Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘US’

Large Fires Burning Across 15 US States

Posted by feww on July 12, 2017

National Preparedness Raised to Level 4  (Scale of 1 to 5)

Total fires: 175 new fires
Cumulative Acres: 1,040,056
Fire Crews: 359
Engines: 1,180
Helicopters: 114
Personnel: 16,082

Number of Active Large Fires: 56

States currently reporting large fires:  15

Alaska (1), Arizona (10), California (9), Colorado (6), Florida (1), Idaho (2), Montana (7), Nevada (9), New Mexico (1), North Dakota (1), Oregon (3), Texas (1), Utah (3), Washington (1) and Wyoming (1).

Fires and Acres Year-to-Date

  • TOTAL FIRES: 33,430
  • TOTAL ACRES: 3,760,090

Ten Year Average (2007 – 2016, as of today): 36,288 Fires; 2,792,16 acres

Prescribed Fires and Acres Year-to-Date

  • TOTAL FIRES: 61,118
  • TOTAL ACRES:  2,873,85

Canada Fires and Hectares YEAR-TO-DATE

Hectares: 341,314  (1 Hectare = 2.47 Acres)

Source: NIFC

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Early Dividends of Alt-Right, Trump-Brand, Kosher White Supremacist “Coup” – Part 3

Posted by feww on June 19, 2017

  • All Groups

– UK Report # 21 –

Impact of Alt-Right, Kosher White Supremacist “Coup” in US and UK [Part 3]

[Prepared by an affiliated team of political scientists.]

  • Parts 1, 2 and 3 of Report are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

 

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Early Dividends of Alt-Right, Trump-Brand, Kosher White Supremacist “Coup”

Posted by feww on June 15, 2017

  • All Groups

– UK Report # 18 –

Impact of Alt-Right, Kosher White Supremacist “Coup” in US and UK [Part 2]

[Prepared by an affiliated team of political scientists.]

  • Part 1 and 2 of Report are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

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Increase in global arms sales driven by demand in the Middle East and Asia –SIPRI

Posted by feww on February 20, 2017

United States, Russia, China, France and Germany responsible for 74 percent of global arms exports

Middle East: Between 2007–11 and 2012–16 arms imports by states in the Middle East rose by 86 per cent and accounted for 29 per cent of global imports in 2012–16, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

  • Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest arms importer with an increase of 212 percent.
  • Arms imports by Qatar went up by 245 per cent. “Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the USA and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities, despite much lower oil prices.

Asia: Arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania increased by 7.7 percent and accounted for 43 percent of global imports in 2012–16.

  • India was the world’s largest importer of major arms, accounting for 13 percent of the global total.
  • India’s imports were far greater than those of its regional rivals China and Pakistan.
  • Imports by countries in South East Asia increased 6.2 percent.
  • Vietnam made a particularly large jump from being the 29th largest importer in 2007–11 to the 10th largest in 2012–16, with arms imports increasing by 202 per cent.

“While China is increasingly able to substitute arms imports with indigenous products, India remains dependent on weapons technology from many willing suppliers, including Russia, the USA, European states, Israel and South Korea.”

Arms exporters: United States

USA was the top arms exporter in 2012– 16, accounting for a one-third of global arms exports. “Its arms exports increased by 21 per cent compared with 2007–11.

  • Almost half of the US arms exports went to the Middle East.
  • US supplies major arms to at least 100 countries around the world—significantly more than any other supplier state.
  • Advanced strike aircraft with cruise missiles and other precision-guided munitions and the latest generation air and missile defense systems account for a significant share of US arms exports.
  • UK Government has also ignored calls to stop selling weapons to repressive regimes, including Saudi Arabia, which has been accused by UN bodies of potentially committing war crimes in its military operation in Yemen.

Britain is the second biggest arms dealer in the world

  • Two-thirds of UK weapons have been sold to Middle Eastern countries since 2010, said a report.
  • Britain has also sold arms to 39 of the 51 countries ranked “not free” on the Freedom House “Freedom in the world” report, and 22 of the 30 countries on the UK Government’s own human rights watch list.
  • Britain is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world, official government figures show – with two-thirds of the weapons fueling deadly conflicts in the Middle East.
  • The UK averaged second place in the global rankings on a rolling ten-year basis, making it Europe’s leading defense exporter in the period, said the UK Trade and Investment, a government body that promotes British exports overseas.
  • The Government has ignored calls to stop selling weapons to repressive regimes, including Saudi Arabia, which has been accused by UN bodies of potentially committing war crimes in its military operation in Yemen.

Russia accounted for a 23 percent of global exports. 70 percent of its arms exports went to four countries: India, Vietnam, China and Algeria.

