Op-ed: Shell is playing games with new carbon emissions plan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Financial Times ($):While it is true that Royal Dutch Shell gave shareholder activists on climate an early Christmas present, agreeing to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 per cent by 2035 and 50 per cent by 2050 (FT View, December 7), a closer look reveals that the commitment is a cynical game.Shell is actually only agreeing to reduce the carbon intensity of its products — ie, carbon per unit of energy produced — not absolute emissions tied to a baseline year or carbon budget. That means Shell can continue to grow its gas business for decades to come, for example, given the lower carbon intensity of gas compared to oil.The Paris agreement requires emissions to be zeroed out by 2050 to keep global warming from exceeding 2C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just upped the ante, concluding that 2C is too much — exposing millions more to rising sea levels, resulting in complete destruction of coral reefs, significantly increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, and more. The report concludes that emissions must be reduced by 45 per cent by 2030, and that $2.4tn must be invested in clean energy annually, to have a chance at keeping the worst consequences of climate change at bay.Judged by these metrics, Shell’s goal of halving the carbon intensity of its products by 2050 is not Paris-compliant — it is Paris-defiant. To cut the other half, Shell implicitly relies on massive deployment of negative emissions technologies, which either do not exist or remain untested by the market. There is nothing in its statement to constrain the many projects Shell is currently developing that are outside of the Paris agreement.Carbon emissions reached a new record high in 2018. Institutional investors have awesome power to decide where tens of trillions of dollars will be invested. Betting on coal, oil and gas is betting on a future of increased human suffering and economic losses.Shareholders now stand at a clearly defined crossroads: they must divest from the past and invest in the future, or they are clearly complicit in climate change and its impacts. There is no time left for games. — Clara Vondrich, Washington, D.C.More ($): The detail in Shell’s pledge is Paris-defiant
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Plain Dealer:The U.S. Department of Justice fired a warning shot this week across the bow of FirstEnergy Solutions and its path toward restructuring itself free of past debt and other obligations. The warning did not leave out parent company FirstEnergy, which negotiated a deal with FES and creditors last summer and has since insisted it has no financial responsibility for FES and its many problems.The federal and state authorities don’t agree with that and filed an objection in bankruptcy court making sure the companies, its creditors, and the court understand that. In an eight-page court brief, lawyers for the Justice Department and Ohio and Pennsylvania attorneys general noted that they believe FirstEnergy has “significant independent liability.” They added that FES itself is also on the hook to pay for cleanup left behind by coal power plants and the long-term decommissioning cost of its nuclear plants.“The Non-Debtor Affiliates (FirstEnergy) have numerous liabilities to the Governments under environmental laws for their ownership and/or operation of (and/or disposal at) some of the same facilities for decades even before the Debtors [FES] became the owners/operators,” they argue.The brief reads that FES has for months repeatedly put off negotiating its liabilities for cleaning up power plant environmental damage while simultaneously cutting deals with its creditors and winning extra time from the court to independently restructure itself, free of past debt.“Counsel requested that the Governments be included early on in the negotiations [with creditors] and not be the only ones left out and then presented with a fait accompli that everybody else had negotiated,” the attorneys wrote.Yet, in the latest request to the court for a third time extension to continue to develop its restructuring plan without having to deal with competing plans, FES made no mention of its obligations to deal with the government, the brief to the court said. The FES request for a third extension of time was “silent with respect to the Governments’ concerns and makes no provision for any allocation or trust relating to environmental liabilities,” the government noted.More: Justice Department, Ohio AG warn FirstEnergy Solutions and FirstEnergy on environmental obligations Justice Department takes aim at cleanup holes in FirstEnergy restructuring plan
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:BloombergNEF (BNEF) has reduced its global solar demand forecast for 2020, due to the impact related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks.BNEF lowered its forecast range from 121GW-152GW to 108GW-143GW. With the low end of the revised range, BNEF is highlighting the possibility that COVID-19 could have such an impact on demand that 2020 could mark the first time in several decades when annual demand falls below that of the previous year.BNEF noted that Chinese factories were at various stages of restarting and ramping capacity, a move set to ease pressure on the supply of key components and equipment.Unrelated to COVID-19, BNEF also noted that new PV support mechanisms recently announced in China could push some 2020 PV demand in to 2021.There had been expectations that downstream demand in China could reach around 50GW in 2020, yet a final list of PV power plant projects open to bidding has been delayed to July. Recently, China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) lowered its China demand forecast to a range of 35GW to 45GW, due to policy changes and delays.[Mark Osborne]More: BloombergNEF cuts global solar demand forecast on coronavirus concerns BloombergNEF: Coronavirus likely to slow solar PV installations in 2020
Neoen Australia to build 400MW solar farm in Queensland, country’s largest FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Neoen Australia’s plans to build a massive 400MW solar farm in Queensland’s Western Downs region will go ahead after winning the backing of the state government-owned renewable energy generator, CleanCo.Queensland’s Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the move on Wednesday – ahead of the formal unveiling at the Stimulus Summit co-hosted by the Smart Energy Council and Renew Economy – that it had inked a deal with Neoen for CleanCo to buy 320MW of the output of the Western Downs Green Power Hub, paving the way for construction on the project to begin in July.Neoen – the French owner of the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, which still boasts the world’s biggest grid-connected Tesla battery – won council planning approval for the Western Downs project nearly two years ago and was hoping to begin construction last year. It had hinted at a major solar contract in its recent annual results presentation.The project, located 22km south of Chinchilla and 62km north west of Dalby in the state’s south-west, is the second big project to be pursued by Neoen in Queensland, after the Kaban renewable energy hub that plans to combine 160MW and battery storage near Cairns in the state’s north.For CleanCo, the Western Downs Green Power Hub deal marks its third investment and takes its new renewable energy pipeline to a total of 820MW.The latest deal, with Neoen, comes as calls emerge from all sides of Australia’s renewable energy industry call on Australia’s federal and state governments to pave the way for a Covid-19 economic recovery led by investments in clean energy and robust climate action.[Sophie Vorrath]More: Australia’s largest solar farm set for construction after Neoen wins deal with CleanCo
North Face BorealisMade from 100 percent recycled fleece, the Borealis is one of the softest performance jackets on the market, but still manages to wick moisture and keep winter at bay. The thumbholes are a nice touch, and the Borealis is one of the fastest drying garments we tested. $75. thenorthface.com.Brooks HVAC Hat and Vapor Dry GloveBoth the glove and hat wick moisture away from your extremities, but our wear-tester liked the glove’s rubber finger prints, which allow you to scroll through your Ipod without exposing your digits. Hat, $20. Glove, $28. brooksrunning.com.Merrell Stature STWhat’s the difference between a running shoe and a winter running shoe? Moisture and temperature control. A waterproof vamp and a snazzy gator collar on the Stature ST keep water out of your socks, and the foot bed absorbs heat so your feet don’t sweat. It’s a bit burlier than your standard trail/road hybrid, but during a four-mile run in near-freezing rain, our wear-tester’s toes stayed dry and toasty. $120. merrell.com.Skins SportPeople have been using compression tights to help increase circulation for years, so why not runners? Studies show Skins may help reduce lactic acid buildup, boost muscle oxygenation, and speed recovery. During a series of cold winter runs, our tester noticed the amount of time it took to warm up his legs was reduced significantly when wearing the Skins Sport, enabling him to start each session without the difficult early-run stiffness. $115 leggings, $100 long sleeve top. skins.net.
Japan’s Kazuya Matsunaga attempts to land a “loop” during the 2012 ICF Canoe Freestyle World Cup Final. Water sprays off his bow as it surges out of the water. Photo by NOC.Though the Southeast is known for many things – BBQ, drawls, and good ol’ boys being the most blatant – but water is not one that usually jumps to the top of the list. There is water everywhere in this region of the country, heck it even makes up one half of our perimeter. While fly fishing is rapidly gaining the reputation it deserves, when it comes to talking water down south, it usually has to do with the white variety – as in whitewater (try to keep up people). Yes, the whitewater kayaking, rafting, and canoeing is all time here in the Blue Ridge. Steep creeks, big water, Class V, waves, eddies, falls, we have it all, and that’s why paddlers from across the nation either make their home in the Southern Appalachians or make the pilgrimage here on a regular basis. That is also why the U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team Trials will be held on the Nantahala River this weekend.The best boaters in the world will converge on Bryson City April 26-28 for a shot at competing in the World Championships this fall. For some, this event will be an even bigger deal than the World Championships since they have to compete just to make the team. This chance to see the best freestylers in the U.S. compete on the biggest stage is sure to draw a crowd of boating enthusiasts, and the atmosphere will be electric, but watching the competitors flip and spin is only half the fun of the weekend.Along with the Team Trials, the Nantahala Outdoor Center, located conveniently on the banks of the Nantahala, will be hosting their annual Spring Fling. If there was ever an opportunity to take your paddling game to the next level or just get into the game, this is it. Upgrade on the cheap at the demo and gear sale, test your skills at the SUP, 8-Ball and Dagger Squirt Competitions, enter the casual Nantahala Open, or just sit back, enjoy some live music and study the pros as they do their thing. As if it couldn’t get any better, there will be water release on the Upper Nantahala River Cascades. Whoa.Needless to say, this is a big weekend on the Natty, so grab a lawn chair, some sunscreen, and your best board shorts and hit the river.View Larger Map
So, for some reason, cyclocross season is a winter sport. There is no real explanation for this that I can find, other than the “origins” of the sport were basically off season training for road cyclists in Europe. The other reason is that cyclocrossers love pain, punishment, and hardship and each of those things is amplified when it’s cold, rainy, snowing, sleeting, or otherwise terrible outside. Being miserable is part of the sport, and nothing is more miserable than riding a skinny-tired bike across mud and obstacles when it’s 25 degrees and wet.We kick things off with the amazing cyclocross fail video above. This guy is hauling ass and has no time for messing around when it comes to those pesky barriers. He comes barreling in at full speed, but forgets the crucial move at the crucial moment: lifting the bike and himself over the barrier. This could be one of the reasons that cyclocross is raced in the winter, it’s so cold and miserable people just forget what they are doing right in the middle of doing it. You have to have a hook if you want to be a spectator sport. Baseball has the long-ball, football has the violence, hockey has the fights, cyclocross has full speed barrier collision explosions. What I don’t quite understand are the physics of this accident. Why does this guy go flying through the air?Here’s another great example of things going horribly wrong during a race:Well, they go horribly wrong for the racer, they go horribly right for the people watching the carnage.
Weird weather is wreaking havoc on thrill-seekers and pleasure-seekers alike in this week’s Trauma Tuesday clips. When a motorcyclist tries to cross a flooded road, he gets an unexpected downriver adventure, and a cruise ship gets rocked by big waves.
After weeks, make that months, of harboring from the cold, the snow is finally melting and t-shirts are getting pulled out of drawers. To celebrate this momentous change of weather, we’ve assembled some impressive clips found on the web this week. Check out Marshall Miller paragliding and base jumping, some highlining in Hong Kong, and Bob Burnquist and John Perrell performing some wild stunts with a helicopter.
“Primrose Green” — Sarah McQuaid — Busses “Be Loved” 2:42 Jessica Lea Mayfield and Seth Avett collaborate on an album of Elliot Smith tunes.“Do you not know Elliot Smith’s story?”I had just asked a good buddy of mine if he was a fan of Elliot Smith and, after answering in the affirmative, he posed that question to me. I was ignorant of the answer, so I could only ask him to elaborate. Turns out that Elliot Smith was both a brilliant songwriter and a troubled soul, and, like many of his contemporaries – Mark Linkous, Vic Chesnutt, and Jeff Buckley, just to name a few – he met too soon with a tragic end.This conversation developed as we listened to Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliot Smith, the brand new record from Avett and Mayfield that, as the name suggests, is a collection of Elliot Smith tunes. I am firm believer that the best songwriters are too keenly aware of a darkness that the rest of us do not know. This collaboration between Avett and Mayfield certainly swims that current of melancholy, providing heartbreaking evidence that Smith knew the darkness to which I refer, but – despite, or because of, that sadness – these songs are achingly beautiful.Also featured this month is a brand new track from JJ Grey & Mofro. The new record, Ol’ Glory, is a powerhouse, and “Hold On Tight,” on this month’s playlist, is pure crunchy Southern rock and soul dynamite.Be sure to check out new tunes from Bombadil, Joe Pug, James McMurtry, Bonson Berner, Nicholas David, Ryley Walker, MEW, The Sky Colony, Busses, and much more. With 31 tracks, what’s mentioned here is just the tiniest taste of the goodness that awaits on this month’s mix.Stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog this month for lots of fun stuff. I’ll be chatting with Matthew O’Neill about his new record and will be catching up with Travis Book to chat beer, bluegrass, and bikes. Also on tap are features on a display at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum that showcases Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and The Nashville Cats, and I track down The Apache Relay before they hit the stage at The Grey Eagle later in the month.And, of course, be sure to share the mix with your friends and neighbors. Play it often, play it loud, and sing along. And, if you dig what you hear, get out and buy some records or catch some of these great artists when they come through your town. They’d appreciate it.Download the Trailmix tracks here. 4:29 3:37 — James McMurtry “Liar” 12. 3:19 — Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band — Ryley Walker — Ryan Culwell 4:23 4:35 “Hippy Chix” — 2/3 Goat 7. 5. “Wild at Heart” “Waste The Alphabet” — Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield 16. 4:05 3:29 1. Audio Player00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. 15. 8. 11. “Soul Fly Free” 2:57 20. 6:11 9. 19. 5:01 “Pot Roast and Kisses” “Whistling Song” “Somebody That I Used to Know” — Double Naught Spy Car + Stew 3:07 10. “If the Poor Don’t Matter” 18.