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Messages - Sigmetnow

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9251
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: October 05, 2014, 10:41:34 PM »
Private entrepreneur is planning to grow the US grid to support wind power.

The wind is so strong in Iowa and Kansas that more wind farms there could power the country's largest cities if only there was a way to move that electricity to where most people live.

Enter Michael Skelly, a Houston businessman who envisions building five superhighways — transmission lines — to carry vast amounts of wind-generated power across more than 3,000 miles, multiple states, hundreds of jurisdictions and thousands of pieces of privately owned land.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-clean-line-transmission-1005-biz-20141005-story.html#page=1

9252
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: October 04, 2014, 09:57:07 PM »
Grist:  New IEA reports are even more bullish on clean electricity helping us to meet the 2°C challenge.
Electricity’s share of total global energy use has climbed from 9 percent in the ’70s to 17 percent today; depending on how things play out, that’s expected to rise to around 25 percent by 2050. (I would bet substantial money that even that is an underestimate.)

That could be a good or a bad thing. If the carbon intensity of global electricity remains the same, it would massively drive up emissions, because, well, coal. On the bright side, though, electricity is much easier to decarbonize than liquid fuels, so electrification presents a big opportunity to take a chunk out of global emissions. Specifically, to get on IEA’s “2DS” pathway — that is, to keep warming at or under 2 degrees C warming, per international agreement — the carbon intensity of global electricity would have to plunge by 90 percent.

Luckily, IEA concluded, that’s doable. It would cost a lot — global investments in electricity systems, including grids and storage, would have to roughly double — but the fuel savings alone would mean the benefits outweigh the costs. It won’t happen on its own, though. The mix of policies and technologies needed, from flexible grids to energy storage to solar, would require systems thinking, planning, and political coordination.

Anyway, that’s all background. Today, the IEA released two new solar-power roadmaps, one for solar PV and the other for solar thermal. The interesting news therein is twofold.

One, with the right policies in place, solar could be the largest provider of global electricity by 2050. That should put to rest the notion, widespread in some quarters, that solar is a marginal technology of interest only to fruity greens.

The second interesting bit is that IEA has gotten much more bullish on PV, even since May. The agency now believes it capable of providing 16 percent of total global electricity by 2050 (in the 2DS scenario), up from less than 1 percent today....

Anyway, there are lots more details in the documents themselves, including detailed policy recommendations for reducing costs and increasing grid flexibility. The main thing I want to highlight is just that solar costs are plunging so fast that even the stodgy IEA is scrambling to keep up.

At virtually every point in time over the last several decades, IEA has been behind the curve, underestimating the growth of renewables. Raise your hand if you think this is the last time it will reassess and upgrade solar’s potential contribution.
http://grist.org/climate-energy/how-solar-can-provide-over-half-the-planets-electricity/

9253
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: October 04, 2014, 03:50:06 PM »
New solar technology stores energy right in the panel.  Oh, and it uses oxygen.  "Basically, it's a breathing battery."

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/worlds-first-solar-battery-captures-stores-suns-energy-n218091

9254
Also, increasing amounts of EV charging will be done by off-grid solar, at residential or business locations.

9255
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: October 04, 2014, 01:46:53 AM »
The cost of solar power plus battery storage is about to dip below the average electricity bill in Germany.
...
But the fact remains that the costs of battery technology and solar power are headed nowhere but down. Another recent and very similar analysis by the investment bank UBS projected that by 2020, small-scale solar-plus-storage power generation will become economic enough for individual homeowners in Europe that there simply won’t be any market incentive for building more fossil fuel power plants on the Continent.

Here in America, Tesla thinks the costs of battery storage could fall to $100 per kilowatt-hour by the end of the decade. As John Aziz pointed out at The Week, that would drop the combined cost of a home solar array and a home battery to $17,000 over the system’s 20-year lifespan — well below the $26,000 the average U.S. household currently spends on electricity from the grid.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/03/3575371/hsbc-solar-battery-germany/

9256
Indeed.  And not just Bangladesh:  Africa, India, Brazil, China.  Rural electrification via solar instead of grid connections just makes sense.

The World Bank’s Lighting Africa program clocked a 95 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for solar products being sold beyond the grid in sub-Saharan Africa. In Bangladesh, the wildly successful IDCOL solar program has installed 3 million solar home systems at a whopping 60 percent CAGR over the past decade. After much deliberation, even the dispassionate new prime minister of India decided against grid extension in favor of using distributed energy to meet his 2019 goal of electrifying every family's residence.

