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Sigmetnow

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We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« on: March 14, 2015, 01:25:07 PM »
Optimists deserve a moment of celebration!   \o/  Yay!

Quote
  Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicate that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.

http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2015/march/global-energy-related-emissions-of-carbon-dioxide-stalled-in-2014.html

We did it!  Without global economic collapse, please note.

Quote
Global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the preceding year. The preliminary IEA data suggest that efforts to mitigate climate change may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than had previously been thought.

The IEA attributes the halt in emissions growth to changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries. In China, 2014 saw greater generation of electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, and less burning of coal. In OECD economies, recent efforts to promote more sustainable growth – including greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy – are producing the desired effect of decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.

By definition, since this is a first, it cannot be called "Business as Usual."
For 2015, I declare "Business As Usual" to mean: "Rescuing the Planet." 
(Hoping that soon, it will also mean, "Saving humankind.")

To everyone who helped, by lowering their carbon footprint, Thank You. 
To everyone who did not:  Shame on you!  If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Eric Holthaus tweeted a list of things individuals can do.  There's more out there, but if you don't know where to start, start here:

Quote
  @EricHolthaus: For those sick of depressing climate headlines without the “so what can I *do* about it”? Here are some suggestions:

1. First off, it *is* still possible for us to keep climate change to manageable levels. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

2. That said, it’s going to be difficult (though not necessarily costly). It’s going to require making changes in our lives, though not bad.

3. The easiest and most effective way to limit your climate impact is to just use less stuff. Less fuel, less packaging, less impact.

4. Right now, that’s hard to do because, for a few more years, coal/oil are still cheaper than wind/solar renewable. That’s quickly changing

5. A major report (http://t.co/U4wwhlKaIn) on “deep decarbonization” found best way for US to cut carbon is to go almost totally electric.

6. But that will need all of our help to choose to power your homes by renewable energy. It’s usually only a couple more dollars per month.

7. Pretty soon it will actually be cheaper.

8. Run your numbers on a carbon calculator. http://t.co/R5qPYdFODJ I did, and found that flying was my #1 impact. So I stopped.

9. For most people, travel and diet are their two biggest impacts. Another huge way to help: give up meat. http://t.co/fUhNtRiOJd

10. The U.S. has largest historical responsibility for climate change of any country on Earth. We should lead & be an example for solutions.

11. Don’t think you’re too small to make a difference. You’re not. And it sucks it will cost you more money to do so. But it’s worth it.

12. Someday (soon, hopefully) you’ll be rewarded financially for cutting carbon. Until then, you have piece of mind you’re saving the EARTH

13. And, seriously, what could be more important than that.

14. Just b/c it’s hard to see & will probably affect Africa more than your hometown, doesn’t mean climate change isn’t a BFD. You can help.

15. Of course corporations/gov’ts have much bigger potential than individuals. But they’re made up of individuals, too.

16. As pessimistic as I can (often) be, I’m still hopeful that we’ll solve climate change… because we can, and we must.

17. Ok, carry on. Thanks for humoring me. (by our powers combined……..)


Optimists deserve a moment of celebration -- now let's get back to work!
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

viddaloo

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2015, 01:36:03 PM »
We did it!  Without global economic collapse, please note.

Yes... Let's look at the details, shall we?

«We» — First, it wasn't us, but the energy sector. Those who produce energy.
«did» — Secondly, we have only one rather interested source that claims it.
«it» — Thirdly, we didn't bend the curve of CO2 emissions, so this is all just changing the target as you go. We can't stop the emissions, and we can't even stop the *increase* in emissions? Let's look at something we *can* stop the *increase* or maybe *rate* of increase of instead, but still claim WE DID IT.

Smartass.
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viddaloo

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2015, 02:29:30 PM »
PS: If I'm not very mistaken, this jubilant 'we finally saved the planet' press release about stopping the growth in emissions from the energy *industry* is comparable to the world's alcohol industry — breweries, distilleries and wineries — celebrating the fact that the annual increase in drinking among the *workers* in the drink industry has now ceased. So that the people who make the booze now only drink the same amount as they did last year — while on the job.

To stop drinking all over the world you would of course have to make the alcohol industry stop the endless production and sale of alcohol to the people, who drink their produce, plus stop those who make stuff themselves (moonshining, winemaking etc).
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Jim Hunt

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2015, 02:50:28 PM »
We now have two brand new topics on the self same subject. see also:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.0.html
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 02:52:26 PM »
Optimists deserve a moment of celebration!   \o/  Yay!

See that last several posts in the "Carbon emissions, totals, trends, etc" thread, including:
 
(1) « Reply #38 on: March 13, 2015, 03:22:01 PM »

"Quote: crandles  March 13, 2015, 02:35:35 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31872460

Global CO2 emissions 'stalled' in 2014


As I pointed out in the other place you posted this your conclusion about this and what the headlines said are different.


The EIA is ONLY talking about part of the emissions and not the total.  They are referring to emissions from the energy sector only as the report says this.
...global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014...


So it appears that the EIA press release is only talking about part of the emissions and not all of the other emissions related to industry, agriculture, nature (induced by climate change), and other human activity.

Total emissions are reported to be above 40 Gtonnes with a yearly rise of over 2%."
and,

(2) « Reply #40 on: March 13, 2015, 09:23:06 PM »

"Even if the IEA report is for energy sector only - I still take it with a large pinch of salt.  Presumably the CO2 emission is calculated by taking the amount of fossil fuel burned and multiplying by a fixed amount of CO2 emission for each fossil fuel type. Please correct me if I'm wrong.  The main shift we are seeing is from coal to (fracked) gas. So C02 is replaced with CH4 emissions - which are most likely massively under-estimated (I've seen reports of anywhere between 2 and 7 times under reported). So once again the fossil fuel industry manages to externalise a cost out of being accounted for.  Sigh. The proof of the pudding will be in future CO2 (and CH4) atmospheric concentrations. But of course if sources like the IEA are saying that CO2 emissions are levelling off or even falling but CO2 still increases I can already hear the voices shouting: "Look, look, we reduce human CO2 emissions but the CO2 still goes up - so we didn't cause the problem in the first place!"  Double sigh"

and,

(3) « Reply #43 on: Today at 01:13:01 AM »

: Quote: jai mitchell  March 13, 2015, 04:23:07 PM
China has been overproducing now for about 1 decade in a desperate economic expansion bid.  They have produced apartment and hotel complexes that stand completely empty throughout their country.  Steel is piling up in stockyards and they continue to produce more and more.  Their expansion has been financed by debt accumulation and the majority of these loans are completely insolvent. 

They need to maintain a 7% annual growth rate to prevent social unrest.  Now they have reached an apex in production, global consumption is stalling and pollution effects have been having a terrible human impact.


We have reached peak fossil fuels.  Now we will find out just how much the Chinese aerosols have contributed to the negative PDO and the warming 'hiatus', and, of course, the recent arctic sea summer sea ice 'recovery'.


That's certainly part of it.

How I see it. Feel free to correct if there's a weakness in the argument:

 The other is a concerted effort to close down small mines in the last 1-2 years (nearly 2000 of them) and consolidate production to large operations and place generation capacity next to where mining operations are. This helps curb the air pollution problem. China has invested a huge sum into UHV transmission to help accomplish this. I suspect they will continue to use an "all-of-the-above" strategy to bring additional electric capacity online, so I would expect an increase in renewables (mainly due to these UHVs allowing significant flexibility in where they're installed), coal-fired capacity and gas-fired capacity. Coal production and consumption will continue to take a hit until the mine and eastern plant closures are done and new production capacity is brought online further west. They also seem bent on alleviating a geostrategic weakness of oil imports through a narrow sea lane by leveraging their considerable coal reserves to convert coal to liquids. Incidentally, the newly installed UHV lines will free up rail capacity formerly used by coal trains and allow it to be used by liquids transport.


Under this scenario, I would suspect another flat year or two before we see upward creep in CO2 emissions resume. This will likely last until renewables are cheaper (with cap factor measured in) and can start taking a significant bite out of the pie. The biggest complication to this will be how far China takes the coal-to-liquids program and how aggressive other Southeast Asian countries are with their coal consumption. This year will also likely be complicated by low oil and gas prices causing an increase in their use."
“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: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 03:02:17 PM »
The linked article indicates that PWC believes that 2015 "… will continue on course to exceed the 2C warming threshold":

http://www.rtcc.org/2015/01/02/global-carbon-emissions-to-rise-2-5-in-2015-pwc/

Extract: "Predictions based on 2015 GDP growth suggest world will continue on course to exceed 2C warming threshold.
Global greenhouse gas emissions could rise by around 2.5% in 2015, an increase on 2013 levels but lower than the average over the past decade, according to analysts at consultancy firm PwC.
Economic momentum around the world is expected to pick up over the coming 12 months, with PwC and the International Monetary Fund predicting growth of 3.5-3.8%, compared to 3.3% in 2014.
“Global GDP is expected to grow at 3.5% per year, and so if we’re decarbonising our economy about 0.9% per year, it’s reasonable to expect emissions to grow 2.5% in 2015,” said PwC’s sustainability director Jonathan Grant, who worked on their Global Economy Watch report.
Despite efforts to limit emissions around the world, the reduction in the amount of carbon used in a unit of GDP – known as carbon intensity – has stabilised at around 1% per year, said Grant.
PwC expect US economic growth to hit 3%, the highest since 2005, but China’s could slow to 7.2%, the country’s lowest since 1990.
Their projections estimate that oil prices will stay between $60-70 over the course of 2015 and finish at around $80.
But a further slump in crude oil prices could lead to rapidly increased demand, hitting global efforts to decarbonise transport systems."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

viddaloo

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2015, 03:12:35 PM »
In Norway, Statoil is very keen to be "green" or "Statoil green", I guess, as an oil and gas company can never be green. In parliament, "green" polluticians are very eager to "electrify" the oil platforms in the North Sea, as this brings down the carbon emissions from the platforms themselves.

I don't care how much carbon an effin' oil platform emits! The problem is their product. The oil and gas. Odds are someone will buy that oil and gas and use it.

The actual use of oil and gas emits carbon, too.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 06:53:55 PM »
We now have two brand new topics on the self same subject. see also:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.0.html
Well, not exactly the same.  :)

I saw that thread.  And while the pessimists take this number, that for so long they held high as proof of failure, but now, since it shows improvement, they say it is a sham....   And while the more steady, scientific types say, "One can hope...."  I wanted a place to address the folks in the trenches who have been scrimping and sacrificing and investing and divesting and say, "It's working!"  We're on the right path.  Keep up the good work.  And if you are not on that path, please join us.  We can do this thing!
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

viddaloo

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2015, 08:24:59 PM »
Sigmetnow, what are your thoughts on the use of oil and gas? Does it emit carbon, in your view?
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LRC1962

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 11:55:32 PM »
If we are to attempt to go 'green' just looking at CO2 emissions  I see is a major problem. No matter what we do it leaves a foot print. This foot print involves
occupying land area for living and working life.
Using water resources and the state we leave it in once used.
The materials we use and what they are made from and the kind of foot print they leave. eg building materials for living and working, computers, tools, transportation, all contaminate water and land area, use energy to produce, materials made of maybe non renewable non reusable, cost of recycling and on and on
The energy needed to get to and from work and entertainment.
The list is very, very long.
For example. Let us say you decide to live green. So you by a plot of land, build a house that is very energy efficient, grow your own food recycle your own water. Questions: Where do you work? what do you need to get to your work? Can everyone in the world actually live the same way you do based not on economics but on how much land you are taking up? Based on amount of land you are taking up, how much CO2 is being returned for long term storage on an annual basis? What material is that house made from , where did it come from in the world? If organic (such as wood) how long did it take to grow and what percentage of the product is actually usable for what you used it as?
Compare that to someone who lives in a 30+ story high rise, how has a smallish apartment/condo based on occupancy, lives within walking distance of work. Is that individual not also green? Many factors such as building material are out of their control, but living area footprint is very efficient and transportation is efficient, resources needed for day to day living are efficient to get to generally.
Then you get to hydrocarbons and their uses. It is impossible to live no matter what century you pick and not have to use hydrocarbons. Be that for moving heating cooling seeing (lights). Even if you went all electrical somewhere there were hydrocarbons used to get you that power, even if it was the material used to produce that power.
The question then comes down is where are you getting that hydrocarbon from. Non renewable sources? and if so how many other pollutants are in your hydrocarbon mix? how much water got contaminated to get at that hydrocarbon? If renewable, how much energy, water, chemicals (herbicides, fertilizers....) and other resources were needed to produce every BTU you end up with. Big deal is made of ethanol. In reality it is a very power consuming method of getting your hydrocarbons. What plant you use (corn is by far the most inefficient palt commonly used), converting it to ethanol, storing it (ethanol is extremely volatile, is notorious for being contaminated with water, degrades whatever is used to store or transport it very readily), % of plant usable for end product.
The reality the longer the hydrocarbon chain you can make the final product into the more BTUs you get out of it. That is why although ethanol is the most common end product is actually not that good as it is a very short chain, requires a lot of energy to produce and  keep useable. A far better end product is biodiesel. Long chain, high BTU out put and actually can be turned into products like truly biodegradable plastics, As the plastics are just hydrocarbon chains with no other toxic chemicals that you get from FF, microbes degrade it back to very friendly plant loving materials.
Sorry about being long winded, but wanted to point out that limiting your footprint to just a question of CO2 in the end that is a very small part of your total footprint equation. Not only that what also must be considered is how it is possible to get to just your vision of zero CO2 emissions by everyone in the world. We can do a lot on a micro scale, but when you turn it into a macro global scale they practicality of your choices become a very different outcome. On that scale hydrocarbons become essential. The question becomes how do we get them.
The final part of the puzzle is how do we bury the extra 175 ppb and growing CO2 we already have emitted back into the ground. Plant life, be it algae or some other plants are the only efficient way of doing it, but then who is going to pay for what needs to be done?
Using plants for hydrocarbons is a neutral way of getting them, provided the best plants for that job are picked. To get CO2 back under any control is not only balancing current emissions but getting rid of what is already there.
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Csnavywx

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2015, 12:18:17 AM »
We now have two brand new topics on the self same subject. see also:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.0.html
Well, not exactly the same.  :)

I saw that thread.  And while the pessimists take this number, that for so long they held high as proof of failure, but now, since it shows improvement, they say it is a sham....   And while the more steady, scientific types say, "One can hope...."  I wanted a place to address the folks in the trenches who have been scrimping and sacrificing and investing and divesting and say, "It's working!"  We're on the right path.  Keep up the good work.  And if you are not on that path, please join us.  We can do this thing!


I agree that this is a great reason to celebrate a bit. At the very least it shows a slowdown in the rate of increase in the past year.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27165-co2-emissions-may-have-stalled-in-2014--why.html#.VQS9COGRyUk

As the article notes above though, I would exercise some caution. For an emissions number to beat expectations by that large of an amount, some random factors usually have to be in play. Warm wintertime temperatures likely had a hand in this (see: Europe last year and China had a whopping 7% drop in degree-days in 2014 -- a reversion to the mean is likely). The article points out low oil prices as an emissions reducer via displacement of coal by companies. I'll admit I've never even considered that.

Now if we can get another few years with suppressed or declining numbers, then even I will start re-thinking peak dates.

Bob Wallace

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2015, 02:53:14 AM »
Sigmetnow, what are your thoughts on the use of oil and gas? Does it emit carbon, in your view?

Here are my thoughts on oil and gas.

1) Our cars and trucks are becoming more efficient.  As are our airplanes.

2) EVs are starting to make an impact on car sales and should show a greatly increased uptake with the release of affordable 200 mile range EVs in the next two years.

3) We are seeing more public transportation being built which will create additional efficiencies.  As will better bike safety improvements.

4) Gas, I assume you mean natural gas, emits about half as much CO2 as coal so to the extent we replace coal with gas (and control gas leaks) we gain ground.  But we gain even more ground because NG generation is highly dispatchable.  Since it can be turned on and off rapidly that means that NG will be curtailed when wind and solar generation is available.

In summary:

1) Less carbon
2) Less carbon
3) Less carbon
4) Less carbon

ghoti

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2015, 03:12:22 AM »
I'm actually getting quite excited about the attitude shift in Ontario. We've already managed to close all coal power plants and it appears as if more natural gas plants are only receiving peaking contracts as you suggest will happen.

There's a big push to ramp up discussion about solutions to reach 80% reductions in GHG by 2050 in advance of a climate summit happening in Toronto during the PanAm games. There seems to be more support for a carbon fee than for cap and trade despite our neighbouring province of Quebec already in the California cap and trade system.

I wish we'd move towards a zero emissions vehicle mandate and shift away from eco-energy rebates to carbon reduction rebates but I'm not expecting this. Since Ontario's electricity is already mostly carbon neutral I'd love to see a push away from natural gas for home heating toward making heat pumps more affordable. If the carbon fees are large enough (not likely) it could happen.

Bob Wallace

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2015, 03:50:47 AM »
I think we're a few years (perhaps less than five years) away from serious goal-setting for getting all or almost all carbon out of transportation.

We need to see a nice increase in battery capacity for EVs, which may happen when/if Panasonic releases their 20700 cells.  Or if one of the other battery companies (LG Chem, BYD, BMZ, Samsung) who are ramping up for large scale manufacturing delivers a higher capacity cell.

We're likely a bit further off with a renewable jet fuel.  We have good candidates but it's not clear that they will be affordable at scale. 

Then there's the dark horse - the Hyperloop.  The first test track is to be built next year and at that point we should have a much better idea of whether it will play a role or not.

At this point I think that what governments can reasonably work on is increasing fleet mileage requirements, building more and better public transportation, and improving conditions for pedestrians and bike riders.

Sigmetnow

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2015, 06:56:15 PM »
Let's say you wanted to engage the most people to make the most sacrifices for the sake of climate change.  Clearly you need a twist in the messaging, away from pure science and logic* to one that will make people feel optimistic about making changes, even though it's clear the future will be much harder than today.
 
I'm not trying to change the mind of anyone who posts here.  I'm thinking of the Forum's wider audience.  Just trying to help save the planet.  Geez.  No room for a little Yay?  ;D


*See also the Conservative Scientists and Consequences thread.


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@ClimateReality: #ClimateFact: In the past five years, OECD countries’ economies grew 7% while their emissions fell 4% http://t.co/jQxmRn66yY
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Bob Wallace

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2015, 07:09:11 PM »
Quote
Let's say you wanted to engage the most people to make the most sacrifices for the sake of climate change.  Clearly you need a twist in the messaging, away from pure science and logic* to one that will make people feel optimistic about making changes, even though it's clear the future will be much harder than today.

Why twist the message?  If you twist the message someone is likely to call you out and destroy your credibility.

Give people an accurate message. 

1) Unlimited climate change would be disastrous. 

2) If we apply the technologies we have in hand right now we can limit climate change. 

People need hope, despondent people accomplish little.  It benefits us all to recognize that even though we've installed only small amounts of wind and solar and made only modest efficiency improvements we are seeing results.

More of the same.  Much more of the same.

BTW, no appreciable sacrifices are required.  Some people will find their coal and gas jobs going away, but jobs in renewable energy will more than replace them.  Some people will have to look out their window and see a wind turbine.


LRC1962

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2015, 09:01:54 AM »
I understand why there is the idea that natural gas is better than coal. On the back end natural gas is far far cleaner. The front end is what is so disturbing to me. Almost all NG in North America now is obtained by fracking.
a)To frack you need a lot of clean water to access that gas which then becomes severely contaminated.
b) In virtually all places reports (Big Oil does everything it can  to make scientific reporting done that is contrary to their message including court action) that do come out, usually anecdotally though citizen complaints, of groundwater being severely contaminated up to and including being able to light drinking water on fire. On top of that is some evidence that NG is being released though the ground making animals and humans sick.
The front end of NG maybe as bad as or worse then coal, maybe not from CO2 but all the other issues.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2015, 06:27:20 PM »
Quote
Let's say you wanted to engage the most people to make the most sacrifices for the sake of climate change.  Clearly you need a twist in the messaging, away from pure science and logic* to one that will make people feel optimistic about making changes, even though it's clear the future will be much harder than today.

Why twist the message?  If you twist the message someone is likely to call you out and destroy your credibility.

Give people an accurate message. 

1) Unlimited climate change would be disastrous. 

2) If we apply the technologies we have in hand right now we can limit climate change. 

People need hope, despondent people accomplish little.  It benefits us all to recognize that even though we've installed only small amounts of wind and solar and made only modest efficiency improvements we are seeing results.

More of the same.  Much more of the same.

BTW, no appreciable sacrifices are required.  Some people will find their coal and gas jobs going away, but jobs in renewable energy will more than replace them.  Some people will have to look out their window and see a wind turbine.

The question becomes: why aren't more people acting?  What do we have to say to get them running to downsize, install solar, go vegetarian, whatever is possible for them to do.  Of course, a good part of that could be economic, so the improving economy should help.

The new technology has so many benefits, I think it will soon reach critical mass -- the point where word of mouth (and jealousy*) will drive adoption rates way up.  We're already seeing it with solar: when one house installs it, adoption in that area goes way up. 

When they hear things will be bad, perhaps people fear something like the Wild West "joke" about starvation times, which goes:
The Bad News:  Nothing left to eat but animal dung.
The Good News:  There's lots of animal dung.

Perspective is everything.   ;D

*On the recent "CSI: Cyber" episode, the boss's boss was feeling low because his boss just bought a Tesla.   8)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2015, 06:30:25 PM »
How Big A Deal Is Economy–Energy CO2 Decoupling?
Quote
"This is both a very welcome surprise and a significant one. [It] gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today…. For the first time, greenhouse gas emissions are decoupling from economic growth.”

“The latest data on emissions are indeed encouraging, but this is no time for complacency—and certainly not the time to use this positive news as an excuse to stall further action,” said van der Hoeven.
http://cleantechnica.com/2015/03/15/big-deal-economy-energy-co2-decoupling/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2015, 09:00:47 PM »
I understand why there is the idea that natural gas is better than coal. On the back end natural gas is far far cleaner. The front end is what is so disturbing to me. Almost all NG in North America now is obtained by fracking.
a)To frack you need a lot of clean water to access that gas which then becomes severely contaminated.
b) In virtually all places reports (Big Oil does everything it can  to make scientific reporting done that is contrary to their message including court action) that do come out, usually anecdotally though citizen complaints, of groundwater being severely contaminated up to and including being able to light drinking water on fire. On top of that is some evidence that NG is being released though the ground making animals and humans sick.
The front end of NG maybe as bad as or worse then coal, maybe not from CO2 but all the other issues.

I am heartened by the increasing popular uprising against fracking, its water use, and subsequent pollution (especially waste water disposal).  Protests in the U.S., Canada, and the UK come to mind.  Small towns and communities are starting to fight back, trying to pass laws against fracking on their land.  So far, state laws and Big Oil have been able to push most such regulations aside, but court opinions are fluid and the tide, I'm sure, will turn.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2015, 05:37:57 AM »
Quote
Let's say you wanted to engage the most people to make the most sacrifices for the sake of climate change.  Clearly you need a twist in the messaging, away from pure science and logic* to one that will make people feel optimistic about making changes, even though it's clear the future will be much harder than today.

Why twist the message?  If you twist the message someone is likely to call you out and destroy your credibility.

Give people an accurate message. 

1) Unlimited climate change would be disastrous. 

2) If we apply the technologies we have in hand right now we can limit climate change. 

People need hope, despondent people accomplish little.  It benefits us all to recognize that even though we've installed only small amounts of wind and solar and made only modest efficiency improvements we are seeing results.

More of the same.  Much more of the same.

BTW, no appreciable sacrifices are required.  Some people will find their coal and gas jobs going away, but jobs in renewable energy will more than replace them.  Some people will have to look out their window and see a wind turbine.

The question becomes: why aren't more people acting?  What do we have to say to get them running to downsize, install solar, go vegetarian, whatever is possible for them to do.  Of course, a good part of that could be economic, so the improving economy should help.

The new technology has so many benefits, I think it will soon reach critical mass -- the point where word of mouth (and jealousy*) will drive adoption rates way up.  We're already seeing it with solar: when one house installs it, adoption in that area goes way up. 

When they hear things will be bad, perhaps people fear something like the Wild West "joke" about starvation times, which goes:
The Bad News:  Nothing left to eat but animal dung.
The Good News:  There's lots of animal dung.

Perspective is everything.   ;D

*On the recent "CSI: Cyber" episode, the boss's boss was feeling low because his boss just bought a Tesla.   8)

Here's the big fact as I see it.

Most people are going to do nothing to limit climate change.  They will not give up meat, walk to the store, or anything else of importance on a large enough scale to make a difference.

There will be a few Nevens and wilis who lower their carbon footprint but they will not shake the needle, let alone move it.

The way we limit climate change is through governmental action and economics. 

Governments fund new technology research and startups - Happening.

Governments establish regulations on efficiency and emissions - Happening.

Economics (driven by technology advances and regulations) cause a move from fossil fuels to renewable energy - Happening.

Not happening fast enough, but accelerating.  We will likely need more government assistance and more technological advances to speed up the process.

The role that "ordinary people" will play is to push their governments to do more.

anthropocene

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2015, 08:51:49 AM »
I for one are quite happy to have two threads - this one and http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.0.html
I'll be pessimistic on that one and optimistic on this one  ;)

One thing the IEA report may do is move the discussion on from "Is climate change a bad enough risk for the (supposed) costs of mitigation" to "What are our best steps to mitigating the situation?".  This may be more divisive for climate change campaigners (e.g. is (fracked) gas used as an intermediate energy source?) but will move the discussion on in the MSM and general public. This has to be a good thing. As I hinted at in the other thread I think one major mistake that has been made is the focus on CO2. This will mean that if  CH4  needs to be included in the discussion the opposition will go "Look at the greenies - now CO2 is a problem we can manage they've found another issue to scare everybody with".

Sigmetnow

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2015, 11:11:55 PM »
I for one are quite happy to have two threads - this one and http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.0.html
I'll be pessimistic on that one and optimistic on this one  ;)   

Excellent!


Quote
One thing the IEA report may do is move the discussion on from "Is climate change a bad enough risk for the (supposed) costs of mitigation" to "What are our best steps to mitigating the situation?".  This may be more divisive for climate change campaigners (e.g. is (fracked) gas used as an intermediate energy source?) but will move the discussion on in the MSM and general public. This has to be a good thing. As I hinted at in the other thread I think one major mistake that has been made is the focus on CO2. This will mean that if  CH4  needs to be included in the discussion the opposition will go "Look at the greenies - now CO2 is a problem we can manage they've found another issue to scare everybody with".
The conversation does seem to be turning, s-l-o-w-l-y. 

I think, for the general public, the CH4 problem will soon be wrapped up in the whole "need to clean up the earth" movement, much as the various air, water and ground pollutants were packaged as "we need to fix all these messes" back in the 1970's in the U.S.   
If  When we get the momentum going, most folks won't really care about the chemistry.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2015, 11:17:13 PM »
Here's the big fact as I see it.

Most people are going to do nothing to limit climate change.  They will not give up meat, walk to the store, or anything else of importance on a large enough scale to make a difference.

There will be a few Nevens and wilis who lower their carbon footprint but they will not shake the needle, let alone move it.

The way we limit climate change is through governmental action and economics. 

Governments fund new technology research and startups - Happening.

