Fossil Fuel Use is Rising Like There is NO Tomorrow–July 27, 2017

GR: Climate scientist Paul Beckwith is a reliable source for climate-change information. I’ve included the text of Dr. Beckwith’s introduction to his latest video. There’s not much I want to add. I will say that I watched the video twice and did some fact checking and have to say that unfortunately, Beckwith’s report is accurate. I don’t know how many times we have to discover that things are worse than we thought, but here we are again. [My transcription is a lightly edited version of Beckwith’s introduction.]

Image by Syracuse University iSchool.

Paul Beckwith– “If you think that 25+ years of global climate change policy meetings (IPCCs & COPs), and today’s much discussed growth in clean energy and efficiency are reducing global fossil fuel usage and thus greenhouse gas emissions then you are mistaken. The truth, illustrated by cold hard data, is brutal in its stark revelation of the lack of effort to prevent the coming traumatic events. You need to see the facts for yourself. Fossil fuel growth is backed by enormous government subsidies. Emissions are climbing like there is no tomorrow. No safe tomorrow, not for your grandkids, not for your kids, and not for you.”

Discovery: Aliens from Outer Space Working for Decades to Destroy Human Civilization–Bad

Image by Alien Policy

GR: Heads of major corporations, public utilities, and governments have worked for decades to hide the dangers of CO2 emissions, global warming, and climate change. The people involved have been well aware of the danger to civilization that they were supporting, but they went ahead because they were well paid to betray their race. Many elected representatives helped them. The post title represents the idea that no human would do what these people did; the traitors must be aliens in disguise.

The article below describes evidence that public utilities participated in the betrayal.

Like Exxon, Utilities Knew about Climate Change Risks Decades Ago | InsideClimate News

“A study issued Tuesday by an energy watchdog group offers important new insights into the fossil fuel industry’s extensive early understanding of climate change and the risks it poses.

“This time, it’s the electric utility sector that’s under the microscope.

“The detailed study, backed up by reams of archival documents, was issued by the Energy and Policy Institute (EPI), an environmental advocacy and research group that favors the use of clean energy over fossil fuels.

“Forty years ago, the documents show, industry officials told Congress that the looming problem of climate change might require the world to back away from coal-fired power—something that is only now beginning to happen.

“The research presents a distinct echo of an investigation of Exxon’s climate record published by InsideClimate News almost two years ago, and casts significant new light on the duration and depth of industry’s climate research—and how electric companies that use fossil fuels responded to the emerging science from the 1960’s onward.

“The 66-page report unearths research documents and testimony published but then largely forgotten decades before the climate crisis emerged as a key public issue.

“And in this episode of the nation’s climate history, once again, the same industry that foresaw the ultimate end of coal as a main fuel for power generation later supported actions to cast doubt on the science and to stave off policies to address the problem, funding groups that deny the scientific consensus and joining the main industry group that opposed participation in the first climate treaty. To this day, there are few federal limits on emissions of carbon dioxide by utilities, one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases.

“It’s a story with striking parallels to the investigations into ExxonMobil’s early knowledge of climate change and later efforts to deceive investors, policymakers and the public on the issue,” EPI said.

“Asked for comment, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, one of the trade associations scrutinized in the report, said only that the industry has made deep reductions in its emissions of carbon dioxide since 2005.” –John H. Cushman Jr. (Source: Like Exxon, Utilities Knew about Climate Change Risks Decades Ago | InsideClimate News).

Three Years to Safeguard Our Climate

GR: An article published yesterday (June 28, 2017) in Nature presents stern warnings from leading climate scientists. A list of necessary actions accompanies the warnings. The warnings come at a time when the majority of citizens in countries that use the most fossil fuel believe that global warming is a real threat. Is the majority strong enough? Can they convince their leaders to turn away from the riches offered by the leading polluters. Can they do it in three years?

The article below addresses with fossil-fuel emissions. I have to step aside for a moment and point out that there are many other threats. First, climate change is accelerating and may already be out of control. Recent research in the Arctic indicates that methane might have begun an exponential increase that we can’t stop.

Second, the food and water requirements of the human population are already exceeding Earth’s productive capacity. Population displacements and conflicts have begun and can only grow worse.

Third, Earth’s ecosystems are failing due to human impacts. People are cutting and burning the forests, farms are exhausting the soils, and wildlife is disappearing.

However, if people can indeed make the needed changes in fossil fuel use in three years, perhaps they will then go on to tackle the other great problems. Yay people!

“Christiana Figueres and colleagues set out a six-point plan for turning the tide of the world’s carbon dioxide by 2020.

Decarbonizing the world economy will require renewable energy generation from vast solar farms, such as this one in Nevada.

“In the past three years, global emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have levelled after rising for decades. This is a sign that policies and investments in climate mitigation are starting to pay off. The United States, China and other nations are replacing coal with natural gas and boosting renewable energy sources. There is almost unanimous international agreement that the risks of abandoning the planet to climate change are too great to ignore.Related stories

“The technology-driven transition to low-carbon energy is well under way, a trend that made the 2015 Paris climate agreement possible. But there is still a long way to go to decarbonize the world economy. The political winds are blustery. President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris agreement when it is legally able to do so, in November 2020.

“The year 2020 is crucially important for another reason, one that has more to do with physics than politics. When it comes to climate, timing is everything. According to an April report(1) (prepared by Carbon Tracker in London, the Climate Action Tracker consortium, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut), should emissions continue to rise beyond 2020, or even remain level, the temperature goals set in Paris become almost unattainable. The UN Sustainable Development Goals that were agreed in 2015 would also be at grave risk.

“That’s why we launched Mission 2020 — a collaborative campaign to raise ambition and action across key sectors to bend the greenhouse-gas emissions curve downwards by 2020 (www.mission2020.global).

“As 20 leaders of the world’s largest economies gather on 7–8 July at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, we call on them to highlight the importance of the 2020 climate turning point for greenhouse-gas emissions, and to demonstrate what they and others are doing to meet this challenge. Lowering emissions globally is a monumental task, but research tells us that it is necessary, desirable and achievable.

“After roughly 1°C of global warming driven by human activity, ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are already losing mass at an increasing rate. Summer sea ice is disappearing in the Arctic and coral reefs are dying from heat stress — entire ecosystems are starting to collapse. The social impacts of climate change from intensified heatwaves, droughts and sea-level rise are inexorable and affect the poorest and weakest first.

“The magnitude of the challenge can be grasped by computing a budget for CO2 emissions — the maximum amount of the gas that can be released before the temperature limit is breached. After subtracting past emissions, humanity is left with a ‘carbon credit’ of between 150 and 1,050 gigatonnes (Gt; one Gt is 1 × 109 tonnes) of CO2 to meet the Paris target of 1.5 °C or well below 2 °C (see go.nature.com/2rytztf). The wide range reflects different ways of calculating the budgets using the most recent figures.

“At the current emission rate of 41 Gt of CO2 per year, the lower limit of this range would be crossed in 4 years, and the midpoint of 600 Gt of CO2 would be passed in 15 years. If the current rate of annual emissions stays at this level, we would have to drop them almost immediately to zero once we exhaust the budget. Such a ‘jump to distress’ is in no one’s interest. A more gradual descent would allow the global economy time to adapt smoothly.

“The good news is that it is still possible to meet the Paris temperature goals if emissions begin to fall by 2020 (see ‘Carbon crunch’).

Sources: Stefan Rahmstorf/Global Carbon Project; http://go.nature.com/2RCPCRU

Sources: Stefan Rahmstorf/Global Carbon Project; http://go.nature.com/2RCPCRU

“Greenhouse-gas emissions are already decoupling from production and consumption. For the past three years, worldwide CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have stayed flat, while the global economy and the gross domestic product (GDP) of major developed and developing nations have grown by at least 3.1% per year (see go.nature.com/2rthjje). This is only the fourth occasion in the past 40 years on which emission levels have stagnated or fallen. The previous three instances — in the early 1980s, 1992 and 2009 — were associated with global economic predicaments, but the current one is not(2).” Christiana FigueresHans Joachim SchellnhuberGail WhitemanJohan RockströmAnthony Hobley , & Stefan Rahmstorf (Source: Three years to safeguard our climate : Nature News & Comment)

DAPL Approval by Corps of Engineers Illegal, Judge Finds

GR: Government control over environmental decisions leaves nature open to political depredation by greedy politicians and their corporate handlers. Policy backed by science instead of politics backed by greed should regulate all forms of land use including construction, farming, fishing, forestry, grazing, and mining. Though the power of money over reason often controls the courts in the largest cases, small regional cases such as those concerned with a single pipeline are sometimes handled rationally. Since the DAPL pipeline has already leaked, there is a fair chance the court will decide to halt transmission. (Don’t you love it when I make the most obvious comments?)

Court victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline (Lucas Reynolds).

Court Rules for the Standing Rock Sioux in DAPL Suit

Judge James Boasberg’s 91-page decision says U.S. Army Corps ‘did not adequately consider’ oil spill impacts; no ruling on whether to keep DAPL operational.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the law in its fast-tracked approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a U.S. District Court Judge in Washington D.C. has ruled. Judge James Boasberg said the Corps did not consider key components of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in granting the Lake Oahe easement under the Missouri River when directed to do so by President Donald Trump shortly after his swearing-in.

“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, with the Cheyenne River Sioux as interveners, had challenged the approval on the grounds that adequate environmental study had not been conducted. Boasberg agreed on many points, though he did not rule on whether the pipeline should remain operational. It has been carrying [and leaking] oil since June 1.

“Although the Corps substantially complied with NEPA in many areas, the Court agrees that it did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial,” Boasberg said in his 91-page decision. “To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court. Whether Dakota Access must cease pipeline operations during that remand presents a separate question of the appropriate remedy, which will be the subject of further briefing.” –ICMN Staff (DAPL Approval Illegal, Judge Finds – Indian Country Media Network).