In the meantime, grid extension has proceeded at incredibly marginal rates. Worse, 2.5 billion people who are connected to the grid receive power that is so unreliable that they are considered "under-electrified" by current grid extension efforts. The cheap reliable grid is a fallacy that is no longer cheap, nor reliable.
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sorry-bill-gates-you-are-wrong-on-clean-energy

http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/rural_elect.pdf

Even some of London's red telephone boxes are getting the solar treatment, as charging centers.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/london-s-famous-red-phone-booth-goes-green-and-solar-powered/

9257
It's not looking too promising for a global climate treaty in Paris.  But I'm seeing more and more articles that downplay the importance that agreement.  The feeling is, regions and countries will turn to renewables because it simply makes economic sense.  And, GDP growth no longer depends on fossil fuel growth.

As negotiators look to next year’s UN climate conference in Paris, there is increasing discussion of a new way forward that does not depend on sweeping international agreements. Some analysts are pointing to Plan B — recasting the climate issue as one of national self-interest rather than global treaties.
...
[T]he global explosion in solar power is a major reason why almost half of all new electricity generating capacity coming on stream last year was from renewables. And that trend helps explain why there has been at least a partial break in the previously lockstep rise of global GDP and CO2 emissions, which historically have increased at about the same levels.
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/beyond_treaties_a_new_way_of_framing_global_climate_action/2809/

9258
Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: October 03, 2014, 09:08:15 PM »
Smartphone apps and "drought shaming" on Twitter help stop outdoor water wastage.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-water-waster-app-20141003-story.html

9259
No longer government-contracted only:  Private sector money is starting to fund huge clean energy projects.  This article describes one.

Until recently—i.e., pre-2008—renewable energy projects of great size and scope simply didn’t happen in [the US]. Solar and wind were essentially cottage industries. Since 2008, we’ve seen several large projects appear on the landscape: 250-megawatt solar plants, 400-megawatt wind farms. But many of them were only initiated because the government was willing to provide the capital or to guarantee loans. We’ve witnessed a sea change in just a few years. It is now routine for the private sector to back large-scale renewable energy plans. And companies are now offering to fund truly massive, ambitious, experimental plans on their own.
Ten years ago, the prospect of private companies creating electricity from a 2.1-gigawatt wind farm in Wyoming and storing it for a period in underground caves in Utah before sending it to Los Angeles would have seemed an insane proposition. Now, it’s just another press release.
http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/10/renewable_energy_projects_the_private_sector_not_the_government_is_funding.html

9260
Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: October 03, 2014, 02:17:26 AM »
Recent heavy rains made essentially no difference in California drought.

9261
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: October 03, 2014, 01:26:39 AM »
"The world’s first power station with large-scale carbon capture and storage has been inaugurated in Canada this week."

(Good luck with that.)

http://newsroom.unfccc.int/clean-energy/first-power-station-with-large-scale-carbon-capture-and-storage/

9262
The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: October 02, 2014, 10:24:38 PM »

9263
Policy and solutions / Re: Not Such Good News from India
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:44:18 PM »
President Obama promises $1 billion for clean energy in India.

Termed a “New Era of Cooperation” the joint statement pledges to expand the U.S.-India Partnership to advance clean energy, work together toward a successful outcome of U.N. climate negotiations in Paris in December 2015, and to expand bilateral cooperation on climate change. This includes the Obama administration allowing $1 billion in financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank to help India purchase American technology for clean energy projects.

“The fact that the Obama administration announced a cool billion for solar projects in India speaks volumes for the direction Modi, and India is heading,” Justin Guay, associate director for the Sierra Club’s International Climate Program, told ThinkProgress. “For all the hand wringing over Javadekar’s statements about emissions growth, the truth is India’s U.N. stance and its domestic actions are 100 percent divorced. And that’s a great thing.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/01/3574437/indian-american-obama-modi-visit-energy-climate/


9264
Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:38:02 PM »
"Students to gather on Miami Beach to combat sea level rise apathy on King Tide Day (Oct 9th)."

There is so much denial going on in Florida, particularly south Florida, which makes, I think, this all the more newsworthy.

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/cultist/2014/09/king_tide_day_students_gather_on_miami_beach_to_combat_sea_level_rise_apathy.php


Quote of the week:  "Climate change is a really slow, creepy thing."

9265
Today's edition of the prestigious scientific journal Nature calls for the "tenuous 2C warming target" to be ditched and replaced with other indicators of planetary health.

Commentary:
http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/ditch-2c-warming-goal-says-nature.html

The Nature article:
http://www.nature.com/news/climate-policy-ditch-the-2-c-warming-goal-1.16018

9266
Policy and solutions / Re: Better Tomorrows
« on: October 02, 2014, 03:54:06 AM »
Here's what Elon Musk is planning for our future:  a million people on Mars. 

‘I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary,’ he told me, ‘in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen, in which case being poor or having a disease would be irrelevant, because humanity would be extinct. It would be like, “Good news, the problems of poverty and disease have been solved, but the bad news is there aren’t any humans left.”’
...
Musk told me this first group of settlers will need to pay their own way. ‘There needs to be an intersection of the set of people who wish to go, and the set of people who can afford to go,’ he said. ‘And that intersection of sets has to be enough to establish a self-sustaining civilisation. My rough guess is that for a half-million dollars, there are enough people that could afford to go and would want to go. But it’s not going to be a vacation jaunt. It’s going to be saving up all your money and selling all your stuff, like when people moved to the early American colonies.’
http://aeon.co/magazine/technology/the-elon-musk-interview-on-mars

9267
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: October 02, 2014, 03:31:18 AM »
"Today, [a US federal court] upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s veto of a permit for one of the largest and most extreme mountaintop removal coal mines ever proposed in Appalachia, the Spruce No. 1 Mine. The court found no merit in the coal industry’s case, and found that EPA’s decision to veto the Clean Water Act permit for this mine was reasonable and fully supported by the scientific record."

http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2014/federal-court-upholds-epa-veto-of-spruce-mountaintop-removal-mine

9268
Wow. 
Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary during President George W. Bush’s administration, says the stresses that nearly brought down the U.S. financial sector in 2008 are now playing out in climate.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kitconews/2014/09/22/climate-change-is-single-biggest-risk-to-global-economy-paulson-at-cgi2014

9269
Meanwhile, in the UK, September was the driest month on record and among the top warmest.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-29419202

9270
Policy and solutions / Re: Not Such Good News from India
« on: October 02, 2014, 02:47:17 AM »
In an interview with the Guardian, India's new energy minister insists his country's electrification with coal and renewables will still be cleaner than the west's historical path.

India will be a “renewables superpower” according to its new energy minister, but its coal-fired electricity generation will also undergo “very rapid” expansion.

However, Piyush Goyal dismissed criticism of the impact of India’s coal rush on climate change, as western governments giving “homilies and pontificating, having enjoyed themselves the fruits of ruining the environment over many years.”
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/01/india-will-be-renewables-superpower-says-energy-minister

9271
Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: October 01, 2014, 02:19:29 PM »
California begins a new water year with total reservoir storage at 36% of capacity.

"One of the reasons that agriculture hasn't done worse this year is because of the tremendous amount of groundwater withdrawal that took place," Cowin said. "That's essentially borrowing on tomorrow's future. We'll pay that price over time."

Even a normal rainy season wouldn't be enough to end the drought and refill reservoirs. And although the latest forecast from the federal Climate Prediction Center gives a 60% to 65% chance that El Niño conditions will develop this fall and winter, water managers know better than to count on it.
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-water-year-20141001-story.html

9272

9273
Attempts to regulate residential solar power face difficulty balancing the energy companies' costs to maintain the grid versus consumer pricing for solar energy supplied to the grid.

Some good links at the bottom of the article, also.

http://www.vox.com/2014/9/29/6849723/solar-power-net-metering-utilities-fight-states

9274
Given the increased activity in investing in clean energy, divesting from fossil fuels, and legislation supporting (or hindering) the switch to renewables, perhaps a thread devoted to the "Money and Politics" of addressing climate change is apropos.

Recent divestitures:

Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/heirs-to-an-oil-fortune-join-the-divestment-drive.html


Separately, almost 350 global institutional investors representing more than $24 trillion in assets have called on governments to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions and phase out subsidies to fossil-fuel industries. The signatories to the carbon-price statement include the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, BlackRock and major investors from Europe, Asia and Australia.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-climate-investors-20140921-story.html

 - - - -

ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, has been pushing anti-renewables legislation in the States, with a few successes out of their many attempts.  But recently they have fallen out of favor with numerous large companies, due to that stance -- or, granted, perhaps purely due to the companies' public image concerns.  But less money and support for ALEC means less anti-climate-change legislation making the rounds.

Tech Companies Are Dropping ALEC En Masse
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/25/3572195/companies-dropping-alec/

Occidental Petroleum is cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council amid backlash against the organization’s stance on climate change.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/large-oil-company-bolts-from-alec-20140929

 - - - -

The new, clearer approach of talking about "Zero Net Carbon in 2050" rather than "limit warming to 2°C" is a genius kind of (political) marketing.  Similarly, the idea of ditching a "carbon tax" and instead calling for "major support for renewables and renewable product development" (partially funded by carbon emitters and consumers???) just seems so much more palatable.  "Support more jobs and keep ahead in the global tech race!"  Rather than "let's punish you and those nasty fossil fuel companies who made your life so comfortable."

The UNFCCC recently introduced the idea of ‘carbon neutrality’, which the Marshall Island’s Foreign Minister representative who was also speaking on the panel said engages more people than the “2 degrees” conversation, and should therefore be the “guiding light” for global talks in Paris. Carbon neutrality means reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero and then ‘offsetting’ an equal amount of any remaining emissons.
www.theclimategroup.org/what-we-do/news-and-blogs/net-zero-should-be-north-star-of-our-sky-track-0-launched-at-climate-week-nyc

 - - - -
A couple cross-posts:

Steven Cohen argues in the Huffington Post that a carbon tax is not needed; we should instead fight for the funding of the basic research required to make the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy.

...The fact that the U.S. has not signed onto a meaningless non-binding resolution on the way to another round of meaningless climate talks in Paris next year is a non-issue.

Instead of wasting time and effort on a futile attempt to tax carbon, we should be gearing up our national laboratories, research universities and high-tech sector on a massive effort to invent new forms of renewable energy. New battery technology, carbon capture and storage, new energy efficiency technologies and smart energy transmission technologies should be part of the mix....
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/its-time-to-abandon-the-d_b_5899448.html


Big businesses climate momentum increased during Climate Week NYC:
"There were a lot of heads of state leading up to this [summit] that were very curious about what companies were going to say because they needed talking points for their speeches...so they could say, look, this isn't going to kill jobs, this is something that a lot of companies are behind, and this is, in a lot of cases, good for the economy," Metzger said.

He paraphrased comments from Ikea CEO Peter Agnefjall, who urged an audience of government leaders to act boldly on climate change, reassuring them, "You take that ambitious step, and we'll be there to support you. We'll be there behind you."

That kind of message, Metzger said, "helps a lot for those heads of state who feel like they're putting their neck out there with industry if they're going to regulate carbon or put a price on carbon."
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140929/big-business-climate-change-movement-grows-size-and-heft

9275
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: September 30, 2014, 02:19:25 PM »
Feeding hundreds of people with quality food rescued from dumpsters behind grocery stores across the US:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-greenfield/the-food-waste-fiasco_b_5896154.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

9276
Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: September 30, 2014, 01:57:01 PM »
Studies showing attribution of extreme weather events to climate change (or not) start to pile up.

The savage heat waves that struck Australia last year were almost certainly a direct consequence of greenhouse gases released by human activity, researchers said Monday. It is perhaps the most definitive statement climate scientists have made tying a specific weather event to global warming.
...
The new reports come as scientists, responding to popular demand, are trying to speed up their analysis of extreme weather events and the role of greenhouse gases.

It used to take them years to come to a clear view of any particular event; now, papers are being published within several months. By sometime next year, researchers hope to reduce that to a matter of days, with three groups of researchers around the world training their sights on extreme events as soon as they occur, then putting out reports while the public is still discussing the aftermath.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/30/science/earth/human-related-climate-change-led-to-extreme-heat-scientists-say.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140929&nlid=38021197&tntemail0=y&_r=1

9277
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 30, 2014, 03:15:38 AM »
Steve Cohen argues in the Huffington Post that a carbon tax is not needed; we should instead fight for the funding of the basic research required to make the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy.

...The fact that the U.S. has not signed onto a meaningless non-binding resolution on the way to another round of meaningless climate talks in Paris next year is a non-issue.

Instead of wasting time and effort on a futile attempt to tax carbon, we should be gearing up our national laboratories, research universities and high-tech sector on a massive effort to invent new forms of renewable energy. New battery technology, carbon capture and storage, new energy efficiency technologies and smart energy transmission technologies should be part of the mix....
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/its-time-to-abandon-the-d_b_5899448.html

9278
Big businesses climate momentum grows during Climate Week NYC.

"There were a lot of heads of state leading up to this [summit] that were very curious about what companies were going to say because they needed talking points for their speeches...so they could say, look, this isn't going to kill jobs, this is something that a lot of companies are behind, and this is, in a lot of cases, good for the economy," Metzger said.

He paraphrased comments from Ikea CEO Peter Agnefjall, who urged an audience of government leaders to act boldly on climate change, reassuring them, "You take that ambitious step, and we'll be there to support you. We'll be there behind you."

That kind of message, Metzger said, "helps a lot for those heads of state who feel like they're putting their neck out there with industry if they're going to regulate carbon or put a price on carbon."
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140929/big-business-climate-change-movement-grows-size-and-heft

9279
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 29, 2014, 07:28:15 PM »
Britain's first floating solar panel project installed.

The technology, which is already being used at far larger scale in Japan, involves solar panels mounted on plastic floats, forming a giant pontoon.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/solarpower/11110547/Britains-first-floating-solar-panel-project-installed.html

9280
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's final summary of the UN Climate Summit.

http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/un-climate-summit-ban-ki-moon-final-summary/

9281
Policy and solutions / Re: Why are (white) males dominating the debate?
« on: September 29, 2014, 02:58:08 PM »
What if people of color dominated the climate debate?  US study shows different attitudes by race.
http://grist.org/news/americans-of-color-put-whites-to-shame-on-climate/

9282
Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: September 29, 2014, 03:17:58 AM »
Sea level rise is changing the real estate market in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.

About a quarter of properties in Norfolk - just over 17,000 - are in high-risk flood plains, with values totaling 34 percent of the tax base, according to city figures.

The number of homes that repeatedly flood, so-called "repetitive loss" properties, has increased from about 200 in 2002 to almost 900 today, said Lenny Newcomb, the city's zoning administrator.
http://hamptonroads.com/2014/09/norfolk-sea-level-rise-takes-shine-waterfront-homes

9283
Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: September 28, 2014, 08:19:21 PM »

9284
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 28, 2014, 03:39:44 PM »
High fuel costs and lack of grid access spur airborne wind power tests in Alaska.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/energy/will-they-fly-wind-power-alternatives-buffeted-technical-squalls-n211571

9285
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 28, 2014, 02:00:32 PM »
New "sunflower" design for concentrated solar energy produces electricity, hot water, and desalinization.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/28/solar-energy-sunflower-ibm-airlight-electricity

9286
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: September 27, 2014, 05:54:40 PM »
Irish teenagers Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow, all 16, have won the Google Science Fair 2014. Their project, Combating the Global Food Crisis, aims to provide a solution to low crop yields by pairing a nitrogen-fixing bacteria that naturally occurs in the soil with cereal crops it does not normally associate with, such as barley and oats.
http://m.inhabitat.com/all/16-year-old-irish-girls-win-google-science-fair-2014-with-world-changing-crop-yield-breakthrough#1

9287
Policy and solutions / Re: Why are (white) males dominating the debate?
« on: September 27, 2014, 02:53:44 PM »
Could there be an albedo effect in the global warming debate? LOL. Some people. Remind me why it matters what colour skin people who talk about melting ice–caps have.

It matters because the people not being heard on climate change are the ones most being affected, and they are the ones least able to effect change on their own.  They suffer while the (white, male) minority with the most power ignore their needs.

Why not try actually reading the thread?  It might assist with your memory problems.

9288
Quoting Martin Luther King Jr, Obama said, "There is such as a thing as being too late."

6 Climate Week stories that businesses can't afford to ignore:
http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/09/26/6-climate-week-stories-businesses-cant-afford-ignore

9289
New York City Mayor de Blasio Commits to 80 Percent Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050, Starting with Sweeping Green Buildings Plan

http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/451-14/mayor-de-blasio-commits-80-percent-reduction-greenhouse-gas-emissions-2050-starting-with#/0

9290
Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 25, 2014, 09:51:20 PM »
Statoil calls off Canadian oil sand development, for economic reasons.

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFO9N0MH01720140925

9291
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: September 25, 2014, 09:47:35 PM »
Brave decision from the Supreme Court of India against corruption in the coal industry.

MUMBAI, India — India’s top court on Wednesday canceled years’ worth of coal field leases, a judgment that drew wide attention in a nation with persistent fuel shortages.

The leases, an earlier investigation had found, had been sold below market price and cost the government about $30 billion, a scandal that has added to concerns of corruption and crony capitalism at high levels.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/business/international/indias-supreme-court-revokes-hundreds-of-coal-concessions.html?_r=1

9292
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewables Reach a Tipping Point...
« on: September 25, 2014, 07:37:44 PM »
Developers Plan Huge $8 Billion, 2.1-GW Wind Plus Storage Project in California

NEW YORK -- Four energy companies are proposing an $8 billion renewable energy project that would supply Los Angeles with more than twice the power generated by the Hoover Dam.

The project includes a 2,100-megawatt wind farm in Wyoming, a 525-mile (845-kilometer) power line and a $1.5 billion storage facility....

“This project would be the 21st Century’s Hoover Dam — a landmark of the clean energy revolution,” Jeff Meyer, managing partner of Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, said in the statement. Magnum Energy Inc. is the fourth developer.
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/09/developers-plan-huge-8-billion-2-1-gw-wind-plus-storage-project-in-california-2?cmpid=rss

9294
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: September 25, 2014, 06:23:24 PM »
It’s widely known that Robert Murray, the founder of the country’s largest privately-owned coal company, likes to use colorful language. And on Monday, the Murray Energy Corp. CEO took his personal hyperbole to new heights, saying proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations will have the effect of permanently destroying the coal industry in the United States.

“It isn’t coming back. It’s permanent,” Murray said at a coal marketing conference in Pittsburgh, repeatedly using the word “destroyed” to describe the state of the industry....

What Murray projects is an eventual decrease in U.S. coal generation from its current rate of 39 percent to between 30 and 34 percent, according to SNL’s report. That means 230 million tons of coal-fired generation lost by 2020, Murray said, and anyone who believes the industry will bounce back is either bad at business or “smoking dope.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/23/3570853/murray-ceo-coal-grandma-is-going-to-be-cold/

9296
A good summary of the steps needed to fight global warming, even absent an international agreement.

http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/218563-a-step-by-step-manual-to-halting-warming

9297
Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: September 25, 2014, 03:00:56 PM »
"We are doing it for our own sake."

Andrew Freedman on the Chinese emissions statement.
http://mashable.com/2014/09/23/china-carbon-emissions-climate-summit/

9298
Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: September 25, 2014, 01:59:43 PM »
The severe drought in China is affecting coal and gas production.

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/drought-worsens-chinas-long-term-water-crisis-n210736

9299
Policy and solutions / Re: Why are (white) males dominating the debate?
« on: September 25, 2014, 01:20:50 AM »
538: the racial gap on global warming (in the US).

Given the talk about the need for diversity in the global warming movement, you might expect that the people who say fighting global warming should a top priority would be overwhelmingly white. You’d be wrong.
...
It seems clear from the polling that whites are more skeptical of the need for government intervention on global warming than non-whites. If the leaders of climate-change movement are overwhelmingly white, then they are not representative of the larger the slice of the public most sympathetic to their cause.
http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/the-racial-gap-on-global-warming/

9300
Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: September 23, 2014, 02:45:32 AM »
Carbon Tracker has a new report out.
"@jackcushmanjr: There are signals that Chinese demand for coal is close to peaking which will cause a seismic shift in the market."

Is coal a sinking ship?
The current slump in the coal market puts the coal sector in a weak position. Over the last three years the Bloomberg Global Coal Equity Index has lost more than half of its value during a period when the MSCI World Index has increased by over thirty percent.
In the US, recent years have seen 26 companies go bankrupt – including once-major producers such as Patriot Coal Corp. and James River Coal. Remaining listed US coal miners have debt ratings below investment grade. These companies are having to pay more to borrow, on the assumption that the market for their coal will pick up in the near future. This may just be delaying the inevitable, rather than creating value for shareholders.

Structural decline or cyclical downturn
Coal analysts are already questioning whether the current slump in the seaborne coal market is just the bottom of a commodity cycle, or a trough that the sector cannot escape. The decline of demand in key markets has created oversupply, further weakening prices and devaluing assets.
http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/CTI-Coal-report-Sept-2014-WEB1.pdf

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