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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2014, 09:23:03 PM »
When we talk about slowing growth in the China economy, we should recognize that slow growth in China means something far different than in the developed nations. In the latest quarter, growth slowed to 7.3%.

I'm seeing expectations that China's growth will slow and stabilize around 3%. 

China seems to have largely completed their enormous and extremely rapid development.  They're looking at an aging and shrinking labor force.  And they're looking to make their economic less dependent on manufacturing and moving into areas which are less energy demanding.

Time will tell.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #51 on: October 10, 2014, 09:38:40 PM »
the second attached image (from the same source) shows the energy mix supply available for China, which shows that even if fossil fuels are projected to be a declining percentage of the Chinese energy supply mix; in absolute terms (see the insert figure) the fossil fuel supply will continue to grow, resulting in GHG emissions continuing to grow

You need to look at the assumptions underneath the renewable portion of that graph.  To me it looks like a BAU graph.  China has been increasing its solar goals every few months over the last couple of years.  Right now they're talking 70 GW by 2017.  And at this moment they are extending HVDC lines into the windy parts of northern China in order to greatly increase the amount of wind energy on their grid.

A problem with a lot of predictions is that they seem to be based on putting a ruler on the  history points and extending a straight line.  I'll suggest that is foolish when it comes to renewable energy.  It does not take into account the rapidly falling costs of wind and solar.

And one needs to add the rapidly falling costs of storage to the mix.  If China can use a combination of wind, solar and storage and replace the coal that is ruining their cities do you think coal will die a slow and lingering life?

It's kind of like the people who were looking at extent drops for Arctic sea ice and predicting 100 years to the first melt out, when they should have been looking at volume.  If you don't pack in all the relevant information your predictions fail.

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #52 on: October 10, 2014, 11:13:46 PM »
Bob,

I am willing to hope for the best wrt China's GHG emissions, but I think that we only get one shot at controlling climate change, so I think that we should also prepare for the worst case scenarios.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #53 on: October 10, 2014, 11:48:57 PM »
I don't know what you mean by "one shot".

Assuming the IPCC isn't too wrong we've got the next 35 years to reach their 40% to 70% CO2 reduction window.  (Tasks follow, but that's the one at hand.)

We aren't moving fast enough at the moment but we're speeding up.  A 70% reduction means changing about 2% of our energy supply from fossil fuels to renewables a year for 35 years.  That is an achievable target.  Won't hit 2% in 2014 or 2015 but in a few years we should be hitting 2% and then we'll have to average 2.1% or 2.2%or something higher than 2% for the remaining years to make up.

If you recall Jacobson and Deluchhi calculated that we could move the entire world to (almost) 100% renewable energy in 20 years with a very dedicated effort.  Since 2009 when they published the job as become easier and cheaper.  And we can spread the task over more years.

_
I feel like I need to add a disclaimer to my posts as some people attempt to read in something that I'm not saying.  I am not saying we will be successful. I am saying that success is within our reach if we choose to reach for it.

(I think we will, but that's personal opinion.)




AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2014, 12:37:09 AM »
I don't know what you mean by "one shot".

Assuming the IPCC isn't too wrong we've got the next 35 years to reach their 40% to 70% CO2 reduction window.  (Tasks follow, but that's the one at hand.)

I am not saying we will be successful. I am saying that success is within our reach if we choose to reach for it.

(I think we will, but that's personal opinion.)


Bob,

The IPCC is too wrong (too low) with regard to climate sensitivity as indicated by the following paper that shows that there is more ocean heat content in the Southern Hemisphere upper ocean than the IPCC assumed, which means that the climate sensitivity that IPCC models assumed are too low.


Paul J. Durack, Peter J. Gleckler, Felix W. Landerer and Karl E. Taylor, (2014), "Quantifying Underestimates of Long-term Upper-Ocean Warming", Nature Climate Change, 4 (11), DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2389

http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/about/staff/Durack/dump/oceanwarming/140926a_Duracketal_UpperOceanWarming.pdf

Abstract: "The global ocean stores more than 90% of the heat associated with observed greenhouse‐gas‐attributed global warming (Levitus et al., 2005; Church et al., 2011; Otto et al., 2013; Rhein et al., 2013). Using satellite altimetry observations and a large suite of climate models, we conclude that observed estimates of 0‐700 dbar global ocean warming since 1970 are likely biased low. This underestimation is attributed to poor sampling of the Southern Hemisphere, and limitations of the analysis methods that conservatively estimate temperature changes in data‐sparse regions (Gregory et al., 2004; Gouretski & Koltermann, 2007; Gille, 2008). We find that the partitioning of northern and southern hemispheric simulated sea surface height changes are consistent with precise altimeter observations, whereas the hemispheric partitioning of simulated upper‐ocean warming is inconsistent with observed in‐situ‐based ocean heat content estimates. Relying on the close correspondence between hemispheric‐scale ocean heat content and steric changes, we adjust the poorly constrained Southern Hemisphere observed warming estimates so that hemispheric ratios are consistent with the broad range of modelled results. These adjustments yield large increases (2.2‐7.1 x 1022 J 35yrs‐1) to current global upper‐ocean heat content change estimates, and have important implications for sea level, the planetary energy budget and climate sensitivity assessments."

At the following link (Reply #8) jai mitchell estimates that the projection timelines will be accelerated by between 6 and 14 years, which means that we have less time available than you are assuming.

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1011.0.html
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #55 on: October 11, 2014, 12:53:40 AM »
I've read parts of that paper.  Let's see how the climate science community reacts to it before declaring it gospel.  Sometimes papers don't show what the authors think they show.  (I'm not in a position to evaluate the paper.  I don't know the fine points that might have or have not been missed.)

If they are right then we'll need to crank it up.  I think that's the inference.

70% in 29 years means 2.4%.  70% in 21 years = 3.3%.  That's the range using the IPCC upper bound and this new set of years. 

Realistically, I think we'll see, perhaps ten years down the road or a bit sooner. countries understanding that by switching to renewables they will be saving a large amount of money and we start closing coal and gas plants rapidly for purely financial reasons.  Spurred on by the pressure of climate change.

And I'm watching what is happening right now with EVs and I think it will be clear to almost everyone that EVs are the cars we will drive very soon.  Looking at the bombshells Tesla dropped today and the recent information about where battery prices are right now I will no be surprised if Tesla announces a 200 mile range EV for well under $30k before the end of 2015.  That happens and the market shifts.

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #56 on: October 11, 2014, 05:34:36 PM »
Bob,

To me your ideas seem to be: "a day late and a dollar short"; as waiting around ten years on the wish and a prayer that business as usual will get the job done will likely get a lot of people (and the eco-system) hurt.

In other words, what you seem to be promoting sounds like a Faustian Bargain, where society gets to live un-bothered today, in exchange for a future with well over 2 degrees C of mean global temperature rise, by 2050.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Shared Humanity

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2014, 07:14:19 PM »
I've read parts of that paper.  Let's see how the climate science community reacts to it before declaring it gospel.  Sometimes papers don't show what the authors think they show.  (I'm not in a position to evaluate the paper.  I don't know the fine points that might have or have not been missed.)

If they are right then we'll need to crank it up.  I think that's the inference.

70% in 29 years means 2.4%.  70% in 21 years = 3.3%.  That's the range using the IPCC upper bound and this new set of years. 

Realistically, I think we'll see, perhaps ten years down the road or a bit sooner. countries understanding that by switching to renewables they will be saving a large amount of money and we start closing coal and gas plants rapidly for purely financial reasons.  Spurred on by the pressure of climate change.

And I'm watching what is happening right now with EVs and I think it will be clear to almost everyone that EVs are the cars we will drive very soon.  Looking at the bombshells Tesla dropped today and the recent information about where battery prices are right now I will no be surprised if Tesla announces a 200 mile range EV for well under $30k before the end of 2015.  That happens and the market shifts.

I absolutely agree with your optimism that we can shift from fossil fuels to renewables quickly. We have the technology to effect a near complete transition for energy generation in as little as decade, for most transportation perhaps a couple of decades longer. Where you are mistaken is in suggesting that market forces will lead us there. Nothing could be further from the truth. This rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewables will have to look like The Marshal Plan when the U.S. rebuilt war ravaged Europe. No consideration was given as to whether this would provide a return in the financial sense. A rapid shift away from fossil fuels will destroy trillions of dollars of wealth as fields of coal, oil and natural gas lose all value. The entire, worldwide financial system is supported by the single most important and fungible commodity in the world, oil and the oil equivalents of coal and natural gas. The financial system went off the gold standard in the 1970's only to be replaced with the black gold standard, oil. The U.S. dollar or petro-dollar is safe and has become the de facto currency of the world because oil is denominated in dollars.

It is no accident that business is a fierce opponent of moving away from fossil fuels. There are trillions to be made. This will not change.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #58 on: October 12, 2014, 04:56:38 AM »
Bob,

To me your ideas seem to be: "a day late and a dollar short"; as waiting around ten years on the wish and a prayer that business as usual will get the job done will likely get a lot of people (and the eco-system) hurt.

In other words, what you seem to be promoting sounds like a Faustian Bargain, where society gets to live un-bothered today, in exchange for a future with well over 2 degrees C of mean global temperature rise, by 2050.

Best,
ASLR

Are you in disagreement with the IPCC that we need to hit the 40% to 70% CO2 reduction window by 2050?  If not, we can talk.  I think we can get there with almost no bothering of the general public.

If you've got a higher target tell me what it is and I'll tell you if I think we can hit and what it would take.

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #59 on: October 12, 2014, 05:28:44 AM »

I think we can get there with almost no bothering of the general public.


Bob,

A 70% CO2 reduction of total net emissions by 2050 would be fine with me, but if you think that society can get to that level of reduction without bothering the general public, then I do not think that your proposed reliance on technology will get us there.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2014, 06:42:09 AM »
Given that the US is one of the largest emitters of CO2 and has one of the highest CO2 per capita levels might we assume that if the US can do it then it can be done?

Rather that drag this out I'll assume your answer is 'yes' and charge ahead.

A 70% reduction in CO2 would mean cutting emissions by 2% per year for the next 35 years. 

Actually, the IPPC said 40% to 70% from 2005 levels and the US is already down 10% but I'll go for the full 70%.



Let's start with electricity.  We'd need to convert 2% from fossil fuels to renewables while neither driving up the cost of electricity or causing bothersome interruptions.

During the first half of 2014 we increased the wind and solar generation share by about 1.2% over the 2013 shares.  Wind and solar installations have been increasing rapidly over the most recent years.  The US should have no trouble reaching and maintaining a 2% switch-over per year.

We've seen that the seven states that have added the most wind to their grids between 2008 and 2013 saw their cost of electricity go down slightly while the average increase for the other states rose.



We don't have enough solar on our grids yet to see the price of electricity impacted but if we look at what is happening in Germany we see that a modest amount of solar lowers the wholesale price of electricity for a significant part of the day.



The US should reach a 1% solar grid by 2016.  Another year or two past that and we should start seeing price decreases on sunny days.

OK, that's a quick and dirty on how the US achieves a 70% cut in electricity associated CO2 emissions.  Do about twice what we're now doing.  Not a strain. 

Oh, we're in the process of closing almost 400 coal plants between now and 2016 (I think that's the date.  So far in the last couple years we've closed 189.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2014, 07:06:25 AM »
US transportation.  Transportation is responsible for about 32% of US CO2 emissions.  Electricity is responsible for about 38%.

About a year ago President Obama managed to get a major increase in gas mileage fleet averages for all car companies.  And, for the first time, light trucks (pickups and SUVs) will have MPG limits. 

The average fleet MPG jumped from 24.1 to 54.5 by 2025.  On average the cars sold in 2025 will emit less than half as much CO2 due to less fuel burned per mile.  Over a 15 to 25 year essentially all the old gas guzzlers will have gone to the crusher.  There's 50% of the 70%.

Heavy duty trucks were already under a requirement to reduce fuel use 20% from 2011 levels by 2018.  New EPA regs are in the work to further increase requirements.

We've just found out that apparently EV batteries are now being manufactured for around $160/kWh.  That 's a third of what many people thought and it's at least five years ahead of the most optimistic predictions.  When Tesla's gigafactory comes on line it is expected that costs will drop another 30% putting the cost around $110.  Prices are expected to fall to $100/kWh as there are about $70/kWh material costs for batteries.

At roughly $250/kWh EVs become competitive with ICEVs.  We seem to be well under $250.  Look what happens to hybrids, PHEVs and ICEVs with battery prices around $180.



If all those facts/assumptions are correct the oil is on the way out for personal transportation.  Between higher mileage requirements for any fueled vehicles going forward and EVs likely to take over the market there should be no problem hitting 70% reductions.

People won't be asked to drive less.  Driving will become more convenient (no more trips to the gas station).  And the cost of driving will fall.

That's 70% of US CO2 sources which should reach the IPPC upper end target without bothering anyone (except those in the fossil fuel industry).  And we should end up with cheaper electricity and cheaper driving.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2014, 07:26:09 AM »
The other 30%.  14% industry, 9% residential/commercial, and 6%  "other".



http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/co2.html

I don't have details and numbers for this 30%.  I follow electricity and vehicles closely.  So let me throw out some general statements concerning the other 30%.

Industrial CO2 emissions have a large cement component.   We've had a couple discussions about lower CO2 cement and even cement that absorbed CO2.

Efficiency has become an important issue and I would imagine companies are looking for ways to lower their fossil fuel use in manufacturing as part of their overall efficiency efforts.

Residential/commercial CO2 has a large heating component.  We are tightening up our buildings as well as moving away from central heating furnaces to efficient air exchange heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps.  That, along with building codes requiring much more efficient buildings will continue to lower residential/commercial CO2 emissions.

I'm not sure what that 6% "Other" is that the EPA is talking about.  If it's CO2 from biofuel/waste burning, then it's of no importance.  Any CO2 that comes from biofuel is carbon that was already in the carbon cycle.

Now, I probably haven't fully hit the 70% reduction from today's level by 2050, but I'll bet I've  hit well more than 40% from 2005.  In terms of electricity and vehicles it looks like no problem hitting 70% from now.  And, remember, the goal line is 35 years away.  We've got a lot of smart people working hard to find more ways to cut our emissions.  Again, I'm making no guarantee we'll succeed, but I do think we've got an excellent chance.


AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2014, 04:58:07 PM »
Bob,

While this is the "But, but, but, China...." thread, in your Reply #60 you choose to focus on the US activities, saying "...  if the US can do it then it can be done", and then you show (cherry-pick) how US energy related CO2 emissions have dropped between 2007 and 2013, which are very atypical years because of the recession and the drill-baby-drill mantra of the non-conventional gas boom in those years.

However, as the first attached image from the following link indicates during those years (and through the estimate of 2014) the world emissions (due largely to China not achieving their anticipated energy intensity levels) continue following RCP 8.5 (BAU) through at least 2014.  Thus your premise is clearly flawed (garage-in, garage-out):

http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/14/files/GCP_budget_2014_v1.0_lowres.pdf

See also:

P. Friedlingstein, R. M. Andrew, J. Rogelj, G. P. Peters, J. G. Canadell, R. Knutti, G. Luderer, M. R. Raupach, M. Schaeffer, D. P. van Vuuren, & C. Le Quéré, (2014), "Persistent growth of CO2 emissions and implications for reaching climate targets", Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2248

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2248.html


Abstract: "Efforts to limit climate change below a given temperature level require that global emissions of CO2 cumulated over time remain below a limited quota. This quota varies depending on the temperature level, the desired probability of staying below this level and the contributions of other gases. In spite of this restriction, global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production have continued to grow by 2.5% per year on average over the past decade. Two thirds of the CO2 emission quota consistent with a 2 °C temperature limit has already been used, and the total quota will likely be exhausted in a further 30 years at the 2014 emissions rates. We show that CO2 emissions track the high end of the latest generation of emissions scenarios, due to lower than anticipated carbon intensity improvements of emerging economies and higher global gross domestic product growth. In the absence of more stringent mitigation, these trends are set to continue and further reduce the remaining quota until the onset of a potential new climate agreement in 2020. Breaking current emission trends in the short term is key to retaining credible climate targets within a rapidly diminishing emission quota."

Furthermore, you ignore the positive CO2 feedback mechanisms (such as permafrost degradation that is not in the IPCC numbers, deforestation, drought and flooding, etc.; I also note that these figures assume an Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity of 3 degrees C, while this is too low according to preliminary current estimates) triggered by society's slow implementations of controls on anthropogenic CO2 emissions.  If you were to take responsibility for truly limiting global warming to less than 2 oC, then you would realize that your proposed plan would need to implement carbon capture and storage, CCS, within ten years, as indicated by the second attached image from the linked reference.

Best,
Abrupt Sea Level Rise
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 05:34:43 PM by AbruptSLR »
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2014, 07:11:40 PM »
I cherry picked nothing.  I showed you some data.  You might have noticed that US CO2 levels have not risen as the economy improved.

Now, and I'm getting a bit tired of repeating myself, what we are seeing in 2014 are signs that China is starting to hit peak coal.  It's hard for a drop in coal consumption in 2014 to have an impact on pre-2014 years.

The world is installing a lot of renewable capacity in 2014.  It's hard for a larger percentage of renewable generation in 2014 to have an impact on pre-2014 years.

If one does not take into account the changes occurring around the world and makes their predictions based on history along they may end up with significant egg on their face.


"Efforts to limit climate change below a given temperature level require that global emissions of CO2 cumulated over time remain below a limited quota. This quota varies depending on the temperature level, the desired probability of staying below this level and the contributions of other gases. In spite of this restriction, global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production have continued to grow by 2.5% per year on average over the past decade. Two thirds of the CO2 emission quota consistent with a 2 °C temperature limit has already been used, and the total quota will likely be exhausted in a further 30 years at the 2014 emissions rates."

30 more years at 2014 rates.  I put the probability of keeping at 2014 rates for the next 30 years close to zero.

Do some googling on renewable energy.  Learn what is happening around the world.  Countries are jumping on the renewable band wagon.  It will take a couple of years for installed capacity to impact fossil fuel use enough for CO2 emission levels to slow.

Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2014, 09:22:57 PM »
Northwest region of China aims to build up its wine industry as coal falters.

By offering tax breaks to winemakers, Ningxia wants to produce wine worth 100 billion yuan ($16.3 billion) by 2020, or roughly 4-1/2 times the contribution of its entire farming sector to gross domestic product last year, said Cao Kailong, deputy director of the region's forestry ministry.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/10/coal-region-china-wine_n_5963482.html
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #66 on: October 12, 2014, 10:21:12 PM »
I'm getting a bit tired of repeating myself ...

Bob,
There is no need for you to repeat yourself, as anyone who forgot what you said can scroll back to remind themselves.  As for example you can scroll back, if you have forgotten that I pointed-out in earlier posts that China is already starting to replace coal with natural gas, and synthetic fuel from coal (& I agree that they are also investing in renewables, but I have presented analysis that their economic growth is resulting in their continued growth in GHG emissions); and I said that as neither of us have crystal balls that we will have to wait to see whether China's GHG emissions actually decrease, or not.
Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

wili

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #67 on: October 12, 2014, 11:47:18 PM »
Not sure if this is the right thread for this story. It seems to have something for nearly all sides to love and to hate:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/10/we-can-meet-c2-climate-target-and-heres-how-say-energy-experts

We can meet 2C climate target – and here's how, say energy experts

Sir Bob Watson and a team of climate experts lay out a step-by-step action plan on how to meet global warming limit, but say success depends on ‘immediate, urgent, action’


Meeting a target of keeping global temperature from rising above 2C is still possible, according to 30 leading climate and energy experts.

The authors, who include former UK government scientific adviser Sir Bob Watson, conclude that staying under 2C needs “immediate, urgent action” at the highest levels of governments. The Tackling the Challenge of Climate Change report was presented at Ban Ki-moon’s UN climate summit in New York last month.

Watson rejects any suggestion that 2C is an inappropriate target saying it “plays into the hands of climate deniers” and would be a step backward from the urgent action that’s needed.

Waiting until 2025 or 2030 to bend the CO2 emissions curve will be too late to meet the 2C target. That would hit most of Africa, many small island states and the world’s poorest very hard.

The report is a “short, punchy document focused on near-term solutions,” said Watson while acknowledging there is little new in it. The steps outlined to achieve 2C are “hardly rocket science”.

These steps include increased energy efficiency in all sectors — building retrofits can achieve 70-90% reductions — and an effective price on carbon that reflects the enormous health and environmental costs of fossil fuels. Tackling air pollution is estimated to cost China 10% of its GDP. Retiring inefficient coal plants while only building new coal with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and massive increases in wind and solar PV are also crucial.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #68 on: October 13, 2014, 02:49:07 AM »
wili,

Thanks for your interesting link; which also contains the following extract that I agree with:

Extract: "Nearly half of the world’s most powerful corporations are in the fossil fuel sector. They have extraordinary influence on government policies that Watson calls “a form of corruption” preventing the necessary action on climate. In countries like the US, Australia and Canada, industry leads and government follows he said.

Watson worries that time is rapidly running out but “people aren’t scared enough” to force governments to act."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #69 on: October 13, 2014, 05:25:23 AM »
Keep your eye on what is happening with coal company stock prices. 

If things continue the way they are in the US and Australia coal won't have any money available to influence politics.



http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/incredible-shrinking-coal-industry-43851

wili

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #70 on: October 13, 2014, 06:43:28 AM »
Glad you found it useful, ASLR.

Here are some other links that may be relevant to the discussion here (apologies if they've already been linked):

China's Economic Boom Thwarts Its Carbon Emissions Goals

http://www.sciencenewsline.com/articles/2014100623540030.html

Nature Climate Change reveals how carbon efficiency has improved in nearly all Chinese provinces.

But the country's economic boom has simultaneously led to a growth in CO2-emitting activities such as mining, metal smelting and coal-fired electricity generation – negating any gains.


China drives world carbon emissions to record high

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/21/us-un-climatechange-carbon-idUKKBN0HG0QA20140921
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #71 on: October 13, 2014, 07:11:41 AM »
Buried in the other stuff  in the first paper...

"Official Chinese statistics for the first half of 2014 show an encouraging 5 per cent decrease in carbon intensity, the most significant drop in many years."

Is it going to continue or is it just a fluke?  Only time will tell....

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #72 on: October 13, 2014, 07:23:25 AM »
There are a couple new papers out on how we get our carbon problem fixed. 

Here is place where you can read  the first and follow the links to the Sir Bob paper (I haven't had time to read it yet).

"Meeting a target of keeping global temperature from rising above 2C is still possible, according to 30 leading climate and energy experts.

The authors, who include former UK government scientific adviser Sir Bob Watson, conclude that staying under 2C needs “immediate, urgent action” at the highest levels of governments. The Tackling the Challenge of Climate Change report was presented at Ban Ki-moon’s UN climate summit in New York last month.

Watson rejects any suggestion that 2C is an inappropriate target saying it “plays into the hands of climate deniers” and would be a step backward from the urgent action that’s needed.

Waiting until 2025 or 2030 to bend the CO2 emissions curve will be too late to meet the 2C target. That would hit most of Africa, many small island states and the world’s poorest very hard.

The report is a “short, punchy document focused on near-term solutions,” said Watson while acknowledging there is little new in it. The steps outlined to achieve 2C are “hardly rocket science”."

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/10/we-can-meet-c2-climate-target-and-heres-how-say-energy-experts

And Jacobson and Delucchi have an updated version of their 2009 paper on how we move the world to renewables in 20 years.

"According to a new study coauthored by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson, we could accomplish all that by converting the world to clean, renewable energy sources and forgoing fossil fuels.

"Based on our findings, there are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources," said Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering. "It is a question of whether we have the societal and political will."

He and Mark Delucchi, of the University of California-Davis, have written a two-part paper in Energy Policy in which they assess the costs, technology and material requirements of converting the planet, using a plan they developed.

The world they envision would run largely on electricity. Their plan calls for using wind, water and solar energy to generate power, with wind and solar power contributing 90 percent of the needed energy.

Geothermal and hydroelectric sources would each contribute about 4 percent in their plan (70 percent of the hydroelectric is already in place), with the remaining 2 percent from wave and tidal power.

Vehicles, ships and trains would be powered by electricity and hydrogen fuel cells. Aircraft would run on liquid hydrogen. Homes would be cooled and warmed with electric heaters – no more natural gas or coal – and water would be preheated by the sun.

Commercial processes would be powered by electricity and hydrogen. In all cases, the hydrogen would be produced from electricity. Thus, wind, water and sun would power the world.

The researchers approached the conversion with the goal that by 2030, all new energy generation would come from wind, water and solar, and by 2050, all pre-existing energy production would be converted as well."

You can read about the paper here, the actual paper does not seem to be on line at this time -

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/january/jacobson-world-energy-012611.html

And one more tasty treat.  The Jacobson and Delucchi 2009 paper is available on the web.  Scientific American put it behind a paywall but you can access it here via Mark's site -

http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/sad1109Jaco5p.indd.pdf

And to top it off, here's a page where you can find a few other of Mark's papers -

http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/susenergy2030.html

oren

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #73 on: October 14, 2014, 06:02:00 PM »
Bob, I really like your convincing vision of market forces (with some government pressure) doing away with most of US emissions in the next 35 years. However, let's assume that it does work out.
What happens then? The price of fossil fuels should drop precipitously, given that a lot of demand will disappear. Imagine oil back at $30 a barrel. All those third world countries that today are limited in their growth by high energy prices will soak all that oil and use it dirtily, based on market forces. Why bother investing in clean energy when you're a poor country and oil trades at such low prices? (Same for coal, natural gas etc.). Even poor people in the US might be tempted to switch back to plain old fossils if the price is low enough.
I believe this is a very important risk in all future plans for emission reduction. Admittedly some supply will become uneconomical due to lower prices, but the rest might still be consumed by someone somewhere, if left to market forces alone.

jbatteen

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #74 on: October 15, 2014, 01:21:49 AM »
By the time fossil fuels are that cheap, it will be out of necessity to compete with clean solutions.  At that point it will probably be more economical for new installations to be renewable.  The only reason to use fossil fuels at all would be for old equipment that hasn't outlived its usefulness yet.

Maybe.

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #75 on: October 15, 2014, 01:42:27 AM »
Bob, I really like your convincing vision of market forces (with some government pressure) doing away with most of US emissions in the next 35 years. However, let's assume that it does work out.
What happens then? The price of fossil fuels should drop precipitously, given that a lot of demand will disappear. Imagine oil back at $30 a barrel. All those third world countries that today are limited in their growth by high energy prices will soak all that oil and use it dirtily, based on market forces. Why bother investing in clean energy when you're a poor country and oil trades at such low prices? (Same for coal, natural gas etc.). Even poor people in the US might be tempted to switch back to plain old fossils if the price is low enough.
I believe this is a very important risk in all future plans for emission reduction. Admittedly some supply will become uneconomical due to lower prices, but the rest might still be consumed by someone somewhere, if left to market forces alone.


According to the linked article, in order to fight-off encroachment of its market Saudi Arabia has chosen to maintain high crude oil production rates that has caused oil prices to drop 23 percent between June 2014 and Oct 13 2014, and looks likely to drop still further (possibly to around $70 per barrel). This is forecast to promote energy inefficiencies and to reduce the rate of growth of renewable energy.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/oil-prices-plunge-as-production-rises-fueling-concern-in-opec/2014/10/14/9bfd877c-53c9-11e4-892e-602188e70e9c_story.html

Extract: "With a weak global economy, the customary swing producer of oil — Saudi Arabia — has cut prices instead of cutting production, setting off a scramble on world markets. Crude oil prices have tumbled more than 23 percent since June, including a more than 4 percent drop Tuesday. Prices fell below four-year lows to wind up at $81.84 a barrel for the benchmark grade, West Texas Intermediate."

edit: Needless to say such a drop in the price of oil will also stimulate the economies of the EU, the USA and China (among others).
« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 03:48:00 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #76 on: October 21, 2014, 12:22:29 AM »
How much <$30 oil is left in the world?  If demand exceeds cheap supply then the price of all oil increases to the selling prices of the most expensive supply needed to match demand.  (No one is going to sell for $20 when they can get $40.

EVs are likely to sell for a bit less than ICEVs once the market is mature.

Driving an EV on renewable electricity will cost about the same as driving an efficient ICEV on $1/gallon fuel.  About $30/barrel oil.

EVs are likely to be competitive with even $30 oil and in order to burn $30 oil someone would have to manufacture the vehicles.  Before we create a collapse in oil prices most manufacturers would have already transformed to EV manufacturers.  There's not likely to be sufficient ICEV demand to create new manufacturers.

Plus, developing/poorer countries tend to import a lot of used cars and drive them as long as they can be pieced together.  The developed countries are going to be exporting used EVs by the time oil prices might collapse.  A new battery and a used EV is good to go for a hundred thousand miles, just keep patching up the body and fixing the external systems.

Used EVs are going to get a lot of love in developing countries.


AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #77 on: October 21, 2014, 04:23:09 PM »
How much <$30 oil is left in the world?  If demand exceeds cheap supply then the price of all oil increases to the selling prices of the most expensive supply needed to match demand.  (No one is going to sell for $20 when they can get $40.

EVs are likely to sell for a bit less than ICEVs once the market is mature.

Driving an EV on renewable electricity will cost about the same as driving an efficient ICEV on $1/gallon fuel.  About $30/barrel oil.

EVs are likely to be competitive with even $30 oil and in order to burn $30 oil someone would have to manufacture the vehicles.  Before we create a collapse in oil prices most manufacturers would have already transformed to EV manufacturers.  There's not likely to be sufficient ICEV demand to create new manufacturers.

Plus, developing/poorer countries tend to import a lot of used cars and drive them as long as they can be pieced together.  The developed countries are going to be exporting used EVs by the time oil prices might collapse.  A new battery and a used EV is good to go for a hundred thousand miles, just keep patching up the body and fixing the external systems.

Used EVs are going to get a lot of love in developing countries.


Bob,

While oren did mention non-sustainable crude oil prices some decades in the future at $30 a barrel, I assume he was not including any replacement costs for exploration and develop or for infrastructure. Because if you include these costs to sustain the supply of crude at relatively high levels prices rapidly escalate toward $70/barrel. I assume that he was thinking sometime after 2050 when the renewable energy may have matured (if one is optimistic), and the oil industry was selling their proven reserves at rock bottom prices in order to salvage the best of a potentially bad situation.  However, per the following linked article by Smil (2014) it may take 50 to 60 years (ie until circa 2070) for renewables to capture even 50% of the market share (see the attached figure), without assuming either revolutionary technological break-through (miracles) or heavy government intervention:

Vaclav Smil, (January 2014), "A Global Transition to Renewable Energy Will Take Many Decades", Scientific American, Vol 310, Issue 1

http://www.vaclavsmil.com/wp-content/uploads/scientificamerican0114-521.pdf

see also:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-global-transition-to-renewable-energy-will-take-many-decades/

Therefore, as I have not seen Exxon's (or any other major oil & gas giant's) stocks drop, I assume that the market investors are not too concerned about your scenario.

Best,
ASLR
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Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #78 on: October 25, 2014, 03:10:45 PM »
... However, per the following linked article by Smil (2014) it may take 50 to 60 years (ie until circa 2070) for renewables to capture even 50% of the market share (see the attached figure), without assuming either revolutionary technological break-through (miracles) or heavy government intervention...
That's a great graph, but I think the rise of modern renewables will be quite different than the rise of fossil fuels, in much the same way that cell phones rocketed past landlines in just a few years.

"Wireless penetration for the U.S. population has increased from 19.8 percent in 1997 to 102.2 percent in December 2012. (Source: CTIA – The Wireless Association, Wireless Quick Facts, 2012.)"

Miracle?   8)
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #79 on: October 25, 2014, 05:24:07 PM »
"  However, per the following linked article by Smil (2014) it may take 50 to 60 years (ie until circa 2070) for renewables to capture even 50% of the market "

Smil has moved from my "what's wrong with this person?" list to my "crackpot" list.

The world is about 11% renewable when it comes to electricity.  Moving another 39% to renewables will take 50 or 60 years?  That's simply a foolish prediction.

It will take 50 to 60 years to move only half our transportation to renewables?    I'm sorry, more foolishness.

The world is going to sit around with its collective thumb up its butt for half a century while climate change cooks us?  Please.

We're going to continue to pay more for electricity and transportation by using fossil fuels rather than switching to cheaper renewables?

Time to put Vaclac on ignore.

I'd put money on 50% by 2030.  And then things will really speed up.

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #80 on: October 25, 2014, 05:37:04 PM »
Let's do some simple math. 

In 2070 (assuming cars age at about the way they do now) almost all the cars on the road will have been manufactured after 2050.  In 2050 almost all the cars on the road will have been manufactured after 2030.

It is very likely that we will have affordable, long range EVs by 2020.  EVs that cost the same or less as same-model ICEVs and cost about 1/3rd as much to operate.  The advantages won't be obvious to everyone by 2021 but by 2025 few will be willing to pay more for an ICEV plus more to operate one.  By 2030 ICEVs will be dead.

That's Bob's prediction. 

If that's true then by 2050 we will use almost no oil for personal vehicles.  Public transportation will have mostly moved to electricity (watch for the switch to happen very rapidly with urban buses).  Batteries at $100/kWh will make long range trucking electric via battery swapping. 

Oil will only be used for transoceanic and continental flights, oceanic shipping and some agricultural and mining purposes.  Assuming biofuels don't replace those functions.

If one understands the economics of renewable energy and the efficiency of electric motors then the future reveals itself.  Economics rule.


AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #81 on: October 25, 2014, 05:47:38 PM »
... However, per the following linked article by Smil (2014) it may take 50 to 60 years (ie until circa 2070) for renewables to capture even 50% of the market share (see the attached figure), without assuming either revolutionary technological break-through (miracles) or heavy government intervention...
That's a great graph, but I think the rise of modern renewables will be quite different than the rise of fossil fuels, in much the same way that cell phones rocketed past landlines in just a few years.

"Wireless penetration for the U.S. population has increased from 19.8 percent in 1997 to 102.2 percent in December 2012. (Source: CTIA – The Wireless Association, Wireless Quick Facts, 2012.)"

Miracle?   8)

Sigmetnow,

While I sincerely hope that you are correct; however, I am a Civil Engineer, and I am concerned that the amounts of adjustments to the infrastructure, political and economic systems will take time (decades), whatever type of revolutionary technology maybe coming down the line.

When western countries imposed stricter pollution controls in the 80's & 90's this contributed to the flight of industry from western countries to Asia (including China) where pollution standards were more lax (at the time).  Thus the regulations did not stop the carbon pollution, but actually helped to accelerated it (on a percentage basis the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere increased in this post-Kyoto period).  With projections of 10 billion people in the world by 2050 (much of that in Africa), even if China imposes strict GHG emission standards (sooner rather than later), what is to stop the flight of industry to other poorer (more desperate) countries (India, Nigeria, or even Russia if their economy keeps declining)?

I agree that we need to develop better technology, but unless the world forces (say by a carbon fee with a dividend plan) the fossil fuel industry to internalize the costs of the carbon pollution that they are responsible for, then I believe that we will see a relatively slow transition to a renewable economy.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #82 on: October 25, 2014, 06:07:01 PM »
" I believe that we will see a relatively slow transition to a renewable economy."

Check the installed cost for coal, wind, and solar.  Ask yourself why we'd replace worn out coal plants with the most expensive generation rather than the least expensive.  Just attrition would lead to a moderately rapid switch over.

Look at how wind and solar are bringing down the cost of electricity when installed at only modest amounts.  For example, the US states with at least 7% wind have seen their electricity costs drop while the cost in other states has risen.  Germany is seeing the wholesale price of electricity drop below late night levels on sunny days.

Wind destroys coal during late night/off peak hours.  If utilities try to support coal by jacking up peak hour prices then they face customers installing solar (and likely storage) in order to escape those high prices.  Coal simply gets destroyed.  You can see it happening right now, the value of coal stock has fallen 50% in the last couple of years as capital flees the coal industry.  A number of US coal companies have gone out of business.

Natural gas will hang in for a while because it's dispatchable and can fill in around wind and solar.  But we seem to have inexpensive storage coming in the very near future.   Cheap electricity from wind and solar stored for a few pennies per kWh is a NG killer. 

(It's looking like we may have vanadium redox flow batteries for $300/kWh.  And they will have 25+ year lifetimes with multiple cycles per day.  $300/25 yr/365 da/2 cycles = $0.01/kWh)

Sigmetnow

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #83 on: October 25, 2014, 06:16:26 PM »
ASLR wrote:
I agree that we need to develop better technology, but unless the world forces (say by a carbon fee with a dividend plan) the fossil fuel industry to internalize the costs of the carbon pollution that they are responsible for, then I believe that we will see a relatively slow transition to a renewable economy.

Your argument makes sense -- if you look at things from top down.  Big countries, big inertia.  But I've read several places that China is looking to decrease manufacturing cheap goods, and grow the service sector.  We may yet get over our habits of buying cheap junk, and stop manufacturing stuff for no good reason.

Besides, more and more cities, islands, and regions are going 100% renewable, now.  Bottom-up growth may be the key.  Solar panels on the house is just cheaper than the grid, in places.  Add a little storage, and folks will be charging their EVs without the grid (unless they get a rebate for plugging into the grid to help with grid storage...).  Add a little more storage, and folks will be cutting the grid cord much as they cut the landline phone cord.  Residential standby generators already have utility switches that cut the house off from the grid when in use (to protect utility workers, and keep your generator from trying to power your whole street).  Utility switch + residential solar could be the next big thing.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2014, 06:23:44 PM by Sigmetnow »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #84 on: October 25, 2014, 08:00:59 PM »
ASLR wrote:
I agree that we need to develop better technology, but unless the world forces (say by a carbon fee with a dividend plan) the fossil fuel industry to internalize the costs of the carbon pollution that they are responsible for, then I believe that we will see a relatively slow transition to a renewable economy.

Your argument makes sense -- if you look at things from top down.  Big countries, big inertia.  But I've read several places that China is looking to decrease manufacturing cheap goods, and grow the service sector.  We may yet get over our habits of buying cheap junk, and stop manufacturing stuff for no good reason.

Besides, more and more cities, islands, and regions are going 100% renewable, now.  Bottom-up growth may be the key.  Solar panels on the house is just cheaper than the grid, in places.  Add a little storage, and folks will be charging their EVs without the grid (unless they get a rebate for plugging into the grid to help with grid storage...).  Add a little more storage, and folks will be cutting the grid cord much as they cut the landline phone cord.  Residential standby generators already have utility switches that cut the house off from the grid when in use (to protect utility workers, and keep your generator from trying to power your whole street).  Utility switch + residential solar could be the next big thing.

Again, while I applaud the technological advances that you (& BW) are citing; I clearly remember that only a few years ago green pundits were lionizing the possible advances in the fight against climate change to be had by rapid implementation of energy conservation (which is 100% free energy, as a penny saved is a penny earned, and thus better than the energy costs that you are referencing).  Unfortunately, the rates of advances by advocating for energy conservation did not occur as fast as the green pundits postulated, because capitalism cherry-picked the relatively fat profits from the relatively easy fixes for energy conservation, leaving the less tasty (less profitable) fruits still on the tree.  Similarly, I am concerned that the early advances of renewable energy that you are referring to will slow-down once capitalism cherry-picks the low-hanging fruit, leaving the full potential of renewable relatively slow to develop (ie taking decades).
« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 02:25:09 AM by AbruptSLR »
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #85 on: October 25, 2014, 11:23:30 PM »
And I see efficiency as a booming market.  Businesses and industry understand efficiency, the money not spent on energy flows right to the bottom line.

Most individuals understand efficiency and will become more efficient as long as it doesn't harm their lifestyle.  And those who don't really care about efficiency will have it forced on them, largely without their noticing.  Because the market will favor more efficient appliances/light bulbs/etc. the stuff available to purchase will become more efficient. 

Building regs are causing new construction to be more efficient and that will only increase as we find new affordable ways to increase energy efficiency.

A couple years ago the energy news feeds lit up with efficiency news.  Companies are investing major money trying to figure out how to grab a part of this new market.

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #86 on: October 29, 2014, 10:23:32 PM »
The linked Natural Resources Defense Council report "The Prevention and Control of Shipping and Port Emissions in China", issued in October indicates that poor regulation in China of bunker fuel means that in a single day one Chinese container ship can pollute as much as half a million trucks.

http://www.nrdc.org/international/china-controlling-port-air-emissions.asp
http://www.nrdc.org/international/files/china-controlling-port-air-emissions-report.pdf

See also:
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/10/china-shipping-emissions-pollution-nrdc
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #87 on: November 12, 2014, 05:03:37 PM »
When we talk about slowing growth in the China economy, we should recognize that slow growth in China means something far different than in the developed nations. In the latest quarter, growth slowed to 7.3%.


I'm seeing expectations that China's growth will slow and stabilize around 3%. 

China seems to have largely completed their enormous and extremely rapid development.  They're looking at an aging and shrinking labor force.  And they're looking to make their economic less dependent on manufacturing and moving into areas which are less energy demanding.

Time will tell.


Bob,

Per the following article, it is a big deal (if China makes a big effort) that China may peak their carbon emissions by 2030 (also consider that the Republican Congress has vowed to fight Obama's end of this deal).  Thus it appears that you are way too optimistic that China's carbon emissions may be peaking now.  Furthermore, if China does eventually start to reduce carbon emissions it seems likely that capital (including Chinese investments) will flow to developing countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, India, etc. to promote fossil fuel developments in these developing countries, thus kicking the can down the road.  The carbon fee & dividend plan that I discussed previously, includes strong tariffs on goods to/from countries that do not limit carbon emissions, thus preventing the temptation to kick the can down the road.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/12/opinion/john-kerry-our-historic-agreement-with-china-on-climate-change.html?action=click&contentCollection=Asia%20Pacific&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

Quote from John Kerry: "The United States intends to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 – a target that is both ambitious and feasible. It roughly doubles the pace of carbon reductions in the period from 2020 to 2025 as compared to the period from 2005 to 2020. It puts us on a path to transform our economy, with emissions reductions on the order of 80 percent by 2050. It is grounded in an extensive analysis of the potential to reduce emissions in all sectors of our economy, with significant added benefits for health, clean air, and energy security.


The Chinese targets also represent a major advance. For the first time China is announcing a peak year for its carbon emissions – around 2030 – along with a commitment to try to reach the peak earlier. That matters because over the past 15 years, China has accounted for roughly 60 percent of the growth in carbon dioxide emissions world-wide. We are confident that China can and will reach peak emissions before 2030, in light of President Xi’s commitments to restructure the economy, dramatically reduce air pollution and stimulate an energy revolution.
China is also announcing today that it would expand the share of total energy consumption coming from zero-emission sources (renewable and nuclear energy) to around 20 percent by 2030, sending a powerful signal to investors and energy markets around the world and helping accelerate the global transition to clean-energy economies. To meet its goal, China will need to deploy an additional 800 to 1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other renewable generation capacity by 2030 – an enormous amount, about the same as all the coal-fired power plants in China today, and nearly as much as the total electricity generation capacity of the United States."

However, per the New York Times: “While the agreement with China needs no congressional ratification, lawmakers could try to roll back Mr. Obama’s initiatives, undermining the United States’ ability to meet the new reduction targets.”
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #88 on: November 12, 2014, 08:47:15 PM »
As a follow-up on my last post, the following extract indicates even with stringent environmental planning China will have a hard time peaking its carbon emissions by 2035:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/world/asia/climate-change-china-xi-jinping-obama-apec.html?_r=0

Extract: "Wang Yi, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said that a consensus had grown recently among experts in China that the 2030 date was achievable, and that 2025 would be a more ambitious goal. But as recently as last week, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the China Meteorological Administration issued a report saying that even with “stringent environmental planning,” the country’s emissions were not likely to peak until 2035."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #89 on: November 13, 2014, 07:24:40 AM »
Let me ask you - if some industry moves from China to Vietnam or Namibia why would it automatically get powered by fossil fuels?  Why would those countries pick a more expensive energy source rather than a cheaper one?

Why would capital investments move to carbon production when it is more expensive than renewables?

Second, what can Congress do to stop US installation of renewable generation and the scheduled closure of coal plants?  What can Congress do to reverse the agreed on increase in car and truck efficiencies?  To bring back the incandescent light bulb?  To make TVs less efficient?

Third question, if China stops the growth in coal consumption in the next few years and puts a major push on getting drivers into EVs rather than iCEVs where does the increased growth in CO2 emission come from following, say, 2025?

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #90 on: November 13, 2014, 10:03:58 PM »
First, almost all economists do not accept your simple-minded logic as indicated by the following reference and attached image, that indicates a direct historical link between more fossil fuel use and economic growth. Essentially all economists understand that it will take many decades before renewables can replace fossil fuels in developing countries like India, Indonesia and the Philippines; and in the meantime the world's carbon budget is going bankrupt:

Michael Jakob, Jan Christoph Steckel, Stephan Klasen, Jann Lay, Nicole Grunewald, Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, Sebastian Renner & Ottmar Edenhofer , (2014), "Feasible mitigation actions in developing countries", Nature Climate Change, Volume: 4, Pages: 961–968, doi:10.1038/nclimate2370

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n11/full/nclimate2370.html

Abstract: "Energy use is not only crucial for economic development, but is also the main driver of greenhouse-gas emissions. Developing countries can reduce emissions and thrive only if economic growth is disentangled from energy-related emissions. Although possible in theory, the required energy-system transformation would impose considerable costs on developing nations. Developed countries could bear those costs fully, but policy design should avoid a possible 'climate rent curse', that is, a negative impact of financial inflows on recipients' economies. Mitigation measures could meet further resistance because of adverse distributional impacts as well as political economy reasons. Hence, drastically re-orienting development paths towards low-carbon growth in developing countries is not very realistic. Efforts should rather focus on 'feasible mitigation actions' such as fossil-fuel subsidy reform, decentralized modern energy and fuel switching in the power sector."

Second, the Republican now control the power of the purse, and will use it to tempt 5 to 6 democratic Senators (e.g. the Republican could grant extra funding for military bases in these selected states) to vote for a funding bill that will roll-back many of Obama's EPA regulations (also a few democrats might switch their votes to avoid a government shut-down).

Third, China has only promised to use renewables for 20% of its energy by 2030; and if it were as easy as your simplistic argument implies to achieve a higher percentage of renewable use by 2030 then the Chinese would be more than pleased to say that now and to get all kinds of good press and international cooperation for doing so; but the truth is that it will be difficult for China to achieve the 20% renewable number even using a lot of nuclear power.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #91 on: November 13, 2014, 10:51:33 PM »
Your response #1 does not address my questions.  Of course it will take a few decades to replace fossil fuels. 

Want to make another stab at answering my question?

Your response #2 seems to not understand the power of the veto.  Your math is flawed.  Two thirds of the Senate is 67 votes.  Assuming Republicans take Louisiana (likely) they will have 54.  67 - 54 = 13.  Turning a half dozen Democrats will not do the job.  Additionally, a lot of the more centrist Democrats have left the Senate. 

#3. Coal supplied the vast majority (69%) of China's total energy consumption in 2011. Oil was the second-largest source, accounting for 18% of the country's total energy consumption. 

Don't make the mistake of assuming that 100% of that input energy has to be replaced in order to make China carbon free.  Thermal plants and ICEVs are incredibly inefficient.  Electric motors are very efficient.    About 35% of the energy going into a coal plant comes out as electricity.  The 69% coal energy replacement needs something like "23% electricity".  ICEVs waste about 80% of their energy input while EVs waste only 20% or less.  One EV replacing an ICEV cuts initial energy inputs by 4x.

A replacement of 20% of China's energy production with renewables means a much larger reduction in CO2 production.

That said, you really didn't answer my #3 question either.  Care to give it a shot?

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #92 on: November 13, 2014, 11:34:34 PM »
My only response is that: "The road to hell is paved with good intensions".

The Kyoto Protocol was well intended but failed (Australia, Canada and Japan withdrew & the USA never joined).

If the world stays anywhere near our currently pathway until 2030, then polar amplification will trigger the nonlinearity of many irreversible positive feedback mechanisms; which, will result in higher climate sensitivities than assumed in the IPCC GCM projections; thus putting the world deeper into a radiative forcing hole.

Without a level of effort comparable to a carbon fee plus dividend plan by the world's leading countries, then I believe that we are all headed towards a very warm future.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #93 on: November 14, 2014, 04:41:35 AM »
Which of my questions is that suppose to address?

TeaPotty

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #94 on: November 14, 2014, 06:39:42 AM »
AbruptSLR, what do you think of all of the additional Coal that China plans to burn until 2030? Is it significant enough to slow down short-term warming?

All that soot though, has to be really bad for the ice.

I also wonder about all the much-touted "CCS". Isn't the captured carbon exported to be burnt elsewhere, hence being pointless?

Btw, I (and surely countless others) so greatly appreciate your tireless computing and assembling of this giant climate puzzle. Learn a lot from your posts.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 06:54:47 AM by TeaPotty »

Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #95 on: November 14, 2014, 07:18:38 AM »

oren

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #96 on: November 14, 2014, 05:54:52 PM »
Bob,
your logic is flawless but I believe not entirely realistic. It will all happen as you claim, but more slowly. It is difficult to prove using your logic tools, but people in large systems make revolutions only slowly. Fossil fuel is proven, known, no risk to the decision maker. Solar + storage (for example) can fail in so many ways, the fact that it's cheaper and better will not help the Chinese politician that took a risk and lost his job (or his head). The important driver for such decision makers is perceived risk and newness of the chosen technology for a given project, not necessarily actual risk and lifetime cost. Walk in your predecessors shows and steer slowly, is how you survive long in a bureaucratic system.
All this means slower uptake than dictated by pure economical reasoning.

AbruptSLR

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #97 on: November 14, 2014, 10:16:27 PM »
AbruptSLR, what do you think of all of the additional Coal that China plans to burn until 2030? Is it significant enough to slow down short-term warming?

All that soot though, has to be really bad for the ice.

I also wonder about all the much-touted "CCS". Isn't the captured carbon exported to be burnt elsewhere, hence being pointless?

Btw, I (and surely countless others) so greatly appreciate your tireless computing and assembling of this giant climate puzzle. Learn a lot from your posts.

I think that China would like to switch away from coal-fired power plants as quickly as practicable; however, with hundreds of newly built coal-fired power plants it will take years to switch to other fuels like natural gas.  Furthermore, CCS requires burning up to 25% more coal to get the energy for the CCS process (the CO2 captured can be used for some other purposes but is generally just injected into appropriate formations in the ground).

In general terms, I concur with oren that Bob's logic is not wrong, but that it will take much longer to get to the stages that he is expecting to happen quickly; and that as indicated in the attached plot the world will likely follow a pathway similar to RCP 6 (the second curve from the bottom in the plot) with the USA-China pact and the EU cuts only.

Furthermore, I believe that other developing countries (like India) have seen China's success at burning coal and that they will follow this same path for a couple of decades until they get to a similar level as what China is at now.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Bob Wallace

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #98 on: November 15, 2014, 05:42:29 AM »
Bob,
your logic is flawless but I believe not entirely realistic. It will all happen as you claim, but more slowly. It is difficult to prove using your logic tools, but people in large systems make revolutions only slowly. Fossil fuel is proven, known, no risk to the decision maker. Solar + storage (for example) can fail in so many ways, the fact that it's cheaper and better will not help the Chinese politician that took a risk and lost his job (or his head). The important driver for such decision makers is perceived risk and newness of the chosen technology for a given project, not necessarily actual risk and lifetime cost. Walk in your predecessors shows and steer slowly, is how you survive long in a bureaucratic system.
All this means slower uptake than dictated by pure economical reasoning.

Here's the timeline I presented -

Of course it will take a few decades to replace fossil fuels. 

You are correct that politicians/leaders/whomever can slow down renewables.  That's happening right now in Australia.

But they can also speed them up.  That's happening right now in China and India.

viddaloo

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Re: But, but, but, China....
« Reply #99 on: November 15, 2014, 08:15:30 AM »
Mainstream Media Circle Jerk Cheerleads "Historic" U.S.-China Climate Accord
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