Extreme Climate and Weather Events Of 2012


World’s Oil Spills List

Source: http://www.politicolnews.com/worlds-oil-spill-list/#ixzz24aiKpygV

The World’s Oil Spills List. Courtesy of the Marine Group 1967

1967 March 18 – UNITED KINGDOM – The Torrey Canyon ran aground off Cornwall spilling 80,000 tonnes (919,000 barrels) of crude.

1970 March 20 – SWEDEN – At least 438,000 barrels of oil spilled in a collision involving the Othello in Tralhavet Bay.

1972 December 19 – OMAN – After a collision with Brazilian tanker Horta Barbosa the South Korean tanker Sea Star spilled about 840,000 barrels of crude into the Gulf of Oman.

1976December 15 – USA – The Argo Merchant ran aground off Nantucket spilling 183,000 barrels of oil and causing a slick 160 km (100 miles) long and 97 km wide.

1977 February 25 – PACIFIC – The Liberian-registered Hawaiian Patriot caught fire in the Northern Pacific spilling 723,000 barrels.

1978 March 16 – FRANCE – About 1.6 million barrels of crude spilled after the Amoco Cadiz ran aground near Portsall in France’sworst ever tanker accident. The resulting slick eventually covered 125 miles of Breton coast.

1979 June 3 – MEXICO – An estimated 140 million gallons of oil spilled from an exploratory well in the Gulf of Mexico, 80 km NW of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche.?July 19 – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – About 2.2 million barrels of crude spilled after a collision off Tobago between the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain.

1983 August 6 – SOUTH AFRICA – Fire broke out on the Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver and 1.8 million barrels of light crude burnt off the coast at Cape Town.

1989 March 24 – USA – The Exxon Valdez hit rocks in Prince William Sound spilling some 240,000 barrels of crude oil onto Alaskan shores.?December 19 – MOROCCO – After explosions and a fire Iranian tanker Kharg-5 was abandoned spilling 70,000 tonnes of crude oil, endangering the coast and oyster beds at Oualidia.

1990 February 7 – USA – The tanker, American Trader, leaked 300,000 gallons of crude from a gash in the hull causing an oil slick 22 km long polluting Bosa Chica, one of southern California’s?biggest nature reserves.

1991 January 26 – KUWAIT – An estimated 240 million gallons of oil were spilled from terminals, tankers and oil wells during the final phase of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.?

May 28 – ANGOLA/LIBERIA – A Liberian-registered supertanker, ABT Summer, leaked oil after an explosion off Angola causing an oil slick 17 nautical miles by three.

1992 March 2 – UZBEKISTAN – An estimated 88 million gallons of oil spilled from an oil well at Fergana Valley.?September 19 – INDONESIA – Liberian-registered tanker Nagasaki Spirit collided with container Ocean Blessing in the Malacca Straits spilling some 12,000 tonnes of crude.?

December 3 – SPAIN – Greek tanker Aegean Sea ran aground and broke in two near La Coruna spilling most of its 80,000 tons cargo of oil.?

1993  January 5 — UNITED KINGDOM – Oil poured on to the coast of northern Scotland’s Shetland Islands after the 89,000-ton Liberian-registered Braer hit rocks in heavy seas. The tanker carried 84,500 tons of crude oil. A huge oil slick stretched 25 miles (40 km) up the coast.

January 21 — SINGAPORE / INDONESIA / MALAYSIA – The 255,312-ton Singapore-registered tanker Maersk Navigator collided with the empty tanker Sanko Honour in the Andaman Sea en route from Oman to Japan. It was carrying a cargo of nearly 2 million barrels of oil. Its ruptured port side leaked burning oil and spread a slick up to 35 miles (56 km) long off Sumatra drifting towards India’s Nicobar Islands.

February 11 — NETHERLANDS – Up to 30,000 seabirds were feared killed by a paraffin oil slick thought to have been discharged by a passing ship during the past two weeks. It was the worst oil spill off the Dutch coast in five years.

March 9 — GERMANY/POLAND – The wreck of the Jan Heweliusz, a Polish ferry which sank in the Baltic off Germany on January 14, began leaking oil. The ship was estimated to have up to 80 tons of fuel on board.

June 3 — BELGIUM / UNITED KINGDOM – Seven crewmen from a British tanker, the British Trent, burned to death in a blazing sea of petrol about 15 miles (24km) off Ostend after a collision with a Panamanian bulk carrier in thick fog. Two other crewmen were missing and presumed dead. Belgian environmental officials and the ship’s owner, British Petroleum, played down pollution dangers. The tanker was loaded with 24,000 tons of petrol, which poured out of a hole in the port bow.

August 19 — FRANCE – An oil slick off the French Riviera after a collision between a nuclear submarine and a supertanker was brought under control with no danger to beaches. The collision on August 17 caused two spills, one off Fos-sur-Mer and one farther out.

October 15 — GREECE – Oil leaked from the Greek tanker Iliad killed wildlife and destroyed fish farms in the bay of Pylos. A three-mile-long (4.8 km) oil slick was caused when the tanker ran aground off the island of Spaktiria on October 9.

1994 January 7 — PUERTO RICO – The Morris J. Furhman, a barge carrying about 1.5 million gallons of fuel oil, went aground off the northern side of the capital city harbor. 750,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil had been spilled and had spread to cover a six-mile (9.6 km) stretch of shore. Conado Beach, the Conado lagoon and San Juan Bay were all polluted.

March 6 — THAILAND – About 105,670 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the sea some four miles (6.4 km) off the eastern Sriracha coast after a chartered oil tanker and an unidentified cargo ship collided. The tanker, the Visahakit 5, was carrying about 1.06 million gallons of diesel and liquefied petroleum gas.

March 16 — TURKEY – A cleanup effort was begun to scoop patches of crude from the Bosphorus waterway and remove oil washed onto shore after a fiery collision on March 13 between the tanker Nassia and the freighter Shipbroker, both Cypriot-flagged. The accident, the worst in the Bosphorus in 15 years, killed 29 crewmen.

March 31 — UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – 15,900 tons of crude oil leaked into the Arabian Sea after the Panamanian-flagged supertanker Seki spilled the crude 10 miles (16 km) off the UAE port of Fujairah, just outside the Gulf, when it collided with the UAE tanker Baynunah, which was in ballast. Oil reached the UAE coast north of Khor Fakkan close to the Strait of Hormuz. The oil slick severely polluted several beaches and threatened more than 25 miles (40 km) of coastline.

May 8 — VIETNAM – The 1,220-ton Vietnamese Chanoco I, carrying 1,012 tons of fuel oil, and a 10,000-ton Taiwanese ship Unihumanity collided in the Long Tau river near Ho Chi Minh City. About 200 tons spilled into the river from the Vietnamese ship causing a 200-ton oil slick, which killed fish and other wildlife.

June 14 — INDIA – Indian authorities began siphoning off 700 tons of oil from the Sea Transporter, a 6,000-ton Greek cargo ship which had been anchored off Aguada after it ran aground following a cyclone on June 5.

June 23 — SOUTH AFRICA – An oil slick washing ashore on Dassen Island threatened a colony of endangered Jackass penguins and polluted mainland beaches. It was confirmed on June 28 that the Apollo Sea, a Chinese bulk carrier that was believed to have sunk on June 20 shortly after leaving Saldanha Bay, was the source of Cape Town’s worst oil pollution disaster.

August 11 — UNITED STATES – The Columbus Iselin, a ship conducting oil spill research, ran aground in the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary off the Florida Keys and was leaking fuel.

October 2 — PORTUGAL – A Panamanian registered tanker, Cercal, spilled about 2,000 tons of crude into the sea after striking a rock on its way into Leixoes harbor, in the northern city of Oporto. The oil badly polluted one beach near the entrance to Leixoes port and smaller quantities of oil came ashore on other parts of the coast near Oporto.

October 17 — CHINA – 1,000 meters of beaches and reefs at Dongshan, a resort area at Qinhuangdao in Hebei province were polluted by an oil spill blamed on the Huahai Number Two tanker, owned by the state-run Huahai Company of Beijing.

1995  June 5 — SINGAPORE – About 100 tons of fuel oil leaked from a bunker fuel barge after it collided with the freighter Sun Pulse. The fuel oil had begun washing up on the island’s east coast.
July 11 — AUSTRALIA – An ore carrier, the Iron Baron, ran aground on a reef in southern Australian waters, spilling more than 500 tons of fuel oil and causing a major pollution scare for the island state of Tasmania. Thousands of fairy penguins were fouled with oil.
July 25 — SOUTH KOREA – Oil leaking from the 275,782 deadweight ton Sea Prince, a burning tanker off South Korea, formed a slick 20 miles (32 km) in diameter. The ship was loaded with 83,000 tons of crude oil. It was drifting toward the country’s best known sea resort. 700 tons of fuel oil estimated to have been leaked.
February 15 — UNITED KINGDOM – The coast guard called a full environmental alert when the 147,000 deadweight ton Liberian-registered Sea Empress with a crew of 28 Russians hit rocks near the port of Milford Haven, Wales. The tanker, operated by Acomarit, had been carrying 130,000 tons of light crude oil. On February 20 an estimated 40,000 tons of crude oil spilled — a third of its cargo — creating a four-mile (six km) oil slick.

March 19 — UNITED STATES – A barge operated by Buffalo Marine Services Inc. and loaded with about 210,000 gallons of fuel oil ruptured as it sailed through the Houston Ship Channel. About 4,200 gallons of oil spilled into Galveston Bay, causing a five-mile-long (eight km) oil slick.

1997 January 7 — JAPAN – Coastal fishing villages in North western Japan braced for economic and environmental catastrophe as oil slicks from sunken Russian tanker Nakhodka coated beaches and threatened prized shellfish beds. The spill from the ruptured tanker leaked 5,200 tons (36,400 barrels) of heavy fuel oil.

July 2 — JAPAN – A super tanker struck a shallow reef in Tokyo Bay, a famed fishing ground, leaking an estimated 1500 tons of crude oil.

October 15 — SINGAPORE – A tanker carrying 120.000 tonnes of fuel oil collides with an empty VLCC. More than 25.000 tonnes of oil leak out from the vessel, and despite huge amounts of dispersant chemicals being applied both from the air and from vessels, the beaches of several smaller islands off Singapore are covered with greasy sludge.

1998  January 12 — NIGERIA – 40,000 barrels of oil spilled from a ruptured pipeline to one of Mobil’s terminals. Even though most of the oil had either evaporated or dispersed within the 10 days that followed, some communities in the politically-volatile region complained that fish had been poisoned by the spilled oil and fishing nets destroyed. The spill is considered the largest ever in Nigeria.

?1999?December 12 – FRANCE – The Maltese-registered tanker Erika breaks up in stormy seas, and an estimated 15,000 tonnes of oil are drifting towards France’s Atlantic shore. The slick is expected to hit the tiny Nourmoutier and Ile d’Yeu islands on Christmas Day, with disastrous consequences for fishing and tourism. Strong winds and currents and the heavy texture of the oil, have hampered an international flotilla battling to mop up the fast-spreading slick. Gales have since smeared the black slime over hundreds of miles of coast, covering beaches and picturesque wild coastline in sticky oil and threatening fisheries and beds of oysters, mussels and other shellfish.

December 27 – TURKEY – A Maltese-registered tanker carrying 45,753 tons of oil ran aground at the mouth of the Bosporus strait across Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, the Turkish Daily News reported. Murat Zafer Cetintas, head of the Organization of Eco-Warriors and the Environment, was quoted as saying that if necessary precautions are not taken, the city will face serious problems.

December 27 – ANGOLA – An offshore oil spill is approaching the Angolan coast, posing a threat to the fishing industry. Radio Ecclesia said the spill, which occurred in the Atlantic Ocean oil fields off Cabinda province, was advancing towards the coast.


2000 January 4 – TURKEY – Fuel oil blackened kilometres of Istanbul’s coast along the Bosporus after a Russian-registered tanker split apart in the strait that cuts through Istanbul. About 900 tons of fuel oil had spilled before it stopped pouring out of the Volganeft 248, and oil could be seen along five kilometers of the coast. Turkey is trying to reduce oil tanker traffic in the strait, through which about 440 million barrels of oil are transported each year. Some 200 accidents over the last decade in the strait have caused oil spills and fires that sometimes shut down the strait.

January 18 – BRASIL – At least 130,000 gallons of crude oil spewed out of a broken pipeline, polluting beaches and endangering plant and animal life in what authorities called the worst ecological disaster to hit Rio de Janeiro state in a decade. The oil covered at least three miles of coastline, affecting at least two beaches and a mangrove swamp rich in animal and plant species.

January 24 – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – The Honduran-flagged cargo vessel Al Jazya 1 sank 4 miles east of Abu Dhabi’s coast, laden with 980 tons of fuel oil. The tanker sank in bad weather, leaving an oil spill of around 2000 feet by 400 feet. The Federal Environmental Agency said it is still too early to assess the extent of damage caused by the slick on marine life and birds.

February 2 – BOLIVIA – A flash flood broke a crude oil pipeline, spilling hundreds of barrels of oil into the Desaguadero River that flows into Lake Poopo, the government reported. The pipeline is operated by Transredes, which sent several experts to help contain the oil and assess the damage it is causing to a river inhabited by pink flamingoes and other birds. The oil spill had reached Aymara Indian communities located dozens of miles downriver, and is expected to reach Lake Poopo shortly.

February 2 – PHILIPPINES – After running aground on January 24th on the coast of Sual town in Lingayen Gulf, the Singapore-owned vessel MV Nol Schedar was suspected to have left behind an oil slick after she was floated on February 2nd. The spill was later said to have destroyed 2,700 metres of coral reefs and other marine resources, and the case is pending in court.

February 7 – BRAZIL – Brazilian authorities scrambled to avert an environmental disaster in the Amazon jungle, after a barge holding nearly 500,000 gallons (1.8 million liters) of oil sunk to the bottom of the world’s largest river network. “Environmental advisers are working alongside diving teams to prevent ecological damage,” said Mauricio Andres Ribeiro at Brazil’s environment ministry.

April 1 – INDONESIA – About 160.000 kilolitres of crude oil leaked out from the tanker “King Fisher”, after it hit a reef while approaching the Pertamina port in Cilacapan, at the Southern coast of Central Java. One thousand people are involved in cleaning up more than 25 km of shoreline, including popular tourist areas.

April 7 – UNITED STATES – Some 111,000 gallons of oil spilled near Pepco’s Chalk Point Generating Station, affecting shorelines of the Patuxent River in southern Maryland. Some 6 1/2 miles of oil containment booms were positioned in the river and at the entrance to several creeks, and an estimated 80,000 gallons of spilled oil were recovered in 24-hour-a-day operations since the leak occurred.

June 23 – SOUTH AFRICA – Environmentalists were scrambling to rescue thousands of jackass penguins from an oil spill off Cape Town, just six years after the population was devastated by a similar disaster. The oil spill began when the bulk carrier Treasure carrying some 1,400 tonnes of oil sank off the coast of Cape Town. The spill is washing straight into Robben Island, home to about 5,700 pairs of jackass penguins.

July 6th – UNITED STATES – 14.000 gallons of oil has spilled from a collision between a barge and a tug that was towing it, off Middletown, Rhode Island. A ban on fishing is in effect in one of the most fertile areas of Narragansett Bay, and it’s only been four years since the worst oil spill in Rhode Island history, when 828-thousand gallons spilled, killing more than ten (m) million lobsters and prompting a ban on fishing for five months.

July 16th – BRAZIL – The country is suffering one of its worst oil spills ever, as more than 1 million gallons of crude has leaked from a refinery into a river near the southern city of Curitiba. State-run oil company Petrobras said a pipe broke, spewing oil for up to two hours into the Barigui River, a tributary of the Iguacu River, 390 miles upstream from Iguacu Falls, a major tourist attraction. Television images showed a completely blackened river winding through the countryside.

July 25th – BRAZIL – A large oil slick again spread over Rio’s postcard-famous Guanabara Bay on Tuesday, the third oil spill there this year. The slick was broken up in patches across an area of more than 20 square miles, environmentalists said. It washed up on beaches within the bay, and stretched out into the open sea.

August 1 – CANADA – Residents of the town of Chetwynd were told to conserve water , as officials surveyed the damage from a massive oil spill into a pristine river in northern British Columbia. Chetwynd stopped pumping water from the Pine River as the first traces of the estimated 264,600 gallons (one million liters ) of crude oil spilled in a pipeline break on Tuesday reached the community of about 3,000 people. The heavy oil had also begun killing some of the river’s fish, which are a key food supply for eagles and other wildlife in the region.

August 8 – UNITED STATES – U.S. Coast Guard investigators boarded ships in Miami and Port Everglades, trying to determine which crew dumped oil off the South Florida coast, creating the area’s worst oil spill in at least a decade. The oil contaminated 15 miles of beach, and all beaches along the 15-mile stretch were closed when the oil was discovered. Some endangered and threatened sea turtles are about to hatch, and oily debris block their path to the ocean.

September 2 – MALAYSIA – A major cleanup is underway following an oil spill from a sunken Chinese cargo ship at Tanjung Po anchorage point at the Sarawak River mouth. The ill-fated 5,000 ton Kingston registered vessel Double Brave was loaded with about 116 tons of diesel oil when it sank after a collision with a barge being towed by a tugboat. About 60 workers from the Marine Department, Department of Environment, and the Kuching Port Authority had been helping in the clean-up operation.

September 4 – GREECE – Greek authorities raced against time to prevent an environmental disaster, following a fuel oil spill from a sunken cargo ship off a popular stretch of tourist beaches northeast of Athens. Miles of coastline was threatened by the spill, which came from the Cambodian-registered cement carrier Eurobulker X. The 35,264 dwt vessel broke in half a week earlier, while loading cement at Lefkandi port, central Greece. It was the second spill inside a week, following a smaller spill from a grounded freighter off the island of Kythira.

September 14 – UNITED STATES – Wind and high waves spread a 30,000-gallon oil spill across Sandy Hook Bay, thwarting efforts to contain and clean up the mess. An overnight storm upset booms that had been set out to contain the fuel, which spilled when a tugboat put a 4-foot gash in a Navy ship, the USS Detroit. Navy Cmdr. Chuck Caudill said the oil was so dispersed that Navy skimmers could not pick up measurable amounts. The spill is one of the largest ever in the bay, and the state has banned harvesting of shellfish in the area until further notice.

October 2 – SWEDEN – Swedish environmentalists are warning that an oil spill could harm seals in the Baltic Sea’s Gotska Sandoen national park, as park rangers discovered an oil belt about 12 miles long. Big lumps of oil had covered about 90 percent of the beaches of Gotska Sandoen, an island about 60 miles off the southeastern coast of Sweden. The Swedish coast guard was investigating the source of the spill, and it was not known how many gallons of oil spilled.

October 4 – INDONESIA – An estimated 7.000 tons of oil has been spilled in Indonesian waters off the Batu Berhanti Beacon, after a Panama registered tanker, Natuna Sea, ran aground damaging 4 of its cargo tanks. An oil boom of 300 m length has been deployed around the tanker, but this could not prevent the oil from escaping in a South-westerly direction. Some patches of the oil have since reached Singapore, and clean-up actions have, amongst others, commenced on the beaches of Sentosa, Singapore’s famous tourist resort.

November 4th – BRAZIL – Brazil’s state oil giant Petrobras, criticized for a string of spills this year, suffered another leak when a tanker dumped 13,200 gallons of crude near a popular beach resort area, local media said. The accident caused a slick measuring some 492 feet, and posed a risk for the region’s bustling beach resorts nearby.

November 14th – HONG KONG – Some 230 cubic metres of heavy oil leaked into the sea north of Hongkong’s Lantau Island, after a small Chinese oil freighter collided with a Norwegian vessel?and sank. The oil slick covering an area of 10,000 square metres, and some had reached the 12-sq-km Sha Chau marine park, a dolphin sanctuary.

November 28th – UNITED STATES – A tanker spilled half a million gallons of crude oil into the Mississippi River, closing a busy shipping route for 26 miles and threatening wildlife. No injuries were reported, but some pelicans and other animals were found covered with oil. The area is home to pelicans, shorebirds, seabirds, crabs, shrimp and sport fish, as well as more than 100,000 wintering waterfowl. The 567,000-gallon spill is the largest in U.S. waters since the Exxon Valdez in March 1989.

December 15th – NORWAY – A Norwegian freighter runs aground off the city of Haugesund, spilling some 100 tonnes of fuel oil which immediately hit the nearby coastlines. Heavy weather tempers the initial response actions, but reports say some 70 tonnes have since been recovered by means of using oil skimmers. The authorities are contemplating to have the remaining 300 tonnes of oil removed from the ship, to prevent the risk of further pollution. Meanwhile, several thousand metres of oil booms have been deployed for containment and protection.

2001?January 14 – TAIWAN – Taiwan is racing against time to avert an ecological disaster and a major setback to its tourism industry, following the island’s worst oil spill. Some 1,150 tonnes of fuel oil gushed out of a Greece-registered ship carrying 60,000 tonnes of iron ore, after it ran aground off the Kenting National Park. Marine mammals in the area, such as dolphins, are highly endangered by the spill. The crisis also threatens the operation of a nearby nuclear power plant, and risks cross-strait disputes if the spillage spreads to the Chinese coast.

January 15 – NORWAY – One of the largest oil spills ever from a land based oil storage facility in Norway, was detected when at least 750 tons of sludge had leaked from Norcem’s facilities at Brevik. By the afternoon, some 100 tons had been recovered within the containment area around the tank, whilst another 190 tons had been recovered from the sea. The recovery operations are continuing, under close scrutiny from the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority.

January 16 – ECUADOR – A boat carrying fuel to Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands is leaking oil into the ecologically sensitive waters near the famous islands. The boat, named “Jessica”, was carrying 160,000 gallons of diesel and about 80,000 gallons of IFO 120.The spill has already affected animals including sea lions and pelicans, and volunteers are on standby to clean up and rescue them.

February 16 – INDONESIA – The Coast Guard authorities are working to re-float an oil tanker that ran aground in rough seas off Indonesia’s Java island. The Honduras-registered Steadfast partially sank in shallow waters, when it was battered by massive waves and winds off Tegal, some 250 km east of Jakarta. Roughly 40 per cent of an estimated 800 tonnes of sump oil had leaked from the ship and reached the shore, and a joint clean-up operation involving local vessels, Coast Guard and police authorities is underway.

March 20 – BRAZIL – Up to 316,000 gallons of diesel has leaked after the world’s largest offshore platform sank five days after a failed rescue effort. A huge diesel slick appeared on the surface when the platform sank to bottom of the ocean floor, almost a mile down. This was just another in a series of oil spills that have plagued the state owned Petrobras in recent months.

March 25 – DENMARK – More than 764,000 gallons of oil spilled after a double-hulled tanker carrying 9.7 million gallons of oil, and a freighter crashed in international waters between eastern Denmark and northwest Germany. A slick about 9.3 miles long and 161/2-feet wide slipped into the narrow Groensund strait between the Danish islands of Moen, Bogoe and Falster, while the bulk of the oil remained in the Baltic Sea off southern Denmark. As ships from three countries worked to contain the oil spill, an international conservation group said that a sanctuary home to thousands of ducks, swans and other water fowl was under threat by the oil slick, the largest ever in Denmark.

April 6 – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Workers have started to clean a 12-kilometer-radius oil spill reaching the reserved island of Sir Bou Neair, about 70 nautical miles off the coast of the Emirate of Sharjah. The spill was caused by the Iraqi fuel tanker Zainab, suspected of smuggling around 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil from Iraq, as it ran into trouble on its way to a holding area in international waters. The emirate of Sharjah said it had temporarily shut down a desalination plant as a precautionary measure, after the spill neared pumping stations. The spill is said to be the emirate’s worst environmental disaster in years.

May 24 – BRAZIL – Petrobras, infamous for a series of spills over the past two years, shut 12 oil rigs, responsible for nearly 9 percent of Brazil’s oil output, Thursday night after detecting an oil slick on the ocean surface. There were two oil slicks some 90 km off the coast, one of approximately 110,000 liters and another of some 10,000 liters of crude. The source of the spill has yet to be determined, but officials are ruling out any relation to the huge oil rig that sank in March.

May 25 – CHILE – An oil tanker that ran aground in a remote southern Chilean fjord has spilled some 350,528 litres of crude, leaving an oil slick 70 miles (112 km) long and damaging wildlife and a salmon farm, the Chilean Navy has admitted. Maritime authorities initially dismissed the incident, saying the leak had been negligible and had caused no damage to the environment. But the Navy later admitted the spill was worse than initially announced.

May 28 – MALAYSIA – An oil tanker with some 67 tonnes of fuel, including diesel and 1,500 tonnes of bitumen, sunk after it was crashed from behind by a super tanker about 7.5 nautical miles off Pulau Undan, near Malacca. Officials said the crash caused MT Singapura Timur to take in water, and remained half-submerged in the sea floating southwards. Diesel and bitumen have started to spill into the sea, and is spreading to about one nautical mile from the collision spot.

May 30 – BRAZIL- Oil giant Petrobras said a break in its Paulinia pipeline dumped 220,000 liters of fuel oil in a residential neighborhood. The spill, which occurred 30 kilometers from the city of Sao Paulo, follows two unexplained and unclaimed oil spills in the Campos Basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

May 30 – CHINA – Chinese environmental experts are struggling to contain damage from toxic styrene which leaked from a ship, and fishermen along the eastern coast fear their livelihoods could be threatened for years to come. About 700 tonnes of the chemical, which is poisonous to humans, seeped into the waters near Shanghai after a South Korean vessel collided with a Hong Kong. State media said the South Korean freighter Dayong was carrying nearly 2,300 tonnes of styrene when it collided with the Hong Kong vessel in dense fog at the mouth of the Yangtze River, near Jigujiao.

June 10 – PHILIPPINES – An oil spill in Cavite is threatening to contaminate Laguna de Bay, caused by a bursting oil pipeline of an industrial and electronics firm at the People’s Technological Complex in Barangay Maduya, Carmona town. The oil spill has already affected a six-kilometer stretch of Carmona-Biñan River, just a few kilometers away from the Laguna Bay. Aside from the affected river, the spilling bunker oil and industrial fuel oil also affected land base areas surrounding the firm.

June 13 – MALAYSIA – An Indonesian tanker laden with a toxic chemical has capsized off Malaysia’s southern Johor state, just across from Singapore. The 533 ton MV Endah Lestari was on its way to East Kalimantan in Indonesia with some 600 tonnes of the poisonous industrial chemical phenol, and 18 tonnes of diesel. Newspaper reports said the toxic spill had killed thousands of fish and cockles reared in 85 offshore cages, and Singapore authorities have also warned its citizens to stay away from nearby waters. Officials said it would be tough to mop up the phenol, as it is soluble in water.

August 4 – USA – A fishing vessel that has sunk and is leaking diesel fuel has caused the biggest spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound since the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, posing a threat to the area’s wildlife. The Seattle-based Windy Bay was loaded with about 35,000 gallons (133,000 liters) of diesel fuel when it struck a rock and sank in the northern part of the sound about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of the port of Valdez. Just how much leaked was unknown, but diesel fuel leaking from the ship has created a sheen covering 4 square miles (10 sq km), and cleanup crews has recovered about 9,700 gallons (36,800 liters).

August 10 – MICRONESIA – A sunken World War II ship has been gushing 300 to 500 gallons of oil per hour into the Ulithi Atoll lagoon. The cause of the spill is the USS Mississinewa, a 553-foot Navy oiler sunk in 1944 by a one-man Japanese suicide submarine. Yap State officials said the state’s governor has declared a state of emergency for Ulithi and advised the 700 people who live on the atoll not to swim or fish in the lagoon. Questions have been raised who should bear the responsibility for taking relevant action, with focus on getting international assistance to clean-up and minimize the environmental and ecological impacts.

September 7 – VIETNAM – Local residents in small boats used buckets to try to collect thousands of tons of oil from a damaged oil tanker and save the nearby beach resort of Vung Tau, after The Vietnamese Petrolimex 01 tanker, carrying 19,000 tons of diesel oil, was hit by a Liberian-registered oil tanker. But wind and waves drove much of the spilled oil to the beach, which normally attracts thousands of vacationers a day.

September 22 – USA – An oil spill caused by a collision between a ship and a barge closed the ship channel servicing the nation’s second largest port. The fuel oil spill occurred at Barbour’s Cut in La Porte, Texas, and some 860 barrels of fuel oil leaked into the channel. About 18,000 feet of boom were set up to contain the oil, and skimmers were removing it. Containment and cleanup operations involved more than 70 people.

October 4 – USA – Crews were slowed by explosive vapors as they tried to plug a leak in the trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline that spewed nearly 300,000 gallons of oil into the wilderness. A man who had been drinking caused the leak when he shot the pipeline with a big-game rifle. The pipeline carries about 1 million barrels of oil a day, prompting a halt to almost a fifth of U.S. domestic production.?

October 18 – BRAZIL – Brazilian and foreign teams prepared to begin salvaging a tanker that hit underwater rocks, spewing a highly flammable oil product into the sea and forcing closure of the country’s primary port for grain shipments. State oil giant Petrobras, which owns the tanker, said about 103,000 gallons (392,000 litres) of naphtha, an oil product lighter than gasoline, spilled into the Paranagua port area, some 380 miles (600 km) southwest of Rio.

November 21 – GERMANY – Almost 2,000 tonnes of nitric acid has spilled into the Rhine river, when motor tank barge Stolt Rotterdam sank during a disastrous discharging operation. The 1988-built chemical tanker was discharging the acid at Erdoelchemie Uerdingen when crew noticed fumes coming from the bottom of the barge. An emergency response was initiated, but a store room caught fire, forcing the crew and everyone in the surrounding area to evacuate as the vessel sank, emptying 1,895 tonnes of nitric acid into the river.

December 11 – FINLAND – Oil from a spill off the country’s west coast has washed ashore on some 1.24 miles of Ruissalo island’s coastline, and the spill is now three kilometers long and a kilometer wide. 10 vessels are involved in operations to contain and sweep up the oil, but the source of the spill is still unknown.

2002? January 22 – THAILAND – A huge oil slick has hit beaches in Thailand’s Rayong Bay, a popular holiday spot south-east of the capital Bangkok, and is also said to be threatening the nearby resort island of Samet. Some 100,000 litres of oil had spilled from the Panama-registered tanker Eastern Fortitude when it hit a rock in Rayong Bay a week earlier. Authorities have struggled to clean up the slick, now estimated to be at least 400 m wide and about 3 km long, but complained they were not alerted to the accident until too late.

February 8 – UNITED STATES – A ship that sank nearly 50 years ago is to blame for a mystery oil spill that has killed more than 1,300 birds since November. The Coast Guard matched oil samples taken from the SS Jacob Luckenbach, located about 17 miles southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, to those taken from oiled birds and the oil sheen that has colored the water. Just a drop or two of oil on a bird’s feathers can break the animal’s insulating layer and lead to hypothermia.

February 9 – NEW ZEALAND – A major clean-up operation is under way after a cargo ship?carrying more than 700 tonnes of fuel ran aground a few hundred metres from the north island port of Gisborne. Already, several tonnes of thick black oil has drifted 400 metres to shore, polluting nearby rivers, beaches and coastline and sending noxious fumes over dozens of houses. Whilst conservation staff have already rescued a number of birds affected by oil in a local creek, wildlife casualties are expected to be inevitable.

April 4 – JAPAN – A flotilla of ships has raced to contain an oil slick off Japan’s western coast before it washes ashore. The 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) long spill has been slowly moving towards the coast since it bubbled to the surface from a Belize-registered cargo ship that sank four days earlier, after colliding with a fishing boat. Officials earlier said the spill would likely hit the coast, but did not know when or where.

April 6 – USA – Strong wind hampered cleanup efforts as workers tried to contain a 90,000-gallon crude oil spill off the southeast Louisiana coast. Four-foot waves made it difficult for skimmers to collect the oil, but the Coast Guard said about 6,720 gallons had been recovered. No damage to wildlife had been reported, but officials expected there to be some shoreline impact.

June 12 – SINGAPORE – A collision between Thailand-registered freighter MV Hermion and Singapore-registered bunker tanker Neptank VII has caused about 450 tonnes of marine fuel oil to spill into the south-eastern waters of Singapore. Clean-up operations by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have largely contained the oil spill, but broken patches of oil remained visible in the Singapore Straits, and oil booms were placed off the waters of Marina Bay and Sentosa.

July 31 – ROMANIA – Tons of oil gushed into a river in southern Romania after torrential rains damaged a pipeline. The spill occurred in the Prahova River near the village of Manesti, some 50 kilometers north of the capital, Bucharest. The water damaged the pipeline near a refinery owned by a state oil company, Conpet. Authorities placed dams along the Prahova to prevent oil from spilling into the Danube River, and police guarded the area overnight to prevent people from throwing flammable objects into the river.

September 12 – SOUTH AFRICA – Salvage teams and ecologists are battling to contain a spill of oil and chemicals from a blazing cargo vessel, and to prevent tides from pushing the spill into the pristine Saint Lucia wetlands, a wildlife sanctuary nearby. Wildlife officials have warned that a serious oil spill could pollute the Umfolozi River and a nearby estuary, and damage mangroves, crocodiles, hippos and a turtle nesting area in the park. Reefs off the area are also popular among scuba divers for their wide variety of fish.

November 13 – SPAIN – Four tugs have failed in their attempts to rescue a leaking oil tanker with 77.000 tonnes of fuel aboard, which later broke in two and sank off the northwestern coast of Spain. The Prestige, Greek-owned and registered in the Bahamas, has leaked most of its cargo, and the oil is washing up on the Galician shores and approaching the coastlines of Portugal and France. All fishing activities have been banned in the area, and the incident is fast becoming one of the worst ecological disasters ever to happen.

November 23 – CHINA – A Chinese ship has collided with a Maltese-registered oil tanker, spreading an oil slick 2.5 miles by 1.4 miles across the Bohai sea. The Tianjin Maritime Bureau sent seven vessels to clean up the spill at the accident site. Preliminary inquiries indicate the Tasman Sea tanker, which was bound for Tianjin carrying 80.000 tons of oil, was anchored off the coast when the accident took place.

December 5 – SINGAPORE – A potentially disastrous crude oil spill in Singapore waters was contained to just 350 tonnes when a small general cargo vessel collided with a heavily-laden single-hulled tanker in the middle of the Singapore Straits. Two oil slicks measuring 2.5kmx300m and 2.5kmx500m were spotted in Indonesian waters off the island of Bintan.

2003?February 14 – USA – Clean up operations are underway at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge after an underground corroded pipeline fitting released as many as 100,000 gallons of fuel in the fuel farm area last week. The atoll provides nesting and resting habitat for almost two million seabirds, as well as important habitat for migratory shorebirds, threatened green sea turtles, and endangered Hawaiian monk seals. Since almost all of the spill is underground, however, impact to wildlife has so far been minimal, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

March 18 – AUSTRALIA – A large oil spill is threatening to pollute the Brisbane River, where up to 1.5 million litres of crude oil has leaked from a ruptured pipeline at the Santos terminal. Emergency crews have contained the oil to creeks and wetlands in an area of about eight hectares in the Lytton industrial estate. Booms further up the water course had not stopped the oil and the outgoing tide was threatening to drag the slick into the river and Moreton Bay.

March 20 – VIETNAM – Thousands of acres of clam and shrimp farms were in danger after a ship carrying 600 tonnes of fuel oil sank in the river in Ho Chi Minh City, environment officials said. The oil slick spread about seven kilometers towards Can Gio district, home of several aqua-cultural farms. It also spread three kilometers towards Vung Tau province, but has yet to hit the beaches there.?

May 31 – SWEDEN – The Swedish government accused Denmark of reacting too slowly to the sinking of a Chinese vessel in Danish waters near Sweden’s coast, saying the effects of the ensuing oil spill could have been reduced. The Fu Shan Hai bulk carrier went down in Danish waters between the Swedish coast and Denmark’s Bornholm island, following a collision with a Polish freighter. At least 100 tonnes of oil have already leaked out into the water, and a large oil slick gushing from the vessel has hit Sweden’s popular southeastern coast.

June 12 – SINGAPORE – The MV APL Emerald, a 40.077 ton container ship, spilled about 150 tonnes of fuel oil when it ran aground near Horsburgh Lighthouse, in the eastern approaches of the Singapore Straits. Six anti-pollution craft were involved in the clean-up, and oil booms have been laid around the vessel to contain the spill, which has since been contained. The authorities said there was no chance of any fuel reaching Singapore’s shores, about 46km away.

July 12 – RUSSIA – Russian divers are exploring a sunken Japanese tanker that has begun releasing large quantities of oil and threatens to spark an ecological disaster off the west coast of the Pacific island of Sakhalin.
More than two tonnes of fuel have leaked in the past few days from the Takeo Maru, which sank in 1979 off the sea port of Shakhtersk. The leaked oil is floating in the Tatar strait and heading for the coast. With up to 300 tonnes of fuel oil remaining inside the sunken tanker, the Takeo Maru could be an ecological bomb that jeopardizes Russia’s Pacific coastline.

August 13 – PAKISTAN – An oil tanker has broken up off Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port, Karachi, after spilling nearly 10,000 tonnes of oil, sparking fears of lasting damage to local marine life. The Greek-registered MV Tasman Spirit, still carrying 35,000 tonnes of crude oil, split in two around 100 metres from the Karachi port, after running aground on July 27.

Officials said that most of the oil had pooled along Clifton beach, the favourite beach resort among Karachi’s 14 million people. A thick oil slick could be seen snaking from the ship to the shores alongside the port, blackening waves and seeping onto sands. Environmentalists predicted the entire 40 kilometre (25 mile) Karachi coastline could be affected, endangering fish, crabs and rare turtles.


2004 January 19 – PHILIPPINES – An oil spill coming from a diving boat that ran aground at the Apo Manor Reef in December, a protected marine park off Mindoro Island, is threatening to destroy one of the world’s best dive sites.

Residents of Barangay Siblayan in Occidental Mindoro, a nearby coastal town, said that the M/V Island Explorer has started to leak bunker fuel, endangering the reef which serves as a fish nursery and the major source of livelihood of the surrounding communities. The surrounding waters are abundant with marine fauna and luxuriant coral growth with more than 500 coral species. Marine life includes sharks, stingrays and manta rays.

January 20 – NORWAY – A large oil spill has started spreading from the capsized cargo vessel “Rocknes”, that spilled several thousand litres of oil and bunker fuel along the coastline near the city of Bergen. Close to a thousand seabirds have already been found dead or dying, and clean-up crews are working day and night to clean up affected coastlines and prevent the slick from spreading further.
However, due to the immediate search and rescue work that prevented the oil spill response activities from commencing, thick patches of oil have already drifted beyond the reach of the highly sophisticated and efficient Norwegian oil spill response vessels and their equipment.

March 4 – CHINA – Nearly one million people in south-western Sichuan province were without water for drinking and bathing, after chemicals spilled from a factory into an important Yangtze river tributary, state media said.
The authorities shut down water supplies after a mixture of synthetic ammonia and nitrogen from the Sichuan General Chemical Factory leaked into the Tuo river in the densely populated province, the Shanghai Morning Post reported. Water supplies for four residential areas – Jianyang, Zizhong, Neijiang and Luzhou – were severely polluted, and could remain cut for several days, the report said.

October 2 – INDONESIA – An oil spill has swamped a chain of tourist islands off the coast of the Indonesian capital, polluting a marine park and hitting businesses in the area, officials and media reports said. Oil began leaking in the region known as the Thousand Islands, and government officials said the spill may have been caused by leaking oil pipes operated nearby by China National Offshore Oil Corp, or by a mishap loading oil onto tankers. The islands have been hit by at least five oil spills in the past year, driving occupancy rates at some resorts to just about 30 per cent, according to Jakarta Tourism Agency. The oil slick has also hurt fishermen and seaweed farmers in the area, officials said.

October 14 – USA – Emergency crews scrambled to control a massive south Sound oil spill that soiled portions of Tacoma’s Commencement Bay and stretched for miles in a bluish-black sheen, threatening pristine beaches and wildlife on Maury and Vashon islands.
“We have a major oil spill on our hands,” said the spokesman for the state Department of Ecology. “This is a very large, very complex spill.” Officials didn’t know where it came from, who was responsible or exactly how much oil had been spilled.

November 18 – BRAZIL – Workers are rushing to avert an environmental disaster as an oil slick spread from a cargo ship that exploded and broke in half at a port in southern Brazil. Workers found dead fish and dolphins in the toxic slick of fuel oil, diesel fuel and methanol that leaked from the ship. The slick, which blackened rocks and beaches, stretched for more than 20 kilometres from the port of Paranagua, 625 kilometres south-west of Rio de Janeiro. Environmental officials indefinitely banned many maritime activities and grounded the area’s 3000 fishermen.

November 21 – CANADA – Scientists warn the 44,000 gallon oil spill at an oil platform off Canada’s Newfoundland province could kill up to 100,000 seabirds. The spill, coming at a bad time for the birds, occurred at the Terra Nova offshore oil platform as a result of a malfunction.
A few days laster, the slick covered at least 14 square miles. The birds at risk include turrs, dovekeys and black-legged kittiwakes, as well as migrating birds such as shearwaters.

November 26 – USA – A tanker has spilled what was initially estimated as appr. 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, immediately creating a 20-mile slick that threatened fish and birds. But authorities later estimated that it could be as much as 475,000 gallons, leaving a gooey mess that has stained 70 miles of shoreline across three states. More than 1,000 cleanup and emergency responders were called in to skim oil from the surface of the water, and place thousands of feet of barriers to contain the floating slick.

December 7 – CHINA – A collision between two container ships near the mouth of South China’s Pearl River has caused the region’s biggest oil spill in five years. Nearly 450 tonnes are said to have been spilled. Oil was mainly leaking from the fuel tanks of the MSC Ilona, that caused a slick about 17 kilometers long and up to several hundred meters wide. Eight decontamination ships from Guangdong Province are on the spot to deal with the leaking oil, while divers have been dispatched to plug the leak.

December 10 – USA – Thousands of gallons of fuel oil spilling out of a Malaysian freighter that snapped in two off the US state of Alaska have put the Aleutian islands’ fragile ecosystem in jeopardy, fueling fears of an environmental crisis 15 years after the Exxon Valdez disaster.
The Selendang Ayu’s 480,000-gallon (1.8 million-litre) stock of thick fuel was leaking into the water off Unalaska Island, killing cormorants and marine life and leaving a thick and dark coating on beaches. Wildlife in the area includes endangered or threatened species such as Steller sea lions and Steller’s eiders as well as western Alaska sea otters, the population of which is dwindling.

December 20 – EGYPT – An oil slick in the Suez Canal is threatening to reach the Mediterranean, port sources said. The spill was caused by a leak in a Kuwaiti tanker carrying 160,000 tonnes of crude, after it collided with a dredger further south on December 14. The slick has tripled in size over a week and now measures around 34 miles (55 kilometres) in length, the source said, adding that about 10,000 cubic metres (2.2 million gallons) had been lost from the tanker. Several aquatic species are threatened by the contamination, and foreign officials charge that the Egyptian authorities have no adequate strategy to face such environmental threats and lack means to combat them.

2010 The Gulf oil Spill came about by an explosion from an oil drill leased by BP Oil, operated by Transocean and the seal was constructed by Halliburton.  The oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010 and is still continuing to spill millions of gallons into the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill has spread to the coasts of Louisiana damaging the wetlands, beaches, estuaries and killing wildlife in its path.
The damages are still unknown and BP is incapable of stopping the oil leaking from the blower pipe for 41 days.

This will be recorded in history as one of the largest and most damaging oil spills of the history of earth. It is estimated that BP is spilling 19,000 barrels of oil each day into the Gulf of Mexico-50 miles off the shores of Louisiana and four other states. The effects are unknown.

In summary the total amount recorded of oil spilled into the ocean is into the billions of barrels of oil and dangerous chemicals which is all preventable.  The oil industry needs to come under stricter controls of transporting oil, drilling for oil, deep sea drills and they themselves must embrace cleaner forms of energy if they are to compete in the global economy.

TAGS: the world’s oil spill list, Oil Spills Worldwide, BP Oil Spill, BP,  Oil Spills Worldwide, world’s oil spill list, oil industry, oil spills, Gulf Oil spill list, oil.

A Message From A Republican Meteorologist On Climate Change

By Climate Guest Blogger on Mar 29, 2012 at 11:47 am

Acknowledging Climate Change Doesn’t Make You A Liberal

by Paul Douglas, via neorenaissance

I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real.

I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters, I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority:  a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up, long-term. It’s ironic.

The root of the word conservative is “conserve.”  A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.

Weather 2.0. “It’s A New Atmosphere Floating Overhead.”

These are the Dog Days of March. Ham Weather reports 6,895 records in the last week – some towns 30 to 45 degrees warmer than average; off-the-scale, freakishly warm. 13,393 daily records for heat since March 1 – 16 times more warm records than cold records. The scope, intensity and duration of this early heat wave are historic and unprecedented.

And yes, climate change is probably spiking our weather.

“Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.” 129,404 weather records in one year? You can’t point to any one weather extreme and say “that’s climate change”. But a warmer atmosphere loads the dice, increasing the potential for historic spikes in temperature and more frequent and bizarre weather extremes. You can’t prove that any one of Barry Bond’s 762 home runs was sparked by (alleged) steroid use. But it did increase his “base state,” raising the overall odds of hitting a home run. A warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, more fuel for floods, while increased evaporation pushes other regions into drought.

Images courtesy of NOAA. Billion dollar disasters (upper). Percentage of USA in drought/flood (lower)

Here’s what I suspect: the patient is running a slight fever. Symptoms include violent tornado sneezes, severe sniffles of flooding and raging rashes of jaw-dropping warmth. It’s 85 in March. What will July bring? It’s as if Mother Nature seized the weather remote, put America’s seasons on fast-forward, and turned the volume on extreme weather up to a deafening 10. This isn’t even close to being “normal”. Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters put it best. “This is not the atmosphere I grew up with.”

Some TV meteorologists, professionals who are skilled at predicting short-term weather, are still in denial. Why? Some don’t like being upstaged by climate scientists; we’ve all been burned by weather models, and some (mistakenly) apply the same suspicion to climate models. Others haven’t taken the time to dig into the climate science. “It’s all political” one local TV weather-friend told me recently. No, it’s science. But we’ve turned it into a political football, a bizarre litmus test for conservatism. Weather and climate are flip-sides of the same coin; you can’t talk about one without understanding the other.

Acknowledging Climate Science Doesn’t Make You A Liberal

My climate epiphany wasn’t overnight, and it had nothing to do with Al Gore. In the mid-90s I noticed gradual changes in the weather patterns floating over Minnesota. Curious, I began investigating climate science, and, over time, began to see the thumbprint of climate change, along with 97% of published, peer-reviewed PhD’s, who link a 40% spike in greenhouse gases with a warmer, stormier atmosphere.

Bill O’Reilly, whom I respect, talks of a “no-spin zone.” Yet today there’s a very concerted, well-funded effort to spin climate science. Some companies, institutes and think tanks are cherry-picking data, planting dubious seeds of doubt, arming professional deniers, scientists-for-hire and skeptical bloggers with the ammunition necessary to keep climate confusion alive. It’s the “you can’t prove smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer!” argument, times 100, with many of the same players. Amazing.

Schopenhauer said “All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as self-evident.” We are now well into Stage 2. It’s getting bloody out there.  Climate scientists are receiving death threats and many Americans don’t know what to believe. Some turn to talk radio or denial-blogs for their climate information. No wonder they’re confused.

dramatic skies

“Actions Have Consequences.”

 Trust your gut – and real experts. We should listen to peer-reviewed climate scientists, who are very competitive by nature. This is not about “insuring more fat government research grants.” I have yet to find a climate scientist in the “1 Percent”, driving a midlife-crisis-red Ferrari into the lab.  I truly hope these scientists turn out to be wrong, but I see no sound, scientific evidence to support that position today.  What I keep coming back to is this: all those dire (alarmist!) warnings from climate scientists 30 years ago? They’re coming true, one after another – and faster than supercomputer models predicted. Data shows 37 years/row of above-average temperatures, worldwide. My state has warmed by at least 3 degrees F. Climate change is either “The Mother of All Coincidences” – or the trends are real.

My father, a devout Republican, who escaped a communist regime in East Germany, always taught me to never take my freedom for granted, and “actions have consequences.”  Carbon that took billions of years to form has been released in a geological blink of an eye. Human emissions have grown significantly over the past 200 years, and now exceed 27 billion tons of carbon dioxide, annually. To pretend this isn’t having any effect  on the 12-mile thin atmosphere overhead is to throw all logic and common sense out the window. It is to believe in scientific superstitions and political fairy tales, about a world where actions have no consequences – where colorless, odorless gases, the effluence of success and growth, can be waved away with a nod and a smirk. No harm, no foul. Keep drilling.

In 2008, before it became fashionable to bash climate science, I had the honor of welcoming Iraqi war veterans back to Minnesota for a banquet. The keynote speaker was my hero, Senator John McCain. At dinner I asked him point blank “is it possible this warm, freakish weather is all one great big, cosmic coincidence?” He rolled his eyes, smiled and said “Paul, I just returned from the Yukon. The Chief Elder of a local village presented me with a 4,000 year old tomahawk that had just melted from the permafrost. The short answer? No.” How did we get from there – to here, with an entire party in perpetual denial? Is it still Al Gore? Fear of a government land-grab? My party needs to step up and become part of the solution, which, this century, will generate far more jobs and GDP than legacy, carbon-based industries.

“You’re obsessing,” my wife of 28 years complained recently. “People don’t like having this rammed down their throats.” Fair enough. I’m genuinely concerned, because I’m in touch with America’s leading climate scientists. They are beyond concerned; bordering on apoplectic. We fiddle while Rome burns.

Biblical Scripture: “We Are Here to Manage God’s Property”

I’m a Christian, and I can’t understand how people who profess to love and follow God roll their eyes when the subject of climate change comes up. Actions have consequences. Were we really put here to plunder the Earth, no questions asked? Isn’t that the definition of greed? In the Bible, Luke 16:2 says, “Man has been appointed as a steward for the management of God’s property, and ultimately he will give account for his stewardship.” Future generations will hold us responsible for today’s decisions.

I understand this: capitalism requires growth. Growth requires energy. Anything that gets in the way of insuring an uninterrupted flow of (carbon-based) energy must be inherently evil. My fellow Republicans have an allergic reaction to regulation, but do we really want to go back to the 60s, a time of choking smog and combustible rivers?  There’s a palpable fear that Big Government will ultimately prevent the energy industry from extracting (and burning) trillions of dollars of carbon still in the ground; the fuel we think we need to keep America competitive, growing and healthy.

U.S. reserves of carbon based fuels are 586 GtCO2, according to the Congressional Research Service.  Think Progress’s Brad Johnson estimates U.S. energy companies have roughly $10 trillion worth of carbon resources still left in the ground (coal, gas and oil). “A cap on carbon emissions designed to limit warming to 2 degrees C. will mean sovereign states and public corporations must strand 80% of their $27 trillion of proven (global) reserves and related assets, a loss exceeding $20 trillion” he said. This is what the fight is about.  Big Energy wants to keep us addicted to carbon-based fuels indefinitely; shareholders want to keep the money-spigot flowing, and lock in future profits. Surprised? Me neither. But in business, as in life, you hedge your bets. We can slowly, methodically, wean ourselves off carbon-based fuels, while investing in carbon-clean alternatives. That doesn’t mean government picks winners. That’s anathema to free enterprise.

Climate Change: The Ultimate Test for Capitalism. Let The Markets Work

I’m an entrepreneur. The eight Minnesota companies I’ve created ultimately employed hundreds of professionals. Where others see chronic problems I see opportunity. One of my companies is Smart Energy, with a new level of wind forecast accuracy for global wind farms. Last summer, in response to the most severe two years since 1816, my partners and I launched a new, national cable weather channel (“WeatherNation Television”) – to keep Americans updated with 24/7 storm reports. “Global Weirding” has arrived. Why bother? Because it’s the right thing to do. And because going green will generate green. As in profits. We won’t drill our way out of this challenge; we’ll innovate our way into a new, lower-carbon energy paradigm. Something we’re pretty good at. Professional skeptics will hold up Solyndra as a reason why this will never work. For the sake of our nation’s future – don’t believe them.

Every Day Is April Fool’s Day In Washington D.C.

Amazingly, America already has the technology and creative minds necessary to ensure future growth and more jobs, without treating Earth like a battered ATM card. We can tackle this problem, like we’ve tackled every other problem in our nation’s history. But do we have the political will? Our political system is broken, utterly incapable of dealing with long-term threats. Compromise is seen as weakness; our natural resources put at risk by political paralysis. Will getting serious about climate change require a third political party: a pro-jobs, pro-clean-energy Common Sense Moderate Middle – to prove that America can move forward and thrive, without trashing the land and air we value?  Perhaps.

stormy pink skies

The climate is warming. The weather is morphing. It’s not your grandfather’s weather anymore. The trends are undeniable. If you don’t want to believe thousands of climate scientists – at least believe your own eyes: winters are warmer & shorter, summers more humid, more extreme weather events, with a 1-in-500 year flood every 2-3 years. For evidence of climate change don’t look at your back yard thermometer. That’s weather. Take another, longer look at your yard. Look at the new flowers, trees, birds, insects and pests showing up outside your kitchen window that weren’t there a generation ago.

This is a moral issue. Because the countries least responsible will bear the brunt of rising seas, spreading drought and climate refugees. Because someday your grandkids will ask what did you know…when…and what did you do to help?  We’ve been binging on carbon for 200 years, and now the inevitable hangover is setting in. Curing our addiction to carbon won’t happen overnight. But creative capitalism can deal with climate change. I’m no fan of big government or over-regulation. Set the bar high. Then stand back and let the markets work. Let Americans do what they do best: innovate.

“The Mother of All Opportunities”: Turning America Into The Silicon Valley of Energy

We can figure this out. Frankly, we won’t have a choice. But I’m a naïve optimist. We can reinvent America, leaving us more competitive in the 21st century, launching thousands of new, carbon-free energy companies – supplementing, and someday surpassing anything we can expeditiously suck out of the ground and burn, accelerating an already-warming planet.  We don’t have to bury our heads in Saudi sand – we’ll never “frack” our way to a sustainable future. It’s time for a New Energy Paradigm. There’s no silver bullet. But there’s plenty of (green) buckshot, if we aim high and point America in the right direction. We need real leadership, and a viable, bipartisan blueprint for inevitable energy independence from President Obama and Congress. Yes, healthcare is important. So is the long-term health of our air, land and water.

There are steps all of us can take today.  I own one hybrid, another on order. I bought a home a mile away from my office, to reduce my carbon footprint (and preserve some sense of sanity). But there’s much more I can do. Let’s challenge ourselves to reinvent our own energy ecosystems.

America 2.0. The Best Way to Predict the Future? Invent It

I don’t pretend to have the answer key. But the same Tenacious, Fast-Forward, Can-Do American Spirit that built the transcontinental railroad, the Internet, lasers and the first artificial heart – sending men sent to the moon in a breathtakingly short period of time – will ultimately figure this out. My youngest son is graduating from the Naval Academy in May, then heading to Pensacola. He’ll be flying choppers or jets; F-18s that can already run on biofuels. The Navy is serious about renewables and alternative fuels. Because it’s the best way forward – protecting our troops, securing supply lines, creating economies of scale that will make biofuels more competitive, leaving the Navy less vulnerable to price shocks in the oil markets. Hedge your bets. Put fewer troops at risk. Think ahead. Only the paranoid survive. In the words of my Eagle Scout brethren “Be Prepared.”  Go Navy. Beat Army.

We don’t have much time. Earth Day is April 22, but every day is Earth Day. Native Americans remind us of the sacred responsibility we have for all those who come next:

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors…we borrow it from our children.”

Paul Douglas is a nationally-respected meteorologist, with 32 years of broadcast television and 36 years of radio experience. He is the founder of several companies and author of two books, “Prairie Skies, the Minnesota Weather Book”, and “Restless Skies, the Ultimate Weather Book.”

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/29/454476/a-message-from-a-republican-meteorologist-on-climate-change/

What Are Pesticides and How Do They Effect Us?

What are Pesticides?

Pesticides Sprayed on Crops

A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances used to destroy, suppress or alter the life cycle of any pest. A pesticide can be a naturally derived or synthetically produced substance. A pesticide can also be an organism, for example, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis which is used to control a number of insect pests, or even a genetically modified crop (see Bollgard IIexternal link cotton). The legal definition of a pesticide in NSW covers a wide range of substances.

Pesticides include bactericides, baits, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, lures, rodenticides and repellents. They are used in commercial, domestic, urban and rural environments.

Farming is big business. And some of the farming companies are bottom–line entities in business to make money at any cost. Pesticides and genetically modified organisms are how they insure that they will get the crop yield they demand every season, no matter how it hurts the environment or the consumers.

Two types of pesticides are biological and chemical. Biological pesticides can be developed using fungi, bacteria and other organically present substances. Some biological pesticides are microorganisms that, without any manipulation, demonstrate natural effectiveness in targeted pest control. These generally aren’t toxic to humans or animals and don’t leave a persistent residue.

Did You Know?  Did You Know?
Seven of the most toxic chemical compounds know to man are approved for use as pesticides in the production of foods! Who approved them? A multinational organization called The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). It was formed in 1963 from a cooperative effort between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Their overall objective was “…to protect the health of the consumer and ensure fair practices.” The intent of the original 172 nations involved in this effort was to develop a set of food guidelines, standards, and codes of practice. It was to be an international endeavor to promote safety in food. In spite of their stated consumer protection responsibilities, the CAC approved toxic chemicals for use on our crops. These toxins are referred to as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP’s). They’re called persistent because they are not easily removed from the environment.

The greatest risk to our environment and our health comes from the chemical pesticides. In spite of the dangers, the government maintains its approval of the use of toxic chemicals to make pesticides. And science is constantly developing variations of poisons.

Two classes are broad-spectrum and narrow-spectrum pesticides. Broad-spectrum pesticides kill many kinds of pests, while narrow-spectrum pesticides do just the opposite. Narrow-spectrum pesticides are developed to kill specific organism types. Examples are algicides for algai, avicides for birds, fungicides for fungi and oomycetes (also called water molds, they use surface water including preciptiation on plants, to move around). Most pesticides kill pests directly on contact. Systemic pesticides work differently. They penetrate to the inside of a plant traveling along its absorption path. These poisons work by poisoning the pollen and nectar of flowers and this can kill needed pollinators like butterflies and bees.

Shocking Facts!  Shocking Facts:
Pesticides are a major threat to bees. The systemic poisoning of flowers has killed scores of bees. We’re simply losing too many of them. The bees and butterflies among others are pollinators and they represent a natural tour de force in perpetuating plant cycles and evolution. You see, they do cross pollination naturally. More than 25% of the bee colonies died in winter 2006/07. That translates to a loss of tens of billions of bees. And it’s estimated that this loss will negatively impact the agricultural economy to the tune of $8 to $12 billion.

Who’s at Risk for Exposure to Pesticides?

Farmers and their families and other persons who use chemical pesticides regularly are at greatest risk for achieving toxic levels in their bodies. The danger is spread out to larger areas, as the pesticides:

  • Are carried on the wind
  • Leave residues on produce
  • Remain inside produce and animals
  • Run off into open water, contaminating public water supply as well as fish and other seafood

Anyone who uses pesticides or is present when pesticides are sprayed is at risk for dangerous exposure. The pesticides can enter the body through skin, eyes, mouth and nose.

What are the Dangers from Pesticides Exposure?

Pesticides can be toxic to humans and lower animals. It can take a small amount of some toxins to kill. And other toxins that are slower acting, may take a long time to cause harm to the human body.

Pesticide production can be dangerous, too. One disaster at a pesticide manufacturing plant was in Bhopal, India. The plant accidentally released 40 tons of an intermediate chemical gas, methyl isocyanate, used to produce some pesticides. In that disaster, nearly 3,000 people were killed immediately, overall approximately 15,000 deaths occurred. Today nearly 100,000 people suffer from mild to severe permanent damage as a result of that disaster.¹

In China, it’s estimated that 500,000 people suffer pesticide poisoning annually, and some 500 of them die.²

Children seem to be greatly susceptible to the toxic effects of pesticides. The Natural Resource Defense Council has collected data which recorded higher incidence of childhood leukemia, brain cancer and birth defects. These results correlated with early exposure to pesticides.³

** Risk of Multiple Myeloma Doubles from Pesticide Exposure

Dr. Group's Note  Doctor Group’s Comment:
Neurotoxins are any substances that can cause disruption to the neurological system including the brain. Many neurotoxins are organophosphates, and several are currently approved and being used to make pesticides.

Even just using pesticides in amounts within regulation, studies have revealed neurotoxins can do serious damage during development. Researchers report the dangers of pesticides can start as early as fetal stages of life. The Pesticides entry at Wikipedia.org lists some of the results that have been recorded in recent years including:

  • Fetuses, (pre-birth babies), may suffer from exposure and exhibit behavioral problems, growth issues
  • Lower cognitive scores, fewer nerve cells and lower birth weight
  • A lower resistance to the toxic effects of pesticides
  • A greater risk (70% increase), for Parkinson’s disease, even with low levels of pesticides

Can you believe the government approved the use of some organophosphates despite the occurrence of illnesses? It makes you wonder just who the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to protect.

What you also need to understand is that toxins from pesticides can remain in the body and build up in the liver. And, even at “safe” levels your reactions can be mild to severe. High levels of exposure can be fatal. How do you know if you’re going to be ill? You don’t; you just have to hope for the best. How will you be affected? Well, you don’t really know how you body will react to the toxins until it happens. Several factors determine how your body will react including your level of exposure, the type of chemical you ingest, and your individual resistance to the chemicals. Some people are unaffected or are mildly affected, while others become severely ill from similar levels of exposure. Some possible reactions are:

  • Fatigue
  • Fatigue
  • Skin Irritations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing Problems
  • Brain Disorders
  • Blood Disorders
  • Liver & Kidney Damage
  • Reproductive Damage
  • Cancer
  • Death

Additional Resources

  • Pesticides, www.cape.ca/children/neuro6.html
  • Organic Farming as Productive as Conventional, The Daily Green, www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/organic-farming-47032606?click=main_sr
  • EPA – Pesticides and Food: Health Problems Pesticides May Pose – http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/food/risks.htm

How to Eliminate Toxins from Pesticides

  • It’s a good idea to grow your own produce. Growing your own crops means that you can use healthful methods to control any pests. There are all-natural remedies for controlling pests and enriching soil. Or you can use organic pesticides.
  • The threat of illness from pesticides can be minimized with a few actions taken. It’s a good idea to keep your skin and face covered when you are in close proximity of pesticides use.
  • If growing your own crops is not an option, shop healthy. Visit your local farmer’s markets for the freshest organically grown foods. At your local grocery store, look for organic food products. Since awareness is being raised, more people are paying attention to what they’re eating, as are the store managers. More and more stores are working to accommodate this new healthier appetite by providing consumers with the organically grown products they want.
  • There are certain produce items which contain the highest levels of pesticides. Avoiding these crops can reduce your pesticides consumption levels by as much as 90%. Some of these items are friut like cherries, apples, peaches, pears and grapes. Vegetables you could avoid are celery, spinach and sweet bell peppers. Remember, if they are organically grown, then these are safe to eat.


  1. Pesticides, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pesticides, section entitled “The public”
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid

Source: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/effects-of-pesticides/effects-of-pesticides

Gas Industry Spin Can’t Cover Up Air, Water Problems Caused by Fracking

, President, Hudson Riverkeeper

Posted: 04/ 2/2012 4:21 pm

It’s like some in the gas industry are living in a different universe from the rest of us, when it comes to the risks from shale gas extraction via fracking. Call it the “Spin Zone.”

At a Wall Street Journal conference last week, Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon told attendees he’s unaware of any problems resulting from the thousands of fracking wells drilled in Fort Worth, Texas in recent years. McClendon peevishly referred to the fracking-related air pollution concerns I raised at the conference as “environmental nonsense.”

Well, read on. Then decide who’s talking “nonsense”:

  • In December 2011, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reported that oil and gas operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth region emit more smog-causing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than all cars, trucks, buses and other mobile sources in the area combined. This wasn’t true before the fracking boom: TCEQ’s data shows that VOCs from oil and gas production have increased 60 percent since 2006.
  • Ozone, a corrosive gas that can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory diseases, is created when VOCs from petroleum operations mix with heat and sunlight. In 2011, Dallas-Fort Worth violated federal ozone standards on more days than anywhere else in Texas. Dallas-Fort Worth is a “particularly extreme” example of higher air pollution in Texas, according to David Allen, a chemical engineering professor and state air-quality program director.
  • In 2010, TCEQ found elevated levels of benzene around 21 gas fields out of the 94 it tested in the Barnett Shale. According to TCEQ toxicologist Shannon Ethridge, their monitors in the Barnett Shale pulled up “some of the highest benzene concentrations we have monitored in the state.”
  • In Texas, which had about 93,000 natural-gas wells in 2011, up from around 58,000 a dozen years ago, a hospital system in six counties with some of the heaviest drilling, including the Barnett Shale region, found that “children in the community ages 6-9 are three times more likely to have asthma than the average for that age group in the State of Texas.” According to Baylor University, in 2009, childhood asthma rates in the Tarrant County area of the Barnett were more than double the national average, prompting a new study to evaluate asthma and pollution sources.

Up north in the Mountain States, the problem is just as serious:

  • According to a 2012 study from the Colorado School of Public Health, cancer risks were 66 percent higher for residents living less than half a mile from oil and gas wells than for those living farther away, with benzene being the major contributor to the increased risk. This same study reminds us that chronic exposure to ozone, prevalent at gas production sites, can lead to asthma and pulmonary diseases, particularly in children and the aged.
  • A recent study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found elevated levels of methane coming from well sites in Northeastern Colorado. NOAA scientists say initial results from another study show high concentrations of butane, ethane and propane in Erie, east of Boulder, where hundreds of natural-gas wells are operating.” “We are finding a huge amount of methane and other chemicals coming out of the natural-gas fields,” said Russell Schnell, a NOAA scientist in Boulder. NOAA estimates that gas producers in this area are losing about 4 percent of gas to the atmosphere — not including losses in the pipeline and distribution system.
  • Levels of ozone in Wyoming’s fracking country are higher than in Los Angeles (Wyoming levels have been as high as 124 parts per billion, two-thirds higher than the federal EPA’s maximum healthy limit). In 2009, Wyoming’s environmental agency concluded “that elevated ozone at the Boulder [Wyoming] monitor is primarily due to local emissions from oil and gas (O&G) development activities: drilling, production, storage, transport, and treating.”

Finally, let’s not forget the 2011 Duke University study proving that drinking water wells near fracking sites have 17 times more methane than wells not located near fracking, and that this extra methane has a chemical fingerprint which shows it’s coming from deep drilling. Fracking operations have generated billions of gallons of radiation-laced toxic wastewater that weren’t managed properly and fracking has forced families to abandon their homes after they were poisoned by dangerous levels of arsenic, benzene and toluene.

Most drillers remain in deep denial, routinely choosing to circle the wagons rather than acknowledge environmental and public health problems. As one Wall Street Journal conference blogger pointedly observed, after I suggested that the gas companies deny problems and demonize critics, McClendon’s next move was, well, to deny and demonize. To be fair, other pro-fracking conference panelists like former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell were somewhat more critical of the industry, arguing that the gas companies must accept blame for rushing fracking and relying on “cowboy” drillers.

In the end, conference attendees weren’t buying the drillers’ “don’t worry, just keep buying more of our gas” message. After my and McClendon’s mini-debate, an astonishing 49 percent of this business-friendly audience said that we need federal regulation of the gas industry. Only 7 percent thought the answer to our problems lies with self-regulation by the frackers.

Fracking and its impact on public health, in particular our children’s health, is a serious issue that calls for swift action — action that the gas industry repeatedly tries to block. In New York, for example, the industry recently helped kill a legislative proposal for a public health impact assessment which hundreds of medical professionals had joined community activists and environmentalists in supporting.

Let the gas companies continue to deny fracking’s proven link to air and water pollution. The public isn’t buying their spin. They know where the “nonsense” is coming from.

Follow Paul Gallay on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@riverkeeper_ny

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-gallay/gas-industry-spin-cant-co_b_1392676.html

Sir John Houghton interview – State of the Climate

Prof. Sir John Houghton was the winner of the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in 2009. He is an Evangelical Christian and is considered one of the most outstanding and effective environmental scientists of his generation. The best examples of Sir John’s work include his key role in the development of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – a still unique relationship between political policy and scientific rigour, where he led or co-led the Science Working Group of IPCC from 1988 until 2002; his advisory role with the UK Prime Minister; and his establishment of the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, now regarded as a world centre of scientific excellence.

Sir John Houghton CBE FRS was previously chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (’92-’98), chief executive of the Met Office (’83-’91) and Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Oxford (’76-83).

During the 1960s and 1970s, Sir John built up a research group at Oxford University, which developed pioneering techniques for remote sensing of the atmosphere’s temperature structure and composition.

He was Principal Investigator of remote sensing instruments on four of NASA’s Nimbus satellites in the 1970s, measuring globally for the first time the temperature structure from about 10 to 90 km altitude – the region of the stratosphere and mesosphere where most of the atmospheric ozone is present – and enabled detailed studies of the structure and dynamics of the ozone layer. This also led to new developments in our ability to measure and model the radiative transfer of the earth, and in our understanding of the dynamics of the stratosphere.


Still very much involved in helping world governments and organisations tackle climate change, Sir John agreed to meet GoCarbonFree at his home on the fringes of the Snowdonia National Park, Wales.

GoCarbonFree: Thank you very much Sir John for allowing us to interview you today. My first question is to ask you, as a weather scientist, what first alerted you to global warming? After all, the weather has always been unpredictable so what made you think ‘there is something different happening here’?

Sir John Houghton: The physics of global warming is not new and the ‘greenhouse effect’ has been known for a couple of hundred years. It’s actually quite simple, the presence of water vapour, CO2 and methane etc in the atmosphere acts as a blanket that absorbs the infra-red radiation emitted from the earth’s surface, thereby keeping the planet warmer than it would otherwise be. If these gases weren’t there the earth would become an ice pack and I guess we’d be talking in an igloo today!

However, if you artificially add to the amount of these gases in the atmosphere, especially CO2 (7,000 million tonnes a year of carbon, as carbon dioxide, is artificially put into the atmosphere), this will add considerably to the blanket and the earth will become warmer. CO2 concentrations are now almost 40 per cent higher due to man-made emissions.

Getting back to your question, I know a lot about unusual weather phenomenon. I was head of the Met Office in October 1987 when that famous storm hit Southern England and caught everyone by surprise because our forecasts weren’t as accurate as we’d have liked them to be. That was a very unusual storm and I remember it well because the press blamed me!

However, it’s very difficult to say if one single event is the result of human global warming because to do that, statistically, the event would have to fall outside the range of natural variability and very few events do. However, the one event that we can confidently say that about is the heatwave in Europe in 2003. This event was 5 standard deviations away from the average and 20,000 people died.

Whilst it’s difficult to say that single events are solely due to man-made global warming, the trends are unambiguous – more floods, more droughts, an increase in world average rainfall – these all fit in to our expectation of global warming. In 1990, when I wrote the first IPCC report we couldn’t really say we’d seen anything that was unequivocally global warming. But now, the trends are clear and far more obvious.

GoCarbonFree: In 2003 you famously said that climate change was a ‘weapon of mass destruction’. How difficult has it been to convince other people about the severity and threats of man-made global warming?

Sir John Houghton: Well, I wouldn’t have said it was a ‘weapon of mass destruction’ in 1990 because the examples simply weren’t there at that time. However, back in 1990 I had one very good ally and that was Margaret Thatcher. She gave a talk to the Royal Society in 1988 and – remember she was a scientist by background – she talked about global warming and the newspapers carried this as their headline the following day. That was the first time, in the UK at least, that global warming started to appear on the ‘map’.

Earlier in 1998, the Canadians put on their own global warming conference which raised political awareness in a very important way. 1988 was also the time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had its first meeting and I was asked to be the chairman of its Science Assessment Panel. We had long debates, with hundreds of scientists worldwide, and we had a very interesting time determining what was happening on a global scale and what we could predict for the future.

In 1990 we had our final meeting in Windsor of this scientific group, agreeing the conclusions that would be put forward by the IPCC. Because the IPCC is an Intergovernmental Body, governments now started to take ownership of the assessments and many were accepting the findings. I subsequently presented the findings to the Thatcher Cabinet at Downing Street. It was the first time they’d ever used a projector in the Cabinet Room and famously Margaret Thatcher listened for twenty minutes without interrupting – an unusual occurrence apparently!

The scientific and political concensus that resulted meant that the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro saw all the nations of the world sign the framework convention on climate change. This included the USA and President Bush I.

GoCarbonFree: How have you felt about the United States since that time? Even last year President Bush II was querying the science behind man-made global warming….

Sir John Houghton: Straight after the Earth summit in 1992 the Exxon company and the coal companies in the US set up a massive misinformation campaign, telling people that the science was flawed and that the IPCC was a collection of untrustworthy green activists. They hired top lawyers to spread this message and put it out over the US media. They also lobbied members of Congress and tried to discredit the IPCC and its chairman in a very serious way. This is still happening. It’s the big problem in getting something done about climate change. The US is the biggest emitter of CO2 per head of population and the country’s emissions have increased by 20 per cent since 1990.

GoCarbonFree: Why do you think Al Gore, when he was in power as Vice President, did very little to tackle the problem?

Sir John Houghton: I’ve met Al Gore a number of times and I got to know him reasonably well during that time. In fact, one evening, I gave a talk at his house to a group of industrialists. He’s obviously been passionate about climate change for a considerable time and wrote the book ‘Earth in the Balance’ some fifteen years ago. However, I think he was very ambitious and wanted to make sure he won the Presidential election and he geared his policies towards that end.

GoCarbonFree: Of all the world leaders that you have met, who has impressed you most with regards to tackling climate change?

Sir John Houghton: Margaret Thatcher. She believed the science and often talked about it publicly. She also gave me a lot of help in setting up the Hadley Centre at the Met Office which has become the best climate research centre in the world. She certainly stands out.

I met Angela Merckel in Germany recently and she is a theoretical physicist by background. She also understands the climate change science and she’s passionate about it too.

GoCarbonFree: The Blair government professed it wanted to do something about climate change, yet its policies often seemed disconnected to the rhetoric. For example it cut the subsidies for household solar panels earlier this year whilst simultaneously announcing a cut in UK emissions by 60 per cent in 2050. What is your take on this?

Sir John Houghton: There is a lot of disconnect between what Prime Minister Blair said and the action that resulted. You’d have thought from what he said that the UK would be one of the best countries in Europe in terms of renewable energy and in cutting emissions. We’re not. In fact, we’re near the bottom of the league in Europe with regards to the action needed to tackle climate change.

GoCarbonFree: Do you think this will change under Gordon Brown?

Sir John Houghton: We wait to see, * laughs *, and I await developments with very great interest. I hope he will do something and that the energy policies which we need are really brought forward. We have a wind resource which is greater than any other country in Europe; we have a tidal and wave capacity and so on. In fact we could get 50% of our total electricity very easily from tidal and wave power.

GoCarbonFree: Would you like to see the Government really invest in this?

Sir John Houghton: Yes, but it needs some resolve and a lot of upfront money. Industry is not going to put in upfront money without serious incentives and the Government would need to provide a long term framework ensuring that investors would be able to sell that energy and see a return on investment.

GoCarbonFree: Do you think that the Government will simply opt for nuclear power as the most politically convenient solution?

Sir John Houghton: There is a lot of push in Government for nuclear power as it appears to be a single, known solution. However, if you take into account all the costs, nuclear power is expensive. There are also security issues involved with nuclear power – the possibility of terrorist action is not a trivial threat and the proliferation of nuclear material worldwide would be a concern.

Something else I want to add about nuclear power in the UK is that we have hundreds of tonnes of military plutonium, which is stored away. We could use this material in power stations and we’d get a lot of energy out of it. This would be a very good way of extending the life of existing power stations and would provide a lot of power in the medium term. Government doesn’t want to talk about it because it’s a sensitive subject, even the fact that they’ve got the material!

GoCarbonFree: What about bio-fuel? MIT released a report earlier this year saying that natural gas consumption in the production of corn-based ethanol (in fertiliser, farming and irrigation) consumes 66% of total ethanol production energy, not to mention the land taken away from food production and the implications for third world hunger.

Sir John Houghton: Ethanol from corn is not a good deal. Why it is being pushed by President Bush, I don’t know. It’s been disastrous for the price of corn and it’s not helping the CO2 budget significantly at all. The same can be said of diesel from oil-seed rape. There are other potential crops that could lead to bio-fuels, however, like elephant grass which doesn’t need much fertiliser, doesn’t need grade-one land, doesn’t need a lot of looking after and it has high yields – this is the sort of bio-crop we need to be growing for energy use.

GoCarbonFree: Do you think that the US Government and oil companies favour bio-fuels because it consumes a lot of fossil-fuel energy to produce it?

Sir John Houghton: I don’t really know enough about that but it’s been put forward in terms of energy security as an alternative to getting oil from the Middle East.

GoCarbonFree: Do you think it will take some events on the scale of Hurricane Katrina for the world to really wake-up to global warming and for concerted action to take place?

Sir John Houghton: Well, certainly events like Katrina help to wake people up, but it’s uncertain how much of the blame for Katrina you can put on global warming per se. I was in New Orleans earlier this year – it’s a sad city and half the population has left. There are vast areas of housing which need repairing but nobody is doing it. The US Government actually took responsibility for the breach of the levees and put aside $1 billion for flood reconstruction and repair. However, whilst there have been 100,000 applications for grants from that fund, I was told that only 250 had been granted which is incredible.

GoCarbonFree: In 2005, The House of Lords Science and Economic Analysis and Report criticised the IPCC. Indeed, it said that ‘there are some significant doubts about some aspects of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios’ and that ‘there are some positive aspects to global warming that have been played down’. It even went so far as to say that the IPCC is influenced by ‘political considerations’ and that the Government should press the IPCC to change its approach. What do you say to these allegations?

Sir John Houghton: I gave evidence to The House of Lords Economic Committee and, I’d better not be too rude here, they didn’t want to listen to me describing the work of the IPCC. They preferred to listen to Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT and other sceptics whose science is much less robust and who have often said very rude things about the IPCC which just aren’t true. The House of Lords Committee decided to listen to them and that’s what appeared in their final report.

It was widely criticised as a report, not only for its lack of scientific objectivity but also for the way it was put together. Some members of that Committee, notably Lord Lawson, have consistently opposed the IPCC yet he’s not a scientist and can’t have read our reports. Despite this, he constantly appears in public criticising the IPCC and uses material from people who clearly have a different agenda, let’s say.

GoCarbonFree: Both the US and Australia haven’t signed up to the Kyoto agreement. What do you think it is going to take for these two countries to come into the international fold and be part of the general process?

Sir John Houghton: Some parts of the US are already taking real action to tackle global warming. The Governor of California has now set a demanding target for 2050, and many Eastern States have already set up local emissions targets. Of course, once these States have set a target they could in principle join the Kyoto Protocol, except there is a technical difficulty because they are not national sovereignties in their own right. Nevertheless, they’d like to join, not least because the trading arrangements in the Kyoto Protocol were very much generated by US scientists and industrialists themselves. So things are definitely progressing in some parts of the States but I guess until President Bush leaves office things are unlikely to move much further forward than they are now.

GoCarbonFree: Bush, Cheney et al are all oil-men aren’t they?

Sir John Houghton: Correct. It’s very much an oil administration. But not all oil companies are difficult about global warming. I have worked with both BP and Shell and I must add that the recently-resigned Chief Executive of BP, Lord Browne, gave lectures on climate change rather like I do – he really believed in it. He insisted all new BP buildings worldwide should be zero-energy buildings and, given that BP spend half a billion dollars a year on new buildings, that was a significant move.

GoCarbonFree: Do you think that the UK can achieve its 2050 emissions targets? Or will more radical legislation need to be taken?

Sir John Houghton: It’s some way off, of course, and we need some targets for earlier than that – fortunately the Climate Change Bill also includes a target for 2030 which is good news. The targets will probably need to be strengthened in due course, once the problem of climate change really becomes evident to both the public and politicians alike.

GoCarbonFree: Earlier this year, the-then Environment Minister, David Milliband has been quoted as saying that the Climate Change Bill has ‘enabling powers’ to allow the introduction of personal carbon allowances without any need for new legislation. i.e. carbon rationing is already enshrined in law if it needs to be implemented. Is Peak Oil also a factor in this?

Sir John Houghton: I’m not an expert on oil and am not qualified to comment on the science behind Peak Oil. However, there is still a lot of unconventional oil in the form of substances like oil shales but, again, there is still debate over whether the cost of extracting the oil is prohibitive in terms of the energy produced versus the cost of extracting it.

What is clear is that we certainly can’t rely or put our hopes on Peak Oil to save the climate because even if oil is peaking and disappearing, we still have enough coal to last many hundreds of years.

GoCarbonFree: The very fact that the UK Government has included a ‘carbon rationing’ clause within the Climate Change Bill implies that there is an awareness that carbon rationing could possibly happen. Do you think this is likely or would it be politically untenable?

Sir John Houghton: If the world is going to cut its emissions, there have to be targets. If these targets are going to be met, there has to be the means to reach these targets. This can be done either through taxation, a cap and trade or regulation. At the moment, the preferred mode is a cap and trade because it means Governments don’t have to tax.

Whilst I am not an economic or political expert, I have often thought the taxation route is the simplest method to reach emissions targets. However, perhaps we need more than one route forward and a combination of a cap and trade and taxation would be best.

GoCarbonFree: If you were Prime Minister, would you advocate carbon rationing?

Sir John Houghton: It would depend on what form the rationing took, and what other alternatives were available. Carbon rationing would be quite complicated because people’s needs are very different but I’m certainly in favour of creating financial incentives and other fiscal measures. I think you probably would have to find more indirect means other than carbon rationing.

GoCarbonFree: On the Internet there are thousands of pages dedicated to the worldwide phenomenon of Chemtrails which are like airplane contrails only much, much thicker. Wikipedia provides a good overview of the controversy and says: scientists working at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, told Columbus Alive that they had been conducting two aerial spraying experiments: “one involved aluminum oxide spraying related to global warming”. In fact many commentators say it is a secret scheme to combat global warming. What is your view?

Sir John Houghton: I have never heard of chemtrails. I know about contrails from aircraft and know that if you have a lot of aircraft flights over a given territory, the average level of high cloud goes up. High cloud acts as a greenhouse gas and makes global warming greater. That’s the reason why people double the amount of CO2 emitted by an airplane in order to calculate its global warming potential.

I was in the Channel Islands recently and saw a lot of contrails from the flights between the US and the UK. Over the course of a day you could see the contrails gradually merge into each other. But I don’t know of anybody who is deliberately spraying things into our higher atmosphere and I would be very surprised if that was happening. If it was true, i.e. that it was a measure to combat global warming, it’s obviously not working!

GoCarbonFree: Many native peoples worldwide, the Hopi Indians, the Zulu Nation, the Peruvian Quero Indians etc see 2012 as a definitive date for some profound changes to happen to the planet. They see climate change as a part of these overall planetary changes. How does this fit in to your worldview as a Christian?

Sir John Houghton: Some Christians, particularly in the US, see climate change as a way of hastening the end of the world and the return of Jesus. I don’t see it in that light. It seems to me that global warming is a big challenge that humanity is being forced to face.

As a Christian I believe we have been put on the earth to care for it yet we’re not doing this. However, there is an enormous moral imperative for everybody, not just Christians, to face up to climate change.

In the West we have grown rich over the past two hundred years because we have had very cheap energy – coal, oil and gas. We realise now that this is causing enormous environmental damage particularly to the poor in the world, because they are, and are going to be, disproportionately hurt by climate change.

In saying that, the world’s developing countries want cheap energy to develop a reasonable standard of living. Are we going to deny them that cheap energy? Or are we going to reduce our own emissions and use our skills and wealth to help them develop sustainable energy? This is what we should be doing.

So I think we have to begin to change the way we think and the way we do things in order to have much more sharing in the world. Families are always sharing, local communities share, nations share internally through social programmes etc. But internationally we are very bad at it because we view other countries as competition. Aid happens but it is very limited. Indeed, the overwhelming flow of money is from the poor to the rich. The imperative for Christians is to do something about this situation. I am very pleased to be involved with aid organisations like Tear Fund to this end.

GoCarbonFree: Thank you very much Sir John for allowing us to interview you. We covered many points! Many thanks again from all of us at GoCarbonFree.

About GoCarbonFree: UK-based GoCarbonFree Ltd has launched the world’s first shopping portal that allows customers to earn free personal carbon credits (and therefore reduce their carbon footprint) whilst they shop. It lets shoppers compensate for the carbon emissions produced by their purchases with a carbon saving – at no cost. GoCarbonFree users can offset their home, car, air travel, events and consumer purchases simply by shopping on the portal.

GoCarbonFree is committed to informing and educating people about the pressing climate change issues and offers a free online newsletter to all registrants to the site.


  • http://www.gocarbonfree.com/global_warming/green_technology/Sir_John_Houghton.html
  • http://www.gocarbonfree.com/global_warming/green_technology/Sir_John_Houghton.html


Scientific Consensus on Climate Change – Scientific societies and scientists have released statements and studies showing the growing consensus on climate change science. A common objection to taking action to reduce our heat-trapping emissions has been uncertainty within the scientific community on whether or not global warming is happening and if it is caused by humans. However, there is now an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is indeed happening and humans are contributing to it. Below are links to documents and statements attesting to this consensus.

Biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases – The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world’s efforts are at slowing man-made global warming.  The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.

Global warming ‘confirmed’ by independent study – The Earth’s surface really is getting warmer, a new analysis by a US scientific group set up in the wake of the “Climategate” affair has concluded.

ExxonMobil Report: Smoke Mirrors & Hot Air (2007) – UCS report finds that the oil company spent nearly $16 million to fund (global warming) skeptic groups to create confusion.

Extreme Weather and Climate Events of 2011

2011 showed the greatest weather extremes in our history – 56% of the country was either in drought or flood, which was no surprise since “climate change science predicts wet areas will tend to get wetter and dry areas will tend to get drier”. Indeed, the nation suffered 14 weather disasters, each causing $1 billion or more in damage, last year. (The old record was nine.) Masters again: “Watching the weather over the past two years has been like watching a famous baseball hitter on steroids.”

Extreme weather records broken across the United States in 2011 – Though the year isn’t yet over, 2011 proved to be rough when it came to extreme weather climate change is to blame. RECORDS FOR EXTREME HEAT AND EXTREME COLD WERE BROKEN IN ALL 50 U.S. STATES. The extremes at time have been disastrous, costing Americans an estimated overall $53 billion. In a conference Thursday, the Natural Resources Defense Council, an international nonprofit environmental organization, planned to release a map showing exactly how areas have been hit, including state-by-state analyses on weather extremes, record breakers, rainfall and snowfall.  What’s causing the changes? Perhaps climate change, according to the NRDC. A Special Report on Extreme Events from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has already concluded that the effects of climate change will intensify extreme heat, heavy precipitation, and maximum wind speeds of tropical storms.

Climate change ‘grave threat’ to security and health17 October 2011 Last updated at 12:27 ET Climate change poses “an immediate, growing and grave threat” to health and security around the world, according to an expert conference in London. Officers in the UK military warned that the price of goods such as fuel is likely to rise as conflict provoked by climate change increases. A statement from the meeting adds that humanitarian disasters will put more and more strain on military resources.

‘Weather bomb’ winds scour Scotland
– Winds in the Scottish Highlands were clocked at 165 mph Thursday as an UNUSUAL STORM battered much of northern Britain. The worst effects were felt in Scotland. The winds brought trees down, stripped Aberdeen of its Christmas decorations and left 60,000 people without power. The Met Office issued its FIRST-EVER “red alert” Wednesday. Such warnings are HIGHLY UNUSUAL. Meteorologists said the wind was caused by an “explosive deepening,” a sharp drop in atmospheric pressure within a span of 24 hours that is also known as a “weather bomb”. Police advised everyone to get off the roads in central Scotland, but many drivers ignored the advice. Overturned trucks were scattered along highways and all travel was disrupted – with ferry services canceled, Edinburgh Airport closed and train speed limits reduced. About 75 percent of the schools in Scotland were closed. The wind also caused problems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Wind speeds were measured as high as 81 mph in Wales and Northwest England. Ferries from Northern Ireland were canceled or delayed and cross-Channel services to France were disrupted.

UN: Southeast Asian Floods Trigger Humanitarian Crisis,  October 18, 2011 – The United Nations says ongoing floods in Southeast Asia are triggering a humanitarian crisis. Floods and disasters in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines have killed more than 700 people and affected eight million others.

140-mph gusts cause damage, outages, delays in California – Wind gusts stronger than 140 mph — which would be equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane — have been measured on the Sierra Crest mountain ridge, according to the National Weather Service. It’s all part of a system the federal weather agency called “the strongest easterly wind event in the past several years.”

Glaciers in the French Alps have lost a quarter of their area in the past 40 years – In the late 1960s/early 1970s, the ice fields slipping down Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains of the European range covered some 375 sq km. By the late 2000s, this area had fallen to about 275 sq km.

Arctic ‘hurricane’ slams Alaska – A winter storm of hurricane strength was slamming Alaska early Wednesday with winds of up to 100 mph, high seas and blizzard conditions. The National Weather Service called the storm moving into the state off the Bering Sea “a powerful and extremely dangerous storm of record or near-record magnitude.”

Europe: Trapped Between Droughts and Floods, Wednesday, June 08, 2011 – According to the German weather service (DWD), the drought during the spring of 2011 was the worst ever measured. ‘No spring since the beginning of the weather measuring in 1893 has had so little rain as this year’s,’ Uwe Kirsche, DWD spokesperson, told IPS.

Thailand – Worst Floods in 50 years– The floods have claimed more than 300 lives since July and shuttered more than 14,000 businesses in a country that makes about a quarter of the world’s hard-disk drives and serves as the Southeast Asian production hub for Japanese carmakers. While the government estimates damages of as much as 120 billion baht ($3.9 billion), disruptions to the global supply chain may be underestimated, according to BGC Partners Inc. Floodwaters that have spread across 61 of the country’s 77 provinces since late July have damaged 14 percent of the nation’s rice farms and threaten to swamp parts of inner Bangkok, the government said yesterday.

Asia: Extreme Weather Leaves More Than 600 Dead Or Missing – MANILA, Philippines — The second typhoon in a week battered the rain-soaked northern Philippines on Saturday, adding misery to thousands of people, some of whom still perched on rooftops while several other Asian nations also reeled from flooding.

More than 9,000 heat records broken or tied in July, 2011 (MAP)

Deadly China floods force mass evacuation – Over half a million people have been evacuated in southern China after four days of torrential rain flooded vast areas of seven provinces.

Deadly flash floods sweep central Europe

South Pacific water shortage hits Tokelau – A second South Pacific community is suffering a severe water shortage due to an ongoing drought crisis.

Texas city makes heat record – 100 days of 100s

Heat wave breaks daily records in Ontario, Quebec – Toronto hottest spot in Canada.  A scorching heat wave toppled daily temperature records in 12 cities in Ontario and another dozen communities in Quebec Thursday.

Severe drought leads to water crises across Central Java – The drought that has afflicted Central Java for the last three months has created domestic and irrigation water crises in several parts of the province.  During a recent visit, The Jakarta Post observed that many rice fields in the regencies of Cilacap, Banyumas, Purbalingga and Banjarnegara were left dry and uncultivated due to a lack of irrigation water.

Britain bakes on the hottest October day for 100 years – Hot on the heels of the warmest end to September on record, yesterday has officially been declared Britain’s most scorching October day in more than a century. Just four weeks before the clocks go back for winter, Britain is in the middle of an Indian summer like no other with sizzling temperatures expected to continue into early next week.

An Exhausting Year Of Weather Extremes – In the first six months of the year there have been 98 natural disasters in the United States, about double the average of the 1990s.

Dozens Dead, 4 Million Forced to Flee From Flooding in Pakistan Province, Sept 5, 2011 – Floods in Pakistan’s Sindh province left more than 80 people dead and forced at least 4 million more from their homes as rains that began Aug. 31 destroyed entire villages, the government said.

Torrential rains are continuing to cause misery in Europe.

Somalia Drought ‘One of the Largest Humanitarian Crises in Decades’ – The crisis has been brought on by a deadly combination of severe drought, with no rain in the region for two years, a huge spike in food prices and a brutal civil war in Somalia, where it is too dangerous for aid workers to operate.  Somalians are walking as far as 50 miles to reach the Dadaab complex in eastern Kenya, the largest refugee camp in the world. The trek can take weeks through punishing terrain, which is desolate except for the carcasses that litter the land.

2011: Year of billion-dollar disasters, CNN, August 20, 2011  – The United States has already seen nine weather disasters this year that have caused $1 billion or more in damage, tying the record set in 2008. The total for all the disasters is about $35 billion.  “The year 2011 has already established itself in the record books as a historic year for weather-related disasters, and it is not over — in fact, hurricane season is just getting under way,” NOAA Deputy Administrator Kathryn D. Sullivan told the Senate Appropriations Committee in late July.

July 2011: Hottest Month on Record -The average temperature in each of these cities during July was hotter than any single calendar month on record.

Texas-sized drought worst in history (video)

 2011 equals deadliest U.S. tornado year on record – (Reuters) – The United States on Saturday equaled the record for deaths from tornadoes in a single year with 519 killed in 2011, and more than a month still to go in the tornado season, The National Weather Service said.

Record heat, drought, and flooding sweeps US; food supply to take a hit, Thursday, July 14, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer – The year 2011 is shaping up to be one of the most treacherous years in recent history, at least as far as the nation’s weather patterns are concerned. While much of the Midwestern US continues to get drenched by record rainfall and torrential flooding, the Southern US is experiencing tremendous heat and drought conditions that, combined with flood conditions to the north, will have devastating effects on the nation’s food supply.

Horn of Africa sees ‘worst drought in 60 years’ – Some parts of the Horn of Africa have been hit by the worst drought in 60 years, the UN says.  More than 10 million people are thought to be affected across the region. The UN now classifies large areas of Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya as a crisis or an emergency.

Arizona wildfire is now largest in state history at a record-breaking 469,000 acres – The wildfire that has roared out of control for more than two weeks in Arizona is now the largest in state history, having consumed over 469,000 acres.

14 US States Currently Wracked by Crippling Droughts by – Fourteen U.S. states, from North Carolina to Arizona to Texas — where conditions are crushing records set in 1917 — are currently in the midst of devastating droughts.

Millions in Pakistan Struggle Against Record Floods – Much of Pakistan faces more storms in the coming days. Heavy rains have already caused more than two weeks of record flooding. Health officials worry about disease spreading because of a lack of clean drinking water. The United Nations wants four hundred sixty million dollars to provide immediate help to fourteen million people affected by the flooding. The appeal this week came as estimates put the number of dead at about one thousand six hundred.

Record Floods Test China’s Three Gorges Dam: Big Pic – July 20, 2010 — Torrential rains that have been dumping on China for weeks turned deadly as record-breaking floods show no signs of retreat. Reuters reported that “at least 37 people died and another 86 were missing after landslides and flooding in northwestern Shaanxi province and southwestern Sichuan since late last week.” Millions had to be evacuated from their homes as dikes strain against the water’s weight.

New Mexico joins Arizona and Texas with record breaking wildfire seasons – The Las Conchas wildfire burning along the western edge of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has grown to more than 103,800 acres (according to the Associated Press), making it the largest forest fire in New Mexico history.  This new record has been set less than a month after the Wallow fire in Arizona became the largest in state history, burning more than 470,000 acres. And firefighters have responded to nearly 1500 wildfires in Texas this year, which have burned a record 3.3 million acres. The old Texas record was 1.98 million acres in 2006 (records have been kept for 25 years) according to Amarillo.com.

Minot suffering record breaking flooding –  MINOT, N.D. — The city knew that with heavy rains and snow melt the river would be up this year, but it didn’t expect it to be anywhere near this high. The level has already broken a record set in the 1880s and it’s still on the rise.

Rapid Decline in Mountain Snowpack Bad News for Western U.S. Rivers, By Lauren Morello  | June 10, 2011, Published in Scientific American – Snowpack in the northern Rocky Mountains has shrunk at an unusually rapid pace during the past 30 years, according to a new study.  The decline is “almost unprecedented” over the past 800 years, say researchers who used tree rings to reconstruct a centuries-long record of snowpack throughout the entire Rocky Mountain range.  Their work, published yesterday in the journal Science, suggests that the plummeting snowpack could have serious consequences for more than 70 million people who depend on water from the runoff-fed Columbia, Colorado and Missouri rivers.

PBS – June 9, 2011 Ariz. Wildfire Spreads as Record-Breaking Heat Wave Grips Eastern U.S. A late-spring heat wave burned its way into the record books in the Eastern U.S. today, causing at least seven deaths. And in the West, an inferno of a different kind, an out-of-control wildfire, raged on.

Eastern Palm Beach County now in worst drought on record – After being in an “extreme drought” for weeks, National Weather Service officials announced Thursday that the area from West Palm Beach south through Broward County is now in an “exceptional drought” – the highest level of drought never before seen in South Florida. “It’s been dry for so long, exceptionally dry,” said Robert Molleda, warning coordination meteorologist. “These conditions just continued to get worse.”

The mercury climbed into the 90s across half the country Wednesday in a record-breaking blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to it.  A new study from Stanford University predicts that global climate change will lead permanently to unusually hot summers by the middle of the century.

Despite better technology, 2011 set to be deadliest tornado year – Since 1875, the average number of deaths from tornadoes has actually decreased — from about 200 to 55 a year, Myers said. This year is a sharp anomaly.

Flooding in south U.S. to break records,  By John Afleck on May 4, 2011, 05 May 2011  – Meteorologists from AccuWeather predict that water levels along the Mississippi River from southern Illinois and southeastern Missouri to western Tennessee and Northeast Kansas are likely to be higher than the previous flood levels set in 1937. Hydrologists say that this was caused by the unusual weather patterns, including extreme amounts o rain over the southern part of the United States.

Arctic ice melt ‘alarming’ Ocean could be ice-free in summers within 40 years and sea levels could rise by 1.6 metres by 2100, says new study.

Somalia drought leaves one in four children hungry – UN – Children in Somalia are suffering some of the highest malnutrition rates in the world, says the United Nations as drought continues to affect the country.  An UN official told the BBC about two and a half million people had been affected. She said there had been complete crop failure in southern Somalia and that many had lost their livelihoods.

Cuba faces its worst drought for 50 years, 14 April 2011 – Cuba is facing its worst drought in half a century, with tens of thousands of families almost entirely reliant on water trucks for essential supplies. The drought started two years ago, and reservoirs are now down to a fifth of their normal levels.

 Japan’s tsunami waves top historic heights– Tsunami waves topped 60 feet or more as they broke onshore following Japan’s earthquake, according to some of the first surveys measuring the impact along the afflicted nation’s entire coast. Some waves grew to more than 100 feet high, breaking historic records, as they squeezed between fingers of land surrounding port towns.

Water shortages threaten the American West lifestyle, by Arnie Cooper – As Gleick points out in “Roadmap for Sustainable Water Resources in Southwestern North America,” it’s not land, energy, mining or climate, that is going to be most difficult issue to address in the Western United States — it’s water.

Colombia floods are ‘unprecedented tragedy’ – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos warned: “There are going to be a lot of needy people, there has never been a tragedy of this scale in our history.”

3.3.2011, February Ties Record-Low for Arctic Sea Ice – Even as the ice in the Arctic continues to form as part of the normal winter cycle, the cycle is continuing to show signs of anything but normalcy.

Mexico freeze kills 80-100 pct of crops; US food prices to soar

Multiple ocean stresses threaten “globally significant” marine extinction – LONDON, An international

panel of marine experts warns in a report released today that the world’socean is at high risk of entering a

phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.

2011: Year of the flood. These major floods happened in the first 3 weeks of 2011 – Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog – Friday, January 21, 2011, 10:21 – The year 2010 was one the worst years in world history for high-impact floods. But just three weeks into the new year, 2011 has already had an entire year’s worth of mega-floods. I’ll recap here six remarkable floods that have already occurred this year.

  1. Brazil
    Brazil suffered its deadliest natural disaster in history last week, when torrential rains inundated a heavily populated, steep-sloped area about 40 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. Flash floods and mudslides from the heavy rains have claimed at least 772 lives, including 357 in Nova Friburgo and 323 in Teresópolis. The storm left 126 people missing, the Brazilian Health and Civil Defense Ministry said Thursday. Rainfall amounts of approximately 300 mm (12 inches) fell in just a few hours in the hardest-hit regions. Damage estimates are currently $1.2 billion, and 13,000 are homeless. Latest rainfall forecasts from the GFS model show the heaviest rains during the coming week staying well south of the Rio de Janeiro area, which will give the flood region time to dry out and recover.
  2. Australia Queensland
    Australia’s most expensive natural disaster in history is now the Queensland flood of 2010 – 2011, with a price tag now as high as $30 billion. At least 31 have been killed since December in the floods, and another 40 are missing. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, in 2010 Australia had its wettest spring (September – November) since records began 111 years ago, with some sections of coastal Queensland receiving over 4 feet (1200 mm) of rain. Rainfall in Queensland and all of eastern Australia in December was the greatest on record, and the year 2010 was the rainiest year on record for Queensland. Queensland typically has its rainiest years when La Niña events occur, due to the much warmer than average ocean temperatures that occur along the coast. The BOM noted, “Previous strong La Niña events, such as those of 1974 and 1955, have also been associated with widespread and severe flooding in eastern Australia. Sea surface temperatures off the Queensland coast in recent months have also been at or near record levels.” The BOM’s annual summary also reported, “Sea surface temperatures in the Australian region during 2010 were the warmest value on record for the Australian region. Individual high monthly sea surface temperature records were also set during 2010 in March, April, June, September, October, November and December. Along with favourable hemispheric circulation associated with the 2010 La Niña, very warm sea surface temperatures contributed to the record rainfall and very high humidity across eastern Australia during winter and spring.” Queensland has an area the size of Germany and France combined, and 3/4 of the region has been declared a disaster zone. The latest GFS precipitation forecast for the coming week shows new heavy rains of 3 – 5 inches can be expected over the extreme northern portion of Queensland, but the majority of the state will receive lesser rains that should not further aggravate the flooding situation.
  3. Australia Victoria
    From January 12 – 14, extremely heavy rains over the southern Australian state of Victoria caused major flooding that killed one person and caused hundreds of millions in damage. Kevin Parkyn, a senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology said “Victoria is experiencing one of its worst flood events in its history” after “a week in which rainfall totals have been smashed in parts of Victoria”. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Terry Ryan said “It’s the worst flood in western Victoria in their history as far as our records go in terms of the depth of water and the number of places affected.” According to atmospheric moisture expert Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, extratropical storm systems like the one that affected Victoria get 70% of their moisture from the surrounding atmosphere, and 30% due to evaporation from the surface. Since the airmass that supplied Victoria with its flooding rains traveled over the already-flooded portions of Queensland to the north before reaching Victoria, the moisture from the Queensland floods contributed significantly to the Victoria floods. Little rain is predicted over Victoria during the coming week, fortunately.
  4. 100-year flood in Sri Lanka
    The government’s Disaster Management Centre said more than 1 million people had been affected by the rains, with 325,000 made homeless.
  5. South Africa
    Heavy rains of up 345 mm (13.6″) have fallen in South Africa so far this month, resulting in deadly floods that have killed 40 people. Seven of the country’s nine provinces have been declared disaster zones. Agricultural damage alone from the floods is estimated at $145 million. Heavy rains and severe flooding have also affected neighboring Mozambique, where 13 people are dead and 13,000 homeless or suffering damaged homes. Neighboring Zimbabwe has seen its heaviest rains in 30 years in recent weeks, according to the nation’s Civil Protection Unit, but severe flooding has not yet hit that nation. La Niña events commonly cause heavy rains in southern Africa. Sea surface temperatures off the east coast of South Africa were 0.2 – 0.4°C above average during December 2010–nowhere near record levels, but warm enough to contribute to enhanced rainfall.
  6. Philippines
    Very heavy rains since late December have triggered a major flooding disaster in the Philippines, where 40 are dead, 453,000 people displaced, and 1.2 million people affected. The heavy rains were caused when a cold front moved over the eastern Philippines and lingered for many days. Heavy rains are common in the Philippines during La Niña events, as unusually warm waters accumulate by the islands. This winter, the waters in the central Philippines (10N to 15N, 120E to 130E) were at the warmest levels in history–1.0°C above average during December. The exceptionally warm waters allowed more moisture than usual to evaporate into the air, enhancing rainfall.

China’s 2011 DroughtEast China wheat basket braces for worst drought in 200 years

February 8 – Bloomberg: “Shandong province, one of China’s major grain producers, is facing its worst drought in 200 years if the eastern region doesn’t receive more precipitation by the end of this month, the official Xinhua News Agency reported… Shandong, which has received only 12 millimeters of rain since last September, is one of eight drought-ravaged provinces where the government has started a ‘grade II emergency response’ including 24-hour weather monitoring and daily damage reports… The four-month drought affected 35% of wheat in the eight regions…”

February 8 – Bloomberg (James Poole): “A severe drought in the North China Plain, the country’s main winter wheat-producing area, may threaten production, according to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization. Rainfall has been substantially below normal since October, with diminished snow cover reducing the protection of dormant plants against frost… The drought is ‘potentially a serious problem,’ it said.”

USA: Blizzard of 2011 ‘a storm of historic proportions’ – “We are experiencing a storm of historic proportions . . . the likes of which we really haven’t seen in 20 or 30 years,” said Ray Orozco, Mayor Daley’s chief of staff.

Worst Ever Monster Cyclone Hits Australia – A terrifying top-strength cyclone slammed into Australia’s populous northeast coast on Thursday, which could be one of the most lethal storms in the nation’s history. Howling winds whipped up by Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi with speeds of up to 290 kilometres (181 miles) per hour ripped off roofs, felled trees and cut power supplies as the storm crossed the Queensland coast. Bloomberg (Wendy Pugh): “World sugar output will probably fall short of demand, said Rabobank, after a cyclone with winds stronger than Hurricane Katrina destroyed homes and smashed crops in Australia, driving prices to 30-year highs. Tropical Cyclone Yasi ripped through northern Queensland, a region growing a third of the country’s cane, cutting output potential in the area by about 50%…”

Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Workers Report Mysterious Illnesses Year After Disaster

August 22, 2011

Read the original article here

As the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill approaches, some scientists have deemed the health of the Gulf of Mexico as “nearly back to normal,” though countless workers involved in cleaning up the aftermath of the disaster are reporting mysterious and unexplained illnesses.

The Associated Press reports that scientists have graded the Gulf’s ecosystem health now as just a few points below where it was before the spill. Granted, the scientists go on to voice concern for the mysterious deaths of hundreds of young dolphins and turtles, dead patches of sea floor, and stained crabs.

Jane Lubchenco, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, the Gulf is “much better than people feared, but the jury is out about what the end result will be.”

What exactly are people defining as “the Gulf” when they say it is better than expected? It seems the workers who helped to clean the Gulf during the oil spill and local residents are not counted in this “better than people feared” assessment.

Jamie Simon’s health is certainly not back to normal. According to the AFP, Simon worked on a barge for six months after the oil spill, cooking for the cleanup workers. When dispersants were sprayed, she tells the news organization, “I was exposed to those chemicals, which I questioned, and they told me it was just as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid and there was nothing for me to worry about.” Now, the 32-year-old suffers from dizziness, vomiting, ear infections, swollen throat, poor sight in one eye and memory loss.

The health effects of oil spill dispersants are a hotly contested issue, and many doctors maintain that exposure to the spill and dispersants cannot be directly linked to adverse health effects being reported. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, long-term exposure to dispersants can cause central nervous system problems or damage to blood, kidneys and livers.

A TIME article released after the oil spill explained that “oil isn’t just oil — it also contains volatile organic compounds like the carcinogen benzene.” It cited doctors who said there is evidence that “short-term lung, kidney and liver functions could be affected” by exposure to volatile organic compounds from oil spills.

Beyond Jamie Simon, 415 other people in the state of Louisiana are also not “back to normal.” According to the AFP, the state has reported 415 cases of oil spill-related health problems. Symptoms include sore throats, irritated eyes, respiratory tract infections, headaches and nausea.

The Natural Resource Defense Council’s Rocky Kistner recently wrote for The Huffington Post about Andre Gaines, 27, a single father of two sons, who recently spoke at the Power Shift 2011 conference about his work on the oil spill cleanup:

During the hot summer cleanup last summer, Andre says planes would fly overhead spraying chemical dispersants that would drift over the workers, burning people’s skin and making it hard to breathe. Andre says he watched workers collapse from exposure to toxic fumes of the oil. Soon, Andre says he succumbed himself and spent days in the hospital with “tubes and IV coming out of everyplace in my body.”Later, Andre says BP promised him $21,000 to pay his medical claims, but when he followed up, the phone had been disconnected.

Mike Robichaux is a local doctor who has seen up to 60 patients in recent weeks with a mysterious sickness that some attribute to BP’s oil spill. Dr. Robichaux has been making house calls because many of the “stoic” workers don’t want others to know that they are sick. Yet, Dr. Robichaux tells the AFP, “Ninety percent of them are getting worse… Nobody has a clue as to what it is.”

Reuters reports that the U.S. National Institutes of Health has launched a ten-year study on the health of 55,000 oil spill clean-up workers and volunteers. Perhaps it will take ten years to get an answer for Dr. Robichaux.

Not everyone blames the oil spill for the health problems plaguing Gulf cleanup workers. Namely, BP does not blame the BP oil spill for the health problems plaguing Gulf cleanup workers. In a BP comment to the AFP, the company wrote, “Illness and injury reports were tracked and documented during the response, and the medical data indicate they did not differ appreciably from what would be expected among a workforce of this size under normal circumstances.”

As for compensating sick workers, this would fall under state law and “must be supported by acceptable medical evidence.” Are the 415 Louisianans suffering from respiratory tract infections, nausea, and headaches evidence enough?

It will take more than a one-year anniversary for the health of many oil spill cleanup workers to go “back to normal,” and for solid scientific evidence to determine whether the mysterious illnesses that plague them are truly the result of the oil spill, as they believe them to be.

Fukishima Update – Nuclear facts, news and resources

60 Minutes Presents: Japan using Fukushima people as human Guinnea Pigs

The speaker in the above video is Helen Mary Caldicott

Helen Mary Caldicott (born 7 August 1938) is an Australian physician, author, and anti-nuclear advocate.  She hosts a weekly radio program, If You Love This Planet.  Born in Melbourne, Australia, Caldicott attended the Fintona Girls’ School, and received her medical degree in 1961 from the University of Adelaide Medical School. In 1977 she joined the staff of the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, and taught pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School from 1977 to 1978.  She has been awarded 20 honorary doctoral degrees and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling. She was awarded the Lannan Foundation Prize for Cultural Freedom in 2003, and in 2006, the Peace Organisation of Australia presented her with the inaugural Australian Peace Prize “for her longstanding commitment to raising awareness about the medical and environmental hazards of the nuclear age”. The Smithsonian Institution has named Caldicott as one of the most influential women of the 20th century. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Fundacion IDEAS, a progressive think tank in Spain.


Michio Kaku on CNN: Fukushima – “They Lied to Us” – June 21, 2011


Fukushima Day 99- Infant Deaths up 48% in Philadelphia USA since Japan meltdowns – June 19, 2011


Lethal Levels of Radiation at Fukushima Infer Millions Dying – August 8, 2011


Experts warn off-scale levels of radiation, which are at their highest levels since the disaster began almost 5 months ago, infers hundreds millions dying from the nuclear fallout.

Deborah Dupre, Human Rights Examiner
August 5, 2011

Fukushima nuclear power plant radiation recordings of external gamma radiation have been so high this week, they went off scale said veteran nuclear expert Arnie Gunderson on Thursday after the famous physicist, Dr. Chris Busby told the Japanese people this week that radioactive air contamination there now is 300 times that of Chernobyl and 1000 times the atomic bomb peak in 1963, possibly inferring that hundreds of millions of people are now dying from Fukushima radiation, including people in the United States.

If noticing unusual amounts of hair falling out, confusion, nose bleeds or other odd symptoms typical of radiation sickness, it might be due to the United States record high levels of radiation, now multiple times acceptable safety limits not only on the west coast, but also in other locations around the nation.

Because Fukushima radiation data retrieval and interpretation has been so complex or non-existent for the concerned public, citizen reporters in Japan and United States have now established easily accessible ways to view radiation levels on the internet.

Fukushima radiation depopulation unfathomable: Possibly 100s of millions deaths

Dr Janette Sherman, a highly respected physician and acknowledged expert in radiation exposure who has reported a north-east United States 35% baby death spike since Fukushima fall-out reached the nation, concurs with estimates that world wide, the Chernobyl Kill is one million people killed to date reported NOVA News. Extrapolating, worldwide deaths by Fukushima radiation could eventually be hundreds of millions of people, becoming the most significant depopulation event to date.

Dr. Chris Busby, world famous physicist, said tests conducted at the respected Harwell Radiation Laboratory in England demonstrate that airborne radiation in Japan is 1,000 times higher than radioactive “fallout” at the peak in 1963 of H-Bomb detonations by nuclear powers. In March, Busby had estimated that Fukushima radiation to be 72,000 times greater than what the United States released at Hiroshima.

“Let’s wipe the Tokyo Electric Power Company and the General Electric officials and policy makers off the face of the Earth, as they manifestly deserve,” asserted Dr. Busby when addressing the Japanese this week.

Thirty-nine year nuclear industry veteran Arnie Gunderson of Fairwinds stated Tuesday,”There will continue to be enormous spikes for at least ten years.”

Dr. Busby advocates not only independent studies of the nuclear catastrophe. He received a resounding applause when he told the Japanese people this week that in his opinion, scientists who said this accident was not a problem must be prosecuted.

“Many nuclear scientists said it was not a problem when the knew it was a serious accident. People who listened to those scientists and did not run away when they should have. Because of that, people will die.”

Busby explained that the World Health Organization is tied to the Nuclear Industry so their research is bogus. In studying Fukushima, the World Health Organization expects to find no effects “and so that’s what they’ll find,” he said.

According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, WHO’s subjugation to the nuclear industry has been widely known since May 28, 1959, when at the 12th World Health Assembly, WHO drafted an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) granting the right of prior approval over any research it might undertake or report on to the IAEA, the group many people, including some journalists, think is a neutral watchdog but is, “in fact, an advocate for the nuclear power industry.”

”The agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity through the world,” the founding papers state, as reported in The Age.

Latest nuclear ‘peace, health and prosperity’ spike

TEPCO discovered a hot spot location on the Fukushima nuclear power plant site a few days ago with lethal levels of external gamma radiation.

How the latest radiation spike at Fukushima might have been deposited and also how similar radioactive material would have been released off-site was presented this week by Gunderson, with over 25-years of experience in nuclear decommissioning oversight, co-authored the first edition of the Department Of Energy (DOE) Decommissioning Handbook. (See embedded Vimeo, “Lethal Levels of Radiation at Fukushima: What Are the Implications?“, Arnie Gunderson, Fairwinds)

Gunderson noted that over 1000 REMs were released according to TEPCO earlier this week, an amount that, “if there, would mean death within a couple of days.”

“Those kinds of exposures cause extensive neurological breakdowns that can’t be reversed medically,” Gunderson reported.

Fukushima nuclear power plant radiation recordings of external gamma radiation have been so high this week, they went off scale said veteran nuclear expert Arnie Gunderson on Thursday after the famous physicist, Dr. Chris Busby told the Japanese people this week that radioactive air contamination there now is 300 times that of Chernobyl and 1000 times the atomic bomb peak in 1963, possibly inferring that hundreds of millions of people are now dying from Fukushima radiation, including people in the United States.

If noticing unusual amounts of hair falling out, confusion, nose bleeds or other odd symptoms typical of radiation sickness, it might be due to the United States record high levels of radiation, now multiple times acceptable safety limits not only on the west coast, but also in other locations around the nation.

Because Fukushima radiation data retrieval and interpretation has been so complex or non-existent for the concerned public, citizen reporters in Japan and United States have now established easily accessible ways to view radiation levels on the internet.

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The Dangers of Estrogens in Our Environment

Posted in Green/Organic/Eco-Conscious on September 26th, 2010

The Dangers of Estrogens in Our Environment


The natural environment is one of great splendor. Beautiful trees, lush fields, flowing waters and a myriad of colorful plants are all within grasp for humans to touch and behold.

This same landscape, however, is also full of chemicals known to be gravely dangerous. These are called xenoestrogens, and mounting evidence implicates them in a vast assortment of human and wildlife health problems.

Xenoestrogens essentially mimic the estrogen that occurs naturally within human bodies. An estimated 70,000 registered chemicals contain xenoestrogens, which enter a person’s endocrine system and disrupt normal processes. In addition to being carcinogenic and toxic, xenoestrogens increase the body’s real estrogen production and can cause infertility, a variety of cancers, chronic diseases and a host of other health complications that do not quickly cease.

Personal Care Products

One of the foremost ways that xenoestrogens enter the body is through personal care products. This is especially true of women’s products, including cosmetics, face and body lotions, nail polish remover and acrylic nails. Such ingredients as phthalates, parabens, triclosan and hydroquinone are illegal in the European Union because they have been proven to cause cancer and reproductive developmental toxicity. In the United States, however, such ingredients continue to be readily found in a variety of cosmetic products.

Dr. Phillippa Darbre with the University of Reading’s School of Biological Sciences in England wrote a report that investigated the connection between breast cancer and cosmetics use. As the skin does not act to prevent such chemicals from entering the body, she contended that xenoestrogens are largely responsible for many breast cancer occurrences. This is based upon the fact that 90 percent of breast cancers are environmental in origin, and the major influence is constant exposure to estrogen.

Judi Vance, author of Beauty to Die For: the Cosmetic Consequence, claims that female hormonal imbalances are only a North American problem that may also be connected to cosmetic use. According to her research, countries like China and Japan do not suffer from such problems as PMS and menopausal symptoms. This is because xenoestrogens communicate with cells as if they were natural estrogen. Such common products as bubble bath, hair conditioner and shampoo all have the potential to contain xenoestrogens.

Estrogen in the Food and Bottled Water Supply

According to researchers, 75 percent of all Americans will be overweight by the year 2015. Some scientists attribute this statistic to a sedentary lifestyle, but others believe that estrogen is the culprit. According to Ori Hofmekler, author of The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, “Most conventional food is estrogenic.” This is because meat and dairy products are ridden with hormones, while fruits and vegetables are laced in pesticides. Such chemicals are intended to protect and procure meat and produce. Once inside the body, however, those hormones mimic the actions of estrogen. Hofmekler further states that this is responsible for breast cancer in women and infertility in men.

Indeed, studies show that xenoestrogens substantially lower sperm counts in men. In the past 50 years, male sperm counts have plummeted by 50 percent. Today, the average man’s testosterone and sperm levels have dropped 20 percent compared to just 20 years ago. Researchers believe this is owed to heavily processed foods with additives and, again, personal care products.

Dr. Russell Blaylock concurs with Hofmekler and also takes the estrogen theory one step further. Not only is estrogen present in the foods consumed by humans, but also in bottled waters. This is because xenoestrogens appear in plastic containers. When foods or liquids sit in those containers, they absorb the xenoestrogens and pass them to humans during consumption. Dr. Blaylock states, “Studies show that xenoestrogens from plastics appear to cause premature menses in young girls, decreased sperm in men and a dramatic increase in breast disease.”

How to Avoid the Estrogen Environment

Individuals can take proactive measures to avoid such an overload of estrogen, as caused by the environment. For example, grocery purchases should include only organic meats and produce items. Personal care products should also be used minimally and include organic ingredients.

In order to become healthier, experts agree that people need to first become informed. This means reading the labels of all commercial products, making conscious decisions and staying abreast of new consumer developments.