“ "Our house shook, all the windows rattled and there were
flames rising to the height of the chimneys at Coryton. Black smoke
was billowing up into the sky."
“Ray Howard is a member of Castle Point Borough Council which
covers Canvey Island, Benfleet, Thundersley and Hadleigh, and lives
“ "Some almighty explosion occurred, it shook my house,"
he said. "The next thing, all I saw was huge flames and smoke coming
from the refinery." ”
“A large fire broke out at an oil refinery in southern England
on Wednesday with flames reaching as high as 30 metres (100 ft), firefighters
“Ten fire engines and seven special firefighting vehicles were
called to the scene and there were no reports of any injuries. [Quoted
The fossil oil industry is casual beyond belief,
and have got away with low standards for far too long. They are also immensely
wealthy and, like thetobacco
industry, spread false ‘information’
and bribes around the planet.
Nuclear power is probably safer even than wind or photovoltaic
power. The levels of safety demanded over nuclear matters is vastly
higher than other levels of safety, often far far above reason.
Even with the idiocy of socialism in the Soviet block, it
would be difficult to make the case that damage from nuclear disasters is far
worse, however much the iconic case of Chernobyl is wheeled out. I’ll
make a wager that more people died in filthy fossil fuel industry disasters
in every year in the Socialist Soviet Union than all deaths accumulated from
Chernobyl, and that despite the idiotic handling of the health issue after
the Chernobyl mess, being a main cause of Chernobyl problems. In socialist China,
5-10,000 a year are dying just in coal mining. The
pollution is also a vast and major killer.
accident at Chernobyl was a one-off, and in the habitual context of a socialist
state. The plant did not even have containment, and such a mess was not
repeated elsewhere. Further, the deaths from Chernobyl are minute when
compared with the filthy fossil fuel industry.
I have read dozens of ‘reports’, listened
to lectures and even read the odd book on the Chernobyl disaster. Most
of it is emotionalism. The deaths from Chernobyl are probably rather low
(in the approximate region of a hundred). It has probably shortened some
lives, but it is nearly impossible to assess how many. The life expectancy
in the ex-USSR is pretty poor anyway. The Soviet Communists have left
vast problems of pollution which is, doubtless, shortening lives.
Chernobyl is just one such (limited) example. From memory, there is some problem
in an area around Kiev and in poor lands in Belarus. Interestingly, the
health of wild life in the area around Kiev (the highest hit area - the
no-go area) was reported recently as better than in control
areas. The ‘big Chernobyl’ nonsense is mostly hype and propaganda.
Cancer dangers are more likely from food and cigarettes
than radiation. In Western society, approximately a third of cancer deaths are from food
and a third from smoking. Of course, we could stop eating!
In comparison with the power capacity of nuclear, the
capacity of windmills
are such that vast amounts have to be manufactured. Furthermore, they
will take up huge land areas. Windmills and photovoltaic are, of course,
much safer than the filthy fossil fuel industry. However,
they are less safe than nuclear, by virtue of the great safety of the nuclear industry.
But maybe some idiots will fall off roofs installing PV arrays, or
be hurt mining or machining the metals for windmills and erecting and
servicing them. The same is probable in the transportation of coal and
burning at coal-fired power stations. It is essential for proper comparisons
to relativize safety figures to power produced.
The standards in the nuclear industry are vastly higher
than those for fossil fuels, and the pollution is vastly lower. Nuclear
power is probably safer even than wind or photovoltaic power. It is very
difficult to keep up with the damage done around the world by the filthy
fossil fuel industry and the millions it kills year. A great deal of the
time you do not hear about the disasters, the disasters are around the
world every day and ongoing:
“Stormy weather in the Gulf of Mexico forced Pemex to reduce
crude production by 600,000 barrels by Monday and suspend efforts to
fix a damaged valve line still spewing oil and natural gas almost a
week after a platform-rig collision that killed at least 21 workers.
“Strong winds and waves forced a pullback of repair crews who
were trying to contain the spill by injecting cement into the line.
Gulf ports closed as well, shutting down 200,000 barrels of oil production
on Sunday and 400,000 more on Monday.”
“Pemex also was struggling to contain a spill from a pipeline
crack in Veracruz state that dumped an estimated 10,000 barrels of oil
into the Jaltepec and Coatzacoalcos coastal rivers. The company said
it had set up five successive containment barriers to prevent that spill
from reaching the downstream city of Coatzacoalcos and the Gulf.”
[Quoted from iht.com]
“The charges stem from incidents that took place at BP's American
operations in recent years:
“•In March 2005, an explosion at BP's refinery in Texas
City, Texas, killed 15 contract employees and injured 170. As part of
Thursday's settlement, BP pleaded guilty to a one-count felony violation
of the Clean Air Act in the case and agreed to pay $50 million in criminal
“•In March and August 2006, oil from BP's Alaskan exploration
subsidiary leaked from pipelines into the tundra and a frozen lake.
The company pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water
Act and will pay $20 million in criminal fines and restitution to the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Alaska.
“•In April 2003 and February 2004, the company attempted
to manipulate the price of propane on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange,
the government said.” [Quoted from usatoday.com]
“The Exxon Valdez disaster is certainly the most notorious oil
spill in the United States — a single, terrible accident that
poured 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound 1989,
causing grievous damage to Alaska’s waters and beyond. But it
is not the largest. In terms of volume it cannot match the steady seepage
of oil into Newtown Creek, the polluted waterway that separates Brooklyn
“The Newtown Creek spill has not received anywhere near the response
that followed the Valdez incident. The cleanup has been haphazard and
ineffective, hampered by weak enforcement, and residents have been left
in the dark about potential health effects.
“A report this month from the Environmental Protection Agency
suggested that the Newtown spill may be twice as large as first believed
— some 30 million gallons, nearly three times the size of the
Alaska spill. It has polluted the 4-mile strip of waterway and some
55 residential and commercial acres around it, gathering in subsurface
reservoirs, mixing with groundwater, creating toxic vapors and and seeping,
slowly but inexorably, into the creek. One major concern is the reported
leakage of chemical vapor into homes." [Quoted from greenpointvexxon.com
And look at the mountain leveling activity and the
river destruction by the coal industry right now. Large swathes of coal
mining areas were covered in spoil heaps, plagued by subsidence. Silicosis
killed in the hundreds of thousands, the awareness of the levels of health
problems from air pollution is still growing. Even now in China, there
are assessments going on to see how much uranium can be recovered from
fly ash from coal burning power stations. I have no doubt that miners
are more subject to radiation
than is common or would be tolerated in the nuclear industry.
Nuclear power is far safer, it could hardly be otherwise
when the amount of power produced can be a million or more times greater
than from filthy fossil fuels. Chernobyl is just a boo word to scare the
children and keep out the main competition.
“The difference between this GEO and the third report, which
was released in 2002, is that claims and counter claims over climate
change are in many ways over. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has put a full
stop behind the science of whether human actions are impacting the atmosphere
and clarified the likely impacts – impacts not in a far away future
but within the lifetime of our generation. The challenge now is not
whether climate change is happening or whether it should be addressed.
The challenge now is to bring over 190 nations together in common cause.”
Chapter 1: Environment for Development
Chapter 2: Atmosphere
Chapter 3: Land
Chapter 4: Water
Chapter 5: Biodiversity
Chapter 6: Sustaining a Common Future
Chapter 7: Vulnerability of People and the Environment: Challenges and
Chapter 8: Interlinkages: Governance for Sustainability
Chapter 9: The Future Today
Chapter 10: From the Periphery to the Core of Decision Making –
Options for Action
I am unimpressed by the various scribbling I have seen
on this report, so I have not worked on it, but some may find it interesting.
“There was every conceivable type of environmentally friendly
car on show at the Tokyo motor show last week, but Honda scooped them
all by announcing it will be putting the world’s first hydrogen
fuel cell car into production next year.
“The car will travel an estimated 270 miles at speeds of up to
100mph and will produce only water vapour from its exhaust. It is expected
to cost £50,000 and will be available initially only in America
And a lot more detail.
“How much pollution its use ultimately creates depends on how
the hydrogen is harvested. While hydrogen is the most abundant element
in the universe, it doesn't generally exist by itself. It must be separated
out of other substances, a process that takes some power, usually electricity.
“Regardless of how the electricity is produced, though, electricity
generation is a more efficient way to make power from a fuel than exploding
it to push pistons, a process in which most of the power is wasted as
heat. So, even if the electricity to separate the hydrogen were to come
from a coal-burning power plant, the FCX would still be cleaner than
a gasoline-powered car.”
“[...] the hydrogen is fed into a device in which it is combined with oxygen in a chemical reaction that makes water while also releasing a stream of electricity. That electricity is stored in a battery and used to run the FCX's electric motor.” [Quoted from money.cnn.com]
atmospheric carbon rising faster from varying mechanisms
Part of the atmospheric carbon increase is due to the
lower efficiencies of the ‘new’ economies which is increasing
the amount of carbon per $ of output, a figure which had been falling
for 30 years.
These changes are likely to bring forward the levels
of warming to be expected at given time-scales.
“[...] increasing by 1.93 parts per million each year--the fastest
rate of buildup since monitoring activities began in 1959 and considerably
higher than the 1.58-ppm average for the 1980s and the 1.49 ppm for
“An international team of scientists has taken another look at
how rapidly Earth's atmosphere is absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2)--the
biggest greenhouse gas in terms of volume--and the news is not good:
A high-flying world economy is pumping out the gas at an unprecedented
rate. Current CO2 production is outstripping the best estimates used
by modelers to predict future climate trends.
“Earth's climate has been warming for the past century or so,
particularly during the past 40 years. Scientists say the blame most
likely belongs to an increase in the greenhouse effect, caused by human
output of CO2, methane, and types of fluorocarbons. The U.N. Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change [I.P.C.C.] cites human activity as the biggest
contributor to the phenomenon known as global warming.
“During the past half-century, scientists have been closely monitoring
the changes in the atmosphere and have constructed elaborate computer
models to project what will happen if current trends in CO2 output continue.
What's going on now in the real world is surpassing the assumptions
of the climate models.” [Quoted from sciencenow.sciencemag.org]
Meanwhile, indications that oceanic absorption of carbon
“Specifically, oceans and plant growth absorbed only around
540 kilograms per metric ton (1,190 pounds per short ton) of the CO2
produced in 2006, compared with 600 kilograms per metric ton (1,322
pounds per short ton) in 2000 [...]”
“All told, human activity released 9.9 billion metric tons (2.18
x 1013 pounds) of carbon in 2006, up from just 8.4 billion metric tons
(1.85 x 1013 pounds) in 2000. At the same time, poleward shifts of westerly
winds in the Southern Ocean reduced the region's ability to suck up
CO2 as have mid-latitude droughts, which slowed the growth rate of forests
and plants that capture carbon.
“New maritime measurements over the past decade also show that
the North Atlantic's ability to absorb CO2 has been cut in half, according
to researchers from the University of East Anglia who were not affiliated
with the study by Canadell and his colleagues. "Until now, we thought
that the decline in the efficiency of natural sinks was going to happen
during the 21st century and more strongly during [its] second half,"
Canadell says. "If we didn't [include in the assumptions] that
this was going to happen [so soon], have we underestimated the decline
in the efficiency into the future?" ” [Quoted from sciam.com]
“Without even factoring in the paper wrapping, packaging and
print advertisements - which require as much paper by weight as the
tobacco being grown - nearly 600 million trees are felled each year
to provide the fuel necessary for drying out the tobacco. That means
one in eight trees cut down each year worldwide is being destroyed for
tobacco production. In South Korea and Uruguay, tobacco-related deforestation
accounts for more than 40 percent of the countries’ total annual
deforestation. While in Malawi, in a region where only three percent
of the farmers grow tobacco, nearly 80 percent of the trees cut down
each year are used for the curing process.
“Such a rapid depletion of trees in an already semi-arid climate
will lead to desertification. Parts of Uganda are currently losing much
of their arable land as the topsoil erodes.
“Yet farmers in developing countries continue to grow tobacco
because of the tremendous financial incentives from multinational corporations
like Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds. With enticements such as farming
supplies or a guaranteed foreign exchange for their crops, farmers are
reluctant to use their land for anything else.”
“In high-school biology class, we used to do an experiment with
fruit flies. You put flies and food in a jar, screw the top on tight
and wait to see what happens as the flies reproduce like mad.
“The goal is to see at what point the limits of the jar - air,
food, space - begin to affect the ability of the fruit flies to exist.
At some point, the jar becomes inhospitable and the flies die en masse.
“If Bjorn Lomborg, Danish author of Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's
Guide to Global Warming, were to write up that high-school experiment,
he would focus on the point just before the flies began to hit the limits.
“He would wax on about how the population of flies had never
been stronger, trot out statistics to show how astoundingly well the
population had reproduced over time, and gush boyishly about the excellent
living conditions in the jar. And he would be right. Given those facts,
examined at that specific point in the arc of the experiment, he would
have drawn the correct conclusions.
“But he would have missed the facts that the food supply was
getting low, that the air was becoming fouled and that fruit-fly catastrophe
“US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday the world
needs a revolution on energy that transcends oil, gas and coal to prevent
problems from climate change.”
“ Since 2001, the US government has invested nearly US$18 billion
to develop cleaner sources of energy, Rice said. Those include technologies
that run on hydrogen, permanently burying emissions of greenhouse gas
carbon dioxide, advanced nuclear energy, renewable fuels and greater
“Retaliatory steps that comply with world trade rules could
be found against China and India if they fail to help international
efforts to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, a senior US diplomat said
“Speaking before a meeting on climate change in Washington to
be attended by the world's 16 biggest greenhouse gas emitters, US ambassador
to the European Union C. Boyden Gray said steps could include a tax
on carbon emitted by manufacturers.”
the fight against filthy fossil fuels goes mainstream - the uk clown still drags along way behind
“The Government is even further away from keeping its repeated
promise (in three general election manifestos) to cut UK carbon dioxide emissions
by 20 per cent of 1990 levels by 2010.”
[Quoted from peopleandplanet.net]
Doing the sums, the government target is 161.5 million tonnes minus 20%,
that is 129.2 million tonnes.
The UK continues to fail in emission targets, despite
hugh outsourcing of pollution to the Far East.
“The Kyoto treaty commits Britain to keeping annual greenhouse
emissions during the period 2008-2012 to 12.5% below 1990 levels. In
2002, the UK was 14.4% below 1990 levels, and in 2003, 13.4% below.
The provisional figures for 2004 show emissions are 12.6% below - just
0.1% underneath the Kyoto figure. The government says the main reason
for the increase is growing energy demand; statistics show that emissions
rose from industry, transport and the domestic sector. "The policy
package they have isn't working," Bryony Worthington, climate change
campaigner for Friends of the Earth UK, told the BBC News website. "They
need to make radical changes to it, a completely different approach,
much more top-down management of emissions across the economy. "If
they don't do that, there's every sign that these trends will continue
and we will miss our Kyoto targets.” [Quoted from newbuilder.co.uk]
The Kyoto target of 161.5 million tonnes minus 12.5%, that is 141.31
million tonnes, below 1990 carbon dioxide emission levels is a very easy target for the UK, after its
vast off-shoring of manufacturing and with all its gas-fired generating stations enabled by the
But, as you can see in the first [peopleandplanet.net] link above,
the 2006 (provisional) UK figure is 152.9 million tonnes, and 2008-2012 is fast approaching.
And yet dogmatists keep criticising the USA for not signing
to the unrealistic Kyoto ‘treaty’ (A PR delaying tactic would
be a better term than treaty).
Meanwhile, the USA is working to lead real
reductions through serious negotiations and technology improvements:
“Rich and poor nations must get over their disagreements about
how to fight climate change and forge a new pact to replace the Kyoto
Protocol, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Monday.
“Speaking at a United Nations conference on global warming, Schwarzenegger
urged countries to stop blaming each other for rising temperatures and
work together to solve the problem.
“ "The current stalemate between the developed and the developing
worlds must be broken," Schwarzenegger said. "It is time we
came together in a new international agreement that can be embraced
by rich and poor nations alike.”
“ Schwarzenegger, who backed a landmark 2006 California law to
reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent
by 2020, urged leaders to stop talking and start acting.” [Quoted
In the meantime, Howard in Australia has changed course:
“By 2020, John Howard said, 15 percent of Australia's energy
would come from "clean" sources including solar, wind, nuclear
or clean coal, reversing his coalition government's previous reluctance
to lift its renewable energy target from 2 percent.
“The promise also dropped "renewable" from the government's
agenda, paving the way for a controversial switch to nuclear energy,
backed by Howard as a greenhouse-friendly alternative.
“To win over voters Howard has promised a carbon emissions trading
system, banned incandescent light bulbs and pledged A$200 million (US$173
million) to combat forest clearing in Asia.” [Quoted from planetark.org]
Like many leaders, Howard is fighting off the moonbat
left’s constant ludditeist approach to nuclear power.
“To get a feel for the scale of the problem, we have turned
to data from the US Geological Survey's annual reports and UN statistics
on global population. This has allowed us to estimate the effect that
increases in living standards will have on the time it will take for
key minerals to run out (see Graphs). How many years, for instance,
would these minerals last if every human on the planet were to consume
them at just half the rate of an average US resident today? [See table below.]
“The calculations are crude - they don't take into account any
increase in demand due to new technologies, and also assume that current
production equals consumption. Yet even based on these assumptions,
they point to some alarming conclusions. Without more recycling, antimony,
which is used to make flame retardant materials, will run out in 15
years, silver in 10 and indium in under five. In a more sophisticated
analysis, Reller has included the effects of new technologies, and projects
how many years we have left for some key metals. He estimates that zinc
could be used up by 2037, both indium and hafnium - which is increasingly
important in computer chips - could be gone by 2017, and terbium - used
to make the green phosphors in fluorescent light bulbs - could run out
before 2012. It all puts our present rate of consumption into frightening
perspective (see Diagram).”
years left worldwide
at half consumption rate of USA
at current consumption rate
proportion presently recycled
wire, coins, plumbing
batteries, turbine blades
cellphones, camera lenses
jewellery, catalytic converters
weapons, power stations
transport, electrical, consumer durables
lead pipes, batteries
fertiliser, animal feed
jewellery,catalysts, car fuel cells
chrome plating, paint
LEDs, solar cells, lasers
infrared optics, semiconductors
computer chips, power stations
world population, 1970: 3,700,000,000
world population, April 2007: 6,580,000,000
world population, 2050: over 9,000,000,000
“[...] Global gas flaring has remained largely stable over the
past fourteen years, in the range of 150 to 170 billion cubic meters
(BCM). In 2004 the gas flaring volume of 160 BCM was 25% of the natural
gas consumption of the USA and an added 84,000 thousand metric tons
of carbon emissions into the atmosphere[...]”
“[...] Gas flaring is widely recognized as a waste of energy and
an added load of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Because the flaring
combustion is incomplete, substantial amounts of soot and carbon monoxide
are produced, contributing to air pollution problems. Information on
the spatial and temporal distribution of gas flaring have been available
previously due the sparse and unverifiable nature of the reporting done
by countries and petroleum companies.”
“ While Nigeria has been widely reported as the country with the
largest volume of gas flaring, satellite data indicate that Russia has
more than twice the gas flaring volume of Nigeria.”
It seems that the old habits of lying, secrecy and
environmental filth die hard in Putin’s Russia. So Russia produces nearly one-third of the worlds total. I should get round to relativising these figures to production level.