kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa
Reuters has reported that oil markets were severely shaken on Monday after hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc along the US Gulf coast over the weekend, crippling Houston and its port, and knocking out numerous refineries as well as some crude production. Gasoline prices hit two-year highs as massive floods caused by the storm forced refineries across the Gulf coast to shut down.

Harvey is the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, killing at least two people, causing large-scale flooding, and forcing the closure of the Houston port as well as several refineries. The US National Hurricane Center said on Monday that Harvey was moving away from the coast but was expected to linger close to the shore through - and it's now expected to make a second landfall, now in Louisiana.

As Harvey has hit the heart of the Texas energy industry, it transpired that president Trump had reversed regulations that were meant to protect infrastructure against flooding - ironically, just a few days before Harvey made its first landfall.

Earlier this year, Trump chose to dismiss an advisory panel whose job was to assess the effects of climate change, and come up with ways to respond to it. There are also indications that he's going to outright dismiss, if not at least attempt to suppress a blunt report by a panel of scientists who've worked hard to assess the causes and effects of climate change.

I think we can all connect the dots here...

God is punishing Texas and its oil industry for what they've been doing to mother nature! Trump is the Antichrist! Impeach!

But seriously... How much more thumping and bashing from nature do these guys need to realize they're the frog that's boiling at the bottom of that frying pot?
mahnmut: (We're doooomed.)
[personal profile] mahnmut
Wow, now what do we do with the large ice cube - 1 trillion tons of it. Any suggestions?

Giant Iceberg Breaks Off Antarctica

I suggest that climate change deniers immediately run to Antarctica to stick this ice cube back into place! We can't allow this Chinese conspiracy to go on forever, right?
[identity profile] dreamville-bg.livejournal.com
This coupled with the stupidity of some of the world leaders that refuse to understand climate change is a real and rather immediate threat, means we're pretty screwed. Like Carlin used to say, the planet is gonna be just fine, but we, the humans, are screwed.

The Great Barrier Reef Can No Longer Be Saved by Current Efforts, Scientists Warn

Earth is like a dog who's having a particularly severe infestation of fleas. He'll shake us off eventually, and move on.

And no, this has nothing to do with liberalism or conservatism or any other such petty bullshit.
[identity profile] debunkgpolitics.livejournal.com
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] debunkgpolitics at U.S. Environmental and Energy Policies
Building oil pipelines will create American jobs and, maybe, energy independence. Environmentalists who argue for “greener” sources of energy must change their tactics to prove that preserving Mother Nature is still important. Thus far, environmentalists have not convinced enough people that environmental stewardship and increasing domestic energy production are not mutually exclusive or a pipedream, no pun intended.
Environmentalists must prove the Keystone pipeline is inefficient in that production costs greatly outweigh any benefit gleaned from Keystone. Environmentalists can also appeal to the religious sympathies of President Trump, which helped him get elected, especially, with the Catholic Church being more vocal about protecting our environment. If enough supporters express their concern about avoiding environmental disasters, then he may change his policies. Though disasters from oil exploration have been relatively few, one spill can hurt the economy. Fishermen may lose income from an oil spill in the ocean. If oil reaches the costs, tourism-dependent business can also lose income.
Another concern is exploration on tribal land. Native Americans could be “forgotten,” if President Trump initiates oil drilling on tribal land against their wishes. Someone in this community provided a story about the Native Americans in South Dakota who won their case. Time will tell whether how long their victory lasts.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/24/presidential-memorandum-regarding-construction-keystone-xl-pipeline
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/24/trump-gives-green-light-to-dakota-access-keystone-xl-oil-pipelines/?utm_term=.80218423873f
[identity profile] luzribeiro.livejournal.com
Thermodynamics at play. If you increase energy in a relatively stable system, it destabilizes, at least until another equilibrium state is reached. And the Earth climate system has been shown to be very sensitive to changes, so we are likely in for a wild ride:

Atlantic Ocean circulation could collapse with climate change influence, study says

"Current models assume Atlantic Ocean in stable condition, but new study suggests this might not be so".

This has been falling on deaf ears for years, and with Trump in office soon, it's even less likely that it'd be heeded.

But not to worry! I'm sure in about 250,000 years all will be back to normal. Then we can get on with that beautiful wall.

