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Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending November 24, 2017

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending November 24, 2017

  On this week, which includes Thanksgiving in the U.S., climate activists can find developments for which they can be

Alternative Energy

New Mexico Tribes Step Up to Protect Land Before Fossil Fuels Vote

New Mexico Tribes Step Up to Protect Land Before Fossil Fuels Vote

Native American tribes are voicing concerns and demanding input on regulations on fossil fuel development in a New Mexico county, in the latest wave of tribal voices growing louder on oil and gas development across the country.
Sandoval County, home to 12 Native tribes, will hold a final vote in January on a draft ordinance to regulate oil and gas development in the county.
In packed public meetings over the proposed ordinance last week, tribal leaders called out the lack of tribal input in the draft ordinance and raised concerns over the ordinance’s lack of protections for water, air and land resources.
Santo Domingo Pueblo Gov.
Robert Coriz, who says he was one of the leaders not consulted on the ordinance, told the AP the decision must be based “on honest, open, respectful communication” with tribes.
As reported by the Washington Post: “At a contentious meeting late last week, Ahjani Yepa of Jemez Pueblo spoke about the connection between her people and the land, spurring fellow activists in the crowd to raise their fists in solidarity. ‘As with many cultures and religions, we do not have a book to guide us.
The land is our Bible.
Once it is gone, you cannot print another copy,’ she told members of the Sandoval County Commission.”
For a deeper dive: For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

Alternative Energy

Victory: Concerned Citizens and Environmental Groups Stop Oil Train in Its Tracks

Victory: Concerned Citizens and Environmental Groups Stop Oil Train in Its Tracks

An oil train moves through California’s Central Valley.
In 2009, 10,000 tank cars transported crude oil in the entire U.S.
The Alon Bakersfield Refinery Crude Flexibility Project, approved by the Kern County Board of Supervisors, would have enabled the refinery to unload crude from more than 200 tanker train cars per day, allowing it to import up to 63.1 million barrels of crude oil per year.
A lawsuit filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Association of Irritated Residents, Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club claimed that Kern County’s certification of an environmental impact report (EIR) failed to meet its legal duty to fully assess the project’s risks and disclose them to the public.
Already one in six children in the Valley will be diagnosed with asthma before age 18.
The crude oil being transported to the Alon Bakersfield Refinery from the Bakken formation in North Dakota poses a higher risk of explosion in the event of a rail accident than heavier crudes.
Kern County’s EIR underestimated the likelihood of release of hazardous materials by rail accident by fivefold.
It also wrongly ignored the air pollution from rail transportation. “We have the worst air quality in the nation,” Tom Franz, president of the Association of Irritated Residents, said. “We’re glad the court saw through the county’s attempt to minimize the incredible risks this crude-by-rail terminal poses to nearby communities, from explosions to hazardous chemical spills,” said Maya Golden-Krasner, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Food & Water

Singapore’s PUB starts construction on DTSS Phase 2 conveyor system

Singapore’s PUB starts construction on DTSS Phase 2 conveyor system

Singapore’s national water agency PUB has broken ground for the enhanced conveyance system of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2.
The latest development, which marks the start of construction works, took place at the site of DTSS Phase 2’s first tunnelling shaft at Penjuru Rd.
Linking to the existing tunnels in Phase 1, the deep tunnels in Phase 2 will serve the eastern part of Singapore and the public sewer network to create a single integrated system.
Upon completion by 2025, the DTSS Phase 2 will serve the whole of Singapore.
Three centralised water reclamation plants will receive used water from the DTSS through gravity for treatment, before it undergoes further purification to produce NEWater.
The 100km used water conveyance network for DTSS Phase 2 will be built using the tunnelling method and would run largely under the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE).
It will cross undersea at Tuas Bay and end at deep inlet shafts within the future Tuas Water Reclamation Plant.
The deep tunnels will be lined for corrosion protection and will use air jumpers in the operations of its air flow management system.
Image: Officials during DTSS Phase 2 groundbreaking ceremony.
Photo: courtesy of PUB.

