Energy and global warming news for January 17, 2011: Bill Koch’s dirty money backs Cape Wind opposition; Glacier melt in Peru becomes more than a climate issue, threatening regional instability

Bill Koch: The Dirty Money Behind Cape Wind Opposition

Our report, “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine,” exposed Charles and David Koch, the billionaire oilmen who control Koch Industries, as a chief source of funding for the climate denial machine. As it turns out, doing everything possible to delay the clean energy revolution is something of a family business. We’ve released a dossier on Bill Koch, David’s twin brother and the principal funder of opposition to Cape Wind, the project to build the nation’s largest wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts.

Bill Koch made his fortune through his privately-held, carbon-intensive company, Oxbow. (Koch founded Oxbow with the fortune he received from suing his brothers in 1983 after they ousted him from the family business.) Oxbow Corporation, with $3.7 billion in yearly sales and over 1200 employees, sells 10 million metric tons of petroleum coke and 8 million metric tons of steam coal annually.

After making a killing peddling dirty energy, Bill Koch turns around and uses his immense personal wealth to fund the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the primary group that finds every possible way to delay Cape Wind from moving forward. Even worse, he pays lobbyists through his Oxbow corporation to try and quietly kill the wind farm project altogether.

We compiled the full story behind Bill Koch into a brief dossier which you can read below or download by right-clicking here: Bill Koch: The Dirty Money Behind Cape Wind Opposition.

See also “New Yorker exposes Koch brothers along with their greenwashing and whitewashing Smithsonian exhibit” and “From promoting acid rain to climate denial “” over 20 years of David Koch’s polluter front groups“).

Glacier melt in Peru becomes more than a climate issue

HUARAZ, Peru – Glacier melt hasn’t caused a national crisis in Peru, yet. But high in the Andes, rising temperatures and changes in water supply over the last 40 years have decimated crops, killed fish stocks and forced villages to question how they will survive for another generation.

Without international help to build reservoirs and dams and improve irrigation, the South American nation could become a case study in how climate change can destabilize a strategically important region, according to Peruvian, U.S. and other officials.

“Think what it would be like if the Andes glaciers were gone and we had millions and millions of hungry and thirsty Southern neighbors,” said former CIA Director R. James Woolsey.

Peru is home to 70 percent of the world’s tropical glaciers, which are also found in Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile. Peru’s 18 mountain glaciers, including the world’s largest tropical ice mass, are critical to the region’s water sources for drinking, irrigation and electricity.

Glaciers in the South American Andes are melting faster than many scientists predicted; some climate change experts estimate entire glaciers across the Andes will disappear in 10 years due to rising global temperatures, creating instability across the globe as they melt.

See also “Another one bites the dust, literally: Bolivia’s 18,000 year-old Chacaltaya glacier is gone.”

If Peru and its allies don’t fund and create projects to conserve water, improve decrepit water infrastructure and regulate runoff from glaciers within five years, the disappearance of Andean glaciers could lead to social and economic disaster, said Alberto Hart, climate change adviser at Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“This will become a problem for the United States,” he said. “When you have a dysfunctional country, you have a problem for the entire region.”

The United States spent $30 million on climate change assistance in Peru in fiscal year 2010, according to documents provided by the State Department. The funding, allocated as part of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, went mostly to preserving the Amazon rainforest in Peru.

Peruvian officials would hardly turn away money to preserve the Amazon. But the immediate problem is adaptation to rapid glacier melt, Hart said….

The Peruvian government is asking Washington and other allies for at least $350 million every year through 2030 to build reservoirs and dams, and improve irrigation, said Hart.

Japan, Australia and Switzerland also have offered assistance for climate change, Hart said. The World Bank is also working in Peru to monitor water supplies and implement drought-resistant agriculture, part of a larger climate change project that includes several Andean nations, according to Walter Vergara, a World Bank engineer who started the project in 2004.

But Peruvian officials say the United States has a majority share of the responsibility to help Peru, because of the close trade alliance between the two nations, and because the United States is the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases….

Bolivia and Ecuador are also threatened by glacier melt and Colombia’s costal and riverside cities are being wiped out by floods and landslides – disasters that are only expected to get worse, according to a study by the Pew Center on Climate Change.

Climate change is “a significant threat” to the region, and the United States must “really come to terms” with the security challenges it poses, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Arturo Valenzuela said recently….

“It used to take you two or three hours walking to reach the ice. But now you have to walk five, six hours to reach ice,” said Maximo Juan Malpaso Carranza, a farmer in Utupampa, a small community high in the Cordillera Blanca.

“We all get water from there,” he said, pointing to Huascar¡n. “But if the ice disappears, there won’t be any more water.”

More than 2 million people, stretching from the Andes to the coastal cities, get their drinking water and irrigation from rivers fed by glacier runoff from Cordillera Blanca. But research by Cesar Portocarrero, the Peruvian government’s lead glacier scientist, shows the Cordillera Blanca has lost 30 percent of its glaciers since 1970.

Most of Peru’s agriculture is fed by water from the Andes. Glacier-fed rivers also support the nation’s largest hydroelectric plants. Lima, the world’s second-largest desert city, is almost totally dependent on Andean rivers from the Cordillera Central, where some mountains have lost more than 60 percent of their glaciers in the last 40 years.

Water conflicts have been frequent in southern Peru over the last few years, and glacier melt will create even more across the country, and, in extreme cases, spreading to neighboring countries, said retired Maj. Gen. Luis Palomino Rodriguez, head of Peru’s National Civil Defense Institute, in an interview.

The Pentagon is starting to address the impacts of climate change. It gave the Southern Command, in charge of Latin America, $600,000 to develop a mapping tool that will allow Latin America and the United States to share information about climate change risks. It is also spending $1.4 million to study the climate change effects on foreign military bases….

Peru has taken steps, but lacks resources. It created a national strategy on climate change in 2003 and has set up a Ministry of Environment with oversight of climate change programs. Officials are working with USAID and non-profit organizations to build reservoirs in Andean communities and monitor water flow from the glaciers.

“We may think that current wait-and-see policies are adequate to the task,” said Chad Briggs, Minerva Chair for Energy and Environmental Security with the U.S. Air Force. “Peru may be a looming example of how that is not the case.”

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40 Responses to Energy and global warming news for January 17, 2011: Bill Koch’s dirty money backs Cape Wind opposition; Glacier melt in Peru becomes more than a climate issue, threatening regional instability

  1. catman306 says:

    Air crashes in the Andes that occurred many decades ago are being exposed by the melting ice.

    Melting on Andean peak reveals pilot’s frozen body
    The New York Times

    First published Jan 15 2011 04:56PM
    Updated Jan 16, 2011 11:55PM
    La Paz, Bolivia • In the haunts of this city where climbers gather over plates of grilled llama and bottles of Pacena beer to swap tales of mountaineering derring-do, they feign boredom when talk turns to the 19,974-foot-high Huayna Potosi, a jagged Andean peak that looms over La Paz.

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    Lancashire shale gas drilling being done ‘by the book’

    The chief executive of a firm which is drilling for shale gas in Lancashire has sought to reassure residents and environmentalists that it is safe.

    Cuadrilla Resources has been drilling on land near Kirkham and is due to start extracting gas soon.

    But the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research is urging the government to stop the drilling until all implications are understood.

    Officials in the United States are investigating claims that shale gas has polluted water supplies.

    But Mr Miller said problems with extracting shale gas were “very rare”.

    He said it was crucial to ensure the well is correctly designed.

    “We want to meet or exceed all the UK regulations for achieving well integrity and making a leak-free well that is going to last 50 to 100 years,” he added.

    Great! The well will continue to spew poison long after humans civilization is gone …

  3. Prokaryotes says:

    Scientists call for UK shale-gas moratorium

    As shale gas is found in Lancashire, report says drilling should be banned until potential environmental damage is understood

    The UK should cease all shale gas exploration until the long term environmental consequences of exploiting the resource are better understood, scientists have said today as reports suggested the first British shale gas deposits have been found near Blackpool.

