While Australia has been getting some heavy rain, which is damping down fires, but raising new hazards – Aussie PM Scott Morrison went on the ABC Today Show to complain about being “bullied” by mean greenies from “inner cities” about climate change, insisting that “hazard reduction” was the answer to climate change, not emission reduction.

You don’t have to know every in and out of Australian politics to get the gist – above.

Junkee:

Are you one of those inner-city voters that was under the illusion that putting pressure on the government to act on climate change might make our Prime Minister stop and think?

Well, silly you. This morning he appeared on The Today Show to say he would not be “bullied” into changing his position on climate change by inner-city voters.

Apparently asking our leader to look at the evidence supplied by scientists, economists, fire fighters and other climate change experts is bullying now, ok?

Scott Morrison was discussing the leadership spill within the Nationals party, their coalition partner famous for dismissing climate action.

He said working with the Nationals made sure they delivered “sensible, balanced policies, particularly on things like climate change”. Because pushing for more coal-fired power stations sounds sensible right now.

Twitter proceeded to “bully” the PM some more.

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You thought is was just Florida. People having to shore up, or lose, their houses along Great Lakes shores in the Heartland.

AP:

MANISTEE, Mich. (AP) – High water levels are wreaking havoc in the Great Lakes. The five inland seas are bursting at the seams during the region’s wettest period in more than a century, which scientists say is likely connected to the warming climate. 

And no relief is in sight. Forecasters expect the lakes to remain high well into 2020. Homes and businesses are flooding, roads and sidewalks are crumbling and beaches are washing away. 

Homeowners and agencies are extending battered seawalls, constructing berms and piling stones and sandbags. Some are elevating houses or moving them farther inland. 

Less than a decade ago, the Great Lakes had the opposite problem: levels were at record lows. Experts say these abrupt swings may continue as global warming brings more extreme storms and droughts

New York Times:

MANISTEE, Mich. — Rita Alton has an unusual morning routine these days: Wake up. Get dressed. Go outside to see if her house is closer to tumbling down an 80-foot (24.4-meter) cliff into Lake Michigan.

When her father built the 1,000-square-foot (93-square-meter), brick bungalow in the early 1950s near Manistee, Michigan, more than acre of land lay between it and the drop-off overlooking the giant freshwater sea. But erosion has accelerated dramatically as the lake approaches its highest levels in recorded history, hurling powerful waves into the mostly clay bluff.

Now, the jagged clifftop is about eight feet from Alton’s back deck.

“It’s never been like this, never,” she said on a recent morning, peering down the snow-dusted hillside as bitter gusts churned surf along the shoreline below. “The destruction is just incredible.”

On New Year’s Eve, an unoccupied cottage near Muskegon, Michigan, plunged from an embankment to the water’s edge. Another down the coast was dismantled a month earlier to prevent the same fate.

Below, the extreme swings in midwest weather will continue as climate change worsens. My video of a few months ago explains what scientists are seeing in the persistence of rain events we have seen in the past year.

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Everything’s big in Texas.

Houston Chronicle:

When state lawmakers deregulated the power business two decades ago, they divided the industry into two sectors with distinct duties: Generators could make and sell electricity and regulated utilities could transmit and distribute electricity. But the utilities, whose profits are capped by regulators, want access to a new business opportunity — battery storage.

Batteries are on the cusp of transforming the Texas power grid by making intermittent power sources such as wind and solar into a supply as dependable as natural gas. Demand for battery storage has been driven by rapidly falling prices and more efficient technology, making it easier to store power for use when wind isn’t blowing or sun isn’t shining.

Utilities want to invest in the lucrative market, saying batteries can boost grid reliability, reduce transmission line congestion and prevent construction of new transmission lines.

But power generators are fighting to keep utilities out, arguing that energy storage is considered generation under state law that makes battery investments off limits to investor-owned utilities that could profit by storing cheap power and selling it when prices rise. And state regulators are loathe to step in, rejecting a request two years ago from AEP Texas North to build two battery storage sites and punting a more-recent request by CenterPoint Energy to add battery storage capability.

“The utilities are saying, ‘Let’s figure out a way to get in it and let’s lead instead of falling behind,’” said Raj Prabhu, chief executive officer of the energy research firm Mercom Capital Group in Austin.

Battery storage in Texas is relatively modest, with a few scattered projects. Vistra Energy, the state’s biggest power generator, has built the state’s biggest energy storage system, a 10 megawatt lithium-ion system connected to a solar farm in Upton County that is about 50 miles south of Midland. NRG Energy, the power generator and seller that owns Reliant Energy and other brands, has a lithium-ion battery facility that provides 2 megawatts of power from a wind farm in Howard County, northeast of Midland.

But proposed battery storage projects in Texas would have a capacity of almost 7,800 megawatts, more than the capacity of proposed natural gas-fired generators, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state grid manager. One megawatt provides enough electricity for about 200 homes on a hot summer day in Texas.

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I missed this when it came out a year or so ago, but do take the time.
Sobering look at what scientists are thinking, and doing, in light of their climate research and its implications.

Are we looking at a bubble or a paradigm shift?

Stages of Climate Denial:

• There is no climate change.
• OK, It’s changing but it’s not human caused.
• OK, there are human causes, but we don’t know how much.
• OK, It’s human caused, but we can’t do anything about it.
• OK, Y’all are eff’d, along with your children, but I got mine, so go to hell.

Come to think of it, it’s kind of the same approach climate deniers have taken to Donald Trump’s Treason.
Hell yeah, he did it, but we can’t do anything about it..

Dallas Morning News:

Rex Tillerson, the former Secretary of State under President Donald Trump and ex-chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp., told an industry conference in Houston that he questions whether there is anything humans can do to combat climate change.

“With respect to our ability to influence it, I think that’s still an open question,” Tillerson said Tuesday at the Argus Americas Crude Summit. “Our belief in the ability to influence it is based upon some very, very complicated climate models that have very wide outcomes.”

Tillerson’s comments stand in stark contrast to the scientific consensus that cutting emissions can help slow humanity’s contribution to global warming. The remarks come less than a month after New York’s attorney general said she wouldn’t appeal a court ruling rejecting the state’s claim that Exxon misled investors for years about its internal planning for risks associated with climate change.

Exxon doesn’t dispute that its operations produce greenhouse gases or that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, according to court documents from that case.

Tillerson said Tuesday that he’s long taken the view that climate change “is a very serious matter.” Scientists should be allowed to continue their work on global warming without fear that their funding will be cut off if they come to “the wrong conclusion,” he said.

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Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) has been hampered in becoming a leading sustainable storage technology, owing to a need for natural gas as part of the process. With newer technologies in development, it may be possible to skip the fossil gas step.
Above, see a profile of a newer technology, significantly backed by Oil Giant Total.

Below, a snapshot of the existing technology with gas input.