Purple-eyes twin owls
Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the defense correspondent of The Nation. His most recent book is The Race for What’s Left. At TomDispatch, he writes: How to Fry a Planet:

When it comes to energy and economics in the climate-change era, nothing is what it seems. Most of us believe (or want to believe) that the second carbon era, the Age of Oil, will soon be superseded by the Age of Renewables, just as oil had long since superseded the Age of Coal. President Obama offered exactly this vision in a much-praised June address on climate change. True, fossil fuels will be needed a little bit longer, he indicated, but soon enough they will be overtaken by renewable forms of energy.

Michael T. Klare
Michael T. Klare
Many other experts share this view, assuring us that increased reliance on “clean” natural gas combined with expanded investments in wind and solar power will permit a smooth transition to a green energy future in which humanity will no longer be pouring carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. All this sounds promising indeed. There is only one fly in the ointment: it is not, in fact, the path we are presently headed down. The energy industry is not investing in any significant way in renewables. Instead, it is pouring its historic profits into new fossil-fuel projects, mainly involving the exploitation of what are called “unconventional” oil and gas reserves.

The result is indisputable: humanity is not entering a period that will be dominated by renewables. Instead, it is pioneering the third great carbon era, the Age of Unconventional Oil and Gas.

That we are embarking on a new carbon era is increasingly evident and should unnerve us all.Hydro-fracking—the use of high-pressure water columns to shatter underground shale formations and liberate the oil and natural gas supplies trapped within them—is being undertaken in ever more regions of the United States and in a growing number of foreign countries. In the meantime, the exploitation of carbon-dirty heavy oil and tar sands formations is accelerating in Canada, Venezuela and elsewhere.

It’s true that ever more wind farms and solar arrays are being built, but here’s the kicker: investment in unconventional fossil-fuel extraction and distribution is now expected to outpace spending on renewables by a ratio of at least three-to-one in the decades ahead.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), an inter-governmental research organization based in Paris, cumulative worldwide investment in new fossil-fuel extraction and processing will total an estimated $22.87 trillion between 2012 and 2035, while investment in renewables, hydropower and nuclear energy will amount to only $7.32 trillion. In these years, investment in oil alone, at an estimated $10.32 trillion, is expected to exceed spending on wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, hydro, nuclear and every other form of renewable energy combined.[...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008Worst Judgment Ever:

Seeing even Zombie Newt Gingrich be unearthed, this last week, certainly added a bit of the surreal to the House Republican non-debating debate on behalf of yet another corporate giveaway. Just when you think they're one clown short of a circus, ta-dum: they deliver that one last clown.

Food for thought: the last eight years have seen numerous acts of terrorism, here and elsewhere, two wars, a catastrophic hurricane, floods, multiple violations of law by officials in government, confirmation of actually occurring global climate change, children's toys contaminated with ingestible lead, and a collapse of the mortgage market that has had nationwide housing and banking impacts. To name a few.

During this time, I believe there have been only two circumstances that have riled Republican congressmen enough for them to demand returning to Washington during a recess. The first was done so that 535 legislators plus the President of the United States could play collective doctor to Terri Schiavo based on a videotape and the pronouncements of Senator Bill Frist.

The second was to stage a mock debate on the floor of the House to demand new lease giveaways to oil companies during a time of record profits. After ending the previous session by blocking almost all other energy legislation.
So... there you go, I guess.

Tweet of the Day:

Ugh, you have to show ID now when buying nail polish remover at CVS. Seriously America, stop cooking so much meth.

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Glenn Greenwald tweets that "the 'NSA-reveres-the-law' crowd" should read the NYT editorial "Breaking Through Limits on Spying," which reminds me to revisit his "cartoon super villain" post. McClatchy on a former CIA employee prosecuted over "extraordinary rendition." Desmogblog on an alleged EPA election time censorship of its own fracking water contamination report. Finally, @gnarlytrombone says noise of rain's May 12th diary, "WI's Overpass Light Brigade, the Law and Building a Movement" shows 1st Amendment protesters can litigate civil rights directly with the cops too.

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