Climate Change Changes Everything — Massive Capital Flight From Fossil Fuels Now Under Way

The madness and futility of continued fossil fuel burning is all too readily apparent…

If one were to search for an example of the utterly and inherently life, climate, and economy destroying impacts of fossil fuel burning, they wouldn’t have to look too far. They could look to the rapidly destabilizing glaciers now putting our coastal cities, our island nations in dire peril. They could look to the droughts now ranging the world, forcing officials in Sao Paulo to make water out of mud, lighting understory fires in the Amazon rainforest, and setting off water scarcity crises from the US West Coast, to the Caribbean, to South America and on through broad sections of Asia and Africa. They could look to the nation-destabilizing crises that have already rippled through our world.

The collapse of Syria due to drought, the fractures running through both India and Bangladesh due to sea level rise, the immigration camps Australia has already set up to deal with a rising tide of island migrants — driven from their homes more and more by increasingly extreme weather and the swelling seas (see also Australia’s Immigration Detention Facilities). 158 million persons were displaced by extreme weather over the past 7 years. A flood that has swelled the ranks of refugees inundating the developed countries of the world from Europe to North America to Southeast Asia.

A So-Called Resource that is Instead a Curse

And all this just a brief and incomplete overview that doesn’t include the massive wildfires, the great species displacement and winnowing, the coral reef bleaching, the ocean dead zone expanding, or the amplifying feedback inducing nature of the 1 C warming we’ve experienced since the 1880s. More than 1/4 of the warming experienced over 10,000 years at the end of the last ice age. But this warming all crammed into a mere 135 years. A warming set off by a massive burning of fossil fuels that has continued to ramp higher to this day. A warming that will continue to worsen, setting off an age of Storms leading to a hothouse world that is not at all friendly to life or human habitation — if we do not stop lighting fossil fueled fires.

Mordor-like Tar Sands

(A land of pits, fumes, and poisoned pools as far as the eye can see. Canada, in its mad quest for oil, has turned a pristine boreal forest into a place that is a stunning likeness to Tolkien’s Mordor. Image source: Garth Lenz’s TED Talk.)

If one were to encapsulate all the destruction that we are now beginning to witness due to our mad continued combustion, we might set the scene in Alberta. There a massive tar sands operation continues to unearth some of the most expensive, the most high-carbon fuels in the world. There they break rocks to leech out an oily bitumen. There they burn natural gas to enrich the bitumen with hydrogen before shipping it south to the US for further refinement. It’s an ugly process that has gouged great furrows in the earth, destroyed the great carbon sequestering boreal forests — leaving hundreds of square miles of wasteland and a vast pollution of waters and airs in the wake of its operation. It’s a process that’s aiding in the burning of Arctic permafrost. A process that warms the permafrost to thaw and then turns it into a kind of peat-like fuel for the wildfires that have now become a feature of an annual season of burning in the Arctic. A vast ripping and combustion of the once frozen biomass, adding to the fury of our fossil fuel warmed future.

This year, a massive wildfire encroached upon the tar sands operation itself. The fire raged close enough to one of the major production centers to force it to shut down some of its operations. As a result 220,000 barrels per day of tar sands production was shut in by some of the massive wildfires the operation itself has helped to drive. Just one more ironic twist in the violent history of a resource that has been called The Prize, but that may as well be considered The Curse.

Massive Canadian Wildfire Outbreak June 29

(A massive wildfire outbreak in Canada that temporarily shut down tar sands operations in Alberta. Fossil fuel burning is now so destructive that it sets off climate impacts that threaten its own production. Image source: LANCE MODIS.)

Massive Investor Flight Away From Fossil Fuels

And this year it appears that a number of investors are starting to get it. Get the fact that there’s no future left in burning coal, oil or gas. No future worth living in at least. For investors by the droves are now engaged in removing their assets from fossil fuel based companies.

Some are being pushed out by divestment campaigns run by responsible college students. Students who look to the future and don’t like what they see and so, encourage their schools to scrub carbon emissions from their investment funds. It’s a campaign that has also touched churches — including the great Catholic Church itself — setting off a broadening wave of religious-based divestment. And it’s a campaign that has reached into the sovereign wealth funds of entire nations.

Still more are being shoved along by a death spiral of coal, oil and gas prices. A wholesale disintegration of the paper billions of dollars once claimed on fossil fuel company balance sheets. A disintegration led by plummeting demand for fossil fuel products due to a combined increased efficiency and an ever more rapid adoption of non carbon based energy sources.

Though some are rendered deaf by greed or cynicism, the message is loud and clear. If preserving a just and functional human civilization is the underlying basis for morality, then there’s nothing more amoral than continuing to burn fossil fuels. But not only that, there’s no future in it. For if the use of this kind of energy destroys the very reason for having energy in the first place — living, playing and working in a world in which natural wealth exists at all — then there is no economic justification for continuing its use. As a result of its running counter to both sound morality and rational economics, the future for fossil fuels looks increasingly bleak. For individuals, societies and investors are faced with a choice between stranded fossil fuel assets and a world undergoing a new mass extinction likely worse than the Permian. One of these choices is survivable by human civilizations, and the other one is not.

The falling price of solar

(One factor at play in the massive fossil fuel bloodletting has been a precipitous fall in the cost of its wind and solar energy replacements. For US electricity in 2015 fully 78 percent of new capacity additions have been wind and solar. Image source: Climate Crocks and Bloomberg.)

It is perhaps for these combined reasons and due to the encroachment of ever-more inexpensive and accessible renewable energy sources that has led to a massive flight of capital away from fossil fuel based energy. Arch Coal, for example, has lost 95 percent of its market capitalization in the past year. Other corporations who’ve cast their lot with continued fossil fuel burning have suffered similar, though slightly less dramatic fates. Suncor, one of the chief tar sands extractors, has lost 20 percent of its value, Exxon Mobil 12 percent, Chevron 18 percent, Chesapeake Energy 55 percent, Conoco Phillips 24 percent, Suncoke 36 percent, and Peabody 85 percent. These are industry-wide losses that are in the process of setting off a string of malinvestment-based bankruptcies that would put the ‘tempest in a teapot’ hype surrounding Solyndra to shame. In essence, it’s the epic and compounding failure of drill, baby, drill politics.

Investors told late last year that oil, gas and coal fortunes would rebound have been sorely disappointed. Coal continues its 5 year long string of monthly bankruptcies. Oil and gas companies trail the S&P 500 by 40 percent. And more than 118 billion dollars in new oil projects has now been shelved. Growing ever more sour on what appears to be an escaped-from-reality chorus of fossil fuel cheerleaders, investors have finally had enough and gone in search of greener pastures. In this case, green pastures include a wind farm now being built off Cape Cod. One that will provide renewable energy based electricity to 30,000 homes that previously got their electricity through dirty, expensive and hothouse-amplifying diesel fuel burning.

It’s the kind of choice investors and the rest of us need to be making if we’re going to avoid the worst of this climate change nightmare we’ve already set in play. And we’d better get a move on. For as commenter Mblanc from the UK recently noted in response to a previous post:

I’ve got a really bad feeling about this. That feeling has been building up over the last few months. Every time I see an anomaly map these days, I can’t help feeling that we in the UK are right in the firing line of Greenland ice melt, and the firing might have already started.

It’s starting. Climate change changes everything — makes our world, our nations and our homes less secure, more vulnerable in the path of oncoming and ever more violent weather. But, if Hansen and other scientists have it right, we can still avoid the worst impacts if we don’t listen to the fossil fuel cheerleaders and keep making all the wrong choices. Thankfully, it appears investors may have wised up a bit. Let’s hope that trend continues.

Links:

Warning From Scientists — Halt Fossil Fuel Burning or Age of Storms, Rapid Sea Level Rise is on the Way

They Make Water out of Mud in Sao Paulo These Days

Syria Conflict Linked to Drought Made Worse by Climate Change

Australia Facing Climate Migrants

Extreme Weather Displaced 158 Million People During the Last 7 Years

Garth Lenz’s TED Talk

LANCE MODIS

Divest From Fossil Fuels

Catholic Church Leads Divestment Effort

Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund to Divest From Fossil Fuels

CNN Markets

Cape Wind Moves Forward

Markets are About to Deal With Climate — Get Ready for Ugly

Mike Carney Gets Set for Carbon Stranded Assets Intervention

Hat Tip to Mblanc

Hat Tip to ClimateHawk1

Leave a comment

137 Comments

  1. Governance hasn’t responded to the crisis in any close to sufficient way. But if we’re now relying on investment decisions as a basis for rational social policy, we’re also on very shaky grounds there, given the history of business and what it has done to the world.

    Reply
    • The investors, I think are being herded along by the responsible actions of others. And if investment in fossil fuels declines, the political pressure to protect their use also begins to diminish. In other words, movement by investors opens the door a bit wider for the kinds of rational policies that we need to see coming from government.

      Reply
  2. climatehawk1

     /  July 28, 2015

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  3. Jeremy

     /  July 28, 2015

    A beautiful montage of the ongoing eco-destruction of Hawaii.
    It’s not just the oil industries – the petrochemical monsters have other plans up their sleeves once we stop burning oil.

    Reply
    • One monster at a time… I wish I could take them on as well and will later if I can. But it’s a good message and I’ll certainly support it here. I hope everyone watches this.

      Reply
      • Jeremy

         /  July 28, 2015

        “Time” – just what we don’t have enough of.

        The only currency that gains in value.
        You can’t buy it. You can’t sell it.
        You can’t borrow it. You can’t save it.
        At the end, it levels all castles in the sky.
        All men are not created equal –
        they just die equally humbled.

        Reply
        • Please feel free to take on what giants you are capable of and I will cheer you on. For my part, I’m working on the fossil fuel dragon at the moment and It’s enough to consume more than all of my available individual resources.

          For me, it’s one monster at a time…

    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  July 29, 2015

      Yes.
      And it’s not just killing our planet – it’s reducing humans to “freon babies,” unwilling or, worse, unable to step outside unless it’s 80 F or less. Riding around in airtight cars with the AC blasting when it’s 70 F outside. Cut off from any – any – meaningful contact with the world right outside our doors and windows. Kids refusing to venture beyond the reach of an illusory, experience enervating, resource devouring, reality distorting convenience. Out of touch, and completely out of synch with even the most rudimentary experience of the natural world. Standard building practices here in Austin raising houses with windows that do not open. Ever. Windows or door screens, to let wind and air naturally cool? How quaint. Sweating? How gross. Actually living in the world we inhabit, instead of cowering underneath a blanket of narcissistic, democratized la noblesse entitlement? That’s crazy talk. As far as I’m concerned, there is no clearer sign of the degeneration of the American character than the unquestioned adoption of 24/7/365 life inside refrigerated boxes. It changes people, in deep, fundamental, and highly distorting ways. Like almost all else of what’s thoughtlessly accepted as “The American Way,” the unquestioned acceptance of AC is wrong, in every meaningful sense of the word. But hey, it feels good, so…….

      Reply
      • dnem

         /  July 29, 2015

        GREAT comment, SB! I completely agree. However, the feedback kicks in as we expose people to unsafe, lethal temps where the choice is AC or death.

        Reply
        • Yep. That’s the problem. For some places, AC is becoming a choice between increasing energy use or heat stroke. I’d call that a bad outcome RE climate change. Similar to the forced shift to desalination.

  4. Leland Palmer

     /  July 28, 2015

    Total cumulative greenhouse heating from fossil fuels is on the order of 100,000 times the useful heat of combustion, making them the definition of a common law nuisance.

    The Supreme Court refuses to allow lawsuits based on this obviously correct fact, but how long will that last?

    Investors that don’t want to incurr trillions of dollars in legal liabilities should. run , I think.

    Reply
    • Nuisance indeed.

      It’s started in Denmark — lawsuits to force governments to more rapidly act on climate change. But you’d think that the avenue you propose would also be open. The physical impact at 100,000 times the heat of combustion transferred to atmosphere is a pretty huge effect that drastically invalidates any illusion of useful work. The fossil fuel combustion engine is more an engine of rapid atmospheric and climate destruction.

      Reply
    • Leland Palmer

       /  July 29, 2015

      Hi Robert-

      Total integrated greenhouse heating plus associated positive feedbacks could end up being millions of times the useful heat of combustion for fossil fuels, if methane associated positive feedbacks kick in.

      That’s less like a power source, and more like a highly virulent virus. It would be nice if the super rich had to accept some legal liability for their actions, just like the rest of us.

      In American Electric Power vs. the state of Connecticut, though, the Supreme Court was inundated by something like a hundred legal briefs from major fossil fuel interests and industry groups, and only a few opposing briefs from environmental organizations. They ruled that the case was just so complex the legal system could not deal with it, and kicked it back into the Congress.

      The Supreme Court was created to be independent, and to handle the problems that the Congress was too corrupt to handle. They ignored their constitutional responsibilities, under industry pressure, but how long can that last?

      With some Supreme Court Justices going to the Koch Brothers legal weekends in Palm Springs, maybe for a long time. But, as the apparent effects of global warming continue to increase, maybe not – especially if the investors run away from potential legal liability, as they should.

      Reply
  5. Reblogged this on The Secular Jurist and commented:
    “The message is loud and clear. If preserving a just and functional human civilization is the underlying basis for morality, then there’s nothing more amoral than continuing to burn fossil fuels. But not only that, there’s no future in it. For if the use of this kind of energy destroys the very reason for having energy in the first place — living, playing and working in a world in which natural wealth exists at all — then there is no economic justification for continuing its use.”

    Bravo!!!

    Reply
  6. entropicman

     /  July 28, 2015

    You might like to read this analysis.

    Saudi Arabia was thinking about this strategy fifteen years ago.

    In 2000, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, gave an interview in which he said:

    “Thirty years from now there will be a huge amount of oil – and no buyers. Oil will be left in the ground. The Stone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones, and the oil age will come to an end not because we have a lack of oil.”

    This is more than predatory pricing.

    “in a world where a producer sees the end of its market on the horizon, then every barrel sold at a profit is more valuable than a barrel that will never be sold. Current Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi had this to say about production cuts in late December: “it is not in the interest of OPEC to cut their production whatever the price is,” adding that even if prices fell to $20 “it is irrelevant.” Implied, if not explicitly stated, is that Saudi Arabia wants its oil out of the ground, regardless of how thin its profit margin per barrel becomes.”

    Elias Hinckley concludes

    “The owner of the most valuable fossil fuel reserve on Earth just started discounting for a future without fossil fuels. While they would never state this reasoning publicly, their actions speak on their behalf. And that changes everything.”

    Reply
    • Absolutely. The Saudis are selling their oil to anyone who can buy it at any price they can get. For all the oil producers now, it’s a great race to the bottom. Those who sunk capital into tar sands and fracking are, well, screwed due to a massive malinvestment. We have major gains in efficiency, major gains in renewables (which this year represent 78 percent of new electricity capacity), and policies that increasingly disincentivize fossil fuel use.

      The oil age is ending, and not for lack of oil. It’s ending because the resource is too destructive to burn.

      Reply
      • Ryan in New England

         /  July 28, 2015

        Was watching How We Got To Now on PBS last night, and it was about ice/technology of cooling. Before the technology to make ice was developed, “natural” ice was harvested from New England and other climes and shipped around the world. It was a giant industry, and it eventually ended, and it wasn’t due to lack of ice. And of course, those who became wealthy harvesting ice fought against the development and adoption of new technology that had the ability to decrease their bottom line.

        Reply
        • Good analogy.

          The fossil fuel companies know they’re at the end game. They just want to keep spooling it out as long as possible. If they succeed, it’s very bad for the rest of us. The choice for them is profits over the well being and safety of practically everyone. And for this alone they deserve to go down hard.

  7. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi) and commented:
    We need to keep pushing big investors such as schools and corporations to divest their fossil fuel stocks. We also need to get them out of the chemical industry, the armaments industry, the insurance industry, and the finance industry.

    Reply
  8. rustj2015

     /  July 28, 2015

    I’d say these backstabbers and their enablers should be pilloried and pelted with pitch (well…maybe not that level of cruelty — since they’ll be along for the ride into 2degC and on — though so will we in this careening earth climate):

    “The report has citation after citation raising dire questions about the state, and often lack thereof, of U.S. democracy. But just as important is the premise it presents.

    In a nutshell, it’s not just about money in politics and lobbying alone.

    It’s that these industry-funded front groups play a central role in shaping the public narrative, providing cover to industry-funded politicians to do the bidding of corporate interests in statehouses nationwide, and thus shape the body politic at-large.”

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/07/27/energy-and-policy-institute-report-fossil-fuel-utilities-blocking-us-renewable-energy

    Reply
    • It’s pretty sick, Rust, how deep the influence goes. How pervasive it has become to our culture. It’s made us a more destructive people. A self-destructive people.

      Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  July 28, 2015

        Yes, a terminal illness, perhaps. Again, I cite this conclusion:

        “But let’s get real,” [Dr. Box] says, “fossil fuels are the dominant industry on earth, and you can’t expect meaningful political change with them in control. “There’s a growing consensus that there must be a shock to the system.”
        So the darker hopes arise—maybe a particularly furious El Niño…
        http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a36228/ballad-of-the-sad-climatologists-0815/

        So, as you have so consistently shown, we are on that path.

        “Even the gods fight in vain with stupidity.” Friedrich von Schiller

        Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  July 28, 2015

    California Isn’t Alone: Historic Droughts Happening Around the World

    If you live in the United States, especially if you live on the West Coast, you’re no doubt well aware of the historic, years-long drought in California, which now has spread across 97 percent of the state with nearly half the state falling into the worst category, exceptional drought.

    But as USA Today reports this week, other areas around the world appear to be suffering from drought as bad as California’s. Brazil, North Korea, Puerto Rico and South Africa all are in the grip of their worst drought in years or even decades, situations that threaten potentially dire consequences for millions of their citizens.

    http://www.weather.com/science/environment/news/california-historic-drought-world-brazil-africa-korea

    Reply
  10. Spike

     /  July 28, 2015

    The decline of FF corporates is also touched on in this article

    View story at Medium.com

    Here in the UK they have a captive government actively undermining renewables whilst extending tax breaks to further FF extraction, undermining FF efficient cars, and pushing fracking onto reluctant local communities – sites of great ecological value included. We are in the fight of our lives on this one.

    Reply
  11. Ryan in New England

     /  July 28, 2015

    Those losses for fossil fuel companies are music to my ears! Really great and encouraging post, Robert! With the subject of climate change, it can sometimes seem like all news is bad news.

    Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  July 28, 2015

    Nasty One-Two Punch: Rain + Storm Surge = Increasing Risk for U.S. Coasts

    After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleanians thought they knew what areas were susceptible to flooding during a storm.

    So when Hurricane Isaac, a much weaker storm than Katrina, bore down on the city in 2012, those who live to the west of Lake Pontchartrain weren’t worried, as they had been spared the raging waters that inundated so much of the city during Katrina.

    But Isaac turned out to be the perfect storm for that area. The surge that Isaac pushed ahead of it raised lake levels by 6 to 9 feet, and they stayed elevated for an unusually long time.

    At the same time, the area around the lake saw 11 or more inches of rain from the storm. Because the lake levels were so high, there was nowhere for the rainwater to drain, and so water flooded the streets and houses to the west of the lake.

    That one-two punch – called compound flooding – isn’t something that many places in the U.S. plan for, however, as studies of risk tend to look at one danger or the other,

    Reply
  13. Reblogged this on jpratt27.