Governments establish regulations on efficiency and emissions - Happening.

Economics (driven by technology advances and regulations) cause a move from fossil fuels to renewable energy - Happening.

Not happening fast enough, but accelerating.  We will likely need more government assistance and more technological advances to speed up the process.

The role that "ordinary people" will play is to push their governments to do more.

I believe you may have just nailed it!

People didn't start driving safer cars due to demand, as much as that's what was offered to them (due to government mandate).

More will start living in solar and net-zero energy houses/buildings because that's what has been built for them (due to regulations and/or options that make more profit to the builders).  They will drive electric because there will be more EV’s in more showrooms -- and EV'S are fun, require less maintenance, plus more ubiquitous charging infrastructure will make it easy.  They will eat less meat because it will get very expensive and frowned upon, and less-expensive alternatives once thought to be unpalatable (looking at you, cricket protein and lab-grown meat) will be the new kale. 

But I still think we could use commercials or PSA's to tout the benefits to the public, to help hurry things along.  "The more you know"?  :)
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wili

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2015, 11:30:42 PM »
Bob wrote: "There will be a few Nevens and wilis" Happy to be placed in such august company, unworthy though I am. You may say that we are dreamers...but we're not the only ones...

"The role that "ordinary people" will play is to push their governments to do more"

That is certainly one very important role, one that I have, still do and hope to continue to play. But most people can play more than one role at once. And it's not just government that need pushing--organizations, institutions and entities at every level--businesses, schools, churches...all need to be pushed in the right direction. Plenty of work to be done and plenty of roles to play. I'm working to train people to be involved in all of these roles.

Sig, good point about PR. We have an enormous industry almost completely devoted to encouraging people to do the wrong things. Larger and larger portions of that powerful industry need to be doing the opposite--encourage things like home veggie gardens, farmers markets, biking, picnics, making your own music, using less...But since mostly no one makes money off of these things, there is no industry supporting them. Another massive 'failure of markets' i.e. of capitalism.

Ideas for turning this around?
 
"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."

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2015, 11:32:49 PM »
This will mean that if  CH4  needs to be included in the discussion the opposition will go "Look at the greenies - now CO2 is a problem we can manage they've found another issue to scare everybody with".

CO2 isn't "a problem we can manage". The IEA boss guessing what not in data for the energy sector will show after Solstice does not constitute Problem Solved / Mission Accomplished. (Same way Arctic sea ice isn't gone yet just because some people *guess* it will be by Sep 2015.)

Here's another scenario for you scenario–hungry folks: Visible "government" will go on pretending it's on a Green BAU mission to save the Earth from climate change and bad hair days. Meanwhile the deciders will quietly work towards a snappy collapse that saves as much as possible of the biosphere for future attempts to really live green.
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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2015, 11:36:20 PM »
v, that assumes that the 'deciders' have the interests of the future in mind.
"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: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2015, 06:42:41 AM »
I for one are quite happy to have two threads - this one and http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1178.0.html
I'll be pessimistic on that one and optimistic on this one  ;)

One thing the IEA report may do is move the discussion on from "Is climate change a bad enough risk for the (supposed) costs of mitigation" to "What are our best steps to mitigating the situation?".  This may be more divisive for climate change campaigners (e.g. is (fracked) gas used as an intermediate energy source?) but will move the discussion on in the MSM and general public. This has to be a good thing. As I hinted at in the other thread I think one major mistake that has been made is the focus on CO2. This will mean that if  CH4  needs to be included in the discussion the opposition will go "Look at the greenies - now CO2 is a problem we can manage they've found another issue to scare everybody with".

When it come to GHGs CO2 is the elephant on the seesaw.

CH4 could become a second large mammal holding that side down if we start melting a lot of permafrost, etc.  Best we concentrate on thinning the pachyderm at the moment.

(Plugging natural gas leaks is something we can do simultaneously.)

anthropocene

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2015, 11:00:44 PM »
This will mean that if  CH4  needs to be included in the discussion the opposition will go "Look at the greenies - now CO2 is a problem we can manage they've found another issue to scare everybody with".

CO2 isn't "a problem we can manage". The IEA boss guessing what not in data for the energy sector will show after Solstice does not constitute Problem Solved / Mission Accomplished. (Same way Arctic sea ice isn't gone yet just because some people *guess* it will be by Sep 2015.)


What I put in quotes - I don't necessarily agree with ;-) .  Just trying to pre-empt what the future arguments will be. As the opposition we have to get smarter at this sort of thing - time and again the situation is twisted to ensure that not enough action is taken.

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2015, 11:27:34 PM »
Well, I know that, yet you saw yesterday that BW already believes it's a problem we not only can manage, but that's been solved, once and for all. That's why I pointed it out. We are victims of very strong and well–crafted propaganda.

That said, I don't particularly believe this issue is being lost or won through argument and counter–argument among ordinary folks like us. They're running a Stay Calm message 24 hours through loudspeakers on every street corner. Some of us believe that message, others don't.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2015, 07:46:42 AM »
Well, I know that, yet you saw yesterday that BW already believes it's a problem we not only can manage, but that's been solved, once and for all. That's why I pointed it out. We are victims of very strong and well–crafted propaganda.

That said, I don't particularly believe this issue is being lost or won through argument and counter–argument among ordinary folks like us. They're running a Stay Calm message 24 hours through loudspeakers on every street corner. Some of us believe that message, others don't.

You're just a f-king liar.

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2015, 08:01:35 AM »
Well, I know that, yet you saw yesterday that BW already believes it's a problem we not only can manage, but that's been solved, once and for all. That's why I pointed it out. We are victims of very strong and well–crafted propaganda.

That said, I don't particularly believe this issue is being lost or won through argument and counter–argument among ordinary folks like us. They're running a Stay Calm message 24 hours through loudspeakers on every street corner. Some of us believe that message, others don't.
You're just a f-king liar.
BW, you're swallowing the propaganda hook, line and sinker when you write things like this:
Quote
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.
This is more or less exactly what the new NATO secretary general Stoltenberg (from Norway) said (pdf) last autumn, while he was still UN special envoy for Climate Change. He and his chums emphasized that we needed higher and more sustained growth in order to cut GHG emissions, which shows you how deep the denial rabbit hole really goes.


Birol with Stoltenberg in February 2015. Photo: NATO, hosted at IEA.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 08:23:55 AM by viddaloo »
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Lewis C

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2015, 08:30:03 AM »
Bob - I think you're mistaken in saying it's just a f'cking liar -

It's not - like others of its type it uses distortion, slander, misdirection, outright lies and whatever it pleases to promote apathy and defeatism,
and to disrupt any semblance of constructive discussion of practical means of accelerating the requisite changes.

We are encouraged to beieve in malicious all-powerful evil cliques against whom we are powerless, but unlike most of the population we are smart enough to know they're there. That they intend to impose a global cull is a given, as is the idea that such a cull is coming whether they impose it or not. The oxymoron of a 'managed collapse' is touted as a means of supposedly making this prospect more palatable.

All of which provides the impressionable mind with:
a/. Somebody nameless and out of reach to blame;
b/. A sense of almost total disempowerment;
c/. An expectation of inevitable catastrophe imposing apathy towards any efforts for change;
d/. An ego-boost of being smart enough to see through the propagandas of contentment.

I'd long wondered why ASI isn't infested like almost every other open-comments climate site with resolutely persistent denialists, either of the person or virtual-persona variety.

One answer is that those concerting the propagandas of denial across many different media and sites are quite smart enough to recognize that they need horses for courses. Brazen denial with fatuous memes will go nowhere if delivered to people with direct access to current papers and discussion of their findings. But undermining morale and confidence of the issue's solubility, and bullying of those who persist with constructive proposals, is another matter.

Just another layer of the onion.

All the best,

Lewis
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 08:39:27 AM by Lewis C »

Neven

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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2015, 09:43:27 AM »
Okay, so everyone has vented their frustration at the same thing: everything's going too slow because of how people are, and all the propaganda out there. We're all full of sh*t propagandists. Fine. It's good to vent frustration, and this Forum is big enough for all of us.  ;D

But let's not let things get out of hand and start swearing at each other. I'm sure that in real life we would get along just fine. Every conversation is useful, but keep in mind that what we do here, is all words and interpretations.

In the end we all have the same goal in mind, but adhere to different approaches. Maybe that's what's needed, a lot of people with different approaches. Maybe one approach will turn out to be best, maybe the combination of all these approaches will save the day.

I for one will continue for a while longer with my approach: A) Approve of ideas like Lewis and Bob propose as part of the solution, and B) stress the importance of becoming aware of the bigger picture like JimD describes it, because that will make A) that much more effective. My hope is this awareness will accelerate because of limits becoming ever more clear and tangible.

And I also really hope that global emissions do indeed show signs of slowing down and reversing very quickly. But when the EIA brings the good news, I will cling to the old phrase Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. For now.
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Re: We Bent the Curve! Global Energy Emissions Flat in 2014
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2015, 09:57:08 AM »
= "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts", LOL.  ;D

Let me be the first to apologise: My intention was not to tag anyone here a propagandist, what I truly meant when I wrote about propaganda was the type stemming from IEA's Birol and NATO/UN's Stoltenberg. Present people are copycats, at best. I can see how that got confused in the heat of debate.
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