There seems to be a growing consensus that the oil price slump is finally nearing an end:
Oil prices might have bottomed as production declines in the United States and other non-OPEC producers accelerate and an increase in Iranian supply has been less than dramatic, the International Energy Agency said on Friday. The IEA said low oil prices were beginning to take a toll on high-cost production and it believed non-OPEC output would fall by 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, compared to its previous estimate of 600,000 bpd. U.S. production alone would decline by 530,000 bpd this year, it said. “There are clear signs that market forces … are working their magic and higher-cost producers are cutting output,” the IEA said. The IEA said OPEC output fell by 90,000 bpd in February due to production outages in Nigeria, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, which lost a combined 350,000 bpd. “Meanwhile, Iran’s return to the market has been less dramatic than the Iranians said it would be; in February we believe that production in-creased by 220,000 bpd and, provisionally, it appears that Iran’s return will be gradual,” the IEA said.
More related stories below the fold, plus Obama’s plan to cut methane omissions, lawsuits threaten Japan’s nuclear revival, South Africa wants nuclear plant bids, France to close Fessenheim, Indonesia running out of coal, Hinkley finance chief quits, Britain’s “smart energy revolution”, the UK, Ireland and France still lagging on EU renewable targets, the Big Six losing even more money, tidal power from the Shetlands, US considers prosecuting “climate deniers”, the perilous state of the Mosul dam, the EP electric car tender and a feminist glaciology framework for climate change research.
Major OPEC producers are privately starting to talk about a new oil price equilibrium of $50 a barrel, adding to signs that the market’s long, deep rout is officially over, says one of the industry’s leading prognosticators. Gary Ross, the founder, executive chairman and chief oil soothsayer at New York-based consultancy PIRA, told clients 2-1/2 weeks ago that he reckoned the “lows are in” for crude, which was then about $30 a barrel. U.S. futures have rallied since then to close at nearly $36 on Friday, with a handful of analysts also cautiously calling a bottom. In an interview with Reuters, Ross said oil should recover to $50 a barrel by the end of the year, potentially aided by eventual supply cuts from leading producers among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). “They want $50 oil, this is going to become the new anchor for global oil prices,” said Ross, one of the industry’s most respected forecasters for his bold price predictions and decades-long history of consulting with OPEC members.
Wall Street Journal: Oil Prices Rise on Hopes Glut Will Ease
The U.S. oil benchmark set a new high for the year Friday after an international energy monitor said the market rout of the past two years may finally have bottomed out, as global oil supplies ease amid falling production and major producers talk of a coordinated output freeze. The Paris-based International Energy Agency said supply outages in Iraq, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates reduced output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries by 90,000 barrels a day, in addition to declining production elsewhere around the world, perhaps signaling what the agency termed a “light at the end of the tunnel” for the global glut of crude that has overwhelmed oil markets. The market was also boosted by a research note from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—which has had one of the more bearish outlooks since the market collapse took hold—suggesting the “green shoots” of a rebalancing between supply and demand appeared to be in the works, and that it had growing confidence that supplies would decline this year as long as prices remain low.
Oil prices jumped 3 percent on Wednesday after a huge draw in U.S. gasoline inventories last week convinced the market that energy demand was improving despite U.S. crude stockpiles hitting record highs for a fourth week. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude stockpiles rose 3.9 million barrels to nearly 522 million barrels, as predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll. But gasoline inventories fell 4.5 million barrels, much more than the polled number of 1.4 million barrels. “Gasoline is the star of the show today. Ongoing strength in demand has yielded a large draw to gasoline inventories despite a rebound in refinery runs,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at New York-headquarter energy data provider ClipperData. U.S. gasoline futures hit November highs, rallying 4 percent. Earlier in the session, oil rallied after an Iraqi oil official told a state newspaper that producers in and outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plan to meet in Moscow on March 20 to discuss an output freeze. But Russia’s energy ministry said no date or place had been set for the meeting.
Global oil production exceeded consumption by just over 1 billion barrels in 2014/15, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Of the 1 billion barrels reportedly produced but not consumed, roughly 420 million are being stored on land in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Another 75 million barrels are thought to be stored at sea or in transit by tanker somewhere from the oil fields to the refineries. That leaves 550 million “missing barrels” unaccounted for, apparently produced but not consumed and not visible in the inventory statistics. The last time the miscellaneous to balance item was this large and positive (implying an oversupplied market) was in 1997/98 when the issue triggered fierce criticism of the IEA’s statistics.
The Obama administration’s decision to crack down on the methane leaking from nearly 1 million oil and gas wells across the country promises to reduce greenhouse gases but also imposes new costs on an industry that’s already reeling. Environmentalists cheered the approach, saying the focus on methane delivers big bang for the buck, with a more immediate climate payoff than slashing carbon dioxide from power plants. But industry leaders cried foul, saying new methane rules could quash domestic drilling, heaping more pain on energy companies that have idled more than 1,000 rigs and gutted more than 250,000 jobs since oil and gas prices started falling in 2014. “The administration is catering to environmental extremists at the expense of American consumers,” said Kyle Isakower, the American Petroleum Institute’s vice president of regulatory and economic policy. “Additional regulations on methane by the administration could discourage the shale energy revolution that has helped America lead the world in reducing emissions while significantly lowering the costs of energy to consumers.”
The North Sea oil industry has urged the chancellor to hand it a rescue package of tax breaks in next week’s budget, warning that the sector is “fighting hard for its survival” amid rock-bottom prices. The lobby group Oil & Gas UK said about 14bn barrels of an estimated 20bn barrels of oil lying beneath the UK continental shelf in the North Sea would not be extracted unless conditions for the industry improved. Economics director Mike Tholen said this could result in a decline in production that “puts at risk hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs, billions of pounds of tax revenues and the UK’s energy security”. Among the measures North Sea explorers want to see is a large cut in the rate of tax on their production, which can be up to 67.5% on profit for older fields. Oil & Gas UK said the standard tax rate on oil profits of 50% should be cut by 20 percentage points, while petroleum revenue tax of 35% applied to older fields should be scrapped altogether.
A regional court on Wednesday restricted Kansai Electric Power Co. from operating two reactors in western Japan, the first time a court has forced plants that have already restarted to shut back down. The country’s utilities face more than two dozen lawsuits seeking to stop nuclear operations, according to the website of an organization of lawyers involved in the litigation. As of Thursday, only two of Japan’s 43 operable reactors were running. Twenty five have applied to restart. “This shows the judicial risk is bigger than previously thought,” Reiji Ogino, a Tokyo-based analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., said by phone. “It’s tough because it shows there’s no sense of security even after a reactor resumes operations. One plaintiff and one judge could make a difference.” The Otsu District Court cited safety concerns in its decision this week to prevent Kansai Electric from operating the units at its Takahama plant. The ruling came less than two weeks after the utility restarted one of the reactors following more than two years of safety reviews by Japan’s nuclear regulator.
The government planned to issue a request for proposals by the end of the month to add 9 600 megawatts of nuclear power to the national grid, Department of Energy director-general Thabane Zulu announced yesterday. Zulu said discussions were ongoing with the Treasury about the costs of the fleet of nuclear plants, adding that issuing the request for proposals was a critical milestone for the nuclear programme and responses would provide an indication of a possible funding model. Gaopalelwe Santswere, the chairman of the SA Young Nuclear Professionals Society, said yesterday that responses to the request for proposals would give an indication of whether the country could afford the programme. “The only way to know if the country can afford the programme is by testing the market. When the proposals come back we can decide if it is affordable,” Santswere said. He added that issuing the request for proposals in the middle of unfavourable economic conditions was not necessarily a bad thing. “The market is also experiencing the crunch. People are also looking for business. So we may actually end up with a good deal,” he said.
