The Carbon Bubble is Bursting

I admit it. I felt sorry for those poor, duped oil, gas and coal company investors back during the early part of 2015. Many of these guys, fed a constant stream of bad information from the financial news sources, at the time were still enraptured by the notion that fossil fuel stocks were then cheap and that the situation was nothing more than some kind of golden buying opportunity.

Now, six months later, 41 US oil and gas companies have gone bankrupt, powerful major oil companies like Exxon and BP are in the range of 20-40 percent losses in stock price year-on-year, most gas companies have seen even more severe losses, and most coal companies have been reduced to junk stock status (see Arch Coal declares bankruptcy). TransCanada, the parent company of the canceled Keystone XL Pipeline, is challenging United States sovereignty with its 15 billion dollar lawsuit. But it’s questionable if the company will even exist long enough to see the results of its NAFTA-based legal challenge.

Arch Coal stock price

(Arch Coal, one of the largest coal companies in the US, filed for bankruptcy today. The company’s stock price has plunged from 300 dollars per share in 2011 to 58 cents per share today. A total loss to investors of 99.88 percent. The dirtiest burning fossil fuel — coal energy faces headwinds from increasing competition by renewable energy, stronger national policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, as well as a strong push for fossil fuel divestment by environmentalists and those who have increasing concerns about the impact of human-forced climate change. Image source: CNN Money.)

It’s as if All of Fossil Fuels Were Solyndra

It’s like the curse of Solyndra has been revisited on the entire fossil fuel industry. But while the renewable energy industry is undergoing its biggest boom ever, the fossil fuel industry’s own bad investments, bad performance, bad decisions, and overall bad impacts on pretty much everything from the increasingly wrecked global climate, to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, to Oklahoma fracking earthquakes, to the debacle that is the Porter Ranch gas leak, are sinking it even faster than its carbon emissions are melting the Arctic sea ice.

Back during 2013 and 2014 we warned that continued investment in oil, gas and coal companies was a really bad idea — one that probably represented the worst malinvestment in the history of finance. A carbon bubble that was worse even than the bad real estate investments that led up to the financial collapse of 2008. Trillions-upon-trillions of dollars encouraged by more than 500 billion dollars worth of subsidy support globally from the world’s governments each year. And to what end? Producing fuels which, contrary to wind and solar, increase in price the more you use them even as they wreck the very natural wealth that is the basis for healthy economic systems the world over.

And now the markets are being driven to the brink by just such a terrible malinvestment. Now major fossil fuel supporters are crying crocodile tears to their friends in Congress — asking them to shore up these big, polluting, malinvesting fossil fuel special interests. In other other words — the fossil fuel industry has now gone panhandling to the US government for a bailout after a risky and speculative oil and gas production binge. The fruits of drill-baby-drill thinking resulting in both economic and environmental collapse.

The Cheap Energy Age and Saudi Arabia’s Use of the Cheap Oil Lever

How did this all happen? Well, much talk-talk has appropriately centered around the topic of Saudia Arabia. But, as with many issues covered in the news today, the current conversation over Saudi’s move to turn on the oil taps lacks the full and appropriate context. It’s probably true that Saudi Arabia opened up the spigots in an effort to tamp down competition from US fracking interests and from other high-price but high volume competitors overseas. An issue that short-sighted conservatives and Wall Street vs Main-Street blow-hards like Trump have used to drum up much misplaced rage.

BLOG-Trump-Probably-Hates-This-News-About-Wind-Energy-0722-2015

(Fossil fuel cheerleaders like Donald Trump seem both outraged and perplexed by the fall in fossil fuel fortunes even as wind, solar and electric vehicles make new gains. Image source: Donald Trump Probably Hates This Wind Energy News.)

But the story often not told is the one where wind energy, solar energy, and efficiencies have now become an increasingly competitive player in the energy sector. If one considers jobs growth alone, a single US renewable energy sector — solar — added 35,000 jobs during 2015 growing to more than 208,000. By comparison, the entire US oil and gas extraction industry composed just 199,000 jobs at the start of 2015 and by its end had contracted by 14,000 to 185,000. This point is worth reconsidering for a few moments — just one renewable energy industry now supports more US jobs than the entirety of all the oil and gas extraction interests combined.

What’s going on in the US is part of a growing global trend. In many regions now, wind and solar are competitive with natural gas and coal as well as with diesel electric generation. In total, more than 106 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity from wind and solar alone was likely installed globally over the course of 2015 (see wind capacity forecast here and solar capacity forecast here). Since over 3 million barrels of oil go to diesel electricity generation around the world, this new generation directly competes with that source. In addition, natural gas, which is fungible with oil in many markets, is also being increasingly crowded out by cheap renewables. With coal also under price pressure, the world was flooded with a glut — not only of oil, but of cheap energy sources of all kinds.

Perhaps even more of a threat to the fossil fuel industry was a growing shift within the auto industry toward renewable and high fuel efficiency vehicles. This shift was driven in large part by major countries and influential regions like the US, EU, and China providing ever-higher fuel efficiency standards for their vehicle fleets. The tip of the spear to this effort, of course, is in the growing expansion of electrical vehicle access. And despite ever-lower oil prices around the world, electric vehicle sales continue along at a rather substantial rate of growth — jumping from 320,000 total global EV sales during 2014 to 447,000 total EV sales during 2015. Marking the first time a major oil glut has not dramatically reduced the rate of electric vehicle sales growth.

In this global context of both fossil fuel glut and ramping renewable energy adoption, it was impossible for Saudi Arabia to defend the price of oil without losing much of its market share. And with so many new energy systems coming to the fore, it was all-too-likely that the kingdom would eventually see that market share whittled away entirely. Saudi’s only recourse to defend its markets was to open the pumps and flood the world with cheap crude. But as it did, the move shifted the burden of fossil fuel market erosion back to the highest price, and often dirtiest, producers. In other words — fracking, tar sands and the various marginal mines and fields around the world.

Deepwater Horizon

(Major disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Porter Ranch gas leak have aided in the fall of fossil fuel industry fortunes. But the pervasive and growing concern over human-forced climate change is likely to have an even broader impact. Image source: NOAA.)

So who’s really to blame? In all honesty, those currently seeking the bailout by Congress deserve at least as much of it as the Saudis. They were the ones who over-invested in oil, gas and coal and who failed to see a world in which even heavily subsidized fossil fuels couldn’t compete on the margins with emerging renewable energy and efficiencies. And they were the same fools who also denied climate change. A generation-spanning crisis that is now about to make the 2015 blow to the fossil fuel industry look like the proverbial tempest in a tea-pot.

COP 21’s Ongoing Influence

To this point, we should also be very clear that human-forced climate change is starting to have a serious impact on global policy-making. The storms, floods, droughts, sea level rise, glacial decline, ocean health decline, and mass displacements of human beings and wildlife related to climate change just keep getting worse and worse. So pressure on policy-makers from all corners for comprehensive actions to reduce the harm caused by human forced climate change is growing quite intense.

It is due to this increasingly urgent call to action that the recent stated COP 21 goals were the strongest yet coming from any climate conference. And though they are not yet enough to provide much hope for avoiding a very dangerous and deadly 2 C warming this Century, the goals, if applied, do shift the world solidly away from the ridiculously catastrophic business as usual fossil fuel burning path.

In total, the conference committed to a 40 percent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Further emissions reductions commitments continue on through 2050 at 75 percent. The conference also aimed to increase the renewable energy share of the global energy market to 32 percent by 2030 even as it aimed to reduce total energy consumption by 50 percent by 2050. Adding in even a mild carbon pricing or carbon tax regime and what this means is that the fossil fuel industry is looking at decades of recession and retraction. And since most scientists are now saying that COP21 isn’t enough, that more stringent policy measures will be needed to rapidly reduce carbon emissions, it appears that the harmful practice of burning fossil fuels is being set on a path toward ending this Century.

So once again, as we warned before — the carbon bubble is bursting. The end of the age of fossil fuels is at hand. Fossil fuel investor — beware.

Links:

Arch Coal Declares Bankruptcy

TransCanada Sues US For 15 Billion Dollars

Go Fossil Fuel Free

41 US Oil and Gas Companies Have Gone Bankrupt

CNN Money

The Oklahoma Fracking Earthquakes

The Porter Ranch Gas Leak

Bankrupt Fossil Fuel Industry Seeks Bailout From Congress

59 Gigawatts of New Wind Energy Capacity for 2015

57 Gigawatts of New Solar Energy Capacity for 2015

Electric Vehicles See Major Sales Growth Through 2015

NOAA

COP 21 Success or Failure?

National Solar Jobs Census

Bureau of Labor Statistics — Oil and Gas Extraction Jobs

Hat tip to Greg

Leave a comment

114 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on GarryRogers Nature Conservation and commented:
    Let’s hope that former coal and oil cheerleaders and employees can make a smooth transition to wind and solar.

    Reply
  2. – A bit off topic but just made the news.

    Father of Koch Brothers Helped Build Nazi Oil Refinery, Book Says

    The father of the billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch helped construct a major oil refinery in Nazi Germany that was personally approved by Adolf Hitler, according to a new history of the Kochs and other wealthy families.

    The book, “Dark Money,” by Jane Mayer, traces the rise of the modern conservative movement through the activism and money of a handful of rich donors: among them Richard Mellon Scaife, an heir to the Mellon banking fortune, and Harry and Lynde Bradley, brothers who became wealthy in part from military contracts but poured millions into anti-government philanthropy.

    But the book is largely focused on the Koch family, stretching back to its involvement in the far-right John Birch Society and the political and business activities of their father, Fred C. Koch, who found some of his earliest business success overseas in the years leading up to World War II. One venture was a partnership with the American Nazi sympathizer William Rhodes Davis, who, according to Ms. Mayer, hired Mr. Koch to help build the third-largest oil refinery in the Third Reich, a critical industrial cog in Hitler’s war machine.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/12/us/politics/father-of-koch-brothers-helped-build-nazi-oil-refinery-book-says.html?_r=0

    Reply
    • Not a surprise. They also helped build them for Stalin. Equal opportunity authoritarians to say the least.

      Reply
      • – And they begat Koch Nitrogen — now Koch Industries. Our environment and atmosphere (78% N aprox.) is awash in nitrogen.
        Koch Industries HQ Enid, OK. USA — anthropogenic earthquake country like no time in geo history.

        Reply
    • Ah, and El Niño just tied 1997-98 as the strongest on record in the NOAA ONI index.

      Reply
  3. Loni

     /  January 11, 2016

    Robert, I’ll bet that this was the first “bad news” article that was as much fun for you to write as it’s been to read.

    Great ‘bad news’ Robert, thank you.

    Reply
    • Well, it was the all-too-predictable dead end the markets were running toward despite numerous cautions and warnings. The free market and its various high priests suffer from endemic blindness to hazards and long term bad investments.

      Reply
  4. turboblocke

     /  January 12, 2016

    Funny how everyone blames the Saudis: in 2010 US oil production was 8.6 million barrels a day, Saudi production was 10.8. In 2014 US production was 12.5, Saudi 11.6. So the US increase production by 3.9 million barrels a day, the Saudis by 0.8 and yet the Saudis get the blame for the glut. Anyone care to explain the reasoning behind that? http://money.cnn.com/interactive/news/economy/worlds-biggest-oil-producers/

    Reply
    • Saudi Arabia is a single major source economy that dramatically suffers from the oil resource curse. I think blaming Saudi for not continuing to cut back production is a bit disingenuous to say the least.

      Reply
  5. Griffin

     /  January 12, 2016

    Great post Robert. One thing that does concern me is that our infrastructure is still fossil fueled. The drawdown of the US drilling that accompanied the decline of oil pricing has once again left Saudi Arabia in the driver seat for the lions share of output. Apneaman pointed out a couple of posts back that the KSA is currently facing some very difficult times with a sharp rise in sectarian violence. Should the KSA descend into internal conflict, the shock to the market would be tremendous. I could only imagine the frantic calls for increased US drilling as a result. (Export ban was lifted!) While renewables would benefit in the long run, the short-term profits for the oil companies would certainly buck the recent trend, and we would lose valuable time as a result. The more money they make, the more they own the decisions of this country.
    Anyway, here is a good read on the very real threat to Saudi.
    http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2016/01/11/why_saudi_arabia_may_be_the_next_syria_108881.html

    Reply
    • The boom and bust trend is amplified by the combined impact of renewable energy competition and fracking. In a laissez faire environment, this means more geopolitical instability. Fossil fuel investors will get hammered by this cycle. And countries reliant on fossil energy sources face destabilization. This, of course, is all due to very poor planning and a lack of cooperative efforts for an energy transition. In any case, the conflict between Iran and Saudi as well as various instabilities in the ME should concern everyone.

