Severe Flooding in the UK

Climate is not a local problem and neither are the consequences such as extreme weather and flooding. There is major flooding in the U.K. currently.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/22/heavy-showers-bring-fresh-flooding-parts-uk

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/02/22/flood-wind-warnings-weather-misery-way/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/21/uk-weather-weekend-rain-could-cause-further-flooding

Take a look at the video below!

Some serious flooding in the UK last week!

Wind Turbine Syndrome: a communicated disease

By Simon Chapman AO, Emeritus Professor, School of Public Health, University of Sydney.

Twitter: simonchapman6

Electrophobia has a long history

• ”more than 30 years after Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb in 1879 and soon afterwards installed a lighting system in a business section of lower Manhattan, barely 10% of American homes were wired. Even after the First World War that percentage rose only to 20%”

• Science, May 10 1889: “A new disease, called photo-electric opthalmia, is described as due to the continual action of the electric light on the eyes. The patient is awakened in the night by severe pain around the eye, accompanied by an excessive secretion of tears.”

Telephones: A cause of ear troubles:

Neurasthenia:

British Medical Journal 1889, Sept 21: pp671-725.

Causes included: “wireless telegraphy, science, steam power, newspapers and the education of women; in other words modern civilization”. Since then the following have been added: televisions, microwave ovens, electric blankets, computer screens, powerlines, WiFi, smart meters, wind turbines.

Growth in mobile phones & the flat-line incidence rate for brain cancer, Australia 1982-2017:

Wind Turbines

Is there anything not caused by wind turbines?

Lung cancer, skin cancer, haemorrhoids, gaining weight, losing weight, disoriented echidnas, symptoms of anxiety… http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au//bitstream/2123/10501/2/Wind_Disease_List.pdf

Psychogenic illness: “worrying yourself sick”

“Infections … if you fear them, you call them upon you.”- Francis Bacon (1561 –1626)

What is uncontested about WTS (Windturbine syndrome):

•The direct causation hypothesis would predict that all wind farms should affect some people. BUT in stead, a small minority of wind farms have a small minority of residents who claim to be affected.

•The great majority of complaints occur in English-speaking nations, despite the proliferation of wind farms in Europe, China, and many other non-English speaking nations.

•Ontario (English-speaking) has a history of complaints. Quebec (French speaking) next door has had very few complaints

•Wind farms with a history of being targeted by opposition groups are more “affected” by wind turbine syndrome. Just 6 farms of 78 wind farms in Australia have had 73% of all complaints

•Those with negative views about wind farms are more likely to report symptoms than those with positive views

•Those being paid to host turbines very rarely complain, suggesting that the drug “money” may be a powerful preventive

•Claims about only “susceptible” individuals get symptoms (like those who get motion sickness while others don’t) struggle to explain why there are apparently no susceptible people in, for example, all of Western Australia or Tasmania, where there are wind farms but zero records of health complaints

•Claims about “over 40” Australian families having to abandon their infrasound affected homes have never been validated, with those making the claims saying that many of the “windfarm refugees” do not want publicity.

•While some complain of acute effects within minutes of exposure, the first known complaints about wind farms date from 2002. But many wind farms were operational for many years prior to 2002. So why were there no reported acute effects occurring in those years?

•Not a single clinical case report of WTS in any peer reviewed journal

•Experimental subjects randomised to be exposed or not exposed to negative news footage about wind farm harms and then exposed to infrasound and sham infrasound show that prior exposure to anxiety producing messages increases reporting of symptoms, even to sham infrasound.

Complaints to Australia’s National Wind Farm Commissioner in 37 months to Dec 2018: Across 37 months that the office has been open, it has received 283 complaints about wind farms:

•65 (23%) about 11 operational wind farms

•191 (67%) about 51 proposed wind farms

•27 (10%) which did not specify any existing or proposed farm

Read more here:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/29/how-to-catch-wind-turbine-syndrome-by-hearing-about-it-and-then-worrying

https://theconversation.com/wind-turbine-syndrome-a-classic-communicated-disease-8318

https://www.amazon.com/Wind-turbine-syndrome-communicated-disease/dp/1743324960

Trouble in the Air

Air pollution and climate change are “two sides of the same coin,” according to the United Nations Environment Program. Climate change will make air pollution worse, while some air pollutants can exacerbate global climate change. 

This is the topic of a recent scientific report written by Elizabeth Ridlington and Gideon Weissman (Frontier Group) and Morgan Folger (Environment America Research & Policy Center).

It is quite a long piece (71 pages with hundreds of references) which you can download as a pdf here:  https://uspirg.org/reports/usf/trouble-air

Here are some highlights from this report.

Particulate pollution can harm human health and also add to global warming. Here, dust and black carbon have coated snow and ice, causing them to absorb more heat from the sun.

Air pollution such as black carbon, a form of particulate pollution, exacerbates global warming. Black carbon in the air readily absorbs sunlight, increasing the temperature of the atmosphere.13 When black carbon lands on snow or ice, it absorbs heat and hastens melting. This can lead to greater warming, as open water and bare ground retain more heat from the sun than do snow or ice. Production of natural gas is a major source of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which contribute to air pollution via ozone formation (see below), and also releases methane, a powerful global warming pollutant that traps more than 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide over 20 years.14 Just as air pollution and global warming share some common causes, and are linked together in a self-reinforcing cycle, so too do they share another characteristic: scientific alarm about their threats to the environment and public health.

People across America regularly breath polluted air that increases their risk of premature death, and can also trigger asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts.

In 2018, 108 million Americans lived in areas that experienced more than 100 days of degraded air quality. That is equal to more than three months of the year in which ground-level ozone (the main ingredient in smog) and/or particulate pollution (PM2.5) were above the safe levels as determined by the EPA.

For instance, here on Long Island air quality levels by these measures are: 71-100 days/year above the EPA safe levels for ground level ozone and PM2.5.

Air pollution is linked to health problems including respiratory illness, heart attack, stroke, cancer and mental health problems. Research continues to reveal new health impacts. For example, maternal exposure to air pollution such as fine particulates (PM2.5) and ozone is associated with a higher risk of low birth weight, pre-term birth and stillbirth. For older adults, long-term exposure to particulate pollution has been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

 Air pollution’s effects are pronounced among vulnerable populations, including children, pregnant women and the elderly. Research has found that children exposed to particulate pollution can suffer from lung development problems and long-term harm to lung function.

Each year, millions of Americans suffer from adverse health impacts linked to air pollution, and tens of thousands have their lives cut short.

Two pollutants of special concern are particulate matter and ozone. Fine particulate pollution smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) poses especially high health risks because it can be deposited deep in the lungs.18 Ozone that forms near the ground is the main ingredient in smog and is associated with adverse health impacts (as opposed to ozone in the high atmosphere, which blocks harmful solar ultraviolet rays from reaching the earth).  These are the main culprits and are most frequently monitored by the numbers of days at a given location where levels are above the EPA’s “safe level”.

Premature death. Globally, ozone and fine particulate matter are estimated to cause 470,000 and 2.1 million deaths each year, respectively, by damaging the lungs and respiratory system.19 A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that in the U.S. fine particulate matter generated by human activities was responsible for more than 107,000 premature deaths in 2011.20

A 2019 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that when the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) increased by 10 micrograms (μg) per cubic meter, daily mortality in the U.S. increased by 1.58 percent. A 1.58 percent increase in daily mortality equals an additional 122 deaths in the U.S. on a day when fine particulate pollution increased by 10 μg per cubic meter.21 When coarse particulate matter (PM10) increased by 10 micrograms (μg) per cubic meter, daily mortality rose 0.79 percent.22

The reverse was also observed. A 2009 study compared U.S. metropolitan areas across decades and found that a 10 μg per cubic meter decrease in fine particulate matter concentrations was associated with an increase in average life expectancy of approximately 0.6 years.23

Damage to respiratory and cardiovascular systems. In weeks with elevated ozone or particulate matter pollution, hospital emergency rooms see more patients for breathing problems.24 A 2019 study published in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) found that higher levels of pollutants including ozone and particulate matter in the air are associated with increased risk of emphysema.25 Air pollution, especially traffic related air pollution, not only worsens asthma but may also cause more people to develop asthma.26 Research also shows strong associations between air pollution and cardiovascular diseases including stroke.27 Particulate pollution is associated with increased risk of hospitalization for heart disease.28

Worsened mental health and functioning. A 2019 study published in PLOS Biology found that poor air quality, including higher levels of particulate matter and ozone, was associated with increases in bipolar disorder.29 Long-term exposure to particulate pollution has also been associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.30

Decreased fertility and harm to pregnancies. Exposure to air pollution has been associated with difficulty in having children, and increased risk of low birth weight and premature deliveries.31 A 2019 study of women in Italy found that higher levels of particulate matter (both PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide are associated with lower levels of ovarian reserve, a marker of female fertility.32 A 2013 study found “short-term decreases in a couple’s ability to conceive” associated with higher levels of PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide.33 Maternal exposure to PM2.5 or ozone is associated with a higher risk of low birth weight, pre-term birth and stillbirth.34 One study estimated that in 2010, up to 42,800 preterm births in the U.S. and Canada were related to women’s exposure to PM2.5, accounting for up to 10 percent of preterm births.35

Increased cancer risk. Exposure to air pollution can cause lung cancer and other cancers.36 The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, has found that outdoor air pollution generally, and particulate matter specifically, are carcinogenic to humans.37 The IARC determined that “exposures to outdoor air pollution or particulate matter in polluted outdoor air are associated with increases in genetic damage that have been shown to be predictive of cancer in humans.” In 2010, 223,000 lung cancer deaths globally were attributed to exposure to PM2.5.38

Air pollution likely poses health threats even at levels the EPA considers safe.

Research suggests that “moderate” air quality can, in fact, pose broad threats to public health, and a variety of medical and public health organizations have recommended tighter air quality standards that are more protective of public health. The World Health Organization (WHO), for example, recommends lower ozone and particulate pollution standards than are currently in place in the United States. The American Thoracic Society, the American Lung Association and other health associations support the same standards for fine particulates as the WHO.50

Ozone, the main component of smog, is formed by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.56 Fossil fuels – both their combustion and production – are major sources of NOx and VOC emissions.

Particulate matter consists of solid or liquid particles that can be emitted directly from a source or that can form in the air from chemicals such as VOCs, sulfur dioxide, ammonia and NOx.65 Fine particulates smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) pose elevated health risks as they can be absorbed deep into the lungs.66 The impact of PM2.5 is further increased by the fact that it is so lightweight that it remains in the air for a long time and can travel hundreds of miles from its source.67 Primary particulate matter is created by a variety of sources, including fossil fuel combustion; dust from roads, agriculture and construction; wildfires; and wood burned for heating.68 On average across the U.S., the majority of the particulate pollution in the atmosphere is secondary particulate pollution, which forms through a chemical reaction.69 Secondary PM2.5 can be created from sources including sulfur dioxide emitted by burning coal and other fossil fuels for electricity generation and industrial power; nitrogen oxides from fossil fuel combustion; and ammonia from fertilizer and manure.70 Mobile sources (including cars, trucks and other on-road vehicles and also off-road vehicles) accounted for 20 percent of both primary and secondary PM2.5, according to one 2004 study.71

Global warming will make air pollution worse. 

Higher temperatures have already resulted in increased ozone, despite lower emissions of the chemicals that create ozone. In the central U.S. in the summer of 2012, for example, higher temperatures caused higher levels of ozone than in the years before and after.83

The American Lung Association found that ozone was higher in the 2014 to 2016 period than in previous recent three-year study periods, and attributed the increase to higher temperatures.84

Hotter, drier conditions have increased wildfires, which create particulate pollution as well as VOCs and nitrogen oxides that contribute to ozone formation. By one estimate, global warming nearly doubled the total acreage that burned in western states from 1984 to 2015, compared to a scenario in which the climate had not changed.85 Wildfires also burn for longer, causing more prolonged and widespread exposure to pollutants. The typical large wildfire now burns for more than seven weeks, compared to less than a week in the 1970s.86

One study estimates global warming will increase the number of air pollution-related premature deaths if no measures are implemented to counteract global warming’s impact on air quality. The analysis, published in 2017, estimates that an additional 1,130 Americans may die prematurely in the year 2030 from smog pollution under a scenario where global warming emissions are high and unchecked.100 The study also estimates that particulate pollution worsened by global warming could cause an extra 6,900 premature deaths in 2030.

