Run Oil Company pull out steel pipe during a fracking operation at a 2100 foot natural gas well in Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania in 2008.
1frack
1frack

A second charge, based on a Duke University study, claims that fracking has polluted drinking water with methane gas. Methane is naturally occurring and isn't by itself harmful in drinking water, though it can explode at high concentrations. Duke authors Rob Jackson and Avner Vengosh have written that their research shows "the average methane concentration to be 17 times higher in water wells located within a kilometer of active drilling sites."

They failed to note that researchers sampled a mere 68 wells across Pennsylvania and New York—where more than 20,000 water wells are drilled annually. They had no baseline data and thus no way of knowing if methane concentrations were high prior to drilling. They also acknowledged that methane was detected in 85% of the wells they tested, regardless of drilling operations, and that they'd found no trace of fracking fluids in any wells.

The Duke study did spotlight a long-known and more legitimate concern: the possibility of leaky well casings at the top of a drilling site, from which methane might migrate to water supplies. As the BP Gulf of Mexico spill attests, proper well construction and maintenance are major issues in any type of drilling, and they ought to be the focus of industry standards and attention. But the risks are not unique to fracking, which has provided no unusual evidence of contamination.

• Fracking releases toxic or radioactive chemicals. The reality is that 99.5% of the fluid injected into fracture rock is water and sand. The chemicals range from the benign, such as citric acid (found in soda pop), to benzene. States like Wyoming and Pennsylvania require companies to publicly disclose their chemicals, Texas recently passed a similar law, and other states will follow.

Drillers must dispose of fracking fluids, and environmentalists charge that disposal sites also endanger drinking water, or that drillers deliberately discharge radioactive wastewater into streams. The latter accusation inspired the EPA to require that Pennsylvania test for radioactivity. States already have strict rules designed to keep waste water from groundwater, including liners in waste pits, and drillers are subject to stiff penalties for violations. Pennsylvania's tests showed radioactivity at or below normal levels.

• Fracking causes cancer. In Dish, Texas, Mayor Calvin Tillman caused a furor this year by announcing that he was quitting to move his sons away from "toxic" gases—such as cancer-causing benzene—from the town's 60 gas wells. State health officials investigated and determined that toxin levels in the majority of Dish residents were "similar to those measured in the general U.S. population." Residents with higher levels of benzene in their blood were smokers. (Cigarette smoke contains benzene.)

• Fracking causes earthquakes. It is possible that the deep underground injection of fracking fluids might cause seismic activity. But the same can be said of geothermal energy exploration, or projects to sequester carbon dioxide underground. Given the ubiquity of fracking without seismic impact, the risks would seem to be remote.

• Pollution from trucks. Drillers use trucks to haul sand, cement and fluids, and those certainly increase traffic congestion and pollution. We think the trade-off between these effects and economic development are for states and localities to judge, keeping in mind that externalities decrease as drillers become more efficient.

• Shale exploration is unregulated. Environmentalists claim fracking was "exempted" in 2005 from the federal Safe Water Drinking Act, thanks to industry lobbying. In truth, all U.S. companies must abide by federal water laws, and what the greens are really saying is that fracking should be singled out for special and unprecedented EPA oversight.

Most drilling operations—including fracking—have long been regulated by the states. Operators need permits to drill and are subject to inspections and reporting requirements. Many resource-rich states like Texas have detailed fracking rules, while states newer to drilling are developing these regulations.

As a regulatory model, consider Pennsylvania. Recently departed Governor Ed Rendell is a Democrat, and as the shale boom progressed he worked with industry and regulators to develop a flexible regulatory environment that could keep pace with a rapidly growing industry. As questions arose about well casings, for instance, Pennsylvania imposed new casing and performance requirements. The state has also increased fees for processing shale permits, which has allowed it to hire more inspectors and permitting staff.

New York, by contrast, has missed the shale play by imposing a moratorium on fracking. The new state Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, recently sued the federal government to require an extensive environmental review of the entire Delaware River Basin. Meanwhile, the EPA is elbowing its way into the fracking debate, studying the impact on drinking water, animals and "environmental justice."
***

Amid this political scrutiny, the industry will have to take great drilling care while better making its public case. In this age of saturation media, a single serious example of water contamination could lead to a political panic that would jeopardize tens of billions of dollars of investment. The industry needs to establish best practices and blow the whistle on drillers that dodge the rules.

The question for the rest of us is whether we are serious about domestic energy production. All forms of energy have risks and environmental costs, not least wind (noise and dead birds and bats) and solar (vast expanses of land). Yet renewables are nowhere close to supplying enough energy, even with large subsidies, to maintain America's standard of living. The shale gas and oil boom is the result of U.S. business innovation and risk-taking. If we let the fear of undocumented pollution kill this boom, we will deserve our fate as a second-class industrial power.
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« Reply #258 on: August 09, 2011, 12:00:35 PM »



An Economist for Nature Calculates the Need for More Protection
By JOHN MOIR
Published: August 8, 2011
 
COTO BRUS, Costa Rica — Dawn is breaking over this remote upland region, where neat rows of coffee plants cover many of the hillsides. The rising tropical sun saturates the landscape with color, revealing islandlike remnants of native forest scattered among the coffee plantations.

But across this bucolic countryside, trouble is brewing. An invasive African insect known as the coffee berry borer is threatening the area’s crops. Local farmers call the pest “la broca”: the borer.
Despite the early hour, Gretchen Daily, a Stanford University biology professor, is already at work studying this complex ecosystem. Amid a cacophony of birdsong, Dr. Daily and her team are conducting experiments that demonstrate the vital connection between wildlife and native vegetation. Preliminary data from new studies suggest that consumption of insects like la broca by forest-dwelling birds and bats contribute significantly to coffee yields.

Since 1991, Dr. Daily, 46, has made frequent trips to this Costa Rican site to conduct one of the tropics’ most comprehensive population-level studies to monitor long-term ecological change.

“We are working to very specifically quantify in biophysical and dollar terms the value of conserving the forest and its wildlife,” she said.

In recent years, Dr. Daily has expanded her research to include a global focus. She is one of the pioneers in the growing worldwide effort to protect the environment by quantifying the value of “natural capital” — nature’s goods and services that are fundamental for human life — and factoring these benefits into the calculations of businesses and governments. Dr. Daily’s work has attracted international attention and has earned her some of the world’s most coveted environmental awards.

Part of Dr. Daily’s interest in natural capital emerged from her research in Costa Rica, where she became intrigued with an innovative government initiative known as Payment for Environmental Services. The program, initiated in the 1990s, pays landowners to maintain native forest rather than cut it and has contributed to a significant reduction in Costa Rica’s deforestation rate.

The Costa Rican program helped inspire Dr. Daily to co-found the Natural Capital Project in 2006. NatCap, as the program is known, is a venture led by Stanford University, the University of Minnesota and two of the world’s largest conservation organizations, the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund. It aims to transform traditional conservation methods by including the value of “ecosystem services” in business, community and government decisions. These benefits from nature — like flood protection, crop pollination and carbon storage — are not part of the traditional economic equation.

“Currently, there is no price for most of the ecosystem services we care about, like clean air and clean water,” said Stephen Polasky, professor of ecological/environmental economics at the University of Minnesota. He says that because economic calculations often ignore nature, the results can lead to the destruction of the very ecosystems upon which the economy is based.

“Our economic system values land for two primary reasons,” said Adam Davis, a partner in Ecosystem Investment Partners, a company that manages high-priority conservation properties. “One is building on the land, and the second is taking things from the land.”

“Right now, the way a forest is worth money is by cutting it down,” Mr. Davis said. “We measure that value in board-feet of lumber or tons of pulp sold to a paper mill.” What has been missing, he says, is a countervailing economic force that measures the value of leaving a forest or other ecosystem intact.

Early on, Dr. Daily recognized that new tools were needed to quantify nature’s value. “We began by developing a software program called InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) to map and value nature’s goods and services that are essential for humans,” she said.

The software, which is available as a free download, enables the comparison of various environmental scenarios. What is the real cost of draining a wetland or clearing a coastline of mangroves? InVEST models the trade-offs and helps decision makers better understand the implications of their choices.

=====================

(Page 2 of 2)



“Our dream was not to try to capture the full value of nature’s services, because that’s so hard to do,” Dr. Daily said. “Our goal is to begin making inroads in the decision-making process by including at least some of the value of nature in the economic equation.”

The Natural Capital Project now works in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Pacific and North America. In China, NatCap is working with the government on an ambitious program to protect natural capital. After deforestation caused extensive flooding in 1998, China committed $100 billion to convert vast areas of cropland back into forest and grassland. The government is building on this success by helping to develop and test the InVEST software to put in place a new reserve network that is projected to span 25 percent of the country. The reserves will help with flood control, irrigation, drinking supply, hydropower production, biodiversity and climate stabilization.
At a NatCap site in Hawaii, Kamehameha Schools, the state’s largest private landowner, used InVEST to evaluate future land use for a 26,000-acre site on the North Shore of Oahu. In the past, the landholding had been used for aquaculture, crops and habitation. After examining the alternatives modeled by InVEST, Kamehameha Schools selected a diversified mix of forestry and agriculture intended to improve water quality, sequester carbon and generate income.

About seven months ago, Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google.com, unveiled a powerful new tool that enables global-scale monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth’s environment. Called Google Earth Engine, it features a huge trove of satellite imagery of the earth’s surface. NatCap is now moving the InVEST software onto the Google Earth Engine platform.

“Right now, when we do a NatCap project or use InVEST, we send people to a country or state, and they spend weeks accumulating the data and putting it in the right format,” said Peter Kareiva, vice president and chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy. Google Earth Engine will greatly speed the analysis process, Dr. Kareiva said.

Luis Solórzano, program director of environmental science at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, who worked on Google Earth Engine, says that the new tool can map trends and allow scientists to forecast such things as soil fertility, erosion and deforestation. “It’s the kind of tool policy makers need to make informed decisions,” Dr. Solórzano said.

Because the natural capital concept is anthropocentric, Dr. Daily sometimes is asked whether quantifying ecosystem services runs the risk of ignoring nature’s intrinsic worth or overlooking difficult-to-measure aspects of the natural world, like aesthetic or spiritual benefits.

Dr. Daily acknowledges that certain properties of nature defy quantification. “The beauty of the natural capital approach is it leaves the vast, immeasurable aspects of nature in their own realm while focusing in a very practical way on environmental benefits that we can and should incorporate into our current decisions.”

The precarious state of the world’s environment has concerned Dr. Daily since her teenage years, when her family lived in West Germany and she witnessed the destructive power of acid rain on the country’s forests. “I realized then that I wanted to be a scientist,” she said. This early fascination with nature led to her passion for the forests of Costa Rica, and that in turn set the course for her international leadership with natural capital.

Dr. Daily’s work took on a special urgency with the 2005 publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, which was developed under the auspices of the United Nations. This report found that recent and rapid human-caused changes have produced a “substantial and largely irreversible loss” in the diversity of life on earth and that two-thirds of the world’s ecosystem services were declining.

“The loss of earth’s biodiversity is permanent,” Dr. Daily said. “And it is happening on our watch. We need to convey with compelling evidence the value of nature and the cost of losing it. I find it stunning that until the next asteroid hits the planet, it is humanity that is collectively deciding the future course of all known life.”
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ccp
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« Reply #259 on: August 27, 2011, 12:13:15 PM »

Leon Panetta says 100,000 reserves are ready to help in hurricane disaster areas.

Troops abroad shouldn't worry their loved are safe.

Gov. Christie is advising thousands to get the hell out!

Mayor Bloomberg has evacuated  a million.

All for at most a category 1?

I agree with Michael Savage.  I have never seen such ridiculous hysteria over a storm.

Tomorrow we will read how it wasn't as bad as "expected" and thank God etc etc.

A few branches will come down a few basements flooded a power line down here or there for a hours or a day.

But the politicians will brag how they protected us and the media as always makes lots money.

Howard Kurtz will question the media frenzy on his CNN show and will have guests on who will after some phoney hand wringing conclude the media was correct in how they handled it all along.

And I was once told as a kid I was cynical?

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #260 on: August 27, 2011, 07:57:43 PM »

The political subscript is to contrast Baraq with Bush's handling of Katrina.

Also, in fairness, wasn't this thing supposed to be a Level 3?
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G M
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« Reply #261 on: August 27, 2011, 07:59:37 PM »

You have to plan around the worst case scenario. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
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ccp
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« Reply #262 on: August 29, 2011, 09:45:01 AM »

"The political subscript is to contrast Baraq with Bush's handling of Katrina."

True.  Brock was of course playing the script of a caring worried father with thousands of troops ready with the comfort blankets, tents and TV dinners.

But not just him....

It seems all of the pols were getting in the act.  Cristie, Boomer Bloomberg, and the rest.

They are all out in force taking credit.  The media covers every little mud slide and flood and power outage to justify the whole thing.  Nothing wrong with warnings and information but the whole thing was overdone in a crazy way.

Fox seems to have been the worst.  24/7 coverage the entire weekend and still going strong.

The fear of political fall out like Katrina has now turned our polticians into law suit fearing doctors who order everything under the sun. 
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G M
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« Reply #263 on: August 29, 2011, 09:50:42 AM »

The greater NYC area is a big part of what's left of the American economic engine. Letting it get seriously disrupted would be an epic disaster nationally.
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ccp
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« Reply #264 on: August 29, 2011, 01:36:28 PM »

Appears most people are agreeing with you.  I guess this is the new big government paradigm.  You're in California aren't you?

Perhaps you were not blankeded with 24/7 total wall to wall coverage on every single  cable and local news stations for several days on end.  We also got calls from the police not to leave the house and when it was ok to leave.  The *max* winds were 75 miles per hour.  A tropical storm is up to 74 mph.  People were being informed they were breaking the law by not evacuating certain areas.  I don't know.  This was beyond necessary to me.  Where does it end?  Can't we just use common sense?   To me it was more about politicians covering their behinds than realistic threat.  That said this is obviously the way it will be from now on.

****Mayor Bloomberg's sky-is-falling act makes him hero of Hurricane Irene
BY Erin Einhorn
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

Monday, August 29th 2011, 4:00 AM

 Robert Mecea for NewsMayor Bloomberg at NYPD's Joint Operations Center on Sunday. Take our PollHurricane hero?
Are you happy with the job Mayor Bloomberg did to brace for Irene?

      Yes. New York City was very prepared for the crisis.
 No. The early evacuations and closings were unnecessary.
 Not sure. I am just glad Irene was not as devastating as it could have been.

 Related NewsBloomberg: ConEd may be forced to shut off power in southern tip of ManhattanNYC 'preparing for worst' in hurricane: BloombergNYC planning to shut down transportation systemBloomberg's plane was last to land at LGA as Christmas blizzard intensifiedAnalysis: Bloomy's 'not in Bermuda' campaignClaims of test cheats tripleNote to pols: Too much is better than not enough.

Or as mom always said, better safe than sorry.

Those words of wisdom are political winners.

PHOTOS: IRENE HITS NEW YORK

Sure, Irene wasn't quite as advertised. Plenty of New Yorkers grumbled that mandatory evacuations and constant warnings were an extreme overreaction, but history will remember Hurricane Irene as a victory for Mayor Bloomberg.

He was the one who evacuated low-lying parts of the city, who was on TV seemingly at every moment warning, cautioning and coaching New Yorkers on how to deal with what was touted as a killer hurricane.

STORM TRACKER: THE LATEST NEWS

The foresight and hustle won kudos - some begrudgingly.

In sharp contrast to the bruising Bloomberg took as the city struggled to dig out from the debilitating post-Christmas blizzard, Hizzoner was lavished with praise yesterday from even his toughest critics.

"I'm not a critic today. I'm a fan," said City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Brooklyn), who last spring conducted what some called the "Mother of all Hearings" into the city's disastrous blizzard response.

"I'm sorta disappointed. I emailed some of my colleagues today and said, 'Damn! I missed my opportunity to have the Mother of All Hearings, Part II.'"

Last winter, elected officials from across the city said they spent the days after the blizzard fielding furious complaints from constituents and getting no response from the administration.

This time they were invited to frequent conference calls and meetings ahead of the storm.

Top city officials responded to emails and calls as the winds and rains pelted the city.

And by yesterday, James said that when she notified the administration of downed trees in her central Brooklyn district, "they responded with the cavalry."

Maybe it was a little too much, some acknowledged.

Maybe some New Yorkers were inconvenienced by the forced evacuation or alarmed by the panic.

Surely many are steamed at Gov. Cuomo and the MTA for yanking the crucial lifeline of the city's public transit system for nearly two days, but, this time, no one could complain that their mayor was AWOL.

"He wanted to go from bozo of the blizzard to hero of the hurricane," said Baruch College political science Prof. Doug Muzzio.

Instead of swooping back into the city from Bermuda as Bloomberg did just before the blizzard, New Yorkers could barely turn on their TVs over the weekend without seeing the mayor giving a briefing or inspecting the troops.

"This was Michael Bloomberg saying, 'You know what, nothing else is going to happen on my watch,'" said Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Brooklyn), who helped evacuate thousands of people from his Coney Island district.

"Some people are going to say he overreacted, but you know what? It's better to be safe than sorry."

eeinhorn@nydailynews.com****
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JDN
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« Reply #265 on: August 29, 2011, 04:22:58 PM »

You're in California aren't you?


 huh huh huh

Given GM's thought process, I think GM would leave the country before he moved to or lived in California! 

  smiley
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ccp
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« Reply #266 on: August 29, 2011, 05:37:05 PM »

"I think GM would leave the country before he moved to or lived in California!"

True but I thought he is there.  In any case I wondered if he was not on the East Coast and therefore he didn't get the same media blitzkeig we got here in the NYC metro area. 
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JDN
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« Reply #267 on: August 29, 2011, 05:47:55 PM »

CCP; I was kidding of course. Actually I think GM is on the East coast
but I could be wrong. I'll let him answer for himself. I'm in CA and so is Crafty.
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G M
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« Reply #268 on: August 29, 2011, 10:02:47 PM »

I'm in flyover country.

Anyway, I'm looking at it from the public safety perspective. You've got to plan for the worst case scenario and hope it doesn't happen.
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JDN
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« Reply #269 on: September 03, 2011, 11:02:21 PM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-solyndra-20110902,0,5309658.story
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G M
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« Reply #270 on: September 03, 2011, 11:06:19 PM »


Boy, this sure reminds me of Chicago-style graft. Probably because it is.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #271 on: September 07, 2011, 06:09:50 PM »

By ANNE JOLIS
In April 1990, Al Gore published an open letter in the New York Times "To Skeptics on Global Warming" in which he compared them to medieval flat-Earthers. He soon became vice president and his conviction that climate change was dominated by man-made emissions went mainstream. Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it. As far as the average Western politician was concerned, the debate was over.

