Politics

Wrecking the Tongass; cutting defense to pay for Green New Deal

CRITTERS AND THE GREAT OUTDOORS

purple cones writes—The Daily Bucket: Venomous Caterpillar Spotted in VA: “The caterpillar [on the right] is the most venomous caterpillar in the United States. It gained its common name, puss caterpillar, because of the soft covering of hair similar to a cat. However, looks are deceiving, and hidden in that hairy coat are rows of hollow spines. At the base of each spine is a venom gland. Contact with these spines can have very serious consequences, possibly including a trip to the ER.Recently (September and early October) there have been sightings in eastern Virginia. If you see it, do not touch! Keep people and pets away from it. The venom is equally dangerous to family pets. […] These are relatively small moths with a wingspan of about 1” to 1.5”, and the females are slightly larger than males. Their range is from Florida to Maryland, and west to Texas and Arkansas in the United States. They are also found in Mexico and Central America. In the U. S., they are more common in the more southern states, particularly Florida and Texas. The populations can rise and fall dramatically based on weather, food availability, and the number of natural predators around. If you see the moth, it is likely that there can be caterpillars around. The moths typically have 2 broods per year, in early summer and in the fall.

Besame writes—Daily Bucket: Lassen Pack wolves make their mark in and out of California: “Quick, tell wandering wolf boi to return to California because leaving the state means abandoning all endangered species protection! In early October, one Lassen Pack subadult male meandered north to scout out territory in eastern Oregon where wolves were delisted from the state Endangered Species Act in 2015 (western Oregon wolves are still state-listed). When the radio-collared male LAS13M crossed the border from Modoc County in northeast California into Lake County Oregon in early October, he moved beyond California’s ESA protection. Then on Oct. 29, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted the gray wolf from the federal ESA throughout the country except for the Mexican wolf in the southwest. I’ll have a separate story about this despicable action later today. For the Bucket, I want to focus on California gray wolf good news. Lassen Pack, the second wolf pack to colonize California in 100 years, is doing their best to increase wolves in the state with two litters in 2020. California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the new births and the dispersing male wolf in a quarterly report. LAS13M was captured and radio-collared last spring, so he was trackable when he began traveling this summer. In early October he entered Oregon, a state with a wolf population of around 160 wolves.”

Praying Mantis on my window screen

lostintheozarks writes—The Daily Bucket – One More Blast of Color and a Family Visit: “Douglas County, Missouri. October 25, 2020. As I was trying to decide what I could write about this week it occurred to me that I didn’t really have much new material. My son, my daughter-in-law and my grandson were visiting us last week — so of course,  they have been my main focus. […] Grandpa had promised he would take our grandson for a ride on his tractor, so that was the most exciting thing that happened that day. Shortly after that we saw a preying mantis on the window screen — even that was exciting to a four-year-old.”

owl limpets
Owl limpets.

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket – October Salish Sea news: “Native Olympia oysters used to be found over as much as 20,000 acres of Puget Sound historically. Currently their range is reduced to about 150 acres due to aggressive shoreline development. The goal of a restoration project is to encourage recruitment of native oysters by spreading ground oyster shells in likely locations around the Kitsap peninsula. Oyster beds have many benefits to the marine ecosystem, from filtering the water to providing food for marine birds, fish and mammals. […]  The Olympia Oyster Restoration page has more detail about the ongoing project. Owl limpets, a type of algae-eating gastropod, are having trouble maintaining attachment to the rocks of their habitat as water temperature warms, biologists have discovered. That leaves them more vulnerable to predation. Limpets in general have a critical function in keeping algae in check in rocky habitats, otherwise a monoculture covers the substrate, reducing biodiversity. This is one of the many unexpected consequences of the increase in ocean temperatures from global warming.”  

