Jeb’s family is in the oil business. Jeb’s brother fabricated a war over oil. Jeb’s dad started a war over oil. Does anyone connect the dots? [Via teabonics-fb]
Jeb’s family is in the oil business. Jeb’s brother fabricated a war over oil. Jeb’s dad started a war over oil. Does anyone connect the dots? [Via teabonics-fb]
WEDNESDAY, JUL 8, 2015
The oil industry has been spreading climate denial for years — and there’s proof it knew better
LINDSAY ABRAMSWhile evaluating the potential impact of developing a gas field it was interested in off Indonesia, ExxonMobil found one major reason for concern: the field in question was 70 percent carbon dioxide. If the field were developed, and that gas vented into the atmosphere, it could become the “largest point source of CO2 in the world,” accounting for a full one percent of climate change-causing emissions.According to Leonard S. Bernstein, a former chemical engineer at the company, Exxon recognized the potential for global warming concerns to lead to regulations that would impact the project and others like it.
The year was 1981.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has brought to light Bernstein’s claims, which he first made in an email posted online last October, as part of a new report. Called the Climate Deception Dossiers, it uses internal memos to trace the denial and deception practiced by Big Oil over the nearly three decades since 1988, when NASA scientist James Hansen testified before Congress that man-made global warming had begun. And if Bernstein is to believed, then Exxon, at least, knew about it years earlier.
“Whatever their public stance, internally they make very careful assessments of the potential for regulation, including the scientific basis for those regulations,” Bernstein wrote in the email. And while it did question some of the science being floated at the time, he added, “Exxon NEVER denied the potential for humans to impact the climate system.”
We can consider that the start of a long-standing pattern. While none of the documents released by UCS are new, taken together they show that the world’s oil giants — ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Peabody Energy and Royal Dutch Shell – have been fully aware of their contributions to climate change and the danger that can result, and has at the same time been spending tens of millions to convince the public that that’s not at all the case.
In one more well-known example, experts wrote an internal report for an industry coalition acknowledging that the science of man-made climate change “is well established and cannot be denied.” Yet just three years later, the American Petroleum Institute drafted a strategy to sow misinformation: “Victory will be achieved,” a memo read, when “[a]verage citizens ’understand’ (recognize) uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the ‘conventional wisdom.’”
The end result of such public-facing climate denial, of course, has been to allow these companies to continue to pollute the atmosphere. And according to the UCS, more than half of all industrial CO2 emissions have been released since what should have been the watershed year of 1988:
All of this represents more than just shady business practices, argues UCS president Ken Kimmell in a blog post. With its chilling parallels to the strategies used by the tobacco industry to obscure the link between smoking and cancer, the oil industry’s morally corrupt conduct over the past decades should be more than enough for us to revoke its “social license” — there’s no reason for the public, or the government, to assume Big Oil is acting in good faith.
And it’s time, Kimmell contends, for the industry to start earning some of that trust back — not just by ceasing to actively disinform the public and block regulations, but also by taking an active role in working toward solutions. Some have (kind of) started to get on board with that: BP dumped the notorious climate deniers at ALEC; Shell and BP passed shareholder resolutions to factor climate change into the cost of doing business (Exxon and Chevron did not, and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson decided to stay the course by continuing to question the legitimacy of climate models).
But compared to the deceitful actions these companies have taken in the past, it’s all way too little — and it’s coming decades too late.
While the G7 Nations are thinking about whining themselves off fossil fuels by the end of the century and while some – most ? – oil companies are not really diversifying themselves, Saudi Arabia is planning its fossil fuels’ exit by 2040 or 2050.
But don’t worry, they still plan on exporting ridiculously high amounts of energy with renewables. Yes ! you read that right. What has been and still is a major oil producer plans to go solar.
While this doesn’t come as a surprise if you have been reading this blog for some time, the scale the country is going for is astounding.
Here are some extracts of a Guardian article :
So what to make of the statement by Saudi Arabia’s oil minister that the world’s biggest oil exporter could stop using fossil fuels as soon as 2040 and become a “global power” in solar and wind energy?
Ali Al-Naimi’s statement is striking as Saudi Arabia’s wealth and influence is entirely founded on its huge oil wealth and the nation has been one of the strongest voices against climate change action at UN summits.
“In Saudi Arabia, we recognise that eventually, one of these days, we’re not going to need fossil fuels,” said Naimi at a business and climate conference in Paris on Thursday. “I don’t know when – 2040, 2050 or thereafter. So we have embarked on a program to develop solar energy,” he said in comments reported by the Guardian, Bloomberg and the Financial Times.
“Hopefully, one of these days, instead of exporting fossil fuels, we will be exporting gigawatts of electric power.”
Naimi also said he did not think that continuing low crude oil prices would make solar power uneconomic: “I believe solar will be even more economic than fossil fuels.”
So what if the ENTIRE WORLD planned its fossil fuels’ exit by mid-century ? I have a dream today…
Image credits : The Guardian.
Talk Nerdy To MePublished on 6 Jul 2015
You’re already familiar with solar power, wind power, and even water power. But when it comes to the future of energy, those renewable power sources soon could be old news.
» Subscribe to Talk Nerdy To Me Today: http://bit.ly/13pYPNQ
» Watch More Talk Nerdy to Me Here: http://bit.ly/XFlOAo
HuffPost Science invites you to going the discussion with top scientists covering the latest news in spaceflight, brain/body research, evolution, and the influence of science on culture.
- Standard YouTube Licence
Stefanie Spear | June 30, 2015
Fifteen-year-old indigenous climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez and actor and environmental advocate Robert Redford addressed the United Nations yesterday to encourage global action on climate change.
Xiuhtezcatl is the youth director of a non profit organization Earth Guardians. He was raised in the Aztec tradition and has been an active campaigner since the age of six. Now 15, he was selected to speak at the Opening Ceremony from among 200 applicants through a process facilitated by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service.
Martinez turned heads at the UN meeting calling on delegates to “dream big.” Saying, “It’s time to look to the skies for the solutions we need, because the future of energy is not down a hole.”
With only five months remaining before the COP 21 UN Climate talks in Paris, Martinez was selected by UN President Sam Kutesa of Uganda to address the assembly as a representative of civil society.
The young activist asked the delegates to imagine what could be accomplished if fossil fuel and nuclear subsides were reinvested into renewable energy. The International Monetary Fund estimates global fossil fuel subsidies are close to $10 million every minute. “The solutions are here, and they are bringing with them millions of jobs and economic opportunity,” he said.
Xiutezcatl emphasized the power of a growing youth climate movement:
“Everywhere young people are rising up and taking action to solve the issues that will be left to our generation … Over 400,000 people marched in through the streets of New York City in the world’s greatest climate march. More than 220 institutions have divested from fossil fuels with the help of student-led movements and the number continues to grow. Youth are suing their state and federal governments across the United States, demanding action on climate change from our elected officials. We are flooding the streets and now we are flooding the courts to get the world to see there is a movement on the rise and we are at the forefront, fighting for the solutions we need.”
Despite the challenging circumstances Xiuhtezcatl urged optimism, calling on delegates to stand with youth leaders.
“In the light of a collapsing world, what better time to be alive than now, because our generation gets to change the course of history,” he said. “Humans have created the greatest problem we face today, but the greater the challenge the higher we will rise to meet it. We need you to be a climate leader—not to stand up for us, but to stand with us.”
As his speech concluded, Xiuhtezcatl asked, “Who will rise with me now for mine and future generations to inherit a healthy just and sustainable planet?” Many of the delegates symbolically rose from their seats in support of Xiuhtezcatl.
Redford has been a prominent voice in the environmental movement for more than 40 years and is deeply involved in campaigns to protect air, land and water from pollution as a long-time trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“Robert Redford refuses to leave the next generation a world beyond fixing—because he knows it’s not too late,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Global momentum is building to combat the gravest environmental threat of our time.”
During his speech, Redford said, “Unless we move quickly away from fossil fuels we are going to destroy the air we breathe, the water we drink and the health of our children, our grandchildren and future generations.”