Food & Water

Danone invests in firm selling bottled water from ocean floor

Danone invests in firm selling bottled water from ocean floor

Evian and Volvic owner Danone has put money into a Hawaiian bottled water from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, showing the depths multinationals will now go to in the quest for more revenue.
The investment in Kona Deep, for an undisclosed sum, is the fifth in a year for Danone Manifesto Ventures, a fund the French food giant set up last year to invest in entrepreneurial companies, which are eating away at the dominance of big brands.
Kona Deep sources its water from a deep ocean current off the coast of Hawaii.
The two-year-old company says its water has a unique blend of naturally occurring electrolytes and minerals that make it extra-hydrating.
Danone, the world’s third-biggest bottled water company, is one of nine food giants to set up such a fund recently.
A case of 12 one-litre bottles of Kona Deep can be found online for $33, nearly triple the price of a case of Evian.
After being pumped through a pipe that reaches 3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, Kona Deep desalinates the water using reverse osmosis, and bottles it.
Play Video 1:20 Danone did not give details about the environmental impact of the process, but said on Tuesday ocean water was a renewable source and that Kona Deep sources it in a “responsible and sustainable manner.” Kona Deep can benefit from Danone’s experience with eco-friendly packaging and community management, it added.
Danone is taking a minority stake as part of Kona Deep’s $5.5m capital raising effort, which also includes private equity firm Grand Crossing Capital and local Hawaiian investors.
The brand has recently expanded from Hawaii to the US mainland and plans to use the funds to expand distribution and production capacity.

Alternative Energy

Four Questions About the New Line 5 Pipeline Report

Four Questions About the New Line 5 Pipeline Report

Conor Mihell In June, the state of Michigan released a draft report on alternatives to Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, which pumps up to 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) per day along the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.
On Nov. 20, the final alternatives report was released to the public.
Mike Shriberg, executive director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center and a member of the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, issued the following statement Monday about how we’re evaluating the final alternatives analysis: “We’re looking for this report to address four issues, at minimum, lacking in the first draft.
It must assess what’s best for Michigan—not Enbridge; it must analyze Michigan’s share of product transported through Line 5; it must accurately assess the risk of Line 5 and treat that risk with the seriousness it deserves; and it must fully analyze all alternatives to Line 5.”
Without this fundamental change, their assessment of risk and viability of alternatives fails to meet even the most basic expectations for the citizens of Michigan and the understanding of the Line 5 review process.
Michigan has only three uses for Line 5.
First, less than 5 percent of Line 5 product goes to Rapid River, Michigan for processing into propane.
While Dynamic Risk only evaluated risk for up to 5 miles of Line 5 (traveling through the Great Lakes), for most of the outlined alternatives, they evaluated risk and cost associated with an entire project.
Dynamic Risk failed to provide any practical details on why they removed this alternative.
Their failure to forecast and take into account even the most basic and publicly available information around how Enbridge’s system is expanding downstream and perhaps shrinking upstream from Line 5 shows a possible bias in their review.

Alternative Energy

Change in New Jersey Leadership Could Help the State Fulfill Its Offshore Wind Potential — And Then Some

Change in New Jersey Leadership Could Help the State Fulfill Its Offshore Wind Potential — And Then Some

New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy has an environmental plan for the state that includes setting an offshore wind target of 3,500 MW by 2030.
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TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaque Font Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400% Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadow Font FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall Caps DefaultsDone Despite its legislation calling for mechanisms to support offshore wind development, New Jersey has yet to realize that promise, but that could change this fall with the election of a new governor.
Polefka said Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy has come forward with a strong goal for offshore wind as part of his campaign.
In April, Murphy released a plan to combat climate change, which included setting the most ambitious offshore wind target in the country at 3,500 MW by 2030.
Learning from Other Successes Polefka said that New Jersey’s offshore wind law creates a carve-out similar to Maryland that establishes offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs), and sets mandates for electric power distributors to procure those credits in certain proportions over the long term.
He said that New Jersey and Maryland both show promise in creating offshore wind markets that are as successful as markets now under way in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
The report, State Policies Can Unleash U.S. Commercial Offshore Wind Development, provides policy options for coastal states considering pursuit of the strategic benefits of offshore wind energy, based on the key elements underpinning early success in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
Among other things, Polefka recommended in the report that states consider comprehensive ocean planning, and he said that ocean planning is an area in which states can collaborate to achieve progress.
According to Polefka, Rhode Island represents a great example of the ocean planning element in practice.

