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The EPA found that fracking can impact drinking water quality.

In his final press conference of 2016, President Obama — in his usual, staid tones — fielded question after question about Russia’s alleged election interference.

But Obama also reminded us that at the heart of Russia’s economic interests and relative power is its backward status as a petrostate.

“They are a smaller country; they are a weaker country; their economy doesn’t produce anything that anyone wants to buy except oil and gas and arms,” he said. “They don’t innovate. But, they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. They can impact us if we abandon our values.”

The Washington Post calls Trump’s relationship with Russia “the most obscure and disturbing aspect of his coming presidency.” Trump’s choice of Exxon’s Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State only underlines this: At Exxon, Tillerson had deals worth billions of dollars with Russia, some of which can only move forward if the U.S. lifts sanctions on the country.

These deals are only worth billions, though, if fossil fuels maintain their value. The idea that there is a “carbon bubble,” and fossil fuel companies are dangerously overvalued, is a threatening proposition to a petrostate. And, most likely, a Trump administration.


For the first time in years, the cost of electricity at home has gone down.

Six of the eight U.S. senators from Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas are climate deniers, rejecting the consensus of 99.98 percent of peer-reviewed scientific papers that human activity is causing global warming. The exceptions are South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Florida’s Bill Nelson — the lone Democrat of the bunch.

Here are some of the lowlights from their comments on the climate change:

-Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who does not understand the difference between climate and weather, arguing against climate action in a presidential debate in March: “As far as a law that we can pass in Washington to change the weather, there’s no such thing.”

-Back in 2011, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr said: “I have no clue [how much of climate change is attributable to human activity], and I don’t think that science can prove it.”

-In 2014, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis claimed that “the liberal agenda, the Obama agenda, the [then Sen.] Kay Hagan agenda, is trying to use [climate change] as a Trojan horse for their energy policy.”

-Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson offered his analysis last year on whether the Greenland ice sheet is melting (it is): “There are mixed reviews on that, and there’s mixed scientific evidence on that.”

-Georgia Sen. David Perdue told Slate in 2014 that “in science, there’s an active debate going on,” about whether carbon emissions are behind climate change.


Anti-fracking activists hit a roadblock in Colorado


Anti-fracking activists hit a roadblock in Colorado

By on Aug 29, 2016Share

Two anti-fracking initiatives will not be on the ballot in Colorado this November, the Colorado secretary of state’s office announced on Monday.

Initiative 78 would have prohibited fracking within 2,500 feet of an occupied building and Initiative 75 would have allowed local governments to ban fracking. Previously, cities in Colorado have tried to ban fracking, only to have the bans overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Supporters gathered about 107,000 signatures for each initiative — in both cases, more than the 98,492 required. But the signatures have to be deemed valid by Secretary of State Wayne Williams. In a random sample of 5 percent of the signatures, he could only verify around 80 percent of them. Projecting that rate over the total number of signatures suggests that both initiatives would get around 85,000 valid signatures and fall short.

But Lauren Swain, an activist who worked as a paid signature gatherer for the initiatives and serves on the board of 350 Colorado, says the campaign will challenge Williams’ ruling. “There’s a high likelihood that the reasons are not valid” for throwing out signatures, she told Grist. She believes his office is biased against the anti-fracking movement, noting that his spokeswoman Lynn Bartels tweeted irrelevant and unflattering information about their petition gathering. Any challenge must be submitted within a month, so there should be a final answer on whether the initiatives will make the ballot by around the end of September.

Anti-fracking activists have faced overwhelming opposition from the state’s political establishment and fossil fuel industry. As Politico recently reported, “Two oil and gas companies with large footprints in the state, Noble and Anadarko, gave more than $11 million this year to Protect Colorado, an umbrella group launched to fight the initiatives. … The anti-fracking campaign, meanwhile, had raised just $424,000 as of Aug. 1.”

Williams is a Republican, but many Colorado Democrats, such as Gov. John Hickenlooper, also oppose the initiatives. “There’s not a lot of daylight between the parties when it comes to establishment politicians on this issue,” Swain said.

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Words Make Revolution

We feel the energy in “Black Lives Matter” and “We Are All The 99%” and “I Can’t Breathe.” The fossil fuel divestment movement doesn’t have that great rallying cry. “Leave It In The Ground” sounds like a placeholder for the shout that will stop the oil drill. Sitting in the white noise of downtown Manhattan, in the jarring construction and screaming cop cars – I ask myself why the Earth movement lacks its powerful spoken words that we all use. Re-purposing the word “Fracking” in “Frack-Off” and “No Fracking Way” and all those pungent near-profanities, does carry that punch because we shouted them. We watched grandmothers handcuff themselves to excavator equipment. Is it the physical activity during the actual use of the word that raises its decibel level? Yes. Words come from bodies and what bodies do to make words gives the phrases their mouth-to-hear magic. Words that only circle around safely inside the media don’t make change. The resistance to fracking and its pipelines was less effective when it was led by middle class institutions that were uncomfortable with the risk of arrest. But think of Gil Scott-Heron. We can hear Cesar Chavez, Nina Simone, Harvey Milk, Malcolm X — their voices ring out. They committed physically and spiritually and we listen to them. And we are aware as we listen to them that they were always at risk. We repeat their hot words to our fellow activists, and together we shout the words in rhythm as we do what always needs to be done to make change: trespass, shout, refuse and affirm and dare. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Solar Isn’t the Only Thing That’s Getting Cheaper. So Is Fracking.

Solar Isn’t the Only Thing That’s Getting Cheaper. So Is Fracking.

Posted by on Friday, October 16, 2015

Markets won’t break the grip of fossil fuels. That’s why we need government action.


Solar is exciting. Cheap solar is even more exciting. In fact, the increasing cheapness of solar is the most reliable good news story out there, when you happen to write about climate change.

Yeah, well, not so fast, says Michael Liebreich and Charles Blanchard, over at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. You want to know what else has fallen dramatically in cost over the last few years, besides solar? Drilling for oil and gas, that’s what.

Read the rest at Grist.

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Climate Change This Week: The Seafood Connection, Super Solar Chip, and More!

Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded. Macaws are just a few of the colorful unique birds found in Brazilian forests. Forests: the cheapest way to store carbon OO Brazil Announces Massive Reforestation and Renewable Energy Plan With U.S. – with both countries agreeing to obtain up to 20% of their electricity from renewable power by 2030. Brazil also committed to restore up to 12 million hectares of forest — an area about the size of England — to reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change. * * Understanding The Gigantic Ice Melt – it takes 360 gigatons of melted ice to raise the global sea level 1 millimeter (mm). Right now, Antarctica is doing that about once every three years, reports Chris Mooney at the Washington Post. Globally, though, sea level is rising at an increasing rate of roughly 2.5-3 mm per year. Greenland’s ice sheet is melting rapidly. Where’s it coming from? The Greenland ice sheet, facing rapidly rising Arctic temperatures, appears to be losing almost 380 gigatons of ice annually, thus contributing 1 mm of sea level rise annually Photos nearly a century apart show how rapidly Alaska’s glaciers are melting – in the case, Hidden Creek Glacier. Credit Denali National Park Glaciers around the world are also contributing: the glaciers of Alaska alone are now contributing 75 gigatons per year, and that’s just 11 percent of the world’s glaciers. Warm ocean water also expands, so in addition to ice loss, the oceans are also growing in volume due to their temperature. But the real worry is that globally, the rate at which ice is melting is increasing. * * Source www.wallstreetdaily.com OO Supreme Court Decision Unlikely to Stall the Shift Away From Coal Plants – closures of which continue to accelerate, with 23 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity expected to close in 2015 alone. * * @@ If Climate Change Is Real How Do You Explain Frozen Pizzas? Tired of facts? Do you think all the concern about climate change is just a bunch of hooey? Then this newscast is for you. * * Created in 2006; unfortunately, nothing’s changed. Will you help? Credit Jim Morin/Miami Herald OO Polar Bears Face Steep Declines Because Of Melting Sea Ice says a US study, if global greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rates, causing their homes – Arctic sea ice – to melt away at ever accelerating rates. * * OO Heatwave Engulfs Britain, Western Europe – roads melted, train schedules were disrupted and emergency calls rose as Britain endured its hottest July day on record. * * BMWi8 hybrid plugin car. Source www.bmw.com OO BMW to Make Whole Lineup Electric, With Range Extenders * * @@ Video: Will Filipinos Have To Abandon Manila To Climate Change? Extreme flooding now appears to be the new normal in the Philippines, which was battered by more than 26 bad storms last year. * * A big source of waste: little plastic toys. OO Reducing Global Waste Key To Global Climate Protection, says a German study. Growing amounts of waste put an increasing burden on the climate, particularly in newly industrialising countries, where greenhouse gas emissions are rising. * * Credit Tristan Spinski, NYTimes OO A College In Maine Tackles Climate Change, One Class At A Time – as it nudges its students to reach outside the school’s boundaries and start changing the real world. * * Soon To Be a Memory? One of the many seafood species threatened by climate change. OO Climate Change Could Drain Global Seafood Supplies * * Source pagesix.com OO Robert Redford Urges Global Action On Climate Change Now, addressing the world’s nations recently at the UN. * * OO Green Group’s Unconventional Fight Against Fracking: Challenge The Law – Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund in 18 communities across six states has convinced towns, villages or counties to challenge state and federal authorities – and even the U.S. Constitution. “These communities don’t have a fracking problem, they have a democracy problem,” said Thomas Linzey, the attorney who founded the fund. “You can’t win against the oil and gas industry using the existing legal structure, so the structure needs to be changed.” * * The flags of China, USA, and Brazil. OO China, Brazil, And The U.S. All Announce New Climate Policy Commitments * * In the space of the last 150 years, humanity and wilderness have switched places: wilderness is becoming fragmented into islands, surrounded by seas of human communities, and uninhabitable space. Source mongabay.com OO Humans Causing Catastrophic Ecosystem Shifts, Study Finds – never before has a single species become the top predator on land and sea: human dominance over the natural environment has caused shifts in world ecosystems unprecedented in the last 500 million years, researchers said. * * If we do not grow sustainably, Our children will die inhumanely. WHAT YOU CAN DO Volunteer in your community to help prevent unintended births. And there are many more actions you can do, right here. * * * SOLAR KEEPS DRIVING Source www.solarkinguk.com OO US Solar Electricity Production 50% Higher Than Previously Thought – energy agencies are consistently underselling solar PV production. OO Ultralow-Power Converter Chip for Tiny Solar-Powered Sensors – created by MIT (do these guys ever sleep?) captures more than 80% of available solar energy – AND can use a solar cell to either charge a battery or directly power a device. OO Cheapest Solar Ever: Austin Energy Gets 1.2 Gigawatts of Solar Bids for Less Than 4 Cents “We expect to see prices out in the future that are possibly below $20 a megawatt-hour.” OO Georgia Power Is Launching Its Own Rooftop Solar Business Earlier in its circumglobal journey, the plane flew over Abu Dhabi. Source Reuters OO Solar Plane Lands in Hawaii After Record-Breaking Flight of 5 days across the Pacific from Japan. OO NASA Satellite Images Show the Rapid Expansion of Utility-Scale Solar in China – in the Gobi Desert. OO Latin America Solar Update: PV Activity in Brazil Ramps Up and Honduras, Columbia, Chile and Antigua also score with solar spreading. Check it out here, right now! * * * GOOD CLEAN NEWS OO Half of Europe’s Electricity Set to Be From Renewables by 2030 – if EU countries meet their climate pledges, according to a draft commission paper. OO Number of Americans Buying LED Lighting Doubled in Last Two Years OO EPA Restricts Climate-Warming Chemicals Used In Refrigeration – hydrofluorocarbons, the most potent greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. OO Time to Swap Power Plants for Giant Batteries? Almost say battery firm execs, as utilities and energy project developers now weigh batteries as alternatives to traditional grid infrastructure, such as natural-gas-fired “peaker” power plants that only run a few days a year. Once the price of energy storage gets cheap enough, batteries could transform how power is delivered. Hawaii solar panels, Source www.pv-magazine.com OO Hawaii, Vermont Set Ambitious Examples For Renewables 29 states have laws mandating a certain portion of their power to be generated from renewables as a way to combat climate change, but none have gone so far as Hawaii and Vermont. Climate Central OO Major Corporation To Open Plant To Turn Electricity From Wind Into Hydrogen for re-use as a general fuel or in natural gas pipelines. Solar powers Google main headquarters in California. Source wikimedia OO Google to Convert Alabama Coal Plant Into Renewable-Powered Data Center OO Conservative Billionaire Trying to Become an Alternative Energy Giant by turning his 500-square-mile cattle ranch into the world’s largest wind farm. Source www.proterra.com OO Proterra Raises $55 Million for Electric Buses OO New York Utilities Announce Projects Aiming to Commercialize the Grid Edge – including microgrids, community energy and third-party efficiency programs from National Grid and Iberdrola-owned utilities. OO New York Fast-Tracks Renewable Energy Development – ahead in its quest to develop and expand solar, wind and hydropower. OO Inside SoCal Edison’s Plan to Open Its Grid to Distributed Energy – to bring distributed solar, batteries, EVs and more into billion-dollar grid investment plans OO Bluer skies? Beijing Picks Up Pace In Cutting Dependency On Coal OO Winds of Change as Ethiopia Harnesses Green Power -Without its own reserves of either gas or oil, Ethiopia is turning to its significant renewable energy potential to fuel its rapid economic development. Out with the Old, In With the New: new wind turbines in front of coal plant cooling towers in Germany. Credit Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters OO Germany To Shut Down Coal-Fired Plants, Extend Power Grid – in order to reach its ambitious climate goals by 2020. Now this is a country that GETS it. OO Vatican ‘May’ Consider Divestment From Fossil Fuels, Despite Pope’s Call To Arms – “May? May?” Who’s in charge over there? * * * WHAT WORKS Speaking Out: OO Catholic Organisations Call For People To Change Lifestyles To Help Environment – 12+ Catholic organisations have launched a campaign calling on people to make radical lifestyle changes following release of Pope Francis’s sweeping environmental encyclical. OO Catholic Leaders Press GOP To Heed Pope On Climate, Poor – Catholic leaders in the early voting state of Iowa implored GOP presidential candidates to take up Pope Francis’ call for “profound political courage” by focusing their campaigns more on improving the environment…ooooh, good luck with that…. OO Virginia Groups Urge Better Air Quality – the health of almost 700,000 Asthmatic Virginians is directly tied to air quality, say several organizations committed to spreading the word about the link between climate change and public health. OO New York Formalizes Ban On Fracking OO Britain: Lancashire Council Deals Blow To Shale Industry rejecting an industrial request to start exploratory fracking. Walruses swim in tight groups, often cozily rubbing each other as they do so. OO US Walrus Protections Hit Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plan Good Ideas: OO Charge Your Cell Phone By Pedaling Your Bicycle OO Oklahoma Case Could Open Doors To More Earthquake-Fracking Lawsuits Insights: OO Global Warming May Cause Sex Changes In Lizards – leaving them in a gender lurch. OO Electric Vehicles Can Cause More Pollution Than Gas Cars – depending on the source of their electricity, which is a function of where they operate, says a new study. In some places electrics do so much relative harm that instead of being subsidized, they should actually be taxed. * * * WHAT DOESN’T WORK Fossil Fuel Follies How Fracking Affects US Communities. Credit: Energy Justice Now OO Fracking Could Hurt House Prices, Health And Environment – says a British official report. OO Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Limits On Power Plants of toxic emissions. OO Oil Companies Played Hardball In Bid To Defeat Climate Outside Investors – Petty legal filings, diversionary ballot measures, and counting abstentions as no votes are just some of the tactics U.S. oil companies used recently to keep investors from nominating climate experts to board seats. * * Even elephants can’t survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte Clueless Leadership: OO Republican Governors Signal Their Intent to Thwart Obama’s Climate Rules – with resistance that could ignite a fierce clash between federal and state authorities, miring the climate rules in red tape for years – and could also undermine Obama’s efforts to urge other nations to enact similar plans. OO Republicans Have Forced US to Combat Climate Change Far More Expensively – by resisting cheaper alternatives. * * * WHY WE SHOULD ACT NOW: RISING RISKS Daily Climate Change: Global Map of Unusual Temperatures, Oct 12, 2014 How unusual has the weather been? No one event is “caused” by climate change, but global warming, which is predicted to increase unusual, extreme weather, is having a daily effect on weather, worldwide. Looking above at recent temperature anomalies, much of the US and the waters surrounding it are experiencing warmer than normal temperatures: the eastern Pacific warm spot continues to prevent much rain from reaching California, sending it into further drought. Much of the areas surrounding the North Pole are experiencing much warmer than normal temperatures – not good news for our Arctic thermal shield of ice. Hotter than usual temperatures continue to dominate human habitats. Natural Repercussions: Zaco wildfire. Source US Forest Service at Wikipedia OO California’s Burning Again As Drought’s Vicious Cycle Takes Its Toll – Everything in nature is connected. In this case climate change worsens a drought, which warms and dries forests, which burn whenever lightning or humans strike. * * * There is, of course, much more news on the consequences and solutions to climate change. To get it, check out this annotated resource list I’ve compiled, “Climate Change News Resources,” at Wordpress.com here. For more information on the science of climate change, its consequences and solutions you can view my annotated list of online information resources here. To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out! Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by these wildflowers I photographed one summer. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you’d like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It’s our way of letting Congress know there’s a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Fracking Reporting a Widespread Problem?

The EPA released a draft report June 4 on fracking and water use and contamination that has already generated some screaming headlines. “No Widespread Problem with Fracking Water, EPA says!” If you believe that, I’ll alert a couple of companies who will be happy to drill in your backyard. Let’s be clear. The EPA is doing its job. The Congress asked for a report on the effects of fracking on water and they got it. Case closed, right […]