WTF Climate Change News

Porsupah Ree

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This will be a case to watch..

Will This Case Finally Bring Down ExxonMobil’s Culture of Climate Deception?

New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood recently filed what could be an enormously consequential securities fraud lawsuitagainst ExxonMobil, exposing in great detail the company's long history of lying about issues related to climate change.

According to the findings of the AG's investigation, ExxonMobil kept one set of numbers internally about the likely future costs of carbon-emission rules while using another set for its shareholders that it knew to be false. For internal planning purposes, the company low-balled estimates for the cost per ton of carbon that would likely be imposed by regulation to make its projects appear to be more profitable. Meanwhile, the company told its shareholders it was using a higher, more plausible, price when determining its projects' long-term economic viability. By doing so, the complaint charges, ExxonMobil deceived its investors, falsely assuring them that its oil and gas reserves would not become unusable for economic reasons—what the industry refers to as "stranded assets."

The 97-page legal complaint is chock-full of examples of ExxonMobil reports and statements that deceived shareholders about the likely cost of carbon-emission standards. It charges the company with "a longstanding fraudulent scheme" that "was sanctioned at the highest levels of the company."

Just as the notorious Prohibition-era gangster Al Capone was ultimately brought down on tax fraud charges despite a long rap sheet of murder and mayhem, the case raises the prospect that New York's unique securities fraud law, the Martin Act, could be the legal tool that holds the company accountable for a culture of deception about climate change that spans decades.
 

Kamilah Hauptmann

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“Probably Not A Good Sign” Say Scientists, After Discovering Whales Have A Space Program

An intercepted subsea communication, recorded this morning in the vicinity of the “Whaleship Exitprise” (as the almost unfathomably real craft is now being called) appears to indicate Dr. Bae is correct.

“Caroooooooo, oooooooooo, oooooooooooooouuuuuuuu,” a humpback whale is heard to sing repeatedly, in what researchers say could be a sign she is practicing an important speech. A rough decoding of the message, performed by the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biologists would seem to confirm this.

“That is one small interplanetary move for whales,” the translation states. “One giant fuck yooooooooooouuuu to the self-centred, hairless, blunt-tooths who destroyed this planet.”
 

Porsupah Ree

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And Massachusetts!

U.S. top court rejects Exxon in climate change document dispute

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for the attorney general of Massachusetts to obtain records from Exxon Mobil Corp to probe whether the oil company for decades concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels play in climate change.

The justices declined to hear Exxon's appeal of a ruling by the top court in Massachusetts holding that state Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, had jurisdiction to seek records to probe whether the company misled consumers and investors.
I did love this bit, too:

Exxon has called the Massachusetts and New York investigations politically motivated.
 

danielravennest

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Germany to Close All 84 of its Coal Fired Plants

Germany, one of the world’s biggest consumers of coal, will shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change, a government commission said Saturday.

The announcement marked a significant shift for Europe’s largest country — a nation that had long been a leader on cutting CO2 emissions before turning into a laggard in recent years and badly missing its reduction targets. Coal plants account for 40% of Germany’s electricity, itself a reduction from recent years when coal dominated power production.
 

danielravennest

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Georgia Power to Shut Down 5 Coal Plants (in red state GA!)

Georgia Power Co. will continue reducing its reliance on coal during the next two decades while stepping up its investments in renewable power and energy efficiency, according to a plan the Atlanta-based utility submitted Thursday. ... Specifically, the company is asking to retire four coal-burning units at Plant Hammond near Rome, Ga., and to retire one coal unit at Plant McIntosh near Rincon, Ga, west of Savannah. ... While taking those power supply sources out of the mix, the utility is seeking to procure an additional 1,000 megawatts of energy from renewable sources. If approved, the additional renewable power would increase Georgia Power's renewable portfolio to 18 percent.
 

Innula Zenovka

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As I've mentioned before, I think, a cousin of mine makes a great deal of money from understanding the energy business and he assures me that under virtually no set of assumptions does it make any sort of economic sense for US or European power companies to spend money on coal-fired power stations.

Ironically, one of the best things the US could do, at least in the short term, to support the coal industry, or so my cousin says, would be to put an end to fracking. But even then, that would simply mean postponing the inevitable, and he wouldn't advise clients to invest in coal (and he certainly wouldn't put his own money into it).
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Americas colonisation lead to the last "little ice age" at the end of the 15th century:

Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth's climate.
That's the conclusion of scientists from University College London, UK.
The team says the disruption that followed European settlement led to a huge swathe of abandoned agricultural land being reclaimed by fast-growing trees and other vegetation.
This pulled down enough carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere to eventually chill the planet.
It's a cooling period often referred to in the history books as the "Little Ice Age" - a time when winters in Europe would see the Thames in London regularly freeze over.
"The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas led to the abandonment of enough cleared land that the resulting terrestrial carbon uptake had a detectable impact on both atmospheric CO₂ and global surface air temperatures," Alexander Koch and colleagues write in their paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews.
 
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Tigger

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Kill all humans? Amateur. We're killing most life.

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

The Guardian view on the mass death of insects: this threatens us all | Editorial

The threatened extinction of insect populations around the world raises the prospect of a much more general catastrophe, which would implicate plants, birds, fish, small mammals, and everything else that depends on insects. That’s just the start. Other species, and we ourselves, depend on the animals and plants that need insects. When they go, we go.
 

Innula Zenovka

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It’s no longer climate change we’re living through. It’s environmental breakdown

It summarises this report, This is a crisis: Facing up to the age of environmental breakdown, which, in turn, summarises itself thus:

Mainstream political and policy debates have failed to recognise that human impacts on the environment have reached a critical stage, potentially eroding the conditions upon which socioeconomic stability is possible.

Human-induced environmental change is occurring at an unprecedented scale and pace and the window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic outcomes in societies around the world is rapidly closing. These outcomes include economic instability, large-scale involuntary migration, conflict, famine and the potential collapse of social and economic systems. The historical disregard of environmental considerations in most areas of policy has been a catastrophic mistake.

In response, this paper argues that three shifts in understanding across political and policy communities are required: of the scale and pace of environmental breakdown, the implications for societies, and the subsequent need for transformative change.
 

Sid

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"The Emperor's new clothes".
Only a child is capable to tell the truth as it really is.