Wellness

The delish okra and sweet potato salad recipe Rocco Dispirito developed on a dare

The delish okra and sweet potato salad recipe Rocco Dispirito developed on a dare

“I was at a doctor’s appointment and my doctor told me I had the metabolic age of a 68-year-old man—I was 38 at the time!” says DiSpirito.
His shift to healthier cooking started that day and, a year later, he had lost more than 30 pounds.
DiSpirito’s latest piece of proof is his new cookbook, Rocco’s Healthy + Delicious, which features nearly 250 “mostly plant-based” recipes.
“My team knows how much I love okra and they dared me to make an okra dish that was quick and easy, yet slime-free,” says DiSpirito.
Combined with starchy sweet potato and a generous splash of red wine vinegar, it’s an unexpected success that makes it easy to incorporate all kinds of vegetables into your diet.
And as for the challenge?
Place on a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high until the sweet potatoes are just cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into bite-size cubes, and place in a large bowl.
Try another one of Rocco DiSpirito’s recipes with this healthy fried rice or keep the sweet potato party going with this unexpected and easy recipe.

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Conservation & Sustainability

Tracing the Wild Origins of the Domestic Turkey

Tracing the Wild Origins of the Domestic Turkey

What are the wild origins of our domestic turkey – and who did the domesticating?
The South Mexican Wild Turkey As I was reading about the deep roots of our dinner table turkeys, I came across references to the “south Mexican” wild turkey.
eBird reports some sightings in mountainous areas within the bird’s former range, but these could be domestic birds or reintroductions of other subspecies.
All of our modern-day domestic turkeys originate from the tamed Aztec birds from southern Mexico.
And the wild progenitor of these birds was the sixth “South Mexican” subspecies.
Anasazi-bred domestic turkeys from the Four Corners region had their roots in the Eastern and Rio Grande subspecies.
It was once thought that the Merriam’s subspecies might be a feral form of the Anasazi domestic breed, but the genetic evidence doesn’t support this idea.
Fortunately, a 16th century Franciscan monk, Bernardino de Sahagún, gave us a sense of what turkey recipes were like.
In his book A History of Food in 100 Recipes, William Sitwell compiles Bernardino de Sahagún’s culinary accounts of turkey.
After Leopold’s book, subsequent authors fleshed out the original range of the South Mexican subspecies to span across south-central Mexico.

Conservation & Sustainability

The FAA Can’t Stop People From Throwing Live Turkeys Out Of Planes

The FAA Can’t Stop People From Throwing Live Turkeys Out Of Planes

The Federal Aviation Administration has found no violations with an infamous Arkansas event that involves dropping live turkeys from a plane ― but that may be because no one ever thought they’d need a rule about that.
“This does not mean we endorse the practice.” The Associated Press and WREG reported last month that the FAA would be looking into possible laws or regulations broken during the annual Turkey Trot festival in Yellville, Arkansas.
This year’s Turkey Trot took place on Oct. 14.
Though the fall festival includes many events, it’s best known for the “turkey drop,” in which live turkeys are dropped from a plane 500 feet in the air.
Festivalgoers chase and catch the surviving turkeys.
Even if the turkeys survive, however, the noise of the plane and the drop itself would be terrifying, Yvonne Vizzier Thaxton, a poultry science professor, said last year.
The FAA spokesman explained to HuffPost that the agency has no power when it comes to animal welfare issues.
“Our regulations only cover ‘objects,’ and specify that they can be dropped from aircraft as long as they don’t pose a danger to people or property on the ground,” he said.
Unfortunately for the turkeys, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen anytime soon.
Marion County Sheriff Clinton Evans told the Democrat-Gazette this week that Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kenford Carter would not be pursuing any charges related to the turkey drop.

Conservation & Sustainability

Head Of Puerto Rico Power Utility Resigns As More Controversy Plagues Island

Head Of Puerto Rico Power Utility Resigns As More Controversy Plagues Island

The head of Puerto Rico’s power utility resigned Friday while facing scrutiny for the slow progress being made on restoring the island’s power grid eight weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory.
Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), submitted his resignation, effective immediately, to the utility’s board.
The contract, which Puerto Rico officials canceled after the hearing, was suspect because the bankrupt utility chose Whitefish Energy over larger firms with lower rates and more experience in dealing with disaster-stricken areas, according to The Washington Post.
“I trust that this process will occur as fast as possible and will not affect the work of rehabilitating the electricity system across the island.” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, an outspoken voice for more support during Puerto Rico’s recovery, said that Ramos “helped destroy the credibility of the PR government” and called him “a disgrace.” That Ricardo Ramos does not head PREPA is the right thing.
— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) November 17, 2017 In his hearing with the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week, Ramos defended his contract with Whitefish Energy, saying that he chose the firm after reviewing “a half-dozen proposals” and found that Whitefish and another firm were the only two that offered immediate services that Puerto Rico desperately needed.
Ramos added that he believed PREPA was unable to meet the requirements for mutual assistance with other public utility companies, “such as providing accommodations for workers and other logistics.” Ramos also said that PREPA didn’t have enough supplies for their own crews, let alone another firms.
“We had no fuel, no phone, no internet.
No nothing,” Ramos said to the committee, according to The New York Times.
“How could I bring more people into that situation?” On Wednesday, a major blackout shuttered San Juan, the island’s capital and most populous city, and surrounding areas hours after officials announced that Puerto Rico had reached its goal of having 50 percent of its power generation restored, ABC News reported.
As of Friday, two months after Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane, PREPA has restored up to 43 percent of the island’s power.

