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Beyond the Environmental Summit, Dec 2015 Paris, -- do more !

How can we prevent countries and corporations, which own the planet’s remaining reserves of coal, gas and oil from ever being allowed to dig most of it up?
We need to
 
Keep it in the ground video
( by The Guardian KEEP IT IN THE GROUND)


and:

  1. An immediate Moratorium on the Exploration for new reserves.
  2. Define a Global LIMIT for the extraction of fossil fuels from existing reserves, with an end date and schedule for every coal, oil, and gas LOCATION. Meanwhile prioritize on locations where production is cheapest.
  3. Make Laws for Monitoring and Enforcement which must include extreme penalties on those corporations and countries that don't comply.
  4. Abolish all Fossil Fuel Corp. SUBSIDIES and apply them to RENEWABLES Incentives.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC worked on the PARIS AGREEMENT. 
#ClimatParis2015    #COP21
They used  IIASA as consultants - Email them.

The Climate Crisis needs you !

Citibank Report Aug 2015:
"The cost of following a low carbon route
 is actually cheaper than Inaction "

DIVESTMENT:
Trusts, investment specialists, universities, pension funds and businesses need to take their money away from the companies plunging us into a death spiral.
UN: We need to End New Coal
 

G20 countries paying  $1,000 per citizen in fossil fuel subsidies

Time to put a FLOOR on the price of Gas before Oil drops below $35 a barrel.
 A CARBON TAX.
USA's Subsidies     Loans

Myths and Realities about
Wind, Water and Sun  versus Fossil Fuels

Stanford Study of 100% RENEWABLES Energy future for USA

 

  Today, the future livability of our planet was threatened by President Trump's careless decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Our future on this planet is now more at risk than ever before. For Americans and those in the world community looking for strong leadership on climate issues, this action is deeply discouraging. Now, more than ever, we must be determined to solve climate change, and to challenge those leaders who do not believe in scientific facts or empirical truths. It is time for all of us to stand up, organize, fight back, and channel our energy into grassroots political action.

 You can start by supporting these organizations on the front lines of this fight: 
1. Indivisible Guide: 
https://www.indivisibleguide.com/act-locally
2. NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):
 https://www.nrdc.org
3. Resistance Manual:
https://www.resistancemanual.org/State_and_Local_Pages
4. Stand Up America:
 https://www.standupamerica.com/act
5.Take action on https://www.beforetheflood.com/act 


Sea level rise will swallow Miami, New Orleans no matter what we do, study finds

December 2015, the nations of the world assembled in Paris, as they did previously in Rio, Copenhagen and Kyoto.
Did they find the right actions, where they have failed before?

  •  who is got the subsidies
  •  who is did the lobbying?
  •  who are the worst polluters ?
  •  who still funds them?


Worldwide Fossil Reserves that must remain buried:

  • Coal 82%
  • Gas 49%
  • Oil 33%

source (the Guardian)

Reserves to remain buried
% of
Coal Gas Oil
USA 92 4 6
Africa 85 33 21
Australia 90 61 38
China & India 66 63 25
Ex-Soviet 94 50 85
Arctic     100
   

Rating Countries on their Pledges prior to Paris (source)

Role Model
Medium Inadequate Not rated
Fully consistent with below 2°C limit. Not consistent with limiting warming below 2°C as it would require many other countries to make a comparably greater effort and much deeper reductions. If all governments put forward this inadequate position, then warming likely to exceed 3–4°C.  


Shale Oil & Shale Gas LOCATIONS

New Pipelines Evade Federal Regulation

More than a half a million miles of new pipeline will be built in the United States by 2035, industry projections anticipate the need for half a trillion -- yes, trillion -- dollars of investment in systems to move oil and gas around the country over the next twenty years.

More than a hundred major pipeline projects are currently planned for the next five years in North America.

