The last big thing was green tech – from wave-power generators to the smart grid. Hyped in the bipartisan stimulus bill, it promised gobs of jobs, billions in revenues, and untold riches. Private investors plowed in billions too. It ended up in a massive pileup of capital destruction. Fatalities were everywhere.
Entries in Environment (20)
Contributed by Daniel Graeber of Oilprice.com: New US Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell went green when she announced her department would get hybrid vehicles to advance a federal low-carbon footprint. The next day, she announced plans for a lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico – in line with President Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy policy.
Suddenly No Solution For 56 Million Gallons Of Highly Radioactive Toxic Waste Leaking Into The Ground
Engineers have done a great job developing nuclear technologies to serve mankind’s many endeavors: medical devices, power generators, or formidable weapons to wipe out mankind and its many endeavors. Yet they haven’t figured out what to do with the radioactive, toxic materials these technologies leave behind. And we’re shuffling them to the next generation.
Contributed by Chriss Street. Despite late winter storms that blanketed the Mid-West and East Coast with snow, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that the 2nd worst drought since the Great Depression will continue to lay waste to wheat and corn production. Compounding effects will slow the economy and cause food prices to rise.
Contributed by John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com. Hanford, Washington, was, along with Oak Ridge, Tennessee, one of the two Manhattan Project nuclear plants that provided fissile material for the bombs dropped on Japan. Now the past is coming back to haunt the site. Washington governor Jay Inslee called it a “perfect radioactive storm.”
Contributed by Chriss Street. Nature Journal's climate-change study, "Orbital Forcing Of Tree-Ring Data," shows through analysis of over 2000 years of tree-ring evidence that current climate models substantially underestimated European temperature levels during the Roman and Medieval Periods. After which temperatures declined sharply.
China has tried over the years to come to grips with its pandemic pollution, yet in Beijing, through a combination of factors, it reached catastrophic levels in mid-January and set another record. Result of the white-hot pace of economic growth. And of coal consumption: this year, China is set to burn more coal than the rest of the world combined!
Contributed by James Burgess of Oilprice.com. The US is obsessed with reducing its reliance on foreign oil, yet Amir Adnani, CEO of Uranium Energy Corp. in Texas, has stated that “the U.S. is more reliant on foreign sources of uranium than on foreign sources of oil.” But he has a new way of extracting uranium. Coming to a backyard near you.
On Friday, the mayor of Futaba, a ghost town of once upon a time 7,000 souls near Fukushima No. 1, told his staff that evacuees might not be able to return for 30 years. Or never, for the older generation. He spoke in Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, where the town’s government has settled. It was the first estimate of a timeframe. But it all depends on successful decontamination. And that has turned into a vicious corruption scandal.
Contributed by James Burgess of Oilprice.com. Fracking has created a boom in natural gas and oil production in the US. As a result, it is fairly popular, especially in areas that are benefitting the most, such as Texas and North Dakota. But how long can that popularity last now that fracking is moving from the countryside to cities, close to people’s homes.
Contributed by John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com. During the heated presidential debate, Republicans aimed at the military’s interest in renewable fuels, with both House and Senate Republicans introducing legislation to prohibit the Pentagon from buying any fuels with a price tag greater than those of traditional fossil fuels. But now....
Radioactive Contamination On San Francisco’s Treasure Island: A Tale Of US Government Obfuscation & Willful Ignorance
On Treasure Island, a former naval base in the San Francisco Bay, there's a spot the Navy calls “USS Pandemonium Site I,” occupied by multi-family housing units. Potential contaminants: Radium-226 and cesium-137. Contamination, according to the Navy, is “unlikely.” But the Health Department finds 93 spots where radiation is up to 2.7 times the normal exposure level. In one area, it's 4,380% above the annual dose limit.
“That amount of radium found to date cannot be explained by gauges, deck markers, and decontamination activities,” wrote Stephen Woods, an environmental cleanup manager at the California Department of Public Health, about Treasure Island, the rectilinear speck of land in the San Francisco Bay two-and-a-half miles of white caps from our kitchen window. It summed up decades of US Government efforts to bury nuclear sins under layers of ignorance.
The meltdowns at Fukushima that have caused so much havoc have also paralyzed Japan’s nuclear power industry. The last of its 54 reactors will be taken off line in May. “Deindustrialization” grips power-starved Japan. TEPCO, owner of the plant, is bailed out with trillions of yen in taxpayer money. And now, halfway around the world, in the EU, nuclear power is lining up to suck at the teat of the taxpayer, but ingeniously, those in other countries.
It's always the same thing: for decades they tell us there's no problem with radiation from x-rays or other sources; the doses are so minuscule and infrequent that it would be like.... And they come up with some hoary example, such as "a 42-minute walk outside." Decades later, after millions of gullible or option-less people have been exposed to it, a new study comes out linking that very type of radiation and those doses to some nasty disease
New revelations seeped out about the control Japan’s nuclear industry had over regulators. In 2006, the Nuclear Safety Commission studied the enlargement of disaster-mitigation zones. But the Economics Ministry put an end to it, worried that it ''could cause social unrest and increase popular anxiety.” Five years later, after the preventable meltdowns at the Fukushima power plant, the people paid the price.
The Costa Concordia was launched on September 2, 2005, with a mishap that back then didn't mean anything: the champagne bottle thrown against its hull didn't break. But on January 13, at 10 pm, the mega cruise ship hit a reef near the small island of Giglio, off the coast of the Tuscany. So far, 11 bodies have been found and 23 people are still missing.
Satellite image by Digital Globe
But not in the US.
Just in time to make you feel better about holiday travels: airport security scanners that use X-ray technologies are acknowledged to cause cancer. No problem in the US; but now they’re banned in the EU.
The horrific tsunami from the earthquake off the coast of Japan made it all the way across the Pacific to the Antarctica and caused the calving of huge icebergs. The event was captured by satellite images. And refreshingly, for once, no one tried to force-link it to global warming.
French beaches, best known for their topless female sunbathers, have been afflicted with a disgusting and deadly scourge: floods of green algae.
The latest victims were eighteen young wild boars, whose cadavers were found on July 26 on a beach of the Bretagne. Ten cadavers were found nearby the prior two days.