Conservation & Sustainability

U.S. lifts ban on some elephant trophy imports

U.S. lifts ban on some elephant trophy imports

On Wednesday, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the remains of legally hunted elephants in two African countries can be imported into the United States.
In an informal statement, the U.S.
“This is the wrong move at the wrong time for protecting Africa’s wildlife,” said M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International.
“What’s more, this move sends a dangerous signal to poachers and to our allies about the commitment of the United States to ending the trade in ivory and endangered animal products.” The past few years have seen seismic shifts against the ivory trade and the poaching that fuels it.
In recent months, China and the United Kingdom — two of the world’s largest ivory importers — have announced plans to close their markets.
Yet the trade endures, and in places that some might not expect: According to a report released earlier this year, none other than Washington, D.C., was judged to be the seat of the ivory trade in the United States.
Meanwhile, an African elephant is killed for its tusks every 15 minutes.
The rule change applies to elephants shot in Zimbabwe starting in January 2016, and to those legally permitted to be hunted before the end of next year, the Post reported, and a similar rule has been put into place for Zambia.
Fish and Wildlife Service, a move expected to occur later this week.
“I urge the Trump administration to reconsider this decision with full public comment and participation,” he said.

Conservation & Sustainability

Mountain Lion Captured In San Francisco Freed In California Wilds

Mountain Lion Captured In San Francisco Freed In California Wilds

San Francisco police and game wardens watched for hours for a young male mountain lion from the rooftops of a city neighborhood before bringing it down with tranquilizer darts.
“When I arrived the mountain lion was hunkered down,” Lt. James Ober, a game warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It appeared to be under a lot of stress.” It took two darts to subdue the 82-pound cat on Friday after it had been spotted prowling around the Diamond Heights neighborhood in the heart of the city.
Police stood by with rifles in the event of an emergency.
The animal, believed to be 18 months old, was masked and its paws secured with straps.
The Santa Cruz Puma Project at the University of California Santa Cruz fitted the animal with a tracking collar and ear tag before it was taken to the Crystal Springs open area in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains.
A mountain lion identified as P-22 has been spotted in Hollywood, and other pumas live in the hills around Los Angeles.
It was the first time a mountain lion was captured in San Francisco.
There were at least two mountain lion sightings the first week of November near the Presidio and Sea Cliff area of San Francisco.
There may be as many as 6,000 of the big cats in the state, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Conservation & Sustainability

Hurricane Harvey: When Rain Bombs Go Nuclear

Hurricane Harvey: When Rain Bombs Go Nuclear

Harvey will go down in history as much more than the first major hurricane to strike the U.S. mainland in more than a decade.
Harvey may very well be the very first “rain bomb” to go nuclear.
In Harvey’s case, the fact that the storm system stalled over Houston dropping a biblical level of water over the flood-prone region has imperiled a major American city, grinding its citizens, commerce and local government to a halt.
Sadly, the scenes beaming around the world of a water-lodged Houston and the resilience of a citizen flotilla reflect the inconvenient truth that our communities and very way of life are in the crosshairs of an increasingly tumultuous world.
As a choke point for the oil industry and other major sectors, the economic ripple effects from Houston’s 1 in 500-year flood event (where the water is still rising and it is the third 500-year flood in as many years) will be felt far and wide.
Events like Houston’s flooding call on a system-wide response and, unfortunately, like the ghost of hurricane Katrina that still haunts the Gulf, many questions will be asked about preparation for hurricane Harvey.
The first, with echoes of New Orleans’ ill-fated Katrina response, being the choice to not order an evacuation.
Water rising is widely excluded from homeowners’ insurance, as well as commercial property policies, which will literally leave billions in unfunded losses.
Early estimates of Harvey’s economic costs reach and will likely exceed the $100 billion mark, with the long-term impacts affecting the thriving city of Houston for years to come.
Where all risks, especially in a turbulent interconnected world, are increasingly complex to model mathematically, resilience provides a clear investment destination.

LATEST FROMClimate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending November 24, 2017

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending November 24, 2017

  On this week, which includes Thanksgiving in the U.S., climate activists can find developments for which they can be

Climate Change & Global Warming

Rich countries ‘trying to turn climate funds into World Bank’

Rich countries ‘trying to turn climate funds into World Bank’

The rich are ‘renegotiating’ the Paris climate deal by trying to limit access for middle income countries to climate finance, it has been claimed Rich countries are blocking climate finance projects in middle income countries without justification, a powerful developing world group has claimed.
Brazil, China, India and South Africa – which makes up the Basic negotiating group – and the G77 coalition of 133 developing countries have accused rich countries of trying to “unilaterally apply new eligibility criteria” to the Global Environmental Facility (Gef) and Green Climate Fund (GCF).
During the last board meeting of the Gef in Addis Ababa in October, developed countries proposed middle income countries should have access to grants blocked.
In a statement, the Basic group told delegates to climate talks in Bonn: “These attempts have no legal basis and, in our view, are tantamount to renegotiating [the Paris Agreement].
Marcondes said the moves were “an attempt to rewrite the Paris Agreement”, adding that differentiating the developing world would make the funds work like the World Bank.
Bolivia’s chief negotiator Ivan Zambrana told Climate Home News the GCF should make the countries’ pledges to the Paris deal “more effective”.
For instance, there has been a bigger institutional effort towards loans than concessional transfers”, said Zambrana.
Espinosa said that, while it is understandable why the developing countries have raised the issue, the UN talks talks were not the appropriate place to discuss the funds.
“GEF and GCF have their own boards, where decisions are taken.
It’s important that the countries act through their representatives in these boards,” she said.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Fantastic visualization of Earth’s atmosphere in 2017

Fantastic visualization of Earth’s atmosphere in 2017

By tracking what is carried on the wind.
Tiny aerosol particles such as smoke, dust, and sea salt are transported across the globe, making visible weather patterns and other normally invisible physical processes.
During the same time, large fires in the Pacific Northwest released smoke into the atmosphere.
Unlike the sea salt, however, the dust is removed from the center of the storm.
Advances in computing speed allow scientists to include more details of these physical processes in their simulations of how the aerosols interact with the storm systems.
Geoengineering – the intentional manipulation of the climate to counter the effect of global warming by injecting aerosols artificially… Guest essay by Eric Worrall The Financial Times is disappointed that hitting the Paris targets is looking even less likely, thanks to economic growth driving a rise in CO2 emissions.
In October 2017, CEI submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for emails of… From the LONDON SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & TROPICAL MEDICINE and the “who needs death certificates when you have RCP models?” department.
Study of impact of climate change on temperatures suggests more deaths unless action taken The largest study to date of the potential temperature-related health impacts of climate change has shown that as global temperatures rise,… From the TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH (TUM) and the “cities have greater CO2 and greater warmth” department, comes this verification of Liebigs Law of the Minimum and a follow on to a story we covered on the same subject a few years back.
Lower troposphere dataset has warmest October in satellite… The best way to remember how entertaining (or horrifying) climate science, energy policy etc, has been in 2017 is to buy a Cartoons by Josh Calendar 2018.
This cuts the printing… The Effects of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation on U.S.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week In Review: Week Ending November 17, 2017

Climate Change Week In Review: Week Ending November 17, 2017

The attention of climate change activists turned in a big way to the Amazonian rain forest this week.  The actor

Climate Change & Global Warming

The Power Of World Kindness To Transform

The Power Of World Kindness To Transform

Today is World Kindness Day, a day introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement a coalition of nations kindness NGOs.
It is observed in many countries, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
Spreading kindness can have such a big transformation in our daily lives – if we just took a moment to be present and intentional every single day, each of us can have the power to change lives.
Be kind to yourself.
Maybe treat yourself to a massage, or indulge in TV time without feeling guilty – this will make you feel happier and more at ease.
Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
Some of us pass by a homeless person every day on our way to work – on world kindness day, why not surprise them with a cup of coffee and a meal.
Leave a note to a friend or family member.
Smile at everyone you see.
Next time someone opens the door for you, say thank you with a smile.

Climate Change & Global Warming

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending November 10, 2017

Climate Change Week in Review Week Ending November 10, 2017

This Tuesday saw a number of much-watched elections in the United States. Perhaps the most heavily covered election was that

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