‘ROCKDALE, Ill. (AP) — A holding tank at a Caterpillar facility in a Chicago suburb broke Sunday, spilling about 65,000 gallons of oil sludge and contaminating a 3-mile section of the Des Plaines River, officials said’
Bloomberg keeps it interesting by framing this in personal terms. The last paragraphs reveal that at the very least some mixed messages have been going out from the Obama camp about ‘Clean Coal’.
‘Months before Obama’s campaign remarks about the promise of new technology, he said in a recorded interview with the San Francisco Chronicle last January, “If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu had called coal his “worst nightmare” in a 2007 speech. At his Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 13, Chu said the fuel is a “great natural resource” that the “the U.S., with its great technological leadership, should rise to the occasion to develop.”’
Nuclear power debate – an interesting read:
‘A coalition of environmental groups are calling on senators to remove a controversial provision from the $900 billion stimulus bill that could lead to the construction of a new generation of nuclear power plants. We host a debate between independent journalist and longtime anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman and Patrick Moore, a Greenpeace co-founder and member of the pro-nuclear Clean and Safe Energy Coalition.
…HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, there’s no reason for the United States taxpayers to get stuck with another $50 billion tab for building new reactors that Wall Street won’t fund. Nuclear power has failed utterly in the marketplace, and it’s back at the taxpayer trough trying to get more money.’
See complete article: Democracy Now! | Should Economic Stimulus Bill Include Billions for Nuclear Power?.
Possibly the best mainstream media coverage to date on the WSF, though somewhat snarky:
‘OFTEN mocked for an endless ability to disagree with itself, the World Social Forum—an annual jamboree for NGOs, anti-capitalists, leftish intellectuals, bohemians and bishops—was unusually united this year. More united, in some ways, than the recent World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, a gathering of political and corporate bigwigs to which the social forum supposedly responds.’
Another report on unanticipated consequences:
‘_When an ice sheet melts, its gravitational pull on the ocean is reduced and water moves away from it. That means sea levels could fall near Antarctica and rise more than expected in the northern hemisphere.
_Antarctic bedrock that currently sits under the weight of the ice sheet will rebound from the weight, pushing some water out into the ocean.
_The melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet will cause the Earth’s rotation axis to shift, potentially moving water northward.
“The net effect of all of these processes is that if the West Antarctic ice sheet collapses, the rise in sea levels around many coastal regions will be as much as 25 per cent more than expected,” Mitrovica said in a statement.’
Not the first time this has been suggested:
‘BEIJING — Nearly nine months after a devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, left 80,000 people dead or missing, a growing number of American and Chinese scientists are suggesting that the calamity was triggered by a four-year-old reservoir built close to the earthquake’s geological fault line.’
‘In China, scholars and policy advisers who support the proposals in the “Roadmap” report say talks on energy technology and climate change could foster cooperation between the Obama administration and China. A central question is whether Chinese leaders and American lawmakers will be too focused on reviving their economies to pay serious attention to curbing emissions.’
Chris Carlsson, of Nowtopia.com, and one of the founders of Critical Mass, interviewed by envirobeat.com at the World Social Forum 2009, in Brazil, discusses several interrelated topics, including among other things his latest book Nowtopia, the inner networking and structures of the forum itself, and emerging solutions to the ongoing social, economic and environmental crisis.
On February 5, the John L. Thornton China Center at Brookings will host a discussion on overcoming obstacles to U.S.-China cooperation on climate change, focusing on ways in which cooperation can gain sustained political support in both countries.
Belem, Brazil. Feb 1 2009
Of the myriad issues addressed at the World Social Forum this year, climate had both the first and last word, beginning with the Amazonian downpour which drenched the opening parade several days ago, and ending with today’s heavy rainstorm just prior to the final meeting, the ‘assembly of assemblies’, where the remaining participants gathered in a wet and muddy grass field to listen to the spokespersons from the many issue groups announce their conclusions from several days of discussions.