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Pakistan : Inundation Nation

[ UPDATE : Don’t tell me. I know the images are mostly from India, but the music is Punjabi… ]

https://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=32170&Cat=6&dt=2/21/2011

“Draft of national climate change policy finalised : Noor Aftab : Monday, February 21, 2011 : Islamabad : The draft of National Climate Change Policy has been finalised after two years of deliberations and now the Environment Ministry would present it to the federal cabinet for final approval, the sources told The News here on Sunday. The sources said the recommendations in the draft would certainly test the government’s commitment as it has been proposed to go for alternative energy resources instead of using fossil fuel, considered one of the major reasons for environmental degradation. The sources said the draft recommendations prepared by a core group of the Environment Ministry mainly focuses on two areas including adaptation and mitigation with an aim to enable the country to cope with fast increasing environmental challenges. One of the top officials of the Environment Ministry told this correspondent that continuity of casual approach towards environmental sector has now made economic managers and policy makers feel the heat as environmental degradation has started costing five per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Pakistan…”

“Sunday, February 20, 2011 : UK to keep helping Pakistan’s flood victims: Sayeeda Warsi : LAHORE: Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a British cabinet minister of Pakistani-origin, said on Saturday that the United Kingdom would continue supporting Pakistan in the post-flood operations. “Today I have been heartened to see and hear how the UK is helping millions of people in Pakistan rebuild their lives, but there is much more to do, with widespread malnutrition and the risk of disease outbreaks,” Warsi said while talking to reporters in Islamabad. The primary purpose of Warsi’s visit to Pakistan is to learn how the country is recovering, what more needs to be done, and to see how more than Rs 27.7 billion from British people is supporting the flood victims. “When I was here exactly six months ago in August at the peak of the floods with the UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell I saw scenes of devastation,” the British lawmaker recalled. She said that some areas of Sindh were still under water, adding that reconstruction of millions of houses, bridges and schools that were destroyed would take years…”

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Australia : Inundation Nation (3)

Received by e-mail from Australia
__________________________________________________________

18 January 2011

Hi Jo,

Thanks for this. The thoughts and prayers of […] friends are much appreciated.

Yes, the flooding across huge swathes of eastern Australia ([Queensland], [New South Wales], Victoria, Tasmania) has been terrible. The sheer scale of it is hard to comprehend. It hasn’t affected the areas of New South Wales where my family lives. We are, however, experiencing a very sticky and rainy Summer.

Queensland

Three quarters of the state of Queensland, an enormous area, has been declared a disaster zone. Major population centres, including Brisbane, Bundaberg and Toowoomba have been affected, as well as various towns.

Horribly, in the Lockyer Valley, a sudden tide of water swept people to their deaths. Some 20 people have died across the state and there are still about ten missing.

The impact on farmers from the floods is severe. Mining has also been affected – including coal export – which has been talked about in the media largely without irony.

The [Queensland] Premier has announced a commission of inquiry into the disaster, and has launched a flood appeal. Emergency funding packages are being made available to people affected. A flood recovery taskforce has been established.

It has been terrible, but at the same time I have been struck throughout how relatively well equipped Australia is to cope with such circumstances – in contrast, for example, to Brazil and Pakistan.

I am also glad to see how communities come together and support each other. I pray for such coming together before – not just after – the fact in the face of the challenge of climate change.

Victoria

Dozens of towns in Victoria have also been flooded. The town of Horsham, on the Wimmera River, has seen its largest ever recorded flood.

As for Queensland, emergency funding, a flood appeal, and a recovery taskforce have been established. As far as I am aware, there have as yet been no deaths in Victoria.

The Churches’ Responses

Churches across the country are offering support to flood affected communities.

To read about various appeals and statements, see :-

https://www.ncca.org.au/

For an account of ecumenical cooperation, see :-

https://www.journeyonline.com.au/showArticle.php?articleId=2657

[…] might also be interested to see a flood liturgy and intercessory prayers which were written by members of the Uniting Church […] :-

https://www.journeyonline.com.au/showArticle.php?articleId=2654.

The intercessory prayer says :-

“Creator God,
We pray for all those in farms, small towns, and cities in Australia whose lives have been disrupted and whose dreams have been dashed by the floods that have devastated the country.
We pray for those who have lost their homes, their cars, their treasured possessions, their crops, their animals, and their livelihoods. It is a terrible thing to be homeless and helpless.
Be with and sustain those whose entire world has been torn apart and washed away.
Assuage their fears and be patient with their anger.
Grant them patience and hope that eventually they can rebuild their lives and start afresh.
We are grateful to the emergency flood workers and all those who were heroes in helping those in distress during the floods.
May they continue their missions of mercy.
Be with those who are caring for flood victims that their compassion and presence will be life-sustaining.
May they continue their missions of mercy.
We are thankful for those who serve others and provide us all with the inspiration to do the same.
We are sending love, peace, strength, and courage to all our brothers and sisters in Australia.
May this nightmare end shortly.
May healing begin swiftly.”

It is too soon to estimate the damage bill, and the crisis is ongoing, but I have heard figures of up to [AUD] $20 billion.

See the following article about the links between climate change and the flooding : https://www.climateactioncentre.org/floodsclimatechange.

What seems clear is that higher ocean temperatures result in increased evaporation, increasing the amount of rain in this current La Nina cycle that is affecting eastern Australia.

This flooding comes on the back of severe drought, and in the middle of a consultation process in the development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan – a national plan of management for the huge Murray-Darling river system, which runs through [Queensland], [New South Wales], [Australian Capital Territory], Victoria and South Australia.

The Murray Darling Basin has been overexploited and placed under severe stress – stress that may be temporarily abated with flooding but which will inevitably return.

Peace and love,

_________________________________________________________

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American Full Spectrum Dominance

The documentary evidence shows that America’s business interests often outweigh its political progress. Yet it’s perhaps more concerning that, increasingly, corporate America is at risk of damaging good environmental governance.

With all the talk of free markets in international trade, the Coalition Government in the United Kingdom has felt the pressure to open up the back door to American energy businesses, whose highly-paid sales representatives in slick suits want us to buy their dirty energy projects – just take a look at the upcoming UK Energy Bill and its proposals for Electricity Market Reform.

American companies seem poised to sweep in and take all our public non-subsidy “support” for building new nuclear power plants. Viewers of a sensitive political disposition should look away now as this is a Wikileak :-

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/london-wikileaks/8305283/UK-RAMPING-UP-ON-NUCLEAR-POWER-BUT-CHALLENGES-REMAIN.html

The country that brought you the engineering industry that brought you the giant Gulf of Mexico giant oil spill now wants to bring you unsafe deepwater drilling in Britain’s Continental Shelf – and the UK’s new Energy Bill would let them do that without demonstrating any learning from the BP April 2010 fiasco :-

https://act.greenpeace.org.uk/ea-campaign/…

There’s lots of talk in the energy sector and the financial markets about the American shale gas miracle “gamechanger” and how it can be replicated in Europe and across the world, and not enough discussion about the environmental dangers :-

https://www.tyndall.ac.uk/shalegasreport

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12190810

It’s good to talk about local environmental damage from “unconventional” gas, but what’s not being discussed so widely is that these “new” resources of Natural Gas aren’t really very green, and neither are the “traditional” resources – in some cases they’re not much better than coal :-

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-benefits-natural-gas-overstated

https://www.propublica.org/article/natural-gas-and-coal-pollution-gap-in-doubt

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/25/natural-gas-clean_n_813750.html

We know that the Americans always seek to protect the interests of American-owned businesses – and we know they do that for the best of intentions – to keep America wealthy (except it’s really only a few people in America that have any wealth, but anyway…)

Yet I think there should be a limit to how far we have to bend over backwards to accommodate their needs for economic recovery.

To export all their dirty energy technology to Europe is just not helpful, and I think we should say no, no, no.

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Australia : Inundation Nation (2)

The key question tonight in Queensland is : how safe can we make the house before morning ?

The second key question that should tonight be asked in Queensland Australia is : are the damages from Climate Change likely to be more expensive than changing our energy sources to stop it ?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12294834

“27 January 2011 : Australia floods: PM Julia Gillard unveils new tax : Julia Gillard announces the details of the new tax : Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a new tax to help pay for devastating floods that she says will cost A$5.6bn ($5.6bn; £3.5bn) in reconstruction. Ms Gillard said the 12-month tax, starting from 1 July, would be levied on those earning A$50,000 or more, and those affected by floods would not pay. “We should not put off to tomorrow what we are able to do today,” she said…”

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/gillard-warms-to-permanent-disaster-fund-20110131-1ab4z.html

“Gillard warms to permanent disaster fund : Phillip Coorey : February 1, 2011 : THE Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is prepared to entertain the idea of a permanent natural disaster fund if it helps win the support of key independents in both houses. But she is not prepared to bend on the details of her one-off $1.8 billion levy to help with flood reparations in Queensland. As negotiations began with independents yesterday before the legislation for the flood measures is tabled in Parliament next week, Ms Gillard would not rule out a permanent fund. ”We’re happy to have a conversation about the longer term,” she said. But the floods, she said, were ”an extraordinary circumstance which requires a response in the short term”…”

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The Gamechanger

Gasland at the ICA London : 17 – 27 Jan, 4 – 6, 11 – 13, 16 – 17, 19, 26 – 27 Feb 2011

The public propaganda budget for most energy and mining companies is eensy weensy compared to the profits they can make by polluting and stealing.

Are you ready for another American energy myth ? Yes, the country with the energy production “community” that brought you the Gulf of Mexico spill disaster of April 2010, is now threatening groundwater pollution and seismic shocks at a county near you in the United Kingdom.

A glimpse of the public relations that have led up to this can be seen very easily by using an Internet Search Engine using an Internet Browser (like Google running on Google Chrome, for example), using the search term : “shale gas gamechanger”.

That little word “gamechanger” has been soaking through the business, engineering and financial press in relation to “unconventional” gas for at least six months. Everybody digests this word in connection with information touting the magical promise of virtually free gas in the rocks beneath our feet. And then they repeat the concept and this little sales word to others. It’s gone completely viral.

Roger Harrabin of the BBC (thanks, Roger) brings word that the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research has recommended a moratorium on shale gas operations until more science is known about the results of the engineering :-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12190810

“…”We are aware that there have been reports from US of issues linked to some shale gas projects,” a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) told BBC News. “However, we understand that these are only in a few cases and that Cuadrilla (the firm testing for shale gas in Lancashire) has made it clear that there is no likelihood of environmental damage and that it is applying technical expertise and exercising the utmost care as it takes drilling and testing forward.”…”

So who is this company “Cuadrilla” ?

It is an entity formed from one Australian engineering giant and one American financial giant, seeking to propagate the American way of life of developing “new” energy resources :-

https://www.mining-reporter.com/index.php/component/content/article/653-lucas/2867-riverstone-llc-invests-us58-million-in-cuadrilla-resources-

“…Lucas announced that the Riverstone/Carlyle Global Energy and Power Funds, a group of energy-focused private equity funds managed by Riverstone Holdings LLC, has committed to subscribe US$58.0 million for equity in Cuadrilla Resources Holding Ltd, the holding company established by Lucas to hold its investment for unconventional hydrocarbons exploration and development in Europe.”

“Lucas was a founding shareholder in Cuadrilla and has supported the management team since the company’s inception. Lucas’ total investment as of today’s date amounts to A$52.4 million.
Cuadrilla has applied for, and in some cases been granted, exploration licences totalling in excess of 1.5 million acres in the UK, Holland, Spain and Poland. In addition, Cuadrilla has designed, overseen the manufacture of and delivered state of the art cementing and fracture stimulation equipment and is soon to take delivery of a DrillMec HH220 top drive rig.”

So, does this technology actually work safely ?

Nobody really knows, is the short answer.

https://www.tyndall.ac.uk/shalegasreport

“…Funded by the Cooperative, the Tyndall report demonstrates how the extraction of shale gas risks seriously contaminating ground and surface waters. In this regard alone, there should be a moratorium on shale gas development until a there is a much more thorough understanding of the extraction process…”

Why do we continue to have American companies imprinting their business models on the UK ? We have to have their “independent” nuclear deterrent, their behemoth nuclear reactor construction companies, their health insurance companies, their failed genetically modified crops, their privatised prison and school and health centre management policies, their tax concepts, their social control policies, even their zeal for state terrorism…sorry…”The War against Terror”. And nobody seeks to question why we have to copycat everything the Americans do, even when it goes badly wrong.

Why can’t we have a War against Error ?

We need a real “regime change” here – we need to say a big no to American energy policy. And that starts with asking a few questions about the way American companies do business.

Here’s just one example of the sort of practice that the people behind Cuadrilla get up to :-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlyle_Group

“In 2000, Carlyle entered into a joint venture with Riverstone Holdings, an energy and power focused private equity firm founded by former Goldman Sachs investment bankers. In March 2009, New York State and federal authorities began an investigation into payments made by Carlyle and Riverstone to placement agents allegedly made in exchange for investments from the New York State Common Retirement System, the state’s pension fund. It was alleged that these payments were in fact bribes or kickbacks, made to pension officials who have been under investigation by New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo. In May 2009, Carlyle agreed to pay $20 million in a settlement with Cuomo and accepted changes to its fundraising practices.”

And you trust these people with the right motives when agreeing to finance shale gas exploitation in Europe ?

A. J. Lucas Group is the engineering partner in this enterprise :-

https://markets.ft.com/tearsheets/businessProfile.asp?s=AJL:ASX

“The Company’s Oil and Gas segment is engaged in the exploration for and commercialization of hydrocarbons in Australia, Canada, United States and Europe. As of June 30, 2010, the Company held 56.95% interest in Cuadrilla Resources Corporation Limited (Cuadrilla).”

Starting with Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, they appear to want to dig up the whole of Lancashire :-

https://www.channel4.com/news/shale-gas-striking-gold-in-blackpool

“Mr Cornelius said Cuadrilla would begin the extraction process in early January and would hope to have its first flare – gas burning at the surface – by early February.”

“If successful, the find would be extremely significant given Britain’s dwindling energy resources and our increasing reliance on imported gas. Cuadrilla had previously said the amount of shale gas in the Bowland site could meet as much as 5 to 10 per cent of Britain’s energy resources.”

“Now, after the first samples have been analysed, the suspicion is that the Lancashire fields could hold a lot more.”

“Now one site has been explored, the drilling rig will be moved to another site on the Bowland Shale to assess the size of the gas field overall. If those explorations also prove successful, then Cuadrilla will look to sell the entire operation to a large exploration company, like Shell, to carry out the expensive and time-consuming production process.”

Somebody has to say no to this. That somebody could be you.

What does shale gas “fracking” do to land, peoples and communities ?

Come and find out :-

https://www.culturecritic.co.uk/competitions/win-a-pair-of-tickets-to-the-premiere-of-gasland/

“GASLAND : Opening 17 January 2011 : Winner – Special Jury Prize – Sundance Film Festival 2010 : Nominated – Grand Jury Prize – Sundance film Festival 2010 : A frightening documentary that follows director Josh Fox as he attempts to uncover the truth about Halliburton-developed procedures for drilling for natural gas (known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’). When Fox is offered $100,000 for drilling rights to land he owns in Pennsylvania, his subsequent cross-country investigative odyssey lands him in communities contaminated by chemical waste caused by ‘fracking’ (the residents of one town are able to light their drinking water on fire). Another in a long line of essential environmental documentaries – each of which seems to be more alarming and compelling than the last…”

Come along and watch your own hellish future if you are unlucky enough to sit on top of gas-bearing rock formations :-

https://www.ica.org.uk/?lid=27269

“Gasland
17 – 27 Jan, 4 – 6, 11 – 13, 16 – 17, 19, 26 – 27 Feb 2011
A frightening documentary that follows director Josh Fox as he attempts to uncover the truth about Halliburton-developed procedures for drilling for natural gas (known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’). When Fox is offered $100,000 for drilling rights to land he owns in Pennsylvania, his subsequent cross-country investigative odyssey lands him in communities contaminated by chemical waste caused by ‘fracking’ (the residents of one town are able to light their drinking water on fire). Director Q&A plus panel discussion : After the premiere on 17 January there will be a discussion panel afterwards comprising the director Josh Fox, along with representatives from The Co-operative and WWF.”…”

Here’s just a few links to peoples groups opposed to the engineering of unconventional gas :-
https://nofracking.com/
https://durangoherald.com/article/20110116/NEWS01/701169903/-1/s
https://www.marcellusprotest.org/
https://www.atlantic.sierraclub.ca/en/we-are-fracking-out
https://dearsusquehanna.blogspot.com/2011/01/fracking-to-pollute-water-air.html

It’s time our authorities read between the lines and regulated this practice away from Europe.

If we had a sparsely populated continent with lots of unused land, then maybe it might be OK. But with the risks still fully unquantified, we should keep this engineering out of well-populated and ecologically sensitive areas, particularly areas with water courses and farmland.

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It’s just La Nina #1

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This is how it is #4

Very long-lived trees tell the story of the last 5,000 years or so.

The gradual cooling of the Holocene interglacial is overtaken by a truly anomalous warming over the last few hundred years.

How unusual have conditions been in the last few hundred years ? The carbon 13 isotope can give us one point of view [ Boehm et al. (2002) ] :-

And the oxygen 18 isotope can add detail about climatic changes not readily apparent from the carbon isotope record [ Berkelhammer and Stott (2008) ] :-

The balance of oxygen isotopes in plants in this study provide some perspective on rainfall and storm patterns, which appear to have started changing before significant temperature changes came into view.

Depletion of oxygen from the atmosphere provides evidence that the accumulation of carbon dioxide is from the oxidation (burning) of fossil fuels :-

Shaffer et al. (2009)

But we’re going to have a carbon crisis in the oceans from a combination of acidification and thermal stress, long before we have an oceanic oxygen crisis :-

NOAA Weekly Coral Watch Forecast

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The Year of Unceasing Rain (4)

Irony alert ? “Typhoons ? They happen all the time. It’s just a little local storm. Nothing to worry about. Happens every season or so. The locals know how to read the warning signs, and head to high ground or build their huts on stilts. Power lines down ? Oh, they’ll be strung back up in no time. And the rice paddies will benefit from all that extra rain.”

Watch out China – here comes Megi :-

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One For Pakistan

Please consider signing the ONE.org petition to the International Monetary Fund to freeze Pakistan’s national debt.

The country has been subject to a cataclysm, most likely made worse by Global Warming, which is most likely mostly caused by humankind’s fossil fuel burning, mostly caused by the actions of rich people in the West and North :-

https://www.one.org/international/actnow/pakistanfloods/index.html

“OVERVIEW : The sheer scale of the floods in Pakistan is staggering and the country will need all its available resources to help it recover from this crippling crisis and to fight long-term poverty. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) – the institution that oversees debt repayments – can play a key role in this. Ensuring all of Pakistan’s debt is frozen for 2 years would mean an extra $6 billion available to help those affected.”

This is how I signed :-


Dear Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF Managing Director,

Please help freeze Pakistan’s debt to ensure the country’s poorest people are able to recover from the devastating floods.

I believe it is an ethical and economic inevitability that, since global economic instability will continue, all debts to undeveloped nations will need to be permanently frozen or annulled.

The aid, development and emergency organisations are struggling to make their funds cover all the current needs and disasters, and the situation is being made worse by Climate Change, and will only deteriorate.

The poor are unable to pay back, and these debts therefore are becoming odious as well as untenable.

I think it would be appropriate to begin the process of recognition of this evolution by starting with Pakistan, whose people are suffering unimaginable catastrophe to their agricultural way of life, and are at high risk in the short-term of malaria, respiratory disease and water-related digestive system infections.


If you are in the United States of America, or Europe, you can afford to buy insurance against disaster. In Pakistan, you can’t, and anyway, in this case the disaster is so overwhelming, a normal risk-based financial product simply couldn’t restore the cropland, livestock, homes, public utilities and water sources for something like 20 million people.

Insurance is all about “all for one and one for all”. For Pakistan it’s too late, too impossible, for insurance.

Go on – show you’re an altruistic human and ask for Pakistan’s national debt to be frozen !

Let’s be one, and all for Pakistan.

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George Marshall : The Dying of the Light

In the orange light-filled advertising corner : the oil and gas companies proclaiming new, untold riches beneath the melting Arctic. Technology will make us stronger, less polluting and improve the lives of the countless poor.

In the blue chain-smoking activist corner : Climate Change and Peak Oil are really, really serious, destabilising and horrible and we should all get depressed and go and lie down in a darkened room for a while.

On the other hand, most people don’t fall in one camp or the other. We worry about Climate Change some days, but we’re too pre-occupied with trivia on other days.

We have a natural in-built “happy button”, according to recent research mentioned in New Scientist magazine, so we can’t sustain feelings of doom and gloom for too long unless we’re clinically unwell :-

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727791.000-how-to-be-happy-but-not-too-much.html

We’re born to be sunny, optimistic (Teddy Miliband’s favourite word) and relaxed, only reserving adrenalin and noradrenalin for times of stress.

So why does George Marshall try to convince us that everyone is dangerously susceptible to “apocalyptic” language ?

https://climatedenial.org/2010/09/29/collapse-porn/

People can cope with being given bad news as long as they have some strategy with which to combat the problem.

It’s not wrong to tell people the truth about Climate Change just in case they get scared and worried.

Alarm is a good thing – I’d rather a fellow pedestrian shouted at me to “look out !” if I’m about to be mown down by a car as I cross the street, rather than just watching on and wincing at the crunch moment.

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Go Beyond Oil

https://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gt9FazoUMIDxODUKwX2TF5LxndsQ

“Protesters condemn ‘dirty oil’ at World Energy Congress : (AFP) : 14 September 2010 : MONTREAL — Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in the streets of Montreal Sunday, calling for an end to “dirty, risky” oil exploration, ahead of a global gathering of energy experts. A dozen protesters covered in molasses staged a “Black Tide Beach Party,” while dozens of others carried banners that read “Too dirty, too risky, go beyond oil.” A blond baby boy smeared in brown sticky molasses wailed in his activist father’s arms, while protesters used megaphones to slam the provincial Quebec government of Jean Charest for inviting oil companies to the five-day World Energy Congress at the sprawling Palais de Congres. Some 5,000 participants from industry, government and academia, were expected to attend the conference, slated to officially open Sunday evening. The event is expected to tackle global energy issues, such as improving access to energy in the world’s poorer regions and the role of new technologies in ensuring a sustainable energy future. Many protesters directed their anger at BP over a devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year. But Julien Vincent, a campaigner for Greenpeace International, said BP was only part of the problem. “British Petroleum is one part of a big industry that’s got an abysmal safety record and an abysmal record in terms of its obligations toward protecting communities,” he told AFP. “You also have oil from Shell dripping out over Nigeria right now. You have oil spills that have taken place in China that have flooded ports,” he added. “The entire industry needs to be told to sit back and listen up.” …”

https://www.wecmontreal2010.ca/en.html

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This Is What Overwarming Looks Like

https://vimeo.com/15028423

“We have to believe what we are witnessing with our own eyes — floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat: from smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Pakistan, to soaring temperatures in the US and a deteriorating landscape in the High Arctic, our planet seems to be having a breakdown. It’s not just a portent of things to come but real signs of very troubling climate change already under way.”

https://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dlashof/this_is_what_global_warming_lo.html

NRDC Advocacy Website

“Tell Congress not to weaken Clean Air Act protections : As the EPA prepares to set standards for global warming pollution from power plants, refineries and other major polluters, some members of Congress want to weaken the Clean Air Act and give industries free rein to dump harmful pollution into our air…”

https://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/09/37-states-set-nighttime-high-temperature-records-this-summer.php

“With January to August 2010 found to be tied for the hottest year on record by NOAA, new analysis from NRDC shows that it wasn’t just daytime temperatures that’ve been soaring. In fact, 37 states in the US set record high nighttime temperatures this summer…”

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Gunk Zero

What happened to all that deepwater crude gusher oil, so visible from space, spreading like a magical sheen on the surface of the waters in the Gulf of Mexico ?

It’s now lying as a 5cm layer of gunk on the sea floor, that’s what. That’s where you’ll find Ground Zero for BP’s careless “blame the cement” spill mess-tastrophe :-

https://www.desdemonadespair.net/2010/09/oil-layers-two-inches-thick-coat-gulf.html

If ever there were an advertisement for the campaigns to end the age of fossil fuels, this, I think, is it.

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Ocean Latte Swirl

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Atlantic_hurricane_season

Somebody took a big spoon and starting stirring the Atlantic and the Pacific, and this is what we got : ocean-scale coffee cream swirls – a cluster of major storms with the potential to wreak significant havoc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Pacific_typhoon_season

Are records being broken ? Yes. Is it all getting worse, really ? Probably :-

https://climateprogress.org/2010/09/16/2010-hurricane-season-records-jeff-masters-global-warming/

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Remembering Pakistan

Found at : Only In It For The Gold

Will the long-term future for much of inundated Pakistan resemble a country-wide-scale New Orleans – destroyed and mostly deserted ?

Where will the people go ? Or will they rot and die in “temporary” camps ?

What will become of those stranded in their villages – they stayed to protect the land – they didn’t realise the floodwaters would be like never before – coming to take away their livelihoods and possibly their lives.

https://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jX_KetVCMo64AOZxSMudPWArFrJgD9I946KG0

“US envoy warns Pakistan of flood funding shortfall : By SEBASTIAN ABBOT (AP) : 16 September 2010 : KARACHI, Pakistan — The world will only be able to fund around 25 percent of the tens of billions of dollars needed to rebuild Pakistan after the floods, and its government will have to make up the shortfall, the U.S. envoy to the country warned Thursday. Richard Holbrooke said America would not condition its assistance to the country, but warned that the U.S. Congress might not be generous if it felt that Pakistan was not taxing its own citizens enough. Pakistan’s rich have traditionally not paid much tax on their income or their property — either because they evade them or are exempt — and the country’s collection rates are among the lowest in the world…Monsoon rains triggered massive floods six weeks ago that spread across the country and are still continuing in parts of the south. Some 8 million people have been made homeless in what Pakistani and U.N. officials have said is one of the largest humanitarian disasters in living memory…”

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Hungry for Change

People often talk about the weather in relation to Climate Change, but neglect to talk about the possible obvious and inevitable side-effects – hunger and starvation.

Frontline Club will screen the film “The Hunger Season” on 1st October 2010, and follow it with a panel discussion hosted by BOND and Oxfam UK :-

https://frontlineclub.com/events/2010/10/liberation-season-screening—the-hunger-season.html?utm_source=Frontline&utm_campaign=074ce4510f-Announcing+October+events&utm_medium=email

“Across the world a massive food crisis is unfolding. 
Climate change, increasing consumption in China and India, the dash for Biofuels are causing hitherto unimagined food shortages and rocketing prices. This has already provoked unrest and violence from the Middle East to South America and there is no end in sight in the coming months. The people who are going to be most sorely affected are those already living on the razors edge of poverty, those dependent on food aid for their very survival. As commodity prices have risen by 50%, the UN Agencies have barely half the budget they need to meet the needs of 73 million hungry people they are currently feeding…”

Biofuel targets may not be the only factor behind food price rises :-

https://www.wdm.org.uk/food-speculation/great-hunger-lottery

“In The Great Hunger Lottery, the World Development Movement has compiled extensive evidence establishing the role of food commodity derivatives in destabilising and driving up food prices around the world. This in turn, has led to food prices becoming unaffordable for low-income families around the world, particularly in developing countries highly reliant on food imports. Nowhere was this more clearly seen than during the astonishing surge in staple food prices over the course of 2007-2008, when millions went hungry and food riots swept major cities around the world. The great hunger lottery shows how this alarming episode was fueled by the behaviour of financial speculators, and describes the terrible immediate impacts on vulnerable families around the world, as well as the long term damage to the fight against global poverty…”

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Liberate Tate : Pouring Oil on Troubled Relationships

https://www.youandifilms.com/2010/09/crude-2010-oil-painting-protest-over-bp-sponsorship-in-tate-modern-turbine-hall-liberate-tate-calls-for-footprint-of-art-museum-to-be-free-from-big-oil/

https://twitter.com/liberatetate

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B2JesScn-l6lM2E2OTU2MGEtZmEzYy00NDZmLWE0YWMtYzY4Zjg5YmUxZTVi&sort=name&layout=list&num=50&pli=1

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Caroline Spelman Shrugged

The British Government is about to announce that the people be left to the ravages of Climate Change and cope by heaving-ho and a rolling-up of the sleeves and display war-time grittedness through voluntary “Big Society” :-

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/britain-must-adapt-to-inevitable-climate-change-warns-minister-2077175.html

“Britain must adapt to ‘inevitable’ climate change, warns minister : As experts call for action now, the coalition withholds green funding and appeals to private enterprise : By Matt Chorley and Jonathan Owen : Sunday, 12 September 2010 : Britons must radically change the way they live and work to adapt to being “stuck with unavoidable climate change” the Government will caution this week, as it unveils a dramatic vision of how society will be altered by floods, droughts and rising temperatures. The coalition will signal a major switch towards adapting to the impact of existing climate change, away from Labour’s heavy emphasis on cutting carbon emissions to reverse global temperature rises. Caroline Spelman, the Tory Secretary of State for the Environment, will use her first major speech on climate change since taking office to admit that the inevitable severe weather conditions will present a “survival-of-the- fittest scenario”, with only those who have planned ahead able to thrive. Adapting to climate change will be “at the heart of our agenda”, she is expected to say…”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7997668/Climate-change-is-inevitable-says-Caroline-Spelman.html

“Climate change is inevitable, says Caroline Spelman : Britain can no longer stop global warming and must instead focus on adapting to the ‘inevitable’ impacts of climate change such as floods, droughts and rising sea levels, Government ministers will warn this week. : By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent : Published : 13 Sep 2010 : For the past few years Government policy has concentrated on trying to make people turn off lights and grow their own vegetables in an effort to bring down carbon emissions. But as global greenhouse gases continue to increase, with the growth of developing countries like China and India, and the public purse tightens, the focus will increasingly be on adapting to climate change. The Government will set out plans to protect power stations from flooding and ensure hospitals can cope with water shortages during dry summers….”

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Climate Weak

An e-mail trail with a certain amount of political content…


from: Kate Shepherd
date: Tue, Aug 10, 2010
subject: Climate Week

Hello Jo

It was lovely to speak with you today about Climate Week and I’d be grateful if you could pass on the information to the rest of your team.

Climate Week, 21st – 27th March 2011, is a new national occasion on climate change, backed by the Prime Minister, Al Gore and Kofi Annan. During Climate Week, thousands of events will be run by organisations from every part of society to highlight the positive steps being taken to help prevent climate change.

I have attached a document for further information, the document includes a list of supporters of Climate Week, which range from every part of society: from the Chief Fire Officers Association to the Women’s Institute, the Girl Guiding UK to several Regional Development Agencies.

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Be Prepared Big Picture Climate Change Eating & Drinking Extreme Weather Floodstorm Food Insecurity Freshwater Stress Global Warming Health Impacts Incalculable Disaster Media Peace not War Social Change The Data

Are You Ready for Pakistan ?

Compassion fatigue appears to have set in early in the Western Media – yet the existential problems of simple human survival, health, shelter, food and clean drinking water have only just started in large parts of Pakistan.

I was speaking with a contact recently who is just about to go out East to help coordinate an emergency mission in the region, and my first question was, “Are you ready for Pakistan ?”, because I don’t think anybody “parachuting” into the country will be.

Plus, this may be the worst crisis that the world’s humanitarian network has faced in the last half Century, but it’s not the only one ongoing and just about to start :-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Pacific_typhoon_season

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Atlantic_hurricane_season

Human interest stories have been the bread and butter of holiday media for decades – now is the time to roll cameras for the never-ending rollercoaster of disaster Climate Change is turning out to be.

It’s been raining really, really heavily, catastrophically somewhere on the planet practically non-stop since the beginning of the year.

Surely that’s not just a story, that’s a whole narrative ?

And it’s about weather, too, every journalist’s favourite subject.

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Flogging a Dead Non-Scandal

Despite the fact that Robin McKie killed off Climategate on 1st August 2010 in his article for The Observer (thankfully, Will Hutton was away, allowing Robin McKie to venge forcefully) :-

https://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/01/climate-change-robin-mckie

it seems that the Climate Change deniers simply cannot let go of the dead story and bury it. Benny Peiser of the adroitly named “Global Warming Policy Foundation” (suggested motto “We want policies to guarantee Climate chaos” ?), is to publish a report at the end of the month written by Andrew Montford, of Bishop Hill web log fame :-

https://www.thegwpf.org/climategate/1204-investigation-into-climategate-inquiries-announced.html

Sorry to say, but this will be a “we told you so” affair :-

1. We told you so here first – it will be roundly criticised by those who are expert in the subjects of Climate Change and environmental policy.

2. We told you so here first – it will contain a number of significant Scientific claims that will not stand up to close scrutiny.

3. We told you so here first – it will sell.

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Newsnight : Complain to the BBC

I don’t expect much from it in terms of any kind of sensible, relevant reply, but here’s my two eurocents’ worth, as loaded at :-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/

The BBC are undergoing a review on balance in Science reporting. They need to get Climate Change right, and that could start by one of their programme editors actually trying to understand what programmes like this do to an unprepared or semi-prepared audience.

The Newsnight audience have been left with the view that “maybe Climate Change is not so bad after all”, which is the worst take-home message they could be given.

See further down the post for e-mail traffic related to the Newsnight broadcast of 23rd August 2010.

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Spill, Baby, Spill

It’s OK to spill.

That’s the message handed to Royal Dutch Shell in the form of their fine for spilling oil in the Niger Delta – only 10% of their spillage will be counted :-

https://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/22/shell-niger-delta-un-investigation

Environmental fines don’t work – because the oil and gas and coal companies have well-paid and persistent lawyers :-

https://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/industries/energy/stories/DN-valdez_26bus.ART.State.Edition2.4e176ea.html

Money can’t buy you a clean environment. Take note.

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Rethink Fossil Fuels

We all love the inputs, but what about the outputs ?

Fossil Fuels have been providing an easy life and easy pickings for the citizens and enterprises of the industrialised world for some time.

People love their jet-fuelled lives. One man will move one kilometre from his home to a restaurant in two and a half metric tonnes of steel and glass believing he is admired for his larger-than-car-sized car. He will wear sunshades, and oil-slicked hair (if he has any) and sport a tan from his recent holiday over the ocean. A life of glory and feeling good about himself.

But what about the emissions ? What, indeed, about the environmental devastation at the places the Fossil Fuels (and metal and glass) were mined and refined and manufactured ?

What do we leave behind ?

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Let Others Move First

Nick Clegg, the British Deputy Prime Minister says that the international response to the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan is “absolutely pitiful” :-

https://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/16/nick-clegg-pakistan-floods

People won’t be moved. There’s no use hoping for an outpouring of charitable giving and energetic aid organisation – the world is suffering too many ongoing parallel disasters to be able to scramble effectively for this – the biggest ever (probably).

A similar situation exists with Climate Change policy, or rather the incredible inertia against taking the obvious first steps towards meaningful Carbon Dioxide emissions reductions.

People are too busy with their Facebook, their Twitter, their own personal financial nemeses (is that the plural of “nemesis”, really ?) to be able to form a coherent “movement”, as Bill McKibben, Al Gore and others wish us to mobilise into :-

https://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/aug/18/extreme-weather-climate-debate

“Why has extreme weather failed to heat up climate debate? The world is experiencing the hottest weather on record but politicians have failed to respond. They need a wake-up call…”