April 21, 2015
No large company is going to want to be seen on the wrong side of this issue.
Investors representing nearly US$2 trillion in assets have written urging the US financial regulator to act on climate risk.
Global efforts to slash greenhouse gases could hit fossil fuel demand and therefore the value of oil and gas companies, 59 institutions warned.
Shareholder activists succeeded on Thursday in persuading oil major BP to disclose how its portfolio could be affected by climate regulations.
But Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Canadian Natural Resources are failing to seriously analyse the threat, according to the letter coordinated by advocacy group Ceres.
It called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to demand better reporting throughout the industry.
“By failing to hold the fossil fuel industry to the same disclosure standards as other industries, the SEC is allowing the sector to hide its true level of risk,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres
Apple on Monday released its 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report, underscoring its commitment to lessening the environmental impact of its products and operations. “We don’t want to debate climate change. We want to stop it,” the company stated in the report.
April 20, 2015
This is the future the fossil fuel industry has in mind for you and your children.
Only minus blue skies, birds, fish, animals, clear water, soil and food.
The number of U.S. oil drilling rigs—a proxy for activity in the oil industry—has fallen sharply since prices headed south last year. There are now 54% fewer rigs compared with a peak of 1,609 in October, and Friday’s report marks the 19th-straight week of declines.
North America experienced an unprecedented decline in drilling activity during the first quarter, which drove pricing pressure and margin compression across all product lines. First quarter revenue declined 9% and operating income declined 54%, year-over-year, compared to a 21% reduction in the United States land rig count. Activity has dropped approximately 50% from the peak in late November and we expect to continue to see pricing pressure for our services until the rig count stabilizes.
Active rig counts will keep plunging until at least July, when Morgan Stanley forecasts the counts will bottom. On Friday, data from oil driller Baker Hughes showed that the number of US oil rigs in use fell by 26 to 734 during the prior week, the lowest oil-rig count total since November 2010.
Downtown, clutches of men pass their time at the Salvation Army, watching movies or trolling Craigslist ads on desktop computers. The main branch of the public library is full, all day, every day, with unemployed men in cubbyholes. And when the Command Center, a private temporary jobs agency, opens every morning at 6am, between two and three dozen people are waiting to get in the door.
Some of these job seekers are sleeping in their trucks, in utility sheds, behind piles of garbage by the railroad tracks, wherever they can curl up.
Only a year ago, Williston’s shale oil explosion was still gushing jobs. From 2010 to 2014, thanks to the Bakken shale oil patch, it was the fastest growing small city in the nation. Williston nearly tripled in size, from 12,000 to 35,000 people. But the number of active rigs used to drill new wells in the Bakken dropped to 111 in March, the lowest number since April 2010, according to state figures. Low oil prices have prompted drilling to slow down, and companies big and small have been laying off workers and cutting hours.
City officials paint a rosy picture. They cite North Dakota Job Service reports that maintain there are 116 jobs in Williston for every 100 residents, point to North Dakota’s ranking among oil-producing states (number two, after Texas), call the oil production slowdown a blip and say the oil patch is still growing.
But the city’s job numbers do not match the reality on the ground. At the Command Center, oil jobs have dropped by 10 percent since last Fall, said Kyle Tennessen, the branch manager. Compounding the job shortage, laid-off oil workers were competing with others for construction jobs and everything else, Tennessen added.
Some migrants have already left, or are planning to, according to the local UHaul companies. They report fewer people renting vans and trucks to move into town and more laid-off workers renting vehicles to move out.
The rest are becoming Williston’s version of day laborers. They compete for low-paying jobs such as picking up trash, doing laundry and mopping floors, that make enough for them to eat, but not enough to afford a place to live. (The average one-bedroom apartment in Williston costs $2,395 a month.)
April 20, 2015
Here in the midwest, passionate hunters and fishermen make up a powerful voice for issues of conservation and wildlife protection. But this group has been somewhat absent in the conversation about climate change. I’ve spoken to a number of outdoor journalists and leaders in a new movement among outdoorsmen to speak out.
Now, a new film will be touring the country to raise this discussion with a critical audience.
BIGFORK, Mont. – Conservation Hawks, Inc., a group of hunters and anglers working to defend America’s sporting heritage, will release an important new film to the public on April 21. Cold Waters, a 10-minute film shot on a spectacular southwestern Montana spring creek, celebrates the joy and passion of fly fishing while educating anglers about the looming threat of climate change.
In October 2014, five respected fly fishermen – Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies, Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, Steve Hemkens of Orvis, Tim Romano of Angling Trade, and Todd Tanner of Conservation Hawks – came together to fish for wild trout and share their thoughts on angling and climate change. Cold Waters, which is a collaboration between Conservation Hawks and the cinematic team at Conservation Media, focuses on our responsibility to protect cold, clean waters and healthy landscapes, and to stand up for future generations of Americans. The movie has been touring the U.S. as part of the 2015 Fly Fishing Film Tour.Cold Waters was made with unprecedented support from the fly fishing industry. The film’s sponsors included iconic brands, businesses and organizations like Patagonia, Orvis, Scientific Anglers, Costa, Winston, Sage, RIO, Redington, Abel, AFFTA, National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited, TroutHunter, Linehan Outfitting Co., Sweetwater Travel Co., WorldCast Anglers, Emerald Water Anglers, Hatch Magazine, The Lodge at Palisades Creek, Angling Trade Magazine and Blue Ribbon Flies.
April 20, 2015
With Jeb Bush equivocating from the standard GOP full-frontal denial of climate change, opposing presidential candidate Marco Rubio throws in with the Know Nothing wing of the party, which exerts great influence in early selection process.
Prediction: Rubio “evolves” after the South Carolina primary.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who announced his presidential candidacy last week, told Bob Schieffer of CBS News on Sunday that he does not believe in manmade global warming. Instead, Rubio said he recognizes the climate is changing, but that scientists have not determined what percentage of such changes are due to human activities, such as burning coal, oil and gas for energy, compared to natural climate variability.
Unfortunately for Rubio, scientists have been quite clear that the majority of warming during the past few decades is due to manmade global warming.
In an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Rubio said that if the government implements policies such as a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it would be “devastating” for the economy, and scientists can’t say precisely what the climate benefits would be.
Rubio’s comments are out of step with the scientific community, which is nearly unanimous in finding that the majority of recent climate change is largely due to manmade activities, and that if action is not taken soon to slow the pace of global warming, potentially devastating consequences may occur.
The senator’s views also put him in opposition to the majority of voters in his home state, which is considered to be ground zero for sea level rise. A recent study from Yale University shows that 64% of Floridians believe global warming is occurring, and 50% think that climate change is mostly due to human activities.
Below, see my recent video on the impact of sea level rise on Rubio’s home state of Florida: Read the rest of this entry »
April 20, 2015
For those that caught my newest “This is Not Cool” video of last week, Trouble at Totten Glacier, you saw clips of my recent interview with Jamin Greenbaum of the University of Texas Center for Geophysics.
I’ve selected some more in depth clips to share here for some deeper understanding. This is part one, about 4 minutes.
Below, the Totten video for anyone that missed it. Read the rest of this entry »