Enviro News Wrap: Obama's Climate Plan; Shell in the Arctic; the Growth of Renewables; Natural Gas Greenwash, and more...
GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- It was great to hear Obama wax poetic about climate change last week - but a lot of his climate plan involves things he is already doing and it seems that he hopes that Congress can somehow pass meaningful legislation, good luck with those lame ducks. Even if Obama successfully rolls out his plan, he needs Congress to support him with impactful legislation, like a national carbon tax. Coal has become the black sheep in the climate change debate and is feeling the pain from Obama's speech. The oil industry will hopefully get everything they deserve, I hope their industry burns like the lungs of children in America's cities.
- Shell oil company failed miserably at exploratory drilling in the Arctic in the last year. Their failures included trying to move a huge runaway oil platform across national boundaries to avoid paying taxes and losing control of the thing in a storm. Then, Shell lied about why they tried to move the platform when it was clearly not safe to do so, but the truth came out with time. Shell has continued non-drilling operations in the Arctic. Hopefully it will take Shell so long to figure out how to drill in the Arctic that the renewable energy industry will grow to the point where we don't even need new sources of oil.
- I don't know why people are talking about making millions of natural gas vehicles in the US. The price of natural gas is too low and can only increase with time, why make a vehicle with a fuel source that has a rising price? Also, why would we create an infrastructure for a fuel source that we know we will transition off of someday relatively soon? The beauty of electric cars is that all we need are good batteries and then we can charge them with any fuel source we want. Please never buy this greenwash fad touted by the dirty energy industry. One thing though, there is renewable natural gas from things like methane digesters fed by cow poop, now that's good for the environment.
- The renewable energy industry is growing and will continue to do so in the coming years - as developed countries get their fill the focus of new renewable energy projects will shift to the developing world.
- Insurance works because many people pay into a plan, but few people ever submit a claim. What if the frequency and severity of natural disasters increases in a short period of time? Most insurance companies do not include climate change in their forecasting. Will climate change destroy the business model of insurance companies?
- Carbon capture and sequestration is an idea supported by the dirty energy industry and Obama. Are we really going to pump millions of tons of carbon into the earth, and does it really work like that in the long term?