Granny Rant
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
::: Could This Be The Result Of Cheney's Secret Energy Meetings? :::

Well, the Bush Administration has once again proven it will go for the
special interest $money$ every time, as economic concerns trump
environmental concerns ... Especially in energy plans.

Note: Found new reports on the seriousness of the global warming/ice age
problem on The Talking Dog

America's New Coal Rush
by Mark Clayton
The Christian Science Monitor

Even a cynical old ranting granny such as myself was shocked to read this piece by Clayton.

At least 94 coal-fired electric power plants - with the capacity to power 62 million American homes - are now planned across 36 states.

The plants, slated to start coming on line as early as next year, would add significantly to the United States' generating power, help keep electricity prices low, and boost energy security by offering an alternative to foreign oil and gas. But they would also pump more airborne mercury and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide into the air.

Does anyone else find that shocking? I mean in view of the dire warnings
unearthed recently, some even by the Pentagon, about the fragility of our
planet, the fact that we are certain to cross the threshold of population
capacity (if we have not already) just any minute.

In view of scientific reports concerning climatic shifts, once thought to be
a very slow process, one that could take hundreds if not thousands of
years, now being shown to possibly "flip" within a matter of 2-3 years.

I can not pretend to know what the answers to our environmental problems
and energy problems are, but that is not my job. I am a pharmacy technician.

We as Americans have hired ourselves experts in Washington D.C. to take
care of those tricky problems for us. We have elected officials who work
night and day to solve these nitty little problems.

According the Clayton's piece, the National Energy Technology Laboratory
(NETL), an arm of the US Dept. of Energy, a report buried on the agency's
website states the jump in coal-generating plants will add considerable
capacity ... 62 gigawatts or another 20% to current capacity.

The general public, state officials and the environmentalists are amazed ....
yes amazed. Now that can only mean this was done in secret ... a policy
for which the Bush administration is famous.

Oh, and I forgot, I don't think the media has found out yet!

"I certainly wasn't aware it was 62 gigawatts. That's an awful lot more coal to burn," says Dan Becker, director of global warming and energy program at the Sierra Club. "I think most Americans would be shocked that utilities are dragging the 19th century into the 21st century."

The shift is understandable in light of costs for natural gas tripling in
recent years ... BUT ...

the move back to coal raises environmental concerns. Mr. McIlvaine estimates that if 50 of the 94 planned projects are built, they would add roughly 30 gigawatts or 10 percent of base load generating capacity nationwide. Using industry rules of thumb, he estimates coal consumption would rise about 10 million tons, or 1 percent, from today's 1 billion tons annually. That, in turn, would add 120 million cubic feet of exhaust gases from the stacks every minute of every day for decades to what is currently vented.

"It was a total shock to everyone," he says. "It was done in a way to keep it secret, to make sure it was a done deal when it became public."

Back to the global warming thing and climate change ...
now this information is truly shocking and scary.

Pentagon Tells Bush: Climate Change Will Destroy Us.

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..
A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.'

The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Climate change 'should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern', say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

An imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is 'plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately', they conclude. As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions.

Oh boy, as early as next year. Gee, could this news have been a surprise to the Pentagon?

Last week the Bush administration came under heavy fire from a large body of respected scientists who claimed that it cherry-picked science to suit its policy agenda and suppressed studies that it did not like. Jeremy Symons, a former whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said that suppression of the report for four months was a further example of the White House trying to bury the threat of climate change.

A group of eminent UK scientists recently visited the White House to voice their fears over global warming, part of an intensifying drive to get the US to treat the issue seriously. Sources have told The Observer that American officials appeared extremely sensitive about the issue when faced with complaints that America's public stance appeared increasingly out of touch.

One even alleged that the White House had written to complain about some of the comments attributed to Professor Sir David King, Tony Blair's chief scientific adviser, after he branded the President's position on the issue as indefensible.

Among those scientists present at the White House talks were Professor John Schellnhuber, former chief environmental adviser to the German government and head of the UK's leading group of climate scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He said that the Pentagon's internal fears should prove the 'tipping point' in persuading Bush to accept climatic change.

Now don't we all hope the administration will find a "tipping point" instead of waiting for the
climatic "breakover point" referenced in the next article:

Global Warming & The Coming Ice Age

In quick summary, if enough cold, fresh water coming from the melting polar ice caps and the melting glaciers of Greenland flows into the northern Atlantic, it will shut down the Gulf Stream, which keeps Europe and northeastern North America warm. The worst-case scenario would be a full-blown return of the last ice age - in a period as short as 2 to 3 years from its onset - and the mid-case scenario would be a period like the "little ice age" of a few centuries ago that disrupted worldwide weather patterns leading to extremely harsh winters, droughts, worldwide desertification, crop failures, and wars around the world.

There is a fascinating description of how this "Great Conveyor Belt" works
and the entire article will scare the beejesus out of you. Much of this
science was unknown 20 years ago ... until a group of scientists went to
Greenland to perform newly developed drilling into some of the world's
most ancient glaciers. They found the results shocking:

Looking at the ice cores, however, scientists were shocked to discover that the transitions from ice age-like weather to contemporary-type weather usually took only two or three years. Something was flipping the weather of the planet back and forth with a rapidity that was startling.

Most scientists figured the transition time from icy to warm was gradual, lasting dozens to hundreds of years, and nobody was sure exactly what had caused it. (Variations in solar radiation were suspected, as were volcanic activity, along with early theories about the Great Conveyor Belt, which, until recently, was a poorly understood phenomenon.)

Looking at the ice cores, however, scientists were shocked to discover that the transitions from ice age-like weather to contemporary-type weather usually took only two or three years. Something was flipping the weather of the planet back and forth with a rapidity that was startling.

It turns out that the ice age versus temperate weather patterns weren't part of a smooth and linear process, like a dimmer slider for an overhead light bulb. They are part of a delicately balanced teeter-totter, which can exist in one state or the other, but transits through the middle stage almost overnight. They more resemble a light switch, which is off as you gradually and slowly lift it, until it hits a mid-point threshold or "breakover point" where suddenly the state is flipped from off to on and the light comes on.

These reports, coming on the heals of the Bush administration ignoring global
warming for the most part, and their insistence (to benefit special interests)
that Co2 not be labeled a pollutant, are disheartening indeed.

And now ... and added 94 coal fired plants to come online? It make one think
long and hard about running off screaming into the glacial night.

Granny will let the reader absorb the stories presented ... that is if interested,
and after the impact of the information therein wears off. I am actually hoping
someone will choose to comment and pooh pooh the reports, cause folks ...

Granny is worried.

Here are a few links to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
Links to Reports on Climate Change

Online Reports

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