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New translation, the Magna Carta

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and there were lean years - don’t worry folks, there is no global warming, just unfortunate coincidences on a rising trend

“Desertification could drive tens of millions of people from their homes, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and central Asia, a UN study warned on Thursday.

“People displaced by desertification put new strains on natural resources and on other societies nearby and threaten international instability, the 46-page study by the UN University showed.” [Quoted from planetark.org]

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“Drought in China's northeast, the country's top corn and soybean region, is likely to last for another week at least and could seriously undermine grains production, agricultural officials said on Wednesday.” [Quoted from planetark.org]

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Lightning has killed 42 in China during the last couple of days.

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“Severe flooding in China has left at least 128 people dead and 24 missing, with direct economic losses passing the $1-billion (about R7,2-billion) mark, state media reported Sunday.

“Xinhua News Agency said the hardest-hit areas have been in southern China, including Guangdong province, the export powerhouse next to Hong Kong.

“Most of the economic losses of $1,17-billion were in agriculture, Xinhua said.

“China is frequently hit by natural disasters. The agency said that while there is flooding in the south, the northern part of the country is experiencing a drought.

“It said the drought has left 11 million people short of drinking water.

“Cheng Dianlong, the deputy head of the Office of the State Flood control and Drought Relief Headquarters, was quoted as saying the drought in northern China would continue or worsen due to high temperatures and a lack of rain." [Quoted from iol.co.za]

marker at abelard.org

south east Europe cooking:

“A heatwave that has killed more than 30 people in parts of southeast Europe has hit wildlife and crops, from the humble toad in Greek lagoons to grain across the region, while fruit is ripening weeks early in Italy.

“Greece is experiencing its worst heatwave in 110 years that has already killed seven people, with temperatures reaching 46 Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) during a scorcher that has lasted five days and showed no signs on Wednesday of letting up.

“In southern Italy, after the hottest spring in nearly two centuries, this year's harvest of grapes and other fruit and vegetables is expected to be as much as a month earlier than usual, at the beginning of August.

“The heat is "literally cooking" Sicilian lemons on the trees, said farmers' group Coldiretti, while watermelons, peppers, courgettes, peaches and tomatoes are also at risk.”

marker at abelard.org

Meanwhile Texas, the UK and many other places are undergoing unusual flooding.
Texas had 16 inches of rain in one day.

marker at abelard.org

floods kill many in India

“[...] On Sunday, aid workers and military helicopters in Andhra Pradesh, a state in southern India, struggled to provide food for 200,000 people displaced by monsoon floods.”

intelligentia take appropriate action

“Karachi residents hurled stones at cars and power company vehicles, and they burned tires to protest the power failures affecting most of the country’s commercial hub.”

marker at abelard.org

moving westward

“In Pakistan, provincial relief commissioner Khubah Bakhsh estimated that some 200,000 houses had been destroyed or damaged. More than 800,000 people have been affected by the floods from heavy rains and overflowing rivers and dams, he said.”

“ Severe floods have also ravaged four eastern provinces of neighboring Afghanistan, causing at least four deaths, a NATO statement said.

“NATO troops and Afghan police rescued 42 trapped villagers Wednesday and four people died in another province Tuesday when a river overran its banks.”

marker at abelard.org

It’s all the fault of George Bush says Dorkistan’s leading mullah.

For more reassurance, see
the squeeze on food supplies continues

end note

  1. Dorkistan:
    A nebulous state of like-minded persons with challenged intelligence, keen to show their independence of mind by believing at least six imposible things politic, ecological or sociological before breakfast. A Dorkistani lives by certain truths, such as it is all GWB’s fault, or muslims are always right.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#lean_years_280607





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another way to pressure profligate corps

Low numbers bad!

Food Services
Company Score Company Score
Starbucks 46 McDonald's 22
Yum! Brands 01 Burger King 00
Darden Restaurants 00 Wendy's International 00

Electronics
Company Score Company Score
Canon 77 IBM 70
Toshiba 66 Motorola 60
Hewlett-Packard 59 Sony 51
Dell 41 Hitachi 36
Siemens* 34 Samsung 33
Nokia 29 Apple 02
and more...

A printable card including the same data.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#eco_policing_210607

the squeeze on food supplies continues

Cereal Production by Region in 2006 and 2007
Cereal Production by Region in 2006 and 2007
( 2007 estimates are forecast)
Source: EarthTrends 2007, using data from the FAO 2007

Australia and the Ukraine are two of the world’s prime ‘granaries’. Grain production still rises... so does population.

worst drought in 100 years

“Kherson region near the Black Sea, in the heart of Ukraine's grain belt, is one of 10 areas hit by drought -- 60 percent of grainfields have felt the effects. The government on Monday reduced its crop forecast to 30 million tonnes from 38 million.”

marker at abelard.org

worst drought in 100 years

“Australia will have to cut irrigation to prime farmland, decimating harvests, unless heavy rains break the worst drought in 100 years, the prime minister, John Howard, said yesterday.

“Prolonged drought has reduced Australia's rivers to a trickle, forcing many cities and towns to impose drastic water restrictions as reservoirs dry up. A contingency plan prepared for the government said that unless water catchments across the country received heavy and widespread rainfall before mid-May, allocations for irrigation would be stopped, presenting a threat to farmland in the critical food bowl of the Murray-Darling river basin.”

marker at abelard.org

feeding it to the cars

“The recent rise in corn prices--almost 70 percent in the past six months--caused by the increased demand for ethanol biofuel has come much sooner than many agriculture economists had expected.

“According to the United States Department of Agriculture, this year the country is going to use 18 to 20 percent of its total corn crop for the production of ethanol, and by next year that will jump to 25 percent.”

marker at abelard.org

From earthtrends.wri.org Four GoldenYaks (tm) award

“World Grain Supplies Will Barely Meet Demand Despite Record Harvests
Forecast for 2007
By Crystal Davis on Friday, May 25, 2007.

“World cereal production is forecast to reach a record high in 2007, but food analysts anticipate that total supplies will be barely adequate to meet increased demand, boosted by a rapidly expanding biofuels industry and continued growth in the food and feed sectors. Over the past several years, grain harvests have consistently fallen short of consumption, reducing carryover stocks--our only buffer against unanticipated crop failure--to their lowest levels since the 1980s. At the same time, international cereal prices have soared to their highest levels in a decade, creating concern for low-income food deficit countries and hunger hotspots such as Sub-Saharan Africa.”

feeding it to the cows

“Growth in world grain demand has been traditionally driven by population growth and rising incomes. Although population growth is anticipated to slow over coming decades, incomes will continue rise, thus increasing demand for so-called "luxury" food commodities such as milk, meat, and other livestock products that require large grain inputs. As a result, increases in grain demand will outpace population growth.”

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while some alleviation has occurred the pressure continues

“Australia's winter grains crop is set to more than double after unusually heavy rains in some areas partially offset the impact of a long-term drought, the official rural forecaster said Tuesday.

“The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) said the winter crop would rise to 37 million tonnes, up more than 130 percent on the previous year's drought-affected 16 million tonnes.

“However, ABARE, estimated the recently-harvested summer crop would be down 57 percent at a 20-year low of 1.89 million tonnes because of the drought, saying dry conditions persisted in Queensland and parts of Western Australian.

“It said rainfall across the majority of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia states had provided an ideal start to the winter crop season.

“ABARE said winter wheat production was expected to rise from 9.82 tonnes to 22.5 million tonnes, just shy of the 25.4 million tonnes harvested in a bumper crop two years ago."”

“A commission spokesman said the heaviest rain had been in coastal areas, not the inland regions where farmers needed water the most.

“"The rain has been on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range and hasn't had much of an impact on the western side at all, [...]”

And so on....

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There is always thre consolation that we could starve the cows and cars.

related material
land conservation and food production

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#world_food_supplies_200607

general motors on the rapidly approaching end of ices (internal combustion engines)

“General Motors is determined to "remove the car from the environment and energy debate" in the next 10 years by doing away with the internal combustion engine altogether.

“The worldís second largest car company now views hydrogen fuel cell power as the "the end game," according to its director of advanced technology vehicle concepts Dr Christopher Borroni-Bird. Using internal combustion engines is no longer an option, and that includes diesels and hybrids.

“ "Hybrids are not a solution," he said. "They just delay the day of reckoning. The debate about hybrids being cleaner than diesel is irrelevant - the diesel is a dead end because it uses fossil fuels."

“Dr Borroni-Bird said that hydrogen-powered and electric cars would develop alongside each other, and that GM would have a "cost-effective" fuel cell car by 2010. It will trial 100 fuel cell Equinox SUVs across the world in a market test for the car.”

for more background
Fuel cells and battery-powered vehicles briefings document

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#gm_190607

getting free of governments and corporations - mostly on buildings

Now moved and incorporated into Eco-building - briefing document, part of a series of documents on sustainable futures.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#eco_building_150607

on waste management - the inventiveness of the human monkey

“[...] Since 1960 the amount of municipal waste being collected in America has nearly tripled, reaching 245m tonnes in 2005. According to European Union statistics, the amount of municipal waste produced in western Europe increased by 23% between 1995 and 2003, to reach 577kg per person. (So much for the plan to reduce waste per person to 300kg by 2000.) As the volume of waste has increased, so have recycling efforts. In 1980 America recycled only 9.6% of its municipal rubbish; today the rate stands at 32%. A similar trend can be seen in Europe, where some countries, such as Austria and the Netherlands, now recycle 60% or more of their municipal waste. Britain's recycling rate, at 27%, is low, but it is improving fast, having nearly doubled in the past three years.”

“Based on this study, WRAP calculated that Britain's recycling efforts reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions by 10m-15m tonnes per year. That is equivalent to a 10% reduction in Britain's annual carbon-dioxide emissions from transport, or roughly equivalent to taking 3.5m cars off the roads. Similarly, America's Environmental Protection Agency estimates that recycling reduced the country's carbon emissions by 49m tonnes in 2005.”

“An outgrowth of "Cradle to Cradle" [William McDonough, pub 2002] is the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a non-profit working group that has developed guidelines that look beyond the traditional benchmarks of packaging design to emphasise the use of renewable, recycled and non-toxic source materials, among other things. Founded in 2003 with just nine members, the group now boasts nearly 100 members, including Target, Starbucks and Estée Lauder, some of which have already begun to change the design of their packaging.”

marker at abelard.org

Two really neat machines are described

  1. A spinning magnetic rotor induces a current in aluminium cans which are then ‘blown out’ by an eddy current.
  2. Spectroscopic identification of various materials, thence diversion to appropriate conveyors

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Britain was generating a green glass mountain, by virtue of all the Frog wine being imported. So now the wine is imported in 24,000-litre lots and bottled in the UK.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#waste_management_130607

oil crash movies

A trailer for Oil Crash, the Crude Awakening (83-minute documentary):

There is another trailer available:

Information about past and current screenings.

marker at abelard.org

Link to Australian 45-minute documentary: abcnet.au

This second film is reasonable on peak oil, but very sloppy on alternatives. For instance, there is only one mention of nuclear, and not even a positive mention. Generally, the film is too optimistic about alternative oil sources.

related material
energy documents

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#oil_crash_110607

energy: some ways of the future - on photovoltaics

The CIS photovoltaic-clad solar tower. Image credit: CIS“[...] the largest commercial solar facade in Europe, and will also be one of the largest solar power systems in the UK.”

If you look closely at the cost/benefit, you will see this sort of project is not yet close to competitive with a modern power station; but this is a vertical array in imperfect latitude. One must start somewhere. Note also the wind generation capacity.

“The building also has 24 wind turbines on the roof, which provide 10% of the total power used by the building.”[Quoted from metaefficient.com] ]

marker at abelard.org

“The tallest office building outside of London, is about to make history as the UK's largest ever solar project. CIS Tower, in Manchester, is to be clad in solar panelling. The solar panels, which, despite popular misgivings, will work regardless of the Manchester weather, will help combat climate change and generate an amazing 180,000 units of electricity each year [...]”[Quoted from cis.co.uk]]

 

Summary of electricity comparisons for the CIS Tower:

  • Solar panels on the CIS Solar Tower. Image credit: metaefficient.comGenerates total electricity for 61 average three-bed houses each year
  • Generates enough electricity each year to light an average three-bed house for over 305 years
  • Generates enough electricity to make 6.8 million pieces of toast/9.9 million cups of tea every year

Summary of carbon dioxide (CO2) comparisons:

  • Annually saves over 100 tonnes of CO2 emissions, a major greenhouse gas, equivalent over 7 million party balloons or 63 Olympic swimming pools.
  • Annual CO2 savings: account for 141 trees required to absorb CO2 over 100 years.
  • To achieve the Kyoto Protocol, the UK is required to reduce CO2 emissions by 12.5% below 1990 levels by 2010. This installation offsets the contribution of 303 UK individuals to this target every year.


  • Technology: Solar PV
  • Installation Type: Wall cladding
  • System size (kWp): 391.00
  • Forecast electricity generation / year (kWh): 183,000.00
  • Panel area (m2): 3,972.00
  • Building integrated: Yes
  • Forecast CO2 saving / year (kg): 103,944.00
  • Date of last energy reading: 01/01/2001
  • Type of project: Commercial
  • Cost: £5.5 million ($10.1 million)

[Other information from metaefficient.com]]

related material
Photovoltaics (solar cells) briefings document

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#solar_tower_020607

notes on twenty-six moonbat claims on climate

Links are provided to each of the 26 canards:

  1. Human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter
  2. We can't do anything about climate change
  3. The ‘hockey stick’ graph has been proven wrong
  4. Chaotic systems are not predictable
  5. We can’t trust computer models of climate
  6. They predicted global cooling in the 1970s
  7. It’s been far warmer in the past, what's the big deal?
  8. It’s too cold where I live - warming will be great
  9. Global warming is down to the Sun, not humans
  10. It’s all down to cosmic rays
  11. CO2 isn’'t the most important greenhouse gas
  12. The lower atmosphere is cooling, not warming
  13. Antarctica is getting cooler, not warmer, disproving global warming
  14. The oceans are cooling
  15. The cooling after 1940 shows CO2 does not cause warming
  16. It was warmer during the Medieval period, with vineyards in England
  17. We are simply recovering from the Little Ice Age
  18. Warming will cause an ice age in Europe
  19. Ice cores show CO2 increases lag behind temperature rises, disproving
    the link to global warming
  20. Ice cores show CO2 rising as temperatures fell
  21. Mars and Pluto are warming too
  22. Many leading scientists question climate change
  23. It’s all a conspiracy
  24. Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming
  25. Higher CO2 levels will boost plant growth and food production
  26. Polar bear numbers are increasing.

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#26_daffy_climate_claims_200507

going green, american style

For more, see links at the bottom of first linked page.

Austin
[...] If you want to sign up for green power from Austin Energy, possibly the greenest power grid in the country, you can get in line—this year’s demand was unpredictably high, and they’re fresh out. Austin’s growing list of proactive energy maneuvers is, to say the least, striking. Not only does Austin lead the country in wind power and biodiesel production, but it has built advanced plug-in hybrid vehicles into its energy strategy.

