29 Jan 2010, 10:57pm
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The Hole In The EPA’s Ozone Claim

By Michael Fumento, Forbes Online, January 26, 2024 [here]

To the EPA, “safe” is a constantly moving target—and that’s the way it likes it. Always something new to regulate, always a new hobgoblin from which to save us. Take the agency’s proposal to yet again lower allowable ozone levels. It’s another one of those win-win regulations for which the EPA is famous, supposedly saving both lives and money. But its assertions collapse when you examine the science on which they’re allegedly based.

U.S. ground-level ozone concentrations have fallen by 25% since 1980 and 14% just since 1990. Yet in 1997 the EPA tightened the screws with what it called a “safe” standard at 80 parts per billion (ppb). Then in 2008 “safe” became 75 ppb. Now the agency insists “safe” is a maximum of between 60 ppb and 70 ppb. No doubt the agency is already laying the groundwork to drop the “safe” level yet again.

Along with the 60 ppb to 70 ppb standard the EPA has proposed a secondary one, measured differently and meant to help not humans but vegetation. For some areas, according to Roger McClellan, former chairman of the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), this could be even more onerous than a 60 ppb eight-hour standard.

Depending on where the standard is set, the EPA estimates that by 2020 the proposal will cost $19 billion to $90 billion to implement. That’s partly because 300 U.S. communities don’t even comply with the current standard, while no urban area in California meets the 1997 one. … [more]

29 Jan 2010, 9:31pm
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Ruling may sink Snake Valley water deal

Nevada Supreme Court decision puts the proposed $3.5 billion pipeline on indefinite hold.

By Patty Henetz, The Salt Lake Tribune, 01/29/2010 [here]

A top water official moved too slowly on a 1989 Las Vegas request for certain water rights, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday — a finding that could delay or even kill a $3.5 billion proposal to pipe water 300 miles from Snake Valley to Sin City.

The ruling prompted Utah officials to stand down on a pending Snake Valley water-sharing agreement with neighboring Nevada. A recent Salt Lake Tribune poll of Utah voters shows across-the-board opposition to that plan.

“Based on the additional requirements imposed by the Nevada Supreme Court,” Gov. Gary Herbert said, “an agreement, at this time, is premature.”

The unanimous Supreme Court decision said Nevada state Engineer Tracy Taylor “violated his statutory duty” when he failed to make a decision by 1991 on 34 applications made by the Southern Nevada Water Authority for rights to water in aquifers under three Nevada valleys. Government scientists and other geology experts say those aquifers are connected with Snake Valley. …

The ruling stems from a “due process” appeal of Taylor’s 2006 decision to deny petitions from at least 54 individuals and groups representing thousands of people who wanted Nevada to reopen the water-rights application protest period.

The separate due-process matter now must go back to the lower court, which has two choices: Make the southern Nevada utility reapply for water rights or reopen the protest period.

Either choice would mean Utah counties, environmental groups, west desert ranchers, wildlife advocates, scientists and residents, heretofore shut out, could have a say in the proceedings. …

Great Basin Water Network coordinator Rose Strickland called the ruling “a home run for the public.”

“If we follow the law and the science,” she said, “there will be no misguided pipeline threatening the environment and economies of rural Nevada and Utah.” … [more]

27 Jan 2010, 10:58am
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Carbon Currency: A New Beginning for Technocracy?

By Patrick Wood, Editor, The August Review, January 26, 2024 [here]

Critics who think that the U.S. dollar will be replaced by some new global currency are perhaps thinking too small.

On the world horizon looms a new global currency that could replace all paper currencies and the economic system upon which they are based.

The new currency, simply called Carbon Currency, is designed to support a revolutionary new economic system based on energy (production, and consumption), instead of price. Our current price-based economic system and its related currencies that have supported capitalism, socialism, fascism and communism, is being herded to the slaughterhouse in order to make way for a new carbon-based world.

It is plainly evident that the world is laboring under a dying system of price-based economics as evidenced by the rapid decline of paper currencies. The era of fiat (irredeemable paper currency) was introduced in 1971 when President Richard Nixon decoupled the U.S. dollar from gold. Because the dollar-turned-fiat was the world’s primary reserve asset, all other currencies eventually followed suit, leaving us today with a global sea of paper that is increasingly undesired, unstable, unusable.

The deathly economic state of today’s world is a direct reflection of the sum of its sick and dying currencies, but this could soon change.

Forces are already at work to position a new Carbon Currency as the ultimate solution to global calls for poverty reduction, population control, environmental control, global warming, energy allocation and blanket distribution of economic wealth.

Unfortunately for individual people living in this new system, it will also require authoritarian and centralized control over all aspects of life, from cradle to grave. … [more]

31 Dec 2009, 12:32pm
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Stone basins may be Miwok salt ‘factory’

by David Perlman, SF Chronicle, December 30, 2023 [here]

Somewhere in the Sierra Nevada, a granite terrace the size of a football field holds hundreds of mysterious stone basins representing what geologists believe is one of the earliest known “factories” created and used by ancient Miwok Indians to make tons of salt to trade with tribes up and down California.

James G. Moore, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, learned of the strangely pitted terrace from detailed maps made more than a century ago and hiked the region in May to study what he determined were clearly hand-hewn objects.

He examined 369 of the circular artifacts only a few yards from two streams of saltwater fed by a nearby spring and a lake that was equally salty. …

The basins average more than a yard in diameter and are more than 2 feet deep.

To create them, Moor and Diggles said, Miwok tribe members built fires on the granite surface that heated the stone until it fractured. They then crumbled and pounded the fractures with stone tools and removed the debris, inch by inch, until the basins were formed.

Salt springs are extremely rare in the Sierra Nevada, but Moore said the salt in the nearby streams probably comes from a layer of ancient marine sediment formed many millions of years ago when the area was covered by an ocean.

He said he believes the Miwok people carried water from the streams in watertight woven baskets, poured it into the basins and let it evaporate in the summer heat until the dry salt could be scooped out. The salt content of the water and the rate of water flow indicate that the two streams probably yielded about 3 tons of salt each year, Moore said.

The people of the area, he said, “had a large and valuable surplus to trade with other tribes - an early example of commerce by hunter-gatherer people.” … [more]

17 Dec 2009, 7:14pm
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Should U.S. Commit $10B a Year for Climate Change?

FOXNews.com Poll, Dec 17, 2023 [here]

At the time of this posting:

Yes. The U.S. should be willing to work with other nations to help combat global warming. 2% (1,985 votes)

No. The country has too much to deal with before spending such an amount. 98% (102,767 votes)

Undecided. <1% (378 votes)

16 Dec 2009, 10:26pm
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A Warming Bias in the U.S. Temperature Record???

by CO2 Science, Dec 16, 2023 [here]

Reference: Balling Jr., R.C. and Idso, C.D. 2002. Analysis of adjustments to the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) temperature database. Geophysical Research Letters 10.1029/2002GL014825.

What was done

The authors analyzed and compared the trends of six different temperature databases for the conterminous United States over the period 1979-2000. …

What was learned

In comparing the difference between the FILNET and RAW temperature trends, Balling and Idso found a nearly monotonic increase of over 0.05°C per decade, which they found to be highly significant at the 0.0001 level of confidence. In addition, they found that “the trends in the unadjusted temperature records [were] not different from the trends of the independent satellite-based lower-tropospheric temperature record or from the trend of the balloon-based near-surface measurements.”

What it means

In the words of the two Arizona State University Office of Climatology researchers, the adjustments that were being made to the raw USHCN temperature data were “producing a statistically significant, but spurious, warming trend” that “approximates the widely-publicized 0.50°C increase in global temperatures over the past century.” It would thus appear that in this particular case of “data-doctoring,” the cure was much worse than the disease. And it likely still is! In fact, it would appear that the cure may actually be the disease. …

Perhaps, therefore, it is not only the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia that needs to have the validity of its temperature adjustments audited. Some institutions in the United States may be deserving of such treatment as well. It may be a hard pill for some of them to swallow; but with so much riding on the outcome — and the health of the planet hanging in the balance — the treatment would surely be worth it. … [more]

14 Dec 2009, 9:49am
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Queen Charlotte Islands renamed Haida Gwaii in historic deal

B.C.’s agreement with Haida Nation includes land use, economic development

CBC News, December 11, 2023 [here]

B.C.’s Queen Charlotte Islands have officially been renamed Haida Gwaii as part of a historic reconciliation agreement between the province and the Haida Nation, Premier Gordon Campbell announced Friday in Vancouver.

The modern native name for the group of more than 150 rugged islands off the province’s north coast will appear on revised provincial maps and all other official provincial documents and presentations, the premier said.

The archipelago was first named after one of the ships of British Captain George Dixon in 1778, who called his vessel Queen Charlotte after the wife of King George III.

Haida Gwaii was created as an alternative name for the islands to acknowledge the history of the Haida Nation as part of its land claim efforts in the 1980s. According to the Haida Gwaii Tourism Association, the name translates as “islands of the people” in the Haida language.

The B.C. government later adopted the confusing name Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii.

Carol Kulesha, the mayor of the Village of Queen Charlotte, a community at the south end of Graham Island, says she is pleased with the name change and hopes it will clear up any past confusion.

“This is bringing us back up to more modern times,” Kulesha said Friday. “This is what the islands are named; they’re Haida Gwaii. The confusion is the fact that some maps say one thing, and other maps say another. So now, it’s official, and that’s great.”

Deal spells big changes

While the name change will mean maps will have to be updated, the reconciliation agreement is expected to have more far reaching consequences for the First Nation, which has never signed a treaty with the Crown.

“After 100 years of conflict, we have set the ground for a more productive era of peace,” said Haida Nation president Guujaaw in a statement released after the protocol was signed.

“We have already agreed to the care and protection of the land; and now, we develop processes for more responsible management,” Guujaaw said. “This marks an opportunity to build a relationship on mutual trust and to design a model for a sustainable economy.”

The deal will create a unique joint management council that will make development decisions along with a process to resolve title disputes between Haida and the Crown.

It also includes $10 million for the Haida to buy out forest tenures on the islands and revenue-sharing on future resource development in the region.

The pristine islands are in the centre of B.C.’s vast offshore oil and gas fields, but development of those reserves remains under a federal moratorium.

The deal is the second such agreement announced in as many days that establishes shared decision-making on land use and economic development opportunities between the province and B.C.’s First Nations.

On Thursday, the province signed a similar reconciliation deal with six other coastal First Nations.

It also granted environmental approval Thursday to the Naikun wind project, to be located in the Hecate Strait east of Haida Gwaii. The Haida Nation is a major stakeholder in the project.

14 Dec 2009, 1:11am
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Park’s giant magma plume eating up mountains

Scientists confirm 500-mile finger of molten rock under Yellowstone

By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole News, December 9, 2023 [here]

Research has confirmed a 500-mile-deep magma plume under Yellowstone is slowly obliterating mountains in its path as it travels an inch a year to the northeast.

The plume rises at a southeast angle from its origin 500 miles beneath the surface under western Montana, causing the swell that forms the Yellowstone Plateau, according to one of the paper’s authors, Dr. Robert Smith. A Moose resident, professor of geophysics with the University of Utah Department of Geology and Geophysics, and coordinating scientist with Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, Smith teamed with scientists from Utah, Massachusetts, Michigan, Norway, Taiwan and Switzerland on the discovery.

They made their announcement in a paper published in the Nov. 20 issue of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. Other researchers recently discovered a similar plume under Hawaii.

While scientists have long suspected that magma plumes create volcanoes such as Yellowstone, recently some researchers have doubted their existence. Instead of plumes, or fingers of magma – molten rock – that rise from the depths of the Earth, these doubters suspected shallow pockets of magma.

“There was a large crowd that was against plumes in general and against plumes in Yellowstone,” Smith said. “That’s been a bone of contention since the mid-’90s. No one had any data.”

The article, “Geodynamics of the Yellowstone hotspot and mantle plume: Seismic and GPS imaging, kinematics, and mantle flow,” used data from a seismograph network to confirm the presence of the plume, Smith said.

“Now we can see it clear down into the earth’s midmantle,” Smith said. Earth’s mantle – the layer between the crust and the outer core – is flowing from northwest to southeast and deforming the Yellowstone plume like smoke in the wind. Meantime, the North American tectonic plate is sliding to the southwest, effectively moving the top of the plume increasingly toward Billings, Mont.

“This hot, melted material is coming up [at an angle],” Smith said of the plume and the mantle’s “wind.” “It would normally rise vertically.” … Continued (with picture) [here]

Ed Note: Thank you again to rrSue of the Yellow Pine Times (motto: No Extra Crap; Just the News), for her news tips, which we post here frequently.

5 Dec 2009, 11:50am
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Scientists Behaving Badly

A corrupt cabal of global warming alarmists are exposed by a massive document leak.

by Steven F. Hayward , The Weekly Standard, 12/14/2009 [here]

Slowly and mostly unnoticed by the major news media, the air has been going out of the global warming balloon. Global temperatures stopped rising a few years ago, much to the dismay of the climate campaigners. The U.N.’s upcoming Copenhagen conference-which was supposed to yield a binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction treaty as a successor to the failed Kyoto Protocol-collapsed weeks in advance and remains on life support pending Obama’s magical intervention. Cap and trade legislation is stalled on Capitol Hill.

Recent opinion polls from Gallup, Pew, Rasmussen, ABC/Washington Post, and other pollsters all find a dramatic decline in public belief in human-caused global warming. The climate campaigners continue to insist this is because they have a “communications” problem, but after Al Gore’s Nobel Prize/Academy Award double play, millions of dollars in paid advertising, and the relentless doom-mongering from the media echo chamber and the political class, this excuse is preposterous. And now the climate campaign is having its Emperor’s New Clothes moment. …

As in the furor over Dan Rather’s fabricated documents about George W. Bush’s National Guard service back in 2004, bloggers have been swarming over the material and highlighting the bad faith, bad science, and possibly even criminal behavior (deleting material requested under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act and perhaps tax evasion) of a small group of highly influential climate scientists. As with Rathergate, diehard climate campaigners are repairing to the “fake but accurate” defense-what these scientists did may be unethical or deeply biased, they say, but the science is settled, don’t you know, so move along, nothing to see here. …

The distinction between utterly politicized scientists such as Jones, Mann, and NASA’s James Hansen, and other more sober scientists has been lost on the media and climate campaigners for a long time now, and as a result, the CRUtape letters will cast a shadow on the entire field. There is no doubt plenty more of this kind of corruption in other hotbeds of climate science, but there are also a lot of unbiased scientists trying to do important and valuable work. Climate alarmists and their media cheerleaders are fond of warning about “tipping points” to disaster, but ironically this episode may represent a tipping point against the alarmists. The biggest hazard to serious climate science all along was not so much contrarian arguments from skeptics, but rather the damage that the hyperbole of the environmental community would inflict on their own cause.

Yet the hysteria of the global warming campaigners and their monomaniacal advocacy of absurdly expensive curbs on fossil fuel use have led to a political dead end that will become more apparent with the imminent collapse of the Kyoto-Copenhagen process. I have long expected that 20 or so years from now we will look back on the turn-of-the-millennium climate hysteria in the same way we look back now on the population bomb hysteria of the late 1960s and early 1970s-as a phenomenon whose magnitude and effects were vastly overestimated, and whose proposed solutions were wrongheaded and often genuinely evil (such as the forced sterilizations of thousands of Indian men in the 1970s, much of it funded by the Ford Foundation).

Today the climate campaigners want to forcibly sterilize the world’s energy supply, and until recently they looked to be within an ace of doing so. But even before Climategate, the campaign was beginning to resemble a Broadway musical that had run too long, with sagging box office and declining enthusiasm from a dwindling audience. Someone needs to break the bad news to the players that it’s closing time for the climate horror show. … [more]

21 Nov 2009, 11:58am
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Western caucus urges judgment fund accountability

By MITCH LIES, Capital Press, November 21, 2023 [here]

Members of Congress are calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to make public how much money is paid to environmental groups that sue the government under the Endangered Species Act and other federal laws.

The money is provided under the Equal Access to Justice Act.

Twenty-one members of the Congressional Western Caucus signed a letter to Attorney Generic Eric Holder asking the department to explain how the department tracks Equal Access to Justice Act disbursements.

“If no such tracking exists, we encourage DOJ to create a central, searchable EAJA database,” the caucus said in the letter.

The request came from 18 Western representatives and three senators.

On Oct. 16 the Capital Press reported the federal government paid $4.7 billion to environmental groups during a five-year period. The statistics, compiled by Wyoming lawyer Karen Budd-Falen, reflect only a portion of the payments, Budd-Falen told the Capital Press. The actual amount may be far greater, she said.

“I think we only found that the iceberg exists,” she said. “I don’t think we have any idea how much money is being spent. But I think it’s huge.”

When an environmental lawsuit is settled or a judgment reached, the plaintiffs receive money for expenses under the Judgment Fund, which pays settlements in lawsuits against the federal government, and the Equal Access to Justice Act.

The equal access law was created so individuals, small businesses or public interest groups with a limited financial capacity could seek judicial redress from unreasonable government actions.

“Unfortunately,” the caucus wrote, “we are concerned the lack of government oversight of EAJA payments has allowed some groups to circumvent congressional intent with respect to this law.”

In the letter dated Nov. 2, the caucus noted the equal access law originally provided for two annual reports to Congress — one by the Administrative Conference of the U.S. on agency-awarded payments and the other by the attorney general on court-awarded payments.

However, in 1995, Congress defunded the administrative conference and repealed the attorney general’s reporting requirement, the letter noted.

“We urge the creation of a database to bring transparency and accountability to these public interest groups,” the caucus wrote.

10 Nov 2009, 2:49pm
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Totalitarian Space Lizards

‘V’ aims at Obamamania

By Glenn Garvin, McClatchy/Tribune News, November 3, 2023 [here]

Imagine this. At a time of political turmoil, a charismatic, telegenic new leader arrives virtually out of nowhere. He offers a message of hope and reconciliation based on compromise and promises to marshal technology for a better future that will include universal health care.

The news media swoons in admiration — one simpering anchorman even shouts at a reporter who asks a tough question: “Why don’t you show some respect?!” The public is likewise smitten, except for a few nut cases who circulate batty rumors on the Internet about the leader’s origins and intentions. The leader, undismayed, offers assurances that are soothing, if also just a tiny bit condescending: “Embracing change is never easy.”

So, does that sound like anyone you know? Oh, wait — did I mention the leader is secretly a totalitarian space lizard who’s come here to eat us?

Welcome to ABC’s “V,” the most fascinating and bound to be the most controversial new show of the fall television season. Nominally a rousing sci-fi space opera about alien invaders bent on the conquest (and digestion) of all humanity, it’s also a barbed commentary on Obamamania that will infuriate the president’s supporters and delight his detractors. …[more]

10 Nov 2009, 10:59am
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Maya Murals Give Rare View of Everyday Life

By Andrea Thompson, Live Science, 09 November 2023 [here]

[Click for larger image]

Recently excavated Mayan murals are giving archaeologists a rare look into the lives of ordinary ancient Maya.

The murals were uncovered during the excavation of a pyramid mound structure at the ancient Maya site of Calakmul, Mexico (near the border with Guatemala) and are described in the Nov. 9 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The find “was a total shock,” said Simon Martin of the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia, who studied the paintings and hieroglyphs depicted in the murals.

The Maya have been studied for more than a century, but “this is the first time that we’ve seen anything like this,” Martin said.

The Maya, like many other societies, left more traces and accounts of the lives of the ruling classes — the royalty, religious orders and artisans — than of the lower orders of society that made up the bulk of such civilizations.

“We almost never get a view of what other layers of society are doing or what they look like, so this is one of the things that makes [the murals] so special,” Martin told LiveScience.

The murals were found on the walls of one layer of the mound structure — Maya built over the top of older structures, creating buildings in layers like onions, Martin explained. While other layers were scraped up and destroyed in the effort to build over them, the layer with the murals appears to have been carefully preserved, with a layer of clay put over the murals, ostensibly to protect them.

This careful preservation “might suggest that it was something pretty special,” Martin said.

The images on the mural show people engaged in mundane activities, such as preparing food. Hieroglyphic captions accompany each image, labeling each individual. In each case the term “aj,” meaning “person,” is used and followed by the word for a foodstuff or material. For example, the terms “aj ul” (”maize-gruel person”) shows a man with a large pot, dish and spoon with another man drinking from a bowl, and the term “aj mahy” (tobacco person) depicts two men, one holding a spatula and the other a pot that likely holds a form of the tobacco leaf. … [more]

29 Oct 2009, 8:29pm
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Environmental staffers let go

Layoffs strike two attorneys and two other workers form the nonprofit Western Environmental Law Center

By Susan Palmer, The Register-Guard, Oct 26, 2023 [here]

In yet another sign that economic tough times continue to plague Lane County, a public interest environmental law firm will lay off four staff members by the end of the month.

The Eugene-based Western Environmental Law Center has laid off two administrative staff members and attorney Charlie Tebbutt. Attorney Dave Bahr will also be let go sometime in the next few weeks. …

“It was a very unfortunate situation to find ourselves in,” said the law center Executive Director Greg Costello. Together, Bahr and Tebbutt represent more than 40 years of legal experience. The Western Environmental Law Center also has offices in Montana, New Mexico and Colorado, It employs nine attorneys.

While the nonprofit center expects to finish the year with about the same revenue it had in 2008 — $2 million — Costello anticipates a financial hit in 2010 to be as much as 20 percent. …

Foundation grants represent about 46 percent of WELC’s revenue, according to its 2008 annual report, with about 10 percent coming from individual donors and 42 percent from attorneys fees that are won in successful litigation. …

As foundations shift their focus, the law center is undertaking its own strategic adjustments. That played a part in the staff cuts, Costello said.

“Part of my view, and the board agrees with me, is that we unduly limit our ability to succeed by operating solely as a litigation firm,” he said.

The center is adding other projects to its environmental portfolio. It employed a conservation biologist this year to work on the development of wildlife corridors, an effort that has drawn interest from the state agencies and the Western Governors Association, and could lead future grant support, he said.

Tebbutt himself had recently headed a high-profile and successful campaign to persuade the Oregon Legislature to phase out field burning on grass seed farms in the Willamette Valley, an effort that did not involve the courts.

Costello estimates that WELC spent between $250,000 and $300,000 in staff and other costs on the campaign, but that it drew only about $20,000 in public support. It was a good strategic plan with a good result, but a failed business strategy, Costello said. “In the future, we need to align all three,” he said.

WELC isn’t the only local environmental nonprofit group struggling with the bottom line. Eugene-based Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics saw its revenues for the first nine months of 2009 decrease by 26 percent compared with the same period last year, said Executive Director Andy Stahl.

Stahl’s nonprofit group opted to take 15 percent across-the-board pay cuts and eliminated matching retirement contributions to avoid layoffs, he said. “Those cuts kept us from closing our doors,” he said. … [more]

12 Oct 2009, 3:17pm
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Energy crisis is postponed as new gas rescues the world

Engineers have performed their magic once again. The world is not going to run short of energy as soon as feared.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard,UK Telegraph , 11 Oct 2023 [here]

America is not going to bleed its wealth importing fuel. Russia’s grip on Europe’s gas will weaken. Improvident Britain may avoid paralysing blackouts by mid-decade after all.

The World Gas Conference in Buenos Aires last week was one of those events that shatter assumptions. Advances in technology for extracting gas from shale and methane beds have quickened dramatically, altering the global balance of energy faster than almost anybody expected.

Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, said proven natural gas reserves around the world have risen to 1.2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent, enough for 60 years’ supply – and rising fast.

“There has been a revolution in the gas fields of North America. Reserve estimates are rising sharply as technology unlocks unconventional resources,” he said. … [more]

7 Oct 2009, 1:28pm
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Earliest Snow Day in Blaine Co. History

by Alyson Oüten, Wood River Valley News, October 7, 2023 [here]

BELLEVUE — Just one week ago, we were bracing for a “cool down” from the 80s to the 60s.

Now, it’s getting downright wintry. And in some parts of our viewing area, snow is piling up.

This may be one for the record books, not only how early this heavy fall snowstorm is, but the fact that it appears to have created the earliest snow day in the history of the Blaine County [Idaho] School District.

“We got dumped on last night, you can see that by looking around here. We weren’t quite ready for it. It did cause us some issues in the school district,” Lonnie Barber, Blaine County Superintendent.

Not just the school district, but throughout the county. At least 3,500 Idaho Power customers in the Wood River Valley were without electricty today. Utility officials blame heavy wet snow for knocking out power in Bellevue and Hailey. Outages were also reported in Fairfield and Carey.

Since the trees haven’t had time to shed their leaves, the snow accumulated and burdened the branches to their breaking point. Many of which landed on power lines. … [more]

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