Category Archives: Energy

Trump abandons the Paris Climate Accord, and U.S. role as leader of the free world with it

Our Dear Leader and climate change denier Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord on Thursday, a major step that fulfills a campaign promise while seriously damaging global efforts to curb global warming.

The US joins only Syria and Nicaragua on climate accord ‘no’ list.

CNN reports, Trump on Paris accord: ‘We’re getting out’:

The decision amounts to a rebuttal of the worldwide effort to pressure Trump to remain a part of the agreement, which 195 nations signed onto. Foreign leaders, business executives and Trump’s own daughter lobbied heavily for him to remain a part of the deal, but ultimately lost out to conservatives who claim the plan is bad for the United States.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden.

“We’re getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we’ll see if there’s a better deal. If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he added.

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Climate change denier Donald Trump expected to pull U.S. out of Paris climate accord

carbon-emissionsLast week director of the White House National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, said aboard Air Force One: “Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore as a feedstock,” he instead praised natural gas as “such a cleaner fuel” — and one that America has become an “abundant producer of.” Top Trump aide: Coal doesn’t make ‘much sense anymore’.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres had a warning yesterday for nations that choose not to rapidly shift away from fossil fuels: ‘Get on board the climate train or get left behind’.

Our Dear Leader and climate change denier Donald Trump, who abdicated the U.S. role of “leader of the free world” last week in his first foreign trip, apparently has decided that the U.S. should be left behind.

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The New York Times reports, Trump Poised to Pull U.S. From Paris Climate Accord:

President Trump is expected to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement, three officials with knowledge of the decision said, making good on a campaign pledge but severely weakening the landmark 2015 climate change accord that committed nearly every nation to take action to curb the warming of the planet.

A senior White House official cautioned that the specific language of the president’s expected announcement was still in flux Wednesday morning. The official said the withdrawal might be accompanied by legal caveats that will shape the impact of Mr. Trump’s decision.

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Donald Trump commits the U.S. to his anti-science climate change denial (Updated)

Last week the New York Times reported, Arctic’s Winter Sea Ice Drops to Its Lowest Recorded Level:

After a season that saw temperatures soar at the North Pole, the Arctic has less sea ice at winter’s end than ever before in nearly four decades of satellite measurements.

The extent of ice cover — a record low for the third straight year — is another indicator of the effects of global warming on the Arctic, a region that is among the hardest hit by climate change, scientists said.

“This is just another exclamation point on the overall loss of Arctic sea ice coverage that we’ve been seeing,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a government-backed research agency in Boulder, Colo. “We’re heading for summers with no sea ice coverage at all.”

Dr. Serreze said that such a situation, which would leave nothing but open ocean in summer until fall freeze-up begins, could occur by 2030, although many scientists say it may not happen for a decade or two after that.

Less ice coverage also means that there is more dark ocean to absorb more of the sun’s energy, which leads to more warming and melting in a feedback loop called Arctic amplification.

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A few interesting economic and other titbits

The ramifications of the wealth inequality problem so troubling to Western economists and policy makers is also affecting China. A new research paper by five authors, including Piketty and Saez, reveals that in 1978 the highest earning Chinese 10% took home about 25% of national income before taxes. By 2015, the take of the top 10% had risen to two-fifths of total income. The richest 10% now control about 70% of private wealth in China, up from 40% in 1995. The inequality issue was somewhat mitigated by China’s rapid economic growth. Between 1978 and 2015, the income level of the poorer half of the Chinese population quintupled. During the same time period in the United States, the income level of the bottom half of the population declined by 1%.

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The parade of horrors of Trump cabinet picks continues

President-elect Donald Trump made it official this morning. Rex Tillerson, Exxon C.E.O., Chosen as Secretary of State:

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-10-00-13-amIn [nominating] Mr. Tillerson, the president-elect is dismissing bipartisan concerns that the globe-trotting leader of an energy giant has a too-cozy relationship with Vladimir V. Putin, the president of Russia.

A statement from Mr. Trump’s transition office early Tuesday brought to an end his public and chaotic deliberations over the nation’s top diplomat — a process that at times veered from rewarding Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of his most loyal supporters, to musing about whether Mitt Romney, one of his most outspoken critics, might be forgiven.

Instead, Mr. Trump has decided to risk what looks to be a bruising confirmation fight in the Senate.

In the past several days, Republican and Democratic lawmakers had warned that Mr. Tillerson would face intense scrutiny over his two-decade relationship with Russia, which awarded him its Order of Friendship in 2013, and with Mr. Putin.

The hearings will also put a focus on Exxon Mobil’s business dealings with Moscow. The company has billions of dollars in oil contracts that can go forward only if the United States lifts sanctions against Russia, and Mr. Tillerson’s stake in Russia’s energy industry could create a very blurry line between his interests as an oilman and his role as America’s leading diplomat.

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Saudi Arabia’s big gamble

In the early 1970s, Saudi Arabia had a population of 5.6 million and the nation’s literacy rate was 15%. The situation changed over time as the governmentSA 3 invested hundreds of billions of dollars in modernizing and improving infrastructure, health care, educational systems and nearly every other physical aspect of Saudi life. Today, Saudi Arabia, which is one-fifth the size of the U.S. and mostly sandy desert, has a population of over 27 million and is 95% literate. Riyadh, the capital, has grown into a city of over 6 million. The country is oil rich, it contains around 16% of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and Saudi Arabia is the planet’s largest exporter of petroleum.

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