12 Jun 2016

(1) Peak Fossil Fuels is Near
Call it peak fossil fuels, a turnabout that's happening not because we're running out of coal and gas, but because we're finding cheaper alternatives. Demand is peaking ahead of schedule because electric cars and affordable battery storage for renewable power are arriving faster than expected.
(2a) Coal Companies Funded Climate Change Denial
Coal beneficiaries include: The Center for Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming, American Legislative Exchange Council, Richard Lindzen, Willie Soon, State Policy Network, Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, George C. Marshall Institute, Institute for Energy Research, Roy Spencer, Donor's Trust, Energy and Environment Legal Institute.
(2b) Conservative Funders of Climate Change Denial
Peabody Coal & Koch Industries are funding climate change denial journalism.
(3) The Art of Changing the Climate Debate
“Science has discovered, to its despair, that new accretions of information may have no impact and that laying out a set of rational choices may not lead to action. Indeed, scientific understandings of the physical world may be of limited use for understanding the complexity and volatility of human values and motivations. ... The human sciences –the mixed bag of academic disciplines in the humanities – are ... a fertile and largely untapped resource of insight into human motivation, creativity and agency.”
(4a) Going Veggie Would Cut Global Food Emissions by Two Thirds
To seriously fight climate change, more plant-based diets will be needed. Our analysis shows if the world went vegetarian that cut in food-related emissions would rise to 63%. And if everyone turned vegan? A huge 70%.
(4b) Going Vegetarian Cuts Your Carbon Footprint
Vegetarians have roughly half the food-related carbon footprint of meat eaters. Vegans are lower still. But even if you don't want to give up steak entirely, just cutting back on meat can shrink the footprint of your diet by one-third
(4c) Eating Less Meat to Combat Climate Change
... to cut your food carbon: reduce meat, switch type of meat and, and cut waste ...
(5) Waiting for Big Oil to clean up its act
"The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.” says ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Lord Nicholas Stern says “it is becoming increasingly risky for companies to pin all business strategies on the assumption that extensive decarbonisation will not happen” and that “business models reliant on the assumption that governments were not serious in Paris are looking increasingly vulnerable”. “What BP says very loudly, very clearly, is that we need governments to lead on this. We need them to set the right incentives and we need a meaningful carbon price,” Mr Dale says. “If we do not put a price on carbon, you can forget about it,” Mr Van Beurden, Shell CEO, adds. Yet coal, oil & gas companies pay for climate change denial and massively fund climate change denying politicians.
(6a) Green Climate Fund Partner Banks Condemned For Fossil Fuel Funding
Two of the UN’s flagship green fund’s leading partners have been branded as major funders of oil, gas and coal projects in a study by four green groups. “None of these banks can claim to support the Paris Agreement, to be aligned with a 2C scenario or to be fighting climate change – as we too often read in their sustainability reports – if they continue to finance these destructive sectors.”
(6b) World's Banks Driving Climate Chaos with Hundreds of Billions in Extreme Energy Financing
... the world's biggest banks are dangerously advancing the climate crisis by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the world's most polluting fossil fuel industries, according to a new report ... the last three years, Citigroup, topping the list with $24.06 billion of coal power plant funding, and Bank of America "are the Western world’s coal banks." At the same time, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, and Bank of America—with a respective $37.7 billion, $26.49 billion and $24.85 billion in high-risk financing—"are the bankers of extreme oil and gas."
(7) Wall Street Journal's Climate Science Denial
Editors at Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) are about as anti-science they come ... “the Journal was less likely than the other newspapers to discuss the threats or impacts of climate change and more likely to frame climate action as ineffective or even harmful.”
(8) The Future of Agriculture
Computerized drip irrigation, precision farming, Agri-drones, driverless tractors, genetically-engineered C4 rice ....
(9) Who is Hurt Most by Food Price Rises
Benin, Mozambique and Nepal are among countries most exposed to climate change, water scarcity and food price volatility.
(10) Protect the Global Commons or Special Interests
We have a stark choice before us concerning the future of the planet and its peoples. On one side there are civil society, innovators in low-carbon technologies and socially responsible investors. These are working for a transformation of our economies which will protect our life-sustaining ecosystems. On the other side is sheer inertia, our collective addiction to fossil fuels and industries which are fixated on continuing as usual, regardless of the long-term costs to people and the environment. They have used their wealth to gain political influence and fund climate skepticism and denialism.
(11) What Would a Global Warming 1.5C Be Like?
"Two degrees ... contains significant risks for societies everywhere; 1.5 looks much more scientifically justifiable." “danger, risk, and harm would be utterly unacceptable in a 2°C warmer world, largely for ‘them’—the mollusks, and coral reefs, and the poor and marginalized populations, not only in poor countries—even if this danger has not quite hit home yet for ‘us’.”
(12) TPP is a Threat to Democracy
" ... TPP's "Investor State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) provisions, which allow corporations to sue governments in closed, secret proceedings to repeal environmental, labor and safety regulations that undermine their expected profits.
(13) Our Renewable Energy Future
... getting to an optimal all-renewable energy future will require hard work, investment, adaptation, and innovation on a nearly unprecedented scale. We will be changing more than our energy sources; we’ll be transforming both the ways we use energy and the amounts we use. Our ultimate success will depend on our ability to dramatically reduce energy demand in industrialized nations, shorten supply chains, electrify as much usage as possible, and adapt to economic stasis at a lower overall level of energy and materials throughput. Absent widespread informed popular support, the political roadblocks to such a project will be overwhelming.
(14) Green Climate Fund: 8 Questions
The UN Green Climate Fund has $10.3 billion so far and is funding an initial set of 8 projects worth $168 million. "There will be some teething problems as we try and work out what the level of risk appetite is for the GCF ..." A critical problem is lack of capacity in developing countries to submit attractive proposals ... "In five year's time if you are judging success, it would be the GCF having built national capabilities, with national organizations having ownership of strongly embedded national plans that are able to access funds directly"
(15) Switch to Ecological Farming
Rather than the giant feedlots used to rear animals or the uniform crop monocultures ... the solution is to diversify agriculture and re-orient it around ecological practices ... these agro-ecological systems keep carbon in the ground, support biodiversity, rebuild soil fertility and sustain yields over time, providing a basis for secure farm livelihoods"
(16) A New Lay Catholic Movement
As we mark the 1st anniversary of "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment and human ecology, we wonder if -- and hope that -- we are seeing the emergence of a lay-led, community-based, action-oriented movement for the environment.