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Sec. Kerry, Wall Street Journal & Heartland Farmers Speaking out on Climate


WHERE IS GLOBAL WARMING GOING  Source: Skeptical Science. Printed in GRIST. September 3, 2013.


Despite the claims by climate deniers that global warming is slowing down, evidence of the Earth’s rising temperature is ‘irrefutable’ and ‘alarming,’ to quote Secretary of State Kerry. Because of climate change, crop pests are spreading ­– moving north by about 1.7 miles per year and impacting the major crops that feed the world. A chapter in the third National Climate Assessment detailing the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems is due out next year. Farmers feeling the financial pinch of adaptation are voicing their concerns.

Still, CAP reports Congressional gridlock has appropriations for investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation hanging in the balance. Recently, House Republicans passed a bill barring the Obama Administration’s decision to raise the social cost of carbon to $36. And, according the Wall Street Journal, ‘robust’ energy legislation has been reduced to the Shaheen-Portman Bill, a bill one of its own co-sponsors claims is a ‘skinnied-down version’ of its original self. One indication of the oil and gas industry’s entrenched supremacy can be measured in the 1,257 patents filed last year, double the annual number registered a decade ago and frequently used to block the public's comprehension of new technologies, like hydraulic fracturing.

A study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reckons between 2012 and 2025 wind power costs will fall 19%, solar power costs will fall 35%, and geothermal costs will fall 9%. A separate study reports that 75% of the steep decline in U.S. CO2 emissions in 2012 was due to energy efficiency and conservation measures rather than the switch from coal to natural gas. The OMB issued new efficiency regulations affecting commercial refrigeration equipment. Read why the Sierra Club applauds these new rules. Sobering new data on air pollution’s impact on Americans’ health comes via MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment.

E2, a business group affiliated with the NRDC tracks clean energy and transportation projects. Here’s a rundown of the 10 individual states E2 believes produced the most new clean energy and clean transportation projects during the second quarter of 2013.  For a collective breakdown of the numbers, including the 9,169 jobs created in California, check this out.

The number of electric cars reportedly has passed the number of gas stations in the U.S. Through June of this year, half of all new electric vehicles were registered in five metropolitan markets and 35 % of those cars call San Francisco and LA home. Detractors of EVs miss the point. EVs are primed to benefit from the confluence of two trends: the changing role of the car and the growth of decentralized energy production. The BBC reports the electric vehicle revolution, characterized by computers telling a car how to think and a smart grid infused with seamless energy management powering the cars we’ll drive, is only beginning.  For more on the smart grid, read this.

The 2013 California legislative session is swiftly drawing to a close; but a number of important bills are still in play. Chief among them is SB 4. Once a sleeper, Senator Pavley’s Bill imposing regulations on hydraulic fracturing is generating enormous controversy – thanks in no small measure to the reporting done by Rob Collier for Next Generation on the proposed use of acidizing. For more on why a call for a moratorium on fracking is gaining traction, read this.

Another bill flying under the radar … until now, AB 327, Assembly member Perea’s bill on electricity rates cleared a hurdle and remains alive. An editorial generally supporting the Bill but calling for concessions favoring the solar industry can be found here.  The recent amendments attached to the Bill are analyzed here. The battles looming over net metering are mapped out in three informative articles: the first provides background on how the rapid growth of solar energy threatens the centralized utility model; the second touches on the debate’s underlying politics and how special interest groups are lining up on opposing sides of the issue; and, the third discusses how new amendments made to AB 327 specifically alter California’s solar industry as well as the rules on net metering.

During the second quarter of 2013, the Golden State continued to rake in the sunshine installing 521MW of new PV – 53% of all new PV installations in the U.S. Given these numbers, it’s no wonder that start-ups, like Mosaic, and juggernauts, like Bechtel, recognizing the sector’s potential for good as well as profit are rushing to capitalize on its growth. In conclusion, Cal Fire reports the Rim Fire is 80% contained.


"Irrefutable" and "Alarming." Secretary of State John Kerry on The science is clear. It is irrefutable and it is alarming," he said in a video address broadcast at a climate conference in the Marshall Islands.

