Saturday, January 31, 2015

Methane deceptions

Ice Age Now | Jan 31, 2015 | Paul Driessen

Deception, agenda and folly drive latest Obama EPA anti-hydrocarbon rules. Are farmers next?

No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change, President Obama insisted in his 2015 State of the Union address. So now he wants his Environmental Protection Agency to compel drilling companies to slash methane emissions, which he says contribute to “dangerous manmade climate change.”

His goal is steadily greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties, with little or no transparency or accountability for regulators, pseudo-scientists or activists.

However, companies already control their methane emissions, and the supposed warming effect of this gas is wildly inflated, by as much as 100 times. Moreover, there is no evidence that we face dangerous manmade warming or climate change, now or in the near future. What we are really dealing with is a catechism of climate cataclysm: near-religious zealotry by an alarmist scientific-industrial-government-activist alliance – and EPA’s determination to use methane’s alleged impacts on Earth’s climate to control a highly successful fracking industry that has thus far been largely free of federal interference, because it operates mostly on state and private lands that are governed effectively by state and local regulators.

Methane deceptions

Deception, agenda and folly drive latest Obama EPA anti-hydrocarbon rules. Are farmers next?

Paul Driessen

First they came for the coal mining and power plant industry, and most people did not speak out because they didn’t rely on coal, accepted Environmental Protection Agency justifications at face value, or thought EPA’s war on coal would benefit them.

In fact, Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon gave the Sierra Club $26 million, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave the Club $50 million, to help it wage a Beyond Coal campaign. The Sierra Club later claimed its efforts forced 142 U.S. coal-fired power plants to close, raising electricity rates, threatening grid reliability, and costing thousands of jobs in dozens of states.

Mr. McClendon apparently figured eliminating coal from America’s energy mix would improve his natural gas business. The mayor likes renewable energy and detests fossil fuels, which he blames for climate change that he tried to finger for the damages ‘Superstorm’ Sandy inflicted on his city.

Now the Obama EPA is coming after the natural gas industry. Hopefully many will speak out this time, before more costly rules kill more jobs and damage the health and welfare of more middle class Americans. The war on coal, after all, is really a war on fossil fuels and affordable energy, and an integral component of President Obama’s determination to “fundamentally transform” the United States.

Proposed EPA regulations would compel drilling and fracking companies to reduce methane (natural gas or CH4) emissions by 40-45% by 2025, compared to 2012. Companies would have to install technologies that monitor operations and prevent inadvertent leaks. The rules would apply only to new or modified sites, not existing operations. However, Big Green activist groups are already campaigning to have EPA expand the rule to cover existing gas wells, fracking operations, gas processing facilities and pipelines.

But companies already control their emissions, to avoid polluting the air, and because natural gas is a valuable resource that they would much rather sell than waste. That’s why EPA data show methane emissions falling 17% even as gas production increased by 37% between 1990 and 2014, and why natural gas operations employing hydraulic fracturing reduced their methane emissions by 73% from 2011 to 2013. The rules are costly and unnecessary, and would bring few benefits.

The Obama Administration thus justifies them by claiming they will help prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.” Methane, EPA says, has a warming effect 50 times greater than carbon dioxide. This assertion is wildly inflated, by as much as a factor of 100, Dr. Fred Singer says. Atmospheric water vapor already absorbs nearly all the infrared radiation (heat) that methane could, and the same radiation cannot be absorbed twice. The physics of Earth’s surface infrared emission spectrum are also important.

More importantly, to borrow a favorite Obama phrase, let me make one thing perfectly clear. There is no dangerous manmade climate change, now or on the horizon. There is no evidence that methane or carbon dioxide emissions have replaced the complex, powerful, interconnected natural forces that have driven warming, cooling, climate and weather fluctuations throughout Earth and human history. There is no evidence that recent extreme weather events are more frequent or severe than over the previous 100 years.

Indeed, planetary temperatures have not budged for more than 18 years, and we are amid the longest stretch since at least 1900 (more than nine years) without a Category 3-5 hurricane hitting the United States. If CO2 and CH4 are to be blamed for every temperature change or extreme weather event, then shouldn’t they also be credited for this lack of warming and deadly storms? But climate hype continues.

We are repeatedly told, “Climate change is real, and humans are partly to blame.” The statement is utterly meaningless. Earth’s climate fluctuates frequently, and human activities undoubtedly have some influences, at least on local (especially urban) temperatures. The question is, How much of an effect?  Are the temperature and other effects harmful or beneficial, especially when carbon dioxide’s enormous role in improved plant growth is factored in? Would slashing U.S. CO2 and CH4 emissions mean one iota of difference, when China, India and other countries are doing nothing to reduce their emissions?

Nevertheless, the latest NASA press release asserts that 2014 was “the hottest since the modern instrumental record began,” and again blames mankind’s carbon dioxide emissions. This deliberately deceptive, fear-inducing claim was quickly retracted, but not before it got extensive front-page coverage.

Let me make another fact perfectly clear. The alleged global temperature increase was 0.02 degrees C (0.04 degrees F). It is not even measurable by our most sensitive instruments. It is one-fifth the margin of error in these measurements. It ignores satellite data and is based on ground-level instruments that are contaminated by urban heat and cover less than 15% of Earth’s surface. Even NASA admitted it was only 38% confident of being correct – and 62% certain that it was wrong. Analyses by Dr. Tim Ball, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts and other experts provide more details eviscerating this bogus claim.

In the end, though, all these real-world facts are irrelevant. We are dealing with a catechism of climate cataclysm: near-religious zealotry by a scientific-industrial-government-activist alliance that has built a financial, political and regulatory empire. They are not about to renounce any claims of climate catastrophe, no matter how much actual evidence debunks their far-fetched computer model scenarios.

Their EPA-IPCC “science” is actively supported by most of the “mainstream media” and by the World Bank, universities, renewable energy companies and even some churches. They will never willingly surrender the political influence and billions of dollars that CAGW claims bring them. They won’t even admit that wind and solar facilities butcher birds and bats by the millions, scar landscapes, impair human health, cannot exist without coal and natural gas, and are probably our least sustainable energy option. They want gas prices to rise again, so that heavily subsidized renewable energy is competitive once more.

Meanwhile, polls reveal that regular, hard-working, middle-income Americans care most about terrorism, the economy, jobs, healthcare costs, education and job opportunities after graduation; climate change is always dead last on any list. Regular Europeans want to end the “energy poverty” that has killed countless jobs, and each winter kills thousands of elderly people who can no longer afford to heat their homes properly. The world’s poorest citizens want affordable electricity, higher living standards, and an end to the lung infections, severe diarrhea, malaria and other diseases of poverty that kill millions of children and parents year after year – largely because alarmists oppose nuclear, coal and gas-fired power plants.

But federal regulators, climate chaos “ethicists” and “progressives” who loudly profess they care deeply about the poor and middle classes – all ignore these realities. They focus on methane, because they view it as a clever way to inject federal oversight and control into an energy sector that had been largely free of such interference, because the fracking revolution has thus far taken place mostly on state and private lands governed effectively by state and local regulators. (Federal lands are mostly off limits.)

The proposed methane rules would generate more delays, paperwork, costs and job losses, to comply with more federal regulations that will bring no detectable benefits – and much harm, at a time when plunging oil and gas prices are forcing drillers to reduce operations and lay people off.

President Obama devoted 15 lines of his 2015 State of the Union speech to climate fables and propaganda. His goal is steadily greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties, with little or no transparency or accountability for regulators, pseudo-scientists or activists.

It won’t be long before EPA and Big Green come for farmers and ranchers – to curtail “climate-wrecking” methane emissions from cattle, pig and sheep flatulence and dung, and exert greater control over agricultural water, dust and carbon dioxide. By then, there may be no one left to speak out.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

Friday, January 30, 2015

How to survive when the dollar collapses

© Natural News
Natural News | Jan 30, 2015 | Daniel Barker

The current administration would like for you to believe that the economy is on the mend and that we can look forward to growth in 2015. But most economists and basically anyone with a grain of sense will tell you otherwise.

The drop in oil prices may seem like a good thing when it's time to gas up the SUV, but the free fall in oil prices is actually very bad news in the long run. And when you take a look at how the Federal Reserve has been artificially stimulating the economy with quantitative easing and the continued printing of ever-more-worthless dollars, it's not difficult to see that there is a huge economic bubble being created, and it will burst sooner or later. My guess is sooner, but maybe I'm just a pessimist -- time will tell...

Many are predicting that 2015 will be the year the dollar collapses, and few of us are truly ready to face what some are forecasting will be a financial "bloodbath" or "Armageddon." Despite the Obama Administration and the Fed's attempts to paint lipstick on a pig by cooking the books, the fact remains that more than 100 million Americans are unemployed -- the highest percentage since the Great Depression.

And with oil prices expected to drop even further, more Americans can expect to lose their jobs -- if they are lucky enough to have one in the first place.

And let's not forget the effects of Obamacare, which is driving employers to cut hours for their workers so that they can avoid having to meet the ACA requirements.

In short, we are headed for an economic collapse that will make the 2008 crisis pale in comparison.

So, how to survive the coming crash?

Daisy Luther, creator of the website offers some useful advice on how to cut costs and prepare as much as possible for the inevitable collapse of the dollar.

As Luther notes: "The key to economic survival is requiring less of things that cost money." She urges readers to realize the difference between essentials and luxuries, and get rid of the things that aren't necessary to survival. Her list of essentials includes:
  • Water
  • Food (and the ability to cook it)
  • Medicine and medical supplies
  • Basic hygiene supplies
  • Shelter (including sanitation, lights, heat)
  • Simple tools
  • Seeds
  • Defense items
Beyond these basics, all else are luxuries. Luther recommends looking for ways to cut monthly costs. Among her suggestions: moving to a smaller home, relocating to a smaller town, getting rid of monthly car payments by buying a cheaper used vehicle with cash, stop using credit cards, eat at home instead of dining out, and generally becoming as frugal and self-reliant as possible.

The more you can provide for yourself, the better off you will be. Do whatever you can to reduce your reliance on the power grid -- harnessing solar energy and limiting the use of electricity to powering actual necessities is a good start.

The more food you can grow or produce, the more money you'll save and the healthier you'll be -- not to mention the fact that you'll be more self-reliant when the SHTF.

It is essential to establish a mindset that will get you through any crisis. The core philosophy of prepping is to be ready before things go sideways. Luther also urges everyone to build a "preparedness library." If the power grid goes down, you'll need books to help you develop and maintain survival strategies -- websites are of no use if you can't get online.

Even if the economy turns around (which is highly doubtful at this point), it makes sense to be prepared for the worst. Don't wait until the proverbial wolves are at the door -- make plans now for facing what could prove to be a very challenging situation when the current economic bubble finally bursts.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Senate approves Keystone XL pipeline despite veto threat

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's
planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in
Gascoyne, North Dakota November 14, 2014.

(Reuters/Andrew Cullen)
RT | Jan 29, 2015

The Republican-controlled Senate passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, prompting a showdown with President Barack Obama, who has promised to veto the legislation.

In a 62-36 vote, Republicans were able to peel away nine Democrats from President Obama’s position on the pipeline, ensuring easy passage for the bill once it cleared a filibuster. If Obama vetoes the bill as promised, however, supporters do not have the 67 votes needed to override his decision.

The pipeline was first proposed in 2008 and would carry oil 1,179 miles from Canada’s tar sands to Nebraska, where it would connect to an existing pipeline and continue traveling south.

“Constructing Keystone would pump billions into our economy,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said prior to voting. “It would support thousands of good American jobs and as the president’s own State Department has indicated, it would do this with minimal environmental impact.”

The bill now moves into the reconciliation process with the House of Representatives, which passed its own bill approving the pipeline earlier this month.

Previously, the White House resisted attempts by Congress to force the president to make a decision. In 2012, Obama vetoed a proposal supporting the pipeline, but the project’s developer, TransCanada Corp, then reapplied.

Now environmentalists are urging the president to reject it again, as they argue it will make it easier to drill for oil in Canada’s tar sands –a dirty process which burns a lot of energy in itself. The State Department is also seeking input on the project's potential environmental fallout from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department.

The project has also sparked opposition from Native American tribes, particularly those living on Nebraska land that the pipeline is expected to run through.

Supporters of the pipeline argue that its construction will create jobs and boost the United States' energy independence. Construction is estimated to create thousands of jobs and contribute a few billion dollars to America's GDP, but once it is completed some 50 people will be required to maintain its operation.

"The fact is, Keystone would create only 35 permanent jobs -- a drop in the bucket," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to the Huffington Post. "A fried chicken franchise creates about as many jobs."

The Thursday vote ended weeks of vigorous debate, which had the Senate up until the small hours of the morning on one occasion. Dozens of amendments to the bill were also considered, but only a few made it in, including one that got the GOP-controlled Senate to say on the record that climate change is real and another two promoting energy efficiency.

Both the House and Senate are expected to reconcile any outstanding issues quickly, meaning that the bill could land on Obama’s desk within days. The White House insists it will veto construction proposals until an ongoing review process by the State Department is completed.

For its part, TransCanada CEO Russ Girling welcomed the vote.

“It’s time to approve Keystone XL so we can transport Canadian and American oil to fuel the everyday lives of the American people," he said. "We look forward to a decision by the U.S. Administration to approve the construction of Keystone XL."

The Real Age of Stupid: Talking Heads Blame Latest Snowstorm on ‘Global Warming’

21st Century Wire | Jan 28, 2015 | Patrick Henningsen

This week, we’re told that the eastern seaboard is under a ‘state of emergency’ because of a the snowfall ranging from 7.8 inches in New York to 18-22 inches in Boston as of tonight. With all the hype, you’d think it was the Little Ice Age.

Growing up in New England, I remember every winter being pretty much the same: lots of snow. Believe it or not, that’s what happens in the winter time. Sometimes it got up to 2 or 3 feet, but there was never a ‘state of emergency’. This is the gelding of America happening right before your eyes. Welcome to their brave new world of crisis management.

‘Weather experts’ started warning that the snow could reach ‘up to two feet’. Wild claims began to emerge on Monday afternoon like, “Severe weather is set to affect 60 million people”. Meaningless numbers perhaps, but their campaign worked: the public reacted with fear. Panic buying quickly spread throughout the Tri-State area, with many stores completely cleaned out of staple foods and essentials – all for a snow storm which would only last a few days.

Emergencies and crises are coming cheaper and cheaper these days. They even gave it a name, “Juno 2015″. Wonderful occult symbology there by the way, but before you laugh, mythology is exactly what we’re dealing with here…

JUNO: NYC retailers running ‘snow day sales’ today.
Some media outlets were claiming this was “The Worst Snow Storm in History”, which is not even remotely true (but hey, it sells papers so who really cares, right?). Across the region, the 2006 and 2003 Storm, Blizzard of ’97, Blizzard of ’78 and the Blizzard of ’69 were much worse, according to the National Weather Service, but not to the national media. New England caught the brunt of this week’s snow, but while media jesters were predicting an apocalypse in New York City, nothing happened.

Yet, we tuned into US broadcast networks last night and today to watch news anchors Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin outside in their knitted caps, pointing at tiny drifts of snow as if this is something historic. CNN was pumping-up ‘state-wide travel bans’, at least in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, starting at 11:30pm. “Only emergency personnel and certain members of the media [them] will be allowed out on the roads.”

Gore’s Odyssey: Another record-breaking freeze, still cult followers cling to climate mythology

The media made a big deal about how “Violating the road ban could cost  you fines of up to $300, and could lead to arrest”. We checked, and it appears that out of all 5 nanny states declaring this faux disaster – not one fine was given, and not one arrest was made for ‘violating emergency curfews’. It was a horrible exhibition of intimidation on the part of government officials and a compliant media. Pathetic.

Smart folks will already have figured out that this over-the-top, massive show of force has nothing at all to do with snow. It’s simply another excuse for the media and government officials to band together to show the feudal masses that they’ve got it all “under control”. In other words: ‘you need us, and don’t you forget it’.

Finally, former head of FEMA, Mike Brown became frustrated on air and challenged CNN’s Don Lemon on the media’s role in creating a fake weather crisis, “There a difference between giving a weather forecast and talking about, giving our prediction and here’s what we think is going to happen, and then on the other side of the studio when the news people start hyping it up about how bad it’s going to be, ‘it’s going to be Armageddon’, and that gets everyone riled up, and then people like Governor Cuomo say, ‘I’m going to tell the MTA to shut the subways down’, yet everything I read says they didn’t shut the subways down, they were still running empty trains… If people would just  tell the f**ing truth in these situations instead of hyping it up, then we’d all be better off.”

Embarrassed, Don Lemon then went silent for few seconds, and then exited the segment.

 It seemed that CNN’s Lemon (photo above), awarded “Worst Journalist of 2014“, was in a hurry to tend to his next guest, and get down to doing what he really likes doing in front of America, which is playing with puppies, and talking about, “whether or not it’s safe for your dog to eat snow” (seriously).

The apologies started pouring in, as various meteorologists got on to Twitter to issue retractions:

“My deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public,” Gary Szatkowski of the National Weather Service. “You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn’t. Once again, I’m sorry.”

Despite inflating fears of a devastating “Snowmageddon”, Juno never actually arrived. How did the media get it so wrong? According to the weather experts, they used the wrong model”, meaning the wrong computer model. These are the very same computer models that the UN’s IPCC rely so heavily on when they make their “scientific” predictions of devastating global warming in the future.

As our readers at 21WIRE are well aware, the stupidest conspiracy theories these days are coming from two places – government and the mainstream media. As the snow began to fall on Monday, politicians were jockeying for position, taking turns making outrageous statements in order to appear relevant, and tough. Governors in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island all declared a state  of emergency. But why stop there?

The embattled NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio saw this as an opportunity to look like a Mayor, so he scrambled a press conference, decked out in his Sherpa outfit, proclaiming: ‘This will be one of the largest blizzard in the history of New York City. People must be prepared. This is not business as usual’

When de Blasio realized their was only a foot of snow, he then thrust himself back in front of the camera to claim, “We dodged a bullet!” What an idiot.

LOST: Andrew Cuomo.
New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) stood up on his podium, doing his best impression of that Aztec priest at the top of a pyramid in Mel Gibson’s Apocolypto, preaching their mythology de jour to another helpless crowd, “You’re getting a repeat pattern of these extreme weather situations, whether it’s Hurricane Sandy or seven feet of snow, and that’s part of the changing climate, I believe, that has brought this new extreme weather pattern, and it’s something we have to adjust to, it’s something that’s very costly, and it’s also something that’s very dangerous.”

It gets worse. Bill Finch, the Mayor of Bridgeport, CT, heaped praise upon ‘Reverend’ Al Sharpton for “fighting the good fight on climate change” on MSNBC (no comment on Frostie’s privilege, thank heavens). Finch said, “Thank you for your show, Reverend, you’ve been fighting the good fight on climate change, and we can see the crazy climate here, and we’d like to have a little bit more of you down in Washington.”

Not to be outdone, President Obama took to his pulpit as well, to share his own revisionist version of the Bhagavad Gita with the Indian masses, claiming, “With rising seas, melting Himalayan glaciers, more unpredictable monsoons, cyclones getting stronger… The US recognizes our part in creating this problem, so we’re leading the global effort to combat it [climate change].”

That’s what they believe, or more accurately, that’s what they feel – which seems to be all that’s needed for spouting pop science these days. So we’re all meant to agree with the Governor of New York, because, well,  7 inches of snow falls in the Big Apple. He’s backed-up by members of the media, which means we are forced to suffer disposable headlines – like this one (one of many) by Kate Sheppard of the Huffington Post, “Is Climate Change To Blame For The Northeast Snow Storm?

You might laugh, but they are serious. There is still a lot of money in green and yellow journalism.

Sheppard goes on to try and stitch together the climate change mythology and 7 inches of snow in New York, saying, “Climate change deniers are gonna deny, but there is increasing evidence that ties atmospheric warming trends to heavier snowfall events.” In order to blog her way through it, she offers this as her ‘evidence’:

“We can’t make too big a deal of every single storm and say it is caused by climate change,” climate scientist Don Wuebbles of the University of Illinois in Urbana told National Geographic on Monday. “But what we are seeing today is completely typical of what you would expect to see in a warming climate.”
That’s why we “deny” Kate. It’s because there is no evidence that this little snow flurry was caused by global warming, or its re-branded catch-all term, “climate change”, and there is no evidence that this is a new, ‘extreme weather event’ either. It’s just a foot of snow. If you are really a true believer, then you will, while you’re at it, empty your fridge of its contents and put all your food outside, and then unplug your fridge – so as to lower your carbon foot print.

In 2009, filmmaker Fanny Armstrong produced an expensive piece of political film called Age of  Stupid. It was groundbreaking at the time, because it pioneered the process of crowd funding, initially raising an impressive £450,000 ($680,000). Even more money was raised afterwards towards the production. It developed a small cult following, not least of all because of the cult-like, doomsday scenario depicted in the film which was cleverly pretending to be backed-up by “irrefutable science”.  Like Al Gore’s thoroughly debunked, but Oscar Award-winning ‘documentary’, An Inconvenient Truth, Armstrong’s Stupid is an archetypal example of a propaganda film which is meant to take place in the year 2055, in a world ravaged by the effects of global warming – rising seas, spiced up with a little nuclear war, and a no Amazon rainforest left (that’s actually a conservation issue, not a climate issue, but who cares – just throw it all in the green blender). The film was lauded by the left as a “documentary”, but at best it’s science fiction, and at worst, it’s collectivist propaganda.

Why did we pick this film for this discussion? Because of its title, “The Age of Stupid”. What is more glaringly obvious now more than ever, is how stupid climate fanatic political busy-bodies are becoming now – where every snow storm, tornado, or rainstorm is explained-away with global warming or ‘climate change’, no matter how small it is.

Some members of the media feel it’s their duty to constantly play-up the fear because (in their mind) they feel they are covering their asses if God forbid, there’s any serious of loss of life. In the Blizzard of ’78 in Massachusetts, 100 died and 4,500 were injured. What about this week’s casualties? Hardly worth a mention. Was it more dangerous back then? Not necessarily, but we are more advanced today in terms of communications and technology today – which means that we are generally safer – which means we should be panicking less, not more. 

A few weeks ago they also said that last year was the warmest ever, which was also a lie. To be accurate, one could say that 2014 was 8/10 of a degree warmer than it was 100 years ago. On its own, however, even that figure is meaningless in the wider context – past, present and future – of this planet’s temperature, which is almost completely determined by celestial factors – like incoming rocks and the sun (and not SUV’s and cows). Truth be known, Global cooling is a much bigger threat to life in our Northern Hemisphere.

If you are looking for a real demon in your midst, then look at this photograph, taken by a satellite above the US eastern seaboard:

It would be nice if all of our ‘green journalists’ would be so brave as to spend an equal amount of time and effort to let us know why they are spraying chemicals and producing artificial cloud cover over the US and parts of Europe.

Soon, you will see these same green-yellow journalists trying to tell us that, “Yes, there’s spraying happening, but it’s only ‘experimental’, in order to reflect back the sunlight, and save us all from global warming.”

No, it’s not experimental, it’s dangerous geoengineering, stupid. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lord Christopher Monckton-Climate Change is Really a Basis for Elite Control

Greg Hunter | Jan 27, 2015

Lord Christopher Monckton believes there is climate change, but he does not believe man has anything to do with it. Lord Monckton says science will ultimately back up that claim. Why the recent push to do something about climate change that is also called global warming? Lord Monckton says, “I think they are panicking because they know that this process . . . cannot be kept going for very much longer because . . . it’s been 25 years since the UN produces a report saying we were all doomed, and since then, the rate of warming has been half of what they predicted and well below their entire range of estimates.” Also, former Vice President Al Gore predicted the polar ice caps would be melted by now. Just the opposite has happened, as Lord Monckton points out, “If you took the Arctic and the Antarctic together, global sea ice was the greatest it’s been throughout the 35 years of the satellite era. It is greater than it has ever been before.”

Lord Monckton, former award winning journalist and Margaret Thatcher advisor, also says, “Let’s not forget, it was Hitler who first founded the green movement and first used the environmental movement, not for the basis for genuine concern about the environment, but as a basis for getting control over every detail over people lives so they couldn’t argue back. That’s what this is really all about. . . . I get criticized all the time as to why I don’t just stick to the science. I say somebody has to tell the truth, not only about the science, but also about the politics.”

Join Greg Hunter for an in-depth interview with Lord Christopher Monckton, who calls himself a “seeker after truth” on climate change.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Millions of GMO mosquitoes may be released in Florida neighborhood

Reuters / Ricardo Rojas
RT | Jan 26, 2015

Pointing to climate change and the rise of tropical diseases, British researchers hope to sell their idea of releasing millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. Almost 140,000 people have signed a petition against the plan.

For many years, the neighborhoods of the Florida Keys have been sprayed with insecticides to ward off a host of bugs, including perhaps the mother of all pests, the mosquito. Over time, however, Aedes aegypti, a mosquito that can spread the dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses has built up resistance to many of the insecticides used to kill them.

The rising risk of a mosquito infestation and disease outbreak presents an opportunity for one British firm, Oxitec, which has developed a method for breeding Aedes aegypti that kills mosquito larvae, AP reported.
According to Oxitec’s website, the process involves injecting a “lethal gene” into either the male sperm or female egg that eventually kills the offspring., the world’s largest petition platform, presented some of the unintended consequences of releasing millions of mutant mosquitos into the Florida Keys. For example, would the more virulent Asian tiger mosquito, which is also a carrier of dengue, “fill the void” left by a drop in Aedes aegypti populations? Or will the dengue virus mutate and become even more deadly?


The group calls efforts to introduce genetically modified mosquitos a “radical approach” since dengue fever has been absent from Key West since 2010. The group says this “indicates the current methods of control and public education are working.”

Oxitec says only non-biting male mosquitoes would be released, while attempting to assure the public that no genetically modified DNA would enter the bloodstream in the event of a bite from an overlooked female specimen.

Experts, however, question the claims.

"I think the science is fine, they definitely can kill mosquitoes, but the GMO issue still sticks as something of a thorny issue for the general public," Phil Lounibos, a researcher at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, told AP.

"I'm on their side, in that consequences are highly unlikely. But to say that there's no genetically modified DNA that might get into a human, that's kind of a gray matter."

Oxitec spokeswoman Chris Creese said the experiment will be similar in size to one held in 2012 in the Cayman Islands, where 3.3 million genetically modified mosquitoes were set loose over a six- month period, resulting in the elimination of 96 percent of the targeted insects, AP quoted.

Critics say the British firm failed to notify residents about the possibility of being bitten by a few females overlooked by the researchers.

As more people question anything genetically modified, especially something that has the potential to suck their blood, resistance to the idea is growing. Already, almost 140,000 people have signed a petition to halt the experiment.

FDA spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman said no experiments with the modified bugs will be permitted until the agency has "thoroughly reviewed all the necessary information."

Marilyn Smith, a Florida Keys resident, wasn't sold on the plan following Oxitec's presentation at a public meeting. Smith asked "why are we being used as the experiment, the guinea pigs, just to see what happens," AP quoted her as saying.

Oxitec has a laboratory in Marathon, a Key West town of just over 10,000 people, and hopes to start releasing mosquitoes in the Key West region this spring.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cuba’s Harvest of Surprises

Cornucopia | Jan 22, 2015 | Christopher D. Cook
Source: Thomas Münter
"Flanked by a lush, dark-green eruption of chard and fava beans at a tiny eighth-of-an-acre garden plot in Berkeley, Altieri scribbles numbers on a notepad, producing some compelling calculations: Applying agroecology methods on 1200 acres of public lands, the city of Oakland could produce 25,000 tons of food annually—enough to feed at least 400,000 people—without any pesticides or genetically engineered “super plants.” Such a change would be huge, Altieri argues, since the Bay Area imports 6,000 tons of food each day, which lean heavily on fossil fuel. But for a host of reasons, it’s not likely, he says."
In the fall of 1989, a full quarter-century before President Obama normalized US relations with Cuba, the Berlin Wall came tumbling to the ground in a flurry of sledgehammers and concrete dust. Meanwhile, an economic tsunami was brewing on the small Caribbean island. The Soviet Bloc was crumbling fast, sending shock waves across the globe that would plunge Cuba’s food and farming into years of austerity, hunger, and radical overhaul.

Earlier that year, the international socialist market terminated Cuba’s favorable trade rates—abruptly curtailing 85 percent of the tiny nation’s trade. Imports of wheat and other grains dropped by more than half; food rationing set in, and hunger widened. Soviet aid, a pillar of Cuba’s economy, evaporated as U.S. economic sanctions tightened.

Economic collapse led swiftly to agricultural crisis. Cuba’s industrialized farming system, fueled, literally, by Soviet tractors and petrochemicals, ground to a halt. Oil imports fell by 53 percent, and the supply of pesticides and fertilizers fell by 80 percent. Launching an era of austerity and reform known as the “Special Period in Time of Peace,” the Castro government “instituted drastic measures such as planned blackouts, the use of bicycles for mass transportation, and the use of animals in the place of tractors” to meet the unfolding crisis, according to a report by Food First, a U.S.-based think tank focused on food justice issues.

Read more..

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015: Al Gore Ends Global Warming - Following the Trail of Propaganda Hypocrites

Next News Network | Jan 25, 2015

As big as five football fields: Massive asteroid to be visible from Earth in just a day

Reuters / NASA
RT | Jan 24, 2015

An asteroid the size five football fields is approaching Earth and is expected to pass by on Monday. It will be visible through strong binoculars – definitely worth getting; the next time such an asteroid could be this close again will be in 2027.

At the closest point to the Earth, asteroid 2004 BL86 will be at a distance of 1.2 million kilometers which – approximately three times the distance from the Earth to the moon. Estimated to be 0.5 km in diameter, it is classified by scientists as potentially dangerous.

A space object is considered “potentially dangerous” if it crosses the Earth's orbit at a distance of less than 0.05 AU (approximately 19.5 distances from the Earth to the Moon), and if its diameter exceeds 100-150 meters. Objects of this size are large enough to cause unprecedented destruction, or generate a tsunami in case they fall into the ocean.

This graphic depicts the passage of asteroid 2004 BL86. (Image credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech)

However, according to astronomers, there is no threat of the object colliding with our planet this time.

“While it poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future, it’s a relatively close approach by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more,” Don Yeomans from NASA's Near Earth Object Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement.

It is very rare that such a huge space body comes this close to Earth. The next time an asteroid might be passing by will be in 2027, when 1999 AN10 flies past Earth. As for 2004 BL86 itself, it can be monitored from Earth for another 200 years.

Astronomers strongly recommend trying to catch this unique opportunity to spot an asteroid in the sky. It will be possible on January 26 between 11:07 pm and 11:52 pm ET (04:07 and 04:52 GMT).

It will be best seen in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Amateur astronomers will be able to observe it with small telescopes and even strong binoculars.

“I may grab my favorite binoculars and give it a shot myself,” Yeomans said in the statement.  “Asteroids are something special. Not only did asteroids provide Earth with the building blocks of life and much of its water, but in the future, they will become valuable resources for mineral ores and other vital natural resources.”

Numerous observatories all over the world will use this opportunity to learn something new about 2004 BL86. NASA's Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico will try to procure scientific data and radar-generated images of the asteroid while it is in its closest position to the Earth.

“When we get our radar data back the day after the flyby, we will have the first detailed images,” radar astronomer Lance Benne said. “At present, we know almost nothing about the asteroid, so there are bound to be surprises.”

2004 BL86 was discovered on January 30, 2004, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR), responsible for the majority of asteroid discoveries from 1998 until 2005, when it was overtaken by the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS). The asteroid orbits the Sun every 1.84 years.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Mexico Nuclear Waste Dump Shows Extended Stuctural Failure

Daboo777 | Jan 23, 2015

Dept. of Energy, Jan 21, 2015 (emphasis added): Roof Separation Highlights Bolting Priority — January 15 [we] discovered that a portion of the ceiling in the Panel 3 access drift had fallen… The roof fall… was estimated to be approximately 8’ long by 8’wide and 24” thick… no WIPP personnel were present at the time of the fall. The area where the fall occurred is also known to contain low levels of radioactive contamination… WIPP geotechnical inspections conducted in November 2014 identified seven areas… where access was restricted due to significant bolt loss… The area where the roof fall occurred was one of the seven locations…

North Dakota pipeline leaks crude oil, 3mn gallons of fracking byproduct

Clean-up efforts continue about 15 miles outside Williston,
North Dakota January 22, 2015 (Reuters / Andrew Cullen)
RT | Jan 23, 2015

Nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater and an as yet unknown amount of crude oil have leaked from a northwest North Dakota pipeline into a creek that feeds into the Missouri River. Officials have called the leak the largest of its kind in state history.

The leak in the 4-inch saltwater collection line, owned by Summit Midstream Partners LP and operated by subsidiary Meadowlark Midstream Co., was discovered earlier this month and was reported to the state on January 7, according to Reuters.

The pipeline, about 15 miles north of Williston, will be out of commission for an undetermined amount of time, Summit said.

Although Williston residents receive drinking water that comes from the Missouri River, the leak does not threaten supplies, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. However, the city has the ability to shut off collection valves to avoid harmful water, Reuters reported.

Yet some of the brine made it to the Missouri River, the Williston Herald reported, and the state found "high readings" of contamination at the confluence of the Little Muddy and Missouri Rivers southeast of Williston, according to Karl Rockeman, the director of water quality at the Department of Health.

Williston sits in the middle of North Dakota’s oil boom, and the saltwater is said to be a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

To unleash oil or natural gas, fracking requires blasting large volumes of highly pressurized water, sand, and other chemicals into layers of rock. The contents of fracking fluid include chemicals that the energy industry and many government officials will not name, yet they insist the chemicals do not endanger human health, contradicting findings by scientists and environmentalists. Once used, toxic fracking wastewater is then either stored in deep underground wells, disposed of in open pits for evaporation, sprayed into waste fields or used over again.

Fracking has been linked to groundwater contamination, an uptick in earthquakes in other states, exacerbation of drought conditions and a host of health concerns for humans and the local environment.

Summit is working with the state to find the cause of the spill before it repairs the saltwater line, spokesman Jonathan Morgan said.

Monitored by the state's Department of Health, Summit has sent environmental contractors to address the spill, though cleanup will be more difficult given the ice covering much of the area.

Reuters reported that about 2 million gallons of water has been taken from the affected streams, yet it is unclear if that amount was mostly saltwater or the creeks’ normal water.

The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources is inspecting Summit’s pipeline network, according to officials, which mostly transports natural gas.

Summit recently announced it had agreed with an ExxonMobil subsidiary, XTO Energy, to develop a 'natural gas gathering system' in southeastern Ohio’s Utica Shale. XTO was fined in 2013 for spilling 50,000 gallons of fracking wastewater into Pennsylvania waterways.

Summit also operates in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, where the current leak is located, and the DJ Niobrara Shale in Colorado.

The Bakken region has seen other chemical accidents, including train derailments, amid the area’s energy boom. In McKenzie County, a blown-out well leaked a massive amount of fracking wastewater in February 2014. Other states, including California and Colorado, have struggled to adequately address safe wastewater storage.

Disposal of fracking wastewater is underregulated, according to Hannah Wiseman, a law professor at Florida State University.

A typical well can spit about 1,000 gallons a day,” Wiseman told Marketplace. “Some of the water is recycled back into fracking, stored in pits or used to de-ice roads. It’s also injected deep underground, which has been known to cause earthquakes.”

In October, a report was released that detailed how a number of US oil companies are taking advantage of the so-called “Halliburton Loophole” to circumvent federal legislation regulating diesel-based fluids in fracking, to dump even more toxic chemicals into the environment.

Meanwhile, the cleanup continues in Montana, where a breached oil pipeline spilled as many as 50,000 gallons of crude oil in and around the Yellowstone River last week, threatening drinking water in the Glendive area.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kansas Officials Admit "Strong Correlation" Between Quakes & Fracking

Zero Hedge | Jan 21, 2015 | Tyler Durden

“If the government and the Kansas Corporation Commission care about the people of Kansas and the damages, they will order a moratorium,” exclaims Joe Spease, chairman of the Kansas Sierra Club's fracking committee following a report from Kansas officials, who have been reluctant to link the mysterious earthquakes in south central Kansas to fracking, admitted last week that "we can say there is a strong correlation between the disposal of saltwater and the earthquakes."

As LJWorld reports, it's the first time state officials have so clearly stated the likely cause of the earthquakes, which are afflicting a region where fracking is widely used, as Rick Miller, a geophysicist and senior scientist for the Kansas Geological Survey, said he believes the injection of fracking chemicals into the earth has been a catalyst for the quakes.
During hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” for short, operators use a mixture of saltwater and chemicals to break tight underground rock formations to release oil and gas. To get rid of the water after the fracking process, operators inject the water deep into disposal wells.

Naming the cause of the earthquakes is, in part, a matter of semantics. Questions have long been raised about whether fracking activity is causing the earthquakes, and officials in other states have concluded that it has. But Kansas officials consider the waste water disposal a separate process, and so have not considered the fracking itself to be the key factor in the quakes.

At issue now is what, if any, action to take. The state’s Sierra Club chapter wants Kansas to follow in the steps of New York, New Hampshire, Maryland and numerous local governments nationwide and call a moratorium on fracking. Others, including Lawrence Rep. Tom Sloan, ask where the nation will get energy if the option is off limits.


“He is not being sincere,” said Joe Spease, chairman of the Kansas Sierra Club's fracking committee and owner of a renewable energy company in Overland Park.

“It is so ridiculous, this issue of semantics,” Spease said. “There are millions of dollars in property damages happening, and we have our scientists playing word games.”

The Kansas Sierra Club supports a bill, not yet introduced, to impose a moratorium on fracking to give the oil and gas industry time to develop a solution to the saltwater disposal issue, Spease said.

“If the government and the Kansas Corporation Commission care about the people of Kansas and the damages, they will order a moratorium,” Spease said. “If they only care about the profits of the oil and gas (industry), it will be business as usual. I hope that is not the case.”
As RT reports, this is not the first linkage...
According to a team of scientists working under Duke University geochemistry professor Avner Vengosh, wastewater associated with fracking sites contains large amounts of ammonium and iodide, which may in turn encourage the formation of certain carcinogenic byproducts.

“We were not aware that they existed in oil and gas waste products,” Vengosh told ThinkProgress. “Until now, no one was aware — no one was monitoring for those contaminants.

“The relatively high frequency of spills associated with the intensity of shale gas development and reports of an overall increase of the salinity in watersheds associated with hydraulic fracturing activities, combined with data presented in this study, suggest that the release of [oil and gas wastewater] to the environment is one of the major risks associated with the development of hydraulic fracturing,” the study reads. “Our findings indicate that discharge and accidental spills of [oil and gas wastewater] to waterways pose risks to both human health and the environment.”

As RT reported previously, a separate study published earlier this month determined that fracking in an Ohio community caused 77 earthquakes during a span of just a few days last March.
Ironically, two days after the paper published its report, four small quakes occurred in the southern part of the state and through neighboring Oklahoma.

Of course - only one thing matters...
State Rep. Tom Sloan, a Lawrence Republican who has served on several Federal Energy Regulatory Commission committees and task forces, said a moratorium would hurt the economy.

“How do you draw the line?” he asked.

“If you don’t allow fracking, you will shut down the entire industry,” he said.
*  *  *

Industry Waste: Unknown grey goo kills over 200 San Francisco Bay birds, officials stumped

A bird is cleaned at the International Bird
Rescue in Fairfield, California January 20, 2015.

(Reuters/Robert Galbraith)
RT | Jan 22, 2015 

California officials are unable to identify a grey, goo-like substance that has been found coating the feathers of hundreds of birds. More than 200 seabirds have been found dead along the coast, while more than 300 have been rescued so far.

The strange, gooey substance degrades the water-repellent properties in the birds’ feathers, causing hypothermia from extended stays in the water.

The seabirds – Surf Scoters, Buffleheads, Goldeneyes, and Horned Grebes – have been turning up dead or in need of rescue along 20 miles of coastline in the San Francisco Bay area over the past week. If they react quickly, rescuers can treat the birds for hypothermia and then wash off the goo with baking soda, vinegar and a chemical agent, then soap and water. Others are not so fortunate.

The birds tend to come into care needing hydration and medical stabilization, and we have a mandatory 24-hour stabilization process before cleaning,” spokeswoman Barbara Callahan of International Bird Rescue told CNN.

Officials know the gooey substance is not oil because it would be far harder to treat, and officials think whatever the substance is, it was probably dumped.

“It’s some material that we nor the wildlife center has ever seen before,” Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a real mystery.”

Hughan said the material is not a public health hazard; the birds died because they froze to death from loss of body heat – not because they were poisoned.

The birds tend to come into care needing hydration and medical stabilization, and we have a mandatory 24-hour stabilization process before cleaning,” spokeswoman Barbara Callahan of International Bird Rescue told CNN.

Officials know the gooey substance is not oil because it would be far harder to treat, and officials think whatever the substance is, it was probably dumped.

It’s some material that we nor the wildlife center has ever seen before,” Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a real mystery.”

Workers at International Bird Rescue have spent the week cleaning and reviving the birds affected.

Just like if it were an oil spill, it degrades their waterproofing,” Callahan told AP. They’re all seabirds; they live on top of the water all year long. So as soon as they find that their waterproofing has been breached, they put themselves on the beach.”

She said the rescue effort has cost the center some $8,000 a day.

Nobody’s paying because they don’t know what it is and they don’t have a responsible party. We’re footing the bill on our own,” Callahan said.

There have been no reports or evidence of an oil spill. Tests are being conducted to try to identify what the substance is and where it might have come from.

Initial thoughts were that the substance might be similar to the synthetic rubber fuel additive polyisobutylene (PBI), which was found to have led to the deaths of 4,000 seabirds in England in 2013. But officials said tests have ruled PBI out.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New views of dwarf planet Ceres released by NASA

This processed image, taken Jan. 13, 2015,
shows the dwarf planet Ceres as seen
from the Dawn spacecraft.

RT | Jan 22, 2015

Impressive new images of the dwarf planet Ceres, captured by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, have revealed crater-like structures on the frozen, icy surface. The images arrived as the probe became due to enter Ceres’ orbit.

The images will help the Dawn spacecraft as it navigates its way towards Ceres. It is scheduled to enter the dwarf planet’s orbit around March 6 to begin a 16-month study.

Dawn’s arrival at Ceres will mark the first time a spacecraft has visited the planet, and the probe will able to linger in its orbit for in-depth exploration. NASA’s interest in the planet is that its surface contains vast portions of ice, and the agency has previously detected water vapor – a potential signal that Ceres may harbor life.

We know so much about the solar system and yet so little about … Ceres. Now, Dawn is about to change that,” Mark Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer and mission director, said in a release from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Ceres apparently formed far enough from the sun under conditions cool enough for it to hang on to water molecules. Indeed, scientists have good reason to believe that water (mostly in the form of ice) may make up an astonishing 30 percent of its mass. Ceres may contain more water than Mars or any other body in the inner solar system except Earth,” Rayman wrote in his NASA dawnblog.  

Read more..

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Supernova mystery found at the bottom of the sea

© Discovery News
SOTT | Jan 20, 2015 | Ian O'Neill

One of the least likely places you might think astronomers would learn about ancient supernovae is at the bottom of the ocean, but in new research scientists have done just that.

Through the careful analysis of ocean sediment, tiny particles that originated from deep space have settled on the seabed, locking the chemical secrets to supernova processes that would have otherwise remained a mystery.

"Small amounts of debris from these distant explosions fall on the earth as it travels through the galaxy," said lead researcher Anton Wallner, of the Australian National University.

"We've analyzed galactic dust from the last 25 million years that has settled on the ocean and found there is much less of the heavy elements such as plutonium and uranium than we expected."

Supernovae are powerful explosions triggered when massive stars reach the ends of their lives. During these powerful events, many elements are forged, including elements that are essential for life to thrive - such as iron, potassium and iodine.

However, as pointed out by an Australian National University press release, even heavier elements like lead, gold and radioactive elements like uranium and plutonium can be created. But it appears that the formation processes for the heaviest elements are at odds with current astrophysical theory.

Wallner and his team studied samples of sediment from the bottom of a stable area at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. But when measuring the quantities of plutonium-244, a radioisotope that is produced by supernovae, they found something strange in their results - there was 100 time less plutonium-244 than predicted.

Plutonium-244 has a half-life of 81 million years, making it an excellent indicator of the number of supernovae that have exploded nearby in recent galactic history. "So any plutonium-244 that we find on earth must have been created in explosive events that have occurred more recently, in the last few hundred million years," said Wallner.

But the fact that there is less recent deposition of the heaviest of elements, despite the fact that we know supernovae have erupted nearby, suggests a different formation mechanism may be responsible for plutonium-244 and elements like it.

"It seems that these heaviest elements may not be formed in standard supernovae after all," concludes Wallner. "It may require rarer and more explosive events such as the merging of two neutron stars to make them."

This research has been published in Nature Communications.

Source: Discovery News

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Newly found chemicals in fracking wastewater lead to cancer

RT | Jan 19, 2015

University researchers have discovered two new pollutants in fracking wastewater that can have potentially devastating effects on waterways and those who depend on them. Professor Avner Vengosh identified both ammonium and iodide in samples taken by his team, which says that the two chemicals have never before been linked to the natural gas extraction process. Although not deadly by themselves, according to scientists, when combined with other substances used by the natural gas drilling industry, they become carcinogenic. Dr. Ken Carlson of Colorado State University explains the importance and of the findings to RT’s Ben Swann.

Bigger problems than global warming – NASA discovers 8 new dangerous near Earth asteroids

The Chelyabinsk meteor, possibly
caused by a near Earth Asteroid
Watts Up With That | Jan 19, 2015 | Eric Worrall

In 2013, NASA decided to take time out from creating spectacularly useless climate models, and reactivated their Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer programme. The result is moderately terrifying – 8 previously unknown near Earth asteroids with catastrophic impact potential have been discovered, along with a host of smaller bodies which have the potential to wipe out a city.

According to The Register;
In December 2013, NASA re-activated the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) and in the twelve months since the project discovered three new comets and 40 previously-unknown near-earth objects, eight of which have Earth-bonking potential.
The JPL website contains more information about the discoveries of various space survey projects;
“WISE was launched into a low-Earth orbit in December 2009, and surveyed the full sky in four infrared wavelength bands (3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 µm) with a 40 cm (16 in) diameter infrared telescope until the frozen hydrogen cooling the telescope was depleted in September 2010. Throughout this time, NEOWISE searched the WISE data for moving objects. Starting in October 2010, the mission was renamed NEOWISE, and the survey continued for an additional four months using the two shortest wavelength detectors. The spacecraft was placed into hibernation in February 2011, after completing its search of the inner solar system.

Recently, NEOWISE has been brought out of hibernation to learn more about the population of near-Earth objects and comets that could pose an impact hazard to the Earth. A three-year survey in the 3.4 and 4.6 µm infrared bands began in December 2013 in which NEOWISE will rapidly characterize near-Earth objects (NEOs) and obtain accurate measurements of their diameters and albedos (how much light an object reflects). NEOWISE is equally sensitive to both light-colored asteroids and the optically dark objects that are difficult for ground-based observers to discover and characterize. Just six days after the restart of the survey, NEOWISE discovered its first potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroid, 2013 YP139.
The JPL data table is a little tricky to read, but if I’ve understood it correctly, you take the “H” value (absolute magnitude – a measure of “brightness”) from the asteroid table , and look up that value in the diameter conversion chart, to get a range of possible diameters . The diameter estimate is a range, because the size of the asteroid is not the only factor which affects the magnitude / brightness of the object.

YP139 has a “H” value of 21.6, which corresponds to a possible diameter of 130 – 300 metres.

To put this into perspective, the Chelyabinsk meteor which caused a 500 kiloton explosion over Russia in 2013 was estimated to be around 20 metres in diameter. A 300 metre object has the potential to cause (300 ^ 3 / 20 ^ 3) * 500 kilotons = 1.6 Gigaton explosion. An explosion of this magnitude, especially an ocean strike, could create gigantic Tsunamis, and would severely disrupt the global climate for several years, possibly longer.

Its nice to know that NASA occasionally takes a break from climate bothering, long enough to do something space related, but I’m mildly horrified that a project this important appears to be so far down the list of priorities, that the project was mothballed for a year while the survey satellite stood waiting for a refuel. Granted that a major Asteroid strike is a low probability event, but the consequences are potentially catastrophic – a big ocean strike could kill millions, maybe even billions of people.

As the Chelyabinsk wakeup call demonstrated, the risk of a damaging meteor impact is not a possibility which should be neglected.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Obama "dramatically" increases allowable levels of radiation in drinking water

© Natural News
Natural News | Jan 17, 2015 | Jonathan Benson

As radioactive pollution continues to accumulate throughout the environment as a result of nuclear incidents like Fukushima, the U.S. government's response is not to try to mitigate this threat to public health but rather to increase the official maximum exposure levels and basically redefine how much radiation is considered safe.

The Obama Administration recently did this with regard to radiation in drinking water, dramatically increasing allowable levels in response to "radiological incidents" that make it impossible to keep radiation levels below the previously established thresholds. So, the new approach is to continually raise these thresholds so that water can be considered safe.

It isn't, of course, but that's the illusion that the American plutocracy would have us all accept as reality -- or what the nuclear industry describes as the "new normal," according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The goal is to maintain the ruse for as long as possible, or until so many people are ill and dying of cancer that nothing can be done to stop this runaway train.

According to a press release from PEER, the White House's decision to allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to alter its official radiation guides, known as Protective Action Guides (PAGs), make radiation cleanup mandates more lax than they have ever been in the history of the agency's existence.

"In soil, the PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems," explains the press release. "This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period."

Allowable levels of radiation in drinking water are basically undefined at this point 

For drinking water, the requirements are even more obscured. According to the same report, the EPA's new standard is undefined in this regard as the agency "continues to seek input." But the gist of it allows for indeterminable "flexibility" in discarding the previously established limits for drinking water and basically allowing whatever radiation is present in water to be considered "safe."

There's obviously nothing scientific about this "new normal" policy, but most of the "sheeple" probably won't even take a second look at it. PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said it right when he told some in the media that the Obama Sdministration's new guidelines are something that "only Dr. Strangelove could embrace."

"If this typifies the environmental leadership we can expect from Ms. McCarthy," he stated, referring to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, "then [the] EPA is in for a long, dirty slog. No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold."

Interestingly, the guidelines in the new PAGs for how to handle "radiological emergencies," which include evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions, seem to fit the bill for what the world currently faces with Fukushima. Radiation releases from the shuttered plant are still so high that a Japanese government official recently reported that there is no other option but to continue dumping contaminated releases into the ocean.

This tainted ocean water will obviously continue circulating around the world, polluting ocean life, soils, and other ecosystems encountered by humans. And this will result in even higher levels of radiation for which the EPA will have to cover up the truth and pretend as though everything is just fine.

"We have to dispose of the water," stated Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Japan, in a public comment after expressing that he was "overwhelmed" by the number of tanks holding radioactive water.