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Major Environmental Groups Aim for 100 Percent Renewable Energy; Nature Study Shows Solar Alone is on Track Toward 50 Percent

Here we explore how models have consistently underestimated PV deployment and identify the reasons for underlying bias in models… We propose that with coordinated advances in multiple components of the energy system, PV could supply 30–50% of electricity in competitive markets.Nature

It’s the call for the rapid conversion of energy systems around the country to 100% renewable power — a call for running the United States (and the world) on sun, wind and water. What Medicare for All is to the healthcare debate, or Fight for $15 is to the battle against inequality, 100% Renewable is to the struggle for the planet’s future. — Bill McKibben

*****

Let’s be very clear. The big first step in saving cities like Houston and regions like South Asia from this global warming nightmare we’re creating is to replace the chief cause of the problem with something else. And when the central driver of global warming is fossil fuel burning, then you can’t solve that problem by continuing to dig up fossil carbon and combust it. Full stop.

(The world is heating up, primarily due to fossil fuel burning. Rapidly replacing those fuels with renewables is crucial going forward. Image source: NASA.)

That’s why visionaries like Bill McKibben and agencies like 350.org and the Sierra Club are now engaged in a campaign to promote 100 percent renewable energy policies at every level of government. Under such policies, an increasing number of these governments and institutions commit to using only renewable energy. And they do so within a prescribed timeframe.

It’s a policy aimed at solving the climate crisis while saving the stakeholders themselves. At not continuing along a path toward worse disasters than Harvey and ultimately lethal climates like those of the Permian. At not putting stakeholder cities, states and industries at ever increasing risk. Ultimately, it’s aimed at combating the central cause of global warming — fossil fuels — by leveraging the superior economics of wind and solar to crowd them out. A goal that’s enabled by the fundamental economic superiority of renewables. And the timing couldn’t be better.

For renewable energy, in the form of wind and solar, is now less expensive in most applications than gas and coal. And the price is continuing to drop. This means that the economic argument for fossil fuels has fewer and fewer legs to stand on. Arguments attacking renewables increasingly rely on either baseless and false inflations of environmental damage, or on a downplaying of renewable energy’s economic strength and potential future capacity — attempting to divide and conquer environmentalists by creating inaccurate impressions or to tamp down enthusiasm among renewable energy supporters. Such anti-factual messaging, however, reveals the present economic, political and social vulnerabilities of fossil fuel interests as they are forced more and more to rely on outright deception.

Now, as with climate change, the fossil fuel special interests are facing off against a rising tide of scientific evidence. This time, the science isn’t just revealing the causes of environmental harm in the form of fossil fuel burning — it is showing why renewable energy’s growth rate will be faster and more transformative than expected.

(Environmental organizations like Greenpeace have provided the most optimistic and accurate assessments of solar growth rates — flummoxing most energy industry experts. Image source: Nature.)

A new study in Nature this week found that solar energy alone would represent up to 50 percent of global electricity generation capacity by 2050 on the basis of its economic strength alone. Solar benefits from a simplicity of design, use of common materials, easy scalability, a proven track record of increasing efficiency over time, and the ability to easily loop in technological design breakthroughs. These advantages have allowed solar to reduce its price by 22 percent for each doubling of installed capacity.

Wind benefits from similar economies of scale. And a new study out from the National Renewable Energy Lab found that the price of wind would fall by another 50 percent through 2030. Estimates that are up from 30 percent even earlier this year. A pretty amazing ability considering the fact that wind is already the lowest cost energy source in many applications.

This economic strength really gives environmental advocacy groups an effective tool for achieving goals going forward. Now, a zero emitting technology that produces orders of magnitude less harm than present energy systems is within reach. Now cities, states and nations can change the world for the better. And now they can do it on the cheap. But not only does this thrust jibe with traditional environmental goals — it appeals to the 72 percent of republicans who support renewable energy, regardless of their views on climate change. In this way, the 100 percent renewable campaign is one that appeals to all Americans and can therefore gain ground in pretty much every state and region.

RELATED STATEMENTS AND INFORMATION:

Links:

The Underestimated Potential of Solar Energy to Mitigate Climate Change

Wind Power Costs Could Drop 50 Percent. Solar PV Could Provide up to 50 Percent Global Power. Damn.

Innovation Can Reduce Wind Energy Costs by Another 50 Percent Through 2030

Bill McKibben Kicks Off Keep it 100 Campaign

 

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103 Comments

  1. Ah, the anti-renewable energy trolls are alive and well on facebook today…

    Reply
    • Loni

       /  September 2, 2017

      My condolences, Robert to you and all who frequent this site for the loss of climatehawk1. This site is an education in real time, with the exceptional quality of reporting and the follow up ‘comments’ section.

      To you, Robert, and those who’ve posted interesting and thought provoking comments, you’ll never know what the ripple effect those thoughts and observations will have, but if we are to win the challenge ahead of us, it’ll be due to sites like this converging with more of the same.

      The cause lives due to the written and spoken word, and all of those who have put their shoulder to this load. I’m sure climatehawk1 will have some good setting in the here-after.

      Reply
  2. coloradobob

     /  September 1, 2017

    climatehawk –
    Terrible news, just plain terrible.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  September 2, 2017

      +1000

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  September 2, 2017

      Tragic, sad news.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 2, 2017

      “Tweet scheduled.”

      ‘Remembering a beloved wind power pioneer: Tom Gray’
      August 31, 2017

      http://www.aweablog.org/remembering-wind-power-pioneer-tom-gray/

      The wind community suffered a heartfelt loss with the news that former AWEA Executive Director Tom Gray passed away yesterday, after a head injury sustained in a fall where he lived in Vermont.

