Sunday, June 19, 2022

MSNBC Warns 'Less Than a Decade' To Save the Planet

There have been many such prophecies. All have failed

Against the backdrop of extreme weather across the country, Chris Jansing welcomed Penn State University’s Michael Mann to declare that “we have less than a decade” to save the planet.

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Jansing teed Mann up quoting President Biden and wondering, “So, let me ask you specifically about what the president just said, that ‘the science tells us the window for action is rapidly narrowing.’ How rapidly and how narrow is it?”

Repeating Biden’s words, Mann went full Doomsday prophet, “Rapid and narrow. We have less than a decade now to bring carbon emissions down globally by 50% if we are to remain on a path that keeps warming below that, sort of, catastrophic one-and-a-half degree Celsius, three degree Fahrenheit warming of the planet where the things that we’re starting to see now become much worse and we get extremes that we haven't seen before and so that’s not someplace we want—we want-- to go.”

For Mann, there is still some good news, “We want to prevent the problem from getting worse and that means decarbonizing our economy rapidly. That means we need legislation and there’s still an opportunity to pass climate legislation this term in Congress, if we can, you know, get a few stragglers to get behind some—some--, you know, basic policies that would incentivize renewable energy that would begin to defund infrastructure for fossil fuels.”

People paying over $5 per gallon might have something to say about that, but Mann didn’t care, “These are things we need to do now. We can't wait, because we have to get on that path immediately if we are to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.”

Starting to bring the segment to a close, Jansing hoped recent disasters could spur change, “We've only got 30 seconds, but I have to ask you, do you think that because of the economic impact, not to mention lives lost because of the extreme weather conditions, governments that have been slow to act, members of Congress who have been slow to act, might actually take more action?”

Mann replied that was his hope and used gun control as his analogy, “Well, let's hope so. We never thought that we would see any possibility of any sort of common sense gun legislation, and we're seeing that now because there's a demand on the part of the people, because people are crying out and demanding their policy makers to do something. We need to see the same thing with climate. We need to demand that our policymakers act now before it is too late.”

Just once it would be nice if a host could ask Mann or his associates about some of the past prophecies that have failed to come true, but that would require some criticism of Mann, which he does not take well.


Moment furious Italian motorists drag Extinction Rebellion protesters away to let traffic pass after activists staged a sit-in blockade of one of Rome's busiest roads

How come Italians are the only ones with any guts?

This is the moment Extinction Rebellion activists were forcibly removed by furious Italian motorists after they blocked a busy motorway in Rome on Thursday.

Demonstrating over environmental issues, the protesters sat in a row across Rome's Raccordo - the city's main ring-road and one of its busiest - holding banners.

A video shot from the side of the two-lane road showed the demonstrators using road-block protest tactics also used in Britain, causing a huge traffic jam to snake back as far as the eye could see, with no police officers or vehicles in sight.

In response, irate Italian motorists at the front of the queue jumped out of their vehicles to take action - dragging the protesters across the tarmac and dumping them on to the side of the road.

One man ripped an orange banner from the hands of the Extinction Rebellion activists and threw it over the side of the motorway barrier. A woman, dressed in a summer dress while still carrying her handbag, tore a second sign from their grasp.

After removing the banners, a second man joined the first in forcibly dragging the protesters by their arms across the tarmac to the side of the road, making enough of a gap for several vehicles to get through and past the demonstration.

However, as the first man was dragging the remaining protesters off the road, the activists he had first removed saw an opportunity and ran back into the middle of the road, and in front of the on-coming traffic - only to sit down again with their banner.

With the traffic again being blocked, the man grabbed one of the female protesters by the hair and dragged her again to the side of the road. This did not deter her, however, as she quickly shuffled back in front of the traffic.

According to Italian publication Corriere Dello Sport, the young protesters were part of an Extinction Rebellion off-shoot group called the 'Last Generation' campaign.

