The start of better news

Those pesky renewable are starting to win commercially.

Record number of oil and gas firms go bust as renewable energy revolution begins to bite

“It’s also time for Government to recognise that we should not leave the workers stranded, but provide opportunities in the new industries of the 21st century.”

Thierry Lepercq, head of research at French energy company Engie, who recently told Bloomberg that the growth in renewable energy could push the cost of oil down to as low as $10 in less than 10 years.

Reality will prevail

We have to see this as hopeful:

Trump’s “carbon bubble” economy is bound to pop

Add to this the fact that renewable energy — particularly solar and wind — is a new technology sector, in which large efficiency gains are to be expected. That’s quite unlike the fossil fuel industry, whose costs are increasing because the cheap, easy-to-get fuel has already been burned. By 2030, renewables could well leave fossil fuels in the dust.

Let’s hope that dust is deep underground.

Manhattan Project for hope

Audacious and inspiring plan. We may be saved by wind power.

Manhattan Project-sized effort is needed to create artificial Arctic ice ‘to prevent climate catastrophe’

The researchers estimated covering more than 10 per cent of the Arctic with the wind-powered pumps would cost about $500bn (£404bn) over 10 years.

Most intriguing is the possibility that we could reverse global warming well before any effects of CO2 reduction show up.

The pumps could also potentially be used to increase the amount of sea ice cover to beyond historic levels.

“Could this approach be used to help the Arctic cool the Earth more effectively than it did in the 1980s and before?”

Impact

Arctic ice melt ‘already affecting weather patterns where you live right now’

“The worrying aspect is that such dynamical changes can occur more abruptly than simple background warming of the climate,” said Coumou. “Dynamical changes can change more rapidly and can therefore lead to surprises and I think there are many such possibilities in the system.”

“If we wait for the natural world to reveal itself clearly, it may be too late.”

Learning from Jellyfish

Are we ready for this jelly? Fluorescent jellyfish may help solve our energy crisis

Sustainable solar cells made with jellyfish goo are just one project happening in the field of biosolar, which utilizes biological material to harness the power of the sun.

Although this is work in the early stages it shows potential creative solutions for global warming have not dried up.

Time to return to sun worship

Solar power becoming world’s cheapest form of electricity production, analysts say

… the cost of solar in 58 lower-income countries – including China, Brazil and India – had fallen to about a third of levels in 2010 and was now slightly cheaper than wind energy.

Let’s do it, let’s love the sun. Otherwise:

Massive ‘rivers in the sky’ will bring more deadly floods due global warming

Atmospheric rivers were also linked to all 10 of Britain’s largest floods since the 1970s.

Better safe than sorry

Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.

I would have said petabytes rather than reams; at least electronically it is possible to do.

Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump

And the Environmental Protection Agency is getting facts sorted before being in the control of someone who would like to abolish it:

EPA admits that fracking can contaminate drinking water

Summarized here:

Fracking has been found — in various instances — to contaminate drinking water during all stages in its process, which the EPA describes as follows:

(1) acquiring water to be used for hydraulic fracturing (Water Acquisition),
(2) mixing the water with chemical additives to make hydraulic fracturing fluids (Chemical Mixing),
(3) injecting hydraulic fracturing fluids into the production well to create and grow fractures in the targeted production zone (Well Injection),
(4) collecting the wastewater that returns through the well after injection (Produced Water Handling), and
(5) managing the wastewater through disposal or reuse methods (Wastewater Disposal and Reuse).

Like its alcohol, methanol, methane may kill us

Rapid rise in methane emissions in 10 years surprises scientists

Scientists have been surprised by the surge, which began just over 10 years ago in 2007 and then was boosted even further in 2014 and 2015. Concentrations of methane in the atmosphere over those two years alone rose by more than 20 parts per billion, bringing the total to 1,830ppb.

This is a cause for alarm among global warming scientists because emissions of the gas warm the planet by more than 20 times as much as similar volumes of carbon dioxide.

Somehow, it does not surprise me. Could the huge boom in fracking over the past 10 years also be part of the problem (it is mentioned)? Are concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) causing more emissions that traditional farming (though the growing human population must also be factored in)?

Small hope: New battery power-storage plants scheduled to keep UK lights on, though not yet as wonderful as the title may suggest.

The ultimate Ponzi scheme

I found this a very apt metaphor.

On Black Friday, reflect on the Ponzi scheme that is our global economy

Joe Romm quotes from an interview he gave in 2009:

“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children,” said Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog climateprogress.org. We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks — water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land — and not by generating renewable flows.

“You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior,” added Romm. “But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate …’ Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”