As part of the recently announced Austin Climate Protection Plan, all facilities, fleets and operations will be carbon-neutral by 2020, and 100 percent of city facilities will be powered by renewable energy by 2012. There will also be CO2 caps and reduction plans for all utility emissions, something the federal government hasn’t dared do [...]”

Boston
If your plane arrives at Logan Airport’s Terminal A, you’re experiencing Boston’s green building phenomenon the minute you set foot on solid ground. Completed last year, it is the first LEED-certified airport terminal in the world. Groups as diverse as the nonprofit Artists for Humanity at Fort Point Channel and biotech giant Genzyme in Cambridge have built LEED Platinum (the highest certification among the Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum LEED levels) headquarters in the Boston area. Raising the bar even higher, Mayor Thomas Menino’s city government approved a measure earlier this year requiring all new buildings larger than 50,000 square feet - both public and private - to prove they can earn a Silver rating under the LEED program.”

New York City. Image source: MSN

New York City
Really? Yes, definitely. While New York is indeed enormous and rife with eco-woes such as pitiful air quality, on a per-person basis it is one of the most efficient cities in the world. With 8.2 million people (and another million expected by 2030), New York is not only the country’s largest city, it is also the most densely populated. With half of New Yorkers going carless, more than 20 percent of commuting happens on foot or by bicycle. People also rely heavily on the daily carnival that is the public transportation system, one of the most extensive in the world. This car-light culture and high-density living make New Yorkers some of the most efficient citizens in the country, though they may not even know it. According to PlaNYC, "The average New Yorker consumes less than half of the electricity of someone who lives in San Francisco and nearly one-quarter the electricity consumed by someone who lives in Dallas [...] ”

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#us_going_green_190507

marker at abelard.org

going green, american style - part 2

“ELEANOR HALL: Those behind a global initiative launched by former US President Bill Clinton overnight say it is the biggest single step ever taken by governments to tackle climate change.

“Mr Clinton has convinced the world's top finance companies to fund a $5 billion program to be run by city mayors, to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

“The latest IPCC report by the world's top climate change scientists found that retrofitting buildings to make them energy efficient could reduce world greenhouse gas emissions by close to a third.

“And the Victorian capital [Melbourne] is among the first fifteen cities to get involved.

“In Melbourne, Samantha Donovan reports.

“SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The Global Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program is part of the Clinton Foundation's Climate Initiative.

“Fifteen cities including New York, London, Rome, Bangkok and Melbourne are on board to slash energy use in buildings.

“Bill Clinton says cities need to act urgently.

“BILL CLINTON: Cities use more than 75 per cent of the world's energy, and generate more than 75 per cent of its greenhouse gasses.

“Buildings are often the largest energy users, accounting for 50 per cent of energy consumption in newer cities, and in older ones, more than 70 per cent.”

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“The C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group is comprised of the following cities: Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, BogotŠ, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Caracas, Chicago, Delhi, Dhaka, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Houston, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Karachi, Lagos, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manila, Melbourne, Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto, Tokyo, and Warsaw.” [Quoted from clintonfoundation.org]]

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#green_usa2_200507_140507

satellite image of trawlers destroying the sea bed off the yangze

satellite image of trawlers destroying the sea bed off the yangze
image source: telegraph.co.uk

“Scientists say the "mudtrails" are visible evidence of the disturbance to seabed habitat caused by trawling, which they say is one of the most damaging activities on Earth, according to this week's Nature.

“Bottom trawling has been likened - by Daniel Pauly, a fisheries expert from the University of British Columbia, one of the scientists involved in this study - to clear-cutting a forest merely to hunt its game.”

marker at abelard.org

how bottom trawling is done. Image source: bbc.co.uk
How bottom trawling is performed. Image source: bbc.co.uk

related material
The end of the line

the web address for the article above is
https://www.abelard.org/news/ecology0705.php#trawler_destruction_140507


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