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Even Tumbling Fossil Fuel Prices Can't Deter Clean Energy Revolution


#1

Even Tumbling Fossil Fuel Prices Can't Deter Clean Energy Revolution

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

One of the biggest stories of 2015 was the sharp decline of oil prices, which fell this year to levels not seen in more than a decade.

"After plunging from more than $100 a barrel to nearly $50 a barrel last year, U.S. oil prices fell 30 percent in 2015 to $37.04 a barrel," the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.


#3

More solar and wind for electricity has little to do with the price of oil, but it has everything to do with coal. Solar became cheaper in New Mexico years ago. If we made Big Coal clean up its act it would be even more so. Problem is, big utilities and the fossil-fuel corpse don't want that to happen. PNM pretty much owns a coal mine. Fossil-fuel dark money just bought off New Mexico's regulator commission so that PNM can do what it wants. Happy fracking new year.


#5

The renewable energy revolution is 50% of the reason for lower oil prices. The other 50% is the imminent threat of a stiff carbon tax on all fossil fuel.

Two years ago oil was being hoarded for the day 20 years from now when it would be worth $200 per barrel. Now, the Saudis and others realize that solar/wind is starting to eat up their market and will continue. Worse for them, their oil reserves will be worthless when they can sell for $40 per barrel with a $40 per barrel carbon tax. So, like ticket scalpers outside the gates of a 4-11 team's stadium, their goal is to sell out now while they can, and for any price that they can get.

Here's part two of the story coming at you. Buildings are going to be able to store heat in insulated boxes, heat that can warm the buildings up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit at 6:00 a.m. on winter mornings. We're also going to have renewable electricity generated at night. One leading candidate is solar thermal storage for nighttime electricity, but whichever horse wins this particular technological race, we'll take it. Finally, electrics will permanently dominate the roads once battery swapping technologies are figured out.

This means that just as coal is dead, oil is dead too. Fracked natural gas will have to pay for all of those environmental disasters that it caused. Fukushima is, well, the walking dead.


#7

No one mentions it but perhaps another factor in solar and wind popularity continuing on past the manufactured slow down of low oil prices is that people resent the Saudis' manipulation of prices to hurt development of alternatives despite climate change.

There is also a subconscious resentment of 'Arab oil' that funds ISIS and terrorism. People were never offered any other choice in energy before but now there are better ways available than oil. So underneath all the bad news is also the sense that we don't need to keep funding terrorism anymore.

Getting off oil is one way of getting even! Let's see if the rightwing picks up on that reality instead of blaming refugees.

Stop funding terrorism - stop using oil!


#10

You can talk as if people weren't the people they are but they aren't going to become saints tomorrow. What if the whole world were fair and willing to help each other selflessly? Great but when you say let's nationalize all the wealth then it becomes an impossible delusion instead of just a 'what if' fantasy. Who would nationalize the wealth? How could that even be done? It is nonsense. So then we'd all live in a collective farm type world? I don't think so.

How about people just knuckle down and fix the climate problem looming over us and then other problems like over population and so forth? Then humanity will have the time to fix our society and its civilization as well as straighten out our far too predatory but nevertheless creative economic system?

Btw our electrified dwellings, computer oriented life, car and supermarkets filled with food and all the rest is sheer and utter WEALTH to a villager in the Sahel who lives in dried earth huts and counts wealth as the number of scraggly bony cattle and has never had electricity or seen a doctor. YOU and me are the rich whereas you compare yourself to a billionaire and think yourself as a laboring-class lower-half. Who looks at us and says... wow those people live a rich life. We are fat and sated with everything.

Poor us... there's nothing on cable tonight... Oh dear!


#11

Sorry for stepping on a dream but we in the technological west live like princes and we complain that we aren't living like kings and our living like kings compare themselves to emperors. It is baloney.

Some people are so poor and have so little... they starve and die. That is being poor in some parts of this world. So poor that you are too poor to live.


#12

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#13

"[A] growing willingness by Wall Street to pour billions of dollars into projects once considered financially risky"

And both they and the corps receiving that loot are looking for a lucrative return on that investment.

There'll be nothing clean about what those dirty hands will do to achieve it.


#14

It is all to do with the end of an energy cycle. Fossil fuels are reaching end of cycle, what is in the ground is valued at trillions of dollars, based upon much higher prices than the current actual price (other cash in by the filthy rich when they dump those companies destined to go bankrupt on the public). Fossil fuels will end up being banned, that is the reality, not just carbon tax but actually banned outright and that is why they are desperately trying to sell as much as they can as fast as they can and will seek to blatantly corrupt the entire political process to keep it going as long as they can.
They can not the damage to the environment, the catastrophic impact on coastal cities or the people their greed kills, the modern corporate psychopath who belongs in an asylum rather than in a boardroom or in any position of government, whether appointed or elected, their greed will kills millions, they are truly awful people.


#15

YES, like health care for all... I find it interesting that when I explain some of what you just did, to the average person, they think I WANT TO THE WEALTH, SO I CAN BE WEALTHY TOO... To be able to buy all the trinkets and luxury that the wealthy buy....SO, I have to explain... But the way you explained it hear is very good, just make sure you mention health care... I know you meant to... but, you have to say it or many will not think of it as part of REAL WEALTH... BECAUSE HEALTH IS WEALTH...


#16

Yyyeessss, yyeesssss yyyyyeeeessss yes.!!!


#17

Absofreakinlutely...


