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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2014, 12:58:50 AM »
Poor people don't have money to buy food, so it's an economics problem.

Unfortunately, labeling it as an economics problem doesn't make it any easier to solve. So yes, it's a technical difference perhaps - but not a practical one (over a billion still go hungry daily, despite there actually currently being enough to feed them).

The fact that we couldn't feed everyone properly even when energy was cheap and plentiful and resources in abundance augurs really poorly for a world on track for resource and climate crunches. I present exhibit A - the world of today - demonstrating this.

So talking about running 10 billion, in a world theoretically producing food for same number - is a fairy tale, even if that world ever could exist in terms of the resource depletion and climate change clocks we're racing. We can't feed 7 billion when we produce food for 9, can we? The evidence of years says we can't in practice (even if we could in theory).

Bob Wallace

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2014, 03:03:28 AM »
" growth rate of 1.1, if it persists at that level, still means doubling in under 70 years."

Yes, but if you look at the data I presented the trend is downward.  1.3 in 2000 and 1.1 in 2012.

If you read the text that goes with the graphs you posted you'll see that the authors talk about dropping populations in Asia.  Only Africa, in terms of regions, continues to show population growth.

We're watching an almost world-wide change in reproduction rates.  Some area has to be last to join the movement.  Do you think it a better bet to assume Africa will end up going its own way or acting like the rest of the world?


Bob Wallace

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2014, 03:13:10 AM »
"The fact that we couldn't feed everyone properly even when energy was cheap and plentiful and resources in abundance augurs really poorly for a world on track for resource and climate crunches. I present exhibit A - the world of today - demonstrating this."

More accurately it should read "The fact that we haven't been feeding everyone properly..."

We've grown the food.  In Africa we've let half the food go to ruin because we haven't had the transportation (roads) and storage (secure grain bins and refrigeration) needed to store and move the food to where it is needed.

" when energy was cheap and plentiful"

In the hungry parts of the world energy has been neither cheap nor plentiful.  That is changing and will likely change very rapidly.  With distributed generation we don't need to finance and wait for large central generation plants to be built and the grid extended into the farthest regions.  For those people energy will be cheap and plentiful in amounts they could never have imagined.

"We can't feed 7 billion when we produce food for 9, can we?"

Again.  Right now we have about 4 billion people in Africa.  Africa feeds most of them while wasting about 50% of the food it produces.  And, in many places, has poor agricultural practices.

If, as suggested, almost all population growth is to be in Africa then what we have is not a food problem but most a problem of getting food to people before it is spoiled.

(Were we really smart we would be working to keep the peak lower than 9 or 10 billion.  Lowering demand is generally cheaper than meeting higher demand.)

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2014, 03:25:08 AM »
Right now we have about 4 billion people in Africa.

Seems you've quadrupled the population figures for Africa, there, Bob. Wiki says 1.1 bn.
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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #54 on: September 19, 2014, 03:56:11 AM »
Oops.  Sorry.  What was I thinking? 

wili

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #55 on: September 19, 2014, 05:05:51 AM »
"the authors talk about dropping populations in Asia"...yeah...after about 35 years and many hundreds of millions more people.

You probably got your 4 billion number from this:
Quote
Most of the anticipated growth is in Africa, where population is projected to quadruple from around 1 billion today to 4 billion by the end of the century.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-09-world-population-century-billion.html#jCp
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #56 on: September 19, 2014, 05:09:00 AM »
We've grown the food.  In Africa we've let half the food go to ruin because we haven't had the transportation (roads) and storage (secure grain bins and refrigeration) needed to store and move the food to where it is needed.

You personally let half the food go to waste? (by the way the figures are not that much better in developed nations such as the UK if memory serves, the wastage is just for different reasons)

Whose responsibility is this? Whose job is it to fix this? Who should be making sure that the world is a more fair and just place?

That gets you to the heart of the problem, I think you will find. Rich affluent nations such as the US and UK have every interest in poor desperate and easily exploited African nations for their resource base. It is the nature of humanity to want more, even when one has enough and thus the greed of the affluent overrules any concern they might have for their fellow man.

Is that really so easy to fix? We see the pattern repeated even (and I would argue especially) within the more affluent nations - growing inequality of wealth, increasing numbers of people living in poverty (and increasingly even actual food insecurity)

I don't dispute that progress is made in some regions in some of these issues - but would argue it is being lost in others almost as fast (and increasingly fast over time as stresses build). It isn't the trivial problem people like to think it is, not once you add human nature into it. We've long been able to build a better world for ourselves, but we haven't.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2014, 05:48:19 AM »
If you don't think the world we live in now is better than the world we lived in 50 years ago is better then you're walking around blind, deaf and dumb.

viddaloo

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2014, 06:20:54 AM »
More suicidal, perhaps. Not better.
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wili

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2014, 01:26:34 PM »
How many habitats and species have been lost in the last half century?

The percentage of the population undernourished has gone down by about half, but the total population has more than doubled, so we still have about the same number of undernourished/starving people. Is that 'better'? http://thebritishgeographer.weebly.com/food-security-and-strategies-to-alleviate-food-shortage.html

"Better" depends on what you consider important to measure.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 01:39:31 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #60 on: September 19, 2014, 10:56:05 PM »
50 years ago people my age had a future. Today we do not.

I am not 50 years old, so I can't really comment well on things over that span. But in my personal experience, no, things are not and have not got better. The older generations in my society were able to afford houses, they got free higher education via university grants, they have (objectively measured) taken more out of the social systems than they paid in. They had final salary pensions and secure jobs and the benefits of the post war boom in freedom and prosperity (my parents generation did not fight in the war leading up to that). My generation has none of those things unless very lucky or with significantly wealthy parents.

I was born into rural poverty in Scotland just as the ideology of selfishness and greed really took root in UK society, and have struggled to escape those origins every since - with very limited success, and with any success replaced by a host of new problems, even setting aside the extremely bleak future I see ahead for my generation and beyond.

So maybe for you, things got "better" over the last 50 years - but please let's not assume it's a universal truth. To do that requires you to state metrics and demonstrate scientifically that improvement has occurred - and of course ideally without statistical spin. I mean - lets remember that not only are there just as many undernourished people than ever (even if the proportion shrank) but that there are also more people (literally) enslaved than ever! Progress? Where?

viddaloo

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #61 on: September 19, 2014, 11:16:34 PM »
What clouds most people's minds is the (sound) advice from friends, therapists etc, to view things positively. This is benign when it comes to your individual life and/or the little things, but the same advice or way of thinking becomes a malign deadly threat when applied to ecology and our species' effect on it. "Thinking positively" — ie cherrypicking the things we feel like thinking about — is the recipe for disaster, as it implies forgetting exactly those things that are most serious and/or dangerous to life on earth.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2014, 02:26:35 AM »
Although I need glasses now , and my hearing isn't as good as it was 50 years ago I wouldn't agree to the dumb part. Otherwise I would argue the world is worse now than then but arguing "better" or "comfort" or worse or whatever value judgement you might prefer to debate ad infinitum is an intended diversion in how we engage a degrowth discussion.
 I think each and every person who can get their head around an >80% decrease in their personal Co2 footprint will quickly meet our degrowth friend. We can learn by each others experiences and maybe employ some technological tools to soften the decent but without first agreeing to the radical cuts in our personal impacts we probably can't effectively argue for how everyone can help.
 I also think the whole< 2 degree temperature goal is far to easy for people to dismiss. Tell them that they have to cut back their Co2 emissions by80% and their city infrastructure, state infrastructure and their federal infrastructure individually and collectively have to cut back 80%. Tell them that and they will quickly tell you " it's impossible ".  They then seem happy to accept a 2+ degree warmer world with no real concern for the consequences .  I would like to argue that 80% lessCo2 now would certainly result in degrowth but to delay we enter crash territory. So to sum our choices are degrowth or crash and any argument about values like"comfort"should take a back seat to the 80% less Co2 goal. At this point delay = failure.
     
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 04:43:32 AM by Bruce Steele »

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2014, 08:11:02 AM »
I would like to argue that 80% lessCo2 now would certainly result in degrowth but to delay we enter crash territory. So to sum our choices are degrowth or crash and any argument about values like"comfort"should take a back seat to the 80% less Co2 goal. At this point delay = failure.

Should we want even the slimmest hope of success, I think all routes now are crash territory. We just still have the option to attempt a managed crash as opposed to accelerating into the wall as we are.

Personally I am under no illusions, it isn't just that people and nations alike continue to ignore the mainstream consensus of the IPCC with their increasingly clear and blunt warnings - but that the IPCC itself is still very likely too conservative in their outlook.

That leaves me in my view - with navigating an unmanaged crash as the only option worth considering. That outlook has only tended to be reinforced for some years now. Nobody much seems to be considering that either though...

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #64 on: September 20, 2014, 06:23:15 PM »
That leaves me in my view - with navigating an unmanaged crash as the only option worth considering. That outlook has only tended to be reinforced for some years now. Nobody much seems to be considering that either though...

Unmanaged crash. Word!

And with that, I go subsistence fishing here in the Norwegian wilderness.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #65 on: September 21, 2014, 02:54:09 AM »
Quote
More suicidal, perhaps. Not better.

Are you old enough to remember what the world was like 50 years ago?

Are you able to remember when smallpox and polio were diseases we had to worry about?  When cancer was pretty much a death sentence?  When organ transplants were science fiction?

Are you able to recall how amazingly polluted most American and European cities were?  How nasty so many of our rivers had become?

Can you remember when all were worried about a World War III between the USSR, China, Europe and the US?  That was a time at which the entire northern hemisphere approached suicide.

Do you remember even back 20 years when our access to information was limited to traveling to the library and hoping they'd have a relevant book?

I'm sorry.  What we have created and accomplished over the last 50 years is nothing short of wonderful.  That doesn't mean that we've done everything correctly nor have we solved every problem.  The wise approach, IMHO, is to take the good and keep working to eliminate the bad.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #66 on: September 21, 2014, 03:00:12 AM »
Quote
How many habitats and species have been lost in the last half century?

Far too many.  Now we need to work harder and protect what is left to the best of our ability and restore what we can.

The number one thing we need to do is to get off fossil fuels as soon as feasible.  We have the tools we need but the job will take several years.  As we work our tools will improve and our rate of change will almost certainly increase.

Humans didn't evolve in an environment in which long term planing was important.  Feeding oneself and protecting oneself from dangers in the near term was what counted.  I'm not sure we've managed to move beyond short term thinking, in general.  It seems that we have to mess our nest before we realize that we're messing our nest.

We're now becoming very aware of the mess we've created with fossil fuels and we're starting to leave them behind.  We won't get out of this mess without some damage, but we've got a good chance of minimizing it.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #67 on: September 21, 2014, 03:14:37 AM »
Quote
What clouds most people's minds is the (sound) advice from friends, therapists etc, to view things positively

What clouds some people's minds is the doomerism in which they allow themselves to wallow. 

Being overly optimistic isn't necessarily a good way to lead ones life, but if that's the best you can do it will at least get you out of bed in the morning and out looking for opportunities.  The early bird gets the worm most likely because it spends the most time looking for a worm.

Live with the black cloud of pessimism and you're almost certainly guaranteed to fail.

Let me suggest that people might be best off to adopt a problem solving attitude tempered with a reasonable amount of reality.  See the problems, work on solving them, and at the same time recognize the progress that has been made.   

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #68 on: September 21, 2014, 03:17:45 AM »
I would like to argue that 80% lessCo2 now would certainly result in degrowth but to delay we enter crash territory. So to sum our choices are degrowth or crash and any argument about values like"comfort"should take a back seat to the 80% less Co2 goal. At this point delay = failure.

Should we want even the slimmest hope of success, I think all routes now are crash territory. We just still have the option to attempt a managed crash as opposed to accelerating into the wall as we are.

Personally I am under no illusions, it isn't just that people and nations alike continue to ignore the mainstream consensus of the IPCC with their increasingly clear and blunt warnings - but that the IPCC itself is still very likely too conservative in their outlook.

That leaves me in my view - with navigating an unmanaged crash as the only option worth considering. That outlook has only tended to be reinforced for some years now. Nobody much seems to be considering that either though...

That sounds to me as if you are unaware of what is happening in the world.  Are you really not aware of how many countries are installing serious amounts of renewable energy?  Are you not aware of how affordable renewable energy has become?  Are you not aware how close we are to have alternatives to petroleum for transportation?

If you aren't aware then I can understand your bleak outlook.  Perhaps you should spend some time learning about our progress off fossil fuels.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #69 on: September 21, 2014, 05:16:14 AM »
If you aren't aware then I can understand your bleak outlook.  Perhaps you should spend some time learning about our progress off fossil fuels.

I'm aware that carbon dioxide emissions are continuing to increase and last year the gain was the most in around 30 years. I'm aware that the signal of effects in the earth system is increasingly clear today with decades of committed further change even in the total absence of further emissions. It doesn't matter how much renewable energy there is or what vehicle transport fuels there are if one continues to emit carbon dioxide - or quite possibly even if one merely maintains the existing atmospheric concentration.

I'm aware that the oceans are acidifying and a majority of the coral reefs are essentially doomed, to say nothing of various land based ecosystems (arctic sea ice, amazon rain forest, to name but two). Many species are extinct or going extinct at far above background rates, and this is likely only to worsen. Levels of sea rise sufficient to destroy many major population centres are also already committed. There are serious questions about natural feedbacks even where we are now.

So when I become aware that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have peaked and are starting to decline, that committed effects are manageable and fully expressed within the earth system, and that a stable regime for civilisation persists not just climatically but also in terms of management of key resources - then I might be more optimistic. I don't believe you can reasonably make any of those claims as things stand today. It doesn't matter one jot how much progress there is or what is done if it is insufficient to solve the problem.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2014, 05:29:30 AM »
Europe peaked in CO2 emission many years ago.  The US peaked in 2005.  China appears to be hitting peak coal and has started a major movement to put their drivers into EVs.

Even India appears to be backing off coal use.

Coal stocks have lost half their value in the last two years as the market seems to be collapsing.

The levelized cost of energy of leading PV technologies has fallen by nearly 20% in the past year, and nearly 80% in the last five years.

Onshore wind costs have fallen dramatically.  More than 15% in the past year and nearly 60% in the last year.

Renewables are rapidly becoming less expensive than fossil fuel generation.

It will take a little while for this to show up in annual CO2 emission numbers.  But it looks like we'll be on the down slope within five years.

Watch the leading indicators.  It takes a while to slow, stop, and reverse large systems.

wili

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2014, 04:20:23 PM »
"adopt a problem solving attitude"

Most problems are the result of solutions.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2014, 05:54:42 PM »
"Most problems are the result of solutions."

That's silly wili.

Of course when we implement solutions we sometime encounter unexpected complications.  If one expects solutions to be born perfect right out the box then they will be disappointed. 

If one is more realistic then they'll recognize that it takes work to fix stuff.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #73 on: September 21, 2014, 06:50:39 PM »
So long as we agree that a Co2 emission peak ,followed by a decline, is our goal then at least we agree on something . Having the Co2 emissions rate increase another five years followed with the same rate of decline for five years after that results in another 380 gT Co2 additions over the next ten years . We will still be emitting 37 gT Co2 annually. So we will have accumulated about 725 billion tons of CARBON in our earth systems stress test. 
 If we agree the trillionth ton will push us past the 2 degree temperature limit then from 2025 till the end of our carbon bonanza we will have about 275 gt C left to squander even under Bob's prediction of a peak in five years. However unwise it will be to test that limit it will only take 25 years at current emissions trajectories . 
 So degrowth now and accept the costs of a 2.5% decline rate in emissions or wait another ten years for a much larger decline rate or wait 25 years and hit the wall?
 Degrowth, lowered expectations and more physical work will be part of the toolbag that will also include renewable energy options.        
 http://trillionthtonne.org/

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #74 on: September 21, 2014, 07:23:50 PM »
Degrowth, puh.

Smart, sustainable growth.

A few bits from a piece Paul Krugman published a couple days ago.

"I’ve just been reading two new reports on the economics of fighting climate change: a big study by a blue-ribbon international group, the New Climate Economy Project, and a working paper from the International Monetary Fund. Both claim that strong measures to limit carbon emissions would have hardly any negative effect on economic growth, and might actually lead to faster growth. This may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. These are serious, careful analyses.

Where is the new optimism about climate change and growth coming from? It has long been clear that a well-thought-out strategy of emissions control, in particular one that puts a price on carbon via either an emissions tax or a cap-and-trade scheme, would cost much less than the usual suspects want you to think. But the economics of climate protection look even better now than they did a few years ago.
....
But back to the main point: It’s easier to slash emissions than seemed possible even a few years ago, and reduced emissions would produce large benefits in the short-to-medium run. So saving the planet would be cheap and maybe even come free.
....
But climate despair produces some odd bedfellows: Koch-fueled insistence that emission limits would kill economic growth is echoed by some who see this as an argument not against climate action, but against growth. You can find this attitude in the mostly European “degrowth” movement, or in American groups like the Post Carbon Institute; I’ve encountered claims that saving the planet requires an end to growth at left-leaning meetings on “rethinking economics.” To be fair, anti-growth environmentalism is a marginal position even on the left, but it’s widespread enough to call out nonetheless.
....
So here’s what you need to know: Climate despair is all wrong. The idea that economic growth and climate action are incompatible may sound hardheaded and realistic, but it’s actually a fuzzy-minded misconception. If we ever get past the special interests and ideology that have blocked action to save the planet, we’ll find that it’s cheaper and easier than almost anyone imagines."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/19/opinion/paul-krugman-could-fighting-global-warming-be-cheap-and-free.html

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #75 on: September 21, 2014, 07:40:29 PM »
Quote
So long as we agree that a Co2 emission peak ,followed by a decline, is our goal then at least we agree on something .

Quote
“A leaked draft of the (IPCC) report sent to governments in December suggests that in order to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) by the end of the century — the stated goal of international climate talks — emissions need to fall by 40-70 percent by 2050.”

http://www.evwind.es/2014/04/05/what-is-the-future-of-fossil-fuel/44609



40% over 35 years is 1.1% per year.  70% over 35 years is 2% per year.  The IPCC upper bound requires a little less cutting than the 2.5% TrillionthTon is recommending.  Personally I think we should aim for 2.5% or higher, the consequences are so severe that it's better to aim high than to try to sneak by.

Now, can we do 2% or 2.5% without degrowing?

Clearly we can with personal transportation.  Over the next 35 years we can move almost all personal transportation from petroleum to renewable electricity.  If batteries fail to continue to improve we could switch to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. 

Clearly we can with electricity.  The world currently gets about 70% of its electricity from fossil fuels.  Getting down to the IPCC 70% top bound would mean switching abut 1.4% generation from fossil fuels to renewables per year over the 35 year span.  The US is close to doing that much right now and other countries such as Germany have already done better.  Germany has more than met that requirement and ended up with a strong, growing economy.

Heating is the other big user of fossil fuels.  With advances in building construction/efficiency, heat pumps and geothermal heating/cooling we should be able to meet the necessary goals as well.


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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #76 on: September 21, 2014, 08:19:10 PM »
Something like 80% of world population lives in tropics and subtropics and solar power+battery can provide pretty much 100% of their power.

I don't see a problem why poorer countries (which are mostly in these regions) couldn't sustainably increase their energy use.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #77 on: September 21, 2014, 08:58:15 PM »
It's disingenuous to cherry pick specific sectors and say they can be reduced at those rates and to then ignore the overall bigger picture. A significant amount of carbon emissions come from agriculture, for instance. What about the additional energy footprint of replacing infrastructure ahead of it's design lifetime? (if there was to be a truly effective push to cut carbon which to date there is not - adding renewable power is not automatically the same as cutting carbon...)

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #78 on: September 21, 2014, 09:43:34 PM »
The fossil fuel component of CO2 emission can be replaced with a combination of electricity and biofuel.  Methane from feedlots and dairy operations can be captured, used in place of NG.  We may not be able to get agricultural GHG emissions to zero but we can cut them significantly.

In the US, in 2012, only 10% of all GHG gas emissions came from agriculture.

Closing and replacing generation early.  First, closing a dirty coal plant takes a huge amount of CO2 out of the picture.  Wind turbines and solar panels are made mostly with electricity and as our grids get cleaned up that GHG output drops.

Sixty percent of US GHG comes from electricity and transportation.  Another 10% from residential and commercial activities, which I would imagine is mostly fossil fuel heating and which I addressed.

I hardly cherry-picked when, in a quick comment, I covered 70% of the problem.

BTW, most of the coal capacity in the US is aging out. 



And during the last year most of the installed capacity in the US has been wind and solar.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #79 on: September 21, 2014, 09:52:45 PM »
In the US, in 2012, only 10% of all GHG gas emissions came from agriculture.

Unfortunately though (or maybe fortunately actually), we don't all live in the US. It doesn't matter what the US does if the rest of the world doesn't (won't or can't) follow suit. Right now, I think you'll find US responsibility for carbon emissions (including traded goods) continues to rise anyway. But if demand for fossil fuels is cut - that might price out the less easily extracted fuels - but all the easier to extract fuels will still be consumed unless the renewables price falls so far it ceases to be economic to do so. That's still an awful lot of carbon that's cheap enough to release, but too dangerous to do so. Additionally any solution must be capable of being scaled up globally - not just over a single affluent nation.

If we were really near to a peak in carbon dioxide emissions, shouldn't we already be seeing the rate of increase in the atmosphere level off...? We aren't... in fact last year was a rather significant increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the trend so far has been for continued rate increase year on year.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #80 on: September 21, 2014, 10:29:41 PM »
Some of the world is moving faster than the US.  Some of the world is moving slower.  But most countries are starting to switch to renewables at some rate.

I showed you the 10% drop in CO2 for the US post 2005.  That cannot be attributed to moving industry to China since that largely occurred prior to 2005.  What we've seen in the US is lowered amount of fossil fuels used for electricity, higher mileage vehicles being driven fewer miles, and a lot of efficiency which has caused a drop in energy use.

Wind and solar are now cheaper than fossil fuels for electricity generation in the US.  Driving a mile in an EV costs a third or less what it costs to drive a mile in a gasmobile.  We've crossed the economic threshold.

http://www.evwind.es/2014/09/19/levelized-cost-of-energy-analysis/47531

"Additionally any solution must be capable of being scaled up globally - not just over a single affluent nation."

With wind and solar becoming the two cheapest ways to bring capacity on line any nation can scale up clean energy.  And that is largely what is happening around the globe.  Few countries have their own coal or natural gas supplies.  If they have to import then renewables are a no-brainer.  If they have resources and have to create the infrastructure to extract, ship and consume their own fossil fuels renewables are still a no-brainer.

"If we were really near to a peak in carbon dioxide emissions, shouldn't we already be seeing the rate of increase in the atmosphere level off...?"

No, because China is yet to plateau.  It looks like China is plateauing but it will take a couple of years to make sure.  The Chinese government has said that they will hit peak coal in 2015 to 2017 and, to date, their statements about energy have been largely reliable.

The data is mixed and will take a little more time to sort out, but it looks as if China might have slowed their growth in coal consumption.  This graph was published by Green Peace but the numbers have been both challenged and supported.  It may be that consumption was a bit higher than graphed because some stockpiled coal was consumed.  The graph is based on coal produced and coal imported. 



I've little doubt that China will hit peak coal in less than five years.  India will also likely cut their coal consumption.  Add in the US and that's over 70% of the coal burned in the world.  There are no other countries that burn in the double digits.  If the three biggies are cutting then CO2 is going down.



wili

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #81 on: September 21, 2014, 11:39:32 PM »
We have a fairly unphilosophical soul, here, I'm afraid. So there is a limit how much more it is worth caviling with him.

The whole mindset of looking at situations as 'problems' to be 'solved' is itself a problem (but not one to be 'solved' exactly).

I'll let that sink in for a while and come back later.

If you don't think driving the entire community of complex life to the verge of extinction isn't a moment to stop and reflect deeply on our presuppositions, well, I'm not sure what situation would, in fact, prompt you to take such a reflective turn.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #82 on: September 21, 2014, 11:59:44 PM »
Well put, wili. I'll follow your advice.
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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #83 on: September 22, 2014, 01:20:09 AM »
We have a fairly unphilosophical soul, here, I'm afraid. So there is a limit how much more it is worth caviling with him.

Actually up to a point I find it rather edifying - firstly as some sectors of discussion effectively represent both the specific affluent sector of the world and the older generations. Secondly it reminds me that so much time and effort are being wasted engaging in never ending discussion - fiddling while the city burns I daresay. If the same time and energy were put into solutions - and I mean at the achievable smaller scale, not the grandiose techno-optimistic let's all join hands and sing happy songs sort of stuff, couldn't we do more things? (by we, I really mean anyone doing substantially more than just tossing words out over a keyboard)

The discussions repeat and precious time passes, to act becomes infinitely more important.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #84 on: September 22, 2014, 01:56:16 AM »
Ccg, I wrote this while you were posting and would add getting angry at each other is undoubtable counterproductive.I also appreciate sage advice,"if the same time and energy were put into solutions" in this case from a younger generation. I have to think putting the trottle down on renewables like solar , wind and bio is the best chance we have at softening the body blow. My brain strains at the hard edges, extinction, runaway feedbacks and the acknowledgment that the  views i hold are currently the exception and not the rule. I am forced to navigate the present . We need as many people as possible  to agree on achieving a Co2 emissions peak( soon ) and engineering the decent afterwards. On that point everyone here agrees.
 We don't however agree on the pain necessary to achieve this goal. Some people might argue "pain" isn't necessary at all but the 2 degree warming limit will surpass the biological limits for many coral reefs worldwide. The 2 degree limit we can agree to will surely result in more extinctions and if there is a definition of "pain" this is one for me.
 There may never be enough willingness in  accepting  this burden or the self inflicted pain I think will be necessary in achieving  a 2.5% emissions rate decline today or 5% later. The burden however gets bigger the longer we wait.  Somehow we need to get the people willing to accept the Co2 emissions reductions goal to work together in achieving it . Bob's five years till peak is as good as I might hope
for so I would think the emissions rate needs to break below the 1% increase sometime before then.
Waiting.               

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #85 on: September 22, 2014, 05:51:58 AM »
What I think some people are missing is how "good and cheap" our tools for transitioning off  fossil fuels are becoming.  A few years ago it would have been very expensive to abandon fossil fuels, replacing them with nuclear, wind and solar.

We now live in a world in which the price of wind and solar have drastically dropped and will continue to drop.  What would have been, even five years ago, very heavy lifting has become moderate lifting and will approach somewhat easy lifting.

We are very, very, very lucky puppy dogs.  We dug ourselves into a very deep hole and we've managed to give ourselves a ladder for climbing out. 

Let me try to give you some perspective.  Let's say you're an average US driver - 13,000 miles a year.  And you drive an average US car - 25 MPG.  You're burning 520 gallons of gasoline each year and pumping a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere.  And it's costing you almost  $2,000 per year just for fuel.

Soon you're likely to be able to purchase a 200 mile range EV for about the same price as the ICEV you drive.  You could put about 2.5 kW of solar on your roof and produce all the electricity you'll need for the next 40, 60, ? years.  At today's prices that would cost  you about $11k.  (Subsidies not included.)  Over 40 years that would be $275 a year.  Compared to $2,000 for gas (and don't forget inflation).

Were we installing rooftop at UK, Germany, Australia costs those panels would cost you about $5k.  $125 per year over 40 years.

This is what I mean by lucky.  We have the ability to abandon petroleum for personal transportation and save a ton of money at the same time.

The same holds for electricity.  The all in price of electricity for coal is over 15 cents/kWh.  Wind, without subsidies, has now fallen below 4 cents/kWh.  PV solar is now around 8 cents/kWh.

We toss coal aside, avoid that CO2 generation, and end up with cheaper electricity.

The cost of wind and solar will fall further....

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #86 on: September 22, 2014, 03:11:00 PM »
Bob

Broadly I agree with you about how amazing the price changes for PV solar and wind have been but there are some caveats to what you have said.

4, 60 years is unreasonable for PV panel life - more like 20-25

The price drops for PV solar - of the order of 80% in the last 5 years or so - can't contribute as much improvement in the future. Now the cost of installation and ancillaries is becoming the price bottleneck - it still costs as much for the installers on your roof who are installing the panels for example. Perhaps the next big price breakthrough - order of magnitude stuff - will come from much more efficient panels - the theoretical efficiency that a PV panel could achieve is much much higher than the typically 15% at present. So for the same capacity you would need much less ancillary frames, mounting etc.

Because solar and wind are a diffuse energy source the raw materials needed to build them at scale are huge. Without steel and concrete you don't have wind turbines for example.

There are some troubling critical raw materials shortages issues looming as scale ramps up. Hafnium for the bearings on the turbines, Indium to coat the solar panels etc.

But the prospects today are so, so much better than they were 10 years ago. Maybe even good enough to get us through this. With the aging of the US coal plants for example, the bbig issue is going to be what China and India do wrt coal. Their existing facilities as much as any new build. Renewables are certainly cost competitive against goal and perhaps even gas for new build power plants. Whether they are at the point of forcing the premature shutdown of existing coal plants isn't as certain yet but it is coming. And the financial markets are starting too factor that in, downgrading coal bonds and issuing investment warnings against the FF industries.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #87 on: September 22, 2014, 06:59:23 PM »
20-25 years is the typical warranty given by panel manufacturers, it's not the expected lifespan.  Cars typically get 30,000 mile, 36 month warranties but we commonly drive far more than 100k miles over many years.

Our oldest installed solar array is now over 40 years old.  It was taken down and individual panels were tested at age 35.  After 35 years of operation the array was operating at 96% of original output.  A 0.1% loss per year.

http://www.presse.uni-oldenburg.de/einblicke/54/files/assets/downloads/page0009.pdf

A recent study by the NREL found -

" For monocrystalline silicon, the most commonly used panel for commercial and residential PV, the degradation rate is less than 0.5% for panels made before 2000, and less than 0.4% for panels made after 2000. That means that a panel manufactured today should produce 92% of its original power after 20 years, quite a bit higher than the 80% estimated by the 1% rule."

Loss rates are highest in high UV conditions.

http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51664.pdf

A 60 year panel losing 0.4% per year would still output 76% of original.  We know of no "solar cliff" at which cells simply cease functioning.

As for price, the industry sees utility scale solar for under $1/watt.  In some parts of the world (China, Italy) costs are already at or very close to $1/W.  Rooftop in the US should fall below $2/W. 

"Because solar and wind are a diffuse energy source the raw materials needed to build them at scale are huge. Without steel and concrete you don't have wind turbines for example."

I'm not sure what to make of that.  We have steel and concrete.  We are also opening more REM mines and processing plants. 

China is clearly working to stop and reduce their coal use.  The Chinese government, probably more than any other government, has spoken out about the need to curtail climate change.  They have a big job ahead of them but are making major pushes for wind, solar and EVs.

The new government in India is going after solar in a major way.  India recognizes that it needs to get coal out of their energy mix.

Coal stock prices have fallen 50% in the last two years.  There is a major understanding at the financial level that coal is now a bad investment.

Neven

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #88 on: September 24, 2014, 12:28:24 AM »
Degrowth, puh.

Smart, sustainable growth.

A few bits from a piece Paul Krugman published a couple days ago.

I've read the Krugman piece and found it somewhat disappointing. Not that I was a big Krugman fan anyway. He sometimes touches on the underlying stuff, but he clearly is unwilling to skin the rabbit.

Just a few quotes:

Quote
But climate despair produces some odd bedfellows: Koch-fueled insistence that emission limits would kill economic growth is echoed by some who see this as an argument not against climate action, but against growth. You can find this attitude in the mostly European “degrowth” movement, or in American groups like the Post Carbon Institute; I’ve encountered claims that saving the planet requires an end to growth at left-leaning meetings on “rethinking economics.” To be fair, anti-growth environmentalism is a marginal position even on the left, but it’s widespread enough to call out nonetheless.

Okay, I guess he's talking about a person like me, one of those people who believes there are limits to growth. But apparently neoclassical economics is the be-all and end-all. There are no possible alternatives. It's the Holy Grail, and rightfully as natural as breathing, in the sense that we don't even have to think about it.

Quote
But you know that such assessments will be met with claims that it’s impossible to break the link between economic growth and ever-rising emissions of greenhouse gases, a position I think of as “climate despair.”

This is a bit of a strawman. The problem isn't just AGW, there are a lot more problems tied to the concept of infinite growth, like resource wars, ocean acidification, (exported) pollution, declining public health, top soil erosion, etc. I can't believe I almost forgot financial bubbles and the rise of oligarchies (most efficient and thus best for GDP growth).

Quote
So saving the planet would be cheap and maybe even come free.

It's not about saving the planet, Mr. Krugman. It's about saving modern society and as many inhabitants as possible.

Quote
Enter the prophets of climate despair, who wave away all this analysis and declare that the only way to limit carbon emissions is to bring an end to economic growth.

No, bring an end to the current (arbitrary) definition of economic growth, re-define it, so that you can afford to do stuff that damage GDP growth, like internalising costs.

Quote
And you sometimes see hard scientists making arguments along the same lines, largely (I think) because they don’t understand what economic growth means. They think of it as a crude, physical thing, a matter simply of producing more stuff, and don’t take into account the many choices — about what to consume, about which technologies to use — that go into producing a dollar’s worth of G.D.P.

Maybe those hard scientists appreciate that nothing can grow infinitely in a finite system? Because Krugman is basically saying that GDP growth as currently defined can go on indefinitely. Or if he isn't, when does the moment come that the economic system has to change? Silly classical economists like Smith and Stuart Mill talked about these things, as a goal for society when a sufficient level of wealth was reached. Apparently we have reached this goal when we are all as rich as the 1%. But there can be only 1%.

Perhaps that's what Krugman wants, as a high-level servant of the system. Oops, I just confirmed being a lefty whacko terrorist.

Seriously, perhaps it's true that we need to step on the gas instead of the brakes, so that we can jump over the cliff. But there's no need to demonize/marginalize people who point out that "the greatest shortcoming of the human race is its inability to understand the exponential function."

Krugman's piece is way too simplistic, on the verge of being greenwash.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #89 on: September 24, 2014, 02:44:36 AM »
Krugman limited his piece to energy, carbon and climate change.  You are talking about issue he did not address in his article. 

Quote
I’ve just been reading two new reports on the economics of fighting climate change: a big study by a blue-ribbon international group, the New Climate Economy Project, and a working paper from the International Monetary Fund. Both claim that strong measures to limit carbon emissions would have hardly any negative effect on economic growth, and might actually lead to faster growth. This may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. These are serious, careful analyses.


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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #90 on: September 24, 2014, 03:29:03 AM »
Krugman limited his piece to energy, carbon and climate change.  You are talking about issue he did not address in his article. 

But don't you need to look at the problem holistically? You're living in and promoting a harmful fantasy to spread a message of growth if you are ignoring real constraints in the process. Anyone suggesting one can continue as is has to address the totality, not just cherry pick a few bits and pieces that seem to give the answers that support their personal reality.

The modern system is broken in many ways at many levels, it is disingenuous to suggest you can solve the problem of the future of civilisation with any single action, however large. The whole paradigm that drives the system is flawed, not just any single foundation stone.

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #91 on: September 24, 2014, 04:18:52 AM »
You're also going past what Krugman was talking about.  His point is that research is now finding that we can de-carbon our energy supplies without causing harm to our economies.

We have many, many problems to solve.  Some are related, some not.  In general we will isolate problems and parts of problems and solve those problems/parts as we can.  As we've done throughout the history of humankind we'll stumble forward fixing what we are capable of fixing at that point in time.  Perhaps we'll solve our problems fast enough so that they don't drive us to extinction, perhaps not.

Now, help me out.  Why is it that some people seem unable to accept good news and celebrate it?


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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #92 on: September 24, 2014, 05:17:21 AM »
Good points, Neven. Here is another response to the Krugman piece that you may find interesting:

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-09-22/paul-krugman-s-errors-and-omissions

Here's my highly edited version of Heinberg's response essay:

Quote
...in our view Krugman himself is guilty of five critical errors, and three equally serious omissions. First the errors:
 
1. He mistakes post-growth realism for anti-growth activism. ... we see clear evidence that growth is ending of its own accord because our economy is hitting biophysical limits at a speed and scale that are outpacing humanity’s ability to adapt. ...
 
2. He misrepresents his sources. ...“On their own, these measures would not be sufficient to achieve the full range of emissions reductions likely to be needed by 2030 to prevent dangerous climate change.” ...
 
3. He assumes that wind and solar can substitute for all uses of fossil fuels. Oil fuels transportation, which is at the core of the trade-dependent global economy... there just aren’t any alternatives ready to replace oil in all the ways we use it, at the scale required, and in the time available.
 
4. He claims it is easy to slash carbon emissions. The rapid build-out of renewables constitutes an enormous infrastructure project that will itself consume significant amounts of fossil-fuel energy... The faster we push the transition, the more fossil fuels we’ll use for that purpose...
 
5. He assumes that a meaningful price on carbon would only impact direct energy prices. ...When energy prices rise, that impacts all we do. Does Krugman believe that the global economy can continue to grow despite higher prices across the board?

Quote
Now Paul Krugman’s omissions:
 
1. He omits mentioning what rate of greenhouse gas emissions reduction he thinks is necessary.
Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, who has taken the important step of producing a carbon budget that puts society on a safe trajectory to the internationally agreed-upon limit of 2 degrees Celsius warming, calculates that industrialized nations need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 10 percent per year starting now.  In Anderson’s opinion, this is “incompatible with economic growth.” The only hope of maintaining economic growth while cutting emissions at such a pace is to rapidly decouple GDP from CO2; PriceWaterhouseCoopers says  the decoupling would have to proceed at 6 percent per year, which is entirely unprecedented. Is that rate achievable, in view of errors 3, 4, and 5 above?
 
2. He omits mention of constraints to fossil fuel supplies. Oil has become far more expensive in the past decade; production costs are rising at over 10 percent per year. The major petroleum companies are investing much more in exploration today, but their production rates are declining. For oil, the low-hanging fruit is gone...
 
3. He omits mention of energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI.

Quote
To be clear, we at Post Carbon Institute advocate massively deploying renewable energy and putting a price on carbon. If humanity has any hope for the future, there is simply no other option. But we just don’t see how this can be achieved without: 1) raising the cost of energy and 2) leading to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions during the renewables build-out, unless other parts of the economy are allowed to contract. When it comes to energy, there is no free lunch.
 
Ultimately, climate change is not the only reason perpetual economic growth is incompatible with a finite planet. The world faces a suite of ecological problems related to water, soil, and biodiversity, all stemming from past growth, and all seemingly requiring reduction in human consumption levels for their solution...

Also, if you haven't already seen this, you may find it interesting:
http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2014/03/27/the-biophysics-of-civilization-money-energy-and-the-inevitability-of-collapse/
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 05:52:34 AM by wili »
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Bob Wallace

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #93 on: September 24, 2014, 06:08:51 AM »
That Resilience article stinks to high heavens.  The author got his fee-fees hurt and put up a pile.

I'll take them number by number...

1.
Quote
The most critical limit to economic growth is the availability of affordable fossil fuels,

Well, the solution is to quit fossil fuels and move to other energy sources.

2.
Quote
“On their own, these measures would not be sufficient to achieve the full range of emissions reductions likely to be needed by 2030 to prevent dangerous climate change.”

The topic was carbon, not all greenhouse gases.  But, whatever.  Krugman said nothing about rate of changeover.  The author commits a foul.

3.
Quote
and there just aren’t any alternatives ready to replace oil in all the ways we use it, at the scale required, and in the time available

We seem to have some time available in which we can get off fossil fuels.    Some of the problems will be more difficult than others.  And some problems may need to be solved by changing the way we do things, rather than using a different energy source.  We might need to move manufacturing closer to market rather than shipping over oceans and we might have to sit on the beach in SoCal or Baja rather than Maui.

4.
Quote
The rapid build-out of renewables constitutes an enormous infrastructure project that will itself consume significant amounts of fossil-fuel energy. New solar panels won’t immediately pay for themselves in energy terms; indeed, research at Stanford University recently showed that all solar PV technology installed until about 2010 was a net energy sink. It will fully “pay back the electrical energy required for its early growth by about 2020,”

Now there's some grade A horseshit.

We installed very little solar pre-2010.  There's not that much sunk energy. 

Somewhere around 2011/2012 we reached the point at which on line solar was producing more energy in a year than was used in a year to manufacture solar panels.  Cradle to grave.  We reached that point earlier with wind.

The energy payback time for a solar panel is now less than 1 year (thin film) or 2 years (silicon).  Followed by decades of energy generation.  The energy payback time for a wind turbine is 3 to 8 months, depending on the strength of wind resources where it is installed.  At least 19 years of generation, possibly a lot more, follow.

5.
Quote
The entire economy is energy-dependent. One example: as minerals deplete, we have to use more energy (per unit of output) in mining and refining ever-lower grades of ores

Which means that we move to cheaper non-carbon energy sources and keep production costs down.  We already mine with tethered and battery powered large equipment.  We already smelt in electric furnaces.

1. 
Quote
He omits mentioning what rate of greenhouse gas emissions reduction he thinks is necessary.

That was not a topic of the article.  He also didn't talk about the problem of ingrown toenails or tomatoes splitting from irregular watering.

2.
Quote
He omits mention of constraints to fossil fuel supplies. Oil has become far more expensive in the past decade; production costs are rising at over 10 percent per year.

Why should he have discussed the rising cost of fossil fuels when he's talking about how we can quit them?  Does no one edit that site?

3.
Quote
He omits mention of energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI.

As he should.  EROEI is an important concept when one is talking about a finite and shrinking supply.  EROEI has no importance for renewable energy when the inputs are renewable.  The cost of energy is important in that it helps determine the final cost of the panel/turbine.  But "used up" energy is not important as when one is using oil to extract oil.

BTW, the manufacturing cost of a solar panel, from ore extraction to getting ready to box it up for shipment has dropped below $0.50/watt.  Exactly how much energy do you think might be embedded in that 50 cent cost?  Remember, you're paying for mining, refining, shipping, and factory cost and a fair amount of labor in addition to energy in that massive half dollar.

I'll leave you with an outtake from Krugman's article on the cost of moving away from fossil fuels.  The one in which he did not cover Ebola or why Miley hasn't been twerking as much lately.

Quote
The most dangerous proponents of climate despair are on the anti-environmentalist right. But they receive aid and comfort from other groups, including some on the left, who have their own reasons for getting it wrong.

Neven

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #94 on: September 24, 2014, 08:34:16 AM »
Quote
Krugman limited his piece to energy, carbon and climate change.  You are talking about issue he did not address in his article. 

Why is it that some people seem unable to accept good news and celebrate it?

My problem is not with the subject of the piece per se, but with the marginalising of the opinion that economic growth (as currently defined) is the root cause of all problems, that this cannot go on indefinitely, no matter how much you greenify it. Krugman equates a whole group of sincere, intelligent and hard working people to the free market fundamentalists that want to keep their pollution carte blanche. It's simply demonizing and benefits no one, except perhaps the 1%.

The reason I'm not celebrating the good news, is perhaps personal in the sense that I don't see it anywhere around me, I don't see a change in attitude, I don't see anyone making meaningful changes to their lifestyle (except for maybe one friend) or even contemplating making a sacrifice. All I see is people constantly buying stuff (a lot of it unhealthy and unethically produced), travelling as if they're the Jetsons,  doing whatever pops up in their mind if they can afford it, and absolutely not willing to talk about what goes on around them, in places they can't see, and about their role and responsibility in all that.

But if what Krugman writes and advocates is true and we can have a sustainable consumer culture and a planet full of childlike junkies who constantly crave sugar, meat and entertainment, then my objection is purely ethical/philosophical and thus of no (physical/measurable) consequence. I can live with that.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #95 on: September 24, 2014, 09:33:45 AM »
I think you're missing the point.

The cost of renewable energy has dropped to the point that we can have all the clean, carbon free energy we need for about what we now pay.

That does not solve every problem in the world.  It is one specific, but very important, problem which looks like is being resolved.

The cost of wind and solar has fallen where they are (or soon will be) our cheapest ways to generate electricity.  Electric vehicles are (or soon will be) our cheapest ways to haul ourselves around.  This means that renewables and EVs will push fossil fuel aside in most applications.  And fossil fuels will get pushed aside simply because they will be the more expensive alternative, not because we will use some sort of governmental mandate to reduce their use.

Governments will no longer be able to oppose renewables on the basis that they are too expensive and would harm the economy.  Utilities will install renewables simply because they cost less.

On the part of the average Jane and Joe, they don't need to change their lifestyles when it comes to energythey will, it appears, be able to continue using energy without harming their budgets.  And the energy they use will not be harming the planet.

If Paul is right, and I'm pretty sure he is, we can now let the process of transitioning off fossil fuels proceed and put more of our efforts into the unsolved problems.

(That is not to say that we shouldn't help the invisible hand push things along faster.)


Neven

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #96 on: September 24, 2014, 11:09:59 AM »
I get the point, Bob, and I sincerely hope that you are right, as AGW is by far the biggest sword hanging over our heads. I don't know if you're right, as I don't have the time to thoroughly investigate, but I really hope you are. I actually enjoy the good news you bring.

Where we part ways, is at how deep we prepare to go. You say let's solve the problems one by one, I'm saying let's take away the root cause (exponential growth, as currently defined) so that the symptoms have a chance at getting solved at all. Maybe I'm not being practical, maybe you're too positive and making it too simple, I don't know.

Again, my problem with Krugman's piece isn't so much the subject itself (AGW will very soon no longer be a problem, or at least not a huge, uncontrollable problem), but his disparagement of people who do not agree with the status quo on an economics level. This clearly shows that he is in the neoclassical economics camp, which in my view is a huge part of the problem.
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wili

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #97 on: September 24, 2014, 01:32:18 PM »
"take away the root cause (exponential growth, as currently defined) so that the symptoms have a chance at getting solved at all."

Nicely put.

"AGW will very soon no longer be a problem, or at least not a huge, uncontrollable problem"

Not sure what to make of that. Do you mean because we'll all be dead??

And, apropos of nothing much in particular, but something that I hope all here can enjoy: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/stewart-blows-up-on-gop-over-climate-change-pushing-a-million-pounds-of-idiot-up-a-mountain/
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 01:38:57 PM by wili »
"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."

Neven

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #98 on: September 24, 2014, 01:52:59 PM »
"AGW will very soon no longer be a problem, or at least not a huge, uncontrollable problem"

Not sure what to make of that. Do you mean because we'll all be dead??

I don't mean anything with that. I'm just paraphrasing Krugman's (and Bob's) point.
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viddaloo

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Re: The Degrowth Imperative
« Reply #99 on: September 24, 2014, 01:54:39 PM »
Close your eyes and make a wish: The real world doesn't work that way.
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