Advertisements

Upside Down America: Trump’s Shameful Opposition to Paris Puts U.S. Behind Syria

We all know someone who thinks this way. Put a stack of scientific evidence in front of them that reaches to the moon, and they will still disbelieve that human-caused climate change is real, harmful, and getting to be so bad that it’s increasingly capable of wrecking our lives. It is the very definition of ‘head-in-sand’ thinking. A pro-fossil fuel PR and politically-driven neurosis that American ideologues and other quacks appear to have perfected — afflicting so many of us through the medium of viral misinformation.

But such views of denial have real and devastating consequences in that they have often sabotaged the necessary societal and governmental response to a growing crisis.

(Yesterday, democrats created a blue wave election in repudiation of bad republican/Trump policies including Trump’s refusal to sign the Paris Climate Agreement. Members of the #Resistance cited Paris as one of the key reasons for demonstrated unity in support of democrats — both progressive and moderate — in opposition to Trump and in favor of helpful climate and energy policies.)

Just ask the 3.4 million people of Puerto Rico who have now gone for 49 days without power after a global warming fueled storm leveled their island. One hundred thousand of them — the lucky ones — have managed to escape this parcel of U.S. territory and avoid living in a world without access to electricity, water, reliable food supplies, decent transport, and medical care. They are now some of the likely 20-30 million refugees that will be produced by worsening climate change related weather, wildfires, sea level rise, and crop disruption this year alone. A number that will rapidly grow in years to come if we don’t adequately address the key disaster enablers — a warming planet and rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Upside Down America

Here, in the land of the American Dream, the dream is being slowly crushed by fossil fuel burning. And, yes, too by people like Trump who are working to prevent government policies that move us away from that harmful energy source and the carbon emissions that keep making the problem worse and worse and worse.

(COP 23 seeks to build on the momentum already developed under the Paris Climate Agreement.)

Yesterday, with Syria’s signature of the Paris Climate Agreement, the U.S., under Trump, is now the only nation that is not a party to it. Though not the ultimate ideal response to climate change, the Paris Agreement, if held to, will move the world rapidly away from the high level of harmful fossil fuel burning and related carbon emissions that are presently ongoing. Paris alone is not enough to prevent about 3 degrees Celsius worth of warming this Century. A level of warming that will bring a number of far worse climate outcomes than we see today. But it does get us off the very harmful path toward 5 C or more that comes from business as usual coal, gas and oil burning. The world, and the dedicated ratifiers of Paris — who now include everyone but Trump’s upside down version of America — recognize that the agreement is just the first step in a number of necessary global policy moves to address climate change (hence the convening of COP 23 in Bonn). A response that will need to rapidly escalate if we are to preserve the safety and stability of modern civilization.

Toxic Thinking = Terrible Policy

Trump’s moves seem completely irrational, idiotic, and nonsensical to anyone who understands the reality of climate and the severe harm that ultimately comes from fossil fuel burning. It does, however, make sense in the frame of a kind of small-minded world-view. One that puts the profits and protection of a single industry over the short term ahead of the safety of everyone and everything else over the medium to long term. Trump’s actions are directly aimed at protecting environmentally destructive fossil fuels from more advanced and less harmful energy sources. His action is less U.S. interest focused than it is aimed at protecting a global industry. For a sitting President would recognize the substantial benefit of the hundreds of thousands of jobs the renewable energy industry is creating even as it replaces more feeble job producers like coal.

(It’s an upside down world that features the U.S. as the only global climate policy laggard. Trump’s world. Image source: World Resources Institute.)

The U.S. has long been a renewable energy innovator. A leader in solar, wind, and electrical vehicle technology. And we are certainly capable of helping to lead the world both away from ever-worsening climate nightmares even as we begin to realize the amazing health and economic benefits granted by clean energy. Trump, however, like many of his republican fellows, appears bound and determined to sabotage this new, jobs-rich, industry in favor of the older, dirty and very dangerous fossil fuels. That’s where his own economic and political interests lie. That can be the only explanation for his otherwise irrational actions that now run counter to the far more clear-thinking leadership of the entire world.

Advertisements
Leave a comment

109 Comments

  1. Spike

     /  November 8, 2017

    Trump is actually holding the US back by trying to maintain the filthy fossil fuel status quo. He is an ignorant and selfish Luddite, one who positively revels in his own ignorance and inflated ego, the apotheosis of narcissism and the Dunning-Kruger effect. Something has gone badly wrong with democracy in the English speaking world to elect such perverted blowhards, and this needs fixing as badly as our carbon emissions.

    Reply
    • Apotheosis of narcissim… I like that. I think I can find an image for it.

      Angel or devil? Diabolical apotheosis of narcissism (Trump) or heeding the call of our virtuous angels (resistance)?

      And for the curious about the Dunning-Kruger effect:

      “In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude.”

      And, related:

      Both sadly apt definitions for Trump and those who follow him. The Dunning-Kruger effect appears to have been exploited by those promoting climate change denial to harmful mass political impact.

      Reply
  2. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    A couple of items from yesterday’s results –

    In the beating heart of Florida’s crucial Interstate 4 corridor, the former Republican mayor of St. Petersburg unexpectedly failed in a comeback bid after his Democratic opponent tied him to Trump and defined him as a denier of climate change.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/11/08/daily-202-anti-trump-backlash-fuels-a-democratic-sweep-in-virginia-and-elections-across-the-country/5a023fd230fb0468e76541b3/?utm_term=.1f103f286c36

    Reply
  3. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    California Gov. Jerry Brown delivers a blunt climate change message in Germany

    “We don’t know the exact timing or the magnitude of the global warming threat,” he said. “We know it’s a problem. We know it’s huge. We know we can’t stop it. We have to wake up Europe, and wake up America, and wake up the whole world to realize that we have a common destiny and what’s at stake.

