Water: the impending apocalypse

November 28, 2007

NOTE: Images in this archived article have been removed.

Research Paper No.1.

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research
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PREFACE: The End of the Road?

“We can transform a necessity into virtue. We can pursue new and improved ways to produce, consume and discard. We can promote environmentally friendly industries that spur development and job creation even as they reduce emissions. We can usher in a new era of global partnership, one that helps lift all boats on the rising tide of climate-friendly development.” UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.


A personal homage: Riding across the Great Divide when I was 7 and spitting on both sides, as was custom; the smell of pine trees by Montana’s Two Medicine River; seals, porpoises, jellyfish, sea urchins; the sound of the wind and ocean in a force 12 gale; blue dragonflies by a river with my son; moisture coming up through the grass in early morning; butterflies resting on my cheek both by the ocean and again by a river near a war zone; green northern lights above our ship’s deck blanketed by deep snow; swimming in natural mineral water; ‘wine-dark’ seas; full moons and spring tides; standing under a waterfall – these are some moments of joy resting forever in my memories. I have always lived beside or very near water: water informs my life.

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Isadora running to the sea © sarah meyer

This research is about water on our planet Earth, now. I try to show the effects of fire, floods and drought on those living in impossible cicrcumstances. So far, the media poodles give us information in drips alongside its more important advertisements; it is thus difficult to understand the overall enormity – the pattern – of our planet’s crisis. I feel the research has something interesting for everyone rather than a chosen few.

“Because there are people out there who are ready to look where I’m pointing. Maybe you’re one of those people.”
Tim Bennett

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President of the United States Al Gore. The summary of the IPCC report was recently released in Valencia, Spain. This summary report precedes the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali from 3 – 14 December 2007.

Many in the western part of our planet were loping along with happy consumer illusions until the Bush-Cheney so-called “War on Terror” response to 9/11. Now, according to Sohbet Karbuz, “the U.S. military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world.” The US is chasing and making genocidal wars for oil, while severe fires, floods and drought are, like the US constitution, ignored. The U.S. contempt for planet Earth will also be genocidal. Perhaps it will be The Final Holocaust.

Michael Klare, in Preparing for Life After Oil, points out that the U.S. Energy Department now talks of “liquids” rather than just oil. Water is not yet among the the US ‘unconventional’ needs. Soon – it is happening already – water, like oil, will be spoken of as a commodity”.

Water can be envisioned as the reason for the NEXT resource war. There is already tension between some American states; already different American states are having ‘water wars’. One person has been murdered because of a water dispute.

Is water to be defined as a public good and should it be managed by national governments, or is it merchandise, to be run as a private sector investment? Alejo Álvez at the Latin America Press discusses this issue.

Meanwhile, legislation representing the federal government’s power grab over water is quietly moving forward.

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Why is Blackwater sniffing “out intelligence about natural disasters”? Will there be martial law in the United States to control another environmental disaster?

Are global warming, polar bears, brush fires and drought now thought crimes?

Why are people so resistant to knowing about the planet they live on, Sally Erikson asks. Human beings are part of the living chain; are not exempt from extinction.

Is Cormac McCarthy’s The Road becoming a reality? I fear so. His bone-dry view is much more realistic than ‘Rapture’, favoured by the Christian Destruction Lobby and Mad Hatter Bush.


a. Reports and Articles
b. Negative Government Responses
c. Playing Hanky Panky With Climate Change

a. The Arctic & Antarctic; Tibet
b. The Convention of the Sea
c. Polar Ownership

a. General
b. Water Toxicity
c. Profit in Water
d. Water Storage
e. Storms and Floods [Arctic/Farne Islands, Australia, Bahamas / Cuba, Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Guinea, Philappines, South Africa, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States (Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York), Viet Nam]
f. Hydroelectric Dams

a. Forests
b. Palm Oil
c. Fires [Australia, United States]
d. Carbon
e. Biofuels – Ethanol
f. Droughts and / or Pollution
a. General
b. WHERE? Armenia, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada / US Great Lakes, China, Chile, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Sierra Nevada, Texas, Tennessee

a. Martial Law?
b. Extinction



a. Reports and Articles



The IPCC, awarded the joint (with Al Gore) Nobel Peace Prize this year for its efforts to raise awareness of climate change, was set up by the UN in 1988 and published its first assessment, sounding the initial warning about rising temperatures, in 1990; it issued subsequent reports in 1995 and 2001.

Here it is: the future of the world, in 23 pages
19.11.07. Independent. These 23 pages are crucial for the future of the world. This is the key document on climate change, and from now on you can forget any others you may have read or seen or heard about. This is the one that matters. It is the tightly distilled, peer-reviewed research of several thousand scientists, fully endorsed, without qualification, by all the world’s major governments. Its official name is a mouthful: the Policymakers’ Summary of the Synthesis Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment. So let’s just call it The Synthesis. t is so important because it provides one concise, easily-readable but comprehensive text of facts, figures and diagrams – in short all the information you need to understand and act on the threat of global warming, be you a politician, a businessman, an activist or a citizen (or for that matter, a doubter). The Synthesis has been distilled from more than 3,000 pages of research published in the three separate parts of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, or AR4, during the course of 2007 – on the science of climate change, on its potential impacts, and the possible remedies.

Latest statistics and shocks still in store

* 11 of the past 12 years (1995-2006) rank among the 12 warmest years in instrumental records of global surface temperatures (since 1850)

* Global average sea level has risen since 1961 at an average rate of 1.8mm per year – but since 1993 at an average rate of 3.1mm

* Temperature changes will depend on how much CO2 is emitted, but different scenarios see the increase by 2100 ranging from 0.3C to 6.4C

* Up to 30 per cent of the world’s species are at increased risk of extinction after a 2C temperature rise

* Between 75 million and 250 million people in Africa could suffer water shortages by 2020; in Asia, heavily-populated “mega-deltas” are at greatly increased risk of flooding; tropical forest in eastern Amazonia will turn to savannah by mid-century


The Big Melt: Lessons from the Arctic Summer of 2007
October 2007, carbon equity.

Target practice: we should we aim to prevent dangerous climate change?
In The Big Melt Carbon Equity assessed the recent climate science. This effort was prompted by the significant reduction in Arctic sea ice during the last northern summer. The science review begged the question of whether the greenhouse gas reduction goals being adopted by governments and other interested parties are still adequate. To address this issue in detail David Spratt and Philip Sutton have compiled a Target Practice: Summary

• Policies have not been constructed within a framework of fully solving the problem. • Actions proposed should be doubly-practical: they should deliver tangible results in the real world and crucially they must also fully solve the problem • We suggest the goal is a climate safe for all people and all species over ‘all’ generations * The loss of the Arctic sea ice, in all likelihood at an increase of less than 1ºC in global average temperature unambiguously represents dangerous human interference with the climate and therefore global temperatures should not have exceeded the levels three decades ago when Arctic sea-ice disintegration commenced in order to avoid dangerous climate change. • The widely-promoted 2ºC target cap is not credible, initiating climate feedbacks on earth and in the oceans, on ice-sheets and on the tundra, taking the earth past significant tipping points. • Proposals for a 60% cut on 1990 levels by 2050 in the developed world implies a 3ºC target. The last time temperatures were 3°C higher than our pre-industrial levels, the northern hemisphere was free of glaciers and ice sheets, beech trees grew in the Transantarctic mountains, sea levels were 25 metres higher. • In order to avoid the loss of the Arctic icesheet, a safe target would be 0.5ºC. We therefore propose that a safe-climate temperature increase cap be 0.5ºC and greenhouse gas level of 320 ppm CO2e, a level to which we should aim to return the planet if we value biodiversity and human life. There is no ideal achievement timetable other than as fast as possible. • To return to the safe zone we need to bring the global temperature and the atmospheric greenhouse gases down from their present levels; and • This means that no further greenhouse gases should be added to the air and there needs to be a very significant decay in the level of the short-residence-period greenhouse gases and other positive forcing (warming) agents in the atmosphere (e.g. soot) and a major draw down of CO2 using natural carbon sinks and deliberate human capture and sequestration.

Climate change worse than predicted
15.11.07. news.com.au. A REPORT by Australian scientists has warned that the world is warming faster than predicted by the United Nations’ top climate change body.

This report, prepared by Dr Graeme Pearman, former head of the CSIRO‘s atmospheric research unit, found temperatures and greenhouse pollution were rising faster than forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report, prepared for the Climate Institute, noted that the IPCC’s recent Fourth Assessment Report used material published up to mid-2006, but many important new observations had been published since.

[GEO-4] Global Environment Outlook: environment for development REPORT

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OUR CHANGING PLANET: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2008



UN Report Describes Risks of Inaction on Climate Change
16.11.07. Elisabeth Rosenthal. New York Times / truthout. In its final and most powerful report, a United Nations panel of scientists meeting here describes the mounting risks of climate change in language that is both more specific and forceful than its previous assessments, according to scientists here.

Synthesizing reams of data from its three previous reports, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the first time specifically points out important risks if governments fail to respond: melting ice sheets that could lead to a rapid rise in sea levels and the extinction of large numbers of species brought about by even moderate amounts of warming, on the order of 1 to 3 degrees.

The report carries heightened significance because it is the last word from the influential global climate panel before world leaders meet in Bali, Indonesia, next month to begin to discuss a global climate change treaty that will replace the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. It is also the first report from the panel since it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October – an honor that many scientists here said emboldened them to stand more forcefully behind their positions.

UN scientists urge carbon tax to fight global warming
17.11.07. D. Adam, Guardian. · Temperatures may rise 6C by 2100, says panel · Report marks effort to find post-Kyoto consensus

Climate Change Irreversible? United Nations Chief Urges Breakthrough After Dire IPCC Report Released
18.11.07. sciencedaily. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has challenged the world’s policymakers to start devising a comprehensive deal for tackling climate change at next month’s summit in Bali, Indonesia, after a United Nations report released Nov. 17 found that global warming is unequivocal and could cause irreversible damage to the planet.

Graphic: How the earth will heat up by 2099 (pdf)
Putting a price on harmful emissions from goods and services would require a fundamental shift in the world’s economy, but “could realise significant mitigation potential in all sectors” according to a report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report will be launched today in Valencia by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, and marks the start of an international effort to agree a worldwide treaty to regulate greenhouse gas output. THE IPCC, which won this year’s Nobel peace prize jointly with Al Gore, will confirm it is 90% sure that recent global warming is down to human activity, and warn that the impact of future temperature rise will be severe.

On GEO-4

State of the planet, in graphics
25.10.07. BBC. Globally human populations are growing, trade is increasing, and living standards are rising for many. But, according to the UN’s latest Global Environment Outlook report, long-term problems including climate change, pollution, access to clean water, and the threat of mass extinctions are being met with “a remarkable lack of urgency”.

Earth Is Reaching The Point of No Return, Says Major UN Environment Report
25.10.07. L. Smith, timesonline. The speed at which mankind is using and abusing the Earth’s resources is putting humanity’s survival at risk, scientists have said.

The bleak assessment of the state of the environment globally was issued as an “urgent call for action” amid growing concerns of worldwide waste, neglect and governmental inertia.

Fundamental changes in political policy and individual lifestyles were demanded by the United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP] as it gave warning that the “point of no return” for the environment is fast being approached.

The damage being done was regarded by the UN programme as so serious that it said the time had come for the environment to be a central theme of policy-making instead of just a fringe issue, even though it would damage the vested interests of powerful industries.

The report, the fourth, assessed the impact on the environment since 1987.

Global-Warming Gases Set to Rise 57 Percent by 2030
07.11.07. Agence France-Presse/truthout. “Emissions of greenhouse gases will rise 57 percent by 2030 compared to current levels, leading to a rise in Earth’s surface temperature of at least three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit), the < href=”http://www.iea.org/”> International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.”

The Asia-Pacific EcoHealth Conference will be held in Melbourne, Victoria from November 30 through December 3, 2007. The Conference will showcase the latest research and contribute to the development of partnerships that will create opportunities for new strategies to address this looming crisis. Please visit the conference website for additional information.

3rd East Asia Summit

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Climate change tops Chinese premier’s address at East Asia summit
21.11.07. xinhuanet. The Chinese premier [Wen Jiabao] called climate a global issue and urged countries to work together to address the issue.

[China and the US were the two countries balking at Climate Change. Now China is Working toward a better environment(22.11.07, chinadaily). The appalling record of US policy, as illustrated below, remains.]

Japan unveils ‘green’ aid package at Asian summit
22.11.07. taipeitimes. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda yesterday unveiled a US$2 billion aid package to help developing Asian nations fight pollution and combat climate change.

Asia signs ‘green region’ environment pact
21.11.07. Forbes. Leaders of 16 Asian nations including China and India signed a pact on the environment Wednesday, pledging action on climate change and forest cover, and [bad idea, this] promoting the use of nuclear energy. … The East Asia Summit, which embraces the 10-nation ASEAN bloc plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, now sets the stage for next month’s UN-backed global climate change talks in Bali. … After the United Nations warned that illegal logging is devastating Southeast Asia’s tropical rain forests, the leaders set a goal to increase forest cover by at least 15 million hectares (37 million acres) by 2020. … But they stressed that the use of atomic energy will be carried out in a ‘manner ensuring nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation’ by adopting safeguards within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog. [ “Security” is a myth created by corporate and political leaders in order to make fortunes ]

Health Toll Of Climate Change Seen As Ethical Crisis
12.11.07. Science News. In a paper to be published the week of Nov. 12, 2007, in the journal EcoHealth, a team of researchers led by environmental public health authority Jonathan Patz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports that the health burden of climate change will rest disproportionately on the world’s poor. [ And will rich countries give a damn?]

Small island states say climate change threatens human rights
13.11.07. The Jurist. Representatives of 26 members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) [official website] met Tuesday in Maldives to work on a draft resolution on climate change to be presented at the 2007 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference (UNFCCC) [official website] in December. AOSIS, a coalition of 43 of the world’s smallest island nations and states, plans to show that environmental protection, preservation and security are part of an individual’s basic human rights and that rising sea levels due to climate change threatens these rights. The rising sea levels pose a danger to the island nations and their tourism-based economies, according to Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom [official profile; BBC profile links], who called on the international community to recognize the threat [press release] of rising sea levels on the human rights of millions of inhabitants of AOSIS member states. During the conference, AOSIS is also expected to develop policies for combating climate change with a focus on emissions reduction.

Gore calls on Caribbean islands to unite on global warming threat
21.11.07. AP/IHT. Islands that depend on golden beaches to lure tourists face an economic disaster from climate change and should unite to persuade large nations to help fight global warming, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said. … [He] suggested that collective lobbying could inspire large nations to cut the emissions blamed for global warming.

Bali beckons
21.11.07. inquirer. The Singapore summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is turning out to be a rehearsal for what now appears to be the more important meeting next month in Bali, Indonesia, on global warming.

United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali from 3 – 14 December 2007

Act now on climate change, says UN official
16.11.07. T. Macalister, Guardian. ‘Deep trouble’ will follow any failure to agree in Bali · Negotiator sees continued role for all forms of energy. “If you get this wake-up call now from science and you don’t act on it and then it takes another five or six more years before you get the next wake-up call, that means you are in trouble.” … “So if you don’t give investors a clear signal of where policy is going to go, it makes it very difficult for them to make environmentally sound decisions, which is why the private sector is way ahead of governments in calling for a signal that is in their words long, loud and legal.” … You have two weeks to discuss a two-year negotiating agenda, probably the most complicated issue facing the international community.”


b. Negative Government Responses

Climate scepticism: The top 10
12.11.07. BBC. What are some of the reasons why “climate sceptics” dispute the evidence that human activities such as industrial emissions of greenhouse gases and deforestation are bringing potentially dangerous changes to the Earth’s climate? Two viewpoints illustrated.

Rich nations fail to honour climate pledge
24.11.07. David Adam, Guardian. · Poor countries receive little of promised £600m · Money intended to tackle effects of global warming. A group of rich countries including Britain has broken a promise to pay mor than a billion dollars to help the developing world cope with the effects o climate change. The group agreed in 2001 to pay $1.2bn (£600m) to help poor and vulnerable countries predict and plan for the effects of global warming as well as fund flood defences, conservation and thousands of other projects. Bu new figures show less than £90m of the promised money has been delivered Britain has so far paid just £10m. Andrew Pendleton, climate change policy analyst at Christian Aid, said: “This represents a broken promise on a massive scale and on quite a cynical scale as well. Promising funds for adaptation is exactly the kind of incentive the rich countries will offer at Bali to bring the developing world on board a new climate deal. This is the signal we are seeing on all fronts, that the developed countries are unwilling to fulfil their moral and legal commitments.”

Under the terms of the climate adaptation agreement, made at a UN meeting in Bonn in 2001, the EU, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and New Zealand said they would jointly pay developing countries $410m (£200m) each year from 2005 to 2008. They called on other countries to donate as well. The money was supposed to compensate developing countries for the severe effects over the coming decades of global warming, which is largely caused by carbon emissions from the developed world.

The vast majority of the promised money was expected to be channelled through funds run by an organisation called the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Washington DC, which was to distribute it through programmes run by the World Bank and United Nations. But accounts presented to a GEF council meeting last week show that only $177m (£86m) had been paid into the funds by September 30 this year, much less than the $1.2bn due by the end of 2007 under the Bonn agreement. Another $106m (£51m) has been pledged to the GEF by specific countries, but not yet paid. Britain has pledged to pay another £10m over the next three years, which makes it among the largest donors, but still below its promised level of commitment.


While national budget grows, funds for environment shrink
23.11.07. Moti Bassok, Haaretz. Where it really counts, in the national budget, environmental issues are a non-entity. .. The Ministry of the Environment’s budget was tiny to begin with .. And it’s shrinking with the ice caps. In 2008 the Environment budget loses NIS 35 million, or 19 percent, to a mere NIS 145 million.


Environment director ‘deliberately missed the point’: Councillor
16.11.07. ABC. Tasmania’s Director of Environmental Management has refused to intervene in a dispute over the development of a forestry plantation in the north east… The plantation at Irish Town Road near St Marys was approved by the Forest Practices Authority, but last month residents appealed on the grounds it would dry-up their water supply. Residents won the appeal but a loophole in the Break O’Day Council’s planning scheme means the plantation can still go ahead. Last week, a resident appealed to Tasmania’s Director of Environmental Management, Warren Jones, to stop the development. But, Break O’Day Councillor, David Clement says Mr Jones has refused to intervene, because he thinks the resident is more concerned about losing money through the lack of water rather than the environment.


10 Downing St view on personal carbon rationing
This study concluded that a personal carbon allowance and trading system has the potential to achieve emissions savings in a fairer way than carbon taxes. The Government is now developing a work programme which should provide the information to lead to a decision on whether or not a personal carbon allowance is a realistic and workable policy option.

Climate change department faces £300 million cuts
17.11.07. D. Hencke , J. Vidal, Guardian. Recycling and nature protection hit as UN calls for tougher measures on carbon. The government department spearheading the fight against climate change is planning an emergency package of at least £300m of cuts covering key environmental services, the Guardian has learned.

Frontline agencies tackling recycling, nature protection, energy saving, carbon emissions and safeguarding the environment are all being targeted in the package which is being drawn up by Helen Ghosh, the top civil servant at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA].

Details of the cuts have emerged just as the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due to publish its latest report. The study, to be made public today ahead of a UN climate meeting in Bali, will warn that all forms of carbon pollution from flights to inefficient light bulbs must become more expensive if the world is to avert catastrophic effects of warming.

The disclosure of the Defra cuts plan will embarrass Gordon Brown, who is expected next week to give a major speech on climate change, recommitting Britain to supplying a fifth of its energy requirements from renewables by 2020. … The department is central to the government’s push to achieve a low carbon economy but many schemes intended to deliver on that are expected to be scaled down or dropped.

Brown wobbles: PM sets carbon emissions cut at 60% by 2050 [20.11.07, Guardian]. [ 2050 is a BIT LATE?]


White House Cut Warming Impact Testimony
23.10.07. AP / Truthout. The White House severely edited congressional testimony given Tuesday by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the impact of climate change on health, removing specific scientific references to potential health risks, according to two sources familiar with the documents.

Bush vetoes $23-billion water bill
03.11.07. latimes. Congress is expected to override the president next week in a bipartisan vote. The bill would authorize more than 900 projects, such as restoration in the Florida Everglades and the replacement of seven Depression-era locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers that farm groups say is crucial for shipping grain. For California, the bill authorizes $1.3 billion for 54 projects, including $106 million to strengthen the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta levees, $25 million for revitalizing the concrete-bound Los Angeles River and $38 million for replenishing sand at Imperial Beach in San Diego County, a project that supporters say would protect coastal residents from storms.
BUT Senate overrides Bush’s water bill veto [09.11.07. CNN] The Senate on Thursday handed President Bush his first veto override — authorizing $23 billion in new water projects. … the House of Representatives passed it again Tuesday on a 361-54 vote — well beyond the two-thirds margin needed for an override — and the White House said it was resigned to seeing the bill become law. Congress previously overrode the Bush veto.

The U.S. Election

Presidential candidates avoid talk of water shortages
12.11.07. mlive.com.

Who Cares About The Environment?
21.09.07. Lloyd Garver, CBS. here are several reasons why some candidates choose not to speak about environmental problems. For one thing, those who are contributing the most to global warming might also be contributing the most to campaigns. Big business and big oil will have to make some changes to help the environment. Also, for some time, there have been people on the Right who haven’t accepted global warming as a reality. … One reason that the environment and climate change don’t get the “traction” of other issues is that they’re a bit elusive. … But I think the big reason for the poor attendance at the forum is that the environment is just not a “sexy” or “hot-button” issue.

c. Playing Hanky Panky With Climate Change

Heavy Editing Is Alleged In Climate Testimony
24.10.07. Washington Post/legitgov.org. Testimony that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planned to give yesterday to a Senate committee about the impact of climate change on health was significantly edited by the White House, according to two sources familiar with the documents. A CDC official familiar with both versions said Julie L. Gerberding’s draft “was eviscerated,” cut from 14 pages to four.

Vital Facts “Deleted” From UN Report on Climate Change
13.11.07. Charles Clover, The Age AU/truthout. A major United Nations report on climate change has been watered down as a result of influence from government officials from countries opposed to taking radical action, conservation group WWF claims.

It says “vital facts” have been cut from the report’s summary, including a warning of more destructive hurricanes, the warming of the upper Pacific Ocean and the loss of glaciers in the European Alps.

The group fears that the report will play down the need for deep cuts in emissions.

The report, which will be released on Saturday [17.11.], will say that almost a third of the world’s species will face extinction if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

A draft copy of the report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also warns that if temperatures rise by more than two degrees – now expected before 2050 – 20 per cent of the world’s population will face a great risk of drought.

No consensus on IPCC’s level of ignorance
13.11.07. John Christie, BBC. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts the finishing touches to its final report of the year, two of its senior scientists look at what the panel is and how well it works. Here, a view from a leading researcher into temperature change. [ John R Christy is Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, US]

Unravelling the Skeptics
12.11.07. Richard Black, BBC.

WHAT NASA says is Really Happening to the Arctic Ice Cap
16.11.07. [FOX NEWS ALL THE WAY!] Many global warming activists point to changes in the arctic icecap as proof of the dangerous effects of man-made global warming. Now a report from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says those changes are in fact the result of natural ocean circulation patterns. A team of scientists used satellite and deep-sea pressure gauge data to monitor ocean patterns. Says team leader James Morison of the University of Washington‘s Polar Science Center — “Our study confirms many changes seen in upper Arctic Ocean circulation in the 1990s were mostly decadal in nature, rather than trends caused by global warming.” [ NASA NOAA, NSF, and ONR provide most of PSC’s funding ]

Scientists Fault Climate Exhibit Changes
16.11.07. James V. Grimaldi, Jacqueline Trescott, Washington Post/truthout. Some government scientists have complained that officials at the Smithsonian‘s National Museum of Natural History took steps to downplay global warming in a 2006 exhibit on the Arctic to avoid a political backlash, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The museum’s director, Cristián Samper, ordered last-minute changes to the exhibit’s script to add “scientific uncertainty” about climate change, according to internal documents and correspondence. .. Scientists at other agencies collaborating on the project expressed in e-mails their belief that Smithsonian officials acted to avoid criticism from congressional appropriators and global-warming skeptics in the Bush administration. But Samper said in an interview last week that “there was no political pressure – not from me, not from anyone.” Samper put the project on hold for six months in the fall of 2005 and ordered that the exhibition undergo further review by higher-level officials in other government agencies. Samper also asked for changes in the script and the sequence of the exhibit’s panels to move the discussion of recent climate change further back in the presentation, records also show. The exhibit opened in April 2006 and closed in November of that year.

Beyond Extreme: The Illusion of a New Climate Centrism
15.11.07. Joe Brewer, t r u t h o u t . I’m sick and tired of media reporting that deceives the public about the climate crisis. Examples given.

[There are too many right-wing-bat neo-con media outlets who persist in slagging and lying. Newsbusters and the neo-con Heartland Institute are examples. One has to ask WHO pushes the button for false invective to flow. The environment is a new topic for these people; Gore is a favorite target. Research of the $s funding some unprincipled people receive can be read here]

2. ICE: SHRINKING GLACIERS [The Arctic & Antarctic, Tibet]

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The Poles, Melting Occurring at Alarming Rate

22.10.07. D. Struck, Washington Post. For scientists, global warming is a disaster movie, its opening scenes set at the poles of Earth. The epic already has started. And it’s not fiction.


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Shrinking glaciers threaten China
02.11.07. newsdaily.com. China’s glaciers in western Xinjiang Uygur region are shrinking alarmingly due to global and regional warming, posing a threat to the oases in the area. China Daily reported Friday scientists have found Glacier No. 1, the most famous in the region at the headwaters of the Urumqi River in the Tianshan Mountains near Tibet, has shrunk by 14 percent in four decades. .. The China Daily report said glaciers feed 25.4 percent of Xinjiang’s rivers, 8.6 percent of Tibet’s rivers and 3.6 percent of Gansu’s rivers.

Dalai Lama Wants China to Boost Environment Protection in Tibet
22.11.07. Stuart Biggs, Bloomberg. Tibet’s fragile ecosystem is at risk from climate change and regulations imposed on businesses by the Chinese government don’t provide enough protection against deforestation and environmental damage, the Dalai Lama said. .. The temperature on the Tibetan plateau is rising by 0.3 degrees Celsius (0.54 Fahrenheit) every decade, more than 10 times the national average and is causing receding snow lines, shrinking glaciers, drying grasslands and desert expansion, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported yesterday. … A United Nations report in 2005 found that more than half the world’s population is dependent on water from the Tibetan plateau and the Himalaya, where the Yangtze, Yellow and Mekong rivers also originate. PHOTOS


Arctic Ice Breaking-up Faster Than Predicted, Icebergs Risk To Shipping
29.10.07. sciencedaily. The International Ice Charting Working Group predicts more marine transportation in the Arctic as sea ice continues to diminish and warns of “significant hazards to navigation,” according to a recent statement . The statement was released during a five-day conference held at ESRIN, ESA’s Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy, in which operational ice experts from Europe and North America gathered to discuss the state of the polar regions.

Big thaw yields surprises
17.11.07. E. Struzik, thestar. The worldwide thaw is accelerating. Thirty key international glaciers are melting about six times faster than in the 1980s. They are seen as the proverbial canary in the coal mine. [Two] finds set off an aerial search of the Yukon that produced dozens more archeological sites and a treasure trove of artifacts used by three First Nations groups. The melting, it turns out, is not only unlocking the secrets of the human past, it is also providing scientists with a glimpse of what this world looked like before Europeans arrived. … But new data show the melting of glaciers worldwide is accelerating faster than anyone previously thought. According to the Swiss-based World Glacier Monitoring Service, 30 key international glaciers lost on average 66 centimetres of thickness in 2005. Those glaciers are melting about 1.6 times faster this decade than they were in the 1990s, and about six times faster than in the 1980s. In the last 27 years, they have, on average, thinned by a total of about 10.5 metres. … It’s a similar story in northern Canada. … Greenland, for example, has 1.8 million square kilometres of ice that is on average 2.3 kilometres thick. If it were to melt completely, ocean levels would rise by up to seven metres.

STRUZIK’S AUDIO SLIDESHOW . Ed Struzik gives an overview of his Arctic in Peril series in a stunning audio slideshow featuring dramatic photos from the North.

Image RemovedOverlord Glacier has receded into the background of this
image, leaving visible a stump that was remarkably well
preserved in 7000 years old ice, bottom right.
(Credit: Johannes Koch, image courtesy of Geological Society of America)

more photos Overlord Glacier here

Western Canada’s Glaciers Hit 7000-Year Low
01.11.07. Science Daily.

Image Removed

‘Frightening’ projection: ice-free passage possible by 2010
16.11.07. Canada.com. The Arctic Ocean could be free of ice in the summer as soon as 2010 or 2015 – something that hasn’t happened for more than a million years, according to a leading polar researcher. Louis Fortier, scientific director of ArcticNet, a Canadian research network, said the sea ice is melting faster than predicted by models created by international teams of scientists, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They had forecast the Arctic Ocean could be free of summer ice as early as 2050. But Fortier told an international conference on defence and security in Quebec City Thursday that the worst-case scenarios are becoming reality.

Image Removed


Cooling to Begin at Arctic Seed Bank
16.11.07. AP. Refrigeration units on Friday begin cooling a new doomsday vault dug into an already frigid Arctic mountainside to protect the world’s seeds in case of a global catastrophe. Norway blasted the Svalbard Global Seed Vault deep into the permafrost of a remote Arctic archipelago to protect as many as 4.5 million of the world’s agricultural seeds from climate change, plant epidemics, natural disasters or war. It is due to open Feb. 26.

Video . Channel 4 report (31.08.07), Arctic Seeds of Future Renewal.

Image RemovedSvalbard, Norway

Researcher: Inuit culture in peril
23.11.07. physsorg.com. Global warming could doom the hunting and fishing culture of the Inuit in Canada, an expert on the Arctic region says.


Image RemovedThe Explorer Cruise Ship Sinking in Antarctic 11.07
Photo Michael Nolan / Rex

Should Cruise ships be polluting Arctic waters? 24.11.07 timesonline. They had paid more than £4,000 each for an adventure in the Antarctic Ocean. Video 23.11.07, Interview with ship’s captain & Channel 4 newsman, Alex Thomson, gives G.A.P. Adventurer tour operator a hard time – rightly so. Cruise Ship Sinks Off Antarctica (24.11.07, Wash. Post.) Officials: Spill from Antarctic shipwreck poses serious pollution threat (25.11.07, xinhuanet.com) Now, Greenpeace has called for a limit to Antarctic tourism. ‘About 40 different operators using around 60 ships allow 37,000 people to cruise to the winter playground [sic] of the world annually.’

Interest in sub-glacial waters global
21.11.07. UPI. With the Antarctic summer approaching the area, the pace of research activity will pick up, Kennicutt said. Russian officials announced plans for the Russian Antarctic Expedition to enter the largest of the known lakes this year. Other countries — such as the United States, Japan, France, Italy, the United Kingdom — also plan to study what lies beneath the ice. Next Installment: Rescued cruise boat tourists taken to Chile(25.11.07. R. Mackee, Observer) Meanwhile, environmental groups stepped up calls for strict limits to be placed on numbers of tourist boat trips being made into Antarctic waters. …’The Antarctic is the world’s last unspoiled wilderness,’ said a WWF spokesman. ‘It is also one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Yet every year we are sending in dozens of boats full of tourists. We are going to need to show much more care about sending in tourists after this.’

b. The UN Convention of the Sea

The Constitution of the Oceans
29.10.07. thejakartapost. This year, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is 25 years old. People refer to it as the “Constitution of the Oceans”, being the most comprehensive codified law of the sea in human history.

Antarctic odyssey documents alarming retreat of the sea ice
06.11.07. Independent. Jonathan Scott will call for the terms of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, which dedicated the polar region to peace and science, to be respected, and he will question the UK’s plan to claim sovereign rights over a large area of the seabed off Antarctica. “If you can’t protect somewhere like the Antarctic which would appear to be so remote, that’s got to be a wake-up call to us all,” he will say. “Antarctica represents the most hostile, uninhabitable place. It’s a great irony that here is this landscape which seems to be indestructible, which could disappear.” … Scott, best known for his photographs of big cats in the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, where he and his wife live, also warns that over-fishing of squid and krill is contributing to a decline in several species, particularly elephant seals.

Debate renews over Law of the Sea Treaty
22.11.07. Bob Deans, Cox News Service. .. The steady thaw of the polar ice caps has triggered an international race to tie up potentially valuable claims for oil and natural gas exploration in Arctic territory being freed by the receding ice.

c. Polar Ownership

Image Removed
Ice Melt Sparks New Race to the North Pole
22.10.07. yourtv20.com. The Northwest Passage, one that eluded famous explorers, may become a shipping lane because so much ice is melting in the Arctic. And now there’s a race to see who will get rights to the melting area, where a U.S. study has suggested as much as 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas could be hidden.

As Polar Ice Turns to Water, Dreams of Treasure Abound
10.10.05. Still, the newest study of the Arctic ice cap – finding that it faded this summer to its smallest size ever recorded – is beginning to make Mr. Broe look like a visionary for buying this derelict Hudson Bay port from the Canadian government in 1997. Especially at the price he paid: about $7. By Mr. Broe’s calculations, Churchill could bring in as much as $100 million a year as a port on Arctic shipping lanes shorter by thousands of miles than routes to the south, and traffic would only increase as the retreat of ice in the region clears the way for a longer shipping season.

Canada heats up rhetoric over claims to North Pole
10.07.07. Guardian. It is not the kind of militaristic statement to the world expected of the peace-loving Canadians. In front of a choreographed lineup of 120 sailors in their summer whites at a naval base outside Victoria, the prime minister, Stephen Harper, gave a warning to other nations with their eye on the potentially oil-rich Arctic.

“Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic. We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake, this government intends to use it.” .. n other places at other times his words could be dismissed as posturing. But he backed them up with the cheque book, announcing that he was ordering up to eight military patrol ships that would be converted for use in ice up to 1m thick, and a new deep-water port that would service them. Total bill: $7bn (£3.5bn).


Image Removed
Russian Scientists Say the Arctic Is Theirs
28.06.07. M. Nizza, NYTimes / thelede. After a 45-day expedition, the scientists say they have discovered new evidence that would bolster a Russian claim to a vast part of the Arctic region beyond the 230-mile maritime economic zone belonging to Russia and the four other nations bordering the Arctic Ocean: Canada, Denmark (through its possession (sic) of Greenland), Norway and the United States.

Kremlin lays claim to huge chunk of oil-rich North Pole
28.06.07. L. Harding, Guardian. It is already the world’s biggest country, spanning 11 time zones and stretching from Europe to the far east. But yesterday Russia signalled its intention to get even bigger by announcing an audacious plan to annex a vast 460,000 square mile chunk of the frozen and ice-encrusted Arctic. MAP

UK, Chile seeking to expand Antarctic claims ahead of treaty deadline
23.10.07. [JURIST] Chile staked a claim to a portion of Antarctica with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) [official website] Monday after the United Kingdom made a similar claim to Antarctic land [AP report] last week in the face of a May 2009 deadline. The Commission has also received claims from Russia, Brazil, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, France, Norway and Spain for both the Arctic and the Antarctic [CLCS materials]..

Antarctica, the new hot real estate
19.11.07. Z. Cormier, thestar.com. There’s oil and gas in the Antarctic, too, which global warming may open up. But as the U.K. and others stake claims, scientists wonder what it would cost environments there, and ultimately the planet. As Russia, Canada and Denmark roll up their sleeves and flex their muscles over the Arctic and North Pole, planting titanium flags on the ocean floor and planning new military bases around the Arctic Circle, a similar drama is unfolding at the opposite end of the Earth.

Image Removed

The flags of the original 12 signatory nations of the Antarctic Treaty fly next to a bust of Admiral Richard Byrd at McMurdo Station. NSF/USAP photo by Rob jones)

20.11.07. The United Kingdom submitted a claim on Oct. 17 for sovereignty over more than one million square kilometers of sea territory off the Antarctic continent. Chile and Argentina contest the claim, saying that it violates the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, which – in Article 4 – states that no further claims may be made, or sovereignty granted, in the region. British claims in the area already overlap those of both the South American nations.

Chile, Argentina to Meet on Antarctic
21.11.07. prensa latina. The Parliamentary Chile-Argentine Friendship Group will meet in the Antarctic bases both countries have, agreeing upon a meeting on physical integration, energy and international trade.

Border Strife Heating Up Arctic
21.11.07. MILITARY.COM. And if you think Iraq and Afghanistan are where all the action is these days, think again. With the cracking ice and warming atmosphere, strategic efforts are intensifying over land and sea rights in the northern Arctic, with Canada and Russia elbowing in on waters that had previously been locked in an icy grip. .. That’s led the Coast Guard to rethink its strategy in northern Alaska, pushing them to the outer edges of civilization to keep a watchful eye on the growing traffic of commercial and military ships plying the Arctic Circle.


[videos are sometimes sponsored by global warmers. This hypocrisy is reflected in Mainstream Media, where articles about the environment appear next to jet weekends, which irritate Guardian readers]

VIDEO NASA Animation: Melting Arctic Sea Ice [with Conoco advert!]

: Polar Bear Protesters Arrested Near Capital [Better to arrest those in the White House?]

Video The thawing of Alaska

Video: Gore: ‘Don’t Give Time to Someone Who Believes the Earth is Flat.’

A Crack in the Ice. Dan Rather reports HDTV, 13.11.07.

Leading Australian Scientist Tim Flannery on Global Warming and the Worsening Dangers of Climate Change Denial Democracy Now (25.10.07)


a. General
Image RemovedThis satellite image of the globe shows exactly how much of the earth’s surface is made up of oceans. Picture: Reuters / Reuters

14.10.07. Carolyn Ford, news.com.au Our world is rich in water resources, but only a tiny amount is available to us at any one time. There are 1,397,918,550,000,000,000,000 (1397 trillion, 918,550 billion) litres of water on Earth. It sounds like a lot, but of that, 97 per cent is seawater, 2.25 per cent is frozen in polar ice caps and glaciers, 0.74 per cent is underground and just 0.01 per cent — the part we use to drink and water our gardens — is fresh water in lakes and rivers. That means that if all the water in the world is represented by one litre, just one quarter of a teaspoon is available for us to drink.

22.10.07. Alejandro R Roces, ABS-CBN. Without a doubt, rapid urbanization and industrialization have taken a heavy toll on our environment. Mankind’s incessant quest for progress and development has depleted much of our planet’s natural resources. What took hundreds of thousands of years for nature to create, man has wiped out in only a little more than a century. Air and water pollution, widespread illegal logging activities and desertification are but just a few example of the many contributing factors that have led to the depletion of our natural wealth. And now, we are in a quandary as to how to reverse this alarming development. Take for instance this disturbing local news released recently by the environmental watchdog Greenpeace. In its report, Greenpeace said it tested samples of water collected from various sources, including bottled water, river and tap water and found that the quality of clean water is declining, with the studies indicating even bottled water had abnormally high levels of metals in it. It noted that even our environment department has acknowledged that 50 of the 421 rivers in the country could be considered “biologically dead” because of pollution.

Climate Change will Devastate River Basins
Abstract of an article in the Online Journal of the Ecological Society of America. Every populated basin in the world will experience changes in river discharge and many will experience water stress. Nearly one billion people live in areas that will be affected. … Nearly one billion people live in areas likely to require action and approximately 365 million people live in basins almost certain to require action.

Planet heading to low-water mark
18.11.07. thestar. In her latest book, activist Maude Barlow says drought is now a permanent crisis. Barlow, a long-time advocate for environmental, social and political change, sets out her reasons in a new book, Blue Covenant and highlighted them in a recent interview. The current shortages aren’t a low point in a normal up-and-down pattern, she says. The global crisis, she says, is a new permanent threat – more serious than climate change; .. Everywhere, Barlow says, we’ve so plundered, polluted and degraded the customary fresh water supply, near Earth’s surface, that there’s no longer enough to go around. Two billion people lack sufficient and safe water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says 36 states are in some stage of crisis. In response, humans dig deeper into the planet, sucking up groundwater supplies far faster than nature can replenish them. We also drain the Great Lakes and other large water bodies, and cook up ecologically devastating schemes to move huge quantities.

Climate Change Threatens Drinking Water, As Rising Sea Penetrates Coastal Aquifers
07.11.07. The IPCC has concluded that within the next 100 years, sea level could rise as much as 23 inches, flooding coasts worldwide.

Scientists previously assumed that, as saltwater moved inland, it would penetrate underground only as far as it did above ground. But this new research shows that when saltwater and fresh water meet, they mix in complex ways, depending on the texture of the sand along the coastline. In some cases, a zone of mixed, or brackish, water can extend 50 percent further inland underground than it does above ground. … we are pointing out another way that climate change can potentially reduce available drinking water. The coastlines that are vulnerable include some of the most densely populated regions of the world.”

Like saltwater, brackish water is not safe to drink because it causes dehydration.

b. Water Toxicity

Toxicity Of Industrial Water Pollution Underestimated
18.11.07. sciencedaily. A new study suggests that a holistic approach is needed in assessing the potential environmental and health effects of toxic effluent from industry. Studies of industrial effluent toxicity usually focus on a single contaminant, such as an environmental or marine pollutant, a potential carcinogen, or a toxic heavy metal. However, … toxicity tests of effluent using bacteria generally underestimate the total toxicity. Effluents from industrial or municipal sources may contain hundreds to thousands of chemicals, but only a few are responsible for aquatic toxicity. Simply adding together the individual toxicities of each chemical present is not a reliable way to predict the total toxicity of effluent, the researchers say. An underestimation of whole-effluent toxicity could have seriously detrimental effects on the marine environment. The researchers point out that the prediction of waste water toxicity usually does not take into account any possible interactions between the compounds in the wastewater sample. [Journal reference: “The ‘whole-effluent’ toxicity approach”, International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2007, 31, 3-12, by Tatjana Ti_ler and Jana Zagorc-Koncan]

Rivers Do Not Act As Barriers For Groundwater Flow
17.11.07. science daily. The research team from the Geodynamics Department at the University of Granada and the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining (which is part of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science) has studied the hydrogeology of the karst aquifers in the Mediterranean climate. It has been found that, contrary to popular belief, rivers do not act as insurmountable barriers for groundwater flow. … They based their research on the karst aquifer situated in the Pegalajar and the Mojón Blanco ranges. It occupies the northern side of the Betica mountain range and was provisionally declared overexploited in 1992 because of the complete drying up of the La Reja spring.

A World Dying, but Can We Unite to Save It?
18.11.07. Geoffrey Lean, Independent / truthout. Pollution in the seas is now speeding global warming, says a devastating new climate report. Humanity is rapidly turning the seas acid through the same pollution that causes global warming, the world’s governments and top scientists agreed yesterday. The process – thought to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans for 20 million years – is expected both to disrupt the entire web of life of the oceans and to make climate change worse.

See individual countries for further pollution information

c. Profit in Water

20.04.07. S. Meyer, Index Research. The story of NATO financing Technionwater and the Israeli Institute of Technology – a research project about protecting water supplies against biological and chemical terrorism.

Aqua Texas buys Kerrville area water system for nearly $3 million
24.10.07. biz journals. Aqua America Inc. has acquired the Kerrville South Water Co. Inc. for $2.9 million, the company said Wednesday.

Water Exports: the New Oil?
25.10.07. communities.Canada. Albertans increased oil royalties last night, but the New Oil is going to be water.

It appears that water is about to become commoditized and be traded as a futures contract along with pork bellies, oranges or lumber. This was hinted at by Craig Donohue, CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at a Tokyo conference last week. Economic catastrophe, even wars, will be caused by water shortages. The problem is population growth, farming, resource extraction and heavy industrial use. Also waste: Homeowners in North America water their lawns with drinking water. This plays nicely into Canada’s, and America’s, hands. Canada has 1% of the world’s population and 20% of its water, which includes our half of the Great Lakes. The U.S. has parched, growing areas like the southwest and midwest, but there is plenty of water in its northern tier. But on international markets, water may fetch a hefty price and eventually justify the cost of water pipelines to the coast and water ships.

The commoditization of water has partially happened. “Designer” or bottled water [see below] is already more expensive than oil. And the creation of dozens of corn-ethanol refineries in the U.S. Midwest is straining water irrigation sources, possibly forcing Great Lakes water southward. … This will make water a geopolitical issue.

According to the United Nations, Market Privatizations Would Be the Worst Scenario for the Environment
27.10.07. Hervé Kempf, Le Monde / Truthout. The planet’s ecological future directly depends on the political choices that will be exercised: this observation had never before been clearly spotlighted by a United Nations decision-making body. Now it’s done: the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) asserts in a thick report, the so-called “GEO 4”, published Thursday October 25, that generalized privatization of resources and services would be the worst scenario from an environmental perspective.

LATIN AMERICA: New ways to privatize water
04.11.07. Although transnational water companies have suffered setbacks in places like Puerto Rico, Bolivia, and Uruguay, they continue with plans to appropriate the region’s hydrological resources — rivers, aquifers, wells, and aqueduct systems. Some new methods for water privatization include …Privatization of municipal services in urban zones; Privatization of territories and bioregions; Privatization through diverting existing sources; Privatization by contamination; by bottling; Monopoly of technologies

That’s the conclusion of an original approach to possible futures that a group of international experts has been conducting the last two years: it models each scenario as a function of the type of policies put into place. The point of departure for this modeling effort is the major ecological crisis, which the planet is already experiencing.

05.11.07. senseup. The Asian Development Bank is extending a $36 million dollar loan to the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project, which will assist the Republic of Armenia with sustainable water supply and sanitation services in seven provinces. This project will cover 16 towns and 125 villages. The total project cost is estimated at $45 million and the government of Armenia will provide the balance. The project is aimed to improve public health and the environment. [NB: ‘development’ banks are not a solution]

Gore Has a New Ally Against Global Warming
13.11.07., Michelle Quinn. Abigail Goldman, L A Times/truthout. Venture capital dollars are pouring into the business of fighting climate change, and Gore will get to invest millions as a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a prominent Silicon Valley venture firm.

[Unfortunately, this company is also involved with biofuels via Altra Biofuels Inc ]..

Concerns about climate change have driven the funding boom, said Joe Muscat, Americas director of Ernst & Young‘s venture capital advisory group. The company forecasts that $2 billion will be invested this year in companies working on green technologies in North America, Israel, Europe and China. Gore’s chief aim will be to develop an alliance between Kleiner Perkins and London-based Generation Investment Management Inc., a social activist investment firm co-founded by Gore that takes stakes mostly in public companies. .. Gore’s joining Kleiner Perkins was “an exciting event” because he understands how politics really works, said Zach Gentry, chief executive of Adura Technologies, a San Francisco start-up working on wireless energy management.

Pacific Environment’s IPO to raise $16m
16.11.07. smh.com.au. Pacific Environment Ltd (PEL) will undertake a float to raise up to $16 million to take advantage of the growing environmental consultancies market.

The environmental science company will offer up to 32 million shares, at 50 cents each, in the initial public offering (IPO), which closes on December 12.

PEL hopes to raise a minimum of $12 million, and a maximum of $16 million, to give the company a market capitalisation of at least $40.209 million, or up to $44.209 million.

Capital from the IPO will be used to buy four business – Pacific Air and Environment, Holmes Air Sciences, Toxicos Pty Ltd and New Environment Quality Pty Ltd, as well as fund future purchases and expansion.

Japan to offer $1.8 billion in environment loans: paper
16.11.07. Reuters. Japan would allocate 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) to finance environmental projects such as sewage disposal and scrubbing of sulphur dioxide from power plant chimneys, the Nikkei financial daily said. Japan, as host to next year’s Group of Eight summit, where global warming is expected to be a top agenda item, is keen to be seen taking leadership on environmental issues.

Saudi king: OPEC to launch 500-mln-fund on development and environment
18.11.07. xinhuanet. King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud made the announcement at the two-day 3rd OPEC summit which opened here on Saturday afternoon amid surging oil prices. The OPEC fund of 500 million U.S. dollars will be launched to help developing countries to deal with development and global climate change, said the king, without elaborating more.

Southland to buy farmers’ water
21.11.07. Central Valley supplies will ease the expected shortage if delta imports are reduced, but higher prices are expected. Southern California water officials said on Tuesday that they plan to purchase large amounts of water from Central Valley farmers, a move designed to ease an anticipated water shortage but likely to increase customers’ bills. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California hopes that by purchasing the water, it can maintain regular supplies despite a federal judge’s ruling that is expected to reduce the amount of water Southern California receives from the Sacramento Delta by up to 30%.

Shenoa & Co to mine in Arctic
22.11.07. To team up with mining company Ryan Mining. Ryan Mining. Shenoa’s COO Scott Cowan said, “We’re not waiting for others to bring diamonds to us. We’re going straight to the source.” Many countries are following suit to gain rights to various areas of the Arctic.

Bid approved for major flood project
24.11.07. postbulletin. The Austin City Council on Monday approved a low bid of nearly $926,000 from Heselton Construction of Faribault for the project known as Phase Eight. The engineer’s estimate was for about $1.18 million. Funds from a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant will cover half of the project’s cost, with the rest paid for using the city’s local-option sales tax for flood relief along with $100,000 from Hormel Foods Corp. for the life-station work.

Uganda govt turns $90.5m water firm loan into equity
26.11.07. nationamedia.com/eastafrican. The Uganda government is to convert National Water and Sewerage Corporation’s Ush154 billion ($90.5 million) debt into equity. There is one condition — that the firm implement projects worth Ush168 billion ($98.8 million) over the next five years using its own income. This is contained in a contract seen as a compromise between the government either writing off the debt or allowing the country’s only tap-water provider to increase water tariffs by between 60 per cent and 80 per cent to enable it to pay back the debt.

Amwal appointed GCC exclusive distributor of environment fund
25.11.07. gulf-times. Amwal will distribute a reserved tranche of the fund starting December 2007.


Shell puts ‘hundreds of billions’ price tag on Siberian Arctic gas
22.11.07. business.timesonline. [complex story of oil and gas companies] Jeroen van der Veer, Shell’s chief executive, met President Putin this month to discuss the proposed project in the Yamal Peninsula and Kara Sea. He was accompanied by a high-level Dutch business delegation.

They estimated that the region could hold more than 30 trillion cubic metres of gas, more than the combined proved reserves of Gazprom, the state-controlled Russian gas monopoly.

Shell said that the meeting was confidential and would not make any further comment, but a slide presentation from GasTerra, one of the Dutch groups at the meeting, said: “Preliminary estimates of total investments for developing the gas and oilfields and supporting infrastructure are of the order of several hundred billion dollars.” .. Russia has said that it is “interested” in the plan to unlock reserves of oil and gas on the 700km-long (435 mile) Yamal Peninsula, one of the world’s most remote and inhospitable regions. Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas supplier, is keen to tap the region’s reserves early next decade to replace falling production at its three main fields – Urengoi, Yamburg, and Medvezhye – all of which are in decline. The project to develop Yamal, which means “end of the world” in the language of the Nenets, its indigenous inhabitants, would also involve Dutch energy companies, such as Essent and Nederlandse Gasunie.

StatoilHydro begins Arctic drilling
25.11.07. StatoilHydro, the Norwegian national oil company, has begun a two-year drilling programme in Arctic waters to determine the potential of Norway’s share of one of the world’s few remaining unexplored oil prospects. It also hopes to co-operate with Russian companies such as Gazprom to find oil and gas further into the Arctic, including areas disputed between Russia and Norway.

Blood Money

Caring for environment while pumping oil
25.11.07. Gulfnews. King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz announced at the opening session of the summit that his country was allocating $300 million (Dh1.1 billion) for research on climate change, environment and energy resources. Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE pledged $150 million each towards research on the environment as well.

d. Water Storage

Can water go bad?

Resource Tipsheet: Water Storage
Colostate. Edu.

Bottled Water

Image Removed

Bottoms up! Here comes the water list
13.10.07. New Statesman. the London hotel Claridge’s has gone one further: it has introduced what is believed to be the first water list. It offers an extravagant choice of waters from the farthest corners of the earth, with the most most expensive variety working out at a £50 a litre. Available from the five-star hotel’s bar, dining room and room service from next month, the water menu has 32 bottles from sources as diverse as Norwegian icebergs and Hawaiian deep sea lakes. Each comes with a short description of its character and mineral content.

Is bottled water a sin?
The rise of the bottled water industry has sparked a backlash. Some environmental activists complain that the “privatization” of the nation’s water supply — paying for bottles of stuff that’s free and clean straight out of the tap — is a scam. They say it just creates more litter, and wastes petroleum needed in the manufacture of the plastic bottles.

Alternatives to the bottled water
03.11.07. latinamericapress.org. In 2006, bottled water sales worldwide totaled 164 billion liters. One alternative to bottled water is solar water disinfection, a clean and cheap technology used to disinfect water in the home, created by Lebanese scientist Aftim Acra. The treatment consists of filling transparent plastic water bottles and leaving them out in the sun. The heat and ultraviolet rays disinfect the water in six hours of sunlight or two full days under cloud cover, after which the water is safe for consumption.

In praise of … soft water
17.11.07. Leader, Guardian. Bubbling resentment splashed into the open yesterday, when the National Consumer Council reported on the way restaurants are foisting overpriced bottled water on diners. Litre-for-litre it is being peddled for several times more than petrol.

T.O. City Hall discusses putting bottled water tax
21.11.07. Toronto.ctv. Coun. Bill Saundercook has suggested using the city’s new taxing powers to add a levy on bottled water. This would not only help the city with their bottom line but would also encourage residents to drink tap water and keep bottles out of our landfills. The idea to levy tax was www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20071122.BOTTLE22/TPStory/TPNational/Ontario/”>flooded by criticism. [Counsillor Saundercook must not give in; rather, the council must educate their public. Better still, make bottled water illegal]

Eldorado Artesian Springs, Inc. Announces Agreement for Additional Water Rights for Product Line Expansion
21.11.07. CNN. Eldorado Artesian Springs, Inc. announced today that the company has successfully completed an agreement with the City of Louisville, Colorado. The agreement allows the company to utilize up to 75 acre feet (24,438,000 gallons) of water per year by adding a Purified Water product to the current product line of natural spring water. … We plan to use the municipal source water for manufacturing a Purified Water Product line. Initially the Purified Products will be used to fill demand from customers with the need for that type of product and for customers planning to label the Purified Water under their own name. Eventually, we plan to offer the Purified line of products in addition to our flagship brand of Eldorado Natural Spring Water products. The bottled water market is approximately 50% Purified water and 50% Spring water so this agreement enables us to compete in both segments of the market.” WRITE AND COMPLAIN TO: info@eldoradosprings.com and info@ci.louisville.co.us

Afghan bottled-water market tapped by foreign and domestic firms
22.11.07. Mayeda, Blanchfield, canwestnewsservice. With more than 10,000 soldiers and support staff at Kandahar Airfield, the multinational base that serves as home to most of Canada’s 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, that works out to nearly 22 million bottles of water a year. It offers entrepreneurs a profitable opportunity and is a niche that several Afghan companies have exploited. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, foreign government officials and aid workers also tend to drink nothing but bottled water, resulting in a business modestly worth more than $100 million. It is no wonder that, in the six years since the fall of the Taliban, the bottled-water market has grown from virtually nothing into a thriving business, making plastic water bottles a nearly ubiquitous sight in the more developed parts of the country. ..the United Nations Development Program indicates less than one in four Afghans has access to safe drinking water. The situation is particularly dire in rural areas, where access drops to 18 per cent of the population. “The locals drink the local water. They’re not the bottled-water drinkers,” [also: Various water companies profiting from this new capitalist venture]

e. Storms and Floods

Arctic, Farne Islands, Australia, Bahamas / Cuba, Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Togo, United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam

VIDEO. Here Comes the Flood, Peter Gabriel

Arctic / Farne Islands

Image RemovedSeal colony ‘devastated’ by storm

Seal colony ‘devastated’ by storm
20.11.07. BBC. Recent storms appear to have badly hit a grey seal colony on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast. He said a survey was being carried out, but that it appeared a significant number of newborn seals had perished. Storms have also forced thousands of Arctic seabirds, called little auks, to the islands over the past week. See also BBC’s Spotlight on the Farne Islands.


Image Removed

Gippsland awash for second time this year
20.11.07. news.com.au. VIDEO.

Bahamas / Cuba

Noel Soaks Bahamas, Cuba, Toll at 115
02.11.07. AP. A powerful Caribbean storm drenched the Bahamas and Cuba on Thursday while rescue workers in the Dominican Republic headed out in boats and helicopters to reach dozens of communities isolated by floods and mudslides. The death toll rose to 115. Earlier Thursday, muddy rain-swollen waters overflowed a dam in Cuba, washing into hundreds of homes, over highways and knocking out electricity and telephone service. Dozens of small communities were cut off.


Image Removed
Official Bangladesh cyclone death toll climbs to 3,447
20.11.07. AFP. Sidr, which triggered a six-metre (20-foot) tidal wave, swept away whole villages along the coast before ravaging a vast swathe of southern and central Bangladesh last Thursday evening. The Red Crescent said on Sunday it expected the final death toll to be between 5,000 and 10,000.

Flood-relief crisis
22.11.07. nzherald. Fistfights broke out in some relief camps, as growing crowds of people struggled to get help after last week’s cyclone.

Cyclone victims’ quest for clean water
22.11.07. A. Lawson, BBC. One week after a devastating cyclone hit Bangladesh, thousands of people remain homeless and much needed aid is slow to arrive. .. Some aid agencies warn that unless that and other vital supplies arrive soon, the number of people who will die in the days after the cyclone could exceed the number who perished last Thursday night when the storm struck.

No food, no clothes, no home. The poor who have lost everything
23.11.07. Jonathan Watts, Guardian. Appeals for aid as country tries to recover from storm that has left 2m destitute. Graphic: Map of Bangladesh showing provinces worst to least affected by cyclone Sidr. … “They are burying four or five people in a single grave. Homes are completely flattened, roads blocked and trees torn up,” said Mokit Billah of Action Aid, who has just returned from the edge of the Sundarban, one of the worst-affected areas. “Yesterday I saw the body of a six- or seven-year-old child. A woman was running back and forth, crying, looking for her husband. There are so many poor and hungry people. So many dead bodies. I was crying. I have never seen anything like it in my life. The old people described it as the apocalypse.”

The fatal shore
24.11.07. Tahmima Anam, Guardian. Cyclone Sidr is the latest of a string of disasters to have befallen Bangladesh. Here the Costa-nominated author [for A Golden Age] describes how her country is succumbing to global warming

Under the weather

November 1970
A cyclone with 222km winds causes a 20ft tidal surge and kills 500,000 people.

July 1974
Severe flood devastates the grain crop, leading to an estimated 28,000 deaths.

Floods cover three-quarters of the country, killing more than 5,000 and leaving millions homeless.

April 1991
A cyclonic 15ft tidal wave kills up to 138,000.

Flooding from July 12 to September 14 covers 67% of the country, killing 1,200 and causing damage worth $14.5bn.

November 15 2007
Cyclone Sidr hits Bangladesh, killing at least 3,200 and leaving more than two million struggling for necessities such as food, water, shelter and medicines.
· Isabelle Chevallot

VIDEO Thousands stranded without aid in Bangladesh.

Where death by water is part of daily life
26.11.07. L. Elliot, Guardian. Charles Dickens would have felt at home in the streets of Dhaka. … Britain is one of the few countries to make a priority of water and sanitation [sic] and has supported the military-backed government in Bangladesh in its attempt to provide 100% access to sanitation not by 2015 but by 2010.


Flood season kills 600 in Yangtze River reaches
13.11.07. l xinhuanet. Floods and other natural disasters killed 600 people in the reaches of the Yangtze River in its May-October flood season, according to water authorities. .. About 90 million people in 812 counties along the country’s longest river were affected and 440,000 houses were brought down by disasters, said Hu Jiajun, spokesman for the Yangtze River Water Resources Commission…The disasters caused direct economic loss of 43.4 billion yuan (5.8 billion U.S. dollars).

Costa Rica

Torrential rains, floods kill 20 in Central America
20.11.07. Reuters. Emergency officials across Central America worked to clean up towns inundated by recent deadly floods and landslides, and braced for more bad weather on Sunday. .. The same weather system that killed 23 people in a Haitian village on Friday triggered a landslide that buried 14 people under mud and debris in Costa Rica.


Ghana: UK Gov’t Commits £434,000 to Help Flood Victims in North
20.11.07. allafrica. The Department for International Development (DFID) has committed £343,000 to CARE, an international charity to provide support to the people affected by flooding in Northern Ghana and £91,000 to the UN Flash Appeal for the ongoing co-ordination of the humanitarian response.

Image RemovedResidents struggle to cross a flooded river due to heavy rains caused
by tropical storm Noel, in Leogan, southern Haiti, Monday, Oct. 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

E. Jakarta hit by extensive floods early in season
20.11.07. jakartapost. Cawang Pulo in Kampung Melayu district was under water again Tuesday morning, just a few days after floodwaters reached the two-meter mark Sunday.


Flood preparedness must be boosted
19.11.07. AP. In Japan, the government’s Central Disaster Prevention Council, chaired by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, released its projections in late October for a massive flood disaster that could directly affect 1 million people in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Image RemovedPhoto AFP

Million people hit as Mexico flood waters continue to rise
20.11.07. J. Tuckman, Guardian. · Families sent to shelters forced to flee again · Fears of disease grow, and more rain is forecast. The state capital, Villahermosa, is among the worst hit areas. The city is built in a kind of bowl below sea level, prompting comparisons with New Orleans.

Mexico’s Red Cross Preparing for Disease in Tabasco (Update1)
20.11.07. Harrington / Walsh, Bloomberg. Mexico’s Red Cross is preparing for a possible outbreak of cholera or other water-borne diseases in the southern state of Tabasco, where flooding has displaced 800,000.`The outlook for the disaster is not short term’…Six days of flooding left 80 percent of the state under water, about 800,000 people without homes and more than 100,000 in government shelters. …Villahermosa, located some 430 miles (692 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City, is almost completely flooded … Fifteen of the state’s 17 largest cities were under water … Much of the state, including Villahermosa, remained without potable water and some telecommunications were down.

Mexico Did Little to Ready for Flooding
22.11.07. AP. The government knew Mexico’s Gulf coast was a disaster in waiting long before three rivers surged out of their banks, flooding nearly every inch of the low-lying state of Tabasco and leaving more than 1 million homes under water. But officials admit they never finished a $190 million levee project that was supposed to have been done by 2006 and would have held back much of the rising waters that flooded Tabasco at the end of October.

Mexico’s Flood Disaster Attributed To Unfinished $190 Million Levee Project
23.11.07. allheadlinenews. At the center of an ongoing investigation is a $190 million levee project that was supposed to hold back waters. The project is part of the Integral Project Against Flooding launched in 2003. Following the 1999 flood that caused $375 million damage, the project was launched to construct 110 miles of levees and 120 miles of drainage canals throughout the length of the Grijalva, Carrizal and Samaria Rivers.

New Guinea

PNG flood toll reaches 71
18.11.07. ABC. Seven consecutive days of heavy rain left a trail of destruction in Oro Province, north of Port Moresby. … Reports from the provincial capital Popendetta claim the town is like an island with roads and bridges to the airport and main wharf destroyed. .. Eyewitness reports.

Looting in flood-hit PNG province
22.11.07. smh.com.au.

Security fears grow in flood-hit PNG as death toll nears 200
23.11.07. peninsulaqatar.


Thousands evacuated in eastern Philippines as new storm approaches
20.11.07. earthtimes.

Utilities rush to fully restore power, water in Metro Cebu
20.11.07. globalnation

South Africa

Region faces flood disaster
22.11.07. iol.co.za.
This morning NSRI Mossel Bay and NSRI Wilderness rushed to the Groot Brak River to assist residents preparing to evacuate as rising water threatened to burst the river bank in the vicinity of Pine Creek.

160 people saved in flash flood
23.11.07. int.iol.co.za. Joburg swift water rescue personnel saved more than 100 people last night on New Canada Road near Soweto after two buses and two minibus taxis got stuck in a metre-and-a-half of water caused by a flash storm that burst the banks of the Klipspruit River.


Flood Relief Continues in Togo
20.11.07. allafrica. Aid agencies are continuing to extend relief efforts in Togo, three months after the worst floods there in 30 years. This comes as water recedes in parts of the West African country, which had been cut off by the water, thus blocking access to aid workers.


Unplanned urban development in Turkey ups flood risks
24.11.07. zaman. Turkey has been faced with flooding in the country’s northwest after recent heavy rainfall, with the situation exacerbated by uncontrolled urban development warned Rahmi Erdem, head of Selçuk University’s City Planning Department.

Unplanned urban development in Turkey ups flood risks
26.11.07. zaman. Turkey has been faced with flooding in the country’s northwest after recent heavy rainfall, with the situation exacerbated by uncontrolled urban development warned Rahmi Erdem, head of Selçuk University’s City Planning Department. “All settlements on or near riverbeds should be relocated,” Erdem stated in an interview with the Anatolia news agency this week. He noted that Turkey’s urban populations has rising steadily, reflecting a global trend; thus careful planning of urban development is crucial for the wellbeing of cities and their residents.


Uganda’s £70m conference, £7m flood relief
18.11.07. Uganda is spending 10 times more to host next weekend’s Commonwealth conference to be attended by the Queen than on providing food for 1.7 million of its people devastated by floods. Huge swathes of central and northern Uganda have been swamped by the heaviest rainfall in 30 years, leaving hundreds of thousands reliant on food aid. … The dirt-poor jumble of homesteads near Lira, 240 miles north of Kampala, was inundated by three months of storms which left cassava, sorghum and bean crops rotting in the ground. Makeshift ditches three inches deep have been carved around mud-walled homes to stop water leaking in. Blankets and bedding have still not dried out since September, villagers told The Sunday Telegraph.

Uganda: Flood Relief Has Been Mishandled – LC5s
22.11.07. allafrica. Since floods hit the north and north east, many organisations have claimed to have donated billions of aid to the victims. However, local leaders in Amuria and Kaberamaido districts claim they have not seen the said donations.

United Kingdom

2007 United Kingdom floods
Wikipedia. Widespread flooding occurred throughout the United Kingdom in June and July 2007, killing 11 people. The flooding affected thousands of businesses, tens of thousands of homes and further affected up to a million people.[1] Estimated damages on 23 July 2007 were over £2 billion.[2]
The most severe flooding occurred across Northern Ireland on 12 June; East Yorkshire and The Midlands on 15 June; Yorkshire, The Midlands, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire on 25 June; and Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and South Wales on 20 July.

Image RemovedParts of Yorkshire and the Midlands flooded in June and July

Are power stations flood-proof?
15.11.07. BBC. Flooding in central England and tidal surges on the coast of East Anglia have highlighted the damage that can be caused by changes in water levels. .. When torrential rains this summer caused the Severn and its tributaries to burst their banks, it was not just homes and private businesses that were inundated in the resulting floods. Vital infrastructure, too, was affected. A water treatment works near Gloucester was put out of action, depriving 150,000 homes of clean water. Floodwaters also threatened to submerge an electricity substation, jeopardising power supplies to half a million homes. An internal Environment Agency report later concluded that nearly 5,000 sites of “critical infrastructure” were built on flood plains and most had little or no protection. See Action is needed urgently.

Yorkshire Water ‘didn’t act on flood defence’
21.11.07. C. Clover, Telegraph. Yorkshire Water contributed to the flooding of 10,000 homes in Hull this summer by failing to act on repeated warnings that the city’s pumping and drainage systems were inadequate, an independent inquiry has said. See also John Vidal’s report in the Guardian.

Water firm refuses floods payouts
22.11.07. BBC. Flood victims in Hull who suffered days of dirty water and sewage in their homes will not get compensation from Yorkshire Water. Although the company’s charter promises a £100 payout, officials cite “extreme circumstances” for not paying out. In a statement the company said: “This is not about money, this is about doing the right thing for the people of Hull, which is why Yorkshire Water will not be paying out compensation. ACTION: FILL OUT EMAIL FORM AT YORKSHIRE WATER [Keep a copy]: www.yorkshirewater.com/internet/ccd.nsf/fge?openform&FormName=Household%20General

City gets £6m for flood-hit roads
22.11.07. BBC. Sheffield is to get £6.3m to pay for repairs to roads and bridges damaged by the summer floods.


City must splash out extra £5.3m to tackle floods
22.11.07. ANDREW PICKEN, Scotsman. Thousands of homes are still not protected from flooding after years of wrangling over designs. But work will now start early next year in Canonmills and Dean Village, with the rest of the four-year project starting in late 2008.

United States


Rising Seas Will Swamp America’s Shores, Study Says
22.10.07. AP. Examples of areas that will be suffering in USA.


Snow over, arctic temps to stay for Thanksgiving
21.11.07. Denverpost.


Image RemovedCredit: USGS

Forests Damaged By Hurricane Katrina Become Major Carbon Dioxide Source
16.11.07. sciencedaily. With the help of NASA satellite data, a research team has estimated that Hurricane Katrina killed or severely damaged 320 million large trees in Gulf Coast forests, which weakened the role the forests play in storing carbon from the atmosphere. The damage has led to these forests releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The August 2005 hurricane affected five million acres of forest across Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, with damage ranging from downed trees, snapped trunks and broken limbs to stripped leaves.

Mistakes Made in New Orleans Flood Maps
17.11.07. AOP. A system of flood gates and pumps built since Hurricane Katrina to help alleviate flooding in several New Orleans neighborhoods may not be as much help as authorities first said.
The Army Corps of Engineers released flood risk maps on a block-by-block basis on June 20, but didn’t include some technical data, preventing independent assessments of the accuracy of the maps.


Poor Lag in Hurricane Aid From Mississippi
16.11.07. Leslie Eaton, New York Times / Truthout. “Like the other Gulf Coast states battered by Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi was required by Congress to spend half of its billions in federal grant money to help low-income citizens trying to recover from the storm. But so far, the state has spent $1.7 billion in federal money on programs that have mostly benefited relatively affluent residents and big businesses.”

New York

In Westchester, Cleaning Up After One Flood While Planning for the Next
13.11.07. NY Times. At the First Unitarian Society of Westchester, at the foot of a dead-end road here, there are signs that the congregation is finally patching itself up after a devastating flood in April, one that ravaged parts of the East Coast and was one of the worst in the county’s history.

State provides property tax relief for S. Tier flood victims
16.11.07. stargazettenews. Gov. Eliot Spitzer today announced that more than 600 Southern Tier property owners who suffered catastrophic property damage during the 2006 floods are receiving property tax relief totaling more than $1 million. As a result of the floods in the early summer of 2006, a federal disaster was declared for 20 counties. Thousands of New Yorkers saw their homes and businesses damaged and destroyed, significantly reducing property values.

Ice Caps Melting Fast: Say Goodbye to the Big Apple?
10.10.07. Paul Brown, Alternet. The talk of sea level rise should not be in centuries, it should be decades or perhaps even single years. And coastal regions like New York and Florida are in the front line for devastation.


Marble Falls businesses still recovering from flood
25.11.07. news8austin. Video.

Viet Nam

Up to 5,000 escaped crocodiles add to flood woes
I. MacKinnon, Guardian. As if the spate of fatal flash floods and landslides triggered by more than a month of torrential rain was not enough, villagers in central Vietnam have a new and altogether more sinister threat to contend with – crocodiles on the loose. Up to 5,000 of the reptiles escaped from a farm that doubles as a tourist attraction on Saturday after yet another deluge washed away fences, leaving them free to swim the flooded countryside.

Central Vietnam struggles with new flood disaster
13.11.07. Tens of thousands of homes were submerged in central Vietnam, the fifth major floods since August in which hundreds of people have died, roads and railways inundated, crops damaged and water-borne diseases spread.

Vietnam rushes food aid to flood victims
14.11.07. hindu.com. Vietnamese authorities are rushing food aid to more than 100,000 victims as the death toll from weekend floods in the country’s central region climbed further Wednesday even as waters receded, disaster officials said. Vietnamese officials said they recovered six more bodies Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 35 since the rains began Saturday.

Death toll in Vietnam flood rises to 45
16.11.07. hindustantimes.

f. Hydroelectric Dams

Washington State dam proposal could flood parts of southern B.C.
12.11.07. canadianpress.

Are we destroying the Himalayas?
11.13.07. Arun Shrivastava, The Peoples Voice. A balance sheet of energy projects, ecosystems and livelihoods. Energy starved India is increasingly depending upon the estimated 207,149 MW hydro-electric potential of Himalayan Rivers from J&K to Arunachal Pradesh. In Himachal Pradesh alone about 415 projects (over 300 small and 115 medium and large) are planned, under execution or operational. To expedite capacity addition, Environment Protection Rules have been diluted or shelved affecting the livelihoods of estimated 128,000 households.

[alJazeera had a November news report concerning the spreading toxicity in rivers due to the building of the Nile Dam, which upset the ecosystem.]

Image RemovedSaturated surf: Sunlight filtered though wildfire smoke colors the waves along Cardiff Reef in Encinitas.

Fires ravage Malibu – again
25.11.07. smh.com. Nearly 10,000 people were forced to evacuate as wind-driven wildfires ripped through the celebrity enclave of Malibu on Saturday, destroying at least 35 multimillion-dollar homes and threatening hundreds more, officials said. See Malibu residents return to communities after fire burns 53 homes

d. Carbon
Image RemovedCredit: iStockphoto

Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Power Plants Rated Worldwide
15.11.07. science daily. CARMA–Carbon Monitoring for Action. The on-line database, compiled by the carma.org/?hpid=topnews”>Center for Global Development (CGD), an independent policy and research organization that focuses on how the actions of the rich world shape the lives of poor people in developing countries, lays out exactly where the CO2 emitters are and how much of the greenhouse gas they are casting into the atmosphere. It also shows which companies own the plants. MAP

Carbon Capture: Miracle Cure for Global Warming, or Deadly Liability?
24.11.07. Megan Tady, AlterNet. A new technology to capture carbon from power plants and store it underground has been dubbed a miracle cure for global warming. But critics think it puts us in more danger.

China:Drought and Pollution

World’s Coal Dependency Hits Environment
04.11.07. AP. It takes five to 10 days for the pollution from China’s coal-fired plants to make its way to the United States, like a slow-moving storm. It shows up as mercury in the bass and trout caught in Oregon’s Willamette River. It increases cloud cover and raises ozone levels. And along the way, it contributes to acid rain in Japan and South Korea and health problems everywhere from Taiyuan to the United States.

China orders curbs on government departments’ car use
24.11.07. xinhuanet. China’s State Council, or cabinet, has ordered all central government bodies to use “economic, energy-saving, environmentally friendly and domestically manufactured” automobiles and ban the private use of official cars. “All units should tighten the regulation of cars and cut down the size of the fleet to a controlled scale. The number of automobiles should not be increased unless a new department is formed,” said a circular issued earlier this week by the Government Office Administration of the State Council. It said excess cars, or those violating pollution standards, should be removed from service by year-end.

As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes
26.08.07. J. Kahn, J. Yardley, NY Times. Choking on Growth: Part I. No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo. pollution problem has shattered all precedents. Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party. And it is not clear that China can rein in its own economic juggernaut. Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, … Chinese cities often seem wrapped in a toxic gray shroud. Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union.

Beneath Booming Cities, China’s Future Is Drying Up
28.08.07. Jim Yardley, NY Times. Choking on Growth, Part II. Hundreds of feet below ground, the primary water source for this provincial capital of more than two million people is steadily running dry. The underground water table is sinking about four feet a year. Municipal wells have already drained two-thirds of the local groundwater.

In China, a lake’s champion imperils himself
13.10.07. J. Kahn, NY Times/IHY. Choking on Growth, Part 3.
Lake Tai, the center of China’s ancient “land of fish and rice,” succumbed this year to floods of industrial and agricultural waste.

Toxic cyanobacteria, commonly referred to as pond scum, turned the big lake fluorescent green. The stench of decay choked anyone who came within a mile of its shores. At least two million people who live amid the canals, rice paddies and chemical plants around the lake had to stop drinking or cooking with their main source of water.

Chinese Dam Projects Criticized for Human Costs
Choking on Growth Part IV, NY Times/peakoil. Last year, Chinese officials celebrated the completion of the Three Gorges Dam by releasing a list of 10 world records. As in: The Three Gorges is the world’s biggest dam, biggest power plant and biggest consumer of dirt, stone, concrete and steel. Ever. Even the project’s official tally of 1.13 million displaced people made the list as record No. 10.

Today, the Communist Party is hoping the dam does not become China’s biggest folly. In recent weeks, Chinese officials have admitted that the dam was spawning environmental problems like water pollution and landslides that could become severe. Equally startling, officials want to begin a new relocation program that would be bigger than the first.

Far From Beijing’s Reach, Officials Bend Energy Rules
23.11.07. Howard French, NY Times/IHT. Choking on Growth. Part V. When the central government in Beijing announced an ambitious nationwide campaign to reduce energy consumption two years ago, officials in this western regional capital got right to work: not to comply, but to engineer creative schemes to evade the requirements. [ Which is what the US, or any other dumb government, would do?] The energy campaign required local officials to raise electricity prices as a way of discouraging the growth of large energy-consuming industries and forcing the least efficient of these users out of business. Instead, fearing the impact on the local economy, the regional government brokered a special deal for the Qingtongxia Aluminum Group, which accounts for 20 percent of this region’s industrial consumption and roughly 10 percent of its gross domestic product. VIDEO. Also in Chinese.

United States
Image RemovedCredit: iStockphoto

US power company linked to Bush is named in database as a top polluter
16.11.07. Independent. it is the enormous carbon footprint of Southern Company – among the largest financiers of Republican Party politicians – which has raised eyebrows. Southern’s employees handed George Bush $217,047 to help him get elected, and they and the company have contributed an extraordinary $6.2m to Republican campaigns since 1990. A single Southern Company plant in Juliette, Georgia already emits more carbon dioxide annually that Brazil’s entire power sector. The company is in the top two of America’s dirtiest utility polluters and sixth worst in the world. [ Southern Company’s logo has picture of tree set in lush green grass with logo “renewable energy”]

Growth In US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Predicted To Accelerate
16.11.07. sciencedaily. U.S. greenhouse gas emissions could grow more quickly in the next 50 years than in the previous half-century, even with technological advances and current energy-saving efforts, according to a new study by MIT’s Richard Eckaus, the Ford International Professor of Economics, emeritus, and his co-author, Ian Sue Wing. … In their paper, “The Implications of the Historical Decline in U.S. Energy Intensity for Long-Run CO2 Emission Projections,” published in the November issue of Energy Policy, Eckaus and Wing portray the changing interplay among technology, energy use and CO2 emissions, based on a simulation of the U.S. economy.

“We found that, in spite of increasing energy prices, technological change has not been responsible for much reduction in energy use, and that it may have had the reverse effect,” Eckaus says of their results.,” published in the November issue of Energy Policy, Eckaus and Wing portray the changing interplay among technology, energy use and CO2 emissions, based on a simulation of the U.S. economy. “We found that, in spite of increasing energy prices, technological change has not been responsible for much reduction in energy use, and that it may have had the reverse effect,” Eckaus says of their results.

First-ever ‘State Of The Carbon Cycle Report’ Finds Troubling Imbalance
17.11.07. sciencedaily. The first “State of the Carbon Cycle Report” for North America, released online this week by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, finds the continent’s carbon budget increasingly overwhelmed by human-caused emissions. North American sources release nearly 2 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, mostly as carbon dioxide.

e. Biofuels: Ethanol

Image Removed

Bush and Brazil’s Lula da Silva


‘Serious and Dangerous Deficiencies’ in IPCC Biofuel Recommendations
30.10.07. climateandcapitalism. Letter to To Dr Rajendra Pachauri Chairman, IPCC. 10 key points of criticism by Professor David Pimentel, Cornell University, Professor Tad Patzek. University of California, Berkeley, Professor Dr. Florian Siegert, RSS GmbH, Munich office, Dr. Mario Giampietro, ICREA Research Professor Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Professor Helmut Haberl, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

Western Hunger for Biofuels Causing Starvation in the Poor World
06.11.07. G. Monbiot, Guardian / Truthout. Developing nations are being pushed to grow crops for ethanol, rather than food – all thanks to political expediency. It doesn’t get madder than this. Swaziland is in the grip of a famine and receiving emergency food aid. Forty per cent of its people are facing acute food shortages. So what has the government decided to export? Biofuel made from one of its staple crops, cassava. The government has allocated several thousand hectares of farmland to ethanol production in the district of Lavumisa, which happens to be the place worst hit by drought. It would surely be quicker and more humane to refine the Swazi people and put them in our tanks. Doubtless a team of development consultants is already doing the sums.

