donderdag 11 oktober 2018

Global Warming

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Message From the Editor
You’ve probably heard about the United Nation’s big climate change report this week.
It pointed out (among many, many other things) that in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5℃ (2.7℉) goal and avoid catastrophic climate change, coal’s gotta go.
As Dr. Joeri Rogelj, one of the report’s authors, told Graham Readfearn this week: “For coal the picture is the clearest.” That means no coal power by 2050.
And while Trump is trying to build up coal and other fossil fuels, Ashley Braun looked but couldn’t find a single example of a major new coal plant being built in the U.S. So, at least there’s that.
Have a story tip or feedback? Get in touch: editor@desmogblog.com.
Thanks,
Brendan DeMelle
Executive Director
By Dan Zukowski (6 min. read)
A quiet, sunny afternoon in New England quickly turned to chaos and tragedy as a series of 80 fires and explosions erupted across three communities in the Merrimack Valley north of Boston on September 13. Extreme overpressure in a Columbia Gas distribution system caused uncontrollable natural gas venting over a wide area, and the resulting blasts killed one and injured more than two dozen.
In the wake of this disaster, scientists and environmentalists are raising questions about the safety and climate impacts of Massachusetts’ aging natural gas infrastructure and the wisdom of continuing to rely on this fossil fuel.
Margaret Cherne-Hendrick, lead author of a 2016 Boston University study of natural gas leaks, cautioned, “This is a very delicate system. It’s a system that is piping a combustible gas into everybody's homes and businesses.” Read more.
By Graham Readfearn (5 min. read)
There is no scenario to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) that allows coal to be burned for electricity by the middle of this century, a major United Nations (UN) climate report says.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concludes human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have already pushed global average temperatures up by 1°C since the second half of the 19th century.
Warming is higher than the 1°C average over land, with temperatures as much as three times higher in the Arctic, causing melting. Extreme temperatures, rainfall, and sea levels have been pushed higher.
Massive and rapid transformations across societies will be needed to keep to a 1.5°C target, with dramatic cuts to fossil fuel use across all sectors of society. Read More. 
By Mat Hope (6 min. read)
The scientists are clear: “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed if the humans are going to prevent the world warming by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
This news — emanating from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) mammoth new special report —  comes as a surprise to almost no-one. Least of all the fossil fuel industry, which has known for decades that the carbon budget that keeps that goal within reach has been rapidly depleting thanks to its products.
So how did we get here, to a place where plotting a path to keep planetary warming within this highly desirable limit requires changes on a scale for which “there is no documented historic precedent”? Read more.
By Ben Jervey (3 min. read)
Americans For Prosperity (AFP), a political advocacy network funded by the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers, recently launched a campaign to support President Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back fuel efficiency and automobile emissions standards.
Through social media feeds of the many AFP state chapters, the group is promoting a petition to “Repeal Costly Obama-era Fuel Standards.”
“The Trump administration has proposed ending costly Obama-era fuel economy rules. This move will save money AND lives,” urged one Tweet from AFP’s national account. State chapters echoed variations of that theme. Read more.
By Itai Vardi (4 min. read)
A nominee to head a cutting-edge research program in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is personally invested in various natural gas-based utilities and gas pipeline companies.
In July, the Trump administration announced the nomination of Lane Genatowski to head the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which tries to bridge the gap between basic research and the commercialization of breakthrough energy technologies and is modeled after the Department of Defense program that led to the Internet and GPS.
While prior ARPA-E directors have usually been established scientists, Genatowski is an investor with virtually no technical background in energy technology development. Read more.
By Ashley Braun (6 min. read)
In August, President Donald Trump told a rally in West Virginia: “We are back. The coal industry is back.” And to be sure, Trump keeps trying to revive the dying U.S. industry by doing things like relaxing pollution rules for coal power plants, pushing initiatives to keep failing coal plants open, and nominating a pro-coal candidate as a federal energy regulator.
Despite all that, however, the outlook for coal, especially in the U.S., is actually pretty terrible, and reminders of this just keep coming.
For starters, the amount of electricity in the U.S. produced from coal is at a 35-year low due to market forces pushing a switch to natural gas, wind, and solar. And of all the coal mined in the U.S. in the first half of this year, 10 percent of it was headed to power plants scheduled to shut down by 2032. Not exactly a sustainable business plan. Read more.
By Olga Dobrovidova (3 min. read)
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin believes US President Donald Trump is open to international cooperation on climate change beyond the Paris Agreement so long as the global community does “not antagonise the relationship with the US”. Putin echoed Trump’s climate science denial, however, saying the reasons for global warming were “not entirely clear”.
Speaking at a major energy conference in Moscow, Putin told the audience:
“Without [the US] it would be impossible to reduce the influence of anthropogenic air pollution on the global climate even a little bit. Therefore, one way or another we need to involve the US in this discussion and this joint work.” Read more.
From the Climate Disinformation Database: Charlie Kirk
Charlie Kirk is the founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, a youth conservative activist organization with ties to the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers. Turning Point USA has helped organize opposition to student campaigns pressuring universities to divest from fossil fuels. This week Kirk is in the news for telling pop star Taylor Swift to “stay away from politics” after T. Swift posted on Instagram about a Tennessee Congressional race and urged her followers to register to vote.
Read the full profile and browse other individuals and organizations in our research database.

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