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City of San Diego’s bi-partisan plan for 100% renewable energy

San Diego to become largest U.S. city to run on 100% renewable energy , Inhabitat, 
by , 3 May 16, 

San Diego is not waiting for Washington to get its act together on climate change. The southern California city is moving forward with an ambitious plan to run on 100% renewable energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035 – and it’s doing so in a bipartisan manner. Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer endorsed the Climate Action Plan that was unanimously approved by the Democrat-dominated city council in December.

Renewables, including solar and wind, would be increased to achieve the target. San Diego alreadyplaces second in the nation for solar power with solar installations growing 76.6 percent in two years to 189 megawatts of installed photovoltaic capacity at the end of 2015.

Related: Vancouver will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy

The plan also includes an initiative to increase the urban tree canopy to 35 percent by 2035 – perhaps even more important than the clean energy and greenhouse gas emissions targets because trees sequester carbon. More climate scientists are recognizing the importance of restoring ecosystems to draw down atmospheric carbon in order to reverse global warming and protect biodiversity. Restoring water cycles, soil, grasslands, wetlands and forests could remove gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere, returning the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels of safety and stability, according to Biodiversity for a Livable Climate………

In going 100 percent renewable, San Diego joins a growing list of cities around the world committing to powering their economies completely with clean energy. They include VancouverSan Francisco, Sydney and Copenhagen.

+ San Diego Climate Action Plan http://inhabitat.com/san-diego-to-become-largest-u-s-city-to-run-on-100-renewable-energy/

May 4, 2016 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Documents reveal poor performance of Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX)

MOXMOX Contractor Slammed for Poor Performance http://www.pogo.org/blog/2016/05/mox-contractor-slammed-for-poor-performance.html?referrer=http://paper.li/artmackay/1324257026?edition_id=94aab260-1141-11e6-9ab7-002590a5ba2d   By: Lydia Dennett, 2 May 16 Investigator, POGO  Documents obtained by Savannah River Site Watch are providing even more evidence than is already out there that it is time for Congress to follow the Department of Energy’s recommendation and cancel the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX) for good.

“Overall performance is below the level needed for successful project completion, as culminated in cost overruns and schedule delays,” the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) wrote in its analysis of the contractor in charge of constructing MOX.

According to the NNSA documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and released by Savannah River Site Watch, the MOX contractor, CB&I AREVA MOX Services (CB&I), received only 49 percent of the possible award fee. This dock in award fee was due to concerning findings regarding DB&I’s management of the project, including the fact that the contractor failed to adequately perform random drug testing of its employees. However, CB&I still received $4.33 million of the possible $8.86 million in award fees.

CB&I has now been the MOX contractor for over nine years. The project’s estimated total life-cycle cost (which includes construction and operating the plant for 20 years) has gone from $4 billion to a whopping $25 billion. But even $25 billion may not be enough.Independent cost estimates have found that unless annual appropriations more than double over the next few years, the whole MOX project could cost as much as $110 billion and won’t be complete until 2100. Government officials have further noted that the contractor is running at a 25 percent rework rate, meaning approximately one quarter of the work done on the MOX facility will have to be re-done.

The MOX project is a multi-billion dollar boondoggle that, even if completed, will not be able to complete its mission. Just this year the Administration announced they believe it would be in the best interest of taxpayers to pursue an alternative plan, but it’s up to Congress to make the final cut. With the contractor performing so poorly, and the cost mounting with every delay and mistake, it’s time to make the fiscally responsible decision and end MOX.

May 4, 2016 Posted by | technology, USA | Leave a comment

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) damaging to environment and consumer safety

US-EU trade deal ‘risks’ emerge in leak, West Australian,  May 2, 2016, Brussels (AFP) – A massive US-EU trade deal would harm the environment and consumer safety, Greenpeace said Monday citing secret documents it leaked, as Brussels dismissed the release as a “storm in a teacup”.

The campaign group published 248 pages online to “shine a light” on the closed-door talks to forge a so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would be the world’s largest ever bilateral trade pact.

Greenpeace said the deal would place corporate interests above the environment and consumer safety, and inflict a dangerous lack of standards on US and European consumers.

“This treaty is threatening to have far reaching implications for the environment and the lives of more than 800 million citizens in the EU and US,” said Greenpeace as it presented the documents in Berlin.

Washington and Brussels have been negotiating the mega-deal since 2013 and want it completed this year before US President Barack Obama leaves office, but it has faced mounting opposition on both sides of the Atlantic…….

In Europe there is deep suspicion that TTIP will erode ecological and health regulations to the advantage of big business with officials in France and Germany also increasingly voicing doubts about the deal.

Greenpeace said the papers show, for example, that the US wants to be able to scrap existing EU rules in areas such as food labelling or approval of dangerous chemicals if it they spell barriers to free trade.

“TTIP is about a huge transfer of power from people to big business,” the group said……

Greenpeace meanwhile decried the lack of mention at all in the proposed text of global goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time,” said Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss. “TTIP would put corporations at the centre of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health.” https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/31488372/greenpeace-to-release-secret-documents-on-contested-eu-us-trade-deal/

May 4, 2016 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

USA Defence Secretary accuses Russia of sabre-rattling

US accuses Russia of nuclear sabre-rattling, amid Nato tensions US Defence Secretary Ash Carter has accused Russia of “nuclear sabre-rattling” and of being intent on eroding international order.BBC News, 3 May 16 

He said he regretted strained relations with Moscow but said the US had to “prioritise deterrence” on Nato’s eastern flank.

US-Russian ties have been strained by the Ukraine crisis and recent military encounters in the Baltic Sea.

Russia has accused Nato of threatening its national security……http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36197856

May 4, 2016 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment