Recently in Environmental Category

China goes green

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They sure are virtue signaling it but...
Not fscking likely - this little news item. From Nasdaq:

China to release more than 10 mln T of coal from reserves
China will release more than 10 million tonnes of coal from state reserves to ensure steady supply to the market, the powerful state planner said in a statement on Thursday, the year's fifth such release.

The coal will come from dozens of reserve hubs and key ports nationwide, the National Development and Reform Commission said, adding that the government would arrange further releases from reserves in line with market demand.

In April, the state planner urged power plants, coal miners and major coal transport hubs to boost reserves of the fuel, spurred by concerns over tight supplies and an expected demand surge.

It had vowed to build coal stockpiles to more than 120 million tonnes in government deployable reserves in 2021.

Not only ten million tons of coal being sent to the furnaces of industry, this is the fifth time this year so almost once per month. And then, there is this graph:

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The so-called activists in the US do not know how good they have it.
They need to go sit in the corner. Or, move to China and harass the government there.
I would even contribute some money to their plane ticket as long as it was one-way.

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We just need you to give us more money and cede more power - we'll have everything perfect by next election.
Yeah. That's the ticket...

Environmentalists - hypocrites

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In one meme:

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But the pipeline is in our back yard 'ya see... We can do something about that.

The real crisis is that this all happened on President Trump's watch - from Watts Up With That:

Biden & Democrats conceal U.S. CO2 decreases of 3.4 billion tons from natural gas
In his first week in office Biden and his Democrats ordered the suspension of leases for fossil fuel development on federal lands and offshore waters and a “rigorous review” of leasing and permitting practices. He also created a civilian “climate corps”, directed federal agencies to procure American-made zero-emissions vehicles for their fleets, and scrapped a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Biden asked Congress to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.

Joe's three-letter word in play here.  J.O.B.S. - as the power behind the throne kowtows to the radical environmentalists.
But wait... There's more:

In September 2020 the Energy Information Administration released a report largely ignored by the climate alarmist main-stream media titled U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions, 2019 presenting an analysis of the nation’s CO2 emissions from 1990 marking the 30 years that have passed since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change benchmark year.

The data showed that U.S. CO2 emissions for year 2019 were down 2.8% from year 2018 or 150 million metric tons (MMmt) with changes in electricity fuel mix being the most important factor resulting in coal-related CO2 emissions declining by 15% or 184 MMmt. 

The most significant fuel mix contribution to this CO2 emissions reduction result was the continued increased use of lower emission higher efficiency natural gas in replacing coal fueled electricity generation followed by increased use of non-carbon CO2 emissions reductions.

Win/win - cut down on the use of "dirty" coal and cut emissions of CO2.  What's not to love.

Unfortunately, Biden and his handlers want to make the United States of America more like California:

Biden and his climate alarmist Democrats have initiated a grossly misguided purely political war against natural gas that will deprive the American people of a clean, efficient and cost-effective energy resource that can and should be used to further reduce the use of coal in the future and bring about even greater reductions of CO2 without damaging the economy through ill-advised government mandated use of high-cost unreliable renewables.

California has been pursuing its climate alarmist campaign of reducing CO2 emissions since 2006 by mandating the use of high-cost unreliable renewables while implementing a plan to eliminate the use of all fossil fuels in electricity generation. In 2019 renewable energy accounted for about 32% of the California’s electricity while renewables accounted for about 11.1% of  total U.S. electricity generation. 

In the last decade California average residential electricity rates have risen at 3 times the rate of U.S. average residential electricity rates with present California rates being about 50% greater than the U.S. average.

Additionally California has now reached the point where the excessive use of renewables has created electric grid reliability and blackout problems which plagued the state last summer.

Kind of hard to say no to the numbers.  Facts do not lie.

If I were King, I would implement Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors all over the place and just be done with it. Cheap safe energy - what's not to love.

An interesting bit of news from The New York Post:

Greta Thunberg faces criminal conspiracy probe in India over farm protest tweets
Greta Thunberg accidentally shared a message showing she was getting told what to write on Twitter about the ongoing violent farmers’ revolt in India — leading Thursday to her being probed for criminal conspiracy by police there, according to reports.

The 18-year-old left-wing eco-activist shared — and then quickly deleted — a message that detailed a list of “suggested posts” about the ongoing protests, according to the posts that were saved by Breaking 911.

The list gave a series of tips on what to post, asking her to also repost and tag other celebrities tweeting about it, including pop star Rihanna.

As well as the Twitter storm, the “toolkit” she shared also suggested highlighting planned demonstrations at Indian embassies.

So let me get this straight...  You seriously think that an autistic teenager from Sweden was able to spring onto the world stage and become the poster child for all the usual leftie causes?  They shopped around for her, found her, groomed her and are using her to advance their causes.  She is just another meat puppet and she will be discarded when her usefulness is up.

Dispatches from the alt.energy front

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Hint - alt.energy simply does not work.  It only survives with huge taxpayer subsidies - our dollars being dumped down a rathole.

