The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Nuclear wastes and other problems – nuclear power not low carbon, not safe

Uncertainties surround spent nuclear fuel disposal   Dr Paul Dorfman, et al
We beg to differ with Jonathan Ford’s view on nuclear waste, that decommissioning and storage should be manageable problems (“Nuclear liabilities need to be put into a clearer perspective”, Inside Business, November 18). As the recent World Nuclear Waste Report 2019, states, no country in the world has a deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel in operation, and there remain significant scientific uncertainties associated with the deep disposal concept. Moreover, with costs of both interim and permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel ramping, no country has either securely estimated costs nor closed the gap between secured funds and cost estimates. The report adds that there is a lack of comprehensive, quantitative and qualitative information on risks associated with nuclear waste, with meta-analyses on the health impacts of nuclear waste notable for their virtual absence.

We also take issue with Mr Ford’s claim that “nuclear power remains one of the few technologies the world has for reliably generating zero-carbon electricity”. The evidence base concludes that, taking account of the nuclear fuel cycle (uranium mining, fuel enrichment, construction of power stations and the waste stream), nuclear has CO2 emissions between 10 and 18 times those of renewables. And, in the light of major accidents, incidents, technical failures and outages, it is difficult to comprehend how the world’s ageing nuclear fleet can conceivably be described as reliable. Dr Paul Dorfman Senior Research Associate, UCL Energy Institute, University College London Prof Andy Blowers Author, ‘The Legacy of Nuclear Power’ Prof Keith Barnham Emeritus Professor of Physics, Imperial College London Paul Brown Co-Editor, Climate News Network Prof Tom Burke Founder and Chair, E3G Prof Steve Thomas Emeritus Professor of Energy Policy, University of Greenwich Dr David Toke Reader in Energy Policy, University of Aberdeen Prof Andy Stirling Science Policy Research Unit, Sussex Energy Group, University of Sussex Prof Brian Wynne Professor Emeritus of Science Studies, Lancaster University  

November 21, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear power allows climate change to speed up, while renewables are faster, cheaper, and more efficient

In sum, the nuclear industry seeks its own sales arrangements protected from competition, its own prices determined by political processes rather than markets, and diminished opportunities for its carbon-free competitors to express their value, reach their customers, and discover their own prices. This could be good for compliant legislators’ campaign contributions, but hardly in the national interest or helpful for climate protection.

If you haven’t heard this view before, it’s not because it wasn’t published in reputable venues over several decades, but rather because the nuclear industry, which holds the microphone, is eager that you not hear it. Many otherwise sensible analysts and journalists have not properly reported this issue. Few political leaders understand it either. But by the end of this article, I hope you will.

to protect the climate, we must save the most carbon at the least cost and in the least time, counting all three variables—carbon and cost and time. Costly options save less carbon per dollar than cheaper options. Slow options save less carbon per year than faster options. Thus even a low- or no-carbon option that is too costly or too slow will reduce and retard achievable climate protection.

anti-market monkeybusiness cannot indefinitely forestall the victory of cheaper competitors, but it can delay and diminish climate protection while transferring tens of billions of unearned dollars from taxpayers and customers to nuclear owners.

Does Nuclear Power Slow Or Speed Climate Change? Forbes  Amory B. Lovins-18 Nov 19, Most U.S. nuclear power plants cost more to run than they earn. Globally, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2019 documents the nuclear enterprise’s slow-motion commercial collapse—dying of an incurable attack of market forces. Yet in America, strong views are held across the political spectrum on whether nuclear power is essential or merely helpful in protecting the Earth’s climate—and both those views are wrong.

 In fact, building new reactors, or operating most existing ones, makes climate change worse compared with spending the same money on more-climate-effective ways to deliver the same energy services.

November 18, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, renewable | Leave a comment

The “Plutocene” danger – nuclear war, radioactive pollution, global heating

if we don’t take urgent action to defend our planet, life as we know it will not be able to continue. 

Why are these two facts related? Because they illustrate the two factors that could transport us beyond the Anthropocene—the geological epoch marked by humankind’s fingerprint on the planet—and into yet another new, even more hostile era of our own making.

