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Showing posts from November 18, 2016

Arctic Ice Vanishes Over 30 Years

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[A sobering NASA simulation shows how it happened. Also: The North Pole is 36 degrees HOTTER than normal as figures reveal Earth is on track for its warmest year on record. *RON*]
By Robby Berman, Slate, 16 November 2016


In this video, NASA visualizes its Arctic sea ice data from 1984 to 2016, and the result is dramatic. And scary.

The ice has been disappearing since 1984 because of global warming. This “perennial ice”—about double the thickness of seasonal ice—is the most critically important ice cover for the Arctic. It's vital to the survival of native Arctic animals and people, of course, but it also plays a key role in moderating the entire planet’s climate. And there’s barely any of it left.

Check out Phil Plait’s Slate article from October for more.

Gregor Robertson 'Still Hopeful' Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion Will Be Rejected

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[I am attending the protest against Kinder Morgan on Saturday in Vancouver, and will post photos here. I'm not holding my breath. Jim Carr, Trudeau's Minister of Natural Resources: "The mayor of Vancouver has a set of opinions and an argument to make. There are other mayors who are making arguments. We'll make our decision in December." *RON*]
By Zi-Ann Lum, Huffington Post, 17 November 2016

Vancouver’s mayor says he would be shocked if the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion is given federal approval in the next few weeks, given “unprecedented opposition” against the $6.8-billion project.

“I will be stunned if the federal government approves it on a fraudulent [National Energy Board] process that excluded a lot of Vancouverites,” Gregor Robertson told The Huffington Post Canada on Wednesday.

'Business-As-Usual' Climate Scenario Will Cost World Economy $12 Trillion: UN

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[UN report warns of the costs of unabated climate change after election of U.S. president who plans to allow just that. I emialed the link to Catherine McKenna (her mandate letter begins "We have promised Canadians a government that will bring real change") and got the usual boilerplate response. *RON*]

Nika KnightCommon Dreams, 17 November 2016

Unabated fossil fuel emissions will cost the global economy a staggering $12 trillion by 2050, according to a new report from the United Nations.

The report predicts a temperature rise of 2.5ºC by 2050 if climate change continues on its current course, compared to the 1.5ºC temperature rise that was the goal of the emissions reduction plans laid out in the Paris climate accord. The world's gross domestic product will fall by $33 trillion in the "business-as-usual" scenario, the report found, and by $21 trillion under the 1.5ºC scenario—a difference of $12 trillion.

The largest oil deposit ever found in America was just discovered in Texas

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[I saw this story a couple of days ago but (slow on the uptake, am I) it just occurred to me:- this, in itself, could easily kill Keystone XL! Cf. HuffPo citing the rabidly oil-crazed U of Alberta on the topic: Keystone XL Isn't Needed, Minister Says, But Some Beg To Differ. And cf. THAT with Elizabeth May says Tory 'culture' embedded in environmental reviews. *RON*]

Akin Oyedele, Business Insider, 16 November 2016

The US Geological Survey said Tuesday that it assessed what could be the largest deposit of untapped oil ever discovered in America.

An estimated average of 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids are available for the taking in the Wolfcamp shale, which is in the Midland Basin portion of Texas' Permian Basin.

Based on a West Texas Intermediate crude oil price of $45 per barrel, those deposits are worth about $900 billion.

Trudeau and Argentina's president say trade — not protectionism — will help the poor, unemployed

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[Trade, without CORPORATE protectionism, CAN help the poor, unemployed, but not business as usual. The magic word here is "mining." Canadian mining companies have the most egregious human rights record imaginable but, you know, Sunny Ways, right? See also: In Ottawa, TPP’s death could open the door to transparent trade dealing. Wishful thinking, methinks. *RON*]

By Jordan Press, Canadian Press / CBC, 17 November 2016

Canada's prime minister and his Argentine counterpart took direct aim Thursday at the walls of protectionism set to be erected around the United States, saying that freer trade is the best way to pull their countries out of economic uncertainty.

Justin Trudeau and Mauricio Macri said there is real anxiety that progress and global trade have resulted in people being left behind or children being robbed of the same opportunities afforded their parents and grandparents.

Donald Trump Selects Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General

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[It looks like things are going to be every bit as awful as expected. Somewhere there must be an All Trump All The Time blog because there is easily enough material to keep a person going 24/7. I'm going to try to keep the POTUS material here down to a dull roar. But, see also: Trump-Loving GOP Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Define Protests as a Form of 'Terrorism'; and The merger of the Trump administration and the Trump Organization took 6 days; This isn’t just a photo of Ivanka Trump. It’s a middle finger to democracy.. *RON*]

By Eric Lichtblau, Maggie Haberman & Aahley Parker, New York Times, 18 November 2016

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Senator Jeff Sessions, a conservative from Alabama who became a close adviser after endorsing him early in his campaign, to be the attorney general of the United States, according to officials close to the transition.

Mr. Sessions was also under consideration for secr…