Showing posts from July 8, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

New Survey Shows Majority Of Americans Believe Climate Change Is Real And Caused By Human Activity, DeSmog Blog

Trump Avoids Warsaw’s Failure to Uphold ‘Shared Values’, Human Rights Watch

Bunkers for the 0.003 percent, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists [How the succession to the US presidency should work in case of nuclear catastrophe.]

G-20 Speed Dating and a Lifeless Foggy Bottom, Slate [On Tillerson's destruction of the State Dept.]

Ivanka Trump takes Donald Trump seat at G20 leaders' table, BBC World News

A brief history of fake climate news in the mainstream media, Grist

Of money and morals

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[An interesting bit of history. Moneylending has been taboo for most of human history. So how did usury stop being a sin and become respectable finance? *RON*]

Alex Mayyasi, Aeon, 7 July 2017

‘A banker and a theologian’ sounds like the start of a bad joke. But for David Miller it’s merely a job description. After working in finance and business for 16 years, Miller turned to theology, and received his PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2003. Now he’s a professor of business ethics and the director of Princeton University’s Faith and Work Initiative, where his research focuses on Christianity, Judaism and Islam. ‘How to Succeed without Selling Your Soul’ is the students’ popular nickname for his signature course.

In 2014, Citigroup called. The bank had been battered by successive scandals and a wave of public mistrust after the financial crisis, so they wanted to hire Miller as an on-call ethicist. He agreed. Rather than admonish bankers to…

France to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040

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[Oil and gas, your days are numbered! I think the auto manufacturers will be ahead of the governments on this change. The move by Emmanuel Macron’s government comes a day after Volvo said it would only make fully electric or hybrid cars from 2019. *RON*]

Angelique Chrisafis & Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 6 July 2017

France will end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of an ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord, Emmanuel Macron’s government has announced.

The announcement comes a day after Volvo said it would only make fully electric or hybrid cars from 2019 onwards, a decision hailed as the beginning of the end for the internal combustion engine’s dominance of motor transport after more than a century.

Nicolas Hulot, the country’s new ecology minister, said: “We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.” Hulot added that the move was a “veritable revolution”.

He said it would b…

Tesla to provide grid-scale battery to Australian state

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[Oil and gas, your days are numbered! *RON*]

Colin Packham & James Regan, Reuters / BNN, 7 July 2017

SYDNEY - South Australia has picked Tesla to install the world's largest grid-scale battery, which would be paired with a wind farm provided by France's Neoen, in a major test of the reliability of large-scale renewable energy use.

South Australia, the fifth-biggest state with a population of 1.7 million, has raced ahead of the rest of the country in turning to wind power. Its shutdown of coal-fired plants has led to outages across the eastern part of the nation, driving up energy prices.

The drawback to South Australia's heavy reliance on renewables has been an inability to adequately store that energy, leading to vulnerabilities when the wind doesn't blow.

The project is designed to have a storage capacity of 129 megawatt-hours, which is enough to light up 30,000 homes, a Tesla spokesman told Reuters.

Under the terms of the agre…

Are sleeveless dresses "appropriate attire"? Congress doesn't think so

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[American Taliban. *RON*]
Rebecca Shabad, CBS News, 7 July 2017
A young, female reporter recently tried to enter a guarded room known as the Speaker's lobby outside the House chamber, but her outfit was considered inappropriate because her shoulders weren't covered. She was wearing a sleeveless dress.

Forced to improvise, she ripped out pages from her notebook and stuffed them into her dress's shoulder openings to create sleeves, witnesses said. An officer who's tasked with enforcing rules in the Speaker's lobby said her creative concoction still was not acceptable.

The Speaker's lobby, a room adjacent to the front of the House chamber, is a go-to location for reporters wanting to grab lawmakers for brief interviews, and there are allegedly rules about what you can wear inside. Even as denizens of Capitol Hill wipe away sweat from Washington, D.C.'s swamp-like weather outside, men are expected to wear suit jackets and t…

Banks Have Cut Funding for Fossil Fuels Projects 22 Percent

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[Oil and gas, your days are numbered! Are the Canadian and US governments the last ones to know that fossil fuels are on their way out? *RON*]

Colby Devitt, Yes! magazine, 5 July 2017

A new report from a consortium of environmental groups shows that big banks are reducing their investment in fossil fuel projects.

While this is welcome news to the movement led by tribes to get banks to divest from fossil fuels—most notably in response to the Dakota Access Pipeline—the truth behind the numbers isn’t so rosy: it isn’t enough to stop global climate change, and banks still invest in or lend money to fossil fuel companies.

“The financial industry needs to be held accountable for its fossil fuel financing and that takes a lot of forms,” says Jason Disterhoft, a senior campaigner for Rainforest Action Network. “We need everybody to continue to work and make that happen.”

The Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card graded 37 of the world’s largest banks on their…