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Messages - Sigmetnow

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Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 16, 2015, 11:16:36 PM »
"By 2020" -- will something like this still be appropriate?

Next-Gen Cylinder Deactivation: V-8s Using Two Cylinders, 20 Percent MPG Boost?

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 16, 2015, 10:09:43 PM »

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 16, 2015, 09:52:30 PM »
White House opposes GOP bill to lift oil export ban
The White House said Sept. 15, it opposes a House Republican bill to lift the four-decade-old ban on crude oil exports.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest took a shot at McCarthy and other Republicans pushing to end the oil export ban, which was imposed in the 1970s as the United States responded to an Arab oil embargo that sparked inflation and prompted long lines at gas stations. “It is quite clear what Leader McCarthy’s priorities are, and the priorities of his party in Congress: to cozy up to oil interests and to pursue policies and to make policy announcements that are clearly in their interests,” said Earnest.
Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said it makes no sense to export U.S. oil when the nation still imports millions of barrels of oil a day and consumers are saving at the pump because of lower oil prices worldwide.

“Low gas prices are a massive economic stimulus for American consumers and our economy,” Markey said. “Oil companies want to lift the export ban in order to tip consumers upside down and shake money out of their pockets.”

Arctic sea ice / Re: NSIDC 2015 Arctic SIE September minimum: June poll
« on: September 16, 2015, 09:00:44 PM »
Others' predictions:

@NASA_ICE: Arctic sea ice has reached its annual minimum extent and it's the 4th lowest on record.

@melsom62: At 4.41mill.km2 the winner from the June outlook ( is @metoffice ! @NASA_ICE @ClimateOfGavin

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: September 16, 2015, 08:53:42 PM »
Following the acquisition of Seeo, Bosch expects to bring solid-state battery cells to market in 5 years


The Leap Manifesto: A Call for Caring for the Earth and One Another
'This our sacred duty to those this country harmed in the past, to those suffering needlessly in the present and to all who have a right to a bright and safe future.'

The rest / Re: Wildlife
« on: September 16, 2015, 06:49:39 PM »
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declined for now to create artificial floating platforms for Pacific walrus that come ashore in Alaska because they lack summer sea ice.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: September 16, 2015, 06:41:14 PM »
Marine population halved since 1970 - report
Populations of marine mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have declined by 49% since 1970, a report says.

The study says some species people rely on for food are faring even worse, noting a 74% drop in the populations of tuna and mackerel.

In addition to human activity such as overfishing, the report also says climate change is having an impact.

The document was prepared by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London.

The rest / Re: Wildlife
« on: September 16, 2015, 06:39:06 PM »
World wildlife populations halved in 40 years - report

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 16, 2015, 06:15:44 PM »
Nice explanation of major differences between the EPA's EV driving range test and the European version.

2016 Nissan Leaf Range: 107 Or 155 Miles? Why Test Cycles Can Be Deceptive

Policy and solutions / Re: The Hyperloop
« on: September 16, 2015, 05:04:38 PM »
New: experienced CEO brought on board; and talk of moving things, not just people.  "Revolutionize the supply chain."

Hyperloop Technologies hires Cisco veteran Rob Lloyd as CEO [Video]

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 16, 2015, 04:42:30 PM »
Hey, since there is a discussion here on oil and renewables tend to get mentioned here as well, I thought I would put an article by Gail Tverberg here for you guys to ponder as she talks about how the energy problems that we face presently will lead to a deflationary collapse, where low oil prices outweigh the profitability of extracting oil, thus leading to the economy contracting and collapsing altogether, taking society with it.

A couple thoughts:

I think there is too much pent up demand -- in the still-recovering US economy, and all the countries undergoing "austerity" regimes -- for deflation to take hold:  people will take the money saved on gas, and purchase things they've needed/wanted to buy for a while.

And I believe the article fails to consider the full effect of energy efficiency gains -- energy not needed.  From the Efficiency thread:
Americans’ energy-conservation efforts, from switching bulbs to upgrading washing machines and air conditioners, have done more to reduce carbon emissions than the increased use of solar, wind and natural gas, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.  Efficiency can help meet half of the emissions cuts sought under President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy said.,1145.msg60789.html#msg60789

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 16, 2015, 03:38:37 PM »
An eight-month investigation by InsideClimate News reveals Exxon spent millions in the 1970's and 1980’s confirming the environmental threat posed by the oil industry -- then turned its efforts to promoting climate change denial.

Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago
Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.
At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.
His presentations reflected uncertainty running through scientific circles about the details of climate change, such as the role the oceans played in absorbing emissions. Still, Black estimated quick action was needed. "Present thinking," he wrote in the 1978 summary, "holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical."

Exxon responded swiftly. Within months the company launched its own extraordinary research into carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and its impact on the earth. Exxon's ambitious program included both empirical CO2 sampling and rigorous climate modeling. It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company's understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business.

Then, toward the end of the 1980s, Exxon curtailed its carbon dioxide research. In the decades that followed, Exxon worked instead at the forefront of climate denial. It put its muscle behind efforts to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming its own scientists had once confirmed. It lobbied to block federal and international action to control greenhouse gas emissions. It helped to erect a vast edifice of misinformation that stands to this day.

Trade unions and climate experts say ‘no jobs on a dead planet’
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation said:

"Without a just transition to a zero carbon future, there will be no jobs on a dead planet. Workers and their unions are ready to take a seat at the table with industry, with government. To tackle climate change we need everyone to ensure our countries and our economies have a sustainable future."

By calling for action, working people are joining others from all walks of life, including  faith communities, businesses and investors, who are pushing governments to leave fossil fuels behind and make a sustainable move to a fully renewable energy powered economy

Largest Cities In The U.S. And China Set New Climate Targets
Cities, states, and provinces from the world’s biggest superpowers — and by far the world’s biggest carbon emitters — just pledged to reduce their carbon emissions at a summit in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The pledges vary widely by locality. California officials reiterated pledges to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels and generate a third of the state’s electricity from renewable resources by 2020. Phoenix pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent over a 2005 baseline and create the largest municipal fleet of alternative fuel vehicles in the country. Carmel, Indiana, will add 30 new roundabouts, which decrease car emissions and electricity for traffic lights. That city will also reduce its overall emissions by 40 percent by 2040. Other participating places include Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Portland, Houston, Salt Lake City, Lancaster (California), New York, Oakland, Des Moines, Miami Dade County, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

The 11 Chinese cities participating in the pledges, the “Alliance of Peaking Pioneer Cities,” will all peak their emissions by 2030, in line with national targets. Some, such as Beijing, Zhenjiang, and Guangzhou, will reach that goal a full decade earlier — by 2020.

Consequences / Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
« on: September 16, 2015, 01:43:21 AM »
Study Finds Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada to Be Lowest in 500 Years
The snow that blanketed the Sierra Nevada in California last winter, and that was supposed to serve as an essential source of fresh water for the drought-stricken state, was at its lowest levels in the last 500 years, according to a new study.

The paper, published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, used tree-ring data from centuries-old blue oaks to provide historical context for the mountain range’s diminished snowfall. As of April 1, the snowpack levels were just 5 percent of their 50-year historical average.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: September 16, 2015, 12:49:15 AM »
SolarEdge’s new HD-Wave Inverter is a giant leap for Tesla’s Powerwall and the greater solar market
In short, SolarEdge has done for the inverter (a critical piece of the solar ecosystem which turns DC powered Solar/Wind/hydro electricity into AC which is used by homes and long poweline distance travel) what flat panels did for the TV just a decade or so ago.  The new technology uses 16 times fewer magnets, smaller thin film capacitors and much less cooling to yield a 99% efficient power transformation. That not only makes solar installs less expensive, more productive and easier, it makes Tesla’s Powerwall a whole lot smaller…

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: September 16, 2015, 12:40:30 AM »
Proterra electric bus delivers 258 miles of range in testing
Proterra offers both extended-range (XR) and fast-charge (FC) versions of its electric bus, using different battery technologies, to suit the requirements of different types of routes.

The TerraVolt FC battery option, which uses a 100 kWh pack with a lithium titanate chemistry, is designed for maximum run time with minimum charging time. This system can be recharged en route in less than ten minutes at a 500 kW charging rate.

The new Catalyst XR uses a higher energy density NMC pack. The XR is compatible with Proterra’s fast charging equipment, although it doesn’t charge as quickly as the FC – a bit less than 90 minutes.

“The purpose-driven Catalyst design affords the best efficiency rating ever for a 40-foot transit bus, at 22 MPG equivalent,” said John Sleconich, Chief Engineer at Proterra.

“Achieving this range is validation for our technology and gives us the confidence that Proterra is capable of what we initially set out to accomplish – replacing every fossil fuel bus in the United States with a fully electric one,” said Proterra CEO, Ryan Popple.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 16, 2015, 12:35:45 AM »
New electric bus has more range than typical bus routes require.

The Proterra® Catalyst™ Bus Shatters Electric Vehicle Range Perceptions by Traveling 258 Miles on a Single Charge at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds (LPG)
The Catalyst XR configuration included eight battery packs, with a total energy capacity of 257kWh. Based on these test results, Proterra predicts its ten pack XR configuration (321kWh) will achieve 300 miles on a single charge. According to available General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data, typical urban and rural bus routes in the United States run less than 200 miles a day, bringing most routes within reach of Proterra’s current technology.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: September 16, 2015, 12:23:34 AM »
California's energy bill SB 350:  Intense lobbying by Big Oil forced the scrapping of the petroleum reduction section of the bill, but electrification of transportation remains a "principal goal."
Recent analysis concludes mass adoption of electric cars, trucks, and buses would cut California's petroleum use by 18 percent in 2030. To get there, people need to be able to plug-in their vehicles where they live, work, and play. Electric utilities can make this happen. That's why SB 350 concludes: "Widespread transportation electrification requires electrical corporations to increase access to the use of electricity as a transportation fuel."

Senator de León's landmark bill also establishes that, a "principal goal" of electric utility "resource planning and investment" is "to improve the environment and to encourage the diversity of energy resources through improvements in energy efficiency, development of renewable energy resources, and widespread transportation electrification."

California's investor-owned utilities are multi-billion dollar corporations that make investments on a scale that could actually erode the monopoly enjoyed by Big Oil for far too long.

And, unlike the oil industry, the electric industry is closely regulated by state agencies, such as the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Using this authority, SB 350 directs the CPUC to order the electric utilities under its jurisdiction to:

...file applications for programs and investments to accelerate widespread transportation electrification to reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 15, 2015, 11:55:47 PM »
Reference #621 above...

In a day-after post on the NRDC Switchboard blog, Max Baumhefner of the Natural Resources Defense Council writes that amidst all the sturm und drang of high-dollar oil lobbying, the revised third part of SB 350 has been largely overlooked.

News coverage of the bill's passage "focused on the oil companies' unsightly lobbying to remove a petroleum reduction goal from the bill," he writes.

But "few have noticed the provisions of Senator Kevin de León's legislation that make replacing oil as the dominant transportation fuel a core mission of the electric industry."

That goal allows "Californians to 'fill up' at home on cleaner electricity that's the cost equivalent of dollar-a-gallon gas."

The key is that "Senator de León's bill also establishes that a 'principal goal' of electric utility 'resource planning and investment' is 'to improve the environment and to encourage the diversity of energy resources through improvements in energy efficiency, development of renewable energy resources, and widespread transportation electrification."

And widespread deployment of electric vehicles is expected to help with grid stabilization, making it less expensive for utilities to meet the goal of 50 percent renewable electricity in just 15 years.

It will also significantly cut the cost of commuting for Californians--that equivalent of dollar-a-gallon gasoline--giving them more money to spend on other things.

So while the 50-percent petroleum reduction goal is not part of the law, the goal of electrifying California's transportation is now official policy.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: September 15, 2015, 11:41:01 PM »
Signs of a New, Hotter Normal in Columbia, South Carolina

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: September 14, 2015, 10:09:56 PM »
California wildfires continue to grow as flames consume small towns
Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, said this summer's fires are the most volatile he has seen in 30 years of emergency response work. The main cause behind the fast-spreading fires is dry conditions from the four-year drought, he said.

"The bushes, the trees have absolutely no moisture in them, and the humidities are so low that we are seeing these 'fire starts' just erupt into conflagrations," Ghilarducci said, according to the Sacramento Bee.

California's central Sierra Nevada mountains are running a precipitation deficit of 71 inches since 2011, with other areas running deficits closer to 40 to 50 inches of precipitation.

