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Tag Archives: Energy

Check yourself – do you REALLY Stand with Standing Rock? 

People are putting their lives on the line to protect the waters in Standing Rock, but the choices we make every day mean that pipelines are being built through sacred sites, carrying fracked oil, and vast areas of wilderness are being destroyed for tar sand extraction.  Our climate is overloaded with carbon and the speed of the melt and change to our climate life-support system is staggering. The future for our children is looking uncertain. Do we really want to be a part of this?
http://www.ecohustler.co.uk/2016/11/14/check-really-stand-standing-rock/

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2017 in North America

 

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Drowning the world in oil

Scroll through Donald Trump’s campaign promises or listen to his speeches and you could easily conclude that his energy policy consists of little more than a wish list drawn up by the major fossil fuel companies: lift environmental restrictions on oil and natural gas extraction, build the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, open more federal lands to drilling, withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan, revive the coal mining industry, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. In fact, many of his proposals have simply been lifted straight from the talking points of top energy industry officials and their lavishly financed allies in Congress.If, however, you take a closer look at this morass of pro-carbon proposals, an obvious, if as yet unnoted, contradiction quickly becomes apparent. Were all Trump’s policies to be enacted – and the appointment of the climate-change denier and industry-friendly attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests the attempt will be made – not all segments of the energy industry will flourish. Instead, many fossil fuel companies will be annihilated, thanks to the rock-bottom fuel prices produced by a colossal oversupply of oil, coal, and natural gas.

Source: Drowning the world in oil – NationofChange

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2016 in North America

 

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Donald Trump’s Energy Nostalgia and the Path to Hell

Scroll through Donald Trump’s campaign promises or listen to his speeches and you could easily conclude that his energy policy consists of little more than a wish list drawn up by the major fossil fuel companies: lift environmental restrictions on oil and natural gas extraction, build the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, open more federal lands to drilling, withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan, revive the coal mining industry, and so on and so forth ad infinitum.  In fact, many of his proposals have simply been lifted straight from the talking points of top energy industry officials and their lavishly financed allies in Congress.

If, however, you take a closer look at this morass of pro-carbon proposals, an obvious, if as yet unnoted, contradiction quickly becomes apparent. Were all Trump’s policies to be enacted — and the appointment of the climate-change denier and industry-friendly attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt, to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests the attempt will be made — not all segments of the energy industry will flourish.  Instead, many fossil fuel companies will be annihilated, thanks to the rock-bottom fuel prices produced by a colossal oversupply of oil, coal, and natural gas.

Indeed, stop thinking of Trump’s energy policy as primarily aimed at helping the fossil fuel companies (although some will surely benefit).  Think of it instead as a nostalgic compulsion aimed at restoring a long-vanished America in which coal plants, steel mills, and gas-guzzling automobiles were the designated indicators of progress, while concern over pollution — let alone climate change — was yet to be an issue.

Source: Tomgram: Michael Klare, Donald Trump’s Energy Nostalgia and the Path to Hell | TomDispatch

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in North America

 

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What’s Happening in Standing Rock? 

Last week, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota emerged as climate change heroes when, with little political clout or media spotlight, they halted construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline. After tribal chairman David Archambault II and others were arrested for pushing past barricades to block excavating machinery, Leonardo DiCaprio tweeted that he was inspired, and Bill McKibben touted Native Americans as the “the vanguard of the movement.” As the tribe sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop crews from burrowing beneath the Missouri River immediately upstream from their land, the homely, unpronounceable hashtag #NoDAPL surged—short for No Dakota Access Pipeline.
Meanwhile, the defiance evoked America’s ugly racial past—and present. “It feels like 1875 because Natives are still fighting for our land,” tweeted Native American writer Sherman Alexie. Archambault could have been describing Ferguson or Baltimore when, in the New York Times, he decried racial profiling and claimed that “the state has militarized my reservation.” In a touch of epic derp that would be funny if it didn’t actually reveal how people of color are assumed to be violent, when the Lakota invited relatives to pack their peace pipes and gather with them in solidarity, the (white) county sheriff thought they meant pipe bombs.

http://www.outsideonline.com/2111206/whats-happening-standing-rock

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2016 in North America, Reportages

 

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Nuclear power – yes please. Hinkley Point – no thanks

Yes, I still believe that nuclear power can make a useful contribution to low-carbon energy. No, I do not believe that the new plant the government has just approved at Hinkley Point is part of that useful contribution. Far from it: this preposterous white elephant could scarcely be better designed to persuade people that nuclear energy is an expensive and dangerous distraction from the decisions we have to make.

Let’s start where all such discussions should start: at the most important place. The overwhelming priority for those who make decisions about energy must be to avert climate breakdown. They need to keep the lights on, but not by sacrificing the future welfare of humanity and Earth’s living systems. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. It is also better to curse the darkness than to burn your house down.

Source: Nuclear power – yes please. Hinkley Point – no thanks | George Monbiot

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2016 in Europe, Reportages

 

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The Rise of the Right and Climate Catastrophe

In a year of record-setting heat on a blistered globe, with fast-warming oceans, fast-melting ice caps, and fast-rising sea levels, ratification of the December 2015 Paris climate summit agreement — already endorsed by most nations — should be a complete no-brainer.  That it isn’t tells you a great deal about our world.  Global geopolitics and the possible rightward lurch of many countries (including a potential deal-breaking election in the United States that could put a climate denier in the White House) spell bad news for the fate of the Earth. It’s worth exploring how this might come to be.

The delegates to that 2015 climate summit were in general accord about the science of climate change and the need to cap global warming at 1.5 to 2.0 degrees Celsius (or 2.6 to 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit) before a planetary catastrophe ensues.  They disagreed, however, about much else. Some key countries were in outright conflict with other states (Russia with Ukraine, for example) or deeply hostile to each other (as with India and Pakistan or the U.S. and Iran). In recognition of such tensions and schisms, the assembled countries crafted a final document that replaced legally binding commitments with the obligation of each signatory state to adopt its own unique plan, or “nationally determined contribution” (NDC), for curbing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Tomgram: Michael Klare, The Rise of the Right and Climate Catastrophe | TomDispatch

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2016 in Reportages

 

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Standing Rock protests: this is only the beginning

A pioneer monument and a lot of state troopers with batons and riot helmets stood between the mostly young native activists and the North Dakota state capitol on Friday afternoon. Many of the activists arriving at the capitol’s vast green lawn hadn’t heard that the Washington DC judge had decided against the Standing Rock reservation Sioux lawsuit. That was the lawsuit asserting that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) had gone forward without adequate tribal consultation. There was a sign of anguish when the news was delivered by megaphone, and then, a few minutes later, shouts of joy as a young woman with a long black braid standing in the pouring rain announced the victory chasing the heels of that defeat.

Source: Standing Rock protests: this is only the beginning

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2016 in North America, Reportages

 

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A PIPELINE FIGHT AND AMERICA’S DARK PAST

This week, thousands of Native Americans, from more than a hundred tribes, have camped out on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, which straddles the border between the Dakotas, along the Missouri River. What began as a slow trickle of people a month ago is now an increasingly angry flood. They’re there to protest plans for a proposed oil pipeline that they say would contaminate the reservation’s water; in fact, they’re calling themselves protectors, not protesters.
Their foe, most directly, is the federal government, in particular the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has approved a path for the pipeline across the Missouri under a “fast track” option called Permit 12. That’s one reason the Dakota Access Pipeline, as it’s known, hasn’t received the attention that, say, the Keystone XL Pipeline did, even though the pipe is about the same length. Originally, the pipeline was supposed to cross the Missouri near Bismarck, but authorities worried that an oil spill there would have wrecked the state capital’s drinking water. So they moved the crossing to half a mile from the reservation, across land that was taken from the tribe in 1958, without their consent. The tribe says the government hasn’t done the required consultation with them—if it had, it would have learned that building the pipeline there would require digging up sacred spots and old burial grounds.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/a-pipeline-fight-and-americas-dark-past/amp

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2016 in North America, Reportages

 

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Bad News: We’re Actually Using More Fossil Fuels Than Ever 

Here’s the good news: Wind power, solar power, and other renewable forms of energy are expanding far more quickly than anyone expected, ensuring that these systems will provide an ever-increasing share of our future energy supply. According to the most recent projections from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy, global consumption of wind, solar, hydropower, and other renewables will double between now and 2040, jumping from 64 to 131 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs).
https://www.thenation.com/article/bad-news-were-actually-using-more-fossil-fuels-than-ever/

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2016 in Reportages

 

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The Oil World in Chaos

Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. Unlike other countries, which largely finance their governments through taxation, petro-states rely on their oil and natural gas revenues. Russia, for example, obtains about 50% of government income that way; Nigeria, 60%; and Saudi Arabia, a whopping 90%. When oil was selling at $100 per barrel or above, as was the case until 2014, these countries could finance lavish government projects and social welfare operations, ensuring widespread popular support.  Now, with oil below $50 and likely to persist at that level, they find themselves curbing public spending and fending off rising domestic discontent or even incipient revolt.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176145/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_the_oil_world_in_chaos/

 

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