Fox News, and Tucker Carlson in particular, has spent years pounding two mutually reinforcing themes – the greatness and rectitude of Petro-thug Vladimir Putin, and the evils of clean, non-fossil energy and decarbonization.
Nice analysis done by CNN months before the current invasion is all the more revealing now that we have a fuller picture of the murderous brutality unleashed.

Fox News Kills.

Read by Ukrainian Ambassador to UN.

Climate deniers and delayers like to wring their hands in bogus concern about impacts from minerals needed to complete the energy transition. Favorite bogieman is Lithium.
FWIW, we now mine literally 100,000 times more coal than we do Lithium – and that’s not including the gazillions of tons of additional overburden from mountain tops removed and prairie soils stripped bare.
Even with the ramp-up expected with adoption of EVs, Lithium extraction will remain orders of magnitude below what we are currently exploiting for fossil fuels. (I haven’t even mentioned oil, gas, and fracking)

And a new type of extraction process could do it all without mining..at least in one corner of the southwest desert..

Utility Dive:

As the U.S. looks to boost production of EVs and install energy storage systems necessary to supplement the growth in renewable energy production, the supply chain for critical minerals has emerged as a potential hangup. A May 2021 report from the International Energy Agency detailed a “looming mismatch” between climate ambitions and critical mineral availability, with a predicted 4,000% increase in demand for lithium by 2040 if worldwide climate goals are met. According to a White House report, China controls 60% of the world’s lithium production, leading the Biden administration to focus on new lithium production and materials processing as part of its clean energy push

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said his state holds “what some have described as the Saudi Arabia of lithium,” referring to the oil giant. Touting those resources as a crucial component of the state’s transportation electrification goals, Newsom has proposed $350 million in tax credits and regulatory streamlining for lithium businesses as part of a broader clean energy budget package. The state has also formed a Lithium Valley Commission to review opportunities and benefits for extracting lithium from geothermal brine, with a report due to the state legislature by October. 

“The Salton Sea geothermal system is the primary potential geothermal resource for lithium in the United States, and it’s a world-class resource,” Pat Dobson, Berkeley Lab geothermal systems program lead, said in a Berkeley Lab report. He added that “there is a wide range of estimates in terms of the size of the resource,” as well as uncertainty about where it comes from, how it might decline over time and how it is best extracted. 

There are 11 commercial geothermal energy plants in the Salton Sea, pumping hot fluids from deep underground and converting that heat into electricity. While that fluid is typically reinjected underground, there is potential to extract lithium from it after it has been cooled, taking advantage of the clean energy resource. Already, several companies have started pilot extraction projects

The research project will lean on data from those pilot projects and other field data to better calculate the chemistry of the brine and how it is resupplied to geothermal fields. A better idea of that lithium supply and how it exists in the brine would offer an alternative to the open pit mining or salt lake extraction that supplies most of the world’s lithium. However, Dobson said, the study will also work to quantify the water and chemical usage needed, the air quality impacts and any seismic effects. 

“We think geothermal lithium is one of the least environmentally impactful ways of obtaining lithium,” Dobson said in the report. “We want to understand how to mitigate any environmental side effects to make it even more benign.”

Reuters:

General Motors Co (GM.N) is investing in a U.S. lithium project that could become the country’s largest by 2024, making the automaker one of the first to develop its own source of a battery metal crucial for the electrification of cars and trucks.

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Above, Dan Kammen of the University of California, explains why clean energy is now the cheapest, or at the lowest end of the cost rung, even before figuring cost of carbon, health or environmental damages.

Los Angeles Times:

The war in Europe adds to the urgency of transitioning to clean energy sources such as solar and wind power that are harder for bad actors such as Russia to disrupt, those experts say. The conflict also highlights the importance of the U.S., the European Union and other allies working together to confront the climate crisis while taking global security into account.

“There’s been a lot of concern about dependence on Russian [natural] gas, and whether that inhibits countries’ ability to stand up to Russia,” said Erin Sikorsky, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Climate and Security. “The more that countries can wean themselves off oil and gas and move toward renewables, the more independence they have in terms of action.”

It’s also important to remember that climate change poses a major national security threat, with the Defense Department and other federal officials warning last year that worsening climate-fueled hazards are likely to drive a surge in global migration, stoking political instability. That helps explain why the U.S. Army released its first-ever climate strategy this month, setting a goal of slashing its planet-warming emissions in half and powering all bases with climate-friendly electricity by 2030.

Sikorsky pointed out that Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has calledChina the “pacing threat” for the U.S., meaning it poses greater systemic challenges than any other nation. The climate emergency, Sikorsky said, is America’s “shaping threat.”

“It is shaping everything in the background now that the United States is dealing with,” she said.

Even before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his attack on Ukraine this week, European nations were making plans to cut their reliance on energy exports from Russia. The country supplies more than one-quarter of Europe’s oil and nearly 40% of its natural gas, a different planet-warming fuel used for heating and electricity generation.

But Russian aggression has sped up the EU’s plans. European officials are expected to release a strategy next week for reducing the continent’s use of fossil fuels by 40% over eight years and ramping up non-polluting energy sources.

It’s a plan designed to slow the climate crisis, which is wreaking havoc around the world by exacerbating wildfires, floods, droughts and heat waves. But cutting back on fossil fuels would also help to limit Russia’s geopolitical influence.

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Not kidding around.
More than 500 GW new capacity by 2030 – for comparison, total US capacity is about 1100 GW.

Bloomberg:

China aims to greatly expand its wind and solar power capacity over the next several years through massive projects in the nation’s deserts, according to an industry publication.

A first batch of renewable-energy projects in the interior that was announced late last year will account for 97 gigawatts — enough power to run Mexico. A second batch of projects targeting 455 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030 will be located mainly in the deserts of northern China, such as Gobi and Inner Mongolia, SolarBe reported Saturday, citing an unreported recent notice from the National Development & Reform Commission and National Energy Administration. 

Projects accounting for 200 gigawatts are slated to be completed by 2025, with another 255 gigawatts planned between 2026 and 2030, according to the report. Most of the electricity generated is expected to be sent to the more populated provinces of the east.

The NDRC didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment on Saturday, while phone calls to the NEA went unanswered.

China already has 306 gigawatts of solar and 328 gigawatts of wind — more than any other country — which puts it over halfway to meeting its pledge of a combined 1,200 gigawatts by the end of the decade. That’s also when the government expects nationwide carbon emissions to have peaked.

China added a record amount of solar power last year, and is likely to do that again in 2022, driven by both the desert renewable projects and a nationwide push for more rooftop installations. 

EnergieWende is the clean energy transition that Germany, the world’s fourth largest industrial power, embarked on decades ago, and still leads globally. Now, Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and the use of energy supplies as a weapon, has jump started and accelerated that ongoing, rapid transition.

If you’re fighting against clean energy, you are fighting for Putin, for fossil fuel’s global oligarchs, and for a future of forever-wars.

Reuters:

Germany aims to fulfil all its electricity needs with supplies from renewable sources by 2035, compared to its previous target to abandon fossil fuels “well before 2040,” according to a government draft paper obtained by Reuters on Monday.

Europe’s top economy has been under pressure from other Western nations to become less dependent on Russian gas, but its plans to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030 and to shut its nuclear power plants by end-2022 have left it with few options. 

Economy Minister Robert Habeck has described the accelerated capacity expansion for renewable energy as a key element in making the country less dependent on Russian fossil fuel supplies.

According to the paper, the corresponding amendment to the country’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) is ready and the share of wind or solar power should reach 80% by 2030.

By then, Germany’s onshore wind energy capacity should double to up to 110 gigawatts (GW), offshore wind energy should reach 30 GW – arithmetically the capacity of 10 nuclear plants – and solar energy would more than triple to 200 GW, the paper showed.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner has referred to renewable electricity sources as “the energy of freedom”.

Dedicated to those in Ukraine fighting for democracy, and ultimately for life on the planet.

In Berlin, crowd protesting Ukraine invasion

Washington Post:

The head of the Russian delegation at a major United Nations climate meeting apologized Sunday for his country’s invasion of Ukraine, telling hundreds of government ministers and scientists that “those who know what is happening fail to find any justification for the attack.”

Russia’s Oleg Anisimov’s unexpected remarks came during a virtual meeting of delegates from 195 nations who had convened to finalize a major assessment of how climate change will affect the globe in the coming decades, according to two participants who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the closed-door negotiations.

“Let me present an apology on behalf of all Russians who were not able to prevent this conflict,” Anisimov said, according to a participant in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent session.

The comments by Anisimov, a scientist at the state hydrological institutein St. Petersburg, mark a rare public rebuke of the Russian invasion by a government official. His apology came after an impassioned speech from his Ukrainian counterpart, Svitlana Krakovska, who linked the invasion of her country to the global challenge the ministers and scientists sought to confront: climate change.

“Human induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots, fossil fuels, and our dependence on them,” another delegate recalled Krakovska saying.

Anisimov studies climate change in Arctic regions, according to the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, modeling the thawing permafrost and active layers of soil. The area of research is important because as the permafrost melts, it can release methane and accelerate warming trends. Parts of Russia’s Arctic already have warmed at a rate that is as much as triple the global average.

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Because of course they do.

Meanwhile, Lincoln Project has some banger new ads on Republican ties to Putin’s Russia, and Russian messaging.

Need more? See Steve Bannon’s Convo with Mercenary Eric Prince.

Wendy Rogers is an Arizona State Senator who also spoke at Neo Nazi conference this week.

Below, Russian speakers please confirm?

2009 Jane Lubchenco was confirmed as the first woman and first marine biologist to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Jane Lubchenco on Twitter:

I am 1/4 Ukrainian. Here’s a story relevant to today’s disaster. In 1976 I traveled to Moscow in a 6-person U.S. delegation to an ocean science conference, 1 of the early ‘safe exchanges’ (athletes & scientists) in the thaw of in relations between the U.S. & the USSR.

A young Ukrainian woman was 1 of our USSR-assigned translators. The translators were also our minders – they accompanied us everywhere – to the conference itself, banquets, the Moscow Circus (dancing bears!), & a fabulous performance of Swan Lake by the Kirov Ballet. 

Over the course of the week, we got to know each other. Toward the end of our trip, one evening when nothing was planned, the Ukrainian translator asked if I’d like to see the Kremlin with her. It was December. 

The two of us, dressed snugly in our fur hats, long coats & warm boots, strolled along inside the Kremlin walls, around the perimeter, with huge soft snowflakes falling gently all around us. It was eerily quiet. 

We crunched along from lighted guard post to lighted guard post, making a slow circuit. We chatted as we walked for an hour or so. 

It took me a few minutes to figure out that we were having two parallel conversations, one innocuous whenever we were within earshot of the guards, and a second very private one in the dead (and dark) spaces between two guard stations. 

I marveled at how she hopped back & forth without any change in tone or stride–clearly practiced at deception. 

At one point, she linked arms & slipped into my glove what I later discovered was a small, carved ivory bird. Cautioning me not to look at it, she explained what it was–always jumping to a safe conversation when we approached a guard stand, & reverting when she deemed it safe.

She shared that the bird was a family heirloom. It was their symbol of hope & freedom. She said in a resigned, but matter of fact tone that she knew that she would likely never be free of the Russian oppressors, but she desperately wanted something dear to her to be free. 

Knowing that ‘a part of her’ was in the West would give her hope, hope to give to her children. She pleaded with me to take her bird home with me so that ‘part of her heart’ could finally soar with choice, with opportunity, with hope – even while the rest of her was captive. 

Forty-five years later, I treasure her freedom bird. It sang gloriously in 1991 when Ukraine became an independent nation. Today it is fearful and anxious.