25 June 2017

(1) Daring to Dream in the Age of Trump
Adapted from Naomi Klein, No Is Not Enough ... free college tuition, double the minimum wage, 100 percent renewable energy as quickly as technology allows, demilitarize the police, prisons are no place for young people, refugees are welcome here, war makes us all less safe. ... a very good start would be accepting the premise that widening economic inequality and climate disaster are inseparable from systems that have always ranked human life based on race and gender, while the capacity to pit populations against each other based on skin color, religious faith, and sexuality has been the single most potent tool for protecting and sustaining this lethal order.
(2) Southern Co. Suspends Kemper "Clean Coal" Project, Warns Investors It May Recognize Losses up to $3.4 Billion
In a major blow to proponents of “clean coal” technology, Southern Co., parent company of Mississippi Power, announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today that it's throwing in the towel on efforts to generate electricity from coal and will instead use only natural gas at its flagship Kemper County, Mississippi power plant.
(3) Southwest's Deadly Heat Wave Previews Life in a Warming World
With moderate greenhouse gas emissions, along the lines of the Paris climate agreement, the average summer high temperature for the U.S. is expected to rise from a historical average of 74 degrees in the 1986-2005 to an average of 81 by 2100. With high emissions, the lab says we would see an average of 91 degrees in the U.S. Similar scenarios play out across the globe.
(4) Coal: New Film Shows How Bad It Is For Your Health
"historically people have benefited economically from the coal industry, but not just without enormous cost. Coal has polluted the air, the drinking water, the land and communities, which has affected millions of people. Also, coal mining companies have demonstrated a deep disrespect for the workers. The scientific evidence is clear about the terrible health effects on coal workers, but the coal industry has offered no counter."
(5) Exxon’s support for a carbon tax is the first step in big oil’s long, negotiated surrender
The company knows perfectly well it is in no near-term danger of being taxed. It will likely continue to support know-nothing Republicans and lobby against real-world climate policies. But putting its name on a carbon tax proposal — one explicitly tied to the 2D target — can also be seen as big oil’s opening bid in what promises to be a long and contentious negotiation over the terms of surrender. There is still plenty of resistance to come from oil and gas, plenty of political and legal battles, but momentum in policy and technology have brought the end of oil, or at least the end of big oil, into view.
(6) Coal Is a Dinosaur and so is the growth economy
That has implications for robust economic growth (it’s essentially over), and hence for war and peace, inequality, political stability, and further population expansion. Dealing with the end of energy growth, and therefore economic growth, is the biggest political and social challenge of our time—though it’s unlikely to be recognized as such. (Our biggest ecological challenges consist of climate change, species extinctions, and ocean acidification.) The impacts of the end of growth will likely be masked by financial crashes and socio-political stresses that will rivet everyone’s attention while a quiet trend churns away in the background, undoing all our assumptions and expectations about the world we humans have constructed over the past couple of centuries.