Top 10 countries by Produced Renewable Energy | GreenMatch

“What Is the Role of Renewables in Achieving the Paris Climate Objectives?
In 2015, renewables added to decreasing EU ozone depleting substance (GHG) outflows by 436 MtCO2eq, Italy’s emission equivalent. Renewables assume a noteworthy part in making the EU a worldwide pioneer in development. EU countries hold 30% of the patents in renewable energy globally. A real Pioneer move of the EU to stay ahead because the EU will keep the priority on research and innovation in the foreseeable future.

At the 2015 Environmental Change Gathering in Paris, Europe conferred itself to adding to constraining the rise of global temperatures to just 1.5°. Renewables, including energy proficiency, are critical to achieving this objective.

Following Infographic created by Greenmatch shows the top 10 European countries sorted by produced hydro energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, biofuel energy, solar energy (photovoltaic, thermal) and the total created renewable energy.”

Top 10 Countries by Production of Clean Energy

via Top 10 countries by Produced Renewable Energy | GreenMatch

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Methane and Frozen Ground | National Snow and Ice Data Center – Kevin Schaefer

Here Dr. Kevin Schaefer of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDCprovides some answers to questions about methane and frozen ground.

What is methane?
Methane is a gas made up of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. It’s the same natural gas that some people use to heat their homes, and it also exists naturally in the atmosphere. Scientists worry that if methane increases in the atmosphere, it could cause even more warming than carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Although there is much less methane in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, it traps heat about twenty times as efficiently as carbon dioxide.

What are the sources of methane in the Arctic?
There are two potential sources of methane in the Arctic. The first source of methane is called methyl clathrate. Methyl clathrates are molecules of methane that are frozen into ice crystals. They can form deep in the Earth or underwater, but it takes very special conditions, with high pressure and low temperature, to make them. If the temperature or pressure changes, the ice that imprisons the methane will break apart, and the methane will escape. We’re not sure how much methane is trapped in methyl clathrates, or how much is in danger of escaping.

The other major source of methane in the Arctic is the organic matter frozen in permafrost. This is the source of methane that I study. The organic matter in permafrost contains a lot of carbon. It is made of dead plants and animals that have been frozen deep in permafrost for thousands of years. As long as this organic matter remains frozen, it will stay in the permafrost. However, if it thaws, it will decay, releasing carbon dioxide or methane into the atmosphere. This is why permafrost carbon is important to climate study.

via Methane and Frozen Ground | National Snow and Ice Data Center

Wikipedia: The National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDC, is a United States information and referral center in support of polar and cryospheric research. NSIDC archives and distributes digital and analog snow and ice data and also maintains information about snow cover, avalanches, glaciers, ice sheets, freshwater ice, sea ice, ground ice, permafrost, atmospheric ice, paleoglaciology, and ice cores.

NSIDC is part of the University of Colorado Boulder Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), and is affiliated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Methane and Frozen Ground | National Snow and Ice Data Center – by Kevin Schaefer – Intro David Lindsay

   David Lindsay

Draft two: Monday was a balmy, windy 50 degrees here, so Laine Harris invited me to go out for one last sail on his Pearson 30. As we drove out to the Branford River, Laine and I discussed my new concert with Kathleen on Climate Change and the Sixth Extinction. Harris enjoyed the concert, and he said, What scared me the most is the fact that the permafrost of places like Siberia are melting, and as that accelerates, will release more and more methane. It appears we are doomed.
We motored down the river, set sails, and wore life jackets and fowl weather tops, to keep warm from the 20 mile an hour wind, the large chop and the spray. It was a fabulous, though short sail, since 45 minutes later we had to turn back. We motored back up the river during a blistering beautiful sunset, watched by the dark windows of the huge McMansions on the river bank. I continued to take pictures with my new Canon Sure Shot.
Laine Harris slowed the engine and slowed the boat as he turned it into a finger pier at Dutch Wharf. I took up a docking line, and prepared to jump down onto the three foot wide finger of the peer. In my excitement, I misjudged too many variables, and jumped too hard, landed on the narrow pier, but couldn’t stop my momentum, and slowly and gracefully went forward across the pier and right into the freezing black water on the other side. I was so embarrassed, I was willing to drown, but first, I took the line still in my hand, and wound it round the cleat, that was now over my head, to keep the boat from banging on the pier.

Harris had to secure his sail boat alone, while I discovered I was so wet and heavy, I did not have the strength to pull myself up onto the dock. I had time to contemplate that you could live in such cold water for about 40 minutes before you died. Laine tried to pull me up, and he couldn’t. I swung a wet leg up and hooked my foot on the low pier, and then the skipper was able to pull my hand to raise my shoulders while my leg lifted, and I slowly emerged from the freezing water and rolled unceremoniously onto the floating dock. In spite of my acute embarrassment, I was going to live. The new camera was still in my pocket.

For the drive home, I forgot in my sogginess to worry about the existential threat of the methane of the Russian tundra.

 

Now for the post on Methane, by Kevin Schaefer, who is a permafrost scientist at NSIDC.

“What is methane?
Methane is a gas made up of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. It’s the same natural gas that some people use to heat their homes, and it also exists naturally in the atmosphere. Scientists worry that if methane increases in the atmosphere, it could cause even more warming than carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Although there is much less methane in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, it traps heat about twenty times as efficiently as carbon dioxide.

What are the sources of methane in the Arctic?
There are two potential sources of methane in the Arctic. The first source of methane is called methyl clathrate. Methyl clathrates are molecules of methane that are frozen into ice crystals. They can form deep in the Earth or underwater, but it takes very special conditions, with high pressure and low temperature, to make them. If the temperature or pressure changes, the ice that imprisons the methane will break apart, and the methane will escape. We’re not sure how much methane is trapped in methyl clathrates, or how much is in danger of escaping.

The other major source of methane in the Arctic is the organic matter frozen in permafrost. This is the source of methane that I study. The organic matter in permafrost contains a lot of carbon. It is made of dead plants and animals that have been frozen deep in permafrost for thousands of years. As long as this organic matter remains frozen, it will stay in the permafrost. However, if it thaws, it will decay, releasing carbon dioxide or methane into the atmosphere. This is why permafrost carbon is important to climate study.

Figure 2. Carbon moves through the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land in a process called the carbon cycle.
—Credit: NSIDC, modified from NASA Earth Science Enterprise

How did this carbon get into permafrost in the first place?
Carbon was buried in permafrost by processes that took thousands of years. During the last ice age, great ice sheets covered most of the continents. As they spread out and then shrunk back, the heavy fields of ice ground up the rock underneath them into a very fine dust called loess or glacial flour. The ice sheets produced a huge amount of this powdered rock, and wind and rain deposited it onto the soil.”

via Methane and Frozen Ground | National Snow and Ice Data Center

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a ‘Speeding Freight Train’ in 2018 – By Kendra Pierre-Louis – The New York Times

By Kendra Pierre-Louis
Dec. 5, 2018,    770
Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter.

Greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are growing at an accelerating pace this year, researchers said Wednesday, putting the world on track to face some of the most severe consequences of global warming sooner than expected.

Scientists described the quickening rate of carbon dioxide emissions in stark terms, comparing it to a “speeding freight train” and laying part of the blame on an unexpected surge in the appetite for oil as people around the world not only buy more cars but also drive them farther than in the past — more than offsetting any gains from the spread of electric vehicles.

“We’ve seen oil use go up five years in a row,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of earth system science at Stanford and an author of one of two studies published Wednesday. “That’s really surprising.”

Worldwide- carbon emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018
, according to the new research, which was published by the Global Carbon Project, a group of 100 scientists from more than 50 academic and research institutions and one of the few organizations to comprehensively examine global emissions numbers. Emissions rose 1.6 percent last year, the researchers said, ending a three-year plateau.

via Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate Like a ‘Speeding Freight Train’ in 2018 – The New York Times

Yes. Ugly and depressing.  Here are the top three comments which I endorsed:

joel strayer
bonners ferry,ID

I believe no leader of any country wants to be the first to admit that this problem cannot be solved. No one I know is in any way prepared to make the changes required in their lifestyle which will actually reduce their carbon footprint. Considering that agriculture alone produces 25% of our GHGs, and that thawing permafrost is utterly unstoppable and will double the CO2 already in the atmosphere, there is actually nothing we can do. Permafrost thaw cannot be reversed…and in fact is accelerating with multiple positive feedback mechanisms in play. The infrastructure changes required in the transport sector alone will take decades to implement…even if the political will to do so existed, which it doesn’t. And all the while Trump keeps reiterating that he doubts the IPCC report and the government’s climate report, stealthily released the day after Thanksgiving so it would go un-noticed. The deep connection between food production and fossil fuels is also widely misunderstood. Our current population could never have achieved that number without the use of fossil fuels, so it seems highly unlikely those two will be uncoupled anytime soon. Add to this increasing life spans and the insane fact people still want to have kids, and the situation becomes absolutely unsolvable without catastrophic drops in population.

S. Nelson commented December 5

S. Nelson
Wyoming

Why isn’t this and all climate change news at the top of the feed constantly? (and I don’t mean just tertiary news such as wildfires). I remember jokes of pandas who can’t or won’t reproduce to save their species. Seems a bit hypocritical. The magnitude of the problem and the drastic nature of the long-term consequences – even best case scenarios – have me wondering why I must scroll or sign up for a special newsletter. It creates an environment where only those who already know are looking for what’s next. An echo chamber of sorts. The alarms should be sounding, loudly and continuously. A storm is coming, the wind is already rising. It’s strong enough that it’ll destroy our home. Shingles are already peeling up. But we’re busy picking out paint for the trim because the alarms aren’t sounding loudly enough. What good are storm sirens and emergency systems if the aren’t used? What good is media of any sort if, in the face of certain catastrophe, the lead is buried? Do better.

Socrates commented December 5

Socrates
Downtown Verona. NJ

Birth control Birth control Birth control Solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, tidal, biomass and alternative energy technologies. Education. And less religious ignorance. There are ways to defuse this ticking demographic environmental time-bomb. https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2017/07/top-eu-countries-in-clean-energy Europe is making progress….the US, China and India are the problem children. Perhaps if the Gas Oil Pollution party would take its head out of its rear end and it bank account, they might ‘conserve’ the planet instead of raping it. Nice GOPeople.

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Opinion | Cuba’s Slow Rebirth – The New York Times

By Ruth Behar
Dec. 4, 2018

Idania del Río, the owner of the graphic design shop Clandestina, in Havana.CreditCreditYamil Lage/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Turning Point: Raúl Castro resigns as Cuba’s president.

“It was yours,” my mother announced. She held out a girl’s blue school uniform.

She’s 82 now and still surprises me with mementos she took from Cuba and has kept packed away since the ‘60s.

A star was sewn onto the front and it had a thick hem to be let out as I grew.

“Don’t you remember?”

I shook my head.

“You wore it when you were 4 years old. You went to the same Jewish day school in Havana that I went to. Classes were in Spanish and Yiddish. Wasn’t that amazing? Then Castro came.”

via Opinion | Cuba’s Slow Rebirth – The New York Times

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Opinion | You Don’t Understand Tariffs- Man – Editorial- The New York Times

Not long after claiming victory in the midterm elections in which his party lost at least 39 House seats, President Trump kept up his winning streak this past weekend, this time on the world stage.

At the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, he called a temporary truce with President Xi Jinping of China in the nearly yearlong trade dispute between the two countries. The United States will continue to impose a 10 percent tariff on up to $250 billion of Chinese goods but will hold fire on threats to boost that duty to 25 percent in January. China, which has countered with $110 billion in tariffs on American goods, will reportedly lower some tariffs on American-made autos and resume buying soybeans and other agricultural commodities that had been priced out of the market by the countervailing duties.

“It’s an incredible deal,” the president claimed, and yet it is not, in fact, even a deal. The two countries have given themselves 90 days to find a framework from which to construct a new trade agreement — something they haven’t been able to do over the past two years. Nor has China given an indication that it will make any big concessions in 2019.

via Opinion | You Don’t Understand Tariffs, Man – The New York Times

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George Bush- 41st President- Dies at 94 – By Adam Nagourney – The New York Times

David Lindsay
13 mins

The New York Times

A good friend of my father’s has just passed away. They lived in the same house together in New Haven, as Dad attended Yale Law School. My mother and Barbara became friends, and shared a deep commitment to Planned Parenethood, probably before it was known by that name.

About this website

NYTIMES.COM
Mr. Bush, a Republican, was a transitional figure in the White House, where he served from 1989 to 1993. He was the last of the World War II generation to occupy the Oval Office.

 

By Adam Nagourney
Nov. 30, 2018,    236
George Bush, the 41st president of the United States and the father of the 43rd, who steered the nation through a tumultuous period in world affairs but was denied a second term after support for his presidency collapsed under the weight of an economic downturn and his seeming inattention to domestic affairs, died on Friday night at his home in Houston. He was 94.

His death, which was announced by his office, came less than eight months after that of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush.

Mr. Bush had a form of Parkinson’s disease that forced him to use a wheelchair or motorized scooter in recent years, and he had been in and out of hospitals during that time as his health declined. In April, a day after attending Mrs. Bush’s funeral, he was treated for an infection that had spread to his blood. In 2013, he was in dire enough shape with bronchitis that former President George W. Bush, his son, solicited ideas for a eulogy.

But he proved resilient each time. In 2013 he told well-wishers, through an aide, to “put the harps back in the closet.”

via George Bush, 41st President, Dies at 94 – The New York Times

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How Tariffs Work- and Why China Won’t See a Bill – The New York Times

By Jim Tankersley
Nov. 29, 2018

President Trump frequently promotes the idea that when the United States places a tariff on an import from another country, that other country directly pays the bill.

He’s wrong, but he keeps saying it.

“Billions of dollars will soon be pouring into our Treasury from taxes that China is paying for us,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference earlier this month. On Thursday, he wrote something similar on Twitter:

via How Tariffs Work, and Why China Won’t See a Bill – The New York Times

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Opinion | Trump Is Wrong About the General Motors Bailout – By Steven Rattner – The New York Times

By Steven Rattner
Mr. Rattner was counselor to the Treasury secretary and head of the White House Auto Task Force in the Obama administration.

Nov. 28, 2018,    149


The empty parking lot at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, during what used to be the second shift. G.M. announced Monday that it would completely shut down the factory, which produces the Chevy Cruze sedan, in March.
Credit    Allison Farrand for The New York Times

In 2016, as he crisscrossed the country for his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised repeatedly that he would make American factories great again. “My plan includes a pledge to restore manufacturing in the United States,” he told a cheering crowd in the nation’s automobile capital, Detroit.

In truth, Mr. Trump’s promise was false hope, a cynical campaign pledge divorced from economic reality. That was illustrated vividly this week when General Motors announced that it would cut about 14,000 jobs.

Mr. Trump promptly attacked the company, but he is tilting at the wrong windmill: Rather than some arbitrary downsizing, the company’s decision was a rational response to many worrisome factors.

Its sales have begun to soften. Consumers have shown little interest in small cars, and G.M. lacks a strong line of crossover vehicles. Like many of its competitors, the company continues to increase production at less costly Mexican plants. Moves toward electric vehicles, in particular, will vastly change the types of factories and workers that G.M. needs. What’s more, the whole industry faces disruption by the sudden rise of ride-sharing apps and other innovations that will discourage vehicle sales.

via Opinion | Trump Is Wrong About the General Motors Bailout – The New York Times

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Opinion | France’s New Protest Movement Is Tailor Made for the Macron Era – By Agnès C. Poirier – The New York Times

By Agnès C. Poirier
Ms. Poirier is a writer and political commentator.

Nov. 28, 2018

A member of the Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vests movement, at a protest against rising fuel taxes, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Saturday.
Credit
Michel Euler/Associated Press

PARIS — Familiar Parisian images are back in the news: black smoke billowing from makeshift barricades on the Champs-Élysées; cobblestones hurled at the police by protesters; the Arc de Triomphe disappearing behind a cloud of tear gas. But this time, the images feature something new: The protesters are wearing yellow, high-visibility vests.

They aren’t longhaired students or militant trade unionists or even angry farmers. They are unaffiliated with a political party and they come from a variety of class backgrounds. Leaderless, they have gathered thanks to social media and they have pointedly called themselves Gilets Jaunes, or Yellow Vests. They are shaking French politics to the core.

The movement began about a month ago, with groups of friends on Facebook complaining about an increase in diesel prices put in place by the government of President Emmanuel Macron to try to curb carbon emissions. Seemingly from nowhere, the disparate conversations converged on a date for action: Nov. 17. Hundreds of thousands would gather around the country to demonstrate against the fuel price hike, which they feel unfairly burdens the millions of people who live in small towns and the countryside, where they can’t get around by public transportation or electric scooters.

Their high-visibility yellow vests — which French drivers are legally required to keep in their vehicle to make sure they are seen on the side of the road if their car breaks down — identify them as car drivers rather than metro riders. But they also send a clear message: They want to be seen by their young president.

via Opinion | France’s New Protest Movement Is Tailor Made for the Macron Era – The New York Times

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