Sunday, December 11, 2016
Above: plant owned by Syncrude, a joint venture of ExxonMobil’s Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil, which processes oil from the tar sands of northern Alberta, Canada’s biggest source of carbon emissions and the US’s largest source of imported oil; photograph by Garth Lenz from his traveling exhibition ‘The True Cost of Oil’ In the first part of this article, we described recent reporting that ExxonMobil’s leaders knew humans were altering the world’s climate by burning fossil fuels even while the company was helping to fund and propel the movement denying the reality of climate change.1 Ever since the Los Angeles Times and InsideClimate News started publishing articles showing this in late 2015, ExxonMobil has repeatedly accused its critics of “cherry-picking” the evidence, taking its statements out of context, and “giving an incorrect impression about our corporation’s approach to climate change.”2 Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is one of several officials who have been investigating whether the company’s failures to disclose the business risks of climate change to its shareholders constituted consumer or securities fraud. Since ExxonMobil claims that it has been misrepresented, we encourage it to make public all the documents Schneiderman has demanded, so that independent researchers can consider all the facts. In the meantime we suggest that anyone who remains unconvinced by the record we have collected and published of the company’s internal statements confirming the reality of climate change consider its actions, especially its expenditures. Regardless of its campaign to confuse policymakers and the public, Exxon has always kept a clear eye on scientific reality when making business decisions. In 1980, for example, Exxon paid $400 million for the rights to the Natuna natural gas field in the South China Sea. But company scientists soon realized that the field contained unusually high concentrations of carbon dioxide, and concluded in 1984 that extracting its gas would make it “the world’s largest point source emitter of CO2 [, which] raises concern for the possible incremental impact of Natuna on the CO2 greenhouse problem.” The company left Natuna undeveloped. Exxon’s John Woodward, who wrote an internal report on the field in 1981, told InsideClimate News, “They were being farsighted. They weren’t sure when CO2 controls would be required and how it would affect the economics of the project.”3 This, of course, was a responsible decision. But it indicates the distance between Exxon’s decades of public deception about climate change and its internal findings. So do investments that Exxon and its Canadian subsidiary Imperial Oil made in the Arctic. As Ken Croasdale, a senior ice researcher at Imperial, told an engineering conference in 1991, concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were increasing “due to the burning of fossil fuels. Nobody disputes this fact.” Accordingly, any major development with a life span of say 30–40 years will need to assess the impacts of potential global warming. This is particularly true of Arctic and offshore projects in Canada, where warming will clearly affect sea ice, icebergs, permafrost and sea levels. Croasdale based these projections on the same climate models that Exxon’s leaders spent the next fifteen years publicly disparaging. But following his warnings that rising seas would threaten buildings on the coast, bigger waves would threaten offshore drilling platforms, and thawing permafrost would threaten pipelines, Exxon began reinforcing its Arctic infrastructure. Read More
a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, January 2007
available at [ucsusa.org](http://ucsusa.org/)
Thursday, December 1, 2016
NEWS: CARBON WAR ROOM LAUNCHES SHIPPING EFFICIENCY ADVISORY BOARD
25 February 2016, London, UK
Six leaders and influencers from across the shipping industry will join global NGO Carbon War Room’s (CWR’s) Shipping Efficiency Advisory Board. Their backgrounds span the shipowning, chartering, technical analysis, finance, and academic worlds. The board will lend extensive industry insight and support CWR’s mission to profitably decarbonise the international shipping industry. Galen Hon, Manager, Shipping Efficiency, Carbon War Room, commented:
"We are thrilled to have gathered a group with so much knowledge and experience in shipping. Following UNFCCC in Paris, the industry has an obligation to find new and innovative ways to reduce carbon while remaining competitive. With expertise spanning finance, ship operation, classification, data analysis, technology, and software, these individuals are perfectly positioned to identify and evaluate opportunities for innovation and growth.
“The calibre of the board reflects the credibility that CWR has garnered within the shipping industry. It’s a validation of our ongoing efforts to work directly with the industry to deliver paths to carbon reduction in ways that make good business sense.” More
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Saturday, September 10, 2016
PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO SIGN AND SHARE! More
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
“Loss and Damage” and “Liability and Compensation” – What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter? More
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Are our leaders, in both the public and private sectors, condemning humans to extinction?
Diamond weaved an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe. Last summer however, James Hansen—the pioneer of modern climate science—pieced together a research-based revelation: a little-known feedback cycle between the oceans and massive ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland might have already jump-started an exponential surge of sea levels. That would mean huge levels of sea level rise will happen sooner—much sooner than expected. Hansen’s best estimate was 2 to 5 meters (6–15 feet) by the end of the century: five to 10 times faster than mainstream science has heretofore predicted.
The result was so important that Hansen didn’t want to wait. So he called a press conference and distributed a draft of his findings before they could be peer-reviewed—a very nontraditional approach for a study with such far-reaching consequence. Now, after months of intense and uncharacteristically public scrutiny by the scientific community, the findings by Hansen and his 18 co-authors have passed formal peer review and were published Tuesday in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
That’s bad news for those of us rooting for a stable planet. With Hansen’s paper now through peer review, its dire conclusions are difficult to ignore. And the scientific community, many of whom were initially wary of Hansen’s paper when it came out this summer, is starting to take serious note.
Hansen and his co-authors describe a world that may quickly start to spin out of control if humans keep burning fossil fuels at close to our current rate. “It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization,” the study reads. And given the assumed accelerated pace of melting, all this could happen just decades from now, not centuries.
The world Hansen and his colleagues describe reads like a sci-fi plot synopsis—and it’s now officially part of the scientific canon (though peer review doesn’t necessarily guarantee that a paper is infallible). If Hansen and his colleagues are correct, this paper is likely one of the most important scientific contributions in history—and a stark warning to world governments to speed up the transition to carbon-free energy. More
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Climate science: revolution is here PAUL ROGERS 11 August 2016 A host of innovations in energy technology is transforming the climate-change outlook – one of the world's three required paradigm shifts. More
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
The Irony of Climate | Worldwatch Institute More
Monday, July 18, 2016
Reconstructing Arctic History | CIRES
There's little doubt that Arctic sea ice is shrinking, but a new study looking back to the 1850s reveals that today's ice loss is unprecedented in extent and rate. To understand what’s happening with the Arctic ice pack, scientists need access to as much data as they can get their hands on. But reliable satellite data on the frozen north extends back only to 1978 and most historical sources cover only the twentieth century. John Walsh, Chief Scientist at the International Arctic Research Center with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, knew they could do better. “We knew there was useful information out there that goes back into the 1800s,” he says. “We wanted to provide some benchmarks so we could place the retreat we’ve seen in Arctic sea ice in a longer context.”
Other scientists wanted to do the same. Walsh heard from climate change modelers who needed more information to reconstruct the Arctic’s atmospheric history. So, Walsh went to NOAA with a proposition: To make a data product that could be used by modelers to characterize sea ice back to 1850. And a natural partner for building this database was the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), part of CIRES, where a small team funded by NOAA was already experienced in using data from sources such as the military and old charts and maps to create a more robust picture. The final product, “Gridded Monthly Sea Ice Extent and Concentration, 1850 Onward," is described in a paper out in the July issue of Geographical Review.
This data set expands on an earlier product that begins in 1901. “We wanted to extend and improve on the data we already had,” says CIRES' Florence Fetterer, the NOAA liaison at NSIDC. “So we gathered historical sources of sea ice information and filled spatial and temporal gaps using an analog method.” More
Sunday, July 17, 2016
The Great Change: Cuba's Second Special Period - 2016
Cuba’s economy minister told the Cuban Parliament last week, in a closed session, that the country would have to cut fuel consumption nearly a third in the second half of this year because the Venezuelan spigot was slowly squeezing shut. Venezuelan oil exports to Cuba have dropped 40% since January. As the news rippled out through Havana there was a universal sense of Déjà vu. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, won’t be fooled again (as George W. Bush said in his being-folksy mode, unable to recall where he was in the fool-me-twice-shame-on-me proverb and so reverting to a rock anthem lyric from his Yale fraternity days).
Venezuela is running dry, as is neighboring Mexico, and bargain basement crude sales to bolster Venezuela’s economy don’t help. Venezuela can no more supply the Citgo stations in Havana than it can keep the lights on in hospitals in Caracas.
With air routes opening, tourist hotels being planned, and Havana’s notorious nightclubs a shorter hop than Las Vegas for half the population of the United States, Cubans only have to hold their breath while they turn off the fans 8 hours per day.
|Batista and his rival Ernesto "Che" Guevara|
Friday, July 15, 2016
We have entered a new era of conflict, warns new book by Emeritus Professor Paul Rogers IB Tauris) , he reflects on Isis, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, and the Taliban - all separate manifestations, he says, of a new non-state dynamic driving international conflict through asymmetric and hybrid warfare. But their significance is more fundamental. They are part of what Rogers calls “an historical shift towards revolts from the margins”. And such revolts are made more likely by “the widening global socio-economic divide and the onset of climate disruption”. In this holistic approach, he points to the enormous and growing gap between the world’s rich and poor. But the old division between rich countries and poor countries no longer applies as figures from the US demonstrate dramatically. Rogers points to David Hulme’s book, Global Poverty: Global Governance and Poor People in the Post-2015 Era – while the global poverty rate may be declining slowly, the relative poverty rate in high-income countries has increased, and has more than doubled in the developing world. Meanwhile, the global military-industrial complex consumes some $1,700 bn a year. There are likely to be two fundamental trends threatening world security, according to Rogers. One is “the increasing marginalisation of the majority of the world’s people caused by the workings of the neo-liberal system of international economic activity” which concentrates most of the fruits of economic growth in the hands of a transglobal elite of some 1.5bn people. More
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Friday, July 1, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
|Dr. James Hansen|
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Thursday, June 9, 2016
The next four decades are going to be extremely challenging in many ways. They will be challenging not only economically and socially, these islands will also be challenged by a changing climate, exposing us to much higher levels of risk, as well as exposed politically to violent winds of change. There are also the issues of energy security and sea level rise that will have to be addressed . The leadership of these islands have time and again proved themselves incapable of visualizing and planning for the future, and the concomitant issues that we are going to faced with in the medium and long-term. I often feel overwhelmed by complacency, given that the only forward thinking runs in four year cycles and is politically driven. The Cayman Islands have never liked planning and as I often repeat "failing to plan is planning to fail". https://youtu.be/3DfzrrdPXQU
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Has veteran climate scientist James Hansen foretold the ‘loss of all coastal cities’ with latest study?
Has veteran climate scientist James Hansen foretold the ‘loss of all coastal cities’ with latest study? video summary. More