Bad Crow Review: Bomb Bomb Bomb
Carbon bomb go boom; oil companies celebrate
Links are at the end.
Randy Newman wrote a lovely tune called Political Science.
We give them money
But are they grateful
No, they're spiteful
And they're hateful
They don't respect us
So let's surprise them
We'll drop the big one
And pulverize them
Revealed: the ‘carbon bombs’ set to trigger catastrophic climate breakdown
With 10,000 or so nukes in various hands around the world, we may yet go out with that more instant sort of bang than the more gradual but equally effective kind The Guardian describes.
[T]he world’s biggest fossil fuel firms are quietly planning scores of “carbon bomb” oil and gas projects that would drive the climate past internationally agreed temperature limits with catastrophic global impacts, a Guardian investigation shows.
The exclusive data shows these firms are in effect placing multibillion-dollar bets against humanity halting global heating. Their huge investments in new fossil fuel production could pay off only if countries fail to rapidly slash carbon emissions, which scientists say is vital.
The oil and gas industry is extremely volatile but extraordinarily profitable, particularly when prices are high, as they are at present. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron have made almost $2tn in profits in the past three decades, while recent price rises led BP’s boss to describe the company as a “cash machine”.
Readers may recall that the Inflation Reduction Act, the tattered remnant of the $3 trillion Build Back Better proposal, requires the administration to auction off drilling leases for tens of millions of acres of federal lands and waters as a condition for implementing the green energy provisions in the bill.
The ostensible purpose of requiring the drilling lease auctions is maintaining sufficient energy production while transitioning to renewable sources. According to experts cited in a Government Executive story about the lease auctions, the provision likely won’t result in much additional fossil fuel production but could interfere with with the transition to renewable energy production.
Take for instance the offshore lease auction that the Biden administration held last November, the largest such sale in history. The government offered companies around 80 million acres of offshore territory for bidding, but it only received bids for about 1.7 million acres. Much of that leased acreage may never actually produce oil: About a third of the auction’s 300 bids came from ExxonMobil, which snapped up wide swaths of shallow territory close to the Louisiana coastline. Most analysts agree there’s very little oil left in those tracts, which suggests that Exxon may want to use the seabed to sequester the carbon it captures from other operations.
. . .
A bigger question about Manchin’s fossil fuel leasing provisions is if they’ll even succeed on the West Virginia senator’s own terms. As Manchin has it, the reason for the lease mandate was to ensure that the U.S. has enough reliable energy during the transition away from fossil fuels.
. . .
But according to Megan Milliken Biven, founder of the oil and gas worker advocacy organization True Transition and a former official at the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (which handles offshore leases), the lease provisions won’t actually help ensure energy security.
For one thing, Biven said, there’s potential for all these new offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico to crowd out future wind energy investment. That’s because much of the promising wind acreage in the Gulf is already littered with pipelines and abandoned wells, and the new legislation’s mandate could mean that more of that territory is snapped up by oil and gas companies; this will further burden Gulf communities that already serve as oil and gas hubs.
Critics also argue that because new production from any exploited lease will take three years or more to come on line and the U.S doesn’t have enough refinery capacity to process it for domestic consumption, it will likely be exported. That’s to say that the fossil fuel companies will continue contributing to global warming with no benefit to American consumers.
But the real drags on a transition to renewables with sufficient speed to keep global warming to a manageable minimum are a lack of political will and those massive “carbon bomb” fossil fuel projects described in the Guardian piece.
The term carbon bomb has been widely used in climate circles for the past decade to describe large fossil fuel projects or other big sources of carbon. The new research sets a specific definition: projects capable of pumping at least 1bn tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifetimes.
. . .
Together these projects would produce 646bn tonnes of CO2 emissions, the study says, swallowing the world’s entire carbon budget. More than 60% of these schemes are already operating.
At Least 100 House Members Are Invested in Fossil Fuels
Why are U.S. legislators so reluctant to address fossil fuel production and emissions? It’s a mystery.
The Production Gap Report of the United Nations Environment Programme, which tracks fossil fuel production worldwide, found recently that countries are on track to produce more than double the volume of fossil fuels in 2030 than is compatible with the emissions goals of the Paris Agreement on climate. When countries blow past these targets over the next eight years, and as drilling in the Permian Basin spews more of the potent warming gas methane into the atmosphere, nearly a quarter of U.S. House members will be among the investors profiting from the irreversible environmental destruction.
Since Sludge’s analysis of congressional fossil fuel investments two years ago, the vast majority of lawmakers who were invested in the industry then and are still in office have held onto their stakes. At least 100 U.S. House members own investments in the fossil fuel industry as of the date of publication, according to a Sludge review of financial disclosures. These investments include corporate stocks, oil wells, and shares in energy industry funds that receive failing grades on sustainability from the resource Fossil Free Funds. The investments are either owned by the member of Congress, their spouse, jointly, or by a dependent child. Of the 100 congress people invested in fossil fuel companies, 59 are Republicans and 41 are Democrats, and all of the top 10 members with the most invested in the industry are Republicans.
That’s in the House; in the Senate, dirty coal magnate and pipeline enthusiast Joe Manchin is and will remain chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and he and majority leader Chuck Schumer, who between them worked out the dirty energy concessions in the green energy bill, were the biggest Senate recipients of energy company cash during the 2022 election cycle.
Oil and gas companies spent more than $200 million in 2021-2022 lobbying Congress,and are prepared to spend a similar amount between now and 2024. (More than 60% of the nearly 700 oil & gas lobbyists are former federal employees, whether members of congress, congressional staffers or regulatory agency employees. ) The industry also contributed more than $120 million to candidates, PACs and parties in the 2022 election cycle.
Via a fact check on wholesome Senator Marsha Blackburn’s claims about the innocuous Inflation Reduction Act, the Poynter Institute has provided a handy guide for anyone wanting to do exhaustive, and probably exhausting, research on this and other topics.
To review: oil and gas companies are undertaking or already operating fossil fuel production and processing sources which threaten to consume the entire globe’s carbon allowance for keeping global warming to the 1.5° target of the Paris Accords (which we’re expected to blow past within the next 10 years).
Unless large global warming contributors like the U.S. and China immediately stop extracting fossil fuels, we're likely to also exceed the 1.65° target for keeping temperatures manageably below the 2° increase generally considered to mark the onset of unrecoverable global catastrophe, and oil and gas companies are throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at U.S legislators to make sure that any such action doesn’t happen here.
How Hospice Became a For-Profit Hustle
Pirate equity squeezing a few final dollars from the dying and their families, naturally, and if necessary helping people who aren’t dying to get to it.
Farmer was selling hospice, which, strictly speaking, is for the dying. To qualify, patients must agree to forgo curative care and be certified by doctors as having less than six months to live. But at AseraCare, a national chain where Farmer worked, she solicited recruits regardless of whether they were near death. She canvassed birthday parties at housing projects and went door to door promoting the program to loggers and textile workers. She sent colleagues to cadge rides on the Meals on Wheels van or to chat up veterans at the American Legion bar. “We’d find run-down places where people were more on the poverty line,” she told me. “You’re looking for uneducated people, if you will, because you’re able to provide something to them and meet a need.”
Farmer, who has doe eyes and a nonchalant smile, often wore scrubs on her sales routes, despite not having a medical background. That way, she said, “I would automatically be seen as a help.” She tried not to mention death in her opening pitch, or even hospice if she could avoid it. Instead, she described an amazing government benefit that offered medications, nursing visits, nutritional supplements, and light housekeeping—all for free. “Why not try us just for a few days?” she’d ask families, glancing down at her watch as she’d been trained to do, to pressure them into a quick decision.
Same mentality as the oil and gas companies, some of which are also owned by pirate equity firms. They absolutely don’t mind killing people, en masse if necessary, to make a buck.
Around the world in sand
Yr. editors hope to visit Japan sometime next year, and if hope is borne out we’ll definitely be stopping at the Tottori Sand Museum.Tottori is known for the nearby sand dunes, which we'll look at but not climb so as to keep from expiring.
The Sand Museum opened in Tottori in 2006 with an outdoor exhibition with Italy and the Renaissance as the main theme. Since then, it has kept up the transnational focus, graduating from tents to an exhibition hall that traditionally hosts eight-month “Travel Around the World in Sand” events. Previous sculptures have depicted scenes from different regions of Asia, Austria, Africa, the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, Nordic countries, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
These are more than just “sandcastles,” though the museum once offered a trip through German history, complete with realistic castles from that country.
Take a look if you have a minute, and enjoy some outstanding sand art.
Love and Rockets with “Sweet F.A.,” which seems apropos to today’s topics; The Vapors with “Together,” which likewise seems to fit the theme; and J.J. Johnson is playing us out with “Groovin’” featuring a killer supporting cast, and “First Place.”
And that, comrades, is all we got. Take care, be well.