All posts by jamesthrive

The reality is hallucination.

global warming

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Berlin:  A United Nations report said on Sunday that governments must act faster to keep global warming in check and delays until 2030 could force them to use little-tested technologies to extract greenhouse gases from the air.

The study, drawing on work by more than 1,000 experts, said a radical shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy such as wind, solar or nuclear power would shave only about 0.06 of a percentage point a year off world economic growth.

“It does not cost the world to save the planet,” Ottmar Edenhofer, a German scientist who is co-chair of a meeting of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told a news conference in Berlin.

The report, endorsed by governments, is meant as the main scientific guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to be agreed in late 2015 to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that have hit repeated highs this century, led by China’s industrial growth.

“We don’t have the luxury of time,” Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, told Reuters, saying costs would rise sharply if strong action was delayed to 2030. “We will have to move quickly and with an unprecedented level of international cooperation.”

Governments have promised to limit temperature rises to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times to avert ever more heatwaves, floods, droughts and rising sea levels that the IPCC says are linked to man-made warming.

Such levels were still attainable, it said, but policies in place so far put the world on target for a temperature rise of up to 4.8C (8.6F) by 2100. Temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 C (1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries.

IPCC scenarios showed world emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, would need to peak soon and tumble by between 40 and 70 percent from 2010 levels by 2050, and then to almost zero by 2100, to keep rises below 2C.

The IPCC said that natural gas, which emits fewer greenhouse gases than coal, could get a boost until about 2050.

“Ambitious mitigation may even require removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” the IPCC said. Delay in acting to cut emissions until 2030 would force far greater use of such technologies, a 33-page summary for policymakers said.

RISKY OPTIONS

One method would be to burn wood, crops or other biomass to generate electricity, capture the greenhouse gases from the exhaust fumes and bury them underground, it said.

The experimental technology would reduce the amount of carbon in a natural cycle of plant growth and decay. But there are risks, such as the need for vast land areas to grow biomass, which would displace crops and push up food prices.

A simpler method to remove these gases from the air is to plant trees that soak them up as they grow, the IPCC says.

The report did not mention “geo-engineering” options, such as placing giant mirrors in space to bounce sunlight away from the Earth. “At this point in time, it’s not a policy option, Pachauri said.

Many world leaders welcomed the IPCC report, even as it underscored they were not doing enough. “This report makes very clear we face an issue of global willpower, not capacity,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.
European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: “The report is clear: there really is no plan B for climate change. There is only plan A: collective action to reduce emissions now.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hoped world leaders would bring “ambitious announcements and actions” to a summit in New York in September to map out ways to fight global warming.
The IPCC report is the third and final part of a massive United Nations series, updating science for the first time since 2007. A summary of findings will be issued in October.
The IPCC says it is at least 95 percent probable that man-made emissions are the main cause of warming. But many voters are doubtful, suspecting that factors such as the natural vagaries of the weather or sunspots might be to blame.
Low-carbon energies, which accounted for 17 percent of world energy supplies in 2010, would have to triple or quadruple their share by 2050, displacing conventional fossil fuels as the top source of energy, IPCC scenarios showed.
Low-carbon energy can include coal-, natural gas or oil-fired power plants if they use carbon capture and storage (CCS) to bury emissions underground. That technology, however, is mostly experimental, and costly.

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Why Kyiv Must Break The Stalemate

In Moscow's Shadows

Is there a way through? Is there a way through?

So it looks as if Putin is, I’m glad to say, not a raving and unreasoning imperialist after all. OK, so he may be a careful and calculating imperialist of sorts, but his performance at his press conference on the Ukrainian crisis, while not closing out any options, clearly indicated that Russia was not eagerly after the annexation of Crimea. I’m reassured that my early instincts, which I confess I did begin to question (not least under a heavy barrage of Russoskeptics, ably assisted by lunatic Kremlin I-hope-not-always-mouthpiece Sergei Markov) seem to have been right. Moscow’s aim is to influence Ukrainian policy, not territorial conquest (yes, I know Crimea’s parliament just voted to hold a referendum on this; I’ll take this as serious when it’s the Russian Duma saying this, instead). To be sure, I suspect that the first instinct was a combination…

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Ukraine Crisis: Vladimir Putin and the Power of Gas

Bayard & Holmes

By Jay Holmes

If we are to have any chance of understanding the present dynamic of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, we must look to the history of the region and its people. In Part One, we followed the Ukraine Timeline from the founding of the first Ukrainian city in 907 A.D. through the ascendance of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, a.k.a. Stalin 2.0. In Part Two, the Timeline continues up to the present Russian invasion. Today, we look at current situation and what it means to Europe and the West.

Kiev Protestors February 18, 2014 image by Mstyslav Chernov/Unframe/http://www.unframe.com.jpg wikimedia commons Kiev Protestors February 18, 2014
image by Mstyslav Chernov
Unframe.com
wikimedia commons

The crisis in Ukraine is the product of many factors. Russian speaking pro-Russian citizens populate the Crimea and other areas of Ukraine. Putin is using this most effectively to satisfy the centuries-old Russian imperial ambitions to expand southward. Russia has well equipped military forces based…

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The Ruins of Paramount Theatre

After the Final Curtain

View of the auditorium from the main level. View of the auditorium from the main level.

Delayed and over budget, the Paramount Theatre in Marshall, Texas opened on March 31, 1930. The opening was the first event in what the city of Marshall dubbed “Program of Progress” month. The East Texas Theatre Company, Inc. commissioned Emil Weil, Inc., an architecture firm based in New Orleans, to design the 1,500 seat atmospheric theater.

The auditorium is currently used for storage. The auditorium is currently used for storage.

On opening day the front windows were decorated with telegrams from prominent movies stars congratulating the theater on the opening. The first feature was “Young Eagles,” starring Buddy Rogers and Jean Arthur, and “Brats,” a Laurel and Hardy comedy short. Live acts, including Rajah Vogi, an East Indian hypnotist, played at the theater during its early years.

Sunlight pours in through holes in the ceiling, due to years of water damage. Sunlight pours in through holes in the ceiling due to years of water damage.

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Dark Days in San Cristóbal, Where It All Started

Caracas Chronicles

Tachira Today San Cristóbal’s new normal

No place in Venezuela has been hit harder by the recent violence than San Cristóbal, the city of 650,000 up in the Andes where the current bout of protests started 18 days ago.

Last night, the authorities shut down internet service to the whole city, which explains why so few YouTube videos have emerged from  San Cristóbal. The internet blackout caused serious fears about what the town’s people could be facing, so today we reached out to contacts in San Cristóbal to try to get the story.

How It Started: Protesting Sexual Assault

San Cristóbal is a college town, home to three large universities (UNET, ULA, UCAT). On February 2nd, after over a year of asking the state government for improved security measures to curb rampant crime on campus, a freshman at ULA’s Táchira campus was sexually assaulted.

This attempted rape caused a wave of local…

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