My new book, titled The Plutocene: Blueprints for a post-Anthropocene Greenhouse Earth, describes the future world we are on course to inhabit, now that it has become clear that we are still busy building nuclear weapons rather than working together to defend our planet.

have coined the term Plutocene to describe a post-Anthropocene period marked by a plutonium-rich sedimentary layer in the oceans. The Anthropocene is very short, having begun (depending on your definition) either with the Industrial Revolution in about 1750, or with the onset of nuclear weapons and sharply rising greenhouse emissions in the mid-20th century. The future length of the Plutocene would depend on two factors: the half-life of radioactive plutonium-239 of 24,100 years, and how long our CO2 will stay in the atmosphere—potentially up to 20,000 years.

During the Plutocene, temperatures would be much higher than today. Perhaps they would be similar to those during the Pliocene (2.6 million to 5.3 million years ago), when average temperatures were about 2℃ above those of pre-industrial times, or the Miocene (roughly 5.3 million to 23 million years ago), when average temperatures were another 2℃ warmer than that, and sea levels were 20 to 40 meters (65-131ft) higher than today.

Under these conditions, population and farming centres in low coastal zones and river valleys would be inundated, and humans would be forced to seek higher latitudes and altitudes to survive—as well as potentially having to contend with the fallout of nuclear conflict. The most extreme scenario is that evolution takes a new turn—one that favors animals best equipped to withstand heat and radiation.

Climates past

While we have a range of tools for studying prehistoric climates, including ice cores and tree rings, these methods do not of course tell us what the future holds.

However, the basic laws of physics, the principles of climate science, and the lessons from past and current climate trends, help us work out the factors that will dictate our future climate.

Broadly speaking, the climate is shaped by three broad factors: trends in solar cycles; the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases; and intermittent events such as volcanic eruptions or asteroid impacts.

Solar cycles are readily predicted, and indeed can be seen in the geological record, whereas intermittent events are harder to account for. The factor over which we have the most control is our own greenhouse emissions.

CO2 levels have previously climbed as high as 2,000 parts per million (ppm), most recently during the early Eocene, roughly 55-45 million years ago. The subsequent decline of CO2 levels to just a few hundred parts per million then cooled the planet, creating the conditions that allowed Earth’s current inhabitants (much later including humans) to flourish.

But what of the future? Based on these observations, as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), several projections of future climates indicate an extension of the current interglacial period by about 30,000 years, consistent with the longevity of atmospheric CO2.

If global warming were to reach 4℃, as suggested by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, chief climate advisor to the German government, the resulting amplification effects on the climate would pose an existential threat both to nature and human civilization.

Barring effective sequestration of carbon gases, and given amplifying feedback effects from the melting of ice sheets, warming of oceans, and drying out of land surfaces, Earth is bound to reach an average of 4℃ above pre-industrial levels within a time frame to which numerous species, including humans, may hardly be able to adapt. The increase in evaporation from the oceans and thereby water vapor contents of the atmosphere leads to mega-cyclones, mega-floods and super-tropical terrestrial environments. Arid and semi-arid regions would become overheated, severely affecting flora and fauna habitats.

The transition to such conditions is unlikely to be smooth and gradual, but may instead feature sharp transient cool intervals called “stadials.” Increasingly, signs of a possible stadial are being seen south of Greenland.

A close analogy can be drawn between future events and the Eocene-Paleocene Thermal Maximum about 55 million years ago, when release of methane from Earth’s crust resulted in extreme rise in temperature. But as shown below, [ diagram on original] the current rate of temperature rise is far more rapid—and more akin to the planet-heating effects of an asteroid strike.

Mounting our defense

Defending ourselves from global warming and nuclear disaster requires us to do two things: stop fighting destructive wars, and start fighting to save our planet. There is a range of tactics we can use to help achieve the second goal, including large-scale seagrass cultivationextensive biochar development, and restoring huge swathes of the world’s forests.

Space exploration is wonderful, but we still only know of one planet that supports life (bacteria possibly excepted). This is our home, and there is currently little prospect of realising science fiction’s visions of an escape from a scorched Earth to some other world.

Yet still we waver. Many media outlets operate in apparent denial of the connection between global warming and extreme weather. Meanwhile, despite diplomatic progress on nuclear weapons, the Sword of Damocles continues to hang over our heads, as 14,900 nuclear warheads sit aimed at one another, waiting for accidental or deliberate release.

If the clock does strike nuclear midnight, and if we don’t take urgent action to defend our planet, life as we know it will not be able to continue. Humans will survive in relatively cold high latitudes and altitudes. A new cycle would begin.

Andrew Glikson is an Earth and paleo-climate scientist at the Australian National University.