Biofuels Could Kill More People Than the Iraq War
10.11.07. George Monbiot, Guardian / Alternet. If the governments promoting biofuels do not reverse their policies, the humanitarian impact will be greater than that of the Iraq war.

Ethanol rush may harm water supplies
10.10.07. Reuters. The U.S. ethanol rush could drain drinking water supplies in parts of the country because corn — a key source of the country’s alternative fuel — requires vast quantities of water for irrigation, the National Research Council reported on Wednesday. President George W. Bush has called for production of 35 billion gallons per year of alternative motor fuels including ethanol by 2017, as part of an effort to wean the country from foreign oil. U.S. capacity to make the fuel, believed to emit low levels of greenhouse gases, has spiked about 28 percent this year to nearly 7 billion gallons. But the use of more corn to make ethanol could drain water supplies like the Ogallala, or High Plains, aquifer, which extends from west Texas up into South Dakota and Wyoming.

Ethanol’s Water Shortage
17.10.07. WSJ. If the Senate’s new “renewable fuels” mandate becomes law, get ready for a giant slurping sound as Midwest water supplies are siphoned off to slake Big Ethanol. House and Senate negotiators are preparing for an energy-bill conference, and if the Senate’s language prevails, America’s economy will be forced to consume more than five times current ethanol production.

HERALD SUN SLIDE SHOW Saving Planet Earth: Part I: Heating Up

f. Droughts and/or Pollution

a. General

Our Drinkable Water Supply is Vanishing
11.10.07. Tara Lohan, AlterNet. Thanks to global warming, pollution, population growth, and privatization we are teetering on the edge of a global crisis.

Tomgram: As the World Burns
15.11.07. Tom Englehardt, Tomgram. As droughts reach record levels from Atlanta to Australia, no one is asking the tough question: What happens when there is not enough water to go around?

b. Droughts: WHERE?

Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada / US Great Lakes, China, Chile, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Sierra Nevada, Texas, Tennessee)


Water emergency
13.10.07. news.com. EMERGENCY plans have been prepared to supply Adelaide with spring water for drinking as experts warn the drought is forcing us to consider extreme measures.

20 years of water cuts
19.10.07. news.com.au. WATER users in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges face reduced allocations in the next 20 years. The CSIRO predicts up to half as much water could be available in its second report released yesterday. Eventually, 18 reports will be published on water availability in regions of the Murray-Darling basin.

Water dilemma could ‘sink’ Government
21.10.07. theage.com. DUE to the drought, the State Government has no choice but to urge households to limit their water use. But by doing so, it risks financial disaster after committing almost $5 billion to new water infrastructure. The Government’s conundrum has been exposed during an Essential Services Commission inquiry into water pricing. An issues paper released by the commission on Friday shows Melbourne’s water companies are pushing for a new “fourth tier” price that would mean big water consumers would pay even more per litre.

Council seeks help for Lake Cargelligo water plant
28.10.07. ABC. The council wants the NSW Government help to find and fund a tradesperson who could work at the plant as a troubleshooter. Councillor Paul Phillips says the plant has failed twice and it struggles when the water is of poor quality because it was designed for relatively clean water.

Labor pours $1bn into water plan
28.10.07. news.com. A FEDERAL Labor government would commit $1 billion towards storm water harvesting and desalination projects to help secure Australia’s urban water supplies if the party wins the federal election, Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has announced.

Man killed in argument reportedly over Sydney water restrictions
31.10.07. IHT. A 66-year-old man was bashed to death while watering his lawn in an argument over Sydney’s water restrictions, police and media said Thursday.

Land Clearing Triggers Hotter Droughts, Australian Research Shows
31.10.07. science daily. A University of Queensland scientist has led groundbreaking research which shows that clearing of native vegetation has made recent Australian droughts hotter.

Image RemovedThe algal bloom plaguing Sydney’s main water source, Warragamba Dam.

Catchment Authority denies half Sydney’s water supply unusable
02.11.07. ABC. The Sydney Catchment Authority has dismissed claims Sydney’s water supply is under threat from a toxic algal bloom in Warragamba Dam.

Image RemovedDave Burgess of the Total Environment Centre surveys the extensive damage to the Waratah Rivulet.
Photo: Peter Rae

Mines blamed for threat to water supply
05.11.07. smh.com.au. UNRESTRICTED underground coal mining south of Sydney is cracking riverbeds, draining swamps and putting the city’s water supply at risk, experts say. Almost 10 years after the Cataract River drained away through cracks in the bedrock from longwall mining, the State Government continues to allow coal companies to tunnel underneath rivers and creeks. … In one of the most dramatic cases, longwall panels 500 metres beneath the Waratah Rivulet, to the west of Helensburgh, have cracked the sandstone bedrock, in some places 20 metres across, split rock ledges and tilted the riverbed. Water flows have disappeared down fractures along a 2 kilometre stretch of river, environmentalists say.

Within 20 years, 91 per cent of the Upper Nepean and Woronora catchments will have been undermined, … “The short-term gains in increased efficiency of coal extraction (and profit from sales) may come at the expense of the long-term sustainability of Sydney’s metropolitan drinking water supply and environments” … The NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, declined to comment… The State Government receives about $600 million a year in coal royalties.

Water advice costs $6.6m
11.11.07. news.com.au. But the annual report released last week has few details of actual spending on consultancies, other than: “regional policy and planning, water reform, corporate policy and governance, demand efficiency and substitution, and communications”.

Drought bites hard at Aussie rice crop
11.11.07. UPI. SYDNEY, Nov. 11 — Drought has all but ruined the Australian rice crop in the main growing area of New South Wales. “We expect about 15,000 metric tons to be grown this year, against the usual 1.2 million tons,” said Gary Helou, chief executive of the Sunrice company. Five years of drought have badly affected rice-growing farms around the towns of Deniliquin and Coleambally and the company was shutting down two mills putting 70 people out of work, he said. “That’s a lot when you have only got 7,000 people.”

Hot spell sends water consumption soaring
13.11.07. abc. The Water Corporation is warning Perth residents that a high level of water consumption during the past few days is unsustainable.

Questions over plan to remove water from Yarra
13.11.07. abc. Environmentalists have questioned the Victorian Government’s claim that reducing flows to the Yarra River will not harm the environment. The plan is to remove the equivalent of ten days water supply for Melbourne and divert it to the Sugarloaf Reservoir from the Yering dam.

Business gets water ultimatum
13.11.07, Australian.news. RESIDENTS in Australia’s fastest growing region will be forced to truck in water from outside southeast Queensland to fill pools and businesses will be told to slash consumption by a quarter under the nation’s toughest water restrictions. Queensland water authorities announced yesterday the nation’s first Level 6 restrictions imposed on a major metropolitan area would come into force from November 23 as the state’s dam levels remain dangerously low.

Drought hitting rural councils
14.11.07. theage.com. DROUGHT is hitting bush services and infrastructure hard, with 16 of Victoria’s 20 most cash-strapped councils in drought-stricken areas.

Australian Drought May See Wine Grape Growers Quit, Review Says
15.11.07. Bloomberg. Drought may force 1,000 of Australia’s 7,500 wine grape growers to leave the industry, the Australian Financial Review said, citing Mark McKenzie, executive director of Wine Grape Growers Australia. The drought-stricken Murray Darling Basin supplies 60 percent to 70 percent of Australia’s wine grape output, the Review said. Most growers in the region were operating with only 16 percent of their water entitlement, the report said.

Drought expected to hit Timbercorp
15.11.07. theage.com. … “The company has decided to defer a proposed development of 1,700 hectares of almonds this year due to lower water allocations,” Timbercorp said.

Water efficiency boost to give Snowy a chance
16.11.07. smh.com. Fifty million dollars will be spent improving efficiency in water use around the Snowy River to reclaim water for the river. The Minister for the Environment, Malcolm Turnbull, said he would ask the NSW and Victorian governments for matching contributions. “The Snowy River is just as important as the Murray-Darling basin.”

Drought a heartbreaker for country Noll brothers
18.11.07. news.com.au. Australian Idol’s biggest star comes from five generations of farmers who spent more than 100 years on the land. But the drought has forced Noll and his brothers, Damian and Adam, to leave the land permanently. They have sold the family farm in Condobolin, NSW.

Weekly suicides caused by epidemic of drought-induced depression
19.11.07. cowra.yourguide.com.au. Mrs Fardell said an epidemic of drought-induced depression was responsible for the high number of suicides occurring in country communities.

Environment goes from bad to worse
19.11.07. smh.com.au. MUCH of Australia will lose its ability to farm successfully, and there will be a large loss of species from the Great Barrier Reef and the tropics if the growth of polluting energy from coal, oil and gas is not halted within seven years, a dire report from the United Nations peak scientific body warns.

The final report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes action from governments more urgent, but neither the Coalition nor Labor has policies for such drastic cuts to emissions.

Parched land – Attempting to ease Australia’s drought
19.11.07. janes. This concern is being compounded by a current drought. The ‘Big Dry’ has been ongoing since 2001 and is one of the worst that Australia has experienced for 200 years, with only the ‘federation drought’ of 1898 to 1903 rivalling it. It has particularly affected southwestern Western Australia, much of Victoria and western New South Wales and central Queensland, where rainfall has been 24 per cent below historical averages for a 70-month period.

Green vote may topple Australia’s environment minister according to poll
19.11.07. afp.

Drought affects Goodman Fielder profit
20.11.07. news.com.au. SURGING prices for wheat, food oil and dairy has prompted Australia’s largest listed foods company, Goodman Fielder, to expect flat earnings this year. .. The company said it was experiencing sustained increases in all agricultural commodity prices, which are at record high levels. Wheat and other commodities prices have shot up as Australian farmers face a second year of drought, causing demand to outstrip production.

UPDATE 2-Australia’s AWB year profit halved by drought
21.11.07. Reuters.

Labor water plan promise to boost Menindee Lakes
21.11.07. Federal Labor says its plan to invest up to $400 million to improve water efficiency in the Murray-Darling Basin would help the Menindee Lakes in far western New South Wales.

Fruit, veg bills skyrocket by 43pc in drought
22.11.07. B. Williams, news.com.au. The impact of rising food bills has resulted in lowly-paid workers giving up cars because they could not afford to run them and some children going to school without fruit. University of Queensland economist John Quiggin said the national drought in 2002-03 pushed up overall food prices 4.4 per cent, nearly double the 2.7 per cent Consumer Price Index for the same period.

MELBOURNE’S homes are cracking up and the problem will become worse next year
Natalie Tkaczuk Sikora, Herald Sun. Inner-city suburbs are being hardest hit as soil continues to dry out because of the prolonged drought, placing further strain on buildings, a new study has revealed.

Drought dries up Timbercorp’s plans
24.11.07. theage.com.au. Controversial managed investment scheme Timbercorp, has announced that lack of water has forced it to drop plans to expand its monster 12,000hectare almond estate at Wemen, near Robinvale. .. With drought slashing irrigators’ water allocations this year and driving prices to record highs in a frenzied water trade in the Goulburn-Murray irrigation system, Timbercorp has attracted local hostility for its purchase of water from struggling smaller farmers through the system.

Bush Ally Defeated in Australia
24.11.07. nytimes. Australia’s prime minister, John Howard, one of President Bush’s staunchest allies in Asia, suffered a comprehensive defeat at the hands of the electorate on Saturday, as his Liberal Party-led coalition lost its majority in Parliament. He will be replaced by Kevin Rudd, the Labor Party leader and a former diplomat.
Australia’s new prime minister ready to sign Kyoto pact
26.11.07. Guardian.. Australia’s prime minister-elect, Kevin Rudd, moved swiftly yesterday on an election promise to make climate change a priority, marking a significant shift in his country’s attitude towards fighting global warming. The Labor leader, who ended 11 years of conservative rule in a decisive election win on Saturday, held meetings with government officials about signing the Kyoto pact on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the treaty that his predecessor, John Howard, refused to endorse.

Water restrictions expected to return to Bourke
25.11.07. ABC. Bans were lifted in April this year when water started flowing over the weir pool in the Darling River for the first time in seven months. However, the general manager of the Bourke Shire Council, Geoff Wise, says the weir has stopped spilling and is approaching the trigger level to introduce restrictions.

Drought slashes ABB Grain profit
26.11.07. smh.com.au. The Adelaide-based grains marketer said it would now look to extend its operations in New Zealand and grow in Europe, and seek acquisitions.

Image RemovedAA polluted water reservoir is seen near La Paz, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007.
(AP Photo/Dado Galdieri)

Early Climate Change Victim: Andes Water
24.11.07. F. Bajak, AP. But the water supply is in peril. El Alto and its sister city of La Paz, the world’s highest capital, depend on glaciers for at least a third of their water — more than any other urban sprawl. And those glaciers are rapidly melting because of global warming. Informed of the threat, Quispe, a 37-year-old Aymara Indian, shows alarm on her weathered face. “Where are we going to get water? Without water how can we live?” … Scientists predict that all the glaciers in the tropical Andes will disappear by mid-century. The implications are dire not just for La Paz-El Alto but also for Quito, Ecuador, and Bogota, Colombia. More than 11 million people now live in the burgeoning cities, and El Alto alone is expanding at 5 percent a year.


106 Brazilian cities in emergency due to nine-month drought
23.11.07. Xinhuanet. The north of the state [Minas Gerais] , the hardest-hit area, is close to the so-called “caatinga,” a semi-arid area in northeastern Brazil, where social problems like hunger are aggravated by the drought.

Canada / US: Great Lakes

Image Removed

Great Lakes from Space

Group investigating water loss in Great Lakes
19.10.07. Globe and Mail.

Great Lakes Key Front in Water Wars
28.10.07. T. Jones, Chicago Tribune / Common Dreams. But potentially huge battles over water are looming in the Great Lakes region as cities, towns and states near and far fight for access to the world’s largest body of fresh surface water, all of it residing in the five Great Lakes. Call them water wars, with the Great Lakes states hunkering down to protect what they see as theirs.

Water, Water (not) Everywhere
02.11.07. Edmontonsun. Water if predicted to become the next scarce commodity. If the Great Lakes basin were a country, it would be the third richest in the world. [typical; media sees water as a commodity?] The Great Lakes also hold 20% of the world’s surface fresh water. Indeed, freshwater is predicted to become this century’s oil. Southwestern U.S. bakes in historic droughts, and there are fears thirsty Americans are eyeing our water supplies — some of which have already reached record low levels since record-keeping began.

[definition “commodity” (OED): “ the quality of being ‘commodious’ (“profitable; of use”); convenience, advantage, profit, opportunity, occasion, a thing of use or advantage to mankind; a kind of thing produced for use or sale; merchandise, produce. ]

Image RemovedJulie Woodyear takes supplies to her Georgian Bay cottage, a long trek over land that was once under water. Photo: Rick Eglinton / Toronto Star

Lake Huron water levels spell deep trouble
03.11.07. C. Porter, thestar.com. The lake has dropped a metre in last decade and theories abound about the cause.

Warm water, winds affect Lake Superior
03.11.07. UPI. U.S. researchers say warmer water and higher wind speeds have contributed to Lake Superior’s near record low-water levels. In the last 25 years, water temperatures on the lake have risen twice as fast as air temperatures, while wind speeds have increased by 30 percent, researcher Jay Austin, of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, told a Great Lakes conference Friday in Toronto. Lakes Huron and Michigan, just inches above record lows, have been experiencing the same phenomenon, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.


Store-bought Freshwater Fish Contain Elevated Levels Of Mercury, Arsenic And Selenium
08.11.07. sciencedaily. The University of Pittsburgh study showed mercury levels were 2.2 to 4.8 times higher in fish caught in the Canadian Lake Erie and available commercially than in fish caught near former iron and steel mills on the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Pittsburgh. While several of these mills have been closed for many years, the nearby rivers continue to contain high levels of pollution from sewer overflows and active industrial operations.


Global warming in Chile threatens industry, water supplies
21.10.07. McClatchy / ICH. With a population of 16 million people, Chile doesn’t produce much of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming. But it’s paying the price. Giant glaciers are disappearing. Mudslides are becoming more common. Snow no longer falls in the spring, replaced instead by tepid rains.
Last May, an entire lake in southern Chile disappeared practically overnight after the Tempano Glacier, which had acted as a dam, melted and destabilized. … Chilean researchers have found that more than half of the 120 glaciers they monitor are shrinking, with many disappearing at twice the rate recorded just a decade ago. That includes glaciers near the capital of Santiago that provide water to the city’s 6 million residents.


China blames warming for growing water shortages
05.11.07. reuters. China suffers a water shortage of nearly 40 billion cubic metres a year which Water Resources Minister Chen Lei blamed largely on global warming, state media reported on Monday. “The changes have led to a combination of both frequent drought and flooding,” the China Daily newspaper quoted Chen as saying.

Although global warming has contributed to falling water tables in China, rising consumption both by farmers and booming cities, as well as severe pollution, have compounded shortages.

Inexorable China: Increasing Water Demands
05.11.07. silkrc.com. “in the 1990s we started seeing one dust storm a year in the city. Now, we have at least three a year.” … The huge growth of the economy of China in general, and of Beijing specifically, has led to draught-like conditions in the Northwest of China. The provinces of Gansu, Ningxia, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Hebei in particular have bee in particular have been hard hit by consumption levels of water unprecedented in Chinese history. … Further, air pollution caused by the exhaust of hundreds of thousands of cars in the daily commute in northern cities have created localized green house effects that have hastened the erosion of the Gobi desert, which is advancing 2,460 kilometers per year… The Beijing Central Government is aware of China’s inextricable trend toward desertification, which has pushed the price of water up for individuals and companies alike. The Beijing government has set about concerted policy changes to modify the behaviour of residents that once took water for granted. … Meanwhile, the Central government has launched even more ambitious programs dedicated to staving off if not reversing the draught conditions. … The most high-profile is a pipeline the government is constructing to divert water from the Yangtze Rivers and tributaries in the south to the cities in the North. The project is reminiscent of the diversion projects in the Southwest United States that involved the piping of water from the Colorado river in the 1950s to cities Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and to California farmlands managed by corporations. … In China, water may one day be traded as precious a commodity as gold itself.

Beijing thirsty for new water supplies
09.11.07. chinadaily. Water shortages are hindering Beijing’s further development, the city’s Vice-Mayor Niu Youcheng has said.

Drought leaves 3.2 mln Chinese short of drinking water
19.11.07. xinhuanet. The drought has also affected 18.15 million mu (1.21 million hectares) of farmland and left 2.57 million head of livestock short of drinking water. Since October, southern China has received 30 percent to 80 percent less rainfall than the average in previous years, the office said.

Dry Qingdao tapping Yellow River water for Games
21.11.07. Reuters, Guardian. China has begun storing water pumped from the Yellow River in Olympic co-host city Qingdao to guarantee supplies in the parched northern port during next year’s Games, local media reported.

China’s multi-billion-dollar north-south water project facing delays
22.11.07. AFP. For two years he [Wang Weiyang] has helped dig an approach to a pair of 4,200-metre (14,000-feet) tunnels to go under the river as part of the nation’s ambitious effort to bring water from the Yangtze River to the drought-stricken north. … It will take nearly half a century to complete, but those involved fear it may not be enough. Meanwhile the arid north that was supposed to benefit is becoming more parched by the year.


Warning sounded over level of water pollution in China
19.10.07. AFP. Water pollution may already have reached “alarming” levels in China following its industrialisation over the last three decades, the Asian Development Bank said Thursday. “Along with the rapid growth, however, the country has been faced with the increasingly difficult task of controlling environmental pollution, resources depletion and ecological degradation.

Image RemovedHyderabad, India, Photo Mahesh Kumar/AP

‘Govt overestimated water availability’
27.10.07.. Times of India. A paper published by researchers from IIT-Delhi and Jamia Milia Islamia has claimed that the government has overestimated the utilisable water resources of the country by up to 88% and India had breached its water security levels way back in 1997-98 by overexploiting the resource. Published in ‘Current Science’, India’s leading science journal, the study by N K Garg of IIT-Delhi and Q Hassan of Jamia Milia Islamia claimed that the government overestimated water available for use by a whopping 66-88% by double accounting for the resource in their methodology.


Villagers face water crisis
26.10.07. The Statesman,. The villagers of Jagannathpur in Birbhum’s Muraroi-I block are facing an acute crisis of safe drinking water for a long time. The local administration is yet to take proactive measures to provide the inhabitants with clean drinking water.

Ammonia hits water treatment
14.11.07. timesofindia. Several parts of the Capital, including south and central Delhi along with many VVIP areas, will face an acute water shortage in the coming days with the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) closing down production of its two Water Treatment Plants (WTP) at Wazirabad and Chandrawal due to high level of ammonia content in water which is beyond treatable limits.

Iraq: Pollution

Cholera Spreads in Iraq, Aided by Lack of Clean Water

26.09.07. Bloomberg. Cholera is spreading in Iraq, where health authorities are struggling to provide enough clean drinking water to stem the potentially lethal water-borne disease, the World Health Organization said. More than 30,000 people have suffered acute watery diarrhea, the main symptom of cholera, and 2,110 people have been diagnosed with the disease during the past month, WHO said yesterday. … Thirty percent of Iraq’s population has reliable access to safe water, the United Nations Children’s Fund said in a statement yesterday.

US Struggles to Return Drinking Water to Iraq
18.11.07. McClatchy. Despite the fact that Iraq and U.S. officials have made water projects among their top priorities, the percentage of Iraqis without access to decent water supplies has risen from 50 percent to 70 percent since the start of the U.S.-led war, according to an analysis by Oxfam International last summer. The portion of Iraqis lacking decent sanitation was even worse — 80 percent.

Image Removed

The violence falls but the sewage continues to rise
22.11.07. D. Smith, Guardian. attention is turning to the wretched state of the city’s basic services and its threat to public health. Embedded with US army patrols in the south of the city, the Guardian has witnessed streets turned into foetid green cesspools and open sewers, where children kick footballs and ride bikes. Stray dogs roam on swaths of ground piled high with discarded household waste, concrete debris, burnt-out cars and other decaying rubbish.


Portland to get potable water
13.11.07. jamaicagleaner. Residents in West Portland who are without potable water for more than 30 years were given a glimmer of hope by their Member of Parliament, Daryl Vaz, who assured them that their water supply systems are to be upgraded.


Thirst refusal
31.10.07. Guardian. Mexico, which has less water per capita than Egypt, regards water as an issue of national security, and has accused the US of irresponsibility by promoting regional growth as if there were no limit to supply. “I think the struggle for water will be the gravest problem of this century,” says Enrique Martínez, governor of the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas. With illegal immigration becoming a hot election issue, and the US preparing a fence along the length of the border, Mexican officials complain the US is exacerbating border issues with its thirst. “You can’t have it both ways,” says Juan Ignácio Guajardo, a lawyer in the border town of Mexicali. “You can’t take our water away and then say you don’t want immigration.”

New Zealand

Eastern drought comes with $700m price tag
20.11.07. B. Carpenter, stuff.co.nz. The drought on the North Island east coast will cost the region $700 million and could lead to big changes in land use. Sheep and beef farmers from East Cape to Wairarapa are taking a direct hit of $300 million, and still waiting for their grass to recover. The figures come from an Agriculture and Forestry Ministry report that went to Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton yesterday.

East coast drought hits export lambs
23.11.07. Jon Morgan, stuff.co.nz. One and a half million fewer lambs will be available to the export meat trade this year as the effects of the East Coast drought hit home, according to Meat & Wool New Zealand.

No More post-drought assistance for east coast farmers
23.11.07. radionz.

Saudi Arabia

Many Jeddah Residents Go Without Water on Eid Day
14.10.07. arabnews. they waited in long lines in front of the water distribution plant at Jeddah’s Kilo 14 late into the night.
The office remained virtually closed while hundreds of people were queuing up hoping the to secure a water-truck delivery for the Eid holiday.

United Kingdom

“ This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,—
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

Shakespeare, Richard II, Act ii scene 1

Windows will stay dirty under drought rules
21.10.07. Sunday Telegraph. Washing windows, cleaning a patio and filling a pond will be banned under new restrictions for droughts to be unveiled by the Government tomorrow. … The new legislation will give water companies unprecedented powers to curtail domestic water use. The rules will not be debated by MPs, but laid before Parliament in an order which will come into force in April.

17.11.07. Independent. www.ofwat.gov.uk/“>Ofwat has slapped a record £20.3m fine on Southern Water after the company admitted to lying about hitting customer service targets to win more generous rate rises from the regulator. The provider of water and sewage services to Kent, Sussex and the Isle of Wight is the latest company in the sector to fall foul of the regulator. In September, Ofwat fined Thames Water, London’s water supplier, £12.5m for providing insufficient customer service and for misreporting regulatory information. Severn Trent is also in line for an as yet undisclosed penalty for a similar failure to meet minimum customer service thresholds.


Water firm slammed over bug outbreak
13.11.07. icwales. A WATER company was criticised today over lax procedures at a reservoir which led to a parasitic bug outbreak among hundreds of customers. Welsh Water has already been fined £60,000 for the outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis in north west Wales in November 2005. Today the Drinking Water Inspectorate delivered to the company an assessment letter summarising the findings of its probe into the outbreak, which left 231 people suffering diarrhoea and vomiting.

United States

“Across America, the picture is critically clear – the nation’s freshwater supplies can no longer quench its thirst.”
www.truthout.org/docs_2006/102607T.shtml”>B. Skoloff, AP


Image Removed

The South: In Hot Water About Water
18.10.07. The diminishing water supply in the Southeast has come at a time of soaring demand. .. Because of a record drought, Atlanta now has 87 days of drinking water left if rain doesn’t fall soon. “Even if the current drought ended tomorrow, we’d still be facing a crisis 12 to 15 years from now,” says Sam A. Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.Raleigh, N.C., has 97 days.

The Future Is Drying Up
21.10.07. J. Gertner. NYTimes magazine. “There’s a two-thirds chance there will be a disaster,” Chu said, “and that’s in the best scenario.” Overlook at California, Colorado River affecting Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.

Much of US Could See a Water Shortage
26.10.07. B. Skoloff, AP / Truthout. An epic drought in Georgia threatens the water supply for millions. Florida doesn’t have nearly enough water for its expected population boom. The Great Lakes are shrinking. Upstate New York’s reservoirs have dropped to record lows. And in the West, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is melting faster each year. Across America, the picture is critically clear – the nation’s freshwater supplies can no longer quench its thirst. The government projects that at least 36 states will face water shortages within five years because of a combination of rising temperatures, drought, population growth, urban sprawl, waste and excess.

Disasters Getting Worse — US Government Must Be Better Prepared, Report Urges
12.11.07. Sciencedaily. the federal government’s preparedness has been limited to helping after a disaster has occurred. On the other hand, local organizations often do not have the resources or the training to effectively react. Federal and state support must now be given to programs that enable local governments to work effectively with communities to prepare for and respond to all disasters. That is the conclusion of a new analysis in the International Journal of Emergency Management.

Drought in southern US paints a dry future
13.11.07. Tom Leonard, Telegraph. The Red Cross has just dropped off an emergency supply of drinking water. Now Tony Reames (Mayor of Reames) hands it out – one case per household – to the grateful townsfolk who come to his office. .. For the first time in more than 100 years, much of the south-east of the United States has reached the most severe category of drought. Shortage of rain in these usually wet states has not been the only factor. Two weeks ago, the US Government Accountability Office warned that at least 36 states will face catastrophic water shortages within five years due to a combination of drought, rising temperatures, urban sprawl and population growth. .. Officials in Atlanta, one of America’s fastest-growing cities, say they could run out of drinking water by January.

More American Insanity
14.11.07. What do you do when your grass turns brown because of a state-wide drought? Why drill your own well of course! [read comments too]

Midwest Governors Sign Climate Change Accord
John Rondy. Reuters/Truthout. Midwest U.S. states signed agreements on Thursday designed to cut greenhouse gases, promote energy conservation and fight global warming.

The third such pact between U.S. states means that nearly half of Americans will be living in areas covered by agreements designed to combat global warming, according to the Washington-based World Resources Institute.

The area involved in Thursday’s agreement runs from Ohio west to Kansas. If the region were its own country, the World Resources group estimates, it would be the globe’s fifth-biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions behind the United States as a whole, Russia, China and India.

Winter Forecast: Above Average Temperatures, Southern Drought
20.11.07. ens. In the final update to the U.S. winter outlook, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above average temperatures for much of the country, including southern sections of the Northeast, and below normal precipitation for the southern tier of the nation. MAPS

Preparing for Life After Oil
Michael T. Klare, The Nation / ICH. This past May, in an unheralded and almost unnoticed move, the Energy Department signaled a fundamental, near epochal shift in US and indeed world history: we are nearing the end of the Petroleum Age and have entered the Age of Insufficiency. The department stopped talking about “oil” in its projections of future petroleum availability and began speaking of “liquids.” The global output of “liquids,” the department indicated, would rise from 84 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) per day in 2005 to a projected 117.7 mboe in 2030 — barely enough to satisfy anticipated world demand of 117.6 mboe. Aside from suggesting the degree to which oil companies have ceased being mere suppliers of petroleum and are now purveyors of a wide variety of liquid products — including synthetic fuels derived from natural gas, corn, coal and other substances — this change hints at something more fundamental: we have entered a new era of intensified energy competition and growing reliance on the use of force to protect overseas sources of petroleum.

River Restoration Poorly Coordinated, Evaluated
21.11.07. sciencedaily. The process of river restoration in the U.S. is uncoordinated at almost every level. Project scales are rarely linked to goals, and evaluation is rarely reported or used to assess whether these goals are achieved. A new study published in Restoration Ecology is the first attempt to systematically determine the motivations behind river restoration throughout the U.S., and to assess the ways in which projects are being evaluated.


Feds Form Drought Panel Amid Water Talks
27.10.07. K. Brumback, AP. Federal officials met privately Friday with the governors of drought-stricken Alabama and Georgia and announced plans for an interagency team to tackle a long-standing water rights dispute involving those two states and Florida. James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the high-level federal panel will have the “straightforward goal of acting with urgency to prevent an emergency.” Connaughton said the specifics of the plan could be in place soon after a meeting Thursday in Washington with Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and those states’ congressional delegations.


We’re wasting water with our golf courses and sprawling parks
12.11.07. azcentral.

Heavy water users should pay
17.11.07. . azcentral. Paradise Valley residents are angry. A private water company that serves the town is adding a surcharge for homes that use more than 25,000 gallons a month. It can increase their bill by nearly $35 a month. … Yet we can understand why residents of those towns chafe, especially when they hear that Mesa voters overwhelmingly approved Waveyard, a water park that will include a white-water river at least 4,000 feet long, a scuba lagoon and a wave pool big enough to give surfers some serious action. Plans also call for a four-star hotel with an indoor water park.

Huge Water Park Planned for Ariz. Desert
19.11.07. C. Khan, AP. By tapping rivers and sucking water from deep underground, developers have covered Arizona with carpets of Bermuda grass and dotted the parched landscape with swimming pools, golf courses and lakeshore homes. Now another ambitious project is in the works: A massive new water park that would offer surf-sized waves, snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking — all in a bone-dry region that gets just 8 inches of rain a year. “It’s about delivering a sport that’s not typically available in an urban environment,” said Richard Mladick, a Mesa real-estate developer who persuaded business leaders in suburban Mesa to support the proposal called the Waveyard. … “I couldn’t imagine raising my kids in an environment where they wouldn’t have the opportunity to grow up being passionate about the same sports that I grew up being passionate about,” he said. See Waveyard Ltd. Video, “Prepare for the Dream.” [ACTION: Email your thoughts to publicrelations@waveyard.com; complain to your paper – to everyone ]

Water park planned for Arizona desert
21.11.07. E. Pilkington, Guardian. · Drought-hit Phoenix will play host to Lost Coast· Developers offer year round watersports. The city of Phoenix in Arizona sits in the middle of a desert that for the past 11 years has been suffering a punishing drought. Temperatures in the city rose above 43C (110F) for a record 30 days this year and water levels in the rivers that supply its 1.5 million people with drinking water are at near-record lows.


[See also Fires, above]

Southern California to ration water next year
11.10.07. NBC. Farmers will see supply cut by a third; homeowners to see price hikes in ’09. … The rate increases would be needed to pay for additional water supplies from other sellers in the state and further investment in the water grid, he (Bob Muir) said.

State’s water trouble a perfect storm
13.10.07. Southern California’s water resources are much like its freeways: A single problem can bog down the flow of the precious liquid. A dry year in Southern California, an ongoing drought along the Colorado River, an endangered fish, a federal judge’s ruling, competition for resources and a rapidly growing population all are expected to cause major water shortages in the coming year.

The Future Is Drying Up
21.10.07. Jon Gertner, NY Times magazine / truthout. “Last May, Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, one of the United States government’s pre-eminent research facilities, remarked that diminished supplies of fresh water might prove a far more serious problem than slowly rising seas. When I met with Chu last summer in Berkeley, the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, which provides most of the water for Northern California, was at its lowest level in 20 years. Chu noted that even the most optimistic climate models for the second half of this century suggest that 30 to 70 percent of the snowpack will disappear. ‘There’s a two-thirds chance there will be a disaster,’ Chu said, ‘and that’s in the best scenario.'”

Ramona residents return to find a town without water
26.10.07. AP. “Water use is prohibited at this time,” a stern message on the Ramona Municipal Water District’s automated telephone system warned Friday. “No water is allowed to be used by any customer.”

Thirst refusal
31.10.07. Guardian. The California fires are the result of an increasingly severe drought now stretching over much of the south and west of the US. Edward Helmore on how development and climate change are leading to water conflicts. The destruction of nearly 182,000 hectares (450,000 acres) and the displacement of a million people by the worst Californian fire-storms in decades are focusing attention on what may, over the next 50 years, become the most pressing environmental issue in the US – the south-western states are drying up. Inter-state conflicts

California farmers scramble to sustain crops after water cuts
02.11.07. AP / san jose mercury news/signonsandiego. A few years ago, the math seemed simple enough for Bruce Allbright: Plant several hundred acres of pistachio trees, add water when needed, then pick the money from the trees. In recent years, a number of farmers have shifted from annually planted fruits and vegetables to more profitable permanent crops such as nuts and grapes.With less water, many are struggling to keep the plants alive. .. (In the) Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, (where) a judge limited pumping in August to protect the endangered delta smelt. That ruling came in response to a 2005 lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council that claimed the massive pumps used by the State Water Project and federal Central Valley Project were driving the tiny fish to extinction. “My water manager calls it an impending Armageddon …”

California Sues EPA Over Auto Emissions
08.11.07. AP / Truthout. “California sued the federal government on Thursday to force a decision about whether the state can impose the nation’s first greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light trucks.”

Farmers cultivate ways to survive drought
13.11.07. LaTimes. Water limits mean they have to decide what to plant and which crops to abandon.

Drought Busters return to L.A.
15.11.07. LATimes editorial. Six DWP employees and nine alternates will drive around town to remind Angelenos not to waste water.

Pilot program seen as too expensive
15.11.07. M. Hall, signonsandiego. Mayor Jerry Sanders angered environmentalists yesterday when he used his veto to try to derail a City Council vote to start a pilot program in San Diego that would turn wastewater into drinking water by purifying it. Sanders said he opposes the program because it would cost too much and require a water rate increase after rates have already gone up twice this year.

Lake Mendocino approaching record-low water levels
20.11.07. mercurynews. Local officials are concerned about low water levels at Lake Mendocino that may prompt severe restrictions if they don’t see rain soon. The man-made reservoir, a primary source of water for local water districts from Redwood Valley to Healdsburg, is already at one of its lowest levels since it was built in 1959. The lake’s level on Tuesday was 712.3 feet above sea level. The record low or 688.7 feet was set in 1977, after two years of the worst drought of the 20th century.

Southern California plans to buy farmers’ water
22.11.07. mercury news. RATES TO GO UP IN SHORTAGE. Southern California’s major water wholesaler announced plans to buy billions of gallons of water from farmers in the state to make up for a shortfall left by drought and environmental regulations. The Metropolitan Water District would buy the water from Central Valley farmers on the state grid who calculate they can make more selling their water allotment than by using it to grow crops, the agency’s assistant general manager and chief operating officer, Debra Man, said Wednesday.


Pollution pouring into nation’s waters far beyond legal limits
12.10.07. sanfran chronicle. More than half of all industrial and municipal facilities across the country dumped more sewage and other pollutants into the nation’s waterways than allowed under the Clean Water Act, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental group. .. California was among the 10 states with the highest percentage of facilities leaking more pollutants into waterways than their Clean Water Act permits allow, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency obtained by the environmental group, U.S. PIRG. California also had the dubious distinction of having the most large-scale violations – or “exceedances” – of Clean Water Act permits of any state. The large-scale violations are those that exceed the permitted level by at least 500 percent.

San Francisco, South San Francisco, Pacifica, Sausalito, American Canyon, Manteca, Stockton and Watsonville reported exceeding their permits to discharge pollutants into local rivers, creeks or the bay during at least six of the 12 reporting periods in 2005, according to U.S. PIRG.

CHEVRON’S refinery in Richmond also dumped more mercury and other pollutants into San Pablo Bay than allowed under its permits during half of the reporting periods in 2005.

Southern California plans to buy farmers’ water
22.11.07. mercury news. RATES TO GO UP IN SHORTAGE. Southern California’s major water wholesaler announced plans to buy billions of gallons of water from farmers in the state to make up for a shortfall left by drought and environmental regulations. The Metropolitan Water District would buy the water from Central Valley farmers on the state grid who calculate they can make more selling their water allotment than by using it to grow crops, the agency’s assistant general manager and chief operating officer, Debra Man, said Wednesday.

Rialto declares a water emergency
24.11.07. S. Rosenblatt, LA Times. The city hopes to get state funding to help clean up and halt chemical contamination of its drinking water supply. Rialto city officials have declared a state of emergency, citing concerns about a shrinking water supply in danger of further contamination by dangerous chemicals. The City Council voted on the declaration Tuesday in an attempt to secure state funding to halt the spread of industrial perchlorate in city groundwater. The growing, six-mile-long chemical plume in the north end of the San Bernardino County city contaminates 360 million gallons of groundwater each month.


Thirst refusal
31.10.06, E. Helmore, Guardian. … Across much of the south-west, one of the fastest developing regions in the US, the change in weather patterns and long-term climate shifts is exacerbated by population pressure – more people demanding more water from dwindling supplies. … One result is growing tension between seven states – Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and California- that are all dependent on water allocations from the Colorado river.

Forecast not good for resorts, water managers, drought possible
18.11.07. signonsandiego. Although anecdotal information has ski resort managers hoping for the usual snow dump that has followed warm, dry falls, forecasters are holding out little hope.

Forecaster Klaus Wolter of the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration says his latest forecast still calls for a pervasive tendancy towards dry conditions throughout Colorado and most surrounding areas.


Fla. Against Georgia Slowing Water Flow
25.10.07. AP, Guardian. Allowing Georgia to fight drought by slowing water flow into Florida would imperil commercial fishing along the Florida Panhandle, Gov. Charlie Crist argued in a letter to President Bush.

Florida Backs Away From Water Deal
08.11.07. B. Evans, AP. The state of Florida on Friday backed away from a temporary truce brokered by the Bush administration to help settle a long-standing water war, now heightened by an ongoing drought, involving Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Florida’s environmental protection chief said the state opposes an arrangement announced in Washington last week under which the Army Corps of Engineers would cut river flows into Florida and Alabama in order to capture more water for Georgia.

The river reductions would cause a “catastrophic collapse of the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay” and “displace the entire economy of the Bay region,” … The state won’t decide its next move, he said, until after the federal Fish and Wildlife Service issues an opinion next week on whether the proposal would violate the Endangered Species Act by jeopardizing several protected species of mussels and sturgeon.

Image RemovedMarc Serota / Getty Images

South Florida worries about water, Everglades
09.11.07. NBC. Dry season coming up and area already ‘in the worst possible condition.’ Lake Okeechobee, a backup drinking water source for five million people and the heart of the Everglades, sits at a record low. Crop losses are expected to near $1 billion. And the worst is yet to come. Green will soon turn brown, wide pools of water diminished to mere puddles.

Hope for the Everglades
10.11.07. Editorial, NY Times. Now, at last, comes some good news. Overriding a rare veto by President Bush, Congress this week approved a $22 billion water resources bill that has been hanging around for seven years. Like all big infrastructure bills, this one includes a little something for every member of Congress. But in addition to the pork, the bill also contains several necessary projects. Among them are coastal restoration in Louisiana and two big wetlands restoration projects in the Everglades.

‘Forgotten Coast’: A drought, a bay and a way of life threatened
14.11.07. CNN. It’s called the “Forgotten Coast,” a sleepy stretch of Florida’s Panhandle that is the heart of the state’s oyster industry.

SFWMD approves Miami-Dade’s 20-year water permit
15.11.07. bizjournals. With Miami-Dade County’s promise to build about $1.9 billion in water projects, the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District approved a permit on Thursday for the next 20 years of the county’s water use.
The consumptive use permit allows Miami-Dade to use about 76 million more gallons of water a day by the time everything is built. That would support the county of 2.4 million people to grow to 2.7 million residents by 2027.

16.11.07. South Florida water managers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Department of Agriculture seek input on technical plan to improve Lake Okeechobee


US: Toxins Threaten to Uproot Entire Town
01.11.07. Mark Weisenmiller, Inter Press Service/Truthout. For 25 years, from 1961 to 1996, the American Beryllium Company ran a plant in Tallevast that made parts for nuclear reactors and weapons. Because beryllium has a low density and is stronger than steel, the metallic chemical compound is often used by aerospace industry companies. With the end of the Cold War, the need to produce such materials subsided and the plant was closed in 1996. Unbeknownst to residents, an underground leak had released beryllium into water wells in the village. And when the defence company Lockheed Martin Corp. bought the plant and discovered the problem in 2000, it failed to inform the people of Tallevast for another three years. Residents cite anecdotal information on cancer, miscarriages, nose bleeds and other health conditions, but no one has yet carried out a scientific survey to document the illnesses. The Environmental Protection Agency says that beryllium is a probable human carcinogen. [ACTION: if you think you have been affected, first contact your local doctor; then start / join a support club; then contact all authorities; and let me know how you are getting on]

Image RemovedExposed lake bed and beached boat docks are shown at Lake Lanier in Georgia this month. (AP)

Atlanta’s Water Source Drying Up
11.10.07. Stacy Shelton, Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Truthout. “Lake Sidney Lanier, metro Atlanta’s main source of water, has about three months of storage left, according to state and federal officials.”

Water may be more limited
15.10.07. If Georgia orders watering restrictions in metro Atlanta beyond the current outdoor ban, it will be taking drought-fighting steps that not even arid Southern California or Las Vegas has had to make.

Drought huge threat to state’s economy, says chamber group
16.10.07. ajc. The region’s premier business group Monday called for a dramatic change in water policy for Lake Lanier and promised to support legal action to make it happen. The combination of drought and large-scale releases of water by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers highlights the long-term danger that growth could outstrip the area’s natural resources, said Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. the short-term problem would ease if only the Corps stopped releasing so much water from Lake Lanier, the primary source of Atlanta’s water. Millions of gallons are released daily into the Chattahoochee River to flow southward toward Florida and Alabama for environmental, agricultural and industrial needs. That policy is setting the region up for a shortage, he said. PHOTOS

Water snitches become first line of enforcement
18.10.07. ajc.com. In Douglas County this week 15 people have been caught in the middle of the night breaking a watering ban and had their water turned off on the spot and only turned back on after they paid a $25 fine.

Drought-stricken Georgia says it will sue over water
19.10.07. CNN. The state of Georgia, stricken by months of drought, confirmed Friday that it will sue the Army Corps of Engineers. … . The Army Corps of Engineers says there is about a three-month supply of water left in Lake Lanier, which is 15 feet below its capacity.

Georgia’s governor declares drought emergency
20.10.07. NBC. White House says it will review Perdue’s request for federal assistance. Georgia officials warn that Lake Lanier, a 38,000-acre reservoir that supplies more than 3 million residents with water, is less than three months from depletion. Smaller reservoirs are dropping even lower.

Georgia Seeks Water Disaster Declaration
21.10.07. AP. With water supplies rapidly shrinking during a drought of historic proportions, Gov. Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency Saturday for the northern third of Georgia and asked President Bush to declare it a major disaster area. Georgia officials warn that Lake Lanier, a 38,000-acre reservoir that supplies more than 3 million residents with water, is less than three months from depletion. Smaller reservoirs are dropping even lower.

South Struggles to Cope With Drought
In The Christian Science Monitor, Patrik Jonsson says, “Kids in Jefferson, Georgia, are shutting the tap off as they brush their teeth. Adults are doing bigger, but fewer, laundry loads. And just about everybody is glancing nervously at the puddle passing for the town’s reservoir.”

Water Level Drops, Panic Rises In Georgia
22.10.07. CBS. Power Struggle Over Remaining Water From Lake Lanier As Some Residents Dig Wells/ Videos, Photos.

Macon mayor suggests selling water to Atlanta airport
24.10.07. ajc. While northern Georgia struggles in the grip of a drought, a central Georgia mayor says his own city has plenty of water and he’d like to sell some of it.

How water cuts are affecting each county
24.10.07. ajc. The AJC is contacting water systems to see how the new mandate, which kicks in Nov. 1, will affect water customers. County responses will be posted here as we get them:

Perdue orders departments to cut water usage
24.10.07. ajc. Gov. Sonny Perdue ordered state government Wednesday to lead by example and cut water consumption by 10 to 15 percent. Perdue, who made the announcement at a closed boat ramp on the shores of West Point Lake, also signed an executive order directing the Department of Natural Resources to develop a water conservation plan for the state agencies, which have more than 15,000 buildings.

Southern Governors Work on Water Woes
01.11.07. AP. Under a plan brokered by the Bush administration, the Army Corps of Engineers would hold back more water in Georgia lakes as the governors of drought-stricken Georgia, Florida and Alabama work toward a water-sharing agreement. The proposal — which would bolster Atlanta’s drinking supply at the expense of users downstream — was announced Thursday after the governors of the three states met with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and other administration officials. It still must win approval from the federal Fish and Wildlife Service because of the potential impact on several protected species of mussels and sturgeon that live downstream. Officials said the agency would issue an expedited biological opinion on the change within two weeks.

Water authority may have to reduce withdrawals from Lake Allatoona
03.11.07. STACY SHELTON, TOM OPDYKE, Atlanta Journal. Gov. Sonny Perdue went to Washington to solve metro Atlanta’s water crisis and save Lake Lanier, and came home with another problem: losing rights to some water in Lake Allatoona. Allatoona, the region’s secondary source of water, is running low just like Lanier in this record-setting drought. But the more immediate worry is that the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority may be forced to significantly cut its withdrawals now, while the lake still has enough water for residents in Cobb and parts of Douglas and Paulding counties. That’s because the water authority may be taking out up to twice as much water as it’s allowed under a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that owns the reservoir.

Business big in fighting water crisis
03.11.07. Broomberg / sltrib, Companies take lead in helping Atlanta weather extreme drought

Apocalypse Now: The Drought
07.11.07. R. Perlstein, commonsense.ourfuture. The month of October saw America wracked by two Biblical-sized calamities: wildfire in California, and drought in the Southeast. Both indict the conservatives’ vision of government. Let us first speak of the drought. Three million Atlanta-area residents get their water from 38,000-acre Lake Lanier. It’s three months away from depletion—and that booming metropolis has no backup plan on file for that eventuality. UPS is testing out urinals that don’t use water. Coca-Cola’s international headquarters has turned off their decorative fountain. Georgia Tech’s greening the grass in its football stadium with spray paint, and the city aquarium has shut off its waterfall.

Corps Taking More Water From Lanier
09.11.07. 11alive. The US Army Corps of Engineers is now releasing more than 2 million gallons of water a day from Lake Lanier. That’s more than twice as much as they were taking from the lake just last week. VIDEO.

One Man’s Water Is Another’s Outrage
10.11.07. ABC. Chris Michael Carlos’ Home Uses More Than 60 Times More Water Than His Neighbors

Fines considered for Gwinnett water users who can’t make 10% cut
13.11.07. ajc. The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners will discuss fines today for stubbornly heavy water users, tighter water-use restrictions and rebates for those who use high-efficiency plumbing fixtures.

Feds OK drought deal letting Georgia keep more water
16.11.07. CNN. Federal biologists said Friday they had signed off on a plan aimed at providing relief to the drought-parched Southeast, under which more water will be retained in Georgia instead of being released into Florida. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expedited its study of an interim drought plan submitted two weeks ago by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and concluded that freshwater mussels and sturgeon — kept alive by water from Georgia’s Chattahoochee watershed under federal law — will not be placed in jeopardy under the plan. PHOTOS

Holy Water
17.11.07. Time. Georgia was enduring its worst drought in a century, and it had already asked President Bush and the Supreme Court for relief. So on Nov. 13, Republican Governor Sonny Perdue appealed to a higher power, hosting a statehouse vigil to “pray up a storm,” begging God to bring the rain he had withheld for 14 months. But it wasn’t God who allowed an outdoor theme park to build a million-gallon mountain of artificial snow while the Southeast was running dry; it was Governor Perdue and his fellow elected officials. They also allowed the wasteful irrigation of Georgia’s cotton farms and the rampant overbuilding and overslurping of metropolitan Atlanta.

Like Hurricane Katrina or the California wildfires, this drought was a natural event transformed into a natural disaster by human folly. And while it’s still hard to say whether global warming caused any particular drought or flood or fire, it’s going to cause more of all of them. .. The issue is a lack of water, and the best way to retain more is to consume less–with less lawn-sprinkling, car-washing, irrigating and sprawl.

Sandy Springs water recovery plan irks builders
19.11.07. ajc. Gray water recycling systems could cost up to $7,000 in new homes, builders claim. Spurred by the ongoing drought, city officials are considering a mandate for water-saving systems in most new homes. The options include a “gray water recovery system” for residential construction priced at $500,000 or more, which is the majority of new housing in the city. If approved, the requirement would be a first for metro Atlanta. [ $500,000? Wow.

Drought takes toll on Atlanta’s grand old trees
25.11.07. ajc.


ID water director sending early warning about next summer
17.10.07. idahostatesman. The state’s top water official is sending an early message to thousands of southern Idaho groundwater users that their pumps may be shut down next summer if the state logs another winter of low mountain snowpack. David Tuthill, director of Idaho’s Department of Water Resources, said letters will be mailed later this week to more than 2,700 farmers, ranchers, cities, schools and other businesses spread across a broad swath of southern Idaho that draws water from the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.


City needs wake-up call on protecting our water supply
23.10.07. suntimes. Private security workers who were supposed to be protecting the plants were caught on tape sleeping on the job. Others were not where they were supposed to be, guarding the plants. Honor Guard Security, which supplies the unarmed guards under a $13.3 million contract, has been removed from the sites by the city Water Management Department. An investigation should determine how the company won this critical contract.


Dyer hospital reopens after flood repairs
16.11.07. St. Margaret Mercy Hospital in Dyer begins admitting patients today for the first time since a flood on Aug. 24. The hospital was damaged when Plum Creek overflowed into the first floor of the building during severe thunderstorms.


Hills waits to fix water problem
13.11.07. The city has struggled to solve problems with the water after traces of a chemical found in rocket fuel starting showing up in 2001.

Louisisana: A Failed State

Criminal Justice Meltdown in New Orleans?
02.11.07. B. Quigley, trouthout. “We are faced with the daily reality of an imminent collapse of our criminal justice institutions.” – New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley.


Drought, gas prices dampen tree farmers’ spirits
23.11.07. Matt Vande Bunte, Grand Rapids Press

Mississippi: POLLUTION

Study: Protect Mississippi River Better
16.10.07. AP. States and the federal government need to coordinate their efforts to monitor and protect the water of the Mississippi River, a new analysis urges. … Michelle Perez, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit conservation organization, said the report should be a top consideration for Congress as it considers reauthorizing the farm bill and the Clean Water Act. “In order to reverse the environmental disaster of fertilizer runoff pollution in the Mississippi River Basin, conservation funding must be targeted to critical areas.”

Stronger EPA Leadership Needed To Improve Water Quality In Mississippi River, Report Says
17.10.07. Environmental Protection Agency must take a more aggressive leadership role in implementing the Clean Water Act if water quality in the Mississippi River and the northern Gulf of Mexico is to improve, says a new report from the National Research Council.


Thirst refusal

31.10.07. Guardian. … The lifestyle of millions of Las Vegans, with lush lawns, fountains, pools and golf courses, may not last. As Pat Mulroy, head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, recently told the New York Times: “The people who move to the west today need to realise they’re moving into a desert. If they want to live in a desert, they have to adapt to a desert lifestyle.”

Image RemovedWater levels at the reservoir at Hoover Dam are at their lowest level in decades.
Marlene Karas/Special

In Vegas, wasting water is a sin
25.11.07. G. White, ajc. Seven years of drought: Conservation for fast-growing city, but that won’t be enough. By the 1800s, a life-sustaining spring on the Old Spanish Trail had inspired travelers to label this spot Las Vegas, “the meadows.” Then in 1935, the Hoover Dam opened on the Colorado River, creating what is now Lake Mead. The region seemed guaranteed a reliable flow of water as far into the future as anyone could see. But the original spring dried up 45 years ago, and now Lake Mead is in serious trouble. A seven-year drought has the 157,000-acre reservoir looking as if someone pulled the plug, leaving a waterline 100 feet high that locals labeled “the bathtub ring.”

New Hampshire: Pollution

Fast Growing Metal Deposits Discovered Growing In New Hampshire Lake
05.11.07. sciencedaily. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have discovered metal-rich sedimentary deposits in a New Hampshire lake that grow faster than any other deposits found in the United States. Understanding the environmental conditions that aid in the creation of the structures, which contain copper, iron and other heavy metals, could be helpful in discovering new metal sources.

New Mexico

Study: Climate change will sap NM water supply
24.10.07. biz journals. The study says a wide range of climate models predict warmer weather and a change in precipitation patterns in New Mexico, changes the new study finds will lead to a decrease in water supply, ranging from a few percent to one-third of the Rio Grande Basin. “Direct and indirect economic losses are projected to range from $13 million to $115 million by 2030 in the state of New Mexico, and from $21 million to over $300 million by 2080,” said co-author Brian Hurd, a professor of Agricultural Economics at NMSU. “Traditional agricultural systems and rural communities are most at risk, and may need transitional assistance.” … “Water prices will inevitably rise and farmers will find it more lucrative to lease or sell their water than to farm,” he says.

Thirst refusal
31.10.07. Guardian. New Mexico’s largest storage reservoir, Elephant Butte, is less than 50% full, and flows into it are 54% below average.

North Carolina

Easley asks citizens to cut water use in half
22.10.07. bizjournals. North Carolina is in the midst of what Easley calls the state’s worst drought on record.

Water use reduced in Raleigh, Durham
08.11.07. bizjournals. Water use at 25 of the state’s largest water systems dropped about 30 percent from August to the last week of September, according to Gov. Mike Easley’s office. The governor’s office issued the data as part of its ongoing campaign to get North Carolinians to cut their water use in half.

Extreme drought hurts economies that depend on lake traffic

12.11.07. knoxnews. BRYSON CITY, N.C.- The trees along the shoreline of Fontana Lake were cloaked in crimson and gold, and the air was so clear that you could see all the way to Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Jim Mathis, who has operated Almond Boat Park for 35 years, said this has been one of the prettiest leaf color seasons he can recall. But with the lake so low, he’s not making a dime.

Soybean, cotton farmers expect losses this year due to drought
13.11.07. WLOS.

North Dakota

ND suffering some drought except in southeast
23.11.07. SUE ROESLER, farmandranchguide


EPA 2007 enforcement in Ohio benefits health and the environment
22.11.07. webwire. In the past fiscal year, EPA resolved 73 actions against regulated entities in Ohio and assessed a total of $3,422,302 in civil penalties for various air, water, hazardous waste, community right-to-know and pesticide violations. As part of settlement agreements, Ohio companies agreed to spend $546,085 on supplemental projects to benefit the environment. List of environmental actions in Ohio.


Oklahoma may appeal ruling allowing water lawsuit to go forward
31.10.07. The state of Oklahoma may appeal a federal judge’s ruling that allows a Texas group’s lawsuit to obtain 150 billion gallons of water per year from Oklahoma streams to proceed.

Pennsylvania: POLLUTION

Higher Levels Of Pollutants Found In Fish Caught Near A Coal-fired Power Plant
08.11.07. sciencedaily. A new study found higher-than-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-recommended levels of mercury and elevated levels of selenium in channel catfish caught in a rural area upstream of Pittsburgh and downwind from a coal-fired power plant. Both mercury and selenium are well-known contaminants of coal burning for power generation.

[Sierra Nevada is not a state but an area]

The Divine Destruction of the Dominionists
07.06.07. Stephenie Hendricks, Out of the Rabbit Hole. It began as a simple investigation into environmental policy in the Sierra Nevadas. But what journalist Stephenie Hendricks uncovered turned out to be a far bigger story, the ramifications of which affect the entire globe. Hendricks discovered that the development of American environmental policy in the Bush administration is being driven by Dominion Theologists-far-right Christian ideologues who believe that by exhausting our natural resources they will hasten the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. INTERVIEW. Also see REVIEW of Chris Hedges’ excellent book, American Fascists, where Blackwater’s connection to the Dominionists is discussed. Watch / Listen to Jeremy Scahill discuss these connections.


Tenn. Town Has Run Out of Water
01.11.07. AP. ORME, Tenn. (AP) — As twilight falls over this Tennessee town, Mayor Tony Reames drives up a dusty dirt road to the community’s towering water tank and begins his nightly ritual in front of a rusty metal valve. With a twist of the wrist, he releases the tank’s meager water supply, and suddenly this sleepy town is alive with activity. Washing machines whir, kitchen sinks fill and showers run. About three hours later, Reames will return and reverse the process, cutting off water to the town’s 145 residents.

Town has water just three hours a day
08.11.07. CNN. ORME, Tennessee (CNN) — The drought in the Southeastern United States means more than just brown lawns to the folks in Orme, Tennessee. Water flows from their taps for just three hours each evening.

Drought Has Stunted East Tennessee Christmas Trees
13.11.07. volunteertv.com.

The big thirst: The great American water crisis
15.11.07. Independent. The US drought is now so acute that, in some southern communities, the water supply is cut off for 21 hours a day. Leonard Doyle reports from Chattanooga, Tennessee, on a once-lush region where the American dream has been reduced to a single four-letter word: rain

Environment agency seeks to undo TWRA’s dam near Black Swamp
17.11.07. AP. State wildlife officials and Tennessee environmental regulators are squaring off again over the construction of a dike in West Tennessee that is intended to improve duck hunting. The state Department of Environment and Conservation has ordered the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to remove the concrete dike and other structures on a stream near the Black Swamp in Obion County.

Water runs dry in rural Tennessee town
20.11.07. Reuters. A small town [Orme] tucked away in the mountains of southern Tennessee is getting by on just a few hours of water a day because its spring has run dry in the drought sweeping the U.S. Southeast.


Bush veto of water bill imperils Trinity, other Texas projects
03.11.07. President Bush, as expected, vetoed a $23 billion water bill on Friday, potentially jeopardizing funds for Trinity River development in Dallas and other Texas projects. Among the 900 projects in the package is $298 million for Trinity River improvements, including levees to protect downtown Dallas from flooding. There is also $52 million for flood control along Johnson Creek in Arlington.


A Matter of Survival
Dale Allen Pfeiffer. “Deal With Reality or Reality Will Deal With You”

Global Warming After Gore
10.11.07. Teryn Norris, Alternet. It is time for global warming activists to leave behind their focus on the “planetary crisis” and the regulatory-centered agenda and embrace an energetic and inspiring vision that captures people’s minds, hearts and votes.

Bursting point: The World’s Unsustainable Population
11.11.07. zone5.org. “It is a simple logical truth that, short of mass emigration into space, with rockets taking off at the rate of several million per second, uncontrolled birth-rates are bound to lead to horribly increased death-rates.

Millions of Jobs at Risk From Climate Change UN
13.11.07. Laura MacInnis, Reuters/truthout. The heads of the UN climate and weather agencies told diplomats that global warming could decimate the world fisheries sector, threaten the tourism industry and cause widespread job losses among those displaced by its impacts. At the same time, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said scores of new jobs would be created in the environment technology sector as countries work to avoid and lessen the effects of climate change. In the United States, there are already more environmental workers than those in the pharmaceutical industry, and in Germany environmental employment will eclipse the auto sector by 2020, Steiner said.

We Can’t Shop Our Way to Safety
16.11.07. Erin Wiegand, AlterNet. Concerned with toxic chemicals, more people are buying products with labels like “organic,” “green,” and “natural.” But a consumerist response to environmental threats is not only inadequate, it is dangerous.

How should I prepare for life without oil?
18.11.07. Lucy Siegle, Observer. With claims that we’ve passed the peak of oil production, it’s not enough just to say no to plastic bags.

Facing a Threat to Farming and Food Supply
19.11.07. R. Weiss, Washington Post. Climate change may be global in its sweep, but not all of the globe’s citizens will share equally in its woes. And nowhere is that truth more evident, or more worrisome, than in its projected effects on agriculture.

Food pantries struggling with shortages
19.11.07. AP. Demand is being driven up by rising costs of food, housing, utilities, health care and gasoline, while food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are finding they have less surplus food to donate and government help has decreased, according to Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual hunger survey released Wednesday showed that more than 35.5 million people in the United States were hungry in 2006. While that number was about the same as the previous year, heads of food banks and pantries say many more people are seeking their assistance.

Toward A New Generation Of ‘Greener’ Consumer Products
19.11.07. science daily. Consumers will have access to medicines, cosmetics, and other products that are “greener,” less expensive, and more environmentally friendly than ever before, thanks to new manufacturing processes now under development, according to an article scheduled for the Nov. 19 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. The article, by C&EN Senior Editor Stephen K. Ritter, explains that the processes use so-called supercritical carbon dioxide, a phase of carbon dioxide with both liquid and gaseous traits and that is heralded as a nontoxic replacement for conventional manufacturing solvents.

History Shows Climate Changes Led to Famine and War
22.11.07. Tan Ee Lyn, Reuters / Common Dreams. .. The world’s growing population may be unable to adequately adapt to ecological changes brought about by the expected rise in global temperatures, scientists in China, Hong Kong, the United States and Britain wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. … “With more droughts and a rapidly growing population, it is going to get harder and harder to provide food for everyone and thus we should not be surprised to see more instances of starvation and probably more cases of hungry people clashing over scarce food and water.” Trawling through history and working out correlative patterns, the team found that temperature declines were followed by wars, famines and population reductions. … A report last week said climate change will put half the world’s countries at risk of conflict or serious political instability.

International Alert, a London-based conflict resolution group, identified [with map] 46 countries — home to 2.7 billion people — where it said the effects of climate change would create a high risk of violent conflict. It identified another 56 states where there was a risk of political instability.

Study finds the environment low on the consumer agenda
23.11.07. Ahmed ElAmin, foodproductiondaily. Consumers do not seem to consider environmental and sustainability issues when purchasing food and drink, according to a UK government study [conducted by Opinion Leader] released today.

WTO gives EU until January to overturn GM maize ban
23.11.07, ABC money. The EU [righty] banned GM crops. The WTO, in collusion with the corporate chemical heavies, is putting pressure on this ban. [Most of Europe population abhors genetically modified crops – who knows what damage their pollution will cause? Many proper scientists [as distinct from those paid by governments] are against GM. {See GM Watch – a UK site. For U.S. information, see Jeffrey Smith’s website, Seeds of Deception

Need for environment education stressed
24.11.07. gulftimes. [article was published in Qatar, it is applicable worldwide]

on Consumerism

Is Our Worship of Consumerism and Technology Making Us Depressed?
23.11.07. Jason Miller, best cyrano.org.

Is Our Worship of Consumerism and Technology Making Us Depressed?
26.11.07. Bruce E. Levine, Chelsea Green Publishing/Alternet. an excerpt from Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy. “It would be a lot easier to address the increasing rate of depression among Americans if we weren’t so afraid to admit that our consumer society makes us unhappy.”

VideoThe Warning Art of Mental warfare, 4 min.


Canada Sets Aside Vast Northern Wilderness For Conservation
23.11.07. ScienceDaily.

a. U.S. Martial Law
Image RemovedPresident George W. Bush and Brigadier General Richard Mills, Deputy Commander of U.S. Special Forces, view a tactical demonstration from the roof of a building at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Friday, March 15, 2002.
White House photo by Eric Draper

Former Bush General Touts Privatization of National Disaster Response
25.10.07. Michigan messanger. Pal Says “Country Club Fees” Would Guarantee Protection. Mills served as Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center (CTC) of the Central Intelligence Agency before retirement this year. At a public meeting at the Pellston High School he presented himself as the executive vice president for strategic development for Sovereign Deed, an 18 month old company that offers private disaster response services.

Is Bush Administration Planning Martial Law?
28.10.07. rinf.com. Congressman DeFazio Denied Access to Government Documents. The Bush Administration shocked lawmakers and analysts two months ago when it denied a member of the House Homeland Security Committee permission to examine classified plans for maintaining the functioning of the government in the event of a major natural disaster or terrorist attack.

To Implement Policy, Bush to Turn to Administrative Orders
31.10.07. Michael Abramowitz and Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post.

A “Paper Coup”
05.11.07. Naomi Wolf, Huffington Post / ICH. “I have argued that in the closing stages of a `fascist shift’, events cascade. I am hearing about them, even across the globe.”

Defense Authorization Bill
(pdf file)

UPDATED: RED ALERT!!! 2008 Defense Authorization Bill authorizes use of US military for domestic purposes!
09.11.11. D. Kucinich, Crimes and Corruptions on the Defense Authorization Bill dangers

Experts Say Climate Change Threatens National Security
05.11.07. Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters. Climate change could end globalization by 2040 as nations look inward to conserve scarce resources and conflicts flare when refugees flee rising seas and drought, national security experts warned on Monday. .. “It also suggests the kinds of hatreds that build up between different groups will be accentuated as these groups attempt to move to more clement locations on the planet,” Fuerth said. … Published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the report offers three scenarios for security implications of climate change, starting with the middle-ground estimate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

General Would Deploy Troops On U.S. Soil During Domestic Emergency
17.11.07. USNORTHCOM. As WND reported earlier this year, President Bush appears to have positioned the U.S. military and the National Guard, acting under presidential authority, to intervene in a wide range of domestic incidents that could occur anywhere in North America. USNORTHCOM was established in 2002 with responsibility for a “homeland defense” area that includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico, parts of the Caribbean and waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans contiguous to the U.S. … “So in our case, we work very closely with our friends in DHS and FEMA, and the state emergency operations directors, to ensure that as they begin to respond and begin to see the need for more capacity (and that) they do that in a systematic way that allows for the states’ National Guards to support the effort.”

Renuart pointed out all of this is done through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, or EMAC, a state-to-state mutual aid agreement designed to provide material and personnel resources to states or territories affected by emergency situations or disasters. “As the need continues to grow in an emergency situation,” Renuart expanded, “then DOD military, if military is the best capability, is available.

Halfway Measures on Bush’s Tribunals
Robert Parry, Consortium

17.11.07. Daniel Ellsberg, americanfreepress / ICH. … The last five years have seen a steady assault on every fundamental of our Constitution . . . what the rest of the world looked at for the last 200 years as a model and experiment to the rest of the world—in checks and balances, limited government, Bill of Rights, individual rights protected from majority infringement by the Congress, an independent judiciary, the possibility of impeachment. video

In the U.S. of A., we are all suspects now
18.11.07. Sptimes.

Police with Dogs: Vaccinating Kids in Maryland
19.11.07. Barbara Loe Fisher / legitgov. I watched them bundled up against the cold winter air on Saturday, November 17, 2007, with their children and the letter from the State of Maryland threatening them with imprisonment or fines of $50 a day for failing to show proof their children had gotten a chickenpox or hepatitis B shot. Confused, angry or scared but mostly resigned, they were… trudging toward the courthouse to face the Judge ordering them to get vaccinated or go to jail. Patrolling the scene was a SWAT team of policemen with dogs. [See legit.gov. site: DoD to ‘augment civilian law’ during pandemic or bioterror attack –Is Bush getting ready to play the Bioterror Card?]

“We Must Fight the Net”
19.11.07. B. Jessop. The Pentagon’s Information Operations Roadmap is blunt about the fact that an internet, with the potential for free speech, is in direct opposition to their goals. The internet needs to be dealt with as if it were an enemy “weapons system”. The 2003 Pentagon document entitled the Information Operation Roadmap was released to the public after a Freedom of Information Request by the National Security Archive at George Washington University in 2006.

The End of America? Naomi Wolf Thinks It Could Happen
21.11.07. Don Hazen, AlterNet.

Firefighters taking new role as anti-terrorist eyes of the US government
23.11.07. AP-IHT. Firefighters in major U.S. cities are being trained to take on a new role as lookouts for terrorism, raising concerns of eroding their standing as trusted American icons and infringing on people’s privacy. There are fears, however, that they could lose the faith of a skeptical public by becoming the eyes of the government, looking for suspicious items like building blueprints or bomb-making manuals or materials.

Unlike police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel need no warrants to enter hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings each year, which puts them in position to spot behavior that could indicate terror activity or planning.

US Police preparing for Domestic Spying on US Citizens?
25.11.07. S. Dean, globalresearch.ca. WALLER COUNTY, Texas. US Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test. Local 2 Investigate.


Planet Earth As Weapon and Target
26.02.06. Leuren Moret. See section on “CLIMATE MODIFICATION.’ By 1965 research on climate change was pioneered by three research groups: the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, UCLA’s Department of Meteorology, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Between 1965 and 1975, interest increased and proliferated new studies, the main ones being the RAND Corporation (Santa Monica, CA) funded by the US Air Force, Goddard Institute for Space Studies (New York, NY) funded by NASA, and the Australian Numerical Meteorological Research Centre (Melbourne, Australia).

VIDEO. Bush Administration Attacks Our Freedom to Protest. Jim Hightower.

b. Endangered / Extinction

“Dismantling the Web of Life
John Feeney, BBC.

IUCN 2007 Red List of Threatened Species

Extinctions Linked to Hotter Temperatures
23.10.07. AP. Whenever the world’s tropical seas warm several degrees, Earth has experienced mass extinctions over millions of years, according to a first-of-its-kind statistical study of fossil records. And scientists fear it may be about to happen again — but in a matter of several decades, not tens of millions of years.

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© Howard Ruby

Howard Ruby’s Polar Bears Give A Face to Global Warming

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Governor opposes polar bear protection
02.11.07. UPI. Environmentalists say Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is skating on thin ice with her opposition to efforts to protect polar bears. Palin said last week that listing the bears as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act because of possible global warming would open the floodgates for petitions to protect other species, the Anchorage Daily News said Thursday.

Urges Administration to Protect Polar Bear as Endangered Species, Curb Global Warming Emissions
14.11.07. Common Dreams. Scientists point to climate change as the main threat to polar bears and their habitat. As a result of dramatic sea ice retreat this summer and the smallest Arctic sea ice coverage ever recorded, the world’s wild polar bear populations are at risk of extinction if Arctic sea ice continues to shrink at current rates. “Polar bears need protection now,” said Andrew Wetzler, Director of the Endangered Species Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Everything in their lives depends on the ice sheet, and that ice sheet is disappearing at an unprecedented rate due to global warming. If current pollution levels continue we simply will not recognize the Arctic anymore.” Urgent action from the Bush administration is needed now …

Hunting male polar bears risks population collapse
21.10.07. newscientist.

WWF Launches Polar Bear Tracker Website
22.10.07. marketwire.com

Ice melt causing death of polar bears, say experts
24.11.07. thaindian.com. Less time spent on icy hunting platforms means the bears are slimming down before winter sets in, they said. A study of the polar bear population in Canada’s Hudson Bay revealed that these animals rely on ice shelves as hunting grounds before winter sets in. Anecdotal reports in 2005 say bears were found swimming far out at sea; a few were found floating dead, presumably drowned.

The Edge of Oblivion: Conservationists Name 25 Primates About to Disappear
James Randerson, The Guardian UK. a report commissioned by three leading conservation charities names the top 25 species most in need of help and concludes that 114 primate species are also close to extinction.

How Many Species Are “Enough”?
06.11.07. Stephen Leahy, InterPressService. Plants are the only source of oxygen on Earth – the only source. And studies around the world show that as plant species become extinct, natural habitats can lose up to half of their living plant biomass…Half of the oxygen they produced is lost. Half of the water, food and other ecological services they provide are lost.

Species Extinction Could Reduce Productivity Of Plants On Earth By Half
06.11.07. Sciencedaily. An international team of scientists has published a new analysis showing that as plant species around the world go extinct, natural habitats become less productive and contain fewer total plants — a situation that could ultimately compromise important benefits that humans get from nature.

Fish Vanishing From Southeast Asian Oceans: Report
07.11.07. Michael Byrnes, Reuters/Truthout. Southeast Asia’s oceans are fast running out of fish, putting the livelihoods of up to 100 million people at risk and increasing the need for governments to support the maintenance of fish stocks, an Australian expert said.

Straying whales in Arctic may be sign of climate change
08.11.07. US today. Endangered humpback and fin whales swam hundreds of miles north of their usual habitat this summer in what environmentalists say is another sign of the effects of global warming and the shifting Arctic ecosystem.

Save the whale. Again
19.11.07. Michael McCarthy, Independent. Not content with harpooning minke whales, fin whales, sei whales, Bryde’s whales and sperm whales – all unnecessarily, all in the face of hostile world opinion and all in the laughable guise of “scientific research” – the Japanese whaling fleet set off yesterday to hunt the best-loved whale of all, the humpback. … Japan ignores the moratorium, and has killed whales for years under the guise of “scientific research”, a risible fiction believed by no one outside Japan, as the meat from the kills is sold on the open market. … This year, for the first time, it has awarded itself a “quota” of up to 50 humpbacks to be killed in the summer hunt in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans, which is starting now, to accompany the killing of as many as 935 minke whales and up to 50 fin whales, in what Japan’s Fisheries Agency says is its largest-ever “scientific” whale hunt. .. Greenpeace, long the most directly active of the anti-whaling environmental groups, said its ship Esperanza was moored just outside Japan’s territorial waters and would chase the fleet to the Southern Ocean.
See also: The Last Whale

More bear species threatened with extinction
12.11.07. Guardian. Six of the world’s eight species of bear are threatened with extinction, according to a report from the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The smallest species of bear, the sun bear, has been included on the list for the first time, while the giant panda remains endangered, despite comprehensive conservation efforts in China. More about bears

Experts Concerned Over The Possible Extinction Of Sun Bears
13.11.07. allheadlinenews/legitgov. The sun bear, the world’s smallest bear declined by at least 30 percent over the past 30 years and now faces extinction. The bear, whose habitat stretches from India to Indonesia, faces extinction due to deforestation and poaching in its Southeast Asian home, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) said Monday.

Endangered Bears: UN Red List of Threatened Species [Guardian]


Marine Catastrophe? Soft Corals Melting Away Due To Global Warming, Says Researcher
13.11.07. Sciencedaily. Tel Aviv University Professor (and alumnus) Hudi Benayahu, head of TAU’s Porter School of Environmental Studies, has found that soft corals, an integral and important part of reef environments, are simply melting and wasting away. Prof. Benayahu believes this could mean a global marine catastrophe.

Image RemovedCredit: Image courtesy of University Of Exeter

Parrotfish Critical To Coral Reefs: Permanent Damage Likely Unless Urgent Action Taken, Scientists Warn
05.11.07. Science Daily. Coral reefs could be damaged beyond repair, unless we change the way we manage the marine environment. New research by the Universities of Exeter and California Davis, published November 1, 2007 in Nature, shows how damaged Caribbean reefs will continue to decline over the next 50 years.

Tiny Fish Can Yield Big Clues To Delaware River Health
14.11.07. Sciencedaily. Where have all the bridle shiner gone? That’s the mystery The Academy of Natural Sciences’ fish scientists are trying to answer, and the outcome will shed light on the environmental health of the Upper Delaware River. Bridle shiner — not easy to spot at less than two inches long — once were abundant in the mid-Atlantic region, including small streams in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Their steady decline has prompted Pennsylvania to classify the fish as endangered.

Holy Water
17.11.07. Time. Georgia’s politicians are fighting to protect their culture of consumption and development by suspending the Endangered Species Act, so that they won’t have to send any water downstream to preserve endangered mussels in Florida’s Apalachicola River. It’s not a very holy attitude.

IPCC Synthesis Report: Risks And Rewards Of Combating Climate Change
20.11.07. sciencedaily. The challenges and opportunities facing the world as a result of climate change have been distilled into a concise and sobering guide by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This fourth IPCC report raises serious concerns of species extinction as well as arguing strongly in favor of stepping up support and action on adaptation to the effects of global warming.

On Protecting Our Environment: The ‘stuff’ we buy hurts the birds we love
21.11.07. Jeffrey Wells, sfgate. Sadly, this year, thousands of birds arrived to find their precious winter home an oily death trap. .. More and more scientific reports show that many of the birds we so love are in decline. That includes many of the species that San Francisco has always provided for each winter. Surf scoters have declined by 70 percent over the last three decades; greater scaup, by 50 percent. … Most Americans still do not make the connection between the “stuff” we consume and the impact it has on the environment. … Canada’s boreal – America’s bird nursery – is under siege from oil and gas drilling, mining and logging. Most of these resources are being consumed by those of us here in the United States. … How can you help? Add your voice to the conservation groups, the native peoples of Canada and businesses as well as more than 1,500 internationally respected scientists who have urged Canada to permanently set aside more of the Canadian boreal forest as national parks and other protected areas. Buy paper products for your home and business that are made from recycled paper rather than virgin boreal trees. Drive less; make your home more energy efficient. Jeffrey Wells, senior science adviser the Pew Charitable Trust’s International Boreal Conservation Campaign, is author of “Birder’s Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk” (Princeton University Press, 2007). For more information, go to www.borealbirds.org.


Gallery of photos of endangered animals




Marla Cone
Silent Snow.
Grove Press 2005. “When chemicals are spilled in urban centers, sprayed on farm fields, and synthesized in factories, they become hitchhikers embarking on a global voyage…”

Naomi Klein
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Metropolitan Books 09.07. MUST READ.

Elizabeth Kolbert (Editor), Francis Spufford (Editor)
The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and the Antarctic [Box set] (Hardcover)
Granta 2007. This book will inspire you to read more of their chosen authors.

Barry Lopez
Arctic Dreams
Vintage 2001. A great and classic book. MUST READ.

Cormac McCarthy
The Road
Picador 2007. One of America’s Great Writers.

Scott of the Antarctic
11.01.07. Independent. The final words of a Polar hero. Captain Robert Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole took place 95 years ago. To mark the occasion, Cambridge University is putting some of his last correspondence on display for the first time.

Various websites

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Carbon Equity e-list


U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Relevant Index Research Articles

Totalitarianism and Obedience (13.02.07)

U.S. Martial Law Timeline (21.08.07)

SOS: The United States of Terror (20.09.07)

New Orleans : Naled kills mosquitoes – and people? (26.09.05)

Siberian Shadowlands – Part 1 (01.11.05) The history of oil in Russia; Halliburton and BP involvement.

ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM JOINS CORPORATE OLIGARCHY 20.04.07. The story of NATO financing Technionwater and the Israeli Institute of Technology – a research project about protecting water supplies against biological and chemical terrorism.


Sarah Meyer is a independent researcher living in the UK

The url to Water: The Impending Apocalypse is: http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2007/11/water-impending-apocalypse.html
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Tags: Biofuels, Consumption & Demand, Geopolitics & Military, Globalisation, Renewable Energy