China’s global arms exports almost doubled from 3.8 to 6.2 percent. It is now firmly a top-tier supplier, like France and Germany which accounted for 6 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

Other notable developments

  • Algeria was the largest arms importer in Africa.
  • The largest importers in sub-Saharan Africa—Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia—are all in conflict zones.
  • Colombia’s arms imports decreased by 19 percent, while Mexico’s arms imports grew by 184 percent.
  • Imports by states in Europe significantly decreased by 36 percent .
  • Imports by Azerbaijan were 20 times higher than those of Armenia in 2012–16.

The War Criminal
The war criminal Barack Obama “offered over $115 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia in 42 separate deals, more than any U.S. administration in the history of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The majority of this equipment is still in the pipeline, and could tie the United States to the Saudi military for years to come,” said a report.

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Wildfire Stats – U.S. 2015

Posted by feww on January 10, 2016

Wildfires consumed record 10,125,149 acres in 2015 —NCDC

December saw 6,027 fires (7th highest since 2000) burning 312,668 acres (3rd highest on record), which is 51.9 acres burned/fire (5th most on record).

For January – December, some 61,922 fires (2nd lowest since 2000) burned a record 10,125,149 acres, which is 163.5 acres burned/fire, also a record high (rank out of 16 years).

Average  Figures (2000 – 2010)

  • Acres burned: 6,612,363
  • Wildfire: 77,951
  • Acres Burned per Fire: 85.2

Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/fire/201512

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U.S. Seismicity Reaches All-Time High

Posted by feww on July 4, 2015

1,213 earthquakes strike the U.S. in the 7 days to 4th of July

At least 1,213 earthquakes of all magnitudes have struck the United States and Puerto Rico in the seven-day period to the 4th of July 2015.

The quakes have occurred across 19 States—Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming—and Puerto Rico.

The global total for the period was 1,314.

  • The largest quake that occurred globally was a M6.4 (M6.5, according to China’s CENC) about 95km SE of Yilkiqi, China at a depth of 20km on 2015-07-03 at 01:07:47 UTC
  • The largest quake that occurred in the U.S. was a M5.2 about 13km S of Volcano, Hawaii at a depth of 8.6km on 2015-06-28 at 08:10:10UTC.

 

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Historic Cold Continues across Eastern U.S.

Posted by feww on February 19, 2015

Dangerously low temperatures affecting much of the eastern U.S.

Historic cold with dangerously low temperatures impacting much of the eastern half of the U.S., with many locations experiencing temperatures as low as 45 degrees below average, and some records threatened, said the National Weather Service (NWS).

A massive surge of arctic air later this week will impact most of the U.S., as another cold front slides south from Canada, said NWS.

“There are indications that this could be some of the coldest weather since the mid-1990s for some parts of the Southeast U.S., Mid-Atlantic, and central Appalachians. An eddy of the polar vortex will add to the potency of the surface cold front, thus creating a deep layer of bitterly cold air. Highs on Thursday and Friday will struggle to get out of the teens for many of these areas, and overnight lows could reach zero degrees or even lower in some places! Wind chill advisories and warnings are currently in effect. The overnight lows on Thursday night will be the coldest in those areas where the wind goes calm, allowing for additional
radiational cooling.”

  • Historic cold impacting eastern U.S. through Friday.
  • Another storm system developing over the southern U.S.
  • Dangerous wind chills are forecast from the northern Plains to the Gulf Coast.
  • Temperatures will be as low as 45 degrees below average for much of region.
  • Heavy snow is forecast for parts of Northern New England.
  • Rain/freezing rain and sleet could affect parts of the Lower/Middle
    Mississippi Valley/Tennessee Valley.

min temp us 48
Low temperature ending February 19, 2015 (NWS).

National High and Low Temperature (for the contiguous United States)
Issued 7 am EST Thursday, February 19, 2015

High Temperature for Wednesday, February 18, 2015
29.4ºC (85 degrees F) at Thermal, CA

Low Temperature for Thursday, February 19, 2015
-40.5ºC (-41 degrees F) at Embarrass, MN
NWS Weather Prediction Center, College Park, MD

[Temperature spread: 70ºC (126 degrees F), as calculated by FIRE-EARTH]

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – November 18, 2013

Posted by feww on November 18, 2013

Global Disasters/ Significant Events – November 18, 2013

Deadly Tornadoes Attack U.S. Midwest

At least SIX people were killed and dozens more injured after 67 tornadoes [confirmed total] spawned by a massive weather system struck parts of 9 states, including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. Some 442 events have so far been reported across NINE states after Sunday storm attacks, which flattened large section of the city of Washington, Ill.

Plane crash in Russia’s Kazan kills 50 people on board

Russian authorities confirmed that all 50 people aboard a passenger plane were killed when the aircraft  crashed on landing in central Russia’s city of Kazan, capital of Tatarstan Republic.

Egypt train and bus crash kills 24 near Cairo

24 people were killed and 20 others injured when a train crashed into a pickup truck and a bus near Cairo, the state news agency MENA said on Monday.

50 Children were killed when a train hit their school bus near Manfalut, about  350km south of Cairo, on November 17, 2012.

Guided-missile cruiser struck by “friendly” drone: LATimes

The guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville was  struck by an aerial-target drone during a training exercise off Ventura County, officials said.


BQM-74E target drones are launched from the guided-missile destroyer McCampbell in 2010. (Ensign Colleen R. Praxmarer / U.S. Navy)

The US Navy vessel was struck on its port side by an BQM-74 series drone, leaving two sailors with burns.

“The drone, controlled from Point Mugu, was being used during a routine exercise meant to test the ship’s radar system’s tracking ability. The test was not designed for the ship to shoot down the drone,” LATimes quoted officials as saying.

Navy technicians are examining the extent of damage to the ship, as other specialists try to establish the possible cause of the drone malfunction, said the report.

Bomb attack kills 31 in Syria including 4 generals

A bomb attack by Saudi-backed foreign terrorists on an army base near Damascus killed at least 31 Syrian military personnel including four generals,  according to reports.

“Three generals and a brigadier-general were among 31 troops killed in a bomb attack that caused a building in the army transport base in Harasta to collapse,” said director for Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Libya declares a State of Emergency in Tripoli as deadly violence erupts

A 48-hour state of emergency has been declared in the Libyan capital Tripoli after gun battles between rival militia groups left at least 45 people dead and more than 400 wounded.

However, eyewitnesses say the death toll is much higher than the official figures.

“Officially, there were more than 40 victims in the clashes in Tripoli in the past two days, but according to our data, the number of victims is much larger,” a medic on the scene told reporters.

Potentially Disastrous Fuel Rod Removal Operation Starts at Fukushima Daiichi

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. TEPCO, has begun removing nuclear fuel rods from a storage pool at a damaged No. 4 reactor building.

The pool contains 1,533 fuel units, of which 1,331 are highly radioactive spent rods. The operator decided to remove unused units first because they release less radiation and heat than the used ones.

Philippines Mega Disaster Update – SitRep No. 27

Super Typhoon HAIYAN affected up to 14 million Filipinos, leaving 5,578 dead or missing, 4,009, 074 homeless, and causing at least PHP10.4 billion worth of damage to the country’s agriculture and infrastructure.

ndrrmc- sitresp no 27
Source: SitRep No. 27 released by Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMC)  November 18, 2013. [$1 = 43.66 Philippine pesos]

Mass Burials

mass burial - phil typhoon disaster
Town officials bury some of the victims of the Super Typhoon HAIYAN in a mass grave. Credit: Local news media.

This post will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Terrible Ocean Headlines

Posted by feww on August 17, 2008

Even the average high school grad could have made an educated guess …

About one third of the world’s annual emissions of CO2 is absorbed by the surface of the oceans forming carbonic acid (ancient name acid of air or aerial acid), H2CO3, which is increasing the acidity of the oceans to as much as 7.7 pH in some areas off the California coast. [Pre-industrial (1700s) ocean pH: 8.179]


Ocean Acidity Kills Corals. Photo Credit: Associated Press. Image may be subject to copyright!

“We were completely surprised because people had been looking at the effect of acidification on calcified structures of marine animals, but there was no evidence to suggest it was affecting non-calcified structures, like a sperm or an egg,” lead-scientist Jane Williamson from Macquarie University told Reuters on Friday.

“It is widely believed that seawater is chemically well-buffered, but these results show that the acidification process already well underway may threaten the viability of many marine species,” Williamson said.


The sea urchins study found a link between increased ocean acidity and a reduction in fertility (Credit: ABC News). Image may be subject to copyright!

“What we have now is evidence that the world’s marine life is far more sensitive to ocean acidification than first suspected, and that means our oceans may be very different places in the not-too-distant future.”

Related Links:

Up to 410 dead zones with a combined area of about 250,000km² and counting!


Summertime satellite observations of ocean color from MODIS/Aqua show highly turbid waters which may include large blooms of phytoplankton extending from the mouth of the Mississippi River all the way to the Texas coast. When these blooms die and sink to the bottom, bacterial decomposition strips oxygen from the surrounding water, creating an environment very difficult for marine life to survive in. Reds and oranges represent high concentrations of phytoplankton and river sediment. Image taken by NASA and provided courtesy of the NASA Mississippi Dead Zone web site.

No of Dead Zones

  • 1970: 40 dead zones
  • 1980: 65
  • 1990: 135
  • 2000: 305
  • 2008: 410 dead zones with a combined area of about 250,000km²

“The biggest one measures about 30,000 square miles in the Baltic Sea, the researchers said. This is followed in size by one in the Gulf of Mexico starting at the mouth of the Mississippi River in the United States and one at the mouth of China’s Yangtze River in the East China Sea.” Reuters reported.

