Author Archive: BIGTIX

International Energy Agency: Planet on track for 3.6 to 5.3C warming

The Bigger Picture: Nuclear Energy vs. Fossil Fuels court ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to perform long-term storage of spent fuel at plant sites

Alternative Energy Pakistan

By Jim Hopf
As I discussed last fall, a federal appeals court ordered the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to perform more thorough evaluations in support of its new Waste Confidence Rule, particularly with respect to the potential impacts of long-term storage of spent fuel at plant sites. While… Carbon and De-carbonization, Energy, Energy Security, Environmental Policy, Fossil Fuels, Negligible risks impacts, nuclear energy, Nuclear Energy vs. Fossil Fuels, nuclear generation, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Regulatory Commissio, nuclear regulatory commission (nrc), Politics & Legislation, REAL environmental, Waste Confidence Evaluations

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Mckibben Crunches Numbers on Climate

Seeds4Change Farm


Since the publication of his 1989 book ‘The end of Nature’ which was one of the first to address climate change for a general audience, Bill Mckibben has been a controversial figure amongst activists, mining magnates and media personalities. He is currently in Australia conducting his “Do the Maths” tour in which he discusses the hard truths regarding the climates current predicament and why he is willing to put his life on the line fighting the fossil fuel industry…

On Friday the 7th of June, I attended Bill Mckibben’s Melbourne leg of his international “Do the Maths” tour. With an introduction by Greens Senator Adam Bandt and questions moderated by academic Robert Manne, the legendary climate activist spoke to a sold out audience at the Athenaeum Theatre about the need to take up the fight against climate change.

Bill Mckibben is an American environmentalist, author and activist who is responsible…

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Bill McKibben on climate change

Sarah Free

Bill is the founder of the worldwide 350 degrees movement, and he recently gave a presentation at the Embassy theatre in Wellington, which I attended. If you would like to know more google or google Bill McKibben.

Basically, Bill contends that scientists have calculated that no more than 565gigatonnes (billion tonnes) of fossil fuels can be burned before 2050, if the world wants to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees as agreed in the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference. However, according to the British Carbon Tracker initiative, present known reserves of oil, gas and coal already on company books total 2795 tonnes.

Bill is promoting divestment in fossil fuel companies. Apparently this is a growing movement in the USA, with many churches, universities, local government bodies and some private foundations going down this path.

My issues with this approach is that it ignores the current realities…

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Earth Report

We Will Not Run Out of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are formed from the remains of plants and animals that died hundreds of millions of years ago, buried and transformed by heat and pressure. Since these fuels require millions of years to form, for human purposes, the supply of fossil fuels on Earth is effectively fixed. This has led to predictions — such as those based on the “peak oil” theory first proposed by geologist M. King Hubbert in 1956 — that the world will experience an economically damaging scarcity of fossil fuels, particularly oil.

Fossil fuel emissions

However, new technologies for oil and gas exploration and extraction have upended the notion of fossil fuel scarcity: The limiting factor on humans’ fossil fuel use will not be the exhaustion of economically recoverable fossil fuels, but the exhaustion of the Earth’s capacity to withstand the harmful byproducts of fossil fuel combustion.

For decades, energy…

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Keystone XL Pipeline—Why It’s A Bad Idea!

My Planet Earth

By Lin Smith

June 16, 2013—-Producing oil from tar sands is “scraping the bottom of the barrel”, and so it is with the KeystoneXL Pipeline, a pipeline owned by a company named TransCanada, that would double the tar sands currently being transported from the oil fields of Alberta, Canada to the U.S.. The tar sands are under the Boreal Forests of Alberta, home to many species of plants and animals.The Boreal Forest not only cools the earth with its shade, it also plays an important role in preventing global warming, as the trees store and use carbon dioxide (the global warming culprit) in photosynthesis. Under the TransCanada leasing conditions, the company would have the option to lease an area the size of Florida for tar sand production.

Tar sand (or oil sand) consists of sand, sandstone, clay, and water, which are saturated with an extremely thick form of petroleum. These…

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Awareness-Advocacy-Action Bulletin #9 – Fossil Fuels = too much heat

Awareness Advocacy Action

greenhouse effect


(1)   CO2 is an important part of the greenhouse that keeps the earth’s average temperature stable. The earth’s atmosphere allows in radiation from the sun, warming the oceans and land. This heat is then radiated back into space with a different wavelength. CO2 absorbs this heat as it is radiated from earth, and retains some of it in the atmosphere.  National Geographic has a great explanation of the greenhouse effect at . Scientists have proven that the increased CO2 comes from burning of fossil fuels. They can prove this by measuring the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere that can be carbon dated as very old (so it came from fossils) versus natural carbon that is very new. The amount of CO2 from fossil fuels is the cause of the increase in CO2. See’s_atmosphere . Current levels of CO2 at 400ppm retains far more energy in the…

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Time Frame for Finite Resources

What to do in life

Our resources, despite some gullable assumptions, are not infinite!

BBC’s global resources stock check shows the ‘life-span’ of numerous important resources. As you can see they will run out soon, if we are not moderating our unnecessarily exessive consumptions of goods.



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From Forests to Fossil Fuels: U.S. Energy Consumption Since 1776

Divest From Fossil Fuels

Planet Earth Weekly

By Lin Smith May 5, 2013—In the past 6 months organizers have begun campaigns on universities and in cities across the U. S. to divest in fossil fuels. Over 300 campuses and 100 cities are now looking at divesting and this movement has spread to Australia, Nederlands, and Britain. University students have stated, “It’s wrong for public institutions to teach and support environmental awareness but yet profit from damaging the environment.” The goal of the Divestment Campaign 350 is to “Challenge individuals and institutions to sell their stock in oil, gas, and coal producing companies because their current business model is leading to global catastrophe.” It’s the opposite of investment. It’s the movement currently taking place across the United States to divest their endowment funds from fossil fuels and place them in investments that support a healthy planet. What is a university endowment fund? Each university has money that is…

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The carbon cycle and climate change

Myth Versus Reality: The Green States of Australia


It would seem that economies that reduce heavy reliance on the extraction of natural resources and encourage more sustainable industries are justly considered ‘green’. Often, however, the reality of the so-called ‘green states’ differs significantly from the claims of various labelling initiatives. The process of economic greening is somewhat superficial, and heavily based on the outsourcing of emissions. Alice Fitzsimons examines this in the context of two Australian states, and calls into question the legitimacy of ‘greenness’ of South Australia and other pioneer states.

Australia’s economic prosperity is widely ascribed to its abundant natural resources. The development of the mining, processing, and manufacturing industries that utilise these resources have brought considerable wealth to the nation. The response of resource-based economies, such as Australia’s, to the environmental movement is thus of particular interest. Environmentalism has gathered influence in Australian politics and policy from the 1970’s onwards. At the same time, mining…

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Summit Voice: Most-viewed stories

Summit County Citizens Voice

Wildfire, weather, climate and the environment …

FRISCO — Coverage of the West Fork Fire Complex, which has grown to become the second-largest wildfire in the state’s recorded history, was the most-viewed story last week, but a water story focusing in Lake Powell and published just yesterday, quickly raced up the charts, followed by a story on the environmental impacts of using dispersants on oil spills.

Click on the headlines to read the stories and pass them along on your own favorite social media netwoks by using the share buttons at the end of each story.

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With Rising Temperatures, Infrastructure Falters

SuperSci 9.2


As the western U.S. continues to bake in 100-plus degree heat, the high temperatures are making pavement buckle and power lines droop. Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center talks about heat’s effects on infrastructure, and how cities can adapt for increasing temperatures.

Produced by Charles Bergquist, Director and Contributing Producer ( ScienceFriday)
Vicki Arroyo
Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center
Georgetown University Law Center
Washington, DC


[ Follow SuperSci 9.2 on Twitter and Google+ ]

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Since the TED Talk: Bjorn Lomborg is still thinking about “evil economics”

TED Blog


In 2005, Bjorn Lomborg bounced onto the TED stage in Monterey to challenge the assembled audience to think about “the biggest problems in the world.” [ted_talkteaser id=62]Author of the book The Skeptical Environmentalist and the director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, Lomborg promptly advised the somewhat startled audience to forget about global warming. If we really want to make an impact on the serious issues of our time, he said, we have to look beyond the dramatic images and histrionic headlines that fill our newspapers, and instead calmly and rationally focus on tackling issues we might actually solve once and for all.

“It’s when economics gets evil,” he said cheerfully.

Back then, Lomborg was presenting the results of the first Copenhagen Consensus, for which he had convened a group of 30 of the world’s top economists to prioritize global problems according to how quickly and efficiently they might be solved. Their…

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EPA readies new environmental regulations

WATCH: Up-close look at icebergs off Newfoundland

Deserts ‘greening’ from rising CO2

The EPA, Greenhouse Gases, the D.C. Circuit, and Political Warfare

The Green Mien

The Obama administration, increasingly frustrated by Congressional hostility to any efforts to contain greenhouse gases, has turned to the EPA as a tool for reining in carbon emissions. The agency is developing regulatory standards under the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon pollution on a number of fronts. It is coordinating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to promote new technologies with the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles by 3,100 million metric tons by the year 2025.  It is implementing rules requiring minimum amount of renewables in transportation fuel, setting national limits on carbon emissions by power plants, and implementing rules which are expected to bring about a 95% reduction of  volatile organic compound emissions from fracking gas wells. Where Congress has refused to act, the Agency has embarked on an aggressive and far-reaching effort to fill the void.

But the agency’s efforts to curb…

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Is the Earth heading for an icy future?

Ice and Icing

When I mentioned to my Gran that we were in an ice age she was immediately worried. “Should I get my boiler serviced?” she wanted to know. With varying reports in the media of global warming having ‘stopped’ and extreme weather events dominating headlines this worry is hardly surprising. But is there a genuine need for concern?

We are currently living through the Pleistocene Ice Age, although thankfully we’re experiencing an interglacial period – a respite from the type of cold periods that spring to mind when talking about an ‘ice age’. But how long will this warm period last?

The historical record suggests that within the Pleistocene (roughly the last 2.5 million years) the onset of warm eras such as the one we’re currently in have been controlled by the Earth’s orbit. On scales of 100,000’s of years the shape of the Earth’s orbit changes, becoming more or less…

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