News of the Day:
From the company’s press release today: “ At an Alaska State Chamber meeting in September, Joe Marushack, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska, commented on the state of the oil industry in Alaska. “Low oil prices and demand destruction have shut down almost all drilling, and for the first time since Prudhoe, Alpine and Kuparuk have all been in production, no rigs are running in these fields,” he said. Marushack noted that a restart of drilling to get the North Slope Renaissance back on track is unlikely to resume in 2021 if Ballot Measure 1 is approved. Since 2007, ConocoPhillips Alaska has paid over $38 billion in taxes and royalties to the State of Alaska and the federal government. Of that amount, about $30 billion went directly to the State.”
Russia approves Arctic strategy up to 2035
S & P Global Platts, October 26, 2020
Arctic to account for 26% of oil output by 2035
LNG production to increase to 91 mil mt in 2035
Russian president Vladimir Putin Oct. 26 approved the strategy for developing Russia’s Arctic zone and ensuring national security up to 2035. Russia continues to see the Arctic as a key development priority, despite growing concerns over the impact of climate change on the region.
The strategy acknowledged that temperatures in the region are warming 2-2.5 times faster than the global average, and states that this poses both opportunities and risks for the economy and environment.
NASA finds rare metal asteroid worth more than global economy
Cecilia, Jamasmie, Mining.Com, October 29, 2020
NASA’s Hubble Telescope has obtained images of an asteroid so rich in rare metals that its worth puts our global economy to shame. Think $10,000 quadrillion ($10,000,000,000,000,000,000), compared to the world’s economy, which was worth about $142 trillion in 2019. The rare heavy-metal object, called “16 Psyche,” is one of the largest celestial bodies in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. It’s located at roughly 370 million km (230 million miles) from Earth and measures 226 km (140 miles) across.
16 Psyche was actually discovered in 1852, but this is the first time scientists can get a closer look. What makes it special is that, unlike most asteroids that are either rocky or icy, 16 Psyche is made almost entirely of iron and nickel, a study published this week in The Planetary Science Journal shows. Tracy Becker, a planetary scientist and author of the paper, says the asteroid is likely the leftover core of a planet that never properly formed because it was hit by objects in our solar system and effectively lost its mantle and crust.
Pandemic scrambles Americans’ acceptance of science
Amy Harder, Axios, October 29, 2020
The pandemic is throwing a wrench into Americans’ understanding of science, which has big implications for climate change.
Driving the news: Recent focus groups in battleground states suggest some voters are more skeptical of scientists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while surveys reveal the persistence of a deep partisan divide.
Why it matters: Science is at the heart of understanding the impacts of a warming world and what kind of policies governments should enforce.
The world’s response to COVID-19 is providing what some experts say is a hyper-fast glimpse into how the world might address climate change over a longer period of time.
Climate change, because it’s slower moving and its impacts more diffuse, is going to be even harder to tackle than a relatively fast-moving pandemic.
Where it stands: Swing voters in five battleground states surveyed over the last six months expressed an increasing skepticism about science as the pandemic took over America.