Monthly Archives: April 2015

April 30th, 2001 “Vice” President Dick Cheney wants 1300 new electric power plants by 2020…

In an April 30 [2001] speech [in Toronto, which 13 years earlier had hosted the “Changing Atmosphere” conference], Cheney said that the U.S. needs to build at least 1,300 electric power plants (averaging 300 megawatts) between now and 2020, “more than one new plant per week.” Cheney downplayed the potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources – suggesting that conservation is just “a sign of personal virtue” and that relying on renewables would threaten “our way of life.” [Emphasis added]

Also on this day

1992 – Fifth and final pre-rio “INC” meeting resumes (Paterson, 1996: 189)

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

April 29th, 1970 An “early” pondering of the impact of carbon… + Australia *signs* Kyoto

Aims and Threats from Technology indeed…


Meanwhile, in 1998 Australian Environment Minister flies to New York, *signs* the Kyoto Protocol. Despite having wrangled/wangled an increase in Australia’s emissions, that’s as far as things go. On World Environment Day 2002, Prime Minister John Howard, following in Bush’s slipstream, says Australia will not ratify.

What exactly do these “conservatives” think they are conserving, other than the short-term power of their rich mates?

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

April 28, 1959 New York Times article reporting on atmospheric carbon increase

…The New York Times for 28 April 1959, referring to the annual meeting of the National  Academy of Sciences, held in Washington, D.C., reported that, “Members of the academy were told that within 40 years the amount of carbon dioxide in the air may have increased from 25% to 30% above the level at the time when man began using fuels. The  effect on climate allegedly might be radical. The matter was discussed by Dr. Bert Bolin of the University of Stockholm.”

Also on this day

in 1975 Newsweek had a cover story on “The Cooling World” What would James Inhofe do without it?

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

April 27th 1987, “Our Common Future” report released

Also known as the Brundtland Report, this is the UN word-fest that gave us the concept of “Sustainable Development.”  From a climate change perspective, it’s also the reason the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change even got to be, basically.  The “Our Common Future” report was to be the subject of a big UN conference in 1992.  After this was decided, climate change popped up on the agenda (in every sense).  The rest is (horrible) history.

Our Common Future book cover.gif

Also onthis day –  In 2010, Kevin Rudd announced (at a hospital in Queensland) that there’d be no second bite at emissions reductions for Australia until 2012.  So much for the greatest moral challenge of our generation…

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

April 26th, 1986: Chernobyl brings down the Soviet Union, Nuclear renaissance

The Chernobyl disaster (Ukrainian: Чорнобильська катастрофа, Chornobylska KatastrofaChornobyl Catastrophe; also referred to as Chernobyl or the Chornobyl accident) was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then officially the Ukrainian SSR), which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe.

The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and casualties.[1] It is one of only two classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.[2] The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles.[3] During the accident itself, 31 people died, and long-term effects such as cancers are still being investigated.

As well as a physical disaster, it didn’t do a lot for the health/credibility of the Communist Party, nor the nuclear industry more generally.

Novel worth reading – The Star Chernobyl by Julia Voznesenskaya

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

April 25th, 2012: Oregon governor wants coal export study conducted

The “great” thing about coal is there is so much of it. But if you are a producer and your home market is drying up, because of the pesky ‘war on coal‘, then you are going to need to export it to other folks.
The terrible thing about coal is that it is heavy and dusty and relatively difficult to transport. And for the United States coal industry, getting the stuff from where it is to ships that can sail away to China/India/Japan/wherever is becoming trickier and trickier (to the delight, presumably, of people who own shares in companies with mines in Indonesia, Australia etc).

One example of the political pressures militating against increased coal exports is the concern of people and governments on the way to the coast… like, Oregon.


As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

April 24th 1980 – “Carbon Dioxide and Climate Research Conference”

“DH Slade, Director of the US Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide and Climate Division, who stated in his introductory remarks to the participants in the Carbon Dioxide and Climate Research Program Conference held in Washington DC on April 24-5, 1980: “I think it would be very remarkable indeed if today’s results in the general circulation model community were shown to be fundamentally incorrect at some future time.”

The author I’m quoting, (Idso, 1982:52) found this to be an unreasonable statement. And may still do. Such people exist.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.