I am not going to dwell on any one particular issue today but rather thought that I would simply present you with some news on events that are happening that inform and update you on how and what things are changing relative to some of my usual subjects.

I want to start though with giving you a link to a one minute video that will relate some positive news.  You know that I am an active Sierra Club environmental advocate and I received this video as the year is coming to an end that reveals how working together we can accomplish positive change.  


Generally I don’t try to use this medium to solicit you for money but every so often I want to remind you that change does not happen in a vacuum.  There are many worthy environmental organizations doing great and important work and I encourage you to be supportive with your money and time if you can.  Joining and supporting Sierra Club is quick and easy.  Click below and sign up to pay monthly for your membership for as little as $5.  




Last week I mentioned my friend Sam Ori who is the Executive Director of EPIC (Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago).  He described to me a project with which they have been engaged in developing.  It relates to one of the issues of which I have been informing you for years: the risk that climate change presents to the value of real estate, specifically, very likely, your biggest asset, your home.  The following link will take you to a program that can show you county by county how exposed you are to the multiple risks you face from fire, flooding and other disasters.  Check it out and see how you personally fare.




Now for the news.

Transportation.  Of course the momentum toward a fully electric transportation sector continues.  


From Bloomberg HyperDrive December 12/2/2021
Toyota says it’s going to be ready to achieve 100% CO2 reduction in all new vehicles by 2035, assuming Western Europe has sufficient battery charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure in place.


From Axios 11/29/2021

Nissan Makes its Move on Electric Vehicle

The company said Monday that it’s investing $17.6 billion into electrification efforts over the next five years.
  • The Japanese company plans to have 23 electrified models on the market by 2030, including 15 fully electric vehicles.
  • It is aiming to have electrified vehicles account for 50% of worldwide sales in 2030.
  • Nissan also plans to greatly increase battery production capacity and bring a proprietary solid-state battery to market late in this decade.
Why it matters: It’s the latest sign of major automakers devoting increasing resources into EVs as sales climb quickly, albeit from a small base.
  • “This is the first time Japan’s No.3 automaker…is unveiling a comprehensive electrification plan,” Reuters reports.


The weather.  How the weather is changing and the on the ground impact.


From the Wall Street Journal 12/1/2021

California Prepares for More Water Restrictions as Drought Worsens


The state’s Department of Water Resources said Wednesday that for the first time it is preparing to allocate 0% of the water it is contracted to give next year to local districts, which handle what goes into the taps of homes, businesses and farms. That means that unless drought conditions ease, no supplies will be shipped except for critical health and safety needs, such as drinking water and sanitation.
The most the state previously cut back on its water allocations was 5% of what was contracted, which it did twice over the past quarter of a century, including last spring.
From Chicago Tribune 11/29/2021

Lake Michigan’s November Surface Temperature—Hovering Around 50 Degrees—’Really Warm for this Time of Year’


“Study after study shows that the impacts of climate change that we feel here in Illinois, or Chicago specifically, is proportionate to the amount of global warming,” Ford said. “How much climate change we see here in the state and the city is directly related to what’s going on at the global level.”…
In Illinois, scientists expect to see extremes, including exceptionally warm days, more intense rains and longer dry spells, become more common.


E&E News ClimateWire 12/1/2021

Arctic Snow is Shifting to Rain. That’s a Global Problem


new research now suggests that this transformation may happen faster than earlier studies had predicted.
The new study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, suggests parts of the Arctic could tip into a rain-dominated regime… several decades earlier than previous studies had estimated.


From The Texas Tribune 10/7/2021

Climate Change is Making Texas Hotter, Threatening Public Health, Water Supply and the State’s Infrastructure




One last topic this week, technology specifically CO2 reduction.


From E&E News ClimatWire 11/11/2021

Air Canada Inks deal to Remove Carbon from the Sky


Carbon Engineering announced that it has “peer-reviewed research showing that CO2 can be captured from the atmosphere for less than $100 per ton” using its technology. The company says it can extract CO2 directly from the air, compress it and purify it, and then bury it in depleted oil fields or geological formations where it can be stored forever.


Air Canada, the country’s largest airline, signed the memorandum of understanding with Carbon Engineering Ltd., a direct air capture company, to explore how the airline could reduce its emissions by storing carbon underground or by using it in sustainable aviation fuels.


From E&E News EnergyWire 12/2/2021

‘Coal to Hydrogen.’ Report Outlines Path to CO2-Free Steel


Steel production could be emissions-free by 2050 with a major boost in hydrogen and low-carbon recycling, according to a new report.
With $278 billion of additional investment in technologies like green hydrogen — which is produced using renewables — and a focus on recycling steel in key producing countries like China, there is a profitable path to decarbonizing the heavy-emissions industry, researchers at BloombergNEF said.


Steel is currently one of the most carbon-intensive industries, producing approximately 7 percent of human-driven greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, 70 percent of steel is produced in coal-fired blast furnaces, BNEF noted.


Lisa Harrison, spokesperson for the American Iron and Steel Institute, said current investment in decarbonizing U.S. steel is “substantial and ongoing.”


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