Category Archives: Climate Change

The Fiscal Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment

Reposted from Chicago 350
By Larry Coble and Joe Antoun, CFP


Executive Summary

Human civilization is swiftly proceeding toward the culmination point of a long-developing and holistic revolution in the energy sector for power generation, transportation and storage technology. With renewable energy sources, such as Solar PV and Wind generation gaining market share and experiencing dramatic price drops and projected to become the cheapest form of power generation by 20202, the installation and operation of alternative energy technologies will continue displacing 20th century carbon emitting energy generation facilities and transportation systems utilizing oil, coal and natural gas. According to a Morgan Stanley report of July 6th, 2017,

“Numerous key markets recently reached an inflection point where renewables have become the cheapest form of new power generation,” the bank said in a note.

“A dynamic we see spreading to nearly every country we cover by 2020. The price of solar panels has fallen 50% in less than two years (2016-17).”

Renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, are quickly becoming as cheap—even cheaper—than their carbon-intensive counterparts like coal.3

Rapid buildout and utilization of renewable technologies will create seismic shifts and disruptions in markets for energy and transportation, leaving incumbent technologies and fossil fuel assets experiencing diminished utilization, followed by becoming stranded and written off on balance sheets as losses. With the author’s having researched the topic from a multiplicity of sources from the business press, think tanks, investment houses, government agencies and academia, this paper reports the latest findings on the financial and technological viability of the following renewable energy technologies:

  • Solar PV
  • On-Shore Wind Generation
  • Battery Storage
  • Electric Vehicles (EV’s), including Automated versions

While the paper explores the current and future status of the above technologies, the document studies the future of fossil fuels and related infrastructure and the financial stakes of maintaining investments in oil, coal and gas.

While the transition from a fossil fuels to renewables is occurring, the shifts will not necessarily follow a slow trend path. The evolution of the marketplace may occur rapidly with sudden leaps, causing swift adaptation of newer technologies and displacement of older, fossil fuel based equipment and economics, much like smart phones rapidly displaced flip phones and land lines.4 Over the next 3 – 10 years, the energy technology revolution will begin displacing, sometimes swiftly, coal, oil and lastly gas as the prominent fuels for economic activity, allowing for renewables and storage technology to increasingly dominate the economic investment landscape for energy generation and transportation.

Key Findings:

  • Coal has lost 90% of its Market Capitalization and will not recover due to economic forces favoring renewable technologies. Increased world-wide regulations will further exacerbate the decline in coal utilization but will not prove the decisive factor in the future.5 Costliness of coal versus wind and solar will drive the fossil fuel from the marketplace as well as the infrastructural age of most coal burning power plants.6
  • Oil will hit peak demand between 2020 and 2023 with an estimated 2 million barrels per day(mbd) being removed from the market and the potential of 25 – 30 mbd by 2030, causing a slump in prices and driving costly oil fields from production, thus leading to diminishment in oil company valuations, especially corporations heavily invested in expensive Tar Sands and Shale extraction.7/ 8
  • Electric Vehicles (EV’s) and Autonomous Electric Vehicles (A EV’s) are poised to increase market share globally due to improvements in battery technology, scalability, lower manufacturing costs, advantages of longevity and the Transportation as a Service (TaAS) model of ride sharing already prevalent in major cities through companies such as Uber and Lyft. Worldwide regulations to meet COP21 climate goals will accelerate the changeover process from Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) to EV’s.9
  • Natural Gas will experience competition from cheaper renewable technologies such as Solar PV and On-Shore wind for power generation. Both renewable technologies will prove less costly to install, maintain and operate than conventional natural gas by 2020. According to Business Insider and Morgan Stanley, Solar and Wind “will be the cheapest source of power in the world in less than three years.”10
  • Battery Storage technology: “Demand for energy storage from the utility sector will grow more than the market anticipates by 2019-20,” the report from Morgan Stanley asserts. The demand for storage is expected to grow from a less than $300 million a year market to as much as $4 billion in the next two to three years. Battery Storage Technology will create conditions for “wind and solar to become a dependable rather than an unpredictable source of energy.”11

The following paper collates the findings of the business press, analyses from major investment houses, think tanks, government agencies and academic studies into a document depicting the rapid shifts and disruptions occurring in the energy and transportation sectors across the United States and the globe. The document attempts to gather and illustrate the growing consensus of financial, energy and transportation analysts regarding the forthcoming and ineluctable changeover from a fossil-fuel based economy to a system powered by renewable resources and the technology designed to capture, distribute, store and operate in the forthcoming new energy economy. While this document depicts a snapshot of market conditions in late 2017, the rapid shift toward energy sectors dominated by renewable energy technologies will only accelerate across the globe, leaving incumbent fuel sources and equipment with ever diminishing roles, moving to unviability and eventual elimination from the economy.

Thoroughly footnoted and utilizing reporting and analyses from esteemed outlets and organizations, the document outlines the multiplicity of reasons investors, especially cities, their operating budgets and their attendant pension funds should heed the gathering trend lines and begin the process of divesting from the fossil fuel energy sector. With renewables poised to gain increasing market shares, the oil, coal and gas sectors will undergo reduced demand trending toward zero due to economic and regulatory pressures from markets and government respectively, leaving assets in the ground and facilities designed to explore, mine, process and burn fossil fuels increasingly diminished in value and heading towards non-utilization, stranding and worthlessness.

Read the whole report here.


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Film. Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution. March 6.

One Earth Film Festival Group Outing!

James Redford / 2017 / 71 min / Energy

Tuesday, March 6,  7 PM – 10 PM CST

Patagonia Chicago The Magnificent
48 E Walton St, Chicago, Illinois 60611

Tickets Available

Reception at 7 p.m.
Film at 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Admission $20, includes beer, water, and hors d’oeuvres*

OEFF After Hours Event. Doors open at 7 p.m., when you can relax with a drink and light appetizers in a chic and urban space. After the films, unpack what you’ve learned about clean energy with Jamie Ponce of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, Craig Sieben of Sieben Energy Associates and Reverend Booker Steven Vance of Faith in Place. Facilitator: Stephanie McCray Executive Coach, Executive Material.

Doors open 15 minutes before start time.
Arrive early to avoid lines and get best seats.

CHICAGO-AREA PREMIERE. FILM DESCRIPTION: When the issue of renewable energy comes up, it’s common to think, “that’s a future thing. It’s like sci-fi.” Well, this film is here to tell you, the clean energy revolution is happening right now. Director James Redford, an award-winning filmmaker … and, yes, Hollywood legend Robert Redford’s son … takes us on his personal journey into the dawn of the clean energy era as it creates jobs, turns profits, and makes communities stronger and healthier. “Reaching well beyond a story of technology and innovation, Happening explores issues of human resilience, social justice, embracing the future, and finding hope for our survival,” says Redford.

THE LOCAL SPIN: As the State of Illinois is poised to implement funding and resources through the Future Energy Jobs Act of 2017, we have our own clean energy and social equity ideas and stories to explore.

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Standing Up to Climate Denial in Action

by Thanu Yakupitiyage –


The only event the Trump administration hosted at the COP 23 UN climate talks during the last two weeks in Germany was a panel promoting “clean” coal, nuclear, and other fossil fuels. This is climate denial in action.

Luckily, people weren’t buying it. As fossil fuel executives took the stage to speak, hundreds of people rose up, disrupting the event by singing, and walked out. I was there, and I can tell you that being part of that beautiful and powerful moment sent shivers down my spine. But don’t just take it from me — watch this powerful video of people rising up in resistance.

This powerful act of resistance was led by members of the U.S. People’s Delegation. The delegation included youth, Indigenous peoples, frontline communities, advocates, and policymakers who came to Germany to stand their ground as the true representatives of people in the U.S. Through direct actions, speak outs and discussions with elected officials, they spotlighted that true climate leadership in the U.S. comes from the people.

The U.S. People’s Delegation sent a powerful message to the world in Germany: U.S. communities aren’t waiting for this administration to get its act together — we’re demanding lasting change now. The delegation showed world leaders that people are already organizing in cities and states across the country to call for a fast, just transition to a world free of fossil fuels that’s powered by 100% renewable energy for all.

The organizations represented in the People’s Delegation include: SustainUS, Sunrise Movement, Indigenous Environmental Network, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, and the Climate Justice Alliance as part of It Takes Roots, U.S Human Rights Network, Climate Generation, Our Children’s Trust, ICLEI USA, NextGen America, and

Now, with the climate talks having just finished, the delegation members are heading home for some much-needed rest — but here in the U.S., our fight is just beginning. We will be in touch soon with more information on what’s next.

With resolve,

Thanu Yakupitiyage



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Humans of Kiribati

hungry tide


Photographer’s Caption: In this picture, we see the impact of Cyclone Pam’s initial waves on the Capital Island of Tarawa. Sandbag walls, constructed from reused rice bags and gathered sand are often the island’s only defense against king tides, storms, and cyclones. “To be honest I thought this is the end of my world. It’s like watching a live movie. People running for their lives, BUT praise the Lord it’s just a mini tsunami. Heaps of things destroyed, fortunately no one is harmed. Now, people are beginning to wonder how long they will be able to remain in their homeland.”

See more here.

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E.P.A. Cancels Talk on Climate Change by Agency Scientists


WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency has canceled the speaking appearance of three agency scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference on Monday in Rhode Island, according to the agency and several people involved.

John Konkus, an E.P.A. spokesman and a former Trump campaign operative in Florida, confirmed that agency scientists would not speak at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program in Providence. He provided no further explanation.

Scientists involved in the program said that much of the discussion at the event centers on climate change. Many said they were surprised by the E.P.A.’s last-minute cancellation, particularly since the agency helps to fund the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, which is hosting the conference. The scientists who have been barred from speaking contributed substantial material to a 400-page report to be issued on Monday.

The move highlights widespread concern that the E.P.A. will silence government scientists from speaking publicly or conducting work on climate change. Scott Pruitt, the agency administrator, has said that he does not believe human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are primarily responsible for the warming of the planet.

Continue reading here.

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This was I-10 before Harvey. Now it looks like an ocean


(CNN)Logan Wheat went out on a small boat to check on cattle and ended up capturing one of the most startling photos of flooding from Harvey.

See article here.

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Filed under Climate Change, science fiction, Urban Ecology

“An Inconvenient Sequel” Screenings and Much More

See below information about “An Inconvenient Sequel” screenings, and various related resources for educators, business professionals, and concerned citizens.


From a New York Times review:

In a summer movie landscape with Spider-Man, a simian army waging further battle for the planet and Charlize Theron as a sexy Cold War-era superspy, it says something that one of the most compelling characters is Al Gore.

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” a follow-up to “An Inconvenient Truth,” Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-winning documentary from 2006, is a reboot that justifies its existence — and not just because Mr. Gore has fresh news to report on climate change since his previous multimedia presentation played in multiplexes.

Read more here.

See trailer here.

Get tickets and find various resources here.











Image source: Occasional Planet,





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