Above, Gretchen Whitmer interview on Rachel Maddow, May 21.

Below, US Global Change Research graph on increasing heavy rains.

Report from Detroit channel 4, WDIV

Lyrics:

There’s nothing more refreshing (that cool refreshing drink)
Than a cool, crisp, clean gla** of water
On a warm summer’s day (That cool refreshing drink)
Try it with your friends

New World Water make the tide rise high
Come inland and make your house go “Bye” (My house!)
Fools done upset the Old Man River
Made him carry slave ships and fed him dead n****

Now his belly full and he about to flood somethin’
So I’m a throw a rope that ain’t tied to nothin’
‘Til your crew use the H2 in wise amounts since
It’s the New World Water; and every drop counts


You can laugh and take it as a joke if you wanna
But it don’t rain for four weeks some summers
And it’s about to get real wild in the half
You be buying Evian just to take a f***in bath

Heads is acting wild,… 

More Damn Dam Drones

May 22, 2020

Nice explainer of what happened to the multiple dam system that failed this week in Michigan.

Below, more on site footage from Mlive:

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I’m working on a piece, as it happens, examining the growing realization that the US real estate market is gravely at risk due to steadily increasing climate impacts.
In areas exposed to coastal flooding and extreme rains, like Houston, a series of “500 year” storms is reducing value in large areas of real estate. Same for places like California and the Mountain west due to increased fire.

Midwesterners who may have considered themselves immune from such high profile events might have been shaken the other day by the consecutive failure of two dams in Midland County, MI, which will have enormous knock-on effects in local real estate markets, for “lake front” properties that now have no lake, and downstream properties that have now had 2 damaging floods in just 4 years.
The value lost in these homes can’t be recovered just by rebuilding and cleanup.
In the case of the lakes, it’s finding the capital to rebuild dams, which doesn’t sound like an easy, quick slam dunk to me.
For the downstream houses, the value is gone and will never return.

Massive loss of tax evaluation for villages, city, and county.

Kicker is that there are thousands of dams like this around the midwest, mostly nearing a hundred years old, and generally neglected, ignored, and falling into disrepair.
In the face of steadily increasing, climate driven extreme rain events, they are every one of them ticking time bombs.

Washington Post:

“This is a solidly middle to upper class town because of the Dow plant here,” Peter Sinclair, a Midland resident who is a videographer for Yale Climate Connections, said in an interview. He said a 2017 seasonal flood event, combined with this disaster, may cause property values to decline. This includes expensive lakefront property, since these lakes are now being drained by the flooding.

Sinclair, who is on the dry side of Midland and is sheltering family members who live closer to the flood-affected areas, says this event illustrates what climate scientists have been warning about for years.

“[There is the] Larger issue of aging infrastructure plus incremental climate change, this is a point that all the scientists make that the change is gradual, gradual, gradual until the infrastructure fails.”


When scientists talk about “Abrupt” climate change, they usually don’t mean the “Day After Tomorrow” scenario with giant waves roaring into New York.
What they mean is that slow, incremental change gradually reaches a point where it can suddenly overwhelm infrastructure – leading to an abrupt threat, a step change that a community may not expect.

That’s the case in my county right now as, after several days of heavy rains, two 100 year old dams failed simultaneously, and have created an unprecedented flooding situation that is still evolving.
I’m safe on the high side of town, such as it is, but there are a number of neighborhoods, including some very high end real estate, that are going to see major impacts on home values, from which they will not recover any time soon.

Also, the two dams, like thousands of others around the midwest, built in the 1920s or 30s, backed up good size lakes that have been drivers of fishing and sport industry, as well as the site of a large number of high end lake-front homes – now with no lakes. Not sure where that leaves them, whether these structures get rebuilt or not, and who might pay for it.



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Bill McKibben in NY Review of Books:

“…we now know that Exxon had a full understanding of climate change in the 1980s, but that, instead of alerting the rest of us, it helped build the architecture of deceit and denial and disinformation that held off a real response to global warming for three decades.

During some of those years, Exxon profited handsomely, making huge sums of money. But producing a product that is destroying the planet courts the danger of regulatory pressure: you can use your political clout to hold regulators off for a while, but eventually they begin to catch up with you. That’s what happened at the Paris climate talks in 2015, as the notion finally began to break through that we had to wean ourselves from oil.

Meanwhile, the oil industry faced a second challenge: solar and wind engineers were relentlessly dropping the price of their technology, to the point where it was both cleaner and cheaper than digging stuff up and burning it—in Abu Dhabi last week, the low bid for what will be the world’s largest solar array promised power at little more than a penny per kilowatt hour (the average electricity price in the US is about 13 cents per kWh).

As a result of these twin pressures, the fossil-fuel industry has been the laggard in the last decade of economic expansion, underperforming every other sector of our economy. Exxon, in that span, went from being, in the words of a recent Bloomberg Businessweekreport, “once the undisputed king of Wall Street,” the most powerful corporation on the planet, to a “mediocre company,” worth less than Home Depot Inc.”

Front Page Live:

Royal Dutch Shell is the first oil major to get honest: Our business model is broken and we are a lousy investment. Slashing its dividend for the first time since World War II, Shell broke the spell on investors who had become so hooked on the promise of easy quarterly cash that they ignored the signposts of a sector entering its terminal phase. After the news, Warren Buffett validated voices that have been warning investors to pull out of fossil fuels for years: “Any shareholder in any oil-producing company, you join me in having made a mistake.”

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Reuters:

Electric car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) plans to introduce a new low-cost, long-life battery in its Model 3 sedan in China later this year or early next that it expects will bring the cost of electric vehicles in line with gasoline models, and allow EV batteries to have second and third lives in the electric power grid.

For months, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has been teasing investors, and rivals, with promises to reveal significant advances in battery technology during a “Battery Day” in late May. 

New, low-cost batteries designed to last for a million miles of use and enable electric Teslas to sell profitably for the same price or less than a gasoline vehicle are just part of Musk’s agenda, people familiar with the plans told Reuters. 

With a global fleet of more than 1 million electric vehicles that are capable of connecting to and sharing power with the grid, Tesla’s goal is to achieve the status of a power company, competing with such traditional energy providers as Pacific Gas & Electric (PCG_pa.A) and Tokyo Electric Power (9501.T), those sources said. 

The new “million mile” battery at the center of Tesla’s strategy was jointly developed with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) (300750.SZ) and deploys technology developed by Tesla in collaboration with a team of academic battery experts recruited by Musk, three people familiar with the effort said.

Eventually, improved versions of the battery, with greater energy density and storage capacity and even lower cost, will be introduced in additional Tesla vehicles in other markets, including North America, the sources said. 

Tesla’s plan to launch the new battery first in China and its broader strategy to reposition the company have not previously been reported. Tesla declined to comment. 

Tesla’s new batteries will rely on innovations such as low-cobalt and cobalt-free battery chemistries, and the use of chemical additives, materials and coatings that will reduce internal stress and enable batteries to store more energy for longer periods, sources said. 

Tesla also plans to implement new high-speed, heavily automated battery manufacturing processes designed to reduce labor costs and increase production in massive “terafactories” about 30 times the size of the company’s sprawling Nevada “gigafactory” — a strategy telegraphed in late April to analysts by Musk. 

Tesla is working on recycling and recovery of such expensive metals as nickel, cobalt and lithium, through its Redwood Materials affiliate, as well as new “second life” applications of electric vehicle batteries in grid storage systems, such as the one Tesla built in South Australia in 2017. The automaker also has said it wants to supply electricity to consumers and businesses, but has not provided details.

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