Energy and Global Warming News for September 3rd: Amazon at lowest levels in 40 years; Water footprint calculator; 3,000 MW offshore wind for France by 2015

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"Energy and Global Warming News for September 3rd: Amazon at lowest levels in 40 years; Water footprint calculator; 3,000 MW offshore wind for France by 2015"

The drop has been caused by a lack of rain and high temperatures.

The drop has been caused by a lack of rain and high temperatures.

Amazon at lowest level for 40 years

Officials in the Peruvian city of Iquitos said the river level had fallen to 14.4ft, a point not seen in more than four decades, and was predicted to drop further.

Low levels have brought economic havoc in areas of Peru that depend on the Amazon for shipping, by denying boats a navigable river as well as usable ports and harbors.

At least six boats are stranded because of the lack of river flow over the past three weeks and several shipping companies have been forced to suspend service, leading to economic hardship in areas of Peru that depend on the Amazon for shipping. The drop has been caused by a lack of rain and high temperatures.

The Amazon is the second-longest river in the world, after the Nile, but discharges far more water at its mouth than any other.

It also drains more territory than any other, from Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Venezuela before running across Brazil and into the Atlantic.

Clean energy aid leadership from Norway

Norway has continued to live up to its clean energy reputation by publishing its first annual report on the Clean Energy for Development Initiative.  This details nearly $130m worth of funds spent by the Norwegian Government on clean energy projects across the developing world in 2008-9, double the amount budgeted by USAID for a variety of issues including clean energy aid.

Key to the initiative’s approach has been the electrification of small villages in remote areas and over 44% of the money has been spent on building transmission and distribution infrastructure.  The largest type of generation deployed has been hydroelectric, with 15% of expenditure going on these projects, some of which have been large scale but many of which have been small and localised.

Other forms of generation considered include wind, geothermal and biomass, each depending upon the particular needs of the country and neighbourhood within which the initiative is operating.  Rather pointedly, the report states that it spent 0% of its money on power generation from non-renewable sources.

Water footprint calculator

Every Drop Counts!

We live in a watery world, with the average American lifestyle fueled by nearly 2,000 gallons of H2O a day.

What may come as a surprise is that very little of that””only five percent””runs through toilets, taps, and garden hoses at home. Nearly 95 percent of your water footprint is hidden in the food you eat, energy you use, products you buy, and services you rely on.

Find out your water footprint, then pledge to dry it out, joining other nationalgeographic.com users who have already committed to saving thousands of gallons.

The more we save, the more water we leave for healthy ecosystems and a sustainable future.

France to have 3,000 MW of offshore wind by 2015

According to Agence France Presse (AFP), the French government will launch next month a tender for contracts of 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion) to build 3,000 MW of offshore wind capacity.

600 wind turbines will be implemented within five to ten sites in Normandy, Brittany and the regions of Pays de la Loire and Languedoc. They are scheduled to start producing electricity by 2015.

This may be only the beginning as the government wants to produce up to 6,000 MW via offshore wind by 2020.

By then the technology may enable us to build floating wind turbines with 10 MW of capacity each. This would allow this renewable energy source to generate more electricity without nobody even noticing.

It seems that France is more and more willing to play catch up with Denmark, the European pioneer in this renewable energy source. The United Kingdom also set aggressive wind energy targets earlier this year.  To date France has absolutely no offshore wind turbines.

Three gigawatts of capacity is enough to power the cities of Lyon and Marseille combined (around 1.3 million people).

This is as much capacity as two nuclear EPR reactors. However, wind is an intermittent energy source compared with nuclear (a nuclear reactor produces electricity 80 percent of the time while wind turbines are about 35 percent)

U.S. test shows water problem near natgas drill site

U.S. government officials urged residents of a Wyoming farming community near natural gas drilling sites not to use private well water for drinking or cooking because of chemical contamination.

“Sample results indicate that the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons and other chemical compounds in groundwater represents a drinking water concern,” the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement about tests of 19 water wells around the town of Pavillion.

The Wyoming investigation precedes a national study by the EPA into the safety of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”, in response to concern in Congress and in some communities near gas rigs in many states that human health is threatened by the process.

