Re: OT: James Hansen on oil shale
- From: Ashton Crusher <demi@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 05 Sep 2011 18:07:17 -0700
On Fri, 2 Sep 2011 23:22:09 -0700 (PDT), harry <haroldhrmtg@xxxxxxx>
On Sep 3, 5:33 am, Higgs Boson <hypati...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hansen, NASA's leading climate scientist, laid out the scenario for
global warming before Congress thirty years ago. Big Oil and other
major polluters pressured Congress and successive Administrations of
both Parties into sidelining Hansen as well as other prescient
Hansen spoke out on the proposed Canada-US pipeline for oil derived
from Canadian tar sands.
Silence is Deadly
03 June 2011
The U.S. Department of State seems likely to approve a huge pipeline
to carry tar sands
oil (about 830,000 barrels per day) to Texas refineries unless
sufficient objections are raised.
The scientific community needs to get involved in this fray now. If
this project gains
approval, it will become exceedingly difficult to control the tar
Although there are multiple objections to tar sands development and
including destruction of the environment in Canada1
******An overwhelming objection is that exploitation of tar sands
would make it implausible to
stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts. ******
The tar sands are estimated (e.g.,see IPCC AR4 WG3 report) to contain
at least 400 GtC (equivalent to about 200 ppm CO2).and the likelihood
of spills along thepipeline's pathway, such objections, by themselves,
are very unlikely to stop the project.
Easily available reserves of conventional oil and gas are enough to
take atmospheric CO2
well above 400 ppm. However, if emissions from coal are phased out
over the next few decades
and if unconventional fossil fuels are left in the ground, it is
conceivable to stabilize climate2,3
Phase out of emissions from coal is itself an enormous challenge.
***However, if the tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially
game over. There is no practical way to capture the CO2 emitted while
burning oil, which is used principally in vehicles.****
Governments are acting as if they are oblivious to the fact that there
is a limit on how
much fossil fuel carbon we can put into the air. Fossil fuel carbon
injected into the atmosphere
will stay in surface reservoirs for millennia. We can extract a
fraction of the excess CO2 via
improved agricultural and forestry practices, but we cannot get back
to a safe CO2 level if all
coal is used without carbon capture or if unconventional fossil fuels
A document describing the pipeline project is available athttp://www.keystonepipelinexl.
state.gov/clientsite/keystonexl.nsf?Open Comments, due by 6 June, can
be submitted tohttp://www.keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/clientsite/keystonexl.nsf/Co...
or by e-mail to keyston...@xxxxxxxxxx or mail to Keystone XL EIS
Project, P.O. Box 96503?
98500, Washington, DC 20090?6503 or fax to 206-269-0098.
I am submitting a comment that the analysis is flawed and
insufficient, failing to account
for important information regarding human-made climate change that is
now available. I note
that prior government targets for limiting human-made global warming
are now known to be
inadequate. Specifically, the target to limit global warming to 2°C,
rather than being a safe
"guardrail", is actually a recipe for global climate disasters. I will
include drafts of the
"Paleoclimate Information"4, "Earth's Energy Imbalance"5
1 Asserted impacts include: irreversible effects on biodiversity, the
natural environment, reduced water quality,
destruction of fragile pristine Boreal Forest and associated wetlands,
aquatic and watershed mismanagement, habitat fragmentation, habitat
loss, disruption to life cycles of endemic wildlife particularly bird
and Caribou migration, fish deformities and negative impacts on the
human health in downstream communities.
and "The Case for Young People and Nature"3 papers, which are so far
only published in arXiv; we will submit revised versions of all of
these papers for publication this summer.
2 Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim? Open Atmos. Sci.
J., 2, 217-231,
4 Paleoclimate implications for human-made climate change,http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.0968
5 Earth's energy imbalance and implications,http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.1140
I also will comment that the pipeline project ****does not serve the
national interest, because
it will result in large adverse impacts, on the public and wildlife,
by contributing substantially to
climate change. ****
These impacts must be evaluated before the project is considered
It is my impression and understanding that a large number of
objections could have an
effect and help achieve a more careful evaluation, possibly averting a
huge mistake. Brief
pointed comments may be just as well as longer statements.
The Russians reckon that fracking for shale gas caused the recent NY
earthquake. We had a similar episode over here. (UK)
Earthquakes are virtually unheard of over here.
Google is not your friend...
Earthquakes are relatively common in Britain. We get up to 50-60 a
year but it?s quite rare to have one measuring 5 on the Richter scale,
that?s a 15-25 year event.
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