[GWSG] AR5 omissions; Risky Business; C tax; CAP; going N; new battery; it's not the ACA?

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Thu Oct 3 08:22:25 EDT 2013

1.  The IPCC AR5 omits the possibility of massive methane releases from the Arctic, disintegration within the polar ice sheets, and severe changes in the global ocean circulation system.  Kevin Schaefer observes that “by leaving out the permafrost feedback, all climate projections . . . are likely to be biased on the low side.”  Michael Mann regrets that the report dismisses treatment of low probability events with great destructive potential, for which risk management theory demands attention.  (Examples: hurricane damage and house fires.)   http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24285-can-we-be-confident-that-the-report-has-not-missed-anything-big.html?cmpid=RSS%7CNSNS%7C2012-GLOBAL%7Cclimate-change#.UkbY8F_D-70
The AR5 Summary:  http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/#.UkbcOF_D-70

2.  Risky Business is dividing the US into 8 regions and estimating the economic impact of climate disruption in each.  The organizers of Risky Business are billionaire Tom Steyer, outgoing NY mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Bush Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.  Robert Rubin and George Schulz have signed on as advisers.  The Risky Business report is scheduled for publication in late 2014.  The intention is to involve the business community in climate action.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-01/climate-change-rescue-in-u-s-makes-steyer-converge-with-paulson.html

3.  Yvo de Boer, former UN chief climate envoy, recommends setting an international carbon price of $150 per ton in order to avoid 2°of warming.  http://www.rtcc.org/2013/10/01/carbon-price-vital-for-success-of-un-2015-climate-summit-de-boer/  More than 50 carbon markets are operating or in the works.  An international market requires an international regulator to be effective.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-26/carbon-markets-need-global-regulator-to-spur-climate-investment.html

4.  President Obama has released a draft of his plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% on a 2005 base by 2020.  It is a part of the 2014 Climate Action Report and provides an overview of US emissions and their effects, as well as outlining current and planned mitigation measures.   http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4202/20130928/obama-releases-plan-outlining-17-decrease-greenhouse-gas-emissions.htm

5.  According to an article in PNAS the difference in warming between the Arctic and Antarctic will push current weather patterns north.  http://www.climatecentral.org/news/history-shows-weather-patterns-may-head-north-16533?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climatecentral%2FdjOO+Climate+Central+-+Full+Feed

6.  An MIT start-up intends to produce a multi-hour grid power storage battery at half the current cost for sodium-sulfur batteries.  Many such projects are in development.  Sun Catalytix’s batteries are safer because they use a non-corrosive liquid and operate at a lower temperature than some other designs.  http://www.technologyreview.com/news/519316/startup-shows-off-its-cheaper-grid-battery/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-weekly-energy&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20130930

7.  The government shutdown has shuttered the EPA and hamstrung energy efficiency and alternative energy research, at least for the present.  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/02/us-shutdown-obama-climate-epa  The Koch brothers planned, funded, and continue to use the tea party through such instruments as Americans for Prosperity and the Heritage Foundation.  They are intent on preventing any meaningful action on climate, for their prosperity is as stake.  They and other right wing market anarchists have now replaced Wall Street as the primary funders of the Republican right wing, which is now in control of the party and through that in control of the current government crisis.  The shutdown is only temporary, but the weakening of the government which will result from the shutdown and especially from any default on the national debt would make any climate action less likely.  Health care may not lie at the center of things but may only supplying a disruptive occasion.  Is sabotaging an energy transition the root strategy of the current government crisis?  Here’s the Wikipedia article on the political activities of the Koch brothers:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_activities_of_the_Koch_brothers
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