Sunny in California, starting to clear up in Shenzen
INTERACTIVE OF THE DAY
Impacts to the Energy Sector From Climate Conditions. The Department of Energy. July 11, 2013.
PODCAST OF THE DAY
VIDEO OF THE DAY
A Conversation With Climate Scientist Michael Mann. Climate Desk. May 14, 2013.
The CPUC issued its annual report on the progress of the California Solar Initiative. A residential solar system in California now costs about $5.78 per watt and, to date, the program has achieved 66% of its total goal with 19% waiting in pending projects while producing 1,629 MWs of installed solar capacity. In 2012, the amount of solar installed on California’s rooftops grew by 391 MWs–a 26% increase. Even more impressive, these figures only represent new capacity generated by investor-owned utilities. A new paper from CAP explains the “utility death spiral” and how low-income Americans can share the benefits of solar energy without falling into an electrical divide where they’re forced to pay skyrocketing utility costs.
In other California news: What do Shenzhen, Jerry Brown and manufacturing mogul Liam Casey all have in common? Could be a 21% decrease in the carbon intensity of Shenzhen. And, ARB penalized nine companies for inaccurate data and faulty methods for tracking their fuel emissions. The largest single penalty, $120,000, was levied against ExxonMobil.
Meanwhile, on Capital Hill, an update on the science of climate change involving real live scientists will take place in the Senate, where Gina McCarthy is being singed from the heat of the nuclear option. Because 2014 may find the Senate in play, the AP forewarns the survival of the President’s climate agenda grows increasingly dependent on public support.
An important new report from DOE depicts the vulnerabilities of the U.S. energy sector to climate change and has Brad Plumer of the WaPo wondering how the U.S. can keep the lights on when nature unleashes more hurricanes like Sandy on the country’s aging infrastructure. If the images of NYC under water have already faded from memory, the havoc created by sea levels rising by a single foot is envisioned in “Goodbye, Miami.” And, while scientists grapple with determining the speed of both polar ice melts, results in Ecology Letters show polar bears and puffin birds will have company on the endangered species list because many land animals will be unable to evolve quickly enough to adapt to the warmer climate expected by 2100. Such findings could have inspired the group of 200 evangelical scientists that recently asked Congress to “pass meaningful legislation” to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.
The transportation sector is doing its bit to protect the environment and simultaneously turn a profit. GM will double the number of its models that get at least 40 miles per gallon on the highway by 2017 and has vowed to cut its U.S. vehicle emissions 15% by 2016.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“Wildfires burn, glaciers melt, droughts and storms intensify and cities fight for water…Ten years from now we will all be environmentalists. Ten years from now it may be too late.” Citizen, Ken Swensen from Pound Ridge, N.Y., in a letter to the NYT.
"The people who understand the science and who care about God are calling on Congress to act." Dorothy Boorse, chairwoman of the biology department at Gordon College in Massachusetts who is leading an effort by Evangelical scientists urging Congress to act on climate change, quoted in ClimateWire.
“The Golden State is going into overdrive on solar power”. John Upton in Grist on the California Solar Initiative.
“flexibility.” The word most often used by U.S. governors to describe what they want to see in the EPA’s new power plant regulations.
REPORT. Climate Disconnect: An Analysis of Record High Temperatures by Congressional District. Minority Staff Report Committee on Energy and Commerce U.S. House of Representatives. July 2013.