A Fossil Fuel Free World is Possible: How to Power a Warming Earth Without Oil, Coal and Nuclear

There’s all sorts of, kind of, false beliefs about renewable energy, but things have changed. Wind is, right now, not only one of the fastest — between wind and solar — are the fastest growing new sources of electric power in the United States, but wind is actually the cheapest form of electricity by far in the U.S. today.

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

The unsubsidized cost without the subsidies is about 3.7 to five cents per kilowatt hour. Subsidies are another 1.5 cents to drop those costs per kilowatt hour. That compares with natural gas which is six to eight cents per kilowatt hour. So wind is one half the cost of natural gas. Utility scale solar is about the same as natural gas now; it’s also around six to eight cents per kilowatt-hour unsubsidized.”

Well, it turns out that people today can actually control their own power in their own homes. You can put solar panels — I mean wind turbines may be only in a few locations in your back yard, but you can combine solar panels on your roof top with batteries and Tesla has a new battery pack that you can put in your garage that can — where you can store electricity during the day that from the solar, and then use it — use that electricity when there are peak times of electricity because that is when the price is much higher. But people can do other things. They can weatherize their home, they can use energy efficient appliances. There are a lot of things that people can do to reduce energy use and go towards 100 percent renewable energy. Using heat pumps instead of gas heaters. Getting electric cars instead of gasoline cars. More

 

 

HSBC to pay $43 mn in probe over Swiss subsidiary’s tax evasion

HSBC said it will pay 40 million Swiss francs ($43 million) in compensation to Geneva authorities to avoid charges of money laundering for its Swiss subsidiary. The fine is the biggest ever in Geneva’s history.

“The investigation found that neither the bank nor its employees are suspected of any current criminal offences,” HSBC said in a statement on Thursday, according to the Guardian. The bank added that the probe was closed.

The Genevan authorities said the payment, which is being described as “compensation”rather than a fine, was in line with the profits obtained by HSBC from processing illicit funds.

The bank also said it has improved practices to keep clients from using the bank “to evade taxes or launder money,” and drastically reduced the number of its accounts.

When announcing the fine, the judge warned HSBC it was its final warning.

“This is an excuse which will only apply once,” Olivier Jornot, Geneva’s chief prosecutor said, according to the Guardian. He also blamed the weakness of Swiss law with regards to criminal funds entering the financial system.

Geneva opened a money laundering investigation into HSBC’s alleged illegal tax activity earlier in February. Swiss police then raided the bank’s Geneva office. Europe’s largest bank came under fire after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a report naming 100,000 clients that were using the bank to dodge taxes.

The revelations came from a list of HSBC’s clients stolen by a former HSBC computer technician, Herve Falciani, back in 2008. Falciani shared the confidential data with French authorities. More

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Why did the Cayman Islands not prosecute HSBC for allegedly money laundering in the Cayman Islands? Editor

 

 

Informal GLISPA Meeting in Bonn to Discuss COP21

GLISPA will be holding an informal face to face meeting for interested countries and organizations currently in Bonn at the UNFCCC inter-sessional meeting on either 10 or 11 June 2015. This meeting will be hosted by Ambassador Jumeau as Chair of the GLISPA Steering Committee. The meeting will focus on opportunities to showcase island leadership in adaptation and resilience as part of the upcoming UNFCCC COP21 in Paris, France in December 2015 and specifically the interest in GLISPA coordinating events to achieve this.

Seychelles Ambassador Ronny Jumeau

Anyone interested in showcasing island leadership in adaptation and resilience is welcomed to attend this meeting. Please email Susi Menazza at smenazza@tnc.org if you are interested in participating. She will confirm the date/time/venue with those that RSVP in the near future.

Please note, GLISPA will also host a global teleconference later in June along a similar lines. More information will be available shortly. Thank you to those of you that have reached out to indicate your interest in supporting such an event.

For the best newsfeed on island issues, check http://sids-l.iisd.org/>, http://www.sidsnet.org>, http://www.globalislands.net/>

 

 

Innocent student, 21, and applicant to join the Border Patrol is Tasered

A 21-year-old college student began screaming in pain as she was tasered during what she claims was an illegal search by Border Patrol officers.

Jessica Cooke, a criminal justice student at SUNY Canton near New York's border with Canada, was pulled over by agents and detained while they brought a canine unit to search her car.

She captured the incident on her cell phone and said a male officer 'pushed me back into the side of my car and I pushed back, it was a shoving match before he threw me to the ground and had the female agent tase me in the lower back'.


Cooke, who has her graduation on Saturday and is in the 'pre-employment phase' for joining the Border Patrol, had said she wanted to leave with her car after not giving permission for a search.

The unidentified officers in the video say they are detaining her because she appeared nervous when she and the puppy in her car were stopped around 3.30pm Friday.

Nothing illegal was found in the vehicle when the drug-sniffing dogs came after what Cooke estimates as 45 minutes to an hour, she told WWNYTV.

The US Supreme Court ruled last month that police officers cannot extend traffic stops while they wait for drug-sniffing dogs to arrive.

Cooke, who was driving to her hometown of Ogdensburg, became angry during the wait, though the male officer said that he would spike her tires if she tried to take the car.

He said that the young woman could leave, but that the vehicle was 'not going anywhere'.

'All right, I’m going to tell you one more time and then I am going to move you over there, you got it?' the agent says while telling Cooke to move her closer to her car.

'Sir, sir sir,' the young woman, who had said she did not want to be touched, is heard saying as the camera begins moving erratically. More