March 2019 Newsletter

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March 2019
BARRIERS TO OVERCOME:   Global CO2 emissions rose 2.7 % Estimate for 2019 = 40.9 billion metric tons of C02. USA was up 2.5 %; China, the biggest carbon emitter, was up 4.6 %   * By 2025 US oil output will equal that of Saudi Arabia and Russia combined. * NAT GAS:  In 2017, U.S. #1 producer at 71.1 (Bcf/d) bil cubic feet per day, which is 20.0% share of the world’s total. Russia, in second place among countries, produced 61.5 Bcf/d. The entire Middle East produced 63.8 Bcf/d.

Pat Toomey, U.S. Senator, Pa. – A “Roadblock”  “Mindful of environmental concerns, I am committed to sensibly unlocking our nation’s energy resources and reforming regulations so that Americans can have access to safe, affordable energy. Over the past decade, domestic energy production, including natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, has proven to be a bright spot in America’s economic recovery. More affordable energy prices not only help Americans fuel their cars and heat their homes, but also help make American manufacturers more competitive in the global marketplace and create good-paying jobs. I understand your support for policies that reduce domestic carbon emissions, such as a carbon fee and dividend. However, I have concerns about this policy’s effect on the American economy and its potential impact on energy costs and job creation in Pennsylvania. ( All true-but ignores the Unacceptable risks- BH )

* Republican Attack on The New Green Deal:  -15 second ad in Texas: – Also See comments Republican congressmen & conservative groups. While most is just idle talk; some need to be considered if a joint path forward is to be done. Their theme was “huge cost for all those social & climate programs” (I suggest keeping climate solutions separate); & “‘big govt take over”; or “will destroy economy”; “beef is good:” “energy = jobs”…

“If the Cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world.” Jonathan Watts investigates concrete: the most widely used substance on the planet other than water, and the most destructive. (The Guardian)


CAN FORESTS ACTUALLY SAVE US BY SEQUESTERING CARBON? Canada emits roughly 700 megatonnes of CO2 /yr all sources. Canada has historically excluded land-use-related emissions and absorptions in its official accounting. Because our trees have actually hurt our bottom line. For the past 15 years, they’ve been “more of a source than a sink,” said Dominique Blain, a director in the science and technology of Environment and Climate Change Canada.  Canada’s managed forests were a net contributor roughly 78 megatonnes(insects/ fires/ etc). On average, areas subject to forestry activity have been a net sink of roughly 26 megatonnes annually since 2001. Our forestry practices would only negate roughly 4% of our greenhouse-gas output each year.

Trumps Presidential Committee on Climate Security. – lead by William Happer, a National Security Council senior director. Happer, an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University, has said that carbon emissions linked to climate change should be viewed as an asset rather than a pollutant. — The Trump administration’s most recent attempt to question the findings of federal scientists and experts on climate change comes after Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats delivered a worldwide threat assessment that identified it as a significant security issue.  As University of Hawaii Professor Camilo Mora put it: ‘When it comes down to climate change, we are talking about thousands of independent papers, from everywhere, finding exactly the same thing: that the climate is changing, that we are doing it and the impacts are pretty bad.”

British Petroleum (& all oil/ gas companies) – Real action or Hype? “Meeting the world’s growing demands for energy while also
greatly reducing emissions will require more than rapidly growing renewables – all forms of energy must be made cleaner, better, and kinder to the planet.“Building an GHG emissions reduction target into the reward of people throughout BP further underlines the importance we place on this work.” BP also expects natural gas to grow “robustly”, “supported by broad-based demand and the increasing availability of gas, aided by the continuing expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG).” BP expects that wind energy will increase by a factor of 5 by 2030 period; solar will increase by a factor of 10. Another highlight is BP’s bullish expectations on China. BP cites “the faster-than-anticipated pace of economic adjustment in China” as the most important factor driving revisions over the past 5 years of its Outlook as the country seeks to rebalance “its economy away from energy-intensive industrial sectors” and shifts towards “a cleaner, lower-carbon energy mix.”BP’s promises have been met with varying levels of concern and outrage. “A fortnight ago, BP’s Chair was unbelievably claiming the company’s strategy was ‘consistent with the Paris Goals’,” said Greenpeace UK Oil Campaigner Charlie Kronick. “Today his Chief Economist has blown his cover. BP plans to justify increased investment in fossil fuels by asking investors and young people to bet their lives on yet to be invented technologies. Yet again, BP is shamelessly exploiting the economic needs of developing countries to justify its pursuit of profit while conveniently choosing to ignore that those same countries are already experiencing the catastrophic impacts of fossil fuel driven climate change.”“Meanwhile BP hopes for a miracle while spending billions looking for more oil and gas, applying to drill for oil in the Mouth of the Amazon.
( Dale’s view that BP should be considered an ethical investment? Preposterous.”- BH)


POLICIES & ACTIONS NEEDED!!! Time To Wake Up: A Green New Deal.. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.. Feb 15, 2019..  
Climate Candidate :  Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “I would be the only one to say Climate change is the primary, foremost, mission of the United States. It is that it has to become the organizing principle throughout the federal government.” “The goal of a carbonless economy by 2030, outline Green New Deal, seems unrealistic to Inslee,” “In that time, he said, the country can put into place ambitious measures to combat climate change, but the full results would be realized only later.”      
Flawed analyses of US Auto fuel economy standards  The current administration proposes freezing CAFÉ at model year 2020, because “costs now exceed benefits”. We describe how the 2018 analysis hasfundamental flaws and inconsistences, is at odds with basic economic theory and empirical studies, is misleading, and does not improve estimates of costs and benefits of fuel economy standards beyond those in the 2016 analysis.  


Strengthened scientific support for the EPA’s Endangerment Finding for atmospheric greenhouse gases.. Philip B. Duffy & 15 other climate scientists   -We assess scientific evidence that has emerged since the U.S. EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for six well-mixed greenhouse gases and find that this new evidence lends increased support to the conclusion that these gases pose a danger to public health and welfare.

PATHS FORWARD: SOME WILL WORK, SOME WILL FAIL   In the US, there are more jobs in the solar industry than in oil and gas, and coal extraction.     
SMALL NUCLEAR: To a world facing the existential threat of global warming, nuclear power would appear to be a desperately needed source of power that does not produce CO2. However, with new reactors costing $7 billion or more, nuclear power struggles to compete with cheap natural gas, supplying just 11% of electrical power globally.  NuScale’s 350 employees have a small Fail safe modular reactor (SMR) that would take up 1% of the space & generate 60 megawatts. For about $3 billion, NuScale would stack up to 12 SMRs side by side, like beer cans in a six pack, to form a power plant. Or use 1 or 2 for cement or desalinization plants. The design is now working its way through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the company has lined up a customer to build a plant in Idaho by 2027.  
SOME OIL/ GAS PROGRESS: Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy German solar battery maker Sonnen, as the oil and gas major expands its electricity business in its bid for a bigger role in the global transition to low-carbon energy.Sonnen, has 40,000 battery systems worldwide, is the German market leader in home storage batteries and has expanded into electric vehicle charging systems. Sonnen has been one of the top competitors with Tesla’s Powerwall in the US home battery market. The company’s assets include proprietary software that optimizes a home’s battery use in combination with solar power. In May of last year, Sonnen deployed a “virtual battery” system in Germany, aggregating residential batteries into one-megawatt blocks. “If deviations arise in the grid frequency of 50 Hz, the energy storage systems are able  in a matter of seconds, either supply energy to the power grid or take energy from it—depending on what is currently required. ( Until now, it has mainly been CO2-intensive power stations that have been used for this primary balancing power – BH) Shell also purchased an electric vehicle charging startup called Greenlots, and acquired NewMotion, runs 30,000 electric vehicle charging stations in Europe.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND THE FUTURE OF OIL By Scott Bauer Feb 15, 2019 Just 2 % of all auto sales today are electric. By 2040, 30% of all new car sales may be electric. What does this massive increase of electric vehicles mean for the future of oil?  First China Matters most !The largest disrupter to the future of oil may be coming from China. China has ten EV manufacturers and targeting sales of more than 7 million EVs by 2025.  All auto mfgs must now make 10% of production EVs. Tesla has just broken ground on a massive gigafactory that will have capacity to manufacture 500,000 cars per year. (The largest EV market and cutting edge EV technology  (jobs!) will be in China – BH) But is the death of crude oil imminent?  It doesn’t appear to be and there is still reason for oil markets to be skeptical of a near-term massive decline.  Auto manufacturers need to reduce the prices of EVs and there are not enough fast-charging stations available for convenient long-distance travel.     Motiv Power Systems has delivered the first of seven fully electric mid-sized delivery vans to the United States Postal Service this week as part of a California Air Resources Board-funded program. Using Ford’s E-450 platform. Up to 85-mile range per charge


Negative Emissions Tech: Hopeful Technologies:  
“Can Carbon-Removal Technologies Curb Climate Change? Why we need to suck CO2 out of the air”(informative article) by Fred Krupp (president EDF), Nathaniel Keohane, and Eric Pooley  …  


Amazon: has come under fire for its failure to follow through on its 100% renewable energy promises for its data cloud service.  The com-pany announced – it plans to make all its shipments net zero carbon. The global online retailer expects to be able to ensure 50% of all
Amazon shipments are net zero carbon by 2030 thanks to improve-
ments in electric vehicles, aviation biofuels, reusable packaging, and renewable energy.   
Comments from readers: “What a bunch of happy horse****, Amazon plans to transition from USPS, FedEX and UPS, all of whom are pushing low emission vehicle strategies, to a fleet of 20,000 company owned diesel powered Mercedes Sprinter vans”. Greenwashing       __________________________________________________________________

Useful tool re: Coastal Flooding: Union Concerned Scientists: . Flood policy expert John Miller notes in a 2018 UCS study titled Underwater: Rising Seas, Chronic Floods,
and Implications for US Coastal Real Estate“I believe that we will see credit downgrades sooner rather than later. Property values will be impacted as chronic flooding increasingly manifests. Reinsurers will be wary ahead of exposure in coastal areas.” States with the
most homes at risk by the end of the century are Florida, with about 1million homes (more than 10% of the state’s current residential
properties); New Jersey, with 250,000 homes; and New York with 143,000 homes.    
Interactive but scary map of how your location will change with climate change in 60 yrs.
The CENTRAL CONTRADICTION of climate change is that it is at once the most epic problem that our species has ever faced yet it is largely invisible to the average human. The challenge for scientists is raising
the alarm on something that’s hard to conceptualize. But a new
interactive map ( ) may improve
our understanding. Click on your city, and the map will pinpoint a
modern analog city that matches what your climate may be in 2080.
New York city will feel more like today’s Jonesboro, Arkansas; the Bay Area more like LA; and LA more like the very tip of Baja California


BIOCHAR (recalcitrant carbon cpds made from biomass via
pyrolysis)  is used to both enhance crops and sequester carbon for
more than 100 yr..  IBI webinar “Carbon Sink Trading.” 
Hans-Peter Schmidt  

The Truth about Cheese:  If you think cheese is better than meat for both animal welfare and the environment, you need to think again.
We know that red meat has a very large carbon footprint relative to
other sources of protein; but dairy farming is a big GHG contributor.

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