Media has given scant coverage to the scope and violence of the current disaster in the US breadbasket.
Climate fueled extremes like this are only a small preview of what is coming – and already enough to shake midwestern agriculture to the roots.

mexican

And if you like that, you’ll love the climate denier below.

Climate change is the ultimate security risk.

So, can we say it now?

Republicans, the party of climate denial, care as much about National Security, and  our Service people, as they do about, say, the deficit.

NBC News:

More than six months after Hurricane Florence ravaged North Carolina, hundreds of buildings at Camp Lejeune and two other nearby Marine Corps installations remain frozen in time, with walls still caved in and roofs missing.

The Marines say they need $3.6 billion to repair the damage to more than 900 buildings at Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station New River, and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point caused by the storm and catastrophic flooding in its aftermath. And while they have torn down soggy, moldy walls, put tarps on roofs and moved Marines into trailers, so far they have not received a penny from the federal government to fix the damage.

Now the Marine Corps’ top officer is warning that readiness at Camp Lejeune — home to one third of the Corps’ total combat power — is degraded and “will continue to degrade given current conditions.” In a recent memo to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller cited, among other “negative factors,” the diversion of resources to the border, where the Trump administration has sent active-duty troops to patrol and plans to use military funding to pay for a wall.

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Per the brilliant Robert Rohde, animation showing how temperature averages, and  extremes, have shifted upward as global temperatures have risen over last century and a half.

Often imagery like this is more effective than words in conveying the reality we face.

Blowhard on Wind Energy

March 29, 2019

And Mexico will pay for “the wall”…I know a lot about walls.

RenewEconomy.com.au:

The stunning fall in the costs of wind, solar and storage – estimated on a global scale – has already put the fossil fuel industry on notice, as we reported earlier this week.

Now, we can publish the BloombergNEF cost estimates for Australia, and they reveal an even more devastating outcome for the fossil fuel industry and their cheer leaders in politics and the media.

This graph above prepared by BloomberNEF shows how.

The headline number is the cost of “bulk energy”, where unsubsidised solar and wind easily beat coal and gas. Even the highest priced wind and solar is cheaper than the lowest cost estimate for coal, so the Coalition might as well save $10 million to taxpayers funds and stop the feasibility study for the new Queensland coal generator now. We already know it makes no sense.

But the BNEF numbers tell us a lot more, and reinforce the cost estimates produced by the CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator last year, that found that wind and solar, even backed by hours of storage and fully dispatchable, still beat the fossil fuel generators.

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Trailer: Chernobyl

March 29, 2019

Above, found footage of GOP Senator Mike Lee’s bizarre rant from the other day.
This is what passes as “readiness to deal with climate change” among Republicans.

NPR:

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Senate votes today on the Green New Deal proposed by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But it’s seen as a bit of political theater. The Republican majority wants to force Democrats in the Senate, especially presidential candidates, to declare whether they support the controversial measure, to which one Democrat, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, says this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRIS MURPHY: If they don’t like the Green New Deal, fine. Put up your own idea. But it really just – it smells so disingenuous, especially to young voters.

CORNISH: Well, one Republican senator is putting up his own idea to tackle climate change.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LAMAR ALEXANDER: I believe climate change is real. I believe humans are a major part of causing it. And we ought to do something about it.

CORNISH: That’s Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander. The senator wants the government to fund a five-year project to spur development of green technologies. He’s calling it a new Manhattan Project for clean energy.

ALEXANDER: We need to start building advanced nuclear reactors. We need to show other countries how to find natural gas the way we have. The United States leads the world in reducing carbon emissions. We need to find a commercially viable way to deal with carbon capture. So what we need is money for research and government leadership, which is what I’m proposing.

CORNISH: You started this conversation by saying you believe in climate change. You believe that humans have contributed to it. And that is not always how members of your party have spoken at all. Do you see Republicans as ready to start a real conversation about climate change?

ALEXANDER: Yes, I do. And I think we should.

CORNISH: Why?

ALEXANDER: And I actually think…

CORNISH: What gives you that sense?

ALEXANDER: Well, it’s becoming more urgent, more of a problem. And there’s a better understanding of it. I actually think the Green New Deal is a bizarre proposal and so far out that it gives us a chance to step up and say, this is a problem, but that’s not the way to do it. I think most of…

CORNISH: Well, just to jump in there, it is a resolution.

ALEXANDER: Yeah.

CORNISH: Right? It’s not actually – it’s a start of a conversation. It was a non-binding resolution. And some of the things you have in your plan – greener buildings, electric vehicles – are things that that plan references. What makes that one…

ALEXANDER: Yeah.

CORNISH: …Bizarre and yours somehow more straight ahead?

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“The solution to climate change is not this unserious resolution…the solution to so many of our problems at all times and in all places is to fall in love, get married, and have some kids.” – on and ‘s Green New Deal

teslabatt_oz

Bloomberg New Energy Finance:

London and New York, March 26, 2019 – Two technologies that were immature and expensive only a few years ago but are now at the center of the unfolding low-carbon energy transition have seen spectacular gains in cost-competitiveness in the last year.

The latest analysis by research company BloombergNEF (BNEF) shows that the benchmark levelized cost of electricity,[1] or LCOE, for lithium-ion batteries has fallen 35% to $187 per megawatt-hour since the first half of 2018. Meanwhile, the benchmark LCOE for offshore wind has tumbled by 24%.

Onshore wind and photovoltaic solar have also gotten cheaper, their respective benchmark LCOE reaching $50 and $57 per megawatt-hour for projects starting construction in early 2019, down 10% and 18% on the equivalent figures of a year ago.

Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF, commented: “Looking back over this decade, there have been staggering improvements in the cost-competitiveness of these low-carbon options, thanks to technology innovation, economies of scale, stiff price competition and manufacturing experience.

“Our analysis shows that the LCOE per megawatt-hour for onshore wind, solar PV and offshore wind have fallen by 49%, 84% and 56% respectively since 2010. That for lithium-ion battery storage has dropped by 76% since 2012, based on recent project costs and historical battery pack prices.”

The most striking finding in this LCOE Update, for the first-half of 2019, is on the cost improvements in lithium-ion batteries. These are opening up new opportunities for them to balance a renewables-heavy generation mix.

Batteries co-located with solar or wind projects are starting to compete, in many markets and without subsidy, with coal- and gas-fired generation for the provision of ‘dispatchable power’ that can be delivered whenever the grid needs it (as opposed to only when the wind is blowing, or the sun is shining).

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