    “Let’s lead the whole world to realize this is not your normal political challenge,” he added. “This is much bigger. This is life itself. It requires courage and imagination.”

    Even though the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg is traditionally a conservative party bastion and home to some of the country’s biggest companies, it has nevertheless been ruled by the pro-environment Greens party since 2011 that has been a force behind Germany’s efforts to derive more than a third of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

    Brown, who also promised “we’ll be back” in the Paris climate agreement, drew his strongest applause from the 143 members of the state assembly for his clarion call to put the environment ahead of business interests even if there was nothing wrong with getting into the business of protecting the environment.

    “Ecology is more fundamental than economics,” he said after talking about the common origins of the two words. “Economics is inside ecology and not the other way around.”

    http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-germany-jerry-brown-climate-change-20171108-story.html

    Reply
    • Jerry Brown takes U.S. climate leadership away from Trump. Nature, and Mother Earth, apparently abhor a vacuum — especially on this most critical of issues.

      Reply
  4. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    Trump has taken on the Earth and his generals are unable to defend U.S.

    No Paris, No Peace …

    Oracle_De_Atlantis • 12 minutes ago

    Reply
  5. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    Democrats Assail Environmental Nominees Over Climate Change

    Andrew R. Wheeler, a lobbyist for Murray Energy, which is owned by Robert E. Murray, an Appalachian coal mining magnate and prominent backer of President Trump, has been nominated to be the deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Kathleen Hartnett White, a former Texas environmental regulator who has described belief in global warming as “a kind of paganism,” has been tapped to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

    Democrats assailed her past writings on climate change, including articles in which she called carbon dioxide “the gas of life” and described renewable energy as parasitic.

    Reply
    • Democrats have been emboldened by yesterday’s victory. This is having a synergistic impact. Good to see Dems holding these bad climate actors to account.

      Somewhat related to the overall fire surrounding Trump:

      Reply
      • John McCormick

         /  November 8, 2017

        Yesterday, we witnessed a gathering of the decent. They will forever be decent and now showed us their strength. DNC has to call the decent to step up and change our political stage.

        Reply
  6. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    President Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that she believes climate change exists, but said she cannot determine whether humans are the primary cause.

    Speaking at her Senate confirmation hearing, Kirstjen Nielsen said she is “not prepared to determine causation” on climate change.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/homeland-nominee-questions-human-role-climate-change-51020487

    Reply
  7. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    Oracle_De_Atlantis coloradobob1 • 19 minutes ago

    This is Hilton Head, SC after Irma, where they just spent millions on beach renourishment.

    Reply
    • A storm that passed hundreds of miles inland did this. I was just north in Myrtle Beach. We endured tropical storm force conditions for 36 hours.

      Reply
    • bostonblorp

       /  November 9, 2017

      “beach renourishment” is akin to calling Sisyphus an exercise fanatic. All that heavy machinery belching carbon to boot.

      Reply
      • It’s basically now an exercise in building gigantic coastal walls of sand. Sea level rise wins in the end without serious mitigation. I think we’ve probably locked in 25 to 75 feet of sea level rise long term presently. It’ll be really tough to prevent that at this time. But we can certainly slow it down and we can definitely work to prevent all the ice from melting. Perhaps a very strong response could limit SLR to less. But you’re talking about a net negative carbon chain on a very near horizon to provide the potential for that.

        Reply
  8. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    Climate Change Costs a Lot More Than We Recognize
    Most estimates ignore the sociopolitical repercussions.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-08/climate-change-costs-a-lot-more-than-we-recognize

    Reply
    • Excellent report here by Bloomberg. We’re probably well over the 30 billion dollar per year estimate for the U.S. It’s just so tough to quantify everything that’s involved in this crisis.

      Reply
  9. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    Official National Park account: There’s ‘overwhelming consensus’ on climate change

    The official account of Joshua Tree National Park on Wednesday tweeted that there’s an “overwhelming consensus” that human activity is the driving force behind climate change.

    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/359405-official-national-park-account-tweets-about-overwhelming-consensus

    Reply
    • Overwhelming doesn’t even begin to describe. I mean, how many times does the science have to prove this. Time for action…

      Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 8, 2017

      From the comments …………….
      59% of the GOP are young Earth creationists who think the Earth was created in its present form right about when (Science tells us) the Sumerians invented glue.

      Reply
      • The party of myths, fantasy, lies and delusion. The inability to separate the abstract and contrived from the real. That’s what the whole party power structure is based on. People who can’t think straight and feeding them garbage. That’s the GOP stock and trade.

        Reply
  10. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    Vital Arctic monitoring satellites are blinking out when they’re needed most

    For 18 years, a fully-built, ready-to-launch weather satellite sat inside a Lockheed Martin facility near Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, California. Scientists were waiting for the spacecraft to be called into active duty since it was completed during the Clinton administration.

    A different order from Washington arrived instead.

    Because of resistance in Congress — particularly from Rep. Michael Rogers of Alabama, who chairs a key House Defense subcommittee — Capitol Hill told the Air Force to take the satellite apart.

    http://mashable.com/2017/11/08/arctic-satellites-going-dark-sea-ice-congress-destroyed/?utm_cid=hp-n-1#JRIWJfS86sq3

    Reply
  11. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    ‘I feel helpless’: Delhi residents on the smog crisis

    A public health emergency has been declared by doctors in Delhi, as the air quality in the world’s most polluted city dropped to levels likened to smoking 50 cigarettes a day.

    https://robertscribbler.com/2017/11/08/upside-down-america-trumps-shameful-opposition-to-paris-puts-u-s-behind-syria/#comment-129240

    Reply
  12. John McCormick

     /  November 8, 2017

    Yesterday, was a gathering of the decent. They will forever be decent and now showed us their strength. DNC has to call the decent to step up and change our political stage.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 8, 2017

      Suburbs Rebel Against Trump, Threatening Republicans in Congress
      RICHMOND, Va. — The American suburbs appear to be in revolt against President Trump after a muscular coalition of college-educated voters and racial and ethnic minorities on Tuesday dealt the Republican Party a thumping rejection and propelled a diverse class of Democrats into office.

      From the tax-obsessed suburbs of New York City to high-tech neighborhoods outside Seattle to the sprawling, polyglot developments of Fairfax and Prince William County, Va., voters shunned Republicans up and down the ballot in off-year elections. Leaders in both parties said the elections were an unmistakablealarm bell for Republicans ahead of the 2018 campaign, when the party’s grip on the House of Representatives may hinge on the socially moderate, multiethnic communities surrounding major cities.

      “Voters are taking their anger out at the president, and the only way they can do that is by going after Republicans on the ballot,” said Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania. “If this isn’t a wake-up call, I don’t know what is.”

      The Democrats’ gains signaled deep alienation from the Republican Party among the sort of upscale moderates who were once a pillar of their coalition.

      Reply
    • Suzanne

       /  November 9, 2017

      I actually heard Republican strategist, Steve Schmidt call Tuesday’s election results…
      “A Coalition for Decency”. That really resonates with me.

      Reply
  13. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    On PBS tonight –
    “Killer Floods” the third in the series dealing with little known past events.

    November 8, 2017 at 9 pm on PBS

    Program Description
    All over the world, scientists are discovering traces of ancient floods on a scale that dwarfs even the most severe flood disasters of recent times. What triggered these cataclysmic floods, and could they strike again? In the Channeled Scablands of Washington State, the level prairie gives way to bizarre, gargantuan rock formations: house-sized boulders seemingly dropped from the sky, a cliff carved by a waterfall twice the height of Niagara, and potholes large enough to swallow cars. Like forensic detectives at a crime scene, geologists study these strange features and reconstruct catastrophic Ice Age floods more powerful than all the world’s top ten rivers combined. NOVA follows their efforts to uncover the geologic fingerprints of other colossal megafloods in Iceland and, improbably, on the seabed of the English Channel. There, another deluge smashed through a land bridge connecting Britain and France hundreds of thousands of years ago and turned Britain into an island for the first time. These great disasters ripped through terrain and transformed continents in a matter of hours—and similar forces reawakened by climate change are posing an active threat to mountain communities throughout the world today.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/killer-floods.html

    Reply
  14. Jeremy in Wales

     /  November 8, 2017

    The Republicans in the US for whatever reason (capture by money? Russia?) are ignoring the big trends that have a chance of turning this planet around from climate disaster.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/08/seven-megatrends-that-could-beat-global-warming-climate-change
    Even in the UK with their ideology and climate change sceptics the conservatives have not been able to totally abandon the changes that they know are coming. They might not be enthusiastic but they know they are coming, they cannot ignore the economics.
    I have taken delight when I have seen the wind turbines going up in the Irish Sea which get bigger and bigger. I felt proud when a local council built a couple of solar farms and installed solar panels on their social housing stock. That street lights are at long last being changed from sodium to LEDs. That a local hotel has just put in an electric car charging point. The politicians see these changes and see the world keeps on turning and adapt but not apparently in Washington.
    The trouble in the UK is that we think we understand America, but we don’t, I have spent about 9 holidays over there travelling and despite the common language the attitudes are totally alien. Whether it is religion, guns, climate, economics, not putting the right price on goods in shops (sales tax), tipping or the assumption that that I personally know the queen.
    So thanks to Robert and all the posters who throw some light on the politics in your country
    and best wishes in getting sanity back into government. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 8, 2017

      Jeremy in Wales so sorry to hear a Welshman ain’t buddies with the Queen.

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  November 8, 2017

        Shocking is it not? What ,no garden party at Buck House and no cucumber sandwiches, I have hardly lived!

        Reply
        • coloradobob

           /  November 8, 2017

          My all time favorite quote :
          “What is a mine ? It’s a hole a hole in the ground , with a Welshman at the bottom”

        • Jeremy in Wales

           /  November 9, 2017

          The largest number of men ever to work in the Welsh coal mines was 271,000 in 1920. Now it is a big fat zero. One of the changes for the better.
          My father in law has coal ingrained scars on his back from lumps of rock falling on him, a legacy from working at a coalface. Thank the Lord my son does not have to face that career choice!

    • To your first point, Jeremy, I think it’s fair to say that the Republican party platform has been captured, for the most part, by fossil fuel special interests. There are a few mild renewable energy supporters among republicans. But it’s a shallow and conflicted bench.

      Will also say that Russian petrostate influence over key Republican players has generally grown over recent years. NRA, for example, has deep running ties with Russia now, as does the so-called alt-right party of Bannon and Trump. This is contrary to more traditional republican members who are mostly bullied into being quiet now for fear of being primaried from the alt-right.

      Russian active measures have targeted right wing extremist elements in the U.S. for support in that they are most able to sow division and violence. They also actively target separatist elements. The far left is targeted as a means to disrupt the more effective functioning of the democratic party whose policy goals now run directly in opposition to petrostates like Russia.

