NewEnergyNews More: September 2017

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



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  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017

    Organic Farming’s Role In The Climate Fight

    Organic Farms Could Help Fight Climate Change

    Shaun Chavis, September 25, 2017 (HowStuffWorks)

    “Agriculture is one of the more significant contributors to global warming. Nitrogen-based fertilizers and farm animals generate greenhouse gases, including methane and nitrous oxide. Conventional farming depletes soil of carbon, while planting and managing forests can help offset carbon emissions…[and] organic farming fights climate change by trapping temperature-raising carbon in soil, keeping it from contributing to the greenhouse effect [according to a new study]. Organic farming can also help offset carbon by storing it in soil…[Over 650 topsoil samples from organic farmers in 39 U.S. states were compared with] more than 725 conventional soil samples from the continental U.S. The results showed soil from organic farms is 26 percent better at retaining carbon — and retaining it for longer periods of time — than soil that's farmed with conventional methods and synthetic fertilizers…[It is because the] matter that organic farmers use, such as compost, green manure, animal matter and others — as well as the living things in healthy soil, such as microorganisms, earthworms and other components — gives soil humic acids…” click here for more

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    New Update Tracks U.S. Solar

    Berkeley Lab Releases Tracking the Sun 10

    September 25, 2017 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    “…National median installed prices [of photovoltaic solar systems] in 2016 fell year-over-year by 2% to 8%, depending on customer segment [according to Tracking the Sun 10 The Installed Price of Residential and Non-Residential Photovoltaic Systems in the United States]. These were the smallest annual declines in recent years. However, data for the first half of 2017 suggest that installed prices for the current year are on pace to fall by at least 10% for each customer segment, similar to long-term average rates of decline…Over the long-term, both hardware and non-hardware (i.e., soft) costs have fallen substantially, contributing in almost equal measure…More recently, however, hardware costs have been the dominant driver…Among residential systems installed in 2016, 20% were priced below $3.2 per watt (W)-the 20th percentile value- while 20% were above the 80th percentile at $5.0/W. Non-residential systems exhibit similar spreads…The potential causes for this variability are numerous, including differences in project characteristics, installers, and local market or regulatory conditions. These wide pricing distributions serve to demonstrate the potential for low-cost installations...” click here for more

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    Battery Storage Needs Rules That Allow Stacking

    California’s energy storage value ‘significantly’ boosted by stacking benefits, study says Andy Colthorpe, 13 September 2017 (Energy Storage Association)

    “…The value of a front-of-meter battery energy storage system in California could be doubled or even trebled, by adding more than one revenue stream to the project…[According to Stacked Benefits: Comprehensively Valuing Battery Storage in California, it could cost between US$200 and US$500/kW-year to deploy a 1kW / 4kWh battery…[But] the benefits, when stacked, could be around US$280 annually…[B]ig variations exist between technology types and system configuration. At the uppermost level modelled, this could be around US$328/kW-year. The biggest values are to be found in three areas: avoided capacity cost, frequency regulation and in energy price arbitrage…[The report stresses that there are] different ‘depths’ of opportunity to these applications…” click here for more

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    Monday, September 25, 2017

    Survey Shows How Millennials Act On Climate Change

    Breaking: Millennials Think About Climate Change Differently Than Anyone Else

    Emma Loewe, September 25, 2017 (MindBodyGreen)

    “…[Much of the burden for easing climate change] is placed on millennials…[Because environmental issues went mainstream as] they were growing up, and their future is less certain than that of generations past, it makes sense that 20- and 30-somethings are tasked with such a big responsibility…[A new study asked thousands of millennials how they're taking action] and their answers were a mixed bag. While millennials are reportedly less inclined to take small personal actions like recycle, ditch plastic water bottles, and adjust the thermostat to save energy, they are significantly more likely to support companies that they perceive to have strong environmental values…[The survey authors think it is because millennials are] looking outward from their own abilities to effect change to see who else can help them make it happen better and faster…[82 percent of millennials] are concerned about how it will influence their children's quality of life. But for many, this concern seems to have morphed into a slight helplessness…Therefore, they seek out companies that value environmental stewardship and employee treatment practices…” click here for more

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    Why Big Buyers Want New Energy

    Study: What Drives Corporate Renewable Energy Purchases?

