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Resilience Roundup - Oct 16

 

A roundup of news, views and ideas from the main stream press and the blogosphere.  Click on the headline link to see the full article.


Exxon's climate lie: 'No corporation has ever done anything this big or bad'

Bill McKibben, The Guardian
I’m well aware that with Paris looming it’s time to be hopeful, and I’m willing to try. Even amid the record heat and flooding of the present, there are good signs for the future in the rising climate movement and the falling cost of solar.

But before we get to past and present there’s some past to be reckoned with, and before we get to hope there’s some deep, blood-red anger.

In the last three weeks, two separate teams of journalists — the Pulitzer-prize winning reporters at the website Inside Climate News and another crew composed of Los Angeles Times veterans and up-and-comers at the Columbia Journalism School — have begun publishing the results of a pair of independent investigations into ExxonMobil.

Though they draw on completely different archives, leaked documents, and interviews with ex-employees, they reach the same damning conclusion: Exxon knew all that there was to know about climate change decades ago, and instead of alerting the rest of us denied the science and obstructed the politics of global warming...


The International Energy Agency consistently underestimates wind and solar power. Why?

David Roberts, Vox
The International Energy Agency was created in 1974 by countries that had just been through a bruising oil crisis (and were headed for another). Some 23 participants in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) founded the IEA to gather and share information about energy, model future energy trends, and help mitigate the adverse impacts of (or avoid) subsequent energy crises.

Since then, IEA has become a widely respected source of energy data and analysis. Its annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) is considered the gold standard in energy modeling, producing endless media coverage and shaping the assumptions of policymakers and the investment class.

It is somewhat vexing, then, that the IEA has always been, and remains, dismally pessimistic about wind and solar energy. This pessimism has led it to underestimate wind and solar again and again, a track record of failure one might think would trouble an agency known for the quality of its modeling. But if it's troubled, IEA hasn't let on.

What's more difficult to figure out is why. Why does the IEA continue to lowball renewables, even in the face of persistent critiques? There are several stories about this floating around, and none of them are entirely satisfying...

We'll have a look at the explanations on offer, but first let's establish our premise:...


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: North Dakota

John Oliver, Last Week Tonight, HBO

Video may be blocked in some regions.

North Dakota is known for being polite, but perhaps they’ve been a little too hospitable to oil companies.


Eagle Ford, Bakken, Niobrara shale plays set to lose nearly 115,000 barrels per day of production next month

Joshua Cain, Fuelfix
Drillers in a few of the biggest shale plays in the country are set to scale back their oil production dramatically next month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s forecast released Tuesday.

The EIA said in its Drilling Productivity Report that U.S. oil production from seven of these shale plays would fall 93,000 barrels per day to 5.12 million bpd total in November, the largest decrease recorded in the agency’s data going back to 2007. The drop would also mark the seventh-straight month of production pullbacks.

Three of the largest U.S. shale plays — the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Niobrara — together could lose a little over 114,500 bpd in November. The Eagle Ford in South Texas is projected to lose about 70,950 bpd. The Bakken, located in North Dakota and Montana, will lose about 23,200 bpd, and the Niobrara, mostly in Colorado, will lose about 20,400 bpd.

The cut backs will be steepest in the Eagle Ford and Niobrara plays — the losses there represent about 5 percent of those plays’ total production each...


Half of World's Coal Output Is Unprofitable, Moody's Says

Mario Parker, Bloomberg
Half of the world’s coal isn’t worth digging out of the ground at current prices, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The global metallurgical coal benchmark has fallen to the lowest level in a decade, settling last month at $89 a metric ton.

“Further production cuts are necessary to bring the market back into balance,” Moody’s analysts including Anna Zubets-Anderson wrote in a report on Thursday.

China’s slowing appetite for the power-plant fuel and steelmaking component has depressed the seaborne market, creating a worldwide glut. In the U.S., cheap natural gas is stealing coal’s share of the power generation market. And the strong dollar has tempered exports.


California Restricts Livestock Antibiotic Use with Little Resistance From Industry

RP Siegal, Triple Pundit
California might be among the last places in American that the sun hits with the dawning of each day, but it’s consistently among the first to wake up and take action on issues that threaten the safety of people and the environment.

Right on the heels of last week’s landmark passage of the SB 350 climate bill, which commits the state to reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030, California passed SB 27, which limits the use of antibiotics in livestock.

The reason for this is that it has been shown that the use of antibiotics in livestock has led to increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, such as MRSA...


Can Farming Practices in Oklahoma Solve Climate Change?

Brian Bienkowski, Scientific American
When Greg Scott teaches people about soil health, the front row better beware.

The soil scientist from Oklahoma hauls around a rain simulator that holds bins of soil you’d see on different types of farmland.

When he flicked his contraption on in Norman, Oklahoma, last week at a journalist’s conference, shoes and notepads got wet. But what didn’t get very wet was the bin of dirt that mimicked tilled land, a common method of digging and stirring up the soil before planting.

The water passed quickly through the soil and ended up in a jug, resembling a thick, hoppy ale when the demonstration was over.

The lesson was simple: that jug represents a river. Tilled land does not hold water well, leading to excess runoff, which sends dirt, phosphorous, nitrogen and pesticides into nearby waterways...


We’re not as selfish as we think we are. Here’s the proof

George Monbiot, The Guardian
Do you find yourself thrashing against the tide of human indifference and selfishness? Are you oppressed by the sense that while you care, others don’t? That, because of humankind’s callousness, civilisation and the rest of life on Earth are basically stuffed? If so, you are not alone. But neither are you right.

A study by the Common Cause Foundation, due to be published next month, reveals two transformative findings. The first is that a large majority of the 1,000 people they surveyed – 74% – identifies more strongly with unselfish values than with selfish values. This means that they are more interested in helpfulness, honesty, forgiveness and justice than in money, fame, status and power. The second is that a similar majority – 78% – believes others to be more selfish than they really are. In other words, we have made a terrible mistake about other people’s minds...


Love in a Time of Refugees

Omid Safi, On Being
It was the black and white photo that grabbed my heart...

A moment of affection, tenderness, and love, in the midst of months of chaos. On seeing István Zsíros's image, photographer Yannis Androulidakis noted simply:

“The refugees will win. Life will win!”...


Jane Goodall Interview: 'Even Chimps Understand Sustainability'

Philip Bethge and Johann Grolle, Der Spiegel
Jane Goodall spent years observing chimpanzees in the wild. She discovered that the animals can commit murder and wage war. As an environmentalist, the British activist now spends more time observing humans -- and says she still has hope for humanity...


TTIP: A box of tricks for corporate climate criminals

Corporate Europe Observatory
A new briefing in English by AITEC and CEO explains why TTIP, and especially regulatory cooperation, could put a stranglehold on our ability to create the energy transition required to tackle climate change.

The new brifing gives examples of how regulatory cooperation in TTIP will enable big polluters to keep polluting and will help corporations tangle up regulations they dislike.

Regulatory cooperation could be the weapon to kill legislation to make investment in coal more expensive or to kill regulations to ramp up the energy efficiency of electrical appliances.

TTIP is thus a threat to climate justice.

ttip_and_climate_en.pdf


Wikileaks release of TPP deal text stokes 'freedom of expression' fears

Sam Thielman, The Guardian
Wikileaks has released what it claims is the full intellectual property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the controversial agreement between 12 countries that was signed off on Monday. TPP was negotiated in secret and details have yet to be published. But critics including Democrat presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, unions and privacy activists have lined up to attack what they have seen of it. Wikileaks’ latest disclosures are unlikely to reassure them.


WikiLeaks - The US strategy to create a new global legal and economic system: TPP, TTIP, TISA.

WikileaksChannel, Youtube

News clippings image via shutterstock. Reproduced at Resilience.org with permission.

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