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Showing posts from March 12, 2015

Mass Deaths in Americas Start New CO2 Epoch

A new proposal pegs the start of the Anthropocene to the little ice age and the Columbian Exchange

March 11, 2015 |By David Biello

The atmosphere recorded the mass death, slavery and war that followed 1492. 

The death by smallpox and warfare of an estimated 50 million native Americans—as well as the enslavement of Africans to work in the newly depopulated Americas—allowed forests to grow in former farmlands. 

By 1610, the growth of all those trees had sucked enough carbon dioxide out of the sky to cause a drop of at least seven parts per million in atmospheric concentrations of the most prominent greenhouse gas and start a little ice age. 

Based on that dramatic shift, 1610 should be considered the start date of a new, proposed geologic epoch—the Anthropocene, or recent age of humanity—according to the authors of a new study.

"Placing the Anthropocene at this time highlights the idea that colonialism, global trade and the desire for wealth and profits began driving Earth towards a new …

Zepol’s data shows severe impact on US trade from West-Coast port issues

By: AJOT | Mar 11 2015 at 05:29 PM | Ports & Terminals

Zepol reports that total U.S. container imports are down over 5 percent this year, compared to January and February of 2014. Nearly the entire decline in imports was attributed to West Coast ports. 

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which make up a combined 40 percent of U.S. container imports, declined by 19 and 20 percent so far in 2015.

 East Coast ports have reaped the benefit, especially the port of New York/Newark, which increased container imports by 8 percent this year.

“The decline along the West Coast has lead to diverted shipments and a surplus in volume across the Atlantic and Gulf Coast,” confirms Zepol’s CEO and trade data expert Paul Rasmussen. 

“Due to these events, it’s the first time in over 11 years the port of New York/Newark has passed Long Beach as the second-largest port in the United States.”

Total U.S. imports by TEUs (twenty-foot containers) dropped from 2.93 million in January through February of 20…

Waking up from the West Coast port nightmare: Where do we go from here?

March 9, 2015 – Assuming that the rank and file of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) ratifies the new five-year contract negotiated with terminal operators, West Coast ports can finally focus on getting container-handling operations back to normal. So is everyone happy?

Far from it. 

There’s a tremendous amount of residual anger on the part of shippers, stemming from months of disruption and delay caused by the union’s deliberate work slowdown – a tactic that seemed aimed at triggering an employer lockout. (At which point, of course, the union could blame management for the shutdown.)

The ILWU was attempting to force management to concede on a number of controversial points, most notably a demand that the union be permitted unilaterally to dismiss any arbitrator with whom it was displeased. The previous contract required assent from both sides for an arbitrator’s removal.

Negotiations to replace the contract that expired last July dragged on for more than seven months…