Daily Archives: July 31, 2015

Police Remove Greenpeace Activists from Portland Bridge After They Forced Shell Ship Back to Port

Democracy Now!

Published on Jul 31, 2015

http://democracynow.org – In Portland, Oregon law enforcement officers have removed Greenpeace activists who spent 40 hours suspended from the St. Johns Bridge in order to block an icebreaking ship commissioned by oil giant Shell from leaving for the Arctic. Hundreds of activists have been gathering on the bridge and in kayaks since Tuesday night in efforts to stop Shell’s plans to drill in the remote Chukchi Sea. Early Thursday morning, the suspended Greenpeace activists successfully forced Shell’s ship to turn back to port in a showdown that grabbed international headlines. Joining us to discuss the action is Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Climate models are even more accurate than you thought | Dana Nuccitelli

The difference between modeled and observed global surface temperature changes is 38% smaller than previously thought Looking across the frozen sea of Ullsfjord in Norway. Melting Arctic sea ice is one complicating factor in comparing modeled and observed surface temperatures. Photograph: Neale Clark/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis Dana Nuccitelli Friday 31 July 2015 11.00 BST Global climate models aren’t given nearly enough credit for their accurate global temperature change projections. As the 2014 IPCC report showed, observed global surface temperature changes have been within the range of climate model simulations. Now a new study shows that the models were even more accurate than previously thought. In previous evaluations like the one done by the IPCC, climate model simulations of global surface air temperature were compared to global surface temperature observational records like HadCRUT4. However, over the oceans, HadCRUT4 uses sea surface temperatures rather than air temperatures. A depiction of how global temperatures calculated from models use air temperatures above the ocean surface (right frame), while observations are based on the water temperature in the top few metres (left frame). Global Climate Change Environment Ethics Environment Justice

Harper optimistic Keystone pipeline will proceed after Obama leaves office – The Globe and Mail


OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2015 5:49PM EDT

Last updated Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2015 11:44PM EDT

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has voiced his frustration over Barack Obama’s failure to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the President is ignoring U.S. public opinion and the advice of his own officials.

“I think there’s very peculiar politics of this particular administration” on the pipeline issue, Mr. Harper said in an interview with Bloomberg television on Wednesday. He said opinion polls consistently show Americans support the project, while the U.S. State Department has concluded it would not significantly add to global warming, a key criterion for the President.

Four main findings from U.S. report on Keystone XL
Video: U.S. ambassador to Canada on Keystone

Supporters of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline have suffered another setback, as the U.S. Senate failed to override President Barack Obama's veto of a bill that would have approved the project. Jameson Berkow reports.

Video: U.S. Senate fails to override Obama’s Keystone veto

The Prime Minister’s criticism of Mr. Obama’s politics was a rare comment by one national leader on the machinations of another, and Mr. Harper quickly qualified it by suggesting he did not want to interfere with an internal decision, other than stating Canada’s position.

The Harper government has lobbied aggressively for approval of TransCanada Corp.’s plan to ship oil sands crude from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, and the multiyear delay in the review process has driven a wedge between Ottawa and the Obama administration.

Mr. Harper now appears to have given up hope Mr. Obama will approve Keystone XL, but said he remains optimistic the project will proceed under a future administration.

“Notwithstanding the facts, a positive decision has not been rendered for a very long time,” he said. “That’s obviously not a hopeful sign.”

Even as the pipeline issue roils, the U.S. administration has waged a public campaign to force Canada to open its supply-managed agricultural sectors to more competition from imports at the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks. On Wednesday, Mr. Harper said Canada must be part of any TPP deal, and his government will protect the dairy and poultry sectors “as best we can.”

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Peabody’s Energy Poverty Campaign Versus Reality at Powering Africa Summit

Energy and Policy Institute

Published on Feb 11, 2015

Peabody’s Advanced Energy for Life campaign claims that coal is the solution for energy poverty in Africa. Energy and Policy Institute decided to ask experts at the Powering Africa Summit in Washington, D.C. on January 29, 2015.

We interviewed:
– Eng. Stanley K. Kamau, Director of the Public Private Partnerships Unit at The National Treasury, Republic of Kenya
– Ekaete Okoro, Project Lead, Access to Energy, Shell International Ltd.
– Dr. Rosaline Emma Rasolovoahangy, President of PetroMad Inc. and an advisor to the government of Madagascar
– H.E. Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, Minister of Finance and Planning, Uganda
-Eddy Njoroge Fund Investment Committee Member, African Renewable Energy Fund

See our post on the event at Energy and Policy Institute’s website: http://www.energyandpolicy.org/peabod…

See also:

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

From Candles to Computer

Advanced Energy for Life

Published on Mar 2, 2015

Linda Jing discusses growing up in rural China with limited access to electricity and the empowering experience of moving to a major city.

See whole Peabody campaign:


Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

World Bank rejects energy industry notion that coal can cure poverty

Smoke is emitted from chimneys at the Waigaoqiao coal-fired power plant in Pudong, Shanghai. Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis

Suzanne Goldenberg, Wednesday 29 July 2015 20.01 BST

  • World Bank’s climate change envoy: ‘We need to wean ourselves off coal’
  • Bank has stopped funding new coal projects except in ‘rare circumstances’

The World Bank said coal was no cure for global poverty on Wednesday, rejecting a main industry argument for building new fossil fuel projects in developing countries.

In a rebuff to coal, oil and gas companies, Rachel Kyte, the World Bank climate change envoy, said continued use of coal was exacting a heavy cost on some of the world’s poorest countries, in local health impacts as well as climate change, which is imposing even graver consequences on the developing world.

The truth behind Peabody’s campaign to rebrand coal as a poverty cure

Read more

“In general globally we need to wean ourselves off coal,” Kyte told an event in Washington hosted by the New Republic and the Center for American Progress. “There is a huge social cost to coal and a huge social cost to fossil fuels … if you want to be able to breathe clean air.”

Coal, oil and gas companies have pushed back against efforts to fight climate change by arguing fossil fuels are a cure to “energy poverty”, which is holding back developing countries.

Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest privately held coal company, went so far as to claim that coal would have prevented the spread of the Ebola virus.

However, Kyte said that when it came to lifting countries out of poverty, coal was part of the problem – and not part of a broader solution.

“Do I think coal is the solution to poverty? There are more than 1 billion people today who have no access to energy,” Kyte said. Hooking them up to a coal-fired grid would not on its own wreck the planet, she went on.

But Kyte added: “If they all had access to coal-fired power tomorrow their respiratory illness rates would go up, etc, etc … We need to extend access to energy to the poor and we need to do it the cleanest way possible because the social costs of coal are uncounted and damaging, just as the global emissions count is damaging as well.”

The World Bank sees climate change as a driver of poverty, threatening decades of development.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Portland icebreaker protesters cleared after judge fines Greenpeace $2,500 an hour

Authorities force back kayakers blocking the path of Royal Dutch Shell ship headed to Arctic oil drilling fields

Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker Fennica heads back to the port of Portland after it was blocked on its way to Alaska by activists hanging from the St Johns bridge in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday. Photograph: Don Ryan/AP

Ellen Brait and agencies

Thursday 30 July 2015 21.38 BST

Authorities have forced protesters in kayaks from a river in Portland, Oregon, where they were trying to stop a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving dry dock and joining an Arctic oil drilling operation.

Police also tried to lower protesters who were dangling from a bridge into the water below. Sergeant Pete Simpson said safety was the main priority, and police and coast guard officers were joined by firefighters and a rope-rescue team.

A federal judge in Alaska had earlier ordered Greenpeace USA to pay a fine of $2,500 for every hour that protesters continued to block the icebreaker from leaving for the Arctic.

US district court judge Sharon Gleason ruled on Thursday in Anchorage that Greenpeace was in civil contempt because of protesters dangling off the bridge and impeding the vessel.


…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice