Europe has a problem that may soon become ours. Countries like Germany, Spain, and England are finding that their recent “green energy” experiments are proving too costly to continue. Between 2005—when the European Union adopted its emissions trading scheme—and 2014, residential electricity rates in the EU increased by an average of 63 percent. In Germany, rates increased by 78 percent; in Spain, by 111 percent; and, in the U.K., by a whopping 133 percent. Over the same decade, residential rates in the United States rose only 32 percent.
Exxon Mobil Corp. went to court Wednesday to challenge a government investigation of whether the company conspired to cover up its understanding of climate change, a sign the energy company is gearing up for a drawn-out legal battle with environmentalists and officials on the politically charged issue.
The company filed court papers in Texas seeking to block a subpoena issued in March by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of several government officials pursuing Exxon. Wednesday’s filing argues that the subpoena is an unwarranted fishing expedition into Exxon’s internal records that violates its constitutional rights.
Environmental activists met behind closed doors in January to coordinate on how best to get government prosecutors to go after ExxonMobil for allegedly misleading the public about global warming, according to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
“A key meeting in the new push unfolded in January behind the closed doors of a Manhattan office building,” the WSJ reported Wednesday. “The session brought together about a dozen people, including Kenny Bruno, a veteran of environmental campaigns, and Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, two activists who helped lead the successful fight to block the Keystone XL pipeline.”
An energy insider believes former Vice President turned hardcore environmentalist Al Gore is making public comments against ExxonMobil because he senses the upcoming presidential election may wipe out gains made by green groups over the past eight years.
“Al Gore has come out of hiding now that he may be sensing political victory on climate and energy policy based on the next presidential election,” Marc Morano, the founder of ClimateDepot.org, told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Wednesday.
Just a quick take on this morning’s U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, ‘Examining the Role of Environmental Policies on Access to Energy and Economic Opportunity.’ During the hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) demonstrated why the global warming debate so often gets sidetracked by nonsensical and incorrect assertions.
The senator made two statements that were both factually incorrect, demonstrating his obvious lack of understanding of even the most basic climate science.
The Democratic-Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders doubled down on Monday his commitment to ban fracking across the country at a New York rally. He renewed his focus to end hydraulic fracturing, a process to extract oil and gas from shale rock formations. This relatively new method has created a glut of oil and natural gas, and the savings have been passed on to consumers in lower electricity and gas prices. Energy analysts predict that the "resulting boom in traditional energy sources will allow the United States to overtake OPEC giant Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2020."
Global temperatures spiked during the last half of 2015 as a result of the strong El Nino and were still at very high levels relative-to-normal as recently as last month. In addition, global sea ice appeared to be impacted by El Nino as it took a steep dive during much of 2015 and remained at well below-normal levels going into this year. In the past couple of months, however, El Nino has begun to collapse and will likely flip to a moderate or strong La Nina (colder-than-normal water) by later this year. In rather quick fashion, global temperatures have seemingly responded to the unfolding collapse of El Nino and global sea ice has actually rebounded in recent weeks to near normal levels. --Paul Dorian, Vencor Weather, 11 April 2016
CCD Editor's note: Thanks to climatologist Judith Curry for bringing this to people's attention at her website. Below is a snippet based on what she thought was most relevant. Full article at American Interest (one free article per month to read):
The UN’s climate summit in Paris at the end of 2015 concluded with a bang. The world’s governments promised sweeping cuts in carbon emissions. Rich countries promised to help poor ones with $100 billion per year in climate assistance. The consensus quickly jelled that this was a major, historic achievement.
saying the energy revolution is akin to human slavery, your quality of life does improve with the increased use of fossil fuels. So says a new study published in the journal Global Environmental Change (h/t Raining Sky):Despite Bill Nye the 'science guy'
Must greater prosperity necessarily lead to a greater carbon footprint and increased greenhouse gas emissions? "In theory, no, but in practice this seems to be the case," says researcher Max Koch from Lund University in Sweden. His study of 138 countries is the first ever to take a global approach to the connections between growth, prosperity and ecological sustainability. The study was recently published in the journal article Global Environmental Change.
The environmental website DeSmog Blog released a video yesterday showing Bill Nye the "science guy" comparing the fossil fuel energy revolution of the last 150 years to human slavery. According to journalist Marc Morano, who interviewed Nye for the documentary film Climate Hustle, he was surprised to hear Nye compare a carbon-based energy revolution that has lifted more people out of poverty "akin to human slavery." Morano, who is also the writer and co-producer of the documentary, also turned down a $20,000 bet that the planet would keep getting hotter. (video after the jump)
Over 80 percent of China's wells is heavily polluted, according to new statistics reported by Chinese Media and the NY Times this week, raising new concerns about the world's most populated country. However, most Chinese cities get their water from deep wells and reservoirs, which weren't part of the study. Villages and small towns, which dot the countryside, use shallower wells and are the basis of the new report.
Developing countries that already have a high share of renewable energy in their power mix are unlikely to grow this share further due to skyrocketing demand for cheap electricity, a report warns. The study by intergovernmental organisation the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says that many developing countries made huge strides towards deploying renewable technologies over the past decade — but this rise is now levelling off. Instead, these countries are turning towards fossil fuels to meet the energy demands of their citizens, IRENA says. Renewables formed nearly 50 per cent of Indonesia’s energy mix in 2000, but this had dropped to under 40 per cent by 2013, the report found. China, India and Mexico have also seen their renewable share fall over this period. --Claudia Caruana, Sci Dev Net, 11 April 2016