Nov 22, 2014

AT&T to pay California $52 million in hazardous waste disposal settlement.

AT&T Inc will pay $52 million in civil penalties and environmental compliance as part of a settlement with California over illegal dumping of hazardous waste but won't be required to clean up the resulting contamination, state officials said on Thursday. 
Please continue reading from: Environmental Health News

Nov 21, 2014

Solar Panels that glue on to roofs could almost eliminate installation costs

Next Big Future:  Installation and permit-related expenses currently account for more than half of the overall cost of a new solar power setup. "By simplifying the system so that it's like installing an appliance, we envision that the soft cost will be virtually eliminated," says Christian Hoepfner, director of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, which developed the system. Doing so would lower the cost of a typical residential solar installation from $22,000 to as little as $7,500, he says.


Why It Matters

Installation costs more than hardware for a typical solar installation.

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute install novel, flexible solar panels with an adhesive backing and quick-connect cables.

Ordinarily, installing and connecting a new array of rooftop solar panels takes days, weeks, or even months because the hardware is complex and various permits are needed. Yesterday, on a frigid day in Charlestown, Massachusetts, researchers completed the process in about an hour.

Homeowners can install the system themselves, by gluing it to a rooftop. The permitting is handled by a combination of electronic sensors and software that communicates with local jurisdictions and utilities.

Installation and permit-related expenses currently account for more than half of the overall cost of a new solar power setup. "By simplifying the system so that it's like installing an appliance, we envision that the soft cost will be virtually eliminated," says Christian Hoepfner, director of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems, which developed the system. Doing so would lower the cost of a typical residential solar installation from $22,000 to as little as $7,500, he says.

Solar power can be dangerous if not installed properly. Heavy components may be blown off a roof if not secured properly, and solar panels can produce potentially deadly voltages if not properly grounded, and every wire protected.

The Fraunhofer system uses light, flexible solar panels encased in durable plastics. The panels can be securely attached to a shingled roof via an adhesive backing that anchors the panels even in winds up to 110 miles per hour.

The solar panels use electrical equipment, developed by the startup VoltServer, that breaks DC power into discrete, addressed packets, something like the data packets sent over the Internet. If one of these packets fails to reach its destination—for example, if someone were to touch a damaged wire, the current is instantly cut off, preventing injury—a feat demonstrated by a brave EnerVolt employee at the Charlestown demonstration when he purposely touched an exposed wire on the new solar installation

Read more

Nov 20, 2014

Study: Wisconsin groundwater contaminated by coal ash

The Oak Creek Power Plant near Milwaukee is a significant source of coal ash that a new report says is contaminating nearby groundwater. (Photo by JanetandPhil via Creative Commons)

The Oak Creek Power Plant near Milwaukee is a significant source of coal ash that a new report says is contaminating nearby groundwater. (Photo by JanetandPhil via Creative Commons)

Midwest Energy News - The "beneficial reuse" of coal ash, often touted as a way to keep the material out of landfills, is potentially causing serious contamination of drinking water in southeast Wisconsin and possibly across the state, according toa report released Tuesday byClean Wisconsin.

By classifying coal ash as an "industrial byproduct," as report author Tyson Cook says, companies are able to place contaminant-laden coal ash in the ground — as structural fill in and below roads, trails, parking lots, buildings, and bridges — with no lining or monitoring.

About 85 percent of Wisconsin's coal ash is reused, compared to about 50 percent nationwide. Congress has even called Wisconsin the "gold standard" on this front.

Clean Wisconsin's study of test results from almost 1,000 wells found that there is evidence such coal ash is contaminating groundwater that provides drinking water for thousands of residents.

At a Racine area elementary school, Clean Wisconsin's own testing found molybdenum levels at more than twice the state's enforcement standard.

Clean Wisconsin's analysis of state test results also found that molybdenum contamination is significantly higher in close proximity to coal ash structural fill sites — ash layered below roads, buildings and the like to create level ground and fill spaces. Higher molybdenum levels also corresponded to the flow of groundwater in relation to known coal ash reuse sites, the study found.

Molybdenum itself is a serious concern, linked to developmental and reproductive problems and other health issues. And molybdenum could signal the presence of other toxic elementsfrom coal ash, potentially including boron, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, mercury, lead and selenium. The study also found arsenic levels higher in closer proximity to coal ash reuse sites.

Clean Wisconsin is a member of RE-AMP, which publishes Midwest Energy News.

'Just the tip of the iceberg'


Please continue reading from: 
http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2014/11/18/study-wisconsin-groundwater-contaminated-by-coal-ash/

DuPont Chemical Plant Where 4 Workers Died Hadn't Had Workplace Safety Inspection In 7 Years

ThinkProgress - On Saturday morning, four workers died at a DuPont chemical plant that manufactures the pesticide Lannate in La Porte, Texas after a leak of the poisonous gas methyl mercaptan. A fifth was hospitalized but later released. The plant hasn't been visited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 2007.

Such a deadly accident without an explosion or fire is unusual, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Methyl mercaptan is subject to a number of federal environmental and safety regulations. But those regulations did not ensure that the plant was a safe place to work. It was last inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seven years ago, when it was issued two serious violations for the safe management of highly hazardous chemicals, which could result in toxic or explosive risks. It was fined $1,700 for one and $1,800 for the other, although the latter was later reduced to $1,700.

The plant is also out of compliance with hazardous waste management and air emissions standards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to records reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The agency brought formal enforcement actions against it for violations in 2012 and 2014, resulting in $117,375 in penalties. DuPont is also in discussions with the EPA and Justice Department about these issues at the La Porte plant, which began after a 2008 inspection.

And over the last five years, the plant was cited for violating state law at least two dozen times by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to a review of state records by the Texas Tribune, for failures related to performing routine safety inspections, keeping equipment in working order, and preventing pollution leaks. Most recently, it released 36,500 pounds of sulfur dioxide over the course of three hours in September, well above the allowed limit, and in August last year it leaked 40 pounds of chlorine. Some of the more serious citations resulted in fines of a few thousand dollars.

In a statement about the incident, DuPont said, "There are no words to fully express the loss we feel or the concern and sympathy we extend to the families of the four employees who died on November 15, and their co-workers," adding, "We are working closely with local, state and federal authorities as they conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, which will take some time. As part of that investigation, we are conducting our own top-to-bottom review of this incident and we will share what we learn with the relevant authorities." The federal Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has already dispatched a seven-person team to the plant to investigate.

The CSB has previously inspected accidents at four other DuPont facilities, including two fatal ones. The company also settled a case brought by federal prosecutors that alleged it violated the Clean Air Act between 2006 and 2010 at a plant in Belle West, Virginia. One incident resulted in a worker's death thanks to exposure to a toxic gas.

Please continue reading from: 
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/11/17/3592976/dupont-chemical-plant-inspections/

Floating off-grid greenhouse can feed two families

The Jellyfish Barge operates off-grid and produces its own water via an onboard system of ...

GizmagItalian design office Studiomobile has teamed up with the University of Florence's Professor Stefano Mancuso, who is the director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology, to produce a prototype floating greenhouse in a bid to improve food security in areas with little arable land. The Jellyfish Barge operates off-grid and produces its own clean water via an onboard system of solar distillation. .. Continue Reading Floating off-grid greenhouse can feed two families 

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Nov 19, 2014

House Passes Bill That Makes It Harder For Scientists To Advise The EPA

ThinkProgress - The House voted 229-191 to pass H.R. 1422, which would change the rules for appointing members to the Science Advisory Board (SAB), a group that gives scientific advice to the EPA Administrator. Also called the Science Advisory Board Reform Act, the bill would make it easier for scientists with financial ties to corporations to serve on the SAB, prohibit independent scientists from talking about their own research on the board, and make it more difficult for scientists who have applied for grants from the EPA to join the board.

The purpose of the bill, according to Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), is to increase transparency and accountability to the EPA's scientific advisors. Burgess said on the floor Tuesday that the board "excludes industry experts, but not officials for environmental advocacy groups." With this bill, Burgess said the inclusion of industry interests would erase "any appearance of impropriety on the board."

But scientistsenvironmental groups, and health expertshave said that the bill compromises the scientific independence of the SAB, and makes it harder for the Board to do its job, thereby increasing the amount of time it takes to implement EPA regulations.

"The supposed intent [of the bill] is to improve the process of selecting advisors, but in reality, the bill would allow the board to be stacked with industry representatives, while making it more difficult for academics to serve," said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) on the House floor on Tuesday. "It benefits no one but the industry, and it harms public health."

As it is now, the SAB does allow and include advisors with industry expertise. Of the board's current 51 members, which are appointed by the EPA Administrator for three-year terms, three have industry expertise. But bill sponsor Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) says that's not enough.

"All we're asking is that there be some balance to those experts, and that there further be transparency and understanding of who was selected, why they were selected, and why others were excluded," he said. "We're losing valuable insight and valuable guidance because we don't include them in the process."

While transparency and accountability is generally deemed a good policy move on both sides of the aisle,some have accused Rep. Stewart of having an ulterior motive for introducing the bill — a distrust of scientists, a dislike of the EPA, and support for the oil and gas industry. Indeed, Stewart doubts the existence of man-made climate change, and has said he would like to see the EPA dissolved.

"I get it, you don't like science," said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) on the House floor on Tuesday. "And you don't like science that interferes with the interests of your corporate clients. But we need science to protect public health and the environment."

The Union of Concerned Scientists has come out strongly against the bill, particularly the portion that says SAB members can not participate in discussions that cite their own peer-reviewed research. Republicans say this would make scientists biased for their own work — but scientists say this makes no sense.

Nov 18, 2014

Reports from Italy that Bill Gates Foundation is close to investing $1 billion to support Cold Fusion Research

[Ecat world translation of L'Arena article] His [Bill Gates] foundation is considering in supporting some of our projects" said the commissioner Testa. Bill Gate's foundation will invest in some of ENEA's thermonuclear fusion projects. Much is due to the efforts of ENEA's Commissioner, the Veronese Federico Testa, who last Wednesday toured Microsoft Corporation's founder around the research centre of Frascati. 

We have reached a statement of understanding" continued Testa, "to identify practical collaboration steps. The foundation will invest about 1 billion dollars in research. ENEA has all the technical and human characteristics to be successful in this venture: if we manage to get this money it will be not only to my satisfaction, as a commissioner, but also for the government. ENEA is the Italian leader in an international project regarding cold and hot fusion, call ITER. From this project ENEA is a 13% share holder, and with this share, it managed to get to Italy the 65% of funds reserved to it, that is 987 million euro. With all this money, many Italian industries have, and are still working. If the agreement with Bill Gates is reached, it can change Italy's faith, concluded ENEA's Veronese number one.

Read more »// Next Big Future

Rooftop solar electricity on pace to beat coal, oil

Computerworld The cost of rooftop solar-powered electricity will be on par with prices for common coal or oil-powered generation in just two years -- and the technology to produce it will only get cheaper.

The prediction, made by Deutsche Bank's leading solar industry analyst, Vishal Shah, is part of a report on Vivint Solar, the nation's second-biggest solar panel installer. Shah believes Vivint Solar is doing so well that it will double its sales each year for the next two years.

The sharp decline in solar energy costs is the result of increased economies of scale leading to cheaper photovoltaic panels, new leasing models and declining installation costs.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Nov 15, 2014

OSHA Local Emphasis Program for Funeral Homes, Chemical and Product Manufacturing Plants, Printing Facilities, and Outpatient Care Centers

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

In an illustration of how widely OSHA will be looking at industries that use highly hazardous chemicals, OSHA's Omaha Area Director recently announced that a Local Emphasis Program will include health inspections at funeral homes, chemical and product manufacturing plants, printing facilities, and outpatient care centers. See, for instance, Appendix A.

Appendix A, Directive CPL 02-14-009.

Bonita Winingham, the Area Director for OSHA in Omaha, Nebraska said that "this local emphasis program will allow OSHA to use its resources efficiently by focusing on industries that are known to use these types of highly hazardous chemicals." "Through this program, OSHA will improve education for company management and strengthen worker protections."

The Expanded Health Standard Inspection Local Emphasis Program (LEP), Directive CPL 02-14-009, was set to expire in September, but the Region's announcement has indicated the Program's renewal.

According to the Directive, the increased health risk of some chemicals, e.g. benzene, formaldehyde, and methylene chloride, led OSHA to created and enforce chemical-specific regulations for general industry known as "expanded health" standards (29 CFR sections 1910.1001 to 1910.1052). These regulations include exposure limits and monitoring requirements, and in some cases medical surveillance components.

The LEP, according to OSHA, was meant to increase the probability of inspecting establishments in industries that use highly-hazardous chemicals, within the jurisdiction of the Omaha Area Office, that have not received a comprehensive OSHA health inspection, and are not covered by other specific targeting programs.

These industries, both in the targeted area, and nationally, may wish to check their company safety policies, procedures, and training to ensure compliance with OSHA standards and to minimize any potential liability that may come with an OSHA inspection under this LEP and OSHA general industry standards.

Please read full and follow at: Environmental & Safety Law Update

Nov 14, 2014

Cheap Oil,Economics no longer makes Keystone pipeline viable

MSN: The 28 percent decline in oil prices puts any oil project not under construction at risk of being canceled or delayed. What's next for Keystone?

"Anything not under construction [is] at risk of being delayed or canceled altogether," said Dinara Millington, vice president for research at Calgary-based CERI. Her cost estimates include the price of drilling new wells, meaning that existing wells that have already been paid for can continue to pump oil profitably, she said.

CERI' s analysis squares with the views of other experts, who have pointed to low prices as a sign that economic facts, at least for now, don't match political rhetoric coming from Washington, where Keystone has been a goal for both Republicans and for Senate Democrats from oil-producing states.

