On World Water Day, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has released a study that maps for the first time the water resources available to support fracking in the world’s largest shale exploration areas. The study, “Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability and Business Risk,” found that 40 percent of countries with the largest shale energy resources could suffer from water stress: competing demands on their renewable water supply that could make it problematic to use that water for fracking.
This stretch of foothills still looks like pristine, trackless boreal forest when seen from the highway. But back roads into the bush reveal a patchwork of clearcuts, well pads, access roads and seismic lines so extensive that gravel and green greet the eye almost equally.Scientists are trying to remediate the lines that help wolves get deep into the forest of Albertas foothills and are partly responsible for vanishing caribou herds, but there are so many that theyre focusing on which ones would do the most good. HO, Foothills Research Institute/Canadian PressIts part of an area that recent satellite data suggests is being deforested at a rate that outpaces whats going on in Brazils rainforests.There are more than 16,000 kilometres of seismic lines, cut by the energy industry through the forest, within the study areas 13,000 square kilometres.
For Noam Chomsky the edge is literal and deadly as he looks into the present and predicted future consequences of how humans in industrial society “Anthropocene Period” are impacting our environment and ecosystems which is increasingly having more extensive and rapid effects to our world. We as always have a choice, as a commons to let this continue or we can we can be the forces of change.Noam Chomsky who was on of several speakers who spoke at the 10th. Annual Pen World of Voices Festival held April 28, 2014 http://worldvoices.pen.org/event/2014…. Filmed in The Great Hall, The Cooper Union 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003 on April 28, 2014 at the 2014 PEN World Voices Festival. Some of the globes most prominent thinkers each, in turn, brought their enthusiasm for societal improvement to the stage for a short oration http://worldvoices.pen.org/event/2014…Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on in this video are copyrighted to Leigha Cohen Video, All rights reserved. No part of this video may be used for any purpose other than educational use and any monetary gain from this video is prohibited without prior permission from me. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system is prohibited. Standard linking of this video is allowed and encouraged.CategoryNews & PoliticsLicenseStandard YouTube LicenseShow less
Not ‘on the verge”: we are there..
A new study showing that the human activity has driven current rates of species extinction to 1,000 times faster than the natural rate is “alarming” and “should be a clarion call” to work towards greater conservation efforts, an environmental group charges.The study, published Thursday by the journal Science and led by conservation expert Stuart Pimm, also warns that without drastic action, the sixth mass extinction could be imminent.
For us modern people, you are merely the ‘chemical elements’. We consider you inanimate, dead, not worthy of a point of view. We’ve never given you thanks. Who cares about lifeless rock and air? But an ancient awareness stirs and grows in the face of the global crisis – that you are people; animate proto-beings, tiny atomic persons. The stuff of life. And so we do, after all, owe you thanks. Your quantum entanglements, your ultra sub-microscopic machinations your repulsions, and your love affairs, the sum of all your doings, create the vastness of the Universe and the shining, turning, deep blue-marble Earth in which we live, breathe and have our being.
If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.
Bosnia says 1 million affected by floods, destruction “terrifying”
MONDAY MAY 19, 2014 | DARIA SITO-SUCIC, MARKO DJURICA FOR REUTERS
A car is seen stranded in the flooded town of Obrenovac
Credit: © Antonio Bronic / Reuters/Reuters
MAGLAJ Bosnia/KRUPANJ Serbia (Reuters) – More than a quarter of Bosnia’s four million people have been affected by the worst floods to hit the Balkans in more than a century, the government said on Monday, warning of “terrifying” destruction comparable to the country’s 1992-95 war.
The floods extended across Serbia and Bosnia, where receding waters in some of the worst-hit areas are now revealing the extent of the devastation. Homes have been toppled or submerged in mud, trees felled and villages strewn with the rotting corpses of livestock.
“The consequences of the floods are terrifying,” Bosnian Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija told a news conference. “The physical destruction is not less than the destruction caused by the war.” He said more than 100,000 houses and other buildings were no longer usable. “During the war, many people lost everything,” he said. “Today, again they have nothing.”
More than a million people in Bosnia were been cut off from clean water supplies, Lagumdzija said, after torrential rains caused rivers to burst their banks and triggered more than 2,000 landslides.
The discovery of a body in northern Bosnia on Monday raised the regional death toll to at least 38, but the figure was likely to rise further.
Even as the crisis eased in some areas, a new flood wave from the swollen River Sava threatened others, notably Serbia’s largest power plant, the Nikola Tesla complex, 30 km (18 miles) southwest of the capital, Belgrade.
In Bosnia, one official said as many as 500,000 people had been evacuated or left their homes, the kind of human displacement not seen since more than a million were driven out by ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian war two decades ago. At least 25,000 people have been evacuated in Serbia.
“We have some indications that a half a million Bosnians have either been evacuated or have left their homes because of flooding or landslides,” said Fahrudin Solak, the acting head of the civil defence service in Bosnia’s autonomous Federation.
Communities in both countries continued to stack sandbags and dig trenches to protect towns from flooding triggered by the heaviest rainfall in the Balkans since records began 120 years ago.
OUT OF THEIR HANDS
Soldiers and energy workers worked through the night to build barriers of sandbags to keep the water back from Serbia’s Nikola Tesla energy complex and from a second site, the Kostolac coal-fired plant, east of Belgrade.
Hundreds of volunteers in the capital filled sandbags and stacked them along the banks of Sava. Police issued an appeal for more bags.
Djina Trisovic, a union spokeswoman at Serbia’s EPS power utility, said some workers at the Nikola Tesla plant had worked three days with barely a break because their relief teams could not reach the plant.
“The plant should be safe now,” she told Reuters. “We’ve done all we could. Now it’s in the hands of God.”
The plant provides roughly half of Serbia’s electricity. Parts were already shut down as a precaution, and it would have to be powered down completely if the waters breached the defenses.
Other EPS officials also said they believed the plant was out of danger, but there was concern for the Kolubara coal mine that supplies it. Power utilities in Bosnia and Macedonia said they had jointly provided 260 megawatts (MW) of power to Serbia to help it cope with shortages.
Authorities in Bosnia issued a fresh warning about the danger of landmines left over from the war and now dislodged by the flooding. The Centre for the Removal of Landmines appealed for international help in securing equipment and satellite screening to monitor minefields.
In the north Bosnian town of Maglaj, barely a single house was left untouched by the waters, which receded to leave a trail of mud and debris. “It was totally submerged for two days,” said its mayor, Mehmet Mustabasic. “It will take years, even decades, for Maglaj to get back to how it was.”
In Krupanj in western Serbia, a woman wept on the remains of her destroyed house. Several other homes had tilted into the swollen river, mud and tree branches driven through walls and windows by the force of a landslide.
(Additional reporting by Ivana Sekularac and Matt Robinson in Belgrade, Maja Zuvela in Sarajevo, Igor Ilic and Zoran Radosavljevic in Zagreb; Writing by Matt Robinson; Editing by Larry King)
Copyright (2014) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions
Scientific uncertainty has been described as a ‘monster’ that defies our best efforts to understand the Earth’s climate system. Commentators and politicians routinely cite uncertainty about the severity of climate change impacts to justify their opposition to mitigation measures such as a price on carbon.
What is the appropriate response to uncertainty about the future of the Earth’s climate? Is there too much uncertainty to warrant action? Should we wait for more certainty?
On the face of it, complacency in the light of uncertainty might appear tolerable or even advisable.
However, a mathematical analysis of the implications of uncertainty about future temperature increases shows otherwise.
“The only thing I can see is they are buying time. They’re putting the project on life support,” said Chief Joe Alphonse of the Tletinqox-t’in and the tribal chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government, over the phone from his office in northern B.C.
On life support is Taseko Mines’ latest effort to open a gold-copper mine in B.C.’s northern interior, in the heart of Tsilhqot’in & Secwepemc Nations’ traditional territory. The Vancouver-based company has been attempting to get the mine up and running for over five years now, and has faced strong opposition along the way.
The project has been rejected by the federal government twice, both times after negative findings from a federal environmental assessment panel. The latest rejection, this past October, found that the mine’s adverse effects greatly outweighed any economic benefits.
These negatives include impacts on the water quality in the area, including Fish Lake (known by the Tsilhqot’in as Teztan Biny), on fish populations and ecosystems, and on the traditional and cultural use of the land by First Nations people. There would also be significant impacts on the South Chilcotin grizzly bear population.
But the company isn’t done yet and has filed two judicial reviews, both asking the Federal Court of Canada to throw out the latest decision. While the first request hinges on a dispute about the science behind the panel’s finding, a review filed in late March is challenging the fairness of the review process itself, and could impact how the federal government consults with First Nations and what projects would be subject to future federal environmental assessments.