7 Aug 2016

(1) Urgency for Negative Emissions
“Instead of a big effort to promote biofuels, that should be completely abandoned from a scientific point of view and we need to be making a full-court press to protect and preserve and expand forests, wetlands, natural grasslands and natural ecosystems that are carbon sinks,”
(2) Clean Energy, Not Fracking
"Rather than betting on shale gas [fracking] ... [we] should do the only thing that makes sense – economically, environmentally and socially: invest in the shared wealth that can be generated by renewable energy and energy efficiency. ... invest in the future."
(3) Corporate March to Clean Energy, Utilities Not Required
A curious thing happened while U.S. utilities were focusing on cheap fracked gas, expensive nuclear power ... Some of the nation's largest corporations decided not to wait for utilities and took their interest in renewable energy into their own hands. They bought their own clean power. And they bought it directly from the companies that produced it. No utility middleman needed.
(4) Do Oil Companies Really Need $4 Billion Per Year of Taxpayers’ Money? - The New York Times
"... [fossil fuel] subsidies could be eliminated without causing much pain. And if the United States cuts its supports, it will have better standing to demand the same from the many countries that provide big consumer subsidies encouraging the consumption of fossil fuels."
(5) Trees Are Stressed From Drought
"As Washington’s climate changes, no one should be surprised to see effects on trees. On average, spring is earlier, fall is later and winter is getting squeezed on both ends, with a growing season about five days longer than it used to be ... It adds up to trees needing more water, more violent weather events that beat up trees already brittled by drought, and a bonanza of bugs that warmer winters don’t knock back."
(6) As Nuclear Power Plants Close, We Need More Energy Storage
California’s commitment to renewable energy sources has helped shift the state to using less fossil fuels and emitting less greenhouse gases. However, careful planning is needed to ensure that energy storage systems are installed to take over the baseline load duties currently held by natural gas and nuclear power, as renewables and energy efficiency may not be able to carry the burden.
(7) Local Government Solutions for Climate Migrants
.... [Climate migration] exceeds the capacities of these local governments to adequately address the challenges associated with rural-urban migration. Weak institutional, governance, and legal structures make it difficult for city officials to introduce reforms and laws to protect migrants’ rights, while ensuring that they have access to vital social services. Many cities in developing countries do not have the necessary infrastructure, i.e. buildings, transport networks, power supplies, water supplies, and sanitation, in place to deal with population growth. Cities are often too under-resourced, with limited funding, to adequately respond to the problems associated with migration. Lack of information and data on migration is limited in terms of availability and accuracy, therefore constraining the ability of municipal decision-makers to develop pro-migrant policies. Finally, the concerns of migrants are often not taken into consideration, nor integrated, into most city developm­­­ent plans and policies.
(8) Epic Middle East Heat Wave
On July 22, the mercury climbed to 129 degrees in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. ... It reached 129.2 in Mitribah, Kuwait. ... Iraq’s gross domestic product ... has probably contracted 10 to 20 percent during the summer heat. ... scores of farmers ... have been struggling with wilting crops, and general workforce productivity has decreased.
(9) Free Us From the ‘Dictatorship’ of the 0.01%
... chemical corporations (biotechnology and seed corporations) are trying to impose patents on all living organisms ... They are also trying to further destroy our local food systems and replace them with industrial junk food ... Finally, global corporations, and those who control them, are trying to define corporations as having personhood through investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) systems, which are secret tribunals where corporations and investors can sue governments for acting according to their constitutional obligations in the interest of their citizens. ... corporations are trying to replace our democracies with secret agreements and secret courts controlled by the 0.01 per cent super wealthy.
(10) US Must Stop Coal Leases on Federal Land to Meet Its Climate Goal, David Roberts, VOX
... taking the 2 degree target seriously — would likely entail an immediate halt to all federal fossil fuel leasing ...
(11) Washington County Shocks Big Oil With Ban on Fossil Fuel Exports
"The oil and gas industry have targeted Cherry Point ... as a sacrifice zone in their plans to export unrefined extreme oil, dirty coal and gas overseas," ... "We choose public safety, we choose a just and swift transition to clean energy. We also choose climate stability—coal and oil industry plans for Cherry Point would have caused twice the amount of carbon pollution that the entire state of Washington currently emits."
(12) China's Coal Peak Hailed as Turning Point
China is the world’s biggest polluter and more than tripled its coal burning from 2000 to 2013, emitting billions of tonnes of climate-warming carbon dioxide. But its coal consumption peaked in 2014, much earlier than expected, and then began falling. ... As coal declines, clean electricity in China is increasing rapidly with solar power up 28 percent in the first half of 2016, nuclear up 25 percent and wind and hydropower both up 13 percent. But challenges remain, including connecting new windfarms to the grid.
(13) American's Climate Change Views, Spring 2016
57% of Americans are worried about climate change. For 2016 Presidental race, climate change ranked 19th out of 23 problems. 75% of registered voters favor regulating CO2 as a pollutant; 68% favor a carbon tax, using the money to reduce other taxes.
(14) Train Coal Workers to Work in Solar?
... growth of solar-related employment could benefit coal workers, by easily absorbing the coal-industry layoffs over the next 15 years and offering full-time careers.
(15) Court Ruling Could Save the Planet
For climate change in particular, the court’s ruling ... upholds a foundation of countless regulations designed to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. ... In the U.S. and elsewhere, the social cost of carbon is likely to play a defining role in the coming years.