Saturday, December 24, 2022

Harmonics of the Shift

The critically important task for us at this time is dealing with the necessity of stopping carbon emissions from human activity almost immediately. The situation facing all of us is how to find the way to stop carbon emissions as soon as we can. The current level of carbon emissions can't continue because we've nearly crossed the climate thresholds that mark irreversible damage to the biosphere that can't be undone.

We are beginning to see a changing policy environment which is leading the manufacturing and supply chains to provide electrified buildings and electric cars, as well as power generation with wind turbines and solar panels. This is a necessarily massive shift, which will take decades to completely implement, but that can be an achievable effort by the first world countries to shut down their historically excessive carbon emissions. We're twenty years behind in this necessary effort, so it has become more difficult to accomplish. But it's still achievable if it's done as a rapid global effort to repair the damage that human civilization has done.

But can we do this in time? That task of rapid electrification that's facing us is daunting. America’s next big climate conundrum is the slow electric transmission project implementation that hinders rapid adaptation. It begins to look like the electric grid infrastructure will necessarily have to be rebuilt so that the added new clean power can take the place of fossil fuels without destabilizing the whole grid.

Congress has now passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and expanded the tax credits available to incentivize low-carbon electricity. Economics, policy, and public demand are now all aligned in favor of clean energy. This is just the first step in necessary legislation to implement solar and wind power and adapt the grid to handle this new energy. "If not addressed, transmission project delays caused by factors like an onerous permitting process could dramatically hamper America’s clean energy rollout and thus its ability to cut pollution fast enough to meet the country’s Paris commitments."

We need more than hope, we must begin significant work to change our way of life.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

A Fourteenth Year - Exceptional Drought



The western United States' drought continues to worsen. The garden is dry as a bone, and the watering restrictions make it difficult to keep the plants going. We are allowed to water our trees, which are struggling. That this is the inexorable result of burning of fossil fuels is no longer any doubt. It will continue to worsen, and in an accelerating pace. The heating of our planet will continue because the carbon content of the atmosphere is approaching levels not seen in millions of years, and emissions show no sign of slowing.

Exposing Massive Threats from Permian Basin Development: The six-part Permian Climate Bomb series explores the ongoing oil, gas and petrochemical boom in the Permian Basin, a story of runaway toxic infrastructure, environmental injustice and climate overshoot. 

"This series analyzes the climate, public health, economic and social impacts of the Permian fracking boom. It illuminates the Permian Basin's link to environmental injustice and petrochemical expansion on the Gulf Coast. The report also follows the flow of Permian hydrocarbons to export markets. Finally, it gives voice to the impact fossil fuel infrastructure places on communities, spotlighting the individuals confronting the oil and gas industry in the region."