      Tom was a true industry pioneer, having worked across four decades to grow American wind energy and our association. In the 1980s he famously used his personal credit card at one point to keep AWEA afloat. After writing our first newsletters, he personally stamped and mailed them.

      Beyond all that, he was a kind friend and a skilled and principled mentor for countless people in our industry.

      Whenever we needed clarification on an obscure point of reference, we called upon Tom’s encyclopedic knowledge of wind, leading many AWEAns to dub him the “Wind Wizard.” He was an expert copy editor and opinion writer, and continued to edit this blog and grow his Twitter following well into “retirement.”

      There was simply no way to separate Tom from his love of wind power – on more than one occasion, he told me there is no better job in the world than working in wind.

      His wife Linda wrote us: “You’ll appreciate that Tom made me promise to spread some of his ashes at a wind farm. I have a Vermont project in mind.”

      As news spread of his untimely death in his seventies, we’ve received an outpouring of support for Tom today, far more than we can fit in a single post. Many of the people whom Tom influenced are also sharing stories on Facebook, such as on the page of Randy Swisher, who succeeded him as AWEA’s CEO.

      Randy Swisher
      on Wednesday
      I’m writing with the sad news that my long-time colleague Tom Gray passed away today. He was executive director of AWEA through most of the 80s, then, having moved to Vermont, served as communications director for more than two decades. What a capable and generous guy he was. I miss him already.

      Scott Sklar, The Stella Group:

      “I met Tom in 1980 as he was trying to form AWEA. His love for the wind industry was so sincere and his dedication to the wind industry was amazing. He was thoughtful and honorable to work with — and just a wonderful human being. The wind industry and AWEA owe Tom an immense sense of gratitude. He was a selfless giant and helped position the wind industry into its position today. You have to understand, we were ridiculed back then by policymakers, energy experts, and the media – the idea of wind farms and acres of solar modules were inconceivable back then with just a handful of tiny, tiny companies. It took immense dedication, stamina, and courage to face down these ‘experts’ and naysayers. Tom was never deterred.”

      Lauren Glickman, former AWEA staffer:

      “When I was hired to take over AWEA’s social media strategy, during my on-boarding process, I was told that the AWEA Twitter account was mostly managed by a semi-retired older gentleman, who lived in Vermont. I was filled with dread as I tried to imagine how I was going to manage this situation. Tom blew every stereotype out of the water about how social media is ‘only for a younger generation.’ Not only did he have a firm grasp on ‘using social media’ but he was completely self-aware about just how much he had to learn. Our time working together was inspiring…I’m proud to have been mentored by Tom, and filled with pride as I watched his social media presence as @ClimateHawk1 grow to over 77,000 followers.”

      Paul White, PRC Wind:

      “Tom is one of the first people I worked with on writing and editing the Wind Energy Weekly when I entered the wind industry in 1992. I believe that Tom’s personal commitment qualifies him as a founder and ‘hero for change’ in this important industry.”

      David Ward, former AWEA staffer:

      “We called Tom the “Wind Wizard.” He was the one who showed me how to write a powerful letter to the editor, he redlined my draft blogs, and he was my defacto Wind 101 teacher. He was the spirit and, at times, the conscience of the AWEA Public Affairs team when I first started. He never hesitated to give me a call to check in on how I was doing or give me words of support. I remember him for his heart and how big it was for advancing wind power. He’ll stand large for me personally as someone who has a fundamental presence in my professional upbringing. I never got to say this enough: Thank you, Tom.”

      Jim Walker, EDF Renewables:

      “I worked with Tom closely in the early 2000’s. Wonderful sense of humor and positive attitude. Completely devoted to his family and took great pride in the success of wind energy. He will be missed.”

      Emily Williams, former AWEA staffer:

      “Tom was such a pioneer in the wind industry, and never lost his passion for wind power or climate change. He also was incredibly welcoming and engaging to new entrants to the wind industry. I remember his thoughtful edits to our market reports, and tidbits on how to write better. I hope I can maintain a fraction of the passion he demonstrated.”

      Stefanie Brown, AWEA:

      “The thing I think of first and foremost about Tom, beyond all of his wisdom and experience, was his smile. He was just a good person always with a smile on his face and easy laugh. He never took things too seriously and had a generous spirit. And whether people realize it or not, he continued to have an influence on AWEA even to this day. Each Sunday I would receive an email from Tom with that week’s New York Times ‘Corner Office’ column, which I would share with all AWEA staff as short lessons on leadership and workplace culture.”

      Kevin O’Rourke, Wind Energy Foundation:

      “I feel extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with, and learn from, Tom during my time as a contractor on AWEA’s Rapid Response team from 2012-13. Tom was in semi-retirement at the time, also on contract as the lead editor for all blogs and opinion content. Tom’s sense of humor, wind industry knowledge, thoughtful advice, and skill as a writer and editor were appreciated by all on the Public Affairs staff. In short, he embodied all the qualities that one would hope for in a co-worker. Tom will be missed.”

      Please continue to send me your thoughts and condolences for Tom, and we’ll publish more next week with further details on how the industry will memorialize him.