Right now, each federal inspector is responsible for almost enough pipeline to circle the earth. With the addition of hundreds of thousands of extra miles, it's not clear how they’ll be able to keep up.

http://insideenergy.org/2014/08/01/leaky-barrels-german-u-boats-and-2-6-million-miles-of-pipe

$1.1 Trillion being gambled on $95 per barrel oil 

2015-2025 Natural Gas plants to be surplus to requirements:-  $82 billion in Canada, $71bn in the US and $68bn in Australia, with the rest of the world, led by Russia and Indonesia, accounting for the remaining $59bn.
(Shell is the biggest player in the market and $85bn would not be needed).

Natural gas has been touted as an environmentally friendly substitute to coal and oil production, but a new report estimates enough gas is leaking to negate most of the climate benefits. Methane leaks at natural gas sites can make the process nearly or as carbon-intensive as coal.

Video:"chasing methane" "years of living dangerously" In the 3 places it has been measured, Denver, Utah and Los Angeles methane emission from Natural Gas production far exceeds the Green House Equivalent of Coal.

How can we curb the HUGE US export of liquid Natural Gas that causes an increase in price at home?
 

Mapping how the United States generates its electricity

Database of global Exploration
 

 

Earth Killers

   RUSSIAN OIL DISASTER          Climate Lobbyists, destroying our future
 
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden
  Chevron  
   Cheniere Energy (exporting shale gas)

Exxon Mobil    BHP Billiton      Exxaro
BP     Anglo American      Lukoil     ConocoPhillips
Gazprom   Standard Chartered Bank
Loans to Oil & Gas Companies: $ Billion

to UN: Oil & Gas CEOs declare action on climate change BG Group, BP, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total

Citigroup 22
JP Morgan Chase 44
Bank of America 22
Wells Fargo 17

CRAZY Italian Oil Corp, Eni, continues to explore in the Arctic even knowing they need Oil to be $122 a barrel just to break even !
 

IMF study June 2015:  a massive $5.3 trillion is spent worldwide on fossil fuel subsidies each year, or about 6.5 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  The report predicts that carbon dioxide emissions would fall by around 20 percent if these subsidies were scrapped. This adds to previous research which has also identified that fossil fuel subsidies stunt economic growth.

27 billion tonnes of coal in Queensland, Australia
 Banks:
Westpac ,  ANZ

5 years after BP spill, drillers push into riskier depths

Mar 24, 2015 Private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners will invest up to $1 billion in a new entity for acquisition and development of oil and gas assets that will be managed by Linn Energy LLC (LINE.O).

February 3, 2015 – Quantum Energy Partners formed Rio Oil and Gas II, LLC -- $350 million invested.

Drummond Global coal                   Coal mining in India

Vast amounts of oil in the Middle East, coal in the US, Australia and China and many other fossil fuel reserves will have to be left in the ground to prevent dangerous climate change.

New research identifies which reserves must not be burned to keep global temperature rise under 2C, including over 90% of US and Australian coal and almost all Canadian tar sands.

Major fossil fuel companies face the risk that significant parts of their reserves will become worthless, with Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Exxaro owning huge coal reserves and Lukoil, Exxon Mobil, BP, Gazprom and Chevron owning massive oil and gas reserves.

The Middle East is still required to leave 260 billion barrels of oil in the ground, an amount equivalent to Saudi Arabia’s entire oil reserve. 
Canada’s oil sands production must fall to zero after 2020 if the 2C scenario is to be fulfilled.

In 2013, fossil fuel companies spent $670 billion (£443bn) on exploring for new oil and gas resources.

banks with a high proportion of loans to oil and gas companies, include BOK Financial, Hancock Holding, Comerica, Texas Capital Bancshares and Cullen/Frost Bankers, according to Moody's,

Oil prices are now too low for OPEC countries to cover their spending.
Oil prices needed to meet
budgeted expenditure
($/bbl)
 OPEC Country     2013

 Algeria             119
 Angola               94
 Ecuador           122
 Iran                  136
 Iraq                  116
 Kuwait               59
 Libya               111
 Nigeria             124
 Qatar                 58
 Saudi Arabia       92
 UAE                   90
 Venezuela         117
   Cost of producing one new barrel of oil
 Region                        Dollars per barrel ($/bbl)

 Arctic                                         115-122
 Brazil Ethanol                               63-69
 Central and South America        29-35
 Deepwater Offshore                       54-60
 EU Biodiesel                              106-113
 EU Ethanol                                  98-105
 Middle East Onshore                  10-17
 North Sea                                    46-53
 Oil Sands                                    89-96
 Former Soviet Union Onshore   18-25
  Russia Onshore                        15-21

 US Ethanol                                 80-87
 US Shale Oil                              70-77
 WAF Offshore                             38-44
The budget needs of oil producers are generally much higher than their marginal 
operating costs, calculated as the cost of producing one extra barrel of crude oil 
from an existing field. source Reuters
 


Pemex can no longer fund shale oil exploration and the Mexican Government is auctioning oil exploration rights.
There are 139 billion barrels from untapped deposits,
the Biggest Oilfield in the world.
Mexico needs more than 40,000 new wells to develop its virgin shale fields, with each well costing $10 to $20 million.
Round One is shallow water in the Gulf ! Fracking is required which uses tremendous amounts of water.

This Mexican Auction is our next equidistant "KXL type" disaster ! We must attack every attempt to invest in this !
Sep30th 2015 Bid winners:

Baker & McKenzie, GBM & Deloitte are working with companies to invest.

Going beyond Europe, research conducted by Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy indicates that 800 projects with a cumulative headline valuation of $500 billion await FID. Some of these are unlikely to be profitable below $70 a barrel.

Wood Mackenzie has identified 32 projects from Barents Sea to the Mediterranean awaiting a nod on investment totaling £55 billion.

63 percent of the carbon dioxide and methane emitted between 1854 and 2010 to just 90 entities

HilCorp Alaska LLC

 

Methane Leaks in Oil Production

Future CAPITAL EXPENDITURES ( capex ) outside the 2 DEGREES (2D) Budget
 investors beware. Cancelling high-cost projects is required. source

