Bill Gates Talked to Trump About the Opportunity for Clean Energy Innovation

Bloomberg: Bill Gates Pushes Green Energy on Call With Trump, While Building $1 Billion Fund

On one end of the phone, there was Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, who has pledged a good chunk of his fortune to ending climate change. On the other end of the line, there was President-elect Donald Trump, who has described climate change as a hoax and surrounded himself with fellow deniers.

Somehow these two men managed to speak recently with at least a modicum of productivity, according to Gates. The call happened two weeks ago for about eight minutes, letting Gates present a small part of his philanthropic and investment agenda.

“The key point I was pushing [is that] there was the opportunity for innovation in not only energy but also medicine and education, and encouraging the idea that that’s a great deal and a great thing for American leadership,” Gates said.

InsideClimate News: 'The Arctic Is Unraveling,' Scientists Conclude After Latest Sobering Climate Report

The ill winds of climate change are irrevocably reshaping the Arctic, including massive declines in  sea ice and snow and a record-late start to sea ice formation this fall. Those were the sobering conclusions of the 2016 Arctic Report Card released Tuesday.

The report card is sponsored by the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and co-authored by more than 50 scientists from Asia, North America and Europe. The data shows that the Arctic is warming at double the rate of the global average temperature. Between October 2015 and September 2016, temperatures over Arctic land areas were 2.0 degrees Celsius above the 1981-­2010 baseline, the warmest on record going back to 1900.

Atlantic: The Solar Industry Has Paid Off Its Carbon Debts

Think of all the energy that goes into making a single solar panel. Quartz and copper must be mined. The raw materials must be converted into wafers, then encased in protective material. And after panels leave the factory, they must be shipped all over the world.

Now imagine these consequences spread over four decades — the environmental cost of the solar industry. Given all the research, development, and production time that goes into making any one panel, a skeptical solar-buyer might wonder: Has the solar industry on the whole really saved any energy at all?

To that concern, a new analysis answers: Yes.

New York Times: Secretary of State Nominee Is a Flexible Pragmatist

As the leader of the biggest oil company in the United States, and with his close relations to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and a controversial record on climate change, Mr. Tillerson, 64, is likely to be a lightning rod for Democratic and some Republican senators as he seeks confirmation.

But executives at Exxon Mobil and around the oil business have said that Mr. Tillerson has learned to get along with Mr. Putin strictly for business reasons, but that he does not have a particular fondness for him. And supporters extol Mr. Tillerson’s intelligence.

Detractors, though, view him as the epitome of an industry whose activities harm the environment and whose interests lie squarely with lifting sanctions on Russia.

Associated Press: Perry Would Bring Oil Industry Ties to Energy Department

Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Energy secretary, has close ties to the Texas oil industry and has corporate roles in two petroleum companies pushing to get government approval for the proposed 1,200-mile crude oil pipeline that has stoked mass protests in North Dakota.

Perry's current roles as board director at Energy Transfer Partners LP and also at Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, which jointly developed the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project, is a strong indicator of the pro-oil-industry sentiment that will likely take root at the Energy Department under his oversight. Perry is close to Texas energy industry executives, and his political campaigns, including two aborted presidential campaigns, benefited substantially from their donations.

Source: Greentechmedia