Fossil Fuels

New Study Shows Antarctic Melting Approaching ‘Unstoppable’ Tipping Point

November 4, 2015

‘What we call the eternal ice of Antarctica unfortunately turns out not to be eternal at all,’ says lead author of new study A new study published Monday warns that “unstoppable” melting in West Antarctica could make a three-meter increase in sea level “unavoidable.” According to researchers at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the vulnerable Amundsen Sea sector of West Antarctica “has most likely been destabilized.” They point to recent studies indicating that this area of the ice continent is “the first element in the climate system about to tip.” Read

Gaurav Agnihotri – How Much Longer Can The Oil Age Last?

October 21, 2015

History has been so fascinated with oil and its price movements that it is indeed hard to imagine our future without oil. Over the last few months, we have witnessed how oil prices have fluctuated from a 6 year low level of $42.98 per barrel in March 2015 to the current levels of $60 per barrel. It is interesting to note that, in spite of the biggest oil cartel in the world deciding to stick to its high production levels, the oil prices have increased mainly due to falling US crude inventories and strong demand. However, the current upward rally might be short lived and there may yet be another drop in the international oil price when Iran eventually starts pumping its oil into the market at full capacity, potentially creating another supply glut. In these endless price rallies, it is important to take a holistic view of the global energy industry and question which way it is heading. Are the dynamics of global energy changing with current improvements in renewable energy sources and affordable new storage technologies? Can the oil age end in the near future? Will we ever stop feverishly analyzing the rise and fall of oil prices?

Chris Hedges – Death by Fracking

October 19, 2015

DENVER—The maniacal drive by the human species to extinguish itself includes a variety of lethal pursuits. One of the most efficient is fracking. One day, courtesy of corporations such as Halliburton, BP and ExxonMobil, a gallon of water will cost more than a gallon of gasoline. Fracking, which involves putting chemicals into potable water and then injecting millions of gallons of the solution into the earth at high pressure to extract oil and gas, has become one of the primary engines, along with the animal agriculture industry, for accelerating global warming and climate change. The Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers who are profiting from this cycle of destruction will—once clean water is scarce and crop yields decline, once temperatures soar and cities disappear under the sea, once droughts and famines ripple across the globe, once mass migrations begin—surely profit from the next round of destruction. Collective suicide is a good business, at least until it is complete. It is a pity most of us will not be around to see the power elite go down. Read

David Griffin – Climate Denial

October 14, 2015

According to a recent report from Inside Climate News, scientists hired by Exxon had concluded in the 1970s and ’80s that continuing to burn great quantities of fossil fuels would likely produce “catastrophic events” that could endanger humanity. Therefore, said these scientists, Exxon should begin a transition away from fossil fuels to renewable resources. But in the late ’80s, the executives began using money to deny that burning fossil fuels is dangerous. In light of this history, it is interesting to look at some of the main claims of the climate-denial campaign — claims that have been primarily supported by ExxonMobil, even though Exxon scientists knew them to be false by 1980. Below is an excerpt from the chapter on “Climate Denial” in David Ray Griffin, Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis? (Clarity Press, 2015): Read

Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer – Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

September 17, 2015

At a meeting in Exxon Corporation’s headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world’s use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity. “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” Black told Exxon’s Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later. It was July 1977 when Exxon’s leaders received this blunt assessment, well before most of the world had heard of the looming climate crisis. Read

Josh Fox, Lee Ziesche – What the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know About Fracking

September 14, 2015

When we hear politicians and gas companies extoll the virtues of fracking, jobs created by drilling is usually high on their list of talking points. But the jobs created by fracking are not the kind of quality jobs American workers deserve. They are not the kind of jobs American laborers have fought and died for throughout our country’s history. They are extremely dangerous, exposing workers to chemicals whose long-term impacts on human health are yet unknown. In fact, the fatality rate of oil field jobs is seven times greater than the national average. We interview many workers who have been asked to clean drill sites, transport radioactive and carcinogenic chemicals, steam-clean the inside of condensate tanks which contain harmful volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other chemicals, and have been told to do so with no safety equipment. Read

Jon Queally – Islamic Declaration Blasts Short-Sighted Capitalism, Demands Action on Climate

August 19, 2015

Just as scientists announced July was the hottest month in recorded history, and ahead of a major climate summit in Paris later this year, an international group of Islamic leaders on Tuesday released a public declaration calling on the religion’s 1.6 billion followers to engage on the issue of global warming and take bold action to stem its worst impacts. “What will future generations say of us, who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy? How will we face our Lord and Creator?” —Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change Read

Steve Horn – New Report Reveals Corporate-Funded Hydra Head Blocking U.S.Renewable Energy

August 6, 2015

A new report from the Energy and Policy Institute reveals the fossil fuel- and utility sector-funded network working to curb the proliferation of renewable energy in the United States. Co-authored by Gabe Elsner and Matt Kasper and titled, “Attacks on Renewable Energy Policy in 2015,” the 86-page report shines a spotlight on the bevy of coordinated attacks on renewable energy policy happening in 27 states across the nation.* The report examines how this network flexes its muscle and advances corporate interests in statehouses nationwide. Read

The Climate Crisis Is Starting to Create a Global Consciousness Shift – David Suzuki

July 20, 2015

When an assassin killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914, no one called it the start of the First World War. That happened years later, after the implications, consequences and scale of the response could be assessed. It’s often the way. That’s why historians are important; they put events in context. Similarly, I doubt anyone knew how our world would change after Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built their first computer in Jobs’ parents’ garage in 1975. In 1988, when climate scientist James Hansen testified in Washington that human-caused global warming was kicking in, people might have been excused for failing to grasp the significance of his early warning. But there’s no excuse for humanity’s subsequent dismissal and denial of the reality of his statements and the deliberate, aggressive opposition to any action to reduce the threat. For years, environmentalists have called for an urgent response to runaway climate change. Evidence has poured in from around the world to corroborate Hansen’s conclusions, from melting glaciers, sea level rise and ocean acidification to increasingextreme weather events and changes in animal and plant behaviour and ranges. Read

Climate Change And Our Historic Calling By Kathy Kelly

July 20, 2015

Last weekend, about 100 U.S. Veterans for Peace gathered in Red Wing, Minnesota, for a statewide annual meeting. In my experience, Veterans for Peace chapters hold “no-nonsense” events. Whether coming together for local, statewide, regional or national work, the Veterans project a strong sense of purpose. They want to dismantle war economies and work to end all wars. The Minnesotans, many of them old friends, convened in the spacious loft of a rural barn. After organizers extended friendly welcomes, participants settled in to tackle this year’s theme: “The War on Our Climate.” They invited Dr. James Hansen, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, to speak via Skype about minimizing the impacts of climate change. Sometimes called the “father of global warming”, Dr. Hansen has sounded alarms for several decades with accurate predictions about the effects of fossil fuel emissions. He now campaigns for an economically efficient phase out of fossil fuel emissions by imposing carbon fees on emission sources with dividends equitably returned to the public. Dr. Hansen envisions the creation of serious market incentives for entrepreneurs to develop energy and products that are low-carbon and no-carbon. “Those who achieve the greatest reductions in carbon use would reap the greatest profit. Projections show that
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