News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

China says Antarctic is treasure house for all human beings which China should go and share, that Antarctic contains "global protein riches" which China will access by increasing its krill catches. Krill are staple of penguins, whales, seals, seabirds, and fish-Sydney Morning Herald

4/12/2015, "China moves in for the krill," Sydney Morning Herald, Andrew Darby

"China has declared plans for an unprecedented expansion of fishing for Antarctic krill, the crustacean at the heart of the polar food web.

To make use of what China's state-owned agricultural development enterprise says are global protein riches, the country plans a seven-fold expansion in the annual catch, to the alarm of environmentalists. Krill underpin the survival of Antarctic marine life including whales, seals, penguins, seabirds and fish.

Reported in the China Daily, the proposed expansion would test the strength of the Australian-based organisation managing Antarctic fisheries.

The planned expansion comes after China stood with Russia against the creation of big marine reserves at the last meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

There may be about 500 million tonnes of a single species of krill, euphausia superba, in the Southern Ocean, according to the Australian Antarctic Division. Last year, five countries caught 291,370 tonnes for the growing krill oil nutraceuticals industry, and for aquaculture fish meal.

The China National Agricultural Development group is reported to have caught about 32,000 tonnes, but chairman Liu Shenli said he wanted to increase investment in Antarctic krill fishing.

Mr Liu was reported as saying China should aim to harvest 1 to 2 million tonnes of krill, and claiming the Antarctic could provide 100 million tonnes of krill annually.

"Krill provides very good quality protein that can be processed into food and medicine," Mr Lui was quoted as saying in the state-owned newspaper.

"The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share."

China has the largest fleet authorised to fish for krill in the Antarctic, with eight 5000 to 7000-tonne factory freezer trawlers. Its agricultural group controls the country's largest high-seas fishing fleet.

However, any increase in krill quotas would have to go before the Hobart-based, 25-nation Antarctic conservation commission.

The commission has set a notional krill catch limit of 4.2 million tonnes a year, far more than is currently taken. Tony Press, author of Australia's 20 Year Antarctic Strategic Plan, said the bureaucratic machinery was in place to deal with monitoring a significant increase in the amount of krill taken.

However, Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition senior adviser Rodolfo Werner said it was worrying that China's plan would lead to more krill being taken than the commission was able to manage and monitor.

"Many things should happen before [the commission] could allow such a large catch," Dr Werner said.".



"The krill is quickly frozen and into processed into pellets for aquaculture and livestock operations, fish bait, and high-value “nutraceuticals” such as omega-3 dietary supplements."...

4/30/15, "Beware: China announces plan to seven-fold increase Antarctic krill catches,", Uruguay

"Conservation groups and scientists worry that China’s push to boost its harvest of krill -- a shrimp-like creature used for aquaculture feed and human supplements -- may leave Antarctica’s whales, seals and penguins struggling to survive. China’s leaders say they want a seven-fold increase in krill production, according to a recent report in the state-owned China Daily newspaper.

China is one of several nations, including Norway, Korea and Chile, harvesting krill with massive factory ships dragging miles-long trawl nets through the productive cold waters of the Southern Ocean. The krill is quickly frozen and into processed into pellets for aquaculture and livestock operations, fish bait, and high-value “nutraceuticals” such as omega-3 dietary supplements.
That sharing may be tough for the animals that rely on krill as their main source of food. When penguins and other animals breed, they can only travel so far while raising their young. That’s especially true around the Antarctic Peninsula, which happens to be a hotspot for both krill and the larger creatures that eat it.

We will increase our investment in the Antarctic area in terms of krill fishing,said Liu Shenli, chairman of the China National Agricultural Development Group and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.Krill provides very good quality protein that can be processed into food and medicine. The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share.

“The issue isn’t so much the size of the entire (krill) population, but where they are taking it,” said Claire Christian, a spokeswoman for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, a Washington-based advocacy group. “Some of these larger ships could deplete all the krill in a local area. That would create problems.”

Fishing around Antarctica is governed by the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, (CCAMLR), a Hobart-Australia-based treaty organization. China is a signatory to the treaty.

While the current 4.2 million metric ton catch limit for Antarctic krill is much higher than the amount currently harvested, the problem is that the science behind the krill population estimates may be outdated.

George Watters, a fisheries scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Southwest Marine Fisheries Center in La Jolla, Calif., says the surveys that resulted in the limit were conducted more than 15 years ago. Watters says that new studies are needed to get a better picture of how abundant krill is today, especially around the Antarctica Peninsula.

The water and air temperature around the peninsula has warmed faster than any other place on Earth, leading to concerns about populations of several penguin species, whales and other marine mammals. Krill forms the base of the food chain, and may be at risk as well, explained Watters.

“Climate change is a major force in that region, and is creating big changes in the (Antarctic Peninsula) ecosystem,” Watters said. “A legitimate concern is to how productive will the krill stock be in the future. There are papers to suggest it will be less productive. That’s a reason why there is an effort to change the catch limit for krill so it is updated more regularly.”

Since the ocean around Antarctica is considered international waters, enforcement of fisheries rules relies on self-reporting by countries that sign the CCAMLR treaty. That could make China’s new effort harder to monitor at sea, especially since it has eight 5,000 to 7,000 metric ton factory krill trawling ships, more than any other nation. (FIS)" [FIS might be Fish Information Services]



You don't have to be a scientist to know Indiana biofuel scam artists were enticed by George Bush's 2007 so-called "Energy independence and Security Act" offering lucrative federal tax credits, that they're pictured here with Bush in 2007, and that they gave $25,000 to the Nat. Republican Congressional Committee when they launched their green scam

George Bush and Ducey bros., 2007
"According to campaign finance records, Craig Ducey, a Fishers (Indiana) resident, contributed over $25,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee when he first prepared to launch E-Biofuels in 2007. His brother Chad, also a Fishers resident, contributed over $700 to the campaign committee of former Gov. Mitch Daniels....What enticed the accused into committing their crimes, 88 charges in total, is a federally funded program under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which provides valuable tax credits to persons who manufacture pure biodiesel to blend with petroleum diesel."...

Image caption: "Indiana brothers Craig and Chad Ducey pose with then-President George W. Bush in 2007. The brothers have pleaded guilty to their role in a multimillion-dollar biodiesel fraud scheme. (Photo: Photo provided) Indianapolis Star, 4/29/2015


4/29/2015, "3 Indiana brothers plead guilty in biofuels fraud," AP via WISH TV, Indianapolis

"Brothers Chad, Chris and Craig Ducey all pleaded guilty to running the company E-biofuels LLC. The brothers resold biodiesel and then accepted federal tax incentives as if they had produced the fuel. Authorities say they had been doing for years....

The brothers would take what’s known as Renewable Identification Number and make new RINs after they bought biofuel from another producer. Craig Hatfield is the Quality Control Manager for Integrity Biofuels in Morristown, and says RINs are an important way to track the biofuel....

The government gives incentives to companies in order to help create energy independence. A former employee of E-biofuels spoke out against the brothers, which led investigators to the fraud."...

4/29/2015, "3 Indiana brothers plead guilty in biofuels fraud," AP via Huffington Post, Indianapolis

"Three Indiana brothers have pleaded guilty in a biofuels scam that bilked taxpayers and fuel buyers out of tens of millions of dollars, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Chad Ducey, 39, of Fishers, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis to conspiracy, wire fraud and other charges. His brothers, Chris Ducey, 48, of North Webster; and Craig Ducey, 44, of Fishers, had pleaded guilty to the same charges late last week, prosecutors said.

The trio, who had faced a May trial, operated E-biofuels LLC from a central Indiana biofuels plant.

Craig Ducey also pleaded guilty to a related $58.9 million securities fraud scheme that prosecutors said bilked more than 600 investors and shareholders of E-biofuels' parent company, Imperial Petroleum.

The brothers sold more than 35 million gallons of biodiesel to customers in several states in the Midwest, South and East Coast, charging prices well above what it was worth by claiming it was pure biofuel made from renewables such as vegetable oils, prosecutors said. But that fuel actually contained some petroleum diesel, and during the scheme, the government paid out renewable energy tax credits and other benefits that should not have been paid because it wasn't pure biofuel.

Prosecutors said the brothers, their co-conspirators and their companies saw more than $55 million in gross profits in the scam, at the expense of customers and U.S. taxpayers.

Earlier this month, a New Jersey man also pleaded guilty in the scam, which prosecutors said is one of the largest frauds in Indiana history.

Joseph Furando of Montvale, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to all of the charges he faced, including conspiracy, wire fraud, lying to investigators and money laundering. Guilty pleas were also entered on behalf of Caravan Trading Co. and CIMA Green — two companies that Furando, 49, co-owns.

"There are opportunities in Indiana for innovators in agriculture and biofuels," U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said. "The Duceys and their co-conspirators in New Jersey undercut those opportunities by exchanging greed and fraud for innovation."

Under his plea, Furando has agreed to pay full restitution to his victims and forfeit real estate, sports cars — including a Ferrari he bought for $247,000 jewelry, a piano, artwork and other luxury items he bought with proceeds.

Prosecutors said the E-biofuels plant in Middletown (Ind.) could produce biodiesel, a renewable fuel, from animal fats and vegetable oils, but that between the fall of 2009 and the summer of 2011, its production equipment was hardly used. E-biofuels instead purchased biodiesel from Furando and sold it as its own as pure biofuel, allowing the defendants to illegally claim tax credits and other benefits, prosecutors said." via Free Rep.


Citation for Ducey's $25,000 donation to NRCC in 2007:

9/18/2013, "Ducey Brothers And Others Use Subsidized Biofuel Industry As A Scheme To Defraud Taxpayers and Investors," Gary R. Welsh,

"How many times does this have to repeat itself before the government gets out of the business of picking winners and losers by funneling billions of our tax dollars into energy-related businesses for the sake of promoting green energy?.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett announced charges today against three brothers and a handful of other charlatans who allegedly used the cover of operating a biodiesel plant that was supposed to be making diesel fuel from animal fat and vegetable oils to defraud the government and investors. Three brothers, Chad, Chris and Craig Ducey, along with Brian Carmichael used E-Biofuels in Middletown, Indiana as a front company to defraud taxpayers and investors out of more than $100 million through a series of criminal acts, including wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, securities fraud and making false statement under the federal Clean Air Act. Hogsett claims the case against those charged represents the largest tax and securities fraud claim in Indiana history.

What enticed the accused into committing their crimes, 88 charges in total, is a federally-funded program under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which provides valuable tax credits to persons who manufacture pure biodiesel to blend with petroleum diesel. The Ducey brothers and Carmichael are accused of conspiring with a New Jersey couple, Joseph Furando and Evelyn Katirina Pattison, who would purchase biodiesel fuel from third parties and then fraudulently resell it as pure biodiesel with the available tax credit. Although E-Biofuels had a refinery in Henry County where it could produce its own biodiesel fuel, it produced no fuel. Instead, it operated as a pass-through facility for fuel purchased elsewhere.

The government claims E-Biofuels delivered mislabeled fuel to customers in one of three ways. In some cases, it transported the fuel from fuel terminals to its facility in Middletown where it was unloaded into a holding tank. It would then be reloaded into tanker trucks and delivered to unsuspecting customers with paperwork that fraudulently identified it as pure biodiesel fuel. In other cases, it simply flipped a load by picking up the paperwork at the facility without unloading it and delivering it as pure biodiesel fuel. In the most egregious circumstance, it delivered so-called phantom loads directly to customers from fuel terminals to customers. The customers were paying an inflated price for fuel they believed was pure biodiesel fuel.

According to the government, the principals of E-Biofuels sold their company to Evansville-based Imperial Petroleum in 2010, which knowingly perpetuated the fraud. Imperial Petroleum's president, Jeffrey Wilson, was included in today's indictments. The principals are accused of hiding from investors, outside auditors and shareholders the fact that they were purchasing biodiesel fuel from third parties rather than producing their own from animal fat and other feedstocks as they were representing. The principals pocketed $35 million in tax credits before the company filed for bankruptcy in April, 2012The six face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of the charges. Carmichael has agreed to plead guilty to one charge in exchange for his cooperation in order to receive a sentence of up to five years in prison. Prosecutors claim the charged individuals paid themselves large salaries, took lavish gambling trips to Las Vegas, and purchased expensive artwork, jewelry and automobiles.

According to campaign finance records, Craig Ducey, a Fishers resident, contributed over $25,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee
when he first prepared to launch E-Biofuels in 2007. His brother Chad, also a Fishers resident, contributed over $700 to the campaign committee of former Gov. Mitch Daniels. Chad and Craig also co-founded 8CD, LLC, a business that breeds bulls for use in rodeo bull riding competitions. The photo below from the company's website shows Chad and Craig with their families and business partner, Jim Carrigan. Chad Ducey also is part of the leadership team of a local beer brewery, Scarlett Lane Brewing Company, in Fishers with several others, including his wife, Monica."


4/29/2015, "Indiana brothers admit to $145 million biofuel scheme," Indianapolis Star, Madeline Buckley

"Officials blasted the brothers for taking advantage of federal programs meant to promote environmentally friendly practices.

"This kind of criminal activity has real consequences, including undermining a law that reduces our impact on climate change," said Cynthia Giles, an assistant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency."...


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Venezuela cuts working hours of state employees to conserve energy, asks others to use their own generators to ease pressure on the grid-BBC

4/28/15, "Venezuela cuts working hours to tackle energy crisis," BBC

"Venezuela says it will cut the working day for public sector workers to five-and-a-half hours to conserve energy, down from eight to nine hours. 

The initiative is part of a nationwide electricity rationing plan.

Vice-President Jorge Arreaza said there had been a surge in energy demand due to extremely hot weather. He said state employees would now work from 07:30-13:00 to save on air conditioning.

On Monday, local media reported blackouts across the country. 

Mr Arreaza said private companies would be asked to use their own generators to reduce pressure on the national grid

But he said it was private homeowners who consumed the most energy, and he called for everyone to turn the dial down on their air conditioners. 

"We are appealing to everyone's conscience, to use energy efficiently." 

Last week the government claimed that energy problems were due to maintenance issues, but the opposition criticised the government for not investing enough in the energy sector BBC Venezuela correspondent Daniel Pardo reports.

Power outages are common in Venezuela, which is a big oil producer but depends heavily on hydro-electric power. 

Venezuela is also struggling with an economy in recession that has been hard hit by the fall in the price of oil. Some 96% of its export revenues are reported to come from oil.

Inflation is also high, and stood at more than 60% in 2014."


Monday, April 27, 2015

In July 2007 Vatican sought to become world's first carbon neutral state but unfortunately was defrauded by a carbon dioxide scam artist who was out of business by Dec. 2007. The Vatican was left embarrassed and considering legal counsel to defend its reputation-CS Monitor

"The Vatican announced it would become the world’s first carbon-neutral state." 9/17/2007... "The photo of George handing Cardinal Paul Poupard the (carbon) offset certificates at the Vatican on July 5, 2007, went worldwide." Unfortunately George's carbon offset company abruptly closed in December 2007. No trees were planted in the name of the Vatican.

4/20/2010, "Carbon offsets: How a Vatican forest failed to reduce global warming," CS Monitor, Doug Struck, Budapest, Hungary 

Vatican accepts CO2 certificate,7/5/07

"From a scheme to create an algae bloom in the South Pacific to a Vatican forest in the plains of Hungary
how one carbon offset developer's ideas failed to reduce global warming."

"Russ George described himself as a man of vision. He certainly envisioned making money.

The San Francisco promoter saw the profit of promising to remove carbon dioxide from the air and selling that promise as carbon offsets to polluters, a plan he touted in interviews, press releases, and even to a congressional committee.

He just needed seed money. Nelson Skalbania, a high-profile Canadian real estate trader who had spent a year wearing a court-supervised electronic bracelet for a conviction in Canada of misappropriating $100,000 in investor funds, was just the kind of “green angel” – as Mr. George called him – who would put up the money.

With Mr. Skalbania’s backing, George bought the 152-foot research vessel Weatherbird II, repainted it with his new company name – Planktos – and hired a crew to sail for the Galapagos Islands in summer 2007.

His plan was to enlist one of nature’s carbon sponges, algae. He’d scatter a fertilizer of iron dust on 2.4 million acres of the South Pacific, he announced. In three weeks, it would produce a massive bloom of phytoplankton algae, which would inhale carbon dioxide, then sink with the carbon. George would sell his estimate of the absorbed carbon as “carbon offsets” at $5 a ton and make millions. 

The Weatherbird II was under sail preparing to scatter 50 to 100 tons of iron dust when an outcry stopped it. Scientists said there was no way to tell what the iron or algae would do to the ocean environment. Diplomats cited treaties against dumping at sea. The captain of a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship threatened to ram the vessel. The Weatherbird II diverted to the Atlantic. 

But George already was working on another plan: to plant millions of trees in rural Hungary and sell the carbon dioxide those trees could be expected to absorb. 

He formed a Hungarian company, KlimaFa – “Climate Trees.” His publicity strategy: Present the Vatican with carbon offsets to make the Holy See carbon neutral based on the trees he’d plant. The photo of George handing Cardinal Paul Poupard the offset certificates at the Vatican on July 5, 2007, went worldwide.
In the glow of that publicity coup, George offered offsets for sale on his Planktos website. There are no public records of how much he sold. But with the growing outcry over the sea-seeding scheme, Planktos abruptly closed in December 2007.

KlimaFa – and the Vatican’s still unfulfilled offsets – were left in the hands of a Budapest partner, David Gazdag. He blogged a few times about the project, occasionally stopped by government offices to talk, but planted no trees.

“This is a problem,” Gyorgy Dallos, a World Wildlife Federation official, said in Budapest. Carbon offsets create “false hope” if they’re not real. The Vatican’s emissions, he noted, are not neutralized.

Few of the players want to talk about that problem. Mr. Gazdag agreed to an interview in Budapest, then canceled. A Vatican spokesman says “the case is being studied to take legal action in order to defend the Vatican’s reputation.The Hungarian government, once an enthusiastic supporter of the project, now wants no part of it. Erika Hasznos, Hungary’s chief climate policy officer, walked out of an interview when asked if KlimaFa had submitted applications for the project.

George created another website in 2008, announcing a new business, Planktos-Science. He did not agree to an interview. He replied by e-mail that this story seemed a “potentially hostile piece” and insisted his new company is “no longer affiliated with the now defunct” old company he ran.

In the impoverished village of Tiszakeszi, where KlimaFa trees were to be planted, Mayor Kiss Lajos looks forlornly over the empty space along the Tisza River where George had promised to plant “the Vatican Forest” and create hundreds of jobs.

“We felt honored because the Vatican chose our village,” he said. “Now we feel sorry.”"

Images: Top: "Cardinal Paul Poupard accepts a KlimaFa carbon offset certificate from Russ George in July 2007. The promise to plant a "Vatican forest" as a carbon offset for the Vatican's CO2 emissions, and thereby reduce global warming, was not fulfilled by KlimaFa." Business Wire

Second image: "In Tiszakeszi, Hungary, villagers push their bicycles loaded with firewood beside land where the "Vatican Forest" was supposed to be planted by KlimaFa. The company marketed carbon offsets as a way to neutralize CO2 emissions and lessen global warming." BelA Szandelszky



July 18, 2007: Shortly after his Vatican photo-op Russ George was giving alleged expert testimony to a US Congressional committee about carbon offsets and global warming. Text from You Tube video of Russ George before US Congress talking about CO2 and carbon offsets. Joe Romm was also a guest:

Russ George in Congress, 7/18/07

"Voluntary Carbon Offsets--Getting What You Pay For (Part 2 of 2) - Part 1 is presently missing. - Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming - 2007-07-18 - Eager to be part of the solution to global warming, many consumers, businesses and government agencies have turned to carbon pollution offsets to help reduce or eliminate their "carbon footprint." While these offsets represent a promising way to engage consumers in global warming solutions, there are many unanswered questions as to the efficacy and accounting of these unregulated commodities. On Wednesday, the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing examining carbon offsets. Chairman Edward Markey (D-MA) will combine his extensive experience in consumer protection to explore the issues of transparency, effectiveness and other necessary questions to ensure carbon offsets can be a responsible way to address global warming on a consumer-based level. Witnesses: Derik Broekhoff, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute; Joseph Romm, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Thomas Boucher, President and Chief Executive Officer, NativeEnergy LLC; Russ George, President and Chief Executive Officer, Planktos, Inc.; Eric Blatchford, CEO, TerraPass. Video provided by the U.S. House of Representatives."

"Uploaded April 11, 2011" 


In 2013 Russ George scammed a Canadian indigenous group out of its $2.5 million trust fund after promising the group would make millions from his carbon offset idea. George wouldn't reveal alleged "gold star scientists" who oversaw the project:

4/8/13, "U.S. Businessman Takes First Nation People for $2.5 Million," Steve Krivit, 

Russ George
"The Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s “Fifth Estate” program about former LENR researcher Russ George aired on March 29. (See New Energy Times article: “CBC-TV Investigates Former LENR Researcher Russ George.”) Here are some of the highlights of the show.

Last year, George used his knowledge of science and his salesmanship to convince an indigenous community off the coast of Canada to part with its $2.5 million trust fund to fund George’s untested — at the time — and still unproven ocean-seeding concept.

Several years ago, George had tried to perform a similar large-scale ocean-seeding experiment to test whether plankton blooms, artificially enriched by iron dust, would capture and permanently sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

However, Paul Watson, founder and president of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and founding director of Greenpeace, chased George around the world and notified local environmental groups and governments wherever George went.

Those governments issued orders to George forbidding performance of his experiments. Environmental organizations issued new conventions to prevent such experiments.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned George that he would be violating U.S. laws if he went through with his iron dumping plan. Eventually, George ran out of options and money and abandoned his plan and ship, the Weatherbird II.

Soon after, he found a First Nations community, the Old Massett Haida Gwaii village, and learned that its members were desperate for new economic development and a solution to return salmon levels to normal. George also learned that they had a $2.5 million trust fund.

George and John Disney, a local collaborator in the Old Massett village, formed a company called the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. Together, they convinced the community that George’s untested plan would certainly a) capture carbon from the atmosphere, b) sequester carbon permanently, and c) provide marketable carbon credits to sell for several million dollars more than their initial investment.

George and Disney also told the community that the simple act of his iron dump in the ocean would bring salmon levels back. George had no direct scientific evidence to support his pitches. He took existing scientific data from other events and research and applied that to his sales pitch. He did the deed, and in fact a plankton bloom was observed during the period, but there is no direct evidence that the plankton bloom was caused by George’s dump.

More important, there is no evidence of any permanent carbon sequestration, and nobody is buying any carbon credits from George, his company or the village.

The chief of the community and owner of a coffee shop, Ken Rea, and Disney believed everything George told them. Rea said he learned new things about science, like the word “hypothesis.”
Gillian Findlay, the host for the program, sums up the program.

In Old Masset,” Findlay said, “their $2.5 million is gone, there will be no carbon credit return, and as for the fish, even if there is another bumper harvest some year, who will ever be able to say it was because of the iron?”

Old Massett resident Gloria Tauber says that history may have repeated.

“When I saw that,” Tauber said, “I fully understood how our ancestors gave away our land for beads and blankets, because it was so easy to convince some of them.…I hope this goes somewhere, that something is done out of it to set a precedent that this is not acceptable and that people shouldn’t be blinded by greed.”

On March 29, when the show aired, CBC reported that the Canadian government issued search warrants for Russ George’s company. Dumping anything in the ocean is a violation of Canadian law. The loophole is that the law allows for scientific experiments.

George and his colleagues have declined to disclose their scientific methods, identify their panel of “gold-star scientists” who oversaw the project or release their data.

No aspect of George’s or his associates’ behavior is consistent with scientific protocol. George will also have difficulty proving this was a scientific experiment, considering that he pitched it as an investment opportunity to the local residents.

Journalist Steven B. Krivit provided background information and video footage of George to CBC and spoke on the show. George claims to be a scientist, however, Krivit learned that George did not obtain a degree in science and did not graduate from college although he attended the University of Utah for two years.

Krivit warned viewers that, if presented with scientific-sounding claims from George, they should demand to see the evidence."


Sept. 2007, NY Times reported above Vatican CO2 project with Klimafa as if it were legitimate: "The Vatican announced, it would become the world’s first carbon-neutral state." Unfortunately, as reported above, it quickly proved to be the opposite:

9/17/2007, "Vatican Penance: Forgive Us Our Carbon Output," NY Times, Elisabeth Rosenthal

"TISZAKESZI, Hungary — This summer the cardinals at the Vatican accepted an unusual donation from a Hungarian start-up called Klimafa: The company said it would plant trees to restore an ancient forest on a denuded stretch of land by the Tisza River to offset the Vatican’s carbon emissions.

The trees, on a 37-acre tract of land that will be renamed the Vatican climate forest, will in theory absorb as much carbon dioxide as the Vatican will produce in 2007: driving cars, heating offices, lighting St. Peter’s Basilica at night.

In so doing, the Vatican announced, it would become the world’s first carbon-neutral state.

“As the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, recently stated, the international community needs to respect and encourage a ‘green culture,’ said Cardinal Paul Poupard, leader of the Pontifical Council for Culture, who took part in a ceremony marking the event at the Vatican. “The Book of Genesis tells us of a beginning in which God placed man as guardian over the earth to make it fruitful.”

In many respects, the program seems like a win-win-win proposition. The Vatican, which has recently made an effort to go green on its own by installing solar panels, sought to set an example by offsetting its carbon emissions.

Hungary, whose government scientists are consulting on the project, will take over large swaths of environmentally degraded, abandoned land restored as a native forest. That will have a beneficial effect on the climate here, and provide jobs in an economically depressed area.

Klimafa, an 18-month-old company, gets the Vatican’s seal of approval and free publicity for its first project. In addition to the Vatican, several European governments, as well as Dell, the computer maker, have bought carbon offsets that will be backed by planting trees on the land. 

“It seems so obvious, but no one was doing it,” said David Gazdag of Klimafa, who brokered the project with backing from his San Francisco parent company, Planktos International, which specializes in ecosystem restoration. But creating and selling carbon “offsets” or “credits” is still a novel idea for business and science, and much debate remains. The calculation for planting trees is especially complicated.

Planting forests is only “a partial solution, and a temporary one,” said Laszlo Galhidy, a forestry officer for the environmental group WWF Hungary, although he praised the project as useful. Young forests — dominated by growing trees — soak up a lot of carbon dioxide, but once the forests mature, they absorb far less, he said. Also, he said, there is no scientific system for predicting the exact carbon-absorbing capacity of a project like the Vatican forest, whose trajectory depends on rainfall, temperature and how fast the trees grow.

The Kyoto Protocol and the European Union’s cap and trade program set emissions targets for countries or large companies. Those that exceed their allowances by emitting too much carbon need to purchase carbon credits from countries or companies that do not need their allotment, or from companies like Klimafa that create credits through green projects like planting trees.

On the European Union market, carbon credits are trading at about $28, with one credit countering one ton of emitted carbon dioxide. Klimafa says its donation to the Vatican is worth about $130,000. The European Union program allows for a much-needed transfer of money from the more developed countries of Western Europe to the new economies of the East.

Countries and companies in the West tend to exceed their allowances, whereas Eastern countries tend to have excess credits to sell because so many polluting Communist-era factories have been shut. 

Also, many of the former Eastern bloc countries had to decommission farmland to join the European Union in accordance with its agricultural policy. In Hungary, as in other new member states, huge tracts of marginal fields have been bought by the government from farmers and are available for reforesting.

The land that will hold Klimafa’s first eco-restoration project, originally called Forest Island, was cleared in the Middle Ages, though it is on a flood plain and has always been risky to farm.
The area is a mix of weeds, wetlands, a lake and a few fields of corn that farmers are planting illegally even though they no longer own the land. Much of the land is a jumble of goldenrod and amorpha fruticosa, a weed that grows like wildfire.

Gergely Torda, a plant biologist from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences who is consulting on the project, scans the land as a blank canvas, describing plans for what will be planted where. Later this year, Klimafa will begin clearing the weeds, using local labor, and then start environmentally sensitive planting of native saplings like willows, beeches, ash, certain poplars and oaks. The growing forest will absorb 10 times the carbon that the land currently absorbs, and will be self-sustaining, Mr. Torda said.

Klimafa has been given the right to restore the land by the Bukk National Park, which owns it; costs will be covered by carbon credit purchases. Mr. Torda said it would take 50 to 150 years to produce a mature forest.

After the Vatican agreement was announced, Msgr. Melchor S├ínchez de Toca Alameda, an official at the Council for Culture at the Vatican, told the Catholic News Service that buying credits was like doing penance. “One can emit less CO2 by not using heating and not driving a car, or one can do penance by intervening to offset emissions, in this case by planting trees,” he said."


Ms. Erika Hasznos (Hungary), was a UN expert climate reviewer, per Dec. 8, 2009 UNFCCC report, p. 3, item 2


Son of Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos says greater concern is that US political elite over past 4 decades has shipped middle class and working class jobs out of cities like Baltimore to third world dictatorships like China and others-Washington Post

4/27/15, "Son of (Baltimore) Orioles owner Peter Angelos tweets perspective on Freddie Gray protests," Washington Post, Cindy Boren 
"The son of Peter Angelos, the Baltimore Orioles owner, expressed frustration that the message sent by protests over the death of Freddie Gray was overwhelmed by the temporary lockdown of Camden Yards during the Orioles’ game Saturday night.

John Angelos, the Orioles’ executive vice president and second-highest ranking official, pleaded for a bit of perspective in a series of tweets that revealed compassion and an awareness of the community in which he lives. (The tweets, in response to a fan named Brett, are combined here.)

"Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state
The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.""


NY State will dim night lights in spring and autumn to ease flight of migratory birds known to be disoriented by electric lights-BBC

4/27/15, "New York State to dim lights to save migrating birds," BBC

"The state of New York is to turn off non-essential lights in state-run buildings to help birds navigate their migratory routes in spring and autumn. 

Migrating birds are believed to use stars to navigate but they can be disorientated by electric lights, causing them to crash into buildings.

The phenomenon, known as "fatal light attraction", is estimated to kill up to one billion birds a year in the US.

Millions of birds migrate through New York along the Atlantic Flyway route.

Now those passing over the city by night will stand a better chance of making it further north. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that bright outdoor lights will be turned off between 23:00 and dawn during peak migration seasons in spring and autumn.

The state will join several well-known New York landmarks that have already signed up to the National Audubon Society's Lights Out programme, including the Rockefeller Centre, Chrysler Building and Time Warner Centre.

"This is a simple step to help protect these migrating birds that make their home in New York's forests, lakes and rivers," Mr Cuomo said in a statement.

He also announced the new "I Love NY Birding" website, which will provide information on bird watching and how to participate in the Lights Out initiative.

The National Audubon Society already works with other major cities to protect birds from strikes, including Baltimore, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Fatal light attraction appears to affect migratory songbirds such as warblers, thrushes and sparrows more than local birds, who learn where they can fly safely.

