There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels … upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
It’s really sickening to read about how every fucking “tipping point” in climate change has tipped. Meanwhile, the governments that run the world are continuing to promote business as usual, with – maybe – a plan to cut back eventually once they’re no longer in office. The other day I read that the arctic has now become a greenhouse gas emitter instead of an absorber. Just like the boffins predicted, once enough ice starts melting, the methane trapped in the ice is going to go into the atmosphere. At one point, that was considered a harbinger of doom, but now it’s “last week.”
Robert Hunziker over at Counterpunch tracks the climate crisis, and reports that IPCC has finally stopped shilly-shallying around about “maybe this is going to be a problem” and started making more concrete predictions of disaster. [cp] As I’ve been saying for years, the +1.5C limit was never going to actually happen and humanity is charging forward toward about +4C which is basically a re-enactment of the Permian extinctions. I suppose if there is any good news in this, some life will survive on the planet, and evolution will result in (eventually) wonderful and amazing things once the bottle-neck re-opens some time in the far future.
In short, climate change is much worse than the IPCC has previously been willing to admit.
Oh, goody. The problem seems to be that every time IPCC said “this is going to get bad in 30 years” politicians deliberately mis-interpreted that to mean “you’ve got 30 years left to drill and burn, then you can figure out what to do!” Except that’s bullshit – politicians are corrupt and sneaky but, with the exception of republicans from the western states, they’re really not that stupid.
Moreover, previous IPCC reports inadvertently gave the impression that society has plenty of time until 2050 to make the necessary changes, which has unintentionally served to bolster the interests of the fossil fuel industry and extend forecasts for future production by the International Energy Agency
In strong opposition, this new report forcefully and effectively states that unless there are immediate rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that limit warming to close to 1.5° C or even 2° C, the problem will extend “beyond reach” and beyond any chance for some level of control. The three key words are: 1) immediate (2) rapid (3) large-scale.
Even that’s too much shilly-shallying. “unless there are immediate…” doesn’t cut it. What’s going on is “it’s too late to avoid some effects like +1.5C, but if we stop it all right now we may avoid +3C or even +4C which is what you’ve got us on track for.”
“We’ve lost the Amazon Rainforest. It’s a very hard thing to say… The Amazon has tipped. It is no longer a carbon sink buffering and soaking up some of our CO2 emissions. It has now started to emit CO2 emissions, and that is very, very clear from the satellite images… The Amazon is pouring out CO2.”
Also known as “you remember that thing we said was doom for humanity, if it happened? That was last week.”
Meanwhile, business as usual in Washington, where politicians who aren’t just “beholden to fossil fuel interests” but “own coal companies” are able to stop even Biden’s feeble attempts to reduce fossil fuel exploitation. Not as if Biden really cares – he’s too busy flailing around trying to be the anti-Trump and unable to push forward any kind of dramatic change such as is necessary. Not that he’d push forward any dramatic change other than subsidizing green technology. Sure, we need that, but we also need to start outright banning carbon emitting technology. No more shilly-shallying.
Also, in case you missed it, the recent oil spill in California is a big deal because it hit Newport Beach which is where a lot of rich people’s vacation homes and yachts are. The shocking part of that news is that apparently they’re still not really sure where the oil came from – it’s some kind of leak but it may be from a pipe, it may be from a poorly capped well, oh, I dunno, good thing the otter population is north of here, huh?
And here’s a shocker: the company behind the spill has a long history (hint: they all do) of problems. [beast] and as I’ve predicted elsewhere, it’s a shell company owned by another shell company and it’s going to be a hell of a time figuring out who is going to pay for the cleanup. They’re probably all, already, filing for bankruptcy.
The Beta field, where the two platforms suspected to be the origin of Saturday’s spill are located, was a subsidiary of Memorial Production Partners until early 2017, when the parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Several months later, Memorial emerged as Amplify Energy Corp., which was using earnings generated from its fields to pay down $235 million in debt, according to Reuters.
Ah, the old “spin-off with debt” shell game. What you do is create a company around some assets, then have the new company agree to pay over time for the assets. So it starts off with a lot of debt, then after a few years it starts making money (i.e.: paying down the debt) so the company can float a public stock offering, effectively leaving the public holding the bag while the cash from the IPO is used to cancel the debt. When the debt is paid off, the stock starts to go up, and everyone is really happy until it comes crashing back down, predictably.
As divers for Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp. on Sunday searched for the location and cause of the massive leak, public records revealed a pattern of changing ownership and compliance warnings for the company. Amplify had also been working to upgrade its aging infrastructure and had plans to initiate new drilling near the site of the leak in the final three months of this year, according to company records. It remains unclear whether the drilling had commenced or whether the work was connected to the leak.
Government officials say the spill originated from a broken pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach that runs from the Port of Long Beach to a production and processing platform called Elly, located in the Beta Field, an accumulation of oil nine miles from the California coast. Drilling in the Beta Field, discovered by a consortium led by Shell Oil Co. in 1976, began in 1980 and oil production started in January 1981.
See what I mean? Shell oil has already won the shell-game and made a massive profit off the well, then it’s been changing hands like a collectible baseball card since then, to the point where it’s some chump company that won’t be able to pay for the damages. The whole fucking game ought to be shut down, of course. This is exactly the problem: the government is pointing at the “we are issuing 30% fewer drilling permits” as a way of showing that they’re trying to reduce environmental pollution, but meanwhile the worst of the problem has all been grandfathered in since the 70s.
The Guardian [guard] reports the sobering reality that carbon emissions will drop just 40% by 2050 if all the countries that have pledged to reduce emissions keep their word. Snowballs chances in hell, or the warming Arctic, I suppose is the metaphor for that.
Current plans to cut global carbon emissions will fall 60% short of their 2050 net zero target, the International Energy Agency has said, as it urged leaders to use the upcoming Cop26 climate conference to send an “unmistakable signal” with concrete policy plans.
A dollar figure is associated with net zero emissions: $4tn. Which, would be entirely practical if the US simply cancelled its defense budget and stopped developing new nuclear weapons. Surely Joe Manchin and other “deficit hawks” in congress would have no problem with balancing the budget through the obvious solution of strapping the pentagon to Procrustes’ bed? The CIA has consultants who specialize in that kind of thing; they can help.
But that’s not how it’s going to go. The way it’s going to go is that the democrats are going to allow their desperation to get Biden’s agenda (and theirs) passed, even if that means tossing money at Manchin’s pet fossil fuels projects. Prepare to vomit into your mouth: they are considering allocating some huge amount of money for “clean gas” production and coal burning abatement (I can’t say “clean coal” with a straight face, and even “clean gas” is ridiculous): [politico]
Lawmakers and the White House may soften a major clean energy component of Democrats’ climate change and social spending legislation in a bid to overcome objections from Sen. Joe Manchin, two people familiar with the discussions said on Wednesday.
The changes under consideration could make it easier for coal and natural gas power plants to receive billions of dollars in financial incentives for clean energy, a potential boon for fossil fuel producers in Manchin’s home state.
Why can’t Americans see this for the corruption it is? Oh, perhaps because even Politico can’t bear to say out loud that Manchin owns a fucking coal company and he’s lining his own pockets. This is the kind of bullshit that got us into a desperate global situation, and the Washington set are just looking at it as a great big pie to scrabble for a slice of.
We are so fucked.