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Man-made US bushfires caused by PG&E, being sued for $30b: may take down some renewables too

Everyone “knows” fires are caused by climate change, but how many Australians know that when it comes to the huge Californian fires of October 2017 as many as 750 civil suits have been filed against  Pacific Gas & Electric  (PG&E),the 150 year old utility in California? The fire bill is running at around $30 billion dollars. PG&E are facing financial ruin, calling in a Chapter 11, and going broke.

That’s bad news for people filing the claims, but it is also bad news for renewable energy.PG&E are a major holder of some $35 billion dollars in long term green energy contracts many of which are at above market rates. PG&E may not have to pay out those high prices which means the Green industry will be hurt too.

What goes around comes around. Bad science begets bad business. The Green Industry could have cared enough about the environment to speak out about reducing fire risks through managing fuel loads, and the fires would have been less damaging. Instead they were busy putting up windfarms to stop bushfires instead.

Meanwhile their friends are still doing their best to increase fuel loads in order to reduce CO2 (and stop bushfires).

PG&E Bankruptcy Threatens California Wildfire Suits, Green-Power Contracts

California fire investigators have determined that PG&E power lines sparked 18 wildfires in October 2017 that burned nearly 200,000 acres, destroyed 3,256 structures and killed 22 people.

California’s largest utility said Monday it was preparing to file for Chapter 11 protection before the end of the month as it faces more than $30 billion in potential liability costs related to its role in sparking wildfires in recent years. Electricity and natural gas would continue to flow to homes and businesses, PG&E said.

PG&E Corp.’s plan to file for bankruptcy protection has enormous repercussions for everyone from the homeowners suing the utility for California wildfire damages to the companies that furnish it with green energy. — WSJ

If only green energy was actually competitive, they could have just renegotiated with some other buyer.

….some of the long-term contracts PG&E struck to buy electricity from wholesale power providers could be dissolved in a bankruptcy. Many of the contracts to buy power from wind and solar farms are well above current market rates because PG&E was among the first utilities to buy large quantities of green power, when it was far more costly than it is today.

Jan Smutny-Jones, head of the Independent Energy Producers Association, a California trade group that represents power suppliers, said he expects a significant percentage of PG&E’s renewable energy contracts could be torn up because they are expensive. He expressed frustration with California’s response to the crisis. — WSJ

How overpriced were those contracts — $197/MWh?

PG&E is the largest offtaker for Con Ed’s renewable energy portfolio, at about 29 percent of contracts. And the average PPA rate for those projects is about $197 per megawatt-hour, “significantly above market rates for new solar” that are closer to $25-$30 per megawatt-hour, the analysts noted. Other companies that could be impacted include NextEra and NextEra Energy Partners, the analysts wrote. – GreenTechMedia

Too big to fail?

Regulators are going to enormous lengths to stop PG&E from going bankrupt. PG&E serves 16 million people and employs 20,000. The customers may yet get hit with the bill:

2. Will customer bills go up?

Probably, but it’s impossible to say until the bankruptcy process is well underway. And for once, the decision to raise rates won’t rest solely with regulators at the California Public Utilities Commission. Rate increases will be tied to whatever reorganization plan the bankruptcy court judge overseeing the proceeding approves. California passed a law last year allowing PG&E to pass on to ratepayers some of the costs of wildfires for which it had been blamed in 2017, but it’s not clear how the law’s provisions will apply to a company that’s already in bankruptcy. Indeed, some of those provisions were designed to prevent utilities from going bankrupt. — GreenTechMedia

A report from late November mentioned another set of fires:

Then, two weeks ago, another deadly fire — the Camp Fire, which has claimed 79 lives with more than 600 people still missing — broke out in PG&E territory. Two days later, PG&E disclosed that it had experienced a transmission system failure near the time and location of the fire’s origin, indicating it may have been the cause of the blaze. PG&E also disclosed that it had considered de-energizing its power lines that day, but decided not to shut them down despite the risk of high winds and dry conditions.

Shares of PG&E took a nosedive…

h/t A Swiss friend, Pat.

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Man-made US bushfires caused by PG&E, being sued for $30b: may take down some renewables too, 9.4 out of 10 based on 81 ratings

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202 comments to Man-made US bushfires caused by PG&E, being sued for $30b: may take down some renewables too

  • #
    Brian the engineer

    Well I’ve never been first before.
    Money spent on green energy rather than proper maintenance!?
    Someone should investigate rather than litigate!!

    390

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      why not both ;-)

      150

      • #
        ivan

        They should also start pointing the finger at the government and its stupid green legislation that is the root cause of all the fires and other problems done in the name of saving the environment when it actually destroys it.

        330

      • #
        PeterS

        For completeness they should investigate, litigate and imprison those responsible for perpetrating the biggest scam of all time all based on the CAGW hoax.

        270

        • #
          sophocles

          Litigate first.
          That gets total attention from the target(s) and faster and more thorough investigation—fingers have to be pointed accurately and the investigation has to find the wiggle room. Fast.

          Take the litigation up every rung of the ladder to the top: “ Dear Governor Brown, enclosed, papers for the multi-billion dollar lawsuit for gross negligence on your part for the dangerous and now fatal legislation you enacted, and are now being held liable for. Yours …P’d Off Citizen.

          Don’t muck around.

          180

          • #
            Bobl

            My thought too, PG&E should on sue those that prevented proper forest management that would have limited the intensity and extent of the fire(s) as contributory negligence. In their defense they should also cite the laws that prevent them from clearing properly around their infrastructure to show they were legally prohibited from managing the problem.

            200

    • #

      Mind you, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving US state.

      130

      • #
        PeterS

        The next major earthquake there will finish the job very nicely.

        60

        • #
          sophocles

          Long Valley, the California Super Volcano, is stirring and causing alarm in the USGS.
          So is Yellowstone. (Public Panic may be stirring there too. We’ll suddenly see demands for a new fleet of fire trucks to put it out … good luck with that: the Caldera is several hundred miles long.)
          The Campi Flegre Super Volcano under Naples is bubbling and now Santorini (Thera) in the Aegean Sea to the East is suddenly having earthquake swarms. It’s not known if it’s just trying to rumble in sympathy or if it’s serious.

          Oh wow. 4 SVs all making noises. If they all go off, we’ll have to redraw the maps of America and Europe. Oops: just thought: we may get a couple of decades of nuclear winter …. (just trying to add to the panic! :-) . We could issue PF a shovel and send him off to beat the fires out … :-)

          On a completely new topic:
          Then there’s this method of handling spam email. It has potential for blog Troll management :-)

          110

    • #
      theRealUniverse

      ‘Kin ardly wait to see those darn windmills crash and burn! ;) Sue the c rap outa them!

      40

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Like the Soviet Union which was also propped up on nothing, the green industry appears to be a financial Enron-like mirage…..

    260

  • #
    George

    I think this is one part of the reason electricity prices have soared, particularly network costs.
    In this day and age lawyers immediately look for biggest, richest target to sue.
    I don’t remember utilities getting sued in class actions in Australia before a few decades ago.

    130

  • #
    Mal

    If I owned a utility company, I would shut down the transmission lines through forested areas.
    It’s just too high a risk for businesses as this case demonstrates.
    As usual the only winner out of this are the parasitic lawyers.

    260

    • #
      ivan

      Don’t shut down the lines just make sure that your right of way (RoW) is kept clean just as the lines that go over the French mountains are – in my area EDF have a large depot for keeping the RoW clear for the inter-connector to Spain.

      The problem in California was/is that legislation prevents that happening so ultimately the government is responsible for the fires and damage but they will find a way to wriggle out of it.

      320

    • #

      “Don’t shut down the lines just make sure that your right of way (RoW) is kept clean”
      From memory in one of the incidents involving PG&E, power lines and fires the problem was swinging lines touching each other.
      The long lines were built before unreliables changed the design parameters. Thermal expansion of the wire conductors makes the long spans droopy. The heat can come from both the weather and the current in the lines. The duck curve used to mean the peak current time and peak air temperature times in summer were mostly different and the current was from places predictable. Now everything changes with the weather. Lines that once were lightly loaded may carry a large amount of energy from where the sun shines and the wind blows to where it does not as well as from where the coal is burnt to where the pixies dust swirls.

      220

      • #
        AndyG55

        “swinging lines touching each other.”

        Don’t they just run “separators” across the lines? ie, a straight rod keeping the lines parallel.

        90

        • #
          D. J. Hawkins

          No, depending on voltage, the separation distance may be 10′s of feet.

          40

          • #
            Lawrie

            To seek an answer to the spacing question I inadvertently downloaded 500 plus pages of a proposal to build a 115kv power line through USFS lands. The steel towers are 105 feet high and the ROW is 110 feet wide with towers spaced at 8 per mile or 200 metres apart. The pages devoted to keeping the ROW clear included cutting and spraying. It seemed very thorough and I suspect these sorts of lines are not to blame. Rather it would be the lower voltage local lines that cause the damage much as they do here. I am on the mid north coast of NSW and we have aerial inspections by helicopter every five years or so.

            10

        • #

          AndyG55
          Don’t they just run “separators” across the lines?
          Possibly difficult to predict where the lines will need it, as multiple generators struggle to keep synchronisation, hot spots might occur between where the generators are pulling each others frequency with fluctuating strength.

          “The Cascade Fire began when high wind caused two sagging PG&E power lines to come into contact with each other, creating “an electrical arc,” Cal Fire said in a statement. “The electrical arc deposited hot burning or molten material onto the ground,” causing the fire.”
          https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article219731815.html

          00

      • #
        sophocles

        That sets the scene for real trouble when a tree falls onto the line—as they do—and is not heavy enough to bring the line down completely, but is heavy enough to take out the slack and bring lines together.

        Which reminds me, I have to call the local lines management company: the fine, dry weather followed by three days of rain has brought a huge growth spurt to the weed trees up the road and they’re now mixing it with the HT—not just the 230V LT—power lines. Then they can’t say they didn’t know. My power comes from those lines and it’s in my interest to alert the lines company they need some urgent work.

        There have been two TCs this year already and there will be more this season.

        100

      • #
        pattoh

        “Don’t shut down the lines just make sure that your right of way (RoW) is kept clean”

        & perhaps here in Aus, if they were responsible enough to maintain the reservoir catchmets, we wouldn’t need bloody de-sal plants or windfarms to power them.

        But that might involve regular controlled burning.

        80

        • #
          Analitik

          We DON’T need desal plants, anyway, except in WA. Unless you’re talking to Timmy Flannelly.

          And the intermittent power from windfarms, apparently is unsuitable for desal plants as they need steady power for their operation.

          91

          • #
            sophocles

            the intermittent power from windfarms, apparently is unsuitable for desal plants

            Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww. wot a shame!
            How sad.
            Too bad.
            Never mind.

            50

          • #
            AndyG55

            “We DON’T need desal plants”

            We do if we aren’t going to build more dams.

            Populations and usage continue to grow, and without new dams or extensions to older one (difficult), there are not many other palatable alternatives for augmentation of water supplies.

            Warragamba is sitting just above 60%.. 60% is the trigger to start to re-start the Kurnell Desal plant.
            (no AGW whims, or stuff like that, just solid engineering modelling)

            30

    • #
      Bobl

      After the Victorian fires some sections of line began to be undergrounded which prevents fire hazards. So there is a way. The biggest problem in CA is that in California you don’t have to show negligence so even if PG&Es maintenance were perfect they could still be sued. Most other states in the US you need to show the utility was negligent.

      70

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        All they need to do is show rain and precipitation causes an acceleration of conditions that lead to plant growth and fuel for wildfires etc. 2016-17

        From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011%E2%80%932017_California_drought
        “2017
        Main article: 2017 California floods

        “Heavy rains in January 2017 had significant benefit to the state’s northern water reserves, despite widespread power outages and erosional damage in the wake of the deluge.[34] Among the casualties of the rain was 1,000 year-old Pioneer Cabin Tree in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, which toppled on January 8, 2017.[35]

        Since then, a very large percentage of the drought has been eliminated in California due to a persistent weather pattern which allowed rounds of storm systems to consistently hammer the state, with the snowpack rising to well above average. By January 24, 2017, not one portion of the state was in “Exceptional” drought, the highest category on the Drought Monitor. On February 21, no part of the state was in the next-lower category of “Extreme” drought, and over 60% of the state’s area was no longer in any level of drought.

        20

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          Maybe sue climate scientists for not being able to predict that when the drought in California was broken (2017 circa), there was a correlation/causation that should have immediately indicated an increase in vigorous new/juvenile growth of vegetation which can/often does result in significant fuel for fires.

          California had been in significant drought for many years resulting in low fuel loads and poor growth of new fuel and so a lower risk of fire after many aforementioned years of drought.

          00

  • #
    Bill In Oz

    This reminds me of Black Saturday in Victoria in February 2009.

    It was a poorly maintained power pole that caused that initial fire.

    Surely all power companies, across the globe must know that power lines can cause wild fires ?

    130

    • #
      Bobl

      Yes, but when you have 100000 poles, maintaining them all can be a challenge as failures are statistical, even a brand new pole has a probability it has a defect. Some defects aren’t detectable without dissecting the pole.

      Hindsight is easy but predicting failure is hard.

      100

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        I lived in the USA for 6-7 months one time in the 1980′s in rural Virginia.

        Some locals mentioned that tye had a problem with power supply because woodpeckers would chip holes in the power poles to get at insect lavae for food and to make nest for their nestlings. And this weakened the poles which fell over in storms & cause outages and fires

        I told them about concrete & iron STOBIE poles we we use here in SA.And about the hard wood dense Eucalypt poles used in Victoria for power poles.

        In California they have lots of introduced wild weedy Eucalypt trees which could be harvested for this purpose.

        110

        • #
          AndyG55

          Woodpecker vs iron bark… Interesting contest. :-)

          Although green iron bark doesn’t blunt saws all that much.

          50

          • #
            beowulf

            American woodpeckers would quickly get concussion over here, that’s why Ozzie “woodpeckers” — AKA Black Cockatoos — don’t peck, they tear and shear with beaks that could cut through No 8 wire. They demolished an old fig tree of mine to get to grubs in the centre of the stem. I’ve seen them rip through 1 inch hardwood like it wasn’t there, and a 2 inch hardwood branch in 3 bites. They sit up on my clothesline cracking macadamia nuts when they get hungry.

            Although ironbarks are dense, they are not very high in silica which is what dulls blades. Brush Box is notorious for dulling blades quickly because of its high silica content and for that reason was favoured for flooring in high-traffic areas like public halls where it would wear even better than eucalypt flooring.

            70

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Bill I thought the gumtrees they planted over there grew too quick resulting in a softer wood which ended up being useless for its intended use as sleepers for the railway .

          40

          • #
            beowulf

            Over at WUWT a while back they were whinging that River Red Gum was too hard to cut and therefore useless. There are 18 euc species naturalised in California alone. They should be able to find something to cut. They don’t know how to mill eucalypts like we do and expect it to be like cutting cottonwood or pine.

            41

  • #
    PeterS

    All scams have to come to an end eventually. Hopefully the CAGW scam ends sooner rather than later. When it does lots of people should end up in prison for life but of course they will more likely get away with it somehow.

    220

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      The internet never forgets……

      100

      • #
        PeterS

        Sadly that’s not so. Adopt memory holes as in 1984. With the technology we have today and more to come it would be so easy. SOome will take the effort to make off-line copies of the material but the vast majority of the people will neither bother nor care.

        80

      • #
        Leo Morgan

        Google forgets. Deliberately.
        Shame on Page and Brin for letting it get that way, but they have let their company’s attempt to improve their accuracy be influenced by their employee’s political beliefs. Relevant, factual articles that do not accord with those beliefs are down-ranked, and in at least one instance matched with a ‘flat earth’ video to provide ‘balance’.

        70

      • #
        theRealUniverse

        ‘The internet never forgets……’ But google will make it ‘forget’..unless someone archives it

        40

  • #
    philthegeek

    Everyone “knows” fires are caused by climate change,

    More silliness then, how unexpected. They aren’t “caused” but Climate Change, just made more likely and worse.

    But hey, assertions like that will crank up the outrage meter and trigger the usual suspects here to bump up the post count wot.

    726

    • #
      Mark D.

      Yeh sure Phil, California has never been hot and dry before………..

      The fire problem is caused by humans though not climate related. Poor maintenance by the utility and Green reluctance to allow proper management of natural fuel loading is what makes fires “more likely and worse”.

      You have got to be pretty stu pido if you cannot understand and admit this Phil.

      291

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Very well put.

        A new, or is that “old”, mindset is needed both in Australia and California.

        The spread of fire is heightened by the build-up of ground cover that is allowed to accumulate. But ,nil or low level, token maintenance gets Green enviro credits and a lot of money saved for the important things.

        Regular maintenance reduces the intensity and rate of movement of the fire which gives wildlife a better chance of survival and reduces danger to firefighters.

        It’s appalling to have government spokesmen attributing all death and damage to Climate Change.

        The annual Californian bushfire report on news media doesn’t seem to be getting the message across.

        Nature is totally Apolitical. Deal with it!

        KK

        101

        • #
          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Bollocks…land is not managed, it is pillaged by industry like the timber industry…This is the manufacturing plant that creates juvenile plantations of highly inflammable juvenile young trees out of old growth forest canopies that are too high up for a wild fire to occur…way up high in the crown of an old growth forest high up. When the old growth is removed, juvenile growth close to the ground creates the perfect conditions for a wild fire.

            Being constantly surrounded by juvenile growth, wild fire hazard increases.

            IN such old growth forests, that are still on this planet, fire management is possible without setting fire to the forest canopy during the cooler times of the year. For example.

            05

            • #
              beowulf

              What utter “bollocks” to use your idiom — what a quaint Pommy (UK) word. If you are a UK dweller then I’d say your knowledge of forest fire management is somewhere on the lower side of zero. I hope you’re not Australian, because if you are you should know better.

              Trees do not spontaneously combust because they are not fully grown — they require lots of fallen leaf litter and branches and trash to carry a fire to them and ignite them. Bushfires “crown” (burn at the top of a high canopy) because of litter on the ground, not because of immature trees. Remove the ground fuel and the fire will drop down to a manageable level regardless of tree height. Ground fuel is everything in a bushfire, which is precisely why we burn off to prevent fires.

              How high do you imagine the canopy is in an average “old growth” forest? Do you imagine all forests are identical? Do you think a forest lives forever with no recruitment of younger trees? In some places in Australia “old Growth” is less than 20 feet high; in others 300 or 400 feet; in the main it is somewhere in between. Unmanaged old growth forests contain trees of all ages — except Mountain Ash forests where all trees are of similar age after their parents were killed by some previous fire. Many old growth forest types contain mixtures of species as under-stories. Mountain Ash for instance naturally has Blackwood (an acacia) as a 100 foot high symbiotic understorey. How do you account for that? Acacias burn like mad and in many cases have branches almost to ground level.

              California’s forest was “old growth” until very recently — left unmanaged, un-thinned, untainted by the hand of man; dead standing trees everywhere; a bomb waiting to go off. We can see how well your theory worked there, can’t we? Ashes. Now it will be new growth.

              60

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Bollocks…Bollocks is a great word and excellent for making logical points. I have never used the word ‘bollocks’ in a debate and lost the debate.

                10

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                The way i account for the Blackwood and Acacia is that if these are in the mix, the herb region of the forest floor becomes starved of sunlight and so the fuel on the forest floor is lessened further still. The foliage of sun starved Blackwoods become less dense.

                By thinning and removing trees and making unmaintained firebreaks, all that is being encouraged is more fuel at ground level due to increased sunlight.

                Typically, an old growth forest floor is far greener than the forest floor of a thirsty juvenile tree plantation which remain dry for years while the saplings are growing like a virus.

                10

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                A fire spreading into the canopy of 70-114 meter old growth forest canopy…..just ‘LoL’ That’s why old growth is still old growth after all the lightening strikes etc.

                “Eucalyptus regnans is the tallest of the eucalypts, growing to 70–114.4 m (230–375 ft), with a straight, grey trunk, smooth-barked except for the rough basal 5–20 metres (16–66 ft). Mature trees have long strips of bark hanging from the trunk.”

                21

              • #
                beowulf

                You’re talking about tree population density, not tree height.

                “Typically, an old growth forest floor is far greener than the forest floor of a thirsty juvenile tree plantation which remain dry for years while the saplings are growing like a virus.”

                It depends entirely on what kind of old growth forest. Natural stands of timber thin themselves over time. What do you think natural regrowth of E. regnans looks like before it thins itself ? — like hairs on a dog’s back, that’s what. Miles denser than any plantation. The saplings choke each other out until a few are left to dominate. It’s the same with most eucalypts. The soil would certainly be dry under them. Then the Blackwoods and lesser species move in to fill the gaps.

                You still have no understanding of “old growth” do you? You seem to think that all old growth forest is tall, wet forest. It ain’t. Any forest that only has tall senescent trees is on borrowed time. It will die out before long. The fact that tall Mountain Ash trees exist at all is only because they have been lucky enough to avoid wind and fire in their particular little spot for 3 or 4 or 5 hundred years, while thousands of acres burned around them. After about 600 or 700 years the old growth will have rotted and fallen over in any case.

                You have continued to totally ignore the role of ground fuel. Your plantations WON’T BURN AT ALL WITHOUT A GOOD FUEL LOAD ON THE GROUND, regardless of population density. Trees burn from the bottom up.

                Your ignorance of Australian bushfire behaviour is concerning as you seem to be a local. Fires DO crown in old growth eucalypts (LOL!!!), including Mountain Ash. Once a fire leaves the ground it will run to the tops of the trees if it is hot enough and the only way it initially acquires enough heat is from excessive ground level fuel. Flames fed by hot gases and volatile leaf oils burn a hundred feet or more ABOVE the tree tops. Being 300 feet tall does not save the trees from fire. It is very common in tall eucs for them to burn from the inside out up the central pipe leaving only a thin outer shell of trunk. Fire is conducted up through the trunk like a massive turbo-charged blow torch, and can easily reach the tops of 200 and 300 foot trees. I shouldn’t need to point this stuff out to a local.

                I get that you don’t like plantations — neither do I — especially radiata pine, but let’s stick to the facts shall we?

                40

          • #
            Kinky Keith

            An expert says that massive areas of forest clogged up with undergrowth is unnatural and that we humans need to get with natures programme and do some harm minimization burns.

            Common knowledge. Common sense.

            KK

            30

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              But not in glorious Green Soviet, Comrade…..Green Soviet glorious leader loves trees, hates people, no care if people burn…da.

              50

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                I hesitated when I used the word forest because I knew I should have called it bush: that’s All we have in Australia.

                They have forests in Europe where the ground litter is meticulously removed.

                Now some gettup turkey wants to debate bullocks, do bulls have them? Nothing to do with trees and fire.

                KK

                00

            • #
              Environment Skeptic

              Having decent normal sized 100 meter trees instead of those ‘viral trees’ (plantation forest micro/mini/juvenile/short/fungus sized trees)…like the way they used to grow to over 100 meters tall …That would go a long way to preventing fires from spreading into the canopy of a real forest…not one of those imitation plantation forest known for being highly inflammable top to bottom.

              The real forest needs to Grow Up before it can start being a natural firebreak and live the life of a real forest..

              03

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        Everyone seems to have forgotten the Lake Oroville dam disaster (2017) caused by melting snow and precipitation….

        We also now know that rain and excessive precipitation causes plants to grow more rapidly. California had been in drought prior to the fires. Lake Oroville was almost empty prior to the drought breaking rains/snow. Very little opportunity during those years for the rapid growth of fuel for wildfires. Who ever would have thought it possible?

        30

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          If the California drought had continued into 2018 hypothetically, then i surely doubt there would have been enough fuel to produce a wild fire. similar to the ones experienced recently.

          30

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            Extreme temperatures and drought has been shown here by me today to significantly impair growth enough to prevent fuel for fires from ever growing. Some plants have adapted to dry hot conditions by very slow growth like certain cacti for example.

            Eventually with continued global warming, we will have forests of cacti which do not burn. Here i have shown that global warming decreases the threat of wild fires using logic alone.

            This is my theory and i will write a peer reviewed paper about it..bwahaha
            LoL…global warming prevents wild fires by stopping things from growing.

            31

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              The more I think of California and “sump” its its become, the more I wonder if it may go the same way as Sodom and Gamorrah….

              50

              • #
                PeterS

                My thoughts too but they do not really have a monopoly over that cesspool features. Places like New York and Sydney are not much better.

                20

    • #
      GD

      They aren’t “caused” but Climate Change, just made more likely and worse.

      How is ‘climate change’ making the fires more likely or worse? What ‘climate change’ are you referring to?

      151

      • #
        Bobl

        Especially given there hasn’t been any to speak of in the last 30 years (maybe 0.05Deg)

        41

      • #
        sophocles

        that’s one of the science deniers who frequents here …
        issue him/her/it a ticket number and send him/her/it to the back of the queue :-)

        40

    • #
      Greg

      California has seen no increase in temperatures whatsoever. It has experienced a series of severe droughts, some lasting hundreds of years. The current dry spell is 5 years. There is no evidence anyone with an IQ over 70 could use to claim the fires are caused by climate change. Unfortunately their government doesn’t pass that low bar.

      302

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        From the Californian Gov website
        California is already experiencing dramatic impacts from climate change with as little as 1.8°F (1°C) global average temperature increase. additional 1.1°F (.6°C) warming, reaching 2.9°F (1.6°C) – pushing us very close to the point many scientists believe is the “point of no return” – 3.6°F (2°C).

        So that is wrong Greg

        214

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          Dopey comment Fitz. They are freezing there in California. And snow pack is the highest for decades.

          Or did global warming cause the current freeze as well ?

          162

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            Sorry, weather is not climate is it.

            412

            • #
              el gordo

              Yeah 30 years is climate, but surely we can see climate change through weather. We have to get away from this fixation with temperatures and focus on the oscillations.

              62

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                Let’s clog up the blog.

                Yeah Fitz you seem like a wether but whether we use the right weather or not, your intent is the same.

                Blog blocking with Rubbish.

                If you had any humanity at all it would show up as a genuine search for a better way of dealing with the annual Californian bushfire horror.

                Deliberately putting people in harm’s way by authorising home building right up against a known fire hazard is not only stupid, it’s criminal.

                But you don’t care.

                KK

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              • #
                el gordo

                Objection!

                Peter has every right to express an alternative view on weather and climate, I’m sure he does care.

                10

            • #
              Bill In Oz

              Ahh the “Mantra” trotted out to calms all doubts eh Fritz ?
              Why not forget the Mantra & actually do some thinking on the evidence for a change.

              61

            • #
              sophocles

              Weather is the manifestation of climate.

              40

          • #
            Bill In Oz

            Don’t bother answering that question. A dopey ‘scientist’ is already claiming exactly this.
            “Our results strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has significantly amplified the probability of severe winter occurrence in central Eurasia via enhanced melting of the Barents–Kara sea ice. ”
            What’s Up With : https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/01/16/claim-global-warming-causes-colder-winters-and-more-snow-in-europe/

            Of course it’s all complete BULL. But you are gullible enough to believe it.

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            • #
              theRealUniverse

              “..significantly amplified the probability ..” this is the typical gobble gook speak used to hoodwink the un scientifically/mathematically educated. Also as if the Barents sea ice changing (which its not) will have on iota of difference to CA weather. Warm will always = hot in CAGW think speak. Its how they convert the gullible, by total confusion, AND by gullible i mean those useless, barely educated, excuses of idiots that are called journalists and reporters these days.

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          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            It is necesarry to put two and two together that the increase in precipitation/snow pack/fog/etc will yield increases in growth that in turn increases the amount of available fuel during summer in California.

            If the drought had continued, and lake Oroville was still empty for example, then the risk of too much fuel for wild fires would not be there.

            If precipitation in California continues this year (see below), likely there will be more record growth of fuel that has been shown to power wild fires in summer.

            From https://www.iceagenow.info/sierra-blizzard-warning-up-to-5-ft-of-snow/
            “Sierra blizzard warning – Up to 5 ft of snow”

            20

        • #
          Bobl

          You are so gullible, yes they have seen 0.9 Deg of global warming SINCE 1850… Mostly NOT caused by CO2 so now they are claiming just 0.05 Deg has caused their wildfires compared to 1990 (Kyoto reference point). They are further suggesting that just 0.6 degrees change (wrt 1990)will be somehow devastating. Peter , biologically you can’t feel a temperature change of 0.6 degrees.

          Don’t you see that killing pensioners over half a degree and obsessing over 0.05 degrees is just obsessive stupidity.

          132

          • #
            theRealUniverse

            Temperature doesnt cause bush fires (not below the ignition temp)! Fires are started by some ignition process, like lightning, electric faults, deliberate etc.

            22

          • #
            Peter Fitzroy

            The increase in temp, means that you get an increase in evaporation, and that means that your previous management strategy has to be rethought. In the PG&E example that would mean that the chances of their equipment causing a fire had climbed, as evidenced by the fires this year (2018) and the previous two years (2016, 2017). They are still in litigation for the ’16 and ’17 fires, but have not changed their operational procedures, and so, deservedly, face bankruptcy.

            32

            • #
              el gordo

              Peter I strongly suggest you read the links put up by Rob Dinn down the thread, it has something to do with the law of unintended consequences.

