Every week there is so much news that is published about so many of the topics relating to climate change upon which I attempt to keep you abreast.  This week is no different.  The primary one upon which I will dwell today is very revealing as to why it is so important to keep warming below 1.5 degrees celsius and how the consequences of going beyond that could take us into a situation where we will go over a point of no return and for which the consequences will be almost unimaginable.

After that I’ll display articles relating to stranded assets, the electric grid and how the decisions by FERC will influence the speed of adaptation of renewable energy and geopolitics. 

But first, take about 4 minutes to view this video.  It is remarkable in its own right but also very revealing about the fact that we are only beginning to understand the impact that the actions we humans take are having on the natural balance of life on this planet.

OK.  I hope you enjoyed and were educated by that.  Now on to the main article for today. With the Climate Summit coming to a close I think it is worthwhile to think about what it all means.  Remember at the Paris Summit scientists were urging that allowing the planet to heat up by 2 degrees Centigrade was too much and we needed to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.  Once again in Glasgow this target has been emphasized.  Why you might ask is there such a big deal about this “small” difference?  And is this 1.5 a magic number?  

From what I read, it’s not like at 1.5 degrees we’re ok and at 1.6 we’re doomed.  No one can say for certain if there is a specific tipping point and if so, exactly where it is.  That said, it’s a pretty good bet that at 2+ or 3 degrees the chaos will be very, very consequential and destructive.  Heck, it’s already bad and we’re only just getting started with the horrible consequences.  

I am quoting a large portion of the following article this week because the scenario it portrays is quite stark and it is critical that we recognize what type of planet we will be bequeathing to our descendants if we fail to act as decisively as we possibly can.



Explainer: What’s the Difference Between 1.5°C and 2°C of Global Warming?


Already, the world has heated to around 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. Each of the last four decades was hotter than any decade since 1850.


“”At 1.5°C, there’s a good chance we can prevent most of the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheet from collapsing,” said climate scientist Michael Mann at Pennsylvania State University.
That would help limit sea level rise to a few feet by the end of the century – still a big change that would erode coastlines and inundate some small island states and coastal cities.
But blow past 2°C and the ice sheets could collapse, Mann said, with sea levels rising up to 10 metres (30 feet)- though how quickly that could happen is uncertain.
Warming of 1.5°C would destroy at least 70% of coral reefs, but at 2°C more than 99% would be lost. That would destroy fish habitats and communities that rely on reefs for their food and livelihoods.”


“Warming of 2°C, versus 1.5°C, would also increase the impact on food production.
“If you have crop failures in a couple of the breadbaskets of the world at the same time, then you could see extreme food price spikes and hunger and famine across wide swathes of the world,” said climate scientist Simon Lewis at University College London.
A warmer world could see the mosquitoes that carry diseases such as malaria and dengue fever expand across a wider range. But 2°C would also see a bigger share of insects and animals lose most of their habitat range, compared with 1.5°C, and increase the risk of forest fires – another risk to wildlife.”


“As the world heats up, the risk increases that the planet will reach “tipping points”, where Earth’s systems cross a threshold that triggers irreversible or cascading impacts. Exactly when those points would be reached is uncertain…
“That’s why it’s so risky to keep emitting from fossil fuels … because we’re increasing the likelihood that we go over one of those tipping points,” Lewis said.”


“Warming of 2.7°C would deliver “unliveable heat” for parts of the year across areas of the tropics and subtropics. Biodiversity would be enormously depleted, food security would drop, and extreme weather would exceed most urban infrastructure’s capacity to cope, scientists said.”


Clearly, the stakes are extreme.  So why wouldn’t “we”, everyone on the planet, do all we can and know how to do to make the transition as fast as is humanly possible? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

The only thing holding us back is money.  Not that there is not enough of it. But what is perceived to be the economic cost.  A cost that will have a perceived destructive impact on individuals’ lives.  Those of you who have been reading my articles for years know that I have consistently said that there is not ONE study or piece of evidence ever produced that can show that doing something, anything, good for our environment or planet is bad for the economy.  Quite the opposite.  Every piece of data and evidence documents that doing good is profitable.  Will some people in particular industries be negatively impacted?  Most likely. BUT, with the profits made by doing right we can make a just transition happen.  

Here’s another article expounding this truth.


Solving Climate Change Means Creating Jobs



“meeting the climate challenge is also an economic opportunity. No country will do what isn’t in their economic self-interest.”


“Reaching global net zero emissions represents the greatest market transformation — with the greatest economic promise — since the Industrial Revolution. That’s what the private sector is telling us — if we follow the money. BlackRock, with over $7 trillion under its responsibility, has committed to make climate change central to its investment strategy going forward.”


“companies know climate action is a golden opportunity. And all the world can share in it. It can raise living standards and quality of life everywhere. Green talent in the workforce worldwide is rising, from 9.6 percent in 2015 to 13.3 percent so far in 2021, a growth rate of 38.5 percent.”


“we believe that doing so is not just our best hope to solve this planetary crisis, but also our biggest opportunity to power a new, clean economic engine for workers everywhere that will leave no one behind. We don’t have to promise that “if you build it, jobs will come.’’ The jobs are already coming. The skills are only growing in demand. This is the moment for data to meet determination, so that together we all make decisions for success at Glasgow and shared prosperity tomorrow.”


The title of the next article is ominous but the point is the same: overall, the shift to a carbon neutral economy is profitable.  It also relates to another topic that I often write about, stranded assets and the risk to the values of fossil fuel companies and their investors and financiers.


From The Guardian   November 4, 2021

Half World’s Fossil Fuel Assets Could Become Worthless by 2036 in Net Zero Transition



“About half of the world’s fossil fuel assets will be worthless by 2036 under a net zero transition, according to research.”


“estimated to leave $11tn-$14tn (£8.1tn-£10.3tn) in so-called stranded assets – infrastructure, property and investments where the value has fallen so steeply they must be written off.”


“the shift to clean energy would benefit the world economy overall, but it would need to be handled carefully to prevent regional pockets of misery and possible global instability.
“In a worst-case scenario, people will keep investing in fossil fuels until suddenly the demand they expected does not materialise and they realise that what they own is worthless. Then we could see a financial crisis on the scale of 2008,” he said, warning oil capitals such as Houston could suffer the same fate as Detroit after the decline of the US car industry unless the transition is carefully managed.”


“a drop in demand for oil and gas before 2036 will reshape the geopolitical landscape. Current investment flows and government commitments to reach net zero emissions by 2050 will make renewable energy more efficient, cheaper and stable, while fossil fuels will be hit by more price volatility. Many carbon assets, such as oil or coal reserves, will be left unburned, while machinery will also be stranded and no longer produce value for its owners.”


The consequences of stranded assets described above are as follows and reiterates again what I have been saying.  (And, btw, Sean Comey of Chevron, who is mentioned in this article, receives this blog.  I met him at a function at which he spoke in 2012.)


From E&E News   11/10/2021

Oil Companies Face Default Risk in Net-Zero World — Moody’s



“The analysts, who study factors affecting corporate creditworthiness, found that 82 percent of integrated oil and gas companies “are not well-positioned for a rapid transition” to net-zero emissions”


“S&P Global Ratings cut the credit ratings of Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil producer, due to the rising risk from the energy transition and volatile commodity prices”


Today’s publication is already long but I will provide a few more articles relating to my usual topics with titles which you can check out if you have an interest.  


Relating to the power grid.


From E&E News   11/11/2021

FERC, 10 States Weigh Transmission Overhaul to Unlock Clean Power



“FERC is considering a slew of reforms meant to make it easier to develop power lines critical to the transition to 100 percent carbon-free power that many states and electric utilities say they hope to achieve.”


E&E News   10/22/2021

FERC Rulings May Change Renewables’ Path in Southeast, Calif.



“FERC also approved a proposal from Southern California Edison Co. that will help sustain California’s robust solar and storage market and allow the state to reach clean energy targets, according to advocates.”


Finally today, geopolitics.


E & E News   11/4/2021

‘Heartbreaking’ Madagascar is Wake-up Call to Climate Crisis



“what’s happening in the south of the Indian Ocean country is “the beginning of what we can expect” to see as the effects of global warming become more pronounced.”


“close to 30,000 people on Madagascar will be one step away from famine by the end of the year, and some 1.1 million already suffer from severe hunger. The island is struggling with exceptionally warm temperatures, drought and sandstorms.
Crops have wilted, and harvests are scarce. People have taken to eating cactus leaves, which usually are cattle fodder, the U.N. food agency said.
“Madagascar is not an isolated incident,” Beasley said. “The world needs to look to Madagascar to see what is coming your way and [to] many other countries around the world.””


From the Wall Street Journal   October 10/2021

Severe Drought Adds to Afghanistan’s Woes, Endangering Millions as Economy Collapses

Farmers who survived two decades of war abandon land as water sources dry up


“the scarcity of water is slashing farmers’ incomes and driving up food bills for people in cities. The United Nations estimates that the drought is threatening the livelihood of up to nine million Afghans and affecting 25 of the country’s 34 provinces.
Tough conditions have already put 14 million people—more than one-third of the Afghan population—in a food-security crisis, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Afghanistan’s current harvest is expected to be 15% below average due to the drought, the FAO said.
“This is the worst drought in 35-36 years,” said Richard Trenchard, the country director for FAO in Afghanistan. “Many public institutions, which provide a public safety net, have ceased to function,” after the Taliban takeover, he said. “Farmers have very little to fall back on.””

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