Company Country of headquarters % of upstream capex outside 2D budget 2017-2035 carbon budget (GtCO2) Potential CO2 outside 2D carbon budget (GtCO2)
Southwestern Energy United States 60% - 70% 1.0 0.6
Apache United States 60% - 70% 1.1 1.0
Cabot Oil and Gas United States 50% - 60% 0.6 0.4
Energen United States 50% - 60% 0.2 0.1
Murphy Oil United States 50% - 60% 0.4 0.3
Concho Resources United States 50% - 60% 0.4 0.3
Imperial Oil (Public traded part) Canada 50% - 60% 0.4 0.2
Vermilion Energy Canada 50% - 60% 0.1 0.1
Oil Search Papua New Guinea 50% - 60% 0.2 0.1
Encana Canada 50% - 60% 1.0 0.6
Chesapeake United States 40% - 50% 1.8 1.2
Inpex Japan 40% - 50% 1.4 0.3
ExxonMobil United States 40% - 50% 8.6 3.1
Husky Energy Canada 40% - 50% 0.9 0.3
Woodside Australia 40% - 50% 0.7 0.3
Suncor Energy Canada 40% - 50% 2.3 0.4
EQT Corporation United States 30% - 40% 1.2 0.4
Devon Energy United States 30% - 40% 1.6 0.5
Chevron United States 30% - 40% 6.4 2.0
Eni Italy 30% - 40% 4.6 1.1
Shell Netherlands 30% - 40% 9.9 2.7
Galp Energia SA Portugal 30% - 40% 0.3 0.1
Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL) Canada 30% - 40% 2.0 0.5
Noble Energy United States 30% - 40% 1.3 0.6
Repsol Spain 30% - 40% 1.8 0.3
Newfield Exploration United States 30% - 40% 0.4 0.2
Total France 30% - 40% 6.3 1.2
Crescent Point Energy Canada 30% - 40% 0.2 0.1
Hess United States 30% - 40% 0.8 0.2
Origin Energy Australia 30% - 40% 0.3 0.1
Rosneft Russia 30% - 40% 9.5 1.3
Continental Resources United States 20% - 30% 0.7 0.3
Anadarko United States 20% - 30% 2.5 0.6
Cimarex Energy United States 20% - 30% 0.7 0.1
Occidental Petroleum United States 20% - 30% 1.6 0.5
BP United Kingdom 20% - 30% 6.5 1.5
Lukoil Russia 20% - 30% 5.0 0.5
PetroChina China 20% - 30% 9.6 0.7
ConocoPhillips United States 20% - 30% 3.8 0.8
EOG Resources United States 20% - 30% 2.3 0.6
CNOOC China 20% - 30% 2.9 0.5
Gazprom Russia 20% - 30% 17.8 2.0
Santos Australia 20% - 30% 0.4 0.1
Statoil Norway 20% - 30% 4.3 0.6
Rice Energy United States 20% - 30% 0.7 0.1
RSP Permian United States 10% - 20% 0.4 0.1
Marathon Oil United States 10% - 20% 1.1 0.2
OMV Austria 10% - 20% 0.5 0.1
QEP Resources United States 10% - 20% 0.4 0.1
Cenovus Energy Canada 10% - 20% 0.9 0.1
Tullow Oil United Kingdom 10% - 20% 0.3 0.0
Parsley Energy United States 10% - 20% 0.2 0.0
Ecopetrol Colombia 10% - 20% 0.8 0.1
Lundin Petroleum Sweden 10% - 20% 0.3 0.0
Sinopec China 10% - 20% 2.3 0.2
Pioneer Natural Resources United States 0% - 10% 1.8 0.2
Peyto Canada 0% - 10% 0.3 0.1
Petrobras Brazil 0% - 10% 5.9 0.4
Surgutneftegas Russia 0% - 10% 2.0 0.0
Tatneft Russia 0% - 10% 1.1 0.0
Range Resources United States 0% - 10% 2.0 0.0
Saudi Aramco Saudi Arabia 0% - 10% 30.2 0.4
Novatek Russia 0% - 10% 2.8 0.1
Arc Resources Canada 0% - 10% 0.5 0.0
Gulfport Energy United States 0% - 10% 0.8 0.0
Tourmaline Oil Canada 0% - 10% 1.0 0.0
Diamondback Energy United States 0% - 10% 0.4 0.0
Antero Resources United States 0% - 10% 1.3 0.0
Seven Generations Energy Canada 0% - 10% 0.7 0.0

Source: Rystad Energy, CTI analysis

It is clear that some companies would have to forego the majority of their options in a 2D future, significantly impacting growth plans. Other companies are already highly resilient to this scenario, including Saudi Aramco for example.
Oil sands
operators generally do not perform well, which reflects the ongoing challenges to expanding production with both carbon limits and export infrastructure constraints.
Shale
operators are spread along the cost curve, with some positions performing better than others.
Exxon, Shell, Chevron
and Gazprom can do the most damage. Followed by Apache, Chesapeake , Eni, Total, Rosneft and BP.
 
  • A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone,
  • The oceans are 30 percent more acidic,
  • June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States.
  • the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere
  • the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average ( for the last 27 years that is)
  • this spring was the warmest ever recorded for USA ( the "largest temperature departure from average of any season on record."
  •  it rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet's history.
  • The week after the Rio conference limped to its conclusion, Arctic sea ice hit the lowest level ever recorded for that date.
  • Last month, on a single weekend, Tropical Storm Debby dumped more than 20 inches of rain on Florida – the earliest hurricane ever.
  • At the same time, the largest fire in New Mexico history burned on, and
  • the most destructive fire in Colorado's history claimed 346 homes in Colorado Springs
  • a heat wave across the Plains and Midwest broke records that had stood since the Dust Bowl, threatening this year's harvest.
  • an ocean species collapse from the top of the food chain down

Older News

Stanford Study of alternative energy future for California & New York State

Leave fossil fuels buried to prevent climate change, study urges

Seven Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense

Scientific consensus: Earth's climate is warming
http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/
https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

Global surface temperature Graph 

Nov 19, 2012 The World Bank warns that “we’re on track for a 4°C increase.