      Reply
    • To your point about conservatives in the UK reluctantly going along with climate policy…

      So I wish that was the case here where conservatives are still mostly in denial or actively working to make the problem worse. There is, however, a growing list of exceptions. At some point, the opposition to climate action is going to break. Trump was propelled to power on the force of irrational reaction. Without direct authoritarian control, that kind of thing ends up being a flash in the pan. Trump is trying to exert authoritarianism on the U.S., but so far his attempts are broadly failing. Not that we don’t have a lot of collateral damage as a result. But there’s a serious political cost for all this collateral damage as well.

      Reply
    • To your comment RE wind turbines in the Irish sea —

      !!!

      That’s really great news. So much in the way of wind resources out there.

      On a related note, I think that maybe Ireland is starting to realize that it can share in the energy future. It’s true with everyone now. It’s not just a case of where you find oil or gas. Anywhere the wind blows or the sun shines is wide open.

      Reply
      • Jeremy in Wales

         /  November 9, 2017

        2003 North Hoyle – 60MW 30x2MW vesta turbines
        2007 Burbo Bank – 90MW 25X3.6MW Siemens turbines
        2009 Rhyl Flats – 90MW 25X3.6MW Siemens turbines
        2015 Gwynt y Mor – 576MW 160X3,6MW Siemens turbines
        2017 Burbo Bank Extension – 258MW 32X8MW Vesta turbines

        Reply
    • As for your thoughts on how the world is changing around you and how people, even conservatives, in the UK are starting to realize that this is the future and accepting it in their own way vs how Americans are responding…

      I’ll add a few more insights and thoughts to this.

      The first thought is that here in the land of the ‘free’ pretty much everyone believes they’re entitled to their opinion. This is fine so long as they realize that this is just opinion. Unfortunately, what has happened over the past 20 years or so in the public dialogue is that various opinions that appeal to various interest groups have been portrayed as ‘facts.’

      This is how you end up with alternative facts (lies and misinformation) spreading so widely. It’s basically fueled by a combination of people who are too proud to accept facts and reason being fed by their chosen brand of media. This creates a high degree of confirmation bias.

      For the same reason that climate change denial lives so well in the U.S., we have also had birtherism, evolution denial, the anti-inoculation movement, geo-engineering conspiracy theory, and about a thousand other anti-US-government-conspiracy theories. Extreme religious views are also pretty rampant.

      The home of the free for a segment of the U.S. population has become the home of the deluded by belief and resistant to facts. In other words, the home of the misinformed.

      But, even here, facts have a way of sinking in over the long term. Eventually, as a nation, we do tend to come around. In our own way, I think our public is starting to come around to understanding climate change risks and desiring renewable energy systems for a variety of reasons.

      As an example, lets take a policy that is typically viewed as pretty liberal — renewable portfolio standards. Such policies call for an increasing portion of renewable energy over time. In the U.S., among liberals, moderates, and mild conservatives, there is broad consensus support for renewable portfolio standards. Only extreme conservatives oppose:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_portfolio_standard

      If we look at acceptance of climate change, there’s more of a split. But it’s not as bad a split as the one we see in Congress. And the kinds of extreme climate change denial we find in the White House presently is at odds with the values of most Americans:

      In other words, 65 percent of Americans aren’t self-labeled liberals. However, 65 percent of Americans now believe that climate change is human-caused. A view that the right wing has tried to politically label ‘liberal’ but that is instead pretty broad across the political spectrum. Sure, liberals are more likely to believe that climate change is caused by humans than moderates, moderates are more likely to believe the science than conservatives, and conservatives are the group that is least likely to take scientific fact as fact. But across America, there is broad acceptance of this view.

      More to this point:

      Reply
    • Of course, we should also include the scientific consensus which is well ahead of U.S. public opinion:

      Reply
  15. Dave McGinnis

     /  November 8, 2017

    I have come to believe that industry alone can correct this imbalance. It was industry that got us into this, gov’t regulation of industry demonstratively cannot cure it. And industry is responding. American corporations know what their customers want and are providing it — electric cars, cheap solar panels, wind farms, etc. As this attitude expands within corporate America we will see serious decreases in our emissions. I’m optimistic.

    Great article again, Mr. Scribbler, you keep your eyes open as always.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 8, 2017

      “gov’t regulation of industry demonstratively cannot cure it.”

      This BS.

      Sorry the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, etc. etc.

      As someone old enough to have driven into LA in 1967. I can tell you , the smell at Palm Springs where all the wind turbines are today , was over whelming.
      This idea that industry doesn’t need a big stick , but just a wagon load of carrots is false.
      Seat belts were going ruin the car makers.
      The Clean Air Act was going to ruin the car makers.
      More Doctors smoke Camels , than any other brand.

      Reply
      • Well said there, Bob. A nice fine point. No need to curse, though. We’re all adults here, right?

        Reply
        • Jacob Gordon

           /  November 10, 2017

          Yes we are adults, Robert, and plain and simple: adults curse. Cursing is highly appropriate given our climate situation. If this isn’t a situation where cursing is merited, what would be in your mind? There is a point where cursing becomes ridiculous, but I’ve never seen Bob get to that point. This is your blog, and usually a valuable blog it is, but your militancy in calling Bob to task for trivial items is quite damaging to your overall message. After all what is more important climate change and doing something about it or over policing the folks who actually contribute to the high quality of your blog? Your attitude is incredibly dismaying and someone needs to take you task for your outrageous conduct. This is usually must read and spread content, but sometimes your self righteous attitude overpowers the message and that should never be the case.

          Jacob

    • Brian

       /  November 9, 2017

      Industry _CAN_ correct this imbalance. But they won’t. Which is why we need government regulation. FULL STOP.

      Reply
      • The issue here is that some within industry will self-regulate to a point. But profit motive disincentivizes more active self-regulation. Furthermore, you always end up with bad actors that try to get away with as much as possible. You absolutely need regulation otherwise things can race to the bottom pretty rapidly.

        Another point is that if U.S. Industry wishes to remain competitive globally, you need regulations like CAFE and clean energy standards. High efficiency and lower harmful externalities make U.S. products more desirable. In addition, incentives for high efficiency also directly incentivize renewable energy — which adds to U.S. energy independence, reduced health impacts, and increased appeal for U.S. products overseas.

        Reply
    • A well regulated industry is certainly part of the solution. But they do need both boundaries and incentives.

      Reply
  16. wj long

     /  November 8, 2017

    Newly Elected NJ Governor Phil Murphy has an Aggressive Plan to Combat Climate Change & Make New Jersey A National Leader in Clean Energy.

    “Phil Murphy’s plan for putting New Jersey on a path to achieve the highest standards in America, 100 percent clean energy by 2050, sets the bar for every governor in the United States,” said Gene Karpinski, national president of the League of Conservation Voters. “States are on the front lines of addressing the climate crisis, and as governor his vision will ensure significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions and send a strong message to the Trump administration.”

    https://www.murphy4nj.com/2017/04/murphy-unveils-aggressive-plan-to-combat-climate-change-make-new-jersey-a-national-leader-in-clean-energy/

    Thanks Robert for your continued efforts

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for the kind words, WJ.

      This is so, so very refreshing to me. After all these years of Christy and his fossil fuel cheer leading, we’ve got a real renewable energy leader in NJ. 100 percent by 2050 is a good goal and it’s probably even achievable well before that time.

      NJ, like any other coastal state has so much to lose from human caused climate change. Electing those opposed to climate action is tantamount to a self inflicted wound on a massive scale. We need only to look at Puerto Rico and Miami and the communities consumed by fires in the west to be aware of the very dire stakes involved.

      Paul’s victory is help to us all. Such a huge relief to me.

      Reply
  17. coloradobob

     /  November 8, 2017

    Todd Alan • 30 minutes ago
    I just had the opportunity to read the link to the “Paradise Papers” and this stood out:

    The documents also show that US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has a
    stake in a shipping company that does business with a gas producer
    partly owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Read more at:
    //economictimes.indiatimes.co…
    The
    documents also show that US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has a stake
    in a shipping company that does business with a gas producer partly
    owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Read more at:
    //economictimes.indiatimes.co…
    The
    documents also show that US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has a stake
    in a shipping company that does business with a gas producer partly
    owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Read more at:
    //economictimes.indiatimes.co…

    Reply
  18. Erik Frederiksen

     /  November 8, 2017

    You can sign agreements, or not. You can abide by what you signed up for, or not.

    But the fact is we’ve already put a lot of heat content into the ocean and it is likely that it is ocean temperature which controls Antarctic Ice Sheet mass (57m sea level rise equivalent of ice).

    It’s -50 degrees C on parts of Antarctica, warm it up to -45 and big deal. But it is at the melting point at the coast where the floating and thinning ice shelves provide less and less friction constraining ice sheet flow.

    An increase of just 1 degree C destroyed the ice shelf constraining the flow of the Jakobshavn Isbræ Glacier on Greenland and such an increase is a big insult to an ice shelf almost anywhere on the planet.

    The Antarctic Peninsula has lost 8-10 ice shelves over the last 25-30 years.

    The most important line in the world, the shoreline, is now beginning to change noticeably for the first time in human civilization. London was built at sea level 2000 years ago because sea level had been relatively stable for millennia.

    We need to adapt for this new reality, better than we did for New Orleans with Katrina.

    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 9, 2017

      Erik Frederiksen

      Years ago I on political site posting climate stories as I do now. One day the author of the site asked me for answers on how to change it. I said that the “Cake was Baked” . A fatalism that humans cannot abide. We fell out .

      But the phyiscs grinds on.

      Reply
      • Sorry, Bob. But that’s a false analogy.

        The cake is baked to a certain temperature now. How much more it gets baked depends directly on how much more we emit. As a global society we can choose to emit less, and therefore warm the world less.

        If you purpose here is to spread anti-factual and apathetic messaging, then I think I may have to ask you to take a step back again. My understanding was that you supported solutions. Perhaps I was wrong.

        I’ll let you reply. But I just want to say generally that if my base of followers is dependent on how negative (and anti-factual) my messages become, then I would rather have no followers at all. Further, the purpose of the forum here is to support messages that inform and provide solutions for climate change, not to serve as a means to generate apathy and dissent against what are now a number of positive global policy movements.

        This is the focus of the blog and forum, not to play to the least common denominator as you and Eric just did.

        Reply
    • If the notion is that we’ve already crossed the line into the worst case scenario and that mitigation has no impact, then that’s incorrect.

      We are certainly going to have to adapt. It’s just a matter of degree and whether or not we are capable of adapting. A 2 C world in one Century is probably something we can adapt to. It’ll be hard. And it will require serious mitigation and atmospheric carbon capture efforts to prevent longer term warming to around 4 C. But that’s a world that human civ can probably survive in, if not happily. 3 C in one Century is much more difficult. BAU warming isn’t something that we can manage in my view.

      The view that global climate policy doesn’t help, which you seem to imply, is incorrect. Global climate policy is essential to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. As with any regulatory attempt, there will be bad actors and those who attempt to cheat. But emissions reduction will move forward far more rapidly that it would otherwise with this kind of structure in place. And we’ve had success with treaties in the past (Montreal).

      In other words, claiming that it’s all the same with or without the treaty is a false equivalency that makes an appeal to apathy. Is that what you want to be doing here, Eric?

      Reply
  19. coloradobob

     /  November 9, 2017

    Our war on Nature , never sleeps . Jerry Brown said a very profound thing in Germany today.

    Economics lives is Ecology , without Ecology, Economics cannot exists

    Reply
  20. coloradobob

     /  November 9, 2017
    Reply
    • coloradobob

       /  November 9, 2017

      And people wonder why I am an ….

      Reply
      • utoutback

         /  November 9, 2017

        Right there with ya, CB.

        Reply
      • The violence others do to innocent creatures is reprehensible. It is not a reason for us to lower our standards of behavior. We can confront others directly without making ourselves jerks. And if we do, our communication will be far more effective. In other words, we need to learn how to be assertive in our responses without being ….

        Also Bob, language. Asking you to self-moderate. Otherwise I’m going to have to step in again.

        In other words–

        1. I’ve had to edit two of your posts to tone things down.
        2. I’ve had to delete one.
        3. I’ve had to debunk false messaging in one.
        4. I’ve had to delete a couple of responses to your posts that generate a false or harmful meme.

        You’re a good communicator. Those skills can be used for good or for ill. If you want to not be a part of the problem, then don’t be.

        Reply
    • Greg

       /  November 9, 2017

      We are still survival focused primates at heart. But there are over 7 billion of us and we have fire. If we could understand their languages they would probably be saying help and F. U.

      Reply
  21. coloradobob

     /  November 9, 2017

    Fair and balanced ………
    These are poor people , and elephants can ruin months of work in mins.

    What we really need is to how to speak elephant. And whale , and cod, and tuna, , and bumble bee, and butterfly, and fly, and polar bear, and lion, and wolf.

    What we really need is language of Nature.

    Reply
  22. Sheri

     /  November 9, 2017

    Anyone know what is happening with arctic-news.blogspot.com these days? There aren’t many articles anymoe in the past few months. I hope they weren’t so discouraged by Trump and his darkness that they kind of gave up.

    Thanks for the article about how the US stands in the world re; our govenment stand on Climate change. I am truly glad the rest of the world is going to go on rather than wringing their hands waiting for us to take the lead.

    Best to all, Sheri

    Reply
    • Loni

       /  November 9, 2017

      I’ve taken note of that same thing on ‘arctic-news-, Sheri. I’m wondering if we should be preparing ourselves for censorship on fb and other “public” sites.

      Reply
      • Apocalypse4Real, too. Kinda discouraging.

        Reply
        • We’ve learned that methane is not really the ball to watch here. It’s CO2. The mainstream science has been very clear on this since jump. Methane is a feedback issue. One that may determine 0.5 to 1 C of shorter term warming in the absolute rational worst case this Century. CO2 under BAU nets you 5-7 C this Century and up to 14+ C if you burn all the fossil fuels.

          Methane is important to the 2 C threshold. It is not the primary driver of the crisis or the apocalyptic potential of global warming.

    • Not sure. But it could be that the very extreme worst case scenario (runaway warming to 5 C in a couple of decades) has been mostly debunked. I always thought this was a bit of an odd focus considering the fact that we don’t need to warm anywhere near that much so soon for there to be serious problems.

      Reply
  23. Greg

     /  November 9, 2017

    Nothing that our government should note here. Move on to tax reform:

    Reply
  24. Greg

     /  November 9, 2017

    Think local, act globally:
    Tuesday’s elections brought coast-to-coast victories for U.S. climate action.

    Many climate-friendly mayors were elected — most notably in New York City, Boston, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Charlotte, St. Petersburg, St. Paul, and Seattle.

    More highlights from a big day for climate policy:

    New Jersey: Governor-elect Phil Murphy, a Democrat, campaigned on a climate-friendly platform that included a pledge to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the largest market-based carbon-trading platform in the country. (Outgoing Governor Chris Christie withdrew Jersey from RGGI in 2011.) Murphy also wants to make Jersey the second state in the country, after Hawaii, to commit to a path to 100-percent renewable energy.
    Virginia: Newly-elected Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is expected to push for his state to join RGGI.
    Washington state: A special election for a state senate seat tipped the balance of power to allow Governor Jay Inslee to pursue his pro-climate agenda.
    Miami: Voters passed a $200 million bond issue aimed at preparing the city for sea-level rise.
    Denver: A green roof initiative passed, which would mandate either solar panels or gardens on top of every new large building.

    The results send a clear message: Climate action will continue to move ahead at the local and state level, even with a climate denier as president.
    http://grist.org/briefly/tuesdays-elections-brought-coast-to-coast-victories-for-u-s-climate-action/

    Reply
  25. wili

     /  November 9, 2017

    New Study: 100% Renewable Electricity Worldwide is Feasible and More Cost-Effective than the Existing System

    A global transition to 100% renewable electricity is not a long-term vision, but already a tangible reality, a new groundbreaking study by the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) shows. The study was presented on November 8, 2017 during the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase event (GRESS) on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP23 in Bonn.

    The results of the study are revealing: A global electricity system fully based on renewable energy is feasible at every hour throughout the year and is more cost effective than the existing system, which is largely based on fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

    Existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including storage can generate sufficient and secure power to cover the entire global electricity demand by 2050[1]. Total levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) on a global average for 100% renewable electricity in 2050 is €52/MWh (including curtailment, storage and some grid costs), compared to €70/MWh in 2015.

    “A full decarbonization of the electricity system by 2050 is possible for lower system cost than today based on available technology. Energy transition is no longer a question of technical feasibility or economic viability, but of political will”, Christian Breyer, lead author of the study, LUT Professor of Solar Economy and Chairman of the EWG Scientific Board said.

    A transition to 100% renewables would bring greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector down to zero and drastically reduce total losses in power generation. It would create 36 million jobs by 2050, 17 million more than today.

    ”There is no reason to invest one more Dollar in fossil or nuclear power production”, EWG President Hans-Josef Fell said. “Renewable energy provides cost-effective power supply. All plans for a further expansion of coal, nuclear, gas and oil have to be ceased. More investments need to be channeled in renewable energies and the necessary infrastructure for storage and grids. Everything else will lead to unnecessary costs and increasing global warming.”

    The key findings of the study:

    Existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including storage can generate sufficient and secure power to cover the entire global electricity demand by 2050. The world population is expected to grow from 7.3 to 9.7 billion. The global electricity demand for the power sector is set to increase from 24,310 TWh in 2015 to around 48,800 TWh by 2050.

    Total levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) on a global average for 100% renewable electricity in 2050 is €52/MWh (including curtailment, storage and some grid costs), compared to €70/MWh in 2015.

    Due to rapidly falling costs, solar PV and battery storage increasingly drive most of the electricity system, with solar PV reaching some 69%, wind energy 18%, hydropower 8% and bioenergy 2% of the total electricity mix in 2050 globally.

    Wind energy increases to 32% by 2030. Beyond 2030 solar PV becomes more competitive. The solar PV supply share increases from 37% in 2030 to about 69% in 2050.

    Batteries are the key supporting technology for solar PV. The storage output covers 31% of the total demand in 2050, 95% of which is covered by batteries alone. Battery storage provides mainly diurnal storage, and renewable energy based gas provides seasonal storage.

    Global greenhouse gas emissions significantly reduce from about 11 GtCO2eq in 2015 to zero emissions by 2050 or earlier, as the total LCOE of the power system declines.

    The global energy transition to a 100% renewable electricity system creates 36 million jobs by 2050 in comparison to 19 million jobs in the 2015 electricity system.

    The total losses in a 100% renewable electricity system are around 26% of the total electricity demand, compared to the current system in which about 58% of the primary energy input is lost.

    The study “Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy – Power Sector” will have major implications for policy makers and politicians around the world, as it refutes a frequently used argument by critics that renewables cannot provide full energy supply on an hourly basis.

    https://oilvoice.com/Press/10309/New-Study-100-Renewable-Electricity-Worldwide-is-Feasible-and-More-CostEffective-than-the-Existing-System-

    Reply
    • Loni

       /  November 9, 2017

      Of course we WILL be pumping more money into our nuke plants, A LOT MORE, but that isn’t what this article was trying to say.

      However, we should not think we can walk away from this friggin’ mess. We have yet to make ANY headway on Fukushima-Dai-ichi, which should be recognized as a world wide threat.

      Reply
      • So the point is that with lower cost and more widely available batteries, you don’t need to build new nuclear. In fact, it’s probably more economical now to build a battery storage system than to build new nuclear. That reality will become more clear over the next few years. Nuke plants have a negative economic learning curve. That’s causing their development to lag regardless of opposition from environmental groups.

        Reply
    • Thanks for this, Wili.

      In addendum, would just like to add that net energy loss is lower despite intermittence due to the fact that renewables are far, far more efficent than fossil fuel based systems. You can’t have a sun or wind leak, for example. And electrical based motors are about x3 more efficient at converting energy than ICEs.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 9, 2017

        “…renewables are far, far more efficent than fossil fuel based systems. You can’t have a sun or wind leak, for example. And electrical based motors are about x3 more efficient at converting energy than ICEs.”

        Indeed. That’s a point that so many people seem to be determined to ignore or misunderstand for some reason.

        Reply
        • Yeah. It can be frustrating trying to communicate basics RE renewables. Lots of false impressions. But that’s easy to happen with a new energy source.

          Further to this point, renewables appear to also encourage more efficient energy use. An EV can’t just load up on more gas in a bigger tank to increase range. Battery energy density, weight, and materials design directly enable longer range and greater power. So efficiency is built in. Similar issue with wind and solar — the pay-off for efficient design is much greater than with fossil fuel based designs.

          Worth noting that media is again trotting out the hydrogen fuel cell. A very, very inefficient feed chain for those things. Basically requires double the infrastructure of EVs.

        • wili

           /  November 10, 2017

          Yeah, pretty much everyone I know that has solar of any kind also got very careful about efficiency and avoiding unnecessary electric use. Really a win-win-win.

          Hydrogen…ugh. Doesn’t it also tend to make whatever metal container you try to hold it in or convey it through more and more brittle. IIRC, since it is the smallest of atoms, it tends to work into the tiniest micro cracks, but I am certainly no expert on these things.

        • Yeah. It’s a big mess to manage. Lots more in the way of technical challenges and problems than with EVs. Also, no similar benefits of synergy with the information age technologies. You can easily mate a thinking machine to a battery and have the machine manage energy flows for greater evolving efficiency and power availability at key times. You can’t do that with a tank of any kind — hydrogen or otherwise. There’s also a nasty link-up between hydrogen and nat gas that’s a concern.

          In my view, regardless of marketing and PR, the advances in solar + wind + EV +battery storage are now so far along that the hydrogen albatross has no rational way to keep up. It’s primarily a source for distracting CAPEX interest and flows in my opinion.

  26. Suzanne

     /  November 9, 2017

    Today at VOX…”Two Dozen current and former EPA staffers explain how Trump is wrecking the agency”
    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/11/9/16619988/scott-pruitt-epa-dysfunction-staff

    Career employees are “very dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, and they will change their ways of how they do that if they’re convinced you really want to accomplish that aim,” said Christine Todd Whitman, EPA administrator under President George W. Bush.

    One such employee agreed. “I think it’s the fact that we’re not following regular procedures; we’re not sure of what the legal justification is for some of the things they’re asking us to do. We’re just kind of being told, ‘Do the opposite thing you did 18 months ago.’ That’s hard to swallow.”

    The EPA staffers who spoke to the center say the isolation of Pruitt’s top staff from the rest of the agency limits the perspectives the administrator is exposed to before making decisions.

    Two appointment calendars, covering a six-month period beginning in March, show that Pruitt hears overwhelmingly from industry. He was scheduled to meet 154 times during the period with officials from companies such as Exxon Mobil and trade associations such as the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry’s biggest lobby group. API was among at least 17 donors to Pruitt when he ran for state or federal office or led the Republican Attorneys General Association that have met with him as EPA administrator. Those same calendars indicate he saw only three groups representing environmental or public health interests, though an EPA press release says he met with two others.

    Reply
    • I think there are grounds for EPA staff to press criminal malfeasance charges against administrators if their directives and actions go against the stated goals of the organization to the point that it will result in serious harm to people or animals.

      Reply
  27. wili

     /  November 9, 2017

    OT, but a friend of mine just became the first openly trans African American to be elected to any office in the US ever.

    Reply
    • Congrats, man. Major win for trans politicians across America. In VA, we had the first trans woman elected in the state as well. Really nice to see.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 10, 2017

        Yeah, I saw that. Many bits of better news than what we mostly got a year ago!!

        Reply
        • 🙂 We should always keep in mind oppositional forces. I would still have rather not gone through all this torture with Trump and the worst incarnation of the republican party that has ever existed in U.S. history.

  28. wili

     /  November 9, 2017

    Meanwhile:
    Puerto Rico, Day 50:
    Island-wide power generation has plunged due to the failure of a transmission line “repaired” by Whitefish Energy.
    —82% of the island now w/o power.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  November 9, 2017

      Further:

      Reply
    • Well, can’t say I’m too surprised. Whitefish was clearly just a small contracting firm and is likely a lightweight when it comes to the needed expertise down there. Not to mention the glaring conflict of interest involved in their being brought in.

      Reply
  29. Kassy

     /  November 9, 2017

    Todays OT but fun tidbit: hydrocarbons are also involved involved in the extinction of the dinosaurs. Yes there was an asteroid – but the hydrocarbon content is needed to make enough soot for a really bad “impact winter”:

    The scientists now find the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs happened to hit an unlucky spot — had it landed in about 87 percent of anywhere else on Earth, the mass extinction might not have occurred.

    The scientists found that a mass extinction would have occurred from the impact only if it had hit 13 percent of the surface of the Earth, including both land and oceans. “If the asteroid had hit a low- to medium-level hydrocarbon area on Earth, occupying approximately 87 percent of the Earth’s surface, mass extinction could not have occurred,” Kaiho told Live Science.

    https://www.livescience.com/60898-asteroid-struck-unlucky-spot-doomed-dinosaurs.html

    Reply
    • So the impact lit off a larger than normal load of hydrocarbons, which, in turn, created more particulate material. Enough to create longer lasting climate impacts on a scale great enough to produce a major mass extinction.

      In other words, impacts alone are not enough. This does help to clarify the extinction record in that we now understand why other large impacts did not produce similar mass extinction events.

      As for all the various hothouse extinctions and now the KT, we can call them all hydrocarbon extinctions.

      But yeah, hydrocarbons are still considered a precious commodity in global markets. With valuations for reserves in the trillions worldwide. If we valued them realistically, it would be in lives lost and habitats (human and natural) destroyed. In other words, a commodity with ultimately a negative value.

      Reply
  30. Bobinspain

     /  November 9, 2017

    Off topic, but oddly relevant in the larger scheme of things. Politicians doing crazy petty squabbles and meanwhile we’re running out of water.
    http://www.euronews.com/2017/11/09/drought-across-spain-and-portugal-raises-alarm

    Reply
    • Thanks for this Bob. They buried the headliner:

      “Suddenly what was once thought to be a problem confined to the third world has arrived in southern Europe.”

      Reply
  31. Abel Adamski

     /  November 9, 2017

    Another factor
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/hot-news-from-the-antarctic-underground
    Hot News from the Antarctic Underground

    A new NASA study adds evidence that a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctica’s Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. Although the heat source isn’t a new or increasing threat to the West Antarctic ice sheet, it may help explain why the ice sheet collapsed rapidly in an earlier era of rapid climate change, and why it is so unstable today.

    An added factor, also one that needs to take into account the research from Iceland re the loss of land ice allowing the underlying land to rebound, thus increasing flow of magma under the surface, further extending the heated area and the rate of heat transfer

    Interestinger

    Reply
  32. JPL

     /  November 9, 2017

    Here’s a link to the executive summary of the 2017 China Renewable Energy Outlook put out by Energy Research Institute of Academy of Macroeconomic Research/NDRC
    China National Renewable Energy Centre

    http://boostre.cnrec.org.cn/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/CREO-2017-booklet-EN-20171109.pdf

    It’s a fairly comprehensive exploration for not only how China can meet it’s stated goals on renewables, but also how to achieve the very important ‘below 2 degrees C’ outcome as well.

    It’s a long read but a hopeful one for sure.

    Reply
  1. Upside Down America: Trump’s Shameful Opposition to Paris Puts U.S. Behind Syria — robertscribbler « Antinuclear

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: