Biden’s Got A Shitload Of Work To Do – Saving the environment from the cheeto burrito will be hard

From the XL Pipeline, to “saving” coal, to selling off Public Lands Trump did everything he could to gut environmental regulations and destroy the Environment. Here is some of what it is going to take to undue it, including probably 30 or 40 Executive Orders.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/on-climate-biden-must-do-more-than-undo-trumps-damage/

Climate

On Climate, Biden Must Do More Than Undo Trump’s Damage

The new administration cannot just go back to the future on carbon emissions

On Climate, Biden Must Do More Than Undo Trump's Damage
Credit: Egle Plytnikaite

One word sums up what the Biden administration must do to address climate change: restart.

In 2015 nearly 200 nations committed to the Paris Agreement, which aims to prevent the worst impacts of climate change by limiting global warming by 2100 to less than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The U.S. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Then Donald Trump was elected president. He soon announced that the U.S. would pull out of the accord, and his administration spent four years relentlessly rolling back regulations intended to curb emissions and protect the environment. Dozens of coal-burning power plants, the worst carbon polluters, shut down anyway as market forces expanded the role of cheaper, cleaner natural gas, wind and solar power. And various states, cities and industries cut emissions. Yet even with that progress, Trump’s rollbacks could add the equivalent of 1.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2035, according to the Rhodium Group, an independent research organization.

Joe Biden must now make up for lost time, and last November he said the U.S. would rejoin the Paris Agreement immediately after he became president. This commitment is important because the U.S. is still the world’s second-largest emitter, behind China, and it can return as a world climate leader. But Biden will also have to ratchet up the original U.S. pledge because warming—and its effects—has only sped up since the Paris Agreement was established. Biden promised to issue an executive order calling for net-zero emissions by 2050, but he will need to set specific interim targets. The World Resources Institute says reducing emissions to 45 to 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 could put the country on track.

Congressional legislation is the most effective way to create the concrete policies needed to achieve those goals because it gives federal agencies clear priorities, is much harder to override with presidential actions, and can better withstand legal challenges that might be brought by industry or special-interest groups. But the divided U.S. Senate will make sweeping laws hard to pass. Biden will have to work through executive orders and will have to charge federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency with issuing new regulations under existing laws such as the Clean Air Act. He will need to “turn every stone possible,” says Narayan Subramanian, an environmental lawyer working with the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at Berkeley Law. The most immediate focuses are transportation, power plants, methane emissions and pesky hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

With coal plants retiring, transportation has surpassed power generation as the country’s largest carbon emitter. The quickest action Biden can take to tackle those emissions is to reinstate California’s waiver to the Clean Air Act, allowing the state to enforce its Advanced Clean Cars regulations. The regulations set fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light-duty trucks that are tougher than federal rules, which means fewer emissions. In the past, automakers have built their nationwide fleets to meet the state’s standards to avoid making two versions of their vehicles, and some states, such as New York, typically follow California’s lead. The Rhodium Group estimates that reinstating the waiver would save about 573 million metric tons of emissions by 2035.

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Go there and sob. (at least he is gone) More next week.

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Energy Subsidies Are A Waste Of Time – Do you want to live in the past

The fact that we are still subsidizing old dirty forms of Energy says a lot about us and how the Energy Giants have corrupted our culture.

www.nytimes.com/2020/12/02/opinion/oil-gas-companies-public-land.html

End the Taxpayer Giveaway to Big Oil and Gas

Congress should raise the royalty rates on federal lands.

By Tom Udall and

Senator Udall is a Democrat from New Mexico. Senator Grassley is a Republican from Iowa.

One hundred years ago, Congress passed the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, setting up a system in which companies lease public lands to wrest valuable oil and gas from the ground. In the century since, the royalties and rent that those corporations pay to the American people for access have remained essentially unchanged even as the scale of development and profits has grown hugely.

As senators from different parties, we have our share of policy differences. But we both believe in sticking up for the public interest and the taxpayer. In this case, we agree that oil and gas companies should pay fair market value for the public resources they extract and sell. They aren’t doing that now — not even close — and the American public is the big loser.

That’s why we introduced the Fair Returns for Public Lands Act this year to reform the antiquated law that governs royalties and the leasing of public land.

The country’s economy and the oil and gas industries have changed significantly since 1920. Automobiles had just started to replace the horse and buggy, and the oil industry was a relatively new enterprise dominated by the successors of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. Yet, since then, the federal royalty rate for oil and gas on public lands has remained steady, at a bargain-basement 12.5 percent of the value of what’s extracted.

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No Such Thing As The Greatest Generation – I prefer to call them the Great Destroyers

Please see this reference for the greatest generation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatest_Generation

They were the Great Destroyers of the Earth. If you were an alien and you flew by in 1944, What would you see? Mass destruction everywhere. If you knew nothing of Earth’s politics you would conclude that everyone on Earth was conspiring to to destroy it. Ruined cities, smashed food systems, and destroyed food supplies. Men and Women in chains; babies slaughtered.

If you flew by 60 years later (a blink of an alien eye), say on a return trip, what would you see? A continued pattern of destruction. Befouled air. Fossil Fuels being sucked out of the ground and spewed everywhere, including most destructively, the Oceans. Food systems collapsing. Filth piled in heaps and buried or burned. Men and Women in chains; children being caged, trafficked, and killed. What would you conclude? That a Generation of Destroyers was coming to its “natural” conclusion.

Greatest Generation? Hardly. Then there is Nuclear Power – which they created and they used. Think about it.

I rarely write original material. But after seeing the current National Geographical article on Veterans I could not help myself.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/05/last-voices-of-world-war-2/

Go there and read.

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Please think about this. More next week.

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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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Climate Change Is Speeding UP – Those pesky Feedback Loops l

Only speculated on several years ago. Feedback Loops are things that speed up or slow down climate change. The two that concern us here are the most obvious, clouds and ice shrinkage. The more water in the atmosphere the more clouds and the hotter the earth – the more water. But the killer one is, ice is very very reflective. What replaces it it is not and in the case of “dark” water, it is incredibly absorptive. The question has always been when would they kick in? I always said we would know when it was too late. Here we are.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-02-03/climate-models-are-running-red-hot-and-scientists-don-t-know-why?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, and Scientists Don’t Know Why

The simulators used to forecast warming have suddenly started giving us less time.

There are dozens of climate models, and for decades they’ve agreed on what it would take to heat the planet by about 3° Celsius. It’s an outcome that would be disastrous—flooded cities, agricultural failures, deadly heat—but there’s been a grim steadiness in the consensus among these complicated climate simulations.

Then last year, unnoticed in plain view, some of the models started running very hot. The scientists who hone these systems used the same assumptions about greenhouse-gas emissions as before and came back with far worse outcomes. Some produced projections in excess of 5°C, a nightmare scenario.

The scientists involved couldn’t agree on why—or if the results should be trusted. Climatologists began “talking to each other like, ‘What’d you get?’, ‘What’d you get?’” said Andrew Gettelman, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, which builds a high-profile climate model.

“The question is whether they’ve overshot,” said Mark Zelinka, staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  Researchers are starting to put together a­nswers, a task that will take months at best, and there’s not yet agreement on how to interpret the hotter results. The reason for worry is that these same models have successfully projected global warming for a half century. Their output continues to frame all major scientific, policy and private-sector climate goals and debates, including the sixth encyclopedic assessment by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change due out next year. If the same amount of climate pollution will bring faster warming than previously thought, humanity would have less time to avoid the worst impacts.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Pollute Till People Die _ Why does every developing Nation have to go through this

Pollute till rivers catch fire.(like America) Pollute till people die and slums burn down. (like England) Blow up a Nuclear Power Plant. (like the Soviet Union or Japan) Pollute until thousands die. (like India). But does India Come around after Bhopal. Hell no!

There is this:

https://www.dw.com/en/new-delhi-schools-closed-as-air-pollution-worsens/a-51235841

Then there is this:

DW recommends

 

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

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Murray Coal Goes Bankrupt – Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy

Mr. Coal goes down and the media want us to cry over his breathing difficulties. What do you want to bet it ain’t black lung. This is the guy who pioneered Mountain Top Removal. This is the guy that was responsible for the biggest mine disaster in recent history that killed men and women. This is the guy who got Trump to be “Pro Coal” and roll back environmental regulations that have poison our air. Now people’s pensions are threatened. It doesn’t get nastier than this.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/01/business/murray-energy-coal-bankruptcy-pension/index.html

‘Nervous and scared.’ Coal workers fear for pensions after Murray Energy bankruptcy

New York (CNN Business)Tom Kacsmar worked underground at a coal mine for nearly four decades. The promise of a decent pension and healthcare for life kept him at this dangerous job.

Now, Kacsmar fears those benefits will get washed away by the bankruptcy of Murray Energy, America’s largest private coal mining company.
“I was a proud, hard-working coal miner my entire life. With the stroke of a pen, they’re going to cut my healthcare,” the 76-year-old retiree told CNN Business.
Kacsmar never worked a day for Murray Energy, the mining giant founded by coal king Robert Murray. But like countless other retirees, the fate of his benefits is inextricably linked to the company, which is seeking to “dramatically” slash its liabilities, including $8 billion of pension and retiree healthcare obligations.

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Go there and read. More next week. Coal is dying. YAA

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Trump Causes Downturn In Air Quality – One single man in three years kills thousands

That’s right. The Dumb Ass In Chief has repealed so many EPA rules, that in three years, America has suffered a noticeable decline in air quality. Enough so that people with lung difficulties are dying, as well as young children. But is the Orange Valdemort done? Not by a long shot.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-battle-california-heats-climate-172050506.html

Trump Battle With California Heats Up With New Climate Suit

Jennifer A. Dlouhy
Bloomberg  

(Bloomberg) — The Trump administration on Wednesday launched a legal assault on another of California’s plans to combat climate change, filing a lawsuit challenging the state’s carbon-cutting pact with Quebec.

The lawsuit, filed in a Sacramento-based U.S. district court, argues the state stepped outside its proper constitutional lane by making a deal with the Canadian province on a cap-and-trade deal for limiting carbon dioxide emissions.

The move is the latest in a series of actions the Trump administration has taken against California as it simultaneously challenges the state’s authority to set aggressive greenhouse gas emissions-cutting mandates on vehicles and complains the state has been too lax in confronting local pollution problems.

The administration argues that the Constitution bars states from making treaties or compacts with foreign powers — like the regional cap-and-trade agreement California entered into with Quebec in 2013.

Such foreign policy matters are the purview of the federal government, the Justice Department asserts.

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Go there and (cough cough cough) 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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10 Trillion Dollar Climate Fight – A new book, a new argument

There is not much to say here. It is a new idea. If he is right then we are dead. It turns out that instead of NASA and the Moon, we should have been repairing our society, Many people said that at the time. I am ashamed I was not one.  I suppose I can be excused because I was 15 but probably not. Space was the big distractor.

The Real Reason the Climate Movement Has Failed

 

The Real Reason the Climate Movement Has Failed

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do instead to win.

If you think that climate change is turning out to be worse than anyone had thought, it’s not hard to find people who agree with you.

Just check out some recent headlines:

And after reading all those, the obvious question arises — “Climate Change: Why is it So Often ‘Sooner than Predicted’?” Fortunately, you’ll find the answer at Resilience.org: Climate science is still an inexact way of predicting the future. But mostly it’s because scientists are trying to spare us from hearing the worst, so they edit out some of the doom from their reports.

 

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Go there and read. More next week.

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