“… the equivalent of taking nearly 109 million new cars of the road for one year.” The description in a blog post presented by Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the President for energy and climate change, on how the Obama Administration’s new energy efficiency regulations for refrigerators and walk-in coolers and freezers will impact the environment.

"You might think of the atmosphere as the tail, and the ocean being the dog, as far as heat is concerned. Although the tail may wag around a little, what it's really doing is following the dog." Anthony Broccoli, a climate researcher at Rutgers University, explaining that despite an observed reduction in surface warming, global warming is real because the oceans – the elephant in the climate system, so to speak – are still warming up.

"If you look at all pests and pathogens, they are moving." Sarah Gurr, a fungal biologist at the University of Exeter and co-author of a paper that finds crop pests and pathogens are spreading because of climate change.

"Everybody started to believe that shale gas is driving all these CO2 reductions.  The numbers just don't add up." Shakeb Afsah, an environmental economist and co-author of a study that found 75% of the steep decline in CO2 emissions in 2012 in the U.S. was due to economy-wide energy efficiency and conservation measures rather than the switch from coal to natural gas.

From the utility’s perspective, it’s a mortal threat.” Independent power producer NRG Energy’s chief executive, David Crane on how distributed solar could disrupt the de facto monopoly held by regulated utilities.


The Untold Story Of Western Ranchers And Their Epic Battle Against Coal




THE PRICE OF CRYSTALLLINE SILICON PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS, $ PER WATT  Source: The Economist. Printed in Scientific America Blog. September 3, 3013.  


Top 20 Utility Scale Solar Countries  Source: REneweconomy. September 3, 2013.



Is global warming really slowing down?

Kerry: Climate change 'irrefutable.’ 

Climate change makes pests move north from the tropics – study

National assessment to include first-ever chapter on ocean effects 

Climate change impacts on global agriculture 

Report: Climate change could devastate agriculture

Budget Gridlock Risks International Climate and Clean Energy Investments

Administration's Higher Estimate for Cost of Carbon Raises Ire of Critics

New Realities Sap Appetite for Broad Energy Legislation

Research examines changing role of patents in natural gas industry 

Patents on the rise among oil field service firms 



Wind and solar to be cost competitive by 2025

Efficiency Drove U.S. Emissions Decline, Not Natural Gas, Study Says 

Energy Dept. unveils new efficiency regs 


Air Pollution Causes 200,000 Early Deaths in US 



The Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index  Ernst & Young.  August 2013. 

US continues to be most attractive place for renewable energy 

10 U.S. States with the Most New Clean Energy Jobs 

About E2 

REPORT.  2013 Second Quarter Clean Energy and Clean Transportation Jobs Report 

America Adds 1000s Of New Green Jobs Ahead Of Labor Day 



Electric Car Sales Pass Gas Stations For The First Time 

California is gateway to electric car market 

Electric cars are green, and they will only get greener 

First, smart cars. Next, smart transport grids 

Electric cars: A universal plug for all models? 



Bills on fracking, earthquake warnings advance 

LEGAL INFO:  Senate Bill 4 

STATEMENT REGARDING Senator Pavley’s SB 4 Fracking Bill 

California moves closer to regulating unchecked oilfield practices 

The Most Dangerous Chemical You’ve Never Heard Of 

Why Oil Companies Want to Drop Acid in California

How the Monterey Shale came to be 

Fracking' moratorium proposed by two L.A. City Council members 

AB 327 (Perea): Electricity: natural gas: rates: net energy metering: California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program 

AB 327 Author Perea On the Record About California Energy Rates 

ED.  Perea's AB 327 needs tweak to protect solar users 

AB 327:  From California Solar Killer to Net Metering Savior 



Rooftop solar net metering is being fought across U.S. 

Solar, utility companies clash over changes to net metering 

With Rooftop Solar on Rise,  U.S. Utilities Are Striking Back 

FACT SHEET.  Significant Concerns about the Solar Provisions in AB 327 



California dominates new PV installations in US 

A Bet on the Environment 

Bechtel completes utility-scale PV project 

Wildfire becomes fourth largest in California history as containment continues 

Rim Fire Near Yosemite Grows Slightly, 80 Percent Contained  

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