Analysis: What the US-Canada climate deal actually means
Hannah McKinnon, Greenpeace Energy Desk
Canada and the US released a joint statement on climate, energy and Arctic leadership during Prime Minister Trudeau’s official Washington visit — to great fanfare.
Finding themselves on similar pages when it comes to the need for action on climate, Trudeau and Obama used the opportunity to focus on the potential for bilateral action in the post-Paris world (or the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era as some like to call it).
So was it all that it could have been and more? Not exactly, but it definitely showed promise and provided a glimpse of what could be the start of a fruitful alliance for our shared climate. Here are a few highlights…
Oklahoma Puts Limits on Oil and Gas Wells to Fight Quakes
Michael Wines, New York Times
Facing a six-year barrage of increasingly large earthquakes, Oklahoma regulators are effectively ordering the state’s powerful oil-and-gas industry to substantially cut back the underground disposal of industry wastes that have caused the tremors across the state.
On Monday, the state Corporation Commission asked well operators in a Connecticut-size patch of central Oklahoma to reduce by 40 percent the amount of oil and gas wastes they are injecting deep into the earth. The directive covers 411 injection wells in a rough circle that includes Oklahoma City and points northeast.
It follows a February request that imposed a 40 percent cutback on injection wells in a similar-size region of northwest Oklahoma.
The actions significantly increase the effort to rein in the quakes, which the commission has long tried to reduce one well or a handful of wells at a time…
U.S. Oil Output Headed to Four-Year Low as Shale Boom Wanes
Moming Zhou , Bloomberg
U.S. crude production will fall to its lowest since 2013 next year as battered shale drillers idle rigs to conserve cash, according to a government report.
Producers from Texas to Alaska will pump 8.19 million barrels a day in 2017, down from 8.67 million this year and less than the 8.46 million previously forecast, the Energy Information Administration said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook Tuesday. The forecast for crude output in 2016 was also cut, from 8.69 million estimated in February. The decline won’t be enough to boost crude prices beyond last year’s level, though, according to the EIA estimates…
Weekly Economics Podcast: the end of growth?
New Economics Foundation
Developed economies around the globe have been experiencing a slowdown in economic growth in recent decades.
But what’s been happening? Can our economies keep growing? And if not, what next?
NEF economist Olivier Vardakoulias joins Kirsty to discuss…
Should kids be able to sue for a safe climate? This federal court is about to decide
Clayton Aldern, Grist
Courtrooms usually aren’t jovial places, but with 21 youth plaintiffs and two busloads of supporting junior high-school students in tow, the air in the U.S. District Courthouse here on Wednesday felt more field trip than federal court.
The occasion for the youthful energy was a hearing on a complaint filed on behalf of the plaintiffs, aged 8–19, by Oregon nonprofit Our Children’s Trust. The kids’ lawyers assert that their clients, and the younger generation as a whole, have been deprived of key rights by their own government. By failing to act on climate change, they argue, the United States government — including President Obama and a baker’s dozen federal agencies — has valued its own generation more than future generations, which will bear a greater burden with respect to the climate crisis…
New study: fully automating self-driving cars could actually be worse for carbon emissions
David Roberts, Vox
Self-driving cars are at a fascinating juncture right now. We know they’re coming soon. We know they’re going to change things. But we don’t know how they’re going to change things — in what directions, to what effect, how quickly — so there’s no end of breathless speculation.
It stands to reason that vehicle automation could save energy and reduce emissions in some ways. Cars will be able to chain together more aerodynamically, drive at more consistent speeds, and perhaps serve as shared vehicles in lieu of individual vehicle ownership.
But it also stands to reason that automation could increase energy use and emissions in some ways. If driving is easier and more pleasant, people will do it more. Automation will open up car travel to populations (the young, the elderly, the visually or otherwise impaired) who did not previously have access. Self-driving cars could increase the overall amount of vehicle miles traveled.
So how will these factors balance out? What effect will self-driving cars have, overall, on energy use and carbon emissions from transportation?…
The Seer: Seeing Through Wendell Berry’s Eyes
Jeffrey Bilbro, Front Porch Republic
Laura Dunn’s The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry begins with the blurred lights of cars speeding along freeways and the barren wasteland left by mountaintop removal coal mining. While Wendell Berry reads one of his Sabbath poems decrying the nightmare of industrial destruction, we are shown sped-up scenes from this ever-hurrying, ever-expanding economy, an economy that may bring profits to some but that leaves many more lonely and wounded in its wake.
Then the music cuts out and the screen goes black. After a long pause, the sounds of birds, insects, and footsteps begin, and we find ourselves walking along a Kentucky lane in fall, following a dog as it explores the margins of the leaf-strewn way. The camera moves at the pace of an easy stroll, sweeping to look through the trees to the valley below. The rest of the film explores the contrasts between these two paces, these two ways of moving through places, these two ways of seeing…