One of the latter, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, is in a tough reelection fight, which went to a runoff set for Dec. 6 after no candidate won a majority of the initial vote last week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday set a vote on Keystone for next week after Landrieu called for a vote in the Senate, which has refused to take up House of Representatives-approved legislation authorizing the pipeline.

Oil sands are among the most expensive sources of oil, costing an average of $75 to $80 a barrel to produce, Norwegian energy-consulting firm Rystad Energy said in June.

"I would think that in order for new drilling projects to be capitalized and economical, the price of oil would need to be around $85 to $90," Moody's Analytics energy economist Chris Lafakis said.


Please continue reading from: 
http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/economics-no-longer-makes-keystone-pipeline-viable/ar-BBdw1uK

Nov 13, 2014

U.S. and China Make Landmark Climate Deal

SlashdotAfter extended talks on the issue of climate change, the U.S. and China have reached a landmark accord to curb emissions in the near future. The two countries are the top carbon polluters, so their actions are likely to have a major effect on world pollution levels and also set the standard for other countries. The agreement includes China's first-ever commitment to stop the growth of its emissions by 2030. They plan on shifting a big chunk of their energy production to renewables in that time. The U.S. agreed to emit 26-28% less carbon in 2025 than it did in 2005. Their efforts could spur greater enthusiasm for a new global climate agreement in 2015.
Reader jones_supa adds details of another interesting part of the U.S.-China talks:Technology products look likely to gain more access to international marketsas a result of upgrade between the U.S. and China on a 1996 tariff-eliminating trade agreement that President Obama announced Tuesday in Beijing. The agreement is expected to lower prices on a raft of new technology products by eliminating border tariffs — a price impact that's expected to be larger outside the United States, since U.S. tariffs on high-tech goods are generally lower than those overseas. "This is a win-win-win agreement for information and communication technology industries in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China, for businesses and consumers who purchase IT products and for the global economy."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

China seen overtaking U.S. as world’s biggest oil user

Fuel Fix »  China will overtake the U.S. as the world's biggest oil consumer within two decades, according to the International Energy Agency.

"A landmark is reached in the early 2030s, when China becomes the largest oil-consuming country, crossing paths with the United States," the agency said in a summary of its World Energy Outlook, which forecasts long-term energy trends. The full findings of the report will be presented at a press conference in London today.

Growth in oil demand to 2040 will also be driven by India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, the IEA said. Consumption in developed economies will shrink, with oil use in the U.S. falling to the lowest level in decades, it said

Please continue reading from: 

Nov 12, 2014

Pesticides blamed for clinical depression in farmers

Seven pesticides, including some that are very common, are triggering clinical depression among US farmers, a 20-year study released by the US National Institutes of Health has indicated.

The study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that farmers who used organochlorines - one of two categories of the seven pesticides - to eradicate insects, weeds, and fungi were up to 90 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with depression. Farmers who employed widely-used fumigants, the other category, were up to 80 percent more likely to suffer from depression. The study was first published last month.

To investigate any connections between depression and pesticide use, the NIH researchers interviewed about 84,000 farmers and spouses of farmers beginning in the mid-1990s.

"There had been scattered reports in the literature that pesticides were associated with depression," Dr. Freya Kamel, the lead researcher for the study, told Modern Farmer. "We wanted to do a new study because we had more detailed data than most people have access to."

One common pesticide among the seven analyzed by NIH was malathion, used by 67 percent of the farmers involved in the study. Malathion is banned in Europe.

The researchers found that only 8 percent of farmers surveyed said they has sought treatment for depression, which is below the 10 percent of Americans who have reached out for professional help.

"We didn't have to deal with overreporting [of depression] because we weren't seeing that," Kamel told Modern Farmer.

Still, seeking treatment for depression is not the same as actually suffering from it.

Please continue reading from— RT USA

New analysis: U.S. is world’s number one wind energy producer, leading China and Germany

Washington, D.C., November 11 — The United States has more wind energy supplying its electrical grid than any other country, including China. With enough wind energy already online to power 15.5 million American homes, the world-record productivity of American wind power illustrates the success of the results-based federal Production Tax Credit now up for renewal.

Until recently the international standings in wind energy production have been difficult to establish because of missing data, but it can now be revealed that the U.S. holds roughly a 20 percent world lead in total wind-generated electricity – electrons actually delivered to factories, businesses and homes. That's although China pulled ahead of the U.S. several years ago in installed wind turbine capacity, the theoretical maximum that all turbines would produce if running full-out, in which it holds roughly a 50 percent lead. Two recent reports by international monitoring groups contain the data needed to conclude that the U.S. has actually been No. 1 in wind energy production since 2008 when it passed Germany, which is now in third place.

"America is blessed with outstanding wind resources. We invented utility-scale wind farms, and by investing in building and fine-tuning them here in the U.S., we now have some of the best infrastructure ever built in this country," said the author of the new analysis, Dr. James Walker, a pioneer of wind power. "This is a victory for American productivity, in an industry that began here and has rapidly evolved with the ingenuity of U.S. inventors, engineers, manufacturers, and developers."

Over $120 billion worth of U.S. wind projects have been installed since the year 2000. Their high quality and reliability h&s can be seen in their availability to operate on average more than 95 percent of the time the wind is strong enough to generate power.

"This shows once again that wind energy is an American success story," said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan on a conference call today with reporters. "We've built an industry that's revitalizing local and rural economies in the U.S., attracting $15 billion a year in private investment into our economy, and we're leading the world in production.

"We have common-sense federal tax policy to thank for this production, the Production Tax Credit, which only rewards results. And being number one in the world is the best result you can ask for."

"This is a win-win game," Walker added, "but the way we got there over the last 10 or 15 years has been uniquely American. What is rewarded gets done. And competition improves the product."

In 2013, the United States produced over 167 billion kWh of wind energy, whereas China produced and delivered 138 billion kWh, according to Walker's analysis. It relies on data from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Agency, the International Energy Agency, the Global Wind Energy Council, and the American Wind Energy Association.

American wind power not only leads the world in production, it does so with an American-made product, as more than half of the value of U.S. wind farms is now "made in the USA" with the favorable environment for investment in U.S. factories that the Production Tax Credit provides.

Please read full and follow at: 
http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=6965

Nov 11, 2014

Certificate program in green chemistry being offered by University of Washington

UW offers certificate program in green chemistry
A new certificate program from the University of Washington will help chemists, environmental and sustainability professionals, health and safety professionals and product managers make informed product decisions that take into account sustainability, toxicity and human health concerns. The certificate in Green Chemistry & Chemical Stewardship will be offered through the Professional and Continuing Education program at the University of Washington.

There will be three online courses in the certificate and individuals can sign up for a single course on a space available basis:
·  Sustainability, Toxicology and Human Health
·  Principles of Green Chemistry
·  Assessment Tools for Safer Chemical Decisions

The certificate program will be offered online and is intended to give professionals working in chemicals management experience using comparative chemical hazard assessment tools for product selection. The classes will be offered sequentially, beginning in January, 2015, and concluding in August, 2015. Students will complete a capstone project requiring them to evaluate a chemical or product within a sustainability framework.

Go to http://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/green-chemistry-chemical-stewardship.html to learn more about the certificate program.

Legacy of Fukushima disaster (cesium-134) found in waters off coast of California via David DeMar (betawired)

David DeMar(betawired):  The 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster has had far-reaching effects, including the discovery of waterborne radioactive isotopes around 100 miles off the coast of California.

Volunteer oceanic monitoring crews from the Moss Landing Marine Laboratory discovered the radioactive isotopes in August, approximately due west of Eureka. The collected samples were then shipped to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts; the institute revealed on its website that the samples came back positive for traces of cesium-134, an isotope originating from the Fukushima disaster. The findings correlate with a Canadian study that found similar radioactive traces off the coast of British Columbia last February.

Woods Hole oceanographer Ken Buesseler said that the Fukushima plant has been giving off levels of radioactivity that he called “unprecedented” following the March 11 2011 earthquake and resultant tsunami. The natural disaster triggered a chain of events that led to the meltdown of half of the six nuclear reactors on site, creating a nuclear incident that rivals the Chernobyl disaster.

So far, the danger to human and seaborne life is likely to be low. Buesseler and the rest of his colleagues had been involved in testing the radioactivity levels off the coast of Japan near the Fukushima disaster, and the samples tested by Woods Hole originating off the coast of California were vastly safer by several orders of magnitude. Using a radioactivity unit known as a becquerel, Buesseler found that the Fukushima waters had tens of millions of becquerels in one cubic meter of seawater – yet the waters off the coast of Eureka only had around 2 becquerels in a cubic meter. The oceanographer said that this is quite low, and is around 1,000 times lower than what the US Environmental Protection Agency has classified as a “safe” level of background radiation for drinking water.

The Fukushima disaster has been held up as a valid reason to transition from nuclear-powered electricity generation to safer and more environmentally friendly power plants. In the wake of the event, international pressure to increase investment into renewable energy resources and to phase out nuclear power generation has increased significantly.

Nov 9, 2014

I voted this week. I voted for the human race. Will my vote count?

Republicans or Democrats? ... our problems won't we solved by the political race.
I voted for the human race.

Fact: Global Warming is a science that was created after the industrial revolution in the U.S. when it was proven (not theory) that our industrialization was changing the entire world. Based on this science, environmental measures were put into place and the results of those led to reports that justified the current, environmental laws and regulations we have in U.S.

40 years of these laws has made most of the U.S. Cleaner than it was in the 70's and continues to improve.

Fact: Air Conditioning has contributed most to population and growth in unstainable regions, decimating aquifers world wide to provide fresh water to areas that can not replenish it.
(Covered in new book by @stevenbjohnson)

Fact: The same soot and particulate emissions that kill nearly a billion people a year, have been settling on the globes snow packs and glaciers causing them to melt at a uncontrollable rate (not by globewarming, by thermal absorption). Note: Africa will spew half world's particle pollution by 2030.

While CO2 and warming influences are debatable...l these facts are not and are a cause for everyone to help stop it.

Last and most devastating fact:
If the U.S. And European Union stopped ALL chemical, fossil fuel and energy production... Current chemical, fossil fuel use and emissions would still double over next decade, due to Growth in Asia and Middle East.
http://ehsmanager.blogspot.com/search?q=China

Knowing those facts, what was your/our solution?
We can't just keep restating the facts, arguing about the weather or blaming the U.S. And Europe to do something. U.S. /U.K. are taking "just enough" steps not too implode their already collapsing economies. For every coal/nuke plant the U.S. /U.K. Shut down... 50 more pop up.

And at the end of the day WATER* is the real problem and is already more expensive than oil in regions.

The unstoppable War?
These facts are just the surface, as the Middle East and Indonesia continue to imports their nations basic fuel, water and food requirements... By as soon as 2020, they will no longer be able to afford to import them. Will we give ours or will they just step into Africa, Russia and UK and take them? Best case scenario is 2050, so we don't have to worry now I guess...

These issues are no longer a debate, they are the key to our survival.

The human race, is the race we need to win.

Until we begin to act like a child born 5,000 miles is still our child and our responsibility I am not sure we know where the starting line even begins.

Thanks for allowing my rant.

-Christopher Haase
This is from a comment I left at;
http://prorevnews.blogspot.com/2014/11/why-you-dont-want-to-be-republican.html


*http://ehsmanager.blogspot.com/2009/06/water-real-problem-not-co2-carbon.html

Nov 8, 2014

Building every possible energy alternative and China will still use coal for over 50% of its energy in 2030

Under the most aggressive assumptions China will still be using coal for over 50% of its power needs in 2030

At the same time as China renewables grow, the absolute amount of China coal fired generation will continue to skyrocket. According to Bloomberg, 343-450 Gigawatts of new coal generation will be built in China over the next fifteen years, more than the total capacity of the entire current US coal fleet, which is roughly 300 Gigawatts. Put another way, even in the Bloomberg best case, with the most aggressive solar and wind investments in the world, China will continue to bring on line roughly an average of one large 500 MW coal plant per week through 2030. This is on top of China's existing 750 GW coal fleet, already more than twice the size of America's.


Read more » at Next Big Future

Nov 6, 2014

Barsha pump provides irrigation water, but doesn't need fuel

GizmagClimate-KIC, a European-union climate innovation initiative, recently selected a jury of entrepreneurs, financiers and business people to award funding to what they felt were Europe's best clean-tech innovations of 2014. Taking first place was Dutch startup aQysta, a Delft University of Technology spin-off company that manufactures what's known as the Barsha irrigation pump. It can reportedly boost crop yields in developing nations by up to five times, yet requires no fuel or electricity to operate. .. Continue Reading Barsha pump provides irrigation water, but doesn't need fuel 

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DOE wants to make US buildings twice as energy efficient by 2030

The Building Technology Office of the US Department of Energy wants to reduce building energy use by 50% in 2030, compared to the "business-as-usual" energy consumption projected by the 2010 Annual Energy Outlook

There is a focus on more efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems and new retrofit technology for roofs and windows.


Read more » from Next Big Future

Jet-fuel-powered fuel cell developed that produces electricity at room temperature

GizmagEngineers at the University of Utah have developed and built the very first fuel cell using jet fuel that operates at room-temperature without the need to ignite the fuel. Using enzymes to help produce electricity, these new fuel cells have the potential to power everything from portable electronic devices to cars and off-grid power systems... Continue Reading Jet-fuel-powered fuel cell developed that produces electricity at room temperature 

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Nov 4, 2014

Chinese Hackers Mess With Texas By Attacking Fracking Firms

The technology revolution that is "fracking" has created billions in wealth for states like Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio and Wyoming. But all that oil and all those dollars have attracted the attention of sophisticated spies from near and far tosteal valuable trade secrets. Digital Guardian's blog notes this report from News 4 San Antonio in Texas which quotes local FBI officials saying they are "very concerned" about theft of trade secrets from companies engaged in "fracking" in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas. "It's corporate espionage, there's no question about it," said Christopher Combs of the San Antonio FBI. "Foreign governments or foreign companies are looking for any competitive advantage. Whether it's the widget that you use to drill, or it's a process that you use to track inventory better. They're really looking at the company as a whole to find out every little thing that you do that makes you a better company on the world market." Combs declined to name specific firms, but said that Chinese firms are "aggressively" engaged in industrial espionage. However, the problem isn't limited to China. Companies with ties to governments that are U.S. allies are believed to be conducting espionage against innovative US firms as well.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Could liposomes be the answer to our antibiotic crisis?

GizmagIt's no secret we are facing an antibiotic crisis. Overuse has caused widespread antibiotic resistance, leading the World Health Organisation to declare we are "headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill." Scientists from the University of Bern have developed a new non-antibiotic compound that treats severe bacterial infections and avoids the problem of bacterial resistance... Continue Reading Could liposomes be the answer to our antibiotic crisis? 

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Nov 3, 2014

NASA hydrologist says groundwater critis is global

Think Progress - An alarming satellite-based analysis from NASA finds that the world is depleting groundwater — the water stored unground in soil and aquifers — at an unprecedented rate.

A new Nature Climate Change piece, "The global groundwater crisis," by James Famiglietti, a leading hydrologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, warns that "most of the major aquifers in the world's arid and semi-arid zones, that is, in the dry parts of the world that rely most heavily on groundwater, are experiencing rapid rates of groundwater depletion."

The groundwater at some of the world's largest aquifers — in the U.S. High Plains, California's Central Valley, China, India, and elsewhere — is being pumped out "at far greater rates than it can be naturally replenished."

MINER may help locate hidden nuclear devices in minutes

GizmagIt's been a common trope in films since the 1950s; a madman with an atomic bomb holds a city for ransom while the authorities race to find it in time. If such a thing ever does come about, Sandia National Laboratories is working on taking the suspense out of the situation with its Mobile Imager of Neutrons for Emergency Responders (MINER) – a nuclear device detector capable of narrowing a search to within a city block without door-to-door sweeps... Continue Reading MINER may help locate hidden nuclear devices in minutes 

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Nov 1, 2014

Solar energy will soon "undercut even the cheapest fossil fuels in many regions of the planet"

Solar energy will soon "undercut even the cheapest fossil fuels in many regions of the planet"
Even without generous tax credits, solar energy is going to become the dominant source of cheap energy. Bloomberg: "The reason solar-power generation will increasingly dominate: it's a technology, not a fuel." 

Oct 30, 2014

US Crude Oil Production higher than at any times since 1973

US oil production continues to increase. The 8.97 million barrels per day of crude oil is higher than the peak in the 1980s of 8.969 million barrels per day in 1985. So all weekly numbers back to the beginning of 1983 have been passed. Oil production was lower from 1974 to 1982. So the new peak is the highest since 1973.

In 1973 Nixon was president. 
The USA had not finished the Vietnam war (which ended in 1975).
1973 is 41 years ago.
In 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby.
Marlon Brando won best actor for the Godfather.
In 1973, Bruce Lee had a mysterious death.

Gasoline was about 60 cents per gallon in 1974 and 30 cents in early 1973. Adjusting for inflation, the most a barrel of oil cost during the 1973 oil crisis was about $115. Oil is now $80-85 per barrel depending upon whether it is West Texas Intermediate or Brent.

The combined crude oil and natural gas liquids production is over 12 million barrels per day.
The all oil liquids (including ethanol and refinery gains) is over 14 million barrels per day.


Read more »// Next Big Future

Oct 29, 2014

Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant to undergo increased federal scrutiny

The Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant will face increased regulatory oversight after an August finding that a miscalculation on the operators' part could have led to an unnecessary emergency response to an insignificant radiation leak. Please continue reading from: B'More Green - Baltimore Sun

Scientists Find Seafloor Fallout Plume of Oil from Deepwater Horizon Spill

Deepwater Horizon oil at the surface of the ocean
disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. According to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a portion of the Researchers say they have found a large fallout plume of oil on the seafloor from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon
Deepwater Horizon oil at the surface of the ocean
disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. According to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a portion of the 2 million barrels of oil thought to be trapped in the deep sea after the spill appears to have settled across a 1,250-square-mile patch of the seafloor centered around the Macondo Well, which discharged an estimated 5 million barrels of oil in the nearly three months between its blowout in April and eventual capping in July. The oil is concentrated in the top half-inch of the seafloor, and mostly distributed in patchy deposits to the southwest of the well, the study found. These deposits account for between 4 and 31 percent of the Macondo oil sequestered in the deep ocean, researchers estimate. The rest has likely been deposited outside this area, they say, but has evaded detection so far because of its patchiness. 
Please read full and follow at:   Yale Environment 360

US Energy Independence by 2025

Wood MacKenzie forecasts that the US will have achieved energy independence goal by 2025, marking the first time since 1952 that the country will export more energy than it imports.

