Washington Post: Tillerson Doesn’t Deny Climate Change -- But Dodges Questions About Exxon’s Role in Sowing Doubt
Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said he believes “the risk of climate change does exist, and the consequences could be serious enough that action should be taken.” But while the Obama administration and other world leaders have aggressively pursued efforts to slash carbon dioxide emissions and stave off global warming, the former ExxonMobil chief executive expressed little such urgency when testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
Asked by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) about his personal position on climate change, Tillerson said he formed his views “over about 20 years as an engineer and a scientist, understanding the evolution of the science.” Ultimately, he said, he concluded that increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations in the atmosphere are having an effect on the earth’s climate. But he added, “Our ability to predict that effect is very limited,” and precisely what actions nations should take “seems to be the largest area of debate existing in the public discourse.”
Gizmodo: Damn, Apple Is Losing a Lot of People
A spate of top engineers have left Apple for Tesla and other companies over the last few months. What’s going on?
On Tuesday, Tesla announced that it had hired Chris Lattner as its new vice president of autopilot software. Lattner was at Apple for more than 11 years, most recently serving as its senior director of developer tools. Lattner is the creator of the Swift programming language, which Apple launched back in 2014, and which the company has been encouraging its app developers to build Mac and iOS apps in.
Bloomberg: Putin's Other American Propaganda Effort: Anti-Fracking News
Energy politics makes strange bedfellows, none stranger than Robin Hood and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
RT, a media organization that the U.S. intelligence community calls "the Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet," published an article on Jan. 2 under the unlikely headline: “Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest hideout under threat from frackers.” The article, which carries no byline and cites the work of environmental activists, laments plans of a unit of Ineos Group, a Switzerland-based chemical company, to conduct seismic testing for natural gas near Major Oak, the millennium-old tree that served in legend as headquarters to Robin Hood and his merry fellows. (Ineos Shale and Friends of the Earth have been involved in a public dispute over the environmental group's depiction of fracking, with the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Board weighing in.)
Energy Post: Energy Efficiency Rate Has to Double to Meet Climate Targets
The annual improvement in energy efficiency has slowed down from 1.6% in the period 2000-2008 to 1.3% in 2009-2015, according to a comprehensive new report published by the World Energy Council and the French public agency ADEME. To meet the Paris climate targets, the rate should double to 2.5% per year to 2030, says François Moisan, scientific director of ADEME. According to Moisan, price signals are key to achieving this goal, although supporting policies are also required. He believes the global spread of smart meters represent the biggest single opportunity to step up energy savings.
Guardian: Tidal Lagoons Could 'Ensure U.K. Power Supplies'
Tidal lagoons could play an important role in ensuring secure power supplies, according to a former energy minister who has led a review into the technology.
Charles Hendry was speaking before the publication of his independent review, commissioned by the government, into the potential for tidal lagoon energy in the U.K.
Support by the review for the renewable energy technology will be a boost to efforts to get a “world first” project off the ground to harness the power of the tides in the Severn estuary by building a lagoon in Swansea Bay.