21 Feb 2016

(1a) EPA's Clean Power Plan after Scalia's Death
DC Circuit Court will now rule on EPA's Clean Power Plan and will likely uphold the plan.
(1b) EPA's Clean Power Plan after Scalia's Death
Now more likely EPA's Clean Power Plan will be upheld.
(1c) EPA's Clean Power Plan after Scalia's Death
"...many justices [of the Supreme Court] do not view environmental law as a distinct area of law ... [Until] the Court's membership includes a coalition of justices who perceive environmental protection as a discrete and important value worthy of special protection under the Constitution and laws of the United States, all indications are that this judicial reluctance will continue."
(2a) Keep 80% of Fossil Fuels Unburned, Bill McKibben
Climate Change is People vs. Physics; compromise and lobbying won't resolve this. Coal, oil & gas reserves are worth ~$20 trillion but 80% must not be burned. We must block both supply & demand. Divestment. We can, we must and we will keep coal, oil & gas underground.
(2b ) Activists Disrupt Public Land's Auction for Gas & Oil Leases in Utah
Will protest until federal government stops selling off public lands for oil & gas leases. 'Keep It in the Ground' movement "... we must stop the burning of fossil fuels if we hope to stave off the worst impacts of climate change. ... We have to do this."
(2c) Exxon Must Strand Its Oil Reserves, Bill McKibben
"... had Exxon told the truth ... back in 1990, we might not have wasted a quarter of a century in a phony debate about the science of climate change ... we’re no longer talking about outright denial, just a denial that much really needs to be done ... Exxon’s PR team ... supporting a price on carbon ... the minimal price they recommend -- somewhere in the range of $40 to $60 a ton -- wouldn’t do much to slow down their business. ... Exxon’s done its best to make sure that what they pretend to support in theory will never happen in practice. ... Exxon’s political contributions from 1999 to the present, a huge majority of their political harem of politicians have signed the famous Taxpayer Protection Pledge from Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform that binds them to vote against any new taxes. ... The company spends huge amounts of money searching for new hydrocarbons. ... despite the current bargain basement price of oil, it still boasts of expansion plans in the Gulf of Mexico, eastern Canada, Indonesia, Australia, the Russian far east, Angola, and Nigeria. ... There are potentially many thousands of gigatons of carbon that could be extracted from the planet if we keep exploring. The fossil fuel industry has already identified at least 5,000 gigatons of carbon that it has told regulators, shareholders, and banks it plans to extract. However, we can only burn about another 900 gigatons of carbon before we disastrously overheat the planet. ... it’s wildly irresponsible for a company to be leading the world in oil exploration when, as scientists have carefully explained, we already have access to four or five times as much carbon in the Earth as we can safely burn. ... [Exxon's] betting that the price of oil will rise in the reasonably near future, that alternative energy won’t develop fast enough, and that the world won’t aggressively tackle climate change. And the company will keep trying to cover those bets by aggressively backing politicians capable of ensuring that nothing happens. ... "
(3a) Brief Window to Mitigate Climate Change, David Roberts
".... the next few decades offer a brief window of opportunity to minimize large-scale and potentially catastrophic climate change ..." The 2016 presidential election has climate implications that will reverberate for thousands of years. If the foundation of Obama's domestic climate plans [EPA's Clean Power Plan] is yanked away, it could strengthen the hand of skeptics and nationalists in China, India, and elsewhere, leading the whole superstructure to crumble [Paris Climate Treaty]."
(3b) Brief Window to Mitigate Climate Change, Andy Revkin
we must "... decide to make the transition to a carbon-free economy before we’re forced into it by the depletion of fossil fuels. We’re going to run out anyway, and will need to learn to do without fossil fuels, so why not get weaned early, before we’ve trashed the climate?"
(4) Climate Justice 2016
Scientists and policy wonks ... are frequently far from the realities of the communities being ravaged by extreme climate impacts ... The climate justice movement has made itself into a space for communities around the world who have been systematically silenced and oppressed and are thus more vulnerable to climate change. ... Their power lies in their numbers, their solutions are rooted in science (not in corporate coercion), ... It is only with hope that we are moved to act, and 2016 must be a year in which we act with unprecedented force, resilience, and unity. ...
(5) Fracking Propaganda
Facing ballot initiatives in Colorado to restrict fracking, Fracking Companies deploy propagandists in an 'educational outreach.'
(6) Governors of 17 US States Support Clean Energy
Governors from 4 Republican & 13 Democratic states signed an accord to promote solar, wind, hydroelectric & geothermal power. "Extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, wildfires and sea level rise can negatively impact electric reliability and the economy ..."
(7a) US Senators Tour AK Clean Energy
Republican & Democratic senators visit Bethel AK to see how wind & solar power can replace diesel for indigenous communities.
(7b) Alaska's Rural Energy Microgrids
If you can make rural clean power work in AK, you can make it work anywhere. DOE is spending $220 million in grid modernization, with a focus on remote energy systems in AK. AK legislature goal is 50% clean energy for the state by 2025 & 15% improved energy efficiency. Now remote power systems rely mostly on diesel but cost is high at $1 per kilowatt-hour ... many native Alaskans spend 50% of their earnings on their power bill.
(8) U.S. Tied to Spike in Global Methane Emissions
The U.S. contributed 30% to 60% of this spike in methane emissions over the past decade ... likely due to increased fracking & natural gas use. The government's tally of methane emissions underestimates what is calculated from satellite measurements. The U.S. must do more to cut its methane emissions.
(9) Neurotoxins from Algal Overgrowth Likely Killing Birds & Mammals in Alaskan Waters
Warmer Alaskan waters are leading to algal overgrowth ... algal neurotoxins are a risk for marine mammal health and for seafood security, particularly in Native communities.
(10) CA Drought Killing Its Trees
20% of California's trees are considered vulnerable to drought. Removal of dead trees is needed to reduce wildfire risk.
(11) Utilities Investing in More Energy Storage & Distributed Generation
Utility-scale renewables, distributed generation & natural gas are expected to increase in power generation. Coal & oil will likely decrease. Nuclear will remain stagnant.
(12) State-By-State Temperature Increases
See the U.S. regional & seasonal differences in warming.
(13) Why I'm Not a Climate Defeatist
Inherent in all political activism ... no guarantee that we will make any difference ... on the climate crisis, I remain radically hopeful ... Be strategic ... Activism biodiversity ... Do not despair ... Don't mourn, organize ...
(14a) Kochs Waging War on Electric Vehicles
Kochs are spending $10 million per year promoting petroleum-base fuels and opposing government subsidies of electric vehicles. Fossil fuels are subsidized ~$5 trillion per year.
(14b) Tesla Video
"Electric power can drive the world’s machinery without the need of coal, oil or gas ... " Nikola Tesla