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November 14th News: Eurozone Crisis May Hinder Durban Climate Talks; EPA to be GOP target in 2012

By Stephen Lacey on November 14, 2011 at 8:38 am

"November 14th News: Eurozone Crisis May Hinder Durban Climate Talks; EPA to be GOP target in 2012"

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Other stories below: Africa’s Nile at Risk from Climate Change

Eurozone Crisis May Cloud Durban Climate Talks

Ahead of the Durban climate change talks beginning Nov 28, experts are worried that Eurozone crisis may curtail the billions of dollars of funding from industrialised countries to their poorer counterparts to adapt to climate change.

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Money is expected to be a bone of contention between developing and developed countries at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties 17 (COP 17) Nov 28-Dec 9.

With financial crisis deepening in Europe — spreading from Greece to Italy — and the US economy also going through a troubled phase, the money pledged by developed countries is nowhere to be seen.

“The financial crisis in Europe will definitely affect the flow of money promised by the rich countries and this is going to be a big fight in Durban,” Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of the Centre for Science and Environment, told IANS.

According to Bhushan, with the troubled financial scenario in the West, developing countries can forget about any money coming their way, at least in the near future.

“Developed countries have already started re-labelling development aid and loans as climate finance, but there is no new money coming in,” he said.

UN chief urges leaders to finalize financing of $100 billion climate change fund

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders on Monday to finalize the financing for a multibillion-dollar fund to fight the effects of climate change.

Delegates at a U.N.-sponsored climate-change conference that starts Nov. 28 in Durban, South Africa, are to consider ways to raise $100 billion a year for the Green Climate Fund created last December to help countries cope with global warming.

Ban told the opening session of a climate meeting in Bangladesh’s capital that the world should make a concerted effort to finance the fund.

“Governments must find ways — now — to mobilize resources up to the $100 billion per annum pledged,” he said. “An empty shell is not sufficient.”

Representatives of about 30 nations in the Climate Vulnerable Forum are meeting for two days in Dhaka to formulate a united stand on funding for schemes to limit the damage from global warming.

Africa’s Nile, Limpopo at risk from climate change

Climate change is likely to lead to increased average rainfall in the world’s major river basins but weather patterns will be fickle and the timing of wet seasons may change, threatening farming and foodstocks, experts said Monday.

Furthermore, some river systems in Africa — southern Africa’s Limpopo, north Africa’s Nile and West Africa’s Volta — are set to receive less rain than they do at the moment, hitting food production and fuelling international tensions.

The outlook for rain-fed agriculture was particularly bleak in the Limpopo basin, which covers parts of Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and is home to 14 million people.

“In some parts of the Limpopo even widespread adoption of innovations like drip irrigation may not be enough to overcome the negative effects of climate change on water availability,” said Simon Cook of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

APEC Leaders Pledge Low Levy on Green Goods to Aid Environment

Asia-Pacific nations pledged to establish a list of so-called green goods that will be subject to a maximum 5 percent tariff and agreed to reduce energy intensity to help overcome economic and environmental challenges in the region.

Leaders vowed to accelerate “the transition toward a global low-carbon economy in a way that enhances energy security and creates new sources of economic growth and employment,” according to a joint statement after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu. The 21-member forum set a target to reduce energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035.

APEC leaders also vowed new measures to open markets and enhance regional trade, laying out plans to exempt low-value exports from customs duties and free up air-cargo services to boost trade. President Barack Obama used his role as summit host to underscore his administration’s pivot toward Asia, a region experiencing rising commercial importance as China’s economic power increases.

Pang Sen, a deputy director-general at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called the energy intensity target “aspirational.”

Royal Dutch Shell says oil spill strikes Nigeria pipeline amid increasing theft vandalism

Royal Dutch Shell PLC says one of its pipelines running through Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta has spilled crude oil in the region, causing unknown damage.

Shell issued a statement Sunday saying the spill on its subsidiary Adibawa pipeline was discovered on Saturday. Shell said it had sent out a team which had stopped the leak and was now looking at the damage and trying to clean up the spill.

Shell said the pipeline was part of its Okordia-Rumuekpe line that runs through Bayelsa state. A fire struck that line earlier this month, as Shell says spills come from oil thefts the majority of the time.

EPA to be GOP target in 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency is likely to play an unusually prominent role in the 2012 presidential election, reflecting ongoing partisan debate in Congress over the ties between environmental regulations and jobs.

“What we’re going to see in this cycle is a lot of bitterness. … It’s going to be more partisan than it’s ever been,” said GOP environmental strategist Chelsea Maxwell. “So the energy and environment issues will definitely creep into that.”

It goes against conventional campaign wisdom — environmental issues rarely play a large role in shifting the electorate.