DSCN1540.JPG
The orange pack went on my back and was handily supported by the gear in the crate.

funningforrest writes—The Daily Bucket. Reminiscing: “There are many very memorable trips I’ve done over the past few years, but my excursion on the Bizz Johnson Trail in October of 2017 was, and may remain, a “one of a kind”.  I’d been making occasional backpacking trips since April of 2017, and wanted to get one last trip in for the year.  Thing was, my options for going someplace new were limited.  I was dependent on public transportation and had already gone to those places around and not too far away from Reno where I was living at the time.  So I did a little research and came up with this trip on the Bizz Johnson Trail.  The neat part was I could make this a “bike-packing” trip, something I’d never done before.  I had a suitable bicycle and all the camping gear, and discovered that I could get to Susanville on a bus with my bicycle. Trip on!  […] The Bizz Johnson Trail is one of those “Rails-to-Trails” places and is excellent for bicycling.  Motorized vehicles are not allowed but horses and hikers are.  My sojourn was to be three nights/four days with two different campsites.  Since the trail is an old railroad grade it’s never steep (averages about 1.5%; 3% max) and is plenty wide, but it was nevertheless a steady uphill trek.  I had a little over twelve miles to do so I split the inbound trip into two nights.”

CLIMATE CHAOS

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Heartland Is Apparently Confused About How Google Works. Oh And It’s Also Stupid About Climate: “Imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, we’ve been bemusedly watching Heartland’s daily attempts to debunk ‘alarmism’ at their Climate Realism website — even though it got boring quick because all the pieces are remarkably similar. Their formula is this: search ‘climate change,’ on Google News, click on whatever shows up first, excerpt heavily from the source and then dispute its climate connection with some sort of misleading or distracting denial. And we know they’re just googling, because three recent pieces actually address Google, as though the search engine itself is both responsible for the news stories, and sentiently going to read and respond to their denial. In ‘Sorry, Google News, Climate Change Is Helping End World Hunger,’ H. Sterling Burnett begins by writing that ‘at the top of search results today for “climate change,” Google News is promoting an article claiming climate change is causing world hunger.’ In the next paragraph, after referring to it as ‘the Google-promoted article,’ he recognizes that he shouldn’t actually be addressing the search engine at all, and references the original article, published by InkStick Media.” 

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Big Oil Denies That Ford and GM Funded Denial As New Study Demonstrates Impact Of Those Campaigns: “On Monday, Maxine Joselow at E&E published an extensive investigation into the climate research done decades ago by Ford and GM scientists, and the auto giant’s decision to fund denial organizations in the ‘90s to oppose climate action that might cut into their gas-guzzling SUV sales, specifically things like the Kyoto Protocol. Ford gave over a million dollars to the American Enterprise Institute between 1985 and 1997, and it along with GM shelled out hundreds of thousands to groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heritage, Heartland, Cato, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Later that day, the oil industry’s blog dedicated to fighting these sorts of exposes, Energy in Depth, had a post up with their now-standard response, claiming this is hardly news. The  PR page was eager to dish about the ‘activists behind the story,’ and (falsely) claim that because actually everyone knew about climate change back then, “the idea that a small handful of scientists and executives singlehandedly misled the entire world is complete bunk.’ Putting aside the irony of an oil PR blog claiming that past oil PR efforts were ineffective, is it though? Is it bunk that these organizations ‘misled the entire world’? Yes.” 

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—It’s Industry Power, Not International Politics, That Blocks International Climate Cooperation:Next week, a big change is coming. Because regardless of the November 3rd election, the United States will formally withdraw from the Paris Agreement on November 4th. Whether or not that gives cover for other countries, like Brazil and Turkey, to leave as well, is a serious concern. But when Trump first announced his intentions back in 2017, Rebecca Leber reminds us, ‘there was a silver lining’ in that 38 additional countries have since joined, and countries like China and India have already begun strengthening their original targets. Domestically, meanwhile, thousands of local leaders like mayors, CEOs, university presidents, and others quickly rejected Trump’s rejection and dedicated their jurisdictions to holding up America’s end of the global Paris Agreement. Coincidentally, MIT’s latest edition of the Global Environmental Politics journal happens to address the issue of international climate action. In it, UCSB’s Matto Mildenberger and U-Pitt’s Michael Aklin suggest that international climate politics has been ‘prisoners of the wrong dilemma,’ and show that getting a global climate deal isn’t a ‘collective action’ problem characterized by free-riders, or the prisoner’s dilemma variant of it. Instead, they argue, international climate action is a ‘distributive conflict’ between those who would benefit from climate action (people) and those who would bear its costs (polluters).” 

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Denier Misrepresents Study On Alien Planets To Suggest 5°C Warming is “Favorable”: “All the way back in 2014, we wrote about how “we would normally ignore the low-grade blogs like NoTricksZone,” and since then we’ve only occasionally bothered to point out the blog’s repeated misrepresentations of studies, utter stupidity, and bizarre conspiracy theories. Well, it’s that time again, as Kenneth Richard has a post that is so bad it’s [cue x-treme ‘90s ad guitar riff] out of this world! Literally. According to the headline, ‘Scientists have determined a 5°C warmer Earth ‘would provide more habitable conditions. What a claim! Does this mean we should just let warming go unchecked? Who are the scientists making such a determination, anyway? Are they even climate experts? Of course not! Or, well, actually, yes, they are. It’s just not Earth’s climate they’re focused on. Because the paper in question is titled ‘In search for a planet better than Earth: top contenders for a superhabitable world. It’s about finding alien planets that are not just capable of sustaining life, like Earth, but actually even more so.”    

Ian Reifowitz writes—Trump’s political stooges replace top climate scientist with deniers—a move reminiscent of the USSR: “Getting rid of a government official, even a high-ranking one, who dares show fealty to any principle other than loyalty to the official ideology is exactly how they did it in the old USSR. In virtually every department, at multiple levels, there was always a “political officer,” an apparatchik. Their job was to make sure that people who worked in a given area of the government always followed the party line. In the United States, at least since the civil service reforms that began in the 1880s, our government is supposed to fill most of its positions based on merit and qualifications, not partisanship. This is only the latest of far too many examples of the Sovietization of our government when it comes to science, including instances relating directly to climate change. But this one, as described by The New York Times, might just be the most egregious. The Trump administration has recently removed the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the nation’s premier scientific agency, installed new political staff who have questioned accepted facts about climate change and imposed stricter controls on communications at the agency.” 

Mark Sumner writes—Storms in the south and melting ice in the north are emblems of a changing world: “2020 is not an El Niño year. Without that ocean current driving weather across half the planet, it was also not expected to be a particularly warm year. Which makes the fact that 2020 is on track to break all records even more disturbing. NASA also reports that 2020 saw record levels of carbon dioxide. And record levels of methane. And record levels of nitrous oxide. And that’s despite the decrease in industry and transportation following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Of course, the fact that record areas of the American West went up in smoke—following a winter in which much the same thing happened in Australia—didn’t exactly help. But as all eyes are focused on Hurricane Zeta coming ashore on Wednesday afternoon, a much quieter event at the top of the globe that may be the real indicator of just how much things have changed. That’s because, way up in the high Arctic, the ice pack … isn’t. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has been tracking the extent of Arctic sea ice for decades. The trend of that data leaves absolutely no doubt about the warming world.”

xaxnar writes—Can we cool the planet? NOVA asks the question: “NOVA has a must-see show that asks the question: Can We Cool The Planet? The answer they have is Yes. (Yes, in the sense that there ARE things we can do, things that are already available or can be achieved in the near future. The question of will we do it is a separate issue.) NOVA has put together a detailed examination of how bad the problem is and then looks at all the tools we have or are developing to address it. We have to/can do several things. One is to cut carbon emissions. Another is to start pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. A third is to find ways to reduce the heat being absorbed by the planet. There are a variety of technological and natural tools that can be put to work. The real challenge is this: we have to decide to do it — regardless of the cost — and we have to start doing it now as fast as we can, because the effects of climate change and climate change itself are accelerating, and so is the cost of letting it happen. The most impressive part of the NOVA episode is the way it turns numbers into visuals. The graphics start at about 5 minutes into the episode, after an introductory summary of what the show is about. If you don’t want to watch the entire show, at least see those.” 

Extreme Weather & Natural Phenomena

FishOutofWater writes—Zeta, first Z hurricane ever, nears Cozumel, headed to Gulf Coast Wednesday: “Hurricane Zeta. There has never been a hurricane starting with the letter Z. Zeta was just upgraded this afternoon when the air force hurricane hunter aircraft’s radar recorded 80mph surface winds. In only one year, 2005, the National Hurricane center ran out of names and used the beginning of the Greek alphabet for late season storms. On December 30, 2005 tropical storm Zeta formed off the Cape Verde islands, the only previous hurricane season to have 27 named storms. Weather models are forecasting a possible 28th storm over the next 2 weeks, so we could see a new record high number of tropical storms this year. Zeta is not forecast to become a major hurricane so the Gulf coast will likely not suffer heavy damage. We are fortunate that wind shear and dry air intrusion have kept the intensity of this year’s hurricanes below category 5. The north Atlantic has had record high heat content and the main development region for hurricanes has tied last year’s record heat content. This season’s hurricanes had the potential to be far more intense.

OCEANS, WATER, DROUGHT

Dan Bacher writes—Lawsuit challenges California’s approval of $16 billion to fund Delta Tunnel without CEQA review: “In the latest battle in California Water Wars during the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, five environmental groups sued the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today in Sacramento Superior Court for adopting a resolution approving the issuance of the Delta Program Revenue Bonds to build the controversial Delta Tunnel. The coalition filing the lawsuit today includes Restore the Delta, Sierra Club California, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Planning and Conservation League and Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. The lawsuit challenges DWR’s approval of Delta tunnel funding without first conducting any review under the California Environmental Quality Act. ‘The bonds could raise $16 billion, or more, for planning and building the massive Delta tunnel project, which would divert billions of gallons of water from the environmentally sensitive San Joaquin Delta and convey it south,’ according to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club California. The project is the Newsom administration’s proposed replacement for the twin-tunnel California WaterFix project.”

Dan Bacher writes—Musical Protest Planned for Ballona Wetlands Today:This Thursday, October 29th at 11am pacific, LA City Council candidate Molly Basler, an environmentalist with the Green Dream Campaign and Climate Reality Project/LA, will lead a musical protest against the proposed bulldozing and destruction of the Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey, California, which includes recent gas rigs being installed in this state ecological reserve. Demonstrators will gather at Culver and Jefferson and then walk to SoCalGas’s nearby construction site within the wetlands. […] DON’T BULLDOZE BALLONA. In the midst of a busy election season where most people are focused on our political situation and staying safe from a serious virus pandemic, fossil fuel operators are digging in to the Ballona Wetlands on the Los Angeles coast and skirting environmental laws in order to get a head start on a destructive project that would bulldoze and excavate millions of cubic yards of soil and destroy important habitat. They are hoping no one notices.

CANDIDATES, STATE AND DC ECO-RELATED POLITICS

dfrankle writes—Bollier Promises to be the Voice for Kansan Farmers Threatened by Climate Change: “[Roger] Marshall often claims [Barbara] Bollier is too liberal for Kansas, but she comes from the same medical background as Marshall and only recently left the Republican party (in 2018). Bollier does not support the Green New Deal as it is currently written, but she does support a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon emissions and address water shortages. Bollier believes in investing in green energy opportunities to create jobs and promote a clean energy economy in Kansas, especially with wind energy. Wind energy is obviously cleaner and cheaper than coal and Bollier says Kansas has the second highest potential for wind energy production in the United States. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have both endorsed Bollier for the U.S. Senate based on her scientific background and voting record for Kansas’ environment. ‘Kansan farmers love to feed and power the nation. I’ll listen to our farmers and be their voice in the Senate, working to promote the farm bill and combat climate change.’ -@BarbaraBollier. Let’s help elect a Senator who is going to fight for a clean, safe environment for future generations. We cannot keep letting Big Oil industries dominate politics.” 

dfrankle writes—After 18 Years, Lindsey Graham Still Has No Answer for Climate Change: “Incumbent Lindsey Graham has been quick to judge opponents for their attempts to reduce climate change’s deadly effects. Graham was once considered to be on science’s side when it came to the battle against climate issues. However, in recent years his inability to speak up against Trump on this matter has proven he does not have South Carolina’s coastal towns in mind. Graham has voiced his opinion that humans are in fact a main cause of global warming, but he has not been very successful when it comes to passing legislation and has actually voted against climate change initiatives multiple times. […] Harrison opposes the Green New Deal because he believes it is not feasible at this time. He is strictly against all offshore drilling. Harrison argues that because 25% of South Carolina’s population live in coastal areas, combating climate change is of utmost importance. He believes that by supporting clean technological advances, South Carolina can be a pioneer on a global stage in the fight against climate change. Harrison’s message is simple: the status quo has not helped South Carolina, and it’s time for change.

ENERGY

Nuclear

jon p20 writes—Guilty pleas in Ohio utility bribery case: “In July, Republican Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others were charged by the FBI in  $60 million bribery scheme. Today, two of the small fish pleaded guilty in federal court. As noted by Courthousenews.com: Juan Cespedes, a lobbyist, and Jeffrey Longstreth, a campaign and political strategist, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Timothy Black on Thursday, and acknowledged the pleas carry a possible prison sentence of 20 years. Longstreth set up an organization called Generation Now at Householders request to ‘be used as a mechanism to receive undisclosed donations’ for Householder’s campaign. He admitted he ran the bank accounts to make ‘financial transactions that were designed to conceal the nature, source, ownership, and control of the payments made by Company A to Generation Now.’ Company A is the electric utility First Energy Corporation. They wanted passage of HB6, which in the new year requires electricity users to pay a surcharge to prop up two nuclear plants in Ohio and two coal burners in Indiana.  Cespedes was a lobbyist for First Energy.

Fossil Fuels & Emissions Controls

Dan Bacher writes—Culver City stands up to Big Oil, votes to phase out drilling in largest urban oil field in U.S.: “On October 26, the City Council of Culver City, the site of the largest urban oil field in the U.S,  stood up to the oil industry and voted unanimously to phase out oil drilling. This vote took place as the Gavin Newsom Administration has expanded oil and gas drilling in California during a year of record heat, record fires and an unprecedented pandemic  — and the City Council members hope that the Governor will take note of the historic decision. CalGEM, the branch of the Department of Conservation in charge of oil and gas regulations, has approved 1540 new oil and gas drilling permits in California in 2020 to date. In fact, 185% more oil and gas drilling permits were issued in just the first six months of this year than in the same six months last year under Governor Newsom, according to Department of Conservation data analyzed by Consumer Watchdog and the FracTracker Alliance. This year to date, the administration has approved 54 fracking permits, including 6 permits for Aera Energy, a company jointly owned by Shell and ExxonMobil, in Kern County this month.” 

Renewables, Efficiency, Energy Storage & Conservation

paradox writes—There is No Green New Deal With a $648 Billion Defense Budget: “Given the uproar of the 2020 election it’s not surprising the grossly insane American defense budget has not come under scrutiny, but it’s still unsettling to see this flaming catastrophe being ignored as if everything is normal and fine. We don’t accept it from President Trump declaring the covid-19 catastrophe being over but we hum along as if $648 billion in annual defense spending is normal and good, we get security. What a terrible word of fear and manipulation that so rarely delivers on its promise. Defense spending is “security” through fear of serious violence, a stupid and ridiculous way to deliver it. If one wants resource security then develop wind and solar renewables to get the hell out of the Middle East, stuffing the cauldron with military power has solved nothing. Speaking of security deliverables, what has its slavish devotion delivered for the United States? There are no viable trains, infrastructure crumbles everywhere, while many cities ensconce vast areas of slums and misery. Huge investments are desperately needed at CIS, IRS and the Post Office, not to mention the vast sums needed for a Green New Deal. There’s a lot more government has to deliver than security, how is that not obvious?”

AGRICULTURE​, FOOD & GARDENS

meadowmist writes—Saturday Morning Garden Blogging Vol 16.44 – Reflections after my summer in a Quarantine garden: “Good morning, fellow gardeners, and Happy Halloween! And welcome to my quarantine garden tour! Now that the harvest is over, and the dead leaves are swirling in the breeze and crunching underfoot, it seems like a good time to step back and reflect a little on the past. […]Gardening has always been an important part of my life, so 20 some years ago, when my parents gifted us this little wild meadow to build our home on, one of the first things we did was start a big garden. Due to the drainage from the terminal moraines that our little meadow is tucked between, the soil was very rich. During heavy snowmelt or rain, there is a stream just on the other side of our garden. (And sometimes, if it rains very hard, it runs through our garden as well.)” 

Garden gate

Angmar writes—“Unless we change course, the US agricultural system could collapse”: “Our food supply comes from an environmentally unsustainable system that is going to unravel Unless we change course, the US agricultural system could collapse Our food supply comes from an environmentally unsustainable system that is going to unravel. www.theguardian.com/… the Sierra snowpack has shown an overall declining trend for decades – most dramatically during the great California drought of 2012-2016 – and it will dwindle further over the next several decades as the climate warms, a growing body of research suggests. A 2018 paper by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers articulates the alarming consensus: a “future of consistent low-to-no snowpack” for the Sierra Nevada, the irrigation jewel of our vegetable patch. Even as snowmelt gushing from the mountains dwindles, the Central Valley farming behemoth gets ever more ravenous for irrigation water, switching from annual crops that can be fallowed in dry years to almond and pistachio groves, which require huge upfront investments and need to be watered every year. As a result, farm operations are increasingly resorting to tapping the water beneath them. Between 2002 and 2017, a period including two massive droughts, farmers siphoned enough water from the valley’s aquifers to fill Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain three times.” 

NAT’L FORESTS, PARKS, MONUMENTS & OTHER PUBLIC LANDS

Meteor Blades writes—Trump’s opening of Tongass adds another notch to GOP’s agenda of environmental destruction: “After four years of shrinking national monuments, weakening restrictions on toxins, pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, scrapping the Obama plan to reduce power plant emissions, lowering the mandate for more vehicle efficiency, axing companies’ requirement to report methane emissions, ending a ban on use of hydrofluorocarbons, okaying the polluting of the Great Lakes by new energy projects, lifting the ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, and dozens of other actions, Donald Trump has capped off his attack on the environment by following through on what has been expected since last year: opening the entire 16.7 million acres of the Tongass National Forest to logging and other development. The move follows on the release last month of the final environmental impact statement on rule-making for Alaska roadless areas. If the squatter in the White House is ousted, Joe Biden could reverse this shredding of the Tongass protections. But it should be remembered that, unlike the pyroclastic excrement streaming daily from Trump’s puerile Twitter account, eviscerating environmental rules is not something unique to the Trump regime.”

MISCELLANY

NorthBronxDem writes—Robert Murray has passed: “Mega Trump supporter, millionaire coal magnate, fighter of regulations and benefits that protected his workers, unless it benefited him personally has passed at the age of 80 from complications from black lung disease.” 

Besame writes—Overnight News Science Digest: If bird poop can change ecosystems and increase wildfires: “A 14,000-year paleoecological reconstruction of the sub-Antarctic islands led by University of Maine researchers has found that seabird establishment occurred during a period of regional cooling 5,000 years ago. Their populations, in turn, shifted the Falkland Islands ecosystems through the deposit of high concentrations of guano that helped nourish tussac, produce peat and increase the incidence of fire. This terrestrial-marine link is critical to the islands’ grasslands conservation efforts going forward … The connection of nutrients originating in the marine ecosystem that are transferred to the terrestrial ecosystem enrich the islands’ nutrient-poor soil, thereby making the Falkland Islands sensitive to changes in climate and land use. […] ‘Our 14,000-year record shows that seabirds established at Surf Bay during cooler climates. Seabird conservation efforts in the South Atlantic should be prepared for these species to move to new breeding grounds in a warmer world, and those locations may not be protected,’ says Groff, who is now a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Wyoming.”

Meteor Blades writes—Earth Matters: Right whale population dwindles; Sunrise campaigns in TX; renewables reports buried: Solar, wind, and batteries already are changing the energy sector, but you ain’t seen nothing yet: A new report from RethinkX—Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind and Batteries is Just the Beginning”—states: By 2030 electricity systems comprised entirely of solar, wind and batteries (SWB) can provide both the cheapest power available and two to three times more total energy than the existing grid in the continental United States, and most populated regions globally, bankrupting coal, gas and nuclear power companies and slashing consumer costs dramatically.’ The report concludes that an energy system comprising 100% solar, wind, and batteries would have more generating capacity than is needed on most days. This means lots of electricity can be produced at ‘marginal cost close to zero.’ RethinkX’s authors say this ‘Clean Energy Super Power’  will lead to the development of “new business models and industries, create trillions in new value, and could help repatriate energy-intensive manufacturing,” the AP reports.

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