Financial Times: The Rise and Fall of Nuclear Power in Britain
In May 1965 Fred Lee, minister of power in Harold Wilson’s Labour government, announced that the next phase of Britain’s nuclear power programme would be based on the British-designed advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR), in preference to the water-cooled reactors that were available from the US. Britain, Lee said, had “hit the jackpot”, with a design that was clearly superior on economic and technical grounds to its American rivals. This judgment, like that of the officials in the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) who recommended the AGR, could not have been more wrong — an extreme example of the wishful thinking that has characterised British policy towards nuclear power since the second world war. The British-designed reactor was plagued by massive cost overruns and repeated delays. The AGR fiasco destroyed any chance of British leadership in what was seen at the time (erroneously, as it turned out) as a new industrial revolution. What Britain should have done, either in 1965 or later when the problems with the AGR had become evident, was to follow the example of France, which gave up its indigenous design and based its ambitious nuclear power programme on the American pressurised water reactor.
French officials have announced plans to close Fessenheim power plant by the end of the year. The decision comes after an ongoing dispute with Switzerland and Germany over the plant’s safety. Green minister Emmanuelle Cosse said Monday that France would shut down the nuclear power plant, just days after reports surfaced suggesting a nuclear accident that occurred at the facility last year was more serious than authorities had claimed. “The timeline is one the president [Francois Hollande] has repeated to me several times, it’s 2016,” Cosse said. In September, Hollande said he would not shut down Fessenheim despite having promised to do so in 2012. Cosse emphasized that the president’s decision had nothing to do with safety issues, but rather was based on the government’s energy policy. France still depends primarily on nuclear power, but the government has been leading efforts to promote alternative sources of power.
Sydney Morning Herald: Australian coal set for dramatic shake-out
The Australian coal sector is set for a dramatic shake-out this year with imminent asset sales pending, mine shutdowns increasingly likely and further job losses inevitable as mining companies struggle to deal with stubbornly low commodity prices, according to consultancy IHS. Uncertainty hangs over the future of Peabody Energy’s mines in Australia as administration looms for the US company, while Anglo American’s exit from coal has the potential to force a collapse of the quarterly benchmark pricing system for coking coal, according to Marian Hookham, senior manager at IHS’ coal arm. At a seminar in Sydney on Wednesday, Ms Hookham pointed to likely imminent deals, including the sale of Vale’s stakes in the Eagle Downs coking coal deposit and the Carborough Downs mine in Queensland, with AMCI, the private firm run by Hans Mende, the likely buyer. Meanwhile the sale of Anglo’s Foxleigh mine in Queensland, which has been on the market for some time, should be finalised within weeks, despite some major players who have studied the asset describing the mine as expensive and with heavy rehabilitation liabilities, she said.
The Diplomat: Indonesia could run out of coal by 2033
Indonesia could run out of coal reserves by 2033, a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released on Monday has revealed. Though Southeast Asia’s largest economy is one of the world’s top exporters of thermal coal, the report found that its output has been declining significantly over the past few years. Plummeting prices of power station fuel have forced miners to cut costs, thereby reducing exploration and stripping ratios. As a result, even though government data suggests that Indonesia had around 32.3 billion tons of coal reserves in 2014, Mizra Diran, PwC’s Indonesian advisory chief, said according to Reuters that coal reserves have dropped by 30 to 40 percent, with the survey finding coal reserves of between 7.3 billion and 8.3 billion tons. If this trend continues, in spite of Indonesian government’s ambitious goal to build 35 gigawatts of power stations by 2019 – 20 gigawatts of which will be coal-fueled – there is a possibility that the nation’s coal reserves could be depleted between 2033 and 2036.
JPMorgan will stop financing all new coal mines and coal power plants in rich countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”). As per the OECD, over 30 countries including the U.S., most of Europe, Japan and Australia qualify as rich countries. JPMorgan will not finance new coal mines in other countries as well, while at the same time will provide finance to coal-fired power plants in developing nations such as India, Indonesia and China. Nonetheless, the power plants should be using the most efficient technology which is there to burn coal. Further, JPMorgan intends to lower its credit exposure in coal mining companies, although details were not provided. The bank will maintain its corporate relationship with coal mining firms but it will not finance projects to develop new coal mines. In the policy document JPMorgan stated, “We believe the financial services sector has an important role to play as governments implement policies to combat climate change.”
German energy firm E.On has said its annual net losses more than doubled in 2015 to €7bn (£5.4bn) after it wrote down the value of its loss making power plants by €8.8bn.The energy firm blamed record low wholesale electricity prices. E.On also reported a 9% fall in underlying earnings at its UK supply business to £267m, from £294m in 2014. The company said the fall in UK earnings was the result of its 3.5% cut in gas prices in January 2015. In its home market of Germany, E.On said the government’s move towards renewable energy hurt profits. It is the second year consecutive year that E.On has reported a loss. In 2014, the energy firm reported a loss of €3.16bn. On Tuesday, rival German energy firm RWE reported annual losses of €637m (£493m) blaming the collapse in commodity prices and, in particular, the continuing depression in the price of coal that has caused German wholesale electricity prices to plummet, All four of Germany’s main large energy firms have written down the value of their power plants as a result of the slump in electricity prices. Wholesale electricity prices are at their lowest level since 2002.
Unions have reacted angrily to the announcement that energy firm Npower is to cut 2,400 jobs in the UK by 2018. Unison warned the job losses would deal a “devastating blow” to communities across the UK. The job losses come as Npower announced annual losses of €137m (£106m) compared with €227m profit in 2014. The “big six” energy firm also lost 351,000 customer accounts in 2015 and has been plagued by complaints over billing. In December, Npower was fined a record £26m by the energy industry’s regulator, Ofgem for its failure to bill customers correctly and deal with complaints effectively. The energy firm’s parent company, Germany’s RWE, warned that billing issues at Npower would continue throughout 2016. Npower currently employs 11,500 people in the UK, of which 6,668 are full time posts. It said the job losses would be among both its directly employed staff and contractors.
EDF has confirmed that its finance director has quit ahead of an expected final investment decision on the £18bn Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. Thomas Piquemal stepped down because he feared the project could jeopardise EDF’s financial position, according to reports. EDF shares are trading 6.6% lower. Last month, Chris Bakken, the director of the project that could produce 7% of UK electricity by 2025, said he was leaving to pursue other opportunities. Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman and chief executive of EDF, said Mr Piquemal told him of the decision to leave last week and that he regretted the “haste” of Mr Piquemal’s departure. The company’s board is expected to finalise in April how it will fund the project after postponing the decision a number of times. Mr Levy said the board was studying the investment in Hinkley Point to ascertain the best way to finance the power plant. He added that EDF aimed to announce a final investment decision “soon”.
The deal to provide a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point would have cost even more if George Osborne had had his way, the former energy secretary Ed Davey has said. The Lib Dem former member of the coalition cabinet said the £18bn plan to build Hinkley Point C represented a good deal, and claimed the cost would have been higher without his involvement. Speaking on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “We need lots of low-carbon electricity in the future. And I negotiated a good deal. My Conservative colleagues would have shaken at a much higher price.” Davey claimed Osborne was so keen to strike a deal, particularly one involving Chinese investment, that he would have agreed to pay more. He said: “They were gagging for nuclear. George Osborne in particular was wanting to have Chinese investment, big infrastructure projects to show off to the Tory backbenchers. It was me saying I’m going to walk away from this deal if we don’t do what we promised parliament, and that meant we had to get the price down to below £90 per megawatt hour, which I did.” The government disputes Davey’s account of events.
Climate scepticism: Roger Harrabin on the UK’s coming “smart power” revolution
Well, the solution, they say – we have to really revolutionise things, this, we’ve got to look at flexibility on the grid and we’ve got to look at storage. So storage is kind of obvious – we build batteries and we build all sorts of other devices, maybe storing energy in liquid air or perhaps in compressed air, there’s all sorts of ideas, some of them which we’ve featured on the programme already. But I think the thing that will really interest people is they envisage a really entirely new system in which your fridge, your freezer, your washing machine, your dishwasher, your car battery will in some way via an internet of energy be linked to all my gadgets, some solar panels on my roof if I had one, my wind farm if I had one, a nuclear power station, all of those things will be linked together. And in order – that will happen in order to let us use electricity more flexibly, so when power is cheap, you will be able to turn on your washing machine – in fact, it will turn on, itself – and then when power is scarce, the internet will ask your freezer “Justin’s freezer, do you mind if we turn you off for half an hour so Mrs Bloggs next door can put on the supper?” and your freezer will say “Yes”. And this is – this is the future they envisage.
Businessgreen: UK, Ireland and France lagging on EU renewable targets
The UK, France, Ireland and the Netherlands are lagging behind other EU Member States in the rush to meet legally-binding renewable energy targets for 2020, according to new 2014 data released yesterday by the European Union. The statistics show that in 2014 nine Member States had already met their national 2020 targets for renewable energy, including Croatia, Estonia, Italy and Sweden. However, France, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland were shown to be furthest away from their goals, raising fears some countries will fail to meet the targets, running the risk of multi-million euro fines. The statistics show that in 2014 the UK was eight percentage points away from achieving its target of renewables contributing 15 per cent to its total energy mix. In contrast, some countries have already cruised past their targets. For example in Sweden, which has a 2020 target for sourcing 49 per cent of energy from renewables, renewable energy already accounted for 52.6 per cent of the total energy mix in 2014. Meanwhile, Croatia’s target for 2020 is 20 per cent, but by 2014 the total contribution of renewables already surpassed this, hitting 27.9 per cent. Overall, the EU is still four percentage points away from its bloc-wide target of achieving a 20 per cent share of renewable energy in its total energy mix by 2020.
The Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECC) of MPs has launched a new enquiry into the UK Government’s progress – or apparent lack of it – on its self-imposed targets for meeting heat and transport demands from renewable energy sources. Launched yesterday (9 March), the enquiry will investigate concerns raised by the Committee on Climate Change, among others, that the Government’s ambitions on renewable heat and transport may no longer be achievable. The 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive sets a mandatory target for the UK to achieve 15% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. The Government proposed to achieve this across the electricity, heat and transport sectors by ensuring that 30% of electricity, 12% of heat and 10% of transport demand are met by renewable sources. While progress towards the share of renewable electricity is on track (15% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2013), Eurostat data reveals that green energy sources only provided 4.5% of the UK’s heat and 4.9% of the UK’s total transport energy in 2014 – meaning both would need to more than double over the next five years in order to meet the Government’s targets.
Scotland’s islands could enjoy a £725m boost to their economies over the next 25 years from renewables projects, according to a new report released yesterday by energy consultancy Baringa. The report, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government, found if investments were made in grid infrastructure and generating assets, the amount of renewable energy deployed on the islands could be growing rapidly by the early 2020s. At its peak, renewables deployment could provide an extra five per cent boost to local economic output on average across the islands, the report said. The economic benefits would include up to £225m in community benefits and revenues of up to £390m for community-owned island generation projects, according to the report, while up to 2,000 jobs would also be created in the peak development phase. “This report confirms the potential of the vast renewable resources of our islands,” said Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s energy minister, in a statement. “They are arguably the best places in Europe to deliver renewable energy. The wind speeds are the strongest and they have the best potential for wave and tidal energy in the future.”
Before the election, high electricity prices made the Big Six energy companies everyone’s favourite whipping boys. A report by the competition watchdog exonerated them. Government-driven social, environmental and network costs were the main drivers of rising electricity bills, the Competition and Markets Authority found. Now the Big Six have put themselves squarely back in the frame. A 125-page report by the electricity industry lobby group, Energy UK, supports phasing out cheap coal power and demands more subsidies for wind and solar. It is a high-risk strategy. In capitulating to “Big wind” and solar, the Big Six energy companies have no one to blame but themselves for the heightened political risk caused by rising electricity prices and the inevitable consumer backlash. Weather-dependent wind and solar power is inherently unreliable and high cost. In addition to subsidies, wind and solar need more grid infrastructure. When the wind blows and the sun shines, they swamp the grid with zero marginal cost electricity, forcing gas, coal and nuclear to reduce their output. Lower prices and lower output demolish the investment case for building the gas-fired power stations the Government says are vital.
Edinburgh tidal developer Nova Innovation has deployed the first 100kW turbine that forms part of the Shetland Tidal Array in the Bluemull Sound. Nova said the first M100 turbine of the array is now delivering power to the Shetland grid following operations and testing. The Shetland Tidal Array is a joint enterprise between Nova and Belgian renewables developer Elsa. Phase 1 of the array consists of three M100 turbines, with two more turbines planned in following phases. Nova expects to deploy the fourth and fifth units of the £3.75m Shetland Tidal Array, which has £1.9m of grant and loan funding from Scottish Enterprise, by 2018. Nova director Simon Forrest said it has delivered a project with over 80% Scottish supply chain content, and over 25% of the spend in Shetland. “This milestone represents a huge achievement and the culmination of a tremendous amount of work from our team in Scotland and Belgium. I would especially like to thank Scottish Enterprise and Elsa for their support and advice which has enabled us to build such a strong, pan-European project rooted in Scotland,” said Forrest.
Swedish energy firm Vattenfall said it is confident that cash reserves are in place for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) testing and demonstration site, although an investment decision has yet to be taken on the scheme. Assurances came after Vattenfall announced the next step in the project. It said offshore survey group Fugro has started assessing the seabed in Aberdeen Bay ahead of the construction stage, which is slated to start in late 2017. Politicians and green groups hailed the development and said the wind farm would make the north-east an international centre for renewables expertise. In 2014, the Scottish Government granted final planning consent for the project, which has been held up by legal challenges from US businessman Donald Trump. Interventions from Mr Trump, who argued the 11-turbine wind farm would spoil the view from his championship golf course, have set the project back two years. Mr Trump’s oppositions appeared to hit the buffers in December, however, when the Supreme Court in London rejected his appeal against Holyrood’s decision.
The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at a record pace last year, US government scientists reported, raising new concern about one of the top greenhouse gases and the effects of global warming. The measurement came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii.”The annual growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide… jumped by 3.05 parts per million during 2015, the largest year-to-year increase in 56 years of research,” said a NOAA statement. Last year also marked the fourth consecutive year that CO2 grew more than two parts per million. As of February, the average global atmospheric CO2 level was 402.59 parts per million. This is a significant rise over pre-industrial times. Prior to 1800, atmospheric CO2 averaged about 280 ppm. “Carbon dioxide levels are increasing faster than they have in hundreds of thousands of years,” said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. “It’s explosive compared to natural processes.”
The country’s science bureaucracy is considering having all climate modeling work done in Britain after announcing the firing of some 350 employees, including 100 climate scientists. Alex Wonhas, executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) told Australian lawmakers the science agency “was considering contracting some work to counterparts in the British Met Office,” The Hepburn Advocate reported Wednesday. It’s speculated CSIRO contracting with the British Met Office — the U.K.’s top climate agency — is part of an effort to cut the country’s funding of climate science while also showing the international community they still care about the issue. “It is part of consultation and discussions with stakeholders about how research in the climate area can be maintained and maximised in the future,” a CSIRO spokesman said, adding that Aussie officials secretly planned to layoff hundreds of employees. “There was concern that distress may be caused to staff if options for staff reduction, which are not yet finalised, were leaked or distributed,” he added.
The US Department of Justice has been considering whether people should be prosecuted for the offense of climate change denial. “This matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch, responding to a question from green activist Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) at a Senate Judiciary Hearing. Whitehouse said:“The similarities between the mischief of the tobacco industry pretending that the science of tobacco’s dangers was unsettled and the fossil fuel industry pretending that the science of carbon emissions’ dangers is unsettled has been remarked on widely, particularly by those who study the climate denial apparatus that the fossil fuel industry has erected. Under President Clinton, the Department of Justice brought and won a civil RICO action against the tobacco industry for its fraud. Under President Obama, the Department of Justice has done nothing so far about the climate denial scheme,”
Media Matters: US Network Coverage of Climate Change Decreases In 2015
ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox collectively spent five percent less time covering climate change in 2015, even though there were more newsworthy climate-related events than ever before, including the EPA finalizing the Clean Power Plan, Pope Francis issuing a climate change encyclical, President Obama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and 195 countries around the world reaching a historic climate agreement in Paris. The decline was primarily driven by ABC, whose climate coverage dropped by 59 percent; the only network to dramatically increase its climate coverage was Fox, but that increase largely consisted of criticism of efforts to address climate change. When the networks did discuss climate change, they rarely addressed its impacts on national security, the economy, or public health, yet most still found time to provide a forum for climate science denial.
Athens Banner-Herald: Finding climate fingerprints in wild weather is valid
Climate science has progressed so much that experts can accurately detect global warming’s fingerprints on certain extreme weather events, such as a heat wave, according to a high-level scientific advisory panel. For years scientists have given almost a rote response to the question of whether an instance of weird weather was from global warming, insisting that they can’t attribute any single event to climate change. But “the science has advanced to the point that this is no longer true as an unqualified blanket statement,” the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine reported. Starting in 2004, dozens of complex peer-reviewed studies found the odds of some extreme events — but by no means all — were goosed by man-made climate change. This new field of finding global warming fingerprints is scientifically valid, the academies said in a 163-page report released Friday. “The fog of uncertainty that obscured the human role in individual events is finally lifting,” said Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations today left a “chilling” briefing about the danger posed by Iraq’s Mosul Dam and called on the international community to realize the “magnitude of the problem and the importance of readiness to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.” The briefing from geotechnical experts said the dam, already described nearly a decade ago as the “most dangerous dam in the world,” now faces a “serious and unprecedented risk of catastrophic failure with little warning.” The Mosul Dam lies approximately 30 miles north of Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul and has been a danger ever since it was constructed in the mid-1980s on unstable foundation. But officials fear that in recent years the problem has gotten much worse as the terror group ISIS was able to temporarily take control of the dam and may have interfered with the constant, massive grouting operation that is necessary to keep the dam functional. In a worst case scenario, should the dam breach, it could send a flood wave several stories high into Mosul and inundate cities with devastating effect as far down the Tigris as Baghdad, more than 200 miles away, according to a 2007 warning letter from top U.S. officials to the Iraqi government and contemporary estimates by experts.
Electric car owners, you finally have a solution for range anxiety. For those long trips where you can’t just appropriate some random building’s electricity, the EP Tender will get you to your destination. The only issue? It involves a gasoline generator that you tow behind your EV. Inventor Jean-Baptiste Segard has really brought the EV journey full circle with his EP Tender. It’s essentially a gasoline engine inside a small trailer that can provide extra electricity for electric cars on long journeys. Segard has plans on pitching the EP Tender technology to Volkswagen, BMW, and Ford of Europe, though he himself has admitted that the demand for this type of device is not all that great at the moment.
Glaciers are key icons of climate change and global environmental change. However, the relationships among gender, science, and glaciers – particularly related to epistemological questions about the production of glaciological knowledge – remain understudied. This paper thus proposes a feminist glaciology framework with four key components: 1) knowledge producers; (2) gendered science and knowledge; (3) systems of scientific domination; and (4) alternative representations of glaciers. Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.