Environment

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 By Staff

 As luck would have it, traces of winter have appeared on the day of the big climate rally in DC and in other places. Can't win 'em all, as now a lot of right wing nuts will spout on about how there is no such thing as Global Warming.... If only we could turn ignorance into money, it would be a better deal than turning lead into gold, as the supply of lead seems limited....

Anyway, in case you're following a great indicator of whether Global Warming is happening (
Great Lakes ice cover), here's the gory details.. At this time of year, Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair should be completely iced over, as should the northeast part of Lake Ontario, a lot of northern Lake Huron/Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. The screenshot map was obtained from http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs/kml/glcfsmap.php?lake=a&param=glsea&time=now.

Nothing to see here, now move along and above all, please cease worrying about that which you have been denied the ability to do much about it.....

First link - http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/02/16/1604241/forward-on-climate-and-solidarity-rallies-sunday/

 

Second link: http://greatlakesecho.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Screen-Shot-2013-01-16-at-5.52.26-PM.png

Online at http://altpressonline.blogspot.com/2013/02/cold-enough-yet_17.html

Jay Burney

Chair, WNYEA Habitat and Natural Resources Working Group

A recent report by the World Wildlife Fund, released just this week –“2012 Living Planet report”, states that the biodiversity of the planet is in rapid decline. The report assesses that in the past 40 years we have lost 30% of our biodiversity and that the health of our oceans, forests, rivers, lakes, and ecosystems is plummeting rapidly. This may be a conservative assessment.

The report says that we are using our resources at an alarming rate and that by the year 2030 we will need “two complete earths” to meet our demands.

Because of very effective outreach campaigns, most people that hear about this, especially most people in the United States focus almost exclusively on the effects of energy production strategies on climate change. Renewable energy production is considered by many to be a panacea to address human caused climate change. 

Energy and climate change is certainly a major factor but it is not the unique causation of the collapse of our ecosystems.

We have no doubt that human created climate change, stimulated in part by release of greenhouse gasses affiliated with fossil fuels is real.  But if we fix that, and that is a big if, we will still be rushing headlong into an unsustainable future that will be continued to be characterized as a collapse of the biological systems that sustain life on earth.

Strategies surrounding energy production is more of a symptom of the deeper human ailment, which is metastasizing, in our global, regional, and local ecosystems.

By Grady Hawkins

Dozens of environmentalist and concerned citizens braved temperatures in the teens Thursday afternoon to demonstrate against the controversial drilling technology known as

Hydraulic fracturing. Lafayette square was the scene and national Fuel Gas Company was the focus of attention at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon as downtown commuters began heading home.

There is much at stake: thousands of jobs, and millions of dollars in desperately needed revenue for cash-strapped families and governments across the Empire State. Balanced against this is a price that may be too high to pay. The destruction of thousands of acres of forest and the pollution of pristine water sources and aquifers could be the result. The source of this bonanza is trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, trapped a mile below the surface inside the massive Marcellus Shale.  This middle-Devonian formation covers most of Pennsylvania and western New York.

The problem is how to get the gas to the market. Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is at the center of what is becoming the most volatile issue in years. And the issue is far from being resolved. The New York State legislature has voted for a moratorium on new drilling until May of 2011. As we go to press, Governor Patterson has yet to sign the bill.

By Grady Hawkins

The hydraulic fracturing controversy reached its next but not final chapter late Saturday afternoon; at least for the administration of Governor David Patterson. After being besieged by armies of lobbyists, activists, farmers, scientists, and business people of every stripe, the governor deftly side-stepped the issue and passed the gas to Andrew Cuomo.

He vetoed legislation A11443-B which would have placed a moratorium on all natural gas exploration until May 15th of next year. He then issued an executive order that restricts horizontal drilling and fracking until July 2011.

Vertical drilling is not affected. Nor the jobs or revenue connected with these operations. So the gas industry is somewhat placated. As noted, horizontal drilling is stopped until next July, therefore appeasing environmentalists opposed.

But does this mean that vertical drilling leases may be bought up in New York State? If so, will the clear cutting begin to put in place the hundreds of miles of new roads and pipelines? And exactly what companies will be involved? How much money can New York State expect to get?

By Grady Hawkins

It’s the new gold rush; the stuff that dreams are made of. Get rich quick natural gas land-leases all across the Marcellus Shale. And there is money to be made. More than enough money to make that petroleum Prince of Darkness, Dick Cheney, smile. The U.S. geological survey estimates a cool trillion dollars to be taken. And it seems all too easy. Just sell the mineral and drilling rights to the smooth talking highest bidder then sit back and cash the checks. Jed Clampett’s dream come true.

On the surface hydraulic fracturing is an economic Godsend for everyone; tax revenue for cash-strapped state and local governments, hundreds of well-paying jobs for families wondering where their next meal might be coming from

Even the patriotic notion of energy independence comes into play. These United States could forever be free from those foreign ‘evil doers’ who wish to destroy our teetering-on-the brink way of life      

But when the drilling begins, the genie is out of the bottle.

Or out of the shale.

The dream turns into a nightmare…