But this year, the conversation has taken a new turn. The message of nearly all campaigns nationwide is jobs with a capital “J.” Republicans have spent lots of time and effort targeting the “job-killing EPA” for a landslide of regulations that they say hurt businesses and the American economy with dubious returns on health.

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28 Responses to November 14th News: Eurozone Crisis May Hinder Durban Climate Talks; EPA to be GOP target in 2012

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Let’s hope that the Republicans obey Koch and go after EPA. It’s a political suicide mission, outside of a few districts like Fort Worth and Gillette.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Can We Avoid Locking Ourselves Into Runaway Climate Change?

    What a difference a year can make in the World Energy Outlook (PDF). Released just last week, the International Energy Agency’s press release led with an attention-grabbing clarion cry:

    “The World is Locking Itself into an Unsustainable Energy Future Which Would Have Far-Reaching Consequences…” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-rigg/climate-change-report_b_1091453.html

    • Paul Magnus says:

      This is a very poignant point. It is an essential angle in the debate. This is the way to talk about GW with your government reps. Check if the accept GW reality then challenge them on this point. It does not square. Reality has to hit the fan.

      This is one reason a market solution is not going to make it.

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Study: Three Gorges Dam Did Not Worsen Climate Change

    The much-maligned Three Gorges Dam received a domestic boost on Friday when a study by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found no evidence that the project caused climate change. From Xinhua News:

    Research has shown that the radius around the dam within which environmental conditions have been impacted by the development is less than 20 km, said the report titled “Green Book of Climate Change: Annual Report on Actions to Address Climate Change (2011)”, published by the Social Sciences Academic Press under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

    No direct link has been found between the dam and local severe droughts and floods in recent years, according to the report, which instead laid the blame on extreme weather conditions caused by abnormal atmospheric circulation and air temperature mainly incurred by changes in ocean temperature and snow conditions at the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2011/11/study-three-gorges-dam-did-not-worsen-climate-change/

    • Robert In New Orleans says:

      It’s not the effects on local climate that should worry the Chinese, it is the effect on local geology that should be cause for concern.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Check out my work in progress

    Space Colonization
    http://soundcloud.com/galaxy-studio/galaxy-machine-space

    and i already work on climate change themed songs…

  5. prokaryotes says:

    Give Solar while Going Solar

    A new program from Sungevity and Empowered by Light, ”Every Child Has a Light,” connects environmental goodness with social goodness. Who doesn’t like to be both and environmental and a social leader? How does the program work? Well, basically, Sungevity is donating a solar light kid to one Zambian school in need for each U.S. solar panel installation that it’s responsible for.

    Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/13NW6) http://cleantechnica.com/2011/11/14/give-solar-while-going-solar/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Climate Change Irreversible by 2017, Warns IEA

    In Chicken Little’s case, the sky turned out to be an acorn whacking the chick on his head. In Planet Earth’s case, the spaceship we are riding really is in danger, and a new report warns that the window of opportunity for shifting directions is about to slam shut.

    In the interests of full disclosure, I have not read World Energy Outlook 2011. At 660 pages and €120 for the PDF version, it requires more time and money resources than I can give it http://www.care2.com/causes/climate-change-irreversible-by-2017-warns-iea.html

  7. prokaryotes says:

    What’s the target for solving climate change?

    This Q&A is part of the Guardian’s ultimate climate change FAQ http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/14/climate-change-targets?newsfeed=true

  8. prokaryotes says:

    Breath-taking view of Earth as seen from International Space Station
    Time-lapse images taken over 200 miles above Earth have been edited together to produce a mesmerising video of our planet.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8889154/Breath-taking-view-of-Earth-as-seen-from-International-Space-Station.html

  9. prokaryotes says:

    The Future of Free Energy is here now! The end of oil, coal and nuclear pollution!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghhgUmGBjX8&feature=share

    • prokaryotes says:

      Are Carbon Nanotube Effects on Green Algae Caused by Shading and Agglomeration?
      http://publicationslist.org/data/nowack/ref-114/Schwab%20(2011).pdf

      • prokaryotes says:

        ABSTRACT: Due to growing production, carbon nanotubes (CNT) may soon be found in a broad range of products and thus in the environment. In this work, an algal growth test was developed to determine effects of pristine and oxidized CNT on the green algae Chlorella vulgaris and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. CNT suspensions were prepared in algal test medium and characterized taking into account the suspension age, the reduced light transmittance of nanoparticle suspensions defined as shading of CNT and quantified by UV/vis spectroscopy, and the agglomeration of the CNT and of the algal cells. Growth inhibition and photosynthetic activity were investigated as end points. Growth of C. vulgaris was inhibited with effect concentrations of 50% (EC50) values of 1.8 mg CNT/L and of 24 mg CNT/L in well dispersed and in agglomerated suspensions, respectively, and 20 mg CNT/L and 36 mg CNT/L for P. subcapitata, respectively. However, the photosynthetic activity was not affected. Growth inhibition was highly correlated with the shading of CNT and the agglomeration of algal cells. This suggests that the reduced algal growth might be caused mainly by indirect effects, i.e. by reduced availability of light and different growth conditions caused by the locally elevated algal concentration inside of CNT agglomerates.

  10. prokaryotes says:

    An uncertain future for solar system exploration

    In less than two weeks, an Atlas V rocket is slated to lift off from Cape Canaveral, propelling NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft towards the Red Planet. MSL—aka Curiosity—is one of the most ambitious, and expensive, Mars missions ever flown: a rover roughly the size of a Mini Cooper automobile and equipped with a suite of instruments to study Mars and learn about when it was warmer, wetter, and perhaps more hospitable to life. Its landing in August 2012 will be the capstone to what NASA calls the “Year of the Solar System”, a Martian-year-long period that includes milestones ranging from the arrival of MESSENGER at Mercury and Dawn at Vesta to the launches of Juno to Jupiter and GRAIL to the Moon.

    While this is something of a golden age for planetary exploration, with a dozen active NASA planetary missions today, there is growing unease in the planetary science community about the future. There were concerns earlier this year with the release of the decadal survey of planetary science missions, which warned of a mismatch between the highest-priority missions—a Mars rover to collect samples for later return to Earth, and a Europa orbiter—and projected budgets (see “Tough decisions ahead for planetary exploration”, The Space Review, April 4, 2011). That anxiety has grown in the last few months for other reasons, including the growing cost of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and actions by the administration that suggest to some a weaker commitment to NASA’s planetary science programs. Some fear MSL may mark not yet the end of the “Year of the Solar System” but also the end of an era of planetary exploration.
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1971/1

    That is the US site of the coin, china goes strong for creating lunar mining colonization base and projects like space station or japan plans earth orbiting solar harvester.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    Diabetes forecast to hit one in 10 adults by 2030
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/14/us-diabetes-forecast-idUSTRE7AD1HB20111114

    You do not want to be part of this group…

    UnitedHealth Group urges people with diabetes in Bath to take precautions during the expected summer heat wave.
    Everyone suffers during record heat waves, but for people with diabetes extreme heat can present serious health consequences.
    People with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to heat and humidity because their bodies are less capable of adjusting to increases in temperature. Nerve damage – a common effect of diabetes – affects sweat glands and other organs, making it harder for people with diabetes to cool down. http://www.steubencourier.com/news/x555033539/Tips-for-individuals-with-diabetes-to-beat-summer-heat-and-avoid-heat-related-illness

    And people will eventually run out of insulin.

  12. BillD says:

    Every poll that I have seen says that Americans, even Republications, strongly favor more investment in cleaner air and water and even efforts to reduce green house gases. So, why do Republicans think that anti-enviroment is a winning issue with the general public? And why aren’t Democrats really hitting this issue?

  13. Colorado Bob says:

    prokaryotes -
    Using Biochar to Boost Soil Moisture
    Soil scientist Jeff Novak at the ARS Coastal Plains Soil, Water and Plant Research Center in Florence, S.C., is coordinating the multi-location effort.

    In one project, he led a laboratory study to see if different biochars could improve the sandy soils found on the Carolina coastal plain, and Pacific Northwest silt loam soils derived from volcanic ash.

    Novak’s team used peanut hulls, pecan shells, poultry litter, switchgrass and hardwood waste products to produce nine different types of biochars. All the feedstocks were pyrolysed at two different temperatures to produce the biochars.
    http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Using_Biochar_to_Boost_Soil_Moisture_999.html

  14. prokaryotes says:

    New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15691571

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Obama delay of Canadian pipeline won’t stop tar sands

    The Obama administration’s delay of a controversial U.S.-Canadian oil pipeline, cheered by environmentalists, could jeopardize the $7 billion project but won’t stop all efforts to develop Canada’s vast stores of tar sands.
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2011-11-14/keystone-delay/51203958/1

    How much wind and solar could one build for 7 billion?????????????????????

    This is so stupid…

  16. David B. Benson says:

    Rising Air Pollution Worsens Drought, Flooding, New Study Finds
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111113141304.htm
    Helps explain the changed patterns of precipitation around here.

    Another reason to stop burning coal.

  17. Colorado Bob says:

    Joe see this -
    Some new images that clearly show just how thin the atmosphere is. It’s that tiny line just above the Earth, above that line is cold dead space.

    Mind-Blowing Tour of Earth as Seen From the International Space Station [VIDEO]
    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/249130/20111114/mind-blowing-tour-earth-seen-international-space.htm