international environmental groups


But today I do. This a great organization and a great idea as well. Join today.

info@beyondextremeenergy.org

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Go there and join, read and protest. More next week.

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This is a happy fuzzy story, that i normally wouldn’t post. But here is the thing, as fun as it is, I dare you to say the name of the monument. Can you huh huh huh?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/obama-creates-world-s-largest-park-off-hawaii/

The Power of Parks

Hawaii Is Now Home to an Ocean Reserve Twice the Size of Texas

A 583,000-square-mile “no-take” zone: President Obama just quadrupled the size of a national marine monument off northwestern Hawaii.

Capping a week of 100th anniversary celebrations for the National Park Service, President Barack Obama on Friday turned to the ocean to create the largest protected area anywhere on Earth—a half-million-square-mile arc of remote Pacific waters known for both exceptional marine life and importance to native Hawaiian culture.

The Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument, established in 2006 by President George W. Bush, already covered 140,000 square miles of ocean around the uninhabited northwestern islands of Hawaii, Obama’s home state. (Learn about the name and how to pronounce it.)

Obama more than quadrupled Papah?naumoku?kea’s size, to 582,578 square miles, an area larger than all the national parks combined. Using his executive authority under the U.S. Antiquities Act, he extended most of the monument’s boundary—and its prohibition of commercial fishing—out to the 200-mile limit of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).(Read about a monument established this week in the Maine woods.)

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Go there and read in wonderment. More next week.

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Especially if you listen to the Bernie Sanders supporters. (I also must quickly add that as a nonprofit organization CES doesn’t endorse any political candidates, just their energy policies) Her opponents say that she is for Fracking. I see no evidence of that. They say she is a Wall Street sellout. Compared to the rest of the field, I do not see that either. But here is what I do see.

https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_natural_resources

Hillary Clinton

See also: Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016/Natural resources
Energy development
  • In a December 17, 2015 radio interview with South Carolina radio station WGCV-AM Hillary Clinton said she is doubtful of the need to drill for oil or gas off the eastern seaboard of the U.S. She said, “I am very skeptical about the need or desire for us to pursue offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina, and frankly off the coast of other southeast states.” Her comments came despite the Obama administration putting forward proposals that would open up vast tracts of the ocean for fossil fuel extraction.[1]
Climate change
  • Hillary Clinton, on January 18, 2016, signed a pledge to power at least half of the nation’s energy needs with renewable sources by 2030. The pledge was devised by NextGen Climate, a San Francisco-based environmental advocacy organization, which was founded by philanthropist, environmental activist and Democratic donor Tom Steyer in 2013. The group is affiliated with NextGen Climate Action, a super PAC[2]
  • In response to the Paris Agreement adopted on December 12, 2015, Clinton released the following statement, in part: “I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our negotiating team for helping deliver a new, ambitious international climate agreement in Paris. This is an historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century—the global crisis of climate change. … We cannot afford to be slowed by the climate skeptics or deterred by the defeatists who doubt America’s ability to meet this challenge.”[3]

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Coal is now the most expensive energy source in the United States. That means that it will be to expensive to mine. It also means that the worth of the mining companies will fall and their stocks will collapse. It  can’t happen soon enough for me.

http://blogs.edf.org/energyexchange/2015/12/28/a-sunny-future-for-utility-scale-solar/

A Sunny Future for Utility-Scale Solar
By John Finnigan | Bio | Published: December 28, 2015
Utility-scale solar and distributed solar both have an important role to play in reducing greenhouse emissions, and both have made great strides in the past year.
Utility-scale solar, the focus of this article, is reaching “grid parity” (i.e., cost equivalency) with traditional generation in more areas across the country.  And solar received a major boost when the federal tax incentive was recently extended through 2021. The amount of the incentive decreases over time, but the solar industry may be able to offset the lower tax incentive if costs continue to decline.  New changes in policy and technology may further boost its prospects.
Record year for utility-scale solar
Some of the world’s largest solar plants came on-line in the U.S. during the past year, such as the 550-megawatt (MW) Topaz Solar plant in San Luis Obispo County, California and the 550MW Desert Sunlight plant in Desert Center, California. Last year saw a record increase in the amount of new utility-scale solar photovoltaic generation installed – about four gigawatts (GW), a whopping 38 percent increase over 2013, and enough solar power to supply electricity to 1.2 million homes.  This number is expected to increase in 2015 when the final numbers are in.
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Go there and read. More next week.
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Unfortunately it will be several years before we know whether it will make a dent in emissions, but as everyone says, it is a start. I am particularly excited by the concept of “ratchet” and whether it can be implemented. What do you think?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/12/world/paris-climate-change-deal-explainer.html?_r=0

Inside the Paris Climate Deal

The text of the climate pact establishes a commitment by 195 countries to take concrete measures to reel in planet-warming carbon emissions. Related Article

Paris Climate Agreement

View the Full Document »

Temperature Increase

“Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”
Justin Gillis, climate science reporter:
This agreement adopts a more ambitious target for limiting global warming than in the past by mentioning 1.5 degrees Celsius as part of the concrete goal to stay well below 2 degrees. If that were to be actually achieved, it would likely ward off some of the most severe effects of climate change. For example, although we don’t know the exact temperature, there is a trigger point at which the whole Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet will melt. There is a chance that staying below 2 degrees Celsius would avoid that trigger point, and an even better chance if we stay below 1.5 degrees.
Page 23

Preservation of Forests

“Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments, the existing framework as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; and alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, while reaffirming the importance of incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches.”

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Go there and read all the good news. More next week.

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The link below is for the New York Times Climate Change Conference in Paris. I have picked the plight of the Marshall Islands as the text for this blog, but you can go whenever and wherever you want.

http://www.nytimes.com/news-event/un-climate-change-conference

Paris Climate Change Conference 2015

The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing

Rising seas are claiming a vulnerable nation.

— Linber Anej waded out in low tide to haul concrete chunks and metal scraps to shore and rebuild the makeshift sea wall in front of his home. The temporary barrier is no match for the rising seas that regularly flood the shacks and muddy streets with saltwater and raw sewage, but every day except Sunday, Mr. Anej joins a group of men and boys to haul the flotsam back into place.

“It’s insane, I know,” said Mr. Anej, 30, who lives with his family of 13, including his parents, siblings and children, in a four-room house. “But it’s the only option we’ve got.”

Standing near his house at the edge of a densely packed slum of tin shacks, he said, “I feel like we’re living underwater.”

 

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Go there and read until your eyes bleed. More next week.

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This is a really hopeful story.

http://news.yahoo.com/african-region-beats-back-desert-thanks-trees-220830579.html

An African Region Beats Back the Desert, Thanks to Trees

The Sahel region in Northern Africa is sandwiched between the Sahara desert in the north and the savanna in the south, stretching across nearly a dozen countries. It is a hot, dry region where it’s hard to grow most crops, so locals depend on subsistence livestock herds, mostly cattle, sheep, and goats.

Overgrazing has long been blamed for creeping desertification of the Sahel, especially in the wake of devastating droughts in the 1970s and ’80s.

Now, research from South Dakota State University blows both claims out of the water, showing that 84 percent of the watersheds in the Sahel have recovered.

“In the past people have had a negative perception of the Sahel, that the pastoralists are misusing and overgrazing the land, but these findings prove that’s not true,” said Niall Hanan, a savanna ecologist with SDSU who has focused on Africa for the past 25 years.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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In the new spirit of this BLOG I am only going to post articles that get my heart pumping and my blood flowing. Without further adieu I present SciencePlus.

http://www.sciencesplus.ca/en/resource/1503

What’s New for Renewable Energy

Energy drives social and economic development. In the past, the discovery of oil triggered an unprecedented industrial revolution that had significant impacts on our quality of life. A single litre of oil provides as many calories as two to twenty weeks of human labour, enough energy to fuel our growing industries, heat our homes, and get us from point A to point B quickly.


However, with an alarming scarcity of fossil fuels and growing energy demands on the horizon, especially for emerging economies, the search for sustainable means of production is not only imperative for the preservation of the environment—it is also becoming highly lucrative. That is why renewable energy is receiving more and more attention from governments and businesses. There is talk of a new industrial revolution, one that is all about green energy.

Since the Kyoto Protocol, most countries have increased the proportion of their budget invested in energy with the potential for long-term sustainability. We can already see results; even in 2006, 18.6% of the world’s electricity came from renewable resources. Of that percentage, hydraulic energy (hydroelectric dams, underwater turbines, tidal power plants, etc.) constituted 89%, biomass constituted 5.7%, and wind power, geothermal energy, and solar power constituted 3.5%, 1.7%, and 0.2%, respectively.

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This is a huge site. Go there and read. More next week.

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I usually post here on Wednesday. Imagine the probability of Earth Day occurring on the same day! So today I offer a more optimistic view of the world then mine. Think: Global Warming.

http://aeon.co/magazine/science/why-extinction-is-not-the-problem/

 

Rethinking extinction

by

The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis

The way the public hears about conservation issues is nearly always in the mode of ‘[Beloved Animal] Threatened With Extinction’. That makes for electrifying headlines, but it misdirects concern. The loss of whole species is not the leading problem in conservation. The leading problem is the decline in wild animal populations, sometimes to a radical degree, often diminishing the health of whole ecosystems.

Viewing every conservation issue through the lens of extinction threat is simplistic and usually irrelevant. Worse, it introduces an emotional charge that makes the problem seem cosmic and overwhelming rather than local and solvable. It’s as if the entire field of human medicine were treated solely as a matter of death prevention. Every session with a doctor would begin: ‘Well, you’re dying. Let’s see if we can do anything to slow that down a little.’

Medicine is about health. So is conservation. And as with medicine, the trends for conservation in this century are looking bright. We are re-enriching some ecosystems we once depleted and slowing the depletion of others. Before I explain how we are doing that, let me spell out how exaggerated the focus on extinction has become and how it distorts the public perception of conservation.

Many now assume that we are in the midst of a human-caused ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ to rival the one that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. But we’re not. The five historic mass extinctions eliminated 70 per cent or more of all species in a relatively short time. That is not going on now. ‘If all currently threatened species were to go extinct in a few centuries and that rate continued,’ began a recent Nature magazine introduction to a survey of wildlife losses, ‘the sixth mass extinction could come in a couple of centuries or a few millennia.’

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Quick not: He favors Nuclear Power

Go there and read. More next week.

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Given the backward nature of American culture you did the best you could do. Tough job that nobody really wants.

Energy Secretary Chu Resigns Leaving Oil Markets in Turmoil

Raymond J. Learsy

Author, ‘Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption Continues’

In his letter of resignation from the post of Energy Secretary, Chu characterized his Department as a “Department of Science, a Department of Innovation, and a Department of Nuclear Security.” He then goes on to point out the myriad achievements and initiatives during his tenure ranging from BioEnergy Research Centers, Wind and Solar Energy initiatives, nuclear safety, appliance efficiency standards and on. Not an unimpressive list of scientific and clean energy programs. Embedded deeply in his letter is his conviction that rising temperatures present a present and growing danger to the planet and need be addressed. His tenure at Energy addressed this issue relentlessly, and even with the $500 million Solyndra debacle, built a foundation for research, creativity, and with funding guarantees to a plethora of clean energy projects supporting manufacturing plants throughout the country.
Were this his exclusive mandate his four year tenure might well be termed a success. But the Department also has other fish to fry. They relate no only to the environment, but profoundly to the economy and to our national security. Energy, be it oil, natural gas, coal are core commodities to the functioning of our economic viability, and here the Department of Energy under Chu’s tutelage has approached disaster.

As example, within a month of Chu’s ascendency the price of crude oil hovered around $35/barrel (and gasoline prices well under $2.00/gallon). Today’s price is over $95/bbl even though our oil consumption is down some 2.4% from what it was four years ago and production from the Bakken and EagleFord Formations in North Dakota and Texas has increased our domestic production dramatically keeping our domestic oil market amply supplied (oil inventories are at or near all time highs). In a situation such as this it is the Department of Energy’s obligation to ask some hard questions just as Energy Secretary Bill Richardson did during his tenure during the Clinton Administration when he personally lobbied OPEC members only to be chastised, to his great credit, by the OPEC spokesman, “In the forty year history of OPEC there has never been the case of the Secretary of Energy calling OPEC in the middle of an OPEC meeting… We are upset and disappointed at external pressure. We don’t like it.

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Go there and read. More later.

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