Open thread for night owls. Will a Paris climate agreement spark $90 trillion energy transformation?

Arctic Protest sign outside Chevron offices.

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin in Paris in four weeks. As in the past, there are both high hopes and jaded expectations for the outcome of COP21. Between then and now, Night Owls will be highlighting numerous and diverse outside essays and analyses as well as original Daily Kos material regarding what outcome activists and others believe is needed from the Paris talks. “Diverse” in the sense that some of these pieces will contradict one another.
Here are excerpts from a piece by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Daily Telegraph:

The fossil fuel industry has taken a very cavalier bet that China, India and the developing world will continue to block any serious effort to curb greenhouse emissions, and that there is, in any case, no viable alternative to oil, gas or coal for decades to come.

Both

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were still credible six years ago when the Copenhagen climate summit ended in acrimony, poisoned by a North-South split over CO2 legacy guilt and the allegedly prohibitive costs of green virtue.
At that point the International Energy Agency (IEA) was still predicting that solar power would struggle to reach 20 gigawatts by now. Few could have foretold that it would in fact explode to 180 gigawatts – over three times Britain’s total power output – as costs plummeted, and that almost half of all new electricity installed in the US in 2013 and 2014 would come from solar. […]

Any suggestion that a quantum leap in the technology of energy storage might soon conquer the curse of wind and solar intermittency was dismissed as wishful thinking, if not fantasy.

Six years later there can be no such excuses. […]



Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010Rightist ‘outsiders’ plan 2012 cash flood:

Beyond Tuesday is where the right has focused its attention. Not that it wasn’t obvious the minute the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case was decided 10 months ago, but the right-wingers who had a few of their fingers pried off the nation’s throat in 2006 and 2008 are preparing to get a better grip come 2012. Jim Rutenberg at The New York Times reports:

Officials with the two conservative groups, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS — which are on track to spend well over $50 million combined this year, a sizable part of it from undisclosed donors — said they would continue advertising against Democrats as Congress returns, when decisions loom on the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts and immigration. […]

However many seats the Republicans gain in Congress, Tuesday’s outcome won’t slow down the right’s effort to cash in on the bonanza the 5-4 Supreme Court’s decision provides them. One thing to expect: As more money flows into the coffers of American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS and other outsider groups, chances are that ad campaigns which in the past have clustered around elections will spread out, becoming a year-round affair regardless of when the elections are. Thus can Karl Rove, et al., put the cudgel to left-of-center approaches to governance and seek to transform every Democrat—regardless of voting record—into a radical in the minds of voters.



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