But a few physicists weren't worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or "cosmic rays," whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth. These shifts might significantly impact the type and quantity of clouds covering the earth, providing a clue to one of the least-understood but most important questions about climate. Heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends.

The theory has now moved from the corners of climate skepticism to the center of the physical-science universe: the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. At the Franco-Swiss home of the world's most powerful particle accelerator, scientists have been shooting simulated cosmic rays into a cloud chamber to isolate and measure their contribution to cloud formation. CERN's researchers reported last month that in the conditions they've observed so far, these rays appear to be enhancing the formation rates of pre-cloud seeds by up to a factor of 10. Current climate models do not consider any impact of cosmic rays on clouds.

Enlarge Image

CloseCERN
 
A cutting-edge physics experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research has scientists' heads in the clouds.
.Scientists have been speculating on the relationship among cosmic rays, solar activity and clouds since at least the 1970s. But the notion didn't get a workout until 1995, when Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark came across a 1991 paper by Eigil Friis-Christensen and Knud Lassen, who had charted a close relationship between solar variations and changes in the earth's surface temperature since 1860.

"I had this idea that the real link could be between cloud cover and cosmic rays, and I wanted to try to figure out if it was a good idea or a bad idea," Mr. Svensmark told me from Copenhagen, where he leads sun-climate research at the Danish National Space Institute.

He wasn't the first scientist to have the idea, but he was the first to try to demonstrate it. He got in touch with Mr. Friis-Christensen, and they used satellite data to show a close correlation among solar activity, cloud cover and cosmic-ray levels since 1979.

They announced their findings, and the possible climatic implications, at a 1996 space conference in Birmingham, England. Then, as Mr. Svensmark recalls, "everything went completely crazy. . . . It turned out it was very, very sensitive to say these things already at that time." He returned to Copenhagen to find his local daily leading with a quote from the then-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): "I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naïve and irresponsible."

Mr. Svensmark had been, at the very least, politically naïve. "Before 1995 I was doing things related to quantum fluctuations. Nobody was interested, it was just me sitting in my office. It was really an eye-opener, that baptism into climate science." He says his work was "very much ignored" by the climate-science establishment—but not by CERN physicist Jasper Kirkby, who is leading today's ongoing cloud-chamber experiment.

On the phone from Geneva, Mr. Kirkby says that Mr. Svensmark's hypothesis "started me thinking: There's good evidence that pre-industrial climate has frequently varied on 100-year timescales, and what's been found is that often these variations correlate with changes in solar activity, solar wind. You see correlations in the atmosphere between cosmic rays and clouds—that's what Svensmark reported. But these correlations don't prove cause and effect, and it's very difficult to isolate what's due to cosmic rays and what's due to other things."

In 1997 he decided that "the best way to settle it would be to use the CERN particle beam as an artificial source of cosmic rays and reconstruct an artificial atmosphere in the lab." He predicted to reporters at the time that, based on Mr. Svensmark's paper, the theory would "probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole" of 20th-century warming. He gathered a team of scientists, including Mr. Svensmark, and proposed the groundbreaking experiment to his bosses at CERN.

Then he waited. It took six years for CERN to greenlight and fund the experiment. Mr. Kirkby cites financial pressures for the delay and says that "it wasn't political."

Mr. Svensmark declines entirely to guess why CERN took so long, noting only that "more generally in the climate community that is so sensitive, sometimes science goes into the background."

By 2002, a handful of other scientists had started to explore the correlation, and Mr. Svensmark decided that "if I was going to be proved wrong, it would be nice if I did it myself." He decided to go ahead in Denmark and construct his own cloud chamber. "In 2006 we had our first results: We had demonstrated the mechanism" of cosmic rays enhancing cloud formation. The IPCC's 2007 report all but dismissed the theory.

Mr. Kirkby's CERN experiment was finally approved in 2006 and has been under way since 2009. So far, it has not proved Mr. Svensmark wrong. "The result simply leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could influence the climate," stresses Mr. Kirkby, quick to tamp down any interpretation that would make for a good headline.

This seems wise: In July, CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Die Welt that he was asking his researchers to make the forthcoming cloud-chamber results "clear, however, not to interpret them. This would go immediately into the highly political arena of the climate-change debate."

But while the cosmic-ray theory has been ridiculed from the start by those who subscribe to the anthropogenic-warming theory, both Mr. Kirkby and Mr. Svensmark hold that human activity is contributing to climate change. All they question is its importance relative to other, natural factors.

Through several more years of "careful, quantitative measurement" at CERN, Mr. Kirkby predicts he and his team will "definitively answer the question of whether or not cosmic rays have a climatically significant effect on clouds." His old ally Mr. Svensmark feels he's already answered that question, and he guesses that CERN's initial results "could have been achieved eight to 10 years ago, if the project had been approved and financed."

The biggest milestone in last month's publication may be not the content but the source, which will be a lot harder to ignore than Mr. Svensmark and his small Danish institute.

Any regrets, now that CERN's particle accelerator is spinning without him? "No. It's been both a blessing and the opposite," says Mr. Svensmark. "I had this field more or less to myself for years—that would never have happened in other areas of science, such as particle physics. But this has been something that most climate scientists would not be associated with. I remember another researcher saying to me years ago that the only thing he could say about cosmic rays and climate was it that it was a really bad career move."

On that point, Mr. Kirkby—whose organization is controlled by not one but 20 governments—really does not want to discuss politics at all: "I'm an experimental particle physicist, okay? That somehow nature may have decided to connect the high-energy physics of the cosmos with the earth's atmosphere—that's what nature may have done, not what I've done."

Last month's findings don't herald the end of a debate, but the resumption of one. That is, if the politicians purporting to legislate based on science will allow it.

Miss Jolis is an editorial page writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe.

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Cranewings
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« Reply #272 on: September 13, 2011, 02:41:05 AM »

"That somehow nature may have decided to connect the high-energy physics of the cosmos with the earth's atmosphere—that's what nature may have done..."

This guy is a master of saying what he means.

