Saturday, October 17, 2009

A gloomy reminder

No, I don't write cheery things about climate change often. The reason, quite simply, is that I'm pretty well convinced we're doomed. I wasn't this gloomy in the mid-1990s, when I started learning about climate change, because the pre-Kyoto process seemed to be working towards a political solution. I wasn't even that upset in 2000, when it looked more and more like Kyoto was a dead letter, because I read books like Natural Capitalism and it seemed like, irrespective of government policy, it made good business sense to adopt energy-efficient and carbon-free technologies.

But by mid-decade, it became clear to me that the political and economic obstacles to a truly free energy market (one, I hasten to add, that I believe would truly favour renewable technologies) were too substantial, and the science of climate change became more and more alarming. (I started blogging in late 2004 -- you can, if you like, peruse the archives and watch my slow transformation from "hey, neat technolgy will save us" to "oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck".)

It's not that I don't still believe that technical, economical solutions to carbon dioxide emissions exist and could be implemented with relative speed. It's that the political will to encourage such a deployment -- or even to stop hindering it! -- is simply non-existent in the largest emitting countries.

So what would it take to keep the planet safe, and limit our risk to a 2-degree change in global temperature? via DL, the answer:
The WBGU study applies the per capita principle to the world population of 7 billion people and arrives at an annual emissions quota of 2.8 tons of carbon dioxide per person. That's harsh news for Americans, who emit twenty tons per person annually, and it explains why the US deadline is the most imminent. But China won't welcome this study either. China's combination of high annual emissions and huge population gives it a deadline only a few years later than Europe's and Japan's.
The WBGU study, available here, says that we can avoid surpassing what it calls "the 2 degree guard rail" IF: we implement a perfectly-implemented globally pervasive cap-and-trade program which allows the United States to emit only 10% of it's current emissions, and has to buy permission to emit any more than that from countries like Burkina Faso. And even then, America's real-world emissions have to come down 90% by 2030.

So, in 20 years -- relatively speaking, a vanishingly short window -- we not only have to a) mandate a global carbon ration (something I strongly support!) but b) commit the western economies to a decarbonization regime that is presently unthinkable.

Oh, that's all then. What're you having for lunch?

The alternative, of course, is a planet where increasing numbers of poor, angry countries are consigned to starve while the wealthy countries of the world hoard what they have and buy up everything they need. And we've made it clear that yes, we will fight you for things you have that we want.

13 comments:

Angie Fran said...

I'll give you something to cheer about. Some actual facts which demonstrate that the global warming theory is ALL WET. Let’s look beyond the hype, and see what's been happening in the real world. Are the computer model predictions about global warming holding up? As a matter of fact, they are NOT and you don't have to take my word for it - see instead the below recent article from BBC News! It demonstrates this global warming theory is a crock and a dangerous one at that.

It’s dangerous because it is giving those who get to decide how the resources of the globe are currently spent an excuse to waste our resources on more expensive forms of energy when cheaper forms are not, in fact, causing any global warming. Instead of creating expensive new forms of energy, our efforts should be targeted to getting energy to the 25 percent of humanity still forced to live without electricity as quickly (and by necessity as cheaply) as we can. That’s because the lack of electricity is not just an inconvenience for 1/4 of us, it kills 4,100 people each day (see http://whatnewsshouldbe/id8.html ) You know, TODAY, not 50 years from now but TODAY, AND EVERY DAY. So, while well meaning people worry and work to save the world from a future speculative threat now shown to be bogus (global warming), the well meaning do nothing to stop a current, real threat that kills 4,100 daily and are actually making it more difficult for those desperate for electricity by trying to force more expensive energies on those who can least afford them - and all for a reason that is now proving to be scientifically unsound.
—————
What happened to global warming?
By Paul Hudson
Climate correspondent, BBC News
10/9/09

"This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise. So what on Earth is going on? Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man’s influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming. They argue that there are natural cycles, over which we have no control, that dictate how warm the planet is." FOR THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE SEE HERE:
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/8299079.stm

Published: 2009/10/09 15:22:46 GMT

For more sources demonstrating that the earth is NOT getting any warmer, see http://www.whatnewsshouldbe.com/id16.html

Angie@WhatNewsShouldBe.org
http://www.WhatNewsShouldBe.org

john said...

If I thought it would do any good, I'd recommend you read this, Angie:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/

Sadly, I assume you'll just dismiss the words of an actual climate scientist in favour of a journalist whose views you agree with for once.

The Mound of Sound said...

Angie is the run-of-the-mill, "no problem here" tool. She is obviously swayed by a TV reporter's account, using it to reject the conclusions of the national academies of science of every Western nation. I'll bet she informs her world view by whatever she last heard on FoxNews or Slimebot.

Like most of her ilk, Angie takes a dubious, narrow view of climate change shaped by her comfy Western perch. She ignores the reality that most of the world is today being whipsawed by cyclical droughts and flooding. Those of her ilk can never integrate the climate change issue with the host of related disorders including desertification, deforestation, species extinction, resource depletion, air/land/water contamination and associated problems. So, as she suggests, don't take her word for it and don't take some BBC reporter's word either.

What a moron.

Catelli said...

Oh Mound of Sound, you're being too harsh.

Would you rather know the bullet was coming or happily ignore it until the impact?

At this point I don't think it much matters what we do, to echo John it seems we're at the "Oh fuck, Oh fuck, Oh fuck" stage. Armageddon is coming whether you look for it or not.

Zack said...

Heh, I actually read that BBC article. And I have been forced to conclude that Angie only read the first paragraph

Clint said...

General Motors told me everything will be alright. Don't worry so much.

Angie Fran said...

I posted on this blog because the title indicated to me it had something to do with Buckminster Fuller or was from a Bucky fan. I figured that people who read it might feel the same way about him and his work and goals. One of the things Bucky cared about in his life was getting the basic needs of humanity met and he knew that technology could accomplish this. He worked on a global energy grid. Yet when I posted to this blog about 4,100 deaths caused each day because of the lack of electricity nobody blinked an eye. (People without electricity are forced to burn stuff in their unventilated homes just for light and to cook, and breathing all this smoke kills 4,100 people each day, mostly women and children.) When I indicated that to stop this senseless slaughter we should get electricity to people without it as fast as possible - and that meant not expensive alternative energy sources, but the cheapest energy possible, nobody chimed in to agree.

Bucky believed in surveying the world and getting facts about it and acting in response to those facts. When I repeated the facts, as contained in the BBC article - that the facts on the ground and in the air and oceans are proving the lie to global warming because for the last 11 years, CO2 has increased but the temperature has not, nobody blinks an eye and I get called a moron or a person with reading comprehension problems. Let me give you some more sources which demonstrate that the mainstream media is reluctantly being forced to come to grips with this even if the readers of this blog still can't- that there's a growing expert opinion that we're actually headed now for a global COOLING. My additional sources are below.

Although not a one of you has demonstrated any humanity on this blog topic, I wish you all a long and healthy life - more time than you'll need to realize how very clueless and wrong you were, not to mention unfeeling about your fellow man. You will all eat your words and you should all learn something about Bucky. You need to desperately. I just hope that other people are not like these blog commentators, so reluctant to question whether a standing belief could be wrong even when the data and common sense are staring you in the face.

Here's other sources about this. Educate yourself. You've just lost your excuse for ignorance.

“The world leaders who met at the United Nations to discuss climate change on Tuesday are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been relatively stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years.” . . . “A clearer view of whether the recent temperature plateau undermines arguments for dangerous climate change in the long run should come in a few years, as the predictions made by the British climate researchers are tested.”

Source: Stable Global Temperatures Could Stifle Action on Climate – NYTimes.com
Address :http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/science/earth/23cool.html
———————————————————————
“Warming might be on hold, study finds – Discovery.com- msnbc.com” – “[a]ccording to a new study, global warming may have hit a speed bump and could go into hiding for decades.” . . . Following a 30-year trend of warming, global temperatures have flatlined since 2001
despite rising greenhouse gas concentrations, and a heat surplus that should have cranked up the planetary thermostat.” Saturday, March 07,
2009 9:10:06 PM http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29469287/
———————————————————————————-
I've got more but there's a character limit to this blog unfortunately

Angie
http://www.WhatNewsShouldBe.org
Angie@WhatNewsShouldBe.org

Catelli said...

Angie,

I don't read mainstream news releases for scientific information.

I read scientific magazines with articles written by actual scientists. Not once have I seen an article calling Global Warming into doubt.

And as to that Discovery.com article, check out this http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2009/03/04/checking-george-will-the-perils-of-time-travel/

The scientists that wrote the study do NOT believe global warming is a hoax. They are studying the seasonal variations that show periods of cooling EVEN THOUGH THE OVERALL MEAN GLOBAL TEMPERATURE IS RISING.

I do educate myself. I just tend to do it with facts backed by research and I go to the source.

Angie Fran said...

NY Times describing an on point study WITH WEBPAGE LINK TO STUDY below:

"A clearer view of whether the recent temperature plateau undermines arguments for dangerous climate change in the long run should come in a few years, as the predictions made by the British climate researchers are tested. Their paper appeared in a supplement to an August issue of The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. (link to which is below). While the authors concluded that there was a 1 in 8 chance of having a decade-long pause in warming like the current plateau, even with rising concentrations of greenhouse gases, the odds of a 15-year pause, they wrote, are only 5 in 100. As a result, the next few years of observations could tip the balance toward further concern or greater optimism.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/23/science/earth/23cool.html

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/global_temperatures_09.pdf

In a few years, Catelli, email me at Angie@WhatNewsShouldBe.org and tell me how relieved you are to find out the models and the global warming theory are all wet, and also about your efforts in helping the 1/4 of humanity get electricity without it as fast as possible to avoid 4,100 deaths each day and how you wish all the time everyone spent on this bogus global warming theory was instead spent trying to prevent this REAL AND DAILY PRESENT danger. I’ll be waiting.

The Mound of Sound said...

Angie do us all a favour and give up cherry picking stuff from the mass media. If you want to argue this point, take it to realclimate.org where there are plenty of real, qualified, edumacated climate scientists who'll handle your thoughts.

As for electricity, why don't you find out how many people die every day from malaria and figure out how many could be saved for the same effort and cost you want to put into bringing electricity to the have-nots.

You do seem to latch onto things without really thinking them through. 4,100 a day, in the greater scheme of things, is all but irrelevant. Malnutrition is a bigger killer. So is the lack of adequate supplies of safe, potable water for cooking, drinking, hygiene and sanitation. The UN reports that we need 20-litres of clean water per day per person to subsist and 60% of the world doesn't get that much.

So take your silliness about climate change to the happy place where people wear tinfoil caps.

The Mound of Sound said...

And one last thing, Angie, something for you to mull over this weekend. Which industries are the most directly threatened by the climate change initiative? That'd be the fossil fuel industry, right? And, if restrictions are brought in on carbon emissions the fossil fuel industry stands to lose hundreds of billions, right? That's certainly what they say. And it's even worse for Big Coal than it is for Big Oil, right?

Now, Angie, think on this. If, as you claim, the global warming theory is "all wet" and there's even the thinnest scientific basis for making that argument, do you think that industries that stand to lose hundreds of billions in revenue would hesitate to buy up every minute of airtime they could squeeze out of the networks to spread that message far and wide?

Do you really think Big Coal and Big Oil would be saying, "oh well, we've got Angie Fran on this, no need for us to be trumpeting these revelations"? Do you really think that's possible, do you?

If you can't follow the raging torrent of fossil fuel industry money straight to this enlightenment you want us to accept, do you think there's a reason for that Angie hon?

I guess you think that the representatives of every nation on the planet and their scientific establishments are staging this summit in Copenhagen in December because they're "all wet" too.

You see Angie dear, the only one on this thread whose critical thinking skills are weak enough to buy what you're selling is you. There's a lesson in that.

Angie Fran said...

I could talk about starvation and lack of sanitation and malaria and all the other senseless ways people die needlessly every day, and in fact, I already do on my website, www.WhatNewsShouldBe.org

But when addressing the Global Warming faithful who warn us that 'pollution' in the air is going to cause us catastrophic harm that we should devote all our resources to protect ourselves from, I show that we are ALREADY experiencing a REAL catastrophic harm by 'pollution in the air' in the 4,100 daily deaths caused by electricity from the pollution those people breathe in from burning stuff as an electricity substitute. Trying to get them to see a difference between a REAL AND PRESENT AIR POLLUTION DANGER from a future and more than speculative 'air pollution' danger - global warming. One's real and causes death. And the other is now being shown to be a myth. One we SHOULD devote our resources to and the other we should NOT.

And here's a response to your final point, don't know who said it, just like how it's worded -

'One of the myths of environmental-policy battles is that they pit environmentalists on one side and industry on the other. In truth, it is unusual for affected businesses to be united against such measures. After all, if the greens want to ban or restrict x — whether x is a pesticide that gives cancer to lab rats, or a refrigerant that supposedly depletes the ozone layer, or a means of generating energy that produces a lot of greenhouse gases — there is always substitute y waiting in the wings, and producers of y who smell an opportunity by making common cause with environmentalists against x. Add to that the promise of government handouts to makers of x to help them cope with the transition, not to mention the chance for good PR, and there are almost always some corporations and industry sectors happy to lobby green on any particular issue.'

Al Gore is not the only one who is and will continue to be making more obscene profits off this global warming myth until it's finally and completely dead. It's a good question to ask who benefits and if you think big oil and coal aren't acting in their own best interests, well that's just funny.

Finally, it's obvious you couldn't give a shit about any of this because as you say "4,100 a day, in the greater scheme of things, is all but irrelevant.". Yep, not even worth talking about. Got you. You make yourself perfectly clear.

Goodbye Dymaxion blog, spending no more time here.

Angie@WhatNewsShouldBe.org
www.WhatNewsShouldBe.org

The Mound of Sound said...

Nice Angie, you simply ignore what you can't handle. When it comes to the fossil fuel giants, Angie, there is no "Y" to their "X" waiting in the wings to exploit them. You live in fantasies.