If We Plant Trees We Can Beat Climate Change – This is Bob Croteau’s solution

What they don’t tell you that you would have to plant enough trees to cover North America TWICE. That is a trillion trees. Now we could do that. The cool thing is that saplings soak up huge amounts of Carbon so we might get a decade of Global Cooling which we could use. But we would need a second solution for Ocean Acidification. I am sure we could do the acid thing eventually. Still, getting a trillion trees? Well we shall see.

https://www.dw.com/en/planting-1-trillion-trees-could-stop-climate-change-argues-study/a-49478494

News

Planting 1 trillion trees could stop climate change, argues study

Planting a massive number of trees is the most effective way to combat global warming, scientists have said. Reforesting an area the size of the United States could capture two-thirds of manmade carbon emissions.

A report from Swiss scientists published on Thursday said an effective way to stem the catastrophic consequences of climate change would be to plant about 1 trillion trees. This would take up an area roughly the size of the United States, but there is more than enough room, according to the study published in the journal Science.

“Every other climate change solution requires that we all change our behavior, or we need some top-down decision from a politician who may or may not believe in climate change, or it’s a scientific discovery we don’t yet have,” researcher Tom Crowther told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “This one is not only our most powerful solution — it’s one that every single one of us can get involved with.”

Over decades, the growing trees could suck up nearly 830 billion tons (750 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to the study. That’s about as much carbon pollution as humans have spewed in the past 25 years.

Crowther added, however, that while this was a cheap solution, it would not work without emissions cuts. Researchers emphasized that there are also behavioral changes that would work faster, such as cutting animal products out of one’s diet.

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Go there and read. Hope it happens in my life time. More next week.

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Xcel Dumps Coal – But where are the renewables

It is sad that a corporation bets on nukes and not renewables and alternatives. Corporations are dumb and if they refuse to react to market changes then they shall be slain on their nukes…So be it.

 

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/xcel-energy-accelerates-coal-plant-closures-to-meet-100-clean-energy-goal

Regulation & Policy

Xcel Energy Fast-Forwards Minnesota Coal Plant Closures but Extends Nuclear Window

The utility struck a deal with environmental and labor groups in the Upper Midwest that will allow it to reduce its carbon emissions while easing job losses related to coal plant retirements.

Xcel Energy plans to close its last two coal-fired power plants in Minnesota by 2030, a decade earlier than scheduled, while keeping its nuclear power plants running through at least 2040 — the latest step in the eight-state utility’s plan to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The proposed early closures are part of its Upper Midwest Energy Plan, which Xcel expects to submit to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in July. If approved, it will allow Xcel to cut its carbon emissions in the state by 80 percent compared to 2005 levels. That’s a key metric from Xcel’s companywide zero-carbon goals announced in December, up from its previous target of 60 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

Monday’s announcement comes as part of a settlement agreement with environmental and labor groups, meant both to boost clean energy alternatives and help ease the job and economic losses when the Allen S. King coal power plant in Bayport, Minnesota closes by 2028 and the Sherco 3 coal-fired generator in Becker, Minnesota closes by 2030.

Under the agreement, Xcel would proceed with plans to buy the Mankato Energy Center natural-gas plant. But its plans to build a new natural-gas power plant, as well as extend the operating license of its Monticello nuclear plant past its 2030 expiration until at least 2040, are being opposed by some environmental groups.

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They Include Natural Gas – It is still a good day

All the stuff I have been posting lately is real good news and I am so happy about it. If there is plastic in our food sources (especially fish) and the planet virtually shuts down because man has denuded it. What does it matter? I am trying to be optimistic but it is tough.

https://news.yahoo.com/britain-set-first-coal-power-103853088.html

World

Britain set for first coal-power free week in over a century

By Susanna Twidale

Reuters

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Britain, the birth place of coal power, is set to go seven days without electricity from coal-fired stations for the first time since its 19th century industrial revolution, the National Grid operator said on Wednesday.

Britain was home to the world’s first coal-fueled power plant in the 1880s, and coal was its dominant electric source and a major economic driver for the next century.

However, coal plants emit almost double the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) – a heat-trapping gas blamed for global warming – as gas-fired power plants, and were moved out of Britain’s cities from the late 1950’s to reduce air pollution.

As part of efforts to meet its climate target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared with 1990 levels in the next three decades, Britain plans to wean itself completely off coal-fired power generation by 2025.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Could A Little Swiss Company Stop Global Warming – If it was built on a Nuclear Powerplant

First off, I lifted the chant below because I thought it was so cool. And timely. Second, this article about decarboning the air by a little Swiss company takes a looooong time to get to the point. Finally it does say that it takes a lot of power to run, A Nuke? I was just kidding, but maybe.

 

“KEEP THE OIL IN THE SOIL,

TAKE A PASS ON THE GAS!

BAN FRACKING AND ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE NOW!”

– Yes To The Path To 100 (%) Act (IL)

– Yes To The Green New Deal (Fed)

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

The Tiny Swiss Company That Thinks It Can Help Stop Climate Change

Two European entrepreneurs want to remove carbon from the air at prices cheap enough to matter.

By Jon Gertner

Just over a century ago in Ludwigshafen, Germany, a scientist named Carl Bosch assembled a team of engineers to exploit a new technique in chemistry. A year earlier, another German chemist, Fritz Haber, hit upon a process to pull nitrogen (N) from the air and combine it with hydrogen (H) to produce tiny amounts of ammonia (NH?). But Haber’s process was delicate, requiring the maintenance of high temperatures and high pressure. Bosch wanted to figure out how to adapt Haber’s discovery for commercial purposes — as we would say today, to “scale it up.” Anyone looking at the state of manufacturing in Europe around 1910, Bosch observed, could see that the task was daunting: The technology simply didn’t exist.

Over the next decade, however, Bosch and his team overcame a multitude of technological and metallurgical challenges. He chronicled them in his 1932 acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Chemistry — an honor he won because the Haber-Bosch process, as it came to be known, changed the world. His breakthrough made possible the production of ammonia on an industrial scale, providing the world with cheap and abundant fertilizer. The scientist and historian Vaclav Smil called Haber-Bosch “the most important technical invention of the 20th century.” Bosch had effectively removed the historical bounds on crop yields, so much so that he was widely credited with making “bread from air.” By some estimates, Bosch’s work made possible the lives of more than two billion human beings over the last 100 years.

What the Haber-Bosch method had going for it, from the very start, was a ready market. Fertilizer was already in high demand, but it came primarily from limited natural reserves in far-flung locales — bird droppings scraped from remote islands near Peru, for instance, or mineral stores of nitrogen dug out of the Chilean desert. Because synthetic ammonia competed with existing products, it was able to follow a timeworn pattern of innovation. In much the same way that LEDs have supplanted fluorescent and incandescent bulbs (which in turn had displaced kerosene lamps and wax candles), a novel product or process often replaces something already in demand. If it is better or cheaper — and especially if it is better and cheaper — it usually wins in the marketplace. Haber-Bosch did exactly that.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Year End Reviews – This one is from Forbes

I’ll put a few more up. Why not start out with the Capitalist’s point of view.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/12/23/the-top-10-energy-stories-of-2018/#5f91c2c4799a

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2018

Energy

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the top energy stories of the year. This year there wasn’t an overwhelming choice for the top story as we have had in some previous years (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon spill), but many of the year’s biggest developments impacted oil prices.

Here are my picks for the stories that shaped the year in energy.

Oil price roller coaster

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) opened the year at $60/bbl. Brent crude was just under $67/bbl. By early October, on the back of several developments that are covered in other stories below, WTI was closing in on $80/bbl and Brent was above $86/bbl. But then prices collapsed in part because the ongoing trade war with China caused them to stop importing U.S. oil, and in part because sanctions on Iranian exports were waived at the last moment — after Saudi Arabia had already increased production to compensate for Iran’s lost exports. The overall impact was a collapse in the price of oil. As we head into the last week of the year, WTI has fallen to $45/bbl and Brent crude is at $54/bbl.

U.S. shatters oil production record

Early in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the previous monthly record for U.S. crude oil production – 10.044 million BPD set in November 1970 — had been broken. U.S. oil production would continue to rise steadily throughout 2018, reaching 11.475 million BPD by September 2018 (the last month for which monthly numbers are available).

China slows solar program

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I hate that last one. Go there and read. More next week.

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Trump Tries To Stop Alternative Energy – He fails miserably

What can I say about Trumps environmental policies in general and his energy policies specifically that hasn’t been said before. They SUCK. The economic surge in their direction is so strong that they can’t be stopped. But will it be in time?

Business

U.S. solar takes hit from Trump tariffs but is cheaper than ever: report

Reuters 13 hours ago

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – U.S. solar installations fell 15 percent in the third quarter as the Trump administration’s tariffs on overseas-made panels forced developers to put off large projects, according to a report commissioned by the industry’s primary trade group.

Current weakness in the utility-scale market, however, will be offset by larger volumes of projects than had been expected over the next five years because solar energy is now cheaper than ever, the report said.

Quarterly installations of utility-scale solar were 678 megawatts, the lowest quarter since 2015 and a more than 30 percent decline from a year ago, the report by Wood Mackenzie for the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association said. The total market, which includes residential and commercial installations, came in at 1.7 gigawatts.

The slowdown is a shift for solar, which has experienced runaway gains in the last decade. Through the first three quarters of the year, solar accounted for 30 percent of electricity generating capacity additions.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Want To Save The Planet – Block the sun

It is a short article. So I will be brief. This is a film that reduces solar absorption by 10%. Combine that with a white roof and you got some major savings. Plus you dampen green house gases at the same time. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/12/heat-rejecting-film-reduce-air-conditioning/

Heat-rejecting film could reduce air conditioning costs

It blocks 70 percent of incoming solar heat.

Climate change can be a vicious cycle when folks crank up the air conditioning during heat waves and add even more CO2 to the atmosphere. Scientists from MIT and the University of Hong Kong have developed a new type of window coating that could curb that trend. It remains highly transparent up to 89 degrees F (32 degrees Celsius), but beyond that, it becomes translucent like frosted glass. As a result, it reflects back up to 70 percent of the sun’s incoming heat, reducing interior temperatures and the load on your air conditioner.

To maximize heat blocking, the researchers inserted tiny water-filled spheres into a standard poly material. At temperatures starting around 85 degree F, the spheres start to shrink, squeezing out the liquid and forcing the poly fibers closer together. That gives the glass a frosted appearance, blocking 70 percent of the incoming heat while still letting a lot of visible light through.

Such films have been tried before but didn’t block heat that well. The MIT and Hong Kong teams realized that the water filled spheres needed to match the wavelength of infrared light responsible for most solar heating. After expanding the bubble size to 500 nanometers, the film became a much more effective heat-blocker.

MIT heat-rejecting film

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Google this if you want extra. Go there and reat the uplinks. More next week.

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The Economic Civil War In America – Rich white guys face off

It turns out that it is rich white progressives verses rich white recessivesthat is politically rivening this country. This leaves all of us in the middle angry and confused. I disagree with Buffet on this one, but I see why he is fighting the fight.

https://www.afr.com/news/world/north-america/warren-buffett-and-casino-boss-sheldon-adelson-clash-in-nevada-over-electricity-20181030-h17bc5

Warren Buffett and casino boss Sheldon Adelson clash in Nevada over electricity

by Trevor Hunnicutt

New York | Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and investor Warren Buffett are set for a desert showdown over electricity next week as the two billionaires’ interests collide on election ballots in Nevada.

At issue in the November 6 election is the cost and control of power from the neon lights shining on the Las Vegas Strip to the state’s gold mines.

A measure supported by Republican donor Adelson, who is also Las Vegas Sands Corp’s chairman, would force state legislators to break up control over much of the state’s electricity in effect held by a unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, NV Energy. It would allow customers to choose their own power provider by 2023.

Buffett has supported liberal causes and backed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Unlike previous western duels, both sides in Nevada are showing up with cash. The energy tussle is shaping up as one of the more costly of an election season in which Democrats are trying to wrest control of at least one chamber of US Congress from Republicans.

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Go there and decide for yourself. More next week.:

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Sparkling Bottled Water Company Cleans Ocean – It is only fair to give industry credit

In all fairness the headline should read TRYS to clean ocean. Why do I even cover this story? Well plastic is a really really energy intensive industry. Second we made a big point of the Dutch Boy’s attempt to clean up the north Pacific Gyre. So it is only far to point out when industry is trying too. Though to be fair Sparkling Water tackled a much smaller  (some would say manageable) problem.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sodastream-builds-massive-marine-device-to-collect-plastic-waste-from-the-ocean-off-the-coast-of-honduras-300726688.html

SodaStream Builds Massive Marine Device to Collect Plastic Waste from the Ocean off the Coast of Honduras


News provided by

SodaStream International Ltd.

Oct 15, 2018, 09:00 ET

CEO Daniel Birnbaum Leads 300 SodaStream Executives from Around the World, Local Youth and Environmental NGOs to Clean Caribbean Sea and Roatán Shores

AIRPORT CITY, Israel, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced the launch of the “Holy Turtle” – a massive ocean contraption designed to clean plastic waste from open waters. The innovative device will be initially piloted today in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Roatán, Honduras, as part of a bold ocean clean-up lead by CEO Daniel Birnbaum. This is the first-known attempt of a commercial company to undertake a physical clean-up of trash from open waters. SodaStream’s clean-up delegation includes 150 SodaStream executives from 45 countries, international environmental specialists, NGO Plastic Soup Foundation and hundreds of children from 7 different local schools with local Honduran government officials.

The “Holy Turtle” is a 1,000 ft. long floating unit designed to be gently towed by two marine vessels along kilometers of open waters. The contraption is uniquely engineered to capture floating waste while its large vent holes act to protect wildlife. The device design was inspired by oil spill containment systems and was developed by ABBCO in Florida, USA, who are leading experts in oil spill containment.

SodaStream’s Roatán initiative was inspired by a video filmed by Caroline Powers in October 2017 featured on BBC highlighting underwater photography of a floating trash patch off the Caribbean coast of Roatán. Moved by the disturbing video, SodaStream CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, himself an experienced skipper and naval officer, lead a search for a solution to clean up this floating waste. Birnbaum noted, “We can’t clean up all the plastic waste on the planet, but we each need to do whatever we can. The most important thing is to commit ourselves to stop using single-use plastic.”

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Go there and read. Have some hope. More next week.

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Electricity In Illinois Can Be Progressive – But you gotta work at it

I got this email from Paul Berland about electricity and I thought i would post it in its entirety. I make no claims about it’s accuracy and I only know that it applies in Elgin, but still it is pretty cool. Way To Go Paul.

[Frack-FreeIL] Re: Illinois 100% Green Electricity Providers at Same Cost as Non-Green
Yahoo/Inbox
Paul Berland pnb3210@gmail.com [Frack-FreeIL] <Frack-FreeIL@yahoogroups.com>
To:ILClimateActivists Chat,ILClimateActivists_SOIL,frack free IL,chicagolandoilbyrail@googlegroups.com,Earl Silbar
Sep 19 at 12:49 PM
Hey all,

 
I just learned of a great new promotional offer from nrg (nrghomepower.com/service-areas) at around 6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100% wind electricity.  This promotion only lasts for another 2 weeks so you need to call Shay within the next 2 weeks if you want this offer.  The offer of 6 cents per kilowatt hour for 100% wind energy lasts for 3 months but the sales person said after 3 months you can call their main number (855-500-8703) and ask for a lower rate.  If you want to get on board with this promotion, call Shay at 630-965-4072.  
 
Paul


On Mon, Feb 5, 2018 at 10:53 AM Paul Berland <pnb3210@gmail.com> wrote:
On Google Docs in this folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1HxNONAmKNRz2R5zw2Y0W8n3ar9IIeowtThere is a spreadsheet that can be maintained by the environmentally progressive Illinois community (currently editable by IL Climate Activists members) which shows 100% renewable electricity providers that are below or at comparable costs to non-green electricity providers.
(Painful note: if you modify or edit this spreadsheet, it will immediately be saved to a file in the same folder with a different file name and link.  You will have to manually delete the old spreadsheet and rename the spreadsheet that was auto-created to the spreadsheet with the same name to maintain a single community spreadsheet. This little difficulty was gifted to us courtesy of mega-corporations Google and Microsoft who love to make our lives difficult so they can continue to make money off of IT jobs.  If your IT skills are low, then you can E-mail suggested changes to me and I could update the spreadsheet).
In Illinois, we all have the option of choosing our electricity provider and the freedom to choose a 100% green renewable energy provider (go to the link https://pluginillinois.org to review your options and potentially change your provider).  In fact, some of these providers are even honest enough to provide this electricity at below the regular rate that is provided for non-green energies (such as coal, nuclear, natural gas, etc.)  In particular, please make note of the following electricity providers that can offer rates below or equivalent to current rates provided by non-green suppliers:
1. Verde Energy USA (cheaper than market rate when you take into account rebate)
2. Oasis Energy (only spending about $1.50 more per month than current market rate for 100% renewable energy guaranteed for 18 months)
3. Clearview Energy (used to be the best deal but their prices are going up)
4. National Gas & Electric (flat out cheaper than ComEd for 3-6 months guaranteed)
Note that the market fluctuates month-to-month.  The hope is that we can maintain this spreadsheet as the market fluctuates.  This spreadsheet came about as the result of collaboration between Elgin Green Groups 350 members.
See also these links which prove that 100% renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, and responsible bio-mass) is now cheaper than coal and nuclear and will also soon be cheaper than natural gas electricity production as well:

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Go to the sites and read the offers. More next week.  Oh never mind I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. Bye.

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