- September 5, 2017
- I. Climate Change
- II. Fossil Fuels
- III. Water and Food Reports
- IV. Politics and Miscellaneous Items
- V. Events
- The End
September 5, 2017
I. Climate Change
Story from Chemistry World, Aug. 29, 2017; from Inside Climate News, Sep. 16, 2016; from Union of Concerned Scientists, Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air, Jan. 2007; Inside Climate News, Nov. 21, 2016; ExxonMobil Corporate Statement, 2015
- Two Harvard researches show the corporation’s internal documents acknowledge Climate Change ‘is real and human caused’ and ‘solvable’ while external communiques to the public expressed ‘doubt’ about causes of Climate Change.
- Exxon’s (before the merger with Mobil) own trusted scientist, James F. Black, reported to the company in 1977 showing that the CO2 gases would likely double and cause a 2 to 3 degree global temperature rise.
- After NASA scientist, James Hansen presented his case to congress in 1988, the company’s role was that of confusion, similar to that of the tobacco companies regarding smoking.
- There is internally increasing concern about “stranded assets” (oil & gas reserves that would have to be left in the ground) and at the same time promising shareholders there would be “no stranded assets”.
- Rex Tillerson started with the company as a production engineer in 1975 and worked his way up to CEO in 2006; the company’s official statement.
Story from The Guardian, Aug. 8, 2017
- Trump’s ‘experts’ have blacklisted most terms referring to Climate Change and be replaced with terms to camouflage the real issue, for example:
- ‘Climate Change’ is to be changed to “extreme weather”;
- ‘Climate Change adaptation’ changed to “resilience to weather extremes”; and
- ‘Reduce Green House Gases” to “increase nutrient efficiency”.
- The Administration’s fear has to do with solving the problem with engineering technology without emphasis on an economic system change and to use the power of words and terminology to shield against doing anything immediately about Global Warming and more climate disasters.
- There are also states like Florida and North Carolina that forbid the use of terms or plans to deal with sea level rise.
Story from Politico, Aug. 4, 2017 Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking on Treasure Island July 24, 2017
- Speaking out against Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement he comes up with something called a Digital Environmental Legislative Handbook.
- It’s a “curated list” of legislative actions created to protect the Environment and produce jobs.
- It’s especially meant to provide politicians and other policy leaders of States the information needed to prepare bills on Climate Change and other environmental issues.
- Fran Pavley, author of AB 32 (California’s Global Warming Solutions Act) spoke out positively about the ex-Governor’s effort.
II. Fossil Fuels
Story from AlterNet, Jul. 31, 2017
- Two Texas House members maintain that the Russian government financed such organizations like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters to further Russian natural gas instead of U.S. exported gas.
- Democrats consider this a “cheap ploy” by Republicans to further their own programs and take attention off their own Russian-connection accusations.
- Gathered information reveals a Hillary Clinton speech with vague reference to Russia supporting environmental groups.
- A Bermuda-based company called Keith, Ltd. allegedly got funds from Russia to give to Environmental organizations was also referenced.
III. Water and Food Reports
Story from DeSmog Blog, Aug. 31, 2017
- The UN climate talks in 2016 had over 80 sessions on the role agriculture plays in Climate Change.
- “Keep t in the cow” is a recent slogan on the Climate Change front advocating for doing something about the importance agriculture plays in GHGs (Green House Gases).
- Eating less meat, especially ruminant meat (beef & lamb) and preferably moving the world toward a vegetarian diet are advocated.
- Planting crops that store carbon in the soil and revising the production techniques of factory farms are favored techniques.
Story by The New York Times, Aug.22, 2017; European Commission, Aug. 22, 2017; Food and Water Watch, Aug. 21, 2017
- Bayer, the German multinational, announced it would like to buy Monsanto last year and the deal is being investigated by the European Commission.
- The press release made the announcement official regarding this important agricultural merger that would have worldwide impacts.
- It’s barely mentioned in congress and farmers are worried the corporate profit control means increased costs to them and to the consumer.
- If the merger happens Monsanto-Bayer would own 69% of the GMO patents and control:
- 70% of all cotton seed sales in the U.S.
- 77% of the corn and canola seed market
- and would have a say in the price of every row crop seed in U.S
- Both companies have a long history of disregard for public health and ethics shrouded in the profit motive.
Aug 21: The Delta Tunnel Project
Story by The Sacramento Bee, Aug 21, 2017; from Restore the Delta; from San Francisco Examiner, Aug. 31, 2017
- The Tunnel Project, delayed for over 10 years, would take water out of the Sacramento River before it gets to the Delta and pipe it southward to the location of the current pumps that would shift that water southward to farmlands in southern counties.
- Gov. Brown’s California Water Fix, which includes the dual 35 mile, 40 foot-diameter pipes below the Delta, is accumulating law suits against it and continue delays for some time to come.
- Approximately 58 groups have filed suits, including crab boat owners, Tribes, water agencies, Sacramento County and especially those people that live in the Delta and make their living there.
- While CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) promises environmental protections, it doesn’t stop large projects but can delay them for many years.
- The cost would be borne by southern Californians and, much more so, by the farmers.
- The salmon fishermen, with this year’s salmon season already delayed by 3 months with meager catches. have a fierce struggle going against the draw-down of water in recent years and with congress favoring Agribusiness.
Story from KQED Science, Aug. 3, 2017; EcoWatch, Oct. 27, 2016 An injection well in San Joaquin County
- Oil and Agriculture are the biggest employers in some areas of California and they’re using oil wastewater to water crops and to dispose by injecting into the ground.
- According to oil companies the water is injected into unusable Aquifers at safe depths below groundwater.
- KQED’s report shows that isn’t always true and they’re injecting at similar depths as groundwater and sometimes into protected aquifers reserved for drinking water.
- Oil wastewater is ‘lightly treated’ and blended with fresh water before being applied to crops like nut and citrus trees, grapes, and vegetables, carrots, beans, tomatoes and potatoes.
IV. Politics and Miscellaneous Items
Story from NBC News, Sep. 4, 2017; Story from EPA website, Aug. Explanation from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
- Not much information was forthcoming from the company officials regarding their particular organic peroxides.
- Three of nine trailers containing organic peroxide compounds ignited after the storm due to lack of temperature controls and the remaining six trailers were proactively ignited by the company.
- The smoke was declared “an irritant” by the company and continues to bellow from the company site. A 1 1/2 mile radius protection zone has been declared after several people suffered exposure and were taken to hospital for treatment.
- The EPA deployed an ASPECT aircraft flyover monitor session and is sharing information with first responders.
- The EPA’s Scott Pruitt got his hands wet in dealing with Hurricane Harvey aftermath expediting waiver requests and other duties to start water monitoring, securing superfund sites and assessing other industrial facilities.
- The main hazard with organic compounds are their explosive or burning tendency but with any burning material particulate matter can cause lung damage.
Story from inside climate news, Aug. 30, 2017: ProPublica, Mar. 3, 2016
- The Trump proposed budget has cuts to almost all agencies that deal with natural disasters, including climate-related research.
- After rescue and disaster control Congress will grapple with funding natural disasters and, hopefully, Climate Change/Global Warming issues.
- It’s almost as if Harvey came knocking on the door of the nation’s fossil fuel capitol, Houston, for a lesson in future economics and ethical budgeting – right on time for Trump’s budget negotiations!! (Last year, a ProPublica report warned of this very storm.)
- Will they recognize Climate Change’s role in this and all future storms, rising sea levels and a promise of steadily increasing migrations?
Aug 26: The National Monuments’ Issue
Story from The Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2017; Los Angeles Times, Aug. 22, 2017
- Trump’s executive order signed in February, is to review all national monuments established since 1996, and are larger than 100,000 acres.
- The Dept. of Interior minister, Ryan Zimke, is soon to make public his recommendations for “boundary adjustments” to as many as 21 national monuments.
- Zimke is to identify those national monuments that can be shrunk to smaller areas for economic purposes raising fears of Environmentalists that large chunks of land will be opened to oil & gas drilling, logging, cattle grazing, and mining.
- So far, Zimke is not recommending elimination or selling off any parks and claims his list for changes is still in draft form and not ready for public viewing.
- The list of national monuments created under the Antiquities Act since Theodore Roosevelt contains 129 protected areas ranging from 31 states, DC, and Pacific Islands.
- California has 6 such national monuments for reconsideration:
- Berryessa Snow Mountain
- Giant Sequoia National Monument
- Carizo Plain National Monument
- San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
- Mojave Trails National Monument
Aug. 15 – Sept. 15 – Get involved to Help pass SB 100, Calif.’s Clean Energy Bill
Wednesday – Saturday, Sept. 6 – 9 – Soil Not Oil Conference: the agriculture – climate change connection returns to Richmond for a 4-day conference.
Location: Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA.
Saturday, Sept. 9, 9:30am – 12:00pm – National Day of Action against Energy Transfer Partners (the pipeline company) or #StopETP.
Location: Todos Santos Plaza, 2151 Salvo St., Concord, CA
Sunday, Sept. 17, 6:30 – 9:00pm – The Cap and Trace Scam, to find out what happened in passing the Cap & Trade extension supported by Gov. Brown.
Location: California Nurses Association, 155 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA.
Saturday, Sept. 23, 11:00am – 3:00pm – Rainwater Harvesting Workshop
Oakland location revealed upon registration.
Other Sources of Events:
Includes other 350 branches in the Bay Area.
Located in San Francisco, has a basic focus on watersheds but emphasizes community projects and promotes ecological awareness.
The environmental center of leadership and events in Berkeley
The Long-time Berkeley nonprofit focusing on green and healthy activities, especially in East Bay.
The Bay Area umbrella organization for spearheading activism centered around the SF Bay oil refineries, oil and coal trains, and environmental justice issues centered in East Bay but not limited to the Bay Area.