 California CAP and TRADE started Nov 13th 2012

Solar: The best of times, the worst of times

The International Energy Agency said,
No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels
can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 °C goal

 

Not that our leaders seemed to notice -- June 2012 the world's nations, meeting in Rio for the 20th-anniversary return of the 1992 Environmental Summit, accomplished nothing. It was a ghost of a meeting relative to 20 years ago, no one paid it much attention.

For the past year, an easy and powerful bit of arithmetical analysis upends most of the political denials about climate change. And it allows us to understand our precarious position with three simple numbers:

Republican Deniers

1.      2° Celsius

2.      565  Gigatons  CO2

3.      2,795 Gigatons CO2

-

-

-

We must stay below

We need to emit no more by midcentury

the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies


The First Number: 2° Celsius

This was our chance. It could take years before we get a new and better one, If ever. Copenhagen failed spectacularly. Neither China nor the United States, which between them are responsible for 40 percent of global carbon emissions, was prepared to offer dramatic concessions, and so the conference drifted aimlessly for two weeks until world leaders jetted in for the final day. It’s purely voluntary agreements committed no one to anything, there was no enforcement mechanism. "Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight," an angry Greenpeace official declared, "with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport." Headline writers were equally brutal: COPENHAGEN: THE MUNICH OF OUR TIMES? asked one.

The accord did contain one important number, however. It formally recognized "the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below two degrees Celsius." "we agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required... so as to hold the increase in global temperature below two degrees Celsius." By insisting on two degrees – about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit – the accord ratified positions taken earlier in 2009 by the G8, and the so-called Major Economies Forum.

So far, we've raised the average temperature of the planet just under 0.8 degrees Celsius, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. (A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.) Given those impacts, in fact, many scientists have come to think that two degrees is far too lenient a target. "Any number much above one degree involves a gamble," writes Kerry Emanuel of MIT, a leading authority on hurricanes, "and the odds become less and less favorable as the temperature goes up." Thomas Lovejoy, once the World Bank's chief biodiversity adviser, puts it like this: "If we're seeing what we're seeing today at 0.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees is simply too much." NASA scientist James Hansen, the planet's most prominent climatologist, is even blunter: "The target that has been talked about in international negotiations for two degrees of warming is actually a prescription for long-term disaster." At the Copenhagen summit, a spokesman for small island nations warned that many would not survive a two-degree rise: "Some countries will flat-out disappear." When delegates from developing nations were warned that two degrees would represent a "suicide pact" for drought-stricken Africa, many of them started chanting, "One degree, one Africa."

Despite such well-founded misgivings, political realism bested scientific data, and the world settled on the two-degree target – indeed, it's fair to say that it's the only thing about climate change the world has settled on. All told, 167 countries responsible for more than 87 percent of the world's carbon emissions have signed on to the Copenhagen Accord, endorsing the two-degree target. Only a few dozen countries have rejected it, including Kuwait, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Even the United Arab Emirates, which makes most of its money exporting oil and gas, signed on.

The Second Number: 565 Gigatons CO    

Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees.

This idea of a global "carbon budget" emerged about a decade ago, as scientists began to calculate how much oil, coal and gas could still safely be burned. Since we've increased the Earth's temperature by 0.8 degrees so far, we're currently less than halfway to the target. But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere. That means we're already three-quarters of the way to the two-degree target.

"There's maybe 40 models in the data set now, compared with 20 before. But so far the numbers are pretty much the same.

 We've continued to pour record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, year after year. The International Energy Agency published its latest figures – CO2 emissions last year rose to 31.6 gigatons, up 3.2 percent from the year before. China kept booming, so its carbon output (which recently surpassed the U.S.) rose 9.3 percent; the Japanese shut down their fleet of nukes post-Fukushima, so their emissions edged up 2.4 percent.

In fact, study after study predicts that carbon emissions will keep growing by roughly three percent a year – and at that rate, we'll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance in 16 years. "The door to a two-degree trajectory is about to close, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of about six degrees."
That's almost 11 degrees Fahrenheit, which would create
a planet straight out of science fiction.
 

The Third Number: 2,795 Gigatons CO2  

This number is the scariest of all –by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a team of London financial analysts and environmentalists who published a report in an effort to educate investors about the possible risks that climate change poses to their stock portfolios. The number describes the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies. It's the fossil fuel we're currently planning to burn. And the key point is that this new number – 2,795 – is Five times higher than 565.

We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn.
We'd have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate.
Our fate seems certain.

Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it's already economically aboveground – it's figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard to prevent the regulation of carbon dioxide – those reserves are their primary asset, the holding that gives their companies their value. It's why they've worked so hard these past years to figure out how to unlock the oil in Canada's Tar Sands, or how to drill miles beneath the sea, or how to frack the Appalachians.

If you told Exxon or Lukoil that, in order to avoid wrecking the climate, they couldn't pump out their reserves, the value of their companies would plummet. John Fullerton, a former managing director at JP Morgan who now runs the Capital Institute, calculates that at today's market value, those 2,795 gigatons of carbon emissions are worth about $27 trillion. Which is to say, if you paid attention to the scientists and kept 80 percent of it underground, you'd be writing off $20 trillion in assets.

But if we burn all that carbon,  the planet will crater – end of story.

Put a price on carbon

We need to view the Fossil-Fuel Industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization. Wrecking the planet is their business model. It's what they do."

Left to our own devices, citizens might decide to regulate carbon and stop short of the brink; according to a recent poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans would back an international agreement that cut carbon emissions 90 percent by 2050. But we aren't left to our own devices. The Koch brothers, for instance, have a combined wealth of $50 billion. They've made most of their money in hydrocarbons, they know any system to regulate carbon would cut those profits, and they reportedly plan to lavish as much as $200 million on this year's elections.

In 2009, for the first time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce surpassed both the Republican and Democratic National Committees on political spending; the following year, more than 90 percent of the Chamber's cash went to Republican candidates, many of whom deny the existence of global warming. Not long ago, the Chamber even filed a brief with the EPA urging the agency not to regulate carbon – should the world's scientists turn out to be right and the planet heats up, the Chamber advised, "populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological and technological adaptations." As radical goes, demanding that we change our physiology seems right up there.

 BP closed its solar division. Shell shut down its solar and wind efforts in 2009. The five biggest oil companies have made more than $1 trillion in profits since the millennium – there's simply too much money to be made on oil and gas and coal to go chasing after sunbeams.

Much of that profit stems from -- alone among businesses, the fossil-fuel industry is allowed to dump its main waste, carbon dioxide, for free. Nobody else gets that break – if you own a restaurant, you have to pay someone to cart away your trash. Now that we understand that carbon is heating the planet and acidifying the oceans, its price becomes the central issue.

If you put a price on carbon, through a direct tax or other methods, it would enlist markets in the fight against global warming. Once Exxon has to pay for the damage its carbon is doing to the atmosphere, the price of its products would rise. Consumers would get a strong signal to use less fossil fuel – every time they stopped at the pump, they'd be reminded that you don't need a semi-military vehicle to go to the grocery store. The economic playing field would now be a level one for nonpolluting energy sources. And you could do it all without bankrupting citizens – a so-called "fee-and-dividend" scheme would put a hefty tax on coal and gas and oil, then simply divide up the proceeds, sending everyone in the country a check each month for their share of the added costs of carbon. By switching to cleaner energy sources, most people would actually come out ahead.

If student’s college endowment and pension funds have fossil-fuel stock, then their being subsidized by investments that guarantee an unlivable planet. "Given the severity of the climate crisis, a comparable demand that our institutions dump stock from companies that are destroying the planet would not only be appropriate but effective," "The message is simple:  We must sever the ties with those who profit from climate change – now."

To make a real difference – to keep us under a temperature increase of two degrees – you'd need to instigate  carbon pricing legislation in Washington, and then use that to spread around the world. At this point, what happens in the U.S. is most important for how it will influence China and India, where emissions are growing fastest.

 We know how much we can burn, and we know who's planning to burn more. We're losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in. 

This synopsis is from the August 2nd, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone by Bill McKibben   July 19, 2012 9:35 AM ET http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719#ixzz21DHQFxSM


The Economist Unburnable fuel -- Either governments are not serious about climate change or fossil-fuel corps are overvalued

SUPPLEMENTAL
The charade will continue in November, when the next Conference of the Parties (COP) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change convenes in Qatar. This will be COP 18 – COP 1 was held in Berlin in 1995, and since then the process has accomplished essentially nothing.

"The message has been consistent for close to 30 years now," Collins says with a wry laugh, "and we have the instrumentation and the computer power required to present the evidence in detail.

So far, though, such calls have had little effect. We're in the same position we've been in for a quarter-century: scientific warning followed by political inaction.
 

According to the Carbon Tracker Report,

Oil Companies:

  • Exxon burns its current reserves, it would use up more than seven percent of the available atmospheric space between us and the risk of two degrees.
  • BP is just behind, followed by the
  • Russian firm Gazprom, then
  • Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell, each of which would fill between three and four percent.

Taken together, just these six firms, of the 200 listed in the Carbon Tracker report, would use up more than a quarter of the remaining two-degree budget.

Coal Companies:

  • Severstal, the Russian mining giant, leads the list of coal companies, followed by firms like
  • BHP Billiton and
  • Peabody.

The numbers are simply staggering – this industry, and this industry alone, holds the power to change the physics and chemistry of our planet, and they're planning to use it.

They're bidding on all those oil leases made possible by the staggering melt of Arctic ice. And yet they relentlessly search for more hydrocarbons – in early March, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson told Wall Street analysts that the company plans to spend $37 billion a year through 2016 (about $100 million a day) searching for yet more oil and gas.

There's not a more reckless man on the planet than Tillerson. Late last month, on the same day the Colorado fires reached their height, he told a New York audience that global warming is real, but dismissed it as an "engineering problem" that has "engineering solutions." Such as? "Changes to weather patterns that move crop-production areas around – we'll adapt to that." This in a week when Kentucky farmers were reporting that corn kernels were "aborting" in record heat, threatening a spike in global food prices. "The fear factor that people want to throw out there to say, 'We just have to stop this,' I do not accept," Tillerson said. Of course not – if he did accept it, he'd have to keep his reserves in the ground. Which would cost him money. It's not an engineering problem, in other words – it's a greed problem.

 

Actions to take

So far, environmental efforts to tackle global warming have failed. The planet's emissions of carbon dioxide continue to soar, especially as developing countries emulate (and supplant) the industries of the West. Even in rich countries, small reductions in emissions offer no sign of the real break with the status quo we'd need to upend the iron logic of these three numbers. Germany is one of the only big countries that has actually tried hard to change its energy mix; on one sunny Saturday in late May, that northern-latitude nation generated nearly half its power from solar panels. That's a small miracle – and it demonstrates that we have the technology to solve our problems. But we lack the will. So far, Germany's the exception; the rule is ever more carbon.

This record of failure means we know a lot about what strategies don't work. Green groups, for instance, have spent a lot of time trying to change individual lifestyles: the iconic twisty light bulb has been installed by the millions, but so have a new generation of energy-sucking flatscreen TVs. Most of us are fundamentally ambivalent about going green: We like cheap flights to warm places, and we're certainly not going to give them up if everyone else is still taking them. Since all of us are in some way the beneficiaries of cheap fossil fuel.

People perceive – correctly – that their individual actions will not make a decisive difference in the atmospheric concentration of CO2; by 2010, a poll found that "while recycling is widespread in America and 73 percent of those polled are paying bills online in order to save paper," only four percent had reduced their utility use and only three percent had purchased hybrid cars. Given a hundred years, you could conceivably change lifestyles enough to matter – but time is precisely what we lack.

A more efficient method, of course, would be to work through the political system, and environmentalists have tried that, too, with the same limited success. They've patiently lobbied leaders, trying to convince them of our peril and assuming that politicians would heed the warnings. Sometimes it has seemed to work. Barack Obama, for instance, campaigned more aggressively about climate change than any president before him – the night he won the nomination, he told supporters that his election would mark the moment "the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal." And he has achieved one significant change: a steady increase in the fuel efficiency mandated for automobiles. It's the kind of measure, adopted a quarter-century ago, that would have helped enormously. But in light of the numbers I've just described, it's obviously a very small start indeed.

At this point, effective action would require actually keeping most of the carbon the fossil-fuel industry wants to burn safely in the soil, not just changing slightly the speed at which it's burned. And there the president, apparently haunted by the still-echoing cry of "Drill, baby, drill," has gone out of his way to frack and mine. His secretary of interior, for instance, opened up a huge swath of the Powder River Basin in Wyoming for coal extraction: The total basin contains some 67.5 gigatons worth of carbon (or more than 10 percent of the available atmospheric space). He's doing the same thing with Arctic and offshore drilling; in fact, as he explained on the stump in March, "You have my word that we will keep drilling everywhere we can... That's a commitment that I make." The next day, in a yard full of oil pipe in Cushing, Oklahoma, the president promised to work on wind and solar energy but, at the same time, to speed up fossil-fuel development: "Producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy." That is, he's committed to finding even more stock to add to the 2,795-gigaton inventory of unburned carbon.

Sometimes the irony is almost Borat-scale obvious: In early June, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled on a Norwegian research trawler to see firsthand the growing damage from climate change. "Many of the predictions about warming in the Arctic are being surpassed by the actual data," she said, describing the sight as "sobering." But the discussions she traveled to Scandinavia to have with other foreign ministers were mostly about how to make sure Western nations get their share of the estimated $9 trillion in oil (that's more than 90 billion barrels, or 37 gigatons of carbon) that will become accessible as the Arctic ice melts. Last month, the Obama administration indicated that it would give Shell permission to start drilling in sections of the Arctic.

Almost every government with deposits of hydrocarbons straddles the same divide. Canada, for instance, is a liberal democracy renowned for its internationalism – no wonder, then, that it signed on to the Kyoto treaty, promising to cut its carbon emissions substantially by 2012. But the rising price of oil suddenly made the tar sands of Alberta economically attractive – and since, as NASA climatologist James Hansen pointed out in May, they contain as much as 240 gigatons of carbon (or almost half of the available space if we take the 565 limit seriously), that meant Canada's commitment to Kyoto was nonsense. In December, the Canadian government withdrew from the treaty before it faced fines for failing to meet its commitments.

The same kind of hypocrisy applies across the ideological board: In his speech to the Copenhagen conference, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez quoted Rosa Luxemburg, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and "Christ the Redeemer," insisting that "climate change is undoubtedly the most devastating environmental problem of this century." But the next spring, in the Simon Bolivar Hall of the state-run oil company, he signed an agreement with a consortium of international players to develop the vast Orinoco Tar Sands as "the most significant engine for a comprehensive development of the entire territory and Venezuelan population." The Orinoco deposits are larger than Alberta's – taken together, they'd fill up the whole available atmospheric space.