“It’s not sort of a local or regional problem, which is how it was thought of in the past,” said Robert Diaz of the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science. “It is actually a global problem.”

“Most of it is agricultural-based, but there is a lot of industrial nitrogen in there, too, if you consider electric generation industrial,” added Diaz.

Related Links:

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EU Energy Strategy Beats US Energy Tragedy

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

As the 27-nation EU bloc declare their support for eco-friendly products and technology, and propose to cut energy consumption, the US opts for offshore drilling.

France’s Ecology Minister told EU energy ministers in Paris last week that energy efficiency has become the “keystone” in EU energy strategy.

The EU Commission’s “action plan on sustainable industrial policy and on sustainable consumption and production” is part of that startegy.

“There will be proposals on green public procurement, as well as widening the scope of the existing directive on eco-design to help improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and the scope of rules on eco-labeling will be widened,” a Commission spokesperson said.

The EU bloc is 63 percent more populated than the US, but uses less than a half of the per capita energy and produces 46 percent less CO2. [Sources: EIA, US Census Bureau, BP]

So, which one of the two “super states” has a smarter energy strategy, EU or the US?

Hint: You don’t need a Ouija board to work that out!

Related News Links:

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

French Water!

Posted by feww on July 9, 2008

What is it with the French and their water?

First it was France’s Perrier and the discovery of Benzene (dry cleaning fluid) in their bottled water which led to a huge recall. Then it was Evian, and the bottled water racket exposed!

Now it’s France’s Areva and uranium in the local river.

France’s Areva says uranium leaked into river

PARIS (Reuters) – French nuclear firm Areva said on Tuesday 30 cubic meters of a liquid containing natural uranium was accidentally poured on the ground and into a river at a site in southeastern France. [Thank heavens they are the dismantling specialists!]

The uranium, which was not enriched, was poured on the ground during the cleaning of a tank at the Socatri group, an Areva subsidiary, on the site of the Tricastin nuclear plant.

“Around 30 cubic meters of a liquid containing uranium, with a concentration of 12 grams of uranium per liter [that’s about 360 kg of uranium] was poured on the ground,” France’s nuclear safety authority said in a statement, adding that it will carry out an investigation on July 10 to determine the causes of the accident.

Socatri specializes in the maintenance and dismantling of nuclear material as well as managing nuclear waste.

Part of the liquid soaked into the ground at the company’s premises while the rest ran into the Gaffiere and Lauzon rivers, which flow into the Rhone.

A Socatri spokesman said the firm will monitor the impact of the accident on the environment. (Source)

Update [July 10, 2008]: French Newspaper La Provence published today extracts of a May 2007 report which said the Socatri plant had experienced repeated leaks due to old pipes that carry waste liquid. (Source)


Avignon, situated on the bank of the Rhône river, probably won’t need any artificial lighting for some time.

The authorities, believed to be underplaying the danger posed by the uranium leak, banned residents in the city of Avignon (about 40km from Tricastin nuclear site at Bollene) and other nearby towns from fishing, swimming in the rivers, using water from wells, or using water from the rivers on their crops.

Gaffiere river’s radiation levels rose about 1,000 times higher than the background levels after the spill. Said a spokeswoman for the nuclear safety agency.

Areva, Areva

The AREVA Tower located in Europe’s largest CBD, La Défense, Paris.

AREVA is a French public multinational industrial conglomerate that deals mostly in nuclear power. It was created in 2001, by the merger of Framatome and Cogema (now AREVA NC).

The French State owns more than 90%. AREVA official Ralf Güldner is the vice-chairman of the World Nuclear Association.

AREVA is the world’s biggest company in nuclear energy. It is the only company with a presence in each industrial activity linked to nuclear energy: mining, chemistry, enrichment, combustibles, services, engineering, nuclear propulsion and reactors, treatment, recycling, stabilization, and dismantling. [And leaking uranium to the local rivers.]

EPR

AREVA has been constructing Finland’s fifth reactor in Olkiluoto since 2005. The reactor, which is one of the first of the new, third generation reactors (EPR – European Pressurized Reactor), was supposed to begin producing electricity in 2009, but the project has been delayed because of technical difficulties and quality problems. In August, 2007 the production start was postponed to 2010-2011. During the political debate in 1992, the official price estimate was 2500M euros. In 2004, a contracted fixed price was established as 3200M euros. In its 2006 Annual Report,AREVA recorded a writedown of 507M euros associated with the delay. A Jan 2008 financial press estimate pegged the overrun so far at 1.5B euros [AFX News Limited: AREVA proposes to sell 2 EPR reactors to South Africa’s Eskom UPDATE 01.31.08].

The second EPR in France is currently under construction at the Flamanville Nuclear Power Plant. Other EPRs were to be sold to the United Kingdom and to the United States.

United States

In USA, AREVA is present in 40 locations across 20 states and employs 5,000 people. In 2005 AREVA and Constellation Energy of Baltimore announced a new joint venture called UniStar Nuclear that will market the commercial EPR in the US. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Related Links:

Sur le pont d’Avignon

“Sur le pont d’Avignon” is a 15th century French song about the Pont d’Avignon aka Pont St-Bénezet, a famous medieval bridge in the town of Avignon.

Here’s a new variation [hope our French colleagues won’t mind 😉 ]

On the bridge of Avignon, lit by the glow of uranium
We all dance there, we all dance there
Under the bridge of Avignon
We all dance there in a ring, but can no longer swim!

The handsome gentlemen wearing funny suits and masks on their faces go this way
Then again go that way, with Geiger-Müller tubes in their hands!

The beautiful ladies with a bright halo round their heads go this way
Then again go that way

The musicians go this way
Then again go that way, playing to the rhythm of ionizing radiation tune!

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Image of the Day: Blood, Tears and CO2e

Posted by feww on June 23, 2008

‘Economy’ Throttles Ecology!

Look Ma, No Hands!


A Chinese national flag flutters outside a coking plant in Changzhi, Shanxi province May 29, 2008. Origin unknown. Source: Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UNEP Issues Some CO2 Reduction Snakeoil!

Posted by feww on June 6, 2008

submitted by a reader

Caution: For external use only! Avoid eye contact. Keep out of children’s reach. Apply sparingly!

UNEP: Twelve Steps to Help You Kick the CO2 Habit

The misleading title is meant to serve as an improvement on the waste recycling one-liners. Those eye-catching headlines invariably encourage consumers to recycle waste, without providing any information as to the full impact of the recycling process on the environment; mysteriously, they often fail to carry any good advice, for example, on how to cut down on the consumption in the first place.

The most glaring UNEP deception is probably the propagation of the myth of self-empowered individuals, the notion that we are in charge and free to do what we choose to do. In other words, it’s not the exponential growth economy that is deciding our lifestyles, social behavior and consumption habits; it is our fault to become addicted to CO2 in the first place!

In reality, however, our lives are ruled by a powerful discourse that prevents us from opting out of consumer lifestyles. The political economy ensures there are no alternatives to the prevailing malignant system. The media and advertising industry influence each and every decision we make. The system builds the roads, parking lots and airports, and it then demands we use them. We have no say on how things should be done. The only “choice” available to us is restricted to the type of vehicle we occupy the roads with to spend the daily installments of our mandatory solitary confinement, a choice we couldn’t make without the help of the advertising industry, of course.

Without a change in the system of economy, we don’t stand a surviving chance as a species!

Tell me again, how will you help kick my CO2 habit, when the economic system is producing the pollution for me?

UNEP Clumsy Scaremongering Diminishes the Seriousness of Environmental Threats

The most egregious misrepresentation made by UNEP in their report must be their recommendation to use a non-electric toothbrush as a major means of halving your carbon footprint. The per person CO2 emissions in the US is about 21.89 metric tons each year (Source: EIA 2005). The average electric toothbrush has a 6.5-Watt power rating—it uses 6.5 joules of electricity per second—that means, taking into account the losses from electricity generation, it produces a total of about 80 mg of CO2 per day, or 29 grams per year, if you brushed your teeth for about a minute every day! How or why the UNEP believes such small amounts of CO2 could make a dent in the overall pollution inventory is unfathomable [even with an inefficient charger they don’t get close to the UNEP figures, or cutting your carbon footprint by half!]

[Note: One metric ton is equal to 1,000 kilograms (kg); 1,000,000 grams (g); 1,000,000,000 milligram (mg).]

As for the electric alarm clocks, those that operate in the range of 20-40 Watts, are responsible for producing about 250-500 mg (a quarter to one half of a gram) of CO2 per day.

Of course, most electronic alarm clocks run on batteries, using an AAA battery (1.5V, 1.2Ah) which is replaced about once a year. While manufacturing batteries creates chemical pollution and carelessly discarded ones constitute an environmental hazard, the batteries are not known as a major source of carbon dioxide pollution!


Just exactly which one of the above figures can you influence and by how much? (Source: EIA 2005)

Below is a list of the UNEP snakeoil remedies:

  • Use a wind-up alarm clock rather than an electric one.
  • Dry clothes on a washing line rather than in a tumble dryer.
  • Pack lighter suitcases. It says that world savings would be 2 million tonnes a year if every airline passenger cut the weight of baggage to below 20 kg and bought duty free goods on arrival. [Emphasis were added!]
  • Use a non-electric toothbrush.
  • Heat bread rolls in a toaster rather than in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Take a train rather than a car for a daily commute of 8 km.
  • The average British household could cut 2 tonnes of CO2 annually with more efficient insulation, heating and lighting.
  • Reduce winter heating: cutting the temperature by a couple of degrees saves 6 percent in energy bills.
  • Avoid “carbon binges”: a return flight across the Atlantic is equivalent to running a car for a year for each passenger.

How very revealing! It almost tells you which corporations wrote the “Kick the CO2 Habit.”

Conclusion:

FEWW Moderators have carefully considered UNEP recommendations and, taking into account all of the circumstances, believe the net results of all energy saving on the national scale in the target countries would only be significant if

  • All airline flights were grounded
  • All automobile journeys were halted
  • All non-essential commercial activities were ended
  • All unnecessary industrial production were stopped
  • All wasteful consumer practices were eradicated

Heunep

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Deadly Storms Hit US Midsection

Posted by feww on May 26, 2008

A Shrinking World Series

Powerful storms kill 8 in Iowa and Minnesota

Tornadoes Wreak Havoc in Oklahoma

Severe thunderstorms accompanied by large hail and tornadoes struck the US midsection Sunday, killing eight people and destroying tens of homes, authorities said.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver issued a disaster proclamation for Black Hawk, Buchanan and Butler counties, hundreds of homes were evacuated. At least 20 people were unaccounted for in Minnesota.

The latest toll bring the total number of dead to about 113 in U.S. tornadoes so far this year. Tornado season intensifies in the spring and early summer, and again in the late fall. (Source)


Dennis Schipper looks over his flattened home after a powerful storm ripped through the town of Parkersburg, Iowa, Sunday, May 25, 2008. (AP Photo/The Waterloo Courier, Matthew Putney). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!


Debris covers the site of several homes after a powerful storm swept through Hugo, Minn. on Sunday, May 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Jim Mone). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!


A tornado touches down. Supercell storms plowed across northern Oklahoma state Saturday spawning several tornadoes that crushed structures and sent debris flying miles away, US media reported. (AFP/NOAA/File)


People evacuate their homes after a severe storm hit the town of Parkersburg, Iowa on Sunday, May 25, 2008. (AP Photo/The Waterloo Courier, Matthew Putney) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Lightning strikes during a storm that produced multiple tornadoes east of Marshall, Okla., Saturday, May 24, 2008. Several tornadoes touched down Saturday in northwestern Oklahoma. A twister destroyed three barns at a hog farm near Lacey in Kingfisher County, about 75 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, said Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Emergency Management Department. (AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Matt Strasen). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Related Links:

Slideshow: Storms hit Iowa, Minn.

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More Disasters Hit China

Posted by feww on May 26, 2008

A Shrinking World Series

China aftershock destroys 71,000 homes, kills 6

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer

CHENGDU, China – A powerful 6-magnitude aftershock destroyed tens of thousands of homes in central China on Sunday, killing six people and straining recovery efforts from the country’s worst earthquake in three decades. More than 500 others were injured. (Source)

Quake Data:

  • Magnitude: 6.0
  • Date-Time: Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 08:21:49 UTC
    Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 04:21:49 PM at epicen
  • Location: 32.587°N, 105.424°E
  • Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
  • Region: SICHUAN-GANSU BORDER REGION, CHINA
  • Distances: 40 km (25 miles) WNW of Guangyuan, Sichuan, China
    140 km (85 miles) NNE of Mianyang, Sichuan, China
    350 km (220 miles) NNW of Chongqing, Chongqing, China
    1275 km (790 miles) SW of BEIJING, Beijing, China


People walk on a collapsed bridge. A powerful aftershock on May 25, 2008 hit quake-ravaged central China damaging thousands of homes, killing 6 people and injuring dozens more. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty) Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

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Oceans, Where Life Started, Are Dying – Part IV

Posted by feww on May 26, 2008

Wild Facts Series: Just when you thought the oceans were dying painlessly!

Carbon Emissions Make Oceans Corrosive!

‘Acidified’ Water Threatens Marine Life on the Continental Shelf from Canada to Mexico: NOAA

Researchers found evidence of corrosive water about 20 miles off the west coast of North America from Canada to Mexico last summer. The ocean water on the western North American continental shelf was previously thought not to be “acidified.”

“Ocean acidification” is caused by the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, a process which makes water corrosive.


Effects of increasing carbon dioxide and temperature on coral reefs. (NOAA Coral Reef Watch)

“Acidification of the Earth’s ocean water could have far-reaching impacts on the health of our near-shore environment, and on the sustainability of ecosystems that support human populations through nourishment and jobs,” said Richard W. Spinrad, NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research. “This research is vital to understanding the processes within the ocean, as well as the consequences of a carbon-rich atmosphere.”

“Our findings represent the first evidence that a large section of the North American continental shelf is seasonally impacted by ocean acidification,” said Feely. “This means that ocean acidification may be seriously impacting marine life on our continental shelf right now.”

“While this absorption provides a great service to humans by significantly reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and decreasing the effects of global warming, the change in the ocean chemistry affects marine life, particularly organisms with calcium carbonate shells, such as corals, mussels, mollusks, and small creatures in the early stages of the food chain,” said Feely.

NOAA said: “Previous studies found ocean acidification at deeper depths farther from shore. The researchers said that the movement of the corrosive water appears to happen during the upwhelling season during the spring and summer, when winds bring CO2 -rich water up from depths of about 400-600 feet onto the continental shelf. The water that upwells off of the North American Pacific coast has been away from the surface for about 50 years.


Typical coral-reef community observed in the U.S. Virgin Islands. [Species lables: the image to view labels: Ma, boulder star coral (Montastrea annularis); Dc, knobby brain coral (Diploria clivosa); Pa, mustard hill coral (Porites astreoides); Pp, finger coral (Porites porites); D, dead coral (probably Porites astreoides); O, octocoral (soft coral); S, sponge.] Photograph by Nathan Smiley, USGS.

The field study collected samples from Queen Charlotte Sound, Canada, to San Gregorio Baja California Sur, Mexico. The closest they found corrosive water was about four miles off of the northern California coast.”

“We did not expect to see this extent of ocean acidification until the middle to the end of the century,” said Sabine. “Because of this effort, we have a baseline for future observations as we continue to study and monitor the relationship of biological and physical processes and their ability to respond to ocean acidification.”

“We did not expect to see this extent of ocean acidification until the middle to the end of the century,” said Sabine. “Because of this effort, we have a baseline for future observations as we continue to study and monitor the relationship of biological and physical processes and their ability to respond to ocean acidification.”

“When the upwelled water was last at the surface, it was exposed to an atmosphere with much less CO2 than today and future upwelled waters will probably be more acidic than today’s because of increasing atmospheric CO2,” said Hales, a professor of chemical oceanography, who is also funded by NASA.

“We don’t know how this will affect species living in the zone below the level of the lowest tides, out to the edge of the continental shelf,” said Ianson, an oceanographer. “We do know that organisms like corals or pteropods are affected by water saturated with CO2. The impacts on other species, such as shellfish and other juvenile fish that have economic significance, are not yet fully understood.”

“In Baja California, we have several Mediterranean-climate coastal lagoons where the main external physical and biogeochemical forcing is from the neighboring coastal ocean, strongly influenced by upwelling,” said Hernandez-Ayon, a coastal oceanographer. “We are concerned about these areas because they play an important role as nurseries and feeding grounds of juvenile fish populations but are also are ideal sites for shellfish aquaculture.” More …

What is Bleaching?

Corals are very sensitive to temperature change: a 1–2º C change in local temperature above their normal summer maximum can lead to a phenomenon called ‘bleaching’, whereby the corals expel their vital algal symbionts (algae which live in the cells of the coral), leaving the coral tissues translucent.


Bleached Coral (Pocillopora) NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

In 1998, a single bleaching event led to the loss of almost 20% of the world’s living coral. Corals can recover from these events but repeated episodes are likely to weaken the coral ecosystem, making them more susceptible to disease and causing a loss of biodiversity. (Source)

How will ocean acidification affect marine life?

Corals, calcareous phytoplankton, mussels, snails, sea urchins and other marine organisms use calcium (Ca) and carbonate (CO3) in seawater to construct their calcium carbonate (CaCO3) shells or skeletons. As the pH decreases, carbonate becomes less available, which makes it more difficult for organisms to secrete CaCO3 to form their skeletal material. For animals in general, including invertebrates and some fish, CO2 accumulation and lowered pH may result in acidosis, or a build up of carbonic acid in the organism’s body fluids. This can lead to lowered immune response, metabolic depression, behavioral depression affecting physical activity and reproduction, and asphyxiation. Since the oceans have never experienced such a rapid acidification, it is not clear if ecosystems have the ability to adapt to these changes (1,2). Effects of ocean acidification on organisms and ecosystems are still poorly understood. Over the last few years, research has intensified significantly to fill the many knowledge gaps. (Source)

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Don’t Worry, it’s Only Earth

Posted by feww on May 20, 2008

A Herculean task, significant impact on physical and biological systems globally, worst cases in 800,000 years

One species disappears every 20 minutes, UN Experts

“In my view, climate change and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda,” Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at the opening of a U.N. biodiversity conference on Monday.


Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef. Reproduced under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, ersion 1.2 or any later version. (author: Richard Ling)

“In my view, climate change [Germany is the world’s 6th largest pollutor] and the loss of biodiversity are the most alarming challenges on the global agenda […] It will be a Herculean task to get the world community and each individual country on the right path to sustainability [still talking about ‘Tending Our Goats at the Edge of Apocalypse’] … The truth today is that we are still on the wrong track. If we follow this path we can foresee that we will fail to meet the target … Business as usual is no more an option if humanity is going to survive. Losing biodiversity is not just losing trees and species, it is an economic and security loss. [Thanks for reading our blogs, Mr Gabriel!]” (Source)

Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change

Significant changes in physical and biological systems are occurring on all continents and in most oceans, with a concentration of available data in Europe and North America. Most of these changes are in the direction expected with warming temperature. Here we show that these changes in natural systems since at least 1970 are occurring in regions of observed temperature increases, and that these temperature increases at continental scales cannot be explained by natural climate variations alone. Given the conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely to be due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, and furthermore that it is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent except Antarctica, we conclude that anthropogenic climate change is having a significant impact on physical and biological systems globally and in some continents. (Source)


Instrumental Temperature record of the last 150 years. (Author: Robert A. Rohde) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Version 2.5

Greenhouse gases highest in 800,000 years

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are now at the highest levels in 800,000 years, according to a study of Antarctic ice, which provides additional evidence that human activity is disrupting the climate.


“Shanghai at sunset, as seen from the observation deck of the Jin Mao tower. The sun has not actually dropped below the horizon yet, rather it has reached the smog line.” This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (Photo: Suicup; via: Wikimedia Commons. )

“We can firmly say that today’s concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane are 28 and 124 percent higher respectively than at any time during the last 800,000 years,” said Thomas Stocker, a researcher at the University of Berne. (Source)

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“You can be sure of Shell !”

Posted by feww on May 2, 2008

Shell nixes wind project, UK government peeved

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to sell its stake in one of the world’s largest wind farm projects, much to the annoyance of the the UK government, project partners and environmentalists.

Shell is one of three shareholders of London Array, which plans to erect 340 turbines with a combined generating power of 1,000 MW on a 20km stretch along the Thames Estuary, east of London. [The other two are the German utility E.ON AG and Denmark’s state-controlled DONG (!) Energy.


The upstream (search, recovery and extraction of crude oil and natural gas) provides about 70 percent of Shell’s revenues. [The Arguello Inc. Harvest Oil Platform is located about 10 km off the coast of central California near Point Conception. Photo: NASA JPL]

Accused of “hypocrisy” by environmentalists, Shell is the world’s second-largest non-government controlled oil company.

“We’re very disappointed that Shell — which touts itself as a progressive green company — is pulling out of the London Array project and leaving a key clean energy project high and dry,” Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner Nick Rau said. (Source)

Apart from the obvious, what is it about Shell that people so intensely dislike?

In Europe and most of ROW, I’m told, “you can be sure of Shell!” That is, you can be sure that Shell is the bête noire of the major oil corporations. My colleague who lives in London, England, reminds me about the non-stop demonstrations Greenpeace held against Shell in the late 70s and early 80s. Everyone, understandably, despised Shell: “Out! Out, with Shell!” But What about the other majors like ExxonMobil (the direct descendant of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company) and BP (then British Petroleum), the world’s largest and third largest oil and gas corporations respectively? Were/are they really “greener” that Shell? The interesting point was that Greenpeace in London, home of the BP, never uttered a word in anger against British Petroleum.

It’d be interesting to find out why!

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Food Fetishism + Cheap Oil = Mounting Pollution

Posted by feww on April 28, 2008

Excerpts from

The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Part 1)

Cheap oil has distorted the notion of creating ‘economic gains’ to such great extents that governments subsidize the industry to export and import the same product, often in similar quantities, within the same fiscal period. Country A exports Q tons of product P to country B, while it imports Q tons of the same product P from country B at the same time, with a net zero gain in commodity exchange for either country. However, the exchange produces about 9Q tons of CO2e pollution, nine times the weight of the commodity that was flown in either direction, for every 1,000 miles that the consignment is airborne.

Our weekly shopping basket includes items that would have flown more air miles than the average family fly in their lifetime! A 1kg (2.2lb) bag of New Zealand kiwifruit (in any of its cadmium, arsenic, lead, mercury… or organochlorine varieties) produces about 142kg (313lb) of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent gases) pollution flying to the US, or 188.7kg (416lb) of CO2e to Europe.

Related Links:

  • The Death of Homo Sapiens Sapiens

  1. Killed by Homo Economicus
  2. Domination by Disinformation
  3. Is a Future Possible?
  4. Exponential Growth Economy and Oil
  5. Where Is All the Money?
  6. Exporting Democracy to the Middle East

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