As France and Canada Plan to Phase Out Coal, Trump Backers Attack Tesla

Taking traditional coal power out of our energy mix and replacing it with cleaner technologies will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of Canadians, and benefit generations for years to come. —  Canada’s Environment Minister Kathleen McKenna

Make no mistake – Trump and his legion of doom cronies are a very real threat to the environment. Apart from the fact that they deny climate change actually exists, they are also quite big fans of coal. — IFL Science

Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness. — 365 U.S. Companies in an open letter to Trump asking him not to back out of Paris Climate Summit.

Climate change is a hoax. — Myron Ebell, whom Trump tapped to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency transition team.

*****

The wide-ranging conflict over renewable energy, carbon emissions, and climate change rages on. And as Donald Trump prepares to enter the Oval Office, or stay within the gilded halls of Trump Tower to the tune of 1 million dollars a day from the U.S. taxpayer (not Trump), it appears that U.S. climate and renewable energy leadership are already starting to lag.

Canada and France to End Coal Burning

Yesterday, in stark contrast to the Trump Administration’s pledge to rebuild the bankrupt U.S. coal industry, Canada announced that it would phase out coal burning by 2030. In similar moves, France stated that it would shut down all of its coal plants by 2023. Both pledges by Canada and France are aimed at pursuing carbon emissions reductions agreed to at the Paris Climate Summit and to honor the spirit of a new climate summit — COP 22 — that is now underway.

France and Canada join with Britain, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark who have all announced near-term timetables for phasing out coal burning. And since coal is the worst of the three major fossil fuel sources of CO2 emissions, halting coal burning is a key to addressing the rapidly worsening crisis that is human forced climate change.

Trump’s own statements on global climate summits and carbon emissions reduction commitments are that he wants to back out. An action that has already harmed U.S. trade prospects with France — whose public officials are now signaling that they could slap a carbon tax on U.S. goods if the President-Elect carries through with his threats. But, perhaps even worse, it appears that Trump’s intention to cling to dirty, old industries is also endangering U.S. competitiveness in emerging markets.

Elon Musk Solarizes American Somao

As the world moves ahead with emissions reductions and looks for ways to manage a recalcitrant U.S. under Trump, backers of Trump’s Presidential bid are at this time preparing to attack a key emerging U.S. solar and electrical vehicles industry. This week, Elon Musk’s Tesla announced that it had succeeded in providing 100 percent solar powered electricity to the island territory of Samoa.

american-samoa

(Like many places in the world, American Samoa is threatened by climate change. Now, thanks to Tesla, the island will not contribute to the problem through electricity generation as all such energy is produced by 100 percent solar power. Image source: The Embassy of Samoa.)

And over the next few years, Tesla, a global leader in renewable energy products, promises to create whole new markets even as it helps the world greatly reduce carbon emissions by providing both zero emitting power sources and zero emitting electrical vehicles.

Trump Backers Smear Tesla While Subsidy Support for Fossil Fuels Continues

If there is one major avenue for U.S. growth into new industry and innovation — it comes in the form of renewables. And Tesla is on the cutting edge of renewable energy innovation. The Trump Administration has made big and risky bets on rapid U.S. economic growth to support its own economic policy stance. But Trump backers appear set to try to hobble Tesla and prevent its entry as a global energy leader fostering solutions to climate change, providing products that enable energy independence, and supporting thousands of American jobs.

Trump’s stance in this case is pretty outrageous. It would be like the Reagan Administration attacking personal computers and Microsoft in favor of companies that produced the typewriter after his election in 1980. But as ludicrous as such a policy would have been, it wouldn’t have risked the global calamity that a failure to transition to renewable energy sources results in today.

fossil-fuel-subsidies

(A vast amount of public money and support has gone to aid fossil fuel extraction. This extraction, in its turn, has contributed greatly to the problem of human-caused climate change. It’s worth noting that zero-emitting renewable energy, over its industry lifetime has received just 1 percent of the support that the fossil fuel industry has in this country. Image source: Clean Technica.)

Despite the plain fact that expansion of access to renewable energy is necessary to deal with the crisis of human-caused climate change, Trump backers continue to attack these helpful new industries. In the most recent salvo, according to Electrek, a right wing group that aided Trump’s Presidential bid is now spear-heading a PR campaign aimed at damaging Tesla. The group is trying to falsely portray Tesla and the solar industry as a ‘subsidy hog.’ But the group mentions nothing of the massive subsidies going to fossil fuel corporations and to related oil, gas, and coal extraction. The group’s leader, Laura Ingraham, is a Fox News host and is likely acting to protect oil, gas and coal subsidies from a more appealing and less environmentally harmful energy industry competitor. And because groups like the ones fronted by Ingraham have come to prominence by riding in on Trump’s coat-tails, we can expect more and more of the same.

Business Leaders Plead With Trump, But Policy Looks Bad as Bad Can Be

But it’s not just an issue of Trump and his backers targeting Tesla. It’s an issue of Trump vs the sentiment of a major subset of the U.S. business community.

Last week, 365 major U.S. businesses issued an open letter asking Trump to support policies that confront climate change like the Paris Climate Summit. Businesses that included icons like Mars Candy, Nike, IKEA, Intel, Dannon, Dupont, and Hilton were among the signatories. And these industries together represent a huge interest group. One that supports the low carbon and carbon nuetral economy that companies like Tesla are helping to build. So the question is — will Trump turn a deaf ear to a whole segment of the American business community just to defend the interests of the damaging and fading fossil fuel industry (supposing the alternative is the highly unlikely event in which Trump, like Dr. Seuss’s Grinch, undergoes a miraculous change of heart).

Add in the fact that Trump’s cabinet is full of climate change deniers like Myron Ebell — who was the big voice supporting the fake argument that ‘global warming is a hoax’ — and we get the general picture of an Admistration that is hostile to both renewable energy and to the global effort to confront climate change. That is deaf to rational arguments by global political and industrial leaders. And such a brazen failure to engage on an issue that impacts pretty much everyone is the kind of lack of leadership that comes to the U.S. at the absolute worst possible time.

Links:

France to Halt Coal Burning

Canada to Halt Coal Burning

U.S. Companies to Trump — Don’t Abandon Global Climate Deal

IFL Science

Clean Technica

The Embassy of Samoa

Hat tip to Genomik

Hat tip to Cate

Hat tip to June

Hat tip to Greg

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79 Comments

  1. Earthlings are in trouble. Humans will accelerate the sixth extinction event under Trump’s “leadership”.

    Reply
  2. Perhaps Trump will shift his opinion though I don’t see how with the staff he’s picked (“Asked by the New York Times whether he would pull the US out of the Paris climate accord, which has been signed by 196 nations, Trump said: “I’m looking at it very closely. I have an open mind to it.” –Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/22/donald-trump-paris-climate-deal-change-open-mind).

    Reply
    • Marcusblanc

       /  November 23, 2016

      This is edge of the seat stuff. We badly need him to have another change of mind, although I can’t quite believe that will happen.

      ‘Leader of the Free world to see you sir’

      ‘Hello Angela’

      ‘Hello Donald’

      Reply
      • Can’t resist sharing this exchange from Twitter, imagining the recent meeting between Michelle Obama and Melania Trump:

        Michelle: “Hi, I’m Michelle.”
        Melania: “Hi, I’m Michelle.”

        Reply
    • He seems to have painted himself into a bit of a corner. But who knows. Trump’s not known for loyalty to staff. At best it’s a crap shoot.

      Reply
    • Josh

       /  November 23, 2016

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/22/nasa-earth-donald-trump-eliminate-climate-change-research

      “Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’”

      “Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

      Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.

      This would mean the elimination of Nasa’s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena. Nasa’s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change, with the Earth science division’s budget set to grow to $2bn next year. By comparison, space exploration has been scaled back somewhat, with a proposed budget of $2.8bn in 2017.”

      Reply
      • Stephen Hawking states that humanity will destroy life on this planet and must leave Earth or die. It is nonsense to believe we have the technology to build enough space ships to move our billions. But a few could be sent. Notwithstanding the emigration imperative, I plan to refuse to enter the B Ark when the order arrives.

        Reply
        • I think we, as a species, must learn how to care for the life that is here. Otherwise, there’s no way we’re going to make it in space.

        • Yes. And besides, there is some evidence that we must touch the Earth for without constant renewal of the 100-trillion members of our internal microbiome, we will waste away during our lives and die out within a few generations.

        • Yes, exactly. I’m thinking might be possible to set up space habitats stocked with soil, but seems like a very long shot. But settling on another world is probably unfeasible. E.O. Wilson goes into this in some depth in “The Meaning of Human Existence.”

  3. Griffin

     /  November 23, 2016

    Hi Robert. Have you seen the fires in Peru that show up on Worldview this week? Looks pretty intense and widespread down there.

