28 Feb 2016

(1) What Clean Energy Can We Achieve in 10 Years, Richard Heinberg
Easy - Replace Coal with Wind & Solar, Heat Pumps for Home Heating, Electric not Gas Stoves, Go Electric Cars, More Walking & Bicycling & Public Transit, More Energy Efficiency in Buildings, More Local & Organic Foods. Hard - Grid-Level Energy Storage, Fuel cells for Trucks, Replace Fossil-Fuel Based Manufacturing. Hardest - Redesign Cement-Making, Convert to All Organic Agriculture, Minimize Packaging & Transport in Food System, Convert to Hydrogen or Biofuels for Aviation, Redesign Road Paving.
(2) Climate Change Denial is Political
Political affiliation, worldview & values are best predictors of climate change beliefs. Belief in the trustworthiness of scientists is also a strong predictor. Belief in climate change does not necessarily predict acceptance of specific climate change actions. ... even environmentalists don't like taxes ... 'the world' should deal with it ... don't ask any personal sacrifice of me.
(3a) Sea Level Rising Fast
Sea level to rise 3.3 feet by 2100, or even more. Climate change is already causing many more coastal floods. 20 to 30 million Americans will be impacted.
‎(3b) Climate Migration Due to Coastal Flooding
20% of the world's population will need to migrate due to coastal flooding, even if we keep global warming to < 2 deg C. If we transition to clean energy soon, we limit sea level rise to 5 ft versus 28 ft, if we don't.
(4) Rain Gardens Reduce Storm Runoff Pollution
Salmon and other marine life are harmed by stormwater pollution. Rain gardens and other bioretention strategies can significantly reduce these pollutants.
(5) AGU Urged to Reject Exxon Sponsorship
Climate scientists asked the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to reject further funding from ExxonMobil. "By accepting sponsorship, the AGU gives up the ability to call out Exxon for their climate science disinformation activities."
(6) More Heartland Institute Deception
Their report attacks the expert consensus on human-caused global warming ... this is another fossil-fuel funded disinformation campaign.
(7) Al Gore Optimism About Climate Change
Nice Al Gore TED talk.
(8) A Carbon Tax Makes Sense
Whether Republican or Democratic, the next president should implement a carbon tax ... it could lower U.S. long-term debt & cut taxes on personal income & on corporate profits.
(9a) Massive Methane Leaks From Texas Fracking Sites
Texas methane emissions from thousands of fracking sites far exceed the methane emissions from the California Aliso Canyon leak. The fracking industry does not seem to be able to police itself. Texas lawmakers often have financial interest in the fracking industry.
(9b) Fracking's Human Costs
Fracking has contaminated well water. Eminent domain used to cut down a family's maple orchard for contruction of a natural gas pipeline.
(9c) Fracking's Methane Emissions Are High
EPA says that methane emissions from oil & gas industries are substantially higher than previously understood. EPA wants to cut methane emissions by 40% or more by 2025.
(10a) We Need Energy Miracles, Bill Gates
Solar & wind power are intermittent and current energy storage options are expensive ... we need a massive R&D effort to develop clean, affordable energy ... "I recently helped launch an effort by more than two dozen citizens that will complement government research ... aimed at delivering enegy miracles ..."
(10b) Bill Gates Wrong on Need for Energy Miracle, Joe Romm
What is most needed now is accelerated deployment of technologies that are now market ready ... we need 100 times more money invested for deployment than for R&D right now ... we must vastly expand deployment now ... R&D won't provide energy miracles in time to avoid catastrophic global warming ... we don't have time to wait fo energy miracles ... the time to deploy is now ...
(11) Consumerism has a Big Carbon Footprint
Up to 60% of our carbon footprint comes from our household consumption ... annual per capita emissions ( tons CO2e): 18.6 US, 17.7 Australia, 3.4 World Average, 1.8 China
(12a) WTO Blocks Solar in India
India hopes to install 100 gigawatts of solar by 2022 ... it requires a certain percentage of panels to be manufactured locally ... WTO prohibits domestic content requirements ... 300 million Indians do not have electricity ... India's solar program aims to extend electricity and to fight poverty with job creation ... US filed the WTO complaint because of solar panel export losses ... the US solar industry praised the decision ... trade trumps climate action ... "Trade policies are preventing a sustainable future."
(12b) WTO Blocks Solar in India
India's goal is 100 gigawatts of solar by 2022 ... establish a leadership role in low-cost solar manufacturing ... The US brought a WTO case against India because 'Buy Local' provisions in India's solar plan ... Every country should have the right to set its own clean energy future. “Buy local” rules -- a standard policy tool to foster, nurture, and grow new industries -- can help push us toward the goal of 100 percent clean energy that our planet needs by cultivating domestic renewable energy firms that promote strong climate policies. The TPP further promotes this outdated model of trade that hinders global climate action.
(13a) Skagit River Salmon Undersized & Record Low in Numbers Due to Climate Change
A record low number of coho salmon returned to the Skagit River in 2015 (<6,000 vs 50,000 typical). Fish were half their normal weight (3.5lbs vs 7). Abnormally warm coastal waters ("the blob") was the likely cause ... normally, cold-water upswelling brings nutrients to the surface ...
(13b) US Seafood Vulnerable to Climate Change
Half the species in the NW Atlantic are highly vulnerable due to ocean warming & acidity from climate change. Seafloor species (scallops, lobster, clams) and fresh-salt water migrating species (salmon, sturgeon) are particularly vulnerable. Species that travel long distances and feed on a variety of prey (Atlantic herring, yellowtail flounder) are less vulnerable.
(14) Carbon Budget is Half What We Thought
To limit global warming to <2 deg C, from 2015 on, our global carbon budget is 1,240 billion tons = 1,240 gigatons (for a 66% probability to stay < 2 deg C).
(15) Oil Industry Must Oppose Keep It In the Ground
Speaking to oil executives in Texas, Saudi oil minister said "As an industry, we should be celebrating ... and better explaining the vital importance of these precious resources ... We should not be apologizing. And we must not ignore the misguided campaign to 'keep it in the ground' and hope it will go away. For too long, the oil industry has been portrayed as the Dark Side, but it is not. It is a force ... for good. ... We must continue to work together and we must stick together if we want to achieve our common goal of supplying energy for the betterment of the world and humankind."
(16) Electric Cars Will Cause Oil Glut
Tesla, Chevy & Nissan to sell long-range electric cars for ~$30k by 2020. Could displace 2 million barrels per day by 2023 to 2028. Battery costs must come down more.
(17) Carbon Capture is Expensive
Direct Air Capture of CO2 ... so far too expensive to scale up. BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture & Sequestration) - requires huge amounts of land to grow biomass. Plant Trees - requires huge amounts of land. Enhanced Weathering ... use crushed rock to capture CO2 but high costs to scale up.
(18) Colstrip Coal Power Plant
2 of 4 coal power plants may close due to Washington State legislation. Coal provides 85% of tax base for Colstrip MT. Burning coal emitted 16 million tons of CO2 in 2014 (11th in nation).
(19) Cut Meat & Dairy Intake to Meet EU Climate Goals
Eat less beef. Pork & poultry better for the climate.
(20) Kochs Attack Collectivism
Kochs oppose the collective ... worker's rights, public health care, regulatory action. Their alternative ... individual self-interest benefits the majority. "...galloping inequality in this country results from poor political choices .. it's not just about wealth, it's about power," per Marshall Ganz. "...The holdings of the rich are not legitimate if they are acquired through competition from which others are excluded, and made possible by laws that are shaped by the rich for the rich" per TM Scanlon
(21) Climate Scientist Cuts His Carbon Footprint
Author cuts his annual C02 emissions from 19 to 2 metric tons, partly by eliminating air travel, eating less meat and bicycling.
(9c) Maple Syrup Farmers Lose Eminent Domain Battle to Constitution Pipeline
Judge rules in favor of fracking pipeline and against maple syrup farmers.