The Wall Street Journal is, of course, a Rupert Murdoch property, and their opinions page reflects that ignorance and bias.

The news side of the journal, on the other hand, is pretty reliable, as the audience of serious money managers and investors has to rely on good intel to do business. So I’ve always looked to the Journal for good reads on energy developments, and it’s a dependable, credible citation for the conservative groups I often speak to.
Some new takes from the Journal on the renewable revolution.

Wall Street Journal:

The decline of oil-and-gas supermajors over the past two years has been matched by the rise of previously obscure utility companies. In Europe, Enel ENEL -1.55% and Iberdrola IBDRY -0.28% have emerged as green-energy giants, in part by taking leaves out of the big-oil playbook.

Like Shell and BP before them, the companies have built global portfolios to meet growing energy demand, only with wind and sun rather than fossil fuels. The strategy has already made them the world’s two largest renewable energy producers by capacity, but they want to get even bigger.

Enel said Tuesday that it will nearly triple its capacity to 120 gigawatts by 2030. Earlier this month, Iberdrola laid plans to double its capacity to 60 gigawatts by 2025. The companies are similar to U.S. peer NextEra, which trades for much higher earnings multiples, but with an international rather than domestic footprint.

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If we’re going to deploy enough renewable energy to make a difference, the US midwest is going to have to be a big player. The fossil fuel industry knows that, and has devoted a lot of time and energy to disinformation, distortions, and delay to keep those kind of projects from going forward.

Anti-clean energy efforts have been directed by Washington DC based lobbying groups like E&E Legal, a group I know well, having interviewed the senior scientists who have been targeted and harassed by the coal-funded front for a decade, as well as engaging some of the principle players in debate.
Fossil advocates have been shrewd enough to understand that the choke-point for renewable energy development is at the county, and more often, the township level in rural areas. Applying intimidation and disinformation campaigns to these local boards and governing commissions can be effective in blocking developments.

They’ve also been successful in some cases making clean energy a culture-war issue, similar to Obamacare.
And, like in the case of Obamacare, buzzwords and memes that worked 9 or 10 years ago have become less effective, as citizens have gotten more familiar with the program. Communities that have been living near wind turbines, and increasingly, solar farms, for a decade or more, have learned that the fossil-funded scare stories and myths are just that.
Renewable energy is succeeding when good information gets to the citizens of rural areas and small towns where a lot of new solar and wind parks are going to be sited. This year, at least in my neck of the woods, we’ve been turning the corner on the astro-turf campaign against clean energy.

Here’s my newly-published summary of the situation.

Morning Sun (Mt Pleasant, MI):

As a videographer, most of the last decade, I’ve traveled to the Arctic, to embed with science teams on and around the Greenland Ice sheet. This year, with travel restrictions, I’ve stayed closer to home, documenting construction of the spectacular Isabella wind development in rural townships north of Mt Pleasant.

One of most under-reported stories in Michigan this year has been the explosion of renewable energy development across the central part of the state.

Living as I do in Midland County, within an hour’s drive from me there are two new wind farms that have gone online in the last year, three wind parks completing construction currently, and several more in development stage.

In addition, Shiawassee County is hosting Michigan’s largest solar energy project (so far) — with a host of other solar efforts in the pipeline.

Nationally, this is part of a larger trend, an energy revolution that is shifting the U.S. away from coal and fossil fuels. Last week the international accounting firm Lazard released the newest all-in cost of energy figures, ranking the different electrical generation technologies. Solar and wind rank as the least-cost new sources of new generation.

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Just registered for the upcoming American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting – aka Burning Man for Scientists – which normally takes place the second week of December, in San Francisco, but this year will be a virtual event spread over 2 weeks or so.

Just reviewing some video from last year’s AGU, which might be the last of it’s kind, if the vitual format grows. I do believe individual contacts in the flesh can be invaluable, so pretty sure there will always be conferences in real space, but change is afoot.

Above, clip from my convo with Macarthur Genius and Paleo Oceanographer Andrea Dutton, December 2019.

Window to the Possible

November 28, 2020

In order to make a change, we must first visualize the change.
What exists is by definition possible.

The tweet translates to:

An excerpt from a utopia from the distant future – uh … not?

Is it already possible?

#Climate crisisIS now

According to the poster, this is a
“Bicycle priority roundabout in Amersfoort, the Netherlands”

Above, presentation by Loretta Lynch, former President of California Public Utilities Commission, begins at about 19:30.

Wonk warning in effect.

PV Magazine:

Former CPUC President Loretta Lynch said California should review the rolling blackouts of mid-August and potential market manipulation in CAISO. Lynch spoke during a webinar held by the Clean Coalition. “I think it’s time for the California attorney general to investigate what happened at the ISO and, more than that, the ISO’s market practices that can’t keep the lights on,” Lynch said. “On Aug. 14, as Californians are being begged to conserve power, the ISO allowed over 4,000 MW of electricity to be exported out in the middle of an extreme heat wave despite the carefully constructed and planned-for demand forecast,” she said. SourceRTO Insider

Loretta Lynch, former president, California Public Utilities Commission in the San Diego Union Tribune:

Distract, deflect, divert. The electricity-market apologists point fingers at everything but the real culprits — themselves.

On Aug. 14, the utilities had already purchased plenty of electricity — more than 51,000 megawatts. That Friday, California encountered an unsurprising summer-peak electricity demand of 46,800 megawatts. The heat wave did not strain our electricity grid — the extra power needed at our homes due to COVID-19 was more than offset by already-closed businesses and restaurants. California had ample power.

But Gov. Gavin Newsom faced electricity blackouts and price spikes just like Gov. Gray Davis did in 2000. Like Davis, Newsom invoked emergency powers lifting power-plant pollution limits and ordered investigations. My 2000 investigationfound that Enron and energy traders caused the blackouts by gaming California’s new electricity markets.

Their manipulation skyrocketed prices and led California’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), to black out Californians. Repeatedly.

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Bluegrass version of his original.
Check out the exceptional mandolin solo.

In 2012, I spent time with Ben Pelto and his Dad Mauri surveying glaciers in the Northern Cascades. Ben is now a researcher working in British Columbia, and has some significant new results.

Interviewed by Stephen Colbert.

Worth your time but go to 5:00 if you’re in a hurry.

Oil has been on a downtrend.
Exxon projects prices will be lower than thought in the coming decade.

Gas also in a bind. Frackers continue to lose money with low prices – but if price goes up, cheap renewables continue to eat their lunch.

One wild card is will Russians and Saudis continue to pump enough to keep prices low, as they have for the last year. Welcome any intel on that.

Wall Street Journal:

Exxon Mobil Corp. has lowered its outlook on oil prices for much of the next decade, according to internal company documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

As part of an internal financial-planning process conducted this fall, Exxon cut its expectations for future oil prices for each of the next seven years by 11% to 17%, according to the documents.

The sizable reduction suggests the Texas oil giant expects the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic to linger for much of the next decade. The fossil-fuel industry is also contending with increased competition from renewable-energy sources and electric vehicles, as well as the prospect of increased climate-change regulation around the world.

Unlike some rivals, Exxon doesn’t publish its internal views on commodity prices, which it views as proprietary. Some investors have pressured Exxon to release them, arguing that the forecasts are critical to understanding a company’s plans and the future value of its assets.

In 2019, Exxon had internally forecast that Brent oil prices, the global benchmark, would average around $62 a barrel for the next five years before increasing to $72 a barrel in 2026 and 2027, the documents state.

This summer, the company lowered that forecast to between $50 and $55 a barrel for the next five years, before eventually topping out at $60 a barrel in 2026 and 2027, according to the documents, which were dated September.

Brent oil is currently trading for about $47 a barrel after a jump in prices this week that has brought prices back to their highest levels since spring.

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Youtube channel called Sophie & Chris Ocean Sailing has some astounding footage.
These folks are rather hard core.


Voyage to South Georgia aboard sailing yacht, Pelagic Australis, with a team of wildlife photographers.

Watching the above brought this to mind.

New York Times:

An iceberg roughly the size of Delaware that is headed toward the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia has experts worried about the possibility of it blocking wildlife from food sources and threatening the island’s ecosystem.

The iceberg, known as A68a, was about 400 kilometers, or about 250 miles, away from the coast of the British island territory of South Georgia as of Wednesday, the British Antarctic Survey said.

The iceberg may run aground near the island and be a few weeks out from the island’s coast, said Andrew Fleming, a remote sensing manager with the survey.

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