    Betsy Lillian, September 14, 2017 (Solar Industry)

    “…[While the continually improving economics of utility-scale wind and solar are helping convert corporate commitments into a decision to buy, companies are determining their own definition of value in the procurement process…[But the cheapest option is not necessarily the best strategic fit or the only factor in corporate buyers’ decision-making, according to State of Corporate Renewable Energy Procurement…More than 150 respondents from companies with annual revenues of greater than $250 million participated…[The survey showed] the market sees sustainability in terms of decarbonization and industry leadership, not just a renewable version of the business-as-usual commodity deal that maximizes market timing…The report found that the primary drivers of corporate renewable energy goals are addressing emissions targets (70% of respondents) and demonstrating corporate leadership (65%)…” click here for more

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    Wind Works, DOE Study Concludes

    DOE Grid Study Highlights Wind’s Benefits, Need for Transmission

    Isak Kvam, September 15, 2017 (Morning Consult)

    “…[Wind energy makes the electric grid more reliable and] additional investment in transmission lines is essential to unlocking more renewables across the nation [according to Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability]…Wind provides important grid services like voltage control and frequency regulation, which help grid operators ride through disturbances better than any other fuel source. That increases resilience, helping the grid bounce back from disruptions like cyberattacks and storms…Wind energy is fuel-free and needs no cooling water, unlike fossil plants, so grid operators consider wind energy to be a resilient resource. Wind also provides a lot of electricity during periods of extreme weather, when other electricity sources have struggled in the past…The DOE study agrees with grid operators and other experts that investing in transmission infrastructure helps [cheaper power reach more people]…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, September 19, 2017

    All About Climate Change In 17 Short Answers

    Climate Change Is Complex. We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions.

    Justin Gillis, September 19, 2017 (NY Times)

    “…[Understanding the facts about global] warming can be daunting…[This easy-to-read piece boils it down to 17 short,] straightforward answers…[Both climate change and global warming] are accurate, but they mean different things…You can think of global warming as one type of climate change. The broader term covers changes beyond warmer temperatures, such as shifting rainfall patterns…President Trump has claimed that scientists stopped referring to global warming and started calling it climate change because ‘the weather has been so cold’ in winter. But the claim is false. Scientists have used both terms for decades…As of early 2017, the Earth had warmed by roughly 2 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 1 degree Celsius) since 1880, when records began at a global scale. The number may sound low, but as an average over the surface of an entire planet, it is actually high, which explains why much of the world’s land ice is starting to melt and the oceans are rising at an accelerating pace. If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, scientists say, the global warming could ultimately exceed 8 degrees Fahrenheit, which would undermine the planet’s capacity to support a large human population…” click here for other 15 answers

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    New Energy Ready To Step Up

    Clean Energy Is Approaching a Tipping Point

    Reed Landberg, September 19, 2017 (Bloomberg News)

    “The cost of renewables is plunging faster than forecasters anticipated just a few years ago as technologies like gigantic wind turbines arrive on the market…[Bloomberg New Energy Finance] estimates that clean energy will reap 86 percent of the $10.2 trillion likely to be invested in power generation by 2040…[T]echnology that’s slashing the costs of wind and solar farms makes it inevitable that clean energy will become more economical than fossil fuels for utilities in many places...

    The most visible advance is in the scale of wind turbines…When it started collecting data in earnest in 2004, BNEF already could see a trend toward bigger machines in the wind industry that deliver more spark to the grid. The scale of those turbines will grow…

    The same process of producing more electricity for a lower cost is making photovoltaics cheaper…[Power generation fueled by natural gas and coal…[are increasingly unattractive because new wind and solar are becoming] cheaper than anything else…[A little further off,] it will be more costly to operate existing coal and gas plants than to take power from wind and solar…” click here for more

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    How Old Energy Attacks Solar

    The troubling 'tactics' politicians are using to attack rooftop solar

    Greer Ryan, September 18, 2017 (CNBC)

    “…[New figures show the U.S. solar power market experienced more record growth in the second quarter of 2017 and has been] 22 percent of new electric capacity this year…[But] politicians influenced by fossil fuel and utility companies are working feverishly to stifle renewable energy growth…[They have backed policies that] drive up the costs of residential solar and make it unaffordable for many Americans…Much of the impressive solar power growth in 2017 was led by large-scale and utility installations. Distributed solar – those smaller systems often put on rooftops and parking lots – only grew one percent in the second quarter…[This slowdown is problematic because distributed solar has the potential to supply electricity during grid outages resulting from extreme weather or other emergency situations…[so, on] top of reducing our fossil fuel dependence, rooftop solar helps to make our cities more resilient in the face of climate change…[And we can’t take utility-scale solar growth] for granted either…The federal government is considering a trade petition [moving forward under the guise of protecting U.S.-based solar panel manufacturers from international competition] that could, if [approve d by the president]…double the price of solar panels in the United States…[and force] the loss of one-third of domestic solar jobs…” click here for more

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    Monday, September 18, 2017

    The Key Climate Change Unknown

    The Real Unknown of Climate Change: Our Behavior

    Justin Gillis, September 18, 2017 (NY Times)

    “As Hurricane Harvey bore down on the Texas coast, few people in that state seemed to understand the nature of the looming danger…[Scientists in Texas] have spent their careers issuing a larger warning, one that much of the public still chooses to ignore…Because of atmospheric emissions from human activity, the ocean waters from which Harvey drew its final burst of strength were much warmer than they ought to have been, most likely contributing to the intensity of the deluge…[Most likely,] the most savage heat waves that we experience today will likely become routine in a matter of decades…[and the] coastal inundation that has already begun will grow worse and worse…

    …[While many people are coming to their own commonsense conclusions,] some senior Republicans continue to question the link between human-caused emissions and rising temperatures…[Real uncertainties about details remain but they cut in both directions…[If they go against us, there] could be 80 or 100 feet of sea level rise...The truth is that the single biggest uncertainty is, and has always been, how much carbon pollution humans are going to choose to pump into the air…And yet most of us have still not bestirred ourselves to care, much less to march in the streets demanding change…Is this failure to act the legacy our generation wants to leave for the generations yet to come?” click here for more

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    Beer Brewer Anheuser-Busch In Big Wind Buy

    Anheuser-Busch signs wind farm power deal as part of global renewable energy goal

    Lisa Brown, September 13, 2017 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

    “Anheuser-Busch InBev has signed a deal to buy power produced by an Oklahoma wind farm as part of its global goal to have 100 percent of its purchased electricity come from renewable sources by 2025…[A-B will buy 152.5 MW of the $435 million, 298 MW Thunder Ranch wind project being developed in Oklahoma by Enel Green Power. The power purchase agreement] will be the brewer’s first contracted utility-scale project to start operations globally [when it goes online later this year. The maker of Budweiser and other beers announced plans for a similar deal in Mexico for 490 gigawatt hours annually, but that wind farm deal won’t go into effect until 2019…The renewable energy produced under A-B’s agreement with Enel Green Power will be equivalent to powering up to half of A-B’s total purchased electricity in a year…Solar power will [also] continue to be an area of focus for A-B…” click here for more

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    Montana Grew Solar 400% In 2016

    Montana quadruples solar energy capacity in one year

    Erin Loranger, September 15, 2017 (Helena Independent Record)

    “…Montana was producing 6.6 megawatts of installed capacity a year ago. The governor’s office released an energy plan, Montana Energy Future, with a goal to double solar capacity by 2025. Now the state has an installed capacity of 26 megawatts…[The governor’s office said] the state hopes to continue increasing solar production, which creates jobs and promotes energy independence…There [were] 373,807 solar jobs as of 2016 in the United States. The solar industry employs more people than coal, natural gas, wind or nuclear sources…[For helping drive this solar growth, the Montana Renewable Energy Association presented Governor Bullock’s] administration with a clean energy leadership award…” click here for more

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    Tuesday, September 12, 2017

    The Climate Fight Among Deniers

    Fighting Climate Change in a Red State

    Ryan F, Mandelbaum, September 8, 2017 (GizModo)

    “…Georgia’s right wing government that recently attempted to pass an anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill, its Paris Accord exit-supporting senators and Bible Belt location make its largest city, Atlanta, feel like a progressive island in a sea red with conservative ideals…[There’s a long and bumpy road ahead for those in the U.S.] hoping to fight the effects of climate change and build more sustainable cities…

    ...[According to Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States], the worst effects of climate change will come] in the Southern United States, places with lawmakers who deny humans’ influence on the changing climate and are uninterested in supporting the fight. That means a passionate few need to take on the burden…Scientists and other climate experts are banding together in Atlanta with allies throughout the state to do what they can…Together, many of these advocates are drafting a plan for whenever or not the rest of the state is ready to join them…” click here for more

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    Wind Builders Testing Battery Energy Storage

    Wind turbine manufacturers are dipping toes into energy storage projects; Vestas said to be working with Tesla, and that just caps off a busy summer.

    Megan Geuss, September 6, 2017 (Ars Technica)

    “…[Vestas Wind Systems, one of the biggest makers of wind turbines in the world, is] looking into building wind turbines with battery storage onsite…[It] is working on 10 projects that will add storage to wind installations, and Tesla is collaborating on at least one of those projects…[T]he efforts to combine wind turbines with battery storage offer a glimpse into how the wind industry might change in the future…[This news] is just one datapoint] about wind and storage projects. In August, offshore wind developer Deepwater Wind announced that it would pair a 144MW offshore wind farm planned for the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, with a 40MWh battery storage system from Tesla. Construction on that project is set to end sometime in 2022…Spanish wind power company Acciona recently connected two Samsung lithium-ion batteries to a 3-megawatt turbine in Spain, Dong installed a battery on the UK coastline in June to store some offshore wind energy, and Statoil will include a 1MWh lithium-ion battery in its designs for a floating offshore wind farm that will be completed in late 2018…” click here for more

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    Navajo Nation Grows Solar

    Navajo Nations first solar project now producing enough electricity for about 13,000 homes

    August 29, 2017 (AP via AZ Central)

    “A giant array of solar panels near the famed sandstone buttes of Monument Valley has begun producing electricity for the Navajo Nation at a time when the tribe is bracing for the loss of hundreds of jobs from the impending closure of a nearby coal-fired power plant…The Kayenta Solar Facility is the first utility-scale solar project on the Navajo Nation, producing enough electricity to power about 13,000 Navajo homes…The plant comes at a time when the area's energy landscape is shifting…The coal-fired Navajo Generating Station near Page is set to close in December 2019, leaving a site that both tribal and private entities say has the potential for renewable energy development…The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, which owns the solar plant, said the project advances clean energy on the reservation long known for fossil fuel development…[It should prove] to investors, developers and tribal communities that renewable energy projects are possible on the reservation…” click here for more

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    Monday, September 11, 2017

    Now Is The Time, Earth Is The Place

    Now Is the Time to Solve Climate Change for 2050

    Paula Caballero, September 9, 2017 (EcoWatch)

    “The reality of daily life is that we try to fix the problems that are staring us in the face. In many ways, the desire for short-term results defines the rhythm of both public and private life…Yet the unprecedented, deadly tropical cyclones in the Caribbean today and around the world foreshadow a perilous tomorrow if we don't tackle climate change now. We are at an historic crossroads that requires us to factor in the future. Because in a very real sense, 2050 is now…[D]ecisions today will define where we end up tomorrow. The idea that unabated, incremental growth is the formula to eradicate poverty will leave us all ultimately poorer and make the pockets of desperate poverty more entrenched…[What we do now will determine whether we are able to keep global temperature to well below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above preindustrial levels,] the point beyond which the most severe consequences of climate change kick in. Short-sighted investments could lock in 20th century ways of doing business and policy that will make achieving this target more expensive and technologically challenging…” click here for more

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    Floridians Forming Solar Co-ops

    Residents boost solar energy options by forming co-ops

    Tracey McManus, September 9, 2017 (Tampa Bay Times)

    “…[The St. Pete Solar Co-op, led by The League of Women Voters Florida with FL SUN, helps residents band] together and hire a single company to install systems on all of their homes, resulting in a 20 percent bulk discount and moral support to navigate a complicated process…[One homeowner used the 30 percent federal tax credit and co-op discount to get]15 panels installed for $6,800 on the roof of her 1,264-square foot home…[Her electric bill in August was] $5.49…As interest in solar energy grows in the state, more resident-driven co-ops are sprouting…[Two FL SUN co-ops to be launched Sept. 25 will join]the dozen running across the state…Florida currently ranks 13th nationally for solar capability even though the Solar Energy Industries Association estimates the Sunshine State as having the third-highest potential... The number of customer-owned solar energy systems increased nearly 40 percent in 2016, reaching 15,965 compared to 11,600 in 2015…[but that's] only a fraction of the state's 7.9 million utility customers…” click here for more

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    The Rich Winds Of South Dakota

    Wind energy good for the state and the nation

    Chris Kunkle, September 8, 2017 (Watertown Public Opinion)

    “…[Contrary to ill-informed reports in South Dakota,] there are few greater economic development opportunities in rural America right now than wind power…Across the country, wind farms are providing a stable source of new revenue for farmers and ranchers, without disturbing their existing operations. These projects inject private capital into rural communities and produce new, family-supporting jobs where they are needed most…[The] in South Dakota is because our region’s electricity providers recognize the benefits that wind energy can have for their customers. Not only is wind a low-cost, reliable source of electricity, it provides a hedge against the volatility of other fuel costs, such as natural gas or coal…Existing S.D. wind projects pay millions annually in land lease payments to rural landowners and millions more to locals, which helps fund vital services, support road improvements, and keep a lid on property taxes. Best of all, as wind energy grows in the state, so too will the money flowing to rural communities. Nationwide, rural landowners receive over $245 million annually…” click here for more

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    Friday, September 8, 2017

    Hey Southern California -- Look What's Happening In Your 'Hood!

    Tuesday, September 5, 2017

    Horse Poop And Climate Change

    Technology and the Battle Against Climate Change; Technology will play a significant role in taming the climate crisis.

    Matthew Brennan, September 3, 2017 (The Good Men Project)

    “…[An estimated 150,000 horses living and working within New York City in 1880 pulled street cars and] transported an increasing amount of goods…The average horse pooped 22 pounds in a day…[and dropped roughly] 3.3 million pounds of manure across the city streets each and every day…It was predicted that by the 1930s the manure in the streets would reach the third story of the city’s buildings…[But] odors slowly dissipated as horse drawn transportation gave way to the automobile. An environmental crisis of a different order was averted…Technology is already having an impact on other environmental issues…The combustion of fossil fuels in automobiles was the second leading source of CO2 emissions in 2015…[but self-driving electric vehicles have the ability within a few years to reduce emissions and] traffic…Smart appliances can help keep] energy use in check…[A smarter energy grid will accelerate usage of wind and solar power…Meats grown in a lab and growing plants in vertically stacked containers] could also help…[Technology companies can open source their research to elevate the entire effort]…” click here for more

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    Car Dealers like the Solar Deal

    Auto Dealers Race Toward Energy Savings with SunPower Solar; Experienced SunPower Dealer Network Leads the Way with Cost Effective Solar Energy Solutions Uniquely Designed for Automotive Customers

    September 4, 2017 (Parking Network)

    “…[A car dealership uses 18% more energy than a typical office building. Its lighted parking lots, electric tool-filled repair shops, and technology-enhanced show rooms make electricity] its third highest operating expense…[According to the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA), car dealers collectively face] nearly $2 billion in electricity costs annually…[Many auto dealerships are putting] empty rooftops and expansive parking lots to better use with high-efficiency solar energy systems…[They may generate enough energy to significantly reduce an auto dealership's electricity costs and also] offer protection to whatever is underneath – be it a newly constructed roof or a fleet of new cars…[Luther Auto Group in Minnesota, the largest privately owned automotive group in the Midwest, now] has 454 kilowatts of solar installed across 10 locations…[Covert Auto in Texas] has 125.6 kilowatts installed across the roofs of its Ford and Chevy dealerships…[It meets] 53 percent of the company's electricity needs and are expected to generate more than $500,000 in energy savings over 25 years…More than 50 kilowatts of rooftop solar is currently installed at [Colorado’s] Boulder Nissan…” click here for more

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    California’s Wind Blow Slowing

    Wind energy in California: The good news and bad news

    Rob Nikolewski, August 28, 2017 (San Diego Union-Tribune) “…California has installed 5,656 megawatts of utility-scale wind, fourth-highest in the nation…[and it] ranks fifth in capacity for smaller, distributed wind energy systems since 2003, with 66 megawatts…[W]ind accounts for 36 percent of generation from renewable facilities — the most in the state, edging out solar…[But wind could soon be] going backward in total capacity in California...Texas leads] the U.S. by a wide margin in total megawatts of wind, with farm states like Iowa and Kansas moving up fast…California’s numbers have essentially remained unchanged since 2012…[I]nstalled capacity in California was actually 6 megawatts less in 2016 than in 2015…California’s desert areas are considered prime spots for wind farms and in the finals months of the Obama administration, a plan was finalized that set aside more than 10 million acres for conservation and recreation and designated 388,000 acres for clean energy development, such as solar and wind projects…[A]bout 80 percent of federal land in the desert is off-limits to wind farms…At the same time, a number of counties across the state have issued their own restrictions…Environmentalists in general favor wind projects, but some green groups have opposed individual projects…[and] solar power can beat wind power on cost now…” click here for more

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    Monday, September 4, 2017

    Harvey As ‘Global Warning’

    Houston: A Global Warning; The devastation of Hurricane Harvey marks a turning point and raises the terrible possibility that we’ve entered the age of climate chaos

    Jeff Goodell, August 31, 2017 (Rolling Stone)

    “…[T]he horrific damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey was an almost entirely man-made catastrophe, one fingerprinted by all-too-human neglect, corruption and denial…[Hurricane Harvey’s biblical torrent was] the worst rainfall event ever in the continental U.S…[and] it's wrong to dismiss Harvey as a purely "natural" event…

    …[T]hanks to increasing carbon pollution, the waters in the Gulf of Mexico, over which Harvey formed, were about five degrees higher [in temperature] than average…[so] there is more water vapor in the air…[and] the warmer waters tend to intensify a hurricane's gales…[Also, the Gulf’s higher sea levels] mean bigger storm surges… In the 1990s, climate scientist Wallace Broecker said that the Earth's climate was ‘an angry beast’ and that by dumping massive quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, we were ‘poking it with sticks’…Harvey is the third 500-year flood to hit the Houston area in the past three years…

    …Eventually, taxpayers in Kansas will get tired of bailing out people who live on the coast, and disaster-relief funds will dry up. As seas rise, mortgage companies will stop writing 30-year loans for homes by the sea. Bond ratings for cities will fall. Coastal roads will be washed away. Airports will be flooded. And the great coastal retreat will begin…We've spent 40 years denying the risks of climate change, thinking that if we can just get everyone to buy a Prius and recycle their plastic, everything will be OK. The message of Hurricane Harvey is that it will not be OK…Mother Nature is coming for us.” click here for more

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