Subject: Viridian Note 00448: Viridian Current Events
- Key concepts
- Wildfires, droughts, green energy,
crop failures, heat waves, insurers panicking,
bizarre weather anomalies, artificial space
rings, roaming deserts, business as usual
- Attention Conservation Notice:
- Following these links
could consume a couple of days, maybe even a week.
(((I'm often mildly surprised when I examine my email
and Google News and find the plethora of Viridian
issues in the mainstream press. This week, it's
climate change and green energy right left and center.
The day approaches when, as a futurist, I get
to declare victory and go home. Not that we get a
victory over the Greenhouse -- I likely won't live
long enough to see that -- but I'll definitely live
long enough to see my 1990s fringe issue become the
vital stuff of everyday discourse. And when that
happens, it will behoove me to devote my small
energies to some topic that's a bit more far-out.)))
(((FUTUREdition, one of my favorite email newsletters,
hammers the issue relentlessly these days; they've
made environmental developments one of their
central areas of study. I like the way they
are now citing Worldchanging.)))
Power Generating Microbes
Clearing Smoke May Trigger Global Warming Rise
Insurers Sound the Alarm on Climate Change
Slowing Currents Could Cause Catastrophe
How Much Excess Fresh Water Was Added to the
North Atlantic in Recent Decades?
Space Ring Could Shade Earth and Stop Global Warming
Desert dunes set to roam
Power Generating Microbes -- (WorldChanging.com --
June 8, 2005)
Microbiologists report finding a species of
bacteria able to both remediate some pretty nasty
industrial chemicals and produce usable amounts
of electricity while doing so. The technology could
be used to assist in the reclamation of wastewaters,
resulting in the removal of waste and generation
of electricity. (((Wow.)))
Clearing Smoke May Trigger Global Warming Rise --
(New Scientist -- June 29, 2005)
Three top climate researchers claim that the
greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere should
have warmed the world more than they have.
The reason they have not, they say, is that the
warming is being masked by sun-blocking smoke,
dust and other polluting particles put into the
air by human activity. Their best guess is that,
as the mask is removed due to controls on
pollution, temperatures will warm by at least
6 C by 2100.
(((Life is full of little ironies.)))
Insurers Sound the Alarm on Climate Change --
(Financial Times -- June 28, 2005)
Global climate changes are expected to influence
financial markets and leaders are taking these
risks into account when making decisions on
insurance underwriting, investments, or credit.
The cost worldwide of storms, expected to become
more frequent owing to climate change, is likely
to rise by two-thirds to 15bn ($27bn, 22bn) a
year in the next seven decades according to the
Association of British Insurers. Some of the costs,
however, could be avoided by taking preventative
measures including improved coastal defenses to
reduce global annual damage.
(((Oh yeah. Coastal dikes everywhere. That sounds
cheap and sensible, eh? They're gonna go broke
and they're gonna sue Exxon.)))
Slowing Currents Could Cause Catastrophe --
(Stuff -- June 1, 2005)
Scientists have detected evidence of a slowdown in
ocean currents that control climate across the globe,
supporting earlier research on the threats of global
warming. Without these currents, parts of the globe
are expected to alter dramatically. The climate in
Europe would cool significantly, while New Zealand
would be warmer and more susceptible to exotic
diseases, scientists suggest.
(((Pray it goes real, real slow.)))
How Much Excess Fresh Water Was Added to the North
Atlantic in Recent Decades? -- (Science Daily --
June 19, 2005)
Large regions of the North Atlantic Ocean have
been growing fresher since the late 1960s as melting
glaciers and increased precipitation, both associated
with greenhouse warming, have enhanced continental
runoff into the Arctic and sub-Arctic seas.
But, until now, the actual amounts and rates of
fresh water accumulation have not been explicitly
known. A new report shows patterns of fresh water
accumulation over the past four decades suggesting
a freshening threshold, important to the ocean
circulation and its poleward transport of heat,
could be reached in a century. (((This is the
sort of thing that would actually repay "more
study" if opponents of warming actually funded
the "studies" they always cite.)))
Space Ring Could Shade Earth and Stop Global
Warming -- (Live Science -- June 27, 2005)
A wild idea to combat global warming suggests
creating an artificial ring of small particles
or spacecrafts around Earth to shade the tropics
and moderate climate extremes. The ring of particles
or spacecraft casting a shadow on equatorial Earth
might be kept in place by gravitationally significant
shepherding spacecraft. They would herd the particles
much like small moons keep Saturn's rings in place.
(((Nutcase "solution" of the week, but it makes
a certain sense if smoky pollution is already
shading us in our own atmosphere -- because at least
we wouldn't have to BREATHE a giant zillion-dollar
homemade Saturnian ring.)))
Desert dunes set to roam -- (Nature -- June 29, 2005)
Sand dunes in the Kalahari Desert in Africa, which
have been immobile for thousands of years, will soon
start to move again, researchers warn. The wandering
dunes may affect hundred of thousands of people in
southern Africa. Scientists' simulations revealed
a significant increase in dune activity in the
southern Kalahari by 2039. By 2099, sand dunes
throughout South Africa, Angola and Zambia will
be on the move, they predict; such a phenomenon
has not occurred in the past 14,000 to 16,000 years.
(((Imagine watching this sinister, uncanny march!)))
(((Google News, late June 02005: green pork sweeps
the Senate. The amount of bucks these Senators are
waving is probably about as much as the fledgling
Green energy sector could swallow without turning
completely corrupt. I predict a greenwashed
energy policy rapidly passed by both houses.
These guys really don't want to go home this summer
with booming gasoline prices and nothing
coherent accomplished. No need to give links,
I'll just cite the headlines for flavor.)))
Broad energy bill sweeps through Senate
International Herald Tribune, France - 4 hours ago
WASHINGTON The Senate has overwhelmingly passed
broad energy legislation. The bill's authors hope
it strikes a balance between traditional ...
Senate OKs Energy Bill; House Fight Looms
Washington Post, DC - 5 hours ago
By H. JOSEF HEBERT. WASHINGTON -- The Senate
approved an energy bill Tuesday that was more
favorable to conservation, wind farms ...
Senate energy bill set for showdown with House's plan
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 7 hours ago
Washington -- The Senate overwhelmingly backed a
new national energy policy Tuesday that would
provide more than $18 billion in tax breaks to
spur more ...
Energy bill unlikely to help at the gas pump,
critics say - Chicago Tribune, IL - 7 hours ago
By William Neikirk. WASHINGTON -- With the price
of oil hovering near record levels and gasoline
prices showing little sign of easing ...
Energy Bill Passes Senate With Bipartisan Support
Los Angeles Times, CA - 10 hours ago
The measure encourages alternative resources more
than the House's plan does. Bush calls for a
compromise version before the August recess....
Senate OKs bipartisan energy bill
Seattle Times, WA - 10 hours ago
By Justin Blum. WASHINGTON ? The Senate yesterday
overwhelmingly approved an energy bill that would
provide tax breaks and incentives...
Senate's energy bill heads for conference
DetNews.com, MI - 12 hours ago
Measure promises to boost supplies of oil, gas,
but have little impact on gasoline costs.
WASHINGTON -- The Senate overwhelmingly...
Senate Passes Bill That Strives to Balance Oil
and Alternatives - New York Times, NY - 15 hours ago
WASHINGTON, June 28 - The Senate overwhelmingly
passed broad energy legislation on Tuesday, with
its authors hoping the bill strikes a balance
High-octane energy fight
Christian Science Monitor - 20 hours ago
The Senate passes a version of energy legislation
long sought by Bush, but it differs sharply from
the House bill. By Gail Russell...
Senate passes energy bill, House talks loom
Reuters.uk, UK - 23 hours ago
By Chris Baltimore. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US
Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a
wide-ranging energy bill that doubles....
Energy bill step closer to 'a national policy'
Financial Times, UK - 23 hours ago
By Holly Yeager in Washington. The Senate on
Tuesday approved a broad energy bill, setting
the stage for negotiations with the House...
Senate Energy Bill Strong on Renewable Energy
RenewableEnergyAccess.com, NH - 1 hour ago
by Jesse Broehl, Editor, RenewableEnergyAccess.com.
Washington, DC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] On
Tuesday, the United States Senate....
Senate Passes Cleaner Energy Bill
WebProNews, KY - 3 hours ago
The Senate passed an energy bill by large
numbers yesterday to provide tax incentives to
domestic energy companies in the hopes of
encouraging oil and natural....
(((Another news source I treasure.)))
World Environment News - June 29th, 2005 from
US Senate Passes Energy Bill, House Talks Loom
Sales of Hybrid, Diesel Cars Seen Surging in United States
(((hallelujah, I got mine, Jack)))
Global Warming to Raise Storm Damage Costs - Insurers
Climate Changes to Push Up Insurance Fees - Allianz
Finance Giant Allianz wants G8 Climate Change Move
(((Even the oil biz doesn't have an infinite pocketbook.)))
Russia Signs First Kyoto Project, More Seen
(((I frankly doubt that the scarily incompetent
Bush Administration could do anything coherent
and useful with Kyoto even if they signed the
France to Host World's First Nuclear Fusion Plant
(((It won't work, but that never bothers the French.)))
(((Meanwhile, Europe is frying. This will happen every
summer henceforth and it will get a lot more intense
before it can possibly get any better.)))
EU Grain Crop Dented by Early Summer Heatwave
(((What will they eat?)))
G8 Leaders' Cars to Use Eco-Fuel made from Straw
(((The Emperors' New Clothes, woven from straw
'World Environment News' is copyright (c) Planet Ark 2004
All headlines are copyright (c) Reuters 2004
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(((More Google-headline weather mayhem.)))
Italy heatwave kills at least 16
CNN International - 2 hours ago
ROME, Italy (AP) -- At least 16 people, mostly
elderly, have died in northern Italy over the past
two days from causes linked to a weeklong heat
Italy plans state of emergency to counter
Xinhua, China - 3 hours ago
ROME, June 29 (Xinhuanet) -- The Italian government
is considering declaring a state of emergency in
parts of the country as fears grow that a heat
(((Imagine Italy denouncing CIA agents for rogue
kidnapping during a climate-caused state of emergency.
That really sounds like a farfetched futurist
scenario. To have lived to see the day, eh? Wow!)))
Italian heatwave "puts one million people at risk"
Reuters AlertNet, UK - Jun 28, 2005
By Robin Pomeroy. ROME, June 28 (Reuters) - A heat
wave in Italy has put the health of one million
people at risk and the government.?;
(((Huge Spanish drought this year.)))
Spain's Drought Hurts Farmers, Boosts Inflation
Rate (Update1) ((("Greenhouse Inflation," interesting
Bloomberg - Jun 15, 2005
June 15 (Bloomberg) -- Spain's worst drought in more
than 50 years is hurting farmers and boosting food
prices, making it harder for the government to rein
Spain's drought strangles farming
Billings Gazette, MT - Jun 18, 2005
Although the millions of tourists visiting Spain's
coasts this summer may not realize it ... In the
1990s a five-year drought hit harvests and triggered
a bitter ...
Europe Suffers as Mercury Soars
Deutsche Welle, Germany - Jun 29, 2005
In Spain, meanwhile, seven regions have reacted
to the drought by curtailing the water supply.
Water pressure was reduced along....
Spain's worst drought just the start as deserts spread
Financial Times, UK - Jun 27, 2005
A severe drought in Spain, the worst since records
began in 1947, is playing havoc with livelihoods,
sparking forest fires and threatening millions of
(((Could get lively this summer here in Los Angeles,
too. A very wet, stormy winter, lots of brush growth,
huge areas of trees already killed by a hyperactive
bark beetle. That all adds up. And it's gonna keep
adding up, no matter how vociferously it's denied
and no matter how may vested interests come to
LA's Rainy Season Was Wettest in More Than a Century
Los Angeles Times, CA - Jun 29, 2005
...of how to deal with too little, such as fires.
John Todd, an assistant chief with the Los Angeles
County Fire ... Right now, the moisture content
in the brush is up ...
Brush Fires Threaten Homes In Southern California
NBC30.com, CT - Jun 22, 2005
...the fire's burning in a "very inhabited area"
about a hundred miles east of Los Angeles. But
firefighters said most homeowners have cleared
brush away from ...
Brush Fire Grows but No Evacuations Yet
Los Angeles Times, CA - 18 hours ago
...brush fire had grown to 167,000 acres as it
continued to burn southwest of the mountain
communities of Pine and Strawberry. Fire crews
were setting back fires...
Crews battle fires along 57
OCRegister (subscription), CA - Jun 26, 2005
BREA ? A series of spot brush fires that burned on
both sides of the Orange-Los Angeles county line
were quickly extinguished Saturday after briefly...
Brush fire precautions urged as early season feared
Los Angeles Daily News, CA - Jun 24, 2005
...The San Bernardino County fires in the desert
east of Los Angeles burned at least six homes.
A number of smaller brush fires broke out in the
Antelope Valley ...
(((The summary in LA:)))
It was the worst storm damage since the mid- to late
1990s. The El Nino period of December 1996 and
January 1997 caused eight deaths and $1.8 billion
damage, Lamoureux said. The next winter saw 17
deaths and $550 million in damages.
But the threat spawned by from this year's storms
isn't over. They have left a legacy of fire.
The rain grew a bumper-crop of brush on hillsides
and in wildlands. Extensive growth in the deserts
has fed wildfires that already have blackened tens
of thousands of acres and destroyed about a dozen
"We heard stories of the beautiful wildflowers that
were covering the desert. But when summer comes
along, the flowers are going to die out," said Jim
Wright, chief of fire protection for the California
Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
TOLD YOU SO