UN President Sam Kutesa of Uganda shared his gratitude for Redford’s work. “Robert Redford has long been giving voice to the underdog, to the people who are trying to do the right thing, and for the environment,” he said. “His presence at the High-Level Event helped us connect with people all around the world who also want to do the right thing on climate change.”
June 8, 2015
Within a decade, solar photovoltaics could account for 10 percent of electricity supply globally, beating out coal and nuclear as “default” power generation technologies.
That’s the conclusion of a new analysis from investment bank UBS, which found that global installed solar capacity will more than triple between now and 2025, and then triple again between 2025 and 2050. By the middle of the century, UBS estimates that nearly 3,000 gigawatts of solar will be installed worldwide.
“We believe solar will eventually replace nuclear and coal, and [be] establish[ed] as the default technology of the future to generate and supply electricity,” wrote the analysts.
Investments in solar could amount to more than $3 trillion over the next three and a half decades.
While many believe the rise in distributed solar will hurt utilities as they lose control of their customers, the UBS analysts conclude the opposite. The majority of projects will continue to be utility-scale, they say, making the solar business similar to the wind business.
“Solar ownership is highly pulverized. Yet utilities could have played a prime role, as — just as a reference, during 2013 — about 80% of the projects developed in the U.S. and Europe combined were either utility-scale or utility-like. As already seen for wind activities in the previous decade, we believe utilities will soon begin to achieve scale in solar. We see the potential to develop almost >350GW globally to 2025, which would require some €335B of investments,” they wrote.
The analysts also dispute the notion that storage will cause a wave of grid defection. Although battery storage costs continue to fall, the economics are not compelling enough to size systems for full self-consumption.
“Given the economics of energy storage, the high concentration of solar production in just a handful of hours during the year and the batteries’ technical limitations on the number of cycles (charge/discharge), customers will not be able to get off the grid.”
So how much will all that solar cost? The UBS analysts estimate that more than $70 billion will be spent on solar subsidies by 2025 — a tiny percentage of global electricity expenditures.
“Although this number may appear huge, we should say that each year the world spends some €5.6 trillion to pay for its electricity yearly bill, or some 6% of GDP. By then, we estimate annual solar subsidies at €70B on an annual basis. Hence, solar subsidies would appear [to be] a mere 1% of final bills,” they wrote.
As new plants replace older ones with more efficient technology and development practices, subsidies will fall steadily downward over the coming years. According to the UBS analysis, new solar projects will average 6 cents per kilowatt-hour within a decade — marking a period when solar will “no longer need subsidies.”
The UBS report is one of many from large investment banks alerting investorsto the sudden rise of solar and battery storage.
Their conclusion: “We believe the financial community and most industry experts largely underestimate the global solar capacity growth, as falling costs, supportive regulation and the opening up of new solar markets seem to go largely unnoticed.”
Stephen Lacey is a Senior Editor at Greentech Media, where he reports on energy efficiency, solar and grid modernization. He is also host of the Energy Gang podcast, a weekly audio digest of cleantech news.
Justin Mikulka, DeSmogBlog | May 26, 2015
In what came as a welcome surprise to activists in Albany, New York, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reversed an earlier decision and now will require a full environmental review for a proposed tar sands oil heating facility at the Port of Albany.
“It is good for New York State that the DEC came to a proper decision in one of the most important environmental matters facing the state,” said Riverkeeper president Paul Gallay. “We look forward to participating with the state on a full public safety and environmental review that is robust and protective of our communities and our waterways.”
Riverkeeper is one of many groups fighting the plan by Global Partners to add tar sands oil to the Bakken oil it is already moving down and along the Hudson River in large amounts, efforts highlighted in this recent New York Times Op-Doc.
Riverkeeper also recently filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Transportation’s recent new oil-by-rail regulations.
Albany has become the largest distribution hub for crude oil on the East Coast due to its rail access and its port on the Hudson River and this transformation happened with so little fanfare that the local community was initially unaware of what the DEC had permitted.
There were no ribbon cutting ceremonies or big public announcements made by local government officials who were aware of what was happening. The mayor of Albany could be found cutting ribbons for the opening of Subway shops or bars, but not a word about the 2.8 billion gallons a year of oil that were permitted to arrive in Albany by train by the DEC.
