Greenland Ice Sheet Nears Tipping Point

February 06, 2019

New York Times: "Greenland’s enormous ice sheet is melting at such an accelerated rate that it may have reached a 'tipping point'and could become a major factor in sea-level rise around the world within two decades, scientists said in a study published on Monday."


PG&E: The First Climate-Change Bankruptcy

January 29, 2019

PGE_Truck.jpg

Wall Street Journal: "PG&E Corp.’s bankruptcy could mark a business milestone: the first major corporate casualty of climate change. Few people expect it will be the last."

"California’s largest utility was overwhelmed by rapid climatic changes as a prolonged drought dried out much of the state and decimated forests, dramatically increasing the risk of fire. On Monday, PG&E said it planned to file for Chapter 11 protection by month’s end, citing an estimated $30 billion in liabilities and 750 lawsuits from wildfires potentially caused by its power lines."

"The company’s fall has been fast and steep. In October, its market value was $25 billion. This week, it was removed from the S&P 500 as its value tumbled below $4 billion and its shares fell to their lowest level since at least 1972."


CO2 Emissions Increase Sharply in 2018

January 08, 2019

Rhodium Group: "After three years of decline, US carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose sharply last year.  Based on preliminary power generation, natural gas, and oil consumption data, we estimate emissions increased by 3.4% in 2018. This marks the second largest annual gain in more than two decades — surpassed only by 2010 when the economy bounced back from the Great Recession."

New York Times: "Under the Paris climate agreement, the United States vowed to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  The Rhodium Group report warns that this target now looks nearly unattainable without a flurry of new policies or technological advances to drive down emissions throughout the economy."


Bipartisan Climate Legislation Introduced

December 30, 2018

The Hill:  "A bipartisan group of lawmakers is introducing a landmark bill that would charge fossil fuel companies a tax for their carbon dioxide emissions."

"The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, announced by two Republicans and three Democratic members of the House on Tuesday, would charge $15 for each ton of carbon emitted into the air and would increase that fee by $10 every year afterward, in an effort to fight climate change. Other than administrative costs, all of the money would go back to taxpayers.

"Supporters say the bill would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in 10 years, and 91 percent by 2050. That’s a bigger cut than former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan or the United States’ commitment under the Paris climate agreement — a pact President Trump has promised to exit."

Citizens Climate Lobby: The Basics of Carbon Fee and Dividend

REMI Study: "The Economic, Climate, Fiscal, Power, and Demographic Impact of a National Fee-and-Dividend Carbon Tax"


Speeding Freight Train

December 07, 2018

Accelerated_Warming.png

New York Times: "Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are growing at an accelerating pace this year, researchers said Wednesday, putting the world on track to face some of the most severe consequences of global warming sooner than expected."

"Scientists described the quickening rate of carbon dioxide emissions in stark terms, comparing it to a “speeding freight train” and laying part of the blame on an unexpected surge in the appetite for oil as people around the world not only buy more cars but also drive them farther than in the past — more than offsetting any gains from the spread of electric vehicles."


Fourth National Climate Assessment

November 24, 2018

Washington Post: "The federal government on Friday released a long-awaited report with an unmistakable message: The effects of climate change, including deadly wildfires, increasingly debilitating hurricanes and heat waves, are already battering the United States, and the danger of more such catastrophes is worsening."

New York Times: "But in direct language, the 1,656-page assessment lays out the devastating effects of a changing climate on the economy, health and environment, including record wildfires in California, crop failures in the Midwest and crumbling infrastructure in the South. Going forward, American exports and supply chains could be disrupted, agricultural yields could fall to 1980s levels by midcentury and fire season could spread to the Southeast, the report finds."

Wall Street Journal: "The impact of global climate change is being felt across the country and, unchecked, could cause U.S. economic losses totaling hundreds of billions of dollars a year by the end of the century, says a new U.S. government report released Friday."

Fourth National Climate Assessment


Twelve Years to Catastrophe

November 14, 2018

IPCC_2018.fw_.png

Homer Microgrid News & Insight: "One of the more sobering conclusions of the IPCC report is that we are likely to reach a global average temperature increase of 1.5 ºC between 2030 and 2052.  2030 is twelve years from now.  The implication is that we need to make radical changes, starting immediately, if we expect to stay below the critical 1.5 ºC threshold."

 

"


Rapid Increase in Large Wildfires

November 14, 2018

Paradise__CA.jpg

 

New York Times: "The town of Paradise was essentially wiped off the map, with more than 13,000 homes gone, more than 80 people killed, hundreds still missing, thousands homeless — the deadliest fire in state history." 

New York Times: "California’s fire record dates back to 1932; of the 10 largest fires since then, nine have occurred since 2000, five since 2010 and two this year alone, including the Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest in state history."


Severe Climate Change Impacts by 2040

October 08, 2018

New York Times: "A landmark report from the United Nations’ Cover.jpgscientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has 'no documented historic precedent.'”

"The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population."

"The report was written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies."

IPCC Report


Most Americans Believe Environmental Laws Are Worth the Cost

October 07, 2018

Pew Research Center: "A majority of U.S. adults (59%) say stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost, compared with roughly a third (34%) who say such regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy."