Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

…Without question, an old saw – what goes around comes around – rings true when it comes to radiation, and it should admonish (but it doesn’t phase ‘em) strident nuclear proponents, claiming Fukushima is an example of how safe nuclear power is “because there are so few, if any, deaths” (not true). As Chernobyl clearly demonstrates: Over time, radiation cumulates in bodily organs. For a real life example of how radiation devastates human bodies, consider this fact: 453,391 children with bodies ravaged, none born at the time of the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986, today receive special healthcare because of Chernobyl radiation-related medical problems like cancer, digestive, respiratory, musculoskeletal, eye disease, blood disease, congenital malformation, and genetic abnormalities. Their parents were children in the Chernobyl zone in 1986 (Source: Chernobyl’s Legacy: Kids With Bodies Ravaged by Disaster, USA Today, April 17, 2016).

Making matters worse yet, Fukushima Diiachi sets smack dab in the middle of earthquake country, which defines the boundaries of Japan. In that regard, according to Dr. Shuzo Takemoto, professor, Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University: “The problem of Unit 2… If it should encounter a big earth tremor, it will be destroyed and scatter the remaining nuclear fuel and its debris, making the Tokyo metropolitan area uninhabitable. The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will then be utterly out of the question,” (Shuzo Takemoto, Potential Global Catastrophe of the Reactor No. 2 at Fukushima Daiichi, February 11, 2017)…

Source: Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?

It has been a long year. Let’s engage in some speculative fiction. Donald Trump is due to get his hands on the nuclear codes Jan. 20, so thinking too far into the future may be a pointless exercise, but lets suppose humanity makes it out the other side of his presidency more or less in one piece. Continue reading

Source: Automation, Climate Change and Donald Trump: What Kind of Future Are We In For? – BillMoyers.com

For one thing, the electricity grid is getting cleaner every day.

 

Eric Jaffe

A post I wrote last week on where electric vehicles cause more pollution than gas cars produced some unusually high reader emissions rates. Amid the more combustible reactions were a number of quite thoughtful ones, laying out some legitimate critiques to both the research study that prompted the post as well as our description of the work. So we reached out to several experts on electric cars and the environmental impact of transportation to offer a wider perspective.

First a quick recap: the NBER study I originally referenced measured pollution produced by EVs (via the electricity grid) and gas cars (via on-road emissions) across the U.S.—in effect, comparing power plant smokestack to vehicle tailpipe. In the West, EVs tended to be cleaner than gas cars; elsewhere they rated out worse. The economists leading the work priced this difference by geography to determine where electrics should be subsidized, and where they should actually be taxed.

Estimated electric vehicle subsidies by U.S. county; areas in green suggest EVs should be subsidized, while those in red suggest they should be taxed. (Holland et al, 2015, NBER)

The maps came down hardest on the worst environmental offenders (namely, gas cars in big cities, and coal power plants) and served as a reminder of the huge social costs of car reliance. But the researchers, concerned foremost with present-day policy, also meant them to “generate critical questions as to the merits of the federal subsidy” for EVs. They concluded that maybe it made more sense to set specific pollution fees or subsidies based on different locations.

In our follow-up discussions—a sort of informal peer-review for a working study yet to receive its official one—four key qualifications to that conclusion emerged…

 

Source: Climate Experts See Problems With New Maps of Where Electric Vehicles Pollute More Than Gas Cars – CityLab

By Liz Bergstrom

 

Here’s a guide for separating greenwashing from green action.

Source: How to Tell If a Company is Green (or Not) | Audubon

Through media, they have advanced their political and ideological goals and attacked those who stand in their way.

Source: New Book Exposes Koch Brothers’ Guide To Infiltrating The Media | Alternet

The CBC  gives an eloquent flat-earther a privileged platform from which to spew forth from with phonetic, pretentious, pompous, put-on ponderousness. -PG

Rex Murphy unleashed another torrent of anti-environment rhetoric yesterday.

Source: The nasty nattering of climate change denier, Rex Murphy | National Observer

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks at a town hall on Wednesday. (Photo: Elise Amendola / AP)

Perhaps nothing captures the imperialist arrogance of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz more succinctly than his campaign’s statement declaring, “What is best for America is best for the world.” In addition to the obvious issue that billions of people around the world might disagree with Cruz on this point is the fact that it is not at all clear that the Republican presidential candidate’s proposed policies are even best for most Americans. But given his victory this past week in the Iowa caucus, Cruz’s ultra-conservative views can no longer be ignored while mainstream and progressive pundits busy themselves dissecting the bombastic rhetoric of the far less scary Donald Trump…

Source: Terrifying Ted and his Ultra-Conservative Vision for America | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community