I still believe in man - made global warming, but it would be nice if something like this could really be proven to marginalize the man - made aspect.
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« Reply #273 on: September 13, 2011, 08:02:26 AM »

If "man made global warming" was real, why the need to falsify all the data? Why did Gore build a mansion on a beachfront?
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« Reply #274 on: September 13, 2011, 08:08:49 AM »

Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
 
April 28, 2010, 4:24 p.m.
Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have added a Montecito-area property to their real estate holdings, reports the Montecito Journal.

The couple spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, a real estate source familiar with the deal confirms. The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

Carbon footprint.  rolleyes

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/17/photos-al-goree-new-8875_n_579286.html#s91230
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« Reply #275 on: September 13, 2011, 09:55:06 AM »

I've read that Al Gore is now worth $100,000,000.  Just how does a former Veep accumulate that kind of money?
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« Reply #276 on: September 13, 2011, 09:59:27 AM »

Selling books and movies based on "global warming" fraud, while jetting around the world in private planes and riding in Limos and Armored SUVs while lecturing us on reducing consumption.
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« Reply #277 on: September 13, 2011, 12:19:38 PM »

Cranewings: "...I still believe in man - made global warming, but it would be nice if something like this could really be proven to marginalize the man - made aspect."

There is an aspect or two of human behavior that would tend in the direction of warming, but the agenda people turn that into an inference that it is either totally caused or mostly caused by cars and coal plants and that is not true.  Certainly just having roads and roofs instead of prairies and forests has some effect on heat retention.  Every molecule of hydrocarbon consumed releases one of CO2; there is some increase and there is some effect, but it is very small.

I would like to update my calculation with new inputs (when I have time) but with the best information available 4 1/2 years ago I estimated that we are warming the planet at the rate of 3/100,000th of a degree Celsius per decade during this short period of earth's history and life that humans are so reliant on fossil fuels for our energy:
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=976.msg9268#msg9268

If I were an environmental scientist, a belief in less than a ten thousandth of a degree of man made warming per decade would require me to say yes, humans are contributing to the warming of the planet.  But earth's own power to correct itself is perhaps a hundred thousand times stronger. 

There is no excuse for being reckless, wasteful or stupid with our God-given resources, but starving ourselves of energy even to the point of killing off our economy, jobs and prosperity, even if the effort was global, would be many magnitudes under the margin of error of what the best scientists can measure.
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« Reply #278 on: September 13, 2011, 12:54:38 PM »

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6736517/Copenhagen-climate-summit-1200-limos-140-private-planes-and-caviar-wedges.html


Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges

 Copenhagen is preparing for the climate change summit that will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.
 



By Andrew Gilligan

10:55PM GMT 05 Dec 2009


On a normal day, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen's biggest limousine company, says her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the "summit to save the world", which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200.
 
"We thought they were not going to have many cars, due to it being a climate convention," she says. "But it seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report."
 
Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. "We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand," she says. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."
 
And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? "Five," says Ms Jorgensen. "The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don't have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it's very Danish."
 
The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports – or to Sweden – to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers.
 
As well 15,000 delegates and officials, 5,000 journalists and 98 world leaders, the Danish capital will be blessed by the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Helena Christensen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prince Charles. A Republican US senator, Jim Inhofe, is jetting in at the head of an anti-climate-change "Truth Squad." The top hotels – all fully booked at £650 a night – are readying their Climate Convention menus of (no doubt sustainable) scallops, foie gras and sculpted caviar wedges.
 
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« Reply #279 on: September 13, 2011, 01:24:29 PM »

So, if "Global Warming" was real, do you think they'd act like it was?
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« Reply #280 on: September 13, 2011, 01:59:12 PM »

So, if "Global Warming" was real, do you think they'd act like it was?

No, of course not. Here is a little thing some guy wrote about Christians:

Quote
The United States’ deep social problems are all the more disturbing because the nation enjoys exceptional per capita wealth among the major western nations (Barro and McCleary; Kasman; PEW; UN Development Programme, 2000, 2004). Spending on health care is much higher as a portion of the GDP and per capita, by a factor of a third to two or more, than in any other developed democracy (UN Development Programme, 2000, 2004). The U.S. is therefore the least efficient western nation in terms of converting wealth into cultural and physical health. Understanding the reasons for this failure is urgent, and doing so requires considering the degree to which cause versus effect is responsible for the observed correlations between social conditions and religiosity versus secularism. It is therefore hoped that this initial look at a subject of pressing importance will inspire more extensive research on the subject. Pressing questions include the reasons, whether theistic or non-theistic, that the exceptionally wealthy U.S. is so inefficient that it is experiencing a much higher degree of societal distress than are less religious, less wealthy prosperous democracies. Conversely, how do the latter achieve superior societal health while having little in the way of the religious values or institutions? There is evidence that within the U.S. strong disparities in religious belief versus acceptance of evolution are correlated with similarly varying rates of societal dysfunction, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west having markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the northeast where societal conditions, secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms (Aral and Holmes; Beeghley, Doyle, 2002). It is the responsibility of the research community to address controversial issues and provide the information that the citizens of democracies need to chart their future courses. http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html

I just posted that so that its clear my feelings have support from something written on the internet. The world is full of nasty hypocrites. Acting like people that believe in global warming are going to stop flying private jets is like believing that people who don't want to be shot to death won't send other people off to war. That is just normal behavior for normal people.

I've taken a couple of Geology classes in the last year. Global warming, as presented in those classes which I paid a lot of money for, is pretty damn convincing. The fact most people who don't believe the global warming story are also conservative makes it look like they are just carrying a party line for the sake of doing it.

Like I said, I'd be happy if it turns out not to be so.
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« Reply #281 on: September 13, 2011, 02:38:25 PM »

Wow. You are all over the map.

Aren't you a Ron Paul fan? Where is he on socialized medicine?

I know logic is a weak point for you, you like to emote your way through complex issues. Thankfully you want to be an engineeer.  rolleyes

Before you try to cite some leftist praising the secular-socialist european model, you might want to look at the economic imposion of those same european countries.

Now, as far as citing the UN as a source, let's look at the UN on global warming:

http://asiancorrespondent.com/52189/what-happened-to-the-climate-refugees/



What happened to the climate refugees?
By Gavin Atkins Apr 11, 2011 8:14AM UTC



In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production.
 
The UNEP even provided a handy map. The map shows us the places most at risk including the very sensitive low lying islands of the Pacific and Caribbean.
 
It so happens that just a few of these islands and other places most at risk have since had censuses, so it should be possible for us now to get some idea of the devastating impact climate change is having on their populations. Let’s have a look at the evidence:
 
Bahamas:
 

Nassau, The Bahamas – The 2010 national statistics recorded that the population growth increased to 353,658 persons in The Bahamas.  The population change figure increased by 50,047 persons during the last 10 years.
 
St Lucia:
 

The island-nation of Saint Lucia recorded an overall household population increase of 5 percent from May 2001 to May 2010 based on estimates derived from a complete enumeration of the population of Saint Lucia during the conduct of the recently completed 2010 Population and Housing Census.
 
Seychelles:
 

Population 2002, 81755
 
Population 2010, 88311
 
Solomon Islands:
 

The latest Solomon Islands population has surpassed half a million – that’s according to the latest census results.
 
It’s been a decade since the last census report, and in that time the population has leaped 100-thousand.
 
Meanwhile, far from being places where people are fleeing, no fewer than the top six of the very fastest growing cities in China, Shenzzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhuhai, Puning and Jinjiang, are absolutely smack bang within the shaded areas identified as being likely sources of climate refugees.
 
Similarly, many of the fastest growing cities in the United States also appear within or close to the areas identified by the UNEP as at risk of having climate refugees.
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« Reply #282 on: September 13, 2011, 02:41:08 PM »

I guess the Limos and caviar saved all those refugees!

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« Reply #283 on: September 13, 2011, 02:59:15 PM »

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/02/025705.php

Global Warming Fraud: The Big Picture


The recent revelations of scientific errors (not to say fraud) in the U.N.’s global warming documents are important, but Fred Singer reminds us not to lose sight of the most important point: the IPCC’s fundamental conclusions, relating to the allegedly unprecedented warming of the past half-century, are based on bad surface temperature data and are contradicted by more-reliable satellite data and by our knowledge of the earth’s climate history. We know for a fact, in short, that the computer models that are the only basis for the AGW theory are wrong:

 The reports of the UN-IPCC have long provided the basis of the so-called ‘scientific consensus.’ Climate statements of assorted national academies of sciences, including the venerable Royal Society, turned out to be nothing more than rehash of the IPCC conclusions, rather than independent assessments. [Ed.: This is true of the EPA's endangerment finding as well.] Similarly, the statements issued by various professional societies simply relied on the IPCC – without adding any analyses of their own.
 In turn, this apparent consensus misled not only the media and the public but also the wider scientific community, which had remained largely unaware of the ongoing debate and of the work of the many reputable climate experts who disagreed with the IPCC. Thanks to the e-mails of ClimateGate (CG), we now know of the efforts by a small clique to suppress publication of such dissenting views by subverting the scientific peer-review process – often with the connivance of the editors of leading professional journals.
 All this is now changing. The e-mails leaked from the University of East Anglia server strongly suggest that the basic temperature data had been manipulated, yielding the reported strong surface warming of the past 30 years. Again, we had long suspected this, because the data from weather satellites showed little warming trend of the atmosphere since 1979.
Available proxy data seemed to confirm this result (see “Hot Talk Cold Science” [1997] — HTCS Fig 16). But according to theory – and every greenhouse climate model — tropospheric trends should be substantially greater than surface trends.
 This disparity between the trends derived from weather station data and from satellite data was already apparent in 1996 (see HTCS Fig 9), and was amply confirmed in a special study of the US National Academy of Sciences ["Reconciling observations of global temperature change" 2000].
 The NAS report could not reconcile the disparity and never explained its cause. But it has become evident now that the cause may be a greatly exaggerated surface trend – brought about by the CG cabal. We will learn the details once we unravel just how the data were manipulated.
 The ‘manufacture’ of a ‘man-made’ warming trend, when there is none, likely involved (i) selection of stations that showed a trend, and (ii) inadequate correction for purely local warming influences such as the ‘urban heat island’ effect (see HTCS Figs 7 and 8; and the recent extensive publications of Joe D’Aleo and Anthony Watts).
 In a sense then, the other ‘Gates’ discovered since CG – GlacierGate and all the rest – are a distraction from the main story. They were all found in IPCC Volume 2, which deals with climate impacts, i.e. with the consequences of global warming. They indicate a general sloppiness and make a mockery of the much touted IPCC standards and procedures. They have severely shaken the public’s and the media’s faith in the IPCC. But the main story is still CG – because it impacts directly on IPCC Volume 1, which deals with climate science and the causes of climate change rather than with climate impacts.
 To sum up: CG demonstrates just how the IPCC [2007] arrived at its erroneous conclusion about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the latter half of the 20th century. They used bad data. It’s no surprise then that none of the evidence the IPCC put forth in support of AGW can stand up to scrutiny – as already shown in the reports of the NIPCC (“Nature, not human activity, rules the climate” and “Climate change reconsidered”) [2008 and 2009].

Now that we know Al Gore is a hoaxer, can we please get back to drilling for oil and gas? We have huge supplies of oil and gas under our control, but our oil companies–which by international standards are tiny in terms of the quantity of petroleum to which they have access–are legally prevented from developing it and, in some cases, even exploring for it. (Congress doesn’t want the American people to understand how much wealth and how many jobs we are forgoing by being the only country in the world that perversely refuses to develop its own energy resources.) Here, Chevron’s Vice President for Exploration, Bobby Ryan, explains the need to explore the Outer Continental Shelf, where unknown but no doubt vast reserves of energy are to be found.
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« Reply #284 on: September 13, 2011, 03:00:11 PM »


I know logic is a weak point for you, you like to emote your way through complex issues. Thankfully you want to be an engineeer.  rolleyes


Hey, calculus is simple. Talking about politics with hyper involved conservatives is challenging (;

Thanks for my new signature though.
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« Reply #285 on: September 13, 2011, 03:30:51 PM »



Good stuff.

From back in 2001? Wasn't that when all the doomsday preditions were being made, like 50 million climate refugees and drowning polar bears?
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Cranewings
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« Reply #286 on: September 13, 2011, 03:33:46 PM »



Good stuff.

From back in 2001? Wasn't that when all the doomsday preditions were being made, like 50 million climate refugees and drowning polar bears?

Ah, I read 2010. I'll delete it.
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« Reply #287 on: September 13, 2011, 03:39:40 PM »


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7011713/UN-report-on-glaciers-melting-is-based-on-speculation.html

UN report on glaciers melting is based on 'speculation'

An official prediction by the United Nations that the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 may be withdrawn after it was found to be based on speculation rather than scientific evidence.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

3:00PM GMT 17 Jan 2010


Two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made the claim which it said was based on detailed research into the impact of global warming.
 

But the IPCC have since admitted it was based on a report written in a science journal and even the scientist who was the subject of the original story admits it was not based on fact.
 

The article, in the New Scientist, was not even based on a research paper - it evolved from a short telephone interview with the academic.
 

Dr Syed Hasnain, an Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, said that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research.
 

Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped.
 


 The IPCC's reliance on Hasnain's 1999 interview has been highlighted by Fred Pearce, the journalist who carried out the original interview.
 
Mr Pearce said he rang Hasnain in India in 1999 after spotting his claims in an Indian magazine.
 
He said that Dr Hasnain made the assertion about 2035 but admitted it was campaigning report rather than an academic paper that was reviewed by a panel of expert peers.
 
Despite this it rapidly became a key source for the IPCC when Prof Lal and his colleagues came to write the section on the Himalayas.
 
When finally published, the IPCC report did give its source as the WWF study but went further, suggesting the likelihood of the glaciers melting was "very high".
 
The IPCC defines this as having a probability of greater than 90 per cent.

The report read: "Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate."
 
However, glaciologists find such figures inherently ludicrous, pointing out that most Himalayan glaciers are hundreds of feet thick and could not melt fast enough to vanish by 2035 unless there was a huge global temperature rise. The maximum rate of decline in thickness seen in glaciers at the moment is two to three feet a year and most are far lower.
 
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« Reply #288 on: September 13, 2011, 03:58:25 PM »

Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995
By Jonathan Petre

Last updated at 5:12 PM on 14th February 2010


Data for vital 'hockey stick graph' has gone missing
There has been no global warming since 1995
Warming periods have happened before - but NOT due to man-made changes
 Data: Professor Phil Jones admitted his record keeping is 'not as good as it should be'
The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.
Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.
Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.
The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.
And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

The admissions will be seized on by sceptics as fresh evidence that there are serious flaws at the heart of the science of climate change and the orthodoxy that recent rises in temperature are largely man-made.
Professor Jones has been in the spotlight since he stepped down as director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit after the leaking of emails that sceptics claim show scientists were manipulating data.
The raw data, collected from hundreds of weather stations around the world and analysed by his unit, has been used for years to bolster efforts by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to press governments to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

 More...MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: The professor's amazing climate change retreat

Following the leak of the emails, Professor Jones has been accused of ‘scientific fraud’ for allegedly deliberately suppressing information and refusing to share vital data with critics.
Discussing the interview, the BBC’s environmental analyst Roger Harrabin said he had spoken to colleagues of Professor Jones who had told him that his strengths included integrity and doggedness but not record-keeping and office tidying.
Mr Harrabin, who conducted the interview for the BBC’s website, said the professor had been collating tens of thousands of pieces of data from around the world to produce a coherent record of temperature change.
That material has been used to produce the ‘hockey stick graph’ which is relatively flat for centuries before rising steeply in recent decades.
According to Mr Harrabin, colleagues of Professor Jones said ‘his office is piled high with paper, fragments from over the years, tens of thousands of pieces of paper, and they suspect what happened was he took in the raw data to a central database and then let the pieces of paper go because he never realised that 20 years later he would be held to account over them’.
Asked by Mr Harrabin about these issues, Professor Jones admitted the lack of organisation in the system had contributed to his reluctance to share data with critics, which he regretted.
   

But he denied he had cheated over the data or unfairly influenced the scientific process, and said he still believed recent temperature rises were predominantly man-made.
Asked about whether he lost track of data, Professor Jones said: ‘There is some truth in that. We do have a trail of where the weather stations have come from but it’s probably not as good as it should be.
‘There’s a continual updating of the dataset. Keeping track of everything is difficult. Some countries will do lots of checking on their data then issue improved data, so it can be very difficult. We have improved but we have to improve more.’
He also agreed that there had been two periods which experienced similar warming, from 1910 to 1940 and from 1975 to 1998, but said these could be explained by natural phenomena whereas more recent warming could not.

He further admitted that in the last 15 years there had been no ‘statistically significant’ warming, although he argued this was a blip rather than the long-term trend.
And he said that the debate over whether the world could have been even warmer than now during the medieval period, when there is evidence of high temperatures in northern countries, was far from settled.
Sceptics believe there is strong evidence that the world was warmer between about 800 and 1300 AD than now because of evidence of high temperatures in northern countries.
But climate change advocates have dismissed this as false or only applying to the northern part of the world.
Professor Jones departed from this consensus when he said: ‘There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.
‘For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.
‘Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented.’
Sceptics said this was the first time a senior scientist working with the IPCC had admitted to the possibility that the Medieval Warming Period could have been global, and therefore the world could have been hotter then than now.
Professor Jones criticised those who complained he had not shared his data with them, saying they could always collate their own from publicly available material in the US. And he said the climate had not cooled ‘until recently – and then barely at all. The trend is a warming trend’.
Mr Harrabin told Radio 4’s Today programme that, despite the controversies, there still appeared to be no fundamental flaws in the majority scientific view that climate change was largely man-made.
But Dr Benny Pieser, director of the sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said Professor Jones’s ‘excuses’ for his failure to share data were hollow as he had shared it with colleagues and ‘mates’.
He said that until all the data was released, sceptics could not test it to see if it supported the conclusions claimed by climate change advocates.
He added that the professor’s concessions over medieval warming were ‘significant’ because they were his first public admission that the science was not settled.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html
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« Reply #289 on: September 13, 2011, 04:19:47 PM »

http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2011/07/29/drowning-polar-bears-and-the-return-of-ursus-bogus/

Drowning Polar Bears And the Return Of Ursus Bogus

Last year, the American Association for the Advancement of Science got into a bit of a pinch when its flagship magazine, Science, was caught in the photoshop with a faked image of a lone polar bear on a tiny ice floe.  Tim Blair, in the Australian Daily Telegraph coined it “Ursus bogus”.

Ursus bogus may be back, but with a very odd twist.  This time, the Obama administration appears to be after a prominent Interior Department scientist who moved the policy world with news of drowning polar bears. AP reports:

“A federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article.


The scientist in question is Charles Monnett, who works with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (think the nation could survive without this office?) in Anchorage. Somehow Al Gore is involved, as AP reports that his co-author Jeffrey Gleason was questioned by Interior Department investigators last January about Gore’s mention of polar bears in the SciFi hit An Inconvenient Truth.

Maybe the problem is that enough polar bears aren’t drowning.  Populations are booming, especially in the Canadian arctic.

It’s a fact that people just can’t get enough of polar bears. If they are drowning in droves, where are the pictures?  Where is the evidence for dramatic population declines?

Monnett and Gleason saw four—count ‘em—four drowned bears in their 2004 aerial survey of bowhead whales.  They hypothesized that shrunken arctic sea ice at the end of summer meant that they had to swim over increasing distances to get to land, and, in a storm, they died of exertion.  Further, they suggested that this would increase as arctic ice decreased.  They also dressed the story in bathos and political correctness, arguing that female moms and cubs would be preferentially at risk. Monnett became the rage and probably stopped flying in coach.

**Wow. They saw four dead bears that they never actually examined. The science is settled!
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G M
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« Reply #290 on: September 13, 2011, 04:26:23 PM »

Hey, maybe those four bears ate the 50 million climate refugees and that's what killed them!


See, global warming is a killer! Where is my Limo and caviar?
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G M
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« Reply #291 on: September 15, 2011, 02:46:22 PM »

Global Warming - A Long Term Perspective. [ArthurK]

—Open Blogger

I've been following the Global Warming controversy for years and it's easy to forget that not everybody has seen the same info I have. For example, the long term temperature records extrapolated from Greenland and Antarctic ice cores. It was mentioned in the Planet Gore blog the other day and I thought, "oh yeah - lots of people haven't seen this!".




Anyone see a pattern here?
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 02:48:37 PM by G M » Logged
G M
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« Reply #292 on: September 27, 2011, 07:54:18 AM »

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/25/the-amazing-decline-in-deaths-from-extreme-weather-in-an-era-of-global-warming-19002010/

The Amazing Decline in Deaths from Extreme Weather in an Era of Global Warming, 1900–2010

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany
 
Summary
 
Proponents of drastic curbs on greenhouse gas emissions claim that such emissions cause global warming and that this exacerbates the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including extreme heat, droughts, floods and storms such as hurricanes and cyclones. But what matters is not the incidence of extreme weather events per se but the impact of such events—especially the human impact. To that end, it is instructive to examine trends in global mortality (i.e. the number of people killed) and mortality rates (i.e. the proportion of people killed) associated with extreme weather events for the 111-year period from 1900 to 2010.



Aggregate mortality attributed to all extreme weather events globally has declined by more than 90% since the 1920s, in spite of a four-fold rise in population and much more complete reporting of such events. The aggregate mortality rate declined by 98%, largely due to decreased mortality in three main areas:
■Deaths and death rates from droughts, which were responsible for approximately 60% of cumulative deaths due to extreme weather events from 1900–2010, are more than 99.9% lower than in the 1920s.
 ■Deaths and death rates for floods, responsible for over 30% of cumulative extreme weather deaths, have declined by over 98% since the 1930s.
 ■Deaths and death rates for storms (i.e. hurricanes, cyclones, tornados, typhoons), responsible for around 7% of extreme weather deaths from 1900–2008, declined by more than 55% since the 1970s.
 
To put the public health impact of extreme weather events into context, cumulatively they now contribute only 0.07% to global mortality. Mortality from extreme weather events has declined even as all-cause mortality has increased, indicating that humanity is coping better with extreme weather events than it is with far more important health and safety problems.
 
The decreases in the numbers of deaths and death rates reflect a remarkable improvement in society’s adaptive capacity, likely due to greater wealth and better technology, enabled in part by use of hydrocarbon fuels. Imposing additional restrictions on the use of hydrocarbon fuels may slow the rate of improvement of this adaptive capacity and thereby worsen any negative impact of climate change. At the very least, the potential for such an adverse outcome should be weighed against any putative benefit arising from such restrictions.
 
The full study with diagrams is here, courtesy of the Reason Foundation. The press release, Extreme Weather Events Are Killing Fewer People Than Ever Before,
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JDN
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« Reply #293 on: September 27, 2011, 10:43:20 PM »

Not addressing the issue of global warming, BUT....

What a bogus chart!   shocked

Maybe because rescue operations and planning and construction etc. are better today    shocked shocked shocked

Not to mention population has increased, therefore the percentage goes down...

The Reason Foundation?   huh  Reason   huh  Surely you joke?

And the conclusion is truly garbage....  Did a High School student write this for his first year class?
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G M
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« Reply #294 on: September 27, 2011, 10:59:35 PM »

Keep trying JDN, you might come up with a valid point yet, though I wouldn't bet any money on it.....


Note: Lots of emoticons doesn't disguise your lack of a coherent arguement.
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JDN
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« Reply #295 on: September 27, 2011, 11:08:11 PM »

Ahhh "coherent argument"?  I don't need to make one when you post garbage.

Did you follow the logic?  Oh yeah, that's right, there was no logic in your post's argument....

Surely you understand the fallacy of their logic?  Or maybe not?   sad

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G M
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« Reply #296 on: September 27, 2011, 11:12:12 PM »

"Maybe because rescue operations and planning and construction etc. are better today"

Gee, ya think? Because of technology and hydrocarbon based energy, yes?
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JDN
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« Reply #297 on: September 27, 2011, 11:18:27 PM »

GM - Go to bed.  Fight another day.

This one's a a loser for you.... 

It's just stupid.

Good night.   smiley
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G M
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« Reply #298 on: September 27, 2011, 11:26:10 PM »

So, JDN,

If you were to be in a building in a major earthquake, would you prefer to be in one in LA or Port-au-Prince?

Is there a difference in the access and use of hydrocarbon fuels in those two places? Does that contribute to the standards and structural integrity of the buildings in those two cities? If LA was using the same levels of hydrocarbon fuels as Port-au-Prince, would that impair the ability of the LA emergency services agencies to respond to a catastrophic act of nature, resulting in a greater loss of life?
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G M
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« Reply #299 on: September 27, 2011, 11:26:43 PM »

GM - Go to bed.  Fight another day.

This one's a a loser for you.... 

It's just stupid.

Good night.   smiley

As usual, you got nothing.
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