Oilprice: Wind and Gas Forcing Out Nuclear in Midwest.
“Exelon blames low electricity prices and “bad energy policy” for making some of its units unprofitable to continue to run. By ‘bad energy policy,’ Crane is referring to subsidies for renewable energy that Exelon has long campaigned against.”
Inhabitat: White Roofs are Three Times More Effective at Fighting Climate Change.
Next roof. White membrane.
Oto Cycles: Electric Bikes.
USA Today: Fracking raising water supply worries.
“The water-intensive process used to extract oil and gas from shale underground — known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking — has required almost 100 billion gallons of water to drill more than 39,000 oil and shale gas wells in the U.S. since 2011, says Ceres, a green investment group. More than half of those wells — 55% — were in drought-stricken areas, and nearly half were in regions under high or extremely high water stress, such as Texas, the report says.” My point exactly, which I’ve been pushing for how many years now? Fracking as a technique should not be used in drought areas … unless water is being trucked in from more humid climes. Which would likely push the price beyond reason.
SciAm: How Radioactive Is Our Ocean?
Want to monitor Pacific Ocean radiation? Woods Hole needs your help.
Guardian.UK: Republicans pitch unlikely plan to overhaul Endangered Species Act.
“Republicans in Congress on Tuesday called for an overhaul to the Endangered Species Act to curtail environmentalists’ lawsuits and give more power to states, but experts say broad changes to one of the nation’s cornerstone environmental laws are unlikely given the pervasive partisan divide in Washington DC.” Yeah, yeah, yeah … ‘power to the states’ … we know what that means.
NY Times: Severe Drought Has U.S. West Fearing Worst.
It’s bad. Bad as I’ve seen it. If we don’t get snowpack, our aquifers will not get recharged, and we’ll be on rationing as early as May, I suspect, if not sooner. The yard outside my window is almost bare dirt; the native grasses (we don’t have lawns here) are thinning and dying out. I’m watering our trees once a month, the ones closest to the house, to keep them alive.
Guardian.UK: Columbus crab crosses the Atlantic.
Bermuda to Britain. Thanks to litter.
Guardian.UK: Monarch butterfly numbers drop to lowest level since records started.
“A study released by the World Wildlife Fund, Mexico’s Environment Department and the Natural Protected Areas Commission blames the displacement of the milkweed the species feeds on by genetically modified crops and urban sprawl in the United States, as well as the dramatic reduction of the butterflies’ habitat in Mexico due to illegal logging of the trees they depend on for shelter.”
SantaFe.com: Death Comes for Lamy.
Just read it. We will oppose these plans with might and main.
ABC News: NTSB - Oil Train Crash Risks ‘Major Loss of Life’.
Infrastructure! Neglected infrastructure. Get oil companies to pay for it, rather than taxpayers. We’ll be happy with the trickle-down, as long as it’s not in the form of oil leaks.
Studio Segers: Concept, modular garden and … chicken coop.
SF New Mexican: Mora County faces new lawsuit over drilling ban.
“The recent lawsuit was filed by Shell Western E&P Inc., or SWEPI Limited Partnership. It asks the court not only to overturn the ordinance, but to award the company damages.” My italics. They’re out for blood.
Men’s Journal: Aspen and the End of Snow.
Long read, saving for later.
SF New Mexican: Lamy residents fighting oil firm’s plan for rail shipments.
“Marketing plans to truck crude oil from the Four Corners area to property in Lamy owned by Santa Fe Southern Railway, where the oil would be transferred to rail cars and shipped to refineries south of Albuquerque.” Last thing we need, is more truck traffic on 285. And the last thing Lamy needs, is oil all over the landscape.
Later: You know, I wondered why, in the wake of the closing of the Legal Tender, the county paved the road from 285 to Lamy. NOW it makes sense.
Dazed: Strangers in a strange land.
“Let’s be frank – we’re going to waste Earth like a pre-imploded Krypton: it’s just a matter of when, and our soft, meaty bodies probably won’t fare very well once we’re forced out into harsh new environments.” And that’s a good question. What happens if Earth and ‘nature’ become hostile to humans?
KOB.com: 27 NM counties qualify for federal drought aid.
NM is currently as brown and bare as I’ve ever seen it. We had two good snowstorms early in December, probably equal to 3/4 of a inch of rain. Nothing since, and that lack lies on top of longterm drought. The Ski Basin looks white on the runs, and Baldy is patchy and bare. Not good.
NakedCap: Are Fracking Fluids to Blame for Rail Car Explosions?
I mentally called BS on this, given the very small amounts of chemicals used per gallon of water [some online posit 40,000 gallons of chemicals in 1 million gallons of water], until I got to this quote: “Back in August Bloomberg identified another problem caused by the fracking chemicals, which is much of the millions of gallons of chemicals injected into the ground during fracking is in the form of hydrochloric acid. This is a highly corrosive substance and the railway administration has begun to note an increasing number of tanker cars are suffering damage to their interior surfaces after transporting light crude, likely due to the presence of the acid, and that this is weakening the tanks and making them more prone to rupture.” It doesn’t take much hydrochloric acid to start such problems. So count me on board now.
NewsObserver: NC fracking panel passes chemical disclosure rule.
“Fracking companies won the right to keep secret the chemical cocktails they pump underground during shale gas drilling in North Carolina under a chemical disclosure rule approved Tuesday by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission.” This frustrates the hell out of me. We live in a nation with hundreds, thousands of media sources … and when industry interests are in play, NONE disseminate needed information. This question of fracking chemicals has come up an untold number of times, and each time, in each ‘new’ region for frackers, it’s treated as if noone’s ever considered the question before. The purposeful ignorance makes me want to bash my head against a brick wall. I point you to the Durango oil worker and hospital staff incident. Keeping these chemicals secret KILLS people.
NMSU: Junk Your Junkmail.
ScienceDaily: The case for low methane-emitting cattle.
“You may think that climate change is being caused by burning oil, coal and gas. But not so fast! The emission of methane from cattle is a surprisingly important factor. Methane from cows—a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide—makes up 20% of greenhouse emissions from agriculture, or about 1% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases. That’s according to Phil Garnsworthy, professor of dairy science at the University of Nottingham in the UK.” Can’t you mix charcoal in their feed? Then again, with all those compartments in their stomachs …
Guardian.UK: West Virginia chemical spill leaves thousands with exposure symptoms.
“The facility is strictly a storage facility, with storage tanks. There is nothing made there. There is nothing processed there. [snip] We don’t inspect that.” Perhaps you might want to start. This is why lined containment pits need to be mandatory.
Grist: What I learned from six months of GMO research - None of it matters.
One journalist is burned-out over the whole controversy.
Smithsonian: What Happens to All the Salt We Dump On the Roads?
Of note. NewsHour recently broadcast a short piece on the use of beet juice as an accelerant, which improves the performance of chlorides.
Guardian.UK: Global warming is being caused by humans, not the sun ...
“The study used two very different representations of natural variability. The first model assumed that the present climate has a short and finite memory, and is mostly determined by the recent past. The second model assumed that the climate’s internal variability has long memory and the present climate is influenced by all the previous years.” Quite deep, this one, for a short article on the subject.