Category: Fossil fuels

Texas Blackout of 2021 Was Primarily a Human Failure | Washington Monthly

by James Cargas February 20, 2021 Politics Texas Blackout, 2021 Carlos Mandez waits in line to fill his propane tanks Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

New resilient and sustainable technologies are coming online, and regulatory and market changes can always stand to be tweaked. But the most immediate and impactful change must come from new energy leadership in Texas.

Texas Blackout of 2021 Was Primarily a Human Failure | Washington Monthly

Gas won’t fuel Australia’s recovery or reduce emissions. It’s a mirage | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Project

The truth is gas is both too expensive and too dirty. We’ve known this for nearly a decade

Gas won’t fuel Australia’s recovery or reduce emissions. It’s a mirage | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Vladimir Putin declares state of emergency in Arctic region over Norilsk fuel spill – ABC News

Smoke rises from chimneys of Norilsk Nickel's nickel plant which is pictured surrounded by snow.

Key points:

Greenpeace say the spill will “poison” the environment for years
Over 100 specialists have been dispatched to the area by the emergency services
An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the spill

via Vladimir Putin declares state of emergency in Arctic region over Norilsk fuel spill – ABC News

Prepare for war – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We have so many solutions, and the potential for massive change, more readily available than we realise.

What we lack is both the motivation and sufficient willingness in those whom we elect to turn their backs on the fossil fuel lobbyists and embrace a Brave New World!

via Prepare for war – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Burning Coal, Gas & Oil putting Millions at Risk of Starving

On current trends, higher CO2 concentrations could reduce iron, zinc and protein levels in the crops that feed the world by up to 17 percent by mid-century, they reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“Hundreds of millions of people could become newly deficient in these nutrients, primarily in Africa, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East,” lead author Matthew Smith, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told AFP.

“These are in addition to the billions of people already deficient that could see their condition worsen.”

via Burning Coal, Gas & Oil putting Millions at Risk of Starving

When will gasoline cars be illegal? France throws its Beret into the Ring | Informed Comment

Response to climate change is driven by three considerations: Public opinion, government policies and incentives, technology and its cost, and the market. The market is not, as some ideologues imagine, an independent driver of affairs; it plays by the rules set by the government and technology. But at the same time, the market is an efficient means of setting prices and distributing goods, and so has an enormous impact on consumer behavior.

Source: When will gasoline cars be illegal? France throws its Beret into the Ring | Informed Comment

Climate change: Netherlands on brink of banning sale of petrol-fuelled cars | Climate Change | Environment | The Independent

Europe appears poised to continue its move towards cutting fossil fuel use as the Netherlands joins a host of nations looking to pass innovative

Source: Climate change: Netherlands on brink of banning sale of petrol-fuelled cars | Climate Change | Environment | The Independent

$7.7 Billion Fossil Fuel Subsidies ‘Like Being In Bed With Big Tobacco’ – New Matilda

Calls for an end to fossil fuel subsidies are growing louder in the lead up to Treasurer Scott Morrison’s May 3 budget, with a diverse coalition of advocates demanding an end to the $7.7 billion free ride they claim the fossil fuel industry gets each year. At a press conference in Canberra this morning academics,More

Source: $7.7 Billion Fossil Fuel Subsidies ‘Like Being In Bed With Big Tobacco’ – New Matilda

Divestment Surges as Endowments Worth $3.4 Trillion Pull Funds From Fossil Fuels | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

The “writing is on the wall” for the fossil fuel sector as more than 500 cities, banks, universities, and museums across the globe, representing over $3.4 trillion in total assets, have now pledged to pull their funds from polluting industries.

Source: Divestment Surges as Endowments Worth $3.4 Trillion Pull Funds From Fossil Fuels | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

As Investment Advisers, The Liberals Make Alan Bond Look Good! LNP Investment Advice C Pyne

money fire

Late last year, I wrote about the Liberals’ criticism of the ANU’s decision to divest itself of shares in fossil fuel companies. As I pointed out, while this was considered “outrageous” by various senior Liberals, the shares being sold had actually been losing value, and apart from anything ethical considerations, it was possibly sound financial sense to sell.

When I’m wrong, I’m happy to admit it. Unfortunately, for those Liberals who I intend to mock mercilessly, this isn’t one of those times. Santos shares have continued to dive and I just noticed this little gem:

Santos shares “worthless” say Credit Suisse.

Now, just last October, Christopher Pyne labelled the ANU’s decision to sell “bizarre” and Jamie Briggs says that he wrote to the Vice-Chancellor  demanding an explanation. Well, I can give Mr Briggs an explanation – the shares are now almost half what they were when they were sold.

Perhaps, that should be one of the Labor Party’s questions in Parliament. Are the Government ministers still critical of the move, or do they now concede that sometimes people in universities might actually know something, even if Andrew Bolt is better placed to lecture us all on climate change. Yes, I know that Bronwyn Bishop would rule it out of order, but it’d be fun to watch.

Just like it was fun to listen to Jamie Briggs tell an ABC interviewer this morning that her question was out of line because, of course Tony Abbott was concerned about the SA bushfires, why he’d commented in response to a question just yesterday, and Mr Briggs believed that he had spoken to the Premier offering whatever help they needed. The Premier’s Office seemed unaware of any such call – perhaps Mr Abbott should have told them who he was.

Here we have the question and response:

Question: And just finally, on the SA bushfires, will there be any assistance package for the people affected?


The standard national disaster relief and recovery arrangements are already in place. We will shortly have a little bit more to say on the Centrelink payments which are often made in circumstances like these. I have been talking regularly to the relevant minister, Michael Keenan, to Minister Jamie Briggs who has the electorate which has been most impacted by these fires.Obviously, Australian summers are prone to fire and flood. It is tragic that we’ve seen, yet again, the ferocity of Mother Nature, but the thing about Australians is that the worst in nature tends to bring out the best in us and that’s what we always see when our emergency services rush to help people in trouble and when communities rally around those people who have lost a very great deal.

Mm, can’t see why people who’ve lost their homes would feel that Tony’s response lacked empathy!

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Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC….100’s of scientists

Chimneys billowing smoke

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world’s electricity can – and must – be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050.

If not, the world faces “severe, pervasive and irreversible” damage.

The UN said inaction would cost “much more” than taking the necessary action.

The IPCC’s Synthesis Report was published on Sunday in Copenhagen, after a week of intense debate between scientists and government officials.

It is intended to inform politicians engaged in attempts to deliver a new global treaty on climate by the end of 2015.

The report says that reducing emissions is crucial if global warming is to be limited to 2C – a target acknowledged in 2009 as the threshold of dangerous climate change.

The report suggests renewables will have to grow from their current 30% share to 80% of the power sector by 2050.

In the longer term, the report states that fossil fuel power generation without carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology would need to be “phased out almost entirely by 2100”.

‘Science has spoken’

The Synthesis Report summarises three previous reports from the IPCC, which outlined the causes, the impacts and the potential solutions to climate change.

It re-states many familiar positions:

  • Warming is “unequivocal” and the human influence on climate is clear
  • The period from 1983 to 2012, it says, was likely the warmest 30 year period of the last 1,400 years
  • Warming impacts are already being seen around the globe, in the acidification of the oceans, the melting of arctic ice and poorer crop yields in many parts
  • Without concerted action on carbon, temperatures will increase over the coming decades and could be almost 5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century

“Science has spoken,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side.”

Ban Ki-moon: Inaction on climate change “will cost heavily”

“There is a myth that climate action will cost heavily,” said Mr Ban, “but inaction will cost much more.”

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, described the report as “another canary in the coal mine”.

“Those who choose to ignore or dispute the science so clearly laid out in this report do so at great risk for all of us and for our kids and grandkids,” Mr Kerry said in a statement.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey described the report as the “most comprehensive, thorough and robust assessment of climate change ever produced”.

“It sends a clear message that should be heard across the world – we must act on climate change now. It’s now up to the politicians – we must safeguard the world for future generations by striking a new climate deal in Paris next year,” he said.

“The UK has been leading the world and bringing the world with us. The historic agreement to cut carbon emissions in Europe by at least 40 per cent by 2030 effectively means our Climate Change Act is being replicated across Europe, just as it’s being copied in countries across the world as they seek to cap and cut their own emissions.”

Blunt language

Prof Myles Allen from Oxford University, a member of the IPCC core writing team, said: “We can’t afford to burn all the fossil fuels we have without dealing with the waste product which is CO2 and without dumping it in the atmosphere.”

“If we can’t develop carbon capture we will have to stop using fossil fuels if we want to stop dangerous climate change.”


Analysis: David Shukman, BBC science editor

The language in the UN’s climate reports has been steadily ratcheted up over the years, but this publication lays out the options more bluntly than before.

The conclusion that fossil fuels cannot continue to be burned in the usual way – and must be phased out by the end of the century – presents governments with an unusually stark choice.

The IPCC has tried to make it more palatable by saying that fossil fuel use can continue if the carbon emissions are captured and stored.

But so far the world only has one commercially-operating plant of that type, in Canada, and progress developing the technology is far slower than many had hoped.

So this raises the difficult question of how key governments are likely to respond.

Events in Copenhagen back in 2009, when a disastrous and dysfunctional summit failed to agree anything substantial, showed how easily rhetoric crumbles in the face of economic pressures or domestic realities.


The report’s clarity of language over the future of coal, oil, and gas was welcomed by campaigners.

“What they have said is that we must get to zero emissions, and that’s new,” said Samantha Smith from World Wildlife Fund.

“The second thing is they said that it is affordable, it is not going to cripple economies.”

Fierce standoff

In the IPCC’s discussions on fossil fuels, there was a fierce battle over a chart that showed how much the electricity sector needed to curb its carbon, the BBC’s environment correspondent Matt McGrath reports from Copenhagen.

According to one observer, “the Saudis went ballistic” over the chart’s inclusion.

While arctic sea ice is melting at an alarming rate, Antarctic sea ice at record levels, Dr Helen Czerski reports

Another significant fight was over the inclusion of text about Article 2 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

It quickly became a standoff between those who want the focus to be on cutting emissions against those who think the right to develop economies must come first.

An unlikely alliance between Bolivia and Saudi Arabia ultimately saw the section dropped entirely from the underlying report.

Some of those attending the talks said that tackling climate change and sustainable development went hand in hand.

“Different countries come to different perspectives” said Prof Jim Skea from Imperial College and a review editor of the report.

“But from the science perspective, we need them both. We need to walk and chew gum at the same time.”