Coalition of the Confused

Hosted by Jenifer (Zarknorph)

Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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The debate on Climate Change   General Confusion

Started 7/18/17 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 193027 views.
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Climate change litigation rising with the seas

A high swell inundates the shore, flooding houses on Marshall Island.

When they first warned more than 30 years ago that human activity could create an enhanced greenhouse effect, scientists hoped it would lead to decisive action to lower fossil fuel emissions.

Instead, levels have continued to rise to a point most scientists agree that climate change accelerated by fossil fuel emissions is changing the weather and intensifying storms.

"Plan A was the hope governments would step up and social movements would be powerful enough to put pressure on governments," University of Adelaide Law School Associate Professor Peter Burdon said.

"But that hasn't happened, so Plan B is to try the courts," he said.

Across the world a shift towards climate change litigation is gathering steam as low-lying island countries and even United States' cities take aim at governments and big oil companies for failing to act proportionately on emission reductions.

One of the most recent cases involves 21 teenagers in the US state of Oregon, who have been given judiciary permission to sue the federal government for failing to uphold their constitutional rights.

"They assert that the actions of the [US] government and their delays and failure to take meaningful action against climate change has violated their generation and their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property," Professor Burdon said.

"They've gone through several layers of hearings and at every stop, the government has sought to throw it out, and have been joined by companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron, but it was decided they had a legal case and it can be heard."

Elsewhere in the US, cities such as San Francisco and Oakland have filed lawsuits against big oil and gas companies to pay damages caused by rising seas, while in the Netherlands, Friends of the Earth have threatened litigation against Royal Dutch Shell if it doesn't bring its business in line with the Paris Agreement within eight weeks.

It follows a landmark ruling in the Hague District Court during 2015, which forced the Netherlands government to reduce emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 after it was found to be breaching a duty of care.

The precedent is set... RELEASE THE LAWYERS!!!

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


New Zealand bans offshore oil and gas exploration in quest for zero emissions

Permits for offshore oil and gas exploration will no longer be issued by the New Zealand Government as part of its commitment to a clean energy future.

Key points:

  • The move will not affect existing permits for exploration or extraction
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pledged to reduce the country's net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050
  • New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom says the move is a "kick in the guts"

The move will not affect existing permits for exploration or extraction, meaning the industry is likely to continue in the nation for several more decades.

The decision under Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a change in direction after nine years of conservative leadership which favoured expanding the industry.

Ms Ardern, who was elected Prime Minister last year, has pledged to reduce the country's net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

Her Government also plans to plant 100 million trees each year and ensure the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy.

The oil and gas industry is relatively small in New Zealand, employing about 11,000 people and accounting for about 1 per cent of the overall economy.

It is dwarfed in importance by farming and tourism.

But the industry is important to the Taranaki region, where most of the activity is centred.

New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom told Radio New Zealand the move was a "kick in the guts for the future of the Taranaki economy".

But Ms Ardern said no-one would be losing their job as a result of the move.

"We're striking the right balance for New Zealand," Ms Ardern said.

"We're protecting existing industry, and protecting future generations from climate change."

But New Zealand National Party MP Jonathan Young described the move as "economic vandalism".

"This decision is devoid of any rationale. It certainly has nothing to do with climate change," Mr Young said.

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From: RRBud


Petroleum products are really too valuable to just burn - - IF (very large IF) there are viable alternatives for use under all conditions.

Unfortunately, current and foreseeable near-future energy technologies will be unlikely to achieve the reliability, availability and affordability of petroleum-based fuels.  And even if such technologies were to appear today, there are other sources of known "greenhouse" gases that are produced by all living organisms, so the promise of zero emissions is a blatant, deliberate lie.  The only way to reduce "greenhouse" emissions to zero would be to have NZ sterilized and its surface turned into glass.

However, I appreciate the goal of reducing unnecessary "greenhouse" and other emissions as far as is practical, as I also support reducing, refining, and recycling the materials in the organic waste stream as much as is practical to do.  Mostly that last challenge is ignored.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


RRBud said:

The only way to reduce "greenhouse" emissions to zero would be to have NZ sterilized and its surface turned into glass.

Can we leave Russel Crowe there?

RRBud said:

I also support reducing, refining, and recycling the materials in the organic waste stream as much as is practical to do.  Mostly that last challenge is ignored.

I read an interesting article about a challenge that was to look in your bin and change ONE thing per week.  

I've turned a disused garden bed into a compost pile, so all my tea bags and vegie scraps go in there. Early days for it, though.  I'm rinsing out tin cans for the recycling bin, instead of just chucking them away.  I had to look to myself, ultimately, and really examine how I was contributing to the problem.

In the end the big picture is just too big.  Act locally, but also think locally.  To try to think globally will just give you an ulcer!

Today I'm planting coriander and a new tree.

Any tips on compost would be appreciated.




From: RRBud


Hi Jenifer,

Fine with me if you leave Russel Crowe there, I'm not one of his fans.  Although he did fairly well in "Spartacus."

As for the global organis waste stream - incredible source of all kinds of useful products, IF handled properly.  Yes, it's an enormous challenge, but IMO definitely one well worth taking on.  As you said, to do that we have to think locally, right down to what we as individuals contribute toward it.  Composting one's own organic, biodegradable waste is certainly one way of using some of it!

You probably want to throw in all grass clippings, if any.  Tea bags - take out the staples.  I don't use tea bags.  I don't know about coffee grounds, either, not using the stuff.  I throw in unused food, plant trimmings, but no wood twigs over maybe 5mm diameter.  Orange peels, avocado bruises and rinds, fat trimmed off meats, raked-up leaves, apple cores, the inedible portions of artichokes, lettuce leaves if they're not quite what I want to eat. Micro-shredded (crosscut shredder) paper.  Keep it a bit damp, turn over the top 8-15 cm of it about once a week to once a month.  I use a bin 2.5 meters square by one deep, half buried in the ground.  At the bottom is some of the richest, most wonderful topsoil imaginable, and I use that in the greenhouse for dirt farming.  Throw it back into the pile at the end of every year, take new off the bottom - - -

Use the same topsoil when planting new roses.  Hole one meter in diameter, one meter deep - - the roses seem to absolutely love it, and do will in those areas, but not do at all well in our usual, very alkaline soil.  My compost bin here has been going for going on 15 years, so it's had a chance to mature and start producing really good soil.

VERY FEW people seem to use compost bins or piles out here.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Hey Bud,

Thanks for the tips!

My compost pile is quite shallow, so I was going to go to Bunnings (major hardware chain here) and look for some filler.

I have some stuff to help break it down, and I keep a bucket in the bottom of the shower to catch wasted water and throw that on it when it gets full.

I don't want to put meat in there, though. I do put egg shells in, but I worry about meat attracting my dog.

My concern about grass clippings is the spread of weeds.  Our lawn is full of them.

My coriander died yesterday.  I suck at gardening.


From: RRBud


Good point about your puppy, so - no meat in the compost pile.

Weeds, if you turn over the top foot of the pile once a week or so, simply won't be an issue.  So the best filler possible is grass clippings - - including the weeds.  Turning over the top foot of the pile will cut them apart before they can become a problem.

You don't want the pile being too wet, or there won't be enough oxygen reaching the lower compost for proper bacterial action.  The one thing you absolutely do NOT need is for anaerobic bacteria to get started in there.  I only sprinkle my pile fairly lightly as necessary to keep it mildly damp.

Sorry to hear about your coriander.  I never tried to grow any, so don't know the proper conditions to maintain for it.

Regards -

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Right, not too wet.

Can I throw in the contents of the vacuum cleaner?

I also heard hair is great for protein.

I bought coriander seeds this time.  I use it so much in cooking that I'm determined to get it right.

My rosemary was hell bent on taking over the Earth.  It had to be pruned with a chainsaw.

It's coming back nicely.


From: RRBud


I've dumped the vacuum cleaner's contents into the pile, and they seem not to harm it.  Of course, in my area that turns out to be mostly dust blown into the house through the evaporative cooler, but there's also some alkaline stuff that comes off the pads in that cooler, because our water is extremely hard.

Of course, when my daughter is at home, most of the stuff the vac picks up in her room is hair - - -

This morning I threw in a failed effort at banana bread.  It had risen perfectly in the oven, but fell while cooling.  Don't understand why, it had been made just like all my previous ones.  Oh well, will cook up another one this evening.

Rosemary doesn't do well out here.


Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


So this was discovered...


Scientists in Britain and the United States say they have engineered a plastic-eating enzyme that could one day help in the fight against pollution.

Key points:

  • The enzyme was discovered in a waste recycling centre in Japan
  • Scientists think they can improve its plastic eating ability even more
  • But it is still early days, according to an independent review

The enzyme is able to digest polyethylene terephthalate, or PET — a form of plastic patented in the 1940s and now used in millions of tonnes of plastic bottles.

PET plastics can persist in the environment for hundreds of years and currently pollute large areas of land and sea worldwide.

Researchers from Britain's University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory made the discovery while examining the structure of a natural enzyme thought to have evolved in a waste recycling centre in Japan.

Possibility of turning PET back into building blocks

Finding that this enzyme was helping a type of bacteria to break down, or digest, PET plastic, the researchers decided to "tweak" its structure by adding some amino acids, said John McGeehan, a professor at Portsmouth who co-led the work.

This led to a serendipitous change in the enzyme's actions — allowing its plastic-eating abilities to work faster.

"We've made an improved version of the enzyme better than the natural one already," Professor McGeehan said.

"That's really exciting because that means that there's potential to optimise the enzyme even further."

The team, whose finding was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, is now working on improving the enzyme further to see if they can make it capable of breaking down PET plastics on an industrial scale.

"It's well within the possibility that in the coming years we will see an industrially viable process to turn PET, and potentially other (plastics), back into their original building blocks so that they can be sustainably recycled," Professor McGeehan said.

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