Daniel Klem, professor of ornithology and conservation biology at Muhlenberg College who pioneered the study of window strikes, told the BBC last year that the strikes were particularly worrying because the fittest members of the population were just as likely to die in this way as weaker birds.

"You may be killing some very important members of the population that would be instrumental in maintaining its health," he said.

Writing in the New Yorker earlier this month, US novelist and bird-lover Jonathan Franzen criticised the developers of a Minnesota stadium for neglecting to use a specially patterned glass that may reduce collisions."

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nepal earthquake was inevitable, India and Asia are colliding at speed of 1.5 to 2 inches a year, buildings are constructed with lax standards-NY Times

4/25/15, "Ancient Collision Made Nepal Earthquake Inevitable," NY Times, Kenneth Chang

"More than 25 million years ago, India, once a separate island on a quickly sliding piece of the Earth’s crust, crashed into Asia. The two land masses are still colliding, pushed together at a speed of 1.5 to 2 inches a year. The forces have pushed up the highest mountains in the world, in the Himalayas, and have set off devastating earthquakes.

Experts had warned of the danger to the people of Katmandu for decades. The death toll in Nepal on Saturday was practically inevitable given the tectonics, the local geology that made the shaking worse and the lax construction of buildings that could not withstand the shaking.

GeoHazards International, a nonprofit organization in Menlo Park, Calif., that tries to help poorer, more vulnerable regions like Nepal prepare for disasters, had noted that major earthquakes struck that region about every 75 years. In 1934 — 81 years ago — more than 10,000 people died in a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in eastern Nepal, about six miles south of Mount Everest. A smaller quake in 1988 with a magnitude of 6.8 killed more than 1,000 people.

Brian Tucker, president and founder of GeoHazards, said that in the 1990s, his organization predicted that if the 1934 quake were to happen again, 40,000 people would die because of migration to the city where tall, flimsily built buildings would collapse.

In an update just this month, GeoHazards wrote, “With an annual population growth rate of 6.5 percent and one of the highest urban densities in the world, the 1.5 million people living in the Katmandu Valley were clearly facing a serious and growing earthquake risk.”

The organization helped set up a local nonprofit to continue preparations, including the reinforcement of schools and hospitals.

Saturday’s earthquake occurred to the northwest of Katmandu at a relatively shallow depth, about nine miles, which caused greater shaking at the surface, but at magnitude 7.8, it released less energy than the 1934 quake.

Roger Bilham, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado who has studied the history of earthquakes in that region, said that the shaking lasted one to two minutes, and the fault slipped about 10 feet along the rupture zone, which stretched 75 miles, passing under Katmandu.

The earthquake translated the whole city southward by 10 feet, Dr. Bilham said.

Aftershocks as large as magnitude 6.6 have occurred mostly to the northeast of Katmandu. It is possible that the Saturday quake is a preface to an even larger one, but Dr. Bilham said that was unlikely.

Katmandu and the surrounding valley sit on an ancient dried-up lake bed, which contributed to the devastation. “Very, very soft soil, and the soft soil amplifies seismic motion,” Dr. Tucker said. Steep slopes in the area are also prone to avalanches like the one that the quake triggered on Mount Everest on Saturday. Katmandu is not the only place where a deadly earthquake has been expected.

Dr. Tucker said Tehran; Haiti; Lima, Peru; and Padang, Indonesia, were similarly vulnerable. In those places, nearby tectonic faults are under strain, and building standards and disaster preparations are seen as inadequate.

But not everywhere has been complacent. Over the past 76 years, many earthquakes have occurred along a fault in northern Turkey, starting in the eastern part of the country and progressing west, toward Istanbul. An earthquake in 1999 killed more than 17,000 people, mostly in the city of Izmit, east of Istanbul. The expectation is that the epicenter of the next big earthquake will be in or around Istanbul.

“Istanbul is the place that has been most aggressive in enforcing building codes,” Dr. Tucker said. “I think Istanbul has been doing a good job.”"

"A version of this article appears in print on April 26, 2015, on page A16 of the New York edition."

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Post 1970 Arctic warming is due to US Clean Air regulations of 1970s and 1990 along with increased black carbon emissions from Asia, per peer reviewed studies. Looking at CO2 alone gives us little leverage over Arctic climate, per NASA lead author

Two peer reviewed studies, 2009 and 2011, find post 1970 Arctic warming is due to US Clean Air regulations mandating removal of sulfates (chart below) and to increased black carbon emissions from Asia.

"We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we're just looking at carbon dioxide, per NASA study leader Drew Shindell.

Per NASA press release, Arctic and Antarctic aren't comparable: 

"In the Antarctic, in contrast, the impact of sulfates and black carbon is minimized because of the continent’s isolation from major population centers and the emissions they produce.

4/8/2009, "Aerosols May Drive a Significant Portion of Arctic Warming,"

"Though greenhouse gases are invariably at the center of discussions about global climate change, new NASA research suggests that much of the atmospheric warming observed in the Arctic since 1976 may be due to changes in tiny airborne particles called aerosols.

Emitted by natural and human sources, aerosols can directly influence climate by reflecting or absorbing the sun's radiation. The small particles also affect climate indirectly by seeding clouds and changing cloud properties, such as reflectivity.

A new study, led by climate scientist Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, used a coupled ocean-atmosphere model to investigate how sensitive different regional climates are to changes in levels of carbon dioxide, ozone, and aerosols.

The researchers found that the mid and high latitudes are especially responsive to changes in the level of aerosols. Indeed, the model suggests aerosols likely account for 45 percent or more of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last three decades. The results were published in the April issue of
Nature Geoscience....

Sulfates, which come primarily from the burning of coal and oil, scatter incoming solar radiation and have a net cooling effect on climate. Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates.

At the same time, black carbon emissions have steadily risen, largely because of increasing emissions from Asia. Black carbon -- small, soot-like particles produced by industrial processes and the combustion of diesel and biofuels -- absorb incoming solar radiation and have a strong warming influence on the atmosphere....

The regions of Earth that showed the strongest responses to aerosols in the model are the same regions that have witnessed the greatest real-world temperature increases since 1976. The Arctic region has seen its surface air temperatures increase by 1.5 C (2.7 F) since the mid-1970s. In the Antarctic, where aerosols play less of a role, the surface air temperature has increased about 0.35 C (0.6 F)....

Since decreasing amounts of sulfates and increasing amounts of black carbon both encourage warming, temperature increases can be especially rapid. The build-up of aerosols also triggers positive feedback cycles that further accelerate warming as snow and ice cover retreat.

In the Antarctic, in contrast, the impact of sulfates and black carbon is minimized because of the continent’s isolation from major population centers and the emissions they produce.

"There's a tendency to think of aerosols as small players, but they're not," said Shindell. "Right now, in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and in the Arctic, the impact of aerosols is just as strong as that of the greenhouse gases."

The growing recognition that aerosols may play a larger climate role can have implications for policymakers. 

"We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we're just looking at carbon dioxide," Shindell said. "If we want to try to stop the Arctic summer sea ice from melting completely over the next few decades, we're much better off looking at aerosols and ozone.""...


2009 peer reviewed study cited in above NASA press release:

3/22/2009, "Climate response to regional radiative forcing during the twentieth century," Nature Geoscience, Drew Shindell1 and Greg Faluvegi1 | doi:10.1038/ngeo473

2011 Peer reviewed study connecting post 1970 Northern Hemisphere warming with US laws to reduce air pollution:

Chart below from 2009 NASA study shows changes in Northern Latitudes after "Clean Air Regulations":

4/8/2009, "Half of recent Arctic warming may not be due to greenhouse gases," Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger


"According to a new report, half of the recent Arctic warming is not due to greenhouse gases, but rather clean air policies.

That’s the conclusion of two scientists in a new Nature Geoscience paper (see abstract), which is more deeply outlined in this NASA news release.

Here’s a quote from lead author Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies:  

There’s a tendency to think of aerosols as small players, but they’re not, said Shindell. “Right now, in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and in the Arctic, the impact of aerosols is just as strong as that of the greenhouse gases.” “We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we’re just looking at carbon dioxide,” Shindell said. “If we want to try to stop the Arctic summer sea ice from melting completely over the next few decades, we’re much better off looking at aerosols and ozone.. ..

The following graphic [above] shows how clean air regulations passed in the 1970s have likely accelerated warming by diminishing the cooling effect of sulfates.

I probably don’t need to tell you the implications of this study. For one, if the results are validated,"...   

[Ed. note: PNAS study 7/19/2011 validated the results. Cited global cooling effects of sulfates being lost via air pollution policies: "The post 1970 period of driven by efforts to reduce air pollution in general and acid deposition in particular, which cause sulfur emissions to decline while the concentration of greenhouse gases continues to rise (7)."...]

(continuing): "the notion that global warming is causing an accelerating, headlong retreat of the Arctic sea ice and driving the polar bear to imminent death…well, these notions just aren’t wholly correct anymore.

The study suggests that as much as half of the recent Arctic melting is not due to global warming, but rather to other factors. This report does not speak to global temperatures, but rather the Northern Hemisphere. And it does not suggest that global warming has played no role in the Arctic warming.

All the same, this is potentially a huge blow to those who advocate immediate action on controlling carbon dioxide.

Finally, for those of you who hate James Hansen: Please note that the author of this study works for Hansen."

Image above from


More on US geoengineering via Clean Air Acts of 1970, 1977 and 1990,


EDF cheered Northern Hemisphere sulfate removal via cap and trade:

"Acid rain: The power of markets to help the planet,"
"Our cap-and-trade plan to reduce acid rain cut sulfur dioxide emissions in half, at a fraction of the expected costs."


Reversing previous findings, 2014 peer reviewed study reports Northern and Southern Hemispheres are affected by completely different factors, global approach to climate won't work:

8/4/14, "Climate change not so global," University of Queensland, Australia

"Scientists are calling for a better understanding of regional climates, after research into New Zealand's glaciers has revealed climate change in the Northern Hemisphere does not directly affect the climate in the Southern Hemisphere.

The University of Queensland study showed that future climate changes may impact differently in the two hemispheres, meaning a generalised global approach isn’t the solution to climate issues.

UQ School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Head Professor Jamie Shulmeister said the study provided evidence for the late survival of significant glaciers in the mountains of New Zealand at the end of the last ice age – a time when other ice areas were retreating..

This study reverses previous findings which suggested that New Zealand's glaciers disappeared at the same time as ice in the Northern Hemisphere,” he said."...


Peer reviewed study cited above:

7/28/2014, "The early rise and late demise of New Zealand’s last glacial maximum,"

"This article contains supporting information online at" 




Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.