The first successful English colony in America was at Jamestown, Va., a swampy island in the Chesapeake Bay. The colony endured for almost a century, and remnants of the place still exist. You can go there and see the ruins. You can walk where Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas walked.
But Jamestown is now threatened by rising sea levels that scientists say could submerge the island by century’s end.
The United States has double the amount of oil and three times the amount of natural gas than previously thought stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday.
In announcing the new data in a conference call, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also said the administration will release within weeks draft rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, technology that has come under scrutiny for its environmental impact but that is essential to developing all of this energy.
“These world-class formations contain even more energy-resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” Jewell said in a statement.
This article is circulating among the anti-peak oil crowds. To me, the bigger story is about the left’s environmental heroine, Sally Jewell, who used to frack wells. As new head of the Dept. of Interior, she will (with Obama’s encouragement) - will - allow aggressive fracking on more public lands, possibly much more in our National Parks. To forgiving environmentalists, she’s Obama’s replacement for the DOI and former CEO of REI.
Climate researchers from George Mason and Yale University partnered to produce four surveys titled, The Climate Change in the American Mind. They regularly survey American’s attitudes and perceptions about climate change.
Americans’ beliefs about climate change have bounced back sharply from the decline witnessed between 2008 and 2010. Belief in the reality of global warming increased by 13 points since January 2010, to 70 percent in September 2012. More than half of Americans (54%) believe global warming is caused mostly by human activities, an increase of 8 points since March 2012. Many Americans say people around the world (40%, up 8 points since March 2012) and people in the United States (36%, up 6 points since March) are being harmed right now by climate change, and Americans increasingly perceive global warming as a threat to themselves (42%, up 13 points since March), their families (46%, up 13 points), and other people in their community (48%, up 14 points). The report can be downloaded here: Climate Change in the American Mind – Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in September 2012.
The Obama administration today gave Shell Oil the initial approval to begin controversial and dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska, despite the fact that a critical oil-spill containment vessel is still awaiting certification in Bellingham, Wash. Until now, the Arctic Ocean has largely been off limits to offshore drilling. Shell Oil is expected to begin the initial phases of exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea as soon as it can get its drillship in place, in the heart of habitat critical to the survival of polar bears.
“By opening the Arctic to offshore oil drilling, President Obama has made a monumental mistake that puts human life, wildlife and the environment in terrible danger. The harsh and frozen conditions of the Arctic make drilling risky, and an oil spill would be impossible to clean up,” said Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Scariest of all, the Obama administration is allowing Shell to go forward without even having the promised oil-spill containment equipment in place.”
In 2011, Republicans voted 39 times to weaken protection of public lands and wildlife, including votes to halt reviews of public lands for possible wilderness designations and to remove protections for salmon, wolves, sea turtles, and other species.
In 2011, Republicans voted 37 times to block action to address climate change, including votes to overturn EPA’s scientific findings that climate change endangers human health and welfare; to block EPA from regulating carbon pollution from power plants, oil refineries, and vehicles; to prevent the United States from participating in international climate negotiations; and even to cut funding for basic climate science.
In 2011, Republicans voted 31 times to undermine Clean Water Act protections, including votes to strip EPA of authority to set water quality standards and enforce limits on industrial discharges; to repeal EPA’s authority to stop mountaintop removal mining disposal; and to block EPA from protecting headwaters and wetlands that flow into navigable waters.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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