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Messages - rboyd

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Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: July 16, 2020, 08:23:58 PM »
NASA GISS For June 2020

June: 0.92C above 1951-1980 average (1.18C above preindustrial; 1.38C above 1750)

First 6 months 2020: 1.11C: degrees above 1951-1980 average (1.37 above preindustrial; 1.57C above 1750)

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 25, 2020, 06:11:31 AM »
So lots of subsidies to help the oil and gas industry plug their wells .... the state just never stops giving if you are in oil and gas.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 22, 2020, 10:25:12 PM »
The oil and gas companies make their money then run, and the state (the people) end up having to spend the money cleaning up. Privatize profits, socialize costs - the great American (and Canadian) way.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 22, 2020, 10:22:49 PM »
BP 2020 Statistical Review: 41% - Renewables contribution to the increase in energy demand, the largest of any other energy source

- This report is full of facts and figures about global energy use:

In a year when global primary energy consumption increased by only 1.3%, below its 10-year average of 1.6% per year, renewables were unable to offset even half of the increase. With only a small increase in nuclear, the result was that carbon emissions still increased by 0.5% (ignoring the undercounting of natural gas fugitive emissions).

This is the fundamental problem, even with energy efficiency gains offsetting more then half of global GDP growth the increase in renewables output is not enough to stop carbon emissions from rising. Those emissions need to be falling by 5%+ per year, not rising by 0.5%. That would require 5-10 times the current levels of energy efficiency gains and renewables implementations if governments are not to agree to reduce GDP growth.

Oil consumption increased by 2 million barrels per day (681 mb/d in China) - about 2%

Natural Gas consumption increased by 78 billion cubic meters (US 27 bcm; China 24 bcm) - 2%

Coal consumption fell by 0.6%. Rises in Asia (China +1.8EJ, Indonesia +0.6EJ, Vietnam (+0.5EJ) offset by falls in the US (-1.9EJ) and Germany (-0.6EJ). OECD coal consumption fell to its lowest level since 1965. At some point soon the OECD may run out of coal to cut, which will put a drag on the global reduction in coal consumption.

Renewables share of primary energy consumption:
- US 6.2% (+0.4%)
- Brazil 16.3% (sugar ethanol used instead of oil) (+1.2%)
- EU 11% (+1%)
- CIS 0.1% (Russia etc.)
- Africa 2% (+0.5%)
- China 4.7% (+0.4%)
- Other Asia 2.9% (+0.4%)

- World 5% (increase of 0.5% y-o-y)

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 21, 2020, 12:04:00 AM »

Good that the central Chinese government is stating a limit of 1100GW for coal, although they will have to win the usual centre-province battles over such things.

With capacity at 1040GW there is enough space to deal with the new 46GW new capacity this year, and then 48GW next year, if there are some retirements planned. Some of the groups worried about new plants may be missing the mark if those plants are replacing older less efficient ones - its the net additions not the gross. With the new plants more efficient on average the coal usage may actually fall once capacity stabilizes - less coal needed per unit of electricity.

The reduction in coal mines is part of an ongoing drive to get rid of smaller less efficient mines, i.e. make coal mining more efficient through larger mines with more automation.

The 2021 plans for wind and solar represent 14% and 16.8% growth in installed capacity, so not bad. The hydro number assumes stable to falling hydro capacity.

Consequences / Re: General Drought Stuff
« on: June 20, 2020, 11:31:41 PM »
My rule now is that if any "official" organization such as the IPCC (and all those that rely upon the IPCC estimates) says "2100" they mean "2050". If they say "2050" its "any time after 2030".

This "soft denial" from the official organizations with their reliance on linear models and underestimations of climate sensitivity serve no one well apart from the status quo elites. The next ten years may finally blow that out of the water as the climate system invalidates all their assumptions with reality.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: June 20, 2020, 11:26:49 PM »
NASA GISS for May of 1.02C (April 1.14C, March 1.19C, February 1.23C. January 1.17C) above 1951-1980 average.

First 5 months average of 1.15C (1.41C versus 1880-1920 baseline).

The May variance is a drop from the first 4 months, so lets see if we stay at these lower levels in the next few months or jump back to the higher levels. We are in a La Nina ENSO negative (correction from Phoenix), not an El Nino, of course.

As others have noted, still a huge positive temperature variance over Siberia.

If the forecasts are correct China is going to add the equivalent of the US economy in a 10 year period. The scale of the additional energy and material throughput is mind-boggling, and probably a disaster for the global ecology. Same of India meets its forecast growth in the next 10 years.

2.8 billion people doubling their economies in a decade, adding the equivalent of the US+EU28. We have never seen growth on this scale in such a short period. We could be tripping over many ecological tipping points, not just climate change, in the next decade. Will Steffen pretty much agrees that the 2020's will be when the proverbial hits the fan.

An excellent, and balanced, discussion of what the rise of China means.

"What China Will Be Like As A Great Power" : Martin Jacques Keynote (32nd Annual Camden Conference)

Some real stand out statistics that he mentions:
- China forecast to become 34% of global GDP (at purchasing power parity) in 2030, versus 20% now
- India forecast to become 19% of global GDP (PPP) in 2030, versus 8% now.

- US forecast to become 15% of global GDP (PPP) in 2030, versus 15% now.
- EU28 to become 13% of global GDP (PPP) in 2030, versus 16% now

What happens in China and India (and other fast growing nations such as Indonesia) will be many times more important for climate change than what happens in the EU28 and the US, over the next decade.

In just 10 years from now, China is forecast to have an economy twice the size of the US. Its GDP per capita (PPP) will go from 1/3 of the US today to about 55%. Given the population differences (350 million vs 1.4 billion) China will most probably have a subset of its population that is equal in size to the US population with at least the same average income. If these forecasts become true, the US becomes the junior partner.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 16, 2020, 01:21:09 AM »
You crash the economy, then energy use falls dramatically. COVD-19 may be just a bigger (and perhaps shorter) version of the 2008 global financial crisis. Energy use and emissions bounced back quickly.

We wont really know if the drops are just a blip in a trend, or represent some more fundamental energy use changes until the second half of 2021 at the earliest (assuming a second COVID wave in the Fall).

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 14, 2020, 11:31:06 PM »
Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills

Nothing like retroactive charges to reduce the readiness of companies to invest in renewables!

The Trump administration has ended a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands, handing them whopping retroactive bills at a time the industry is struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, according to company officials

The move represents a multi-million-dollar hit to an industry that has already seen installation projects canceled or delayed by the global health crisis, which has cut investment and dimmed the demand outlook for power.

It also clashes with broader government efforts in the United States to shield companies from the worst of the economic turmoil through federal loans, waived fees, tax breaks and trimmed regulatory enforcement.

Bankers and big oil get financial support during COVID, renewables get extra bills!

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 14, 2020, 11:14:22 PM »
Further analysis of the IRENA numbers for 2019:

The yearly compound growth rate in global overall renewables capacity has been falling year over year since 2015, with 2019 signifying a new low. The growth is also more oriented to the lower capacity utilization sectors - exacerbating the effect of the declining capacity growth rate on the growth in renewables generation.

Wind and solar are now about 9% of global electricity generation, at their combined capacity doubling rate of about 15% (doubling every 5 years) they will not fully offset the trend growth in overall electricity generation - i.e. more fossil fuel capacity will be utilized (either new capacity or higher utilization of current capacity) - until the second half of the 2020s (if the solar growth rate does not decelerate further).

Nothing in the industry-level (GWEC and Solar Power Europe) forecasts, which have proven pretty accurate for the past few years, see a change in this in the next few years.

- The compound growth rate of installed capacity for all renewables fell to 7.45% in 2019 from 8.18% in 2018 (and 9% in 2015); doubling rate of approx. 10 years.

- Hydro growth was 1.67% vs 1.72% the year before (and 3.45% in 2015). Hydro is the renewable with the highest capacity utilization rate of the renewables, except for bio-energy

- Wind growth rose slightly to 10.44% from 9.61% the previous year (and 18.58% in 2015); doubling rate of approx. 7 years.

- Solar growth was 19.99% vs. 25.7% the previous year (and 25.07% in 2015); doubling rate of approx. 3.5 years.

- Bio-energy growth was 5.15% vs 6.48% the previous year (and 6.79% in 2015).

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: June 14, 2020, 10:32:55 PM »
China Seen Adding New Wave of Coal Plants After Lifting Curbs

About 46 gigawatts worth of new plants were under construction as of May, the study said. Another 48 gigawatts were under various stages of development, Greenpeace estimated.

About 29.9 gigawatts of new coal power capacity was added last year, making a total of about 1,040 gigawatts, according to China Electricity Council data.

By the end of 2019 US coal fired capacity was 229GW, the above amounts to about 60% of remaining US coal capacity. We are reaching the limit where cuts in capacity in the US and Europe can even offset the additions just in China. These new Chinese plants are the much more efficient ones I assume, so could lead to the retirement of some of the less efficient ones. Overall, perhaps same amount of coal burned but with more electricity produced, and slightly less emissions.

This is about energy security, 94%+ of China coal supply is domestic (and imports are also being reoriented to Russia somewhat while domestic mining capacity is being increased). Same with natural gas (Russia now taking China market share from Australia, Qatar etc.). Same with increased oil imports from Russia. The more aggressive the US gets toward China, the more they will reorient to domestic and "friendly" energy supplies to obviate the chance of an embargo.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: June 09, 2020, 07:04:24 AM »

The Copernicus EU data is nothing to do with UAH satellite. It is surface based data.
The GISS  is much slower coming out. (What's up with their computing power? ).

Also I prefer the Copernicus as it uses a more recent climate norm  1981 to 2010.
GISS is still stuck with 1971 to 2000. Will it ever move on from this 30 year period ?

I think it is not helpful to have different reference periods and the global scientific community should embrace the same norm .

Thanks for the info, could not agree with the different base periods used. I had to set up a spreadsheet to do all the conversions to pre-industrial so that I could compare them.

I assume that NASA GISS is slower because of the validation process done on all the different measurements, but still a good question.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: June 08, 2020, 08:31:32 PM »
Demand for gas-guzzling SUVs surges in China as electric car sales plummet

I was worried about this, hopefully not a replay of the 1990s big move to trucks, SUVs and minivans with the collapse in oil prices in that decade. Looks like there may still be a high elasticity for the demand for big ICE cars with respect to oil prices.

At least they are selling a lot more electric buses .....

BYD, in a monthly sales update to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday, revealed sales of battery electric vehicles (Bevs) last month had almost halved on the figure reported a year earlier while the number of conventional-fuel SUVs had more than quadrupled by the same comparison.

The Chinese carmaker stated 8,278 Bevs were sold in May, compared to 15,312 in May last year. The twin impact of the Covid-19 crisis and the rise of Bevs combined to reduce the sales of plug-in-hybrid (Phev) models to an even greater extent, with the May figures falling, year-on-year, from 8,031 to just 2,323 last month.

BYD added it sold 635 electric buses last month, compared to just 196 a year earlier but total EV sales more than halved, from 119,082 units in May 2019 to just 46,512 last month.

By contrast, 20,496 of BYD’s conventional vehicles were sold last month, up from 12,021 a year earlier. The number of conventional SUVs sold in the monthly figures rose from 3,440 in May last year to 15,887 last month.

The pattern in the US for the past few decades has been that the Republicans gut regulations, then the Democrats complain about it but do nothing to reverse the change when elected. Both are the parties of big business. Same goes for tax cuts for the rich, Bush Sr. was the last to raise such taxes and he quickly got the boot.

The last "good" President was Nixon, he brought in the EPA! Then downhill from Reagan (Carter wasn't that good either).

Same unfortunately goes for my own Canada between the Conservatives and the Liberals.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: June 05, 2020, 10:33:06 PM »
Germany doesn't have an oil extraction industry to care about, and looks like the elites have belatedly woken up to the need to get the German car manufacturers into the EV space asap before they become irrelevant. Goes with the 2020 EU28 regulations on car GHG emissions forcing manufacturers into the EV space.

And in the US the subsidies go to .... oil and gas, airlines, and financial and real estate manipulators, while the state continues to cut regulations to make it easier for the oil and gas industry and for the car manufacturers to stay with ICEs longer.

So the US will have Tesla and the Chinese and the EU (Germany and France) will still have many major-league car manufacturers. And probably Tesla more and more dependent on foreign sales (and manufacturing). The US will remain exceptional ... in its reliance on ICE vehicles and the global irrelevance of its other major car manufacturers.

This is called "standing up to China"?, more like intentionally breaking your own leg before a race.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 05, 2020, 10:21:29 PM »
China’s Oil Demand Rebounds To Pre-Coronavirus Levels

That was fast!

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: June 05, 2020, 10:20:17 PM »
Methane - The fracking gift that just keeps on giving:

Satellite Data Reveals Extreme Methane Emissions from Permian Oil & Gas Operations; Shows highest emissions ever measured from a major U.S. oil and gas basin

3.7% of all natural gas escaping to the atmosphere as methane that
nearly triples the 20-year climate impact of burning the gas they’re producing

And every shutdown oil and gas well has the capacity to keep spewing methane into the atmosphere for many, many decades. There are many 100,000's of such wells, and I don't see the cash strapped and bankrupt oil and gas companies taking care to seal them properly. Another socialized cost of the fossil fuel industry.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 05, 2020, 10:09:21 PM »
Helped by UK overall electricity consumption falling by 10% in in the last decade. Also, most recently of course the COVID shutdown effect (also, the lower daily afternoon peaks allied with sunnier weather gives solar a bigger percentage share).

Overall, electricity demand has fallen by 9% in the UK in the past seven years, the sharpest decline in the union. Meanwhile, Poland chalked up the biggest rise, at 9% over the same period.

Simon Evans, the policy editor at analysts CarbonBrief, said: “This is one of the least-reported and most significant stories in the UK power sector. Since 2005, the UK has saved the equivalent of two-and-a-half Hinkley Point Cs [a nuclear power station], a trend that started several years before the financial crisis.”

The growing disparity between the UK and EU has puzzled experts. The gap cannot be explained away solely by shrinking industrial production in Britain or slower economic growth in 2017, of 1.8% versus a forecast of 2.3% for the EU.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: June 05, 2020, 09:52:39 PM »
I will wait the two weeks for NASA GISS view, too many questions with the UAH stuff.

Science / Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: June 05, 2020, 09:41:22 PM »

This page provides the annual growth rates of atmospheric CO2 for Mauna Loa:

The average is 2.424, but this includes the large outliers of 2015 and 2016 due to the large El Nino of those years.

2010: 2.32; 2011: 1.92; 2012: 2.61; 2013: 2.01; 2014: 2.19; 2015: 2.99; 2016: 2.99;
2017: 1.89; 2018: 2.86; 2019: 2.46.

We dropped into a small La Nina configuration in May (shout out to Phoenix on the 2020 ENSO thread)
This may affect Mauna Loa more immediately than the global numbers given the Hawaii location.
So the current value is surprisingly high as La Ninas are associated with more oceanic CO2 and heat uptake than El Ninos.
The May numbers may also have some small negative effect from the global shutdowns that have reduced anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

The global number for March 2020 (reporting 2 months behind the Mauna Loa numbers) is 413.67 versus 410.61 a year previously - a 3.06ppm year over year rise. This is higher than any previous yearly average number, including the El Nino years. January was 2.63 and February was 3.13.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: May 22, 2020, 02:03:44 AM »
New electric cars 2020: What’s coming and when?
Every debut and new model due to arrive over the next twelve months, all in one place

A large number of EV models coming to Europe in the next 12 months.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: May 15, 2020, 02:01:10 AM »
Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has its 2019 report out, you can download it from their website.
In 2019, 60.4 GW of wind capacity was installed globally (vs. a previous forecast for 2019 of 65 GW by GWEC).

The future forecast is
2020: 76.1 GW (compared to previous report's forecast of 67 GW)
2021: 76.4 GW (vs. 61 GW)
2022: 67.7 GW (vs. 65 GW)
2023: 66.2 GW (vs. 58 GW)
2024: 73.4 GW

So the early 2019 GWEC forecast for all of 2019 was about 5GW above the actuals. Future forecasts raised a bit vs. the previous report.

A five year compound growth rate in new installs of 4% per year. This was done before COVID, so 2020 may be lower than forecast. Big jump this year driven by subsidy reductions at the end of year in the US and China.

China transitioning to a "no subsidy" world and pretty flay in new installation until 2024, same as Europe. US jumps this year and then falls back and stays flat to 2024. Some growth in the Middle East and North Africa. Not a comforting forecast with respect to replacing fossil fuels.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: May 15, 2020, 01:17:01 AM »
NASA GISS posted at 1.15C anomaly for April (first four month of 2020 are 1.17, 1.24, 1.18 and 1.15).

First four months average of 1.19C (1.44C when compared to 1880-1920 baseline / 1.64C compared to 1750).

Highest anomalies in the Arctic Ocean and across Siberia.

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 08, 2020, 03:30:56 PM »
New coal projects are getting underway despite financial losses and low utilisation of existing plants, writes Gao Baiyu

Some thoughts on this:
- Local officials see big projects as a quick way to bolster growth
- The new power plants have high efficiency and scrubbers (fixing local air pollution)
- In a crisis the CCP could mandate taking public transport, replacing a significant amount of oil imports.
- The coal-fired spare capacity can be used to fuel the higher intensity of electrified transport, replacing imported oil with domestically produced coal.

It seems that the CCP is quietly getting things in place to forestall any US energy embargo during a crisis

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: May 02, 2020, 09:44:15 PM »
March 2020 surface air temperature anomaly seems to have been 1.18C.  Only behind 2016.

Using the 1890-1910 baseline, the March anomaly is 1.51 C

Industrialisation started in 1750, so we are already in the dangerzone.

Add 0.2 C for the 1750 baseline, after adding 0.256 to get to the 1880 to 1920 baseline = 1.64 C

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: May 02, 2020, 09:39:33 PM »
Analysis: Will China build hundreds of new coal plants in the 2020s?

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: April 15, 2020, 06:43:01 PM »
A huge anomaly over Russia, including its Arctic coast, for a third month now.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 29, 2020, 05:53:55 PM »
As long as oil prices stay low, the sovereign wealth funds will be net sellers as their governments run massive budget deficits. Add that to restrictions on buy-backs (which have been estimated to have provided at least half of the demand for stocks in the past decade) for bailed out companies and you get a continuing imbalance between those wanting to sell and those wanting to buy.

If this continues to crash stocks then the feedback into the economy will dump oil even lower, intensifying the wealth fund selling, and also serving to restrict the ability of companies to buy back their stocks. A very nasty self-reinforcing vicious cycle. Then we add the COVID-19 impacts on top of  that.

Houses in Dubai and Alberta may be very cheap a few years from now ...

Buybacks are the ‘dominant’ source of stock-market demand, and they are fading fast: Goldman Sachs

Stock Buybacks By Corporations The Largest Share of U.S. Equity Demand

Saudi Arabia's budget deficit forecast to widen to $61bn on virus, oil rout - does not take into account $20 oil.

The Very Real Prospect Of $5 Oil

Barrel of Monkeys now worth more than a barrel of Alberta oil

Price of Canadian oilsands crude plunges to lowest level on record — and could be headed to $0

Interesting to see the gains in "soft power" that China is making as it is seen as both successfully combating COVID-19 and is helping out many, many other countries. The displayed incompetence and infighting in the US, together with its partisanship (e.g. trying to get exclusive rights on a German research team's output and reinforcing sanctions on Iran and Venezuela) is doing the exact opposite for that country.

From the Guardian:

Last week, Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio posted a video of himself on Facebook watching live footage of a plane of supplies and medics from China, noting that China was the first to send aid. Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić said in a press conference this week that he believes in his “brother and friend Xi Jinping”. He said: “The only country that can help us is China.”

The Guardian does try to diminish the positives by using an ex Australian diplomat and a spokesman from the German Marshall Fund (which has the avowed aim of reinforcing US/Europe relations) by calling it propaganda. Yes China will use it as propaganda, but it is based on the reality of their competence in containing COVID-19 and their position as a major manufacturer of critical health supplies (outsourced to them by other countries).

There is nothing wrong with China helping European and other countries, especially now that it has gained the upper hand in containing the coronavirus at home. But it is also clear that [Beijing] sees its aid as a propaganda tool,” said Noah Barkin, senior visiting fellow at the German Marshall Fund.

“Now we see Chinese officials and state media claiming that China bought the world time to prepare for this pandemic,” said Natasha Kassam, a research fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney and a former Australian diplomat.
... They actually did Natasha.

If the US doesn't get control of the outbreak quickly their international political position could be seriously compromised. It doesn't help the the "Satan" Putin is also shipping supplies to Italy and other countries. This is blocked by a Poland that will not open up its airspace or its overland routes, seriously undermining the EU.

Populations remember who helped, and who didn't, in a crisis for a long time.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 29, 2020, 12:01:30 AM »
Natural Gas prices plummeted in the US in the last few months of 2019, so makes sense that electricity generators would increase its use relative to coal. COVID-19 by reducing industrial usage will just make the gas price go even lower.

US natural gas prices drop to lowest level in 4 years

Virus Seen Hammering Demand into Injection Season as Natural Gas Futures Plummet

Reductions in oil fracking may reduce the supply of natural gas (NG is a side effect of oil fracking), plus the low NG prices may reduce gas fracking. But the scale of the demand shock may overwhelm any production reductions.

Policy and solutions / Re: But, but, but, China....
« on: March 28, 2020, 11:53:21 PM »
The antagonism between the US and China has increased with the pointing of fingers about where patient zero for COVID 19 is from. Plus, the US is increasing its belligerence during the epidemic, with labelling the President of Venezuela as a criminal drug pusher, refusing to reduce sanctions on Iran, trying to blame Iran for helping to spread the virus in a G7 communique which was blocked by other counties, and with rumours of moves by the US against "Iran backed" groups in Iraq.

Oil may be much cheaper now, but it is still the biggest energy security risk for China with respect to conflict with the US. So China keeps a very large electricity generating reserve for emergencies (the low coal plant utilization rate) and plans for greater amounts of transport conversion from oil to electricity (much of it powered by coal).

Geopolitics trumps long term survival! Very depressing.

Policy and solutions / Re: Policy & Solutions
« on: March 17, 2020, 09:20:36 PM »
Yes now calculate how many people they need to produce to catch up.

We in the rich nations have nearly used up the whole carbon budget already. We profited from the industrial age most.

Also better developed countries have a lower population growth and the very reasons most of these countries are so underdeveloped is their history. Having been colonies for a long time and after that the exploitation does not end either (read Moneyland f.e.).

The core problem at the global level. The rich wont make GHG room for the poorer nations to brcome richer. The resuly is an impasse where emissions just keep going up.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: March 17, 2020, 04:02:16 AM »
NASA GISS February Global Average Surface Temperature Anomaly of 1.24C

Large anomalies over China and Russia - due to less pollution created during China CVID-19 lockdown?

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: March 16, 2020, 09:55:49 PM »
I'm still not sure that Tesla will face such high headwinds as othe car manufacturers.  China is almost through Covid-19 and unless a new infection from the EU begins, is likely to continue back to full economic strength. Chinese regulations on emissions are unlikely to change.

EU regulations on emissions will also remain unchanged although there may be some fudge on supporting the manufacturers over the virus which carries more than just virus related cash.

Let us see the Q1 figures first.

We will see better when the March car sales for Europe come out, as its only this month when societies went into lock down. You cant buy a car if you are only allowed to go out for emergencies and food etc. Same thing for the second half of this month for North America. There may be very few car sales for 3+ months, then only a slow recovery as things get back to normal and many people have to rebuild their financial position. Things could of course last longer, and the general buying readiness may be impacted if deaths start going up big. Crashing financial markets don't help things.

In such circumstances its all about available cash plus credit lines. Ford is in a very strong position, as it was just before the 2008 crash. It may have long term issues, but the short term is what currently counts. GM seems to have been somewhat conservative as well. Chrysler-Fiat have two governments interested in bailing them out.

Looks like Tesla has about $5 billion in cash and cash equivalents, so could probably survive through 2020. If we have a major downturn due to debt liquidations etc. (as in 2008 bit probably worse) then the issue becomes 2021. The Chinese state entities have lent a lot to Tesla, so they may be of some help. Can't see a Trump helping out.

There is a huge amount of debt and risk in the economy, more than 2008, so there is the possibility of things getting very ugly - especially in the US where the government seems so highly adverse to helping out the average person (as against bailing out banks, airlines, oil companies etc.) who has so little cash on hand.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: March 16, 2020, 07:05:14 PM »
This is a very toxic environment for Tesla:
- Societal shutdowns are crashing car sales, which then kills cash-flow
- The crash in oil prices (could go to $10 given the demand impact we are seeing) will provide a short-term headwind to EV sales
- There are only so many costs that are truly variable (e.g. layoffs, but not rent, depreciation etc.)
- The credit markets are pricing in much higher risk premiums, making any new funding round for Tesla much more problematic/expensive
- The President (and many of his Republican supporters) would love to take down Musk. I wouldn't put it past them to make any bailout dependent upon a merger with another car maker.

Tesla in its current form has not had to survive a recession nor a freezing up of credit markets. This is the big test, same for many of the other companies that make no profit and rely on serial cash raises (e.g. Uber, Lyft). This gives a lot of power to the bankers and the government - who gets supported/bailed out and who doesnt.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: March 10, 2020, 04:23:58 AM »
If oil prices really crack to their longer-term lows at around $10 per barrel, I expect to see lots of new ICE trucks and SUVs cruising the streets, once the COVID-19 issue has passed and people travel back into public spaces.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: March 10, 2020, 04:20:39 AM »
Definition of Luddite
: one of a group of early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest
broadly : one who is opposed to especially technological change.

The rich and powerful tend to get the written history that puts them in a good light, and their opponents in a bad one. The Luddite movement was much more complex and nuanced than generally understood. As much about how the machinery was used by the employers, and the fruits of the extra productivity shared, than being against technological progress itself.

Despite their modern reputation, the original Luddites were neither opposed to technology nor inept at using it. Many were highly skilled machine operators in the textile industry. Nor was the technology they attacked particularly new. Moreover, the idea of smashing machines as a form of industrial protest did not begin or end with them. In truth, the secret of their enduring reputation depends less on what they did than on the name under which they did it. You could say they were good at branding.

The Luddite disturbances started in circumstances at least superficially similar to our own. British working families at the start of the 19th century were enduring economic upheaval and widespread unemployment. A seemingly endless war against Napoleon’s France had brought “the hard pinch of poverty,” wrote Yorkshire historian Frank Peel, to homes “where it had hitherto been a stranger.” Food was scarce and rapidly becoming more costly.

As the Industrial Revolution began, workers naturally worried about being displaced by increasingly efficient machines. But the Luddites themselves “were totally fine with machines,” says Kevin Binfield, editor of the 2004 collection Writings of the Luddites. They confined their attacks to manufacturers who used machines in what they called “a fraudulent and deceitful manner” to get around standard labor practices. “They just wanted machines that made high-quality goods,” says Binfield, “and they wanted these machines to be run by workers who had gone through an apprenticeship and got paid decent wages. Those were their only concerns.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 10, 2020, 04:12:57 AM »
Saudi Arabia needs about $80 to balance its budget, its been running a big deficit for the past few years and running down its reserves. One of the reasons why MBS has shaken down other leaders for contributions to the Treasury. He seems to have recently taken out some possible challengers - maybe battening down the hatches for hard times.

With Russia saying that they can deal with $25 for an extended period, the oil price will probably at lest goal seek that level. Russia has a budget surplus, tons of foreign exchange reserves, and little foreign debt. Very painful for Saudi (and Iraq, Iran and the US shale oil). With NG prices also very low, bad all round for the fossil fuel industry.

A lot less money for the Saudis etc. to finance the fundamentalist terrorists in Syria and elsewhere, and maybe Russia gets to deliver the coup de grace on US shale oil. Maybe worth the gamble on their part.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: March 05, 2020, 07:58:48 PM »
This could produce a very big drop in oil prices:
- Domestic US production still edging up
- OPEC doing a cut of 1.7 Mbpd in Q2, but that may be well below the actual drop in demand
- Usually very difficult to force through OPEC cuts, if they don't cut further in Q2 they could get overtaken by fast dropping demand
- As this starts really hitting the global airline and transport industries oil demand could really crater

There could also be a big jump in oil inventories, due to the supply/demand mismatch, which will mean that any price recovery may be slow. Painful for the oil exporters and the US and Canadian oil patches.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: March 05, 2020, 07:05:41 PM »
The rate of increase in global atmospheric CO2 levels has jumped above those during the Super Nino, according to NOAA.

2015: 2.97ppm
2016: 2.82ppm
2017: 2.15ppm
2018: 2.37ppm
2019: 3.08ppm

CH4 is also back at a rate of increase above 10ppb so far in 2019 (to November).

We also have the reduction in cooling aerosols due to the new shipping fuel regulations, and China's massive drive to reduce air pollution (with the skies even clearer with the Corona-virus related shutdown to much of Chinese industry).

Everything looks lined up for a new jump in temperatures, and this without an El Nino.

Science / Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: March 05, 2020, 06:45:55 PM »
Annual Global Increase In CO2 Above 3ppm First Time Ever in 2019 !

NOAA released its updated numbers for the annual 2019 increase in global atmospheric CO2, after getting the December numbers in (2 more updates for Jan and Feb 2020 before the final number is given) - and its 3.08ppm! Thats with no El Nino present, the highest number ever (in 2015 it was 2.97ppm).

NOAA also released the final Mauna Loa number and its 2.47ppm, but thats just specific to Mauna Loa. The 3.08ppm number is a global number.

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: February 29, 2020, 06:49:13 PM »
Looking like the temperature anomaly for February may be as high as January.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 29, 2020, 06:43:41 PM »
Is it windy at Oulu in the winter, maybe they could diversify their renewables?

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: February 29, 2020, 06:38:21 PM »
Middlemen know when they are in danger of being squeezed out of business, especially when they don't offer a lot of benefit. Their car maintenance cash-cows will also fail with all those EVs not needing all the expensive maintenance that ICEs need.

The car world will look very different in ten years; all those closed car dealerships, closed car maintenance shops, closed gas stations (replaced by home charging and fast chargers outside convenience stores, restaurants, supermarkets etc.), closed ICE production plants (quite a few here in Ontario), closed ICE parts manufacturers, unused oil tanker trucks, bankrupt slow moving traditional manufacturers.

The energy transition will be quite turbulent, with a lot of "middle class" jobs disappearing.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: February 29, 2020, 06:28:50 PM »
Dr Sarah Taber on Twitter:
The agitprop surrounding the Wet'suwet'en rail blockage is out of control. There are really folks taking pics of these grocery store shelves & trying to spin them as "bare."
[twitpics of pretty full shelves...]
backstory: 1) Canada decided to build a pipeline across Wet'suwet'en land in British Columbia, which Canada doesn't have authority to do.
2) In solidarity, First Nations groups in Ontario (led by Mohawk nation I believe) blocked a rail line between Montreal & Toronto.
3) Canada's gov't & white nationalists don't see "follow treaty law & reroute the pipeline" as an option so instead they're squealing about how Native people are evil mean terrorists who are going to starve us all. Seems they have to call full shelves "empty" to make this claim.
Claims that "this blockade is starving Canada" are being used to justify why Canada "has" to remove the First Nations rail block [subtext: by violent force if necessary]. It's the making of excuses ahead of time. That's what we're witnessing.


Thread continues at the link....

Next Canadian election is October 16th 2023, so the craziness could continue until then. Lets hope Bernie gets in and starts changing the conversation to getting rid of fossil fuels, our weather vane Prime Minister will easily shift his position to match our southern neighbours.

With the increasing scientific consensus that NG (especially fracked) is as bad as coal, plus all the energy losses in liquefying NG, and the general global NG glut, pipelines to the Pacific are looking more and more stupid. The Chinese will happily get their NG from their domestic wells and their Russian friends.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: February 29, 2020, 06:12:49 PM »
Study: Methane Emissions from Fossil Fuels Vastly Underestimated

Natural gas as a bridge to nowhere, another study showing that much more methane escapes from fracked gas wells (and other parts of the fossil fuels industry) than assumed in the GHG emission accounting. NG is as bad or even worse (especially in the first couple of decades) than coal.

This study shows that of the methane in the atmosphere, much more than assumed comes from NG wells rather than from natural geologcial seeps. The scientist interviewed says that estimates of NG emissions from the fossil fuel industry should be increased by 45%!

Science / Re: Where are we now in CO2e , which pathway are we on?
« on: February 18, 2020, 07:28:43 PM »
One of the reasons considered as causing the observed "hiatus" is that there were more La Nina events (with cold ocean surface), which pulled more heat from the atmosphere into the oceans. Also, atmospheric levels of CH4 flat-lined from 2000 to 2007 and China ramped up their coal production (the aerosol cooling is immediate while the CO2 effects take years to offset the aerosol cooling).

With the drive for clean air in China, now intensified by the actions taken to combat the virus, less aerosols to cool China.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: February 18, 2020, 06:51:44 PM »
An apt song, send in the clowns - Don't you love farce? My fault, I fear. I thought that you'd want what I want. Sorry, my dear!

Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air,
Where are the clowns?

Isn't it bliss?
Don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move,
Where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns?

Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines
No one is there

Don't you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you'd want what I want
Sorry, my dear!

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