I’m going to start doing regular or semi-regular news posts. The goal here is to share links to media that I think people might want to know about. For some of the material, the links shared in these posts will be all I do; other material will be covered in more extensive articles. Mostly this “series” is a tool I’m using for my own reasons, but I hope it’ll be useful for other people as well. Without further ado:
Canada has been pursuing a genocidal war of conquest against the Wet’suwet’en Nation, all to enrich fossil fuel corporations. The Wet’suwet’en people never surrendered their territory to the Canadian government, and that government is now taking over that land for the sole purpose of installing a gas pipeline. I should have posted information about this weeks ago, but better late than never. More on this subject will be forthcoming.
This is the main website to follow– “The Unis’tot’en (C’ihlts’ehkhyu / Big Frog Clan) are the original Wet’suwet’en Yintah Wewat Zenli distinct to the lands of the Wet’suwet’en.”
Canadian police were prepared to shoot Indigenous land defenders blockading construction of a natural gas pipeline in northern British Columbia, according to documents seen by the Guardian.
Armed RCMP Launch Raid on Second Wet’suwet’en Camp Supported by Helicopters, Police Dogs
This Quaker blog has been doing a good job keeping up on both the news and efforts at solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people and their fight for survival, if you want another resource beyond the Unis’tot’en website.
The armed forces of the U.S.A. have long been one of the biggest emitters of CO2 in the world, but over the last couple decades they’ve also been investing a great deal of money and resources into studying and preparing for climate change, and even under Republican administrations, they’ve been consistent in describing it as a serious threat to American national security. The Union of Concerned Scientists recently reported that the US Navy closed its task force on climate change in March of last year.
The task force was designed to provide the Navy’s leadership with the best available scientific information on climate change, and shutting down the task force prevents the Navy from adapting to the ongoing effects of climate change and using the information to meet its mission of protecting the nation. There is no other body within the Navy specifically assigned to address these challenges, nor is there any other clearly designated group able to provide the climate science that is so important to the Navy and national defense as a whole.
I have no particular love for the American imperial war machine, but one of the biggest dangers of climate change is how the world’s more violent nations will use their armed forces to respond to an unstable climate and the resource problems that will come as the world warms. This is not a good sign.
Scotland continues its increase in renewable energy. I’m reluctant to use the article’s triumphant headline of “on track to hit 100% renewable energy this year” at this point in time. As has been pointed out to me, many such claims include some number-fudging. Scotland is near to 100% renewable power, but as the article mentions it has one natural gas plant with two more coming soon. The goal is for “net zero”, which generally involves continued use of fossil fuels that are “offset” by carbon capture methods like planting trees. A better goal is zero fossil fuels, plus carbon capture, and we’re nowhere close to ending the use of fossil fuels for transport here. More publicly operated mass transit would help a lot. Given the abundance of water, it may be that some form of nuclear power would work, but given the local dissatisfaction with the UK’s Trident program, that could be a hard sell. Scotland is headed in the right direction, and it’s encouraging to see all the wind turbines here, but there’s a long way to go yet.
I have no idea how viable this is – most announced advances like this never seem to make it past the press release/pipe dream stage, but if it pans out, it’d be pretty cool: New droplet-based electicity generator: Researchers claim a their design is a massive improvement in the power that can be generated in such a system.
“Our research shows that a drop of 100 microlitres (1 microlitre = one-millionth litre) of water released from a height of 15 cm can generate a voltage of over 140V. And the power generated can light up 100 small LED light bulbs,” said Professor Wang.
[…]Its instantaneous power density can reach up to 50.1 W/m2, thousands times higher than other similar devices without the use of FET-like design. And the energy conversion efficiency is markedly higher.
Tangential & thinking Indigenous people’s versus big environmentally destructive multinational companies there’s also this :
Which I did find out about via a facebook post to this :
Whilst thinking dams and their issues here in Oz we’re having this issue now :
As well as having other dams supplying water to major cities affecting by contamination from bushfire ash and flood debris and excess eg. Greater Sydney’s Warragamba Dam.
In hope these are interesting and relevant here.
Abe Drayton says
Thanks for sharing!
“Given the abundance of water, it may be that some form of nuclear power would work”
How are those linked? We can’t do fusion power yet. Fission needs coolant, but not that much. Did you mean hydroelectric? No, you didn’t based on the next sentence.
The droplet thing has a very bad headline – you don’t measure power in volts. “140 volts of power” makes as vb sense as “a distance of 50 miles per hour”.
Abe Drayton says
They don’t require a massive amount of water, but they do require a constant supply, which varies on whether they’re storing “spent” fuel in pools on-site. Any nuclear plant built this decade will need to be built to account for changes coming in the decades to come. Given that we’ve already seen heat waves and droughts affect the operation of water-cooled plants, I think it’s reasonable to take the likelihood of that happening into account. Power plants that don’t draw directly from the ocean, which poses its own problems with rising sea levels, may end up competing directly with local industrial, agricultural, and domestic water use, and local wildlife. Putting a nuclear plant that requires water for cooling in a place that’s already vulnerable to water shortages seems short-sighted if you’re expecting water to be available for anything else. You don’t plan for the best-case scenario when you’re dealing with power sources, particularly ones where the worst-case scenario can be so bad.
I went with the headline provided, and it’s not an area I know much about. Does it make more sense to focus on Watts per meter squared? That’s the other metric provided in the released materials. The impression I got from the article was they were saying the 140 volts was enough to activate that number of LEDs simultaneously while it lasted – the intensity of the pulse generated by a single droplet of water. More of a measure of “force generated by stomping on the gas pedal once and immediately releasing”, maybe? Not useful for measuring the distance, but useful for measuring the power input mechanics for a system designed to move over distance?
Either way, I tweaked the link and added in the W/m2 claim. Thanks for the correction!