Someone please tell me how exactly are Republinuts working for the well-being of their own grandchildren, and how would anyone really convince them that the "rewards" their corporate donors give them are not as important as the mid- to long-term economic (and thus, social and political) implications of their inaction? Oh sorry, that was a rhetorical question.
[identity profile] airiefairie.livejournal.com
Here are several images comparing the same sites between a few decades ago and nowadays. These show some dramatic changes that have occurred in our planet as revealed by these incredible NASA images. Really puts things into perspective, doesnt it?

[Error: unknown template video]

The anthropocene has arrived. And it is irreversible. If geological history is any guide, the outcome for us is not going to be good. (Which is why guys like Stephen Hawking are now urging us to populate other planets, to increase our chances of survival).
[identity profile] airiefairie.livejournal.com

Gender ideas being turned upside down (at least as per the dominant human cultural perceptions) - here is a series of cartoons imagining how human relations would look like if we had to emulate some other species.
[identity profile] mahnmut.livejournal.com
Hey, my beloved procrastinators! It's been a while since we had our last installment of ridiculously over-simplified and unbearably polarized hypothetical situations, inspired by the NationStates online game - you know, that place where you're the benevolent ruler of your own fictional state, which you're completely free to shape as you please, based on the stupid choices you make in situations like the below presented. Last time when we delved into the depths of True Democracy(tm), we ended up in a tie between Ms Lovegood, the Education Minister of Insert Country Name, who argued that mandatory parenting classes for the populace were the solution - and Chloe, your incredibly mature teenage niece who just wanted some assistance from babysitters programs. Well, now the issue we're about to discuss is a bit different - it's related to technology and trade.

The Issue

Biotech firm McShanto LLC has developed a new genetically engineered corn, with 200% more “butter” flavor and a guarantee to be free of those stringy bits that get stuck in your teeth. They've also engineered every mature kernel to be sterile, while marketing a special starter seed at premium prices. Angry supporters of small farms are demanding you lend an ear.

The debate & a poll )
[identity profile] airiefairie.livejournal.com
Those are two major traits of the last half a century that have become a central feature in a recent conclusion of a groups of scientists, which basically argues that a new epoch in Earth's development, called Anthropocene, should now be formulated separately from the Holocene:

Earth Enters Anthropocene Epoch, Thanks to Humans

This international team of researchers say the worldwide spread of plastics, concrete, and even chickens combined with man-made climate change has caused the Earth to enter its first new epoch in more than 11,500 years.

I'd say this comes a little late in recognising what has been obvious to many for more years than I can count. I would query only the name chosen - the Anthropocene assumes that there will be a future for humanity, which will look back with disgust, indulgence or incredulity on our 70-80 years of pure self-indulgence. Perhaps The Apocalene would be a better fit? Could we say the era that follows this one would be one of cockroaches, rats and things that crawl in the little remaining earth?
[identity profile] dreamville-bg.livejournal.com
A bundle of "krenvirshi" (sort of sausage) attached to a ticking clock has caused quite some panic around the lavatories in the Sofia subway. That's the prank some oppressed carnivorous humans decided to play on their fellow grass-grazing vegan homo sapiens, who, in their limitless self-serving psychosis, had been amping up their attempts to terrorize the citizens of Sofia with their grotesque street performances as of late. The latter have been growing in shock value in recent weeks, now most passers-by determining that those guys are in urgent need of a psychiatrist. Case in point: HERE.

And a wee gallery, for the not-so-faint-of-heart: HERE (warning: potentially explicit imagery displayed by an otherwise mainstream media outlet! Oh well... sex & blood sells, right?)

Where am I going with this )
[identity profile] htpcl.livejournal.com
Italian baby kept on vegan diet taken into care after being found malnourished

"A 14-month-old Italian baby, who was reportedly fed a vegan diet, has been removed from his parents after arriving at a Milan hospital seriously malnourished. The baby, whose name has not been released, was taken to hospital by his grandparents a week ago and doctors were shocked to see the poor state of the baby’s health and a body weight only just slightly higher than a newborn. Blood tests revealed the child, who was born in May 2015, was severely malnourished with calcium levels barely adequate to survive. The baby was also suffering from a congenital heart condition which required emergency surgery. He is now recovering in hospital."

In other news, a 32 year old New York man named Frank Broccoli died in his sleep from drowning with his own saliva. The man was a 11th grade vegan, which is considered one of the highest ranks of veganism on the Greenleaf Scale.

His dream was to reach grade 12, where the vegan refuses to consume their own saliva. At daytime, the strict vegan had taught himself to spit all of his saliva because it was of human (i.e. animal) origin, and it contained innocent bacteria which could die in the hostile environment of the human stomach.

The reason for the man's death was drowning, because at night he had taught himself to resist the swallowing reflex. So the saliva built up in his throat and at some point it suffocated him.

Vegans from all over the world can't wait to pay solemn tribute to their brother by eating a cup of corn - gluten-free, of course, because gluten sounds kinda environment-unfriendly.
[identity profile] mahnmut.livejournal.com
At this point, Hillary Clinton seems to be the presumptive Democratic nominee, and if Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee as expected, chances are great that the US is finally going to have their first female president. Which is all well and good, even though some are gutted with the prospect of having yet another representative of what's been shaping up to become one among several political dynasties (Clinton, Bush), and yet another establishment representative.

If the latter is not sufficiently cringe-inducing to those progressive-leaning folks who'd've rather preferred Sanders for president, there's another problem with Hillary that may cause quite a few concerns. And it's this:

Bernie Sanders Will Ban Fracking. Hillary Clinton ‘Sold Fracking to the World’
and
On Eve of Caucuses, Clinton Rakes in Fracking Cash
and
How Hillary Clinton's State Department Sold Fracking to the World
"A trove of secret documents details the US government's global push for shale gas."

In a time and age where it has become very likely that the world has already moved past the tipping point where runaway, devastating changes to the natural balance are almost inevitable, the prospect of a Clinton-in-chief seems to bode very poorly for our chances of halting that change. Given the above evidence, Hillary's recent actions and stances strongly indicate that she has actually become more conservative on energy policy than she already was. With the US potentially steering away from its recent commitments to tackle climate change under a possible Clinton administration, the prospects in that regard are starting to look rather dour.

Let's just hope she doesn't get a Nobel Peace Prize a few weeks after her inauguration.
[identity profile] mahnmut.livejournal.com
While some are just talking about doing it, others are actually doing it...

Oslo moves to ban cars from city centre within four years
Proposed ban on private vehicles is part of a plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels

Norway to Get Rid of Petrol and Diesel Cars by 2030
Norwegian Labor Party (Arbeidepartiet) wants only emission-free cars on the market in 2030.

There is no intention to outright ban non-electric vehicles, however they will become very unfavorably taxed, making them a much less interesting alternative than electric cars. There are also pilot projects already in the running for making buses run on biofuel and eventually also batteries. Norway also has introduced its first fully electric car ferry, and studies are done on recharging ships wirelessly while docked. So no, not a ban, but buying a hydrocarbon based car will become a luxury few would spend money on.

Anyway... Norway is an oil-rich country -> number one prerequisite for being bombed by a US-led coalition-of-the-willing. And now Norway is straying further away from the overall dependence on fossil fuels, thus defying the big oil industry -> number two reason to blow the hell out of those pesky Vikings! Now... where are those U2 bombers, please?
[identity profile] foolsguinea.livejournal.com
I thought I might write more pro-Bernie pieces the last week or two, and I haven't. At this point, I don't expect to change many minds before Tuesday.

I think Bernie Sanders is what Democrats pretend to be when they want voters to turn out. Not in every election, even, just the ones they've decided they want to win for once, which is much less than half of them.
cut for length )
I hope he will be more moderate on nuclear power, which is at least largely containable pollution. If he's not, well, after Fukushima, I understand. But I want a President who is anti-fracking. I do.

And I want a President who wants a living wage. And a President who proposes an FTT. We can compromise on some things. I just want him to be on the side that wants a better life, less pollution, and less destruction.

If you are able to vote in a (USA) Democratic Party primary, I would like you to consider voting for Bernie Sanders.
[identity profile] luzribeiro.livejournal.com
Paris climate goals mean emissions need to drop below zero

In reality, the Paris deal is of no importance at all, aside from pure symbolism.

Everyone got together and agreed that something needs to be done. No actual answers, just vague goals to be met by the next couple of generations, and no means of enforcing any sort of punishment on any nation that decides to not comply with anything implied, dreamed, envisioned or expected.

What we really have is something akin to the New Orleans Hurricane Plan before Katrina hit in 2005 - a plan to come up with an actionable plan sometime in the future.

So what's the solution, you may ask. At least the first few steps? Well, just what the article said - emissions have to be cut to zero, or it's just political/economic wrangling. Growth has to effectively be stopped until 100% renewable energy sources put in the place of fossil fuels. It will be brutal, but it's all that will actually work.

Everything else is posturing and profiteering.

Speaking of profits, if I had The Answer, I could be very rich! ;)
[identity profile] airiefairie.livejournal.com
Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline After 7 Years Of Review
Environmentalists praised the decision, which House Speaker Paul Ryan called "sickening."

Two possible responses to this decision, I am sure you have guessed by now.

Response #1 )

Response #2 )

So which of these two positions are you in favour of? Any more nuances you would like to add? Or a third position?
[identity profile] ddstory.livejournal.com
So, for some reason the WTO hastens to declare the excessive consumption of meat a factor for cancer, thus causing a shitstorm of outrage among meat producers (and hysterical panic among the general populace) - and almost at the same time, the EU opens its doors to a Monsanto domination. Curious!

Parliament rejects national GMO bans proposal

This is big. Very big. And I'm not sure it's getting the attention that it truly deserves. Everyone is fixated on the refugee crisis, and all the while, this is happening almost silently.

I don't get it. First the environment ministers say they want to give countries the right to make their own decisions on GM crop cultivation on their territory - and then, they flip the bird to sovereign governments and actually deny them that right. This practically ties their hands by not allowing them to use evidence of environmental harm to ban GM cultivation. This ultimately leaves those countries that want to say "No" to GM crops exposed to legal attacks by the biotech industry. It's fucked up beyond words.

How's that not selling off to big corporations, and how does it defend the interests of the EU citizens!? Who made that decision, and who authorized them to do so? On whose behalf did they make it? Did anyone consult with their constituents? Is anyone actually listening to what the people have to say?

Mark my words, the same will happen with the TTIP. It'll be shoved down our throats without anyone being asked whether they agree with it. We'll be reduced to a second-tier market where cheap, shitty American goods will be dumped at the expense of local producers, and in violation of any principles of democracy.

A bunch of whores, that's what our so called leaders are. And in time, they'll reap what they're sowing right now.
[identity profile] dreamville-bg.livejournal.com

Nearly 30 decades after the nuclear fallout in Chernobyl, the region has evolved from a disaster zone to natural reserve, inhabited my moose, deer and wilves, a Current Biology article shows.

Read more... )
[identity profile] airiefairie.livejournal.com
Having seen the Okavango delta and the waterfalls on the Zambezi, I thought there couldn't possibly be a more spectacular river that could be seen on planet Earth. Well, seems that I had been wrong. Nature never fails to amaze with its wonderful magic. Several cases in point:

GALLERY )
[identity profile] airiefairie.livejournal.com
People around the world were dumbfounded and infuriated when they learned how a rich American dentist had paid tens of thousands of dollars to kill Zimbabwe's most famous lion, Cecil. Although the way the lion was lured out of the game reserve where he was living in order to be shot shows only the tip of the iceberg that is the hunting industry in Africa, the very top "anti-award" in that respect actually goes to the private reserves here in South Africa. Here lions live in captivity like chickens in a poultry farm, bred in the hundreds so that posh tourists could pay an average African worker's biannual wage's worth for the opportunity to hunt them with rifles and bows for this one sick purpose: getting a trophy they could then boast with to their friends and business partners. It is a very lucrative business that our political leaders would not relinquish, no matter the international outcry.

A shocking investigation under the guise of just another ordinary documentary film shows that various safari companies even send potential hunters a catalogue from which they could pick a particular specimen to hunt. Prices start from 5 thousand dollars and could reach as high as 50 thousand, depending on the size of the animal. South Africa is a preferred destination for wealthy tourists who want to add a new trophy to their ever expanding collections, and in result an average of about 1000 lions are killed here every year. But of course you haven't heard about them, because they are not as famous as Cecil. We have talked of empathy before, this magic human trait that makes thousands of deaths matter less than a single famous death - or was it the reversed? The upside of it all being, now that Cecil's tragedy has become world news, perhaps more people would decide to look a bit more closely at the bigger, well, lion in the room?

Thankfully, campaigns against the horrors of the canned lions industry now have a real chance of gaining additional momentum. By the way, here is the trailer to the Blood Lions documentary:

Read more... )

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