In many cases, the activities that cause air pollution also contribute to global warming. Efforts to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming, have the potential to help reduce ozone and particulate pollution as well.

Progress on air pollution has stalled. Though air quality in the U.S. has improved over the decades, in recent years that progress has slowed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculates that the average level of ozone pollution dropped by 31 percent from 1980 to 2018 and that fine particulate pollution dropped by 34 percent from 2000 to 2018.107 However, the agency’s analysis of elevated ozone and particulate pollution in 35 major cities shows that the number of days of pollution was higher in each of the years from 2015 through 2018 than it was in 2013 or 2014.108 Furthermore, the agency’s data show that 2018 had more days of pollution than each of the previous five years. The data analysis for this report reveals that the increase in days of elevated air pollution means that millions more Americans lived in areas with polluted air in 2018 than in 2016.109

There are of course a number of policy recommendations:

  • Support zero-emission vehicles
  • Create a strong regional program to reduce transportation emissions under the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) in northeastern and mid-Atlantic states
  • Ensure that states can adopt and strengthen pollution standards for passenger vehicles
  • Maintain strong federal fuel economy and global warming pollution standards for transportation
  • Support policies that can reduce driving and increase walking, biking and the use of transit.
  • Supporting clean, renewable energy. Move the country away from fossil fuels – which are a major source of climate pollution in transportation, electricity generation and buildings – and toward the use of clean, renewable energy like wind turbines and solar panels.
  • Maintain the gains already achieved under implementation of the Clean Air Act
  • Strengthen ozone and particulate matter standards
  • Ensure strong enforcement of the Clean Air Act
  • Protecting and expanding urban tree cover

The references (superscript numbers) are listed in the original document:  https://uspirg.org/reports/usf/trouble-air

Win With Wind Tee Shirts

We have tee shirts with the WWW logo and picture of clams and oysters in the back by artist Stacy Posnett. See our previous blog post.

Inventory:

ADULTShort Sleeve   $30                                                   

White                    XXL, XL, L, M, S  (one each)

Dark Grey            L

Steel                      XL, XL, L, L, M

White                    XL, XL, L, L, M, M, S

ADULT  –  Long Sleeve $35                                                                                   

White                    XL, XL, L, L, M, M, S

CHILDRENLong sleeve with interior fleece, like a sweat shirt $35

Blue                       XL, L, L, M, M, S 

Steel                      XL, L, L, M, M,

The small children’s size is for 4-6 year old kids, and the XL looks like it would fit a skinny teenager (or a petite adult) – these are my guesses.

PLEASE SEND ORDERS TO DAVID and MONEY to JERRY (pay by check to Win With Wind)

Questions Regarding Costs for the SFWF

Question:  how would the decreasing cost of Wind Power in general affect the SFWF (South Fork Wind Farm) project and the resulting per cost/kw to LI ratepayers?

Answer: It does not affect the cost of the SFWF as the cost is agreed upon for 20 years in the contract between LIPA and Orsted. But the average cost of offshore wind power in the LIPA portfolio is likely to continue to drop as newer and much larger projects are procured and the U.S. offshore wind industry grows. LIPA has said that they plan to buy another 90 MW and then some 800+ MW in the future as part of the NYSERDA solicitations for 2400 MW (see the LIPA fact sheet on this blog: page 3 top right graphic).

Question: Isn’t that an argument for waiting and getting our energy from the larger future projects on Long Island, west of the South Fork, that will be cheaper?

Answer: it’s important to remember that the rate impact is spread across all LIPA ratepayers, so while the cost of the SFWF may be higher, this will be shared with all LIPA customers, and we will benefit from the lower cost of future projects together with all LIPA customers. See LIPA fact sheet.

All of LIPA’s power supply and transmission cost (and almost all distribution costs) are spread over LIPA’s 1.1 million customers. That is all over Long Island. So we all benefit from future projects having lower prices.

It is also important to remember that as a result of spreading costs over a large number of customers the average residential ratepayer impact is minimal. As per LIPA’s fact sheet:”The South Fork Project Portfolio, which includes New York’s first offshore wind farm, two utility-scale battery storage systems, and new energy efficiency programs will cost an average residential customer on Long Island between $1.39 and $1.57 per month.”

In addition, we benefit from lower price risk. In comparison with LIPA’s conventional power supply which includes contract provisions requiring payment of all future fuel cost (of unknown amounts), renewable power supply has no fuel cost and does therefore not expose ratepayers to the risk of fossil fuel price uncertainty for the typical 20 year term of the contract.

Lastly, regarding LIPA’s anticipated South Fork transmission upgrades: 
With it’s 2015 South Fork RFP selection, LIPA used a “combination of transmission, demand reduction, storage, and offshore wind projects and meets the reliability needs of the South Fork at least through 2030”. In other words, had LIPA not selected the SFWF along with energy storage and demand reduction programs (called South Fork Peak Savers) the need for transmission upgrades would be greater and needed sooner.

Below is LIPA’s anticipated schedule (which is subject to change). The anticipated cost (in 2015 dollars) is $513 million.
Source: South Fork RFP LIPA Board of Trustees REV Committee Briefing, September 21, 2016, page 13: https://www.lipower.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2017-01-South-Fork-Board-Material.pdf

LIPA’s anticipated schedule


(With input from Gordian Raacke)

This is just the Beginning of Climate Change

Corn crops affected by Texas drought, 2013 | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Letter to the Editor in the East Hampton Star
East Hampton
December 2, 2019

Dear David,

At check-out in Brent’s Store in Amagansett, a wizened fisherman blamed state regulators for the fact that the tags he’s allocated now allow him to catch barely enough fish for his own family table. And as a New York Times headline announced, “The Scallops Are All Dead.”

While we look for local influences, we ignore at our peril the fact that it is a global problem.

This week, to pick one from a thousand stories, The Washington Post profiled Tombwa, Angola, where in the 1990s there were 20 fish factories processing tons of fish coming from the sea. Now there is one factory left. The fish species recently thriving there have collapsed in the overheated water. Trawlers ranging from distant ports are gobbling up what remains.

Ten years ago Bill McKibben wrote, “Climate Change is about whether you eat or don’t eat.” Deniers called it alarmism.

This year, as temperatures in Bordeaux reached 106 degrees, the vineyards were parched and wine production was down 13 percent. Corn production suffered the same fate.

In the American Midwest unprecedented rain bombs flooded the fields and destroyed billions of dollars’ worth of crops. Last year (or was it the year before?) multi-year drought destroyed countless acres of nut orchards that had been prosperous for generations in California. A recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate report predicts a 2 to 6 percent decline in worldwide crop yields per decade going forward, at the same time as population swells.

Sidewalk experts, including the entire Republican Party, still scoff at the science. “These scientists can’t make up their minds. One day it’s drought, the next day it’s flood! Which is it, they don’t know what they’re talking about. They can’t predict the weather next week, and they claim to predict it 20 years from now. Gimme a break!”

More people now understand that we should have listened to James Hansen when he was informing the American Congress 30 years ago about climate disruption. Imagine how far we could have come in 30 years toward slowing the onset. Still we dither instead of taking personal responsibility for the problem.

Drive down any street lined with parked cars and note that most of them are SUVs. Their growth in popularity has canceled out the benefits we might have gained in the incipient move to electric vehicles. We burn as much gas now as we did before electrification because mammoth SUVs use more gas than the smaller cars we used to drive, not to mention the sky parade of private jets roaring in and out of our airport. So much for self-regulation in the face of global catastrophe.

Demagogues and religious zealots around the world can turn men without hope into terrorists. This is just the beginning. The World Bank projects 143 million climate-displaced migrants by 2050, and stresses that this is a lower bound estimate, with the numbers certain to go much higher, perhaps sooner, assuredly later.

As we approach the 2020 elections, no matter how you have voted in the past, if you care about fish, or food in general for the children you love, remember that we have two parties in this country with radically different attitudes about climate change. Forget about the personal foibles of candidates that the media love to dwell on.

Remember that one party makes its living serving the interests of the fossil fuel industry. The other party is finally listening to scientists and young people who will inherit this planet, and committing to meaningful action. Climate change is no longer about 2100, Bangladesh, or polar bears. It has come to this: not just in the long run, but for millions alive today in America, including the fisherman at Brent’s, nothing else matters.

DON MATHESON