Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,198 words/ <5 minute read.
And today marks the 1975 release date of "The Basement Tapes" from Bob Dylan and The Band, who open today's edition...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A new peer-reviewed study finds that higher temperatures could bring large increases in energy demand as use of cooling soars, far outweighing reduced need for heating.
Why it matters: The paper published in Nature Communications finds that depending on future warming levels, global demand in 2050 could be 11%–58% higher than what's otherwise expected based on economic development and population growth.
One level deeper: While the total and regional ranges are significant, the paper notes: "We find broad agreement among [Earth System Models] that energy demand rises by more than 25% in the tropics and southern regions of the USA, Europe and China."
What's new: "These are the first globally comprehensive estimates of how much energy demand will change due to the increase in temperatures that is projected to happen, not just globally averaged but depending on where around the globe different climate models say it is going to be hotter rather than colder compared to the global mean,” Boston University professor and co-author Ian Sue Wing tells Axios.
My thought bubble: The paper underscores a sticky problem. Adapting to warming could make cutting emissions even harder if those higher energy needs aren't met with low-carbon sources.
What they did: The study is a global and regional look at potential warming-driven energy demand increases in 2050, looking at use of electricity, petroleum and natural gas in four sectors: industry, housing, business and agriculture.
They modeled a large set of potential outcomes based on 2 major emissions scenarios commonly employed by scientists.
But, but, but: The authors acknowledge limitations in the modeling and the need for future research.
Protester at a Greenpeace rally calling for a presidential campaign climate debate, June 12, Washington, DC. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Tonight will be a test of how much climate change has broken through as an A-list topic in national politics as Democrats hold the first of 2 consecutive primary debates in Miami.
Why it matters: Climate has barely surfaced in past cycles. But Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez wrote in a statement earlier this month that "based on our conversations with networks, climate change will be discussed early and often during our party’s primary debates."
The intrigue: Perez's lengthy statement was a rebuff to calls from multiple candidates — led by Jay Inslee — and activists for a debate focused solely on the topic.
Where it stands: A Morning Consult/Politico poll published yesterday shows climate change in the top tier of topics that Democratic voters want discussed onstage.
"Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said Tuesday that the climate change bill that prompted Republicans’ walkout lacks the votes necessary to pass because not enough Democrats support it."
Why it matters: It's a big setback for advocates seeking expansive state climate measures as the White House abandons Obama-era federal policies. The Oregon cap-and-trade bill aims to cut state emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Driving the news: The apparent demise came after a wild few days in which...
Where it stands: I'm not close enough to Oregon politics to know whether the GOP walkout and surrounding events changed the Democratic vote calculus.
Quick take: It's worth watching to see if abandoning the state to thwart the bill signals conservative tactics to come as advocates push more far-reaching climate measures in various states.
Axios' Amy Harder reports... America was “tantalizingly” close to building what would have amounted to a superhighway power line sending renewable energy across the country, but local opposition, government delay and utility disinterest killed it.
What's happening: In the new book "Superpower: One Man's Quest to Transform American Energy," WSJ reporter Russell Gold documents in excruciating detail the reality of just how hard it is to build big infrastructure projects in the United States.
What’s more, this 700-mile-long power line was for something that ostensibly has a lot of support: renewable energy.
The big picture: The book is part biography of entrepreneur Michael Skelly — whose now-shuttered firm tried to build the power line — part historical record on electricity, and part lesson in trying big things against myriad obstacles.
Skelly’s firm, Clean Line Energy Partners, was founded in 2009 to move wind power from Oklahoma to Tennessee, but folded in 2017 after legal, political and bureaucratic obstacles mounted, including:
Markets: "Oil prices rose on Wednesday, buoyed by an outage at a major refinery on the U.S. East Coast and industry data that showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell more than expected," Reuters reports.
Electric cars: Per Bloomberg, "Tesla Inc. could be on the verge of a quarterly record for vehicle deliveries, though the electric carmaker will need to go 'all out' in the last few days of the month, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wrote in an internal memo."
Solar: Greentech Media reports on a major move by a Nevada utility: "NV Energy one-upped its huge 2018 solar and storage procurement on Tuesday, announcing three new solar projects totaling 1,200 megawatts paired with 590 megawatts of battery storage."