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 ‘water scarcity’

DISASTER Diary – May 26, 2013

Posted by feww on May 26, 2013

Namibia Declares National Drought Emergency

President of Namibia has declared a national drought emergency due to significantly below-average precipitation.

  • An estimated 331,000 people, 14 percent of the Namibia’s population of 2.324 million,  in rural communities across 13 regions have now been classified as food insecure so far this year.
  • An additional 448,000 people have been classified as moderately food insecure.
  •   Those moderately food insecure could rapidly become food insecure, UN reported.
  • About 109,000 children under age 5 living in rural households classified severely and moderately food insecure are at risk of malnutrition due to reduced availability, access and utilization of food, compounded by limited access to safe water and improved sanitation, UN said.

namibia drought
Namibia: Rainfall Anomaly for Q1 2013. Source: SADC FANR

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

  • 11 Regions across the country are without water tanks for additional storage.
  • About 32% of households and communities use boreholes as their main sources of water, followed by piped water (20%) and public taps in neighboring houses (19%).
  • As a result of the severe drought, water tables in boreholes are currently low with reduced yields.
  • The cost of water has risen and most households are now using their limited funds to buy food instead of water.
  • Only 33% of households have improved sanitation facilities.
  • 50% of the population practice open defecation. [Source: U.N.]

-oOo-

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Extreme Rain Events Flood San Antonio, Texas

At least two people were killed on Saturday as torrential rains in San Antonio triggered severe flooding forcing the rescue of about 240 people, officials said.

  • San Antonio was inundated with about 10 inches of rain Saturday, the second-wettest-day recorded, San Antonio Express-News reported.
  • “Saturday was not only the wettest day in May ever recorded, but with 9.87 inches of rain at the San Antonio International Airport, it was the second wettest day ever recorded in San Antonio, according to the National Weather Service. The wettest day on record is Oct. 17, 1998, when 11.26 inches of rain fell.”
  • NWS issued Flood Warnings  for rivers affecting Bexar, Wilson and Karnes counties.

-oOo-

Average CO2 at Mauna Loa:
Last 5 days of preliminary daily average CO2

  • May 24 – 399.84        
  • May 23 – 399.67        
  • May 22 – 399.97        
  • May 21 – 399.74        
  • May 20 – 400.11

-oOo-

M5.7 Earthquake, Plumas County, Northern Calif

A state of emergency has been declared in Plumas County after the magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the area Thursday, causing damage both to infrastructure as well as homes and businesses.

  • “The earthquake did not injure anyone but did cause moderate damage and was felt by people as far away as the Bay Area, Reno and into Oregon,” said a report.

-oOo-

DISASTER CALENDARMay 26, 2013  
SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN:
1,021 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,021 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …

GLOBAL WARNINGS

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in CO2, CO2 Emissions, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

World’s Water Dreams

Posted by feww on July 13, 2011

World Water Headlines – July 13, 2011

China forsaking farmers to feed ferocious energy demands

China says it is raising power production capacity to 1,440 gigawatts (GW) in four years, a rise of 490 GW.

The authorities are planning output at least 140GW of the added capacity from hydro power—equivalent of energy produced by seven Three Gorges dams, or the entire electricity production of France.

However, large-scale hydropower projects, as was the case with the construction of Three Gorges Dam, which impounded the Yangtzee River, will submerge vast areas of farming land under water forcing millions of people to relocate.

About 1.5 million people were relocated and at least 1,000 towns and villages were flooded to fill the reservoir area.

Three Gorges Dam in Yichang, Hubei Province central China, July 19, 2010.  The Dam Could Collapse


The water influx into the Three Gorges Reservoir reached 58,000 steres [cubic meters, m³] per second on Monday morning, setting a new record in this year’s flood season. Engineers will raise the rate of water outflux to 40,000 steres per second from 10 a.m. on Monday to face the biggest flood peak since the dam was established. (Xinhua/Zheng Jiayu). Image may be subject to copyright. More photos …

Water Shortages Caused by Hydropower Dams

Prolonged drought in the Mekong Basin threatened the livelihood of at least 60 million people last year. The water flows were the lowest for 20 years, said the Mekong River Commission (MRC). Adding that “water supply, navigation and irrigation are at threat.”

Many people in Southeast Asia blamed the unusually low water levels on Chinese dams.

NOTES:
1. Three Gorges dam has an installed capacity of 18.2GW
2. China’s hydropower capacity at the end 2010 was 213.4GW
3. Coal-powered plants will produce about 77 percent of the remaining 350GW of China’s planned capacity boost.

Related Links

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Ethanol Dries You Out

Posted by feww on April 18, 2009

US: One drought away from food crisis

Alcohol Dries You Out and Eats Through Your Food Security

Disturbing facts about ethanol production in the US:

  • In 2008, the United States was responsible for 52 percent of ethanol production in the world production, fermenting mostly corn to 9 billion gallons (~34.1 billion liters)  of fuel ethanol.
  • Ethanol production rose by 38.5 percent in 2008 compared to the previous year (from 6.5 billion gallons, or 24.6 billion liters in 2007).
  • United States imported an addition 557 million gallons of ethanol in 2008, from Brazil, Jamaica,  El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica.
  • Federal mandates encourage more ethanol production [not less overall consumption.]
  • The U.S. target for  for 2015 is 15 billion gallons, though it’s difficult to see where the industry is planning to get the water from.  [Data from the Renewable Fuels Association.]
  • As of January 2009, at least 170 ethanol biorefineries were operating in the United States with 24 additional ones (new location or expanding plants) being planned.
  • Corn is a thirsty crop requiring about 109 gallons of water for each pound (910 liters of water for each kg) of corn (shelled maize).  [Other estimates include 20 inches of soil moisture per acre of maize planted, producing about 150 bushels of corn per acre). Most of the water usually comes from the rain.
  • Research performed at Cornell University showed that 26.1 pounds of corn is needed to produce a gallon of ethanol (3.13kg of corn per liter).
  • Based on various sources, fresh water consumption is increasing globally by at least 1.2 percent per year, and the rate is rising.
  • Typical ethanol plants use about 4.2 gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol, says the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. However, the ethanol  industry insists the water requirement is ‘only’ a ratio of 3 to 1.
  • Annual harvest of corn in the US (2008) was 12,101 million bushels (307.37 MMT). [Source: USDA]
  • Total amount of corn used to produce ethanol in 2008 was a staggering 3,600 million bushels (91.44MMT),  or 29.75 percent of the annual US corn harvest.[Source: USDA]
  • Total amount of water needed to produce 15 billion gallons of ethanol, the US production target for 2015, is about 22 million-million gallons (83.5 trillion liters). That is about a fifth of the estimated volume of water in Lake Erie.

Notes:

1. A bushel of shelled maize (corn) weighs 56 pounds ( 25.40 kg).
2. MMT = Million Metric Tons.
3. FEWW calculations show that about 14.28 percent of the ethanol produced in the US in 2008 came from milo, other feedstocks, biomass, cheese whey and beverage waste.

Posted in 2009 crop harvest, corn to ethanol, drought an deluge, US ethanol production, water security | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hundreds of millions worldwide face disaster

Posted by feww on November 28, 2008

We import food from New Zealand because there’s no tax on aviation fuel, even though it makes no sense from a planetary standpoint. —Physicist James E. Hansen

“Time is running out to prevent catastrophic consequences from global warming, a leading climate scientist warned a packed audience Thursday at Stanford University.”

Physicist James E. Hansen said hundreds of millions of people will run out of fresh water sources and hundreds of millions of others will be forced to flee their homes by rising sea levels if greenhouse gas emissions stay the same.

[Note: It’s hoped that James Hansen would mention the rapid loss of topsoil in his future lectures.]

“To preserve creation, the planet on which civilization developed, we must draw down carbon dioxide to less than 350 parts per million,” Hansen  said. Read more

[Note: Moderators believe ‘safe’ emission levels are about 260-270 ppm.]

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, Congress Dirty Dozen, Ethics of Food and the Environment, Global Warming, Stanford University | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

The White House of Horror!!

Posted by feww on July 9, 2008

Horrors of Dracula and the White House Vampires

Origin of the name “Dracula”

King Sigismund of Hungary, who became the Holy Roman Emperor in 1410, founded a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Iraqis …

Vlad II Dracul, father of Vlad III, was admitted to the order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Iraqis and was dubbed Dracul (dragon) thus his son became Dracula (son of the dragon). From 1431 onward …

The Nation, Blood and CO2

Here’s the story in a nutshell about the WH, EPA,  Sen Barbara Boxer, Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of CDC, Jason Burnett [EPA’s former associate deputy administrator who resigned because, he says, White House wanted him to retract a statement about the dangers of CO2] and tons of CO2 as well as spinning yarn of politics:

Press Conference on White House Interference in Addressing the Dangers of Global Warming

Statement of Senator Barbara Boxer (Remarks as prepared for delivery)

You have heard me say many times that this Administration has downplayed the dangers posed by global warming. They have used every excuse to avoid taking action, even hiding behind China and India.

Now, thanks to a very brave former EPA official, Jason Burnett, who has responded to an inquiry from this committee, who is here today, we know that the Administration’s efforts have been about covering up the real dangers of global warming and hiding the facts from the public.

This cover-up is being directed from the White House and the Office of the Vice President. (Continued…)

WHITE HOUSE DELETION OF LARGE SECTIONS OF TESTIMONY ON PUBLIC HEALTH IMPACTS OF GLOBAL WARMING BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)

On Tuesday October 23, 2007 Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works regarding the public health implications of global warming. Dr. Gerberding’s written testimony was heavily edited during the review process coordinated by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, to remove most of the specific information about the health impacts of global warming.

At a White House press briefing the following day, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino asserted that the reason for the edits was that the CDC testimony was inconsistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the same topic. According to the White House briefing transcript, Ms. Perino answered a question on this issue as follows: (Continued…)

What Does All This Mean?

EPA: “greenhouse gases may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public welfare” [December 2007]

Supreme Court: Clean Air Act expressly authorizes the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. [April 2007]

White House spokesman Tony Fratto: “Jason Burnett is not the EPA administrator,” EPA chief Stephen Johnson should oversee environmental policy.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of CDC: “Climate Change is a Public Health Concern. In the United States, climate change is likely to have a significant impact on health, through links with the following outcomes:

  • Direct effects of heat,
  • Health effects related to extreme weather events,
  • Air pollution-related health effects,
  • Allergic diseases,
  • Water- and food-borne infectious diseases,
  • Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases,
  • Food and water scarcity, at least for some populations,
  • Mental health problems, and
  • Long-term impacts of chronic diseases and other health effects”

Sen. Barbara Boxer: There is a “cover-up” aimed at stopping EPA from tackling greenhouse emissions. “This cover-up is being directed from the White House and the office of the vice president”.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, on the administration’s actions: “I don’t know if that is criminal. I doubt it. OK. But I know it is immoral.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino: Gerberding’s draft testimony to Congress “did not comport” with science contained in the IPCC report on Climate Change, and “a number of agencies had some concerns with the draft.”

Sen. Boxer: Gerberding’s planned testimony and the IPCC report “matched identically.”

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »