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Author Topic: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?  (Read 40801 times)

Bob Wallace

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #100 on: March 18, 2015, 06:16:31 AM »
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BAU means growth!

So what?

We've demonstrated that we can cut emissions while growing economies.  The EU and US busted those things apart years ago and China has recently.  Those who insist that we have to stop growing economies in order to minimize climate change have been proven wrong.

People on this site should know far better than most that the important task is to move away from fossil fuels and cut our CO2 emission levels.  And reduce other GHGs.

Why don't you take the "this economic model is better than that economic model" to another site or start a separate branch called "Let's talk about economic models"?

This branch is called Policy and Solutions.

Let's figure out solutions that work and talk about what policies need to be put in place to expedite their implementation.

viddaloo

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #101 on: March 18, 2015, 06:26:17 AM »
We've demonstrated that we can cut emissions while growing economies.

Let's nip that little error in the bud and correct the misunderstanding at once, shall we?

What the IEA's new boss has demonstrated is that he's able to *guess* before the data is in that we *may* have *stalled* (not cut) emissions from a *sector* of industry or society, ie not the entire cake.

Let's wait and see till the numbers are in and more clarity is provided about this.
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viddaloo

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #102 on: March 18, 2015, 06:31:26 AM »
What's more: If we keep adding the same dangerously high and all–time record amount of CO2 into the atmosphere every single year ("stalled"), this means our atmospheric CO2 level — measured in ppm — will rise faster than any time before in human history. I don't think this gives cause for celebration, at all.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #103 on: March 18, 2015, 06:36:59 AM »
We've demonstrated that we can cut emissions while growing economies.

Let's nip that little error in the bud and correct the misunderstanding at once, shall we?

What the IEA's new boss has demonstrated is that he's able to *guess* before the data is in that we *may* have *stalled* (not cut) emissions from a *sector* of industry or society, ie not the entire cake.

Let's wait and see till the numbers are in and more clarity is provided about this.











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Neven

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #104 on: March 18, 2015, 11:06:05 AM »
Neven -

I hope we may agree the need of the massive growth of new aspirations, new politics, new conduct and new technologies as being pre-requisite for the control of the predicament we face.

Yes, and thanks for your thoughtful reply.

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It is for this reason that I find 'decroissance' to be a crass misnomer, in that is profoundly unhelpful as a title for the growth we need. It is in origin reactionary, in that it is a reaction against the absurd assumptions of infinite growth, rather than a commensurate response to that folly that describes the necessary change. For that purpose a title of 'global re-orientation' seems more apt, though there may well be better terms. That re-orientation then obviously demands a new metric for the equitable and efficient evaluation of societies' economic performance.

Exactly, I fully agree with that, not that I know that much about décroissance. The main problem is not growth itself, but that which has to grow, and this is determined by the definition of GDP.

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My revered acquaintance, the late Fritz Schumacher (if anyone's unaware, wrote "Small is Beautiful" around 1971)


I read that book (and another one the title of which I've forgotten) and really loved it.

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You'd be wrong to think I oppose a steady state economy in the slightest; but it doesn't seem relevant in our present circs where we face an existential struggle against diverse threats, of which AGW is only the nearest.

It's not that I demand a steady state economy to be established as of now, it's rather that I'd like to see more discussion of it, in relation to our present circs. When I read what you write and what Bob writes, this is what I read: 'Don't talk about those things, because no one is interested. Let's first solve the immediate danger.'

But you know, that way the conversation will never start. And we need to have it at some point, as nothing can grow forever (no matter the definition). It would seem that the best time to have it is when the reasons why we need to have it, are clearer and more tangible than ever.

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By contrast the proposal of 'managed collapse' doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. While it is standard practice to demolish structures of steel and concrete such as the twin towers into their own footprint, attempting to collapse a structure of people's loyalties, dependencies and desires is nothing like predictable as to the outcome. For a start resistance will take unexpected forms as individuals apply their imaginations to the threat they face. And we can be sure that the forces of stasis will utilize every scrap of polarization of opinion that our efforts generate.

Ending a social construct safely is thus nothing like a collapse; it is a deliberate process of dismantling while providing the attraction of a desirable alternative for a minimum of resistance and maximum speed of change. While the intent and also the outcome may appear revolutionary, the process has to be one of perestoika - restructuring - to be efficient in resources and time expended and outcome achieved. (Gorbachev is worth reading on the issue)

I'm not in favour of a crash either. Better try not to have a crash, and if you crash anyway, it's all the same. Like we say in Dutch, literally: You have 'no', perhaps you'll get 'yes'.

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However, to hold coherent discussions on particular aspects of the mitigation of climate destabilization, and to make useful progress, it is surely necessary to focus rather than being continuously diverted into the grand overall picture ? Or by others trying to explain how we are doomed by the evil plans of the plutocratic far right ?  There may be such plans - that demand concerted resistance rather than defeatism - but at what point are they simply off-topic in a thread on Emissions Control ?

The question is: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2? My point is we can't, or not effectively enough, if we don't also do something about the big picture. Even though that is what everyone wants to hear, we can't have our cake and eat it too.

It seems you agree with that, and Bob doesn't. Either way, I'm all for most if not all the technical solutions you both propose.
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JimD

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #105 on: March 18, 2015, 05:21:52 PM »
This

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So you also think we should start a campaign of actively killing people?  Get rid of a few billion so that our CO2 levels drop?

is so typical of the depth of your thought process.  You are all straw man arguments and deliberate misinterpretations.  In the entire time you have been here you have never responded in any meaningful fashion to the arguments put forward why your approach leads to disaster.  It has been explained in detail over and over again and you just ignore it.  This is exactly what the fossil fuel paid deniers do.  Your pet version of what they are up to is not materially different than them and gets us to the same place at the same time.

You say this over and over again in some form

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Let's figure out solutions that work and talk about what policies need to be put in place to expedite their implementation.

and people point out in detail why what you advocate won't work that way and get no logical response from you.  You just repeat your self.  Gradual does not work because there is no time left for it and it promotes endless growth.  Growth must stop.  Lots of different kinds of growth - population, GDP, consumption, etc.  Degrowth.

You say this

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We've demonstrated that we can cut emissions while growing economies.  The EU and US busted those things apart years ago and China has recently.  Those who insist that we have to stop growing economies in order to minimize climate change have been proven wrong.

A bald faced lie.

We have NOT done that except in your denier eyes.  The US 'exported' a lot of their emissions and a lot of what you attribute to progress was a big economic downturn (degrowth for a time) and 'most of all' you are misdirecting as you are confusing economic weather with economic climate.  The global economic system is has not stopped increasing emissions as it has continued to grow.  Emissions are still growing steadily and are at record levels.  This IEA propaganda you got so excited about was using data on a just a part of the system and deliberately giving the impression that it applied to the whole.  And you run with it and get irate when the mistake is pointed out to you.

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a clearly irrational approach based upon some faith in technical progress and no logical plan at all

Holy horseshit!  Have you paid no attention?

We, over the next 20 to 35 years replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.  What little we've done so far has worked like a charm.  Now we need to do more.  Is that not clear to you?

No its you who is not paying attention - actually you ignore the facts.  What is wrong with this once again?  1.  You do not have the time to execute your plan.  2.  It has NOT worked like a charm as it has promoted BAU just like before.  Capacity for renewables has not been used to replace fossil fuels it has been used to help promote more growth.  During this time you think progress has occurred emissions have constantly grown, consumption has grown, population has grown.  It is not working - that is why we are following the 8.5 scenario.

Yes what you are doing is irrational. 

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The actual detailed mechanics are not the point .  The point is that degrowth leads towards a much better possible result so that is what you do.  We can figure the details out as we go.

In other words, you don't have a clue.  You don't know where you want the world to go except "down".  You have no idea how to get there.  You've no concern for the misery you would inflict on the world.  You have no idea what the post-apocalypse world would look like.

You're just blowing smoke.

Qute, but you are being dishonest.

I have logically pointed out in dozens of ways why your approach will inevitably lead to far MORE pain and suffering than a managed degrowth (or collapse) would.  Many times.  No one ever puts up any rational argument otherwise.  We just get the propaganda alarmist bullshit from folks like you designed to scare people away from stopping the endless growth paradigm.  You argue for this endless growth all the time here.  What part of endless growth on a finite world do you not understand.  It defies logic.  Your position argues in favor of impossibilities.  There is no free lunch as you argue for.  There is no form of BAU which can be even close to sustainable.

You need to read the below over and over again until you understand it.

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Keep in mind that what we are trying to advocate for here is the path which results in the least amount of total pain and suffering.  Nothing else. It is the only moral and ethical path to take in my opinion.

We are heading to similar places in many respects.  BAU paths will result in a catastrophic collapse which history shows takes one below the sustainable levels and does much more harm to the carrying capacity.  And then there is a rebound.  That rebound depends on the amount of available resources left to utilize, what technical knowledge remains, and how much damage human culture has suffered.

Managed collapse 'should' result in a decline sooner that will see less of the extreme effects of catastrophic collapse. This 'should' lead to less harmful effects due to declining global carrying capacity and climate change as we will have prevented much of the damage which would occur by following BAU paths.  So one ends up with more resources, less adverse climate effects, greater global carrying capacity, and a higher population base to rebuild from.  Thus less pain, suffering and deaths.

You keep whining about me not giving specifics on how to exercise degrowth.  But I have many times here as everyone knows - including you.  There are dozens of ways  - hundreds - to facilitate this process.  A lot of them are just changing the phony Green approaches to actual sustainable approaches and not using them to facilitate BAU.  You just want to find a way to jump on something and twist it ugly for effect to derail the discussion.  It is easy to do because the process is not going to be easy or pleasant.  But what ever it is it will be easier than your approach for the reasons above. 

Your entire approach is based upon wishful thinking.  It is a faith based approach in that it cannot succeed unless there is some sort of miracle - a White Swan event.  But the odds are far more in favor of Black Swan events coming along and making things far worse than the science says we are most likely to see.  It does not matter whether you think it is God or Progress which is going to come down and save us.  It is still irrational and foolish to place our future on wishes when straightforward action should do the job.

You are advocating a morally and ethically bankrupt approach.  Does that have NO MEANING WHAT-SO-EVER to you?  Really?  A pretty typical basic human nature non-civilized approach.

When sacrifices have to be made regardless then one takes those sacrifices on themselves.  They do NOT put them off on others who have no say in the matter as they are not even alive yet.  Especially when we know it is our fault we are in this situation.  We have personal responsibility here.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #106 on: March 18, 2015, 08:57:10 PM »
What do you think of Sweden, Bob?
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.msg47707.html#msg47707
It's one of the western countries from the list you posted above.
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.msg47698.html#msg47698

In my mind, it's a perfect example of a present western country that's green BAU.

Gets pretty cold there in the winter.  (I haven't paid a lot of attention to Sweden.) 

Different countries are going to find different routes to cleaning their grids.  Resources vary from country to country.

Actually, I think we look at Europe as a whole (excluding Russia).  I suspect the EU will end up operating as one big grid as is happening in the 'lower 48' US.

I became a Swedish citizen in 1967. It can get cold, but our seasons and weather in southern Sweden are really different nowadays.


I used to have a more positive attitude, but Sweden doesn't have a route to clean anything IMO and it's still a developing country when it comes to solar and wind. We depend on nuclear och hydro but Vattenfall does other marvellous things as well. You might be interested in this previous comment I made here: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,179.msg46207.html#msg46207 And please read folke_kelm's comment below that as well.
We are also forcing smaller scale hydro plants to shut down.

As the graph indicates in my previous post, we have already cleared our 2020 goals. Great!? Not if you look at our consumption and our emissions in other countries. We suck, really.
The yellow part in the graph from Naturvårdsverket indicates emissions in other countries due to consumption. Add Stefan Löfven's words above and our GDP per capita and the picture becomes clear.


I don't see Europe as a whole. Neither does nearly 1/10:th of the Swedes who are stupid enough to vote for SD, they want to leave EU and close our borders (that was the nicest description I could think of).
I can't exclude or ignore Russia, my family is from Finland and my parents lived through the war there. Russia is still a deep black hole to most people in the west, unfortunately.

But, if Sweden is THE shining example in the EU on how to reduce emissions and therfore a positive sign for our future, then here's my conclusion:


viddaloo

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #107 on: March 19, 2015, 09:33:38 AM »
[BW's] entire approach is based upon wishful thinking.  It is a faith based approach in that it cannot succeed unless there is some sort of miracle - a White Swan event.  But the odds are far more in favor of Black Swan events coming along and making things far worse than the science says we are most likely to see.  It does not matter whether you think it is God or Progress which is going to come down and save us.  It is still irrational and foolish to place our future on wishes when straightforward action should do the job.
Actually, because it is not surprising, unlimited growth on a finite planet ending in eco–collapse is the 'White Swan' event. The Black Swan event would be if against all odds we saved our biosphere and calmed down climate change through higher and more sustained growth, which is BW's, NATO's, UN's and the IEA's endgame recommendation.

(The Black Swan meme was used in philosophy for teaching students logic: "All swans are white" was a hypothesis everyone believed in, but it would be enough to find one black swan to falsify it. Then, of course, we discovered there were millions of black swans, only living on the opposite side of the planet. The hypothesis was duly falsified.)
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jbatteen

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #108 on: March 20, 2015, 03:11:28 PM »
http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/03/developed-areas-in-calif-could-support-enough-solar-to-power-the-state/
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In general, California has taken two approaches to boosting the solar energy produced in the state. The first is large, utility-scale facilities, often located in the state's extensive desert areas. The second is more ad-hoc, as companies and private citizens are able to install panels on their buildings and facilities if they choose to. But what if the two approaches were merged, with massive deployment of solar on pretty much every bit of developed land in the state? According to a new analysis, the end result would dwarf the state's electricity needs—and probably leave enough to spare to handle its water needs through desalination.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #109 on: March 24, 2015, 11:41:42 PM »
The linked article at Climate Central indicates that some scientists think that the IEA's announcement that energy related CO₂ emissions in 2014 were flat compared to 2013, may be more of an exception than a new rule (see extract below).  Furthermore, the article indicates that much of this flattening was due to the increased use of natural gas; in which case the IEA should report the CO₂-equivalent emissions for 2014.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/scientists-mixed-on-whether-flat-co2-emissions-are-a-trend-18805

Extract: "Steve Cohen, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, said the increases in use of fossil fuels in China and India — which show few signs of abating — will push emissions in the opposite direction in 2015, and only the development of affordable renewable energy technology is likely to counter that trend.

Globally, energy-related greenhouse gas emissions stayed at 32.3 billion metric tons of CO2 in both 2013 and 2014, according to the IEA. U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. have also been relatively flat, growing only an estimated 1 percent between 2013 and 2014, with growth expected to remain below 1 percent over the next two years, U.S. Energy Information Administration analyst Perry Lindstrom said.

The relatively low growth is linked to both the adoption of more fuel-efficient vehicles and the replacement of coal-powered electricity with renewable energy sources and relatively cleaner-burning natural gas. That gives policymakers in the U.S. an opportunity to make a big difference in emissions, he said.



Rob Jackson, an earth systems science professor at Stanford University, said it’s difficult to see how flat or declining energy-related emissions can continue globally, even with U.S. energy-related emissions showing little growth.

“Unfortunately, I don’t expect this to last very long,” Jackson said. “Decoupling CO2 emissions from economic growth is ideal. Unfortunately in fast-growing economies such as China and India, we’re not there yet, despite this year’s good news.”

The breakup of the link between CO2 emissions and economic growth in developed countries has been brought about in part by the availability of inexpensive natural gas beginning to replace coal for electric power generation, Harvard University business and government professor Robert N. Stavins said.

….

Globally, stagnant energy-related CO2 emissions could prove to be more an exception to the rule rather than the beginning of a trend, scientists say.

“Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to continue to rise — nobody thinks we have reached maximum emissions and things will soon be turning around,” Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist with the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif., said.

Efforts to reduce GHGs enough to keep them flat are hardly enough to make much of a difference in the climate, he said, adding that developing nations must make significant investments in wind, solar, and nuclear power or emissions are going to rise in the long term.

“Substantial reductions in emissions are possible for both the U.S. and the rest of the world, but it will take herculean efforts and transforming the global energy system into one that does not use the sky as a waste dump,” Caldeira said. “Tiny, but positive policy moves, like increasing automobile efficiency, certainly help, but if we are to get serious about avoiding the risk of dangerous climate change, we need to up our game by somewhere between a factor of 10 and 100 over what we are doing now.”"
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jai mitchell

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #110 on: March 25, 2015, 05:09:57 PM »
There is a way

It involves a cataclysmic result of global warming that portends an even greater catastrophe. 

Once this occurs, we will see a shift in the priorities of the very wealthy business interests who, on a basic core level, control the mechanisms of government.

We won't be able to spend 60% of U.S. dollars on military exercises, trying to maintain projected corporate power throughout the world.  Instead the war will be turned inward and we will be forced to radically transform our industries, food production, product and personnel transport and even our personal diets.  We will also have to facilitate the emigration of millions of people from the U.S. Southwest and implement retrofit and new building constructions that are resilient to extreme heat and violent weather.  We will have to move or abandon a majority of our infrastructure on the world's coastlines.

Economic aid, on a scale unprecedented in human society, will have to be given to those countries most in need to assist them in transforming their societies to functional, strife-free states.

This is all precluded on a global existential threat, fully realized, as a result of CO2 loading, the loss of the arctic sea ice and a massive destabilization of Greenland under +20C temp anomalies.

This is why the right-wing fascist crazies are spending millions of dollars attacking the science and all who would advocate for enacting solutions to global warming.  Because they already know that historic trends of real wealth accumulation AND the basic survival of a functional, interdependent and modern society are mutually incompatible in this coming age.

and they have made their choice. . . it is everyone's job to change their minds.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Can we ever stop the rise of CO2?
« Reply #111 on: March 26, 2015, 03:49:06 PM »
It makes me wonder when CO2 emissions drop in countries like the UK (with good reporting systems) who offshore a growing portion of their carbon footprint; whether the developing countries making the high-carbon footprint items being imported by the developed world (like China & India) with probably less accurate reporting systems; might not account for part of the drop in 2014 CO2 emissions (ie due to poor accounting in the increasingly important developing world):

http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/03/large-fall-in-uk-emissions-in-2014-official-figures-confirm/
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