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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(5)
Plague/Virus:(2)
Climate Chaos:(8)
Resource Depletion: (4)
Biology Breach:(9)
Recovery:(4)
This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
contamination  ~ oil issues  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ economic myopia  ~ massive die-off  ~ climate impacts  ~ short-term thinking  ~ carbon emissions  ~ governmental idiocy  ~ toxic buildup  ~ superbugs  



ApocaDocuments (4) for the "Resource Depletion" scenario from this week
[see full week] ~ [see full Resource Depletion scenario and stories]
Thu, May 13, 2010
from DC Bureau:
Poseidon's Desalinization Plant: Dream Water Supply or Draining the Pacific and Taxpayers?
...After 12 years of permitting battles, the [Poseidon] desalination plant - which could open the floodgates for many others on the California coast - may finally be built. Best of all, the developers promise, it will cost the public nothing to build... But dozens of interviews and a review of available records by the Public Education Center's DCBureau.org shows that while private equity and bonds would be used for upfront construction, southern Californians would pay at least $640 million over 30 years for the project, including as much as $374 million in public subsidies...But critics say that far from being a New Age answer to water woes, the plant and others like it are costly, unnecessary boondoggles that often malfunction and carry damaging environmental side effects. They argue keeping water prices artificially low through subsidies for costly desalination plants is the wrong approach, and that conservation, recycling wastewater, and other far cheaper alternatives should be tried first. ...


Sounds like a Poseidon adventure waiting to happen.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 11, 2010
from Edmonton Journal (Alberta):
BP tragedy makes oilsands look good
BP's tragic oil well rupture in the Gulf of Mexico points out a cruel irony -- Canada's "dirty oil" from the Athabasca Sands now looks pretty good compared with oil from offshore drilling. For 10 years, green-leaning politicians and policy gurus have talked about the "ecological carnage of the tarsands" and targeted them as the "worst project in the world." Now the oilsands and heavy oil of Alberta and Saskatchewan are proving themselves one of the world's most stable and productive petroleum sources. It's a resource that has turned Canada overnight into the world's major new petro power.... Will this bonanza last? The only threat to the Athabasca party comes from solar technology. Current silicon cells are only 30-per-cent efficient at best, but new thin-film nanosolar technology will be up to 85-per-cent efficient and able to compete with gasoline in 10 to 15 years, eventually powering most short-haul cars and delivery vehicles. Meanwhile, we are blessed with a huge resource that will let us survive the growing threat of peak oil and reach a more sustainable future. ...


Hooray! Now it's only the second-most-hideous project in the world!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 10, 2010
from National Geographic News:
Underground "Fossil Water" Running Out
In the world's driest places, "fossil water" is becoming as valuable as fossil fuel, experts say. This ancient freshwater was created eons ago and trapped underground in huge reservoirs, or aquifers. And like oil, no one knows how much there is--but experts do know that when it's gone, it's gone....paleowater is the only option in many water-strapped nations. For instance, Libya is habitable because of aquifers--some of them 75,000 years old--discovered under the Sahara's sands during 1950s oil explorations. The North African country receives little rain, and its population is concentrated on the coasts, where groundwater reserves are becoming increasingly brackish and nearing depletion. ...


I fear there will be fur in my aquifer.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 10, 2010
from SciDev.net:
Biofuels from algae plagued with problems, says review
Hopes that algae could become a source of biodiesel that is friendly both to the environment and the poor may be premature, according to a review. When early sources of biofuels -- mostly derived from food crops -- incurred widespread criticism for being harmful to the environment, undermining food security, and being unlikely to reduce overall carbon emissions, algae emerged as a potential biofuel source that could sidestep these problems. But they have serious drawbacks that may mean they can never compete with other fuels, according to Gerhard Knothe, a research chemist with the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.... Knothe found that "many, if not most" of the biodiesel fuels derived from algae have "significant problems" when it comes to their ability to flow well at lower temperatures ('cold flow') and they also degrade more easily than other biofuels.... Luiz Pereira Ramos, chemist at the Federal University of Parana, Brazil, said Knothe was "absolutely correct. Most of the algae-derived biodiesel investigated to date are not suitable for fuel use." ...


Not to worry! There won't be any "cold flow" temperatures anyway!

ApocaDoc
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