(See above for misc. news sorted by topics, and not refreshed so often.)
Judge blocks Keystone XL pipeline A federal judge blocked the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline Thursday, saying the Trump administration’s justification for approving it last year was incomplete.
In a major victory for environmentalists and indigenous rights groups, Judge Brian Morris of the District Court for the District of Montana overturned President Trump’s permit for the Canada-to-Texas pipeline, which the president signed shortly after taking office last year.
Renewables forecast to halve wholesale energy prices over four years a new analysis says wholesale prices will almost halve over the next four years because of the technology many Coalition conservatives oppose – renewables.
However, a new study indicates that such an installation could also increase rainfall and vegetation, creating a feedback loop which further greens the environment both of the Sahara and the adjacent Sahel, an impoverished dryland running from Senegal to Djibouti.
Judge orders epa to protect Columbia Basin salmon! VICTORY! Judge Orders EPA to Protect Columbia Basin Salmon: EPA Must Protect Columbia Basin Salmon from Warm Water Caused by Climate Change & Dams. Read our press release & the decision to learn more…
“This is a scam: Exxon wants a super low price on carbon so they can boost their natural gas business and avoid other regulations,” 350.org co-founder Jamie Henn responded in a series of tweets.
“Read the fine print,” Henn continued. “As part of the deal for supporting a price on carbon, Exxon wants to be freed from all climate liability. They know that just like Big Tobacco they could be on the hook for billions in damages for lying about climate change.”
Sea level in Seattle could rise anywhere from 1.7 feet to 3.1 feet by 2100 an new study reports.
The report provides the most detailed projections for how fast sea levels are expected to rise along Washington state shorelines over the next decades.
According to a new report from The Seattle Times, a wave of earthquake tremors over the last few months have moved parts of Washington state and Vancouver Island westward.
Essentially, since around May 8 there's been an “episodic tremor and slip,” which is a wave of tiny tremors that are thought to increase stress on locked faults, the areas where tectonic plates cannot move past each other.
As lawmakers gear up to make another attempt to pass a climate change bill in 2019, new data suggests that the forest sector is not only a factor in Oregon's carbon picture, it is THE factor and one of national and even international importance as lawmakers look to reduce the concentration of heat trapping gases in the atmosphere.
“Anybody who makes the point that Oregon doesn't count in global emissions, I think they're wrong on the energy side, but they're even more wrong on the forest side,” said Angus Duncan, chair of Oregon's Global Warming Commission. “They're a very big deal.”
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the Trump administration’s request for a stay, or a halting of legal proceedings, in the Juliana v. United States climate change lawsuit on Monday. The lawsuit, whose plaintiffs include two University of Oregon students and 19 others, claims that climate change and carbon emissions violate the plaintiffs’ fifth amendment rights to life, liberty, property and due process. The court also upheld the trial date of Oct. 29.
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is set to retire today, stated that the “breadth of respondents’ claims is striking, however, and the justiciability of those claims presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion.”
The Federal Court of Appeal on Thursday released its long-anticipated decision on the Kinder Morgan Trans Canada pipeline. The ruling pleased environmentalists and other anti-pipeline protesters, and shocked proponents of the project such as business and trade organizations. Here are five key details:
Portland has joined 18 other major cities around the world to pledge that all new buildings in their cities will be “net-zero carbon” by 2030.
Net-zero buildings use energy ultra-efficiently and meet any remaining energy needs from renewable sources.
Portland also is one of 13 cities that pledged to only own, occupy and develop assets that are net-zero carbon by 2030.
The commitments are part of the C40 Cities movement of major world cities, including Portland, that are leading the charge against dramatic climate change
Animation of success patterns for emissions for 2 degrees C
Below zero is Negative Emissions i.e. Sequestration
The California Senate passed a bill on Thursday that extends the state's leading program for behind-the-meter storage — the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) — after the state Assembly approved it on Wednesay.
S.B. 700, which adds nearly 3 GW to the SGIP, is headed to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. Under current law, the SGIP program expires at the end of 2019. The bill extends the program five years to 2026 and refreshed funding to the $800 million level.
A growing body of evidence indicates that the continuing destruction of tropical forests is disrupting the movement of water in the atmosphere, causing major shifts in precipitation that could lead to drought in key agricultural areas in China, India, and the U.S. Midwest.
This seems to be important conceptual information for planning.
