All posts by valerie

Global supply of rare earth elements could be wiped out by 2012

http://www.naturalnews.com/028028_rare_earth_elements_mining.html#ixzz1UDGpDnER

(NaturalNews) It’s the bubble you’ve probably never heard of: The rare earth bubble. And it’s due to pop in 2012, potentially devastating the industries of western nations that depend on these rare elements.

What industries are those? The automobile industry uses tens of thousands of tons of rare earth elements each year, and advanced military technology depends on these elements, too. Lots of “green” technologies depend on them, including wind turbines, low-energy light bulbs and hybrid car batteries. In fact, much of western civilization depends on rare earth elements such as terbium, lanthanum and neodymium.

So what’s the problem with these rare elements? 97 percent of the world’s supply comes from mines in China, and China is prepared to simply stop exporting these strategic elements to the rest of the world by 2012.

If that happens, the western world will be crippled by the collapse of available rare earth elements. Manufacturing of everything from computers and electronics to farm machinery will grind to a halt. Electronics will disappear from the shelves and prices for manufactured goods that depend on these rare elements will skyrocket.

These 17 rare earth elements (REE) — all of which are metals — are strategic resources upon which entire nations are built. In many ways, they are similar to rubber — a resource so valuable and important to the world that many experts call it the “fourth most important natural resource in the world,” right after water, steel and oil. Without rubber, you couldn’t drive your car to work or water your lawn. Many medical technologies would cease to work and virtually all commercial construction would grind to a halt.

Many of the strategic battles fought in World War II were fought, in fact, over control of rubber, most of which now comes through Singapore and its surrounding regions (Malaysia and Indonesia).

Global shortage of Rare Earth Elements coming…
Now, by threatening to cut off the world’s supply of rare earth elements, China appears to be attempting to monopolize this extremely important strategic resource. According to information received by The Independent, by 2012 China may cease all exports of rare earth elements, reserving them for its own economic expansion.

An article in that paper quotes REE expert Jack Lifton as saying, “A real crunch is coming. In America, Britain and elsewhere we have not yet woken up to the fact that there is an urgent need to secure the supply of rare earths from sources outside China.”

And yet virtually no one has heard of this problem! People are familiar with peak oil, global warming, ocean acidification, the national debt and the depletion of fossil water, but very few are aware of the looming crisis in rare metals… upon which much of western civilization rests.

For those who still aren’t convinced this is a big deal, consider this: Without rare earth elements, we would have no iPhones. Yeah, I know. That’s a disaster, huh?

We would have no fiber optic cables, either. No X-ray machines, no car stereos and no high-tech missile guidance systems for the military. And here’s the real kicker: No electric motors.

Demand outstrips supply
The problem with the supply of rare earth elements is that demand has skyrocketed over the last decade from 40,000 tons to 120,000 tons. Meanwhile, China has been cutting its exports. Now, it only exports about 30,000 tons a year — only one-fourth of the demand the world needs.

In order to build more “green” technologies, the world will need 200,000 tons of rare earth elements by 2014, predicts The Independent. Yet China now threatens to drop exports to exactly zero tons by 2012.

It isn’t hard to do the math on this: Without China’s exports, the western world will quickly run out of rare earth elements.

Kiss your “green” wind turbines good-bye. And your Toyota Prius production lines, too. No more iPhones and iPods either. Without these rare earth elements, entire industries grind to a halt.

Can we mine it elsewhere?
China isn’t the only geographic region where these rare earth elements are found, but constructing mines to pull these elements out of the ground takes many years. Some mines are under construction right now in other countries that could help fill the demand for REEs, but making them operational is “five to ten years away,” says Lifton.

That means these other mines won’t really be operational until 2015 – 2020. Meanwhile, China could cut off its supply in 2012. That leaves a 3-7 year gap in which these rare earth elements will be in disastrously short supply.

This brings up a couple of very important realizations related to investments:

It is almost certain that the prices for rare earth elements will skyrocket over the next 2 – 5 years. This creates a huge investment opportunity for people willing to take a risk and bet their money on rising prices of these metals.

There’s another big investment opportunity here, too: Recycling rare earth elements. As prices leap higher, it will become more economically feasible to harvest rare earth elements out of garbage dumps and landfills where people are discarding electronics such as motors, computers, sound systems and other such items.

Some smart entrepreneur will no doubt make a fortune by setting up and operating a rare earth element reclamation operation of some kind. These elements, after all, aren’t destroyed when they’re thrown away. They sit around in the trash for eons, just waiting to be reclaimed and re-used.

Lead, for example, is a metal that is successfully recycled today. Something like 85% of all the lead used in America today is reclaimed out of lead-acid batteries and other similar devices. If similar programs could be initiated for the rare metals, we could go a long way towards meeting society’s demand for these elements without having to keep mining them out of the ground.

Because let’s face it: Mining these rare earth elements is a very DIRTY business. That’s part of the contradiction in “green” technologies, by the way: To manufacture them, you need rare metals mined out of ecologically disastrous operations in China. It’s the (literal) “dirty little secret” of the green industry. All these wind turbines, solar panels, hybrid car batteries and fiber optics may seem green to the consumer, but behind them there’s a very dirty mining business that rapes the planet and pollutes the rivers in order to recover these “green” rare metals.

In any case, unless scientists find less-rare alternatives to many of these rare earth metals, we are looking at a serious global supply crunch for the years 2012 – 2020. Add the “rare earth elements bubble” to your list of other bubbles to watch out for in the years ahead.

Some of the 17 rare earth elements
Dysprosium – Makes electric motor magnets 90% lighter

Terbium – Makes electric lights 80% more efficient

Neodymium – Used in motor magnets

Lanthanum – Used for hydrogen storage

Praseodymium – Used in lasers and ceramic materials

Gadolinium – Used to manufacture computer memory

Erbium – Used in the manufacture of vanadium steel

Ytterbium – Used to make infrared lasers

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/028028_rare_earth_elements_mining.html#ixzz1UDHNBbkg

Exxon screws up Yellowstone river with pipeline leak

Ruptured Pipeline Spills Oil Into Yellowstone River: is this the height of stupidity or what? Run a pipeline under a crucial and protected river, especially when there is tectonic activity??

“An ExxonMobil pipeline running under the Yellowstone River in south central Montana ruptured late Friday, spilling crude oil into the river and forcing evacuations.
The pipeline burst about 10 miles west of Billings, coating parts of the Yellowstone River that run past Laurel — a town of about 6,500 people downstream from the rupture — with shiny patches of oil. Precisely how much oil leaked into the river was still unclear. But throughout the day Saturday, cleanup crews in Laurel worked to lessen the impact of the spill, laying down absorbent sheets along the banks of the river to mop up some of the escaped oil, and measuring fumes to determine the health threat.

Fearing a possible explosion, officials in Laurel evacuated about 140 people on Saturday just after midnight, then allowed them to return at 4 a.m. after tests showed fumes from the leaked oil had dissipated, The Associated Press reported. While the cause of the rupture was not immediately known, Brent Peters, the fire chief for Laurel, told The A.P. that it may have been caused by high waters eroding parts of the river bed and exposing the pipeline to debris.

The pipeline is 12 inches wide and runs from Silver Tip, Mont., to Billings, an area with three refineries, ExxonMobil said. All three were shut down after the spill. ExxonMobil said it had summoned its North American Regional Response Team to help clean up the spill, and a fire spokesman in Laurel said more than 100 people, including officials with the Environmental Protection Agency, were expected to arrive at the scene by Sunday morning.

In a statement, the company said it “deeply regrets this release and is working hard with local emergency authorities to mitigate the impacts of this release on the surrounding communities and to the environment.”

“The pipeline has been shut down and the segment where the release occurred has been isolated,” the statement added. “All appropriate state and federal authorities have been alerted.”

The rupture occurred sometime around 11:30 p.m. Friday. Duane Winslow, a disaster and emergency services coordinator for Yellowstone County, told a local television station, KTVQ, that all oil companies with pipelines near the river were told to immediately shut them down, and that the damaged pipe was off within half an hour. He said drinking water in the surrounding area was being monitored and so far was determined safe. Officials in Billings initially shut down water intake but later reopened it, KTVQ reported.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: July 2, 2011

An earlier version of this article said that the pipeline burst 10 miles east, rather than west, of Billings, Mont.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/us/03oilspill.html

Sun storm to hit with 'force of 100m bombs'

http://www.news.com.au/technology/sun-storm-to-hit-with-force-of-100-bombs/story-e6frfro0-1225909999465

AFTER 10 years of comparative slumber, the sun is waking up – and it’s got astronomers on full alert.

This week several US media outlets reported that NASA was warning the massive flare that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month was just a precursor to a massive solar storm building that had the potential to wipe out the entire planet’s power grid.

NASA has since rebutted those reports, saying it could come “100 years away or just 100 days”, but an Australian astronomer says the space community is betting on the sooner scenario rather than the latter.

Despite its rebuttal, NASA’s been watching out for this storm since 2006 and reports from the US this week claim the storms could hit on that most Hollywood of disaster dates – 2012.

Related Coverage

Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale.

The 2012 storm has the potential to be even more disruptive.

“The general consensus among general astronomers (and certainly solar astronomers) is that this coming Solar maximum (2012 but possibly later into 2013) will be the most violent in 100 years,” astronomy lecturer and columnist Dave Reneke said.

“A bold statement and one taken seriously by those it will affect most, namely airline companies, communications companies and anyone working with modern GPS systems.

“They can even trip circuit breakers and knock out orbiting satellites, as has already been done this year.”

Regardless, the point astronomers are making is it doesn’t matter if the next Solar Max isn’t the worst in history, or even as bad as the 1859 storms.

It’s the fact that there hasn’t been one since the mid-80s. Commodore had just launched the Amiga and the only digital storm making the news was Tetris.

No one really knows what effect the 2012-2013 Solar Max will have on today’s digital-reliant society.

Dr Richard Fisher, director of NASA’s Heliophysics division, told Mr Reneke the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning”, causing catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.

US government officials earlier this year took part in a “tabletop exercise” in Boulder, Colorado, to map out what might happen if the Earth was hit with a storm as intense as the 1859 and 1921 storms.

The 1859 storm was of a similar size to that predicted by NASA to hit within the next three years – one of decreased activity, but more powerful eruptions.

NASA said that a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause “$1 to 2 trillion in damages to society’s high-tech infrastructure and require four to 10 years for complete recovery”.

Staff at the Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado, which hosted the exercise, said with our reliance on satellite technology, such an event could hit the Earth with the magnitude of a global hurricane or earthquake.

The reason for the concern comes as the sun enters a phase known as Solar Cycle 24.

All the alarming news building around the event is being fuelled by two things.

The first is a book by disaster expert Lawrence E. Joseph, Guilty of Apocalypse: The Case Against 2012, in which he claims the “Hurricane Katrina for the Earth” may cause unprecedented planetwide upheaval.

The second is a theory that claims sunspots travel through the sun on a “conveyor belt” similar to the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt which controls weather on Earth.

The belt carries magnetic fields through the sun. When they hit the surface, they explode as sunspots.

Weakened, they then travel back through the sun’s core to recharge.

It all happens on a rough 40-50-year cycle, according to solar physicist David Hathaway of the National Space Science and Technology Center in the US.

He says when the belt speeds up, lots of magnetic fields are collected, which points to more intense future activity.

“The belt was turning fast in 1986-1996,” Prof Hathaway said.

“Old magnetic fields swept up then should reappear as big sunspots in 2010-2011.”

Most experts agree, although those who put the date of Solar Max in 2012 are getting the most press.

They claim satellites will be aged by 50 years, rendering GPS even more useless than ever, and the blast will have the equivalent energy of 100 million hydrogen bombs.

“We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Dr Fisher told Mr Reneke in the most recent issue of Australasian Science.

“Systems will just not work. The flares change the magnetic field on the Earth and it’s rapid, just like a lightning bolt.

“That’s the solar effect.”

Yes, They made money off the Gulf Spill…

http://preventdisease.com/news/10/070810_gulf_crisis_planned.shtml

30 Facts Evidencing that The Gulf Oil Crisis Was Planned

The following are 30 facts explaining what is really happening in the Gulf of Mexico, who is really responsible for the explosion, and how the devastation serves investment bankers. These globalists sway stocks, create markets, and planned this crisis, among a series of catastrophes, to advance geopolitical and financial agendas.

1) The media is grossly censoring the extent of the devastation in the Gulf. The poisons–oil and chemical dispersant (Corexit)–are destined to spread globally, but honest reporting is restricted, and independent investigators are being arrested. This censorship is a sure sign of fascism–not freedom or democracy. In this way, the media, financially directed by leading investment bankers (cited below), accomplices this global poisoning, or omnicide. (Click here for an example of more accurate reporting from the Gulf by an independent news source.)

2) The news and network “programming” is mind-controlling propaganda issued by the “partners” in the Rothschild League of Banks including Goldman-Sachs, JPMorgan-Chase and UBS that direct BP, Transocean, Halliburton, the clean-up capitalists, Corexit suppliers, even the trailers used by clean-up crews, through co-investors heavily represented in the Partnership for New York City (PFNYC), founded by David Rockefeller and chartered by the Royal Family of England. All together, these partners wield the most formidable economic power in world history. Continue reading Yes, They made money off the Gulf Spill…

BASE OF OCEAN FOOD CHAIN DYING!!! (avail on g-news for only a few hours..)

Beneath The Waves, Ctd

The Atlantic (blog) – ?18 hours ago?
The scientists I spoke with cite four basic reasons the initial eco-fears seem overblown. First, the Deepwater Horizon oil, unlike the black glop from the

‘Marine phytoplankton steadily declining over 20th century’

Oneindia – ?Jul 29, 2010?
London, July 29 (ANI): Scientists have, for the first time, found evidence that microscopic marine algae known as “phytoplankton” have been declining

Plankton declining across oceans

BBC News – ?Jul 29, 2010?
The amount of phytoplankton – tiny marine plants – in the top layers of the oceans has declined markedly over the last century, research suggests.

Vital Marine Plants in Steep Decline

Wall Street Journal – Gautam Naik – ?Jul 28, 2010?
Rising sea temperatures can harm the tiny plant life that forms the base of the oceans’ food chain as well as affect the diversity of marine

Plants at base of ocean food chain in decline, study finds

Globe and Mail – ?Jul 28, 2010?
Phytoplankton in the Baltic Sea. Phytoplankton are the foundation of the ocean food web, make half the world’s oxygen and suck up harmful carbon dioxide.

Warmer seas put marine food chain at risk

ABC Online – Alison Caldwell – ?Jul 28, 2010?
Phytoplankton are important because they generate roughly half of all organic matter on the planet and produce half the world’s oxygen.

Scientists Report Steep Decline in Algae Critical to Marine Food Chain

Voice of America – Jessica Berman – ?Jul 28, 2010?
The global population of a marine algae called phytoplankton has declined by 50 percent since the middle of the last century, threatening marine creatures

Blogs

Bad news for the food chain: Phytoplankton declining by 1% per year

Greenfudge.org (blog) – Daniel Boyce – ?3 hours ago?
Phytoplankton – the microscopic algae that form the basis for marine food chains – have declined by 40% since 1950, at a rate of 1% per year.

Phytoplankton in decline: bye bye food chain?

New Scientist (blog) – Michael Marshall – ?Jul 29, 2010?
Ocean life is being wiped out from the bottom up. The global population of microscopic plants that float in ocean water and support most marine life has

A warmer ocean is a less green one

Discover Magazine (blog) – ?Jul 28, 2010?
The Earth’s oceans are mysterious and largely unexplored. Many of their inhabitants are familiar to us but their whereabouts and numbers are far less clear.
Timeline of articles

Number of sources covering this story
Plankton declining across oceans

?Jul 29, 2010? – BBC News

Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/a-hidden-world-growing-beyond-control/

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation’s other findings include:

* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings – about 17 million square feet of space. Continue reading Top Secret America: A hidden world, growing beyond control

Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon profits almost double

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10799128

Second-quarter profits at oil giant Royal Dutch Shell have almost doubled after the firm completed a year-long corporate restructuring programme. The firm reported profits of $4.5bn (£2.9bn) on a current cost of supplies basis, up from $2.3bn a year ago.

Chief executive Peter Voser also defended deep sea oil drilling in the wake of rival BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, US oil giant Exxon Mobil reported quarterly profits of $7.6bn. Continue reading Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon profits almost double

Putin takes control of wildfire crisis 2010

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20100730/160015043.html

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered a total of 5 billion rubles ($165 million) to be disbursed from the federal budget to the central Russian areas worst affected by wildfires, his spokesman said on Friday. Continue reading Putin takes control of wildfire crisis 2010

Scientists Find Evidence That Oil And Dispersant Mix Is Making Its Way Into The Foodchain

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/29/scientists-find-evidence_n_664298.html

Scientists have found signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae in the Gulf of Mexico, the first clear indication that the unprecedented use of dispersants in the BP oil spill has broken up the oil into toxic droplets so tiny that they can easily enter the foodchain. Continue reading Scientists Find Evidence That Oil And Dispersant Mix Is Making Its Way Into The Foodchain