Early this summer, a simple graph from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shocked even the most astute energy wonks. It showed that for the first time since the federal agency began keeping track, coal was no longer the dominant fuel used to generate electricity in the United States. Over the previous few months, the use of natural gas in power plants had risen so quickly that it accounted for as much electricity as coal, a far dirtier fossil fuel. (As usual, renewables such as wind and solar power flatlined near the bottom of the chart.) The milestone was just one more sign of a transformation in the energy prospects of the country—and probably the world. The sudden abundance of cheap natural gas has dramatically changed the way the United States produces and consumes energy, dwarfing the changes wrought by decades of subsidies and other incentives for the development of nonfossil…
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Human caused climate change is an agreed upon scientific fact. Every major scientific association in the world that deals with some aspect of climate change agree that human activity has increased the levels of carbon dioxide [CO2] in our atmosphere, and subsequently, the temperature of the planet. As a result, polar and glacial ice is melting at phenomenal rates, threatening to destabilize the salinity of the oceans, destroy whole ecosystems, and submerge thousands of miles of coastline around the world. In recent years we’ve seen record temperatures, extreme weather, and changes in animal migratory and breeding patterns. If we continue down the path we are on, seasons will be permanently altered, ecosystems and food systems will fail all over the world, species will slide into extinction at a rate unseen in millions of years, and human beings will face their most uncertain…
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Doug Grandt, climate warrior and friend of 350orbust, is inviting Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon and Eagle Scout, to become a climate hero. The world is desperately in need of visionary leadership from business leaders as well as political leaders, as we stand on the cusp of catastrophic climate change. Here is Doug’s recent video letter to Mr. Tillerson, Challenge of a Lifetime:
Please join me in encouraging Eagle Scout — and Boy Scouts national President and Exxon Mobil CEO — Rex Tillerson to play a prominent role.
I have asked him to change the course of human history with true climate solutions leadership this year.
Eagle Scouts should live by “We leave our campsites cleaner than we found them” as well as the Scout Law and Scout Oath. We share reverence for God; our family, neighbors and society; and our environment, which supports life for all species. Read…
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A recent New York Times article reported that energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S. from January-March 2012 were the lowest for the first quarter of the year since 1992. The CO2 emissions from energy consumption during this period of 2012 amounted to 1.34 billion metric tons, down by nearly 8% from a year earlier.
According to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s report, CO2 emissions during the year are generally highest in the first quarter because of the strong demand for heat produced by fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas. However, the EIA identified the confluence of three factors that contributed to this significant CO2 emissions decline:
The first factor is lower gas heating demand. This is mainly due to a mild winter when temperatures were markedly above the historical average for the season.
The second factor is reduced gasoline demand. This is mainly…
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Arctic sea ice contracts to its lowest level since records began. This has become a predictable August news story; it used to be a September story but the ‘summer minimum’ now happens earlier. In 2007, the IPPC predicted an ice-free Arctic by the end of the century. Most climate experts now say 2030; some even dare to say within 10 years.
In early August, melting sea ice opened the North East Passage along the coast of Russia and Scandinavia. Russia planted that flag on the ocean floor in 2007 for a reason; ‘Prirazlomnaya’ is the world’s first ice-resistant oil platform and will make Gazprom the first company to pump oil from the Arctic region.
Gazprom does not have an oil spill plan, the technology doesn’t exist to clean up spills in such low temperatures. Small operational spills, which happen all the time on oil rigs, are inevitable and will…
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I do not like to talk about politics here unless they affect the environment or free speech or freedom of and from religion. But I listened to the Romney speech last night and was appalled to hear no mention of concern for the endangered world environment, but also appalled to hear this backward-facing part of the “Romney Plan”:
“First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.“
We can see where the emphasis comes in that and what it means: a planned huge expansion of the extraction and use of the fossil fuels (with consequent huge amounts in the coffers of the oil, coal, and gas companies) that are already destroying huge tracts of land, polluting our air, and damaging and poisoning the water table. And of course there is nuclear energy with its…
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This article shows what can be achieved with a strong political leadership. While in the UK, we have a Government that keeps changing FITs (feed-in tariffs) for renewable technologies and is promoting large utilities companies with their Green Deal. The UK will not be able to survive what is ultimately going to come, in not that a distance future. Manchester City Council is the same, they keep claiming to be ‘Green’, whilst actually doing anything different than before. They constantly says they cannot do anything without others doing something as well. I think this article promotes the vision, that it can be done where there is the will.
pby Andrew, via CleanTechnica Government investment and support for clean, renewable energy development is paying off handsomely in Massachusetts, where the clean energy economy grew 11.2% between July 2011 and July 2012. The state’s fast-growing clean energy sector now employs 71,523 people…
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Ka Nui! Enough!
Join a coalition of local groups at a protest outside the NZ Petroleum summit 2012, and say “Ka Nui, Enough!” to the oil and gas industry.
Industries are literally counting down to this event, where the Energy Minister will speak on the government’s planned expansion of oil and gas extraction in New Zealand.
At a time when we should be transitioning towards clean energy and a sustainable and more equitable society, this government continues to push its “mine it, drill it” vision for Aotearoa New Zealand. This government is supporting an oil and gas industry which pollutes communities and our rural environment while bullying those who resist; all for the profit of a tiny minority.
With many in local communities across Aotearoa locking their gates to get oil and gas out of their back yards, it’s Wellington’s turn to show our support for the communities affected by…
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Australia’s climate policy just got even worse.
Last year when the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee agreed a carbon price, they also agreed a number of complementary measures, many arguably better than the carbon price itself. One of them was a floor price; it was scrapped last week. Another was that the Government would pay electricity generators a negotiated amount to close 2,000 MW of coal power – so-called “contracts for closure”. Guess what? Now it’s gone too.
Contracts for closure were supposed to be completed by June, but generators failed to accept the amount the Government was offering, so now the policy has been cancelled entirely. Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, announcing the cancellation of the policy, said “the companies themselves will make their own commercial decisions as to their future over time.” Allowing the coal industry to decide the future of the coal industry will not address…
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Australian households pay twice as much for electricity as Americans. The Australian Financial Review said today we paid 22.57c per kilowatt-hour in 2010/11 compared to 11.80c in the US.
THE nation’s dirtiest brown-coal power stations face a savage backlash from less-polluting coal facilities in NSW and Queensland, which are demanding that a $5.5 billion compensation package for the carbon price be radically revised after Labor’s backflips on key planks of the carbon policy.
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THE Orwellian name of the Gillard government’s carbon tax policy – Clean Energy Future – makes its aim of shifting electricity generation from the dirtiest power stations to the cleanest quite plain. Consumers are entitled to feel somewhat mystified that brown-coal generation – the highest carbon polluter – is largely unaffected by carbon emissions policy.
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