The group is calling for the end of all fossil fuel extraction projects, and is demanding that Italy does not restart its coal plants - and instead develop more wind and solar energy sources.

Britain has been grappling with similar protests in recent years, with Extinction Rebellion also wreaking havoc on public transport. Another group - Insulate Britain - have used the same road-block tactics as the activists in Italy.

Legal action has been taken against the protesters, and injunctions have been taken out to deter activists with potential prison sentences.

The video showed the first man - wearing sunglasses, shorts and a T-Shirt - shouting in the face of the female activist who had sat back down in the middle of the road.

This time, he picked her up and threw her to the side of the road. In the meantime, the second man was able to make a gap in the activists long enough for more cars and trucks to drive through and away from the scene.

By the end of the video, however, the protesters are shown persisting with their efforts, blocking at least half of the road - again with their orange banner.

Corriere Dello Sport reported that the protest was eventually broke up with the arrival of local police, the Carabinieri (federal police) and the Digos (special forces) - with the protesters being taken into custody.


UK Car industry in shock and fuel prices climb as government scraps all grants for electric vehicles

Motoring groups have criticised the government’s decision to scrap subsidies for newly purchased electric vehicles (EVs), fearing it could dissuade buyers from entering the market.

In a shocking blow the car industry, the Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed that £1,500 grants for purchases of new electric cars that cost under £32,000 have been ditched.

The DfT argued the “success” of the Plug-in Car Grant means the Government will now “refocus” the funding to encourage users of other vehicles to make the switch to EVs.

Existing applications for the grant “will continue to be honoured”, the DfT added.

Transport minister Trudy Harrison said: “Government funding must always be invested where it has the highest impact if that success story is to continue.”

“Having successfully kickstarted the electric car market, we now want to use Plug-in Grants to match that success across other vehicle types, from taxis to delivery vans and everything in between, to help make the switch to zero emission travel cheaper and easier.”

She argued the Government continues to invest record amounts in the transition to EVs – with £2.5bn injected since 2020 – and that Downing Street has set the most ambitious phase-out dates for new diesel and petrol sales of any major country.

Downing Street has targeted 2030 for the phasing out of new petrol and diesel car sales in the UK.

However, motoring groups have suggested this target will be difficult to achieve without the support of grants;

The AA has slammed the decision, warning that many motorists being forced to wait for a new EV due to global supply constraints will lose out.

Its president Edmund King said the grants were “essential for many drivers making the switch from petrol and diesel.”

He said: “The plug has been pulled at the wrong time on this important grant before many users, still waiting for delayed EVs due to global shortages, have made the change. Drivers, and indeed many fleets, planning to make the switch to EV, may now back out until they can find more cash.”

Rival motoring group RAC also questioned the move, raising concerns lack of financial support for aspiring EV owners could stifle the UK’s green ambitions.

Head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “The UK’s adoption of electric cars is so far impressive but in order to make them accessible to everyone, we need prices to fall – having more on the road is one important way of making this happen, so we’re disappointed the Government has chosen to end the grant at this point. If costs remain too high, the ambition of getting most people into electric cars will be stifled.”

Sales of fully electric new cars have risen from fewer than 1,000 in 2011 to nearly 100,000 in the first five months of 2022/

This suggests EVs are finally breaking into the mainstream, with sales outstripping diesel vehicles last year.

Petrol prices reach new heights as CMA reviews retail markets
The scrapping of EV grants comes amid skyrocketing forecourt prices, with petrol prices climbing to new highs in Tuesday’s trading.

The average price of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts reached a new record of 185.4p yesterday -an increase of 6.9p in just a week.

This follows a 10p hike in petrol prices in May.

Concerns over prices at the pumps has led to the Competition and Markets Authority launching a review of the retail market, with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng raising concerns that the five pence fuel duty cuts are not being passed on to consumers.

Tom Hatton, head of product management at analytics group Kalibrate told City A.M. petrol retailers are not engaging in wholesale profiteering despite record forecourt prices,

Instead, he suggested fuel vendors were ramping up prices for consumers in line with higher wholesale costs more quickly than they did in the past, with retailers more cautious amid soaring oil prices and geopolitical volatility.

He argued: “We have not seen cumulative rises like this for years and years.”


Australia: NSW will need Narrabri gas mine says minister in Leftist Federal government

Pleasing realism

Resources Minister Madeleine King has warned of a bigger energy crisis in future years if new gas fields like the Narrabri project in northern NSW do not go ahead, declaring that critics of the project should accept the need for gas as part of the transition from coal to renewable energy.

Warning of gas shortfalls that could hurt industry and households, the new federal minister said Narrabri should proceed if it met environmental safeguards and all the gas should flow to the domestic market.

Santos wants to produce the first gas from the controversial project in 2026 and says it could sell the gas “two or three times over” on the domestic market because demand is so strong, but the company must gain state and federal approvals for gas production and a pipeline to Sydney.

The gas field is opposed by the Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace, the Climate Council, the Gomeroi traditional owners and others, while Greens leader Adam Bandt wants federal Labor to halt all new gas and coal projects.

King said she hoped the project would go ahead but understood it had to pass further regulatory checks, including challenges under native title legislation.

“If Narrabri meets all the environmental standards, and by all accounts it does, then it makes sense for it to go ahead,” King said in her first interview with the Herald and The Age since taking office.

“It is an important gas reserve that will help the population of NSW address a future power crisis. It avoids a crisis, is what it does, because it means more gas closer to your systems.”

While the NSW government has backed the Santos plan in principle, the project is subject to independent environmental approvals while the government also examines a separate plan to build an import terminal in Port Kembla to supply gas that has been shipped from Western Australia.

King emphasised that she wanted to “decarbonise” the economy by shifting to renewables but had to deal with household and industry demand “and accept some of the realities of our current energy mix”.

She said demand for gas would fall over time and she wanted Australia to reach net zero emissions by 2050 with Labor policies to shift to renewables and invest in the electricity grid, but she said gas was part of the transition because it would replace dirtier emissions from coal-fired power.

“I understand people’s concerns about there being a lack of determination around meeting net zero emissions and a lack of an energy plan and that has been because of the climate wars in this country in the last 10 or 15 years,” she said.

“I have a lot of sympathy for it and I’m as angry as anyone about the inaction that has allowed the current crisis to be upon us.

“But everyone needs to understand, especially I think in some of the southern states, that right now when you flick on your light switch or have your dishwasher running or turn on your telly, for the most part, that moves a turbine in a coal-fired generator ... you’re using more coal, which is high in emissions.

“While the government is now bringing in an energy plan which will get working on renewables, and that’s our very determined ambition, gas is the transition fuel that is able to bring down emissions in the short term.

“So it’s not a perfect answer. We’d all love to switch straight from coal to renewables. But it’s simply not possible,” she said.

“So I guess for the good people of NSW, they need to consider what they really want. And I imagine they still want to be able to turn on their television and keep their fridge running.

“What is the current means to be able to do it and be on a downward trajectory with emissions? Well, it’s via gas on the way to a proper, solid, reliable transmission system that allows renewables and the storage of renewables to operate into the long term.

“We’ve got a long way to go, actually, because of the lack of investment over the last 10 or 15 years and you can’t switch on investment like we switch on lights.

“And for those people that will get angry at me for what I’ve said, I just want to let them know that I want to clean and decarbonised world as well. And that’s what we’re working towards. It might not be on the same timeline as others. But we are all going through the same goal.”

Santos has promised in the past that all the gas from Narrabri would serve the domestic market if the project gained approval, making this part of its formal submission to the Independent Planning Commission.

“Santos has committed to providing all this gas to the domestic market and agreed to accept a condition to this effect on any petroleum production lease granted for the project under the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991,” the company wrote.

Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher confirmed the pledge in an interview on Sky News on June 8.




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