              21

            • #
              AndyG55

              “The increase in temp,”

              Yep solar energy will do that.

              No evidence at all that CO2 does.

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            • #
              sophocles

              What a mouthful of gobbledegook, PF. What the hell does an increase in evaporation have to do with the management of power-line right of ways?
              They need regular chain saw activity and wire tension maintenance. It’s purely tekkernology and tekkernological maintenance. There’s no room for Witchcraft. Magic does not work!

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            • #
              Bobl

              Um, do you have a problem reading? 0.05 Deg since 1990 is causing exactly how much more evaporation?

              The 0.85 is from 1850 to 1990 and not relevant to the CA situation.

              10

            • #
              Mark D.

              Peter you amaze me at your abilities as a MO RON.
              You weave “evaporation” into a completely separate subject of utility management! Like, tell me that evaporation affects managers ability to reason? Dum b asss! I actually agree with you that the utility deserves bankruptcy except I’d like to know how much impact renewables had on their financial demise.

              00

        • #
          AndyG55

          Average maximum temperature has FALLEN

          Average minimum (night) temperature has risen.

          This is URBAN warming.

          And we know its nothing to do with atmospheric CO2, because there is no evidence and no physical mechanism for warming by enhanced atmospheric CO2 to happen.

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          • #
            Kinky Keith

            And if all of the world’s urban areas were consolidated, side by side, they would fit inside the borders of Spain.

            O.K. So one large urban island, but absolutely puny compared to the entire earth surface.

            Intuition should tell us that the urban heat island effect, while noticeable in cities is not gone to be at all measurable when spread out over the whole surface.

            KK

            51

            • #
              AndyG55

              “is not going to be at all measurable when spread out over the whole surface.

              Yet that is what GISS, BEST etc etc do.

              Take the urban heat increase and spread over land surface of the whole world.

              Its called homogenisation, or “regional expectations, or whatever they want to call it in their meaningless “global average” calculations.

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              • #
                theRealUniverse

                “Take the urban heat increase and spread over land surface of the whole world.” Or more often referred to as ‘adjustments’. Necessary of course for ‘correct’ scientific observations of ‘bad’ data. What data? , nothing to see here..

                52

              • #
                Kinky Keith

                Took me a while to get that Andy.

                You are suggesting that the urban heat island effect is measure at source and then assumed to exist over the entire land surface?

                KK

                31

              • #
                AndyG55

                Yes KK, pretty much so. !

                51

              • #
                OriginalSteve

                Yeah its a bit like measuring distance with an error of +/- 1 km, them quibbling over 50mm….

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              • #
                AndyG55

                Think of a medium size town “A”, say 100 km², next nearest town say 100km away in any direction. So the town’s urban affected temperature is smeared over a 50km radius circle, with an area of about 7,800km²

                And if any of the nearby towns aren’t in line with the urban warming of town “A”, then they gets “homogenised” to an urban warming trend and spread over their hinterlands.

                A great way to manufacture a “global warming” temperature series. :-)

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    • #
      Yonniestone

      Why would you care if a “renewable” energy source started a bushfire Phil?, after all your saving the world aren’t you.

      Or should we just call you Cassandra and be done with it?

      151

      • #
        Robert Swan

        The gods gave Cassandra the blessing of seeing the future accurately and the curse that she would never be believed. Climate alarmists are the other way around, so “Ardnassac” might be a better name to use.

        131

    • #
      AndyG55

      “trigger the usual suspects”

      Yep, you certainly got triggered. !

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    • #
      PeterS

      Politicians and scientists who act like buff00ns are the cause, not climate change.

      123

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘…..just made more likely and worse.’

      Humanity did cause these fires, a consequence of dodgy poles and wires, not gorebullworming.

      53

      • #
        Bobl

        The thing is that one random lightning strike or glass bottle or cigarette could have caused the same blaze because of the fuel load. It’s just chance that it was clashing or downed power lines.

        The real fault lies with the forest management (of which the utility is only responsible for the Right of Way.) If their ROW was in order then it’s the state that should be on the hook.

        93

        • #
          el gordo

          That makes more sense.

          40

        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          Fuel loads are the issue. No doubt about that.

          It’s the same in Australia: fire trails are overgrown, access through creek beds are gullied out to be impassable, fuel load has been building up for twenty years or more, cool-burns have been cancelled or wound back.

          It all made worse by the fact that the numbers of national parks and nature reserves have increased over the same period without a concomitant increase in the staff and funds to manage them.

          The forest industry has been wound-down by governments and many of those areas have been incorporated into state and national parks and nature reserves. The forest industry knew how to protect its asset. Its future depended on keeping its forests safe from fire. Not so the politicians who like to make the announcements about new nature reserves but never provide the resources needed to manage them.

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        • #
          Mark D.

          Can’t agree that the “real fault” lies anywhere but the utility. If they could not build and maintain safe power lines then they should have dismantled them. Clearing right-of-ways is standard operating procedures. Yes there may have been contributing fault but apparently we know where the sparks came from. They started the fires and caused a great deal of damage.

          00

    • #
      Dennis

      Last year a nurse who is a volunteer bushfire fighter told me the background regarding a serious almost out of control fire that threatened many homes. I asked her about it because the same area was badly burnt just two years earlier.

      She said that the local council authorities had been approached by for permission to conduct a controlled burning operation during cooler conditions six months before the second fire but council argued it was not necessary because of the earlier fire. It did not need experts to work out that the regrowth after the earlier fire had returned the area to a fire hazard again.

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    • #
      Annie

      Accidental touch on green there Phil…sorry! :( sarc/

      32

    • #
      el gordo

      Phil based on the evidence, Kelvin Droegemeier and Will Happer have advised Donald that the Californian fires had nothing to do with human induced CO2.

      60

  • #
    pat

    15 Jan: Sacramento Bee: ‘PG&E is going to have to pay.’ Sympathy is gone for utility facing bankruptcy
    By Dale Kasler, Tony Bizjak, Sophia Bollag, and Alexei Koseff
    The first time it went bankrupt, in 2001, PG&E could label itself a victim — of the California energy crisis, runaway electricity prices and a disastrous deregulation plan that allowed companies like Enron to manipulate the power grid. PG&E emerged from bankruptcy three years later with its business operations and credibility more or less intact.
    PG&E’s 2019 bankruptcy might wind up a lot differently.

    Angered by PG&E’s inability to prevent deadly wildfires, legislators and regulators are openly talking about breaking up the utility or engineering some other kind of restructuring. Although PG&E cites climate change as a major factor in the Camp Fire and the wine country fires of 2017, “the perception is that PG&E has pretty much brought this on themselves,” said Mark Toney, director of The Utility Reform Network advocacy group…READ ON
    https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article224561110.html

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    • #
      Kneel

      Were I PG&E, I’d immediately de-energise all lines running through any fire hazard area – and not re-energise until fuel loads have been cleared or until so directed by the courts. IOW, “You wanna sue us for this, then the first thing we’ll do is ensure it can’t happen again and if that means no electricity for you, tough luck – don’t blame us, we’re trying to save lives here!”.
      The Ted talk I posted earlier in the thread would be significant ammunition against blame for the fires, IMO.

      30

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        California could blame the fire hazard on the end of the drought, and the failure of climate scientists to predict that when the drought ended (2017 circa), there would be a massive growth of fuel for fires.

        If global warming had continued, then California could have continued enjoying a drought which results in low growth of fuel for fires.

        In other words, climate scientists could be sued for not anticipating the drought breaking in California, and the resultant explosion in the growth of fuel.

        11

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Actually good point – can we now hold climate scientists repsonbsible for bad projections? After all, if they *are* ( ROFL ) the fonts of all knowledge and ( ROLF ) “wisdom” then they are now accountable as of ocurse all they say is “true”.

          Great little court test case – if the Judge says no they arent accountable, then it means they arent accurate. If they are accountable, then they can be sued.

          Anyone want to get a court case going?

          30

          • #
            Serp

            Reminiscent of the Italian scientists who were preposterously convicted (acquitted on subsequent appeal) over the Aquila earthquake?

            20

            • #
              sophocles

              Deep earthquakes are now predictable, don’cha know?

              Cataldi et al SELF-VLF Electromagnetic Signals and Solar Wind Proton Density Variations that preceded the M6.2 Central Italy Earthquake on August 24 2016. Internation Journal of Modern Research in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (2017)

              Jing et al Extracting seismic anomalies based on STD threshold method using outgoing Long wave Radiation data. Geoscience and Remote Senisinc Symposium (IGARSS) 2010 IEEE International 2010.

              Jiao et al Pre Seismic Thermal Anomalies from Satellite Observations: A rReview. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Discusss 2017.

              De Santis et al Potential Earthquake precursory pattern from space The 2015 Nepal event as seen by magnetic Swarm Satellites, Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2017)

              Elfaki and Yousef A Proton Flare Triggered the Mw 8.1 Chiapos Mexican Earthquake. AGU Fall Meeting 2017

              … and there’s heaps more in the literature.

              40

              • #
                sophocles

                It’s the Sun wot does it: Solar Wind from Coronal Holes.
                You can get a prediction app from Suspicious 0bservers …

                40

              • #
                theRealUniverse

                The correlation of large solar flares to earthquakes is pretty strong. A few paperspublished on the matter. Not much ‘conventional’ science taking it up. Standard geology applies as usual.

                21

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            We may as well just start watering our plants with sand and rising sea levels while simultaneously drowning in debt to Pseudo-Eco-financiers of an apocalyptic anthropogenic climate world.
            Pseudo-Eco-
            Fooled Again
            https://youtu.be/YjpiJc7Jk14?t=132

            01

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    A repeat of a periodic wealth transfer from the shareholders & bondholders to the Republik of Kalifornia. Will then reorganize under new
    management & issue more stock and bonds……or finally just admit they are socialists and take over the utilities for State operation.
    That’ll make operations more efficient, effective, and economical, for sure! The exodus shall continue. Gov “maduro” will see to it.

    Dear Golden Staters: Y’all are welcome…if you bring your industrious lives, but leave your politics. We’ve seen Colorado get californicated, and it ain’t pretty.

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  • #
    pat

    16 Jan: PostBulletin: PG&E’s bankruptcy could slow California’s fight against climate change
    By Sammy Roth, LA Times
    The Golden State has dramatically reduced planet-warming emissions from the electricity sector, largely by requiring utilities to increase their use of solar and wind power and fund energy efficiency upgrades for homes and businesses…
    But those government mandates have depended on Pacific Gas & Electric and other utilities being able to invest tens of billions of dollars in clean energy technologies…

    In the short term, PG&E might stop signing renewable energy contracts, although contracting had already slowed in the last few years as customers departed in droves for newly established local energy providers run by city and county governments. In the long term, renewable energy developers and their lenders may hesitate to do business with PG&E — and, potentially, with other California utilities that could also face significant future wildfire costs.
    “If we’re having a couple billion dollars a year of fire damage and insurance losses, quite apart from PG&E, this is going to put the entire state of California at risk,” said V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, a Sacramento-based trade group.

    Renewable-energy firms were alarmed by the news of PG&E’s impending bankruptcy filing, and it’s not hard to understand why. Solar and wind developers depend on stable, creditworthy utilities to buy electricity from their projects under long-term contracts known as power purchase agreements. They’re able to get low-cost loans to build their projects because lenders see little to no risk of a utility defaulting on those contracts.

    But that calculus changes in a world where a 30-year power purchase agreement doesn’t guarantee 30 years of payments at the agreed-upon price, said Ben Serrurier, a San Francisco-based policy manager for solar developer Cypress Creek Renewables. There’s concern in the industry that a bankruptcy court judge could order PG&E to reduce its payments to solar and wind project owners to help the company pay off other debts.
    “Once you start questioning the sanctity of contracted revenue, you begin to introduce a new risk into renewable-energy project development. So much about project development is about reducing risk so you can reduce your capital cost,” Serrurier said…

    In a letter to legislative leaders last year, representatives of the solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy industries said California must find a way to sustain financially solvent investor-owned utilities. Failure to act, they said, “imperils our markets and progress toward our climate goals.”…
    Ralph Cavanagh, co-director of the energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, described PG&E as a “tremendous asset” for meeting the state’s climate-change targets…
    “Utilities have been essential clean energy partners. We don’t want to have to do without them, and we shouldn’t have to do it without them,” Cavanagh said. “It would be much more difficult without them.”…READ ALL
    https://www.postbulletin.com/news/business/pg-e-s-bankruptcy-could-slow-california-s-fight-against/article_b821c4f9-e4a0-5243-bf9b-3f00a257e323.html

    11 Jan: Bloomberg: Buffett-Backed Solar Farm Cut to Junk as PG&E Crisis Deepens
    By Lynn Doan
    S&P Global Ratings cut the credit rating of Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farms to junk, noting that the plant counts on embattled utility giant PG&E Corp. for all of its revenue…
    Fitch has already cut its own ratings for the farm because of PG&E’s fire liabilities…

    The downgrade is just the latest indication that PG&E’s financial woes are spreading to the companies that supply its energy. Banks are also studying whether they’re willing to put assets into a geothermal project that supplies the utility, people familiar with the situation say, and some small natural gas suppliers are restricting sales to the company out of fear that they won’t get paid…

    A potential PG&E bankruptcy filing could put at risk a host of power-supply contracts signed by the utility. The company had more than 6 gigawatts of deals to buy wind and solar power from suppliers including Sempra Energy and Consolidated Edison Inc. as of January 2017…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-11/buffett-backed-solar-farm-cut-to-junk-as-pg-e-crisis-deepens

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  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    As always, we see when you invest in a fantasy, you reap fantasy profits with a very deep and very costly downside. Soon, everyone will be paying for the downside of the green fantasy.

    I am so glad that I sold out and exited from California two years ago. My home was serviced by PG&E and was rather isolated in the Mojave Desert. Rather than being warm in the winter and cool in the summer, it will be cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. Rather the same as before but completely out of phase with my body’s needs.

    There is a small downside to the move. I lost the quiet open spaces of the desert, the mild winters, the view of the mountains, and the freedom to go to the ocean when the mood strikes. I now live in the middle of a massive urban area with a view of buildings, noisy tree lined streets, cars and more cars, no open spaces to speak of, very cold winters, and nothing but people as far as the eye can see. Which is not very far. I have to drive 50 miles to the west be able to see the horizon or ten miles east to Lake Michigan to see a large body of water. Still, it was worth it.

    150

  • #
    pat

    15 Jan: PV Mag: American utility PG&E set to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy
    The Pacific Gas and Electric Company, founded 114 years ago, is filing for bankruptcy and may be broken up by regulators. None of which is good news for solar project owners holding contracts with the utility.
    by Christian Roselund
    And the problems dogging the utility are already affecting solar projects. Last week S&P Global Ratings cut the credit rating of the 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm to junk status. PG&E is the sole off-taker for the project, which the agency has reduced from B to BBB- status. S&P has also said it may make further cuts to the rating…

    While the Topaz project’s sheer size makes it one of the largest projects affected, there are significant concerns elsewhere, given PG&E holds contracts with other solar plants that add up to gigawatts of capacity…

    pv magazine USA has not been able to get leading figures in California’s solar industry to comment on what a potential breakup for PG&E would mean for the state’s solar market. The utility was already facing the existential threat of an increasing number of community choice aggregators which are taking over procurement in large parts of its service area, and threatening to make it irrelevant.
    https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/01/15/american-utility-pge-set-to-file-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy/

    16 Jan: Sacramento Bee: California’s energy grid is in crisis. Can the state keep the lights on?
    By Julie Cart
    (CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics. This is the first in a series of articles to explore California’s need to modernize the electricity network that powers the state, published in partnership with The Sacramento Bee)

    Gretchen Bakke thinks a lot about power — the kind that sizzles through a complex grid of electrical stations, poles, lines and transformers, keeping the lights on for tens of millions of Californians who mostly take it for granted.
    They shouldn’t, says Bakke, who grew up in a rural California town regularly darkened by outages. A cultural anthropologist who studies the consequences of institutional failures, she says it’s unclear whether the state’s aging electricity network and its managers can handle what’s about to hit it.

    California is casting off fossil fuels to become something that doesn’t yet exist: a fully electrified state of 40 million people. Policies are in place requiring a rush of energy from renewable sources such as the sun and wind and calling for millions of electric cars that will need charging — changes that will tax a system already fragile, unstable and increasingly vulnerable to outside forces.
    “There is so much happening, so fast — the grid and nearly everything about energy is in real transition, and there’s so much at stake,” said Bakke, who explores these issues in a book titled simply, “The Grid.”…

    “We are in the depths of the conversation,” said Michael Picker, president of the state Public Utilities Commission, who cautions that even as the system is being rebooted, ***there’s no real plan for making it all work…

    But more renewable energy, accessible at the whims of weather, can throw the grid off balance. Renewables lack the characteristic that power planners most prize: dispatchability, ready when called on and turned off when not immediately needed. Wind and sun don’t behave that way; their power is often available in great hunks — or not at all, as when clouds cover solar panels or winds drop…READ ON
    https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/article224095395.html

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  • #
    pat

    15 Jan: EurActiv: ‘Merkel deceived us on climate’, says Germany’s Energiewende godfather
    By Claire Stam
    Berlin lacks the political will to bring the energy transition forward, said Hans Josef Fell, the initiator of Germany’s world-renowned 2000 renewable energy feed-in tariff legislation, in an interview with EURACTIV.com…
    “The so-called coal commission is counter-productive since it delays reduction of private coal assets,” Fell said in an interview…

    Fell also underlined what he sees as an imbalance between the government’s handling of the renewable sector and the favourable treatment received by the fossil fuel industry.
    “Where was the state when some 80,000 jobs were lost in the solar industry over the last years?…

    In reality, the coal industry is leading the government’s agenda on energy and climate issues, he argued.
    “One just has to look at who is financing Germany’s main parties – the SPD (social-democrats), the CDU (Conservatives) and FDP (Liberals),” Fell said. “There is no real honest debate about energy, it is only about coal and other fossil industries,” he added…READ ON
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/merkel-deceived-us-on-climate-says-germanys-energiewende-godfather/

    15 Jan: ClimateChangeNews: Brazil downgrades climate diplomacy in Bolsonaro shake-up
    Environment made subservient to “national sovereignty” in a foreign ministry restructure under climate sceptic Ernesto Araújo
    By Megan Darby
    Brazil has demoted climate diplomacy as part of a foreign ministry shake-up, in Jair Bolsonaro’s first two weeks as president.
    The world “climate” has been erased from the organisational chart. The role of deputy secretary for environmental matters has been axed and its portfolio subsumed by the secretariat for “national sovereignty and citizenship affairs”.

    Staff previously responsible for UN climate negotiations are still there, a source told Climate Home News, but “climate change” is no longer part of the description of their department’s functions. Instead it refers to “protection of the atmosphere”…

    NGO network Climate Observatory called Araújo’s restructure “unpatriotic”, saying it diminished Brazil’s soft power and green investment opportunities…
    https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/01/15/brazil-downgrades-climate-diplomacy-bolsonaro-shake/

    15 Jan: CarbonPulse: Governments urged to come clean on carbon pricing as cash rolls in
    Citizens are urging governments to more clearly communicate how they are both imposing carbon pricing and spending the resulting revenues, as rising emissions costs begin to test public resolve…

    behind paywall:

    16 Jan: UK Times: Carbon tax rise could be politically toxic
    by Cormac Lucey
    Ministers are sizing up ways to make the levy more palatable but they should not underestimate the potential backlash…

    16 Jan: MontelNews: Carbon faces continued uncertainty after UK Brexit defeat
    by Alessandro Vitelli
    Participants said the result of Tuesday’s vote changes little, and merely prolongs uncertainty both for the carbon market and over the UK’s exit from the 28-nation bloc…
    “The vote outcome definitely increases the chances of a no-deal Brexit, so it could trigger some bearish reaction in EUA prices,” said Yan Qin of Refinitiv…
    “Continuing uncertainty is the only certainty now,” said Qin…

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    • #
      Dennis

      A carbon tax was politically toxic in Australia, federal election September 2013.

      20

      • #
        PeterS

        Given most voters have short memories that might not help us at the next federal election. In any case it doesn’t matter. Both major parties are virtually on the same page wrt reducing emissions and supporting the spread of renewables. The only difference is one places more emphasis on them than the other.

        40

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    Mr. BUffet’s energy companies, which he acknowledged were built only because of tax advantages, should have insured their California contracts with Geico. Will the ratepayers see increases? Did the little pig dry wee wee wee all the way home?

    Shareholders will lose.
    Bondholders will lose.
    Employees will be villified.
    Green vendors will get a state bailout.
    Ratepayers will get a state hosing.
    Building in the forest will continue. So will fires.

    The government will end up with more power.
    They will be self proclaimed heroes if the ordinary happens; turning on a switch still makes electricity work.
    What are the voters thinking? Are the voters thinking?

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  • #
    StephenP

    If the companies that run the electricity transmission lines start to perceive the risks from operating in fire-prone areas as being not worth the candle, then who will transmit the power from the renewable generator to the consumer?

    150

  • #
    Tom Hammer

    As an aside, and as is so often the case, I wonder how many employees over the years expressed concerns with managers about the need for line maintenance.

    40

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Peolly quite a lot.

      In a previous life I was Comms Tech working closely with linies, not only because they had radios in their utes. They were always decrying the lack of maintenance on towers etc.

      20

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    In the Wall Street Journal, Holman Jenkins has an interesting take on this:
    “California Burns for Better Leaders” – Jan 15th
    Subtitle is: “Perverse housing incentives block urban high rises and set the woods on fire.”

    This is his take-away: “… newly arrived Gov. Gavin Newsom will be glad of his Democratic supermajority in the state Legislature to help muscle through what will be a vastly unpopular bailout of PG&E.

    The bottom line is that rate-payers and tax payers will have thinner wallets over this. There is, of course, the collateral damage mentioned in Jo’s post.

    50

  • #
    Another Ian

    Welcome to Cadbury’s new “California Chocolate”

    Previously known as “Fruit and Nut”

    60

  • #
    OriginalSteve

    Ive invented a phrase for the green industry, coz its run by left wingers, is unsustainable and collapses easily: The Green Soviet…..

    40

  • #
    Dennis

    I cannot provide a link because this story is behind a paywall at The Australian …

    The 97pc climate consensus fraud

    IAN PLIMER
    The climate-change brigade’s methodology doesn’t pass muster; in the scientific circles I mix in, there is an overwhelming scepticism about human-induced climate change.

    80

    • #
      theRealUniverse

      In the real science world I think that is pretty much true, unless you are saving your ass when you speak publicly (as a scientist).

      30

  • #
    J Martin

    I’m not a lawyer but I cannot see why the litigants could win. The company probably cannot prevent all accidents and a similar fire could have been started by lightning of a discarded cigarette. The ferocity of the fire was caused by the green policies. That people living in a fire zone lost their wooden houses whilst the trees next to their houses were untouched and brick built structures were not burned down suggests that the litigants were themselves negligent in having built houses that could be burnt down. The litigants may have more success against those responsible for the failure to properly manage the forest fuel loads.

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      Kneel

      “I’m not a lawyer but I cannot see why the litigants could win. ”

      Agreed.
      Also, consider that fire is conductive, so that a fault could cause a spark and hence the fire, but also the fire could cause a fault. I recall one of the large Sydney substations at Picnic Point (“Sydney South” 330kV) had the front gate chain/padlock welded together by earth fault currents during a bush fire (it has a very bad substation earth – IIRC > 0.05ohms, maybe even several 10ths of an ohm, which is a big deal with 10,000+ amp fault currents.

      That said, the law is an ass, so…

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    PeterS

    If we are to follow conspiracy theories (I normally don’t) how about this one? The fires were deliberately caused by AGW extreme alarmists to further their cause. Hmmmm, come to think of it it makes a lot of sense given how repugnant and decrepit the left are.

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    Mark M

    And President Trump is correct. Again …

    Trump threatens to pull federal funding for California wildfires over ‘gross mismanagement’

    Tweet: “With proper Forest Management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get Smart!”

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/trump-threatens-pull-federal-funding-california-wildfires-gross/story?id=59102371

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  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    Slightly off topic;In Sydney we’re hearing more about Ozone lately.
    I know that it’s trioxygen but I don’t know a lot more.
    What is it’s relationship to smog and what is it’s percetage in the atmosphere.
    How bad is it? Is it just part of the climate scare? Anyone like to comment . . .
    Regards Geoff W

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      Kneel

      Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive agent, an extreme oxidant, as it were.
      It’s also used as an anti-bacterial and anti-algae agent by bubbling it through water.
      It’s toxic at quite low levels (no numbers, sorry).
      Being an aggressive oxidant, it tends to create “smog” from the precursors in ambient air (HC etc), there being insufficient energy available to push it further down the energy landscape where it would degrade into CO2, H2O etc.
      You want ozone in the stratosphere, but definately NOT near the ground!

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    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      G. W.,
      Sounds like you are hearing about ground-level Ozone.
      There is lots on the web, but here is what the US’s EPA has:
      https://www.epa.gov/ground-level-ozone-pollution

      From Canada:
      http://www.airqualityontario.com/science/pollutants/ozone.php

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  • #

    Where people are losing property and even their lives I try to restrain my smugness. When we say “they asked for it”…who are “they”? Even Californians who go along with the green nuttiness are often guilty of nothing more than earnest conformity, but it’s a good bet that many are simply having Big Green’s nonsense inflicted upon them by media/academic cliques and the voracious carpetbaggers who boost then feed off political fads.

    I don’t want to be convicted of supporting white elephants like the Sydney desal or the beyond-absurd Oceanlinx project just because they were implemented in the state where I live. California attracts the new, which brings a lot of bad new, but I like to remember a lot of good changes and innovations which have fairly burst out of that place over many decades. Plus it’s beautiful. It’s hard to change elites. Californians tried by electing dune-buggy-driving Ah-nold…who promptly turned into the green Gurrrly Governor.

    Without California there’d be no 1950s Cary Grant movies in gooey technicolour, no mountain bikes, no arpanet, no Apple II etc. There’s a big downside to all that dynamism, but Californians didn’t ask for Enron any more than a surfer invites a shark. The cliques like it when we hate Californians and Portlanders in an automated way because they thrive off such entrenched division. So have a disgusting kale smoothie today to honour our Californian brothers and sisters. (Okay, okay…I’ve been know to mock South Australians, but that’s different. Okay, okay…it’s not really different. I should stop doing that.)

    There is somewhere we can send our hate. All the mainstream media and most alternate media are corrupt from top to bottom and from right to left. Do something today to send the bludgers broke.

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    dinn rob

    California is where I live and was born. I have studied PG&E, but the whole national direction is involved as well. Check out the microwave wireless push–popularly styled 4G and 5G, meaning 45h and 5th generations of wireless which are being engineered into/with robotics and AI. Yeah, PG&E is one of many involved in all that stuff, a large topic. But here is something rare, very rare: https://medium.com/@james.4base/sunspots-and-cell-towers-fueled-the-northern-california-firestorm-6e05c830fc8d
    https://medium.com/@james.4base/weaponized-wildfires-fd5533cb5f3a

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      el gordo

      Good catch, the implications are profound.

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      dinn rob

      also A bigger question to answer, for the drying out of the land and forests by (California’s) Solar Radiation Management, is whether the earth metals, beyond producing a spark, contribute to the intensity of the fires, by coating the houses and other inorganic materials on the ground to flash easier and burn at higher temperatures? https://medium.com/@james.4base/the-climate-fires-693671008fb7

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        Kinky Keith

        Unbelievable.

        Once you get past the long introduction which actually sets the scene for the main hit.

        Spraying that junk over people and urban zones in the year of our Lord 2018 is like something out of a science fiction horror movie.
        Government has a duty of care that has not been acknowledged let alone acted on.

        KK

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      A big follow-up would be good on this one.

      31

    • #
      Serp

      Yep, plenty of 5G alarm on the outer limits of the web recently. Maybe Coober Pedy style undergrounding is the solution.

      31

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Especially with the weather we’ve had in Adelaide this last week, coupled with both the State, Victorian and Federal Governments determined to stop people using air-conditioning (and other electrical appliances) by sabotaging the grid.
        Now all I have to do is win XLotto tonight.

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      If this is correct I suspect that we in Oz could easily see such an fire event happen here also.

      10

    • #
      Peter Fitzroy

      Great article, I’m hoping that this gets the attention it deserves

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    • #
      theRealUniverse

      Sorry not convinced here..
      “n crowdsolving the firestorm, a few journalists, scientists, and this author believe that the 4G-network of cell towers created an electromagnetic field that allowed the solar flares to cook the houses directly without running through the power lines or smart meters. In total, 77 cell towers burned up or were damaged; they were not the source that lit the fires, but the feeders.”
      Please explain using known EM theory????
      Strange things can occur but I dont think this is the reason.
      Some info. The power required in a microwave system, depends on frequency and the EM absorption coeffient of the material. Getting literally MEGAWATTS into a building to start a fire like that is WAY beyond the output of any of those cell sites.

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      • #
        Kinky Keith

        The particulates are my main immediate concern.

        The emr from New 5G is an unknown for me, still a good stir by someone.

        31

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        Very good point, it should be easy to rebut or confirm – and I’m guessing with the planned litigation, all of this will be tendered as evidence

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    • #
      RickWill

      All matter exists in three fields – the electric field, the magnetic field and the gravity field. Matter at different potentials exchange energy at the speed of light from the high potential to the low potential. The sun dominates all three fields experienced on and in the earth.

      The photon concept of EMR radiation with energy shooting in all directions is nonsense and has set back humans understanding of the planet energy balance by at least decades.

      20

  • #
    pat

    CAGW “believers” can say anything. published by WaPo, NBC & many more today:

    Updated 17 Jan: Daily Mail: I’m NOT too old to be president says Mike Bloomberg, 77, as he insists legalizing weed is ‘nonsensical’ and global warming could ‘kill everyone’
    by AP (Rob Gillies)
    ‘Climate change could destroy the whole world and kill everyone on it,’ he said. ‘It’s frustrating that a lot of people don’t understand that.’…
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6596693/Bloomberg-believes-elected-president-despite-age.html

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  • #
    pat

    not a done deal, presumably:

    16 Jan: American Thinker: California set to seize 1,100 miles of coastline
    By Chriss Street
    The California Coastal Commission is set to empower local government to take thousands of properties through eminent domain along 1,100 miles of coastline to prepare for sea level rise.

    Despite California being battered by 4-8 inches of torrential rain and flooding from an El Niño weather cycle, E&E News reported that the State of California in late January will authorize eminent domain authority for local jurisdictions to implement a “managed retreat” policy that will allow taking and demolishing coastal homes and businesses.

    The California Coastal Commission circulated an 87-page “Draft Residential Adaptation Guidance” (LINK) in March regarding how communities could proactively address sea level rise impacts through Local Coastal Programs (LCPs). Although the CCC draft did not adopt specific retreat guidance, the California Special Districts magazine expects that the CCC will predict a sea level rise of 2.5-5.5 feet and the elimination of 31-67 percent of Southern California beaches by the year 2100.

    CCC retreat guidance is expected to also entail dismantling and relocating of dozens of wastewater treatment and power plants; 250 miles of highway; 1,500 miles of roads; and 110 miles of railways, according to the latest California Special Districts magazine (LINK)…READ ALL
    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/01/california_set_to_seize_1100_miles_of_coastline.html

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    • #
      AndyG55

      THANK GOODNESS for all that network spending!

      Its the only thing now stopping the collapse of the network.

      Now IF ONLY we could get rid of ridiculous renewable targets and the RET, prices might have a chance to drop back down again.

      Only the GULLIBLE far left is FOOLED by Gruniad articles. !

      The ALP targets will not be able to be implemented because people will still want CHEAP, RELIABLE electricity supply.

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    • #
      Dennis

      Typical Guardian faked news.

      Labor introduced the carbon tax which the Abbott Government repealed. Labor introduced the 28 per cent RET and subsidies which the Abbott Government sought to repeal but were blocked by the Senate opposition including Labor Greens. However the Senate did agree to lower the RET to 23 per cent at that time.

      “Poles and wires” upgraded … how about consumers paid for poles and wires to connect privately owned wind and solar business operations to the main grid. When PM Gillard was asked about rising electricity prices she coined the words “gold plated” for those feeder power lines, her little joke. They did cost consumers a fortune.

      The AbbottAbbottAbbott blame game is a never ending fairy tale story.

      No, his government did not attend the Paris Conference end of 2015. Yes the Turnbull Government sent a Minister to the UN in New York in April 2016 to sign the Paris Agreement and again in November to ratify it after President Trump made it clear that the US was not proceeding.

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      • #
        Dennis

        By the way, the RET rot set in with a Labor Government in South Australia, and that State is now the focus point of unstable and most expensive grid electricity with VicLabor now pursuing the transition to unreliable energy.

        AbbottAbbottAbbott

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        • #
          Dennis

          The Guardian

          “Between 2007 and 2013 electricity network companies spent about $50bn upgrading our poles and wires. That $50bn had to be paid for and it was by us, as consumers. According to the Productivity Commission this resulted in electricity prices rising by 70% over the five years to 2013. The voting public was well aware of the price hike, while being almost completely unaware of its causes. This allowed then opposition leader Tony Abbott to talk his way into the top job partly on the back of a scare campaign against carbon pricing and renewable energy.”

          In 2007 Rudd Labor replaced the Howard Government.

          Labor created the carbon tax, renewable energy tax and the 28 per cent RET.

          Late 2013 the Abbott Coalition replaced the Rudd, Gillard & Rudd governments.

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        AndyG55

        “The AbbottAbbottAbbott blame game is a never ending fairy tale story.”

        More like a Marxist Bros slap-stick comedy :-)

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Nicky Ison in the Gordian is trying again to rewrite history.

      Sure power prices went up. But it was not a major issue for the voting public then.

      The 2013 election was won by the Coalition under Abbot for one reason : Boat People – Over 50,000 of them rocking up Aistralia’s shores without visas and often no passport and demanding the right to stay forever & invite their families to do the same. That is what Rudd & Gillard gifted us from 2008-2013..And we are still dealing with the leftovers. from that Labor& Green huge STUFF UP.

      I fully expect that if labor wins in May the flood of Boat people will resume…

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      • #
        Hanrahan

        That is what Rudd & Gillard gifted us from 2008-2013..And we are still dealing with the leftovers. from that Labor& Green huge STUFF UP.

        Y’ know Bill we are still living with Whitlam’s brain farts. The case could be argued for Medicare but his idea to boost public service wages so private sector wages will follow has cursed us with the most indolent, overpaid PS known.

        I’m working on memory here but was it Stevens our Reserve Bank Governor who knocked back the position at the Bank of England because he didn’t want the pay cut? Something like that.

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  • #
    Brian the Engineer

    Oh Please Kevin?
    You believe anti Abbott propaganda from the GUARDIAN?
    If you saw the state of the infrastructure, it needed the money spent on it to achieve reliability.
    South Australia didn’t spend enough on their Vic interconnector and a little breaze blew it over.

    Vastly undersized tension capacity in the piped foundations.
    They had no chance of staying up. Stop conflating the need for good infrastructure with the waste of expensive renewables.

    PS They are called renewables as they have a short life span and have to be replaced quite often.

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  • #
    Brian the Engineer

    Piled foundations!

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    pat

    read all:

    17 Jan: Bloomberg: PG&E Reneging On Renewables Contracts Makes No Sense
    It wouldn’t cut costs for the utility or ratepayers and would make doing business more difficult.
    By Liam Denning
    Utilities and renewable-energy advocates have long had a complicated relationship. Yet the prospect of PG&E Corp. tipping into bankruptcy by the end of January has sent shivers through the solar-and-wind sector…READ ALL
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-16/china-is-turning-into-its-own-worst-economic-enemy

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    pat

    read all, especially from ***this question to the end:

    16 Jan: GreenTechMedia: The Big Questions Raised by PG&E’s Coming Bankruptcy
    ***How will costs be spread? Are legacy solar and wind PPAs at risk? And how can California policymakers and its largest utility reorganize to cope with a future severely impacted by climate change?
    by Jeff St. John
    How much does PG&E’s coming bankruptcy cloud the utility’s clean energy future? The answer to that is: a lot…READ ALL
    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/pge-questions-coming-bankruptcy#gs.dgCrgjcP

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    • #
      Serp

      How can the California policymakers get anywhere sensible when all their logic is founded in a belief that the primum mobile is “climate change”?

      What sayeth our Clog Team?

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  • #
    pattoh

    For anybody that thinks we have a monopoly on stupidity:-
    O’Çrazio is catching up fast:-

    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/12/21/18144138/green-new-deal-alexandria-ocasio-cortez

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  • #
    RAH

    Of course the state of California gets off Scott free for their culpability in implementing disastrous forest management policies. Typical.

    California, the state of one disaster after another, with more drama to come of course. If it’s not drought or water supply problems, it’s storms causing mudslides. If not mudslides it’s earth quakes. If not earthquakes it’s wild fires. If not wild fires it’s flooding. And if none of those things are happening they’ll make something else up like dangerous SLR when there is none. It really is just too much drama for this Hoosier. After awhile one just gets immune to it all even knowing that real people have been killed or hurt the never ending litany of California disasters and problems, both real and fabricated just numbs you after a steady diet for decades.

    Now I have my own stuff to deal with. Got back from my trip out east at 11:30 today (Wednesday). Had to deal with some freezing rain and some snow on the way back. Now I will depart for Brampton, ON and then Bolton, ON at 01:00 Thursday (In 1 1/2 hours). Just want to make it home before the winter storm comes across from the west to hit here in Indiana Friday night or early Saturday morning.

    50

    • #
      John F. Hultquist

      I was looking at forecasts for northcentral PA and northeastern NY State.
      Hope you get back to Indiana and can stay there for a few days.
      Serious cold coming to that region.

      40

      • #
        Rah

        Thanks. At the Ambassador bridge taking my mandatory 1/2 hour break then it’s over the bridge into Canada and 218 miles to my first stop. Have dental appointment Monday morning so they’ll leave me alone until after 10:30 but after that I’m sure they’ll be calling

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    • #

      ‘Scott free.’ ) I wish, oh, how I wish, sigh. A genu-ine, old-school, low-regulation, free-the-cits-ter-make-their-own-decisions-in-what-is-not-the-business-of-bureau-creep- ( well, ‘Great-Leap’ really) guvuhmints.

      30

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Cali’s business model seems to be to neglect all infrastructure ’til it fails and then get the Feds to bail them out.

      I followed the Oroville Dam near disaster via Juan Brown’s blancolirio blog. He did a good job. What they have now is an engineering masterpiece that the state could never have afforded on their own.

      30

  • #
    Stephen Mueller

    I was caught in the saint Patrick day fire in Vic, the amount of dead trees is unbelievable, the greenies might have saved a couple of hundred trees but lost ten of thousands.

    50

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      It’s those plantation forests again….

      How the St Patrick’s Day fires devastated the south-west | The Standard
      http://www.standard.net.au › News › Latest News
      Mar 24, 2018 – Guinness flowed as people celebrated St Patrick’s Day and the …. a fire started after a tree from a blue gum plantation fell onto power lines.
      The most dangerous fire hazards known to man.

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    pat

    VIDEO: 25sec: 17 Jan: Adelaide Advertiser: Sky News: Turnbull cleared of wrongdoing over $443m Great Barrier Reef funding
    Labor has had its application for a refund declined after the Turnbull government was cleared of any wrong doing. The Labor Party put in a refund claim for part of the $443 million grant the Turnbull Government had given the Great Barrier Reef foundation.
    https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/turnbull-cleared-of-wrongdoing-over-443m-great-barrier-reef-funding/video/fd7673763bfa8be854e22950d464347e

    16 Jan: AFR: Auditor-General finds $443m Great Barrier Reef Foundation passed tests
    By Lucas Baird
    The Auditor General has cleared former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and then Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg of any wrongdoing over the $443 million grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, but criticised shortcomings in the process, including insufficient scrutiny, lack of detail and a failure to canvas other partners…
    There will be another report into the grants from the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications on February 13.
    https://www.afr.com/news/politics/auditorgeneral-finds-443m-great-barrier-reef-foundation-passed-tests-20190115-h1a30u

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    pat

    VIDEO: 16 Jan: ABC30: Local PG&E crews prepare for damage caused by high wind speeds
    By Christina Fan
    FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) —
    For PG&E crews, the incoming storm brings concerns of wind speeds.
    The trees in the Valley have been weakened by drought.
    Workers are worried that branches will break or the wind will pick up debris and slam it into power lines.
    Most of the workers are prepared for possible outages that could occur into the night…

    “There is potential for this storm to cause tens of thousands of customers to go out, just based on previous models. Some of those outages may be very short term. But we encourage areas prone to longer outages such as the mountains to be ready,” said Denny Boyles…
    https://abc30.com/weather/local-pg-e-crews-prepare-for-damage-caused-by-high-wind-speeds/5091571/

    10

  • #
    el gordo

    ‘Elon Musk and rogue Greens MP win praise and derision after Tweets on a plan to tunnel under the Blue Mountains.’ Oz

    30

  • #
    pat

    BNEF report:

    16 Jan: Bloomberg: Global Clean Energy Funding Dips 8% as China Cools Solar Boom
    By Jim Efstathiou Jr
    Worldwide spending reached $332.1 billion in 2018: BNEF report
    Solar investment in China declined 53% amid subsidy cuts
    Global funding for clean-energy projects sagged in 2018 after China’s decision to curb subsidies dragged down installations in the world’s biggest solar market…
    While global solar spending fell 24 percent, developers took advantage of lower costs to boost installations to about 109 gigawatts in 2018 from from 99 gigawatts the prior year…

    Offshore wind attracted $25.7 billion in 2018, up 14 percent from the prior year…
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-16/global-clean-energy-funding-dips-8-as-china-cools-solar-boom

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  • #
    pat

    lol.

    16 Jan: Reuters: Failure to curb climate change a top risk: Davos survey
    by Timothy Gardner
    The risk that global efforts to tackle climate change will fail has risen despite concerns about powerful storms, floods, and droughts, a survey released by the World Economic Forum said on Wednesday, days before its annual gathering in Davos.
    The annual Global Risks Report, which incorporates the survey, highlighted several top risks for 2019 including massive incidents of data fraud and theft and large scale cyberattacks.

    But the top risk by likelihood in the survey was extreme weather, in a survey of 1,000 experts from government, business, academia and non-governmental organizations. And the risk that failure by governments to limit the magnitude of climate change and adapt to it has risen to second place in terms of both likelihood and impact, compared to only fifth place and fourth place in those categories last year in the survey.
    “Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” said the report…READ ON
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-davos-meeting-climatechange/failure-to-curb-climate-change-a-top-risk-davos-survey-idUSKCN1PA13J

    17 Jan: World Economic Forum: The Global Risks Report 2018
    DOWNLOAD PDF
    https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-risks-report-2018

    article by our own Sharan Burrow, below the main article above:

    17 Jan: WEF: It’s time for a new social contract
    by Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
    This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

    Democracy is becoming collateral damage in a world where global risks have been ignored or exacerbated by those with the power to act. The increasing authoritarianism of elected leaders, the actions of entrenched dictators, and the use and threat of military power have brought us to the edge of full-blown crisis…

    When humanitarian leaders are few and far between, it is too easy to forget the lessons from John Donne’s poem ‘No Man is an Island’…READ ON

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  • #
    pat

    17 Jan: PV-Tech: Indian solar and wind installs to drop 49% in 2018/19 – Bridge to India
    By Tom Kenning
    Despite consistent year-on-year growth in India’s solar and wind sectors, the year 2018/19 will see a substantial slowdown of -49% compared to the previous year, according to consultancy firm Bridge to India’s report ‘India RE Map-2018’.

    This comes despite 42GW of solar and wind tender announcements since January 2018. These tenders have been held up by transmission capacity constraints, a lull in solar park activity and the ongoing safeguard duty saga and the uncertainty around it (LINK). Even some solar tenders that were bid out in auctions have seen multi-Gigawatts of awarded capacity annulled.
    China remains dominant in module supply with seven names in the top 10. The top three were Canadian Solar (9.4% market share), JA Solar (6.6%) and Trina (6.4%)…

    Vinay Rustagi, managing director, Bridge to India, said: “The Indian RE market has grown spectacularly over the last four years. It is encouraging to see a renewed government thrust on the sector pushing tender activity up significantly. But capacity installation is slipping because of various operational and policy implementation issues. That raises important questions about [the] sustainable level of growth for the RE sector. Moreover, Discoms are trying to push prices down and seem very happy to cancel tenders if their price expectations are not met. But the developers are facing increased costs due to GST, safeguard duty, falling rupee, higher interest rates etc.”…ETC
    https://www.pv-tech.org/news/indian-solar-and-wind-installs-to-drop-49-in-2018-19-bridge-to-india

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    pat

    Huawei solar panels could threaten US grid, lawmakers warn
    Financial Times-6 hours ago
    Huawei’s sales of solar equipment in the US threaten the entire American electricity grid, members of Congress have warned, in the latest rift between US politicians and the Chinese company. Both Democrats and Republicans have said that Huawei solar equipment could be hacked to allow a third party to slow or even interrupt US electricity supplies…
    Tom Marino, a Democratic representative from Pennsylvania, wrote to Rick Perry, US energy secretary,saying he was “concerned that the company’s entrance into large-scale and residential solar markets may pose a threat to our nation’s infrastructure”…

    11 Jan: Forbes: China Is Set To Become The World’s Renewable Energy Superpower, According To New Report
    by Dominic Dudley
    The continuing growth in renewable energy around the world is set to boost the power of China while undermining the influence of major oil exporters such as Russia and Middle East states like Saudi Arabia, according to a new report on the geopolitical implications of the changing energy landscape.

    With a leading position in renewable energy output as well as in related technologies such as electric vehicles, Beijing now finds itself in an influential position which other countries may struggle to counter.
    “No country has put itself in a better position to become the world’s renewable energy superpower than China,” says the report (LINK), which was issued by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation – a group chaired by a former president of Iceland, Olafur Grimsson.

    The commission was set up by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) last year (LINK) and its findings were published on January 11 in Abu Dhabi, at IRENA’s annual assembly…READ ON
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2019/01/11/china-renewable-energy-superpower/#2027237d745a

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    pat

    16 Jan: Edie.net: UK revealed as EU champion of fossil fuel subsidies
    by Sam Morgan, EurActiv
    The UK spends the most of any EU nation on subsidising fossil fuels, according to a new report by the European Commission, which also found that EU-wide payments have failed to decrease despite the bloc’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
    In 2016, the UK pumped more than €12bn into fossil fuel support, closely followed by Germany, France, Italy and Spain. However, those countries actually then spent more on renewable energies like wind and solar than on coal, gas and oil.

    Fossil fuels enjoyed an estimated €55bn in public funding across the EU, with the energy sector the biggest recipient, followed by the residential sector, industry and transport.
    According to the Commission’s report, which used Eurostat data to reach its conclusions, payments remained “roughly stable across sectors […] implying that EU and national policies might need to be reinforced to phase out such subsidies”.

    But fossil fuels also provided EU28 nations and Norway more than €400 billion in gas and oil taxation in 2017, according to a report by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers…
    https://www.edie.net/news/10/UK-revealed-as-EU-champion-of-fossil-fuel-subsidies/

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  • #
    pat

    17 Jan: Business Green: Off-grid EV charging? AFC Energy unveils mobile hydrogen fuel cell system
    by Michael Holder
    A new electric vehicle (EV) charging system which enables plug-in vehicles to rapidly power up in around an hour without the need for a power grid connection has been launched today by UK fuel cell specialist AFC Energy.
    The Surrey-based company claims its “breakthrough” system is the word’s first EV charger based on hydrogen fuel cell technology. It said the system could potentially help mitigate the expected surge in demand on the power grid as more electric cars appear on the roads in the coming years…

    Moreover, the mobile system could potentially be packed into a shipping container and deployed temporarily, such as in more remote locations, or at events such as music festivals, according to AFC Energy, which counts Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich as one of its investors…

    Dubbed CH2ARGE, the system includes AFC Energy’s small-scale hydrogen fuel cell technology connected to an inverter, which transfers energy created by the fuel cell to an EV charger, the firm explained.
    Supported by a 48v battery to assist with peak power demands, the system is compatible with all EV models and smart charging capabilities, and can provide sufficient power to charge up an EV to 80 per cent capacity in an hour…READ ON
    https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3069470/off-grid-ev-charging-afc-energy-unveils-mobile-hydrogen-fuel-cell-system

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    And an expert says that massive areas of forest clogged up with undergrowth is unnatural and that we humans need to get with natures programme and do some harm minimization burns.

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