And then the first oil tanker that was filled with 12 million gallons of Bakken oil loaded from rail cars and sent off down the Hudson promptly ran around. Luckily no oil was spilled and, as a result, local people began to ask questions just as Bakken trains began to derail and explode with alarming frequency, as noted in this short documentary about the risks posed by oil trains to Albany and the Hudson.
In addition to Riverkeeper, efforts to require a full environmental review for Global’s application were supported by Earthjustice, Sierra Club, Scenic Hudson, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Advocates and the local group People of Albany United for Safe Energy (PAUSE).
Earthjustice filed a lawsuit last year challenging the DEC decision to not require a full environmental review on behalf of several of the groups involved as well as the local tenant association for a community located directly along the rail tracks. Chris Amato of Earthjustice led the efforts and welcomed this decision.
“This is wonderful and welcome news for the people of Albany,” said Chris Amato, Earthjustice attorney. “We are gratified that DEC has listened to the community’s concerns and agrees with us that Global’s proposal will have significant environmental impacts. We look forward to working with the Department to identify the multitude of threats to the health and safety of communities that make this project a disaster-in-waiting.”
However, in the past week the expected outcome was not that the DEC would arrive at the conclusion they did. Capital New York reported that the DEC had been making the rounds of local politicians and informing them that it would be “legally difficult” for them to not allow Global to go forward with their plans for building a facility for heating tar sands crude.
So what changed the expected outcome? One significant development was a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to theDEC commissioner Joe Martens making two points.
The first was reminding Martens that he had not responded to a letter sent by the EPA a year ago asking for more information about the proposed project and pointing out flaws in the DEC’s air pollution analysis.
The second was to let Martens know that the EPA wanted to see any proposed permit to allow Global’s heating facility prior to the official review period so that the EPA could work “corroboratively with DEC to ensure that outstanding permitting issues concerning Global are addressed.”
While oil will still be transported to Albany by rail and then down the Hudson by barge and tanker, for now it is likely to remain the Bakken oil and not Canadian tar sands — which avoids the disaster that tar sands spills create in water.
This is welcome news in Albany and in communities all along the Hudson due to the risks involved.
NorthJersey.com recently reported on the risks posed by moving oil on the Hudson and spoke about these risks to retired Texas A&M University oceanography professor and expert on oil spills, Chuck Kennicutt.
“I have no side in this issue, but I do know one thing: You will have a spill,” said Chuck Kennicutt. “It’s almost inevitable. The question is how big.”
At least for now, thanks to the efforts of a large coalition of groups in New York, if that spill does occur, it won’t be Canadian tar sands oil.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
The secretive funders behind America’s conservative movement directed around $125m (£82m) over three years to groups spreading disinformation about climate science and committed to wrecking Barack Obama’s climate change plan, according to an analysis of tax records.
The amount is close to half of the anonymous funding disbursed to rightwing groups, underlining the importance of the climate issue to US conservatives.
The anonymous cash flow came from two secretive organisations – the Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund – that have been called the “Dark Money ATM” of the conservative movement.
The funds, which when channelled through the two organisations cannot be traced to individual donors, helped build a network of thinktanks and activist groups. These worked to defeat climate bills in Congress and are mobilising against Environmental Protection Agency rules to reduce carbon pollution from power plants which are due to be finalised this summer. In many cases, the anonymous cash makes up the vast majority of funding received by beneficiaries – more than comes openly from the fossil fuel industry.
“The conservative thinktanks are really the spearhead of the conservative assault on climate change,” said Riley Dunlap, a sociologist at the University of Oklahoma who studies environmental politics. “They write books, put out briefings and open editorials, bring in contrarian scientists … They are an immense megaphone that amplifies very, very minority voices.”
Organisations funded through the secretive donors operations are also working to roll back measures promoting wind and solar power and block planning for future sea-level rise in state capitals.
To trace how the money was spent, the Guardian obtained annual tax filings made to the US Internal Revenue Service by the Donor’s Trust and Donor’s Capital Fund and cross-checked grantees with organisations associated with the climate change counter-movement.
In 2011, 42% of funding, or $35.7m, went to groups promoting climate denial and opposed to environmental regulations, according to the tax filings.
In the last presidential elections in 2012, when Obama fended off a challenge from Mitt Romney, that figure jumped to 51% of the funds directed through Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund – a total of just over $49m.
In 2013, the last year for which tax records are available, 46% of anonymous funding to conservative groups through the two Donors channels, or just over $41 million was spent that way.
“The San Andreas is 45 miles from the two 1,100-megawatt-plus reactors at Diablo Canyon. That’s just half the distance Fukushima was from the quake that wrecked at least Unit 1 and sent in that tsunami to finish off Units 2, 3 and 4.
In all likelihood a 9-plus shaking from the San Andreas could reduce the two reactors at Diablo to radioactive rubble. As at Fukushima, we’d expect hydrogen explosions, maybe some fission, the loss of the cores, the cracking of the spent fuel pools, fires, mayhem, apocalyptic emissions.
Things would be made far worse, of course, because we now know at least a dozen fault lines surround those reactors, and they were not made to withstand them. One, the Shoreline, passes within 700 yards of the two cores. The NRC’s own resident inspector, Dr. Michael Peck, has warned that Diablo simply cannot reliably survive those faults going off … and should be shut.
We also know that all those fault lines are interconnected. There’s a hint of that as our scientific expert (Paul Giamatti) shows us how a previously unknown fault line in Nevada could touch off the Big One in California.
In fact, there’s simply no way that a shock and tsunami anywhere near as big as depicted in this 3-D IMAX monster would not result in the state being saturated with massive radiation releases from those melted, exploded, rubble-ized reactors. Diablo’s radioactive cloud would quickly blanket North America, destroying our food sources and our economy and ultimately killing millions.
None of this, of course, makes it into the film.” ~ Harvey Wasserman
This culture is deliberately engineered to be ignorant and oblivious to the most fundamental facts of human health-physical and mental-and longevity, which require thriving biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. Stopping the geno-eco-suicidal nuclear industry is a challenge we must step up to and face down, now! Before it’s too late…
Ecological Collapse: http://ift.tt/1zifL42
by Gagandeep Singh Chaney
"Houston, *nasa static* We have contact..."
The View From the Sinister Side of Life
This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees
A journey through history via forgotten books, by Roger Pocock.
Austerity: The ugly truth
Ideas for a new age
from sorrow to serenity
For Peace On Earth In This Generation
This blog is devoted to legal, historical and human rights matters, in which issues of general concern are addressed freely and spontaneously. It is intended to further an informal exchange of views in the democratic spirit of freedom of opinion and respect for the opinions of others, in an effort to understand rather than condemn, to propose constructive solutions rather than grandstand. The perspective is both from inside and outside the box and the added value lies more in the questions than in the answers.
Authors, Artists, Geeks, Husbands
Culture, Art & Architecture
Breathing on the embers of a dying Republic.
A Brief History of Music
images for a free world
myth, metaphor, subversion ....
Photos of life in the Windy city
Interior Designer - Stylist - DIY'er - Architectural Drafter - Mommy - Party Starter - Spartan Racer
'It is not what you look at that matters. It's what you see.' - Henry David Thoreau
Dotting down my feelings, experiences and imaginations.
New Social Network Tsu — Which Pays Users Who Post — Raises $7 Million .
The Study of International Relations
The Perry County Historical and Cultural Arts Society
a photoblog by Martin Dzurjaník
Photography....... Techniques and Oddities
Cognition incarnate, a responsibility.
Campaigning for U.S. compliance with international norms
A site of history's odds and ends, and lots of books.
My life in a snapshot
A Candid Travel & Photo Blog!!
The Wildlife in Nature
working through the digital world of blogging with visuals
THINKING BY THE HEART AND PHOTOGRAPHY WITH THE SMARTPHONE, BOTH BRING GENIALITY
Marine Biologist, Sci-fi Author, Surfer
Trying everything twice since 1984
Archaeology, landscape and history
by May K.
Commons and everyday commoning