      R.I.P, Tom Gray.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 2, 2017

      “Tweet scheduled”

      Reply
  3. coloradobob

     /  September 1, 2017

    Australia’s record-breaking winter warmth linked to climate change

    Australia’s average daytime maximum temperatures were the highest on record for this winter, beating the previous record set in 2009 by 0.3℃. This means Australia has set new seasonal highs for maximum temperatures a remarkable ten times so far this century (across summer, autumn, winter and spring). The increased frequency of heat records in Australia has already been linked to climate change.

    http://theconversation.com/australias-record-breaking-winter-warmth-linked-to-climate-change-83304

    Reply
  4. Jim

     /  September 1, 2017

    China get’s it. Here’s a 1GW PV solar farm:
    http://www.huawei.com/en/all-products/Solar/References/Yanchi

    Reply
  5. Witchee

     /  September 1, 2017

    Climatehawk will be missed.

    Reply
  6. eleggua

     /  September 1, 2017

    Lynn brought attention to this tragedy in the comments on the previous article. So sorry to share this terrible news.

    Tom (climatehawk1) died suddenly on 8/30 after a fall at home. Tom’s family are together and are coping and getting of support from friends near and far.

    Reply
  7. wharf rat

     /  September 1, 2017

    Rex Tillerson and “We’ll Adapt” to Climate Change: Millionaire Oilmen Say the Darndest Things

    “It’s an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions.”

    http://blog.ucsusa.org/erika-spanger-siegfried/rex-tillerson-and-well-adapt-to-climate-change-millionaire-oilmen-say-the-darndest-things

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 1, 2017

      The power structure must change on every level, physical and political.
      Simple solution: peaceful, global revolution now. It’s the only way forward for all life on this planet and it is inevitable.

      – Speech in the United States Senate (9 May 1966)

      Reply
      • Jim

         /  September 1, 2017

        +1

        Reply
      • wharf rat

         /  September 1, 2017

        I really liked Jack, but I loved Bobby.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 1, 2017

          “There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed.” – Bobby Kennedy

        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          “Just because we cannot see clearly the end of the road, that is no reason for not setting out on the essential journey.” – RFK

        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          “What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant.
          The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.” – Robert F. Kennedy

        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          “The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use — of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.” – Bobby, 1964

        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          “I think that we could agree on what kind of a world we would all want to build.
          It would be a world of independent nations, moving toward international community, each of which protected and respected the basic human freedoms.
          It would be a world which demanded of each government that it accept its responsibility to insure social justice.
          It would be a world of constantly accelerating economic progress — not material welfare as an end in itself, but as a means to liberate the capacity of every human being to pursue his talents and to pursue his hopes.
          It would, in short, be a world that we would be proud to have built.” – RFK

        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          “…an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.” – Bobby

        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          “We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.” – RFK

          This speech was given the day after the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination. Delivered at the City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio, April 5, 1968.

        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          “We must recognize the full human equality of all of our people before God, before the law, and in the councils of government.
          We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous, although it is; not because the laws of God command it, although they do; not because people in other lands wish it so.
          We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do.” – RFKennedy, Day of Affirmation Address, Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966

        • wili

           /  September 2, 2017

          “…economic progress — not material welfare as an end in itself…”

          Good to hear that he was saying that even back then. Endless increases in consumption are obviously not the path forward for the planet, even if we do manage to go 100% renewable (which we obviously do have to do, as soon as possible…it’s just that this is not the only environmental challenge modern society has to face).

  8. Namelessfarm@gmail.com

     /  September 1, 2017

    Smokey haze in blanketing the uppermidwest from arctic fires in Canada. 3 echoes of climate change, 1 jet stream moving in a more direct north south pattern more frequently and 2 the arctic burning and 3 more fires and larger more intense fires.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 2, 2017

      Yeah, I’ve been seeing and breathing it here in MN for days. Great points about climate connections!

      Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  September 1, 2017

    Aqua/MODIS
    2017/243
    08/31/2017
    18:25 UTC
    Smoke across western North America

    Reply
  10. coloradobob

     /  September 1, 2017

    Been looking through the Terra and Aqua images for the sediment plume into the Gulf, haven’t captured yet . Check out this shot of Fla. , and Cuba 2 days ago ………..

    Terra/MODIS
    2017/242
    08/30/2017
    16:05 UTC

    Reply
  11. Vic

     /  September 1, 2017

    Reply
  12. wharf rat

     /  September 1, 2017

    San Francisco hits 106 degrees — shatters all-time record –

    Friday’s temperatures baked, roasted and fried San Francisco’s all-time high record — hitting 106 degrees by mid-afternoon — and possibly heading even higher.

    It was the hottest day San Francisco has ever seen, said the National Weather Service, whose records date back to June 1874. Before Friday, the all-time high for San Francisco was 103 degrees on June 14, 2000.
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Hey-San-Francisco-get-ready-for-the-heat-12166706.php
    =
    Rat is 107.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 2, 2017

      … Excessive heat warning in effect until 9 PM PDT Saturday…

      The National Weather Service in San Francisco has issued an
      excessive heat warning, which is in effect until 9 PM PDT
      Saturday. The heat advisory is no longer in effect.

      Hot temperatures will
      create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely.
      Drink plenty of fluids… stay in an air-conditioned room… stay
      out of the sun… and check up on relatives and neighbors.

      Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 2, 2017

      “Rat is 107.”

      94, and that’s indoors.

      Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  September 2, 2017

      Yikes!

      It was hot like Hades here in SD, but not that bad!

      Reply
    • Genomik

       /  September 2, 2017

      I’m laying here w the fan on and it’s still crazy hot! This won’t be lost on innovators in the Bay Area. This just means folks with their eyes open will double down on alternatives etc. Expect more innovation to address climate change.

      Even as trump is wrong on climate 1000%.

      Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    Been doing some research on this item , “Most people have the attention span of a gerbil.”
    Case in point –

    “You can’t foresee unforseen conditions, by definition. 50″ of rain in Houston,”

    The entire Climate Change forecast was for this to happen.

    And this is happening faster and faster

    June 3, 2016

    The triangle between Houston, Dallas, and Austin/San Antonio is sometimes known as flash flood alley, but this is getting to be a bit ridiculous.

    At one point on Thursday, flash flood watches covered more than 183,000 square miles of Texas, an area about the size of Germany and England combined. More than 15 inches of rain fell just northeast of Houston in a span of 12 hours on Thursday, just a few days after more than 20 inches fell in two days northwest of the city—the region’s second 100-year rainstorm in less than a week. (Statistically, a 100-year rainstorm is a rainfall event that has a 1 percent likelihood of occurring in a given year based on that region’s climate history.) The Brazos River west of Houston has crested more than four feet higher than previous record levels.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/06/03/historic_floods_in_houston_texas.html

    Reply
  14. wharf rat

     /  September 2, 2017

    More than 100,000 displaced by flooding in central Nigeria
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/09/01/flooding-central-nigeria/624150001/

    Reply
  15. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    Irma looks like a West Pac. typhoon. Great muscles , strong core, big doughnut. She’s got a date with some people.

    God help them when she drives up.

    Reply
    • God help us if the most recent GFS model comes to pass. I will be down in VA Beach, bodily carrying out my stubbord relatives if this keeps up.

      Reply
  16. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    “Only the good die young”
    I can’t say climatehawk was my friend, but I can say I knew his work. When I heard of our loss , I went to his feed . he had over 77,000 followers.
    I never knew his name was Tom , I never knew he was from Vermont .
    I can say he was bull dog chewing every last scrap .

    Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    Now the song for his passing –
    The Doors Roadhouse Blues

    Reply
  18. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    It’s a cheap world , in a cheap time, in the most expensive time we have ever seen.

    Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    Elizabeth Irene Hodges • an hour ago
    What do you mean by that

    coloradobob1 Elizabeth Irene Hodges • 3 minutes ago
    The 7 per cent law. There’s a huge amount of water molecules floating around looking for a condenser. This is at work , big time. Remember heat on the Earth is moved around by water.
    And all that water is looking for a place to give up it’s heat.
    It’s the same reason you have cold in a box in your house. Heat seeks cold, In a Typhoon that heat goes to the very top of our world, then it gives up it’s heat. And the water falls back as hail, snow. and rain,

    Reply
  20. Andy_in_SD

     /  September 2, 2017

    What Happens to the Antarctic Ocean with 1 Degrees Celsius of Warming?

    http://e360.yale.edu/digest/what-happens-to-the-antarctic-ocean-with-1-degrees-celsius-of-warming

    Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    There is a certain amount of wonder to be here. Nature, and my own folly should have killed me off decades ago.

    Reply
  22. wharf rat

     /  September 2, 2017

    Harvey’s Made the World’s Most Important Chemical a Rare Commodity

    Few Americans care about ethylene. Many have probably never heard of it.

    As it turns out, this colorless, flammable gas is arguably the most important petrochemical on the planet — and much of it comes from the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast. Ethylene is one of the big reasons the damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey in the chemical communities along the Gulf is likely to ripple through U.S. manufacturing of essential items from milk jugs to mattresses.

    With Harvey’s floods shutting down almost all the state’s plants, 61 percent of U.S. ethylene capacity has been closed, according to PetroChemWire.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/harveys-made-worlds-most-important-040003835.html

    Reply
  23. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    I’ve been living on coffee and nicotine.

    Reply
  24. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    There is one thing that gives us all courage, it’s music.

    Reply
  25. eleggua

     /  September 2, 2017

    ‘Hurricane redux? Storms sometimes hit the same area’
    Ralph Ellis, CNN
    September 1, 2017

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/01/us/hurricanes-harvey-and-irma/index.html

    Reply
  26. eleggua

     /  September 2, 2017

    Track of Hurricane Rita compared to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    Reply
  27. eleggua

     /  September 2, 2017

    Four hurricanes crossed Florida in 2004

    Reply
  28. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    Reply
  29. coloradobob

     /  September 2, 2017

    There is one thing that gives us all courage, it’s music.

    Reply
  30. Robert.p.orlov

     /  September 2, 2017

    Finally were realizing the way to go….
    One even better cleanest greenest energy ….
    Magnetic Wave Form technology or Spacial effect generator or by the founders name …a Searl Effect Generator. SEG…GOING INTO PRODUCTION SOON.
    NO More power bills No pollution No noise No wear No fossil fuels..
    The Ultimate Energy Source for our Futures..
    Check them out on face book.u tube..
    Searl Magnetics.com
    Cant wait to go off grid.

    Reply
    • eleggua

       /  September 2, 2017

      Tuesday, forecast for thunderstorms and lightning.

      Jake Peckinpaw, “inland a couple hours drive north of SF”, said here on the 31st,
      “a side note – almost no moths. Use to be if you turned a light on outside it was swarmed with a multitude of different moth species but not anymore. Also, suddenly this Summer the birds have gone somewhere else. The aquatic birds are still down by the lake but the terrestrial birds are mostly absent. The woodpeckers, blue jays, robins, finches etc. have flown the coup. Even the bats at night are gone. I don’t know if they perished or simply flew off somewhere else. ”

      Checked with folks a few hours north of the Bay Area and they echoed “no moths”.
      “Now that you mention it, there’re hardly any moths on the screendoor at night.
      Used to be, had to fight them off every time opening the screendoor, keep them from coming in. This year, hardly any.”

      No idea the cause. They didn’t note reduction of any other critters excepts foxes.
      Strange, re: moths. Bumper year for food plants, after rains last fall and winter.
      Caterpillars should’ve feasted, flourished; moths’ numbers ought to be up not down.
      Odd, at least.

      Reply
      • Shawn Redmond

         /  September 3, 2017

        No moths anywhere. Here on the east coast of Canada I have yet to clean my windscreen this summer because of insect collisions. Not too many years back a 100km round trip would leave quite a mess on the vehicles window. Even when driving after dark the millers aren’t to be seen in the beams from the headlights. Used to be more like a light snow falling. Looks like the rapture happened and (insert deity here) took the insects. Makes some sense.

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 3, 2017

          Thanks for that important, anecdotal info. Strange. You’re on the east coast of North America; those other reports noted here are from the west coast.

          Telegraph’s not a favourite source here, however UK chiming in.

          ‘‘The windscreen phenomenon’ – why your car is no longer covered in dead insects ‘
          26 August 2017

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/26/windscreen-phenomenon-car-no-longer-covered-dead-insects/

          “…the fall in numbers of bugs in Britain has now reached such a troubling extent that even motorists are noticing that their windscreens are clear of squashed flies, gnats, moths and wasps.

          Where a trip in high summer would once have necessitated taking a squeegee to the front window, now the glass is largely clear, drivers are reporting.

          Writing in The Telegraph letters page earlier this week, Michael Groom of Teffont Evias, Wiltshire asked: “Where have all the insects gone? My windscreen remains clear whatever the speed.”

          Reader Richard Acland, of Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, also noticed the vanishing bugs, and said he believed insecticides on crops were wiping out insect life, adding: “This is why cars are not bug-splattered anymore.”

          And they are not alone in noting the change. Entomologists actually call it ‘the windscreen phenomenon,’ and it is has been noticed across Europe.

          An amateur German group called the Krefeld Entomological Society has been monitoring insect numbers at 100 nature reserves in Western Europe since the 1980s. Although there were the annual fluctuations they discovered that by 2013 numbers began to plummet by nearly 80 per cent.

          Experts mostly blame intensive agriculture and the use of pesticides over the past 50 years.

          Since 2006, beekeepers in Britain have lost about a third of their managed bee colonies each year largely due to the loss of flower-rich grassland which has declined by 97 per cent from the 1930s, and the increased use of insecticides on crops.

          Speaking about the lack of insects on windscreens, Matt Shadlow, Chief Executive of British insect conservation charity Buglife said: “Yes, indeed this is a well recognised phenomenon.

          “Just today we had a member of the public phone up and say, unprompted, that ‘the front of my car is now devoid of insects, and there are virtually no moths in the headlights’.

          “This is part of the wholesale loss of small animals in recent decades. The public know about bees and butterflies, but these are just the tips of the iceberg. Moths, hoverflies, wasps, beetles and many other groups are now sparse where once they were abundant.”

          Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, has also monitored insect populations using traps across the country for more than 50 years. Chris Shortall, an entomologist from Rothamsted said they had found evidence that the number of flying insects is falling, but said ‘the windscreen phenomenon’ was difficult to prove.

          “The loss of insects from our windscreens is a well-noted anecdote, however actually demonstrating it is very tricky, if not impossible,” said Mr Shortall.

          A Rothamsted study showed that in the West of England, around Hereford, the amount of ‘aerial biomass’ – or flying insects – has fallen significantly since the 1970s. Other sites around Britain failed to capture declines, although the experts believe recording may have started too late to capture the impact of increased agricultural intensification.

          A second report into the State of Britain’s Larger Moths, published in collaboration with the charity Butterfly Conservation, showed a fall of insects by 40 per cent in the South of England over the past 40 years.

          The most recent RSPB State of Nature report, which brings together findings from 50 organisations, suggests there has been a 59 per cent decline in insects in the UK since 1970.

          In 2004 the RSPB asked motorists to attach a ‘splatometer’ to the front of their cars – a piece of PVC film to collect insects, to see if they were declining. They recorded 324,814 ‘splats’, an average of only one squashed insect every five miles.

          However the survey was only carried out once so it was impossible to see whether bug numbers had fallen over time.

          It has also been suggested that cars have changed shape over time, and are now far more aerodynamic, meaning fewer insects are hit.

          And a recent paper by Canadian scientists suggests the upsurge in traffic could itself be responsible for the fall in insect numbers. After extrapolating data from a mile of highway in Ontario, researcher from Laurentian University calculated that hundreds of billions of pollinating insects were probably being killed by vehicles each year in North America.

          Colin Lawes, from Royal Holloway University of London, found that a large number of stag beetles are killed by road traffic each year in Britain, with three times as many females killed as males.”

        • eleggua

           /  September 3, 2017

        • eleggua

           /  September 3, 2017

          From wikipedia description of ^that episode of ‘Black Mirror’ a modern day ‘Twilight Zone’-like anthology TV series out of the UK. Incredibly highly recommended show, all available episodes. “Filming for the fourth series concluded in June 2017, with the premiere expected later the same year.”

          “…an Autonomous Drone Insect (ADI), a type of mechanical bee developed to counteract the acute collapse of the bee population; such artificial bees now fly freely throughout the United Kingdom, pollinating flowers.”

          “Black Mirror is a British science fiction television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker. It centres around dark and satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.”

        • Shawn Redmond

           /  September 3, 2017

          We’re referred to as the tailpipe of North America.

  31. Abel Adamski

     /  September 2, 2017

    The EV revolution continues, a couple of recent articles of interest.
    First we keep learning from the small critturs
    http://newatlas.com/insect-eyes-perovskite-solar-cells/51153/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

    A team of scientists from Stanford University has discovered a method of constructing perovskite solar cells with enhanced durability by taking inspiration from the honeycomb structure of insect eyes. The cells, which use a crystalline material called perovskite, are cheaper and easier to produce than traditional silicon cells, and their efficiency has increased significantly since they were introduced in 2009.

    Recently, significant strides have been made in low-temperature manufacturing processes for the cells, and so versatile is the material that past studies have even looked at creating spray-on perovskite cells.

    One of the problems with the material is that the salt-like crystal structure of perovskite make it extremely fragile when compared to a conventional solar cell made with silicon. The vast majority of solar energy devices, including rooftop mounted panels, are flat in design. The inherent fragility and relative inability to cope with moisture and heat means that a traditional planar device made of perovskite solar cells would have a short shelf life.

    The new design stood up to the pressure, allowing the cells to survive, and to continue to generate electricity with a relatively high rate of efficiency. Looking forward, the team members plan to further enhance their design by researching ways to scatter light into the core of the microcells – a measure they believe will improve the efficiency of the technique.

    A paper on the research has been published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

    Source: Stanford University

    Reply
  32. Abel Adamski

     /  September 2, 2017

    Tesla and Nikola have serious competition from the big boys

    http://newatlas.com/cummins-fully-electric-semi-truck/51127/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

    While the world waits for a Tesla long-haul truck, Cummins has swooped in with the Class 7 Urban Hauler EV concept demonstrator. The all-electric Urban Hauler, which also paves the way for range-extender hybrid long-haul vehicles, hints at a cleaner, greener future for heavy haulers.
    The new Class 7 Urban Hauler EV, also known as the Aeos, eschews the usual diesel engine for a 140-kWh battery pack and electric motors. That means peak range is about 100 mi (160 km) and gross vehicle weight (GVW) is capped around 75,000 lb (34,020 kg). Extra battery packs could extend that to around 300 mi (483 km).

    According to Cummins, the base battery and electric motors weigh about the same as the engine, gearbox, emissions treatment system and fuel tank in a conventional tractor. The company hasn’t said how much the battery packs weigh individually, but logic would suggest adding extra cells to boost the range will also add some serious weight.

    Reply
  33. Abel Adamski

     /  September 2, 2017

    next couple for the nomads and country folk
    http://newatlas.com/dethleffs-electric-motorhome-concept/51096/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

    Dethleffs experiments with all-electric, solar-backed motorhome

    Range anxiety makes an all-electric motorhome seem like a losing proposition from the get-go. Is there a greater oxymoron than a boundless, nomadic vehicle that needs to be hooked to the grid for hours at a time every 100 miles (161 km) or so? Still, there are electric motorhomes out there, of both the homebuilt and retail variety, and we can now add another to the list. The Dethleffs e.home concept explores the possibility of a Type C motorhome with a zero emissions powertrain, plenty of solar charging capability, and efficient and smart technologies throughout.

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  September 2, 2017

      That is great. My husband and I have dreamed, when we retire, of traveling the country and Canada, but can’t live with the idea of a gas guzzling motorhome. This gives me hope that there will be better options out there…and soon.

      Reply
      • Mercedes Sprinter reportedly to come out as full EV version in next few years. Envision the longest, tallest version outfitted with banks of folding PV panels like the rover in the movie “The Martian”. Set up for few days, make a full tank of electrons, move on. Your expenses would be so low, you could actually retire on one person’s Social Security payments. 🙂

        Reply
        • Rob orlov

           /  September 2, 2017

          Thats a good idea.!
          When the Spacial Effect Generators are available an SEG.
          This type Uses Magnetic Wave form Technology .
          And Can be used in cars motor homes business trains hospitals outback travel and have all the mod cons to turn on and use.
          All off the grid.
          There in the US…Look up Searl Magnetics.com.
          You Will be Amazed.!!
          Its the Cleanest Greenest Energy Available.!
          Makes No noise No Pollution Never wears out
          World changing Energy For a Clean fossil fuel free Environment !

      • eleggua

         /  September 2, 2017

        Reply
        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/solar-power

          “We met The Power Company guys at Burning Man and they are hard core energy saving fools! They had the most amazing, and efficient, RV Solar set ups we have ever seen. At Burning Man these guys were able to power an entire bar off the sun including a bumpin’ stereo, blenders, refrigerators, draft beer pumps, disco lights, and everything else you can image in a Burning Man style bar. So, let’s get technical, and get you ‘solared’ out! (just to clear the air this is not a paid post, the power company didn’t compensate us for this. These are nice guys we met on the road who are doing cool things with solar power, and we felt the RV community needs to meet them!):”

        • eleggua

           /  September 2, 2017

          BurningMan 2017 live feed.

          ^^^Currently aimed at David Best’s 2017 temple.

          “…one of the tasks of The Temple of 2017, to utilize the dead pines that have succumb to pine bark beetle to build the temple. The process of securing the wood involves the removal, milling, and drying of dead pines that otherwise could and, likely, would fuel a catastrophic wildfire. The milling and drying process will ensure that no pests are transported to the playa. On a personal note, I live in Big Sur and know what it is like to lose a home and see a community devastated by wildfire and resulting landslides. My involvement in this year’s temple is a way of helping other communities avoid a similar fate.

          In summary, the ecology of this year’s temple began a long time ago, when the pine trees used in this structure may have been destined for greatness. Instead they fell into decline because of mismanagement, or rather, lack of stewardship. By removing and providing value to these doomed pines, we provide both inspiration and financial incentive for land managers to begin reducing the danger of catastrophic wildfires and improving the future health of our forests. As the temple burns this year I will be reminded that this is one less forest that will succumb to a destructive fire, and that any fires that do burn in the areas of the felled pines will be low-intensity, rejuvenating fires. Hopefully, the message of this temple will inspire others to take more responsibility in caring for our life-sustaining forests. For me, this temple will be for the trees!

          Lee Klinger (aka Tree), MA PhD
          Independent Scientist
          Big Sur, CA
          www dot suddenoaklife dot org

      • eleggua

         /  September 2, 2017

        Reply
  34. Abel Adamski

     /  September 2, 2017

    http://newatlas.com/rotating-off-grid-scarabane-caravan/51091/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

    Collapsible, rotating caravan harnesses solar and wind for efficient off-grid living

    While shows like the Australian 4×4 Expo and Overland Expo highlight tough, no-nonsense trailers and motorhomes ready to get dirty right now, the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon dedicates some space to futuristic campers and technologies. And this year, the Volkswagen California XXL isn’t the only such concept camper wowing the crowds. France’s Green Cat Technologies has possibly the most head-turning concept at the show with a caravan that folds out into a roomy living space complete with solar and wind power generation. The sCarabane even rotates 360 degrees at camp, tracking the sun to generate electricity and hot water.

    Reply
    • There is going to have to be protection from weather. Couple of friends of mine spent last year in a Class A motor home, much of it in the SE, dodging tornados and baseball sized hailstorms in Florida and Texas. I didn’t know before that the state with the highest number of tornadoes is not TX or OK, but FL. We had a fair number of tense communications.

      Reply
  35. Abel Adamski

     /  September 2, 2017

    And lastly for now , the two wheel guys are not left out

    http://newatlas.com/confederate-zero-fa-13-combat-bomber/51151/

    Confederate partners with Zero Motorcycles and goes electric

    After 23 years of creating unique high-end customs, Confederate Motors will rebrand as Curtiss Motor Company and turn its focus to building electric motorcycles in co-operation with Zero. At the same time, Confederate unveiled what might be its last petrol-powered bike, the FA-13 Combat Bomber.

    During the unveiling of its latest custom at the Quail Motorsports Gathering, Matt Chambers, Confederate’s founder and president, revealed that his company’s future lies in electric motorcycles.

    “We can’t go any further than this, we’ve hit the ceiling,” Chambers said to the Los Angeles Times. The next motorcycle to come from Confederate will be called Hercules, it will run on two electric motors from Zero Motorcycles, and will be reportedly produced in the latter’s facility in California.

    It won’t even bear Confederate’s logo, as the name will also change to Curtiss Motor Company. Apart from paying an obvious tribute to Glenn Curtiss, the American aviation pioneer and holder of the first ever land speed record, the rebranding echoes Chambers’ marketing woes.

    “I think we lost a lot a business with that name. We’ve missed out on branding opportunities. So, it’s time to retire it,” explained Chambers.

    Reply
  36. Here is a really,really BAD DUDE from Oklahoma..A Tea Party leader and friend of Pruitt..He will get rid of weather/climate satellites ..http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/white-house-to-nominate-u-s-rep-bridenstine-for-nasa/article_4527b12c-49d8-55cf-bc19-022ca9acc8fd.html

    Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  September 2, 2017

      They really seem bent on making us a “dunce country”.
      The “radical” Tea Party are truly dangerous, IMO.

      Reply
  37. Suzanne

     /  September 2, 2017

    Asia floods…
    Some 40 million more have seen their homes, businesses or crops destroyed.

    Reply
  38. The Koch Brothers Tea Party in charge of NASA and the weather satellites..Oh Oh..http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/white-house-to-nominate-u-s-rep-bridenstine-for-nasa/article_4527b12c-49d8-55cf-bc19-022ca9acc8fd.html Bridenstein is Inhofe’s Evil Twin//

    Reply
  39. Rob orlov

     /  September 2, 2017

    Thats why when every one realizes…Spacial effect or Magnetic Wave Form Technology an SEG powering these electric vehicles..DONT need to rely on batteries being in them at all.
    Look it up every body…going into production soon to have 15kw units available to run large home off the grid…yey.!
    Greenest Cleanest Energy Available .

    Reply
  40. Suzanne

     /  September 2, 2017

    “Media downplays Millions affected by Climate Change-linked floods in Asia”..at The Real News…yesterday:

    Reply
  41. Going green in every way every day is a wonderful case of good repetition !

    “The fundamental activity of human civilization is repetition” (Groundhog Day & The Climate of Fear – 3).

    Reply
  42. ” when the central driver of global warming is fossil fuel burning, then you can’t solve that problem by continuing to dig up fossil carbon and combust it. Full stop.”

    You keep repeating this. And it bears repeating, because what seems so simplistic has a consequence that is actually profound:

    We can not decommission devices which burn carbon until we build and deploy the RE devices to replace them.

    Building and deploying RE quickly enough is the only thing that matters. Most people, even most people concerned about AGW, really do not understand this.They think there is some underlying problem which is the most important thing. Some think it is overpopulation, or over-consumption, or inefficiency, or waste, or capitalism. It is not any of those things.

    The thing that will kill us is the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As you say, William, “Full Stop”.

    Reply
    • Bless you, Ginger.

      “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

      We’re working on population and efficiency and all those other things. And we could work on them all til the cows came home and it wouldn’t solve climate change if we didn’t stop burning fossil fuels. And there’s no way to do that without valid economic replacements. It’s not possible politically. People will not give up their food and water and transport and the things that energy provides. We must change the energy and free the captive consumer. That’s our liberating moment. That’s our pivot upon which to change direction. That’s our escape from insanity.

      Reply
  43. eleggua

     /  September 2, 2017

    Pollutin’ Putin.

    Reply
    • Genomik

       /  September 3, 2017

      I don’t think it’s a good thing. Communication is key and if we ability down the embassy there will be less communication.

      That’s a problem with a guy like trump who could start WW3 in a day. With no communications who will tell Russia trump doesn’t represent America?

      Reply
  44. Leland Palmer

     /  September 2, 2017

    And on the PBS News hour, David Brooks of the New York Times just blamed Republican climate science denial on Al Gore. And Mark Shields kind of let him get away with it, in his understated way.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/shields-brooks-hurricane-harvey-unity-climate-change-politics/

    “MILES O’BRIEN: It seems we prefer to fund the fire department, rather than buying fire insurance. It’s kind of the way we roll in this country in some ways.

    So, all right, so I got to ask this because it has come into play a lot this week. Is there any chance that there will be some sort of sea change, if you will, in political discussions about climate change, in the wake of this? How many of these storms do we have to go through before politicians come around on this one, David?

    DAVID BROOKS: I would be stunned.

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAVID BROOKS: Climate change, in the way it wasn’t 20 years ago, it’s a total partisan issue now.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Is that because Al Gore ran for…

    (CROSSTALK)

    MILES O’BRIEN: That’s the moment, isn’t it? Yes.

    DAVID BROOKS: I happen to think he had some positive effects with the movement. I think he had a very negative effect.

    You used to have John McCain and a lot of Republicans with climate change legislation.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Right.

    DAVID BROOKS: And once it became a Democratic issue, the Republicans had to go on the other side. And there was perverse effect of what Al Gore did.

    MILES O’BRIEN: What do you think? Any chance of this?

    (CROSSTALK)

    MARK SHIELDS: Denial is more than a river in Egypt.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MARK SHIELDS: I mean, Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Republican — Democratic congresswoman from Texas, pointed out to her Republican colleagues, she said, this is the third once-in-500 storm that we have had in the past three years.

    At some point, you have to say, what’s going on here? Is there something that I’m not considering?

    But I agree with David that they will not — they’re not going to move on it. There’s — certainly, I don’t see the leadership anywhere.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Well, you don’t have to be a math guy to realize that’s not working out very well. Right?”

    So, Shields representing the Democrats says that they are right on the issues, but says there is no leadership to do anything about climate change in the Congress.

    But, what if Earth is on it’s own schedule, and that schedule is set by physics, not by politics?

    Reply
    • wili

       /  September 2, 2017

      Riiight, so by this logic no politician from either party should ever advocate for anything, because it will become a ‘partisan’ issue then and it will backfire. I truly despise Brooks…what a smarmy, pseudo-intellectual @$$.

      And of course the timing is wrong. GW remained an issue with some strong bi-partisan support long after An Inconvenient Truth came out. There are clear indications that the banishment of Repubs who accept climate science was orchestrated by the Koch Bros and others in the oil industry.

      Reply
  45. eleggua

     /  September 2, 2017

    ‘Racist Twitter Trolls Pose as Houston Looters
    Amidst devastating flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, fake Twitter accounts were used sow fear and racial hatred.’
    By David Emery Sep 1st, 2017

    http://www.snopes.com/2017/09/01/harvey-looting-troll-tweets/

    “The Houston Police Department says very little looting occurred during the first week of flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, citing a total of 18 arrests in the nation’s fourth-largest city as of 1 September 2017. You might not have received that impression if you’re a heavy Twitter user, however, thanks to the proliferation of dozens of tweets hashtagged #HarveyLootCrew threatening widespread looting and purporting to prove that a great deal of looting had already taken place….

    What we found when we looked at the tweets carefully, however, was that all of them were fake, originating from troll accounts set up under assumed identities….

    It isn’t difficult to discern the motivation behind these fake tweets, which were obviously created to sow fear and racial hatred in a time of crisis. We have not only seen this phenomenon before, we have seen it perpetrated by the same bad actors….

    …the majority of Twitter accounts we found posting under the hashtag #HarveyLootCrew are still active as of this writing.”

    Reply
  46. Sheri

     /  September 2, 2017

    So sorry to hear about climate hawk may he go and Rest In Peace.

    Reply
    • Andy_in_SD

       /  September 2, 2017

      Climate Hawk passed away? Very sorry to hear this.
      Thoughts go out to him & his family.

      Reply
  47. wharf rat

     /  September 2, 2017

    Historic Deluge Hits Texas. Houston, You Have a Problem.
    By Eric Holthaus

    At one point on Thursday, flash flood watches covered more than 183,000 square miles of Texas, an area about the size of Germany and England combined. More than 15 inches of rain fell just northeast of Houston in a span of 12 hours on Thursday, just a few days after more than 20 inches fell in two days northwest of the city—the region’s second 100-year rainstorm in less than a week. (Statistically, a 100-year rainstorm is a rainfall event that has a 1 percent likelihood of occurring in a given year based on that region’s climate history.) The Brazos River west of Houston has crested more than four feet higher than previous record levels.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/06/03/historic_floods_in_houston_texas.html

    Reply

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