Redkovka, Ukraine, bears little resemblance to the place it was 25 years ago. Its stores, its school, its factory, and its homes - all are gone, or dramatically changed, as a result of the 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl, about 22 miles away.
On the first anniversary of the explosion that triggered the giant Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the well operator BP has gone to court to force two other companies to share the blame and the costs.
Much of the BP oil spill's effect on the ecosystem won't be known for years, and peril remains, experts warn. Still, the Gulf of Mexico has recovered more quickly than many expected last summer.
Across the gulf states Wednesday, a number of public events will mark the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill, many of them organized by publicity-seeking environmental groups.
A court in Ecuador has told oil giant Chevron Corp to pay $8.6bn in environmental damages, but the US company has termed the court order as "illegitimate and unenforceable" and said it would appeal.
The Obama administration announced on Wednesday that it planned to regulate toxic substances in drinking water more strictly and would issue the first limits ever on perchlorate, a dangerous chemical found in rocket fuel that has seeped into groundwater in at least 400 locations.
Because the truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources -- it's about protecting free and open inquiry. It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology
Yet while people in Atlanta learn to shovel snow, the weather 2,000 miles to the north has been freakishly warm the past two winters. Throughout northeastern Canada and Greenland, temperatures in December ran as much as 15 or 20 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Bays and lakes have been slow to freeze; ice fishing, hunting and trade routes have been disrupted.
THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it s feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe s busiest airports in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted.
Scientists have long known that carbon dioxide traps heat at the surface of the planet. They cite growing evidence that the inexorable rise of the gas is altering the climate in ways that threaten human welfare.
What should countries do with their nuclear waste? This question has been tormenting scientists and politicians since the early days of nuclear energy. Proposals have ranged from storing radioactive material in polar ice sheets, burying it in the ocean floor, or even blasting it into space. Although such ideas can sound amusing today, the amount of nuclear waste building up around the world is no laughing matter.
A recent study shows that people might deny the existence of human caused global warming, not because they are not convinced by the science, but because the idea of global warming “threatens deeply held beliefs that the world is just, orderly, and stable.” Furthermore the study finds that telling people dire facts about global warming [...]
Actually It might be time to come up with a new name. Of the 150 glaciers in Glacier National Park in 1850, only 25 remain. Eleven of the park's iconic named glaciers have melted away since 1966... The USGS has a collection of “before and after” that show what global warming has done to these [...]
Catastrophic drought is on the near-term horizon for the capital city of Bolivia, according to new research into the historical ecology of the Andes. If temperatures rise more than 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius (3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit) above those of modern times, parts of Peru and Bolivia will become a desert-like setting. The change would [...]
A survey of the sea floor near BP s blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico has turned up dead and dying coral reefs that were probably damaged by the oil spill, scientists said on Friday.
A cement mixture intended to temporarily seal BP's Macondo exploration well repeatedly failed lab tests before the April 20 blowout, a presidential commission investigating the oil spill said Thursday. As early as February, oil-field service giant Halliburton was getting poor results in lab tests of the recipe for the cement it was planning to use, according to evidence collected by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Three separate tests suggested that the mixture would be "unstable," according to a commission staff letter released Thursday. Halliburton notified BP by e-mail about only one of the tests before the well explosion, according to the commission. The two companies went ahead with the cementing job anyway. Its failure became the first in a cascade of factors leading to the accident.
BP s new chief executive said Monday that its rivals and the media had helped cause a climate of fear during the summer when the oil giant's blown-out Gulf of Mexico well caused the worst ever oil spill in the United States.
Two months ago, Kenneth R. Feinberg barnstormed the gulf states and visited towns like this one to pledge that once he took over a $20 billion BP fund to compensate people affected by the oil spill, things would change. Individuals would see their claims for damages turned around in 48 hours, he said. Businesses? Seven days.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has faced mounting pressure over errors in its last major assessment of climate science in 2007. The review commends the IPCC on the way it carried out previous assessments. But the report recommends changes to the way the body is run and the way science is presented. Critics have previously called on the UN panel's chair, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, to resign. Responding to the report at a news conference in New York, Dr Pachauri said he wanted to stay to implement changes at the organisation.
In a remote reach of the Gulf of Mexico, nearly 200 miles from shore, a floating oil platform thrusts its tentacles deep into the ocean like a giant steel octopus. The $3 billion rig, called Perdido, can pump oil from dozens of wells nearly two miles under the sea while simultaneously drilling new ones. It is part of a wave of ultra-deep platforms all far more sophisticated than the rig that was used to drill the ill-fated BP well that blew up in April. These platforms have sprung up far from shore and have pushed the frontiers of technology in the gulf, a region that now accounts for a quarter of the nation s oil output.
People and businesses seeking a lump-sum settlement from BP s $20 billion oil spill compensation fund will most likely have to waive their right to sue not only BP, but also all the other major defendants involved with the spill, according to internal documents from the lawyers handling the fund.
There is progress. The well should be permanently capped in a matter of days. And while some scientists question the White House s claim that nearly three-quarters of the oil has gone - skimmed, burned, devoured by microbes - the oil slicks have clearly shrunk and thousands of square miles have been reopened to fishing. There is still plenty to worry about. Of the five million barrels spilled, at least a million barrels remain. Nearly 700 miles of beaches and wetlands are oiled or at risk. The extent of the damage - or the size of BP s bill - will not be known until the scientists and the courts have spoken, but there is still a lot to clean up.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion has so far cost BP a total of $6.1bn ($3.8bn), the company has said. The total includes the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, and cementing up of the damaged well. The sum also includes grants to the Gulf states hit by the spill. It also includes the $319m paid out in compensation to some of those affected by the spill.
NEW ORLEANS - The BP spill is by far the world s largest accidental release of oil into marine waters, according to the most precise estimates yet of the well s flow rate, announced by federal scientists on Monday. Nearly five million barrels of oil have gushed from BP s well since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, according to the latest data. That amount outstrips the estimated 3.3 million barrels spilled into the Bay of Campeche by the Mexican rig Ixtoc I in 1979, previously believed to be the world s largest accidental release.
The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected, a piece of good news that raises tricky new questions about how fast the government should scale back its response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Climate change legislation has been dying in the Senate for months now, but Harry Reid s decision to finally admit as much in the midst of an endless East Coast heat wave, no less has supporters of cap-and-trade casting about for somebody to blame. They ve blamed the Obama administration, for prioritizing health care reform over an energy bill. They ve blamed the American people, for being too concerned with economic issues to grapple with longer-term threats. And they ve blamed figures like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, erstwhile supporters of cap-and-trade who have steadily backpedaled away from it.
So why didn t climate-change legislation get through the Senate? Let s talk first about what didn t cause the failure, because there have been many attempts to blame the wrong people. First of all, we didn t fail to act because of legitimate doubts about the science. Every piece of valid evidence long-term temperature averages that smooth out year-to-year fluctuations, Arctic sea ice volume, melting of glaciers, the ratio of record highs to record lows points to a continuing, and quite possibly accelerating, rise in global temperatures.
KENNER, La. - The emergency alarm on the Deepwater Horizon was not fully activated on the day the oil rig caught fire and exploded, triggering the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a rig worker on Friday told a government panel investigating the accident.
The official in charge of the clean-up, Thad Allen, said if a substance leaking from the seabed was found to be methane this might mean oil was also leaking. US Oil SpillDamage assessment Alaska heals from 1989 spill Which way forward for BP? Ways BP has tried to stop the leak He ordered BP to submit a plan to reopen the capped well if the seepage was confirmed, so that oil could be funnelled to the surface.
In Brazil, an oil disaster 10 years ago struck an ecosystem much like the mangrove swamps in the US now being threatened by the giant BP oil leak in the US Gulf of Mexico. More than 1.3 million litres of oil leaked from an underwater pipeline run by Brazilian oil giant Petrobras in 2000, making it the country's largest spill. The oil contaminated the waters of Guanabara Bay outside Rio de Janeiro, an area which the government at the time said would recover after 10 years. But today the once green mangrove bay area only has thick black mud and no life left in the soil.
GREENFIELD, Mass. Matthew Wolfe, an energy developer with plans to turn tree branches and other woody debris into electric power, sees himself as a positive force in the effort to wean his state off of planet-warming fossil fuels.
On Tuesday, The Times ran a front-page article on the chaotic efforts to clean up the oil washing around the Gulf of Mexico. Campbell Robertson reported on an incident in which boats that were supposed to be laying boom were, in fact, anchored on the wrong side of a bay in Louisiana. They were helpless as oil oozed in from the gulf, and BP had no way of contacting the workers to get the boats moving.
WASHINGTON - Four days of intense negotiations between the White House and BP lawyers allowed President Obama to announce Wednesday that the oil giant would create a $20 billion fund to pay damage claims to thousands of fishermen and others along the Gulf Coast.
Pozzi believes that the tanker method is the fastest and most effective way of dealing with the Gulf Oil disaster, but no one in the Obama Administration or BP is willing to consider the idea. Instead, they have insisted on using untested techniques, one of which involves the use of chemical dispersants manufactured and sold by a company in which Obama cronies, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Hathaway-Berkshire, and BP, are heavily invested.
I also remember Pozzi saying that their method of sucking the oil right from the source of the leak entails using a large dome almost like an umbrella covering a much larger area than the bell BP originally tried to place. He said the situation would be better if the oil spill was floating on the surface like a puddle, but the clean up method would work on the oil already dispersed that is below the surface all the way to the bottom.
Apparently, it didn't take very long to find the answer: the consensus of most experts is that the super-tanker suck-up strategy only works on extremely contained oil spills and therefore isn't a practical approach to the vastly dispersed catastrophe in the gulf. This news became part of the Nightly evening news budget but then got cut for time around 5:30 PM.
The government confirmed Tuesday that plumes of dispersed oil were spreading far below the ocean surface from the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico, raising fresh concerns about the potential impact of the spill on sea life.
Two refineries owned by oil giant BP account for 97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the refining industry by government safety inspectors over the past three years, a Center for Public Integrity analysis shows. Most of BP s citations were classified as egregious willful by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and reflect alleged violations of a rule designed to prevent catastrophic events at refineries.
Hayward's statements about the effort to plug the well have been consistently unreliable, and it hardly matters whether he's being deliberately misleading or just overly optimistic. The giant containment dome was going to work; it didn't. The second, much smaller containment dome would do the job; it was never even deployed. The "top kill" procedure was surely going to stop the flow, and early indications, according to Hayward, showed that it was succeeding. Yet oil industry veterans such as T. Boone Pickens said the top kill was a long shot at best, and they were right.
James Cameron, best known as one of the world s most successful filmmakers, this week found himself slammed in some circles for pulling together a brain trust of underwater technology experts to provide advice to the Obama administration for next steps in the unfolding Gulf of Mexico petro-calamity.
NEW ORLEANS President Obama visited the Gulf Coast on Friday and chastised BP for paying billions of dollars in dividends to shareholders and on advertising to save its image while some people whose livelihoods were wrecked by the company s oil spill were reporting difficulties in getting their claims paid.
Scientists are finding that due to increased levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide (GHGs) emissions, "warming of the climate system is unequivocal."1 At the same time, a full understanding of climate change and its long term impacts is still emerging.2 Scientists, however, now believe that it is "very likely" that human activities, including the combustion of fossil fuels for power generation, transportation and manufacturing, have resulted in significantly increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere
The global temperature over the last 12 months has been the highest on record, according to the latest NASA figures. It topped the previous record, 2005, and was 0.65 degrees Celcius warmer than the 1951 to 1980 mean. "Global warming on decadal time scales is continuing without letup," say NASA climate change scientist James Hansen and three co-authors who compiled the data.
Researchers at the University of Punjab fitted one of two hives with two mobile phones that were powered for 15 minutes twice a day. The other contained dummy equipment. After three months, they found that the number of bees in the hive fitted with the active phones had fallen dramatically. Foraging bees behaved oddly, there were fewer eggs, and no honey.
President Obama will travel to Louisiana on Friday to assess the situation. Has the oil spill become a political liability for him, even though regulatory failures and lax laws were legacies of the Bush administration? What does Mr. Obama need to do to address growing public frustration over the spill?
The tragedy is that M.M.S. eerily presaged the disaster in the draft of a May 2000 environmental analysis of deep-water drilling in the gulf. The agency noted that "the oil industry's experience base in deepwater well control is limited" and that given the prodigious production rates, "a deepwater blowout of this magnitude in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico could easily turn out to be a potential showstopper" for the Outer Continental Shelf program.
Oil firm BP may be "pushed out of the way" if it fails to perform in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster clean-up, a top US official has warned. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the British company had missed "deadline after deadline" in its efforts to seal a blown-out oil well.
A fisherman named Donny Campo tried to hide his anger with wisecracks, but it didn t work. "They put us out of work, and now we re cleaning up their mess," he said. "Yeah, I m mad. Some of us have been at this for generations. I'm 46 years old and my son he's graduating from high school this week he was already fishing oysters. There s a whole way of life at risk here."
Approaching the one-month mark since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, officials reported progress in capturing some of gushing crude oil even as some of the sheen has entered the loop current and they prepare another large-scale attempt to stop the oil near its source on Sunday.
Scientists are carefully monitoring the currents in the Gulf of Mexico after they warned that the oil from the spill was moving into an eddy that could sweep it into the current towards the Florida Keys and the Atlantic Ocean within the next two weeks, threatening coral reefs and hundreds of miles of additional shoreline.
Two weeks ago, the government put out a round estimate of the size of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico: 5,000 barrels a day. Repeated endlessly in news reports, it has become conventional wisdom.
WASHINGTON The federal Minerals Management Service gave permission to BP and dozens of other oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico without first getting required permits from another agency that assesses threats to endangered species and despite strong warnings from that agency about the impact the drilling was likely to have on the gulf.
NEW ORLEANS Government officials said late Wednesday night that oil might be leaking from a well in the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times as large as initial estimates have suggested.
There are fears of an environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, as efforts to clear up an oil spill have been suspended because of bad weather. A drilling rig leased by the oil company BP exploded and sank off the Louisiana coast last week. Some 1,000 barrels of oil a day are leaking into the sea from the damaged well, officials say.
"What is a conservative after all but one who conserves, one who is committed to protecting and holding close the things by which we live," Reagan's voice intones in one of the ads, from his 1984 speech to the National Geographic Society. Republicans for Environmental Protection's website offers a transcript of the full speech, in which Reagan says, "And we want to protect and conserve the land on which we live -- our countryside, our rivers and mountains, our plains and meadows and forests."
Consumers will pay more for cars upfront but may save money in the long term under new rules finalized Thursday by the Obama administration that will increase fuel efficiency and for the first time set greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks.
I m a former television meteorologist who spent 25 years on the air and who also operates a weather technology and content business, as well as continues daily forecasting on radio, just for fun.
The fact that it has snowed like crazy in Washington while it has rained at the Winter Olympics in Canada, while Australia is having a record 13-year drought is right in line with what every major study on climate change predicts: The weather will get weird; some areas will get more precipitation than ever; others will become drier than ever.
...Because once we get America racing China, China racing Europe, Europe racing Japan, Japan racing Brazil, we can quickly move down the innovation-manufacturing curve and shrink the cost of electric cars, batteries, solar and wind so these are no longer luxury products for the wealthy nations but commodity items the third world can use and even produce.
COPENHAGEN With just two days remaining in historic and contentious climate talks here, China signaled overnight that it sees virtually no possibility that the nearly 200 nations gathered would find agreement by Friday.
Earth is heating up lately, but so are Mars, Pluto and other worlds in our solar system, leading some scientists to speculate that a change in the sun s activity is the common thread linking all these baking events.
"Evidence that CO2 is not the principle driver of warming on this planet is provided by the simultaneous warming of other planets and moons in our solar system, despite the fact that they obviously have no anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Mars, Triton, Pluto and Jupiter all show global warming, pointing to the Sun as the dominating influence in determining climate throughout the solar system."
There is some news making the rounds that Earth is not the only planet experiencing global warming. Mars, for example, possibly appears to be getting a bit warmer, as are Jupiter, Neptune s moon Triton, and even Pluto.
Peter Taylor is a renowned conservationist and research analyst. Among his many achievements, he has previously taken successful action in challenging the UN to alter it's stance and policy regarding dumping of hazardous materials into the ocean (in other words, he cares about the environment and his research is credible). In this presentation, made at the Alternative View Conference Totnes UK 2008, he explains the conclusions of his detailed studies which indicate man is not responsible for global warming/climate change, and many of the 'solutions' based on this lie are the real threat we are facing (he's not funded by oil companies).
In 2006, Ron Suskind published The One Percent Doctrine, a book about the U.S. war on terrorists after 9/11. The title was drawn from an assessment by then-Vice President Dick Cheney, who, in the face of concerns that a Pakistani scientist was offering nuclear-weapons expertise to Al Qaeda, reportedly declared: If there s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping Al Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. Cheney contended that the U.S. had to confront a very new type of threat: a low-probability, high-impact event.
Hackers broke into the electronic files of one of the world's foremost climate research centers this week and posted an array of e-mails in which prominent scientists engaged in a blunt discussion of global warming research and disparaged climate-change skeptics.
If you follow the debate around the energy/climate bills working through Congress you will notice that the drill-baby-drill opponents of this legislation are now making two claims. One is that the globe has been cooling lately, not warming, and the other is that America simply can t afford any kind of cap-and-trade/carbon tax.
Hurricane Rick quickly strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast today and forecasters said it could strike the Baja California Peninsula in about five days.
Most people would assume that 20 years from now when historians look back at 2008-09, they will conclude that the most important thing to happen in this period was the Great Recession. I d hold off on that. If we can continue stumbling out of this economic crisis, I believe future historians may well conclude that the most important thing to happen in the last 18 months was that Red China decided to become Green China.
A site by Morano be best known for compiling a report listing hundreds of scientists whose work he says undermines the consensus on global warming. Environmental advocates and bloggers say that many of those listed as scientists have no scientific credentials and that their work persuaded no one not already ideologically committed. Mr. Morano s new Web site is being financed by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a nonprofit in Washington that advocates for free-market solutions to environmental issues.