The tests in Pavillion found that 17 of the 19 wells tested contained petroleum hydrocarbons as well as napthalene, phenols and benzene, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a report issued late on Tuesday.

The tests are part of the agency’s first investigation into claims that toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are contaminating ground water.

But officials expressed no views about the source of the contamination.

“EPA has not reached any conclusions about how constituents of concern are occurring in domestic wells,” the report said.

Report says heat, not smart meters, hiked bills

After Pacific Gas & Electric, the giant California utility, began installing smart meters in the state’s Central Valley, the company was swamped with complaints from residents that their utility bills had increased.

But an independent review of the smart meters released Thursday found that the devices were functioning properly and attributed the high charges to a heat wave last year that coincided with their installation as well as poor customer service by P.G.&.E.

“They are accurately recording usage and throughout our evaluation we found no systemic issues,” Stacey Wood, an executive with the Structure Group, a Houston consulting company, said on Thursday at a meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission. “We did identify there were weakness in the focus on customer service.”

The utilities commission hired the Structure Group to test P.G.&.E’s smart meters and conduct a technical review.

The digital devices wirelessly transmit data on a home’s electricity and natural gas usage to utilities while allowing residents to monitor their electricity consumption in real time. Smart meters are considered a linchpin for the development of a smart power grid and tens of millions of the gadgets are set to be installed nationwide in coming years.

But the rollout has been anything but smooth in California, where nearly 10 million smart meters will be deployed.

“By the fall of 2009, the C.P.U.C. had received over 600 smart meter consumer complaints about ‘unexpectedly high’ bills and allegations that the new electric smart meters were not accurately recording electric usage, almost all of which were from P.G.&E.’s service area,” according to the Structure report.

The consulting firm said it then tested more than 750 smart meters in the laboratory and in the field and reviewed utility account records for 1,378 customers, including those that had complained of abnormally high bills.

Tibetan nomads struggle as grasslands disappear from the roof of the world

Like generations of Tibetan nomads before him, Phuntsok Dorje makes a living raising yaks and other livestock on the vast alpine grasslands that provide a thatch on the roof of the world.

But in recent years the vegetation around his home, the Tibetan plateau, has been destroyed by rising temperatures, excess livestock and plagues of insects and rodents.

The high-altitude meadows are rarely mentioned in discussions of global warming, but the changes to this ground have a profound impact on Tibetan politics and the world’s ecological security.

For Phuntsok Dorje, the issue is more down to earth. He is used to dramatically shifting cloudscapes above his head, but it is the changes below his feet that make him uneasy.

“The grass used to be up to here,” Phuntsok says, indicating a point on his leg a little below the knee. “Twenty years ago, we had to scythe it down. But now, well, you can see for yourself. It’s so short it looks like moss.”

The green prairie that used to surround his tent has become a brown desert. All that is left of the grasslands here are yellowing blotches on a stony surface riddled with rodent holes.

It is the same across much of this plateau, which encompasses an area a third of the size of the US.

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36 Responses to Energy and Global Warming News for September 3rd: Amazon at lowest levels in 40 years; Water footprint calculator; 3,000 MW offshore wind for France by 2015

  1. Ken Johnson says:

    3,000 MW of offshore wind “without nobody even noticing”?? :)

  2. David says:

    Wasn’t Norway the country that James Hansen blasted recently for investing in Canada’s oil sands? That doesn’t sound like a 0% investment to me.

  3. Peter says:

    Does not the Amazon become a desert at 3 degree C?

  4. John atcheson says:

    #2 David — I noticed the same thing. Tar sands are a GHG nightmare, a water nightmare, and an ecological nightmare. Not sure Norway deserves Kudos until they drop their investments in this area.

  5. John McCormick says:

    Amazon River:

    Evapo-transpiration requires vegetation and provides rainfall.

    John McCormick

  6. Sasparilla says:

    And now the other shoe starts to fall – “EPA to issue more rules in Climate Fight”:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6814Y620100902

    Everyone who thought this administration was going to let the EPA do better than the proposed DOA Climate Legislation (that wasn’t nearly enough anyways) may be in for a rude awakening (the official below is an “unnamed EPA Official”):

    “”With legislation you almost certainly get more emissions reductions than you get with existing authorities” that the EPA can use under the Clean Air Act, the official said.

    And analysts say the EPA will not be able to achieve the far deeper cuts needed to help prevent the worst effects of climate change such as floods, droughts and heatwaves.”

    The EPA folks are already leaking out that they won’t be able to do as good as the lame climate bill legislation. Not surprising when you step back and see how friendly the Admin has been to the fossil fuel industries, but definitely not what many people are expecting to be coming from this administration’s EPA.

    Definitely doesn’t sound like “the stick” to get the fossil fuel industry to scream / lobby for climate legislation either. We’ll have to wait and see what the impact of the EPA rules are when they come out, but its not sounding particularly good at this point.

  7. David Smith says:

    Thank you, Joe, for calling attention to the water situation and coming crisis. All the pressure that has been placed on residential consumers in the form of installation of low flush toilets, water-saver showerheads, etc… to save water while allowing industrial and agricultural consumers free reign is kind’a like suggesting to the public that switching to cpf light bulbs, etc… is all you have to do to stop global warming. These efforts obviously raise awareness of the issue, but don’t even begin to get the job done of correcting the problems.

    I think a person can save more clean water by eating less meat than by all of their daily showers and toilet flushes combined. Municipalities calculate residential water use at 30 – 45 gallons per day per person. I am not certain how NG came up with 2,000 gallons/day, but 30/2,000 is 1.5 percent (residential) of total water usage.

  8. Lewis C says:

    Sasparilla at 6 –

    so we’re 20 months into this presidency and as you say
    “We’ll have to wait and see what the impact of the EPA rules are when they come out, but its not sounding particularly good at this point.”

    At best this displays a total lack of urgency on the administration’s part. Over two years just to list what they might do somewhere down the road ?

    Given that much of the APA target of a 3.67% GHG cut off 1990 by 2020 was met by the recession, and, as the EPA is now talking down its own target below that 3.67%, it would appear that the Whitehouse’s actual aspiration is to regulate for a near-zero cut in the next ten years.

    It is of course nonsense to claim that this is the best the president can do by executive action. But it is also worth noting that regulation alone is essentially meaningless: without agreeing a global treaty with its declining cap on the nations’ emission rights, any fossil fuels displaced by US regulations will be bought and burnt elsewhere.

    In reality, a covert policy of inaction is in force in the US that is required by the inherited US policy of a ‘brinkmanship of inaction’ with China et al. Until that brinkmanship starts to be exposed to the US public, that policy seems unlikely to be reviewed. Until it is reviewed, increasingly lame excuses for domestic inaction, and for the president’s negligent absence from the issue, seem likely to continue.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  9. Michael Tucker says:

    All we have is the EPA and whatever measures the individual states are able to pass. I don’t expect to see congress, or even “will not accept inaction” Obama (he should never have said that since he has no power to back it up), taking any action to limit greenhouse gas emissions this year. If jobs and the economy continue as they are now, no candidate in 2012 will want to touch it either.

    Even if by some miracle the US should sign the UN treaty it would still have to be ratified by the Senate and that would require a two-thirds majority.

  10. catman306 says:

    The Huffington Post had this interesting headline but the link to the NYT wants me to subscribe:

    BP Warns Congress: Ban On New Drilling Could Stop Payments On Oil Spill Claims

    Is this the end of capitalism and the beginning of something else?

  11. paulm says:

    Openness urged on UK’s emissions
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11172239

    Robert Watson says that if emissions “embedded” in imported goods are counted, UK emissions are up, not down.

    “At face value UK emissions look like they have decreased 15% or 16% since 1990. But if you take in carbon embedded in our imports, our emissions have gone up about 12%. We’ve got to be more open about this.”

  12. Everett Smith says:

    No permanent drought on the amazon. Peru had flooding several months ago.

  13. catman306 says:

    Grist has the story on BP’s extortion attempt.

    “David Nagle, executive vice president for BP America, told The New York Times that legislation before Congress could have an impact on the company’s ability to compensate losses from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

    Of particular concern is a bill passed by the House of Representatives on July 30 that includes an amendment banning any company from receiving permits to drill on the Outer Continental Shelf if more than 10 fatalities had occurred at its offshore or onshore facilities, or if it had numerous environmental violations. BP is not mentioned by name in the legislation, but is the only company that currently meets that description.”

    http://www.grist.org/article/2010-09-03-bp-spill-costs-hit-8-billion-as-crews-unearth-clues/

  14. Robert says:

    “Norway has continued to live up to its clean energy reputation…”

    Sadly not matched by hard facts. Norway’s wealth is built on North Sea oil and as such they do not have any economic reason to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Per-capita emissions are amongst the worst in Europe and rising (currently about 2.7 tonnes of carbon per person per year). By comparison their next door neigbour, Sweden, has steadily reduced emissions since 1970 and is now at about 1.6.

    Norway: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/nor.html
    Sweden: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/swe.html

    Mind you, even Norway’s per-capita emissions are only about half of:

    US: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/usa.html
    Canada: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/can.html
    Australia: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/aus.html

  15. Inverse says:

    The decrease in water is largely due to the El Niño weather phenomenon, the head of Peru’s national meteorology and hydrology service Senamhi in Loreto, Marco Paredes, said.

    “The main cause of this lack of precipitation is that it is not raining in the basins of the Ucayali, Huallaga and Marañon rivers,” Paredes said, adding that that precipitation is falling in Colombia and Venezuela.

    “Even though El Niño ended in May, it has left consequences such as the movement of the rains, which have also affected Brazil.”

  16. Lewis C says:

    Michael at 10 –

    When you say that the president as no power to back up his election-refrain of “I will not accept inaction” it seems you’re overlooking a number of options that would be open to him if he had the will to use them – i.e. if he were not constrained by the demands of his inherited foreign policy regarding climate.

    Those options include:

    ceasing to give the deniers free reign for their propaganda, and leaving climate scientists wholly undefended from their slanders, and instead have the corruption of the deniers’ covert organization and funding exposed to public scrutiny, while bringing his own and his staffs’ full weight to bear on their profiteering dishonesty and distortions;

    he could also launch a steady campaign of public education on the climate threat both to America and the world, and highlight US responsibility for avoiding the serial famines to which US pollution past and present would be a leading contributor, while also providing a balancing focus on the technical and cultural solutions and their employment and prosperity potentials;

    he could require a crash program of stringent energy efficiency goals by all agencies and departments of government (whose annual carbon debt is vast), with savings being redirected first to reward the most innovative energy supply projects for application in developing countries to assist with their “leapfrog” potential; and second to encourage those carbon control projects in the US (with private sector match-funding) with the best employment potentials;

    and he could formally declare climate destabilization to be “a real and present danger to the security of the nation,” thus transforming both his own powers on the issue and the pressures that could be applied to obstructive organizations.

    I’d observe that it is the will to make these seminal changes that is lacking, not the power.

    I’d fully agree that if the present covert policy of inaction is maintained, then short of say, losing Miami, addressing the issue will be harder by 2012, particularly with the projected shortfall of oil supply spiking energy prices way up again.

    Regarding the necessity of a US signature on the global climate treaty needing ratification by 2/3rds of the senate, it is worth noting that if the Whitehouse were interested in negotiating a treaty at present, it would be perfectly capable of agreeing a format whose incentives for participation would become irresistible to the senate within a few years. This would be a fait accompli, and is well within the power of the president to achieve.

    Once the policy of brinkmanship is overturned, and the Whitehouse no longer has need of the deniers as an (increasingly lame) excuse for its inaction, we will see some surprising changes becoming possible. But the primary change will be finding the will to review the policy of brinkmanship with China.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  17. From Peru says:

    “Officials in the Peruvian city of Iquitos said the river level had fallen to 14.4ft”

    Finally someone notes the events in Peru!

    When record rainfall fell over the Peruvian Amazon in January-February, bringing deadly floods and mudslides to large regions of my country, nobody posted here anything about that!

