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idunno

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IPCC WGIII Report
« on: April 12, 2014, 10:07:23 AM »
This report focuses on mitigation. It is trailed here...

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/12/ipcc-report-world-must-switch-clean-sources-energy

More to follow, when the actual text is available.

idunno

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 11:04:14 AM »

silkman

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 10:05:08 PM »
Just some first thoughts.

Having just watched the presentation element of the Press Conference it seems that WG III sees effective mitigation of the impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission as achievable with modest impact on GDP growth subject to the following caveat:

"Effective mitigation will not be achieved if individual agents advance their own interests independently"

In response to the BBC's David Shukman's question, Otto Edenhofer explained that this meant collaboration across countries, industries and companies in pursuit of the common cause, supported by a global carbon price and associated carbon taxes.

This may well be true, but to present such an approach as a feasible option for a viable pathway for change in the current world has to be mind-bogglingly naive. The limits on carbon use alone and the associated damage to the balance sheets of the carbon-based industries would be enough to bring economic growth to a grinding halt on its own.

I wonder whether this whole exercise is really of any value.


« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 10:20:05 PM by silkman »

Shared Humanity

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 12:40:20 AM »
The limits on carbon use alone and the associated damage to the balance sheets of the carbon-based industries would be enough to bring economic growth to a grinding halt on its own.

I wonder whether this whole exercise is really of any value.

Bringing growth to a halt is exactly what is needed. You cannot grow yourself out of a  problem whose root cause is growth.

idunno

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 05:01:01 AM »
The report itself is available from this link...

http://mitigation2014.org/report/summary-for-policy-makers

SPM is only 33 pages, including some informative and pretty pictures.

silkman

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 08:49:14 AM »


Bringing growth to a halt is exactly what is needed. You cannot grow yourself out of a  problem whose root cause is growth.

SH, I totally agree. I probably didn't make it clear but I think the failure of the report, at least as communicated in the Press Conference, is not in the analysis of what is needed to solve the problem but the suggestion that it can be solved whilst maintaining a close to BAU rate of economic growth.

I'm sure everyone involved actually understands the inevitable outcome of exponential growth but it seems that they weren't bold enough to set their report in this context.

It's another massive opportunity missed.

Sigmetnow

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 01:30:37 AM »
Joe Romm quotes the part of the report that says global mitigation is not all that expensive.  (Per the IPCC website, that finding was signed off by 58 countries.)

"Now you might think it would be a no-brainer that humanity would be willing to pay a very high cost to avoid such catastrophes and achieve the low emission “2°C” (3.6°F) pathway in the left figure above (RCP2.6 — which is a total greenhouse gas level in 2100 equivalent to roughly 450 parts per million of CO2). But the third report finds that the “cost” of doing so is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%."

"You read that right, the annual growth loss to preserve a livable climate is 0.06% — and that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.” So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries. As always, every word of the report was signed off on by every major government in the world."

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/13/3426117/climate-panel-avoiding-catastrophe-cheap/
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jai mitchell

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 02:16:09 AM »
Quote
Mitigation scenarios reaching about 450 ppm CO2eq in 2100 typically involve temporary overshoot of atmospheric concentrations, as do many scenarios reaching about 500 ppm to 550 ppm CO2eq in 2100. Depending on the level of the overshoot, overshoot scenarios typically rely on the availability and widespread deployment of BECCS and afforestation in the second half of the century. The availability and scale of these and other Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies and methods are uncertain and CDR technologies and methods are, to varying degrees, associated with challenges and risks (see Section SPM 4.2) (high confidence).18


Get that?  if we are going to have a climate that will be survivable through 2100 we will have to not only implement an RCP 2.6 emissions scenario but we will also need to deploy massive amounts of Biomas-Energy Carbon Capture and Sequestration (BECCS) technology
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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 03:47:07 AM »
Get that?  if we are going to have a climate that will be survivable through 2100 we will have to not only implement an RCP 2.6 emissions scenario but we will also need to deploy massive amounts of Biomas-Energy Carbon Capture and Sequestration (BECCS) technology

The bottom line is depressingly simple. These problems have been known about for decades and over time the steps required to provide minimum sufficient solutions have grown. I was born into a world that had not (quite) yet cleared the 350ppm "safe" threshold and back then, I daresay it would've been fairly easy to have taken the necessary steps to have avoided all this.

Now though it would require an effort so improbably heroic and fantastic, it seems increasingly safe to discount the possibility of this actually happening - particularly if you look at what's actually happened over the last few decades - where our behaviour has moved in diametrically the wrong direction with increasing speed (and continues to do so even as we sit here talking about it).

Just as there are those who still deny that climate change is even happening - is not there not a real risk many people deny the increasing probability of collapse even as it too unfolds before us?

To continue to argue for insufficient solutions with diminishing probabilities of ever actually happening is to fiddle while the world burns. More and more it seems to me people are arguing from positions of wildly optimistic hope rather than realistic assessment. There is arguably still time to improve the future of our species through a collapse contingency - and yet it seems to me this opportunity too is going to be largely squandered.

The IPCC has tended to be very conservative and severely outpaced by the rate and severity of negative effects. I would be rather surprised if they had suddenly lurched unreasonably far into pessimism and alarmism and not at all surprised if the situation turns out to continue to unfold significantly faster and worse than most of the scientific consensus dares to predict.

silkman

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2014, 09:25:58 AM »
"Effective mitigation will not be achieved if individual agents advance their interests independently"

Does anyone seriously believe that this condition, set by WG111 for the achievement of effective mitigation at the modest cost of the loss of 0.06% economic growth, will ever be achieved?

It is effectively calling for the suspension of competition in pursuit of a common cause and that it is just not going to happen.

As Shared Humanity says, the root cause of the problem isn't CO2, that's a symptom, it's the reckless pursuit of exponential growth and unless we tackle that issue the outcome will inevitably be cataclysmic.

It's disappointing that important commentators like Joe Romm and Jeff Masters:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2663

seem to have bought into the idea that we can really have our cake (BAU growth) and eat it in a world with a stabilised climate. If we follow that path, just as in Kyoto and Copenhagen, nothing will change.

I find it all very scary indeed.

werther

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 10:33:23 AM »
In the case of an opinion poll in our group of Forum-posters count me in on the pessimistic side.

I agree with CCG-w above on the general line of his thinking. I haven’t read the IPCC-WGIII report. Maybe I should, before forming an opinion. In ’07 I felt much more appealed by the arrival of AR4. The missing of the ’07 sea ice disaster and the omission of ice-sheet behaviour fed my pessimism.

Since the failure of COP15 in 2009 I feel deeply sceptical about the political will to commit to a real effort on mitigation. AR5 hasn’t changed anything for me. Instead, I have a hunch that the ‘circus’ is becoming a sort of ritual raindance. At the centre there’s good science, sure. But the political translation is being watered down.

Personal time spent in local commitment to achieve some resilience seems far more rewarding.

Sigmetnow

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 01:55:03 PM »
A few more reactions to the IPCC WG3 report:

-US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice. There are those who say we can’t afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic.”
-UK energy secretary Ed Davey said: “The risk is too great to stop here. We need a worldwide, large-scale change to our energy system if we are to limit the effects of climate change."
-Green groups pushed home the message that renewable energy would be the major platform of future energy generation in a low carbon world.
-Pricewaterhouse Coopers said: The "report on mitigation explains how to avoid the crash. But it also suggests that the brakes are not working".
-The science community welcomed the findings and urged policy makers to follow the roadmap laid in front of them.
-Some scientists agreed with the IPCC finding the carbon capture and storage may have a role to play in mitigating climate change.
-Lord Deben, chair of the UK's independent Committee on Climate Change said: "How can we expect poor countries to join in the battle against climate change unless we accept that we owe our wealth partly to pollution."
-World Resources Institute said that without action, we could see more than 4C of warming, but that 2C was possible with immediate action.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/13/un-climate-change-report-on-how-to-cut-emissions-live-coverage#block-5346215ae4b053a7d8aaf7b7


IPCC press release:
“Climate policies in line with the two degrees Celsius goal need to aim for substantial emission reductions,” Edenhofer said. “There is a clear message from science: To avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we need to move away from business as usual.”

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ar5/pr_wg3/20140413_pr_pc_wg3_en.pdf
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Sigmetnow

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2014, 01:57:31 PM »
And these.  All the responses I'm seeing (except here in the Forum) stress, "It's hard but it's doable."

Damian Carrington, Berlin
IPCC climate change report: averting catastrophe is eminently affordable
Landmark UN analysis concludes global roll-out of clean energy would shave only a tiny fraction off economic growth
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/13/averting-climate-change-catastrophe-is-affordable-says-ipcc-report-un

IPCC climate report: a route map for civilisation's greatest journey
The landmark UN report shows the affordable paths to averting a global climate catastrophe: now politicians must decide the route and who pays the fare
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2014/apr/13/ipcc-climate-report-a-route-map-for-civilisations-greatest-jour


"(CNN) -- Keeping global warming down to a level people can live with means cutting carbon emissions to "near zero" by the end of the century, even in an increasingly industrialized world, the top U.N. experts on the issue reported Sunday.

That may be doable, but it will take "substantial investments" in everything from planting more trees to replacing fossil fuels with low-carbon power sources like solar, wind and nuclear energy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced in its latest report."

"In the United States, the second-biggest producer of greenhouse gases, a boom in natural gas along with conservation efforts, more renewable energy and a steep recession combined to reduce carbon emissions by about 10% in the last decade. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who in February called the issue "the greatest challenge of our generation," said Sunday's report is an economic opportunity.
"So many of the technologies that will help us fight climate change are far cheaper, more readily available, and better performing than they were when the last IPCC assessment was released less than a decade ago," Kerry said in a written statement. "These technologies can cut carbon pollution while growing economic opportunity at the same time. The global energy market represents a $6 trillion opportunity, with 6 billion users around the world."

"The IPCC is clear that acting on climate change is possible, beneficial and affordable," said Samantha Smith, the head of the World Wildlife Fund's climate and energy program. "If we act now, costs will be only a very small fraction of global economies. Those who say it's too hard and too expensive are wrong." She said the report should convince investors "to pull your money out of dirty fossil fuels and put it into renewable energy and energy efficiency."

"Morgan said individuals can also do that by seeking greener power sources and ways to save energy, and by keeping a close eye on where they invest their 401(k) plans and other savings vehicles."

Includes a video: a Fareed Zacharia interview of Andrew Friedman.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/13/world/un-climate/index.html?hpt=hp_t2


Slate:  U.N. Climate Report: We Must Focus On "Decarbonization," and It Won't Wreck the Economy

"Turns out, it’s cheap. To create a scenario where global temperatures are “likely” to remain less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (the globally agreed-upon threshold after which “dangerous” climate change is apt to begin), we’d need to have around one-quarter of our energy mix from low-carbon sources by the year 2030. That fraction increases to about 60 percent by 2050..

"According to an economic analysis within Sunday’s report, an investment to stop climate change will only knock 0.06 percentage points off the world’s annualized economic growth rate from now till the end of the century. Assuming annualized growth of about 3 percent, full-scale motivation on climate change would reduce that to about 2.94 percent. Not bad. Side effects that weren’t factored in to that calculation may include: more efficient and productive food systems, human health improvements, biodiversity protection, poverty reduction—in general, making things better."

"Or we can continue on the business-as usual-path and see how that goes."

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/04/13/ipcc_u_n_climate_report_fundamental_decarbonization_won_t_wreck_the_economy.html


 Samantha Smith, the leader of the WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative:
"And money is the key. Only by switching huge amounts of investment away from fossil fuels and into renewables will we have a chance of stopping dangerous climate change. And the numbers are huge."

"This is why WWF is running a global campaign, Seize Your Power, calling on calling on financial institutions including major sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and multilateral development banks to significantly increase their funding of renewable energy and cut funding to fossil fuels as a key means of tackling climate change."

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/samantha-j-smith/climate-change-apocalypse_b_5089500.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2014, 02:20:18 PM »
Not about the IPCC report per se, but this quote from Chris Hayes of MSNBC (about the "Years of Living Dangerously" climate series) says it well:

"I strongly believe that it is extremely important to convince people that the problem is, in fact, solvable. Our record of environmental regulation of pollution, in fact, shows that very often the eventual cost is far, far less than was originally estimated. Human ingenuity is an incredible thing! So if you picked up a certain upbeat undercurrent in the show, you weren't wrong. I happen to think the problem, as big and terrifying as it is, really is solvable and really will be solved. And I think it's doubly important to let people know that so as to engender the level of investment and action we need to make sure that hopeful future is ours."

http://mediamatters.org/mobile/blog/2014/04/14/years-of-living-dangerously-is-this-the-new-tre/198878

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prometheus

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2014, 02:46:21 PM »
A few more reactions to the IPCC WG3 report:

-US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice. There are those who say we can’t afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic.”
[...]
Though he claims to be genuinely concerned about climate change, I still expect him (well, the State Department which he heads) to approve the Keystone XL extension by the end of the year, probably well before the November election cycle. If he does, then his words about being concerned for the climate won't mean much. I'm aware that the potential future contributions to atmospheric CO2 from fully exploiting the Athabasca tar sands is small compared to coal, it still represents a commitment to BAU by continuing to invest in new FF infrastructure. I hope this won't be the case, but I'm not holding my breath.

I'm an optimist at heart, too. Keeping our industrial society and a reasonably comfortable (non-subsistence) lifestyle, at some level, may in fact be doable, but if it's to even be a possibility requires huge investments now in cutting fossil fuel use and investing in alternatives and it's really disturbing that we continue to go in the opposite direction. Not just alternative energy sources, but alternative lifestyles that greatly reduce resource consumption.

Quote from: Sigmetnow
Human ingenuity is an incredible thing! So if you picked up a certain upbeat undercurrent in the show, you weren't wrong. I happen to think the problem, as big and terrifying as it is, really is solvable and really will be solved.
I agree with your quote about human ingenuity being an incredible thing, and it is the wildcard in trying to predict the future. Solutions can be found for many problems even if we don't know what they are yet.

I don't think most leaders in the developed world are completely insensitive to the needs and demands of their populace. They will take action when enough people start demanding it, we just haven't nearly reached that critical mass. I can't predict when that will happen, but the sooner the climate starts turning really bad the sooner people will realize we need to act and the better off we'll be in the long run. I don't wish weather disasters on anyone, but at the same time I can't help but hope they happen soon (something like what Neven called the Alarmist's Dilemma).

*edited for clarity

Sigmetnow

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2014, 03:25:08 PM »
A few more reactions to the IPCC WG3 report:

-US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice. There are those who say we can’t afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic.”
[...]
Though he claims to be genuinely concerned about climate change, I still expect him (well, the State Department which he heads) to approve the Keystone XL extension by the end of the year, probably well before the November election cycle. If he does, then his words about being concerned for the climate won't mean much. I'm aware that the potential future contributions to atmospheric CO2 from fully exploiting the Athabasca tar sands is small compared to coal, it still represents a commitment to BAU by continuing to invest in new FF infrastructure. I hope this won't be the case, but I'm not holding my breath.

I'm an optimist at heart, too. Keeping our industrial society and a reasonably comfortable (non-subsistence) lifestyle, at some level, may in fact be doable, but if it's to even be a possibility requires huge investments now in cutting fossil fuel use and investing in alternatives and it's really disturbing that we continue to go in the opposite direction. Not just alternative energy sources, but alternative lifestyles that greatly reduce resource consumption.

...

prometheus,
Although Kerry is an ardent environmentalist, and the President has spoken against KXL, I agree that the pipeline decision is far from settled.  I like to believe that one of the reasons the decision has dragged out so long is that they know the longer they wait, the stronger the case against it becomes.  Even Canada's pipeline proponents have gone from, “Approve KXL now!" to "Make a decision now, even if it's 'no'!" to not even mentioning it in a recent Washington visit.

The number and severity of climate disasters, and pipeline, rail, and other fossil fuel disasters, keep increasing.  (Latest findings: fracking causes earthquakes; and methane emissions from drilling can be 1,000 times higher than once thought, removing the benefit of gas over coal.)  It's hard to see how dirty-energy-dependent administrations can hold on much longer.  Oil-rich countries (families) in the Middle East have gotten the message.  Sadly, Democracy is proving to be slower and messier.

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2014, 04:30:40 PM »
I can't predict when that will happen, but the sooner the climate starts turning really bad the sooner people will realize we need to act and the better off we'll be in the long run. I don't wish weather disasters on anyone, but at the same time I can't help but hope they happen soon (something like what Neven called the Alarmist's Dilemma).

Problem is, I think by the time the weather is that bad - the impacts on agriculture and infrastructure will at very least have massively undermined our ability to respond and quite possibly set in motion collapse.

The thing is - for people to even talk a little bit more about climate change and take it marginally more seriously seems in many cases to require direct adverse impact from a weather event (Sandy for example, setting aside the question of attribution for a moment). Yet even a pretty big and damaging event fades out of public focus pretty fast really. You don't see crowds of people in New York at this point demanding any real sort of policy changes, do you?

Indeed can one provide any example of a catastrophic climate change implicated event driving a meaningful and lasting change in collective behaviour? There isn't any shortage of candidate events now...

On the whole I rather strongly agree with what werther said above - local resilience is almost certainly the most productive and meaningful activity to engage in - and it can (and necessarily must in most cases) still tick the boxes for action helpful to the big picture. That's something all of us could be out there doing already... but I wager most of us are not.

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2014, 06:19:29 PM »
I find it very interesting that from the previous report to this one that the expected hit to GDP of mitigating AGW went DOWN.  Correct me if I am confused but has not the situation gotten much worse over the last 6 years?  Have we not made any meaningful amount of change?  Are not emissions growing each year?

I think this part of the Report process has been completely taken over by the various political and industry interests.  This section is tightly controlled by the political process and all its conclusions are based upon economic analysis which is always open to any version of criteria the person in charge wants to use.  They can give you any answer you want.

It is complete BS in my opinion.  Their conclusion is shear manipulation.  It fits perfect with both the BAU approaches (i.e. do nothing until we have to and then make a bunch of money running the mitigation companies) or The Green-BAU approaches oriented towards new technologies which will save us and industrial civilization.

There is no free lunch.  It is simply not possible to execute the types of changes we are talking about without it having a huge impact on the entire world.  As always there will be winners and losers in that process and someone will try and control it and make fortunes.

And, as pointed out above, global mitigation efforts absolutely require a global decision and enforcement mechanism being in place to execute any such plan.  Like I said before, as long as everyone is happy with the US being the global government we might have a solution. Elsewise you have a  problem.

Taken at face value this part of the report demonstrates a naivety beyond description, so what it really means is it is an attempt at manipulation.
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

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2014, 07:01:48 PM »
A point I left out.

This report can be used as one of the most effective denier arguments ever made.

If the cost to mitigate is so small then there is no real cost to continuing BAU.  Subsidies for renewables are therefore a huge waste of money.  Just let 'the market' decide and continue burning fossil fuels as long as they are competitive.

Does anyone think that this argument will not be used? 
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

silkman

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2014, 09:31:26 PM »
... as pointed out above, global mitigation efforts absolutely require a global decision and enforcement mechanism being in place to execute any such plan.  Like I said before, as long as everyone is happy with the US being the global government we might have a solution. Elsewise you have a  problem.

Taken at face value this part of the report demonstrates a naivety beyond description, so what it really means is it is an attempt at manipulation.

Spot on. The "apparent" naivety lies in the obvious political impossibility of executing a global mitigation project in a BAU world.

Who, exactly, would have the mandate to make it happen? The UN?

The frightening thing, as Jim implies, is that it just cannot be naive. The only other conclusion is that it's part of a bigger and worrying agenda.


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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2014, 10:07:24 PM »
A point I left out.

This report can be used as one of the most effective denier arguments ever made.

If the cost to mitigate is so small then there is no real cost to continuing BAU.  Subsidies for renewables are therefore a huge waste of money.  Just let 'the market' decide and continue burning fossil fuels as long as they are competitive.

Does anyone think that this argument will not be used?

I'm not sure that's what it really says though?

http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/04/the-main-climate-change-question-when-do-you-want-to-pay-for-it-and-how/360621/

As the nice chart there shows, the cost to do nothing is being calculated only as the specific cost of changes to make - not as the cost including damage, which is calculated separately (indicated at 5-20% GPD per year for 4C of warming).

So I think the argument they are trying to make is that the consequences of higher amounts of warming are massively more expensive than the costs of stabilising at that temperature, and that early stabilisation is much cheaper than trying it late.

Nothing new there really? Except perhaps more figures, which the IPCC having it's track record, I'm inclined to assume are too conservative.

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Re: IPCC WGIII Reporttight (admittadly the
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2014, 03:43:08 AM »
ccg

You are correct about what the fine details say.  But that is not what the deniers are going to use to their advantage.

This report gives them talking points that sound just like what they are always saying.  They can quote Joe Romm on Climate Progress for saying mitigation will be cheap.  This is all they need to dig their feet in.  This is another instance of the reports not getting the language right (admittedly the govt coordination part always gets away from them on stuff like this as they likely do not have much choice).  But people like Romm should be working this from a more intelligent angle.
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

JimD

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2014, 06:12:53 PM »
I am reading the this section of the report right now (it is 33 pages so it will take awhile) and wanted to suggest that others just read the first 9 pages.

And then compare what you have read with these strange optimistic news reports.   How anyone could read the first 9 pages and come up with an optimistic outlook and think this is easy is beyond belief.

This entire part of the report was written by economists btw.  I'll save my insults I guess.

Their assessments only include up to RCP 6.0  (even though we are on an RCP 8.5 trajectory...hmmm).

It appears that ALL of the assessments from this report hitting the news and being trumpeted ASSUME that warming will be limited to 2C.  2C?  And that CO2 Eq levels in 2100 will be at 450ppm.  What?!  CO2eq levels are in between 435 and 440ppm right now.  We will pass 450 CO2eq before 2020.  They think we will be back to that level by 2100...hmmm. 

Quote
Estimates of the aggregate economic costs of mitigation vary widely and are highly sensitive to  model design and assumptions as well as the specification of scenarios, including the  characterization of technologies and the timing of mitigation (high confidence). Scenarios in which  all countries of the world begin mitigation immediately, there is a single global carbon price, and all  key technologies are available, have been used as a cost‐effective benchmark for estimating  macroeconomic mitigation costs (Table SPM.2, green segments). Under these assumptions,  mitigation scenarios that reach atmospheric concentrations of about 450ppm CO2eq by 2100 entail  losses in global consumption—not including benefits of reduced climate change as well as co‐ benefits and adverse side‐effects of mitigation19—of 1% to 4% (median: 1.7%) in 2030, 2% to 6%  (median: 3.4%) in 2050, and 3% to 11% (median: 4.8%) in 2100 relative to consumption in baseline  scenarios that grows anywhere from 300% to more than 900% over the century. These numbers  correspond to an annualized reduction of consumption growth by 0.04 to 0.14 (median: 0.06)  percentage points over the century relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is  between 1.6% and 3% per year. Estimates at the high end of these cost ranges are from models that  are relatively inflexible to achieve the deep emissions reductions required in the long run to meet  these goals and/or include assumptions about market imperfections that would raise costs. Under  the absence or limited availability of technologies, mitigation costs can increase substantially  depending on the technology considered (Table SPM.2, orange segment). Delaying additional  mitigation further increases mitigation costs in the medium to long term (Table SPM.2, blue  segment). Many models could not achieve atmospheric concentration levels of about 450 ppm  CO2eq by 2100 if additional mitigation is considerably delayed or under limited availability of key  technologies, such as bioenergy, CCS, and their combination (BECCS). [6.3] 
 

So.  For their rosy cost numbers to hold the following must happen.

1.  All countries begin mitigation immediately; i.e. Global governance and enforcement.
2.  A single carbon price in effect.
3. All key technologies be available (later in the report it is clear that they do not think they are available

There is zero chance of all countries beginning mitigation efforts immediately.
There is zero chance of getting a global agreement and enforcement mechanism in place anytime in the foreseeable future.
There is almost no chance of ever having a single carbon price in place everywhere at anytime.
The key technologies to execute their scenario are NOT available and will not be for some years.

Figures in this report are based upon emissions from 2010.  They are significantly higher today so that makes their numbers suspect.

Quote
Effective mitigation will not be achieved if individual agents advance their own interests  independently.

Oh?  If?  Please!  Kumbaya baby!  That is the same as saying effective mitigation will not happen.

Quote
Globally, economic and population growth continue to be the most important drivers of increases  in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. The contribution of population growth between  2000 and 2010 remained roughly identical to the previous three decades, while the contribution of  economic growth has risen sharply 

My previous point exactly.  There is no problem we have that can be fixed if we do not first fix population growth and levels.  Economic development and rising affluence is like a trump card on top of population.  Population growth means extra emissions.  Economic development leads inevitably to extra emissions.  And please don't jump in here and give me that nonsense about educating women and providing birth control globally being a solution to this problem.  It is not. That method takes generations to have an effect sufficient to bring down population levels sufficiently.  We do not have anywhere near that much time even if you could execute such an occurrence (which you can't btw).

Their scenarios assume large scale reforestation by 2100 to help bring down concentrations.  This will not be possible (in fact the opposite will happen) unless there are dramatic population reductions.  We will eventually be cutting down all the forests in the Eastern US again to return to large scale farming there as the places like the Central Valley of CA and parts of the Midwest are lost to production due to AGW.   The poor will strip the rainforests bare in an attempt to survive.

More later I guess.  If I can stand it.
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

Laurent

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2014, 06:42:36 PM »
Was that explained somewhere on the forum, you are talking of CO2eq à 430 ppm, when the Mona loa stations says 402 ppm max.
Explain please.

Laurent

JimD

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2014, 07:01:23 PM »
Laurent

There are 2 different metrics that are kept.

One is the CO2 concentration in ppm for which we normally use the Mauna Loa readings as the standard.  As you say this is currently just above 400 ppm (but the more relevant number for scientific purposes is the yearly average).

The CO2eq number is the addition of the forcing effect of all the 'other' greenhouse gases converted to CO2 equivalent numbers and then added to the CO2 number from Mauna Loa.  Thus one obtains a number that gives the total greenhouse gas concentration in ppm and it is called the CO2eq number.  This is the number almost always used in the big IPCC reports.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co2eq

The CO2eq number is the most relevant to what is happening AGW wise as it includes everything.  If, or when, we start to see the surge in methane emissions often talked about the CO2eq number is where the rising ppb (parts per billion) of methane will be represented.  It is possible (and some say inevitable) that the time will come when CO2 in ppm will be going down but the CO2eq number will still be rising due to the rising methane contribution.
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

Laurent

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2014, 07:23:39 PM »
Thanks !
Of course, I had my mind somewhere else, how can I forget methane, NO2...

Thanks again

silkman

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2014, 10:17:47 PM »
Thanks to JimD this thread is now pulling together an analysis of this massively important report, the unjustifiably optimistic headlines of which will rapidly become embedded in the minds of the politicians who will determine our future.

The meek acceptance of the "mitigation is possible and it won't stop economic growth" message by usually rigorous commentators, without the many caveats set out in the posts above, is disappointing.

Can we find a way to influence the views of Romm, Masters et al before it's too late?

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2014, 06:25:53 PM »
wili posted the below link in the Maun Loa thread as it contains a graph which shows the direct link between economic growth and CO2 emissions.  This article is an excellent refutation  of the latest IPCC reports claim that we can adapt to AGW at little to no cost.

Quote
The Biophysics of Civilization, Money = Energy, and the Inevitability of Collapse

.....Conclusions of the paper entitled ‘Are there basic physical constraints on future anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide?’:
◾Improving energy efficiency accelerates CO2 emissions growth.
◾Absent collapsing the economy (In other words turning the inflation adjusted GDP to zero), emissions can be stabilized only by building the equivalent of one nuke plant per day globally (or some other non CO2-emitting power supply)
◾Emissions growth has inertia (due to the high probability of points one and two)

The present state and growth of civilization are determined by the past, and the past fundamentally cannot be changed. Thus we are set on a trajectory that can lead to simplified predictions of the future.



Quote
The growth of red line(a), primary energy consumption rate, is essentially moving in tandem with the wealth of civilization (blue line). This suggests that, fundamentally, money is power.

The black line represents the constant coefficient of the power of money λ (9.7, plus or minus 0.3, milliwatts per inflation-adjusted 1990 dollar).



Quote
How is emissions related to wealth?

It is the relation of energy consumption and the resultant emissions. Emission rates are fundamentally linked to the wealth of civilization:

You cannot reduce emission rates without reducing the “wealth” of civilization. Wealth is energy consumption; energy consumption is carbon dioxide emissions. The two are inseparable.

In order to just stabilize CO2 levels, you would have to decarbonize as fast as the current growth rate in energy consumption which would work out to about one nuclear power plant per day (or some other comparable non CO2-emitting energy supply).

If you look at atmospheric CO2 concentrations in parts per million by volume (from various sources including ice cores) and compare that to the world GDP going back to 2 A.D., the values increase pretty much in tandem through history:

“If we want to reduce CO2, something has to collapse.”





Quote
“Extending the model to the future, the model suggests that the well-known IPCC SRES scenarios substantially underestimate how much CO2 levels will rise for a given level of future economic prosperity. For one, global CO2 emission rates cannot be decoupled from wealth through efficiency gains. For another, like a long-term natural disaster, future greenhouse warming can be expected to act as an inflationary drag on the real growth of global wealth. For atmospheric CO2 concentrations to remain below a “dangerous” level of 450 ppmv, model forecasts suggest that there will have to be some combination of an unrealistically rapid rate of energy decarbonization and nearly immediate reductions in global civilization wealth. Effectively, it appears that civilization may be in a double-bind. If civilization does not collapse quickly this century, then CO2 levels will likely end up exceeding 1000 ppmv; but, if CO2 levels rise by this much, then the risk is that civilization will gradually tend towards collapse.” ~ Tim Garrett

There is lots more to read.  A much more articulate explanation of a lot of what I have been trying to say.  Any form of BAU or Green-BAU is fatal.  You cannot grow your way out of this, and transition will take 'much longer' and 'cost much more' than you think.  Rapid reductions in economic activity and population levels are absolutely essential or there is no fix possible.  The quicker collapse  comes the better off we are in the long run.


http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2014/03/27/the-biophysics-of-civilization-money-energy-and-the-inevitability-of-collapse/
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

jai mitchell

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2014, 08:09:07 PM »
Quote
For one, global CO2 emission rates cannot be decoupled from wealth through efficiency gains

. . .

Quote
You cannot grow your way out of this, and transition will take 'much longer' and 'cost much more' than you think.


Sorry, but I have to let you know.

1.  you are assuming that things will be as they have always been.  i.e. you are projecting future emissions based on past fossil fuel energy density economies. . .Now that renewable energy sources are reaching parity with fossil fuel sources, this is not a reasonable assumption nor an accurate assessment.


in other words

"The IPCC says that we have to change the way we do things"

but

"That is impossible because, look at how we have done things!"



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JimD

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2014, 10:24:53 PM »
jai

You have previously demonstrated very bad practice's and this is another instance.  Be so kind as to clean up your act or go away.

Your first quote is not mine as you well know so do not attribute it to me.  And do not address your points as if you are refuting me when you are addressing the points of another author.

TROLL behavior as a great amount of your posts have been.

If you quote me make a relevant comment.  Don't make up what you think I assume and provide no substance as to what you think is wrong with any statement of mine.

You seem to have no conception of human behavior and its causes and responses or you want to pretend it does not exist.  You want to bet our future on technical miracles based upon nothing more than faith in progress.  This is not rational thought.  What has happened in the past is relevant.  When we exchanged messages before you systematically refused to respond in any way to the points I made.  I do not want to converse with you as I do not consider you to be worth the time. 

Leave me alone.   
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

icefest

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2014, 03:09:39 AM »
I like the graph of energy use vs gdp though I did recall seeing another one with slightly different figures. It's a pity he does not cite his sources.

Anyway, I went and found my own, somewhat more comprehensive source - The World Bank - who have yearly data from 1980-2012.
Surprisingly this shows a linear trend for increasing GDP per unit of energy equivalent. This trend does not change over the 30 years of data. Nor does it move in tandem with CO2 emissions per unit of GDP.

You cannot reduce emission rates without reducing the “wealth” of civilization. Wealth is energy consumption; energy consumption is carbon dioxide emissions. The two are inseparable.

Thus; I disagree with the previous statement especially the bolded one.


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jai mitchell

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2014, 03:13:37 AM »
JimD

I apologize if these posts make you upset.  I am not picking on you.  You are simply posting some things that (I feel) have serious flaws.  I understand that this is frustrating for you.    It should be, because I am challenging your fundamental assumptions.

When you quoted Tim Garrett, you intentionally bolded the part that I quoted in my post.  Even though those aren't your words, you obviously agree with them or you wouldn't have emphasized them. 

I believe that I have responded to every point that you made, if I missed one or another then it wasn't really a point that I could understand, or it wasn't a valid point.  Maybe you can rephrase it?

When I see someone putting out bad information in the discussion, I challenge it.  If you have a valid point then you should be able to refute it.  I notice that you have not addressed the point that I made:

Arguing that it is impossible to decouple economic productivity from carbon emissions is exactly the argument that the fossil fuel industry uses.  This is equivalently a straw-man argument that produces a null solution.  You do realize that don't you?

However, I agree with you in many important ways.  Things must change, from a fundamental perspective.  The idea that we can continue to grow and expand like we are is absolutely untrue.  While a nuclear plant a day is a bit of an exaggeration, it isn't that far from the truth.  (I calculate we would need to increase our current level of construction by six-fold and maintain it over the next 15 years.  We are currently building one every 23 days.   The only thing that makes it look this good is expectations for massive renewable construction in the future.   

Coupled with the extra energy that will be needed to adapt to climate change, we face a near insurmountable task. 

However, simply stating that this task is impossible because the economy has always been linked to CO2 emissions leaves no room for the reality on the ground that is conservation and non-fossil fuel energy.

If you continue to post information that I find faulty, then I will post why I think it is wrong.  I am sorry if you take this personally.  I believe that through discourse we move toward a greater approximation of what is "truth".

when people perform these calculations, they normally produce them on a "per capita GDP" and "per capita CO2 emissions" calculation.  This is where we understand that we are actually doing very well in decoupling emissions from production, on a global scale.

I find this model to be very useful:  http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/kaya/
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jai mitchell

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2014, 05:15:12 AM »


.

.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 05:24:35 AM by jai mitchell »
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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2014, 08:45:15 AM »
Nice enough graphs - and you can make a strong case for the rapid growth of wind power - but that doesn't mean the problem is being solved just yet. Unless I'm much mistaken coal power stations are still expanding too - and similarly fast to wind.

So far isn't the tendency for renewables to add to total energy base instead of being used to take fossil fuel power sources out of circulation? Isn't fossil fuel as a source of electricity still expanding - new stations still being constructed? Exactly how do the graphs showing the increase in wind power really demonstrate that we are anywhere near a trajectory of addressing the key issues?

Can you find examples of coal fired power plants being retired as a result of wind being brought online? Can you even find a few? Any?

While there are some countries that do relatively well in terms of how they produce their energy the norm is still fossil fuels and there is still massive infrastructure and corporate operations supporting it. Plus there is the propaganda spin that maybe we'll find a way to do "clean coal"... just to retard any notion of progress in terms of getting off it.

silkman

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2014, 09:57:36 AM »

The figure Icefest found in the World Bank report to me says it all.

It shows clearly that energy efficiency is increasing rapidly, as reflected in the impressive increase in constant currency since 1980 of GDP generated per unit of energy used. This of course makes all sorts of sense given the dramatic increase in wealth generation from knowledge industries and services in the digital age.

The second plot in the figure says equally clearly that this in itself is not enough to put a stop to increasing carbon emissions as the CO2 per unit of GDP is not decreasing in line with the benefits being delivered by the aforesaid improvement in energy efficiency. Indeed it now seems to be flatlining.

If we were to be happy with simply capping current levels of carbon emissions, GDP growth could be sustained at the rate at which continued energy efficiency improvements were delivered and enhanced over time as renewables made a bigger contribution.

But we know we need to reduce carbon emissions dramatically to avoid cataclysmic climate change and taking fossil fuels rapidly out of the mix is inevitably going to make further improvements in energy efficiency in the short term more difficult to sustain.

Conclusion: we have to sacrifice GDP growth in order to save the planet but I have no idea how that can be achieved equitably and peacefully.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 10:08:48 AM by silkman »

icefest

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2014, 11:52:06 AM »

The second plot in the figure says equally clearly that this in itself is not enough to put a stop to increasing carbon emissions as the CO2 per unit of GDP is not decreasing in line with the benefits being delivered by the aforesaid improvement in energy efficiency. Indeed it now seems to be flatlining.

I suspect that the flatlining is an exponential function, halving every ~15 years.
This graph shows it a bit better:

While what has happened so far proves that it's possible to decrease emissions and keep GPD, the current system will not achieve this fast enough.
Unfortunately I still agree with the conclusion.
Conclusion: we have to sacrifice GDP growth in order to save the planet but I have no idea how that can be achieved equitably and peacefully.
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silkman

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2014, 01:41:37 PM »
Icefest

If your suggestion that CO2 per unit of GDP is declining exponentially with a half life of 15 years is correct, my maths (and it may be wrong) indicates that growth in GDP of 4.5% should be possible without any further increase in carbon emissions if the trend is followed which sounds on the high side but is a more promising starting point than my "flatlining" would have indicated.

The question then is how much of that growth needs to be traded off to bring emissions down quickly enough to avoid catastrophe. Is that a circle that can be squared?

icefest

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2014, 02:23:23 PM »
Silkman,

I hope so.

I suspect some of the decrease is due to export of emissions, which decreases the possible GDP increase.
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JimD

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2014, 04:39:38 PM »
JimD

I apologize if these posts make you upset.  I am not picking on you.  You are simply posting some things that (I feel) have serious flaws.  I understand that this is frustrating for you.    It should be, because I am challenging your fundamental assumptions.

I am upset with you because your behavior is TROLL behavior.  You misrepresent what people say, you have been insulting, you have been rude,  you actually DO NOT even address my points so there is no way you even could be addressing any flaws - which if you could point out any I would be happy to discuss them.  You have never even addressed my fundamental assumptions - you have ignored them because they apparently completely threaten your beliefs.

Quote
When you quoted Tim Garrett, you intentionally bolded the part that I quoted in my post.  Even though those aren't your words, you obviously agree with them or you wouldn't have emphasized them.

Once again this is incorrect behavior on your  part.  It is emphasized because it is an important point.  You should know this.  The fact that you take this direction indicates the opposite of your claim of innocence. 

Quote
I believe that I have responded to every point that you made, if I missed one or another then it wasn't really a point that I could understand, or it wasn't a valid point.  Maybe you can rephrase it?

You have not addressed any of them.  I suspect this is because you have no answers since you have always directed the conversation away from them.  Go back and read the posts if you want to appear as an honest actor here.  Address them specifically by quoting them and discussing what their content was. Not by bringing up different subjects.  What you have done so far is typical of those trying very hard to change the subject because they do not like the conclusions.  This is very common among deniers and those working for industry interests.  As you might imagine I expect the later to be the case with you.

Quote
When I see someone putting out bad information in the discussion, I challenge it.  If you have a valid point then you should be able to refute it.

Not at all what you have been doing.  When you don't like one of my points your responses have retreated to platitudes and various forms of nastiness or just flat changed the subject..  You ignore the actual points.  Once again I suggest you go back and read the posts and address the actual points.  Stop running away from them.  If you do not have a rebuttle then admit that the point has merit. 

Quote
I notice that you have not addressed the point that I made:

Arguing that it is impossible to decouple economic productivity from carbon emissions is exactly the argument that the fossil fuel industry uses.  This is equivalently a straw-man argument that produces a null solution.  You do realize that don't you?

This exactly proves my point about your inability to act in an honest manner in a discussion.  Stop warping what is going on and address things directly.  WHO made that point?  All of this you , you, you that your posts contain is crap.  You use standard invalid phrasing to attack the point because you do not have an answer to it.  You imply that I am some fossil fuel industry denier.  Total nonsense if you had spent any time here reading anything and were not up to something else. 

Note to keep in your mind before you post from now on.  If you disagree with a quoted author you address the logic of your disagreement in a proper fashion or people will draw the conclusion you are a troll.


Quote
However, I agree with you in many important ways.  Things must change, from a fundamental perspective.  The idea that we can continue to grow and expand like we are is absolutely untrue.  While a nuclear plant a day is a bit of an exaggeration, it isn't that far from the truth.  (I calculate we would need to increase our current level of construction by six-fold and maintain it over the next 15 years.  We are currently building one every 23 days.   The only thing that makes it look this good is expectations for massive renewable construction in the future.   

Coupled with the extra energy that will be needed to adapt to climate change, we face a near insurmountable task.

Prove this.  Back this up with actual links and real data.  Who is building what here?  What kind of nuclear power plants are they building?  How much are they costing?  Provide your calculations since you made them.  Please provide links to all of the Gen IV systems you are advocating for and where they have been built.     

