June 17 News: Tar Balls Continue To Wash Up On Gulf Coast Beaches

(Credit: AP Photo/Dave Martin)

BP is stopping regular cleanup patrols in the Gulf, even though oil continues to wash up on the shores of the region. [AP]

Finding tar balls linked to the BP oil spill isn’t difficult on some Gulf Coast beaches, but the company and the government say it isn’t common enough to keep sending out the crews that patrolled the sand for three years in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

Tourist John Henson of Atlanta disagrees, particularly after going for a walk in the surf last week and coming back with dark, sticky stains on his feet.

Henson said there were plenty of tar balls to remove from the stretch of beach where he spent a few days, regardless of what any company or government agency might say.

“I was out there yesterday and stepped all in it,” Henson said.

Environmental advocates and casual visitors alike are questioning the Coast Guard decision to quit sending out BP-funded crews that have looked for oil deposits on northern Gulf Coast beaches on a regular basis since the 2010 spill spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf after an explosion and fire that killed 11 workers.

The Obama administration has still not used the National Environmental Policy Act to weigh greenhouse gas emissions when approving projects, despite suggestions in 2010 that it would do so. [Reuters]

As coal demand drops in the U.S., the coal industry tries to export their product despite safety, public health, and climate issues. [New York Times]

Tar sands oil production in Canada seriously threatens the safety of the Mackenzie River Watershed, five times the size of France and essential for Canada’s ecosystem and economy. [Climate Central]

Fracking, which uses millions of gallons of water to produce oil and gas, is expanding into drought-stricken areas. [Arizona Daily Star]

Another report says that most of the world’s fossil fuels must be kept in the ground to avoid more than 2 degrees C in warming. [ABC News — Australia, Guardian]

Illegal purposeful forest fires in Indonesia are making the air so bad in Singapore and Malaysia that residents are warned to stay indoors. [Reuters]

Warming lakes in Europe and North America are starting to seriously impact the wildlife and economy of the regions around them. [Daily Climate]

Though some “concrete progress” has been made, UN climate talks have faced delays over a disagreement about what “consensus” means. [Business Green, Agence France-Presse]

Goldman Sachs is contemplating a $3.19 billion investment in renewables in Japan, particularly offshore wind energy. [Bloomberg]

Tanzania is trying borrow as much as $700 million to update electrical infrastructure, bring power to rural communities, and build a natural gas pipeline. [Bloomberg]

What it means when New England states move to import more hydropower energy. [Boston Globe]

A study by Envirotrade concludes a forest carbon offset project has failed due to difficulties in establishing baselines verifying claimed savings. [FERN]

China is implementing carbon markets in several regions and cities, so polluters have a choice: consume less energy by being more efficient, or purchase offsets from actors that pollute less than they do. [Scientific American]

A Florida teenager won one of the most prestigious international science fairs in the world through a new way to convert algae into fuel. [Tampa Bay Tribune]

Poor farmers could revolutionize their way of life through water pumps powered through solar energy. [Christian Science Monitor]

An agreement between solar manufacturer Yingli and local government means 3 gigawatts worth of solar plants are coming to the Yunnan province of Southern China. [SolarLove]

One energy company is using solar-charged robots to install and clean solar panels [Greentech Media]

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is starting a composting program in New York City that will process 100,000 pounds of food scraps per year. [New York Times]


14 Responses to June 17 News: Tar Balls Continue To Wash Up On Gulf Coast Beaches

  1. Raul M. says:

    Are the seashells gaining a deeper shade of______as well as the sands?

  2. Raul M. says:

    Oh, the blank is filled with oil.

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Imho – The ocean circulation connects with the south and northern hemisphere. Today’s warming and related melting increases fresh water influx at the north pole and – possibly creating a DO event on steroids. A situation will arise when the THC possibly directs less warm water to the north and iceberg breakup will cool parts of the northern hemisphere. After this “brief” cooling phase the warming then will proceed, possibly triggering more feedbacks ( think hydrates ). Quote from Dansgaard Oeschger Wiki: D-O cold events, and their associated influx of meltwater, reduce the strength of the North Atlantic Deep Water current (NADW), weakening the northern hemisphere circulation and therefore resulting in an increased transfer of heat polewards in the southern hemisphere. This warmer water results in melting of Antarctic ice, thereby reducing density stratification and the strength of the Antarctic Bottom Water current (AABW). This allows the NADW to return to its previous strength, driving northern hemisphere melting – and another D-O cold event. This theory may also explain Heinrich events’ apparent connection to the D-O cycle; when the accumulation of meltwater in the oceans reaches a threshold, it may have raised sea level enough to undercut the Laurentide ice sheet – causing a Heinrich event and resetting the cycle.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    GOP bill cuts renewable energy spending in half

    Read more:
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    I think this GOP strategy “destroy mother earth” is no longer sustainable …

  5. catman306 says:

    Using a systems approach to almost any energy problem greatly increases the efficiency. If only America’s engineers thought this systems way instead of with the techniques of Industrial Engineering (making the greatest profit in the shortest amount of time)

    From the link above. (Christian Science)

    “The team is developing a two-kilowatt solar-powered pumping system that can do the same job as a five-horsepower diesel pump, the most commonly used size. We’re taking a whole-systems approach, for example, using mirrors to concentrate the sun and bring down the cost of the solar cell.

    The pumped water cools the solar cells, which increases their efficiency. An inverter is hooked up so it can use AC pump motors, which are widely available and cheap. Then we tune the mirrors, solar cells, cooling system, and pump so that it gives the right output for the right cost.”

  6. prokaryotes says:

    This is the hydraulic fracturing in my beautiful state, Colorado. :'( Formerly known as God’s Country.)

  7. Colorado Bob says:

    India Floods Strike Himalaya Foothills

    Rainfall was at least 25.7 inches since Saturday at Dehradun in southern Uttarakhand, weather data available to showed.

  8. drt says:

    Krugman writes “Now, uncertainty by itself isn’t always a reason for inaction. In the case of climate change, for example, uncertainty about the impact of greenhouse gases on global temperatures actually strengthens the case for action, to head off the risk of catastrophe.

    But fiscal policy isn’t like climate policy, even though some people have tried to make the analogy (even as right-wingers who claim to be deeply concerned about long-term debt remain strangely indifferent to long-term environmental concerns). Delaying action on climate means releasing billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere while we debate the issue; delaying action on entitlement reform has no comparable cost.”


  9. prokaryotes says:

    Complete holocene temperature reconstruction

    (use goggle translate for translation, though the graphs are telling …)

  10. Paul Magnus says:

    “Extreme weather events tend to focus the mind and change the narrative around climate change,” Professor Will Steffen, of the commission, told Guardian Australia.

    “The IPCC report that linked extreme weather events to climate change in 2012 was a breakthrough as previously scientists were loathed to link the two.

  11. Sasparilla says:

    Great interview with Amory Lovins (Rocky Mountain Institite) discussing renewable energy, fossil fuel energy and where things are going in the future. It’s about 15 minutes and is nice to hear.

    The station is WBEZ a public radio station in Chicago, Worldview is the program, broadcast today (June 17, 2013)

  12. Sasparilla says:

    Nice article prokaryotes, as you say no translation necessary the graphs, brutally, tell it all.

  13. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Was it ever sustainable? ME

  14. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Nice to see a mention of systems – is an outbreak of sanity imminent? ME