The Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket
The Supreme Court will hear two low-profile, high-impact environmental cases in this new session. Richard Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard University, tells host Bruce Gellerman that he thinks the signs so far do not bode well for the Environmental Protection Agency. (LOE)
Australian Government doesn’t give a toss what you think
The Australian government asks for submissions, gets around 4500, mostly against the tax, then ignores almost all of them. It’s just another form of suppression and censorship, a sign that the elites don’t give a fig what we think.
Menzies House is calling it an utter disgrace.
“In a shocking and historically unprecedented suppression of political expression, a staggering four thousand five hundred Australians have had their voices silenced by Australia’s political elite in the Labor-dominated Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Clean Energy Future Legislation.”
It shows what we all knew all along: the submission process was a merely legal formality, a scent of democracy.
This is a new low, and based on current performance, is just what we’d expect. They can’t justify this tax, they can’t debate the science, but they can ram it through. The only way “forward” is with whitewash, erasers, and the all-purpose delete key. (Jo Nova)
The following articles claim UVB (ultraviolet radiation in the 270-320 nanometer [nm] band) had been the only/main suspect in causing skin cancer but that is really quite wrong. This assertion appeared in 2004 and represented a paradigm change. (links in our ozone page)
UVA (320-400nm) is and has always been the prime suspect in deep tissue penetration and genetic damage leading to melanoma while UVB, which can cause sunburns, has always been (and still is) otherwise considered benign/beneficial. UVC (<270nm), which would cause severe burns with short exposure but does not penetrate the atmosphere, blocked completely by atmospheric oxygen (O2) in addition to ozone (O3).
The only reason we can find for the reversal of paradigm and “villain switch” is that UVA is not blocked by stratospheric ozone at all and made a lie of claims that alleged stratospheric “ozone depletion” would lead to an increase in skin cancers. UVB is blocked to some extent by ozone (and thick cloud) and thus had to be made the villain of the narrative.
The claim that stratospheric ozone creates some sort of “life shield” around planet earth is and always has been utter twaddle – simply an excuse for the Montreal Protocol and the assassination of useful chemical compounds.
Study shines new light on damaging UV rays
The Poverty of Diagrams
Ben Pile on October 7, 2011
Pop wisdom has it that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. Here’s a picture that tries to paint so many words, but says more about its painters than the subjects they intended to portray. (Climate Resistance)
Map: The Climate Change Scare Machine — the perpetual self-feeding cycle of alarm
Two professors of sociology think they can explain why “Climate Deniers” are winning. But Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright start from the wrong assumption and miss the bleeding obvious: the theory was wrong, the evidence has changed, and thousands of volunteers have exposed it.
The real question sociologists will be studying for years to come is: how was an exaggerated scare, based on so little evidence, poor reasoning and petty namecalling, kept alive for two whole decades? (Jo Nova)
The South Pacific’s water crisis
And not a drop to drink
ONE canary in the climate-change coalmine may have just quietly fallen from her perch. The tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has declared a state of emergency after a fresh water shortage forced it to shutter its schools and hospitals and begin water rationing across the country. Observers blame the shortage on the changing weather patterns and rising sea levels associated with climate change—and warn they could be a sign of things to come for the whole region. (Economist)
What utter rubbish! Tide gauge data shows no particular trend for sea levels at Tuvalu but does register the state of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
Due to regional atmospheric pressure changes deforming the sea surface lens sea levels fall around Tuvalu during the warmer El Niño phase and rise during the earth-cooling La Niña phase.
We are currently entering what appears to be a second La Niña peak and sea levels have been above “normal” around Tuvalu for more than a year.
Moreover, La Niña phases cause a southerly shift in local wind and rainfall patterns, always leading to drought in the region.
Tuvalu suffers drought when earth is coolest and above-normal rainfall when earth is at its warmest during El Niño events. And so it has always been.
Big names behind US push for geoengineering
A coalition representing the most powerful academic, military, scientific and corporate interests has set its sights on vast potential profits (Guardian)
Keystone XL: The wrong question
The Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s tar sands would have pros and cons, but foes would do better to shift their focus to the larger environmental issues.
The question of whether to build an oil pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas is turning out to be one of the most important political decisions of the year for the Obama administration. It’s an agonizing choice because the costs and benefits of building it are so closely balanced; opponents have overstated the environmental risks, and proponents seem oblivious to the consequences of continuing to feed our nation’s oil addiction.
The Keystone XL pipeline would run 1,700 miles and cost $7 billion, generating thousands of construction jobs. It would increase oil imports from a stable, friendly neighbor while decreasing U.S. reliance on more volatile (and sometimes hostile) OPEC regimes. What’s more, pipelines are the safest way to transport oil. (LA Times)
American burying beetle becomes player in Keystone pipeline drama
Huhne’s Green Madness: Household Energy Crisis Looms
Thursday, 06 October 2011 14:29 Money Expert
Over a quarter of UK households are struggling to deal with energy bills, according to the latest research. 69% say the government has got it wrong on costly green energy policies.
