Scientists are telling us that we have entered “the sixth major extinction” in the history of our planet. A brand new survey of 73 scientific reports that was just released has come to the conclusion that the total number of insects on the globe is falling by 2.5 percent per year. If we stay on this current pace, the survey warns that there might not be “any insects at all” by the year 2119. And since insects are absolutely critical to the worldwide food chain, that has extremely ominous implications for all of us.
A plan to strip protections for the imperiled bird would open more land to drilling than any other step the administration has taken, experts said.
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But the erosion of California’s century-old utility monopolies has alarmed some regulators. They worry that without new safeguards, the shift from a handful of big utilities to a decentralized system with dozens of energy providers could have unintended consequences – possibly including a repeat of the state’s early-2000s energy crisis, when a failed experiment in deregulation led to rolling power outages and ballooning electricity costs.
One of the leading community choice skeptics is Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission and a former renewable energy adviser to then-Gov. Jerry Brown. Picker has spearheaded a series of reports outlining potential risks posed by the rise of alternatives to the big utilities, not just CCAs but also rooftop solar, home battery systems and companies buying energy through a limited competitive market.
For example, the so-called “rain tax,” as Republicans dubbed it, permits counties, municipalities and certain authorities to establish stormwater utilities and related fees and other charges.
An advocacy group called New Jersey Future said the bill, which was approved by both houses of the Legislature, “provides municipalities, counties, utilities and authorities with a long-needed tool to manage flooding and dirty runoff from rainwater.”
Deep underwater, and deeper underground, scientists see surprising hints that gas and oil deposits can be replenished, filling up again, sometimes rapidly.
Although it sounds too good to be true, increasing evidence from the Gulf of Mexico suggests that some old oil fields are being refilled by petroleum surging up from deep below, scientists report. That may mean that current estimates of oil and gas abundance are far too low.
Recent measurements in a major oil field show “that the fluids were changing over time; that very light oil and gas were being injected from below, even as the producing [oil pumping] was going on,” said chemical oceanographer Mahlon “Chuck” Kennicutt. “They are refilling as we speak. But whether this is a worldwide phenomenon, we don’t know.”