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  January 12, 2016

        In a world where global warming leads to policies replacing fossil fuels with renewables then leaving your oil in the ground is a non-starter for the oil states and they need to cash in their assets now to extract as much value as possible. This is the main reason for OPEC disintergrating, no-one can afford to cut production. Add to that Iran coming back on stream and earning that country foreign exchange then that becomes another reason for Saudi not to cut production and to drive the price even lower.
        Marginal producers such as the North Sea fields will be closed down as investment to extend field life become un-economic, fracking wells with a 2 year life are converted to stripper wells, and oil sands producers bankrupted.
        Saudi the ME and Venezula then pray that the price rises – unlikely due to renewables and changing technology (?) – and if it does not the political and military situation runs even more out of hand in the ME as KSA runs out of money from its huge cash pile (projected to last 4 yrs at current spending) for its own population subsidies (bribes) and the aid (bribes) it extends to other countries such as Egypt. That could be the end for the House of Saud but they will not go quietly.

        Reply
        • If they were aided by other nations to diversify their economies or if nations aided in redevelopment support now, the situation could be somewhat stabilized. With the current every country for itself and forced austerity thinking that’s settling in, we really are looking at destabilization. Some states may well manage to hold together. But it will take better, more benevolent leadership than what we’ve seen thus far. I wouldn’t call collapse a foregone conclusion. But the bar gets higher with each year that countries do not prepare or coordinate for an energy transition. But we should be very clear — the energy transition is necessary, and the shocks we’ll see from that transition are far easier to deal with than the shocks we would see from climate change through continued burning of fossil fuels.

  6. climatehawk1

     /  January 12, 2016

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  7. Excellent, comprehensive review of the current market conditions in fossil fuel commodities. There is another factor I’d like to point out which is contributing to this bursting energy bubble. The over-produced oil glut coincided with weak global economic demand lingering since the 2008 financial crisis and hence exacerbated by austerity measures in Europe, western sanctions against Russia and Iran (recently ended), war in the Middle East, growing social unrest around the world, and a major economic reversal in China.

    What we’re seeing now is both encouraging and disturbing. While weak aggregate consumer demand (and the other factors detailed in this fine article) are finally triggering an exodus from fossil fuels, the corresponding erosion of middle class prosperity in the west (due in part to the transference of manufacturing to the developing east) poses rather serious long-term consequences particularly in terms of political stability.

    Reply
    • The concentration of wealth at the top of the economic spectrum absolutely contributes to instability. I think it’s pretty clear that those pushing austerity are just shooting everyone in the foot. But it’s worth noting that continued low fossil fuel demand is multi-faceted. The development of renewable energy is an ongoing super trend as is the shift to more efficient energy use. I personally think the austerity issue is more erosive of political stability than the energy transition issue. You have all these places on the brink of destabilization due to this massive income gap. All these people around the world just living on the edge. All it takes is a little nudge to set things off. And we’ve got shoves and nudges all over the place in the form of ramping climate change impacts and poorly managed economies including an energy switch that is happening more by revolution than by consensus.

      Reply
    • Robert — this reply is not for you, but for a post I just unapproved.

      It’s related to Vaclav Smil who, unfortunately, has been writing what I consider to be energy systems misinformation for the American Enterprise Institute — a known fossil fuel think tank. It’s not my general policy, if I’m aware of it, to field posts linking to the representatives of those agencies. Smil has been a proponent of attacks on renewable energy and I find his conclusions to be seriously in question, especially when considering his publisher’s ties to fossil fuel industry.

      He claims to support a ‘slow transition’ to renewables. But many of his claims about the ability of distributed renewable power systems to rapidly replace fossil fuels has already been disproved in places like Australia, Germany, Hawaii and California. His bent seems to be to defend big, centralized grid utilities and to create space for them to achieve a gradual renewables transition. Unfortunately for Vaclav and AEI, renewable energy has been both revolutionary and transformative which is already upending traditional centralized grids and threatening utility dominance in many regions. This became plain in states like Arizona where political control was used to arrest what would have otherwise been a very rapid transition to renewables. In the end, though, political control will fail as these revolutionary energy systems find more and ever less expensive routes to market.

      And if Vaclav Smil has been making the rounds in comments here or on other blogs, you can find a good critique of him here:

      http://www.getreallist.com/watts-up-vaclav-my-critique-of-vaclav-smil.html

      Reply
      • Spike

         /  January 12, 2016

        I think the concentration of wealth is a real problem not only socially and economically, but climatically. Kevin Anderson says 50% of emissions come from the wealthiest 10% in the world, and points out that if they lived as average Europeans (no big sacrifice) there would be a substantial drop in emissions.

        A friend of mine is a pilot for a European billionaire’s private jet, which he uses virtually every week. Off to the Singapore Grand Prix one day, back for a horse race in the UK, off to the US to see a show next week. And I sit and listen and think this is killing life on Earth – why can’t we be rational and put the brakes on?

        Reply
    • Jeremy

       /  January 12, 2016

      Thanks for that link RS.

      Reply
  8. Andy in SD

     /  January 12, 2016

    Antarctica is now “geopolitically contested.”

    In November, the first commercial flight to Antarctica took place.

    http://www.afr.com/news/world/new-players-join-antarctica-race-20160106-gm05ld

    Reply
  9. wili

     /  January 12, 2016

    Oil just hit its lowest price since 2003, lower that in the deepest depths of the ’08 crash. And everyone seems to think that it could go much lower, depending largely on what happens in China.

    Commodities are falling faster than any time in 30 years.

    Looks like we may be in the midst of a global deflationary spiral, but what do I know?

    Reply
    • wili

       /  January 12, 2016

      Oil down 6% today, after US stock had their worst beginning of a year ever.

      Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  January 12, 2016

      Oil has a lot of enemies.

      – Price to market, all the easy oil is pumped. The break even is now pretty high per barrel (ie: ~105/barrel in Saudi).

      – Price versus renewables, as the renewables price per unit of generated energy is dropping.

      – Competition between oil producers. They are now trying to buy refineries to gain market share.

      The oil companies remind me of slide rule manufacturers, the last one in business must have made one hell of a good slide rule for cheap. It didn’t matter.

      I don’t see a way out for them. Saudi sees it, and that could be part of their calculus to float shares and IPO the national oil company.

      The nature of the energy industry is changing very fast. They can’t keep up.

      Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  January 12, 2016

        The present position with the oil industry and its infrastructure can probably be compared to trying to sell and ice structure the day before the temps rise well above freezing!
        We can probably now expect that the consumption of oil will increase due to the much lower prices of it, we have had about a 40% drop in vehicle fuel prices here in Spain recently, plus over a million new car registrations in the last year.
        As new car owners will use them a lot more than old car users, who just drive short distances then I expect fuel sales here to rise sharply over the next year.
        Meanwhile a vast amount of companies who have borrowed heavily to exploit oil will fail.
        Something like 30% or more may go bankrupt.
        Here’s a short article about this problem for them:-

        http://www.marketwatch.com/story/plunging-prices-could-force-a-third-of-us-oil-firms-into-bankruptcy-2016-01-11

        Reply
        • It’s worth noting that talk-talk about demand return has been ongoing since the oil price drop started more than a year and a half ago. There are major systemic issues still suppressing rapid oil demand increase which include China economic slowdown, austerity in Europe and elsewhere, and, of course, a vital renewable energy and efficiencies sector that’s putting a big damper on marginal fossil fuel demand. It’s a 1, 2, 3 combo that’s making rapid fossil fuel demand response highly unlikely. The industry is in for a major contraction globally. And given the political environment surrounding climate change, it’s unlikely to ever fully recover.

          This is not to say that oil prices won’t come back at some point. But that point is probably further off into the future and after wave after wave of new project cancellations as well as the potential for unrest and protest action to shut in production capacity. But we need to consider the massive size of the glut together with 2 million barrels per day of Iranian oil hitting markets this year.

      • Abel Adamski

         /  January 12, 2016

        And the frauds in the financial Media recommend that IPO as a good thing and a good investment.

        A compelling case for Saudi Arabia’s oil sale
        Stephen Bartholomeusz

        An IPO of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, could prove a prudent move by the Gulf state.

        A Paywalled Murdoch site for any who have sunk low enough to subscribe to Murdoch Media

        http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2016/1/12/markets/compelling-case-saudi-arabias-oil-sale

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  January 12, 2016

        Yet on the other hand they preach caution by a different author

        Five tips to avoid the next Dick Smith
        by Matt Ryan
        9 hours ago
        7 comments
        Following the collapse of Dick Smith, the role of private equity in the IPO market is under scrutiny like never before. He’s a quick guide on how to spot the lemons.

        http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2016/1/12/markets/five-tips-avoid-next-dick-smith

        Reply
      • wili

         /  January 12, 2016

        Royal Bank of Scotland seems to agree with me on the global deflationary spiral thing:

        RBS: “SELL EVERYTHING!!!”

        http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/12/investing/markets-sell-everything-cataclysmic-year-rbs/

        Reply
  10. Greg

     /  January 12, 2016

    Beautiful post Robert, thank you. Would so love to know if any of these FF proponents really put their money where their mouths are and have lost big as a result. Going to keep my eye out for an interview where someone repents.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 12, 2016

      I suspect they and their mates and families took the opportunity to cut their losses they saw coming and let the gullible rubes they conned be fleeced in the process

      Reply
    • I have trouble watching the financial news these days. The recent talk on the Saudi IPO was amazingly myopic. Some nonsense about private vs state (public) all wrapped in together with scuttle-butt over whether this was bad timing for the Saudis. As if they can’t see outside of their own little ‘private good, public bad’ Animal Farm mentality. And, of course, there’s this continued basic fear mongering over Saudi Arabia in general.

      Huge failure to talk about the major busts now going on throughout the industry due to malinvestment, climate change, and shifting investments to renewables.

      I’d say it’s pretty clear that the IPO was about spreading Saudi’s own growing oil risk out to the world markets and to position itself as a dominant player. That Saudi is doing this as a means to try to counter some of the larger systemic issues it is facing. But it’s also because Saudi does have access to some of the cheapest producing wells. It has an advantage that most of the rest of the oil industry does not. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Aramco started acting more and more like a major.

      Of course the real problem here is the issue of market dominance by a single powerful actor. And I think that’s a rational concern that should be addressed outside of this stuffy ideological context. From the pure realism standpoint, and taking all neo-liberalism out for the junk that it is, I’d say Aramco is positioning itself to take advantage of these busts. To get resources at bargain prices when they go belly-up.

      Of course, considering climate change and renewables in the wings, such fire sales and buying are very, very risky. I’d call them malinvestments. And there may well be some backlash if Saudi, say, starts buying off fracking assets in the US or UK. But I honestly wonder if the price manipulation game just got hotter. If the aim now might not to just be buy the competitors out and shut down the wells in a desperate gambit to force prices higher?

      Reply
      • Hi Robert, like many other commenters I’m very grateful that you maintain this blog and the comment sections, so thanks!

        In reply to your comment, I wonder how much backlash there would really be to the Saudis buying anything, since they did recently manage to buy the Canadian Wheat Board (for a buck, or something like that) and I thought that they also owned several US port authorities.

        Reply
  11. Greg

     /  January 12, 2016

    The departing CEO (12 years) of NRG, a sizable energy company, David Crane: “I was in Paris last month; the world is moving and the global business community is moving with it….I hope you appreciate that the steps I took, the new frontier of the energy business that I pushed the company into, were then, and are still now, in the long-term best interest of the company’s employees, its shareholders, its customers and the earth we all inhabit. As a company that aspires to growth, there is no growth in our sector outside of clean energy; only slow but irreversible contraction following the path of fixed line telephony…For my part, I intend to continue to do everything within my power to bring about the clean energy future as fast as quickly and as completely as we can achieve it. That the clean energy future is going to happen is, at this point, inevitable, but as we have seen with my own personal experience, timing is everything and the earth, as we know it, is running out of time. We need to act now. ”
    http://www.greenbiz.com/article/david-cranes-farewell-letter-nrg-employees

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 12, 2016

      The comments are worthwhile, especially Davids response to the article and the comments

      Reply
  12. Greg

     /  January 12, 2016

    RIP David Bowie. Amen we got five years, maybe not.