Following this year’s 21% price hike, which added an extra £224 to the annual dual fuel bill, millions of homes across the country are finding it difficult to afford both gas and electricity.
A price comparison website found that 32% of households believe energy is already ‘unaffordable’ in the UK. A further 69% said that the government has not got it right when it comes to affordable energy and ‘going green’. (GWPF)
Fuel Prices Up – CO2 Down
Environmentalists oppose plan for £150m ‘green’ power station
ENVIRONMENTALISTS are objecting to plans for a £150m “green power” station that would use household waste to power more than 25,000 homes in Hull.
Hull-based engineering company C Spencer is seeking planning permission for the plant, a potential alternative to the failed incinerator at Saltend, at a meeting at Hull Council next week.
Friends of the Earth are objecting, claiming the station is a “slight improvement but not nearly enough” on plans for the incinerator, a long-running and controversial project which was finally ditched in January.
The plant will take 365,000 tonnes of commercial, industrial and municipal waste, as well as organic material, and will use processes including advanced gasification and anaerobic digestion, producing enough electricity for 25,000 homes as well as 900,000 therms of gas energy. In contrast the incinerator was originally due to burn up to 240,000 tonnes of household waste a year. (Yorkshire Post)
Fluoride safety debate bubbles up once again
Consumers hearing that some U.S. communities will no longer add fluoride to their drinking water, such as Florida’s Pinellas County, may wonder whether this cavity fighter is safe.
The short answer: Most health professionals say yes, as long as people don’t ingest too much of it.
Studies in the 1930s found tooth decay was less severe in areas with more fluoride in drinking water, prompting U.S. communities to add it to their water.
Yet the Obama administration is moving to lower its recommended amount in drinking water as newer research shows high levels can cause tooth and bone damage. (USA TODAY)
Cleaning clothes dirties oceans
You can’t see it, but plastic pollution mixes with the sand on coasts around the world. The tiny, human-made threads come from polyester clothing that’s been through the wash. Credit: Bryan Bell, National Park Service
It’s easy to pollute coastal areas, even for people who live far from the beach. All it takes are a washing machine and polyester clothes.
Polyester is everywhere: The plastic fabric can be used to make fleeces, shirts, pants, furniture and blankets. It’s synthetic, which means it’s created from chemicals in a lab to resemble something natural. Scientists recently found that polyester clothes shed plastic fibers while in the washing machine. During the rinse cycle, these microscopic threads wash down the drain, zip through water treatment plants and end up on the coasts. (SNfK)
The Leaky Ark
By Jonathan H. Adler
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
The failure of endangered species regulation on private land.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted with much fanfare and little controversy in 1973. At the time, few anticipated how broadly the law would affect both government and private activities.1 Yet ever since its celebrated passage, the nation’s premier wildlife conservation law has been a source of conflict and controversy; it has been rightly described as “one of the most contentious of our federal environmental laws.”2 The ESA is a focus of controversy in part because of its strength. Indeed, the ESA may be the most powerful environmental law in the nation.
Homegrown GM Bean Won’t Fight Hunger, Critics Say
By Fabiana Frayssinet
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 4, 2011 (IPS) – Critics complain that a genetically modified bean developed in Brazil, resistant to one of the country’s most damaging agricultural pests, was approved without enough debate or guarantees that the crop will not affect human health or the environment.
The GM bean, named 5.1, was developed by Embrapa, the government’s agricultural research agency, to resist the bean golden yellow mosaic virus (BGYMV), whose main symptom is a bright yellow or golden mosaic on the leaves, as well as leaf wrinkling and rolling. The seeds and plants are also stunted, malformed and discoloured, and flowers are aborted, leading to the loss of between 40 and 100 percent of the beans.
According to Embrapa, the virus transmitted by the whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) causes annual losses of between 90,000 and 280,000 tons of beans – enough to feed six to 20 million more adults in this country of 192 million people.
Rogue EPA Agent Pleads Guilty to Obstructing Justice
A former U.S. EPA agent who spearheaded the wrongful indictment of an refining plant manager — possibly to cover up his affair with an FBI agent — has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and perjury in a related civil case.
But now they are the World Whacko Fund and they produce absurd misanthropic propaganda:
Hot to be the new normal as species struggle
Soaring temperatures last century may have been hard work for many species across the planet but, by the end of this century, those temperatures, once considered extreme, will become the norm for many of the world’s most delicate ecosystems.
Research suggests that, over the coming decades, increased temperatures and rainfall will put increased stain on the survival of the Global 200 ecoregions, threatening both plant and animal life.
The Global 200 is a set of ecoregions that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has classified as having exceptional biodiversity. They contain a high concentration of the earth’s species. (Sydney Morning Herald)