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NewEnergyNews More

Every day is Earthday.

Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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Your intrepid reporter

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    A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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  • Monday, May 20, 2019

    Designers On The Climate Crisis

    How the world's leading designers are thinking about the climate crisis

    Aileen Kwun, May 15, 2019 (CNN via the Philadelphia Tribune)

    “Transgenic silk garments that emit a neon glow, sartorial burial suits embedded with flesh-eating microbes, and a bouquet of perfume notes derived from the DNA of extinct flora are just a few of the mind-bending works of design presented in ‘Nature,’ this year’s Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial program…[It] looks at how designers are responding to human-induced climate change and the impending environmental crisis…Last year was the world’s fourth hottest since records started in 1880, according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)…[More than 60 projects from scientists, to engineers, farmers, programmers, artists, philosophers, and others from 22 countries] are placed into one of seven categories based on strategy, rather than medium — Understand, Simulate, Remediate, Salvage, Facilitate, Augment, and Nurture…

    Clothing has been cited as among the top contributors of pollution and waste globally. In 2018, Quantis found that the footwear and apparel industries account for more than 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, while, according to a 2016 McKinsey study, nearly 60% of all clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators within a year of its production…The selected works — all contemporary, and in several instances, prototypes of ideas yet to be realized — display an ingenuity of material innovation, suggesting products that drastically reduce environmental harm, or novel ways of responsibly tapping into overlooked resources…” click here for more

    The Secret To More New Energy

    This one weird trick can help any state or city pass clean energy policy; A political strategy that actually works.

    David Roberts, May 15, 2019 (VOX)

    “…[T] he past few years have seen a remarkable flourishing of climate and clean energy policy at the subnational level, in states and cities across the country…[They all] used the same simple trick to achieve policy success…[New Energy policy was passed in Washington state by] Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, working for the first time with solid Democratic majorities in both houses of the state legislature…[in Nevada] by newly elected Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, working with Democratic majorities in both houses…[in Colorado by] newly elected Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, working with Democratic majorities in both houses…[in New Mexico by newly elected Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, working with Democratic majorities in both houses…[in California by] Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, working with Democratic majorities in both houses…

    [It was also passed in New Jersey by] newly elected Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, working with Democratic majorities in both houses…[in Los Angeles by] Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti, working with a Democratic city council…[in New York City by]Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, working with a Democratic city council…[in Chicago by] Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel, working with a Democratic city council…[in Boise, Idaho, by] Democratic Mayor David Bieter, working with a purportedly nonpartisan but in reality Democratic city council…in Missoula, Montana, by Democratic Mayor John Engen, working with a Democratic city council…[in Cincinnati, Ohio, by] Democratic Mayor John Cranley, working with a Democratic city council…[in Washington, DC, by Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser, working with a Democratic city council…The trick is: elect Democrats…[That it is this partisan an issue is] not ideal. But it is what it is.” click here for more

    Saturday, May 18, 2019

  • Weekend Video: Bill Maher And Jay Inslee Talk New Energy, Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: Preaching Resistance To The Climate Crisis
  • Weekend Video: The New Electric Vehicle
  • Tuesday, May 14, 2019

    Trees To Beat The Climate Crisis

    The simple yet elusive key to fighting the climate crisis: More trees It may get less press than more dramatic solutions, but planting trees–and protecting the trees we have–is a vital step in the climate battle.

    Sarah Sax, May 10, 2019 (Fast Company)

    “…Habitat destruction on land, overfishing in the seas, and overconsumption across much of the globe, [among many other human behaviors], now threaten to extinguish up to a million species in the near future…One of the major tactics at humanity’s disposal [to address and, hopefully reverse, this trend] is effectively managing and restoring the world’s forests–preservation and conservation efforts that could, quite literally, change the world…[Tropical reforestation holds the largest sequestration potential – but tropical deforestation is the largest contributor to land-use emissions globally because forests] can both sequester large amounts of carbon in things like trees and soil, but also be a huge source of CO2 when that carbon is lost through activities like agriculture, logging or wildfire…

    [New research shows warming can be limited] through technologies that exist today…[and] natural climate solutions…Agriculture, forestry, and other land uses contribute approximately one-quarter of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions but receive only a tiny fraction of climate mitigation dollars…[Meeting the Paris Climate agreement goals] is strongly dependent on not just cutting emissions from fossil fuels, but also avoiding deforestation [through conservation of actual forests, reforestation and sustainable management of forests] and reducing emissions from agriculture…[At least 477 companies have some form of voluntary zero-deforestation supply chain initiative…[but] a lack of definition over what zero deforestation means, as well as a lack of government regulation to hold companies accountable, are increasingly seen as major obstacles…” click here for more

    The Fall Of Coal

    Demand For Coal Slides As Renewable Energy, Natural Gas Fill In The Gaps

    May 9, 2019 (Colorado Public Radio)

    “…[Despite the president’s rhetoric,] U.S. demand for coal to generate electricity will keep sliding in coming months…Renewable energy sources including wind, solar and hydropower are expected to fill much of the gap left by coal's decline…It's particularly true for Western states, where renewables will provide almost a quarter of the power to households and businesses during the peak summer season…[Natural gas is expected to have a 40 percent share of U.S. markets this summer…[The White House has tried] to ease coal plant regulations and mining restrictions. But after production briefly bumped up in [2016, it is now falling in] almost all coal mining states…

    Wyoming, Kentucky and Texas have seen the biggest drops so far this year. Among the top 10 coal states, only Montana has seen a slight increase in the volume of coal mined in 2019…Coal's share of power generation is projected to be 25 percent this summer. That's down roughly half over the past decade and follows a wave of coal plant retirements by utilities seeking cheaper and cleaner-burning alternatives…[And, driven by economics,] plant retirements continue to stack up…Utilities this summer will pay about 3 percent more for coal and 12 percent less for natural gas compared with last year…” click here for more

    Monday, May 13, 2019

    CO2 Passes 415 PPM, Accelerating Crisis

    Climate crisis: CO2 levels rise to highest point since evolution of humans; ‘We don’t know a planet like this’

    Harry Cockburn, May 13, 2019 (UK Independent)

    “Levels of the damaging greenhouse gas carbon dioxide have reached an alarming new milestone at the world’s oldest measuring station in Hawaii…The Mauna Loa observatory, which has measured the parts per million (PPM) of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1958, took a reading of 415.26ppm in the air on 11 May – thought to be the highest concentration since humans evolved…[Mauna Loa, on Hawaii’s largest volcano, tests air quality on the remote Pacific islands because it is far from continents and pollution, while the area lacks vegetation, which can interfere with results…The 1958 readings showed the concentration of CO2 was 313 ppm in March 1958…

    …[This is reportedly the first time in human history earth’s] atmosphere has had more than 415ppm CO2… ‘We don’t know a planet like this,’ [meteorologist Eric Holthouse said of the reading. The] last time CO2 concentrations were this high was during the mid pliocene epoch 2.5 – 5 million years ago…During this period, global temperatures were 2 – 3C higher than they are today, global sea levels were at least 25 metres higher, and sea ice at the Arctic had retreated and given way to forests, where summer temperatures regularly reached 15C…” click here for more

    Solar Loans Take Lead Over Leasing

    US residential solar finance update: H1 2019

    May 2019 (Wood Mackenzie)

    “…Solar loans now claim a 45 percent share of the residential market, while third-party ownership (TPO) has fallen to its lowest point since 2011 at a 33 percent market share…[and] Mosaic maintained its position as the top solar loan provider last year, claiming a quarter of the loan market…[The ITC stepdown is expected to] give TPO providers an edge in the early 2020s and likely foster increasing competition in the solar loan market as loan structures simplify…Last year’s stagnation in the TPO market can be attributed largely to Tesla’s changing customer acquisition tactics, which led to a decline of overall installation volumes in 2018…The rise of smaller solar installers worked in favor of loan providers in 2018 as those local installers turned to loan providers for consumer financing…

    Other sources of consumer finance are usually unavailable to those installers…Strong residential solar growth in Texas and Florida last year also played a part in the relative ascent of solar loans, as third-party-ownership is currently limited in those states…The growing solar loan industry is characterized by very thin margins. Lenders felt pressure to raise prices incrementally last year, with some eliminating low interest products or raising dealer fees. Some solar loan providers are also expanding into verticals such as storage and home improvement where margins may be higher…[Though the elimination of the ITC will boost leasing, solar] loans will also become simpler, enabling traditional commercial banks to offer direct to consumer loans…Dedicated solar loan providers will likely still have a competitive advantage…[because] of large installer networks…” click here for more

    Tuesday, May 7, 2019

    Climate Change By Any Other Name Is A Crisis

    Call it a Climate Crisis

    May 1. 2019 (The Action Network)

    “We need television news to call the climate crisis exactly what it is: a climate crisis…In 2018, only 3.5% of national television news segments that mentioned climate change referred to it as a crisis or emergency…Words matter. When networks consistently fail to treat climate change as a crisis or emergency, they unwittingly enable complacency and inaction…It’s long past time for the media to call the climate crisis what it is—and to cover it with the regularity, focus, and depth that an urgent, existential threat merits…

    …[The Action Network wants viewer to email ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC, asking them to use the term climate crisis because] when lethal heatwaves are the new normal, it’s a crisis. When stronger storms force millions from their homes over and over again, it’s a crisis. When kids walk out of school so adults will see their future’s at stake, it’s a crisis…[TV’s coverage] doesn’t match the reality…In 2018, less than 4 percent of news segments spoke of climate change’s impacts as a ‘crisis’ or ‘emergency’…[And too few segments make the connection between disasters like supercharged hurricanes and wildfires] to the greenhouse gases and climate change behind them…[Networks] can jump start a global conversation on how we solve this crisis. While we still have time…” click here for more

    New Energy Is Winning In The Marketplace

    Prices of renewable energy sources plummeted between 2009 and 2017

    Ben Geman, April 9, 2019 (Axios)

    “The International Monetary Fund's annual World Economic Outlook…[shows] why wind and solar power are growing so fast in power markets…[The levelized cost of electricity from different forms of zero-carbon power] is the all-in comparison of the costs of building, running, supplying and maintaining facilities over time…Between 2009 and 2017, the installed price for utility-scale solar fell 76% and the installed price of onshore wind fell 34%,] making these energy sources competitive alternatives to fossil fuels and more traditional low-carbon sources…

    Today renewables account for about 25% of global power generation…Hydropower has the largest share, but cost declines are helping wind and solar gain ground, with solar overtaking hydro in about a decade…” click here for more

    Monday, May 6, 2019

    Climate Crisis Now A Priority For Voters

    Polls say: Everything’s coming up green

    Molly Enking, May 1, 2019 (Grist)

    “For the first time, climate change is ranked as the No. 1 issue among Democratic voters in a new national CNN poll…82 percent of voting Democrats (including left-leaning Independents) listed climate change as a ‘top priority’ that they’d like to see presidential candidates focus on. The next-highest issue was universal health care, at 75 percent, followed by gun reform, at 65 percent…

    [Y]oung people, in particular, feel climate change is a major priority…[V]oters between 18 and 29 said they’d favor action on the climate crisis even if it hurts economic growth…[and] a high percentage of young people plan to vote…Although not everyone believes global warming has already begun, most Americans report worrying about climate change ‘a great deal’ or a ‘fair amount,’ according to a recent Gallup poll…” click here for more

    State Renewables Mandates Bring Benefits

    What That Flashy Renewable Energy Paper Got Wrong

    Amanda Levin, April 25, 2019 (Natural Resources Defense Council)

    “…The price of onshore wind fell 22%, solar prices fell 33% after 2015, and now] renewable energy is so inexpensive, utilities have found that they can save customers money by closing coal plants early and replacing them with wind and solar power…[But a new paper concludes renewables mandates, called renewable portfolio standards (RPS)] programs are costly and ineffective at addressing climate change…

    The Energy Department’s national labs have done their own large-scale studies each year and found that these polices drive significant renewable energy development at low costs for customers—about 2 percent of an U.S. household’s average monthly bill (or a little more than $2 a month).,,[And the benefits] could top $1 trillion…[The paper] only includes data through 2015. That means it has missed out on the recent declines in renewable energy prices…It is precisely because of these falling costs that many states have decided to strengthen their standards in the last three years…The research ignores other factors and inappropriately blames renewables for other cost increases…” click here for more

    Tuesday, April 30, 2019

    Your Brain On Climate Change

    Why your brain doesn’t register the words ‘climate change’

    Kate Yoder, April 29, 2019 (Grist)

    "…According to recent neuroscience research, people will respond more if the terms “global warming” and “climate change” with the term “climate crisis,” which] got a 60 percent greater emotional response from listeners…[The widely-regarded SPARK Neuro found, from a bipartisan focus group, that “global warming” and “climate change” performed the worst of six] terms of emotional engagement and audience attention…[More response came to] climate crisis, environmental destruction, weather destabilization, and environmental collapse…It’s the latest sign that climate change communicators have a whole lot to learn from cognitive science…

    [It is thought “global warming” and “climate change” performed poorly because they have been overexposed and are] neutral phrases…[People who care about the climate crisis] are starting to realize the power of words…The two phrases that caused the strongest emotional reaction overall were “climate crisis” and “environmental destruction…” [But a strong emotional response like that evoked by “environmental destruction” can] have a “backfiring effect…” [“Climate crisis”] was the Goldilocks of the study — not too weak, not too strong. Among Democrats, Republicans, and independents, it caused a strong emotional reaction…[It allows] people to pay more attention and encourages a sense of urgency…” click here for more

    New Energy Moves Ahead Of Coal

    America's renewable energy set to surpass coal for the first month ever

    Matt Egan, April 29, 2019 (CNN)

    “…The renewable energy sector is projected to [for the first time] generate more electricity than coal during the month of April, according to a recent report…[Coal was already replaced as the power sector leader by] natural gas, a much cleaner burning fossil fuel…[A decade ago, U.S. New Energy] had little presence other than hydro power. But a wave of investment — first into wind, and then solar — has made these new technologies far cheaper…At the same time, increased awareness about climate change has led many American businesses, households and state legislatures to demand cleaner energy…

    [U.S. Energy Information Administration statistics project New Energy (hydro, biomass, wind, solar and geothermal) to] sporadically exceed coal in 2019 and 2020…[The shift will initially be when hydro and wind increase in the spring and] coal plants shut down for maintenance…[New Energy is projected to be the fastest-growing source for power generation for at least the next two years and will pass] coal on an annual basis…Coal's share of total power generation tumbled from 45% in 2010 to 28% in 2018…[and is] expected to dip to just 24% in 2020…The problem for coal is economics…[Energy Innovation found wind and solar costs] have plunged so drastically that 74% of the US coal fleet could be replaced by renewable energy and still save customers money…” click here for more

    Monday, April 29, 2019

    Climate Changes Militaries To Greenies

    Militaries go green, rethink operations in face of climate change; “Militaries are great planning organizations, we need to utilize that great planning capability to get further ahead of the climate threat than we have.”

    Linda Givetash, April 27, 2019 (NBC News)

    “…[North American Treaty Organization (NATO)] military officials from 29 countries — including the United States — will test whether energy efficient equipment and hybrid diesel-solar power systems can be easily integrated into their operations in [military exercises in] Poland this June…[This new focus] on energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption is indicative of a wider [adaptation by militaries] to environments reshaped by climate change and intensifying natural disasters…Lightweight equipment that can be powered by renewables rather than fuels that need to be imported are better for responding to natural disasters such as floods and wildfires…NATO provided support when Sweden faced historic wildfires last summer…The war games will come amid a global movement — from school strikes and protests to debates in Congress over the proposed Green New Deal — that is placing response to climate change at the center of the political agenda…

    Experts warn that climate change is poised to not only cause more extreme weather events but also spark conflicts from the Arctic, where disappearing ice is sparking a geopolitical race for dominance, to Africa's Sahel region which is grappling with increased water scarcity and extremist groups…These conditions also drive migration, already being seen in Central America…Armed forces help launch humanitarian relief after a disaster, yet those operations don’t get the same level of foresight applied to other threats such as nuclear war or terrorism…A more recent report the Department of Defense released in January highlighted numerous Air Force, Army and Navy infrastructure currently at risk of damage due to flooding, drought, desertification and wildfires…” click here for more