Climate Rush Heathrow! (12th Jan)
On Monday 12th January 2009 at 7pm the Climate Rush will hit Heathrow Terminal 1 (Domestic Departures).
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HARRIMAN, Tenn. — Millions of yards of ashy sludge broke through a dike at TVA's Kingston coal-fired plant Monday, covering hundreds of acres, knocking one home off its foundation and putting environmentalists on edge about toxic chemicals that may be seeping into the ground and flowing downriver.
One neighboring family said the disaster was no surprise because they have watched the 1960s-era ash pond's mini-blowouts off and on for years.
About 2.6 million cubic yards of slurry — enough to fill 798 Olympic-size swimming pools — rolled out of the pond Monday, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cleanup will take at least several weeks, or, in a worst-case scenario, years.
Let’s see how the “clean coal” PR hucksters at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity try to spin this tragic news: a retention pond holding toxic coal ash slurry burst Monday in Roane County, Tennessee, releasing over half a billion gallons of potentially toxic sludge that swept into the nearby town of Harriman and contaminated tributaries of the Tennessee River. The resulting flood damaged 15 homes, injured one man as it knocked his house off its foundations, and has left over 400 acres of land covered by several feet of coal ash, mud and contaminated water (see video below).
Coal ash and slurry is the normal byproduct of coal-fired electricity generating, and is usually stored in giant retaining ponds near coal plants. The resulting coal slurry is frequently contaminated by heavy metals, mercury and arsenic.
Yesterday’s tragedy struck at the coal ash impoundment associated with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston coal-fired steam plant and released about 2.6 million cubic yards of slurry, the Tennessean reports. That’s enough to fill nearly 800 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and is over 40 times more contaminated sludge than the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill.
The CBI's position is set out in a new policy paper, "The future of coal: securing electricity supply and clean coal technology." New coal stations should be retrofitted with carbon capture and storage technology when it becomes available, which would cut carbon emissions, while ensuring that the country still meets its carbon targets, the CBI said.Reference:
The Department received over three quarters of a million claims from former miners, their widows, or their estates for COPD (592,000) and VWF (170,000). By the time all the claims have been settled, the Department estimates that it will have paid some £4.1 billion in compensation.
The schemes posed a formidable challenge. Many claimants were elderly, ill and anxious to receive their compensation. The number of claims greatly exceeded the Department’s initial forecasts of 173,000 COPD and 45,000 VWF claims. It was ill prepared for the number, and in some cases complexity, of claims made. Consequently some claimants have had to wait as long as ten years or more. In 2005, to address significant backlogs the Department, in negotiation with solicitors, introduced a fast track arrangement to process COPD claims. By September 2007, there were around 116,000 COPD claims and 12,000 VWF claims remaining to be settled. The Department is seeking to process most of the remaining VWF claims by March 2008 and COPD claims by February 2009.
The schemes were costly to administer. By completion, administration costs, including contractor and medical costs, are expected to total almost £2.3 billion. Claimants’ solicitors and other representatives’ fees account for just under £1.3 billion of this total. The Department’s negotiation of the fees with solicitors was weak, with the result that it paid fees significantly in excess of costs. Some solicitors have also levied additional fees on successful claimants.
I am increasingly impressed by the Lib Dem line on climate change. It seems that if there is any climate change event the Lib Dems are likely to be representing and certainly seem to be making it a key priority for the party.
The Home Office has now admitted that the protesters had not been responsible for any injuries. In a three-line written answer to a parliamentary question, the Home Office minister Vernon Coaker wrote to the Lib Dem justice spokesman, David Howarth, saying: “Kent police have informed the Home Office that there were no recorded injuries sustained as a result of direct contact with the protesters.”
Only four of the 12 reportable injuries involved any contact with protesters at all and all were at the lowest level of seriousness with no further action taken.
Norman Baker, the Lib Dem MP for Lewes, who had called previously for an investigation of police tactics, said: “I personally witnessed unnecessarily aggressive policing, unprovoked violence against peaceful protesters, an extraordinary number of police on site, and tactics such as confiscating toilet rolls, board games and clown costumes from what I saw to be peaceful demonstrators.”Lib Dem justice spokesman made it clear why he thought the policing was so heavy:
From The :
Howarth said: “That the minister could defend as ‘proportionate’ a £5.9m policing operation in which there was not a single injury to police officers caused by the protesters beggars belief. The threat posed by environmental direct action is being systematically overblown by both the government and the police.
“I hope the government and the police will now stop trying to portray peaceful protesters as somehow equivalent to terrorists or violent extremists. In light of this new evidence, one has to ask, were climate campers so heavily policed because they posed any genuine threat of violence, or because they posed a challenge to government policy?”
Nick Thorpe, a spokesman for the climate camp, said: “Policing of peaceful protest has become increasingly heavy-handed. We saw thousands of officers swarming around a legal camp in a colossal waste of public money. The police and the government claimed there was a ‘violent minority’ of protesters but this Home Office admission reveals this as a complete fiction.”
Tarmac incursions are particularly difficult to police because airports have huge surface areas. “The amount of time and money you would have to put into perimeter security is enormous,” an expert said. “Some airports are spending 40 percent of their entire budget on security, and that number is going to go up.” The additional cost would “undoubtedly” be paid for by the traveling public, he said. Source: http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/12/09/ap5799498.html
The UK is about to test drive 3,000 smart refrigerators that will know when to adjust their power use to match the needs of the grid. The fridges could mean both a massive cost savings and a boost to alternative energy use.
Refrigerators are big energy suckers and we’re always on the watch for more efficient models and tips on how to reduce their energy use. But if a fridge gets a brain, it can do all the adjusting needed to reduce its carbon footprint without us having to lift a finger.
The fridges, supplied by RLtec, are going to be given away by the UK government next year for a trial run to see how well the dynamic demand technology used in the fridges works.
RLtec estimates that large numbers of appliances running with dynamic demand technology would create a "virtual power station" that could displace coal-fired generators. For example, fitting all the fridges in the UK with dynamic demand technology would allow the decommissioning of a 750-megawatt "back-up" power station.
The ‘Climate Safety’ report gives a simple summary of the latest science, delivering a clear message that to have any chance of maintaining a safe climate, we must rapidly decarbonise our society, preserve global sinks, and address the problem with an unprecedented degree of seriousness.
Even with a commitment to 80% carbon cuts by 2050, “Climate Safety” warns that our current policy response does not match up to the scale of the challenge.
“You cannot overstate the importance of this report: it has opened my eyes to levels of climate risk far beyond those of which I was aware. Crisp, clear-headed and profoundly shocking, this report should be read immediately by everyone who cares.”
Labels: climate science