Energy and Global Warming News for August 13th: 60% of species recovery plans identify global warming as extinction threat; Global CO2 emissions down in 2009; Scotland installing world’s largest tidal turbine

Study: 60% of species recovery plans identify global warming as extinction threat

A scientific review of federal endangered species recovery plans finds that scientists are increasingly identifying global warming as an extinction threat but government agencies have yet to respond with any national strategy. The lack of recovery plan guidance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has led to inconsistent efforts to save species that scientists say are most threatened by global warming.

The recently published study was co-authored by Dr. Tony Povilitis, president of Life Net Nature, and Kier¡n Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. It appeared in the peer-reviewed science journal Conservation Biology. The study examined all 1,209 federal endangered species recovery plans issued between 1975 and 2008 to determine how well they address the threat of climate change.

“Global warming is the greatest overarching threat to endangered species, but until very recently, it was rarely addressed in federal recovery plans,” Povilitis said. “Scientists are rapidly closing the gap, but are sorely lacking in guidance from the federal government.”

The study concludes that urgent action is needed before it’s too late for recovery efforts to be successful. “Levels of atmospheric heat-trapping gases must be reduced soon to avoid substantially higher risk of species extinction,” the authors wrote.

The review found that fewer than 5 percent of recovery plans written prior to 2005 mentioned global warming. Since then (from 2005 to 2008), the threat has been included in 60 percent of recovery plans.

World 2009 CO2 emissions off 1.3 percent: institute

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2009 fell 1.3 percent to 31.3 billion tonnes in the first year-on-year decline in this decade, German renewable energy institute IWR said on Friday.

The Muenster-based institute, which advises German ministries, cited the global economic crisis and rising investments in renewable energies for the fall in emissions.

Global investment in renewable installations for power, heat and fuels last year rose to 125 billion euros ($161 billion) from 120 billion in 2008, IWR said.

But IWR director Norbert Allnoch said given the force of the crisis, the reductions in CO2 output could have been greater, had stronger output in Asian and Middle Eastern countries not overcompensated the savings obtained from declines in Europe, Russia, Japan and the U.S.

“The energy-induced CO2 output in China in 2009 due to its economic growth has grown to a level now that is as high as that of the U.S. and Russia combined,” he said.

China in 2009 was in top position with 7.43 billion tonnes after 6.81 billion in 2008, followed by the U.S. with 5.95 billion (6.37 billion 2008). Russia was in third position, just before India, and followed by Japan.

AK1000: World’s most powerful tidal turbine unveiled in Scotland

Atlantis Resources Corporation has unveiled the most powerful and largest tidal turbine ever built, at Invergordon in Scotland. Dubbed AK1000, the new turbine will be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland, later this summer.

AK1000 is able to generate 1MW electricity, being enough to power more then 1000 homes. It also has a cutting edge technology from suppliers across the globe, weighs 130 tons (stands at a height of 22.5 meters) and is equipped with an 18-meter in diameter rotor.

According to company officials, the giant turbine will have zero impact on the surrounding environment due to a low rotation speed whilst in operation (six to eight revolutions per minute).

Solar plan in China’s inner Mongolia highlights pitfalls for U.S. firms

With great fanfare, an Arizona-based energy company signed a preliminary agreement with China last fall to build the world’s largest solar-power plant in the Mongolian desert.

The deal was hailed as the first major example of the United States and China cooperating on a big-ticket energy project, and the largest foray by a U.S. company into Asia’s fast-growing alternative- energy market. The agreement became a centerpiece achievement of President Obama’s visit to China last November.

Nearly a year later, the deal has not been completed and there is growing skepticism as to whether it will happen.

Chinese competitors in the solar business have complained openly about the U.S. company, First Solar, getting such a lucrative contract. A planned June 1 date to break ground has been missed. Government officials from the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, where the plant would be built, say they plan to open the project to competitive bidding.

Reinventing the city

Our cities play a vital role in the quest to achieve global ecological sustainability. They are the largest contributors to greenhouse gases and climate change. However, if we can achieve sustainable construction and use of urban infrastructure, our cities could become a critical leverage point in global efforts to drastically reduce emissions and avoid the social and economic costs associated with climate change, as well as enhance energy security and resilience in the face of high fossil energy prices.

The world’s urban centers already account for close to 80 percent of CO2 emissions. In the next three decades, the global population will continue to grow and become ever more urban. Booz & Company analysis conducted for this report shows that under business-as-usual (BAU) assumptions, $350 trillion will be spent on urban infrastructure and usage during this period. This huge expenditure either can cause the ecological impact of our cities to become even more pronounced or can be a tremendous opportunity to reduce that impact.

Iowa should help drive future of clean energy

The BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico awakened many Americans to the dangers of our addiction to oil. Most Americans want to find cleaner and safer ways to power their cars and heat their homes. The good news is that a shift to more fuel-efficient cars and trucks can create new jobs, improve the environment and boost our economy at the same time.

The move to cleaner cars provides an opportunity for new manufacturing jobs and product lines in Iowa, as automakers develop more efficient technologies and better pollution controls. Part of the federal economic stimulus package is spurring rapid growth of the electric vehicle industry.

On July 26, EnVision Motor Company announced its plan to produce electric vehicles at a new assembly plant in Webster City. The EnVision model will use foreign-produced car bodies and American-made electrical parts. The new Webster City plant is expected to employ 300 people.

Iowa’s pool of highly skilled workers should be building our cleaner cars and components. These good manufacturing jobs are the “green jobs” for our future.

EnSol’s new transparent coating turns your windows into solar cells

Norwegian company EnSol AS in collaboration with researchers at the University of Leicester are working to develop a new type of solar cell material that can be coated as a thin film onto window glass, so that windows in buildings can generate electricity on a large scale.

“The material has been designed by EnSol AS and is based on nano-particles that can be synthesised in Leicester. The work is important since the solar cells are based on a new operating principle. Obviously some light has to be absorbed in order to generate power but the windows would just have a slight tinting.” said Prof Binns, of Leicester University.

Unlike other conventional devices, the new thin film could become cheaper due to its property of being able to be coated onto large areas. According to the company, it can also be used on the roofs of vehicles to charge batteries. Researchers claim the new transparent solar cell technology could be available within five years.

The basic cell concept has been demonstrated, and it will be the objective of this research and development project to systematically refine this PV cell technology to achieve a cell efficiency of 20% or greater,” said a spokesperson for EnSol AS.

Caribbean island closer to becoming geothermal energy exporter

Among the islands in the Eastern Caribbean, St. Lucia’s economy is performing comparatively well. The island, which is less than half the size of Los Angeles proper and is home to about 170,000, is diversifying its agricultural sector, has decent infrastructure, and has attracted investment in its manufacturing and banking sectors.

Now this tiny nation northwest of Barbados is making a move on the renewable energy front. St. Lucia’s government has signed an agreement with US-based Qualibou Energy for the development of a geothermal plant. If all goes as planned, the plant will generate 12 megawatts of electricity by 2012, and another 108 MW of capacity will be in operation by 2015.

Entering a thicket, engineers quiz oil regulators

Delving into the gritty details of how offshore drilling is regulated, a National Academy of Engineering inquiry into the Deepwater Horizon well blowout found a big hole in oversight during a hearing on Thursday.

In its first public hearing on the disaster, the 15-member panel took testimony from three officials of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the agency formed within the Interior Department after the BP accident to replace the much-criticized Minerals Management Service. Committee members were asking about the divided responsibility for regulation, with certification of the rig carried out by the American Bureau of Shipping, an industry group.

Well, not quite, said David Dykes, the chief of the office of safety management for the agency’s Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf office. He told the committee that the accident had revealed a “misunderstanding” about just what the Bureau of Shipping was inspecting.

89 Responses to Energy and Global Warming News for August 13th: 60% of species recovery plans identify global warming as extinction threat; Global CO2 emissions down in 2009; Scotland installing world’s largest tidal turbine

  1. David says:

    Record-breaking water temperatures in the Great Lakes. The average surface water temperature of Lake Superior is a whopping 8C above normal.–great-lakes-turn-to-bath-water

  2. mike roddy says:

    Interesting note about the delay or suspension of First Solar’s development deal in Mongolia. Cutting edge companies need large projects to overcome all of the R&D and infrastructure development costs, and this will hurt First Solar. It appears that opening the project to local Chinese competition is another way of saying “thanks for providing us with your drawings, now go away”.

    eSolar of Pasadena, a CSP manufacturer, also has a big power plant project lined up in China. Let’s hope it doesn’t meet the same fate.

    As climate and economic conditions get tougher, we can expect breakdowns in international agreements, especially where proprietary materials are involved. China already openly allows the sale of bootleg IPhones and US movies.

    My prior proposal stands: go ahead and give China and others renewable technology designs. If they continue to burn huge amounts of coal, however, institute tariffs for all of their emissions intensive exports. This could possibly lead to much large scale deployment in China. Clean energy at scale will lead to more efficiencies that will ultimately help enable the same advances to be implemented here in the US via innovation, efficiencies, and experience.

  3. Mark Shapiro says:

    What Mike Roddy said.

    Of course the Senate would have to acknowledge climate science to consider carbon tariffs. . .

  4. fj2 says:

    re: Reinventing the City

    Representing 80% of global CO2 emissions and where US$350 trillion will be spent on urban infrastructure in the next 30 years . . .

    Since cycling incurs much less than 1% the environmental impact of transportation systems based on cars — including requisite infrastructures and externalities — any minimization of the tremendous opportunity provided by this technology is indicative of gross ignorance, incompetence, and negligence . . . and or corruption by special interest groups.

  5. Wonhyo says:

    Edited: “A scientific review of human species recovery plans finds that scientists are increasingly identifying global warming as an extinction threat but government agencies have yet to respond with any national strategy. The lack of recovery plan guidance from the U.S. government has led to inadequate, inconsistent, and often counterproductive efforts to save the human species.”

  6. Doug M. says:

    Mike Roddy: “If they continue to burn huge amounts of coal, however, institute tariffs for all of their emissions intensive exports.”

    How about this instead: Institute tariffs on most products the U.S. imports, period.

    Why not rebuild our own economy, in addition to promoting green products?

  7. Mike says:

    NOAA: Second Warmest July and Warmest Year-to-Date Global Temperature on Record

    August 13, 2010

    The combined global land and ocean surface temperature made this July the second warmest on record, behind 1998, and the warmest averaged January-July on record. The global average land surface temperature for July and January–July was warmest on record. The global ocean surface temperature for July was the fifth warmest, and for January–July 2010 was the second warmest on record, behind 1998.

  8. catman306 says:

    Here’s a video of a test drive of the all electric Nissan Leaf. Sane transportation. Greatly reduced greenhouse gases and no air pollution along the roadside.!

  9. Colorado Bob says:

    First Solar is controlled by the Walton family , considering what Walmart has done for the Chinese economy , this news is rather ironic.

  10. Colorado Bob says:

    David @ #1 thanks for those Great Lakes links.

  11. Brooks Bridges says:

    Bicycles are fine in some situations but not in the winter(or summer) in many of our sprawling cities. Bus systems, OTOH, have a great potential for reducing auto traffic, if wisely implemented, at cost far less than any rail system.

    This site describes one such wisely implemented system developed in Curitiba Brazil:

  12. John Hollenberg says:


    Where are the posts prior to August 10? The prior date shown on the main page is February, 2010. I went on vacation for a week and am suffering withdrawal from the August 6-9 posts!

    [JR: Just hit “« Older Entries” at the bottom of the page.]

  13. Leif says:

    Thanks for the link on Curitiba, Brooks B, @ 12. What a treat to read about a town for people and not cars.

    I am going to give a copy to my local town planners.

  14. Colorado Bob says:

    The U.S. Army estimates 20,000 people are cut off by flooding in northeastern Afghanistan, and is sending food and road building teams to the Abdullah Khel Valley.

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    Goddard is at it again …… And I’m fighting him and Watts :

  16. Colorado Bob says:

    Watts –

    REPLY: before you go into an accusatory tizzy (oops too late) read the ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE from the scientists that made the discovery and 1962 reference here:

    “1:40 p.m., Aug. 6, 2010—-A University of Delaware researcher reports that an “ice island” four times the size of Manhattan has calved from Greenland’s Petermann Glacier. The last time the Arctic lost such a large chunk of ice was in 1962.”

    – Anthony

    Colorado Bob says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 13, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    University of Delaware –

    The last time such a massive ice island formed was in 1962 when Ward Hunt Ice Shelf calved a 230 square-mile island, smaller pieces of which became lodged between real islands inside Nares Strait.

    You guys –

    This iceberg has become a poster child for global warming, even though a much larger one broke off the same glacier 50 years ago.

    This would make this whole post [by Watts] a work of fiction.

  17. Colorado Bob says:


    This would make this whole post a work of fiction.

    REPLY: Yes there’s a lot of fiction flying around about this iceberg, mostly in the media and from clueless politicians, but I don’t see you complaining about things like this gem. Since you made no comment against this, I suppose you agree then? – Anthony
    Colorado Bob says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 13, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    All I know is you guys said that the Peterman calved an ice berg ” 50 years ago ” , it didn’t. So “What’s Up With That” ?
    Colorado Bob says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 13, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    We’re not discussing what some congressman said, we’re discussing the fact that you folks got a basic fact wrong, and I have the screen shots to prove it.

  18. Colorado Bob says:

    My final post for the evening with Watt’s and Goddard :

    Colorado Bob says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 14, 2010 at 12:59 am

    REPLY: Yes there’s a lot of fiction flying around about this iceberg, mostly in the media and from clueless politicians,

    And the whopper here about the Peterman calving a 230 sq. mile ice berg in 1962 when it didn’t.

  19. John Mason says:

    Just a heads-up, folks.

    There’s a shark-jumpingly spectacular non-story echoing around the chambers concerning NOAA-16 and some flakey temperature data from the Great Lakes, e.g.

    where the “interesting” claim that “Global warming temperatures may be 10 to 15 degrees too high.” kicks off the fun.

    Sceptical Science have a useful post on this:

    Handy to point anyone to who you catch trumpeting this as “another final nail in the agw coffin etc etc etc”.

    Cheers – John

  20. Prokaryotes says:

    Senators should address climate change, energy

    In poll after poll, Americans have shown they want action on climate change. The Senate is out of touch with America. When senators Bennet and Udall return from Colorado to Washington in September, they must do two things:

    Firstly, press leadership to introduce a strong climate and clean energy bill and vote for it, putting aside any local or short-term concerns. The bill should put in place:

    • A firm cap on carbon emissions, across the economy
    • A robust national renewable electricity standard, to move us toward truly sustainable energy.

    Secondly, push for a radical change in congressional campaign financing, so that senators no longer feel constrained to vote against the interests of the people.

  21. Prokaryotes says:

    Why is Dirty Energy Still So Cheap?

    The clean tech sector has experienced remarkable success in the past few years, yet there still remains one huge roadblock from mass implementation – cheap fossil fuels. Some may think this is simply a matter of free-market capitalism at work. The real truth is that petroleum and coal industries continue to receive massive subsidies from governments around the world, while renewable energy firms receive only a small fraction of that amount.

  22. Prokaryotes says:

    Federal officials want to move forward with oil and gas leases on about 260 square miles in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota that have been held up over climate change concerns.

    “We can’t show a direct tie between these emissions and climate change, so we can’t attach (restrictions on development) to leases,” BLM spokeswoman Mary Apple said Friday.

    A public comment period on the BLM proposal closes Sept. 13.

  23. Prokaryotes says:

    Delegates from 175 Nations in Bonn Labor Toward Climate Progress

    “What we have seen over and over again this week is that some countries are walking back from the progress made in Copenhagen and what was agreed to there,” Pershing, deputy special envoy for climate change, said at an August 6 briefing.

    “Instead, what we need is to move forward,” he said. “We need to be ambitious and we need to be pragmatic. If we do so, agreement at Cancún is within reach.”

    “The United States is committed to achieving a successful outcome in Cancún that builds on the progress made in Copenhagen on all six of the major issues: mitigation, transparency, finance, technology and REDD+ [the U.N. Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries],” Pershing said.

    “The U.S. stands by the commitments our president made in Copenhagen,” he added. “We are moving forward with our fast-start funding commitment, and President Obama has made it clear that he remains committed to taking bold action to address the growing threat of climate change.”

  24. Prokaryotes says:

    UN is losing climate monopoly, and that’s a good thing

    “The [U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change] will remain a critical policy hub, but in the coming months and years, other institutions and processes will also have an opportunity to show their worth. The Major Economies Forum may helpfully lead on strategies for sectoral emissions reductions, the G20 on the removal of energy subsidies, the G2 on U.S.-China technology agreements, the WTO or the OECD on trade adjustment, and new issue-specific institutions on forests and other topics,” he writes.

    Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Change
    Participants agreed that the Forum is not an alternative to the UN Framework Convention process

    As an initial step, they requested a suite of Technology Action Plans, which now span ten climate-related technologies that together address more than 80% of the energy sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction potential identified by the IEA. MEF partners agreed to lead the work to develop the Technology Action Plans. These technologies include:

    • Advanced Vehicles (Canada) • Bioenergy (Brazil and Italy) • Carbon Capture, Use & Storage (Australia and United Kingdom) • Energy Efficiency – Buildings Sector (United States) • Energy Efficiency – Industrial Sector (United States) • High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions (HELE) Coal (India and Japan) • Marine Energy (France) • Smart Grid (Italy and Korea) • Solar Energy (Germany and Spain) • Wind Energy (Denmark, Germany, and Spain)

  25. Prokaryotes says:

    Environmental Report Predicts Global Warming Will Bring More Days of Extreme Heat

    From the record setting heat in Russia to the heavy rains in Pakistan and the devastating mudslides in rain soaked China, many climate scientists predict extreme weather will become more common as the earth gets warmer.

    “As the planet warms the atmosphere can actually hold more water and so when it does rain, we’re getting more heavy rainfall events and that’s going to be really devastating,” said climate scientist Amanda Staudt of the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation. She co-authored the private organization’s 2010 report on extreme heat in the U.S. She found many of the cities along the East Coast of the U.S., when compared to average temperatures, have twice as many days that have reached over 32 degrees Celsius.

  26. Prokaryotes says:

    Global Rice Production at Risk From Climate Change

    Production of rice–the world’s most important crop for ensuring food security and addressing poverty–will be thwarted as temperatures increase in rice-growing areas with continued climate change.

    Rising temperatures during the past 25 years have already cut the yield growth rate by 10% in several locations. As nights get hotter, as predicted with climate change, rice yields will drop.

    Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the report analyzes 6 years of data from 227 irrigated rice farms in 6 major rice-growing countries in Asia, which produces more than 90% of the world’s rice.

    “We found that as the daily minimum temperature increases, or as nights get hotter, rice yields drop,” said Mr. Jarrod Welch, lead author of the report and graduate student of economics at the University of California, San Diego.

  27. Leif says:

    Less rice and all the rest even today and there is ~30 more years in the pipeline. As Joe says, it is “Straight Up” from here.

    Is there any wonder that many of us are getting a bit touchy?

  28. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Leif –

    I like your turn of phrase.

    “A bit touchy” is how I’ve been feeling about the issue for some time.



  29. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Prokaryote –

    the juxtaposition of your two posts about the climate negotiations
    offers an amusing crossbearing on the US climate policy.

    In the first, the mouthpiece Pershing intones a litany of disinformation for the benefit of a deeply ignorant US public, about US ambition, foreigners’ backsliding, Obama’s commitment to honour the smidgen that was pledged at Copenhagen, etc.

    No mention of the fact that, now that the senate climate bill has been dumped, that Obama is free to set his own target for executive action to achieve.

    The reason that the US public is the certainly Pershing’s intended audience is the widespread derision such a statement will generate, discreetly or not, around the world. Not least because any talk of the requisite binding treaty, with its annually declining global cap, is notable by its absence.

    The second article is a well-timed as a puff-piece for the anti-UN sentiment that has long been accomodated in the US. And of the sundry non-UN organizations that are supposed to have such valuable input to resolving the climate jeopardy, and that Obama’s administration gives major credence, who were the co-founders of the first on the list ?

    George Bush, and his partner in crime, Richard Cheyney.

    ‘Nuff said.

    Personally I’m looking forward to a creative response to the “Major Economies Forum”, along the lines of a “Distinct Societies’ Council.”



  30. Prokaryotes says:

    Thousands march for climate change action

    Marches are taking place in capital cities around Australia to protest a lack of political action on climate change.

    The annual Walk Against Warming has been held for the past five years, with organisers calling for a price on pollution and a guarantee to reduce emissions.

  31. Prokaryotes says:

    Lewis Cleverdon, #31 “In the first, the mouthpiece Pershing intones a litany of disinformation for the benefit of a deeply ignorant US public, about US ambition, foreigners’ backsliding, Obama’s commitment to honour the smidgen that was pledged at Copenhagen, etc.”

    Nations who backslide, should be kicked out and should be sanctioned. No agreement is no longer an option. No agreement means lack of leadership.

  32. Prokaryotes says:

    In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming

    “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.”

    He described excessive heat, in particular, as “consistent with our understanding of how the climate responds to increasing greenhouse gases.”

  33. Prokaryotes says:

    “Everyone is talking about climate change now,” President Dmitri A. Medvedev told the Russian Security Council this month. “Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.”

  34. Prokaryotes says:

    The Center for a New American Security has posted a link to a Pentagon report that says, in part, that new patterns in the weather “may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world.
    The scope of the world-wide instability that rapid global climate change is starting to precipitate is not conveyed in the term “global warming.” “Global warming” has proven to be a failure as the primary description for what is happening to the planet through climate change. It doesn’t compute for people. “Global weirding” is a much better term because it begins to get at the fundamentally chaotic nature of what is happening. I’m glad to see the term “global weirding” is catching on, and being used for this, the hottest summer

  35. Prokaryotes says:

    “Global weirding” is a much better term.

    I agree. And i start to think that there are a lot of things in the weird climate shift – which nobody has thought of so far.

  36. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Prokaryotes at 33 –

    “Nations who backslide, should be kicked out and should be sanctioned. No agreement is no longer an option. No agreement means lack of leadership.”

    Perhaps you don’t see the conduct of the US under Bush as backsliding ?
    When he reneged on the US signature on Kyoto, villified the treaty, and refused even to present it for ratification ?

    And under Obama, when he adopted, gratuitously, Bush’s illegitimate 2005 baseline, and rejected the legal 1990 baseline of the UNFCCC mandate that the US had signed ? And in his derisory pledge at Copenhagen, contingent upon the senate bill, which he then failed to lift a finger to advance, being content to watch it die ?

    No other nation has dishonoured its formal commitments on climate action in the systematic manner of the US.

    Yes, the US could theoretically be thrown out & actually be sanctioned via worldwide tariffs, as could any nation, but since when did external pressures do anything but affirm nations’ bloody-minded resistance to “violations of sovereign policy formation” ?

    A far more productive approach will be for the coalition of the willing to move ahead with the requisite climate treaty, leaving space for laggards to accede once they are willing to play catch-up, with the incentives of the global carbon-permit market and preferential trade terms being open only to full participants.



  37. Prokaryotes says:

    Enzymes might be the way to treat, prevent cholera

    Cholera is caused by a bacterium called vibrio cholerea, and the disease is transmitted primarily through contaminated drinking water. The disease causes severe diarrhea and vomiting that lead to rapid dehydration. It’s a major cause of death in the developing world as well as in the aftermath of catastrophes that compromise water systems. There are an estimated 3 to 5 million cholera cases annually, resulting in about 100,000 to 120,000 deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization.

  38. Prokaryotes says:

    In most cases cholera can be successfully treated with oral rehydration therapy (ORT). ORT is highly effective, safe, and simple to administer: prompt replacement of water and electrolytes is the principal treatment for cholera, as dehydration and electrolyte depletion occur rapidly.

    The success of treatment is significantly affected by the speed and method of treatment. If cholera patients are treated quickly and properly, the mortality rate is less than 1%; however, with untreated cholera, the mortality rate rises to 50–60%

  39. Prokaryotes says:

    100 top toxic air polluters in USA

  40. Prokaryotes says:

    While detached from debates among climate scientists and policymakers, these lowly farmers do not need voluminous documents and hours of scientific lectures to know for themselves the impact of more frequent and intense extreme weather events such as cyclones, floods and droughts. The signs are on their doorsteps.

    Jun Cawili, 31 and a vegetable farmer in La Trinidad, Benguet, said the old ways of farming, where hundreds of farmers in the upland areas planted their seedlings in mid-November and harvested the crop after about three months, are no longer the norm.

  41. Prokaryotes says:

    “Our plight continues to worsen. Tobacco farmers are forced to shift to other cash crops to sustain our livelihood. We can’t produce high-quality tobacco leaves nowadays because of the erratic weather,” said Alex Sino, 55, a lifelong farmer.

  42. Prokaryotes says:

    Wildfire War: Video of Portugal firefighters in battle with flames
    Wildfires continue to spread across Portugal, threatening homes and stretching emergency services to the limit. At least 1,500 people are battling nearly 30 major fires in the north, where strong winds are fanning the flames. Police have so far arrested 15 people on suspicion of arson. The country’s president has cancelled his vacation to visit the command centre tackling the situation.

  43. Prokaryotes says:

    Rainstorms continue in mudslide hit-county; heatwave grills China’s south

  44. Prokaryotes says:

    Corn, Soybeans Advance on Concern U.S. Heat Wave Damaged Crops

    August has gotten off to the second-hottest start since 1960, T-Storm Weather LLC said today in a report. Commodity Weather Group LLC said about 25 percent of the soybean-growing area won’t get enough rain for proper plant development over the next two weeks, and the dryness may hurt a third of the Midwest should rain miss sections of Illinois this weekend as forecast.

    “The crops are going downhill rapidly in parts of the Midwest and South,” said Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis. “Our farmers are already preparing for corn yields that may fall 5 percent to as much as 10 percent from earlier field samples.”

  45. Prokaryotes says:

    Poisonous smog returns to Moscow

    “I thought this nightmare was over, but here we go, it’s back,” said 28-year old graphic designer Mikhail Talalikhin. “Our mayor once pledged to stop snowfall, why doesn’t he start by making rain?”

    Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov said last October that he would use planes to intercept advancing storm fronts and hit them with dry ice and silver iodine particles.

    This summer is the hottest since records began in Russia 130 years ago. Daily highs have reached up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), compared with the usual summer average of 75 F (24 C).

    Scientists say the heatwave reflects the global climate’s increased volatility.

  46. Prokaryotes says:

    Lewis Cleverdon, #40 “Obama, when he adopted, gratuitously, Bush’s illegitimate 2005 baseline, and rejected the legal 1990 baseline of the UNFCCC mandate”

    Hmmm? Do you have an article for that?

    U.S. Climate Bill, Regional Accords and State Leadership?
    “The United States is not backing away from the commitments our President made in Copenhagen. President Obama has made it clear that he remains committed to taking bold action to address the growing threat of global warming. He said so again last week.”

    “Passing comprehensive legislation remains the primary vehicle in our view in our country to tackle this challenge. But at the same time, we will use all the tools available to make progress… Success in Cancún does not hinge on U.S. legislation.”

    The WRI report concluded that “the federal government and states can put the United States on a near-term course to considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” It based its analysis on existing EPA authority and potential state legislation.

  47. Prokaryotes says:

    SA government backs Carbon tax

    Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe on Tuesday defended a carbon tax that seeks to “green” the South African economy.

  48. Prokaryotes says:

    Small miners cheer Coalition’s cash pledge

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott promised to spend more than $400 million to support mining exploration and promote research into clean coal technologies while campaiging in Perth.

    Mr Abbott pledged $150 million for an exploration development fund to help smaller miners, and $270 million for research into clean coal, biochar and biofuel technology.

    He says most of the money would come from redirecting funds from the Labor Government’s Carbon Capture and Storage program.

    Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison has welcomed the announcement.

  49. Prokaryotes says:

    PG&E Executive Takes a Cold Hard Look at Global Warming

    Peter A. Darbee, a utility executive who is ultimately responsible for keeping the lights on for 15 million people, has a message some may not want to hear:

    “Climate change is real, it’s urgent, it’s most likely a result of human interactions and what human beings have done in their emissions to the atmosphere, and the need for action is now.”

  50. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Prokaryote at 57 –

    Obama’s gratuitous adoption of Bush’s illegitimate 2005 baseline was early in his presidency – I’d guess around March or April 2009. The Financial Times referred yo it in an article at the time as far as I remember – Sadly their arkive is behind a paywall – or I’d find you a link.

    Pershing:- ““The United States is not backing away from the commitments our President made in Copenhagen. President Obama has made it clear that he remains committed to taking bold action to address the growing threat of global warming. He said so again last week.”

    Note that despite the demise of the senate bill, freeing Obama’s hands to use executive action for whatever target he chooses, all that is said is that Obama is not backing away from the Copenhagen pledge – of 3.67% off 1990 by 2020, of which just 1.67% is outstanding. There is no mention of advancing that pathetic target.



  51. Prokaryotes says:

    President Obama announced Friday morning a pledge to reduce the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2020.

  52. Prokaryotes says:

    “There is no mention of advancing that pathetic target.”

    80% reduction till 2050 but it is not ambitious – fast enough.

  53. Prokaryotes says:

    The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) faces a legal challenge by climate sceptics group the Climate Science Coalition which is taking the Crown Research Institute to court over the accuracy of its climate data.

    In a statement of claim which the coalition says it has filed with the High Court at Auckland, it calls for the New Zealand temperature record collated and maintained by NIWA to be “set aside” and that NIWA be required to produce a “full and accurate” temperature record.

  54. Prokaryotes says:

    International Climate Science Coalition”, Heartland Institute

    The ICSC site highlights news on climate skeptics from all over the world. It also propagates skeptics’ conspiracy theories on climate change.

    ICSC Executive Director Tom Harris gave a speech in which he discussed what he called “information sharing” and “coordinated local activism”: We need regular high-impact media coverage of the findings of leading scientists — not just one or two publications, but we need to have hundreds all over the world. We need to have a high degree of information sharing and cooperation between groups, so that when Vincent Gray for example has an article published in New Zealand, we can take the same piece and we can (say) submit it to newspapers all over North America and Europe.

    Then we have a nicely well-coordinated response, where letters to the editor and phone calls are made. “Congratulations on publishing that article!” You know, it’s interesting because I’ve had many of my articles opposed so strongly, by environmentalists through phone calls and letters to the editor, that they just simply dry up, they just won’t publish us again. So this does have feedback, I mean, these are people that run these newspapers, and they’re scared, and impressed, and encouraged, depending on the feedback they get.

  55. Prokaryotes says:

    Tim Patterson, Exxon funded Chairman ICSC

    Tim Patterson: He is also an author for Tech Central Station. He appeared in the Friends of Science video called “Climate Catastrophe Cancelled”. He was an invited climate specialist at a Canadian news conference which was put together by none other than columnist Tom Harris, who is also an Associate for APCO Worldwide. That event was funded by companies such as Imperial Oil, Talisman Energy, and a group of Canadian lime producers. We’ve hit the trifecta: oil, energy, and lime corporations.

    And wait… what about this APCO Worldwide? One of APCO’s front groups was The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), which helped Philip Morris discredit research that smoking was a cause of cancer and heart problems. After helping Big Tobacco, TASSC moved on to help global warming skeptics. So Patterson is associating with the same people and organizations that were behind Big Tobacco claiming there was no link between smoking and cancer.

  56. Prokaryotes says:

    FOS embraces that same small group of superannuated academics who have been so prominent recently in asking the Canadian government to back away from any policy action addressing the problem of climate change. The FOS Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Tim Ball, Dr. Sallie Baliunas, Dr. Chris de Freitas, Dr. Madhav Khandekar, Dr. Tad Murty, and Dr. Tim Patterson, were all signatories to the anti-climate science petition.

  57. Prokaryotes says:

    A scheme to dump quicklime into the oceans to sequester more carbon in their depths is being revived by a British management consultant with backing from Shell. First proposed back in the ’90s by Exxon engineer Haroon Kheshgi

    “If we discover we’ve overshot the amount of CO2 the environment can cope with, the carbon-negative process I’m describing can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said Tim Kruger, founder of, which has drawn seed funding from Shell

  58. Prokaryotes says:

    Rain contributes to cycling patterns of clouds

    Like shifting sand dunes, some clouds disappear in one place and reappear in another. New work this week in Nature shows why: Rain causes air to move vertically, which breaks down and builds up cloud walls. The air movement forms patterns in low clouds that remain cohesive structures even while appearing to shift about the sky, due to a principle called self-organization.

    Taken together, the set of experiments showed that rain causes open-cell clouds to form spontaneously, oscillate in the sky and resist change in the overall pattern. These are three characteristics of complex systems that self-organize and form a cell structure, such as flocks of birds or bubbles on a boiling surface.

  59. Prokaryotes says:

    Mankind must abandon earth or face extinction: Hawking
    Mankind’s only chance of long-term survival lies in colonising space, as humans drain Earth of resources and face a terrifying array of new threats, warned British scientist Stephen Hawking on Monday.
    “We are entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history,” said Hawking.

    “Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill.”

    If we want to survive beyond the next century, “our future is in space,” added the scientist. “That is why I’m in favour of manned, or should I say ‘personed’, space flight.”

    His comments came after he warned in a recent television series that mankind should avoid contact with aliens at all costs, as the consequences could be devastating.

  60. Prokaryotes says:

    Biochar could fight climate change

    The most comprehensive analysis yet of the worldwide potential of biochar — a charcoal-like substance — shows it could offset up to 1.8 billion metric tons annually of the world’s human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study.

    Biochar also can be used to improve poor soil and help it hold water, which can boost production of food crops, according to the study, which was co-authored by a Richland-based scientist.

    And the process used to make it — pyrolysis — yields energy and bio-oil that can be used as fuel.

  61. Prokaryotes says:

    MANILA, Philippines – Seven out of 10 Filipinos believe that climate change is a danger to both the environment and their families, a new survey by Pulse Asia revealed Monday.

  62. Prokaryotes says:

    Deadly fungus threat to insect-eating US bats

    North America’s little brown mytosis bat faces extinction within 16 years, major study finds

  63. Prokaryotes says:

    Coal-fired power stations win reprieve

    Exclusive: Government’s decision to put pollution standards ‘on hold’ raises possibility of dirtiest coal plants going ahead

  64. Prokaryotes says:

    “Both Lib Dem and Conservative MPs voted for the introduction of such a measure just a few months ago, and if they U-turn on this and fail to put this measure into their new energy law, how can they claim to be the greenest government ever?”

    The energy company Peel Power has already come forward with a proposal in Scotland to build a largely unabated coal plant.


  65. Prokaryotes says:

    County planners reject proposed offshore wind farm

    Scandia Wind and Havgul Clean Energy originally developed plans to build a 1,000-megawatt wind farm off the shore of Mason and Oceana counties. That plan, introduced in December 2009, would have placed 100 to 200 wind turbines in the area of Lake Michigan between the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant and Silver Lake State Park.

  66. Prokaryotes says:

    McKinley Museum wind turbine proposal rejected

    the wind turbine would provide an educational demonstration of alternative energy for students and honor President William McKinley’s legacy of promoting innovation.

    Don Nist, 75, of Jackson Township, said wind power at best never could come close to fulfilling the nation’s energy needs and claimed that turbines kill birds.

  67. Prokaryotes says:

    USA: Xcel Energy announces plan to reduce emissions in the state of Colorado

    Xcel Energy, a major provider of electricity and natural gas in the US west and southwest has announced plans to significantly reduce the CO2 emissions it produces from coal-fired power generation in the state of Colorado. The plan has three main components. The first of which is the retirement of 900MW of coal-fired generating capacity at its Valmont (186MW) and Cherokee (717MW) power plants by the end of 2017 and 2022, respectively. The Cherokee power plant will be retooled to provide 883MW of natural-fired capacity and the company is also looking to switch its 111MW Araphoe unit four to natural gas. Finally, Xcel Energy will retrofit around 950MW of coal-fired generation at its Pawnee (505MW) and Hayden (446MW) power plants with “modern emission control technology.”

  68. Prokaryotes says:

    The plan is partially in response to a state law passed in spring 2009, which requires a 70-80% reduction in NOx emissions by 2017. The plan would see such emissions fall in the targeted plants by 75% at the end of 2017 and by 89% at the end of 2022. The total investment required is estimated at around US$1.3bn, but is expected to save US$225m compared to the alternative approach of retrofitting all of the above plants with emissions controls. The company’s plan if brought to fruition would also reduce SOx emissions by 84% and mercury emissions by 85 per cent for the affected power plants. It would also enable Xcel Energy to comply with Colorado’s statewide CO2 reduction goal of 20% by 2020. The impact on electricity rates is anticipated to be an additional 1% annually over the next 10 years, well below original estimates of 4-6%.

  69. Prokaryotes says:

    2017 might be ice free – there is a total disconnect from the plans and actual climate change. Why not build a wind or solar plant for 1.3b? Methane/Natural Gas is bad for the atmosphere.

  70. Prokaryotes says:

    China’s state grid to invest US$40bn in ultra-high voltage transmission, government approves 24 power projects

    The State Grid Corporation of China has released a plan, under which CNY270bn (US$40bn) will be invested in the construction of new ultra-high voltage (UHV) transmission lines over the coming five years. The Corporation estimates that by 2020 UHV lined will be transmitting 84% of the 234GW of electricity generated by coal-fired power plants in Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia and Xinjang to the country’s central and eastern regions, together with 53GW of Hydropower. In related news, the central government approved 24 power projects in July … approval include a 1000MW coal-fire plant to be built by China Guodian Corporation in Hubei Province, two 600MW coal-fired units in Inner Mongolia and two 1000MW units in Guangdong to be built by China Datang Corp.

  71. Prokaryotes says:

    Mumbai oil spill, biggest ever in India
    Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told that the Mumbai oil spill is the biggest oil spill India has ever seen and it made substantial impact on the coastline.

    The minister told that the mangroves along the coast have been damaged extensively dur to the spill and only some of them will be able to regenerate.

  72. Prokaryotes says:

    Mining and oil boom propel foreign investment in pro-capitalist Colombia

    A full 80 percent of the $7.2 billion in direct foreign investment the country reaped last year went to petroleum and mining — with investment in the latter sector nearly doubling to $3.1 billion.

  73. Prokaryotes says:

    Brazil halts Petrobras oil platform, cites safety
    ANP regulator says seeking to protect worker safety Unions complained after vapor leak in July … a small fire broke out on Wednesday at the Petrobras P-35 platform

    The company said that fire, which did not affect platform operations, was also caused by a leak in a vapor pipe.

    Since the massive BP (BP.L: Quote) spill in the Gulf of Mexico, some environmentalists have raised questions about Brazil’s offshore oil industry, operating in increasingly deep waters.

    Petrobras and Brazilian authorities say safety standards are strong enough to continue deep water operations without threatening the environment.

  74. Prokaryotes says:

    Petrobras profits exceed expectations
    A buoyant market in Brazil and record production of oil and gas helped Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, exceed analysts’ expectations with profits of R$8.3bn in the second quarter.

    Petrobras plans to invest $224bn between 2010 and 2014 as it begins to produce oil from the potentially enormous “pre-salt” fields discovered in deep waters off its coast in 2007.

    To help fund its investment programme, the company plans to issue new shares as early as next month. The issue is expected to be the largest in history, raising at least $25bn.

  75. Prokaryotes says:

    Toxic gas leak from a chemical plant in China’s Zhejiang province forced the evacuation of over 2,000 people late Friday, officials said.

    Around 7 p.m. Friday, thick fumes of thiocarbamide gas were detected from inside a warehouse at the Hangzhou Hexiang Fine Chemical Co. Ltd. in Xiangfu town
    Residents nearby complained of a pungent odour and sore throats, even as their eyes began to water, a spokesman said.

  76. Prokaryotes says:

    Shell Says Oil Sabotage in Niger Delta on the Rise

    Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell says an oil spill this week in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta was caused by sabotage, and that such attacks are on the rise.

  77. Prokaryotes says:

    Enbridge CEO says spills are an inherent risk of oil pipelines

  78. Prokaryotes says:

    Oil leak threatens farmlands in Trinidad and Tobago

    A leaking oil pipeline belonging to state-owned Petrotrin has covered more than 30 acres of farmland in Trinidad and Tobago with some 200 barrels of crude, the country’s energy minister said Thursday.

    “The leak developed on one of their (Petrotrin’s) trunk lines from its main refinery in Pointe-a-Pierre”, Trinidad’s Energy minister Carolyn Seepersad Bachan said in a press briefing.

    “Because of the torrential rains across the country, the oil in that area had seeped into the Godineau river area”, she added.

  79. Prokaryotes says:

    There are reports of second leak that has spilled crude into the Gulf of Paria, but Seepersad and Petrotrin officials declined to confirm or deny the claims.

  80. Prokaryotes says:

    45% of Portugals’ Energy Now Come From Renewable Sources

    Five years ago, Portugal’s government promised that by 2010, 45% of the country’s energy will come from renewable sources (then, only 17 percent of Portugal’s grid came from renewables). Sounds impossible, but it’s true.

    The green energy is mostly extracted from hydro and wind resources. The Portuguese government privatized and restructured former state energy utilities to create a grid better suited to renewable power sources.

  81. Prokaryotes says:

    National Renewable Energy Goals And Progress

  82. Prokaryotes says:

    AGL venture plans $1b wind farm

    AGL Energy has signed an agreement with the New Zealand renewable energy company Meridian Energy to build the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere at Macarthur in south-west Victoria.

    The $1 billion 420 MW wind farm near Hamilton, 260 kilometres west of Melbourne, is due for completion early in 2013.

    It will have the capacity to power more than 220,000 average Victorian homes and abate more than 1.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year, the equivalent of taking more than 420,000 cars off the road, AGL said.

  83. Prokaryotes says:

    Mass evacuation in Pakistan (Video)

    An evacuation effort on a massive scale is continuing in Pakistan as tens of thousands of people flee another wave of floodwater in the south of the country.

    The swollen Indus river has burst its banks in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province on Monday, swamping hundreds of towns and villages.