Sunday, June 26, 2016

We can't afford coal anymore.

It is their Earth and their Air Quality and their Clean Air Act we continue to fight for and maintain into a better world. When we fight the good fight for the most vulnerable, we all benefit.

We may wake up one morning (click here) in the not-too-distant future and realize that the world has reached a tipping point on coal. Use of this fuel will be declining worldwide, as it already is in many countries. Coal accounts for some 40 percent of global electricity generation. Natural gas accounts for 22 percent, hydroelectric power provides 16 percent, nuclear power some 11 percent, and oil just 5 percent. Wind, biomass, and solar make up the remainder. (The remainder in this article is 6 percent.) No one knows exactly when coal will lose its top ranking as a source of electricity, but with world solar generating capacity growing in recent years at a phenomenal 60 percent annually and wind by more than 20 percent, use of the black rock that led the world into the industrial age may decline even faster than many in the energy field expect....

The cost of coal is more than cheap energy, it is a lot of trouble in the natural world. I think Earth might have been teaching human beings a lesson when acid rain became an issue. Get rid of that lousy stuff burning and killing nature. 

Get rid of the smokestacks that blow the emissions high into the troposphere to hide the effects of acid rain. 

Get rid of the caustic mess that will ultimately destroy the troposphere due to higher and higher amounts of greenhouse gases.

Henry Ford warned human beings about the CO2 pollution of car emissions, but, no one heeded the call. 

How was it that Earth and Henry Ford had the same message? I think that is plenty of 'brain food' to entertain thought until next week.

Thank you for all your attention and patience.
Ending the coal emissions ended acid rain, however, until recently, the soils were never investigated for acidic content. This study seeks to gain knowledge of the level of acidic forces at work with our forests. 

Trees, once they recover from any damage, have deep roots as the tree grows older. The question as to the extent nutrients are depleted and effect tree growth is important. Our forests may be more vibrant in their growth if there is a proper balance. Such tree growth is vitally important on a planet absorbing massive amounts of CO2. 

June 23, 2016
By Kathy Welsh

Millbrook – A legacy of acid rain (click here) has acidified forest soils throughout the northeastern US, lowering the growth rate of trees.

In an attempt to mitigate this trend, in 1999, scientists added calcium to an experimental forest in New Hampshire. Tree growth recovered, but a decade later there was a major increase in the nitrogen content of stream water draining the site.

So reports a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a team of scientists from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Duke University, and Syracuse University....
Antracite Coal - C240H90O4NS

Bituminous Coal - C137H97O9NS - stage 4

N - Nitrogen

S - Sulfur

There was far more carbon dioxide produced when Anthracite coal was burned because of it's high carbon content. It burns more completely. 

Acid Rain is just as a concern today as in the past. It effects more than building facades and paint on cars, it effects crop production.

Acid rain (acid rain) describes any form of precipitation with high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids. It can also occur in the form of snow, fog, and tiny bits of dry material that settle to Earth.
Rotting vegetation and erupting volcanoes release some chemicals that can cause acid rain, but most acid rain falls because of human activities. The biggest culprit is the burning of fossil fuels by coal-burning power plants, factories, and automobiles.
When humans burn fossil fuels, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are released into the atmosphere. These chemical gases react with water, oxygen, and other substances to form mild solutions of sulfuric and nitric acid. Winds may spread these acidic solutions across the atmosphere and over hundreds of miles. When acid rain reaches Earth, it flows across the surface in runoff water, enters water systems, and sinks into the soil.

Acid rain has many ecological effects, but none is greater than its impact on lakes, streams, wetlands, and other aquatic environments. Acid rain makes waters acidic and causes them to absorb the aluminum that makes its way from soil into lakes and streams. This combination makes waters toxic to crayfish, clams, fish, and other aquatic animals....

...Most acid deposition ranges from pH 4.3 to 5.0 (click here) -- somewhere between the acidity of orange juice and black coffee. But comparing acid rain to safe, natural acids can be misleading. Even at its weakest, acid rain wrecks ecosystems by stunting sensitive plants and killing delicate aquatic eggs....

Many different varieties of coal. It is rock, fossil rock.

Coal is not the only rock where fossils are found. The reason coal, oil and methane are considered fossil fuels is because they resulted from dead dinosaurs.

That is the cast in a piece of coal of an ancient fern.

Below is a measure of the diffserent types of coal as well as other fossil fuels. Anthracite is considered clean burning because it was mostly energy with far, far less emissions of sulfur (SO2) and NOx. Yes, Nox. Pronounced "Knocks." Like "Knock, knock" jokes, only they aren't funny. NOx produces "Acid Rain."

Coal releases nitrogen which combines with oxygen in the air and produces NO or Nitrogen monoxide. Coal burning also produces carbon dioxide. 

Lobbying USA Congress against coal and petroleum may provide the insight into the impossible odds of maintaining snow on Earth.

June 26, 2016
By Kai Schultz

Bagdanda, Nepal — From a pasture high in the Himalayas, (click here) Tulsingh Rokaya, 55, a shepherd, watched for years as the number of itinerant harvesters swelled.
They came in search of what is known as caterpillar fungus, or yarsagumba in Nepali. A parasitic fungus, it forms out of the head of ghost moth larvae living in the soil at altitudes above 10,000 feet, and has been used as an aphrodisiac for at least a thousand years, earning it the nickname Himalayan Viagra.

In the 1980s, the pickers used to trade the fungus for cigarettes and noodles. But as yarsagumba grew in popularity, it exploded into a multibillion-dollar industry spanning China, Singapore and the United States....

By authors, Eriksson, M.; Xu JianChu; Shrestha, A. B.; Vaidya, R.A.; Santosh, Nepal; Sandstrom, K.

The greater Himalayan region "the roof of the world" - contains the most extensive and rugged high altitude areas on Earth, and the largest areas covered by glaciers and permafrost outside the polar regions. The water resources from this area drain through ten of the largest rivers in Asia, in the basins of which more than 1.3 billion people find their livelihoods. The region and its water resources play an important role in global atmospheric circulation, biodiversity, rainfed and irrigated agriculture, and hydropower, as well as in the production of commodities exported to markets worldwide. The water resources of this region are currently facing threats from a multitude of driving forces. Global warming is having a severe impact on the amount of snow and ice, which has serious implications for downstream water availability in both short and long term as up to 50% of the average annual flows in the rivers are contributed by snow and glacial melting....

I've often mentioned "Anthracite Coal" of Pennsylvania and the disease "Black Lung" that afflicted my Grandfather.

Lehman's (click here) now offers anthracite coal by the pallet. With few impurities, this clean-burning coal has the highest carbon count of any type of coal.

I cannot believe someone is still selling this. Cost? $399.00 per pallet or 2400 pounds.

Other than filling the coal car on toy trains, I can't imagine why anyone would want this ancient form of energy.

It is by far the most deadliest form of energy in the world.

May 14, 2014
By Nick Cunningham

Coal is the largest source of electricity across the world, (click here) mainly because it is abundant and cheap. But a string of coal mining accidents this week has served as a stark reminder that coal also remains the world’s most deadly source of energy.
In West Virginia, two miners were killed on May 12 while performing a particularly dangerous form of coal mining known as “retreat mining.” The miners were removing pillars of coal that hold up the roof of a mine, which causes a burst of coal to shoot down from the roof or wall, which is then extracted. This time, the operation didn’t work as planned and the two men were trapped and killed.
The following day, at least 238 miners in Turkey were trapped underground and killed following an explosion and fire at a power distribution unit. The death toll is expected to climb....

Drought and fireworks don't mix. PLEASE don't play around with ANY potential for a fire.

June 26, 2016
By WHNT News 19

Huntsville, Ala. (WHNT) - It's almost fireworks season (click here) and while there are always some risk if you're shooting off pyrotechnics, this year there is an added danger.

There is a severe drought for most of North Alabama this year with most of the counties needing 6-7 inches of rain to cover the deficit.
And with the Fourth of July right around the corner, safety is more important than ever.
"If you were to have a firework that malfunctions, put water on it," Captain Frank Mckenzie of the Huntsville Fire Department advised. "Don't try to go relight it, put water on it, put it to the side, don't mess with it anymore.   Another good thing to have around is either a water hose or a fire extinguisher because you never know what's gonna happen."
Statistics show that two out of every five fires reported on the fourth are related to fireworks. With the drought and a heat advisory in effect, taking precautions could save you, your family and even your property....
June 25, 2016
Asheville, NC - Drought (click here) is creeping into western North Carolina, with parts of four mountain counties now considered in a severe drought.
The dry weather has farmers starting to worry and utility directors warning they may start asking for voluntary water conservation soon.
The dry stretch began in the spring after record-breaking rainfall in Asheville in November and December. Since the beginning of March, Asheville has received just half of its average rainfall, according to the National Weather Service.
The U.S. Drought Monitor has placed parts of Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Transylvania counties in severe drought. Ten other North Carolina mountain counties are in a moderate drought from McDowell County westward.
Three months ago, the monitor's maps didn't have any of North Carolina even listed as abnormally dry.
The long, dry stretch has happened as winds high up in the atmosphere have tended to come out of the northwest over land instead of from the large bodies of water to the south and east, said Patrick Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, South Carolina....
Data from the World Nuclear Association (click here)

There is a delineation made by the nuclear industry called "Indirect, from life cycle." 

Indirect refers to the greenhouse gas emission as part of the life of the energy source. No other industry would be better prepared to discuss 'life cycles' than the nuclear energy. 

The energies for the purpose of Kyoto are those that produce greenhouse gases.  
I chose this graph as an illustration of what form of energy needs to be addressed next. The primitives, wood and peat, have already been discussed, now on to the so called civilized energies. Next is coal.

It is important to know the language. Here is a definition from the USA EPA regarding metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

6,870 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent--what does that mean?

An Explanation of Units

A million metric tons is equal to about 2.2 billion pounds, or 1 trillion grams. For comparison, a small car is likely to weigh a little more than 1 metric ton. Thus, a million metric tons is roughly the same mass as 1 million small cars!
The U.S. Inventory uses metric units for consistency and comparability with other countries. For reference, a metric ton is a little bit larger (about 10%) than a U.S. "short" ton.

GHG emissions are often measured in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. To convert emissions of a gas into CO2 equivalent, its emissions are multiplied by the gas's Global Warming Potential (GWP). 

The GWP takes into account the fact that many gases are more effective at warming Earth than CO2, per unit mass.

The GWP values appearing in the Emissions webpages reflect the values used in the U.S. Inventory, which are drawn from the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). For further discussion of GWPs and an estimate of GHG emissions using updated GWPs, see Annex 6 of the U.S. Inventory and the IPCC's discussion on GWPs. 
26 June 2016
By Michael Slezak

Former Liberal leader says climate should be dominant issue of election campaign rather than ‘short-term politicking’.

The former Liberal leader (click here) John Hewson addressed an estimated 2000 people protesting in the Sydney suburb of Double Bay – minutes from Malcolm Turnbull’s harbourside mansion – calling on the prime minister to take stronger action on climate change.
Speaking at the same time as Turnbull addressed the party faithful at the Coalition’s campaign launch, Hewson told protesters the Coalition’s lack of action on climate change was a “national disgrace”.
“I think climate change should be the dominant issue of this campaign – it should have been for quite some time,” said Hewson, who was once the local member for the seat of Wentworth, which includes Double Bay.
He said “short-term politicking” from both sides left targets that were inadequate and policies that were not going to meet those targets.
“The one thing that hasn’t failed is people like yourselves,” he said. “The community is way ahead of the political leaders and the business leaders on this issue.”...

There is a difference between Peat and Permafrost.

Peat extraction in East Frisia, Germany

In order for peat to release it's carbon it has to be dried and ignited. 

In the case of Permafrost, the heating of the troposphere exposes the layers of trapped gases. Permafrost is part of the negative feedback loop of Earth. It releases it's gases without any prompting by humans. It simply reacts to the heat and there is no controlling it.

Negative feedback loops of Earth are triggered with increasing temperatures. It is the genie that should never have been let out of the bottle.

These negative feedback loops have to be compensated along with human induced greenhouse gases. In is an indirect effect of the anthropogenic greenhouse gases produced from burning fossil fuels that releases the stores of greenhouse gases Earth has held in abeyance.

The difference between Permafrost and Peat is the ability of human beings to control the burning of Peat to prevent release of more carbon dioxide. Peat is a fossil fuel.

There is also this as of April 18, 2016

By Nancy Harris and Sarah Sargent

Tropical regions (click here) face an emissions challenge from an important, but relatively little-known source: drained peatland. Peat soil, made up of partially decomposed, wet plant material that forms over thousands of years, is highly concentrated in Indonesia and Malaysia. Peatland in these countries has become a common target for agricultural expansion, particularly for oil palm, as fertile land becomes increasingly scarce. When land is cleared for plantations, the underlying peat needs to be drained, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.
In fact, the estimated annual emissions from peat drainage in Indonesia and Malaysia—the world’s two largest sources of tropical peat—equate to emissions from nearly 70 coal plants, or the total annual emissions of Vietnam.
Indonesia and Malaysia are among the world’s major emitters (6th and 19th respectively). But their contributions to global emissions may be even worse than we think as most estimates of emissions from land use and land use change leave out those from drained peatland....

I think I left off with "Energy."

Discussed wood and "slash and burn." I discussed peat and the intensity of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of peat.

There was one site on Peat I didn't mention:

1. Peatlands (click here) cover an estimated area of 400 million ha, equivalent to 3% of the Earth’s land surface. Most (c. 350 million ha) are in the northern hemisphere, covering large areas in North America, Russia and Europe. Tropical peatlands occur in mainland East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Central America, South America and southern Africa where the current estimate of undisturbed peatland is 30-45 million ha or 10-12% of the global peatland resource.

2. Peatlands represent globally significant stores of soil C that have been accumulating for millennia and currently, peatlands globally represent a major store of soil carbon, sink for carbon dioxide and source of atmospheric methane. In general, nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions are low from natural peatlands but there is evidence that those used for agriculture are releasing significant amounts of this potent greenhouse gas. Losses of peatland C from storage result from changes in the balance between net exchange of CO2, emission of CH4, and hydrological losses of carbon (e.g. dissolved organic and inorganic C and particulate organic C). The greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of a peatland depends on relative rates of net CO2 uptake or effl ux and CH4 and N2O efflux....

It is Sunday Night.

June 26, 2016
By David Lindquist

...Across decades (click here) of live performances, Bob Dylan rarely has been accused of precisely communicating his lyrics.

Instead, the iconic singer-songwriter clears his throat to obscure famous lines or alters time signatures to head off any possibility of an audience sing-along....
...Dylan cast a spell with early Sinatra B-side “Melancholy Mood” and Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do."

In his supporting cast, Donnie Herron played pedal steel guitar and Tony Garnier bowed his upright bass to bring big band and/or orchestral accents to these oldies.

But Dylan handled the heavy lifting when enunciating so clearly and investing so much emotion in "I’m a Fool to Want You,” a tune Sinatra recorded in 1951.

"Fool's" narrator faces a quandary: He thinks might leave his lover, but then he would need her again and eventually beg her to take him back....

Everything went from bad to worse
Money never changed a thing
Death kept followin', trackin' us down
At least I heard your bluebird sing
Now somebody's got to show their hand
Time is an enemy
I know you're long gone
I guess it must be up to me
Oh, the union central is pullin' out
The orchids are in bloom
I've only got me one good shirt left and it smells of stale perfume
In fourteen months I've only smiled once and I didn't do it consciously
Somebody's got to find your trail
I guess it must be up to me
It was like a revelation
When you betrayed me with your touch
I'd just about convinced myself nothin' had changed that much
The old rounder in the iron mask he slipped me the master key
Somebody had to unlock your heart He said it was up to me
Now I watched you slowly disappear down into the officers' club
I would've followed you in the door but I didn't have a ticket stub
So I waited all night 'til the break of day, hopin' one of us could get free
When the dawn came over the river bridge
I knew it was up to me
There's a note left in the bottle, you can give it to Estelle
She's the one you been wond'rin' about, but there's really nothin' much to tell
We both heard voices for a while, now the rest is history
Somebody's got to cry some tears
I guess it must be up to me
If we never meet again, baby, remember me
How my lone guitar played sweet for you that old-time melody
And the harmonica around my neck, I blew it for you, free
No one else could play that tune, you know it was up to me

For the UK. They stopped their runaway train.

Congratulations to Great Britain. The countrymen and women stopped the TTiP. There is no other way. The corruption within governments override the best interest of the people. All the overpaid leaders see is Wall Street and the power within themselves to achieve their own standard of living. 

Well done.

To prove to you how very, very depraved the USA is the media today was selling the idea of a REVOTE.

The USA media never took the vote seriously. Not for minute today did I hear a sincere understanding of the willingness of a country's population to overthrow it's government to end the exploitation of the under classes.

The people of Great Britain has every reason to be proud. David Cameron needs to leave as quick as his well paid housekeepers can move him out!

The leadership doesn't listen. They have their high and mighty ideologies that have worked for decades. Ideology doesn't produce or grow an economy and is sure doesn't address national security. The world we have been lead into is a blind ally and the populous suffers. 

It is about time we took our governments back and ended the evils unrestrained power has caused.

June 25, 2016
By Griff Witte and Dan Balz

For centuries, (click here) this modest little island in the North Sea has punched well above its weight on the international stage: It built a global empire, beat back the Nazi tide and stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States during a decades-long standoff with the Soviets.
But now that Britain has stunned the world with its decision to exit the European Union, experts say it will be focused inward for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t think there will be the capacity or the infrastructure to look outward in the next five years,” said Ian Kearns, director of the London-based European Leadership Network. “With all our diplomatic resources focused on extracting concessions from the E.U., we won’t be in anything other than reactive mode on other issues.”...

Reactive mode is good. Now the people have control again. Reactive mode is very, very good.