Chevron admits "there’s no debate about climate science" in court hearing

March 23, 2018 by  
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“From Chevron’s perspective there’s no debate about climate science ,” attorney Theodore Boutrous Jr. said in a courtroom this week. In a case pitting Big Oil companies against the cities of San Francisco and Oakland , which allege the fossil fuel corporations should pay for actions like sea walls to deal with the impacts of climate change , Chevron’s attorney acknowledged that manmade climate change is real. Don’t get too excited, though. According to Boutrous, it may be real, but it isn’t Chevron’s fault – it’s yours. United States District Judge William Alsup called for a two-part climate change tutorial  earlier this month to help educate all the parties involved in the lawsuit on climate change. During this tutorial,  Science Magazine and The Verge reported that Chevron agreed with the existing scientific consensus. The tutorial wasn’t an echo of the famous Scopes trial, according to Alsup. Science Magazine said he told the audience, “This will not be withering cross-examinations and so forth. This will be numbers and diagrams, and if you get bored you can just leave.” Prominent scientists spoke for San Francisco and Oakland, but Boutrous was the sole speaker for the oil industry — and he said, “Chevron accepts what the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has reached consensus on concerning science and climate change.” Related: Federal court orders first hearing on the science of climate change Boutrous did emphasize parts of the IPCC’s fifth climate science assessment report regarding uncertainties, according to Science Magazine, such as challenges over predictions of sea level rise in particular parts of the planet or modeling Antarctic ice’s response to increasing temperatures. Even if Chevron does agree on the science, they don’t seem to agree a lawsuit is the correct way to tackle climate change — Boutrous described it as a global issue necessitating global action. Chevron spokesperson Sean Comey told The Verge the company “welcomes meaningful efforts to address the issue of climate change, but litigation is not an appropriate tool for accomplishing that objective.” He also claims that Chevron is no more to blame for climate change than anyone else. “Anyone in the world could be brought in in the case, including the plaintiffs themselves,” he said. Which gets to the crux of the argument: Chevron claims that burning fossil fuels is to blame, so it rests on the shoulders of those driving cars or heating their homes with coal to stop climate change. But the plaintiffs argue that, like the cigarette companies in the past, companies like Chevron knew about the impact of their product on the environment and chose to continue pushing it. Science Magazine said Exxon, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips, the other oil companies involved, stayed away from the tutorial as they have questioned Alsup’s jurisdiction to hear the case. Alsup afforded them two weeks to disagree with what Boutrous had to say, or he’ll assume they’re in agreement. Via The Verge and Science Magazine Images via Depositphotos and Pixabay

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Chevron admits "there’s no debate about climate science" in court hearing

Federal court orders first hearing on the science of climate change

March 8, 2018 by  
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Lawyers will present climate change science in what could be the first-ever court hearing in the United States on the topic, McClatchy Washington Bureau reported . Lawyers for BP , Exxon , Chevron , and other oil companies will go up against lawyers for the California cities of Oakland and San Francisco after United States District Judge William Alsup ordered “a two-part tutorial on the subject of global warming and climate change .” Sabin Center for Climate Change Law executive director Michael Burger told McClatchy, “This will be the closest that we have seen to a trial on climate science in the United States, to date.” San Francisco and Oakland filed lawsuits against BP, Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Royal Dutch Shell “alleging that the Big Oil giants are responsible for the cities’ costs of protecting themselves from a global warming-induced sea level rise , including expenses to construct seawalls to protect the two cities’ more than five million residents,” according to Hagens Berman , the firm representing the California cities. In late February, Alsup ordered the tutorial, which is to take place on March 21. Related: This lawyer wants Big Oil to pay for climate change Experts on both sides said they hadn’t heard of a call like this before. Physicist Steven Koonin, who served as an Energy Department Under Secretary for Science under Barack Obama and also penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal titled “ Climate Science Is Not Settled ,” told McClatchy, “I don’t know of any judge who has asked for a tutorial like this. I think it is a great idea. Anybody having to make a decision about climate science needs to understand the full spectrum of what we know and what we don’t know.” The first part of the tutorial will cover “the history of the scientific study of climate change;” each side will have an hour to delve into “scientific inquiry into the formation and melting of the ice ages , periods of historical cooling and warming, smog , ozone , nuclear winter, volcanoes , and global warming.” The second part, for which each side again has one hour, will cover “the best science now available” regarding global warming, sea rise, coastal flooding, and glacier melt. + United States District Court for the Northern District of California Via McClatchy Washington Bureau Images via Jeff Head on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Federal court orders first hearing on the science of climate change

Obama quietly approved arctic drilling, amid controversy and environmental concerns

April 10, 2015 by  
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On March 31,  President Barack Obama ‘s administration renewed the 2008 Arctic lease sale . That decision started a 30-day clock for the Interior Department to review Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling plans. The oil company has already invested nearly $6 billion exploring the arctic waters for possible drilling sites , and they have oil rigs headed toward Alaska at the time of this report, indicating the oil execs may be feeling pretty confident about getting the go-ahead to resume drilling this summer. Read the rest of Obama quietly approved arctic drilling, amid controversy and environmental concerns Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arctic Drilling , arctic offshore drilling , arctic oil drilling , environmental destruction , offshore oil drilling , oil drilling , president barack obama , Royal Dutch Shell

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Obama quietly approved arctic drilling, amid controversy and environmental concerns

Chrysalis Childcare Centre uses existing trees as symbolic centerpieces

April 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Chrysalis Childcare Centre uses existing trees as symbolic centerpieces Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: childcare centers , chrysalis childcare centre , Collingridge and Smith Architects , daycare centers , maori tradition , modern architecture , modern design , natural light , trees in architecture , wooden walkways

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Chrysalis Childcare Centre uses existing trees as symbolic centerpieces

Latvian art students transform a single birch tree into energy for 70 people

April 10, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Latvian art students transform a single birch tree into energy for 70 people Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: AAL , birch , Design Department of the Art Academy of Latvia , feeding the planet energy for life , International Design Fair in Milan , skateboards , Welcome on Board , wooden skateboard

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Latvian art students transform a single birch tree into energy for 70 people

North Sea Platforms Evacuated as Underwater Gas Leak is Reported Near Scotland

March 27, 2012 by  
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A platform in the North Sea has been evacuated following the discovery of an underwater leak of flammable gas. French company Total, which operates the Elgin PUQ platform said in a statement that it is taking all possible measures to try to identify the source and cause of the leak and bring it under control. Dutch oil company Shell, who operates two rigs within four nautical miles of Elgin PUQ has removed “non essential” workers from their rigs, while the coastguard has established a two mile air and sea exclusion zone around the platform, which sits around 150 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland. Read the rest of North Sea Platforms Evacuated as Underwater Gas Leak is Reported Near Scotland Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Elgin PUQ , Energy Production Safety , environmental disaster , Gas Cloud , Gas Condensate , gas drilling , Gas Leak , oil drilling , Oil Platform , Royal Dutch Shell , Total Energy

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North Sea Platforms Evacuated as Underwater Gas Leak is Reported Near Scotland

Solar powered oil fields in Oman vision to add green to gas

August 9, 2011 by  
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Ruchika Pahwa: Glasspoint Oman to build solar-powered oil field Have you ever thought about the possibility that sunlight could be used to coax out heavy oil, which stubbornly floats at the base of oil fields? Even if it sounds tough, it is now going to turn into a reality. Oman’s state-owned organization Petroleum Development is ready to take this long leap in collaboration with Glasspoint Energy. Glasspoint is a specialist for such a project as it has successfully completed a major project for Berry Petroleum in century-old Californian oil fields. It uses a unique methodology that includes the heating of water using sunlight, and thus producing steam, which when injected into the oil field, extracts oil. In contrast to expensive solar collectors, Glasspoint uses cheaper collectors that are like aluminum foils, and it installs these inside simple glasshouses. For Oman’s big project, Glasspoint is going to build glasshouses in an area of four acres. On the border with Yemen, glasshouses will be built on a heavy oil field. Oman is being considered the ideal location to run this project, as the country mostly possesses heavy oil and there are hardly any natural gas resources that could be used to build steam to extract this oil. Considering their domestic usage and export requirements, Oman is now looking forward to conserve the present natural gas resources. But, without natural gas, there is hardly any option that could produce steam as needed to bring out the stubborn heavy oil. So, this is an excellent opportunity for Oman to utilize its abundant sunlight resource. Oman’s project to build a solar-powered oil field aims at an yearly displacement of around 57,000 mmbtu of natural gas that can produce 33,000 barrels of oil. It is little when compared to the country’s huge daily oil output of around 800,000 barrels. But, it can be a good saviour for natural gas reserves and once the project picks up, Oman is considering it as a positively hopeful trial. Not only within the country but across the Middle East, there could also be a significant number of ‘green jobs’ created during the erection of glasshouses. On the other hand, Glasspoint is looking at the project as a quick-payback investment with comparitively expensive inputs. The returns can brand them as champions of solar fields. Additionally, as Oman’s oil giants Total and Royal Dutch Shell are involved in operating the country’s oil fields, the project appears to be a profitable venture for Glasspoint too. But in the end, what seems most positive is that solar power is wearing the crown, as sunlight would turn into a crucial resource to coax out dirt from the old and heavy crude oil. Via: Forbes

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Central Reclamation Urban Design Study: A new sustainable Central Harbourfront for Hong Kong

August 9, 2011 by  
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Babita Sajnani: Central Reclamation Urban Design Study Proposal by Aedas Aedas, a prominent organization that provides architecture-related solutions and services, catering to various projects in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The design for constructing a Central Harbourfront for Hong Kong as a part of the Central Reclamation Urban Design Study is a very composite structural framework that is not only sustainable but also breaks away from the multi-rise tower image of Hong Kong and brings forth an area for public, social and cultural activities. Picture Gallery Central Reclamation Urban Design Study Proposal by Aedas The Central Reclamation Urban Design Study is a concept that envisions building the new Central Harborfront for Hong Kong that would be a part of the reclamation schemes of both the Central District OZP S/H4/12 and Central Dsitrict (Extension) OZP S/H/24/6. The new Central Harbourfront would be a very connected and well-placed area with a lot of potential. The new Central Waterfront or Harboutrfront would be strategiocally located having the Victoria Harbour to its North, the ConnaughtRoad Central/Harcourt Road area to the south, the Airport/Railway Hong Kong Station westwardds and the HOng ong Covention and Exhibition Centre to the east side. Thus, the new harbourifont, designed by Aedas, would be devised in a way that the land would comprise of ample open spaces for the public wherein community would have the chance to foster new ties and bring forth the vibrancy of the harbourfront with its breathtaking view of Hong Kong. The Central Reclamation Urban Study brings forth a framework of land usage wherein there would be a blend of greenery and public facilities for large gatherings. Waterfront plazas would also be provided aboard the upgraded Civic Deck area and Star Ferry Pier. The design would be highly sustainable that would enable the Central Harbourfront to prosper economically, socially and culturally as well. Via: Aedas

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10 eco friendly airships of the future

August 9, 2011 by  
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Subhorup Dasgupta: Skylifter Futuristic Airships Airships have received a new lease of life with the growing consciousness of environment issues. The history of airships is marred by the disastrous end to the Hindenberg zeppelin in 1937 which resulted in a lull in the research into airships as a viable transportation mode. However, in the last few decades, research and development and funding have all come together to raise the eco-friendly airship out of obscurity and to elevate it from advertising blimps to feasible and effective transportation solutions. They are already being used in various ways such as heavy lifting, research and exploration, and unmanned surveillance. Here is a look at some of the most exciting innovations in the field of eco-friendly airships. 1. Dynalifter This is a heavy lifting solution that combines conventional aircraft propulsion with heavier-than-air airship technology, using the lift provided by helium. With almost no ground infrastructure required, the makers of this cargo airship claim that it costs a third of conventional air transport. The prototypes tested so far suggest that it may be possible to build 1000 feet long airships built on this design that can carry up to 250 tonnes of cargo. 2. Skylifter Another heavy lifting airship, this Australian design is a piloted dirigible balloon system that offers precision delivery of large, heavy, fragile objects in a eco-friendly manner. With its futuristic spacecraft-like design, the Skylifter is positioned as a precursor to mobile housing and luxury airship hotels. Plans are already underway to develop something along these lines that the company calls SkyPalace. 3. RAID The Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment system uses balloons tethered to fixed towers by thousands of meters of cables in order to provide surveillance information for defense purposes. It was initially used by the US Army in 2003 in inaccessible parts of Afghanistan, and since then has become a regular feature in defense initiative in challenging terrains such as Iraq. 4. Nephilios This collaboration between various technical schools and universities in France is a 72-feet long carbon-neutral blimp with solar panels on its outside that generate 2.4 kilowatts of electricity to drive all of its propellers and other equipment. 5. Bullet 580 Dubbed the world’s largest airship, this design from E-Green Technologies is its first airship designed for commercial use. It is 235 feet long and takes six hours to inflate. The makers of this amazing airship claim it can carry 2,000-pound payloads to up 20,000 feet. 6. Stratocruiser One of the earliest foray into “lifestyle zeppelins,” this concept by designers Tino Schaedler and Michael Brown is an exercise in letting imagination run wild. Positioned to offer a brief airship spa experience to people in search of unique ways of rejuvenating themselves, this design attempts to balance ecofriendliness, luxury, and nostalgia. With a doughnut hole entrance that takes you back to the early days of airship travel, this zep incorporates solar panels to fuel its power needs and uses sectional helium chambers to give it lift. Designed along the lines of a luxury hotel, the breathtaking views it will offer as it travels across the world will be complemented with standard perks like a restaurant, a spa, a swimming pool, and even a resident disc jockey. 7. Manned Cloud Another airship concept, this whale-like design from Jean-Marie Massaud of France (developed along with ONERA, the national aerospace research body of France), has accommodation for 15 crew members and 40 guests who can undertake up to 5000 kilometers of flying over exotic locales without intruding upon or exploiting natural beauty. Of course, all standard luxury features are built into this airship. 8. Argus One This surveillance airship combines design ingenuity with eco-friendliness to position itself as the leader in the field of green aviation. It has a segmented body, much like like earthworm, that adjusts its shape and rigidity based on aerodynamic inputs it receives from its flight environment. 9. Skycat The Skycat airships are positioned primarily as firefighting solutions that can scoop up water from lakes and oceans, store it, transport it to the location of a fire, and release it at a controlled rate. They can also double up as passenger and cargo transport. 10. Sunship This is a small lighter-than-air dirigible design powered by solar panels that targets long flight time for a small number (1 to 3 passengers) of people. With a targeted altitude of more than 24,000 feet, the makers claim that this airship will be able to power itself to cross the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.

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