    Reply
  13. Leland Palmer

     /  January 12, 2016

    If the fossil fuel corporations like ExxonMobil and the large banks like JPMorgan Chase ever had to pay climate damages they would be instantly bankrupt. I think this is because the total cumulative greenhouse gas heating from burning a quantity of fossil fuel is on the order of 100,000 times the useful heat of combustion – assuming that the methane hydrates don’t destabilize or the arctic feedback effects get totally out of control. If the methane hydrates destabilize or other positive feedback effects go out of control, the total cumulative greenhouse heating plus positive feedback heating from burning fossil fuels could end up being millions of times the useful heat of combustion.

    Parasitic seems like too weak of a word to describe this sort of effect, where the side effects so greatly outweigh the benefit. The word that seems the most appropriate is poison – fossil fuels are climate poison. Fossil fuels are like an extremely virulent virus infecting our climate system, and like a poison or virus they have to be eliminated if we want to live.

    Fossil fuels are a huge common law nuisance, and if there was any justice in the world, fossil fuel investment should result in the investors becoming legally liable for climate change damages. The investors, stockholders, banks and especially the super rich fossil fuel dynasties like the Rockefellers should be held legally liable for climate change. Their wealth should be stripped and used to help pay for the transition to clean energy.

    If we are a global society ruled by law the fossil fuel corporations and their investors will be held liable for climate change damages. If we are a global society ruled by power, propaganda, covert action and subversion of the rule of law, those responsible for wrecking the stability of the climate system will escape justice.

    Those responsible for wrecking the stability of the climate system must be held accountable. Allowing the super rich to get away with this will only encourage more poisonous behavior.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  January 12, 2016

      Revelations 11:18
      A call for God to destroy those that destroy the Earth. The bible even recognises that man can destroy the earth and that is why a New Heaven and a New earth is being created, guess the earth destroyers and their accomplices and those that allowed them to do so will be excluded this time.

      Just for those who believe it is Gods doing and his Will

      Reply
  14. The imploding oil price is providing the space for renewables ramping while simultaneously dismantling the dirtiest fossils…they are both cutting global carbon releases and financing the future…

    The Saudis and other nearby cultures have the highest global solar radiation… Using their deserts to provide clean power to Europe had long been contemplated…and now it’s economically viable…it had begun as fits right in with the Jeremy Rifkin ZMC economy that’s unfolding

    I firmly believe this is the best winwinwin imaginable at the most pivotal moment in the history of our species.

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  January 12, 2016

      The ME suffers from the oil curse, skewing and overvaluing the economy so much that most other enterprises are strangled at birth. The rest of the world, or more properly the worlds cities want only one thing from the ME, oil.
      Replace that with electricity and the same problems remain, the worlds cities will only want one thing from the ME, electricity. The ME will remain a problem to its neighbours, large under-employed and poor populations, unable to feed themselves and with the likely outcome, due to GW, of an uninhabitable Gulf, at least for part of the year (saturated wet bulb temps).
      Neither the UK in the 18th-19th centuries or the USA in the 20th Century got “rich” by solely exploiting resources, being the first in the industrial race the UK had an empire to buy the goods,and the USA did it by internal trade between numerous competing cities.
      In a world where one small chinese city, Datang, Zhuji, makes 1/3 of the worlds socks the problem is can we trade more with the ME, rather than buy everthing from China, and can the ME generate its own markets internally rather than rely on the rest of world just buying energy.

      Reply
  15. redskylite

     /  January 12, 2016

    I remember a time when the oil companies were held in esteem, sometime in the mid 1970s. Even at this late stage if they changed and started working towards a new vision of de-carbonizing, they could win back some of that esteem. It would even protect their shareholders as they would have their investment is something more long-term than endless exploration of buried fossils. The pressure is on for those companies to change radically. Are they up to the challenge ?

    We will see . . .

    “As Exxon Faces Investigation, Investors Renew Pressure for Stronger Climate Stance”

    Taken as a whole, the resolutions deliver a core message to Exxon that it’s time to change course on its climate strategy, said Shanna Cleveland, a senior manager at Ceres, a Boston company that coordinates action on issues important to many of the nation’s largest institutional investors.

    “It really is a bottom-line message from shareholders that you (Exxon) have played a major role in bringing about climate change, and we want some clear indication that you are turning around and starting to move in a positive direction on climate,”.

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/12012016/exxon

    Reply
    • Jeremy in Wales

       /  January 12, 2016

      The reasons for the esteem leaking away, lies and more lies, and shortcuts to boost profits that then go horribly wrong, BP in the GOM or LA methane leaking well that may have been bust 24 years ago, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-12/company-behind-las-methane-disaster-knew-its-well-was-leaking-24-years-ago

      Reply
    • Was just talking to someone today about this (the exit of the oil companies from solar and other renewables) and commenting that I wonder how much of it was due to Reagan’s pernicious influence. I know firsthand that his time in office was very damaging to the infant U.S. wind power industry–probably cost us 10 to 15 years.

      Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  January 14, 2016

        Hi climatehawk1-

        Yes, Jimmy Carter’s solar energy research program was a real program that had a real impact on advancing solar energy technology. When Reagan came into office Carter’s solar energy research program was cut by 90% to “save money”.

        I’ve always speculated that Reagan’s demolition of Carter’s solar energy research program was a favor that he did to gain the support of the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party. George Bush the elder was the choice of the Rockefeller wing, but when Reagan beat him in the primaries and became the Republican candidate for President, Reagan and the Rockefeller wing made a deal, I think. Parts of that deal included the destruction of Carter’s solar energy research program, the installation of James Baker as Reagan’s Chief of Staff, and the choice of George Bush the elder as Vice President, I think. I think that the energy policy of ExxonMobil thus became the energy policy of the whole country.

        The Rockefellers still apparently control ExxonMobil, which is a merger of two of the fragments of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly, broken up by government antitrust action in 1911. There is some question about just how much control they actually gave up of the fragments of the company. The breakup of Standard Oil made John D. Rockefeller the all time world’s richest man, ever.

        So, I think Reagan was doing the bidding of the Rockefellers and ExxonMobil when he cut Carter’s solar energy research program. And, yes, I think too that the Reagan Administration and the subsequent Bush administration cost us at least 16 years of progress in clean energy development – the duration of the combined Reagan and Bush terms in office.

        Reply
      • Leland Palmer

         /  January 14, 2016

        Oh, correction, George Bush senior was a one term President. So the combined duration of Reagan / Bush was 12 years. Sorry, my mistake.

        Reply
  16. Abel Adamski

     /  January 12, 2016

    From our Irish friends
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/stormy-times-climate-change-and-instability-as-predicted/5500530

    Now in 2016, we are already seeing these predictions come true. There have been six storms already since the beginning of winter and a weather station in Donegal recorded its wettest day for any month since 1885 and its highest December temperature in 60 years. There has been unprecedented flooding in many parts of rural Ireland combined with severe winds.

    Reply
  17. redskylite

     /  January 12, 2016

    R.I.P David Robert Jones – one of favorites and certainly appropriate to the topic . .

    Reply
  18. Bryan Stairs

     /  January 12, 2016

    Some thoughts. Oil is plunged. Oil mind think says that energy use = oil use. Current price is because of bad economy + oil glut. Economy improves oil use goes up, price goes up. Oil survivors are those who can survive low prices.
    Possible real case:
    While oil was at $120, price of renewable was at say $50/ kwh (do not know exact number and really is not important).
    Big energy users saw the renewable price and paid is it still made sense to bottom line.
    Renewable industry started making profits spent more money on R&D and production, now price/kwh at $5. Even with low oil price which no one believes will stay there, renewables still make sense.
    Second part of equation. Now price affordable for general population and renewables easily translate between large production and small production. More money into renewables industry price continues to drop. renewables will become more decorative based on consumer and local bylaw demands more sales and new industry becomes main stream.
    Losers oil and big energy renewable production. Although needed for big industry not for general population as much.

    Reply
    • Good thoughts. Although for most markets the cost of renewable energy is in the range of 6 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour and as low as 5 cents per kilowatt hour in the best markets.

      There are certainly challenges to larger renewable energy adoption. But they can be handled by a combination of micro grids, storage (whose cost is also falling), and a transition of surviving utilities to grid operators.

      Some have hyper-focused on other single necessary issues — like conservation — while attacking renewables. And we should certainly view conservation as a necessary part of any climate solution. But renewables are probably the only rapidly scalable replacement for fossil fuels. And attacking that part of the equation serves the fossil fuel special interests. Nuclear is expensive, dangerous when something goes wrong, and has a massive degree of public opposition. Build times are slow. And the infrastructure disrupting aspect of climate change in the form of sea level rise, extreme droughts, and increasingly powerful storms makes this fixed source vulnerable. The distributed nature of renewables makes it far less vulnerable to climate shocks.

      In addition, the modularity makes for easy small to large scale build-up while the fact that it responds to economies of scale produces power sources with the ability to push energy costs lower. Finally, it’s an energy source that responds to rapid innovation — a strength large, centralized energy systems have been unable to leverage.

      To be fair, there’s no perfect energy source and it’s likely that, without some pretty strong policy support, the buildout of renewables would at first be somewhat slower than Lovins or other proponents predicted. But this does not deny the essential nature of this super trend. And the renewable optimists will eventually be more right than the pessimists — barring some global fossil fuel tyranny.

      And I do tend to take down the arguments of renewable energy pessimists here. They all too often receive funding from fossil fuel think tanks and their arguments are mind-shrinking in their single-faceted callous assertiveness. More to the point, they have been wrong time and again about this energy source’s ability to expand and have been blind to the fact that, in the current day, barriers to renewables now mostly come in the form of political pressure from fossil fuel special interests to make it impossible for renewables to develop or to slow that development down to a crawl. We’ve seen this in areas where traditional utilities have dominated the political apparatus of certain states like Florida, Virginia, or Arizona. Or when conservatives come into power in countries like Australia, the UK, the U.S., and Canada.

      So we should be very clear that there’s an energy war going on here. And it’s being fought at every level of society — including at the level at which opinions are formed on the viability of the new energy source. But almost more importantly, it’s useful to remember that the loudest detractors of renewable energy aren’t being honest.

      Reply
      • Agreed, certainly true for wind. Biggest detractors are all Koch-funded front groups/think tanks. Reliability and integration issues, IMHO, vastly overstated. In the case of U.S. wind, they are being examined intensively by the national labs, so I’m not sure where the idea comes from that they’re being swept under the rug.

        Reply
        • And the national labs reports are far more informative and trustworthy than any of these detractor sites. It’s all very similar to climate change denial. We’re basically seeing merchant of doubt campaigns on the issue of renewable energy viability.

  19. pat

     /  January 12, 2016

    Seems like a classic overproduction cycle that capitalism invariably produces – we extracted too much energy and made too much stuff with it, now for a while we have to use up the excess.

    Reply
    • That and the fact that capitalism tends to structurally suppress demand by generating systemic inequalities. Boom and bust for certain. However, we have major underlying energy and political trends — namely renewables and climate change — that are influencing this particular cycle.

      Reply
  20. I think I’ll share this link on Seeking Alpha to rattle the folks who still invest in fossil fuels.

    Reply
  21. Spike

     /  January 12, 2016

    In the UK, an army of policemen are required to get a fracking operation underway in Cheshire. Doesn’t look as though it’s going to be easy for them to lay waste the countryside.

    Reply
    • James Burton

       /  January 12, 2016

      Thank god for those people! Fracking the UK is probably the most insane scheme in the long history of the country. A small island, so crowded, and with vulnerable water sources, to frack this land is beyond criminal! If Cameron gets his way, half of the ground water on the island will be put at risk almost overnight.
      See the floods that occurred? What will happen when thousands of fracking wells and associated storage facilities are under 6 feet of water?
      In North Dakota, a vast and open landscape, even there locals suffer from the gases associated with getting rid of waste water and chemicals. Ponds are filled with toxic water and allowed to evaporate into the air! What will happen to villages and rural homes sitting right next to fracking rigs on all sides?
      This type of assault on society by a few people looking to get rich almost deserves a real revolution to rise up and take it down.

      Reply
      • Have to agree wholeheartedly, James. These people are heroes putting themselves on the line for the people of the UK and the safety of their waters and lands. Not to mention heroes in the global climate sense. Of course, I think the people of the UK are now starting to realize that the North Atlantic climate change extreme weather gun is pretty much leveled right at them. That it’s probably not wise to keep giving it more ammunition in the form atmospheric heating, ocean heating and glacial melt to keep firing off at them.

        I sincerely hope they prevail. If not just in stopping this ill-fated endeavor, but also in raising awareness to how wrong and badly considered are the current actions of the UK government in allowing this fracking to take place.

        Reply
  22. utoutback

     /  January 12, 2016

    Meanwhile….
    Here in the USofA we have news from the Detroit auto show. USA Today lauds the 3 models that stole the show:
    Lexus LC 500 a 467 HP V8
    Buick Avista a 3 liter 400 HP – turbocharged
    Honda Ridgeline a 3.5 liter mid-sized truck with 1600lb for “serious truck lovers”
    No mention of fuel economy or electrics with gasoline at $2 per gallon.
    Short sighted much?
    Sigh.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/driveon/2016/01/11/new-model-reveals-lexus-buick-honda-steal-detroit-auto-show/78648456/

    Reply
  23. Greenland ice sheet melts more when it’s cloudy

    Clouds play a bigger role in the melting of the Greenland ice sheet than was previously assumed. Compared to clear skies, clouds enhance the meltwater runoff by a third. Those are the findings of an international study that was coordinated by KU Leuven and published in Nature Communications.

    The researchers used specific satellite observations to detect clouds over the Greenland ice sheet from 2007 to 2010. They compared the results with ground-based observations. The researchers combined these observations with snow model simulations and climate model data to map the net effect of clouds.

    “Over the entire Greenland ice sheet, clouds raise the temperature, which triggers additional meltwater runoff: 56 billion tons per year – a third more than clear skies. Contrary to what you would expect, this effect is not so much visible during the daytime melting process, but rather during the following night. A snowpack is like a frozen sponge that melts during the day. At night, clear skies make a large amount of meltwater in the sponge refreeze. When the sky is overcast, by contrast, the temperature remains too high and only some of the water refreezes. As a result, the sponge is saturated more quickly and excess meltwater drains away.”

    http://phys.org/news/2016-01-greenland-ice-sheet-cloudy.html

    Reply
    • With elevated temperatures leading to increased water vapour in the atmosphere, and thus increased cloud cover, this could be another positive feedback mechanism for ice melt.

      Reply
      • – To my mind, the clouds are visible manifestation heat and water vapour.
        I see an atmosphere that is thick with moisture and particulate — mostly anthropogenic at that.
        Is that right?

        Reply
  24. Joni Grady

     /  January 12, 2016

    BBC World news in depth report on End of Oil with several experts. Excellent coverage of just what you’re discussin.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03ddznd#play

    Reply
  25. Greg

     /  January 12, 2016

    Robert, one more component you may want to add to this article –jobs. The FF extraction industry, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ended up at about 185,000 in December from a high of 199,000 in January, while Solar jobs alone as of November, showed 208,859, a 123 percent increase since the first survey in 2010 and 35,000 new jobs in 2015 alone. Other highlights from the 2015 national solar foundation annual industry survey:

    Over the next 12 months, employers surveyed expect to see total employment in the solar industry increase by 14.7% to 239,625 solar workers.
    One out of every 83 new jobs created in the U.S. since Census 2014 was created by the solar industry – representing 1.2% of all new jobs.
    Of the 208,859 solar workers in the United States, approximately 188,000 are 100% dedicated to solar activities.
    Wages paid to solar workers remain competitive with similar industries and provide many living-wage opportunities.
    With 119,931 solar workers, the installation sector remains the single largest solar employment sector. The installation sector grew by almost 24% since November 2014 and by 173% since 2010.
    Women in solar jobs increased by 2% and now represent 24% of the solar workforce.

    http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/national/

    Reply
  26. islandraider

     /  January 12, 2016

    Preliminary monthly average for CO2, as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory, for December 2015: 401.85 ppm.

    This is a full 3.0 ppm above the December 2014 monthly average, which was 398.85 ppm.

    The year-on-year increase from 2013 to 2014 was 2.04 ppm (398.85 in December 2014 vs. 396.81 in December 2013).

    It appears that our predicament is getting worse, not better.

    http://co2now.org/

    COP21 resulted in a 32 page document about climate change that fails to use the phrase ‘fossil fuels’.

    The faster we go, the rounder we get…

    Reply
    • I’m going to make them rue that. And we’re going to use those pledges to cut those emissions, whether they ever really intended to or not.

      Reply
      • – MSM easily blames the current El Nino on specific rock slides and other current extreme weather events — but the words ‘climate’, ‘climate change’, or ‘fossil fuels’ is not mentioned.

        Reply
  27. – UK The Guardian

    BP to axe 1 in 5 North Sea jobs as oil giant cuts 4,000 staff worldwide

    Energy giant blames persistently low Brent crude price for major reduction in exploration and production jobs but has no plans to close any UK oil rigs
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/12/bp-job-cuts-low-oil-prices?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Version+CB+header&utm_term=149329&subid=8553955&CMP=ema_565b

    Reply
  28. – Koch/Senator Snowball Inhofe/fracking country:

    Earthquakes at Wastewater Injection Site Give Oklahomans Jolt into New Year

    After two earthquakes measuring 4.2 and 4.3, regulators order drillers to restrict their wastewater injection activity for the twelfth time in 10 months.

    Less than six hours after the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1, a magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck directly under the city of Edmond, jolting residents from sleep across the state and triggering an hour-long local power outage for nearly a half-million people.

    The event came exactly 72 hours after a slightly larger magnitude 4.3 earthquake rocked the same town, representing the latest in hundreds of seismic events felt by Oklahomans since 2009, when oil and gas production increased in the state. State energy regulators and scientists say these quakes are likely caused by drillers’ injection of wastewater deep into wells nearby.

    Reply
  29. NWS OPC ‏@NWSOPC 10h10 hours ago

    The 1005 mb low in the lower left corner is forecast to become hurricane force in 30 hrs w/winds to 85 kt in 48 hrs!

    Reply
  30. Jeremy

     /  January 12, 2016

    “Last fall, a 7-inch injection well pipe ruptured 500 feet below the surface of Los Angeles, after ferrying natural gas for six decades. The resulting methane leak is now being called one of the largest environmental disasters since the BP oil spill, has pushed thousands of people out of their homes, and has quickly become the single biggest contributor to climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions in California. But it’s not the first time this well sprang a leak—and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), which owns and operates the well, knew it.”

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-company-behind-las-methane-disaster-knew-its-well-was-leaking-24-years-ago?utm_source=mbtwitter

    Reply
  31. – Earthquakes:
    Photographer Massoud won 2012 Pulitzer Prize for photo of “Girl in the Green Dress’ suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
    He’s a very thoughtful man. I think he would like RS.

    – Massoud Hossaini ‏@Massoud151 10m10 minutes ago

    #BREAKING #earthquake shook #Kabul for several seconds.

    – Massoud Hossaini ‏@Massoud151 5m5 minutes ago

    What a hell. If the devil’s slaves, #Taliban & #Terrorists do not kill us, this #earthquake will kill us finally. #WTF

    Reply
  32. Eric Blake ‏@EricBlake12 11m11 minutes ago

    #Pali has helped cause one of the strongest WWB on record- peak anomaly ~13 m/s (25 kt) impressive! #ElNino #climate

    Reply
  33. Anthony Sagliani ‏@anthonywx 57s57 seconds ago

    HRRR sounding valid at 21z for central PA. Unstable all the way to the tropopause, which happens to be 500 mb.

    Reply
  34. Media Matters ‏@mmfa 3m3 minutes ago

    Here’s how rarely presidential debate moderators asked questions about climate change:

    Reply
  35. Ryan in New England

     /  January 12, 2016

    Great post, Robert! The rapid decline of stock prices for coal companies is a pleasant surprise. Even though we knew this was going to happen, it still seems surprising…especially to those who counted on past trends to base their predictions for the future on. Oil and natural gas will suffer the same fate, and we will eventually come to embrace renewables, but will it be in time to avert catastrophe?

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2016

    “The oil companies remind me of slide rule manufacturers”

    Priceless

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2016

    Tens of thousands of dead birds are washing up on the beaches of Alaska’s Prince William Sound, an unexplained mass die-off that some experts say may be related to the changing climate.

    The birds, all of a species known as the common murre, appear to have starved to death, federal wildlife officials say, suggesting disruptions to the supply of herring and other fish that make up the birds’ diet.

    A survey by wildlife officials over the weekend counted more than 8,000 dead murres on the shores of one beach near Whittier, about 60 miles southeast of Anchorage. Local news video showed bodies of the black-and-white birds scattered on the beach and floating in the water offshore.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/01/12/mysterious-mass-deaths-of-alaskan-birds-baffles-scientists/

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 12, 2016

      Wildlife officials say it’s not yet known why the birds are starving. One possible explanation is that the birds’ usual food supply — the schools of herring and other small fish usually found near the coast — have not materialized this year, perhaps because of changing climate or this year’s extreme El Nino weather pattern. While generally plentiful elsewhere in Alaska, herring populations have been depressed in the Prince William Sound, scene of the 1983 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

      Reply
  38. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2016

    Drought and unrest sparked global societal collapse in the Bronze Age. Is it happening again?

    The year 1177 BCE roughly demarks the disintegration of humanity’s first global civilization: the Late Bronze Age. At its peak, a booming trade in raw materials, agricultural goods, and finished products—from jewelry to pottery, spices and wine—encircled the Mediterranean and stretched north, perhaps as far as present-day Scandinavia, and east to Afghanistan and India.

    Then, after centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end.

    http://qz.com/591457/drought-and-unrest-sparked-global-societal-collapse-in-the-bronze-age-is-it-happening-again/

    Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2016

    Rocky Mountain meltdown: CU scientists find glaciers shrinking
    NSF-backed CU scientists using ground-penetrating radar measured ice loss due to climate, affecting western water supplies

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29375115/rocky-mountain-meltdown-cu-scientists-find-glaciers-shrinking

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 12, 2016

      “We can’t get out of this. It is wired now, on the Colorado Front Range and in the Arctic,” Williams said. “There’s going to be less ability, on the water side, to address low flows in July and August.
      “Glacier National Park is not going to have glaciers in another couple decades. People are going to be upset about that. We’re in a loop we cannot get out of,” he said, adding that loss of snow-and-ice reflectivity will push temperatures higher.

      Reply
    • Tweeting. Thanks, Bob.

      Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2016

    What happens when a lake dries up entirely?

    In the case of the Lake Poopo in Bolivia, the Andean nation’s formerly second largest after the famed Titicaca, the answer is nothing short of devastation.

    The saltwater Lake Poopo was located in the Bolivian altiplano at an altitude of 3,700 metres in the western department of Oruro.

    https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/lake-poopo-dries-up?utm_source=Facebook

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 12, 2016

      Climate Change Is Upending the Ecology of Lakes in the Andes
      These tropical lakes are a crucial source of water—and climate change has them in jeopardy.

      As glaciers across South America gradually vanish from existence, another key, but often underlooked, source of water—lakes—are also under threat. Climate change is fundamentally re-shaping lake ecology in the Tropical Andes, a development that could undermine biodiversity and jeopardize critical water resources in a region stretching from Venezuela to Bolivia, according to a study published this past February in PLoS One.

      Link

      Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  January 12, 2016

    NOAA Gins Up Major El Niño Field Campaign: Hurricane Pali Spins Southwest of Hawaii

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3221#commenttop

    Reply
  42. Colorado Bob

     /  January 13, 2016

    Damn, Arctic anomaly near 3C again…

    Reply
  43. It’s hard to find reliable figures on how much the fossil fuel industry has been subsidized. I find various estimates from zero (there’s no taxpayer subsidy now and never has been) to millions and billions. (IMO, a large part of our military budget could be included in that figure.) Now a number of states, including Florida, NC) have laws prohibiting solar power companies from selling directly to consumers. Others states allow utilities to charge large hook-up fees for anyone getting their energy subsidized by solar. It’s hard to be optimistic.

    Reply
    • The U.S. subsidy is primarily in the form of tax breaks and sweetheart public resource deals. The global subsidy figure is in the range of 500 billion each year.

      Reply
  1. Five Reasons to Divest - Graymason

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,113 other followers

%d bloggers like this: