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).

How Utilities Are Trying to Slow Down Rooftop Solar

GR: Utility companies don’t want you to save money by adopting solar power. Utilities that should earn their public status by working for the common good, often behave just like any for-profit corporation. Their resistance to distributed solar power is a most egregious example. In my home state, Arizona, the utility lobby convinced the state legislature to lower the credit solar customers receive for the excess energy they generate with rooftop solar.

However, there has been backlash by utility customers who recognize the need to move away from conventional power. In June, Nevada citizens in reaction to NV Energy’s effort to limit rooftop solar, voted for a bill to restore utility payments for excess energy. Moreover, as the price of storage has fallen along with the cost of solar panels, it is becoming affordable for private citizens to completely disconnect from their utility company networks. There’s still a big investment. For those of us that don’t have the extra cash, there are national programs available that let us switch to renewable energy with no upfront cost.

Here, David Pomerantz reviews a New York Times report on the effort by utility lobbyists to block rooftop solar power.

“The New York Times reported earlier this month about how utilities around the country, and their trade group the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), have worked to weaken rooftop solar policies in an attempt to stave off the threat to their business model.

“The article featured some of Energy and Policy Institute’s reporting, including our expose of Brian McCormack, former EEI executive and current Chief of Staff to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, for his role in attacking rooftop solar while at EEI, as well as our uncovering of Florida utilities’ deceptive anti-solar ballot initiative in that state last year.

“Some important aspects of the story of utilities’ efforts did not make it into the Times coverage though:

Upset About EEI? There’s a Good Chance You’re Funding Them

“The Times exposed the central role played by the Edison Electric Institute in driving the utility industry’s anti-rooftop solar strategy:

“At a January 2016 board meeting of the Edison Institute, attended by chief executives of the country’s largest utilities, Thomas R. Kuhn, the group’s president, counseled against complacency.

“Years, ago, I think a lot of people said, ‘That’s not going to come to our area,'” he said, according to a recording of his remarks made available by a participant. “And now we see it in each and every state,” he said. “EEI is happy to come to any state at any time,” he added. “We have two dozen states we are working on.”

“If you’re angry about EEI, here’s some bad news for you: there’s a high chance that you’re paying the salaries of the trade association’s executives.

“Our report Paying for Politics detailed how the nation’s investor-owned electric utility customers are subsidizing EEI via their bills every month. Investor-owned utilities embed their EEI membership dues into rates, forcing their customers to pay for a policy agenda constructed primarily for the benefit of utilities’ shareholders, not their customers. Since most customers have no choice about their utility, there’s not much they can do about it.

Despite Efforts, Utilities Cannot Stop Distributed Solar Energy

“And here’s some better news:” –David Pomerantz, Energy and Policy Institute (Continue reading: How Utilities Are Trying to Slow Down Rooftop Solar).

Why delisting of grizzly bears is premature | The Extinction Chronicles

GR: As the world’s wildlife species fade out of existence, government agencies responsible for their protection push them back to allow tourists to cover the land and for-profit companies to fill their place with domestic livestock. The political pressure on heads of government agencies comes from companies that give money to our elected representatives. And of course, almost all of our representatives are there dancing up and down with their little hands stretched out like beggars in a Calcutta alley. Here’s an excellent article from George Wuerthner that exposes the government lies. (Link to more about grizzlies)

Yellowstone Grizzlies (Daisy Gilardini -Getty Images)

“The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has decided to delist the Yellowstone grizzly bears, removing them from the protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). And state wildlife agencies in Wyoming and Montana are anxious to start sport hunting the bears.

“If you follow environmental politics, it is very clear why industries like the oil and gas industry, livestock industry and timber industry and the politicians they elect to represent their interests are anxious to see the bear delisted. Without ESA listing, environmentally destructive practices will have fewer restrictions, hence greater profits at the expense of the bear and its habitat.

“Delisting is opposed by a number of environmental groups, including Center for Biodiversity, Western Watersheds, WildEarth Guardians, Alliance for Wild Rockies, Humane Society, as well as more than 100 tribal people. Conspicuously absent from the list of organizations opposing delisting is the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

“Proponents of delisting, including the FWS, argue that with as many as 700 grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, thus ensuring the bears are now safe from extinction. Seven hundred bears may sound like a big number. But this figure lacks context.

“Consider that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is nearly 28 million acres in total area. That is nearly the same acreage as the state of New York. Now ask yourself if 700 bears spread over an area the size of New York sounds like a lot of bears?

“Many population ecologists believe 700 bears is far too small a number of animals to ensure long-term population viability. Rather than hundreds, we need several thousand bears.

“Keep in mind that the Yellowstone Grizzlies went through a genetic bottleneck when their population was reduced to an estimated 136 animals. Indeed, the Yellowstone grizzlies have the lowest genetic diversity of any bear population.

“This lack of diversity is exacerbated because dominant male grizzlies tend to breed with multiple female partners, further reducing the genetic diversity in the population.

“Add to this biological limitation is the changing food structure for the bear. Major food resources from elk to whitebark pine to spawning trout in Yellowstone have all declined, challenging bears to find new food resources.

“Plus, state wildlife management agencies are generally hostile to predators, seeing them hindering production of elk, deer, moose, and other animals desired by hunters.

“Without the protection of the ESA, and the loosening of restrictions on the killing of bears, more grizzlies will be killed for livestock depredations, as well as potentially by trophy hunters.

“Most predator biologists recognize that killing dominant animals, whether it is bears, wolves or cougars disrupts the social ecology of these animals, leading to more livestock depredation.

“In ecology, there is the “precautionary principle” which admonishes all of us to err on the side of caution. Instead of using the minimum estimates of what constitutes a “recovered” population, we should be careful and not rush to eliminate protections for an animal whose biological potential is low and is slow to recover from any declines.” –George Wuerthner (Why delisting of grizzly bears is premature | The Extinction Chronicles)

George Wuerthner is an ecologist who has authored 38 books, including “Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy.” He divides his time between Bend, Oregon, and Livingston, Montana.