Stranded Assets

unnamedFrom Baba Brinkman’s label The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos, check out track 19 “Stranded Assets”

Sing along, boys and girls 🙂


If you invest in fossil fuels I feel bad for you son

I got ninety nine problems but that ain’t one

Now take a second to contemplate it

A fossil fuel company that’s publicly traded

What’s a firm in the business of fossil fuel really worth?

The book value is based on their “proven reserves”

Not the fuel they sell to us and we burn right now

It’s the coal, gas and oil that’s still underground

Technically it’s worthless until it oxidizes 

But as soon as they find it, it goes in their stock prices

The top few hundred companies diggin’ and drillin’

Are collectively “worth” more than seven trillion

But don’t forget the IPCC 

We got a carbon budget to limit the heat increase

And the percentage of the budget covered in proven reserves

Determines how much we can burn and what to keep in the earth

And we got five times as much underground

As we’re allowed to burn while keepin’ the temperature down

Which means fossil fuel’s lookin’ like a bad bet

And eighty percent of it is a “stranded asset”

Like a warehouse full of Kodak film when digital

Crashed the market, causing a total loss of principle

What a lack of principles, what’s on their books

Can’t be cashed in unless the whole planet cooks

Imagine if we factored in every cost 

That would set off a clean energy renaissance

I can has cheeseburger

Our favorite MacArthur genius Saul Griffiths talk about US energy generation and consumption in terms of something almost all of us can understand…. cheeseburgers!

July Roundup

  • Harry Saunders at the Breakthrough Institute asks Does Capitalism Require Endless Growth? Saunders challenges the prevailing Malthusian notion that economic growth must continue forever for capitalism to work. But what does this mean when considering externalities like pollution and its implications on environmental sustainability?
  • What does it mean when the oilmen see the writing on the wall? Cassandra Legacy’s article at suggests that net available GDP growth will hit 0% by 2030. When waste heat and the costs of exploration, extraction, distribution, and delivery of oil has caught up, the economic benefits of oil will eventually go to zero.

Ask Siri

Michael Shellenberger, president of the newly inaugurated organization Environmental Progress, recently wrote about “How The Environmental Movement Changed Its Mind On Nuclear“. He reminds us that pro-nuclear environmentalists have actually part of a tradition that goes back fifty years, to 1966, when Sierra Club Director David Siri wrote:

“Nuclear power is one of the chief long-term hopes for conservation … Cheap energy in unlimited quantities is one of the chief factors in allowing a large rapidly growing population to preserve wildlands, open space, and lands of high scenic value … With energy we can afford the luxury of setting aside lands from productive uses.”



California: El Nino report – New Records 2015

In this 2015 El Nino year,

  • Feb: the anchovies crashed, record numbers of sea lions starved
  • June/July: a record algae bloom with neurotoxin domoic acid, shuts down the crab, shrimp and clam fisheries in California, Oregon, and Washington.
  • Record numbers of whale, dolphin and mola-mola sightings.