NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: VOTERS REALLY CARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • THE STUDY: ADDING UP THE CLIMATE CHANGE NUMBERS
  • QUICK NEWS, Sept. 29: PRES SAYS YES TO CLIMATE ACTION, SENATE STUCK; FLAWED NEW PLAN FOR NEW ENERGY IN CALIF; SOLAR PANELS GET BETTER
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • Weekend Video: Obama On Climate Change At The UN
  • Weekend Video: Jon Stewart Heats Up Over Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: Colbert Asks If “This Changes Everything”
  • -------------------

    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-HIGH WATER RISING – EVERYWHERE
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-MOROCCO WIND BOOM COMING
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-INDIA BOOSTS ITS SOLAR BUILD
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-ABU DHABI BUYS A PIECE OF NORWAY’S STAKE IN UK OFFSHORE WIND
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, Sept. 25:

  • TTTA Thursday-THE PRIVATE SECTOR FACES CLIMATE CHANGE
  • TTTA Thursday-SOLAR WILL POWER SCHOOLS, EARN MONEY FOR TEACHERS
  • TTTA Thursday-A RIDE IN TOMORROW’S CAR
  • TTTA Thursday-A LOOK AT SEE-THROUGH SOLAR
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • THE STUDY: FREEING THE NATIONAL TREASURE IN U.S. NATIONAL LABS
  • QUICK NEWS, Sept. 24: ROCKEFELLERS DIVEST OIL FOR NEW ENERGY; BOLD $8BIL WIND BUILD-TRANSMIT-STORE PROJECT; CALIF TARGETS 1.5MIL 0-EMISSIONS CARS BY 2024
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • THE STUDY: WHERE OFFSHORE WIND IS IN THE WORLD
  • QUICK NEWS, Sept. 23: THE NEW ENERGY TRANSITION; THE MATTER OF WIND IN KANSAS; MICROGRID TECHNOLOGY MARKET TO QUADRUPLE
  • -

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is a biweekly contributor to NewEnergyNews

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT)

    November 26, 2013 (Huffington Post via NewEnergyNews)

    Everywhere we turn, environmental news is filled with horrid developments and glimpses of irreversible tipping points.

    Just a handful of examples are breathtaking: Scientists have dared to pinpoint the years at which locations around the world may reach runaway heat, and in the northern hemisphere it's well in sight for our children: 2047. Survivors of Superstorm Sandy are packing up as costs of repair and insurance go out of reach, one threat that climate science has long predicted. Or we could simply talk about the plight of bees and the potential impact on food supplies. Surprising no one who explores the Pacific Ocean, sailor Ivan MacFadyen described long a journey dubbed The Ocean is Broken, in which he saw vast expanses of trash and almost no wildlife save for a whale struggling a with giant tumor on its head, evoking the tons of radioactive water coming daily from Fukushima's lamed nuclear power center. Rampaging fishing methods and ocean acidification are now reported as causing the overpopulation of jellyfish that have jammed the intakes of nuclear plants around the world. Yet the shutting down of nuclear plants is a trifling setback compared with the doom that can result in coming days at Fukushima in the delicate job to extract bent and spent fuel rods from a ruined storage tank, a project dubbed "radioactive pick up sticks."

    With all these horrors to ponder you wouldn't expect to hear that you should also worry about the United States running out of coal. But you would be wrong, says Leslie Glustrom, founder and research director for Clean Energy Action. Her contention is that we've passed the peak in our nation's legendary supply of coal that powers over one-third of our grid capacity. This grim news is faithfully spelled out in three reports, with the complete story told in Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves (pdf). (Disclosure: I serve on CEA's board and have known the author for years.)

    Glustrom's research presents a sea change in how we should understand our energy challenges, or experience grim consequences. It's not only about toxic and heat-trapping emissions anymore; it's also about having enough energy generation to run big cities and regions that now rely on coal. Glustrom worries openly about how commerce will go on in many regions in 2025 if they don't plan their energy futures right.

    2013-11-05-FigureES4_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    Scrutinizing data for prices on delivered coal nationwide, Glustrom's new report establishes that coal's price has risen nearly 8 percent annually for eight years, roughly doubling, due mostly to thinner, deeper coal seams plus costlier diesel transport expenses. Higher coal prices in a time of "cheap" natural gas and affordable renewables means coal companies are lamed by low or no profits, as they hold debt levels that dwarf their market value and carry very high interest rates.

    2013-11-05-Table_ES2_FULL.jpgclick to enlarge

    2013-11-05-Figure_ES2_FULL.jpg

    One leading coal company, Patriot, filed for bankruptcy last year; many others are also struggling under bankruptcy watch and not eager to upgrade equipment for the tougher mining ahead. Add to this the bizarre event this fall of a coal lease failing to sell in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, the "Fort Knox" of the nation's coal supply, with some pundits agreeing this portends a tightening of the nation's coal supply, not to mention the array of researchers cited in the report. Indeed, at the mid point of 2013, only 488 millions tons of coal were produced in the U.S.; unless a major catch up happens by year-end, 2013 may be as low in production as 1993.

    Coal may exist in large quantities geologically, but economically, it's getting out of reach, as confirmed by US Geological Survey in studies indicating that less than 20 percent of US coal formations are economically recoverable, as explored in the CEA report. To Glustrom, that number plus others translate to 10 to 20 years more of burning coal in the US. It takes capital, accessible coal with good heat content and favorable market conditions to assure that mining companies will stay in business. She has observed a classic disconnect between camps of professionals in which geologists tend to assume money is "infinite" and financial analysts tend to assume that available coal is "infinite." Both biases are faulty and together they court disaster, and "it is only by combining thoughtful estimates of available coal and available money that our country can come to a realistic estimate of the amount of US coal that can be mined at a profit." This brings us back to her main and rather simple point: "If the companies cannot make a profit by mining coal they won't be mining for long."

    No one is more emphatic than Glustrom herself that she cannot predict the future, but she presents trend lines that are robust and confirmed assertively by the editorial board at West Virginia Gazette:

    Although Clean Energy Action is a "green" nonprofit opposed to fossil fuels, this study contains many hard economic facts. As we've said before, West Virginia's leaders should lower their protests about pollution controls, and instead launch intelligent planning for the profound shift that is occurring in the Mountain State's economy.

    The report "Warning, Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" and its companion reports belong in the hands of energy and climate policy makers, investors, bankers, and rate payer watchdog groups, so that states can plan for, rather than react to, a future with sea change risk factors.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    It bears mentioning that even China is enacting a "peak coal" mentality, with Shanghai declaring that it will completely ban coal burning in 2017 with intent to close down hundreds of coal burning boilers and industrial furnaces, or shifting them to clean energy by 2015. And Citi Research, in "The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China," took a look at all forms of energy production in China and figured that demand for coal will flatten or peak by 2020 and those "coal exporting countries that have been counting on strong future coal demand could be most at risk." Include US coal producers in that group of exporters.

    Our world is undergoing many sorts of change and upheaval. We in the industrialized world have spent about a century dismissing ocean trash, overfishing, pesticides, nuclear hazard, and oil and coal burning with a shrug of, "Hey it's fine, nature can manage it." Now we're surrounded by impacts of industrial-grade consumption, including depletion of critical resources and tipping points of many kinds. It is not enough to think of only ourselves and plan for strictly our own survival or convenience. The threat to animals everywhere, indeed to whole systems of the living, is the grief-filled backdrop of our times. It's "all hands on deck" at this point of human voyaging, and in our nation's capital, we certainly don't have that. Towns, states and regions need to plan fiercely and follow through. And a fine example is Boulder Colorado's recent victory to keep on track for clean energy by separating from its electric utility that makes 59 percent of its power from coal.

    Clean Energy Action is disseminating "Warning: Faulty Reporting of US Coal Reserves" for free to all manner of relevant professionals who should be concerned about long range trends which now include the supply risks of coal, and is supporting that outreach through a fundraising campaign.

    [Clean Energy Action is fundraising to support the dissemination of this report through December 11. Contribute here.]

    Author's note: Want to support my work? Please "fan" me at Huffpost Denver, here (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-butterfield). Thanks.

    - -------------------

    Anne's previous NewEnergyNews columns:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

    -------------------

    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    Your intrepid reporter

    -------------------

      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Wednesday, September 05, 2012

    TODAY’S STUDY: VOTERS REALLY CARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

    Public Support for Climate And Energy Policies in March 2012 August 2012 (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication)

    Executive Summary

    Interview dates: March 12, 2012 – March 30, 2012. Interviews: 1,008 Adults (18+) Margin of error: +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. NOTE: All results show percentages among all respondents, unless otherwise labeled. Totals may occasionally sum to more than 100 percent due to rounding…

    Overview

    Overall, majorities of Americans say that global warming and clean energy should be among the nation’s priorities, want more action by elected officials, corporations and citizens themselves, and support a variety of climate change and energy policies, including holding fossil fuel companies responsible for all the “hidden costs” of their products. A majority also say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports a “revenue neutral” tax shift from income taxes to fossil fuels, and that global warming will be one of the issues that determines their vote for President this fall.

    Issue Priority

    • 72 percent of Americans think that global warming should be a very high (12%), high (28%), or medium (32%) priority for the president and Congress. Among registered voters, 84 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of Independents, and 52 percent of Republicans think global warming should be a priority.

    • 92 percent of Americans think that developing sources of clean energy should be a very high (31%), high (38%), or medium (23%) priority for the president and Congress. Among registered voters, 96 percent of Democrats and Independents, and 84 percent of Republicans think clean energy should be a priority.

    • 83 percent of Americans think that protecting the environment either improves economic growth and provides new jobs (58%) or has no effect on economic growth or jobs (25%). Only 17 percent think it reduces economic growth and costs jobs. When there is a conflict between the two, however, 62 percent of Americans say it is more important to protect the environment, even if it reduces economic growth, while 38 percent say economic growth is more important, even if it leads to economic problems. Among registered voters, 91 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Independents, and 70 percent of Republicans think that overall, protecting the environment either improves economic growth and provides new jobs, or has no effect on economic growth or jobs. When there is a conflict between the two, however, 72 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents, and 45 percent of Republicans say it is more important to protect the environment than economic growth.

    Who Should Act on Global Warming?

    • 70 percent of Americans say that corporations and industry should be doing more to address global warming, which is back up to levels last seen in the fall of 2008.

    • 67 percent of Americans also say that citizens themselves should be doing more to address the issue.

    • 58 percent of Americans say that Congress should be doing more to address global warming. The proportion that say Congress should be doing “much more” has increased four percentage points since May 2011 (up to 23%).

    • 54 percent of Americans say that President Obama should be doing more to address the issue, while 25 percent say he is currently doing the right amount. Only 21 percent say he should do less.

    Support for Climate & Energy Policies

    • More than two-thirds of Americans (68%) say the U.S. should make either a large-scale or medium-scale effort to reduce global warming, even if this has large or moderate economic costs.

    • A large majority of Americans (79%) supports funding more research into renewable energy sources. Among registered voters, 91 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Independents, and 74 percent of Republicans support this policy. However, perhaps due in part to news stories about Solyndra, “strong support” for more research into renewables fell from 53 percent in the fall of 2008 to 36 percent in March 2012. Meanwhile opposition to renewable energy research more than doubled, from 8 percent in 2008 to 21 percent in 2012.

    • 76 percent support providing tax rebates for people who purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles or solar panels. Among registered voters, 89 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of Independents, and 63 percent of Republicans support this policy.

    • 75 percent support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Among registered voters, 84 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Independents, and 67 percent of Republicans support this policy.

    • 65 percent of Americans support an international treaty requiring the U.S. to cut carbon dioxide 90% by the year 2050. Among registered voters, 78 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Independents, and 42 percent of Republicans support this policy.

    • 63 percent support requiring utilities to produce at least 20% of their electricity from renewable energy sources, even if household costs increase by $100 a year. “Strong support,” however, has decreased from 31 percent in 2008 to 20 percent now. Among registered voters, 74 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Independents, and 47 percent of Republicans support this policy.

    • 63 percent say the U.S. should act on its own to reduce greenhouse gases, regardless of what other nations do.

    • 62 percent support expanded offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast. Likely due to the BP oil spill, however, “strongly support” for expanding offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast has fallen from 37 percent in 2008 to 24 percent now.

    There is a substantial difference between the two parties on offshore drilling, however. 89 percent of Republicans support it, compared to 53 percent of Democrats. Among those who “strongly support” offshore drilling, the difference is even greater: 42 percent of Republicans strongly support it vs. 15 percent of Democrats. By contrast, only 2 percent of Republicans “strongly oppose” expanded offshore drilling, while 20 percent of Democrats do.

    • 61 percent of Americans support holding the fossil fuel industry (coal, oil and natural gas) responsible for “all the hidden costs we pay for citizens who get sick from polluted air and water, military costs to maintain our access to foreign oil, and the environmental costs of spills and accidents.” Among registered voters, 68 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Independents, and 54 percent of Republicans support this policy.

    • Likely due to the Fukushima nuclear accident, support for building more nuclear power plants has fallen dramatically – from 61 percent who supported it in 2008 to just 42 percent now. Among registered voters, 37 percent of Democrats, 48 percent of Independents, and 53 percent of Republicans support this policy.

    • The country is divided about whether to eliminate all federal subsidies for all form of energy (oil, gas, coal, nuclear and renewables) – 47 percent of Americans support ending all energy subsidies while 54 percent oppose it.1 Interestingly, however, there are not substantial political differences, with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all about equally supportive or opposed.

    • Only 50 percent of Americans have heard about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Among registered voters, Republicans (66%) and Independents (69%) are more likely to have heard of it, compared to Democrats (48%). Of those Americans who have heard of it, two-thirds (69%) support building the pipeline, including 87 percent of registered Republicans, 68 percent of Independents, and 50 percent of Democrats.

    Voting Intentions

    • By a margin of 3 to 1, Americans say they would be more likely to vote for a political candidate who supports a “revenue neutral” tax shift. This shift would increase taxes on coal, oil and natural gas, and reduce the federal income tax by an equal amount, while creating jobs and decreasing pollution. 2 61 percent of Americans say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports such a tax shift, while 20 percent say they would be less likely.

    Among registered voters, Republicans would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports such a tax shift by a 2 to 1 margin – 51 percent would be more likely to vote for such a candidate, while 25 percent would be less likely. Independents would be more likely to vote for such a candidate by a nearly 3 to 1 margin – 60 percent vs. 22 percent. Finally, Democrats would be more likely to vote for such a candidate by a more than 5 to 1 margin – 74 percent vs. 13 percent.

    • 55 percent of Americans say that global warming will be either the single most important (3%) or one of several important issues (52%) in determining their vote for president this year.

    Among registered voters, 63 percent of Democrats say global warming will be either the single most important issue (3%) or one of several important issues (60%) in determining their vote. 59 percent of Independents and 43 percent of Republicans say it will be either the single most important issue (2% respectively) or one of several important issues determining their vote (57% and 41% respectively).

    (NOTE: These results are from a nationally representative survey conducted by Knowledge Networks. The survey was fielded March 12 through March 30, 2012 with 1,008 American adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percent, with 95 percent confidence.)

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home

    *