Perfect Storm News This Week June 4, 2013

--Mike Connelly

One of the cuter sayings among those who fret about such insignificant things like The Perfect Storm (must be insignificant or we’d be prepping for and dealing with it better) is “There is no Planet B.” Those who use that saying must be pretty bummed right now, because it’s become an authoritative conclusion that we’ve blown any realistic shot at hitting the old goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Centigrade (the weird measure) and now have to go to Plan B. What’s worrisome for those of us who don’t really use that slogan much is that Plan B apparently has basically the same time frame as Plan A did, and, if anything, with less proactive intent among policymakers. As another meme going around says, it was never true that frogs sit still in water slowly brought up to boil . . . until they started removing the thinking portion of those frogs’ brains. Then they did just sit there until the boiling water destroyed them. We need to decide which of the two frogs we intend to be, although the evidence coming in implies that we’ve pretty much made the decision. Those of us in the subset of Corrections Sentencing types, though, still can take action to mitigate the impacts on what we do as much as possible. Let’s not be like those brainless frogs, okay?

“Time to Switch to ‘Plan B’ on Climate Change: Study”
“Rising Costs Are Putting Limits on Energy Production” (except for OPEC, which still has Jed Clampett oil to shoot holes in the ground for, the marginal costs of production are too high for all these wonderful technical fixes and/or the resulting price of the products and those products using them to be workable)
“MORGAN STANLEY: A ‘Culture Shock’ Is Coming for Oil Drillers” (see above)
“It’s Hard to Sea, But the Globe Is Still Warming” (not a typo, a hint about where the warming has become the greatest)
“Study Explores Atmospheric Impact of Declining Arctic Sea Ice” (change water flows into the oceans, change currents and gulf streams, change climate, change weather, which is not the same as climate. Actually pretty simple to understand)
“Sea Level Could Rise 5 Feet in New York City by 2100”
“Drought Damage Could Top $200 Billion”
(but there’s at least that much in state general revenue pots so don’t worry about it)
“Drought Will Magnify Water Scarcity Issues”
“Water May Reshape Energy Industry” (one more time . . . “you can’t talk about dealing with one component of The Perfect Storm without talking about how that will affect all the others,” “you can’t talk . . . .”)
“Escalating Water Strains in Fracking Regions” (“you can’t talk about . . . .“)
“Report: Wyoming Faces $454M Bill in Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure”
“How Climate Change and Budget Cuts Could Make This the Most Dangerous Hurricane Season Ever” (if you thought Corr Sent was penny-wise and pound-foolish . . . .)
“Study: Climate Change a Death Knell for Most California Fish”
“States Buffeted by Turbulent Wind Industry”
“Shoddy Solar Panels from China Are the Next Shoe to Drop”
(China adopting the WalMart strategy of underpricing with goal of driving out quality competition and might be as successful)
“Climate Change Linked to More Pollen, Allergies, Asthma”
“Does Energy Benchmarking Actually Lead to More Efficient Buildings?”

POSITIVE STORIES (yes, we agree, thank God)
“Cities Not Waiting for Next Superstorm to Hit”
“Is Raising the Gas Tax Truly Politically Unpalatable?”
“Cold Climate Wind Energy Showing Huge Potential”
“US Installs 33 MW of New Solar Power Capacity in April”
“Colo. Getting a Climate Change Czar”
(thereby solidifying the state’s place as one of the eventual leaders of this country through and out of The Storm)
“New Jersey Votes for 97.5 MW More in New Solar Projects” (ahead or just behind CO?, you decide)
“Australia Approaches 22% Renewables by 2020, 51% by 2050”
(of course, they’ve been the canary in the coal mine for all this for a long time now . . . and still may vote deniers back in in their next election)
“How to Save Water-Starved Cities” (requires partnerships between the cities and farmers who compete with them for the water available, with cities subsidizing the farmers in the short term to ensure long-term access, something that major state facilities might also be able to engineer, IOW, the kind of effort that can work but can’t wait, folks)

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