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Author Topic: New Report Outlines ‘Pathways’ to Cut CO2 Emissions  (Read 2319 times)

wili

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New Report Outlines ‘Pathways’ to Cut CO2 Emissions
« on: July 08, 2014, 08:37:41 PM »
This seems about as addle brained as most of the mainstream stuff on CO2 emissions reduction, but it may provide a point to start useful discussions. Also, having been presented to the UN, it is presumably getting more attention internationally than the humble ramblings of posters to these threads :(:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/co2-emissions-2-degrees-target-17744

Quote
A draft of the report, called the “Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project,” was delivered to the United Nations on Tuesday. It was developed by researchers working in the 15 countries that have the highest CO2 emissions and shows how each of those countries could rapidly reduce its emissions by 2050.

International negotiators looking to strike a climate deal have agreed to try to limit warming to 2°C. And scientists have outlined how much more carbon we can emit to likely keep warming below 2°C, calling it a carbon budget. It’s just like a household budget except going over it could increase the likelihood of major sea level rise, an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, and a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice.

I don't want to post the whole article here, but there is much to criticize. Rather than doing all that myself here right away, I though others might like to have at it, first.

What do you see as the weaknesses (and strengths, if you find any) of this report?

Here's the link to the executive summary for the main report:
http://unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/DDPP_interim_2014_executive_summary.pdf

ETA: Here's at least one passage that seems...realistic:

Quote
The IPCC AR5 Working Group 3 (WG3) calculates that in the absence of additional commitments to reduce GHG emissions, the world is on a trajectory to an increase in global mean temperature of 3.7°C to 4.8°C compared to pre-industrial levels. When accounting for full climate uncertainty, this range extends from 2.5°C to 7.8°C by the end of the century.

When even as conservative and toned down a group as IPCC is talking about basically 8 degrees C rise by 2100, you know we are truly in deep, deep trouble.

Here's the largish pdf for the full report (218 pages): http://unsdsn.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/DDPP_interim_2014_report.pdf

ETA again: on page 34, they have a nice little formula:

Quote
CO2 emissions = Population x (GDP/Population) x (Energy/GDP) x (CO2/Energy)

It is the first and last of the element on the right side of the equation that are most talked about. Some insiders do talk about the 'carbon intensity' of the economy. But really it should be blindingly obvious that the only one of these elements that can be changed essentially instantly is the second--GDP/Population. Since it has become clear that increasing this number does not necessarily increase happiness, this clearly is where we should be making the most and fastest changes, with some care to do so in ways that do the least substantial harm. But instead they take as assumed a 'rising trajectory' of GDP/Population, since as the economist (that many of these experts seem to be), increasing the GDP/Population ration is the highest of all conceivable values in the universe...
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 09:19:26 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."

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: New Report Outlines ‘Pathways’ to Cut CO2 Emissions
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 04:30:09 AM »
Since it has become clear that increasing this number does not necessarily increase happiness, this clearly is where we should be making the most and fastest changes, with some care to do so in ways that do the least substantial harm.

This business of substituting happiness for growth as a measure of prosperity is gaining legs, at least there's plenty of talk about it. I'm reading the Skidelskys' book, How Much is Enough. It's pretty disturbing to read an analysis of how our insatiability is a cog in the wheels. And then there's Simon Anholt's Good Country Index. ("The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple: to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away. Using a wide range of data from the U.N. and other international organisations, we’ve given each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whether it’s a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between.")

I'm so afraid it's too little too late to be talking about big ideas. Very worrisome that the IPCC warns of such a high temperature by 2100.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

wili

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Re: New Report Outlines ‘Pathways’ to Cut CO2 Emissions
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 06:11:36 AM »
Thanks for the recommendations, Lynn. I'll add them to my summer reading list! Too bad summer is already almost half way over! :o
"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."

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: New Report Outlines ‘Pathways’ to Cut CO2 Emissions
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 02:53:10 PM »
I've just been eliminating my ignorance about green crude. Not to be confused with algal biodiesel or ethanol. Just last year Sapphire Energy started selling its crude through Tesoro, a big company. So this isn't a pipe dream. My husband's taking a course in energy. One lecturer was a key scientist from Sapphire. He made the point that the oil biz is worth trillions, so we're not going to retire that infrastructure any time soon. It does make sense that the best way to take a lemon and make lemonade is to do this carbon-neutral production of algal crude and keep everything running as is.

It appears that Sapphire is benefiting from California's plan to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 10% quite quickly, so this would help.

When you think about it, green crude is a kind of solar power, using photosynthesis to convert sunlight into something our existing system can use. I'm not seeing the downside of this.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: New Report Outlines ‘Pathways’ to Cut CO2 Emissions
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 03:12:00 PM »
December Forbes article on methods of extracting green crude from algae and sewage. Still concerned about the energy balance:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/12/23/green-oil-scientists-turn-algae-into-petroleum-in-30-minutes/

More promising, though – "In Minnesota, the Algae Biomass Organization announced that a peer-reviewed paper, published in Bioresource Technology, has shown that algae-derived biofuel can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by 50 to 70 percent compared to petroleum fuels, and is approaching a similar Energy Return on Investment (EROI) as conventional petroleum."

http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2013/09/23/its-official-algae-biofuels-cut-emissions-by-50-70-percent-approaching-oil-energy-economics-says-report/
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.