PG&E Pleads Guilty To Murder – Closes docket for the Camp Fire for criminal charges

Does that mean they will stop the Blackouts after the winds reach 40 miles an hour? Does that mean they will go out of business? Or does that mean they will become a nice reasonable caring utility company committed to the community of central California? I got my doubts about the last but we shall see in a year for sure.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-23/pge-pleads-guilty-to-84-counts-of-manslaughter-over-paradise-fire

California

PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter over Camp fire

In a federal filing Monday permanently documenting its role in causing California’s deadliest wildfire, Pacific Gas & Electric announced it has pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 2018 Camp fire in the Northern California town of Paradise.

PG&E, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said it reached the settlement with the Butte County district attorney’s office on March 17. Under the deal, PG&E said prosecutors won’t pursue further criminal charges, an outcome that disappointed some utility watchdogs.

This is the second time PG&E’s guilt has been established in a wildfire legal proceeding. In 1997, a Nevada County jury found the utility guilty of causing a fire three years earlier that burned a dozen homes.

But while this chapter of PG&E’s role in the Camp fire is over, the plea‘s implications for other utilities is less clear, said Shon Hiatt, an associate professor of management and organization at USC’s Marshall School of Business.

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Go there and read. Please Think. 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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America Wastes More Energy Than It Uses – This is so disturbing that it could kill us

Think about it. Global Warming is speeding up and this could be why. We are literally consuming ourselves to death with no mechanism to stop it. Should we start singing “Good Night Irene”?

https://digg.com/2020/how-america-uses-its-energy-visualized

WHAT AMERICA RUNS ON

How America Uses Its Energy, Visualized

· Updated:

America is consuming more energy than ever before, according to the Energy Information Administration. With scientists sounding the alarm that we need to reduce our usage of greenhouse gas-intensive fuels soon, it’s interesting to take a look at what sources from which we derive all of our energy.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory crunched the numbers, looking through data from the EIA, and produced an energy flow chart depicting energy by sector and source — including solar, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass and petroleum. See the full-sized image here.

One key takeaway from the energy flow chart is how much energy we waste (labeled in the chart as “rejected energy”), the vast majority of which seemingly comes from fossil fuel sources. The reason why “rejected energy,” the waste heat resulting from the process of electricity generation, occupies such a large part of the system is mostly due to the inefficiency of our current energy systems.

And as you can also see from the chart, despite the dogged efforts of figures like Elon Musk, who has grand ambitions for his solar business, America’s biggest energy product is still petroleum.

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Go there and stare. There is no more to read. More if there is a next week.

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Louisiana Is Drowning In Toxic Pollution – Propublica chronicles it all

This is kinda funny because my blog is an accumulator blog and these guys are the maximum accumulators. Having lived in New Orleans for 12 years you can smell it, you can taste and there are days when you just should stay inside. Then there is the urban detritus, it rained 110 inches one year and the flooding was horrid. Walking through the water everyday I faced motor oil, gasoline and even used syringes.

https://www.propublica.org/series/polluters-paradise

Polluter’s Paradise

Environmental Impact in Louisiana

The petrochemical industry has grown in Louisiana, with more plants on the way, but the state’s environmental regulations haven’t kept up.

the first Article:

https://www.propublica.org/article/how-oil-companies-avoided-environmental-accountability-after-10.8-million-gallons-spilled

How Oil Companies Avoided Environmental Accountability After 10.8 Million Gallons Spilled

Louisiana still hasn’t finished investigating 540 oil spills after Hurricane Katrina. The state is likely leaving millions of dollars in remediation fines on the table — money that environmental groups say they need as storms get stronger.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, while stranded New Orleanians flagged down helicopters from rooftops and hospitals desperately triaged patients, crude oil silently gushed from damaged drilling rigs and storage tanks.

Given the human misery set into motion by Katrina, the harm these spills caused to the environment drew little attention. But it was substantial.

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Go there and read at least 15 articles. 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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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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Greta Thunberg – I can’t say it better or louder

In the past 12 years I have never posted an entire work. That is kind of the point here. To get you to go to other sites and read. Maybe on your own to go to another link to expand your world or you knowledge base. But Greta said it so well and what she said is so important that I am going to put it all up here. I am going to put up a link so NBC gets credit but there isn’t anything extra there.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/read-greta-thunberg-s-full-speech-united-nations-climate-action-n1057861

My message is that we’ll be watching you.

This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that. Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act then you would be evil and that I refuse to believe.

The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

Fifty percent may be acceptable to you, but those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice.

They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.

So a 50 percent risk is simply not acceptable to us, we who have to live with the consequences.

How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as usual and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than eight and a half years.

There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable and you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

You are failing us, but the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you and if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up and change is coming, whether you like it or not.

Thank you.

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Thats all folks. More next week.

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The Right To Repair Movement – Could it repair the Earth

This starts out as a technology issue. Farmers wanted to repair their tractors. Smart phone users wanted to repair their phones. But it turns out that if you follow that thread it leads to wanting to repair everything. Our broken economic system. To fixing Silicone Valley’s technology spew. Fixing our infrastructure so that it works. Not descarfing it and getting new. Maybe even preventing Global Warming. Too tall a task. Maybe not.

https://repair.org/standards

Green standards for electronics establish a consistent set of environmental leadership criteria for the design, use, and end-of-life phases of electronics. Since their initial development, green U.S. electronics standards have successfully pushed manufacturers to incorporate key performance criteria, including requirements for recycled plastics, the reduction of hazardous materials, end-of-life management, and energy efficiency. Historically, by setting a high bar and rewarding significant advances in green design, such mandates have shaped electronics design for the better.

Yet these standards—both in and out of development—have become increasingly ineffectual, as electronics manufacturers now constitute a large voting bloc on most U.S. green standards groups. Standards are arduous to update, and the criteria are often too easy for manufacturers to achieve. Thus, electronics standards, more and more often, fail to function as tools of environmental leadership. Industry and purchasers rely on these standards for guidance in identifying sustainable products—which further perpetuates the low bar that has been set.

U.S. green standards could again lead, were they to integrate challenging, inspiring green design criteria, including (but not limited to) guidelines for increased reuse and repair. Unfortunately, manufacturers have consistently opposed stronger reuse and repair criteria. As a result, green standards have systemically failed to incorporate strong policies that would enable repair, reuse, and product life extension for electronics.

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Go there and consume the whole website. Mor next week.

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Energy Efficiency In The Home – A fan sends me an excellent guide

I know it has been a while since I have put anything up about Residential Energy  Use, which is where this BLOG started out but we get requests from organizations to get a plug and so here you go.

Tyler <tyler@greenteensclub.org>
To:info@censys.org
Aug 7 at 1:01 PM

Hi there,

My name is Tyler and I’m a member of GreenTeensClub. We’re spreading resources that help make our planet a little healthier, like this home energy efficiency guide: https://www.basementguides.com/basement-and-home-energy/

I think your site is a great place to share this resource: http://censys.org/date/2015/05

The page includes the biggest culprits of energy waste in a home, tips for locating the source of energy-waste issues, and how to lower your bills while reducing your footprint.

Please help us spread awareness of the importance of making homes more energy efficient. Even if we only get a few people to make minor changes, then we’ve made a huge difference.

Thanks!
Tyler

GreenTeensClub

Basement And Home Energy

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Go there and read. More next week.

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