'Traitor' Trump 'Colludes' With Putin Over Oil
By Andy Rowell
The papers back home were indignant with rage. The New York Times called Trump Putin's "lackey." The paper said that this was the summit that Putin had dreamed of for eighteen years, and Trump had willingly obliged.
The Washington Post's bruising editorial headline was "Trump just colluded with Russia. Openly."
The paper thundered "Trump appeared to align himself with the Kremlin against American law enforcement before the Russian ruler and a global audience … Trump in fact was openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power."
It was not just the press who criticized the president, as he also received cross-party political condemnation.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement: "For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous and weak. The president is putting himself over our country."
John Brennan, the CIA director under Barack Obama, said: "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin," he tweeted.
Arizona Republican senator John McCain added it was "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory … It is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake … no prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant."
The condemnation is everywhere, filling column inches after column inches in the press. Another headline in the Post stated "Trump is a Putin Fanboy: Someday we will know why."
There are many reasons why Trump is a "fanboy" of Putin. And we can guess why. As well as finding common cause to dismiss the evidence of Russian meddling in the flawed election he won, the egotistical narcissistic hard men have much in common, too. And one of those issues is oil.
As one news outlet, CNBC, put it: "Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Moscow and Washington could cooperate to soothe volatility in the oil market that has roiled the industry in recent years."
Putin said at the conference: "I think that we as a major oil and gas power, and the United States as a major oil and gas power as well, we could work together on regulation of international markets, because neither of us is actually interested in the plummeting of the prices."
Putin added: "But nor are we interested in driving prices up because it will drain a lot of juices from all other sectors of the economy, so we do have space for cooperation here."
Indeed the meteorologist Eric Holthaus, writing in Grist, also picks up the oil theme: "There's no way to understand Trump's relationship with Russia without putting oil and climate politics at its center" he wrote. "If you're upset at Trump and Putin for undermining our democracy, just wait until you find out that they are likely colluding to destroy our planet's climate system, too."
He added: "After Monday's meeting in Helsinki, it's clearer than ever that we are at a crucial moment in our American democracy as well as in the biggest and most important fight we've ever had—the fight against climate change."
Holthaus continued: "Russia is a petrostate, and the U.S. is now, too. In fact, the two countries are the world's largest non-OPEC oil producers, extracting nearly as much as all OPEC countries combined … By working together, they can keep the global economy swimming in oil and gas."
The two hardmen are propped up by fossil fuels and our addiction to oil and gas. So Holthaus finishes by arguing, "The quicker we resolve to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels, the quicker Putin and Trump will become powerless."
And that can only be a good thing. For all of us.
Steel Made by Russian Company Tied to Putin Used in Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines https://t.co/K0d4hinZRu @OccupyHouston— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1487628308.0
Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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