America spends over $20bn per year on fossil fuel subsidies

America spends over $20bn per year on fossil fuel subsidies. Abolish them



While we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground, America is giving the fossil fuel industry billions to extract more


Dana Nuccitelli


Mon 30 Jul 2018

“The OCI report noted that the Obama administration actually proposed to eliminate 60% of federal fossil fuel industry subsidies, but that proposal went nowhere for one obvious reason:

In the 2015-2016 election cycle oil, gas, and coal companies spent $354 million in campaign contributions and lobbying and received $29.4 billion in federal subsidies in total over those same years – an 8,200% return on investment.”

Congress Gives Sacred Apache Land to Foreign Mining Company

Congress Gives Sacred Apache Land to Foreign Mining Company


San Carlos Apache Leader Seeks Senate Defeat of Copper Mine on Sacred Land



“Congress is poised to give a foreign mining company 2,400 acres of national forest in Arizona that is cherished ancestral homeland to Apache natives. Controversially, the measure is attached to annual legislation that funds the US Defense Department.”

The Climate Change Denial Industry

The Climate Change Denial Industry


“ExxonMobil gave more than $2.3m to members of Congress and a corporate lobbying group that deny climate change and block efforts to fight climate change – eight years after pledging to stop its funding of climate denial, the Guardian has learned.”




“Last week Ted Nordhaus of The Breakthrough Institute wrote that the Earth’s carrying capacity for humanity is not fixed. Apparently, we’re living in a magical world that is immune to ecological laws.


As you might imagine, I disagree.


My response to his article was published today in Undark Magazine.



What warning signs would you expect to see if we humans were pressing at the limits of global carrying capacity? Resource depletion? Check. Pollution? Check. Dying oceans? Check.”  Richard Heinberg


Sky:  Further – The Breakthrough Institute’s Inconvenient History with Al Gore

April 14, 2014, by Paul D. Thacker


“While sometimes functioning as shadow universities, think tanks have been exposed as quasi lobbying organizations, with little funding transparency. Recent research has also pointed out that think tanks suffer from a lack of intellectual rigor. A case in point is the Breakthrough Institute run by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, which describes itself as a “progressive think tank.”







Too many businesses are treating the Earth like a huge candy store

Too many businesses are treating the Earth like a huge candy store


“We’re dealing with ‘a highly degraded ecosystem of forests that just get continuously logged over and over again.’”


Danna Smith of the Dogwood Alliance, a nonprofit organization.


“…trees cut down in the Southeast are usually replanted. But it can take a sapling decades to grow large enough to absorb and store as much carbon as the tree it replaced.”

Ten percent Sahara expansion

Ten percent Sahara expansion

“The desert (Sahara) has expanded southward during summer by about ten percent, so it’s a fairly significant increase in the desert expanse over this 93-year period that we analyzed.  Most people in the region depend on the food they grow on small family farms. So losing farmland could have grave consequences, especially as populations continue to grow.”


“Nigam is a professor at the University of Maryland. He says decreasing rainfall is likely a result of both natural cycles and human-caused global warming.”


So there we have the kernel of the problem.  Decreasing small farmland and increasing population.



Notable mentions and omissions of climate change

MEDIA ANALYSIS 26 July 2018  12:36

Media reaction: The 2018 summer heatwaves and climate change

Carbon Brief



Carbon Brief looks back at how the media has reported the extreme weather and how the coverage has – or has not – referenced climate change.


The summary below is split into five sections:


Roundup of the recent spate of extremes.

How the media has reported the UK’s heatwave.

How it has covered other extreme events across the northern hemisphere.

Notable mentions – and omissions – of climate change.

Summary of the comment and opinion articles.

Who we are


“To be human is to unfold in time but remain discontinuous. We are living non sequiturs seeking artificial cohesion through the revisions our memory, that capricious seamstress, performs in threading the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. It is, after all, nothing but a supreme feat of storytelling to draw a continuous thread between one’s childhood self and one’s present-day self, since hardly anything makes these two entities “the same person” — not their height, not their social stature, not their beliefs, not their circle of friends, not even the very cells in their bodies. Somewhere in the lacuna between the experiencing self and the remembering self, we create ourselves in what is literally a matter of making sense — of craftsmanship — for, as Oliver Sacks so poignantly observed, it is narrative that holds our identity together.”  Maria Popova

More Lake Effect Snow

More Lake Effect Snow

8 January, 2018

Weather is a more immediate effect of changes in the climate.  You can’t have one without the other.  On the other hand, it is foolish to choose a cold day and then say – “there, you see, the Earth is NOT getting warmer.”  It is fair to note that extreme weather events are occurring more frequently.  Two major changes have occurred over the last 2,000 years.  One, the human footprint has expanded almost beyond belief and two, the CO2 content in the air has increased proportionately.  Our species has never experienced this level of CO2. Not helpful is that our measuring instruments were designed to measure inanimate objects on an inanimate planet.  No wonder we have so little understanding as to how the Earth “works.” Our living planet’s behaviour is unpredictable just like people’s behaviour is unpredictable.  We don’t destroy the medical profession because they cannot always accurately predict whether our prescription will “work” or not. Finally, we must take into account that millions of dollars, pounds etc. have been awarded to “scientists?” to falsify statistics and create “fake” news. Is it any wonder that there are so few tears shed over the destruction of Nature?

JANUARY 04, 2018 | 11:40 AM


World-renowned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains why the bitter cold and snowy conditions gripping the US are “an example of precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.”





Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected

Climate Change Is Happening Faster Than Expected, and It’s More Extreme


New research suggests human-caused emissions will lead to bigger impacts on heat and extreme weather, and sooner than the IPCC warned just three years ago.


DEC 26, 2017



“Uncertainty is not our friend here,” said Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann. “We are seeing increases in extreme weather events that go well beyond what has been predicted or projected in the past. We’re learning that there are factors we were not previously aware of that may be magnifying the impacts of human-caused climate change.” Among those are “subtle mechanisms involving the behavior of the jet stream that may be involved in explaining the dramatic increase we’ve seen in floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires,” he said. (Atmospheric scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research)


Sky:  We actually have several elephants in the room.


(1)       Diminishing Strength of the Atlantic Current


“The Gulf Stream that helps to keep Britain from freezing over in winter is slowing down faster now than at any time in the past millennium according to a study suggesting that major changes are taking place to the ocean currents of the North Atlantic.”


(2)       Melting Methane Hydrates (Contained in Permafrost)


“Currently, permafrost covers about nearly 5.8 million square miles, and scientists found as much as 2.5 million square miles of that could thaw—about twice the area of Alaska, California and Texas combined—in a 2 degree Celsius scenario. Thawing would be more limited if warming can be held to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but could still affect 1.8 million square miles.”


“Permafrost, which covers 15 million km2 of the land surface, is one of the components of the Earth system that is most sensitive to warming.  Loss of permafrost would radically change high-latitude hydrology and biogeochemical cycling, and could therefore provide very significant feedbacks on climate change.”



“After so many years spent determining where gas hydrates are breaking down and measuring methane flux at the sea-air interface, we suggest that conclusive evidence for release of hydrate-related methane to the atmosphere is lacking.”


Gas Hydrate Breakdown Unlikely to Cause Massive Greenhouse Gas Release


If you check out funding for this research you’ll get a better handle on who decides what is “conclusive evidence”


Here is the answer!!


17 Apr 2014 – The world is addicted to hydrocarbons, and it’s easy to see why – cheap, plentiful and easy to mine, they represent an abundant energy source to fuel industrial development the world over. … In other words, there is more energy in methane hydrates than in all the world’s oil, coal and gas put together.



(3)       Ocean Acidification


“Many marine organisms that produce calcium carbonate shells or skeletons are negatively impacted by increasing CO2 levels and decreasing pH in seawater. For example, increasing ocean acidification has been shown to significantly reduce the ability of reef-building corals to produce their skeletons.”


“Many organisms that form the basis for the marine food chain are going to be affected by ocean acidification.  It turns out that changing the pH of the ocean is not the only impact from this phenomenon.  There is another, equally impactful side effect.  When carbon dioxide (CO2) mixes with water molecule (H2O) it forms carbonic acid (H2CO3) that then breaks down easily into hydrogen ions (H+) and bicarbonate (HCO3-), those available hydrogen ions bond with other carbonate ions to form more bicarbonate.  The problem here is that marine organisms possessing shells (many mollusks, crustaceans, corals, coralline algae, foramaniferans) need available carbonate ions to form the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that comprises their shells.  In essence, ocean acidification is robbing these organisms of their necessary building blocks.”


(4)       Desertification


“Overgrazing is the major cause of desertification worldwide. Other factors that cause desertification include urbanization, climate change, over drafting of groundwater, deforestation, natural disasters and tillage practices in agriculture that place soils more vulnerable to wind.”

Sky:  As more and more forests are chopped down there will be fewer rain clouds thus less and less rainfall in arid climates.



One could go on and on.  For example:  Health issues including the spread of communicable diseases caused by bacteria immune to antibiotics and food shortages that spark violence leading to war. Remember that the Russian intelligentsia did not start the Russian Revolution.  It started in Petrograd when the dock workers’ wives couldn’t buy bread!!  Surely these are enough examples to make my point.


Sky:  Why isn’t more being done about this obvious race to destruction and misery?


“The fossil fuel industry has spent many millions of dollars on confusing the public about climate change.

…Ideology: the other half of an ‘unholy alliance’


However, to focus solely on industry’s role in climate science denial misses half the picture. The other significant player is political ideology. At an individual level, numerous surveys have found that political ideology is the biggest predictor of climate science denial.


People who fear the solutions to climate change, such as increased regulation of industry, are more likely to deny that there is a problem in the first place – what psychologists call “motivated disbelief”.


Consequently, groups promoting political ideology that opposes market regulation have been prolific sources of misinformation about climate change. This productivity has been enabled by the many millions of dollars flowing from the fossil fuel industry. Naomi Oreskes, co-author of ‘Merchants of Doubt’, refers to this partnership between vested interests and ideological groups as an “unholy alliance’”.



Sky:  Hopeless for the individual?  Certainly not.  A group of individuals can wield the most powerful weapon against economic tyranny ever discovered; purchasing power!  So start today voting for the future you want with your pocketbook.  There has never been a greater need for us to “Be the change you want to see.” Mahatma Gandhi





Jacksonville’s Poorest Residents Live in the Worst Flood Zones


Jacksonville’s Poorest Residents Live in the Worst Flood Zones

Capitalism at it’s worst





“We are okay with those areas being a danger and a disaster waiting to happen.”


“What these buyers didn’t know—or what they chose to risk—was that these neighborhoods were cheaper because the homes were built in a flood zone without underground drainage or nearby retention ponds, which state law didn’t require until the early ‘80s.”


“Nationally, areas with known flooding—which, like the Northside homes, were usually built half a century ago—are going to be valued much lower than areas with proper drainage and flood protection. Residents who settle there “don’t have other options,” Dickerson said. This cheap property comes back to bite residents when a storm comes knocking. “There’s a lot of people on the Northside who need a lot of help,’ Washington said. “A lot of these people just did not know they were in flood plains. A lot of them didn’t have flood insurance because they just did not know.’”


Has anything changed since John Steinbeck wrote “The Grapes of Wrath”?