Could Coronavirus Save The Planet – Well it certainly has reduced pollution

Oil prices are actually at an all time low as supplies are on at an all time high. This article argues however that the oil corporations are so big that they will just diversify as climate change looms larger. In the end they will sell worthless reserves off to unregulated startup oil companies and oil will become like drugs.Those startups will function like drug cartels function today. Selling oil to those addicted to oil. Pretty picture? NO. Our future. Maybe.

PS – this is an enormously loooooog read.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/shell-climate-change.html?utm_campaign=nym&utm_source=tw&utm_medium=s1?utm_source=digg

Business

Shell Is Looking Forward

The fossil-fuel companies expect to profit from climate change. I went to a private planning meeting and took notes.

We think democracy is better,” said the jet-fuel salesperson. “But is it? In terms of outcomes?”

In a conference room overlooking the gray Thames, a group of young corporate types tried to imagine how the world could save itself, how the international community could balance the need for growth with our precarious ecological situation. For the purposes of our speculative scenarios, everything except for carbon was supposed to be up in the air, and democracy’s track record is mixed.

A graph from Chinese social media showing how many trees the country is planting — a patriotic retort to the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg — had a real effect on the room. Combine that with the Chinese state-led investment in clean-energy technology and infrastructure and everyone admired how the world’s largest source of fossil-fuel emissions was going about transition. That’s what the salesperson meant by “outcomes”: decarbonization.

Regional experts from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East–North Africa also entertained the democracy question, pointing to Iraqi disillusionment with voting and economic growth in Rwanda under Paul Kagame (“He’s technically a dictator, but it’s working”). The China expert said the average regional Communist Party official is probably more accountable for his or her performance than the average U.K. member of Parliament, a claim no one in the room full of Brits seemed to find objectionable. The moderator didn’t pose the question to me, the American expert, presumably because our national sense of democratic entitlement is inviolable.

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

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GeoEarth Power – Forget fusion power, nuclear, coal or natural gas

If we can perfect this method, who needs any other form of energy? Yes we should keep producing Solar, Wind and Local geothermal. But with Deep Geothermal the only horizons we would have to conquer to be carbon free would be water shipping and air transport. Maybe Deep Geo could even make electric water transport possible. This stuff is so cool.

https://www.wired.com/story/want-unlimited-clean-energy-just-drill-the-worlds-hottest-well/?utm_source=digg

Want Unlimited Clean Energy? Just Drill the World’s Hottest Well

An engineering team bored 2 miles into hot rock without causing major earthquakes—a good sign for harnessing the Earth’s heat as a power source.

There’s treasure buried deep beneath the viridescent foothills of Tuscany’s Apennine Mountains, where the stark metal trusses of the Venelle-2 drilling tower mark its location like an X on a map. This geothermal well reaches nearly two miles beneath the surface to a region where temperatures and pressures are so high that rock begins to bend. Here, conditions are ripe for supercritical geothermal fluids, mineral-rich water that exhibits characteristics of both a liquid and a gas. It’s not exactly gold, but if Venelle-2 could tap into a reservoir of supercritical fluids and use them to spin a turbine on the surface, it would be one of the most energy-dense forms of renewable power in the world.

But getting there isn’t so easy. Boring deep into the ground risks triggering an earthquake if a large chunk of rock slips out of place. This risk was amplified at the Venelle-2 well, which aimed to breach the K horizon, a poorly understood boundary between the hard rock near the surface and the more pliant rock below. What would happen when the drill punched through this layer into the supercritical fluids below was anyone’s guess.

And for now, the mystery remains. Drilling at Venelle-2 stopped just shy of the K horizon when temperatures at the bottom of the well overwhelmed the equipment. Sensors at the bottom of the well indicated temperatures had breached 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures 300 times greater than at the surface. Nevertheless, Venelle-2 is the hottest borehole ever created, and it demonstrated that it’s possible to drill at the extreme end of supercritical conditions. And this week, a paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research showed that it could be done without producing any major seismic activity.

The authors say they hope their study will assuage fears that all geothermal drilling causes earthquakes. After all, the public usually hears about geothermal wells only when something goes wrong. But Venelle-2 shows that “there are also many positive cases of wells drilled for geothermal purposes,” says Riccardo Minetto, a researcher at the University of Geneva and coauthor of the study.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I Am Not Having Kids – Some people get way to carried away with environment issues

There are people that live their lives to right environmental wrongs. Then there are people who live their lives according environmental principles. Sometimes the two meet in a happy medium. Then there are people who over do it. To those people I say stop. (no exclamation mark) Don’t be vegetarian to “save the planet”. It will not. Don’t have children to make the “world a better place”. It will not. Do those things if they make you feel good and you will have a better life. But if you want to have 3 kids- and you can love them and afford them,  then do that thing.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/2/13/21132013/climate-change-children-kids-anti-natalism

Having fewer kids will not save the climate

Some say you shouldn’t have children in the era of climate change. Don’t buy it.

A growing contingent of young people are refusing to have kids — or are considering having fewer kids — because of climate change. Their voices have been growing louder over the past year. UK women set up a movement called BirthStrike, announcing that they won’t procreate until the world gets its act together on climate, and high-profile US figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez amplified the question of whether childbearing is still morally acceptable.

One of the main worries cited by this contingent is that having a child will make climate change worse. Their logic is that anytime you have a kid you’re doing something bad for the planet. You’re adding yet another person who’ll cause more carbon emissions, plus their children, plus their grandchildren … and so on, in a never-ending cascade of procreative shame.

Driving this logic are studies claiming to show that having a child leads to a gargantuan amount of carbon emissions — way, way more than the emissions generated by other lifestyle choices, like driving a car or eating meat. Media reports have trumpeted the takeaway that if you want to fight climate change, having fewer children is far and away the best thing you can do.

But that’s just not true, according to a new report by Founders Pledge, an organization that guides entrepreneurs committed to donating a portion of their proceeds to effective charities.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Germany Shuts A Nuke – The Power Industries sputter complaints

Don’t do it! You’ll never replace it! Make you more dependent on oil and natural gas. Stop. Wait. what do you think you are doing….. HaHA it is so funny when an industry that never should have been created (too cheap to meter) dies off. All I can say is Tah Tah. don’t let the screen door hit you in the ass.

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-shuts-down-atomic-plant-as-nuclear-phase-out-enters-final-stretch/a-51845616

https://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2011/03/15/in-panic-germany-to-shut-pre-1980-nukes/#38e2062f6881

please note:  this originally appeared in the nyt but it is an associate press piece and the Times kept screwing with how I  posted it with a stupid algorithm so I posted the forbes page instead. Then realized that it was a 2011 so I then posted the deusche welle piece as the update.

Germany Shuts Nuclear Plant as It Phases Out Atomic Energy

By

BERLIN — Germany is shutting down one of its seven remaining nuclear power plants as part of a planned phase-out of atomic energy production by the end of 2022.

Utility company EnBW has said it will take the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Plant off the grid at 7 p.m. (1800 GMT) Tuesday. The plant’s license to operate expires at midnight.

Under Germany’s “energy transition” plan, the country aims to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources over the coming decades. The government agreed earlier this year to stop producing electricity from coal-fired plants by 2038 at the latest.

Proponents of nuclear power argue that shutting down the remaining reactors will endanger Germany’s energy security, making it more reliant on greenhouse gas-producing coal and gas and on electricity imported from neighboring countries that still have atomic plants.

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Go there a celebrate. More next week.

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The Darkside Of The Green Revolution – Lithium extraction really messes things up

I should very quickly say – the way things are done now. The mining industry, as it functions in the past and now, destroys things no matter what it is extracting – gold, lead or lithium. So if we are going to have a real revolution we are going to have to change the entire extraction industry. This point is larger for me than this article implies because capitalism is the problem. We as a society can achieve a carbon negative atmosphere and humans will still threaten the planet because that it what capitalism does – destroys thing. Still you have to start somewhere.

https://logicmag.io/nature/what-green-costs/?utm_source=digg

Issue 9 / Nature

December 07, 2019

What Green Costs

Thea Riofrancos

Deep in the salt flats of Chile lies the extractive frontier of the renewable energy transition.

Clean energy advocates envision an electrified home running on 100 percent renewable energy with a Tesla parked in its garage, solar shingles gleaming on its rooftop, and a smart meter dutifully collecting usage data and uploading it to the cloud. But swim upstream and eventually you arrive at the extractive frontiers of the renewable energy transition.

It was 8:45 am on the first day of the 11th Lithium Supply & Markets Conference in the basement level of the W Hotel in Santiago, Chile. There was no way for me to blend in. “Providence College” on my name tag rendered me a curiosity. Still, I was glad I remembered to wear lipstick and that my backpack had straps that converted it into a tote.

I found an empty seat in the sea of suits, almost all men but of different ages. They hailed variously from China, Australia, Chile, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Argentina. They were market analysts and prospectors; equipment salesmen and regulators; executives, consultants, and peddlers of information in the notoriously opaque world of lithium, a “space,” in Silicon Valley talk, not quite meriting the word “market.”

As I slid into my seat, the chairman of one of the largest lithium companies in the world, with a sordid past in a corrupt privatization process under Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship, took to the stage. “Mining is the spine of Chile; mining runs through our veins.” I might have been the only person in the room who immediately thought of Eduardo Galeano’s anti-colonial page-turner, Open Veins of Latin America?—?incidentally penned the same year Pinochet came to power, brutally crushing the dream of democratic socialism in Chile. But I don’t think the chairman meant to call to mind the vampiric iconography of global capital. The dead sapping the living; the blood and sweat and tortured landscapes of extraction, especially in its colonial variant.

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Go there and read. More next week, if there is a next week.

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California Puts Up With Power Outages Again – When will Government and the Judicial authorities act

I mean how long does it take for people to put an end to this travesty. The response to dry weather and high winds or either is to shut off the power. Where in any other utilities playbook does it say this? California should take over the utility and run it like a public utility. The share holders should take a bath. Maybe a dime on the dollar.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/PG-E-power-outages-to-hit-nearly-30-000-customers-14849064.php

California Wildfires

PG&E outages: 144,000 Californians without power

About 48,000 Northern California homes and businesses — equating to about 144,000 people — were without power Wednesday in the latest round of PG&E’s precautionary outages.

The shut-offs affected far fewer people than the ones last month, which at their peak hit close to 3 million Californians. And there’s good news for those weary of blackouts: Rain could arrive in the Bay Area as soon as Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

By 5:30 p.m., the utility had given the all-clear to restore power to about 13,000 customers in Shasta, Tehama and Glenn counties, though most of them wouldn’t get their lights back until morning, PG&E officials said.

PG&E expected an all-clear for the remaining 35,000 customers around 2 a.m. Thursday. Power restoration would begin at daybreak, officials said.

PG&E canceled planned shut-offs for an additional 83,000 homes and businesses — affecting about 249,000 people — as conditions improved, making wildfires less likely. Late Wednesday, the utility decided to preserve power for another 9,400 customers in Butte, Yuba, Plumas and Tehama counties; 14,000 customers in those areas had been told to prepare for outages.

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Go there and get outraged over their outages. More next week.

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Rivian Could Be The Car Marker Of The Future – or a Billion Dollar bust

It is so hard to imagine that Bloomington/Normal may be the next Detroit. All that glamor. All those people. Well all those robots and some new people. All the international stylin.  All that money which means banks. It could also be well… a mirage. Still, Amazon is ordering vehicles already. Ford is the leader in self driving cars. This could be amazing. I can hold my breath for 2 or 3 years I guess.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/15/rivian-announces-700-million-investment-round-led-by-amazon.html

Autos

Electric truck start-up Rivian announces $700 million investment round led by Amazon

  • Amazon led a $700 million round of funding in Rivian, a Michigan-based electric vehicle startup.
  • Rivian plans to launch an electric pickup and electric SUV in the U.S. in 2020.

https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2019/04/24/rivian-500-million-investment-ford.html

Rivian Announces $500 Million Investment from Ford; Partnership to Deliver All-New Ford Battery Electric Vehicle

  • Ford and Rivian form strategic partnership through $500 million minority investment
  • Ford to build all-new battery electric vehicle using Rivian’s flexible skateboard platform
  • The investment is subject to customary regulatory approval; Ford’s Joe Hinrichs to join Rivian’s board of directors

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rivian-announces-350-million-investment-from-cox-automotive-300915155.html

Rivian Announces $350 Million Investment from Cox Automotive


News provided by

Rivian

Sep 10, 2019, 09:41 ET

PLYMOUTH, Mich., Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Rivian today announced an equity investment of $350 million from global automotive services company Cox Automotive. In addition to the investment, the companies will explore partnership opportunities in service operations, logistics, and digital retailing.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Pacific Gas & Electric Cuts Power To 600,000 – They are bankrupt as well

This is a travesty on so many levels. First at the corporate level, who ran this company into the ground? I mean seriously there are all kind of remedies for years, including burying power lines, and cladding power lines or leasing solar on customers roofs. To not do anything but take profit for thirty years should get someone jail time. Second, what about the employees? The Camp Fire was cause my a Power Pole that was ONE HUNDRED years old. Why did someone not take the damn thing down on their own initiative? Again – Jail Time. Where were the regulators? That should have made them create a revitalization and safety plans 30 years ago. Again – Jail Time.

http://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/us/pge-outage.html

PG&E Power Outage: Live Updates as Californians Face a Blackout

The second phase of a safety plan intended to prevent wildfires left hundreds of thousands more without electricity.

Right Now

Around 600,000 electricity customers were without power on Thursday morning.

SAN FRANCISCO – Large areas of Northern California remained without power on Thursday as a major outage rocked the region for a second day. About 600,000 electricity customers were affected on Thursday morning after the state’s largest utility carried out the second phase of its intentional power cut.

Pacific Gas and Electric said extreme winds overnight forced the additional shutdown, which the utility organized to prevent equipment from sparking fires.

The second phase affected bedroom communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and added to the hundreds of thousands of customers who had lost power on Wednesday. As of Thursday morning, the company had restored power to 137,000 customer

 

And here is a map to see if you or someone you love is effected.

http://critweb-outage.pgealerts.com/?WT.mc_id=Vanity_pge-outages

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Go there and weep. More next week.

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Tiny Houses Are Not For Everyone – Even if it is pretty nice in a pretty nice town

In a pretty nice part of town even. I like them, so I’ll just let her talk.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90407740/why-i-hate-living-in-my-tiny-house?utm_source=digg

Why I hate living in my tiny house

Small backyard houses get a lot of attention as a solution to the housing crisis, but it’s a different idea in theory than it is when you try to put it into practice.

When I moved from Brooklyn back to the Bay Area a few years ago, I thought, at first, that the apartment I found was charming. It’s also very small: At the end of a long driveway, inside a former garage, it’s 240 square feet, or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces.

I still live there—partly because rents in Oakland have surged more than 50% in less than a decade, and in a neighborhood where a typical one-bedroom now goes for more than $2,800, I can’t afford to move. I recognize the value of this type of tiny house, called an accessory dwelling unit or ADU, in theory. In built-up cities with little extra land and residents who fight development, adding tiny cottages in backyards is one way to help address the housing shortage. The small size saves energy and curbs my shopping habits, since there literally isn’t any room for, say, another pair of shoes. But I also question how well tiny homes make sense as a solution for long-term housing—and in some cases, as in the even tinier houses sometimes used as housing for people experiencing homelessness, I wonder if they can sometimes distract from other, more systemic solutions that are necessary.

As tiny houses go, mine is larger than some. One nearby shed-like cottage currently for rent on Craigslist is 120 square feet; another, which rents for $1,600 a month, is 200 square feet. A few miles away from me, a village of 8-by-10-foot tiny houses on wheels is under construction for homeless youth, with a separate communal kitchen and communal bathrooms. Hundreds of others are currently living on the street in much tighter quarters in vehicles or tents. While there’s no official definition for a tiny house, they’re generally said to be around 500 or fewer square feet, making my place somewhat medium-size as far as tiny houses go.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Things I Could Have Posted Today – Trump denies California’s ability to set fuel standards or Iran’s air strikes on the Saudi oil fields but

I chose to post about something more radical. INFRASTRUCTURE. The idea behind “keep it in the ground” is so subversive. That’s what the XL Pipeline was all about and why the itt was so hotly contested. If you can’t bring fossil fuels to the market; What good are they? Well, New York tried to do it through legislation, and things got hot right away.

https://www.globalenergyinstitute.org/epa-proposes-reject-new-yorks-keep-it-ground-scheme

May 28, 2019

EPA Proposes to Reject New York’s “Keep it in the Ground” Scheme

Heath Knakmuhs

Last September, I wrote about one of the boldest efforts yet by New York to halt energy infrastructure in its tracks.  This effort utilized a little-known provision of the Clean Air Act – the “good neighbor” provision at Section 126(b) – to argue that hundreds of energy-related and manufacturing facilities located across nine “upwind” states should be subject to additional, costly controls and limitations in order to assist New York in meeting its air quality obligations under 2008 and 2015 national ozone air quality standards.  Last week, the Federal Register published the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to reject New York’s far-reaching petition, providing momentary relief to the thousands of workers across nine states that found themselves within the crosshairs of New York’s “keep it in the ground” ideology.

With this week’s EPA action, the comment period is now officially open for the public to weigh-in on whether it supports – or opposes – New York’s attempt to curtail or shut down legitimate business activities across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  If you live in any one of these states, and particularly if you live near or work at any of the many facilities targeted (pages 33-42) by New York’s petition, now is the time for you to speak up.

Take a good look at the map below to see the locations of the many facilities targeted by New York’s petition.  Not surprisingly, power plants and refineries are major targets, but so are countless other facility types.  From a Pennsylvania facility that produces renewable energy from municipal waste to steel plants in Michigan to a box factory in rural Virginia, New York’s petition contorts the Clean Air Act well beyond the intended “major source or group of stationary sources” which are typically the subject of a state petition under Section 126.  Even a facility in western Indiana at Purdue University – which is more than 400 miles away from New York’s westernmost border – is targeted as a “bad neighbor” by New York’s complaint.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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