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Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: April 2nd, 2020, 7:56 pm
by TheVat ... il-and-gas

But there’s growing recognition, too, that employment in the oil and gas sector is going to become less secure as the climate crisis intensifies and the planet moves towards renewable energy consumption at the expense of fossil fuels.

“Renewables are set to penetrate the global energy system more quickly than any fuel in history,” a report by the oil giant BP acknowledged in 2019.

“It took 45 years for oil to increase from 1 percent of world energy to 10 percent … renewables (will go) from 1 percent to 10 ten percent in 25 years.”

Catherine Abreu is the executive director of Climate Action Network Canada, a coalition of more than 100 environmental groups across the country. She thinks job instability is hardwired into the oil and gas sector because extractive industries are prone to aggressive cycles of boom and bust.

“One of Canada’s major vulnerabilities is not only our runaway addiction to consuming fossil fuels but also our economic reliance on volatile fossil fuel markets,” she told VICE.

An expansion in green energy production could help “build resilience” into the Canadian economy, Abreu said.

“We need to be clear that when (environmentalists) criticize oil and gas, we’re not criticizing the people who work in it; we’re criticizing the profit model it operates on, which tends to privatize all the benefits of the industry and socialize all the costs.”

“Now, with the economy in free fall and millions of people out of work, including in extractive industries, it's more urgent than ever.”

According to Karasek, an extensive program of state-led investment in green energy wouldn’t just help slash carbon emissions in the face of rising global temperatures.

It would also deliver vital financial support to oil and gas workers in the midst of a severe economic downturn, not least by creating thousands of new green jobs.

Governments face a choice, she said: They can “respond the way (they) did in 2008, by bailing out executives and leaving everyday people behind, or enact policies rooted in values of compassion and respect. The Green New Deal is the only economic stimulus plan that meets this moment.”

Hassan Yussuff is the president of the Canadian Labour Congress and co-chaired the federal government’s Just Transition Task Force for Canadian Coal-Power Workers.

Like Karasek, he believes a Green New Deal would be the best way to confront the climate crisis and alleviate job insecurity in the energy sector.

But it’s equally vital, he says, for fossil fuel workers to be included in the decision-making process—and for governments and campaigners to avoid imposing solutions technocratically, from the top down....

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: April 2nd, 2020, 8:36 pm
by Serpent
Alberta is obdurate. This would have been a terrific opportunity to stop being hostage to the oil industry.
No -- They want their pipeline, they want their pipeline theywanttheirpipeline theywanttheirpipeline!!

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: April 30th, 2020, 3:47 pm
by TheVat
Solar and wind are now cheapest power source for most of the world... ... 02976.html

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: April 30th, 2020, 6:27 pm
by Serpent
It's a no-brainer, right?
Unfortunately, a lot of no-brains are so deeply invested in oil that they'd rather see their people starve than let go. All the green energy initiatives, plus a whole lot of climate change mitigation, that "We simply cannot afford!!" would be paid for by the subsidies we pay to the culprits.

OCI has produced about the most conservative possible estimate of the subsidies received by fossil fuels in the US. These are solely production subsidies — taxpayer money that goes directly to producing more fossil fuels.
So what’s the verdict?
Adding everything up: $14.7 billion in federal subsidies and $5.8 billion in state-level incentives, for a total of $20.5 billion annually in corporate welfare.

Every year, the federal government and some provinces pay billions in hand-outs to Canada's coal, oil and gas companies, undermining climate action in Canada. Fossil fuel subsidies to producers total $3.3 billion annually, which amounts to paying polluters $19/tonne to pollute.

Which sharpens the point: The burning of fossil fuels demands the grant of something valuable not from one equal to another, but from the poor to the rich, from the weak to the powerful.

Right now, our hearts and dollars are going out - again! - to the oil town that burned down a couple of years ago is now drowning - and has no good reason to be there there in the first place.
Fort McMurray acquired its reputation as a boom and bust town early in its history. While potential oil reserves had been identified as early as 1891, the first oil sands project didn’t begin until 1964. Expectations prompted by periodic mineral surveys led to early, periodic economic booms that invariably collapsed.

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: May 5th, 2020, 6:28 pm
by Serpent
You know those moments, when the only appropriate action is to wave your arms in the air and run around in small circles, screaming?
We just watched the new Michael Moor film. (He's not in it.) Planet of the Humans
I can see why it "sparked outrage".
"Planet of the Humans"' approach is fundamentally flawed – Gibbs focuses almost exclusively on the imperfections of technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, biomass, and electric cars without considering their ability to reduce carbon and other pollutants. The film suggests that because no source of energy is perfect, all are bad, thus implying that the very existence of human civilization is the problem while offering little in the way of alternative solutions.

We just don't want to see ourselves.
Yes! Human civilization is the problem.
This film wasn't intended to "offer solutions", nor is it particularly about the "imperfections" of alternate technologies (but rather the fraudulent selling of technologies that are not really alternate). It was intended to show how big business co-opted the green movement.
The only viable "alternative solutions" all involve the unthinkable: stop making so many people who use and waste so much at such exorbitant profit to a few.

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: May 5th, 2020, 6:49 pm
by TheVat
Will watch. And it's free on YouTube, so they're going for maximum viewership. Before watching, I'll just say that a lot of things we wish were grassroots movements get "astroturfed" - co-opted by corporate entities or niche groups. I saw the intro, I liked the woman comparing us to cockroaches.

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: May 5th, 2020, 8:02 pm
by Serpent
I only wish I had turned it off five minutes before the end.

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: May 11th, 2020, 5:53 pm
by TheVat
About an hour into it. Some solid research there on greenwashing. Especially liked the debunking of biomass myths. Will write a bit more when I finish watching.

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: May 12th, 2020, 11:11 am
by TheVat
I really like the film's questioning of the mainstream Green positions like "electric cars will save us, " or "we can produce just as many gigawatts with renewables." And the way it talks about the elephants in the room like population reduction. It may be that true sustainability will need people mostly on bicycles rather than in electrics, and several billion fewer of us, and going back to natural fiber clothes you own (and knit and patch) your entire adult life, and eating mostly plants, etc. It's at least a conversation the Sierra Club folks need to have before donning the latest Gore-Tex* gear and heading for the wilds in their SUVs.

And bravo the straight talk about groups like Nature Conservancy throwing sweet logging concessions into their "preserves. "

* to their credit, Gore ended the use of PFOAs in making their fabric, in 2013.

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: May 12th, 2020, 2:22 pm
by Serpent
You see what it's really about - and therefore why the shrill critics want to change the framing issue to:
"This is not helpful! You're just pointing out what's wrong, instead of offering solutions!"

The solution they demand is a
- convenient
- palatable
- non-intrusive
- non-disruptive
- way to have all the cake they want
- to eat
- and keep
- while maintaining a healthy 4% economic growth
- without changing the global entitlement-structure

If these holier-than-thou environmentalists can't come up with a solution like that, they ought to shut up about the solutions we offer! At a very reasonable price --

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: September 16th, 2020, 7:02 pm
by TheVat ... ble-energy

Looks at how coal-fired power plants currently on the drawing board are doomed to become stranded assets. (if you aren't familiar with that term, this article is a good introduction to the concept)

Re: Green energy and workers hit hard by recession

PostPosted: September 16th, 2020, 10:20 pm
by Serpent
Doesn't matter - a conservative government will bail them out and pay for the cleanup after the shareholders walk off with the bail money, plus their employees' pensions and leave the derelict plants and ghost towns.

... well, maybe not this time. Maybe covid will have eaten up all the government's credit.

One of the federal government's relief efforts was a $billion or so for cleanup of abandoned wells. The petroleum companies were supposed to be responsible for reclamation, but they never got 'round to it while they were busy trashing native land and making big profits, and then the bottoms fell out of the market and the world in quick succession, and the poor things couldn't cope; much wailing and gnashing; lots of Newfoundlanders and Quebecois who had been lured there by the prospect of good jobs, and who took out big mortgages on new houses, were suddenly up the redolent river, so of course we had to help them out.... That was announced on April 17. Mid-June, Alberta finally started contracting out the work. By July, it had become way more expensive, of course, but at least it's work, outdoors, not in a meat processing plant...

... might have started to wean them off oil. I hear there are some new hydroponic greenhouses starting up out there; baby steps toward food self-sufficiency...
One entertains fantasies of a throne speech that will give these initiatives a push...
(but one is not so naive as to bring out the good china)