I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
NEWS
+
VIEWS
June 15 2024

carbon emissions may be declining (slowly), EV sales grow worldwide, fossil-fuel industry disinformation still rampant, federal rules designed to accelerate new transmission lines, health benefits of reduced fossil-fuel burning already in the billions of dollars

An extraordinary economic transition is underway around the world to move our energy system from fossil fuels to renewables. According to the International Energy Agency, renewable-electricity capacity increased last year by almost 50%, and the transportation and building sectors are electrifying as well. (As Amory Lovins noted: “The energy revolution has happened. Sorry if you missed it.”) While the task before us remains enormous, we are making a difference. The New York Times reports that global carbon emissions in 2024 may be less than in 2023. Except for major economic recessions, this would mark the first time that the amount of emissions has declined year over year.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) describes the change in electricity sources, noting that the “world broke a record by generating 30 percent of all electricity from renewable sources in 2023.” This was primarily due to the rise of solar and wind, which increased by a factor of five in the U.S. from 2015-2023 (we produce more renewable electricity than any country except China). But to make the necessary progress toward climate goals, we must reduce fossil-fuel use. UCS notes that “per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the United States are three times higher than the global average and remain among the highest of all major economies.”

A key reason for this is the organized disinformation campaign of the fossil-fuel industry (the most recent example being the “Don’t Ban Our Cars” campaign, which equates tailpipe-emissions reductions with a ban on cars). The industry is doubling-down on these efforts as it becomes clearer that their efforts at deception have resulted in great harm for which they should be held accountable. The AP reports on a recent law in Vermont that requires fossil-fuel companies to pay a share of the damages caused by climate change, a response to costs incurred by the state from intense flooding and other extreme weather events. Similar measures are being considered by Maryland, Massachusetts and New York…

read more
May 31 2024

the grief of climate scientists, accelerating sea level rise along southern U.S. coast, extreme storm strikes Houston, the grim truth of Republican plans for another Presidential administration, septic tanks begin to fail in Florida

The scale of climate-driven change appearing on the planet, combined with inadequate efforts to transform our energy system, is leaving many climate scientists in a place of grief. The Guardian reports on its survey of climate scientists, in which almost 20% of the female scientists indicate that they did not (or are not going to) have children because, as one scientist put it, “the world is going to hell in a handbasket.”

80% of the respondents to the survey expect that global average temperature will be at least 2.5°C above preindustrial levels by 2100, while only 6% thought the ambitious international goal of 1.5°C will be met. “Many of the scientists envisage a ‘semi-dystopian’ future, with famines, conflicts and mass migration, driven by heatwaves, wildfires, floods and storms of an intensity and frequency far beyond those that have already struck.” (A separate article in The Guardian describes this unpleasant likelihood.) Jesse Keenan of Tulane University said, “this is just the beginning: buckle up,” while a South African scientist who chose anonymity stated: “The world’s response to date is reprehensible — we live in an age of fools.”

But before you throw up your hands, many scientists point out that we can still influence the outcome. Peter Cox of the University of Exeter said: “Climate change will not suddenly become dangerous at 1.5°C — it already is. And it will not be ‘game over’ if we pass 2°C, which we might well do.” As I’ve noted previously, the world we get will be the world we choose. We just can’t choose the world we’ve had…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES
 

NEWS
+
VIEWS
I’m going to do all this reading and research anyway… might as well share what I learn!
June 15 2024

carbon emissions may be declining (slowly), EV sales grow worldwide, fossil-fuel industry disinformation still rampant, federal rules designed to accelerate new transmission lines, health benefits of reduced fossil-fuel burning already in the billions of dollars

An extraordinary economic transition is underway around the world to move our energy system from fossil fuels to renewables. According to the International Energy Agency, renewable-electricity capacity increased last year by almost 50%, and the transportation and building sectors are electrifying as well. (As Amory Lovins noted: “The energy revolution has happened. Sorry if you missed it.”) While the task before us remains enormous, we are making a difference. The New York Times reports that global carbon emissions in 2024 may be less than in 2023. Except for major economic recessions, this would mark the first time that the amount of emissions has declined year over year.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) describes the change in electricity sources, noting that the “world broke a record by generating 30 percent of all electricity from renewable sources in 2023.” This was primarily due to the rise of solar and wind, which increased by a factor of five in the U.S. from 2015-2023 (we produce more renewable electricity than any country except China). But to make the necessary progress toward climate goals, we must reduce fossil-fuel use. UCS notes that “per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the United States are three times higher than the global average and remain among the highest of all major economies.”

A key reason for this is the organized disinformation campaign of the fossil-fuel industry (the most recent example being the “Don’t Ban Our Cars” campaign, which equates tailpipe-emissions reductions with a ban on cars). The industry is doubling-down on these efforts as it becomes clearer that their efforts at deception have resulted in great harm for which they should be held accountable. The AP reports on a recent law in Vermont that requires fossil-fuel companies to pay a share of the damages caused by climate change, a response to costs incurred by the state from intense flooding and other extreme weather events. Similar measures are being considered by Maryland, Massachusetts and New York…

read more
May 31 2024

the grief of climate scientists, accelerating sea level rise along southern U.S. coast, extreme storm strikes Houston, the grim truth of Republican plans for another Presidential administration, septic tanks begin to fail in Florida

The scale of climate-driven change appearing on the planet, combined with inadequate efforts to transform our energy system, is leaving many climate scientists in a place of grief. The Guardian reports on its survey of climate scientists, in which almost 20% of the female scientists indicate that they did not (or are not going to) have children because, as one scientist put it, “the world is going to hell in a handbasket.”

80% of the respondents to the survey expect that global average temperature will be at least 2.5°C above preindustrial levels by 2100, while only 6% thought the ambitious international goal of 1.5°C will be met. “Many of the scientists envisage a ‘semi-dystopian’ future, with famines, conflicts and mass migration, driven by heatwaves, wildfires, floods and storms of an intensity and frequency far beyond those that have already struck.” (A separate article in The Guardian describes this unpleasant likelihood.) Jesse Keenan of Tulane University said, “this is just the beginning: buckle up,” while a South African scientist who chose anonymity stated: “The world’s response to date is reprehensible — we live in an age of fools.”

But before you throw up your hands, many scientists point out that we can still influence the outcome. Peter Cox of the University of Exeter said: “Climate change will not suddenly become dangerous at 1.5°C — it already is. And it will not be ‘game over’ if we pass 2°C, which we might well do.” As I’ve noted previously, the world we get will be the world we choose. We just can’t choose the world we’ve had…

read more

IN BRIEF: PAST
CLIMATE NEWS

MORE MY TAKES