Updates from November, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • costrike 12:16 am on November 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , BuryCoal.org, , , CNN.com, , Ed Markey, , The Onion   

    Climate Hawks – Evening Roundup for 11/9/10 

    With all the reading I do trying to keep up with current events, I thought it might be good to share some of the articles that strike me as important in some way.  So, without further ado…

    1. Oil spill probe finds no ‘conscious decision’ to cut corners | CNN.com

    The title of the article begs the question, “How many unconscious decisions were made?”  (I love it when they put it on a tee for you.)  The article quotes the commission’s co-chairman Bob Graham as saying,  “There seemed to be a compulsion to get this rig completed in that April 19th-April 20th time period.”  Later in the article they drop the little nugget that the operation was around 45 days behind and that their operating costs were about $1.5 million per day.  So what we’re saying here is that BP was $60-$70 million in the hole and blowing another $10 million each week that this ran behind, but that there were no ‘conscious decisions’ to cut corners.  Of course there weren’t conscious decisions.  What fool would make an order to do something illegal when they could just apply pressure on the lower ranks and let them figure out how to cut corners for them?  Or as Rep. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, more eloquently stated, “When the culture of a company favors risk-taking and cutting corners above other concerns, systemic failures like this oil spill disaster result without direct decisions being made or tradeoffs being considered.”  For that comment, I salute the honorable representative.  There is definitely room on the perch for that fine climate hawk!
    (More …)

    • Doug350 12:51 am on November 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      1. and 2. I have felt from the beginning that the people who were involved in the decision making at every level should be prosecuted for bad judgement. Upper Management pressure on middle management and on down to the drilling engineers and contractors … $#@& rolls down hill and if nobody questions it, they are all responsible. An example must be shown to the young engineers coming up through the ranks so they will think twice when it is their turn in the barrel and have to make the tough decisions. Think twice. There are consequences. Downside risks carry more weight (“no go”) than any possible upside benefit.

      3. Always happy to see Peter’s latest production! He should have a regular piece of “real estate” here!

      4. Carbon was sequestered over hundreds of million years through photosynthesis which combined CO2 with minerals to create organic material and ultimately became coal, oil and gas. During the process, CO2 concentrations decreased through 425 ppm +/- 75 ppm when ice formed. We are now heading back up through that concentration and the expectation is that ice will un-form … anybody who wants an ice-free planet should be jumping for joy.

      5. Sorry but I couldn’t find the moral in the story … maybe it’s just late and standard time to boot ;-D

      Will jump in with both feet soon …

    • Chris Oestereich 9:55 am on November 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the insightful comments. Here’s another one which accidentally got left on the cutting room floor. Douglas Labier’s “Are Policies That Serve the Common Good Un-American?” from the Huffington Post, which touches on the psychological factors contributing to “me first” thinking and the damage caused by it. To me, this one’s required reading:

  • costrike 6:34 am on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 350.org, aluminum sludge, Bill McKibben, , cap and trade, climate hawk, , climatehawk, , COP16, David Roberts, , Dispersants, EPA, exxon valdez, filibuster, Grist, hottest year, Hungary, Joe Miller, kyoto protocol, Lisa Murkowski, Macondo well, Munich Re, , Pakistan flood, Russia fire, solar panels, wheat prices, White House   

    Climate Hawks ‘Cast’ing Call 

    Lately it’s been a roller coaster for supporters of effective climate legislation.  Recent events have led me to spin up this blog as a focal point for those looking to affect positive change.

    Here’s a quick rundown of the recent events which seem pertinent:

    • BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig went down in flames in April, taking the lives of eleven workers with it and opening a hole in the bottom of the sea that poured out millions of barrels of crude oil.

    Photo By: Greenpeace USA 2010

    (Side note: Is the Lauren Valle in this picture the same one who got stomped by a Rand Paul supporter last week?  If so, she has been quite busy stirring the pot this year.)

    • In June, with the oil spill as a backdrop, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) sponsored an amendment which would have neutered the EPA while invalidating new fuel economy standards.   Fortunately, it did not pass, but this will not be the last challenge to the EPA’s authority.  In a stunning turn of events, many are rooting for Murkowski to win her write-in bid in Alaska as she appears the slightly lesser of two evils when contrasted with Tea Party candidate Joe Miller.
    • In September, environmentalist and author Bill McKibben delivered one of Jimmy Carter’s solar panels to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., hoping that it would be returned to the roof of the White House as a symbolic gesture, but White House staffers sent him packing.  A few weeks later, the White House announced that they would indeed go solar.

    Photo By: 350.org

    • BP’s Macondo well was finally capped in September, five months after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded.  The damaging effects of the enormous spill will be with us for years.  Additionally, dispersants spread by BP to accelerate the natural breakdown of oil, may be causing illnesses throughout the gulf region.

    Photo By: NWFblogs

    • Cap and Trade seemed to gain traction due to the oil spill, but never came up for a vote due to the threat of filibuster in the senate.  With the Tea Party bloc in the house, the Exxon Valdez could crash into the White House and this legislation still wouldn’t see the light of day.

    Image By: Tobias Higbie

    • The summer of 2010 was the hottest in recorded history.  Large swathes of Russia burned all summer long costing the country roughly 25% of its wheat crop.  Russia responded by banning the export of wheat for eighteen months, contributing to a spike in what had been a declining commodity price.

    Source: indexmundi.com

    • While Russia burned, Pakistan flooded with up to 20% of the country underwater.
    • Hungary suffered the worst European environmental disaster in decades as an aluminum plant’s sludge pool burst through its damn killing four while flooding the town below.
    • November brings muted hope via COP16 as Mexico welcomes delegates to the UN’s climate change meetings, but last year’s meetings in Copenhagen went in with great promise and ended acrimoniously.  Fewer world leaders are attending this year, so we may have to wait for the Kyoto protocol to expire in 2012 before we see politicians get serious again.

    If I haven’t convinced you that this has been a bad year for the climate, maybe you’ll believe one of the world’s largest reinsurance groups.  They tend to take a hit in the pocketbook when things go awry, so when Munich Re says it’s “been an “exceptional” year for weather disasters,” that might be worth paying attention to.

    So the question begs.  What can we do?  The answer was simple for me.  Follow Dave’s lead and start building a community of those who want to affect positive change.  I’m asking my fellow Climate Hawks to take part in this blog.  I’d like to make this a forum for the sharing of ideas through impassioned, civil discourse.  A lone hawk may look majestic against a clear sky, but it will take a cast of them to make a difference.  So, this is my ‘cast’ing call.  If you want to share your passion for averting climate change in a civilized manner and can abide to the truth, then I want you in my cast.  I’d love to get original content, but would be equally happy to cross-post articles from other sources.  Let’s create a place where future climate leaders can come to learn and be inspired.  Help me make that happen.

    Thank you,


    Twitter: @costrike

    Photo By: Zevotron

    • Doug350 9:01 am on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Good, Chris! I will be following and promoting among my community of collaborators.

    • Chris Oestereich (costrike) 2:43 pm on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Doug! I hope many of them will join the conversation as you have.

    • Trinx350 8:51 pm on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Cathy from Canada is in.

    • Chris Oestereich (costrike) 10:31 pm on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Welcome Cathy! Glad to have you on board.

    • Doug350 10:33 pm on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Chris, do you have a FB account?
      Mine is facebook.com/Doug350

    • Devin Lowell 11:19 pm on November 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Will definitely be following and could contribute my opinion, on occasion..

    • Chris Oestereich 12:51 am on November 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Devin. Looking forward to your offerings!

    • Steve Gluck 9:48 pm on January 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Over 30 years ago, I built the first FHA approved solar home in the western United States, so I’ve been around environmental issues for some time. One of the things I’ve learned during that time is that legislaton, by itself, will never solve environmental (or any other) problems. When it comes to environmental issues (and global climate change is but one of a multitude of manifestations of environmental problems), it is important to look at one’s own lifestyle. People who focus exclusively on legislation and turn a blind eye to their own lifestyles are part of the problem. So I would ask you, and all hawks: How do you spend your spare time? And how did you spend your last vacation?

      • Chris Oestereich 7:02 pm on January 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I’m with you. I believe legislation to be incredibly important, but it’s no replacement for personal accountability. I can’t speak for others, but I can say that my impact is a work in progress and always will be. I have made great strides over the past 2-3 years and intend to keep moving forward in the future. Some individuals (and corporations) see the need to clean up their act, but others do not. That is why I feel it is vitally important to have proper legislation in place.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc