Archive | Environmental Disasters

Cyclone Leaves Thousands Without Power

MIDGE POINT, Australia, March 22 (UPI) — Cyclone Ului caused millions of dollars in damage to crops, buildings, roads and businesses in Australia but no serious injuries were reported, officials said.

An estimated 30,000 homes were without power in Queensland, down from 60,000 at the height of the storm Sunday, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said Monday.

The cyclone crossed north of Mackay with 124-mph winds before weakening to a tropical storm and tracking west over inland Queensland.

About 20 boats were on the bottom of Shute Harbor near Airlie Beach, which was without power and running low on drinking water, the Mackay Regional Council said. In Midge Point, a tidal surge swept water and sand into homes and ripped apart a city park.

The storm, as a Category 3 cyclone, tore off roofs and uprooted large tree throughout the region, Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said, estimating the damage in the millions of dollars.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Air, Atmosphere, & Weather, Buildings, Drinking Water, Electricity, Environmental Disasters, Tidal0 Comments

Mine in China Flooded, 11 Miners Trapped

BEIJING, March 22 (UPI) — An iron and metals mine in China’s central Henan province flooded Monday, trapping 11 miners, authorities said.

Rescue efforts were under way.

The flooding at the mine in Zhumadian city occurred early in the morning, Xinhua news agency reported. Details about the cause and the extent of the flooding were not immediately available.

The trapped miners are employees of Shunda Mining Co. Limited, city officials said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Environmental Disasters0 Comments

Hurricane Hammers Island Nation of Fiji

SUVA, Fiji, March 16 (UPI) — A Category 4 hurricane battering Fiji for four days has destroyed at least 50 homes, but deaths are unconfirmed because of downed communications, officials say.

Fijian disaster-management officials say they have received reports of several deaths in the Lau group of islands resulting from Hurricane Tomas, but the police cannot confirm them until the restoration of communications, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Tuesday.

Public buildings and hospitals have been destroyed, and roofs ripped off by the hurricane’s 155 mph winds.

Seventeen-thousand people have been evacuated to more than 200 shelters, the ABC said.

Hurricane Tomas, which had first moved through the north, is currently affecting the smaller low-lying islands in the east.

“In the northern division, what we get is roofs blown off, houses flattened, trees being broken,” said Anthony Blake, a relief coordinator with Fiji’s disaster-management organization, DISMAC.

“In the eastern division in the Lau Group, we’ve got unconfirmed reports where whole villages have had roofs blown off and people are taking shelter in caves.”

UNICEF spokesman Tim Sutton says there’s also a health problem.

“Fiji has been suffering from an outbreak of typhoid for the last month or so, so with people congregating in evacuation centers there is the potential for that also to explode.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Buildings, Environmental Disasters0 Comments

Rainy Season, Flooding Loom for Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 2 (UPI) — Flood-producing heavy rains in Haiti killed at least 13 people, sent residents scurrying to rooftops and trapped people in vehicles and homes, officials said.

Several communities in southern Haiti have been flooded since Saturday, a civil emergency spokesman told The Guardian. U.N. troops and Haitian police moved 500 prisoners from a jail in Les Cayes as water engulfed the coastal city. Witnesses told the British newspaper houses collapsed and people fled for high ground.

The Haitian government, the United Nations and several international relief agencies are raising concerns about dangers posed by the Caribbean rainy season that runs from March or April into fall. Haiti still is recovering from the 7-magnitude earthquake Jan. 12 that killed more than 200,000 and left about 1.3 million people homeless, many living in overcrowded makeshift camps with little or no sanitation.

U.N. officials said the non-government organization plans to provide all families with two plastic tarps by May 1. Red Cross officials said about 40 percent of the population left homeless by the earthquake have received tents, tarps or shelter tool kits.

With the rainy season looming, officials have begun trying to cull tent city populations by registering families whose homes can be quickly repaired and rebuilt, The Guardian said. Other camp dwellers are being encouraged to move in with friends or relatives.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Earthquakes, Environmental Disasters, Natural Disasters0 Comments

The Noble Lie about CO2 Emissions & the Global Climate Change Policies that Follow It

Many influential and principled, well-meaning elites have decided the science behind CO2 policies are too much for them, since even if CO2 alarmism is ultimately unfounded, anything to convince people to reduce CO2 is a good and noble lie, anyway. Many conscientious people have decided whatever we do while trumpeting anti-CO2 motives must be good. Debate is supposedly over on the topic of CO2 emissions. If you don’t agree with the CO2 alarmists, but feel the end justifies the means, at worst you’re a noble liar. If you don’t agree, and stick to your guns, you’re the moral equivalent of a holocaust denier. Meanwhile, while we perseverate over CO2 emissions, genuine, immediate, epic environmental disasters are ongoing, visible and obvious. In some cases, actions motivated by global warming alarm has actually worsened these disasters. In other cases, they get scant attention, now that CO2 is the demon that overshadows all others.

How can global greens ignore the destruction of Orangutan and Tiger habitat in Indonesia, in order to grow biofuel? How can they ignore the rainforests on fire from Sumatra to Mato Grosso, from Malaya to Malawi? European carbon offset payments created a global biofuels market. And as a direct consequence, today we have rainforests burning for biofuel from America to Africa to Asia. Earth’s tropical rainforests are reduced from 8.0 million square miles historically to under 3.0 million today, and what is left is rapidly being turned into biofuel feedlots, effectively using money from well-intentioned global greens.

How can global greens ignore the immediate imminent collapse of several ocean fisheries? How can global greens ignore the need for more energy and water, not less? How can they ignore the compelling benefits to the global climate of a $25B gravity-fed diversion canal moving 20 km3 H2O/yr from the Volga to the Aral Sea? How can they deny the need for more infrastructure? Where will the steel and cement come from, to hold up the sod roofs on our new green buildings?

How can global greens profess to be in favor of more government, when government itself must first be reformed? Elected officials and judges need to take government back from government, through enacting reform – the most central of which is that all tax payment funded worker benefits should be the same for all workers, public and private. Before we contemplate increasing taxes, we need to merge all public employee disability and retirement benefit funds with social security, medicare, and workman’s compensation funds under one federal administrative agency. Supplemental private sector plans could complement this safety net, but everyone would get the same basic taxpayer funded deal.

So if we’re ready, let’s go ahead and tax CO2 emissions, or create a trading market for them, or both. Let’s create a windfall that will finance huge projects. How will we spend this money?

Take CO2 emissions offset payments and use them to fund nuclear power stations at $1.0 billion per gigawatt output. Use them to fund desalination plants in Southern California at $2.0 billion per cubic kilometer output of fresh water. Use them to buy out the rice and alfalfa farmers in the Aral Basin, adding 3.0 cubic kilometers of water per year back into the Aral Sea, for $3.0 billion.

Take CO2 emissions offest payments and use them to fund smart freeways, with intercity high speed rail (120 mph), and smart lanes for cars with autopilot, and commuter lanes, and additional lanes, and greenbelts laced with bike and LEV paths. Accept EIAs that demonstrate global cooling is best served through developing sprawling, ultra low-density suburbs filled with big yards and big lawns or wild areas and trees.

Take CO2 emissions offset payments and buy back all the biofuel plantations in Asia, America and Africa, and put the tropical forests back. Start with Indonesia, where the Orangutan and Tigers are almost gone, and the fires rage unchecked. Stop thinking by burning crops and forests instead of fossil fuel we are somehow saving the earth.

Global climate change has three distinct and not necessarily related or correlated manifestations: Drought, extreme weather, and global warming. The thermostatic effect of trees vs. plantations, cooling island vs. heat island effects, watered vs. dry, may have more to do with climate change than industrial CO2 emissions. Use CO2 emissions offset payments to finance installation of high-tech scrubbers that remove actual pollution, letting some CO2 through, but nonetheless purifying the air of places like Beijing. That would be feasible.

Is all CO2 emissions offset payments going to accomplish is giant CO2 ground-injection units at every power station, and cluster homes to make room for irrigated fields of corn ethanol farms? Rationing and restrictions, and regulations so complex that anyone who so much as scratches in the earth must apply for permission? Global greens need to thoughtfully assess and approve of where all this money is going to go, whether they speak the truth, or the noble lie.

Posted in Buildings, Cars, Drought, Effects Of Air Pollution, Energy, Environmental Disasters, Global Warming & Climate Change, Infrastructure, Other, Policies & Solutions1 Comment

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