AUG 28, 2018 - insideclimatenews - South Portland’s [in Maine Tar Sands Ban Upheld in a 'David vs. Goliath' Pipeline Battle
Shortly after the City of Vancouver Washington passed a resolution in opposition to an oil train terminal in June of 2014, the City of South Portland Maine banned a crude oil terminal there.
Their ban has been upheld in court twice.
The most recent ruling illustrates again that local communities can fight the Commerce Clause challenges, and win.
This seems relevant to the proposed coal terminal case in Longview.
Fast charging firm EVgo has already beaten its 2017 record for EV miles charged on its stations, with four months left of 2018
In 2040, some 60 million EVs are projected to be sold, equivalent to 55% of the global light-duty vehicle market.
Like many Westerners, giant sequoias came recently from farther east. Of course, “recent” is a relative term. “You’re talking millions of years (ago),” William Libby said. …
Today, sequoias grow on the western slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada. …
Now, it may be up to humans to move sequoias and their close relatives, coast redwoods, to new homes. …
As scientists fret, some members of the general public are already forging ahead. Michigan-based Archangel Ancient Trees Archive is attempting to plant thousands of nursery-grown coast redwoods and sequoias in the West, without waiting for more scientific research. Sequoias and coast redwoods, founder David Milarch said, are “magical” trees. “People all over the planet love those trees.” …
given all that we do know, here’s one thing I don’t know: why we aren’t investing more in nature’s ability to address climate change.
It’s not for lack of evidence. Research by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and 14 partner organizations shows that, with some changes in land-use practices over the next decade, nature could provide a third of the emissions reductions we need between now and 2030 to keep the global temperature rise below 2°C. And these are solutions that are available today, with real possibilities for scaling.
August 08, 2018 - Portland Tribune - HOT or NOT? Portland State University research shows temperature varies sharply from one spot to another in Portland.
It's long been known that urban infrastructure — including streets, rail tracks, parking lots, big buildings and freeways — absorb and store heat, which can be released for hours after the sun goes down. History shows that features like street trees, urban parks, white roofs, shade structures and vegetation on exterior walls can help reduce the harmful effects of such “heat islands.”
More recent research, some conducted by Shandas and his students, shows that designing development projects to increase air circulation between buildings also can reduce temperatures.
One of the most visible impacts of climate change is the growing intensity and scope of wildfires in California. The area burned by wildfires in the state, for example, has increased in parallel with increasing air temperatures.
California is one of the most “climate-challenged” regions of North America, according to the assessment. “California’s temperatures are already warming, heat waves are more frequent, and precipitation continues to be highly variable,” the researchers warn.
Ecosystems across the world will dramatically transform as climate change's effects increase, a new study warns. Arizona's forests could retreat with rising temperatures and its deserts could turn hotter and more volatile in the coming century.
The study says human-caused climate change could accelerate changes in vegetation around the globe, filling lush forests with flammable brush and worsening drought conditions where relief is needed most.
The world’s permafrost holds vast stores of carbon. What happens when it thaws?
Last month, Tesla confirmed that it delivered 40,740 vehicles during the second quarter.
Here’s the delivery breakdown for the quarter:
18,440 Model 3’s 10,930 Model S vehicles 11,370 Model X SUVs.
This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.
One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”. Others said it could force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest.
Current rates of extinction are about 1000 times the background rate of extinction. These are higher than previously estimated and likely still underestimated. Future rates will depend on many factors and are poised to increase.
With the demise of the proposed Coos Bay, Oregon-based Jordan Cove LNG terminal in December 2016, industry attention has shifted south of the border to Mexico's Baja California. Natural gas obtained from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has a home for exports on two of the three coasts in the U.S. — the other two being the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast — but Costa Azul would be the first LNG export terminal that U.S. companies could access on the Pacific Coast.
The plans for an export facility are just the latest instance of U.S.-based energy companies taking advantage of Mexico’s lenient regulatory system and permitting process.
“Sempra is in Mexico only because the environmental regulations are not as strict, the labor cost is cheaper, and they can get their permits fast,” Powers said.
See also: shale_gas_fracked_gas_-_fact_sheet
180808_history_of_shale.pdf History of oil & gas production from shale in pictures & charts: why US shale will crash and UK will fail This points to Jeremy Leggett's webpage. On it is a Google Doc link to his pptx, which is 77Meg large. The presentation can be downloaded, or viewed using Google tools.
The key point here is that Shale oil and gas has been unable to fund itself. It has been waiting for the big sales at high prices to make the big bucks..
So, not only is shale fracking a terrible earth damaging process in terms of consumed water, dirtied water, leaked methane, etc. It is a ponzi scheme waiting to pay off that prevents the industry from shifting to the Green Energy that is cheaper and better for us.
The article says; “ When I wrote about UK renewables seeing record-setting production, I noted the slight downside that transport-related emissions were up slightly. But here's the thing: I would much rather see the grid get greener first, because even if transport-related emissions are creeping up simultaneously, it's increasingly obvious that electrification of transport is coming.
And when it does, a cleaner electricity grid will mean efficiency improvements from electrification will be more quickly and completely realized.
Two recent headlines from Cleantechnica emphasize that the tipping point keeps getting closer.”
Note all the worry about which comes first: Greening the Grid or EV transportation. Remember, many of us can force our home to be green to support the EV.
Market Technology switch: Note that until market share nears 50% market growth tends to be exponential. We still have a few years of that. Countries and companies and regions that lead this wave will position themselves as leaders.
when solar and wind farms produce more electricity than consumers need, California utilities have had to find ways to get rid of it — including giving it away to other states — or risk overloading the electric grid and causing blackouts.
“I think we have to look at this as a once-in-a-century moment,” said Mayor Eric M. Garcetti of Los Angeles. “So far, it looks really possible. It looks sustainable, and it looks clean.”
The target for completion is 2028, and some say the effort could inspire similar innovations at other dams.
from Wall Street came welcome word that market perceptions haven’t really changed: Even in the age of Trump, the fossil fuel industry has gone from the world’s surest bet to an increasingly challenged enterprise. Researchers at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis minced no words: “In the past several years, oil industry financial statements have revealed significant signs of strain: Profits have dropped, cash flow is down, balance sheets are deteriorating and capital spending is falling. The stock market has recognized the sector’s overall weakness, punishing oil and gas shares over the past five years even as the market as a whole has soared.”
According to Greene, a group of students at Logan High School were shocked after learning about the 2010 resolution and sprung to action. He described how the students have already witnessed Utah's longer and more intense fire seasons, a dwindling snowpack and increasing water scarcity.
The [new] resolution, which Herbert signed on March 20, “encourages the responsible stewardship of natural resources and reduction of emissions through incentives and support of the growth in technologies and services that will enlarge the economy.
May. 10, 2018 - Think Progress - Washington county files climate lawsuit to protect Pacific’s billion-dollar shellfish industry
King County’s lawsuit specifically names five fossil fuel companies — BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips - and seeks an undisclosed amount of compensation for damages and costs related to climate adaptation.“Global warming is here and it is harming King County now as King County is already experiencing the impacts of a changing climate: warming temperatures, acidifying marine waters, rising seas, increasing flooding risk, decreasing mountain snowpack, and less water in the summer,” the complaint, filed in King County Superior Court, reads. “This egregious state of affairs is no accident. Rather, it is an unlawful public nuisance of the first order.”
http://www.carbontradewatch.org/pubs/carbon_neutral_myth.pdf There is a basic premise that if you save/sequester some carbon and burn some other carbon, they can cancel each other out. At some level that is right. But, there are real problems with making it work in an already depleted world. Here is a good treatise on that.
“If we are to sustainably deliver cooling for all, we must stop thinking that green electricity and technology efficiency can meet the demand alone. Unless we think thermally, not just electrically, we are sitting on a carbon time-bomb. The challenge is how to embed this approach quickly enough to avoid investment in conventional equipment that lock in cooling emissions for years or decades.”
2017-jun-28-theguardian-Former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres among signatories of letter warning that the next three years will be crucial to stopping the worst effects of global warming
[Current city regulations were meant to protect the city from dangers, but Fossil Fuel Industry trying to get courts to let them off hook.]
[If Fossil Fuel Industry doesn't make real change themselves, ] Moving forward, city leaders can adopt policy that would require industry to pay the full cost for the risks of their dangerous infrastructure by posting a bond equivalent to a worst-case disaster scenario. That cost would be significantly reduced if businesses invest in seismic resilience measures. This approach, a Fossil Fuel Risk Bond program, shifts the costs of unacceptable risks to our community and environment back to the company profiting from dangerous activities.
The Uninhabitable Earth, Annotated Edition The facts, research, and science behind the climate-change article that explored our planet’s worst-case scenarios.
“Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.”
A Minnesota judge ruled that three activists charged with felonies can argue they had no legal alternative to protect citizens from climate change impacts.
COMMENTS OF THE OREGON CITIZENS’ UTILITY BOARD ON PGE IRP UPDATE This is climate news because investments in “Natural Gas” i.e. methane are inappropriate in a world where fossil fuels need to be turned off in about 2 decades. It is true that Oregon's PUC (Public Utility Commission) is not yet allowed to be driven by climate change in their decisions in most ways – but, investments in something about to become a stranded asset is foolish.
We can have another discussion about how we go to nearly 100% green in 20 years, and what laws it is going to take to drive that. But, at least, PGE is better poised to invest in that direction because of the guidance they got in the IRP process this time around.
“The problem is that an 'easy way out' for oil companies can’t coincide with one [easy way out] for the planet. Even conservative pathways to capping rising temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius suggest industrialized nations should start reigning in carbon emissions by 10 percent each year before zeroing them out entirely by mid-century; even that scenario assumes we’ll be able to deploy so-called negative emissions technology at a global scale, despite the fact that those technologies remain untested at scale. Without negative emissions, the deadline for decarbonization comes much sooner: 2026 — eight years from now.”
The only hope we have for negative emissions in the 20-year timeframe we need them are organic – and not in forests. It must take a large portion of the land in use for growing crops and quit abusing it such that the soil is unable to sustain carbon-based life within it. So, any successful plan to avoid 2 degrees, C must aggressively “decarbonize” – meaning stop burning carbon fuels, including fossil fuels. Jim Hansen has suggested we need 8%/year decrease in carbon emissions.
Solar Energy Potential on the Largest Rooftops in the United States This was the basis for part of a talk at PIELC 2018. Interesting work.
December 11, 2017 by John Talberth - Report: Climate legislation must include Big Timber “Inaction is inexcusable given humanity’s urgent need to draw down atmospheric carbon as fast and efficiently as possible,” Talberth continued. “And passing legislation to flip industrial forest practices in Oregon to climate smart alternatives is one thing Governor Brown and legislators can do that has global significance.”
May 5, 2016 - Forbes - Japan Has More Electric Car Charging Points Than Gas Stations [Infographic] This is 2 years old, but still surprising to me, and encoraging.
Feb 2018 - dw.com - Arctic warmer than much of Europe is a worrying sign of climate change “Freezing cold 'Siberian Express' is roaring towards Britain,” screamed the front page of the Daily Express newspaper last Friday as a cold front, the so-called “Beast from the East,” battered its way west.
https://www.ecowatch.com/arctic-climate-change-2539897203.html Lorraine Chow Feb. 26, 2018 - EcoWatch - Scientists Stunned by Off-the-Charts Arctic Temperatures, Record-Low Sea Ice “This is simply shocking. I don't have the words,”
February 28, 2018 - GreenBiz - Why distributed solar is winning in Texas Distribution-scale solar avoids using the transmission grid because electricity is produced close to load. There is basically no use of transmission or transmission-level generation capacity. It’s like renting office space close to home, so that you can skip use of toll-road highways and limit yourself to local roads. You don’t use the toll road, and thus you should not need to pay.
02 March 2018 - NATURE - Dramatic declines in snowpack in the western US …attributed declines in snowpack (specifically SWE divided by accumulation-season precipitation) across the western US to anthropogenic warming.
The Daily Nation newspaper reported on an “invasion of the Sargassum seaweed”—a brown, leafy algae that had washed up in thick mats on the white-sand beaches of the island’s eastern shores. The next day, the country’s government declared it a national emergency. Seen from afar, the bloom looked like a coppery oil spill slicking the sea. But a closer look revealed dead wildlife entangled within it.
The June Sargassum invasion in Barbados claimed the lives of three sea turtles, six dolphins, and “countless” fish and eels, The Daily Nation reported. But surely more have perished in the months since, as sheets of the bulbous-tipped seaweed—sometimes several feet deep—have become regular visitors to the country’s eastern and southern shorelines.
15 February 2018 - The Sydney Morning Herald - The marine ecosystem more endangered than the Great Barrier Reef Australia's shellfish reefs are the country's most threatened ocean ecosystem and are almost extinct.
Jun. 10, 2016 - Ecowatch - Whistleblower Says EPA Officials Covered Up Toxic Fracking Methane Emissions for Years In pre-Trump, pre-Pruitt times we already had issues with validity of EPA data.
“In an incendiary federal complaint filed on Wednesday with the EPA's Inspector General, the 28-year-old North Carolina-based group NC WARN wrote that “there has been a persistent and deliberate cover-up that has prevented the agency from requiring the natural gas industry to make widespread, urgently needed and achievable reductions in methane venting and leakage across the nation's expanding natural gas infrastructure.”