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Friday, 16 September 2016

US Military Puts #Climate On Top Security Agenda



CLIMATE NEWS

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Climate change 'significant and direct' threat to U.S. military: reports

The effects of climate change endanger U.S. military operations and could increase the danger of international conflict, according to three new documents endorsed by retired top U.S. military officers and former national security officials.

"There are few easy answers, but one thing is clear: the current trajectory of climatic change presents a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security, and inaction is not a viable option," said a statement published on Wednesday by the Center for Climate and Security, a Washington-based think tank.


It was signed by more than a dozen former senior military and national security officials, including retired General Anthony Zinni, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, and retired Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the Pacific Command until last year.

Reuters


Australia’s love of coal has left it out in the diplomatic cold

At the Port Moresby meeting, Kiribati President Anote Tong suggested that Australia should leave the forum altogether if it was not prepared to back the islands' positions in global climate negotiations. Australian attempts to gag its Pacific island neighbours in these negotiations have aroused anger in the region. 




12 large scale solar projects to get ARENA funding

The fact that more than half the projects will be helped by ARENA is not unexpected, given the huge reduction in the project costs elicited during the tendering process. It will mean that the ARENA funding round will produce around double the 200MW of large-scale solar capacity that it originally targeted.




Why we can't sign the latest Climate Change Authority report 

For three years, good climate change policies in Australia have been eviscerated by those who would prefer to do nothing. This is happening at a time when the urgency to act has never been greater and the rest of the world is pursuing a bolder and more determined path. All of the evidence shows that most Australians want much stronger action from the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hasten the transition to a clean energy economy.

and 




UK and US dwarf China as top foreign investors in Australian agricultural land

Report reveals 13.6% of Australia’s 385m hectares of agricultural land is foreign-owned, with two-thirds of the 52.1m hectares in UK or US hands

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Today's ENERGY News - 15 September 2016






Top Stories 



Proterra launches new Catalyst E2 series electric bus with nominal range of up to 350 miles


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At the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting, Proterra unveiled the newest addition to its fleet of electric buses: the Catalyst E2 series, named for its EfficientEnergy (E2) storage capacity of 440 – 660 kWh. Last month, an E2 series vehicle achieved a new milestone at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds where it logged more than 600 miles (966 km) on a single charge under test conditions. Its nominal range of 194 – 350 miles means the Catalyst E2 series is capable of serving the full daily mileage needs of nearly every US. mass transit route on a single charge and offers the transit industry the first direct replacement for fossil-fueled transit vehicles. The high-mileage Catalyst E2 series joins the existing Catalyst FC and XR series vehicles, designed for circulator and intermediate-mileage routes, respectively. E2 battery configurations can be fully charged at the depot with industry standard J1772 […]

Saudi Arabia Reclaims Top Oil Producer Crown From U.S., IEA Says

U.S. held top spot since April 2014, according to IEA Output in U.S. has dipped by 460,000 barrels a day since May Saudi Arabia has retaken the position of the world’s top oil producer from the U.S., according to the International Energy Agency. “Saudi Arabia’s elevated oil production has allowed it to overtake the U.S. and become the world’s largest oil producer,” the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly report on Tuesday. While Saudi Arabia has added an extra 400,000 barrels a day of output from low-cost fields since May, about 460,000 barrels a day of “high-cost” production has been shut down in the U.S. America has been the world’s largest producer of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons since April 2014 following the shale oil boom. U.S. output in August stood at 12.2 million barrels a day, including natural gas liquids, according to the IEA. The drop in U.S. […]

China Crude Output Drops to 6-Year Low as Giants Shut Fields – Bloomberg

China’s crude oil output dropped to the lowest in more than six years as the country’s state-run energy giants continued to pump less from aging, high-cost fields.  Production during August in the world’s largest energy consumer dropped 9.9 percent from a year ago to 16.45 million tons, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. That’s about 3.89 million barrels a day, the lowest since December 2009, according to Bloomberg calculations. Output is down 5.7 percent during the first eight months of the year.

Anadarko Goes Deeper in GOM with $2B Deal

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is diving even further into deepwater Gulf of Mexico with a $2 billion acquisition of assets from Freeport McMoran Oil & Gas, the company announced Monday.  The deal, effective Aug. 1, will be immediately accretive, Anadarko CEO Al Walker, said in a news statement. It is expected to close by the end of the year.  The $2 billion buy will achieve several objectives for the Houston-based exploration and production company (E&P), including:
  • doubling Anadarko’s ownership in the Lucius development to about 49 percent;
  • expanding the company’s infrastructure throughout the Gulf of Mexico;
  • generating $3 billion in incremental cash flow during the next five years at current prices; and
  • enabling the company to accelerate investment in Anadarko’s Delaware and DJ basin assets.
The Delaware basin made headlines recently when another Houston-based E&P, Apache Corp., announced a major find in the region.

Record Year For Solar Expected As Installations Surge 43%


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Solar panels The record-breaking installations of solar panels in the U.S. continues with an eye-popping 2 gigawatts installed in just the second quarter of this year, according to new data from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The solar industry installed 2,051 megawatts between April and June, marking the eleventh consecutive quarter in which the U.S. saw more than a gigawatt of solar capacity added to the grid. The volume of installations also marks 43 percent growth from the same quarter in 2015. “We’re seeing the beginning of an unprecedented wave of growth that will occur throughout the remainder of 2016, specifically within the utility PV segment,” Cory Honeyman, GTM Research associate director of U.S. solar research, said in a statement. “With more than 10 gigawatts of utility PV currently under construction, the second half of this year and the first half of 2017 are on […]

Trade Deals Usurp #Sovereign Democracies and Authorities



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Here They Come Again


Is it over? Can it be true? If so, it’s a victory for a campaign that once looked hopeless, pitched against a fortress of political, corporate and bureaucratic power.
TTIP – the transatlantic trade and investment partnership – appears to be dead. The German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, says that “the talks with the US have de facto failed.” The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has announced “a clear halt”. Belgian and Austrian ministers have said the same thing. People power wins. For now.
But the lobbyists who demanded this charter for corporate rights never give up. TTIP has been booed off the stage but another treaty, whose likely impacts are almost identical, is waiting in the wings. And this one is more advanced, wanting only final approval. If this happens before Britain leaves the EU, we are likely to be stuck with it for the next 20 years.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is ostensibly a deal between the EU and Canada. You might ask what harm Canada could do us. But it allows any corporation which operates there, wherever its headquarters might be, to sue governments before an international tribunal. It threatens to tear down laws protecting us from exploitation and prevent parliaments on both sides of the Atlantic from legislating.
To say that there is no mandate for such agreements is an understatement: they have received an unequivocal counter-mandate. The consultation the EU grudgingly launched on TTIP’s proposal to grant new legal rights to corporations received 150,000 responses, 97% of which were hostile. But while choice is permitted when you shop for butter, on the big decisions there is no alternative.
It’s not clear whether national parliaments will be allowed to veto this treaty. The European trade commissioner has argued that there is no need: it can be put before the European Parliament alone. But even if national parliaments are allowed to debate it, they will be permitted only to take it or leave it: the contents are deemed to have been settled already.
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Only once the negotiations between European and Canadian officials had been completed, and the text of the agreement leaked, did the European Commission publish it. It is 1600 pages long. It has neither a contents list nor explanatory text. As far as transparency, parity and comprehensibility are concerned, it’s the equivalent of the land treaties illiterate African chiefs were induced to sign in the 19th Century. It is hard to see how parliamentarians could make a properly-informed decision.



Super typhoons becoming more powerful and more frequent

Those hitting south-east Asia with a category 4 or 5 strength have more than doubled in number, with the increase even more for China and Taiwan and regions north. The increase in sea-surface temperature is key to providing extra energy to tropical storms, with the outcome for the megacities of the region looking grimmer. "With global warming of the oceans and atmosphere, we can expect tropical cyclones to increase in frequency and intensity in all the basins,"



Climate Change Has Doubled the Number of Category 4 and 5 Storms 
The destructive power of typhoons in East and Southeast Asia has increased by nearly 50 percent since 1977. Meanwhile, the number of category 4 and 5 storms striking land has doubled. Standing alone, any one of these findings would be significant. Taken together, they paint a picture of significantly rising risk of storm damage and related loss of life due to climate change in one of the world’s most highly populated regions. 



 Fabricated Claims About Russian “Covert Plot” to Disrupt US Elections

Clinton is so irreparably tainted and unfit to serve, her key strategy is diverting attention from her wrongdoing two ways – bashing Trump beyond customary campaign jousting and spreading misinformation and Big Lies about Russia, using the media as press agents to do her dirty work.



The Kremlin Really Believes That Hillary Wants to Start a War With Russia

Moscow perceives the former secretary of state as an existential threat. The Russian foreign-policy experts I consulted did not harbor even grudging respect for Clinton. The most damaging chapter of her tenure was the NATO intervention in Libya, which Russia could have prevented with its veto in the U.N. Security Council. Moscow allowed the mission to go forward only because Clinton had promised that a no-fly zone would not be used as cover for regime change. Russia’s leaders were understandably furious when, not only was former Libyan President Muammar al-Qaddafi ousted, but a cellphone recording of his last moments showed U.S.-backed rebels sodomizing him with a bayonet. They were even more enraged by Clinton’s videotaped response to the same news: “We came, we saw, he died,” the secretary of state quipped before bursting into laughter, cementing her reputation in Moscow as a duplicitous warmonger.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Today's ENERGY News - 14 September 2016