    Now it seems we are on track to a worst drought that the Great 2005 Amazon Drought. Elsewere in the Amazon, fires are widespread:

    NASA OBSERVATORY:”Fires in South America, Posted August 26, 2010″
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=45449

    Not really good news…

  18. Omega Centauri says:

    About those smart meters, I bet few of the whiners will admit it was their high use of A/C during a heatwave that caused the bills to skyrocket. They’d rather believe PG&E is out to get them. The company seems to get weather and timing wrong. They should have installed them in the early fall, then customers would have seen falling bills. I did hear about one case, where the installers crossed the metering wires in an apartment, and the guys who conserve power were given their energy-hog neighbors bill. So there have been some screwups. They wasted money on mine, which was replaced with a netmeter after five months. Don’t know why they needed to do that, any meter can run backwards. Lots of needless waste in the system, if you ask me.

  19. UK software engineers simplify NASA’s GISTEMP climate analysis software: 1/8 the size, much clearer, same results: http://bit.ly/ClimCode

  20. Peter says:

    From the UCLA Newsroom

    migration to the new ‘Sunbelt’ northern climes in the 21st Century

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/global-warming-s-silver-lining-169919.aspx

  21. dyuane says:

    I think these day we are going to live in the extremes. superdry and then superwet.

  22. catman306 says:

    dyuane: So picture this. No rain for months, maybe years, so most of the vegetation dies. Then comes the super rainstorm. Besides floods in the valleys, hillsides slide away, severe erosion almost everywhere. Then the rain lets up and all of that silt and mud harden as the desert returns. Rinse and repeat. Alluvial fans where we’ve never seen them. Everywhere.

    I’ve never lived in the desert, but there are some great photos here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alluvial_fan

  23. Ronald Brak says:

    With reguard to the article on France’s wind power: While wind turbines typically average around a third of their capacity, this is not the same as their availability, which is the amount of time they actually produce electricity. Generally, a wind turbine will produce electricity about 80% of the time.

  24. quokka says:

    “It seems that France is more and more willing to play catch up with Denmark”

    Ehh??? Denmark’s CO2 emissions per kWh of electricity, and fossil fuel per kWh are several times those of France. Per capita CO2 emissions are at least 60% higher.

    IEA charts showing electricity production by fuel source:

    http://www.iea.org/stats/pdf_graphs/DKELEC.pdf

    http://www.iea.org/stats/pdf_graphs/FRELEC.pdf

  25. suskun says:

    i like your articles, let me bookmark you ,thank you agian

  26. FedUpWithDenial says:

    We are living in the epoch that Wallace Broecker twenty years ago called “the CO2 super-interglacial,” otherwise known as the Anthropocene. Yet the public as a whole is still largely brain-dead on the subject, living in the Dark Ages. Catman306 and dyuane (comments #23 and 24), like most ClimateProgress readers, have waked up to the contemporary reality. Everett Smith (comment #13) obviously hasn’t:

    “No permanent drought on the amazon [sic]. Peru had flooding several months ago.”

    In other words, nothing is really happening. Despite “climate alarmism,” today’s droughts, floods, storms, etc. are just business as usual. But let’s take a deeper look. Drought and flood, associated respectively with unusually strong atmospheric High- and Low-pressure regimes, are the extremes of the planetary hydrological cycle. Global warming intensifies these extremes, making the Highs higher and the Lows lower; droughts become more severe and protracted, while storm-related flooding and other effects become worse. Globally, total precipitation increases, since warming oceans mean more evaporation (clue: warmer air holds more moisture), but much of that extra moisture has a long atmospheric lifetime as uncondensed steam, which allows sunlight in but traps infrared heat, opposing cloud formation and favoring persistent drought. Everywhere except in the driest deserts, where Highs are perpetual, one extreme tends to follow the other in an irregular cycle.

    There are latitudinal differences in how these effects play out. Normally wet tropical areas such as the rainforests of South America and Southeast Asia, whose climate is heavily influenced by the phases of the Pacific Ocean ENSO cycle, are seeing much more extreme inter-annual wet-dry fluctuations under global warming, with the drying tendency being especially worrisome since the combination of heat and drought reduces river flows, kills trees, makes forests wildfire-prone, adds net CO2 to the atmosphere, and promotes desertification. The survivability of the world’s tropical forests under global warming is very much in doubt.

    Simultaneously, the normally dry subtropics are shifting poleward and becoming even hotter and drier, tending to make these areas less habitable in the future, if habitable at all—the definition of “Hell.”

    The formerly temperate mid-latitudes, by contrast, are seeing both Hell AND High Water—predominantly hot, dry conditions in some years; in others, huge rainfall excesses, most of that delivered in five or six extreme “events.” An unwelcome tendency in this direction has been apparent for some time, suggesting that in the future many mid-latitude areas will experience an annual cycle comprised of a long dry season alternating with a brief wet season or two which might or might not be wet, and might be too wet. Sorry.

    Thus, look for future droughts, however severe, to reverse themselves eventually—but with a bang. The name for the bang is “tropical weather,” which under global warming might happen at almost any time of year even in the mid-latitudes. The bottom won’t just fall out; it won’t stop falling out. It will be like the legendary Biblical Flood. If you aren’t completely washed away and drowned, you’ll feel like old Noah, wondering where the latest drought went. But don’t worry—it’ll be back, probably worse than before.

    Today’s worst droughts provide nothing more than a faint foretaste of future ones. In those, crops will wither, the earth will literally turn brown and die, wildfires will rage, and the soil will crack and turn to windblown dust. Then inundating rains will erode the earth and wash away whatever remains. That, through cycle after cycle of ruinous destruction, is our likely future under unmitigated global warming.

    Food? If you’re one of the unlucky survivors, you’ll subsist on a sparse diet of primarily wild grasses, weeds, snails, rats, and roaches, eaten raw and whole when you can get them. You’ll have to harvest and/or catch them yourself, of course. Sorry.

  27. Bustefaen says:

    PLEASE DON’T BELIEVE THE NORWEGIAN HYPE!

    It is a good thing that Norway has spent $130M during the last couple of years in renewable energy initiatives in poor countries. This is, however, less than 1/10 of our (I am an Norwegian economist and author) INITIAL investment in Canadian tar sands through Statoil – a company 67% owned and thus fully controlled by the Norwegian state. Once in production, Statoil’s tar sand operation in Alberta will result in annual CO2 emissions considerably higher than those from all Norwegian vehicles, private and commercial. That is by Statoil’s own estimates.

    Norway is the world’s third largest exporter of gas and the fifth largest exporter of oil. Our financial “oil fund” – the state savings from 40 years of exporting fossil fuels fund currently stands at approximately 500 billion USD. It is the world’s third largest investor, after similar funds owned by Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, and controls more than 1% of the world’s (and 2% of Europe’s) stock market equity.

    Meantime, we are way behind on achieving our promised Kyoto goals, even though they allowed us a 1 % INCREASE over the 1990 emissions level, while most other participating countries, of course, are supposed to decrease theirs.

    In short, Norway has four strategies for battling the climate crisis:

    1)
    Promise high goals for 2020, 2030, 2050 etc, without backing these with any useful strategies on how to achieve them – which isn’t much of a problem, since it will be up to other generations of politicians to explain why the goals were not met.

    2)
    Rely extensively on a cap and trade system that can easily been shown to be deeply flawed and ineffective. Essentially, our plan is to continue to export oil, gas and coal (from Svalbard), and use part of the proceeds to buy the cheapest available international offsets.

    3)
    Our widely ridiculed “technological moon landing”, i.e. the capture and storage of CO2 emissions from the production of natural gas. This was promised by our prime minister during his televised New Year speech in 2006/2007, to be implemented in 2014. Now the decision even to make the necessary investment has been postponed until after the 2013 elections, and thus to a government not yet known. The current government are far, far behind in the polls, and the opposition are generally not in favour of a project so closely connected with our current prime minister.

    4)
    Paying third world countries to save their natural forests (we have mostly cut down our own). While this is certainly a good idea, our experiences so far are very much underwhelming. There may have been some improvement in the Brazilian Amazon. In Congo, funds are available, but not the infrastructure – so they are sitting idle. In Indonesia, the current agreement allow the authorities to receive USD 1 billion per year, while still cutting their entire rain forest this century. In Guyana, the rate of deforestation can increase by at least 50%, maybe even double, yet the country will still receive a full payout from the Norwegian government.

    These are just some main points. In my new book, “Self deception – Norway and the climate crisis” I of course go into much more detail, as well as provide documentation for all claims. I don’t suppose I violate any rules by linking to it here, as I assume very few of you read Norwegian! :-)

    http://www.pax.no/index.php?ID=Bok&ID2=Vis&counter=1760

    My main point is this: Don’t fall into the trap most Norwegians have. What our government is doing, is to pay a very small percentage of our profits from the export of oil and gas to greenwash our image. It doesn’t even measure up to our first, small investments in tar sands and shale gas. Professor James Hansen was absolutely right in stating this – on TV and in any available media – while visiting Norway in June to receive the 2010 Sophie prize. I had the pleasure of meeting him at that occasion, something that unfortunately made a bigger impression on me than our prime minister, Mr Stoltenberg.

    Prime minister Stoltenber is, by the way, an economist such as myself, except his degree was taken on the optimal distribution of income from petroleum resources.

  28. Robert says:

    Bustefaen – thank-you for taking the time to write your comment. It is an interesting (if depressing) insight into the mindset of an economy almost totally dependent on fossil fuel. Any chance that your book will be published in English?

  29. Lewis C says:

    Bustefaen –

    thanks for your very informative post.

    I’d been wondering about Norway’s leading role in the REDD circus:
    now I understand it better.

    Getting your book published in English would be very helpful, as many nations have lobbies attempting this sort of deception, and a case study of an advanced example would be a godsend in blocking their dishonest stupidity.

    I’d recommend Earthscan Books in London as a starting point.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  30. _Flin_ says:

    A suggestion for today’s news:
    Scientists at Cambridge found a way to create selfregenerating Solar Cells, resulting in “an increased photoconversion efficiency of more than 300% over 168 hour” and “indefinite extension of the system lifetime”
    Peer reviewed article:
    http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchem.822.html (subs. req.)
    Blogged about:
    http://www.science20.com/news_articles/scientists_mimic_chloroplasts_meaning_solar_cells_fix_themselves

  31. fj2 says:

    Amazing:

    “Scientists find evidence discrediting theory Amazon was virtually unlivable”

    ” . . . the Amazon, was instead home to an advanced, even spectacular civilization that maanged the forest and enriched infertile soil to feed thousands.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090302302_pf.html

    re: “Amazon at lowest level for 40 years”

  32. fj2 says:

    “Bedbugs? Other Strange Invaders Threaten Much Wider Damage”

    And the disruptions to the environment go well beyond invasive creatures, like the dire report this summer of drastic declines, probably because of higher temperatures, in the ocean phytoplankton that support much of the life on earth. Weather is not climate, but in this hottest summer ever recorded in New York, in the earth’s hottest decade ever measured, one historically torrid year after another, it get increasingly difficult to credibly refute the notion that human behavior is affecting the earth’s climate, just as it is affecting those forests, lakes, and trees.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/06/nyregion/06towns.html

  33. Bustefaen says:

    Robert & Lewis C,

    Thank you both. My book was just released here in Norway, so these are early days. The first few reviews have been very favourable, and there’s been some suitably hard-hitting interviews in the political press. Notably, one newspaper close to the current government had illustrated my interview with a photo of our smiling PM and his cabinet in front of the King’s castle, with “CLIMATE HYPOCRITES” in huge letters as the caption. Kinda liked that one. :-)

    While it is too early to tell if there will be an English edition, this is certainly something I will look into in the near future, along with my publishers. I am sure we’ll contact Earthscan; I’ve read a number of their books in my research process.

  34. Joe Earth says:

    River level lowest in 4 decades. Doesn’t that mean that 40 years ago, it was even lower? 40 years isn’t a very long time.