NYC sues the Big 5 oil companies in USA over climate change

❝ New York City has sued five of the United States’ biggest oil companies on the grounds that they have contributed to global warming and will divest from fossil fuel companies over a five-year period.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is seeking damages from BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell for the billions of dollars he anticipates the city will spend to protect New Yorkers from the effects of climate change. The city filed the lawsuit on Tuesday night…the 13th.

The city wants compensation for damages that the city has already experienced, as well as for damage the city will undergo over the course of the 21st century…

❝ The mayor and city comptroller Scott Stringer plan to submit a join resolution to pension fund trustees to start analyzing ways to divest from fossil fuel owners—a first-in-the-nation goal. In total, the city’s five pension funds hold about $5 billion in the securities of more than 190 fossil fuel companies, according to the administration.

You can stand up for principles like this no matter where you live. It doesn’t take big city smarts – just educated good sense – to oppose the pimps of carbon-based power, profit before people.

What environment? 80% of Tonnage Scrap in 2017 Ended Up on South Asian Beaches


❝ Of the 835 large ocean-going commercial ships that were sold for scrap in 2017, a total of 543 ships were intentionally run ashore and dismantled by hand at shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, where the controversial ‘beaching’ method continues to be the predominant means of disposal for end-of-life vessels, according to new data released by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

The 543 ships represent just over 80% of the total tonnage scrapped worldwide last year, according to the organization…

❝ The data shows that the practice of ship beaching, where end-of-life-vessels are run aground within the tidal zone and dismantled by hand, continues to be the shipping industry’s preferred method for scrapping despite human and environmental risks and more stringent regulations associated with the practice.

Shipbreaking yards in places like Alang, Gadani and Chittagong are notorious for their often-abysmal safety records and hazardous working conditions. Although certain yards in the regions have made strides to align their operations with international standards for the safe ship recycling, the shipbreaking industry in South Asia continues to be marked by its lax safety oversight and frequent, often-fatal accidents.

RTFA. Safety standards, environmental practices aren’t up to a century any of us have lived in.

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity — This is Your Second Notice!

❝ Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”…These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” In their manifesto, they showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world. They expressed concern about current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine life depletion, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course would bring.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response by exploring available time-series data. Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse…

❝ As most political leaders respond to pressure, scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life…

Read it and weep, folks. But, I’d rather you get angry, get active. More than 15,000 scientists signed on, this time. There is no shortage of principled avenues of opposition to this crap.

Critics who whined about Toyota Prius 10 years ago – were wrong

The launch of vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf has stirred up a debate over battery longevity. Critics say battery output will degrade and cite outrageous replacement costs as a possible downside to these breakthrough machines. Well, it turns out that skeptics posed similar concerns over a decade ago, when the Toyota Prius made its U.S. debut. Turns out, those worrywarts were too, well, worried.

Based on data gleaned from more than 36,000 Prius owners in its annual survey, Consumer Reports gives Toyota’s best-selling hybrid top scores in terms of reliability and ownership costs. As we noted in January, CR set out to answer questions posed by skeptics by taking a 2002 Prius with 206,000 miles on it and putting it through a battery (get it?) of tests.

After extensive testing, CR’s numbers show that the first-gen 2002 Prius returned an overall fuel economy of 40.4 miles per gallon, which is virtually identical to the 40.6 mpg that CR recorded when testing a new Prius back in 2001. Likewise, CR found that, with 206,000 miles on the clock, the old Prius’ acceleration numbers had only dropped by a few tenths of a second for both the 0-60 miles per hour dash and the quarter-mile run.

… The tested Prius’ nickel-metal hydride battery pack showed virtually no signs of degradation after ten years and 206,000 miles…There’s a good case to be made that the critics might not always bear listening to.

Whining and whimpering about new tech is always a feature of Luddites who will deny to their death that they are Luddites. Maybe there should be a new category for those who have finally caught up with engineering designs that are a century old – but, still fear moving forward?

How the Gulf of Mexico became the nation’s ‘toilet bowl’

When Nazia Dardar looks at the seemingly endless lake of water behind her stilted bayou home, the 76-year-old sees what once was a farm. Cows roamed there, she says, back when the lake was land.

“C’est le jour et la nuit,” she says in French, the most common language down here on the farthest and swampiest reaches of the Mississippi River delta. “It’s day and night.”

Perhaps nowhere is the protracted death of the Gulf Coast more apparent than in Pointe-Aux-Chenes, Louisiana, and other indigenous bayou communities where, decades before the BP oil disaster, the marsh started disintegrating and environmental problems washed in from as far away as North Dakota and New York.

The Gulf of Mexico became, in effect, the United States’ toilet bowl — known for its seasonal “dead zones,” high erosion rates, dirty industry, ingrained poverty and, now, for the biggest oil disaster in the history of the country. Compare that legacy on the Gulf Coast with the East Coast, with its wealth, and the West, with its more-sterling record of environmental stewardship…

These wetlands, a 20-minute boat ride from the stilted homes of Pointe-Aux-Chenes, provide nearly all the needs of people here. Shrimp, crab, fish and oysters spawn and hide in the protective grasses. Those creatures are the basis for the local economy.

They’re also what everyone eats…

Since 1932, more than 1,875 square miles of Louisiana have shriveled and died, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That’s enough land to nearly cover Delaware…

The Corp of Engineers – BTW – can take credit for the taxpayer-funded portion of the destruction.

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