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Tilley's Track

by Prof Allen Tilley |

Disclaimer: the material in this section is not necessarily the policy of the Sierra Club. The referenced materials are the responsibility of the publishers/writers and Mr. Tilley’s analysis is intended to provoke thought and action, but not necessarily endorsed or held as policy by the Sierra Club.

About Allen Tilley

To receive these items in your email, please join the listserv called the Global Warming Study Group: GWSG lists.unf.edu/mailman/listinfo/gwsg   

Sent 7/16


1.  India is financing their solar program partly by doubling the tax on coal.  Utility-scale solar power is expected to be cheaper than new coal power in India by the end of the decade.   http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/modi-accelerates-solar-revolution-doubles-tax-on-coal-57890


2.  The urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has recently been posed (by the NY Times, among others) as a choice between acting on CO2, and acting on methane and a package of other forcers more short lived than CO2.  Joe Romm assembles expert testimony that we need to act on all fronts.  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/10/3457703/climate-co2-methane/?elq=~~eloqua..type--emailfield..syntax--recipientid~~&elqCampaignId=~~eloqua..type--campaign..campaignid--0..fieldname--id~~


3.  Producing metals takes 9.5% of the world’s energy.  Iron and aluminum are the greatest pigs.  http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/07/iron-driver-climate-change


4.  NOAA has developed a high resolution climate model able to deal with regional precipitation changes.  It has identified the drying of Southwestern Australia as due to human causes, and predicts increased drying as the century goes on.  http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jul/14/southern-australia-faces-water-crisis-by-end-of-century-due-to-climate-change


5.  Australian Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, which includes Fox and the Wall Street Journal, does not consider that climate disruption has much in store for anyone save low lying islands.  “We shouldn’t be building windmills and all that rubbish.”  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/13/3459584/rupert-murdoch-climate-change-rubbish/  As of February 2013, new wind power was cheaper than new coal in Australia.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-06/australia-wind-energy-cheaper-than-coal-natural-gas-bnef-says.html  The Guardian supplies more on Murdoch’s ignorance and its impact.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jul/14/rupert-murdoch-doesnt-understand-climate-basics


6.  Eight charts tell the story of a planet increasingly suffering under climate disruption.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2014/jul/14/8-charts-climate-change-world-more-dangerous


7.  Private companies may contract through a power purchase agreement to place and maintain solar panels on the roofs of homes or business and sell them the power produced.  Utilities typically claim that such practices are tantamount to acting as a utility.  The Iowa Supreme Court is the latest to disagree, making them the 23rd state where such arrangements are legal.  http://grist.org/climate-energy/in-iowa-solar-is-fighting-back-against-utilities-and-winning/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Daily%2520July%252016&utm_campaign=daily 

8.  China is mandating that electric vehicles make up at least 30% of central government auto purchases by 2016; the provinces come under the order following that.  http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/07/china-requires-electric-vehicles-to-make-up-30-percent-of-state-purchases?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-July16-2014 



Sent 7/11


1.  A draft report submitted to the UN by 30 international organizations focusing on the leading 15 national emitters of greenhouse gasses sketches a way to keep warming below 2° C.  Columbia U’s Jeff Sachs observes “We have just about exhausted the carbon budget.  The world is unfortunately engaged in a massive gamble.” Effective emissions cuts need to be rapid and severe.  http://www.climatecentral.org/news/co2-emissions-2-degrees-target-17744?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatecentral%2FdjOO+Climate+Central+-+Full+Feed  The Guardian supplies further information.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/08/un-roadmap-climate-change  The US would need to cut emissions back to 1901 levels by 2050.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-09/fix-the-climate-problem-easy-cut-u-s-emissions-to-1901-levels.html


2.  Shifting wind patterns in the Antarctic are warming subsurface waters twice as rapidly as we had thought.  The warmer waters will greatly speed the destabilization of ice sheets, increasing the rate of sea level rise.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-07/giant-antarctic-ice-shelves-could-melt-faster-than-expected/5579678


3.  The US and China have signed eight agreements on climate, including one to share carbon capture and sequestration technology.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/08/usa-china-climatechange-idUSL2N0PJ20920140708


4.  The World Council of Churches, representing half a billion Christians, is divesting its fossil fuel holdings.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/11/world-council-of-churches-pulls-fossil-fuel-investments


5.  A summary article on Miami’s submergence provides some unusually blunt commentary on the willingness to ignore it among both politicians and citizens.  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/11/miami-drowning-climate-change-deniers-sea-levels-rising  A growing number of major cities are conducting vulnerability studies and taking measures to deal with risks.  http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2014/07/10/207-global-cities-say-climate-change-is-a-threat-to-local-economy/


6.  Increasing wealth among Republicans correlate with increasing climate denial; among Democrats and independents, it does not.  http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/07/climate-denial-wealth-rich-republicans




Sent 7/8


1.  The Miami-Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force, organized in 2013, has released a report recommending vigorous adaptation measures to avoid major near-term losses identified by the reinsurance firm Swiss Re. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-usa-florida-sealevel-miami-idUSKBN0F65IN20140701  The task force site carries a record of their activities.     http://www.miamidade.gov/planning/boards-sea-level-rise.asp  The News Times adds some details.  http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2014/07/miami-dade_sea_level_rise_task_force_reinvent_urban_infrastructure_or_lose_trillions.php 


Sarah Boren has forwarded a link to a pdf of the report.  http://www.miamidade.gov/planning/library/reports/sea-level-rise-final-report.pdf  Here are the appendices.    http://www.miamidade.gov/planning/library/reports/sea-level-rise-appendices.pdf


2.  A study published in Nature reports that a partial collapse of the Greenland ice sheet 400,000 years ago under conditions similar to those building this century added 4-6 meters of sea level rise out of a total of 6-13 meters.  http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Study_links_Greenland_ice_sheet_collapse_sea_level_rise_400000_years_ago_999.html

3.  The US is making $4 billion in loans available to clean energy projects.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/03/obama-climate-change-loan_n_5556091.html


4.  Harvard science historian Naomi Oreskes and fellow historian Eric Conway of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab have written The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future.  In a Science interview, Oreskes said that she chose to write fiction because she can “sound an alarm,” “be emotional and. . . upset about those things that are upsetting.”  In the book, “Everything that happens before 2013 is true, and everything that happens after is from the high end of the projections” of the most recent IPCC report (page 1434, Science, June 27, 2014).  It is an essay, descriptive of our present and, retrospectively, of our future.  The topics are how we could do so little while knowing so much, and the consequences of our failure.  The Koch brothers are not on view, but foolish ideologies are, both scientific and popular.  I found it a satisfying 3-hour read, notes and all.  http://smile.amazon.com/Collapse-Western-Civilization-View-Future/dp/023116954X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404738811&sr=1-1&keywords=oreskes+naomi


5.  In an 8 minute interview Peter Sinclair reflects on Germany’s success in developing renewable energy and on the possibilities of success in the US.  http://climatecrocks.com/2014/07/07/a-renewable-revolution-the-real-news-interview/


6.  A coal plant with carbon capture and sequestration in Yorkshire has secured EU funding.  90% of its carbon will be sequestered beneath the North Sea.  It will be the first such plant in Europe.  http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/08/yorkshire-drax-carbon-capture-power-plant



Sent 7/3


1.  A new US satellite will provide precise measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere.  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/30/3454554/nasa-satellite-carbon-measuring/


2.  The Unitarian Universalist Association is divesting its holdings in fossil fuel companies.  http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/30/unitarians-fossil-fuel-free-divestment/


3.  The Pentagon is escalating its efforts to adapt to a changing climate.  http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/06/30/climate-change-damages-bases-and-pentagon-preps-for-warmer-future


4.  Flux will unite disparate sources of data to help design eco-friendly buildings.  It hopes to market its first app next year, targeting large multi-dwelling units.  Flux was developed by Google X, which intends to engage in significant, innovative projects.  Buildings are responsible for about 40% of US carbon emissions.  http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/06/flux-the-first-startup-to-spin-out-of-google-x-nabs-8m-for-its-eco-home-building-platform/


5.  A federal judge has barred a proposal to mine coal on state land because it did not take the costs of climate disruption into account.  The precedent may prove significant—perhaps to the XL pipeline proposal.  http://www.salon.com/2014/07/02/federal_judge_rejects_mine_proposal_cites_coals_contribution_to_climate_change/


6.  A new report finds that Caribbean coral reefs have declined at an alarming rate and most will disappear in the next two decades.  We could still take steps to help them recover.  Climate disruption is not among the current primary problems.    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/02/caribbean-coral-reef-lost-fishing-pollution-report


7.  The share of renewables in German power continues to rise as fossil fuels and nuclear fall.  Renewables now provide 24.7% of the power consumed.  http://climatecrocks.com/2014/07/03/in-germany-fossils-down-renewable-up/


8.  With congress paralyzed by fossil fuel money much of the effective climate legislation is at the state level.  Think Progress provides an overview, including a map of climate actors and deniers among governors.  http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/01/3454502/is-your-governor-a-climate-denier/   







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