New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell ordered a mandatory evacuation for a small area of the city outside the levee system. But with the storm intensifying so much over a short time, she said it wasn’t possible to do so for the entire city. That generally calls for using all lanes of some highways to leave the city.

“The city cannot order a mandatory evacuation because we don’t have the time,” Cantrell said.

City officials said residents need to be prepared for prolonged power outages, and asked elderly residents to consider evacuating. Collin Arnold, the city’s emergency management director, said the city could be under high winds for about ten hours.

Officials decided against evacuating New Orleans hospitals. There’s little room for their patients elsewhere, with hospitals from Texas to Florida already reeling from a spike in coronavirus patients, said Dr. Jennifer Avengo, the city’s health director.

At the state’s largest hospital system, Ochsner Health System, officials ordered 10 days worth of fuel, food, drugs and other supplies and have backup fuel contracts for its generators. One positive was that the number of COVID-19 patients had dropped from 988 to 836 over the past week — a 15% decline.

WDSU New Orleans report Friday night.

Financial Times (Paywall):

The US oil and gas pipeline industry is looking for new opportunities to lay steel in the ground with pipes that carry the carbon dioxide produced when fossil fuels are burnt.  The midstream energy sector has clashed with climate campaigners who oppose pipeline projects as infrastructure that locks in greenhouse gas emissions.

Wall Street is pushing the industry to show how it will adapt to demands for a lower-carbon world.  In response, pipeline operators are pointing to their potential as a link in carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems, in which CO2 emissions are trapped in underground reservoirs where they can be kept out of the atmosphere. Pipelines would move CO2 from industrial flues to the reservoirs. 

“It’s hard to see how climate objectives are met without pretty widespread carbon capture and sequestration,” Steven Kean, chief executive of Kinder Morgan, one of the largest US pipeline companies, recently told analysts. “We think we’ve got the expertise on the pipeline side of it.”  The US already has about 5,150 miles (8,300km) of CO2 pipelines. The network is tiny compared with the national web of oil and gas pipes, but it is the largest in the world.

They are mostly clustered around the Permian Basin oilfields of west Texas, where CO2 is injected into wells to squeeze out stubborn crude oil deposits. Revenue derives from selling the gas and claiming a federal tax credit worth $35 for each tonne of carbon put underground. But future growth hinges on far more widespread deployment. Pipes would funnel CO2 exhaust from emitters such as power plants, cement factories and oil and biofuel refineries to underground sites in some cases hundreds of miles away. 

François Poirier, chief executive of pipeline company TC Energy, recently told analysts that a “fundamental aspect” of the CCS industry was “the ability to store and transport a molecule, which is, of course, our core business”. TC Energy is best known as developer of the now-cancelled Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, a target of environmentalists. The business opportunity is potentially immense.

A July report from the Biden administration’s Council on Environmental Quality said that a CCS industry large enough to help meet the country’s goal of “net zero” emissions by 2050 could require 68,000 miles of new CO2 pipelines at a cost of as much as $230bn. That is roughly comparable to US liquid fuel pipeline mileage built since 2000, a boom time for the oil industry.

ABC News on Greenland Melt

August 27, 2021

ABC News reporter standing very close to the same spot where I interviewed Alun Hubbard PhD in 2013.

Hubbards observations 7 years ago are still relevant and prescient.

Here we go.

Above, climate denial paved the way for the Republican reliance on conspiracy theories.

Example, quack nostrums become holy grail for Republican Covid Denial.

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Alyssa Rosenburg in Washington Post:

“Reminiscence,” a recent science fiction movie starring Hugh Jackman, takes place in a future Miami that has been transformed by rising sea levels into a new Venice. And yet, “Reminiscence” isn’t really about climate change or the response to it. Instead, the movie fixates on an addictive machine that lets users travel back into their memories. It’s about escape — not adaptation.

As such, “Reminiscence” is a great illustration of how strangely passive and defeatist an industry full of Prius early adopters has been about the biggest challenge of our time.

Hollywood’s reliance on big-budget action movies plays a role in its inability to address climate change effectively. In an industry reliant on chases, special effects and disasters, even ostensible “issue movies” get wedged into the same template.

The result has been some good films, as well as some very silly ones. George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a ferocious chase movie driven by the link between climate stress and gender-based violence, falls into the former category. So does Bong Joon-ho’s despairing “Snowpiercer,” which depicts the remnants of humanity stratified into a vicious class system. Roland Emmerich’s flash-frozen planet blockbuster, “The Day After Tomorrow,” is firmly in camp goofy.

Excellent or risible, these movies share at least one thing: pessimism. Climate change will be catastrophic — as will be many human responses to it.

Even movies that explore adaptive responses to climate change make glum assumptions. In Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” humanity’s future lies on a far distant planet; Earth is unsalvageable. James Cameron’s first “Avatar” movie imagines that resource crises will drive humanity to galaxy-wide pillage.

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I spend a lot of time in very red, rural areas helping communicate on clean energy. I stress jobs, community revenue, and low cost, home grown electricity, not so much climate change. That is turning out to be a very productive conversation – because, although no one would ever mistake me for a conservative Republican, because my Dad was once, long ago, chairman of the local county GOP, I do speak Republican.

I feel like I could have written most of this Wall Street Journal piece myself.

The one place they go wrong is the idea that “The projects can be unpopular with farmers, since plots of agricultural land usually need to be cleared for the installation of solar panels.”

In fact, what we find is that the most reliable advocates for renewables are the farmers who benefit from additional revenues, and who understand that their community will benefit from tax levies on new development.

The resistance locally comes from newcomers to the community, who may have bought an acre for their country getaway or retirement home, who now don’t want anything to change, and expect to dictate to the farm community (who have often been on the land for more than a century) how they can use their land. 

For that reason, one of the most effective arguments in favor of new renewables has been the property rights argument – a farmer should be able to do as he sees fit with his land.

Wall Street Journal:

Georgia has no mandates requiring power companies to add renewable energy and hasn’t made climate change a political priority. Solar power is booming there anyway.

The state went from having virtually no solar industry a decade ago to ranking ninth nationwide in installed solar capacity this year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Solar has flourished in Georgia as tech companies such as Facebook Inc.FB 1.11% look to locate facilities near cheap renewable-energy sources and rural communities turn to solar farms to create tax revenues and jobs.

Much of the initial build-out of solar and wind power in the U.S. over the past three decades was driven by mandates in states such as Iowa, California, Colorado and New York that required utilities to source a certain amount of renewables. But wind and solar are now gaining market share even in states with no such requirements, as Georgia’s experience shows.

Republican regulators have pushed the state’s major utility, SouthernCo. SO -1.41% subsidiary Georgia Power, to invest in solar, saying that economic factors make it an attractive energy source beyond its carbon-free characteristics.

“Don’t come into my office talking about climate change or the environment,” said Tim Echols, who has served for the past decade on the elected, all-Republican public-service commission that regulates the state’s investor-owned utilities. “Talk about new jobs, talk about low-cost energy, talk about reduction of transmission lines,” he said. “Learn to speak Republican here.”

Solar installation prices in Georgia have fallen 43% over the past five years, according to data from SEIA. Similar declines in price are behind the solar-industry growth in states across the Southeast, many of which also lack renewable-energy mandates.

“I oppose any renewable portfolio standard—it’s not necessary.” said Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, who serves with Mr. Echols on the public-service commission.

Georgia Power, which serves 2.6 million customers across the state, has added more than 570 solar projects totaling close to 2,000 megawatts to its energy portfolio in the past decade, according to company spokesman Jeff Wilson.

While Georgia Power has led the state in solar additions, rural Georgia’s smaller electric membership cooperatives, or EMCs, have leaned into solar power as well, catching the eye of large companies like Facebook.

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