First let me wish a happy Passover or Easter if you celebrate either one.  After two seder dinners I’m certainly going to have to be more restrained this week in my eating.  As I ate plenty I reflected on how my direct relatives thousands of years ago were slaves and had to rely on others for food and manna from heaven during 40 years of wandering in the desert,  I gave thanks for our abundance today and said a prayer for the Ukrainians who are suffering so greatly for simply wanting THEIR freedom and independence.  We all need to support them and at the same time be wary of losing that here in our own country if we’re not careful.  Life, democracy and freedom are very tenuous and delicate things that need to be protected every day.

Getting on to today’s communication with you there is a great deal of automotive news that points to where we are going in the transition to an all EV fleet and why it is going to happen much faster than most are predicting.  Of course this is a common theme for me but virtually everything I read reenforces this reality.  And I have a new one to present to you.  That said, I am going to wait for another issue to write about all that.  Today I am going to show you a few articles on other topics that I have been writing about also, outside of the automotive arena.

The first two pertain to real estate.  I have presented to you before the fact that buildings, personal residences and commercial, are a huge source of climate warming emissions.  Heating and cooling them takes enormous amounts of energy.  If we can eliminate or reduce the loss of heat or cooling AND change the source of the energy we use to do that to ones that are fossil fuel free, we can drastically reduce demand and at the same time fill the remaining demand in a way that isn’t destroying the planet and our way of life.  So here’s some good news to start with.  


E&E News EnergyWire

Manhattan Skyscraper to be Fully Powered by Renewable Energy

The agreement is one of the largest in-state renewable energy deals for a single building in New York, according to a statement yesterday.


Brookfield Asset Management Inc. will provide hydropower for the 67-story tower, part of the 8-acre Manhattan West project on the borough’s far west side. The agreement is one of the largest in-state renewable energy deals for a single building in New York, according to a statement yesterday.

Brookfield Renewable operates more than 70 hydropower facilities and three wind farms in the state, with capacity to generate roughly 900 megawatts of electricity, according to the firm.


This is not the first time that I have written about how climate change is impacting the value of real estate and in particular how it is doing so in a way that impacts people at the low end of the income scale in worse ways than others. Here’s another way and article about this increasingly bad development.


E&E ClimateWire

Climate Gentrification Poses Big Risk in Florida — Study

Rich homebuyers and developers could limit the options of their less-affluent neighbors by snapping up affordable inland property.


Rising seas are likely to cause widespread displacement of working-class Floridians, but not necessarily because of hurricanes and floods, new research shows…

Rather, they will be pushed out by a slow-moving surge of wealthy people buying and developing land on what used to be less desirable high ground that lacked ocean views and beachfront access.

“Displacement, both from coastal zones due to flooding and inland due to gentrification, is disruptive,” wrote the researchers… “But those least likely to be able to adapt and move to new areas … face a greater burden from the disruption.”

Remedies to close the equity gap between neighborhoods should be implemented as soon as possible to “promote greater housing and economic security for those most at risk and with the least capacity to adapt.”


Now let me show you two articles that reflect on the subject of “stranded assets”.  These are assets that, in this case, pertain to assets on company books that were thought to be of value for making profits from the extraction, transportation and burning of fossil fuels and supporting this industry.  As the world abandons fossil fuels the timeline for writing off these assets is drastically reducing their useful lives and thus they will be abandoned, stranded, on the company’s books and have to be written off much sooner than planned leading to massive losses.  And since they have been financed over what was expected to be much longer periods, decades, the companies may not have the cash flow to cover the debt and be forced into bankruptcy.


IPCC Report: Oil, Renewables and ‘Stranded Assets’

The United Nations panel called for dramatic drops in coal, oil and gas use. Is a shift technologically feasible?
A photo collage of the Petra Nova carbon capture site, a pumpjack and a wind turbine.
Eric Kayne/Invision for NRG/AP Images (power plant); Odessa American via AP (pumpjack); AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File (turbine)

Without carbon capture, coal and gas plants would need to retire about 23 years earlier than expected in order to hold global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and 17 years earlier in the case of the 2 C limit, according to the report.

To limit warming to 1.5 C, global coal use must drop 95 percent by 2050, the IPCC said. Oil must fall by roughly 60 percent and gas by about 45 percent (Greenwire, April 4).


Even if carbon capture systems are widely deployed, staying within the Paris Agreement’s limits “will strand fossil-related assets,” likely to the tune of trillions of dollars, wrote the IPCC’s scientists.



SEC Allows Dominion Shareholders to Vote on Stranded Assets

The Securities and Exchange Commission rejected a request by the utility to ignore a shareholder resolution on its gas infrastructure.
Avatar of Corbin Hiar
The offshore loading platform of an LNG terminal in Chesapeake Bay.
The offshore loading platform of Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG terminal is seen in the Chesapeake Bay. AP Photo/Cliff Owen


Dominion Energy Inc. recently lost a bid to prevent shareholder scrutiny of its natural gas investments.

At issue was a resolution from an environmental activist named Freeda Cathcart that called on Dominion to describe “how it is responding to the risk of stranded assets of planned natural gas based infrastructure and assets as the global response to climate change intensifies.”


There has been growing concern from state, federal and international policymakers about the harm to the climate from leaking gas infrastructure, she wrote. The costs of grid-scale energy storage — a potentially emission-free alternative to gas — have also continued to fall.

And shortly after Dominion’s 2020 annual meeting, “the Company canceled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, creating a multi-billion dollar stranded asset,”


“The time is ripe for shareholder resolutions to gain traction on the issue of stranded assets both from the economic perspective and the climate change perspective,” said Cynthia Clark, a professor of management at Bentley University. “I’d give it a better than fair chance to succeed.”

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