#18

Yep, and as people keep dying from catastrophic after catastrophic event... I wonder what will happen to C.E. O.'s or any one at the top of Oil companies, like EXXON... once the masses realize THAT THEY HELPED BRING DOWN THE PLANET...


#19

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#20

Umm, Wereflea, I get that the other responder was kind of wishful thinking... I'd like that scenario too, but, you have to admit... what you say about "How about people just knuckle down and fix the climate problem looming over us and then other problems like over population and so forth?"...
Well, ,I had to come to terms with thoughts like that ... and I've had to talk with my sister too. She says things like
"if everyone would just not buy this or not buy that... and buy this instead.. something. Peoplle should be more self sufficient. That would be the way to fix it.." ...
So, I realized myself, that wishing that IF EVERYONE WOULD JUST....................................................
Well, everyone isn't................................................................................................
I'd like to think that we are making progress... we are in a way.... but, we are so far behind...
I guess we can keep on trying, but there are so many people who do not care, do not know or understand.... and now, well, look around. The Earth is really reacting to us at this point. Our current atmosphere is really falling apart.... WE HAVE PASSED MANY TIPPING POINTS ALREADY.
I think I am just going on here.... we've had a lot of back and forth discussion, you and I.
I am in the camp that it is probably too late. I do want to fight. But, my way of fighting isn't really to try to keep our lives the same as we live it in this system. WE CAN NOT. As things begin to fall apart more and more... those who do not understand, will not react well, I think. There are many who think it is the government who is CHANING THE WEATHER ON PURPOSE.... so, when it affects their supply of food, what will they do?.... It is all so complicated.... We are so late in getting any solution going.
Look at the Mid West, Texas, South America, all the broken weather patterns around the world, I am afraid of what will be this summer. Summer temps in the U.S.?.... mmmm This El Nino, may be the real straw that broke the camels back as far as our food supply.


#21

Also, I can't stand the thought of all those nuclear power plants around the world and in the U.S.
Really, I can't. I mostly, cannot understand why we have them. Something so DISGUSTING AND DANEROUS. THAT IS WHAT WORRIES ME THE MOST.


#22

An increase in renewables does not equal a reduction in fossil fuels. Both can increase together. For the world as a whole both the use of renewables and the use of fossil fuels are growing. The commitment to coal in countries like India and the growth in fracking for natural gas is pushing the increased use of fossil fuels. Renewables are being deployed on a large scale in many places. A big question is when will global emissions peak? We still might be 10 or 15 years away. Until emissions peak the reduction in emissions cannot begin. The bottom line is the world has still not come close to addressing climate change.


#23

I liked this post of yours. It is honest and real. I think of things this way. People are fallible. We f'k up a lot but generally we do so in simplistic ways or rather for simple reasons. Stupid stuff like we are greedy and if we can make money now then we engage in denial simply because we want to believe that everything won't change because we are making money at the moment.

Fossil fuel companies and investors are not evil (no comment...lol) they are greedy and simply don't want to stop making money. If tomorrow the world magically woke up and fossil fuel companies all had alternative energy production facilities and someone came along with a a way to make fossil fuel use clean the corporations would fight to keep using solar and wind if they could make money doing so.

They just want to keep making the money they do now. Coal is starting to lose money and suddenly they are happy to divest in coal themselves. They are loyal to greed and money not oil or coal.

Those who think the government is changing the weather ought to stop blathering about how they "Just know it is true" and prove something. But they can't. Common sense should tell them it isn't logical. Why would the govt do such a thing? It is uncontrollable and why ruin agriculture in calif. and flood the Ole Missy the Pippy and flood Florida and what the hell happened to winter in the east? Why? They are too dumb to be able to do that and have no reason to do it anyway.

Conspiracy theory people belong to a world wide conspiracy of people who want to believe in conspiracies.

Yeah it will be bad and you can stand around crying about your house is on fire but it makes more sense to call the fire department so that they can come put it out. Yeah the climate change is hitting the fan but... guess who has to live here. Our kids and grandkids that's who.

Americans are too spoiled. People live in terrible misery elsewhere in the world and here we are acting like how terrible it will be to pay for the electric bill because we'll have to use the air conditioner so much with global warming.

We fight because even if someone else lit the matches... we are the kind of people who'll put out the fire no matter what.


#24

You are right and India will have to feel the world's boycott and hopefully some blowback by other nations for their lack of cooperation about climate change. India touts this phony line that you polluted before so we should be allowed to pollute now.

It isn't that India shouldn't grow its economy , it is that India shouldn't grow its economy using coal. If India wants foreign aid then it can't sabotage the world's efforts to help stave off climate change. Someone should ask India if they want to hurt Bangladesh more than they want to help the world.


#25

Many years ago Jello Biafra, the leader of the punk band The Dead Kennedys, appeared on a Bill Maher talk show and spoke out strongly about the need to address the societal problem of "wealth addiction." He asked if anybody needs more than $ 100,000 a year. The shock and indignation on Maher's and the other guests' faces spoke volumes to anyone not covering their ears, and I don't think Jello Biafra has appeared anywhere on the media since.

Even the leftmost progressive media figures don't want to hear that the wealth they have is both a pathology and ill gotten gains.

The whole issue may be impaled on moot point if the Ponzi scheme that is global banking cartel is running loses control of this faith based phantom economy and the imaginary value of the world's money supply goes up in smoke and everyone who thinks they are in possession of a small fortune finds that they own nothing and that there isn't anything anywhere to bail it out with.