Top Stories 


Why $50 Is The Right Price For Oil


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Crude oil prices: time spent above and below $50 – chart: EnerCom Analytics The current price of oil may feel low given the fading memories of $100 per barrel oil back in 2014. But in a longer term historical context, we are on the high end of the curve at today’s prices. EnerCom Analytics looked at historical monthly crude oil prices between 1974 and August 2016. The chart shows the histogram of prices for three time periods—1974 to 2016, 1990 to 2016 and 2008 to 2016, with the closing West Texas Intermediate crude oil (WTI) price on September 8, 2016 of $47.32 marked for comparison. The chart shows duration in months for every $5 price increment between $10 per barrel and $115+ per barrel. July 2005 was the first time that U.S. oil prices hit the $50 […]

Oil falls after forecasts show darkening outlook

Oil fell on Tuesday following a series of gloomy predictions on demand growth that suggested the global overhang of unused inventories may persist for much longer than investors anticipate and temper any pick-up in price.  The International Energy Agency said a sharp slowdown in global oil demand growth, coupled with ballooning inventories and rising supply, means the crude market will be oversupplied at least through the first six months of 2017.  This contrasts with the agency’s last forecast a month ago for supply and demand to be broadly in balance over the rest of this year and for inventories to fall swiftly. The IEA’s latest comments follow a surprisingly bearish outlook from OPEC the day before.  Brent crude prices LCOc1 fell 92 cents to $47.40 a barrel by 0910 GMT (05:10 a.m. EDT), while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures CLc1 declined by $1.03 to $45.26 a barrel.  “It seems the situation has deteriorated strongly in the eyes of OPEC as well as the IEA,” Commerzbank head of commodities strategy Eugen Weinberg said.

Oil market awash with crude, Opec says

Oil markets will remain awash with crude well into 2017, Opec warned on Monday, as the resilience of the US shale industry and new streams of oil production threaten to keep pressure on prices.  The producer cartel revised higher for this year and next oil supply forecasts from non-member countries, implying that demand for its crude will remain far lower than current near record output of more than 33m barrels a day.   The larger than expected surplus threatens to derail hopes that supply and demand will come into balance by next year, putting a damper on prices that remain less than half mid-2014 levels.  Opec is due to meet other large producers later this month to discuss possible output curbs, with talks likely to receive a jolt of urgency following the latest forecasts.  Brent, the international crude benchmark, fell 2 per cent to $47 a barrel shortly after the publication of the cartel’s monthly oil report.  Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia and Russia, the largest exporter outside the group, agreed last week to work together to stabilise the market but there are still big doubts that a deal to reduce or freeze production is attainable.

Oil Prices Rise Amid Weaker Dollar, Cushing Storage Report

Oil prices rose Monday amid a weaker dollar and a report of a sharp drop in stockpiles at the key storage hub of Cushing, Okla. U.S. crude for October delivery rose 41 cents, or 0.89%, to $46.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global crude benchmark, rose 31 cents, or 0.65%, to $48.32 a barrel for November delivery on ICE Futures Europe. The U.S. dollar weakened against other major currencies following a Federal Reserve official’s remarks that the case for tighter monetary policy has become less compelling. The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against 16 others, was down 0.3% at 86.24. Market participants were watching to see whether Federal Reserve Gov. Lael Brainard, who has advocated keeping rates low, would indicate change of heart ahead of next week’s policy setting meeting. “We started out pretty weak. I think it was […]


China Exclusive: China’s high speed rail track exceeds 20,000 km


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A new high-speed railway (HSR) line between Zhengzhou, capital of central Henan Province, and Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu Province started its operation on Saturday, making the total length of high-speed track in the country over 20,000 km. Trains running on the 360-kilometer-long track travels at a speed of 300km per hour at the early stage of operation. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng) ZHENGZHOU, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — China’s high-speed railways now exceed 20,000 km in length with the opening of a line linking Zhengzhou in central China’s Henan Province with Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu Province Saturday. The 360-km line has nine stations and trains run at a speed of up to 300 km per hour in the initial period. The line connects the west with two major north-south […]


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

EYE on the World - "Teacher Seeks Pupil" - Ishmael






 Stories Going Beyond The Mainstream 


 

"Teacher Seeks Pupil"- Ishmael


Without Gorilla Will There be Hope For ...? 



 
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Earth's Future At Risk As Great Apes Face Extinction



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http://www.ishmael.org/origins/ishmael/

Four out of six great apes one step away from extinction – IUCN Red List


Today’s IUCN Red List update also reports the decline of the Plains Zebra due to illegal hunting, and the growing extinction threat to Hawaiian plants posed by invasive species. Thirty eight of the 415 endemic Hawaiian plant species assessed for this update are listed as Extinct and four other species have been listed as Extinct in the Wild, meaning they only occur in cultivation.
The IUCN Red List now includes 82,954 species of which 23,928 are threatened with extinction.
Mammals threatened by illegal hunting

The Eastern Gorilla (Gorilla beringei) – which is made up of two subspecies - has moved from Endangered to Critically Endangered due to a devastating population decline of more than 70% in 20 years. Its population is now estimated to be fewer than 5,000. Grauer’s Gorilla (G. b. graueri), one subspecies of Eastern Gorilla – has lost 77% of its population since 1994, declining from 16,900 individuals to just 3,800 in 2015. 



Realty Check: The Whole Economic System Is On Welfare


Central Banks = Welfare for the Wealthy

Central banks can only do one thing, and that's provide monetary welfare for the wealthy.

The fact that central banks provide welfare for the wealthy is now entering the mainstream. The fact that all central bank policies since 2008 have dramatically increased wealth and income inequality is now grudgingly being accepted as reality by mainstream economists and the financial media.
The central banks' PR facade of noble omniscience on behalf of the great unwashed masses has cracked wide open. Even The Wall Street Journal is publishing critiques of Federal Reserve policies that suggest the Fed has no idea how the U.S. economy actually works because their policies have failed to help the bottom 95%.

Suncor Unloading Oil-Sands Assets


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Suncor Energy Seeks Permission to Abandon Some Oil-Sands Assets

Suncor Energy Inc., SU -0.58 % Canada’s largest oil producer, is in talks with government officials for permission to “strand,” or abandon, some high cost and greenhouse gas-intensive crude-oil deposits, the company’s chief executive said Wednesday. The Calgary-based company is seeking an easing of rules designed to maximize oil-sands production from leases on government land, CEO Steve Williams said at a Barclays BCS -0.66 % energy conference in New York, reiterating a strategy he first announced in July. “We’ve begun to have conversations with the government of Alberta and the current regulators about the design of their policy, which actually requires the maximum amount of resource to be extracted regardless of the economic or environmental value,” he said. The request comes as Suncor and other oil producers struggle to cut costs...

The Wall St Lambs: Wells Fargo Terminates 5,300 Rank & File Banksters


What About These Guys?


"The Oversight Dream Team"

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Major Problems Announced At One Of The Largest Too Big To Fail Banks In The United States


Wells Fargo Bank, one of the nation's largest banks, has been hit with $185 million in civil penalties for secretly opening millions of unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts that harmed customers, federal and state officials said Thursday. 


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  Top Global Bonds Manager Positioning For Higher Rates


Unusual move sees manager Richard Woolnough protect £15 billion M&G Optimal Income fund from high bond prices and rising inflation.



Woolnough moves to 'negative duration' on UK bonds

The country’s leading bond manager, Richard Woolnough, has moved to ‘negative duration’ on UK debt for the first time in response to the rising threat of inflation and the surge in bond prices since the EU referendum.
Expressed in years, duration is the measure used to show a bond fund’s sensitivity to interest rate changes.
The current overall duration  for  Woolnough's  15 Billion M&G Optimal Income fund is currently at a low 2.6 years, reflecting the view that interest rates in the developed world are expected to slowly rise following the first increase in US rates at the end of last year.




Rigged Stock Markets Won't Signal Economic Collapse


These are the signs of an economic collapse


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What does the beginning of an economic collapse look like?
Do you see grocery stores closing? Do you see other retailers, like clothing stores and department stores, going out of business?
Are there shuttered storefronts along your Main Street shopping district, where you bought a tool from the hardware store or dropped off your dry cleaning or bought fruits and vegetables?
Are you making as much money annually as you did 10 years ago?



Future Grid Electricity Cannot Rely On Intermittent Renewables



Many people are hoping for wind and solar PV to transform grid electricity in a favorable way. Is this really possible? Is it really feasible for intermittent renewables to generate a large share of grid electricity? The answer increasingly looks as if it is, “No, the costs are too great, and the return on investment would be way too low.” We are already encountering major grid problems, even with low penetrations of intermittent renewable electricity: US, 5.4% of 2015 electricity consumption; China, 3.9%; Germany, 19.5%; Australia, 6.6%.
In fact, I have come to the rather astounding conclusion that even if wind turbines and solar PV could be built at zero cost, it would not make sense to continue to add them to the electric grid in the absence of very much better and cheaper electricity storage than we have today. There are too many costs outside building the devices themselves. It is these secondary costs that are problematic. Also, the presence of intermittent electricity disrupts competitive prices, leading to electricity prices that are far too low for other electricity providers, including those providing electricity using nuclear or natural gas. The tiny contribution of wind and solar to grid electricity cannot make up for the loss of more traditional electricity sources due to low prices.

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