Where Are The Gas Wells? Queensland, Australia

30 04 2014

csg22This is scary as…….  worse, NONE of this gas is even produced for OUR consumption, it’s all headed overseas for profit, and even the profits aren’t staying here?  There’s NOTHING in it for us except destruction of our future on a grand scale….. and it MUST STOP.

Share widely please…..  the rest of Australia needs to wake up!

El Niño is coming…..

29 04 2014

An update on what may become an eventful and very warm year from Mark Cochrane…. not to mention another severe drought in Australia……

Slow slosh of warm water across Pacific hints El Niño is brewing

The El Niño / La Niña climate pattern that alternately warms and cools the eastern tropical Pacific is the 800-pound gorilla of Earth’s climate system. On a global scale, no other single phenomenon has a greater influence on whether a year will be warmer, cooler, wetter, or drier than average. Naturally, then, the ears of seasonal forecasters and natural resource managers around the world perked up back in early March when NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued an “El Niño Watch.”

The “watch” means that oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean are favourable for the development of El Niño within the next six months. These maps reveal one of the most significant of those favourable signs: a deep pool of warm water sliding eastward along the equator since late January.

In the seesaw patterns between La Niña and El Niño what happens is that along the equator, during a La Niña, winds blow from east to west and pile up a lot of water over in Indonesia. This pulls colder deeper water up in the East Pacific and this exposed cold water acts to cool the atmosphere. In the mean time, the pile of water around Indonesia keeps getting heated and sinking, building up a large deep pool of very warm water. Eventually, if the winds slacken, a Kelvin wave begins in which a large slug of warm deep water starts sliding to the east before rising to break the surface initiating El Niño, when the extensive warm water at the surface acts to heat the atmosphere. Such a Kelvin wave was initiated back in January with the downwelling of warm water that has since been slowly working its way east.

This was the situation as of February 19. The large anomalously warm slug of water was moving east at depth and had passed the International Dateline.

This is the more current situation as of April 18th. The water has risen and pushed out the previously anomalously cold water in the eastern Pacific.

El Niños are like economic recessions in that it takes several months/quarters of warm conditions before it can officially be determined to be an El Niño. Therefore, NOAA still calls for ENSO-neutral conditions through the spring, but with a greater than 50% chance of El Niño by summer and the risks increase further through the autumn. It is clear that an El Niño is developing, the main questions now are how strong will it be and how long will it last?

The short answer is nobody really knows yet, however, we do know that the heat content in March of the red blob of water (above) that is initiating things was the greatest of any yet measured. Records go back to 1979. So, there is potential for this to rival the 97-98 El Niño (which deniers use as cherry picked data to ‘prove’ there has been no warming since’) but this is far from certain. Conditions may yet arise that blunt the effect of this El Niño but, regardless, weather patterns are likely to change in the coming months.

Climate Danger Threshold Approaching

29 04 2014

The National Center for Science Education, the nation’s leading organization in support of science education, has awarded Professor Michael Mann the coveted Friend of the Planet award.

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS)

28 04 2014

Mark Cochrane

Mark Cochrane

Another guest post from Mark Cochrane on one of the cornucopians’ favourite solutions to our climate predicaments, Carbon capture and sequestration, better known by its acronym CCS….

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is the great hope for so-called “clean coal” as well as a potential way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Methods vary, but the basic idea is to capture the emissions from a coal-fired power plant and separate out the CO2 and acid rain-producing sulfides. These gases are then compressed into a liquid form that is shipped somewhere and subsequently injected underground. In principle the atmosphere could be scrubbed of CO2 in a similar manner. Makes you wonder why we aren’t doing this already…

If it works, the carbon will be gone from the atmosphere, so what is the problem? The purpose of a power plant is to produce…..power. As we all know, it takes energy to mine, process, and ship coal to the power plant. When burned, there is only so much efficiency you can get in converting the heat to usable energy (e.g. electricity). In 2008, the average efficiency was 32%, best plants (top 10%) were 37.4% efficient.

Well, surprise, surprise. It actually takes energy to capture, compress, store, transport, and pump the captured gases underground. If the energy spent on CCS processes exceeds the net power generated by the power plant then the process is completely untenable. Even if you can make the process work with a positive EROEI you still have to account for the lost energy. In other words, if you still need the same amount of disposable energy from the power plant to support your consumers then you need to burn even more coal to offset the CCS energy losses.

No free lunch here. The energy expenditures for CCS increase with the level of CO2 capture efficiency that we want to achieve. These energy expenditures need to be made up by mining, processing, shipping and burning even more coal than we are using today.

What about the oceans? They are a good place to bury carbon aren’t they?

The ‘iron hypothesis’ was put forth by John Martin in the 1980s and first tested in the open ocean in 1993. The idea is that large sections of the ocean are impoverished of iron, so seeding the ocean surface with iron should make phytoplankton bloom, soak up carbon, die, and sink, thereby drawing carbon out of the atmosphere. “Give me a half a tanker of iron and I’ll give you the next ice age,” Martin once said jokingly.

The idea has been tested in many locations since 1993 and the results support the theory insofar as the phytoplankton do respond and bloom after adding iron to the waters.

It works, so what is the problem? Phytoplankton blooms have met or even exceeded predictions, however, there are impacts on the composition of the ecosystems involved and the nutrients consumed are no longer available for other organisms that would have used them in down current locations. Ultimately though, the main problem is that very little of the ‘fixed’ carbon actually reaches the deep ocean or seafloor. Mixing keeps the particulates from coagulating and zooplankton graze and recycle the carbon. It comes back to the atmosphere as CO2 again.

Even in the best of cases, it would be necessary to fertilize an area of roughly twice the surface of the Earth to significantly offset fossil fuel-based carbon emissions. Beyond the physical impossibility of this, and the exorbitant costs of maintaining a fleet of ships dumping the worlds iron ore into the oceans, concomitant emissions of nitrous oxide (another greenhouse gas) caused by the iron seeding could offset many of the ‘gains’. Many regions of the deep oceans could also experience anoxia.

In short, this is no panacea.

On Geoengineering the future

This has showed up in the final paragraph of the Summary for Policymakers of WG1 for the latest IPCC assessment report (AR5).

“Methods that aim to deliberately alter the climate system to counter climate change, termed geoengineering, have been proposed. Limited evidence precludes a comprehensive quantitative assessment of both Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and their impact on the climate system. CDR methods have biogeochemical and technological limitations to their potential on a global scale. There is insufficient knowledge to quantify how much CO2 emissions could be partially offset by CDR on a century timescale. Modelling indicates that SRM methods, if realizable, have the potential to substantially offset a global temperature rise, but they would also modify the global water cycle, and would not reduce ocean acidification. If SRM were terminated for any reason, there is high confidence that global surface temperatures would rise very rapidly to values consistent with the greenhouse gas forcing. CDR and SRM methods carry side effects and long-term consequences on a global scale. {6.5, 7.7}”

This bit about geoengineering apparently was added at the behest of Russia but the US has been interested in elements of this for a while is well. The U.S., U.K. and other countries are already funding research into a variety of climate engineering approaches. This should be outside of the mandate of the IPCC but such things are malleable where political considerations are concerned.

For those who do not know, geoengineering in this context refers to intentional planetary climate engineering. Traditionally, responses to climate change have been classified in terms of mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation is doing things like reducing fossil fuel emission so that the future climate changes will not be as severe as otherwise expected. Adaptation is admitting the inevitability of climate changes and actively doing things to prepare, like planning for flooding or heatwaves.

Geoengineering is a third option where we try to ‘fix’ the climate through various technical schemes. A quick fix and we will not have to change anything. Party on! There are three major reasons (besides ethics) that such approaches have been marginalized to date; expense, side effects, and what economists term moral hazard.

Moral hazard is the tendency to be more willing to take a risk, knowing that the potential costs or burdens of taking such risk will be borne, in whole or in part, by others. In terms of climate change, it is the idea that knowledge that geoengineering is possible could lead to climate impacts seeming less fearsome, which could in turn lead to an even weaker commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The fact that governments are agitating for the inclusion of geoengineering in the IPCC reports seems a clear indication that they feel it will be easier to sell technical ‘fixes’ than the pain of reduced fossil fuel use.

Followers of this thread already have some understanding of the complexity surrounding greenhouse gas-related climate change. While we have a good idea of the energy balance issues, the actual ways in which these changes will ripple through, affect, and be affected by earth system processes and ecological changes are only now being uncovered. Feedbacks in the system are poorly defined even where they are known. Now imagine implementing several simplistic ‘solutions’ designed to intentionally alter global climates at the same time as we continue our present global terraforming experiment of fossil fuel-based climate manipulation. The impacts of these ‘solutions’ are poorly if at all known. Shoot from the hip and hope for the best.

What could possibly go wrong?

I’ll try to add another post or two explaining some of the proposed approaches to ‘fixing’ the climate so you can decide if you think this is a good idea.

Big Oil stocks to crash 50% by 2020

27 04 2014

Hot on the heels of Steven Kopits’ presentation, this gem turns up on the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch website…..

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Yes, we see 10 early warnings that Big Oil stocks are going to trigger an economic collapse by 2020, maybe 50% as gas (Petrol to you Aussies..) prices go through your SUV’s sunroof.

1. Big Oil’s conspiracy is a fracking, cracking Zen moment …

Reuters recently reported that Rex Tillerson became a party in a local lawsuit opposing a planned new water tower near his $5 million retirement ranch. Yes, that Tillerson, Exxon Mobil’s $40-million-a-year CEO. His neighbors say this eyesore will affect property values. Even Forbes’ Rick Unger couldn’t resist a dig: “The hypocrisy expressed in real life is so sublimely rich that one could never hope to construct a similar scenario out of pure imagination.” Tillerson is signaling a subtle lesson here for Big Oil as more states follow Ohio’s lead, discover there’s a real scientific link between fracking and earthquakes.

2. The bliss of delusional denial when Big Oil profits peak, slide, collapse

“Even with the most optimistic set of assumptions — the ending of deforestation, a halving of emissions associated with food production, global emissions peaking in 2020 and then falling by 3% a year for a few decades — we have no chance of preventing emissions rising well above a number of critical tipping points that will spark uncontrollable climate change,” warns Clive Hamilton, Australian economist in “Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change.” Soon “the Earth’s climate will enter a chaotic era … One thing seems certain: there will be far fewer of us.” What? Me worry?

3. Unprecedented profits on a road to irreversible self-destruction

The world has “1.4 trillion barrels of oil, enough to last at least 200 years,” says CEO Tom Donohue of the Big Oil-funded U. S. Chamber of Commerce Yes, 200 years of oil. Too bad it’ll kill us in 50 years, says environmental economist Bill McKibben in Rolling Stone. Why? “We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn.” More will overheat Planet Earth. And over in Foreign Policy a resigned McKibben adds, “Act now, we’re told, if we want to save the planet from a climate catastrophe. Trouble is, it might be too late. The science is settled, and the damage has already begun.” The planet is on an “irreversible self-destruct path.”

4. Capitalism’s last, blind race to waste every bit of Planet Earth

Michael Klare warns in “The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources,” that “The world is facing an unprecedented crisis of resource depletion — a crisis that goes beyond ‘peak oil’ to encompass shortages of coal and uranium, copper and lithium, water and arable land. With all of the planet’s easily accessible resource deposits rapidly approaching exhaustion, the desperate hunt for supplies has become a frenzy of extreme exploration, as governments and corporations rush to stake their claims in areas previously considered too dangerous or remote.” Worse, “the race we are on today is the last of its kind that we are likely to undertake.”

5. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin: ‘You promised me Mars colonies, I got Facebook’

We’re not even trying to solve the big problems of the future, warns Jason Pontin editor-in-chief of the MIT Tech Review in “Why We Can’t Solve Big Problems.” Reason: Because our leaders kowtow to myopic science deniers and Big Oil billionaires with zero moral conscience. America’s lost the ability to think long-term, lacks think-big leaders. And Silicon Valley’s leading innovators prefer social media problems like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Farmville and X-Prize PR hits, while Big Pharma solves the world’s great erectile-dysfunction pandemic.

6. Big Macs in 2014, but in 2050 Earth can’t feed predicted 10 billion

Yes, the future is bleak. Fortunately, denial is a great tranquilizer. Jeremy Grantham’s GMO firm manages $117 billion. Research at his Grantham Institute for Climate Change tells us Earth can’t feed the 10 billion people predicted in 2050, three billion more than today: “As the population continues to grow, we will be stressed by recurrent shortages of hydrocarbons, metals, water and, especially, fertilizer. Our global agriculture, though, will clearly bear the greatest stresses,” a burden on productivity.

7. Soon we’ll need six planets to survive, even with no new little babies

In “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail of Succeed,” anthropologist Jared Diamond says “what really counts is not the number of people alone, but their impact on the environment.” Developed nations consume 32 times more resources, dump 32 times more waste than do undeveloped nations. If all 7 billion inhabitants of the planet consumed resources at America’s level, we’d need the resources of six Earths to survive” today!

8. Yes, humans are the new dinosaurs, building our own ‘Jurassic Park’

Writing in American Scholar Nobel physicist Robert Laughlin’s “The Earth Doesn’t Care If You Drive a Hybrid!” Or recycle. Or eat organic food. Or live in a green house powered by solar energy: “Earth didn’t replace the dinosaurs after they died” in the last great species extinction 65 million years ago, she “just moved on, became something different.” Laughlin says “humans have already triggered the sixth great period of species extinction in Earth’s history,” buying gas guzzlers, investing in Big Oil, forever in denial of the widening gap between endless growth and more babies living on a planet of vanishing resources.

9. Paradox: Yes, economic growth is accelerating the death of capitalism

Underlying many dark predictions of 2050 is our narcissistic self-destructive ideology of capitalism. In Foreign Policy, Yale’s Immanuel Wallerstein put the 2008 crash in context: “The Global Economy Won’t Recover, Now or Ever.” Our “capitalist world economy has been in existence for some 500 years … functioned remarkably well. But like all systems, it has moved … too far from equilibrium.” Now the only real “political struggle is over what kind of system will replace capitalism, not whether it should survive.” So what, me worry?

10. Capitalism’s doomsday cycle oblivious of bigger crash than 1929

After the last meltdown, former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson and Peter Boone co-authored “The Doomsday Cycle Turns: Who’s Next?” In one short generation “we have built a financial system that threatens to topple our global economic order.” We let “an unsustainable and crazy doomsday cycle infiltrate our economic system.” But this doomsday “cycle will not run forever,” they warn. “The destructive power of the down cycle will overwhelm the restorative ability of the government, just like it did in 1929-31.” In 2008 “we came remarkably close to another Great Depression. Next time, we may not be so lucky.” Since then Johnson, co-wrote the best-seller: “13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown.”

Fortunately, you’ll never see it coming. Denial really is a wonder-drug tranquilizer. So why worry, lighten up. Focus on the Wall Street banker in Mankoff’s cartoon. Meditate, his bullish guidance will lift your spirits: “While the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors, we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit.” And so it is … for today … until Big Oil stocks start plunging …

Paul B. Farrell is a MarketWatch columnist based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWFarrell.

Ten signs that the Matrix is losing control over the people

27 04 2014

You can feel it in your bones……  the Matrix is running out of puff.  How it pans out, nobody knows, but the signs are nowhere clearer than in the USA where this piece below comes from.  Make no mistake, Australia is but a few years behind, especially with the adults morons in charge at the present time.

Here are ten signs that the elite are losing control over the people:

1. Official lies no longer effective:

The lies they tell simply don’t work anymore. There was a time when official lies, especially about war and peace, were believed. Because, after all, how evil would it be to lie about such things? Generally people want to believe they are being told the truth when life and death is at stake. The boy who cried wolf has cried one too many times. Even if they told the truth at this point, very few would believe them.

2. No confidence in politics:

 US politicians have a paltry approval rating. The trust in government is at all-time lows here and around the world. Mainstream polls show only 10% of the public has confidence in Congress. In other words, 90% don’t believe in them to be competent to govern.

Watch this Town Hall exchange below where a man threatens US Senator John McCain with arrest for treason to his face. This would have never happened just a year or two ago:

3. No confidence in media:

 The most recent polls show that 77% of the population no longer trusts corporate TV news. Is it any wonder why the establishment media failed to sell the lies about the alleged Syria chemical event?  With all their monopoly might over the airwaves, they can no longer claim that black is white simply because officialdom says so.

4. Bankers rejected:

 Hungary recently became the first country to follow Iceland’s lead by shedding international bankers (IMF) and is considering pursuing prosecution of past prime ministers who enslaved the people with debt. Look for this trend to continue even if nations decide to default to break free.

5. Vatican abruptly cleaning up its act:

Under the previous Pope, Pope Benedict, scandals erupted from the Vatican ranging from covering up pedophile priests to money laundering and fraud. Benedict, in an unprecedented move, abruptly retired to make way for a seemingly much more likeable Pope Francis. Pope Francis by all measures is working furiously to reclaim the church’s peaceful and humble reputation. Whether this is genuine or a PR move, it’s telling that the church was forced into such a drastic turnaround to save itself from losing all credibility.

6. Mutiny among soldiers:

 Finally. Soldiers, who are outlawed from making political statements, are steadily speaking out against US military adventurism. As Einstein famously said “The pioneers of a warless world are the young men (and women) who refuse military service.”

7. Militarized police state:

 One of the darkest signs that the elite are losing their grip on power is the construction of the militarized police state specifically trained to combat domestic civil unrest. Local cops with tanks and other combat gear are working with Feds at Fusion centers, active Army units are on American soil for the first time in history, the NSA spy grid is being used by the IRS and DEA, and the elimination of due process for Americans under the NDAA are just some of the tyrannical moves made to secure the elite criminals from public backlash. They’re clearly scared, and they should be given what they’ve done to the American people and the Constitution.

8. Serious secession movements everywhere:

 A state seceding from a larger political entity used to be an ultra-fringe concept, until now. In America, secession movements are winning over the public in parts of Colorado and California. In Europe, serious secession movements are happening in Spain and Scotland, as well as several EU nations flirting with the idea of dropping out the the euro. Decentralization = Entropy!

9. GMO food being rejected everywhere:

Control the food and you control the people. True in theory, but much more difficult in practice. GMO leaders like Monsanto are being exposed. All of their economic and political strength cannot defeat the spread of knowledge about the dangers of pesticide-soaked Frankenfoods. GMO fields are being burned in protest in America and around the world, informed nations continue to reject their products, and labelling laws are gaining traction.

10. Cannabis liberation:

 Many reading this will think marijuana legalization is a superficial development. However, it is a major signpost that the elite’s grip is fading.  Enormous resources have been spent to keep cannabis illegal. Cannabis has been a powerful medicine for physical, mental, and spiritual health throughout the ages. This single plant represents a huge threat to the power structures and their industries, hence its seemingly senseless illegality. The approaching global reversal of the tyrannical policy of prohibition is the first of many concessions to come.

Source: activistpost.com

Via: Collective Evolution

Capitalism IS the Crisis….

26 04 2014

I heard this film mentioned by Derrick Jensen at the end of that podcast I mentioned in Why we are still screwed….. Thorium or no Thorium!

It’s a bit long at one hour forty minutes – why is it doco producers seem to think their films can’t be as good if they’re edited shorter?  Anyhow, I still think it’s compulsory viewing….  especially for Australians who can have the advantage of seeing where Canada’s Harper government took its people.  Remember, we are just a couple of years behind, and Abbott could easily be Harper’s clone.