[GWSG] Coastal plans; WAIS volcano; not our fault; (not) necessary gas; farmers turning; difficult sources

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sat Jun 30 09:19:04 EDT 2018

1.  A white paper from Stanford calls for coastal resilience planning, including managed retreat, as a national security issue. "The security concerns are diverse. They range from the territorial integrity of nations through to the consequences of disasters for economies, cultures and societies." https://news.stanford.edu/2018/06/27/coastal-resilience-linked-national-security/

The 45-page white paper may be downloaded free. It is based on conversations among academics, governmental and military leaders, and corporate representatives. The initial conversations led to a special roundtable on reinsurance and to a series of public panel discussions and a final session with representatives of at-risk coastal areas. The risks are briefly (and conservatively) presented. A Conclusion recommends three basic guidelines: Context matters; An integrated approach is imperative; Partnerships are progress. The specific recommendations in the white paper attempt to encapsulate the general discussions and constitute a survey of the issues faced in coastal adaptation.

2. An active volcano has been detected beneath the West Antarctic's Pine Island Glacier. While the added heat will generally increase the rate of destabilization of this and the neighboring Thwaites Glacier, the exact effect is not clear. https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=295861&org=NSF&from=news

3. When sued for climate damage, fossil fuel companies argue that they cannot be blamed for supplying what customers demanded. It is a specious argument in several ways, though it apparently persuaded US District Judge Alsup to dismiss San Francisco's suit against oil companies. At root are the begged questions of whether consumers had a choice, and the extent to which even that was (and is) shaped by oil company propaganda. https://www.climateliabilitynews.org/2018/06/28/climate-liabiilty-cases-consumers/

4. At the same time the oil corporations are engaged in public relations which depict them as climate realists earnest about the need for action, they are dedicated to promoting natural gas. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/big-oil-pushes-gas-as-fossil-fuel-answer-to-global-warming/ar-AAzjgxM

The last-ditch talking point about coal was that it would have to be part of the fuel mix. Of course it was not necessary, and neither is natural gas, filthy and expensive stuff that it is.

5. Australia's National Farmer's Federation has fought against a carbon tax and other climate actions. Now it is reversing its position, though it is a bumpy course change. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jun/30/weve-turned-a-corner-farmers-shift-on-climate-change-and-want-a-say-on-energy

6. A new study highlights the sources of greenhouse gasses most difficult to eliminate: long-haul shipping and transportation, on-demand power generation, and steel and concrete production. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/28062018/global-warming-pollution-industrial-sources-cement-steel-trade-solutions-technology-shipping

More solutions to the difficult sources have been proposed than the article indicates. Still, little progress is visible so far, though I would argue that natural gas peakers no long belong on the list of intractables. Germany, for example, has a better record than the US on power failures, mostly through robust grid design.?

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