November 18, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, environment, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Climate change is a health emergency – physicians

Visionary Leaders Symposium: ‘Our planet is our patient.’    by Louise Dettman on 11/8/2019   Nearly 200 organizations representing medical, health care and public and environmental health professionals, including APHA, have so far endorsed the 2019 U.S. Call to Action on Climate Change, Health and Equity: A Policy Agenda.It challenges government, business, civil society and the health sector to recognize climate change as a public health emergency and to act now for climate, health and equity.

“Being health professionals, it’s important for us to realize that our planet is our patient, and it’s in the intensive care unit. We’re doctors to a dying planet and we have a job to do,” said Helen Caldicott, MD, keynote speaker at yesterday’s Physicians for Social Responsibility Visionary Leaders Symposium in Washington, D.C.

PSR founder and former president, anti-nuclear activist, author and pediatrician from Australia, Caldicott has spent her life educating world leaders and the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age. She urged those gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building for the symposium to “stop being polite and speak the truth loudly and clearly” about the need for action on climate change. As one of the drafters of the U.S. Call to Action, PSR is using it to mobilize and give voice to more health professionals.

It advocates for policies that promote a just transition to clean, safe renewable energy and energy efficiency; sustainable food production and diets; clean water; active transportation; and green cities. Such policies can lower climate pollution, reduce the incidence of communicable and non-communicable disease, improve mental health and realize significant cost savings in health care.

“I’m not being radical. I’m being a physician,” Caldicott said as she stressed the urgency of the situation; challenged attendees to question the role of politicians, corporations and the military in the production of greenhouse gases; and told everyone to contact members of Congress. “If you don’t use your democracy, they’ll swoop in and use it for you — for their own political and financial gain,” she said.

The U.S. Call to Action urges the health sector itself to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and — as a trusted voice — to effectively communicate the health threats of climate change and the health benefits of climate action. The symposium focused specifically on the role of women in the climate, health and equity movement and the importance of economic justice for the most vulnerable communities.

Heidi Hutner, PhD, a filmmaker, writer and professor at Stony Brook University, moderated an expert panel of women advocates discussing the health hazards of and solutions to nuclear power and climate change. Hutner opened the program with a trailer of her upcoming documentary about the women of Three Mile Island and, along with the other participants, questioned nuclear power as the answer for a just transition to clean energy.

Following the symposium, at the 2019 Visionary Leadership Awards, PSR presented Caldicott with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work. It also recognized other individuals and organizations for their efforts in advancing nuclear weapons abolition and addressing environmental risks to human health, including the consequences of climate change.

November 17, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, health | Leave a comment

Australia’s bushfires could stay out of control for months

Australia fires could be out of control for months, says fire chief, Concern grows over wind changes and high temperatures forecast for later this week, Guardian,   Ben Doherty in Sydney @bendohertycorro
Wed 13 Nov 2019 It could be months before eastern Australia has more than a million hectares of bushfires under control, the New South Wales fire chief has warned, as the country faces one of its worst bushfire outbreaks.After relief that no further lives were lost on Tuesday, concern was growing over unpredictable winds worsening fires in the neighbouring state of Queensland on Wednesday, with much hotter temperatures also predicted for the Sydney area in the coming days.

Gusty winds changing direction are predicted to fan flames in new directions and widen “catastrophic” fire fronts in Queensland and northern NSW, where more than 100 fires – one more than 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres) in size – are burning.

Forecasters warned that “dry lightning” strikes could ignite new blazes, with fires worsening when hotter temperatures arrive over the weekend. Temperatures in Queensland are currently up to 8C higher than average.

Shane Fitzsimmons, the commissioner of the NSW rural fire services, said: “The real challenge is we have an enormous amount of country that is still alight. They won’t have this out for days, weeks, months. Unfortunately the forecast is nothing but above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall over the next few months and we’ve still got summer around the corner.”

The current fires in NSW cover four times the land area that burned during the whole of 2018, according to Fitzsimmons. There are also fires in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

While the extent of the bushfires is less than those in New South Wales in 1974-75 , which destroyed 4.5m hectares (11m acres), forecasters and fire chiefs are concerned that so many fires are already under way before high summer………

Bushfires are a regular occurrence during Australian summers, but the intensity of this year’s fires, and how early in the season they have arrived, have unleashed an acute political debate over the impact of climate change in exacerbating Australia’s fire vulnerability.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, whose conservative coalition government has been consistently criticised over its support for coal-mining and power plants, inaction on climate change, and Australia’s rising carbon emissions, has refused to answers questions on climate change worsening fires………

In one of the largest peacetime mobilisations of Australian forces, the defence minister, Linda Reynolds, is preparing to send army, navy and air force reserve forces – the equivalent of the UK’s Army Reserve – into the fire zone to assist with evacuations and logistics.

The military intervention might even include an unprecedented compulsory call-up of reserve forces, such is the scale of the fire damage.

November 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

The climate crisis is tied up in the dangers of nuclear weapons in ways that nobody predicted

The Climate Crisis Just Went Nuclear   In the Marshall Islands, local residents are reaping what the United States sowed—which includes tons and tons of nuclear and biological waste from Cold War testing.BY CHARLES P. PIERCE

The climate crisis is the one issue that touches all the other issues. For example, the climate crisis is tied up in the dangers of nuclear weapons in ways that nobody predicted, but that the Los Angeles Times spent some time and money examining. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the United States set off 67 nuclear bombs in and around the Marshall Islands. This had predictable results: there were now lagoons where there were none before; some islands simply aren’t there any more, and there was a lot of deadly stuff left behind. Which brings us to the climate crisis.

Here in the Marshall Islands, Runit Dome holds more than 3.1 million cubic feet — or 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools — of U.S.-produced radioactive soil and debris, including lethal amounts of plutonium. Nowhere else has the United States saddled another country with so much of its nuclear waste, a product of its Cold War atomic testing program.

U.S. authorities later cleaned up contaminated soil on Enewetak Atoll, where the United States not only detonated the bulk of its weapons tests but, as The Times has learned, also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests and dumped 130 tons of soil from an irradiated Nevada testing site. It then deposited the atoll’s most lethal debris and soil into the dome. Now the concrete coffin, which locals call “the Tomb,” is at risk of collapsing from rising seas and other effects of climate change. Tides are creeping up its sides, advancing higher every year as distant glaciers melt and ocean waters rise.

When people talk about environmental justice, this is what they’re talking about.

Officials in the Marshall Islands have lobbied the U.S. government for help, but American officials have declined, saying the dome is on Marshallese land and therefore the responsibility of the Marshallese government. “I’m like, how can it [the dome] be ours?” Hilda Heine, the president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, said in an interview in her presidential office in September. “We don’t want it. We didn’t build it. The garbage inside is not ours. It’s theirs.” … They blame the United States and other industrialized countries for global climate change and sea level rise, which threaten to submerge vast swaths of this island nation’s 29 low-lying atolls.

The history behind all this is as tawdry as you might have expected it to be—an endless litany of lies, deception, and bureaucratic three-card monte, all of it designed to dodge any responsibility for the nightmares past, present, and future.

Over the last 15 months, a reporting team from the Los Angeles Times and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism made five trips to the Marshall Islands, where they documented extensive coral bleaching, fish kills and algae blooms — as well as major disease outbreaks, including the nation’s largest recorded epidemic of dengue fever. They interviewed folk singers who lost their voices to thyroid cancers and spent time in Arkansas, Washington and Oregon, where tens of thousands of Marshallese have migrated to escape poverty and an uncertain future.

Over the last 15 months, a reporting team from the Los Angeles Times and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism made five trips to the Marshall Islands, where they documented extensive coral bleaching, fish kills and algae blooms — as well as major disease outbreaks, including the nation’s largest recorded epidemic of dengue fever. They interviewed folk singers who lost their voices to thyroid cancers and spent time in Arkansas, Washington and Oregon, where tens of thousands of Marshallese have migrated to escape poverty and an uncertain future.

One example: The United States did not tell the Marshallese that in 1958, it shipped 130 tons of soil from its atomic testing grounds in Nevada to the Marshall Islands. U.S. authorities also didn’t inform people in Enewetak, where the waste site is located, that they’d conducted a dozen biological weapons tests in the atoll, including experiments with an aerosolized bacteria designed to kill enemy troops. U.S. Department of Energy experts are encouraging the Marshallese to move back to other parts of Enewetak, where 650 now live, after being relocated during the U.S. nuclear tests during the Cold War. But many Marshallese leaders no longer trust U.S. assurances of safety.

Can’t imagine why they’d think that.

Adding to the alarm is a study published this year by a team of Columbia University scientists showing levels of radiation in some spots in Enewetak and other parts of the Marshall Islands that rival those found near Chernobyl and Fukushima. Such discoveries could give Marshallese leaders fresh ammunition to challenge the 1986 compact, which is up for renegotiation in 2023, and also to press the United States to honor property and

health claims ordered by an international tribunal. The tribunal, established by the two countries in 1988, concluded the United States should pay $2.3 billion in claims, but Congress and U.S courts have refused. Documents show the U.S. paid just $4 million.

And what in the hell was this?

A decade later, in 1968, teams from the Department of Defense set up a new experiment. This time, they were testing biological weapons — bombs and missiles filled with bacteria designed to fell enemy troops. According to a 2002 military fact sheet and Ed Regis, the author of “The Biology of Doom,” U.S. government scientists came to Enewetak with “their boats and monkeys, space suits and jet fighter planes” and then sprayed clouds of biologically enhanced staphylococcal enterotoxin B, an incapacitating biological agent known to cause toxic shock and food poisoning and considered “one of the most potent bacterial superantigens.” The bacteria were sprayed over much of the atoll — with ground zero at Lojwa Island, where U.S. troops were stationed 10 years later for the cleanup of the atoll.

I don’t know what happens when the dome gives way, but I feel confident in saying a) it won’t be good, and b) we won’t hear about it for a couple of years, at least. 


November 12, 2019 Posted by | climate change, environment, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

One small nation shows how to be nuclear- free and climate friendly – theme for November 19

Citizen Advocacy: The Achievements of New Zealand`s Peace Activism, Asia Pacific Journal Pinar Temocin and Noriyuki Kawano, October 1, 2019 Volume 17 | Issue 19 | Number 2Abstract

Aotearoa New Zealand provides an important example of successful citizen activism in the form of anti-nuclear peace advocacy. The collective efforts by peace actors over several decades resulted in the successful demand for a nuclear-free nation. This paper highlights the widespread participation and political support that facilitated the process and assesses its achievements.

Introduction  New Zealand, a small and isolated country, is a rare example of a nation achieving nuclear-free status. The peace-seeking nation unified around an anti-war narrative, and moved from activism based on public awareness and engagement to the passage of laws that eliminated nuclear weapons through a number of stages: from the first generation of movements against the atomic bomb after 1945 to the response to French nuclear testing in the late 60`s to US and UK nuclear warship visits in the 70`s and the early 80`s. As part of this shift, the US-led military alliance with Australia and New Zealand (ANZUS) was redefined by New Zealanders from a guarantee of security to a threat that posed a security dilemma. As this essay shows, social consciousness and activism was ultimately successful in bringing fundamental change. The Labor Party, in particular, played a critical role in translating strong public participation on the part of a broad section of the population into a significant policy outcome: `the creation of a peaceful and nuclear-free nation`. 

This mobilization involved persistent and substantial public pressure over decades. Public pressure to change the nation’s foreign policy also included opposition to involvement in the United States-led coalition in the Korean and Vietnam wars. As these wars came to an end, the matter of nuclear testing became a hot-button election issue forcing each political party to adopt a policy on nuclear weapons. The anti-nuclear argument was placed within a broader moral vision. New Zealand peace advocates problematized the threatening conditions and demanded a solution under the narratives of a `democratic, egalitarian, decolonized, independent, non-violent, non-militarist nation which is intrinsically based on `a peaceful nation`. A peaceful nation for them required a nuclear-free approach in its domestic and foreign policies. To achieve this, they organized actively, coordinated professionally, sustained effective campaigns, and engaged in the policy-formation and shaping process.

Since the end of the 60s, successful protest movements have established new modes of political participation in advanced democracies.1 In some democratic societies including New Zealand, social movements have benefitted from tolerant political structures. Their success depends further on specific configurations of resources, trustworthy institutional arrangements, and historical precedents for social mobilization that facilitate the development of protest movements.2

Strong democracies are conducive to positive engagements and interactions between citizen and the state. The strengthening of practices of participation, responsiveness to a majority, and the development of inclusive and cohesive societies are powerful components of the democratic decision-making process. Therefore, citizen participation in governance with a responsive, open, and tolerant state can produce positive effects based on popular consensus…… 

New Zealand passes historic zero carbon bill with near unanimous bipartisan support – The New Zealand parliament has passed landmark legislation that enshrines the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement into law, and will see the country achieve zero net carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 …..

November 9, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change, New Zealand, opposition to nuclear | 2 Comments

Planet in peril as world leaders ignore global heating’s catastrophes

November 9, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Frozen nuclear city to ‘seep radiation into environment’ as ice melts


Next Chernobyl? Frozen nuclear city to ‘seep radiation into environment’ as ice melts

A FROZEN underground city could be threatening to seep radioactive materials into the environment as climate change forces the ice to melt. Express UK By CALLUM HOARE Nov 8, 2019 

Camp Century: Pentagon’s secret mobile nuclear base revealed

Project Icework was a top secret United States Army programme of the Cold War, aimed at building a network of mobile nuclear missile launch sites below the Greenland ice sheet due to its strategic location near the Soviet Union. To study the feasibility of working under the ice, a highly publicised “cover” project, known as Camp Century, was launched in 1960, but six years later it was cancelled due to unstable conditions. The nuclear reactor was removed before the site was abandoned, but hundreds of tonnes of toxic waste remain buried beneath the ice.

Now, climate change is threatening to expose it, as the ice melts at an alarming rate.

YouTube channel Seeker spoke to William Colgan, who is currently running The Camp Century Climate Monitoring Programme, in the hope of preventing the radioactive material from reaching the surface.

He said in 2018: “The people working at Camp Century did not have an understanding of climate change. “They didn’t have solid records, global climate models, these big data sets so you can see an overview of what’s happening to Earth’s climate.

The moving ice sheet started to destabilise the underground tunnels, prompting the US Army to abort Project Iceworm.

“When Camp Century was decommissioned, only the nuclear reactor was taken out for destructive testing, and the rest of the camp was left in place, and they closed the doors.

“It was abandoned on the assumption that climate wouldn’t change, and it would continue to snow at Camp Century forever and the perpetual snowfall would entomb all of the base infrastructures and eventually bury it.”

The narrator of the series explained why Dr Colgan is so invested in the project.

He said: “The climate has changed and temperatures have reached record highs in the Arctic and Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at an unprecedented rate, which could turn Camp Century’s abandoned waste into a major environmental risk.

So a team of scientists, including William, went back to the site.”

Dr Colgan explained what his team is doing.

He added: “In 2017, the government of Denmark, at the request of the government of Greenland, started the Camp Century Climate Monitoring Programme.

“We set up a bunch of instruments that are erected on the ice sheet surface and then we drill in and we put probes into the ice sheet.

“It keeps a real-time data stream coming from the Camp Century site where we monitor a bunch of things, mainly the temperature of the snow, the temperature of the ice and the air temperature…….

November 9, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change, environment | 2 Comments

Australia’s out of control bushfires (all along the region where the nuclear lobby wants to put reactors!)

‘Uncharted territory’: Dozens of out of control bushfires burn across New South Wales and Queensland,    Hot, windy conditions are wreaking havoc across New South Wales and Queensland.

Australian firefighters warned they were in “uncharted territory” as they struggled to contain dozens of out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country on Friday.

Around a hundred blazes pockmarked the New South Wales and Queensland countryside, around 19 of them dangerous and uncontained.

“We have never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency warning level,” New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told the ABC. “We are in uncharted territory.”The RFS said on Friday afternoon it received multiple reports of people being trapped in their homes at several locations.

Homes have also been destroyed, the RFS added.

A mayor on New South Wales’ mid-north coast said on Friday the bushfires ripping through the region were “horrifying and horrendous beasts”.

MidCoast Council mayor David West said a fire near Forster threatened a council building on Thursday night.

“It was literally a wall of yellow, horrible, beastly, tormenting flames,” the mayor said.

The mayor was particularly concerned about an out-of-control fire burning near Hillville south of Taree.

November 9, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Katharine Hayhoe: the religious duty to act on climate change

I’m a Climate Scientist Who Believes in God. Hear Me Out.

Global warming will strike hardest against the very people we’re told to love: the poor and vulnerable. NYT, 3 Nov 19, By Katharine Hayhoe

Dr. Hayhoe is a professor and co-directs the Climate Center at Texas Tech University. I’m a climate scientist. I’m also an evangelical Christian.

And I’m Canadian, which is why it took me so long to realize the first two things were supposed to be entirely incompatible.

I grew up in a Christian family with a science-teacher dad who taught us that science is the study of God’s creation. If we truly believe that God created this amazing universe, bringing matter and energy to life out of a formless empty void of nothing, then how could studying his creation ever be in conflict with his written word?

I chose what to study precisely because of my faith, because climate change disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable, those already most at risk today. To me, caring about and acting on climate was a way to live out my calling to love others as we’ve been loved ourselves by God.

I realized, distantly, that there were people on both “sides” who fundamentally believed and were even dedicated to promoting the idea that faith and science were in conflict. But it wasn’t until after I’d moved to the United States for graduate school that it dawned on me, to my disbelief, that divisions within the science-faith arena, originally focused on questions of human origins and the age of the universe, were expanding to include climate change.

Now, this discrepancy is pointed out to me nearly every day: often by people with Bible verses in their social media profiles who accuse me of spreading Satan’s lies, or sometimes by others who share my concerns about climate change but wonder why I bother talking to “those people.” The attacks I receive come via email, Twitter, Facebook comments, phone calls and even handwritten letters.

I track them all, and I’ve noticed two common denominators in how most of the authors choose to identify themselves: first, as political conservatives, no matter what country they’re from; and second, in the United States, as conservative Christians, because the label “evangelical” has itself been co-opted as shorthand for a particular political ideology these days.

But I refuse to give it up, because I am a theological evangelical, one of those who can be simply defined as someone who takes the Bible seriously. This stands in stark contrast to today’s political evangelicals, whose statement of faith is written first by their politics and only a distant second by the Bible and who, if the two conflict, will prioritize their political ideology over theology.

I’m not a glutton for punishment and I don’t thrive on conflict. So why do I keep talking about climate change to people who are disengaged or doubtful? Because I believe that evangelicals who take the Bible seriously already care about climate change (although they might not realize it). Climate change will strike hard against the very people we’re told to care for and love, amplifying hunger and poverty, and increasing risks of resource scarcity that can exacerbate political instability, and even create or worsen refugee crises.

Then there’s pollution, biodiversity loss, habitat fragmentation, species extinction: climate change makes all those worse, too. In fact, if we truly believe we’ve been given responsibility for every living thing on this planet (including each other) as it says in Genesis 1, then it isn’t only a matter of caring about climate change: We should be at the front of the line demanding action………

I explained that climate change is not a belief system. We know that the earth’s climate is changing thanks to observations, facts and data about God’s creation that we can see with our eyes and test with the sound minds that God has given us. And still more fundamentally, I went on to explain why it matters: because real people are being affected today; and we believe that God’s love has been poured in our hearts to share with our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are suffering. ……

November 4, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Heat deaths in India will increase greatly, if greenhouse emissions increase

If Emissions Continue, India Could See 1 Million Heat Deaths a Year,  3 Nov 19,

Premature deaths from extreme heat next century could top those from infectious diseases today, A new study predicts there’ll be more than 1 million deaths a year from extreme heat in India by the next century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current level.Research by the Climate Impact Lab with the University of Chicago’s Tata Centre for Development projects India’s average annual temperature will rise 4 degrees by 2100.

When broken down by location, 16 of India’s 36 states and union territories will become hotter than Punjab, which is currently the hottest state, with an average annual summer temperature around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).

As temperatures rise, the number of extremely hot days is expected to rise, as well.

The state of Odisha will see the highest increase, with an average of 48.05 hot days by 2100 compared with 1.62 in 2010. Delhi is projected to experience 22 times as many days with extreme heat, and Haryana is estimated to see 20 times as many days.

The study estimates the combination of hotter summers and more high-heat days will contribute to more than 1.5 million deaths each year by 2100.

The projected death rate is as high as the current death rate from all infectious diseases in India today. Six states—Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra—are expected to contribute to more than half of the excess death rate from rising temperatures.

“Having already seen 2,500 deaths due to a heat wave in 2015, the future is projected to be even more worrying if India—and the world—does not change course to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change,” said Amir Jina of the Climate Impact Lab.

If the world commits to the Paris Agreement and regularly updates its commitments, the study estimates India’s excess death rate from high heat will drop more than 80%.

The study comes as India’s energy use is expected to more than double by 2040, with fossil fuels serving as the main source.

The country’s 5% increase in coal demand last year contributed to a nearly equal percentage in its carbon emissions. India is currently the world’s third-largest carbon emitter (Climatewire, Aug. 14).

Michael Greenstone, faculty director at the Tata Centre and a co-founder of the Climate Impact Lab, said the continued reliance on fossil fuels will harm India in the years to come.  The need to balance cheap and reliable energy sources while managing climate risks, he said, is “perhaps the defining challenge of our generation.”

November 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, India | 1 Comment

Climate change driving California’s wildfires to worse levels

California wildfires: Climate change driving ‘horror and the terror’ of devastating blazes, say scientists

Fires are not new, but their severity is, The Independent, Andrew Buncombe, Seattle @AndrewBuncombe 3 Nov 19,

The words from California’s former governor could barely have been more stark.

“I said it was the new normal a few years ago,’’ says Jerry Brown. “This is serious, but this is only the beginning. This is only a taste of the horror and the terror that will occur in decades.”

As firefighters in California continue to confront a three-week spate of blazes that has reached across the state, attention has also turned to why this year’s wildfires have been so severe. The reason, according to scientists, is climate change.

“It’s warmer weather, more evaporation, and drier conditions. They just burn more,” says Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University.   The words from California’s former governor could barely have been more stark.

“I said it was the new normal a few years ago,’’ says Jerry Brown. “This is serious, but this is only the beginning. This is only a taste of the horror and the terror that will occur in decades.”

As firefighters in California continue to confront a three-week spate of blazes that has reached across the state, attention has also turned to why this year’s wildfires have been so severe. The reason, according to scientists, is climate change.

“It’s warmer weather, more evaporation, and drier conditions. They just burn more,” says Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University. “And we expect this trend to continue. We can’t say if it will happen every year – there are natural variations as well. But we know that when things are drier, a larger area burns.”

Speaking from New York, Williams adds: “We’ve always had the fires. But things are now two or three degrees hotter. That’s enough to make a major difference.”

As Donald Trump continues to refuse to acknowledge the existence of man-made climate change, and as Jay Inslee, the only Democrat running for president on a ticket to address climate change, dropped out of the race this autumn, residents of California and other western states are trying to figure out how to confront the challenge, not just this year but in the years and decades ahead.

The editorial writers at the Los Angeles Times have echoed the words of the former governor, who spoke to Politico, by declaring: “Climate change has set California on fire. Are you paying attention?”

“Nobody can honestly say this is a surprise, given the devastating fires of recent years. Yet it feels surprising all the same. How did things get so bad in California, so quickly,” they write. “The answer is climate change. It is here and our communities are not ready for it.”……..

Michael Mann, a climate expert and professor of Earth sciences at Penn State University, says in the American west climate change has increased the risk of fire weather fivefold and doubled how much land has burned. Wildfire frequency, he says, has quadrupled since the 1980s……..

Asked how such fires could be countered, he replies: “As long as we continue to emit carbon into the atmosphere, and create warmer, drier conditions in California, there is little question that we’ll see a worsening of wildfires.

“The only true solution is to stop burning fossil fuels, generating greenhouse gases, and warming the planet.”

Last year, the world’s leading climate scientists said the world had barely a dozen years to act to make massive changes to global energy infrastructure to limit global warming to moderate levels. “There is no documented historic precedent,” said the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…….

November 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

The first New Deal inspires the Living New Deal Project

THE FIRST “NEW DEAL” CAN HELP US AGAIN, Radio Ecoshock ,  October 30, 2019, 

Huge crowds of young people are rebelling against climate extinction. They have been promised a “Green New Deal” for 11 years. Opponents say a Green New Deal isn’t possible and government planning is always evil. This is partly what caused Gray Brechin to create the Living New Deal Project. But he was also looking for good news in our past ability to act together – to help his own sanity in the face of our rush toward catastrophe.

I think we need citizens to document their surroundings, so we can remember changes. Things change so fast we lose our memory. Or is it because the machine and the media compete to replace our memory with something that benefits the oligarchy?

Gray Brechin chronicles, literally from the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper “the murder of the public sector” – which is going on every day. There are signs and victims of that war against the public good. We privatize things and then make them too expensive for the common person.

Brechin is creating a new memory bank, with maps of what can be done when a government and a people are ready to be doers. His map of New Deal accomplishments shows the basis of American highways, power systems, public buildings, refurbished National Parks and so much more. Maybe President Roosevelt’s New Deal from 90 years ago can help America with the Green New Deal she needs so badly now.

I encourage people to visit the interactive map of more than 15,000 sites across America built by the New Deal. Find it at And check out Gray’s master work “Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin”.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Greta Thunberg and Leonardo Di Caprio join forces in climate crusade

November 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment