Two new dams near the Grand Canyon? Conservation groups call the plan ‘unconscionable’

Two new dams near the Grand Canyon? Conservation groups call the plan ‘unconscionable’

SOURCE: AZCentral DATE: September 27, 2019 SNIP: A Phoenix company wants to build two hydroelectric dams less than five miles from the eastern border of Grand Canyon National Park, submerging several miles of the Little Colorado River and the endangered fish habitat it protects. If they’re built, the dams could produce more than just electricity. Environmentalists say the project could further imperil the fish, the native humpback chub, interfere with the Canyon’s already-degraded hydrology and irreparably damage sites held sacred by at least one Arizona tribe. Pumped Hydro Storage LLC recently applied for a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin the process of developing a hydroelectric dam project on the Little Colorado River. The dams would rise on Navajo Nation land, close to the eastern border of the Grand Canyon. A 240-feet-tall upper dam would be sited about 3,000 feet higher in elevation than the 140-feet-tall lower dam. Both dams would enclose reservoirs, one of which would stretch 2 miles up the Little Colorado River Gorge. Turbines would pump water through underground tunnels between the two bodies of water. A paved road would be constructed between State Route 89A and the Salt Trail Canyon where it emerges into the Little Colorado, and a new 20-mile-long transmission line would be built to the existing Moenkopi substation. “(The dam) will industrialize what is now a very remote area,” said Taylor McKinnon, senior public lands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity. The project would further impede the recovery of the endangered humpback chub, the last remaining chub species within the Grand Canyon, he said. “It would flood...
Doubled raw materials use is climate risk

Doubled raw materials use is climate risk

SOURCE: Physics World DATE: October 26, 2018 SNIP: Just when you might think the world has heard an unmistakable warning of the need to curb climate change drastically and fast, along comes another warning, about humans’ voracious appetite for the raw materials we use so profligately. Its message is simple: one of the main causes of the Earth’s growing warmth is likely to be twice as severe 40 years from now as it is today. This latest warning, from the club of the world’s richest countries, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), says consumption of raw materials is on course to nearly double by 2060 as the global economy expands and living standards rise. And that will mean a steep increase in emissions of the greenhouse gases which drive global warming. Total emissions are projected to reach 75 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq.) by 2060, of which materials management would constitute about 50 Gt CO2-eq. The main sort of “stuff” it’s talking about includes the building blocks of the modern world: sand, gravel and crushed rock. Metals are next, and third is coal. The full OECD report, the Global Material Resources Outlook to 2060 (preview) expects global materials use to rise from 90 gigatonnes (GT) today to 167 GT in 2060, because of the increase in world population to 10 billion people expected by then, and the rise in average global income per capita to converge with the current OECD level of US$40,000 (€34,900). The projected figures are immense. But so are those that quantify today’s hunger for materials. Scientists calculate, for instance, that the...