From Gizmodo:

The Only Carbon Capture Plant in the U.S. Just Closed
Early last year, the Trump administration’s Department of Energy celebrated a special birthday. “Happy Third Operating Anniversary, Petra Nova!” the agency trumpeted in a press release. The release boasted of a coal-fired power plant in Texas that seemed to have done the impossible: It successfully removed carbon dioxide from the plant’s emissions for three years, safely storing them.

The celebration was early—Petra Nova barely made it to its fourth birthday before being shuttered. Last week, NRG Energy, which owns the project, announced that it would be shut down indefinitely, in what may be one of the last gasps for carbon capture and storage technology in the U.S.

On paper, carbon capture and storage, or CCS, sounds like the solution to all our problems. If we could just suck the carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels and put it somewhere else, we could cut warming without shifting away from old methods of generating energy. In practice, though, the results have been less than promising and failed to scale at anywhere near the levels needed to avert catastrophic climate change.

And these morons still think that carbon is a bad thing.  CO2 is plant food.  Without it, photosynthesys would not happen.  No green plants. The effect of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is minimal.  Water vapor is much more effective but the greens can not control that so that inconvenient truth is swept under the narrative rug.

The article includes links to some of the spectacular failures. The technology simply does not work.

Batteries - the solution to everything

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What are you going to use to charge them?  And, where do you get the lithium?

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Like this is going to work out well

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Lots of forethought and planning.  Like - where are we going to get the lithium for the batteries?  The Rare Earth Elements for the motors? (Hint - thanks to the environmental activists, the only real place to get these in any quantity is China.  We have loads of these in the ground in the USA but the activists would rather China mine and refine them with zero environmental regulations than this be done in the USA with decent pollution controls.)

From Jalopnik:

The U.S. Government's Entire 645,000-Vehicle Fleet Will Go All-Electric
The United States government operates a fleet of about 645,000 vehicles, from mail delivery trucks to military vehicles and passenger cars. On Monday, President Joe Biden announced that his administration intends to replace them all with American-made, electric alternatives.

Biden shared the plan as part of a press conference detailing his “Buy American” executive order, which he said would represent “the largest mobilization of public investment and procurement, infrastructure and R&D since World War II.”

That is going to be a winner.  The only positive thing I can say is that, after these companies go bankrupt, there will be some wonderful auctions.  High-tech electronic equipment being sold for pennies on the dollar.

And oh, yeah?  Has anyone figured out where the electricity is going to come from? Renewables are still (after 30 years or so) only about 2% of the national power grid.  Not reliable, not baseload and not economically viable without major taxpayer subsidies.

Must be nice - Hawaii property

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From the Honolulu Star-Advertiser:

Oceanfront property tied to Obama granted exemption from Hawaii’s environmental laws
Officials in Honolulu have granted the developers of a luxury, oceanfront estate tied to Barack Obama a major exemption from environmental laws designed to protect Hawaii’s beaches.

The shoreline permit, issued by Honolulu’s Department of Planning and Permitting on Monday, clears the way for the controversial multimillion dollar renovation of a century-old seawall in the heavily Native Hawaiian community of Waimanalo.

Under state and county laws, such projects are typically banned. Scientists and environmental experts say seawalls are the primary cause of beach loss throughout the state, and officials expect older ones to fall into obsolescence.

But the property owners, including Marty Nesbitt, chair of the Obama Foundation, argued they needed an exemption to protect the sprawling compound they are building in eastern Oahu. State officials and community members say the former president, who was born and raised in Hawaii, is expected to be among the property’s future occupants. Representatives for Nesbitt and Obama did not return requests seeking comment for this story.

The seawalls change the action of the ocean causing the beaches to be washed away.  Bad for wildlife. Of course, Obama is one of the elite and what Barry wants, Barry gets.

The dirty little secret - electric cars

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People do not look at (they do not want to know) what goes in to making those batteries:

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The rare earths are not mined in the USA because the environmentalists do not want it.

The production is shifted to China where any environmentalists are rounded up and placed in re-education camps.

Same problem with solar panels, flat-screen televisions, cell phones and most other electronics. Not only is the mining bad, the chemical processing and refining are bad too.  We could do such a good job of it here - we have huge resources - but no.  The environmentalists do not want this.

Re-education camps do not sound like that bad of an idea...

From Cliff Mass:

Smoke is Coming Back to the Pacific Northwest
I am really sorry to be the messenger for ill news, which none of the media has picked up on yet.

But smoke is coming back to the Northwest later tomorrow and will be with us for several days.

California smoke.

Our skies will become hazy, the sun will take on that infernal reddish glow, and visibility will decline.

The only good thing is that most of smoke will stay aloft, but limited amounts will get to the surface in "favored areas."

Much more at the site.  Some of the Napa Valley wine country is on fire.

Bad management and a government that would rather blow money on trains to nowhere than maintain basic infrastructure. Texas has more acres of forest (and hotter weather this summer) but those are carefully managed and they have not had any wildfire problems.

Cripes - thought they learned their lesson 32 years ago with the Yellowstone fires of 1988. From The Mercury News:

California fires: State, feds agree to thin millions of acres of forests
The two dozen major fires burning across Northern California were sparked by more than 12,000 lightning strikes, a freak weather occurrence that turned what had been a relatively mild fire season into a devastating catastrophe.

Yet what’s driving these enormous fires is not sparks, but millions of acres of fuel: bone-dry trees and brush that haven’t burned in many years.

Before the Gold Rush in 1849, large parts of California burned every few decades. Lightning fires burned for months, and native tribes burned the land, clearing out dead vegetation. But for much of the past century, as the state’s population has built homes, towns and parks in rural areas, firefighters have extinguished the flames to save property and lives, allowing forests and other landscapes to become unnaturally dense.

As a result, fires now burn hotter and with more intensity.

“We have put out fires for 100 years. Now we are paying the price,” said Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science at UC Berkeley. “It will take a while to make these forests healthy again. But it’s absolutely possible.”

Duhhhh... The policy of putting out all fires was recognized as being counter productive when Yellowstone National Park went up in one big fireball thirty two years ago. It is taking California this long to realize the error of their ways?

California in a little while

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From A. F. Branco:

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And stop feeding off the taxpayer trough. From Business Insider:

EPA staffers warn of a huge exodus if Trump wins again. 'We can't do four more years of this.'
Career employees at the Environmental Protection Agency were devastated when Donald Trump became president.Nearly four years later, EPA staff and former officials said Trump has politicized and dismantled the agency beyond recognition. According to them, industry interests now have an "overriding voice" there. "I think many of the long-term employees will be able to exhale and get back to business," a longtime EPA official said of the prospect of a Joe Biden win in November.In an exclusive interview, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he planned to lead the agency "for at least the next two to three years."Environmentalists and ex-EPA staffers are thinking about ways to revive the agency but say it's going to be a monumental task. "You have to get this agency from a fetal position into Superman," a union official said.

When Donald Trump clinched the presidency in 2016, employees at the Environmental Protection Agency wept. They'd watched as Trump pledged on the campaign trail to slash their agency. Staffers feared their jobs would be cut and that eight years of work drafting environmental policies for the Obama administration would be flushed down the drain. "We had tears when this man won the election," said Gary Morton, a 26-year EPA veteran who retired last year and now leads a union representing about 7,500 agency employees nationwide. "He ran on a platform of killing the Environmental Protection Agency. Three and a half years later, EPA staff and former leaders who served under both Republican and Democratic presidents said Trump and his team have dismantled the agency charged with safeguarding the nation's air, water, and public health even further than they expected. Beyond the administration trashing former President Barack Obama's signature environmental policies, Trump's critics say it has sidelined scientists, sent veteran staffers packing, and blocked meaningful action on climate change.It has all taken a toll on staff, said an EPA employee who spoke with Insider on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to the press. Workers inside the agency are looking toward the November presidential election thinking, "Holy s---, we can't do four more years of this," the employee said. Staff said they've held on by hoping that Trump would serve only a single term.They said they've felt left out of the agency's inner circle and distrusted by political appointees. For a while, they were even physically blocked from getting anywhere close to the administrator's office. Another EPA employee said for the career staff at the agency those who aren't political appointees "unquestionably, people are holding on and looking forward and counting the days." If Trump is reelected, staffers said, they're expecting many of their colleagues to leave the agency.

For now, EPA employees are quietly discussing how the agency might be overhauled if presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ousts Trump in November - a prospect many of them would embrace, according to a dozen interviews with current and former staffers and former EPA administrators who served under presidents from both parties. If there's a change in administration, "I think many of the long-term employees will be able to exhale and get back to business," a longtime EPA official said.

Heh - the EPA needs to stick to its charter. When it was founded in 1970 (Executive Order from President Richard M. Nixon), it was sorely needed. We had major air, water and soil pollution. We had a river in Ohio that caught fire. We had sewerage being dumped from our cities into our rivers. We had Tetra-ethyl Lead used in our gasoline (it makes engines run a lot better).

BUT. They did their work and they got us cleaned up and got us understanding that it is better to stay clean than to go back to our polluting ways. So... What do they do? They grow and metastasize and creep and become this huge bureaucracy that can never shrink, it can never be downsized and it will never die.

The EPA does fill a need but a greatly reduced one. They should have their funding cut by 80% and they should move their headquarters to Kansas City and get out of the D.C. swamp. Anything else is a waste of our hard-earned money.

Ka-boom - fireworks

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Some interesting measurements from Cliff Mass:

The Jury is In: Personal Fireworks Alone Can Cause Dangerous Air Pollution
This July Fourth we answered an important question: if most U.S. community fireworks displays are cancelled (because of COVID-19) might July 4th air quality be substantially improved?

We now know the answer: air quality was very poor the evening of July 4th and the immediate morning hours, in some locations as bad or worse than previous years. Personal fireworks are clearly the mainstay of the air quality disaster of July 4th.

Curious - not surprised. Also, the numbers this year need to reflect the fact that if people usually did fireworks on the 4th, they went seriously overboard this year so a lot more personal fireworks were lit off than usual. Very large fireworks are sold on tribal lands - we have a lot of these in the Pacific Northwest. The good stuff 😁

Stop the recycling nonsense - from the New York Post:

The smart way for post-coronavirus pandemic NYC to save money: Stop recycling
The financial pressure of the coronavirus pandemic has led Mayor de Blasio to do what he’s never done before: propose reductions in New York City’s sprawling $93 billion budget. A good place to start would be the city’s recycling collection program. That may seem like eco-sacrilege but in extraordinary times nothing should be sacrosanct. For recycling, the numbers don’t add up.

By sending recyclables to safe landfills — and avoiding the cost of separate collection — the city could save nearly $200 million. At a time when COVID-19 puts frontline workers, including the city’s 7,000 uniformed Sanitation workers (New York’s fabled “Strongest”), at risk and may make staffing more difficult, simplifying garbage collection makes sense — and would save taxpayer dollars.

Conceived originally as a way to save money by selling paper, glass and metal instead of paying to bury it in landfills, recycling in New York — and nationwide — has become a money-loser and a drain on the city’s budget. Nor is there even a guarantee that recyclables will not ultimately go to a landfill anyway.

In a forthcoming paper for the Manhattan Institute, I find that the elimination of recycling — by combining what’s now put out in blue bins with general refuse — would save the city approximately $185 million annually. These are funds that could help restore the youth jobs program and, were they directed to parks, help provide a direct environmental benefit for outdoors-starved New Yorkers.

Penn and Teller has an excellent video in their Bullshit series:

This is big - this is leadership

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President Trump hits it out of the ballpark - from FOX News:

Trump signs memorandum diverting more water to California farmers
President Trump on Wednesday signed a memorandum directing more of California’s scarce water supply to farmers and other agriculture interests in the state's Central Valley, a Republican stronghold.

Speaking alongside House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the lawmaker’s hometown of Bakersfield, Trump boasted of how his administration reworked environmental rules to assure more water gets to farmers, while also taking shots at his political rivals – from California Gov. Gavin Newsom to Democratic presidential primary hopeful and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

“For too long water authorities have flushed millions of gallons into the Pacific,” Trump said. “I ordered the administration to update outdated opinions which determined water allocation in this state.”

Trump added that he is going “to put a lot of pressure” on Newsom to enact the changes and if the California governor doesn’t follow through then “you’ll get a new governor.”

Good - the heritage of the protected "delta smelt" is uncertain at best. No sense crippling California's agriculture just to appease the enviros.

Very good decision to make and good that he is putting serious pressure on the state to come to their senses.

Recycling

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Nice online database - you type in your ZIP code and what you want to recycle (second step is optional)

It will return a list of recyclers in your area. Well done.

Check out Earth911

Yikes - nasty stuff

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From CNN:

A cancer-causing green slime was found oozing onto a highway in a Detroit suburb, officials say
A green liquid was found oozing onto Interstate 696 in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights Friday, causing authorities to block off portions of the highway and call in federal agencies to investigate.

By Saturday, it was discovered that the mysterious liquid was the chemical hexavalent chromium and was leaking from a local business, Michigan State Police said on Twitter.

Hexavalent chromium is usually produced during industrial processes like plating and is known to cause cancer, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The chemical is harmful to the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes.

Someone call Erin Brockovich.  I hope that company gets more than a slap on the wrist. With the volume of leakage we are looking at, they had to know that something was not right.

More faster please - REE Mines

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Rare Earth Element - from The Epoch Times:

US Rare Earth Element Processors to Help Break China Stranglehold
The developers of the Round Top Mountain rare earth element (pdf) (REE) mine in Texas are building a pilot plant to process the mine’s ore in the United States, according to a press release. The development means that the U.S. can further increase supply-chain security for the provision of REE minerals and critical minerals to strategic industries such as defense and electronics while reducing reliance on supplies from China—which currently supplies over 80 percent of REEs globally.

Rare earth elements are notoriously difficult to process and refine. While the United States and its allies also have considerable REE deposits, China’s lax environmental standards combined with low labor costs and a raft of government subsidies have allowed it to slash REE production costs, undercutting some processors in the West to the point of bankruptcy. Illegal and undocumented production is also commonplace in China, and is responsible for 20 to 40 percent of Chinese production, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). China’s virtual monopoly on the REE industry has meant that even the ore mined at California’s Mountain Pass mine is currently being shipped to China for processing.

China’s communist regime is not afraid to remind geopolitical rivals of its monopoly, however. During their 2010 standoff over the disputed Senkaku Islands, China cut off exports of REEs to Japan—though the Chinese maintained it was merely introducing export quotas to protect the environment. In May of this year, China threatened to cut off rare earth exports to the United States as part of its trade war tactics against the Trump administration.

Used everywhere - cell phones, medical devices. Everywhere.

Time for the environmentalists to put a sock in it and realize that by denying a well run mine here, they are moving the problem out of their backyard over to another nation where the environmental impact will be a lot greater. Plus human rights. The need for these materials is not going away, time to recognize that and deal with it intelligently.

California - keeps getting better

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From Sacramento, CA station KCRA:

Some high hazard California dams are in poor condition
California is home to nearly 700 high hazard dams. A two-year investigation by the Associated Press found that 1,680 high hazard dams across the U.S. are in poor and unsatisfactory condition. Some are in California.

The article is published as a large infographic but basically, California had been spending very little on dam maintenance until Oroville. Now they are spending more money but no word as to whether this is going to have a positive outcome for dam safety.

Changing the narrative - polar bears

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Disturbing news from Polar Bear Science:

UVic bows to outside pressure and rescinds my adjunct professor status
As you may have heard, this summer I lost my status as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada (UVic), a position I had held for 15 years. This action followed my expulsion from the roster of the university’s volunteer Speakers Bureau in May 2017. However, until April 2017 the university and the Anthropology department proudly promoted my work, including my critical polar bear commentary, which suggests someone with influence (and perhaps political clout) intervened to silence my scientific criticism.

Journalist Donna LaFramboise has exposed this travesty in the National Post (16 October 2019), which you can read here. I have provided more background below and Donna’s blog post is here.

UPDATE 21 October 2019: See my follow-up post for more background and a critical post from Donna Laframboise on the questions UVic refused to answer. The Washington Times published an article yesterday and GWPF has issued a press release condemning the suppression of academic freedom at UVic and the release of a briefing paper called The Defenestration of Dr. Crockford: Silencing Dissent at the University of Victoria.

Mostly an ill-considered campaign by Greenpeace. Bunch of morons putting ideology before science. The polar bears are doing just fine.

Unintended consequences - clean water

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Looks like cleaning up New York City's harbor has a downside. From the New York Times:

The Critters Doing $114 Million in Damage to Brooklyn’s Piers
No signs, fences or entreaties can keep these vandals away from the sprawling waterfront park at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

They relentlessly attack the timber pilings that hold up the pristine lawns, basketball and handball courts, soccer and lacrosse fields, and roller skating rink, and threaten the future of an 85-acre park that has become a showcase for New York’s waterfront redevelopment.

They are marine borers — so named because they leave behind wood riddled with holes.

Along with oysters and other marine life, these pests have come roaring back to New York Harbor, threatening almost anything in the water made of wood.

They are the beneficiaries of more than four decades of federally mandated efforts to clean up the industrial pollutants and raw sewage that had turned the harbor into a marine wasteland.

Marine borers are a big problem for wooden boats - you need to use a toxic paint on your bottom and renew it every other year. Big expense. Here is what one of the pilings looks like:

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A cross section of a wood pile that has been the victim of marine borers
that feast on wood. CreditCreditGabriela Bhaskar for The New York Times

Clean water is great - something to be strived for but, as with anything, there are consequences.

Trying to outrun a pyroclastic flow

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Short but intense:

From the YouTube description:

Boat outracing Stromboli volcano eruption (August 28, 2019)
This is wild - boat fleeing from the eruption of the Stromboli volcano in Italy (08/28/19). A giant explosion from an Italian volcano sent locals and tourists running for cover.

It is obvious that they survived (otherwise, no video) but still... Need some new underwear.

Cleaning out the crap

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Great court decision - from Legal Insurrection:

Court declares Obama’s EPA “Waters of the United States Rule” unlawful
Back in 2015, we covered the Obama administration’s far-reaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule and the pushback it received at the time.  States’ suits are making their way through the courts, and there is good news to report!

U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has handed a victory to the state of Georgia and nine other states that sued the federal government (and to the rest of the nation) by declaring that the  WOTUS Rule is unlawful.

Wood stated that the rule, which was intended to provide better protection of the nation’s water, violated the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, and she remanded it back to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers for further work.

She wrote that while the agencies have authority to interpret the phrase “waters of the United States,” that authority isn’t limitless, and therefore their decisions in doing so do not fall under what’s called Chevron deference, a matter of case law in which — for lack of a better phrase — the tie goes to the agency.

Legal Insurrection readers may recall that implementation of the rule led to a Wyoming farmer being fined $37,500 a day for constructing a stock pond on his own property.

Good - get these useless feel-good regulations off the books and into the dustbin of history where they belong.

Remember

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Good news - opening public lands

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From the Washington Examiner:

'Git-R-Done': Trump opens 1.4 million federal acres to hunters, anglers
President Trump isn’t much of an outdoorsman, aside from golf.

But maybe more than any president since Teddy Roosevelt, he understands the importance of others getting outside to boat, hunt, fish, shoot, and hike and their demands for access to federal lands and waterways.

“He’s basically said, ‘Git-R-Done,'” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who is spearheading the opening of 1.4 million acres and elimination of 7,500 regulations limiting access.

“The president fundamentally gets that hunters and anglers are the true conservationists in our society. He understands that history and that we need to act in efforts to expand hunting and fishing while at the same time being respectful of private land rights, respectful of state law,” added Bernhardt.

All the early environmentalists were hunters, campers and fishermen who wanted to preserve our range of lands for hunting, camping and fishing. Overdevelopment (open pit mining, clearcut logging, etc.) was a bad thing - raping the earth. From John Muir to Teddy Roosevelt. It is the current crop of so-called environmentalists who have lost touch with nature and want to regulate and control it from a Lobbyist's office on K Street. Gang Green.

From Medical Express:

Two hours a week is key dose of nature for health and wellbeing
Spending at least two hours a week in nature may be a crucial threshold for promoting health and wellbeing, according to a new large-scale study.

Research led by the University of Exeter, published in Scientific Reports and funded by NIHR, found that people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who don't visit nature at all during an average week. However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.

Makes perfect sense - moving out of Seattle was a great boost to my emotional state and physical health. Living in a city is stressful - I would never move back.

This is from Patrick Moore who co-founded Greenpeace but left them when they went from scientific to political.

Some fine folks at the ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich did a study on CO2 emissions for electric cars. All of the emissions. From The Brussels Times:

Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows
When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix - in which coal still plays an important role - are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.

Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.

The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.

When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.

Here is the website for the Institute: ifo Institute for Economic Research

Here is the website for the study: ifo Schnelldienst: Electric Vehicles are not a Panacea for Climate Change

And to think of all of our tax dollars that have gone into subsidizing alt.energy and Tesla in general.

From Seattle station KIRO:

Northwest region is currently in an ‘earthquake drought’
Everyone once in a while it’s good to check in on the health of tectonic plates, and see if we need to add a few more cans of beans to our emergency supplies.

“The tectonic plates are always in motion, but they move really slowly overall. We like to say that they move at about the same rate as your fingernails grow,” Harold Tobin, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network told Seattle’s Morning News.

“So give it a year, see how long your fingernails would get — that’s how far the North American plate has moved out toward the Pacific. The problem is of course that they get stuck at the edges, and where they’re stuck together they build that strain up.”

While most earthquake news is all doom and gloom, local seismic activity is rather tepid of late. There’s nothing immediate to worry about, but there’s nothing to feel better about, either.

“We don’t have any short-term — short-term meaning weeks to months to years — precursors that we’re seeing. The general background rate of earthquakes globally is steady and even,” Tobin said. “In our region, we’re in something informally called the ‘earthquake drought,’ meaning there haven’t been so many earthquakes over the past decade or two.”

More at the site. I have been a prepper for the last 30 years or so - casual at the start and more serious and organised now. Working with emergency amateur radio communications and the search and rescue people have shown to me just how fragile our infrastructure really is. The best definition I have heard is this:

Disaster: an event that outstrips your ability to cope.

That says it in a nutshell. You do not have to do this all at once - next time you go grocery shopping, pick up an extra couple cans of beans or tuna fish. Keep doing this and make sure to rotate through the oldest first and you will be all set in six months. Be sure to include a favorite book or some games to keep yourself occupied.

In the dark - environmentalists

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Cheap energy is what lifted us from a grinding life of poverty with the average lifespan being less than 50 years. It fueled the industrial revolution and formed the basis for the technological revolution. Environmentalists want us to throw that all away for "The Planet". From the Financial Post:

Joe Oliver: The climate alarmists are keeping poor people in the dark — literally
I recently returned from a Petroleum and Energy Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG), which put into stark relief the moral imperative of developing fossil fuels, especially for the poorest people in developing countries. By implication, it reinforced the profoundly unethical stand of climate-change alarmists who are working to rid the world of hydrocarbons, irrespective of the harm to economic growth, employment and a decent standard of living for billions of people.

A mere 13 per cent of Papua New Guineans have access to electricity. The government’s goal is to extend electrification to 70 per cent by 2030, an ambitious precondition to substantially raising GDP per capita above its current $2,400.

PNG is far behind in electricity usage among larger Asia-Pacific countries. There is a strong correlation between GDP and energy consumption, which requires affordable power sources. Energy mix varies considerably in the region and has been critical to growth. For example, coal supplies 64 per cent of energy in Australia and 55 per cent in Indonesia, while gas represents 63 per cent in Thailand.

PNG imports heavy fuel oil and diesel for 40 per cent of its energy, but does not access its abundant coal reserves.

Joe gets to the meat of the issue:

Over a billion people lack access to electricity and another billion and a quarter have insecure access. It is impossible to elevate people in dire need to a decent standard of living without very inexpensive electricity. Depriving them of the opportunity to escape grinding poverty would be inexcusable, without an existential justification.

Alarmists claim to have that justification. However, failed predictions about temperature change, disappearing polar bears, ice melting, islands sinking into the sea and extreme weather events have seriously undermined their scare tactics and moral preening. The evidence simply does not substantiate the apocalyptic prophesies. Nobel prize winner and theoretical physicist Richard Feynman commented that “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” He could have added, it doesn’t matter how many people agree with you.

Much more at the site. Environmentalism is a radical religion and radical religions do not tolerate conflicting truths.

The great George Carlin had a wonderful routine about this:

Talk about a useless gesture - from Fast Company:

EU to ban plastic plates, cups, and cutlery by 2021
The European Union is taking the lead in saving the world. The EU parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, plastic cotton swabs, straws, and coffee stirrers as part of a sweeping law aimed at fighting the plastic waste that pollutes oceans and beaches. The ban on single-use plastics will go into effect by 2021 in all EU member states (and maybe the U.K., depending on what happens with Brexit).

The countries aren’t stopping there, either: EU member states will also have to reduce the use of plastic food containers and plastic coffee lids. The new legislation also states that by 2025, plastic bottles should be made of 25% recycled content. According to Bloomberg, the new legislation also sets an admirable target of recycling 90% of plastic bottles by 2029–as well as a goal of making them out of 30% recycled material by 2030.

The EU's plastic output is a drop in the bucket compared to China and India - this is pure virtue signalling making the EU bureaucrats look good to the EU proletariat. All about looking good instead of doing good.

Penn and Teller has an excellent video in their Bullshit series:

Bogus statistics passing as news

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Talk about a whopper - from Fortune:

The Average American Uses 3 Rolls of Toilet Paper Each Week—And It's Devastating Forests
A new report on paper use says Americans are flushing away Canadian forests.

Stand.earth and the National Resources Defense Council just released a report describing the “tree-to-toilet” pipeline, concluding that “[t]he consequences for Indigenous Peoples, treasured wildlife, and the global climate are devastating.”

The U.S. consumes more toilet paper than any other country, almost three rolls per person each week. And the brands they choose to use aren’t sustainable, with hardwood trees being pulped to create the soft toilet paper consumers want. Following the United States’ annual use of 141 rolls of toilet paper per capita is Germany with 134 rolls and the United Kingdom with 127. Japanese consumers average 91 rolls annually, while the Chinese average just 49.

This is idiotic to anyone who knows anything about paper and paper production. There are specific requirements for paper pulp and you simply do not go willy-nilly cutting down anything you can. The pulp trees are grown on plantations expressly for paper production. It is a farm, just on a longer scale - the crops are harvested after ten years, not every fall.

The three per week is ludicrous too - I keep a roll of paper around to use as tissues as well a roll in the wall holder for it's original use. I go through maybe a roll every two or three weeks. This number does not pass the "sniff" test.

This is not a scientific report, it is a partisan hit piece disguised as one. Hammer home that narrative.

Recycling - highly overrated

Recycling is a giant tax money rat hole that lets people feel good but does not really do anything. The only standout to this is aluminum cans - these can be recycled into new aluminum cheaply and efficiently. Everything else? Plastic? Paper? Glass? Usually a landfill somewhere.

From The Atlantic:

Is This The End of Recycling?
After decades of earnest public-information campaigns, Americans are finally recycling. Airports, malls, schools, and office buildings across the country have bins for plastic bottles and aluminum cans and newspapers. In some cities, you can be fined if inspectors discover you haven’t recycled appropriately.

But now, much of that carefully sorted recycling is ending up in the trash.

For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China—tons and tons of it, sent over on ships to be made into goods like shoes and bags and new plastic products. But last year, the country restricted imports of certain recyclables, including mixed paper—magazines, office paper, junk mail—and most plastics. Waste-management companies across the country are telling towns, cities, and counties that there is no longer a market for their recycling. These municipalities have two choices: pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away.

Most are choosing the latter. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire. Since 2010, Franklin has offered curbside recycling and encouraged residents to put paper, metal, and plastics in their green bins. When the program launched, Franklin could break even on recycling by selling for $6 a ton. Now, Milner told me, the transfer station is charging the town $125 a ton to recycle, or $68 per ton to incinerate. One-fifth of Franklin’s residents live below the poverty line, and the city government didn’t want to ask them to pay more to recycle, so all those carefully sorted bottles and cans are being burned. Milner hates knowing that Franklin is releasing toxins into the environment, but there’s not much she can do. “Plastic is just not one of the things we have a market for,” she said.

Penn and Teller did an excellent look at recycling:

Like they said - bullshit.

The joys of not thinking something through to its final conclusion - from The Federalist:

How The Green New Deal Would Exploit Poverty-Stricken People Across The Globe
Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution mentions the words “indigenous peoples” six times, with an emphasis on the “historic oppression” these communities have experienced throughout history.

Ironically, Ocasio-Cortez and co-sponsoring Sen. Ed Markey are apparently oblivious to the plight of indigenous communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Argentina, Bolivia, and China that suffer daily from the mining of cobalt, lithium, nickel, and other metals essential to electric car batteries.

In reality, the Green New Deal would decimate the communities Democrats claim to respect, while creating a dangerous amount of pollution and needless death throughout the globe.

Electric Vehicles Create Environmental Problems
Currently, approximately 5 percent of total car sales in the United States are electric, and Democrats plan on “overhauling transportation systems in the United States” to primarily electric cars and high-speed rails. However, the batteries in electric vehicles (EV) rely on extracting cobalt, lithium, and other metals to ensure this energy source functions safely. According to Financial Times, “metals account for about 25 per cent of the battery cost” and one market analyst states “There will be no EV industry without DRC cobalt.”

Yeah - that bad. Ironically, we have abundent reserves of rare earth minerals in the USA but have not been able to mine them because of environmental activists. The funny thing is that if we did mine these, we would be doing it in a much more environmentally safe manner than any other mine in any other country. The Global environmental impact would be a lot lower.

Great article by James Dellingpole at Breitbart:

Delingpole: Green New Deal Is a Revamped Communist Manifesto
A few years ago at the height of the global warming scare I wrote a book which set out to answer one of the key questions of our time: if climate change isn’t really a problem why do so many people act as though it is?
The answer, I discovered, is that environmentalism is just a fashionable mask for the usual leftist obsessions with state control and wealth redistribution.

That’s why I called the book Watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.

Not everyone who believes in man-made climate change is a full on Commie. Some are merely useful idiots. But whatever reason people may have for supporting the scam – greed, stupidity, virtue-signalling, idiot leftist teachers – the net result is the same: bigger government, higher taxes, more regulation, lower standards of living. Exactly like you’d get under communism, in fact.

So color me completely unshocked by the Green New Deal. It looks like a revamped Communist Manifesto because that’s exactly what it is.

If implemented, the size of government would increase to levels never before seen in a Western economy. The state’s control of everything from wage levels to how businesses are run to your personal freedoms would be total. There’s no mention of gulags or political prisoners or secret police but of course those would inevitably follow because how else would the state have a hope of enforcing measures which freedom loving Americans would naturally resist?

Much more at the site including this bon mot:

And, yes, right now it’s true that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey and the rest of the Democrats pushing this insanity have done Trump 2020 the biggest favor imaginable.

So true - they are out of touch and the consequences of this will bear fruit spectacularly in 2020.

Used to work for them - they used to be science based but for the last 30 years, they are just political and narrative driven.

From The Daily Caller:

GREENPEACE’S ICONIC ‘RAINBOW WARRIOR’ SHIP CHOPPED UP ON A THIRD-WORLD BEACH, SOLD FOR SCRAP
Greenpeace quietly admitted in November one of its “Rainbow Warrior” boats was “scrapped on a beaching yard in Bangladesh” — a method it spent years campaigning against.

“We have made a mistake, one that we have tried to correct,” Greenpeace International, based in Amsterdam, admitted in mid-November, adding it allowed Rainbow Warrior II “to be scrapped on a beaching yard in Bangladesh, in a way that does not live up to the standards we set ourselves and campaigned with our allies to have adopted across the world.”

However, the embarrassing admission from one of the world’s largest and most prominent environmental groups flew under the radar of major news outlets. Greenpeace quietly put out a press release on its international website, which few noticed.

Seems that they are not doing that well - a bit more:

Indeed, Rainbow Warrior II’s fate is only the latest in a string of embarrassments and scandals to plague Greenpeace in recent years, including admitting in 2014 it had lost millions in donations betting on currency speculation.

That same year, Greenpeace came under fire from the Peruvian government for damaging the ancient Nazca Lines. Activists damaged the world-famous site with giant protest banners advocating for solar energy and calling for countries to fight global warming.

Lots of asbestos and carcinogenic PCBs in the environment now - thanks Greenpeace. Here is Greenpeace's co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore talking about the organization:

The organization I co-founded has become a monster. When I was a member of its central committee in the early days, we campaigned – usually with success – on genuine environmental issues such as atmospheric nuclear tests, whaling and seal-clubbing.

When Greenpeace turned anti-science by campaigning against chlorine (imagine the sheer stupidity of campaigning against one of the elements in the periodic table), I decided that it had lost its purpose and that, having achieved its original objectives, had turned to extremism to try to justify its continued existence.

Now Greenpeace has knowingly made itself the sworn enemy of all life on Earth. By opposing capitalism, it stands against the one system of economics that has been most successful in regulating and restoring the environment.

Truth.

Meanwhile, at the White House

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A lot goes on that does not get media coverage because, well, it doesn't fit the narrative.
Consider this Executive Order signed by President Trump last Friday:

EO on Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect people, communities, and watersheds, and to promote healthy and resilient forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands by actively managing them through partnerships with States, tribes, communities, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. For decades, dense trees and undergrowth have amassed in these lands, fueling catastrophic wildfires. These conditions, along with insect infestation, invasive species, disease, and drought, have weakened our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands, and have placed communities and homes at risk of damage from catastrophic wildfires.

Active management of vegetation is needed to treat these dangerous conditions on Federal lands but is often delayed due to challenges associated with regulatory analysis and current consultation requirements. In addition, land designations and policies can reduce emergency responder access to Federal land and restrict management practices that can promote wildfire-resistant landscapes. With the same vigor and commitment that characterizes our efforts to fight wildfires, we must actively manage our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands to improve conditions and reduce wildfire risk.

BAM - problem identified and fixed. More at the site including dealing with invasive species and selling 600 million board feet of timber from DOI-administered lands to help pay for this. It also deals with salvaging remaining timber from fire ravaged land.

Big quake in Alaska

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Reports of Mag7 earthquake - more as the news comes in.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

Large earthquake, aftershocks, strike Southcentral Alaska, damage reported around region
A large earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 struck Alaska near Anchorage early Friday morning, damaging roads and buildings, knocking out power and sending people fleeing from buildings and to safety beneath door jambs.

The epicenter was just north of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. It violently shook the most populous region of the state as people were settling in to work and school.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

There were several aftershocks, including a sharp jolt felt widely in Anchorage around 10:26 a.m. and another series of aftershocks just before 11 a.m. At least three of them were 5.0.

Sending prayers out to the Alaskan people and critters. Not fun Temperature is down to 26°F - not a good time to be toosed out of your warm house.

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