Steve Goodman was one of the best singer songwriters I ever saw live. Maybe the best.

Heard Goodman sing this on the radio, part of an interview where he discussed his ongoing treatment for leukemia.
Steve Goodman died at age 36 in 1984.

That’s Jethro Burns on the mandolin.

30 Years after prophetic predictions of global change unfolding today, Jim Hansen is still sounding warnings – climate change may not happen in a slow steady process.

Recent studies showing accelerating Antarctic melt seem to be supportive of his science.

Given his track record, can we afford to ignore him again?

offshoreoil

Bill McKibben in the Guardian:

And from Wall Street came welcome word that market perceptions haven’t really changed: even in the age of Trump, the fossil fuel industry has gone from the world’s surest bet to an increasingly challenged enterprise. Researchers at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis minced no words: “In the past several years, oil industry financial statements have revealed significant signs of strain: Profits have dropped, cash flow is down, balance sheets are deteriorating and capital spending is falling. The stock market has recognized the sector’s overall weakness, punishing oil and gas shares over the past five years even as the market as a whole has soared.”

The IEEFA report labeled the industry “weaker than it has been in decades” and laid out its basic frailties, the first of which is paradoxical. Fracking has produced a sudden surge of gas and oil into the market, lowering prices – which means many older investments (Canada’s tar sands, for instance) no longer make economic sense. Fossil fuel has been transformed into a pure commodity business, and since the margins on fracking are narrow at best, its financial performance has been woeful. The IEEFA describes investors as “shell-shocked” by poor returns.

And from Wall Street came welcome word that market perceptions haven’t really changed: even in the age of Trump, the fossil fuel industry has gone from the world’s surest bet to an increasingly challenged enterprise. Researchers at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis minced no words: “In the past several years, oil industry financial statements have revealed significant signs of strain: Profits have dropped, cash flow is down, balance sheets are deteriorating and capital spending is falling. The stock market has recognized the sector’s overall weakness, punishing oil and gas shares over the past five years even as the market as a whole has soared.”

The IEEFA report labeled the industry “weaker than it has been in decades” and laid out its basic frailties, the first of which is paradoxical. Fracking has produced a sudden surge of gas and oil into the market, lowering prices – which means many older investments (Canada’s tar sands, for instance) no longer make economic sense. Fossil fuel has been transformed into a pure commodity business, and since the margins on fracking are narrow at best, its financial performance has been woeful. The IEEFA describes investors as “shell-shocked” by poor returns.

Read the rest of this entry »

On the 30th anniversary of James Hansen’s historic 1988 climate predictions – I am posting a number of clips from my 2015 interview in San Francisco – above, on the threat of arctic methane hydrates.

Sabotage at Tesla?

June 21, 2018

Hacking emails on behalf of an unknown third party hostile to renewable energy?
Who ever heard of such a thing?

It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.
Corollary –
If you are not paranoid in 2018, you don’t fully understand the situation.

Digital Trends:

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First reported by CNBC, the lawsuit claims that Tripp has “thus far admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system (‘MOS’) and to transferring several gigabytes of Tesla data to outside entities,” including “dozens of confidential photographs and a video of Tesla’s manufacturing systems.” It also accuses him of writing computer code “to periodically export Tesla’s data off its network and into the hands of third parties.”

The suit claims that Tripp, who was at the company for eight months, became upset after failing to receive a desired promotion at Tesla and had been causing trouble among fellow workers as a result.

But Tripp told the Washington Post on Wednesday that he did not interfere with the company’s internal systems and instead wanted to blow the lid on “some really scary things” he claims to have seen at the company. This includes an accusation that Tesla shipped Model 3 cars with damaged batteries, something the company vehemently denies. He also confirmed to the Post that he gave information to Business Insider in early June for an article about Tesla’s raw-material waste.

Tripp, 40, denied hacking into any of Tesla’s computers, and said he wasn’t bothered about the failure to get a promotion.

News that Tesla had tracked down what it claimed to be a rogue employee first emerged at the start of this week after several news outlets came into possession of an email sent by Tesla CEO Elon Musk to employees on Sunday.

In the email, Musk said he was “dismayed” to discover that an employee has been conducting “quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations.”

Musk: There are many who “want Tesla to die”

Tesla is trying to find out if Tripp’s alleged wrongdoing was a lone act or if he was working with others inside or outside of the company. Musk said in his email that there’s a “long list” of organizations that “want Tesla to die,” among them competitors in the auto industry, Wall Street short-sellers, and oil and gas firms who “don’t love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power and electric cars.”

 

tactical

I was walking in the night
And I saw nothing scary.
For I have never been afraid
Of anything. Not very.

Then I was deep within the woods
When, suddenly, I spied them.
I saw a pair of pale green pants
With nobody inside them!

– Dr. Suess

The Intercept:

SCANDAL-PLAGUED ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has now spent more than $4.6 million from public coffers on security, according to documents obtained by The Intercept and Documented under the Freedom of Information Act. The amount represents a $1.1 million increase from Pruitt’s total security costs as released in another disclosure just a month ago.

Pruitt’s high spending on security has become the subject of mounting criticism and a host of official investigations: Several EPA inspector general investigations have been opened, as well as an ongoing investigation by the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee.

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Records released under the Freedom of Information Act list expenditures totaling $288,610 on a range of security-related items. The EPA, according to three expense line items for April, spent a total of $2,749.62 on “tactical pants” and “tactical polos.”

Since last year, shortly after his Senate confirmation, Pruitt’s office began purchasing security-related items, including multiple vehicle leases, over $80,000 worth of radios, $700 in shoulder holsters for the radios, and a kit to break down doors, among other purchases.

An EPA spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

The expenses eclipsed spending by Pruitt’s predecessors. Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who served during President Barack Obama’s first term, averaged less than a third of the travel and security costs accrued by Pruitt in his first fiscal year, according to records.

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June 23, 1988.

Easy to remember, because it’s my birthday.
And the day I thought that, at last, humans were serious about the 800 pound gorilla of environmental issues.

Senior NASA scientist James Hansen, whose work I had been following for some time, came before the Senate, on a brutally hot summer day – and laid out his findings. He was pushing the envelope of what the data could tell, but his instincts were telling him that what he was seeing was real.

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How did he do?
I made a point to ask a number of senior scientists this question at last December’s American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

Hint:

hansenscen_skept

 

miamimall

Sea level is rising. Malls are going bust everywhere. What’s the answer?

Build the biggest mall ever, at sea level.

Wall Street Journal:

At a time when store closures are accelerating and struggling malls pockmark the country, county commissioners in Florida have approved a plan to build what would be the largest mall in the U.S.

American Dream Miami would also be the most expensive mall ever built, according to Canadian developer Triple Five Worldwide Group of Cos. The 6.2-million-square-foot retail and entertainment complex would cost an estimated $4 billion, Triple Five says.

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The cost would include 2,000 hotel rooms, indoor ski slope, ice-climbing wall and water park with a “submarine lake,” where guests could enter a plexiglass submarine and descend underwater.

Edmonton, Alberta-based Triple Five secured zoning approval in May from the Miami-Dade County Commission in an 11-1 vote, and is now in the process to secure environmental and water permits for the 174-acre site.

The project provides a window into the thinking of North America’s largest mall developers as they confront the revolution in the shopping world sparked by e-commerce. They recognize it’s no longer enough to fill malls with stores selling clothing, food, electronics and other merchandise people can more easily buy online.

Rather developers are filling malls with restaurants, rides, trampoline parks, gyms, services and other types of entertainment. This strategy taps into the increasing preference of consumers to spend their money on experiences as opposed to goods.

NPR:

The seas are rising, frequently flooding the streets even when no storms are on the horizon. But that hasn’t stopped foreign investors from shelling out big dollars for Miami real estate. Many are in it for the relatively short-term investment, then they’ll try to sell before climate change takes its toll, observers of the local market say.

Visit South Florida and you would have no idea this boomtown was a subprime war zone just a decade ago. In the aftermath of that collapse, Miami’s skyline was dominated by half-empty buildings and idled cranes; condo associations had trouble collecting fees, and billboards advertised lawyers who swore they could wrest back your security deposit.

The notoriously boom-bust region was bailed out by foreign investors, who desired hard U.S. assets and a piece of the sun-kissed Miami dream. Eighty percent cash down payments became the new thing — and often sight-unseen: About 5 percent of South Florida foreign buyers snapped up local homes without even visiting; 18 percent bought with just one visit.

But accompanying this giddy ascent has been a gurgling anxiety at sea level.

Read the rest of this entry »

Increasing pressure on water supplies in crowded,  historically hostile,  nuclear armed region. What could go wrong?

Reuters:

Droughts are becoming more frequent, creating problems for India’s rain-dependent farmers. At the same time, disputes between states are on the rise.

Interstate disagreements are on the rise, with seven major disputes currently raging, pointing to the fact that limited frameworks and institutions are in place for national water governance.

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The report said there are seven major ongoing disputes over water resources, which highlights the limited framework and institutions for water governance.

Nearly 163 million of India’s population of 1.3 billion lack access to clean water close to home, the most of any country, according to a 2018 report by Britain-based charity WaterAid.

Al Jazeera:

bout 600 million Indians are facing high to extreme stress over water, according to theComposite Water Resources Management report by the government’s policy think-tank Niti Aayog this week.

The comprehensive study on the state of India’s water warned of conflict and other related threats, including food security risks, unless actions are taken to restore water bodies.

“Critical groundwater resources, which account for 40 percent of our water supply, are being depleted at unsustainable rates,” the report said.

More than 20 cities, including New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people, according to the report.

Agricultural baskets, states that are home to 50 percent of the population, are the low performers in the government policy body’s Water Index, that could pose a “significant food security risk” for India.

“What this report says was true 15 years ago, now the situation has worsened. Ninety cities in India do not have enough clean drinking water now to sustain its populace,” Rajendra Singh, a water conservation activist known as India’s “Waterman”, told Al Jazeera.

“Part of this is because of the rising temperature, and the changing rainfall patterns that come with the changing climate,” author Ramesh said.

“Part of it is because of unwise choices we have made in managing our waste and water – dumping our waste in canals, or streets – blocking the drains and reducing the canals for instance. Or building over water bodies,” she added.

New York Times:

SHIMLA, India — The people of Shimla haven’t agreed on much lately. A drought in the Himalayan resort has had residents blaming farmers, the tourism industry and one another for depleting the strained water supplies.

And everyone’s been angry at the key men. Read the rest of this entry »

darksnowfunder0618

Good news, right now, have enough raised to get me to Greenland in August – have some very interesting activities mapped out – more on that as things gel.
Bad news, budget is still very lean and bare bones. Will have to pack lunches.

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One more week for the fundraiser, help us get toward the goal for this year.

Below, Scientists Richard Alley and James Hansen on Greenland’s Dark Snow.

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