Policy and solutions / Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« on: September 14, 2015, 07:17:38 PM »
Gov. Jerry Brown Sent Ben Carson A Flash Drive To Cure His Climate Denial

About that article in #33 above...:

Jon Chait wrote an optimistic take on climate change. Is it justified?
Jonathan Chait has a big cover story on climate change in New York Magazine: "This Is the Year Humans Finally Got Serious About Saving Themselves From Themselves." As the title indicates, it is an optimistic take on the state of the climate fight.

Several people have asked what I think of it.  ....
Everything in the realm of political possibility today is woefully inadequate to the challenge of climate change. From that perspective, it's all a bunch of craven, corporatist, sheeple-distracting nonsense, unworthy of praise and a far cry from grounds for optimism. They refuse to grade on a curve.

But if you cast that big net over the entire political process, you miss a lot of important nuances and distinctions. You might be right on climate change but you will not be a particularly effective or insightful participant in the political process, where everything is measured against the status quo, not the ideal.

Others prefer to assess sociopolitical progress in the context of a particular historical trajectory, a particular set of institutions, and a particular political economy. From that perspective, any progress that breaks free of the extraordinary weight of status quo bias is a win —it is, explicitly, grading on a curve.

Which interpretive community you choose largely reduces to temperament and tribal affiliation. Both are correct in their own way. Chait's piece measures progress against the baseline status quo, and I will mostly assess his premises from that perspective.
Overall optimism verdict: 7

Based on the complex mathematical modeling underlying my plausibility scale (please see appendices for more), and assessed from the standpoint of present-day political economy, Chait's piece receives an overall optimism plausibility score of 7, which is pretty dang high. It's certainly a hell of a lot higher than would have been possible even a few years ago.

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Treaty - Paris 2015
« on: September 14, 2015, 05:49:18 PM »
Obama, World Leaders May Skip Key Part of Paris Climate Talks
Organizers invite leaders to speak at the beginning of COP21, rather than the end, to avoid the eleventh-hour chaos that marked the close of the Copenhagen climate conference.
“I saw everything from the in­side, and the fact that lead­ers were com­ing in at the end of the con­fer­ence con­trib­uted to the para­lys­is in the ne­go­ti­ations,” said Mey­er, an in­form­al ad­visor to Con­nie Hede­gaard, the Dan­ish of­fi­cial who over­saw that sum­mit. “Clearly the French learned the les­sons of Copen­ha­gen. I haven’t heard of any­one who thinks it’s a good idea to bring the lead­ers in at the end.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Legal Approach to Climate Change Resolutions
« on: September 14, 2015, 05:29:49 PM »
Africa Sees U.N. Climate Conference as “Court Case” for the Continent
“It is a court case for Africa, and Africa must argue it out, and not keep looking for scientific evidence,” Ruppel told an Africa Climate Talks (ACT!) forum on ‘Democratising Global Climate Change Governance and Building an African Consensus toward COP 21 and Beyond’ last week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The forum, which was organised by the Climate for Development in Africa (ClimDev-Africa) Programme, was part of the preparatory process for Africa’s contribution to COP 21 in Paris.

Africa has always based its climate argument on geopolitics and science. However, in Paris, experts say that Africa will have to include a good number of lawyers who will table existing evidence of what climate change has caused, what Africans have done about it, and what they can do given appropriate financial and technological support.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 14, 2015, 04:57:25 PM »
Reference #621 above...

Consumer Watchdog Asks California Attorney General and US Attorneys to Investigate Oil Industry for Mail Fraud in Effort to Defeat Climate Change Legislation

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: September 14, 2015, 04:37:26 PM »
Battery costs fall and energy density increase faster than anticipated, says Zero Motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles announced today a significant price reduction for its 2015 model line. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is lowered by $1,350 across all of the 4 models offered by Zero. The company cited the fall of battery cost and energy density increase as reasons for the price reduction.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: September 14, 2015, 04:22:42 PM »
Toxic Algae May Threaten West Coast Marine Economy for Years
A long band of toxic algae blooming off the West Coast of the United States shows no sign of receding months after scientists first observed it, leaving many worried that it will make trouble for local commercial fishing and tourism industries.

Some species of algae in the bloom—part of a group called called Pseudo-nitzschia, produce a toxin known as domoic acid, which can harm or even kill seabirds, mammals and humans. There's still a lot about the algae bloom that scientists don't understand—but some of what they have learned has them concerned.

Among their concerns is the possibility that an unusually strong El Nino climate pattern—such as the one that's expected this year—will keep water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean unusually high through next year, meaning the toxic bloom could last through 2016, said Raphael Kudela, a professor of ocean ecology at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Australia Gets 5th Leader in 8 Years After Rival Ousts PM Abbott
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia will get its fifth prime minister in eight years after the ruling Liberal Party on Monday voted out Tony Abbott following months of speculation and crumbling support from voters.

Malcolm Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former banker and tech entrepreneur and longtime Abbott rival, won a secret party room vote by 54 to 44, Liberal Party whip Scott Buchholz told reporters after the meeting in Canberra.
Abbott ousted Turnbull as leader of the Liberal Party in 2009.

However, his support for a carbon trading scheme, gay marriage and an Australian republic have made Turnbull unpopular with his party's right wing.

EDIT: more, from The Guardian
Malcolm Turnbull challenges Tony Abbott for Liberal leadership

Policy and solutions / Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« on: September 14, 2015, 04:12:27 AM »
Ricky Gervais:
The truth is not affected by how many people know it or believe it.  And the popularity of a belief does not increase its validity.

Policy and solutions / Re: Better Tomorrows
« on: September 14, 2015, 04:01:21 AM »
A new type of shower uses 70% less water.

How Nebia Plans to Change the Shower Experience

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: September 14, 2015, 03:06:32 AM »
President Obama has included billions of dollars in his 2016 budget to help ailing coal communities in Appalachia.  But Republicans insist more coal mining is the answer.

Coal’s Decline Is Choking Appalachia Towns

Policy and solutions / Re: Why some still "DENY" and others "FAIL TO ACT"
« on: September 14, 2015, 02:55:50 AM »
@ClimateReality: This man just bought @NatGeo.  #ClimateChangeIsReal
Rupert Murdoch takes over National Geographic

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: September 14, 2015, 02:40:39 AM »
Valley fire spread with 'mind-boggling' speed, experts say
Experts said the Valley fire moved faster than any other in California’s recent history. In fewer than 12 hours, it had scorched 40,000 acres.

“There aren’t very many fires in California’s history that have done that. I don’t know if there really is a precedent for it,” said Daniel Swain, climate scientist at Stanford University. “This fire sort of broke the rules even relative to this incredible season that’s already occurred.”

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: September 14, 2015, 02:36:17 AM »
Scientists expect Hawaii’s worst coral bleaching ever
HONOLULU — Warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures around Hawaii this year will likely lead to the worst coral bleaching the islands have ever seen, scientists said Friday.

Many corals are only just recovering from last year’s bleaching, which occurs when warm waters prompt coral to expel the algae they rely on for food, said Ruth Gates, the director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The phenomenon is called bleaching because coral lose their color when they push out algae.

The island chain experienced a mass bleaching event in 1996, and another one last year. This year, ocean temperatures around Hawaii are about 3 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal, said Chris Brenchley, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

Bleaching makes coral more susceptible to disease and increases the risk they will die. This is a troubling for fish and other species that spawn and live in coral reefs. It’s also a concern for Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy because many travelers come to the islands to enjoy marine life.

Gates compared dead coral reef to a city laid to rubble.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: September 13, 2015, 09:51:39 PM »
All-time record heat in the Caribbean
Record heat scorched the Caribbean again on Saturday. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, an all-time heat record was set on the island of Anguilla in the Lesser Antilles: 33.8°C (92.8°F), besting the record of 33.7°C set just four days previously. The Cuban capital of La Habana (Havana) also recorded its hottest temperature on record and the hottest temperature ever measured in September in Cuba, with 38.2°C (100.8°F) at the Casablanca Observatory. Havana's previous all-time heat record was set just a few months ago, on April 26, 2015: 37.0°C....

Record heat and drought has been widespread over the Caribbean this summer, with the worst drought conditions occurring over Haiti, Eastern Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, and Costa Rica. Reuters reported last month that Cuba began a two-month cloud-seeding campaign in September over the eastern part of the Caribbean island in hopes of easing its worst drought since at least 1901. The atmospheric circulation associated with the strong El Niño event in the Eastern Pacific has brought warm, sinking air and high pressure to the Caribbean, and has contributed to many cities recording their all-time highest temperatures on record. Another big factor in Saturday's record highs, and the record highs all across the Caribbean this year, is the fact that the year-to-date period of 2015 has been the warmest on record for the globe as a whole....

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 13, 2015, 09:32:12 PM »
I find lots of general comments about lowered Russian oil production tied to their economic slowdown, but here's this via Reuters:
Russia, facing a perfect storm of collapsing prices, international sanctions and currency depreciation, will likely emerge as the industry's top loser,"  [IEA] said, forecasting production looked set to contract by 560,000 bpd to 10.4 million bpd from 2014 to 2020.


And this: 
Given the impact of sanctions, low prices and the absence of any large projects expected to come on-line, oil production in Russia will drop in 2015 by 70,000 barrels a day, a report from OPEC projects.

Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: September 13, 2015, 08:53:45 PM »
Insect farming in the U.K.

Edible Insect-Farming Hatches New Breed of ‘Entopreneurs’
The number of unwitting consumers of insect products is much larger: honey is bee vomit, the red food-coloring cochineal is made of crushed bugs, and shellac, a glaze commonly used to cover sweets and fruit, is made from insect excretions. Despite this, acceptance takes time.

“The number one thing people have to get over is the visual aspect. Once they taste it and it’s cooked well, it’s about how good the meat is,” says Whippey.

Policy and solutions / Re: Legal Approach to Climate Change Resolutions
« on: September 13, 2015, 04:43:33 PM »
This crystalizes the Question of the Decade:  Wreck the earth for our immediate purposes, or protect the earth for future generations?

The $5.6 Billion Bird: How Will The Sage Grouse Fight End?
Energy development, mining, oil and gas drilling and some forms of ranching all pose threats to the land inhabited by the sage grouse. Coal, natural gas, crude oil, and beef industries, to name a few, all stand to take a huge hit if the land is deemed off-limits to them.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: September 13, 2015, 04:30:34 PM »
California Wildfires: Thousands Flee as Valley and Butte Blazes Force Evacuations
Firefighters in northern California were battling a fast-moving wildfire early Sunday that had razed buildings, forced thousands to flee, and hospitalized four firefighters with second-degree burns.

The so-called Valley Fire in Lake County, northwest of Sacramento, erupted early Saturday afternoon and rapidly chewed through brush and trees parched from several years of drought, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

Joe Romm:  In Radical Shift, GOP Leaders Actively Embrace Catastrophic Climate Change
Over the past year, GOP leaders, driven by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have made a radical shift in the party’s public position on climate change. They are now actively seeking to destroy a global climate deal.

In any other universe this would be a major news story. But I guess the mainstream media has become so jaded to what the Koch brothers and Tea Party have done to the Republican party at a national level, that this radical shift seems just like another dog-bites-man-story, albeit one where the wound is fatal.

In fact, for most of the past quarter-century, most of the GOP leadership has at least given lip service to the idea that global warming is a global problem that needs a global solution. Not only have they abandoned that public position, but they now apparently believe the role of the “exceptional” and “indispensable” nation is to actively work to undermine the world’s best chance to save billions of people — including generations of Americans — from needless misery.

Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: September 13, 2015, 12:08:57 AM »
Not surprising, given the previous comment above.

Tony Abbott faces down Pacific island nations' calls for tougher action on climate change

Consequences / Re: 2015 El Niño?
« on: September 13, 2015, 12:03:24 AM »
Suddenly, the northern tropics are quiet.

No Northern Hemisphere Tropical Cyclones Near Atlantic Season's Peak A First In 38 Years
A funny thing happened as we reached the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. Not only did the fledgling Atlantic storms (Grace and Henri) die off, but the hyperactive Pacific also went quiet.

Infrared satellite imagery from September 12 showed a few fledgling clusters of convection along the Intertropical Convergence Zone, but no active tropical cyclones, or even a single disturbance meriting extra attention.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: September 12, 2015, 11:53:51 PM »
Amended SB 350 passes California legislature, awaits governor's signature.

Half Of California’s Electricity Will Come From Renewable Energy In 15 Years

2015: This is the year humans finally got serious about saving themselves from themselves.
Those who have consigned the world to its doom should reconsider. The technological and political underpinnings are at last in place to actually consummate the first global pact to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. The world is suddenly responding to the climate emergency with — by the standards of its previous behavior — astonishing speed. The game is not over. And the good guys are starting to win.

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