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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #150 on: March 31, 2014, 05:59:16 PM »
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. ...
Besides top-down regulations, bottom-up activities are beginning to have some effect today. Due to shareholder demand, Exxon will release an accounting of its unburnable reserves, for the first time.  Now, this does not mean they will do anything about it, but it is an important first step.

"Nonetheless, in 2012, the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel companies invested approximately 674 billion dollars to discover and develop new carbon reserves. Because companies cannot utilise new reserves without breaking the international community’s agreed-upon standards, some shareholders consider the exploration and development of additional carbon reserves to be a “stranded asset”, an asset that is obsolete and must therefore be recorded as a loss on a company’s balance sheets."

"The Carbon Tracker Initiative’s 2013 report on unburnable carbon and the large amount of shareholder money invested in new carbon reserves prompted Ceres, a group of 70 international investors with more than three trillion dollars in assets, to pressure the top 45 energy companies to assess and report on the risks that a global decrease in carbon demand could pose."

http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/03/exxonmobil-disclose-carbon-emissions-risk/
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SATire

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Re: Coal
« Reply #151 on: March 31, 2014, 06:36:02 PM »
"The Carbon Tracker Initiative’s 2013 report on unburnable carbon and the large amount of shareholder money invested in new carbon reserves prompted Ceres, a group of 70 international investors with more than three trillion dollars in assets, to pressure the top 45 energy companies to assess and report on the risks that a global decrease in carbon demand could pose."
Sigmetnow, if we take that carbon trackers initiative seriously (and I really like to do that), than we would have a very sensitive proxy for detecting the point of time, at which green politics is taken seriously by economics - the London stock market. One third of FTSE 100 is fossils - for some reason they are all in London. If green politics is taken seriously by economics one day, they must rate down that "carbon bubble". That will shatter some banks like HSBC. (Source: http://www.zeit.de/2014/08/carbon-bubble-rohstoff-blase/seite-2 )

On the other hand: The fact that the bubble is not bursting now is a sure proove, that nobody is taking any 2°C or 4°C goal seriously in economics. Everybody is betting his money on exponential growth of CO2 emissions...

That brings me back to point my finger on the pictures 4-6 posts above: That is the area where the highest density of European CO2 emission is coming from (e.g. largest CO2 source per area). It makes some sense to negotiate CO2 emissions with Germany - we are really not that green today and a CO2-treaty would hit us as hard as others. And we like it when it hurts - as long as others feel the pain, too. (Is there a translation of "Schadenfreude" in any other language??).

TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #152 on: April 01, 2014, 12:42:25 AM »

"The big game-changer is seismic imaging, which has become so sensitive that we can now pinpoint the 'sweet spots' where shale gas, oil and coal are to be found.



The "sweet spot" leaves a sour taste in my mouth.


Terry

prometheus

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Re: Coal
« Reply #153 on: April 01, 2014, 05:09:41 AM »
(Is there a translation of "Schadenfreude" in any other language??).
Schadenfreude is in the English lexicon, too. :)

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #154 on: April 10, 2014, 05:00:14 PM »
Why coal is the biggest enemy

Quote
Coal Emissions Equal an Athabasca Oil Sands Reserve Every 4 Years

.... I have argued that while Keystone XL has mobilized a lot of passion and energy, its threat is minuscule compared to the world’s growing carbon dioxide emissions from coal. Thus, I believe most of the effort being directed at stopping Keystone XL would be better directed at the world’s coal emissions.

Some took exception to this....

...estimated that burning the entire 170 billion barrel Athabasca reserve could raise global temperatures by 0.03°C. If you could actually burn all the oil in place, the calculated global temperature rise could be as great as 0.50°C. But you have to take into consideration the amount of time this would actually take. Even if Canada’s oil industry grew to 10 million bpd (putting it on par with Saudi Arabia and Russia), it would take slightly over 500 years to produce the 1.8 trillion barrels of oil in place. And that’s making the unrealistic assumption that you could produce all the oil in place.

Here is a more defensible assessment. In 2012, Canada produced 3.74 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil. The oil industry there has been increasing production by 3.1% per year over the past decade. At that growth rate, Canada could reach Saudi Arabia’s production level in 2045. If we assume that level of production could be maintained, it would take until 2070 to produce the 170 billion barrel Athabasca oil sands reserve. At that point, the temperature impact is estimated to be 0.03°C


Now consider the carbon dioxide impact of oil sands versus coal. Per the US Environmental Protection Agency, consumption of a barrel of oil produces 0.43 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Oil sands are more carbon intensive to extract, adding an additional 17% to the overall carbon footprint of the barrel of oil. So let’s assume that consumption of a barrel of oil sands produces 17% more, or 0.50 metric tons of carbon dioxide per barrel. That means consumption of the 170 billion barrels of Athabasca oil sands could result in an additional 85 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere. For just Keystone XL, over the course of 30 years it would carry oil that would generate 3.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Make no mistake, that’s a lot. But it’s relatively small given the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, hence the small temperature impact.

Now, let’s compare coal. Again, using the same EPA reference, burning a metric ton of coal produces 2.56 metric tons of carbon dioxide. In 2012, the world consumed about 7.6 billion metric tons of coal, which means 19.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide was emitted. At that rate, the world’s coal consumption emits as much carbon dioxide as the entire Athabasca oil sands reserve every 4.4 years — and the global rate has been accelerating. Or, in terms of just Keystone XL, the emissions from 30 years of transported crude is equal to a bit over 2 months of global coal emissions....

This kind of info probably does make it up into the decision making process.  I expect Obama to approve the Keystone pipeline for political reasons, but numbers like this do provide some logic and cover (from their perspective).

http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2014/02/04/coal-emissions-equal-an-athabasca-oil-sands-reserve-every-4-4-years/#more-16185
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

SATire

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Re: Coal
« Reply #155 on: April 10, 2014, 09:43:39 PM »
Quote
[...] That means consumption of the 170 billion barrels of Athabasca oil sands could result in an additional 85 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere. For just Keystone XL, over the course of 30 years it would carry oil that would generate 3.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Make no mistake, that’s a lot. But it’s relatively small given the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, hence the small temperature impact.

Now, let’s compare coal. Again, using the same EPA reference, burning a metric ton of coal produces 2.56 metric tons of carbon dioxide. In 2012, the world consumed about 7.6 billion metric tons of coal, which means 19.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide was emitted. At that rate, the world’s coal consumption emits as much carbon dioxide as the entire Athabasca oil sands reserve every 4.4 years — and the global rate has been accelerating. Or, in terms of just Keystone XL, the emissions from 30 years of transported crude is equal to a bit over 2 months of global coal emissions....

I understand, that the impact of burning the Athabasca oil sands reserve is small compared to the impact of global coal burning. But I think it should not be neglected. Why?

I want to compare the numbers you gave with the numbers from "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier", which is the largest field of brown coal in Europe and the place the pictures on the previous page were taken: About 100 Mio. (metric) tons of brown coal are burned each year resulting in about 90 Mio. tons CO2 per year. The total reserve in "Rheinisches Revier" is estimated to be 55 billion tons brown coal and after about 500 years about 50 billion tons of CO2 would have been emitted. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheinisches_Braunkohlerevier  http://www.bund-nrw.de/fileadmin/bundgruppen/bcmslvnrw/PDF_Dateien/Braunkohle/Materialien/braunkohle_im_rheinland.pdf

That numbers are smaller than the numbers for Athabasca oil sands - so it would be ok if we would keep on burning that stuff and should blame hard coal instead, because more of that stuff is burned globally? I think you are all able to get the error in this kind of stories...

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #156 on: April 10, 2014, 11:23:54 PM »
The third Koch brother, and multiple CEO's, flee the coal industry as company values plummet.   :)

http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/bill-kochs-coal-walkout-highlights-industry-decline/61331
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sidd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #157 on: April 11, 2014, 04:58:44 AM »
Remember, Bill and the other two hate each other.
Let me clarify: Bill hates the other two, and they hate him, but Charles and David hate each other less than they hate Bill.
Does that help ? If not, look up the history of litigation between them ...

Nyhoo, thanx for the article. It confirms what I am seeing, hard to keep rats on the ship, so to speak. 

sidd

SATire

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Re: Coal
« Reply #158 on: April 11, 2014, 09:55:42 AM »
I think you are all able to get the error in this kind of stories...
Maybe I want to be a bit more explicite with that:

Each single spot of major carbon source like e.g. "Athabasca oil sands" or "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier" is very small compared to global emissions - it is well below 1% of global emissions. So each and every place on earth does not seem to be the problem and one can argue that it is ok to keep it running. Therefore, the local poeple love to get some money and tell their politicians to plan accordingly.

The problem is, that there are many such places in a lot of different countries in the world. I would guess a few hundreds (e.g. 2 in Germany). It doesn't matter much whether that is hard coal, oil, gas or brown coal - since poeple just love to exploit the stuff they have where they life.

Therefore, it is not a specific carbon source to be blamed but our unability to see the hole picture and to agree on international reduction of exploitation. We will not reduce exploitation until someone far away reduces it, too. Since those remote poeple probably think very similar nothing will happen ever. Everybody is happily pointing with fingers to other poeple and making some cash by burning fossils in the mean time. That is humans' happy race to death ...

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #159 on: April 11, 2014, 05:14:51 PM »
SATire

I agree with that.  You are describing the way human nature works and likely will result in 

Quote
That is humans' happy race to death ...

"If" we could make a decision to start turning off fossil fuel capabilities coal would  be my first choice.  Followed by oil as quickly thereafter as possible.  But I expect to have died of old age long before either of those ever happens.   And I am sure we will figure out a bunch of other stupid things to do in between now and them. 
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

wili

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Re: Coal
« Reply #160 on: April 11, 2014, 10:44:46 PM »
"Each single spot of major carbon source like e.g. "Athabasca oil sands" or "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier" is very small compared to global emissions - it is well below 1% of global emissions. So each and every place on earth does not seem to be the problem and one can argue that it is ok to keep it running."

Yes and no.

If you expand from 'spot' to country:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coal_production

Only one country produces about half of the world's mined coal--China
Only three countries produce about 70%--China, USA, and India
And only the top 8 countries produce about 90% of the entire world's coal

We don't need every country in the world to sign on to reduce coal production. If only three could be convinced to dramatically reduce their consumption rapidly, there would be a nearly 70% reduction in global coal production. Add five more to that, and you get a whopping 90% reductions.

Since efforts at global treaties are not going so well, perhaps it is time to really focus on the biggest producers, and work toward getting them to cut back--especially China and the US.
"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."

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #161 on: April 12, 2014, 03:51:02 PM »
wili

I think SATire was being somewhat satiric with that comment in that he was referring to the tendency of most humans to self justify their bad behavior.  And thus make a bunch of money.  He was not advocating actually doing that.

But the point about getting the US and China to stop burning coal is one of those 'technical' ideas which would work but are impossible to execute in the real world.

This to me is our one of our greatest weaknesses.  That otherwise intelligent people fixate on technically possible solutions which anyone who spends a little time thinking about them can point to why they are not possible to implement.  And need to be discarded.  But people fall in love with these ideas and no matter how hard you try to show them their idea is fruitless they cling to it with all their might - a core reason why I say they think via faith based processes not via reason.  This is the crux of the Green-BAU problem.  And a fundamental reason why no solutions are likely to be attempted which have a significant possibility to dramatically improve our prospects.
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

SATire

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Re: Coal
« Reply #162 on: April 12, 2014, 08:48:16 PM »
Wili, I was refering to probably >100 spots of carbon (areas with large extraction of brown coal, hard coal, oil or natural gas). That number just comes from the fact that large spots like "Athabasca oil sands" or "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier" contribute to < 1% of global carbon emission.

When I wrote "poeple just love to exploit the stuff they have where they life" that was neither my opinion nor satire - that is just an observation. I life quite close to such a spot and poeple consider the drawbacks small and the assets worth the exploitation. If I tell them that from global perspective or on the long run the drawbacks are larger they tend to agree but point to carbon sources elsewhere. So it makes no sense to close the burning of brown coal since all others keep on emitting CO2. I think they are right. We have to wait until also USA wants to reduce emissions and would be willing to start negotiations. If we stop emitting CO2 now they would not have any reason for international negotiations and will burn carbon for ever.

It is just a fact that we can not force USA or China to any agreement to save the planet but have to wait for them. To reduce that time it probably makes some sense to keep on burning carbon. But we are prepared for an agreement - we allready proved possibilities for reduction and feasilibilty between Kyoto and Copenhagen. Now it is time for USA and China to try a step.

 

wili

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Re: Coal
« Reply #163 on: April 12, 2014, 10:12:29 PM »
"have to wait for them"

Well, that strategy, widely applied, is a sure recipe for nothing ever getting done by anybody. Which is pretty much what we have.

There is such a thing as leadership. People can be inspired by efforts to move to low carbon emissions. It can also show others that such a thing is possible.

Lots of people around the Athabascan Tar Sands sites are certainly not happy to have that monstrosity in their back yard.
"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."

wili

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Re: Coal
« Reply #164 on: April 12, 2014, 10:23:14 PM »
JimD wrote: "But the point about getting the US and China to stop burning coal is one of those 'technical' ideas which would work but are impossible to execute in the real world."

That may well be true, but if it is really absolutely impossible, we are truly and utterly screwed (which we do pretty much seem to be). It does focus the mind a bit to see that really it boils down to just a couple big players. The intransigence of these two is largely responsible for the whole problem right now (particularly where coal is concerned).

But a few decades ago, most who had followed his career of continually bashing 'Red China' would have found it absolutely impossible to imagine that R. Nixon would be the person to normalize relations with that country. Yet he did. So occasionally in politics the seemingly impossible happens.

What we know is physically impossible is for us to burn all the coal reserves and not end up with a global climate fundamentally hostile to human (and most other complex) life.
"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."

SATire

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Re: Coal
« Reply #165 on: April 12, 2014, 11:46:44 PM »
There is such a thing as leadership. People can be inspired by efforts to move to low carbon emissions.
I have been convinced here, that at least USA would not except foreign leadership.

I am also not sure, that reductions of emissions in the past did convince anybody to follow. No - China and USA will not follow - that is quite sure.

Poeple may be inspired and may find leadership great. But they will judge that leadership foolish and will continue to profite from not following.

No - I am a bit disappointed after the years since Rio & Kyoto and I can not see any followship in important countries. There is no way arround international agreements and some of the bigest players are not ready to sign any international contracts still. We have to wait until they will have changed their mind.

Anyway, we are not lazy in the mean time - just switching of nuclear first and not coal so we will be prepared if others are willing to start...

wili

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Re: Coal
« Reply #166 on: April 13, 2014, 01:02:47 AM »
"Anyway, we are not lazy in the mean time - just switching of nuclear first and not coal so we will be prepared if others are willing to start..."

Is that the official policy, or at least the predominant attitude, in Germany now, would you say?
"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."

SATire

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Re: Coal
« Reply #167 on: April 13, 2014, 11:46:12 AM »
Is that the official policy, or at least the predominant attitude, in Germany now, would you say?
Wili, I am not in the position to give statements about the official policy here. But I think such official policies are overrated - you are able to clearly see what countries do or do not: USA never signed any international treaty about emission reduction and I agree to your conclusions that the planet is "truly and utterly screwed" because of this. EU did sign such contracts and did some reductions - but the effect is tiny and in vain, since nobody likes to follow. In contrary some countries did exit the Kyoto protocol.
Furthermore it is very easy to see, that Germany is on track to exit nuclear but by no means is exiting coal now. So - judge the poeple/countries by what they do and not what they "officially" say, since the latter is absolute meaningless.

Do you see any chance that USA could sign a treaty in Paris next year? What could be done to convince the American poeple to do so? Would they agree to shut down "Bakker in Dakota" and "Athabasca oil sands" in Canada if Germany shuts down "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier"?

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #168 on: April 13, 2014, 05:36:36 PM »
Do you see any chance that USA could sign a treaty in Paris next year? What could be done to convince the American poeple to do so? Would they agree to shut down "Bakker in Dakota" and "Athabasca oil sands" in Canada if Germany shuts down "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier"?

An interesting question and suitable for a bunch of posts I expect.  My opinion...

The US is entering another one of its interminable election seasons (every two years with long campaigns which end in Nov of even years).  This election is for the Senators and Congressmen but not for President.  The US is a very conservative country overall with the exception that the youngest voting generation - The Millennials - is about 75% liberal (by the US definition).  However, in the US historically the young do not vote much so the impact of the Millennials is likely to be muted and until they assert power via the ballot box the political powers resident in the Republican and Democratic parties will not pay attention to them beyond some passifying rhetoric.  Both of the main US political parties in election seasons drift to the political right in general in order to win their individual elections.  The usual situation in an election like this one is for the party of the President to lose seats.   The polling and various experts expect this to happen once again.  The new Congress which will be seated following this election is almost certainly going to be more conservative than the current one and there is a strong possibility (some think more than that) that both the Senate and the House will be under Republican control following the election.

In the event that we end up with a more conservative Congress but not totally under Republican control one can expect pretty much a continuation of the current status.  No international environment agreements would be possible, a reduction in supports for renewables, a weakening of environmental regulations, and so forth.  BAU. 

In the event that Republican gain complete control of Congress it will be much worse than the above on AGW and environmental issues.  Either Obama will be resorting to using his veto power frequently or there will be even bigger negative impacts on trying to reduce carbon emissions, deal with AGW and environmental regulations.   BAU with a vengeance.

I expect, in an attempt to help the election prospects of vulnerable Democratic candidates, that Obama will approve the Keystone Pipeline as this would be a significant boost for a few of them.  Reports are that Obama does not accept the risk of the Tar Sands oil and looks at the opposition to the pipeline with some annoyance and this would ease his decision.  Obama is fundamentally a conservative as all main line politicians in the US are and his non-social views are directly in line with those of the first President Bush.  Do not expect much from him on AGW or environmental issues.

A long way to get to an answer. 

Do not expect the US to sign any treaty and if they do it will not be enforced.
The American people do not get to decide such things nor are they consulted.
There would be no chance of an agreement to shut down the Bakken and stop using Tar Sands oil.  We are going to expand such efforts for the foreseeable future.

Note:  It is the 2016 election we need to really be worried about.  Should the Republicans win the Presidency then it will likely make the problems we have now and the new ones generated by this years election seen small in comparison.  Not that Hillary Clinton would be much different than Obama if she won, but the alternative is scary.  Things can certainly get worse.
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: Coal
« Reply #169 on: April 13, 2014, 08:31:47 PM »
I agree entirely with the analysis in the above comment by Jim D. I have nothing further to add.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Coal
« Reply #170 on: April 13, 2014, 11:07:54 PM »
Note:  It is the 2016 election we need to really be worried about.  Should the Republicans win the Presidency then it will likely make the problems we have now and the new ones generated by this years election seen small in comparison.  Not that Hillary Clinton would be much different than Obama if she won, but the alternative is scary.  Things can certainly get worse.

Do you honestly believe it makes a real difference which party gets in? The sound bites might vary a little but on the whole I would say policy has been almost rock steady from one party to the next.

The illusion of choice, the pacifier of the masses, a convenient scapegoat to shield the corporations when the wheels really start to come off... what else are the politicians any good for?

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Re: Coal
« Reply #171 on: April 14, 2014, 12:37:45 AM »
Note:  It is the 2016 election we need to really be worried about.  Should the Republicans win the Presidency then it will likely make the problems we have now and the new ones generated by this years election seen small in comparison.  Not that Hillary Clinton would be much different than Obama if she won, but the alternative is scary.  Things can certainly get worse.

Do you honestly believe it makes a real difference which party gets in? The sound bites might vary a little but on the whole I would say policy has been almost rock steady from one party to the next.

The illusion of choice, the pacifier of the masses, a convenient scapegoat to shield the corporations when the wheels really start to come off... what else are the politicians any good for?

If we elect a Republican president and the party controls both the House and the Senate, we are absolutely screwed. And by "we", I mean the planet. The base of the Republican Party has gone insane. The more reasonable party officials are even concerned.

A Republican controlled Congress and President gave us the illegal Iraq war. In the 2008 elections McCain was arguing for military action against Iran. The Republican base is still arguing for this. Please do not equate the parties.

icefest

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Re: Coal
« Reply #172 on: April 14, 2014, 02:04:50 AM »
Elephant/Donkey aside (see what I did there?), here's back to the topic at hand:

Japan is replacing nuclear with coal. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-13/post-fukushima-japan-chooses-coal-over-renewable-energy.html
Open other end.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #173 on: April 14, 2014, 05:24:25 PM »
icefest

Good find.  I was just getting ready to post it also.

Some interesting tidbits from the article.

Quote
...In many ways, utilities are already ahead of policy makers. With nuclear reactors idled for safety checks, Japan’s 10 power companies consumed 5.66 million metric tons of coal in January, a record for the month and 12 percent more than a year ago, according to industry figures.

The Fukashima accident happened in 2011  of course.

Following the accident Japan at first replaced almost all of the lost nuclear power with a very large increase in the use of natural gas.  But as we have seen natural gas prices rise significantly due to high demand the last 2 years there has been a switch to coal.  This is something I (and others of course) predicted a couple of years ago.  There was a lot of excitement in some circles over the drop in coal use, but the supply and demand issues pretty well predicted that coal would eventually become much more competitive and its use would rise again.

Our loss of course.  Renewables have been largely ignored in Japan.

Quote
For renewable energy environmental groups, Japan’s policy is a mixed bag offers little in the way of policy direction. Instead, it backs the status quo, calling for reactors shut after the 2011 disaster to be restarted while offering no targets for the amount of power coming from wind and solar.

“What had been expected of the basic plan was to present a major policy to switch from nuclear power,” the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation said in a statement. “But the basic plan shows that the government has given up to fulfill that role. The plan does not promote a shift from old energy policies.”

And it turns out that Japan is marketing advanced coal technology and this may skew their outlook on what is important. 

Quote
“It’s crucial to have diverse energy sources for a country like Japan, which relies on imports for all energy,” said Akira Yasui, an official in charge of coal policy at the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry. “Our basic stance is to use coal while caring for the environment as much as possible. Coal is economical and stable in supply.”

Abe’s government is supporting the development and export of advanced coal technology from Japan. According to a growth strategy released in June by the prime minister, the nation intends during the 2020s to commercialize A-USC technology. It’s also seeking to sell a equipment that combines fuel cells with a process called integrated gasification combined cycle to improve the efficiency of power generation.

“By applying Japan’s most advanced coal technology, the U.S., China and India can reduce a combined 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year,” far above Japan’s total emissions, Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s trade minister, told parliament in February.

For most governments it is not about AGW is it about the economy and growth.  Nothing else.
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

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #174 on: April 25, 2014, 05:49:41 PM »
Another pressure against coal is reported:  increasing water stress.
Quote
Of the 10 biggest coal-consuming countries, half are considered highly water-stressed... using more than the annually available freshwater supply.
...
It is predicted that world water supply could fall 40% short of demand by 2030.
http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/wri-coal-power-increasingly-threaten-global-water-resources/61752
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #175 on: April 30, 2014, 08:48:48 PM »
Quote
On Tuesday, Washington [state] Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order that creates a task force on reducing carbon emissions and directs it to design a “cap-and-market” program to meet emission goals. That program would set firm limits on carbon emissions and binding requirements to meet the limits.
Quote
Elsewhere in the northwest, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is also taking strong stands against climate change. In an April 19 keynote address to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Kitzhaber said “it is time to once and for all to say no to coal exports from the Pacific Northwest.”

Oregon is home to one of three proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest that would allow for coal producers in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to ship coal to Asia. Those plans have spurred a broad-based opposition movement stretching from the northern Plains to the coast and including environmental activists, Native American tribes and ranchers.

Kitzhaber said he expects a state agency to reach a final decision on the proposed port on the Columbia River in Oregon by the end of May.

But the governor said he would “do all that I can within the context of existing Oregon law to ensure that we do not commit ourselves to a coal-dependent future….The future for Oregon and the West Coast does not lie in 19th century energy sources.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/30/3432504/washington-climate-change-fight/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #176 on: May 01, 2014, 01:01:43 AM »
This Australian paper's article, "The End of Coal," argues the huge Galilee coal mine in that country will never see a price for coal that will make it profitable to go forward, due to global coal oversupply and other financial factors.  And it quotes financial reports that say China's coal demand will peak between 2016 and 2020, because they have adequate supplies in their own country.  Even India's demand remains questionable, due to financial constraints.

Quote
Like this, from a Citibank report last November: “We believe that thermal coal demand is in structural decline as a result of both increasing environmental pressure and declining cost competitiveness compared to alternatives for power generation.”

Not only was gas generally cheaper in most of the world, Citibank said, wind power was rapidly achieving parity, and solar would become competitive within a decade.

An analysis by the respected, if greenish New York company Sanford C. Bernstein and Co found this month that solar was already cheaper across much of Asia than gas, meaning photovoltaic power no longer needed subsidies to compete with fossil fuel. While solar was yet a small part of the energy mix, Bernstein said, its rise could see it begin to depress fossil fuel prices within a decade.
...
This is a big deal, he says, when you consider China accounts for about half the world’s coal consumption. “And between 2007 and 2012, China accounted for all the growth in coal consumption; absent China, it fell globally.”
http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/NEWS/BUSINESS/2014/04/26/THE-END-COAL/1398434400#.U2F4nLS9KSP

Which is not to say the Australian government isn't pushing hard for the coal projects, despite the need for dredging for a new port that threatens the Great Barrier Reef:

Quote
Australia’s Queensland government is calling on citizens to boycott ice cream brand Ben and Jerry’s after it offered its support to WWF’s campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef.

The campaign – Fight for the Reef – aims to protect this natural wonder of the world from the threat of widespread, rapid and damaging industrial developments taking place in Queensland.
http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/australian-minister-calls-ben-jerrys-boycott-save-reef-campaign/61817
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Re: Coal
« Reply #177 on: May 03, 2014, 12:55:16 AM »
Quote
But recent data released by the National Energy Administration (NEA) showed that newly installed coal and gas power capacity in China fell 38.9 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, a sign that the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix are slowly coming down.

New renewable energy and nuclear capacity grew in the same period. Since the beginning of last year, non-fossil fuels have accounted for nearly 60 per cent of new power capacity.
Quote
“The reduction in coal-fired capacity is due to the economic slowdown,” Li Junfeng, director general at government think-tank the National Center of Climate Change Strategy, told Reuters.

“But the reduction is also a result of the crackdown on air pollution,” Li told Reuters.
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/05/02/coal-plants-toppling-in-china/
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Csnavywx

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Re: Coal
« Reply #178 on: May 03, 2014, 02:01:41 AM »
Quote
But recent data released by the National Energy Administration (NEA) showed that newly installed coal and gas power capacity in China fell 38.9 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, a sign that the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix are slowly coming down.

New renewable energy and nuclear capacity grew in the same period. Since the beginning of last year, non-fossil fuels have accounted for nearly 60 per cent of new power capacity.
Quote
“The reduction in coal-fired capacity is due to the economic slowdown,” Li Junfeng, director general at government think-tank the National Center of Climate Change Strategy, told Reuters.

But the reduction is also a result of the crackdown on air pollution,” Li told Reuters.
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/05/02/coal-plants-toppling-in-china/

This is a big reason. They're flipping to syngas from coal to burn since it burns much cleaner. Of course, this actually hurts the CO2 problem, but that's not what the populace was pissed about either.

jai mitchell

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Re: Coal
« Reply #179 on: May 03, 2014, 07:36:14 PM »
Re: China

Haiku of Past Futures
My "burning embers"
are not tri-color bar graphs
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Anne

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Re: Coal
« Reply #180 on: May 03, 2014, 11:08:10 PM »
Interesting, jai. How does all that relate to total generation? I'm guessing that both are tiny proportions of coal or even hydro.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #181 on: May 03, 2014, 11:38:24 PM »
Right now they are both around 2% of total consumption according to this:



Additionally, this site (source of image above) projects that wind will be producing 175TWh this year.

http://theenergycollective.com/michael-davidson/346951/spilled-wind-update-china-s-wind-integration-challenges
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #182 on: May 06, 2014, 03:31:34 PM »
This article argues that "India cannot afford to burn Australian coal in its plants."

Quote
As the end of coal continues to loom larger on the horizon, a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has blown trench-sized holes in the industry’s latest attempt to talk up its future, dismissing the myth of coal alleviating poverty in the developing world.
...
"The new report makes the case that renewables are far better for developing nations as they are already cost competitive with coal, will get cheaper over time, can be built faster, do not impact public health, and require no on-going fuel costs.

The cost of electricity generation from solar power in India has fallen 65% in the last three years alone, while average coal prices are projected to escalate by 4% a year in rupee terms due to the cost of fuel.

Coal is bad for the climate, bad for public health, and bad for business; and it will entrench, not alleviate, poverty in the developing world.
http://tcktcktck.org/2014/05/new-report-busts-myth-coal-alleviating-poverty-developing-world/61871
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #183 on: May 07, 2014, 01:28:47 AM »
A big win for the divestment campaign:
The Stanford University Board of Trustees has decided to not make direct investments of endowment funds in coal-mining companies.
Quote
"Stanford has a responsibility as a global citizen to promote sustainability for our planet, and we work intensively to do so through our research, our educational programs and our campus operations," said Stanford President John Hennessy. "The university's review has concluded that coal is one of the most carbon-intensive methods of energy generation and that other sources can be readily substituted for it. Moving away from coal in the investment context is a small, but constructive, step while work continues, at Stanford and elsewhere, to develop broadly viable sustainable energy solutions for the future."

The resolution means that Stanford will not directly invest in approximately 100 publicly traded companies for which coal extraction is the primary business, and will divest of any current direct holdings in such companies. Stanford also will recommend to its external investment managers, who invest in wide ranges of securities on behalf of the university, that they avoid investments in these public companies as well.
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/may/divest-coal-trustees-050714.html
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 01:44:10 AM by Sigmetnow »
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icefest

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Re: Coal
« Reply #184 on: May 07, 2014, 01:27:19 PM »
I wish more universities and institutions would have ethical investment guidelines like Norway's Soverign Weath Fund - except with the addition of Coal and Tar sands.
Open other end.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #185 on: May 14, 2014, 01:15:27 PM »
If you are marketing a dangerous product like coal (or fracking), it's best to advertise to the people who don't know it's dangerous.  :o

http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/05/13/hector-lump-coal-world-s-most-inappropriate-mascot-kids
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Re: Coal
« Reply #186 on: May 14, 2014, 06:25:33 PM »
Oakland, California, rejects coal port project:
Quote
Bowie Resource Partners LLC wanted to export coal from the port of Oakland, California, promising thousands of construction jobs and a $3 million-a-year payroll in a city whose unemployment rate was almost double the national average.

Oakland’s response: No, thanks.

“We weren’t going to sell our souls here,” Jack Fleck, a retired engineer and Oakland resident who spoke out against Bowie’s plan, said by phone on May 12. “Whatever the economic benefit would’ve been, it wasn’t worth destroying the planet over.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-13/coal-missing-boom-as-climate-foes-clean-asia-s-backyard.html
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Stephen

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Re: Coal
« Reply #187 on: May 15, 2014, 06:53:01 AM »
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. If the world .....

I think that you are missing the point here.  The point is that China burns most of the world's coal and the Chinese communist party have never been inclined to act for the good of the rest of the world.  They look after mainland China, first, last and always.  Sure they are also the world's largest  producers of solar, nuclear, hydro and wind power.  But their power demands are so huge that they will continue to mine and burn more and more coal.

And no international agreements will ever make the slightest bit of difference. 


The ice was here, the ice was there,   
The ice was all around:
It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd,   
Like noises in a swound!
  Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Re: Coal
« Reply #188 on: May 15, 2014, 08:59:56 PM »
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. If the world .....

I think that you are missing the point here.  .......the Chinese communist party have never been inclined to act for the good of the rest of the world.  They look after mainland China, first, last and always.

As a well informed U.S. citizen, I would argue that they learned this from us.

Stephen

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Re: Coal
« Reply #189 on: May 16, 2014, 03:43:57 AM »
Sorry, I was wrong.  Coal really is wonderful.

Hector is so cute that he convinced me.



The ice was here, the ice was there,   
The ice was all around:
It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd,   
Like noises in a swound!
  Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

SATire

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Re: Coal
« Reply #190 on: May 16, 2014, 12:34:16 PM »
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. If the world .....

I think that you are missing the point here.  The point is that China burns most of the world's coal and the Chinese communist party have never been inclined to act for the good of the rest of the world.  They look after mainland China, first, last and always.  Sure they are also the world's largest  producers of solar, nuclear, hydro and wind power.  But their power demands are so huge that they will continue to mine and burn more and more coal.

And no international agreements will ever make the slightest bit of difference.
Stephen, if you would be from China, I would accept your point. If not, I think you are missing the point here completely. Since USA never signed any treaty on reduction of CO2 emissions, it can not blame others for not signing that, too. You are responsible for what your country is dooing, since you are a democracy or at least could become one after a revolution. By no means you are able to blame other countries if you do not better (so I think I may say this just because my poeple signed such treaty).

Furthermore, from this side of the world it looks like China is following USA in the point, that freedom is the right to exploit all ressources available and individual freedom is something less important than homeland security.  The old and the new super power are on the way to become quite similar - so blame yourself and not the others. It would be nice to read some opinions from China here...

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Re: Coal
« Reply #191 on: May 16, 2014, 05:35:18 PM »
SATire

Quote
It would be nice to read some opinions from China here...

They block a lot of certain kinds of traffic out of China.  It could be that AGW commentary is one of them.  I have never seen blog comments out of China on this subject now that you mention it.  interesting.
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: Coal
« Reply #192 on: May 17, 2014, 08:19:23 PM »
Satire


"You are responsible for what your country is dooing"

As a Canadian I pray that you're wrong. In fairness to Americans (and ourselves) the oil oligarchs have pretty well destroyed democracy on this side of the pond. There was a piece showing that even programs wanted by 85% of the populace were never accepted by government if they were opposed by the elite. While that study was for the States, Canada is in at least as bad a situation. The last rally I attended was when our fearless leader shuddered parliament rather than allow a vote that would have seen him out of office.

I'm envious of those living where their vote might make a difference & I'd settle for a dictator that had my best interests at heart.

Terry

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Re: Coal
« Reply #193 on: May 18, 2014, 10:26:15 AM »
Sorry TerryM, I am not wrong. The responsibility of the poeple for their country persists in a democracy as well as in any other systems - since the poeple could change each system anyway. I do not see lots of signs in the US-streets shouting for CO2 reduction...

Your "85%-example" could also point in the wrong direction - e.g. here such things happen, if politicans are more responsible than the poeple and do austerity instead increasing burdens for our children. Poeple do not like that but they would be to shy to go on the streets for such egoism...

I think we could sign such CO2-reduction-treaty with California anytime - but with Texas? The poeple are just different. I do not see that more than 50% of US poeple outside California want such a treaty. As I have often explained here - the reason may be the limited ability for compromises in the US. Instead of working together with the fossil industry for an agreement on CO2 reduction groups prefer to argue and to get most radical positions. Just because radical positions are cool and compromises are so womanish...

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Re: Coal
« Reply #194 on: May 18, 2014, 02:48:48 PM »
Sorry TerryM, I am not wrong. The responsibility of the poeple for their country persists in a democracy as well as in any other systems - since the poeple could change each system anyway. I do not see lots of signs in the US-streets shouting for CO2 reduction...

While you are correct regarding the responsibility of U.S. citizens in driving decisions, I think you are seriously overestimating the power of the American public to influence decision making in the political process. And this weakness is not a recent phenomena. It became a salient feature in this country as the industrial revolution transformed the economic landscape.

It took 50 years, from 1880 to 1930, of increasing labor violence as well as the Great Depression before unions won resounding victories to unionize and put Franklin Roosevelt in the White House. Despite these victories, there were plots developed in the 1930's to assassinate the president and that same industrial and financial oligarchy supported Hitler's rise to power in Germany. It wasn't until the U.S. government threatened to put members of the oligarchy in prison that they withdrew most of their support of Hitler. Those hard fought labor gains, which created the American middle class have since been lost as the oligarchy mounted intense efforts, post WWII, to destroy the unions.

There are only two other instances in the 20th century where the American public was able to drive the political process.

It took a decade of increasing violence, including riots, bombings, campus buildings being burned down and the murder of students on campuses before the Vietnam War was ended and it took decades of dramatic violence, including having large portions of major American cities burned to the ground before the Civil Rights movement succeeded in getting legislation passed which, only in part, freed blacks from a 100 year bondage that was every bit as pernicious as the institution of slavery.

If we are going to wait for the American public, through mass political action, to drive the correct decisions regarding  fossil fuels, it will take decades and, I believe, a level of violence that will make the violence of the 20th century pale in comparison. I believe the violence will be worse because the decisions we will try to force on the oligarchy attacks the very core of the industrial economy they control.

This is not something that I am looking forward to. I actually believe it will be horribly counter productive as huge swaths of the American economy will be destroyed, the very infrastructure that we have worked so hard to build in the last 2 centuries. If you tour the cities that were burned in the 1960's large areas of each are still vast wastelands. It has been 50 years and those areas have not rebounded.

I believe we need to open a new front in the battle with the oligarchy and this front must be in the economic sphere. It is here that we can hurt them the most, in the pocketbook. It will be far more effective because the oligarchy is driven by one monumental vice, greed. When they realize they are going to suffer dramatic losses in wealth, and not before, they will come to the bargaining table.

SATire

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Re: Coal
« Reply #195 on: May 18, 2014, 03:42:38 PM »
While you are correct regarding the responsibility of U.S. citizens in driving decisions, I think you are seriously overestimating the power of the American public to influence decision making in the political process.
While you are correct regarding the violence history of reformations in U.S.A. I think you are overestimating the will of the poeple to acutally reduce CO2 now. They are probably separated in <10% permaculture radicals and >50% radical-fossil BAU poeple and the rest does not mind at all. So I think right now your politics follows quite well the majority of your poeple. And since green BAU and such compromises are irrelevant (outside California at least), there is no party in the middle of your society going for an international treaty to reduce CO2 emissions.

Just ask your poeple - things like compromises or an international treaty are womanish and not a thing to consider for a super-duper-power. And please do not be surprised if China learns from you how a modern super power should act...

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Re: Coal
« Reply #196 on: May 19, 2014, 12:31:54 AM »
The original offset for this thread was the EIA prediction back in March 2013 for world coal output to rise by 40% in the period ’11-’35.
I’d very much like to attend the stretch of comments since. But I haven’t allocated the time to that cause. Instead, I’ve been reading in on world coal consumption. As a consequence, I got interested in another region to get scarred by huge excavations, Indonesia.

Here’s an Earth close-up of a coal mine in Sumatra. A worthy comparison to enterprises in the Ordos region of China, pits in Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany or Galilee Basin in Queensland, Australia.



Read the IEA report 2013. See the facts for China, Poland, Russia, India. Coal is the low-cost bonanza through employing the poor (may those Turkish miners never be forgotten…) and tearing out a competitive economical advance over thy neighbour. This is a rat race and it should be obvious where it is heading for. A metaphore, but a reality too. The Port of Rotterdam, for instance:



It is presently feeding the transition in Germany from nuclear to “clean coal”, like FI the new Lünen electric facility, that spills 2,1 Mton CO2 annually into the troposphere.

Or to Chinese Port of Qinhuangdao, which has more than twice the capacity of Rotterdam.



(G Earth isn't very clear over that port...) This sort of thing is driving the urge in Queensland, Australia, to build the largest export facility possible at Abbott Point. It will partly spoil Great Barrier Reef, but, after all, the reef is wasted already through coral bleeching….
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 07:43:29 AM by werther »

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Re: Coal
« Reply #197 on: May 19, 2014, 05:59:53 AM »
I followed a link from the AIB by Francesco Meneguzzo in the PIOMAS thread and read the scariest paper I've seen. It that claims that fracked gas is worse for the climate than coal, probably over all time frames up to and including 100yrs. It's a follow-up from a 2011 paper & appears convincing to me.
If these results are sound the fracking frenzy that we're about to unleash globally could be about the last thing we do as a civilized species.

I've asked Francesco to open a thread at this forum where we would be able to discuss the paper & I hope that he grants my request. Sorry to leave everyone hanging like this but I'd much rather have Francesco, who has been involved in parallel research open the thread than to do so myself.
Terry

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Re: Coal
« Reply #198 on: May 19, 2014, 06:26:15 AM »
SATire
In Canada I believe ~82% of the populace is aware and concerned about AGW, but our government's response has been to silence climate scientists, launch a disinformation campaign & lobby Washington to authorise Keystone, while building pipelines to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It's difficult for me at least to fault the public when the government simply ignores them and enacts legislation directly opposing their wishes.
I'll donate to, canvas neighborhoods for and cajole friend and foe to vote against them but I'm too old to take to the street with a baseball bat and a torch.
In the US the propaganda campaign has been going on for much longer and may be even more persuasive. I have difficulty faulting the populace for being taken in when the best minds that money can buy have been recruited to convince them that black is white and Big Oil is the only thing between them and penury.
Terry

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Re: Coal
« Reply #199 on: May 19, 2014, 03:42:31 PM »
OK - TerryM, you convinced me again, that things are different on the other side of the Atlantic. Here most of the poeple are aware of AGW but the majority prefers to transit from nuclear to "clean coal" (as werther put it ironically) first. So our politicians are doing quite exactly what the poeple want and you may blame the most of us individualy.

Even next to the huge brown coal pits most poeple prefer burning that dirty stuff - just because they participate from that money quite well. Most of the villages and cities own RWE shares and thus pay the Kindergardens with the dividends...

Only green party wants to exit coal now, too - that is commonly considered not beeing realistic.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 04:41:00 PM by SATire »