Extreme Weather and the Continuing Bush Legacy.

 

THE BUSH LEGACY CONTINUES

by William Olkowski, PhD, 11.16.12

I knew it would take decades to reverse and repair the damage to our constitution, our national reputation, and our environment from the Reagen-Bush disasters.  It’s like the saying:

‘Whom the gods destroy they first make mad.’

I knew it was madness when the second election also showed G.W. Bush a winner.  The first 4 years got us into an unnecessary war, let the real terrorists off the hook by not pursuing them, and increased our national debt by trillions of dollars.  And then the drop in the taxes for the rich.  The democracy looks lost.  But maybe there’s still hope?  Check out this recent summary of extreme weather events, which should put a quash on whatever remains of those who think climate chaos is not happening.

From: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/report/2012/11/16/45135/heavy-weather-how-climate-destruction-harms-middle-and-lower-income-americans/

 

Scientists and government agencies documented the devastating extreme weather events in 2011 and 2012. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 14 weather events that caused at least $1 billion in damages each in 2011. By our estimates, from January through October 2012, there were at least seven additional extreme weather events with more than $1 billion in damages each, with total damages from the two years combined topping $126 billion. In addition to these events, economists predict that the 2012 drought will cause between $28 billion and $77 billion in damages, potentially bringing the two-year total to $174 billion.

The events during this time affected all but 4 of the lower 48 states. A recent study by Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance firm, found that North America is experiencing a tremendous rise in extreme weather disasters-a nearly fivefold increase over the past three decades. The firm concluded that this is due to climate change and that this trend will continue in the future.

 

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See also: Interactive Map: Counties Hit by Extreme Weather Events in 2011 and 2012 that Each Cost More than $1 Billion

Endnotes and citations are available in the PDF version of this report.

The devastating and tragic Hurricane Sandy and its connected storms caused a huge swath of destruction in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States on October 29, before then dumping vast quantities of snow in the Midwest. The storm is responsible for at least 110 fatalities in the United States and preliminary estimates indicate that it caused $30 billion in damages, with only one-quarter to one-half covered by

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More on Fukushima Ongoing Disaster 11.15.12

In the Wake of the recent Superhurricane Sandy disaster note the following quote:

“the vagaries of the future have a way of confounding the comforts of the past.”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/2012/11/sandy-fukushima-and-the-nuclear-industry.html#ixzz2BGx4oPFT

This report is important for those interested in the nuclear industry and are following the Fukushima disaster and want to see nuclear power eliminated throughout the world.

More on Costs for Fukushima CleanUP

Reader: In the report below note the following: the company is now owned by the Japanese government who is forced to bail it out.  Next note that it will take another 40 years to fix major problems.  Even if this is to be believed nothing like this is built in to our existing nuclear power industry with its 104 power plants, some of which are on faults, and flood plains.  And finally take stock of the amounts of money involved with just one mess up.  And note there is no calculations for the human costs.  All those firemen who risked their lives to get some water over exposed fuel rods, they are goners, it just a matter of time before they start to show cancers.

Bill Olkowski, 11.11.12

Japanese utility asks gov’t for more money to clean up nuclear disaster, pay damages

By Associated Press, Published: November 7

TOKYO — The Japanese operator of the nuclear power plant devastated in last year’s disasters is seeking more government financial support, saying the cost of the cleanup could be double the 5 trillion yen ($62.5 billion) allocated so far.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. made the appeal in a management “action plan” it presented Wednesday.

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TEPCO, its finances wrecked by the accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in northeastern Japan and the closures of other nuclear plants, has received a 1 trillion yen bailout and was put under government ownership.

Pressed repeatedly for an estimate of exactly how much it will cost to decommission the crippled plant and pay costs for decontamination and damages, TEPCO president Naomi Hirose said it was impossible to know.

But in a statement, the company outlined two potential scenarios, one involving costs of some 10 trillion yen ($125 billion) that it said would make it difficult for TEPCO to raise funding from private lenders and oblige it to seek further government financial support.

The massive earthquake and tsunami in March last year severely damaged four reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant north of Tokyo, knocking out cooling systems and triggering radiation leaks. Tens of thousands of people fled their homes in the worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl.

Officials say the plant has since stabilized, but it runs on makeshift equipment, causing concerns about its ability to withstand any major earthquakes. TEPCO officials say it will take about 40 years to fully decommission the wrecked reactors, a huge financial burden in addition to the astronomical compensation payments.

Including the bailout, the government has injected 2.5 trillion yen ($31.3 billion) into TEPCO and allocated at least 5 trillion yen for compensation for the disaster and decontamination.

On Wednesday, company executives outlined plans to revitalize TEPCO by cutting costs and making it competitive, arguing that in the long run, keeping the company as a public utility would run counter to the government’s strategy of increasing competitiveness in the power sector.

The company, which serves the Tokyo region and is the world’s fourth largest electrical utility, has raised electricity rates and sold assets to help staunch its flood of red ink.

TEPCO last week reported a 299.5 billion yen ($3.7 billion) loss in April-September, compared with losses of 627.3 billion a year earlier. It forecast a 45 billion yen ($563 million) loss for the fiscal year ending March 31, down from its earlier estimate of a 160 billion yen ($2 billion) loss.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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ECO Farm Action Alert Nov. 9, 2012.

Support the practices and programs you believe in!  Act Now!
November 9, 2013

This Action Alert was sent to EFA by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Dear Supporter,

It’s almost time. In just a few days, we’ll deliver thousands of names to Congress, telling them we can’t end the year without an equitable, sustainable 2012 Farm Bill. Our coalition has reached over 15,000 signatures in only two weeks. Now we only have till Monday, November 12th to get others to sign on to the petition!

When you send this message to five friends today, asking them to support a farm bill that invests in the future of healthy farms, food, and people, you can help us reach 50,000!

Help us hold Congress accountable – they can’t keep kicking the can down the road forever! It’s time for a better farm bill – and a better future for our nation’s farms, food, and people.

Thank you for all you do,
EFA

P.S. You’ll double your impact by making a call to Congress on November 15! Let’s make sure Congress not only reads your name on the petition, but also hears your reasons for wanting a better farm bill. Stay tuned for details in just a few days.


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AT LAST SOMETHING GOOD OUT OF CHRISTIANITY

AT LAST SOMETHING GOOD OUT OF CHRISTIANITY

Labeling GMO’s?

By William Olkowski, PhD

Well, I am clapping for my religious friends and family for a recent report by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA), on how to end world hunger.  As part of a broad alliance of world wide Christians some ecological sense may be emerging from a group I have little knowledge of.  The EAA are calling for food and farming systems instead of systems based on pesticides and GE seeds.  Haleluya!!

What’s so funny about that sort of statement is they think its based on the ” Christian values of fairness, care for creation and sustenance for generations. This global network of Christians calls for investment in agroecology. Why? Because it works.”

We should take “Whatever Works”, as Woody Allen recommends, but while keeping an open mind, let’s not let the brains fall out (from my favorite Skeptic), and forget that religions are still the greatest force working to keep us human’s apart.  And as long as we are separated there will be wars over oil, water, land, wildlife and other resources.  But there is common ground hardly explored, food security is one of them.

 

This is a global Week of Food Action, and as part of the push, a broad alliance of Christians from around the world has released a set of recommendations for ending world hunger.

Despite best attempts by the chemical industry to use “feeding the world” as moral justification to sell pesticides and proprietary, genetically engineered (GE) seeds to farmers worldwide, members of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance are calling for investment in agroecology. Why? Because it works.  Read further as there are some good examples which could have wide applicability.  Some few successes amidst so many tragedies, so let’s give the successes some clapping.

http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/news/single/article/2012/10/16/press-release-churches-take-action-for-food-justice/

SWITCHING TO GLASS ELIMINATES THE USE OF PLASTICS

SWITCHING TO GLASS ELIMINATES THE USE OF PLASTICS

BY William Olkowski, PhD.  An EcoBill Essay.

There was a time in U.S. history when we had no plastics and the world did continue to revolve.  Yes, it nice to see through the package, but  at what cost?  And why does it all have to last so long?  And why do we all have plasticizers in our fat tissues? And why do so many animals and plants have to die so we can carry our vegetables home in a plastic bag. It’s time to stop the insanities which surround us, from GMO crops, to unnecessary pesticide use, nuclear wastes which promise to last longer than we will, and why should we look forward to a wildy chaotic weather system, if we survive the next big nuclear accident or war?  WHY? WHY? WHY?  I’LL TELL YOU: ITS A WORLD GONE MAD FOR THE ALMIGHTY BUCK, stupid rulers, ignorant workers, controlled media, and a belief system which promises that man is the greatest, noblest, smartest animal alive, and no matter what comes some portion of us will survive in a mythical heaven.  GET REAL PEOPLE.  AND NOW WE CAN START BY Getting the Plastic Out of Our Oceans.  Its simple.

Switch to Glass.  IT LASTS LONGER, IS MORE BEAUTIFUL AND ITS REUSEABLE.

The following excerpts are from:

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/publications/earth/newsletter-fall-2012.pdf

 

Every year now, billions of pounds  of plastic trash end up in the world’s oceans, where it hurts or kills almost  300 species of sea turtles, marine mammals, fish and seabirds. To protect these creatures from a deadly threat that has no place in their marine environment, the Center for Biological Diversity has just launched a campaign to get plastic out of our oceans.

In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area of the North Pacific where a spiral of currents results in the convergence of marine litter, plastic particles outweigh zooplankton six to one. Forty percent of the world’s oceans are covered in similar swirling gyres of garbage.

The persistence of plastic debris is illustrated by this case study: A piece of plastic swallowed by an albatross originated from a plane shot down 60 years beforehand, almost 6,000 miles away.

Plastic pollution has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife. Hundreds of thousands of seabirds and sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled it. Even those animals that aren’t killed by ingesting plastic can experience gastrointestinal blockages, internal infection, organ damage and reduced reproductive output. Toxic plasticizers and organic pollutants, such as PCBs and DDT, concentrate on plastic fragments at levels far greater than in the surrounding marine environment and have been shown to affect both the development and reproduction of a wide range of marine organisms.

Although the Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the EPA to begin regulating plastics as a pollutant under the Clean Water Act why not start a campaign to SWITCH TO GLASS and get rid of the plastic revolution once and for all. Check out BiologicalDiversity.org/Plastics for more information.

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