    Reply
  14. takver

     /  July 28, 2015

    Worthwhile reading some of the posts of California investigative journalist Dan Bacher on water and fracking issues in that state. Fossil fuel industry grip on power is not going to loosen without a fight it seems.
    https://www.indybay.org/search/search_results.php?search=Bacher
    particularly his latest on the oil industry capture of the regulatory apparatus
    https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2015/07/27/18775408.php

    Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  July 28, 2015

    Hansen et al.

    My take away from what I’ve seen so far, ……………… We’ve moved from a linear state of change , to a exponential state of change.

    Seen in this diagram –

    Reply
    • CB: as I recall, the Titanic sank in pulses, too…

      Reply
    • I’m inclined to believe Hansen with a few caveats. We have every reason to halt fossil fuel burning as rapidly as possible. It’s kind of this case where the more you’ve burned the worse the impacts. So we may have sunk the first Titanic, but we’ve got ten more that are also at stake.

      Reply
  16. Robert,

    You are so right, so often, on so many things — thank you. And for that very reason I hesitate to disagree with you. That said, I had to pause when you listed the decreased capitalizations of major oil companies over the past year and conflated that with capital flight due to exiting investors. The problem with this analysis is that market capitalization of all fossil fuel companies (and, frankly, all biofuel companies) has decreased as the price of oil has decreased over the past year. Most of the companies you listed claim major oil assets in the ground, and it is part of the value that investors put on those companies. As the price of oil has dropped (by a bit more than 50%), so too has the value of the oil in the ground. Also, as oil prices have dropped so too have profits.

    Markets are so efficient (and so very amoral) that any principled exit from these companies (which brings stock prices down and makes the company more attractive to numbers-only investors) brings in money from other places. China, for instance, where failing to take advantage of a money-making opportunity is considered immoral.

    There are, alas, on a small minority of us who are both seeing and understanding. This places more responsibility on our shoulders. It also means we must expect that much of the world will keep chasing wealth-at-any-price, making our battle all the harder. Or at least, that is my view.

    Keep up the excellent work, and thanks.

    Scott

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  July 28, 2015

      Scott _
      Excellent point, and I would add that the whole history of oil and gas is boom and bust. I know because in late 70’s I rode that one myself.

      But this one was different This bust is putting real pressure on the lenders. All these ventures of the last 10 years are very expensive. And $50 dollar oil won’t tote the note.

      Reply
      • Bob: You are quite right and the failure of frack oil at $50 (and the imperiled lenders at $50) is precisely what is driving the Saudi strategy for putting US frack out of business.

        I think there is an airtight national security argument to be made for vastly increased renewable deployment and the Saudi attack on our frack oil underpins the case. Perhaps this tack, along with pressure from increased natural disasters, will change the minds of politicians?

        Reply
      • Exactly. And you’re running into this situation where fossil fuels across the board are getting real completion from outside energy sources — which compounds the bust.

        Reply
    • Scott —

      The situation is not just with oil. It is one that is ubiquitous to all fossil fuels — coal, gas and oil as well. Nor is it one that is simply driven by price. Certainly price plays a role, but increased efficiencies, reduced fossil fuel usage due to renewables competition, and political and protest action on the part of those who do not want a future that includes fossil fuel burning has all also played a part. The divestment campaign and action by the Pope is also coloring the environment in which fossil fuel investment or capital flight takes place — and this is increasingly an environment of fear.

      Coal has particularly become vulnerable to this new climate. In the U.S., coal used for electricity had dropped to 26 percent. Meanwhile, the renewable fraction of electricity generation has climbed to 21 percent. Since 2008, solar energy capacity has grown by a factor of 10, wind has tripled. And this growth has occurred in a political environment that has been forced toward adversarial by fossil fuel special interests.

      In the global markets, the Saudis are pretty sure that renewable energy competition replacement of fossil fuels is close. Close enough to attempt to sell every last drop of the stuff before the game is up.

      These are all factors related to the market perception of fossil fuels and are not merely a simplistic response to price. There’s a deeper and systemic winnowing going on. And the only way for fossil fuels to stop it is to force captive consumption of their energy source through the mechanism of political control. The winds are against them from this point forward. And their money as well as investment support is taking a severe blow at this time.

      Reply
      • Robert,

        I agree that renewables are unstoppable at this point. And I agree with your analysis on the shift away from coal (except that you left out the key role played by natgas in the shift) as well as the political game being played by oil companies (have they ever played any other game?). I also agree with your analysis of the investor shift when specified as a fear response. It is only when I understood you to say that principled exits from oil stocks were affecting their price that we parted ways. Perhaps I am jaded from working with too many amoral investors during my 12 years in the biorefinery sector. Or maybe it is my time living in China and interacting with investors there, but I’m just not seeing price moves as a result of principled portfolio reshuffling. Fear response and acting in self-interest? Absolutely. I’m definitely seeing that.

        Reply
        • Principled response on the part of a number of institutions is, to my perception, having an impact on the overall market. It may not be the driving impact, but it’s at least a part of the overall environment.

          For example, when the Pope says that the Catholic Church is going to divest in fossil fuels and go 100 percent renewables, that fossil fuels are an amoral investment choice and that it will urge its religious constituents to make similar choices — that colors the market environment.

          Similar impacts occur when other churches act in the same manner, when students influence schools to limit or remove fossil fuel investments and when sovereign wealth funds make the same choice.

          It puts a red mark on fossil fuels, de-legitimatizes them, and adds the risk of negative perception to future investment.

          It also colors the policy making arena, providing less and less legitimacy to those who support fossil fuel based policies. In this way, a relatively small group of investors can generate a fear response in their less scrupulous fellows.

          Add to that the overall climate of fear in a bust situation, the climate of fear due to ever-advancing renewable energy, the climate of fear due to what is now a global protest action against fossil fuels and you have what I would call a kind of super-bust environment.

          I’m happy to agree to disagree on this point. I’m also happy when the peak oil folks call me naive and overly optimistic. But my view is that morality, though it isn’t at the heart of markets — which are by nature greed and fear driven — does sway individual investors, institutions, and the systems that ultimately control the markets. In military terms, I’d call it a force multiplier. And it’s one we definitely like bringing to bear against the fossil fuel special interests.

        • Let’s leave it like this: I hope you are right.

        • Well, for my own part, I’d say those thinking they can make a future in fossil fuels right now are dreadfully blind to all the factors at play. A purely cynical mindset, in this case, is a severe disadvantage.

          If I’m wrong, well, things will get much worse and I’ll have a lot more to write about. That’s really not a sunny prospect for me either.

        • Another Pope weighs in:

          Markets are about to deal with climate — get ready for ugly: @CarlPope http://huff.to/1IqAtXU

        • Ah, see. I’m not so naive as the peak oilers say. God save anyone still holding fossil fuel assets. Actually, he probably won’t… But I can’t help feel a pinch of pity. The blood letting has started and it’s going to be merciless.

      • Abel Adamski

         /  July 29, 2015

        Ref China, interesting to note the increased market jitters coincides with some substantial weather/climate events

        Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  July 28, 2015

    PBS is about to run the “Bomb”. . Off to watch it.

    Reply
    • Ryan in New England

       /  July 29, 2015

      I watched that last night too, Bob. Was a pretty interesting show. Amazing what we can accomplish when we commit ourselves to a goal. It’s sad that preserving civilization isn’t as important as developing a way to destroy it.

      Reply
      • It’s something that comes to mind every time I see a re-rendering of the moon shot effort as well. There’s something deeply ingrained in our psyche that makes turning away from fossil fuels difficult. It’s the primitive drive to unearth buried treasure that’s so hard to turn away from, I think. Of course, like the dwarves who dug too deep, there’s always the risk of uncovering a demon.

        Reply
  18. Colorado Bob mentioned “compound flooding” in a comment above. I am going to spring-board off of that–maybe way off of that–by commenting on the current swarm of earthquakes off Puerto Rico’s northeast coast. I have been watching this ongoing swarm for four or five days now, and I have begun to wonder what would happen to Miami if a large earthquake struck the current swarm area and even a small tsunami were sent northwest toward Miami. Granted, the intervening Bahamas islands would absorb some measure of the tsunami. But if even a three foot wave hit that city at high tide, it would be an epic disaster and maybe, maybe even a wake-up call.

    Our coastal cities are so much more vulnerable than our collective sense of urgency conveys.

    Reply
  19. Abel Adamski

     /  July 29, 2015

    Just a slight aside
    http://delimiter.com.au/2015/07/27/oops-tesla-enthusiast-charges-car-on-qld-windfarm/

    An excellent IT/Technology website that closed for a while whilst Renai tried to make a difference as a technology advisor to Greens Senator Ludlam.

    Reply
  20. Mulga Mumblebrain

     /  July 29, 2015

    Let me assure you that fossil fuels will not go without a fight to the bitter end. Fossil fuel ‘assets’ are valued in the tens of trillions in the books of the mega-corporations who exploit them, and in hedge funds and banks that finance the industry. Reduce that pile of loot to zero value and the glorious edifice of Free Market capitalism disappears.
    Moreover hydrocarbons are traded in petro-dollars that underpin US global hegemony. Countries that attempt to trade in other currencies, like Iraq and Libya, have been utterly destroyed for their efforts.
    Here in Australia, the Abbott regime the most Rightwing hence most evil, and incompetent, in out history, is fanatically pro-coal and anti renewable energy. Abbott himself declared the other day that 23% renewable energy was ‘enough’, but he is a notorious denialist (and liar, so he denies being a denialist). His rotten regime is supported 110% by the evil Murdoch MSM cancer, its latest outrage being caught exaggerating the cost of wind and solar energy by ten times, by ‘accidentally’ misplacing a decimal point, an error that, strangely, they did not make with the cost of coal at the same time.
    At base, the battle to save humanity from auto-genocide is that which has raged in human psyches and societies throughout our history-the battle between Good and Evil, and between Life and Death.

    Reply
  21. Ken Barrows

     /  July 29, 2015

    What’s been happening with the cost of inverters?

    Reply
    • All the levelized costs are falling:

      This is an example of the retail solar market projections for the US. Note that retail costs are now in the range of utility costs for solar in the 2011-2012 timeframe. If these projections bear out, then the retail cost of solar will be close to the levelized average cost for utilities now (2015) come 2017.

      Reply
  22. Mblanc

     /  July 29, 2015

    Thanks for the hat tip!

    Interesting thread. The thing that jumped out at me from the comments is the suggestion that OPEC is finished, and the Saudi’s are looking at the oil endgame.

    The question is, when will the rest of the world work that out and recognise their ‘stranded assets’.

    You are bang on time with this thread, and it’s a positive one too!

    http://www.rtcc.org/2015/07/28/mark-carney-set-for-new-stranded-assets-intervention/?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the article Mblanc. An excellent one for this thread. One of the upshots:

      “Some financial advisors have already started to warn investors to steer clear of carbon-intensive fuels.

      In April, HSBC released a research note that said the risks linked to oil, gas and coal investments were “growing”, while in June consultancy Mercer said coal companies, utilities and countries wedded to high carbon energy faced potentially severe losses over the next 35 years.”

      Reply
    • Spike

       /  July 29, 2015

      Some finance guys have clicked on what is going on and the implications for nuclear as well. I notice Germany got 78% of its electricity from renewables for a brief period recently, a new record, and the minimum has been in the mid 20 per cents.

      “There’s no turning back now for renewables. Solar and wind in particular are unstoppable, and this insane growth is quickly extinguishing any hope for a nuclear renaissance.”

      http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/renewable-energy-is-killing-nuclear-power/4960

      Reply
      • Good article, Spike. Thanks for the link. The fossil fuel cheerleaders are running out of plausible weapons in their renewable energy repression campaigns. They’ve instead opted for an attempt at direct control of governments to force more fossil fuel dependence at the time when it would be most harmful. But the irony of all ironies is that markets are starting to move against them.

        Reply
  23. Check out this epic piece on how Whales can profoundly change the climate

    Reply
    • Thanks for that.

      Reply
      • glad you liked it. My concern is the carbonic acidification of the oceans and its effect very negative effect on phytoplankton and zooplankton. That could bring down the whole system. Another poignant reason to stop burning fossil fuels.

        Reply
  24. labmonkey2

     /  July 29, 2015

    A little off topic, but I was quite surprised to see a commercial sponsored by MAERSK for an on-line game called Quest for Oil (a strategy game) while on the SciFi channel. I consulted ‘The Google’ and found an article from 2013 in Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2013/06/10/could-you-be-an-energy-mogul-find-out-by-playing-maersk-oils-online-game-which-the-companys-own-ceo-lost-at/

    Is this another ‘subliminal’ attempt to keep oil front and center and down-play its impact by making a game out of it? Is there a coloring book for the younger kids, too?
    Isn’t society just amazing.

    Reply
  25. Doug

     /  July 29, 2015

    There hasn’t been any discussion in the post nor comments, about what specifically investors are shifting to. (It might help some of us who have a few pennies to invest). I would be interested in an index fund of renewable energy companies. Investing in any specific company or even sector can be risky. For example just investing in a mutual fund of solar companies only is risky, because the future is too unpredictable. So investing in a more broad based renewable energy fund ie. Solar, wind and geo-thermal is a safer bet in my opinion. Anybody out there know of an index fund of renewable energy companies?

    Reply
  26. Andy Heninger

     /  July 29, 2015

    This is a fascinating discussion. Here’s hoping that some financial weakness helps break the oil company’s grip on political power.

    The other even larger asset class that is going to go bust at some point is coastal real estate. The big question is not if, but how soon it starts and how fast values will fall. It’s going to be an awful mess once it starts.

    I have to believe that the banks and insurance companies will be keeping close tabs on the state of the ice over the coming years, trying to suss out whether physical reality is closer the Hansen or is something slower moving.

    Reply
    • Andrew Dodds

       /  July 29, 2015

      Yes, it’s something that I’ve been thinking for a while.

      All governments of countries that have low lying coastal areas – and that’s most of them – should basically be saying ‘These areas will be written off, defenses will be built back here, all new infrastructure will be based around at least 5 meters of sea level rise’.

      A perfectly practical thing to do, and one that, significantly, does not cost money, or at least government money. Political dynamite, though..

      Reply
  27. Phil

     /  July 29, 2015

    Some people might find a series of very recent youtube presentations about aspects from Hansen et al recent report by Paul Beckwith. I think there are 9 parts in the series. If interested, I found them by searching ‘Paul Beckwith youtube’.

    Aspects include Paleo evidence of sea level rise, sea circulation slowdown and actual evidence relating to ice sheet mass loss.

    Reply
  28. Phil

     /  July 29, 2015

    In Australia, mining bosses are seeing a dire or painful future for their industry. Link to story is:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-29/thousands-of-mining-jobs-threatened-ahead-painful-future-survey/6657882

    Reply
    • And that even without carbon tax.

      Reply
      • Phil

         /  July 29, 2015

        Mainly reflects significant and sustained drop in commodity prices (especially iron ore and coal prices) because of falling international demand for those commodities and in case of iron ore excess supply by BHP, and Rio Tinto to wedge medium and small players whose costs of production are higher than the prices.
        .

        Reply
        • Falling prices, especially for coal, are due to weaknesses in demand, demand growing slower than expected, increased efficiency, and competition by less expensive fuel sources. Commodities are crashing, but nowhere near the way coal and broader fossil fuel energy is crashing. There’s more to the FF crash than simple commodities cycling or the boom and bust nature of the industry.

  29. Hello Robert,

    what you decribe as and descent of fossil age (roughly) and ascend for ren. energy, others are describing it as a possible “unparalleled crisis” (of oil age), which is probably describing the same thing, differently🙂 Here is Euan Mearns:

    Sub-$60 will mean that many conventional oil producers are in great difficulty. Many shale producers are arguably already insolvent. High debt levels are secured against assets, i.e. oil and gas reserves. Reserves in turn vary with oil price and as the price goes down so arguably does the volume and value of those reserves. It is widely believed that for the oil price to recover, OECD companies must pump less oil. Pumping less oil for lower price will be route 1 to bankruptcy for many highly leveraged companies producing high cost oil. I believe the industry may face a crisis unparalleled in recent decades.

    The future is just about to begin.

    US Shale Oil: drilling productivity and decline rates

    Best,

    Alex

    Reply
    • You’re absolutely right. The way you perceive this depends on your world-view. There are some who think that economies cannot function without fossil fuels. My view is that this is an outmoded way of thinking.

      Reply
  30. Spike

     /  July 29, 2015

    My energy supplier in the UK is looking at producing gas from grass in anaerobic digesters. Another one of those interesting ideas that will hopefully contribute to getting us one step further forwards.

    http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-green-energy/our-green-gas/how-our-green-gas-works

    Reply
  31. Tom

     /  July 29, 2015

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Storms Over Arctic Ocean

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2015/07/storms-over-arctic-ocean.html

    [quote]

    As the situation in the Arctic further deteriorates, feedbacks can be expected to kick in with growing strength.

    One of these feedbacks is the growing amount of heat (due to both latent heat and albedo changes) that will have to be absorbed by the Arctic Ocean as the sea ice disappears, and that will accelerate warming of the water of the Arctic Ocean.

    Another feedback is a changing jet stream, as illustrated in above animation. This, in combination with the presence of more open water, can be expected to cause increasingly intense storms over the Arctic to emerge. Such storms can bring additional heat from elsewhere into the Arctic Ocean and can additionally cause mixing down of heat to the seafloor, especially in the many places where the Arctic Ocean is very shallow. This can in turn cause destabilization of hydrates resulting in huge amounts of methane to be abruptly released from the seafloor.

    Methane itself is yet another feedback that will accelerate warming in the Arctic, in turn threatening to trigger further methane releases in a spiral of self-reinforcing positive feedback loops.

    Reply
  32. Spike

     /  July 29, 2015

    From World Coal website:

    The three months to June this year saw a significant year-on-year drop in output from the UK’s coal-fired power plants, according to recent data from EnAppSys, a energy market consultancy. Electricity generation from coal fell 43% on 2Q14 with coal’s share of the energy mix dropping to just 23% of the UK’s 33GW of total electricity generation, the company said.

    The drop has been caused by a number of factors, including summer maintenance outages at coal-fired power plants, a doubling of the UK’s carbon price in April and a 153% increase in the generation of electricity from solar PV on2Q14. Overall solar capacity is now about 7 GW and its growth is having a significant impact on electricity market prices, said EnAppSys.

    “Renewables are playing an increasingly important role in meeting the UK’s energy needs and, as the contribution increases, it must be assumed that its impact on pricing and supply issues will continue to grow,” said Paul Verrill, Director of EnAppSys. “If the capacity and output of solar PV and other renewables continues to grow, conventional power generators, such as CCGT and coal, will have to be more flexible to avoid oversupplying the network and paying the penalty of negative power prices.”

    Combined renewables sources – including wind, biomass, solar PV and hydro – provided 20% of the UK’s energy needs in the quarter with gas providing 27%, nuclear 22% and interconnectors 8%.

    Written by Jonathan Rowland.

    Reply
  33. If a pension fund divests itself of ExxonMobil, somebody has to buy it. Odds are Exxon got none of the money when the pension fund purchased the shares. The pension fund probably bought the shares from Grandmothers. Exxon is buying back a lot of its own shares. The price of their shares is low right now, so they’re buying their shares, if the buyback strategy is a good one, at a bargain price.

    Reply
    • This is myopic. The largest shareholder would be Exxon itself, its board and the controlling holders of stock. You know, the ones who have the most influence. JCH, there is spin all over your statement…

      Reply
      • There is no spin. Broad divestment can put pressure on share prices and influence corporate decisions, but I do not think that will be the case here. major holders of ExxonMobil At one point the press said their buyback program was so aggressive the company could become privately held in as little as 6 years.

        Reply
        • Corporate buy-backs of this kind are a defensive strategy during bust times. They may impact share prices, but they do not impact that overall value of the company. In effect, they cannibalize resources to artificially maintain share value in the face of market headwinds.

        • In other words, they hold shares, defend company value and hold their breath waiting for demand to rise, for oil prices to rise, and for their shut in capacity to be freed. Problem is, there are a great number of challenges to that planned and hoped for price rise. More energy efficiency, more competition by electric vehicles, more competition by biofuels, more renewables taking down diesel electricity generation, and lots of oil producers that are unwilling to give up market share and cut production.

          Add to this environment the fact that most new production is very expensive and you end up with what is perhaps the worst bust situation the oil industry has ever experienced.

          If the company is privately held in six years, then the private investors will face gigafactories from Tesla, gen 2 biofuels, and a plethora of EVs and PHEVs in the range of 20,000 to 40,000 dollars. In six years they will face solar + batteries taking down the last remnant of diesel generation. And in six years climate change will be that much worse. Saudi, Iraq and anyone else with cheap oil will be selling it like the dickens. And the expensive oil producers will find themselves facing short booms and long busts.

          So what a private Exxon may be holding at that time is at risk of amounting to little more than junk.

      • bill shockley

         /  July 29, 2015

        I wonder how they calculated 6 years. In 9 years, from 2005 to 2014, they bought back 2 billion shares. They have 4 billion more to go. At the same rate, that would be 18 years.

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 29, 2015

        He’s probably remembering wrong.

        JCH, got a link?.

        I’ve heard in a few places that there is widespread buybacks among public companies and that it’s connected to all the money being printed. I think Chomsky even said this.

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 30, 2015

        Google: US stock market propelled by QE, buybacks and margin debt since 2009

        Reply
  34. Spike

     /  July 29, 2015

    If I had oil shares I’d be looking for the company to return cash not spend huge sums on marginal high risk reserves. in fact I’d be hoping for a planned winding down and return of cash, rather than a rush to strand assets. Do they really believe that they’ll be able to continue BAU when the situation is getting clearer and more dire year on year. There will come a point where the public won’t accept politicians who have been bought and paid for any longer.

    Reply
  35. Spike

     /  July 29, 2015

    New German coal plant returns 1 euro to investors and may never open

    http://www.renewablesinternational.net/new-german-coal-plant-worth-one-euro/150/537/89142/

    Reply
  36. Arctic ice animation for June and July from Great White Con:

    Reply
  37. Freakishly High Temperatures Trigger Ice Melt, Flooding and Mudslides in Tajikistan

    http://www.newsweek.com/climate-change-tajikistan-global-warming-357921

    Reply
  38. – Robert, KBOO had a ProjectCensored audio segment: “The Global Environmental Crisis
    July 27, 2015

    Peter Phillips and Project Censored affiliate professor Julie Andrzejewski as co-host address the Global Environmental Crisis. They interview emeritus professor of Religion and Philosophy Dr. David Ray Griffin regarding his new book Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis? Additionally, they talk with Truth Out investigative reporter Dahr
    Jamail regarding his newest article: Mass Extinction: It’s the End of the World as We
    Know It.”

    – Both speakers had valuable insights and contexts. I liked Dr. Griffin use of the term ‘global warming agent’ to denote FF & GHG emissions.
    The Dahr Jamail piece ended with a question about other sources for valuable info.
    He named one — RS at the 57 min mark.

    Link: http://www.projectcensored.org/the-global-environmental-crisis/

    Reply
    • Fantastic show there, DT. I’ve gotta say I’m floored Dahr cited the work here as a valuable source. Huge validation. Thanks for letting me know.

      Reply
      • You’re welcome.
        And yes, a good show and very deserved recognition of RS — and with its proper context..🙂

        Reply
      • Sure is. You’re not just some aimless blogger. People are seeing you. You’re doing it right. Getting it out there. Telling the real story. It’s been great watching you get more notice.

        Reply
  39. – PDX SHELL OIL ICEBREAKER KAYAKTIVISTS

    Reply
    • Source: twitter.com/search?q=kayaktivists%20portland

      Reply
      • – Am hoping to see or get a west to east POV photo of protesters and bridge in foreground — with a mostly snowless Mt Hood in the background to show a connection.

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  July 29, 2015

        Hi dtlange…I appreciate your photos. I take a lot(amateur level) of nature and would love to post something here from time to time. Do you post straight from your device or from a photo-hosting site? TIA, Maria

        Reply
      • Maria, photo was by Crystal Contreras-G ‏@CrystalCo530 4h4 hours ago
        Under the St. John’s Bridge.
        I must remember that Twitter jpg does not include info that was on the tweet.Must credit source.
        Thanks

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  July 29, 2015

        Thanks dtlange, how did you get it to post? I generally like to post a pic directly from my laptop/iphone but I do have a flickr account if that’s easier. I don’t have a twitter. Too much to keep track of😉

        Reply
      • Maria, to post a photo image just paste the url but have nothing after jpg or png. (httpXXX.jpg)

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 30, 2015

        png doesn’t work on wordpress. For example:
        https://robertscribbler.com/2014/02/26/dr-jennifer-francis-and-the-year-long-blocking-pattern/#comment-8710

        Convert png to jpg or gif.

        Reply
      • Maria

         /  July 30, 2015

        Thanks so much, dtlange and bill, interestingly, flickr’s sharing links don’t end with jpg nor gif, nor png. Let’s see…..my photos are not essential to the conversation here, but for me they remind me of why all this effort to save this amazing planet is so worth the while. Thanks again.

        Reply
        • It is worthwhile. Probably the most worthwhile thing we will ever attempt. Maybe we’ll get to see your photos soon.

          Warmest regards to you.

      • Let’s try this and then I’ll put this issue on a shelf😉 If it does come thru—this is from a visit to Morro Bay…the stacks(now retired) are in the left background.

        https://www.flickr.com/photos/52831576@N04/shares/Ufn21q

        Reply
      • Thanks so much Robert—it looks like only the link showed up. I won’t clutter this wonderful comment thread any more on this issue–please keep fighting the good fight. Maria

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 30, 2015

        Maria, if you know how to convert to jpg or gif, you can use the tinypic website But you have to keep the image size small, probably around 800X600 pixels, otherwise the upload process fails. Plus they only stay up for 3 months if they are not accessed. I’ve heard google-drive works well for embedding images but I haven’t tried it. Embedding images is one of my great joys in posting comments and therefore in life!

        Reply
      • Bill, I also love embedding images in my posts! I went to tiny pic and left the [IMG] in place. If this doesn’t work, I’ll remove it. Again, thanks so much for your help and patience to you and all.

        [IMG]http://i60.tinypic.com/5kkpe8.jpg[/IMG]

        Reply
      • Yes! Bill, tiny pic website worked. Just had to remove the [IMG] on both sides of the link…The above pic is in one my “sanctuaries” in Southern Marin where I go with my dog. This was in the winter—and this was a friend’s doggie😉

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 30, 2015

        Nice, Maria, I think you’ve got it! If you find a better hosting site, you can use larger file sizes and get better quality to come through.

        Taking things in with my best friend:

        Reply
      • Thanks Bill. I think I need to resurrect my pbase account. Your friend is mighty handsome, pretty?😉 Here’s mine. He’s so shy about having his photo taken that I have very few of his face worthy of posting. This one is poignant for me. Because he’s 11.5yo and has severe hip dysplasia, he was genuinely wistful/sad as he saw the younger and healthier pups taking on the waves in the Marin Headlands beach… as he sat on the sidelines…..Mama cried.

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 31, 2015

        Yeah, she was a looker and never let me forget it. I’ve had independent dogs, but this one… basically, she used me. She’s 101/2 now, that shot was from a while ago… not quite the neck-wrencher she used to be.

        Never heard of a non-photogenic dog. He must be special. Sad when they get old, but it always seems to work out, emotionally. The more you care for them, the more you love them.

        Nice composition, btw.

        Reply
      • Hi Bill, Neil’s Pocahontas—what a treat—for all the senses. Thanks so much. He’s also among my trio of life-long favorites(along with Bob Dylan and Jackson Browne). So sad and so beautiful at the same time to hear this song with the majestic lights of the Aurora.

        PS: Thanks for the heads up re: clicking on the image to get a better quality. I now almost exclusively shoot with my iPhone6. Here’s one of the same eve. If you look closely above the sun and to the left you’ll see 2 families of geese coming back home.

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 31, 2015

        That yellow just knocks me out! We don’t get sunsets like you get out West, I’m pretty sure, from the pictures I’ve seen. I haven’t spent much time out there. Neil’s great. He just says it. Pocahontas is one of those rare stunners that Neil has so many of. His new album is “Monsanto”. I don’t think he could have picked an eviler target.

        I guess I’m not too surprised it’s an iphone–I heard they put some serious sensors in those phones. Probably a lot better than my dedicated camera.

        You can click on the photo but you can also just use Ctrl/+, the Control button and the Plus button at the same time to enlarge the picture. Take it all the way up to the max to see what it will do. Or, do both–click the pic and expand the browser. Internet Explorer will expand higher than Google Chrome.

        Also, clicking on the photo is the same as pasting the url into your browser’s navigation bar. So, for example, you can test how a link is going to work before posting it by just navigating to it with the navigation bar.

        That’s a really fine sea pic. Unusual color of the water. Like wine. So beautiful, it’s sad.

        Reply
    • Thanks Bill, I love how they know how far they can use us. That said, as you know, we can never repay them for all that they give in return.

      Back to love of other aspects of nature: I took this 2 weeks ago when we had a warm weekend and left over Dolores moving up the coast. It was as if we were all entering the most sacred cathedral in the world. With all the clouds, the lighting was amazing, it was warm instead of the usual blustery cold winds, photographers, friends, lovers alike positioning themselves for that magical moment. I came home with deep joy and profound sadness re; what was happening inside this body of water. Although she “looked fine”: running a fever, her oxygen begin deprived, her fish and seals and all the other living beings who she gives shelter to were suffering……..this kind of deeper reverence and knowledge of the uncertainty would not have been possible for me without the work of an online friend on another website,not climate-related, who sent me here, and Robert’s blog.

      Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 31, 2015

        Satisfying shot, Maria. You have a good eye. The majesty and the sad truth beneath the waves. What stupidity and bad Karma brought us here? I feel the need to repent.

        You came to a good place. Robert is good and the unique crowd here is a reflection of that.

        Reply
      • bill shockley

         /  July 31, 2015

        PS, Maria… I forgot to expand your picture in my browser window, to get the full resolution, same way I always forget to put a note on my images reminding people that they can get the full effect that way. People forget.

        There’s quite a lot of resolution in your image. The yellows and oranges (peach, mango?) are beyond probability and yet there they are! The way they get sifted and sorted and held by the clouds. Amazing what a camera can do with a tiny square inch or less of sensor.

        Reply
      • Stunning.

        Reply
  40. – It’s them damn aerosols again — we put them up there — and they just fall back down.
    – Shucks.
    – But I bet you get some pretty dirty snowballs for a certain senator from Oklahoma to perform with.

    News | July 27, 2015
    Scientists link earlier melting of snow to dark aerosols

    From NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

    In a new study, NASA scientists used a climate model to examine the impact of this snow-darkening phenomenon on Northern Hemisphere snowpacks, including how it affects snow amount and heating on the ground in spring.

    The study looked at three types of light-absorbing aerosols – dust, black carbon and organic carbon. Black carbon and organic carbon are produced from the burning of fossil fuels, like coal and oil, as well as biofuels and biomass, such as forests.

    With their snow darkening effect added to NASA’s GEOS-5 climate model, scientists analyzed results from 2002 to 2011, and compared them to model runs done without the aerosols on snow. They found that the aerosols indeed played a role in absorbing more of the sun’s energy. Over broad places in the Northern Hemisphere, the darkened snow caused some surface temperatures to be up to 10 degrees

    Reply
  41. – Has this one been posted yet? Probably — so much is happening or now coming to ‘roost’

    News | July 15, 2015
    Europe and Pacific Northwest face record heat

    NASA Earth Observatory images created by Jesse Allen, using Land Surface Data from the MODIS Science Team. Data acquired June 30-July 9, 2015.

    Reply
    • – Like I said recently Pacific Northwest has an atmospheric thermal magnifier over it.
      – PNW and regions nearby now has wide areas of terra firma without snow, ice, glaciers that have been exposed to many moths of solar heat. (When’s the last time that was an actuality?)
      Like giant heat island regions.
      Add in ash and soot…

      Reply

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