    Reply
  4. Bolivia declares state of emergency due to drought, water shortage | Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/us-bolivia-drought-idUSKBN13G1P4

    Reply
  5. Obama says fake news is impeding progress on climate change | Inverse https://www.inverse.com/article/24175-barack-obama-fake-news-facebook-climate-change

    (Now he tells us.)

    Reply
    • So funny and sad. We’ve been dealing with this issue for years. Under reporting by the mainstream press and a proliferation of fake news or false news. Watts, Fox, Macedonian teens, what have you. It’s all the same climate change denial nonsense.

      Reply
  6. Trump has consistently picked extremists from white nationalists Like Bannon to earth rapists like Myron Ebell. Trump’s extreme words and his extremist cabinet picks indicate that he has an extreme agenda. Of course, even the devil himself won’t bring the coal industry back to Appalachia when the devil can make more money selling fracked gas and government subsidized coal in Wyoming.

    Trump is a liar’s liar. And damn if the corporate and right wing media haven’t helped him spread his lies across America and the world.

    Trump and his crony capitalist cabinet plan to steal everything that isn’t bolted into rock or cement. That includes raping the earth and despoiling the atmosphere. Hold onto your wallet and make sure you have plenty of cash.

    Reply
    • Yeah, everything is pointing in that direction…

      Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  November 24, 2016

      “…white nationalists Like Bannon…”
      Bannon is a white supremacist, not white nationalist. Big difference.

      “Trump and his crony capitalist cabinet plan to steal everything that isn’t bolted into rock or cement.”
      Bingo. That’s the game in its entirety. Nothing else matters as far as understanding what’s going to happen over the next four years.

      Reply
  7. Tigertown

     /  November 23, 2016

    Indulge please on a tangent, but have any of you seen Tesla’a new solar roof shingles. I was in the roofing business for years, and I can tell you they have really come out with some beautiful roof tiles. You really have to look at them to tell that these are solar shingles; so much better to look at than panels. I am waiting on some performance reports and then, who knows? Maybe a potential customer here.

    https://www.tesla.com/solar

    Reply
    • They look fantastic. Better than a normal roof, IMO. If they get the price right like they did the power wall, they will defiitely have a lot of customers.

      Reply
    • Vic

       /  November 23, 2016

      In his address to shareholders a few days ago Musk said he expects the solar roof will cost less than a normal roof even before taking the value of electricity into account. He also said that the large auto-makers benefit more from EV subsidies than Tesla does, so if Trump removes those subsidies it would make Tesla even more competitive.

      Reply
  8. Climate changing “too fast” for species – @BBCNews
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38069358

    Reply
  9. X miller

     /  November 23, 2016

    There are over 600 right wing radio stations,not to mention Fox Nooz ,spewing climate denial misinformation,political slander and outright lies 24/7 to people who have not the informationm to realise that they have been brainwashed into voting to end their own childrens’ futures , and very possibly their lives. And yet somehow that’s still not enough,he must complain about not being respected and feared by the media,even though they are the ones responsible for his election by allowing him to play them like a fiddle.

    Reply
    • It’s a big issue. A democracy cannot function with a misinformed electorate. And I think it’s going to take direct reporting on the problem by major media and government organizations to reduce it.

      Reply
  10. Greg

     /  November 23, 2016

    I want to live on this island! It even has mountains to fight sea level rise. That’s version 1.0 of the power packs too. Thank you Robert. Otto is now a hurricane. Sets a record for latest one in this area, I believe. Watch out C. America. Jeff Masters earlier today:

    https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/otto-expected-to-strike-central-america-as-a-hurricane

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  November 23, 2016

      “A storm of Otto’s expected strength has never made landfall so far south in the Caribbean, and there is no record of any hurricane striking Costa Rica.”

      Reply
    • It looks gorgeous. But sea level rise will harry the lowlands even as the highlands suffer from rapidly moving climate zones…

      Reply
  11. DroughtMonitor

     /  November 23, 2016

    Sorry to change the topic, but Bolivia is in a national emergency due to drought. It is basically running out of water. I have seen news in elpais.com, rt.com, and local media, but it certainly needs more divulging.

    Also, Igor Semiletov is presenting at a conference this week. I hope there is at least one article about it on the web. I would appreciate your comments on it Robert, if there is any public information.

    Reply
    • I’m working on an article for release on this topic tomorrow. There may be one on Bolivia specifically and one on the global drought situation in general or one that combines the two. I sincerely appreciate everyone posting here on this critical issue. And I’m doing my best to pull in every bit I can at this time while also dealing with other issues as well. Warmest regards. –R

      Reply
      • Matt

         /  November 23, 2016

        Look after yourself Mr Scribbler!!!
        Don’t over do it and end up unwell again! your efforts are so greatly appreciated here..

        Reply
        • Thanks for the kind words, Matt. I think I’ve got this. The key is to remember to drink water😉

        • Drinking water is good idea in any event–had an encounter several years ago with kidney stones that I never (ever, ever) want to repeat. That particular affliction is expected to increase in frequency globally with warming weather …

  12. So, Trump picked Myron Ebell to head the EPA transition team, with Ebell being a paid climate science denier – and quite good at it,

    He picked Steve Bannon, as his Chief Strategist. Articles by James Delingpole on Breitbart news have been strongly against climate science. Climate Science quotes by Bannon himself seem harder to pin down. Bannon wants to destroy the political left with some sort of nonsensical zeal, but news stories on Breitbart are dominated by Delingpole – a long time climate science denier.

    Now, Trump tells the New York Times that there is some connection of some sort between human activity and global warming, and that he is keeping an open mind about climate change. He might not back out of the Paris Accords, he says. He says that he is looking at this very closely.

    http://www.kvia.com/news/politics/trump-admits-some-connectivity-between-climate-change-and-human-activity/179760596

    Let’s hope he looks north and sees the Arctic sea ice at an all time low for this date since satellite measurements started being taken, and likely for much longer- likely several thousand years, according to proxy measurements.

    Let’s hope that the messages he has been receiving from world leaders, and the classified national security briefings he has been getting have knocked some sense into him.

    Trump has flip flopped on lots of issues. Let’s hope that climate change is one of them.

    Reply
    • Matt

       /  November 23, 2016

      Leland,
      I for one am looking forward to the great show that is unfolding in relation to Trumps “promises”. Reality is that he will be so overwhelmed with the truth when in office, that he will be stuck between a rock and a hard place….
      The “not listened to” hard done by voters who supported him will expect his promises to be delivered in full (this is already not happening with examples of softening on “the HUUUUGGEE wall, the prosecuting of Hillary etc.). On the other hand he has to deal with the international community and major corporations within the USA, which if he takes the hard line stance, will spell ruin for the US economy and the very people supporting him (not to mention the planet).
      We have had our experiment here in Australia with Abbott, and he didn’t even make one turn before being dumped by his own far right party.
      The people then gave his successor Turnbull a go and have had the same consequences. Currently the Australian Liberals are now a sitting duck, being pulled apart in all directions, giving rise to ultra nationalist parties such as One Nation, Shooters and Fishers etc. and not even garnering support of their own coalition partners. Recent By-elections have seen approx. 30% swings against Lib/Nat coalition representatives.
      The last election saw the highest ever vote for non-major parties, the next…. who knows, I even think the Liberals could split.
      I think the positive is that Trump will mean the end of the Republican party rule in its present form for quite a while, again this is exactly what happened here when the Liberal Party (under Howard) got control over both houses in the early mid 2000’s, they were comprehensively dumped at the very next election for the abuse of that power.
      Watch them panic if your mid terms turn against them….. Does the planet have that much time though??

      Reply
      • mulga mumblebrain

         /  November 24, 2016

        Yes, Matt-Howard was dumped in 2007, and the country descended even deeper into the cess-pool under the lunatic Rudd, and the dullard, Gillard, both of whom stuffed up the chances of action on climate destabilisation, in the face of a vicious MSM campaign led by Satan Murdoch’s Evil Empire. To be followed by the tragically farcical denouement of the Abbott ultra-Right, fanatically denialist, regime, currently fronted by the empty Armagni suit, multi-millionaire bankster, Turnbull. If I was religious I would definitely say that ‘God’ has it in for us.

        Reply
    • My opinion on this is that by appointing climate change deniers, he’s making his real statement. I pay less attention to what the guy says and more attention to what he does. And, so far, everything has been terrible.

      A commitment to not back out of Paris would be a start. But we need a President that’s actually capable of moving forward on climate change. Not someone who’s crippled by a cabinet full of hacks, deniers, and extremists or hamstrung by a selfish mentality that is incapable of seeing the real world as-is.

      Reply
  13. Genomik

     /  November 23, 2016

    There may be some fake news on Facebook, but the power of the Facebook advertising platform to influence voters is very real. This is the story of how the Trump campaign used data to target African Americans and young women with $150 million dollars of Facebook and Instagram advertisements in the final weeks of the election, quietly launching the most successful digital voter suppression operation in American history.
    Throughout the campaign, President-Elect Donald J. Trump shrewdly invested in Facebook advertisements to reach his supporters and raise campaign donations. Facing a short-fall of momentum and voter support in the polls, the Trump campaign deployed its custom database, named Project Alamo, containing detailed identity profiles on 220 million people in America.
    With Project Alamo as ammunition, the Trump digital operations team covertly executed a massive digital last-stand strategy using targeted Facebook ads to ‘discourage’ Hillary Clinton supporters from voting. The Trump campaign poured money and resources into political advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, the Facebook Audience Network, and Facebook data-broker partners.

    View story at Medium.com

    Reply
    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  November 23, 2016

      “There may be some fake news on Facebook,” is like asking is the sky blue? But, the truth is that there is so much fake and slanted news on the internet let alone Facebook that the average news consumer with an average level of intelligence, reading comprehension and critical thinking skills is simply overwhelmed. I am not a rocket scientist or a MENSA candidate but, I do consider myself to have above average intelligence and I have difficulty at times discerning what is the truth/reality.

      Reply
      • Sources I consider trustworthy:

        NYT (news, editorials, not necessarily op-eds)
        Washington Post (news, not nec op-eds)
        LA Times (news)
        Guardian
        Sydney Morning Herald
        NASA
        NOAA
        The Conversation
        Slate
        Vox
        Climate Progress (esp. Joe Romm)
        Skeptical Science
        robertscribbler
        Climate Central
        Carbon Brief
        Morning Climate
        Weather Underground/Category 6
        Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media
        Summit County Voice
        Real Climate (important to have right name here, as there are phony denier sites that mimic it closely)
        AP (Seth Borenstein)
        Discover (Tom Yulsman)
        Christian Science Monitor
        Medium
        Nexus Media

        There are probably a few more, but these are where I get the bulk of my climate info. Haven’t really ever been misled by any of them, although the coverage is not always quite to my liking (doesn’t mention climate enough, stuff like that).

        Reply
        • Also:
          Inside Climate News
          Climate News Network
          Climate Nexus (I believe this is affiliated with Nexus Media)

        • Good list. Agree RE WaPo op-ed which has become pretty bad recently. Joe Romm is execellent. Would add Skeptical Science and a few others to the list. Nat Geo has been pretty decent as well.

        • Agree on NatGeo and, of course, Skeptical Science. Grist and Nation are also generally good, as is Dahr Jamail reporting at Truthout. Oh, and still more:

          Thomson Reuters Foundation
          Reuters
          Bloomberg
          IPS News (IPS provides a lot of on-the-ground coverage from poorer countries)
          Deutsche Welle

    • Sure, social media is powerful. And the rumor mill can’t be entirely blamed on this form of media.

      But, in this context, we should be clear that Trump lost the popular vote by the largest margin of any sitting President. The targeted division and confusion resulted in a kind of cover that allowed Trump to be elected. Not that it won him hearts and minds to the extent that he has a real mandate of any kind.

      Reply
  14. Genomik

     /  November 23, 2016

    A new kind of nanoscale rectenna (half antenna and half rectifier) can convert solar and infrared into electricity, plus be tuned to nearly any other frequency as a detector.

    Right now efficiency is only one percent, but professor Baratunde Cola and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech, Atlanta) convincingly argue that they can achieve 40 percent broad spectrum efficiency (double that of silicon and more even than multi-junction gallium arsenide) at a one-tenth of the cost of conventional solar cells (and with an upper limit of 90 percent efficiency for single wavelength conversion).

    http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2015/09/solar-cells-will-be-made-obsolete-by-3d.html?m=1

    Reply
  15. Shawn Redmond

     /  November 23, 2016

    RS since your critic of my musings about the drought conditions here in NS and how you felt the drying I was seeing was probably related to warmer conditions than usual. It sent me looking at past weather stats. It seems that stats for the time period between ’74 and ’00 are buried somewhere hard to locate for my locale. However the precip totals and temp totals for the periods before and after those times are available. They are well with in the averages for the 30 year numbers during the months from March to June. So I’m back to the “quicker than it was” question; Why does the water dry up in a few sunny but not overly warm days in April and beyond? The atmosphere seems to be drawing the moisture up from the surface like a wick draws the oil up from a lamp. An oil lamp with a wick will go dry on its own eventually. However if you warm the wick i.e. light it and the lamp goes dry sooner. Does more moisture in the atmosphere draw more moisture to it? A pot boils dry faster when a low pressure system is approaching. Not very scientific just personal observations. I can’t seem to find any reviewed papers on this as yet, ( I spend a lot of my time reading the links from threads such as this!). Which is far more interesting than research. Anyhow looking forward to your post on the ongoing drought that has a lot of the world in its grip presently. I think the sixth extinction started in the 60’s when we passed three billion and refused to turn toward more sustainable practices rather than follow the advice of the already alarmed science community. Hindsight is 20/20. Collective foresight seems to be 0/0!

    Reply
  16. Abel Adamski

     /  November 23, 2016

    http://phys.org/news/2016-11-insights-global-hiatus.html

    Study sheds new insights into global warming ‘hiatus’
    November 22, 2016

    The oceans really did eat it, and recently brought some of it back up

    Reply
  17. Abel Adamski

     /  November 23, 2016

    Even our MSM, or at least the non Murdoch element are aware of the issues

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/threat-to-nasa-climate-role-a-disaster-for-global-warming-action-researchers-20161123-gsw05u.html

    A threat by the incoming Trump administration to the climate research of US space agency NASA would be disastrous for global efforts to monitor and counter global warming, Australian researchers said.

    NASA’s earth science division would be stripped of funds, with the money diverted to deep space exploration, the Guardian reported on Tuesday, citing comments by Bob Walker, a senior advisor to president-elect Donald Trump.

    Mr Trump told the Times “I have an open mind to it” and that clean air and “crystal clear water” were vitally important, the paper reported.

    While those comments were welcomed, Professor England noted many of Mr Trump’s appointments so far bore “almost a hatred of our field of research”.

    “They are people who don’t have an open-mind,” he said, adding that many of them had close ties to the fossil-fuel industry – one that Mr Trump had pledged to help.

    Roger Jones, a former CSIRO scientist now at Victoria University, said “the whole world” uses systems developed by NASA such as the satellite observation system MODIS.

    “In Australia [the data] is used to monitor floods and drought on an on-going basis,” Dr Jones said. “It’s used to ground our understanding of soil moisture and production systems.”

    “This is an area where global-scale earth system science is seen as an aspect of ‘globalisation’ and thus suspect,” he said. “The UN agenda is to use science funded by the people of America against the interests of everyday Americans – this is what they see as happening now.”

    “Stopping all funding would, for instance, mean abandoning satellites that monitor the earth’s surface and would be an enormous waste of billions of dollars of scientific research,” Mr Ward said. “It would also trigger the departure of many world-class scientists that would have catastrophic consequences for the competitiveness of universities and businesses in the United States.”

    Reply
  18. robert

     /  November 23, 2016

    Any sane person would be supportive of Tesla and EV’s in general. Trump’s supporters’ attack on Tesla is nuts. Yet what some whacko followers of Trump believe is not news. Trump starting to “warm up” to the scientific fact of human-caused global warming is an awakening of sorts. While no 180 degree turn, his pledge to keep an open mind and his unwillingness to continue with a strict denialist stance is significant. As things get worse (and they are) we can reasonably hope that his response will continue to evolve in the direction of rationality. He’s certainly not there yet, not by a long shot, but his comments in the past day are so significant, relatively speaking, that they are cause for measured optimism in this regard.

    Reply
    • John McCormick

       /  November 23, 2016

      Trump has to get past the Dec. 19 test, in Congress. Meanwhile, Congress has the agenda that Trump will sign into law. He can play with us all he wants but Congrss will demnd he sign legislation that will accomplish hi goals without his being seen as the liar he is.

      Reply
    • Wish I could agree. Almost all of what he said was straight out of the climate science denier playbook (or incoherent), and then a minion followed with comments about how there is no need for NASA to be doing “politically correct” science. Much as I would like to, nowhere near enough to start cutting him slack. Could easily be interpreted as deliberate misdirection. MHO.

      Reply
    • mulga mumblebrain

       /  November 24, 2016

      Of course these attacks are ‘nuts’. They are Rightwing psychopaths, after all. We really MUST face up to the fact that these daemons are BEYOND reason and appeals to humanity or rationality. They do everything they do out of HATE, including hatred of those who will be alive when they are dead. You only need visit the Comments at any Rightwing denialist site, or the Letters in any Murdoch shite-rag to see their unhinged hatred feeding on itself on off one another.

      Reply
  19. Genomik

     /  November 23, 2016

    More on Elon musk trolls. Certainly many of these are related to opposing fossil fuel interests trying to crush him.
    However, being a publicly traded company also makes him a subject of short sellers and that comes w the territory of being public.
    Nonetheless many are obviously invested in an climate denial message.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-22/elon-musk-vs-the-trolls

    Reply
    • Robert In New Orleans

       /  November 23, 2016

      Elon Musk doesn’t worry about trolls, he eats them for breakfast because he is Ironman.

      Reply
  20. John McCormick

     /  November 23, 2016

    “even the devil himself won’t bring the coal industry back to Appalachia when the devil can make more money selling fracked gas and government subsidized coal in Wyoming.”

    Coal exports to Asia will put miners back to work. Expanding export terminals, in Baltimore and the West Coast, are in the near term.

    Reply
    • China is cutting coal. So is India. Add in numerous countries that are phasing it out entirely and the market is pretty much non existent.

      Reply
  21. Robert In New Orleans

     /  November 23, 2016

    Just off topic a bit, but this looks like a sign of the times. More unusual events caused by extreme weather.
    Three people died in Victoria, Australia, as a result of “thunderstorm asthma”.
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/23/health/thunderstorm-asthma-australia/index.html

    Reply
    • Three dead, almost 2600 reported cases, 1900 ambulance calls in 4 hours.

      High humidity, thunderstorms, and a high pollen day – check. All are factors that will likely increase as global warming intensifies.

      Serious stuff.

      Reply
    • Of the 2,588 responses to a survey by the University of Melbourne, 74 percent said that they had experienced asthma on the night of the thunderstorm. Thirty- two percent of the 2,588 respondents said that they had never experienced asthma before.

      Was this a random survey? Does this mean that 74 percent of the general population in the path of the storm experienced asthma?

      Serious.

      Reply
    • From Wikipediia, Thunderstorm Asthma:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderstorm_asthma#cite_note-11

      Significant events in the past:
      1983, Birmingham, UK, July 6-7
      1987, Melbourne, Australia, November
      1989, Melbourne, Australia, November 29-30
      1994, London, UK, June 24-25
      1997, Wagga Wagga, Australia, October 30
      2004, Naples, Italy, June 4
      2010, Melbourne, Australia
      2013, Ahvaz, Iran, November 2
      2016, Melbourne, Australia, November 21

      Reply
  22. Cate

     /  November 23, 2016

    The Guardian today on the prospect of NASA climate research being gutted. See also Abel A’s post up thread from the SMH on this.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/22/nasa-earth-donald-trump-eliminate-climate-change-research

    Reply
  23. Here’s a transcript of Trump’s “softening” remarks. Sounds pretty incoherent to me.

    Reply
    • He’s still hung up on the cherry picked statements from the Climategate emails. He says “a lot of very smart people” disagree with Thomas Friedman on climate change. Like many climate science deniers, he’s a walking repository of paid climate change denial think tank talking points. Likely, if one talking point is disproved to him, he will just go on to the next deceptive fossil fuel corporation funded talking point.

      The remarks themselves are less hopeful than some of the news reports about them, I think.

      Serious re-education is required, of a man who seldom admits error. To his credit, he will flip-flop if it becomes massively apparent that he was wrong, I think, or if he becomes convinced the political or economic cost will be too high. He won’t admit that he flip-flopped, but he will change his position.

      What will it take to get through to this guy? How is it possible to pierce the cocoon he’s building around himself?

      Is there anyone he might listen to in the Alt-Right movement who actually makes sense on climate change?

      Reply
  24. Cate

     /  November 23, 2016

    This climate emergency is the toughest test our species has ever faced. It will take the measure of us, that’s for sure, on so very many levels and in innumerable individual and collective contexts. I think we’re facing a challenge to take a giant evolutionary leap in our relationships with each other and with the planet, and I really believe we CAN do it. We have the capability. I just wish I were as sure that we WILL do it.

    But here is just one part of the test: how do we treat our fellow human beings who are displaced by climate change? What concepts do we develop, what language do we use, what regimes do we put in place, how does our politics reflect this new reality, etc etc….

    “The refugee crisis looms large in our international discourse – the war in Syria, Brexit and shirked responsibility in Europe, escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric. But the role of climate change in producing even greater numbers of migrants is still coming into focus. As the world’s most vulnerable are increasingly forced to flee, it is clear that reevaluating the global border regime is also key to addressing the disproportionate effects of climate change.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/11/07/era-climate-migration-meets-violent-borders

    Reply
  25. JPL

     /  November 23, 2016

    DAPL Protesters Digging In. Here’s What they Need

    Open you wallets, folks.

    http://sacredstonecamp.org/

    Our indigenous people are standing up to the powerful fossil fuel interests and really taking some abuse. This is under Obama. Wait until Chump takes office.

    Reply
  26. wharf rat

     /  November 23, 2016

    Howdy, peeples:

    Rat just wanted to drop by and wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving. I’m not on the net much these days, having entered my period of rainy-day hibernation, AKA playing computer games.
    We’re finally having a rainy season, maybe the one we were hoping for last year. IIRC, we had decent rains in late Sept, but Oct was very wet, even for us; more like Dec. or Jan. than Oct, but warm. Overall, California’s 3rd wettest Oct, but I heard it was Mendocino Co’s wettest ever, and that town got 17 inches, putting me around 20. Nov. has been pretty much the same; hasn’t rained in about 4 hours, and the sun is trying to break thru the clouds. My corner of the state is now officially drought-free.

    Creeks began running in early, and my son told me he saw good-sized salmon in the one he borders. Been a few years since that’s happened.

    In related news, the town of Willits has been trying to develop a plan to deal with (originally) medical marijuana, but now all use. Foreign investors approached the town about opening a one acre grow on an old industrial site, eventually expanding to 5 acres.

    Investors looking to capitalize on marijuana growing
    http://www.willitsnews.com/article/NR/20161020/NEWS/161029997

    I’m not sure how it happened, but Rat’s son has been been meeting with the City Planner and City Manager to develop a plan. Aside from size restrictions and demanding a lot more than 1% of the initial profits, he thinks he’s talked them into requiring the growers to install a 60KW PV system at the sewage treatment plant. We’ll know more in a few months.

    Reply
  27. Vic

     /  November 23, 2016

    Knowledgeable, well equipped saboteurs have managed to shut down a busy Tesla supercharger station in California, just in time for Thanksgiving weekend.


    The pump don’t work ‘coz the vandals took the handle.

    http://insideevs.com/barstow-tesla-supercharger-vandalized-thanksgiving-weekend/

    Reply
  28. “I’m thankful for coal miners” – Citizens’ Climate Lobby
    https://citizensclimatelobby.org/im-thankful-coal-miners/

    Reply
  29. Um, there is a headline that says “Somao” instead of Samoa. Sorry to nitpick.

    Reply
  30. Last Week

    November 20 – 26, 2016 403.98 ppm
    November 20 – 26, 2015 400.30 ppm

    3.68 ppm increase which is too high. We should be around 2.9 ppm or below. Weekly average is a noisy number, but the trend day after day and week after week is in the wrong direction. I think what this means is that CO2 sats are continuing to rise because of changes in the natural carbon cycle of the planet. I think we are seeing changes in abilities of forests and oceans to act as carbon sinks and we may also be seeing new sources of CO2 coming on line now – things like melting permafrost, drought stricken lands, tree deaths due to prolonged drought conditions (CA tree deaths for one example). We should become quite alarmed if we continue to observe CO2 continue to accumulate at a rate of 3 ppm or more because we are now comparing monthly average numbers from the current year (which is not an EN state) in comparison with the same month last year (which was a strong EN state).

    I expect it will take some time for the real scientists to accumulate the data and start publishing about the increase.

    We need to see a monthly November number for 2016 with CO2 at around 402.9 or below. I suspect we are going to be higher than that. As I said last year, the rate of increase is increasing. EN played a part, but the underlying trend and numbers are also simply increasing and the rate of increase is increasing. November monthly number should be out in a few days.

    Read’m and weep.

    Mike

    Reply
    • Thanks for this, Mike. It’s a pretty disturbing trend. Looks like we may have hit another step up. In this case it’s the carbon cycle. More on this in a bit.

      Reply
      • This is what I track. I will keep posting the numbers I see and what I think about those numbers. I am not just winging it with the number, though my number crunching process is pretty basic – just a spreadsheet full of the historical monthly average number that I can run calcs on to check current stuff against historic data and trends. Right now I am just comparing the 2014-2016/7 trend against the 1997-1999 EN event and thinking that a similar pattern should arise as monthly averages keep coming in and the 2015/16 El Nino passes into history. Maybe it will fall off hard in December and slip back into a pattern of 2 ppm range increase in month on month comparison, but I have not seen that happen yet. Have two of the little grandkids in the home with me today. I think we give them Gatlinburg TN.

        Reply

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