A summary of the April 24th BAECCC meeting is now available.
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09/01/2014 10:59 AM
A doomed Earth of science fiction may well become a reality
Guardian: There’s a scene in the newly-restored science fiction classic The Day the Earth Caught Fire (premiered last week in the summer open air cinema at the British Museum) when The Daily Express’s fictional, bull-nosed science reporter, Bill Maguire, barks at a newsroom junior to fetch him information on the melting points of various substances. It’s to illustrate a spread in the paper which is investigating how massive nuclear tests have shifted the planet on its axis, causing chaotic weather and a heat...
09/01/2014 08:58 AM
Coalgate: India urges supreme court not to close coal mines
Guardian: The Indian government has urged the country’s supreme court to allow 46 illegally granted coal licenses to continue to operate. The court is considering what action to take in the “Coalgate” corruption scandal. Last week, it found that every coal mining license the government allocated between 1993 and 2009, 218 in all, had been granted in an “illegal and arbitrary” manner and the government committee that oversaw the process was a regulatory vacuum in which cronyism thrived. India’s attorney...
09/01/2014 08:59 AM
World will warm faster than predicted in next five years, study warns
Guardian: The world faces record-breaking temperatures as the sun's activity increases, leading the planet to heat up significantly faster than scientists had predicted for the next five years, according to a study. The hottest year on record was 1998, and the relatively cool years since have led to some global warming sceptics claiming that temperatures have levelled off or started to decline. But new research firmly rejects that argument. The research, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters,...
09/01/2014 07:44 AM
How to Buy a Mine in Wisconsin
New York Times: Last year, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and the Republican-controlled State Legislature approved the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine, a gash in the northern part of the state that could be as long as 21 miles, a half-mile wide and 1,000 feet deep. The mine legislation was bad enough from an environmental point of view: It allows the operator to fill streams with mine waste, eliminates public hearings and reduces the taxes the operator would have to pay. It turns out to be even more shocking...
08/31/2014 08:48 AM
Obama Opened Floodgates Offshore Fracking
Ring of Fire: In little-noticed news arising out of a recent Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas lease held by the U.S. Department of Interior`s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the floodgates have opened for Gulf offshore hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"). With 21.6 million acres auctioned off by the Obama Administration and 433,822 acres receiving bids, some press accounts have declared BP America -- of 2010 Gulf of Mexico offshore oil spill infamy -- a big winner of the auction. If true, fracking and the...
08/31/2014 08:58 AM
‘Ban Fracking in North Carolina’
Stokes News: An occasionally raucous crowd of nearly 450 sent a message to Raleigh Monday: Ban Fracking in North Carolina. In rapid sequence, with no breaks, for four solid hours, 84 speakers appeared before the members of the NC Mining and Energy Commission in Reidsville, to comment on the state`s proposed rules on Oil and Gas exploration. The theme was apparent: Either ban oil and gas drilling entirely, or write a better set of rules to protect citizens more than drillers. Or, as one speaker said, "Make...
08/31/2014 07:26 AM
Climate change tops UN summit agenda in Samoa
Al Jazeera: It is the biggest event the tiny Pacific nation of Samoa has ever seen. A United Nations conference is getting underway to discuss the issues facing some of the world’s most vulnerable countries. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon says economic and environmental sustainability will top the agenda. Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas reports from Apia.
08/31/2014 09:02 AM
Sea-level surge at Antarctica linked to icesheet loss
Agence France-Presse: Sea levels around Antarctica have been rising a third faster than the global average, a clear sign of high meltwater runoff from the continent's icesheet, scientists said on Sunday. Satellite data from 1992 to 2011 found the sea surface around Antarctica's coast rose by around eight centimetres (3.2 inches) in total compared to a rise of six cm for the average of the world's oceans, they said. The local increase is accompanied by a fall in salinity at the sea surface, as detected by research...
08/31/2014 03:10 PM
On climate change, much work is needed to save our globe
Daily Star: A crack in a house’s foundation, if not repaired, can continue to grow, ultimately destabilizing the structure and rendering it uninhabitable. Its occupants must then move to another home. But the world’s population cannot move somewhere else. Houses, while not cheap, are replaceable; our planet is not. Climate change, as we have known for years, is one such crack in the foundation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been studying the phenomenon since 1988. Twenty-two years ago, the...
08/31/2014 12:57 PM
Scientists identify deforested idle land as source of Indonesia "haze" fires
Reuters: A month after Singapore was shrouded in a thick haze produced by Indonesian fires in June 2013, scientist David Gaveau went to the source of the smoke in Riau province to survey the charred aftermath. News reports attributed the haze to slash-and-burn forest clearance to make way for oil palm plantations. But what Gaveau, a scientist with the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), discovered during his five days examining the still-smouldering ground on Sumatra island...
08/31/2014 11:01 AM
Rich nations have moral duty to help island nations as climate change shifts weather patterns
Sydney Morning Herald: Small island nations, particularly those in the Pacific, are already experiencing "extreme effects" from global warming, and rich nations including Australia have a "moral responsibility" to help them cope with future unavoidable threats, a senior World Bank executive said. Atoll nations including Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands are seeing shifting rainfall patterns, rising sea-levels and ocean acidification that are forcing islanders to move, said Rachel Kyte, the World Bank's special...
08/31/2014 12:23 PM
Americans have a moral obligation to tackle climate change now
Oregonian: My children's names are Aaron and Norah. Aaron is a somewhat serious 9-yr-old who likes to build things and tease his sister. Norah is a bubbly, curly haired 4-year-old who likes princesses and anything pink or green, especially if it is growing in the garden. Hearing about climate change denial makes me feel frustrated that my children's future is dangerously at stake. I know that with global warming there are only two uncertainties: "How bad will things get and how quickly will things deteriorate?"...
08/31/2014 07:04 AM
Fires and drought have transformed New Mexico forests
Las Cruces News: Gambel oak and other shrubs whose roots survived a lightning-sparked wildfire in 2013 sprout on many slopes once dominated by ponderosa pines. Black, mangled masses of wood and dead barley plants loom over the new growth, which also includes aspens, grass and wildflowers. The barley grew last fall from seeds the U.S. Forest Service dropped to minimize erosion after the Silver Fire. Pines survived in many areas within the 139,000-acre burn scar. But in other places, the trees were incinerated --...
08/31/2014 07:35 AM
Protesters who blocked coal shipment set for trial
Associated Press: Two men who used an old lobster boat to block a coal shipment to New England's largest coal-burning power plant say they plan to argue at trial that their actions were necessary because of the threat posed by climate change. Environmental activists Ken Ward and Jonathan "Jay" O'Hara say they don't intend to dispute many of the facts of the case during their jury trial, which opens Sept. 8 in Fall River District Court. Instead, they want to prove that global warming is real and that bold auction...
08/31/2014 08:00 AM
Bakken crude oil production relies on rail shipments
Times_Dispatch: The frequency and volume of Bakken crude rail shipments are driven by oil production in North Dakota that is second only to Texas in the U.S. Production there rose from 81,000 barrels a day in 2006 to 900,000 barrels a day last year. With production exceeding pipeline capacity, “rail became attractive because of the location and the fact there is a ready market for (light crude oil) on the East Coast,” said Sandy Fielden, an analyst at RBN Energy in Houston. “Generally, everything produced...
08/31/2014 08:00 AM
Crude rides Texas' rails with little oversight
Houston Chronicle: Six days a week, bumping through the scrub, oil trucks pull up to the rail stations at Muleshoe or Kermit, Dimmit or Roy, Whiteface, Seagraves or Wellman, any of the flyspeck boomtowns of the Permian Basin. By the tracks, roustabouts and railroaders meet for a transfer as old as their industries. Pumping crude into tank cars, they step back as the locomotives lurch off toward the transfer stations of BNSF and Union Pacific, the two big lines that crisscross the state on their way to Houston, where...
08/31/2014 04:30 AM
Federal funds boost Native American climate resilience efforts
Summit Voice: We are following up on our grassroots fundraising campaign with a Sept. 12 dinner event at the Sunshine Cafe (6 p.m., 250 Summit Place shopping center, Silverthorne, CO) that you don`t want to miss. First of all, the Sunshine Cafe -- under new ownership -- rarely opens for dinner, so it`s a chance for you to sample the great cooking that makes this a longtime favorite eatery for locals and visitors. Proceeds from the dinner and a silent auction will benefit Summit Voice and the Beacon Rocky Mountain...
08/31/2014 11:00 AM
Changing global diets is vital to reducing climate change
PhysOrg: A new study, published today in Nature Climate Change, suggests that - if current trends continue - food production alone will reach, if not exceed, the global targets for total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2050. The study's authors say we should all think carefully about the food we choose and its environmental impact. A shift to healthier diets across the world is just one of a number of actions that need to be taken to avoid dangerous climate change and ensure there is enough food for...
08/31/2014 08:00 AM
Solar energy users claim victory as 'sun tax' rejected
Deseret News: Utah solar advocates and customers are hailing a decision Friday by the Utah Public Service Commission to reject Rocky Mountain Power's request of a monthly fee for rooftop solar homes. "What a bright day for Utah`s future. This order protects energy choice in Utah and recognizes the potential solar has to benefit all Utahns," said Sarah Wright, executive director of Utah Clean Energy. Members of another advocacy group, HEAL Utah, were also pleased. "We`re thrilled. Rocky Mountain Power...
08/30/2014 05:06 PM
Amid oil and gas boom, Colorado continues role as earthquake lab
Denver Post: University of Colorado researcher Will Yeck checks seismometers where he is monitoring activity around Greeley in the wake of a May 31 earthquake there. Some in the area believe the earthquake, at 3.2 magnitude, may have been caused by wastewater injection wells used in fracking. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)Aug 23:Let's make a deal: How Colorado came to a fracking compromiseAug 7:Colorado commission votes to pull lawsuit over Longmont oil, gas ruleAug 5:Six petitions seeking Colorado ballot measures...