A Fracked Earth news report.
Food and GMOs
__For 60+ million people in sub-Saharan Africa, climate change portends a rapid descent into hunger. Currently, some only have one meal a day and “a full 37 percent of children … are stunted.”
__Executives from Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, Dannon, General Mills, and others, issued a letter to the Washington Post and Financial Times urging “U.S. and global leaders to ‘meaningfully address the reality of climate change.’”
__A federal judge in Kansas has “cleared the way for farmers, grain handlers and exporters to proceed [in a court case] against Syngenta claiming that the company’s sale of its Viptera and Duracade corn seed interrupted trade with China and harmed the market for U.S. corn.”
__19 EU countries have requested opt-outs from growing GM crops, including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany Greece and Italy.
Taking on climate change
__India’s now submitted its climate action plan to the UN. Goals: carbon emissions down by 33% – 35% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels–and 40% electricity from renewables by 2030.
__The US Congress refused to pass a cap-and-trade bill in 2010 since China’s the world’s biggest polluter. China President Xi Jinping announced in the Rose Garden the other day that China would undertake cap-and-trade in 2017, but Congress doesn’t believe him. So, there you go.
__Pitapan: Solar power in the midst of Alberta’s Peace River tarsands:
__China has also announced it just might up it’s 2020 solar power goal from 100 to 150 GW.
__By 2020, 1/4 of the world’s electricity will be from renewables! h/t Mike Hudema.
Water, land and wildlife
__One aspect of the TPP pleases environmentalists who say “the pact’s signers [must] abide by existing environmental treaties.” It also establishes “new limits on wildlife trafficking and subsidies for illegal fishing,” and requires cooperative enforcement “across international borders.”
__At the Our Ocean conference, Chile announced creation of “a 243,630-square-mile … sanctuary around Easter Island.” The US is Chile’s partner in this effort to “protect 27 endangered species and the people who fish there.”
__Plastic particles have been found in the guts of 75% of common flounders and 20% of smelt swimming in England’s river Thames.
__Flourishing in drought, deliberately-set fires rage “across the forests and peatlands of Indonesia,” predicted to soon produce as much carbon as UK’s “entire annual output.” Orangutans, clouded leopards, others are threatened but there’s money to be made in paper and palm oil:
__”Stunning view of Bristol Bay’s astonishing sockeye salmon” captured by Jason Ching’s must-see video. Bristol Bay in Alaska, where Pebble Limited Partnership wants to operate the humongous Pebble Mine, is site of an incredible salmon run essential to the ecology and economic health of the area.
__First ever effort by scientists to record continuous sounds in the rainforest of Papua, New Guinea, allowing comparison of forest sounds in areas with little logging or agriculture to those with such disturbance. Sample recording, video at the link.
__Some 11 trillion gallons of water dumped on the Carolinas by Hurricane Joaquin, sufficient to end California’s drought. Some 15 people perished; 11 dams have failed. Almost all of South Carolina’s congressional delegation voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill, but Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), can’t remember why. Uh-huh.
Dumb and dumber water decisions
__Three Wisconsin Republican state senators are pushing a bill to “eliminate the need to obtain ‘approvals’ from DNR” to pump water from high-capacity wells. Wisconsin waterways and lakes are already under stress from groundwater pumping. More ominously, eliminating DNR approvals could “have the unintended consequence of permanently assigning public water to private parties in a way that allows water to be bought and sold.”
__Shoal Lake 40 First Nation is taking their case to the UN. Situated on the Manitoba-Ontario border, they “became isolated a century ago during construction of an aqueduct which carries water to Winnipeg”—ironically, fresh, clean water—and left Shoal Lake 40 First Nation isolated with no roads and, eventually, no ferry–but with contaminated water. Human Rights Watch has launched an investigation, too. h/t Josh Drozda
__So much lead in Flint, Michigan’s water that children’s health is threatened, particularly where lead levels meet the “hazardous waste” definition. A while back, city officials “stopped using [very high priced] Detroit water and started drawing water from the Flint River.”
__Unbelievable! The city of Montreal, Canada is determined, despite an outcry from scientists, “to dump over 2 million gallons … of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River—Montreal’s primary drinking water supply.”
Oil, gas & pipelines, oh my!
__Thursday oil prices: $48.60 US, $52.24 Brent.
__BP and the US Justice Department announced a $20 billion settlement for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
__As the Long Winding-Down Phase progresses, Saudi Arabia is cutting the price of oil “to keep their share of the fast growing markets in Asia” with mid-East oil producers competing to cut prices.
__Oh, joy. Now that Shell’s departing the Chukchi Sea, Italy’s Eni says it’s going to drill in the Norwegian Arctic, which is “manageable” since it’s “ice-free.” They await final Norwegian approval.
__With profits down, oil execs are exerting pressure on politicians to end the 40-year ban on exporting US crude oil. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), bucking Big Oil, wants to “hear from the experts” first.
__Opposing bottom lines: those wanting to lift the US crude oil export ban–Exxon, BP, Shell and Tesoro–versus those opposed–Monroe Energy (Delta Airlines subsidiary), PBF Energy, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and Valero. The latter are all refiners.
__Interestingly, Russia will be delivering sufficient gas to Ukraine to get the latter through the winter.
__Plainly stated, “there are no clear near-term solutions on the horizon for Canada’s oil patch, with major pipeline projects stalled east, west, and south.” Darn.
__They’re baaaaack: TransCanada has filed with Nebraska Public Service Commission to ram its Alberta tarsands oil pipeline across the border into Nebraska and, from there, to Gulf Coast refineries. Who can forget eminent domain.
__31% of the world’s “natural heritage sites are at risk of exploration for fossil fuels and mining,” according to World Wildlife Fund, up from 24% estimated last year.
On the mining front
__New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has urged New York pensions funds to “divest from coal companies.”
__The EPA wants coal-producing Pennsylvania to reduce carbon emissions by 33% by 2030 and the governor has called for a Clean Power Plan within a year. Citizens are divided, but the disappearance of an entire lake due to longwall coal mining remains vivid. h/t/ climatehawk
Fully Mechanized Longwall Coal Production
__Citigroup is cutting financing of coal mining. Axa insurance plans to “sell €500m of coal assets by the end of the year”; others may be following suit.
__ANZ Bank of Australia will only finance coal-fired power plants using “proven technologies to significantly reduce emissions,” but it will “provide at least $10bn … for renewable energy, reforestation and energy efficiency.”
__Research in Australia’s New South Wales shows poorly performing primary school students “either live or attend school in areas with high amounts of lead, arsenic, and cadmium in the soil and air”–i.e., in lead and zinc mining towns.
Nuclear is forever
__1200 feet separate a slow-burning fire and nuclear waste at the St. Louis Bridgeton Landfill. There’s now an emergency plan should the two meet. Feel better? Me neither.
__The 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley included Yucca Mountain in Newe Sogobia, Western Shoshone meaning “the Peoples Mother Earth.” Nonetheless, “Newe Sogobia was not invited to participate” in the Department of Energy’s recent meeting about storing radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain.
__Fukushima prefectural police want criminal charges filed against TEPCO, “and 32 of its current and former executives,” for all the “highly radioactive” water leaked from the No. 1 power plant. Also, Kyushu Electric Power Co in southwestern Japan intends to restart a nuclear reactor mid-month.
New Guinea birds of paradise
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