Obama Administration Signs Death Warrant for Colorado Roadless Forest, Jump-starts Trump’s Attack on Climate

GR:  Perhaps Obama believes University of Arizona professor Guy McPherson’s prediction that global-warming feedbacks will cause human extinction within 10 years (by 2026). So it can’t hurt to give the wasters what they want–what difference could it make?–right? 😦

In Move That Will Undercut America’s Clean-energy Industries, U.S. Forest Service Opens 20,000 Acres of National Forest in Colorado to Bulldozing Roads for Coal Mining

DENVER, Colo., December 16, 2016— “The U.S. Forest Service announced today that it would on Monday reimpose a controversial coal mine loophole, issuing a final rule that opens 20,000 acres of wild Colorado forest to bulldozing for coal mining, something the agency admits will undermine clean-energy development, result in millions of tons of climate pollution, and cause up to $3.4 billion in global damage due to worsened climate change.

“The Obama administration just gave Arch Coal an early Christmas present,” said Nathaniel Shoaff, an attorney with the Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program. “The rest of us will be saddled with nearly half a billion tons of climate pollution and a $3.4 billion price tag. This is a sad and damaging bookend for President Obama’s climate legacy.”

“In 2012 the Forest Service adopted the Colorado Roadless Rule to protect 4 million acres of wild national forest in the state, but the rule included a loophole to permit bulldozing roads for coal mining on 20,000 acres of roadless national forest. In 2014 a federal court vacated the coal mine loophole because the Forest Service failed to disclose the climate change impacts of unlocking hundreds of millions of tons of coal for burning.

“The Forest Service will reimpose the loophole on Monday, Dec. 19. The loophole opens the door to mining 170 million tons of coal, and bulldozing up to 450 drilling pads and 67 miles of road in wild aspen and spruce forest in the Sunset and Flat Irons Roadless areas immediately adjacent to Mount Gunnison in the West Elk Wilderness, 45 miles southwest of Aspen, Colo. These roadless lands provide habitat for elk, goshawks, black bears and imperiled lynx, and are frequented by hikers and hunters. According to a Forest Service analysis released last month, coal mined from these roadless lands will displace nearly 10,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power including solar and wind.” –Center for Biological Diversity (Continue:   Obama Administration Signs Death Warrant for Colorado Roadless Forest, Jump-starts Trump’s Attack on Climate

Obama’s dirty secret: the fossil fuel projects the US littered around the world

GR:  These are huge projects that Obama has helped build at a time when the world should be cutting back on fossil-fuel use. The impact of the projects is massive.  Through his approval of funding, Obama has contributed directly to the death of portions of the Great Barrier Reef and to human misery and disease in many areas. As I’ve speculated before, history may show that Obama was the worst environmental president we’ve ever had. It’s hard to determine how bad now because of the lack of transparency in his activities.

“Through the Export-Import Bank, the Obama administration has spent nearly $34bn on dirty energy plants in countries from India to Australia to South Africa

“Seemingly little connects a community in India plagued by toxic water, a looming air pollution crisis in South Africa and a new fracking boom that is pockmarking Australia. And yet there is a common thread: American taxpayer money.

“Through the US Export-Import Bank, Barack Obama’s administration has spent nearly $34bn supporting 70 fossil fuel projects around the world, work by Columbia Journalism School’s Energy and Environment Reporting Project and the Guardian has revealed.

How Obama’s climate change legacy is weakened by US investment in dirty fuel. (Read more)

“This unprecedented backing of oil, coal and gas projects is an unexpected footnote to Obama’s own climate change legacy. The president has called global warming “terrifying” and helped broker the world’s first proper agreement to tackle it, yet his administration has poured money into developments that will push the planet even closer to climate disaster.

“For people living next to US-funded mines and power stations the impacts are even more starkly immediate.

“Guardian and Columbia reporters have spent time at American-backed projects in India, South Africa and Australia to document the sickness, upheavals and environmental harm that come with huge dirty fuel developments.

“In India, we heard complaints about coal ash blowing into villages, contaminated water and respiratory and stomach problems, all linked to a project that has had more than $650m in backing from the Obama administration.

“In South Africa, another huge project is set to exacerbate existing air pollution problems, deforestation and water shortages. And in Australia, an enormous US-backed gas development is linked to a glut of fracking activity that has divided communities and brought a new wave of industrialization next to the cherished Great Barrier Reef.

“While Obama can claim the US is the world’s leader on climate change – at least until Donald Trump enters the White House – it is also clear that it has become a major funder of fossil fuels that are having a serious impact upon people’s lives. This is the unexpected story of how Obama’s legacy is playing out overseas.” –Sonali Prasad, Jason Burke, Michal Slezak, and Oliver Milman.

Sasan ultra mega power project, Madhya Pradesh, India

A villager living near the Sasan mine’s overburdened dumpsite pleads for relief and rehabilitation from the pollution hazards of the coal mine. Photograph: Sidharth M Vhavle for the Guardian

“A hulking thermal power plant funded by American money shimmers in orange when night settles in India’s coal-rich district of Singrauli. A heavy blanket of smog wraps around the industrial district and its residents.” –Sonali Prasad.  Continue reading (there’s lots more):  Obama’s dirty secret: the fossil fuel projects the US littered around the world

Impoverished villagers of Harrahawa and Siddhikhurd living in close proximity in to the Sasan power plant complain of polluted air and toxic well water. Photograph: Sidharth M Vhavle for the Guardian

Playing Chicken With Hothouse Extinction — Obama’s Shameful Shell Drilling Approval

It has seemed all along that Obama lacks background in the natural sciences. He often appears to lack the understanding that would let him fully accept the real dangers of global warming. Instead, he believes the topic is important because of the concerns of his advisers and voters. Thus, it is something that he can use politically for bargaining and negotiations.

robertscribbler

Earlier this week President Obama made one of the worst decisions of his presidency. He decided to ignore the concerns of thousands of protesters and more than 60 percent of the American public over the issue of climate change. He decided to approve a dangerous plunging of new wells into unstable, clathrate-laden seabeds in the Arctic. Effectively, he’s deciding to play a dangerous game of chicken with a natural world that’s been riled and wounded by climate change. And in this game he puts us all at risk.

It’s a bad move that sends all the wrong signals. It demonstrates an attachment to the old, limited resource dominance based, policies that cause so many problems and that keep us dependent on fossil fuels for far too long.

Shell Drilling approved for Arctic

(Shell is now approved to poke holes into the Arctic seabed in a mad, climate-destroying, quest for oil. The Arctic, overall, is…

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38 federal agencies reveal their vulnerabilities to climate change — and what they’re doing about it

GR:  Interesting that NASA worries that climate change might interfere with the agency’s ability to launch.  Good.  Shut ’em down and focus on Earth until we resolve the multitude of crises we have right here.

Chris Mooney,The Washington Post:  “The Obama administration published a small library’s worth of climate change documents on Friday, outlining 38 federal agencies’ vulnerabilities to global warming and how they will address them — as well as a separate and even larger set of new government-wide plans to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and achieve new targets for sustainability.

“In sum, the reports represent over a thousand pages of climate change threat assessment and sustainability planning by a vast federal complex that collectively operates 360,000 buildings, maintains 650,000 vehicles and spends $25 billion on energy costs per year.

“In many cases, the vulnerabilities revealed are stark. The Department of Agriculture, for instance, sees “the potential for up to 100 percent increase in the number of acres burned annually by 2050″ by wildfires, according to its new adaptation report. The agency notes that fire suppression expenditures have already grown from 13 percent of the Forest Service’s budget in 1991 to 40 percent of it today, and says the service’s other operations are imperiled by the continual demand to throw more resources at fires.”

Source: trove.com