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Foolish risks in trying geoengineering to solve climate change

Geoengineering and the folly of playing God with the planet WP, By Jason Samenow February 10 There’s this wild, grandiose idea – mostly discussed in academic circles – that we could offset and reverse the effects of global warming by intentionally spraying reflective particles high into the atmosphere.

“[It] would mimic the effects of a volcanic eruption,” writes the Post’s Joel Achenbach. “The thin haze would reflect sunlight, cooling Earth’s surface. Our planet would literally be shinier when seen from space.”

The idea is taken seriously enough that the National of Academy of Sciences released a report today evaluating its merits. The report prudently concludes such geoengineering schemes “pose considerable risks and should not be deployed at this time.”

But I’d go a step further and say it’s an idea that almost certainly will never be practical and could be more dangerous than the problem it’s trying to solve

We do not understand the climate system well enough to predict the disruptive impacts injecting particles would likely have. Although we know with certainty they would result in a net cooling of the climate — just as adding greenhouse gases would ensure net warming — how the effects would play out at the local and regional scale is a huge wild card. It might cause drought in some areas, and bring floods to others.

Our climate models cannot, with reliability, predict the manifestation of regional precipitation changes induced by altering the composition of the atmosphere.

Applying this type of geoengineering plan would require the global community to effectively sign-up for unpredictable climate changes that could benefit some areas at the expense of others. It’s akin to seeking global agreement on the mechanics of playing God with the planet – establishing a world government to set and control a thermostat for Earth, and amicably living with whatever consequences.

Not to mention injecting particles into the atmosphere would not remove the carbon pollution that can persist in the air for decades to centuries with consequences beyond warming, including the acidification of the oceans……..

The best way to confront climate change is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the root cause of the problem, and better understand and cope with the climate changes we are dealt. We need not introduce new ways to alter our climate and further tinker with our one and only livable planet.

If we can’t reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to sufficiently slow climate change, we may even have another way out. The National Academy of Sciences also issued a companion report that discusses “climate interventions” that would directly remove carbon from the atmosphere. To me, those are much more promising than other particle-injecting geoengineering schemes……..http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/02/10/geoengineering-and-the-folly-of-playing-god-with-the-planet/

February 13, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is simply NOT “low carbon”

Greenhouse gases are emitted in all stages of the lifecycle of a nuclear reactor: construction, operation, fuel production, dismantling and waste disposal. Leaving out any of these five stages will bias estimates towards lower values.

The last two contributions, dismantling and waste disposal are particularly difficult to estimate. Not many commercial reactors have been fully decommissioned. Also there is still no scientific or political consensus on the approach to be used for the long-term storage of waste.

The fuel preparation contribution is also problematic. Considerable amounts of carbon are released in the mining, milling and separation of the uranium from the ore. Also the carbon emitted is very dependent on the concentration of uranium in the ore.

It’s important to appreciate that these three problematic contributions, fuel production, dismantling and waste disposal are either non-existent or small contributions in the case of electricity generation by renewable technologies. Estimates of the carbon footprint of renewably generated electricity therefore should be much more reliable than those for nuclear.

global warming A
A False Solution Why Nuclear Power is Not “Low Carbon”, CounterPunch,  by KEITH BARNAM, 5 Feb 15  The UK government is committed to massively subsidising new nuclear reactors, based on the claim that they generate ‘low carbon’ electricity.

But what is the carbon footprint of nuclear power? I have trawled the literature and found that there is no scientific consensus on the lifetime carbon emissions of nuclear electricity.

Remarkably, half of the most rigorous published analyses have a carbon footprint for nuclear power above the limit recommended by the UK government’s official climate change advisor, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

According to the CCC, if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change, by 2030 all electricity should be generated with less than 50 grams of carbon dioxide emitted for each kilowatt-hour (50 gCO2/kWh).

Since all new generators have lifetimes well over 20 years, I believe this limit should be imposed on all new electricity supply systems here and now – and all the more so for those with lifetimes spanning many decades.

Note that thanks to long construction times for the EPR design and a forthcoming legal challenge, it’s entirely possible that the planned Hinkley C reactor will not be completed until 2030 or beyond. It will then be subsidised for the first 35 years of its projected 60 year lifetime – taking us through until 2090.

What is the carbon footprint of renewable electricity? Continue reading

February 6, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

The true carbon footprint of nuclear power – the ‘Third Generation’ reactor at Hinkley Point C?

Hinkley-nuclear-power-plant

 As we have seen, the EPR’s very high cost suggests considerably higher emissions in the construction stage. So too does the fact that, over its projected 60-year lifetime, it will be using uranium from very low quality ores.

The likely delay due to the Austrian appeal against the European Commission’s decision on the EPR subsidy offers an opportunity for a full, independent and peer reviewed assessment of the environmental impact of this complex and expensive new technology.

A False Solution Why Nuclear Power is Not “Low Carbon”, CounterPunch,  by KEITH BARNAM, 5 Feb 15 

“………..Using 0.005% ore, nuclear has higher carbon emissions than gas

Nuclear fuel preparation begins with the mining of uranium containing ores, followed by the crushing of the ore then extraction of the uranium from the powdered ore chemically. All three stages take a lot of energy, most of which comes from fossil fuels. The inescapable fact is that the lower the concentration of uranium in the ore, the higher the fossil fuel energy required to extract uranium.

Table 12 in the Berteen paper confirms the van Leeuwen result that for ore with uranium concentration around 0.01% the carbon footprint of nuclear electricity could be as high as that of electricity generation from natural gas.

This remarkable observation has been further confirmed in a report from the Austrian Institute of Ecology by Andrea Wallner and co-workers. They also point out that using ore with uranium concentration around 0.01% could result in more energy being input to prepare the fuel, build the reactor and so on, than will be generated by the reactor in its lifetime.

According to figures van Leeuwen has compiled from the WISE Uranium Project around 37% of the identified uranium reserves have an ore grade below 0.05%.

A conservative estimate for the future LCA of nuclear power for power stations intended to continue operating into the 2090s and beyond would assume the lowest uranium concentration currently in proven sources, which is 0.005%.

On the basis that the high concentration ores are the easiest to find and exploit, this low concentration is likely to be more typical of yet to be discovered deposits.

Using 0.005% concentration uranium ores, the van Leeuwen, Berteen and Wallner analyses agree a nuclear reactor will have a carbon footprint larger than a natural gas electricity generator. Also, it is unlikely to produce any net electricity over its lifecycle.

What is the carbon footprint of the ‘Third Generation’ reactor at Hinkley Point C? Continue reading

February 6, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Fossil fuel company executives just do not care about the planet’s future

fossil-fuels-GermanyFossil fuel companies are the greatest threat to life’s party – not greens  People who argue it’s a good idea to respect nature’s thresholds get labelled spoilsports, but the real party-poopers are those who recognise no limits at all  Guardian, , 5 Feb 15 22 months and counting

“Will we go ahead?” asked Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, rhetorically, about the oil company’s plans to drill in the Arctic. “Yes if we can. I’d be so disappointed if we wouldn’t.” Van Beurden had the grace to concede that his plans “divide society,” but he seemed unable to comprehend that they might condemn it.

From new research showing that recent sea level rise is “far worse than previously thought”, to updated confirmation of how far we are transgressing our planetary environmental boundaries, an almost daily accumulation of evidence seems unable still to connect van Beurden’s words to their full implication.

What if, instead, he had said to the press conference gathered to hear Shell’s quarterly financial results a few days ago: “We wish to inform you that our business plan is to destabilise permanently the climate on which you, your families and society depend.”

Harsh? Perhaps, but their strategy will end the party for the rest of us, so that their corporate party might continue. In fact, it seems that extreme weather in the form of drought is already breaking hearts in Brazil by forcing cities to cancel carnival, the greatest party of all.

It’s ironic. Those who argue it’s a good idea to respect nature’s various thresholds (like not making farming so toxic that you poison the bees who kindly pollinate our food crops) traditionally get labelled as fun-free spoilsports. But it seems it’s those who recognise no limits at all who represent the greatest threat to life’s party.

While the global industrial exploitation of nature drives a mass extinction event on land and sea, it becomes ever clearer that our own well-being is dependent on the general condition of the environment. Our health, both physiological and psychological, is deeply connected to and relies on the diversity of life.

Now, a new global calculator developed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, suggests a course of action to prevent irreversible warming that could be as good for the web of life as it is for our quality of life. Radical changes to farming, transport, food and fuel will be needed, but it envisages a world of spreading forest canopies, clean, quiet electric transport and healthy, increasingly vegetarian diets. With such a potential win-win, why would anyone choose bad times with business as usual? The status quo is tenacious.

If you look at the UK’s biggest lobbying groups at the centre of European power in Brussels, their scale seems to be in direct proportion to the damage they do and how likely they are to resist progressive change. Oil, finance and aviation are all in the top five. And, even as the economics of fracking and remote oil exploration, such as in the Arctic, have fallen apart, their lobbies remain persistent and audacious. How else could a Conservative party, which extols the notion of an English person’s home being their castle, be persuaded to promote changes in the trespass law to allow fracking firms to drill beneath homes without the owners’ permission?

Logic, consistency and science become inconvenient to indefensible positions. When the US Senate last month voted on whether climate change was real and caused by human activities it was creating future folklore. Accepting the first, but not the second proposition, the Senate put its debate on a par with the famous, and now seen as absurd, 1925 Scopes ‘Monkey’ case in theUS, which effectively put the theory of evolution on trial………http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2015/feb/04/fossil-fuel-companies-are-the-greatest-threat-to-lifes-party-not-greens

February 6, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

A pro nuclear expert bemoans the fact that their “climate” propaganda is not working!

The nuclear industry giving credence to climate change from fossil fuels has simply led to a stronger renewables industry.
globalnukeIs climate change the worst argument for nuclear? Nuclear Engineering International 21 January 2015  Jumping on the environmental bandwagon may not be the best choice for the nuclear industry….. By Steve Kidd

My articles over the past three months have covered the failure of nuclear advocates to make much progress with gaining public acceptance over the past few years, with the prime need now to undertake a serious effort to gain better public understanding…

…….There remains one piece in the jigsaw and that is to abandon climate change as a prime argument for supporting a much higher use of nuclear power to satisfy rapidly-rising world power needs…….

We have seen no nuclear renaissance (instead, a notable number of reactor closures in some countries, combined with strong growth in China) the story has not changed very much. The 2014 edition of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook shows nuclear playing a small but indispensable part in those scenarios maintaining greenhouse gas emissions at much lower and environmentally safer levels to 2030 and beyond. ……….

The International Atomic Energy Agency has also just released the 2014 edition of its publication Climate Change and Nuclear Power which addresses the perceived need for a lot more nuclear power for this reason, together with the range of issues which inevitably surround this transition.

The problem is that the hoped-for process is not working. Countries such as Germany and Switzerland that claim environmental credentials are moving strongly away from nuclear. Even with rapid nuclear growth in China, nuclear’s share in world electricity is declining. The industry is doing little more than hoping that politicians and financiers eventually see sense and back huge nuclear building programmes. On current trends, this is looking more and more unlikely. The high and rising nuclear share in climate-friendly scenarios is false hope, with little in the real outlook giving them any substance.

Far more likely is the situation posited in the World Nuclear Industry Status Report covered in September’s article (September 2014, ‘The world nuclear industry – is it in terminal decline?’). Although this report is produced by anti-nuclear activists, its picture of the current reactors gradually shutting down with numbers of new reactors failing to replace them has more than an element of truth given the recent trends………

….The nuclear industry giving credence to climate change from fossil fuels has simply led to a stronger renewables industry. Nuclear seems to be “too difficult” and gets sidelined – as it has within the entire process since the original Kyoto accords. And now renewables, often thought of as useful complements to nuclear, begin to threaten it in power markets when there is abundant power from renewables when the wind blows and the sun shines.

Climate change is also an issue now seemingly irretrievably linked to some combination of higher taxes and prices, bigger and more intrusive government intervention, lower economic growth, and less disposable income. The nuclear sector doesn’t want to be associated with any of this. ……Nuclear should not be cosying up to anything that costs money. It should promote itself as inherently cheap energy, vital for economic growth…..http://www.neimagazine.com/opinion/opinionis-climate-change-the-worst-argument-for-nuclear-4493537/

February 4, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Reference, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Pro nuclear expert rubbishes the advertising movie “Pandora’s Promise”

Book-PandoraReportCoverexclamation-Is climate change the worst argument for nuclear? Nuclear Engineering International 21 January 2015 Jumping on the environmental bandwagon may not be the best choice for the nuclear industry….. By Steve Kidd

 ……..Fair-weather friends?

While it is true that some previously anti-nuclear activists and advocates have moved over to the nuclear side on account of their new conviction that nuclear is essential to curb climate change, these are very uncomfortable bedfellows.

They are likely to do as much damage to the nuclear case as good. The industry has hailed the recent “Pandora’s Promise” movie, but the five new nuclear disciples look rather like enemy turncoats in a war-time propaganda movie, trying to urge their former colleagues also to “see the light”. Why, after so many years of being “wrong”, should anyone have faith in the new (and apparently deeply-held) convictions of these people? Will they not change their minds again once the wind changes?

Why on earth would one cosy up to the very people who killed your market in the first place because their foolish advocacy led to much higher costs? Their general lack of soundness is invariably amplified by attaching themselves to next generation reactor technologies, thorium or whatever. …….

The other issue with those who belatedly come to endorse nuclear is that it becomes a “last resort” technology. Once everything else has been tried and found lacking, we simply have to use nuclear, or the world will risk coming to an end. Even though they still believe that nuclear has the same host of problems, they also now believe we need it badly. But this won’t work for one minute. As soon as anything goes wrong, the support of these people will melt away. Nuclear needs a strong positive endorsement from supporters who recognise that the arguments marshalled against it were always phony…..http://www.neimagazine.com/opinion/opinionis-climate-change-the-worst-argument-for-nuclear-4493537/

February 4, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

World’s excess heat going largely into the Southern Oceans

ocean-heatingSouthern oceans play major role in absorbing world’s excess heat, study finds February 3,  Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald The world’s oceans are heating at the rate of two trillion 100-watt light bulbs burning continuously, providing a clear signal of global warming, according to new study assessing data from a global fleet of drifting floats.

The research, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Climate Change, used data collected from the array of about 3500 Argo buoys from 2006-13 to show temperatures were warming at about 0.005 degrees a year down to a depth of 500 metres and 0.002 degrees between 500-2000 metres.

Oceans south of the 20-degree latitude accounted for two-thirds to 98 per cent of the heat gain during the period studied, with three giant gyres in the southern Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans largely responsible for drawing down the extra warmth.

“The global ocean heat content right now is the most reliable metric of that radiation imbalance” between the energy received from the sun and what is radiated back to space, said Susan Wijffels, an oceans expert at the CSIRO and one of the report’s authors………..

“The ocean is just vertically transferring the heat away from the surface to the depth,” Dr Wijffels said. “The ‘hiatus’ is not meaningful.”

Even with the relative slowdown in surface temperature increases, 14 of the world’s 15 warmest years on record have been in the 21st century, the World Meteorological Organisation said on Monday.

The United Nations body also confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year, edging out 2010 and 2005. The readings were based in part on United States agencies, including NASA which last month also declared 2014 as its warmest year.

John Church, another of the paper’s authors and also from the CSIRO, said the temperatures in the atmosphere – which accounts for just 1 per cent of the planet’s heat uptake – would rise sharply if oceans absorbed less of the heat……..

As it is, warming oceans are swelling in volume, lifting sea levels, and also affecting ecosystems, he said.

“If we want to avoid the worst impacts of climate change then we need to start taking some mitigation action,” Dr Church said. This included cutting carbon emissions and lifting renewable energy targets at home and overseas.

Future Argo missions will extend coverage to higher latitudes, including sea-ice zones, and reach depths of 6000 metres.

However, Dr Wijffels said Australia’s contribution is in doubt with about half of its Argo budget tied up with the Abbott government’s stalled higher education reform bills.  Those funds run out “in a few months”, she said.

The Nature study was led by Dean Roemmich of the California-based Scripps Institution of Oceanography. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/southern-oceans-play-major-role-in-absorbing-worlds-excess-heat-study-finds-20150202-133j2p.html

February 4, 2015 Posted by | climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

Majority of US Republicans support action on Climate Change

tea-party-solar-crackMost Republicans Say They Back Climate Action, Poll Finds, NYT  By CORAL DAVENPORT and  JAN. 30, 2015WASHINGTON — An overwhelming majority of the American public, including half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future.

In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans said they were more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They were less likely to vote for candidates who questioned or denied the science that determined that humans caused global warming.
Among Republicans, 48 percent say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports fighting climate change, a result that Jon A. Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University and an author of the survey, called “the most powerful finding” in the poll. Many Republican candidates question the science of climate change or do not publicly address the issue………

 67 percent of respondents, including 48 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of independents, said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who said that human-caused climate change is a hoax.

The results came as climate change was emerging as a source of debate in the coming presidential campaign.

In 2012, all the Republican presidential candidates but one — Jon M. Huntsman Jr. — questioned or denied the science that determined that humans caused global warming, and opposed policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But over the past year, President Obama has proposed aseries of Environmental Protection Agency regulations intended to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants, which Republicans in Congress have attacked as a “war on coal.”……..

And while the poll found that 74 percent of Americans said that the federal government should be doing a substantial amount to combat climate change, the support was greatest among Democrats and independents. Ninety-one percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents and 51 percent of Republicans said the government should be fighting climate change…….

among those who support the Tea Party, 49 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who said “I’m not a scientist” or a variant……..http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/us/politics/most-americans-support-government-action-on-climate-change-poll-finds.html?ref=us&_r=1

February 2, 2015 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Poor likelihood that nuclear power can ever be effective against climate change

climate-change-timeNuclear power additions ‘need to quadruple’ to hit climate goals, IEA says, The Carbon Brief  31 Jan 2015, 14:50 Simon Evans  “………Governments can choose whether to support new nuclear or not, the IEA says. They could finance guarantees, as well as reviewing electricity market arrangements. The UK has done both, through its electricity market reforms and fixed-price contracts for nuclear power.

The nuclear industry needs to show it can deliver projects on time and within budget so that these financing costs can be reduced, the IEA says. It says new nuclear plants should cost around £3.8 billion per gigawatt in Europe. The UK’s Hinkley C plant is expected to cost almost that, partly because of the costs of borrowing money to finance the scheme.

Existing nuclear plants will also need to stay open for longer as part of the 2050 roadmap, which depends on further research and investment. The IEA sees plants operating for up to 60 years or more. Nuclear operator EDF recently announced a ten-year life extension at one of its Dungeness B plants, and it hopes to agree similar extensions at its other UK plants.

Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) could play a “niche” role in future, the IEA says. It points out that just three prototype modular reactors are under construction, that none are yet operating and that the economics of SMRs “have yet to be proven”. Former environment secretary Owen Paterson gave SMRs a starring role in his vision for the UK’s energy future in a speech last year…….”

January 31, 2015 Posted by | ASIA, climate change, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactors endangered by climate change: winter storm causes shutdown of Pilgrim nuclear

Winter Storm Exposes Vulnerability of Nuclear Power Plants  Shutdown of Pilgrim facility in Massachusetts fuels critics’ challenge.By Zahra Hirji, InsideClimate News  29 Jan 15 Two days after a major New England blizzard contributed to the shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., the facility remains closed.

Due to climate change,more of the most extreme precipitation events, such as this recent snowfall, are expected to slam the area in the coming decades. Nuclear power critics cite the Pilgrim shutdown as proof the industry isn’t ready now—and won’t be any time soon…….The region’s first major nor’easter this winter, dubbed “Juno” by The Weather Channel, dumped up to 3 feet of snow in some places.

nuke-&-seaLParts of the Massachusetts coast were wracked by hurricane-force gusts (up to 78 miles per hour). The culmination of high tide and storm-related winds produced a 2-5-footstorm surge that contributed to coastal flooding……..

If the past is any indication, delays could continue for up to a week. That’s what happened in February 2013 when a major snowstorm caused the plant to lose power unexpectedly……………

Tim Judson, executive director of the anti-nuclear activist group Nuclear Information and Resource Service, told InsideClimate News that during emergency shutdowns—especially during extreme heat or cold—grid operators “are scrambling to find generators to make up the power.”……………http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20150129/winter-storm-exposes-vulnerability-nuclear-power-plants

January 30, 2015 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Research shows that global warming will double the incidence and severity of extreme weather

climate-changeStudy: Global warming ‘doubles risk’ of extreme weather By Helen BriggsEnvironment correspondent, BBC News 26 Jan 15  Extreme weather arising from a climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean will get much worse as the world warms, according to climate modelling.

Parts of the world will have weather patterns that switch between extremes of wet and dry, say scientists.

The US will see more droughts while flooding will become more common in the western Pacific, research suggests.

The study, in Nature Climate Change, adds to a growing body of evidence over climate change and extreme weather.

The latest data – based on detailed climate modelling work – suggests extreme La Nina events in the Pacific Ocean will almost double with global warming, from one in 23 years to one in 13 years.

“Our previous research showed a doubling in frequency of extreme El Niño events, and this new study shows a similar fate for the cold phase of the cycle” Prof Mat CollinsExeter University

Most will follow extreme El Nino events, meaning frequent swings between opposite extremes from one year to the next………http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30985039

January 30, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Prime Minister Narendra Modi supports climate action, ready for big expanse in renewable energy

We very much support India’s ambitious goal for solar energy and stand ready to speed this advancement with additional financing,” Obama said during the news conference at Hyderabad House.

flag-indiaModi Shifts on Climate Change With India Renewables Goal, Bloomberg  By Reed Landberg and Natalie Obiko Pearson  Jan 26, 2015    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is ready to expand its use of renewable energy as a way to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, a signal that his government is moving toward joining an international deal on global warming.

After a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in New Delhi, the prime minister said that his nation along with all others has an obligation to act on reducing the fossil-fuel emissions blamed for damaging the climate.

The remarks represent a shift in India’s tone on global warming………….

Environmental groups led by the World Resources Institute in Washington said Modi appeared to be moving toward a nationwide goal on renewables, expanding its current program of reaching 100 gigawatts of solar energy by 2022.

“This announcement builds on the recent progress on climate made between the U.S. and China,” Continue reading

January 26, 2015 Posted by | climate change, India, renewable | Leave a comment

Climate change adds to nuclear danger, bringing Doomsday Clock closer to midnight

doomsday-clock-15Climate change inaction pushes ‘doomsday clock’ closest to midnight since 1984 Guardian,  , US environment correspondent 23 Jan 15 Symbolic clock is now at three minutes to apocalypse, the darkest hour for humanity since the cold war. The symbolic doomsday clock moved to three minutes before midnight on Thursday because of the gathering dangers of climate change and nuclear proliferation, signalling the gravest threat to humanity since the throes of the cold war.

It was the closest the clock has come to midnight since 1984, when arms-control negotiations stalled and virtually all channels of communication between the US and the former Soviet Union closed down………

Meanwhile, the scientists said, global efforts to reduce nuclear arsenals have slowed since 2009, and all of the nuclear powers were expanding reactors and weapons programmes.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the symbolic clock in 1947 to indicate the cold war threat. In 1991, when the threat of nuclear annihilation receded with the end of the cold war, the clock stood at 17 minutes to midnight.

But it was now moving closer to the apocalypse because of climate change. “We are not saying it is too late to take action, but the window to take action is closing rapidly,” Benedict said. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/22/climate-change-nuclear-bombs-doomsday-clock-near-midnight

January 24, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | 2 Comments

To solve climate change requires nuclear imperialism to be solved at the same time

The Marshall Islands’ latest nuclear test – Marshall Islanders are well-acquainted with the horrors of the nuclear arms industry. , Aljazeera, 18 Jan 15 “…………The Times quotes Marshallese Foreign Minister Tony de Brum on the seemingly parallel threats to survival: “What would it gain mankind to reach a peaceful resolution of the climate change threat, only to be wiped out by a nuclear misunderstanding?”

There are certainly common denominators between climate change and nukes – not least that both are filed away in many of our brains under the category of things that we know can swiftly destroy us but would prefer not to think about.

However, there appears to be a missing link in de Brum’s analysis, because you can’t resolve the climate change threat without resolving the business of imperial militarism, in both its nuclear and non-nuclear varieties.

coal-nuclear-imperialism

The connection between the military-industrial complex and environmental catastrophe is fairly clearly spelled out in Project Censored‘s annual report from 2010, which confirms the US Department of Defense as the worst polluter on the planet………

the Marshall Islands …nuclear lawsuit should be encouraged – if for no other reason than the possibly vain hope that awareness can help combat inertia.

And another vain hope: that with attention will come context.http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/01/marshall-islands-latest-nuclear-201511352947395615.html

January 19, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Turkey Point nuclear power plant guzzling precious drinking water

nuke-tapCritics: Turkey Point Sucking Us Dry  MIAMI (CBSMiami) Gary Nelson, 13 Jan 15 – The Turkey Point nuclear power plant was busy splitting atoms by Biscayne Bay Wednesday, and just down the street a Nuclear Regulatory Commission appeals Board was hearing a challenge to the cooling system at Turkey point.

Water to cool the nuclear reactors is hot, as hot as 104 degrees at times. The nuclear regulatory nuke-hotcommission has granted FPL a waiver, allowing the water to be hotter then regulations would normally allow.

Still, to keep the water even at the 104 degree limit, FPL has been allowed to pull as much as 100 million gallons of water a day from Everglades canals to cool the plant’s overheated cooling water.

Opponents say FPL, already sucking water from the aquifer-and now canals-is threatening environmental ruin. Click here to watch Gary Nelson’s report. 

 “The waters going to get more saline, it’s going to get denser, and it’s going to sink, and it’s going to further displace freshwater,” said Mayor Phillip Stoddard of South Miami. “It will mess up the Everglades and threaten the drinking water supply for Florida Keys residence.”

Miami-Dade farmer Mike Hatcher is among those battling FPL’s increased thirst. “It’s the water that we drink, it’s the water that I and my fellow farmers use to grow the crops,” Hatcher said. “It’s the water that we use for recreation.”……

Barry White of the group Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, said citizens have reason to be worried. “Eventually, they’ll pay for it in higher water bills and in the quality of life here,” White said. “There is not enough water and land to support so much.”

It is considered unlikely that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s appeals panel will overturn the agencies earlier decision. In any event, opponents vow to fight on. A decision from the panel is expected within a few weeks. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2015/01/14/critics-turkey-point-sucking-us-dry/

January 19, 2015 Posted by | climate change, USA, water | Leave a comment

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