Quote
However, simply stating that this task is impossible because the economy has always been linked to CO2 emissions leaves no room for the reality on the ground that is conservation and non-fossil fuel energy.

You just cannot help yourself can you.  Once again you drift into troll phrasing.  WHO stated that?  Address that person not me.  It is clear that you did not understand or refuse to understand what the author was saying.  Make an argument that refutes him if you can. 

Quote
If you continue to post information that I find faulty, then I will post why I think it is wrong.  I am sorry if you take this personally.  I believe that through discourse we move toward a greater approximation of what is "truth".

You are not posting rebuttles you  are running from points you cannot address and changing the subject.  You bet I take it personal because people who do what you have been doing cannot be trusted as they have an agenda separate from the truth.

------------------------------

The greatest problem with trusting anything the  vast majority of ardent advocates for nuclear development say is their seemingly complete inability to recognize the negative issues entailed in the nuclear industry.  You have done this in spades.  It is not possible to trust anything you say when you fail to acknowledge its great risks which are obvious and serious.  These great long-term risks are arguably the MOST important issues for this technology and if they cannot be satisfactorily addressed then the likely conclusion is that nuclear power needs to be taken off the table.    This IS and HAS been my only personally generated point in these discussions.  The long-term risk analysis is the reason I switched from being a nuclear power advocate as I think it is far too dangerous of a risk to take.

A great amount of what you have claimed (with no back up documentation I might add) is way over stated.  I read this stuff too and much of what you have said is not at all accurate.  It is very exaggerated as to what can be done and how settled the science and engineering is.  You ignore a host of real world issues that are critical to solve in developing and deploying any technology let alone one as complicated as nuclear. ALL of those types of factors negatively impact your overly optimistic assumptions.  But you do not seem to have any interest in thinking about them as they lesson the impact of your claims about nuclear power being able to save us.

I have not hardly even touched those points at all nor pointed out how much they degrade your arguments.  I have pointed out how big the long-term risks of nuclear expansion are in light of our probable prospects in the future and how a serious risk analysis shows that making the decision to go all in on nuclear is extremely risky.  A completely different set of considerations from what you keep wanting to shift the discussion to.

You make all these claims about what is going on now and what can be done in the near future.  But you do not back any of this up with links and data.  Try doing that a bit and you will find your points harder to stick to.  Address the world as a system with interacting and conflicting needs and demands.  You will find that doing what you think is a good idea for some reason is extremely difficult to impossible to do.  And remember after all of that you need to take into account my points you have ignored so far. 

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: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2014, 05:24:49 PM »
I am always seeing arguments about the dramatic growth in renewables for electricity generation and the inevitable demise of coal. These arguments occur all over this site. I feel like I am playing "Whack-a-mole".

To only show a chart of the growth of renewables is highly misleading. This dramatic growth in renewables does not even come close to matching the growth in energy consumption and the gap is being filled by fossil fuels. Nothing short of collapse will change this trend.

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2014, 05:56:16 PM »
Oh! I haven't been posting comments in the last few days. I am, however, still coming here daily and reading everything posted. I have been having an adverse reaction to a new supplement I have been taking but I seem to be adjusting. It's taken some time to get used to these cesium 137 tablets.  :o

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2014, 07:36:47 PM »
CCG

Nice enough graphs - and you can make a strong case for the rapid growth of wind power - but that doesn't mean the problem is being solved just yet. Unless I'm much mistaken coal power stations are still expanding too - and similarly fast to wind.

Not exactly, global solar and global wind cumulative installations are growing at an exponential rate, though this is due to their very small relative impact, but this growth is cumulative. In 2014 China is set to install, in a single year, more solar capacity than the United States has installed in its entire history.



This is a natural function of their recognition of the costs of air pollution and technology breakthroughs in production which have lowered to cost to a breakeven with fossil fuels.

Quote
Can you find examples of coal fired power plants being retired as a result of wind being brought online? Can you even find a few? Any?

Yes, though most of the offsets that I have studied indicate that wind and solar tend to offset natural gas, due to the cost of dispatch.  However, there is some indication from the ERCOT grid in Texas, though much of that offset is due to lower natural gas prices--also an effect produced by more renewable displaced natural gas, keeping commodity prices lower.

http://www.ercot.com/news/press_releases/show/26382

also, looking at the fuel source curves in Germany, it is clear that the recent increase in coal use has been a product of switching away from nuclear, not because of renewables.

Also, it should be noted that from a global warming perspective natural gas fuel use is very comparative to coal due to methane leakage, methane being 105 times more powerful than CO2 on a 20-year timeline.



ultimately, the offset of Coal with renewables is pending the development of cost-effective grid-scale energy storage capability.  When this occurs, then coal is going bye-bye in a big way.

« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 07:58:21 PM by jai mitchell »
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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2014, 07:48:59 PM »
S.H.

To only show a chart of the growth of renewables is highly misleading. This dramatic growth in renewables does not even come close to matching the growth in energy consumption and the gap is being filled by fossil fuels. Nothing short of collapse will change this trend.

The EIA 2008 report is highly misleading.  They hold solar and wind basically steady state through 2030 in their reference case.   Their projections are so far off of industry projections that it can only be seen as a capture of their report by the fossil fuel industry.  If the actual industry projections were included in their report the global stock values of fossil fuel industry companies would collapse.

compare:



to the graphs that I posted above.  Notice something funny with wind and solar, right around 2015, when unit costs and technological efficiencies are reaching new breakthroughs? 

Note the technology wildcard curve below.  Even without it solar has already reached price parity with natural gas on the utility-scale project level.  On the consumer level, due to higher prices, it is very close to breakeven on a 10-year payback period.  Fundamentally, the only thing holding back massive residential implementation is long-term low interest funding.



« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 07:57:04 PM by jai mitchell »
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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2014, 08:01:25 PM »
You cheer the growth of renewables and simultaneously post a graph that shows that coal consumption has nearly doubled in the past 20 years. This level of coal consumption is locked in as the growth is due to countries bringing online new coal fired generating plants at phenomenal rates. These plants will not be shut down for at least 30 years. China is now working to build coal gasification plants to try and reduce their air pollution. This will drive their coal consumption up even higher while, at the same time, increase the amount of CO2 per energy output because coal gasification creates more CO2 than simply burning coal.

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2014, 08:04:30 PM »
And are you posting what one of the richest countries in the world is doing (Germany) as somehow representative of world wide trends? Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2014, 08:21:02 PM »
Jai....

I am not arguing that renewables are not growing rapidly. They are. The simple fact is they are not growing as rapidly as overall electricity consumption. Because of this, the dependency on fossil fuels is climbing, not shrinking. This is not going to change soon. Co2 emissions will continue to rise for the next several decades at least. With regards to the increase in natural gas consumption, this will be short lived. The investment needed to extract gas via fracking is quite high and the industry is already reducing the amount of recoverable reserves because of this. Coal will replace the reduction in gas fired electricity.

You called the chart I posted from the EIA as inaccurate and posted another chart by them as evidence of this. This chart which shows dramatic increases in renewables has its vertical axis broken out in billions of kilowatt hours. The vertical axis of the chart I posted is in trillions of kilowatt hours. If you look closely at these two charts, it is clear they are in agreement. The rapid growth of renewables is not keeping pace with the overall growth in electricity consumption.

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #46 on: April 19, 2014, 08:36:28 PM »
JimD

I said,

Quote
Arguing that it is impossible to decouple economic productivity from carbon emissions is exactly the argument that the fossil fuel industry uses.

you said,

Quote
This exactly proves my point about your inability to act in an honest manner in a discussion.  Stop warping what is going on and address things directly.  WHO made that point?  All of this you , you, you that your posts contain is crap. 

Except you have stated this same idea as fact over and over in the bodies of these threads.  In fact, in the post that I quoted from you from you stated that you AGREED with the points and that they were said in a "much more articulate" way.

Quote
There is lots more to read.  A much more articulate explanation of a lot of what I have been trying to say.  Any form of BAU or Green-BAU is fatal.  You cannot grow your way out of this, and transition will take 'much longer' and 'cost much more' than you think.  Rapid reductions in economic activity and population levels are absolutely essential or there is no fix possible.  The quicker collapse  comes the better off we are in the long run.

I watched the video presentation from Jim Garrett on the link that you posted.  You know, the one with the fatalistic collapse scenarios all over it. 



I saw the attempt by an atmospheric sciences professor attempt to play with global energy solutions and economics. 

I saw that you drew your information from his presentation.  The summary of his presentation was the point that I made.

your bald-faced denial that this is something that you agree with shows that you are, in no way, an honest actor in this discussion. 

Obviously you have ulterior motives.

I will address your points:  put them in simple fashion so that they can be seen as points.  I appreciate actual discussion with honest participants.

--
I have performed the calculations, with projections for future installation rates of renewables, the average energy produced by nuclear power plants, expectations for future decommissioning rates and efficiency gains.  The work is far beyond the scope of this forum.  However, the simple fact that we are currently building, on average 16 new nuclear power plants per year shows that it wouldn't take much more to reach an 85% reduction in emissions within the next 20 years.

--
your perception of the "great risks" of nuclear power have been addressed, apparently you did not understand it when I say that I acknowledge that there are great risks associated with nuclear power but they pale in comparison to the certain doom contained within future global warming scenarios without a significant nuclear presence.

also:  I am absolutely certain that you overestimate the associated risk, in fact your risk association predicates on a global collapse scenario.  I agree that this is a risk but I also believe that the global collapse that you talk about will already leave over 450 decaying nuclear power plants to leak their material into the surface waters of the world.  So that this risk is not greatly increased by adding more to the mix--in fact, by not adding more to the mix you are INCREASING the associated collapse risk of these currently existing nuclear plants.

--
The problem we are having is that you are making sweeping statements and calling them "points"

for instance: 
Quote
It is very exaggerated as to what can be done and how settled the science and engineering is.  You ignore a host of real world issues that are critical to solve in developing and deploying any technology let alone one as complicated as nuclear.

1.  How is it exaggerated. . . make a specific argument, not a generalization
2.  Which science and engineering isn't settled enough for the process?
3.  What specific real world issues are being ignored?  what is the point?


--
restating these arguments, instead of whining about how they have been passed over, contributes to an honest discussion.

I encourage you to participate in one.


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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2014, 08:48:24 PM »
Jai...

Let me know when you want to explain how the two charts we independently posted are in disagreement with each other.

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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2014, 09:03:24 PM »
S.H.

I am not saying that Germany is the world.  I am saying that, given a set of advantageous economic and social policy environments, renewable energy, combined with nuclear energy has a very large capability to offset fossil fuels.  In fact, it absolutely is doing that right now. 

While one can argue that fossil fuel consumption is growing (yes it is, for now!) it doesn't mean that it is much less than it would have been without renewables.

fundamentally, the renewable energy growth is exponential, combined with new hydro and nuclear, new CO2-free annual capacity added to the global energy mix each year will surpass new fossil fuel installed generation capacity very soon.





Jai....

the dependency on fossil fuels is climbing, not shrinking. This is not going to change soon. Co2 emissions will continue to rise for the next several decades at least.  With regards to the increase in natural gas consumption, this will be short lived. The investment needed to extract gas via fracking is quite high and the industry is already reducing the amount of recoverable reserves because of this. Coal will replace the reduction in gas fired electricity.

By the time that shale gas recoverable reserves are lowered to impact the price point, there will be a carbon tax on CO2 and technological developments in solar and grid-scale energy storage potential will prevent the implementation of any new coal-fired power plants. 

Quote
You called the chart I posted from the EIA as inaccurate and posted another chart by them as evidence of this. This chart which shows dramatic increases in renewables has its vertical axis broken out in billions of kilowatt hours. The vertical axis of the chart I posted is in trillions of kilowatt hours. If you look closely at these two charts, it is clear they are in agreement. The rapid growth of renewables is not keeping pace with the overall growth in electricity consumption.

The chart that I posted was not a rebuttal of yours, it simply showed how the EIA underestimates the implementation of new solar and wind resources in future years.

if you look at the earlier charts I posted of global wind and solar actual projections you can see how far off the EIA estimates actually are.  I believe they do this intentionally so as not to scare off the investors and cause a stock market crash of fossil fuel industries.

review:
http://mashable.com/2014/04/10/exxon-and-shell-take-dramatically-different-approaches-to-global-warming/

In Signing Climate Statement, Shell Charts Different Course on Global Warming
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Re: IPCC WGIII Report
« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2014, 09:09:18 PM »
You cheer the growth of renewables and simultaneously post a graph that shows that coal consumption has nearly doubled in the past 20 years. This level of coal consumption is locked in as the growth is due to countries bringing online new coal fired generating plants at phenomenal rates. These plants will not be shut down for at least 30 years. China is now working to build coal gasification plants to try and reduce their air pollution. This will drive their coal consumption up even higher while, at the same time, increase the amount of CO2 per energy output because coal gasification creates more CO2 than simply burning coal.

That really is the problem - coal use is still growing.

While renewables may well continue to grow faster and outpace the coal growth in coming years, that does nothing to solve the emission problem unless massive amounts of fossil fuel power are rapidly retired (which ironically will still hit us with the loss of aerosol dimming).

Predicating statements of the future on the cost of the energy ignores a few salient truths - that wind power requires resources to construct and maintain - and while it may be cheaper - the market will limit the rate of change as increasing demand for materials for wind power will support prices there and any undermining of demand for fossil fuels will tend to cheapen coal - thus delaying the shift until it is literally uneconomical to extract coal from the ground (except we'll be trashed first).

Seems to me the IPCC can increasingly less argue the case for "avoiding catastrophe" in their statements, but now is forced to argue for "a slightly less bad catastrophe" as the justification for their arguments.

That's another trend line going exactly the wrong direction in itself. If we couldn't respond to a call to avoid catastrophe, what on earth are the chances of a call to choose a slightly less bad catastrophe?

Better to gear up for the catastrophe than pin vague hopes on improbably assumptions.