November 2015


The November issue of National Geographic magazine is totally devoted to Climate Change. Please read the whole thing, but here is as small taste.

 

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/climate-change/germany-renewable-energy-revolution-text

How Do We Fix It?

Germany Could Be a Model for How We’ll Get Power in the Future

The European nation’s energy revolution has made it a leader in replacing nukes and fossil fuels with wind and solar technology.

By Robert Kunzig
Photographs by Luca Locatelli
Published October 15, 2015

Hamburg knew the bombs were coming, and so the prisoners of war and forced laborers had just half a year to build the giant flak bunker. By July 1943 it was finished. A windowless cube of reinforced concrete, with seven-foot-thick walls and an even thicker roof, it towered like a medieval castle above a park near the Elbe River. The guns protruding from its four turrets would sweep Allied bombers from the sky, the Nazis promised, while tens of thousands of citizens sheltered safely behind its impenetrable walls.

Coming in at night from the North Sea just weeks after the bunker was finished, British bombers steered for the spire of St. Nikolai in the center of the city. They dropped clouds of metallic foil strips to throw off German radar and flak gunners. Targeting crowded residential neighborhoods, the bombers ignited an unquenchable firestorm that destroyed half of Hamburg and killed more than 34,000 people. Towering walls of fire created winds so strong that people were blown into the flames. Church bells clanged furiously.

The spire of St. Nikolai, which somehow survived, stands today as a mahnmal—a memorial reminding Germany of the hell brought by the Nazis. The flak bunker is another mahnmal. But now it has a new meaning: An urban development agency (IBA Hamburg) and the municipal utility (Hamburg Energie) have transformed it from a powerful reminder of Germany’s shameful past into a hopeful vision for the future.

:}

Go there and read 1000 pages. More next week.

:}

Of course everyone knows i am a headline whore. Yes I am said about the attack on Paris that killed 129 peole and alot of other things happen in Paris. But still humor is something terrorists don’t get so i feel like I am doing my part. And Yes this conference is really important. This is a very pessimistic piece and I do not share its sentiment.

http://www.ecoequity.org/2015/11/paris-the-end-of-the-beginning/

Paris: The End of the Beginning

Will Paris be a success or a failure? It will be both. The real question is whether it opens the way to a new future of justice and ambition.

This essay was first published in the Earth Island Journal

As I write this, the United Nations climate conference is only weeks away. And now, of course, it will take place in an atmosphere of mourning, and crisis, and war. Beyond this change of tone, what difference will the November 13 attacks make on the outcome of the negotiations? It is impossible to say, though it’s not too much to hope for heightened clarity, and seriousness, and resolve. This is a time to attend to the future – on this, at least, we should be able to agree.

The essay below was finished before the attacks. I’ve changed only these opening words, which already said that the stakes were high. This has not changed. Nor has my overall claim, that while the negotiations are not going well, they’re not going badly either, and that in any case they must be judged in realist terms.

***

There’s a way forward for the negotiations, though you wouldn’t know it from some of the commentary, which can be amazingly glib. My favorite example, a perfect snapshot of post-Copenhagen, pre-Paris despair, is food guru turned climate expert Mark Bittman, writing in The New York Times last year: “The U.N. Summit will be a clubby gathering of world leaders and their representatives who will try to figure out ways to reward polluters for pretending to fix a problem for which they’re responsible in the first place; a fiasco. That’s not hyperbole, either. The summit is a little like a professional wrestling match: There appears to be action but it’s fake, and the winner is predetermined. The loser will be anyone who expects serious government movement dictating industry reductions in emissions.”

In fairness, Bittman was writing about COP 20 in Lima, which took place a long year ago. But it was clear even before Lima that this sort of cynicism was counterproductive. The old stories of developed vs. developing, polluters vs. people, duplicitous vs. heroic — true though they were, were simply not true enough. By Lima, the US and China were working together to strike a deal that would hold on both sides of the North-South divide. By Lima, the “climate equity” debate within the halls was making as much progress as the “climate justice” debate in the streets; which is to say, quite a lot, but not nearly enough. In any case, Lima was anything but a futile exercise. It was a breakthrough meeting in several ways, not least because the 134 country G-77+China bloc of developing countries finally begin to negotiate well, and in so doing set up a possible breakthrough at COP21, the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris.

:}

Go there and read and read and read. More next week.

:}

Cooking food. In the US that would not be considered either energy efficiency or even news. Yet for humans, cooking is totally necessary. In poor countries, it is a huge issue. This is good news.

India sees clean cooking as climate action that saves lives

Associated Press

GANORA SHEIKH VILLAGE, India (AP) — Kamlesh feeds the flames of a crude clay cookstove with kindling, kerosene and sunbaked discs of cow dung. She breathes in the billowing smoke, as she does for hours every day. Her eyes water and sting. Her throat feels scratchy and sore.

Kamlesh is one of hundreds of millions of Indian housewives who, with the simple act of cooking family meals, fill their homes every day with deadly airborne pollutants. The constant exposure to indoor air pollution kills some 4.3 million people every year across the world — 30 percent of them in India.

The menace of cookstove pollution, which contains high concentrations of tiny particles known as black carbon, does not stop in the home. It compounds many environmental problems as well, from glacial melt to falling crop yields.

India, the world’s third-largest climate polluting nation, has spent decades encouraging cleaner cooking technologies, with limited success. Such a shift would have little impact on India’s emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases, and many of the alternatives pollute as well.

:}

Go there and read. It’s fascinating. More next week.

:}

Well, the disaster is still around but Tepco is jumping back into the bond market. Oh, and thanks to the Japanese Government for selling off assets.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-19/tepco-considers-return-to-japan-bond-market-as-profit-increases

Tepco Mulls First Public Bond Sale in Japan Since Fukushima

October 18, 2015 — 10:08 PM CDT
Updated on October 18, 2015 — 11:14 PM CDT

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is considering returning to Japan’s bond market next September in the first public offering since the disaster at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power facility in 2011.

Tepco, as the utility is known, plans to raise a total of 330 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in the fiscal year starting April 2016, the Nikkei newspaper reported Monday. The company has hired five sales managers including SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., according to the report. Tepco spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said the utility is considering bond sales from September but couldn’t confirm other details when reached by phone.

A public debt offering would be Tepco’s first in six years after it halted bond sales following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused a triple meltdown at the Fukushima site. The disaster put Tepco on the verge of default, with the head of Japan’s biggest stock market saying in 2011 that the company should file for bankruptcy protection. Tepco was saved by a 1 trillion yen infusion from the government the following year, the nation’s largest bailout since the 1990s.

:}

Go there and read a little teeny bit. More next week.

:}