Energy Independence could happen even faster:

1. Crude export ban lifted would boost production up to 400,000 barrels per day

if the crude export ban is lifted then it is likely that energy independence will be attained before 2025. The move would increase the price realized by domestic upstream producers as they would be able to access higher priced international markets. Receiving an additional US$5 per barrel could result in a production increase of 350-400,000 barrels per day.

2. US vehicle fleet is forecast to become 40% more efficient by 2030. Any further vehicle efficiency improvement would reduce US oil demand and, consequently, net oil imports.

3. New production techniques that could boost recovery rates of tight oil and shale gas. Refracturing existing wells is one potential technique

There are various technologies for enhanced oil recovery

Read more »

OSHA Prepares “Request for Information” to Prevent Communication Tower Tragedies

In response to the 2014 falling fatalities OSHA has implemented a national outreach campaign using traditional, digital and social media, including a tower safety webpage. OSHA framed the campaign with the slogan, "No More Falling Workers." OSHA is also preparing a Request for Information to engage all stakeholders "in a collaborative effort to prevent more of these senseless tragedies." Additionally, OSHA has set up a dedicated email address, at OSHACommTower@dol.gov, where individuals may "share your stories, concerns, and best practices."

Employers in the communications tower industry need to be especially cognizant of OSHA's rampant attention to their business and projects. Special care should be taken to make sure that all of your company safety policies, procedures, and training are up-to-date and current. While accidents may happen no matter how well we work to avoid them, having corporate materials in order, and properly training and overseeing your employees will go a long way in minimizing potential liabilities if and when an accident occurs.

Please continue reading By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen at Environmental & Safety Law Update

Oct 28, 2014

Should We Build More Large Dams? The Actual Costs of Hydropower Megaproject Development

A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. We investigate this question with the "outside view" or "reference class forecasting" based on literature on decision-making under uncertainty in psychology. We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased below actual costs of large hydropower dams — excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing, environmental, and social costs. Using the largest and most reliable reference data of its kind and multilevel statistical techniques applied to large dams for the first time, we were successful in fitting parsimonious models to predict cost and schedule overruns. The outside view suggests that in most countries large hydropower dams will be too costly in absolute terms and take too long to build to deliver a positive risk-adjusted return unless suitable risk management measures outlined in this paper can be affordably provided. Policymakers, particularly in developing countries, are advised to prefer agile energy alternatives that can be built over shorter time horizons to energy megaprojects.

Please continue reading from: Atif Ansar, Bent Flyvbjerg, Alexander Budzier, Daniel Lunn :: SSRN
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2406852

Oct 25, 2014

Scientists Engineer Cancer-Killing Stem Cells

Slashdot medical researchers from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully cultivated stem cells that will kill brain cancer cells in mice without damaging healthy cells. "They used genetic engineering to make stem cells that spewed out cancer-killing toxins, but, crucially, were also able to resist the effects of the poison they were producing. ... In animal tests, the stem cells were surrounded in gel and placed at the site of the brain tumor after it had been removed. Their cancer cells then died as they had no defense against the toxins (abstract)." The next step in the research is to try the treatment on humans. Chris Mason, a professor of regenerative medicine, said, "This is a clever study, which signals the beginning of the next wave of therapies. It shows you can attack solid tumors by putting mini pharmacies inside the patient which deliver the toxic payload direct to the tumor. Cells can do so much. This is the way the future is going to be." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Oct 24, 2014

EPA Proposes to Remove 72 Chemicals from Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredient List

U.S. EPA News - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its list of substances approved for use as inert ingredients in pesticide products. "We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide... 

Oct 23, 2014

Silicon Valley's latest high-tech gadgetry makes sewage water drinkable

Gizmag Drinking recycled urine may be the stuff of Dune novels, and a drastic response to California's ongoing drought. But officials in Santa Clara County in the heart of Silicon Valley are hoping its new high-tech purification plant will help residents get past the ick factor and eventually allow treated wastewater to flow through their faucets in a "toilet to tap" scenario. Opened in July, the $72 million Silicon Valley Advanced Water Purification Center is the most advanced such plant in the US, and uses a multi-step system of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet rays to produce water of higher quality than typical drinking water... Continue Reading Silicon Valley's latest high-tech gadgetry makes sewage water drinkable