November 5, 2022
Weekend Reads: All About COP27; Wind Power Makes Its Debut in the Gulf of Mexico
It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.
What Is COP27? And Other Questions About the Big U.N. Climate Summit (The New York Times) World leaders will meet in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, on Nov. 6 for two weeks of climate negotiations as nations struggle to cut greenhouse gas emissions amid a global energy crisis, war in Europe and rising inflation. The conference is convened annually by the United Nations. At last year’s summit in Scotland, countries agreed they must immediately do more to prevent a dangerous rise in global temperatures. But fast action has not materialized and the consequences of climate change — including deadly floods in Pakistan, drought in the United States, famine in Africa and heat waves across Europe — are painfully clear.
What’s at stake for Biden’s climate agenda in the midterms (Vox) If Republicans take control of the House, Senate, or both in the midterms, they have every incentive to turn the rollout of Democrats’ singular achievements into a political disaster. At stake is $370 billion in incentives for electric vehicles, electric appliances, clean energy, and pollution reduction, passed as part of the Inflation Reduction Act this summer on a party-line vote. Republicans can’t scrap any part of the law as long as President Joe Biden remains in office; any attempt would face a presidential veto, even if it managed to pass the Senate filibuster threshold. What Republicans can do is gum up the works of the bill’s massive climate programs.
Move over, oil – wind energy is officially coming to the Gulf of Mexico (Electrek) The first area is located approximately 24 nautical miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas. This area totals 508,265 acres and has the potential to power 2.1 million homes. The second area is located approximately 56 nautical miles off the coast of Lake Charles, Louisiana. It totals 174,275 acres and has the potential to power over 740,000 homes. BOEM slightly reduced the size of the two areas from their draft versions to address concerns expressed by the Department of Defense and the US Coast Guard regarding shipping, marine navigation, and military operations. The Biden administration announced in July that it would pursue the development of offshore wind energy in the Gulf, which is already a hub for oil and gas production.
A “Farm Powered” Business Model For Scalable Renewable Energy Production From Waste (Forbes) It has been pointed out that “waste is only really waste if you waste it.” That is of particular concern when what is being wasted is potential renewable energy. Our food system generates two major waste streams that have traditionally ended up on the negative side of their potential – the manure that comes from farm animals, and the inedible food waste that happens at the food manufacturing or retail level. There is a solution that addresses both of these missed opportunities and reduces our reliance on landfills and incinerators. A company called Vanguard Renewables has developed a business model that connects farms with food companies and retailers to combine their waste streams and use them to generates renewable natural gas which can then serve to decarbonize the energy supply for society as a whole.
The Front Trunk Is Electric Cars’ Most Divisive Feature (Bloomberg) Nothing screams “future of transportation” like an 80-mile-per-hour sushi bar. At least that’s how Ford is marketing the refrigerator-sized front trunk that comes standard on two of its electric vehicles, complete with drain. Seafood not your thing? Ford suggests loading it up with 1,000 chicken wings. It’s still early days in the race for EV supremacy, and while engineers have rushed to improve driving ranges and charging speeds, they remain split on the front trunk. Roughly one-third of the 30 or so EV models for sale in the US have supersized the feature in recognition of its novelty and utility — after all, a “frunk” is one of few things EVs offer that a gas-powered vehicle cannot.
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