News PM Punch — Fossil Fuel Frolic

November 20, 2013

newsmanCold and overcast this Wednesday afternoon — the north coast of California gray with an occasional dull-sparkle of sunshine. Not too-bad a day, though.

News-wise, a pretty mundane day, at least on the crisis side — not in perpetual nightmare that’s Iraq nowadays, however, as at least 66 people were killed across Baghdad and the country.
A US-made horror story.

Awash right now in heavy seasonal rains, Iraqis survive in a war zone (via UPI): “I just wanted to get breakfast for my kids,” Muhsin Muntadhar, who sustained a leg wound from an explosion at a bakery, told The Times. “I never did something bad in my life. What did we do to deserve this? I hope one day I wake up from this nightmare.”
Most-likely never — thank-you, George Jr.

This Friday is the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination — today President Obama and Bill Clinton held a “solemn ceremony” at JFK’s grave site in Arlington National Cemetery after a ceremony at the White House, where he awarded 16 people — including Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and baseball great Ernie Banks — the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The medal a Kennedy legacy.

And that legacy, and the ‘Camelot’ myth that overshadows everything has been on display for awhile now and will heighten this week, I guess. This time 50 years ago — Nov. 20, 1963 — there was no myth, no age of Camelot.
The whole shebang was an invention by Jackie Kennedy, aided and abetted by journalist Theodore White.
Conservative scholar James Piereson at The Daily Beast last week outlined how the aroma of history is tainted by “Don’t ever let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was Camelot.”
Money snip on the actual creation:

Following the interview, White retreated to a guest room in the Kennedy mansion to review his notes and compose a draft of the essay.
His editors were at this hour (late on a Saturday evening) holding the presses open at great expense while waiting to receive his copy over the telephone.
When White later phoned his editors to dictate his text (with Mrs. Kennedy standing nearby), he was surprised by their reaction for they initially rejected the Camelot references as sentimental and inappropriate to the occasion.
Mrs. Kennedy, interpreting the gist of the exchange, signaled to White that Camelot must be kept in the text.
The editors quickly relented.
White later wrote that he regretted the role he played in transmitting the Camelot myth to the public.

An empire with its emperor.

Meanwhile this day on the climate-going-to-shit side of the street — this seems made of science-non-fiction in a saga of how so few could harm so many.
Via the Guardian:

The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.
The companies range from investor-owned firms — household names such as Chevron, Exxon and BP — to state-owned and government-run firms.
The analysis, which was welcomed by the former vice-president Al Gore as a “crucial step forward” found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas or coal, found the analysis, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Climatic Change.
“There are thousands of oil, gas and coal producers in the world,” climate researcher and author Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in Colorado said.
“But the decision makers, the CEOs, or the ministers of coal and oil if you narrow it down to just one person, they could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two.”

Between them, the 90 companies on the list of top emitters produced 63 percent of the cumulative global emissions of industrial carbon dioxide and methane between 1751 to 2010, amounting to about 914 gigatonne CO2 emissions, according to the research.
All but seven of the 90 were energy companies producing oil, gas and coal.
The remaining seven were cement manufacturers.

Concrete knuckles. And a worse piece of shit news, but not all that shocking — from DeSmogBlog:

Oil Change International released a briefing paper today at COP19 in Warsaw revealing that subsidies lavished on the fossil fuel industry by wealthy industrialized nations add up to more than five times the amount of climate finance aid the same countries have so far pledged to deliver to poorer nations to reduce their global warming emissions and adapt to manmade climate change.
Despite the fact that industrialized countries have pledged to scale up to $100 billion in annual climate aid by 2020, they are still pumping more money in the opposite direction, subsidizing fossil fuels production and consumption instead of helping the developing countries adapt and mitigate against climate change impacts.

All lather and no bluster. Again meanwhile, the UN climate talks in Warsaw has turned into just another grip-and-grin for a lot of folks. The big spatter-point at this get-together is a proposed “loss and damage” mechanism to equal-out rich and poor nations as the environment kills us all. Poor countries walked out of a meeting today, leaving the rich to wonder why: U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern downplayed the dispute, saying American negotiators who had attended the meeting were surprised to hear of a walk-out.
And seemingly absurd note:

The government of Poland, which has been criticized at the talks for hosting a coal summit at the same time, stirred things up further Wednesday by replacing Environment Minister Marcin Korolec, who is presiding over the climate conference.
Korolec told reporters the move would not affect his duties as conference president.

WTF — fire a chief guy right in the middle of a giant, international meeting?

And that’s the PM news suck for today.

(Illustration above found here).

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