After days of media hype, NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell into the Pacific Ocean without — it would seem — having harmed so much as the proverbial fly. The satellite had orbited Earth for 20 years without receiving much public attention. Launched by the space shuttle Discovery in 1991, UARS had quietly gone about its work until its inevitable, inexorable descent hurtled the six-ton satellite into the public spotlight at the very hour of its death.
UARS’ function was to study the ozone layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The satellite’s mission was only supposed to last for three years, but — with a longevity strikingly similar to that of NASA’s Mars landers — UARS continued to function over a decade after the conclusion of its scheduled mission. When the Bush administration reduced funding for the Earth Science Enterprise, the UARS was officially decommissioned, and the satellite was dropped from its higher orbit in December 2005. It was this final burn that led to the UARS’ fall from space nearly six years later.
According to press reports, the satellite harmlessly dropped into the Pacific Ocean. FoxNews noted:
The government of Uganda and the“carbon credits” firm New Forests Company — accredited by the United Nations and largely financed by the World Bank and the European Union — are under intense public pressure after evidence emerged that over 20,000 poor Ugandan farmers were brutally evicted from their lands in order for the U.K.-based company to plant trees. The atrocities, publicized in a September 22 report by the non-profit aid group Oxfam, have made headlines around the world.
Under the guise of saving the environment from global warming and climate change, armed enforcers reportedly burned locals’ houses to the ground — along with at least one child who was inside his home when it was set ablaze. The goon squads also reportedly terrorized and beat the residents, threatening to murder anyone who resisted.
“We were beaten by soldiers. They beat my husband and put him in jail,” Naiki Apanabang, who obtained her family’s land in recognition of her grandfather’s military service, told Oxfam investigators. “The eviction was very violent.” Apanabang and her eight children no longer have enough food to eat — let alone money for schooling.
In the Republican presidential debate last evening, some of the candidates passionately stated that the Environmental Protection Agency should be eliminated. It’s a position that sounds strange to some ears. As a respondent in a Fox News focus group said after the debate, and this is a paraphrase, “This all sounds good when you fixate on the minutia, but we can’t just end the EPA.”
This attitude is no surprise. The one exception to the law that it’s easier to destroy than create is big government programs and bureaucracies. Once they’re the status quo and people become accustomed to their existence, folks just cannot imagine how they could live without them. But is it really true that we’d get a visit from the Smog Monster if the EPA went extinct? And does it really advance the good on balance? Let’s examine the matter.
Funny, isn't it? Whenever we see Republicans pinning a tale of profligate spending on the Democratic donkeys, we find the Grand Old Party with its elephant trunks buried deep in the same money trough. Republicans both in and out of Congress have been quite vocal in lambasting the Obama administration over a Department of Energy guarantee for a $535 million loan to Solyndra, Inc., a California company producing solar panels.
The loan, approved the under the President's $790 billion economic stimulus program two years ago, was praised by Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as the kind of investment in clean, green energy that will create jobs and keep America a leader in the global marketplace. But early this month, Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, leaving Uncle Sam and the U.S. Taxpayers on the hook for roughly $528 million. The company is now under investigation by the both the FBI and the U.S. Congress.
Rep. Griffith's bill would delay EPA's Boiler MACT Regs.
Shell Oil is set to tap Alaska's vast oil reserves now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final air quality permit to allow exploration development north of the Arctic Circle. The permit allows Shell to set up its Noble Discoverer drillship in the Chukchi Sea along with a fleet of support vessels including icebreakers and oil spill response crafts. The company will be allowed to operate them no more than 120 days annually starting in 2012. The permit sets strict air pollution control limits on the drilling equipment.
In a press release, EPA explained the new permits are revised versions of those issued to Shell in 2010. At the time, environmental activist groups challenged them, and EPA's Environmental Appeals Board decided the original permits did not meet Clean Air Act standards. The new ones restrict fleet emissions by more than 50 percent from the levels allowed in 2010. EPA says it granted the new permits based largely on state-of-the-art pollution control equipment recently installed on the Discoverer and on Shell's agreement to further reduce emissions by adding more controls to its drilling fleet.
If the American Physical Society's numbers on global warming are accurate, the earth's temperature has been "amazingly stable" and "human health and happiness have improved" during a century and a half of minor climate change, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever said in a message to the APS, explaining why he is resigning from the society. Giaever cited a 2007 statement by the organization calling the evidence of global warming "incontrovertible."
"Global warming is occurring," the APS said at that time. "If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now."
Giaever sent word of his resignation in an email to AP official Kate Kirby, International Business Times reported. In it, the 82-year-old native of Norway took sharp issue with what he appears to regard as dogmatism by the organization on the subject of climate change.
The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an insurance carrier in an unprecedented case involving global warming. The court unanimously held that Steadfast Insurance Company is not obligated to cover court costs for the Virginia-based energy group AES Corporation under its liability policy in another lawsuit before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California.AES is one of 24 companies sued in that case by an Alaskan coastal village for damage to its community from global warming.
The villagers of Kivalina blame greenhouse gas emissions from the defendants' business operations for shoreline erosion they say will force relocation of their town. The ruling for Steadfast sets a precedent that businesses involved in climate change liability lawsuits may not be covered by their liability policies.
Any supposed "global warming" is on temporary hiatus thanks to Earth's deep oceans trapping the sun's heat, according to Colorado's federally-funded National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Australia's Bureau of Meterology. Researchers published these results in the September 18 edition of Nature Climate Change.
They concluded that global temperatures will continue to rise in the next century but will do so sporadically. The ability of deep oceans to hold heat will interrupt temperature increases for a decade or more at a time. They say this is the reason Earth's atmospheric temperature has not risen much despite nonstop increases in greenhouse gas emissions.
Big oil and big coal are destroying the planet. That was Al Gore's message in 24 Hours of Reality, which he wrapped up last night at 7. The live, day-long webcast told listeners human-generated greenhouse gases (GHGs) are causing cataclysmic weather events worldwide, and corrupt corporate shills are working hard to sow seeds of denial.
"Climate change is not your fault," Gore told his audience. "Big oil and big coal are spending big money to spread doubt about climate change." He aimed his guns at "fossil fuel interests," and much of the 24 hours compared them to tobacco companies that fought regulations in the 1960s when research linked smoking to cancer and lung disease. Big tobacco denied the problems they caused then, and big oil and coal are denying the problems they're causing now, says Gore.
Time ran out before he had a chance to mention the names of the nefarious, clandestine companies at the root of this climate crisis. Which leaves one to wonder what companies he meant.