    Removing the gas entails drilling into shale formations before injecting water and chemicals to break up the rock, releasing pockets of natural gas that supporters insist burns cleaner than oil or coal.

    But a report published by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and commissioned by the Co-operative Group drew on evidence from the US to suggest extracting shale gas brings a “significant risk” of water contamination, could divert funding from renewable energy, and may increase atmospheric levels of CO2.


  4. Prokaryotes says:

    Climate change driving uranium demand

    Worldwide interest in nuclear power — and the money to be gained by supplying fuel for it — is part of what’s driving international decisions to resume uranium mining here.

    Northern Arizona has some of the higher-grade uranium ore deposits in North America, second only to a region in Canada, meaning more bang for the mining and transportation dollar.

  5. Prokaryotes says:

    UK must urge World Bank to abandon ‘dirty’ fossil fuels

    World Bank funding for coal-fired power stations, which produce massive carbon emissions that contribute to climate change, has soared 40-fold over the past five years to hit a record $4.4bn (£2.8bn) in 2010.

    Are Humans to Stupid to prevent Climate Change? Fossil Energy = Disaster!

  6. Chris Winter says:

    “(Koch founded Oxbow with the fortune he received from suing his brothers in 1983 after they ousted him from the family business.)”

    Charming. Wasn’t there a soap opera with a premise much like this? Dynasty, maybe? Or… was it Dallas? (I didn’t watch either.)
    ‘Dallas’ Soap Opera Oil Baron Ditches Oil for Solar Power (Videos)

  7. Prokaryotes says:

    Sakhalin II construction threatens endangered gray whales

    The construction of a third oil platform for the Shell-led Sakhalin II energy project may threaten a critically endangered population of gray whales off Russia’s eastern coast, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said on Monday.

    The company, which already has two platforms in the Russian Far East, announced in December its plans to build another one near the crucial feeding habitat of the gray whale population.

    “The construction and operation of an additional off-shore platform could have numerous negative impacts on the whales, potentially disrupting feeding behavior and increasing the chance of fatal ship strikes,” WWF said in a statement. “Also, a third platform heightens the risk of an environmentally catastrophic oil spill in this sensitive habitat.”

  8. Prokaryotes says:

    The company name “Royal Dutch Shell”

    The multi-billion-dollar project, led by Royal Dutch Shell, has also been accused of inflicting large-scale damage on Sakhalin’s ecosystem, including illegal deforestation, the dumping of toxic waste, and soil erosion.

  9. Prokaryotes says:

    Nasa energy-efficient airplanes may fly in 2025

    Nasa has revealed three new designs for energy-efficient airplanes that may be commercialised as early as 2025, which are the fruits of contracts it awarded to Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

    The companies were awarded contracts that call them to develop and demonstrate cleaner and highly efficient ‘super plane’ concepts this year.

    All of the designs have stringent limits on minimum speed, cargo weight and range, with the prototypes being required to fly at 85 per cent the speed of sound with a range of around 7,000 miles.

    Nasa reportedly said the new air craft designs have the potential to be used in commercial flights in 2025, depending on the time it takes for the companies to develop them.

    The launch coincides with a new range of energy-efficient engines that Nasa has launched through its General Aviation Propulsion (GAP) programme, which it promises will set the bar in light aircraft affordability and performance.

    The GAP programme has already seen the agency develop the efficient and low fuel consumption Turbofan engine, which it said has enabled a new ‘class’ of efficient and fast small jets.

  10. Prokaryotes says:

    Despite Subtle Differences, Global Temperature Records in Close Agreement

    Last week Zach reported on the announcements made by NOAA and NASA concerning the year 2010 and its place in the list of warmest years on record.

    The statistics placed 2010 as tying with 2005 as the warmest year in the 131-year instrument record.

    NASA’s Adam Voiland, a member of the Earth Science News Team, has taken the time to write up a really great post on the NASA news site explaining why, even though there might be differences in the announcements made by various agencies — GISS, NCDC, the MET Office — they are actually all in rather close agreement. The following starts off with a quote in response to the claim that the three datasets vary a great deal:

    “In reality, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Hansen. Global temperatures have continued to rise steadily. “The three official records vary slightly because of subtle differences in the way we analyze the data, but they agree extraordinarily well,” said Reto Ruedy, one of Hansen’s colleagues at GISS who helps analyze global surface temperatures.

    All three records show peaks and valleys that vary in virtual sync with each other since 1880. All three show particularly rapid warming in the last few decades. And all three show the last decade is the warmest in the instrumental record.

  11. “The risk is gathering momentum now, scientists say, due to rising temperatures in the atmosphere, which has generally made weather patterns more volatile.”

    (AP opts for euphemism in characterizing reasons why potential California Superstorms are becoming a greater possibility.)

  12. Prokaryotes says:

    Banned pesticides found in pregnant US women

    A new US study has shown that pregnant women often have high levels of potentially dangerous chemicals – including some that were banned 40 years ago.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are a number of banned chemicals that appear to be making it into the food chain, including the extremely controversial and illegal pesticide DDT.

    However, the research was designed to look at the sheer number of manmade chemicals that make it into women’s bodies – chemicals which have the potential to harm unborn babies – not their adverse effects.

    Recently, Dutch scientists found that women exposed to pesticides and phthalates are more at risk of having a low-birth weight child.

    Antarctic Melt Releasing DDT, Tainting Penguins

    Poisonous chemicals that had been locked in ice for decades are now being released as climate change melts Antarctic glaciers, researchers report.

    The chemicals, including the pesticide DDT, are seeping into the polar ecosystem and finding their way into wildlife populations.

    DDT has been banned or severely restricted since the 1970s because it and other so-called volatile organic compounds were shown to cause reproductive ailments in animals.

    In birds, for example, DDT breaks down into DDE, which can block calcium absorption and cause the birds to lay eggs with thinner shells.

    With the chemical no longer in widespread use, scientists expected to find lower levels in Adélies.

    “We were surprised to find that levels had not declined but had stabilized,” said Heidi Geisz, a researcher at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

    What’s more, a small amount of the chemical had not yet been broken down by the animals’ metabolism, which suggested that a fresh source of DDT was somehow finding its way into the penguins’ guts.

  13. From Peru says:

    Finally an article about my country, Thanks!

    I live in Lima, and Lima depends on the Rimac River, that in turn depends on glacier runoff and more importantly, on seasonal rains.

    What is a shame is the deplorable situation of water supply, because of:

    1)Approximately 40% of the water is lost by leaks in the pipes.

    2)The watewater is not recicled, but send WITHOUT TREATMENT to the sea. The result is both extreme pollution of the coast (a public health treat for swimmers and fishing) and the water is lost in the sea.

    Two wastewater treatment plants to treat and recycle the sewage are absolutely needed to clean the seawater and recycle the water for agriculture and public gardens irrigation. It is a total shame that today, while millions of people have not water in their homes, the water is lost in public irrigation and leaks.

    The people of Lima have waited the plants for DECADES and our government … NADA…

    There was a try to do the plants, but the works are very poor: One plant was left incomplete a few years ago. The other will only make a slight purification and then still discharge the “treated” sewage to the sea.

  14. On February 3, WWF and Ecofys will release The Energy Report. A report that will show that a planet run completely on renewable energy is something that could happen within the lifetime of many of us:

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    This bares reposting –

    An image has emerged from Sri Lanka of a dead elephant calf stuck high in a tree after getting caught up in the country’s fast-flowing floods.

  16. Pbo says:


    Raining elephants – what will be the next!

    Sorry ;-)

  17. Prokaryotes says:

    Schlumberger inaugurates research and geoengineering center

    Rio de Janeiro. Schlumberger inaugurated a new research and geoengineering center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Brazil Research and Geoengineering Center is designed to promote the integration of geosciences and engineering to improve hydrocarbon production and recovery from the complex deepwater reservoirs and pre-salt carbonates offshore Brazil.

    “We are very excited to be opening this new center here in Rio de Janeiro,” said Ana Zambelli, Brazil GeoMarket manager, Schlumberger.

    “Future oil and gas production will increasingly lie in technically complex environments such as pre-salt carbonates and deepwater areas and we expect this facility, the first multinational research center in Brazil, to play an important role in responding to these and other demanding technical challenges.”

    The new center includes a Geoengineering Research Center, a Geoengineering Technology Center, and a GeoSolutions Hub in addition to a number of Reservoir Laboratories. Each element fills a key need in deepwater and pre-salt reservoir exploration and development.

  18. paulm says:

    A study by New Zealand scientists has concluded that ocean warming rather than rising sea levels is the major factor causing Antarctic ice sheets to retreat.
    Lead author Andrew Mackintosh from Victoria University says it was previously thought the retreat of ice sheets was caused by a combination of global sea level rises and warmer oceans.
    Dr Mackintosh says his team has used geological data and computer modelling to show that rising sea levels play only a minor role, and the majority of the ice loss is caused by ocean warming.
    He says this means people should be very concerned about the warming of oceans occurring around Antarctica at present.

  19. Prokaryotes says:

    Deep Green: What the Greens got right

    Last November, British television’s Channel 4 aired ‘What the Green Movement Got Wrong’, attacking environmentalism while supporting nuclear power, DDT, genetically modified crops and geoengineering. The diatribe was laced with bias, misrepresentation and outright errors.

    One of the show’s contributors, Adam Werbach, is a former member of Greenpeace International’s Board of Directors. Werbach reported that the Channel 4 producers misled him about the content of the documentary, misrepresented his ideas and used his comments to support points of view he opposes.

    Willing contributors included Florence Wambugu, lobbyist for biotech giants Monsanto and DuPont, and Stewart Brand, consultant for ExxonMobil, Cargill, Dow Chemical, General Electric, and Bechtel – a virtual Who’s Who of socially predatory and ecologically-destructive companies.

    Propaganda as news

    “The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology.”

    Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962

  20. Prokaryotes says:

    Spread of Deadly Virus Tied to Forest Decline

    Around 2004, large numbers of aspens in the West began dying off, and with no immediately identifiable cause, scientists dubbed the phenomenon “sudden aspen decline.” Ultimately the die-back was pinned on a severe 2002 drought and heat wave that left aspens vulnerable to pests, cankers and fungi.

    Now, a new study suggests that the decline of the West’s aspens is not just marring the landscape, but also helping to spread a strain of hantavirus fatal to humans.

  21. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Prokaryotes, your posts on shale gas show just how morally insane certain people become when money is there for the taking. Of course we shouldn’t be burning fossil fuels at all, and, contrary to the typically mendacious statement of the industry flak, nasty pollution problems are rife with shale gas fracking. A lovely word really-I think it about sums up what the capitalist pathocrats have down to our planet. They’ve comprehensively fracked it, and us. As for herbicide poisoning, I think Roundup (glyphosphate) is the big one, and despite it being said to be ‘safe’, that has now been plainly exposed as yet another non-fact.And the world is being drenched in it to keep Monsatan’s profits on the required upward track.

  22. paulm says:

    BP has been given its first-ever oil exploration permits off the Australian coast, but the government warned Monday that the London-based energy giant will have to demonstrate higher safety standards than it had applied in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster before it is allowed to drill.

    BP holds stakes in the Northwest Shelf and Gorgon natural gas fields in Western Australia state but has never before applied for its own offshore exploration permits in Australia.

  23. paulm says:

    The eco warrior’s eco warrior

  24. Mike says:

    Japan Times Online
    Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011

    Energy firms eye building 100 hydrogen stations by 2015 for fuel-cell cars
    Kyodo News

    Gas suppliers and oil companies say they will seek to build some 100 hydrogen supply stations at four major city areas to prepare for the launch of mass-produced hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles in 2015.

  25. Prokaryotes says:

    Indeed … just 1 example

    Dumping of toxic waste in the UK

    Between 1965 and 1972, Monsanto paid contractors to illegally dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfill sites, knowing that their chemicals were liable to contaminate wildlife and people. The Environment Agency said the chemicals were found to be polluting groundwater and the atmosphere 30 years after they were dumped.[70]

    The Brofiscin quarry, near Cardiff, erupted in 2003, spilling fumes over the surrounding area, but the local community was unaware that the quarry housed toxic waste.

    A UK government report shows that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs exclusively made by Monsanto, are leaking from one unlined porous quarry that was not authorized to take chemical wastes. It emerged that the groundwater has been polluted since the 1970s.[71] The government was criticised for failing to publish information about the scale and exact nature of this contamination. According to the Environment Agency it could cost £100m to clean up the site in south Wales, called “one of the most contaminated” in the UK.

  26. Prokaryotes says:

    Food “Safety” Bill Empowers Monsanto to Control Food Industry‏

    “If you control the food, you can control the people.” – Henry Kissinger

    Under the guise of protecting Americans from food-borne illnesses, Congress has passed the S510 Food Safety Act, granting unlimited power to the FDA to oversee the processing of food from farm to table. The FDA has led the public to believe over a number of years that we desperately need government protection from food-borne illnesses. As a result of this manipulation, the S510 Food Safety has been passed without opposition. Ironically, the regulatory actions made possible by this bill will only promote the type of farming that produces food borne illnesses.

    As the bill is written, the FDA must consult with “farmer representatives” to publish guides for good practice. The farmer representatives will no doubt include Monsanto, the biotech company standing behind the bill that stands to benefit from it the most. The FDA is intimately linked with Monsanto – Michael Taylor, a lawyer who volleys between an appointed post at the FDA and employment by Monsanto, pushed through the concept of “substantial equivalence”, which opened the doors for Monsanto to flood the market with unlabeled Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). In July 2009, the Obama Administration appointed Taylor “Food & Drug Czar” as head of the FDA. This move ensures Monsanto’s influence of its own regulation. The fox now has the keys to the hen house.

  27. Prokaryotes says:

    Philippines landslides affect 1.6 million
    Weeks of unseasonal torrential rain that caused widespread flooding and triggered landslides have left 51 people dead and 1.6 million affected in the Philippines.

    But with the downpours continuing over much of the island of Luzon and the eastern island of Mindanao, the Philippines’ national disaster agency warned there was little hope of an early end to the crisis.

    The dead – killed in torrents of mud, drowning or electrocution – ranged in age from one year up to 80. A dozen other people are still missing after a landslide in the southern Leyte province.

    Another 11 fishermen were also missing and a search is under way after storm winds overturned their boats when they ventured out to sea despite warnings of foul weather.

    The bad weather was triggered after a monsoon over northern and central Luzon collided with a cold front over the south of the island and Mindanao.

    Forecasters predict the calamitous conditions could go on until early March, even though December and January are traditionally the country’s dry season with rains ordinarily coming between May and October during the monsoon season.

    Repeat: “though December and January are traditionally the country’s dry season”

  28. Colorado Bob says:

    RE –
    This report from a couple of days ago about the Sun coming up 2 days sooner in Greenland. The fact that Ilulissat, is at the mouth of the Jacobshavn glacier , and the Sun rises over it at Ilulissat, makes perfect sense . The Jacobshavn may have a new speed record in the books.

  29. Prokaryotes says:

    The crisis provoked President Benigno Aquino to announce he was considering a total ban on logging after blaming the flooding on the illegal destruction of vegetation.

    That would be something very wise!

  30. Prokaryotes says:

    On the bottom of the Telegraph page is an article about “How to invest into Oil”. Be part of the destruction!

  31. Michael T. says:

    At least 40 dead, missing in South African floods

    JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Floods have killed or left missing at least 40 people in South Africa and wrecked thousands of homes in neighboring Mozambique, officials said on Monday. Heavy rains from late December through most of January have unleashed floods in the two countries. Torrential downpours at the weekend again swelled rivers in the region.

  32. Prokaryotes says:

    PAGASA: Stronger, more frequent typhoons this year

    MANILA, Philippines – The government’s weather bureau chief said Friday that the Philippines will be battered by stronger and more frequent typhoons during the rainy season this year.

    Graicano Yumul, chief of weather bureau PAGASA, said the La Niña phenomenon prevailing over the Pacific Ocean is expected to end by May but will continue to affect the Philippines until August this year.

    “Starting June that is typhoon season. Stronger and more frequent typhoons in 2011,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Yumul said that the Philippines has received a bigger volume of rainfall this month compared to that of Australia, where several areas are experiencing severe flooding.

    He said that in Surigao province alone, the amount of rainfall has reached 250 to 300 millimeters.

  33. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Prokaryotes #26 the Food Patriot Act even outlaws seed sharing, by outlawing seed cleaning. It mirrors the laws illegally imposed on Iraq by Bremer that outlawed seed sharing, which the Iraqis have practised thereabouts for about ten thousand years, and opened Iraqi agriculture to total dominance by multi-national, US-based, food corporations, like Monsatan. This is one of market capitalism’s greatest and most deranged crimes, but they act as they must, predation and insatiable greed being in their very nature.

  34. Colorado Bob says:

    The melting Arctic: a bigger-than-estimated impact on climate

    The dramatic shrinking of Arctic sea ice and the Northern Hemisphere’s glaciers and snowfields has reduced the radiation of sunlight back into space more than scientists previously predicted, according to a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience.

    As a result, the ocean and land mass exposed by the melting ice and snow have absorbed more heat, contributing to global warming.

  35. Colorado Bob says:

    From the Telegraph story Pro posted @29 –

    Weeks of unseasonal torrential rain that caused widespread flooding and triggered landslides have left 51 people dead and 1.6 million affected in the Philippines.
    Forecasters predict the calamitous conditions could go on until early March, even though December and January are traditionally the country’s dry season with rains ordinarily coming between May and October during the monsoon season.

  36. Colorado Bob says:

    In Shap, Cumbria, 110mm of rain was recorded yesterday along with wind gusts of 69mph.

    Flood warnings are also in place in North Wales which recorded the highest rainfall of yesterday – 114mm in Capel Curig, Conwy.

    Read more:

  37. Colorado Bob says:

    Rainfall of 200mm to 250mm was expected near the ranges of Westland, Buller and Nelson north of Franz Josef.

    The strongest winds would were likely to hit Taranaki, Taumarunui to Taihape and inland Wanganui with gusts up to 130km in exposed places this evening.

    Torrential rain likely for South Island today

    MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt said the northwestern third of the South Island was predicted to have 200 – 250mm of heavy rainfall for a 15 hour period this afternoon.

  38. Raul M. says:

    More than an inconvenient truth?

  39. Sou says:

    BP given permit for deep sea drilling in Australia:

    There has been a furious reaction to the Australian Government’s decision to grant deep sea drilling permits to BP.

    It comes less than a year after the oil company’s massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico – the worst environmental disaster in US history….

    …But the Australian Government is undeterred and it has given BP permission to explore for oil and gas in 24,000 square kilometres of the Great Australian Bight.

    Resources Minister Martin Ferguson says the Government has to find another Bass Strait, otherwise the trade situation will worsen.

    “It is a tough decision. BP will be held account by the Australian Government,” he said.

    “I am in close contact with the US administration about the learnings of the Macondo incident, the same way in which we are paying proper attention to the recommendations with respect to our own oil spill in Western Australia.”

    However, environment groups are incredulous.

    Steve Campbell from Greenpeace Australia Pacific says Australians should be asking themselves whether Mr Ferguson, who presided over Montara which is Australia’s worst oil spill, is playing some kind of sick joke on the public.

    “It’s a fact that BP will be allowed to prospect for oil at depths over three-times greater than the Deepwater Horizon was operating and we know that at the end of the day, oil rigs drilling at these kinds of depths can have major impacts on coastal environments,” he said.

    But the Minister says strict new rules will apply.

    More here:

  40. Chris Winter says:

    …But the Australian Government is undeterred and it has given BP permission to explore for oil and gas in 24,000 square kilometres of the Great Australian Bight.”

    Don’t blight the Bight.